Jul 30, 2021

Early Reader Review: I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki, Illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani

Source: Recieved from DC Comics in exhange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki, Illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani

Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date:  July 27. 2021

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
From New York Times bestselling author Mariko Tamaki (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) and artist Yoshi Yoshitani (Zatanna and the House of Secrets) comes a story about Mandy, the daughter of super-famous superhero Starfire, and her desperate attempts to get out from under her shadow.

Seventeen-year-old Mandy Koriand’r is not her mother. Daughter of Starfire and high school outcast, Mandy is constantly trying to get out from under the shadow of her bright, bubbly, scantily clad, and famous mother. Dyeing her bright orange hair black and sticking close to her best friend, Lincoln, Mandy spends her days at school avoiding Teen Titans superfans and trying to hide her feelings for the gorgeous, popular, and perfect Claire. And while Mandy usually avoids spending too much time with her alien mother, she’s been particularly quiet as she’s keeping one major secret from her: Mandy walked out of her S.A.T.

While Mandy continues to tell Lincoln her plans of moving to France to escape the family spotlight and not go to college, she secretly hides a fear of not knowing her identity outside of just being the daughter of a superhero and who she will become. But when she is partnered with Claire to work on a school project, their friendship develops into something more and a self-confidence unknown to Mandy begins to bloom. Claire seems to like Mandy for being Mandy, not the daughter of Starfire.

But when someone from Starfire’s past comes to disrupt Mandy’s future, Mandy must finally make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything. I Am Not Starfire is a story about mother-daughter relationships, embracing where you come from while finding your own identity, and learning to be unafraid of failing, if it was even failing in the first place.

I am Not Starfire is a coming of age story about self and accepting yourself. It is also an original LGBTQ+ story from DC Comics in the Young Adult Graphic Novels series. 

We follow Starfire’s seventeen-year-old daughter Mandy as she is trying to get through high school knowing that she has always been different and living under the shadow of her mother. Mandy wants to tread her own path in style and life and her mother is too out of touch to seem to understand that. 

I enjoyed this graphic novel, it had a lot of the teenage angst that is a common emotion during this time in some teens lives. Mandy is also in the  LGBTQ+ crowd and learning to come to terms with that for herself all while dealing with the pressure to go to college which she doesn't think is for her. The emotions were strong throughout this graphic novel and they were very indicitive of what it is like to be a teen (at least from my point of view). 

The story flowed well, there was enough normal teenage life to off-set the superhero Teen Titan parts. I felt like the ending was kind of rushed a bit. It was refreshing to see a realisitc teen character with a real body shape that is learning to be herself and not giving into the pressures of others. I think that this will be a good read for teens.

About Mariko Tamaki
Mariko Tamaki is a New York Times best-selling writer of comics and prose. Her graphic novels include Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, with Steve Pugh, Skim and This One Summer, with Jillian Tamaki, and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, with Rosemary Valero O'Connell. She is currently the writer of the Detective Comics and Crush & Lobo series at DC. She has received Doug Wright, Eisner, and Ignatz Awards as well as Caldecott and Printz Honors for her works. She has also had the pleasure of working for Marvel, Abrams, Dark Horse, and BOOM! Studios on various amazing superhero type things.

About Yoshi Yoshitani
Yoshi Yoshitani is a mixed-race artist who was born in California and raised in numerous locations. Inspired by numerous cultures, Yoshi uses art and stories to encourage readers to keep asking questions and keep learning about each other. Yoshi has previously worked with DC as the illustrator for the middle-grade graphic novel Zatanna and the House of Secrets, as well as with Disney, DreamWorks, Netflix, Image Comics, and many others.


Jul 29, 2021

Blog Tour: Review - Song of the Forever Rains by E. L. Mellow


About the Book
Song of the Forever Rains by E. L. Mellow
Series: Mousai #1
Publisher: ‎ Montlake (July 1, 2021)
Publication date: ‎ July 1, 2021

From the award-winning author of the Dreamland series comes a new dark romantic fantasy about a young woman finding hope in her powers of destruction.

