4-Star · Book Reviews

Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone – Spoiler Free ARC Review

Click'dTitle: Click’d
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Contemporary
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 208
Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 

Synoposis

Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. CLICK’D pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it’s a hit. By the second day of school, everyone is talking about CLICK’D.

Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone’s making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt-all before she steps on stage to present CLICK’D to the judges?

New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone combines friendship, coding, and lots of popcorn in her fun and empowering middle-grade debut.

Review

This book is a great one for younger readers as it allows the reader to be exposed to some great lessons. Questions about friendship, achieving your goals, and problem solving are all addressed throughout this novel. Allie creates a new friendship app with the hopes of bringing new people together, however it starts to put a strain on her friend group. Too her surprise, her nemesis appears in the top of her leader board as well. This is the least of Allie’s worries though when a glitch threatens her app.

Allie knows this glitch will cost her the competition is she can not fix it and is torn on what to do. In a situation that I would normally disagree with, Allie decides not to ask for help and try to fix the glitch on her own. This is one the first tropes I noticed in this book and is one that I see in plenty of Middle Grade and YA books. Normally asking for help solves most of the problems that the protagonist runs into, but I don’t know if that would have been the case in this book.

Allie’s app also exposes her to new, unexpected friends. This was a fun story line to follow because at first it looks like it was going to go one way (fairly trope-y) but it ends up following a different path. This conversation this book opens about friendship is great for readers of all ages as it reminds us that new friendships do not have to take the place of old ones.

The end of the book did not go the way I thought it was going to, but honestly I liked it. It wasn’t as predictable as I thought it was going to be and it ended on a pretty high note. Tamara’s first step into the Middle Grade world was a strong one!

Final Thoughts

Click’d was a really fun Middle Grade book that was such a quick read. I definitely recommend this one for those in the mood for a quick lighthearted read. Fans of contemporary will really enjoy this one!

Was this book a bit trope-y? Yes, but they did a good job with leading to the messages this book was trying to covey: girls can code; competitions are fun, but watch the competitive nature; don’t be afraid to ask for help, and friends can be found in unlikely places.

Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4 out of 5 Stars

**Huge thank you to NetGalley, Disney-Hyperion, and Tamara Ireland Stone for providing me with an ARC of this one in exchange for an honest review!**

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3-Star · Book Reviews

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones – Spoiler Free ARC Review

 Murder Magic and What We WoreTitle: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
Author: Kelly Jones
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 304
Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 

 

Synopsis

The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters—not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely.

Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer.

It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?

Review

This premise sounded so cool and I could not wait to pick this book up. Honestly, I was expecting more. This book appeared as though it would blend spies, magic, and garment making into a fun murder mystery. Sadly, I felt there was not enough of the murder mystery in this story.

I felt the pacing of this book was off. There were large sections that were far too slow and I personally felt like the ending was rushed. Finding out who the killer was and respective punishment was done in the last three or four chapters. I get that most mystery books save the big reveal for that last 30 pages, but normally the rest of the book is dropping hints to solve the mystery. I felt that this book did not do that. We were introduced to numerous characters and a few clues, but nothing to hint that one of those characters might have been the killer. The main character finds a could clues leading to another subplot, but nothing that is really touched upon.

From the synopsis, I thought that our protagonist was going to be an expert in her glamor magic, or at least that we would skip forward to when she was, but we didn’t. Most of the book was her trying to figure it out and I’m still not 100% sure she did by the end. It felt like she figured out when she could make glamours, but she still wasn’t in control of the magic. For a book called “Murder, Magic, and What We Wore,” I guess I’m just annoyed we focused the most on what was worn and the least on the murder (and solving of said murder).

Moving on from the plot, I thought our main character was…okay. She wasn’t my favorite protagonist to read about, but she wasn’t the worst. She was annoying and unlikable at times, she made dumb decisions, but fortunately she also tried to fix her mistakes instead of relying on others. I thought Millie was a great character though. I thought we were going to get a big reveal about how she played into the larger plot, but nope. She was just a maid that came at the right time and helped the protagonist (with some secrets of her own).

