#FridayReads – July 3, 2020

After careful consideration and thinking, this will probably be my last post on BL. I just can’t deal with sub-service and unstable this website has become and nobody giving a damn. I will be part of The Outpost on GR and work on my account on Library Thing, Story Graph, and my personal WP blog. I am also on IG a lot. 

My last Friday Reads here will be those novellas for the Revolutionary RAT for COYER. I am still reading One Person, No Vote and The Ghost Map. Then there is my summer reading project.

 

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2789151/fridayreads-july-3-2020

TBR Thursday – July 2, 2020

*bookish meme created by Moonlight Reader

 

Incoming:

+1. Saved by Her Enemy Warrior by Greta Gilbert – Harlequin Historical romance set in Ancient Egypt. Never one-clicked so hard in my life.

 

+2. A Bollywood Affair (Bollywood #1) by Sonali Dev – to complete the collection.

 

Outgoing:

-1. The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole

-2. New Year, Same Trash by Samantha Irby

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2789081/tbr-thursday-july-2-2020

Wytches: Volume 1 by Scott Snyder, Art Jock, Matt Hollingsworth, and Clem Robins

Review:

Wytches Volume 1 - Scott Snyder, Jock

Title: Wytches

Series: Wytches #1

Authors: Scott Snyder, Art Jock, Matt Hollingsworth, and Clem Robins

Publish Date: June 24, 2015

Publisher: Image Comics

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 192 pages

Source: Library

Date Read: June 24-26, 2020

 

Review

 

I needed a horror book to fulfill a SRP prompt. I figured reading a graphic novel was the quickest way to get this prompt filled. It took me a while to warm up to the story, but what really influenced my rating was the author’s notes/essays at the back of the book. 

 

For the most part, I liked the art but there were times that the art could have cleaner to make the story clearer. Sailor is the teenage daughter of a comic/graphic novelist and a doctor. She was bullied by another teenage mean queen, but something happened to the teen mean queen when the two confronted each other in the woods alone. Then dear old mom is in a car accident and loses feeling/control of her legs. Sailor and the parents move to a new city to get over what happened to teen mean queen and find new employment for the mom. Yet something is hunting them, Sailor in particular. Dad and Sailor work to figure out and put that something away for good. I liked the story and it was creepy but not gory so I could deal with it. It did take me a while to get into the story. The story was confusing at times and I got a bit bored by the some of the flashbacks, but eventually it made some sense in the overall storyline.

 

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2791140/wytches-volume-1-by-scott-snyder-art-jock-matt-hollingsworth-and-clem-robins

The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole

Review:

The A.I. Who Loved Me - Alyssa Cole

Title: The A.I. Who Loved Me

Author: Alyssa Cole

Published Date: June 3, 2020

Publisher: Self-Published

Format: E-Book

Page Count: 143 pages

Source: Own copy

Date Read: June 27-28, 2020

 

Review

 

This story was in originally published as an Audible Original.

 

Trinity Jordan is a data analyst on temporary hiatus from her job and is working at another job within the company (The Hive) as a driver for self-driving cars (Uber but through the computer simulation). She is also living in the company’s apartment complex, complete with home A.I. named Penny (think of an apartment complex version of an Echo or Alexis). There are her two best friends, Ru and Yana who also work at The Hive and her neighbor, Dr. Zheng and her nephew Li Wei (who is our hero). It is six months since the terrorist attack that injured Trinity and left her too shaken up to work her job. When Li Wei meets Trinity, it starts the re-downloading of memories of the attack and the few weeks prior to the attack – yep, Li Wei is the A.I. Trinity and Li Wei spend time together in the hopes of getting Li Wei well versed in humans. Meanwhile Trinity’s memory is starting to falter and some memories are coming back while others are fading. Li Wei remembers enough to realize that The Hive is trying to 1) keep them apart and 2) doing experiments on them. So they remember enough to escape with the help of Ru, Penny, and Yana (oh, and TIM). 

 

Once again Alyssa Cole put together a fun and inventive romance that just is different from the rest of the genre. There is talk of racism, capitalism, sexism, etc that make this sci-fi romance feel very contemporary and now. The science fiction part is very relatable and not so far out for those of us not so versed in high concept sci-fi. Perfect poolside reading.

