Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ten Books On My TBR for Next Halloween

Halloween is finally here and the day is almost over! This is the final post for my All Hallows Week. I'm looking forward to next year and excited about the books that are still on my shelves.

While I didn't get to all the books on my Spooky Reads TBR, I am really excited to continue reading these scary books. The fall weather and Halloween spirit put me in the mood for more scary stories. So these are a few of the books on my shelf I might read between this Halloween and next. Let me know if  there are any I should prioritize! 

The Space Between The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist, #2) Conjured Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)

Halloween Weekend Reads #AllHallowWeek

All through October I have been scaring myself silly and enjoying every moment. This weekend is probably the last time I'll read exclusively creepy books for a while.

Books Mentioned: 

Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yavonoff

Friday, October 30, 2015

Review #AllHallowsWeek - Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)'

Series: Montrumologist #1
Genre: Horror
Paperback - 434 pgs
Published: Simon & Schuster (2010) 
Source – Purchased

Rating: 5/5

These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.

A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?

This book had MANY things that make me happy. There are MONSTERS. There is a man who reminds me of Sherlock Holmes, but he believes in monsters. There is a compelling and interesting narrator who breaks the fourth wall and they are in New England during the Victorian Age.

How could I not love this book?

While this book is targeted to teens because it has a young narrator, it has one of the most terrifying set of monsters I have ever read. These beasties want to eat humans in no uncertain terms and they are undeniably frightening.  At times this story is gory and frankly gross. If you are squeamish, I don’t think this book will be for you. Nonetheless it is a fantastic horror story.

The voice of our narrator, Will Henry, is perfect for this story. His character is crafted so well and I have a clear picture of him and the entire setting of New Jerusalem. Will Henry has supposedly written this journal as an old man recounting the horrors of his youth.  I think Yancey did a great job of telling the story through the eyes of a twelve year old and with the maturity of an elderly man. At times the wordiness of the writing style slowed the pace down and I had to resist the urge to skim past some sections of text. Overall though, this book is a roller coaster ride. The twists really kept me engaged and it was hard to put this book down.

Personally, I don’t think Dr. Warthrop is as endearing as Holmes. While I can compare them easily and I think Warthrop is based on Holmes, he lacks a lot of the empathy and understanding Holmes displays. He is a cruel master to his young charge at times and his ego certainly made him hard to like.  He and Will Henry have a love/hate relationship even though they depend on one another in many ways. I am very interested to see how this dynamic develops as Will Henry gets older and the story continues.

The mystery within this story is secrets inside secrets and there was no point where I felt like I knew how it would turn out. It was fantastically planned and I loved the twists Yancey created.  These combined with the horror elements created a fantastic atmosphere for this book and I was totally absorbed in the story.

I’ve already started reading book two and I imagine these books will be my main source of sleepless nights for the rest of the fall.

Quick Thoughts: If you like horror, check this book out. It is gory and captivating enough for adults even though our narrator is young. The characters are fantastic, the plot is twisted and thrilling and the monsters are terrifying. Check out this series for a good scare! 

Happy Reading! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Recommendations! #AllHallowsWeek

This week I am talking all things Halloween related! Today I've compiled a few things to read and watch during these next few days of festive fun! My family has been having movie night the past few weeks while watching our favorites and I've been reading the creepiest reads to have the best recommendations for you! Check out my video for some frightfully good ideas!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review #AllHallowsWeek - Conversion by Katherine Howe


Series: Standalone 
Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary
(Dual Perspective)
Hardcover – 402pgs
Published – July 2014 (G.P. Putnam)
Source: Purchased

Rating: 2 / 5

It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.

First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.

Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .

Until I sat down to write this review, I didn't realize how annoyed I was with this book. I'm very disappointed because it had so much potential and it fell completely flat for me. From the beginning I found it hard to like with Colleen and I really struggled to stay invested. While I don't want to sound overly critical, I had a lot of problems with this story. 