The other characters in this book were so minor, they’re really not worth discussing. For the most part, they were fine, painful clichés, but fine. There were times it took me a minute to remember which character was which, but other than that, I have no major thoughts on them.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, this book is harmless. It wasn’t the edge-of-the-seat murder mystery, fantasy story I was expecting, but it was an interesting read. It’s a short book that many can probably get through quickly and from a quick glance on GoodReads, my opinion appears to be an unpopular one. I can see why others might like this one, but it just wasn’t doing it for me.

Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 3 out of 5 Stars

**Huge thank you to NetGalley, Knopf Books for Young Readers, and Kelly Jones for providing me with an ARC of this one in exchange for an honest review!**

4-Star · Book Reviews · Recommended Reads

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus – Book Review

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Title: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Genre(s): YA, Mystery, Contemporary
Source: Purchased from Target
Pages: 361
Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Summary

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Review

If you want to hear my spoiler-free thoughts in a quick 5 Minute Review, you can watch my YouTube review here:

 

One of Us Is Lying was a debut novel from Karen M. McManus and boy was this book a  blast. This book honestly reads like the Breakfast Club meets Clue (or Clue the Movie). The mystery was a lot of fun, the characters were high school archetypes with a twist, and the story was a fairly quick read. I read (devoured) this one in one sitting.

I really liked how right from the beginning you know you’re dealing with a murder and that all four of the suspects has a secret that is probably related to said murder. The characters drop hints throughout the book, allowing the reader to try to guess what the secrets are. Also, this is a multiple perspective book, which gives the reader a bit of insight on individual characters. We learn things that the others characters may not know and how these play out in the overall story. For this book, the multiple perspectives really work.

As for the characters, I thought they were a lot of fun. The characters definitely change from the beginning of the book because of the situation and watching these changes adds to a lot of growth. There were some pretty great relationships in here, there was one I was definitely shipping the entire book (I’ll go into this more during the spoiler corner).

The plot for this story was well paced, although more on the slower paced side. The slower pace did work for this story though because there were so many twists and turns we needed time to absorb. The reveal was done pretty well. We had one of those split scenes going on where one set of characters were talking about it as another set was with the person and the two plot lines start to overlap.

Okay, time to move to spoilers, because we’re already toeing the line.

Spoiler Corner
What a Twist

Okay. The reveal. The killer. I’m not going to lie. The grand reveal wasn’t that shocking for me. Guys, it’s a whodunnit story, there are only so many ways this story could end. If you’re genuinely trying to figure it out with the rest of the characters, you’re going to figure it out or at least consider this possibility. That being said, this reveal could have been the biggest cop-out ever, but I thought McManus approached it well. Also, when you flat-out tell us that one of the MCs is a criminal, there’s a VERY small chance that in a book like this he’s going to be the killer. If he WAS the killer, I would have been pretty mad. For those of you who read the story, did you see that reveal coming? If so, when did you put it together?

For those of you who read the story, did you see that reveal coming? If so, when did you put it together? Also, what did you think of the motive? [MASSIVE SPOILERS, ABORT, LOOK AWAY] They motive Simon had for killing himself reminded me a (tiny) bit of Elliot Rogers. They shared the same narcissism and sense of entitlement. Setting up Addy was an interesting move as well (not that they actually went through with it). I did like how they laid the breadcrumbs of the creeper forum posts. They could have met nothing, but they could have meant something (in our case it was kind of the key to the crime).

Oh and as for the secrets the characters were hiding, I didn’t see Bronwyn’s cheating coming. At least not right away, not until after that first hint. However, the way she cheated did take me by surprise. Addy cheating on her boyfriend and Cooper being gay did not take me by surprise though. I called out Cooper’s secret almost right away (really with a book full of high school stereotypes, we’re not going to have two cheaters). I was curious is the steroids secret was a fake secret or not, it wasn’t until Cooper confirmed that it was (that he just held back, faking the previous year’s results) that I knew. Nate’s secret was not nearly as big when compared to these secrets thought.

I was shipping Nate and Bronwyn SO HARD through this book. I thought they were super cute and loved that they got together. I was pretty pissed when Nate played that card, the “I’m a bad boy and bad things surround me and I’m going to ruin your life so we can’t be together” card. God, I hate that card. I’m just happy he came to his senses and got back together with her by the end of the book.

