Thursday, November 22, 2018

Check, Please! #Hockey, Vol. 1 by Ngozi Ukazu

Graphic Novel, 244 pages
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Published by: First Second
Read from: November 19-20, 2018
Check, Please!, #1
Source: NCTE
TW:  N/A
For fans of: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age, LGBTQ stories, Sports, YA

     Helloooo, Internet Land. Bitty here!
     Y’all... I might not be ready for this. I may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It’s nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking. And then, there is Jack—our very attractive but moody captain.
      A collection of the first half of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.


      When I finally saw this popping up I hadn't heard of it. I always seem to happen upon graphic novels once they're out or getting a lot of buzz already. And that's exactly what happened here. I should really pay more attention to these and their release dates! 
     Bitty has left his hometown in Georgia for college and now attends Samwell University. He lands a spot on the hockey team as a freshman. He meets some interesting people while there, such as his captain who he can't decide whether or not is cool or just mean. His other team mates are hilarious and they turn more into a family than Bittle ever expected. 
     I find myself trying to stay away from graphic novels and novels in verse for reviews because they tend not to go well for me. This one wasn't like that tho. I had a few issues with the story-telling, but for the most part, everything else was ok. Now the story just felt choppy to me. I kept finding myself flipping back to the page before to make sure I didn't skip a page or something. I felt like I was missing huge chunks of the story, and because of that, when it got to the end, I felt like I never saw it coming until that very moment. It was a really sweet moment, but I was not expecting it.
    As for the illustrations, those were AMAZING. And when she signed my book she drew a little Bitty with it and I'm in love. Even my manager thought it was cool that she signed it and drew that in everyone's book. Ukazu is really good and I can't wait until I start seeing her name as the illustrator for other books.
     Ultimately this was such a good read! As someone who doesn't care for graphic novels, it fell a bit short for me, but I can see how easily it would be for someone who loves them to fall into. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next volume in this series.
Overall, I give this

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

WoW: Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love edited by Caroline Tung Richhmond & Elise Chapman

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what we're waiting patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for! It's hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine!

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food Love

     From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens.
     A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.
     Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.
     Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

Published by: Simon Pulse
Expected Publishing: June 18, 2019

Why I'm Waiting: Ok, so if you didn't know, I love to eat. Food is like a comfort thing for me. And with tomorrow being what it is, I HAD to use something that had food with it lol I'm not really an anthology fan, but this one is about food, culture, and the author list is SO DIVERSE. I need this in my hands like yesterday! 

What are you waiting on this week? 
Will you be waiting on this with me? 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

TTT: Bookish Things I'm Thankful for!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and is now run by Jana at That Artsy Reader GirlEach week she will post a new Top Ten list . Everyone is welcome to join. 

This week's topic is:
Top 10 Bookish Things I'm Thankful for!

 Image result for libby books

1. Libby/ Overdrive: I LOVE being able to listen to my books on the go. Especially when I'm somewhere that I don't want people to talk to me. Like at the grocery store lmao 

2. An understanding hubs: I don't know another guy who'd be more patient with me. With all the books I bring home, all the stupid YA references that he doesn't get, and the endless telling him about the books I've read or want to read.... He doesn't even bat an eye. And then he buys me shirts like this for us to wear on Valentine's Day lol He's definitely a Keeper and I'm glad he's mine! 

3. Bookish Friends:  They are the ones who keep me and this blog going. I've noticed that there aren't too many bloggers out there anymore (They've turned into vloggers and Bookstagrammers) and when I was in school I was almost one of the people who quit as well. But my bookish friends stopped me. I love being able to connect with them at a moment's notice. And text them to find out what type of drama I should avoid and those I have to see to believe. And of course, to share all the books. 


4. Super sweet authors who don't judge me: I totes fangirled when I met Elizabeth Acevedo and could barely speak. And as you all know, the very first time I met Tomi I was in tears and my nose was pink. I am so thankful they don't judge me and look at me like I'm weird. 

5. My job: I am so blessed to be able to do what I love for a living. And dressing up in costumes and the sort is just icing on the cake. I love to be able to do silly things like this and call it a job.

6. More characters that look like me: The number of diverse books is growing and I'm so thankful that there are so many more characters that look like me now. 

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

7. Twilight: I know this is weird, but I am thankful for this book. This is the book that got me into reading YA. Before this I was only reading adult books. This one helped me find my "calling." 

Image result for goodreads 2018

8. Goodreads: I use this site at least once a day. For EVERYTHING. This website has helped with everything I do for my blog and I will continue to keep using it. All the time!

Related image

9. My bookish journal: I love keeping track of my reading like this now! It helps with my creative side but I also don't have to constantly update it like I had to with a bullet journal. (This photo is not mine!)

Image result for blogger

10. My blog: I have had this blog for about 8 years now and I can't see myself without it. The rest of the world may be going one way, but I like being able to stay with my roots and try learning all different things instead of just using the one! 

What about you?
What bookish things are you thankful for?

