Book Con 2019: Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2

Saturday, June 1

My sister and I got to the Javits shortly before the Exhibit Hall opened at 10 am. The first thing we went to, because we saw it right there, was Christmas Land – which was this whole display for the promotion of NOS4A2 on AMC.

They had this promotion where if you go to the Facebook app and take a picture of your face it will turn it into one of the creepy kids. Speaking of which, the actors there dressed up as Charlie Manx and the kids were so good. Like, I couldn’t look at them. Too creepy.

Anyway, I didn’t want to get the Facebook app and do it so we just took a photo with Charlie and we got a gift from The Wraith. It was a gingerbread cookie! It was so good too.

I thought it would be a Christmas ornament. Some people did get that. I am glad we got the cookie.

 

So, then we went to the Penguin Random House booth to get a pin my sister saw being promoted on Tumblr for The Starless Sea. We got the pin but we also found out that there was a signing with Erin Morgenstern. She was signing ARCs of The Starless Sea. The tickets were already gone and we were just really annoyed that that signing wasn’t promoted better. We would have gone there first had we known.

I think next time we are making a bee line for that booth first.

On a happier note, my sister’s memory made it onto this board for the promotion of Recursion by Blake Crouch. Hers is the gondola ride in Venice.

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Top Ten Tuesday May 28: Favorite Books Released In the Last Ten Years

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

May 28: Favorite Books Released In the Last Ten Years (one book for each year) (submitted by Anne @ Head Full of Books)

Can I cheat? I want to cheat. Some years have more than one book that is a favorite! And I feel I missed a few (mainly Star Wars novels) because I was going by the lists on Goodreads for each year and their lists only went up to 100.

2009
1. Horns by Joe Hill
2. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games 2) by Suzanne Collins

2010
3. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices 1) by Cassandra Clare
4. Room by Emma Donoghue
5. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

2011
6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
7. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy 1) by Deborah Harkness
8. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
9. The Name of the Star (Shades of London 1) by Maureen Johnson

2012
10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
11. Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy 2) by Deborah Harkness

2013
12. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
13. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices 3) by Cassandra Clare

2014
14. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
15. The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy 3) by Deborah Harkness

2015
16. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
17. Golden Son (Red Rising 2) by Pierce Brown

2016
18. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
19. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
20. Morning Star (Red Rising 3) by Pierce Brown

2017
21. The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy 1) by Katherine Arden
22. The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy 2) by Katherine Arden

2018
23. Iron Gold (Red Rising 4) by Pierce Brown

2019 so far…
24. The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy 3) by Katherine Arden

I have big hopes for:
25. Dark Age (Red Rising Saga 5) by Pierce Brown

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

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Matt Wainwright is constantly sabotaged by the overdramatic movie director in his head. He can’t tell his best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her. He implodes on the basketball court, even though no one cares about the JV team. And the only place he feels normal is in Mr. Ellis’s English class, discussing the greatest fart scenes in literature and writing poems about cantankerous candy-cane lumberjacks.

If this were a movie, everything would work out perfectly. Tabby would discover that Matt’s madly in love with her, be overcome with emotion, and fall into his arms. Maybe in the rain.

But that’s not how it works. Matt watches Tabby get swept away by senior basketball star and all-around great guy Liam Branson. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough, but screwing up and losing her as a friend is even worse.

After a tragic accident, Matt finds himself left on the sidelines, spiraling out of control and in danger of losing everything that matters to him. From debut author Jared Reck comes a fiercely funny and heart-wrenching novel about love, longing, and what happens when life as you know it changes in an instant.

Even though this book came out in September 2017, the copy I read was an ARC I had on my TBR pile since Book Con 2017.

I was so surprised by how much I really loved it. I thought it would just be another YA novel about unrequited love and it would get put in the donate pile when I was done.

At first I thought it was ok, and the basketball lingo went over my head, but I really grew to like the characters. Especially Tabby, Matt’s mom and his grandpa. Oh, and I love that Matt, his dad and Tabby love Star Wars.

Jared Reck is an 8th grade teacher and that really helped with setting the tone of what teenagers are like. I felt like I was thrown back into high school.

The book takes a dramatic turn and I found myself unexpectedly bawling my eyes out. But the story ends with hope and I really liked the message.

So, I am not going to put this in the donate pile. It’s book with a lot of heart, some humor, and it’s got short chapters (which was a relief after the last book I read). It’s a quick 2-3 day read.

5 out of 5 Nerds.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.

Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires–a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne’s most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.

 

I did not finish this. I stopped reading at page 288 (out of 340). I tried to push through to the end, but I just got so bored and uninspired. I already wasted too much time on it.

I got this 20th Anniversary Edition for free at Book Con in 2014 and I have been trying to dwindle my Book Con pile. This book put me behind schedule. I need to learn to just give up when I have stalled and have no desire to continue.

