P.S. I Still Love You: A Review + Thoughts on the Film

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 8/10 it’s beautiful and completely relative to the story inside. It captures Lara Jean and her style beautifully. A very well put together cover!

Publisher: Simon & Scutcher

Publish Date: May 26th, 2015

Number of Pages: 337

Received: My Mom Purchased this for me from Barnes and Noble

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. 

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once? 

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Opening Sentence: “Dear Peter, I miss you.”

Musings:

The Culture. I love how they have Lara and Kitty explore their Korean heritage. From the food to what they wore on New Years the small touches were really beautiful.

Kitty’s Personality. Kitty is a feisty one. She’s full of life and loves to make trouble. I love having a little sister character that stirs the pot. She made the book so much fun to read!

The Game. Having a game between friends that has lasted throughout time was so much fun. I loved how seriously everyone took it. It was one of my favorite parts.

John Ambrose. I am 100% on John’s team here. I like him so much more then Peter. I feel like John fits Lara better. Plus, I think he’s just really good at romantic gestures and I’m such a sucker for them.

The story is simply cute. I love a cute story and this is that. There are some somewhat serious topics, but mostly this is a fun novel about a girl whose navigating first love and it’s lovely for it.

All in all:

P.S. I Still Love You is great! I very much enjoyed it. I had a great time reading it. Loved the characters and the fun of it. Was an amazing story.

Was the Film Better?:

I would say that the book was so much better then the film. A lot of the plot points that I loved in P.S. I Still Love You were taken out of the film and replaced. The story itself gets moved around in a way that felt off beat. Plus, a lot of the time the movie felt inauthentic in a way that the book was all authentic. I liked the film, but it was nowhere near the goodness of the book. I don’t think I’ll be rewatching the film.

About the Author:

She is an executive producer on all three Netflix films– To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, and To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Summer I Turned Pretty series. Her books have been published in more than thirty languages. A former librarian, Jenny earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Monstress Volume 1: A Review

Monstress Volume 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: Easiest 5 stars of my life

Cover Rating: 10/10 there is no other rating accepted. The art of the cover and inside this amazing comic is top tear. I’m singing this artwork the highest of praise. It’s GORGEOUS! Perfect! Stunning! GLORIOUS! Sana Takeda is a QUEEN!

Publisher: Image Comics

Publish Date: July 19th, 2016

Number of Pages: 202

Received: My mom bought it on Amazon for me and I read it in one sitting as soon as it came in.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

Opening Sentence: “It took three years to find a name.”

Musings:

This comic book was incredible! I can’t stop thinking about it and it’s been a few hours since I read it! It’s beautiful, stunning, gorgeous. It’s everything! The story is dark and gritty and gorgeous. The art is some of the best I’ve ever seen. I LOVED Monstress so much!!!!

What I loved:

The art. I mean.. duh. The art is fabulous. It’s dark and only I scene basically has lighter tones. It’s simply gorgeous. There is not a page that isn’t beautifully drawn and colored it’s just a chefs kiss top quality amazing work of art.

The Latin Influences. I love that the author put her heritage into writing this. The bits of Spanish here and there. The mix of latinex characters in a fictional world is something I live for. I can’t wait to read more and see what other influences pop up.

It’s dark. I love a dark story. This is exceptionally so. When your allies can’t trust you cause you might eat them and not know your doing so at the time it’s real. There is a lot of death. A lot of action. A lot of stakes. It’s really awesome.

Adorable history from a cat professor. This is a cute side thing that pops up every so often and though the history is dark having an adorable cat tell it didn’t fail to make me smile.

Great world building. This story feels massive even though it follows a single girl. The larger history and learning about the various races and kingdoms makes it feel like a billon stories could be written from the world. It’s incredible.

I just want to go jfidoenr wlap. I am fangirling so hard over this story that words don’t even matter. It’s all incomprehensible and straight feeling. It’s awesome!

