Thursday, August 17, 2017

Deanna Plays: #PlayWarcross

I recently introduced a new gaming feature to my blog that I am calling Deanna Plays. I have decided that I'm going to make this a monthly feature, that will go up the third Thursday of every month. Not sure if I will actually stick to every month, but I thought if I tried to make this bi-monthly I would forget which month to actually post! 

So in honor of my first actual post about gaming, I decided to use it as my #PlayWarcross post. So Warcross is a book that I am very interested in, because it's about gaming! A lot of people have been sharing who they would choose if they had their own Warcross team. I've seen it done with both bloggers or book characters. I like the posts that choose book characters, so I am going to go that route for this post today. 

Warcross by Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P Puntam's Sons Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
Release Date: September, 12, 2017
Goodreads ★ Amazon  B&N  TBD
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.


This is a no brainer for me, Kali Ling from Arena is already a natural captain, so I would want her to be the captain of my team. She has her own struggles, but in this first novel she does really care for her team and wants to remind them that playing a game for a living is supposed to be FUN! Also you probably want a gamer on your side in this world!


I think for my shield, I am going to go with Elias Veturius from An Ember in the Ashes. Elias fights for what is right, no matter what, and he will have the team's back.


This one was hard for me to think of, but I think I have to say Tyrion Lannister from a Song of Ice and Fire. He is always one step ahead and always thinks before he acts. Tyrion is the brains one needs on their team. 


Sevro au Barca from Red Rising!  Everyone else is saying Kaz or another character from Leigh Bardugo's books, but since I have not read them I cannot say these characters would be good on my team. I do know that Sevro is a loyal thief to Darrow, and is the type of stealthy character you want on your team.


I have to go with Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher series.  Geralt is interesting since he exists in both books and the video gaming world. In both versions of himself, I think he is the best fighter to have on your team. He's a little cranky, but he will begrudgingly help those in need. He is also a beast with his swords and signs. You want this dude on your team!

Who would you put on your Warcross team? Why? Do you agree with any of my choices?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Audiobook Review: Yes Please

Yes Please By Amy Poehler
Publisher: Harper Audio
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Format: Audiobook
Source: Overdrive via my library
My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon  B&N  TBD
In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.
I am a huge fan of Amy Poehler, so of course I had this book on my radar for a long time. I chose to do this one on audio because I find that I tend to like memoirs of funny people to be better if they actually tell me their story rather than me just reading it. Poehler narrates her own book, but also with some help. At first I thought it was interesting that she had Seth Myers, her parents, Kathleen Turner, Patrick Stewart, etc on this audiobook, but once I finished it I felt like those added voices didn't do much to the overall story. I did like the rapport between her and Seth Myers and Michael Shur, but the other voices didn't provide much to what she was trying to say. Having Poehler tell me would have been fine.

I liked listening to Poehler tell me her story, and I found it interesting to hear about her childhood, especially when she talks about the inner demon we all have that tells us we suck. That definitely resonated with me a lot. I also like that I got to hear more about her time in improv and how it shaped her to become the person she was on Saturday Night Live. Of course I knew her from her time on SNL, but I didn't know much about her time in Chicago or with the Upright Citizens Brigade. I found this to be super interesting.

At the time of writing the book, Poehler was going through a divorce with her husband Will Arnett, so there was a lot of really personal stuff going on in this book. Not something that I could personally relate to, but I feel like her candid talk about her divorce could definitely help others that may be going through the same thing.

The last chapter was actually read live, but I found this a little distracting and it made me stop paying attention a little. If I could change anything about this audiobook, it would be to just have Poehler narrate it and to not have the final chapter read in front of an audience.

All in all I did enjoy it, and there were only a few minor things that irked me about it. If you like memoirs from funny people, I would recommend this. It definitely was an entertaining and quick read!

Have you read Amy Poehler's book? What did you think? Do you like memoirs from comedians? Why?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

#TheReadingQuest TBR

The Reading Quest is a new reading challenge that is hosted by Aentee of Read at Midnight.  I'm not very good at doing reading challenges, so I generally ignore them, but since this one runs for a few weeks I figured I would try it! Also, as I started reading about this, I discovered that this is a challenge that is organized based on video game quests!

As a big gamer, and person that loves a good RPG this challenge spoke to me on so many levels. It was so made for me, so I decided it's time to join! Aentee put a crazy amount of work into this challenge and it looks like a lot of fun. It's looks like there will be a lot of other bloggers involved in this. So definitely check out the sign-up post. Also, big props to CW of Read, Think, Ponder for the AMAZING artwork for this challenge.

So what does this reading challenge actually entail, let's take a look at the amazing Quest Board!!

DON'T FREAK OUT!! There is no way I am doing this entire board! The point of this reading quest is to pick a character class and to do their path (purple squares) maybe try some side quest (blue squares) and then you can try your hand at a second character. 

