Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

19351043Oh my dragons, I loved this book! <u>Nimona</u> is a graphic novel set in medieval times…but then someone answers a phone and the Industry manufactures a secret genetic weapon. And then throw a little shape-shifting magic in there and we’re set up for something great!

The characters are great as well. Nimona, our main character, is absolutely hilarious! At times, she does get a little annoying because she can be aggressively self-pitying and take it out on others. So Nimona wants to be a villain and in order to do that, she seeks out the villiage villain, Lord Blackthorn. She calls him “Boss” and takes his “evil plans” of robbing a bank and tries to turn them into killing the king and taking over the throne so that he can be king. I loved the relationship and the banter between these two–it literally had me laughing out loud while reading on my breaks at work! And to make me like Nimona even more, at one point, she dyes her hair purple, and I love purple, so I got a little giddy over that. šŸ˜Ā The rivalry between Blackthorn and Goldenloin (the “head knight” of the kingdom and the Industry) was fun as well. It was refreshing to see a heroic villain and a not-completely-heroic hero.

One more thing I want to highlight that I feel the book did really well was flashback sequences. I feel that these are very difficult to do in graphic novels, butĀ Nimona did a variety of them, going back to Nimona’s childhood, Blackhood and Goldenloin’s early days of friendship, and the “legend” of the early knights and dragons. I felt that these scenes were woven into the story well and the storyboards looked different enough but still blended in nicely with the others to work out really nicely.

My only real qualm with the book (besides the aforementioned repetition of Nimona being self-pitying) is the tiny, microscopic text in the book. Seriously, its SO SMALL. The book (sorry, “graphic novel”) is only 250 pages long, I think we could expand a little for the sake of 1 size bigger font. I’ve never had this problem with a graphic novel before. šŸ˜ž

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Other than those tiny negatives, I LOVED this book. The graphics were good, it was SO very funny, the ideas were unique and creative, and it was just an all-around fun read. Honestly, one of my favorite graphic novels. I highly recommend it!

Soundtrack:

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January 2019 Readathons

Hey everyone! Today I will be sharing a few of the Read-a-thons for this month that I am aware of and that I will be participating in. If you have been following me on social media at all, whether via blog, Twitter, or IG, you will know that I am a RAT addict. I love jumping in on read-a-thons of all kinds for several reasons.

b72f83555612cab4f01bf10b505d7a81First of all, there are so many different types so depending on the ‘thon, it may get you reading a genre that you don’t read very much. For example, I am going to try the Mangathon later this month and I have NEVER read ANY manga before in my life. However, a couple of my dear IG friends have made stories with manga recommendations and I am going to try some out and see what happens! Who knows, maybe I’ll love it! Maybe not, but from what I hear, they can be relatively quick reads and I can get some books read and onto my GR challenge! Woo! A second reason that I love read-a-thons is that motivation to set aside some time to read. For RAT’s with time requirements (Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon, the 24in48, etc.), I love them and really try to reserve that time in my calendar if I can. These events only happen twice a year so it’s not like these other RAT’s that are weeklong or a different theme that I find every weekend, but when I do participate in the up-all-night challenges, I get SO MUCH READING DONE and it feels like such a triumph. The final reason that I will state for my addiction to read-a-thons is the community. Yes, there is community to be found all the time for book chatting, but when you’re doing a ‘thon, you’re all working on the same goals, you’re talking about similar books and goals, and then you’re looking toward the next time you get together and do this all over again. I just love the updates and the encouragement (and the prizes…what? noooooo) and the general buzz of excitement down to what you’re snacking on and listening to.

The LATE-A-THON ~ January 1-31

“OFF THE GRID” READ-A-THON” ~ January 11-13

MANGATHON ~ January 21-27

24IN48 READ-A-THON ~ January 26-27

WINTER BIANNUAL BIBLIOTHON ~ January 12-18

So there is a good list for January to get you started. Are there any here that you are participating in? Did I miss any that need to be included? Let me know in the comments!

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HUGE Grishaverse News!

I absolutely cannot contain my excitement. I have butterflies in my tummy. My kefta is in a twist. You guys….Shadow and Bone andĀ Six of Crows are coming to Netflix. Did you hear me???

Shadow and Bone andĀ Six of Crows are coming to Netflix!!!

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I absolutely cannot believe it! I believe wholeheartedly that Netflix does an amazing job with everything they put out. I mean, they gave us other favorites like “Stranger Things,” “Thirteen Reasons Why,” “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Daredevil,” “Orange is the New Black,” “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Anne With and E,” and so, so many more! Netflix can doĀ anything, and do it very, very well!

bardugoSo what do we know about this project so far? Well, not too much yet. We do know that we have eight episodes contracted and we have Eric Heisserer (director of the recent book-to-movie sensation “Bird Box) on board to direct. Shawn Levy will executive produce alongside Queen Bardugo herself, so get ready for the epicness.

My curiosity is so high as to how these stories will weave together, how the characters and magic will be portrayed, and — of course — who will have the high honors of playing these roles!! I can’t wait for future announcements, and you better believe that I will post them here!! Stay vigilant, fellow Grisha!

