Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The House is on Fire and the Kids are Eating Ice Cream: Thomas R. Langton

Title: The House is on Fire and the Kids are Eating Ice Cream
Author: Thomas R. Langton 
Genre: Poetry
Published: Aug 1st 2019
Publisher: Troubador

In this sequel to his debut collection, Thomas R. Langton writes a contrasting collection about a heart burning with passion and renewed with life. Covering a wide variety of subjects, from social commentary to relationships to myths and legends, this book is dark poetry unlike any other.
The beauty and hatred of the world is there for the taking in this melancholic, dark and downright gritty collection.





Rating

Hello Fellow Readers,

I think I've said before that I like poetry but I am not an expert. I can only tell you how the poetry makes me feel, and boy did this book make me feel. Typically when I start reading poetry it takes me a while to get used to the flow and style of an author. This causes me to read each poem multiple times before I can fully grasp how I feel about the poem and move on. With Langton my emotions and thoughts were immediate. There were multiple times where I had to stop and look around because Langton had to be watching me in order to know that I would connect with his poems so instantly. I felt like as I continued to read the poems, myself and the author were connecting and becoming friends, but not in that creepy way where I actually think that. 

There were times where I wondered how he knew me so well, times that I actually felt tears come to my eyes, even if they did not drop and other times where I thought 'what happened Langton?'. When I found out this was the sequel to a debut book of poems I knew I immediately needed to buy his first book and read that. This author will be going on my authors to watch list because I do not want to miss a book. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Hart & Seoul; Kristen Burnham

Title: Hart & Seoul (Hart & Seoul #1)
Author: Kristen Burnham
Genre: Young Adult, Romance 
Published: June 4th, 2019
Publisher: Mascot Books

Girl meets boy. Boy falls for girl.
Girl discovers boy is a runaway K-pop idol in hiding.
Merilee Hart has been doing her best to keep things together since her mother left, her art a welcome escape from her depressing new reality. But things seem to go even more awry the moment her next door neighbor's enigmatic and mysterious nephew arrives from South Korea. Lee is moody, cocky, and utterly infuriating. But when Merri's closest friends betray her and her father crushes her dream of going to art school, Merri finds herself drawn to Lee, who seems to live within even greater shadows than her own. And just when she thought things couldn't get crazier, Merri's world is upended when she discovers Lee's big and bizarre secret: he is none other than a runaway member of the K-pop mega-group Thunder.
It's not long before Thunder's fans, the Storm Chasers, begin to close in on Lee, ready to do whatever it takes to return their favorite idol to his rightful place in the band. Faced with the prospect of even more heartbreak and caught up in an international whirlwind that has a life of its own, Merri realizes that she must find a way to mend herself, gain control of her life, and pursue her dreams - her heart and soul depend on it.


Rating

*A Thank you to NetGalley, Mascot Books, and Kristen Burnham for letting me read this book for an honest and unbiased review*

Hello My Fellow Readers,

I had this review ready to go for Friday, but some reason Blogger decided that it didn't like my review so it deleted the post. I guess I wrote too many spoilers? Anyway, let me tell you about this book.

I am not much of a Kpop listener, but Kdramas I have watched and this book reminded me of one. It was very entertaining and I really loved Merri and Lee. Merri was great, she had a backbone and Burnham really made her reactions to things very believable there was never one time where I thought 'really!? why are you doing that?'. Lee was great and exactly what I thought a leading Kdrama boy would be like. I wish Burnham gave us something with his point-of-view but it isn't anything to gripe about

The one thing I really wish Burnham did was give me moments of Merri with her friends before they betrayed her because I just could not see what Merri had seen in them before this betrayal. Maybe that was the point? Maybe it's Merri who was opening her eyes and seeing what I was seeing this entire time? Maybe I just wanted the book to be longer because this was a really short book. I read this in one night, and I am really glad it is not a standalone because I really to see Merri and Lee's relationship goes, and how it will get past the obstacles they now face. Just know that I will be picking up the sequel when it comes out. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Would Like to Meet; Rachel Winters

Title: Would Like To Meet
Author: Rachel Winters
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Published: (Expected) Dec. 3rd 2019

