December 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

the-queen-of-blood-review1.The Queen Of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst (Queens Of Renthia #1)

The Queen Of Blood Full Review

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Pages: 353

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: I loved this book so much, the characters, world, EVERYTHING!! Its a magical story with themes of family and friendship I won’t ever forget! Daleina works very hard to prove herself as potential queen + along the way comes to meet Ven, a disgraced Champion. When things don’t seem right in the world of Araty w/ its magic/spirits, they team up to figure out what’s going on!

goldie-vance-vol-12. Goldie Vance Vol. 1  by Hope Larson + Brittney Williams (Illustrator) (#1-#4)

Goldie Vance Vol. 1 Full Review

Publisher: BOOM! Box

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Pages: 112

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A retro, 60’s-style comic featuring Goldie Vance, detective! There is so much diversity from characters to family dynamics, etc.! The plot unfolds quickly and I can tell there’s more mystery and adventure to come in Volume 2!

descender-volume-2-machine-moon3.Descender Volume 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire + Dustin Nguyen (Artist)

Descender Volume 2 Full Review

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: May 10, 2016

Pages: 116

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Slower paced than the previous volume, but delivers much needed expansion on characters/development! But its filled with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

the-weight-of-zero4. The Weight Of Zero by Karen Fortunati

The Weight Of Zero Full Review

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Pages: 387

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Fortunati delivers an unforgettable YA Contemporary which introduces the reader to Catherine, who has bipolar disorder and depression and over the course of the novel, as she fears “Zero” is returning she finds hope in the new friendships/relationships she creates along the way. Fortunati’s writing style brings a rawness to Catherine’s story and overall is a wonderfully written YA Contemporary!

monthly-girls-nozaki-kun-volume-15.Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Vol. 1 by Izumi Tsubaki

Full Review To Come

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: November 17, 2015

Pages: 114

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: I loved this manga so much! It pokes fun at classic High School/Romance tropes! The plot jumps around rather quickly, so I was watching the anime while reading along and I love the characters! My favorite character is Mikoshiba ❤ ❤ He was so funny!! + He appears to be the typical heart throb that all the girls are after, but over the course of the story you figure out just how shy/anxious he is around them & really struggles to talk to them!  I can’t wait to learn more about him in later volumes!! I adored the characters & the plot was a little slow at times but it was definitely a blast to read and had me laughing! Can’t wait to read the other volumes!

ever-the-hunted-book-review6.Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill (Clash Of Kingdoms #1)

Ever The Hunted Full ARC Review

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: December 27, 2016

Pages: 400

My Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: An enjoyable first book to a new fantasy series!  Summerill’s plotting and character development keeps the story moving and really brings an element of mystery to the characters! However my biggest issues were the lack of world-building and heavy focus on romance (mainly through Britta’s 1st person POV)! However the ending definitely has me interested to see how it wraps up in book 2!

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #9

Literary Listens: Podcast Recommendations Based On YA Books

What Books Did You Read In December? 🙂

 

 

Goldie Vance Vol. 1 by Hope Larson Review

goldie-vance-vol-1Goldie Vance Vol. 1  by Hope Larson + Brittney Williams (Illustrator) (#1-#4)

Publisher: BOOM! Box

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Pages: 112

Summary: Move over Nancy, Harriet, & Veronica. There’s a new sleuth on the block!

Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place. Her mom, who divorced her dad years ago, works as a live mermaid at a club downtown. Goldie has an insatiable curiosity, which explains her dream to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Charles, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, he agrees to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help solving the mystery.

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: A fun and fast-paced intro. to a new comic series!

I loved everything about this comic from the vibrant colors and retro 60’s feel of the art to the fun mysteries and mischief Goldie gets herself into! (Like car races!)

If there’s a mystery, Goldie is eager to solve it! She’s always keeping an observant/attentive eye around her and with the resort atmosphere she’s grown up in, has become friends with many of the employees!

The characters are given such memorable introductions and out of all the characters, I loved Goldie! She’s so spunky & fearless!

I adored the diversity in terms of races, sexualities, body types & family dynamics!

As for the plot itself, it centers around her adventures as a detective, helping the resort resort detective Walt with a case of a missing person + necklace. And there were side characters introduced, who I feel will definitely have more prominent roles in future volumes.

The plot unfolds pretty quickly + there was never a dull moment!

I loved everything about this story and I cannot wait to read Volume 2!

Filled with a diverse cast, fun mysteries, and unforgettable characters, Goldie Vance is perfect to check out if your looking for a new comic series!

