Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death... because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

"Someone with eyes like that could have smiled as they bled."
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 Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.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 cannot stop thinking about this book! I really hope there are plans for a sequel. I need more Hesina and Akira, Mei and Sanjing, soothsayers and everything else. Initially, I wanted to take my time with it, but that plan quickly went out the window. I couldn't flip through the pages fast enough! Descendent of the Crane is easily one of my favorite reads this year!

All of the characters were fascinating and unique. Lilian was sassy and always had a smile for her friends. It was obvious how much she cared about her brother and sister. She still used an affectionate childhood nickname for Hesina, and always brought laughter to their conversations. Lilian was loving, sarcastic, and always put her family first. Her twin brother, Caiyan, was more reserved and quiet, but she never failed to tease a smile from him.

Caiyan and Lilian were Hesina's adopted siblings, but they didn't see it that way. They were family, and that's all that mattered. They put each other's interests before their own, and I think that really shaped the overall story. However, they did keep secrets that eventually damaged their relationships, despite having good intentions. Their actions stemmed from love and a desire to keep each other safe. It was tragically complicated, and my heart hurt for all three of them.

Sanjing is Hesina's blood brother, but the two were at odds more often than not. They saw the world differently, but both took their roles very seriously. They both had their people's best interests at heart, but had very opposing ideas about how to keep everyone safe. Their relationship felt very honest and realistic. They're teenagers with responsibilities they're not entirely ready for, facing threats from outside and inside their city. It was hard to know who to trust, because everyone had their own agenda. Sanjing and Hesina do love one another, but it's understandably complicated.

Akira was a very interesting character that the author doesn't elaborate on very much. He plays a crucial role in the story, but his past remains a mystery. We're not even told if Akira is his real name. We know some minor details about experiences he's had, but nothing really significant. The author hints at important details, and I really hope he's fleshed out more in a future book. I really enjoyed him as a character, and his interactions with people were often meaningful. He doesn't always say a lot, but he's very observant and knowledgeable.

Rou was incredibly sweet and always had a something kind to say to his siblings. He may only be a half-sibling, but he still referred to Hesina as his sister. He was there for her when no one else was, and showed a hidden bravery that I hadn't expected. He's loyal and willing to do whatever it takes for his family, even if they've been less-than-friendly towards him in the past.

The Silver Iris, Mei and her shadows, and even some of the council members, were all very well-written, and I enjoyed learning about them. I even liked learning about the characters that were easy to hate, because they all had a role to play within the story. There were a lot of hidden agendas and surprises that I didn't anticipate, and I enjoyed being kept on my toes.

I know this post has been mostly about the characters, because they're truly amazing, but the story itself was fantastic and impossibly creative. I loved the rich history the author created, and I hope we learn more about soothsayers and the Eleven in the future. I think they've both committed atrocities, although I don't think either group anticipated how long their hate and destruction would continue.

I really loved the Descendent of the Crane and hope there will be a sequel! The ending left the story somewhat resolved, but definitely open for more. It hasn't concluded, but I'm okay with where the author left things.



Friday, April 19, 2019

Giveaway: Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer
[ARC + Audiobook on CD]

Hello, lovelies! It's been ages since I've had a giveaway on the blog, so this one will have two winners! One person will win an ARC of Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer, and someone else will win the Saving Meghan audiobook on CD. No, it's not possible to win both, haha. Sharing is caring (at least that's what I've been telling my kids)!


Synopsis (via Goodreads): Can you love someone to death?

Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others claim she's obsessed and can't stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter's expense.

Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, doctors intervene and immediately suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker, typically the mother, seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what's going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand?


I will be using Rafflecopter for this giveaway, and the first winner selected will be given a choice between the two prizes. Once that has been confirmed (see rules and details below), a second winner will be selected (again via Rafflecopter), and will be given the remaining prize! This giveaway is open internationally! 

