Review – The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser

The Beast of Cretacea
By: Todd Strasser
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Candlewick Press

Sometimes you don’t ever hear about the best books. Not from a friend. Not from the internet. Not from the thousand and one subscriptions that hit your inbox daily. Sometimes you just have to stumble upon them. And that’s exactly how I discovered The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser. I found this one at the library, tucked into the regular circulation stacks when I was busy wondering when exactly the first book in The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater was going to be returned so I could finally begin that series. And then I saw this one, the spine a mix of color with a title that made the story sound ripe with adventure.

So I did what I always do. Picked up the book without so much as a glance at the synopsis on the inside flap and never looked back.

Review – Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands
By: Alwyn Hamilton
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Award: Northeast Teenage Book Award Nominee (2016); Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Goodreads Author (2016); Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2016)

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton was a book I’d heard mentioned quiet often, but didn’t know much about. I picked it up on somewhat of a whim when I was at the library, not quite knowing what to expect, just a little miffed that the first book in the series I was originally searching for wasn’t returned yet.

So what did I think about this book?

#ThrowbackThursday Review – The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

The Big Over Easy
By: Jasper Fforde
Release Date: July 11, 2005
Publisher: Viking Adult
Series: Nursery Crime #1
Award: Lefty Award Nominee (2006)

There’s something almost magical to be said for a library book sale. Are just so many books, and that cash just can’t stay in my pocket. I picked up this book on a whim. Never heard of the author before, but the title sounded interesting and it’d been quite some time since I settled down with a mystery story to boot.

I was excited! It sounded so different, so fun! I immediately told my husband, mother, and mother-in-law all about the synopsis. Reactions ranged from ‘that sounds kind of familiar’ to ‘pretty sure I read that, didn’t you?’. Apparently I’m the only one who hasn’t heard of The Big Over Easy, the author Jasper Fforde, or any of his other books.

Review – No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! Vol. 2 by Nico Tanigawa

No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! Vol. 2
By: Nico Tanigawa
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Yen Press
Series: No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! #2

Another day, another manga read. This time it was No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular, Vol. 2 by Nico Tanigawa, a pseudonym used by the two creators. The second volume in the series continues with Tomoko’s misadventures in high school. It’s just as fun as the first volume in the series, and one I definitely enjoyed.

Small note here: The title is often shortened to Watamote, which is also the title the anime is known by. This is what I will be using to refer to this volume for the rest of this review.

Review – Lady Mechanika, Vol. 1: Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse

Lady Mechanika, Vol. 1: Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse
By: Joe Benitez
Release Date: November 18, 2015
Publisher: Benitez Productions
Series: Lady Mechanika
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

Lady Mechanika, Vol. 1: Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse by Joe Benitez is a graphic novel series I wish I had picked up sooner. Of late I’ve read multiple stories promised strong female leads which just didn’t deliver, leaving me to spiral into despair that I’d never find a good female lead ever again. Then, behold! This beautifully illustrated graphic novel fell into my lap almost on accident.

But did it quell my unyielding search for a better than average female protagonist?

Throwback Thursday: Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1)

Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1)
By: Jim Butcher
Release Date: April 1st 2000
Publisher: Roc Books
Series: The Dresden Files

A friend of mine recommended these books. All he told me was “there’s a wizard, technology fails around him, there are currently fifteen books in the series and you need to read all of them.”

He was right.

Review – Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Ever the Hunted
By: Erin Summerill
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Series: Clash of Kingdoms #1
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

The theme of early 2017 seems to be reading books I’ve hyped myself up for only to be grossly disappointed once I read them. When I saw Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill I instantly wanted it. The cover was absolutely gorgeous, it was a fantasy novel, and the main character was a girl with a bow. That was enough for me. I was so sold!

Then I read the book. And… Well, let’s just say I wasn’t impressed.

Review: The End of Everything

The End of Everything
By: Megan Abbott
Release Date: July 7th, 2011
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books

This book has many contrasting reviews online. Some are glorious, with high ratings and accolades for the author for developing such a tale. Others dismiss the book, their criticism ranging from “it didn’t suit me,” to the book being terrible. Where do I fall? Good question because…I’m just not sure.

Okay, first things first — there are some spoilers here because there is no good way to review this book without them to explain the ups and downs of this book.

#ThrowbackThursday – Ragnarok, Vol. 1 by Myung-Jin Lee

Ragnarok, Volume 1
By: Myung-Jin Lee
Release Date: (Original Korean) 1998; (US Release) May 21, 2002
Publisher: TokyoPop
Series: Ragnarok #1

Happy Throwback Thursday everyone! Let’s talk about a very old manga that has graced my husband’s bookshelf since our middle school days. Ragnarok, Volume 1 by Myung-Jin Lee was the first manga he ever managed to convince my mother-in-law was appropriately priced despite the book’s real lack of words in the traditional sense.

So, for a manga that’s been tucked away between multiple volumes of Black Cat and Trigun for the past almost twenty years, how is it?

Review – The Devil is a Part-Timer!, Vol. 1 by Satoshi Wagahara

The Devil is a Part-Timer!, Vol. 1
By: Satoshi Wagahara
Release Date: April 221, 2015
Publisher: Yen On
Series: The Devil is a Part-Timer Light Novel #1

The Devil Is A Part-Timer!, Vol. 1 by Satoshi Wagahara is a light novel (and anime, and manga) I’ve had my eye on for a long time. I watched the anime and when it became apparent there wasn’t another season coming out, at least nothing any time soon, I grabbed a copy of the original light novel. This is the first light novel in a still ongoing series about a half angel hero turned call-center employee, the literal devil working as a part-time fast food employee, and his top general as acting house-husband for lack of an army (or magic).

And it is tons of fun.