Mr.Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Book Review

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Mr. Penumbra’s 24- Hour Bookstore was a sweet sweet surprise. When I picked it up, I had sort of heard about it, but couldn’t actually pin point from where, but something about the idea of a 24 hour book store totally grabbed my attention. My curiosity gave me a pleasant surprise, just like the main character in the book. You will be happy to know that this book review, like most of my book reviews contain zero spoilers. I know a lot of reviewers like dissecting a book, like it’s a frog in a high school science class, but I like to stick to the basics, and how the book made me feel.

Mr.Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore follows Clay Jannon, who loses his job, and out of natural human curiosity ends up working the night shift at this really quirky bookstore. From there, he discovers that there is just so much more to the store and its peculiar customers. He begins to dig deeper and finds himself taking part in a quest just like the heroes in his favorite novels.

I noticed that a few people I follow, found this book to be boring, and couldn’t finish it. Obviously that’s okay, I am not here to pick on their opinions, but for ME, this book was pure magic. The geeky name drops that included Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling, and all of the adventure surrounding books and this wonderful bookstore, I just found myself wanting to read the book all of the time. I think it is written beautifully, and it made me miss my own days of working at a bookstore.

This book also contained a little sprinkle of things I love in stories; Fun friendships, mystery, a secret society, books within a book, a little bit of love, and a whole lot of amazing. I think as a booknerd, you should definitely check this out if you haven’t. Also if you have and found the beginning to be a little slow, then try to stick through it a little longer, you might be pleasantly surprised. It may not have tons of action, and it’s slow pace did sort of hit the rating for me as well, but it was still a great book.

Mr.Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore get 4 out of 5 Metal Horns!!

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The ARC and the Blogger

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Last night, or I should say very early this morning I was sucked into a giant blackhole on Twitter. The discussion started as a way to shame those people who grab ARCs at conventions and then put them up for sale on eBay for their own monetary gain, and it morphed into a whole other spectrum of blogger behavior when it comes to ARCs and the frenzy around getting these Advanced Readers Copies.

Before hopping into this full discussion I want to clarify that when I say BLOGGER I am talking about regular bloggers, instagrammers, and youtubers who’s main focus is books. I include all of these in one term because they are all involved in this.

To break it down a little bit, let’s talk about BEA. BEA stands for Book Expo America, it is a conference held for industry professionals. This means people who own bookshops, librarians, teachers, authors, and obviously publishers. I don’t see anything wrong with bloggers attending, but personally I believe that BEA is too lenient with who they allow in. I honestly don’t think the 16 year old with the book blog that’s read by two people should have the same access to these ARCs like the librarian or teacher who is trying to research what books their teens might be into, Or the indie bookshop owner who has buying power.

The Entitled Book Blogger Problem

As you can see I am a book blogger. I haven’t been doing this for very long, but I started this blog as a way to keep my sanity. It is something I enjoy, and have fun with, as it should be. My impression in this group is small compared to many others in the book community, but I don’t mind. I do think there is a lot of you who feel you are entitled to ARCs. THIS kind of attitude won’t get you very far in life. Entitlement is ugly. I understand that reviewing a book takes time and effort, but this is a choice you made. You could have easily kept to goodreads, and not start a book review blog. Publishers don’t have to give you shit, and the sooner you realize that, the happier you will be. Sure I can understand the excitement of getting these advanced copies, but it is not a right that as a blogger you should receive them. ARCs have more important hands to be in as well. You can feel privileged if a publisher finds you professional enough to hand you an ARC.

 

Let’s also talk about privilege a little bit. Someone on twitter mentioned that people should feel privileged to go to these massive book conventionså and I guess I can see some truth to that. I now live in Germany and going to BEA would be expensive for me, Expensive, but not impossible. I can work hard and save up for it if I really wanted to do it. Sure that may be a privilege I have as an adult, and above others who may not have the luxury to save up money for this sort of thing, but someone who worked their ass off to be there, may take offense to that sort of comment. Also you can’t say that, and then in the next breath say that the people who paid to be there shouldn’t be mad about not being able to grab ONE copy of an ARC when they already have 20 different copies of other books. If someone paid to be there, is professional in their demeanor, and simply waited hours to grab a copy of an ARC to be able to read it and review it, then they have every right to be pissed off at the asshole who grabbed 3 or 4 copies to do giveaways on twitter to simply just boost their followers or in the worst case scenario the asshole who sells those 3 or 4 copies on eBay. You are taking away from that person, and from the professionals who really need these books. Many librarians allow these ARCs to be read by underprivileged kids who can’t really afford libraries of their own at home.

