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Blog Tour, Teasers, Interviews, Giveaway, and Review: Finding Molly

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Finding Molly, Volume 1: An Adventure in CatsittingFinding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting
by Justine Prado
Illustrated by Jenn St-Onge

Genre: YA Graphic Novel
Release Date: January 2017
Emet Comics

Summary from Goodreads:

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting is a graphic novel about Molly Sanchez-Talebi, anunemployed art school grad who hesitantly starts catsitting to pay the bills. She dreams ofbreaking out of suburbia and her artistic rut, but she has a lot of self-discovery todo before that happens. The comic follows her funny misadventures as she learns that maybe these (sometimes) friendly felines are just what she needs to get her life on track.

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The Making Of

Promo Creating Finding Molly

Interview and Goodies (Justine Prado)

Meet Justine Prado page 1Meet Justine Prado page 2Meet Justine Prado page 3Meet Justine Prado page 4

Interview and Goodies (Jenn St-Onge)

Meet Jenn St-Onge page 1Meet Jenn St-Onge page 2Meet Jenn St-Onge page 3Meet Jenn St-Onge page 4Meet Jenn St-Onge page 5

About the Authors

Finding Molly author info

GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: adorable, GORGEOUS artwork; loved the humor, the snark, and the true-to-life characters; some heavy subjects interlaced with catty mischief; this was such an entertaining, beautiful read!

Huge thanks to Justine Prado, Jenn St-Onge, Carey Pietsch, and YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Let me just start by saying: OH MY PENGUINS, THIS ARTWORK! Seriously guys, the art in this graphic novel is so gorgeous and drool-worthy and just… GAAAAAH! I found myself stroking my Fire tablet like a deranged penguin, eyes star-struck and huge, because so many pretties I cannot even! The color choices are gorgeous, the backgrounds are so so well-rendered, and the entire thing is just… THIS. This is what I love about graphic novels–how they can, when done correctly, draw you into the world and refuse to let you leave it. Even now, hours later, the artwork in this book is vibrantly painted across the backs of my eyelids. I will, I fear, be dreaming in these colors tonight. And that is not at all a problem in my world.

The panels are also complex and well-done. It’s obvious, just glimpsing through this, that the gals who worked on it knew exactly what they were doing and exactly what they were aspiring to accomplish. The flow is smooth and natural, the lettering was chosen well to both work with and stand apart from the rest of the graphics… Every detail was considered carefully, and I so appreciate that in graphic novels. There is also a section in the back that gives readers a glimpse into things like creation process and character drafts–things we don’t normally get to see in a comic or graphic novel, that somehow made me love this read even more.

But the kicker? These characters. Their personalities are just as vibrant as the artwork, they come to life within these pages, and they handle some pretty big messages about life and living. Their interactions with and reactions to the world around them, and each other, only helped solidify them in my mind–and the artists did a gorgeous job of highlighting the subtle emotions that might otherwise have been missed out on.

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This was a gorgeously vibrant, entertaining read–filled with CATS! which, I mean, only made it about a thousand times better in my opinion. The artists did an amazing job capturing and bringing these characters to life for me, and I cannot wait to see more from them in the future. I recommend this to lovers of comics/graphic novels, stories about cat sitting gone wrong, and gorgeous artwork. It’s time to let the cat out of the bag, penguins–and pick this read up!

Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

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Weekly Wishlist (#16)

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Because I needed a post in my life that kept me up to date on all things BOOKS!  and it seemed like Wishlist Wednesday was dead, I decided to make my own.

Welcome to Weekly Wishlist!

I’m all about breaking bending the rules to my will, so I’m switching it up!  I’m going to pair books that are already in the wild…with books soon to be released. Click the covers to be taken to the Amazon page.

THIS WEEK, I’m changing things up and instead focusing on graphic novels I want to read!  Because YAY, graphic novels!

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The Stonekeeper (Amulet, #1)

Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.

Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

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Why I want it:

For one, it looks like a ton of fun.  I mean really, who could say no to demons, robots, and talking animals?!  I know I can’t!  For two, I’ve heard awesome things about this read, and that makes me suuuuper excited about it.  For three…LOOK?!  at the artwork?!?!?!  on the cover?!?!?!?!?!  I’m sure the insides are JUST as gorgeous!

Bone, Vol. 1: Out from Boneville (Bone, #1)

After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert.

One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures…

Humor, mystery, and adventure are spun together in this action-packed, side-splitting saga. Everyone who has ever left home for the first time only to find that the world outside is strange and overwhelming will love Bone.

