Nov 24, 2014

Planning for 2015 (already!)

Here are some challenges I am going to try out in 2015. 

Feel free to click the pictures to go to the sign-ups and join me :)

For this one I am going to start at the bottom and see how it does, Demigod Level for me 1-5 books. 

8th Annual Graphic Novel/ Manga Challenge
I will be going for the Bronze level again (24 Comics, Graphics, or Manga)
Wow almost forgot the most obvious one ...
2015 Goodreads Challenge
 2015 Reading Challenge
My plan is 120 books. 
Oh and adding this to the 2015 to do list!
Take Control 2015 
I really need to take some time and do this my shelves are packed with books I need to read. Goals post coming closer to March :)

I will be adding other Challenges to this post as I find ones that I like :)

Early Reader Review: Princess Ugg Volume 1 by Ted Naifeh

Princess Ugg Volume 1
Princess Ugg Volume 1 by Ted Naifeh
Series:Volume 1
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  November 26, 2014


Format: ebook
Source: From Netgalley and Oni Press for review. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinions or review.



A new series from Courtney Crumrin creator and New York Times Best Seller, Ted Naifeh!

Princess Ülga isn't your standard princess, but her royal lineage goes back for generations.

At her mother's bequest, Ülga travels to the city-state of Atraeska, where the prestigious Princess Academy lies, so that she can learn about things like diplomacy — hopefully for the benefit of her rough and tumble people.

But Ülga will learn that she's more behind in her studies than she realized, and that when you're a princess, you're bound to have a few enemies.


Before getting the first Volume of Princess Ugg from Netgalley I had already read issues one and two of the series; I was excited to read the third issue through this volume and see all the awesome extras that they tend to add to the graphic novels. I was not disappointed. The bonus material was wonderful, images from other artists, variant covers – all of which were fitting and wonderful. I really like this series.

This series is a lot of fun so I have included my reviews of the individual issues below.

Issue #1

I love Ted Naifeh and the Courtney Crumrin stories so when I got Princess Ugg #1 from Oni Press for review I was SUPER excited to see he wrote it. Princess Ugla is about a girl who is… well… a barbarian, and in this issue she is leaving her home to attend school in a more civilized place. When she arrives all sorts of craziness happens and she has a run in with the princess of the kingdom she is staying in.

Overall this was a great start to a new series, there were a few laugh-out-loud kinds of moments and I think Ulga is a wonderful lead female who is strong and stubborn and will be fun to follow as the series progresses. Four stars and I look forward to reading more.

Issue #2

First off, I have to say that I am really enjoying this series. Princess Ugg is a wonderful character and I think that other readers will enjoy her story as I have. I hope that you can pick it up, happy reading!

Princess Ulga is now in the Princess Academy and trying to fit in, only she can’t; she is too buff, too focused on killing, and not feminine enough for these women. As she struggles through the process of trying to be proper and lady-like she finds herself surrounded by other princesses but so very alone and it starts to take a toll on her.

Where the first issue of this series was funny due to Ulga’s misfortune and ignorance of this new land, this issue is a little depressing. I was sad to see Ulga in this situation, as a strong female but still put down by those around her. I hope that in coming issues she can believe in herself. Issue #2 was another great installment in this new series. 
Issue #3

Oh Ulga, I think you are wonderful. In this installment Ugg is trying to really adapt to her school and the people and it is the beginning of a new chapter for her. We get a lot more of her back-story as well and I loved that. The art is spectacular, characters are super detailed throughout and I love the way this story is progressing. I really love the character development in this series, it is SO good; Ulga is adapting and the other girls aren’t quite as annoying as before. This issue again brought back some of those really funny moments which I really liked, only they are spun around and not due to misfortune or accidents.

Nov 23, 2014

Building the Book Pile #116

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

What's Happening?! 
How was your week ? Let me know in the comments.

Another week is gone, and boy was it a busy week! I had a bunch of baking to do for a work meeting, then we had the work Thanksgiving Potluck- so we made food for that and attended (so many people). To top the cake of activities, on Friday I went to see Mockingjay Part 1 with my mom and sister - we had a blast.

The weekend has been pretty low key, cleaning after all the cooking, relaxing, reading and we will be going over to dinner with my grandparents later today. I am excited to see them :)

How was your week? Did you see the new Hunger Games movie? What did you think?!

Giveaways Going on Now!!



Coming up on the Blog... 

    Early Reader Review: Princess Ugg Volume 1 by Ted Naifeh (GN)
    Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (YA) - didn't finish it last week :/

    Books Received this Week 
    Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans

    Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder and the Balttle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist from the Blogging for Books program

    Links go to Goodreads and/or Publisher Site.

