Tag: 2015

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Posted December 30, 2015 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever AfterIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Published by Dutton on August 14th 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 339
Source: library
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

These books just keep getting better. This is the first series I’ve read one at a time and then reviewed each one. Honestly, I’m glad I picked up this series because it was such a great way to start this. I read Anna and the French Kiss and I liked it but I didn’t love it. Then I finished Lola and the Boy Next Door and I was hooked. I was sure it was the peak of this series. How could the next one compare? There was no way in my mind that this book could beat it. I was content with the knowledge that the series would be going downhill.

I was so so wrong.

Isla, whose name is pronounced Eye-La, is adorable. She’s a good girl, an all A student, a quintessential middle child. She is shy, reserved and the peacemaker of her family. She doesn’t have a lot of direction or plans for after graduation. The one thing that she is absolutely sure of is that she’s been in love with Josh Wasserstein since the moment she first saw him. Josh on the other hand doesn’t know she exists, or so she thinks.

Josh likes to pretend he’s a bad boy, that the façade crumbles quickly under Isla’s inspection. He’s an artist first and foremost with a passion for graphic novels. He started writing and drawing a memoir of his high school days starting with his Freshman year. He’s still working on it when he meets Isla but doesn’t think he will ever finish it.

I absolutely adored watching these two connect with each other. They fall for each other hard and fast and it was so fun to read. Then after they are absolutely gone over each other, life gets in the way. It so often does. Isla and Josh have an idyllic start but soon have to navigate parents, friends and something that breaks up even seasoned couples; separation. This book really demonstrates how love is so easy when its just the two of you but gets complicated fast when there are others involved.

When I finished this book, my first thought was, this can’t be the last book. There has to be more. What about Meredith?? She can’t be left alone. With everyone else so happy, I just can’t stand the thought that she doesn’t have anyone. It doesn’t seem fair. So I have my fingers and toes crossed. I just can’t believe this is the end.

All in all, everyone is right. This series is a must read for romance fans.

five-stars

Tags:

Divider

Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Posted December 23, 2015 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Through the Woods by Emily CarrollThrough the Woods by Emily Carroll
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on July 15th 2014
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, horror
Format: hardcover
Source: library
five-stars

Discover a terrifying world in the woods in this collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories that includes the online webcomic sensation “His Face All Red,” in print for the first time.
Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout webcomic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page.
Already revered for her work online, award-winning comic creator Emily CarrollÂ’s stunning visual style and impeccable pacing is on grand display in this entrancing anthology, her print debut.

This is the book I’ve been looking for!

I love horror and I’ve been looking for something legitimately creepy for a while. I was absolutely thrilled when I opened this and realized that it was a graphic novel of horror short stories! I had a conversation on twitter a while back with Alyssa from Books Take you Places about how we both used to love the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books. Half of the charm of those books were the creepy and terrifying illustrations. I can still picture them exactly when I think about those books. They were memorable. Through the Woods is a lot like that!

Through the Woods is a graphic novel of 5 short stories. A few of the stories are fairytale/folklore retellings, but not the sweet, edited Disney versions. These tales are the cousins of Grimm’s originals. Bluebeard’s story would be right at home in these pages. I loved Emily Carroll’s use of color. These are graphic novels, so the pictures tell much of the story. Her art isn’t monochrome at all but she uses bright red at appropriate points to really make her intentions clear. Its just gorgeous and also very very creepy.

I loved all of the stories. I can’t choose a favorite, but I’d definitely say His Face All Red is in the top 5! (Let me be clear, there were only 5 stories). This story is available to read for free online. If you are on the fence at all, definitely check it out. If you like it, you are sure to like the other stories in this collection. Every single one is completely different in the same beautiful style.

five-stars

Tags:

Divider

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2 Published by Speak on July 9th 2013 Genres: Love & Romance Source: library Buy on Amazon Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Wow. Just wow. I thought I hated Anna and the French Kiss until I wrote a review and realized that I had a lot to say about it. I actually liked it quite a bit, despite all my frustrations with it. After I finished my review, I knew I had to read the next one in the series. I had a completely different experience with Lola and the Boy Next Door. This book, I loved it right from the beginning. I inhaled this book and never wanted it to end. If I didn’t like Anna because she was too much like me. I loved Lola because she’s everything I’m not. Lola is bold, colorful and expressive. She never wants to wear […]

Posted December 22, 2015 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
Divider

Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy Published by Balzer + Bray on September 15th 2015 Genres: Contemporary Pages: 384 Format: hardcover Source: library Buy on Amazon Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always workedÂ…until Will takes a job at HarpyÂ’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isnÂ’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, sheÂ’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—DumplinÂ’ is guaranteed to steal your heart. I had heard a lot about this book before I finally got the chance […]

Posted December 17, 2015 by Emily in Review / 3 Comments
Divider

Arc Review: Untamed by Madeline Dyer

Arc Review: Untamed by Madeline Dyer

Untamed (Untamed, #1) by Madeline Dyer Series: Untamed #1 Published by Prizm Books on May 20, 2015 Pages: 315 Format: ebook Source: Free for Review Buy on Amazon As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, SevenÂ’s life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. DonÂ’t question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides–because once youÂ’re Enhanced thereÂ’s no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being. But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemyÂ’s power. Realizing itÂ’s only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if sheÂ’s to escape and save her family from the same fate. Yet, as one of the most powerful Seers that the Untamed and Enhanced have ever known, Seven quickly discovers that she alone holds the key to the survival of only one race. But things arenÂ’t clear-cut anymore, and with Seven now questioning the very beliefs she was raised on, she knows she has an important choice to make. One that has two very different outcomes. Seven must choose wisely whose side she joins, for the War of Humanity is underway, and Death never takes kindly to traitors. The premise of this book […]