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Why I want it:

I picked up a physical copy of this book at a Barnes & Noble in Colorado while on vacation there over Christmas, and was SUPER intrigued by the blurb and the artwork.  I didn’t buy it at the time, but I am BOUND and DETERMINED to own a copy for my shelves in the future!

Seconds

Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:

1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew

And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions.

From the mind and pen behind the acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series comes a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.

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Why I want it:

This one comes down entirely to word of mouth.  I’ve heard AWESOME things about this read, and I’m dyyyyyying to pick it up!  I mean, the blurb sounds super interesting too, but…word of mouth, penguins.

This One Summer

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age — a story of renewal and revelation.

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Why I want it:

I have to admit, I’m mostly intrigued by this one for ONE reason:  “two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel.”  I want to know HOW.  I want to see what they’ve done to redefine what has become a popular form of story telling.  Also, this sounds like a super adorable read, and I need more of that in my world right now.

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Have a book YOU’D like to recommend to me?!  AWESOME!  Either shoot me a comment down below, or send me a recommendation on Goodreads RIGHT HERE!

What do you guys think–have you read any of these…or WANT to?  What did you think of them, if so?  Let me know your thoughts and as always…

Until next time, happy book-ing!

 

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I Hate Fairyland: Witty Banter, Vibrantly Morbid Art

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I Hate Fairyland #1

Goodreads Rating: 4.07 Stars
33 Pages
Image Publishing
Published: October 14th, 2015
Get a copy here!

Superstar SKOTTIE YOUNG (Rocket Raccoon, Wizard of Oz) makes his Image debut with an ALL-NEW SERIES! The Adventure Time/Alice in Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness has arrived. In an adventure that ain’t for the little kiddies, (unless you have super cool parents, then whatever), you’ll meet Gert—a six year old girl who has been stuck in the magical world of Fairyland for thirty years and will hack and slash her way through anything to find her way back home. Join Gert and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who HATES FAIRYLAND.

4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: this was NOT the story I was expecting; the artwork is GORGEOUS, if a little bit morbid; I absolutely loved the wordplay going on throughout; this chick is snarky, down-to-earth (er…sort of) and hilarious; I think I’m officially hooked

I picked this up on Amazon after watching Riley Marie’s GIANT BOOK HAUL on youtube just yesterday afternoon…and decided to pick it up now for a quick, light bit of reading. Also, because why the heckles not?!

 

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This read? Absolutely hilarious! I knew, going in, that this was a bit morbid, a lot dark, and pretty snarky. I did not know, however, that I would fall in love with the main character so immediately. She literally grabbed me by the hair, pulled me face-first into the book, and held me captivated until the very end. She is a grown woman in a child’s body, and I giggled like a lunatic throughout the entire journey!

Along with the snark are gorgeous (and, at times, graphically morbid) art panels. I could not tear my eyes away from the page to save my life—the artwork is so vibrant and pretty and eye-catching! I found myself seeking out the tiniest, most minute details, just to make certain I devoured all of it.

And the wordplay? Perfect, snarky, and at times a little grotesque. There were several moments I caught myself giggling, closing my eyes, and then laughing again when I realized the double-meaning of certain words/phrases. When coupled with the brilliant artwork, this story leaps to life.

 

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I definitely recommend this to lovers of witty banter, brilliantly-deceptive characters, and vibrantly morbid artwork. I am not ashamed to say I’ll be racing to buy the rest of this series—I NEED this adventure in my life!

5

Camp Midnight: This Book is the Thing that Goes “Bump” in the Night

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Camp Midnight

Goodreads Rating: 3.83 Stars
248 Pages
Image Comics Publishing
Get a copy here!

Ben 10 and Big Hero 6 creator Steven T. Seagle returns to comics with New Yorker Magazine cartoonist Jason Adam Katzenstein for a new graphic novel!

Reluctant Skye is accidentally sent to the wrong summer camp. Not wanting to please her “step monster,” Skye is dead-set on not fitting in. That won’t be a problem, as everyone at Camp Midnight-with the exception of fellow camper and fast-friend Mia-is a full-fledged monster! The perfect book for fans of Raina Telgemeier’s “Smile, ” but wish it had more bowls of gooey eyeballs.

