Amanda’s Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews​

Hi, lovelies! I’ve been reading some graphic novels lately because I belatedly joined a Graphic Novel Read-a-thon that’s going on thanks to Lauren & her Books and Tea book club. Check out all the details here. I’m going to try to complete all the challenges, but I don’t usually write reviews for the graphic novels I read. So, I thought it would be fun to do a wrap up of mini-reviews for all the things I picked up!

Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle & Isaac Goodhart

This one was a bit underwhelming for me. I enjoyed the story, minus the animal abuse part that is toward the beginning. This story wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting her to fight crime and be a superhero. Which is not what I got. What I got was more of an origin story. I enjoyed the friendships and their backstories. But overall, it was average.

Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige & Stephen Byrne

Another hero origin story, one that I enjoyed more than the Catwoman story. Mera’s story was one I’m not overly familiar with. I didn’t know there was so much to the story in this underwater world. The only issue I really had was the insta-love. Mera and Arthur happened so quickly. I was honestly rooting for Larken and Mera because they almost had the childhood friends to lovers trope going on, but Mera was just not having it. Overall, this was fun and sweet, but only a 3.5 star read for me.

Kaijumax Season One: Terror and Respect by Zander Cannon

I found this graphic novel at my local Ollie’s Discount Store. I checked the review on GoodReads and it had a pretty average rating, but I thought the art style looked interesting and I gave it a chance. I’m pleased to be able to say that I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. This story follows a group of monsters that have been essentially put in jail. Despite its fantastical genre, it still manages to touch upon relevant topics. Topics like drug use, rape, abuse of power, gangs, and I think it did this very well. I’m excited to continue on to Season Two of this series.

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo

I actually was lucky enough to meet both of the authors of this graphic novel. My copy is signed. So when I didn’t love the first two DC Ink adaptations, I was hesitant to pick this up. But I’m glad I got to it. I enjoyed this way more than the other two. I cannot wait to see Beast Boy’s story. I adored the art style and definitely want to see more of Picolo’s work. I also enjoyed all the different aspects, Raven’s amnesia, Max’s own unique abilities, the different romances. I loved it all. Overall, this has been my favorite of DC’s new adaptions for young adults.

Oz: The Marvelous Land of Oz by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young

I picked the third and fourth installments of this series not knowing that they were the third and fourth. So, I made a trip to a local comic book store and picked up all the ones I was missing but couldn’t find the first. Luckily, the first is just another retelling of Dorothy & the Wizard of Oz, so I’m not missing too much not reading it because I already know the story. Sadly, this was average for me. I enjoyed it overall, but it didn’t blow me away which seems to be the theme this month. It was a fun story and I will be finishing the series because I already own them all.

Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth, Megan Levens, & Marissa Louise

This was a graphic novel that I  found while searching through BookOutlet to see what gems I might find. Spell on Wheels was exactly that, a gem. I loved this one. It was witchy and diverse. It would have been perfect for the month of October. It challenges people when they say gross things, it has queer characters, and also a satyr. All of these elements were brought together in such a good way. Put this one on your TBR for sure.

Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuk

I wanted to love this, but just couldn’t. The story was confusing and I couldn’t really identify with any of the characters. I really wanted to like this one, but it just fell flat for me. It seemed to jump all over the place while also trying to tell one long story. It just went over my head. Sadly, it’s a no from me. Henchgirl now lives in my unhaul pile until the next time I go and sell some books.

fullsizeoutput_2083

So, I managed to read seven graphic novels for this reading challenge. I finished a graphic novel that matches Lauren’s hair (purple, blue, & turquoise) with Under the Moon, Mera: Tidebreaker, & Teen Titans: Raven. I read my newest graphic novel, Kaijumax Season One: Terror and Respect. I completed my oldest graphic novel, Under the Moon. I attempted to catch up with my favorite series with The Marvelous Land of Oz but only managed to read one of the series. I read a graphic novel that was recommended to me when I picked up Spell on Wheels. Mera: Tidebreaker counts as a new to me genre because I hadn’t read any superhero stories until I picked up the DCINK series. Sadly, I did not manage to read all my unread graphic novels, but I read seven and that’s a decent start!

