Sunday, December 6, 2015

Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt Review

Title: Jane, the Fox and Me
Author: Fanny Britt (illustrator) Christelle Morelli (translator)
Pages:  104
Published: September 1st 2013 by Groundwood Books
Source: Library
Links: goodreads ,

Hélène has been inexplicably ostracized by the girls who were once her friends. Her school life is full of whispers and lies — Hélène weighs 216; she smells like BO. Her loving mother is too tired to be any help. Fortunately, Hélène has one consolation, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Hélène identifies strongly with Jane’s tribulations, and when she is lost in the pages of this wonderful book, she is able to ignore her tormentors. But when Hélène is humiliated on a class trip in front of her entire grade, she needs more than a fictional character to allow her to see herself as a person deserving of laughter and friendship.
Leaving the outcasts’ tent one night, Hélène encounters a fox, a beautiful creature with whom she shares a moment of connection. But when Suzanne Lipsky frightens the fox away, insisting that it must be rabid, Hélène’s despair becomes even more pronounced: now she believes that only a diseased and dangerous creature would ever voluntarily approach her. But then a new girl joins the outcasts’ circle, Géraldine, who does not even appear to notice that she is in danger of becoming an outcast herself. And before long Hélène realizes that the less time she spends worrying about what the other girls say is wrong with her, the more able she is to believe that there is nothing wrong at all. This emotionally honest and visually stunning graphic novel reveals the casual brutality of which children are capable, but also assures readers that redemption can be found through connecting with another, whether the other is a friend, a fictional character or even, amazingly, a fox.
I remember hearing about this graphic novel as soon as it came out. I have two fellow bloggers (Bookish Whimsy, and  Picture Me Reading) who just love Jane Eyre and that is where I first saw mention of this graphic novel.  I thought about not reading it since I haven't read Jane Eyre but thought I would give it a go.  My library never had it though so then I just forgot about it.  Recently my library did order it because a new edition came out.

I think what makes Jane, the Fox and Me a great graphic novel is the artwork.  In Helene's world everything is dark and grey. Helene is a girl who is bullied and and tries to hide.  She goes to school and doesn't want to be noticed.  I think a lot of us have been there at some point in our lives.  She then finds out that her school is going on a camping field trip and she will be stuck with all these kids. I can imagine how awful that would be.  Helene finds refuge in a book.. Jane Eyre!  So the book will all of a sudden change art technique to colors and different handwriting when talking about Jane Eyre.   I thought this was interesting.  Sometimes we find friends in odd places and for her at this time in her life it was in a book.

Eventually... Helene meets this little fox.  He comes in the night when she is at this campout with all those kids.  The fox comes up to her like he will be her friend until one of the kids comes out and scares the fox off. Eventually after this Helene does meet a friend.. and then a few more.  I suppose they are all outcasts of sorts but they find friendship with each other.  Eventually... this can happen to all of us but I think only if you are in the right place at the right time.  I felt bad for her mother in the book.  Her mom tries to understand and help Helene.  I think she can tell that Helene has a hard time at school but Helene tries to hide it from her mom.  Her mom is her friend though and Helene knows this.

This book isn't amazing.. I just think it is really good because most of us can relate to the things that happen to Helene. Plus the illustrations really bring out the emotions that Helene is feeling.  It is definitely a book worth checking out from the library and just reading in one sitting.

4 out of 5

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Comic Adventures Issue #33

I read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Ms. Marvel vol. 2 Generation Why,  Flash Vol 6. Out of Time, Saga Vol. 5, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Vol. 5.

I am really enjoying this series by Marvel.  The humor is great, and I like how Ms. Marvel (Kamala) is unsure of herself as a superhero but having fun at the same time. I like how the Inhumans are discovering her and even send a dog her way (Lockjaw).  He is cute and hilarious.  I hope she keeps him around for a big part of the series. Oh and did I mention that Wolverine is in this volume???  He and Kamala have kind of similar personalities. Let's be honest here... the artwork is kind of lacking.  For this being such a popular comic I would think that the art would be a little better.  I agree with others who have said Ms. Marvel needs a good super villain. So far there hasn't been one.  The villain so far has been this guy who was harvesting kids and using their energies.  Then it turned out the kids wanted that to happen because it would save the world or something by using their energies.  ODD.  I do like this comic a lot.  I find it witty.  I look forward to the series continuing.

4 out of 5

I am still into the Flash series.  Possibly because I love the show and want to learn more about his background and villains.  This was a time travel volume.  Flash (himself) comes back from the future to try to fix time.  So he comes back to fix some sort of rip in the Speed Force.  Interesting enough.. but time travel is sort of bleh.  There was a little love triangle story going on here.  I am not sure what is going to happen with that?  I didn't even realize it but in this comic alone are 6 Flashes.  All crossing paths.  I don't know .. I didn't even recognize all of them. Oh and there is a lot of plot in this novel that takes place after the whole Crime Syndicate story line.  Which I can't seem to get my hands on.  So basically all the DC comics that came out in 2015 are taking place after this event so it would seem like we all need to read that one before moving onto any other stories.  Sigh.

