Friday, August 31, 2018

DNF&Y [8]

DNF&Y is used to explain why I gave up on certain books, and what about them just didn't work for me. What I disliked about a book might be something you love, so it helps to share your thoughts even when they're negative! If you would like additional information, please click on the DNF&Y tab at the top. If you want to join, you can link up at the bottom!

I didn't DNF any books this month! Whoop! It means I liked everything enough to keep going, so yay for that. In fact, there were a lot of really wonderful August reads for me. A few that stand out are Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch, Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins, Royally Matched by Emma Chase, The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Sadie by Courtney Summers.

Have you had a good reading month? What was your favorite August read? Let me know!

*Share your DNF&Y post! Please leave the direct link to your DNF&Y post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading! 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis
Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway

http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/
Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the The Leading Edge of Now blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. I'm really happy to share my thoughts on this book with you!
Title: THE LEADING EDGE OF NOW
Author: Marci Lyn Curtis
Pub. Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Pages: 336
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, TBD

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he'd spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn't mean returning to New Harbor.

Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she's lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever.

People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn't sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find --- and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?

"When you’re a virgin for fifteen years of your life, it’s pretty easy to tell when you suddenly aren’t."
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

The Leading Edge of Now made my skin crawl. You know that feeling you get when you think you're being watched? That's pretty much what it feels like to read this book. The little hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, and I barely breathed while I waited for the other shoe to drop. It was hard watching Grace revisit the ghosts of her past, and I desperately wished she hadn't been alone for so many years. She really needed her friends, but she'd already isolated everyone by that point.

At the beginning, I had a hard time connecting with Grace as a character. She would say or think things that were meant to be funny or sarcastic, but they came across feeling forced and unnatural. However, there were times the comments were so unexpected they surprised a laugh out of me. "But in New Harbor, where it’s so quiet, a squirrel scurrying up a tree sounds like an assassin wading through the sawgrass with a hatchet." She grew on me towards the end, and I learned to appreciate her personality.

I wish some of the people in Grace's life had been more proactive. After her dad died, she didn't really have anyone in her corner. There was no support system, and she was left to deal with her grief on her own. Sexual assault, the death of her father -- she was 15-years old. When she starts searching for the bastard that assaulted her, we find out that quite a few people knew something was wrong or off with the situation. I wish one of them had been brave enough to come forward, or at least expressed concern on her behalf.

It also didn't seem fair to me that everyone judged Grace for cutting ties with them, but they made no effort of their own to reach out to her. Janna and Owen's parents were like a second mom and dad for Grace, but they didn't think to check on her when she'd been absent for two years? She basically lived in their house every summer and holiday since she was four, but then years go by without a word. A few things are explained later on, but still... someone should have made contact.

Rusty (her uncle) is spontaneous and easygoing. He's a child masquerading as an adult most of the time, but he loves Grace. He and her father were really close, and his death affected him as much as it did his niece. Rusty felt responsible in a way, so he kept his distance from Grace when she needed him the most. It was heartbreaking to see on both sides, because they were both hurting, and I'm glad they were finally able to grieve together.

Owen is a beautiful, broken soul. He always has the best intentions, but life keeps taking him out at the knees. First, there was the accident that has taken him years to cope with, and then he was blamed for something he would never even dream of doing. He is a genuinely good person, and I hated to see him hurting for the bulk of the book.

The Leading Edge of Now was a quick read that made me feel violated on Grace's behalf. It's sickening how often people are taken advantage of, and I think the author does a good job of expressing Grace's inner turmoil and how it effected her day-to-day life. A guy on the bus kept glancing at her breasts and then touched her without her permission -- it messed with her head. No one should ever have to feel that way. Also, people have the right to say no, and that response should be respected.

NetGalley had some additional information I wanted to share: Marci Lyn Curtis, the critically acclaimed author of The One Thing, has crafted an honest and emotional story that will resonate with the wide range of readers impacted by sexual assault. Sexual assault does not define this story, however, just as it does not define Grace. Wry humor and true love emerge as Grace, like many in the #MeToo era, seeks to find her truth, face her truth, and speak her truth.

About Marci Lyn Curtis:

Marci Lyn Curtis is the author of young adult dramedies THE ONE THING and THE LEADING EDGE OF NOW. She lives near Tampa, Florida with her husband.

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of THE LEADING EDGE OF NOW, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Schedule:

Week One:
8/27/2018- Sophie Reads YA- Review
8/28/2018- BookHounds YA- Interview
8/29/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous- Review
8/30/2018- Do You Dog-ear?- Review
8/31/2018- Book-Keeping- Review

Week Two:
9/3/2018- Pacific Northwest Bookworm- Review
9/4/2018- Here's to Happy Endings- Review
9/5/2018- Sweet Southern Home- Excerpt
9/6/2018- Simply Daniel Radcliffe- Review
9/7/2018- Arctic Books- Excerpt

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My Weekly Pull [35] & Can't Wait Wednesday [5]

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!

