[Book Review] The Duet + The Design by R.S. Grey

Happy Monday, world!

I had a pretty relaxing weekend spent glued to my Kindle. After finishing Queen of Shadows on Thursday (review still in the works because I have a LOT of thoughts), I really needed something light & fluffy to read while I recovered. Luckily, I have an arsenal of book lovers at my command (or at least I like to think I do), and they never disappoint me with their recommendations. This time, it was The Duet and its sequel, The Design, both by R.S. Grey, recommended by my lovely Heather (anarrayofbooks). Both books can be borrowed through the Kindle Lending Library, or are available to read for free with a Kindle Unlimited membership!

THE DUET – R.S. Grey

When 27-year-old pop sensation Brooklyn Heart steps in front of a microphone, her love songs enchant audiences worldwide. But when it comes to her own love life, the only spell she’s under is a dry one.

So when her label slots her for a Grammy performance with the sexy and soulful Jason Monroe, she can’t help but entertain certain fantasies… those in which her G-string gets more play than her guitars’.

Only one problem. Jason is a lyrical lone wolf that isn’t happy about sharing the stage—nor his ranch — with the sassy singer. But while it may seem like a song entitled ‘Jason Monroe Is an Arrogant Ho’ basically writes itself, their label and their millions of fans are expecting recording gold…

They’re expecting The Duet.

I went into this book without actually reading the synopsis. It took me a couple chapters to figure out exactly what Brooklyn was famous for, and I’ll be honest – I wasn’t thrilled with the overall premise of this book at first. I made fun of it with my husband once I got to the part where they explained that Brooklyn and Jason would be forced to team up…oh, and that she would be traveling to stay with him at his cabin in Montana until the duet was finished. I mean, really? REALLY? It seemed cheesy and forced, but I knew I would be able to find some redeeming qualities in it – and I wasn’t wrong.

The characters in this book are vibrant. I swear they are real people, and they are so much fun to read about. Sure, I was rolling my eyes on a regular basis at the tropes and the cliches, but deep down I was really enjoying the ride. I flew through this book in a day an a half and reached for the follow-up book almost immediately…

THE DESIGN – R.S. Grey

Five minutes until the interview begins.

Fresh on the heels of her college graduation, Cameron Heart has landed an interview at a prestigious architecture firm.

Four minutes until the interview.

She knows she’s only there because the owner, Grayson Cole, is her older sister’s friend.

Three minutes.

For the last seven years, Grayson has been the most intimidating man Cammie has ever had the pleasure, or displeasure, of being around.

Two Minutes.

But the job opportunity is too good to pass up. So, Cammie will have to ignore the fact that Grayson is handsome enough to have his own national holiday.

One.

After all, she shouldn’t feel that way about her new boss. And, he will be her new boss.

“I’m not intimidated by you,” I said with a confident smile.
“Perhaps we should fix that, Ms. Heart. Close the door.”

Technically speaking, The Design was in pretty rough shape. I found some heavy duty continuity errors that were just glaring me in the face and begging me to put down the book, but I also really wanted to follow through with the series, so I kept truckin.

The formula for both books is the same, but the main character in The Design is Brooklyn’s little sister, Cammie. I liked the change of perspective, and I loved reading from Cammie’s POV considering she was my favorite character in The Duet. Both sisters have a clear voice, regardless of how similar they are. Brooklyn is the more mature/ responsible one, while Cammie is clearly the younger of the two, and still working on that whole “maturity” thing.

There’s really not a lot to analyze with these books; they’re the definition of fluff. But they are enjoyable and quick reads (with moderate levels of steaminess), so I would certainly recommend them to anyone who’s looking for a surface-level read to pass the time or to recover from something a little heavier.

I’m not sure where these books fall in the Author’s list of works, but I definitely feel as though they were written by someone who could use a little more experience with drafting & outlining details. The pace changes had a tendency to be jarring, leaving me confused as to how much time had lapsed between pages, as well as the continuity errors I mentioned before, which would be easily negated by an outline or more detailed character notes. They really just need to spend a little time with an editor, which I realize is not always an option for independent authors.

FINAL VERDICT

3 star

I really did enjoy both of these books. I felt attached to the characters and had to keep turning pages to see what would happen next. I was satisfied by the conclusions, and will recommend these books to anyone who is looking for a light-hearted romance.