Final Thoughts

If you’re the fan of a fun murder mystery with a few twists and turns and a fun reveal, you’re going to like this one. The characters are a lot of fun and watching them (and the police) solve the murder is an interesting reading experience. If you don’t read a lot of mystery, you may be surprised by the grand reveal, but even if you guess it, you’ll probably enjoy the motives. I definitely recommend this one, especially if you just want something a little different.

Rating 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5/5 Stars

Book Tags

Game of Thrones Book Tag – Tag Tuesday

Happy Tag Tuesday everyone!

I’m so so sorry about the lack of posts last week. The week just got away from me and every time I sat down to write, I had trouble putting together a post. Here’s to hoping that has passed for this week.

Sick of people talking about the Game of Thrones season seven premiere yet? Nope, I didn’t think so.

For those of you (like myself) who is still on the high of that opening episode, here is a lovely tag to celebrate the return.

This tag was created by the lovely Claire (aka Claire Rousseau on YouTube). You can check out her original video here:


The Questions:

1. Arya – A character that’s all about revenge

32571395The only character I can think of right now is [THE KILLER – NAME(S) REDACTED] from One of Us is Lying. Personally, I did put together who the killer(s) was/were, but their motives were interesting.

I am still working on my full review of this book and will link the completed review here once it’s done if you want to know my full thoughts.

 

2. Varys – A book featuring political intrigue

TruthwitchThe book that immediately comes to mind is Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. This was one of the first political based fantasy books I read. I could have included the Game of Thrones books here as well, but we’re going to try to not use Game of Thrones Characters for this tag.

 

 

3. Joffrey – A villain you just love to hate

LordvoldemortI have to go with Voldemort for this one. Honestly, I think he’s such a fun villain and his story has resulted in so many backstories and subplots for Harry Potter fans. Heck, we’re still not 100% sure how Horcruxes are made (yeah yeah, split the soul, murder, no I get it, I read/watched Slughorn’s shpeal. But Voldemort has killed many people and only made seven Horcruxes, so it suggests there may be more to it than just murder and soul splitting). Although, most of the Death Eaters probably could have worked for this answer too.

4. Jon Snow – A coming of age story

Kite_runner

I don’t hear this book talked about enough, so I’m going to say the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This is a sad book. I didn’t cry, but I just remember feeling down when I first read it in high school. This story follows our main character, Amir through several parts of his life and the reader watches him grow. I highly recommend this book.

 

 

5. Jaime & Cersei – A ship you just can’t get behind

Jacob and RenesmeeA ship that annoys me to this day is Jacob and Renesmee from the Twilight Saga. If you’re not familiar with this ship, consider yourself lucky (I’m just kidding, no hate Twilight). In all seriousness, I don’t like anything about the ship. The age difference is creepy, the dynamics around relationship is wrong, and no, just no.

I had trouble thinking of a more recent ship I couldn’t get behind.

 

6. Lady Olenna – A kick-ass older character

McGonagall

Minerva McGonagall – Do I need to say anymore?

 

 

 

7. Dany – A book featuring dragons

Eragon_book_coverFor this one, I have to go with one of my nostalgic, childhood favorites: The Inheritance Cycle (Special shout out to Eragon). I absolutely loved Eragon and Eldest when the first came up. My sister and I were OBSESSED. Sadly though, I have not read the other two books in the series and I’ve heard some fairly poor reviews of Inheritance and how it closes the story. I will check out the books again soon, but they’re not super high up on my TBR.

8. Sansa – A character you grew to love

CaravalFor this one, I’m going to go with Julian from Caraval. Honestly, I liked him right away, but his character definitely grew on me by the end of the story. Some parts of his plot line were not my favorite (more thoughts in my full review here), but character wise, he was pretty cool.

 

 

9. Melisandre – A favorite magic system

Daughter of the Pirate KingThis one is pretty hard because there are so many magic systems that I like. I like the witchery in Truthwitch and the weird vampire magic in RoseBlood. I think for this one, I’m going to go with the Siren Song from Daughter of the Pirate King. I haven’t read any books that use the Siren Song in this way and I thought it was a fun take on Sirens and magic.

 

10. Tyrion – A character whose weapon is their mind

Hermione GrangerI’m not going to lie, I had a hard time thinking of an answer to this one. I am going to go with Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series for this one. Honestly, this girl’s brain has saved the trio countless times and she has really been a great role model for several young readers.

