May & June Wrap-up!

I haven’t been the best at updating this, and once it got further into June, I figured I would just combine the two months for a wrap-up.

I have passed my Goodreads goal of 50 books (currently at 56), and I haven’t upped the number because I don’t want to stress myself out or feel like I have to read. This summer is continuing to be quite busy, and I deal with my anxiety by knitting. Since I can’t knit and read at the same time, I divide my free time. Sometimes it stresses me out to choose, but I don’t want to feel bad if I’m choosing to knit one day instead of read. Both reading and knitting are passions of mine, and having a higher Goodreads goal would just make my anxiety worse.

Also, from now on I will be listing comics’ authors as academic papers list authors, with the first listed author followed by et al. I don’t want to list the whole list, since I don’t want to accidentally leave any out, and Goodreads isn’t always complete when they list authors/illustrators/colorists/etc. to a comic’s page (which is what I use when writing down my wrap-ups).

Anyway, you’re here for the wrap-up, so here we go.

May 2017:

June 2017:

  • Terrence: A Short Story by Alice Rachel ★★★★★
  • The Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman et al ★★★★★
  • The Sandman, Vol. 7: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman et al ★★★★★
  • The Sandman, Vol. 8: World’s End by Neil Gaiman et al ★★★★★
  • Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore et al ★★★★☆
  • The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman et al ★★★★★
  • Amulet, Vol. 4: The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi ★★★★☆
  • Jessica Jones, Alias Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Benis et al ★★★★★
  • Chewbacca by Gerry Duggan et al ★★★★☆

I also unboxed the June Nocturnal Reader’s Box: All Hail the King (Stephen King).

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far! I’m actually ready for fall, cooler weather, and Halloween, but the summer isn’t so bad.

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Plutona by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, & Jordie Bellaire

Plutona by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, & Jordie Bellaire

Wow. This was a really good graphic novel. I went into it not really knowing anything about it, and I’m so glad for that. This will be a spoiler-free review because I don’t want to ruin any reading experience.

For such a short graphic novel, the character development is really good, and I truly felt for each of the characters. I especially sympathized with Diane, as I went through similar friend troubles with a former best friend of mine in high school. Each of these kids has a backstory and also the front they’ve put on around the other kids in this makeshift group. There’s always tension, and it’s uncomfortable and real. It doesn’t feel forced whatsoever, and the focus of this group is what makes the later events so surprising.

There is a plot twist that I never saw coming, and I literally gasped out loud. I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just say that it gave me a lot of sudden feelings and the ending definitely left me feeling unsettled, as I’m sure it must have intended.

I have seen this compared to Stand by Me/”The Body” in other reviews that I’ve glanced at, but I haven’t read/seen that yet, so I can’t talk about that comparison.

Rating: ★★★★★

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Free Comic Book Day Mini Reviews

Free Comic Book Day Mini Reviews

Happy Free Comic Book Day! If you didn’t know, FCBD is a day in May when comic book stores give customers free comics that are usually produced specifically for the day. They can be a first issue of a series or a spinoff of an existing series. I love both of these, and I was able to pick some up today! I devoured them already and have decided to write short reviews on them, since I really enjoyed all of the ones I read and gave them all five stars.

“I Hate Image” by Skottie Young

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Being that I absolutely love the I Hate Fairyland series, this issue was my most anticipated of the comics today. Image is my favorite comic publisher, and I even met Skottie Young at BookCon last year. That being said, this was so much more enjoyable than I even expected. This issue has Gertrude (the main character of Fairyland) on a mission to the Image headquarters, and of course she stumbles upon many other Image characters along the way. My favorites were all mentioned: Bitch PlanetThe Walking Dead, and East of West. The incorporations of these other comics was executed amazingly, and didn’t seem forced because it didn’t take itself seriously. Gertrude and the IHF plot fit this kind of collaboration perfectly, and if you love that series, definitely try to pick this issue up! It was awesome knowing the other comic series mentioned, but it wasn’t necessary to enjoying the issue as a whole.

Bob’s Burgers by various authors & artists

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First off, I love the Bob’s Burgers TV show and have been wanting to read the comics for awhile. Though I haven’t gotten to the existing comics yet, I thoroughly enjoyed this short issue of three stories in the BB universe. Each story focused on one of the Belcher kids, and they fit the story and tone to each personality perfectly. The stories were satisfying as a snack, and they did make me want to pick up the larger volumes even more. These made me laugh and also want to binge-watch the show again.

Suicide Squad #1

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Though I enjoyed the Suicide Squad movie well enough, we all know it had many flaws. I’m not sure if I waited to start this series because of that, or because I already just really love the Amanda Conner Harley Quinn series and am sucked into that storyline more. Either way, I’m glad this first issue was included in this year’s FCBD so I had more drive to read it. The in media res beginning was really good, and then getting into the individual backstories later was beneficial. Unlike the movie, which tried to get the backstories all out of the way at the beginning, this story held my interest more at the start. The backstories weren’t unnecessarily drawn-out, and the emotions were still there. This issue did a great job at setting up the Suicide Squad (really, the movie should have done it more like this issue). It was quick but not forced, and I didn’t feel like I was missing something. It makes me want to continue the series with more motivation than I had previously. The artwork in this was average; it did seem a bit inconsistent with Harley’s appearance, but at least it wasn’t too distracting.

