Monthly Archives: August 2014

ARC Review – The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope, J.T. Petty & David Rubín

18465567Title:  The Rise of Aurora West

Author: Paul Pope, J.T Petty, and David Rubin

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: The extraordinary world introduced in Paul Pope’s Battling Boy is rife with monsters and short on heroes… but in this action-driven extension of the Battling Boy universe, we see it through a new pair of eyes: Aurora West, daughter of Arcopolis’s last great hero, Haggard West. A prequel toBattling Boy, The Rise of Aurora West follows the young hero as she seeks to uncover the mystery of her mother’s death, and to find her place in a world overrun with supernatural monsters and all-too-human corruption. With a taut, fast-paced script from Paul Pope and JT Petty and gorgeous, kinetic art from David Rubin, The Rise of Aurora West(the first of two volumes) is a tour de force in comics storytelling.

Huge thank you to First Second for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I recently read Battling Boy before it’s Eisner win, and I have to say, it’s definitely one of the more cheeky superhero-esque stories out there. Battling Boy is actually a young boy who behaves like a young boy, and admittedly, that’s where my greatest enjoyment came from the story. Colour me excited when the prequel The Rise of Aurora West appeared in my mailbox.

Aurora’s story is mostly hinted at in Battling Boy and isn’t fully fleshed out. Here, we get a huge glimpse into Aurora’s life and relationship with her father, the great hero Haggard West. Aurora was my favourite character in the previous story so I was delighted to hear she was getting a two book prequel that follows her story. She’s such a kick-ass, no nonsense kinda gal, but we do see a softer side to her character, especially in relation to the closeness of her father, which I adored. I thought that was so wonderfully woven into the story and I genuinely found myself caring about Aurora and Haggard’s relationship.

There’s also an awesome amount of action in this book and it’s very fast-paced and page-turning. Furthermore, the monster designs are really fun and creepy, though considering my ARC was in black and white, I’d be interested to see how the colouring is going to look like once the final version is out. If you lovedBattling Boy, you’ll definitely enjoy this prequel, and I know for me personally, I’m going to have a hard time waiting for the next instalment of this to drop. Highly recommend for those who love war torn worlds and action-oriented storytelling.

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ARC August Update #2

 

ARC-August-2015ARC August Challenge!

 

 This Challenge is Hosted by Octavia over at Read. Sleep. Repeat (Sign Up Post Linked!)

 

Here are the ten ARCs I am going to attempt to complete this month.

 

  • The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope (Release Date: September 30th)
  • I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (Release Date: September 16th)
  • Sparkers by Eleanor Glewwe (Release Date: September 30th)
  • Spirit’s Key by Edith Cohn (Release Date: September 9th)
  • The Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane (Release Date: September 16th)
  • Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang (Release Date: September 9th)
  • The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry (Release Date: September 23rd)
  • Firebug by Lish McBride (Release Date: September 23rd)
  • 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith (Release Date: September 2nd)
  • Feral by Holly Schindler (Release Date: August 26th)

Progress Report: I finished two more ARCs this week, Spirit’s Key and The Evidence of Things Not Seen. The first book I absolutely adored, the second book… well you can wait for my review to see how I felt about it. Let’s just say the feelings weren’t positive. I’m about 21% through Holly Schindler’s Feral, which has been a mixed bag of a read for me simply because the tension level is very all over the place. I still think I liked her middle grade book I read a lot more than this one. I’m also reading The 100 because Netgalley offered me it and the upcoming sequel as galleys, so I’m going to make some time for those. Should be tricky though considering… I’m getting MARRIED on Sunday!

Yep! Married! And then I’ve got out of town guests staying after the wedding for a whole week afterwards so I think all my reading is going to take a nose dive for a bit. Still I’m going to try my best, but I make NO promises! Anywho, how is your ARC August going? What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments!

 

ARC Review – Spirit’s Key by Edith Cohn

22054672Title:  Spirit’s Key

Author: Edith Cohn

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: By now, twelve-year-old Spirit Holden should have inherited the family gift: the ability to see the future. But when she holds a house key in her hand like her dad does to read its owner’s destiny, she can’t see anything. Maybe it’s because she can’t get over the loss of her beloved dog, Sky, who died mysteriously. Sky was Spirit’s loyal companion, one of the wild dogs that the local islanders believe possess dangerous spirits. As more dogs start dying and people become sick, too, almost everyone is convinced that these dogs and their spirits are to blame—except for Spirit. Then Sky’s ghost appears, and Spirit is shaken. But his help may be the key to unlocking her new power and finding the cause of the mysterious illness before it’s too late.

