Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (31)

Okay, I'm sorry, but how cool is it that the 31st post in this series is on October 31st? I am a happy Halloween girl right now.

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was created by Jill Breaking the Spine.

This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson

Release date: November 13th, 2018
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Lindley Hamilton has been the leader of the space station Lusca since every first-generation crew member on board, including her mother, the commander, were killed by a deadly virus.

Lindley always assumed she’d captain the Lusca one day, but she never thought that day would come so soon. And she never thought it would be like this—struggling to survive every day, learning how to keep the Lusca running, figuring out how to communicate with Earth, making sure they don’t run out of food.

When a member of the surviving second generation dies from symptoms that look just like the deadly virus, though, Lindley feels her world shrinking even smaller. The disease was supposed to be over; the second generation was supposed to be immune. But as more people die, Lindley must face the terrifying reality that either the virus has mutated or something worse is happening: one of their own is a killer.

The part where I talk: I know this isn't horror, but it does sound like it has a creepy twist! And I really like the cover. I'm kind of hoping this one is light on the romance or doesn't have it at all, because that'd be super cool.

Okay, so. Are you excited for Halloween? Are you dressing up, or staying in and handing out candy, or watching scary movies, or what? Are you reading something scary? Talk to me!


Peace and pumpkin seeds,
Laina

Friday, October 26, 2018

Book Blogger Hop (16)

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books and is now hosted by Billy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

This week's question is: Recommend one horror novel for non-horror readers.

My answer: *I'm* not a horror reader! Not really, lol. Most of the horror I read is middle grade. I recently read an anthology of MG horror, but I wasn't a big fan, and the vast majority of horror I read is like. Goosebumps.

I guess a couple YA horror-ish books I liked are:

Shadow Girl by Liana Liu

Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): The house on Arrow Island is full of mystery.

Yet when Mei arrives, she can’t help feeling relieved. She’s happy to spend the summer in an actual mansion tutoring a rich man’s daughter if it means a break from her normal life—her needy mother, her delinquent brother, their tiny apartment in the city. And Ella Morison seems like an easy charge, sweet and well behaved.

What Mei doesn’t know is that something is very wrong in the Morison household.

Though she tries to focus on her duties, Mei becomes increasingly distracted by the family’s problems and her own complicated feelings for Ella’s brother, Henry. But most disturbing of all are the unexplained noises she hears at night—the howling and thumping and cries.

Mei is a sensible girl. She isn’t superstitious; she doesn’t believe in ghosts. Yet she can’t shake her fear that there is danger lurking in the shadows of this beautiful house, a darkness that could destroy the family inside and out… and Mei along with them.

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Published: January 26th, 2016 by Katherine Tegan Books. The paperback comes out Septeber 5th, 2017
Genre: YA Paranormal
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 358 plus acknowledgements and such.
Part of a series? I WISH.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Breezy remembers leaving the party: the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to her face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain how.

Nor can she explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch, or why her heartbeat comes and goes. She doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past.

Haunted by happy memories from her life, Breezy sets out to find answers in the gritty, threatening world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight, and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she discovers is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

The part where I keep talking to finish this post: These were both pretty creepy, and I liked them both.

Good Halloween reads, for sure!

Peace and pumpkin cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (30)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was created by Jill Breaking the Spine.

How She Died, How I Lived by Mary Crockett

Release date: November 13th, 2018
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): I was one of five. The five girls Kyle texted that day. The girls it could have been. Only Jamie--beautiful, saintly Jamie--was kind enough to respond. And it got her killed.

On the eve of Kyle's sentencing a year after Jamie's death, all the other "chosen ones" are coping in various ways. But our tenacious narrator is full of anger, stuck somewhere between the horrifying past and the unknown future as she tries to piece together why she gets to live, while Jamie is dead.

Now she finds herself drawn to Charlie, Jamie's boyfriend--knowing all the while that their relationship will always be haunted by what-ifs and why-nots. Is hope possible in the face of such violence? Is forgiveness? How do you go on living when you know it could have been you instead?