Can you fall in love like they do in the movies?
It’s Evie Summers’s job to find out. Because if she can’t convince her film agency’s biggest client, Ezra Chester, to write the romantic-comedy screenplay he owes producers, her career will be over. The catch? Arrogant Ezra thinks rom-coms are unrealistic—and he’ll only put pen to paper if Evie proves to him that it’s possible to meet a man in real life the way it happens on the big screen.
Cynical Evie might not believe in happily ever after, but she’ll do what it takes to save the job that’s been her lifeline…even if it means reenacting iconic rom-com scenes in public. Spilling orange juice on a cute stranger? No problem. Leaving her number in books all over London to see who calls? Done. With a little help from her well-meaning friends and the adorable father-daughter duo who keep witnessing her humiliations, Evie is determined to show Ezra she can meet a man the way Sally met Harry. But can a workaholic who’s given up on love find a meet-cute of her very own?

Rating

*A Big Thank you to Edelweiss+, Rachel Winters, and G.P. Putnam's Sons for allowing me to read this book and give an honest and unbiased review*

Hello My Fellow Readers!

*Possible Spoilers Beware* So when I read the synopsis for Would Like to Meet I knew I had to read it, and I am so glad I did! Winters did a good job of making me love Evie, while I usually don't like the nice, clumsy, overworked protagonist there is something different about Evie. Maybe because she has a backbone, but she is just struggling with self-confidence, and we are made apparent early on, on why she has this issue. 

I like that while this was supposed to be a Romantic Comedy, this book doesn't just focus on the romance aspect but we get Evie's self-love journey as well. Stuck in a job that doesn't appreciate her, still reeling from a break-up, and planning a hen-do (bachelorette party), Evie isn't happy. She keeps telling herself that she is and everyone who asks that she is but it's apparent that she is not. 

While I loved reading the book, it was pretty apparent how the plot was going to go. There was a couple of twists I didn't see but overall it was pretty predictable. Did this ruin my reading experience? Not at all! I still enjoyed the book immensely. I do wish we would have gotten a bit more to what happened after the climax of events, a year later prologue but I don't blame the author. Might I suggests a Would like to Marry sequel?

Challenges



Friday, August 23, 2019

My Requested Books



Hello Fellow Readers,

As a book blogger, I do request books to read before they are released (and sometimes after too!) I don't usually share them but I decided to start sharing my monthly requests. I only request books from two different sites; Netgalley and Edelweiss+. I restrict myself to these two sites because they are reliable, and I don't want to overwhelm myself by requesting too many books, which is something that can happen if you are not careful. Here are the books that I have picked or requested this week.

From NetGalley -  Read Now

Not all ghost stories are simple sightings and things going bump in the night. Not all ghosts are left behind because of simple unfinished business. No, sometimes that unfinished business is messy, complicated, and even deadly. These are not your typical ghost stories—they are desire, love, and most importantly, revenge—all rolled into one. Revenge for a love stolen away, a love that never was, a retribution for a horrific act, or even an act of war. Containing original stories and poetry by A.K. Alexander, Sara Dobie Bauer, Clint Collins, Harley Easton, Rhonda Parrish, Wendy Sparrow, Elesha Teskey and ReLynn Vaughn.








From Edelweiss+ -  Requested (Approved)

Officer Anne Capestan and her squad of misfits must turn their attention to a more personal case--the murder of Capestan's ex-husband's father, a lifelong member of the Paris police force who had no shortage of enemies.

After their successful solving of three cold cases and exposing corruption at the very highest levels of the Paris police force, Officer Anne Capestan's team of oddballs and no-hopers should be in a celebratory mood. However, now despised by their colleagues at 36, quai des Orfevres and worried for their future, morale has never been lower among the members of the Awkward Squad.

Capestan is doing her best to motivate the team, but even she cannot maintain a cheerful facade when she has been assigned to investigate the murder of Officer Serge Rufus, the father of her ex-husband. Worse, it soon appears that his murder is linked to two other victims, both of whom were warned by the killer before they struck.

