Friday, July 10, 2020

Book Review | Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Gotham High

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Illustrator: Thomas Pitilli

Expected Publication Date: April 7, 2020

Pages: 208 pages

Genre: YA graphic novel/Comic books

Format: ARC via Publisher

Find It Here: Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex and Eliza and The Witches of East End comes a reimagining of Gotham for a new generation of readers. Before they became Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, Bruce, Selina, and Jack were high schoolers who would do whatever it took--even destroy the ones they love--to satisfy their own motives.
After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents' murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.
When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight--but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes ... and where everyone is a suspect.
With enchanting art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies--all within the hallways of Gotham High!


I've never been into the whole superhero thing. I had a stint where I tried binge watching some superhero movies and I couldn't tell you what they were about if you asked me to recall them. Turns out, I'm much much more inclined to remember if I'm reading rather than watching movies about them.
 I knew I recognized the illustration style somewhere so I looked Thomas up on Goodreads and realized he also worked on the Archie/Riverdale comics. So cool!

I loved how diverse the cast was. Bruce's mother hails from Hong Kong, so he's half-Asian. His uncle Alfred is gay, while Selina Kyle is Cuban. I see a lot of people having issues with the fact they Bruce ends up being switched from white to Asian. I think the diversity that stems from this book is a response to us asking for more diversity. While it's a definite change, it's not that bad to me. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Book Review | Crave by Tracy Wolff

Title: Crave

Author: Tracy Wolff

Expected Publication Date: April 7, 2020

Pages: 592

Audience: 14 and up

Genre: YA Fiction

Series: Book 1 of 3

Format: ARC

Find it here: Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.

Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.


I got an amazing package from Entangled Teen accompanied with this book. There were so many goodies in it including some marshmallows and hot cocoa. Perfect for a novel centered around snowy Alaska. 

It's been a long, long, longgggg time since I picked up a book about vampires. I first started with the Twilight series, which I admit I enjoyed a lot. Then I read The Vampire Academy series and I loved that just as much. This novel arrived on my doorstep and it's the first vampire book I've read in years. I'm in love! The novel doesn't just center on vampires though. We've got werewolves, dragons, and witches a'plenty!

Grace shows up in Alaska, still reeling from the sudden and traumatic death of her parents. She's been whisked away from everything she's known and planted firmly in a brand new world. She quickly picks up on the fact that some things are just plain weird around this secluded school she now calls home.

We're quickly introduced to an awesome cast of characters. Not only is Grace a bad-ass, her crush is just as swoon-worthy as can be, her cousin and Uncle are amazing and super supportive. Grace makes other friends soon but she soon realizes she can't trust everyone she calls her friend...

Bonus points for an extreme amount of sexual tension!

The novel ends in a cliff-hanger and I'm already wanting the second book. This one isn't even actually out until April 7th of this year. Sad face.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Life Update + Mini Book Reviews

Hello, everyone! I haven't posted anything since my first book review of the year. It's only March 8, but this year has been awfully rough for me. 

In December I went through a really nasty breakup. Whilst still reeling from that I had a client go into a seizure on me at work, by the time they got her to the hospital she had very little brain activity and her mother decided to take her off the ventilator. I knew her from before working with her so I took it especially hard.
A few weeks after that, my half-sister's sister got into an accident with a train and she ended up passing away along with her friend. Seeing my sister so distraught really took a toll on me too.
Finally, my uncle got a really bad infection in his arm and had to go stay in the hospital for 15 days. He's rather old and I think he knows his time is up soon because he refused to stay in the hospital any longer. He checked himself out against the wishes of others and is home now. He had a heart attack yesterday morning but was revived. Hospice is in his home now and I suppose it's just a waiting game now.

In 4 short months so much has happened but I'm trying my hardest to remain as positive as I can. Sometimes it's hard and I break down but I always manage to get myself back up and keep it moving. A few good things have happened as well. I found a person I really enjoy spending time with. He likes the same music I do and enjoys showing me new movies and music. He's been my silver lining in all of this recently and I'm really appreciative of all the support he's given me.

