Monday, November 20, 2017

Music Monday: Panic In The Year Zero!


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.

Welcome to the 3rd Music Monday of Sci-Fi Month (if you want to know more about this go here)!  This month all of the music I'm going to be sharing will be sci-fi related - this week I'm sharing some of my favorite music from the movie Panic in the Year Zero! (1962) which starred Ray Milland (also the director), Jean Hagen, Frankie Avalon, and Mary Mitchell, with the score composed by Les Baxter.  If you haven't seen it, it's a low budget sci-fi post-apocalyptic movie which follows a family on a camping trip that must survive in the lawless aftermath of a nuclear bomb has wiped out Los Angeles.  The movie itself isn't exactly a must watch, but I love the soundtrack which is much different than you might expect (I actually own a copy of the soundtrack, I like it so much). The theme totally makes me think of my choice last week with The Incredibles (and James Bond, of course).  The next clip shows a scene that really gives you an idea of the tone of the movie - and a good listen to the more of that soundtrack.




Sunday, November 19, 2017

Mini Reviews: One of Us is Lying, Lord of Shadows, &The Storyteller's Daughter


Happy Sunday everyone! Today, I'm back with some more mini reviews of some of stories that I read within the last few months that I've been meaning to review - One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare, and The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey. Of these three the newest Shadowhunter novel is my favorite, but all of these come highly recommend from me. Here we go:


❋ ❋ ❋ 

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus has been described as The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, and that's not wrong in the least. It's an addicting debut YA mystery and I'd love to read more from this author. I don't often read YA mystery (no particular reason there either), but this grabbed my attention from the get-go. I particularly enjoyed getting to know our core cast and see where the author takes them over the twisty course of this story. I also enjoyed the fact that we could follow along and put the pieces together in time for that big reveal. Need an addicting new mystery in your life, then look no further than One of Us is Lying . I am really looking forward to this author's next project, and I'm interested to see how the tv adaptation of this story will turn out.


I read this novel from July 19 - 20, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋  

Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters universe is one of my favorite fictional series and The Dark Artifices is just as outstanding as everything that's come before. Even after so many novels and stories set in this world I still can't get enough. These epic, sprawling stories are always brilliantly connected and interwoven. Clare's brand of urban fantasy, action, and humor is irresistible. My favorite part, though, has always been her characters, their relationships, and interactions. Julian, Emma, Mark, Kiernan, Ty, Cristina, Livy, Dru, and Kit are all delightful, and it's wonderful to be back with them - and to see old favorites return like Jace, Clary, Magnus, and Alec. Anyway I could go on and on but if you haven't read this yet, what are you waiting for?! Now it's just a waiting game until book three of The Dark Artifices, Queen of Air and Darkness, is released - and after that ending, I don't know if I can wait that long! By the way, I listened to this on audiobook and it was an honor to hear James Marsters narrate Jace.


I listened to this audiobook from August 1 - 17, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ 

Devour The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and need another Arabian Nights retelling? Try the 2002 release called The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey. The author's writing is absolutely beautiful and truly has a fairytale quality about it. It's a short novel but it has just about everything you could want in a retelling. I think I need to try more from this author and continue this series of retellings.


I read this novel from September 3 - 5, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Have you had the opportunity to read any of these books yet?  If so, what did you think of them?  Thanks for making it this far, and perhaps commenting down below!

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The School For Good And Evil by Soman Chainani + 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 on of my current reads, The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani.  I've heard such great things about this series, so I'm excited to finally be starting in on it.  By the way, this will fulfill the Set in a School square for my Fall Bookish Bingo

Beginning:

Sophie had waited all her life to be kidnapped.  But tonight, all the other children of Gavaldon writhed in their beds.  If the School Master took them, they'd never return.

56:

"I think she's refreshing," said the plump one, biting into the ice pop.  "Not every villain has to smell and look depressed."

50/50 Friday: Book You Were Early/ Late To The Party In Reading


Early - Artemis by Andy Weir - I actually managed to get approved for an ARC via NetGalley - it was just released on November 14th.  Verdict: I loved it!  If you'd like to read my review, click the title.



Late - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - This book was just awesome and I have no clue why I put it off for so long!  I read it last year, so I was approximately five years late to the party on this one.  If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?!  Want to read my review, then just click the title.

Have you read any of these books?  Are you taking part in Fall Bookish Bingo?  As always thanks for visiting and perhaps even commenting down below!

