Book Blogger Insider Tag

Tag Thursday
NaBloPoMo 2016 #17

Rules:

  1. Answer the questions below
  2. Credit the creator: Jamie @ A Little Slice of Jamie
  3. Tag at least 5 people
  4. Have fun!

1.Where do you typically write your blog posts?

Where ever I am when I have the time and inspiration to write. This typically is somewhere at school, usually the Student Union (where I eat most of my meals) or the library. When I’m not at school I’m usually in my bedroom, my bed is a bunk with a couch on the bottom, so that’s where you can find me.

2.How long does it generally take you to write a book review?

It really depends on a lot of things. Sometimes I get reviews written in just a few minutes (mainly on books I was really passionate about, either I have a lot of good to say or a lot of bad), and

3.When did you start your book blog?

I started it on October 5th of 2015 to document my adventures in writing last year’s NaNoWriMo (which I probably will not be doing this year, unfortunately. I’ll have a post up once I decide).

I posted a One-Year Blogiversay Post a few weeks ago, if you’d like to see it.

4.What is the worst thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

I think the worst thing is trying to get people to comment on reviews. I don’t always read the ‘popular’ books and I feel like sometimes that makes it hard to get an auidence. I also worry about scaring people off because I post a lot thats not just books, like the comics, games, and movies I review for Media Monday.

5.What is the best thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

The community. As a kid I never had a lot of bookish friends, so its such a novelty (see what I did there?) to think that there are so many people who want to talk about books as much as I do.

6.What blog post have you had the most fun writing so far?

Oh goodness! I’ve written so many!! Probably something from NaNoWriMo!

7.What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

I really love doing random, insane stuff that’s not really related to anything. Like tags that ask silly questions, or ‘A Day in the Life’ kind of things.

8.When do you typically write?

Whenever I have time is a recurring theme, so I won’t say much more. Its usually either middle of the afternoon (ie: when I’m done with class, but not ready to go home), or late at night once my school work is done.

9.Do you review every book you read?

That was definately the idea, but it just didn’t happen as intended. I review most things that I read, but not all of them by any means. Particularly if I don’t finish a book, I don’t feel qualified to review it (and I don’t like reviewing things I didn’t like, because I try to stay positive).

10.How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of coffee or tea? With Netflix? Cuddled with your fur baby?

Once again, this is just ‘whenever and where ever I have the time and motivation.’ Like right now I’m typing in the student union, while eating lunch and wearing a Scarlet Witch costume.

11.When do you write your book reviews? Right after finishing the book? Two weeks after finishing the book?

As soon as possible after I read it, however, it sometimes takes a little while for me to have time. During breaks I review as soon as I’m done, most of the time, and sometimes I start the review as I’m reading, either by posting progress updates on goodreads, or by

12.How often do you post?

I try to post at least once a week, but that doesn’t always happen, because I am a pretty busy girl.

13. Tagging

Misty Prose

Book Slayer Reads

Meghan M Blogs

A Universe for Books

One Bookish Girl

Book Huntress World

All of you are welcome to do the tag and say I tagged you! And if you’ve done it already, or when you do, please leave a link below so I can check it out!!!

Ms Marvel 2014

NaBloPoMo 2016 #14
Media Monday

Comic Review
No Spoilers

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Series: Ms. Marvel 2014
Issues: 1-19

Presenting the international sensation: the all-new Ms. Marvel! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she also unlocks a secret behind them. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her prove too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey! It’s history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (Runaways)!

This is a review for the entire Ms Marvel 2014 run, which is 19 total issues which I read over two days (praise the Lord for hours spent in doctor waiting rooms, I suppose) and yes, that sounds like a lot because it kind of was.

Move over Scarlet Witch, Kamala Khan might be my new second favorite super-her0 (behind Doctor Strange, of course) and she should be yours too. She’s funny, she’s energetic, and she’s just what the world needs. As much as I read, and as much as I try to read diversely, I’ve never had a Pakistani-American Muslim presented as a superhero who’s ready to save the day. (If you’ve seen this kind of character before, please tell me because I need to read it).

Kamala is funny, brave, and very relatable. She struggles to find a balance between her Muslim family and upbringing, the modern world she lives in, and the challenges of being a super hero. There are even a lot of Islamic phrases and terms used by the characters to provide an added layer of believability, but don’t worry about getting lost, whenever those terms are used they make sure to add in a definition.

