Review- The Girl in the Sand (Violet Darger #3)

The Girl in the Sand (Violet Darger #3)
By: L.T. Vargus & Tim McBain
Release Date: March 19th, 2018
Publisher: Smarmy Press
Series: Violet Darger

When bodies are found burned in a sedan Violet and Loshak go out to Las Vegas to try and help catch the killer. But when all signs point to a serial killer with a grudge again Violet things go from bad to worse.

First, let me just say the tension and action in this book was superb. I really enjoyed the pace in this book and, in looking back at my kindle edition notes I realized just how frantic I was as I was reading because I have fewer notes and a lot more curse words.

Second, the characters are just getting better. Sometime Violet and Loshak annoy me but that just means they aren’t perfect. They both have moments of stupidity and there are parts of this story I couldn’t believe ever happening in real life so it’s good it was written in a fictional tale. Violet continues to charge head first into danger and while she’s getting better at being one step a head of the criminals she’s chasing she is still making mistakes that could’ve been prevented. As with any series I don’t want to give anything away but just know that in this book character death seems both possible and likely so be prepared to be on the edge of your seat while reading!

All in all I was glad I read book number three but I do feel myself pulling away from Violet lately. I skipped the novella in between this time but am planning to return when I want another dose of Violet and Loshak.

Review – Good as Gone

Good as Gone
By: Amy Gentry
Release Date: June 26th, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

I will start this review by saying that I understand I’m a suspense and crime junkie so any book that can feed that for me is already ahead of the game. However, this book by Amy Gentry definitely did not disappoint.

This story is about a girl named Julie who was taken from her home as a child and how the family is dealing with this years later, especially when a young woman appears, saying she is Julie.

The shifting perspectives are not everyone’s cup of tea and I recognize that and while it definitely isn’t my favorite thing ever it worked in this story to give us a better understanding of all the characters.

When we realize it has been eight years and Julie, now twenty-one years old and, aside from the expected psychological scars, unharmed returns home there is an immediate air of something not being quite “right”. Anna, the mother of Julie and June, isn’t quite sure what to do with a young woman, especially one she can’t connect to. The pressing, constant nagging question of whether or not this is really Julie won’t leave Anna alone and as a reader you grow suspicious too.

This was a relatively quick read, I finished it in a few days and I wasn’t disappointed by the end. If this sounds like something up your alley, give it a go. It’s a standalone work so you won’t be pulled into a series and you can walk away after if you aren’t pleased, you get enough answers at the end that you can move on with your life.

#MangaMonday Review – Beastars Vol. 2

Beastars Vol. 2
By: Paru Itagaki
Illustrator: Paru Itagaki
Translator: Tomoko Kimura (Tanslator); Annette Roman (Adaptation)
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Series: Beastars #2
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

A truly fantastic manga, Beastars, Vol. 2 by Paru Itagaki centers on Legoshi, a wolf, attending high school with both predators and prey. Tensions are high between the two groups; peace is something that could be broken at any moment despite many rules and regulations being in place. If you haven’t read the first volume yet, or are interested in my thoughts on it, please check out my review of Beastars, Vol. 1.

#MangaMonday Review – Our Wonderful Days, Vol. 1 by Kei Hamuro

Our Wonderful Days Volume 1 Our Wonderful Days, Vol. 1
By: Kei Hamuro
Illustrator: Kei Hamuro (Art); Erika Terriquez (Lettering & Retouching)
Translator: Katrina Leonoudakis (Translator); Asha Bardon (Adaptation)
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Publisher: Seven Seas
Series: Our Wonderful Days #1
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

Also known as Tsurezure Biyori, new series Our Wonderful Days Vol. 1 by Kei Hamuro is a sweet slice-of-life yuri manga that is perfect for all lovers of romances and slice-of-life stories set in schools. Once childhood friends, Koharu and Mafuyu drifted apart after Mafuyu moved when they were still young. Now in high school, those seem like distant days. But when Mafuyu moves back to town, she reconnects with Koharu. And, now that their grown, Koharu can’t help but start falling for her friend.

