Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Book Haul

Hello, all!

Since today is World Book Day, I thought it'd be nice to do a little book haul. I've been really good lately with not buying many books, or only really buying books when there's a sale, so here are a few I've picked up within the last month or so. As always, let me know if you have any recommendations!

1. Book Love - Debbie Tung
2. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World - Debbie Tung
3. Jim Henson's Labyrinth - A.C.H. Smith
4. The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden
5. The Princess Saves Herself in This One - Amanda Lovelace
6. The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One - Amanda Lovelace
7. Fruits Basket, Vol 1
8-9. Cardcaptor Sakura, Books 1 and 2

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

LI Comic Book Expo

Hello, all!

I've been a little bummed that I'm going to be missing NY Comic Con this year (I'm going away that weekend), so I was super excited when I heard about the LI Comic Book Expo which happened this past weekend.

The convention itself was held at the Old Bethpage Restoration Center, which is a historic site on Long Island that always has various events going on. I'd been there a few times for different things, but never a comic convention. The building itself isn't the largest, so it does tend to get cramped and hot very quickly, but I went first thing in the morning so it wasn't too bad yet.

There was a really nice mix of comic book, collectibles and toy vendors, as well as artists, so the Expo really had something for everyone. They were also having cosplay competitions and table top gaming in a smaller building. I heard there were also panels going on, but I never saw anything posted about them, so I wasn't aware of that aspect. I wish they had posted more about that or made it more prominent because I would've been interested to see what they had to offer.

Being a smaller expo, and again due to the size of the venue, you can see everything in about an hour, so we were in and out pretty fast. I didn't pick up that much stuff, but there was definitely a lot I was eyeing. There were tons of fun prints, pins and $1 comic bins to rummage through everywhere you looked.

It was such a fun way to spend a Sunday morning, and something I'd be interested in going to again if they have it next year. As much as I love NY Comic Con, it's so packed and huge that I get a bit overwhelmed and anxious, but this was just so relaxed and calm. Do you all prefer larger or smaller conventions? Lemme know of any fun ones in your area!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Top Game of Thrones Moments

Hello, all!

I got into Game of Thrones thanks to an old co-worker. He lent me the first season and I binged the entire thing within a weekend, and demanded the next that following Monday morning. I was hooked from then on. Seeing as how Sunday marks the premiere of the last season, I thought instead of doing my usual Top 5, I would do a Top 7 and dedicate the list to my favorite moments from each past season.

Now, there are so so many amazing moments that I had the hardest time narrowing down only one to showcase from each season. Not gonna lie, I got a bit anxious making this list because there were just too many to choose from. With that in mind, I decided I was just going to go with the first moment that popped into my head when I thought back. Obviously, some spoilers here if you haven't watched the show.

Season 1: Ned's Death- Oh, Sean Bean, you were taken too soon. There are so many deaths in Game of Thrones, and most way more gruesome than this, but I felt like Ned's death was so shocking because it made you see that literally no one is safe in this world. You can be as just and honorable as you want, but you're still gonna get the ax for it. This moment is one of the catalysts for all the conflict that comes next. Also, watching Sansa and Arya's reactions just breaks my heart.

Season 2: Jon and Ygritte- I was gonna go with the Battle of Blackwater for this season because that wildfire explosion was sick, but c'mon, Jon and Ygritte will always be top for me. Their whole relationship was everything and I loved every interaction between the two. It also gave us the phrase that became more and more true throughout the series, "You know nothing, Jon Snow."

Season 3: Jaime Opens up to Brienne- Yeah, Dany torching the slave masters was great, but we get to see the dragons breathe fire a lot. What we don't get to see much of is Jaime without his emotional armor, and that's exactly what he does here. He opens up to Brienne and tells her his side of what happened when he broke his oath and killed the Mad King. I felt like this was such a turning point not only in his character development, but for the blossoming relationship between the two as well.

Season 4: The Purple Wedding- We all know weddings aren't really joyous occasions in Westeros (I will never be over the Red Wedding).  And yes, of course, murder is wrong and you shouldn't be happy when someone dies, but man, did I celebrate once Joffrey finally bit it. I've read all the books, so I sort of knew what was coming, but actually seeing it unfold after seasons of Joffrey's abuse and cruelty was just so satisfying.

Season 5: Cersei's Walk of Shame- Throughout the whole series, Cersei always felt like she was untouchable, and this was the rudest wake up call. While having to walk naked throughout the city getting pelted with nasty remarks and even nastier objects may have humbled her a bit, you can tell it also fueled her fire to seek revenge on all the people who've wronged her.

