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!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Another 52 - March/April Edition

Braeby where have you been? 
I know, I know. I haven't been posting much, but even still, I usually update my reading list. What can I say other than school was crazy these last few months and I barley had time to finish my homework, let alone blog. Even my book reading wasn't all that extensive. I mostly listened to audiobook s in transit and read comics when I was too tired to pick up an actual book. And since I didn't get March out in time, I've decided to merge it with April and see if I can remember my thoughts about those past books. Wish me luck.


by Chris Roberson, Mike Allred, Laura Allred & Todd Klein

144 Pages

Told from a female zombie’s perspective, this smart, witty detective series mixes urban fantasy and romantic dramedy.
Gwendolyn “Gwen” Dylan is a 20-something gravedigger in an eco-friendly cemetery. Once a month she must eat a human brain to keep from losing her memories, but in the process she becomes consumed with the thoughts and personality of the dead person – until she eats her next brain. She sets out to fulfill the dead person’s last request, solve a crime or right a wrong.
Our zombie girl detective is joined by a radical supporting cast: her best friend Eleanor, who happens to be a swinging ’60s ghost, a posse of paintball blasting vampires, a smitten were-dog and a hot but demented mummy.
Collects issues #1-5

I picked this up because I love the show. I figured that I should check out the source material, hoping that I would love it too, since the book is usually better, right? Well, not so much in this case. I will say this and feel a little shame while doing it. I like the show better. The characters are totally different the plot is totally different. Don't get me wrong, The comic has it's charm and I want to read them, I just will also continue to enjoy the show.

by Ally Condie

367 Pages (9:51 Hours)

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky — taken by the Society to his certain death — only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander — who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart — change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

I really enjoyed this series, but this book made me wonder if I would finish it. Although the first book was amazing, the second was lackluster. The first book was all about being duped by society and realizing that everything you know is wrong and that was fascinating. The second one is about wandering through a canyon with other characters that I didn't really like.

by Leigh Bardugo

422 Pages (11:00 Hours)

The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

After the second book, I wasn't sure I cared about finishing this series, but I decided to give it another chance. I'm glad I did. The last book was well worth reading. I enjoyed the twists and turns it took and I'm glad I got to know some of the other characters better. 

by Juliet Marillier

429 Pages

Award-winning author Juliet Marillier “weaves magic, mythology, and folklore into every sentence on the page” (The Book Smugglers). Now she begins an all-new and enchanting series that will transport readers to a magical vision of ancient Ireland....
In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.
Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.
With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.

This was a really good book. I really enjoyed the characters and their developments. Although I rarely enjoy books that revolve around rape, I thought this one handled all sides of it with thought and compassion and that to me is saying something. It wasn't just a trite plot device, it was actually thought out and discussed properly. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series and how these characters continue to grow and learn.

by Amanda Lovelace

199 Pages

"Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we're off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales."
A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

I read this in one sitting. It was horrible and beautiful and filled with so many feelings that it broke my heart and mended it over and over again. Worth reading, but do so with caution if sensitive to such matters.

by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Jared K. Fletcher, Maris Wicks & Babs Tarr

176 Pages

Barbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes, so when a fire destroys everything she owns, she spots the opportunity for a new lease on life – and seizes it! Following the rest of Gotham City’s young adults to the hip border district of Burnside, Barbara sets about building an all-new Batgirl…and discovers new threats preying on her peers! As the new hero of Burnside, Batgirl gets started by facing twin sister assassins on motorcycles!

I picked this up thinking it was the first in the series, although apparently it was not. It was still hella fun though, but I wanted to know more about what was going on before this all happened.

by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes

144 Pages

As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, Barbara Gordon is finally back as Batgirl!
The nightmare-inducing brute known as Mirror is destroying the lives of Gotham City citizens seemingly at random. Will Barbara be able to survive her explosive confrontation with this new villain, as well as facing dark secrets from her past? A new chapter in the riveting adventures of Batgirl continue in stunning fashion, with script by fan-favorite Gail Simone and stellar art by superstar Ardian Syaf!
This volume collects issues 1-6 of Batgirl, part of the DC Comics—The New 52 event.

This one actually is the first one and it explains how Babs went from Oracle back to Batgirl. I've been wanting to read this since they revamped the New 52. I know there was a lot of controversy about giving Babs the use of her legs back and I can't totally understand where they are coming from. I'm glad the included the struggle that she herself goes through.

by Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch

128 Pages

Who are the Rat Queens? 
They're a pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire and they're in the business of killing all the god's creatures for profit. Meet Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. 
This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent, monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack! 
Collecting Rat Queens #1-5!

