August 16, 2018

Book Review | Gilded Ashes

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gilded ashesGilded Ashes is a novella from Rosamund Hodge, author of Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bond. This Cinderella retelling is set within the same universe as Cruel Beauty, where there are demons and Gentle Lords who barter with the common folk to achieve their own ends. Cinderella, known as Maia in this retelling, has been living with a haunting secret for years: her mother is a demon, and she must constantly lie about her happiness to save the people around her from this ghost.

I was surprised how quickly I fell into this story. I liked Cruel Beauty for the most part, but I found the continuous descriptions of the horrible demons monotonous at times. I think 80 pages was the perfect length for this. It definitely gave me Ella Enchanted vibes during all the scenes with Maia and Lord Anax (the prince in this version). They had an easy back and forth and felt like they were real people getting to know each other.

It was also refreshing to see the stepsisters in a different way. In every version of this story the stepsisters are mean to Cinderella simply because they can be. In this version the younger stepsister Thea was actively trying to be friends with Maia while Kore was mean to Maia because she thought that was her mother wanted her to do. All three girls were simply looking for happiness in this dark world and were trying to do whatever it took to reach that happy end.

Overall, I really enjoyed Gilded Ashes and would highly recommend picking this up for your e-reader.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Have you read any of the Cruel Beauty books? Which was your favorite? Share in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

August 2, 2018

Book Review | Rapunzel and the Lost Lagoon

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lost lagoonRapunzel and the Lost Lagoon is a middle grade adventure novel by Lelia Howland. This story is both a prequel and a mid-quel to the Tangled television show that is currently airing on Disney Channel (which, side-note, is super cute and I highly recommend). It is told in from the dual perspectives of Rapunzel and Cass, the daughter of the captain of the royal guard and Rapunzel’s lady-in-waiting. Most of the focus is put on the building friendship of these two very different ladies with the rest centered on a mysterious lagoon that holds an ancient power.

Lelia captured both Rapunzel’s unfailing enthusiasm and Cass’s brusk nature very well. I could practically hear the voices of these characters. The overall tone of the story easily melds with the adventures in the TV show, which definitely made it easy to get into this story. The ending was a little predictable, but it was still interesting to see how the heroes were able to handle the situation.

If you are a Tangled fan or just love adventure stories, I would recommend you give this a shot!

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.

Thanks for reading!

July 16, 2018

Atlanta Comic Con

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This past weekend was the Atlanta Comic Con and I was beyond excited! Comics and Fandom stuff galore, what’s not to love? What my sister and I were most excited for, though, was getting to meet some of the special guests from our favorite movies and TV shows!

My sister met with Nichelle Nichols, the original Uhura from Star Trek: The Original Series. Nichelle was super sweet and funny and it was so cute how excited my sister got seeing her.

MeetingBelle

The person I was personally most excited to meet was Paige O’Hara a.k.a Belle a.k.a my all-time favorite Disney Princess! She is the only person I got a photo with at the convention, but I did get to meet Linda Larkin, a.k.a Princess Jasmine (another favorite of mine) as well and have her sign a print that we’ve had hanging up since we were little. You can kind of see Linda in the background of this photo – she is the blonde woman in the back.

neville

My sister and I also meet the amazing Matthew Lewis, better known as Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter movies. Neville has always been one of my all-time favorite Harry Potter characters, second only to Hermione Granger. Neville was always a character that I wanted to give a hug and be his best friend, and I remember some of my friends and classmates teasing me for liking this goofy secondary character who was always losing things and messing up potions. They stopped after Order of the Phoenix came out and showed how important Neville would end up being. I am so glad I got to meet Matt and get my Funko Pop signed. It’s a great addition to my Harry Potter collection.

The last person we met was Sean Astin. We have seen a lot of his work, specifically Rudy, The Goonies, Stranger Things and of course Lord of the Rings. He signed my copy of Fellowship of the Ring and my sister’s Samwise Funko. We were able to have the most interaction with him, which was surprising considering how long his line was. He was a very sweet guy and joked around with everyone who came up to see him.

We had never met any celebrities before this event and we are so glad that we got to have the experience. Everyone in line with us was respectful and patiently for their turn to meet the stars. I don’t know if it’s because we are in the South and we try to be extra polite or people were starstruck, but overall the process of meeting the stars was handled extremely well.

prints

Atlanta Comic Con also had tons of amazing artists scattered around the room, but there was one booth that had the cutest prints. The artist is Dylan Bonner (Follow him on Instagram: @dylanbonner90), who has done some of the artwork for the Disny Pocket Princess comics from JoeBooks. I picked up two smaller prints, one of Cinderella for my sister (as that is her favorite Princess) and one of Anastasia in her dress from the ‘Once Upon a December’ scene. I ended up going back a little while later and grabbing his Marvel print that featured Stan Lee as well as four of my absolute favorite characters: Spider-Man, Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy and Sue Storm/Invisible Woman! It is now proudly displayed on my graphic novels shelf. He also has a Society6 page (https://society6.com/dylanbonner) if anyone is interested. It didn’t look like these specific prints were on there, but he had some other amazing works that I would highly suggested checking out, especially if you are into mermaids.

I am so glad I was able to attend this event and can’t wait for next year!

Did any of you attend this event, or have you been to any comic conventions in your areas? If so, what was your favorite thing?

Thanks for reading!

June 6, 2017

May Wrap-Up 2017

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Hi there, Literature Lovers! It is officially summer! Time for beach reads and days spent by the pool! Share what books are on your summer reading lists in the comments below!

I thought I would quickly share what books I read this past month. Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought!

(Mina Lima) Beauty and the Beast

Every Heart a Doorway

To All the Boys I Loved Before

P.S. I Still Love You

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Thanks for reading!

March 31, 2017

February/March Book Haul

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Hi there, Literature Lovers! I hope you are all doing well! I wanted to share with you some quick pics of the books I have picked up the past two months. I received some Barnes and Noble gift cards for Valentine’s Day and hopped online to order a few things. Let me know in the comments below what books you have picked up recently, whether they are e-books, library books or you made a trip to the bookstore to add to your personal library.

everydoorway

 

beauty and the beast film       mina lima beauty and the beast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 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!