Book Review: 10 Things I Can See From Here

31019571

Official Summary:

Think positive. Don’t worry; be happy. Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review!


3.5 stars

I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t my favorite. I haven’t read many books with a lesbian MC, so that was interesting. And I thought Maeve’s anxiety was accurately portrayed to the best of my knowledge, but it did ratchet up my own. The entire premise is a little over dramatic for my taste, and while the plot was slow at times, I thought it was pretty well done. Overall, I liked it.

Advertisements

Book Review: In Real Life

20575446

I received an ebook of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Original Release Date:

Published October 14th 2014 by First Second (first published 2014)

Date I Read The Book:

September 2017

My Star Rating:

4 Stars

Chronology:

Graphic Novel / Standalone

Official Summary:

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer–a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.

From acclaimed teen author (Little BrotherFor the Win) and Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow and Koko Be Good creator Jen Wang, In Real Life is a perceptive and high-stakes look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture clash.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

In Real Life is a graphic novel – and I beautifully illustrated one at that. The art even varies slightly between the real world and the game world to help you visualize, the colors are really nice, and the panels are played out in a way that makes the story really easy to read, even if your not big on graphic novels. Its a good one to start with if you want to get into them.

I liked the characters – they all seemed very real, fallible and honest. Anda was super relatable. I liked the story – it had a nice message about empathy and how you can never fully understand someone else’s struggles, but it doesn’t shove it down your throat. I will say that if you don’t know at least the basics of MMORPGs, you might not fully get some of the dialogue as its a big part of the story, but you don’t need to be a professional player of league of legends or anything to get it (I dislike MMORPGs even though I love video games and normal RPGs).

The ending felt a little abrupt – and you have to suspend your disbelief a little, as things are resolved a little too easily. But its a cute story overall.

I really enjoyed this!

 

 

 

Mini Book Reviews: The Red Pyramid – The Graphic Novel / LEGO Ninjago – Character Encyclopedia / Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia / The Brilliant Book Of Doctor Who 2012

I have an entire shelf of media tie in books, and during hurricane irma – when our internet was out for a while – I decided a lot of them were shirt/quick enough reads that I could get through some of them – to help out my pitifully lagging Goodreads goal.

So, here’s four mini reviews.

I know this is a little late – but hey, I’m back to doing book reviews!


The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel

by Rick Riordan, Orpheus Collar

13027796

Official Synopsis:
Since their mother’s death, Sadie and Carter have become near-strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, Carter has traveled the world with their father, the famed Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane.
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings to the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that all the gods of Egypt are waking, and that Set now has his sights on them. To stop him, the duo embarks on a dangerous journey across the globe, one that brings Carter and Sadie ever closer to the truth about their family and its connection to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

The heart-stopping action and magic explode off the page in The Red Pyramid, The Graphic Novel, based on the worldwise best-selling novel by Rick Riordan.

Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Disney-Hyperion
Star Rating:
4 Stars
Review:
 I read The Red Pyramid WAY BACK in like, the sixth grade when it first came out. I was going through Percy Jackson withdrawal after binging the series.
And I loved it!
So I picked up the graphic novel second hand.
I LOVED the artwork in this. And the bulk of the story is here, so its a good refresher to continue the series without rereading the actual book, but the book loses a lot in the transition. So while I enjoyed this graphic novel, I recommend reading the full novel first.

LEGO Ninjago: Character Encyclopedia

by DK Publishing, Claire Sipi

16096598
Official Synopsis:
This book is a comprehensive guide to every LEGO Ninjago minifigure, vehicle, and location released to date. Divided into chapters for each series, the first part of the book examines the 2011 Ninja and their locations, weapons, and dragons. Next discovered are the Ninja’s enemies, the evil Skeleton Army, and their vehicles. The second part of the book covers the 2012 sets, introducing the newest Ninja minifigures and locations, and their Serpentine enemies. Ninja Files in this section relate to the most recent set that the minifigure has appeared in, although he or she may have featured in more than one set. The final part of the book has a comprehensive list of all the Ninjago minifigures and sets for all fact-loving LEGO fans!
Hardcover, First, 176 pages
Published October 29th 2012 by DK (first published October 1st 2012)
Star Rating:
3 Stars
Review:
 I was REALLY into Ninjago a few years ago, as I watched it with my friends from camp. Around that time, I received this is a Reddit gift exchange, but I never read through it.
I figured with the Ninjago more coming out soon (as of the time I’m writing this its September 21st), it might serve as a good refresher of the characters.
Its cute – especially if your into the show, but its really general, and written in a kind of dumbed down way I didn’t love. Then again, its intended for 8-year-olds, and I’m 2 weeks shy of 18, so I won’t be too harsh on it.

Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia

by Jason Loborik, Annabel Gibson, Morey Laing

17586616.jpg

Official Synopsis:
Meet all the most important characters from the entire history of Doctor Who, including every Doctor and companion. Packed with fascinating facts and statistics for characters from the Abzorbaloff to the Zygons, and with large cut-out poses and stunning stills from the program, this is the ultimate compendium of Doctor Who characters.
Hardcover, 203 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by DK Children (first published April 1st 2013)
Star Rating:
5 Stars
Review:
 I’ve had this for a while, and I’m going through Doctor Who withdrawal (I need Jodie Foster’s season to start!), so I thought it was a good a time as any to read through this. It has new-Who and classic Who companions and monsters, and is a GREAT reminder of who even more minor characters are. I loved how it was done.

The Brilliant Book Of Doctor Who 2012

by Clayton Hickman, Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Gareth Roberts, Tom MacRae, Steve Thompson, Matthew Graham, Neil Gaiman

11477330

Official Synopsis:
The indispensable official guide to Series 6 of Doctor Who!
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 13th 2011 by BBC Books
Star Rating:
5 Stars
Review:
After reading the character encyclopedia, it seemed like a good time to read this. I found this in a clearance bin at the Miami Book Fair last year, and I’m super glad I got it, as its filled with references and behind the scenes for each episode of season six – which is one of the best, though more confusing, seasons of Doctor Who. I’m tempted to buy more of the Brilliant Books for the other seasons…

Have you read any of these?

Do you agree with my thoughts? Disagree?

Are you planning on reading any of these books?

 

Let me know what you think!

Netgalley Review: Random Illustrated Facts – A Collection of Curious, Weird, and Totally Not Boring Things to Know

cover113750-medium

I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

October 31st 2017

Date I Read The Book:

May 2017

My Star Rating:

4 Stars

Official Summary:

Theres is no official summary up on Goodreads – but the title pretty much sums it up.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

I have a particularly fondness for random, useless knowledge and a recent trend of requesting these little illustrated books on Netgalley as I’ve been enjoying them. This one doesn’t disappointment.

The facts in this book are a good mix of “things I know but were nice to see because they aren’t all that common knowledge” “really really irrelevant things I didn’t ever need to know” “things I’ve never heard of that were really fascinating that I wish were elaborated on”.

This is a short, quick read. The illustrations are captivating and very well done. The facts short, and so the point, and without extra embellishment – something that others may prefer but I found irritating in certain instances.

I did overall enjoy getting to read this book though.

Book Review: Lock & Mori

24885790

Original Release Date:

September 15th, 2015

Date I Read The Book:

September 2017

My Star Rating:

4 Stars

Chronology:

First in a series

Official Summary:

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

I started reading Lock & Mori last year and never finished – I think because AP testing or something? But I picked it up again, because I did really like it and wanted to finish (And Hurricane Irma was making our internet wonky – so reading it was!).

I’m glad I did, because I REALLY love this book. I love the character interactions, and the concept of Sherlock and Moriarty knowing each other as teenagers (through Moriarty being a girl feels a little unnecessary, like trying to avoid having a gay romance).

I liked the side characters and the mystery – and how it ties into Mori’s parents.

Its fairly short – about 300 pages – and I flew through it.

I’m looking forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy.

Favorite/Famous Quotes:

“Sherlock shrugged. “I don’t understand the need for power, really. There are more important pursuits.”
“Only those who have never felt powerless can afford to think like you.”
― Heather W. PettyLock & Mori

“My given name is James.”
“James Moriarty.”

“Really? Sherlock wishes to discuss odd names with me?”
“And a point to Miss Moriarty.”

“You’re an idiot. Truly.”
― Heather W. PettyLock & Mori

“I’ll just say right here that whoever thought up the idea of paying dead white authors by the word should have a special place in hell with the rest of the sadists.”
― Heather W. PettyLock & Mori

Mini Book Reviews: Fowl Language – The Struggle Is Real / Heart and Brain – Body Language / How to Be Perfectly Unhappy / Lady Stuff – Secrets to Being a Woman

LOOK WHOSE FINALLY WRITING SOME BOOK REVIEWS!

Between school (5 AP classes are NOT conducive to reading), and college apps (NEVER ENDING but IMPORTANT), I haven’t had time to read.

But these are all super quick, funny, light little cartoon-graphic novel reads. I’m trying to get into reading more again, I swear.

I read all of these towards the end of September.

These are all books I read via receiving e-arcs from Netgalley. And this is my honest review.


Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real

by Brian Gordon

34536960

Official Synopsis:
The Internet sensation, Fowl Language Comics, is back with its second book, Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real, the perfect parenting humor book for anyone who liked Toddlers Are A**holes!

“This Guy’s Comics Hilariously Sum Up the Truth About Being a Parent.”

—Buzzfeed
He’s back, and he’s totally got parenting figured out this time. KIDDING.

It’s another collection of Fowl Language comics, ripped from the headlines of this author’s actual friggin’ life.

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll swear. It’s almost exactly like a day of parenting, except without the annoying little people.

Paperback, 128 pages
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Star Rating:
4 Stars
Review:
I really like the art of this one, its really well done, and I like the whole Duck thing – it makes it funnier. I’m not a parent (obviously) and it will probably be funnier to you if you are, but I have lots of cousins and a much younger sister – so I felt I could relate to it.
I enjoyed it.

Heart and Brain: Body Language: An Awkward Yeti Collection

by The Awkward Yeti, Nick Seluk

34536961

Official Synopsis:
From the New York Times bestselling creator of the hugely popular Awkward Yeti comics comes the third collection in his Heart and Brain series.

Heart and Brain: Body Language continues the adventures of the loveably conflicted sentimental Heart and rational Brain, as well as other bodily inhabitants like Gallbladder, Muscle, and Tongue.

Warm-hearted and laugh-out-loud funny, these comics bring our inner struggles to vibrant, humorous life.

Paperback, 144 pages
Expected publication: October 3rd 2017 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Star Rating:
5 Stars
Review:
Of all of these, this one is probably my favorite. I read the Heart and Brain comics online ALL THE TIME. And I relate to it so much most of the time. This book is a really nice collection – I hadn’t seen most of them online before. And its really funny, with really nice art.
I REALLY recommend it!

How to Be Perfectly Unhappy

by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal

34536949

Official Synopsis:
Matthew Inman—Eisner Award-winning creator of The Oatmealand #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You—serves yet another helping of thoughtful hilarity in this charming, illustrated gift book for anyone who is irked by the question: “Are you happy?”

In How To Be Perfectly Unhappy, Inman explores the surprising benefits of forgetting about “happiness,” and embracing instead the meaningful activities that keep us busy and interested and fascinated.

Hardcover, 48 pages
Expected publication: October 31st 2017 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Star Rating:
4 Stars
Review:
This book is SUPER short, but it has possibly the best art of all of these. Its super pretty. This one isn’t funny like the others, its raw and honest and I felt I could really connect with it.
Check it out!

Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Woman

by Loryn Brantz

34467891


Official Synopsis:
A collection of Loryn Brantz’s vibrant and relatable Jellybean Comics about her everyday experiences as a lady 

Home manicure tips, awkward seduction techniques, scoping out the snack table, and—most important—prioritizing naps: Lady Stuff reveals these womanly secrets and more. In sections like “Grooming and Habitat Maintenance,” “Mating Habits,” and others, these brightly colored, adorable comics find the humor in the awkwardness of simply existing.

Like the work of Sarah Andersen, Gemma Correll, and Allie Brosh, Loryn Brantz’s Jellybean Comics are accessible and funny; lighthearted takes on the author’s everyday experiences and struggles being a woman.

Paperback, 128 pages
Expected publication: September 26th 2017 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Star Rating:
4 Stars
Review:
I love this funny-comic-cartoons. This particular book, I had seen a lot of the cartoons inside on Buzzfeed and stuff, but it was really enjoyable to read through this book. Its short – it took me about 20 minutes to get through. The artwork is really nice, its funny, and its really relatable. (Save for one cartoon that was more cringe-y than funny…)
I recommend it!

Have you read any of these?

Do you agree with my thoughts? Disagree?

Are you planning on reading any of these books?

 

Let me know what you think!

 

Comic Book Review: Super Sons, Volume 1 – When I Grow Up

Super Sons, Volume 1: When I Grow Up

by Peter J. Tomasi, Jorge Jimenez
34657889.jpg
I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Official Synopsis:

A part of DC Universe Rebirth!

Superboy (aka Jonathan Kent) and Robin (aka Damian Wayne) make their super hero duo debut in this all-new series SUPER SONS, part of DC Rebirth.

This debut series looks at the lives of Robin and Superboy and their destiny to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, while we meet a new villain whose ascension parallels the boys’ own understanding of their powers-except that he believes it’s his right to rule over every being on the planet!