Rules:

This giveaway officially starts on April 19th and will end on May 3rd. The winner will be announced on May 4th (Star Wars Day!) on this post within the Rafflecopter form, and also notified via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will have Rafflecopter select another winner (read my full giveaway policy here). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Narrated by Amanda Dolan
Synopsis (via Goodreads): This is a world divided by blood - red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. 

Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. 

Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

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First of all, the title is a little misleading. It should be RED PRINCESS instead of RED QUEEN, because of reasons. The title makes you think one thing going into the story, but it's not really an accurate description of what happens. I can see how it might work after reading the entire book, but for some reason it bothered me. It's a very small detail that didn't really impact my feelings about the book as a whole, but I thought it was worth mentioning. If you've read this, what do you think?

Moving on! I really enjoyed Red Queen overall. I thought Mare was an interesting character that's morally complex. She steals for her family to survive, yet makes questionable decisions that could endanger their lives. She lies to protect herself and others, but I think she lies to herself the most. If she had been more honest with how she was feeling, and for whom, I think some of her problems could have been avoided. Mare was swept up in the Silver's world and almost lost herself in the process.

I wish we had seen more of Mare's family, because I thought they had an interesting dynamic. We spend a little of the book in the Stilts, but not enough to really get a feel for her relationships and what her life was like there. Yes, we see the bare bones of it all, but I would have enjoyed seeing her interacting with friends and family more, and gotten a better sense of their personalities. Kilorn particularly. He's a very complex and fascinating character, but he pops up randomly and exchanges very few words with Mare.

It's your typical class division, except this one is based on blood and powers, not just wealth and connections. Reds have been taken advantage of for decades simply because they cannot do what the Silver's are capable of. They're being forced to do the world's dirty work, with no benefit, and no way out. They live in horrible conditions, and are abused into submission. I wish their plight had been more of a focal point, and Mare had been more concerned with helping them than furthering the politics of a rebellion. Yes, I can see how a rebellion was necessary for the people to free themselves, but I wish Mare had been less focused on the Red Guard's plans, and worked more with Julian and other people like him. She had an opportunity to really help people, but she started following the ideas of others instead of being her own person.

I guess I had more issues with this one than I thought! Overall, it was great. There's a lot of action and fighting, and I thought the Silver's powers were interesting. They can do fantastic things, but they can also use their abilities to be really cruel. Imagine what they could have done in the world, if they had simply wanted to help others...

Cal was an equally conflicted character, but he was loyal to a fault. He'd never experienced betrayal before Mare (that he was aware of), and her manipulation of him was hard to watch. She claims to have feelings for the prince, despite being engaged to his brother, but she flip-flops constantly. I don't think even she knew what she really felt, and I wish she had taken a second to figure it out. Maybe then she could have avoided some of her mistakes.

I do think this is a series I will continue, but I'm not desperately searching for the next book. The ending left me feeling hopeful, but also wary of what's to come. I'm also not sure why Farley lied about someone super specific and integral to the story, and I'm curious if that will be addressed later on. Did she think not saying anything would keep Mare motivated? Regardless, it wasn't right for her to keep that secret.

I'm on the fence with this one, and Glass Sword will be the deciding factor. I hope there is more character growth, and a significant change in the overall story. There's an opportunity to do a lot with the ending of Red Queen, and I'm curious where the author will go from here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

My Weekly Pull [66] & Can't Wait Wednesday [36]

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, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Spider-Man Life Story #2 (of 6) by Chip Zdarsky, Mark Bagley
Transformers #3 by Brian Ruckley, Angel Hernandez, Nick Roche, Ron Joseph
West Coast Avengers #10 by Kelly Thompson, Gang Hyuk Lim, Eduard Petrovich