Colleen's behavior ranged from annoying to infuriating. Throughout the book I thought of her more as Cher from Clueless rather than a girl fighting for the top spot in a private school. While we are reminded over and over again that Colleen is very intelligent, she isn't written that way. There are many things Colleen ignores or is oblivious to, and while the reader puts the pieces together, Colleen takes much longer. This makes the story drag! 

For me the biggest problem in this book was I didn't believe any of it. I didn't believe Colleen would be oblivious to all the things she was. I do not see how it was possible the student body didn't have any real sympathy for their classmates and instead viewed each other only as rivals for college admissions. Colleen was entirely focused getting into Harvard while her classmates were dropping to this illness like flies. I understand Howe was trying to create a competitive atmosphere between the students.  However, it felt like she was writing down to her audience the whole time and didn't believe they could figure anything out. 

Throughout the book I was much more interested in the Mystery Illness and the focus didn't shift to that until much later in the book.  This didn't track for me. I thought this was going to be the main plot line of the whole book and Mystery Illness never became the sole focus of the story.  I was compelled to keep reading, but only to find out what the Mystery Illness was. That explanation didn't give me many answers though so I was just frustrated overall by this book. 

Am I the only one though? I haven't heard many people talk about this and I feel like I'm picking apart this book. I was this frustrated while reading, but am I the only one who had issues with this book?  

Quick Thoughts: Though this book was based on true events, I didn't find the characters very believable. The budding romance in this book was cute, but even puppy love couldn't offset the other problems I had with this book. By the end of the story I was annoyed with everyone and the ending did not give me any answers. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review #AllHallowsWeek - The Fall by Bethany Griffin

The Fall
Series: Standalone 
Genre: Historical Fiction Retelling
Published: October 2015 (Greenwillow Books)
Hardcover: 420 pgs
Source: Purchased 

Rating: 4/5 

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house. In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down?

Are you looking for a book that will get you in the Halloween Spirit? Do your ears perk up when you hear the name Edgar Allen Poe? Do you like murderous houses, scary doctors and possibly mad girls? If so, this book is for you!

Last year when this book was released I wanted to read it in time for Halloween but didn’t make it. Instead I made it a priority for this year when fall came around. It was the perfect book to put me in the spooky spirit heading into fall.

Throughout the book the atmosphere is crucial to the mystery of the house and Madeline’s life. The lovely writing pulled me into the story and into the house. The dark and ominous setting in the house really adds to the intense plot as well.  We jump back and forth in time from when Madeline was a child, when she trusted the house, to now when she is a young women and does not.  The chapters are very short which keeps the story moving, but I found this jumping around confusing at times.

This added to the tension and made the story develop slowly but in a compelling way. As the plot was slowly revealed there were twists that surprised me and scenes that made my skin crawl. I especially enjoyed the effect the house had on all the characters and how dramatic some of the changes were.

Madeline is a very interesting character and I wasn’t sure she was a reliable narrator through most of the book. Is the house really alive or is the girl mad? I wasn’t sure for a good chuck of the book, and I really enjoyed the mystery and tension. I do think the pacing lulled a little in the middle then was frenzied at the end. This book has an open ending that will bother some people, but I think it fits the book very well.

Quick Thoughts: Throughout the book the creepy atmosphere and characters kept me engrossed in the story. I was addicted to this story and had to know how this would connect back to The Fall of the House of Usher. Check this book out for a scary (but perfect) Halloween read. 

Ten Truly Creepy Reads #AllHallowsWeek (Halloween Freebie)

Everyone loves a good scary read when we are heading into Halloween. Fortunately I've been reading some spooky books to get ready for Halloween. This week is a Freebie Week on Top Ten Tuesday and I have some fantastically creepy reads to recommend you!

1) Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake -  If you like the show Supernatural featuring Sam and Dean Winchester, you will love this book. It is dark and gritty with lots of spooks!

2) The Resurrectionist by E. B. Hudspath - This is one of the creepiest books I've ever read. The first part is a "journal" from a laboratory doctor who is doing grisly experiments. The second half of the book is a encyclopedia of sorts which is very cool!

