Bout of Books 18 | Day 2 & 3 Updates | Pure Fail

I did a whole lot of

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some of this and  Image result for overwatch gifs mercy

even a little bit of this

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But I didn’t do any reading.

2017 is starting off very successful…

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Bout of Books 18 | Sign Up | Let’s Do This!

Bout of Books 18

Bout of Books 18 is here, and I’ll be participating.  It’s sad that I can pretty much copy and paste the first Bout of Books sign up for 2016, but it’s true…

Last year, I didn’t read very often or keep up with this blog, but it’s a new year, and I’ll hopefully be able to devote more time to reading and blogging.  We’ll see.  I feel like this read-a-thon is a great way to get back into both.

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon was created by Amanda @ On a Book Bender on a complete whim in August 2011*. It took on a life of its own and was such a hit that Amanda decided to do it again and turn it into a somewhat regular occurrence.

(To read all about Bout of Books and it’s awesomeness click the image!)


The GOALS!

  1. Read every day.  No time limits, but I’m hoping to read for at least an hour.
  2. Complete 2 books.  If I complete more, go me!
  3. And as always, have all the fun!

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The TBR!

I am under no illusions that I’ll actually complete all 6 of these, but these are the first 6 books that I’ll be reading in 2017:
The Absolute Sandman, Volume One   The Absolute Sandman, Volume Two   The Absolute Sandman, Volume Three

The Absolute Sandman, Volume Four   The Absolute Sandman, Volume Five   The Sandman: Overture

Book Review | Neverwhere | Alternate Londons, oh my!

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The BLURB!

Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: neverwhere.

(From Goodreads)

The REVIEW!

WARNING:  Fangirling bias review about to commence.  Leave this blog if you don’t want to read a rambling mess of a review by a book from a favorite author.  Because that’s what you’re going to get.

Oh look, I’ve read another Neil Gaiman book, and I absolutely loved it.

Honestly, since I started reading Neil Gaiman in my adult years, I’ve fallen in love with his writing style, his characters, his world building.  Really, just everything when it comes to his books – I end up loving.  Neverwhere is no different.

The blurb gives the basics of the plot, and I don’t want to spoil anything.  I feel like going into this without knowing too much is what you want to do.  I was really happy going into this story blind.

What Richard goes through is more than any human should have to.  It’s literally an adventure of a lifetime.  Yes, he was whiny on this journey.  And yes, maybe he’s not the typical hero.  But, at the end of the day, he was thrown into something so extraordinary, and he still managed to exceed my expectations.

While Richard was definitely the main protagonist of the story, there were so many more.  I really enjoyed meeting most of the characters – from Door to the marquis de Carabas to the rat-speakers and the big bads.  Richard’s character and personality played so well of the other characters that were introduced, that the development of the story felt very natural and unforced as the characters grew and progressed through this incredible journey.

I loved hating the characters I was supposed to hate.  Loving the ones I was supposed to love.  And being sucker-punched by a few of the characters along the way.

Overall, I just absolutely loved everything about Neverwhere, and I could not put the book down.

I think it’s easy to fall so deeply into Neil Gaiman’s stories, because he’s an absolute master of the craft.  He brings his stories to life, and I highly recommend picking up Neverwhere or one of his many other novels to read soon.

Soon, as in now.

The RATING!

 

Book Review | The Martian | The science went way over my head but the story was heart wrenching and wonderful

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The BLURB!

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

(From Goodreads)

The REVIEW!

Holy science and tech jargon Batman!  If I had stopped to research every single tech or science related sentence in this book, I’d still be reading it and would still be thoroughly freaking confused.  After the first chapter, I gave up and instead just went with the assumption that Mark Watney knows what the fuck he’s doing.  Kind of.  He at least knows what he’s talking about, and I’m just going to trust (i.e. assume) that it’s all legitimate science and tech.

Even if it’s not, I actually don’t care.  Not even a little bit.

While The Martian is a very science laden story, it’s still a very human story, and that’s why I think it works so well.  I quit caring about if it made sense and just started caring about Mark, and what he was going through, and hoping I wasn’t reading the journal of a dead man.

He was a very likable character, and I was 100% invested in his journey as a stranded freaking BAMF on Mars.

