Monday, April 25, 2016

Pocket Book Reviews {April 2016} + Giveaway

At the beginning of the month, I decided I wanted to read as many graphic novels as possible. It started when I went to the comic book store my with brother and realized that he had a bunch of comic books hidden away in his room that I wanted to read. I read eleven books overall and seven of them were graphic novels, so I think I did pretty well. Are you a graphic novel reader? 

Madly (Potion #1)
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Amy Alward; When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors traveling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn.

I loved this! I found it interesting that it's set in the 21st century, but magic and potions and fantastical creatures (unicorns!) exist. It could be weird, but somehow it works. It didn't feel forced or strange. And the fact that the princess fell in love with herself? Hilarious! This book is definitely on the light, fluffy side and not to be taken completely serious. It's a fun, adventure ride through the eyes of Samantha, a teen who has a knack for potion-making, as she hunts down the ingredients for the cure. The one thing that really sold me on this book is Sam. She's down-to-earth, smart, naive at times, self-conscious about love, and just a good person. I also adored her grandfather and bad-ass Kirsty. Yes, sometimes the book was a little over-dramatic and unbelievable, but it is fantasy and overall it's just a fun read!

Add to Goodreads

Gotham Academy, Vol. 2: Calamity
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher; Olive has received information that her mother might be alive—and now, she and her friends must investigate! Of course werewolves, ghosts, and new student Damian Wayne won’t make it easy!

The reason I like Gotham Academy is that it's dark and fun at the same time. The backdrop of Gotham and the mysteries surrounding Olive's mother adds an air of mystery and drama, but Olive's friends, particularly Maps, brings the humor and a lighter touch. Definitely recommend reading this series!

Add to Goodreads

The Woods, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Amy Alward;  On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness.

Wow! I wasn't sure what to expect with this series since I picked it up on a whim, but it's ca-razy good! Not only do you get to know these teens while on a strange alien planet, but there are flashbacks to their lives before they all vanished. It has a bit of a Lost vibe, but I feel like we get even less answers than with that show and that's saying a lot. 

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A Study in Charlotte
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Brittany Cavallaro; Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances and Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. 

I suppose murder mysteries are usually dark and gritty because death and murder and bad guys, but one of the reasons I really enjoyed this book is because it's not dark and scary and unnecessarily raining half the time. Yes there are dark moments and themes, but I appreciate that it's a light mystery. This book is delightful and smart and focuses on deduction (obviously) and the growing, at times strained, and strange relationship between Charlotte Holmes and James Watson. They're modern counterparts of their ancestors, but they're still learning the ropes. I enjoyed that the mystery was Sherlock Holmes-related. The story lost me a little towards the end, but a re-read of the end made me understand it better. And it didn't take away from my admiration for this clever mystery and story. Definitely worth a read!

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Beyond Citadel 
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Marcos Efron; Jacob has been groomed his whole life to succeed his father as High Minister of Citadel, the last of the walled cities that rose from the ashes of the Cloud Wars. Beyond the impenetrable walls of Citadel lies the Fallow, a treacherous and barren wasteland. When Jacob's father is found dead and he’s accused of murder, Jacob escapes into the Fallow, where all the terrifying tales of savagery are confirmed. 

I want to put it out there that this is my cousin's novel and I proofread the manuscript, but all opinions are my own. This book is everything you want in a dystopian novel: fast pacing, adventure, an interesting setting, great characters you root for, and horribly evil bad guys. I read this so fast because I had to know what was going to happen. The latter half is a little predictable, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment. 

Add to Goodreads (out on May 6th on Amazon only)

Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope 
 (2 out of 5)

Written by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini; Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth's surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun's scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope.

Hmmm....I had high hopes for this, but really didn't like it. Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of the art, the story was confusing, and the dialogue was weird at times. The story itself didn't go in a direction I thought it would, which can sometimes be good, but I wanted it to focus on finding a new planet, not her lost daughters. And why are the women always half naked? Pass.

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Black Science, Vol. 1: How To Fall Forever 
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, and Dean White; Anarchist scientist Grant McKay has done the impossible. Using the Pillar, he has punched a hole through the barriers between dimensions, allowing travel to all possible universes. But now Grant and his team are trapped in the folds of infinity with no way home.

Imaginative! Beautiful! Emotional! Cool! Terrifying! Fantastic! These are words I would use to describe Black Science. A team of people are stuck hopping from one crazy dimension to another after their invention, the Pillar, is sabotaged. The story and artwork flows so well from one panel to the next that at times I felt I watch watching a cool tv show. Seriously someone needs to make this into a show! It's dramatic, thrilling, and just plain amazing.

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Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery 
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch; A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they're in the business of killing all god's creatures for profit. 

Reasons why I'm now obsessed with Rat Queens: awesome, butt-kicking female characters, absolutely hilarious, imaginative cursing, sorcery, and cool, mysterious quests. This is one of the best comic book series I've ever read. And Betty is literally one of the greatest characters ever!

Add to Goodreads
Remember Me? 
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Sophie Kinsella; When Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed. 

A light, fun, easy read that had me laughing out loud. I decided to try listening to another Kinsella audiobook and I'm glad I did. This story is completely predictable, but so funny and the characters feel so real. I did get annoyed at how often Lexi had to remind people that she couldn't remember anything, but it also felt believable since people tend to forget things that don't concern themselves.  

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~Sara ♥

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