November 6, 2017

October Wrap-Up

0

Hi everyone! I wanted to share what I’ve read this month with y’all! I will be posting separate reviews of some of these which I will link to when they are posted. Please share what you’ve read this month in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Graphic Novels/Comics

Disney Princesses Comic #5-8, #9

Harvey and Ivy meet Betty and Veronica #1

Riverdale #6

Archie #24

Thumper Meets the Seven Dwarfs
Novels

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

March 21, 2017

Book Review | As Old As Time

0

AOAT1

AOAT2

As Old As Time is the third book in the Twisted Tale trilogy by Liz Braswell. Although this is the third book in the series you don’t have to read the other two to read this one. Each one is its own standalone novel exploring different storylines from classic Disney movies. This particular novel focuses on Beauty and the Beast and poses the question: What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast?

The book is sectioned off into three parts. The first part follows Belle as she is introduced to us in the original 1991 animated feature. She is living a provincial life, reading and dreaming of far off places, daring sword fights, and magic spells until she takes her father’s place as the Beast’s prisoner. She meets the enchanted objects and explores the forbidden West Wing where she touches the enchanted rose, and things go wrong. We are also given chapters in between these familiar scenes that show Belle’s father Maurice meeting and falling in love with Belle’s mother, who turns out to be an enchantress. There is discourse and violence in the kingdom against those who possess these magical abilities, and many magical beings are killed in the process. This is all because of the cold King and Queen who do nothing but sit in their castle. Eventually the plague comes, killing the King and Queen and leaving their son, who is still a young boy, to take the throne. Belle’s family has moved to a new village (the one we see Belle grow up in), but Belle’s mother wants to make sure that the young Prince is not as cold-hearted as his parents. He fails her test and is cursed. The other two parts of the novel focus on Belle trying to break the curse, spending time in the library with Beast and exploring the grounds to find a way for the Beast and the objects to escape with her, as well as Gaston plotting to lock Maurice in the asylum.

The overall tone of this book is similar to the new live action movie starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. It’s a little darker than the cartoon, but it expands on Belle and Beast’s friendship before they fall in love.

Also, I’m not sure how canon this book is to the Disney movie from 1991, but it did offer some answers to plot holes in the movie.

Why does no one in the village remember the royal family or the castle? Because the enchantress wiped the memories from people’s minds.

Where/Who is Chip’s dad? Mr. Potts used to work at the castle as the Stable Master and was the Prince’s favorite servant, but one day he went away and never came back.

Why does no one age except the Beast? Inanimate objects don’t age while people and animals do.

Why is the portrait of the Beast older than when he would have supposedly been cursed at age 11? It has a Dorian-Gray-type spell on it where the portrait ages with the Beast and shows him how he would look as a human if he had never been cursed: handsome but with a cold, unfeeling heart and cruel eyes (a fact that Belle notices and seems to frighten her a bit).

 

This was the best of the two Twisted Tale books that I have read. While it did feel a little slow at some spots in the middle, it felt like the author had finally hit her stride with her writing, and was clearly having a ton of fun with this prompt. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read this book, what your thoughts were, and what is your favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling!

Thanks for reading!

February 7, 2017

Book Review | The Bad Beginning

0

bb

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

1

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!

December 2, 2016

November Wrap-Up

1

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

November 2, 2016

October Wrap-Up

1

Novels

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

How I Live Now by Meg Roswell

 

Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Flashpoint

DC Bombshells Volume One

Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted Volume 0

The Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl #1-8

September 8, 2016

Book Review | Poor Unfortunate Souls

0

Hi everyone! I’m here today with a book review of Poor Unfortunate Souls by Serena Valentino.

10572259_10154021771602938_225975470656486141_o

For a book that is supposed to be about Ursula, she isn’t in it very much.

I really enjoyed the first books in this trilogy (Fairest of Them All and The Beast Within). Both offered some interesting back stories for Snow White‘s Evil Queen and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast respectively. So when I heard that there would be one for Ursula, I automatically added it to my TBR list.

Ursula is, in my opinion, one of the top three best Disney villains, right up there with Jafar and Maleficent in terms of being the most evil and powerful. I was really excited to read her backstory and learn more about her motivations for dethroning King Triton and becoming ruler of the oceans.

Unfortunately this one was a disappointing read for me. The parts that actually touched on The Little Mermaid characters were great (mostly because they were just dialogue from the movie. Seriously, there is one chapter where it’s pretty much just the lyrics of Poor Unfortunate Souls, but you won’t hear any complaints from me there). The rest…not so much.

The main focus of the story is not on Ursula, but is in fact on the Odd Sisters, three witches who made appearances in the first two books. They interact with Ursula a handful of times, but that’s about it. The rest of the time they are arguing with each other and discussing how to find their other sister. The story also focuses on a princess named Tulip and her Nanny, and also this cat that belongs to both the Odd Sisters and Princess Tulip. It all felt very random. So yeah, this story was lacking what should have been its real main character, and instead focused on these other characters who were really hard care about.