Favorites Lists

25 Books I Want to Read by the End of the Year

Hey everyone!

So as many of you know, this was the first year in YEARS that I’ve actually been able to get back into reading. I had to take a seven-year hiatus due to school, work, and other personal responsibilities, but I’m so so happy that I’m able to be back in the world of books.

The problem (a problem?) with taking a reading hiatus is that when you rejoin the book world, there are A LOT of books to catch up on. Not only that, but 2017 (July in particular) has brought us so many new releases that it’s getting a bit overwhelming.

I know that reading all of the books I want to is going to be a near impossible feat, but here are the books I want to (and will be shocked if I don’t) get to by the end of 2017 (these are in no particular order).


Illuminae and Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 

I just got these two books in the mail and I’m so excited to read them. These books have been super hyped up for me and I can’t wait to check them out!

ugly-acotar-covers

A Court of Thornes and Roses (maybe the entire trilogy) by Sarah J. Maas

So, I’ve heard super mixed things about this author, but many people love this trilogy, especially the second book in the trilogy. I see a lot talk about this book trilogy on Bookstagram and BookTube and I feel like I’m missing out.

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Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Another duology that has been super hyped up. Also, the books are just stunning (covers and sprayed pages). They seem like books that are right up my ally and I can’t wait to check them out. I may read the Grisha trilogy this year, but I’m not sure.

More Happy Than Not, History is All You Left Me, and They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. 

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Adams work and I’m super excited to check them out. I know these books are going to break my heart, but I’m okay with that. I just got out of a nasty funk brought on by my mental health so I’m finally in a good place to check out these books.

Perks of Being a Wallflower.jpg

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I read the book and watched the movie back in high school and did not enjoy it as much as I was expecting to. I’m not sure if it was the hype or if I just in the wrong mindset for it, but I want to revisit this book and movie and see if my opinions have changed.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernst Cline

I’ve heard amazing things about this book. My boyfriend has already read it and recommends it. Also there is a movie for this book coming out for it next March and Marie Lu’s new book looks like it has a similar concept.

The-Raven-Cycle-Series.jpg

The Raven Boys (maybe the entire Raven Cycle series) by Maggie Stiefvater

I’ve heard so many great things about this series and I can’t wait to finally dive in. I have the first book and I really want to read all four. I’ve heard Maggie’s writing isn’t for everybody. The concept behind the books seems amazing though and I can wait to check them out.

Windwitch

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while and really want to get to it. I didn’t love Truthwitch when I first read it, not sure if I was in the wrong mood (I read it close to exam season) or if it was just over hyped, but I want to give Truthwitch a reread and get into Windwitch. I want to give this series a fair chance before officially writing it off.

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One of Us is By Lying by Karen McManus

The concept behind this book sounds amazing and I just got my copy in the mail. From what I understand, this is a thriller Breakfast Club. Five students are in detention and one of the students is killed. The death is deemed a murder and all four students are suspects because the student that was killed was a gossip blogger who had dirt on all the students. Ah, I can’t wait to read this one.

9780525435006_p0_v1_s192x300

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood

I’ve had this book for a while and I really want to read it. The Hulu series has been getting great reviews and the concept behind the book sounds fantastic. I just need to sit down and read it.

Giveaway - Series

School for Good and Evil (books 1 – 3) by Soman Chainani

This is a middle-grade fantasy series that plays on the fairytale tropes we already know. I have the first two books and I really want to read all three by the time the fourth book is released.

Wink Poppy Midnight

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

I bought this book on a whim because the cover is stunning. I really don’t know what it’s about, other than one character is the hero, one is the villain, and one is a liar. I’ve had this one sitting on my shelf for a while and I’m super excited to finally sit down and dive in.

Daughter of the Burning City.jpg

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

This book isn’t even out yet, but I already know I want to read it ASAP. The concept sounds interesting, I absolutely love the circus and carnival themed books. I love fantasy and magic and as so excited for this book to come out. I think I will be getting this book in one of my July subscription boxes, but if I don’t, I will be purchasing and reading this one ASAP.

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Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Another book that isn’t even out yet, but the concept sounds fantastic. Basically, this is a choose your own adventure story, excited there is a “right” ending. The different paths turn the story into different genres (contemporary, thriller, sci-fi, etc.) and the reader needs (or should, you don’t need to do anything) to read all five paths to figure out which one is the real path Jane took. Ah, I’m obsessed with this one and I can’t wait to finally get my hands on it.