The part where I talk: I requested this on Edelweiss and I got rejected hard XD But this sounds amazing, so I'm still excited about it, of course.

This one does not lend itself well to a question to ask you all. Um. Oh! If you like scented candles, what's your favourite candle scent?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, October 19, 2018

Book Blogger Hop (15)

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books and is now hosted by Billy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

This week's question is: If you were to dress up as a literary figure (author or character) for Halloween, who would it be?

My answer: I would be Coraline. 100%

Probably movie Coraline, because then I could have blue hair, but definitely Coraline. Maybe I should be Coraline for Halloween 2019. The only problem is, the thing I dress up for, if I wore her raincoat, I would completely and utterly melt, plus I'm not really sure where I'd get a yellow raincoat. Would this be an iconic/recognizable enough Coraline outfit?



Oh, wait wait wait, what about her star sweater? I have black leggings, I always wear boots, though they're not blue, and you could probably DIY a version of that pretty easily.

You'd just need a basica long sleeve blue shirt or sweater, and some silver stars which you could probably find at a craft store.

Okay, I'm getting carried away. I'm being a mermaid this year anyways, lol, so it doesn't matter. But I can't say I won't be keeping my eyes open for star shirts for the next year.

That was a fun one! What about you all?

Peace and pumpkin cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (29)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was created by Jill Breaking the Spine.

The Prophet Calls by Melanie Sumrow

Release date: November 6th, 2018
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Born into a polygamous community in the foothills of New Mexico, Gentry Forrester feels lucky to live among God’s chosen. Here, she lives apart from the outside world and its “evils.”

On her thirteenth birthday, Gentry receives a new violin from her father and, more than anything, she wants to play at the Santa Fe Music Festival with her brother, Tanner. But then the Prophet calls from prison and announces he has outlawed music in their community and now forbids women to leave.

Determined to play, Gentry and Tanner sneak out. But once they return, the Prophet exercises control from prison, and it has devastating consequences for Gentry and her family. Soon, everything Gentry has known is turned upside down. She begins to question the Prophet’s teachings and his revelations, especially when his latest orders put Gentry’s family in danger. Can Gentry find a way to protect herself and her family from the Prophet and escape the only life she’s ever known?

The part where I talk: Cult things are fascinating, okay? And I'm so impressed that a MG book is going to tackle this. Upcoming MG is going to kill it, for reals. What a great idea, really.

Okay, what should I ask this week. Oh, do you play an instrument? If you do, what do you play?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, October 12, 2018

Autumn Book Tag


Absolutely no one tagged me in this, but I really wanted to do an autumn book tag, so I decided to go for it. This tag was created by Viktoria of V./Seelie Knight (not sure what their blog name is completely so just go look over there, alright?).

Hold on, this post definitely needs a good autumn picture.

Aw yeah, look at those dying leaves. That's the good stuff right there.

Autumn aesthetic is just everything to me. I was sitting here in July signing over pictues of pumpkins and stuff.

Alright, so, let's do this!

Best autumnal themed book cover?

Honestly, I'm half-tempted to grab a picture book cover. No, you know what, let's do that. First I do have a novel cover, but it's an older one and a little odd, however the colours are so autumnal:



But honestly let's really go for it and get a great autumn picture book cover.

These are: Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka (which is hilarious, and if you can ever read to a group of kids, do so), Wild Child by Lynn Plourde, and Leaves by David Ezra Stein.

This first question has taken me so long!

Which fictional friend group would you trust with a Ouija board?

Like with me around them? Nobody, because I am a white person, and white people using Ouija boards does not end well. I watch horror movies. I know this.

But you know what I think would be hilarious? If someone wrote the Baby-Sitter's Club doing using one. And for real, like getting results and haunted and stuff. Does someone want that idea to make an internet skit? I would fully support this.

Like this but with more demons.

Which book setting would you love to be celebrating in during Halloween night?