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2791226/the-a-i-who-loved-me-by-alyssa-cole

Wonder Woman: Warbringer the Graphic Novel by Leigh Bardugo, Louise Simonson, and Kit Seaton

Review:

Wonder Woman: Warbringer the Graphic Novel - Leigh Bardugo, Louise Simonson, George Seaton

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer the Graphic Novel

Series: DC Icons #1

Authors: Leigh Bardugo, Louise Simonson, Kit Seaton

Published Date: January 7, 2020

Publisher: DC Comics

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 208 pages

Source: Library

Date Read: June 26, 2020

 

Review

I was gifted the audiobook (CDs) a few years ago, but wasn’t interested in listening to this version. I picked up the ebook when it was on sale a while ago, and never felt in the mood to start it. So when I saw this version in my library I decided to go for it and have it fill a prompt on the SRP. I’m so glad I did – it was a great story but also streamlined for my attention span. 

The story opens with Diana preparing for an important race to help her improve her standing with some of her Amazon sisters, especially her mother’s right hand woman/#1 general who has an unfounded hate towards Diana because she was created differently than the rest of the island’s inhabitants. On her way to winning the race, Diana notices a ship that 1)broke through the barrier separating the island from the World of Man and 2) the ship was on fire and going down quickly. She leaves the race and jumps into the water in the hopes of saving those onboard. There was only one survivor, an older teen named Alia. Alia is the descendent of Helen of Troy and as such, she is a Warbringer. 

Diana and Alia work to find out how to stop the people who are hunting Alia as well as help Alia redeem her ancestors/stop the Warbringer bloodline. There are others on the team: Jason (Alia’s brother), Theo (friend of the family), and Nim (Alia’s BFF who deserves her own series!). This is a coming of age story nestled in a journey to Greece and the resting place of Helen. On the way there is romance, really great one-liners, and some deep topics brought up (race, sexism, capitalism, etc). 

Overall, it was fun and adventurous story that added to my love of Wonder Woman. 

 

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2791182/wonder-woman-warbringer-the-graphic-novel-by-leigh-bardugo-louise-simonson-and-kit-seaton

Library Love – June 30, 2020

cslp-childrens-slogan_banner

 

 

 

I DNF’d Beneath the Ruthless Sun by Gilbert King. It was too dense with every person who ever lived in Central Florida being mentioned and no real narrative – it was dry historical look at the event. I just couldn’t get into it.

 

Kids picked up their third prize of the Summer Reading Program – Sophia chose Winnie the Horse Gentler #5: Unhappy Appy by Dandi Daley Mackall; Joshua picked up Who Would Win? Hammerhead Vs. Bull Shark. We borrowed some kids graphic novels and a couple of non-fiction books to fill the last two prompts for one side of the kids’ version of the SRP. 

 

Yesterday, I started One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson and it’s so good – much more readable than Ari Berman’s Give Us the Ballot (although Anderson’s work does reference and quote Berman’s book some). I also started The Ghost Map and while the first chapter does a lot to set up the class structure of life in Victorian London, it is just started to get going. Since I finished both graphic novels that I borrowed last week, I picked up two new ones – Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson and Leila del Duca and Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart. I have had my eye on the Catwoman one for some time, but I had no idea LHA wrote a WW graphic novel and had to read it. 

 

Sorry no books attached – BL is being a right pain in the ass and slow as fuck. 

 

 

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2789008/library-love-june-30-2020

Sunday Post – June 28, 2020

 

 

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer.

 

Home Fires: My husband and I celebrated 11 years of marriage this past Wednesday. He bought me a small Yankee Candle tumbler candle. I bought sushi and noodles for dinner. 

 

I received an email from the school district on Thursday. It was a parental survey, looking for input on how to schedule the upcoming school year in the age of COVID-19. Our choices were: to go completely online public schooling via eAcademy; go completely online via remote learning like we did from March to the end of May; hybrid method with two days of school and the rest remote. Also questions on busing and cafeteria issues. This as the number of cases are rising quite steadily here in Kansas – we are in the top ten of hot spots for the disease in the U.S. I am really starting to see my kids being home this fall and winter. 

