December 2, 2016

Update: November was crazy!

The Big News

I got into grad school!!!!! Starting in January I will begin taking classes to get my Master's in Library Science. I will be doing the online program through the University of Illinois. I am a little nervous, but mostly excited. I work in circulation at one library and I am the teen assistant in the youth services department at another one. I think this was just meant to happen.

Other News

My puppy turned one! Bash is growing up a storm and getting into all kinds of trouble. Good thing he is so cute and a good snuggler. Yes, I did buy him a specially made birthday cake for dogs.

I met Marissa Meyer! I went to her signing in Illinois. It was a lot of fun. Marissa is really nice, fun, and just plain lovely. I even formed coherent sentences while talking to her. I know, this is shocking. I still can't believe it myself. We talked about her upcoming graphic novel and how excited I am. Here are some pictures of me talking to her and then one of my friend Lyndsey who went with me. She is usually my author signing buddy.

I got to see Anna Kendrick. Although we didn't get to meet her, we got to hear her talk all about her book. She is just as hilarious in real life as she is in her movies. She is more than adorable. I love Anna!

I went to the Vikings game (when they played the Cardinals) at their new stadium with my family! We spent four days up in Minnesota and I had so much fun. Seriously. We went to the game where my team, the Vikings, won! We also ate delicious food, hung out, went shopping, saw Fantastic Beasts (REALLY GOOD!), visited with extended family who I don't get to see that often, and went to a casino. I am so very thankful for that weekend. Here are some pictures from my trip! *My husband is not in any of these pictures because he is a Bears fan and thus took a lot of the photos. The guy in yellow is my younger brother. We stayed with him and that is his cat.

We had a nice Thanksgiving at my in-laws this year. They made a whole bunch of delicious food that we devoured. We also brought the puppy along with us. That lovely man in the photo is my husband and that big puppy is Bash!

What about blogging? I am getting back into the swing of it. Don't worry, I am not going anywhere. This past month, as you can see from this post, has been CRAZY. All of these things happened in November. Not to mention that I was still working and such. I was also hitting a weird reading slump, but I think I am back on track. Expect more Instagram photos as well. That is is it for now.

November 21, 2016

Get Graphic!

Here is a new mini review round-up of all the graphic novels I have read recently. Go head, get graphic!

Five Stars

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (Sept. 2016)

Raina Telgemeier never dissapoints. Ghosts is different than her other novels, but just as amazing. Fans of her artwork and story telling will enjoy this graphic novel just as much as all her others. Family, friends, and ghosts oh my! I loved hearing about Day of the Dead celebrations and to learn a little more about it. Cat must move because her sister is sick. It takes her a while to warm up to her new town, it was a realistic story of making friends and the importance of family. I loved it.

Faith (1) by Jody Houser (July 2016)

A realistic looking female superhero who is AMAZING?! Heck yes! Faith is a pretty hilarious kick-butt superhero. This is a graphic novel for every girl and guy of every age. I loved the plot, setting, and basically everything otherwise I wouldn't have given it five stars. Read this. Do it.

Four Stars

Prison Island: A Graphic Memoir by Colleen Frakes (2015)

I read this book simply out of curiosity. I wanted to know what it would have been like living on a prison island, and I got my answer! I liked the drawings and the story, but it could have been a little longer. I would have loved to learn even more about prison island. This is a quick read that was very interesting. I recommend it.

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, Vol. 1: Hooked On A Feline (July 2016)

I absolutely loved this comic! The illustrations are fun and full of color. They are definitely my favorite type of drawing style. It was cute. I also thought the story was a lot of fun. I knew nothing about Hellcat before this comic, and that didn't matter too much. They gave a quick little backstory at the beginning. I loved meeting Patsy and her friends. I can't wait for the next volume!

Lucky Penny by Hirsh & Ota (March 2016)

Lucky Penny wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it a great deal. Penny is a little weird and rather interesting character. I was hesitant at first, but once I got into the story I couldn't put it down. It was a fun and unique read. I know what it feels like to feel unlucky. I just wish it would have been in color.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson (2014)

I have always been curious about why so many kids at the library love these books. I finally decided to give them a try myself. The verdict, they are a delight! The sassy unicorn and her new bff Phoebe are hilarious.

Three Stars

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki (2014)

The two girls in this story were so very annoying! I know they were young and I am sure I acted like them when I was younger, but they were a little to annoying for me, at least the one girl was. Rose wasn't too bad. This is a graphic novel about growing up filled with detailed drawings of a summer town. It was pretty good overall, but could have been better.