#MangaMonday Review – The Brave-Tuber, Vol. 1 by Takahito Oosaki and Ikuro

Brave-Tuber Vol 1 by Takahito Oosaki and Ikuro Brave-Tuber, Vol. 1
By: Takahito Oosaki (Illustrator); James Gaubatz (Lettering)
Illustrator: Ikuro
Translator: Thomas Zimmerman (Translation); Dawn Davis (Adaptation)
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Seven Seas
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

In a world replete with isekai, this manga is much more of a typical fantasy if that fantasy was thrown on its head and mixed in with a little YouTube and vlogging culture. If that sounds like a mix you’ve never heard of before, you might be right. The Brave-Tuber, Vol. 1 is written by Takahito Oosaki and illustrated by Ikuro, and is set to become an ONA in late December of 2019.

Review – The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Book cover of The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'Neill The Tea Dragon Festival
By: Katie O'Neill
Illustrator: Katie O'Neill
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Publisher: Oni Press
Series: Tea Dragons #2
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

Set years before Katie O’Neill’s The Tea Dragon Society, new graphic novel The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill returns to the world of tiny tea dragons. A brand new story featuring brand new characters, this tale is every bit as heartwarming as the first graphic novel which captured hearts all over the world.

Review – My Hero Academia: Smash!!, Vol. 1 by Hirofumi Neda and Kohei Horikoshi

My Hero Academia: Smash!!, Vol. 1
By: Hirofumi Neda (story), Kohei Horikoshi (original concept)
Illustrator: Hiofumi Neda (art); Kohei Horikoshi (original concept); John Hunt (touch-up and lettering); Julian [JR] Robinson (designer)
Translator: Caleb Cook
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Series: My Hero Academia: Smash!! #1
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

The lastest spinoff of hit manga and anime My Hero Academia to be translated into English by Caleb Cook has finally hit shelves. My Hero Academia: Smash!!, Vol. 1 is created by Hirofumi Neda and Kohei Horikoshi. Unlike the series proper or other spinoff, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes by Hideyuki Furuhashi and Betten Court, this manga is a humorous four panel adaptation. Attention is divided between humorous takes on major story beats and some of the quieter moments in between.

Bookworm Problems: No Time To Read

Second to reading slumps and something I am struggling with greatly currently is one of my biggest frustrations as a bookworm; having no time to read!

Working full time (along with spending roughly two and a half hours commuting) severely limits my time to read during the work week. I come home and am exhausted from both the commute and the work day which leads me following the same pattern every night: eat dinner, shower, lay out clothes for tomorrow and fall asleep. Sure, some nights I manage to watch a little television or get a little reading in but most of the time I’m worn out from the second I walk in the door and the only solution is to sleep.

While my commute is on public transportation (aka I’m not driving the whole way) it’s not always so easy to pull out a book and read comfortably. Cramped seats, people with huge bags in your face and then there are the inevitable days where it is pouring rain and I refuse to risk bringing a precious book anywhere near water.

SO, what is a bookworm to do? Find ways around the struggle of course.

Using both my Kindle and Nook apps on my phone I manage to get some reading in, more comfortably, on my commute and without risking damage to my books. I give myself at least fifteen minutes of reading time at night (with an alarm) so that I don’t stay up all night reading. And, yes, there are days that I do carry a book along with me on my commute.

Weekends are often spent with my books, forgoing social plans (sorry to all my friends) so that I can actually enjoy some me time, some down time and more importantly some reading time. Mental health days/ sick days/ vacation days are often spent with a book in my hands. At the end of the day, or the start of my first day back to work,  I relive my time spent with characters and other lands and it is the only thing that gets me through my day.

How do all of you fit in your reading time? Let us know in the comments below!

Book Con! The Good, The Not So Good, and The Confusing

Happy Tuesday, everyone! This weekend I went to Book Con. It was fun, it was tiring, and it was my first time at this convention. Not sure what took me so long. I’ve been to pretty much every other convention that held in the area. But, with no further ado, here’s what I thought about the experience. The awesome, the not so awesome, and the things that baffled me just a little bit.

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