 

Adam bought $200+ (he got a military discount) worth of fireworks last night. We are making up for the years we spent in the UK. Our dog’s little tornado shelter is going to get quite the workout this week.

 

Nature is a Mother: Hot, humid, and every storm has been bypassing us non-stop, so we are dry – getting to dangerous levels regarding grass/prairie fires. Sunflowers should start showing some petals very soon. 

 

Volunteer Valley: Chances of my GS troop meeting in person this fall is fast fading. Don’t know how PTO is going to work with us waiting until mid-July to hear how schooling is going to go. 

 

Craft Corner: Haul time! First is this planner sticker pack from The Happy Planner – this pack is a goddess-sent for book bloggers/instagrammers/youtubers – I loved every page and can’t wait to start using this in January 2021. I am thinking I may want to get a second pack now…..

 

I wanted new needle minders (I’ve got kids and a dog, I need to know where my needles are at all times while stitching), especially seeing other stitchers pairing their minders to their WIPs. This Triple Moon minder is from TopKnot Stitcher Shop.com. I got this minder from the etsy shop Hartiful. I love Maleficent and Starbucks, so I had to get this minder from the etsy shop Mad For Minders.

 

I picked up a DMC kit called Love Laurel and will be stitched hopefully by the time my next wedding anniversary rolls around. LOL. I also bought Satsuma Street’s Leo by Jody Rice pattern and some black Aida – this is going to be my late July/early August project. Both my husband and I were born under the sign of Leo, so it will go into our room somewhere when completed. Both bought at 123stitch.com. There were two fundraisers I know about from the stitching community to donate to Black and LGBT+ organizations that I picked up: first is Say Her Name by TopKnot Stitcher.com and the simple Black Lives Matter from The Witchy Sticher.com. Both come as a PDF you download.

 

Book Shelf: I wrote all the reviews due from the five weeks and got them linked to COYER if eligible! Because I spent all that time writing the reviews, there was less time for reading. So this weekend is nothing but reading. I finally found a routine that works to balance blogging with reading.

 

The kids hit their goal for the third badge and earned yet another book. They can’t pick out their books until Tuesday. The kids are doing better at their summer reading than me.

 

On the Tube:

 

In My Ears: Two mini-series for my recommendations on podcasts this week. The first is WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork by David Brown for Wondery Podcasts; this is a completed series, with I think 8 episodes. The second one is Boom/Bust: The Rise and Fall of HQ Trivia by Alyssa Bereznak for The Ringer Podcasts; this is almost done, just waiting for the finale this coming week. After listening to these podcasts I do wonder how Silicon Valley can disrupt industries/re-invent the wheel with such incompetence and ego. 

 

 

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2753570/sunday-post-june-28-2020

New Year, Same Trash: Resolutions that I Did Not Keep by Samantha Irby

Review:

New Year, Same Trash: Resolutions I Absolutely Did Not Keep (A Vintage Short Original) - Samantha Irby

Title: New Year, Same Trash: Resolutions that I Did Not Keep

Author: Samantha Irby

Published Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: Vintage Shorts

Format: E-Book

Page Count: 30 pages

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: June 24, 2020

 

Review

 

A short, funny book about Irby’s experiment with 70 mini-resolutions that some went well and a whole lot that didn’t. In 2016, Irby decided to join a “woo-woo challenge” (her words) that asked the participant to find 100 mini-intentions or changes they wanted to do in that year. Irby got to 70 and even that was trying too hard. Some resolutions had a paragraph explaining what happened, most got the Twitter 280 character style rundown. I really like Irby’s voice and style, so I enjoyed reading this by the side of the pool. 