The opening of the book does touch on Ursula’s youth and how she actually grew up living in a village with an adoptive father. She is called to the sea and seems aware that she has some type of magical abilities. However, her adoptive father dies and her real brother Triton emerges from the sea to bring her to her true home. However he convinces people that she is dangerous and she is exiled. I personally found this all very interesting and was waiting for it to be expanded on, to see more scenes of Ursula and her brother interacting, of seeing how the subjects of her kingdom felt about her, of her possibly trying to get her revenge in other ways before deciding to wait for the perfect opportunity to strike again (which would be through using Ariel). But no. It was more time spent with the other characters. When you have the license to write the backstory of one of the most well-known animated villains in the Disney universe and she is given the backseat, you know you have a problem.

Another problem here was that there was more telling than showing, and some things felt like they were being repeated over and over again, almost as if the book knew I might start glossing over things and forget what was happening while I tried to get to the next scene that actually contained elements of the Little Mermaid story-line that I know and love.

Also there was a subplot (I guess?) concerning the Dark Fairy (a.k.a. Maleficent), and the Odd Sisters kept saying, “Fire and Water don’t mix, we can’t tell her we are working with Ursula blah blah blah.” Um, no. A boss battle between Maleficent and Ursula would have been way better than having to deal with all the scenes starring Princess Tulip and her Nanny.

I do like this author’s writing in certain scenes, and I really, really enjoyed her previous books, but sadly, I could not get invested in this. I suggest checking out the other two books in this trilogy if you are a Disney fan and have any interest in re-tellings.

Thanks for reading!

September 6, 2016

August Wrap Up

0

Hi everyone! Hope you are doing well! I just wanted to share a quick run down of all the books that I read this past month. Feel free to leave your lists and recommendations in the comics below!

Comic Books

New Romancers #1-6

Spiderman / Deadpool #1-6

Plays

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and JK Rowling

Novels

Happyface by Stephen Emond

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibboton

August 2, 2016

June and July 2016 Wrap-Up

0

Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well! Today I wanted to share with you everything I read in June and July.

I didn’t have a lot of time to read last month because I was doing an internship for school so the things I did read were short and sweet. Most of the stuff were comic books and graphic novels and a few YA novels on my TBR that I thought I would be able to get through quickly.

Please feel free to share the books that you have read in the past few months. What were your favorites? Also, have you read of the titles listed below? If so, what were your thoughts? Share your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading!

COMIC BOOKS

Jughead #1 & #2

Archie #9

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Young Marvel: Little X-Men, Little Marvel, Big Trouble

Super Mutant Magic Academy

Saga Volume One

Scott Pilgrim #3-6

Amazing Spider-Man: Worldwide

Lumberjanes Volume One

DC Super Hero High Girls: Finals Crisis

NOVELS

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

SeinLanguage by Jerry Seinfeld

April 5, 2016

Book Review | The Siren

2

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to talk to you about The Siren by Kiera Cass.

9780062391995_p0_v3_s192x300

The Siren is Kiera Cass’s first novel that she previously self-published and was given the opportunity to re-draft and re-release this year.

The Siren is told from the point of view of Kahlen, a girl who nearly drowned during a cruise with her family, only to be saved by a group of sirens. She agrees to serve the Ocean for the next one hundred years in exchange for her life. We then flash-forward to present day, showing Kahlen while she still has a few decades left of her sentence. Although her siren sisters want to live as much of their life as possible, Kahlen prefers to hide in her room and make scrapbooks of all the victims of the drownings she helped cause as a way to ease her concencious. On one of the rare days she leaves she meets a boy named Akinli, who seems to like Kahlen for more than just the beauty that all the sirens have. He also manages to understand her without a voice (since if she ever spoke it would lead him to the Ocean and he would die). The story mainly focuses on Kahlen and how she isn’t sure if she wants to be a siren anymore, especially after meeting Akinli.

Normally I love Kiera Cass’s writing. With The Selection series I was hooked right away, and even though the main character America Singer was frustrating to read sometimes it still captured my attention and left me wanting more. Unfortunately this story didn’t hold my attention the same way The Selection books did. I just felt like the story lagged in some parts, but maybe that was just because I was busy when I was reading this.

I liked the scenes with Kahlen and Akinli. When they first met at the library. When they baked a cake together. But there was also too much of an Insta-Love vibe for me, especially considering Kahlen left right after their first date and obsessed quietly about him for a couple of months instead of trying to talk to him or whatever.

The relationships between Kahlen and the Ocean and Kahlen and her sisters were interesting. I especially liked how the Ocean was sort of her own person. She could communicate with the sirens as long as they were close to Her, and she was sort of a mother figure to Kahlen, which was sweet.

The last few chapters with the exception of the Epilogue were a little over the top. I’m not going to go too much into it because I want to avoid spoilers, but apparently Insta-love is the cure to any ailment.

I think the prose was great, but the execution just missed the mark for me. I do greatly enjoy Kiera’s work and will continue to support her writing, but unfortunately this one wasn’t totally for me.

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.