Review: Nimona

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Title: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic.”

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Review:

I loved this graphic novel!

It’s hard to explain this story, but that’s what makes it so awesome. There are dragons and cats, kings and villains, science and magic. What more do you need in an amazing graphic novel?

Nimona was hilarious. She was sarcastic and goofy. She wants to be the sidekick to Blackhart, though he isn’t really in the market for one. She ends up being the most unusal character he has ever met.

I also loved the world setting of this story. It seems like it’s in the past because there are stone buildings and everything looks medieval. But at the same time, they are using futuristic technology and laboratories. It’s a conflicting world that really works for this story.

I already liked Noelle Stevenson, but I love her even more now! I’ve read some of her Lumberjanes graphic novels, which are equally awesome. I’ll have to keep her on my radar, so I can read her next books right away.

Review: Fairy Mom and Me

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Title: Fairy Mom and Me
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Goodreads Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of the Shopaholic series and our YA Finding Audrey, comes the first of a duology for young readers about a girl learning to become a fairy from her imperfect fairy mom, with a tech twist.

Ella Brook can’t wait to grow up, because one day she will become a fairy and have her own sparkly wings and a teacher on Fairy Tube, just like her mom! Until then, Ella has to learn by watching her mom in action. But sometimes spells go wrong, and Ella’s mom can never seem to remember the right magic codes. A lot of the time, it’s up to Ella to come to the rescue. Does she have what it takes to be a fairy one day? Or will there be more glitches than glitter?

Review:

When I saw that Sophie Kinsella had written a middle grade novel, I knew I had to read it!

This is such a cute story. Ella has to deal with regular kid stuff, like the mean girl next door, as well as fairy magic. Ella is a mature and smart girl who can often solve the messes that her mother makes with her fairy magic.

This story would be great for parents and children to read together. It’s quite funny. All of the spells end in “idoo” such as “cupcakeridoo” and “fixeridoo.” These funny, made up words would appeal to kids. Ella’s mom uses a fairy phone, like a smartphone, to cast her spells. However Ella’s grandmother still uses an old fashioned wand. Adults could relate to that since older generations often don’t want to adapt to new technology.

The pictures in the book would also appeal to kids. When I read with the children I look after, they are always looking for pictures in books. The pictures were also funny because they often depicted the spells that Ella’s mom had messed up.

I enjoyed this story. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book in the duology.

Review: Hunter: The Fallen One

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Title: Hunter: The Fallen One
Author: C.L. Hugely
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Source: Author
Release Date: October 31, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Goodreads Synopsis:

A hostile takeover of earth is unfolding secretly right before our very eyes. Is this a political move, or is something much more ancient and sinister at hand? Mystery schools were formed by the elite to train soldiers to further their agenda.

Lian Hunter is a freshman at one of these schools for the exclusively wealthy; the Tri- Asterisk Academy in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. When students start suddenly disappearing, Lian starts to feel something evil and corrupt underlying the veneer of the academy. Can he uncover the truth about his school before it is too late or is he just another soldier in training?

Review:

I really enjoyed this story. It was unpredictable and surprising, which is what I look for in books.

I really liked the futuristic elements of the story. There was a restaurant that Lian and his friends went to, where they could decide the atmosphere that they saw while sitting at their table. It was like a virtual reality restaurant. Some of their lessons in class were also in virtual reality, like when they studied the solar system or ancient civilizations.

Some parts of this story reminded me of Harry Potter. Lian finds a soccer championship cup with his father’s name on it from when he attended the school, just like Harry’s father’s name was on a Quidditch house cup at Hogwarts. There is also a part where Lian has flashbacks to when his father was a student, which was like when Harry revisits Dumbledore’s memories in the pensieve.

The mystery of what was happening to Lian kept me guessing until the end. It was so creepy, that he kept having visions that would appear without warning. However, when looking back on the description of the book, it doesn’t completely fit. The first part about mystery schools being formed to train soldiers is what seems to be happening, but they don’t say it outright. The story mainly focuses on Lian and his friends.

The omniscient narrator was a little unusual. The focus of the story jumped around from Lian to some of the adults in the story. This only happened occasionally, but I would have liked it to have focused more on Lian’s experience, rather than what else is going on in the world and even what his friends are doing.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. I’m curious to see where it goes next.

Blog Tour Spotlight: Pretty Dead Girls

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Title: Pretty Dead Girls
Author: Monica Murphy
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: January 2, 2018

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

Excerpt:

Sitting with Cass like this, being so close to him, makes me hyper aware of everything about him. His clean tinged-with-fabric-softener scent. The sound of his breathing, the beat of his heart. His hair is soft, so are his clothes, and he has angsty taste in music. His shoulders are broad, his thigh is hard beneath my butt, and his chest is firm.

I like him. Despite being angry with him earlier, I can admit that I’m attracted to him. And I think he’s attracted to me.

“I’m pretty sure the only person Brogan wants to get off is himself,” I mutter under my breath, ducking my head.

Cass chuckles, the warm, deep sound making me shiver. “Most guys are selfish assholes.”

“Even you?” I look up to find he’s already watching me.

He nods slowly, his gaze dropping to my lips again. “Even me.”

“I bet you’re not that selfish,” I whisper. I am totally flirting with him.

“Oh, I definitely am. Watch me.”

And then he does the craziest thing.

Cass leans in, his mouth drawing close. So close, I can feel his breath tickle my lips. I part them, ready to say something, anything to break the sudden tension that’s crackling between us, but his mouth lands on mine in an instant.

