Friday, October 20, 2017

A Silent Voice vol. 7

This is it. This is the final volume in the series. Oh all the feels. Let me try and capture how awesome this series was.

So, if you saw my first review of volume 1 (only posted days ago because I couldn't put these manga down!) then you got the bare bones of how the story starts. Let me give you a little more of a recap. Shoya was the middle school daredevil, the kid that jumped off bridges to prove his worth to the other boys he considered his friends. He hated boredom. So when they get a transfer student who happens to be deaf, Shoya makes it his purpose in life to torment Shoko and pit the other classmates against her. Even though it works, all the other students, even the teacher, bully poor Shoko, it all backfires terribly when Shoko's mother demands recompense for the numerous hearing aides Shoya has destroyed. Suddenly Shoya finds himself on the other end of the stick as the others in his class begin bullying him. Unable to take it, Skoya lashes out at Shoko one final time that causes her to finally leave the school.

The meat of the tale begins when Shoya, having had enough of the loneliness he has had to endure over the years since his actions, decides to take his own life. Getting his affairs in order, Shoya realizes there is one last thing he must do before he ends it all: apologize to Shoko for what he did. But when he goes to confront her she is understandably upset, and when he "speaks" to her (because he actually learned sign language to get his message across) he realizes that he wasn't the only one just done. Deciding to try and right the wrongs he caused this girl, Shoya resolves to push on, resulting in one of the most incredible pictures in manga that I fell in love with.

The rest of the series is about their growing friendship. That's not to say everything is rainbows and unicorns from there on out, oh no! Shoko and Shoya both have a lot of pain that lies just beneath the surface, and sometimes it rises up and people get hurt. They also have a lot of people they have effected over the course of time they have known each other, and not everyone is as forgiving as Shoko or as determined to make amends as Shoya. The ride is bumpy and incredible.

To say I loved this series would be an understatement! The story was so real, from the bullying to the difficulty in making things right; the characters were real, from Shoya's complicated feelings about Shoko to the mothers who are trying to raise difficult children alone; the plot was real, and all of it came together to form a story that will stick with me for some time. This is a series I plan on buying to reread in the future and recommend to everyone who reads manga. This one was just amazing! So if you haven't read it yet, go find it, now! And if you have, tell me what you think. I would love to talk about this one all day!

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Silent Voice vol. 1

Last year I saw a trailer for an anime that looked really interesting, but I have been unable to find it. So imagine my surprise and excitement when I stumbled upon the manga at the library! I am so eager to read this series!

A Silent Voice is the story of Shoya, a middle school boy that hates to be bored. So when the new transfer student turns out to be just another girl, he is disappointed because girls never want to have fun like the boys do. Only, Shoko, the new student, is deaf! This leads to Shoya deciding that the newest way he is going to keep himself entertained is by tormenting Shoko. Until karma strikes and Shoya looses everything.

In this first volume we hate Shoya, that's exactly how the creator wanted it. You need someone just horrible to suffer for what he has done, otherwise it seems unnecessary. But in this story we cheer karma on after Shoya becomes the target for all the bullying in the school in retaliation for all he put young Shoko through. Yet, I still feel a bit of sympathy for Shoya at the end of this one, and can't wait to see where the story takes him and Shoko!

Seriously, this is a great story already, and I encourage all my manga fans to pick this one up! And if you have seen the anime, please, tell me where I can find it!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Confessions of a Middle School Nerd

Ok, so I found this one on the local authors shelf as well, and I picked it up for my 10 yr old son who is now part of the middle school in our small town school system. But he has a long to read list of his own, so I decided to go ahead and read it by myself. A very interesting choice.

Confessions of a Middle School Nerd is a very short read, only 81 pages with the text taking up only a small block of each page. But it was a fun and quick read for that reason. Written in the first person by a narrator who is quirky and funny, this book is almost like a journal for the writer. The narrator starts off by saying that she wrote most of this down to work through a few things, mostly days in her life that she feels should be highlighted to help her come to a conclusion she can only catch glimpses of. So we get little tidbits of this middle schooler's days. The stories are all focused around one main point, the narrator is awkward. But in the end she comes to the realization that not only is she ok with this fact about herself, she can revel in it, because she likes who she is.

Like I said, the book was short and sweet. I enjoyed taking a little time to read it, especially since I could so relate to some of these moments in the narrator's time in middle school. So I encourage anyone to pick it up. Have a laugh or a knowing nod of the head, and pass it on to a middle schooler that might need a little reinforcement that they are not the only ones out there being awkward, and it's perfectly fine to be so. Let me know if you have read this one!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Geek Lust

How could I not pick up a book that not only gets so close to my own blog's title, but is literally about the driving force behind everything I am interested in? I saw this on the Local Author shelf and that was just an even better reason to pick it up, because you guys know I love reading things written by people close by. So I picked it up and while I didn't absolutely love this book, it was fun to read.

