Monday, July 23, 2018

Music Monday: The Addams Family Musical


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.


Today I'm sharing some of my favorite songs from the original Broadway cast recording of The Addams Family Musical.  I had the opportunity to see my local theater perform the musical last weekend.  If you haven't had the opportunity to see it or to listen to the soundtrack I can't recommend it enough.  It's so much fun and totally embodies the spirit of the tv show and the movie adaptations that I love.


 




Saturday, July 21, 2018

#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil (ARC) - Review


❋ ❋ 

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera comes to in a warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of The Postman app, which allows citizens to stream the executions of convicts from Alcatraz 2.0, a suburbanized prison island. It's one thing knowing that the worst of the worst are facing justice at the hands of legalized serial killers, but Dee isn't going to pay the ultimate price for a crime she didn’t commit. Will Dee survive long enough to prove her innocence? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners pick her off?

#Murdertrending is my first novel by Gretchen McNeil, but I liked it well enough with some minor snags. My favorite aspect of this story is that I felt like I should have been eating a big bag of movie theater popcorn while I was reading this action packed near future thriller. It's a fun and fast paced ride that feels like it meant for the big screen. I also particularly liked that it feels so current with the language, the app, and the social media usage. Plus, I have to admit that the dash of politics (and overall future world) we get don't come across as all that far fetched at the moment actually. The only place where it really stumbled for me was the character development - it's a bit lacking and everyone is little too flat for my taste - and that pacing is a bit choppy from chapter to chapter.

Overall, #Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil is an over the top, bloody, and darkly hilarious YA mystery thriller. If you like The Running Man, Scream Queens, Battle Royale, The Hunger Games, and bloodshed with a side of Disney princess references, then you may want to try McNeil's newest release. I think I'll have to read for more her work in the future such as Ten and Relic.



I read this ARC from July 19 - 20, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil will be released on August 7th, 2018.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Time's Alibi: The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave (Andrew Acheson #1) by Husky Harlequin - Review


❋ ❋ ❋ 

I received a free ecopy in exchange for an honest review from Book Review 22.

Andrew Acheson's grandfather has been searching for a cure since a rare blood born pathogen claimed the life of his beloved wife. His grandfather, David, has now been missing for over a year and is presumed to be dead. The rest of the family can't wait to get their hands on his pharmaceutical empire. Andrew's grandfather isn't dead, though, and Andrew will have to find him and deal with his most dangerous invention yet: time travel.

Time's Alibi: The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave (bit of a mouthful!) by Husky Harlequin is a great sci-fi novel with a cool time travel hook. It reeled me in from the first chapter and didn't let me go. I'd like to go into more detail about some aspects of the plot, but I don't want to get into spoiler territory. Trust me when I say it's good to go in nearly blind on this one. Each short chapter is quite fast-paced and packed with sci-fi action that you won't want to miss. I can say that Harlequin's storytelling is pretty solid. His time travel isn't the most original, but I have to admit it's still cool. Plus, his character development is quite good, particularly when it comes to Andrew. Andrew gets a pretty good arc over the course of the novel.

Overall, Time's Alibi is a strong sci-fi debut. If, like me, you're a fan of time travel you'll absolutely have to give it a try. I also recommend it if you're interested in reading about dysfunctional families, piecing together mysteries, and thrillers. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to the release of the second book in the Andrew Acheson series.



I read this ebook from July 7 - 10, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles #1) by Philip Reeve + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.


This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles #1) by Philip Reeve.  I don't know how, but somehow I missed this since it was released in 2001.  Anyway, I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation directed by Peter Jackson to be released on December 14, 2018 and I knew I had to check out the story.  My library hold on it finally came in the other day so I've just started in on it.  


Beginning:

It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.

56:

In the shadows of the hangar the great airship waited, her sleek black armored envelope screened by tarpaulins.  As usual, Katherine felt a rising thrill at the thought of that huge vessel lifting father up into the sky - and a sadness, too, that he was leaving her, and a fear that he might not return.  "Oh, I wish I could go with you!" she said.