The thing is that it started off with promise, and with the exception that I hated that there were no chapter breaks, I thought it was interesting. I liked the twisted dynamic between Lestat, Louis, and Claudia. Claudia was the most interesting character. The mind of a woman trapped inside the body of a child and frustrated that she will forever look like a child and be vulnerable.

It wasn’t until Louis and Claudia got to Paris that I became so bored and really tried of Louis’s depressing contemplations.

Some parts are really poetic and I bookmarked them:

Page 13: “Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.”

Page 161: “It seemed at moments, when I sat alone in the dark stateroom, that the sky had come down to meet the sea and that some great secret was to be revealed in that meeting, some great gulf miraculously closed forever.”

…but Louis’s musings became way too much. Like every sentence and sometimes they felt like run on sentences. So when I gave up I just looked up the ending on wikipedia. I barely remember the movie with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. I saw it once almost twenty years ago, and besides the movies always differ from the books.

So, yea, I am done with this book. I don’t have to finish every book.

2 out of 5 Bites.

Top Ten Tuesday May 14: Page to Screen Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

May 14: Page to Screen Freebie (Books that became movies/TV shows, movies that became books, great adaptations, bad ones, books you need to read before watching their movie/TV show, movies you loved based on books you hated or vice versa, books you want to read because you saw the movie or vice versa, etc.)

 

Bad Book to Film Adaptations:
1) Riding in Cars with Boys by Beverly D’Onofrio. Staring Drew Barrymore.
The book is only autobiography I liked because it reads like a novel and it has some dark humor. That did not translate to the movie and they made Beverly too sweet.

2) Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
Staring Alden Ehrenreich before he was Han Solo! It actually had a good cast: Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Emma Thompson and I liked Jeremy Irons as Macon Ravenwood. I actually read the book after seeing the movie, and honestly, the book was better.

3) Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Staring Han Solo! I mean Harrison Ford. And Viola Davis again! I read the book after seeing the movie and my favorite thing about it, the subplot with Ender’s siblings was completely cut out of the movie. So yea.

4) Horns by Joe Hill. Staring Daniel Radcliffe.
While the movie does have its dark humorous moments, a great soundtrack, and Daniel does a great job playing Ig, the climatic end is so much better in the book! And they missed the mark by not making the Treehouse of the Mind magical.

5) Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Staring Ben Barnes. Now Ben Barnes is perfect casting because he is beautiful. I can’t remember the details but something about the ending was changed so much that just changed the characterizations in a bad way.

Good Book to Film Adaptations:
To avoid repeating myself with each one listed I felt these films really stood true to tone, characters and the plot. Yes, some details were omitted, but overall they kept what was important to the story and it was like watching what pictured in my head.

6) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. Staring Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen.

7) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Staring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck.

8) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Staring Leonardo DiCaprio.

9) Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. He also wrote the screenplay and directed the film. Enough said. Staring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller.

10) We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Staring Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, and Ezra Miller.

Top Ten Tuesday April 2: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

April 2: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

1) The cover. I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but we do. It’s the first thing we see. A great cover catches your eye and makes you read the description. Though I have read books were I loved the cover but the story was not too great.

2) The plot. Once the cover has called me over I read the description to see if it sounds like something that I would like. Which brings me to…

3) The genre. I am usually browsing in the Sci-fi/Fantasy, Fiction, YA, or the Classic section. Very rarely do I pick up something out of those genres.

4) The author. Once I find an author I love I am loyal to that author and will look for any new book they have coming out.

5) The price/coupon. It always helpS if the book is on sale and I can use a coupon. I may have more books on my TBR than I have time to read/ listen to, but I still have to be thrifty. Which brings me to…

6) The format. I have hardcovers, paperbacks, an e-reader and the Audible app. Depending on where I am finding the best deal determines what format I will buy the book. For some series that I am obsessed with I bought them in all 3 formats.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

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Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland.

 

I got this book as a give away at Book Con 2017.

I really enjoyed this story. While the world and story isn’t anything new, Córdova did a great job of incorporating old Latin American lore into a modern story.

I love the family dynamics and the fact that the characters are from Brooklyn. Alex’s coming of age journey and acceptance of herself and her powers was well done.

If your are looking for a fantasy book with diverse representation, read this. The leads are POC and there is a bisexual love triangle. Luckily the story doesn’t lean too heavily on the typically overdone love triangle aspect and concentrates more on the world building, the character development, and the magic.

I do have a small critique about the villain. I didn’t find her as scary or threatening as she was supposed to be. She was more cartoonish in my opinion. I also wished to know more about her history.

Overall I enjoyed it so much I bought the sequel right away because I want to see more from Brooklyn Bruja sisters (and Nova too) and know more about their family history and future.

Favorite quotes:

page 126: What’s the point of being what I am if I can’t use it when I need it to save my life?”

page 234: But burden or gift, this is who we are. Just think, nena, if you didn’t fear your own power, then you wouldn’t have respected it enough to rein it in.

4 out of 5 Death Masks.