Can Capestan marshal the forces to solve another hopeless mystery, or will her team's previous success be proven just a fluke?


From: NetGalley - Read Now

In this sequel to his debut collection, Thomas R. Langton writes a contrasting collection about a heart burning with passion and renewed with life. Covering a wide variety of subjects, from social commentary to relationships to myths and legends, this book is dark poetry unlike any other.

The beauty and hatred of the world is there for the taking in this melancholic, dark and downright gritty collection.










From Edelweiss+ - Downloadable

Can you fall in love like they do in the movies?

It’s Evie Summers’s job to find out. Because if she can’t convince her film agency’s biggest client, Ezra Chester, to write the romantic-comedy screenplay he owes producers, her career will be over. The catch? Arrogant Ezra thinks rom-coms are unrealistic—and he’ll only put pen to paper if Evie proves to him that it’s possible to meet a man in real life the way it happens on the big screen.

Cynical Evie might not believe in happily ever after, but she’ll do what it takes to save the job that’s been her lifeline…even if it means reenacting iconic rom-com scenes in public. Spilling orange juice on a cute stranger? No problem. Leaving her number in books all over London to see who calls? Done. With a little help from her well-meaning friends and the adorable father-daughter duo who keep witnessing her humiliations, Evie is determined to show Ezra she can meet a man the way Sally met Harry. But can a workaholic who’s given up on love find a meet-cute of her very own?



From NetGalley - Requested (Approved)

From the acclaimed and award-winning author of The Hunger comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world's most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of its sister ship, the Britannic.

Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the Titanicfrom the moment they set sail. The Titanic's passengers expected to enjoy an experience befitting the much-heralded ship's maiden voyage, but instead, amid mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, find themselves in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone. While some of the guests and crew shrug off strange occurrences, several--including maid Annie Hebbley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim--are convinced there's something more sinister going on. And then disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together by going to work as a nurse on the sixth sailing of the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship to support British forces fighting World War I. When she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier, she is at first thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the tragic night four years earlier. But soon his presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past--as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.

 


From NetGalley - Requested (Pending)

Girl meets boy.
Boy falls for girl.
Girl discovers boy is a runaway K-pop idol in hiding.


Merilee Hart has been doing her best to keep things together since her mother left, her art a welcome escape from her depressing new reality. But things seem to go even more awry the moment her next door neighbor's enigmatic and mysterious nephew arrives from South Korea. Lee is moody, cocky, and utterly infuriating. But when Merri's closest friends betray her and her father crushes her dream of going to art school, Merri finds herself drawn to Lee, who seems to live within even greater shadows than her own. And just when she thought things couldn't get crazier, Merri's world is upended when she discovers Lee's big and bizarre secret: he is none other than a runaway member of the K-pop mega-group Thunder.

It's not long before Thunder's fans, the Storm Chasers, begin to close in on Lee, ready to do whatever it takes to return their favorite idol to his rightful place in the band. Faced with the prospect of even more heartbreak and caught up in an international whirlwind that has a life of its own, Merri realizes that she must find a way to mend herself, gain control of her life, and pursue her dreams - her heart and soul depend on it.




From NetGalley - Requested (Pending)

The magic calls her.
A prophecy binds her.
The ancestors guide her.

Dr. Taran Grim, a young professor of occult studies, knows the written history of witches better than anyone in her field. And she should. She’s one of them.

After a mysterious stranger arrives at her office inquiring about the mythical staff of Woden, Taran’s curiosity reveals a millennia-old prophesy directly tied to her. The answers wait in Bryden, England and the only person who can help her gain access to the hidden valley is the descendant of Ruhmactir, and a member of the shape-shifting Geri clan: Collens “Coll” Donovan.

But the Donovans have secrets of their own, and Taran’s underdeveloped magic is wreaking strange havoc on her life. If she can’t manage her magic and strike a truce with Coll, they’ll fail to prevent the prophesied event known as Deireanhexe: the end of the hexen race.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Amazon First Reads Aug 2019



Hello Fellow Readers,

Another month, another book. So excited to see what is available, I hope it is something good because I am ready! So let's see what the choice are.