3 out of 5

I am now all the way caught up to the published volumes in the Saga collection and that is a bummer. Honestly... I don't know what is taking so long to write these, there really isn't a lot of dialog so come on!!  Maybe the artwork is what takes the longest? I can't find a release date anywhere for Saga Vol. 6.  Sigh. There is a cat in the comics that knows when people are lying and I actually thought of this cat today when I thought of someone lying!  The characters just stay with you even after you finish the comic. I've said it before and I'll say it again... this comic can get weird.  Giant lizards pee on people... and it's drawn out. There are some morals to this comic.. about war, friends, family, love, and all that jazz. Whenever I start these comics I think to myself "this is so weird, why am I reading this" then I get half way through and think "I can't get enough of this comic!!".  If you haven't started this series do it NOW.

5 out of 5

I feel like I am the only one reading this comic book series.  Only 15 reviews on goodreads for it. 15!!! WHAT!  Where are the He-Man fans???  I like this comic book series.  This particular volume is giving us a background one everyone.  Adora and how she becomes She-Ra. We get to see how she becomes acquainted with Swift Wind.  We get to see the mother of Skeletor too.  The comic tells how the two swords are made (She-Ra's and He-Man's).  Adam must become King of Eternia now that his father is passed so this is leading up to the next comic which isn't vol 6.  It's a new name "He-Man and the Eternity War Vol 1). I just hope the He-Man comics don't end after the Eternity War Vol. 2.  The art in this issue is really great.  I just get so excited when I see She-Ra in anything. I mean... look at the cover on this issue!!!  There is even a bonus story at the very end of the comic with a story about Adam as a young boy.

5 out of 5

This counts for 60 comics towards my 2015 Graphic Novels Challenge!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Post

Let's chat about what's going on this week... on my blog.. on other blogs... on the internet... and just everywhere!    I link up my post to Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Reader.

Wow... it sure is cold here in my town.  BURRR.  We did have a white Thanksgiving so hoping it is also a white Christmas.  We put up our tree today.  I love a white Christmas tree.  The are just so beautiful to me.  Though... ours has an ugly topper.  I just can't get my husband to get rid of this blinking star thing.  He had one growing up and is just in love with the thing.  Funny thing is his mom doesn't have one on her tree anymore.  Now I just need to get gifts for people.  My family can be so hard.  We suggested name exchange and one person didn't want to.  So finally we got them to agree to one of those games where the gifts are wrapped and no one knows what it is.  Each gift is numbered and then you pass them around.  Worst part about that is that the gifts have to be for both sexes.  I wish we had exchanged names because then I know the person and can make sure the gift matches them.  Now I have to get some sort of generic gift.  Any ideas out there??? The gifts also have to be able to go on an airplane.

I am catching up on so much TV.  I was behind on a lot of shows.  So now I am officially caught up on Haven, Sleepy Hollow, SHIELD, Heroes, Supergirl, Walking Dead, and right now while typing this I am getting caught up on Arrow. Next up the Flash.  Got really behind there in October finishing up our big deck project before the snow came.

I haven't done a Sunday Post in a long time and look forward to getting them going again.  Honestly.. I was a little lazy.   Be sure to vote for me I was Nominated for Best Comics Blog!  It is an honor to be nominated for that.  Happy Winter everyone!

On the blog this week:

Friday, November 27, 2015

Nominated for Best Comics Blog!

Well this is exciting.. I've been nominated for Best Comics Blog.  I do review comics on here quite a bit... as some of you may notice.  I just really enjoy reading them in between reading a novel.  A short quick read before digging back into a long novel.  If you love reading about comics on my blog hop on over to Best of the Book Blog Awards and vote for me! My good friend and fellow blogger Brunner's Bookshelf is also nominated so be sure to check out his blog.  I would like to thank all of you who may have nominated me!  It means a lot. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, & Get Going by Chelsea Clinton

Title: It's Your World Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going
Author: Chelsea Clinton
Pages: 416
Published: September 15th 2015 by Philomel Books
Source: Library
Links: goodreads,

