Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1982123915/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=4425185bbd9a23494958b24ccca1a009&language=en_US
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.

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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 Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Firstly, I want to point out that the synopsis on Goodreads says Carey Douglass, but the story I just read had a Carey Duncan. I'm not sure if it's a typo, or if the authors decided to change the main character's last name after review copies were sent out. It's a small detail, but one I wanted to share.

The Honey-Don't List was enjoyable, but not my favorite book by this duo. I dislike it when the main conflict arises due to a lack of communication, and that's basically all this book is. Melly and Rusty don't communicate, Melly and Carey don't communicate, and James doesn't communicate something that eventually turns into a secret. From the moment he said, "I'll tell her later," I knew it would be what came between their relationship. Nobody likes to be kept in the dark, especially when there's no reason for it. 

I thought Carey's relationship with the Tripps was really unhealthy. I hate that she stayed with them for long, and let them get away with stealing her ideas and claiming them as their own. It's not really a spoiler, since you learn about it pretty early on (and it's alluded to in the synopsis), but it was a big issue for me in this book. Why didn't Rusty say something, if he felt so bad about it? How was their relationship able to continue the way it did for so long? How had no one ever bothered to tell Carey that she was in a parasitic relationship (James' words, not mine). It just wasn't believable that Carey spent 10 years of her life with these people, and they never fully appreciated her or acknowledged how she contributed to their success. 

I hated both Melly and Rusty (seriously, they're the worst), so following them around for the entirety of the book was not a fun experience. Additionally, there's very little time spent between James and Carey, so it was hard to feel invested in their relationship. It was adorable and clearly developing from co-workers-to-friends-to-lovers, but there wasn't really anything solid between them. At the beginning James mentions his sister and nephews, and I wish we'd delved more into their respective backgrounds. I thought their individual lives were interesting, and think it would have helped them build a stronger connection. The L word was said way too soon, in my opinion. You've known each other for months, and most of that time was wrapped up in other people's craziness.

I like home makeover shows, so I thought that aspect of this book would appeal to me more, but it's not really a focal point of the book. It's always there in the background, but we mostly see the Tripps on tour promoting themselves and fighting. Always fighting. I think seeing some of the behind-the-scenes interactions would have been an awesome addition to the story. Their respective interviews with police officers started off well, but I felt like their questions led you to believe something bigger would happen at the end, when it's actually a very simple (although horrible) thing.

The ending really bummed me out. Carey still doesn't know who she is, or what she wants to do. James is back where he started, so it feels like everything he went through was for nothing. Carey's relationship with the Tripps is still complicated and exhausting to experience, and I was left feeling exasperated instead of elated. It wrapped up nicely, sure, but it didn't have any of the resolutions I was hoping for. It was like fitting the wrong key into a lock and having the door open... somehow it's less satisfying. (★★★⋆☆)

Monday, March 30, 2020

The Sunday (on Monday) Post [42]

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:

Everyone keeps talking about finding their new normal, but I'm struggling to find mine. Jacob is home now, so that helps, but trying to essentially homeschool our son while also taking care of the day-to-day tasks, is difficult. We can't go to Story Time at the library, playgrounds are a big no, and walking is quickly losing its appeal. As far as physical exercise goes, we bought them a trampoline last weekend, and they seem to enjoy jumping for the most part. Jacob and I have used it to, and it was quite the reminder that I'm not as young as I used to be! I can still do a front flip though, so there's that. ;)

I'm not sure how some parents are going to handle having to homeschool on top of everything else. I'm a teacher (when I'm not a stay-at-home mom), so this isn't completely new to me, but other parents are going to struggle with what's required of them. What if they're unable to print the papers the students are supposed to working on? They have to cut and paste, fill in blanks, etc., so it can't all be done online. Additionally, some students don't have access to computers or internet, so how are they going to even see the materials? Are we supposed to save these papers and turn them in? Turn them in when? When my son is supposed to start first grade next year? Is he going to start first grade? There are so many unanswered questions right now, and it's hard not to feel super stressed about it.

My son's school introduced three phases of learning over the last week. One was an emergency packet just to keep kids going while they were unsure if schools would reopen. Now we've entered phase two, which is two weeks of materials that need to be completed (and possibly stored somewhere) before "Spring Break". There will be no new materials that week, but phase three starts the following Monday, which includes classroom and video instructions from his teacher. How am I supposed to help and monitor his "school" day, if I'm also supposed to keep the girls away from the computer? The rules state that only the person the video is for should be seen, and that nothing inappropriate should be seen in the background. Do naked three-year-old twins count as inappropriate? Because the hotter it gets, the less inclined they are to wear clothes, plus we're potty training.

