Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Best of 2016 and what’s coming 2017…

2016

What a year. Carrie Fisher will be so missed. Our Princess/General Leia. (And might I recommend a viewing of The ‘Burbs?) All the music greats we had: George Michael, Prince, David Bowie. My grandmother’s passing…

Let’s skip all the bad, because we can’t be bringing in the new with all that baggage and bad karma.

The good of the year. Well, there was Captain America Civil War, aka The Avengers 3. Westworld was great. Stranger Things.

A lot of people out there fighting for what’s right and good in the world.

Personally, I wrote. A lot. Have writer’s block, for months. Completed a few stories, though most are in first draft form still. I had full requests and partials for Love, Darrows–Thankful for agents agreeing that Cupid can have a boyfriend. Rethinking the genre of that one, though. Completed NaNoWriMo with my series, Human Touch‘s book 4, Me & Johnny. Got a job working for a great company and working with some fun and diverse people.

Completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 100 books for this year, read and reviewed.

{the Year in Review on Goodreads: see it here.}

My favorites of 2016

Asking me to choose just one isn’t going to work. As I sit typing, I can think of the majority of books I read this year and find ones I loved so much. And most on my favorites list weren’t necessarily published in 2016. Which I am fine with since I believe all stories are timeless. Even the contemporaries.

Favorite YA

Has to go to the Cinder series by Marissa Meyer. Not only was it a great twist on the classic fairy tales, Carswell Thorn and Cress. They just won it for me. I still daydream about them, though I will not write a fanfic.

Favorite Graphic Novel

This goes to the Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee “Bread makes you fat?” O’Malley. (Because it seems in every book, Mr. O’Malley has this bread obsession. LoL) I still pull out one of the books and read a bit of it, go over the pictures. Laugh. Definitely a win for years to come.

Favorite Comic

This is sort of cheating since Marvel’s Agent Carter could also be a graphic novel. But it is one of my most favorites because of the included Cher Chez le Femme. My forever ship. Steggy. Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter together…something the MCU really never wanted to give us. No matter how much Steve loved his best girl.

Favorite LGBTQ

I don’t think I read enough of these this year. But of the ones I did, Gear Shark took it. It was one of those “coming to terms with the fact I, a guy, am in love with a guy stories,” but what this one had that most I’ve read never touched was the hatred and violence that can go along with being gay (or lesbian or trans, and more power to you all for having to deal with such an asinine hatred from people). That’s really where I had to keep reading. What were they going to do?

Favorite Book Award Winner

The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian. This story stuck in my head. Not just because I knew the area and places mentioned, but because it gave an inside peek into a culture that really most of literature just doesn’t touch. It was so good. So sweet. So heartfelt. Just pure honesty on a page. Even being fictional.

Favorite Literary Fiction

Jane Two is going to be one of those stories that sit in the heart for a very long time. It was a story about love. A first love. A love of your life. A love that stays with you and never dies, though it may very well remain an unrequited love. It was truly a beautiful tale and I am so glad I never gave up on finding it. One of my highest recommends of the year.

2017

Leaving 2016 behind like dust blowing in the wind as a car speeds down a country road…

It felt like 2017 would never get here, as rough and bullying as 2016 was. The low was hit, and we can only rise from here, right? Leaving out the politics of it all [here in the US] when I say that 2017 will be a great year. For entertainment, books, the good in life.

We have a new Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming. Avengers: Infinity War parts 1 & 2 will begin filming. Another Star Wars film coming…

My writing goals for 2017?

A lot of pages. I need to get final drafts done, manuscripts out to agents. I would love to take a class or two to help with my writing to see what I’m missing or what I can fix. I have stories yelling to be told right now. Three to be exact. All starring my muse in one way or another. I’ve got to get out on social media more with my writing. Still considering a self-pub if I can get the massive amount of money I need for an editor.

SO no word totals. Just putting words on a page, handwritten, digitally, make stories into something more than thoughts in my head.

