May 26, 2017

Recent Reads: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #1
Publisher:  HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  April 3, 2012



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Audiobook
Source: Own/Bought on Audible


Rating:


 

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
Review: 
So many politics in this book, wow! I have been meaning to read this book for SO long. I have even checked it out from the library about 3 times with all intention of reading it. Finally I decided reading it wasn't going to happen - that was, until I found it for sale on Audible :)

I downloaded the audiobook and I loved listening to it. It takes a little while to get into, but the overall story has a lot of depth and the world building is wonderful.
The audiobook much like the book, is pretty long, at about 14 hours, so it takes a while to listen to it all, but with dishes to go and lawns to mow, I was able to do other things while listening. 

This book follows Ismae as she is taken in by the convent of St. Mortain, trained in the arts of death, and then sent off onto a mission to serve the Duchess. There is violence, conspiracy, espionage, death, and many twists. Ismae is innocent yet determined to serve her god and she is an interesting character to follow on this journey. 

Ismae is tasked with reporting to the convent and providing death dealing as needed while watching and working with Duval. Their forced companionship slowly buds into romance and maybe more as the story processes. It is slow and that is a refreshing thing in a YA read where insta-love happens a bit too much. Overall the plot is long-winded, with a lot of tedious political intricacies but it is all admirable world-building.

I liked the main characters, I liked the plot - it wasn't too easy to see what was happening, I liked the slow moving romance, overall this was a great listen.



 

May 25, 2017

Mini Review: Monstress #11 by Marjorie Liu


Monstress #11Monstress #11 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date:  April 19, 2017



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Comic
Source: Bought/ Own


Rating:


 



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Maika finally begins to learn her mother’s secrets…but the truth may be too terrible to bear…


Previous Reviews - Catch Up!
Comic #: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Mini Review: 
On the island, which Maika has learned is an exile and jail, she also begins to learn more about her mother and the strange situation she is in. This is the second arc of this story about to come to an end, Maika's search for information is almost done. Not only is she trying to understand all the past happenings now involving her blood, but the god inside of her is learning things too and is taking her into its memories of how they came to be. All the flashing in and out of memories is both interesting and makes for a wonderfully detailed story. 

Still loving everything about this comic series.

May 24, 2017

Recent Reads: Make it Yours by Christine Schmidt

Source: From Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Yellow Owl Workshop's Make It Yours: Patterns and Inspiration to Stamp, Stencil, and Customize Your StuffYellow Owl Workshop: Make it Yours by Christine Schmidt
Publisher:  Clarkson Potter
Publication Date:  March 28, 2017



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Paperback

Rating:
 


 


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Transform everyday objects into handcrafted pieces to wear, share, and display.

In Yellow Owl’s Make It Yours, you’ll learn techniques for bringing personal touches to objects all around your home. Upgrade your plain scarf with a colorful abstract design. Turn a dresser into an eye-catching art deco showpiece. Whip up a desert-inspired quilt to enliven your living room. Expert printer and Yellow Owl Workshop founder, Christine Schmidt, shares her trade secrets for creating gorgeous projects using unexpected materials, from gold leaf to cake fondant. What’s best: the included Yellow Owl Workshop templates and techniques can be mixed and matched to create countless more projects! Featuring inventive ideas for every room, skill level, and time constraint, Yellow Owl’s Make It Yours will teach you to print, stamp, stencil, and dye your way to a personalized life.
Projects include:
   • Monogram Leather Clutch
   • Roll Stamp Table Linens
   • Fruit Shoji Blinds
   • Shibori Dyed Bed Linens
   • Plaid Tote
   • Upholstered Chair with Hand-Printed Fabric
   • DIY Delftware
 
 Review: 
Make it Yours is about taking everyday things and doing just that - stamping, stenciling, drawing on things to make them more unique and like you/for you. This book had a lot of potential to be so much for various levels of DIYers and crafters. I think that the issue that I had was that none of the projects in this book really seemed like anything that would make things me.

I like that I now own a book that will teach me more about dyeing things but I probably won't use the suggested patterns/ prints included in the book. And the stamping could get very cool and intricate if I set my mind to it, but as it stands the book is just going to sit on the shelf for a little while.

The back of the book includes a bunch of templates so if you are looking maybe for things/ crafts to share with friends or a younger audience this would be a great starting point - so maybe that is my issue - I am just already a 'crafter' and this seemed more like a 'starting out', beginning crafter kind of book.