4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: super adorable, in a slightly dark way; LOVE the moral lessons being passed along throughout; gorgeous artwork and color-choice; unique, entertaining characters; a fun and beautifully crafted “coming of age” tale; full of snark, sass, and all things attitude-y

Huge thanks to Steven T. Seagle, Image Comics Publishing, and Netgalley for granting me (and literally anyone else who wants it!) access to this title in exchange for an honest review. This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this graphic novel. Also, special shout-out to Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews for telling me (in very loud caps and no uncertain terms) that I needed to read this ASAP. Thank you, Lauren—without you… Well, I’d have probably read it eventually anyway, but hey, I appreciate the push!

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First off: the artwork in this book? Absolutely gorgeous. On top of this, the color scheme is unique and stands out from other graphic novels I’ve read (so far, at least). The beautiful choice in pallet helps set the atmosphere—dark, sort of mysterious, edging just slightly toward “horror” while not quite crossing the line. The artwork and color choice alone immediately told me this wasn’t going to be the same as anything I’ve read before.

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The characters are also pretty unique. I had a ton of fun following Skye on her journey into the dark and unknown. Her snark and sass kept me entertained and helped to break up the mysteriousness and “dark” mood—at least slightly, as Skye’s sense of humor does toe the line of dark. The rest of the motley crew were vibrant, individualized, and just as creatively written.

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Mostly, though, I was impressed with the level of insight and sensitivity that the morals being questioned and passed along throughout this read were given. There was only one small detail I felt wasn’t explained adequately…but it’s such a minuscule thing, I don’t feel it effected the read at all for me in the end.

Overall, this was a wildly entertaining and humorous read—with some pretty deep morals to boot! I definitely recommend this to lovers of graphic novels, snarky characters, and coming-of-age tales. Trust me, you don’t want to pass this one up!

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A Review of Octopus Pie: Volume 1, by Meredith Gran

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Goodreads Rating: 2.81 Stars
Image Comics
200 Pages
Get a copy here!

In this first collected volume of the Octopus Pie series, we follow grumpy twenty-something Eve and her stoner roommate Hanna as they navigate post-college life. They’ll take on crazed childhood rivals, troubling art scenes, the discomfort of exes, and maybe even… friendship? All this and more in the fictional, totally made-up city of Brooklyn. Well paced and grounded, ranging from funny ha-ha to odd observational humor, Octopus Pie s ultimate hooks are its flawed but genuine characters.

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Rating: 4/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: cute artwork, funny characters; great cast of personalities; some wonky formatting issues later in the ebook version that made reading the strips difficult; sometimes weird, jumpy transitions

Huge thanks to Meredith Gran, Image Comics, and Netgalley for access to a copy of this read in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my reading or feelings/opinions of this book.

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This collection of comic strips is both entertaining and entirely human, covering a wide variety of topics, morals, and “lessons.” The characters were the first thing to jump out at me—their personalities, from the very beginning, shine through everything else, making them much more realistic. Eve and Hanna, in particular, are quick to both strike a nerve and snatch up your heart—with every page turned, you’ll wonder what new shenanigans the girls will find themselves in, and what lessons they’ll pass along to readers.

The artwork is cute, though there are some formatting issues through most of the ebook that made reading the strips and deciphering every miniscule detail difficult. I’m not sure if this was a copy error, or a file formatting issue, but it got pretty annoying trying to squint and figure out what some of the words were. This also made the reading experience slightly unpleasant at times, as I couldn’t always tell what the panel was portraying or saying.

There are also some weird, jumpy transitions between panels from one page to the next; often, I didn’t pay these much mind, but there were moments when I had to go back and read the page before over again to try and figure out what had happened/that we’d switched to a different subject.  There is, of course, no real “plot line” or “wide-reaching story arc.”  Because this is a collection of comic strips, you need to go into this read expecting scenes and subjects to shift rapidly between each section–there are morals, lessons, or humorous anecdotes within each, though they don’t all work together cohesively in terms of story-telling.

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Regardless, this cast of characters was quirky, cute, and interesting to read about—I had a great time diving into these strips and learning more about our cantankerous main character and her wild-child roommate. I would recommend this collection to lovers of comics, graphic novels, and humorous adventures.

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A Review of Grumpy Cat (Volume 1), by Ben McCool

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Dynamite proudly presents the comic book misadventures of Grumpy Cat, featuring “The World’s Grumpiest Cat” and her brother, Pokey! With her ever-present pout and sassy disposition, Grumpy Cat has won the hearts of people everywhere. Now, her unbearable cuteness and infectious sourpuss are featured in an all-new, all-sensational collection of comic stories, sure to make fans of all ages laugh! If you love the memes, the videos, and that irresistible scowl, then get ready for the wildly fun antics of Grumpy Cat and Pokey!