You’re sad and/or mad you couldn’t attend? Get over it. You want to be treated as an adult then you have to act like one as well. As an adult, you learn to deal with the fact that some things you simply can’t do and you move on. That’s life. Put the entitlement away.

Look, I have only received Digital ARCs, and I am extremely grateful for it. I was able to read This Savage Song as a digital ARC and I honestly felt so honored to be able to do so because it’s the release I am most looking forward to. I feel grateful each time I am accepted for a digital ARC, but if I receive physical copies at some point, I WILL NOT sell them. That brings this discussion full circle. Selling an ARC is beyond illegal, and I hope publishers take action. Buying an ARC does not make you any better, just WAIT for the release like everyone else.

This ARC frenzy seems kind of nuts to me. If you go to these conventions, just be a professional. Grab one copy, and move along. If you are not able to go, don’t expect to get your hands on the extra copies. There are other people who should have those in their hands. I know this is going to anger some people, but again, time to grow up and move on. Wait till release date for it. Shit, I have been waiting for YEARS for the next Game of Thrones novel, you can certainly wait a few months. This turned out to be longer than I wanted it to be, but also deal with the fact that I do not share the same views as you. I am open to discussion of course, but I will not tolerate any personal attacks.

Peace & Love

MATG

 

 

Game of Thrones – A Song of Spoilers and Impatience

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Game of Thrones is finally back on TV, and everyone is excited, everyone except maybe the people who refuse to watch the show and are fans of the books. I love the books in A Song of Ice and Fire, but I also really love the tv show. I am able to separate them in my mind. Many fans of the books may be angry about the fact that the show is now moved past the books, and if we are all going to be honest, there’s no way the books will catch up to the Game of Thrones tv show.

Am I afraid of the show spoiling the next book for me? Nah. The show has deviated quite a bit from the books, and while I am sure some things will be the same, George R.R. Martin’s gift of story telling will keep me interested, but I cannot speak for anyone else. MANY fans are pretty mad about the fact that now the tables have turned, and the fans of the show now hold the power to spoil the books and not the other way around.

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George R.R. Martin actually apologized to the fans of the books that Winds of Winter would not be out before season 6 of the show, in fact don’t expect the book this year either. I know I am not expecting it. My impatience has turned into a bit of apathy. I am at the point where I think “The book will be released, when it is released.” There’s nothing else that can be done. I do think the people who keep putting pressure on the writer to just finish up are a bunch of assholes. A bunch of assholes who have no idea what it takes to write a book. Especially one as intricately woven like the books in A Song of Ice and Fire.

When someone complains about waiting a year for the next book in a different series, my eyes glaze over and I think “Oh you sweet summer child.” We have been waiting for YEARS!(plural)

Sure George is testing my patience, but he’s not the only one. Patrick Rothfuss the writer of The King Killer Chronicles is testing it as well. Then I think about how wonderful their stories are, and how you can’t rush greatness. So All of you book lovers just take a seat and chill out. We are in this for the long haul whether we care to admit it or not.

What do we say when someone asks “When will the next book be released?”

“Not today.”

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Short Story Sunday – Part II

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Well well well, if it isn’t another Sunday. I know I said I would update this story on a bi-weekly basis, but well I got sick, and it blowed. I really didn’t bother updating the blog at all, and then had work to catch up on, but enough with the excuses here. If this is your first visit, then you will want to read Part One of the story.

PART ONE

Now that you read that, here’s Part Two. Enjoy!! Please note that I do this on a whim. No editing goes into it, and I basically just want to do this for fun. It helps get the brain flowing, so that I can go and work on my other stories. 😀 Still I really hope you enjoy it, and please feel free to share, comment, and like!! Peace and Love!!

NOTE: TRIGGER WARNING for Sexual Harassment. Please do not read if sensitive to this subject. 

Part Two: Invitations and Hesitations 

I really should tell you how I ended up locking myself away like a depressed Rapunzel in her tower. Yes, it comes down to that party invitation. I spent the next few days being extremely indecisive about it.

“I mean it could be fun.” I would say to Patrick one minute. “but then again, I think I would rather just stay in on Saturday.”

