September 2018 Releases

September seems to be overflowing with exciting releases, both new titles and continuing series.  I’m so sad that I won’t be able to read all these books right now, but someday they’ll make it to the top of my TBR.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2)

Hardcover, 528 pages
Expected publication: October 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Um, yeah.  This review is going to be a spewing of feelings while trying not to be spoilery.  Which. Is. Hard. So. Hard!  I needed to read this to find closure from the long wait, and I’m glad that I started and finished so quickly (back in July); however, that means that there is no one to discuss and rant with while I am writing this review!  Sorry if this doesn’t quite make sense, but I’m writing this review while the story is fresh in my head in July then scheduling it to publish now in September, a few weeks before it’s actual release date.

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Post 300! Favorite Series/Authors Spotlight

I just so happened to notice that this will be my 300th post since moving platforms, and I thought I’d do something a little different and talk about some of my favorite authors and series.  And why I love them so much!  Be prepared to see a range of older publications, some out of print possibly, and newer raging phenomenon.  These are in no particular order as I love them all the same 🙂

Quick note: This turned out to be a huge list!  Because of this I took out any stand alone books and graphic novels.  Hopefully, I’ll build each of those their own individual lists soon 🙂

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Book Haul, #otspsecretsister, and Goodies for August 2018

It’s been awhile again since I’ve shared the goodies that I’ve picked up.  Here’s my last OTSP Secret Sister package from last round from my “sister” Crystal 🙂  She very much so spoiled me with all these hot chocolate flavors and adorable eeveelution bookmarks that she made!  And I’m excited to get caught up with this series as this is the final book.

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Next up is some trades and my first granted bookish wish.  I love The Testing and wish Netflix or someone would make a movie or series out of this one!

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The top row of the first pic and the following pic are all from work over the last month or so.  I’m really excited to read like all of them!  Then the second row includes 2 bookish wishes, a trade, and an art print that I paid for.  Thanks everyone!

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And, since it slipped in at the end of the month.  Here’s my amazing August secret sister package from my new sister, going by the name, Mrs. Peacock!  I can’t wait to dig in, and those truffles are fantastic 🙂

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Monster Mayhem Blog Tour: Author Guest Post

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Today I have a fun guest post from the author of Monster Mayhem, Christopher Eliopoulos!  Which looks like a fun graphic novel for middle grade readers.

Monster Mayhem

Hardcover, 216 pages
Expected publication: August 28th 2018 by Dial Books

My prompt for the author: Graphic novels as an important medium

AUTHOR BIO:
Christopher Eliopoulos began his illustration career at Marvel Comics, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Cosmic CommandosFranklin Richards: Son of a GeniusPet Avengers, and Cow Boy, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He is also the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary People Change the World series. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and their identical twin sons (when they’re home from college).

And he’s what he had to say:

“There I was at 7-years-old, laying on a pile of books in a giant metal bin inside a vast warehouse. I was reading a slightly damaged copy of a Peanuts book and my world was opening up. I was coming to love the unique storytelling joys of art and writing coming together.

My Uncle owned a remainder book company that bought and sold extra books from publishers to stores and libraries. On the weekends, my parents would help him at his warehouse and I was brought along. I spent those days physically in that metal cage in that warehouse, but my mind went to all different kinds of places. I loved the idea of comics. Any kind.

I was told I must read “real” books. Instead of comics. In fact, I still have my second grade report card that says I enjoy reading but should drop the comics for “real” books. That word again: “real.” I grew older and would pick up comic books now and again, but I began reading prose books as well. What none of my teachers realized was that my love of graphic storytelling led me to prose books naturally. And to this day, I believe there is a stigma to comic books or graphic novels that essays it isn’t “real” reading. I disagree.

What is real?

“Graphic novels are coming into their own these days with subjects and genres and characters as vast and rich as prose novels. They are a wonderful way of storytelling and a great gateway for reluctant readers. I can’t tell you how many people I know who found the love of reading through comics.