Miles Morales Spider-Man #5 by Saladin Ahmed, Javi Garron,  Marco D'Alfonso

Jacob's comics for the week!
Kick-Ass #13 by Steve Niles, Marcelo Frusin
Amazing Spider-Man #19.HU by Nick Spencer, Chris Bachalo, Greg Land
Daredevil #4 by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Julian Totino Tedesco
Guardians of the Galaxy #4 by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, David Marquez
War of the Realms #2 by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, Arthur Adams, Matthew Wilson
War of the Realms Punisher #1 (of 3) by Gerry Duggan, Marcelo Ferreira, Juan Ferreyra
War of the Realms War Scrolls #1 (of 3) by Jason Aaron, Andrew Sorrentino 

Phew! Jacob is getting a lot of comics this week. I'm completely caught up on my reading (comics only, haha), so I'm really looking forward to getting these! My son and I have been reading the Transformers comic together, and it's awesome. They've started over from the very beginning, and it's been a blast learning the history behind the autobots (and the other generations) and their world. We're loving it!

I really enjoyed the 60's version of Spider-Man Life Story, and I'm curious how the 70's is going to go. In the 60's, Spider-Man was torn between going to war and fighting, or staying where he was. He felt somewhat obligated to enlist, since he had powers and could help, but he also knew that he was needed where he was. He also didn't know if it was his place to fight in the war, and it was interesting to see Peter Parker struggle with what felt right. A very creative perspective! Chip Zdarsky is a phenomenal writer. 

West Coast Avengers ended with me feeling completely blindsided, so we'll see where the story goes from here. Thompson has finally combined the loose threads from All-New Hawkeye with West Coast Avengers, and questions are finally being answered. Although, I don't think they're the answers anyone expected.

I highly recommend Miles Morales Spider-Man! Saladin Ahmed is an amazing writer, and he's been really creative with Miles and his story. He also ties real word issues into his writing, and his words really make you think and question how you feel about certain things. Miles Morales is only a kid, but he's dealing with very adult problems. He's also fighting supervillains, and trying to get to class on time, but there are bigger issues being addressed. It's really, really good!

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.

How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian
Expected publication: January 28th 2020
Synopsis (via Goodreads): One young woman’s journey to find her place in the world as the carefully separated strands of her life — family, money, school, and love — begin to overlap and tangle.

All sixteen-year-old Izzy Crawford wants is to feel like she really belongs somewhere. Her father, a marine, died in Iraq six years ago, and Izzy’s moved to a new town nearly every year since, far from the help of her extended family in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. When Izzy’s hardworking mom moves their small family to Virginia, all her dreams start clicking into place. She likes her new school—even if Izzy is careful to keep her scholarship-student status hidden from her well-to-do classmates and her new athletic and popular boyfriend. And best of all: Izzy’s family has been selected by Habitat for Humanity to build and move into a brand-new house. Izzy is this close to the community and permanence she’s been searching for, until all the secret pieces of her life begin to collide.

How to Build a Heart is the story of Izzy’s journey to find her place in the world and her discovery that the choices we make and the people we love ultimately define us and bring us home.

How to Build a Heart is a recent addition to my TBR, and I think it's going to be a story that a lot of people will relate to. Even if we're not constantly moving around, it's hard to find your place in the world. 

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Gregor and the Code of Claw (Underland Chronicles, #5)
by Suzanne Collins

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Everyone in the Underland has been taking great pains to keep The Prophecy of Time from Gregor. Gregor knows it must say something awful but he never imagined just how awful: It calls for the warrior's death. Now, with an army of rats approaching, and his mom and sister still in Regalia, Gregor the warrior must gather up his courage to help defend Regalia and get his family home safely. The entire existence of the Underland is in Gregor's hands, and time is running out. There is a code to be cracked, a mysterious new princess, Gregor's burgeoning dark side, and a war to end all wars.
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Warning! Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series.

Gregor and the Code of Claw wasn't what I was expecting. I've been reading this series to my kids (usually at night before bedtime), but the books became increasingly violent as the story progressed. I had to skim over a few of the battles and deaths so my children wouldn't have nightmares. They're old enough to enjoy chapter books being read to them, but not quite old enough to understand senseless killing and the intricacies of war. Also, terrible things happen to some of our favorite characters, and I had a hard time explaining why I was crying uncontrollably.