Hunt For Wolverine Dead Ends #1 by Charles Soule, Ramon Rosanas, Marco Checchetto
Marvel Two-In-One #9 by Chip Zdarsky, Ramon K. Perez, Gerardo Zaffino
Moon Knight #198 by Max Bemis, Jacen Burrows, Becky Cloonan
New Mutants Dead Souls #6 (of 6) by Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gorham, Ryan Stegman
Runaways #12 by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka

Jacob's comics for the week!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bebop and Rocksteady Hit The Road #5 by Ben Bates
Daredevil Annual #1 by Erica Schultz, Marcio Takara, Gerardo Zaffino
Deadpool Assassin #6 by Cullen Bunn, Mark Bagley, John Tyler Christopher
Venom First Host #1 (of 5) by Mike Costa, Mark Bagley, Paolo Rivera
Web of Venom Ve’Nam #1 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, Goran Parlov

I believe Hunt for Wolverine Dead Ends is a one-shot conclusion that also sets up Wolverine's return, or a new Wolverine comic... ugh. One of the guys at my LCS explained it to me, but I have a cold and can't remember things that happened five minutes ago. (My head feels so stuffy.) The cover makes me think it's going to be a compilation of the various Hunt for Wolverine mini series, since there are people from all of the teams on the front.

New Mutants Dead Souls is on its final issue. I didn't love or hate this one, but it was a really enjoyable series overall. I've always found Magik interesting, so it was nice to see how she was as a child. I'm still not entirely sure how all of her powers work, or how she ended up on a different path from her brother (Colossus).

The Runaways cover for this week is one of my all-time favorites. I love how layered it is -- and those colors! The story is pretty awesome, too.

Are you reading any new comics this week? If you need any recs, just ask! 

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, that highlights upcoming releases that we're anticipating and excited to read. It's a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea
by Tahereh Mafi
Expected publication: October 16th 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads): It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

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I've always been a fan of Tahereh Mafi, and really enjoyed Shatter Me and Unravel Me. I still need to finish reading the rest of the series (so no spoilers!), and I'll probably need to re-read the first two, too. I vaguely remember a sympathetic villain that she trusts more than she should, and a secret compound full of people like her. And doesn't it start with her being silent all the time? Maybe writing on walls or scraps of paper? It's been ages since I read those... hmm.

Anyways! I think A Very Large Expanse of Sea will be equally as good, if not better. Have you heard of this book? Have you read anything else by the author? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sadie by Courtney Summers
Blog Tour: Review

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the Sadie blog tour hosted by St. Martin’s Press & Wednesday Books. I'm really happy to share my thoughts on this book with you! Sadie will be released into the world on September 4th, but you can also preorder a copy here on Amazon.

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

"I close my eyes and I let the music own me, turning myself into the idea of a girl, or an idea of an idea -- a Manic Pixie Dream, I guess, the kind everyone says they're tired of but I don't know that they really mean it. The girl nobody ends up loving long or loving well, but nobody wants to give up either."
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I don't think I'll ever recover from reading this book. Sadie was hard to read and even harder to put down. Her past and present were difficult to stomach, and I'm positive her story will stay with me for the rest of my life. No child should have to endure or experience what she did, and I think that's why this story was so impactful -- it's something that happens every day. Children are neglected, taken advantage of, abused in unimaginable ways, and the perpetrators are not always caught.

I want to be able to tell you that Sadie's story has a happy ending, but I can't do that. Regardless of how her story plays out, she's lost something irreplaceable. There was nothing about Sadie's life worth celebrating, and the one thing she loved, her sister, was stolen from her in the middle of the night. She loved Mattie more than life itself, and was like a mother to her sister. It was a difficult relationship, but Sadie did everything in her power to make sure her sister had a better life than she did growing up.

I really enjoyed the layout for this book. The chapters alternate between Sadie's perspective and West McCray. West works for a radio station, and he was tasked with the story of Sadie's disappearance. We see his story unfold through podcast-like interviews and his own personal experiences over time. It was unique and really offered a different side to the overall story. It allowed characters Sadie interreacted with to have a second chance to share their perspectives, and it was usually one we didn't see when they were with Sadie herself.

If you start this book, be prepared to read it all the way through. It's almost impossible to put down. There's this need to know aspect about the story, and I felt like everything would be okay if I just kept going. I had to see Sadie's story through to the end. I had to make sure everything worked out the way it was supposed to. I had to know.

Courtney Summers has woven an incredibly complex and horrific story. I can't say that I enjoyed reading it, because the content was too disturbing and left a bitter taste in my mouth. I really thought things would get better if I kept reading, but how can they when you're only uncovering more lies and dirty secrets? Sadie is a hard read. It's dark and it's twisted, but the scariest aspect is how true it could be. There are people in this world living that life, and...  and I really don't want to think about it anymore.

Going into this one, I assumed Sadie was going to be a murder mystery set in a small town, but it is so much more than that. Her story makes me want to cry and scream at the world we live in, and I cannot imagine the pain Sadie must have endured during her childhood and throughout this book. Courtney Summers has written a life-changing story that left me feeling angry, hollow, and irreparably broken.
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Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones, #1)
by Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie

Synopsis (via Goodreads): In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.
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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

First of all, the quote on the cover is inaccurate. It says, "ONE predetermined day to DIE. THREE who choose to DEFY." Franny, Court, and Mykal didn't choose to defy anything. They expected to die like everyone else on their predetermined day, but for reasons unknown to them, they did not. It wasn't like they'd found some way around their deathday. Second, and this one is completely personal, I'm not a huge fan of the cover. I don't feel like it represents the story at all. I've read the book and I'm still not sure why the R looks like a sunbeam.

Initially, The Raging Ones made me think of They Both Die at the End. However, people knowing when they die was the only similarity. In They Both Die at the End, people get a phone call on the day they're going to die. The people in The Raging Ones are tested at birth and placed into one of three categories based on how long they'll live.

