Wednesday, February 24, 2021

My Weekly Pull [156] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [131]

 
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!

Marvel Voices Legacy One Shot by Various Artists, Taurin Clarke
You Look Like Death Tales from the Umbrella Academy #6 by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, Gabriel Ba
The Last Witch #2 by Conor McCreery, VV Glass

Jacob's comics for the week!

Department of Truth #6 by James Tynion IV, Elsa Charretier, Martin Simmonds
Spawn #315 by Todd McFarlane, Carlo Barberi, Bjorn Barends
Amazing Spider-Man #60 by Nick Spencer, Mark Bagley
Symbiote Spider-Man King in Black #4 by Peter David, Greg Land
Black Hammer Visions #1 by Patton Oswalt, Dean Kotz


I haven't been speeding through books these days, because I've been using any extra time to read comics! I've made significant progress on my never-ending stack, and I hope to be completely caught up by this weekend (fingers crossed). Reading A Court of Silver Flames had me ignoring everything else, but it was totally worth it. 😊


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.

Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin
Expected publication: June 1st 2021

Synopsis (via Goodreads): A queer YA #MeToo reimagining of Thelma & Louise with the aesthetic of Riverdale, for fans of Mindy McGinnis, Courtney Summers, and Rory Power.

When Trixie picks up her best friend Lux for their weekend getaway, she’s looking to escape for a little while, to forget the despair of being trapped in their dead-end Rust Belt town and the daunting responsibility of caring for her ailing mother. The girls are packing light: a supply of Diet Coke for Lux and her ‘89 Canon to help her frame the world in a sunnier light; half a pack of cigarettes for Trixie that she doesn’t really smoke, and a knife—one she’s just hanging on to for a friend—that she’s never used before.

But a single night of violence derails their trip and will forever change the course of the girls’ lives, as they go from ordinary high schoolers to wanted fugitives. Trying to stay ahead of the cops and a hellscape of media attention, the girls grapple with an unforgiving landscape, rapidly diminishing supplies, and disastrous decisions at every turn. As they are transformed by the media into the face of a #MeToo movement they didn’t ask to lead and the road before them begins to run out, Trixie and Lux realize that they can only rely on each other, and that the love they find together is the one thing that truly makes them free.

In rushing, powerful prose Julia Lynn Rubin takes readers on “a blistering, unapologetic thrill ride” (Emma Berquis) that will leave them haunted and reeling. Trouble Girls is “a powerful, beautifully-written gut punch” (Sophie Gonzales).

*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, February 23, 2021

A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4)
by Sarah J. Maas

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she's struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can't seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre's Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta's orbit. But her temper isn't the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other's arms.


I didn't read ACOTAR until two summers ago, so I was very late to the party! However, I devoured the entire trilogy - including A Court of Frost and Starlight - within a week. I couldn't believe I'd waited so long to start reading the series, but I'm happy I was able to read them all at once (waiting would have been torture, especially with some of those cliffhangers). Like everyone else, I couldn't wait for the continuation of the series and Nesta's story. She wasn't my favorite character in ACOTAR, but she did grow on me throughout A Court of Silver Flames

Stop reading here if you haven't read the first three books in the series! Small spoilers ahead. Nesta is struggling with the loss of her father and what she sees as her personal failure to prevent his death. On top of all that, she's dealing with how she felt about him her entire life and how awfully she treated Papa Archeron. He never had anything but love for his daughters, and he proved that love in a big way at the end of A Court of Wings and Ruin. We get to see how his words and actions during the battle with Hybern deeply affected Nesta and her mental health. She doesn't know how to forgive herself or others, with the former being more of an issue than anyone realized. Only Cassian never wavered in his beliefs, or his desire to help Nesta heal. Obviously, her actions affected him and made him feel terrible, but he kept reaching out his hand like Amren said. He loved Nesta - the good parts and the bad - and his actions always reflected that.

One of my quibbles with this book was the lack of Cassian. Yes, he's present throughout the entire book, alternating perspectives with Nesta, but we don't really learn anything new about him or his history. Everything he shares with Nesta is something we learned throughout the previous books. I wanted him to open up and share new information with her, things that were deeply personal and not often discussed with the others. I think it would have helped them form a stronger bond and allowed us to see how he's changed over the last 500 years. I think what he shared about the Valkyries was new, but it also felt familiar. Everything about the Valkyries was interesting! I wish there had been more.

A lot of people are upset by how "graphic" the sex scenes were, which I find to be immensely frustrating. ACOTAR should never have been marketed as a YA series, since Feyre was an adult throughout most of the books. It's also not fair to place human standards and expectations on mythical creatures like the fae. They don't follow the same rules or have the same limitations. I think Maas did a wonderful job with Feyre's story, and I think she perfectly conveyed Nesta's personality as well. People seem to forget that Nesta is the eldest Archeron, which definitely makes her adult. I'm happy this series received an 18+ recommendation, but I also don't think Maas simply wrote "smut" for the hell of it. Sex was a release for Nesta - a way to get herself out of her head - and wine and music provided similar distractions for her nightmarish thoughts. It was how she chose to deal with her demons, and that's not uncommon. It's okay for Nesta to enjoy sex. It's okay for Nesta and Cassian to enjoy rough sex. It's okay that Maas was descriptive about those encounters. It's okay that sex was a big part of Nesta's story. Nesta is her own person with her own problems, so she obviously has her own way of dealing with things. Nesta's book is somewhat separate from the original trilogy, but it's also a continuation of the previous books. I do not agree that they should have been marketed separately or as something new, but I do believe all of the ACOTAR books should be shelved as Adult Fantasy. 