Keep doing book reviews. Keep reading. And there are some promising books coming.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth has been on my TBR list for a while. (Only a few more weeks to that one!) Plus a new Four story from Divergent!!!! (I CAN’T WAIT!!!)

I had the fortune of reading two soon to be releases this past month or so. (Thanks to their publishers and Net Galley.) I highly recommend finding these in the new year:

This was a beautiful story. Refreshing. My first “Christian” read. Touching. Definitely makes me teary when I think about this wonderful book. Don’t let the Christian thing push you away. It was a part of the tale, but it wasn’t preachy nor did it consume the whole story.

On the opposite end of that, in a way…

I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard at a romcom before. It was amusing and funny and well done. Perfect romcom to start off the year!!! I can’t wait for the other ones, too.

And then from Paula Hawkins, who wrote Girl on the Train…which was so good I couldn’t put it down!!!…Into The Water. A whole new twisty tale. This one is right up there with Divergent’s post epilogue on my TBR list.

Those are just a very few on my lists. The closer books. Who knows what favorites will emerge as we move throughout the year?

Reading themes start tomorrow. I’ve skipped the past two months as I’ve been too busy between writing/reading and working to do them. Resolution 35: Get back to the themes. (total fake resolution number.)

Have a great New Year!!!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

All gifs found on giphy.com

book covers found through google searches. those images belong to their owners.

The Captain America image was my own screenCap (pun totally intended) from The Avengers, my own paid copy of that film.

Goodreads COngrats image was a screencap from my phone.

NaNoWriMo gave me that banner when I completed the challenge.

Thank you for reading!

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Review: The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three stars for the last official completed book of the year for me.

I think it was because this wasn’t what I was told. When I bought this, I had heard it was a great story. Yes, get it. You’ll love it. I saved it for many reasons, this kindle edition wouldn’t load very well, can’t see it on my reader or computer, but finally got it on my iPad…

And I heard/read/verified on a few sites that the Sandman tales were the basis of the show Lucifer.

This was nothing like that show. Maybe because it was Volume 1. Or a special edition type: Preludes & Nocturnes. Or maybe all those people/sites informing me were entirely wrong. I was heartbroken, because Lucifer makes me laugh and think…I LOVE THAT SHOW!!! And sadly this went off to Batman related things, which I am not a BATMAN girl. (See me about Captain America or Superman and we’ll talk.)

The art was very DC comic. Very sharp and great colors. I enjoyed the art. The characters were great, some creepy, some I didn’t get at all…

I did enjoy the fact on the Kindle app on my iPad I could double tap a portion and an enlargement of the panel would appear, allowing a better read and a closer view. LOVED that about it.

But it wasn’t what I was expecting, which is why I went with three. A fair score for something* I didn’t enjoy.

*A DECEMBER 2016 READ*

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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket Racoon & Groot Steal The Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket Racoon & Groot Steal The Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket Racoon & Groot Steal The Galaxy by Dan Abnett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly, I went with a mid score. I gave three stars to the action-filled parts and five stars to the story parts.

Why?

Well, the story parts first. Rocket and Groot. Of course! They’re the story. Funny, smartly written, fun to read. The narrator is Recorder 127, a digital humanoid who’s sole purpose is to record the events of the universe. And so he did until The Brotherhood decided he was worth death because he was recording in one of their hangouts. The tale has Rocket and Groot taking charge and keeping this recorder safe.

What they didn’t expect was that all of the universe was out for him for his information. Including the Negative zone. Which is how Gamora entered the story.

It winds up twisty, and intense and keeps to the Guardians of the Galaxy canon. It was a really good story where I found myself laughing more times than not. (Like the movie for me.) Very fun. I couldn’t recommend this more.