“Something new, then.” Patrick would reply. “Look I know you hate parties, and not everyone needs to be belligerent and drunk 24/7, but you haven’t really done much other than work on your art and selling pieces online–” As I was about to defend myself he cut in again,”Which works for you Zara. You are the way you are, but don’t you ever feel like trying? Try and meet new people, or just break out of your shell a little?”

After another day or two of me being wishy washy, and Patrick barely listening to my excuses by Friday night, I finally said while I was making dinner, “FINE! We will go, because YES, you are coming with me. Let’s be social. Let’s walk into the lion’s den!”

I didn’t get dressed up because it didn’t seem like that kind of party. Skinny jeans, white tee, and a black hoodie seemed like a perfect outfit. As we both walked out of our door to head down stairs to the party, patrick turned to me before locking the door, “You are sure you want to do this?”

“Well don’t question me NOW Pat. For fucks sake.” He moved aside and I closed the door to the apartment, took a breath and locked it.

When we arrived, I couldn’t find the host. It was already crowded and excessively loud. “I’m going to grab us a couple of beers. You’ll wait here?” I simply nodded at his question. I shoved my hand into the pockets of my hoodie and based myself against a wall. People kept walking by, dancing and spilling their drinks trying to get through. Suddenly someone was next to me, and he came really close to my ear to talk to me, I realized then that it was possibly just because over the loud music that there was no other way of communicating, but smoke signals would have felt less suffocating to me. He continued to talk, and I zoned out completely, as I tend to do under normal circumstances anyway.

“…and that’s how I ended up here.” Is what I heard from this tall stranger with black hair, green eyes and a chiseled jaw when I finally tuned back to earth. I laughed because he was laughing, and I responded with “Haha, that’s cool.” His expression kind of flickered, which told me he realized I hadn’t paid attention to a single word he said. At this point I could see Patrick carrying two beer bottles in his hand, all I could think was ‘thank god’. I turned my back on the stranger as Pat handed me a beer.

“Sorry they only had hipster microbrews here.”

“You mean cereal and milk left out in the sun for too long? It’s okay, I kind of expected that with this crowd.” I took a sip and shuddered. Patrick then waves at some dude across the room.

“It’s my coworker Daniel, wanna come with me?” Pat asked.

“No no, you go. I will be fine here.” and Patrick walked away. He glanced over his shoulder and his forehead creased as I felt a hand on my shoulder. When I turned, the stranger was still standing there.

“That your boyfriend?” he asks.

“Umm, no. Just a friend. Best friend actually.”

“Good.” and he put his hand on my waist. I winced at the touch. I grabbed his hand and placed it back on his side.

“Playing hard to get huh?” and the most disturbing grin crossed his face. I took a step back, as far as the crowd and walls would allow me, but he stepped forward. “I am not playing at all actually. Thank you, but NO thank you.” He wasn’t having it though, and he once again put his hand on my waist, grabbed it actually and brought me close to him with no effort at all. His face was close to mine at this point, and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. “Can you please let go of me?” and I glanced over at Patrick, but he wasn’t near his friend, he was struggling to get through the crowd to come to me. Suddenly I felt like a boulder fell onto my chest, and the hand on my waist felt more like a giant bear trap. I started to panic, and began to push myself out of his grip. At this very point he said “Fine, bitch!” and pushed me off. I stumbled back, my breath caught in my throat, and of course in this instance, I fell straight to the floor, the beer bottle in my hand crashing and breaking to pieces.

I knew I was having a panic attack, the heat rising to the back of my neck, my chest tightening. I struggled to get up, and cried out when placing my right hand down on the floor. There was glass stuck in my palm, blood rushing out. Patrick finally reached me, and helped me to my feet. Before I could say thank you, I turned and pushed out of the crowd to the building’s hallway. I ran again. I ran right back to the elevator and right to our apartment door. Realizing too late that Patrick had the key. I slammed my back against the door. I fell straight to the floor, and began to sob all while trying to calm my breathing.

I felt a hand on my arm, and flinched. It was Patrick.

“I’m sorry. You’re okay, you ARE safe.” He sat there with me, me against the door to our apartment, and him against the wall next to it. He didn’t touch me again. He let me calm down enough, to finally open the door. He guided me into the apartment, “Let’s get your hand cleaned up.”