Alex Langley binds together in these pages everything that makes a geek a geek. Covering everything from the original geeks, scientist that started things, to all the mediums that geeks revel in, including but not limited to books, shows, movies, podcasts, and games. While the book is divided in a pretty clear manor, moving from one subject to the next in a cohesive manor that ties it all together, Langley's lists and frequent content jumping does make this book a bit more chaotic to read than I would have liked.

But it was fun! I mean, a whole book listing the many reasons people mark me as weird, yeah I enjoyed seeing in print that there are whole groups that love the things I love. It was also a lot of fun to pick out which of the many names in each medium I have enjoyed over the years. Who doesn't love it when someone acknowledges their love of that one book series you thought you were alone in reading!

I had fun with this book and recommend it to anyone with the willingness to basically read a book of lists. After all, it helped me discover a lot more shows, books, and games I should be partaking in!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Elfstones Of Shannara

Setting out to reread the Shannara series with a friend, I was thrilled at the chance to return to the world that not only drew me into the world of fantasy, but that awakened within me a desperate need to tell my own stories of fantastic nature. However, I was a little worried that upon rereading some of them I would find that I was no longer as in love with Terry Brook's early writing style, after all my tastes have changed a lot since I was 10. I need not have feared. Elfstone of Shannara was the first book that left me crying long after I put it down (a sad spoiler I won't detail), and when I watched the show it came as no real surprise that I was curled up in my husband's lap for an hour as I cried more tears for that plot point. Yes, today I cried again. I love this book so much, and even after all this time the story still touches every part of my heart!

Elfstones follows the story of Wil Ohmsford and Amberle Elessedil as they try and safe the magical tree, the Elcrys, from death which would result in the failing of a magical barrier that keeps hordes of demons at bay. Wil and Amberle's journey takes them across half the FourLands, introduces them to numerous characters that both hinder and help their cause, and twists and turns in ways that are truly captivating.

Even though this was the third time I read this book I loved it just as much as the first. However, since I read it after watching the show, I found that there were so many details that I had forgotten, details that were left out of the show. Does this upset me? Well, a little since some of my favorite characters were left out of the show (*cough* Stee Jans *cough*). But as Terry Brooks has been heard saying lately, the show is a beast in and of itself. Things had to be changed to keep audiences interested, to keep things new and exciting. So if you are going to read this book because you loved the show, keep in mind that the book was here first, and it's its own story.

I look forward to the next time I am able to sit down and reread the whole series once more in the future. This is a story I love to revisit from time to time. So tell me, how did you discover Shannara? What do you think of both the book and the show? Let me know!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Am Here! Omnibus 2

Hikage's story continues in this second volume right where the first I Am Here! book ends. So in this one we find out who Black Rabbit really is along with a new twist in Hikage's growing world. We also get to see more of Hinata and Teru outside of Hikage, like a flashback to when they first became friends.

This story is a very short one, only spanning the two books containing a total of 19 chapters. But everything I needed was in those 19 little tales! Hikage grows just enough over the course of this story to make it real and give us hope for her future, even becoming a voice of encouragement to others as Hinata and Black Rabbit did for her. And even though there was no real settling of things between Hikage and her two suitors, there was enough of a decision that it gives the reader hope for what her future is going to hold.

I really enjoyed this one! I think I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Toyama's other stories! And encouraging all my other manga lovers to pick this one up.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Am Here! Omnibus 1

This is the story of Hikage Sumino, an eighth-grader with incredibly low self-esteem because she has spent her whole life never being noticed. Outside of the two strangers that constantly comment on her blog, she never talks to anyone other than to hear them say they hadn't noticed her there, right after they get her name wrong. But one day, one of the most popular boys in her class takes notice, speaks to her, helps her out, and turns her whole world upside down.

Ok, so I stumbled onto this one because I just finished the newest Attack On Titan and Bunny Drop and you guys know I can't go very long without picking up a new manga! This one is combined into 2 omnibuses so it will be a short read, which I am sure I will regret when I want so much more to the story at the end. However, it might be perfect, because in this first volume alone so much of the story was covered, Hikage grew just like the sunflower she wanted to be and the story is looking so hopeful!

And let me point out right now, this was only partially because of Hinata, the boy that paid attention to her. This isn't a story where the female lead starts dating the popular guy and suddenly gets friends. No, Hikage goes through her share of bullying, by herself. She resolves to be someone worthy of even being friends with a guy like HInata, who is so outgoing. And she makes it a point to work on her people skills and stand up for herself alone. That's why I like this story. Hikage is a very stubborn protagonist who refuses to give up on finding the sunlight, and I love her for that!

