Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday

Created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in Jan 2018

Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype

I'm going with books that are popular and books that were recommended to me a ton. I'm excluding popular books that I read when they first came out, and they weren't hyped up yet.

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1) The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)
Goodbye Stranger A Man Called Ove
What Alice Forgot The Princess Diarist
Still Alice Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
Wonder Fangirl

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Crown of Embers

10816908Goodreads Synopsis:    She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

My Thoughts:

-    It took me a little while to decide, but yes, I liked this one even more than the first book. 

-    I LOVED Elisa's journey and self discovery in this story. I was frustrated with her at moments, but it was all part of her story arc.

-    I loved her growing relationship with Hector, and the tension is delicious.

-    This is one of those stories that stayed with me for several days. I kept thinking about it and everything that happened. 

-    The ending is gut wrenching is awesome! I can't wait for the third and final book!

Previous Book in the Fire and Thorns Trilogy:


Friday, July 27, 2018

Fan Art Friday: Link

My husband has been a Legend of Zelda fan since he was a boy, and my daughter LOVES it too. I'm a semi-fan. I've only beaten two Zelda games, but I liked them. I like the characters, and I know a fair amount about the franchise, but I wouldn't say I'm a super fan. I started playing Ocarina of Time, so maybe I'm a super fan in the making.

Today I'm showcasing Link. As you can imagine, I found A LOT of art for him. I had to narrow it down to my favorites, so I hope you enjoy.

They are all favorites, since I had to only pick favorites to showcase.

Which is your favorite?

Are you a Legend of Zelda fan? If so, who is your favorite character?

As always, the pictures are linked to the source.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Part 2

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Part 2 (Zelda, #2)From Goodreads:    After completing his training, Link begins his journey to find the remaining Sages. Meanwhile, Ganondorf continues looking for Princess Zelda and plotting to capture Link with the aid of the witches known as Twinrova. At the urging of the mysterious Sheik, Link enters the Haunted Wasteland to find Zelda. The journey will be dangerous, but Link is determined to overcome Twinrova's traps and survive to face Ganondorf in an epic final battle!

My Thoughts:

-    I didn't enjoy this volume as much as the first one, but I still liked it.

-    I know the manga needs to be different from the video game, but Zelda is all about the dungeons, and I would have liked to see Link battle his way through a couple.

-    The Zora Domain went by quickly and with no explanation. It was just thrown in. 

-    I'm not sure I completely understand how Zelda became Sheik. I thought it was a disguise. I didn't know Impa had that kind of power.

-    The fight with Ganondorf was great!

-    The ending is a little anti-climactic. Link totally gets the shaft.

-    I didn't care for the bonus stories at the end. I don't think they were needed.

Previous Book in the Series:

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Part 1 (Zelda, #1)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Part 1

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Part 1 (Zelda, #1)From Goodreads   In the mystical land of Hyrule, three spiritual stones hold the key to the Triforce, and whoever holds them will control the world! A boy named Link sets out on a quest to deliver the Emerald, the spiritual stone of the Forest, to Zelda, Princess of the land of Hyrule. The journey will be long and perilous, and Link will need all his skill and courage to defeat evil. The battle for Hyrule and the Sacred Realm has begun!

My Thoughts:

-    I've never played Ocarina of Time, but I really want to play it now. I'm going to pick it up soon.

-    I loved this manga! The illustrations were SO good. The action and panel layout were so much fun.

-    I loved what they did with Link. They gave him a voice and a personality, and I really enjoyed his character growth.

-    I loved all the side characters. Little Zelda was so cute, and I really liked Impa.

-    Navi's annoyance is legendary, but she wasn't so bad.

-    I'm excited to read more! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure

Moving Target: A Princess Leia AdventureGoodreads Synopsis:    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Reeling from their disastrous defeat on Hoth, the heroic freedom fighters of the REBEL ALLIANCE have scattered throughout space, pursued by the agents of the sinister GALACTIC EMPIRE.

One rebel task force protects PRINCESS LEIA, bearing her in secrecy from star to star. As the last survivor of Alderaan's House of Organa, Leia is a symbol of freedom, hunted by the Empire she has opposed for so long.

The struggle against Imperial tyranny has claimed many rebel lives. As the Empire closes in, Leia resolves to make a sacrifice of her own, lest the cause of freedom be extinguished from the galaxy....

My Thoughts:

-    This is one of those books that I don't have a lot to say about.

-    I liked it. It was a fun Princess Leia adventure.

-    I've never read a Star Wars book that takes place after Empire Strikes Back. Most of them happen after A New Hope, so it was nice to get a book in a different time frame.

-    It is always fun when Nien Nunb is on the scene.

-    I loved Leia's resolve to find Han at the end of the book. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Diviners

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)Goodreads Synopsis:    Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

My Thoughts:

-    This has been on my TBR for years! I even saw Libba when she was on tour for this book. I wish I had read it sooner!

-    The story is so hauntingly creeptastic! It was awesome! I loved all the spooks and legends and everything.

-    The setting was awesome! Libba must have spent forever researching the twenties, because everything felt so genuine and real.

-    I liked all the characters, and I liked that they each had individual stories. I kept wondering about each one, and I want to know more about each one. Evie is her own worst enemy at times, but she knows it. 

-    Wonderful story! I hope the rest of the series is just as good. I think this could have been a stand alone, so I'm curious about how the story will continue. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Fan Art Friday: The Diviners

Today I'm showcasing The Diviners by Libba Bray.
The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

I was surprised with how little I was able to find.

The last one is my favorite, but I like the first one too. I like seeing the cast of characters.