“I…I Don’t want to gg..go to the hospital ththough.” I struggled to speak.

“No. No we will do it here, and if it needs more care, we can go tomorrow. Okay? Where’s your medication?”

“Ba-Bathroom.”

We walked slowly to the bathroom, and he cleaned out my hand. Carefully and slowly, cleaning out all the cuts as he went. “Take your medication, to calm down, and I will go make you some tea.”

I took my meds, and headed to the couch. I sat there crying, and I’ve been going back every day since. To sit there, occasionally crying. Patrick occasionally brings me tea. What a way to live.


Well that’s the end of part two. I know, it got a little dark, but I hope you liked the read.

See you next time!!

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

©2016 Joana Simoes. All Rights Reserved

Short Story Sunday

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I wanted to share some random writings with you, so I will start Short Story Sunday. Which may be a bi-weekly thing rather than a weekly thing. This particular short story will be shared in small bursts, till we finally reach the end. Please note that anything I post here is a work in progress, and has gone through ZERO editing. I just wanted to be able to share some of my writing. Not everything I write is fantasy or historical fiction, and this is a prime example. This one has some dark humor in it, but it is definitely going to twist at some of your emotions. This is a work of fiction. Enjoy!


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

©2016 Joana Simoes. All Rights Reserved

Part One: A Party You Say?

It’s been a month since I have stepped outside of my apartment. I want to say it’s a choice, and plenty of people would argue that it is– my mother tells me I am overreacting all the time. I have gotten fully dressed and ready to step outside a grand total of 8 times. Winter coat on, scarf at the ready, I place my hand on the doorknob and start the pep talks.

“Come on Zara, you are just going to the grocery store for eggs and milk.”

“Come on Zara, you just need to step out for some fresh air.”

“Come on Zara, go to the bookstore! YOU LOVE THE FUCKING BOOK STORE!”

I take a few deep breaths, turn the doorknob,and as I do so, sweat begins to drip down my forehead, down my neck, and pools on the small of my back. I slam my back against the apartment door. “Not today!” I yell, and walk down our short hallway, back into my bedroom, and straight back into my pajamas. Just so you know, I am not always like this. I can leave the apartment on good days, but for the past month it has just been a never-ending chain of bad days. Sometimes those bad days are really awful and for the past month even on Okay days I have just been too exhausted to go anywhere.

I live with my best friend Patrick. He takes care of the grocery shopping when I get like this. We moved to Portland from Pennsylvania about 6 years ago. Sharing an apartment seemed like the best bet to save money, plus I don’t think Pat and I know how to function anymore without the other one around. From the outside looking in, people assume we are a couple or really weird siblings that moved straight from the womb to an apartment in Portland. We are not, and have never had any sexual entanglements. I have barely dated, and he’s brought home a couple of girls. They always wake up the next morning, run into the weird chick wearing the batman pajamas eating oatmeal from a disney princess bowl, and are never seen again. Whatever a great wingman is, I am the opposite of that.

Patrick is patient, and the past month a lot has fallen to him. He doesn’t complain, but I apologize profusely a million times a day anyway.

About a month ago I was invited by one of the many downstairs neighbors to a party. Figuring that everyone there was going to be between the ages of 18 and 25, I asked Pat to come with me. Technically I gave him no choice, I’m awful like that. I always tell him I am way past my partying stage and he reminds me that I never went through a party stage. Usually Patrick is the one that gets all the invites, and he will always casually drop by, while I stay upstairs watching tv. This time I got caught in the crosshairs of a conversation in the laundry room. As I threw my laundry into the dryer, a girl of about 22 with shoulder length blonde dreadlocks turned to me and invited me to her party.

My initial thought was “No, I don’t want to go to your patchouli infested apartment where you will serve tofu and vegan brownies and talk about that month you spent in India, appropriating another culture. I’ve seen you in that Sari bitch!” But I am good enough at filtering my thoughts and making them less rude quite quickly. I also had just spent 30 seconds staring at the shell bead hanging off of one of her dreadlocks, and needed to say something and get out of there.

“Uhhh, Sure.” I stammered.

I sped down the hall and straight into the elevators. I hit the button for the 7th Floor, and hit the close door button knowing it is not actually going to make the door close any faster. When I reached the 7th floor I practically ran to our apartment.

Patrick was in the living room on his laptop as I step inside and he looks at me quizzically.

“Why are you out of breath?” he asked.

