Mini Reviews: Superman, Z

Back on my audiobook spree! Well, in this case, I’ve been listening to a lot of historical fiction, some of which were interesting, others were just meh. I should be getting back to more fantasy/scifi reviews at some point.

In any case, my small reviews are about this boy and this girl, and they’re both their own unique personalities.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

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TTT: Best Books of 2017

For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

I haven’t done these in a while, but it was the perfect time to get back to Top Ten Tuesdays! I’ve had to reflect on the books I’ve read this year, because lately I’ve been reading meh books. Might be because I’m on a reading funk, and I really just need to get back out of it. In any case, the audiobooks I’ve listened to so far haven’t been hitting it out of the ballpark either.

However! I do have a current top ten list, and save for maybe one or two, there isn’t much of a change!

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Monstress, Vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda – I am loving this world and this series so far, and for me, the second volume knocked it out of the ballpark as well. Loved the first, the second was just as strong, and I cannot wait for the next volume! Maybe it’ll be up by this upcoming BookCon ūüėÄ (review)

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – WHY WOULDN’T THIS BE IN MY TOP TEN. I cried, I laughed, I squeed. It was just such a great end to a trilogy, and I’m SO STOKED that Schwab’s got more in sights in this world! (review)

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs – Mercy and Adam POVs always make me happy. And this book started off with chocolate, so that made me doubly happy. (review)

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – I loved Carrie Fisher’s voice, and the fact that she narrates this memoir on top of it was fantabulous.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor – THIS HURT ME SO MUCH. But the rewards at the end was absolutely worth the pain and agony. Also, I ship Liraz and Ziri so hard it’s not even funny. (review)

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier – Pretty much defines my life with my siblings. This was a book I picked up because I’d assigned it to my kids, but holy hell, I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much. (review)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – This was one of my favorites because I totally have a girly-crush on Elias which is a little strange, considering how old these characters are, but my brain is that of a 20-year-old so we’ll pretend that’s what I am. Okay, I also really adored the gladiator-like competition in this book. And the fact that you have strong female characters that knock it out of the ballpark. (review)

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 5 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie – For the most part, I am on a roller coaster effect with this series. It’s really good, and I absolutely love the artwork, but the fifth one was by far my favorite.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – One of my dark horses on this list. I was really impressed by the magical system in this book, and I got into the characters very quickly. I should catch up to this series, but considering it’s a planned 7 (or 8?) book series, I have some time. (review)

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – I haven’t read much from NetGalley lately, but this was something I’d picked up last year and ended up reading and finishing in January of 2017. It was definitely my favorite of the NetGalley books I’ve read this year, and for good reason! (review)

How about you? What books made your top ten of 2017?

I Avoid Horror Stories…Except When I Don’t || Asylum Review

Initial Review: 

I feel like I’ve gotten more paranoid now after reading this book than before I went into it. A lot of this probably has to do with there being way too many characters that were too coincidentally linked with the asylum. And, like, seriously, who converts a dilapidated asylum into a dorm room. Just…I cannot. That said, at least the scare factor wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I’m not big on horror reads, but I’m also not big on horror, and yet I found myself getting desensitized after playing Until Dawn multiple times…So you crazy asylums can go suck it.

Still, you wouldn’t find me anywhere near one of those things.


ASYLUM

by Madeleine Roux
HarperTeen, August 2013
Horror, young adult
Rated: 3 / 5 cookies

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program‚ÄĒit’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum‚ÄĒa last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

The Short and Long of It

Normally I avoid horror stories. Sometimes it’s because I want to avoid the gorefest in some, but honestly it’s mostly because when I read horror, I tend to let my imagination get the better of me, and then I start worrying about the wee demon I am sure I have under my bed. And then that leads to thoughts about said demon being hungry and me running out of sacrifices to satiate it.

Whatever the case, horror isn’t my go-to for reading.

But I have tried to branch out. And while it’s not my typical faire, it randomly shows up on my reading list out of whim or initial curiosity. In this case, it was definitely the photographs and the book cover that brought me to reading¬†Asylum.

The funny thing is¬†Asylum¬†puts two of the main reasons why I try to¬†avoid these¬†books: ghosts and asylums. All it really needed was a clown and I’d be scared out of my mind.

Unless the clown is this little fucker. In which case, I’d just think he’s an absolute troll.

The book has been compared to¬†Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children¬†so much that it is hard¬†not¬†to compare¬†Asylum to the former, and honestly, I picked up the book¬†because¬†of Miss Peregrine, so…yeah. The pictures were just as intriguing, and I liked the idea of people telling a story with pictures included. Only, sometimes the pictures did throw me off, because Roux would be describing one thing, and then I look at the picture and oh, hey, I’m going: “But…the warden isn’t sitting down at the center, he’s standing! And the girl at the far right isn’t the one with the discombobulated head…I’m confused…” For the most part, though, the pictures added to the imagination, and it was a nice touch.