50/50 Friday: Favorite/ Least Favorite Red Cover Design


Least Favorite - Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier - One of my all time favorite books, but this cover just rubs me the wrong way for some reason.


Red - Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Another favorite - book and cover alike even without the jacket!

Have you read any of these books?  Are you planning on seeing Mortal Engines at the movie theater?  What are you reading today?  As always thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Summer 2018 Comment Challenge - August Sign-Up Post


This August I will be participating in the final month of the Summer 2018 Comment Challenge, hosted by Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense and Lonna @ FLYLÄ“F.  This will be my fourth season participating in the challenge - Summer 2016, Winter 2017, Summer 2017, and Summer 2018.  So far this season I've been paired with Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books and Erica @ Erica Robyn Reads - feel free to stop by their blogs because both are great.  If you haven't taken part in this challenge before, it would be perfect for you if you love comments (and commenting) and making new blogging buddies.  For each month that you sign up, you will get paired up with a blogger (a different one for each month - if you sign up for more than one) and you will engage with them by commenting on either 5+ or 10+ of their posts for the month.  It's a brilliant way to reach out to new blogs, make connections (and get your comment activity up at the same time)!  There's even a social media option to connect further with your partner which I plan on taking advantage of on Twitter using the hashtag #Summer18CC.  In short, I'm going to be just as ambitious in August by commenting 10+ times with my to be announced partner - I can't wait to "meet" you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Scream All Night by Derek Milman - Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway


I'm very excited to welcome you all to my leg of the Scream All Night blog tour, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours!  Today, you'll find the details and summary for this novel, my review, an excerpt, an about the author, Derek Milman, a giveaway, and the blog tour schedule.  Thanks for visiting my stop on this blog tour!




About the Book:
Title: SCREAM ALL NIGHT
Author: Derek Milman
Pub. Date: July 24, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 400
A darkly hilarious contemporary realistic young adult novel about growing up and finding your place in the world, perfect for fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Running With Scissors.
Dario Heyward knows one thing: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?

My Review: 

❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Scream All Night by Derek Milman was one of my most anticipated YA debuts and luckily for me it was an absolute delight to read. I can honestly say that this is one of the most original YA novels I've had the opportunity to read - and it was exactly up my alley. If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I talk quite a bit about the horror host Svengoolie and the movies that he shows on MeTV. Long story short, but I'm a fan of cult classic B-horror movies and it's fun to chat with other fans. Anyway, I've never read a YA novel so prominently featuring these types of movies and the behind scenes work on them, but Milman does a remarkable job of bringing a dose of unsettling and absurdist dark humor to his standalone YA contemporary set in a horror film studio about a very dysfunctional family. The author also does a brilliant job of bringing all of the characters to life from Dario, Oren (a total scene stealer), Jude, Hayley, the crew, and even those that don't have a lot page time still bring a good deal to bear on the story and the core cast. I loved that all of the characters manage to feel incredibly real, if flawed and a little strange. They feel like people you could actually meet who are doing their best to figure out where they truly belong in the world. Dario's arc over the course of the novel is quite rewarding begins to sort out his priorities. Plus, the setting is totally awesome and crucial to the story - I'd don't know about you, but I'd love to explore Moldavia Castle.

Overall, Scream All Night by Derek Milman is a uniquely original must-read YA debut. I couldn't get enough of his brand of contemporary and I couldn't stop turning the pages. I was truly invested in Dario's story and watching him grow and come into his own. Like our cast, I also felt completely immersed in the insular bubble that is the studio. Seriously, this book has everything I love from fantastic characters, the mother of all dysfunctional families, a great setting and excellent world-building, a decent emotional gut punch of a backstory, laugh out loud dark comedy, and plenty of references and tidbits to keep us horror fans satisfied. Basically, you need Derek Milman's debut in your life. I'm dying to see what he'll come up with next!