We tried to do online instructions with my son's piano teacher, but that was a huge flop. Mostly because of the reasons mentioned above, but there were just so many interruptions in a 30 minute time period. The guy came to read our meter, so I had to let him in the backyard. Then the dogs started barking, because they heard him outside. The girls woke up from their naps earlier than planned, and then they wanted to know what their brother was doing and "help".

In other news, we've ripped up all the new linoleum in the kitchen, dining, and utility rooms. If you've been following along with our recent move, you'll know that the floors were unfinished when we moved in. The "handy man" rushed through the process of installing new linoleum (that was weirdly soft and squishy for a kitchen -- vinyl, I think), and the flooring didn't go all the way to the walls in some places. It looked like crap, and I was always stressed about not being able to get all of the dirt that was collecting in those cracks. He also didn't glue all of it down, just the areas where it connected, so there were big bubbles everywhere.

I took pictures of all of this, and the lady we're renting from said she would look into it and potential solutions, but I never heard back from her. After awhile, I noticed that water was collecting between the old linoleum and the new (that's right, he didn't even remove the old first (or clean it for that matter) before installing the new). I was worried about mold and mildew, so I asked if I could life a corner to see what looked like underneath.



Yep. Moisture was trapped underneath the top layer, and this is two months after its installation. You can also see the jagged edges the "handy man" made with a freaking box cutter. After seeing these pictures, she said she would talk with him and brainstorm ideas. I told her Jacob was going to be home for the next two weeks, and that we wouldn't mind tearing it up and just using what was there (that was professionally installed and didn't need to be replaced to begin with). She said that would be fine, so Jacob tore it out, and I scrubbed until my arms ached to make sure the floor was clean after seeing the mold and mildew.

The landlord told me repeatedly that what was underneath was damaged and no longer pretty, because someone used the wrong product when cleaning it (something like that), and that their "handy man" wasn't concerned about messing up the flooring when he was painting (also poorly done, but beside the point). He also assured her the old linoleum was irreparable, when he's actually just lazy. 


THIS was underneath the new stuff. Sticky stains and paint splatters, and a ridiculous amount of dirt buildup. I mean, c'mon dude. How hard would it have been to sweep and mop the floor before installing new linoleum? This is also likely the reason we've had an ant issue in the dining room. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement. I sent the landlord all of this to show her what we were now working with, and again she said the darker areas were ruined beyond repair. Oh, yeah?


It wasn't ruined or damaged. It just needed some elbow grease (several hours of intense scrubbing), and someone that actually cared about having a clean floor. This linoleum is actually really nice, and I like the subtle checkered pattern (hard to see in this picture). The floor legit sparkled when I was finished with it. Edward Cullen would look pale in comparison. ;)

If you look closely, you can see the scrubbed clean area on top, and the dirty untouched section on the bottom. Ignore the baseboards, because they're a problem for another day. Apparently, he sawed off the bottoms around the door so he could just shove the new linoleum underneath. I have no words for half of the "improvements" that were made prior to our arrival. However, it was a great way to kill time one day while we're still stuck at home. I only had to use a putty scraper where he connected the newer pieces together (some of the glue wasn't even dry, and he applied it months ago). It was a lot of work (for free), but I'm much happier with how the flooring looks like. It feels better under our feet, I know it's clean and not collecting dirt or water, and it's pretty to look at. It's also easier to clean, if you can believe it.

As far as reading and blogging go, I'm failing. I thought I would have more time with everyone home and socially distancing themselves from the world, but keeping everyone entertained (physically and mentally stimulated) is a lot of work. There's very little "me" time, and I usually fall asleep the second I crack a book open. I've been trying to make more time for myself, and Jacob's been helping with that, but I also know he needs his own time, too. If you've found your new normal, know that I'm super jealous, because we're still trying to find ours.