Until Next Time ❤

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[Book Review] Crown Of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

HOLY… Everything. Holy everything. This book. Well, this book destroyed me. Ripped out my heart & crumbled it a la Regina Mills.  Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series, and it really outdoes the first in terms of eliciting emotional responses.


 CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by SARAH J. MAAS

Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion—yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.


The instant I turned the last page of Throne of Glass, I hopped into the car with kiddo and drove to Half Price Books to pick up the rest of the series (not exaggerating). They didn’t have any in the store, so I just picked up a couple books for mini-me and we headed over to Barnes & Noble, pushing dinner back by a couple hours in the process (oops!). Anyway, I grabbed Crown of Midnight and had intentions to get the rest of the series, but Heir of Fire is only released in hardcover right now and they didn’t have any paperback copies of Assassin’s Blade. Gotta make sure the set matches, yo!

Crown of Midnight picks up basically where Throne of Glass left off, so there are going to be a few mini-spoilers for Throne of Glass in my review, because it’s basically unavoidable.

The general premise of this second installment is that Celaena is now the King’s Champion and, as such, is contracted to eliminate targets deemed to be a threat to the crown. She uses her position to continue the mission set forth by Queen Elena in the first book, investigating the secrets held within the castle while maintaining the appearance of a loyal servant to the King. All the secrets she is keeping begin to cause tensions between those closest to her, with everyone questioning each others’ intentions.

Crown of Midnight weaves a pretty intricate web, and reveals even more about Celaena’s past as the castle’s secrets begin to become her own.  We get to see the lethality of our favorite assassin on a number of occasions, as well as seeing her softer side as she  learns to trust her friends and puts their needs above her own time & time again. We experience incredible heartbreak as she is betrayed (more than once) and we finally have the opportunity to witness the power of magic in the world of Erilea.

I reiterate, this book is filled with SO much emotion. Celaena is learning about herself and what she wants for her life once she is free from the King’s command. She begins to heal old wounds, only to have them ripped wide open as her secrets begin to unravel. It’s a gut-wrenching ride from beginning to end, and I found myself in tears more than once (thank you, husband, for not laughing at me as I sobbed over the pages of this book!).

As in the first book, I found a few of the plot twists to be somewhat predictable but, unlike the first installment, it in no way affected my opinion of this book.  Watching all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place was incredibly satisfying, even if my suspicions were right on-point. And the ending….well, you really need to read this book.

Final Verdict:

5 star

No surprise here, I am OBSESSED with this book, and really looking forward to diving deeper into the story with Heir of Fire!

Did you read Crown of Midnight? Did it affect you the way it affected me? I’ve been chatting with some other fans of this series & we all agree – this book cuts through you like a knife (or maybe one of Celaena’s daggers)!

Until Next Time ❤

[Book Review] The Heir

The-Heir_612x925

Remember how I said this book was going to yank me out of my reading slump? Well, it most certainly did. Forcefully, I might add.

It took 2 pages for me to be sucked back into the world of Illea and to fall in love with the new characters. I’m not even gonna bother waiting until the end of this review to share my rating because it’s going to be obvious. Painfully obvious. This is a solid 5-star book for me. If more stars were possible, more stars it would have.

5 star

So, if that’s all you came for, there you have it. For anyone else interested, here’s my Ode to The Heir:


Selection books 1-3 spoilers ahead

I’m having such a guttural response to this book. It’s everything the original trilogy was and more. So strong is my emotional connection that I am currently writing this review on my phone, in my car, in the parking lot of the coffee shop where I just read the final page. It simply could not wait.

Intro

We launch into the story by meeting Eadlyn, the 18-year-old daughter of Maxon & America (*swoon*) and heir to the throne of Illea as the firstborn who beat her twin brother, Ahren, out of the womb by 7 minutes. We learn how much Illea has changed since her father began his rule – his first order of business obviously being to eliminate the caste system. We also learn of the unrest among the newest generation of citizens due to the older generations’ inability to move beyond the labels imposed by the abolished castes. There is significant discourse, which really sets us up for this new Selection.

