Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: This One Summer

This One Summer
by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki


Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age—a story of renewal and revelation.

My Review:

It’s been awhile since I read this, but I still wanted to get out a review. This was definitely a lazy day, summer read, but it was a bit more serious than I was expecting. It wasn't fluff. It dealt with real life issues, like teen pregnancy and the sorrows of miscarriage. 

The two girls in this story who are dealing with these encounters from an onlookers point of view are left with trying to figure out who they are in the world. They spend their summer as usual, except there's now the sneaking of horror films under the watchful eyes of their parents, a growing crush on one of the local older guys, arguments between these two girls that they hadn't ever experienced before, and a growing tension brewing in Rose's family.

It left me with this peculiar, nostalgic feeling, of summer vacations and friends you no longer talk to. It's definitely a good growing up book, where Rose and Windy experience new emotions and situations that make them that much older by the end of the summer. It was a nice book, but one that left you contemplating life rather than just with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Overall, I really liked this book. It's different than what I normally go for, and even though I felt the art was a bit rough, I still felt it deserved such a high rating. It made the characters feel more realistic, more human. I also liked how it wasn't just black and white, or an explosion of color. The blue tint of the ink gave it a rather dream-like quality that I think enhanced the summery bliss and the tensions spread throughout the story, which also made it that much more believable.

It makes me miss the beach so much...

Suggested Reading Level: Young Adult+

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Showcase Sunday / Stacking the Shelves / The Sunday Post XLVII

Well, I haven't been able to buy anything this past week (which is a good thing). But I did pick up a few more holds...


Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Summer Reader Book TAG

Original video and tag created by islandOFbooks.

I was once again tagged by Brittany over at Thisisthestoryofmyreadinglife.

Lemonade: pick a book that started off bitter but got better.

I really liked the ending of this one, over all, but it was kind of a struggle to get through. And I have yet to finish the rest of the series...

Golden Sun: pick a book that made you smile beyond compare.

Oh yes....

Tropical Flowers: pick a book set in a foreign country.

I still need to go back one day and finish this series. I enjoyed it, but life and other books got in the way...

Tree Shade: pick a book in which a mysterious or shady character was first introduced. 

This one was hard. I usually like the whole mysterious character aspect of a good book, but I couldn't really think of any specifics. This book itself is very whimsical and mysterious, and I think many of the characters could fit into that catergorization...

Beach Sand: pick a book that was grainy, and the plot barely developed.

I really, really disliked this book. I never got engaged with any of the characters, and the plot just seemed kind of bland...

Green Grass: pick a character(s) that were full of life, making you smile.

What else is there?

Watermelon: pick a book that had some juicy secrets.

I liked this book, a mix of magic and Victorian style mannerisms. It centers around the corrospondences of two young girls, so lots of little secrets there.

Sun Hat: pick a book that had a vast, big universe/setting.

Big world...lots of big worlds.... I still need to go back and finish this series.

BBQ: pick a book in which a character was portrayed as a hunk.


I don't usually pick books with "hunks", or if there is, it's not the main reason for picking up said book, so if there was one, I can't really think of it now...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: Nimona



The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it "a deadpan epic."

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

My Review:

Oh my gaaaawd, I adored this book. If I'm going to be completely honest, it actually didn't grab me right away. I found Nimona to be a bit annoying at first, I wasn't sure where the story was going...and there was something about her hair that resembles the nails-on-chalkboard cringe-factor for me. Gaaahaha...

But then as I got through more and more chapters, I just fell in love. This books is soooo random and funny and cheesy (in a good way) and I just loved it. I love the antihero-ness that is Lord Blackheart, like he is just the best kind of villain. And Sir Goldenloin?


*giggles like a schoolgirl*

I loved the merging of both this medieval type setting with machines and magical beasts and sci-fi like government control. It was just so fricking random!

It's hilarious how the villain is running around, trying to keep his new sidekick from killing everyone.

I love Nimona's shapeshifting  moments and her constant nagging on her boss.

What else can I say?

I liked how this ended, but I can't really say much about it without giving things away. Basically, it's just too good that I can't explain it and there's not really much of anything I can complain about.

