Monday, January 14, 2019

Book Review: Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige

Growing up, Aquaman was also considered the superhero of "why?" Not powerful, plays in water, can swim really fast -- who cares. But through the power of excellent storytelling and Jason Momoa -- Aquaman is now a badass superhero. But what about another favorite undersea royalty? That is where Danielle Paige comes in with this exciting young adult graphic novel titled Mera: Tidebreaker! This graphic novel is set to released on April 2, 2019.

Here is the book description: Princess Mera is teenage royalty and heir to the throne of Xebel, a penal colony ruled by the other no-so-lost land under the sea, Atlantis. Her father, his court and the entire kingdom are expecting her to marry and introduce a new king. But Mera is destined to wear a different crown....When the Xebellian military plots to overthrow Atlantis and break free of its oppressive regime, Mera seizes the opportunity to take control over her own destiny by assassinating Arthur Curry--the long-lost prince and heir to the kingdom of Atlantis. But her mission gets sidetracked when Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love. Will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera's side, or will he die under her blade as she attempts to free her people from persecution? An astonishing graphic novel that explores duty, love, heroism and freedom, all through the eyes of readers' favorite undersea royalty. From New York Times best-selling author Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die) and artist Stephen Byrne comes a Mera and Aquaman origin story that explores Mera's first steps on land, and her first steps as a hero or villain, forcing her to choose to follow her heart or her mission to kill.

Mera Tidebreaker is an origin story of sorts that goes beyond the story that we know and into the world of Mera and how she became the woman that she is; which I think every young adult woman should read and learn about since it is a very strong female lead. Fans of teen thriller/romance will find this book good enough to sink their teeth into and will enjoy the pace of the text and storyline and the illustrations follow the story all the way up to its exciting climax and ending. I will say this -- for myself it doesn’t seem connected much to the story of the new Aquaman movie, unless Arthur is supposed to have turned into much more of a bad boy in between, so the timing and universe disconnect might confuse some, but do not let that bother you too much. This book is very enjoyable and if you have read other work from Danielle Paige before, you will surely like this story.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Book Review: The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons

When I first saw this on NetGalley -- I was instanly intrigued. A combination of a heist and a mystery -- SIGN ME UP. I was pumping my fists in the air and bouncing in my seat as soon as I saw the title with a mad smile on my face. It’s that kind of book.

The Deceivers is Pretty Little Liars meets Ocean's 11 in this highly commercial, intrigue-filled contemporary drama from acclaimed author Kristen Simmons; the author of the Article 5 series and Metaltown, who brings her remarkable imagination to her latest novel where good kids are needed to do some very bad things. I mean, how can you not get excited about that? This book is slated to be released on February 5, 2019 and is available for pre-order at all major booksellers, including my favorite AMAZON.

Here is the book description: Welcome to Vale Hall, the school for aspiring con artists. When Brynn Hilder is recruited to Vale, it seems like the elite academy is her chance to start over, away from her mom’s loser boyfriend and her rundown neighborhood. But she soon learns that Vale chooses students not so much for their scholastic talent as for their extracurricular activities, such as her time spent conning rich North Shore kids out of their extravagant allowances. At first, Brynn jumps at the chance to help the school in its mission to rid the city of corrupt officials―because what could be better than giving entitled jerks what they deserve? But that’s before she meets her mark―a senator’s son―and before she discovers the school’s headmaster has secrets he’ll stop at nothing to protect. As the lines between right and wrong blur, Brynn begins to realize she’s in way over head.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Book Review: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

I have started to receive intel on what books are coming out in 2019 and this book, Immoral Code by Lillian Clark, is definitely on my radar! Thanks to wonderful people at NetGalley -- I was able to get my hands on this beauty before everyone else and I must tell you -- if you enjoy mystery, espionage, computer coding, empowerment, and modern retellings of classic fairy tales; well this book is for you! The book is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and it is slated to be released on February 19, 2019.

Here is the book description: Ocean's 8 meets The Breakfast Club in this fast-paced, multi-perspective story about five teens determined to hack into one billionaire absentee father's company to steal tuition money.

