December 8, 2016

Mini Movie Reviews

This is going to be a new feature here on the blog! I love movies almost as much as I love books. (Almost, but not quite.) So I figured it was time I start sharing another passion of mine with you all. My husband and I get a lot of movies from the library and try to go to the theater as often as our wallets allow us. Here are some movies I have watched recently. See which ones made me smile and which ones bored me.

The Nice Guys

I am a huge Ryan Gosling fan. I think he is a wonderful actor, and is easy on the eyes. ;) Since I missed watching this movie in theaters I put it on hold at the library super early. The verdict? This movie was hilarious. Both main guys are nice and yet not so nice. The girl who plays Holland's (Gosling) daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice), was a real hoot and stole the show many times throughout the movie. This movie takes place in the 1970's and centers around the two main guys who are kind of private investigators and the death of a famous porn star. It was interesting.

Captain America: Civil War

Just another super hero movie? Not quite. The action/fighting scenes in this movie alone are enough of a reason to watch Civil War. Even though I understood both Cap and Iron Man's sides, I think I am still leaning towards being on Team Iron Man. The new Spider-Man was incredibly hilarious. The addition of Paul Rudd as Ant Man didn't hurt either. This was a very entertaining and intense movie. It had a good combo of funny and serious.

The Jungle Book

This movie was kind of intense. I liked the Disney cartoon The Jungle Book, but it wasn't my favorite growing up so I wasn't in a rush to watch this one. We did finally get it from the library and enjoyed it a lot! It was a darker movie than I remember. I thought the child that played Mowgli did a great job, and all the famous voices were fun, but sometimes it was a little weird with the talking animals. Mostly they looked okay, but a few times they reminded me of old scary rides with the animatronic animals. Overall, the movie was good, but maybe for older kids.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

WTF?! I am not sure what I just watched, but I laughed A LOT. It was so weird. So very weird. That's all I got.


Eh. I loved Kristin Wig, Melisa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. Those four made me laugh A LOT, but the other Ghostbuster along with the main villain didn't work for me. I still love that they did a Ghostbusters reboot with women as the main characters, but I was not that impressed. I did still enjoy it.

Finding Dory

Baby Dory is the CUTEST!!! This movie made me cry. It was so sweet and funny. I loved it. It isn't quite as good as Finding Nemo of course. Then again, nothing is.

Doctor Strange

Was Doctor Strange good? Heck yes! Is Doctor Strange my new favorite Marvel movie? It very well may be. I freaking loved this movie. It was dark and funny, smart and entertaining, it was everything. Not to mention the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange. I should also note that the action was breathtaking. You still have time to get see it in theaters if you haven't yet!

December 7, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #12

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Because... I Love this Author

Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Goodreads Summary: DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind. CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding. MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience. WILSON: The one who will destroy them all. When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

Because... Different Realities

Traveler by L.E. DeLano
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Goodreads Summary: Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.

Because... Standalone Fantasy

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Goodreads Summary: Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne. Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life. Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself. As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

What are you waiting on?

December 5, 2016

Mini Reviews: New Adult Reads

Last Will and Testament (#1) by Dahlia Adler

This was a more serious romance than light and fluffy, which one could probably guess from the title. Anyway, Lizzie wasn't getting the best grades in college but she was having fun, until her world crashes down around her. Her parents die in a tragic accident and she is left to take care of her two younger brothers. Last Will and Testament will take the reader on an emotional roller coaster. Lizzie must get her grades up to keep her scholarships so she turns to her overly serious TA for help. It doesn't hurt that he is also hot and nice to her brothers. This is a story full of heartbreak and romance. I think it is a great addition to the new adult genre.

Wallbanger (#1) by Alice Clayton

This book was pretty funny. I was a little hesitant to read this book because although I like steamy scenes in my books, I don't like them to cover every single page. I actually think this book made me laugh more than blush. It had a great mix of comedy and romance. When Caroline moves in she doesn't except her neighbor to make so much noise next door. She also doesn't expect him to be not only attractive and interesting, but a good friend. I would have liked some stronger supporting characters, but the two main characters were a delight to read about.

East of Redemption (#1) by Molly E. Lee

This book is a standalone novel. (Although I highly recommend that you read the first book in the series.) East of Redemption is an action packed romance novel. Easton is a treasure hunter who has his own survival reality show. Rain is a professional photographer, mostly of the dangerous animal variety. They were together as teenagers, but a horrible accident resulting in the death of Rain's father pushes them apart. Years later they reconnect on a hunt for the treasure Rain's father always tried to find and to help save Easton's show from being canceled. They never forgot about the other, and neither did their bodies. Survival, lust, love, a lot of close calls, and someone hot on their trail makes for one amazing new adult romance novel.

December 2, 2016

Update: November was crazy!

The Big News

I got into grad school!!!!! Starting in January I will begin taking classes to get my Master's in Library Science. I will be doing the online program through the University of Illinois. I am a little nervous, but mostly excited. I work in circulation at one library and I am the teen assistant in the youth services department at another one. I think this was just meant to happen.

Other News

My puppy turned one! Bash is growing up a storm and getting into all kinds of trouble. Good thing he is so cute and a good snuggler. Yes, I did buy him a specially made birthday cake for dogs.

I met Marissa Meyer! I went to her signing in Illinois. It was a lot of fun. Marissa is really nice, fun, and just plain lovely. I even formed coherent sentences while talking to her. I know, this is shocking. I still can't believe it myself. We talked about her upcoming graphic novel and how excited I am. Here are some pictures of me talking to her and then one of my friend Lyndsey who went with me. She is usually my author signing buddy.

I got to see Anna Kendrick. Although we didn't get to meet her, we got to hear her talk all about her book. She is just as hilarious in real life as she is in her movies. She is more than adorable. I love Anna!