The Thief Kingdom is a place hidden within the world of Aadlior. Many whisper of its existence, but few have found this place, where magic and pleasure abound. There, the mysterious Thief King reigns supreme with the help of the Mousai, a trio of revered and feared sorceresses.

Larkyra Bassette may be the youngest of the Mousai, but when she sings her voice has the power to slay monsters. When it’s discovered the Duke of Lachlan is siphoning a poisonous drug from the Thief Kingdom and using it to abuse his tenants, Larkyra is offered her first solo mission to stop the duke. Eager to prove herself, Larkyra accepts by posing as the duke’s potential bride. But her plans grow complicated when she finds herself drawn to Lord Darius Mekenna, Lachlan’s rightful heir. Soon she suspects Darius has his own motivations for ridding Lachlan of the corrupt duke. Larkyra and Darius must learn to trust each other if there is to be any hope of saving the people of Lachlan—and themselves.

Welcome to the world of Aadilor, where lords and ladies can be murderers and thieves, and the most alluring notes are often the deadliest. Dare to listen?

You can purchase Song of the Forever Rains at the following Retailers:


This book  is so wonderful! I cannot wait to pick up the rest of the series. Mellow weaves a complex world with family relationships, termoil, espionage, and a love interest so well. This fantasy was verything that I wanted it to be and more. I didn't want to put it down. 

The story follows Larkyra, the youngest of three sisters, that has a striking and dangerous magical power. Upon coming of age she is given her first mission from her father, uncommon in most families, but the way it is within the Bassett family. She must find out more about the Duke of Lachlan and his drug problem in order to help her father. Along the way she becomes drawn to Lord Darius Mekenna, the stepson of the Duke adn they have to find a way to be in each others paths. 

There were a lot of things I loved about this book. The worldbuilding was pretty epic, there is so much more I want to learn/see in the coming books but this glimpse was fantastical, dark, and a little creepy in a good way. The relationships were handled so well. The three sisters banter and bickering is spot on and I adored it so much. They are all strong women on their own but they also know they can work together to be even stronger. 

Overall, all the characters involked all thr right feelings for me. The sisters and their love and devotion, Larkyra's frustration and pining for Darius, the puking sensation every time I read about the Duke (even thinking about him now I have that blarg feeling).

I am still very curious to learn more about the Bassett family and their blessing/ curse powers and how their family is so different from all the others. This book left me with an ending that was spectacular, but also left me wanting to dive right back into the series for more.


“A spellbinding read…A dark, lyrical fantasy that merges vast worldbuilding with the best of romance tropes.” —Kirkus Reviews

“It’s so easy to lose yourself in Mellow’s evocative and engaging prose. Song of the Forever Rains blends excellent world building, wonderful character dynamics, and slow burn romance. I’m already looking forward to the sequel.” —Charlie N. Holmberg, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

“A story so immersive, it will haunt you long after the last page.” —Staci Hart, bestselling author

About the Author
E.J. Mellow 
is an award-winning and best selling author of five novels. She grew up in a household of artists, surrounded by three sisters who were often found traipsing through the small grove of trees near their home. There they morphed into wolves and wild horses, escaping capture from many foe. Today, E.J. has taken her imagination to the page where readers have said her "lyrical, vibrant, and imaginative" writing sweeps them into "stunning worlds". She is also the co-founder of She Is Booked, a literary themed fundraising organization that supports women’s charities.

Residing in Colorado, E.J. is working on the release of her newest dark fantasy novel, Song of the Forever Rains, out from Montlake Romance July 1st, 2021

Find the Author

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

 1 Winner will receive a Copy of SONG OF THE FOREVER RAINS.
 1 Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card.
ENDS: AUGUST 9, 2021

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Jul 27, 2021

Building the Book Pile #353

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Wow so a lot has happened in just a few weeks... big things!
1) I am DONE with school. I passed the Capstone class and will walk in November to get my 2nd Master's degree! WOOOHOO
2) I finished with a 4.0  - is this bragging yes but also I worked my butt off for it and so I am gonna tell everyone!
3) We are MOVING! - Back to VT. I know I know we just made a year in Florida, but it is not fitting us well and I miss my people... so we are headed back... in about a week and a half 😳 lots of packing and organizing happening.
4) I am going to have time to really read (once the move is over) and I am SO excited for all the reading and Animal Corssing that I am going to partake in!