I also loved the "tragic" backstory of Lord Blackheart and how he came to be the "villain" of our tale. Basically, I love anything to do with his and Sir Goldenloin's past.



Suggested Reading Level: Young Adult

Monday, July 20, 2015

Make Me Read It Read-A-Thon Winners!

More information can be found here at The Innocent Smiley.

So as I posted last week (original post), I am taking part in the Make Me Read It Read-A-Thon. It began at 8 am today and ends at 12 am on July 27th. It is now time to announce the winners. Seven of the books I opted for got votes, but I'm going with the top three novels and the top graphic novel. Hopefully I'll be able to get to them all, but we'll see what happens. :) As I also said before, I will definitely review the books I read during the read-a-thon.

Now without further ado...

The graphic novel I will be reading iiiiiiiiiss........

Batgirl 1: Batgirl of Burnside
I haven't read many DC or Marvel comics, but I've been slowly branching out this summer. This is a new book and it looks like a pretty fun read so I'm hoping I'll enjoy it. :)

And the novels are.........

3. Every Day
I really don't know much about this book, except it's been staring out at me from the shelves for several months now. I actually just realized it is by an author that I swore never to read another book by again, but.... I guess I'll give it a whirl, if I manage to get to it at the end of the week.

2. City of Bones
I've been meaning to read this book for years, and I mean years. I feel like I really should have read it a long time ago and that I might not enjoy it as much now...but I've never read anything by Cassandra Clare, and I would very much like to read her Infernal Devices series, as well as the Bane Chronicles, so I gotta start somewhere. I'm debating between reading or listening. Thoughts?

1. Eleanor and Park
This book received the most votes so I will be starting off with this first. I thoroughly enjoyed  Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl earlier in the year and I am looking forward to this as well. I have the audiobook out currently so I know I'll be able to breeze right through it...if this week goes according to plan. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Showcase Sunday / Stacking the Shelves / The Sunday Post XLVII

Hmmm... Well, let's see. I put a bunch on hold because I can't seem to stop myself, I had to take a bunch back because I couldn't renew in time, and I finally got my package of books. Least I got some reviews out/scheduled, so I'm starting to feel a bit more productive as of late...



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review: Drama

by Raina Telgemeier



Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

My Review:

This was such a fun, quirky little book. I loved the art style so much, the characters were all rather unique, and the story itself was interesting. I've been reading a lot of graphic novels this summer (which is usually not my thing), but I am really starting to like most of what I find.

The story centers around the drama department, with the spunky Callie as our "lead". It's funny how the story itself takes the form of a play, with curtain calls and intermission. Everyone works really hard to make their upcoming show a success. And it's nice and angsty on and off the stage, where "drama" takes a whole new meaning...

I liked Callie's friends, and all of those apart of the stage crew and cast. It's just a fun, diverse group. It definitely sparked my interest over the amount of time and effort it takes to make any play worth watching. I also liked how the characters interacted with one another, and how they learned to develop their own talents throughout the book. They overcome stage fright, maybe even a little bit of peer pressure, deal with relationship drama and basically just growing up, all while accepting each other for who they really are.

There's not really much else I can say, except that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it in a heartbeat.

Suggested Reading Level: Young Adult

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review: Seconds



Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:

1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew

And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions.

From the mind and pen behind the acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series comes a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.

My Review:

I originally hadn't planned on reviewing this, mainly due to my mixed feelings. But I figured, what the heck, I might as well. I have to start off with stating that I had high expectations for this book. I was intrigued the moment I first laid eyes on the cover. I got super pumped when I saw one of my favorite youtubers reading it. And I got even more excited when my hold finally came in. I am one of those people that judges the book by its freaking pretty cover. I haven't read anything else by this author or illustrator, but I was ready and willing to give it a whirl.

I wasn't entirely pleased.

Grant it, it might just be me. It might be due to my too high expectations. I will happily admit that the plot itself was definitely original and interesting. I liked the art, like, a lot. The characters were all funny and varied. But Katie just really got on my nerves. As I have said before and will no doubt say again, I'm hardly ever a fan of the MC. I usually fall for someone in the supporting cast. Katie is no exception. But I dislike her even more so  I just felt like she was this self centered brat a majority of the time, always wanting her way and only concerned with her own success. 