In a book that tackles the biggest challenges facing us today, Chelsea Clinton combines facts, charts, photographs and stories to give readers a deep understanding of the world around them—and how anyone can make a difference. With stories about children and teens who have made real changes big and small—in their families, their communities, in our country and across the world—this book will inspire readers of all ages to do their part to make our world a better place. In addition to informing and inspiring readers about topics including Poverty, Homelessness, Food Insecurity, Access to Education, Gender Equality, Epidemics, Non-Communicable Diseases, Climate Change, and Endangered Species, this book encourages everyone to get going! With suggestions and ideas for action, Chelsea Clinton shows readers that the world belongs to every single one of us, and every one of us counts. You can make a difference. You can make a change. It’s your world. Praise for It's Your World: "Clinton clearly paid attention to her parents' discussions at the dinner table, and she capably shares the lessons they imparted about the future impact of what we do in the present."--Publishers Weekly "[A] terrific resource for junior activists."--Booklist
This book was never on my radar.  In fact, I had never even heard of it.  There aren't very many reviews on goodreads about this book either.  I saw that Chelsea Clinton was going to be doing a book signing at a local bookstore.  I then saw the title of the book and the cover.  I'm not someone who is big on politics so I could care less of Chelsea is the daughter of Bill Clinton or not.  I know some people might avoid reading this book because of that fact.  I am about the same age as her and remember her being the child in the white house so that does make me interested in her.  Also... I love to learn new things about the world and things I can do to make the world a better place.

I really like the cover of this book.  The confetti pops up off the cover.  I also hope that this cover would attract young adults which is who the book is written for. I did see though some people complain about this cover... that it's too much for children and not teens.  Even though this book is written for teens I still found a lot of information in it quite informative. What I like about this book is that big complicated subjects are broken down.  I think the way Clinton explains things is not condescending and doesn't make me feel uneducated for not knowing more about the subject.

The subjects included so many things that should concern all of us.  Homelessness, hunger, education in the US and in the world.  I was more interested myself in the things happening in the US.  After each chapter Clinton gives an example of a young adult who makes a difference and then website resources for you to go to read up on these situations.  This is a long book... so there were some areas I just skimmed.  Let's be honest, the kids in this book who had started projects at their schools had to have help from adults-with money.  I really don't think just any kid could set up a big lego drive at their school without the help of adults buying said legos.

I don't know if it's a coincidence that this book came out around the time Clinton's mother is running for president.  Maybe it was smart so Chelsea could make more money on it???  I think that being a daughter/son of a president would be tough.  Once you become an adult you are expected to go out and do good in the world not just be some Average Joe. Now she is a wife and a mommy.  I am sure a lot of this information could be found on the internet but having it all in one place was great.  A good book for teens.  I wish I would've went to the book signing.

4 out of 5

Monday, November 16, 2015

Comic Adventures Issue #32

I read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Fables Vol. 21 Happily Ever After,  Fables Vol 22 Farewell, Ares, Bringer of War, and Superman Doomed

I love this series so much.  So to see it start to come to an end is sad. A lot of character's stories are getting wrapped up in this volume... some not in ways I would expect but I am glad to get some closure. There are a lot of dead Fables in this comic though.  I read a review that mentioned the fact that the most popular Fables always bounce back because of their popularity with the Mundys (us).  So then how are they all dying????  Great point. This volume gives us a lot of details on Snow White and Rose Red and how their stories began.  Also... let's be honest what is with this big battle of Rose Red and Snow White.... the answer was kind of a let me down.  Plus.. how they are handling Bigby???  NO.  That is not the Bigby I know.  Only one more volume and yes I am looking forward to see how this whole series ends.  

3 out of 5
The final Fables comic.  It's been quite a journey.  I didn't really love this ending.  The ending of the whole Rose Red and Snow White battle was very anticlimactic.  A lot of deaths for nothing. This was a lot of comics.. some were good some were bad. Most of the Fables have gone their own ways so instead of a big epic story with all of them this volume was a bunch of short stories about a lot of the characters we have met over time.  To be honest some of the characters that got their ending in this novel I had forgotten what happened to them to begin with.  Overall this was an excellent series and it was time for it to come to an end. After the defeat of Mr. Dark I think the comic lost it's direction... so it really needed to come to an end.  The art in these comics are what always drew me in.  Look at this cover for example.  The whole cover shows like every single character that was ever in the comic... it even has a key in the back to help you figure out who it who. Genius if you ask me.  
3 out of 5

I have really enjoyed this mythology series by O'Connor.  It is basically for kids but still can be enjoyed by adults.  It's very educational and at the same time quite entertaining.  This particular volume isn't just about Ares.. it has a lot of the gods in it.  Most of the story is based on the Iliad.  An author’s note provides context. Artist’s notes offer additional detail and explain artistic choices. A bibliography and reading recommendations are included. Full-page spreads are devoted to descriptions of, and facts about, Ares, Eris and Achilles. Discussion questions are provided. It really just is great for those of you who are interested in greek mythology. Especially for middle school who might be interested (there is lots of violence in it though so beware).  I can't wait for the next book in the series Apollo!!  Though it isn't released till 2016.

