Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My Weekly Pull [25]

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!

Shanghai Red #1 by Christopher Sebela, Josh Hixson, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #20 by Jody Houser, Scott Koblish, Ryan Stegman
Ant-Man and the Wasp #2 (of 5) by Mark Waid, Javier Garrón, David Nakayama
Hunt For Wolverine Claws of a Killer #2 (of 4) by Mariko Tamaki, Butch Guice, Greg Land
Infinity Countdown Champions #1 (of 2) by Jim Zub, Clayton Crain
Runaways #10 by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka

Shanghai Red looks intense! Here is the synopsis: Red is one of hundreds shanghaied out of Portland in the late 1800s. Drugged, kidnapped, and sold to a ship's captain, she wakes up on a boat headed out to sea for years, unable to escape or even reveal who she truly is. Now she's coming back in a boat covered in blood to find her family and track down the men responsible for stealing her life out from under her.

I know it's wishful thinking, but I hope it's not going to be as bloody and violent as it sounds. A little bit of fighting and gore doesn't bother me, but sometimes comics take it too far. 

Question: What is the actual title for this comic?
  1. The Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows
  2. Amazing Spider-Man Review Your Vows
I'm asking this question because the cover says one thing, and the world says another. Goodreads, Comic List, and even my LCS have it listed without the "The" at the beginning. However, isn't that what the comic is called? I'm going to do a little research today/this week and see what I can find out! It's been bugging me for awhile now.

I am loving the Runaways cover! I'm a little behind on the series, but I'm curious how Alice in Wonderland ties into their current story... I'm not caught up because I'm still missing one of the earlier issues, and I like to read them in order. Skipping ahead feels like I'm cheating on the comic, lol.

That's all for me this week! What comics are you reading?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.

Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.

Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?

A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.

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

I know I said this in a Goodreads update, but Bring Me Back made me think of Clue. Players are supposed to weed out potential suspects to determine who the killer is, what weapon was used, and where the murder occurred. This book made me feel like I was playing that game, only I didn't have any cards and didn't know all of the rules. There were a few times when I had no flarking idea what was going on. 

Finn was quick to second guess himself and everyone around him. It was hard to follow his train of thought sometimes, and occasionally he would make connections with information that would have been impossible for the reader to know. When he originally attempted to decipher the email address, he comes up with something that's completely bananas.

I will say that my theories were disproven time and time again. I was always wrong with my assumptions, and frankly... that was infuriating (in a good way). I quickly became just as frustrated as Finn. Nothing made sense and everything was misleading. If you enjoy books that are nearly impossible to figure out, Bring Me Back might be a good fit for you. 

Even though I was engrossed in the mystery of this book, it wasn't too hard to put down. I think it's because I felt like the story kept going around in circles. We keep coming back to the same theories that have been reviewed and examined multiple times. The characters also tend to do the same things over and over again throughout the book.

It's always a little irritating when the main character refuses to involve the police, even when it's clear to everyone else that they should. I felt like a lot of things could have been avoided if Finn had just picked up a phone. Oh, and his obsession with Layla was strange. I didn't really understand why he felt so connected to her, or why his feelings were as intense as they were. It was literally love at first sight and also love at twelve years later, even though he hadn't seen or spoken to her.

Bring Me Back was an interesting story with a mystery that I wasn't able to solve on my own. I was kept in the dark with Finn until the very end, and I'm sure Colonel Mustard would be proud.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer

Narrated by Rebecca Soler
Synopsis (via Goodreads): In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, 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 her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned 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 just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
“It always came back to love. More than freedom, more than acceptance—love. True love, like they sang about in the second era. The kind that filled up a person's soul. The kind that lent itself to dramatic gestures and sacrifices. The kind that was irresistible and all-encompassing.” 
The audiobook for Cress is almost twice as long as the others, but I'm not complaining! I've enjoyed everyone's adventures and really liked the newest character, Cress. She's crazy smart, tech-savvy, and can hack into anything, spy on anyone, and daydream like no other. Her opera singing, line-dancing, and unfamiliarity with the outside world made her an endearing character that I instantly wanted to protect. She's been through a lot, but somehow comes across as sweetly naïve and innocent. 

Initially, I didn't think I would like Thorne. He's arrogant and rarely says the right thing. He's like an attractive pirate... in love with his ship, in love with himself, thinks everyone else should immediately be charmed by him, and he's always looking for booty. However, my opinions about him changed drastically while reading this book. We learn more about his history and see what he's willing to do for his friends. Thorne also doesn't think like everyone else, so he's able to bring a unique perspective to the table. His words may come across as cocky, but I believe he speaks from the heart. 

Queen Levana needs to die... or be stripped of her powers and thrown into a jail cell. Personally, I hope someone destroys her. She's unbelievably cruel, and it makes me angry to think about all the pain she's caused. The lives of others mean nothing, and she's willing to maim or kill anyone that disagrees with her or gets in the way.

This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites! Marissa Meyer is an incredible storyteller and I look forward to reading anything else she writes. I believe Winter is next in this series, but I don't know how I feel about her just yet. She's only in Cress briefly, but a lot was said with very little.

