Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming Fantasy and Sci-Fi Releases I'm Looking Forward To


Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is a Summer Reads Freebie, and I have elected share ten Upcoming Fantasy and Sci-Fi Releases I'm Looking Forward To that are being released this June - August, 2017, both YA and adult.  Here we go, in order of release date:


Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Mo├»ra Fowley-Doyle - Release date: June 1st


Down Among the Sticks and the Bones by Seanan McGuire - Release date: June 13th


The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss - Release date: June 20th


The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - Release date: June 27th


Spoonbenders by Dary Gregory - Release date: June 27th


Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine - Release date: July 11th


At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon - Release date: July 11th


The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova - Release date: July 11th


Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw - Release date: July 25th



What books are you looking forward to?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Music Monday: Zenith Salutes... The Teen Sound


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.


When I go to thrift stores, aside from looking at books I also like to check out the vinyl records they have.  I just happened to find Zenith Salutes... The Teen Sound which was released in 1966 as a limited edition at one of my last forays to a local thrift store.  When I went up to the register the cashier sure gave me a funny look... Anyway, the record features some of top teen songs from some of the biggest performers of that year.  These are two of my favorites on the album:

"Turn-Down Day" by The Cyrkle - Just look at that drummer's showmanship!


"The Trip" by Donovan - Definitely that kind of trip...

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Feel Me Fall by James Morris + 50/50 Friday


Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.


I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.


This week I'm spotlighting my next read, Feel Me Fall by James Morris.  I've received this paperback from the author in exchange for and honest review (which is my first print read to review from an author) and I can't wait to dive into this YA mystery because I really enjoyed his earlier novels, What Lies Within and Melophobia.

Beginning:

I have tried so hard to forget, but memory is a stubborn thing.  Memories linger no matter what I do.  They're there all the time - and worse.  Even my dreams aren't safe.  I have vicious nightmares, and they're real - too real - and suddenly I'm back there.

56:

That couldn't be right.  I'd seen her go get them after reading a note on her locker.  I made sure they were addressed to the right person.  I didn't even want to count how many minimum wage hours I'd spent paying for them.


This week I'm also taking part in a linkup called 50/50 Friday, which is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they'll have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - this week the topic is Character Whose Life You'd Want/ Not Want To Live.

Want To Live: 



Two characters immediately came to mind: Isaac Vanio from Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines and Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.  Isaac (who made last week's 50/50 Friday, by the way) is a professional librarian who can magically pull things from books into the real world - that sounds pretty awesome to me.  On the other hand, though, who wouldn't want to go to Hogwarts for seven years and do magical homework?

Not Want To Live:


Pretty much anyone from The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman - Yeah, I doubt I'd be able to hold off those zombies for any length of time... and I'd get turned into one right off I expect.  No, thank you!


As always, thanks for visiting my blog and, perhaps even commenting below.  What character would you like to be or not be?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mini Reviews - Caraval, Half Lost, The Midnight Star, The Gauntlet, & Norse Mythology


Happy Thursday, everyone!  Today, I'm sharing mini reviews of five recent favorite fantasy reads: Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber, Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy #3) by Sally Green, The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu, The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi, and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.  I've been really lucky to have found such wonderful stories and had the opportunity to read them nearly back to back.  Read on for my mini reviews:


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Caraval by Stephanie Garber is quite an impressive YA debut! The hype for this novel is sky high, and while I enjoyed this 2017 debut it didn't fully live up to all of the hype in my mind. That being said I was absolutely hooked on Garber's writing style and the world of the Caraval. I loved the dark twists and turns, the magic, and the mystery at the heart of the story, although I will admit that I was expecting a bit more of a carnival story than how it turned out. As for the characters, Tella grated on my nerves (am I getting old?), Scarlett grew on me, and Julian totally stole the show (even though I was suspicious of him from the get-go). The world-building for the Caraval is pretty great, but I wish we had a better look at the wider world where Scarlett and Tella live. Overall, if you like The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, I have a feeling that you'll love Stephanie Garber's debut novel. Now it's just a waiting game until the release of the sequel!



I read this novel from March 16 - March 23, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

What an excellent ending to a favorite series! Sure, it really put me through the wringer pretty much throughout, especially that ending, but it's well worth it. This series is just stunning and if you haven't read it I can't recommend it enough, so just get to reading. I don't think you'll be disappointed in how it turns out. By the way, the audiobook production is absolutely stunning. I think Carl Prekopp is getting added to my list of favorite narrators!



I listened to this audiobook from April 2 - April 8, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

I had high hopes for the grand finale of The Young Elites series, and I have to say that The Midnight Star fully delivers. It has everything I could have hoped for in this satisfying conclusion. That's not to say I could predict what exactly coming because it kept me on my toes with each twist and reveal, but honestly as I thought there was only one way it could really end. Of course, it's very dark and heartbreaking at times, so be sure to have tissues at hand while reading. Adelina isn't exactly a good character, if you've read the series you know she's done some downright evil things, but she is certainly one of the most fascinating characters I've read in awhile. If you're interested in morally gray or villainous leading characters, I highly recommend Marie Lu's The Young Elites series.