All in All:

I LOVE THIS COMIC!!! It’s the first I’ve ever physically read and I adored every single second. I’M OBSESSED! It’s great!

About the authors

The QUEEN!

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

Another QUEEN!

Marjorie Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of over nineteen novels. She is the co-creator of the Eisner-nominated series MONSTRESS published by Image Comics. Her comic book work includes X-23, Black Widow, Dark Wolverine, and Astonishing X-Men, for which she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She currently teaches a course on comic book writing at MIT.

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Glow: Book 1, Potency: A Review

Glow: Book 1, Potency by Aubrey Hadley

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Cover Rating: 8/10 a beautiful cover! It works beautifully for the novel. It covers the sci-fi elements as well as what Harper is capable of being able to glow.

Publisher: Ruby & Topaz Publishing

Publish Date: June 16th, 2020

Number of Pages: 420

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

The Sleeping Syndrome has returned after a six-month hiatus. This time, it’s popped up in New York, and it’s wiped out an entire homeless shelter. The same night of the outbreak — thousands of miles away — Harper, a seventeen-year-old girl, finds herself face-to-face with a glowing figure in the desert outskirts of her neighborhood.

As the world goes on high-alert from the Syndrome, Harper is kidnapped and taken to the Base of Ki, a massive dome with a sheening white city and fantastic technology … built by beings from another solar system.

There, she must form cross-species alliances to save her friends, family, and the human race before she loses all chance of returning to Earth.

Opening Sentence: “My hands are almost shaking too much to grasp the knob.”

Musings:

(Before I start this review I have a few things to say about the author. Aubrey Hadley is super sweet. I posted on Twitter about reading the book and how the Quarantine part hit hard during these times. She kindly tweeted at me and let me know that I was reading an older version of the book. She emailed me the new version and was so kind about it. It was one of the sweetest interactions with an author I have had.)

Now for my thoughts on the book:

I can’t really imagine something more terrifying then a syndrome showing up and killing people in mass. Add that with Aliens being behind everything and stripping apart everything you thought you knew about the world and it’s terrifying. Following Hybrid Harper through this novel and seeing how she deals with such a terrifying situation and stays strong is really cool.

What I loved:

The Idea. I liked the back story behind everything. Being a hybrid and growing up believing yourself to be human. Discovering who you are only to realize that if you don’t do something to try and save the Earth no one else is going to.

The light in the dark. This easily could have been a heavy novel. However, Aubrey kept it mostly light. When it hits it hits, but there was decent amounts of reprieve to balance the weight of what Harper is going through.

The contrasts. In the beginning your immersed in Harper’s home life. She’s dealing with heavy emotional abuse from her mom. She’s protecting her sister as much as she can. Then, being captured by beings from another world she must quickly adapt and keep quiet in order to be able to escape and help save as many lives as she can from the syndrome that threatens to end the entire human race. When you go from one part the other you feel like a fish out of water. Which is exactly how Harper feels being taken.

The question of whether or not the earth is worth saving at all. Morality in general is grey. It isn’t black and white. There is so much evil in the world. Being presented with only that evil and earth is better off rotting, but in Harper’s heart she knows that the good in people’s hearts and how much we try to do better makes the earth worth saving. It’s wonderful.

All in all:

I very much enjoyed Glow. It is a wonderful novel well worth the read. I love a good sci-fi and I really enjoyed this one.

About the Author

Aubrey Hadley has always loved two things in life: words and design. In 2005, she put writing to the side (she wasn’t sure if she was any good at it) and moved from her hometown of Sparks, Nevada to San Francisco, California to focus on a career in Human Interface Design. In 2012 — after working in the Tech Industry for a while — she decided to get back into writing and began her first novel, Glow: Book I, Potency.

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Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly: A Review

Sea Spell (book 4) by Jennifer Donnelly

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Cover Rating: 9/10 it’s gorgeous! One of my favorite things about this series is the covers. They are stunning. The black and white with jacket to give Astrid the look of her personality it’s so well done. Eye catching for sure.