The supporting characters are just as wonderful and diverse as Kamala, from her immigrant parents, to her hyper-religious brother (who is the kind of devout a Muslim should be, not an extremist which he, being a pacifist, is strongly against), her best friend Nakia, and her best friend and co-conspirator Bruno.

I don’t want to spoil any of the story line for you, but I will say that there are a few cameos from other famous marvel characters, but they never take the spotlight away from Kamala.

If comics are at all your thing, I suspect you’ll really love the new Ms. Marvel!

Doctor Strange: The Oath

NaNoBloMo 2016 #11
Comic Review
No Spoilers!

Doctor Strange: The OathDoctor Strange: The Oath by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Doctor Stephen Strange embarks on the most important paranormal investigation of his career, as he sets out to solve an attempted murder – his own! And with his most trusted friend also at death’s door, Strange turns to an unexpected corner of the Marvel Universe to recruit a new ally.

If you’re not familiar with The Oath and don’t want to read it, but you want to know what happens in it, Comic Pop has a great video that summarizes it pretty well. It may seem long at 54 minutes, but I promise that it’s completely worth it. I watched it after reading the comic and still learned from it (it is also hilarious and you will not be bored, I promise!).

I think this might be the single most famous Doctor Strange comic of all time, and thats even before Benedict Cumberbatch posed with it in a comic store (in costume!!) as you can see in the featured image. It’s technically a ‘limited run’ which means it was a planned series that was only five comics long, so its great to pick up and read in a day (which is what I did).

The Storyline

To elaborate on the synopsis without giving away any spoilers: Doctor Strange’s servant and best friend, Wong, has been diagnosed with an untreatable and inoperable brain tumor, which comes as a devastating blow to the doctor (its strongly suggested, that if it were not for the damage to his hands, he could have operated and saved Wong). Magic cannot directly be used to treat cancer, so Strange goes in search of a magical elixir that may hold the cure. Of course, once he possesses it, word gets out that he has it, and everyone wants to get their hands on the cure for cancer.

Strange is shot by one such person, a merc for hire by the name of Brigand (very original, I know) and Wong takes him to the practice of the Night Nurse, a woman by the name of Linda Carter who provides medical help to superheroes (since visiting a normal doctor would be a bad way to maintain a secret identity). When Doctor Strange still insists upon going after Brigand, despite his injury and Wong’s illness, the Night Nurse insists upon coming as well, because, “If you pop a stitch in the field, and Wong is too busy having a massive brain aneurysm to repair it, who do you think is going to help you finish your little mission?”

The three are a less than ideal team, and they are at constant odds with each other (although, more than anything it is Doctor Strange vs the Night Nurse and Wong thinking the entire matter is a waste of time and energy) and doubting in one another’s abilities. The villain is not who you, or Doctor Strange, is expecting, however his entire rogue’s gallery get a shoutout or a cameo.

But beyond having a great cast of characters, a lot of references to other comics, and a compelling storyline, the Oath also deals with a lot of difficult topics, including cancer, a doctor’s Hippocratic Oath (hence the title), and the debate of the good of the many versus the good of the few.

Overall

It one of my favorite Doctor Strange stories of all time, and one of the most popular. This is for good reason. The art is fantastic and consistent throughout, and the narrative is easy to follow and you don’t need any knowledge of Doctor Strange or the Marvel Comic Universe in order to follow along.

Without spoiling the Doctor Strange movie, I can say that there are several nods to this comic. You won’t be lost if you haven’t read it and go to see the movie of course, but I really loved finding all the little references and nods throughout the film.

I Messed Up

NaBloPoMo 2016 #10
This Tag Thursday is by ReadLikeWildFire on Youtube
Pretending ItsABookishThing tagged me

A Character Appearance You Misread and Imagined Differently

I’m not sure about this one.

A Character Name You’ve Been Pronouncing Wrong

Probably a lot. I wasn’t one of the ones who messed up Hermione, because my mom knew some people with that name when she was a kid, but I’m sure there are a ton I’ve messed up.

Like the main character of Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I knew I was messing it up so I just called her Aggie.