4 out of 5
I had to read this large volume.  Superman VS Doomsday is such a big story in the DC universe so I was curious about the New 52 take on it.  Unfortunately I read Superman/Wonder Woman vol 2 first which was so confusing.  It is like a chunk of Doomed just mixed into a book that made no sense.  This book should be read and Superman/Wonder Woman skipped.  I guess the good thing was I was able to skip the parts I had already read. In Doomed Superman and Doomsday face off and Doomsday is some sort of virus that gets into Superman.  Superman then changes into Doomsday. This book is a collection of crossovers so you kind of have to be ready for some parts that seem off but I was able to follow the story. This is 500+ pages.  That's right.. it's huge.  I haven't read the original Death of Superman but I have seen the DC animated movie and liked it.  I would say this is a big retelling of that story.  Pretty good read for an afternoon. 

3 out of 5 

This counts for 56 comics towards my 2015 Graphic Novels Challenge!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by April Tucholke

Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Pages: 400
Published: August 18th 2015 by Dial Books
Source: library
Links: goodreads,
A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke. Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill. Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors: Stefan Bachmann Leigh Bardugo Kendare Blake A. G. Howard Jay Kristoff Marie Lu Jonathan Maberry Danielle Paige Carrie Ryan Megan Shepherd Nova Ren Suma McCormick Templeman April Genevieve Tucholke Cat Winters 
I don't know what it is that made me pick up this book?? The cool book cover? The fact that it is short stories and I love them so much?  It was around Halloween and I was in the mood for a scary read?  What ever it was I am so glad that I did it... it was a good anthology.  I thought all the stories in it were really strong.  It was a little more mature ... so if you are uncomfortable with sex, or adult themes skip it.  Well.. it is a horror book so if you are easily scared you should skip this book too. One of the unique things about this particular anthology is that while you read a long you can make a guess as to what book/movie/song the story was influenced by.  There are stories influenced by Frankenstien, the Crow, Psycho, and many others.  I was able to guess a few and I thought that was super fun.  I do think though that that particular feature in the book should've been mentioned in the beginning in some sort of an introduction or something.  I got to the end of the first story and saw some fine print upside down on the last page flipped it over and read it. A little confused at the time.

I think what I enjoy most about short stories is the fact that I can get a taste of new authors and decide this way whether or not I want to read more of their books.  In fact, this is how I discovered Jim Butcher who now is a favorite author in our house.  I think this book would be a cool way to introduce young adults to the horror genre.  I think if they have never tried it before short stories are the way to go.  These stories actually stuck with me when I was finished.  There is a super super creepy Alice and Wonderland based story that just blew me away!  I debated reviewing each story here in the review but figured most people probably haven't read it so I might not be interesting to read about.  I noticed people did review each story on goodreads but only put.. yeah this one was great.  So that doesn't give much information about each story.  I'll just let you know that pretty much each story was perfect.  This is a good read anytime of the year!

5 stars!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Halo 5 Guardians - Video Game Review

I have been anticipating the launch of this game for years.  I have loved the Halo games since day 1. What I really like about Halo is it is more then just a video game.  It has a huge lore behind it. Books, art, cosplay, graphic novels, you name it.  The 5th game really gets into the story that is also in the books.  The strategy behind the campaign for the game was clever too.  Locke against Chief.  Was the Master Chief bad?  It worked so well that this game was the highest grossing Halo game so far. There was a podcast called Hunt the Truth which helped make the game more interesting ... even a Tumblr page.  I would suggest listing to the podcast before starting the game. 

Honestly reviewing this game is hard for me since I love Halo so maybe I am biased.  So in this game you switch between two characters, Spartan Jameson Locke and Master Chief though most of the game you play as Locke. The Blue Team (Chief's team) are all characters from the books... so for those who haven't read the books you probably won't be as excited to see them together as the readers are. The campaign is a blast, though I was disappointed right away that 343 took away co-op mode. Usually my husband and I play this game together and this time we had to pass the controller back and forth.  Though you can play the campaign mode online with friends.

The disk itself works great.  It that an odd thing for a reviewer to say?  You're damn right it is. That's because I had such big issues with the previous game 'The Master Chief Collection'.  I never reviewed that game because it's crap.  I could never get an online multiplayer game working and I couldn't even get the campaign to work.  I assumed it would all be solved so I never took that game back to the store.  Eventually I uninstalled and reinstalled the game but honestly I never bothered to get on and see if it would run (this was a few weeks before the release of Halo 5).  I was nervous about even getting to be able to try out the multiplayer mode on Halo 5 but the good news is that as soon as I tried multiplayer I got right into a match.

