Friday, July 28, 2017

July Wrap-Up + Blog Updates

I can't believe it, but it's almost August, already! I'm trying to get this post out now because I have a work conference next week and will have zero free time until next Friday afternoon. So I might be MIA for a little while I catch up on reviews and reading. 

So I decided this month to change up how these posts are written. Rather than just tell you guys what I read this month, I've also going to break it down with links to all my reviews. I still want to talk about the other media I've consumed, but I also want to start featuring posts from other bloggers around the blogosphere. Mostly, because I want to support all the new bloggers I have been connecting with lately. So it's going to be a little different this month, but I hope this format works out better and makes these post more interesting to my readers.


So, a couple things I wanted to address about the blog. First, if you have been following my blog by email and are a subscriber, you might not be anymore 😟   Another blogger on twitter alerted me that my subscriptions weren't turned on, and then when I went to check it out it looks like my feed wasn't actually a real feed link. There was literally no way to fix it other than deleting and reinstalling. WHICH SUCKS! Because now I've lost all my followers. 😭  It should be working now, so if you are interested in following my blog through email (I would love it!) you'll have to do it again in the box on my right rail. 

Another awesome thing I found out about my blog (*sarcasm font*) was that the "follow" button specific to Blogger was just not on my right rail AT ALL!! It must have been at one point, and then I accidentally deleted it and NEVER NOTICED IT WAS GONE! So it makes it look like I have 4 followers on this stupid blog, even though I have 90 on Bloglovin (Thank you everyone that still uses bloglovin!!!). These are minor setbacks, so I'm over them and I don't want to be bothered about them anymore. I just wanted my readers to be aware of it. 

I also just want to point out that I wrote the most posts on the blog this month since 2015!! Maybe I am finally getting back into blogging! That makes me pretty excited, and I hope I can continue to provide interesting content on this blog for years to come.

This month I reviewed a total of 10 books! I also participated in a couple book tags, which I love and wrote two new posts under my Bookish Thoughts Feature. For Deanna Listens this month, I featured my faves Audio Shelf!




These are just a handful of great posts I saw around the book blogging community this month, and I would love to get some other recommendations! I'm going to try to feature different bloggers (If I can) each month so that I can support more bloggers, especially all those newbies out there that are just starting out. 

Do you like this new format? Do you have any suggestions on how to make these wrap-up posts more interesting? What book did you read this month?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bookish Thoughts: When Do You Find Time To Read?

Today on Bookish Thoughts, I want to talk about how you find time to read books. No, seriously, when do all of you other book bloggers find the time to read??

I have a full time job, so it's sometimes hard to find the time to actually read all the books that I keep on buying. It's also hard when you are trying to create content to be on your book blog when you haven't read any books on your TBR list and you don't have any reviews ready to be posted. It's a freaking conundrum. So props to all the other book bloggers out there that can read 20 books in a week, you da real MVP!

Before I became a boring old adult with a full time job, I spent a lot of time during my breaks from college just ripping through books. So much that I have books listed as read on my GoodReads profile, that I have literally NO IDEA what it is about. I looked at some and thought to myself, "I read this...when?" I used to work in the city so I would take the train and I got a lot of reading done then, but then I got a new job closer to home. However, at the time my boyfriend was still living at his mom's house (a two hour drive) so I ended up just taking the train when I wanted to visit him so then I was reading A LOT on the train too. Like I would pretty much finish a book round trip when I made these trips. I was reading so much that I didn't even write a review for everything! That seems so crazy to me now.

Then we moved in together two years ago, and it's been a lot harder to find the time to read. I think that's why I have flocked to audiobooks lately because it's an easier way to get my reading done. It gets to be harder when all I want to do is read, but he wants to just hangout and watch tv. Since I want to spend time with him, of course I end up just watching what tv show we end up watching. I also got back into video games recently and it has been harder to split my time between reading and playing video games. I am trying to reserve any video game playing for the weekend and during the week I work on the blog in some way or try to get more reading done. 

Okay, so it seems like all I have done with this post is make excuses on why I can't find time to read, so how do I find any time to read? 

