Friday, December 30, 2016

Review - If You Feel to Much by Jamie Tworkowski

If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For
Series: Standalone
Genre: Nonfiction/Memoir 
Source: Purchased 
Published - May 2015 
Hardcover - 208pgs

Rating: 5/5

If You Feel Too Much is a celebration of hope, wonder, and what it means to be human. From personal stories of struggling on days most people celebrate to words of strength and encouragement in moments of loss, the essays in this book invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and okay to ask for help. If You Feel Too Much is an important book from one of this generation’s most important voices.

I'm a beginner when it comes to poetry, but I think that works well for this book since it isn't strictly poetry or memoir. It’s a little bit of everything. Jamie is experimenting with writing, essays and poetry. Really he just writes down his thoughts and tries to make sense of the world and it is often quite moving. He recounts many instances of love and loss from the past ten years throughout this collection. He is a light in the darkness and I need that sometimes.

In 2016 I saw Jamie speak twice in person and I watched a broadcast of one of his talks online. He is a warm lovely person which he conveys so well through this work. I love it. I cried. I laughed. My heart was heavy and my spirit was uplifted. Jamie's words just speak to my soul and helped me a lot over the past year.

I'm biased because TWOLHA is an organization I love and one which Jamie helped form. I really enjoyed this book. The writing can be incoherent if you don't know what prompted the particular essay which is my only complaint. Overall, I would highly recommend this book. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

#Booktubeathon & #BoutofBooks TBR

Whether you are hurrying to finish your 2016 reading goals like me, or you are ready to start your 2017 reading off right (also like me), there are readathons coming up that will satisfy you. Check the details in my video!

Readathon Links:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top Ten Surprise Books Of 2016

This year I finally tried a lot of books and authors I've had my eye on for

1) Soulless by Gail Carriger - This entire series knocked my socks off during the first half of this year. I have dubbed this year the year of Gail Carriger since I've read and or purchased nearly all of her books this year.

2) Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta - After hearing about this series for literally years, I finally picked the first two books up and adored them. This series is seriously underrated and more people should pick it up!

3) Fruits Baskets Collector's Editions by Natsuki Takaya - Earlier this year I heard Yin Press was rereleasing this series in collector's editions and was pleasantly surprised. While I have read this before, I had no thought of ever having a set of my own!

4) My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows - This wasn't on my anticipated releases. I hadn't even heard about it until about a month before its released. I'm so glad I picked it up! This is a hilarious story that entertained me this summer.

5) Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews - Talk about surprises! My best friend introduced me to this series in October and I've sped through the eight volumes in record time. The writing is addictive and I love the characters in this series so much.

6) A Court of  Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas - After some distance from ACOTAR and hearing several different views on that book, I wasn't sure I wanted to read this sequel. It completely blew me out of the water. I was so pleased with this one and am excited for the wrap up of this series.

7) Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter - Last year I never would have imagined Hamilton at all let alone this very interesting book.

8) Darcy's Tale by Stanley Michael Hurd - As I have only read a few Austen retelling this year, I didn't have many to choose from. However, this one surprised me a lot. It was a really interesting take on

9) If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski - Lovely book from a lovely man who does amazing work. I guess I shouldn't be surprised how much I loved this book, but I was!

10) Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout - I was surprised twice by this book. First that it existed and we got a whole book from Daemon's POV. Second that there were two versions and the first three books were written in Daemon's POV. I died. I love him.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Long Lost Fall Book Haul (2016)

So blog life got a little jumbled when I came back from my hiatus and this book haul was lost in the mix. This is my first book haul since September which is actually really good since I bought A LOT of books in September. I considered refilming this after Christmas, but what if I get a lot of books for Christmas?

Books Mentioned:

Friday, December 23, 2016

Review - Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6)
Series: Kate Daniels #6
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased
Published: July 2013
Mass Market - 327 pgs

Rating - 4/5

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

This book hurt me. It hurt me a lot. I'm fairly sure I rated this five stars in my wrap up, but the longer I think about it the more I think I need to drop it a star.

First of all, there is something that happens in this book that makes me a little less enchanted with Kate and Curran's relationship. The events of this installment made their relationship more problematic. They have some serious trust issues and, while I have loved their ability to forgive each other, it goes to far in this novel. There are some things that have been set up as SERIOUS issues for shapeshifter relationships in past novels that are trivialized in this book. It just did not make sense to me. My other issue was with the way Kate's identity was handled. Throughout the series Kate's heritage has been a big secret, but many things were revealed too casually in this book. It was anticlimactic.

While I had some issues with Kate and Curran's relationship, I loved how Kate's relationship with the other pack members and her enemies was written. She continues to be tough and fight for what is right even when the odds are stacked against her. The authors use a variety of mythologies and represent so many cultures in the books. It amazes me how they continue to incorporate more. The storyline was so heart wrenching though! There were many tears. The beginning and ending of this particular book ripped my heart out.

Next book please!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Series I Finished in 2016

Today we follow up on the video I posted earlier in the week in which I listed all the series I started in 2016. These are all the series I've finished or caught up on in 2016. It has been a wild year and I have finished a few series. Next year my goal is to finish even more because some of these have been going on for a long time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Review - Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels, #5.5)
Series: Kate Daniels #5.5
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Source: Purchased
Published: July 2012
Mass Market - 326 pgs

Rating - 4/5

After eviction from the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea is a wreck. She starts work for best pal PI Kate Daniels. Shapeshifters under Raphael Medrano — Clan Bouda male alpha, Andrea’s ex-lover — die suddenly at a dig site. With Raphael, she seeks killer in deep dark Atlanta. Her feelings for him may take a back seat to saving the world…

There is something that always appeals to me about reading a series from another point of view. This story especially appealed since Andrea is one of my favorite character in the Kate Daniels Series.  When I started Magic Rises, something was missing. I knew there had to be a short story that would fill in the gaps so I quickly checked Goodreads, found out about this entire book, and visited Barnes and Noble to pick this up.

