A Hilarious Shapeshifter adventure…

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Book Info:

The New York Times bestselling graphic novel sensation from Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic. Kirkus says, “If you’re going to read one graphic novel this year, make it this one.”

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 has been hailed by critics and fans alike as the arrival of a “superstar” talent (NPR.org).

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 Thoughts:

I’d already heard tons of great things about Nimona, but I was still pleasantly surprised about it.

Nimona was a hilarious character, but one with a huge heart. I found that she actually reminded me of a student at work. In fact, that student read the book after me and said, “oh my goodness, this is me!” She was right though 🙂

Nimona is a quick read and a great choice for someone looking for a graphic novel. It’s especially a strong choice for someone looking specifically for a female protagonist.

I can’t help but hope that there might be more stories about Nimona in the future because she was such a wonderful character. I’m picky about graphic novels as far as recommendations go because I know that  people like certain things, but I would easily suggest this to anyone.

-Melanie

 

That time Nicola Yoon became an insta-buy for me…

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My Thoughts:

For anyone who doesn’t know, an insta-buy is just what it seems like. For me, it’s an author that I’ve decided I love and will buy any book without needing to wait to hear how it is or even needing to know what the book is about.

I absolutely loved Everything, Everything last year. I’m excited for the movie next year and I’m hoping that they capture the magic of the book.

That said, I was greatly anticipating The Sun is Also a Star. I vaguely knew what it was about, but I didn’t search for much in the way of summaries and went into it quite blind.

I was not disappointed and I think it’s safe to say that Nicola Yoon is now an insta-buy author for me after knocking it out of the park with these first two books. Even further, I hope that this one also gets on the way to becoming a movie because I can  just imagine how perfect it will be.

It was interesting to see so many different aspects of the one day in the book- even from people who at the time didn’t seem to be that major. Another highlight was that I always enjoy alternating points of view in books. It seems to give books more depth and is just right to hold my attention span.

In closing, I can’t recommend either of Nicola’s books enough. Both blew me away and so important for showing DIVERSITY in YA literature. All readers need to be able to find themselves in some way and Nicola’s books have been an excellent example of holding diverse characters.

Go pick up one or both books today!

-Melanie

 

Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

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Summary:

The Serpent King is a book you won’t be able to resist or forget. The Southern boy in me savored every syllable and the reader in me fell in love with every page.” —John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.


My Thoughts:

First off—I did really enjoy Serpent King!

Second—I feel like the hype got me way too excited.

Don’t get me wrong, it was great–but I don’t think it’s what I thought it was going to be.

I kept hearing people say they were sobbing and I just didn’t have that reaction at all.

Sure. There was a time or two that hurt my heart, but nothing that full on major.

However…it was still great! Don’t get me wrong there! I’m looking forward to what Zentner releases next because I do think he’ll do some great things.

This one did have the vibe of a debut novel to me. That’s hard to explain really without it sounding bad, but it does.

But the MOST IMPORTANT THING!!!

Are you ready?

These character ARE relatable. I think that’s WHY I didn’t have a “sobbing” reaction. I felt like the three characters actually could be people that I know. That completely made the book for me! Amazing characters and setting!

The only thing I wish is that Dill’s family would’ve had a more concrete resolution. I have questions about what happened next. I honestly want MORE! Again…these characters were AMAZING!

I do suggest Serpent King, especially if you’re in the mood for a contemporary.

Let me know what you think if you’ve read it!

-Melanie

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

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Summary:

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.


My Thoughts:

Seriously- it took me about 3 weeks to finish Throne of Glass, which is a long time for me.

I’d bought it on my kindle months ago, but hadn’t read it. However, I got the 4 books in the series at work in November and haven’t been able to keep them checked in because my kids have been LOVING them (as I knew they would.)

So I knew I had to read it to know what the hype was about.

I  even told some of my kids at work that I was reading it so that I could be held accountable for it.

First of all, I was wondering what the hype was. I’d tried to start it awhile back and couldn’t get further than maybe the 4th chapter or so. Upon finishing it, I’ll go ahead and say that the first half of the book DRAGGED for me. I was into it, but I wasn’t to the point where I could put it down. It was about to the point where I knew something was going to happen, so I kept trudging on, and…

Man. THAT. SECOND. HALF.