I do audios from time to time, it makes it easier to listen to audiobooks on my way to and from work and while just doing chores. My boyfriend plays online with his one friend a lot, so when he does that I know I have some uninterrupted time to try to read. I want to get back into the habit of reading before bed, but we are both terrible people that just watch tv until it's too late. It's definitely something I want to change. I also squeeze in some reading time before I go to work (depending on if I have to go in early) or during my lunch breaks. I usually don't get a lot of reading in, but I feel like even ten minutes makes a difference in reading than not reading at all. Maybe one day I will crush my deadly TBR pile!

So how do you find time to read? Do you have any tips? I would love to hear about them! Does anyone else have this problem where they never seem to have time to read built into their schedules?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Heathen V.1

Heathen by Natasha Alterici & Rachel Deering
Publisher: Vault Comics (Diamond Book Distributors)
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Format: Egalley, 115 pages
Source: Netgalley 
My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon  B&N  TBD
Aydis is a viking, a warrior, an outcast, and a self-proclaimed heathen. Aydis is friend to the talking horse Saga, rescuer of the immortal Valkyrie Brynhild, and battler of demons and fantastic monsters. Aydis is a woman. Born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women, she is on a mission to end the oppressive reign of the god-king Odin.

I saw that this graphic novel was available as "read now" on Netgalley and then I saw "Vikings" and I was like yes, please!!! Like literally, they had me at Vikings and I downloaded it immediately! I have to say that this one did not disappoint!

So here's the situation, Aydis gets caught kissing another girl and her father pretends to kill her so she can run away. So Aydis takes it upon herself to try to break the curse that the god Odin put on the leader of the Valkyries. This story is pretty much a classic quest story, and I loved it so, so much! As a fan of mythology, I was super into reading about the Viking culture through this comic and seeing how the Gods relate to mortals. I don't know a lot of norse mythology, but I'm really interested in it and definitely want to read more of Aydis' story.

The story arc in this comic is very much about finding yourself and being okay with that. It's also about trying to overcome adversity when you are the "other" that scares simple-minded people. We see this not just in what Aydis' experiences at the hand's of her village's male leaders, but we see it later when a "witch" is being cast out from her village and Brynhild basically takes matters into her own hands to solve the problem. 

One thing I really enjoyed about this story was all the little hints about how Christianity was starting to take over Viking culture, and forcing them to change their ways. I love the part when Aydis is asked why she wears a helmet with horns when her people have never done that before. It also plays a part in the scene when Brynhild helps the "witch". I found these little nuggets of showing the world and culture changing to be super interesting and gave me more context about this story.  

I can't write a review about a comic book without talking about the art! I really liked the style of art in this one. It's done in a very muted tone with neutral blacks and browns. In the beginning when we get the story about Brynhild the style almost looks like a primitive style reminiscent of cave paintings, and I thought that was a cool way to introduce us to the setting of this story. The art style really reflects the grittiness of the setting and really gave me a feel for what life was like in Viking society at this time period. 

My only issue with this comic is that it was over too quickly! I want to read the next one right away!

Have your read Heathen? What did you think?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Added Because of Other Bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. TBTB is currently on hiatus until August so this week I am doing a freebie topic. So for this week I decided to do it on books I've added to my TBR because of other book bloggers. Some of these I have already read, but others I just haven't gotten a chance to read them yet, but I want to soon. I'm also going to be linking back to these bloggers, when I remember who it was, so you can check them out too!

I added this to my TBR list when Jess from Curiouser and Curiouser raved about it. I shamelessly still haven't read it, but it's on my kindle! So I'm hoping to read it soon. 

Okay, this one was on my list and I probably still would have read it, but I don't think I would have actually gone out and bought the hardcopy if it wasn't for so many book bloggers talking about it. There was so much drama about this book, but I want to read it for myself and form my own opinions!

I wouldn't have heard of this book or even thought to read it if it wasn't for Val's review of it on her blog The Innocent Smiley. I bought it on kindle, but again still haven't read it! 