A beautiful home. A loving wife. And in-laws to die for.
Gemma Robinson comes into Elliot’s life like a whirlwind, and they marry and settle into his home. When she asks him if her parents can come to stay for a couple of weeks, he is keen to oblige – he just doesn’t quite know what he’s signing up for.
The Robinsons arrive with Gemma’s sister, Chloe, a mysterious young woman who refuses to speak or leave her room. Elliot starts to suspect that the Robinsons are hiding a dark secret. And then there are the scars on his wife’s body that she won’t talk about . . .
As Elliot’s in-laws become more comfortable in his home, encroaching on all aspects of his life, it becomes clear that they have no intention of moving out. To protect Gemma, and their marriage, Elliot delves into the Robinsons’ past. But is he prepared for the truth?


A soul-stirring novel about the bonds between mother and child and the redemption that comes with facing the past and letting it go.
Thirty-two-year-old Jess Abbot has lost everything: her job, her apartment, and—most heart-wrenching—her eight-year-old son, Chance, to a tragic accident. Haunted by memories and grief, Jess packs what’s left and heads for the small mountain town of Pine Lake, where she takes a position as caregiver to an eccentric old woman.
A rumored clairvoyant, Lucy is strange but welcoming and immediately intuits Jess as a “loose end” in need of closure. But Jess isn’t the only guest in Lucy’s large Victorian home. There’s also Star, a teenage runaway with a secret too painful to share. And the little boy with heart-shaped stones, who comes with a hope for reconciliation—and a warning.
Soon Jess learns that she’s not the only lost soul running from the ghosts of the past. She and Star have been brought together for a reason: to be saved by the very thing that destroyed them




Berlin, 1989. As the wall between East and West falls, Miriam Winter cares for her dying father, Henryk. When he cries out for someone named Frieda – and Miriam discovers an Auschwitz tattoo hidden under his watch strap – Henryk’s secret history begins to unravel.
Searching for more clues of her father’s past, Miriam finds an inmate uniform from the Ravensbrück women’s camp concealed among her mother’s things. Within its seams are dozens of letters to Henryk written by Frieda. The letters reveal the disturbing truth about the ‘Rabbit Girls’, young women experimented on at the camp. And amid their tales of sacrifice and endurance, Miriam pieces together a love story that has been hidden away in Henryk’s heart for almost fifty years.
Inspired by these extraordinary women, Miriam strives to break through the walls she has built around herself. Because even in the darkest of times, hope can survive.



Award-winning journalist Vivian Ho exposes a shattering true-crime story, shedding light on America’s new lost generation.
In 2015, the senseless Bay Area murders of twenty-three-year-old Audrey Carey and sixty-seven-year-old Steve Carter were personal tragedies for the victims’ families. But they also shed light on a more complex issue. The killers were three drifters scrounging for a living among a burgeoning counterculture population. Soon this community of runaways and transients became vulnerable scapegoats of a modern witch hunt. The supposedly progressive residents of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, only two generations removed from the Summer of Love, now feared all of society’s outcasts as threats.
In Those Who Wander, Vivian Ho delves deep into a rising subculture that’s changing the very fabric of her city and all of urban America. Moving beyond the disheartening statistics, she gives voices to these young people—victims of abuse, failed foster care, mental illness, and drug addiction. She also doesn’t ignore the threat they pose to themselves and to others as a dangerous dark side emerges. With alarming urgency, she asks what can be done to save the next generation of America’s vagabond youth.


From the award-winning author of We, the Drowned comes a brutal, unflinching, and bestselling epic novel of a platoon of soldiers descending into the insanity of the war in Afghanistan.
Dispatched to fight the Taliban as part of the NATO forces, the soldiers of the Third Platoon arrive in a desert hell intent on testing their courage and endurance.
Among them are the charismatic platoon leader Schrøder, a former games designer fascinated by the imaginative potential of war; Colonel Steffensen, whose negotiating tactics will have deadly consequences; Sidekick, the LifeLogger whose online “war memorial” will blur into horror; and the hardened but vulnerable Hannah, who must bury her womanhood—or sacrifice her soul.
Confronted by a betrayal that no military training could prepare them for, the soldiers must embark on a desperate mission to track down an enemy whose methods are as murderous as they are unfathomable.
As the hunters become the hunted, the mission turns into a depraved, hallucinatory voyage into an Afghanistan they never knew existed. With the Third Platoon’s most fundamental notions of good and evil called into question, survival becomes their only mission.


