Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Comic Book Tuesday #4: Secret Wars #1 by Jonathan Hickman

Author: Jonathan Hickman
Series: Secret Wars
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 1st 2015
My Rating: 3 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The final incursion is happening! The Marvel Universe is colliding with the Ultimate Universe, and neither will survive!

I think I may have chosen the wrong order in which to read comic books. The (short) blurb should have clued me in on the fact that this issue is probably one in a long story line within the Marvel Universe, but for some reason I decided to ignore my instincts and go ahead and read it. I have to mention that this issue was part of the 12 Days of Comics on ComiXology this year, so that's how I found out about the book.

The art is fantastic. The colors are rich and beautiful, the drawings themselves are gorgeous. There are certain panels in which I felt like I wanted the characters to have a little bit more variation to their various facial expressions. but all in all the art is beautiful and I could watch it all day.

The plot is interesting. Two Earths, with their respective heroes, fighting each other. The problem was that it was too full of characters. Too crowded. Maybe it's because I'm still new to comic books, but I felt a bit overwhelmed by the number of characters in this issue. Also, it was kind of difficult keeping track on which character is on which side of the battle.

I did enjoy the idea of the two Earths fighting each other, which makes me wonder if there's a possibility to have two versions of each superhero in the final battle. I am curious to see who wins in the end, so I plan on reading the entire series.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Obsessed with Covers #27:The Crown's Game, The Cresswell Plot

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


So, here are the prettiest covers I've seen this week.

I love this cover so much. First, that's a crown and who doesn't love a crown? Second, the crown is tricky, because the image in the front is also in the back, but it's made so that it looks like a shadow. At the same time, the reflection of the "shadow" or the back image is kind of stronger than the reflection of the original castle, so I'm wondering what the cover art is actually trying to show. I want to know how does the cover art relate to the story, so I will be adding this to my growing mountain of TBR.

The Crown's Game - Evelyn Skye

This is an extremely interesting cover. The doll's limbs are twisted in some really weird angles, each kind of pointing towards different directions. Also, they seem way smaller for how big her head is, which makes me wonder if that's not symbolic for that tagline too. I also love the white, pure dress of the doll. I'm all for symbols today, as you can see. I definitely will be checking this book out, because just the cover is making me highly curious about the story.

The Cresswell Plot - Eliza Wass

Did you see any cool covers this week?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2016 Shelf Love Reading Challenge

Shelf Love Challenge 2016

It's BAAAACK! We all know I did a horrible job this year for this challenge. I think I read only two books from my shelf and I bought a few books. To be fair, I didn't read all that much in general, what with my thesis and all. And ever since I graduated I've been in a reading funk. However I am very determined to make a good job in 2016. So I'm signing up again.

Shelf Love Challenge is hosted by the very awesome girls from Chapter Break, Second Run Reviews and Bookworm Brandee. The rules are simple:

  • Read books that are in your personal library that were obtained before January 1, 2016.
  • Responsibly obtain books for your personal library. You may wish to abstain from purchasing books or set a book budget for yourself. You decide the best way to get control of your TBR pile and read the books you already own.
  • Library books (and textbooks) do not count for the challenge. You may use your library to obtain different formats of books you already own and count those towards your goal.
Like last year, I'll only count physical books into this challenge. I'm setting my goal to 21-30 books: give your shelves a warm friendly hug.

Unlike last year, however, I won't pick a list of books in advance. I'll use the tag selflove16 here on my blog for the books I've read for this challenge. And I'll also list them on Goodreads on this shelf. I think I have more than 30 books that I need to read, but I'll settle for that.

Anyway, I can't wait to get started once January gets here :)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday Book Soundtrack #19: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich


Sunday Book Soundtrack is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books, where I share some of my bookish soundtracks. Since I discovered my passion for reading years ago, I've discovered that more and more of the songs I loved remind me of certain books. So I thought I'd share my playlists with you. If you want to listen to the songs, I'll post a link to a Youtube videos for each and every title. No copyright infringement intended! I'll try to find the official videos for each song. There's no set number for each playlist, sometimes I might have 10, sometimes 5, sometimes if I'm one of my moods I'll have 15. If you want to read more about this feature, click the "show more" button below. 


This week's book soundtrack is for The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich. If you want, you can read my review here. The theme of the book is darker, so these songs
  1. Of Verona - Dark In My Imagination
  2. Metallica - Enter Sandman
  3. Godsmack - Voodoo
  4. Eminem ft. Rihanna - The Monster
  5. 30 Seconds to Mars - The Kill

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Book Review: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Series: N/A
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 15th 2015
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you've finished reading.

*Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from Netgalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.

I've been trying to figure out a way to adequately express how I feel about this book for a while now. It's really hard to make myself seem half-intelligent when all I can come up with is "OMG I LOVED IT!" But it's true, I did love this book.

This book stayed with me for a few days after I finished reading it. Not in a "book hangover" way, but in a "this made me think about stuff" way. I love when a book can be about a million different things, depending on how you choose to read it. Kind of like a "Choose your adventure" story, only it's entirely up to you how you interpret it.