This game is part of a trilogy.  I saw a lot of people complaining about that saying it's a money maker.  I am the cheapest person in the world and for once I disagree.  This game to me was just as long as any of the Halo games if not a little longer then some (I'm looking at you ODST).  Because of this fact I didn't have a problem with it being about 8 -10 hours.  If the previous games were like 20-30 hour games then I would be like "what the hell!".

One thing I love about this game too is all the Halo female leads.  I mean.. YES! That gets me pretty excited.. even if we have Cortona in the game as a villain.  Makes that game even more exciting.  I look forward to Halo 6.

10 out of 10

Monday, November 2, 2015

Comic Adventures Issue #31

I read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Lumberjanes Vol 1, Supergirl Vol 5, Superman/Wonder Woman Vol 2, and  Rat Queens vol. 2.

I kept reading about Lumberjanes on the blogs so I felt like I really needed to check this out. I did think this was cute.  Fun for a young audience... seriously a great gift for a young girl trying to get into comics.The comic is about a group of girls who are off at camp.  As you read a long in the comic each issue is a new badge (like Girl Scouts) that the campers in the comic earn.  Of course these girls earn the badge in a funny way.  The main characters are all girls and from different backgrounds. The comic did make me think about the time when I was in Girl Scouts.  I need to go and find my sash (you know my mom saved it) and see what badges I earned.  Anyways.. I think the stories were really fun and adventurous.  There were times when I didn't love the illustrations (there is a different illustrator for the cover and the panels on the inside).   I liked how different this was from a lot of the comics I've been reading lately.  5 out of 5

There was a time when I was going to quit reading the Supergirl comics.  I just didn't like them.  She was running around all the time crying about how much she hated being on Earth and that no one like her and blah blah. I am glad I continued.  I do read the Red Lantern comics so this one kind of ties into those. If I hadn't been reading those this would not get a high score because I would've been so confused.  I will say though if I didn't read the Red Lanterns I would be annoyed that this one ties into it.  CROSS-OVERS!!  Ugh!  Well... the red ring chooses her because of the things I listed above. As far as I know this is a canceled series.  So I think there is only one or two more volumes.  The new TV show is about to start on NBC and frankly I am nervous about it.  That girl does NOT look like Supergirl to me. Maybe it will be good... like Smallville.  But we'll see.  Glad to see Supergirl comics getting better even though it's close to the end of it's run.
4 out of 5

 Hummm... so here is another cross-over which I didn't figure out until I read a review on goodreads. Turns out this is basically Superman Doomed which is a whole different series. Reading it I did think I was missing some things.  Like Lois being infected by Braniac and Lana Lang in space with some sort of metal guy Steel. The very end has a Future's End story which I also thought was confusing!!  Not realizing again that it was from a whole different series. Cyborg Superman is in this... the real Superman starts turning into Doomsday.... all kinds of stuff.  Then I recently heard that in the next wave of DC comics there is going to be a new Lois and Superman series so I am assuming that Superman and Wonder Woman are going to break up so this is a short lived series right here.  Is there even a volume 3????  This is also a thick comic.. so if you are going to spend the time reading it... I guess you should just read Doomed instead. 1 out of 5
There is one cute picture that comes out of this!

I really loved the first Rat Queens comics.  Just really fun .. especially for female readers and those who play role-playing games.  The comic's style kind of pokes fun at those games in a nice way.  There is a lot of backstory in the comic of the characters which is great.  Makes you care about them, right? Mr. Hot Stuff Saywer needs rescuing... love love.  There is plenty of nudity in this comic so certainly not for those who don't like that.  The girl characters are so fun.  For example, there is one named Violet who is a dwarf who does NOT like to have her beard.  So she shaves it.. until she goes home to visit family and what not and then has to grow it back.  Kind of heartwarming. The art of this series changed during the making of this volume due to the arrest of the old illustrator for domestic abuse.   Kind of a bummer because I liked the art in the first volume a lot.   

5 out of 5

This counts for 52 comics towards my 2015 Graphic Novels Challenge!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day Review

Title:  You're Never Weird on the Internet
Author: Felicia Day
Pages: 262
Published: August 11th 2015 by Touchstone
Source: Library
Links: Felicia,   Geek and Sundry

From online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood. The Internet isn’t all cat videos.  There’s also Felicia Day—violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer, hoagie specialist, and former lonely homeschooled girl who overcame her isolated childhood to become the ruler of a new world…or at least semi-influential in the world of Internet Geeks and Goodreads book clubs.

 After growing up in the south where she was "homeschooled for hippie reasons", Felicia moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and was immediately typecast as a crazy cat-lady secretary. But Felicia’s misadventures in Hollywood led her to produce her own web series, own her own production company, and become an Internet star. Felicia’s short-ish life and her rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Now, Felicia’s strange world is filled with thoughts on creativity, video games, and a dash of mild feminist activism—just like her memoir.