Now more than ever if you are interested in supporting my crazy - Coffee is appreciated ... Ko-fi

Coming up on the Blog

Early Reader Review: I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki, Illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani (GN, YA)

Blog Tour: Review - Song of the Forever Rains (Mousai #1) by E.J. Mellow 

Books Received Recently...

Not a book, but a Card Game for review - Foul Play: Once Upon a Time - recieved for blog tour.

Have you missed anything lately?
Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Jul 21, 2021

Blog Tour: Review - Love You Bad by Lousie Mullins

Love you Bad by Louise Mullins

Publisher: Dark Edge Press
Publication Date:  July 18, 2021

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

About the Book
Kerensa lives a life of privilege few could imagine. Loving husband. Luxury home. Financial security. 

But in the attic of their sea view mansion is a secret waiting to be discovered, threatening to destroy their perfect marriage.

When their daughter’s au pair uncovers Dominic’s carefully constructed illusion, one lie at a time, it ends in murder.

But whose?


Love You Bad is a whirlwind suspense following two particularly unlikable characters. Written in not only two timelines, but also in dual point of view, this murder mystery is anything but boring. 

We follow Keresna and Dominic, a wealthy 'older' woman and a younger down on his luck man as they meet and the story unfolds. It is told in a back and forth of both time and person which tends to be a little disorienting at first but adds to the psychological warp that lends to the plot and theme. The story begins very in your face - there is a murder, then sex scene, and then right into secrets, deceit, mental issues and more. There is alcoholism, murder, drug use as well so it is a lot to take in. This is not a pretty love story, it is messed up in so many ways from the very beginning. The relationship is unhealthy and obviously there is a lot of anxiety and stress (thus the thriller part). 

Although hard to follow at times, the book was a quick and thrilling read. I would have liked a bit more character development in the beginning but it is possible that not knowing a lot about them made it easier to dislike them both and made the mystery more intense... The ending was weird and full of twists that I was not expecting, they were a bit off the wall. It was an exciting and entertaining read that will keep you questioning and unsure if what you are reading is real or in their heads.

About the Author
Louise Mullins writes full-time using the experience she gained in a prior life 
working in the field of forensic mental health, working with offenders and survivors of serious crimes.
To keep up to date with her latest releases, visit her website: www.louisemullinsauthor.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as: @mullinsauthor. 

Find the Author

Jul 15, 2021

Blog Tour: Review - Let Sleeping Murder Lie by Carmen Radtke

Let Sleeping Murder Lie by Carmen Radtke  Publisher: Adamantine Books
Publication Date:  March 1, 2021

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook

About the Book:
American Eve Holdsworth is living her quintessential English dream in a picturesque village in the countryside. Meeting an attractive stranger adds to the appeal. 
But Ben Dryden is a pariah in Eve’s new neighbourhood, since his wife was murdered five years ago, and he was the only suspect. 
Eve, who is absolutely sure someone as charming as Ben could never be a killer, is determined to solve the case and clear Ben’s name, even if it’s against his will.
Soon enough Eve finds herself in deep waters, and with her life at stake, she can only pray that her romantic notions won’t be the end of her …


I am a big fan of mysteries, especially cozy mysteries. I love the quiantness of them. This one follows Eve, an English/American who has moved to the English countryside to get away. She moves pretty often and was just looking for a new locale. When she meets a mysterious man in the woods, she is intuiged and learns that he (Ben) is a pariah in town because his wife was murdered and no killer was ever convicted. Eve would like to help find the killer and piece together the murder case so that Ben can live a more normal life. 