I liked the premise of the book. Dan Crawford goes to a summer program and his current home situation throws him into a dormitory that used to be a hospital for the insane. Not just any asylum, mind you, but one filled with terminally insane, homicidal folk with an equally terminally insane, homicidal warden at its head. Pulled by a need to investigate the mysterious pictures at the old warden’s restricted office, Dan becomes embroiled in some weird historical investigation where he finds out that the past can quite literally haunt you. Especially if your name’s Daniel Crawford.

Dan’s friends are also hoots and a half. Jordan was probably my favorite, but that’s mostly because if I was a character in the group, I’d be the scared math-geek with hermit-like coping mechanisms. But that’s assuming I’d make it that far into a program that has an¬†insane asylum¬†as its dormitory. I probably wouldn’t have even applied for the program to begin with. You wouldn’t see me anywhere near old hospitals–oh, wait, I sort of kind of work in one now. Oops?

What did annoy me was the weird progression that the story took. What became an interesting mystery and delving into people’s minds boiled down to a case of some not-so-mild possession. Not much was really explained by the end, and I’m still not sure how some people got possessed while others didn’t. And the random letters Dan kept getting in the story was never really fully explained. I mean, yeah, Dan made conjectures, but there wasn’t much¬†basis¬†in them, and I’m not sure that’s supposed to be left open because this is, after all, only the first of a trilogy.

There was also the fact that this is apparently meant to be a young adult book, though I didn’t really see much of that in the book. Yes, there’s a romance, and yes, the characters are your typical YA characters, but uh, there wasn’t much drama in that department. High school kids go to a college-like setting with college-like classes, and honestly,¬†nobody¬†romped behind closed doors in a dormitory? Ugh, what a bore.

All in all, though, it was a good story and a quick read. I wasn’t wowed by it, and I actually did prefer¬†Miss Peregrine¬†over this one, mostly because of the more fantastical, supernatural element, but I still liked the story and I’d probably pick up the next at some point.

3 out of 5 cookies!


Have you read this book? What did you think?

Book Traveling Thursday: Ella Enchanted

Book Traveling Thursday¬†is a book meme that involves book covers from different parts of the world. Rules include picking a book according to the theme and then posting the original covers, covers from your country, your favorite covers, and your least favorite covers. This week, the theme is:¬†‚ÄúMickey Mouse’s Birthday is November 18th, so to honor the Mouse and Disney, show off your favorite retelling of a fairytale.‚ÄĚ

To which I snorted and was tempted to put down¬†Deerskin¬†because HEY, that’s what Meg and I have been talking about all week in Fableulous Retellings! But while I did love¬†Deerskin, there was a fairy tale retelling that started me on the road to fairy tale retellings, and it was¬†Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

Original Cover

This is the cover I actually own of the book. Between my sister and me, our copy is pretty tarnished, considering how often we’d read it every year.

US Covers

There’s a lot more, but these were my favorites. The former because it lent similarities to the original, and the latter because it’s so nicely artistically rendered!

Favorite Covers

I like the symbolism in both the Romanian and Japanese covers. The Japanese wins out, though, because it’s definitely a good way to talk about Ella’s imprisonment to her obedience curse.

Least Favorite Cover

Ugh, I try to avoid movie covers when I can. This was kind of a disappointment, too, and the US movie cover really just looks like Lizzie Maguire meets fairy tales and sparkles.

Book Traveling Thursdays: The Little Prince

Book Traveling Thursday¬†is a book meme that involves book covers from different parts of the world. Rules include picking a book according to the theme and then posting the original covers, covers from your country, your favorite covers, and your least favorite covers. This week, the theme is:¬†‚ÄúA Book You Recently Read That Was Translated From Another Language.‚ÄĚ

This was a bit harder for me to find. I don’t typically read translated works because I often take issue with full-book translations, however, I’m not opposed to foreign stories. Fairy tales tend to be the best translated stories ever. But anyway, one of the most recent translations I’ve read is my best friend’s favorite book ever:¬†The Little Prince. Or, really¬†Le Petit Prince.

Original Cover

This story is undoubtedly a classic, and the original French was first published in 1943.

US Covers

There are a couple more editions in the US, including a special anniversary release, but these were definitely some of my favorites of the US covers.

Favorite Covers

Most of the translations pretty much stick to the illustrations within the original book, but I love the color and look of the Romanian version, and the artwork in the Russian version is so pretty!

Least Favorite Cover

Too much happening in this Spanish version of The Little Prince.