Another thing people seem to be worried about: teen readers. I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. If I'm being completely honest, I learned most of my information regarding sex from books. I sure as hell didn't learn about it in school or from my parents. There's nothing wrong with books having "graphic" sex scenes, and I don't think we should put so many limitations on what certain people can read. Shielding teenagers - especially young girls - from sex, typically does more harm than good.

I absolutely loved Gwyn and Emerie! I thought they were lovely, amazing friends, and they were exactly what Nesta needed in her life. They've all been through hell, and I think those experiences bonded them in a way nothing else could. They also trained together, learned to really live together, and are still struggling with what happened to them in the past. No one was magically healed by the end of the book, and it's obvious they will still need time to work through everything that haunts them. It was authentic and realistic, and I like that Maas didn't try to rush their healing or give them quick solutions to their problems. They had to work hard in order to grow, which they managed to do both together and alone.

"...and Nesta's breath rushed from her in a wave she didn't realize she was holding..." This sentence might be worded differently, but why do authors insist on including it (and others like it) in their books? Why doesn't anyone know they're holding their breath??? Seriously, there are websites dedicated to how many times this sentence gets used in books. 

I also didn't like that Rhys and the others opted to keep something from Feyre, especially when it impacted her the most. After everything she's been through, they didn't think she could handle it? They didn't think it would be a good idea to have her also working towards a possible solution? It felt wrong to me, and very unlike the characters I remember. Mor's absence was very noticeable as well, and I wish she'd been more present throughout the book. Nesta and Cassian's "big fight" was way too similar to what Feyre and Rhysand fought about. The should have had their own unique conflict to work through.

Highlight for spoilers: Additionally, why didn't anyone just winnow the baby out? Madja had her hands up there to turn the baby around, so Rhys or Mor could have touched it and winnowed, right? Did anyone else think that? Even Az could have used his shadows. I just feel like they didn't really exhaust all of their options, and I'm still not 100% sure how Nesta managed to do what she did. I'm also a little miffed that she didn't get to make it to the top of Ramiel despite everything she went through. Briallyn interfered, so it shouldn't be held against her. She also had to give up all of that power right after fully unleashing it for the first time. It would have been nice to know more about who used the harp last and what their final act with it had been. I wish Nesta had somehow been able to reverse what happened to all of those fae. Maas is definitely setting something up! (★★★★☆)

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

My Weekly Pull [155] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [130]

 
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!

Once & Future #16 by Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora
X-Men Legends #1 by Fabian Nicieza, Brett Booth
Spider-Woman #9 by Karla Pacheco, Pere Perez, Junggeun Yoon

Miles Morales Spider-Man #23 by Saladin Ahmed, Carmen Nunez Carnero, Taurin Clarke
Guardians of the Galaxy #11 by Al Ewing, Juan Cabal, Rafael Albuquerque
Champions #4 by Eve Ewing, Bob Quinn, Toni Infante

Family Tree #11 by Jeff Lemire, Phil Hester
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Last Ronin #2 by Kevin Eastman, Andy Kuhn, Esau Escorza, Isaac Escorza

Jacob's comics for the week!

King in Black Planet of the Symbiotes #2 by Marc Bernardin, Geoffrey Thorne, Kyle Hotz, Jan Bazaldua, Tony Moore
Savage Avengers #18 by Gerry Duggan, Kev Walker, Valerio Giangiordano
King in Black #4 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman
Stillwater #6 by Chip Zdarsky, Ramon K. Perez, Mike Spicer


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.

Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan
Expected publication: May 18th 2021 by Putnam Children's

Synopsis (via Goodreads): In this YA contemporary queer romance from the author of Hot Dog Girl , an openly gay track star falls for a closeted, bisexual teen beauty queen with a penchant for fixing up old cars.

Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school's code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can't deny their growing feelings. But while Morgan--out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start--doesn't want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret, Ruby isn't ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?

*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!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery, #1)
by Tirzah Price

Synopsis (via Goodreads):  Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit.

When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.

Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed. 

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'm not a huge fan of the classics, but I'm pretty sure I read Pride and Prejudice in high school. I at least know the general storyline and have seen pieces of the movie (the one with Keira Knightley) that I also likely watched in school. (I was big on Spark Notes back then, and during the movie I was probably writing notes to a boyfriend or something equally ridiculous.) Why am I rambling about this? Because I have absolutely no idea why I requested this audiobook, but I am so very happy that I did! I really enjoyed Price's retelling of Lizzie and Darcy, and I even Googled comparisons throughout the book. She made me want to read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which is really saying something. The murder mystery was a wonderful addition to the story, and I really liked seeing Lizzie fight for herself and her future.