As the author notes, there are no really humorous scenes in this one. It is meant to be a more serious story, and I think that not only does it manage to do that with beautiful skill, Toyama does an excellent job of making it real without it being too sad without comedic relief. I really enjoyed this one! If you like manga, don't overlook this one!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Bunny Drop vol. 9

Ok guys, I'll be honest, I was not happy with the ending to this story. At the end of the last volume we were handed a very weird and surprising twist to Rin and Diakichi's story that was followed up and "resolved" with this final set of chapters. I don't like the twist and I really don't like the conclusion.

Not only was the ending to this story a bit unsettling, but these final chapters had the feeling of being too convenient, like Unita had and ending they wanted, had very little time to actually plot it out properly, and so they threw together the barest of details. It was too quick, too simple, too unlike the rest of the story for me. It did nothing to help convince me that the way things ended was right.

With that said I do plan on reading the final volume, a collection of chapters "missing" over the years from Rin and Diakichi's story. I already have the volume, it's not much to read these, I might as well.

Guys, the rest of this story is so much better, and I would love for others to read it and tell me what they think of the ending. But I won't push this one on anyone since I know the disappointment this ending put on me and I don't want others to deal with that. But if you happen to read the series, please, tell me what you think!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bunny Drop vol. 5

This is just a short update on the series as I had originally planned on waiting until I had finished the series and could give a final thought on what the series was like and where it went. But with this volume we see a major leap in the time line as it starts ten years after the end of  the last chapter, and I would like to make a note of that.

In this volume we see Rin in high school, preparing for the possibility of college, while trying to figure out the relationships in her life. Most notable is her friendship with Kouki which might or might not be going further. With both of them unsure of things, however, this is a bit slow going but makes for some good moments that have me rooting for Kouki in the long run.

Along this same plot line, the final chapter in this one deals with a little flashback to when Kouki and Rin were in middle school and Diakichi had a moment with Nitani that might hint at the future between these two supporting characters.

I love that we are getting to see more into the growth of these characters, something that was not possible with the anime, and I am really looking forward to what we may get to see in the final volumes of the series. Making it this far, I am of course going to encourage every manga fan to give this one a try. It is such a touching story! If you make it this far, please, let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Attack On Titan v. 21

So this one finally arrived at the library and as soon as I saw it there was no question that I was going to grab it up. I am so involved in this story, guys, I am not sure how I am going to wait another month before the next volume is even published!

Ok, nearly a year ago I started reading this series after having watched season one of the anime and wanting to know how things turned out. At volume 9, we had begun to cover new territory that has now been covered in season 2 recently released. Unfortunately I have been unable to watch the second season thus far, but I have been keeping up with the manga. Here in volume 21 we are finally able to get some more answers! At the risk of getting yelled at about spoilers, I think I can almost safely admit that Eren and the gang has finally! reached his old basement, a scene that had one of the most impressive two page, word-less spread that will probably go down as my favorite art in the whole series. So the second half of this volume was for taking a giant leap backward in time to begin telling the history of the world, the titans, the walls, the people!

While I think some may moan about the lack of forward movement in the plot, as not too much happened in this one truthfully, I firmly believe the event of getting to the basement and the history we are given more than makes up for it. I am really happy with this volume!

So, have you read this far? Have you seen the second season? Let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Supernatural: Nevermore

Listening to: Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas
Ok, so I accidentally read this one out of order, not paying attention when I picked up Witch's Canyon and Goodreads informed me that it was book number 2. Oh well, the only impact that really had was that in the epilogue of this one, when the boys are handed the case that they would take care of in the next novel, I suddenly understood a little more. This early in the series, and being a long fan of the show, reading them out of order didn't effect anything.

So, at the start of this book the author so kindly tells us exactly where in the series it fits. Between episodes "Crossroad Blues" and "Croatoan" is where this story takes place. Sam's wrist is still in a cast, having been broken a few episodes back, as they head to New York to take care of a case for Ash as well as a case Sam caught in a paper. As the boys bounce back and forth between the two cases, trying to make their way through the crowded city not only in their car but with the cops keeping a watchful eye out for them, there is a lot of the banter that I have missed in these later seasons. It was also very satisfying to read of Dean flirting with a particular bartender outside his normal standards, and getting just a glimpse a little deeper into him when he is turned down.

We also get a little look into how others saw John Winchester. whereas in the next book we got to see flashbacks from boys about John's strict training that actually proved helpful, in this book we hear from a few people that have worked with John in the past, and found him extremely difficult. It's good to get a little deeper into the story like that.