Publish Date: June 14th, 2016

Number of Pages: 357

Received: thrift store buy

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

At the end of Dark Tide, Book 3 in the Waterfire Saga, Astrid leaves her mermaid friends to confront her ancestor, Orfeo, the evil force behind the rise of the monster Abbadon. Orfeo possesses one of the talismans that the merls need in order to keep the monster locked up forever. But without the ability to songcast, how will Astrid be able to defeat the most powerful mage in history? Meanwhile, Serafina and her Black Fins train goblin troops for battle against her uncle Vallerio’s death riders. Will Sera ever see her beloved home–and her beloved Mahdi–again, or will the Volneros take over the mer realms while Orfeo takes on the gods themselves? Nothing less than the fate of the underwater world is at stake in this breathtaking finale.

Opening Sentence: “Manon Laveau, regal on her throne of twining cypress roots, regarded the merman before her.”

Musings:

You know a book is solid when it’s been two years between the time you read one book to the next and your not confused at all when your reading again and being reintroduced into the world. That in itself is an accomplishment. I’m in love with this riveting story about friendship and magic and doing anything to make things right in a time that is going terribly wrong.

What I loved:

The world itself! Jennifer does an amazing job at making you feel like your truly underwater. Her world building is incredible. There is no filler and every detail adds to the story in such a rich way.

The sisterhood! These girls have gone through so much over the course of this series. They’ve had drama between each other, two of them basically acted as enemies for a while, and together they’ve experienced so much loss. Through it all they’ve become so strong together and nothing could tear apart their friendship. They’ve lifted each other up and pushed each other to be the best versions of themselves. It’s such a beautiful thing of hope to see.

These lines:

I love great romance! These lines were so good especially in the deeper context of the rest of the story. Made my chest glow in joy. Had to take pictures and send them to my partner with the excitement I felt reading! I love these storylines!

The romance is there, but not at all central to the plot. The romances in this book are great and lovely, but the focus is centered around the girls friendship and their quest to save their realms from great evil. It makes me smile to see a book that has such a wonderful balance to it like Sea spell does.

The pets! I swear I love a book with pets. Plus, these ones are so unique. For example, the adorable octopus Opie owned by Marcos. I love it so much!

All in all:

I don’t want to be too spoilery in a review on a fourth book in a series. I’m just going to say that I greatly enjoyed Sea Spell. It was truly magical.

About the Author:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of the adult novels The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose, as well as the young adult novels These Shallow Graves, Revolution, and A Northern Light, winner of Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal, the LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award. She lives and writes full-time in Upstate New York. You can visit her at jenniferdonnelly.com or follow @JenWritesBooks on Twitter.

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The Diabolic: A Review

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Cover Rating: 7.5/10 love the metallic. It’s so shiny and it is a very simple yet beautiful representation of who nemesis is as a Diabolic.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: November 1st, 2016

Number of Pages: 416

Received: Special gift from special person

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

Opening Sentence: “Everyone believed Diabolics were fearless, but in my earliest years, all I knew was fear.”

Musings:

The Diabolic is brutal, full of action, and takes place in an incredibly unique futuristic setting. I enjoyed the entire thing from beginning to end. It’s such a unique and fun story to read.

What I loved:

This line: sorry about the spoiler that this is, but god reading it was so good!!

Nemesis

Nemesis being a general badass. God, I love Nemesis. She’s been through crap. She has one of the hardest pasts I’ve ever read. It’s literally engineered her into being the beast that she is. She’s brutal and unapologetic and unkind (well if you mess with anyone she cares about) and she does what needs to be done. She doesn’t always do the “right thing”, but she does what she knows to be necessary based on who she is as a Diabolic.

Nemesis’s dog. Later on she gets a dog that’s just as beastly as she is and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever read. I love their relationship. It’s the best.