I can't help but say Hogwarts. I know Harry Potter has problematic elements and JKR is kind of seriously a mess, but I mean. It's Hogwarts. Remember the Halloween feast? You can definitely tell that HP was written by someone who'd not always had the most to eat, honestly.

Like it's just so extra... although reading the wiki really shows that stuff tends to Go Down at Hogwarts on Halloween, so maybe that's not the best choice!

Best autumnal food description inside of a story?

Okay, it's not really an autumn book, but the best food descriptions I've read recently have been in Baker Thief. I've never wanted bread so much. Just thinking about it makes me want a baguette. Honestly if you mention Thanksgiving food to me, though, I'm totally ready to go. Give me all the turkey.

Which fictional character would you dress as?

I'm totally answering this next week in my book blogger hop! So, stay tuned for that!

An antagonist you would pledge your allegiance to?

Weird reply, but Magneto has some valid points.

The creepiest book you’ve ever read?

It's actually a short story from this collection:


Specifically, the story "The Moving Finger". I read it in like 7th grade, I think, when I went through a phase of reading a bunch of King books. (I've actually read like a dozen of his books?) And I think it's going to mess me up a little for the rest of my life XD

A book you’ve yet to read but will read this October?

Um, what's October's book? Okay, I'm reading:


It'll be my challenge book for October. Other than that, I don't have any plans yet.

Which fictional character would you put in charge of the decorations for a Halloween party?

See, the thing is that planning things, especially parties, in books never goes well. Or if it goes well, it definitely doesn't go according to plan. And I am not that great with change, since I'm kind of a bundle of anxiety held together by leggings and hope, so the go-with-the-flow thing is not my favourite thing in the world.

So, um. Can I go back to my earlier answer and pick Claudia Kishi? I feel like that would be rad.

Alright! That was really fun. And I'm even more excited for autumn now!

Peace and spice cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (28)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was created by Jill Breaking the Spine.

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

Release date: To be released in the US November 6th, 2018.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family's enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.

The part where I talk: This was released I believe in Australia in early 2018, but I don't live in Australia, so I can't my hands on this yet. Also, I do what I want here. Anyways this sounds really interesting, and I like the cover a lot.

I kinda wanna keep doing this changing question thing. Tell me about a bird you think is cool this week!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, October 8, 2018

Thanksgiving Break

I'm taking this week off from writing a review because it's Thanksgiving weekend and I'm still recovering from a cold.

We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming next week!

Peace and pumpkin cookies,
Laina

Friday, October 5, 2018

Book Blogger Hop (14)

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books and is now hosted by Billy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

Can I just say how cute this graphic is? I tweaked the html a tiny bit just to make it look better on my own layout, since the borders look a lot better on a dark background, and they strain the eye a little on a white background in my opinion, but it's super cute and really fun. And this Halloween girl is so ready for this.

This week's question is: It's getting close to Halloween. If you HAD to read one of these two genres, which would you prefer -- urban fantasy, or horror, and why?

My answer: Urban fantasy, for sure. I am not that big of a fan of horror, plus honestly there's not a huge range of modern MG and YA horror, so it'd be really hard to find stuff. A lot of adult horror just does a lot of things I'm not a big fan of, and so. It'd be hard, and I'm definitely much more into urban fantasy anyways.

*vibrates* HALLOWEEN!!

Peace and pumpkin cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (27)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was created by Jill Breaking the Spine.

Blended by Sharon Draper

Release date: November 6th, 2018
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Eleven-year-old Isabella’s parents are divorced, so she has to switch lives every week: One week she’s Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she’s Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves.

Because of this, Isabella has always felt pulled between two worlds. And now that her parents are divorced, it seems their fights are even worse, and they’re always about HER. Isabella feels even more stuck in the middle, split and divided between them than ever. And she’s is beginning to realize that being split between Mom and Dad is more than switching houses, switching nicknames, switching backpacks: it’s also about switching identities.

The part where I talk: This sounds so, so good, and the cover is beautiful. There's also a lot more in the summary on goodreads, but it felt too long and a little spoiler-y, so I just cropped it here, but go over and look at it there if you want. MG is doing some amazing things, and now is a great time to get into it, friends, if you're not already.

