Netgalley Reviews: Penguin Teen Game-Changers & Starswept & Picture Books

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Penguin Teen Game-Changers

Pub: 9/12/17

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Warcross

Pub: 9/12/17

The first five seconds into this one it was a hard no because of the main characters voice did not appeal to me.  I’m not engaged by this one.

+Older heroine who lives a different lifestyle

-pacing (which probably is because (I read a couple of pages of this and knew I did like it.)

Continue? Nope

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Jane Unlimited

Pub: 9/19/17

+different view of teens (dropout)

-voice of the characters it felt like they were trying hard to be quirky at times, it did not engage me

Continue? No

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Someone Inside Your House

Pub: 9/26/17

I wanted this to do well because I do want more horror non-supernatural young adult to do well.  It is readable. Emotionally I am just not into it.

+Main character is Hawaiian, it was readable (it did not feel heavy)

– It was not scary/suspenseful to me

Continue? No

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Things I’m Seeing Without You

Pub: 10/3/17

+Short chapters, different lifestyle (high school boarding school dropout)

-voice of main character

Continue? No

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Pub: 10/10/17

I like the description of this the most so I thought I will actually like this one. I was right.

+I really liked the mythology, pace, that it  showed early on it can be dark/gory (saying to me yes I can and will go there). The chapters were short which ties into the pacing and the overall good job she does with giving the world and mythology info.

Continue? Yes

Overall

It was an okay sampler, did not like 4 of 5 of the books. There was variety in terms of the characters lifestyles, and genre.

Favorite Cover: There’s Someone Inside Your House

Favorite Book: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Other Netgalley Reviews

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Starswept (DNF)

Pub: 8/29/17

4% (according to my kindle app)

Like: The setting being a music school in space

Why DNF? The info dump was heavy and I just was not engaged by it.

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From Far Away

Pub: 8/8/17

Like: Art, smooth transition, imagery of dark skin woman on cover, showing difficulties that a kid who is not from America would deal with (skeleton)

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Tiny Tale of little Pea

Pub: 9/5/17

Like: Ending surprised me (I thought this is what is going to happen, then this will happen, after that it will end like this), art, this is what a person who is the size of Thumbelina would go through (was surprised the cat did not try to pick with him)

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Some Books I’m Looking Forward For Rest of 2017

In my quest to not do so many book reviews here is a tbr for future me. This TBR was  unintentionally science fiction and fantasy heavy.

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Miles Morales

August 1st

Genre(s)= science fiction, fantasy, ya

“Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the importance of the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.

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Calling My Name

October 24th

Genre(s)= contemporary, ya,

Taja Brown lives with her parents and older brother and younger sister, in Houston, Texas. Taja has always known what the expectations of her conservative and tightly-knit African American family are—do well in school, go to church every Sunday, no intimacy before marriage. But Taja is trying to keep up with friends as they get their first kisses, first boyfriends, first everythings. And she’s tired of cheering for her athletic younger sister and an older brother who has more freedom just because he’s a boy. Taja dreams of going to college and forging her own relationship with the world and with God, but when she falls in love for the first time, those dreams are suddenly in danger of evaporating.

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Black Beauty

September 15th 2015

Genre(s)= fantasy

At Vista Apartment Complex, life drastically changes for few of its residents when they decide to do business with Crazy Jade—the supposed voodoo witch that can grant your wish, for a price.

Shemeya wants the confidence to stand up against the girls bullying her at school, but she soon has to choose between keeping her dreadlocs or living a normal life. After catching her boyfriend cheating, Latreece just wants to have the same curves as all the other girls. Ashley will do whatever she can to have “White Girl Flow”, but takes her pursuit too far when she steals from Crazy Jade.

Everyone who comes into contact with Crazy Jade soon learns the true price of her magic—and how horribly wrong it can go.

BLACK BEAUTY takes the reader on a journey through the point of view of five residents of Vista Apartment Complex, and how each of their horrors crash together in ways they could never have expected.

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An Excess Male

September 12th

Genre(s)= science fiction

From debut author Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male is the chilling dystopian tale of politics, inequality, marriage, love, and rebellion, set in a near-future China, that further explores the themes of the classic The Handmaid’s Tale and When She Woke.

Under the One Child Policy, everyone plotted to have a son.

