Saturday, June 30, 2018

Another 52 - June Edition

art by Stellaarts

Another month has gone by and I am really enjoying this whole summer vacation thing. That being said, I can't wait to go back to school in the fall, but I will take the time to relax and read while I have it. Here's what I read this month:

by Rhiannon Thomas

422 Pages (10:30 Hours)

Freya was never meant to be queen. Twenty-third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of the court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne. She may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don't respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, she knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom-and her life. Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can't trust anyone. Not her advisers. Not the king's dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her but also wanted more power for himself. As Freya's enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

This was a lovely book that I truly enjoyed. Only in fantasy can you find an awkward girl who loves science and has severe anxiety who becomes queen simply because she couldn't stand to be social. I love it! As soon as I finished it I went to look for the next book in the series, only to find out that it was a stand alone book! Don't see much of that these days. It's kind of nice that it can stand on it's own, although I would totally read more about this amazing woman trying to do her best to be queen and still be herself.

by Philippa Rice

108 Pages

True love isn’t always about the big romantic gestures. 
Sometimes it’s about sympathizing with someone whose tea has gone cold or reading together and sharing a quilt. When two people move in together, it soon becomes apparent that the little things mean an awful lot. The throwaway moments in life become meaningful when you spend them in the company of someone you love. 
SOPPY is Philippa Rice’s collection of comics and illustrations based on real-life moments with her boyfriend. From grocery shopping to silly arguments and snuggling in front of the television, SOPPY captures the universal experience of sharing a life together, and celebrates the beauty of finding romance all around us.

This is a very sweet book and I see a lot of reflection of this love in my real life, which is super nice. It reminds you that love is in the little things and that we all show our love differently. I had always loved when I came across some of these comics online, so I was thrilled when I found the whole collection of them.

by Kathleen Grissom

369 Pages

When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family. Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. 
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.

A masterfully written book that really hits you in the heart. This was one of my LLB for the year and I'm really glad that I finally decided to pick it up. It's one of those books that discuss race, gender and the terrible treatment of each in the past. For people that loved The Help, The Secret Life of Bees, The Invention Of Wings and other similar books that break our hearts and remind up that we need to do better.

by Amy Ewing

100 Pages

In The Jewel and The White Rose, we follow Violet in her servitude under the Duchess of the Lake. Now we’ll hear the Duchess’s son, Garnet’s, story in this digital novella—a companion story to the New York Times bestselling Lone City trilogy.
Garnet, the son of the Duchess of the Lake, has always been a spoiled playboy. But now, for the first time, Garnet is beginning to realize the horrors that his family, and the ruling community, have perpetrated. And he just may be ready to do something about it.

Unlike the other short stories for this series, I actually really enjoyed this one. Yes, it is a reiteration of the other book, but is a totally different, unique story. I really enjoyed watching Garnet and the beginning of his transformation. 

by Ryan North, Braden Lamb & Shelli Paroline

128 Pages

It's ADVENTURE TIME! Join Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, and Princess Bubblegum for all-new adventures through The Land of Ooo.
The totally algebraic adventures of Finn and Jake have come to the comic book page! The Lich, a super-lame, SUPER-SCARY skeleton dude, has returned to the the Land of Ooo, and he’s bent on total destruction! Luckily, Finn and Jake are on the case...but can they succeed against their most destructive foe yet? Featuring fan-favorite characters Marceline the Vampire Queen, Princess Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Princess and the Ice King!

Adventure Time... come on and grab a friend...
This was pretty much what you would expect from an Adventure Time comic. I think my favorite part was that they introduced a new princess; desert princess, who is a cupcake who had sand powers. Love it.

by Ruby Elliot

256 Pages

IT'S ALL ABSOLUTELY FINE is a darkly comic, honest and unapologetic illustrated account of the daily struggles with mental health. Ruby Elliot, aka Rubyetc, is the talent behind the hit tumblr account, 'Rubyetc', which has over 220k followers and growing. Taking readers on a journey through the ups and downs of life, the book will encompass everything from anxiety, bipolar disorder and body image to depression and identity, shining a light on very real problems - all framed with Ruby's trademark humour and originality.
Ruby balances mental health with humour, making serious issues accessible - and very funny. With the superb talent to capture the essence of human emotion (and to make you laugh out loud), this book is as important and necessary as it is entertaining. IT'S ALL ABSOLUTELY FINE will include mostly never-before-seen material, both written and illustrated, and will be an empowering book that will make you laugh, make you think, and make things ok.