A father comes to terms with his mortality and secrets in a heartrending novel of family and forgiveness from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hundred-Foot Journey.
It is a time of reckoning for José María Álvarez, an aristocratic Spanish banker living in a Swiss village with his American wife. Nearing the end of a long and tumultuous life, he’s overcome by hallucinatory memories of the past. Among his most cherished memories are those of his boyhood in 1950s Franco-era Spain and the bucolic afternoons he spent salmon fishing on the Sella River with his father, uncle, and much-loved younger brother. But these fond reveries are soon eclipsed by something greater. José’s regrets and dark family secrets are flooding back, as is the devastating tragedy that drove José into exile and makes him bear the burden of a soul-deep guilt.
Now, as his three estranged sons return to their father’s side, José hopes to outpace death long enough to finally put his house in order and exorcise its demons. Only in his quest for redemption can José begin to understand the meaning of his life—and what his legacy has meant to others.





Life is more fun when you’re a tiger like me!
A little boy—um, no, a tiger!—tells us all about what he gets up to on an ordinary day: how he wakes up in his tiger den, what he eats for breakfast at his feeding spot, and how little tigers feel when they are wide awake, hungry, thirsty, or in the mood for adventures. But at night, even the wildest of tigers is happy to curl up in bed with Tiger-Mom and Tiger-Dad and become a cuddly little tiger cub.








Chasing a cybercriminal into the pitch-black heart of the Dark Web.
Special Agent Lisa Tanchik is the best at taking down cybercriminals. So when the FBI discovers a multibillion-dollar black market online, she’s tasked with finding the creator and bringing him to justice. Donning one of her many digital disguises, Tanchik goes undercover into the network.
Brilliant college student Nate Fallon started his site as an idealistic experiment. But his platform has made illegal trade not only more efficient—but also more dangerous. Now the FBI aren’t the only ones out to get him. As profits soar, a criminal organization casts its monstrous gaze on Fallon, and danger leaps from cyberspace into reality.
Feeling pressure from both sides of the law, Fallon is forced to make a decision with shattering consequences. Can Agent Tanchik find Fallon before his dangerous infrastructure falls into the wrong hands?

This month I have decided to choose Here to Stay by Mark Edwards. All the books sound really good, but ultimately this was the book that caught my attention the most. I did almost go with Black Nowhere but decided against it. What book would you have picked?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Music Mondays: Lizzo


This Meme is hosted by Lauren at Always Me, Check them out!

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).

I have been obsessed with Lizzo's Music lately. Her music is just so lively, dance-worthy and empowering, which is something I need when I feel school or life is just stressing me out! Below are my three favorite songs of hers along with my favorite lyrics in those songs, check it out!




Black, white, ebony
All sound good to me
Two-tone recipe
J.F. Kennedy's
Got good chemistry
Don't matter to me
Kiss hood celebrities
'Cause I live everything


You can be my lover
'Cause love looks better in color



I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that bitch
Even when I'm crying crazy
Yeah, I got boy problems, that's the human in me
Bling bling, then I solve 'em, that's the goddess in me
You coulda had a bad bitch, non-committal
Help you with your career just a little
You're 'posed to hold me down, but you're holding me back
And that's the sound of me not calling you back

Why men great 'til they gotta be great?
Don't text me, tell it straight to my face
Best friend sat me down in the salon chair
Shampoo press, get you out of my hair
Fresh photos with the bomb lighting
New man on the Minnesota Vikings
Truth hurts, needed something more exciting



Woo girl, need to kick off your shoes 
Got to take a deep breath, time to focus on you
 All the big fights, long nights that you been through
 I got a bottle of Tequila I been saving for you
Boss up and change your life
You can have it all, no sacrifice
 I know he did you wrong, we can make it right
 So go and let it all hang out tonight