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Rating: 5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: gorgeous illustrations; love the flow of the panels; the dialogue between Grumpy and Pokey is adorable, at times disturbing, and filled with snark; from superheroes to conspiracy theories, there’s something for everyone here

Huge thanks to the authors Ben McCool, Royal McGraw, Elliott Serrano, and Ben Fisher—as well as to Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley—for free access to this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review! Please note that this in no way altered my opinions on this book.

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Grumpy Cat strikes it big in the world with this collection of comic strips! The humor, the snark, and the witty banter between the characters is bracing, at times acidic, and always entertaining. I went into this read with only the smallest amount of knowledge on Grumpy Cat. Obviously, I’ve seen several of the memes and have read a few posts about the REAL Grumpy, but aside from the most basic workings of backstory I didn’t have much to go by. The cover of this immediately drew me in on Netgalley; I fell in love with Grumpy with just those few small words, and knew I needed to read this.
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The humor, for me, was spot-on. I cackled like a lunatic throughout the read, often causing my husband to glower at me and shake his head in amusement. I particularly enjoyed Paws of Justice, Vincent Van Grump, and A Grump in Time—though honestly, I found something to cackle at and love about every single strip. If I had to pick, though, my favorite—hands down—is Vincent Van Grump. The snark, the cultural references, and the artwork for that strip all came together in a beautiful, glorious read; I had a ton of fun with it!

Throughout, the artwork is gorgeous. The panels are well-proportioned and evenly spaced out, making the read both easy and entertaining. And between the varying subject matters and focuses, there’s something for EVERYONE here. Literally. We go from Private Eyes to (sort of) alien invasions to conspiracy theories—and cover everything in between!

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This is, by far, a journey unto itself—one I feel lovers of humor, cultural references, and the ever snarky Grumpy Cat will enjoy! I had a ton of fun cackling like a lunatic to myself whilst reading, and promise you will, too! I can’t wait to see what other misadventures await our feline duo. Until next time, I’ll be returning again and again to this collection—it’s just too much fun to read only once!

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Friday Finds (#12)

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FRIDAY FINDS
HOSTED BY: MIZB AT A DAILY RHYTHM
DESCRIPTION: FRIDAY FINDS SHOWCASES THE BOOKS YOU ‘FOUND’ AND ADDED TO YOUR TO BE READ (TBR) LIST… WHETHER YOU FOUND THEM ONLINE, OR IN A BOOKSTORE, OR IN THE LIBRARY — WHEREVER! (THEY AREN’T NECESSARILY BOOKS YOU PURCHASED).

Find their latest post here!

As  always, these are all epic finds under $2.00 on Amazon Kindle!
Click the cover to be taken to the goodreads page!

Comics and Graphics (Serials):

Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends because their dorm rooms were next to each other. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.

Get the first 4 for $1.99 each:
#1 | #2 | #3 | #4

What time is it? Adventure Time™! Explore the magical world of Ooo with Jake the dog and Finn the human, along with the Ice King, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline the Vampire Queen, and all your favorite Adventure Time characters, in this first official guide to Cartoon Network’s hit animated series.

Written and compiled by the Lord of Evil himself, The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia matches the playful, subversive tone of the series, detailing everything anyone will ever need to know about the postapocalyptic land of Ooo and its inhabitants—secret lore and spells, fun places you should visit and places where you will probably die, whom to marry and whom not to marry, how to make friends and how to destroy your enemies—plus hand-written marginalia by Finn, Jake, and Marceline. An indispensable companion to the show, this side-splittingly funny love letter to Adventure Time is sure to appeal to fans of all ages. Heck yeah!

Get it for $1.99 here!

ZIM and his filthy evil ways have been gone for what feels like years. But Dib KNOWS the alien menace will rear his head again, and he won’t leave the house, or his 900 security monitors, until it happens. And it WILL happen. Oh, it WILL.

Get all 6 for $1.99 each:
#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6

Steven really wants to enter the annual Beach City Bike Race but
everyone else is a little worried. Steven just makes the cut-off for age, which means the other bikers will be a lot older than him. Connie agrees to help Steven the old-fashioned way through good ol’ exercise but Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl have other plans…

Get #4 for 52 cents and #1-3, #5-8 for $1.99 here:
#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7 | #8

Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!

Get all 19 for $1.99 each here:
#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 
#7 | #8 | #9 | #10 | #11 | #12
#13 | #14 | #15 | #16 | #17 | #18 | #19

Other Books of Note:

Book 1 – FEYLAND: THE DARK REALM

WHEN A GAME…

Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn’t suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch-or that she’ll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.

