Friday, September 9, 2016

Feature & Follow #37 -- Or the one where I go from "meh" to "LOVE"!!!

     So, Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  It's where you answer the weekly question and then link yourself to the social hop!  We each go check out the other blogs, helping to support our endeavors as a community.  Also, do it just because it's fun! :D

Q: Have you ever disliked or felt “meh” about a book only to later change your mind and love it?

Prompt Submitted by: Megan @ Love Literature Art and Reason

A:  I don't usually change my mind once I've read a book, but currently I'm re-reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, and I'm enjoying it way more than the first time I read it four years ago (I wouldn't call it love thought)! :D

     If you stop by and want to follow us, we prefer Facebook, Bloglovin and Twitter follows (please and thank you)! :)  Happy visiting everyone!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

I'm Back!!! Or, the One Where My Computer is No Longer Broken! :)

I'M BACK!!!!

     So hey guys, in case you hadn't noticed, I've been gone for awhile -- about a year to be exact!!!  I'm so excited to tell you that starting on Friday of this week, I once again have access to my own computer and can begin blogging on a regular basis again.  If any of you have been friends with me on Goodreads for the last year, you know that I definitely haven't stopped reading in that time period.  I will be posting reviews again, looking to get involved in blog tours and I also started a BookTube channel on Youtube about a few weeks ago now that I plan on updating a couple times a week (on a regular basis).  So glad to see you again and I hope to get in the swing of things again very soon.  But for now, all I can say is YAY!  I'm back!!!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Published:  April 14th, 2010
Captain America: Winter Soldier (Winter Soldier #1-2)
By: Ed Brubaker (Writer) & Steve Epting (Artist)
Marvel Comics
ISBN-13:  9780785143413

A midnight call to duty brings Captain America aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D Heli-carrier to identify the corpse of his most feared adversary: the Red Skull!  The shocking murder of Cap's oldest enemy may not be the end of the Skull's plans, however, because whoever shot the Skull has stolen his final project: an unfinished Cosmic Cube with the potential power to alter reality itself.  Adding to the imminent danger, a cadre of the Skull's followers has already set in motion a plan to ignite bombs in the heart of Paris, London and Manhattan -- causing untold destruction.  Racing against these bombs' rapidly ticking clocks, the Star-Spangled Avenger must not only solve the mystery of his nemesis' murder, but find the Cube before it can be used in the Red Skull's malevolent plot against the United States!  Then, the questions plaguing Captain America's dreams and memories have been answered in the most brutal way possible.  And in the wake of this brutality, General Lukin makes his first move...


     More like 3.5 stars. To be honest, the stuff with the cosmic cube was very "meh" to me personally. The "death" of the Red Skull was interesting though and I feel like if I had more background on it, I'd be more invested in what happened. That ending was creepy as Hell though! I do think I liked the way the movie was structured a lot better than this comic -- too much talk and not enough action! (Oh my God, I'm turning into my Dad...)

     But, I really truly enjoyed the idea that Bucky was not a recipient of the super-soldier serum, but was a trained tactician/sniper/wetworks operative -- even when he was Steve's teenage partner!!! And that backstory that was in the "Winter Soldier" file left on Steve's doorstep...oh my god, the feels. It broke MY FEELS.

     However, I felt like this was not the place to start if I actually wanted to like Steve Rogers/Cap as a person. To be completely honest, he was kind of a everyone he spoke to for the ENTIRE comic. He's built like a mack-truck and spends most of his time breaking shit in blind rages, yelling at people, refusing to listen to anyone elses' opinions and looking downright scary! Not a guy I'd approach on the street for directions. More like someone I'd expect to go to rehab for one too many roid-rage incidents.


     Don't know all the history between him and Sharon Carter, aka Agent 13, but obviously there was some mega-tension and clashing of ideals going on between the two of them. Also was very put off by her basically just wanting to shoot Bucky and get rid of him, regardless of the fact that he was a brainwashed hired-gun and none of it was really his fault -- all because his Philadelphia strike kills her ex-boyfriend. BOO-FUCKING-HOO Sharon, boo-fucking-hoo! To her it doesn't matter if Bucky's still in there or not, which didn't endear her to me AT ALL. 

     Final verdict, I liked the movie better because it's more approachable for someone that's a noob like me. That said, I definitely want to read more Cap comics and will be continuing this series. Now excuse me while I celebrate Friday with a virtual drink or two...

You're A Virgin, Who Can't Drive!