Buffy: The High School Years - Freaks and Geeks (#1) by Faith Erin Hicks (June 2016)

I am and will always be a huge Buffly the Vampire Slayer fan. I own every season on DVD. I watched Angel. I at one point wished I could actually be "the chosen one." (Yes, I know this is a work of fiction.) The one thing I didn't ever do was read the graphic novels so when I heard about this new reboot I knew I had to give it a try. I liked this graphic novel a lot, but it was a very basic/introductory story. I was a little disapointed about that, but I did like the artwork. It was unique. 

November 15, 2016

TTT #70: My Favorite Animated Movies

This week's topic is all about movies! One of my other passions besides reading is watching movies with my husband, family, and friends. Even my puppy enjoys a good movie. Today I will feature some of my favorite animated movies. In no particular order...


Share your favorite animated movies below!

November 14, 2016

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns (#1) by Kendare Blake (Sept. 2016)
398 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:

Goodreads Summary: When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

My Review

Describe Three Dark Crowns in three words: Wicked. Smart. Shocking.

Before I even finished reading Three Dark Crowns I was recommending the book to anyone I came across. My coworkers may have even started to get annoyed that this was the only book I was talking about. Three Dark Crowns is dark and lovely and captivating. It's a strong start to what I am sure is going to be a great fantasy series. I know it left me wanting more.

Meeting all three sisters and trying to pick a favorite was a challenge. Each young lady is complex and I cheered for all three. I did find Katharine, the poisoner, to be most intriguing. If I had to pick a favorite it would be her. Arsinoe, the naturalist, is sweet and frustrated with her powers not blossoming. Mirabella, the elemental, has a power like no other and is amazingly strong. All three girls want to be queen, but only one can. Even though these ladies were raised apart, killing ones sister isn't going to be an easy task, even though that task is how it has always been. These characters are sure to get you invested in this novel.

The setting is pleasantly detailed and each sister's dwelling is remarkably different. Each sister was raised in a different town with different parental figures and different types of environments. As for the plot, it was nicely paced although some say it was a little slow going, but I have to disagree with that one. I was entertained from start to finish. It may have read like a first book (an introduction) in a series, but that didn't bother me any. The ending was explosive! I am still reeling over it. Now I just need the second book to come out already. I think it is going to be better than the first.

The Verdict: Read it. Better late than never. ;)

November 7, 2016

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Iniquity by Melody Winter

Iniquity (#1) by Melody Winter (Oct. 2016)
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Source: I received a copy of this book for a tour through Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Melody Winter and Xpresso!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
My Rating:
Synopsis: Athena Harrow is about to turn twenty-one, but there will be no celebration. What is there to celebrate when the world is ruled by demons?

She hates the darkness the demons brought with them and longs for the light to return to the world—a world she only vaguely remembers. The people in her forest village blindly accept the life the demons forced upon them, even tolerating the yearly ascension ceremony where all the girls who have turned twenty-one are either sent away to serve the Master Demon or left in the village and forced to procreate.

But Paymon, the assigned village demon, selects a different role for Athena, a role that pits her against the village. While she adapts to her new life, Erebus, a younger, more powerful demon, arrives, and Athena must play a dangerous game with his emotions in return for information about the demon’s reign of darkness.

As Athena’s dreams of restoring the light begin to fade, her life with Erebus takes an unexpected turn, and this time it’s her life being put to the test.

Set in the forest around Buttercrambe in North Yorkshire, England, INIQUITY explores the frightening, darker side of romance and the uncontrolled emotions it can unleash.

My Review

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. I think you know what that means. Now is the perfect time to curl up under a warm blanket with a good book. Iniquity should be that book. It's dark and yet full of warmth.

In a world ruled by demons and with the sunlight hidden Athena is living a miserable life, and then she turns 21 and everything changes. Once women in her village turn 21 they must meet with the village demon to see what their role in the village or elsewhere will be. Athena gets news she never expected. 

Athena is a very tough young woman. She was a pleasure to meet and I thoroughly enjoyed following her story. She is one of several interesting characters in Iniquity. I refuse to give away any spoilers, but I will say that the romance wasn't my favorite at first. Then it grew on me so much that I became enamored myself. We get to spend a lot of time with her and the other deamons, but I was hoping even more time with some of the unique villagers and the other dark and twisty creatures that now prowl the earth.

The setting comes to life with Melody Winter's writing. From the forest, the lack of light, the depressing huts of the villagers to the exquisite house of the village demon, are all wonderfully described. As for the plot, although relatively tame considering the nature of the story, it had its wonderfully dark moments. It was nicely paced and entertaining. The ending had my nerves frayed. I can't wait for book two. Give me!

The Author

Growing up, Melody showed a natural ability in art, a head for maths, and a tendency to write too long English essays. Difficult to place in the world when she graduated, she pursued a career in teaching, but ended up working in finance. Melody is convinced the methodical times she spends working with numbers fuel her desire to drift into dream worlds and write about the illusory characters in her head.