This was a ridiculously fun read about a band of asshole adventurers who never really get anything right and tend to cause more problems then they solve. Reminds me of playing D&D. 

by Sarah J. Maas

101 Pages

When the King of the Assassins gives Celaena Sardothien a special assignment that will help fight slavery in the kingdom, she jumps at the chance to strike a blow against an evil practice. The mission is a dark and deadly affair which takes Celaena from the rooftops of the city to the bottom of the sewer--and she doesn't like what she finds there.

I honestly don't really know what to say about this short story without giving anything away. The only real interesting plot point is the twist, so I'll just say I liked it and leave it at that.

by Ally Condie

512 Pages (13:15 Hours)

Cassia's journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect facade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.
The wait is over.
One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion.
With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long: the power to choose.

After the let down of the second book, I wasn't sure what to expect from the last book in this series. I ended up really enjoying the last book as it filled almost all my needs for a dystopian novel series. The only thing that I didn't like was that everyone seemed to be in love with everyone else and that was kind of annoying. I mean, I know their teenagers and everything, but still.
Anyway, it was worth seeing through to the end and I will for sure pick up other books by her in the future.

Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile (Fables #1)
by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton & James Jean

128 Pages

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White's party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown's sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose's ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.
Collecting: Fables 1-5

I've heard and seen a lot about these book over the years and I was glad that I got the chance to finally read them. It's certainly an odd series, but enjoyable. It's a neat twist to fairy tales and I love that. Instead of rewriting them, they have been imagined well after their fairy tales end, relocated to modern day earth. What a great spin!

by Leigh Bardugo

364 Pages (11:55 Hours)

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

I love Leigh Bardugo, so I was super happy when she headed up the first book in a new collection of DC Superhero stories, and Wonder Woman, no less! I love Wonder Woman, so I was really excited. I originally thought that it would be another origin story when it started, but it's really not. I appreciated that Diana took on the role of trying to save the Warbringer, Alia, instead of trying to kill her, which would've been much easier. I'm glad to know that Bardugo is all about making Diana a strong female character that's compassionate and amazing and fights for what is right no matter the cost to her.

by Kate Locke

400 Pages

The first in an alternate fantasy series where vampires, werewolves, and goblins rule London. 
Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist. 
The undead matriarch presides over a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. It's a world where the nobility are infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key -- the prize -- in a very dangerous struggle.

This was a really strange book. I'll be honest, I bought it because the cover art is amazing and I wanted to read about Vampire Queen Vic. Well, she is hardly in it and the steampunk world is weird. It's modern day steampunk. As in, if steampunk had taken hold and progressed to this day and age. Yeah, weird. Some things are the same, and others have changed drastically. So, not being a huge steampunk fan, it's hard for me to decide if I like it or it's necessary or not, and it's a fine line. I kept thinking about putting it down (as I have done with a lot of other books lately) but decided to persevere. I'm glad I did. I ended up getting really into it and loving the characters and weird plot lines. I actually think I will pick up the rest, just for fun.


by Sarah J. Maas

94 Pages

Celaena Sardothien is the assassin with everything: a place to call her own, the love of handsome Sam, and, best of all, freedom. Yet, she won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel; Celaena must take one last daring assignment that will liberate her forever. But having it all, means you have a lot to lose . . .

This is the end of the short stories and I find myself tired of reading them. Don't get me wrong, they were good. I just wish they were all in one volume and I could've read them all together. It ends as you know it must if you've read the other books. That kind of sucks to know the ending and still not want it to happen.

by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda, Rus Wooton & Jennifer M. Smith

192 Pages

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers. Collects MONSTRESS #1-6

This was a really neat comic that I found. It's messed up and weird, but fascinating and the art in incredible. I really want to know more about the world that it takes place in and how everything came to be. I'd actually love for this to be in book form and not just comic form.

by Kendare Blake

421 Pages (9:52 Hours)

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown.

I was expecting this book to only have one main character, as in only one of the three queen prospects, but this book follows all threes and you are pretty much forced to like all of them for some reason or another. I have no idea who I want on the throne and I'm a bit worried about at least two queens getting killed off. Yet I can't wait to find out what happens next

by Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage, Ming Doyle, Laura Braga, Maria Laura Sanapo, Marc Deering, Stephen Mooney, Ted Naifeh, Garry Brown, Mirka Andolfo, Bilquis Evely & Sandy Jarrell

144 Pages

In these stories from issues #1-6 of the hit series, learn the story behind this alternate reality where the Second World War is fought by superpowered women on the front lines and behind the scenes! It all begins with the stories of Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl.

I've wanted to read this comic since it came out and I'm glad that I finally got my hands on it. It was pretty much everything I was hoping it would be and more! The only part I was disappointed in was the Harley/Ivy story that didn't quite make sense. But I loved the rest and I want to read more of them.

by Amy A. Bartol

321 Pages (11:11 Hours)

Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.
On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.
Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.
But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?