Published: July 7th, 2015
As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew
By: Jen Chaney
ISBN-13:  9781476799087

Acclaimed pop culture journalist Jen Chaney shares an oral history of the cult classic film Clueless in the ultimate written resources about one of the most influential, revered, and enduring movies of the 1990s -- in celebration of its twentieth anniversary.

Will we ever get tire of watching Cher navigate Beverly Hills high school and discover true love in Clueless?  As if!  Written by Amy Heckerling and starring Alicia Silverstone, Clueless is an enduring comedy classic that remains one of the most streamed movies on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes even twenty years after its release.  Inspired by Jane Austen's Emma, Clueless is an everlasting pop culture staple.

In the first book of its kind, Jen Chaney has compiled an oral history of the making of this iconic film using recollections and insights from key cast and crew members involved in the making of this endlessly quotable, ahead-of-its-time production.  Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Emma influenced Heckerling to write the script, how the stars were cast in each of their roles, what was involved in creating the costumes, sets, and soundtrack, and much more.


I really enjoyed this one! I'm grading up a tad bit due to nostalgia factor -- plus I'm looking forward to looking at the production/publicity pictures I'm sure will be included in the finalized copy. If you're a fan of Clueless, but don't know everything about it already, you will find this to be a fun book. It's mostly transcription of interviews, etc. with the cast and crew of the film that are still alive (the notable exception being the late Brittany Murphy, aka Tai) and there are some great stories from filming. Like the story behind the real Mr. Hall and the last-minute casting of the mugger who holds up Cher at the gas station.

I especially loved the stories from Amy Heckerling, Twink Caplan (associate producer and "Ms. Geist"), Paul Rudd, and Donald Faison.  It follows from the pre-production and planning of Clueless, all the way to the cultural zeitgeist existing today.  We get insights into the costumes, acting, directing, the soundtrack (with interviews from a few of the artists), and just about everything else involved in making a movie that you could possibly think of!  Obviously there are some things that slightly contradict each other -- no one's memory is perfect after 20 years.  But it's funny seeing them argue with each other over certain things and to get opposing viewpoints is wonderful.  I'd recommend it if you're a fan of Clueless at all, you'll be surprised at how much you learn and the fun you have doing it!  Thank you to NetGalley for this eArc to read and enjoy! :D

VERDICT:  3.5/5  Stars

*I received this book from Touchstone, on NetGalley.  No favors or money were exchanged for this review.  This book was originally published on July 7th, 2015.*

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

All the Appeal of an Ambulance Siren

Published:  October 28th, 2014
Gotham City Sirens: Book One
By: Paul Dini, Guillem March (Illustrations)
DC Comics
ISBN-13:  9781401251758

This graphic novel features the bad girls of Gotham City!  Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are tired of playing by other peoples' rules regardless of which side of the law they're on.  These tough ladies have a new agenda that's all their own, and they'll use any means necessary to pursue it.  But can they get along and work as a team?  And who will get hurt along the way?

Contains issues 1-13.


I was enjoying myself pretty good for the whole volume, until that last issue. I was annoyed by the constant referencing of Hush which I've never read. But it wasn't so tied into the story that I couldn't figure out what was going on and it didn't really diminish my enjoyment -- so I was letting it slide. I also really liked the portrayal of Harley as a somewhat coherent adult, albeit one with major issues and tendency towards childish behavior. The holiday issue with Harley's family definitely gives some background on how she could've turned out so messed up. So, things were chugging along decently. Than in that last issue things got really BIZZARE! 

Selina's homeless sister Maggie, a former nun (who has been locked up in the mental hospital after going bonkers -- I'm assuming she escaped!), goes to see another nun -- a renowned exorcist. Turns out, she thinks Selina is being possessed by a cat demon of some sort and Maggie thinks she has to "free" her...then the nun's cat comes into the room and Maggie kills it and the nun, cause she's been "compromised." WTF???!!! Maggie then goes through her relics and gets possessed by an "angel" (probably not a real angel - they never are...), who wants her to kill Selina. Who she then doesn't kill, because when Selina ripped off a holy relic from Maggie's church when she was a nun, turns out she felt GUILTY and took it back. So there's "hope" of saving her...y'know, from the cat demon!!! 

I kind of want to know what happens to Ivy, who was on the verge of murdering a co-worker at S.T.A.R. Labs that learned her identity and was trying to kill her, but don't know if it's worth my effort now. Just, wow. What the actual fuck???