Overused Trope that is Your Guilty Pleasure

I also like “fight to the death” / “only one can live” but not in the traditional, Hunger Games sense.

  • Harry Potter
    • “Only one can live while the other survives.”
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
    • Three princesses are born each generation and one must defeat the other two to claim the crown.
  • Dualed by Elsie Chapman
    • Everyone has a twin who was raised by a different family and you have to either kill them or be killed.

I love the “lost princess” trope more than I should say. Its really, really good, and even better when theres politics involved (I love Politics in my High Fantasy!).

A Cliche Character that You Like Better on Screen than in Books

“Obnoxious Leader is Actually Funny”

I feel like this is a trope that works better on screen than in any other medium, so long as the actor knows what they’re doing. Because then they can use their face (which, yes facial expressions can be described in books, but its easier in movies).

A Word/Phrase that You Learned Because of its Use in a Book

A lot. I can’t even being to say how many words and phrases I’ve learned from books, but the problem with that is, that I don’t pronounce most of them “correctly.” Listening to me speak is pretty interesting, because I’m a very phonetic person and pronounce words exactly how they’re written.

My mom tried to get me speech therapy at one point (because even before the phonetical problems kicked in I had a mild speech impediment), but the school said “Don’t worry, the other kids will pick on her and she’ll self correct.” They did pick on me, and I learned not to trust people.

Have You Ever Not Read or Not Completed a Required Book for School?

Feed by MT Anderson

I had to say any book was bad….. but it was.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

I like Shakespeare plays, but I detest reading them. I do have a book at home that I use for some school stuff,

Frankenstien by Mary Shelly

I tried to read this, I really did, but I could not for the life of me get into it.

Have You Ever (or Wanted to) Skipped a Chapter from a Certain Character’s POV?

The main reason I stopped reading A Song of Ice and Fire (other than the rampant rape) after the second book was because I only really liked a few of the characters. I only really liked Dany and Tyrion, and could only stand the chapters by them, occasionally Cersi, and Arya. Everyone else’s chapters I just wanted to skip, especially John Snow’s.

Have You Ever Canceled Social Plans to Read a Book?

No, not really. Not anymore. I don’t make a lot of social plans, but when I do I almost always go. I used to, all the time, to get out of having to be with my then best friend (pro tip: if you fake illness or injury to get out of seeing your ‘friend’ you shouldn’t be friends with them).

(Almost) Ten Books I’ve Added To My TBR Lately

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held by Broke and Bookish
NaBloPoMo 2016 #8

This is according to my TBR shelf on my Goodreads, which you can view here!


As Old as Time by Liz Braswell 

Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father’s reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle’s mother returns–a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern.

But Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose, intriguing images flood her mind–images of the mother she believed she would never see again. Stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful Enchantress who cursed the Beast, his castle, and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast must work together to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is twenty-one years in the making.

I’ve read one of the other books in this series, Once Upon a Dream (read my review) and I really enjoyed it, so I hope this book is just as good.

Black Widow: Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl

BLACK WIDOW: RED VENGEANCE is the action-packed sequel to the instant New York Times best-seller, BLACK WIDOW: FOREVER RED, penned by #1 New York Times best-selling author Margaret Stohl. This time, Stohl takes readers inside the minds of Marvel’s most cunning and dangerous spies-Black Widow and Red Widow-delving deeper into their powers and will reveal more than ever before about the infamous assassin and her fledgling hero-in-training. 

I really loved book one (read my review) and although I preordered this ages ago, I still haven’t found the time to read it.

Everland by Wendy Spinale 

The only way to grow up is to survive.

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the deadly Marauders—the German army led by the cutthroat Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook is on the hunt for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the surviving children. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return.

Until one day when they grab Joanna. Gwen will stop at nothing to get her sister back, but as she sets out, she crosses paths with a daredevil named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it might cost Gwen more than she bargained for. And are Gwen, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart the ruthless Captain Hook? 

I really love anything set around Peter Pan, and this is one of the strangest retellings I’ve ever heard of, so I really want to get my hands on it!

