Saturday, May 30, 2015

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl and Dr. Manhattan

So I always had a little bit of a crush on Nite Owl, especially in the movie version, so it was nice to get to read his back story and learn a little bit more about him (still swoon worthy!). I also liked the banter and relationship between him and Rorscach, I always thought they were an odd, but admirable, team. I also like the lovely little vixen he falls in love with. Definitely an interesting story! Dr. Manhattan is, hands down, the most complex character in the series. His back story may not have made him "more understandable" per say, but it definitely sheds some light. At the very end, there is also a section on Moloch's back story which I found fascinating. As always, color me impressed. I love this series!

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Endlessly amusing and fascinating, this memoir was a treat to listen to. Narrated by Neil Patrick Harris himself, he brilliantly brings to life the nuances, sarcasm, and hilarity of all his stories. It was an interesting "Choose Your Own Adventure" format, but it didn't really translate well onto audio. I don't mind though, I had a blast listening to it. I honestly didn't know all that much about NPH, so listening to his memoir really gave me a great appreciation for him and his work. I can't wait to see what he does next!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Before Watchmen: Ozymandias and Crimson Corsair

Another great installment in the Before Watchmen series. It focuses primarily on Ozymandias and fleshes out why he has such disdain for Dr. Manhattan, it also touches on his childhood and why he became a masked crime fighter. Also included in this collection is Crimson Corsair, the story of a pirate, the Flying Dutchman, and the price one pays to get his soul back. In the original graphic novel, Watchmen, the little boy on the street corner is always reading this comic. It's really cool that they brought it to life here. Also as a bonus, there is a little section on the rise and fall of Dollar Bill, it's not huge, but it's very enlightening.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Before Watchmen: Comedian & Rorschach

So far I think this may be my favorite Watchmen prequel. I started off skeptical of the Before Watchmen collection, but they have been winning me over, this set specifically. I really enjoyed getting some more back story on the Comedian and Rorschach. The Comedian's is dark and gritty, obviously, and has a neat connection to the Kennedy presidency. Rorschach's story is almost even better, I've always been curious about his origins and some of the scenes in here really humanize him and give him some depth. Reading these just makes me appreciate the series even more.

Big Gay Ice Cream

Perhaps one of the gayest books I have ever read. And I mean that as a compliment. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's ridiculous illustrations, hilarious stories, and amazing ice cream recipes. At first I was doubtful that I would ever actually make any of the ice cream because, really, ain't nobody got time for that. But thankfully Bryan Petroff and Douglass Quint put together a fantastic collection of recipes, ranging from sinfully easy to mildly complex. I absolutely can't wait to try my hand at making the toasted curried coconut, awesomesauce, and extra virgin olive oil ice cream. That look and sound exquisite. The whole time I was reading this great collection, I wanted to eat massive amounts of ice cream. Granted, that should have prompted me to go to the store to buy the ingredients so I could put the recipes to use, but I was too lazy at 10pm. But soon! I can't wait! a must for any ice cream lover!!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I was pleasantly surprised by this book, not because it blew me out of the water, but because it seemed to have heart, something that isn't generally present in new adult romance. It was very reminiscent of Stephanie Perkins young adult romance novels, adorable, quirky, and fun. Plus lots of feel good vibes.

The story opens with two young twenty somethings as they wake up naked in bed, hungover and confused. Realizing that they must have one hell of a night, they sheepishly put on their clothes and head their separate ways. Little do they realize that they are also both of the new interns hired at Boomerang, an online dating company. What are the odds that they would both see each other again, and this time as competitors, not as lovers! There are two internships but only one job opening available afterwards. They have to put their sexual chemistry aside and play ball to see who wants the job most. It's cute, funny, and an enjoyably easy read.