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Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

What better way to start off the new year than by not giving a f*ck, am I right? I thought this would be the perfect book to start off 2019 and while it was pretty funny at times, and surprisingly smart (if not fully supportive of itself), I wouldn’t really call it profound or life-changing, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

28259130In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, weā€™ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Letā€™s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesnā€™t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it isā€”a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today.Ā The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**kĀ is his antidote to the coddling, letā€™s-all-feel-good mindset that has infectedĀ modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limitedā€””not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor,Ā The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**kĀ is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

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not-a-single-fuck-was-given-memeThroughout the book, author Mark Manson quotes various psychologists, philosophers, and pop culture experts from the Buddha to Homer Simpson himself. Of course, Manson draws from personal experience as well, and he has quite a bit to share including illegal substances, the tragic loss of a close friend, and more. Just to leave you with a morsel of the book’s wisdom: “In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And like the road not taken, it was the fucks not given that made all the difference.” You’re welcome.

Book Soundtrack : “For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic” by Paramore

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Tag Tuesday: New Years Book Tag

new year tagIts my favorite day! I found this tag on Kaitlyn’s blog and thought it the perfect festive entry for the week. If you’d like to do it for yourself, just link the original post from Bookmark Chronicles, answer the questions below, and tag some friends! And now, without further ado, let’s begin!

1. Best book and/or series that you read in 2018.
I’m so glad I finally finished up the Grisha trilogy last year! Looking at the books as individuals, they weren’t 5-star reads, but the series as a whole was really great. I loved the world building and Nikolai and the Darkling as characters were just stupendous!

2. Authors that you’ve read recently that you’d like to read more of this year.
I read my first Schwab book last year when I readĀ City of Ghosts and I absolutely LOVED it!! Plus, from what I hear, that’s not even her best book! So I am really excited to read more VE/Victoria Schwab this year and I think that the second in that series is coming out this year as well, so I’m really excited for that!

3. Most anticipated book turned movie.
Honestly I don’t even know what all is coming out this year yet! I always am excited about more Outlander. Five Feet Apart looks like all the feels. They’re making The Sun is Also a Star? I need to get reading, y’all!

4. Name a character that you wouldn’t mind sharing a kiss with at midnight.
Levi fromĀ Fangirl was a character that I really loved, and of course the Darkling is a bad boy I swoon over.

5. What’s on your TBR for 2019? (top 5 will suffice)
Ok, I will choose a couple 2019 releases and a couple backlisters.
– King of Scars
– Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom
– Wicked Saints (this list sounds so dark so far!)
– Glass Sword
– Enchantee

6. How many books do you hope to read in 2019?
My goal is 75 and I hope to exceed that. *crossing fingers.

7. Will you participate in the Goodreads, or other Challenges?
Definitely Goodreads, plus several readathon challenges. I sort of have an addiction.

8. Any New Years Resolutions?
Ummm, not necessarily strong and steadfast, but I do want to comment on other blogs more and I do want to use my reading planner more.

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And that’s it! So if you like the sound of this tag and would like to do this one, consider yourself tagged! Please link back to me and the original maker of the tag (linked above) because I would love to see your answers. With that, happy new year!

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Something Worth Celebrating: Post #200!

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And just like that, this is my 200th blog post! I have been posting book reviews, tags, memes, news, and other bookish insights for just shy of two years on this domain. I have been reflecting on my experiences and I’d like to share a couple bits of advice and contemplation. Allow me to share:

First, there are no “rules” to blogging. Your blog isĀ your blog. If you want to post every day, about a different thing each day, do it! If you need to take a break for a month, its your blog, so do it! Furthermore, you never have to apologize. I always see bloggers saying sorry for not posting for a day or a week or more. Life happens! Other people’s lives don’t revolve around your blog, so don’t be distressed when life calls you somewhere else.

Next, be active with other bloggers and on other social media platforms. Making friends in the community is not only fun but its important as well. Finding friends with interests similar to your blog’s theme can inspire post ideas, conversations, follows, and traffic through other followers. Its all a win-win.

Finally, know and remember that blogging (especially book blogging) is a time consuming hobby. Not only do you have to do the reading, but then there’s the organizing and planning of your blog itself. Most of us book bloggers don’t get paid, but rather, spend plenty of our hard-earned dollars investing in books and bookish merch to make our blogs and social media accounts look pretty. Remember that at the heart of this, we do this for the love of reading. At least I do. I love the adventures of the written word and I love sharing them. And this is why I blog!

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2018 – My Year In Books

YiBĀ Hi everyone! Today I’m looking back at 2018 a little bit. I hope that your year was as good as mine was. I know its cliche to say, but its so true–it went by so fast. Last year, my little brother (not so little anymore) got married, I lost a job, I found a really great new job, I started my own small business, and I got married. Holy cow! On top of that, I read some amazing books across a variety of genres.

So below is my year in books. Considering all the “busy” and “hectic” in my life, I am darn proud of how much I did get read.

