Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Weekly Pull [17]


My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Hit-Girl #3 by Mark Millar, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Amy Reeder
All-New Wolverine #34 by Tom Taylor, Ramon Rosanas, David Lopez
Despicable Deadpool #299 by Gerry Duggan, Mike Hawthorne
Hunt for Wolverine #1 by Charles Soule, David Marquez, Mike Deodato

Legion #4 (of 5) by Peter Milligan, Wilfredo Torres, Javier Rodriguez
Moon Knight #194 by Max Bemis, Ty Templeton, Becky Cloonan
Old Man Hawkeye #4 (of 12) by Ethan Sacks, Marco Checchetto
Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #303 by Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones, Rob Liefeld (Venom 30th Anniversary Variant)

Thanos Annual #1 by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Mike Deodato
Venom #165 by Mike Costa, Mark Bagley, Mike Deodato
Venomized #4 (of 5) by Cullen Bunn, Kevin Libranda, Mark Bagley

I feel like most of these covers are very dark and foreboding! They definitely don't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. However, I am really excited about a few of them! Moon Knight seemed to wrap up an arc with the last issue, which makes me curious about where the story will go from here (especially with that cliffhanger...). 

All-New Wolverine is nearly over. There's only one more issue after this! The last one jumped waaaaaay into the future, and I loved seeing what people were doing in their "old" age. The president made me laugh, but I think it was the perfect choice. Gabby seems to be doing really well for herself, and I'm overjoyed that she's found so much happiness in life. There are still a lot of mysteries to be solved before it can end!

Deadpool might heal incredibly fast, but he still feels pain... right? Because if that's true, I think he's about to experience a lot of it at once. 

Hunt for Wolverine is finally here!!

I have a bad feeling about Legion. I read the previous issue recently and I don't think good things are about to happen. It's also really confusing being in his headspace. 

I'm still catching up on all of my Venom issues, but hopefully it won't take me too much longer...

Which of these covers do you like the most? Even though I refuse to read Hit-Girl ever again, I do love the covers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mini Reviews [3] Little White Fish and His Daddy, Audrey the Amazing Inventor & Rusty The Squeaky Robot

Little White Fish and His Daddy
by Guido Genechten
*Expected Publication: May 2019
Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Little White Fish has a lot of friends. And they all have amazing daddies. Little Sea Horse's dad is really fast. Little Whale's dad is the biggest in the ocean. But, of course Little White Fish's daddy is very good at something, too!

I received a review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I know this is a children's book, but the language felt too simple. I wish there had been more dialogue between Little White Fish and the others, or maybe even a rhyme scheme, but it started to feel repetitive about halfway through.

I do think there is a valuable message there... Dad's are important and each excel at something different. It's good to acknowledge what other father's can do, but also be proud of the father you have.

Normally, when I read books to my children, the words and the story flow from page to page. Little White Fish and His Daddy felt choppy and wasn't very engaging. I think making the book longer with more dialogue would have better conveyed the message within the story.


Rusty the Squeaky Robot by Neil Clark
Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Rusty is a friendly robot, but not a very happy one; he’s feeling down about the way that he sounds. The other robots on Planet Robotone – Belle, Twango, Hoot and Boom-Bot – show Rusty that being a little bit different is the best way to be, and together make a raucous song and dance that celebrates their differences. This charming story about friendship, self-discovery and the strength of pooling everyone's talents together has a strong, empowering message of acceptance and embracing individuality. With wonderful, contemporary illustrations that will appeal to young children and parents alike, the story will provoke thought – and conversation – about being different, and how we should all embrace our characteristics and be comfortable and confident in ourselves.

I received a review copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I adored this book! My son made me read it to him three times in a row before he would go to bed, and he was still asking about it the next morning. 

Rusty doesn't like his squeak, but he meets other robots with similar differences. Everyone has something that makes them stand out, and they show him how to embrace the unique qualities about himself. His squeak mixed with their various sounds created something beautiful and brilliant. I loved the colors and the sounds... everything was wonderful!

I enjoyed how Rusty the Squeaky Robot was worded, and how easy it was for my son to follow along. He enjoyed making the noises with me, and it was fun watching him smile as he listened to the story. I highly recommend this one!
Audrey the Amazing Inventor by Rachel Valentine
Katie Weymouth (Illustrator)
*Expected Publication: June 2018


Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Audrey wants to be an inventor, but her inventions are not entirely successful: the egg collectors and jam dispenser are a bit messy, and her faithful pet, Happy Cat, can only watch in horror as she tries out her spring-loaded trainers. It's enough for Audrey to lose heart and give up altogether, but with some encouraging words she gives inventing one last try. Hilarious, heartfelt and utterly bonkers, Audrey the Inventor is a new heroine with plenty to say and do.

I received a review copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Audrey is persistent and doesn't give up! I really enjoyed reading about the wacky inventions she created (wondering what they would be and how they would work), and they aren't small or simple. She goes big every time. 