Monday, November 19, 2018

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

ARC, 366 pages
Release Date: November 6,2018
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
Read from: November 7-15, 2018
Source: Publishers (I received a copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
TW:  Body shaming and slavery
For fans of: Action, Fantasy, #OwnVoices, Multiple POV, YA

     In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.
     Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.
     Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.
     Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.


 When I heard about this book I was super excited! Asian inspired folklore AND it's #OwnVoices? I mean let's be serious. YES. PLEASE. And in the end, it was everything I wanted it to be.
"The naginata. The reaping sword was a long bamboo pole culminating in a wicked curved blade. [...] It was the only weapon Mari knew how to wield. "If you train on all weapons, you will master none."
pg. 4
     Mari, Taro, and Akira all lead different lives. Mari has come to compete in the competition that will determine who will become the next Empress. Taro is next in line for the throne, and Akira still feels he must protect Mari at all costs. But of course Mari is holding a secret that no one can find out, but how can she survive the Palace of Illusions and the Rooms of Seasons without showing the world what she is? 
"In a matter of days, hundreds of young women would descend upon the palace, armed and hopeful. The rules were simple: Survive the Rooms. Conquer the Seasons. Win the prince."
pg. 13
     The very first thing that stood out to me about this was the writing style and language. It's been a long time since I've read a book where I added so many post-its! I made notes for all types of things in her writing, from swoons to Mari's fierceness, to just language that I found beautiful. This is my first book from Jean, so I didn't know what to expect from her writing and it was a pleasant surprise. Her writing in Empress is certainly going to be something I remember for some time to come.
"The right to rule was paved with bloody stones."
pg. 32
     Then there was the characters. Normally in a book with multiple characters I'm not fond of a couple of them and it does damage to the story for me. But this time, for the most part I liked all of them. One of them I could have done without until the end lol But the other two had me on the edge of my seat. 
"With time, all things withered. Except your spirit. The soul always remained."
pg. 103
     As for the plot, I could have done with a little more action in the first 100 pages or so, but after that I was hooked. Once Mari made it to the Palace I was super into it. I seem to be like that alot when it comes to games or books like this. (It took me forever to read Warcross and I had to read The Hunger Games twice...) It seemed to drag at first, but once it going, it was really hard to put down. 
"I just want to blend in. That's all."
pg. 142
   I knew this book would be something I enjoyed when a co-worker of mine asked could she borrow it. She's part Japanese and doesn't like YA. But she saw one of the words in the book and it just so happened to be her maiden name. She (is almost 55) and said she said that was the first time she ever saw her name in print. This is why we need diverse books and why Own Voices is so important. She's in her 50's, imagine what seeing this type of rep can do for a teen.
"Don't worry Prince. I'm much harder to kill than I appear. Perhaps it is because I am so small; nobody ever believes that I can do big things."
pg. 183
   This book was a surprise to me and I can only hope that others enjoy it as much as I do. This was a little out of my comfort zone, but I'm really glad I gave it a shot before I gave up on it. 

Don't forget to check out my Blog Tour Stop that told everyone what it is I thought should have been in the Summer Room!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #295 & the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

From the Library:

From Netglley/Edelweiss/Publishers: 

The Weekly Wrap-Up:

Tuesday 11/13/18: Top Ten Bookish Items/ Merchandise I'd Like to Own!
Wednesday 11/14/18: Waiting on Wednesday: Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy
Thursday 11/015/2018: Intercepted by Alexa Martin
Friday 11/16/18: Book Blogger Hop: Bookish Notes! 
 Saturday 11/17/18: No Post.

Me on Instagram:

Only book people go to conferences about books, to wait for books and sessions about books with a book. And this time it was The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory. 

The most awesome thing happened today when I was at NCTE today. There were so many teachers there that got there super early to wait on one of the authors. And that author was Jason Reynolds. He walked in and the entire line that was waiting on him erupted in applause and everyone was trying to take a picture. lol It was the cutest thing. 

If you haven't been following, my library system got us in to this conference this year and it's been pretty awesome! Definitely glad it was in Houston this year!  

And this is why I'm super glad it was in Houston. There's no way I would have gotten any of this otherwise, so thank GOD I was there and could get one. My teens are going to REJOICE! 

I went to listen to Elizabeth Acevedo at a panel she did at NCTE and I was absolutely blown away. I just so happened to run into her again in the conference and got cotton mouth immediately smh I spoke enough to tell her congrats in person and asked for a picture. Also, while listening to her talk, we learned that her newest is "like Water for Chocolate in the hood" and is magical realism. It sounds like a really good story. 

I got my first comments from a parent and I'm still getting teary eyed when I think about it. 

I was blessed to be able to get author K. Ancrum into my library to talk about her book The Wicker King and how she won at Nano a long time ago with it. She's an amazing author who was gracious enough to give such good advice to my teens. They will cherish and remember this for years to come. I cannot thank you enough. I'm so glad to be able to offer these types of experiences to my teens and to have such a supportive library and branch librarian to do it with! 

What went on at your blog this week?
Get anything good?