Mini Reviews: All Our Wrong Todays, Cold Summer, & The Upside of Unrequited


Happy weekend everyone!  Today, I'll be sharing some mini reviews of some novels I tackled while back, but I still need to talk about because they are all marvelous stories - All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai, Cold Summer by Gwen Cole, and The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.  All three of these come highly recommend from me.  Here we go:


❋ ❋ ❋ 

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai is such a fun time travel story - and it's got a great sense of humor. There are a few moments when the technical stuff behind the time travel took me out of the story and kind of bogged things down, but for the most part it's incredibly entertaining and thought-provoking with quite an emotional punch. If you like Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and Back to the Future (particularly Part 2), then you will love this time travel sci-fi novel of the present day gone wrong. Thanks a lot for messing up the 2016 we should have had, Tom Barren.


I listened to this audiobook from July 10 - 15, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ 

Time travel is one of my favorite things and this quiet, slow building present day/ WWII time travel story that's really invested in its characters is no exception. I really enjoyed getting to know Harper and Kale, the two leading characters, because both of them are such fascinating characters. In the novel, perspective alternates between the two characters - and I have to say that Kale's chapters are pretty cool as we get to see him deal with time travelling to the Western Front in World War II. Harper's chapters, for the most part, feel very much like YA contemporary that deals with tough issues like PTSD. Even if this novel didn't include a time travel element, this story would neatly double as a contemporary. I, for one, think it's brilliant that it can successfully do both. I'm definitely looking forward to Cole's next novel, Ride on.


I read this book from July 13 - 16, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋  

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli is an absolutely fantastic and heart-warming sophomore novel. I honestly couldn't have asked for anything better. The real stand out of this story is the cast of characters, plus the laugh-out-loud sense of humor. Everyone is wonderfully flawed and real, but for me Reid completely steals the show. I'm not a touch-y feel-y person in the least, but I just want to give this book a hug! I can't wait to read Albertalli's next book, Leah on the Off Beat.


I listened to this audiobook from July 16 - 18, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Have you had the opportunity to read any of these books yet?  If so, what did you think of them?  Thanks for making it this far, and perhaps commenting down below.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Artemis by Andy Weir (ARC) - Review


❋ ❋ ❋  

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

Jazz Bashara is a smuggler of harmless contraband on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon that's mostly populated by the super wealthy and tourists on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. After all, she's got bills to pay and her job as a porter barely covers the rent. She changes her tune when she's offered the opportunity to make a fortune by pulling off a seemingly perfect (and impossible) crime. Before Jazz knows it, she's walked straight into a conspiracy for control of the city and that her only chance of living relies on a plan that's even riskier than the first.

When I saw this novel available to request on NetGalley, I crossed my fingers and hoped that I'd get approved. I fully expected not to for such a hyped up release, but when I read the notification saying I had I might have shrieked in excitement. Now that I've finished it, I can officially say that I absolutely loved it. I was hooked on Weir's new sci-fi novel right from the first page. It's one of those books that I wanted to read in one sitting, but I restrained myself so I could savor it for a little while longer. My expectations were sky high based on how much I loved The Martian, and for the most part Artemis lives up to it. Of course, it's quite a bit different, but if you like the technology, science, and sense of humor of The Martian as well as an incredibly memorable and unique lead and heists stories you need to meet Jazz stat.

Overall, Artemis by Andy Weir is an absolute must read if you need a new sci-fi caper in your life. It's a quick and addicting read that you want to savor for as long as you can. This novel has definitely made my list of favorite reads of 2017. Andy Weir certainly knows how to tell a story and I can't wait to see what he does next!


Thanks again, NetGalley!


I read this ARC from November 7 - 16, 2017 and my review is also on Goodeads.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer (ARC) - Review


❋ ❋ ❋ 

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

Victorian Era London is a wonder that's known for it's fluid social roles, vibrant arts scene, and underground diabolic cults. Evadne Gray, a fencer, isn't interested in those first two and doesn't know about the last, but she finds herself in the city against her wishes to act as a chaperone for her younger sister, Dorina, an aspiring art critic. After Dorina meets their uncle’s friend, Lady Henrietta “Henry” Wotton, an aristocrat and aesthete, Evadne enrolls in a fencing school where she meets George Cantrell, a top tier fencing master. George shows her more than she bargained for - a hidden world of demons and their servants. George has dedicated himself to fighting demons and diabolists, and he needs Evadne’s help. In fact, Lady Henry might actually be a diabolist - and worse yet, Evadne suspects Dorina have turned as well.