Suzanne Collins has a knack for making you fall in love with characters and then killing them when you least expect it. She did the same thing with The Hunger Games series. I still haven't forgiven her for the that, and I'm definitely not going to forgive her for this.

At times it was easy to forget that Gregor was just an eleven or twelve-year old boy. He always seemed much older in conversations, and in the way he handled himself during battles. I know he's a Rager, but he still showed a lot of maturity for his age. Luxa and Howard, too. He showed compassion for the other species living in the Underland, even when everyone else belittled the Nibblers or ridiculed the Crawlers.. He saw something worth saving in every creature, and not just those that called themselves allies. Every life had value to Gregor, and it was a lesson a lot of Underlanders needed to learn.

I know I've mentioned this before, but Collins made me love cockroaches. That doesn't mean I'm going to avoid smushing them, because they're definitely getting smushed, but now I'll hesitate for a millisecond beforehand. Boots was adorable, and I really enjoyed her relationship with the Crawlers. She even learns how to communicate with them! She and Hazard were awesome characters, and really acted their ages. 

Ares is the best bat ever! I loved him and his relationship with Gregor. They both feel like outcasts, even though they have two of the biggest hearts in the Underland. They're willing to sacrifice themselves (repeatedly) to save the lives of others, but remain underappreciated. I really wish it had been possible for Ares to live aboveground with Gregor and his family, but giant bats might cause a panic. However, it was New York, so they may have been okay.

Ripred and Lizzie's relationship also pulled at my heartstrings. Ripred's history doesn't really come up until this last book, but I feel like I understand him more now. He has a reason for everything he does, and his crazy idea about the prophecies made me rethink everything I thought I knew. I've always thought this series had a little magical realism, but now I'm not so sure.

Every book we lost friends and allies, but Gregor and the Code of Claw really impacted me emotionally. After five books, I started to care deeply about the characters, and they felt very real to me. It was hard to lose some of them. Honestly, the book before this one was difficult as well. Hundreds died, including babies, and it made me ill. Suzanne Collins is a phenomenal writer, and really packs a punch with her stories. They make you think about the world, even though the one she is writing about is completely fictional. 

We own this series, so it'll definitely be one we read again in the future. I wish we had read it sooner! It may have been written for a younger audience, but I enjoyed it immensely. The kids would fall asleep, and I'd still be reading, haha. I honestly kept telling myself I would read just one more chapter, and then stop four chapters later. ;)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Q [8] Do you prefer hardcovers or paperback copies?

Book jackets (sometimes referred to as dust jackets) drive me bananas. They're constantly slipping off, or bending and tearing at the edges. I know they're there to protect to book, and that the jacket being damaged from normal wear and tear means the book itself is left relatively unscathed. However, unless they are taped down (like library books, which is awful on its own), they don't stay in place.

I read in very unconventional places, like next to the stove when I'm cooking (I know, I know), but I also read a lot outside of the house. I have three kids, so we're pretty busy, and I always take a book with me when we go somewhere. Hardbacks don't always fit in my book sleeves, and I like the padded protection they provide the books tossed into my purse or diaper bag.

Paperback copies are also less bulky. They take up less space on my bookshelves, which means I have more room for books (always a good thing). Plus, paperbacks are lighter, so they hurt less when they fall on my face (this happens more than I'd like to admit). They also tend to be similar in size, so my shelves look more uniform, even though I like some of the chaos.

What about you? Do you prefer hardcovers with book jackets, or paperback copies? Are you okay with both? Let's talk books!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Sunday Post [15]

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at the Caffeinated Reviewer! It's an opportunity to share news, post a recap for the previous week, showcase books, and highlight what's planned for the week ahead.

News:

We've had a lot of rainy weather this month, so the yard was starting to look like a jungle. It took me three days, but I finally finished all of the yard work. This is the first time we've had an actual backyard (apartments, a house in the city), and it was a challenge. Our house sits on a hill, so it was a lot of up and down with the mower, plus the gopher mounds--ugh. My arms are still aching. I also watched a YouTube video and taught myself how to change the line (whatever the plastic stuff is called) that goes inside a weed eater. I feel super accomplished this week, but also extremely exhausted.