I really enjoyed DeCandido's writing and look forward to reading the third book in the series, Bone Key, also by him. Let me know what you think of the series if you have been able to pick the books up!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Supernatural: Witch's Canyon

July: Books with trees on the cover.

Ok, so I really stretched it on this book fitting into this month's category, but hey, those are trees behind Sam and Dean! Honestly, I have been planning on reading these books for a while now, since a friend gave me a stack of them when she had to downsize her book pile. With the boys back in Vancouver for filming and season 13 right around the corner, I thought it would be nice to revisit the world from a new angle.

This book, the first in the series, takes place soon after t season 1. There are mentions of John Winchester's death (and if that is a spoiler you are far too behind to be complaining) but there is no mention of the major story arc from season 2. It does refer to the few months they have been traveling together to give the reader a little of the time frame. For this particular case the boys are in Arizona to investigate a series of murders that occurs once every forty years. And boy does it turn out to be a big one. Along with leading the boys repeatedly to square one with how little there is to go on, the number of bodies that drop in this book is astonishing. One of the worst cases the boys face if you ask me.

I really enjoyed this book! One of the nice things about this is being able to jump right into the story, it's just a case fic, you don't need to know which big bad they have been fighting up to this point. We also get a bit more backstory through memories that Dean has of training with his father when they were younger. Also included is the quip almost mandatory to the story that brings a little "what fourth wall" humor to the story when a suspect repeatedly calls Sam by his brother's name, insisting that he just looks more like a Dean. Something we got to see a little more of was a look into Dean's personality from how Sam sees it. The way he gives all the credit of solving the case to others, or turning down asking that one girl out with a bravado that Sam sees right through. This book falls right in line with how the show used to be, what drew me to the series in the first place, and what made the story so great.

I look forward to picking up the next book, so look for another post soon enough! Jeff Mariotte did a great job with this one, but one of the things I love about tie-ins are the chances to read different authors while staying with the characters I love. (Also why I love fanfic, but in this case all stories are show approved.) Next up is Nevermore by Keith R.A. DeCandido which now I know is listed as the first novel of the series. (oops)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Sword of Shannara

Back in January 2016, I wrote a post about the show The Chronicles of Narania that had premiered. I went on to say that I as I thoroughly enjoyed the show (which only went on to get better from that first episode onward) I hoped that it would draw people into the books. Well, I got my wish. A friend messaged me not long after the show ended for the season, asking me where to start in the series (a question I highly discourage because my answer tends to be long-winded at best, mind-numbing at worst) as she wanted to read the books that inspired the show. I pointed her to The Sword of Shannara partly because that was where Brooks started, and partly so that she could get a little bit of backstory for some of the things she would be seeing later on in the series (book or show). As we talked about it, I decided to join her and read the books again as well. While it took me a lot longer to finish, only because life got really in the way, the story was everything that I remembered it to be.

Sword tells the story of Shea Ohmsford, small town boy looking to mind his own business until the Druid Allanon appears to tell him that he is the heir to an overwhelming birthright in the form of a legendary sword that would be the one weapon that could take out the incredible powerful evil that is the Warlock Lord. A lot of traveling, fighting, chaos, confusion, and adventures ensue. It is a great place to start the series if you have never read the books before.

This is not the beginning though. Even that first time I read the series, when I was around 10, I started with The First King of Shannara which tells how the sword came to be, sets up the stories of the families, the druids, the world that is the Four Lands. I encourage everyone to read it!

But with the next season starting soon, I am glad that my friend started with Sword because I am going to quickly jump into Elfstone of Shannara, the next book upon which the show is based, and hopefully get to Wishsong of Shannara before the show starts getting too far off track from the original story line (which has already been confirmed to mixed reviews).

Anyway, I absolutely loved getting pulled back into this story once more. I have loved this series, this world for so long, getting to fully step back into it again was like returning to an old friend. And we picked up right where we left off. Once more I have the insatiable urge to read them all! Getting to talk with a new fan was a real bonus that I greatly enjoyed as well. So if you have recently picked up the books, please let me know so we can talk about them! If you have only just found the series, that's great too, because I love it just as much! And if you need a push to get into either, let me know, I will gladly give you a nudge as I pick up Elfstones and program the TV to record season 2 on Spike! Join me in one of my very first fandoms! Trust me, it is so worth it!

Noragami: Stray God

After reading the second volume in the Noragami series, I discovered that there was actually an anime made from it. Having had trouble getting into the series via the manga, I decided to watch the anime instead. This is one of those few times that I am going to admit that the show was better than the book. I think it was just easier to follow in the anime format. That being said, after season 2, it leaves off at a cliffhanger and there doesn't seem to be any more being made. So if I want to know how things end, I am going to have to continue with the manga. I just don't think that is going to happen right now. I will be putting this series on my "To Be Read" shelf and coming back to it at a later time when I can sit down, get into it, and read through it with all my attention.