“That blonde girl with dreads just invited me to a party.” I say in between huffs and puffs. Shit I really should work out more.

“I think her name is Mandy, or Amanda.” Patrick said this like it mattered.

“Of course it is.” I reply.

“I’m guessing you said no?”

“I said sure, which I mean, kind of leaves it open to interpretation.”

“No it doesn’t Zara.”

“Sure it does. For instance, ‘Sure, but I would rather pull my teeth through my ass.’ or ‘Sure, but I have to wash my hair that night, try it some time.” I explained.

Patrick laughs as he continued to type on his laptop and then said, “Only you would think that ‘sure’ is open to interpretation.”

“So we have to go to this thing?”

“We?”he asked.

“WE!”


Hope you enjoyed the very short first part to this story! Leave some comments down below and let me know what you think! Happy Sunday!

The Dirty Thirty

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It’s March!!! And you know what that means?

No I guess you don’t. You’re probably thinking about Easter bunnies, and how to handle that hangover around your family on Easter Sunday. Good Luck with that by the way. Ah, but for me, March means my Birthday is coming. Typically I don’t make a big deal about this, but it is 2016…and I dear friends was born in 1986. Which makes me OLD. HAHA no that will simply make me 30 years old which a lot of my friends who are entering the same age seem to feel is a death sentence. I don’t know if there’s some kind of switch somewhere when you turn 30 that will automatically turn a person into a really lame and boring adult, but I think people are freaking out for no damn good reason. I for one am pretty damn sure that turning 30 doesn’t mean my entire life turns to dust. I am grateful that I am able to get older and older. I know a few people who didn’t make it this far, and I am sure their friends and family wish they had.

I am officially calling it the dirty thirty. I actually wonder how many Porn searching pervs are going to end up here because of this. Sorry sir, the <——porn is that way ——>

I know a few people who are going to tell me that I should have my bachelors degree by now, that I should be married, and HEY where are the babies? To get those out of the way now, I work at my own pace, I never knew what I wanted to do, and Life threw me some curve balls, mind your business. Marriage? Well it’s on the cards eventually, but what do you care? You won’t be invited. Babies? Take a giant leap out of my vagina! Please and thank you.

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I turn 30 on March 23rd in case you want to sing to me. You know what the beauty of being an adult is? No one can tell you SHIT about your life. You do what you want when you want. You want to walk around your place naked? DO IT! You want to eat that giant piece of birthday cake? DO IT! You want to eat that giant piece of cake while walking around naked? DO IT! Who’s going to stop you? No one, except if you walk out of the house, then the cops might.

The Dirty Thirty

When I got the idea to write this, I searched online and all I could find were things like “30 things to do before you’re 30” All of which seem really difficult to achieve in the next 22 days. or the really depressing “30 things you will regret not doing before you turn 30” Bitch you don’t know my life! So I decided on, 30 things I will try to do while in my 30’s, the dirty thirty!!

  1. Learn how to play the bass guitar
  2. Get one of my books published
  3. Stop Worrying about absolutely everything
  4. Take up Kick Boxing
  5. Visit London. SO MUCH HARRY POTTER…SO MUCH.
  6. Stop Burning myself out just to make other people happy
  7. Keep Growing my Library
  8. Find a workout that I don’t despise with every fiber in my body.
  9. Visit Barcelona
  10. Wear whatever I want. Yes that means my Super hero and Harry Potter shirts are going NOWHERE.
  11. Better my German speaking skills. Yea I understand you, but this language is a mother fucker for me, and I still have a hard time with conversations. Though I really don’t give two shits what people seem to think about that. “You’re not fluent yet?” no but you’re still an asshole.
  12. Learn coding…Because I want to.
  13. Learn How to play the drums.
  14. Visit Sweden again.
  15. Go to Wacken again.
  16. Write more
  17. Read more
  18. Visit Venice Again
  19. Get my Driver’s License here in Germany, cuz I wasn’t allowed to exchange my NJ driver’s license. While it is not necessary, I loved driving, and I miss it.
  20. Buy a house.
  21. Get a couple more Tattoos.
  22. Dye my hair a funky color. I haven’t dyed my hair for about 5 or 6 years.
  23. Find a better skin routine. I continue to break out, and need to find what really works for me.
  24. Possibly have a kid, NEVER complain about them on Facebook. Because honestly I DON’T GIVE A SHIT how tired your child makes you, you look like a fucking asshole when all you do is complain about them online.
  25. Learn Italian … also just because.
  26. Take more pictures. I have two really great cameras and I barely used them last year. That makes me sad, because I used to really love photography, and while I still do, I put it on the back burner.
  27. Put my phone away more often. I find that my phone is in my hand a lot more than I care to admit. I want to change that.
  28. Take hikes and enjoy it.
  29. See more of Germany. I have seen bits and pieces, but I would like to travel around and see more cities.
  30. Get my Bachelors move onto my Masters…LIKE A MOTHER FUCKING BOSS.