3) A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis - Madhouses and murder! How do you top that for creepy?

4) The Fall by Bethany Griffin - The atmosphere in this book is seriously scary. The house may or may not be alive and ready to kill! Everyone is in danger when they enter the House of Usher.

5) The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - I went into this book completely blind. I had no idea who or what this book was about and it made the villain about 10X scarier.

A Madness So Discreet Devil Bones Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

6) Locke and Key Series by Joe Hill - This series is gory, gruesome and for mature audiences only. The art is amazing while the content is very dark. I liked this series, but sometimes it was too much for me and I had to take breaks in between volumes.

7) Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs - All of the Temperance Brennan novels are creepy. but this one is the most!

8) 48 by James Herbert  - Creepy villains, creepy diseases and alternate history. So scary!

9) The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch - This story is mostly a witch hunt and it is a creepy historical witch hunt.

10) The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells - Another book that freaked me out! More doctors and experiments! This is a classic science-fiction novel and gave me the willies.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Spooky Reads Wrap Up

Who is ready to wrap up the Spooky Reads? I'm not so sure I am! I might continue reading these creepy stories because they have hooked me. At least I'll keep reading until I can't sleep. A few of these stories really creeped me out.

Books Mentioned: 

Review #AllHallowsWeek- A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

A Madness So Discreet
Series: Standalone 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Hardcover - 384pgs
Source - Purchased 
Add it // Buy it 

Rating - 4/5 

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

When so many books arrived on my doorstep in October it was hard to decide what to read first. However, I’ve been very anxious to get this book in my hands since I saw the cover. When it arrive I found myself reading the first few pages, then the first few chapters and I just could not put it down! 
The writing, the characters and the story development are fantastic. This book is very dark and the author did not shy away from the realities of life in the early mental health care system. While I really enjoyed this book I want to mention there are major trigger warnings for child abuse, sexual abuse, depression, suicide, and general mental health issues. 

Grace was a fantastic character and I really enjoyed reading her story. She is a little unreliable because she admits she is mad. However, we quickly learn mad and insane do not have the same definition we have today. This is a key part of the book and one I think McGinnis explored really well. I really enjoyed all the discussions about what it means to be mad in a historical setting. She obviously did a great amount of research and this is a realistically dark historical fiction. 

I loved the female relationships in this book. The women support one another in this male dominated time-period. All the characters are fantastic, but the women really stood out in my opinion. A lot of the characters banter back and forth especially Thornhollow and Grace. I really enjoyed those conversations. 

At the end of the novel things wrap up VERY quickly and after so much set up I think the ending needed more details. I wasn’t ready to let go of these characters then the ending came so quickly! I especially wanted to spend more time hunting murderers. We only received glimpses of this process compared to what I was expecting. 

Quick Thoughts: This was a really unique book with a great setting and phenomenal characters. I was really drawn to this book and could not put it down. I can't wait to pick up other books by Mindy McGinnis (because I have another one!)

My Last Review ---> Spark by Brigid Kemmerer 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Review - Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Spark (Elemental, #2)

Series: Elementals #2 
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published: Kensington (2012) 
Paperback – 345 pgs
Source: Purchased

Rating: 4.5/5

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can't. Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he's not doing it. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own...

While I liked the first installment in this series, this second book is even better! During this installment there was a lot of character development and I became more connected with all the characters. Not only do the characters develop, the magic does as well. Throughout the book there are more examples of the boys’ powers and how powerful they are. I can see why the Guides are concerned about their abilities and how things could get out of control (especially when you have an explosive temper like Gabriel’s).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ten Wishes I'd Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me

Personally I think having a Book Genie around would be a blessing and a curse. I could wish for a lot of amazing things, but how would I be able to read all the books I would wish for? (Because you know eventually you would just be wishing for books) This is a great topic from the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. Check out their Top Ten Tuesday topics if you want to participate!