 Huge thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) and Netgalley for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

What an enchanting debut middle grade novel! I was completely hooked into the story of this book, especially because it’s about a young girl’s connection to his missing dog. Spirit’s family has the power to see the future, and the story really revolves around Spirit learning how to cope with being given a gift she might not have wanted in the first place.

What I loved the most about this book was genuine amount of emotion. Spirit is a surprisingly resourceful and intelligent young girl, but she’s equally shy and emotional as well. I adore young heroines who are very methodical, and Spirit is exactly that. I think the way Cohn weaved a lot of the relationships in this novel was also fantastically done — you get the sense that Spirit cares about everyone she encounters, even if she struggles to figure out how she can help them.

Also the relationship between Spirit and Sky? Perfection. Absolutely wonderful. I love dog stories and this one has a lot going for it, plus the ending completely broke my heart (in a good way). Cohn just has this magical way of weaving relationships in this story, and the writing is just so strong that it’s easy to be captivated by all the events and characters.

This is an amazing middle grade novel, and it’s one that will completely appeal to those who love stories of friendship and animals. It’s sweet, thoughtful, and above all else, an enchanting read.

ARC Review – Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson

21469148Title:  Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula

Author: Andi Waton

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Princess Decomposia is overworked and underappreciated.  This princess of the underworld has plenty of her own work to do but always seems to find herself doing her layabout father’s job, as well. The king doesn’t feel quite well, you see. Ever. So the princess is left scurrying through the halls, dodging her mummy, werewolf, and ghost subjects, always running behind and always buried under a ton of paperwork. Oh, and her father just fired the chef, so now she has to hire a new cook as well. Luckily for Princess Decomposia, she makes a good hire in Count Spatula, the vampire chef with a sweet tooth. He’s a charming go-getter of a blood-sucker, and pretty soon the two young ghouls become friends. And then…more than friends? Maybe eventually, but first Princess Decomposia has to sort out her life. And with Count Spatula at her side, you can be sure she’ll succeed.

Huge thank you to First Second and Netgalley for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

This graphic novel is adorkable. I adore the artwork in this story and it really suits the quirkiness of the narrative. Princess Decomposia is taking care of her sick father, and well, he’s a bit nutty. She is terrible at taking care of herself until an sweet, charming, chef named Count Spatula appears and gives her more of a reason to remember her meals.

This romance is really sweet and charming. The characters in this story are so much fun and really crazy, yet I couldn’t stop reading. There’s excellent humour and the book just oozes with charm. I almost wish this comic had been in colour, but the black and white panels really grew on me and suited the overall tone the story is attempting to tell.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story, and it’s hard not to love a story that is about ghouls and ghosts in love. This would make a fantastic Halloween read, and it’s one worth checking out when it releases next Februar

ARC August Update #1 & #shitihavetoomanybooks Read-a-thon Wrap-up!

ARC-August-2015

ARC August Challenge!

 This Challenge is Hosted by Octavia over at Read. Sleep. Repeat (Sign Up Post Linked!)

Here are the ten ARCs I am going to attempt to complete this month.

  • The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope (Release Date: September 30th)
  • I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (Release Date: September 16th)
  • Sparkers by Eleanor Glewwe (Release Date: September 30th)
  • Spirit’s Key by Edith Cohn (Release Date: September 9th)
  • The Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane (Release Date: September 16th)
  • Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang (Release Date: September 9th)
  • The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry (Release Date: September 23rd)
  • Firebug by Lish McBride (Release Date: September 23rd)
  • 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith (Release Date: September 2nd)
  • Feral by Holly Schindler (Release Date: August 26th)

So I did pretty good this first week and completed three ARCs, all with reviews coming soon on the blog. I think my pace is going good and steady, but we’ll see how things go and if I will be able to keep it up.

#shitihavetoomanybooks Read-a-thon Wrap Up

So Regan @ Peruse Project came up with the idea of doing a casual read-a-thon to whittle down massive TBRs. You’ve all seen my Shelf of Shame so I probably need many read-a-thons in order to take my TBR down, so let’s face it: I’m screwed for awhile since I have a book buying problem. I’m considering jumping back on my book buying ban again (I’ve still been really good these last few months not buying books but still…).