Nemesis learning to accept that she’s an emotional being. For a lot of the book Nemesis is cold. It’s not really her fault it’s pretty much the only way she could ever be as a Diabolic. As the story goes on she realizes she has the capacity to care. Her stepping into being something more then just a Diabolic, but a human being is one of my favorite things. It was so amazing to root for her as she realized she could love for her own choosing and not just who she was programmed to.

The futurism. This book is cool. That’s the only way to properly describe the unique and futuristic elements that make of the world. It’s so expansive and unique. Has it’s own particular politics. It has beauty bots that change people to be however they want to look. As well as inter-planetary travel. Everything is just so cool.

All in all:

This book is a fun read. It’s a blast. The only reason it’s not five stars is because while it’s incredibly entertaining there’s something about it that doesn’t quite make it five star worthy. I loved it though. I’m really happy to have gotten the chance to read it.

About the Author:

S.J. Kincaid originally wanted to be an astronaut, but a dearth of mathematical skills turned her interest to science fiction instead. Her debut novel, Insignia, was shortlisted for the Waterstones prize. Its sequels, Vortex and Catalyst, have received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist. Her next book, The Diabolic, comes out in the Fall of 2016. She’s chronically restless and has lived in California, Alabama, New Hampshire, Oregon, Chicago, and Scotland with no signs of staying in one place anytime soon. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012, followed by its sequels Vortex and Catalyst. The Diabolic was released in the fall 2016.

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Watching Bojack Horseman: Season 4

I watched season 4 of Bojack in a blink of an eye. I’ve become so enamored in the story I’ve been like a kid who can’t wait to see what’s next. And so, very shortly after I’ve written about Season 3 I get to discuss season 4 with all of you… and what a season it was.

The whole first episode took place without Bojack. It felt strange and yet it felt right since he had disappeared himself from everyone else’s lives. Mr. Peanutbutter gets a visit from his ex-wife and she leads him to run for governor. This drives Diane crazy and she tries often to call Bojack and tell him what’s going on and figure out what happened to him, but he doesn’t answer. So for a while she just continues working and deals with her marital issues on her own.

Then Princess Caroline decides she wants to be a mom and so she starts trying for a baby with her boyfriend Ralph. This is one of the first really great relationships for her and while there were things that showed they weren’t quite a match I enjoyed seeing them together. It was sweet to watch and it showed a lot of growth on Caroline’s part. She’s such a strong character. The one I look up to the most on the show.

In season 4 we also get a lot more Todd. I loved that he got his own episode. Princess Caroline asks Todd to help her out by having him be seen dating celebrity Courtney to help give her a more relatable image.

For Todd this season has been about discovering himself. Having him find his identity and starting to be open about it. I loved the ace rep in the show. It was so open and easy and how it should be accepted out in the world. I especially loved Bojack’s reaction. Although his and Todd’s relationship has been particularly hard. Where Todd has felt used and unappreciated and so theirs a lot of distance between the two, Bojack’s reaction to Todd’s identity is super chill. Such a great thing to see.

Todd is shown to have grown quite the backbone this season and starts creating the life that he wants for himself. He doesn’t see Bojack in the best light and takes steps back from their relationship in this season and honestly I don’t blame him. Todd hadn’t been treated the best by Bojack and Todd got tired of feeling like a doormat and as sad as it is he needed distance from him for the betterment of himself.

After the events and pain from the ending of season 3 Bojack finds himself back at his old childhood home. Here he stays inside and does little things to fix up the place after it had been abandoned for so long. However, nothing really gets done right until Eddie the next door neighbor comes and helps Bojack.

This period of time in Bojack has been one of my favorites to watch. Bojack’s relationship with Eddie is one of two people recognizing each other’s hardship and simply working together through that. I love that Eddie has a past that caused him to recognize what Bojack was going through and for him to have the will to be a friend to him anyway.

