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!