In any case, I think I made really good progress as the event ran from August 1st until August 8th at midnight. I managed to read ten books for it! I’m kinda lazy and don’t have a picture to share, but here’s a list:

  • Saga Volumes 1-3 by Brian K. Vaughan
  • 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
  • The Art of Getting Stared At by Laura Langston
  • Sex Criminals Volume 1 by Matt Fraction
  • Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  • The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope
  • Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson

Yes, I realize I read a lot of graphic novels and I’m sure you’ll all remind me I’m a cheater but I love graphic novels and I had a few on my review plate so I figured I’d knock them out. I loved all these books and a few of them you’ll see reviews for soonish.

… I’m still trying to get used to the fact that I am going to be a married woman in week. Well see how my reading progress goes for the next little while!

ARC Review – 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

20493997Title:  100 Sideways Miles

Author: Andrew Smith

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

Huge thank you to Simon &​ Schuster and Edelweiss for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I had a hard time with Grasshopper Jungle when I tried to read it earlier this year. It struggled to keep me engaged and I felt so lost reading it. However, I didn’t want to give up on Andrew Smith’s books because I’ve heard so many amazing things about his work and characters, and I’m happy to say that 100 Sideways Miles may have been the right book for me to start with.

I loved Finn’s narration throughout the story. He had such a genuine tone of voice and he’s very sweet and dweeby. Furthermore he always tries to be a good person even when things go sour, and he gets a lot of my sympathy considering the variety of embarrassing situations he faces throughout the story. His feelings for Julia were also so sweet and boyish, and I think that’s why I loved his character so much. He is very much what you expect from a teenage boy and he felt real despite this novel having moments that felt like the film “Stranger than Fiction.”

Cade Hernandez was also an amazing character and some of his moments really tugged my heartstrings. Smith has a way of making these wonderfully realistic characters who are easy for the reader to cling to (particularly in this story) and I was so invested in everyone’s storylines. I was so sad when Julia moved away because it was like you could see the cracks in Finn’s heart! I just found myself loving a lot of how these characters were thinking and feeling throughout.

This is a book made of feelings, and it’s amazing because of it. It’s hard not to be emotionally and physically invested in this book. These characters really share themselves with the reader in ways some YA books just don’t understand or do. You want to care about these characters, you want to hope for the best for them, even when life is shit.

This book is something I feel like a lot of people will connect with, even unexpectedly. I had such low expectations and I was worried I wasn’t going to enjoy this book at all, so I was so happy to be wrong in this case because these characters are just so memorable that after I finished it, I was sad to let them go.

River & Sam’s Fave Books of July

It’s August! And August means insanity and hopefully lots of reading? River and I have been so swamped with our life obligations that I am super sure this is going to be the month where the two of us slow down a bit. Admittedly, I am still going to try that August ARC Challenge, but I have no idea if I was a bit overly ambitious with that list. We’ll see, ya know?

Anywho, July was a good reading month for the two of us, so here’s our favourite reads from July.

River’s Pick:

18406862

 

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Are any of us really surprised by River’s choice? I am certainly not, though I admit I still haven’t read this book yet (cue River throwing crap at me until I do it), but I wasn’t huge on the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. However, because this is Maggie, I know I’m going to read it. River stated the following on her Goodreads:

“It is impossible for me to review a Maggie book. Don’t make me do it.  Or if you want, just imagine a lot of GUSHING! ADJECTIVES! LOVE! here. Also, Isabel is my second favorite Maggie character (after Ganseyyyy, of course). Maggie asked us to love it or hate it and I loved it.”

Yeah, that is the best response ever, I think.

Sam’s Pick:

17453303

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S King

I am a big A.S King fangirl, so I knew I needed to make the time to read my ARC of Glory O’Brien before I forgot to. This is definitely one of King’s more disjointed books, but I still found it to be an engaging and fascinating read overall. Glory’s “histories of the future” revolve around feminism and woman’s rights, and it’s a book that also looks personal identity and growth. I found myself really connected to this book, and Glory is totes Daria. I actually have a review written for this one, but you’ll all have to wait until closer to its October release date!

And there you have it! What was your favourite read in the month of July? Let us know in the comments.