On one side there's the mental health aspect, which I loved. I liked that there were scenes which showed that the main characters were in therapy, but also that they had seemingly normal lives. I also loved the idea that you kind of don't know who's "healthy" and who's not. I kept wondering if there would be a twist at the end where everyone, including the detective, where all patients, The Sixth Sense style, if you will. I know, I watch too many movies :P

Then there's the supernatural, horror element. I know not many people were scared by this book, but I was. I stay away from true horror books, so this is as close as I could get to being really freaked out by a book. And I don't scare easily either.

Kaitlyn and Carly. Man, I felt so sorry for them. The entire time I was reading their story I kept wondering what had happened to them to  make them live the drama that they were living in. It doesn't matter if you think it's supernatural, therefore they're twins or if it's mental health, and as such there's only one girl with multiple-personality disorder, the fact is that this is a drama. And it's heartbreaking. There are a lot of little details that could make your heart break a little bit for these two girls.

I can also say that this is one of the few books where I didn't trust any of the secondary characters. Anyone could be a villain, anyone could have ulterior motives for hanging out with Carly and with Kaitlyn. I actually loved that the author made me doubt everyone, because, like I said earlier, it made me think about stuff and it made me see the book from different perspectives.

I loved the format of this book. There's diary entries, transcripts of interrogations and detailed descriptions of video and audio recordings. I loved that. In a way, it reminded me of some Hidden Objects video games, which I love, so I really enjoyed the format of the story. On the other hand, I reaaally wanted to know who the storyteller was, who was reading the diaries, who was "seeing" those videos. I really would've enjoyed seeing a glimpse into who that person was.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this story and I am definitely going to read more books from this author!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

TV Madness: Strike Back

Hello lovelies! I've been in a funk ever since I graduated, mostly because I am still waiting to find an internship (apparently those are very difficult to find, even when you don't get payed *shakes fist*), which is why I've been missing. Anyway, I've read only a few comic books in this time and I need to review them soon, but first I have to talk about the awesome new TV show I just discovered, Strike Back. I will ask you to excuse my language in advance, but if you've watched Strike Back, you'll know it's appropriate. Also, in case you're wondering, this show is intended for mature +18 audiences.


How the fuck did I miss this show? Why did I not know about it? First of all, the first season has Richard Armitage in in, whom I love since he was Guy of Gisbourne in Robin Hood. And Andrew Lincoln. And then, for seasons 2 - 5 you have Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton. And then some really awesome guest stars. Allow me to fangirl.

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Okay, I'm calm now. Somewhat.

Reasons to love the show:
  1. No censorship. This is a huge thing for me, guys! I don't know how normal people speak, but when I'm angry/scared/frustrated/in a bad mood, I curse. A lot. My swearing could probably win me a prize for inventive use of words, except it is "impolite" *rolls eyes*. But I always get frustrated when in some TV shows the most swearing is "son of a bitch". I need a "fuck" every once in a while. And Strike Back delivers, guys! There's inventive swearing and it makes me giddy and happy.
  2. The good guys sometimes lose. You know how frustrating it is to watch a TV show or a movie where everything turns out 99% exactly how it's supposed to, meaning the good guys win with few, even no casualties? Take The Avengers. Coulson died. What happened next? They made a TV show in which Coulson was revived. Not that I don't like Agents of SHIELD, I do, but...you know, I want some realism sometimes. In Strike Back some of the good guys die and the only thing you can do is curse and cry. And I love that. Because in their line of work the good guys can and even will die. So there's the dose of reality that I'm craving.
  3. Good action. I love the action. I want a show where things get blown up, baddies are shot, there's blood everywhere, car chases, motorcycle chases... *le sigh* I think you get the point, right?
  4. Hot actors. Okay so, the show was on Cinemax. So there's sex in it. Lots of it. While some might be bothered by that fact, it didn't bother me. Not because I'm a perv, but because there's really a good reason for the sex. Some called the nudity gratuitous. Maybe it's the psychology degree, maybe because I watch toooons of TV shows. But there's a reason for the sex. And that reason made me love one of the characters more once I found what it was *cough*Damien Scott*cough*. There really is a good reason for it and it gets revealed in one of the seasons why he's a bit reckless. 
  5. Great characters. You probably know that in books, TV shows, movies I'm a character lover. I need good, amazing characters or I can't watch/read it. I just can't. If the characters don't call to me, if they don't make me want to root for them and if my only thought when they get hurt is "Oh well, maybe this will wake them up" then I can't continue with the story. So it's always amazing to get to read a book or in this case watch a TV show where I loved all of the characters. The good ones anyway. The villains I hated, but that was their job, to make me hate them. :P 
Reasons to not love the show:

I have none, guys. I just love the show. I heard a rumor that there's talks about a movie and I couldn't be more excited.

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I need more of this show. I am not ready to admit that there's not going to be a new season (I'm in denial), so I might wait a few days and rewatch it. For science *wide grin*

What about you guys? Any new shows you've watched lately that you think everyone should see right away?
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