Also, if you're hoarding toilet paper and soap, please stop. Be kind to others, and kind to yourself. :)



Previous week on the blog: 
What I'm currently reading:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1984831925/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=109427460f6eb672fdee89b2a4ce4adf&language=en_UShttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1982123915/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=7610fbbe19dfe598de7bf57bebf9be9f&language=en_UShttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1534425179/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=dbb957a56469e89adc6b65a4c6ec1205&language=en_US
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig 🎧
The Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren 
Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett
  • I'm really enjoying the audio version of House of Salt and Sorrows! It's spooky, which I wasn't expecting, and I'm really curious about the sisters and their "curse". 
  • The Honey-Don't List has been pretty great so far! I'm already super defensive of Carey and want to fight people on her behalf. Luckily, James seems up to the task. ;) 
  • Chasing Lucky started off as a buddy read with Karen (For What It's Worth), but Josie really annoys me, and I'm having trouble with her as a main character. It's sitting on my desk waiting to be read, but I'm not itching to pick it back up.
 What I plan on reading next: 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1848457707/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=19d1fab411db01e0136671a8f4076cdd&language=en_UShttps://www.amazon.com/What-I-Like-About-Me/dp/1682631605/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=9781682631607&qid=1585600911&s=books&sr=1-1&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=93a932e60cf44d3ab8587ad091808231&language=en_UShttps://www.amazon.com/Didnt-Ask-This-Adi-Alsaid-ebook/dp/B07QHC3CS4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=we+didn't+ask+for+this&qid=1585600887&sr=8-2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=54718e3af53d8e5f3e23dbbe3154b452&language=en_US
Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #3) by Julie Kagawa
What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
We Didn't Ask for This by Adi Alsaid

What I'm watching:

I'm still re-watching Yu Yu Hakusho, which has been enjoyable! LEGO Masters is an amazing show that we all look forward to each week, and Jacob and I still watch The Masked Singer every Wednesday. I've correctly guessed one person (Taco), and Jacob was right about Robot. Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, and slew of movies on Disney+. 

Challenge updates: 
We've also been doing a lot of Spring Cleaning while being stuck at home, and one of our larger projects has been our ever-expanding comic book collection. We simply don't have room for them all, and have needed to go through them for awhile now. We're only going to keep our absolute favorites. If you're looking for new reading material, I'm selling them on Mercari! I'm getting rid of single issues, as well as some sets. I haven't posted everything yet, but there are a few things already up and available. If you're a friend, message me or make an offer, and I'll give you the Friend Discount. ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

My Weekly Pull [115] & Can't Wait Wednesday [85]

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!

Folklords #5 by Matt Kindt, Matt Smith
Hidden Society #2 by Rafael Scavone, Rafael Albuquerque, Greg Tocchini
Jessica Jones: Blind Spot #6 by Kelly Thompson, Mattia De Iulis, Valerio Giangiordano

Jim Henson's Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance #7 by Adam Cesare, French Carlomagno, Kelly Matthews, Nichole Matthews
Once & Future #7 by Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora
Rising Sun #3 by Ron Marz, David Rodriguez, Martin Coccolo

Star #3 by Kelly Thompson, Javier Pina, Carmen Carnero
Stranger Things: Into the Fire #3 by Jody Houser, Ryan Kelly, Le Beau L. Underwood, Adam Gorham
Tarot #4 by Alan Davis, Paul Renaud

Jacob's comics for the week!

Amazing Spider-Man #42 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley
Dying Is Easy #4 by Joe Hill, Martin Simmonds, Gabriel Rodriguez
Punisher Soviet #6 by Garth Ennis, Jacen Burrows, Paolo Rivera
Ravencroft #3 by Frank Tieri, Angel Unzueta, Kyle Hotz
Scream Curse of Carnage #5 by Clay McLeod Chapman, Chris Mooneyham, Garry Brown, Ryan Stegman



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #104 by Tom Waltz, Sophie Campbell
Transformers Galaxies #2 by Kate Leth, Cohen Edenfield, Alex Milne
Transformers Vs Terminator #1 by David Mariotte, Alex Milne, Gavin Fullerton

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature that's hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. It highlights the upcoming releases we're really excited about reading! CWW is a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday (WoW), that was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1328977072/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=a244072c4e395863e3fe65a3b3890039&language=en_US
Kissing Lessons by Sophie Jordan
Expected publication: June 23rd 2020

Synopsis (via Goodreads): A steamy contemporary YA romance by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan about a girl with a bad reputation giving lessons on how to attract guys for some extra cash—only to fall for her client’s golden-boy brother. For fans of Kami Garcia, Katie McGarry, and Netflix’s Sex Education.

Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it)
experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have time for love or relationships. She’s learned the hard way that the only person you can count on is yourself, and she’s hell-bent on earning enough money to leave her small, judgy Texas town as fast as possible. So when nerdy Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden for lessons in seduction, the money is so easy, there must be a catch. Enter the catch: Emmaline’s older brother, popular, all-around nice guy™ Nolan Martin, who doesn’t want his sister’s reputation tarnished by the school’s resident bad girl.

But Hayden should know that looks can be deceiving. Nolan may seem like a golden boy, but like Hayden, he has a few secrets of his own. And the more he meddles in her lessons with Emmaline, the more these polar opposites clash—and the more sparks fly. Turns out Nolan may have some lessons to teach Hayden, but only if she’s willing to learn.

*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, March 24, 2020

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Synopsis (via Goodreads): A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he's given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.


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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.

The House in the Cerulean Sea exceeded my expectations, and introduced me to the brilliance of T.J. Klune. The blurb compared this book to The Umbrella Academy (which I loved), and Douglas Adams. While I'm only somewhat familiar with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, this book definitely had the magical-misfit-vibes of The Umbrella Academy. I adored all of the characters, and I really hope there is another book set in this world! The ending wrapped up very nicely in an epilogue, but there's definitely room for more. ;)

Klune has created complex and fantastic characters, and their individual stories were wonderfully written. We follow Linus as he navigates a grey world filled with prejudice and hatred, as we're slowly introduced to the way this particular society works. DICOMY is the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, and Linus is one of its many caseworkers. While magical creatures are acknowledged, they're not necessarily accepted. People don't see children with powers, they see monsters with wicked intentions. It's how they were raised, and the cycle continues with every new generation. We see how the voices of a few start to change the minds of the many, and it was a lovely thing to experience.

Linus isn't your typical hero. He doesn't carry a sword or swing his fists; he isn't the most handsome, or super fit. He's an average guy that uses his mind and his words to battle injustice. Linus was relatable, ordinary, and somehow managed to make his own magic. He's also objective, thorough, and always has the best interest's of the children in mind. He inspects the homes where they live, and determines if they are safe or being mistreated in some way. Unfortunately, we see how some of the children are abused for something out of their control (lots of sad and ragey feelings in this one). They cannot help how they came into the world, but they still suffer for being different. I thought the author delicately and expertly wove words together that effectively pulled at my heartstrings.

The children! Lucy was delightful and endearing. I really loved him and his antics. He purposefully tries to be scary, but that was more due to his age than his parentage. Talia was not someone to be trifled with (unless you wanted to be brained with a shovel), and I'm sure I'll think about her garden while planting my own. Chauncey was the sweetest and most sincere of them all, and desperately wants to be a bellhop when he grows up. Phee was standoffish and reserved, and while I wish we'd seen more from her, I can understand why she didn't have a large presence. Sal was obviously healing, but it didn't stifle his creativity. He wrote something that will stay with me much like Talia's garden: 

"I am but paper. Brittle and thin. I am held up to the sun, and it shines right through me. I get written on, and I can never be used again. These scratches are a history. They're a story. They tell things for others to read, but they only see the words, and not what the words are written upon. I am but paper, and though there are many like me, none are exactly the same. I am parched parchment. I have lines. I have holes. Get me wet, and I melt. Light me on fire, and I burn. Take me in hardened hands, and I crumple. I tear. I am but paper. Brittle and thin."

Theodore never spoke in English, although I felt like he could still be heard through the pages of this book. His chirps and clicks were a language of their own, and through the other characters, I felt like his voice was clear. It's amazing how the author managed to make me feel as if I heard a language that wasn't really there. All of the children were unique and offered so much to the story as a whole. They were simply trying to exist, but they've left a lasting impression (on me as well as the other characters in this story). They're children first and foremost, but I enjoyed the parts that made them special.

Arthur. Always Arthur. It's something Linus said often, and it's another thing that will stick with me. Arthur's smile was another aspect that could be felt through the pages, and I really enjoyed learning more about him as the story progressed. He is an enigma at first--quiet and reserved, yet fiercely protective of the children--and I think his journey tugged at my heart the most. He's been through so much--they all have--but they are thriving on the island. They've found their home with each other. Zoe, too.