For Nari, aka Narioka Diane, aka hacker digital alter ego "d0l0s," it's college and then a career at "one of the big ones," like Google or Apple. Keagan, her sweet, sensitive boyfriend, is happy to follow her wherever she may lead. Reese is an ace/aro visual artist with plans to travel the world. Santiago is off to Stanford on a diving scholarship, with very real Olympic hopes. And Bellamy? Physics genius Bellamy is admitted to MIT--but the student loan she'd been counting on is denied when it turns out her estranged father--one Robert Foster--is loaded.
Nari isn't about to let her friend's dreams be squashed by a deadbeat billionaire, so she hatches a plan to steal just enough from Foster to allow Bellamy to achieve her goals. Fast-paced and banter-filled, Lillian Clark's debut is a hilarious and thought-provoking Robin Hood story for the 21st century.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Book Review: Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval

I am coming up on the end of the year and I will admit I have been in a reading slump. I have plenty to read on my To Be Read pile, do not get me wrong, but I have not felt the urge to read. With going back to work and getting things back in order in my life and navigating being single as well as taking care of my parents -- life has been one hectic chaotic ride. Then I check my email and as per usual -- Net Galley has a book that just jumps out to me and had to be read in one sitting. Say hello to Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval.

This book was released on November 20, 2018. Here is the book description: Mila is a solitary teenager ready to put another boring summer vacation behind her until she meets Agnes, an adventurous girl who turns out to be a ghost. And not just a regular ghost, but one carrying the essence of an ancient fallen king and a mouth full of teeth that used to be his guardian warriors. Three-time Eisner Award-nominated writer/artist Tony Sandoval presents a wondrous world of secret places and dreamlike magic hidden in the everyday corners of our sleeping imagination.

Now I will say this -- I have not read anything by Tony Sandoval so I was excited to learn about a new author. I am also kind of disappointed that this book did not come out during Halloween as it is a stunningly illustrated ,beautifully creepy story but I think creepiness and all things Halloween is a all year thing so for that, I will let it slide. The artwork is simply beautiful; definitely dark which is an aesthetic I do enjoy and speaks to my big gothic heart. The story can be confusing at times and you need to re-read some points but that is all the fun of this story. Super weird, super gorgeous. This book will become part of my bookshelf. If you are a fan of Coraline by Neil Gaiman, you will love this book!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Countdown to Christmas 2018

Besides Halloween, I will admit I still get excited for Christmas time. Things just seem to be more magical in the month of December.Now for the third year in a row life has been hard -- this year from having my own health crisis to having heartbreak yet again but it was a lesson learned the hard way and quite easily which put me back on my path of growth. I am big on traditions and routines so here is an outline. Most of the things will be done either by myself or with my friends and family. Also, just because there is a date attached does not mean it will happen on that date unless it is specific events with tickets attached -- it is more of a checklist.

November 23rd: Visit the Union Square Holiday Market (Done!)
November 24th: Attend Halestorm and In This Moment concert at Hammerstein Ballroom (Done! Had a fantastic time!)
November 25th: Start reading the book The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand. Finish it by Christmas.
November 26th: Make Christmas playlist on Spotify (Done!)
November 27th: Get holiday cards. (Done!)
November 28th: Wear mistletoe headband. (Done!)
November 29th: Watch the movie Die Hard (Done!)
November 30th: Start writing out holiday cards (Done!)
December 1st: Watch the movie Scrooged. (Done!)
December 2nd: Visit Artists and Fleas at 568 Broadway (at Prince Street)
December 3rd: Order 2019 calendars on Amazon (Done!)
December 4th: Watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Done!)
December 5th: Mail out holiday cards. (Done!)
December 6th: Get a holiday inspired manicure. Make sure one nail is sparkly!
December 7th: Watch A Nightmare Before Christmas. (Done!)
December 8th: Read one story in the collection My True Love Gave To Me (Done! Read the story Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han)
December 9th: Build a gingerbread house (Did not do this year as I did not want to do it by myself)
December 10th: Watch He-Man & She-Ra A Christmas Special (Done!)
December 11th: Get a holiday inspired candle from Bath and Body Works. (Done!)
December 12th: Go visit the Rockefeller Center tree
December 13th: Go watch some ice skaters in Bryant Park and walk around the Winter Village. (Done!)
December 14th: Go see Anna and the Apocalypse in theaters (Could not see it in theaters as it was taken out due to low sales. :( )
December 15th: Cozy up in some pajamas and watch the Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special.
December 16th: Watch Home Alone (Done!)
December 17th: Start reading the book Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle. Finish it by New Years Eve by midnight.
December 18th: Watch The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix
December 19th: Wear ugly Christmas sweater to work. (Done!)
December 20th: Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas (Done!)
December 21st: Start my Yule candle ritual. (Done!)
December 22nd: Watch The Original Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Little Drummer Boy) on DVD (Done!)
December 23rd: Watch Gremlins.
December 24th: Watch Red Christmas.
December 25th: CHRISTMAS!!! Watch The Muppets Christmas Carol and spend time with my loved ones.