Basically, Andrea has become an investigator alongside Kate and we follow her as she tackles a new case. She goes at it at a different angle than Kate would which was a nice change of pace for me in the middle of this series. While I adore Kate, I like Andrea's police/military training and how she approached this situation.  Andrews had established Andrea as a strong character before, but I loved having a whole book to see her in action. It was also very interesting to get her story from her own point of view. Her backstory isn't something that would be easy to share so getting it in her own words seemed right.

We get even more background, characters and monsters in this story. I loved it. It's a fantastic add on to this series. The romantic elements are important to the series and help explain a few things in the next books. However, it doesn't dominate the story. There are plenty of other threads in this story. It's obviously the authors don't enjoy writing the sexy scenes, but I've known that for several books. I didn't expect it to change in this one.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but I am anxious to get back to Kate and Curran.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree

Every year I wish for a lot of books all year round not just at Christmas. However I always put a few on my Christmas list. These are the ten I am crossing my fingers and toes for this Christmas. Check out the topics for Top Ten Tuesday at the Broke and the Bookish.

I really really want these ten. Even though some of them of the aren't published yet, I bet Santa could them for me. What books are on your list?

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)  



My Last Top Ten ----> Top Ten New Authors I Read in 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Series I Started in 2016

There are some years when I look back at my year and I think "What I did I even read this year?" Today I'm looking back at the series I started this year in hopes I can keep better track of my progress through series each year. I will have a follow up to this video at the end of the week about the series I have finished in 2016.

Monday, December 12, 2016

#Cramathon and End of 2016 TBR

Once again I'm slightly bending the rules of a readathon. I'm just not made to follow strict guidelines, not that many readathons have strict guidelines, but I need to get some books finished for the end of the year! So these are the ones I'll be reading up until December 30th.

Books Mentioned:

Friday, December 9, 2016

Review- Soulless Manga Series Review

Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1 (The Parasol Protectorate Manga) Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 2 Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 3

Genre: Paranormal Historical Fiction
Source: Purchased 
Paperback - Total Pages 682

Series Rating: 5/5 
Initially, I meant to read one of these a month so I could draw them out and enjoy them slowly. That plan went out the window rather quickly when I actually sat down and read the first volume. This books are fast paced and beautifully drawn. The story itself is adapted extremely well. I didn't feel like pieces of the story were missing and Carriger's wonderful flow and pacing were preserved in this adaptation to manga style. 

Since finishing The Parasol Protectorate Series in July, I have missed Alexia so much. I was so excited to follow her adventures again in this series. The first three books are adapted and stop at an appropriate point in the series. While Carriger has posted that it is doubtful we will see more than these three adaptations, I will harbor hopes that someday we will see the last two books adapted. For me, the adaptations were absolutely perfect and I enjoyed them so much. 
After seeing what a disjointed and jumbled mess a manga adaptation can be, I am so glad to know one of my favorite series was done so well. Kudos to Gail Carriger and REM for translating the story so well. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

T5W - Books to Read in 2016

It has been a hot minute since I posted a Top Five Wednesday video. This week's topic really intrigued me though. I'm anxious, I think like many people, to leave 2016 behind and move on to 2017. Next year I want to focus on these books in hope I will finally(!) read them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Five New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016

Thus far this year I have done a fair mix of reading new books and authors as well as rereading. However, because I've reread so many of my books this year, I don't have a ton of new authors to share this year for Top Ten Tuesday! I've also read a lot of series from new authors I've read so I feel like that cut down on my number of new authors. I only have five to share this time!

1) Ilona Andrews- Have you heard me gush about the Kate Daniels series? No? You are missing out. Ilona Andrews is actually a pseudonym for a married duo who write together. Their books are awesome and I've read eight of their books in the past few months. Go check them out!

2) Gail Carriger - I've had Gail on my radar for years. Luckily, she is publishing and working on many things at the moment so there is plenty of content for me to devour. Her books are awesome and diverse.

3) Melina Marchetta - So many people raved about Marchetta and I ignored them for a long time. However, this year I finally checked out Finnikin of the Rock which I loved. It was fantastic and I can't wait to read more than just her fantasy books.

4) Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - These two have a small collection of Sci-Fi books out. This year I read Illuminae and it was amazing. I'm anxious to get my hands on book two and to check out their individual works as well.

5) Rainbow Rowell - I have finally jumped on the Rainbow Rowell bandwagon. I read Fangirl this year and plan on checking out several more of her books. I'm anxious to read one of her adult stories.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1) Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) Fangirl

My Last Top Ten Tuesday ---> Ten Books I've Added to My TBR

Sunday, December 4, 2016

November Wrap Up and Catch Up

Hello Internet!

I've been out of the blogging world for a few weeks and, while it has been glorious, I have missed it! So here I am back again. The first thing to do is catch you up on what I've been up to in November. This month was a bit dismal as far as finishing books, but I did read a lot of pieces of books so hopefully I can finish those in December.

What I actually did on my blogging break was watch a lot of Netflix and play a lot of Assassins Creed. What I realized was I wasn't taking enough time to relax generally at the beginning of the month. I'll be honest and say I had some post-election blues that made it hard to open my computer let alone write blog posts.

However, as always, in the new year one of my goals will be balance and moderation. I hope to do a better job balancing work and play, but things always spiral out of control one way or another. Let me know how your November was! I'd love to hear what kind of adventures you've been on (physically or while reading) over the past month!