Okay, I don't know what blog I first saw this on, maybe it was Val again? I don't remember but I saw it on several blogs and they talked about it on a comic book podcast I used to listen to. This one I actually have read.

I can't remember what blog I saw this one on either! But I know it was another blogger that turned me on to it. I loved this one! I don't think I ever actually wrote a review for this one, this was in the early stages of my blog when I didn't review everything I read, but I ended up reading the other novels Dark Triumph  and Mortal Heart.

I only found out about this book because Shannon from It Starts At Midnight did a review and giveaway for it, and I was like, "Holy crap, this was so written for me!" I recently read it and loved it!

This is not a book I normally would read, but when The Bookavid raved about it so much, I decided I should get it. I don't think she has stopped raving about it! I definitely need to read it soon.

I forget who reviewed this when it came out, and peaked my interest! Still haven't read it, because I am the worst!!

There were several different bloggers that promoted this that peaked my interest it in. I can't remember exactly who is was! I enjoyed this one a lot!

Jess at Curiouser and Curiouser actually recommended this one to me on GoodReads. Still haven't read it because I suck. 

Have you ever added books to your TBR solely based on another blogger's review or recommendation? What were those books?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Audiobook Review: One Plus One

One Plus One By Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Recorded Books
Release Date: 2014
Format: Audiobook narrated by Elizabeth Bower, Ben Eliot, Nicola Stanton & Steven France
Summary via Goodreads
My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon  B&N  TBD
One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages... maybe ever.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book at first, mostly because Jess's life is so depressing. This woman has to take care of everyone and she constantly worries about money and how she is going to keep her life together. This book really opened my eyes to my own privilege because I've never really had to worry about living paycheck to paycheck, but a lot of people do and may have a situation like Jess. What I loved about Jess is that no matter how bad things get, she tried to stay positive and keep everyone together.

Jojo Moyes has a way of putting her characters in difficult situations, but she makes them pretty relatable that I just love to read through their journey to find out what happens. This was a short sweet book, that was a fun read.

I kind of love when Jess and Ed first meet, because he's such a jerk to her, and I loved that when they meet again she lets him have it. Go, Jess! When they get entangled with each other when Ed agrees to take her and her kids to Scotland, it just became such a fun adventure! Especially with the added mix of her big slobbering dog, Norman! I love that Ed tries to help out Nicky, and basically tells him that one day things will get better for him, and that he'll find his tribe.

The narration for this audiobook was really interesting, because there are four narrators (Jess, Ed, Nicky & Tanzie). It mostly bounces back and forth between the narrators for Ed and Jess, but occasionally there was narration for Nicky and Tanzie, which I really liked! It gave a little insight in how the children were thinking, and how as kids you might not really understand the financial struggles your parents are going through. You see that a little more with Tanzie, but with Nicky you get a little bit more insight on his lost boy status. When Jess is depressed towards the end of the book we see how he really takes on responsibilities and tries to help out. I really liked that we got to see a "goth kid" being a truly good kid and not demonized as a bad person. Just because he wears eyeliner doesn't mean he is a heathen! I really enjoyed that Moyes subverted this misconception with Nicky's character. I actually sped up this audio a little and the narrator for Jess was super fast paced compared to the others, but I actually really enjoyed that because it seemed like it matched Jess' personality.

This book is set in the UK, so if you are not familiar with the culture there might be some things that are confusing. Like what the heck is a Council House?  But it's nothing a quick google search can't solve. Otherwise it's a sweet story with a happy ending, even though it might not seem like it as you get close to the end! My only complaint is that I want to know what type of dog Norman was!

Have you read this novel, what are you thoughts? Any recommendations for what to read next by Jojo Moyes? Do you have a favorite of her novels? What type of dog do you think Norman was??

Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Mid-Year Book Freakout TAG!

I've seen this tag around different blogs, but last on The Bookavid, and I think it's time I finally do it! YAY more book tags!

Best Book You Read All Year

This one was tough, but I think I HAVE to say City of Miracles By Robert Jackson Bennett, because I'm always trying to promote this wonderful urban fantasy series. This was a final book in the Divine Cities series, but man it's so good and unlike anything I've read before, I really loved it!