Hilarious and inspirational, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should embrace what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.
I can't stand non-fiction, but every now and then I will give one a chance.   I love Felicia Day ever since I discovered who she is.  When I think back about how I discovered her I can't exactly remember.  I think it may have been when her music video Do you want to date my avatar came out.  For those of you who have no idea who she is.. basically she is a a geeky girl who is really just present on the internet. She has branched out and has had some cameos in shows (Supernatural, Eureka).  I have seen Felicia Day twice now.. once at the San Diego Comic Con and then again at the Denver Comic Con.  It was the San Diego con that really sold me on her.  It was when she and Wil Wheaton were launching Geek and Sundry (a geeky youtube channel).  I just knew she was cool like me.

Throughout the book Day talks about playing video games (especially World of Warcraft (WOW) which inspired her internet show The Guild), being homeschooled, going to college, acting, and all that jazz. After reading the book I just can't figure out how she made money before The Guild to pay rent! She would just be at home all day playing WoW.  She did a couple commercials she said, but how does that pay a year's expenses!  I like how in depth she is about her Guild years.  How the youtube videos kind of went viral and then she had so much pressure to make it bigger and better.

She had a small section about dealing with anxiety.  I had heard about this section and was quite curious about it.  She kind of talks about dealing with anxiety and depression but goes on to say that she finally went to the doctor and it was her thyroid.  Honestly I felt a little let down by this.  It was a perfect opportunity to talk about mental illness and the fact that taking meds and getting help is not embarrassing.  Alas.. it was her thyroid.  Meh.  She did recommend though going to therapy and that it can be a huge help.  So there is that.  She does talk about her insecurities about being an internet persona.  By being on the internet everything you do gets commented on and she gets a lot of negative comments.  I can't imagine reading that everyday.

One of the most interesting parts of the book for me was a section about #gamergate.  This was a big ordeal on the internet a while back.  It is a long history so if you are dying to know about it google it, but basically #GamerGate" is an online movement ostensibly concerned with ethics in game journalism and with protecting the "gamer" identity.  One of the main things that resonated from it for me was the hate against women who played video games. Day wrote a Tumblr post on it and then things got crazy for her.  People on the internet of course publishing her home address and phone number.  I just don't know why it's a big deal that girls play video games.  Who Cares!

Anyways... this was a great book.  I am so glad I read it.  I think I made it through this non-fiction book because Day is interested in a lot of things that I am interested in.  She included funny pictures throughout the book so it was also kind of funny to read though it wasn't meant to be a comedy. I would recommend this book to everyone!!

5 stars!

Holy Smokes UPDATE:  I got a little love on twitter for this review.  Including some likes for Felicia Day herself and Geek and Sundry.  I'm popular!  They are the last two on who favorited my Tweet.  I'm so stoked!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Goosebumps - Movie Review

Those that follow the blog may have noticed that there haven't been a lot of movie reviews on the blog this summer.  I did see the new Mission Impossible and The Martian but didn't review those.  I hadn't actually planned on seeing Goosebumps this weekend (eventually I would've) but a friend wanted to go so I went.   I am glad I did.  I didn't read Goosebumps when I was younger. They were actually written when I started high school so I missed the train.  I did read Fear Street a lot and loved those so I do enjoy a good RL Stine book. I still have my whole Fear Street collection of books!

The movie is kind of meant for a younger crowd so be prepared for that if you to see it.  The movie is about the author of the real life book series Goosebumps, RL Stine, and how all the characters he has written about come alive whenever a book is opened.  There is an abominable snowman, ceramic gnomes, werewolves... all kinds of creatures.  The CGI of these are amazing.  A young boy and his mom move to a new town and become neighbors of a girl and her creepy father.  Who warns them to stay away from his house or bad things will happen. Of course the boy ends up getting into this trouble and all hell breaks lose.  One character in the movie nerdy Champ (Ryan Lee) is so hilarious.  Honestly.. usually Jack Black takes the cake for me but this time around Ryan Lee made me laugh soooo hard. 
We did see it in 3D... only because that was the next showing.  Usually we skip 3D these days because of the cost.  It was good in 3D though... monsters and such jump out of the screen at you.  I am not sure if this is too scary for kids or what?  I suppose if you haven't really introduced your kids to horror themes then you may not want to take your young one to this.  The movie did inspire me to buy my little cousin who is 7 some Goosebumps books for Christmas.  I think it's time she was introduced to RL Stine!


Friday, October 16, 2015

Comic Adventures Issue #30

I read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Wonder Woman vol 6, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe vol 4Aquaman and the Others vol 1, and 
The Flash Vol. 5.

