Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday #295: Books so bad they made me laugh

Today's Topic: 
Books that made me LOL
at how bad they were

Happy Tuesday! CONTROVERSIAL OPINIONS HEAD! Today's topic is about books that made me laugh out loud, but of course I decided to give it a spin. I honestly couldn't think of more than a couple books that made me laugh so instead I chose ten that made me laugh at how ridiculously bad they were. You can find rants for most of these books somewhere on this blog, but suffice it to say I hated them all for one reason or another. What are some of your most hated (popular) books? 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Weekly Recap: 2/14 - 2/20


Hi, everyone! I have been TOTALLY off the grid because my computer was hidden behind stacks of books, a couch, and under plastic. My husband decided to repaint my shelves this week and it was quite the process. Unfortunately, he decided the best place for everything was directly in the way of my computer, so I haven't accomplished anything. Except a bit of reading, which mostly consisted of rereads. I have been in a MOOD lately! Send me your fantasy romance recs, please! 






You missed NOTHING because my computer wasn't accessible!


Who knows?

I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday #294: Purple, Yellow, and Green Book Covers

Today's Topic: 
Purple, Yellow, and Green Book Covers 

Happy Tuesday! Today's topic is Mardi Gras themed. I've never celebrated it in any way, but I love the colors! Haha! Most of these I've read and loved, but a few are still on my TBR list. As always, I have to shout out A.G. Howard and Joanna Ruth Meyer! A.G. Howard just released an adult gothic romance over the weekend called The Wisdom of Blood and you should definitely check it out! 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday #293: Immortal book boyfriends

Today's Topic: 
Immortal Book Boyfriends

Happy Tuesday! The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about book boyfriends and how problematic it can be if you read a lot of YA. During the course of this conversation I came to a realization - 99% of my book boyfriends are magical and IMMORTAL! Even though they're in YA books, they're all old as dirt. Hurray for being unproblematic! This week I'm including six of my favorites using fan art by some incredible artists who I'll be linking for each one. (I may have a type I dunno.)

Darkling | Shadow and Bone | Joaellaine
Legend | Caraval | Niru Sky

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Weekly Recap: 1/31 - 2/6


Hi, everyone! This has been a lazy posting week, but I've managed to read quite a bit. It has been an insanely weird reading year so far. I've read mostly adult fantasy romance and who even am I? I am currently listening to an adult CONTEMPORARY romance. I'm glad I took "mostly YA" out of my blog header, because I don't even know what's happening anymore. In other news, I'm on Invisalign week four (out of at least 62) and the pain part of it is mostly gone, or at least I'm used to it. Now it's all dry lips and annoyance at having to eat on a schedule. I'm already ready for the next two years to be up. XD 






Wednesday graphic novel reviews of Submerged and The Black Mage
Friday book review of The Young Widower's Handbook


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Friday, February 5, 2021

Book Review: The Young Widower's Handbook by Tom McAllister

Title: The Young Widower's Handbook
Author: Tom McAllister
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pages: 288
Add to Goodreads

For Hunter Cady, meeting Kait was the greatest thing that ever happened to him. Otherwise unmotivated, he spent roughly half his twenty-nine years accomplishing very little, which makes him about fifteen in terms of real-life experience. But he’s the luckiest man on earth when it comes to his wife. Beautiful and confident, Kait is somehow charmed by Hunter’s awkwardness and droll humor. So when she dies quite suddenly, Hunter is crushed. Numb with grief, he stumbles forward the only way he knows how: by running away. To the dismay of her family, Hunter takes Kait’s ashes with him and heads west.

They had always meant to travel. Soon enough, he finds himself--and Kait--in encounters with characters even quirkier than he is: an overzealous Renaissance Faire worker; a raucous yet sympathetic troop  of bachelorettes; a Chicago couple and their pet parrot, Elvis. He meets a much older man still searching for the wife who walked out on him years ago. Along the way are glimpses of Hunter and Kait’s beautiful, flawed, very real marriage and the strength it gives Hunter, even when contemplating a future without it. Insightful, wry, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, The Young Widower’s Handbook is a testament to the power of love.

I randomly picked up this book in an indie bookstore because of both the title of the book and the cover. Unsurprising to those who have been reading my reviews, I had no idea what this book was about before I started reading it, but I quickly figured it out at the end of chapter one. This review will contain minor spoilers.

Hunter and Kaitlyn Cady were together for four short years before she unexpectedly died. Reminiscent of Kerouac’s On the Road, in his grief, Hunter took the life insurance money and Kait’s ashes and decided to travel around the country to fulfill Kait’s lifelong wish to travel. With no plan in mind, Hunter went wherever his travels took him. From a very intense Renaissance Fair to a bar where he inadvertently crashed a bachelorette party, to California, Hunter had some very interesting experiences.