Season 6: Battle of the Bastards- There are so many epic battles in this show it's hard to pick any favorites, but this one is definitely up there. The show really hyped this up as the battle to end all battles and I really felt like it delivered. It's fierce and unrelenting, and I always get claustrophobic watching Jon almost get trampled. You go through so many emotions during this battle, everything from utter horror at the thought of Jon and company losing to "THANK THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW" when you see the Knights of the Vale coming to help. It also leads to Sansa going all boss ass bitch and killing Ramsay which was another death that everyone was waiting for.

Season 7: Olenna's Confession- This was probably the hardest season for me to just pick one moment from because there were just so many good ones, but you can't beat the sharp tongue of the Queen of Thorns. I've loved Olenna from the moment she came into the show because she's never been afraid to speak exactly what was on her mind. The fact that Jaime was trying to give her a quick, almost merciful, death with the poisoned wine, and she just downed it before dropping the bomb of killing Joffrey solidified her place as the most badass in all of Westeros.

Ahh, that was way harder than I thought. I can't wait to see what this final season brings. I just know that my heart is going to break no matter what, but I'm also super excited. Let me know some of your favorite moments or what you're looking forward to for this season!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Big thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the copies!

Pub Date: 4-16-19 by
Gallery Books
Adult - Fiction 
City of Flickering Light- Juliette Fay: When Irene Van Beck jumps off a moving train to escape the burlesque life, she sets off a chain of events that will forever change the course of her and her friends Millie Martin and Henry Weiss lives forever. The unlikely trio set out to make it big in Hollywood, but they soon learn the road to stardom isn't always as glittering as it seems. The friends only have each other to fall back on as they face prejudice, poverty, and hopelessness all in the name of chasing the Hollywood dream. I find the 20's era Hollywood to be an interesting time period, so I was instantly swept up into this story. While it does show the upside of being a movie star during that time, it also doesn't shy away from the corruption and addictive behaviors that were prevalent. I felt like it was a glamorously gritty view of old Hollywood. I loved how there were quotes from famous people from that time as chapter headers, it made the story feel more atmospheric. The one thing that really made this book for me was the friendships. Irene, Millie and Henry go through everything together, from the highest highs to the lowest lows, and they stuck by each other every step of the way. Despite some moments being a tad predictable, overall I found this enjoyable, and it really made me want to binge some old classic movies.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 4-16-19 by
Picador USA
Adult - Fantasy - Sci-Fi
The Time Collector- Gwendolyn Womack: Roan West has an incredible gift-- he's a psychometrist, meaning he can sense the history of an item just by touching it. He uses his skill to find lost heirlooms in order to return them to their rightful families. His life is turned upside down when his close friend, who has the same power, is kidnapped due to his research into "ooparts" or out-of-place-artifacts. Roan quickly learns that someone is targeting psychometrists, and he hurries to find Melicent Tilpin, a young woman who just went viral for showcasing her powers, because he believes she's the next target. The pair are then thrust into an adventure that takes them around the world in search of answers. I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked right from the jump. The whole story was just so fascinating; I'm such a sucker when it comes to historical fiction mixed with fantasy elements. I especially loved all the glimpses into the past of objects they touched. The characters were engaging and Roan and Melicent's relationship together never felt dull or forced. There were also twists that I didn't expect which I enjoyed. Womack did such a great job with this book. This is one of those rare cases where I wish this wasn't a stand-alone because I just want more.

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Daisy Jones & The Six Review

Hello, all!

I'd been dying to read Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid since the second I heard about it, and I so glad to report I am obsessed. The story follows a band from the 1970s, detailing everything from their inception to their catapult to stardom to their mysterious demise in the middle of a tour.

Pub Date: 3-5-19
Adult - Fiction 
Daisy Jones is a teenage girl coming of age in the late '60s-early '70s. She starts sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, and she's quickly mystified by the sex, drugs and rock and roll scene, but her true dream is to be the one singing on stage in front of millions. By the time she's twenty, she's finally getting the recognition she deserves, not only for her voice and looks, but her hard partying ways as well.

Also getting noticed is the hard rock band, The Six, led by the broody Billy Dunne. Right before their first major tour, Billy's wife Camila finds out she's pregnant. Combined with the pressures of stardom and fame, Billy goes wild on the road and lands in rehab. Nervous for the future of the band, The Six's producer decides it would be a good idea to collaborate with Daisy Jones, the new talk of the town. What happens when they get together is explosive and quickly becomes the stuff of rock and roll legend.

I absolutely loved this book. I just couldn't put it down and flew through it. I just wanted more and more. It gave me such Fleetwood Mac/Behind the Music vibes. The narrative style is set up as an oral history with each band member, or person who worked with the band, basically telling their own story. I wasn't sure how I'd get on with that, but it turned out to be the best way for this story to be told. It really played out like a transcript from a music documentary. You get to see a perspective from each member, and it's super interesting to see how one moment can be construed differently for each person. Billy and Daisy get a lot of focus being the front people, and you see what toll that takes on the rest of the band. You really get the sense of the tension that was building throughout the group.

