Saturday, May 13, 2017

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han | Rating: ★★★★★  

“I guess that's part of growing up, too--saying goodbye to the things you used to love.”

Saying goodbye is hard to do: this is one of the biggest themes of Always and Forever, Lara Jean. As per usual, Jenny Han gracefully tells us a story of love and coming of age.

One of the things that always hits me about Han's writing is how true-to-life the tone is. It's fluffy and simple, but still reminds us the complexities of life. Whether that be our first loves, first heartbreaks, family, graduation, loss or something else entirely--Jenny Han knows exactly what to do to tug at our heartstrings in a way that's realistic and stunning. Lara Jean is a character I will not soon forget... ever. And there were a lot of loose ends to tie up after P.S., I Still Love You, so I am glad to see Lara Jean and Peter's story continue onto the next chapter and reach their conclusion in a way that will be satisfying and bittersweet to their fans.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean sees Lara Jean reaching through her final days of high school and her questions of where life will take her. After her well laid plans go differently than she'd hoped, she is faced with the one question all college bound students face: where am I going? Jenny Han knows how to express a young adult characters voice perfectly and in that she provides a voice for all the girls who are reading the novel and growing up side-by-side with Lara Jean.


Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies (Rebirth) by Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, Laura Martin | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

A copy of this novel was provided through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

A massive improvement from the last issue I read from the DC Universe Rebirth sets. Oh, fine--I'm a total cliche and a sucker for anything Wonder Woman. I love my bad-ass leading ladies and am here for the dramatic and action packed issues that comics are known for. This is one of my favourite spins on Wonder Woman in terms of the graphics. I loved flipping through the pages and seeing the glorious drawings come to life in real colours. I cannot praise it enough for the artwork.

You know the type of work that makes you swoon? That's what you will find in this little guy. I am 98% sure I spent the entire time consumed by the desire to swoon at every page. Which would be awkward if it wasn't understanding, right? Right?! Just nod along with me, okay? Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies wasn't the strongest in terms of the actual story telling but it was definitely better than the last DC release I picked up (Justice League, Volume 1: The Extinction Machines) and a quick read that is worthy of admiration.


Bad Neighbor by Molly O'Keefe | Rating: ★★★☆☆

"You're soft, Charlotte. You're part real, part dream. You're half here and half... someplace else." 

Oh, boy. I have a lot to say about this novel that will be very conflicting in terms of my review. First of all... the biggest thing you need to know about Bad Neighbor is that, despite its flaws, it's hot. We are talking the lovely Molly O'Keefe may as well set the entire novel on fire once we've finished it. Phew. Phew. Phew. Is that steam I see rising from my Kindle? I swear, it's caught fire from the damned novel.

At its very core, Bad Neighbor is a stereotypical bad-boy fueled love interest. In fact, it's chop full of cliches and a series of vague details about the characters. Despite the fact that it is told in dual narration, I feel like I know so little of the characters. A lot of the times, the backstories felt like an afterthought. We're told, and we are maybe even shown on occasion, but I didn't feel some sort of intimate connection to the characters or their families.

Bad Neighbor has the perfect formula for a sexually tense read. When I got past the otherwise lacking plot lines, I found myself enjoying it deeply. It's just so sexy and steamy that I couldn't put it down. I can't say many novels accomplish that in the overcrowded genre but this is one that will keep you pulled in when it comes to the chemistry between Jesse and Charlotte.


Justice League, Volume 1: The Extinction Machines (Rebirth) by Bryan Hitch, Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea, Tomey Morey | Rating: ★★☆☆☆

A copy of this novel was provided through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Real quick question: is it just me or are the DC Universe Rebirth issues getting more and more... lackluster? Surely I can't be the only one with lukewarm feelings towards it. What started off solid took a serious turn towards dull and forgettable. While the artwork is still some of the best--I couldn't finish it thoroughly but I did look at the artwork like a child devouring a picture book--it doesn't save the rest of it. I made it further in this installment of Justice League than I predicted (entirely due to the artwork) and, when I put it down, I felt so underwhelmed.

Perhaps I am in a rut when it comes to what I'm reading lately but in my honest opinion I feel as if this rebirth was actually as dead as a door nail. The biggest issue I had with it was the wasted potential it had from the start and how it had its moments where it looked like it would breathe some new life into the plots, it just didn't. Over and over again it left me feeling strongly about the questions of, "IS THAT IT?' and I really can't get past it.


Whiskey Words & A Shovel III by R.H. Sin | Rating: ★★★★☆

A copy of this novel was provided through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

After picking up Whiskey Words & a Shovel III, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the way so many readers are expressing their dislike of modern poetry. I have to start my review by saying that I can't really understand people who can't grasp the fact that poetry comes in different formats and has always, at the end of the day, been about the author expressing themselves. What strikes me about modern poetry most is not its length nor its format, it's about how we all have gone about ourselves and what words mean to us. R.H. Sin captures the audience perfectly as we tangle our words with what is printed.

Like so many modern day writers, this is poetry that proves not everything comes in a big package. Collections come and go through the decades but as of recently, so much has been released and explored in the best possible ways. Sin's work is amongst the greats of today and I cannot stress that enough. Above and beyond all of if, this is the sort of poetry that feels like home to our thoughts. One of the greatest things an author can do is relate to their audience and my generation--I am proud to say--is doing so damn well with it.


Naughty by Nature by Addison Moore | Rating: ★★☆☆☆

How do I write a review of this one without sounding dull or mean? Cheesy cover aside, Naughty by Nature is neither the cheesiest nor the worst romance novel I've read in recent weeks. Addison Moore manages to weave and craft a series of sexual tension that will leave fans groveling at her feet, begging for more. More Moore. Ha-ha-ha... oops. I'm procrastinating and getting off topic already.

Let's just start with the basics: two former best friends, one a moderate good girl, who has been away from her home-town for years, the other a stereotypical and definite bad boy (hullo, man-whore extraordinaire!) who decide to pair up and plan the ultimate prank against their mother's. For all their lives, Jax and Poppy have dealt with their fair share of embarrassment from the dynamic duo that is their mother's, who happen to be best friends, and upon Poppy's return they stir up plans to give the pair a taste of their own medicine. Only, things don't go according to plan and it just may be that these two former friends have bitten off more than they can chew.

Family dynamics are prominent in this one. You're not going to like everyone at first glance and that is a good thing. As far as fleshing out the characters goes, this is Moore's biggest source of praise. Her characters are flawed and developed to a certain degree. For the most part, there's a blatant archetype to everyone.