My son is loving soccer, and he's preparing for a piano recital next month. All three of them have enjoyed playing in the rain and mud (they've been taking a lot of baths). The spring weather has been lovely, but we also had a few days in the 80s that were a touch too hot for my liking. I'm not looking forward to another Texas summer.

I'm completely caught up on comics! Yay! I stayed up late one night and tackled my stack. It helps that I haven't had anything pulled the last two weeks, and now I can hopefully stay on top of things. I'm also on schedule with the ARCs I have left, which is flipping fantastic! I'm working on reading backlogged books on NetGalley to improve my percentage. I was doing pretty well for awhile, but my finger was a little click-happy back in January (so many amazing books!).

Previous week on the blog:

Monday: Nothing!
Friday: Nothing!
Saturday: Nothing!

What I'm currently reading: 

 A Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore
Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles, #1) by Tamora Pierce

I'm undecided on A Monster Like Me at the moment. I like the overall vibe for the story, but some things were just too unrealistic. I've rolled my eyes aplenty. Descendant of the Crane has been wonderful so far! I'm really enjoying it. I only started Tempests and Slaughter last night, but it seems okay. I'm curious if they're going to remain young children throughout the book, or if there will be a time jump at some point. 

What I plan on reading next:

 This is Not a Love Scene by S.C. Megale
Every Last Breath (Final Hour, #1) by Juno Rushdan
Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle, Isaac Goodhart (Illustrator)

What I'm watching:

I recently finished The Umbrella Academy, so that was fun. It didn't end how I thought it would, and I'm curious what they would do with a second season. Vanya really surprised me! I have so many questions. However, Klaus is undoubtedly my favorite! I loved him and Ben. Does anyone know if Five has an actual name? Also, he really screwed up when he altered the timeline again, and I was super happy with the way things were progressing, too. 

Challenge updates:


I'm behind on most of my challenges, but definitely making progress! What have you been reading? Are you participating in any challenges this year? Let's talk books!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Narrated by Karissa Vacker, James Patrick
Cronin, and Ann Marie Lee
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty's resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.


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I absolutely loved this! It was my first book by Mary E. Pearson, and I had no idea it was tied to another trilogy (The Remnant Chronicles) that's set in the same world. Other reviewers have mentioned familiar characters, and a familiarity with the world, so I'm looking forward to reading it soon! However, I had no trouble reading this one without any prior knowledge of the world. Everything made total sense.

First of all, the narration for this was amazing! I requested a review copy of Vow of Thieves, but I honesty want to wait for the audiobook. It was that good! It really added another layer to the characters and the overall story.

Speaking of the characters, they're all beautifully complex and interesting. I was uncertain about Jase at the beginning, because he seemed like a bully, but we quickly learn what motivates him, and why his family is determined to present a united front. Their idea of territory is a little tricky, which does cause them some problems (if they can see it, it's theirs), but I enjoyed watching the Ballenger's compromise with Kazi and her friends.

The world they live in has a very rich history, and it was fun learning about new places. It's a vast world with very unique concepts, and despite being fictional, felt completely real.

Additionally, I loved the riddles Kazi was always sharing with Jase! They were clever and fun to figure out. Also, his stories about the Ballenger's and their origins, were equally fascinating. I think Jase and Kazi really complimented each other, and not just romantically. They challenged one another, and were both very dedicated to their roles in life.

Kazi had an interesting backstory, and I'm curious if we'll learn more about it in the next book. Kazi's life changed drastically after a sudden loss, but an unexpected kindness sent Kazi down a different path that altered her world forever. Both instances shaped the person she is today, and made her really good at what she does. Wren and Synove, the Ballenger siblings, and even the random people on the street were all wonderful. It's clear the author put a lot of thought and love into creating memorable characters. There were a few that I loved to hate, others I felt indifferent about, and those that left me feeling like there was more to their repective stories. I have a feeling not everyone is who they say they are.