Posted December 16, 2015 by Emily in Review / 2 Comments
Divider

Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1 Published by Dutton Juvenile on December 2nd 2010 Genres: Europe, Love & Romance Format: Paperback Source: library Buy on Amazon Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Since I started blogging, I’ve heard about this book everywhere. Right from the beginning I was looking forward to reading it because the cover really caught my attention. This book and the other two in the series have such neat and recognizable iconography. The heart, star and rose are instantly recognizable as symbolizing the three books in this series. I’m a huge sucker for simple and clear iconography. I think this stems from my experiences with and love of board games. Anyway, this is such a popular and well loved series, I’ve been looking forward to reading it for some time. The blessing of being a popular book […]

Posted December 15, 2015 by Emily in Review / 3 Comments
Divider

Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher Published by Razorbill on June 14th 2011 Genres: Fiction, Social Issues Format: Paperback Source: library Buy on Amazon You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret. . . is to press play. Clay Jensen doesn’t want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her. Then Hannah’s voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes– and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death. All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his small town. . . . . .and what he discovers changes his life forever. This book was a tragedy. There’s no two ways about that. When the book starts, the main character is already gone. She killed herself. All that’s left are the reasons behind it. The 13 Reasons Why, a baker’s dozen of reasons that explain why she made this terrible final decisions, in her own words. Hannah made cassette tapes, one side for every reason, to explain herself. Every reason is also a person who had something to do with Hannah’s decision. When Clay Jensen receives the tapes, he realizes that he is one of the 13 people who will get to hear Hannah’s last words because, according to her, […]

Posted December 14, 2015 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
Divider

Mini Review: George by Alex Gino

Mini Review: George by Alex Gino

George by Alex Gino Published by Scholastic Press on August 25th 2015 Genres: LGBT Format: hardcover Source: library Buy on Amazon BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.   With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all. I loved this book! I’m so excited to have read it and be able to recommend it to everyone! However, its really difficult for me to review a book like this. I don’t know how to say enough nice things about it. The writing is top notch.  The story is told from George’s perspective. I loved reading about her thoughts and feelings. She knows she is really Melissa inside but she’s afraid that no one will understand. She spends all her time focusing on hiding her true self. while at the same time she hates […]

Posted December 10, 2015 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
Divider

Awesome Indies: The Big Book of Post-Collapse Fun by Rachel Sharp

Awesome Indies: The Big Book of Post-Collapse Fun by Rachel Sharp

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page Rachel Sharp is here today to talk about the struggle of being an author and living with a chronic illness. She is a tough lady and that shines through in her writing. I love how she compares her writing to an escape. Thank you for this beautiful guest post! Rachel Sharp As a reader and writer, there is nothing that I cannot do. I can fly with dragons and swim with dolphins. I can score winning goals and cast magic spells. I can even travel through time. As an ordinary person, I cannot climb stairs without assistance. This mind-boggling contrast gives me trouble sometimes, but itÂ’s the life of a disabled author. There are quite a few of us. Some live with the result of serious injury or an imbalance of brain chemistry. Personally, I live with an autoimmune disease, which means that my body is trying to kill itself and my job is to stop it. My doctors have been tremendously helpful. Sometimes it does get a bit old, cycling through various clinics to have blood taken out, vitamins put in, scans scanned, and monitors monitored, but it is orders of magnitude better than going untreated. While I am receiving treatment, I still have both pain and limitations. I canÂ’t go out drinking anymore, although as I close out […]

Posted November 20, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie, Uncategorized / 1 Comment
Divider

Air Awakens: Affinity Overview

Air Awakens: Affinity Overview

One of the best parts of Air Awakens is the magic! Everyone has a different type of magic, called an Affinity. There are four different Affinities and they are all completely different. They come from different areas and they each have their own aspects.  In early October, Elise Kova did a series of posts about the different Affinities. She has been kind enough to let me post some snippets here. Make sure you click over to her posts to read the entire descriptions! Image: Elisa Kova The magic of the Windwalker is control over air and wind. They thrive in open environments with access to plenty of air. Fairly balanced magic, there are a number of combat applications from withdrawing air from an enemyÂ’s lungs to leveraging the power of gusts and storms. WindwalkerÂ’s Affinity of the Self lies in the mind. They are able to project their mind beyond their bodies by riding along magical currents. Read more about Windwalkers!   Image: Elise Kova The magic of the Waterrunner is control over water in all its forms. The ability to command the smallest amount of moisture makes Waterrunners practical sorcerers with a variety of applications. They can manipulate droplets of water in the air to make illusions. Waterrunners also have the ability to form ice weaponry by conjuring the element, should they be forced to fight. Because of the fluid nature […]

Posted November 18, 2015 by Emily in Special Feature / 1 Comment
Divider