Recently Read + Mini Reviews

Survive The Night by Danielle Vega - I gave this a 4/5 stars simply for how weird it was. It went from a normal creepy book to WTF really quick and I love that. I read a lot of reviews on Goodreads that were less than great but if you want an easy to get through book that will leave you saying ummm...what? This one is the one for you.

Tommyland by Tommy Lee - 4/5 Everyone knows Motley Crew's drumer Tommy Lee. The guy I'm talking to lent me this book to read. Another reason why I really enjoy him because never have I talked to someone who recommended me a book before. I devoured it in about a week and we actually talked about it. I don't listen to Motley but hearing how wild Tommy and the band were was pretty cool. There were some parts that made me cry and some parts that made me howl with laughter. I definitely recommend it!

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage - This one follows two sisters and their cousin who the whole town is obsessed with. After the three girls' deaths one of the sister's, Mira, left notes for Ben. These are clues that led him to the truth about what really happened with the girls. I can't give too much away but if you like stories with tragedy, a bit of intrigue, obsessive teenage boys, and mysterious girls this one is for you!

Currently Reading

I received a wonderful package from Entangled: Teen with Crave by Tracy Wolff. It's been quite a long time since I read a book about vampires. I'm a little bit into it and it has quite a few tropes I despise, yet for nostalgia I'm gonna stick with it. I'm getting Twilight vibes even though the setting for this is a boarding school in the middle of a snowy nowhere. It came with a ton of swag and I enjoy the cover quite a bit.

Thanks for visiting and I'll see you all next time!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Book Review | All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Hey, y'all! First book review of the new year. I had been wanting to read this one for quite awhile. I saw it one day browsing BookOutlet during a Christmas sale and finally picked it up.

All of This Is True is about four girls who befriend an author named Fatima. The author ends up using the girls and their friend Jonah to her advantage and writes a novel that ends up putting them in a pretty horrible predicament.

The concept was amazing. I love books that are set up like this one, through diary entries to note-taking and interviews. What I didn't like was the fact that some of these characters weren't as fleshed out as they needed to be. The only character I connected with was Jonah and Fatima because they were the most emotionally compelling characters to me. Everyone else was just background noise to them.

Nothing too jaw-dropping but I did love how it was a slow-burn with the few reveals and twists the novel did have. That ending was maddening to me, though!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Book Review | War Is Over by David Almond

Short review for a super short story! I received a package via Candlewick Press filled with some ARCs and this gem was among them. Almond wrote War Is Over out of respect for the hundred year anniversary of the First World War.

This book is an illustrated short story about a little boy named John. His father is away at war and his mother seems to always be at work at the munitions factory. War doesn't sit well with John and he begins to feel for social outcast Uncle Gordon and for some reason has a sudden connection with a picture of a boy from Germany.

I was in love with the illustrations by Litchfield and how Almond didn't hold back on his talk of how war was. I'll be passing this one onto one of my client's so she can read it! I think it's a book that she could learn from as well as enjoy simply for the poignant story itself. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Book Review | Scythe by Neal Shusterman

I know, I know. "Sabrina, how come you haven't picked this one up yet?" I have an issue where I have too many books on my TBR and too little time to read all of them. I did finally get around to buying and finishing this one finally so I can mark at least one more book off my TBR and feel at least a decent amount of satisfaction about it. Scythe by Neal Shusterman is the first book I've picked up by this author. He's extremely well-known, he just wasn't ever on my radar until this series came out.

What It's About:
The perfect world has been achieved. Death has been conquered. In order to keep population down, Scythes were formed. Scythes are basically reapers who have the ability to "glean" (kill). A girl named Citra and a boy named Rowan were chosen by a Scythe named Faraday to be his apprentice. Under his wing, they learn endless ways to glean others and why it's necessary but that it's also an extremely necessary job to have around.
Not every Scythe is fair in their gleanings, though. It's up to Citra and Rowan to stop that by any means necessary.
At the end, only one of them can be chosen as an apprentice. The winner's first task? To glean the loser.