To be honest, for an 11 hour book, I can barley recall what happened in this book, The only thing that really springs to mind was that the main character was all over the place, never staying consistent. It was frustrating. And for being such a loyally bred soldier, she doesn't seem to have very much loyalty. I'm not sure I'll read the next one.

by Anne Bishop

496 Pages

After the Elders cleansed and reclaimed many human towns, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf-shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery's shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.
With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end: with her standing beside a grave. . . .

I love this series and I'm glad that it continually gets better. Although I'm never one for books with shady relatives that show up and cause mischief, this book was still really, really good. I can't wait until the next book, with different characters comes out in paperback.

by Amy Ewing

362 Pages (10:12 Hours)

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty.
But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude.
Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.
Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel's glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence . . . and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess's petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
Debut author Amy Ewing expertly crafts an enchanting story full of riches, rivalries, and riveting twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about another YA dystopia novel, but like always, I seem to really love them. This definitely had a Handmade's Tale feel to it, mixed with your regular YA dystopia. But I fell in love with the characters and the rebellion and I want to read them all right now. 

by Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl & Brenden Fletcher

160 Pages

Welcome to Gotham Academy, the most prestigious school in Gotham City. Only the best and brightest students may enter its halls, study in its classrooms, explore its secret passages, summon its terrifying spirits...
Okay, so Gotham Academy isn't like other schools. But Olive Silverlock isn't like other students. After a mysterious incident over summer break, she's back at school with a bad case of amnesia, an even worse attitude...and an unexplained fear of bats.
Olive's supposed to show new student Maps Mizoguchi the ropes. Problem: Maps is the kid sister of Kyle, Olive's ex. Then there's the ghost haunting the campus...and the secret society conducting bizarre rituals. 
Can Olive and Maps ace the biggest challenge of their lives? Or are they about to get schooled?
Collects Gotham Academy #1-6

This was a weird mix of school high-jinx and Gotham history mixed into one. I wasn't sure  how it all connected, but I found myself really enjoying it anyway. Maps is adorable and quickly became a favorite for me. Can't wait to see what happens to this group of spunky kids.

by Joëlle Jones

160 Pages

The killer housewife is back! The Schuller family has moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where life carries on as usual. Josie continues to juggle Tupperware parties, her kids, and a few human heads. However, when someone from her past tails her on a hit, she may be in for more than she bargained for.

Like the first one, this was another great read about a housewife/assassin. Her and her family have finally started a new life but old habits are hard to break and people are not always who they seem to be. I hope there are more of these in the future.

by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

342 Pages (11:20 Hours)

When you listen to this audiobook, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are listening to a story about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. 
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing. 
Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Listen for the truth between the lies.

Wow, this was a great book. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into and didn't really know if I would like it or not. It's really not my genre after all. But this book kept me on the edge of of seat, brought up memories I don't like to think about and kept me guessing the whole time. I don't think all of the twists are necessary, but they are amazing. Worth reading.

by Chris Roberson & Mike Allred

168 Pages

Told from a female zombie’s perspective, this smart, witty detective series mixes urban fantasy and romantic dramedy.Gwendolyn “Gwen” Dylan is a 20-something gravedigger in an eco-friendly cemetery. Once a month she must eat a human brain to keep from losing her memories, but in the process she becomes consumed with the thoughts and personality of the dead person – until she eats her next brain. She sets out to fulfill the dead person’s last request, solve a crime or right a wrong.
In uVAMPIRE, Gwen dines on the grey matter of a person who knew her as a child – and things quickly get complicated. Meanwhile, ghost-girl Ellie learns a few tricks from Amon the mummy; Spot the were-terrier goes to the comics shop and meets someone from Gwen’s past, the mad scientist Galatea engages in a bit of grave-robbing; and the monster-hunters tackle the town’s vampire problem once and for all.

There is not a lot that happens plot wise in this book, but it was still good. There was a lot more background info on the secondary characters and I really liked that. Beyond that, there wasn't much to write home about.

by Patricia Briggs

291 Pages

Coyote shifter Mercy Thompson knows that life with her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will never be boring, but even their wedding doesn't go as planned. Nevertheless, a ten-day honeymoon camping on the banks of the Columbia River, alone, just the two of them, should make up for it. But the trip - and the pimped-out trailer they're using - is courtesy of the fae. And nothing from the fae comes without strings attached...
Being a different breed of shapeshifter - a walker - Mercy can see ghosts, but the spirit of her long-gone father has never visited her. Until now. An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River - and innocent people are dying. As other walkers make their presence know to Mercy, she must reconnect with her heritage to exorcise the world of the legend known as the river devil...

I still love this series. It's funny because that still surprises me. I always worry that they won't be good anymore, but they always are. I shouldn't be surprised. This is the first one that takes place outside the tri-state area and it's a nice change in pace. I also love the river demon and how weird and creep it is. Worth reading.

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

The White Rose (The Lone City #2)
by Amy Ewing
6:20 of 8:31 Hours