There were a few inconsistencies throughout the story, things that were out of place or contradicted other facts, and a few threads slipped through the cracks. However, I was really impressed with the world Krista and Becca had created. It was easy to overlook the small holes in favor of the overall story. It's unlike anything else I've ever read, but I still felt like I endured the harsh and unforgiving environment of their world. I felt connected to the Fast Trackers, and hated that people's worth was dependent upon their lifespan. If you were going to die soon, you were less likely to make valuable contributions to society, so you were afforded less in life. 

The world isn't a pretty or comfortable one. The people are hardened and cruel, and they don't think twice about taking advantage of those less fortunate or unable to defend themselves. There is a lot of fighting and slang, so if you don't like stories steeped in humanities darkness, this might not be for you. Franny, Court, and Mykal will do whatever it takes to survive. They will do even more to protect each other, and I was sick to my stomach at some of the things they gave up to ensure their safety. Their bond -- their friendship -- felt tangible. It was a living, breathing thing that really drove the rest of the story.

I loved all three POVs. I honestly cannot choose a favorite, and it was easy to discern who's perspective I was reading from. I only confused Court and Mykal's POVs once, and that's probably because I wasn't paying close enough attention. It took me reading just a few sentences to realize I had missed something, so it didn't detract from the story. I think the authors did a wonderful job making each of the characters stand out, even the secondary ones, and I enjoyed learning about their pasts while being with them in the present. 

A lot of time passes, but the story doesn't drag. We skip ahead by weeks sometimes to get though thicker parts of their lives. Like, when Court is trying to educate Franny to be an Influential. We don't get detailed descriptions of all of her lessons with him, but we get enough to see the impact they are having. During this time the authors were able to solidify their bond and set up the second half of the book. I do wish some of the second half had been elaborated on, like their training exercises, because the brief explanations we receive made the ending look a little too easy. I'm still not entirely convinced they would have been able to do what they did with the inadequate amount of training they had.

Finally, you cannot end a book that way! Argh! It was a gnarly, ugly cliffhanger that has me jonesing for the next book which hasn't been written yet. How is that fair? Other than that, I am mostly satisfied with the rest of the book. It's a little rough to read a the start, but I quickly found myself absorbed in the story. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough, and then there was nothing left to turn. Oh, and I am all about  the relationship between Mykal and Court. It's layered and complicated, but it's also sweet and intense. I cannot wait to read more!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Mini Reviews [14]

Moon by Alison Oliver
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Like many children, Moon leads a busy life. School, homework, music lessons, sports, and the next day it begins again. She wonders if things could be different. Then, one night, she meets a wolf.

The wolf takes Moon deep into the dark, fantastical forest and there she learns to howl, how to hide, how to be still, and how to be wild. And in that, she learns what it’s like to be free.
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Moon is a book we borrowed from the library, and I'm having a hard time convincing my kids we have to take it back! I promised to buy them a copy for their shelves, and they eventually relented.

I initially grabbed this one because of the beautiful cover, but the author conveys something really important within the story that children (and adults) will be able to relate to.

Every day Moon has a schedule that she follows -- school, sports, lessons, etc. She doesn't feel like she has time for herself, and then something wonderful happens when she ventures outside one night. She spends time with wolves, and they teach her how to play. They also show her how to be still and listen (bonus points for the author!).

Sometimes I think parents and adults forget how important it is to play. It's crucial to a child's development and their happiness. Adults should also play -- firing synapses and whatnot -- but it's not healthy for kids to have their entire day planned around work and expectations. They need time to just exist, even if it's in their own head.

I love the message Moon presents, and the delicate way the author shared her story. I highly recommend this one.


Infinity Countdown: Champions (#1-2) by Jim Zub 
Emilio Laiso & Clayton Crain (Illustrators)

Synopsis (via Goodreads): SPINNING OUT FROM THE FALLOUT OF THE BATTLE FOR THE POWER STONE IN THE PAGES OF INFINITY COUNTDOWN! The Champions head to space to save the Nova Corps and stop Warbringer, but other forces are moving against them... These young heroes are in for the fight of their lives! 

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I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't a group of children fighting Chitauri and Thanos.

I love that Riri Williams (Ironheart) and Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) were included in Champions! I've read and enjoyed their individual comics in the past. I think I started reading Ms. Marvel at the wrong time, because the five or so issues I read didn't have Kamala Khan. She was hiding somewhere for some reason... so it never felt like I was reading about Ms. Marvel. Her friends were trying to be superheroes, but they just kept risking their lives. As for Ironheart, or The Invincible Iron Man, I believe Tony Stark came back and they revamped the comic.

If you're looking for a short series (and you're not sick of Thanos), this one is only two issues and ties in to the rest of the Infinity Countdown shenanigans. There's so much going on with that... I cannot keep up with it all. I think it's Infinity Wars now.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Narrated by Amy Landon
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A story about friendship, survival and finding your voice.

Growing up, Mallory Dodge learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it's been four years since her nightmare ended, she's beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime. Now, after years of homeschooling, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. But she never imagined she'd run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn't seen since childhood, on her very first day.


It doesn't take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet soon it becomes apparent that she's not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider's life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants and the truths that need to be heard.
“The past never went away and it was not designed to do so. It would always be there, and it should be acknowledged.”
I want to start off by saying Amy Landon rocked as a narrator. Mallory has trouble speaking, and I could really feel it through Landon's words. She would pause often and struggled to voice Mallory's thoughts and feelings. I think that really honored the character Armentrout created. Mallory has a lot of issues in the beginning, but as the story progresses, we hear her speech improve as her confidence grows. Amazing job by all!