Rogue Touch by Christine Woodward

Twenty-year-old Anna Marie was just fired for the third time–this time from a bakery. Why can’t she hold a job? Well, for starters, she dresses . . . differently. She looks like a Goth girl to the extreme, her shock of white hair contrasting with her head-to-toe black garb, her face the only skin she chooses to reveal. But Anna Marie doesn’t have a choice. Her skin, her touch, is a deadly weapon that must be concealed. She accidentally put her first boyfriend, Cody, in a coma when they kissed. Horrified, she ran away to Jackson, Mississippi, where she’s been living alone in a cramped apartment and scraping by on food stamps.

Then she meets otherworldly James and everything changes. He’s just like her–completely alone and also on the run. To elude James’s mysterious and dangerous family, the pair takes to the highway. As they cross the country, their simmering attraction intensifies and they both open up about their secretive pasts. James reveals that his true name is Touch and he christens Anna Marie Rogue. But with danger at their heels, they know they can’t run forever. Rogue must decide if she’ll unleash her devastating powers once again, which she swore never to do, in order to save the only person who seems truly to understand and accept her.

This is one of the chapter books published by Marvel Prose, and since I still vastly prefer books to comics – sorry hardcore fans! – I’m really excited to try anything that lets me get a little into the universe without needing comics to do it. Its also about Rogue, who is one of those characters it seems everyone but me likes, so maybe this will change my mind.

The She-Hulk Diaries by Marta Acosta 

Saying there are two sides to Jennifer Walters’s personality is an understatement. When she hasn’t morphed into a 650-pound, crime-fighting, hard-partying superhero, she’s a single lawyer trying to get her act together. Hilarious and action-packed, The She-Hulk Diaries tells her story, as she juggles her intense legal career by day with battling villains and saving the world by night. Maybe bad guys will stop trying to destroy the planet so she can have a real social life and even meet a guy who isn’t trying to take over the universe.

Yet another book by Marvel Prose, this one about the She-Hulk, which is a character I know absolutely nothing about.

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy. Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court. She’s the executioner.As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love? 

I won this in a give away on tumblr. I got to pick any thing I wanted that was under $20, so I picked this and Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George.

Venturess (Mechanica #2) by Betsy Cornwell

Young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy tale happy ending. She’s free of her horrible step-family, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries—and for themselves.

Smart and unconventional, this novel will appeal to readers of romance and adventure alike.

I loved book one of this series (read my review) so much, so I knew I had to get my hands on book two. Unfortunately, its not expected to be released until next August, so I have quite the wait ahead of me.

Supercool Name

Stereotype Saturday
NaBloPoMo 2016 #5

You know those books (or movies or whatever) whose characters have just wild names? Sometimes all the characters have insane names, sometimes only a few do (and then it’s just really weird and slightly awkward).


Batman

If you’ve never seen the 1960s Batman TV series and/or movie you are seriously missing out on some of the best names for characters and things ever. But Batman in general has some pretty cool names. Check out the hilariously funny BatLabels twitter account for more.

Bat-Fam: There’s Batman who picked the most self-explanatory name ever, and then Batgirl the ultimate kickass batman-fangirl.

Batstuff:  Bat-erangs, bat-spray, bat shark repellant, batbombs, etc. Basically if you can name it Bruce Wayne can stick “bat” in front of it.

Deadpool

Like everything else in this movie, superhero names are often parodied.

Ajax: Deadpool jokes that he got his name from the dishsoap, when in fact both names are a play off the Greek Warrior was was “stronger than Greece”

Deadpool: Once again, he parodies himself by considering the name “Captain Deadpool”

Negasonic Teenage Warhead: She was literally chosen to be a character because of how awesome her name was and Deadpool repeatedly comments on it (and asks to trade).

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Not Harry himself (his name was chosen to be bland for a reason) but his children and some of the supporting characters.

Dumbledore: It means ‘bumblebee’ and I think that’s all that needs said.

Professor Sprout: Her name is spout and she works with plants and if you don’t think thats hilarious.

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

Pretty much all of the main characters in James Pattern’s Maximum ride fall into this category.

 

Hail Caesar!

NaBloPoMo 2016 #4
Media Monday
Movie Review
No spoilers!

Hail Caesar! Is a comedy film by the Coen Brothers (who are apparently a pretty famous duo I’ve never never heard of, whoops) that was released last summer. I’ve recently decided that I want to see more of Tilda Swinton’s films, and this was the one I decided to watch first.