I listened to this audiobook from April 8 - April 12, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

The Gauntlet, a reverse steampunk-esque Jumanji and meets The Wizard of Oz inspired MG adventure with a Middle Eastern flair, is exactly my cup of tea! I don't know about you, but the moment I heard about this novel I immediately knew I had to get my hands on a copy. I don't read middle grade that often, but this one sounded like it would be well worth my time. Sure enough, it absolutely paid off. There is so much to love about Riazi's diverse fantasy debut - it has something for everyone and it is perfect for readers of all ages who love a good adventure. I'm really looking forward to Karuna Riazi's next project!



I read this book from April 14 - April 20, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

If you're interested in mythology of any kind this is a must-read, especially on audio. Gaiman himself provides the narration and it's just wonderful. I have to give him credit for pronouncing all of those words! I couldn't help myself but imagine Marvel Cinematic's and Rick Riordan's take on Norse mythology while I was listening. I would love to have heard more of Frey and Freya. Even if you don't know much about Norse mythology going in, Gaiman's retelling of these tales is very accessible.



I listened to this audiobook from May 13 - May 16, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Thanks and congratulations if you made it this far!  Have you read any of these books yet?  If so, I hope you enjoyed them as well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Worst Moms From Books, Movies, and TV


Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is a Mother's Day Related Freebie, so I have a some free reign again this week - yay!  I'm going to do something a different route and feature the Worst Moms From Books, Movies, and TV (some of which cross over due to adaptations).  Here we go, in alphabetical order by title:


Fiona from American Horror Story: Coven


Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development


Margaret White from Carrie by Stephen King


Linh Adri from Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Other Mother from Coraline by Neil Gaiman


Olivia Foxworth from Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews


Cersei Lannister from A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin


Mrs. Zinnia Wormwood from Matlida by Roald Dahl


Mrs. George from Mean Girls



Norma Bates from Psycho 


Have you read or watched any of my picks?  As always, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting on my blog.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Music Monday: Riders in the Sky


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.


This week I'm spotlighting Riders in the Sky, the Cowboy and Western band.  You may not recognize them, but I have a feeling you've heard their music, especially if you like Pixar movies.  They provided the music for Woody's Roundup in Toy Story 2 (1999) (in the video below they also play "You've Got A Friend In Me") and they scored the Pixar short For the Birds (2000) which was shown before Monsters, Inc. (2001) in theaters.






Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Funday: Weekend Update, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, & King Arthur: Legend of the Sword


Happy Mother's Day everyone!  Unfortunately, I won't be able to celebrate as much as I'd like to with my family this year as I drew the short straw and have to work.  I can't say I'm surprised though... Oh, well.  As usual, the last couple of week's have been pretty crazy - I've had so much to do.  


In bookish news, this past week I've finished up three books - It's Not Like It's A Secret by Misa Sugiura (ARC won from Epic Reads), Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  Of the three, my favorite was easily Sugiura's debut - if you like Becky Albertalli, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell, I bet you'll love this novel.


On Thursday, I received in the mail my first hardcopy read for review from author, James Morris, for his new release Feel Me Fall.  I've read two of his earlier novels, What Lies Within and Melophobia, both of which I read for review and turned out to be real hidden gems.  Back in 2015, I listed him as one of my favorite new-to-me favorite authors of that year.  Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to try his newest YA mystery.


❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 


❋ ❋ ❋ 

In these last couple of weeks, I actually got to see a couple of movies at the theater - Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.  I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 in 3D and it's definitely worth the splurge - it's just as good as the first movie.  It's a solid 4.5 stars, but I'm rounding it up to 5 since it was just so much fun.  It's great to see the group together and how they play off of one another - everyone gets their time to shine.  By the way, Kurt Russell is pretty darn good as Peter's father and Mantis makes a good new addition to the cast.  She is hilarious when paired up with Drax.  The dialogue really crackles, but I'd have to say that Yondu has one of the best lines: "I'm Mary Poppins, y'all!"  The theater broke up at that! 


As for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, it's not as terrible as some of the reviews make it out to be, but it certainly missed out on a solid opportunity.  The idea behind it is pretty cool - how can anyone resist a King Arthur story and good retelling at that?  I liked getting to know our new Arthur, played by Charlie Hunnam, but most of what makes the legend has been stripped away.  There are points when you see that this could be really something with moments between Arthur and his friends, but unfortunately, the movie gets too lost in the visuals and special effects.  They don't so much enhance the story, as they over stuff it.  Also, near the end during a major fight scene, I actually felt a little motion sickness when the action got extra difficult to focus - I expect you'll know exactly what I'm talking about if you've seen the movie.  Let's just say Arthur suddenly appeared to go from Hunnam to a full on video game character, if that makes any sense, and I'm glad that I wasn't watching in 3D because I'm sure that would have made it worse.  Anyway, when I should have cared more about the supporting cast of characters, I couldn't because we knew so little about them - although I must say I wanted to know more.  For the most part, I'd say Jude Law seemed to be having the most fun chewing up that scenery.  Plus, in the prologue you won't believe who makes a cameo appearance - Katie McGrath, aka Morgana from Merlin!  On that note, if you're looking for an excellent retelling of Arthurian legend, you may want to try Merlin rather than King Arthur Le



Next up: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and/ or Wonder Woman.


Happy Mother's Day everyone!  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below.