For me, I am doing The Mage Path. I tend to play as a mage in all my video game playing, so it only feels natural for me to do so for this challenge. Plus all the options for the mage seems to make sense based on what I want to read next. I might not even complete my character, but I think it will be fun to try. I was hoping to use this as a way to finally finish Voyager, but since none of these books can be half-read books I'll have to finish that later.







For now I want to focus on the main quest line before I make a decision about doing any of the side quests. Let's face it, trying to read just these five books will be a struggle for me! I'm excited for this challenge, I can't wait to see what everyone else will be doing. 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Deanna Plays: A New Gaming Feature

You are probably wondering, "Deanna, why are you introducing another feature?" and I would say to you, "because I haven't been reading as much so I don't have reviews scheduled that's why!" I have also talked at length about doing a new feature involving video games, but I just wasn't sure WHAT that would be. I'm still not sure, but I decided to just do it, and get it started. 

Video games have pretty much taken over my life the past few years. It's become as much part of me as reading books, so I think it was time to merge it over onto the blog. Also as much as I love writing reviews and doing discussion posts about reviews, sometimes it's nice to have non-book content on the blog for a change. Although, that does not mean that this feature will not talk about books.

So what is Deanna Plays going to be about?? I still don't know, and I'm not sure if I'm going to stick to a monthly post yet or just post whenever I want to like I do with Bookish Thoughts. It might be video game reviews, it might be if you like this book, play this game, I'm not entirely sure but the fun thing is going to be the journey. I'm pretty excited to get started with this new feature!

If you have any ideas on what you think I should talk about on this feature, let me know! I would love to know your opinions.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Deanna Listens: 88 Cups of Tea

Deanna Listens is a monthly feature on the first Monday of every month I created to showcase some of my favorite podcasts. This month I am talking about 88 Cups of Tea!

How I found this delightful podcast was such a happy accident. I follow a lot of YA authors on social media and Beth Revis happened to put up on her instagram that she was going to be interviewed on this podcast called 88 Cups of Tea. So I thought, "Oh, I should check that out" because I love podcasts and finding book related podcasts for this feature is something I'm always looking for. BUT then I saw that my favorite author Meg Cabot was also on this podcast, so I HAD to listen to that first. Then I went down the rabbit hole that is the podcast and binged a ton of episodes.

In the podcast host Yin Chang interviews different people in the writing business, whether that be authors, screenwriters, literary agents, etc. She asks really engaging questions about the writing process and craft, and I find this podcast to be pretty insightful. Yin is also such a delightful positive energy to the show that her excitement shows through the entire time. She is a joy to listen to, and her excitement to interview her guests makes me excited to listen to her do it.

If you are a fan of YA fiction, you will definitely find Yin talking to one of your favorite authors. I haven't really experienced author interviews too much, so I think this is a really refreshing take on a bookish podcast. There are so many great episodes, but I just want to feature a few of my favorites so far:

-Meg Cabot
-Jerry Spinelli
-Beth Revis
-Irena Brignull

I highly recommend this podcast if you are a reader and are interested in how writers come to their stories, or if you are an aspiring writer and want more insight. Yin makes this podcast fun with her positive energy and I think you'll learn a lot.

Got a great podcast you love? Give me a recommendation in the comments. No serious, please help, I'm running out of podcasts to listen to!

Happy Reads Everyone!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves By Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September, 17th, 2013
Format: Kindle version, 453 pages
Source: Overdrive via my library
My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon  B&N  TBD
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...
The Dream Thieves is the sequel to Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, so I will try to refrain from any spoiler content for this book, but there may be spoilers for the first novel in this review.

I have a hard time with sequels sometimes, but I think Stiefvater really won me over with this series, and I'm definitely going to continue with it. The book opens up pretty much right where the last book ends, and we deal a lot with what we know now about Noah, and how what Adam did at the end of the last book is affecting him. This novel is almost "Ronan's book" because it's a lot about his issues with his father's death and with discovering his new power of taking things out of his dreams. He learns a lot about his father and all the secrets that surrounded him, so it's very much a book that focuses on Ronan's struggles with the rest of the gang mixed in.

I'm not sure I'm totally sold on the prophecy that Blue will kill her true love if she kisses him. I kinda have been calling BS on this, but I know in this setting people accept the impossible, so I guess I have to accept that too. I think we find in this novel that Blue and Gansey are definitely attracted to each other, but they are both still fighting it. It's pretty obvious that they will get together and it will end in tragedy, so as a reader it makes me so torn about them. I did really love the scene that Blue has with Noah when none of the boys are around. Blue's life is a little sad, but she endures because that's what she does.