BUT, uf you like funky geometric patterns, or crazy dyeing methods, and want to learn a lot about these techniques, is a very good book for that, just not for me right now.

May 23, 2017

Mini Review: Rebirth Harley Quinn #18 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner


Harley Quinn (2016-) #18Red Meat Part 2: Abduction Reduction
Series: Rebirth Harley Quinn #18
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date:  April 19, 2017



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Comic
Source: Bought/ Own


Rating:
 


 


Goodreads Synopsis: 
“Deadly Sin” part two! How can Harley protect somebody who’s vanished into witness protection? Unfortunately, Harley Sinn has a lead that she doesn’t! And in “Harley Loves Joker” part two, Harley tries to make it up to her puddin’ after her colossal blunder—but The Joker’s wrath is not easily soothed!
Mini Review: 
These synopses are still a bit messed up. We do get Part 2 of Harley Loves Joker but we are only at Part 2 of the Red Meat part of the story here - not much is happening with Harley Sinn right now, she is still off plotting. 

In this installment, Harley is abducted by the people taking the homeless and Red Tool goes after her. There is a lot of struggle but we are pretty much left with Quinn taken and locked in a room...

Then we again get the Harley Loves Joker bits, which is a good story and it is entertaining but I still feel like I am being ripped off in terms of the storyline I am in it to read... I could have had more than Harley locked in a room in these pages.

May 22, 2017

Blog Blast w/ Giveaway! Fractured Beauty

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2017/05/nerd-blast-fractured-beauty-fairy-tale.html

About the Book


Beauty and the Beast may be a tale as old as time, but in this collection by the Fairy Tale Five you’ll meet five newly imagined Belles and the Beasts they love.

Angela Brimhall’s beast is a terrifying sea monster cursed by a scorned gypsy. He must risk all to save the strong-willed princess before losing his last chance at love and redemption, becoming forever damned to the briny deep.

Lehua Parker’s Nani is trapped by Indian and Hawaiian traditions and a fiancĂ© locked in stasis in a medi-mod. Cultures and expectations collide in this sci-fi futuristic world where nano-bot tattoos and dreams reveal the secret of Nani’s heart.

Angela Corbett’s Ledger is determined to find out more about the mysterious woman who saved him from certain death and uncover the secrets of Withering Woods, but some beasts are better left caged.

Adrienne Monson’s Arabella rushes to an enchanted castle to pay her father’s debt, but is met with a burly beast with a mysterious past. It’s a howling paranormal regency romp that will keep you turning pages well past your bedtime.

Angela Hartley’s Porta Bella discovers there’s more to Oregon life than taking care of her father when she finds herself rescued by Bigfoot. It’s up to Porta Bella to unravel the faery’s curse and discover who’s the real monster. 



 Giveaway is open to International.
 Must be 13+ to Enter
 2 Winners will receive a $25 Gift Card of their choice 
(PayPal/Amazon/Barnes&Noble).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
About the Authors

LEHUA PARKER is the award-winning author of the MG/YA Pacific literature magic realism series, The Niuhi Shark Saga: One Boy, No Water; One Shark, No Swim; and One Truth, No Lie.

Originally from Hawaii and a graduate of The Kamehameha Schools, Lehua is an author, educator, and public speaker. Trained in literary criticism and an advocate of indigenous cultural narratives, Lehua is a frequent speaker at conferences and symposiums.

Now living in exile in the high desert mountains of Utah, during snowy winters she dreams about the beach.

Lehua is a pen name for Michelle C. Parker, a mediated message design and research professional. As Michelle she works as an editor, book consultant, and literary critic. In addition to her Lehua writings, she also publishes speculative fiction, short stories, personal essays, plays, and poetry.
TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | WEBSITE | PINTEREST


Adrienne Monson has always had a voracious appetite for books. When she became a stay at home mom, she finally listened to her muse and began writing.

She enjoys Zumba, kickboxing and weightlifting. She also loves delicious foods, which is why she has to work out so often.

Dissension and Defiance is available where books are sold. Deliverance, the final installment of the Blood Inheritance trilogy is slated for release April 2016.

Eyes of Persuasion is a mashup of paranormal and historical romance, found exclusively on Amazon.