So, if I can make a suggestion to you, fellow reader, check out the anime first. Watch it and see if the story interests you. Then give the manga a chance. It really is an interesting story line. I look forward to coming back to it in the future and hopefully finding out how everything turns out.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Bunny Drop

Yes, another new manga series for me to get caught up in! I just can't help myself, there are so many with such interesting story lines!

Daikichi returns home for his grandfather's funeral only to find a mysterious little girl that no one knows what to do with. It turns out that the 76 year old man was having an romantic affair with a much younger woman and the child was his. Now, with Gramps gone, no one wants to take in the illegitimate girl that never talks. Upset at everyone's reluctance and cruelty toward the little girl, Daikichi makes the rash decision to take in the girl himself. The 30 year old bachelor working long nights as a business man must now change everything about his lifestyle to accommodate this new little person and make her feel like part of a family.

Ok, the plot sold me fast! It's just a little crazy and a lot hopeful and has so much possibility. Then my husband and I discovered that there were 11 episodes of the anime and we watched all those. Afterward there was no doubt in my mind that I would love the mangas because I absolutely love Daikichi and Rin's story already!

Seriously, it's such a cute story with plenty of humor and serious moments balanced wonderfully to paint a real picture of settling into parenthood. My biggest worry is that the manga will leave off at the same time as the anime, because I want so much more of the story!

If you've read it or have recommendations for others like it, let me know! I love hearing your thoughts!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wires and Nerve

Another story in the Lunar Chronicles, Meyer tries her hand in a new medium bringing us a story of Iko, Cinder's android best friend, as a graphic novel. This installment takes place after the events in Winter, Iko is hunting down the mutant wolf hybrids left behind on Earth after the war.

So, I actually picked this one up on a whim. Yes I loved the Lunar series, it is now among my top favorites in fact, but I had not planned to read this one for a little while. But as I was browsing the manga section at the library it caught my eye on the shelf and I grabbed it up without thinking. I am so glad I did! First off, as a huge fan of both Meyer and graphic novels I was thrilled to hear about this beauty. Then the story follows Iko, one of my favorite characters in the series! And she is on Earth which means we get updates on everyone else as well! And of course the story Meyer tells is incredible! Ugh, no wonder I finished it in one day and am seriously considering rereading the series because I want back into that world!

If you have read the series but not this book, get on it! It is a must read! If you have read it all, let me know so we can fangirl together because there is too much to contain! If you haven't picked up any of the books yet...what are you waiting for! It is such a great series with a little something for everyone I think. And this book is just another great addition!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Noragami: Stray God vol. 2

So, I went ahead and picked up the next book in this series, even though I was not thrilled with the first one, simply because I really wanted to give this series a chance. The premise still seems interesting and I know that the annoying character is not always what he seems.

I am glad that I choose to continue. The disjointed story line present int he first volume is nowhere in this one. Yato has now found a new shinki whom he names Yukine and the young girl Hiyori is still following them in hopes of figuring out a way to stop what has been happening to her. With this volume we see more into Yato's serious side and a lot more into the character of Yukine, his new weapon. We even get a teaser at Yato's back story, making me hope that we will see much more about it in future installments.

This is a series that you are going to need to stick with beyond the first manga if  the story sounds interesting. Because I fully think it will be worth it in the end.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Noragami: Stray God vol. 1

This was the other new manga I picked up on my last trip to the library. The name sounded familiar but I have not looked to see if it is an anime that I had glimpsed or not. I should look that up.

In this story Yato is a homeless god looking to make a name for himself. But he is doing it by promising to help anyone in need, by posting his number everywhere, hoping for calls, and charging a mere 5 yen until he can save up to buy a shrine for himself and hopefully bring worshipers to him.

So in this volume we have 3 short stories mostly. The first a little introduction to Yato via a tale of him helping a young girl being bullied. The second his meeting Hiyori when she tries to save him from getting hit by a bus. The third is a continuation of the second that better fits the style of "chapters" but it still feels a bit disjointed.

I am not as impressed by this story as I thought I would be when I read the description. I don't know if it is just the way the first chapter seems separate from the other two (which is more annoying when you know that what feels like the narrative voice is no one in the chapter) or just the subject matter or Yato being kind of a jerk. Whatever it is, I am going to try and give the story a second chance by picking up the next volume. If I remain unimpressed than I am giving up. I really hope the story picks up! Either way, I'll let you know what I think!