Yet it doesn’t end well. They finish the building and Bojack brings people to tear it down. We don’t know what happens with Eddie after that. Especially, after his heartbreak from flying to save Bojack after he jumps from the roof of the house. Eddie hadn’t flown in years after his wife’s passing. It’s one of those stories that captures you with both it’s odd reflects of beauty chipped in with the lumps of sadness.

Season 4 shows a lot of Bojack’s past. Particularly his relationship with his mother, but also his mother’s own experiences growing up. Beatrice is a difficult woman to say the least. She destroyed Bojack’s sense of self-worth from the start. She is manipulative and arrogant. Yet seeing her start of life and knowing that she’s know aged and suffering from increased dementia it’s still sad to watch. She’s an example of someone whose experienced trama and turned it into something that makes it ok to her to treat other people like crap. It’s the saddest thing. There is no good excuse to be a terrible person.

Then Bojack meets Hollyhawk a young girl that believes that she is his daughter. It is quite possibly the first really good relationship I’ve seen Bojack have with anyone. Yes he takes off and does his own thing stemming from his depression, but he genuinely cares about her and does everything in his power to find her mother.

What I loved most about Hollyhawk was how much she brought out the compassion in Bojack. Especially towards his mother. She’s a sweetie pie. She listens to Bojack when he says how horrible his mom is and how he’d been treated, but also gets him to see that he should treat her better. I love her. She makes him a better person.

One of the saddest parts of the show is when he finds out that his mother was giving Hollyhawk diet pills to the point that Hollyhawk needed to be rushed to the hospital. This causes him unable to see her anymore and he frantically goes and takes his mother to a nursing home more angry then he’d ever been at her. His mother ruined the one good relationship that he’d had. A relationship he’d not ruined himself and he was rightfully terribly upset.

When he walks away and leaves her there she remembers who she is and instead of telling her off he gives her something beautiful to think about and it is one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve seen of Bojack so far. Makes me tear up even now. He chooses to be kind to the one who’d been so cruel to him. It’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.

The ending of Season 4 is my favorite. It’s so positive and happy and it made me feel so good inside. Hollyhawk accepts Bojack into her life as her brother and the look on Bojack’s face said it all. It’s one of the most beautiful moments on the show. It made me feel hopeful about Bojack’s future. He’s grown and learned to put someone before himself and healed so much of the past that haunted him. God I loved this season so much.

I’m excited to finally watch Season 5. (I had no real reason to put off writing this other then just not feeling like doing it sadly) However, I’m excited to finally be able to continue watching Bojack’s story. It’s a beautiful one. A sad one, but a wonderful one too.

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Autonomous: A Review

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 I usually wouldn’t give a cover like this, this high of a rating, but after reading the novel I couldn’t think up a more perfect cover. It’s simple, yet elegant. In a way, it tells you exactly what the inside story is about. If there was one image to describe what Autonomous is it is exactly what this cover is.

Publisher: Tor Books

Publish Date: September 19th, 2017

Number of Pages: 303

Received: The Tor Book of the month for a month I don’t recall.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

When anything can be owned, how can we be free

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

Opening Sentence: “The student wouldn’t stop doing her homework, and it was going to kill her.”

Musings:

Autonomous is a smart novel. In every sense of the word. It’s language is very scientifically based, yet not in a way that is overly complicated. It’s well-balanced and fun to read. Yet, it’s subject matter is often serious. This is one of the first adult novels I’ve read. I was not disappointed. It’s one of the most intriguing as Sci-fi novels I’ve ever read.

What I Loved:

The relationships. The relationships in this novel are more then just interesting they are eye-opening. In a world where bots and humans co-exist some taboo relationships were bound to happen and I enjoyed reading about what that would look like. Also, I love that Jack is casually bi-sexual. I love seeing books have people represented as exactly who they are and it being accepted. No one cares about Jack’s sexuality and I feel like that’s how things should be.