So walk your fine ass out the door
 'Cause he don't love you anymore



Friday, August 16, 2019

Fanny Bower Puts Herself Out There; Julia Ariss

Title: Fanny Bower Puts Herself Out There
Author: Julia Ariss
Published: Nov. 24th, 2013
Fanny Bower is not a joiner. She leads a quiet existence - keeping to the sidelines, avoiding high jinks, living in her head and waiting for something momentous to happen. A few weeks into a new job, at the urging of her socially savvy colleague, she decides to begin afresh to conquer her fears and release her inner dynamo – whatever that is.
Her inaugural foray at an office cocktail reception goes horribly awry when she finds herself caught up in mayhem and thrust into the spotlight, placing her at odds with her handsome and uber-powerful employer who takes a dim view of her shenanigans. Determined to fix her crippling social anxiety, stay employed, and discover her life’s purpose, she puts herself out there. Her new “butterfly wings” are tested as they flutter incessantly between mystifying small talk and mortifying gaffes in a bid to unleash a charm offensive – whatever that means. At the very height of her confusion, she is spurred to action by the plight of a friend. She plunges headlong into a situation fraught with uncertainty and risks everything, including the alienation of the one person she’s managed to captivate in the process


Rating

Hello Fellow Readers!

I really wanted to like Fanny Bower puts herself out there, and I did for the first half of the book, but then somewhere along the way it went from fun quick read to annoying. I can't quite pinpoint how or when this happened, but it made finishing this book a bit of a nightmare. Originally I thought it would take maybe a day or two, but a day turned into a week, then two weeks. Finally, I just sat down and toughed it out.

First of all Fanny, I loved her in the beginning. An introvert trying to change her life and meet new people, which then fun hijinks ensue. A caring soul, who seemed to have a bit of moxie when challenged, but suddenly serious issues were introduced and Fanny became too nice. I've gotten to the point where too nice characters seem boring. This doesn't mean I don't like them, but when someone takes advantage or demeans the character I expect them to do something. Don't get me wrong, I did like some aspects of Fanny's character, I like that she does help, isn't sociable and perfect, and has a thing for scarves but she needs to get a little of a backbone.

Secondly, I think the inclusion of a certain serious plot point made it go a little downhill for me. I expected fun-loving, wacky with a hint of romance, but the second half was a little too serious for me. Plus, the pacing was not my cup of tea, around the 9th chapter is where the story seemed to pick up with this plot point but it was just too late.

Now, I did like that the romance aspect was not front and center, No insta-love here (thank you!). I also liked that Fanny was kind of oblivious to it, even though the readers knew exactly what Jack was doing and why he was suddenly always there. Anyway, this book just wasn't my cup of tea, but that does not mean it isn't yours.

Have you read this book? Did you like it?

Monday, August 5, 2019

#CurrentlyReading


Hello Fellow Readers!

I read waaaay too many books at one time, but I can't help it I always needs multiple books to read. It's just how I am. Right now I guess I am in a mystery and fantasy mood since most of them at of that genre. Take a look, have you read any of these, or plan to read them?


Title: Cliffhanger (The Belinda & Bennett Mysteries #1)
Author: Amy Saunders
Genre: Coxy Mystery
Making her grand re-entry into Portside, Rhode Island, Belinda Kittridge expected fun, sun, and sugar cookies.
Instead, she gets one jilted lover braced for round two, an old rival on the hunt, and the murder of a former classmate and friend. Even worse, Belinda must return to the events surrounding a tragic sailing accident to set things right.
But new possibilities emerge in the form of security expert Bennett Tate. Between her connections and his know-how, they're bound to catch the killer - and kick the skeletons out of the closet for good.