Angela Corbett graduated from Westminster College with a double major in communication and sociology. She started working as a reporter for her local newspaper when she was sixteen and won awards for feature, news, and editorial writing. She has also done freelance writing. In addition to being an author, she works as a director of communications and marketing. She loves classic cars, traveling, and listening to U2. She lives in Utah with her extremely supportive husband and their five-pound Pomeranian, Pippin, whose following of fangirls could rival Justin Bieber's.


Angela Hartley spent much of her childhood being shuffled from house to house with only a book for companionship. The magic she found in the written word saved her in many ways, transporting her into worlds far happier than the one she resided in. Literature became her passion and the idea of someday writing carried her through years of uncertainty.

Long ago, Angela left the disease of poverty behind. Through all of life’s ups and downs, her desire to make her own magic never waned. With a strong support system, she set out to create worlds, and publish books. Along with perusing her lifetime goal, she’s built and managed several writing organizations, been a life coach, and project manager. She has also entertained and educated at schools, symposiums, and conventions. In her down time, she studies religion theory, psychic abilities, and psychology to gain a better understanding of the human condition.


Angela Brimhall grew up trying to decide whether she liked romance or horror novels best. She graduated college with a BS degree in health, but decided she'd much rather experience the drama of life through her characters. She received an MFA in English and creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University and is a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society, Romance Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She lives in the heart of a city between two mountains with her husband, son and four dogs where spired castles dot every hill and fairy tales really do come true.




Photo Credits:
Adrienne Monson: Brett Monson
Angela Corbett: Heather Zahn Gardner
Lehua Parker: Kevin Parker
Angela Brimhall: Photo Content from Angela Brimhall
Angela Hartley: Photo Content from Angela Hartley

May 21, 2017

Building the Book Pile #145

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Another week come and gone, wow this year is flying by! Can you believe we are already more than half way though May!? I can't believe it. 

This week was a great week, there were work lunches on the patio, cooking out on the grill, we actually had to mow the lawn (thus beginning the never-ending madness that is lawn upkeep), I painted our BBQ barn deck (Home Depot Memorial day sales guys! - $10 rebates on gallons of paint - SO worth it), and lots of beautiful days.

The only down side is the trees are all in bloom so my allergies are HORRIBLE, I take a daytime allergy med but if you have any home remedy advice - let me know, because this is no fun.

As far as reading goes, I am doing pretty good, but I am being a bit ADD in my reading, I have a physical book going, some ebooks on my computer, and I am listing to 2 audiobooks. I need to hunker down, choose one, and finish it! Hopefully this week will bring more finished books! Here's hoping! 
 
How was your week? Any book recommendations for me?
 

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!

Giveaway Graphic

Coming up on the Blog

Blog Blast: Fractured Beauty by The Fairy Tale Five (YA)
Mini Review: Rebirth Harley Quinn #18 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner (Comic)
Recent Reads: Yellow Owl Workshop's Make it Yours by Christine Schmidt (NonFiction/DIY/ Crafting) 
Mini Review: Monstress #11 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Comic)
Recent Reads: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (YA)

Books Received this Week

Hello Stars (Lena in the Spotlight #1)  When Will Fall Arrive?  The Girl Who Saved Christmas
When Will Fall Arrive by Sanne Mittenburg from Netgalley and Clavis for review.
The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig from Netgalley and Random House for review. (I read A Boy Called Christmas last year and loved it- here is a link to that review.)

Have you missed anything lately?

Week of May 14 - May 20
It was almost 5 stars all week... I guess when I am planning posts I should think about that huh..? 

Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
Happy Reading!

May 19, 2017

Recent Reads: The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan


The Poet's DogThe Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date:  September 13, 2016



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Hardback
Source: Borrowed from the Library


Rating:


 



Goodreads Synopsis: 
From Newbery Medal winner Patricia MacLachlan comes a poignant story about two children, a poet, and a dog and how they help one another survive loss and recapture love.

Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children.

Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home—and they understand him. The children are afraid of the howling wind, but not of Teddy’s words. They follow him to a cabin in the woods, where the dog used to live with Sylvan . . . only now his owner is gone.

As they hole up in the cabin for shelter, Teddy is flooded with memories of Sylvan. What will Teddy do when his new friends go home? Can they help one another find what they have lost?
Review: 

I found this book at the library, I had not heard anything about it but seemed to be about a dog and it looked interesting enough to take a chance on. I am so glad that I did.
 