Spill Night by Scott Westerfeld & Alex Puvilland

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This was another issue I was excited about and hoping to pick up today. I was thrilled when I found out that Scott Westerfeld had released a graphic novel and added it to my TBR right away. I do still need to buy it, but I’m definitely going to soon. This FCBD issue is a short prequel to that graphic novel, and it gave me a good idea of the premise of the series. It is definitely that unique kind of sci-fi that Westerfeld does (I absolutely love his Uglies and Midnighters series), and I can’t wait to find out more about this world that I’ve only gotten a small glimpse into. The artwork is messy-looking, but while reading, it seems purposeful as it matches the vibe of the plot and just goes along with the whole thing quite well. I love the creepy lettering in this as well. This issue exceeded my expectations and I’m so happy for that, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the first volume of the Spill Zone series (though Vol. 2 is not until 2018).

•  •  •

Thanks for reading my short reviews! Did you go out to get comics on FCBD this year? Did you pick up any of these? I also bought volume six of Lumberjanes and am very excited to continue my favorite comic series. Today put me in a comic mood for sure, and even though I am excited for the novels I’m currently reading and planning to read soon, I also want to keep up with the comics that I’ve gotten and plan to buy some more soon.

Feel free to add me on my various social media accounts to keep updated on what I’m reading: GoodreadsInstagramTwitter, and Facebook!

 

April 2017 Wrap-up

I didn’t finish many books this past month, but I did read some bigger books and am still pretty happy with the ones I finished.

  • Lumberjanes, Vol. 4: Out of Time by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, & Grace Ellis ★★★★★
  • The Mythical Creatures Bible: Everything You Needed to Know About Mythical Creatures by Brenda Rosen ★★★★☆
  • The Waste Lands by Stephen King ★★★★★
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard ★★★★★
  • Standing Ground by Alice Rachel ★★★★★
  • DNF: Mind Games by TJ Moore ★☆☆☆☆

I’m excited for May’s reading, especially since I’ve started A Court of Wings and Ruin, and the next Dark Tower novel is in my queue as well.

What was the best book you read this past month?

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Harley Quinn, Vol 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti

Harley Quinn, Vol 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti

To sum it up: another great Harley Quinn volume.

Through this compilation, Harley adventures through the winter holidays, goes on a date with a Mr. Bruce Wayne, and begins a Harley gang (that being kick-butt ladies, unrelated to biker gangs). This volume begins with another issue of guest artists and a strange hallucination sequence, but I thought it was more well done than previous guest-artist storylines. It seemed strange, but it wasn’t a one-off, since the new character introduced through it remains throughout this whole volume.

I also enjoyed the storyline with Bruce Wayne and Batman, and it was also good at showing how Harley’s new adventures are after her time in Gotham.

My favorite storyline of this was, of course, the startup of the gang of Harleys. I can’t wait to get the next volume and dive into how this group plays out, and there is really good diversity with the women she hires as Harley assistants. It’s not just diversity as a marketing ploy, either, as their backgrounds play into who they are as characters and how they came to find Harley. This comic issue was funny, powerful, and I’m all for kick-butt lady squads.

I know I’m late at reading these volumes (as this is only volume three of six currently out), but I’m taking my time with it, and comics are expensive. I can’t be the only one, though, so if you haven’t read this series yet, get to it! Harley is a great character who is unique in her own ways, and I relate so much with her love of caring for animals and eating junk food.

Rating: ★★★★★

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February 2017 Wrap-up!

I read a total of nine books this month, which I’m pretty proud about. I’ve completed 20 books into my 50-book reading goal for 2017, so I may be raising that number later on.

  • The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie ★★★★☆
  • Vamps by Elaine Lee & William Simpson ★★★★☆
  • Lumberjanes, Vol. 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, & Carolyn Nowak ★★★★★
  • The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories by Robert Chambers ★★★★★
  • I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 2: Fluff My Life by Skottie Young ★★★★★
  • Username: Evie by Joe Sugg ★☆☆☆☆
  • Amulet, Vol. 3: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi ★★★★★
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler (audiobook) ★★★★★
  • From a Buick 8 by Stephen King (audiobook) ★★★☆☆

I also started a some books this month that I hope to finish next month.

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January 2017 Wrap-up

This month was a pretty decent reading month. I set my yearly goal for 2017 as 50 books, and I’m already 11 books there (which is definitely more than I thought I’d finish this month). I read some awesome books this past month, and I have linked my reviews to those I have reviewed. My favorite read was The Gunslinger, and I can’t wait to continue that journey.

I also did a show/series review on Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, if you’re interested in reading that.

What was the best book you read in January?

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