March 2, 2017

February Wrap-Up 2017

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Hey there Literature Lovers! I hope you’ve had a great February. Here’s a quick list of the things I read this past month. Let me know in the comments what you read and if you had a favorite book from your list.

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls by Lauren Graham

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Black Canary Volume 2: New Killer Star by Brendan Fletcher

The Fade Out: Act Two by Ed Brubaker

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Volume 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack

•Archie #17 by Mark Waid

Jughead #9 by Ryan North

Thanks for reading!

February 22, 2017

Book Review | Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a new take on the wacky world of Sabrina Spellman, better known as Sabrina the Teenage Witch. This series focuses on the dark cult aspects of witchcraft.

I loved the first 10 issues of the Afterlife with Archie series and wanted to give this a shot. I vaguely remember seeing reruns of the Sabrina TV show with Melissa Joan Hart as well as the animated series that I believe used to run on Toon Disney, but I had not read a ton of her comics unless she appeared in a Jughead or Archie story so I was excited to dive into this.

I loved the artwork in this series. Where Afterlife used bold orange and reds to illustrate the gravity of the horror setting, this series uses what appears to be colored pencil illustrations, which add an air of both whimsy and mystery, which I think sums up Sabrina pretty well. I loved seeing some familiar faces (Betty and Veronica as witches from Riverdale) as well as experiencing the wild and oftentimes scary world of magic.

Overall this is a great first volume and I can’t wait for Volume 2 to release! I highly recommend!

Rating: 4 out 5 Stars.

Are you a Sabrina fan? Do you have a favorite story of hers? Share with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

February 16, 2017

Series Review | Black Canary (New 52)

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So I’m going to be honest: I had no clue who Black Canary was until I started watching Arrow on Netflix. Growing up I was a hardcore Marvel fangirl (specifically a Spider-Man and Fantastic Four fangirl) and only read the occasional Superman comic book here and there. The dark gritty DC Universe did not appeal to me at all. But after I got hooked on The Flash TV show I decided it was worth checking out the other big DC show. Black Canary quickly became my favorite character to watch and, even though I personally liked her sister Sara a little more, I enjoyed seeing Dinah “Laurel” Lance in action.

Brendan Fletcher brought Dinah Lance to life in the Black Canary New 52 series. This storyline had a shorter run than most of the others in the New 52 as DC Rebirth had just started up, but it was still an enjoyable story that didn’t feel too rushed.

Dinah Lance is the front-woman for the punk rock band, Black Canary. She must her super sonic voice to help stop crime and get her a record contract.

While both volumes of the trade paperbacks were great, I enjoyed the second volume a little more than the first. Kicking and Screaming kept giving me Josie and the Pussycats vibes for a while, with the one mean girl talking trash with Dinah and her bandmates. New Killer Star had that as well, but it felt like its own thing, with music and mystery and lots of action.

If you like kick butt girl bands and strong female superheroes, then you definitely need to check this out.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Have you read this series? What did you think? Who is your favorite female DC hero? Please share in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

February 9, 2017

Book Review | The Reptile Room

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The Reptile Room is the second book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a thirteen-book series documenting the lives of the Baudelaire orphans. After living with their evil relative Count Olaf the children are sent to live with Dr. Montgomery Montgomery (whom they call Uncle Monty), an energetic herpetologist who is a ray of sunshine in the childrens’ gloomy lives.

This was, and still is, one of my favorite books in the series. After the terrifying experience of living in the villainous Count Olaf’s house, I was relieved that Violet, Klaus and Sunny were able to find an adult who seemed to respect them and wanted what was best for them. Uncle Monty embraced the skills all three children had and was encouraging them to expand these abilities within his Reptile Room. He provided them with a loving and comfortable home and seemed willing to keep them safe from harm. I wish that he could have featured more in later books, but the Baudelaires rarely have anything pleasant like that happen to them.

The Reptile Room features the first appearance of Count Olaf in disguise. Olaf can be a sinister character, but he definitely stepped it up in this book, always being around the children and wielding a sharp knife which he threatens to use on an infant. Stephano in the movie was played up as a more silly character so I’m interested to see how he is presented in this new television show.

My favorite thing about this book was the reptiles. The Incredibly Deadly Viper and all the other creatures were so interesting to learn about. I’m not normally someone who likes snakes, but after reading this I might look into more books featuring or about herpetology.