Let's get this revolution started!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wild Child by A.S. Green

Expected publication: June 18, 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads): I have never been to a place so tiny. Little Bear Island could fit in New York's armpit. Still a job is a job and, after surviving Afghanistan, what's twenty-four hours in podunk hell?

Providing private security for a celebrity wedding is nothing new...until I come face-to-face with Natalie O'Brien. The woman who chose someone else and kicked me to the curb six years ago. Time has done nothing to tame her. She's a red-headed beauty with a sharp tongue and nerves of steel who could seriously knock me off my game…

When my assistant bails, Natalie jumps at the chance to get off this tiny island. Now we're stuck criss-crossing the country in my SUV, with her tantalizing scent filling the cab and her smart mouth making me very...uncomfortable. Good thing the job will be over soon. So why does the thought of saying goodbye a second time make my heart stop? 
“I never spill hot coffee on my crotch,” he says as he shifts out of park. “Call it a gift.”
I received an 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.

I could not put this down! I sacrificed a ridiculous amount of sleep to keep reading Wild Child, and I don't regret a single second. This is a slow-burn romance that will make your toes curl! Natalie and Jackson make you work for the feels, but it's totally worth it. 

Veronica Mars and Jessica Jones are my original loves when it comes to stories about private investigators. The lifestyle might not be luxurious, but they get to look for clues and catch people doing things they shouldn't. I feel like that would be an extremely satisfying job! Jax does security detail (when I first typed this it said, "sexurity detail"), but he's mainly a private investigator. His jobs on the road with Natalie were some of my favorite moments, and I wish they'd had more time for adventures together.

However, once they arrive in New York, they stop teaming up and doing field work with each other. The book doesn't suffer because of it, I just thought it was an exciting aspect of the story that I enjoyed and wanted more of. Natalie is plenty busy with her new job, and Jax is... Jax. Dude has issues he's working on, and they are completely valid and understandable. I liked that Natalie didn't judge him for being so different after six years, because a lot can happen in that amount of time.

Wild Child kept me on the edge of my seat, made me laugh often, and was very authentic and solid. There isn't anything I would change about the story (cough.. more field work... cough), and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. There are some pretty intense scenes that made my heart race, but there are also sweet moments that are definitely worth revisiting. I cannot wait to add a physical copy of this to my shelves!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Mini Reviews [7]

Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition
of the Inuit by Edward Field (Translator) and 
Mike Blanc (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit is a modern translation (1965) of a very old Inuit creation story by nationally known poet Edward Field. As a poem it captures beautifully the intimate relationship this Arctic people have with their natural world.

Magic Words describes a world where humans and animals share bodies and languages, where the world of the imagination mixes easily with the physical. It began as a story that told how the Inuit people came to be and became a legend passed from generation to generation. In translation it grew from myth to poem. The text comes from expedition notes recorded by Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen in 1921. Edward Field got a copy from the Harvard Library and translated it into English.


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

This is a beautiful children's book! My four-year-old was fascinated by the idea of people turning into animals and vice versa. He started talking about the different animals he would want to morph into, and I loved the conversations that followed. Some of the illustrations, which were breathtaking and utterly captivating, showed what appeared to be animal-human hybrids. A human face with deer legs and a fish tail, for example. 

Magic Words also emphasizes how important words are, and that saying them can have unforeseen consequences. Words have the potential to be powerful, and people should be careful how they use them. 

Tiny Fox and Great Boar: There
by Berenika Kolomycka
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Tiny Fox lives alone beneath his apple tree in the distant hills. He is a happy little animal, busy looking after himself and his foxy things. Then one day, a Great Boar appears and moves in under the apple tree, bringing with him a time of change and adventure. Is Tiny Fox ready? 

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

I thought the illustrations for this one were really interesting! Some of the original sketch marks are still included, so you can see how a few of the pictures evolved and were created over time. It also gives the appearance of movement, which is awesome all on its own.

As for the story, it was good. I think the author shows the importance of friendship, and that being alone can be hard. A single friend has the power to change all of that, but you have to be willing to compromise and make adjustments.

I wish there had been more of a story, but Fox and Boar have very limited conversations over the course of a few seasons. As an adult, I could see what their problems were and how they likely needed to deal with them, but I'm not sure it's something a child would easily grasp. My son was more focused on the things they were doing, and not the things being left unsaid. He may have been a smidge too young for this comic-like book, but he did enjoy it overall.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.


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

This is definitely a book we will be adding to our shelves! I loved the main character's tenacity and creativity. She's dedicated and incredibly focused on perfecting her idea. As the reader, we have no idea what she's trying to make, only that she tries again and again to make her project match what's in her head. As she gets increasingly frustrated, she starts to lose patience with her creations and pays less attention to what she's doing.  

In the end, her dog saves the day. He sees her frustration and offers a simple solution to help her refocus on what she was trying to accomplish. They made the perfect team, and I really enjoyed watching their story play out. I had no idea what she was trying to make at first, but the end result was absolutely perfect

This book would be great for teaching children to remain calm when they get frustrated, and how getting angry and upset only makes things worse. The Most Magnificent Thing shows readers how taking a step back can offer a different perspective and allow things to be viewed as a whole.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

My Weekly Pull [24]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday (only a day late, which is an improvement from last week) 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!