I went to the Vikings game (when they played the Cardinals) at their new stadium with my family! We spent four days up in Minnesota and I had so much fun. Seriously. We went to the game where my team, the Vikings, won! We also ate delicious food, hung out, went shopping, saw Fantastic Beasts (REALLY GOOD!), visited with extended family who I don't get to see that often, and went to a casino. I am so very thankful for that weekend. Here are some pictures from my trip! *My husband is not in any of these pictures because he is a Bears fan and thus took a lot of the photos. The guy in yellow is my younger brother. We stayed with him and that is his cat.

We had a nice Thanksgiving at my in-laws this year. They made a whole bunch of delicious food that we devoured. We also brought the puppy along with us. That lovely man in the photo is my husband and that big puppy is Bash!

What about blogging? I am getting back into the swing of it. Don't worry, I am not going anywhere. This past month, as you can see from this post, has been CRAZY. All of these things happened in November. Not to mention that I was still working and such. I was also hitting a weird reading slump, but I think I am back on track. Expect more Instagram photos as well. That is is it for now.

November 21, 2016

Get Graphic!

Here is a new mini review round-up of all the graphic novels I have read recently. Go head, get graphic!

Five Stars

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (Sept. 2016)

Raina Telgemeier never dissapoints. Ghosts is different than her other novels, but just as amazing. Fans of her artwork and story telling will enjoy this graphic novel just as much as all her others. Family, friends, and ghosts oh my! I loved hearing about Day of the Dead celebrations and to learn a little more about it. Cat must move because her sister is sick. It takes her a while to warm up to her new town, it was a realistic story of making friends and the importance of family. I loved it.

Faith (1) by Jody Houser (July 2016)

A realistic looking female superhero who is AMAZING?! Heck yes! Faith is a pretty hilarious kick-butt superhero. This is a graphic novel for every girl and guy of every age. I loved the plot, setting, and basically everything otherwise I wouldn't have given it five stars. Read this. Do it.

Four Stars

Prison Island: A Graphic Memoir by Colleen Frakes (2015)

I read this book simply out of curiosity. I wanted to know what it would have been like living on a prison island, and I got my answer! I liked the drawings and the story, but it could have been a little longer. I would have loved to learn even more about prison island. This is a quick read that was very interesting. I recommend it.

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, Vol. 1: Hooked On A Feline (July 2016)

I absolutely loved this comic! The illustrations are fun and full of color. They are definitely my favorite type of drawing style. It was cute. I also thought the story was a lot of fun. I knew nothing about Hellcat before this comic, and that didn't matter too much. They gave a quick little backstory at the beginning. I loved meeting Patsy and her friends. I can't wait for the next volume!

Lucky Penny by Hirsh & Ota (March 2016)

Lucky Penny wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it a great deal. Penny is a little weird and rather interesting character. I was hesitant at first, but once I got into the story I couldn't put it down. It was a fun and unique read. I know what it feels like to feel unlucky. I just wish it would have been in color.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson (2014)

I have always been curious about why so many kids at the library love these books. I finally decided to give them a try myself. The verdict, they are a delight! The sassy unicorn and her new bff Phoebe are hilarious.

Three Stars

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki (2014)

The two girls in this story were so very annoying! I know they were young and I am sure I acted like them when I was younger, but they were a little to annoying for me, at least the one girl was. Rose wasn't too bad. This is a graphic novel about growing up filled with detailed drawings of a summer town. It was pretty good overall, but could have been better.

Buffy: The High School Years - Freaks and Geeks (#1) by Faith Erin Hicks (June 2016)

I am and will always be a huge Buffly the Vampire Slayer fan. I own every season on DVD. I watched Angel. I at one point wished I could actually be "the chosen one." (Yes, I know this is a work of fiction.) The one thing I didn't ever do was read the graphic novels so when I heard about this new reboot I knew I had to give it a try. I liked this graphic novel a lot, but it was a very basic/introductory story. I was a little disapointed about that, but I did like the artwork. It was unique. 

November 15, 2016

TTT #70: My Favorite Animated Movies

This week's topic is all about movies! One of my other passions besides reading is watching movies with my husband, family, and friends. Even my puppy enjoys a good movie. Today I will feature some of my favorite animated movies. In no particular order...


Share your favorite animated movies below!

November 14, 2016

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns (#1) by Kendare Blake (Sept. 2016)
398 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:

Goodreads Summary: When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

My Review

Describe Three Dark Crowns in three words: Wicked. Smart. Shocking.

Before I even finished reading Three Dark Crowns I was recommending the book to anyone I came across. My coworkers may have even started to get annoyed that this was the only book I was talking about. Three Dark Crowns is dark and lovely and captivating. It's a strong start to what I am sure is going to be a great fantasy series. I know it left me wanting more.

Meeting all three sisters and trying to pick a favorite was a challenge. Each young lady is complex and I cheered for all three. I did find Katharine, the poisoner, to be most intriguing. If I had to pick a favorite it would be her. Arsinoe, the naturalist, is sweet and frustrated with her powers not blossoming. Mirabella, the elemental, has a power like no other and is amazingly strong. All three girls want to be queen, but only one can. Even though these ladies were raised apart, killing ones sister isn't going to be an easy task, even though that task is how it has always been. These characters are sure to get you invested in this novel.

The setting is pleasantly detailed and each sister's dwelling is remarkably different. Each sister was raised in a different town with different parental figures and different types of environments. As for the plot, it was nicely paced although some say it was a little slow going, but I have to disagree with that one. I was entertained from start to finish. It may have read like a first book (an introduction) in a series, but that didn't bother me any. The ending was explosive! I am still reeling over it. Now I just need the second book to come out already. I think it is going to be better than the first.

The Verdict: Read it. Better late than never. ;)

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