But then we have the action chapters. Words seemed to get jumbled and the pictures scrambled in my head. I have to have a sort of dyslexia when it come to this type of story, because it’s hard for me to follow and i have to read it over and over a few times to really get the image. (Which is why watching sci-fi, action is better before the book.) It felt like too much sometimes. And then people/creatures would appear and I’d have to back track to find when they could have come into the scene…

I personally didn’t like reading it, but if i skipped it, then i was missing new characters and events that were essential to the story.

Hence the four stars.

If you’re like me and cannot read action very well, you might want to skip this one. If you love Guardians, Rocket Racoon, Groot stories, then YES read it!

*A DECEMBER 2016 READ*

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Review: Cheater

Cheater
Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More like four and a half story wise, though I can never fully get behind a cheater.

***This book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley. Thank you!***

Except Lucas Thorn isn’t technically a cheater. He’s been honest and open with all the women, never promising a commitment with any of them from Monday – Saturday. Those are the girls, one for every day of the week except Sundays. That’s a rule he’s lived by for a long time.

But, there is a twist in Lucas’ plans. Avery Black. As in his former fiancee’s little sister. As in the girl who wants to remove his…well, to keep it clean as possible…junk and chunk it into the junk yard. As in the girl who has never forgiven him for cheating on her sister the night before their wedding.

This story didn’t make me angry or hateful for Lucas, though most stories like it typically do. And maybe because he was up front. He owned the fact he was a mimbo (man bimbo). It’s difficult to dislike honesty.

As for the sister connection between Lucas’ past and present, I wasn’t creeped out. It was done with tasteful explanations and backstory. It wasn’t all gross and disgusting. Again, I typically take away major stars, points, whatever for that oogie feeling. But this story DID NOT have any of that.

As for laughing out loud in this rom-commy tale, I did. Numerous times. Mostly thanks to Lucas’ parents…which I am cracking up now as I type and think about the parts they were in…SO funny!!! It was nice to have some real laughs. I haven’t come across a humourous rom-com like this in a while.

The ending was solid. NO CLIFFIES!!! Which, yay! It does set up for another story about a few secondary characters, but Lucas and Avery’s story is nicely wrapped up in a great ending.

I definitely recommend this one! It’s not weird or creepy or off in any way. A true cute rom-com that I would definitely read again!

*A DECEMBER 2016 READ*

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Review: Hate List

Hate List
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one tough read, but well worth the stars.

By tough, I mean the subject matter. School shootings are almost common these days. Sadly. People blame it on bullying, harassment, mental problems…and this book gives a point of view from someone on the “inside” of the shooting.

Valerie Leftman. She was the girlfriend of the shooter, Nick Levil. She was also a victim of his. And she saved other students from their demise. The book is from her POV and it covers many times–before the shooting when life seemed like rainbows with Nick, during the morning of the shooting, and the entire aftermath of life, in school and out.

She feels partly responsible because Nick was using their list of things they hate: the people that bullied them relentlessly to algebra because letters and numbers can’t add. That list, almost a character in itself, was nothing but the grievances and stresses getting out there into the world. It made Valerie feel better, but Nick…

Well, he did shoot up the school.

This story was dark. It seemed there were more horrible occurrences than happy ones. Is that because the voice is of s girl who is depressed and she brings it down? Or is it the realities of life with the horrible things that go on in schools because those who feel they are “entitled” don’t receive any consequences for their actions along with the horrible life at home?

I had to switch to something more carefree while reading this, because it just pulls you under in the deep end, and you have to surface and take a breath. I found myself crying or teary or angry. But no matter how down I felt, there was something making me read on and on.

The end (no spoilers, I promise) was not really an ending to Valerie’s story. It was left open, maybe meaning that the future could be happy for her…or get worse…depending on what you wanted for her. I thought maybe there would be a sequel, as this one came out years ago, but nothing [yet] on Valerie’s story.

A very good read. Maybe an important read for some circles. I would have loved to have someone read this with me so we could discuss the heavy issues and emotions, maybe use some of the questions and discussions in the guides beyond the stories…

*A DECEMBER 2016 READ*

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