Did you read any graphic novels in August? Let me know if you did or not below!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Twitter
Instagram
GoodReads

ABC Book Challenge |D|

This week we’re going to talk about books that have the letter D. For those of you that are new to this book challenge, we’re going through the alphabet and talking about memorable books and books still on our TBR lists. Each week we write another post with the next letter in the alphabet.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter – D.

Most memorable books 

Amanda-

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige – I love a good retelling and this series does not disappoint with a wild retelling of the Wizard of Oz.

Antonia-

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima – This was a book I got from the library because I had nothing better to read. I didn’t have high hopes for it but I ended up reading it straight through then making emergency trips to multiple libraries to try to find the rest of the series. It’s now one of my all time favorite books.

 

 

Books still on our TBR list

Amanda-

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – This is the second book in The Raven Cycle series. I haven’t started this series yet, but it’s on my list for this month to do as a buddy read with a bookish friend of mine.

Antonia-

Die for Me by Amy Plum – This is the first book in The Revenants series. I thought the concept sounded really unique and I was excited that it takes place in Paris which is a setting I haven’t often read about.

 

 

These are our picks for the letter D. What are your memorable books with this letter? Do you have any books that you’ve yet to read starting with D? Feel free to leave your answers in the comments!

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Novellas

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week is top ten of my favorite novellas or short stories. I’m going to be listing my favorite novellas because I don’t frequently read short stories unless they’re for college (and those aren’t usually too fun.) I’m not sure that I will have a full ten, but I’m going to do my best.

ttttt
1. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas – If any of you even slightly follow my posts then this one is obvious. I’m obsessed with the ACOTAR series and not sorry about it in the slightest.
2. Fairest by Marissa Meyer – I read this forever ago, but I remember really liking it because it gave us a different point of view of the villain from this series.
3. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling – I went a little crazy after my last HP reread and bought all of the novellas on my Kindle.
4. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling – I loved the little inside details that were within these novellas.
5. Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling – Again, from my novella buying spree on my Kindle.
6. Dorothy Must Die novellas (0.1-0.9) by Danielle Paige – I bought these novellas on my Kindle after my last reread of this series once the final book was released. I really enjoyed getting some more background on these characters.
7. Stephanie Plum novellas by Janet Evanovich – There are quite a few different novellas in this series that are holiday themed, from St. Patrick’s Day to Christmas. They’re all fun little additions to the series.
8. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare – A book full of novellas? Yes, please.
9. Tales from the Shadowhunter’s Academy by Cassandra Clare – I’m not sure if this counts as another book of novellas but I loved reading about Simon.
10. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas – Okay so I haven’t actually read this book. I just finally got around to buying it last week and I will for sure be rereading the whole Throne of Glass series (starting with this book) before the last book is released this fall.

These are my top ten favorite novellas! Do you have any favorites that I didn’t include in this list? Let me know what your favorites are below in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Red, White & Blue

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week is top ten books with Red, White and Blue book covers (in honor of the 4th of July). This one was actually pretty easy for me, but only because I already took some bookstagram pictures of books with red, white or blue covers for the holiday. I’m going to list a few that are one of the three colors and then see if I have any books that have all three colors on them.

red white and blue
Red

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The Elite by Kiera Cass

White (ish)

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Warcross by Marie Lu
The One by Kiera Cass

Blue

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
The Selection by Kiera Cass

Red, White & Blue

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

lunar chronicles

These are just the ones that I found within my hardcopy books in my at home collection, there were a few more that I could have added from my list of ebooks but I didn’t want to go too crazy. What books do you have that are patriotic?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Yellow Brick War – Danielle Paige