What I Liked:
  • Dystopian isn't my favorite genre by far, but somehow Shusterman managed to make me fall in love with this insane world of reapers doling out death to people as they see fit. There's no racism or war or negativity. Every complaint we have right now as a world is gone in this fictional one.
  • It's a subject I've never read about before. I know they're called Scythes but we all call them grim reapers in our world. Some of them are good, some are bad, but all of them are without a doubt badass.
  • The evil characters were extremely evil. They had zero conscience and were all-around everything I could have asked for in villains. 
  • Even though humans don't have to worry about politics or war or anything like that anymore, it's very apparent that within the Scythedom there is unrest. Extremely complex politics and non-stop headbutting between the good and the bad Scythes are seen. 
  • It brought a ton of questions to my mind. What would life be without death? Would I be able to become a Scythe if it were required of me? How far would I go, and how do you keep your morale whilst still killing others?
  • It's an alternating viewpoint novel. Told in Citra and Rowan's perspectives as well as diary entries from different Scythes. I love books told in different perspectives rather than just one the whole time I'm reading.
  • The main characters are also bad-ass and they struggled with asking themselves the same questions I would ask of myself had I been put in their positions. They were both extremely relatable. 

What I Didn't Like:
  • I feel like I could have gotten more out of Rowan. We caught glimpses of him and his inner workings but I feel like he was always removed from the story and never actually really there. This may have been due to the fact that he was in a very stressful situation but I wanted so much more dialogue from him that I didn't get in this first novel. Hopefully I'll get my fill of Rowan in the next one. Literally my only complaint! 
All in all, I'm definitely ready to pick up the next two novels ASAP. Enjoy the book trailer below.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Book Review | Tear Me Apart by Sara Sligar

Take Me Apart by Sara Sligar definitely threw me for a loop. For some reason I expected this novel to be one of those cliche thriller tropes that are chalk-full of twists and turns just to end up with an ending so out there there's no way anyone would be able to guess it.
This was not one of those novels.

In Callinas, California, a well-known artist named Miranda Brand suddenly died and the shock-waves were felt high and low. Years later, Miranda's son, Theo, hires an archivist (also an ex journalist) named Kate to go through his mother and father's things to create an archive of their work to put up for an auction.

As Kate delves deeper into Miranda's personal belongings she begins to piece together tiny fragments of her life and in turn, learning more about her enigmatic yet frighteningly handsome and sometimes terrifying boss. Through Kate's discoveries we see that Miranda was under so much pressure due to her job, motherhood, and being a wife that she was slowly buckling underneath it all.

Kate doesn't have it all together herself, so we slowly see her decline as well over her summer stay at her aunt and uncle's. She soon spirals into an obsession over trying to figure out who killed Miranda and it takes over her very being. There are quite a few parallels to Kate's life and the deceased Miranda so we can understand Kate's need to figure things out.

What I Liked:
  • Learning about Miranda and her life through her personal belongings like receipts and diary entries was interesting. You can see her slow decline and feel her pain and confusion through them.
  • It deals with more than a few tough subject matters like spousal rape/abuse, post-partum depression, bosses taking advantage of their positions, and gas-lighting. These issues are handled with care yet still provides an honest and raw depiction of the matters at hand.
  • It had The Seven Lives Husbands of Evelyn Hugo vibes. With that being one of my favorite books within the past few years, I had to check to make sure the author of this book wasn't the same author as that one. It isn't. Lol!
  • The ending. While there wasn't a massive amount of twists and turns to end up at a mind-blowing revelation, I quite enjoyed how everything was wrapped up in the end.
  • I did not feel like I was reading a debut book from a debut author. I feel like I just read a novel by an extremely well-seasoned author who's been around for awhile and I believe that speaks volumes to Sligar's writing abilities. 
  • It's a slow-burn novel. Things aren't in your face so it's definitely more psychological than anything else.

What I Disliked:
  • I only have one complaint and it has zero to do with Sligar or her writing, it's more of a personal quarrel with things in general.
    Why do most characters seem to make their minds up then when one thing happens they end up questioning literally EVERYTHING about the thing/person they made their mind up about. If you're so sure of something, why does one tiny thing someone else says sway your opinion so easily? Maybe Kate was purposely written that way to show how having a mental illness can warp your sense of judgement or something but it's so aggravating because I know people in real life do this as well. Que eye roll. Lol.

    So yeah, there you have it! I definitely enjoyed this one and I'm going to start following Sligar as I can tell she has promise and talent. She'll be going far for sure!