It’s really well structured. I have not geeked out on the structure of a novel in a long time. It’s not something I typically even notice so much, but Autonomous has this balance of storylines past and present with so many things going on, but not too much, but all of it is interesting. Everything is important in the novel. There is no filler. In a sci-fi this is a magical thing that I have not experienced before.

No one is truly the good guy. Sure, everyone thinks they are, but no one is totally clean of doing something wrong. The whole point of Jack’s quest is to right a wrong that affected over a hundred people’s lives in a very negative way. Except she still reads off as a hero. But, in the end to those effected by what she did, their lives were ruined. It wasn’t completely her fault, but to those families I don’t think it would matter.

Talk about anthropomorphizing bots. Humans tend to want to humanize everything. I know I do it when I see my dog have emotional responses to things we do. As well as her very unique personality. It is very human. Yet you can’t fully give a human identity to an animal, but with something that looks so human-like? The lines blur. It was super interesting to read about.

The actual political system. The government system in this novel is not the biggest part of the novel, but it is very much there. There are rules and regulations that very much effect the plot. Also an indenture system that blurs the lines between what it is to be human. Where bots can be autonomous and humans can be indentured slaves. It’s incredibly interesting.

All in all:

Not much more can be said without spoiling this beauty of a novel. It’s gorgeously written. Filled with incredible characters. Very human situations. Pirates and parties and addiction and injustice. So much substance with every turn of the page. Autonomous is well worth the read.

About the Author:

Annalee Newitz writes science fiction and nonfiction. They are the author of the novels The Future of Another Timeline, and Autonomous, which won the Lambda Literary Award. As a science journalist, they are a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and have a monthly column in New Scientist. They have published in The Washington Post, Slate, Popular Science, Ars Technica, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, among others. They are also the co-host of the Hugo Award-winning podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Previously, they were the founder of io9, and served as the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo.

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A Coffee Kickback/ Review: Schism

This weekend has been wonderful. I woke up Saturday morning made some breakfast while listening to Christmas music. Then after breakfast I had some tea and read Schism for about two hours. After that I watched Christmas movies while drinking some coffee with my mom and my sister.

I watched “The Holiday Calendar” and “Holiday in the Wild” and well as “Holiday Rush”. Overall, a Christmas extravaganza. It was the most relaxed and myself I had been in a long time. It reminded me that you can make any day special and do whatever it is that would bring you the most joy at life the spur of the moment.

Christmastime this year has really showed me to enjoy every moment as well as the unfolding is happening. Because nothing is ever done, not really. Life is constant movement and I’m so ready to enjoy and dance in it again. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing recently. So much so that I have noticed that I no longer find a trace of depression or anxiety anywhere at all. I am so free and from that place of freedom I know that the world will be my oyster and I can’t wait to see what else unfolds.

On to the review!

Schism by Britt Holewinski

My Rating: 3/5

Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s not the best in my opinion. It fits the setting and the genre, but I feel like they could have done something so much cooler. It kinda looks like they just kinda photoshopped a few things together that in some basic way fit the story and that doesn’t really do it for me.

Publisher: Delirious Pixie

Publish Date: March 15th, 2016

Number of Pages: 264

Received: goodreads giveaway

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“My name is Andrea Christensen. I’m one of the oldest oldest people in the world.”

The first book in a new YA, dystopian trilogy, SCHISM is a story of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood.

A virus, created by the smartest minds in the United States government, which is meant to target male adults in times of war, is accidentally released before testing is complete. Within weeks six billion people are eliminated from the world. The only survivors are prepubescent children.

Five years after this catastrophic event, a young girl named Andy Christensen and her two friends are forced to leave their home in Bermuda and return to the North American continent. There, they discover that America is wild and chaotic, and people have instituted a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Andy and her friends soon band together with fellow survivors in search for a new place to call home.”

Opening Sentence: “The two young men moved quickly under the cover of night, the summer air thick with humidity.”

