Posted in monthly wrap-up

August Wrap Up

August was unexpectedly busy with work and planning for the academic school year. It took a toll on my mental health and, honestly my reading time. I use my books as a coping tool for the busy and crazy life I live, but when things get too overwhelming, I make do with what I can.

While my results are not as impressive as July, I definitely had some good listens.

  1. Books Complete by Format
  2. Genre Breakdown
  3. Books by Ratings

Books Complete by Format

In August, I finished 10 books: 0 were physical reads, 9 were audiobooks, and 1 was an eBooks.

Genre Breakdown

There was not a lot of variety in my genre selection this month. I was in a mental health place that was not great and because of that my book selection for the most part was simple. I stuck with romance and fantasy. The fiction books were from book club and a buddy read. Those two books were a struggle, but they made it on the list.

Books by Ratings

There is not much to the book ratings this month. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of high ratings. There were some books I gave a blind chance to and others I was hoping for the best, with mixed reviews.

Last but certainly not least, the Best and the Worst of the month. This one is super easy for me to identify and should come as no surprise based on my reviews.

The Best
The Worst

August was a rough one for me personally, but hopefully September will be better.

What did your August look like? What were your best and worst reads/listens?

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Posted in book review

Persephone: Hades Torment

Title: Persephone: Hades Torment

Author(s): Allison Shaw

Genre: Graphic Novel

Format: Ebook

Would I Recommend? Not Likely

Book Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Spice Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis

In the traditional story of Hades and Persephone, Hades is the villain who is madly in love with Persephone. Persephone is the poor girl who was kidnapped, forced to marry Hades, and eventually fell in love with him by proximity. Sounds like a dream come true….NOT!

In this story, their love story is mutual from the beginning, but Hades has to decide if he is going to make a move.


Thoughts?

Like many other people, I fell into the Hades and Persephone trap. Growing up, I loved mythology from around the world, but Greek/Roman mythology was some of my favorite. When authors decided to use the story of Hades and Persephone and manipulate it into various stories, I just couldn’t resist.

I was scrolling through Kindle Unlimited and came across this graphic novel. I was immediately enamored by the artwork on the cover. It was something different than what I was used to reading. My go-to is novels rather than graphic ones, so I figured I would try them.

At the story’s start, you are introduced to Apollo, Eros, and Persephone. Apollo wants Persephone, Persephone is not interested; but when Hades stops by and ceases Apollo’s charade, he meets Persephone for the first time. Naturally, he is instantly attracted, but this time, Persephone is also attracted.

The book starts off strong. I was intrigued because it had similar plot points to the original story but made its own, in a less kidnappy sort of way. In this story, Hades has to decide what he will do. I thought it would build, and Hades would essentially be tormented until the end of the story. To some extent, I guess he was tormented until the end, but the book’s middle part focused on the trouble makers, Eros and Apollo. Hades deals with them, he gets the girl, and the story ends.

Not much happens… It is short and to the point. Hades gets Persephone, Persephone gets Hades, they get naked, end of the story. I was a little disappointed because I felt there was a lot of missed potential with everyone’s individual stories. Instead, it fell flat.

I will say that the artwork was gorgeous; it was well done and enjoyable to look at. The story was just underwhelming in the end.

I do want to address the spice rating. This one was a little difficult to gauge because overall, there is just sexual/romantic tension; HOWEVER, there is also nudity portrayed. Therefore, the combination of the two resulted in its spice score. Not a heavy focus, but enough to mention it. This is not suitable for young readers.

Final Review

Do I think this is a good book?

Not really. Good artwork. Subpar story.

Was this a new take on Hades and Persephone?

From what I have read to this point, yes and no. I have not read anything that has this particular plot line or characters, but I imagine there are some similarities to other Hades’ and Persephone-inspired works. It is the closest to the original story but not anything special.

Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?

No…I’m going to pass on this one.


I liked the artwork but didn’t care for the little plot that existed. There was a lot of missed potential; it made me sad. If you are the type of person who likes to try anything mythology based or appreciate the artwork over the story, then sure… but otherwise, you can probably just pass.


Posted in monthly wrap-up

July Wrap Up

July consisted of traveling, heat waves, and a lot of reading. It was the first time in a long time that I felt carefree and escaped to new places. I have not read/listened to this many books in a while, but I hope August will be another delight!

One of my favorite this is charts, so let’s see July’s breakdown.

  1. Books Complete by Format
  2. Genre Breakdown
  3. Books by Ratings

Books Complete by Format

In July, I finished 22 books: 5 were physical reads, 10 were audiobooks, and 7 were eBooks.

Genre Breakdown

If you haven’t figured it out by now, romance is kind of my go to genre, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy other genres. Honestly I am trying to push myself more to avoid only reading romance in a month. Let’s see how I did.

While 47% of my books were romance, I did read/listen to books from 8 additional genres, with my second highest genre being Manga at 14%. I did not complete any sci-fi books this month, but I did start one.

Books by Ratings

As I mentioned in my ratings post, I recently changed how I look at books. The goal being more objective with a hint of subjective. I will say that there were a lot less 5 stars than I was use to.

I wish more review/rating websites offered the half star because sometimes a book is in between. For myself, I read 2 books that I would classify as in-between (3.5 stars). Otherwise, the majority of my books were 4-star ratings.

Overall, not too shabby!

Last but certainly not least, the Best and the Worst of the month. This one is super easy for me to identify and should come as no surprise based on my reviews.

The Best
The Worst

Overall I am really happy with what I accomplished this month. Hopefully, I will have one more month of freedom before the crazy of school starts in September.

What did your July look like? What were your best and worst?

