Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #5

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should be ReadingIt's just sharing a short teaser of the book we are currently reading! Don't worry — teasers will not contain any spoilers. 

I haven't participated in Teaser Tuesday that much, and the last time was so long ago I know it's at least been a year! I thought it would be fun to bring it back this week  :L 

My Teaser

This week I'm reading Mariana by Susanna Kearsley. I was in the mood for historical fiction, with some ghostly elements and spookiness since it's been so rainy and overcast in Los Angeles lately. It's weird because it's May and usually we have summer-like weather. Anyway, onto the teaser! 

"'I went to the churchyard, to see the grave of my grandfather,' I explained, my voice absent. 'Rachel, what do you know of a man named Richard de Mornay?'  She looked up sharply, hesitating and her eyes slid past me, widening in sudden apprehension. I had not heard my uncle enter the room, but I felt him behind me before he spoke."

I haven't gotten this far yet, but it does a good job of showing the mystery of the novel. There is a lot of mysterious elements and I love how it's now switching to different time periods, yet we don't know what's going on. I really like Kearsley's books ever since I read The Winter Sea. After this I need to get to Firebird.

What are you reading right now? Have you read any of Susanna Kearsley's books? What is a good historical fiction/time traveler book? 

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses 
Author: Sarah J. Maas 
Pages: 416 pages 
Published: May 5th, 2015 by Bloomsbury Children
Genre: Fantasy Retelling, YA 
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore. 

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin- one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled the world. 

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy to hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin- and this world-forever. 

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R.R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down! 

Get it now!

It's no surprise to any of you who have read my blog for a while that I have a burning love for Sarah J. Maas. My need for her writing is like rain to a dessert or even candy to Willy Wonka!! The Throne of Glass is undoubtedly one of my favorite series ever and she just has a way with writing fantasy books. I approach her books differently from how I normally read other books. I have a hand full of post-its and tissues because I know the feel waves are coming. 

I had heard that this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and I honestly have to say that I saw the smallest snippets of the theme throughout the book. Okay, to be kind of obvious, there was a "beauty" and a "beast". Faerie lores. Can we just talk about them for a second? Sarah J. Maas set up a wonderful and amazing world of faeries and humans co-existing, to say the least. Some humans have a deep hatred for the faeries and some faeries feel the same way. What I find that Maas does best is world-building and plot organization. She can write a fantasy book with hard-to-pronounce words and keep you from being confused or hindered from enjoying the story, all at the same time. Like this story and plot was so kick-ass. I LOVED IT SO SO SO MUCH, MORE THAN THE THRONE OF GLASS SERIES. I COULD EVEN DO THE PEACOCK SPIDER DANCE FOR THIS AMAZING AND WELL-BUILT PLOT! 

There is a ton of lore and information behind why her society is built this way and she does a perfect way of getting it out there, without the info dumps and the well-known insta love. Like what else do you want me to say that will convince you to read this book? If you're a daring contemporary reader who wants to live on the wild side for a bit, try a Sarah J. Maas book and see how easily you begin to fall in love with the fantasy genre. 

We've got our fast-paced that will get you reading and into the book right away, to ensure a clean and easy finish in just one or two sittings! 

We've not only got an author who's great on world-building but as well as character development and construction. Our main character, Feyre (Fay-ruh), was such an independent individual who didn't need any man in her life to protect her. She made an honest living, hunting animals in the forest for cash to keep the promise that she made her mom to never let her family starve. She grew so much in the book that it wasn't right to say that Feyre was the same person anymore by the end of the book. She has put her life on the line many times throughout the story, for the ones she loved and understands the fine line between want and need. 

Sarah J. Maas knows hot and mysterious guys just as she knows how to read the alphabet. Pure genius! After reading Throne of Glass, I was slobbering and yearning for more Chaol Westfall and now this book's got me worked up on Tamlin, the sexy and an enigma of an High Immortal Fae Lord. The mystery comes from the mask that has been bound to his face because of a curse, but of course, that doesn't keep the ladies from falling in love with his charms and that Greek sculpture of a body. Her characters are superbly described from head to toe, just as if he/she was standing next to you and you could see all the features! 