As I said before, this one of my favorite books in the series and I am looking forward to watching this episode in the new Netflix series. I highly recommend you check this one out if you haven’t already.

What is your favorite book from A Series of Unfortunate Events? Are you going to check out the show? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

February 7, 2017

Book Review | The Bad Beginning

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The Bad Beginning is the first book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. This book introduces us to the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, as they are placed in the care of the cruel and calculating Count Olaf following the demise of their parents. Using their intelligence and unique talents the orphans must find a way to keep their inheritance out of the hands of their evil guardian.

I was introduced to this series by my third grade teacher, who used to read the books to our class. I have read them multiple times throughout the years and still find them entertaining as an adult. I love all the Baudelaires. I dressed up as Violet one year for Halloween, using costume inspiration from the movie that was released in 2004. I used to try and memorize everything I read so I could be like Klaus, who was able to pull out useful facts in even the most stressful of situations. I didn’t really try to imitate Sunny since she was a baby who liked to bite things, but I was impressed with the level of understanding an infant, even a fictional one, seemed to have about these terrible situations she was in.

I had not read this book since high school, so for about five or six years, but since the Netflix show was coming out, I thought it would only right to give the first four books a reread. Despite the large gap of time, this is probably the book I remember most clearly. I think it’s because this was one of the first audiobooks I ever bought. I swear I listened to it so many times I probably could have recited the whole book. Even after all this time, Olaf and his acting troupe terrify me (especially the Hook-Handed Man), I find Mr. Poe frustratingly incompetent, and I still desperately wish that I could give the poor orphans a hug and help them get out of that terrible situation.

One of my favorite scenes in this story (maybe even in the entire series) is Violet making the grappling hook to save Sunny from the top of Count Olaf’s tower. Violet had the incredible ability to make something functional out of limited resources. She only needed three things to make her grappling hook and managed to make it work until she was caught by the Hook-Handed Man.

This is simply one of my favorite series of all time. I highly recommend reading these books, and I hope that the new Netflix series will inspire a new group of people to go out and grab themselves a copy of these books.

What are your thoughts on this series? Did you read them as a kid? And what do you think of the new Netflix series? Leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!

February 2, 2017

January 2017 Wrap-Up

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Hey there Literature Lovers, and Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great holiday season.

After being in a bit of a reading slump for the past couple of months, I managed to make it through a good number of books in January. I will be doing individual reviews of some of these so keep an eye out for those.

Please feel free to share what you’ve been reading in the comments below, and let me know if you have read any of these!


NOVELS

•Vlogger Nation (my book!!!)

•A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, Books #1-4

     -The Bad Beginning

                Review: http://laurenecox.com/the-bad-beginning/

      -The Reptile Room

      -The Wide Window

      -The Miserable Mill

•The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

•The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

GRAPHIC NOVELS

•Black Canary Volume 1: Kicking and Screaming by Brendan Fletcher, Annie Wu and Pia Guerra

•Uncanny X-Men Volumes 2 and 3 by Chris Claremont

•Radioactive Spider-Gwen Volume 1 by Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez and Chris Visions

•DC Bombshells Volume 2: Allies by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage


COMICS

•Superman Family 100-Page Spectacular #167

•Archie #16 by Mark Waid, Joe Eisma and Andre Symanowicz

•Jughead #6-8 by Chip Zdarsky, Erica Henderson and Derek Charm

•Frenemy comics #1-5 by Rashida Jones (Kindle)

•Amazing Spider-Man Clone Conspiracy #3-4 by Dan Slott, Jim Cheung and Gabriele Dell’Otto


Thanks for reading!

January 19, 2017

Character Bios | Huntington Markle

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Hi there, Literature Lovers! Exciting news: MY BOOK WILL RELEASED SOON!!!! To celebrate, I will be releasing Character Bios up until release day, introducing you to some of our stars. Here is the first one! I hope you enjoy!

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MEET HUNTINGTON MARKLE

Huntington Markle was born in Seattle, Washington on October 27. He is currently 23 years old.