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I rated 18 books 5-star reads, 28 books as 4-star reads, 21 books as 2-star reads, and 6 as 1-star reads, making my average rating about 3.65. My overall goal was to read 75 books and IĀ almost made it. Technically I made it by intentionally reading a few shorter books for a readathon at some point, but I mean really short books, like, picture books. But they were books! I don’t like to count children’s books though. So, like I said, I’m happy with what I did. I read for pleasure not for competition with myself or anyone else. I’d never beat myself up about not hitting a certain amount.

So how about you: Did you reach any reading goals in 2018? Read any great books worth recommending? I’d love to hear about them!

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First Line Friday: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

First line: “It was late winter in northern Rus’, the air sullen with wet that was neither rain nor snow.”

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At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

40004709After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales. [from Goodreads]

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The Bear and the Nightengale by Katherine Arden is my current read and I have heard many good things about this one. I am about 25% into it and so far its a little slow, but I do like the wintery vibes, and there’s always something about Russian folklore that is so mystical and special to me. I have always enjoyed Russian music, history, and poetry, so I am eager to see if the book lives up to the hype around it.

How about you – have you read this book? What did you think? What other books do you feel have a strong winter vibe?

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First WWW of the new year!

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Hello and good morning everyone! I am loving 2019 so far…seeing all of the TBR posts, resolutions and goals, organizers and planners….yes, I am behind already in posting mine. But they’re coming this weekend, I promise. Working full-time is really quite the hindrance sometimes! But if I make my choices to prioritize my reading and posting smaller posts during the week and then the bigger posts on the weekends, I think that will work out best in the long run! So anywho, WWW is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.There are 3 questions to answer and I would love to see your answers too! So if you do this meme, link your post in the comments, or even just answer the questions! Tell me what you’re reading, what you’ve recently finished, and what you’re reading next!

1. What are you reading? I thought it would be mildly amusing to kick off the new year by listening to the audiobook of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I was right! Its not a very long book (5-ish hours long) and I don’t know that I’ll get much out of it in terms of self enrichment (am I supposed to?) but it is amusing to listen to the narrator say f*ck every 2 seconds. Yes, I am a big child. #noshame. I also just picked up The Bear and the Nightengale. I am a couple days late to a buddy/group read for this one, but its short so I am pretty sure I can catch up and/or read enough to engage in the discussion. I have heard wonderful things about this book, and the cover is just mystical. I am excited to finally read this book!

2. What did you recently finish reading? If you look at my last post, you will see that I just finished an ARC of White Stag, which releases next week! This was a YA fantasy that kept me on the edge of my seat and I absolutely loved it. Apparently I have a thing for goblins, and I’m not even mad about it! I also recently finished the audiobook of Marie Lu’s Champion, which is part of the Legend trilogy. I read the first two books in the series a while ago and I felt so proud to finally get back into that series!

3. What will you read next? Normally I’m a mood reader, but I have quite the TBR this month! I really want to read The Cruel Prince and Wicked King when it releases. And I amĀ definitelyĀ jumping straight into King of Scars. I have a couple surprise ARCs that will be getting my attention and of course, my mood will probably throw some things off as well so stay tuned for all the chaos!

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Review: White Stag by Kara Barbieri

39863517The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Jannekeā€”as the only survivorā€”was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Jannekeā€™s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin Kingā€™s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isnā€™t badā€”especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Jannekeā€™s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling. [from Goodreads]

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White Stag is a brutally beautiful book about Janneke (we cannot call her ‘young’), whose family was slain and has been imprisoned in the Permafrost by goblins for over one hundred years. When the Goblin King is killed, the hunt for the white stag begins to find a new successor to the throne, and Janneke is forced to consider her place on the border of the worlds. Yes, long sentence, but its a long journey. The night is dark and full of terrors if you know what I mean!

I went into this book blind, without reading the full synopsis and without reading a lot of feedback from other readers. I didn’t want to know anything about the chemistry or the goblins or the worlds. I just wanted to read. I feel that a lot of fantasy is better that way and it works for me. I loved discovering the characters and their quirks. I got to discover the different creatures along their paths–Soren and Janneka run into creatures I’ve never evenĀ heard of. *runs to do research* I’ll get back to you on lindworms and svartelves….

Aside from that, I am so amazed that this book is coming from an author so young! Kara Barbieri is 22 years old and I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with! I was on the edge of my seat reading White Stag! There is so much action in this book, with battle scenes between the goblins, with above-mentioned mythical creatures, and in dreams and flashbacks. Also, I honestly didn’t know what path Janneka would take for herself. I couldn’t tell if she would turn back to the human world, or choose the pull of her powers and vengeance in the goblin world. And then the ending! The ending was what sealed the deal for me. This was a completely different spin on an old trope and I am not upset in the least. I loved how it was written, how it was crafted, and how everything fit together. Honestly, I am so excited that there is a second book coming and I can’t wait to see how things play out. I recommend this one. It releases in one week – January 8th, 2019!

Soundtrack: The Devil Within by Digital Daggers

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