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Posted in book review

The Calm Before the Storm

Title: The Calm Before the Storm

Author(s): Danielle L Jensen

Genre: Fantasy

Format: Ebook

Would I Recommend? Yes!

Book Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Spice Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis

You have just saved Ithicana from the wrath of your father. He manipulated you, destroyed your trust in people, and endangered all you hold dear. Unfortunately, due to the doomed circumstances of your father’s actions, you are now attempting to rebuild the trust of the Ithicanian people. There are numerous roadblocks in the way; one, in particular, is that you have been stuck in bed for that last month healing from your injuries. Therefore, you must navigate a new set of obstacles that involve winning over the court, discovering marital incompatibility, and being recognized as the Ithicanian queen.

Good Luck.

This novella takes place following The Traitor Queen and The Inadequate Heir.


Thoughts?

Following the near-death experiences of Lara, Aren and Lara have a lot of emotions and sexual tension. The easiest way to relieve that sexual tension is, of course, to have sex; however, Aren’s grandma gave strict orders for Lara to rest. Obviously over-rated. This novella has more sexual scenes and energy than any of the other books in the series, but it also has less plot/details needed.

While the sex scenes were well written, my favorite part in this novella was not the sex. It is the scene when Lara is finally able to leave her bed and starts to walk towards the main room, where the country’s meeting is occurring. Lara’s strength, determination, and vulnerability as a character were relatable and intriguing.

Even though these six chapters were unnecessary, I am glad they exist. They show a rebuilding and rekindling of the relationship that Aren and Lara were working with in the previous books.

I genuinely look forward to seeing what else happens throughout the rest of the series.

Final Review

Do I think this is a good book?

Yes.

Did it add anything to the story , or was it just extra and irrelevant?

This one is a little tough to answer because we do not know what follows The Inadequate Heir. If Danielle L Jensen decides to incorporate several of the story aspects in the next book, then it was probably something just to bid the time between the next release. But, if these points are not added, then it was a great addition and something I am glad exists.

Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?

Absolutely!

The Bridge Kingdom series is ideal for anyone who loves fantasy, fae, spice, enemies-to-lovers, and wonderful world-building. When I started this series, I did not know what to expect; but now that I am here, it has turned into one of my favorites.


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Posted in book review

The Umbrella Academy Series

  1. Volume 1: The Apocalypse Suite
  2. Volume 2: Dallas
  3. Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion

Volume 1: The Apocalypse Suite

Title: The Apocalypse Suite

Author(s): Gerard Way

Genre: Graphic Novel

Format: Ebook

Would I Recommend? Yeah, probably…

Book Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Spice Rating:

Rating: 0 out of 5.

Synopsis

What happens when seven “adopted” children with super powers grow up under a strick asshole and a monkey with the ultimate goal of “saving the world?” You get the Umbrella Academy.

On one strange day forty seven women who were not previously pregnant gave birth to a child. Odd right? It gets weirder. These children (in theory) are all born with special abilities. Of course there is always that one person, in this case Reginald Hargreeves (AKA the Monocule), who wants to figure out what happened. What does he do next? He adopts seven children and explores what makes them unique.

Number 1 (Space): Half gorilla, half human. Has lived in space on a mission for a hot minute. He is strong and the leader of the group.

Number 2 (Kraken): He throws knives, and throws them well!

Number 3 (The Rumor): “I heard a rumor….” and whatever she says goes. She is also dealing with a divorce and has a daughter. Also her relationship with number 1 is different.

Number 4 (Seance): He sees the dead, deals with the otherside, and floats.

Number 5 (The Boy): His time traveling power got him into some trouble when he travelled too far forward and couldn’t return. Now his concern is aging or un-aging.

Number 6: Is dead.

Number 7 (Vanya): She doesn’t have a cool name because she is believed to not have a power. She is just really good at playing the violin.


Thoughts?

When the TV show was released on Netflix, I fell in love with this story. It was intricate, it was different, and I loved all the sass from these characters. Naturally after completing season 3 I became intrigud by the idea of reading the graphic novels.

The first thing I noticed was the interesting cover. I understood where it came from because of the show, but I wasn’t entirely sure where it played into the graphic novel. But once I started the book, I was not really enjoying it. The artwork was a little too chaotic for me. Not only that but the initial storyline was a tad confusing. I did not really understand the premise of the characters or their powers.

With all that being said, while I knew the tv show and the comics would be different, I did not fully comprehend why. The main difference that I noticed is that in the tv show, you are able to learn more about the characters, the backstory, and sprinkled in is the superhero action. The comic book, just dives right into the action with a sprinkle of character development.

Both are good for their own purposes, but I wasn’t as excited to finish the graphic novel. That being said, I will likely still finish the series.

Final Review

Did you like the artwork?

Not particularly, but I can appreciate it. Just because it wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean it isn’t still good.

Which was better the tv show or the graphic novel?

Personally, I liked the tv show better. I was able to understand the characters and the storyline easier. I also think that based on the graphic novel, Netflix did an excellent job with the casting,

Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?

Probably. If you like Gerard Way, the origins of tv shows/movies, superheros, and unique stories then you might enjoy this. I will say that it is likely for an older audience (older high school plus).


Volume 2: Dallas

Title: Dallas

Author(s): Gerard Way

Genre: Graphic Novel

Format: Ebook

Would I Recommend?

Book Rating:

Rating: 0 out of 5.

Spice Rating:

Rating: 0 out of 5.

Reading In Progress…


Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion

Title: Hotel Oblivion

Author(s): Gerard Way

Genre: Graphic Novel

Format: Ebook

Would I Recommend?

Book Rating:

Rating: 0 out of 5.

Spice Rating

Rating: 0 out of 5.

Reading In Progress…