I cannot sing this book's praises enough, although I do have one very tiny complaint: at times the dialogue felt a bit wordy, and so the book was maybe a tad longer than it needed to be. Other than that, I thought it was perfect. The world-building, the characters, the otherness the author managed to channel into his writing--amazing. (★★★★⋆)


Saturday, March 21, 2020

A Handful of Reviews [3]


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZHLBLBN/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=d291bf7781198d822e814c3d805e7bbc&language=en_US
Marvels X #1 by Alex Ross, Jim Kreuger, Well-Bee

Synopsis (via Goodreads): David has a problem. He lives in a world of monsters that would love to devour him. He’s the last boy on Earth. The last human being on Earth. And these creatures that see him only as prey, they’re his former neighbors. He has one hope: to get to New York. To get to where Captain America and the rest of the heroes are. Alex Ross and Jim Krueger combine their abilities with artist Well-Bee to tell a very uncanny prequel to the legendary EARTH X trilogy.

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I started keeping track of my thoughts with a thread on Twitter, but decided to turn them into a post! Then I spent an hour making a graphic for A Handful of Reviews, since I stopped using Mini Reviews (they were never short, so it felt weird to call them Mini Reviews). What do you think?

The synopsis tells us that David is the last boy on Earth, but you wouldn't know that simply by reading the issue. He does say something about short people not lasting very long, and I thought he was referring to children, but it wasn't clear. I'm also not sure why the blurb says he's the last human being on Earth either... after the ending, that part is a little confusing. 

I do like David as a character, and feel like he's going to have a lot to offer the story, but he will likely travel down a dangerous path to get there. He doesn't think very highly of himself, but hopefully that will change once he realizes he's not as weak as he seems to believe. He's survived this long, right? I'm also very curious about his sister.

The story is about a virus that's taking over the world... wait... that sounds familiar... The main character already has an interesting backstory, and the author managed to be very thorough (but not overly so) in a single issue. Mrs. Tree is a fave, obvs. Overall, I thought this was an excellent start to the story, and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here. I have the second issue lined up for tonight, so fingers crossed it keeps holding my attention! (★★★★☆)


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0821W9JYD/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=daf6f185f3cb2cf208449e12ef5b7c0c&language=en_US
Stranger Things: Into the Fire #1 by Jody Houser, Viktor Kalvachev, Ryan Kelly, Le Beau L. Underwood, Triona Farrell

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Years after escaping Hawkins Lab, two of Dr. Brenner's former subjects seek to live normal lives. When news reaches them that the lab was shut down, they go on a harrowing search for Nine, a powerful pyrokinetic whose shattered psyche threatens to burn them all to ashes if they can't find her and free her from her own malevolent imagination. ''I can say with certainty this book is well worth reading — it adds to the TV show in surprising and satisfying ways.'' -AiPT! A pyrokinetic Hawkins Lab subject! See the true effects of Dr. Brenner's meddling experiments.

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I haven't seen Stranger Things (although it's a show that I've been meaning to watch) but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to read something written by Houser. She wrote Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, and it's one of my all-time favorites!

I really liked the setup for this story, but more background information would've been helpful in this first issue. Maybe more flashbacks to give me a better understanding of the characters? Honestly, I can't recall their names and I read it a few hours ago. I know one of the main characters is a twin, and she escaped a really bad experimental facility with someone else. I'm definitely interested, but it didn't grab me from the start. If you've watched the show, this issue might make more sense! (★★★☆☆)


https://www.amazon.com/Star-1-5-Kelly-Thompson-ebook/dp/B07ZHL6YX4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=star+#1+kelly+thompson&qid=1584844928&sr=8-2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=0640794da8288d6b3daf31a806e0b991&language=en_US
Star #1 by Kelly Thompson, Carmen Carnero, Javier Pina

Synopsis (via Goodreads): BORN OF THE REALITY STONE, THE BREAKOUT CHARACTER FROM CAPTAIN MARVEL FLIES SOLO! Ambitious reporter Ripley Ryan rocked New York City when she became the hero STAR, adored by everyone. But in truth she was Dr. Minerva’s attempt at a Kree-human Super-Soldier. Desperate for the strength to control her own destiny, she tried to kill Captain Marvel — and failed. Ripley was left, defeated and powerless, in the Raft...or so she thought. The Reality Stone has found her, and now no prison can hold her. You thought you knew what the Infinity Stones were capable of. Think again.