So she gets this magical second chance, for whatever reason, but she's only supposed to be able to do so once. Someone gets a bit greedy and decides if one second chance is possible, why not several? And from there it just really went downhill for me. It's like she's never content with what she gets. Its this constant back and forth between her ex and the fling that makes me want to grind my teeth in frustration. Even when she gets one, she also wants the other. If one doesn't work out, she always has the other, as a backup plan. If something goes sour, hey! Another second chance. And then when she actually gets the one, she's not even human enough to share. It becomes their life, their business. But she's selfish. She wants everything, and she wants it for herself.

Maybe I am being too hard on Katie. But I never felt sorry for her throughout the whole book, and it's a big book. I never felt like she learned her lesson in the end. She makes one friend, sorta, but that's mainly because she wants to learn more about the house spirit that seems to be causing all the trouble... Which is another thing, she always casts the blame onto something or someone else. She is never at fault. I don't mind flawed characters, but I hate when they never admit to it, not even once. Okay, and so maybe she does "apologize" in the end....but it didn't really feel as though it should count.

I gave this book three stars, because the story itself was original, the rest of the characters were pretty interesting, and the art was pretty. I found it hilarious how Katie could hear the narrator and always liked to correct whatever was being said about her. Like, narcissist much?

I've read both negative and positive reviews. If you've read it, let me know what you thought.

Suggested Reading Level: Adult

Flashback Friday XLVI

Let's see...what have I read? Not much. This summer hasn't been too terribly busy or exciting, which is all right with me... But when a week entails not much else but working and lazying about, I start to feel rather unproductive and unmotivated and gloomy...and that doesn't bode well for any reading attempts to be rather successful...



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mid-year Book Freakout

Originally from A Book So Fathomless. Here’s their post!

Discovered this prompt via Brittany over at This is the Story of My (Reading) Life. Here's her post! :)

So I am a bit behind in getting this out, but hey! It's still summertime and better late than never. :P

1. Best book you've read so far in 2015.
Hands down, it’s gotta be Dream Thieves. Gaaawd, did I ever love this book!!! It was also one of the first books I got to so its set the bar preeeetty darn high for the rest of the year.

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2015.
This is a trick question, yeah? Well then I guess I’m going to have to go with Blue Lily, Lily Blue for this one, my second favoritest book so far this year.

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.
Is there any I have read? Hmm... Well, I guess I'll go with A Court of Thorns and Roses for this one.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
Carry On. Duh.

5. Biggest disappointment.
Scarlet. I just didn’t like it as mush as others made it seem I would…

6. Biggest surprise.
Fangirl. So happy.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you).
Rainbow Rowell.

8. Newest fictional crush.
Urrrrrrrrgh, do you know how hard this one is? Like, you seriously want me to just narrow down my options. Good lord.
I guess it would probably be Hunter.

9. Newest favourite character.
My favorite usually IS the crush. Silly.

10. Book that made you cry.
Books usually don’t make me cry. Like, ever. But I think the one book that really messed with my emotions was Simon. I was a freaking mess that weekend.

11. Book that made you happy.
Fan Art. Yes. It made me mucho happy.

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year. 
Gotta say, the Hunger Games film adaptions I am loving a whole lot more than I did the books…which I didn’t much care for at all. I finally got to see Mockingjay Part 1 this month.

But I also have to note that I also finally saw the third Hobbit movie. While I’m not entirely pleased with how much they changed (or why they even needed to stretch it out into three films), I did enjoy it as a movie.

13. Favourite review you've written this year.
Well, I haven’t written that many so far, and they’ve mostly been for graphic novels, but I think my favorite would be a tie between Fan Art & In Real Life.

14. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received).
Well, it would have to be Kiss of the Rose Princess: 5. I am loving this art, and the story is fricking hilarious.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Like, a couple hundred, but hell is that gonna happen. Hey, I'm not gonna even bother with this one. I'm just trying to get through the summer...

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