I suck in a breath, shocked by the jolt of electricity that rushes through my blood when his lips touch mine. We’re already completely wrapped up in each other. It feels…natural to kiss him.

His arms tighten around my waist, pulling me into him. I circle my arms around his neck, my fingers sliding into his hair. It’s thick and soft, the ends curling around my fingers, and I tunnel my hands deeper into it, savoring the hitch in his breath when I do so.

Our mouths are still connected. We kiss and kiss. Soft, innocent kisses at first, and then I part my lips, and he does too. Our lips linger, the kisses last longer as our breaths accelerate, and then his tongue is there, tracing my lips, circling mine…

It’s the hottest kiss I’ve ever experienced, the both of us trying to be quiet as we secretly make out while hiding in Courtney’s closet. His hands go to my waist and he readjusts me so I’m straddling him, and I wrap my legs around his hips. We’re chest to chest, his bulky sweatshirt is totally in my way, and I wish I could tear it off him so I can get closer.

But I settle for this. We’re kissing for kissing’s sake. There’s no end game, no trying to get into each other’s pants or get each other off, as Courtney so eloquently put it. And it feels so good, to get lost in Cass’s arms and lips for a while, to forget about my troubles, to concentrate on the delicious slide of his tongue against mine, his hands in my hair, the race of his heart and the heat of his skin.

Plus, it’s Cass. We’re giving in to the chemistry that seems to simmer between us every time we’re together. There’s something between us I’d like to explore, despite all the extra baggage that seems to come with this boy. His dead dad and his murdering mom and his weird grandma with the cluttered house and the cats. His mysterious ways and addiction problem—all of this adds up to a guy I should avoid at all costs.

About the Author:

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Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is a traditionally published author with Bantam/Random House and Harper Collins/Avon, as well as an independently published author. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. She is also USA Today bestselling romance author Karen Erickson. She is a wife and a mother of three who lives with her family in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere, along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through many angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • InstagramPinterestSnapchat • Goodreads

Giveaway:

• Signed copy of Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Organized by: Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours

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Thank you to Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Review: The Cruel Prince

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Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Review:

I enjoyed this story! It’s my first story in the world of fairies, or Fae.

For some reason, I couldn’t focus during the beginning of the story. I think it was just me getting distracted. But I thought I’d mention it anyway in case anyone else felt the same way.

One of my favourite parts was the prologue. I loved the fairy tale voice of the narrator. I was a little disappointed when Jude became the narrator starting in Chapter 1. However, she’s a great and crazy girl to narrate this story.

At about three quarters of the way through the book I was so hooked! I really had no idea where the story was going. The major event that happens at the end of Book 1 hooked me, and it surprised me so much that I fell in love with the story.

There was so much packed into this novel, it felt like a whole series. I can’t wait to see what happens in the rest of the series.

Review: Claudia and Mean Janine (Baby Sitters Club Graphic Novel #4)

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Title: Claudia and Mean Janine
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Graphix
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Goodreads Synopsis:

This graphic novel adapted by Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning author of Smile, is now available in full color!

Claudia and her sister, Janine, may as well be from two different planets. Claudia, who pays more attention to her artwork and The Baby-sitters Club than her homework, feels like she can’t compete with her perfect sister. Janine studies nonstop, gets straight As, and even takes college-level courses! But when something unexpected happens to the most beloved person in their family, will the sisters be able to put aside their differences?

Raina Telgemeier, using the signature style featured in her acclaimed graphic novels Smile and Sisters, perfectly captures all the drama and charm of the original novel!

Review:

I am loving the new Baby Sitters Club series! This is the fourth book, and like the others, it stays true to the original novels.

In this story, the girls have to deal with family issues. Claudia has to learn to get along with her sister, because she’s the only sister she has. They come together over their grandmother’s health problems.

I love how each of the Baby Sitters Club books demonstrate something that young girls have to face in their lives, while also working on their baby sitting jobs. The girls all feel for Claudia’s problems with her sister because they all love her grandmother and feel close to Claudia’s family.

I’m so sad that Raina is no longer going to illustrate these graphic novels. I hope the next artist can live up to Raina’s work!

Review: Archie, Volume 2

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Title: Archie, Volume 2
Author: Mark Waid, Veronica Fish
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archie Comics
Source: Gift
Release Date: December 20, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Goodreads Synopsis:

The all-new ARCHIE adventure continues! Superstar writer Mark Waid teams up with the best and brightest artists in comics to bring a modern take to the legendary Riverdale cast of characters. The book will captures the bite and hilarious edge of Archie’s original tales in a modern, forward-looking manner, while still retaining the character’s all-ages appeal. If classic Archie is a Saturday morning cartoon, this new series is prime time!

Review:

I love this new Archie series. I was hooked on Archie comics when I was little, so I love being able to read this updated version.

This story continues from the first volume. Mr. Lodge still hates Archie. He tries to get Veronica to date Reggie instead, but she loves Archie. At the same time, Betty and Archie’s friendship is rocky. They’re both dating new people, so they have to adjust to not dating each other. It even leads to a fight that ends at the talent show.

I love the art in these graphic novels. Sometimes the art slows down the pace of the story, by having frames without any words. Some frames drift slowly from Archie’s house to Betty’s house, to show that they aren’t speaking. There is still a lot to be read into these frames, even though there isn’t actually any dialogue.

I love this series. This volume ended on a cliffhanger, so I’m going to have to read the next one soon!