My favorite part of the book! I use pink post-its to distinguish the romantic scenes in the book and by the time I was finished reading, my copy was filled with loads and loads of pink. Just pink everywhere. PINK PINK PINK GODDAMN PINK. The romance was incredible and was just so meaningful. Feyre and Tamlin are definitely OTP, but it's not only about that. Maas truly knows the fullest extent to love where there are no boundaries and one would do the impossible for the other and vise versa. She explores the romance between a mortal and a faerie, which was not encouraged by the setting considering how most humans fear the fae. 

The slow and gradual build up to the relationships in this book had me squeezing my pillow at night and screaming into the alleys of the park. It was so tedious and quite frustrating to deal with the fact that from the start, I knew they would make a good couple, but unfortunately they didn't realize that until the end. I'd heard rumors that this book wasn't YA anymore so it was dipped with some intense sexual scenes here and there indicating the transition into NA. I couldn't be more content with the romance and the close relationship between Feyre and Tamlin. 

Fantasy cannot get better than this! Read A Court of Thorns and Roses for swoony OTP's, superb world-building, characters with substance, and a fast-paced page-lifter. Maas' fandoms are wild and there are a bunch of people in the debate between Dorian and Chaol, so if anybody asks... I'M ROOTING FOR TAMLIN HAHA! I also heard this was supposed to be a series but by the way the first book ended, it looks okay to be a standalone. ALTHOUGH I NEED MORE TAMLIN! 


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues Vol. 2

Angel & Faith Volume 2: Daddy Issues by Christos Gage and Rebekah Issacs, Joss Whedon (executive producer)

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars :star :star :star :star

Source: Paperback via my collection

Publisher: Dark Horse

Date of Publication: November 2012

The dark streets of London are increasingly dangerous as murderers, mystically devoid of emotion, begin to impact the lives of Angel and Faith. In unraveling this new mystery, the pair follow clues in the Watcher’s Files to a demon from Giles’s past and a “child” from Angel’s. Then, Drusilla returns to her homeland and becomes the hot new vampire in the underground scene! While Angel faces Dru, Faith must deal with issues that reawaken her inner turmoil—a visit from her deadbeat dad, who’s looking for a favor, and a troubled Slayer hell bent on revenge. Collects Angel & Faith #6–#10.

My Review

I had this on my wishlist forever. I was receiving the issues as they were coming out in 2012  and this is when I stopped doing that actually. Not because of this, but because of Buffy. Also, I much prefer collecting the volumes of graphic novels over a thousand issues which don't store well, and are a pain in the ass to read and maintain in order. I am glad I made that decision, I just regret taking so long to get back to this series as it really is better than Buffy and the only series I am determined to finish reading (that is currently being released).

I had read the first few issues so when I got this it was a bit of a reread. I didn't mind though, as I had forgotten a lot of what happened in the story. I knew Faith's dad came back, and knew it was for shady purposes. Drusilla is back, and I just love her. Her and her creepy demon friend are really interesting though.

The concept is this: The new demon in town is one with a twist. He feeds off the trauma of others. Usually, kills them in the process BUT Drusilla has "domesticated" one, in a sense. She keeps him as her pet, but only lets him feed on those who are willing — and doesn't let him kill the human either. What results is a person who is free of the trauma that haunted them. They still remember it, still recognize its tragedy, they are just no longer in any way inhibited by it. They no longer feel the sadness, grief, loss, anger, or betrayal by remembering it every day.

I loved this aspect of the story.

It poses an excellent philosophical question: would you ever volunteer to be a subject of the demon's feeding? You get a life free of the worst trauma or experience you have ever felt. You still have your memories, but you no longer feel the negative feelings associated with them.