Friday, May 22, 2015


Out of all the new adult I've read so far, this one has dealt with the most"grown up" issues, which is impressive when you realize that this book features two high school students. Socially awkward and technology impaired, Sky, convinces her mom to let her attend her senior yea of high school in an actual school. Homeschooled for her entire life, she wants to see what it's like to be surrounded by her peers.  While there she encounters Holder, this sultry hott bad boy and the two have an instant connection. While getting to know him, Sky realizes that he's holding something back. When she finally finds out what it is her life will be shattered. The simple carefree life she had known is blown to bits and she has to discover if she has what it takes to find out the whole truth and pick up the pieces. Dark at times, but still rewarding. The young couples too good to be true romance though will have you hating every male you've ever known though, because none can possibly compete with the romantic and sexual prowess of Holder. Soo far probably my favorite novel in this genre.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

This Is How You Lose Her

I know this book was released to much critical acclaim and the author is wildly popular so it was a no brainer that I would eventually have to read this book. I read a review somewhere that the audiobook was amazing and narrated by the author so I decided to give it a go. I am soo glad that I did. I didn't bother reading the description, I just figured I'd plunge in and figure out the contents as I listened. The book follows Yunior and the romances, break ups, aand heartbreak  that surround him, his fmily, and his friends Filled with cheating, lies, true love, and family drama the stories all weave together, told in slang, Spanish, and brute honesty. Author, Junot Diaz's narration of his wonderfully crafted story is perfect. I think one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book soo much is because he brought it to life with the lyrical quality of his voice and prose. I also would have butchered the Spanish and the names had I read it to myself. Although not "uplifting" it is an explorative look into factors that can end a relationship and is a must read.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dreaming in Indian

I LOVED this anthology of Native American poetry, short stories, interviews, art, and photographs. It captured the very real struggles, beliefs, and hopes of a young generation of aboriginal youth in Canada and America. Beautifully crafted and haunting, this collection is a must read. It's inspiring, heartbreaking, and hopeful. Surviving against the odds and holding onto the past is no easy feat and these works capture the struggle. It is a fantastic collection and a must read for all in order to understand the complexities of their beliefs and culture. Although aimed at teens, it surpasses that demographic and has something to offer for everyone.


This isn't what I initially expected it to be. I thought it would be more of a memoir/ how to guide. Instead it is a memoir/ these are my literary role models. It reads as a history with a bit of memoir in between heroines. It is a very eloquent, literary read that made me feel like an unenlightened yak. Author, Kate Bolick, comes off as a bit pretentious (although I don't think that is her intention) but well meaning. She talks about her own awakening and how it was inspired by five American female literary geniuses who were ahead of their time. I knew about three of the women she talked about, two of them were completely new to me. While an interesting historical read about the American single woman in the past two centuries, I'm still not convinced that that is the choice for me. Someday I'd like to get married and have kids, but after reading this memoir, I better understand why that is not the choice of thousands of women. An interesting, albeit dense read.

I received this book for free from Library Thing in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sisters of Heart and Snow

Dilloway, Margaret. Sisters of Heart and Snow. 12 CDs. unabridged. 13.75 hrs. Recorded Books. 2015. ISBN 9781490650784. 

Dilloway (How to Be an American Housewife) creates a beautifully crafted tale of two estranged sisters learning to make peace with their relationship and their dysfunctional family. When the Rachel and Drew discover a Japanese picture book hidden in their mother's sewing room, they have no idea what they have uncovered. In its pages they learn of the real life female samurai, Tomoe Gozen, her battle exploits, her love, and the bitterness of the losses she suffers. The book resonates with the sisters and its truth rings true across the centuries and is crucial in allowing them to accept, love, and heal their broken family. The story alternates between present day California where the sisters live and flashbacks to Tomoe's feudal Japan. All three characters are narrated beautifully by different voice actors, which helps bring out their distinct and vibrant personalities. Verdict Fans of Amy Tan will eat up this novel, as will readers of historical fiction and family sagas. While it does lag in some places, it builds up to a beautiful redemption and the interlaced female samurai story is not to be missed. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Above the Dreamless Dead

Visually and emotionally haunting. This is a fantastic collection of WWI poetry that has been brought back to life by talented artists and cartoonists. The poems are touching enough, but when they're put in comic format like this, it's in a class of it's own. This collection is great for those who wish to better understand WWI and the brutality of war. It's not pretty, it's graphic, scary, and gritty. A great resource for teachers and others who are looking to get a better grip on the atrocities of war. It would be great if other poetry collections were given this same illustrated/comic treatment. It adds a whole new dimension.