As a Tilda Swinton movie: It really didn’t have enough of her to justify watching it just for her.

As a movie overall: It really didn’t have much of anything.

Thoughts on the Plot

The plot was…. interesting to say the least. Actually, I lied, it really wasn’t. It was interesting in the sense that it was unique and I’ve never seen anything like it, however, not in the sense of “how interesting and captivating I’m going to watch it ever day!” I really don’t know what the plot was, and I’ve watched it twice in the last week in an attempt to understand it. By watching the trailers it appears to be a film about a lot of movie starts banding together after one of them, Baird Whitlock played by George Clooney, however, it is really about Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood executive who has been offered a job in an airline company and has to decide if he is going to stay in Hollywood, in a job he loves, or take the better paying and more prestigious job at Lockheed.

Thoughts on the Characters

The characters were by far the best part of the film, which did, as you can tell by the movie poster, have an all-star cast. They were an insane and colorful group, which by no means belonged together.

Eddie Mannix / Josh Brolin

Eddie was a rather boring main character, I never once doubted what decision he was going to make regarding his job, and I never once doubted that he would ultimately come out the ‘winner’ in all the minor problems he was dealing with.

George Clooney / Baird Whitlock

I’m one of those people, and it might be a generational thing, I’m not sure, who has never sat down and said “I want to watch a George Clooney film.” In fact, I can’t even name a movie I’ve seen in him other than Sharkboy and Lavagirl (and does that even count? Good movie, but very weird!). I have loved him in everything I’ve seen him in.

He plays Baird Whitlock, the man in the Caesar costume who gets kidnapped by the weirdest and most nonsensical villains in movie history.

Alden Ehrenreich / Hobie Doyle 

I’ve never, to my knowledge, seen Alden Ehrenreich in a movie before, but Hobie is one of the most charming characters, not just in Hail Caesar, but in all the movies I’ve seen. He’s just a simple, down to earth man who doesn’t quite belong in Hollywood, but who stays because he wants to help everyone in anyway that he can. He made me think of the man who lassoed a bike thief in a Walmart parking lot (funniest new story ever, by the way).

 

Scarlett Johansson / DeeAnna Moran

Scarlett Johansson is one of my favorite people ever – I mean, she’s the Black Widow! – so I was pretty disappointed by her lack of screen time.

DeAnna is an aquatic dancer and movie star who has just become pregnant out of wedlock, requiring her to either get married or find someone to take in her baby. She’s very blunt and more than a little wild, and one of the movie’s funniest characters.

Tilda Swinton / Thora & Thessaly Thacker

I probably would not have watched this movie if it wasn’t for Tilda Swinton being in it, so I was a bit disappointed by how seldom she actually appeared. She played twins, who never actually appeared on the screen at the same time, unless you count one storming off in the background as one approaches (I don’t think this movie used very much CGI, so every shot with the twins was done through trick shots and look-a-likes).

Thora and Thessaly are both reporters, who are always tripping over each other in order to outdo the other and get the best stories for the newspaper (there is no sibling love here, only rivalry!).

Channing Tatum / Burt Gurney

Channing Tatum is someone I’ve only recently become aware of, because of the rumor that he may be playing Gambit in the upcoming Marvel and Fox Studios X-Men spin off movie.  I wasn’t impressed, to be completely honest.

For playing the main(???) villain, he only appeared twice, and the second time he appeared he looked so different from the first time that I didn’t even recognize him as the same man.

Overall

It was a good movie, and parts of it were hilariously funny, however, its nothing something I’m dying to watch again. Perhaps if I knew more about Golden Age Hollywood I would have appreciated it more, there are countless posts online listing all the references throughout the film, which I only caught a few of. But as a normal person watching it for laughs and because she likes Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton, it was rather lacking.

The actors were superb, of course, it was the script and the (lack of) plot which frustrated me. They all had a rather unfortunate lack of screen time, which I suppose is a side effect to having that many famous people trying to get in recognizable parts. At the end of the day, I think this movie was exactly what it appears to be: a love letter to Golden Age Hollywood that is not meant to be taken seriously.

When the end credits started rolling, my mom and I both looked at each other and just said, “What did we just watch?”

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