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I knew nothing about Star going into this one, but I can already tell she'll be a character that I like! Ripley isn't your standard superhero, and I was getting some pretty strong villain vibes. She's quick to anger, and then tries to inflict as much damage as possible (without considering the innocent people she'd hurt). I'm not sure how she ties into Captain Marvel, but we get a brief history of their interactions and how they've impacted what's happening now. I definitely want to know more about Ripley's past and where she came from, but I'm content with what was shared.

Thompson is an incredible writer, and one of my all-time favorites, so of course I'm reading Star. I thought the first issue was fantastic, and we see two of my favorites: Jessica Jones and Loki. I'm not sure what Loki was trying to do, or how he knew what he did, but I hope he sticks around. Stories are always more interesting when he's involved! (★★★★☆)

At the start of this issue, Ripley hadn't left her apartment for weeks, so it's already relatable! ;)


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZHM4YC4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=64fda25d35da1068f8e75e9d9188c424&language=en_USMiles Morales: The End #1 by Saladin Ahmed, Rahzzah, Damion Scott

Synopsis (via Goodreads): THE FINAL MILES MORALES STORY! Humanity makes its last stand in the only place strong enough to survive: BROOKLYN. Former Spider-Man, Miles Morales, leads the last bastion of civilization into the future! Penned by MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN author SALADIN AHMED!

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I should have mentally prepared for this one. I mean, the title says The End, and the synopsis claims it's the final Miles Morales story, so I shouldn't have been so surprised, but I couldn't help hoping for the best. Miles always finds a way to survive, to make a bad situation flip in his favor, but gah. Ahmed really got me with this issue.

Miles was everything I know him to be, only older and wiser. He still cracks jokes, cares deeply about the people in his life, and is willing to give his all to make the world a better place. It was fun seeing him as an old man, and how his life had drastically changed due to MUTATED GERMS. All of my reading today has been pretty spot on with what's currently happening in the world.

I adore Miles as a character, and I love what the author has done with him (in the ongoing series and this single issue). His family is fantastically complicated, but the love is there. He has amazing friendships, and is just a really freaking awesome person. He's been through some terrible ordeals that had me sobbing, but he still fights for what's right. He's the hero everyone needs. (★★★★★)


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZHM2DPW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=0d16825748b48fbfa51c1d17f4dcf42c&language=en_US
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZHLGCH6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=191a2141504075a82322b00465d411b0&language=en_UShttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081P59CM6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=8ad786e70b8a299380c65da7ff66d9ad&language=en_US

Jessica Jones: Blind Spot #1-4 by Kelly Thompson, Valerio Giangiordano, Mattia de Iulis

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Jessica Jones was once the costumed super hero known as Jewel. She sucked at it. Now she’s a private investigator at her own firm, Alias Investigations. She sucks less at that. With the Purple Man gone, her relationship with her husband, Luke Cage, and their daughter, Danielle, is better than ever. But her past always comes knocking, and when a woman whose case she fumbled winds up dead on her office floor, Jessica goes from private investigator to prime suspect. Can she find the real killer and clear her name? The critically acclaimed Marvel Digital Original series by Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis, released for the first time as a print miniseries!

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I am loving this! I'm bummed there are only 6 issues, because this should definitely be an ongoing series. Kelly Thompson mentioned being worried about following in the footsteps of the previous writer, but this is my favorite Jessica Jones ever. I enjoyed the television series, but Thompson has really made JJ stand out in a sea of endless comics. If they decide to restart the show, they should seriously consider bringing Thompson in for some all of the writing/storytelling, because this is by far the best portrayal of Jessica Jones I've seen.

Jessica is a PI, and her job isn't all that glamourous, but I think it suits her. However, this series hasn't really focused on the work JJ does, but something that's happening to her and other powerful women in the city. It's dark, gritty, and refreshing. The story is fan-fucking-tastic, and I love Jessica's dark sense of humor. I think the author nailed her personality and amplified all of her already awesome qualities.

I also love that Thompson is fond of crossovers in her comics! Kate Bishop made an appearance (All-New Hawkeye, West Coast Avengers) along with Elsa Bloodstone who showed up in Deadpool. In Star, JJ pops up unexpectedly, and it makes me so happy to see them outside of their individual comics.

This series has seriously gotten better and better! Jessica has an entire conversation with Elsa while battling sea monsters. It was gross, but also weirdly satisfying to observe. I definitely think those two deserve their own series! If you're looking for something new to read, make sure you pick this one up! (★★★★★)