So those were the 25 books I want to read by the end of the year. By no means is this list exhaustive. Hell, my GoodReads TBR shelf has almost 300 books on it. These are 25 books I think I can realistically read by the end of 2017, espcially since I know this upcoming fall semester is going to be extremely busy and I won’t be able ot ready nearly as much as I am this summer.

What books do you want to read by the end of 2017? Let me know down in the comments below!

Book Reviews · Movie Reviews

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Movie Reaction/Review

Hey everyone,

tumblr_static_e55qbibqcjk0scosk44k488g0.gifSo I know this isn’t bookish, but it’s Marvel so it counts.

I just saw Spider-Man: Homecoming and oh my gosh, what a great flick. I’m seriously still on the high from seeing it, so this will really just be a reaction review. I do have a short, five-minute YouTube video that summarize my thoughts below.

YouTube video!


Spoiler-Free Review:

Okay, this may be the best Avengers movie we’ve gotten yet. Marvel did a great job listening to the fans about what we like and haven’t liked about past movies.

Short list of things I liked:

  • One villain
  • Villain has fleshed-out motivations
  • Teenage Spider-Man
  • We don’t have to watch Uncle Ben die
  • Finally a good blend between dorky Peter Parker and snarky Spider-Man
  • Cameos used well
  • Living in a world with the avengers fleshed out

spider-man-homecoming-trailer-vulture-vs-spider-man-216753The villain in this movie was fantastic. His motivations were clear. He had some time to develop. Even his relationship with Spider-Man had time to grow and change. I honestly think this is the best Marvel villian we’ve had since Loki (he may even beat out Loki for best).

tenorThe humor of this movie was amazing. I laughed more during this movie than any other Marvel movie, including Ant-Man or Guardians. Having a teenage Peter Parker is really what made a lot of this movie work. Peter’s character is 15 and a sophomore in high (and Tom was 17 during filming!) school during the events of the movie. This is the first time we had Peter remain in high school and have the movie show how balancing being Spider-Man and a high schooler works. Tom is such a great actor and does a great job making this character leap off the page and screen.

nedThe side characters in this movie were spectacular too! They did not take away from the main plot, but they did a great job playing their roles. Ned was such an enjoyable side character who really complemented Peter. Ned was such a realistic friend who had the best reaction to a lot of the parts of the film (I’ll go more into what I mean in the spoiler corner).

michelleZendaya’s character Michelle was so entertaining! She was snarky and absolutely hilarious. I don’t think this is a spoiler, but she’s actually not the love interest (which I loved). Her character doesn’t has a huge role in the film, but whenever she was on-screen it was a real treat!

tumblr_ohwjctOCZE1sc0ffqo1_540.gifThe last side character I wanted to talk about what our love interest, Liz. She also didn’t have that large of a role, although she did help with Peter’s motivation. It was refreshing to see a more authentic romance form between these two characters.


So, Spider-Man was introduced into the MCU because of Iron Man in Civil War. Because of this, we were going to get cameos. We knew this walking in to this movie…and boy were these some good cameos. The avengers that did show up in the film were great choices.

Overall, the plot of this video was super straight forward, but so good. The majority of the plot took place after the events of Civil War and focused on Peter adjusting back to life after getting to work on a ‘real’ mission. Tony wants to keep him out of trouble and recommends that he gets comfortable being the “Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.” Peter, understandably wants more, and one night he stumbles upon a robbery that is well out of his league. Unable to get this issue on the radar of the Avengers, Peter tries to handle it himself, which gets him in a lot of trouble.

My favorite thing about this movie is the focus on the negatives of being a super hero. The movie starts with a bunch of workers cleaning up the damage from the frist Avengers movie. Honestly, has there ever been a super hero movie that has acknowledged the wreckage and damage from the super heroing (that’s a word, right?)? There’s also a theme in this movie that focus on the risks of being a hero. Peter starts to understand the facts that he is putting others at risk by being Spider-Man.


Spoiler Corner

You’ve been warned.