One of the characters chooses this path, another doesn't. I could see both points of view, and it made me wonder what I would do. I think I would honestly have a hard time not trying it. If I still have my memories what am I giving up? Only the pain.

But, is pain the reason why traumatic events change us for the better? Are we stronger because of the pain or the experience of trauma?

I apologize for making this a mini philosophical review, but I just have to put those questions out there. As for the novel itself, the graphics are done beautifully. We meet a lot of new characters and see a few old ones (like Drusilla, as sane as ever). I really felt bad for Drusilla in this graphic novel as her sanity gave an even clearer picture of what Angel did to her and her family and that he really is the reason why she is as messed up as she is.

I recommend this graphic novel to lovers of fantasy, lovers of great stories and those who don't mind having a few questions swimming in their brain as they read a graphic novel. For those who are familiar with Angel or Buffy (even just a little— knowing the characters by name would be beneficial to this volume).

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Doctor Strange Vol. 1

Doctor Strange - Season One 
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars :star :star :star :star

Source: Hardcover gifted, in my collection

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Date of Publication: September 12, 2012

A window-crashing, high-flying, globe-traveling, ghost-battling adventure from the earliest days of Doctor Strange's training in the mystic arts! Part Indiana Jones, part Lord of the Rings, thrill to this new tale of how a selfish, arrogant surgeon collided with a hot-headed martial artist to become the greatest team the mystic arts have ever seen! If only they can stop hitting each other and figure out how all this magic stuff works anyway. Also featuring DEFENDERS (2012) #1, by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson.

My Review

Doctor Strange arrived mysteriously on my doorstep around my birthday. Turns out an old friend of mine sent it to me out of the blue as a birthday gift (don't you just love Amazon wish lists?!) He thought I'd like it, and because I was asking about it (they're making a movie of it — what?! :o) 

So. I was intrigued. Plus, I don't know why but something about holding a new graphic novel in your hands just makes me excited. The smell is just so unique and fresh…booklovers. you know what I mean about smells. ;) For some reason the new graphic novel is the smell I love, not used or even just not perfectly brand new. BUT I DIGRESS.
The book. Okay, yes. 

Marvel graphic novels and I aren't best friends. I just don't love superhero graphic novels *hides in partial-shame* I'm only partially ashamed because I know I'm missing out on some awesomeness but I am more of a story-girl. I like unique stories with fantasy elements like magic and shit. 

I feel like doing something different. I wrote a little scene with Doctor Strange and myself. 
It's very short, has nothing to do with the plot of the book, and serves no purpose toward my actual review or feelings of the graphic novel. 
It's purely useless (or for fun, if you will).

Doctor Strange Walks Into a Bar

Setting: A dive bar in Los Angeles

…in walks Doctor Strange…

..After sitting in the stool next to me, he smiles and buys me a drink. The bartender seems to know exactly what to make without saying a word. 

He slides the frosty drink over to me, anticipating the question on my tongue by stating; 

"..it's a Tom Collins." 

I inhale quickly, astonished. It's my favorite drink. I sputter stupidly,

"how did you know?" 

Ever mysterious and sexy, Doctor Strange merely smiles and winks as he rises from the rickety stool. 
I stare in awe as he strides out of the bar (presumably to do some crazy magic tricks after performing surgery on a dying man with a spoon and a straw).

I definitely needed to come back to this bar tomorrow night.


What is this graphic novel about?

A highly renowned surgeon loses his ability to save lives when his hands are injured. We see him climbing a tall mountain in the East…searching for something mystical (which he doesn't really believe in but he is so desperate he is on his last hope). 

After many interesting turns in the plot we get the Doctor and a young woman (with a pure heart) who is the only one who can touch the rings. There's another young man (very snarky) who has been  apprenticing for this wise wizard for years (the wizard: think yoda but not green). The Doctor, the young woman, and the snarky young apprentice are on a hunt for magical rings to keep out of reach of an old evil. 