Afterlife with Archie

This book has been on my radar for a while now, so I'm glad I just happened to find it at my local library. The art and story line is off the charts and it's a great way to reconnect with the Archie comics from childhood. I love that they turned a classic cheesy comic into a dark campy reboot, just my cup of tea!

When Jughead's beloved pup, Hot Dog, is hit by a car and killed, Jughead is heartbroken. He goes to Sabrina the Teenage Witch in hopes that she can bring him back to life. Salem (Sabrina's cat) is vehemently against that kind of dark magic, but Sabrina defies her beloved pet and her aunts and performs the spell. This is where all hell breaks loose. Hot Dog comes back to life as a zombie and infects Jughead, who in turn goes to the Halloween dance and starts killing people and infecting them. soon Riverdale is up in flames and the few survivors (Archie, Betty, and Veronica, among others) are holed up in Veronica's mansion. What will they do? How will they survive the zombie apocalypse? It's dark, morbid, and awesome. Definitely, good to read good ol' Archie again, he's more kick ass than ever!

The Bunker Diary

This is one of those books that will haunt you and make you ponder how you would have acted in the characters places. It's like "Lord of the Flies" except possibly worse. It's unfathomably dark and will keep teens (and adults on the edge of their seats.

Sixteen year old Linus wakes up alone, cold, and hungry in an abandoned bunker. There's an empty kitchen, dining room, bathroom, six bedrooms, and an elevator. How will he survive? Can he escape? Will he go mad? As the days turn into weeks, more people find themselves drugged and awakening in the nightmarish bunker. There's a nine year old girl, a junkie, a young career woman, a business man, and an old gay man. Can they work together or will the bunker slowly drive them all insane? What is the point, why are they there?

This is one of those books that I literally yelled out a bunch of expletives when I got to the end. It's maddening. A great read, impossible to put down, that will make readers really think.

Friday, May 15, 2015

It Was Me All Along

A gut wrenching (literally) memoir about a young food blogger's childhood and life long struggle with food addiction. Always the "chubby kid," Andie turned to food for comfort when her home life was falling apart around her. She hated her weight, but she loved food more. When she turned twenty she realized that she weighed nearly three hundred pounds, something had to change. She set about changing her eating habits, working out, meeting a therapist, and re-evaluating the way she looked at food. It wasn't easy and it wasn't fun. Andie realized that even attaining her desired weight goal didn't make her happy. She had to work on the inside as much as she had to work on the outside. Her memoir is touching and really hits home.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bandette: Stealers, Keepers

When this came into the library OF COURSE I had to check out the sequel! I had to find out what other shenanigans Bandette gets involved in and marvel at the ridiculous wordplay. This edition picks up right where the last one left off. Absinthe is still a bad guy to contend with and Bandette has to compete with Monsieur to see who is the greatest thief of all time! Filled with humor, ridiculous scenarios (pirate pigs, adorable!), and  cuteness, readers will eat this up. Bandette has stolen everyone's hearts (especially her beloved delivery driver) and will keep fans waiting for the third edition. Too cute, not too share :)

Beautiful Disaster

So I have conflicting feelings about this book. Part of me didn't mind and got swept up in the romance. The other part of me was aghast at the dysfunctional, unhealthy relationship that the two main characters have. It was over the top and some of the sub plots were wholly unbelievable. Regardless, it was a quick absorbing read.

