Mockingjay Part 2

Mockingjay Part 2 movie tickets went on sale today!  I can’t wait for November 20th!!  In honor of the occasion I’ve pulled out my well-worn copy of The Hunger Games for a trilogy reread before the final chapter of Katniss Everdeen.  

Do you reread books before the movie comes out?  

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Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

I can’t describe to you my triumph of nabbing the ARC of Black Widow: Forever Red off the Little Shop of Stories’ ARC shelf before anyone else in my bookclub could get to it!  Bwahaha!  Black Widow is beloved by my bookclub and pretty much all superhero-loving, women-kind.

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Nastasha Romanov stands out as the lone female in the testosterone heavy group of the Avengers.  But being the only woman is tough because we hold her to a higher standard, she’s the only one we have to look up to.  We want her to be all the things – she can’t be perfect but she can’t be too flawed, she has to be relatable but still awe-inspiring, and so on and so forth.  It’s a tall order for sure.

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It’s no surprise after the Avengers movies that women (and men too) were clamoring for more Black Widow (hello Marvel where is our stand alone Black Widow movie??).  Coming out this October is a new Black Widow YA novel from Margaret Stohl (co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series and author of the Icons series) – here’s the Forever Red synopsis from Goodreads:

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava’s dreams. . . .

For starters, look at this badass cover – it’s amazing!

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Forever Red reads like a movie script, it’s fast-paced and action-packed and with some familiar faces (namely Phil Coulson and Tony Stark) it’s impossible not to read the dialogue using the actors’ voices (not that that is a bad thing!).  This book is written like a movie in your mind.  The story is told from 3 different POVs – Natasha’s, Ava’s and Alex Manor’s (a seemingly normal American teenage except that Ava has been dreaming about him for months even though she has never met him).  There is at least one chapter that was titled as an Ava chapter and halfway thru it turned into a Nastasha chapter, I’m hoping that gets cleared up #eek.

Overall, I liked the story/adventure/mission/whatever you want to call it, the novel is also full of witty dialogue and entertaining cultural references though I would have liked some more feels.  There is backstory (primarily referring to Natasha) but I want more – there can never be enough origin story.  I think maybe because it read like an action movie, it lacked some depth, the story was bam bam bam scene scene scene.  The downside – the climax was over in an instant (insert sex joke), it happened so fast that I didn’t really have time to process that the final showdown was happening.  Had it been a bit more drawn out, I would have had more feels because I was definitely supposed to.  The story wrapped, no cliffhangers but there are unanswered questions so I wouldn’t be surprised if this became a series.  All said and done, I really enjoyed Forever Red and can’t wait to let my bookclub fight over and then we can all dissect it!

Moral of the story is WHERE IS THE GODDAMN BLACK WIDOW MOVIE???

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Book Mail!

  1. I love books
  2. I love mail
  3. I love book mail!

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I received The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich from Kristina (@gone_pecan) in a Twitter giveaway – the first book I’ve ever won in a giveaway!!

From Goodreads: Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . . Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.  Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’’

The second piece of book mail this week actually took me completely by surprise!  I received Shrunken Head (The Curiosity House #1) by Lauren Oliver and H.G. Chester from Harper Collins.

From Goodreads: Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events. When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.

Both books are to be released September 15th.  I’m going to do my darnedest to read them in time.  I’m plan to finish Black Widow: Forever Red tomorrow and then I think I’ll dive into Shrunken Head.

What’s been your favorite book mail?

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys – Stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

I have decided I love short story compilations though in truth it is a very recent love affair.  Last year Stephanie Perkins (author of the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy) edited the lovely ‘My True Love Gave To Me’, a collection of heart warming holiday themed short stories from YA authors.  Next year she will be releasing Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories #squee.

The collection I want to talk about today though is one of a very different variety.  Slasher Girls and Monster Boys features 14 stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke (author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea) guaranteed to make your skin crawl.  Like MTLGTM, this collection features some of my favorite authors – Kendare Blake, Marie Lu, and Cat Winters but also introduced to some new authors that I can’t wait to read more of – Carrie Ryan, McCormick Templeman, and Jay Kristoff.

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The collection as a whole is very strong, there were very few stories that didn’t send shivers down my spine and considering there are 14 authors that’s pretty impressive.  Each of the stories is inspired by classic horror films, spooky campfire tales, and even Disney movies. I want to share my top 3 favorites (I had a hard time narrowing it down to 3 favorites, a testament to how great this collection is) but I’m only going to give a short blurb because I don’t want to give anything away!!

  1. Stitches by A.G. Howard – This went in a direction I did not expect – AT ALL – as teenage girl must play Dr. Frankenstein to save her family.
  2. In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan – A twisted tale inspired by Alice in Wonderland with one helluva creepy rabbit.
  3. Sleepless by Jay Kristoff – It begins with fervent teenage instant messaging but in the end, neither Justin nor Cassie is who they pretend to be online.

If you read Goosebumps, Fear Street, and Scary and Stories to Tell in the Dark as kid, pick up Slash Girls and Monster Boys!  Tell me your favorite horror novels, YA or adult!!

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I received an ARC of Slasher Girls and Monster Boys from Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA – its book birthday is in one week, Tuesday August 18th!!

Last by not least, I absolutely adore the dedication page:

For everyone who read Stephen King when they were way too young – A.G.T.

On Sundays We Read Comics

Finally, Finally, FINALLY! A new Ms. Marvel (#17) featuring Captian Marvel!! This issue was far too short for my liking and while Lockjaw didn’t make an appearance there were so many kitties!! 
I decided I needed to see what all this Secret Wars business is and all I can say is I’m sorta still confused – haha.  I do read A-Force and Runaways and I get that these are a product of the Secret Wars but it is a little confusing since every character ever created is featured.  I’m obviously gonna stick it out but I definitely feel hindered by my newbie-ness.

And the odd man out of  the group – one of these things is not like the others – Issue #2 of We Stand On Guard.  Good follow up to #1, these soldiers are dropping like flies though! I like the switch between the past and present to get more backstory on what the eff happened between USA and Canada.

What have you been reading this weekend?

Saturday Morning Reading

It’s been a long, busy week so I’m enjoying my Saturday morning with an iced coffee and Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl I was able to nab this ARC from Little Shop of Stories, pounced on it before the rest of my book club – aha!

I’m only a few chapters in but I can tell it’s going to be an action packed ride – I won’t be surprised when this flies off the shelves in October, after all it’s not like we have a Black Widow movie to go on about *winkwinknudgenudge* get on it Marvel!

I hope you’re having a great weekend!!

Charleston Comics

This past weekend Mark and I decided to flee Hotlanta and go to Charleston for a weekend away.  Between the beach (it rained) and the pool (magically sunny) and clothes shopping (yawn) you know I had to hit up the local comic book store, Captain’s Comics and Toys.  Pretty eclectic mix if I do say so.

Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford (Full disclosure I bought this from Urban Outfitters before we went to Captain’s).  This gorgeous fantasy-themed coloring book was just calling my name.  I need to buy some colored pencils ASAP! 

Wytches Vol. 1 – Yes I have all the single issues and yes I still bought the trade.  I couldn’t pass it up, it’s just a beautiful volume.  (I’m also struggling with single issue storage, help!)

Captain Marvel Vol. 1 – I have never read Captain Marvel, I know blasphemy!!  Spurred by Kelly Sue DeConnick coming to DragonCon, I decided to finally get on board with Captian Marvel, can’t wait to dive in!

What comics are you reading?