The action was great and the characters were taking care of business. There were still a few things that bothered me, but over all, I was hooked.

(Really though…is it necessary to say “makeshift knife” over and over in the same passage? Just say it once and then refer to it as a knife the rest of the time. That’s just the English major in me though.)

All in all, I can’t wait to find the time to read the next book! I thought that I already had it on my kindle, but I don’t. That doesn’t mean I won’t be getting it soon though.

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^Me waiting in anticipation thanks to the awesome ending.

 

5th Wave Movie Review

Movie Time!

Remember that books to movie post from Monday?

That was leading up to this!

First of all, okay…I admit it. I didn’t finish the book before I saw the movie.

Even worse, I think I made it to page 40 or so?

In my defense, I tried to start it the day before I saw the movie. It was never going to happen. I wasn’t going to finish!

With all that said, I went to see it last Friday with some family and friends on opening night.

The first thing is that I was surprised by how NOT crowded my 7pm showing was. I don’t know what movie was getting everyone else, but mine just wasn’t that crowded. That’s strange for this particular theater!

Nevertheless, the movie started and I was instantly intrigued. A friend was between me and my cousin who hadn’t yet read ANY of the book (she also plans to eventually), but my cousin was almost done when we saw it.

I enjoyed the movie. The action scenes were stressful and looked great, but I especially loved the story and acting. I was surprised by Chloe Grace Moretz because I hadn’t seen her in anything besides If I Stay. That’s not exactly an action movie, you know.

Anyways, I will also say that I was able to predict what was going on. It was still great, but predictable. This didn’t really hurt how I felt about the movie because I think I would’ve thought the same things reading the book as far as being able to guess what was happening.

Even still, it was a great movie! I can’t wait to finish the book and read the second one. I hope that we will get the other books made into films as well!

Did you see it? If so, what did you think?

-Melanie

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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Book Info:

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Release date: April 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

My Thoughts:

Honestly, when I started reading, I thought there would be more to deal with the fall out of the letters being mailed out. Maybe a big ordeal that involved the entire school? No idea, but I did not fully expect what I got. That’s not to say that I didn’t like how the story played out.

First of all, I loved Lara Jean. YA needs more of her. A dorky, good girl. LOVE HER. Like, I feel like I was her in high school even? Minus the letter writing…it was cute in the story, but it’d be a bit too dorky in real life. Her idea of the letters was sweet, but I even felt bad for her with them. Girl, TELL PEOPLE HOW YOU FEEL!

Ultimately though, that was the point. Lara Jean has to grow up and tell how she feels and not hide behind her feelings.

SUCH a great story and I’m already dying to read book two, PS I Still Love You. I hope that she is able to work everything out from the last book. Either way, I’m rooting for her.

In all, I’d highly recommend this to someone who is a Sarah Dessen fan. Lara Jean and her situation reminded me so much of some of the cute stories in those books.

-M

Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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So I’ve been MIA. Honestly, I read two other books between the last post, but I’m just not feeling posting about one of them. In fact, I finished one of them en route to Atlanta last weekend to go see THE AVETT BROTHERS. Fun fact: Colleen Hoover also went to the show last Friday night, so she knows what a blessing of a set list we received. It was insane. So so good! But, that’s not why I’m here obviously.

On to Ugly Love!

I get excited every time a new Colleen Hoover book is announced. I will admit that I don’t read a lot of adult books, but I was just as excited for this one. Honestly, I don’t think Colleen can write a book that I won’t love. I’ve been sad before when I read her previous books and I’ve been shocked, however I wasn’t prepared for the emotions I was going to get from Miles.

The thing is, Colleen basically tells two stories at once in order to also share about Miles’ past. So we know what is going on before the other characters know. It doesn’t soften the blow at all.  In fact, I think it hardens it because you think “you poor girl… you just don’t know!”

I’m trying to remain spoiler free, so I’ll live summary reactions at that. 🙂

Now….content.