Thanks again, Edelweiss!  I read this ARC from July 14 - 16, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Excerpt: 

Chapter 1: Return to Moldavia

Slightly before dinner, Keenan House, the group home where I live, gets a call that my homosexual exorcism is scheduled to take place next Thursday at four.

“But I’m not homosexual. And I’m not possessed,” I say to Len, my counselor.

“You sure?” says Len. He cracks open a PBR and takes a long, gurgling sip.

“Bet you’re both,” says my roommate, Jude, lacing up his boxing gloves.

“Actually,” says Len, belching, softly punching his gut, “I think it’s your brother calling.”

Oren. Of course.

Late-afternoon sunlight smears across the cinder-block walls through broken, yellowed blinds. I throw down my graphic novel, which I was actually half enjoying, and roll out of my sagging lower bunk with a groan. I walk down the hall and grab the phone.

“Why are you calling me?”

“’Cause I know you have lots of homo demons inside you,” says Oren, stifling one of his loud, chirpy laughs. “And I thought maybe it was time for a devil cleanse.”

“Uh-huh.” I hear projected voices in the background—like announcements on a PA or something. “Where are you?”

“Hospital.”

“What?”

“We’re burying Dad next week. Funeral is Thursday.”

“Dad died?”

“No, no.”

My dad has been slowly dying for forty years. Emphysema, hairy cell leukemia, diabetes, arthritis; it’s like he just went shopping one day for chronic diseases and never made any returns. More recently, he’s been sliding into dementia.

Thing is, this might really be it. The doctors are pretty sure. “He has two weeks max,” says Oren.

“Shit.” I bite my thumbnail—an old nervous habit instantaneously reborn. I’m suddenly terrified that my family, who I was legally emancipated from three years ago, might be planning something deeply, morbidly insane. But it’s not as bad as all that.

Just a live funeral.

“A what?” The phone slips out of my hands. I juggle it back to my ear.

“Dad’s final wish was to be buried alive,” says Oren.


About Derek:


Derek Milman was born in New York City, but grew up in Westchester, NY, where he wrote and published a successful underground humor magazine that caught the attention of the New York Times, who wrote a profile on him at the age of 14.

Derek studied English, Creative Writing, and Theater at Northwestern University. He began his career as a playwright (his first play was staged in New York City when he was just out of college), and earned an MFA in acting at the Yale School of Drama.

Derek has performed on stages across the country, and appeared in numerous TV shows and films, working with two Academy Award winning film directors.

Scream All Night is Derek's debut YA novel. He currently lives in Brooklyn where he is hard at work on his next book.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win a signed finished copy of SCREAM ALL NIGHT & swag, US Only.



Tour Schedule:

Week One:
7/16/2018- Sweet Southern Home- Excerpt
7/16/2018- YA Books Central- Interview
7/17/2018- BookHounds YA- Guest Post
7/17/2018- Always Me- Excerpt
7/18/2018- A Dream Within A Dream- Review
7/18/2018- Wonder Struck- Review
7/19/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader- Review
7/19/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous- Review
7/20/2018- Kat’s Books- Review
7/20/2018- Rhythmicbooktrovert- Review

Week Two:
7/23/2018- The Clever Reader- Review
7/23/2018- Smada's Book Smack- Review
7/24/2018- Lisa Loves Literature- Interview
7/24/2018- THE BOOK NUT- Review
7/25/2018- A Gingerly Review- Review
7/25/2018- Two Chicks on Books- Excerpt
7/26/2018- Daily Waffle- Interview
7/26/2018- Don't Judge, Read- Interview
7/27/2018- Two Points of Interest- Spotlight
7/27/2018- Book-Keeping- Review

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Novellas


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the first Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Favorite Novellas/ Short Stories.  Since I've just recently discussed some of my favorite short story collections, I'm focusing on novellas this time around.  Here we go, in alphabetical order by title:


Animals Farm by George Orwell


The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole


Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire


Fairest by Marissa Meyer


The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros


The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka


The Mist by Stephen King


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells


Have you read any of these novellas?  What are some of your favorite novellas and short stories?  As always, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!