This is another of those comics that I always loved when I saw online, but wow was this book intense. I wasn't quite expecting that. Her comics can be too real and really hit you when you aren't expecting it and her writing gives you a look into her sometimes gritty reality that she tries to deal with through her humor. That be said, the humor is great, but not something to read to cheer yourself up. I made that mistake.

by Gabriella Pierce

320 Pages (9:28 Hours)

What if your mother-in-law turned out to be an evil, cold-blooded witch . . . literally?
Ever since fabulously wealthy Malcolm Doran walked into her life and swept her off her feet, fledgling architect Jane Boyle has been living a fairy tale. When he proposes with a stunning diamond to seal the deal, Jane can't believe her incredible luck and decides to leave her Paris-based job to make a new start with Malcolm in New York.
But when Malcolm introduces Jane to the esteemed Doran clan, one of Manhattan's most feared and revered families, Jane's fairy tale takes a darker turn. Soon everything she thought she knew about the world—and herself—is upended. Now Jane must struggle with newfound magical abilities and the threat of those who will stop at nothing to get them.

This is the other LLB for the month. Yes, I am trying to catch up, since I am already so far behind with these. I tried to read this book a few times and kept putting it back down in favour of something better. Finally I found a copy of the audiobook on the Library and decided to listen to it instead. MUCH better idea. That being said, it still wasn't a great book. There were so many red flags going on that it was hard not to grimace through most of it. I'm glad it ended like it did, but I'm not going to pick up the next book.

by Rhiannon Thomas

337 Pages (8:42 Hours)

A spinning wheel.
A prick of a finger.
A Terrible curse.
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.
Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. Everyone expects Aurora to marry her betrothed and restore magic and peace to the kingdom before revolution tears it apart. But after a lifetime spent locked in a tower for her own safety, Aurora longs for the freedom to make her own choices. When she meets a handsome rebel, she is tempted to abandon everything for a different kind of life.
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
A Wicked Thing is a surprising, spellbinding reimagining of what happens after happily ever after.

I enjoyed Long May She Reign (see above) so much, I looked to see what else she had written and came across another series by her that was right up my ally. What? A retelling of Sleeping Beauty after she wakes up waaaay in the future! Yes! Gimme gimme gimme....
I inhaled this book, listening to it as often as I could and finding excuses to have it on in the background. I would've gone right into the second book (yes, this one has a second book!) had I not had a few other audiobooks waiting in my auto-checkout. But I can't wait to get back into it.  

by David Roberts

128 Pages

2018 marks a century since the first women won the vote in the United Kingdom, and Suffragette tells the story of their fight. This is a tale of astounding bravery, ingenuity, and strength. 
David's conversational style is accessible and his artwork full of rich detail, bringing to life the many vivid characters of the Suffragette movement - from the militant activist Rosa May Billinghurst to the world-famous Emmeline Pankhurst. Covering the whole range of suffragette experiences - from aristocrats to the middle and working classes, as well as a look at the global struggle for universal suffrage, Suffragette is a fantastic introduction to a fascinating topic.

This book was really neat; part book and part comic. History always seems to skip over these brave and crazy women that got us the vote and it was really neat to get to know more about them. Wow, some of them were super intense with their methods and suffered awful consequences. The one thing that I was sad about was that the last couple of pages were dedicated to women of colour who had helped in their own countries, but there was almost no acknowledgement of the fact that WOC fought along side these other women and were relegated to the back of the parades and congregations. 

by Joshua Palmatier & Patricia Bray

294 Pages

It’s frustrating when a gadget stops working. But what if the gadget is working fine, it’s just “temporally” out of order? What would you do if you discovered your cell phone linked you to a different time? Or that your camera took pictures of the past? 
In this collection, seventeen leading science fiction authors share their take on what happens when gadgets run temporally amok. From past to future, humor to horror, there’s something for everyone. 
Join Seanan McGuire, Elektra Hammond, David B. Coe, Chuck Rothman, Faith Hunter, Edmund R. Schubert, Steve Ruskin, Sofie Bird, Laura Resnick, Amy Griswold, Laura Anne Gilman, Susan Jett, Gini Koch, Christopher Barili, Stephen Leigh, Juliet E. McKenna, and Jeremy Sim as they investigate how ordinary objects behaving temporally out of order can change our everyday lives.