I had read a few reviews who talked about how funny this story was at times, and having read the synopsis, I assumed those people were out of their damn mind.  There’s nothing funny about the synopsis, but Mark’s journal is filled with his humor, and there were plenty of times I was laughing out loud.

And crying.  And gripping the edge of my chair waiting to get back to his journal to know he was OK.  And more laughing.

And more crying.

I cannot say enough about his character.  Even if you aren’t a fan of science fiction, I’d really recommend at least trying this book for the characters alone.  Not just Mark, either, although he’s clearly the main character.  His cast of side characters do add a great element to the story, and I really loved seeing the third person POVs from NASA and Mark’s crew.

The plot itself felt like it had been done before, and I’m sure it had, but the Andy Weir’s writing kept it interesting, and I felt like the pacing was really well done.  I didn’t need to skim ever during the techie parts because there was usually action immediately following it.  Or Watney’s witty fucking humor.

Overall, I just cannot say enough about this story, and I try very hard to avoid spoilers.  So, just read it if you haven’t.   I know I’m late to the game with reading this anyway, but if you’re even later…seriously, get to reading this.  I started it last night and finished it last night – just could not put the book down.

The RATING!

(Actual 4.5, but I’m lazy and never made 1/2 stars…

so this gets all 5!)

The Coffee Book Tag | By a Non-Coffee Drinker

Howdy all!  The title is pretty much giving away what this blog post is about, but I’ll be attempting the Coffee Book Tag.  Thanks emmathereader for tagging me!

I may not drink coffee, but I love doing tags.

BLACK COFFEE – a series that’s tough to get into, but has hardcore fans.

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Starting off with a relatively tough pick for me.  I tend to skip series that I’m not at least 85% sure I’m going to love.  I picked the DoSaB trilogy because, while I loved the first book, I didn’t finish the trilogy for about a year and a half after reading the book in 2014.  Since I didn’t continue on right away (and I could have), I’ll say that it was a little tough for me to stay into.  However, so many readers love this trilogy from book one, that I’d definitely consider it having a hardcore fan base.

PEPPERMINT MOCHA a book that gets more popular over the festive period.

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I unfortunately didn’t originally read this book during Christmas, but I wish I did.  It would have added another element to the story that I would have absolutely loved.  I’m definitely planning on reading it again this holiday season, and I’m looking forward to it.

HOT CHOCOLATE – your favorite children’s book.

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This was the book that sparked my love for reading, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.  Fun Fact:  I didn’t know this was a part of a series when I first read it (around 6 or 7).

DOUBLE SHOT OF ESPRESSO – a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

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Pretty much any Joe Ledger book keeps me on the edge of my seat.  They’re so action packed and honestly nail biting suspenseful, it’s hard to get any downtime between adrenaline rushes.

STARBUCKS – a book you see everywhere.

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Filching Emma’s pick.  This series is everywhere.  Literally.

(I loved it).

HIPSTER COFFEE SHOP – give a book by an indie author a shout out.

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OK, so I haven’t read this yet, but I own 3-4 of Nenia’s books and am planning to get to them this year.  Nenia seems really down to earth though, so even if I haven’t read them, I have a lot of respect for her.

DECAF – a book you expected more from.

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I had heard so many good things about this book that I went into it expecting to love it just as much.  I didn’t love it.  At all.

THE PERFECT BLEND a book that was bitter and sweet and ultimately satisfying.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus is the type of book that I absolutely crave.  It has a perfect blend of everything I enjoy in books.  Magic, mystery, tension, whimsical elements.  Oh, it was just flawless.

GREEN TEA – a book which is quietly beautiful.

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OK, plenty of people have talked about this book and really enjoyed it.  The story itself though is so beautiful and it has that serene feel to it, like it’ll trap you in its pages forever.

CHAI TEA – a book that makes you dream of faraway places.

The Absolute Sandman, Volume One

This series is about Morpheus aka Dream, one of the Endless.  The one that rules our dreams.  He could literally take me to any faraway place.  Real.  Imagined.  One not even thought up yet.

EARL GREY – your favorite classic.

Fahrenheit 451

The book that I’m currently re-reading.  Fahrenheit 451 is terrifyingly brilliant, and a book that I’ll always love and read and gain new insight after having read it again.


You’re it!

 

 

Book Review | #WICDIV | The Faust Act | Fandemonium | Commercial Suicide

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The BLURBs!

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.


