Saturday, May 28, 2016

My Summer Music Playlist (May 2016)


Music Review: Psychic Chasms (2010) by Neon Indian


Are you a music listener that wants to be taken into a musical Willy Wonka world, then you might want to try Neon Indian! 



As a sampler of his work start with Era Extra├▒a and afterwards proceed with Psychic Chasms.

Interesting discoveries: While Electronica fascinates me it is interesting to know that Neon Indian music is not quickly accessible. It requires several listens but when the songs become clear to you, then you will be all that more rewarded.

Strengths: 

  • Smooth flows.
  • Songs can occasionally be fun.
  • When you get a song then some can be terminally chill.
  • Alan Palomo's voice! Chill. I like it.
  • Lyrics are pretty fascinating for some reason, yet unsure if it is because they are profound or poetic. Who knows.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Review of Vengeance (Fracture #2) by Megan Miranda


Overview
Falcon Lake wants vengeance. And so, it seems, does someone else . . . An intense, heart-rending psychological thriller to accompany the chilling and seductive Fracture

When Decker drags his best friend Delaney’s lifeless body out of the frozen lake, he makes a deal: Anyone but her. Everyone but her. The lake releases her. It takes another . . .

All their friends blame Delaney for Carson’s death. But Decker knows the truth: Delaney is drawn to those who are dying, and she would have tried to help Carson.

Or so Decker believes until a body lies in front of him in a pool of water on his kitchen floor. Until he sees in Delaney’s eyes that she knew this would happen too – and she said nothing. Until he realises it isn’t the lake that is looking for revenge – Delaney is part of someone else’s plan.


This powerful and emotionally charged psychological thriller follows Megan Miranda’s stunning debut Fracture.


Recommended: Though I am confused about this book, yes, I recommend.

About Vengeance
Recommended Ages: 14 and Up
Hardcover: 342 pgs.
Published: February 13th 2014 by Bloomsbury (UK & ANZ)
 For This Review:  *Self-Provided Book Copy purchased from Amazon.com*

Having been gone from book blogging a while I wasn't aware that Megan Miranda wrote a sequel to Fracture but when I came back this early 2016 I was supper happy to discover this. To me it was wonderful news since I loved the world of Fracture.

But once I got to Vengeance I was conflicted. To be honest, I detest about all the characters in it. Since Vengeance is from the point of view of Decker, Delaney's best friend and eventual boyfriend, I thought he would be as sweet and fun as in Fracture. But boy was I wrong. He's at times so unlikable I actually felt the need to punch something. Nevermind that he is at times sexist as one character points out in the book. And I think the only reason I believed he was sweet and fun is because in Fracture we see him from the point of view of Delaney and as everyone knows, the way, we see other people changes from someone else's point of view. In this instance, we don't have any one character seeing him through rosy-colored, biased lenses.

It's like this book lets you in into all the deeper, unseen hidden parts of Fracture we might not have seen. And this side of Decker the true Decker is someone I couldn't really sympathize or empathize with. But, but! I did manage to empathize with him, at least, momentarily in one of the darker moments in Vengeance. The moment when he's in so much emotional pain that he starts having panic attacks. It was hurtful to see that side of him because yes I have been there. And I loved how accurate Megan Miranda was. Anxiety and panic attacks are no jokes, people. Further along, other times when I would lose my sense of hate towards Decker came when he himself realized even when he hated Delaney he couldn't hate her because when he saw her he would forget everything and could only love her. He was so wrapped up in her. [And nods] Yeah, I would say that is about right when it comes to love. Sometimes you forget why you hate them.

Yes! I about detested everyone in Vengeance except Delaney who I see as the more pure individual of all the characters in Vengeance and Fracture, but at the same time I do see the value Vengeance brought. Megan Miranda managed to continue her story and somehow made this into some form of Mystery Thriller. 


Overall: Amazing read! 
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery Thriller, Psychological Thriller


Support a book blogger by buying a copy of your own!





About the Author

Megan Miranda is a scientist - turned - teacher - turned - stay-at-home-mom - turned -writer. She is not nearly as indecisive as she sounds. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, where she volunteers as an MIT Educational Counselor, does the mom thing by day, and writes by night. 

Visit her at her website: http://www.meganmiranda.com/


Music Review: After the Disco (2014) by Broken Bells

After the Disco is for music listeners looking for something refreshing in music or novel in Electronica or Soft Rock.


After the Disco by Broken Bells

Strengths: 

  • A noticeable change in sound. 
  • Album is cohesive but songs aren't similar either.
  • Some songs cause shivers=Sign of high quality music.


Weaknesses: 

  • 1 bad song. As in the weakest off the album. Not really terrible since this album has a total of 11 songs and only 1 bad song.


About Broken Bells
Broken Bells (James Mercer and Brian Burton)
Broken Bells (James Mercer and Brian Burton) | Source: Broken Bells Official site

Broken Bells Official site


Twitter: Broken Bells

A band I discovered in my high school days through the radio. Never quite knew what hit me but as soon as I heard the guitar and the keyboard swaying, as well as James Mercer’s voice, I knew this band was something. They are what one would call a soft rock electronica band. The duo band consists of creative duo James Mercer singing and playing guitar and Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) as the producer, various instruments player, and keyboardist. They are usually joined by other musicians while playing live.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Latest in Blog Visiting: May 20-May 26, 2016

Check out!
The favorite blogs of the week and why their content made them the favorite of the week of May 20-May 26, 2016. 