Musings:

Schism is post-apocalyptic in a very dark way. It really paints a negative picture of human beings being at there worst most of the time and the few that are good that are trying to make the best of it all. People are raping and human trafficking and murdering all over the place.

Not only that but it’s kids doing all these things to other kids because all the adults were killed by a virus. It’s utter chaos. Nowhere is safe. There’s drug trading and just a whole lot of awful things and as smart as the kids are the pieces of hope are few and far between.

What I liked:

The pacing. There was always something happening and the story moves pretty fast. There is always something shocking to wonder at.

The characterization. Everyone was pretty distinct and they all had their own motivations for acting and I really enjoyed that.

Not too unlikely of a scenario. I want to believe that if this really happened that all the kids of the world would behave this terribly, but honestly I don’t really know. I want to hope humanity would do better, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the reality.

The idea itself. I like an interesting concept and this sure was unique. It was an exploration of what could be.

All in all:

An interesting and intense novel. I had my issues with it, but overall it was enjoyable read.

About the Author:

I was born in Boston, but moved when I was less than a year old. I lived all over the country growing up, so I had to adapt and learn to make new friends quickly. I was a gymnast at a highly competitive level until I was 15. Then I focused more on school, especially math and science because I wanted to become an astronaut.

After high school, I went to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where I studied mechanical engineering. I graduated in 2000, and attended graduate school at Pennsylvania State University. After getting my master’s degree, also in mechanical engineering, I went to work for the CIA shortly after 9/11. I travelled all over the world for my job, including 3 years in the Middle East. I decided to leave the Agency after 14 years to focus on writing, which is where I am today!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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Till next time!

The Voice of my Mind: A Review

The Voice of my Mind by T. A. Fish

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s simple and fits the title, but it’s not something that really stands out. It’s not something that would really attract my attention in a book store.

Publisher: Book Baby

Publish Date: June 1st, 2019

Number of Pages: 86

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

The Voice of My Mind, by author T. A. Fish, is an avant-garde poetry collection that took over 5 years to complete. Each poem is beautifully crafted with great virtuosity, that haunts with extreme depth and wonder. The collection deals with themes of grief, love, spiritual enlightenment, and philosophy. From beginning to end, the poems read in a mesmerizing and captivating style, expertly flowing from one theme to the next.

Opening Poem:

Treasure

The pyre of life Is a great treasure chest;

Pouring out All, Of the world’s best.

The fruit of men Is like a deep well;

To find the bottom Time will tell.

The love of God Is like a great vista view;

Endless in boundaries And beauty too.

The hate of the world Is an abominable snow;

Blinding in rage Of what it ought not know.

The knowledge of life Is knowing what is to gain;

Searching all truth And seeking in vain.

Musings:

I think one of the main issues with this collection is how much the same it is. The rhythms are all the same and it’s like reading one long redundant poem and no one wants that.

However, the reason why I rated this 3 stars is because there was 2 poems that I really did enjoy, but even those have the same redundant rhythm and I wish it didn’t.

I will share the one I liked the most with all of you:

Grim

The madness creeping deep within,

The lifeless body of a man named grim;

As a heartless beat quakes the thin,

Revenant who died and rose again.

Writhing and crawling with nary a shin,

Carrying a devilish smile,

disguised as a grin,

His twinkling eyes,

protrude through the dim,

Haze of blackness that encompass his skin.

Seeing a doppelganger claiming his twin,

The unrepentant soul of abhorrent sin,

Seeking to devour his spirited kin;

Dragging his corpse into the depths therein.

Screaming his last, from the pit, of the dungeon,

Never a fate so great and grim,

La fin.

I like this one because it was darker and it made me think of Halloween and creepiness. But, even re-reading it I don’t feel like it has a lasting impression.

Mostly, I just wanted there to be variety in the tone. It’s like the words no longer matter because there was no variety in the beat. It’s like the poetry is trying to be grander then it actually is. It’s not even that the poems themselves are bad. I feel like it’s all trying too hard.