There were a lot of twists that I didn't see coming, although the characters were equally surprised. I liked learning new information with them, instead of determining what would happen in advance. Their reactions felt like my reactions, and really intensified the entire experience.

I really, really recommend this one! It doesn't matter if you've read the other trilogy, because Dance of Thieves can easily stand on its own. The characters are fleshed-out, the story was captivating and engaging, and the history made me believe I was somewhere else. The story was detailed, but there was no wasted information. Everything the author said, we needed to know. We might not have known we needed it at the time, but things had a way of reappearing when I least expected them to.

Also, I just want to say that Synove's revenge was perfect.

The ending wasn't what I was expecting, but in the best possible way. I'm also really looking forward to the next book, because even though the first book had resolution, the author made sure to dangle something juicy at the very end. Is it August yet? I need Vow of Thieves in my life!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

My Weekly Pull [65] & Can't Wait Wednesday [35]

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, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!


Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5 by Tom Taylor, Jorge Molina, Andrew Robinson

Jacob's comics for the week!
Hit-Girl Season 2 #3 by Kevin Smith, Pernille Orum, Francesco Francavilla
Amazing Spider-Man #19 by Nick Spencer, Humberto Ramos
Spider-Man Deadpool #49 by Robbie Thompson, Jim Towe, Dave Johnson
Symbiote Spider-Man #1 by Peter David, Greg Land, Skottie Young
War of the Realms Journey Into Mystery #1 by Clint McElroy, Andre Araujo, Marko Djurdjevic
Web of Venom Cult of Carnage #1 by Frank Tieri, Danilo Beyruth, Joshua Cassara

I only have one this week! Tom Taylor's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man has been an awesome series so far, but I knew Taylor would deliver. I've really enjoyed his take on Peter Parker. It's refreshing, but also familiar.


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.

Friend or Fiction by Abby Cooper
Expected publication: October 8th 2019
Synopsis (via Goodreads): One creative middle-schooler schooler discovers that the best friend a girl can have is the one she makes herself in this charming magical realism read.

Jade's life hasn't exactly been normal lately, especially since her dad's cancer diagnosis. Jade wishes her family could leave their no-name town in Colorado already--everybody else does sooner rather than later, including every best friend Jade's ever had. So she makes one up. In the pages of her notebook, she writes all about Zoe--the most amazing best friend anyone could dream of.


But when pretend Zoe appears in real life thanks to a magical experiment gone right, Jade isn't so sure if she likes sharing her imaginary friend with the real world. To keep her best friend (and even make some new ones), Jade learns how to cope with jealousy, that friends should let friends be true to themselves, and that maybe the perfect best friend doesn't exist after all.

I think Friend or Fiction will be a fun, and potentially educational, story for me to read to the kiddos. I know my two-year-old girls don't necessarily understand jealousy, but we've been working on sharing (they don't really care for it). My son is interacting with more kids his age these days (soccer, jiu-jitsu, etc.), and we've had a few talks about playing well with others. He's supposed to be kind even when dealing with unkindness, because sometimes people don't know how to express their thoughts and feelings the right way. Life lessons!

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

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Lawrence in the Fall by Matthew Farina
& Doug Salati (Illustrator)
[Release Day Blitz + Giveaway]

I haven't had a chance to read Lawrence in the Fall, but it's one I'm really looking forward to! We enjoy books with fox characters, and love searching for them at the library. It might have something to do with our love of Fantastic Mr. Fox. If you haven't heard of the book (Roald Dahl) or seen the movie (directed by Wes Anderson), I highly recommend both!

This blitz also includes a giveaway for 3 finished copies of the book, US Only, courtesy of Disney-Hyperion and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!