I pick up this book because it had a Seanan McGuire story in it and not really realizing that it was a bunch of short stories. As all collections like this, they can be super hard to read. I'm not a huge fan of short stories and I find very few people can tell them well. There were only a few that I really enjoyed and they others ranged from okay to (when will this be over) terrible. The authors I did like I ended up looking up to see if I could find other books by them, so if nothing else, I did find more books to read.

by Kate Leth, Megan Levens, Marissa Louise, Jen Bartel & Nate Piekos

136 Pages

A road trip story. A magical revenge fantasy. A sisters-over-misters tale of three witches out to get back what was taken fom them.
Andy, Jolene, and Claire aren't your average twenty-somethings. They're legacy witches making their way through a modern world. When a jealous nonmagical ex breaks into their home and steals a spell that could awaken potentials with magical powers, the witches plan their revenge. Traveling down the East Coast, they must retrieve their powerful stolen artifacts and strengthen their friendship... the big bad is even worse than they imagined.

I need more of this. Why isn't there more of this? This comic was so fun and fabulous that I couldn't put it down. I want more stories about these 3 women. I want novels about them; full series of them. Or at least more comics if you please.

by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis & Brooke A. Allen

27 Pages

The girls have a lot more to worry about than crazy creatures and supernatural events...they have FIELD DAY. It's a competition between the Lumberjanes and the Genteel boy camp next door that's going to be filled with surprises!

I love this gaggle of girls who are ready for crazy adventures. I really wish that these comics had been out when I was younger. It's nice to see. In this volume they come across a secret cave full of magical traps and pit falls and it will take all of them working together to make it through.

by Mercedes Lackey

91 Pages

Kidnapping Persephone should have been an easy task. But in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, nothing's ever simple—and the wrong blonde goddess is stolen by mistake, leaving Prince Leopold without his new bride. At least until he braves the realm of the dead to get her back...

I think I've mentioned over the last couple of years that I've been disappointing in the material that Mercedes Lackey has been putting out. But I remembered loving this series of fairy tales turned on their head and couldn't wait to read this short story about Persephone. I shouldn't gotten my hopes up. It wasn't very good. The story takes place on Olympus and in the Underworld, which was interesting, but none of the characters had any life to them. Some of the main characters are secondary characters from the book before, but I can't recall them at all. It spends half the book trying to remind you of their adventures from before (which I am still coming up blank on. 2010 was a long time ago) and doesn't really go into the story that it's in. The only flipping of the story is that these 2 other people are involved in helping and that Persephone knows who Hades actually is from the beginning. 

by Kristen Gudsnuk

304 Pages

Mary Posa hates her job. She works long hours for little pay, no insurance, and worst of all, no respect. Her co-workers are jerks and her boss doesn't appreciate her. He's also a supervillain. And her parents... well, they're the most famous superhero couple in Crepe City, along with her sister. Cursed with a conscience, Mary would give anything to be something other than a Henchgirl, but no matter what she does her plans always seem to go awry.

This was a really fun comic. Sometimes it's nice to read about the bad guy or his henchpeople. This comic takes a lot of wacky twists and turns that I wasn't expecting and has a great cast of heroes and villains. I also love all the little pop culture Easter-eggs that keep popping up. This is another series that I want more of.

by Kate Leth & Jake Myler

27 Pages

When the water supply of Fraggle Rock mysteriously runs dry, the Fraggles have to journey deep into the caves of Fraggle Rock to find the fabled Everspring where adventure awaits and no Fraggle has gone before! It's the beloved characters of Fraggle Rock in their biggest story yet!

I thought this would be another fun volume to read, but it turned out to only be the first comic. It's very cute and reminded me how much I use to love the Fraggles. I actually had to stop and think about what each of them sounded like so I could get a better sense of them in the comic I wandered around for the next few days with the theme song stuck in my head... and there it is again....
Dance your cares away. Worry's for another day. Let the music play. Down in Fraggle Rock

by Kendare Blake

333 Pages (10:28 Hours)

Old Gods never die…
Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.
Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 
These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 
Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 
Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.
The Goddess War is about to begin.