Reid does an amazing job at fleshing out this band and really makes you forget that it's fictional. I spent the entire time wishing I could hear these songs, or pull up a video of a performance on YouTube. I loved how she even included the lyrics to the album at the end of the book. The contrast between the characters was also intriguing. Here you have seven people, each with their own opinions and addictions, and Reid does such a fabulous job showcasing all the ups and downs and in-fighting that comes along with the pressures of fame.

The setting was also done amazingly well. You feel transported to the '70s music scene, almost as if you could smell the smoke and whiskey wafting about. I also felt a lot of the influences at that time weaved throughout. Especially with Daisy. I got such a Pamela Des Barres turned Janis Joplin vibe from her that was so intoxicating. I also really enjoyed the twist of who turned out to be the "author" of the bands story, it really made everything come full circle. All in all, I had such high hopes for this book and it more than delivered.

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, March 28, 2019

LitJoy Crate March Review

Hello, all!

This month was dedicated to the Man of Steel. I've never been a huge fan of Superman, but I still enjoyed this box.

First up was this LitJoy exclusive bamboo bookmark with artwork by Hallie Bertling. This is actually a reversible bookmark, the back has little pairs of glasses, tractors, newspapers, and a few other Clark Kent related bits. I really like the quality of this bookmark, it's very sturdy but also has a bit of a glossy feel. It's like a regular wooden bookmark, but a bit smoother.

Another exclusive was this luggage tag. I think it's clever to make it look like Clark's Daily Planet ID badge. It's a nice touch.

I think this was my favorite thing in the box. I've seen a bunch of A Court of Candles other candles on Instagram and Etsy, but I've never tried them before, so I'm excited to light this baby. It has such a sweet scent of fruit punch. I think I've found a new candle shop to obsess over.

Usually any bag I've received in these types of boxes have been the normal tote, but this is a cross body bag, which are my favorite kinds. It's not terribly big, though, so I'm not sure how much I could really fit inside it. The artwork is by EvieBookish, and while I do like it, it's just throwing me off a little that the majority of the letters are DC Comics character and then just one Marvel character for the 'E'. I sorta feel like either go full DC, or put more Marvel characters so it's a bit more balanced.

So, no surprise given the theme, the book this month was Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt De La Peña. This is the fourth book in the DC Icons series, which are interesting takes on different DC Characters. I've yet to read them, but I've heard good things. Clark Kent has always been faster and stronger than everyone around him, but has always kept it to himself and flown under the radar. This proves to be rather difficult once he stumbles upon a crying girl. Clark soon learns of the deep secrets corrupting Smallville, so he teams up with his best friend, Lana Lang, in pursuit of the truth. His investigation will bring Clark face to face with the evils lurking in the shadows of his small town, forcing him to step into the light that will lead him down the path to becoming the Man of Steel.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Soulless Review

Hello, all!

Aside from fantasy, historical fiction is my favorite genre to read. I especially love a Victorian-era historical fiction. So, while I was perusing the stacks at Barnes & Noble, I came across Soulless by Gail Carriger and it checked all my boxes. Historical fiction? Check. Fantasy elements? Check. Pretty cover? Check check.

Pub Date: 10-1-09
Adult - Fantasy - Paranormal
Alexia Tarabotti has three strikes against her: 1. She has no soul 2. She's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead and 3. She was so rudely attacked by a vampire which is totally against all social protocol. If that wasn't bad enough, Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, which leads to the annoyingly charming Lord Maccon being sent to investigate by Queen Victoria. Oh, and he just so happens to be a werewolf.

With the recent string of vampire disappearances, and appearances of new vampires, everyone believes Alexia to be the one responsible. So, she uses her preternatural ability to negate the supernatural to get to the bottom of what's going bump in the night of London's high society.

Soulless is the first book in the Parasol Proctectorate series, and I loved it from the very first page. It's smart, witty, and so funny. It's described as being if Buffy were set in Jane Austen's time, and that's pretty much spot on. I absolutely loved Alexia and Lord Maccon's relationship, but my favorite was Alexia's friendship with Lord Akeldama, the flamboyant vampire rove. Their banter back and forth was so fun, and made you wish you could be friends with them.

The story itself was also really interesting. My only issue was that at some points I felt they were a little too descriptive of things, it was kinda like 'Yeah, we get it'. Other than that, I flew through this book and really enjoyed it. Alexia is such a great character as well. She's intelligent, strong-willed and not afraid to go against the societal norms for women at the time. The way her and Lord Maccon play off one another and push each other's buttons was delightful to read. The book also has a touch of a steampunk feel as well, which set it apart from other Victorian-set books I've read. I can't wait to dive into the rest of this series.

If you're a fan of fantasy, historical fiction, or are just looking for a fun read, definitely check this one out!

Rating: 4/5