Title: The Frame-Up (The Gold Arrow #1)
Author: Meghan Scott Molin
Genre: Mystery; Romance
MG Martin lives and breathes geek culture. She even works as a writer for the comic book company she idolized as a kid. But despite her love of hooded vigilantes, MG prefers her comics stay on the page.
But when someone in LA starts recreating crime scenes from her favorite comic book, MG is the LAPD’s best—and only—lead. She recognizes the golden arrow left at the scene as the calling card of her favorite comic book hero. The thing is…superheroes aren’t real. Are they?
When the too-handsome-for-his-own-good Detective Kildaire asks for her comic book expertise, MG is more than up for the adventure. Unfortunately, MG has a teeny little tendency to not follow rules. And her off-the-books sleuthing may land her in a world of trouble.
Because for every superhero, there is a supervillain. And the villain of her story may be closer than she thinks…



Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!


Title: Edinburgh Twilight (Ian Hamilton Mysteries #1)
Author: Carole Lawrence
Genre: Mystery; Historical Fiction
As a new century approaches, Edinburgh is a city divided. The wealthy residents of New Town live in comfort, while Old Town’s cobblestone streets are clotted with criminals, prostitution, and poverty.
Detective Inspector Ian Hamilton is no stranger to Edinburgh’s darkest crimes. Scarred by the mysterious fire that killed his parents, he faces his toughest case yet when a young man is found strangled in Holyrood Park.
With little evidence aside from a strange playing card found on the body, Hamilton engages the help of his aunt, a gifted photographer, and George Pearson, a librarian with a shared interest in the criminal mind. But the body count is rising. As newspapers spin tales of the “Holyrood Strangler,” panic sets in across the city. And with each victim, the murderer is getting closer to Hamilton, the one man who dares to stop him.



Title: Fanny Bower Puts Herself Out There
Author: Julia Ariss
Genre: Romance
Fanny Bower is not a joiner. She leads a quiet existence - keeping to the sidelines, avoiding high jinks, living in her head and waiting for something momentous to happen. A few weeks into a new job, at the urging of her socially savvy colleague, she decides to begin afresh to conquer her fears and release her inner dynamo – whatever that is.
Her inaugural foray at an office cocktail reception goes horribly awry when she finds herself caught up in mayhem and thrust into the spotlight, placing her at odds with her handsome and uber-powerful employer who takes a dim view of her shenanigans. Determined to fix her crippling social anxiety, stay employed, and discover her life’s purpose, she puts herself out there. Her new “butterfly wings” are tested as they flutter incessantly between mystifying small talk and mortifying gaffes in a bid to unleash a charm offensive – whatever that means.
At the very height of her confusion, she is spurred to action by the plight of a friend. She plunges headlong into a situation fraught with uncertainty and risks everything, including the alienation of the one person she’s managed to captivate in the process. Fans of quirky romantic satire will find Fanny’s journey irresistible.


Title: Blood Curse
Author: Quincy J. Allen
Genre: Steampunk; Fantasy; Western
Ancient Foes - Airship Battles - A Hidden City A ruddy sun has set on the gauntlet that nearly killed Jake and his companions in San Francisco. Storm clouds loom on the horizon, promising the inevitability of an airship battle with the nefarious Colonel Szilgyi.... Blood Curse, the second book in the Blood War Chronicles, drops Jake into the middle of a war between the Free Territories and the Empire of Texas. In the shadow of warships, mechanized infantry, and spies, he discovers a world he couldn't possibly have imagined and begins to understand what fate has in store for him. Jake doesn't want that destiny, but his growing feelings for the Lady Corina Danesti lead him down a path of death and destruction on a scale that could encompass worlds.



Title: Windwitch (The Witchlands #2)
Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.



Title: The Girl and the Clockwork Cat (Clockwork Enterprises #1)
Author: Nikki McCormack
Genre: Steampunk; Fantasy; Science Fiction
Feisty teenage thief Maeko and her maybe-more-than-friend Chaff have scraped out an existence in Victorian London's gritty streets, but after a near-disastrous heist leads her to a mysterious clockwork cat and two dead bodies, she's thrust into a murder mystery that may cost her everything she holds dear.
Her only allies are Chaff, the cat, and Ash, the son of the only murder suspect, who offers her enough money to finally get off the streets if she'll help him find the real killer.
What starts as a simple search ultimately reveals a conspiracy stretching across the entire city. And as Maeko and Chaff discover feelings for each other neither was prepared to admit, she's forced to choose whether she'll stay with him or finally escape the life of a street rat. But with danger closing in around them, the only way any of them will get out of this alive is if all of them work together.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets; Sudhir Venkatesh