My husband and I have friends that started an adoption process when their son was still a baby, but because of all the technicalities and paperwork... he was almost four before he was able to come home with them. Books like this, that show the scary and terrible side of foster care, only solidify my feelings about adopting children out of the system. 

Jennifer L. Armentrout did a wonderful job crafting characters that felt authentic and layered. It wasn't just Mallory and Rider, but all of the other secondary characters that made an appearance. No one was there as filler, even if they only showed up on a few pages. If a person was mentioned, they meant something to someone, or were vital to the overall story. 

I feel like this book lasted longer than it did, but only because my hold from the library expired and I had to wait for it to become available again. I didn't have any trouble getting back into the story, but it did make it feel like I'd been listening to it for ages. (The audiobook was 10+ hours, if that helps.)

The Problem with Forever touches on a lot of really important topics. Some were harder to read about than others, but I think the author handled them all incredibly well. The foster care system has its flaws, and not all foster parents take children into their homes for the right reasons. It's an ugly truth about the world we live in, and it shapes the future of a lot of children. They are kicked out of the system once they turn eighteen or graduate from high school, and then they are expected to just make it on their own. Very few people have their lives figured out at eighteen, and even fewer are financially stable. We fail so many kids on a daily basis, and then we are surprised when they get involved with drugs or other crime-related activities. They're just trying to survive, and they're trying to do it in a world that has never cared about them.

“I learned that even monsters could have a positive impact.”

Again, I think Armentrout brings attention to a lot of these issues, and she does it in a way that gives people hope. Mallory's story was both horrible and uplifting. She's has lived through things that no child should ever experience. It has shaped the person she is today, but it will forever leave a scar. If you're looking for an authentic, honest story, this is definitely a book to consider. It will make you think about life and what it means to truly live. I felt a strong connection to all of the characters, and I really hope some of them get their own story one day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

My Weekly Pull [34]

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!

Amazing Spider-Man #4 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley
Hunt for Wolverine Mystery in Madripoor #4 (of 4) by Jim Zub, Thony Silas, Giuseppe Camuncoli
Venom #5 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman

Wakanda Forever Avengers #1 by Nnedi Okorafor, Oleg Okunev, Yasmine Putri
West Coast Avengers #1 by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli
X-Men Red #7 by Tom Taylor, Mahmud A. Asrar, Jenny Frison

Jacob's comics for the week!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #85 by Tom Waltz, Brahm Revel, Kevin Eastman
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bebop and Rocksteady Hit The Road #4 by Ben Bates, Dustin Weaver, Kyle Strahm
Hit-Girl #7 by Jeff Lemire, Eduardo Risso
Daredevil #607 by Charles Soule, Phil Noto
Punisher #1 by Matthew Rosenberg, Riccardo Burchielli, Frank Cho

West Coast Avengers is finally out! I love Kelly Thompson, and she's bringing back Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) and Clint Barton (Hawkeye). There's also Gwenpool! (I read her comic until it ended a few months ago.) I'm really excited about this one, and I hope it lives up to my expectations. I'm not as familiar with the other characters, but I think one of them is from All-New Hawkeye. We didn't know he had powers until the last issue, so it was an interesting surprise.

Hunt for Wolverine Mystery in Madripoor is on its last issue. This was by far my favorite Hunt for Wolverine series, and I cannot wait to see how their story concludes. They're a powerful group of women with a common goal, so I'm sure things will end with a bang!

Venom looks like a gargoyle.

What about you? Are you reading any awesome comics this week? Do any of these look interesting?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Brave Enough by Kati Gardner

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She never really had a choice of whether she learned to dance or not. Her mother, the conservatory's artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason's life. But that's about to change. Cason has been hiding an injury, and it's much worse than anyone imagines.

Davis Channing understands all too well what it's like to give up control of your life. He's survived cancer, but his drug addiction nearly killed him. Now he's been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital. But just when he thinks he's got it together, Davis's ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her addiction, barrels back into his life.

Cason and Davis are not friends. But, as their worlds collide, they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds?

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Brave Enough was both lovely and heartbreaking. It's hard to read about people, especially children, going through cancer. The loss of health, hair, and sometimes limbs makes it even more tragic and hard to fathom. No one should have to go through something like this, but it's a reality many people (and their families) face.

It was hard for me to understand Davis and his survivor's guilt after beating cancer. I would hope that people in his situation would be thankful for a second chance at life, and want to live that life to the fullest. I'm sure there are people that get depressed afterwards, and the author did a wonderful job conveying his erratic emotions, but it wasn't something I could personally comprehend. It didn't make sense to me. His actions following cancer created more problems than his cancer ever did. Addiction is a disease, and I fully agree with that statement, but I wish the author had explained why Davis chose to go that route. I didn't understand his guilt or what led to his choices, and I wanted to know his reasons.

I kept wanting to read Cason as Carson, and I'm really not sure why. I just know that it lasted the entire book and wasn't just a few mistakes at the beginning. Her life before cancer was also a mystery to me. The author mentioned she was a professional (she was a dancer), so she only had to attend school for her core classes. She went for half a day at the most, but I'm not familiar with that arrangement. I would have liked more details surrounding her school and work life, and how she was able to skip the high school experience in favor of training to be the best dancer (her mother was her dance instructor). 