Title: LAWRENCE IN THE FALL
Author: Matthew Farina, Doug Salati (Illustrator)
Pub. Date: April 9, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 48

When Lawrence Fox's teacher announces that students will be presenting their collections at show-and-tell, Lawrence realizes he doesn't have anything to share.

Luckily, Papa knows just what to do to help! Together, they venture into the woods. Lawrence is scared at first, but as he grows comfortable in the forest, he starts to recognize its magic, and how beautiful and unique each tree and leaf is, allowing him to gather a splendid, one-of-a-kind collection of his own!

Excerpts:

About Matthew:
Matthew Farina is a painter and writer based in New York City. His reviews and essays have appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, ArtCritical, and elsewhere. Matthew received a BFA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. This is his first book. Find Matthew online at matthewfarina.com.

Website | Goodreads

About Doug:

Doug Salati is an illustrator living in New York City. He received his MFA from the Illustration as Visual Essay program at the School of Visual Arts and was a 2015 Sendak Fellow. He is also the illustrator of In a Small Kingdom by Tomie dePaola. See more of Doug's work online at www.dougsalati.com.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of LAWRENCE IN THE FALL, US Only.

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Repeat by Kylie Scott
[Release Blitz + Excerpt + Review]

Hello! Welcome to the release blitz for Repeat by Kylie Scoot hosted by InkSlinger PR. I'm really happy to share my thoughts on this book with you, and just the book in general! I've enjoyed Scott's previous books (particularly the Stage Dive series), and was thrilled to have an opportunity to read this one. It did not disappoint! 

Title: REPEAT 
Author: Kylie Scott
Release Date: April 7th 2019

"A page-turning romantic feast that will have you desperate for more. I was immediately hooked." —#1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken

From New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance.

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she's forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did - which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can't seem to let her go again. Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

"On the floor, Gordon farts, and we both wrinkle our noses. Dog farts are gross. Another definite."
I received an ARC from the author and InkSlinger PR 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 absolutely loved this! I read Repeat in a single day, and would have read it in a single sitting if my children didn't constantly need something, but my little monsters always come first. Clem and Ed were wonderful characters that will forever have a place in my heart!

Kylie Scott always writes super authentic characters, and it's impossible not to fall in love with them! Clem is struggling to find herself after losing everything that made her, well, her. She has no memory of her friends and family, or who she was as a person. She can no longer work at her job, because she doesn't remember how to do it, and it would take too long for her to re-learn. At twenty-five, she's starting from scratch, and becoming a different version of herself in the process. 

All of this is equally complicated for Ed, because he remembers both past and present Clem, and he has to come to terms with the person she is now. He fell in love with her once, and we see his emotional turmoil as he starts to fall in love with her again. It's not easy, because there's a lot of baggage, but we slowly learn about their breakup and how it impacted both of them. Even their friends were burned in their breakup, so Clem has to deal with their damaged feelings, despite not remembering what happened or her role in it.

It was beautiful and complicated, emotional and little scary. There's a mystery component to the story as well, which added an additional layer, and made me question everyone's intentions. Everyone that wasn't Clem or Ed was suspicious, and I wondered if they had ulterior motives. It wasn't difficult to narrow it down at the end, but it was really well-done. 

The secondary characters were lovely, especially Iris, and I enjoyed their parts in the story. I really hope we get another book from Leif's perspective (Ed's brother)! Also, Clem doesn't remember having sex or kissing, even though she knows she's done it before. All of her sexual encounters with Ed were new and exciting for her, and incredibly hot for us! The man is impressive and gorgeous. He's also incredibly sweet and protective, and I only wanted the best for them both. 

I really have no complaints about this one. It was perfect and amazing, and everything I wanted! If you haven't read Kylie Scott before, I highly recommended her books. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from this one!

"Romance isn’t all kissing and bedroom action, you know. Though there’s often some of that too. Don’t be a mindless slave to misogynistic prejudices. That’s never a good look. Think for yourself, form your own opinions. These are stories about women standing up for themselves and what they believe in. Women working to be whole and demanding what they deserve."