The Demon Prince of Momochi House vol. 1

I know it has been too long since I picked up a book and finished it, I am so sorry no new reviews have been posted! Once more I pulled myself out of a reading slump via a new manga series. So here, have a look at the series I will now be hunting down!

The story is centered around Himari Momochi, an orphan recently turned 16 who has been willed a large house that belonged to her family. Only, when she gets there she discovers that squatters are already living there! One of them is Aoi, the handsome boy who accidentally broke the seal on the house before Himari could and has now been possessed with the magic to protect the house, which lies on the border between the spirit world and the real one.

One manga in, only 3 chapters, and I am kinda already hooked on both Himari and Aoi! I knew as soon as I read the description of the book that it was right up my alley with the spirit world, girl alone in the world, and a possible love story. Add to that the beautiful artwork that Aya Shouoto gives and I was instantly loving the story!

So far there are 11 books listed over on Goodreads, so I will be looking for them all at the library. Depending on the status of the story when I get to volume 11, I'll try to post again when I get there to let you know how I feel about the story after I have read more of it. If you have read it before, let me know what you thought of it!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Would-Be Witch

This one was a just for fun when I should be reading others book that I saw while walking the shelves at the library. It's been sitting on the stack for a few weeks and finally yesterday I told myself I either pick it up and read it or take it back so I can focus of others. Well, I read it! In on day.

So, Tammy Jo is a small town Texan girl. At 23 she is a very popular pastry chef with sass and an ex husband that does not believe in the divorce paperwork. Oh, and she comes from a very long line of powerful witchy women. Only, she has no magic. At all. And now she has no job. And the locket that contains a dead ancestor's soul has been stolen. Chaos has descended on Tammy Jo's small town life and she is just trying to hold onto the bits.

I haven't read a book in this genre in a while now, it having been way longer than I would care to admit since I picked up a Kim Harrison book to enjoy. But for some reason I saw this one and it really caught my attention. And now I am so glad that I decided to read it before forcing myself to give it up as a lost cause. Because this was such a fun read and I am itching to pick up the next one.

Tammy Jo is a very sassy southern woman, which makes her instantly likable in my opinion. Throw in her magical heritage and the 2 gorgeous guys she has fawning over her, and she has a lot I wish I had. Plus an absolutely amazing cat! All of this makes the story very upbeat and fast paced as Tammy Jo tries to not only figure out what is going on but try to fix what little she can with her limited resources. Then you have broody warlocks that should be off limits, werewolves with their wires crossed, a very flamboyant but helpful vampire, all thrown into a town of muggles so oblivious it's dangerous. But it all works! Frost manages to fill the pages with these odds and ends wonderfully, inciting me to continue reading well into the night to try and figure out just what was going to happen to everyone!

Now, I am not saying this book was the best ever written. I really hope you don't pick it up expecting a masterpiece only to crash my comments in upset. No, this book was simply fun. I have no major complaints about it, none, because it is what it is without trying to be something better. It's a short, quirky supernatural romance with a very stubborn female lead who is caught between two wonderful men who have their faults. It was a quick fun read that was just good enough to get me to pick up the next one in hopes of more of the same. The characters were wonderfully balanced creations of good and bad so that I loved every one of them (except the werewolves obviously) and the story had just enough weight that it gave me a reason to keep turning the pages.

I really enjoyed it and hope you do to if you choose to pick it up! I look forward to the next one in the series!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

February - Books with Mr. or Mrs. in the title

To fulfill this month's book club theme, I literally did the broadest search in my local library's database, simply typing in the word "Mr." in the title search. My plan was to find a few books, read their synopsis, and then yes, pick 1 by its cover. Then do the same with "Mrs." However, I found 2 with "Mr." that have interested me and I think I will stay with those.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore turned out to be a random good pick. Imagine a secret society for bibliophiles, because that is what the book's narrator, Clay Jannon, unintentionally falls into while bored at his new job as book store clerk for the eccentric Mr. Penumbra. When Clay decides to while away the hours by using computer code to plot costumers' book histories, he discovers the puzzle filled world of the Unbroken Spine. Not only is his life changed, but he turns the secret society upside down with the events that follow.

Here is another book done in first person. Is this the new big thing? I have to say, the point of view was neither here nor there for me this time. While I was mostly okay with Clay's voice, there were a few other times I thought things being said were mere thoughts but were answered by the other characters. Ok, so dialogue then. No quotation marks? Mildly annoying. Usually, though, Clay's thoughts were humorous and entertaining.

Overall, the story was interesting. I liked the idea of this secret society just for people who tend to look too deeply into books. And the secret to immortality, yeah, that was something to make me smile. Oh, and the very wide range of people involved! The way things turned a little sideways. These things made the book more enjoyable.