Best Sequel This Year

Maybe I should have saved my first answer for this one! But I haven't read a lot of sequels so far this year, so I'm going to go with the third book in the Cormoran Strike series, Career of Evil. This one surprised me a lot, and I literally had NO IDEA who dunnit the entire time. I kind of wish we didn't know this was JK. Rowling, because I always have that in the back of my mind. I like this a lot, and I think the guy that does the audio is Cormoran to me, so I don't know if I could do these in regular print. 

New Release I Haven't Read Yet, But Want To

After hearing about all the crazy drama on twitter about this When Dimple Met Rishi, I decided to just go out and buy it so I could support the author! I'm excited to read this one, I just have two books in my queue ahead of it. 

Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of Year

I'm really terrible at reading new releases. Like so bad, my blog slogan should just be "Backlog 'R US". So this was hard, because I only have a few, but I have to go with the video game centric Warcross. Is this also a bad time to admit that I STILL haven't read a single book by Marie Lu?? 😅

Biggest Disappointment 

Now this question was easy! Has to be The Roanoke Girls. YUCK!! The topic of this book was so gross to me. Not a fan at all. 

Biggest Surprise

Maybe, Arena? I was just unsure if it was going to get gamer culture correct or if it was going to try to do too much. I ended up really liking it!

Favorite New Author (Debut or New To Me)

This one was hard!! But I am going to say Robert Jackson Bennett (Divine Cities)

Newest Fictional Crush

Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher books! I love me some Geralt, but maybe that's because I played the video games before I read any of the books. 

Newest Favorite Character

Oh definitely Pasha from The Crown's Game! He was such a mischievous character. 

Book That Made Me Cry

NONE! I'm kind of a robot.

Book That Made Me Happy

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda! That book gave me all the teenage nostalgia feels!

Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation

Hmmm...maybe just the Netflix series for A Series of Unfortunate Events? I think the show is better than the actual books. Ooops...I didn't say that!

Favorite Post I've Done This Year

My three year blogiversary! Even though it made me still feel like this blog is getting nowhere. My blog isn't that popular, so sometimes it's hard when you think you are just shouting into the void and nobody gives a shit. It was a huge milestone, so I was proud of that at least.

Most Beautiful Book I Bought Or Received 

Okay, it might not be actually "pretty", but to me the fact that LucasFilm's storyboard cannon team is letting Thrawn be a part of the new canon and letting Timothy Zahn write about him again is so beautiful to this little Star Wars Nerd. 

Books I Need to Read By The End of The Year



I'm actually going to not be lazy and tag some fellow bloggers, IF you haven't done it yet:

Feel free to do this tag too, and link me to your post in the comments below!

Happy Reads Everyone!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: The Blood of Elves

Blood Of Elves By Andrzej Sapkowski
Publisher: Hachette
Release Date: April 22nd, 2009
Format: Kindle version, 324 pages
Summary via Goodreads
My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon  B&N  TBD
For more than a hundred years humans, dwarves, gnomes and elves lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over and now the races once again fight each other - and themselves: Dwarves are killing their kinsmen, and elves are murdering humans and elves, at least those elves who are friendly to humans... Into this tumultuous time is born a child for whom the witchers of the world have been waiting.

Ciri, the granddaughter of Queen Calanthe, the Lioness of Cintra, has strange powers and a stranger destiny, for prophecy names her the Flame, one with the power to change the world - for good, or for evil... Geralt, the witcher of Rivia, has taken Ciri to the relative safety of the Witchers' Settlement, but it soon becomes clear that Ciri isn't like the other witchers. As the political situation grows ever dimmer and the threat of war hangs almost palpably over the land, Geralt searches for someone to train Ciri's unique powers.

But someone else has an eye on the young girl, someone who understand exactly what the prophecy means - and exactly what Ciri's power can do. This time Geralt may have met his match.
I think I have to preface this review by saying that I love The Witcher games, so I might be a little biased when I say I like the books. Especially since I've already fallen in love with these characters. That being said, I think the developers did a pretty decent job at being loyal to the source material.