Which is your favorite?

All pictures are linked to the source.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

10429092Goodreads Synopsis:    Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

My Thoughts:

-    I tried to read this book earlier this year, but I didn't finish. People kept telling me how good the series was, so I gave it another chance, and I'm SO glad I did! It was wonderful!

-    Elisa bugged me at first, but she has such an incredible journey, and her character growth is awesome! I loved it!

-    The culture and settings were so rich and lovely. I loved the world the author created.

-    I usually don't like too much political intrigue in a story, but this was really well done. I liked how it was interwoven with the story. 

-    I usually don't like a lot of religion in a story either, but it was also really well done. I actually really liked how important the religion was to the MC and everyone. It added so much to the story.

-    I'm really glad I gave this another shot, and I'm excited to read the next book.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


DobryFrom Goodreads:    A Bulgarian peasant boy must convince his mother that he is destined to be a sculptor, not a farmer.

My Thoughts:

-    These early Newbery books are rough to read. I keep hoping the next one will be better, and some new editing rules will come in to play, but alas, this one was slow and boring.

-    This story had a nice homey feeling though.

-    I've never read a book that took place in Bulgaria before. I wish there had been a little more culture in the book.

-    This was another book with stories within the story. They liked to do that back in the 30s apparently. The Noah's Ark story was pretty interesting. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast (Steampunk Proper Romance #1)Goodreads Synopsis:    Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast. 

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

My Thoughts:

-    This was more of a ghost and vampire steampunk romance than a Beauty and the Beast retelling.

-    I'm not a big vampire fan, but this was alright. I enjoyed the mystery, and the vampires were the bad guys that were hunted, which is where they should be. 

-    The story starts out slow, but it picks up, and the ending is exciting. 

-    I can see the Jane Eyre elements, and I'm not a fan.

-    I didn't care for Lord Blackwell too much, but I liked Lucy well enough.

-    I loved the steampunk and gothic elements. They were fun.

-    I think I liked this overall. I want to read the next book.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Milla Takes Charge

Milla Takes Charge (Daring Dreamers Club #1)From Goodreads:    When you follow your dreams, 
the possibilities are endless!

Milla loves nothing more than imagining grand adventures in the great wide somewhere, just like Belle. She dreams of traveling the world and writing about her incredible discoveries. Unfortunately, there is nothing pretend about the fifth-grade overnight and Milla's fear that her moms won't let her go.

Enter Piper, Mariana, Zahra, and Ruby. Together with Milla, they form the Daring Dreamers Club and become best friends. But can they help Milla believe she's ready for this real grand adventure?

Diverse, talented, and smart--these five girls found each other because they all had one thing in common: big dreams. Touching on everyday dramas and the ups and downs of friendship, this series will enchant all readers who are princesses at heart.

I received a ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

-    I liked the idea of this series, but the book tried WAY too hard to accomplish its goals. It got old, and Gnome and I got bored for a while.

-    The girls are very similar to My Little Ponies. Just look at the cover, and you can probably guess which girl is which pony. 

-    The book is pretty slow until they arrive at camp, which isn't until the very end.

-    I liked that the girl's related to Disney princesses, and grew and learned more about themselves because of that. 

Gnome's Thoughts:

-    It's like ponies.

-    I liked Ruby. She had a fun personality. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Goodbye Stranger

Goodbye StrangerGoodreads Synopsis:    Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody's games—or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade? 

This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend? 

On Valentine's Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

My Thoughts:

-    There was a lot packed into this book. It was thought provoking and humorous.

-    Some of the issues that were covered were a little heavy for a middle grade novel, but they were important issues that all kids and parents should be aware of.

-    The pacing of the story was perfect. I was hooked from the beginning, and I didn't want to stop. 

-    I wanted to scream and yell at Emily to stop texting that boy, but alas, I knew she wouldn't hear me. I didn't like how forgiving Emily was. She should have been livid at that boy. Why did she believe his story? I don't believe anything he said.

-    I liked Bridge's growth, and how she learned who she was and how she fit into the world. Middle school is an awkward age. 

-    I'm excited to read more from this author. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Kanan: First Blood

First Blood (Star Wars: Kanan, #2)From Goodreads:    Continue to explore the early days of Kanan Jarrus, the sensational star of STAR WARS REBELS! You've seen Kanan's last adventure as a Padawan, now witness his first! The boy who was Caleb Dune must find his feet as the Clone Wars rage all around him. When the Jedi Temple comes under attack, what can a mere Padawan do to make a difference? Caleb and his new master, Bilaba, will take command of their own clone troop, and lead them into the furious Battle of Mygeeto. But lying in wait for them there are a pair of Separatist Generals, one of whom is one of the most deadly threats in the entire galaxy! Can Caleb and Bilaba survive Grievous? 

Collecting KANAN #7-12.

My Thoughts:

-    This volume had the answers I wanted from the first volume. I liked getting to know Kana's master better. I liked the story of how she picked him for her padawan.

-    It was fun to see other characters like Grievous and the Ghost crew.

-    I love that there is a reference the book, A New Dawn. I need to read that now.

-    It was really fun to read about Kanan's back story.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2018

Created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in Jan 2018

Top Ten Books I've Read in 2018 (so far)

Mr. Knightley's Diary (Jane Austen Heroes, #2) Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo
All's Faire in Middle School Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve, #2)
Smoky the Cowhorse Geekerella
The Royal Ranger (Ranger's Apprentice #12 Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger #1) The Paradise Snare (Star Wars: The Han Solo Trilogy, #1)
Dark Disciple (Star Wars) A Man Called Ove