Have a very merry holiday season!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Book Review: Shakespeare's Sonnets, Retold: Classic Love Poems with a Modern Twist by William Shakespeare and James Anthony

Ahhhh the Bard. His words are still studied and read today and it makes my big literary heart happy. When I received this galley -- my heart jumped for joy as I feel everyone should read Shakespeare as well as classic literature. While I love the poetic language of Shakespeare, it's nice to have a modern translation side-by-side with it; that way you get both the poetry and the meaning. I can understand the trepidation of reading the original work as his words can be hard to understand so when modern retellings are brought forth into the world -- people should scoop them up. I studied Shakespeare while in college and while it is rare that a remake or a retelling will be better than original; the use of current language in this book makes the Sonnets much easier to read and understand. This was a great read and I could see this text being used in classrooms and for teaching tools, especially in mine. Thank you James Anthony and Penguin First To Read for giving me the gift of this book!

Here is the book description. This book is set to be released on November 13, 2018 to major and independent booksellers. James Anthony has long enjoyed poetry with a strict adherence to beat, rhythm, and rhyming patterns, which he likens to the very best pop songs. This drew him to the rewarding 14-line structure of Shakespeare’s sonnets, yet he often found their abstract language frustratingly unintelligible. One day, out of curiosity, he rewrote Sonnet 18—Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day—line-by-line, in the strict five-beat iambic pentameter and rhyming patterns of the original, but in a contemporary language a modern reader could easily understand. The meaning and sentiment—difficult to spot, initially—came to life, revealing new intricacies in the workings of Shakespeare's heart.And so, James embarked on a full-time, year-long project to rewrite all 154 of the Bard's eternal verses creating SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS, RETOLD. This collection of masterful reinterpretations brilliantly demystifies and breathes new life into Shakespeare's work, demonstrating the continued resonance of a playwright whose popularity remains over 400 years after his death. Now, the passion, heartbreak, deception, reconciliation, and mortality of Shakespeare’s originals can be understood by all, without the need to cross reference to an enjoyment-sapping study-guide. Coming with a foreword by Stephen Fry, this is a stunning collection of beautiful love poems made new.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Book Review: Choosing Me -- Love Letters from a Poet by Bill Weber

I am pleasantly surprised at the power of Instagram. It has brought forth to me some amazing people -- two life coaches, vivacious bookworms like myself, and inspiring authors. As most of you know I am going through a period of growth that is filled with positivity and that energy has manifested in my Instagram account.

When I was contacted by Bill Weber about his book Choosing Me -- Love Letters from a Poet, I felt this calling. I had to read this book. I had to HAVE this book. An opportunity arose for me to read it before everyone else. The universe is giving me all of this great energy and positivity and is sharing it with the world. This book is available for pre-order on Amazon and it goes on sale to the general public on December 1, 2018.

Here is the book description: Every time we make love is another opportunity to recognize how the spiritual principles of Yin and Yang represent themselves through the design of our bodies and the pleasures of the experience. It is another opportunity to experience the joy of transcending the illusion of duality, and another step along the spiritual journey of awakening to the true nature of our being. Making love is a physical expression of the interplay of Yin and Yang energy, , a joyous celebration of the human body, a sensual fountain of pleasures, a regenerating process of sacred energetic potential, and a hint of the joy of the heaven of enlightenment. Savor the sacredness of the being you are with. Savor the intimacy of the connection. Savor the ebb and flow of energy. Savor every sensation. Savor the sacredness.

Now I will admit -- when I started to read this book it made me blush a lot due to the content. There is an element of eroticism in these poems. I will admit -- the genre of eroticism/romance I normally do not read. I am happy and grateful that this book took me out of my comfort zone of reading. I am also happy and grateful that there are people out there who yearn to keep the spark of love alive in their relationships. It is the ultimate life force and my main priority is feeling good as much as I can. So when I started reading this book I felt happy. I felt good. That is what it is all about. It was also refreshing to see a man step out of his comfort zone of romance. His words just flow onto the page creating a myriad of images in my head; filling my soul with warmth. Plus the fact that this man is essentially honoring women, in particular his partner, it is a glorious sight to read and makes me wish to have a man in my life who is so expressive with his words.

If you are a fan of poetry, romance, love, eroticism, and feeling good as much as you possible can -- GET THIS BOOK. I highly recommend.