Now 40 million of them can’t find wives. China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than twenty-five percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family of their own. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritatian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family—one harboring an illegal spouse—shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear.

In Maggie Shen King’s startling and beautiful debut, An Excess Male looks to explore the intersection of marriage, family, gender, and state in an all too plausible future.

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Valley of Terror

August 29th

Genre(s)= horror

A mysterious “fear disease” is scaring to death the citizens of Longzhou, China. Literally. Victims go insane or die frozen in terror, while survivors rant maniacally about demons infiltrating the city. But what’s really behind the sudden epidemic? To find the answer, Chief Inspector Luo Fei teams up with a controversial historian and a brilliant psychologist to track down the true source of the illness and halt the wave of horror that threatens the metropolis.

As the trio ventures to the primitive jungles and mountains of Yunnan, they’re haunted by tales of a seventeenth-century general whose demonic soul, said to have been sealed away in a vial of his blood, has been unleashed on the modern world. Now, trekking deep into the legendary Valley of Terror, they find themselves being stalked by someone—or something—daring them to uncover the truth. And as superstition, science, and history collide, their discovery could be as heart-stopping as fear itself.

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

October 10th

Genre(s)= fantasy

An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

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Talon of God

July 25th (already out)

Genre(s)= fantasy, horror

The acclaimed actor makes his fiction debut with this enthralling urban fantasy in which a holy warrior must convince a doctor with no faith to help stop a powerful demon and his minions from succeeding in creating hell on earth—a thrilling adventure of science and faith, good and evil, damnation and salvation

Imagine that everyone you have ever known or loved was forced against their will into a state of demonic possession and spiritual slavery. Imagine an unholy cabal of the world’s richest and most powerful men directing this sinister plan in order to cement their unbridled control of the planet.

Imagine two heroes emerging from that darkness to do battle with the forces of evil.

Set in the mean streets of Chicago, Talon of God is the action-packed adventure centered around the Lauryn Jefferson, a beautiful young doctor who is dragged into a seemingly impossible battle against the invisible forces of Satan’s army and their human agents that are bent on enslaving humanity in a mission to establish the kingdom of hell on Earth.

But Lauryn is a skeptic, and it’s only as she sees a diabolical drug sweep her city and begins to train in the ways of a spirit warrior by the legendary man of God, Talon Hunter, that she discovers her true nature and inner strength. Facing dangerous trials and tests, it’s a true baptism by fire. And if they fail, millions could die. And rivers of blood would flow throughout the land.

Imagine such horror. Such pain. And imagine what it would take to fight against it. For only the strongest and most faithful will survive?

Get ready. Armageddon approaches quickly.

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The Tiger’s Daughter

October 3rd

Genre(s)= fantasy

Even gods can be slain….

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

 

21 Days of Comics #8-14

Introductory Post

Comics #1-7

Comics #15-21

 

69 days later I finally push myself to finish this post.

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DNF-Cold Space

I just was not into it.

Little Tails On Halloween!

Reads young for me but the animals were cute

Tim Burthon’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

Ok. but already know story and eh. *why ruin your legacy with racism?*

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Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, Volume 1: Hooked On A Feline

Really funny, interesting probably one of the few good comics I read through in this 21 Days of Comics thing.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth

“Wisdom and Idioms”

Written and Illustrated by Cory Godbey

An all-new short based on Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. The Wiseman and his bird try to find some humor in the magical world of Labyrinth.

ugh (jokes are free but you are not funny)

Iscariot

Written and Illustrated by S.M. Vidaurri

Young Carson discusses magic and time with a wizard in this special preview of the upcoming Archaia original graphic novel written and illustrated by Iron: Or, the War After creator S.M. Vidaurri.

eh better than last but eh still

Mouse Guard

“Service to Seyan”

Written and Illustrated by David Petersen

An excerpt from Mouse Guard: Baldwin the Brave and Other Tales. Gwendolyn learns about her mother Alma and the great warrior hall of Seyan.

boring, average fantasy story, what is even going on

Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake: Card Wards

Created by Pendleton Ward

Written by Jen Wang

Illustrated by Britt Wilson

A brand-new Fionna & Cake short from writer Jen Wang (In Real Life) and Britt Wilson (Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake)! Fionna and Cake are on the search for an opponent for Cake to play against in Card Wars.

bright and colorful not bad but not for me

Regular Show

“Coffee Shop Special!”