Let’s Talk Characters

Eadlyn is a vastly different character from America, as most young women are from their mothers. She is growing up in the palace and, as such, has led a very different lifestyle than her mother did. Her priorities lie with the entire kingdom, rather than just her loved ones. The weight of that responsibilty weighs on her from the very beginning. I will admit that she is certainly, on some level, spoiled; but I don’t know that I would go so far as to consider labeling her entitled. She has a flair for fashion and she prizes her tiaras more than one might consider acceptable, but she is simply playing the hand she has been dealt – which is a very powerful hand. She has a confident yet reserved attitude when dealing with other people – never really letting anyone in besides her immediate family.  

Ahren is the ultimate voice of wisdom to Eadlyn’s constant self-doubt & confusion. He is so easy to adore & Eadlyn does so with every fiber of her being. His ability to be simultaneously gentle & straightforward is a complete godsend to Eady once the Selection actually begins & things start to get complicated.

The Selection boys – I don’t really want to talk about anyone in particular, for fear of spoilers. I do have my favorite ship. And a backup ship. And maybe another after that, but not really. I’m a multi-shipper & I’m ok with it. I will say I love the variety of the contestants. The different motivations they have & their personalities are so vibrant. And having a palace full of boys certainly does make things interesting.

Maxon & America. I can’t. I just can’t. These two are my favorite fictional couple of all time, I think. And they only got more adorable over the fictional 18 years that have passed since the end of The One. They are so wholly devoted to each other and to their children. It’s terribly heartwarming and gives me ALL. OF. THE. FEELS.

Returning characters, for those of you who read the first books: Aspen & Lucy, Marlee & Carter, & May Singer all have supporting roles in this book. That’s all I can specifically remember, at least. I feel like maybe I’m forgetting someone? Either way, it’s nice to catch up with them & see how their lives have also changed since the conclusion of The One.

The Skinny

Ok, so Eady is not into the idea of having a Selection, but is convinced to participate because it will distract the Country from the unrest that is beginning to get out of control. She is incredibly independent and has no desire to find a soulmate at this point in her life, but we all know things like that can change when the opportunity to find love presents itself. She spends a lot of time second-guessing herself, but also doesn’t seem to fully consider the consequences of her actions or the way they will be interpreted by the masses; this makes for some very interesting turns of event throughout the entirety of the book.

Conclusion

This book flew by way too quickly. At the end, I turned the page, saw the acknowledgements, and stopped breathing. I wasn’t ready for it to end. It was so fast-paced and I was never – not once – uninterested in what was going on. Eady’s character development throughout the story is some of the best I’ve ever read over the course of a single novel. The current state of Illea is very realistic, considering what the country has been through over the last few decades. I can’t recommend this book enough. Even if you haven’t read the first 3 books, I believe you could jump in here since the backstories of the other characters aren’t really discussed, just alluded to – more as treats for fans of the original series, I feel. Everyone who loves a good dystopian-ish fairy tale should definitely pick this up. Thank you, Kiera Cass, for not only NOT letting me down, but for exceeding my wildest expectations.  I believe this is my favorite of the entire Selection series. Now to count the days until book #5…

One, two, three…

Until Next Time ❤


PS – For fellow fangirls: Did you hear? Kiera Cass announced on her blog that Warner Bros. has won the film rights for The Selection! Who else is excited about the possibility of seeing The Selection come alive on screen? After the CW pilot fiasco, I had essentially come to terms with the fact that it would never happen. Now it still could & I am giddy. Fancast for America? Sophie Turner, of course. She’d be absolute perfection. Oh my god, this is a long PS. BYE!

[2] Obsessive Wednesdays: Gettin’ Girly

This week, my obsessions have been slightly less nerdy (although, let’s be real – they’re always at least a *little* nerdy…this is me we’re talking about ) and a bit more girly.  I haven’t spent a ton of time talking about my girlish obsessions on here, so I thought I’d share some with you today – you know, make this thing a bit more well-rounded. Or something. Anywho.

BOOKS

Need you even ask? Yes. The Heir was released yesterday & I’m about 7 chapters in. I only had a brief window to spend reading last night, but so far I’m enjoying the story. The world of Illea has changed drastically since the end of The One, which it obviously needed to do. I’m impressed by all the care Kiera Cass has taken with this story. I’m itching to read more.