 

Chronology:
Collects SUPER SONS #1-5
Original Release Date:
Paperback, 132 pages
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by DC Comics
Read:
September 2017
Star Rating:
4.5 Stars
Review:
Let me preface this by saying I haven’t really read any DC comics before – I’m more into Marvel – and I definitely haven’t read any rebirth or stories with Super Boy or Damian Wayne (Though of course I know the basics of the characters).
Since this is Vol. 1 of Super Sons, you don’t need to know much more than the basics of “who are Superman and Batman” and “Ok they have kids”.
The boys act a mix of their real age and far older (superheroes after all) – their banter and snarking at each other is hilarious. They can’t seem to get along – but they legitimately seem to want to help each other. Its a really fun introduction.
While Lex Luthor shows up at some point, as do Superman and Batman, Super Boy (AKA Jon Kent) and Robin (AKA Damien Wayne) are the main heroes, with Kid Amazo as the villain. I’d never heard of Kid Amazo before – but he’s an interesting villain, and I liked th story.
The art was REALLY well done. And I’m looking forward to Vol. 2 in March.

Netgalley Review: Lies We Tell Our Kids

34381388

I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

Feb. 20th 2018

Date I Read The Book:

May 2017

My Star Rating:

3 Stars

Official Summary:

From acclaimed artist Brett Wagner comes a book about the tall tales that parents tell their kids in the hopes of getting them to do something—eat, sleep, apologize to their sibling, or learn to do something the right way. Fun, heartfelt, and a little bit weird, Lies We Tell Our Kids exposes the not-so-great generational parenting tactic of lying to your child for the greater good!

Brett Wagner is a Pittsburgh-based illustrator and filmmaker with a penchant for puns and visual anomalies. A generalist by trade, he works mostly in commercial video production, while his short narrative film All Raccoons Are Bandits has been screened internationally. When not on set, he spends most of his time with a box full of Copic markers drawing colorful creatures for himself and others.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

This book was essentially…fine. A few pages made me giggle. The illustrations were really well done. But it just sort of fell flat for me. I’ve never heard of any of the “lies” show cased – and I’ve heard some weird ones – save for 3 or 4. A lot weren’t even particularly funny or sensical. It wasn’t the worst thing or anything like that, but I didn’t particularly care for it.

Check out:

 Netgalley Review: I Love You With All My Butt

and

Netgalley Review: United States of Absurdity – Untold Stories From American History

NetGalley Review: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But You Could Have Done It Better)

31944977

I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

January 10th 2017

Date I Read The Book:

March 2017

My Star Rating:

3 Stars

Official Summary:

Anonymous break up stories from men and women, old and young, serious and silly and the cartoons that inspired them. Author and artist Hilary Campbell turns the painful into the hilarious, validating emotions from forgotten middle school tragedies to relationships that ended only hours ago.

Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and cartoonist. Her films have won top prizes at Slamdance, SF IndieFest, and more. She was the co-illustrator of Jessica Bennett’s critically acclaimed Feminist Fight Club.Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But You Could’ve Done Better is her first book of cartoons.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

I read through this book in about 30 minutes after finishing an essay in class and was waiting for everyone else to finish.

It was enjoyable enough, a short, pretty funny read.

The illustrations are well done and the funniest part of the book.

But several of the submissions feel flat, or were too similar to be repetitively funny. Others were very funny, but with the writing styles and lengths inconsistent, and all the stories being straight, probably unedited submissions from others, it felt like you should get more from a book you buy.

It was pretty funny, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t the best.

Discussion: On DNF Books And Reviews

DNF stands for “Did Not Finish” – an acronym you’ve probably heard around the book blogging community before.


People DNF books all the time, for all sorts of reasons.

Because they just weren’t liking the book.
Because they were bored.
Because they took a particular issue with the book (problematic /trope they dislike etc.).

Everyone has their own policy on this and I can’t speak for everyone.


I personally dislike DNFing books – it feels dishonest to pass judgement if I didn’t see it through.

I have only DNFed a handful of books. Generally because the content made me physically uncomfortable (like Nerdy and the Dirty) or I am extremely bored / disengaged / hitting a reading slump because of a book. Especially recently with my growing TBR.
Usually, if I put a book down, it’s with the intention of coming back later.


But why?
Why feel guilty about not enjoying a book and doing without it?
Book reviews are often subjective – what I enjoy or don’t enjoy may influence those of similar opinions – but it isn’t the end all be all of a books worth or who may enjoy it even if I don’t.


Recently my views of DNFing has changed. I think it’s okay. We read because our enjoy it, why continue if it becomes a chore. But we should explain ourselves.
Why did we DNF a book?
Something objective or something  subjective in its influence?
Could others potentially like it?
And definitely don’t bash a book you couldn’t finish – that I do see as unfair.


What do you think?

Do you agree with me?

What do you think of DNF books?