 Following the tragic and unjust death of Lucifer, it takes a revelation from Inanna to draw Laura back into the worlds of Gods and Superstardom to try and discover the truth behind a conspiracy to subvert divinity.


After the detonation of FANDEMONIUM the gods-as-pop-stars of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE try living in the long dark shadow.

(From Goodreads)

The REVIEW!

This review may contain spoilers.  Turn back now if you do not want to be spoiled on all the pure awesome that is THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE.

To start – I have not read the physical volumes of this comic series.  I collect the single issues but Goodreads likes to count each issue as a “book”, and if I didn’t pick the TPBs, my 75 book challenge would be a little over a 1/4th of the way complete.  And that’s no fun.

I read Issues 1-10 when they first came out in 2014.  Then, life was life, and I just started piling up on the other issues.  I finally got back to the series this year – re-reading the first 10 issues before moving on to the next 7.

When I see reviews on this series, I see one of two types – the fanatic love reviews and the hate reviews.  I’ll be in the former, because even after my re-read, I’m still completely in love with this comic.

And that’s both Kieron Gillen’s writing and Jamie McKelvie’s art.  While I haven’t read too many negative things about Jamie’s art…and I mean, really:

  

What would the complaints be?  That it’s too damn beautiful?  Pu-uh-leeze!

I have heard some negative things about Kieron’s writing.  Normally, others are saying that this story is too confusing or boring or blah blah blah.

It’s all noise, because Kieron’s writing isn’t boring to me.  This story isn’t confusing.  It’s intriguing and the characters are so easy to fall in love with, to hate, to mourn, to idolize –  I mean come on, they’re fucking gods.

And both the words and the art bring this story to life; it gives it its soul, and it’s all wonderful.

Wicked + The Divine follow a fan, Laura, as she’s introduced to the gods and sucked into their lives and all the drama it brings – the good, the bad, the fans, the crazies, the pain, the fear of dying, and the death.  Still, Laura loves it all, and she wants to be more than just a fan.  She wants to be a god.

The gods are all pretty awesome, and I can totally see why Laura would want to be one.  I will definitely admit to loving certain ones way more than others – Luci, Innana, Persephone, and The Morrigan are still my favorites, but I’m starting to dig Baal.   Their life looks glamorous, very similar to how some people view celebrities, but when you get to see behind the curtains, you see all the darkness this type of life brings.

I know I said this may contain spoilers, but to avoid any more spoilers than what the BLURBs gave away, I’ll just highly, highly recommend this comic series.  It’s fucking brilliant – the story and the artwork.  I just love it!

The RATING!

(duh!)

Book Review | The Ocean at the End of the Lane | Fantastical and frightening.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The BLURB!

Dive into a magical novel of memory and the adventure of childhood, from one of the brightest, most brilliant writers of our generation.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive. There is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

(From Goodreads)

The REVIEW!

This is my first re-read of 2016. It was just as fantastical and frightening as I remembered it, but I found myself enjoying it more this time around.

I saw more of myself in the narrator this time. From his fears of the dark matching my own as a child, to what he went through not even remotely matching my own childhood. But, I had an over-active imagination, and I know that I saw and dreamed up monsters in the shadows and the dark, and maybe it wasn’t my imagination but memories.

OK, it was definitely just my imagination, but how terrifying would it be to discover that it was really a memory long forgotten?

 

Neil Gaiman did an excellent job of giving his seven year old narrator a seven year old’s voice. It felt very genuine and really helped keep me completely engaged in the story.

Honestly, I felt that Mr. Gaiman did everything right with this novel. The length felt perfect for this story – I didn’t think it dragged or it ended too quickly. The plot and the characters were just spot on, and I was in our narrator’s corner 100% of the time. I despised the monsters in this book and hoped that they would meet their demise. And I especially loved the Hempstock women. They were strong, brave, wonderfully magical, brilliant, caring, extraordinary beings.

This is one of those novels that I know I’ll continue to re-read in years to come, and one that I would honestly recommend to everyone to try. It’s one of my favorite Gaiman works, and I know I haven’t read them all yet, but I think it’ll stay one of my favorites of his.

This review is becoming a rambling mess, so I’m ending it soon.  But I really, really think you check out The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Seriously, if you haven’t yet, try and get to this book in 2016. It’s under 300 pages, and I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

The RATING!

(was there any doubt?)