I picked this book up because I really enjoyed Blake's Three Dark Crown series. But the 3rd one isn't out in audio form yet, si I though I would give this one a go. Like a lot of Urban Fantasy, the first book of the series didn't start out very strong. It's not that it was bad, it just seemed to be ramping up. As in setting the stage for the later books. The Olympians were interesting and I loved reading about them, but Cassandra and her posse were down right boring most of the time. Again, I realize that not much can happen until they find her and get her on their team. I will read the next book for sure, hoping that it will follow the trend of always getting better.

by Kendare Blake

112 Pages

Three black witches, born to a descending queen. One would rise to become queen in her place. Perhaps the strongest of the three. Perhaps the cleverest. Or perhaps it would be the girl born under the best shield of luck.
Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella - three young queens born to fulfil their destiny - to fight to the death to win the crown. But before they were poisoner, elemental and naturalist, they were children, sisters and friends . . .

I find it strange that there seems to be a trend of writing these novellas that fir in between other books. I mean, I get it, but I just find that most of them aren't very good and don't really fill my need of them. This was one such book. It was ripe with possibility, but the mark was totally missed. She could've written the entire thing about Arsinoe's attempted escape from the island, but she just skipped over it entirely. I don't get it. It was okay, and I liked reading about the Black Cottage and the old Queen, but the rest fell flat for me. 

by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis & Brooke A. Allen

27 Pages

After a lot of convincing, the girls are able to agree to get Jen to take them on a hike. Making their way up to the tower and hoping to finally get some answers, they make their way closer only to be stopped by the neighboring boy camp! April, Mal, Molly, Jo, and Ripley have to figure out how to get to the tower, even if they have to use Jen as a distraction to do it.

Another great comic! I still really love this story line. Sadly this was the last comic I had so I have to go out and get the rest so that I can find out what happens next.

by Mato

147 Pages

One day something emerges from high school girl Kaho’s refrigerator—an emperor penguin, the largest of all penguins! When this emperor joins the household, fun and wacky antics with family and friends ensue!

When I was a little girl, I used to dream about one day having a pet penguin and all the fun things that we would do together. This comic made me long for those dreams again. I've got to admit, I've been looking a little longer and harder into the fridge every time I open it. Can't wait to read more.

by Sarah Andersen

108 Pages

Adjusting to life as a world-famous cartoonist isn't easy. Terrifying deadlines, piles of junk-food wrappers under a glowing computer screen, and an ever-growing horde of pets....umm, never mind--it's pretty much the same.
With characteristic wit and charm, Sarah Andersen's third collection of comics and illustrated personal essays offers a survival guide for frantic modern life: from the importance of avoiding morning people, to Internet troll defense 101, to the not-so-life-changing futility of tidying up. But when all else fails and the world around you is collapsing, make a hot chocolate, count the days until Halloween, and snuggle up next to your furry beacon of hope.

This book wasn't long enough. I loved it so much and I want it to go on forever. This comic always finds the right spot of funny, sad and relatable that I love so much. I hope she puts out more books in the future.  

by Seanan McGuire

358 Pages

For once, it seems like the Kingdom of the Mists has reached a point of, if not perfection, at least relative peace. Queen Arden Windermere is getting settled on her family's throne; no one's going to war with anyone else; it's almost like everything is going to be okay. Even October "Toby" Daye is starting to relax her constant vigilance, allowing herself to think about the future, and what it might entail.
And then Simon Torquill comes back, and everything begins to fall apart. In Faerie, nothing stays buried forever. No matter how much you might want it to.

After 8 books, I finally thought all of my questions would be answered. Turns out only some of them were. I need more answers! I guess I'll just have to keep reading. Good thing I've got the next book sitting on my shelf just waiting for me. As always, it was hard to put this book down at any time. Usually it was because my eyelids were getting too heavy and I kept reading the same paragraph over and over.

by Claudia Gray

409 Pages (9:53 Hours)

Sixteen-year-old Princess Leia Organa faces the most challenging task of her life so far: proving herself in the areas of body, mind, and heart to be formally named heir to the thrown of Alderaan. She's taking rigorous survival courses, practicing politics, and spearheading relief missions to worlds under Imperial control. But Leia has worries beyond her claim to the crown. Her parents, Breha and Bail, aren't acting like themselves lately; they are distant and preoccupied, seemingly more concerned with throwing dinner parties for their allies in the Senate than they are with their own daughter. Determined to uncover her parents' secrets, Leia starts down an increasingly dangerous path that puts her right under the watchful eye of the Empire. And when Leia discovers what her parents and their allies are planning behind closed doors, she finds herself facing what seems like an impossible choice; dedicate herself to the people of Alderaan--including the make she loves--or the galaxy at large, which is in desperate need of a rebel hero.