Her father is incredibly encouraging, even though I'm sure his house/yard will be forever damaged. He wants Audrey to succeed, and I think that helps her stay motivated when things don't work out the way she wants them to. 

Eventually one of her inventions does what she intended it to do, and now her cat can rest easy (for now) without worrying about being cat-apulted into the air. I think this was a creative book about having big ideas and bringing them to life. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
It was what we’d been taught our entire lives—vegr yfir fjor—honor above life.
I received an e-arc from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

Sky in the Deep was pretty violent at times, so this might not be a good book for the faint of heart. The two clans within the story have been warring with each other for generations, and they prepare their children for battle when they are still incredibly young and innocent. That innocence doesn't last very long when they are forced to kill other people to appease their gods. 

Eelyn was a very interesting and complex character. She knew what she believed in, or at least she thought she did, and she held on to those beliefs despite the hell she went through. Family and honor were more important to her than her own life, so she didn't hesitate to put them before everything else. It caused her to act recklessly at times, and occasionally the consequences were severe, but she never let that stop her from doing what she believed was right. Her childhood and the lessons she was taught defined her, and it took a long time for her to view the world with a different perspective.

Fiske was undoubtedly a good person. He was always putting others before himself and saving people he shouldn't. Life was precious to him, but so was protecting his family and honoring his god. I could feel how conflicted he was during certain situations, but I never knew what he would do or how he would handle them. He was a constant surprise. I also adored his family, especially his younger brother. I think Halvard played a large role in helping Eelyn, even though he was just being a sweet kid.

I believe Sky in the Deep delivers an important message. The two clans have been fighting for too long, and it's just expected that their children will do the same. They fight, they die, and then their families want revenge. It's a never-ending cycle that gets passed down over the years. We should never want that to be the world our children live in. We should always strive to be better.

I thought the story started off strong and in-your-face, but the middle felt a little sluggish at times. It took awhile for certain things to happen, and while the information was interesting, I wish it had been condensed just a little. Other than that I really have no complaints (except for all of the animal sacrifices, because I could have definitely done without those). It was an interesting concept that was beautifully executed. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters II (#1-5) by Erik Burnham, Tom Waltz, Dan Schoening (Illustrator)

I've always enjoyed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I don't think their comics are for me. I did enjoy this arc, and I loved how much longer the story felt, but I think I prefer their shows and movies. (Although, not the recent movies... they're a little too weird for me. I think I'm a classic TMNT fan!)

I did like the Turtle-Ghostbusters mashup! It was interesting to see how the two interacted with each other, since they're not from the same time or whatever. (All of the space travel, parallel universes, alternate realities--it's incredibly confusing.) I also like how some of the artists tried to make the Ghostbusters look like their movie characters. The one is definitely Bill Murray.

If you really like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I think you'd love their comic! I didn't feel invested in the characters, but that's me. I like the Turtles, but I also like adopting new pets. It doesn't mean I need them. I already have plenty of pets to give my love and attention to, just like I have plenty of other comics I'm already reading and really enjoying.

My husband and son love to do Turtle stuff together, so I think I'll leave this one to them!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Lost and Found Sisters (Wildstone #1) by Jill Shalvis

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.'s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she's looking for a missing piece she can't find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn't quite fit in right away, she can't help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there's another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn't a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she's searched so long for. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

“If it has tires or testicles, it’s gonna give you trouble.”
I almost stopped listening to this audiobook, but I'm really glad I didn't! I think the narrator threw me off because she read things in a way that I wouldn't have. Like, she would emphasize words or phrases that didn't always make sense to me. Can a narrator read too dramatically? Is that a thing? I think I would have enjoyed this one more if I'd read a physical copy instead of listening to the audiobook. Eventually, I focused more on what was being said instead of how, which seemed to help.

I'm going to go ahead and throw my negative out there... the steamy sex scenes were actually more like warm soup. It's edible, and you can swallow it in a hurry, but it's not how you'd prefer to eat it. Hot soup that needs to be blown a few times is almost always better. It lasts longer and ends up being way more satisfying. However, I did love how uncomplicated the sex was. They both new what they wanted and went for it, so that was nice.

Quinn was an enjoyable character, but I felt like she was a little oblivious at times. Yes, she was thrown into an unpredictable situation, but I'm referring to her life before. It's like being somewhere new really helped Quinn be the person she was meant to be. She started trying new things, opening back up, and really living again.

Mick was perfection. Everything you want a guy to be = Mick.
  • Fantastic listener
  • Always honest
  • Understood when Quinn needed to be alone
  • Got rid of bugs with zero judgement
  • Happy to satisfy
  • Great with kids
  • Cared about his town and the people in it
  • Loved and cared for his mom
  • Successful
  • Patient
  • Adores his ancient dog
The little excerpts at the beginning of each chapter were my favorite parts of the book. They almost always made me laugh, and were usually very unexpected. I don't want to be spoilery, so I'll leave it at that!