    Have you missed anything lately?

    Review: Dreamwood by Heather Mackey (MG)
    Early Reader Review: Princess Ugg #5 by Ted Naifeh (Comic)

      Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything post and I will happily stop by and say hello!

     Happy Reading!

    Nov 19, 2014

    Early Reader Reivew: Princess Ugg #5 by Ted Naifeh

    Princess Ugg #5 by Ted Naifeh
    Series: Princess Ugg
    Publisher: Oni Press
    Publication Date:  November 19, 2014

    No Goodreads Link Yet :(

    Format: ebook
    Source: From Oni Press in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinion or review.



    Synopsis from Oni Press: 
    Trouble is brewing back in Grimmeria, but Ülga’s studies are steadily improving, much to the astonishment of her peers and teachers. She even catches the eye of a handsome guard captain. But Ülga is still a Grimmerian at heart - which will come in handy when her carriage is besieged by bandits!

    In this installment of Princess Ugg, Ulga is beginning to realize the true nature of the other princesses that surround her and more and more realizes she is very different from them and their world. 

    I enjoyed this comic, Ulga is trying to be herself more and has made some friends in her new princess life - I was happy for her. As always I really liked the illustration and colors used in this one, especially in the dresses the girls wear- very pretty. 

    I read somewhere that this series is similar to the Courtney Crumrin series (which I love) and I do see a lot of similarities with that - strong female protagonist, outcast, stubborn and sarcastic... I think these characteristics make for good reading regardless of how alike the comics are. 

    Can't wait to see what happens next to Ulga.  

    Nov 18, 2014

    Recent Reads: Dreamwood by Heather Mackey

    DreamwoodDreamwood by Heather Mackey
    Publisher: Recorded Books
    Publication Date:  July 15, 2014


    Format: CD Audiobook
    Source: Librarything Early Reviewers program and Recorded Books in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinion or review.



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Heather Mackey has captivated listeners everywhere with this spellbinding middle-grade fantasy debut. In Dreamwood, Lucy Darrington sets off in search of her father, who’s somewhere in the Pacific Northwest on a quest for the magical dreamwood. Accompanied by her friend Pete, Lucy soon runs up against Lupine princesses, sea monsters, and the frightening secret of dreamwood itself. (Fantasy/Ages 10 and up)

    Lucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doing research in Saarthe, a remote territory in the Pacific Northwest populated by towering redwoods, timber barons, and the Lupine people. But upon arriving, she learns her father is missing: Rumor has it he’s gone in search of dreamwood, a rare tree with magical properties that just might hold the cure for the blight that’s ravaging the forests of Saarthe.
    Determined to find her father (and possibly save Saarthe), Lucy and her vexingly stubborn friend Pete follow William Darrington’s trail to the deadly woods on Devil’s Thumb. As they encounter Lupine princesses, giant sea serpents, and all manner of terrifying creatures, Lucy hasn’t reckoned that the dreamwood itself might be the greatest threat of all.

    Lucy Darrington is in search of her father after arriving at home to find that he had left on an elaborate and dangerous quest to cure a rot that was taking over all trees. Knowing very little about where he went and why, Lucy must piece together notes he left behind, information from the townspeople, and use her logic to find where he is and how to get him home safely. 

    As much as this plot line was wonderful and seems like it would be a thrilling book to listen to or read - it was a bit slow-going. Lucy was a bit of a know-it-all throughout the story and the tale itself dragged on, I felt mostly annoyed which Lucy as the main character and on top of that I found myself actively listening to other things so I wouldn't have to sit and listen to more of the book.

    I am not saying that it was a bad book, it was just SUPER slow and so every time I started listening to it I found myself zoning-out and not paying attention for ling periods of time or just not caring about the plot at all. On top of that in the latter half of the book, there was a lot of violence and murdering and for a book categorized as Middle Grade, I found it to be a bit graphic and over the top - for instance impaling a man with tree branches (If I had been a kid reading this I would become petrified of trees! - Maybe I am not the best example since I have crazy fears of things, but still!).

    What I did like about this book was that it was creative. There was a creepy forest and the magic of it all was well done. The author did a good job explaining how the island/ forest operated and why - through Lucy and her father. Also there was a good a mount of suspense in the final few discs of the audiobook to keep a reader on their toes. Not the best book I have listened to, but also nowhere near the worst.

    Nov 16, 2014

    Building the Book Pile #115

    Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

    Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

    What's Happening?! 
    How was your week ? Let me know in the comments.