Cason's mom was awful at the beginning. Her daughter was sick, but she was too stubborn to accept it. She was selfish, mean to the staff (they were just trying to help Cason adjust), oblivious to her surroundings, and unwilling to accept the truth. She should have put her own desires aside when it became clear her child really needed her. She needed her mom and not her overbearing, demanding dance instructor. She slowly started to soften about halfway through, but the change wasn't immediately clear. There wasn't really a transition between selfish mom and supportive mom. It just sort of happened. 

I think some of my biggest issues with this book were the transitions. It seemed like the characters would grow exponentially from one sentence to the next, and it felt abrupt. I wanted more details about their individual journeys, but instead felt like I was skipping crucial information about their character development. It was like a light switched on and people started acting differently, and I wanted to know what caused the revelations. More details! 

There is an insta-love vibe, but I'm not entirely sure where or how it started. They were smiling at each other and making small talk one minute, and the next he's dancing with her and trying not to kiss her. I'm not sure if they were able to connect on a deeper level due to their shared experiences, or if there was just something in the air that day. They just sort of were after awhile. Cason and Davis cared deeply for one another, but I don't think they really knew anything about their new love interest.

In the end, I think the author did a wonderful job of describing addiction and what it feels like to be an addict. Davis has been sober for almost a year, and he still struggles with his addiction. It's a choice for him every single day to not use. He has to constantly remind himself why he wants to be sober, and how using will only hurt him in the end. He can taste the high, remember the feel of it, and it's hard to block those thoughts and focus on what's right in front of him. He has a good support system, but his past is always there to knock him back a few steps. It was so sad watching him struggle with himself and the people around him.

“He wanted to claw at his mind, rake his nails down the synapses and neurons as they fired, and he begged to just forget everything in his own head.”

Kati Gardner also conveyed cancer and treatments very realistically. I believe a lot of it came from personal experience, which makes the story even more emotional and bittersweet. 

"When I was a teenager and reading every book I could get my hands on, I was desperate for a girl that looked like me. For a girl who had cancer and lived. And it was really hard to come by. So, I wrote one."

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Q [5] What was the first book you read and reviewed?

Now, without looking... do you remember your very first book review? What was it? I recently realized my one-year blogoversary was coming up, so I was double checking the exact date when this question popped into my head. I started reading some of my reviews from a year ago, and it was like I was seeing them for the first time. It had been so long since I'd written them, I'd almost forgotten what they said!

My first book review was The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral, #1) by C.L. Wilson. I remember loving the book and immediately pre-ordering the second! It's still sitting on my shelf (unread), but I've already made plans to read it soon. Re-reading my review made me want to start it right away!

Another post I did in the beginning was Bitten at BEA. A few years ago, when I attended the Book Expo of America, a women bit the flark out of my arm (on purpose) at one of the book drops. Karen from For What's It's Worth mentioned the incident on her blog, and when people started asking questions I decided to write a post that explained the entire thing in detail.

What about you? Did you write something really amazing when you first started blogging that you feel didn't get the attention it deserved? How did you feel after re-reading some of your older reviews? Do you think your method for writing reviews has changed? Is there anything you wish you'd done differently from the beginning?

Let's do something fun! Please leave a link to the very first review on your blog, and also any really old posts that you think deserved more attention than they received.  We all know that starting a blog is a lot of work, and it takes time to build relationships and make friends, so it makes sense that our blogs received very little love in the beginning. Were there books that you enjoyed and still want others to read? Share those reviews here! I want you to dig deep and find those long-forgotten posts that are in need of a little dusting.

I know some of you have been blogging for years, so it'll be interesting to see what you come up with! You can add your link below, or just paste them into the comments. Be sure to list the title of your post (since you can leave more than one) and your blog name -- that should make it easier to locate specific posts and who wrote them.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.

Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.

Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.

Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.

And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t.

But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.

Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.

That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself.

“I like thinking of time that way—that it’s a little more fluid in Spanish. Like maybe to start thinking about the future, you need to think about the possibility in the right now, you know?”
Okay, so I originally read and reviewed this book for a blog tour (you can find my initial thoughts here), but I couldn't definitively express my overall feelings. There were things I enjoyed about the book, but there were also a lot of things that really got underneath my skin. What was my solution? Read it again. I feel like I understand Parker a little more now, but I still think she was a terrible friend, sister, and daughter.

Let me elaborate... Parker's twin, Charlie, should have been her equal, but he came across like a younger brother she was trying to protect. I know that deep down her choices came from a good place, and she genuinely thought she was helping, but she only ever made things worse for him. He was old enough to make his own decisions, whatever they may be, but she didn't allow him that freedom. Tattletale. She always had to go behind his back and announce his personal, private business to the world. If I were Charlie, I would have been pissed, too.

Despite feeling like she had to tell on Charlie for the slightest misstep, she kept her own secrets. Her brother wasn't allowed to keep anything to himself, but she could withhold super important information and justify it by saying it was too difficult to talk about. Ugh. Parker also had the very best friend, Em, but she treated her like garbage for being truthful and trying to get Parker to do the right thing. Em was traveling abroad with her cousin, but she still made time for her friend. Her emails were sweet and detailed her adventures, but they also encouraged Parker to be honest with her parents. This was something Parker didn't want to do, and she admits that she doesn't want to be reminded of it, so she just ignores her. Em talked about so much more than that in her emails, but Parker couldn't respond at all? It was so frustrating to watch. I wanted to smack Parker in the face!