VERDICT:  2.5/5 Stars

**No money or favors were exchanged for this review.  This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.**

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mismatched Lovers

Published:  February 1st, 1979
Harold and Maude
By: Colin Higgins
Avon Books
ISBN-13:  9780380003853

Nineteen-year-old Harold Chasen is obsessed with death.  He fakes suicides to shock his self-obsessed mother, drives a customized Jaguar hearse, and attends funerals of complete strangers.  Seventy-nine-year-old Maude Chardin, on the other hand, adores life.  She liberates trees from city sidewalks and transplants them to the forest, paints smiles on the faces of church statues, and "borrows" cars to remind their owners life is fleeting -- here today, gone tomorrow!  A chance meeting between the two turns into a madcap, whirlwind romance, and Harold learns that life is worth living.


       Ugh.  I know this is a classic, and I have a couple friends that absolutely loved it.  Maybe it also doesn't help my opinion that I've never seen the movie?  Not sure, but for some reason I'm not at all a fan of this one.  It was okay, but overall un-inspiring for me personally.

       I found it to be kind of similar to Love Story, in the fact that you can totally tell it was written to be a screenplay.  It was never written to just be a book and for me personally, that hurt my enjoyment of it.  There was no real flesh to the characters and barely any plot happening.  And that freaking ending...

       Since when is that the freaking answer?  Maybe if I had seen the movie, or read this as a teenager, I'd have had more tolerance for the whole "suicide-star-crossed-age-gap-lovers" thing.  But get this: I just didn't.  She could have just told him, "Hey yo, I'm way too freaking old for you.  Find a nice girl your own age and P.S. I'm going off on further adventures."  Instead she committs suicide and Harold learns a nice, neat lesson?  FUCKING GAG ME.

VERDICT:  2/5  Stars

*I received this book from Avon Books on NetGalley.  No favors or money were exchanged for this review.  This book was originally published on February 1st, 1979.*

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Crazy On You

Published:  March 3rd, 2015
Rocket Raccoon, Vol. 1: A Chasing Tale
By: Skottie Young
ISBN-13:  9780785193890

Rocket Raccoon has been a hero to the weak, a champion of good, a heartthrob to many intergalactic females, but his high-flying life of adventure may be a thing of the past when he's framed for murder -- and the authorities aren't the only one on his tail!  (Get it?  Tail?)  The real killer is an imposter who seems to be one step ahead of Rocket at every it's up to our hero and his best pal Groot to find the truth!  With Macho Gomez and the Ex-Terminators tracking him, can Rocket make it out alive and clear his name?


       If there's any comic that I can get behing whimsical, unrealistic-in-every-way artwork, it would be a comic starring Rocket Raccoon and his ever present buddy, Groot.  So this time, it wasn't the art that got on my nerves.  In fact there really wasn't much of anything that got on my nerves, so to speak.  It was yet another case of the "mehs" for me with this book.  I really enjoyed the first few issues, but I felt like it ran out of steam and I must be the only one who read this that DIDN'T enjoy the issue that was all "I Am Groot"s and pretty artwork.  This whole book starts with Rocket on a quest to find the surviving member(s) of his race, that he found out about recently.  Oh, and to clear his name of murder.  Not that he hasn't committed murder before, but this rap sheet doesn't actually belong to him.  So, it has to be another from his race, right?  Then there's also the matter of all the ex-girlfriends that are trying to kill Rocket, for overall being a womanizing douchebag!

       As soon as the story arc from the first three issues was tidied up, I felt like the last half of the "story" was just filler.  And I think that's half of my problem with reading Marvel comics over DC.  No matter which publisher, there's a 50/50 shot as to whether or not it's going to be any good, no matter what.  But when you look at the pros and cons, I usually choose DC over Marvel.  It tends to be because Marvels trade volumes are about 20-30 pages shorter (2 issues, give or take).  Also, the story arcs, at least from the trades that I've read, seem to be more pointless/used to less effect.  About half the volume is filler, unlike DC where even if it's shitty, all of it's pertinent.  I guess what I've been learning from reading Marvel, and what I learned from reading Rocket Raccoon in particular, is that I'm old and a fun-sucker.  Which, y'know, doesn't make me Marvel's ideal audience.  In other words, I'm the perfect DC fan (to my DC-fan friends, just admit it to yourself).

VERDICT:  3/5 Stars

**No money or favors were exchanged for this review.  This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.**