    Wow, it has been a great week. Over last weekend I read a bunch and this week was no slow reading week either. I finished a bunch of books that I have been meaning to get through and am really putting a dent in my TBR pile. So lots of reviews for Cover2Cover as you saw this past week :).

    How is your reading going? Making progress in your TBR stack?

    Giveaways Going on Now!!



    Coming up on the Blog... 

      Review: Dreamwood by Heather Mackey (MG)
      Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (YA)
      Maybe some more, we will see :)

        Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything post and I will happily stop by and say hello!

       Happy Reading!

      Nov 14, 2014

      Cover Reveal w/ Giveaway & Excerpt: Fight for Me by K.A. Last

      Fight For Me by K.A. Last 
      Series: The Tate Chronicles #2
      Publication date: January 17th, 2015
      Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

      About the Book

      “How can I fight for you when I don’t know what I’m fighting for?”

      When Grace Tate became one of the fallen to protect a vampire, it got her into more trouble than she’d bargained for. She’s angry at Charlotte for hiding the truth, and with Josh living in the city and Seth missing, life is harder than ever.

      It’s about to get a lot harder…

      Grace doesn’t want to leave Hopetown Valley, but when Josh ignores her calls she decides to go and search for him. She doesn’t expect to run into Seth as well.

      When she reaches the city, Grace learns that Charlotte is the most hunted vampire in Wide Island. The city vamps want her blood, and the angels are after her soul. Grace gets caught in the crossfire of a battle she never wanted, but to win one war, she has to fight another.

      Torn between the one she gave up everything for, and the one who sacrificed everything for her, Grace has to face Charlotte, and the past, if she wants to fight for her future. But how can she fight for someone who doesn’t want to fight for her?

      Every choice Grace makes becomes a battle, and in every battle someone has to die.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      Ryan moved into the bedroom, keeping an eye on all of us. He had a stake ready in his hand.

      I raised my eyebrows.

      “What?” He shrugged. “Figured I might be able to help.”

      The girl vamp turned towards Ryan and licked her lips. 

      Nov 13, 2014

      Recent Reads: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

      Stitching SnowStitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
      Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
      Publication Date:  October 14, 2014


      Format: ebook
      Source:Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinion or review.


      Goodreads Synopsis: 
      Princess Snow is missing.

      Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

      Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

      When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.
      Are you a fan of Snow White? Sci-fi? Retellings? If so, Stitching Snow may be up you alley. A retelling of Snow White, set in a different galaxy where there is interplanetary war, super gadgets, and droids, this book had a little bit of everything I like in a YA book. 

      I have read a few other reviews of this book before I started it and I agree with many of them that it is hard to not think of Cinder by Marissa Meyer when reviewing and reading this book. Although, I really enjoyed the way this story played out. 

      Essie is a strong main character trying to make a name for herself repairing gadgets. Dane is a guy on a hunt for the lost princess. Little do they realize that they actually have a lot of things in common and their interactions are funny, adorable, and I really liked their story. 

      The plot was fast-paced but still intricate and interesting. I liked the descriptions of the different planets and their very different inhabitants and I really liked that Lewis made the princess strong, independent, and wanting change for her people (versus whiny, conceited and annoying).

      I definitely enjoyed this book and it was a quick read, I am glad that this cover was so beautiful as well, otherwise I may not have known about this book. 

      Recent Reads: Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson

      Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy TreatsJoy the Baker Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson 
      Publisher: Clarkson Potter
      Publication Date:  October 14, 2014


      Format: Hardback
      Source: Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinion of the book.


       Goodreads Synopsis: 

      Joy Wilson believes that everything is better with pie. And caramel. And definitely ice cream. Her world is pretty sweet: she dabbles daily in butter and sugar as her blogging alter ego, Joy the Baker. Her new book, Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence, is packed with 125 of Joy’s favorite, supereasy, most over-the-top, totally delicious treats, such as Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, and Smoked Sea Salt Cookies; Butterscotch Cream Pie with Thyme-Marshmallow Meringue; Mint Chocolate Chip Cake; and Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. After all, every day is an opportunity for sweets.

      My husband does almost all of the cooking in the house, so I do all the baking – that is by choice too; I am horrible with cooking – but baking… I LOVE baking.

      Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence was a wonderful baking book. When I saw the cover online I knew I had to have it, the picture of the beautiful cake covered in icing and pretzels, it as just the kind of wacky but fun baking I like to do. When the book arrived I was on a mission to bake 2 birthday cakes and my husband requested lemon squares. While baking I normally just kind of wing it but I used the Joy the Baker book instead.