Huntington was the most social kid in his class, and was nominated Wittiest and Friendliest by his peers his senior year of high school

He realized he was gay when he got to college, but didn’t know how to tell anyone. He filmed a video about it while alone in his dorm room. Saying it out loud made it seem more real and helped him come to terms with it. He wasn’t originally planning to post that video on the web, but he thought maybe someone would see it and find it helpful. Since then his channel has centered on the misfits who feel no one understands them and their situations. He also plays a part in various philanthropy projects to help make the world a better place.

Huntington has a degree in communication studies from Seattle University.

Huntington has 9 million subscribers and is one of the most popular personalities on WorldView.

December 17, 2016

Book Review | Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

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Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw is a 2016 YA novel. The story follows Scarlett Epstein, a high school student in New Jersey who is grieving the cancellation of her favorite television series, Lycanthrope Academy. Scarlett has made many friends online through her Lyncathrope fan fiction, and is encouraged by them to create a new story, which she bases loosely on her life, with characters who are named after and resemble people in her high school, including her nemesis and her crush. Her fan fiction is discovered and she has to repair the damage.

It’s a fairly simple plot, similar to that of to All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. However, despite the sometimes annoying characters, Jenny Han’s story felt like it had a bit more heart put into it and made me want to continue reading. This, unfortunately, was not the same.

I suppose I was expecting Scarlett’s fan fiction about her life would play more of a role in this story. It was mentioned around the first couple of chapters and we are given snippets of the story she is writing throughout the course of the book, but nothing really happens with it until the last third of the book. It almost felt like the author forgot that something needed to happen there and suddenly remembered this plot point.

Scarlett herself as a character annoyed me, and I’m sure most people can agree that if you do not like the main character then it is extremely difficult to be interested in the story. Scarlett felt like a self-righteous and pretentious girl who thought she knew the answer to everything. I know that when you are around 14 or 15 most people do act that way, but somehow reading from Scarlett’s perspective was so painful to get through. She was constantly babying and bullying her mother, her best friend, and her father and stepmother. How could anyone like this girl?

One of the most annoying things to me is the top review of this book on Goodreads states that this book is Feminist AF, to which I only have one question: HOW? Scarlett spends a vast majority of this book talking badly about her best friend’s sister who happens to be very pretty and popular and dating Scarlett’s crush, as well as slut-shaming and body-shaming her. Now I remember being in high school and feeling a little jealous when other girls flirted with a guy I liked, but I didn’t slut-shame them or obsess over wanting to be them, and I certainly did not write about them in a public fan fiction forum, nor would I have called them by their actual name if I had been stupid enough to do so.

Speaking of the love interest, let’s talk about Gideon. Scarlett and Gideon used to be friends, but when she realized she liked him she decided to drop him from her life altogether. He also magically got cooler as they got older and so was out of her league (I guess). They are constantly rude to each other throughout the book. But Scarlett really likes him (for some reason) and can’t seem to form a way to tell him. And yet, despite them being mean to each other and her writing a story on a public forum about him that trashed both him and his girlfriend, they end up together. Maybe it’s because I’m in my 20s, but that type of high school drama for a crush is ridiculous.

This book had lots of potential to be something truly great, but ended up falling extremely flat for me.

Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

If you’ve read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!

December 2, 2016

November Wrap-Up

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Hi everyone! Here is a quick look at all the books that I read in November. You’ll noticed that most of the things I have listed below are comic books. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, and since I have been getting back into comics lately, I’ve just ended up reading those. Hopefully I’ll get out of that slump soon, as there are some books that I really want to get to.

Please feel free to share what you have been reading in the comments down below. Also, do you have any tips for how to get out of a reading slump? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Novels

Queen of Hearts  by Colleen Oakes

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

Plays/Screenplays

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Comic Books

Ultimate Comics New Ultimates: Thor Unborn (#1-5)

What If Aunt May Had Died Instead of Uncle Ben?

Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 (2016)

Spidey #12

The Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl #1-8

Wonder Woman Rebirth: #1&2

Harley Quinn Rebirth: #2

Supergirl: Rebirth #1

Supergirl (#1-4) { This was a four-issue run}

DC Secret Origins #1-7 (1973)

Powerpuff Girls (2016) #4

Archie #14 (2016)

Betty and Veronica #2 (2016)

Jughead #3 (2016)

Josie and the Pussycats #1 (2016)

Ozma of Oz (Marvel) #1-8

 

Graphic Novels

I Hate Fairyland Volume One