As soon as I realized that Molly Tanzer's newest novel, Creatures of Will and Temper, was inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, I knew I had to find a copy for myself. Luckily, I actually managed to get myself approved for an ARC on NetGalley. This is my first time trying Tanzer's work, but overall I was really impressed with the quality of it all. Although the story is slower paced than what I usually like and takes a little while to really get going, the writing is gorgeous. I really enjoyed getting to know our two flawed sisters, Evadne and Dorina, since they have such a close connection. Neither are completely likable, but I couldn't help but root for both of them. I loved the fencing and action in the story. I don't often see fencing in historical fantasy, so this was a lot of fun seeing Evadne get to go toe-to-toe with a master. It's also was also good to see an f/f relationship take the spotlight - between Dorina and Lady Henry, especially since Dorina's one of the leading characters and taking the setting into account - plus, there are other LGBTQ+ characters featured.

Overall, if you're looking for a refreshing new historical fantasy with a great cast, epic sword fights, and a realistic connection between sisters, then you absolutely need to try Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer. Just be warned the first half of the book sets a slow pace as we are introduced to the characters and their world, but it's definitely worth sticking with it. Like Cat Winters, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, then you'll probably like this new release.


I read this ARC from November 13 - 14, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Sci-Fi Books I Want My Future Descendants To Read


Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is Books I Want My Children (Or Nieces, Nephews, Godchildren, etc.) - since it's Sci-Fi Month, hosted by Rinn Reads & Over the Effing Rainbow, I'm giving my list a sci-fi spin.  I'm sharing Sci-Fi Books I Want My Future Descendants To Read, both recent releases and classics.  Here we go, in alphabetical order by title and broken down by recent releases and classics (the titles are linked either to my review or to Goodreads):

Recent Releases:


Dark Matter by Blake Crouch




The Martian by Andy Weir


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


Saga by Brian K. Vaughan &Fiona Staples

Classics:


Frankenstein by Marry Shelley


The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


Kindred by Octavia E. Butler


Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

What books do you want your descendants to read?  As always thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!



Monday, November 13, 2017

Music Monday: The Incredibles


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.

Welcome to the 2nd Music Monday of Sci-Fi Month (if you want to know more about this go here)!  This month all of the music I'm going to be sharing will be sci-fi related - this week I'm sharing my favorite tracks from one of my favorite Pixar movies, The Incredibles (2004) composed by Michael Giacchino.  I absolutely love the James Bond-esque 1960s spy jazz style used in the theme song and I can't resist the "Life's Incredible Again" which is featured in the training scene as Mr. Incredible begins to get back into shape again.  Does anyone else think this would make the best elevator or hold music?  Plus, I've also shared the 2011 Disneyland All-American College Band's performance of music from the movie - that trumpet soloist really kills it and so does that snare drummer (literally)!






Saturday, November 11, 2017

Finally Fall Book Tag


Happy Saturday and welcome back to my blog!  Today, I thought I would share the Finally Fall Book Tag, which I've been seeing all over the blogosphere lately (I'm a bit late, I know) - I first saw it over by Breana @ Our Thoughts Precisely.  I don't know about you guys, but central Ohio hasn't had much of a fall - it seems like it's gone from upper 50s-60 degree weather down to below freezing overnight.  I mean, it was like 18 degrees this morning!  But, either way, most of the trees still have a lot of their leaves!  Anyways, on to the tag:

In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - I just finished this up recently and I was hooked right off the bat.  I love how much detail went into Ketterdam and the Ice Court.

Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness - Ness is one of my favorite authors and this novel is gut-wrenching.  In it Conor has to be honest with himself and come to terms with his mother's illness, family relationships, and the bullying he faces at school.

Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.


The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum - It provides a fascinating look at early forensic toxicology.  I learned so much about the topic, but it definitely isn't for the faint of heart!

In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.
The Weasley Family, from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - I have the red hair and everything - I'd fit right in!

The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!


I remember seeing these over on Cardboardcities - and the spines of these classics scream fall to me.

Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - In one of my favorite YA contemporary novels, Cath writes fanfiction for the World of Mages called Carry On.

The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.


Gideon by Alex Gordon - I feel like I haven't mentioned how much I loved this one lately.  I really need to pick up the sequel soon!

Fall returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.



I really want to reread both Illuminae & Gemina before Obsidio is released.  I've heard the audiobook productions are really outstanding, so I may have to pick them up in that format.

Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”! 

Hot chocolate and a warm blanket!

Spread the autumn appreciation and tag some people!

I know that quite a few people have already done this tag, but if you haven't please feel free to consider yourself it.


As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!