Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Warbringer

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking the Spine
The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world's greatest super hero: WONDER WOMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author LEIGH BARDUGO.
She will become one of the world's greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn't know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
Why I'm Waiting
First of all, Leigh Bardugo is a goddess and anything she writes is gold. Second of all, Wonder Woman is just amazing. Third of all, this cover and this title! I'm so stoked for this one.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer releases August 29th, 2017, and you can preorder it here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TV Review: Stranger Things, Season One

Like many others this year I was sucked into this show. How do I even begin to talk about one of my favorite things of 2016? I can start with the plot- which is straight forward but not boring- or I could start with the characters- all of which I adored- or maybe I could start with the visuals themselves- which were not only spot-on 80's but really well done in general.

I think I'll start with how I pushed this off forever. Back when it originally was released I told my mom about it because it sounded right up her alley. I wasn't wrong- she praises the show all the time because it brings her back to the 80s and because she's a sucker for classic science fiction. I kept intending to watch it after she assured me it wasn't scary (she's right, it really isn't scary it's just got a touch of horror influencing the plot) but pushed it off, and then school came and I didn't have any time whatsoever. But then. Finals. I needed a way to blow off steam between studying that wouldn't give me the headache that reading sometimes does. Netflix was my answer and Stranger Things just stared at me until I was forced to watch. After the first episode I knew it was too late to turn back and that I was thoroughly sucked into the show. I forced myself to only watch an episode a day so that it wouldn't run through too quickly, and even though it's a very binge-worthy show I think it's better viewed slowly.

The story itself is pretty straightforward, at least for someone who's well versed in the conventions of science fiction and fantasy. But that didn't take away from the enjoyment- sometimes classic conventions are the best. Particularly when they're done well with an interesting cast. The kids made the show for me. From the very first scene where they're playing D&D and getting so into it I was in love. And then Eleven, who's just one awesome BAMF. I don't think there are enough words to cover her. Besides the kids, my favorites were Hopper, who I adored for being a complete subversion of the stereotype, and Nancy. Her arc was my favorite to watch and I really liked how her relationships with Steve and Jonathon turned out.

And the cinematography! The editing! There's so much love to give there. It was so well done I didn't dare look away in case I missed something. There were so many ways this could have fallen into a pit but it didn't- it always remained interesting and fun to watch.

If you haven't seen this yet, my only question is why not? It took me long enough and I didn't regret it at all.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Graphic Novel Review: Watchmen

This is my first post of the DC Read-through that I was talking about earlier this month. A quick introduction to catch everyone up to speed on why this will be a sort of different review: I recently got a booklet by DC that talked about where to start with graphic novels and comics. It was packed full of so many books and characters that I decided to simplify it a bit. I picked out a dozen or so graphic novels to give a try, based on whether DC claimed it was a good place to start, whether it was critically liked, and whether I had an interest in it. Every ten days or so I'll be posting a review for one of these graphic novels. I started with Watchmen because it has constantly been listed as one of the best novels of all time and how can I pass that up? It also has a of positive recommendations from friends that I trust so I knew I would be getting to it eventually. Going into it I had read already read the synopsis, though that was years ago. The details were all faint in my head and I honestly couldn't remember a single character's name. Even so, had I known what was coming I would have enjoyed the book the same. The goal of this review, and the other reviews for the DC Comics Read-through, is not whether I liked it but whether I think it's a good jumping on point for newcomers or people still getting their feet wet in comics.

Describing Watchmen is very hard. The story itself is less important than the themes that story unearths and the backdrop. Watchmen is about morality, it's about politics, it's about humanity, it's about what being a superhero is, it's about comics in general, and it's about power. I don't want to put down the plot, but like art-films, you don't read this for the story. You read it for the elegance through which the themes are developed. It's a slow burn story that packs one hell of a punch in the end, but isn't necessarily something you'll care about for the majority of the book.

The big question is whether it's a good place to start in comics. I wouldn't recommend this as the first thing you pick up due to how dark it is, and how you should have some idea of how comics function normally to see how well they're being subverted and twisted here. Of course, since pop culture is stuffed full of superheroes right now it's not something you really need to worry about if it is the first thing you pick up.

The biggest problem that would stand if you picked this up for the first time is that it doesn't really introduce you to the wider world of DC comics. Yes, it's a wonderful story, and if you want to add diversity to your shelf and play around in the corners of the comics world, it's wonderful. But if you want to read superhero comics and want an introduction to that world, this is the wrong place to go. I do understand there was a set of prequel comics released at one point, but they aren't written by Alan Moore (and he actually hates that they happened, if I understand it correctly) and didn't last very long. I, personally, have no plans to read them since I'm not really interested in seeing what happened before this book.

My opinion of the whole graphic novel: wow it was amazing! It was not what I expected but I loved it all the way through. In no way did I expect it to take me this long to read, and it does disappoint me that it did, but every second really was a pleasure. If it's been something you've debated I recommend picking it up sooner rather than later, even if it's just from your library.

TL;DR? It's not the best place to start, but is a wonderful book I recommend everyone read at some point in their lives.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I'm Finally Home)

So, if this post comes across as distracted, it's because I'm currently binge-watching Gilmore Girls. I started over summer but didn't get very far since during the school term I had a hard time watching anything. I started bingeing as soon as I got home and it has very much been worth it.

And, yes, I'm finally home! I'll be away from school until the beginning of the new year, but I'm actually taking a trip to Colorado this week, which I'm so excited for!