I think what really won me over in this novel was the writing itself. Stiefvater has this magical way of writing like a song. Her words are so lyrical in this novel that it really clung to my heart. There are some great lines in this novel that I really love that just really made me want to continue reading this book,
" has surprised Ronan; he hadn't realized yet that Gansey could persuade even the sun to pause and give him the time."
"Kissing's a lot like laughing. If the joke's funny, it doesn't matter how long it's been since you last heard one."
There are a couple things in the novel that put me off. I know Ronan is kind of jerk, and we are supposed to know that but sometimes I just couldn't stand how jerky he could be. I also didn't really like all the drug usage in this novel. I'm okay with reading that in books, but I just thought it was a little too adult for this young adult novel. I know that teens do drugs, I'm not dumb, but it just seemed so out of place for this story.

If you like the first book, this sequel will not disappoint. I did really like this one, but the ending just felt a little anticlimactic to me. I'm excited to read the next book to see where Stiefvater takes us.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? What do you like about this series as a whole?
Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, August 4, 2017

The New Princess Book Tag

Thank you Darque Dreamer for tagging me in The New Princess Book Tag! I love me some tags, even if they take me forever to complete! Go check out her blog and give her some love!

  • Mention where you saw the tag/thank whoever tagged you!
  • Tag Zuky’s and Mandy’s posts (the awesome creators of the tag) so they can check out the wonderful Princess fun throughout the blog world (Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews & Zuky @ Book Bum)
  • Play a game of tag at the end!

This book (like the movie) started it all
Favorite Debut Book from an Author

This one took me a bit to figure out, because I just couldn't think of a debut, since I tend not to read too many, at least lately. I think I'm going to go with Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda By Becky Albertalli.

A Diamond In The Rough
Just Like Cinderella, You Either Didn’t Expect Much Out of This Character in the Beginning But They Turned Out to Be a Total Gem

I'm not really a fan of Cinderella so....Maybe Isla from Isla and the Happily Ever After. I didn't really like her at first, and she did some really dumb things, but in the end I liked her and where her story went. 

Sleeping Beauty
A Book That Makes You Sleepy, or Just Could Not Hold Your Attention

I think Bradley Cooper's character in Silver Linings Playbook described my feelings about A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway pretty well. OMG SO BORRINNGGG!! And the ending sucked!

Under the Sea
A Book With a Water/ Ocean Setting

I had to resist not using a book about mermaids for this one, but I'm going with Maureen Johnson's Girl at Sea.  I don't think I ever actually rated this book (pre-goodreads and my blog) but it's got everything I wanted. Romance and a treasure hunt!

Beauty and the Books
Name A Book With The Best Bookworm/ Booklover

Okay, this one is easy. HERMIONE GRANGER from The Harry Potter series. NO, not because Emma Watson plays both characters. Hermione was such a book worm, her and Belle would have been pals. Honestly, if Hermione was the girl who lived, she would have solved everything in 2 books. Harry was useless without her. USELESS!

The Thief and the Princess
Name A Book With An Unlikely Love Story (Either in Terms of Romance, or a Book You Didn’t Expect To Love So Much)

I think I'm going to go with Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers. It was slow to start, but I loved the romance in this one a lot! 

The Real Life Princess
Name A Book That is Based On a Real Life Person You Want to Read or Have Read
I'm going to cheat a little on this one, and just pick a memoir I really love. I don't read a lot of books that are based off of real life people. I'm currently reading Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I love the audiobook version, she definitely made it really fun!


The Princess That Saved Her Country
Name the Fiercest Heroine You Know
Oooh...I have to say Sybella from Dark Triumph. She is an unlikeable character, but man I really liked her. She did her job, and she did it well. A lot of people didn't seem to like her in the second book, but I think it gave me more clarity on why she was the way she was. 

The Princess With the Coolest and Most Diverse Crew
Name A Diverse Book, Whether it is a Diverse Set of Characters (Like Tiana’s Group of Naveen, Louis, Ray, and More)or Just Diverse In General

Probably any of the Heroes of Olympus books by Rick Riordan. He does such a good job of writing books with diverse casts of characters, which I really appreciate. I like that he really wants kids to be able to see themselves in the books they read. 

Let Your Longggggg Hair Down
Name the Longest Book You Have Ever Read

According to GoodReads the longest book I've ever read is A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin! It's 1177 pages long! To be honest, it was probably 300 pages too long. 

I Determine My Own Fate
A Book Where There is No Love Story/ Interest or Isn’t Needed

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett. I was just waiting for him to have Shara and Sigurd get together, and I was so happy that they could just be companions! Men and woman working along side each other and never having a romantic relationship is so refreshing.

Elsa & Anna
Frozen Hearts
A Book in a Winter/ Cold Setting

Easy! The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye. It's set in imperial Russia and there are even a couple of scenes that take place in Siberia!

How Far I’ll Go
A Character That Goes On a Journey

Percy Jackson from The Lightning Thief By Rick Riordan. It is quite literally a quest story, and so is the rest of that series. Which I love!

TAGGED:Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Feel free to do this even if you aren't tagged, and if you are tagged, don't feel pressured! This is for fun!
Happy Reads Everyone!