The-Heir_612x925

The Epic Coin Toss

Once I’ve finished The Heir, I’m going to have an epic coin toss to determine what I read next. My contenders are:

vs

Ready Player One vs. Throne of Glass

I know I’m going to love them both, but I just can’t decide where to go & I’ve been waffling over it for like a month now. It’s time to just leave things up to fate. Anybody wanna place bets? 🙂

YOUTUBE

Lauren Bradley Cox. This girl is absolutely adorable & she’s living my hair dreams. I’m going to try out the toners she used to get that perfect white/grey tone to her hair, just as soon as I can get my hands on them. Also, her makeup is super flawless in all of her photos.

TUMBLR

I’ve got 2 new favorite Tumblr blogs that I continuously stalk (it’s not creepy, OK?)

towritecomicsonherarms

I mean, oodles of comic-y goodness + that beard? No complaints from me.

twoabtheworldofabookworm

She’s a total sweetheart, super adorable, & posts some of the absolute best bookish eye candy.

Also, I am slacking on my Book Balancing Challenge. I need to get on that. It’s gonna be hilarious, seeing as my ability to even balance myself on my own two feet is oftentimes brought into question.

TV

This season of The Vampire Diaries has been super good, you guys. I’m so in love with what they’ve done for the character development. Everyone is struggling with their own crap & the converging storylines are getting really complex. I love it. I’ve been a TVD fan for years, but last season just really didn’t do much for me. I’m glad things are back on an upswing for Nina Dobrev’s exit from the series.

 

BEAUTY

BOXYCHARM. Oh. My. God. I’m in love with Boxycharm. I’ve done beauty subscription boxes for about a year now, and I’ve tried Birchbox, Ipsy, and now Boxycharm. I’m so much happier with Boxy than I ever was with Birchbox or Ipsy. I don’t even mind the extra $20 expense because the products are worth SO much more & I actually get enough product in my samples to form a solid opinion on the product, instead of a one-time use thing. Last month, we got the Coastal Scents Revealed2 Palette, which is essentially a dupe for Urban Decay’s Naked 2. I’ve been wanting to order this Revealed palette for a while, ever since I started using Coastal Scents products, so I was FREAKING out when I opened my April box. I also received the Harvey Prince fragrance “Hello”, and I’m in love with it. It’s sweet but still a little floraly, which is right up my alley. Anywho, I could probably do a whole post on how much I love Boxycharm & I think anyone at ALL interested in beauty/ cosmetics should give it a shot for $20/month.

STYLE

This photo shoot of Dascha Polanco for Latina Magazine has me slobbering since I saw the first images yesterday. The hair, the makeup, her body in those outfits. There’s no other way to descibe how I feel about this than: OBSESSED. I haven’t read the interview yet, but I have seen a few quote blocks that people have pulled from it to post with photos & she seems like an incredibly down-to-earth person who has dealt with her fair share of bullshit from life. I’m really interested to read the whole thing.

 

 

 

 

 RANDOM

Buzzfeed. Guys, I can’t stop with the Buzzfeed. I’m not sure when this obsession started, but it’s getting out of hand. It’s probably the reason I didn’t get my 2nd post up yesterday like I promised – I was taking too many Buzzfeed quizzes. That shit’s like a drug. Things like these totally awesome “choose-your-own-adventure” style quizzes about REALLY important topics:

Could You Survive One Day As A Superhero?

Superheroes make it look so easy, but the smallest misstep can lead to their demise. See if you can make the right choices to survive one day walking in a superhero’s shoes.

Could You Survive One Day As A Superhero?

 

OR…

Can You Become a Pokemon Master?

Good morning! Today is your first day as a Pokémon trainer. It’s always been your dream to enter the Pokémon League, defeat the Elite Four, and be a Pokémon Master. And now you finally have the chance!

Spoiler alert: It has been determined by these incredibly scientific exams that I could successfully be a superhero for a day AND become a Pokemon master. I’m gonna rule the freaking world someday. With my level 112 Nidoqueen.


 

Until Next Time ❤

PS – my big *WOMP WOMP* for the day is that I didn’t prep anything for Flash Fic Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check out what other people are writing by following #flashficwed

I Found It. The Answer to My Prayers.

You guys.