The whole concept is that the couple tries to do the whole friends-with benefits things. Obviously this means we’re going to have some adult content. Again, I don’t typically read that sort of thing, but I was so invested in the story that all of those scenes really didn’t bother me at all. So, if you’re at all sensitive to adult content in your books, do keep in mind that they ARE there, but it IS part of the story and it isn’t nearly as explicit as  some other things. Furthermore, those scenes weren’t as strong as I’d expected in number (those they WERE great in quality 😉 ), and for that I was glad. Yeah, I’m an adult, but I don’t necessarily want tons of sex scenes in my books….because I want an actual story. Colleen does that though—she still gives us a STORY. And it’s a beautiful heartbreaking story at that.

Ugly Love drops on Tuesday and, as with all of Colleen’s books, I highly suggest it!

Exciting new things!

I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but I got into audiobooks this past school year because of my 2 hours in the car driving to and from work each day. I reviewed a few already (Paper Towns and 1 or 2 of the Mortal Instruments books that I can recall…), but I recently got connected into reviewing audiobooks. Obviously, I’m not working for the next month, but you can expect to start seeing more audiobooks come August. 

With that in mind, I’m wondering what the most popular audiobook options are. I honestly don’t have a preference and swap between cds and streaming audible through my phone via my FM transmitter. I do kind of prefer mp3 or and app just because then I don’t have to change cds out as I’m driving down the road. 

Anywho, I already have one book coming my way in August, so I’m excited about this change and getting to review for others like myself who tend to rely on audiobooks!

-Melanie

Book Review: Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone

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Book Summary:

 October 8, 2013
Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn’t. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds. It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work…until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn’t want? Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us’s Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time

My Review:

4.5/5

I can’t with this book.

I can’t.

Can I stop there?

No?

Dang it.

Today is Thursday and I finished TAT on Sunday. I’ve honestly been trying to figure out what to say. I LOVED Time Between Us and was so excited for Bennett’s side of things in this book.

I was not let down! At all.

Side note: I waited awhile to buy this one and got it about 3 weeks about when I saw Tamara in Jackson at the Girls Gone Sci-Fi tour. She was so super sweet and recognized me from Twitter and my post on TBU. …I might have fan girled a tad? I only fan girl over authors—it’s weird—I know.

Anywho, back to the book–

BENNETT. His side provided a great level of depth that I needed from his character and to understand how he feels about his ability. I’m thankful that Tamara decided to go that route and allowed us to see into his mind. In fact, it made me appreciate some of the events in TBU that much more. Amazing addition to the book!

WITH THAT IN MIND—-at the event she said that she has no plans to extend the series.

But…but….

Like I said, I can’t with this book. I adored the ending, but now I just want MORE.

So—thanks, Tamara, for creating a perfect ending, but yet making me want to know even more all at the same time!

Do look into this series if you haven’t read them and go back and find my review for TBU if possible.

-Melanie

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Book Review: CRESS by Marissa Meyer

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Summary:

Publication Date: February 4, 2014
In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

 

My Thoughts:

I love this series. If you’ve been keeping up with my books, then you know that I’m a big fan of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. Ever since I read Scarlet, book 2, a couple months ago I’ve been dying for Cress. I tried everything I could find to snag an ARC of the book.

I finally succeeded. It resulted in me stalking my mailbox for almost two weeks.

I didn’t know what to expect with Cress being the 3rd book in a quartet. Would there be tons of no-action-filler-content? Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about middle book syndrome from Cress. There is hardly a break in the action!

My favorite thing about the series is how we’re introduced to a new female character each book. Cress is a take on Rapunzel and she may be my new favorite. Whereas Cinder and Scarlet were tough-kick-butt girls, Cress is AWK-WARD. Granted, she has been locked away since childhood, so it is understandable. However, her awkward, normal personality easily made her the most likable to me so far.

As for the guys, Thorne became my favorite in Scarlett and his actions in Cress just make me love him even more. Good job, Captain!

I don’t want to say too much about the storyline because I don’t want to spoil it, but the plot moves quickly. This is the largest book in the series at almost 600 pages, but I never felt overwhelmed at the length because I was completely absorbed in the action. I needed to know what was going to happen next. Were they going to overthrow Levana? Was Kai going to go through with the wedding? I NEEDED to know. Of course, we still have Winter coming out next year, so I don’t want to spoil that.

You may notice that I didn’t mention anything about Scarlet’s character. In the words of River Song, “Spoilers…”

Pick up Cress immediately if you’re a fan of this series! Otherwise, do yourself a favor and read Cinder ASAP so that you can get to know this original story!