Title: Gang Leader for a Day (A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the streets) 
Author: Sudhir Venkatesh
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Penguin Press
Published: Jan. 10th, 2008

When first-year graduate student Sudhir Venkatesh walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects, he hoped to find a few people willing to take a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty--and impress his professors with his boldness. He never imagined that as a result of this assignment he would befriend a gang leader named JT and spend the better part of a decade embedded inside the projects under JT’s protection. From a privileged position of unprecedented access, Venkatesh observed JT and the rest of his gang as they operated their crack-selling business, made peace with their neighbors, evaded the law, and rose up or fell within the ranks of the gang’s complex hierarchical structure. Examining the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, and often corrupt struggle to survive in an urban war zone, Gang Leader for a Day also tells the story of the complicated friendship that develops between Venkatesh and JT--two young and ambitious men a universe apart.

My Rating

Hello Fellow Readers,

I originally read this for a class I had, but I was surprised at how much I liked this book. First of all, I really like the way Venkatesh writes, it's informal but informative and doesn't leave me yawning and waiting for the chapter to end. In fact, I read this in one sitting. I was hooked from the first page to the last. I am often a fan of non-fiction books, mostly because I find reality very stimulating to read. However, even if you did not like non-fiction books I think you may like this. Venkatesh has a way of writing that makes you forget that you are not reading fiction.

Secondly, I like the honesty that Venkatesh uses when he writes. He has a way of making me sympathize with a gang leader, while also letting you know how he feels as well. There were moments that I forgot that JT was a gang leader, that he was dangerous, and has probably hurt people, Venkatesh admits that he forgot this too, but we are reminded by certain events that danger is never too far away.

Lastly, as a student (who is graduating very soon, GO ME!) who is studying anthropology a lot of his methods, and his errors are informative for my line of work. He doesn't try to throw facts at me and just say 'here this works', instead he tells me what he did if it worked, and the consequences or achievements that happened.

Challenges



Monday, July 22, 2019

Re-watch Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World



As bass guitarist for a garage-rock band, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has never had trouble getting a girlfriend; usually, the problem is getting rid of them. But when Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) skates into his heart, he finds she has the most troublesome baggage of all: an army of ex-boyfriends who will stop at nothing to eliminate him from her list of suitors
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, and Ellen Wong
Written by: Michael Bacall, Edgar Wright
Directed by: Edgar Wright

*Spoiler Alert!*


My Fellow Movie Watchers,

So full disclosure when I was younger I had the biggest crush on Michael Cera. His awkward nerdy mannerisms just tingled my little heart and sent it all aflutter. That is not why I liked the movie, in fact, I love this movie because it combines my three favorite movie features; Action, Music, and Amazing Visuals.

First, let us talk about the action. Michael Cera is not your typical action Hero but I think he did a good job making things believable (or as believable as this movie can get). The scenes were choreographed very well, and flow well with the movie. Each battle was different than the next and really kept the entertainment up.

Secondly, the music was amazing, this combined with the great visuals is what really made the movie for me. Even the short songs were great and fun. One thing I will want to mention is the characters, most are kinda jerks, but that is a part of the appeal of each character. Scott (Michael Cera) is actually very selfish and gets progressively more of a jerk as the movie goes on. Part of it is the stress of having to battle Ramona's (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), evil ex-boyfriends. Wallace (Kieran Culkin) the best friend doesn't help too much, even though he is my favorite character. Then we have Knives (Ellen Wong) who Scott not only dumped for Ramona but also cheated on and didn't even give much thought to.

I did like how the ending helped him realize how much of a jerk he was, as well as showing us that Love isn't always everything you have to have self-respect as well. I also want to mention the number of actors that are in this movie, besides the main cast that I listed above you also had roles by Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzman, Brie Larson, and Brandon Routh, which took me at a surprise because I do not remember this.

This movie, as everyone knows, is based off a manga. I have another confession, I've never read it. I know, I really need to read it, once I can I will try to either borrow it from the library or purchase it myself!