I’m not sure how many of you are aware, but I’ve been in a BEAST of a reading slump. I had every intention of spending my downtime on vacation just devouring books, but that didn’t work out so well.

I’ve been trying for WEEKS to figure out something I can read that would consume me for a few days & re-ignite that reading fire (figuratively speaking, of course. Real fire is super bad for books, y’all), but nothing was clicking. And these were GOOD freaking books I was trying to read – namely, Ready Player One. I just couldn’t do it and the guilt level was off the charts. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty about it, I mean – everyone has reading slumps, right?  But it’s really been wearing on me. I feel like a different person when I’m enveloped in a story.

Well, my prayers have been answered with the release of my most highly anticipated book of 2015: The Heir is in hand & I’m trying to convince myself that reading it while at work is an irresponsible thing to do. I can’t wait to start it & I can feel that fog lifting from around me.

It’s a magical feeling. This is going to fix everything. Don’t let me down, Kiera Cass!

 


 

THE HEIR by Kiera Cass

The-Heir_612x925


 

I think this might be fixing my writing slump, as well. So I’ll be back later today with a little somethin somethin.

 

Until Next Time ❤

Series Review: Bloodlines

BLOODLINES Covers

Whew. I’m done. I feel like I’ve been reading these books forever – even if it’s only been 2.5 months. The reason it took so long was partially just general book hangover from my end-of-2014 push and partially availability from my library. I had to wait 2 weeks just to get The Fiery Heart (book 4) from the library. Meanwhile, Silver Shadows & Ruby Circle were just chillin in my library basket next to my bed. Taunting me.

So, I’ve reviewed the first half of this series here, complete with a general synopsis. Today I just want to talk about how those thoughts have changed/remained the same since finishing out the 6th book. I do try to keep my reviews pretty vague so as not to divulge too much plot information. If you’d like to discuss this series at any length, you can add me on Twitter or Goodreads & I’d be more than happy to talk about vampires for eternity 🙂

GENERAL THOUGHTS

I had initially said that I felt like Bloodlines is a superior narrative to Vampire Academy. I’m not entirely sure that I still feel this way after reading the last 3 books. Maybe now they’re dead even. Maybe VA is just the tiniest bit better as a whole.  I feel like Richelle Mead tried to accomplish a few too many things with Bloodlines & it made the last half of the series feel disjointed from the first half. Not enough to make me dislike the series, but certainly enough to deflate my lofty opinions following The Indigo Spell.

CHARACTERS

Here’s where this series hooked me. I LOVE the characters. I love Sydney Sage. I LOVE Adrian Ivashkov. It was great that this series had so many characters that you really got the opportunity to know & love. Not just passersby who may or may not be useful in helping the main characters along their story arc. Actually, the attachment I feel to all the characters in this series is akin to the way I feel about the peripheral characters in Harry Potter. You really get the opportunity to connect with them and it’s awesome.

STORY ARCS

TOO MANY STORY ARCS. Sometimes this works. In this instance, it was the biggest downfall, I feel. If even ONE of the ongoing conflicts in this series had been eliminated, I feel that it would have been a more cohesive story. It was just too much at the end. And, honestly, the fact that there were so many conflicts to resolve made book 6 kind of annoying.  Like, I get it. But I almost feel like their solution was too easy. It was practically a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem they were facing at the time. You remember the end of Breaking Dawn? It kinda felt like that….all this buildup & then nothing REALLY happened. Well, ok, not NOTHING. It got pretty  intense. But it didn’t meet my expectations.

CONCLUSION

In the end, I’m glad to have read this series. There’s so much I want to take with me and so many scenes that really moved me. It’s upsetting when the conclusion of a series is less than you’d hoped for, but that’s the way things go, right? God. It sounds like I’m giving the last half a really terrible review, doesn’t it? I’m not. I promise. Here, allow me to clear this up. My individual book ratings:

Bloodlines

5 star

Golden Lily

5 star

Indigo Spell

5 star

Fiery Heart

5 star

Silver Shadows

4 star

Ruby Circle

3 star

 

In the end, if you love fantasy, romance, & vampire books, you DEFINITELY shouldn’t miss Vampire Academy OR Bloodlines.

 

Until Next Time ❤

OGF Signature

 

PS: I found this at B&N last night and it took ALL of my willpower not to buy it. What is it about a signed copy that is sooooo irresistible?