According to this book, if you are a child or a poet you can hear dogs, understand them, speak to them in human words, especially if their owners have taught them language. In this book, Teddy is a dog who finds two kids lost in a snow storm and brings them back to his house. He helps them through their time there and they help him. 

This is a very sweet tale told through the present and flashbacks from Teddy's point of view. It is his story, not the children. He is a good dog and he has a story to tell. 

This book was sweet and whimsical. The story was sad and happy, it brought on a lot of emotions and almost definitely will make you cry. I really enjoyed it and it was a short and easy read. 

May 18, 2017

Let's Compare: Recent Read/ TV Show - The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snickett


The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #4
Publisher:  Scholastic, Inc.
Publication Date:  April 15, 2000
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Hardback
Source: Borrowed from the Library


Rating:


 



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Dear Reader,

I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumber mill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log.

The pages of this book, I'm sorry to inform you, contain such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons.

I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, but you haven't, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket
A Series of Unfortunate Events Poster
Source
 
The Miserable Mill Part 1 and Part 2 Episodes 7 & 8 (THE END!)
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Network: Netflix
Publication Date:  January 13, 2017- present

Review: 
Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I cannot believe that this is the end of the series of the TV show, I thought it did everything... I didn't look ahead because I didn't want to spoil the books. SO I am VERY surprised that I have to wait for the next installment of the show now (crying inside!).

Anywho, on top of that rude awakening, there was also a MAJOR twist in the last episode and I can't even go into it because it will completely spoil the show (I think) for those who haven't watched yet. But I was shocked and very interested in where the show was going with its liberties away from the book and this explained a few of them. 

So what differences were in the books you ask?! Well the kids end up at the Mill in the books via Mr. Poe, Sir becomes their next guardian. In the show, they hitchhike due to a photo they found to the Mill to find answers and "Trespassers will be put to work" so they are...put to work. I think that the show did a better job at explaining the crazy happenings at the Mill better than the book did, it put it all into a very nice package for the readers. I have to say that this book and all of its craziness and the wonderful twist ending of the show, made this my favorite part so far. 

I already have the next few books in my TBR stack from the Library... sadly I do have to wait for the show to continue though.


So what do you think, should I wait for the show to write more comparisons? Or just review the books as I read them?

May 17, 2017

Recent Reads: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick


Scrappy Little NobodyScrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: November 15, 2016



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Aubiobook
Source: Bought from Audible


Rating:


 



Goodreads Synopsis: 
A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

“I’m excited to publish my first book, and because I get uncomfortable when people have high expectations, I'd like to use this opportunity to showcase my ineptitude, pettiness, and the frequency with which I embarrass myself. And while many of my female inspirations who have become authors are incredibly well-educated and accomplished comedy writers, I'm very, very funny on Twitter, according to Buzzfeed and my mom, so I feel like this is a great idea. Quick question: are run-on sentences still frowned upon? Wait, is ending a sentence with a preposition still frowned upon? I mean, upon frowned? Dammit!” —Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick’s autobiographical collection of essays amusingly recounts memorable moments throughout her life, from her middle class upbringing in New England to the blockbuster movies that have made her one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses today. Expanding upon the witty and ironic dispatches for which she is known, Anna Kendrick’s essays offer her one-of-a-kind commentary on the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture.
Review: 
I have been really in the mood for both audiobooks and biographies since I picked up a previous one at the end of 2016. I was happy to have grabbed this one. I really like Anna Kendrick as an actress and I find her twitter commentary to be down to earth and a little over the top so I figured - why not listen to a book about her real life. I was not disappointed. Kendrick reads the book herself (another favorite thing of mine) and she is funny, relatable, and just SO real in every way. Some of the event seem a bit crazy but I was not surprised by them... however I did forget for a moment that she was in Twilight, so obviously I had to re-watch it.

Another slight downfall is that I had to log into Audible to track down a PDF...Kendrick mentions it throughout the book and I was unaware but it is a bunch of images that I guess are in the print copy but because I have the pleasure of having her read to me, I had to jump back online to see all the images - I guess that is a first-world type of problem.

Overall if you like biographies and Anna Kendrick you should pick up this book, and I really do recommend the audiobook version.