November 2015 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 5

graudin_wolfbywolf1. Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin (Wolf By Wolf #1)

Wolf By Wolf Full Review

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers – Released: October 20, 2015

Pages: 400

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: This was a spectacular YA Historical Fiction filled w/ intrigue, complex/dynamic characters and a compelling story that will keep you turning the page!

Ice like Fire 102. Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch

Ice Like Fire Full Review

Publisher: Balzer + Bray- Released October 13, 2015

Pages: 479

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Summary: It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts:  This was a solid sequel. There is more character development and expansion of the world Sara created in book 1. However, the introduction to Mather’s POV did slow down the story. But overall this sequel really builds up something big for book 3!

Mabry_FierceandSubtle_jkt_rgb_2MB13. A Fierce And Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry (ARC Review)

A Fierce And Subtle Poison Spoiler-Free ARC Review

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers – Release Date: April 12, 2016

Pages: 278 (ARC) , 288 (Hardcover)

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison.
 
Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison beautifully blends magical realism with a page-turning mystery and a dark,  starcrossed romance–all delivered in lush, urgent prose.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: What an amazing YA Debut!! Samantha’s writing style creates a vivid atmosphere of Puerto Rico and she really writes characters with such complexity. The plot overall kept me turning the page! This is a magical and mysterious story you don’t want to miss!

9781608867370_p0_v2_s192x3004. Lumberjanes Vol. 2: Friendship To The Max (#5-8) by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen

Lumberjanes Vol. 2 Full Review

Publisher: Boom! Box (Boom! Studios) – Released October 13, 2015

Pages: 111

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are not your average campers and Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types is not your average summer camp. Between the river monsters, magic, and the art of friendship bracelets, this summer is only just beginning. Join the Lumberjanes as they take on raptors and a sibling rivalry that only myths are made of.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: A great sequel to an amazing comic series. The core theme of friendship is apparent throughout these comics. The fun adventures the girls go on really keeps you turning the page!

THE-YEAR-OF-SHADOWS-updated-cover-hi-res-677x10245. The Year Of Shadows by Claire Legrand

The Year Of Shadows Full Reivew

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers – Released: August 27, 2013

Pages: 416

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary:

Olivia wants a new life—and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.

Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.

Her mother’s left, her neglectful father—the maestro of a failing orchestra—has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.

Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help—if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.

Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: Save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living…and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: A wonderful middle grade novel with heart! The plot is mysterious and entertaining. The characters are all written wonderfully and this story also has important themes of friendship and family. Though at times the plot can be quite slow, its a great read you should really give a chance.

What did you read this month? 🙂

Lumberjanes Vol. 2: Friendship To The Max Comic Review

9781608867370_p0_v2_s192x300Lumberjanes Vol. 2: Friendship To The Max

by: Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen

Publisher: Boom! Box (Boom! Studios)–Released: October 13, 2015

Pages: 111

Summary: Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are not your average campers and Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types is not your average summer camp. Between the river monsters, magic, and the art of friendship bracelets, this summer is only just beginning. Join the Lumberjanes as they take on raptors and a sibling rivalry that only myths are made of.

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts: I loved this volume. I have been a fan of Noelle Stevenson’s  for quite a while and love her witty and fun writing style she uses for her characters. Sadly I am not familiar with the other artists/writers attached to Lumberjanes, but regardless I love this comic series so much!

Continuing with the first one, there are crazy adventures that the girls get into and I really loved how no matter what happens, there is always the main driving force of this comic series which is friendship ❤

Specifically in this volume, we get introduced to Diane who is one of the “popular girls” if you would call her that. But there is so much more to her that we learn about.

First off she is a Greek god! Its always interesting to see the variety of myths/magic in this comic series.

Back to Diane! So, in this series there is a “golden eye”and a crystal and she needs it, to find a cave (which the Lumberjanes discovered in volume 1). Once found, we realize her and her brother Apollo are fighting for power and looked to the cave to find celestial directions toward the source of power they were looking for. With the “golden eye” and crystal combined, they attach it to an altar in the cave. Once Apollo shows up, Jo sacrifices herself to get rid of Apollo’s army that he brings as backup.  So of course Diane leaves them behind and goes to look for it once she gets the directions and the girls stay behind to save Jo.

As the comic comes to an end, it turns out one of the camp counselors who joined them, Jen, gave Diane the wrong direction to avoid putting the other campers in danger. And of course by the end, Apollo&Diane don’t get the power they were seeking and peace is brought back to the camp.

Overall I loved this volume and can’t wait for volume 3!

If you haven’t read this comic series, you really should. There is never a dull moment with this comic series! Its filled with action, adventure, witty dialogue, and of course the important theme of friendship!

Are you a fan of this comic series?

If you’ve never read this series, would you want to? 🙂