I still love this comic soooo much.  I just love what they are doing with Wonder Woman.. the fact that she has her own story going with zero crossover. Of course there will be new writers for the next issues.. so that sucks. This issue sums up the whole story arc we've been following and I loved it.  Wonder Woman VS the First Born. There was a little damsel in distress with Zola (the mom of the baby that is in danger).  Sometimes that got annoying in each comic but of course that is what Wonder Woman was supposed to do through this series.. protect Zola.  The ending actually kind of surprised me.  I didn't see it coming.  My favorite character Hades totally gets messed up.. that part was a little confusing.  I don't know why that was included there is some guy eating him.  I'm not sure how this happens they don't show it.  The art is still really great there are two artists in this issue and they flow really well.  Otherwise this is a really really strong series.

5 out of 5

So I am still reading along with the He-Man comics. This one was only OK for me.  Previously we saw the banishment of Skeletor, the Sorceress come back and then gone again, and the loss of Castle Greyskull.  So in this comic the King has an idea to go and bring the Sorceress back from the dead. The art work in this one is not my favorite especially comparing it to the first volume.  Eventually the crew is able to go make it through to the Sorceress and there is a twist there.  I was disappointed that She-Ra wasn't in this one.  I am not sure how far DC will go with this series.  There doesn't appear to be a lot of reviews on goodreads for it and I suspect then that it doesn't have a high readership.  Such a bummer.  Honestly I am hoping for more from the next comic.  I miss Skeletor and his crew.

3 out of5

I waited a little while to write the review on this one so forgive me if I can't remember everything I read. I love Aquaman, so I was curious about this comic.  I had chosen to not read anymore new comic series but then this came into the library and so I read it.  I didn't even remember putting it on hold! I didn't feel like there was a great introduction to the new characters "The Others".  I liked those characters because I love to see new powers.  Two of the characters looked the same to me and I had to think about which one I was reading about.  I saw this comic is getting a low score on goodreads. I don't know how popular the characters in the Others will be.  There are already so many superheros that I don't know if any of them are stand out characters.  I don't think I will read issue 2 since this one is a little forgettable.  3 out of 5

I almost gave up on the Flash comic a while back, but kept going.  Especially since I love the show so much. In fact... I was never really interested in the Flash until the show. I am glad I kept reading.  The comic had a great team up between the Flash and Green Lantern.  I have always loved the chemistry between the two of them.  What I liked about this comic is we get some plot for the bigger overall story of the Flash.  Who killed his mother??   I do miss some of the art that was in some of the earlier comics by the previous illustrator. I thought that art was genious.  Where the comic itself seemed like it was moving.  I'll continue on in the series for sure.  4 out of 5


This counts for 48 comics towards my 2015 Graphic Novels Challenge!!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Review

Title: Station Eleven
Pages: 336
Published: September 9th 2014 by Knopf
Source: eaudiobook library
Link: goodreads, Email

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them. Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: "Because survival is insufficient." But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
This was the third audio book I listened to on my summer road trip.  I am so glad a friend of mine who is a big reader too recommended it to me.  She failed to tell me that the first little while was not good.  I almost didn't continue it when I was first listening to it in the car.  I thought maybe it was because I was tired and just sick of listening to books and needed some music. But my friend said the same thing happened to her when listening.  So maybe this book just starts out slow.  I am surprised I hadn't heard about this book before now. 

The book is basically about the planet after a super virus comes through and kills most of the population.  It is not a unique plot.  The first thing that comes to mind for me is Stephen King's The Stand which I love and blew me away.  But the writing does make this book engaging.  This book is good because we read about different characters and how their lives mix before and after the virus hits the population.  I think the book was kind of beautiful.  Even though the characters were faced with terrible times we still read about the good things.  I enjoyed how the book would flashback to before the virus during old Hollywood.  The ending of the book is left up in the air which didn't bother me, I think that those type of endings are perfect for books about the end of the world.

One part of the book I thought was neat is that the people were traveling to a Museum of Civilization that they had heard about.  Eventually while reading we get to the Museum and it made me wonder if all technology and everything disappeared and we reverted to the days of ruff living what would I want to remember the most from technology??  My phone?  A fan?  Personal hygiene would be something I would really miss.  Brushing my teeth and having a dentist!  I think I would miss a phone, and I'm not talking a cell phone.  I mean just a phone to be able to reach out and talk to my loved ones.  

One of the blogs I follow did a fantastic book club meeting about this book.  Seriously why isn't there a book club like Delicious Reads near me. Overall I think this was a neat book and it will make you think.  In a book club I can see this book having amazing discussions. I give this 4 stars for the slow start but then it becomes wonderful.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Landline by Rainbow Rowell Review

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Pages:  310 pages
Published: July 8th 2014 by St. Martin's Press
Source: eaudiobook library
Links: goodreads, Rainbow Rowell website

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point. Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts... Is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
I love that I got 3 audio books in on my long summer road trip. This is one of them... I have no idea why I chose this as one of the books I listened to! I think it's because people love Rowell so much and she gets so much buzz.  I have actually read two of her other books Eleanor and Park and Fangirl both were average for me.  It's just that I am not a contemporary reader.