The secondary characters in this book were treasures! Ruby, Em, Matty, Carla, and all of the people from the retirement home. I loved those old ladies (and Henry)! They were hilarious and really added another layer to the story. It's clear that the women are dealing with their own issues, and it was nice seeing Parker try to mend their relationships. At first, she just tried to spice up their days with new craft ideas, but it eventually morphed into something else.

Charlie's story is a sad one, and he has every right to be angry with the world. Finn's past is equally (if not more) tragic, and I enjoyed learning more about him as the story progressed. We can't choose where we come from, but we can decide where we are going. It was nice to see Finn take control of his future and his present.

I thought the author did a wonderful job conveying Parker's anxiety. I would start feeling anxious myself when Parker's eye would start twitching. Her inner turmoil felt tangible. I could feel my palms sweating and my heart racing, which gave me a better idea of what Parker was going through.

In the end, I still can't decide how I feel about Letting Go of Gravity. One, I think Parker and Charlie's grandmother should really refrain from telling that specific story to children. Two, Parker wasn't a very likable character, but I don't think she was supposed to be. Instead, she offered a realistic perspective of a person dealing with anxiety and feeling trapped in their current situation. She didn't see a way out for herself even though I felt there were clear alternatives. Three, I felt like the book was a little longer than it needed to be. There was a lot of filler that could have been left out, because at times it felt like the story crawled from chapter to chapter.

It's weird... not knowing exactly how I feel about a book. Did I like it? Yes. Would I read it again? Probably not a third time, no. Was there an important message? Yes. The story is good. It was very thought-provoking and authentic. I wish Parker had made different choices, but then there wouldn't have been much of a story. It was an interesting read with a unique perspective, and I think the author makes a lot of valid points. Life is too short to spend it doing something we hate. We also need to be able to forgive ourselves and others, or the world is going to be a lonely place.

Wow... the ending... it was exactly what this book needed and deserved.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

My Weekly Pull [33]

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!

Magic Order #3 by Mark Millar, Olivier Coipel, Tommy Lee Edwards
Hunt for Wolverine Claws of a Killer #4 (of 4) by Mariko Tamaki, Butch Guice, Geoff Shaw

Jacob's comics for the week!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bebop and Rocksteady Hit the Road #3 (of 5) by Ben Bates, Dustin Weaver, Ryan Browne
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Urban Legends #4 by Gary Carlson, Frank Fosco, Kevin Eastman
Cable Deadpool Annual #1 by David F. Walker, Paco Diaz, Rob Liefeld
Deadpool Assassin #5 (of 6) by Cullen Bunn, Mark Bagley, Dave Johnson
Infinity Wars #2 (of 6) by Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato
Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #308 by Chip Zdarsky, Chris Bachalo

Only two comics for me this week! I might eventually read some of the Deadpool and Spider-Man comics that Jacob's reading right now, but sometimes Deadpool can be a little... much. There are also a ton of Spider-Man-related comics out there, and I'm happy with my Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows and the new The Amazing Spider-Man

Magic Order is dark. I'm still not sure how I feel about it after two issues. The story is engaging and similar to watching a murder mystery unfold. We already know who the bad guys are, but we still have to watch as they kill off (at least) three people per issue. It's insanity! Not to mention the ways in which they die... writers can get pretty creative when magic is involved. Speaking of creative, this was the only, er, clothed cover for this week's issue (just in case any of you go searching for this series).

Hunt for Wolverine Claws of a Killer is wrapping up with this final issue. I've been disappointed with how the writer has chosen to portray Daken within this series. Throughout the first three issues, Daken is an ass and often makes petty, childish comments. The Daken I knew previously (All-New Wolverine by Tom Taylor) was sweet and wore feminist t-shirts that were too small for him (Gabby's -- his clothes kept ripping off, hah). Regardless, I never thought he and the others would stumble across zombies. It's been trippy -- especially after the small revelation in the last issue. 

As of yesterday, I was completely caught up on all of my comics, and it shouldn't take me too long to read these two, so yay! Hopefully I can stay on top of these so I can finish the Venom series I started ages ago. I want to finish reading the older run before starting the new one by Donny Cates.

Are you reading any new comics this week? Any old ones you think I'd like? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tell Me Something Tuesday [4]

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings! It's a weekly meme that discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Q: At what point do you think a series has gone on too long?

I actually have a good example for this one! The other day I was looking back at series I started but never finished, and I was surprised by the number of Mortal Instruments books. I thought it was a trilogy? I remember reading it when it was first released and thinking things had wrapped up by the end, but now there are more books? What are they about? I thought the original trilogy was great from the start, but now I'm hesitant to read the newer books.

Another example would be The Vampire Diaries. This was a long time ago, so my information might be a little off, but didn't they fire the original author? There was something in her contract that allowed them to hire ghostwriters to pump out more books for the series, but the original author no longer had any say in how her story ended. I believe they only did that because the TV show was successful, and not for the sake of literature.

The Percy Jackson series (and all the books that go with it) is a different example. Each of those books is its own story with familiar characters. New things are introduced every book, but the world and people stay (mostly) the same. The Heroes of Olympus was another amazing series set within the same world, but with a new twist. We're with a different group of heroes, but the author regularly makes references to the old. At one point the characters from the two series start working together, and the story is told through their various POVs.

I think a series that has a lot of books told through multiple perspectives has a better chance of doing well than a long series told through a single person's point of view. It offers more variety and allows readers to better understand the world they're reading about. I'm also really hesitant to start a series that has 10+ plus, because it's unlikely I'm going to love every single one. Additionally, it's a huge time commitment.