Those are the dirty thirty. Things I will aim to achieve throughout my thirties. Things maybe you achieved in your 20’s but if you think that makes you better than me, you are wrong. The truth is, there’s no time limit to reach your goals. I will fight every day to achieve my goals and dreams, because that’s just how I am.

So here’s to getting older, and growing bolder!! Age is only a number, and you shouldn’t get freaked out by it. Look at all the things you have done till this point, and look what the future holds. Don’t let ANYONE make you feel shitty about your life. I am saying this to you as much as I am saying it to myself. Life is meant to be lived, don’t let it just coast by because you think “I’m too old for that shit.” You aren’t.

March 23rd, I am coming for you!!

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A Gathering of Shadows – Book Review

Normally I start my Reviews by giving you a summary of what this book is about, but because this is a sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, I don’t want to do that, just in case you have not read it yet. If you have not read it yet, then I must ask, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! SO what I will do is give a summary for ADSOM.

A Darker Shade of Magic – Summary:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

A Gathering of Shadows – Book Review

A Gathering of Shadows begins, four months after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic. It is wonderful. I will get into my review next, and will write SPOILERS in big letters before entering into spoiler territory, but that is IF I enter spoiler territory, because I enjoy keeping my reviews spoiler free. I want you to read this and have you say “YES! I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE!”

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I received this book about a week early from Amazon here in Germany, and after what felt like a really long week and a bad one with my anxiety, seeing this book show up early made my heart sing. I was nervous jumping in because I wanted it to be as good as the first book, and let me just begin this review by saying it exceeded my expectations. I finished it this morning while having breakfast, and I was left yelling “WHAT?!!! OH MY GOD!!” The world  building in this sequel is still just as excellent as the previous one, and I am still so in love with the characters of Kell, Rhy, and Lila. I love them so much, and I want to stick them into a bubble so no one and nothing can hurt them.

You see where Lila ends up, and what Kell and Rhy are up to 4 months after what happened in the previous book. There’s also an amazing and epic Magical tournament that I really loved. I will say that this one had a slower build up than the previous one, but the characters are still interesting enough to keep me at the edge of my seat. This was a wonderful second book in the series, and I cannot wait to see where this story ends. V.E. Schwab has created her own brand of magic and I love it so much. The thing about this one compared to ADSOM, is that the first book while leaving room for a follow up, it still tied everything up nice and neat. You could think it’s a stand alone and live on with your life. The thing about A Gathering of Shadows, is that there’s no way in hell I can wait for the next book. That ending had me really shocked. How can I go on?

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Miss Schwab…you have left me hanging here. What will I do? How can I cope with this matter? Help me!! Ha ha.

All joking aside, I think if you’re in the market for a new wonderful fantasy series to sink your teeth into then THIS is it! You will not regret it at all. I gave this 5 out of 5 metal horns, such well deserved metal horns they are.

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Locke & Key Vol.1: Welcome to Lovecraft – Book Review

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Locke & Key Vol.1 Summary:

“Locke & Key” tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all!

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Locke & Key Vol.1 Book Review:

My love for graphic novels has grown exponentially within the past 2 years or so. Of course this means I have gotten into a lot of the super hero comics, but I actually really just enjoy creative and unique graphic novels. Locke & Key is definitely one of those Graphic Novels. Joe Hill, who as many of you might already be aware is Stephen King’s son, writes Locke & Key’s story. Apparently the art of gruesome and creepy story telling runs in the family, because this was just a bit of both.