I wanted this to be amazing. It wasn't. It was still pretty good though. My main concern with it was that Leia didn't feel like Leia. She didn't have that cockiness and temper that makes her who she is. She felt a little more like a generic fantasy heroine in a Star Wars novel. This book is more about her "coming of age" and felt a little young at times. I loved that Amilyn Holdo (aka the kick-ass purple-haired Vice-Admiral from The Last Jedi) was a character in it and that her and Leia were friends, but at times she felt like she was just Luna Lovegood in a different skin. 

Books that I am currently reading

by Rohinton Mistry
65 of 603 Pages

by Sally Armstrong
150 of 320 Pages

by M.J. Scott
 155 of 352 Pages

by Sue Monk Kidd
50 of 368 Pages

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Meeting Ashley Eckstein!!

Guys, I met Ashley Eckstein! OMFG!!!

So, not too long ago, Ashley wrote a book! (You can see my review of it here)
It was not only an autobiography, but a guide to help you find and pursue your own dreams and it's chocked full of Disney and Star Wars references.

my copy of the book and the pin given out at Hot Topic

Well, Hot Topic (who know owns Her Universe) decided that it would be great if she did a book tour across the US, with one stop in Canada. Toronto, my fair city, to be exact.
I had been pumped about this for months, but when the day finally arrived, I was feeling less than stellar. My anxiety was acting up and everything just seemed to be going wrong. Had I needed to do anything else that day, I probably would've bailed and stayed home in my pj's, binge watching Dear White People. But this was Ashley we were talking about. If you've been a follower of my blog for awhile now, you will know that she is one of my idols!
So I pulled myself together and headed to the Eaton's Centre to wait in line. 
But what's this? I had to buy something if I wanted to be in line? Booooo. Money was tight and I had already bought a copy of the book and brought it with me. So I settled on something fun and cheap (as far as HU goes)

That's right, I bought lightsaber lipstick (something that the HU fandom as been asking for since the company opened) They're not really my colours, but I love the packaging.
I finally ended up in line, but I was behind a group of fanboys who were quite obnoxious. They had no idea what HU was and had in depth conversations about how SOLO didn't follow the cannon closely enough. An hour and a half of listening to them talk about what comic they wanted the Boba Fett movie to follow and making the other fans around them feel stupid when they said anything, I was ready to quit the line and go home. But that is when she came out and I managed to hold on a little bit longer.
When I got near the front, I realized someone else was with her. It turns out that it was E.K. Johnston, the author of the Ahsoka novel I had just finished listening to!!

totally worth reading! You can read my review here
2 amazing women for the price of one!

Look at meeee! I'm with E.K. Johnston and Ashley Eckstein!!!

I spoke with E.K. first and told her how much I enjoyed her book (and how awesome Ashley was at narrating it) and she was so kind and funny and happy that her book was so well received.

I don't have a physical copy of this book, but she gave me an insert page in case I ever do get one.
I had just started to talk about how much fun it was to gear Ashley reading the Ahsoka novel when she turned to me and said hello. That's when E.K. noticed my Ahsoka/Plo Koon shirt from waaaay back in the day and pointed it out to Ahsley, who gasped and was suddenly ecstatic that I had been a fan for so long. I told her that I was a first day customer when HU opened and she got so emotional that she had to get up and hug me! I told her that not only am I a fan of Ahsoka, but even more so of her. That she is my idol for what she has done for the fangirls of the World. 

I told her that I had bought her book when it came out and that I had already read it cover to cover and how wonderful I thought it was. She asked me what my dream was and I told her that I wanted to open the Braekery (my bakery) and that I had recently gone back to school to pursue my dreams. She told me that when I get it up and running to let her know so that she can come support me! How sweet is that? She even added me to her Instagram so that she could follow my progress!

I floated away on a happy cloud. How did I ever think that this was a bad idea? It was worth every bad fanboy, every unexpected purchase, every minute of waiting in line.