      The instructions were very easy to follow and I really liked that the icing/ toppings/ batter instructions were all separated out of one another – I can’t tell you how many times I have followed a recipe that has called for 2 eggs only to put both of them into the batter when one is meant for the next step – I really hate that, especially when I am baking in a rush. (I know, I should read the thing all the way through first…)

      The recipes were very simple, most of them were standard ingredients I had on hand already. The cakes and the lemon squares were both great recipes and I plan on continuing to use them. I think the lemon square recipe is my favorite so far.

       When I first got the book, I was enchanted by the stunning photos of the cakes, pies, brunch recipes, and ice creams, I wanted to dive right in. My mother even stopped by and tried to steal the book to use some of these simple yet beautiful recipes. I learned a good amount too – specifically I had no idea that Vegan chocolate cake was made with avocados. I am glad I found out, I am allergic to them so now I know to steer clear.

      Overall, this was one of the best cookbooks I have come across in a long time and am loving it.

      Nov 12, 2014

      Recent Reads: The Swallow A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter

      The Swallow: A Ghost Story
      The Swallow: A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter
      Publisher: Tundra Books
      Publication Date:  September 9, 2014


      Format: Hardback
      Source: Librarything Early Reviewers Program in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinion or review.



      Goodreads Synopsis: 
      In 1960s Toronto, two girls retreat to their attics to escape the loneliness and isolation of their lives. Polly lives in a house bursting at the seams with people, while Rose is often left alone by her busy parents. Polly is a down-to-earth dreamer with a wild imagination and an obsession with ghosts; Rose is a quiet, ethereal waif with a sharp tongue. Despite their differences, both girls spend their days feeling invisible and seek solace in books and the cozy confines of their respective attics. But soon they discover they aren't alone--they're actually neighbors, sharing a wall. They develop an unlikely friendship, and Polly is ecstatic to learn that Rose can actually see and talk to ghosts. Maybe she will finally see one too! But is there more to Rose than it seems? Why does no one ever talk to her? And why does she look so... ghostly? When the girls find a tombstone with Rose's name on it in the cemetery and encounter an angry spirit in her house who seems intent on hurting Polly, they have to unravel the mystery of Rose and her strange family... before it's too late. 
      I have been on a reading binge lately and needed to read this book for Librarything and was pleasantly surprised by it. The Swallow is a ghost story, yes, but it is also a very good tale of friendship, the outcast, and a very emotional ride. 

       Being for a middle grade age group this book is different from normal ghost stories, it is not super scary, it is not nasty and full of gross things happening. It is very much the tale of ghosts and how two young girls may deal with them. 

      Rose and Polly are both on their own; Rose because she is mostly invisible and Polly because her family is huge and there isn't enough time for her in the craziness. As one of those girls - the strange one reading all the time- this book was great for me, even as an adult reader. I think that these issues will resonate with a lot of young readers as well. 

      The plot was a lot of fun to follow and a marvelous mystery. I had a wonderful time trying to keep up with what might be the case and the background of Rose's strange family, only to be surprised at all the twists and turns the book took.

      I loved how it was written - in short chapters which had both points of view, Rose and Polly. They told the story together and separate and it was a fun way to read this tale. 

      Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it was a great read for the cold, fall days.


      Nov 11, 2014

      Early Reader Review: Doomboy by Tony Sandoval

      Doomboy by Tony Sandoval
      Publisher: Magnetic Press
      Publication Date:  November 1, 2014


      Format: ebook
      Source: Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors/ Magnetic Press. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinion or review.



      Netgalley Synopsis:
      A lonely, metal-obsessed teen sends a heartfelt song to his missing beloved, only to find out that his music has traveled to the beyond, and re-broadcast to the entire city.

      Only his best friend knows that he is really the mysterious rock god and anonymous legend known as "Doomboy." 

      This was a pretty intense graphic novel. It is full of emotion and the nee to say goodbye. ID is a musician who has lost his girlfriend and now he has a hole in his heart. In order to fill it he feels like he must say goodbye to her to get her to forgive him for being a crappy boyfriend. As he plays for her others start to hear him and he becomes known as Doomboy, a rocker of sorts, whom everyone would love to meet and know. 

      There were a lot of elements to this book, there was the loss, the music, the metal bands and friends and the violence that somehow comes along with them; there were also a lot of bullies and it added a weird storyline to go with IDs loss. 

      I really enjoyed the art in this book. It was more like sketches and the details were sometimes magical as ID played his heart out for his lost girlfriend.   I really enjoyed this graphic novel, I liked the metal parts, I loved the emotion, and I really really loved the artistic style used to illustrate it all.