I'm glad I stumbled upon this one. It was unique and fun! Has anyone else picked up this little gem? If so, I would love to know what you thought as well.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Every Last Word

January - Books with a white cover

This is the story of Sam. Sam has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, focusing on the obsessive part. She is sixteen and she was diagnosed years ago, and she is in therapy and trying to cope with it. But no one outside of Sam's family knows. And she likes it like that because she wants the world to think she is completely normal. Only, she is lonely because of this thinking. Until she meets Caroline and her world starts to change. Sam discovers poetry and makes friends and focuses on herself. She starts to be happy. It's a wonderful story!

And it is so darn familiar to me that sometimes I had to take a step back. Sure, the details are a little different because while I do have OCD (or Pure-O as I have discovered is more accurate), I was dealing more with depression and anxiety in high school. And whereas Sam had a group of plastic friends she felt she could never explain things to, I had my family who I was desperate not to disappoint. Sam meets the Poets, friends that understood, had their own faults, but had poetry. I had a few friends that had their own illness and were willing to just let me be. Sam finds AJ. I am now married to my own AJ. It sounds so awesome, finding your way through, figuring out who you are and how to be happy in it. But it's not that easy. At one point, Sam's friend tells her she is changing, and maybe not for the better. I received those same lines from my father. It was hard to explain that I wasn't who everyone had though I was up to that point, especially since my family really liked that girl and I was becoming my own person. It took my a long time to find my own Poets, but I got there and have slowly to become happier in my own life.

So imagine how amazing it was to pick up this book and discover my story within its pages! So maybe I was far more drawn to the story than you would be. But I honestly believe that Stone does such an amazing job of giving us Sam in all her crazy glory and making us fall in love with her. She does an incredible job of capturing the good, the bad, the crazy of Sam's day to day life, from the obsession with her odometer in her car to the panic attacks that nearly cripple her. Stone did a lot of research for this story, and it really shows in how accurately she portrays so much of it. It was wonderful getting to read this one. Even through the sad parts and the bits that gave me second hand embarrassment and the pages that made my heart smile. It was a fantastic book from beginning to end. Please, pick it up, read it, love it with me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Symptoms of Being Human

January - Books with white covers

When I saw the theme for this month I had to make my way to the library for both books because incidentally I have no books with white covers! I am so glad that I did! Because I found two that I think will be incredible. And the first one really was!

Riley is gender fluid, meaning that instead of waking up with the anatomy of a female and feeling like a girl, Riley has to take a moment to gauge where their gender dial is at the moment. Of course, this doesn't help much because Riley is not out as gender fluid and therefore cannot dress to their preference for the day. So this is the story of Riley switching schools, going through therapy, being the child of a conservative congressman, all while trying to navigate the very confusing path of gender fluidity. And this story is wonderful!

At the end of the book Jeff Garvin writes a note including statistics for trans and gender nonbinary people: how many are sexually harassed, how many commit suicide, how many have no access to helpful resources. This note is necessary because his character, Riley, has it relatively good, with help and support from numerous sources. Most in Riley's situation do not. And yet, even with having it good, Riley in no way has it easy.

Garvin does an incredible job of trying to nail down the symptoms and effects of a term that is just as fluid in how it effects individuals as it is for the day to day of those with it. There are many times when Riley described a panic attack that had me feeling in the moment of one of my own attacks, Garvin captures it so perfectly. This is an incredible debut for a man that has no personal experience with the things he describes in his book. It makes me excited to see what he tackles next!

So, this is when I say what point of view this books is written in and dissect how it effected my reading of the book. First person! I know, I know, for someone who hates first person so much I seem to find a lot of novels written in it! But this one, this one could not have been written in any other way! Because Riley is fluid, the reader cannot see Riley in any other way than how Riley sees Riley. Notice how earlier in my post I have to use they/them so that I do not assign a gender to Riley? Garvin avoids the pronoun issue by allowing Riley to tell the story. That coupled with the fact that only Riley can accurately portray everything they go through forces this book to be best done in first person. And it was wonderful that way! Maybe it helped that I could relate to Riley's punk attitude and made me love them from the first lines of the book!