Thanks Ashley

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Another 52 - May Edition

Oh man, I'm on summer vacation and I finally have the time and energy to read again! But what am I having so much trouble reading and why are my eyes always so tired? Braeby needs glasses you say... Braeby is farsighted and shouldn't be reading or on the computer without said glasses you say...
Well, that explains a lot.
Looking back over the last couple months I've mostly been listening to audiobooks or reading comics and there are very few actual books.
On a brighter note, I picked out some cute purple frames and they should be ready any day now.
FYI: I totally look like a librarian in them.
Anyhoo... here is what I managed to squint at and read this month:

by Amy Ewing

308 Pages (8:31 Hours) 

The compelling and gripping sequel to Amy Ewing's debut, The Jewel, which the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books said, "Will have fans of Oliver's Delirium, Cass' The Selection, and DeStefano's Wither breathless with anticipation for the sequel."Violet is on the run--away from the Jewel, away from a lifetime of servitude, away from the Duchess of the Lake, who bought her at auction. With Ash and Raven traveling with her, Violet will need all of her powers to get her friends, and herself, out of the Jewel alive.But no matter how far Violet runs, she can't escape the rebellion brewing just beneath the Jewel's glittering surface, or her role in it. Violet must decide if she is strong enough to rise against the Jewel and everything she has ever known.

I found myself really enjoying this series and this book just confirmed that. I was worried that it would be another book about her being captive, but she manages to escape and joins the rebellion. The cast of characters is really great and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.

by Brenden Fletcher, Annie Wu, Pia Guerra & Sandy Jarrell

168 Pages

Dinah Lance hits the road! After years as a soldier and vigilante, the last place Dinah saw herself is on stage…but she’s quickly learning she’d die to protect the gang of misfits she’s fallen into. And she just might have to—for some reason, the newly rechristened band Black Canary seems to be a magnet for trouble…and Dinah’s not gonna believe it when she finds out the reason why!

This was a really great comic and was a lot of fun. I never thought that the perfect place for Black Canary would be in a band, but it's pretty ingenious. I love all the side characters, which makes it even more enjoyable. Can't wait to read more.

by Amy Ewing

289 Pages (8:09 Hours)

For too long, Violet and the people of the outer circles of the Lone City have lived a life of servitude, controlled and manipulated by the royalty of the Jewel. But now, the secret society known as the Black Key is preparing to seize power and knock down the walls dividing each circle.
And while Violet knows she is at the center of this rebellion, she has a more personal stake in it—for her sister, Hazel, has been taken by the Duchess of the Lake. Now, after fighting so hard to escape the Jewel, Violet must do everything in her power to return, to save not only Hazel, but the future of the Lone City.

As soon as the 2nd book was finished, I managed to get my hands on a copy of the 3rd book. This one takes place back in the Jewel, but you get a new perspective of it, which is nice. I was sad that they fridged one of the characters so that a different love story could take place, but I guess it was inevitable. Too bad though, she was really sweet. I enjoyed the conclusion to this series and look forward to reading her other series.

by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchur & Stjepan Šejić

128 Pages 

This booze-soaked second volume of RAT QUEENS reveals a growing menace within the very walls of Palisade. And while Dee may have run from her past, the bloated, blood-feasting sky god N’rygoth never really lets his children stray too far.

You can't go wrong with Rat Queens. It's just too much fun! Although graphic, this book had a neat plot that I really enjoyed, especially the eldritch horror aspect. I want more of these books!

by Kendare Blake

464 Pages (11:10 Hours)

The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?
With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.
In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

Sooooo good. The fight is on to win the crown and I want them all to have it for one reason or another. Or at least, I don't want any of them to get killed off.  Now I am patiently waiting for the 3rd one to come out in audio! Why isn't it out already?

by Terry Pratchett

432 Pages

‘Vimes ran a practised eye over the assortment before him. It was the usual Ankh-Morpork mob in times of crisis; half of them were here to complain, a quarter of them were here to watch the other half, and the remainder were here to rob, importune or sell hotdogs to the rest.’
Insurrection is in the air in Ankh-Morpork. The Haves and Have-Nots are about to fall out all over again. Captain Sam Vimes of the city’s ramshackle Night Watch is used to this. It’s enough to drive a man to drink. Well, to drink more. But this time, something is different – the Have-Nots have found the key to a dormant, lethal weapon that even they don’t fully understand, and they’re about to unleash a campaign of terror on the city. Time for Captain Vimes to sober up.