Sorry not sorry about all the Dr. Who gifs.

1) Can I have a copy of The Raven King today please? - If I had to choose this would be my one and only wish. I cannot wait for the finale of this series. (Honestly I think I could make this whole list of wishes about The Raven Cycle) 

2) Magically make Robin LaFevers write a new Historical Fiction series. - I loved His Fair Assassins and I just want more of her books ASAP! 

3) Whip me up a home library complete with a book nook. 

4) Can the genie give me magical powers? -I just want to make all my covers match and to have unlimited bookshelf space. 


5) Grant me the ability to read all languages!- Imagine the possibilities! It would be amazing.

6) Create a new movie adaptation of Percy Jackson- Let's just solve a world problem with the genie wishes. Give me an adaptation the world will love! 

7) Let me live a out a normal day at Hogwarts - Just kidding SEND ME MY HOGWARTS LETTER! 

8) To go along with #1 - The opportunity to go to a Maggie Stiefvater tour event - 

9) Give me an extra hour every day where I don't desire to do anything but read. - Reading slumps happen and some days I have the time but don't read. If I could have a 25th hour everday just for reading, I would get massively ahead on my TBR pile. 

10)I wish for the ability to remember all the details of books when I get my hands on the next book in the series. 

What would you ask the genie for?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Review - The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
Series: Mistborn #1 
Genre: Fantasy 
Published - Gollancz (2009)
Paperback - 647pgs
Source - Purchased 
Rating 5/5

Add It // Buy It 

Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.

He failed.

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

When a series or a book receives a lot of attention and a lot of hype, I tend to push it aside until some of the excitement has worn off. Understandably then, I’ve been keeping the Mistborn Series on the back burner, but the buzz for this book never seems to die down. 

After reading this gem, I can see why! There is a lot to like about this series and it really hit all the right buttons for me.

This is a high fantasy with a charismatic cast of characters and very cool magic system. The two characters we follow closely are Vin and Kelsier. They are part of a team of thieves which is one of the character tropes I adore. Vin is especially close to my heart, but she is just one in a group of characters I loved. All of them are filled to the brim with personality. Sanderson explores the grey areas of his characters and created a complex and interesting group I was really invested in. Every character has a story to tell and several sides of their character to explore. Throughout the society, magic and history of the world are all built into the story and the writing doesn’t feel info-dumpy.  It took me a long time to fully get a grasp on the magic system and what each metal's power was. To be honest though, I liked that. As I read more I was really submerged in the world and the magic and enjoyed the book even more. 

The number one thing I liked about this series was the writing. The tone is serious without being graphic. While I enjoy fantasy series like Game of Thrones, the crude, graphic, and gory worlds wear on me and make me feel like I'm slogging through mud. From the initial chapters of this story, I felt the weight and seriousness of the Skaa’s situation within The Final Empire without some of the gory touches fantasy authors often add. Plus the lack of constant violence, rape, murder and war was refreshing. (Ex. Fighting scenes without minute details of how intestines fall from the body) Then when Sanderson used great violence and death it had an even greater impact. The writing is quite skilled and I really enjoyed it. 

Sanderson also blended political intrigue with action and adventure in the best way. The balance between the two kept the story moving and my interest never flagged. Through the intrigue and adventure Sanderson did a thorough job of building the current and past political history of this world, and he created a solid foundation for the rest of the series.

Quick Thoughts: I’m very anxious to read the rest of this series and other books by Brandon Sanderson. After reading this first installment, I see why so many people have been raving about his books. This was an amazing introduction to the fantasy world and an adventure I will not be able to forget anytime soon!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Top Ten Author Duos You'd LOVE To See Write A Book Together

What if your favorite authors wrote a book together? Would they work well together? Would the story even be interesting? This week on Top Ten Tuesday we explore the question a little. If you could have two authors write a book together who would you pair up? Personally there are quite a few authors I would love to see work together.