Melody Winter lives in York, North Yorkshire, England with her husband and two sons. When not dealing with football, rugby, and a whole plethora of ‘boy’ activities, she will be found scribbling notes for her stories, or preparing for another trip to the nearby beaches at Scarborough and Whitby. With an obsession for anything mythical, Melody revels in reading and writing about such creatures.

The Giveaway

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November 3, 2016

Mini Reviews: Alive, The Star-Touched Queen, Compulsion, & A Week of Mondays

Alive by Scott Sigler (2015)

I was pretty disappointed by Alive. I was hoping for a non-stop dystopion/sc-fi thriller. What I got was a bunch of whiny characters and a plot that just reminded me of The Maze Runner. I honestly debated about DNFing this book, but because I wanted to know exactly what was going on with these kids I kept with it. The ending was pretty good at least. My main problem with this novel was that when the teens wake up they are 12-year-old kids trapped in 18-year-old bodies, but acted like they were 10. They were shoved into extreme circumstances without their memories which may be why they acted the way the did, but these kids were just frustrating. I'm not sure who I would recommend this book to. It is a little graphic to give it to younger teens and I am not sure older teens would really like it. I have read better.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Choski (Aril 2016)

I hate to say this, but I really wasn't a fan of this book. I found the writing to be overly flowery/descriptive for my tastes. I also had a hard time following along with the story. I liked the characters okay, but the MC Maya made one big decision that made me so mad that I violently shook my head and said somewhat yelled "stupid girl." I can see why a lot of people love this book, but it really did nothing for me. It may have been that I wasn't in the right mood to read a book like this. I really can't say. I just know that I had a hard time getting into the story. I listened to this book on audio and the narration was really good so that wasn't the problem. Honestly, I think this book just wasn't for me.

Compulsion by Marina Boone (2014)

Unlike the other reviews in this post, this one will be all positive. I thoroughly enjoyed Compulsion. It was a great fall read. Barrie Watson is a pretty cool girl and the boy next door is not bad to look at and rather sweet. When her mom dies Barrie is forced to go live with her aunt. While there she discovers that her family is famous on the small island along with magic, secrets, new friends, and enemies. I loved the southern Gothic feel this story vibrated with. There were light-hearted, intense, and kind of creepy moments. This book had a little of everything. I can't wait for book two! Good thing I already own a copy. ;)

A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody (Aug. 2016)

A Week of Mondays was a very fun book! It was beyond cute with a very relatable MC who goes by the name of Ellison. She had a horrible Monday (We have all been there.) and wishes that she could get a do-over, and what she gets is a full week of Mondays! Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? If you thought that was fun then you are definitely going to enjoy this book. I laughed at and with Ellison. I cringed and I smiled. This girl barely makes it through one heck of a Monday and tries her best to figure out what she really wants. This book may seem a little long, but you will fly through the pages. At the very least, it will make you laugh at least a handful of times.

October 28, 2016

Recently Added to My TBR Pile

I love seeing the books people add on their shelves on Goodreads and I certainly really love adding books to my own TBR pile. (Perhaps a little too much.) Therefore, I thought maybe that when I add some good stuff I would share it with you guys! Here are some of the recent books I have added to my Goodreads shelf. I include a short summary from Goodreads along with a link in case you what to add these bad boys to your own TBR pile. Anything I can do to help out my fellow book nerds. ;)

Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly (Seriously Wicked #2)
Release Date: Nov. 1, 2016

Teenage witch Cam isn’t crazy about the idea of learning magic. She’d rather be no witch than a bad one. But when a trio of her mother’s wicked witch friends decide to wreak havoc in her high school, Cam has no choice but to try to stop them. Now Cam’s learning invisibility spells, dodging exploding cars, and pondering the ethics of love potions. All while trying to keep her grades up and go on a first date with her crush. If the witches don’t get him first, that is. Can’t a good witch ever catch a break?

Forever, Again by Victoria Laurie
Release Date: Dec. 13, 2016

Lily Bennett is less than thrilled to be the new kid as she starts her junior year in high school. But soon after classes begin, she meets a classmate, Cole Drepeau, with whom she forms an immediate and intimate bond. As Cole and Lily grow closer, Lily learns about the murder that divided the town more than thirty years before. In 1985, graduating senior Amber Greeley snapped, killing her boyfriend Ben—Cole’s uncle—and taking her own life. Lily feels inexplicably linked to Amber, and she can’t help but think that there’s more to the girl’s story.

Roar by Cora Carmack (Stealing Storms #1)
Release Date: June 13, 2017

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them. Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen, but she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people. To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, he seems like the perfect solution to all her problems, but the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her.

Are any of these books on your TBR pile?

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