All in all:

This collection had a lot of potential it never tapped into. It had some good topics and some good lines, but it fell lacking to redundancy. It’s a run of the mill poetry collection. Not terrible, but not great. Which is why I gave it the rating I did.

About the Author:

T. A. Fish is a Christian author, who spent over 5 years crafting the deep, provocative, and thought-provoking poetry collection The Voice of My Mind. “The Voice of My Mind is a journey of the human spirit; one that dives into the deepest and darkest crevices of the human mind, and then reaches for the heights of spiritual enlightenment and redemption. ” – T. A. Fish

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle website and Instagram!

The Forbidden Warriors: A Book Tour Review

The Forbidden Warriors by Moud Adel

Typically I would start off a Book Review with all the links and information and then get on with my thoughts. However, this is a Book Tour and it’s the first one I’ve actually done and committed to posting so I have a mini aside to ramble about here. I want to thank Breakeven Books for reaching out to me. They have put so much effort and love into this tour and Erik deserves all the praise for it.

Now that that is out of the way, on to the review!

My Rating: 3/5

Cover Rating: 8/10 I adore painted covers. This one is really pretty and I love the jungle vibes it has. The only thing is as adventurous as the book itself is, they don’t really go into a jungle that I recall at any point. It does cover the fantasy elements the book has.

Publisher: Mastoperia Books

Publish Date: November 15th, 2019

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Received: e-arc in exchange for a book tour review!

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Four teams, multiple power systems and mythical creatures, vast world, and there can only be one winner.
Mastoperia: A hidden continent with four factions divided and suspicious of each other, with a history of unresolved wars, each grounding themselves in their own unique culture, and magical power.

The Forbidden Warriors: The only force powerful enough to keep the factions from destroying one another. The secret to their power is a mystery, but the only way to hold on to it is by passing the power to a new generation every two and a half centuries.

As that time has arrived, each faction must offer a candidate to become the next generation of the Forbidden Warriors, but only one can be the leader. In a race for that leadership position, four candidates and their teams travel across a world mysterious to them, to hunt artifacts they know nothing about.

The mission is not easy, their goals are not aligned, and the truth is far bigger than they could have imagined. A challenge none were ready for.

Will they choose their own interests, their factions’ or defy all that they know for the sake of their world?

Opening Sentence: “Amarin wrapped his fingers around one of the hot, steel bars centering the massive gate.”

Musings:

The Forbidden Warriors is a high fantasy/sci-fi novel filled with a unique factions system and lots of unique magic. This multi-POV novel will take you on a journey with its many characters as they fight against each other to become the leader of The Forbidden Warriors.

What I enjoyed:

The second half. This book got better as it went along. The second half was pretty juicy with the elements it had going on. Including relationships between characters building and being strained and The Forbidden Warriors having their own alternate agenda for our characters.

The idea of the powers. There were many nuances to the various faction powers and they were all interesting to learn about. However, I felt like they were a little over explained in the beginning and I wanted to see the powers explained for themselves in more practical usage instead of just in telling.

The cultural differences between factions. I kinda wish this was highlighted more. I was interested in the history of the factions and a little bit more of the inner workings of them. I feel like there is a taste of that throughout the novel, but it wasn’t touched on as deeply as it could have been.

Some Criticism:

Too many pov’s: It took me much longer then I would have liked to get a sense of whose POV I was in, who was related to them, and what faction they were from. I think I was half way before I really got a sense of all the individual stories and that threw me off a lot of the novel.

All in all:

I enjoyed myself while reading this novel and that’s the most important thing. I don’t quite think the book reached the potential it could have, but it is interesting and fun to read as it is.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Egypt, living in France with a degree in ancient Egyptian history and a passion for writing. I developed my love for storytelling early on and was fascinated by the idea of deconstructing worlds and building new ones that fall under the laws of my imagination.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle website and Instagram!