Overall, I did end up enjoying Lost and Found Sisters. There were a few things I wish had been done a little differently, but nothing major. I'll likely continue the series to see what happens next, even though this one wrapped up quite nicely. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Weekly Pull [16]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Optimus Prime #17 by John Barber, Kei Zama, Thomas Deer
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #21 by Paul Allor, Mark Torres
Kick-Ass #3 by Mark Millar, John Romita, Daniel Warren Johnson

Amazing Spider-Man #799 by Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen, Alex Ross
Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #18 by Jody Houser, Nathan Stockman, Ryan Stegman
Daredevil #601 by Charles Soule, Mike Henderson, Chris Sprouse

Infinity Countdown #2 by Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder, Ron Lim
Tales of Suspense #104 (of 5) by Matthew Rosenberg, Travel Foreman, Yasmine Putri
Venomized #3 by Cullen Bunn, Iban Coello, Gustavo Duarte

Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows is my most anticipated comic this month! It quickly became one of my favorites, and since a lot of my others are ending, it's now the favorite. I love it so much!

The Daredevil cover has me worried...

Husband and son are reading Optimus Prime together, but I haven't had a chance to read it for myself. The Tales of Suspense is ending soon, and there were some big revelations in the last issue! I'm curious where the trio will go from here. Have I mentioned how much I love the Hawkeye and Bucky combination? They're handsome hilarious together! 

Ohhh, I love the Venomized cover with the Statue of Liberty!

What comics are you reading this week? 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Maybe Someone Like You by Stacy Wise

Katie Capwell is a bright and accomplished recent law school graduate, and she has her shiny future all mapped out. It's brimming with courtroom victories and creating change. Ryan Brincatt is a tattooed and impossibly cool martial artist, and he’s mastered a fierce roundhouse kick.

Their paths never should have crossed.

But when Katie lurks outside the kickboxing gym where Ryan works as a trainer, she’s immediately drawn to his casual confidence and playful green eyes. Without making her usual list of pros and cons, she impulsively signs up to train with him.

She never imagined that one decision would change. Absolutely. Everything. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

He’s wearing the tie he wore on the night I met him, the one that’s covered with tiny foxes. I used to think it was cute, but now it only looks useful—like something I could choke him with.
I received an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quotes I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

I adored this story and it called to me in an unexpected way. Katie decides to start kickboxing with a trainer, and I fell completely in love with it. The author makes it sound both elegant and fierce. I liked the idea so much that I researched local kickboxing gyms--I start next week! I hope it's as exhilarating as Stacy Wise made it sound.

I'm curious if the author has personal experience with kickboxing, or if they just did really amazing research. I could hear the ropes pounding on the floor, and Katie's gloves hitting their target. I devoured those parts of the story, and now I'm mentally addicted to the idea of doing it myself. Let's hope I enjoy it as much in practice as I do in theory.

Maybe Someone Like You is another one of those stories where a little more communication would have saved everyone a lot of heartache, but I enjoyed their journey. It was refreshing to read about things like lawyering and kickboxing, because I've had no experience with either. There were a few phrases and some terminology I was unfamiliar with, so I had to stop and do a little research. Maybe a little more clarification within the story would have helped? Having to stop and look things up did pull me away from the book.

The setting for the book was ideal, too. It was lovely and makes me want to live in a quiet, quaint town near the beach. Even though I abhor having sand on everything, Stacy Wise made me fall in love with the idea. Running along the beach with my dog, the views at night, and the smells that are associated with sand and the ocean.

Katie is far more patient with her boss that I would have been. Kenneth was such an ass. I wanted to spit in his face and knee him in the balls. He deserves worse than that, but those two things would make me feel a little better. She put up with way more than she should have, and she should have confided in someone other than Craig. Speaking of Craig, I really liked him by the end of the book, but his initial impression was wrong. I thought he was going to be an adversary, but it's like a monster apologizing and becoming a kitten. It didn't make a lot of sense how their friendship happened, especially with how their first conversation went.

The other characters within the book were nice. I felt like I knew them on the most basic level, and I wish there had been a little more depth to them. For the most part, they sounded like interesting characters, and I wish those friendships had been built upon a little more. Instead, the book mainly focuses on the boys and her job.

The character development was a little weird, and I was never too sure of someone's importance to the story. Like, they may have seemed super involved in the beginning, but then we just stop hearing about them. Others, like her mom, were prickly one minute and kind the next. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but it felt off. However, Ryan was like banana pancakes in the morning: unexpected but utterly delicious.

Maybe Someone Like You was delightful and made me smile often. It also inspired me to try kickboxing (should be an awesome and enjoyable workout), and maybe get a new tattoo...

"Thoughts are rose petals in my head, drifting and floating, but words stick like thorns in my throat."

"His muscles are so sculpted, if I knew the names of each one, I could take a Sharpie to his skin and label them. They’re that perfect."

"My head feels like there’s a cinder block jammed in the center with one of Snow White’s seven dwarfs pounding at it with his pickax. Dear God. I think I’ve swallowed the dwarf’s wooly hat."