1) John Green and Kathy Reichs - I want a John Green book that includes supernatural elements. I'm just craving it. Their styles are VERY different, but Reichs wrote some YA paranormal books. I'd be interested to see what they would come up with.

2) Kendare Blake and Maggie Stiefvater - Neither of these ladies are afraid to be dark or gritty and I love them for it. Plus the magic they create is stunning. I want!

3) Robin LaFevers and Sarah J. Maas - These ladies write bad ass female assassins so well. I'd love to see what kind of characters they would create together!

4) Christopher Paolini and Garth Nix - Ok. This one is more like I would like Garth Nix to mentor Paolini. I really like Paolini's stories, but he needs to learn to cut out some stuff! Nix's story are a lot more adventure. I'd love to see the fantasy they would create.

5) Garth Nix and Tamora Pierce - These two were building blocks of what YA Fantasy is today and I adore their works. I would love to see what kind of magic and world they would build together.

6) Jennifer L Armentrout and Cassandra Clare - If these two ladies partnered up for some kind of paranormal romance story, I think we would all end up fighting over the romantic interests in whatever they write.

7) Bethany Griffin and H.G. Wells - When I read The Fall, it gave me the same creepy feeling as The Island of Dr. Moreau. If these two combined forces, the creep factor would be off the charts! Griffin does a lot of retellings of Poe stories so maybe she would take on a retelling of the classic and I'll try not to have nightmares.

8) Rick Riordan and Rachel Hartman - If these two wrote a book together, it would be nothing but snarky comments!

9) Marissa Meyer and Diana Peterfreund - Space and adaptations! Find me a classic fairytale for these two to write in space and I will be sold!

10) Leigh Bardugo and Rachel Hartman - Give me all the mythical creatures in the most amazing worlds. These ladies are amazing at that!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Review - Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy by Regina Jeffers

The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery

Series: Standalone
Genre - Historical Fiction/Mystery
Published - Ulysses Press (2013)
Paperback  - 336 pgs
Source - Purchased Used
Rating: 2/5
Add it // Buy it 

SHACKLED IN THE DUNGEON of a macabre castle with no recollection of her past, a young woman finds herself falling in love with her captor—the estate’s master. Trusting him before she regains her memory and unravels the castle’s wicked truths would be a catastrophe.

Far away at Pemberley, the Darcys happily gather to celebrate the marriage of Kitty Bennet. But a dark cloud sweeps through the festivities: Georgiana has disappeared without a trace. Upon receiving word of his sister’s likely demise, Darcy and his wife, Elizabeth, set off across the English countryside, seeking answers in the unfamiliar and menacing Scottish moors.

How can Darcy keep his sister safe from the most sinister threat she has ever faced when he doesn’t even know if she’s alive? True to Austen’s style and rife with malicious villains, dramatic revelations and heroic gestures, this suspense-packed mystery places Darcy and Elizabeth in the most harrowing situation they have ever faced— finding Georgiana before it’s too late.

While I wanted to like this mystery-filled continuation of Pride and Prejudice, I found myself close to putting it down and never finishing it!

Much like Jeffer's book, Captain Wentworth's Persuasion, this book has too many plot lines! Too much is going on and it really drags the story down. Throughout the book there were so many side stories that could have been cut to make the book shorter and less confusing. We check in on almost every character mentioned in Pride and Prejudice (plus some new characters) which creates a web of stories that is unruly and frustrating. All these smaller plot lines interrupt the search for Georgianna and were simply unnecessary. It made the book feel extremely long and full of loose ends.

The mystery did keep me engaged. I was very interested to see how the story played out. There were unexpected twists and turns, which added some shock value, and I had no idea how the story would pan out. My curiosity was the only reason I stayed engaged in the story though.

Throughout the book most of my issues were with the characters. I never want to see Darcy painted the fool or the fop in adaptations. In this particular story his devotion to Elizabeth is just too much and he is not the Darcy I know and love. Both of them have really poor characterization and are hard to recognize as Austen's characters. Also Darcy's obsession over his sister's marriage and well-being comes close to being creepy!