Books on Deck – YA Lit Madness

I finally finished the Bloodlines series (review to come!) and now I feel like the literary world is my oyster. I love series, but sometimes when you get past a certain number of pages, it can start to feel a little too confining. Obviously, I could choose not to binge-read the series, but then I find that I’m forgetting little details & would rather just get through the whole thing at once. I did enjoy this particular series, but I was a little worn down by the end of it. Maybe there were just too many primary conflicts? We’ll explore that later. For now, I thought it’d be fun to do a little feature of what books I have “on deck”.

My TBR list is WAY too long for my comfort; I’m pushing 550 & adding more every day…yeesh! So it’s nice to break things down & pick out a few that I’m looking forward to reading in the very near future.

eleanor park

1. Eleanor & Park. Seriously, I haven’t read such great reviews on a book since TFIOS. I started this yesterday and, while I haven’t been sucked all the way in yet, I am finding it to be an enjoyable read and a nice change of pace from the world of Richelle Mead.

boys

2. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This one has been on a number of book club lists lately, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I picked up the Kindle edition on Amazon for like $1.99. I think it will be a nice, lighthearted & entertaining read.

Ready Player1

3. Ready Player One. Another book that has gotten a lot of hype on the many blogs I read – I’m really looking forward to this one & its pop-culture heavy narrative.

station 1

4. Station Eleven. The cover grabbed my attention the first time I saw it & then I started reading reviews. It seems a bit loftier than most of the things I gravitate toward, but that’s a good thing. I’m trying to expand my horizons & I think this is going to be a great place to start.

alienated

5. Alienated. It’s been a while since I’ve read anything even resembling sci-fi. I don’t think this is going to QUITE get me there, but it seems like it will be a nice blend of sci-fi and YA, which is totally my jam right now 🙂

[The List Goes On: Books 6-10 – Top Ten Tuesday]

Have you read any of these? I’d love to know what you think! Also, even with my overwhelming TBR list, I’m ALWAYS soliciting recommendations! 🙂

Until Next Time ❤

OGF Signature

Five Fandom Friday: Characters I Would Name My Children After

fandom.5.friday

 

I’m a little tardy this week, but I couldn’t NOT participate because this is such a good prompt, so let’s just forgive & forget, shall we?

This week’s 5 Fandom Friday is Characters I Would Name my Children After.  Now, I clearly already have a child, who is named after my maternal grandmother. My grandma’s name was Doris Evelyn & my munchkin is Evelynne Grace. I spent a ton of time with my grandparents as a small child, and ever since my grandmother passed when I was in 7th grade, I knew I was going to name my first daughter after her.

I’m really not planning on having any more kids, but here are some names I would totally choose in the event that changes:

1. Arya.

Arya

2. Felicity.

smoak

3. Luna.

luna

4. Xander.

Sensitive-Xander-Harris

5. Oliver.

oliver

BONUS. My top 2 pet names:

1. Thea

thea

2. Harley

harley

I’m just now realizing that this post is a little Arrow-centric. That was not intentional. I’ve just been catching up on the last few weeks & I guess it’s stuck in my mind. Plus they’re just great names with great characters associated to them 🙂

Until Next Time ❤

OGF Signature

Big thanks to Kristen & Megan for hosting 5 Fandom Fridays. I can’t get enough of reading everyone’s responses!

Waiting on Wednesday: Super Anxiously Awaiting….

New WoW

Today I’m participating in the Waiting on Wednesday linkup, hosted by Breaking the Spine.  In this weekly event, we talk about upcoming releases we are anxiously awaiting! This is my first time participating in the event, but I am holding out for SO many titles this year that I feel like I’m going to burst.  So this’ll probably become a regular thing.

My #1 most anticipated release for 2015 is – The Heir by Kiera Cass

The-Heir_612x925

The Selection series is quite possibly my favorite YA series since Harry Potter (neck-&-neck with Miss Peregrine right now). I’m not exaggerating. If you like Hunger Games, Cinderella, and the Bachelor, you must read these books. They’re pretty girly, but still have plenty of action. I devoured the first two when I discovered them & anxiously awaited The One, which was meant to conclude the series. I was ECSTATIC when Kiera Cass announced that she had signed another book deal to continue the series in a  new generation. I can’t wait to see what the new characters are like & how things have changed in Illéa since the conclusion of The One!