5779263-cap+homecomingFirst, those Captain videos that were in Peter’s school were the most enjoyable things, oh my gosh. Like I want to go back to high school and watch one of those videos in its entirely. Honestly, I had no trouble picture Cap getting asked (and agreeing) to film them. Also, that end credit scene had me in stitches.

Michael-Keaton-as-Vulture-in-Spider-Man-HomecomingThat twist took me by complete surprise. I think I let out an audible gasp when we found out that Vulture was Liz’s dad. I loved the fact that his family life and Liz were put in the background. It really made the reveal that much better. When looking back on the character, there were some throw away lines that hinted towards the reveal.


Final Thoughts

b4f08d5b7e7c7dee3cf118f4289ed89d--tom-holland-spiderman.jpgThe relationship between May and Peter was so precious. If I need to pick on something it was that May was way too forgiving. There was a part where she starts to scold Peter, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and there are no negative consequences. I did like the last scene with May though. Honestly, I don’t think we’ve ever had a May that was this aware of what was going on with Peter, but it’s super interesting.

If I haven’t made it clear yet, I loved this movie. I highly highly recommend going to see this movie. I thought it was a lot of fun. Having a teenage Spider-Man was great. The first scene with learning about what Peter was doing during Civil War was a lot of fun and it was great seeing how realistic it was. In this day of social media, that entire part was amazing.

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How clever was this suit feature??

Have you seen this movie yet? What did you think? Let me know down in the comments!

ThinkGeek Capsule Unboxing · Unboxings

ThinkGeek Capsule (#1) Unboxing

Hey everyone!

So this subscription service isn’t book related, but it is fandom related so I hope you enjoy it! You can also watch my unboxing here:

For those of you not familiar with ThinkGeek, it’s a fantastic fandom store. They have merch for most fandoms out there in addition to other geeky goodies.

ThinkGeek’s capsule is their subscription box and the June box was their first box.  The box was marketed as a mystery capsule featuring any fandom/geeky items included in the store. Because of this, you don’t know which fandoms will be featured, although this adds an extra surprise to the box! Sadly (?) this box did sell out, but the July box is currently on sale. The boxes are only planning to last three months (June – August).

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🤓🤓SPOILERS FOR THE THINKGEEK CAPSULE🤓🤓

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For the price point, I was super impressed with this box. My boyfriend and I were debating about getting two boxes or sharing the one. We went with the one and   definitely made the right choice. Some of the items are perfect for him, others are perfect for me.

Here are the contents of the box:

 

🤓 First thing in the box was the spoiler card. Oh my gosh, this was one of the most enjoyable spoiler card I’ve ever gotten. It looks like a file from a spy movie.

IMG_3265🤓 The first item I saw was this box from Pinz. This was an exclusive item for the box. There were four pins that subscribers could get. We got the dragon pin.

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🤓 The next thing that we saw in the box was this collectible coin bank inspired by Fallout 4. The box this coin bank came in was so cool. It looks like an old school TV.

IMG_3284🤓 The next item we got was this Unicorn Pint Cup. There were a seven colors subscribers were eligible to get; as you can see, we got blue!

IMG_3283🤓 One super cool thing about this box is that you know you’re going to get a T-Shirt. When purchasing the box, you actually include your shirt size for the company. The shirt in this month’s box was an offically licensed Legends of Zelda shirt with Link on it.

IMG_3266🤓 We also got socks! These are Harry Potter socks that say Hogwarts Alumni. They are gray and maroon (maybe burgundy). I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan and was thrilled to get some more Harry Potter merch.

IMG_3267🤓 The last think in the box was a promo code for the ThinkGeek website. Subscribers received a random amount between $5 and $100 USD!

 

 


As mentioned above, I loved this box. I thought the goodies were fun and either my boyfriend or I will use all the items. We can’t wait to see what goodies will be included in the July box!

What did you think of this box? Would you consider subscribing? Let me know in the comments below!

4-Star · Book Reviews · Recommended Reads

The Crowns of Croswald by D. E. Night – Spoiler Free ARC Review

The Crowns of CroswaldTitle: The Crowns of Croswald
Author: D. E. Night
Publisher: Stories Untold Press
Publication Date: July 21, 2017
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Fantasy
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 320
Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 

 

Synoposis

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…

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. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

Review

This was an interesting story. Some aspects of Ivy’s story (especially towards the end) were a hair predictable, but not to the level where it would ruin the story. Fans of Middle Grade and the Harry Potter series would really enjoy this one. Harry Potter fans especially will notice some tropes and plot details that are similar to Harry’s story, although this one still stands on its own.