There are a lot of series that end with me craving more, but that's half the fun! I loved Harry Potter and how it ended, and I will always want more books set in that world, but I think the ending was final. Yes, J.K. Rowling could write additional books, but that would feel forced. I love that they went a different route and decided to publish Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We get more from the wizarding world without ruining the characters we fell in love with.

My answer for this one is vague, so I'm sorry, but it really depends on the series and what the author is doing with it. Only an author can know when their story should end, and readers wanting more isn't a bad thing, but that doesn't mean we should get what we want. We should appreciate the story for what it is, and an author should know when their story has reached its end. It shouldn't be about the money (though I know sometimes it is), but about the characters we fall in love with.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Royally Matched (Royally #2) by Emma Chase

Narrated by Andi Arndt & Shane East
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world's most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.
Only the villains lock ladies in a tower.
Then you make me want to be a villain.
My heart is swooning right now! I wasn't sure how I would feel about Henry after reading about him in Royally Screwed, but he was everything I wanted from a character. He loves his country and his family, but he's worried about his ability to make a difference. He's not used to the scrutiny his brother grew up with, and he's struggling to find his place now that people are counting on him.

Feeling overwhelmed, Henry makes an impulsive decision that did not provide the entertainment he was looking for. He foolishly thought it would help him feel more like himself, but it ended up having some pretty bad consequences. My heart broke for Henry over and over again. He always had the best intentions (even if they seemed careless at the time), but the world can be cruel and unfair. People are often selfish and only looking out for themselves, which usually means someone undeserving gets hurt.

Sarah is the sweetest person on Earth. She's supportive of her sister, has friends that she loves and enjoys being around, and is happy with her small place in the world. Henry's loud personality shakes her out of her comfort zone, but Sarah isn't a pushover. She'll defend those she loves even if it means she is the one that ends up getting hurt. I really liked who Sarah was with Henry. She was fierce and his equal in every way. She loves literature and treasures words, and she's honest to the core. 

There were some pretty nasty characters in this one (one repeat from the previous book, ugh), and the things they did made me visibly angry. At one point my husband said it looked like I was going to squeeze my phone into tiny pieces (audiobook), and wanted to know what I was listening to. Henry suiting up with ancient weapons to defend the one he loves -- ahhh. That has to be one of my favorite parts!

At the end when I could tell Henry's decisions were going to have unforeseen consequences, I had to keep reminding myself that there was still time left for a happy ending. He was doing what he thought was best, and trying to protect Sarah, but authors like to drag you through the mud first. Emma Chase made my heart constrict and made me wish my ears could listen faster. 

I loved this book! I'm loving this series! I cannot wait to dive in to the next one -- there's bound to be more excitement and adventures. Oh, and let me just say... Emma Chase knows how to write steamy sex scenes. She can also make me burst out laughing at any given moment -- love it!

Additionally, I adored Sarah's sister, Penelope. I really hope she gets her own book in the future! The ending wasn't anything like what I expected, but now I cannot imagine it happening any other way. It was perfect. Everything was perfect!

(Both narrators are amazing -- two of my favorites!)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1)
by Suzanne Collins

Synopsis (via Goodreads): This irresistible first novel tells the story of a quiet boy who embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny -- and find his father -- in a strange world beneath New York City.

When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.


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You know a book is good when it can make you like cockroaches and spiders. I actually wanted to hug a cockroach and feared for its life! I would love to tell you that Gregor the Overlander has forever changed my heart, but sadly it has not. Cockroaches in real life still make me jump onto the nearest piece of furniture, or run screaming in the opposite direction. The first few times they're mentioned in the book, my skin literally crawled. Even thinking about them right now is giving me gooseflesh, because they were giant cockroaches that you could ride on.

However, Temp and Tick will forever hold a special place in my heart. They treasured Boots and kept her safe (Boots is Gregor's two-year-old sister and my favorite character). She didn't judge them or think they were gross -- she loved them for who/what they were. Boots always remembered to include them in meals and was constantly concerned with their well-being. The others, like me, thought the Crawlers were creepy and kept their distance. In the end, they won me over with their kindness and selfless personalities.

I've never been afraid of bats or rats, but this book gave me a new appreciation for them. It's crazy how a different perspective can alter years of thoughts and feelings.

I really enjoy books with prophecies! It's one of the reasons I like the Percy Jackson books so much. They always start with a prophecy, and it's fun trying to piece the information together on my own. The majority of the time things don't click into place until they happen, but the journey is enjoyable. I have a feeling this series will revolve around prophecies as well (yay!).

Like I said before, Boots was my favorite. She's two and Suzanne Collins captured her personality perfectly. Children (especially at that age) are not immediately afraid of things. They are trusting and view the world with an open heart. Boots was no exception. She quickly formed a friendship with the Crawlers and didn't hesitate to befriend anything or anyone that came her way. I loved the innocence Collins was able to portray through Boots, and how her personality often helped them accomplish their goals.

Gregor was also an enjoyable character and took wonderful care of his sister. He didn't always have the tools he needed, but it was obvious he loved her. He would risk his own life, even being a child himself, to make sure she stayed safe. He carried her on his back without complaint just to keep her close. Gregor was also quick on his feet and easily adapted to new situations. He took everything in stride and tried to find the best path for him and his sister.