You know, I always ask the same question, the "what are you looking forward to" one. How about a different one? What's your favourite ice cream flavour, reader?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Reading Challenge Check-In (September)

This year I am doing Playpire's 2018 Diversity Challenge, and September's theme was "Hispanic History Month", so I read:

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. PĂ©rez

Published: August 22nd, 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary MG
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: It's on the floor, so I'll add this when I review it. I'm tired. Goodreads says 336, so. Close to that, I'd assume.
Part of a series? Nope
Got via: La bibliothèque
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school--you can't fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malu (Maria Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School's queen bee, violates the school's dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself.

The real Malu loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malu finally begins to feel at home. She'll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself!

The part where I talk: I really liked this. More to come on this one!

I also have some Beat the Backlist Challenge books to update:

1. Angels Fall by Nora Roberts
2. You by Charles Benoit
3. Ruined by Paula Morris
4. The Haunting of Cassie Palmer by Vivian Alcock
5. The Gifting by Ann Gabhart
6. Below the Root by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
7. The Dark Garden by Margaret Buffie
8. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
9. Abel's Island by William Steig
10. The Summer of the Falcon by Jean Craighead George
11. Sarah and Katie by Dori White
12. Cheater, Cheater by Elizabeth Levy
13. Sisters Red by Jason Pearce
14. The Clearing by Heather Davis
15. Remembering Raquel by Vivian Vande Velde
16. The Callender Papers by Cynthia Voigt
17. The Vandemark Mummy by Cynthia Voigt
18. The Weekend Was Murder by Joan Lowery Nixon
19. The Specter by Joan Lowery Nixon
20. Choker by Elizabeth Woods
21. No More Heroes by Michelle Kan (IT COUNTS. I owned a copy and have for like a year! That makes it count.)
22. Three Sisters by Norma Fox Mazer
23. Do You Want Fries With That? by Martyn Godfrey
24. Who Let Girls in the Boys' Locker Room by Elaine Moore
25. Veronica the Show-Off by Nancy K. Robinson
26. Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
27. The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay

This list is looking pretty good, actually.

Alright, that's it for this month. Thanks for reading and happy second day of Halloween!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, October 1, 2018

Things I've Read Recently (80): New (to me) Comics!

If you're new around here, Things I've Read Recently is a series of posts I do that are basically mini-reviews of books that I either forgot to review, didn't have enough to say for a full review, or just didn't want to do a full post about for whatever reason.

Squirrel Power (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol 1) by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

Published: September 1st, 2015 by Marvel
Genre: YA Fantasy Comic
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 128
Part of a series? This collects issues 1-4 of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
Got via: The library, of course.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Wolverine, Deadpool, Doctor Doom, Thanos: There's one hero that's beaten them all-and now she's got her own ongoing series! (Not that she's bragging.) That's right, you asked for it, you got it, it's SQUIRREL GIRL! (She's also starting college this semester.) It's the start of a brand-new set of adventures starring the nuttiest and most upbeat super hero in the world!

Thoughts: Wow, I did not think I was going to like this as much as I did. This is freaking hilarious. Honestly, there's a moment where I just stopped and cracked up, because, like. Like honestly, the image of an Iron Man helmet attached to just the glove with a squirrel inside is so funny that I had to take a minute to stop and laugh before reading more.

I'm definitely going to be picking more of this, because it's great.

Giant Days, Volume One by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Whitney Cogar

Published: November 24th, 2015 by BOOM! Box
Genre: YA Contemporary Comic
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 128
Part of a series? This collects issues 1-4 of Giant Days
Got via: The library
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.

Thoughts: I didn't really like this. It's fine, and some of the humour is good at times, but it just doesn't do a whole lot for me. I liked the author's work, Bad Machinery, but over-all I was just really unimpressed by this.

Also, frankly, I'm not down for lectures about how women are doing feminism wrong from male authors. Especially not when the women in question are created by that male author, and therefore have no agency in how they act or choices they make. So, like, could you just not?