TURNS REAL…

Tam Linn is the perfect hero, in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he’s the only one who can help her.

WINNING IS EVERYTHING…

Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen… before it’s too late.

Get the trilogy for 99 cents here!

Maggie is unaware of the terrifying fate that awaits her. It isn’t until she lands in New Orleans for a full year at a private high school and her unknown enemies find her does she realize that her life is in danger.

As a mystifying stranger repeatedly intervenes and blocks the attempts on her life, she begins to learn that there is more to him than his need to protect her and that he may be the key to understanding why her enemies have just now arrived.

Get it for 99 cents here!

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Get it for $1.99 here!

Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foor-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra.

Is she ever in for a surprise.

First Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?

Get it for $1.99 here!

Welp, there you go!  Some awesome reads for epic prices!  Have you guys read any of them?  Are there any you’re dying to read and bought immediately?  Let me know your thoughts below!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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A Review of Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll

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‘It came from the woods. Most strange things do.’

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there…

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Rating: 5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: this is not your average bed time tale; gorgeous, creepy artwork with gorgeous, creepy writing; an examination of the things you find in—and the things that follow you home from—the woods; if these five spine-tingling stories do not warn you away from the woods, I don’t know what will

GUYS, I got this from the husband for Christmas (among many other books I’ve been dying to read! I’m so excited!) But more importantly: this book is breath-taking! Thank you, husband, for being awesome and consistently enabling my bookish addiction!

The artwork in this graphic novel is gorgeous. It’s obvious Emily Carroll poured her heart and soul into crafting this read (or, perhaps, sacrificed a few annoying relatives? given the contents, this wouldn’t surprise me) Either way, there is a fine blend between artwork and poetry/prose that Emily Carroll treads in this book—and it’s blended beautifully. The pages are filled with dark shadows, moody lines, and blinding white space. The craftsmanship could almost tell the story by itself; the writing is just the cherry on top of a very large, very sweet sundae.

These tales are DARK, and serve as a warning—don’t go into the woods. You never know who you’ll meet…or what will follow you home. The contrasts are staggering: gorgeous, melodic writing against a backdrop of nightmares and horror. I’m not sure I could pick a favorite story—they all stand so well on their own, together they create a melody of fear and haunts. That being said…they ARE dark, and probably not suitable for reading to young children before bedtime. I mean…unless you want them sleeping with you for the rest of their lives, in which case, have at it.

The five stories are quick, striking reads—I picked the book up just to read the first few pages and found myself, some thirty minutes or so later, closing the last page. This book sucks you in—between the gorgeous artwork and the melodic writing, you’ll find it very difficult to set aside once you pick it up, so make sure you have time to finish it in one sitting!

I LOVED this book, and have immediately found it a home on my shelves in full beautiful glory. I’d recommend to lovers of horror, “fairy tales,” and The Brothers Grimm. For myself? I have a feeling I’m going to need to look into more of Emily Carroll’s work.

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A Review of Descender: Volume 1, by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

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One young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. A rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey that pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling space opera from the creators of Trillium, Sweet Tooth, and Little Gotham. Extra-sized first issue.

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Rating: 4/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: GORGEOUS watercolor art panels; interesting plot, easy to sink your teeth into; awesome, unique cast of characters; emotionally riveting; makes you want to pick up the rest of the series

Okay, guys: First and foremost, HUGE thanks go out to Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Image Comics and Netgalley for the ARC of this breathtaking comic/graphic novel! (this in no way changed how I reviewed or read this book or my opinions on it)

I have to start with the most obvious: The artwork for this comic is ABSOLUTELY stunning! It’s done largely in watercolor, looks extremely professional, and I just… I’m in so much awe. The panels are unique at times and very easy to follow; the use of space and motion throughout really helped to bring this more fully to life. The characters are beautifully done, the details exquisite. I just… I’m in awe. This read is SO gorgeous!

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The characters are also easy to relate to or, if not connect with, at least figure out. The robots in particular are some of my favorites; they’re all so unique, with their own personalities, motivations, and knee-jerk reactions. I LOVE the interactions between Tim-21 and Driller the Killer; there’s a sense of…connection? between them almost immediately. You can tell, just from Driller’s speech habits and reactions, that he’s spent a lot of time alone and is tired of it. And Tim-21? Well, he was made to connect to and assimilate with humans… which means he’s much like any other young boy.