Summary:
Once upon a time, there was a girl from Kansas named Dorothy.
You might know her as the Girl Who Rode the Cyclone. She ended up in Oz, where she became friends with the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. But the temptation of magic was too much for her. She let it change her. Her friends became twisted versions of their former selves.
The magical land of Oz is now a dark and menacing place.
My name is Amy Gumm. Tornadoes must have a thing about girls from Kansas, because I got swept away in one too. I also landed in Oz, where Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good, and the Wicked Witches clued me into my true calling:
Assassin.
The only way to stop Dorothy from destroying Oz-and Kansas-is to kill her. And I’m the only one who can do it.
But I failed. Others died for my mistakes. Because of me, the portal between worlds has been opened and Kansas and Oz are both in danger. And if I don’t find a way to close it?
Dorothy will make sure I never get home again.
18602406Review:
I flew through the Dorothy Must Die series because it’s been so awesome. Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige was probably my least favorite of the three as much as I hate to say it. It ended with a cliff hanger just like the second book, which would be okay if I had the forth book. Unluckily for me, it doesn’t even have a title or a release date. It just says sometime in 2017. I hate waiting for books when they end with cliff hangers like that.
I wouldn’t say that I disliked this book, because I definitely enjoyed reading it. It’s a great continuation of the Dorothy Must Die series. The story itself is wonderful. I love the crazy twist of the original story, The Wizard of Oz. But part of me feels like this series could have been left as a trilogy. It wouldn’t have been overly difficult to wrap this story up nicely with the chaotic and exciting defeat of Dorothy rather than introducing a new, or rather, an ancient villain. I’m definitely still excited to see where the story goes next; to see what craziness these characters find themselves in and how they get out of it.
Yellow Brick War was more complex than the first two books. We’re introduced to another villain. Once that The Revolutionary Order of the Wicked is semi familiar with, but we know nothing about. He threatens Amy’s family and towards the end causes some excitement with others in Amy’s life. There are a few new twists that are introduced in this book which made me realize that this wasn’t going to be the last in the series. I think part of my wishing that it was a trilogy is that I REALLY want to know what’s going to happen. I can be very impatient. While the Dorothy Must Die series could have very easily been made a trilogy, I’m glad it’s not because there are so many questions I still have about Oz and the characters in it.
Amy Gumm struggles very much in this book. We watch her struggle more and more with the darkness in the magic that she’s been taught by the Order. She is obviously good at heart, but it’s even clearer that the magic has started to take a toll on her and her control. I love Amy even more in this book because we get to see how strong she really is. There are a few seriously crazy battles in the pages of Yellow Brick War, not surprising with that title, and a few instances where Amy almost loses complete control of herself and her magic, but somehow finds the good inside her and pulls herself back from the brink. I really love Amy because she can acknowledge that she is teetering on a very fine line. She’s very aware how dangerous it is for her to use her magic and the last thing she wants is to turn into another version of Dorothy. I really admire the fact that she finally knows who she is and she knows her limits.
The Order kind of irritated me Yellow Brick War more than the other books. In the first they leave out a lot of very important information about what they’re asking Amy to do when training her for her mission. They let her in more and more in the second book, but start up again in the third. It really irks me after all Amy has done for them, after all the danger she’s put herself in for their cause. She’s ripped from her life in Kansas, not that her life was the greatest, and they take advantage of her again and again. It’s never really care if they even care about her at all, except for Nox of course because what’s a good action/adventure story without a forbidden love affair? Nox is the only one that really shows that he cares about Amy, but even he keeps vital information from her. She’s the main freaking character and without her none of these plans can be put into action. It seems only fair to me that she should know the whole extent of what she’s volunteering for. The Order doesn’t think so and it really pisses me off. They treat her like a child when she’s in just as much danger as the rest of them.
Other than my frustration with another cliff hanger and the superiority complex The Order seems to have I really liked Yellow Brick War. The story just got crazier and crazier the further I got into the book with an explosive ending. I might actually die waiting for the forth book that’s unnamed and has no known date of release. I seriously suggest the Dorothy Must Die series to any reader who likes a little or a lot of action and a very creative twist on the Wizard of Oz.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