Abby Abernathy (what a name right?) goes away to college with her best friend, America (ugh these names!) excited to reinvent herself and get away from her shady past (when you finally find out, it's.... kinda ridiculous).? America instantly finds a frat boy to hang all over and it's then that Abby is introduced to frat boy's roommate, Travis "Mad Dog" Maddox. Travis is a huge tattooed covered, fist throwing, hot headed, manwhore, and for some reason starts to fall for Abby. He goes from bagging one or two girls a night to spending all his free time with Abby, America, and frat boy. Yay for double dates! Soon people on campus are talking, has Abby tamed Travis? To Travis' chagrin, Abby insists they're just friends (even though they sleep in the same bed, no sex though because Abby is TOTALLY a virgin.. uh huh), and fawns over a frat guy named Parker. Everyone on campus is confused (as was I), is Abby seeing Travis or Parker? Who does she like better? Why are they competing? CHOOSE ALREADY! Sweet Jesus! As if that wasn't getting on my nerves, Travis is a jealous, over protective jerk that borderlines on abusive. It's a wild, unbelievable read that doesn't have all that much sex. It's meh.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pride of Baghdad

After a patron put this book on hold I was beyond intrigued. At first glance I just thought it was a graphic novel about the war but when I looked inside and saw their were lions, I knew I had to read it! Based on true events, this graphic novel follows four lions who escaped from a Baghdad zoo during an American bombing raid. Prowling through a city in ruins they ponder the true meaning of freedom. Can it be given or must it be earned? Without sacrifice is it as meaningful? Ground breaking and poignant, this is a fantastic read. Quick and concise and will leave readers with many questions and a new appreciation for the king of animals.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Edge of Never

The first of many new adult romances I plan to read this month. Despite the lack of rampant sex that I was anticipating, I still enjoyed this book. It's an impossibly quick read (and it's over 400 pages!) and the romance seems real and fragile. Camryn fed up with her life, decides to hop on a Greyhound bus going anyway away from her life. Andrew, having to face his father's imminent death, decides to hop on a Greyhound so he can prolong the inevitable and use the time to think before he has to face his father in the hospital. Once their paths cross nothing will ever be the same. Lots of build up for a believable romance. Sex is light and not too erotic. The first sex scene doesn't happen til well over the halfway point. Not too shabby.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bianca's Vineyard

A wonderful book that spans generations and continents while showing the bonds of family, tradition, and love. Hard to put down, this family saga will draw readers in and has something to offer everyone. It has history, romance, culture, mental illness, art, family values, espionage, and war. The bulk of the story takes place during World War II in Italy and author, Teresa Neumann, does a wonderful job bringing the war torn and impressive Italian countryside to life. It wasn't til I had finished the book that I realized this story was based on true events, which makes it all the more impressive to me. The story is centered on one vineyard, one broken romance, and the decades long battle to hide and heal the rift between families and friends. Reading it made me want to visit the rolling hills of Italy, stay in a villa, and sample the world's finest wines. IT was truly a fantastic sensory experience reading this. A must read for fans of historical fiction, Italy, and World War II.

I received this book for free from Italy Book Tours in return for my honest, unbiased review.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Pocket Wife

This book is definitely for fans of "The Girl on the Train," it is soo similar! A woman with mental issues tries to piece together the last time she saw Celia, her neighbor, before she was brutally murdered. According to the police, she was the last time to Celia alive, but between all the drinks and the mental instability, she can't remember how it went down. Did she really murder Celia?! Told between alternating viewpoint of Dana and Jack Moss, the detective, this story is sure to keep readers at the edge of their seats as they try to figure out what really happened. The webs of deception are thick and the plot keeps you guessing. A great mystery/ thriller and I can't wait to read more by this author. What a fantastic debut!