I loved everything about this book! I was so excited to see it on the shelf and get to take a look into the world of a character set that is slowly finding its way into books these days. I love nontraditional characters. And I love that the number of novels are growing that can help those with less traditional problems. The best way for a teenager to feel safe is to show them others that feel the same way. Riley is an example of of trying to give more teenagers this safe space through understanding. It touches my heart to see the genre expanding in such a way! So, if you have more books along these lines, please send them my way! I would love to read more on subjects that I cannot understand first hand but want to understand for others. And if you haven't picked this one up but are willing to branch out of the norm, please do. This one was incredible! Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I got so excited when I saw this book sitting on the shelf at the library. As a huge fan of the Bones series, I have been meaning to pick up one of Reichs' books for a while now, but have yet to come across the first in the Bones series at a time when I was able to read it. And here this one was right before the start of the final season of Bones! Serendipity! I even started reading it the day episode one of season 12 premiered.

But it was not what I was hoping for.

Mostly my issues stem around the fact that Reichs chose to write in first person. As my followers are well aware, I am not a big fan of first person, and the fact that Reichs nailed the teenage voice perfectly actually hindered my liking. While Tory is an incredibly smart and gifted young woman, she is not Temperance Brennan, a woman to whom I have always felt a connection. I did not feel as close to Tory. In fact, too often I found myself annoyed with her enough that I put the book down and purposefully found other things to do.

I really hate making it sound like I don't like Reichs, because that is not the case. I simply did not like this particular book. I didn't like the way she was forced to switch her voice to make up for the times when Tory was not present in the story, I felt it pulled me out of it. I was not fond of the way that she chose to alter the DNA of young teenagers because it is just the other side of science fiction that I was not expecting from Reichs.

In short I didn't like the book mainly for the fact that it was not Bones. So I am going to make sure that one of her Temperance Brennan books is next on my list to find so that I can give you a better review of Reichs' writing.

For this post, I will be updating it with how my friend enjoyed the book. She is a teacher of 7th/8th grade kids and will hopefully have better words for this series. Stay tuned for it! And if you have read this book and liked it, please speak up! Let me know what you thought so that I can be put in my place about her young adult series!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Truth About Alice

Jennifer Mathieu will be at the North Texas Tenn Book Festival in March! Since the festival is so early in the year I decided to start looking at the writers early on and was quick to discover this book I have been meaning to read for so long is on the list. Now I really want to find the book they are spotlighting and read that one because she is fantastic!

The Truth About Alice is about the power of rumor. From the very beginning the reader is told the truth of the situation: Alice is a slut and responsible for the star quarterback's death. This is what everyone in the small Texas town knows because someone told them. In this way the reader hears the details of the situation from the point of view of four different students at Healy High, people who knew Alice and saw parts of what happened. Only, they don't always tell the truth, and rumors spread like wildfire.

Mathieu captures perfectly the harmful impact of a rumor. Someone is a little upset, says something maybe they shouldn't, and suddenly a girl's life is ruined. This book reminded me strongly of Thirteen Reasons Why, so if you liked that one, I am sure you will enjoy this one. Now, things don't get as drastic, there is no suicide in this one, but looking at Alice as she is shunned and starts slipping away from herself, I could see things getting worse if one of the characters had not stepped up. Because this book is also a beautiful reminder of what the power of one person can do if they reach out. It is a great book!

I must point out that Mathieu is writing from the point of view of teenagers, something I have complained about in the past, but she does it wonderfully. Yes, three of the four main characters kind of tick me off, but as a person, not as a reader too annoyed by the voice of the narrators to read it. Mathieu does a great job of writing characters I loved to hate.

My only complaint was that with the way the stories are told it is a little hard to understand the timeline. When I first began I assumed that the events that sparked the rumors all occurred on one night. No. There were two distinct nights that led everyone to telling stories and many small events in between that spawned more. As the characters tell their sides of events all this becomes clear, but in the beginning it was rather confusing.

All in all the book was wonderful and I can't wait to pick up more of Mathieu's work and meet the woman to tell her how great her writing is! I hope you pick up the book as well!

A great way to start off the year of reading!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Reading Plans

Well, I managed to leave last year's challenge in the dust! I read 83 books when my goal was only at 60. Of course, a lot of those were mangas which I will probably being staying away from for this new year since I have read the only interesting ones at the library branch I visit. I will however be finishing the Attack On Titan series as soon as I get a chance, so look for an update for those at some point.

I am going to be putting the bar at 60 once more for this year, and try to tackle more novels for the goal. I will also be going along with the themes set up by the book club my sister moderate once more, so look out for some weird patterns in my reading once more! I look forward to really expanding my base again as I try to meet each theme. As I did last year I will have the themes posted by the month in the right column of my page and my posts labeled. 2 books per theme!

Also on my plans is another of the Game of Thrones series, so be on the look out for that!

I believe that we are also changing up plans for the Texas Teen Book Festival, attending the North Texas one this year in Irving in March. If that is the plan, my update of new books from there will probably be used to fulfill some of the themes. We will just have to wait and see!

I hope everyone has a fun year full of books ahead of them!