Back to Discworld and the crazy characters that always seem to find themselves in the strangest of quests. It's hard not to love the Discworld characters, and this book is no exception. I need to read more of these, I just need to.

by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Mingjue Helen Chen & Msassyk

144 Pages

Olive has received information that her mother might be alive—and now, she and her friends must investigate! Of course werewolves, ghosts, and new student Damian Wayne won’t make it easy! Collects issues #7-12

Although not as good as the first volume, this one does hold more explanation, which is nice. The synopsis makes it sound like Damian is a new main character, but he's only there for part of one of the stories. He's also not as big of a jerk as I thought he was going to be, so that's nice. Maps is still the best and I think will always be my favorite character.

by E.K. Johnston

400 Pages (7:04 Hours)

Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars and before she reappeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally her story will begin to be told.
Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa - and the Rebel Alliance.

I was really excited about this book when I came across it. I haven't been listening to many Star Wars books lately, but how can I pass up Ahsoka? I was even more excited when I realized that Ashley Eckstein was reprising her role as our favorite former Jedi padawan, as she narrates the entire book! YAY! (btw: she's coming to Toronto on Monday, so look forward to a post about that!)
The story was fun and I enjoy the background sound effects, but sometimes they can get a bit irritating and headache inducing. Oh well, worth it.

by Bill Willingham (Goodreads Author), Mark Buckingham

128 Pages

Ever since they were driven from their homelands by the Adversary, the non-human Fables have been living on the Farm—a vast property in upstate New York that keeps them hidden from the prying eyes of the mundane world. But now, after hundreds of years of isolation, the Farm is seething with revolution, fanned by the inflammatory rhetoric of Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs. And when Snow White and her sister Rose Red stumble upon their plan to liberate the Homelands, the commissars of the Farm are ready to silence them—by any means necessary!

This was an interesting story, as it dealt with the Fables that couldn't pass for human and had to be kept away from downtown New York. As these animals rebel, you can see that they have a point, but are going about it in the wrong way. It was a really neat take on more fairy tales.

by Sarah Andersen

128 Pages

Sarah Andersen's hugely popular, world-famous Sarah's Scribbles comics are for those of us who boast bookstore-ready bodies and Netflix-ready hair, who are always down for all-night reading-in-bed parties and extremely exclusive after-hour one-person music festivals. 
In addition to the most recent Sarah's Scribbles fan favorites and dozens of all-new comics, this volume contains illustrated personal essays on Sarah's real-life experiences with anxiety, career, relationships and other adulthood challenges that will remind readers of Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half and Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened. The same uniquely frank, real, yet humorous and uplifting tone that makes Sarah's Scribbles so relatable blooms beautifully in this new longer form.

Sometimes you just need to laugh at everyday life and Sarah Scribbles is great at providing that. It's hard not to chuckle at all of life's problems when they're so relatable. I didn't realize that this was the 2nd book until after I finished it, but like most comics of this genre, it doesn't really matter. Most enjoyable.

by Bailey Cates

279 Pages

In this New York Times bestselling mystery series, witch Katie Lightfoot bakes enchanted treats--and faces more than her fair share of toil and trouble.... 
It's been exactly two years since Katie and her aunt and uncle opened the Honeybee Bakery, where they serve delicious--and bespelled--treats to the good people of Savannah. After a dinner celebrating the bakery's anniversary, they all take a stroll along the waterfront and meet Aunt Lucy's friend Orla, a colorful character who has been telling the fortunes of locals and tourists alike for years.
The next day, Orla meets with what seems like a terrible accident, but Katie's witchy intuition tells her it was something more sinister. Together with her trustworthy coven and her firefighter boyfriend, she'll race to find out what happened to the unfortunate fortune-teller before the piping hot trail goes cold....

I was a bit disappointed in this book. Not because of the story, that was good, but because of the language used. It uses the word G*psy. A lot. Now, people don't always know that this is considered a slur and that Romani or Traveling People tend to be preferred. Now in this case they were Irish traveling people. Now, it's not just that they used it multiple times, but they even explained like I just did about the word, yet it still gets used. I find that aggravating. It should've been corrected at the beginning and then not used again. 
Besides that, the story was good enough.  

by Sarah Andersen

109 Pages

Are you a special snowflake? 
Do you enjoy networking to advance your career? 
Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared? 
Ugh. Please go away.
This book is for the rest of us. These comics document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas, and wondering when, exactly, this adulthood thing begins. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life.