Created by JG Quintel

Written by Kevin Church

Illustrated by Coleman Engle

Based on the hit Cartoon Network animated series, Eileen and Margaret make Muscle Man his special drink.

colors were not dull was not long enough I did not love it

Peanuts

“Dogstoevsky”

Created by Charles M. Schulz

Story by Charles M. Schulz

Pencils by Vicki Scott

Snoopy looks to finally become the World’s Greatest Author, but Lucy’s help may not be the helpful push he needs.

feels like a story the Peanut always does so if like them  you will like this story

Garfield

“Fast Feline”

Created by Jim Davis

Written by Mark Evanier

Illustrated by Andy Hirsch

Nothing can keep Garfield from a good meal, even if it means having to beat the fastest cat to get it.

This anthology is reading young so far/unremarkable

Looks unimpressed for next four books *rant why I don’t like anthologies*

Lumberjanes

Created by Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis

Written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis

Illustrated by Brooke Allen

When the Lumberjanes aren’t taking care of pesky critters or crazy demigods, they’re making fun crafts like friendship bracelets. Friendship to the max!

Munchkin

“Table of Contents”

Written and Illustrated by John Kovalic

Fight the monsters, steal the treasure, and backstab your buddy! A wandering monster table appears in this short from the illustrator of the hit card game Munchkin, John Kovalic.

Help Us! Great Warrior

Written and illustrated by Madeleine Flores

Based on the hit webcomic and new miniseries from Madeleine Flores. Great Warrior gets attacked on the road!

  • Lumberjanes: Mixing It Up (skipped)- I don’t like Lumberjanes
  • Giant Days: [Untitled]- feels like people who like Lumberjanes would like this. ugh.
  • The Backstagers: [Untitled]- too short
  • Goldie Vance- have to question if missing info or lack of whatever makes story not good vs it is just not for me. I read this before and I am sure it is missing stuff.

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Mockingbird #1

Pro It is interesting and feels unique-ish.

I felt at a distance from it when I read it. It probably felt separated because I went to a funeral so yeah. Also, I finished a novel and i’m feeling eh about reading honestly. I probably need to take a break for a bit.

Silk #1

I do not know what is going on with me and Silk, for some reason I’m not into it into it.  I hope as I read further I can get into it.

Discussion

This one was super underwhelming/overall underwhelming comic reading week. This was what I was trying to avoid when I first started this. I am supposed to be reconnecting with the good comics.

In my last post I did a whole discussion about fiction taking up space and then I spent most of this week reading a novel. When I read the novel I pretty much put everything else (novels included) to the side to read it. The only time I got back into the comics was when I took a break from the novel.

How am I going to rectify this comic problem?

  • read better comics (top answer I think)
  • push harder (if every facet of social media is about comics and my pickiness makes me not like novels as makes me work harder to find good novels then I need to push harder with comics too.)

Missing Books On Goodreads

I realized that I did not even mark comics I read from last week as read. A lot of the comics I read this week I could not mark as read because they are not on the site database. It made me think about all the comics I have read in the past that are left unmarked because I am too lazy or forgot to add them. So I may have read more comics this year but they are not shown on the site.

(all images are from comicvine)

Current Reading State: Embracing

Getting back into Fiction has caused a lot of issues and feelings to resurface:

A. Heavy reading slumps

B. Inconsistent/Sporadic liking of books

C. Fiction taking over my reading

D. Lack of diversity and variety in the publishing sometimes really depresses me

E. Feeling/ knowing that B and D means I have to work hard to find things to like

It is all so very exhausting. After a heavy reading slump it was too much.

Embracing

the unknown that is fiction

A. shifting reading trends

At the beginning of the year I enjoyed a mystery now I am enjoying adaptation novels

One of the mistakes I think I make with fiction is trying to control the tide that comes through. Not taking into account that a lot of books I’m reading are the exception to the entire genre.

B. capturing

the waves that do come

I hope to be able to keep up with this beautiful carefreeness  as I continue with fiction.

 

 

 

 

 

Off The Top Of My Head TV/Movies That Should Get Novelizations

Since I even thought about the prospect of reading a novelization I had a list of shows that I want need to be books. Also, I have been thinking about covers that books turned to or from movies get. The cool thing about movies/shows turned into books is there is more unique cover choses. Here is my list off the top of my head in no particular order.