Here is the point where I'll admit I did not know Georgiana married Colonel Fiztwillian for over half of the book. I think I missed this explanation between Darcy and Elizabeth during one of their sickeningly sweet exchanges. However, this only caused me problems later on  in the book when I did realize who her husband was and tried to piece together the two people in my mind.

Overall this book was a weird experience for me. I can't say I liked it but I wanted to solve the mystery as well. Jeffers' writing style might not be for me because I had a similar reaction to other books I've read by her. I don't want to continue to complain, but if you've read this please let me know what you thought. I'd love to discuss this.

Happy Reading! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October Currently Reading

Right now I am reading so many books. I don't even cover them all in this currently reading. However, these are the ones I feel like I am making the most progress in. I'll probably finish them all in the next few days. What are you reading?

Books Mentioned:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thoughts on The Martian - Book to Movie Adaptation

In June I declared my favorite book so far this year to be The Martian by Andy Weir. This book really blew my away and I was very excited to learn it was being adapted into a movie. This movie opened this weekend and I happily dragged some of my closest friends to the movie after I failed to get them to read the book. (Though now they promise me they will)

If you haven't read the book, you really should! I have a Review and a Three Reasons to Read for this book if you aren't convinced yet. The trailer for the movie can be found here which might convince you on its own. The movie is rated PG-13.

The Martian 

So what did I think of the movie? 

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Favorite Maps in Books

Who doesn't love a good map in a fantasy book? I adore maps and can't get enough of them when I read a book with a great one. These are just a few of my favorites.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

September Wrap Up (2015)

September was a heck of a reading month for me. I read nine books and a lot of them were over 500 pages! This was a crazy reading month. Check out my thoughts in the video below

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Series Review - Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 01 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1) Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 02 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #2) Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 03 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #3) Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 04 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #4)

Series: Fullmetal Alchemist Series (27 Vols.)
Genre: Steampunk/Fantasy Manga
Source: Library 
Published: VIZ Media 2005-2010
Paperback - avg 180pgs
Rating: 5/5 (overall)
Add it // Buy it 

How do I do this? This manga series is twenty-seven volumes of intense action sequences, moral questions and emotional trauma. What was I thinking when I sat down to try and review this entire series in one post!?

I was thinking this series is AMAZING!!

Honestly, this is one of the best stories I’ve ever read. With almost thirty volumes ahead of me, I was worried this would be  an unwieldy manga series and thought it would be difficult to follow. Instead I found a well-organized series I could read  with ease and one that really drew me into the story. I was seriously impressed with the complexity and completeness of the graphic novel storyline. While I expected the story to be good, I didn't foresee a series that would capture my attention so intensely. The librarians probably thought I was too obsessed since I ended up returning and borrowing volumes every few days.

My favorite part of this story is the characters. There is a large cast of complex characters unlike anything I’ve read in a manga series before. The problems the characters faced within this story were captivating but without the intricate backstories and grey area so many of the characters possessed, it wouldn’t have impressed me as much. The story of Edward and Alphonso is only the tip of the iceberg in this series. There are so many other storylines in this world to follow and explore. I never felt like the format took away from the story. Unlike some graphic novel/manga series, this story was complete and I did not wish for more text.

There are some deep moral issues and tough questions posed throughout this series. It really made me think. While this is a fantasy world filled with magic and steampunk elements, it really tackles some deeper questions. Even though so many problems were solved with alchemy, even more problems were created because of it. The world would have been seriously lacking if Arakawa did not bring up some of these questions and her great world building with both art and text was phenomenal. Obviously I am raving, but it is easy to do when a story blows you away so completely.

As is to be expected, there are a few times when the translation gets confusing. This series was originally published in Japanese and sometimes you could tell. Overall though the real questions and plot lines translate perfectly. I laughed a lot and cried quite a few times as well. I can't wait to watch the television adaptation of this series and feel all the feels all over again. Though I do hear it is quite different than this series.

Happy Reading!