The characters in the book were not fleshed out too much, but they were still likable. Ivy was a fun MC to follow, as the reader learns about the world with her. Fortunately, since this appears to be the first book in a series, I think a trilogy, but don’t quote me on that, there is plenty of time for the characters to be explored more and for arches to grow. The magic system in the books is extremely creative. I love that we’re following two different magic systems that interact and play off each other. I can’t wait to see how this is explored in future books.

The plot was an interesting pace. I honestly did not realize that an entire school year had passed when reading the book, but the pace of the story didn’t feel too slow or too rushed. That being said, there was a lot of exposition thrown at the reader in the last chapter, setting up for the sequels. It will be interesting to see where the plot goes in the future books. I’ll definitely be looking forward to them and continuing on with this series.

Final Thoughts

This was a solid Middle Grade, fantasy book. The story had an intriguing enough premise to keep readers excited while still leaving plenty of story for future books. Fans of Middle-Grade fantasy will enjoy this one. Also not related to the review at all, but the PR packaging for this book was super cute! (Note: I did not receive a PR package, but I saw them all over Instagram and YouTube)

Crowns of Croswald
Photo by @lisa_lostinlit on Instagram Lisa’s blog: https://www.lostinlit.com/2017/05/lisas-weekly-recap-5-20-17/
Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4 out of 5 Stars

**Huge thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this one in exchange for an honest review!**

Discussions

I’m on BookTube!

Hey everyone!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic Thursday!

I finally took the plunge and joined BookTube. I uploaded my first video a couple hours ago. You can check that out here:

What this means for the blog:

I still plan on blogging and posting regularly, I’m justing hoping the BookTube channel acts as another platform for me to geek out about books. There will be some posts that overlap and for those, I’ll attach the video to the blog post!

There will also be some videos I only have on my BookTube account and some posts that only appear on the blog.

I hope you’ll all take a glance at the BookTube video, maybe even subscribe!

If you’re on BookTube, link your channel below!

4-Star · Book Reviews

No Use For a Name – Spoiler Free Book Review

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Title: No Use For a Name
Author: Penelope Wright
Publisher: Reputation Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Sent for review by author
Pages: 256
Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Synopsis

What’s in a name?

Fifteen-year-old “Baby” Anderson has never thought much about her nickname, until she goes for her driver’s per1mit and discovers that her parents flat-out forgot to name her. As if being in high school wasn’t enough of an identity crisis.

As the fifth kid of her trashy, abusive mother and her barely-there father, home has never been a sanctuary. Cheerleading, the hot football player Derek Mattola, and her crazy cousin Kaia, are Baby’s escape from the harsh reality that is her messed-up life. She vows to keep her toxic family a secret, but as she tries on new identities and navigates the social ups and downs of her sophomore year, her two worlds collide.

Turns out, it’s not that easy to keep your identity private, especially if you don’t have one.

Review

This book reads like a Lifetime Movie, and I mean that as a compliment. The story isn’t warm or fluffy, like other contemporary books, but it also isn’t too dark or unapproachable. While dark topics are discussed, it never changes the tone of the book. This is a great book to pick up when you want to read something quickly or if you’re taking part in a read-a-thon.

Baby is an interesting MC as she is flawed. While her situation is not relatable, Baby still reads like a relatable teenager in a crappy situation. The characters in the book are not explored too in depth, but that actually works for this story. You learn about the characters as the other characters learn about them, which helps the pacing of this story stay steady.

I’ve actually never read a book about a MC who was “nameless”, but I was pleasantly surprised by the plot in general. I wasn’t sure where the story was going to go, but it just follows the MC as navigates high school and deals with the struggles in her life. There were a couple of reveals in this story that work for the plot. They were not groundbreaking, shocking twists, but they were not annoying or overly predictable as well.

Final Thoughts

As said above, this was a great quick read with an interesting premise. The characters were approachable and the plot read quickly (not just because of the length). This was a great book for those that want a quick read to offset a book hangover. I definitely recommend it!

Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4 out of 5 Stars