The novel references Lord of the Rings multiple times, and I thought it was pretty funny that they acknowledged the similarity. It didn't put me off, I found it hilarious. >.< 

I would recommend this graphic novel for lovers of high fantasy. It has humor, a good plot, and stunning graphics with impressive colors on every page.

Monday, May 11, 2015

My Thoughts On: Shadowhunters TV Show

No, I haven't read the entire TMI series yet in books. I have seen the movie for the first book, and totally obsessed over it for a few days. The Shadowhunters TV show was announced way back when, but recently some of the characters were cast, and I thought it would be reasonable enough to share my fears and anticipations for the incoming hit!

Dominic Sherwood cast as Jace Wayland

Perfect, just perfection. Honestly the perfect person to be playing Jace Wayland. Did you miss him in Vampire Academy? He was Christian in Vampire Academy.

His face is so chiseled and it looks like baby smooth! Gahh, girl crushes. It's not that I didn't like Jamie Campbell, who played Jace in the movie, but I really think Dominic is a great choice for the new role in the TV show. 

Alberto Rosende as Simon Lewis

Too sexy for Simon?

We all know Simon as the nerdy type, ya know he's known for his glasses. Is it just me, or does Alberto look exactly like the Simon that was played in the movies? Maybe it's just my eyes or this particular picture.

Was he a good choice? 100% yes! I agree with the people that cast him. He's a great Simon who has that nerdy side but with a dash of sexy and ruggedness.  

Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle Lightwood

No hate here, but why didn't they keep the Isabelle that was in the movie? I had a strong connection to her and felt that she could have pulled off another role in the TV show. I was almost sure that they were gonna choose her again.

Then again, it would be kind of awkward to keep the Isabelle and replace everyone else.

Was she a good choice? She sure looks like an Isabelle. Hope she can really pull off the part of the bad-ass (my favorite) Shadowhunter! 

Katherine McNamara as Clary Fray

I watched her on Disney Channel's original film Girl vs. Monster and I didn't think she was that impressive on that show. Maybe she wasn't able to show her true potential because she was playing the part of a snobby, popular teenager. I'm truly excited for this casting, and I think she looks mysterious, bold, and super purty. 

One concern I have is that she also looks kind of innocent and fragile. I really hope they remake her look and maybe some bad-ass highlights and some tanner skin possibly... ? because the Clary we all know is a born risk-taker and a fighter! 

It's hard to say that I'm not excited for the show because I don't know what to expect from the casting and where their sets are going to take place. They should use the same sets though for the Institute and such!

My Fears. My biggest fear is that these new actors are not going to bring their A-game and be as good as say, Lily Collins. The awesome Lily Collins! I also fear that the story will go way off the book's plotline and take it in an entirely new direction. I guess it's safe to say that most book to TV adaptations do that anyways, so there's no point in fear when it's inevitable. 

This new TV series could push people from reading the book series just as easily as it could draw more people to it. It really depends on how fluently and successfully the producers of this show drag out the story and the background information. No info dumps. No sluggish acting. And god, please god no insta-romance! 

My Anticipations. The romance.. all the gushy mushy love that's going to occur between Clary and Jace. I can't wait to see our two newly cast members shake things up a little and just allow a whole new friendship and romance to blossom! I'm anticipating all the action and fighting scenes. DAMN THOSE ARE GOING TO BE FREAKING AWESOME! 

Makeup and costume. That should be interesting since we all know Shadowhunters love their leather jackets and belts :P There also needs to be some hella cool makeup and effects for the vampires and ughhh we can't forget Magnus Bane, which the movie did a great job at envisioning his character and personality. Props to the producers! 

Because this is a TV show it's longer and that means they will be able to build the basic story into something else. New characters? New love interests? NEW HOT GUYS?? We'll be getting many seasons (hopefully) and more time for the characters to build substantial relationships and conflicts! Who doesn't love TV shows? 

Magnus Bane at his finest hour. 
Overall I'm just going to miss all the actors from the movie. I can't imagine these parts being played any other way.

What are your thoughts on the up-and-coming TV show, Shadowhunters


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