Once I had discovered that the first book I read was actually the 2nd in the series, I had to go back and find the 1st one. I was not disappointed. Now that I'm in my 30's I actually have to admit that I'm a adult, although I certainly don't feel like it most of the time. At least we can enjoy this book and make fun of ourselves. 

by Amy Ewing

87 Pages

In The Jewel, we followed Violet in her servitude under the Duchess of the Lake. Now we'll hear Raven's story and her time as a surrogate for the Countess of the Stone in this digital novella from Amy Ewing.
When Raven is bought at the Auction, she knows immediately that things will not go well. And when she arrives at the Countess's palace, Raven quickly discovers that the Countess is much less interested in having a baby than experimenting with Raven's mind and body. Raven can only hope for an escape…and to see Violet again, all the while reminding herself that she is Raven Stirling, and she does matter.
HarperTeen Impulse is a digital imprint focused on young adult short stories and novellas, with new releases the first Tuesday of each month.

After listening to this series, I was excited to find out that there were a few short stories out there as well. I love Raven, so I was super excited (if not morbidly curious) to read about her. But her story pretty much reflects Violet's story but from a different perspective. Literally. They are the same scenes in which both of them are present, but from a different angle. It was a bit of a let down. I wanted new content. Oh well, it was still good.

by Marie Lu

272 Pages (8:44 Hours)

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.
The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.
Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.
In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

I am totally loving this DC Icons series! This one follows a young Bruce Wayne as a bit of an awkward, naive teenager. It's pretty amazing. One of the things that I love it that he actually realizes how privilaged he is as a rich, white male and does his best to make the world better. That's the Bruce I know and love. I can't wait until the Catwoman book comes out later this year!

by John Knight

212 Pages

Miles Militis is your average thirty-something male living in the 21st century. Despite the difficult life that he leads, and his frustration with the way that things are happening in the world around him, he feels powerless to influence any positive change. But when a violent windstorm strikes, everything does changejust not in a way that he ever imagined possible! Upon being swept away to an alternate planet Earth, Miles discovers that this world had taken a more idealistic approach, and improved upon things that he had wished he could change. While attempting to discover where he was and how he got there, Miles becomes embedded in seemingly unrelated events that he inevitably becomes an important part of. But there is more going on in this utopian society than anyone realizes. When the truth finally comes to light, it appears that it might be too late. In this science fiction adventure, an earthling unwittingly swept into another realm is led down a path towards a destiny that teaches him that the power to instigate change lies within ones own self.

If you're thinking about reading this book, don't.... just don't.
I'd say more but then I would write a huge long post about how terrible this book was and I'd be wasting everyone's time, including mine.
Just don't bother.

by Ashley Eckstein

208 Pages

Ashley Eckstein grew up inspired by all things Disney. She launched Her Universe, an apparel company catering to fan girls, which has become a preferred partner for Disney and their girl power initiative.
In IT'S YOUR UNIVERSE, Ashley shares her own life lessons, as well as lessons from iconic Disney characters, as a way to inspire girls to create big dreams and work to make them a reality.
Ashley tells her story of being a little girl dreaming of being on a Disney stage, voicing the first female Jedi, Ahsoka Tano, and starting Her Universe, a blockbuster clothing line and community for fangirls.
With space for readers to make journal entries and quotes from iconic Disney characters, Ashley shows how princesses, Jedis, and super heroes were great role models for choosing her own path.

I'm not one for autobiographies usually. But this is Ashley Eckstein and I want to support pretty much anything she does. This was a cute mix of her story, reiterated with lessons learned in Disney movies, cute quotes, inspirational messages and places to fill in your own dreams. I'm pretty sure it's meant for preteens, but it was still a fun read. As stated above, she's actually on a book signing tour for this book and is coming to Toronto on Monday, so I'm going to get to meet her and have her sign my book! YAY!

Oh, and this happened this month too! Yup, I hit and continued past my challenge! Woot!

Books that I am currently reading

by Rohinton Mistry
65 of 603 Pages

by Sally Armstrong
145 of 320 Pages

The Forbidden Heir (The Four Arts #2)
by M.J. Scott
 105 of 352 Pages

Long May She Reign
by Rhiannon Thomas
7:45 of 10:37 Hours


Got my glasses finally! Check out my fancy purple frames!