I'm not 100% sure which order you are supposed to read these books. It's also harder because these books were originally written in Sapkowski's native language of Polish and are translated to English, so sometimes I think it takes a lot longer to be translated. Some Polish speaking fans have even just taken to translating the books themselves! But, I think you are supposed to read the two short story collections The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny before reading this novel. I think it gives you more background before reading this one.

What I really like about this novel is that we get to see more of Geralt and Ciri. YAY! I love getting to see this crotchety old man really care for this strange girl that basically gets dropped into his lap. Ciri doesn't have a good relationship with her real parents, but I love the bond that she forms with Geralt. I also love when the Sorceress Triss comes to visit The Witchers at Kaer Morhen she has to explain to them that they have no idea how to raise girls!

I like that we get to see Ciri spend a lot time with Yennefer. It gave me more insight in Yenn as a character. In the short story collections she's really cold and unfeeling and she messes with Geralt's feelings a lot. Although, I think she also thinks Geralt has no feelings so she treats him like this as a way to protect herself. When Yenn is teaching Ciri about magic, there's a really strong bond between them. I loved the teasing relationship between them.

Although I loved how Sapkowski builds the foundation for this found family, there were a few things about this novel that I just couldn't get into. First of all, I'm not a fan of really long chapters, and this book had very long chapters! Maybe this was just because it's a translation, but I would have liked it to be broken up a little more. Another thing that bothered me was a chapter when all the Kings get together to talk about if Ciri is still alive. Like Geralt, I don't care about politics so I found this chapter SUPER boring!

Have you read any of The Witcher books? What do you think? Is there a certain order you need to read these in?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Harry Potter Spells Tag

I saw that Cass over at Words on Paper did this tag, and it looked like a lot of fun! I'm always up for things to do with Harry Potter. It also looks like this tag originated on BookTube, which is pretty interesting. I'd love to give the person who actually created this credit, so let me know if you know who it is!

A childhood book connected to good memories

I think I have to go with The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (and the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia). I loved these books as a kid! I read them all in like the 5th grade. I think a lot of it might have gone over my head, so I think i might want to reread these. Maybe I'll do it on audio.

A book that took you by surprise

This was one of my first forays in the weird mind that is Chuck Palahniuk. This book was written weird and out of order, and there is a huge twist in it that I DID NOT see coming. Definitely a surprising, but weird AF book. 
The last book you read

As of this writing of this post, I just finished Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski. I love the games that were made based off of this series, so I have made love for this series.

A book that introduced you to a genre you had not considered before

I hadn't really read any steampunk before I read Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series. I highly recommend it. However, I just haven't read another steampunk novel that I've actually liked. I tried Leigh Statham's novels, but I just really could not get into them since I didn't care for the main character. I would love any suggestions!

A funny book you've read

I don't usually seek out funny books specifically, but I did find Meg Cabot's The Boy Next Door to be really fun. I thought the friendship between the main character and her best friend was so funny!

A book you think everyone should know about

Don't let the cover fool you, this is a really cool book about stranded beauty queens figuring out how to survive. The author narrated the audiobooks, and I really enjoyed it.

A book or spoiler you would like to forget having read

Ugh, this book made me regret reading this entire series. I haven't picked up a book by Roth since. I'm just not interested anymore. Especially after reading how problematic Carve the Mark is. No thanks!

A book you had to read in school

I had to read this book in school, and the author actually came to my middle school. I got to meet her which was cool. 

A book that was painful to read

I could not stand this book, at all! The topic of this novel just grossed me out so much. Ugh, did not like at all!

A book that could kill

This book is so creepy! I thought the narrator was going to reach through my phone and kill me!

A book you always want to have with you

Basically any Meg Cabot book. I love her books, they are so light and fun. I seriously picked up one of her adult novels when I was reading a book I hated just to give myself a break from it!

Feel free to do this tag, yourselves. I always feel awkward and annoying tagging other bloggers. Also, I'm super lazy. 

Happy Reads Everyone!