My one small complaint would be the lack of romance between Lizzie and Darcy, despite knowing it was accurate for the time period depicted within the book. I wanted heated looks and stolen moments, more bickering and hate-to-love vibes, even though it was obvious neither character would be so bold or forward with the other. Lizzie wants to one day be a respected barrister or solicitor, so she's willing to push past conventional norms to achieve those goals, but she still tries to adhere to society's rules and expectations regarding ladies and what's appropriate for them when men are involved (walking the streets unchaperoned, being alone in room with them, etc.) It doesn't always work out that way, but she is conscious of her actions and how they may appear to others. I just really wanted Lizzie and Darcy to have more passion and romance between them, but it was a small thing. I liked what was there, I just wanted more.

I really enjoyed seeing how certain events unfolded, and was very surprised by specific revelations (which probably had a lot to do with my vague recollections of the original story). However, I'm sure even the most avid Austen fan will like Price's spin on a beloved classic and the addition of a murder mystery. I thought Lizzie's relationship with her parents was relatable and authentic, despite wanting to shake her mother on more than one occasion. Her daughter's value shouldn't rely on what kind of marriage she can secure, and Lizzie's wishes should have been respected. I know it was common during the time period, but it was still frustrating to see her being ignored and pushed towards a life she clearly didn't want for herself. I also thought her relationship with her sisters was humorous and wish there'd been more interactions between them.

I don't want to say too much about the murder mystery itself, because I don't want to spoil anything on accident. Every clue and revelation meant something, so talking about any of the other secondary characters could potentially give something away. You should definitely go into this book with as little knowledge as possible! Already knowing and being familiar with Pride and Prejudice will give you some insight, but not enough to spoil the story. Definitely keep this book on your radar if you enjoy Austen, historical fiction, or murder mysteries. (★★★★☆)

Side note: Synthetic voices are weird. It sounded like a normal narrator, but it lacked variation. Every character sounded the same, there were no long pauses or heavy sighs, and you have to really pay attention to the details so you don't miss anything important. It's not horrible to listen to, but I would like to listen to this one again when it's properly narrated.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

My Weekly Pull [154] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [129]

 
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!

Goosebumps Secrets of the Swamp #5 by Marieke Nijkamp, Yasmin Flores Montanez, Bill Underwood
Undiscovered Country #12 by Charles Soule, Scott Snyder, Giuseppe
Scarenthood #4 by Nich Roche

Daredevil #27 by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Mike Hawthorne

Jacob's comics for the week!

Transformers Escape #2 by Brian Ruckley, Bethany McGuire-Smith, Anna Malkova
Kick-Ass vs. Hit-Girl #4 by Steve Niles, Marcelo Frusin, John Romita Jr.
Amazing Spider-Man #59 by Nick Spencer, Marcelo Ferriera, Mark Bagley
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #114 by Sophie Campbell, Kevin Eastman


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.

With You All the Way by Cynthia Hand
Expected publication: March 30th 2021 by HarperTeen

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Ada’s life is a mess. She just caught her boyfriend cheating on her after a humiliating attempt at losing her virginity, and she’s had it up to here with her gorgeous older sister’s unsolicited advice.

But things really hit the fan during a family vacation in Hawaii, where Ada discovers her own mother is having an affair. Apparently, everyone is falling into bed with people they shouldn’t. Everyone except Ada. But when Ada decides she’s going to stop trying and start doing—sex, that is—her best laid plan overlooks an inconvenient truth:

Feelings, romantic or not, always get in the way.

*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!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

My Weekly Pull [153] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [128]

 
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!

Specter Inspectors #1 by Bowen McCurdy, Kaitylyn Musto
King in Black Gwenom vs. Carnage #2 by Seanan McGurie, Flaviano, Ken Lashley

Jacob's comics for the week!

Venom #33 by Donny Cates, Iban Coello
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jennika II #4 by Ronda Pattison, Jodie Nishijima
Transformers Beast Wars #1 by Erik Burnham, Josh Burcham, Dan Schoening


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.

The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch
Expected publication: April 6th 2021 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Sky’s small town turns absolutely claustrophobic when his secret promposal plans get leaked to the entire school in this witty, heartfelt, and ultimately hopeful debut novel for fans of What if it’s Us? and I Wish You All the Best.

Sky Baker may be openly gay, but in his small, insular town, making sure he was invisible has always been easier than being himself. Determined not to let anything ruin his senior year, Sky decides to make a splash at his high school’s annual beach bum party by asking his crush, Ali, to prom—and he has thirty days to do it.

What better way to start living loud and proud than by pulling off the gayest promposal Rock Ledge, Michigan, has ever seen?

Then, Sky’s plans are leaked by an anonymous hacker in a deeply homophobic e-blast that quickly goes viral. He’s fully prepared to drop out and skip town altogether—until his classmates give him a reason to fight back by turning his thirty-day promposal countdown into a school-wide hunt to expose the e-blast perpetrator.

But what happens at the end of the thirty days? Will Sky get to keep his hard-won visibility? Or will his small-town blues stop him from being his true self?

*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!