Here’s the thing though, while it does in fact get creepy and indeed there are many gruesome scenes, it is not overly in your face the entire time. There’s build up, and there’s just incredible art by Gabriel Rodriguez that is so fitting to Joe Hill’s story telling. There is some spine tingling moments that really had me stop for a second, which is what you want from a scary or horror story. You want it to get to you a bit. The thing is, as you follow this family’s journey through their mourning and their grief, you feel connected to them a little bit. Joe Hill makes them feel quite human. This also has that very horror movie feel where the old manor they live in seems to have a life of its own, and truly it does. It holds so many secrets.

The key storyline in the title is a HUGE part of the plot. This house seems to have doors that open to different kinds of worlds? Realms? Craziness? You discover one particularly creepy one when the youngest child Bode goes exploring. See the entire family is traumatized in ways we can’t possibly imagine. You watch as the Locke children deal with the situation in their own ways. I am trying really hard not to put in any spoilers because going into this story as blind about plot as possible is the key to really loving it. All I can say is I highly recommend this one, and I am already moving onto the next Volume.

I gave this 5 out of 5 Metal Horns!!

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15 Book Nerd Facts About Me

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I have seen a few book nerds writing up some book nerd facts about themselves and I thought this would be a fun and quick post to make!! So here are 15 BookNerd Facts about me!!

1. Books have been a HUGE part of my life from the very first word I learned how to read.

2. Covers of Books have ZERO influence on what I buy now, because in the past year some of the prettiest covers, had the crappiest stories.

3. I don’t care if I buy used or new books, and lately I have been heading more towards used books, because I am GENUINELY trying to spend less money on books. For the price of one book, I can get 10..NO JOKE.

4. I have slowed down my requesting of titles for review. I requested too many last year and disliked most.

5. My current favorite writer is V.E. Schwab.

6. I am editing my first novel, and have four other ideas juggling around in different parts of the writing process. You can call me crazy.

7. I usually have my Kindle on me.

8. Which brings us to this fact…I enjoy Ebooks and Physical books. I have no rhyme or reason as to what format I get.

9. I stop paying attention to any reviewer who only gives books 4 or 5 stars to absolutely EVERYTHING they read. I notice it more and more with people who seem to just try to kiss ass to get free stuff from publishers. You are in it for the wrong reasons, and I have no respect for you.

10. YES, I do prefer the company of books.

11. I try to convince everyone to read the Harry Potter series.

12. My boyfriend lets me talk his ear off about books I am reading, or book ideas I have to write. He’s quite supportive.

13. I hate seeing shelves with pristine books like they have never been read. It breaks my heart.

14. I hate hate hate the mortal instruments series…NOT SORRY.

15. I own over 600 Books.

*Bonus fact: I worked at a book store for about two years and it is where I met one of my best friends and it was one of the best times I had.

Those are just 15 little fun facts!! Enjoy, and tell me some of your booknerd facts!!

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The Art of Missing Out

I originally wrote this back in November while in Portugal. I decided it needed to be placed up here on my main blog. Check it out. 

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me in Portugal

I have spent most of my life outside of the land I was born in. At first not by choice and then it was a decision I made.

Sitting here at 2:00am back in Portugal. I felt the need to write something that maybe no one understands. I left when I was four, but I think I forgot my soul here. Children are forgetful, and I left a piece of myself here.

I lived in New Jersey most of my life. It was never home to me. People always laugh when I say that because when I speak English I sound American. When I Speak Portuguese I sound American. When I speak German, yes I sound American. But I am not. I never became a citizen. It was not home. Sure I made wonderful friends. I wouldn’t change a thing about that, but I’ve felt lost for a lot longer than I realized and I’ve missed out on a life I will never know because it was never meant for me to meet.

I’ve missed out on a lot of things. I have watched young cousins grow up in splashes of time. Older relatives faces tell stories that I was never a part of. Does this make me sad? Well I think there’s a bit of sadness there sure. I would trade some aspects of my past to be able to have more memories with a lot of people. Then I look at how my life has worked out and how I’m currently sitting here again, and while I call Germany home, because it is my home, my soul may always live here in Portugal.

It’s an art really, to come back and each time feel like I’m meeting some people for the first time every time. But they’re so deeply embedded into my heart either way. Now as I watch my nephew beginning to grow here into someone who I am so proud of, my little niece who smiles more than any baby I’ve ever seen, I think about all the things I will be missing out on and how that breaks my heart.

Then I think about how much closer they are now, how much closer I am to the place where my soul lives. And there’s a joy there. One I am looking forward to exploring. It’s an art. The Art of Missing out.