So, I humbly suggest, if you have a reluctant reader, give them a graphic novel, maybe a more comfortable place than a warehouse to read, and watch their world open up to reading!”

Wow, this definitely addresses many of the issues we are currently seeing in the industry, although I’m happy to say that the conversation is changing!  At least in some areas.  Librarians and parents are starting to offer more and more graphic novels and comics as reading materials for readers of all levels, and I think it’s important that the publishing industry is embracing diversity in both writers and main characters 🙂

Thanks for your insight, Christopher!

There’s still more room to grow, but I think we’re finally on the right track.  What are your experiences with graphic novels?  Let’s have a conversation in the comments.

Summary:

In this funny, action-packed graphic novel adventure, a science-obsessed girl finds herself in the middle of one of her favorite monster movies. Can she invent her way out of disaster while also saving the monster who has become her friend?

Zoe’s favorite thing to do–besides invent and build robots–is watch classic monster movies. She has never been comfortable with kids her own age, and so she pretends she doesn’t need friends while inside she’s longing for connection. And then one day, Zoe finds a mysterious ring on her way home from school. She puts it on, gives it a twist, and–FRZAAKK! There’s a massive burst of light! The next morning, a familiar monster appears at Zoe’s window. He’s from one of her favorite kaiju movies, and he likes Zoe–he wants to be her friend. Has her secret wish been fulfilled? But it turns out that Zoe’s ring has brought more than just this friendly monster to life. More monsters have arrived, and they are hungry! Now she’ll need to reach out to other people to help her save her town from destruction. Good thing she’s a robotics genius!

 

Book Review: Tempests & Slaughter by Tamora Pierce #ARCAugust

Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles, #1)

Hardcover, 480 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Even though I’ve been waiting on this book since it’s announcement way back in the early 2000s, I can definitively say that this lives up to all the other books Tamora Pierce has written in the Tortall universe.

Absolutely stunning and compelling, I loved learning more about Numair’s (Arram’s) studies and growth.  I also loved seeing some other Tortall favorites pop up!  It’s been awhile since I read The Immortals quartet, but I felt like this book stayed true to the information we have about Numair.  No slaps in the face with extremely different/history rewritten types of revelations.

One of my favorite bits in the book, were the interactions between our mortal protagonists and the immortal gods that make decently regular visits.  I’m all about books that have gods and mortals talking and hanging out, so I was happy to see Tammy doing that once again.

I think this is meant to be a trilogy now, and I hope we don’t have to wait very long for the sequel!

Summary:

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

#ARCAugust Goals

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While not fully participating in this lovely event as I doubt I get to read too many books this month, I definitely want to use this time to attack my massive TBR.

ARC August is an annual reading challenge hosted by the lovely bloggers at Read.Sleep.Repeat. Please go check out their site and give them a follow!

This year there’s even a reading bingo card! 

I went to my shelves and chose 5 arcs that called to me.  This list will probably change over the course of the month as I do read how I feel and don’t like to force myself to read or continue a book that I’m not feeling.  Also, I’m waiting on a copy of Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto to arrive.  When it does, I’m dropping everything else to read that!  Anyway, back to my current picks.  Here’s a brief synopsis of each in the order that I will probably attempt to read them.

The Crowns of Croswald: For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems.

Witchsign: It has been seventy-five years since the dragons’ rule of fire and arcane magic over Vinkerveld was ended, and the Empire was born. Since, the tyrannical Synod has worked hard to banish all manifestations of the arcane across the lands.

Mightier Than the Sword: You wake up in the fictional land of Astorya, where stories from our world come to life. You’re a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil you have the power to create: what you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story.

Heroine Worship: Once upon a time, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) was demon-infested San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine, a beacon of hope and strength and really awesome outfits. But all that changed the day she agreed to share the spotlight with her best friend and former assistant Evie Tanaka—who’s now a badass, fire-wielding superheroine in her own right.

The Land of Yesterday: After Cecelia Dahl’s little brother, Celadon, dies tragically, his soul goes where all souls go: the Land of Yesterday—and Cecelia is left behind in a fractured world without him.