I think I'm finally getting my groove back after taking a week or so off! I have a few posts scheduled, I've been responding to comments, and even venturing out and visiting some blogs myself! It took a few days of being back to feel like I was back. Blogging is a huge time commitment, and it's hard to blog about books and comics if you haven't been reading any, haha! 

Analog #3 by Gerry Duggan, David O'Sullivan, Phil Noto
Kick-Ass #5 Mark Millar, John Romita, Ozgur Yildirim
Magic Order #1 (of 6) by Mark Millar, Olivier Coipel

Domino #3 by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Greg Land
Hunt For Wolverine Adamantium Agenda #2 (of 4) by Tom Taylor, R. Silva, Greg Land
New Mutants Dead Souls #4 (of 6) by Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gorham, Ryan Stegman
Venom #2 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman

Analog is a little more violent than I would like, but the story is insanely good. What would our world look like if someone removed the internet, or at least every ounce of your privacy? What would you do? Would you choose to still use it? People in power have started using carriers that transport messages all over the world in briefcases. Their jobs aren't exactly easy, and hands tend to get cut off or blown up. People will still kill for information, despite it being harder to track down. "Aunt Sam" just made an appearance, and I don't think that means anything good for Jack.

Kick-Ass has been pretty good so far, but I'm a little worried now that they're introducing Hit-Girl into the comic. For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I really disliked Hit-Girl and everything she stood for. She's just as bad as the criminals she chooses to kill. She even uses small children to get what she wants. If this Hit-Girl is anything like the one I've read about in the past, I will probably stop reading Kick-Ass as well.

Magic Order is something new that Jacob brought to my attention. It's about five families of magicians that have sworn to protect our world from monsters every generation. Now there is an enemy that is killing them off one at a time, and I guess they need to determine who that is and stop them. It's a mini series, so everything should happen pretty quickly!

The last issue of Domino had a spectacular cliffhanger that I still think about occasionally. I need to know what happens! New Mutants Dead Souls is getting good too. Magik had to show her true self in order to break through a magical seal, but then something unthinkable happens... The different mini series for Hunt for Wolverine have been interesting. Everyone goes about looking for him in their own way, and the different teams are awesome if somewhat unexpected. Donny Cates killed the first issue of Venom! I cannot wait to see where this story goes!

Have you started any new comics? Enjoying some older issues? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood

Synopsis (via Goodreads): One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other.

Kat lands the lead in the community theater’s summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn’t sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen…

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend…so it’s not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?

As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it’s hard to dream big when she’s so busy taking care of everyone else.


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

This was the perfect summer read! Jessica Spotswood has successfully made me want to buy a boat and live near a marina. Just the idea of laying on the deck and watching fireworks makes me smile! It sounds so relaxing and fun. One of the sisters, Bea, makes a comment about it being like a tiny house on the water, which would definitely force me to be a minimalist. 

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls had a very Gilmore Girls vibe that I enjoyed. They live in a small town where it's impossible to keep secrets, and the townspeople live for the gossip. There are also no strangers except for the tourists they occasionally see throughout the year. There's an old bookstore, a Tabby Cat Café that has literal cats (they can also be adopted from there!), and even a yearly reenactment that people get really excited about. 

I loved their Gram and how accepting she was of her grandchildren. They were all so very different, and she treasured them like they were her own. The girls also appreciated their Gram and how much she's done for them over the years. She trusts them to do what is right, and is there for them when they make a mistake. 

I feel like there was a lot that could have been elaborated on, but I understand that can be difficult when you're telling a story through five different perspectives. There is a lot going on in each of their lives, and unfortunately some of the details were left out. They were small threads that I was following in the background, but most of them are never mentioned again. An example would be Bea's movie date with Erik and how Savannah taunted her with bringing Gabe. Bea gets ready for her date, but we have now idea how it went or if Savannah followed through with her threat. Bea was also really nervous about the date, and I was curious about how it ended.

The bookstore belongs to the Garrett family, and the author references a lot of YA authors and titles. She specifically mentions Nina LaCour and a variety of LGBTQ books. One of the characters is openly gay, another is bisexual, and one is still figuring things out. I thought Jessica Spotswood did a wonderful job of creating characters that a lot of people will be able to relate to. 

There are a lot of Harry Potter references. Pets were named Remus, Sirius and Crookshanks, but there were also a lot of shirts and sayings that related to the books. It felt a little forced at times, but it wasn't too over-the-top. I was also happy about the X-Men shout out! Three of the horses were named Storm, Gambit and Rogue. 

I think there were a lot of good points made about women's rights, equality and acceptance. 

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls touches on family, friendships and how those two things can change over time. It was a fun story that I really enjoyed reading and had a hard time putting down. Every chapter was about a different sister, and I was quickly caught up in each of their stories. There were a few times when I cringed internally at someone's behavior or actions, but that's life. People make mistakes, but it's how they learn and grow from them that matters. I think each individual sister did a lot of growing over the summer, and I thought their story ended in a really great place.