I know a lot of people like this series, but I don't think I'll be one of those people and I don't think I'll be seeking out any more of these.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Volume 1: BFF by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, and Natacha Bustos

Published: November 26th, 2015 by Marvel Comics
Genre: Science-Fiction Comic and I would borderline call it MG, personally.
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 160
Part of a series? This collects Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur issues 1 to 6.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): LUNELLA LAFAYETTE IS AN INHUMAN PRETEEN GENIUS WHO WANTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD!

That job would be a lot easier if she wasn't living in mortal fear of her latent Inhuman gene. There's no telling what she'll turn into - but Luna's got a plan. All she needs is an Omni-Wave Projector. Easy, right? That is, until a red-scaled beast is teleported from the prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call...today! Together they're the most Marvelous Team-Up of all - the Inhuman Moon Girl and time-tossed Devil Dinosaur! But will they be BFFs forever, or just until DD's dinner time?

Lunella soon learns that there are other problems with a having a titanic T. Rex as a pet in the modern-day Marvel Universe. School, for one. Monster hunters are another - especially when they're the Totally Awesome Hulk! Then there's the fact that everyone's favorite dino didn't journey through time alone. Beware the prehistoric savages known as the Killer-Folk - New York City's deadliest tourists! Can Lunella handle all this turmoil... and keep herself from transforming into an Inhuman monster?

Thoughts: This was delightful! First of all, the art in this is wonderful. There's something about it that seems so quick and full of movement and life. Lunella is so adorable and smart and feisty and I think she's gonna have a ton of appeal for both kids and older readers.

This reminded me a lot of Ms. Marvel not because there are a lot of similarities between them (though they do exist in the same world, and I would really enjoy if these two characters met) but because of how much I enjoyed them.

I'm really excited about this one, and I can't wait to read more. Definitely going to order more of this if my library has more!

Slam! (Slam, Volume One) by Pamela Ribon and Veronica Fish

Published: August 15th, 2017 by BOOM! Box
Genre: Adult contemporary comic
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 112
Part of a series? This collects Slam! issues 1 to 4.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): In the fast-paced, hard-hitting, super cheeky, all-female world of banked track roller derby, two young women will have to decide if their budding friendship is stronger than the pull of a team when a win is on the line.

When life starts coming at you like a freight train, you have two options: run away screaming or lean into the hit.

From the first day of Fresh Meat Orientation for the Eastside Roller Girls, Jennifer and Maisie knew they’d be fast friends. But when they’re drafted to different teams, the pull of competition — and their increasingly messy personal lives — threaten to drive them apart. In roller derby you take your hits, get back up, and learn how to be a better jammer, a better blocker, a better lover, and a better friend. Derby can heal your heart... but it might break a bone or two in the process.

Thoughts: I'm kind of fifty-fifty on this. The art is really gorgeous, and I truly loved how so many of the characters had different body types and skin tones and hair choices and it was all around just beautifully illustrated. Not to mention all the hair colours and piercing choices, which are just fun to see from people who are, you know, normal? Like they're not villains or bad influences or anything.

However, it felt pretty rushed and somewhat underdeveloped. I liked the characters, and I was interested in their relationships, but I didn't feel the connections very deeply. It was more told to me that these characters were very close than shown to me that they were actually close. I also thought the end felt very unfinished. It probably wouldn't have felt so unfinished if I had the second volume of the series, but I didn't, so this is all I can judge it on. And from what I gather from a little research, this was originally cancelled after the issues in this volume, but later brought back as a mini-series to wrap the whole thing up, so. That's interesting.

Anyways, I am going to order the sequel to this if my library has it available and we'll see how it goes. If you're into roller derby, I'd check this one out. It seems like it had potential, and I'm interested to see how it wraps up.

So, is anyone else singing the Space Jam song now? *hums* Come on and SLAM, and welcome to the JAM... no, just me? Oh, well, that's fine.

Also, awwww yeah, it's October. My favourite month!

Peace and cookies,
Laina