I really liked Eve, she was funny, sneaky, and felt very normal. I really loved that she talked about Miss Marple - a beloved mystery heroine of mine. She was a great character to lead us into they mystery and as an outsider looking in, it made the town seem more picturesque but also very mysterious.

The mystery was very twisty and kept me guessing. It was not confusing and pulled together really well. I really enjoyed the cast of characters that helped along the way, especially Hayley. She was the bestie that Eve needed to feel welcomed and justified in trying to help out. 

This was the perfect winding, cozy, fast-paced mystery read I was looking for right now.

About the Author:
Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high pile of books and newspapers by her side.

She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.

When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.

When Carmen is not writing cozy mysteries, reading or dreaming of travel, she is busy acting as resident cat servant or tap-dancing (badly, but enthusiastic).

She is currently working on her next Jack and Frances mystery.

Find the Author 

Jul 13, 2021

Early Reader Review: Captain Sofia by An Leysen

Source: From Netgalley and Clavis Publishing in exchane for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review. 

Captain Sofia by An Leysen
Publisher: Clavis Publishing
Publication Date:  July 20, 2021

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Sometimes, when Sofia lies in bed at night and closes her eyes, something magical happens: everything she imagines becomes real! Tonight her room changes into a sea with waves as high as the walls. On this occasion, and to the background of Ludwig Beethoven's music playing on demand, her imagination transforms her and she goes on an extraordinary sea adventure, where she is a pirate! She fights off enemy pirates coming on a big ship and becomes Captain Sofia, the bravest pirate of the 7 seas. From there, her sea adventure continues with fantastic images, sea monsters, and mermaids. The adventures of this beautifully illustrated picture book come totally alive with the sounds of classical music turning this into a bi-dimensional sensory experience.

This fantastic pirate story with compelling music fragments by Ludwig Beethoven is a tribute to childlike imagination and classical music. For fearless adventurers ages 4 years and up.
Captain Sofia is an illustrated book that will come with buttons that you can press to hear classical music along side the story. The below review is only reflective of the illustrations and story without the musical additions.

This is an adorable adventure book about a young girl named Sofia. She is full of imagination and when she closes her eyes her imagination bursts to life. This time she imagines being a pirate and her journey is told through these pages. The illustrations are beautifully done, vibrant, and action-packed. There is focus on her outfit, a small boat, another priate, a sea monster, a mermaid, and tresure. The story is so much fun. 

I read this as an e-book with a 4 year old and she really enjoyed it. She followed along with a lot of interest and really liked the illustrations. She wanted to know what was coming next and we talked about being a pirate and finding treasure afterward.  I can't wait to see this book in its full glory with all the press buttons for the musical accompaniments. I think that will add another fun component to it all. 

If you are looking for an adventure for your young reader, this would be a nice addition if you also don't mind some classical music as well.

Jul 11, 2021

Building the Book Pile #352

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Hi! It was a slow week for blogging but I have accepted it. 

Elsa came through SW FL and we had a very flooded lawn but were otherwise alright (although my anxiety over it might tell you differently). I finished my final papers for school... like final final papers... for my final class. I am awaiting grades and it is SO nerve-wracking that I am going slightly insane trying not to think about it. AND I am currently in NH for work for a few days. I am exhausted. I need about a week of sleep but my month is jam packed with reading, reviews, vacation travel, the puppy, and some packing. There is no time for naps :( 

I am reading although reviews are not up yet - they will be as soon as I have some time to sit at my computer for a good few hours for personal stuff. 

I hope you are all have a great summer thus far. Any fun vacation plans?

If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee via Ko-fi

Coming up on the Blog

Early Reader Review: Captain Sofia by An Leysen (Youth)

Blog Tour/ Review: Let Sleeping Murder Lie by Carmen Radtke (Adult)

Blog Tour/Review: Love you Bad by Louise Mullins

Books Received Recently...

Have you missed anything lately?
Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!