Gregor the Overlander was a phenomenal story! I was reading this to my son at night, but would keep turning the pages long after he'd fallen asleep. I'd allow myself to read one more chapter (re-reading it to him the next day), but once I reached a certain point I couldn't stop. I needed to know what happened and how the story ended. I'm really happy with the conclusion -- hopeful and final -- and cannot wait to read the rest of this series!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Mini Reviews [13]

If My Moon Was Your Sun by Andreas Steinhofel
Nele Palmtag (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Did you hear the story about Max, the boy who kidnapped his grandfather from a nursing home ? You didn't see it on the news? Well, let me tell you about it.

Max lives in a small town, much smaller than yours. His grandpa is losing his memory, but still remembers quite a bit. You can imagine how they hurried, Max and his grandpa, followed by old Miss Schneider, who insisted on coming along. Why were they in a hurry? Because everyone was after them. Max had skipped school to rescue his grandpa, and they were just starting out on what promised to be one of the best days of their entire lives.

A touching story about dementia and the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, with full-color illustrations and a read-along CD audiobook featuring twelve classical pieces for children by Georges Bizet and Sergei Prokofiev.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

If My Moon Was Your Sun made me feel both sad and hopeful. Max loves his grandfather, and they've always been close, but now he's in a nursing home across town. His grandfather has dementia, so it wasn't enough to just occasionally check on him at home. He needed constant care that Max and his mother couldn't provide. 

One day, Max decides to take his grandfather away from the nursing home, an adultnapping of sorts, so he can spend the day in a place that was familiar and meaningful. While I'm not entirely sure I believe the logistics of this story, it was sweet and enjoyable. A few of their conversations seemed random at the time, but they did come together at the end. I wish the story had flowed a little better, but instead it felt choppy and scattered.

Despite having a few issues, it was a lovely story overall. 


Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse
Treasure by Torben Kuhlmann
Expected publication: October 2, 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A long time ago, one mouse learned to fly, another landed on the moon...what will happen in the next Mouse adventure?

From the creator of
Lindbergh—The Tale of a Flying Mouse and Armstrong, comes Edison—The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure.

When two unlikely friends build a vessel capable of taking them to the bottom of the ocean find a missing treasure—the truth turns out to be far more amazing.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I really liked all of the illustrations for Edison, but some of the wording was weird. I was under the impression that this was a children's book, so saying things like "When I was young, I also went off on crazy adventures, risking life and limb like an idiot" seemed inappropriate. It wouldn't have taken much to phrase that a little differently.

This is another book that didn't flow well. It was almost like reading an old telegram. Words words words STOP words words STOP words... I felt like I kept having to stop and start again within the story. Some of their mousey comments didn't make sense either.

I liked the idea of mice being just as intelligent and independent as people. It made me think of the movie The Borrowers, but with rodents. They have homes, schools, can weld and invent -- one even went to the moon. It was an interesting story about using your brain to come up with a scientific solution to a problem. Trial and error, drawing out plans, researching, hypothesizing -- all of this was a great way to incorporate science into a children's story.

Wonderful book, although I wish it had been presented and worded just a tad differently.


Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #21
by Jody Houser, Scott Koblish (Illustrator),
Eduard Petrovich (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): WEIRD SCIENCE CONTINUES! Is this the start of Annie Parker’s own clone saga? Can Peter and Mary Jane save her from herself? 

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Spider-Man has been cloned in the past, but it's different when his daughter is the target of a villain's scheme. Is it cloning? The person(s) they keep running into seem to have similar features and attributes, but there are some major differences.

We still don't know why the baddie is doing what they're doing, but we know it can't be anything good. I'm really enjoying the family dynamics and watching all three of them work together. They have to balance their superhero lives, and they also have to deal with regular family issues.

Annie may be Spiderling, but she's also a teenager in high school They don't always make the best decisions, and have to make their own mistakes in order to learn from them. However, her mistakes as Spiderling can have more severe consequences, so opening up to her parents as a superhero might be more necessary than opening up to them as their child.

The Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows is still one of my favorites! I cannot wait to see where their story goes. Also, this comic has some of the best illustrations!


Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Nick Spencer
Ryan Ottley (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): An alien invasion hits New York City and the only one who can stop it is…Spider-Man?! And if even that’s not enough, you’ll see a new roommate, new love interests – and a new villain! Spider-Man goes back to basics courtesy of Nick Spencer (SECRET EMPIRE, SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN) and the Marvel debut of RYAN OTTLEY (Invincible)! 

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I was really happy to start The Amazing Spider-Man from the beginning. There's a new writer, so that means new stories or old ones with a different perspective.

The first one was... interesting. All of the other superheroes seem annoyed with Spider-Man, but we're not really sure why. I believe Mayor Fisk (bad guy) has something to do with it. I know he wants to isolate Spider-Man, but it doesn't say whether or not he was successful in this issue.

Despite all the animosity directed at him, Spider-Man still does what he always does -- saves the world. He's been selflessly giving up everything about Peter Parker in order to maintain his secret identity and keep everyone safe. I've never thought it was fair how much Peter has lost over the years while being Spider-Man. He's always losing his job, his friends, and alienating his family. (I really wish after all this time he would tell Aunt May what he does. She wouldn't be disappointed, and he could better explain when things go wrong.)

It's too soon to have an opinion on the series as a whole, but the first issue was long. There are some additional stories in the back that give you a villain's perspective as well as something else Peter is dealing with. I really want to love this, so I hope it doesn't disappoint!