Cutting this short so I can go back to Gilmore Girls:

Currently Reading
haha #same

Last Week

This Week
Monday-- Watchmen Review
Tuesday-- Stranger Things Review
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Saturday-- Wrap Up

Okay that's it for today. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

College Journey: Returning Home

For me Winter Break is a month and a half long experience. I know most people don't have that, but it isn't uncommon to have both a Thanksgiving break and a Christmas/Winter break, so most people do get the chance to spend several weeks with their family. Last year taught me that these aren't always ideal times for me. There are a lot of things about being at home that cause me to spiral down and over the summer it was truly bad. Winter break is shorter and to prepare I looked into things to do that might help. I have a feeling being back is similar to post-culture shock, the feelings of reversal back into a world you feel you may have grown out of. I hope these things I've found can help you adjust healthily back into life at home.

Don't give up your independence. It's great to be surrounded by my mom and dad who will gladly do my laundry, take me to the store, buy me food, or see a movie with me. At school I'm used to doing many of these things myself or with friends, who I would consider more equals than my parents (who, and this is a weird way to put it, are superior). I grew up under my parents and while I like spending time with them I don't want to get choked out of a lot of the independence and agency I worked for. So I'm doing my own laundry, taking care of at least half of my own meals (it would be rude to eat away from them all the time but if I'm coming home from work and tired I might get my own food), and going shopping when I feel like it for what I need. I don't want to depend on them and I can be a big girl, too. Of course, this doesn't mean cutting them out, it just means doing things for me because I need to and because I can and not depending on another person.

Don't let them treat you like a kid. It's easy to revert when you're back in the place you grew up. But don't let "them" treat you like you're younger than you are. By "them" I'm referring to anyone who might, whether that's the cashier, your uncle Pete, or your parents. If you're in college you're probably an adult and you deserve to be treated like one (as long as you act like one). It probably won't be a conscious decision on anyone' s part to treat you like you're younger than you are, they're just used to it. And you may be used to being treated that way. Remember: you're an adult. If you're anything like me, you're still learning how to be an adult, but reverting to a younger version of you won't help that.

Keep in contact with friends. This may be one of the most important. Make sure to keep in contact with people from school. It will help you feel less isolated at home where you have different friends who don't share the more recent experiences you have had. This year I'm lucky enough to visit some of my friends in Colorado next week, and I have regular Pokemon TCG battles over snapchat with a friend every week (or so). We also do a secret santa book present exchange over Winter Break and that's a fun way to remind each other we exist.

Keep busy but make breaks. You don't want to be bored. It can be the worst thing that can happen. Having a job help eliminate a lot of that for me, but even outside of work I don't want to be bored. I have a list of tasks I need to accomplish at some point, but none that are so pressing that I would get stressed if I didn't finish them right away. It's a good balance. And I never plan to do anything after ten pm or so, and that way I have time to read or watch TV for sure. It's good me time, and since no one is really awake in my house after that it really is peaceful.

Unpack. It's really important that you unpack your bags. I mean, I haven't, yet, but that's because I'm leaving in a week to go to Colorado. As soon as I'm back from that trip they're all getting unpacked. Why? Seeing them sitting there is distressing. Not just because they're a mess but because they make me feel like a stranger in my own house. That's bad. That's not something you want when you want to settle back into your life here.

Don't feel bad for feeling bad. It's okay to feel bad. If others give you a hard time don't let it get to you. Your feelings are valid and they matter and anyone who tries to undermine them either doesn't understand or doesn't care or isn't thinking clearly. Get yourself out of that situation, take deep breaths, try to relax, and if you can talk and it helps, talk to someone who will help. If you don't have that person and you want to talk, just hit me up on twitter where I'm always willing to respond.

I hope these tips help. I know they help me for sure. If you have any of your own advice, let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Lord of Shadows

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking the Spine
Sunny Los Angeles can be a dark place indeed in Cassandra Clare’s Lord of Shadows, the sequel to the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Lady Midnight.
Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?
And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.
Why I'm Waiting
Need I explain? Honestly? Lady Midnight was one of my favorite books of the year. This one is a Must Read.

Lord of Shadows releases May 23rd, 2017 and you can preorder it here.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where Finals Are Happening)

I have two more finals left, both tomorrow, and then I'm on Winter Break and I couldn't be more excited! Of course, the studying means I haven't had very much time to read or post anything. Which is why this will be a short post and I'll be mostly nonexistent for the next week as I catch up on reading. Off we go!

Book News
On twitter I brushed past a conversation featuring Michael Grant saying some icky things. I don't know the whole details, but I logged right off after seeing what was going down.

The title of ACOTAR3 has finally been revealed! And it's A Court of Wings and Ruin! So many theories right now but mostly excited.

Kristin Cashore is publishing a new book- very unexpected but absolutely wonderful news.

Lord of Shadows, the sequel to Lady Midnight, finally has a cover and it's gorgeous!

Currently Reading

Last Week

This Week
*originally my review for Watchmen was set to be posted this week but because I haven't finished it I'm pushing it back a week
Wednesday-- Lord of Shadows
Thursday-- College Journey
Saturday-- Wrap Up

Announcing the winner of the MeltingLibrary Candle giveaway...
Congrats to Lauren Stoolfire!
You will be receiving an email shortly!

Thank you to everyone who entered my recent giveaways. I love running giveaways and wish I could always have some! Look for one around my two-year blogoversary (it will be international).