The Wicked Will Rise – Danielle Paige

Summary:
My name is Amy Gumm-and I’m the other girl from Kansas.
After a tornado swept through my trailer park, I ended up in Oz. But it wasn’t like the Oz I knew from books and movies. Dorothy had returned, and she was stealing magic from the land. The Wizard was back, too. Even Glinda could no longer be called the Good Witch. And the Wicked Witches who were left? They had joined forces as the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. They gave me a mission:
Kill Dorothy.
Except my job as assassin didn’t work out as planned. Dorothy is still alive. The Order has vanished. And the home I couldn’t wait to leave behind might be in danger.
Now I have to:
Find Dorothy.
Destroy the yellow brick.
Save my home.
18602341Review:
Holy fucking cliff hanger. I hate them with a fiery passion. Yeah, I get that they make an impact on the story, but if I didn’t already have the third book to this series I’d be freaking out even more. The Wicked Will Rise was just as good as the first book in the series, which I’ve already reviewed if you want to check it out.
This story is sort of based off The Wizard of Oz. It’s a very creative and unique adaptation of the original story. I love fairytale stories. But I love modern day adaptations even more, especially this one. It’s such a different kind of twist on the original story. Each page has me wanting more and more. Like I said, I’m very glad I already bought the third book in the series or I’d probably lose my mind. The way Danielle Paige writes is just to my liking. She describes everything in a way that I can picture it, except the obvious totally fantastical places like Rainbow Falls. But even those settings are wonderfully described to a point where I can make my own image of them. I love authors that give me those kind of details, I feel like I’m getting the whole story.
Amy Gumm, the main character in this story. She learns magic and how to fight with and without it in the first book to this series. In this book, she starts to learn what kind of witch she really is and who she really is. She’s learned that she doesn’t really belong in Kansas anymore, Oz is her home now. But even more so she learns that her magic can have a dark side and that she doesn’t want to be that dark wicked witch. She learns that she doesn’t like the dark side of magic and continues to try to be good and to do good. I love Amy even more in this book because we see her grow more into her magic and become more confident. We get to watch her struggle with the fight between the dark and the good and see her try her hardest to stay good.
The next character I really loved in this book was Nox. He was in the first book but I didn’t mention him much because I wasn’t really sure how I felt about him. Now I think I love him. He’s lost for a good part of The Wicked Will Rise. But when he’s finally found, it’s well worth the wait. He’s spent his time being lost thinking about Amy and their mission as part of the The Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. The first thing he does when Amy finds him is the perfectly right thing. Of course I won’t tell you what that thing was. That would be giving too much away. I’m very excited to see where the next book takes Nox and the rest of The Order.
The Wicked Will Rise was an excellent sequel to Dorothy Must Die. Except for the cliff hanger of course, because I hate those, regardless of that it was an awesome book. I can’t wait to see what adventures these characters go on in the next book, Yellow Brick War. I’m not positive that it’s the last book in the series, but I’m hoping because I don’t want to wait for the next one to come out. This is definitely a series I would recommend to any older young adult reader, there’s lots of language not suitable for the younger young adult. I loved these books, I hope you will too.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I just finished a book, so I’m not technically reading anything. But I’ll consider that as what I’m currently reading. I just finished reading The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige. So look for my review shortly. I’ll be writing it after I finish this post.

Antonia- Technically I’m in the middle of like five books. But right at this moment I’m reading The Witness by Nora Roberts. About once a year I go back and reread this book because while I always love every one of her books, this one is by far my favorite.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- Yesterday I finished reading Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. You’ll find my review among my recent posts. It was a wonderful book and I’m excited to finish the series.

Antonia- The last book I read was The Obsession by Nora Roberts. This is her newest books and since she’s one of my auto-buy authors, I’d had this own pre-ordered.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda- Well, I bought Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige today because I knew I would finish The Wicked Will Rise soon and I need to find out what happens. There was no way I was going to not have the next book when I finished the second.

Antonia- Next I’ll probably read one of the several books I’m currently in the middle of: Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima, Soundless by Richelle Mead, or The House of Hades by Rick Riordan.

What are your answers to these questions?

Happy Wednesday readers!