The synopsis of this book kind of contains spoilers for the rest of the series, but here is the synopsis for The Selection for anyone who might be interested!

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Until Next Time ❤

OGF Signature


 

CURRENT OBSESSIONS:

  1. Book: The Fiery Heart – Richelle Mead
  2. Comic: Saga, Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  3. Music: Geek in the Pink by Jason Mraz
  4. TV: Gilmore Girls, Season 7
  5. YouTube: OnlyLeigh
  6. Blog: Usagi in Wonderland

Comic Newbie: My First Comic EVER

I’ve done it. I’ve popped my Comic Book cherry. And I am completely hooked.

While I bought the first 4 issues of Vision & The Scarlet Witch at NewBo Con a couple weeks ago, I still haven’t read those. My first foray into comics ended up being one that came highly recommended from multiple sources & doesn’t even have anything to do with superheroes. Seriously, who knew there were comics NOT about superheroes? Ugh. Noob status.

Saga

I’m really glad I started with Saga. I feel like it really opened my eyes to the possibilities in the world of comics & showed me that comics are NOT just for kids who are obsessed with superheroes. I mean, this comic is FOR ADULTS. I actually got kind of concerned by the mature subject matter because the copy I read came from the Library and I thought all the comics were stored with the YA Lit. I was super relieved to find that they only house Manga in the YA section & all the comics/ graphic novels are actually on the 2nd floor with the movies & nonfiction. Seriously, no 12-year-old who is perusing the YA section should be able to get their hands on this (at least in my opinion). All that said, I am entirely obsessed with this series. I’ve only read the volume one so far, but I have 2-4 at home, just waiting for me to pick them up & devour them.

Let me start with the reading experience. I did read a little manga back when I was in high school. I had a boyfriend who was really into Japanese culture & we watched a ton of anime & read manga pretty much exclusively. It was never really my favorite. I enjoyed it, but never found that story that really hooked me in. I was mostly doing it so he’d like me more. But that experience made reading this comic pretty natural for me.

I love that I can get through so much content & narrative in such a short period of time. The first volume took me somewhere around 30 minutes to read completely due to the lack of descriptive language. That’s a huge benefit for someone who hates to pick up a book unless I have hours to devote to making some serious progress in the story. Comics don’t need all that frilly language to describe what’s going on, because it’s all presented visually, which brings me to the artwork.

saga art

Oh my god. I’m a former art major and I cannot get over the beauty of the illustrations in this comic. Fiona Staples is now very high on my bucket list of people to meet before I die. The colors are vibrant, even during dark scenes and there is so much expression in the characters’ faces that it’s practically like watching a movie. Every single panel is its own unique work of art & I love having all of that at my fingertips. The visual drives the narrative which, again, is completely enthralling.

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Brian K. Vaughan is one hell of a creative dude. This world he has created is full of magic and mystery and romance and brutality. It is not idealized. It feels like a world that could actually  exist in some far-off reaches of the universe. It’s easy to root for the main characters on their journey because it’s so easy to identify with them on any number of levels. I’m keeping things vague for those who haven’t read it, but Alana is quickly becoming one of my favorite female fictional characters of all time (holy alliteration, batman!). And I love that the whole thing is being narrated by Hazel. It’s a really unique perspective and I love her sassy attitude.

Synopsis:

Star Wars-style action collides with Game of Thrones-esque drama in this original sci-fi/fantasy epic for mature readers, as new parents Marko and Alana risk everything to raise their child amidst a never-ending galactic war.

Fiona Staples - Saga Illustration

First Panel of Vol. 2 – I already sneaked a peak & it’s GORGEOUS

Saga, Vol. 1 gets  a glorious 5/5 stars on Goodreads & an unprecedented 11/10 stars in my heart. Can’t wait to get into the next volume. Not to mention all the other comics this has led me to check out from the library. Here’s what’s coming up on my list:

I have all of these for the next 3 weeks & can’t wait to get into some different styles of comics. I’ve taken to carrying one with me instead of my Kindle. 🙂

Do you have any suggestions for a newbie to the comic world? I’m ready & willing to learn!

Until Next Time ❤

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