This book is about a married couple, Georgie and Neal who have been married a long time and are just at that point in marriage where you have last the spark and are trying to get it back. Georgie has a great job and a big event coming up that might make her job even better.  She writes TV shows and a pilot has just been green-lit so over the Christmas holiday Georgie is supposed to work on it.  Her family (they have two kids) have tickets to go to Ohio for Christmas though with Neal's family.   So most of the book is about the two of them being apart and Georgie debating her marriage and what she has done right and what she has done wrong.

There is this past and present dialog going on through much of the book. I couldn't decide if I was reading a fantasy or not! We get the past narration from some magic phone calls.  Georgie is able to communicate with Neal in the past by using the landline in her mom's house.  Sometimes I would be annoyed because she never talked to Neal like the whole time her was in Ohio.  She would call and his mom would make excuses, her kids wouldn't let her talk to her husband... I mean, if it were my husband I would tell someone put him on the dang phone.  There were several times in the book were I was frustrated with moments like this.

I had issues with the whole job thing too.  I understand Christmas is important.  But if Georgie is the breadwinner of the family she needs to work to make a good life for them.  Sometimes... sacrifices have to be made for jobs.  I guess though if your marriage is on the brink going to your inlaws is pretty important. Rowell does write relationships really well.  Sometimes I really related with what Georgie was feeling when it came to her marriage.  I have been married as long as the characters in the book so most of their experiences I've dealt with.  

In the end I had a lot of issues with the Landline!  This time travel stuff.. I mean.. we never find out if Neal remembers these phone calls.  I know the phone line was set up for the plot.. so that we can see the characters interact.  I felt though like I never got to know the present day Neal only the 20 something Neal.  All in all this book is only average for me. 3 stars

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fergus the Great by Daniel Duffield- Review

Title: Fergus the Great
Author: Daniel Duffield
Pages: 180 pages
Published: July 12th 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Source: author, owned book
Links: Author website, goodreads

Dovsfield is anointed by the Stone of Destiny at Tara to be high king of Eriu land. Immediately, he has to flee Eriu to escape from Coirpre, the current high king who wishes to kill Dovsfield. Then Dovsfield travels to Alba to seek refuge and help from Evenus, king of the Scotti. Yona knows of an ancient prophecy that she is to marry an Eriu prince. She loves Dovsfield and believes him to be that prince. Driven by her pride, she ignores the prophecy and chooses a different path across the Big Water to return to her tribe. From Alba, Dovsfield returns to Eriu to lead a revolt against Coirpre with the help of a young priest named Patricus and a new kingdom called Dal Riata is born. It is in this new kingdom that prophecies are fulfilled and the destinies of all are determined.
I finished this series that I have been reading for a few years now. So I am glad to be able to finish it. I think this book series was a really good start for it being Duffield's first time publishing. I would imagine that trying to get your book out there and read would be tough.  I think of how hard it is to get my blog up and going to attract readers and try to get people to discover my blog.  It is hard work.  So I have no idea how someone would get publicity for their book.  My mother knows the author of this book so that is how I was able to come across the book series. 

I think what I love most about the book is that I could tell the author really is passionate about the history and story of Fergus the Great.  I wish I was more interested in the history of my own people (I am French and German).  Duffield takes the time to really do research for his book including a map and a fantastic cover.  For a self published author I think these are great details that add to the book.  The first and third book covers give nods to each other and I hope in future editions the second book's cover matches too. Interesting fact to those who may not know but Fergus the Great is the father in the Disney movie Brave! Until I read this book I had no idea the Disney character was based off a real person.

This book follows the characters we have come to know throughout the entire series.  I loved revisiting them. I was only a little disappointed in the end of the story.  I felt like it was left a little too much in the air.  The adversary that we were chasing through the whole book goes on his way and we never really find out if they come back, or just stay away and the war is won?  I only say that because through out the books these two groups would fight, retreat, fight and retreat so I was unsure if this would happen again.  It almost seemed like it was set up for another book in the series though I was pretty sure this was going to be just a trilogy.  I looked on the author's site and can't tell if this is the final book in the series or not?

Really this book is fun... the whole series is fun.  Yes I do think you can tell reading that the author is new and it's apart of some huge publishing company with tons of editors on staff. The story is engaging and interesting so really in the end that doesn't matter.  It makes me wish I had some sort of story inside me waiting to hit the pages.  Alas... I have never been a writer.

Check out my reviews of book one and two:

Niall and the Irish Pirates by Daniel Duffield
Sons of Niall by Daniel Duffield