The plot is action-packed with bits of emotional tension, drama, and mystery thrown in for flair and more enjoyable reading. The writing is well-done, and some of the panels emulate old Batman comics with the addition of action-hero sound bubbles. Every page is an adventure, laid out and structured so well your eyes will have no trouble figuring out where to go next. This is a talent not all artists possess: the ability to make reading an art piece easy. The ability to draw the eye exactly where it’s meant to be, WHEN it’s supposed to.

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Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen did a spectacular job bringing this book and these characters to life for me; I’m definitely going to be keeping my eye out for future additions/volumes to this, because I need to know what happens next! I’d highly recommend to lovers of graphic novels/comics, sci fi/space adventures, and robots, cyborgs, and “alien” invasions. This is one comic you don’t want to miss!

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A Review of Tabatha, by Neil Gibson and Caspar Wijngaard

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Luke works as a mailman in Los Angeles and moonlights as a thief – the empty houses on his postal route are rich, easy pickings for him and his friends. Everything goes to plan until one house turns out to not quite be so empty. The situation spirals out of control, leaving the happy go lucky thieves battling for their lives. And all because of Tabatha.

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Rating: 4/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: creepy, gorgeous, witty artwork; realistic and believable dialogue; a terrifying exploration of obsession, mental illness, and the “mad scientist” cliche; inventive, engaging, and highly entertaining read

Many thanks to Netgalley, Diamond Book Distributors, Neil Gibson (writer) and Caspar Wijngaard (illustrator) for this reading opportunity!

I’ve been trying to expand my horizons in the graphic novels/comics genre, so when I discovered this on Netgalley as a “Read Now” title, I immediately snatched it up. The blurb was so intriguing, I NEEDED to know what happened—and why.

Immediately stepping into this world was easy; the story starts out practically in the middle, setting readers up with the mood and theme. The artwork stands out immediately: the characters are a rich blend of “graphic” and “realistic,” while the villain maintains a sort of Joker-esque grin throughout that left me shivering.

The panels are also unique and inventive, often taking different or unusual perspectives and always leaving my eye wanting to see more, to know more, to find more. Shots from, for instance, a peep hole, with the character on the other side bent or elongated to fit the proper angle, had me both giggling and in awe of the artistic talent. Implementing stylistic choices like layered panels, color washes, and shifting sizes also helped keep me entertained and reading the panels correctly—I didn’t have to guess at or work to figure out the sequence.

The artist also took care to use color to full advantage; this works especially well when viewing the world through a certain characters eyes, as color shifts help keep readers (without stating the obvious or including other tells) knowing which character is speaking at specific moments. The reasoning behind certain colors was revealed in the “extras” section at the end of this novel, which I appreciated and found relevant.

The characters are also complex; even the villain has a heartbreaking, almost endearing backstory, and while I don’t condone at all the actions he took, I at least was able to understand and empathize with him a little better at the end. The main circle of friends is engaging, entertaining, and entirely too much trouble for their own good—just as any awesome friendship should be. I loved the witty banter, the sparks of humanity, and the emphasis on strength (both personal and as a whole) throughout. None of these characters are “perfect” or “completely honest”; they’re HUMAN, and that made this read a ton of fun. Their motives are realistic, their hearts are easy to read, and they all make mistakes; this was refreshing, and helped create a more “realistic” graphic novel.

This is a witty, spine-tingling tale that is bound to leave readers pondering—as per any good horror/psychological thriller, the ending is ambiguous and left open to interpretation. I found a few of the chapter openers a bit difficult to follow (the first jump backward in time sort of confused me, though I caught on fairly quickly after that) but I understand the need for these—the backstory of each character/relationship is as important as the story taking place in current day, and helped me to better understand each character’s motivations. The examination and exploration of popular cliches (rose-tinted glasses play a BIG part in this story) was both engaging and entertaining.

While creepy (and please, if you don’t like gore, you might want to really think about reading this, as some of the scenes are rather bloody and grotesque), the story still managed to grasp at my heart and make me FEEL things. It wasn’t ALL about the blood, the violence, the scares—it was also about being human, making choices we might regret, and the ways our personalities are shaped by those we let into our lives.

This was an awesome, engaging, and terrifying read, and I’m so happy I found it. I will be getting this for my shelves in the future, after it’s released. If you love graphic novels/comics, horror or psychological thrillers, this is something you should definitely look into! I’d also recommend to lovers of Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Clive Barker.

This title will be available for purchase on Amazon November 5th, 2015.