Throughout the book, Hunter looks back on his marriage with Kait and we read about the good times they had and the bad times. Personally, I think they had a terrible marriage. I don’t know if McAllister intended for their marriage to be so flawed, but it didn’t seem like Kait really liked Hunter. That’s not to say she didn’t love him, there were just instances where I wondered how they were even together. For example, Kait’s family loves football, but Hunter is indifferent to it. One Sunday, Kait and Hunter hosted a Sunday football watch party at their house. Kait let her brothers kick Hunter out of his own living room because of their superstition. When Hunter and Kait were in bed later that night, he expressed that he hoped they never had to do that again and Kait said that she wished that sometimes Hunter could be more of a man. She also allowed her male family members to make derogatory gay jokes toward Hunter, both in her family home and in their home. She also complained about his negative nature. Also, their entire relationship started out based on a lie. The only reason Kait was initially interested in Hunter was because he led her to believe he’d traveled the world when in reality, he’d gotten all of his information from reading reference books and comments on message boards.

Regardless of my opinions on their marriage, this book was a 4 star read for me. My husband and I have been together since we were teenagers and we got married really young, at 18 and 19. We’ve currently been together for 8 years and married for almost 7 years. My biggest fears are my husband dying and leaving me alone and me dying and leaving him alone, especially at young ages. I couldn’t help but picture us in Hunter and Kait’s shoes throughout the book. I even started shopping around for additional life insurance policies for us. Hunter’s grief was insurmountable and the fact that Kait’s family and his parents were terrible and mostly unhelpful made his grief worse and harder to bear with. This book evoked such strong emotions from me. If my Prozac didn’t suppress my ability to cry, I know I would have soaked the pages with my tears.

The reason this was a 4 star read for me and not a 5 star is because I didn’t feel like Hunter truly resolved anything. I was hoping after he completed his road trip and after he spread Kait’s ashes he would begin to heal and we would see more positivity from him, but there was no character growth in him. He ended as negative as he began. Also, as mentioned previously, there was a lot I didn’t enjoy about Hunter and Kait’s relationship. I was also disturbed at how attached to Kait’s ashes Hunter was. I don’t know if it’s normal to take your spouse’s ashes across the country and dine with them and drink with them, but I’m assuming it’s not. Overall, I do recommend this book. I really did enjoy it. It was my first McAllister book and it may not be my last. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Graphic Novel Reviews: Submerged and The Black Mage

Title: Submerged
Author: Vita Ayala
Illustrator: Lisa Sterle
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Publisher: Vault Comics
Pages: 144
Add to Goodreads
Amazon | Bookshop.org

On the night of the biggest storm in New York City history, Elysia Puente gets a call from her estranged little brother Angel, terrified, begging for help. When the call cuts out suddenly, despite the bad feelings between them, Ellie rushes into the night. Finding his broken phone in front of a barricaded subway station, Ellie follows echoes of her brother into the sinister darkness of the underground, desperate to find him before it’s too late.

I stumbled across Submerged while searching for graphic novels by creators of color and was immediately pulled in by the creepy cover. I tend to ignore reviews when it comes to comics because I like mine a bit dark and weird, so I wasn't too put off by the mixed reception and was eager to read this! 

In Submerged, Ellie goes out to find her brother after getting a panicked call from him. She ends up in the subways on the night of a huge storm and finds herself on a bizarre journey where she has to face her past. It was weird. I know I said I like weird books and I truly, truly do, but this was just way out there. I had a very hard time following the story from early on.

As Ellie goes through the subway, she sees flashbacks from her childhood and teenage years. Her father was abusive, her mother was an enabler and didn't defend her children, and her brother was a selfish jerk. I really wasn't quite sure what the point was supposed to be. The art was really nice and I did like that it seemed to have ties to Greek mythology, but this just wasn't for me. 

Title: The Black Mage
Author: Daniel Barnes
Illustrator: D.J. Kirkland
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Publisher: Oni Press
Pages: 153
Add to Goodreads
Amazon | Bookshop.org

When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token, the beneficiary of the school's "Magical Minority Initiative," begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.

The Black Mage has been on my TBR for awhile, but I was hesitant since I didn't think I would like the art style. I finally decided to give it a try this past weekend and I'm so glad I did! 

Going into this book, I was basically expecting Black Harry Potter based on the Amazon page, but that was definitely not what this was. This story includes the ghosts of historical figures including John Henry, Harriet Tubman, and Fredrick Douglass. The main character, Tom Token, is the only Black student at the wizarding school and his familiar's name is a crow named Jim. The headmaster wears a Klan uniform and I was not prepared. 

I really don't want to say too much more about the plot, but I loved this story! The humor is amazing, the art is gorgeous, and the pacing kept me hooked. I kept seeing people say this was very similar to Harry Potter in reviews, but it really isn't at all, other than the setting being a school for wizards. I'll definitely be buying a copy for my shelf!