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2773391/new-year-same-trash-resolutions-that-i-did-not-keep-by-samantha-irby

2 Stories, 1 DNF, and DNS the Rest

Review:

Once Upon a Wedding: A Fiction From the Heart Second Chances Anthology - Priscilla Oliveras, Jamie Beck, Falguni Kothari, Sonali Dev, Sally Kilpatrick, Tracy Brogan, K.M. Jackson, Hope Ramsay, Barbara Samuel, Donna Kauffman

Story Title: The Runaway Bride

Book Title: Once Upon a Wedding: A Fiction From the Heart Second-Chances Anthology

Author: Sonali Dev

Publish Date: June 11, 2019

Publisher: Self-Published

Format: Kindle

Source: Own copy

Date Read: June 20, 2020

 

Review

 

A sweet story about a bride with concerns/cold feet the night and very early morning of her wedding to her childhood crush. Nisha Raje overhears that her fiancé’s ex is back in town and there is talk the ex is invited to the wedding. Nisha is blindsided; she calls up Neel and asks “WTF? Did you know about this?” and Neel is tells her “Well we kinda met up.” Nisha is livid, and rightfully so. Neel choose Barbara over Nisha in high school and then gave up his dream college to follow Barbara to her dream college and then on to Oxford. He was the one to break up with Barbara and return to California to seek out Nisha in the hopes of her still having feelings for him. Nisha decides to leave the mansion where the wedding is to take place and runs to the nearest contact; Neel follows her and they wind up at someone’s house. After getting some advice by that guy, Neel and Nisha walk about San Francisco and lay it all out – fears, dreams, what they want from the other and what they feel for the other. Grown ups talking – it’s a miracle! The wedding at the end sounded amazing (and hella expensive!). 3.5/5 stars.

 

This story is related to Dev’s The Rajes series but can be read as a stand-alone.

****************************************************************************************************

Story: Always Yours

Book Title: Once Upon a Wedding: A Fiction From the Heart Second-Chances Anthology

Author: Priscilla Oliveras

Publish Date: June 11, 2019

Publisher: Self-Published

Format: Kindle

Source: Own copy

Date Read: June 22-24, 2020

 

Review

 

A very summery feeling romance, complete with a softball game. Lourdes Reyes is the sister of the groom and a recovering drug addict. She really has her act together, being almost two years sober and holding a job with a future, enjoying a renewed relationship with her brother, and just working on herself. And then he shows up – Eduardo Santana, her first and only love. The guy that broke her heart and eventually that darkness led to her taking that first hit. He’s back and hoping to make it up to her, even knowing her past. There was a little misunderstanding twist that was easily rectified, then more grown ups talking! This story was aided by the side characters Alex and Frankie; I could’ve done without younger brother Diego trying to do the protective brother act. I feel like I need an Alex and Frankie story now. 3.5/5 stars.

 

Overall: I tried to read the first book in this anthology and I had to DNF – less is more and an editor was sorely needed. The two stories I bought the anthology for definitely made the 99 cents I paid worth it. I hope that the authors release these stories as single stories in the future. 

 

 

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2698058/2-stories-1-dnf-and-dns-the-rest

This World We Live In (Last Survivors #3) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Review:

This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3) - Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: This World We Live In

Series: Last Survivors #3

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Published Date: April 1, 2010

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Format: Kindle

Page Count: 261 pages

Source: Library via OverDrive

Date Read: May 29-30, 2020

 

Review

 

Meh; it wasn’t too bad and it was a quick read, but it didn’t grab me the way the first two did. So we get a look at how the two families (or what remains of them) from the previous books come together a year after THE EVENT. The story tied up loose ends and gave us a couple of mini-disasters, but it didn’t move the story forward. It felt like reading more of a novella with an extended epilogue. I did read the excerpt from the fourth and final book and it left me feeling like I am good ending the series here. The excerpt did answer my questions about how the camps work and that is enough for me. 

 

As for the romances, I didn’t buy one of them. Miranda and Alex seemed to come out of nowhere- I flipped back to the last chapter and re-read the paragraphs trying to find where the spark was that started these two together. Nada. As for Miranda’s older brother and his wife – yeah, the less said the better. Honestly, I was hoping the tornado would have taken care of those two. Then there is Carlos, who did nothing for the storyline and died in a fat-shaming way, so again the less said the better.

Original post:
melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/2773005/this-world-we-live-in-last-survivors-3-by-susan-beth-pfeffer

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