Belle poster.jpg

1. Belle

Image: Wikipedia.

There are not a lot of cover options but I like this  a lot as you can see since I talk about it a lot on here.

BeyondtheLightsposter.jpg Beyond the Lights poster

2. Beyond The Lights

Image: the first image is from Wikipedia and the second is from New DVD Release Dates. Which one do you think is better? I think I lean more toward the first because of the color pallete used.Image result for empire tv show posters

3. Empire

Image: imdb

Empire is another hard one because it has multiple seasons and lots of really amazing covers. It has so many beautiful posters based off this theme alone. What I think is important for the cover to have is all of the family/reoccurring characters because in my head all of them are going to get a point of view chapter.

Quick spoiler: there can be even a cover of the Empire logo when Hakeem took over

File:Jane the Virgin season 1 poster.jpg

4. Jane the Virgin

Image: Wikipedia

Wanted to keep this one non-spoilery so first season poster. I know this one will be at least 300 pages because so much happens.

Claws Poster

5. Claws

Image: imdb

As soon as I saw Claws I thought this could be a novel. It could be in the genre that  book like Hap and Leonard are classified as.

Since these are all popular shows/movies they have an audience behind them who can buy the books. If you have any diverse novelization recommendations please give them below (I need diverse recommendations badly). If you watch these shows what poster from the show do you like the most?

(header is from tvline)

21 Days of Comics #15-21

Introductory

21 Days of Comics: #1-7

21 Days of Comics: #8-14- Skipping  for now because it is the longest of the three so it needs a lot more polish.

Since I basically went over the 21 Days I decided to read some comics from Free Comic Book Day 2017.

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Monster  High

+Clawdeen and Cleo parts

-Draculaura/Frankie, welcome to monster high world

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Descendants

-not that bad (probably cause my expectations were low)

+world

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Loud House

+It is like the show which I like, art

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Rebith: Vixen

Why are there teens who keep trying black women?  (in Storm #1 a teenager was yelling at her too about what she has not done like okay lol)

I enjoyed this a lot because it was fun to read. I did not leave it feeling underwhelmed like a lot of other comics have left me.

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Jem #14-16

Dark Jem arc was okay. I wonder if my waning interest is because of the Dark Jem arc? I hope that my interest comes back now that this arc is over. I don’t know if I am excited about the Stingers though.

Discussion

I know me posting this took so long but I’m having problems with comics now so it is not that surprising. I think I am in a bit of a comic/overall reading slump. Part of me feels that I just have not found that comic that gets me super excited. Jem is usually the comic that really is fun but recently it has been a bit underwhelming.

Organizing

I’m finally organizing my comics. I think that organizing so far is helping me to get a feel for the comics I own. I can be reminded of comics that I forgot about. The only problem is that it is so daunting. Maybe my overall reading (books own/tbr/ and etc) is cluttered. I don’t know. I just want things to get better with comics and not get to the point that I am with novels.

279: Spartacus: Morituri (Spartacus #2)

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Synopsis

BLOOD UPON THE SANDS Spartacus is the hit TV series which has captivated viewers with its blood-soaked action, exotic sexuality, villainy and heroism. This original novel from the world of Spartacus: Blood and Sand relates a thrilling new tale of blood, sex and politics set in the brutal world of the arena. Spartacus and his fellow gladiators endure bout after bout of fierce and bloody fighting, while their opponent’s numbers never seem to shrink. Can Batiatus’s ludus survive against such odds? An epic battle ensues against a vicious enemy determined to soak the arena in the blood of his rivals.

The Good

This book is set around season 1

  • Seeing stuff from season 1 that does not exist past that season
  • Captures the characters voice and their motivations well- which is what you want from a novelization. Seeing words that I could see coming out of the characters mouth made me ultimately decide to buy this book.
  • Diverse cast: just like the show
  • Hits on the important povs: most of the people who have a point of view in the show make an appearance
  • Intrigue- like the show
  • Roman mythology

The Bad

  • Repetitive- feels like the story got stuck in a loop for a large amount of the novel and only got out of it in the last 100 or so pages.

The Meh

I question if the sexual violence shown in the book was handled well. Then again does the show handle sexual violence well?

What next?

I did a Top Ten Tuesday list of my novelization tbr

Currently reading: Man of Steel