Where'd You Go Bernadette

Thank goodness I can finally check this one off my list. I feel as if people have been recommending it to me for ages! I listened to the audiobook version and I LOVED it! The narrator's voice is soo quirky and memorable and she does a fantastic job bringing all the bat shit insane characters to life! The story follows Bernadette, but is told via her daughter B. After Bernadette disappears without a trace, B tries to piece together where her mother may have gone by assembling the FBI files, personal notes, emails, doctor's reports and more. It's outrageous, funny, and impossible to put down. I'm kicking myself for going soo long without reading it!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

This book has been on my to-read list for ages so I was stoked when one of my book clubs chose it as one of our monthly books. Finally! I had a reason to read it!! Other than kick ass cover and title, I really had no idea what this book was about. I'm awful about reading book descriptions, I just knew there was a lot of hype and the cover art looked cool. I enjoyed the book, but probably would have enjoyed it even better had it not been hyped up soo much. Honestly, the pictures in the book make up about 80% of the wow factor. The story follows a young boy who, in a strange turn of events, finds out that all the tall tals his grandfather told him when he was a child are actually true (very reminiscent of Tim Burton's Big Fish). After his grandfather is brutally murdered by a monster, Jacob goes through a period where he thinks he's crazy, but then makes up his mind to get to the truth. He convinces his father to go with him to this tiny little European island to find his grandfather's roots, an orphanage for refugees. Soon Jacob finds out that his father meant an entirely different type of refugee (peculiars), and maybe they still might be alive. It's a little slow going, but the pictures (all real) help build up excitement. Interesting book, but I'm unsure if I'll pick up the sequel or graphic novel.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Again, Dangerous Visions

I won't lie, I only read several of the short stories in this collection. When I heard that it contained Bradbury and Vonnegut, I knew I had to pick up this bad boy! If I had time I would have read many more of the awesome stories in here, but since I had to get this inter-library loaned I can't renew it (sad panda). I really enjoy that the editor, Harlan Ellison, wrote a nice little introduction about each author and story, it was a nice little touch. The cover art is also trippy and totally cool. This is a volume that I will most definitely have to buy. Ray Bradbury's contribution is a poem entitled, "Christ, Old Student in a New School." It wasn't my favorite of his, but maybe that's because of the format. I'm not a huge poetry buff. Kurt Vonnegut's contribution though, blew my friggin socks off! "The Big Space Fuck" is amazing, it's classic Vonnegut, with dark humor, bad language, satire, and ridiculousness. I loved every second of it! Big fans of his will also get a kick out of some of the characters he uses (Wanda June and John L. Newcomb). Here's just a little taste of the ridiculousness in store for you if you pick it up: "Everything had turned to shit and beer cans and old automobiles and Clorox bottles." Reading this made my night. A must read for Vonnegut and Bradbury fans!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Definitely one of my favorite Jane Austen novels! The heroine, Anne, is 28 and single. Persuaded by her close friend, Lady Russell, Anne breaks off an engagement to a charming man because it isn't proper or a good match. Eight years later their paths cross again, but this time he is a man of fortune and more than a respectable match. No one knows of their previous engagement except for Lady Russell, so Anne must suffer in silence at every dinner party and outing that he is at. Her heart is aching for him, but he seems to have no more regard for her after she broke his heart and in turn focuses his attention on one of her brother in law's sisters. Filled with classic Austen characters, this book is enjoyable from beginning to end and moves rather quickly compared to some of her other novels. I can't wait to check out one of the movie adaptations!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Evil Librarian

I had really high expectations from this book because it sounded soo damn good, but I was sadly under impressed. Granted this is coming from an adult stand point, not a teen one, I think a lot of female teens would dig this book, but it doesn't really translate well for adult audiences, which is fine because it's not intended for adults anyways. The premise of the book is that a hot young librarian starts at Cyn's (Cynthia) high school and all hell breaks loose (literally) she soon discovers that the librarian is an evil demon intent on sucking the life force out of students, but most disturbingly, the librarian has taken a huge fascination with Cyn's best friend Annie. Cyn has to figure out a way to stop the evil librarian, save her best friend, find someone that believe's her, stop drooling over her crush, AND make sure the school's musical production of Sweeny Todd goes off without a hitch. How will she ever survive? It's perfect for teenagers obsessed with dark humor, musicals, and fantasy. Like I said, it fell a little flat for me, but I have no doubt that teenagers will eat this up.