1. The Bibliosanctum blog: I stopped by at The Bibliosanctum to read the thoughts of a fellow book blogger because I was curious to see what she'd say about N.K. Jemisin's writing style. I am glad she has a good eye. N.K. Jemisin's writing is vastly original and if I am being honest unlike anything I have come across in my vast years of reading. 


Post Visited @ The Bibliosanctum-Book Review-The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin


And yes. That's about it. I just haven't been wanting to do anything. Lack of interest can do that to you. Although, I am working on it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Announcement: Losing Interest in Things so Changes are Coming


It's important I get this out of the way. Lately I am not reading as much as I used to and that has made me come to reflect that it might just be that I don't really have an interest in it. And in truth that is why I always valued reading (besides the knowledge it gained me) because it allowed me a way to distract myself from anything that was bothering me but as I said not anymore. 

It's like when I am reading the pleasure is there but it is lessened. Not only that but some days when I think about getting some reading done I just can't find the will. 

And the more this happens the more it reminds me that something is missing. It's not a pleasant feeling. It's actually stressing me out, so I have decided to focus on movie and music reviews instead because at this time music is the only thing that is having a positive affect on me and that is being powerful enough to distract me. 

So without further ado. More movie reviews (although probably not even those, lack of interest) and music reviews will be happening on here. That said, I'll still continue Latest in Blog Visiting and Giveaway Hints. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Book Mail: The Haters by Jesse Andrews and More (May 2016)

These past two months, April and May, I have won tons of book giveaways. In addition, I bought some books and in one case like Sunborn Rising I'll be reviewing based on a personal request I put in. 

Advance Reader copy of Admiral by Sean Danker: I won this on a Twitter book giveaway. I'll certainly be reviewing. 

Check out more information about this book: Goodreads

The Haters by Jesse Andrews and Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews: I won these two books along with a The Haters bumper sticker thanks to YA Interrobang

Check out more information about this book: Goodreads-The Haters | Goodreads-Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

Dreamoloy by Lucy Keating: I won this book giveaway thanks to The Book Bratz


Check out more information about this book: Goodreads

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Latest in Blog Visiting: May 13-May 19, 2016

Check out!
The favorite blogs of the week and why their content made them the favorite of the week of May 13-May 19, 2016. 


1. Nick and Nereyda's Infinte Book Playlist blog: I had the pleasure of reading Nick and Nereyda's write-up about how they handle co-blogging on their blog. It was great to get some advice from them because to be honest co-blogging with Jesse is not always easy. I don't ever regret opening up my blog to blog alongside someone else but coordinating is difficult and I agree with Nick and Nereyda, communicating, is key.

All in all the post really helped me and I hope to use some of their tips to better myself in communicating with Jesse.

Post Visited @ Nick and Nereyda's Infinite Book Playlist-Our Co-Blogging Experience & How You Might Be Able to Make it Work for You


2. Civilian Reader blog: I checked out a guest post by author Paul Cornell over at Stefan's blog merely out of curiosity. 


A slow week for Latest in Blog Visiting but I was really too busy to do much blog visiting this past week. Since I have been putting my Spotify music subscription to use and listening to music, while pushing myself to read faster so that I can begin Sunborn Rising by Aaron Safronoff. And balancing these two things along with a few other things hasn't been easy. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

In the Publishing World: Seven Seas Entertainment Goes Even More Digital


As of April 20, 2016 Seven Seas Entertainment a player in the North America manga and light novel world of book publishing has announced an expansion of the titles they own to readers on platforms via comiXology (a mostly comics and graphic novels service) and Amazon's Kindle store.

Making this a move on Seven Seas Entertainment's part to bring readers more options in the way they consume manga and light novels. Seeing as how the popularity of the Kindle Store has particularly increased over the years. A service open to those who own Amazon tablets, Amazon Kindle e-readers, Android devices, and more options.

For more details you can read the official press release: Seven Seas Entertainment




Saturday, May 14, 2016

My Top 15 Favorite Male Authors

For a time I had a nagging suspicion that many of the authors I read are mostly female. And while I don't believe any gender in particular has better knack for writing better I thought I would recognize male authors that in particular have touched me, despite the uneven ratio. This is a celebration to all these male authors that have come and gone in my life. You are incredible and if anything I am indebted to you. Keep on writing!


1. Tom Pollock
2. Tom Becker
3. J. Gabriel Gates
4. Oscar Wilde
5. Steven L. Shrewsbury
6. Jeff Neal
7. Eion Colfer
8. Chuck Wending
9. John Hart
10. Matt Haig
11. Peter V. Brett
12. J. D. Salinger
13. Khaled Hosseini
14. Nicholas Sparks
15. Paulo Coelho



Tom Pollock: Tom Pollock is incredible! Actually when I first came across his book, The City's Son, the first in the Skyscraper Throne I was perturbed. I wasn't quite sure what I was reading. Precisely because he used a literary device not commonly used in books, at least, not this prominently. You can imagine my reaction. First I was speechless, then I was confused, but then I rationalized that it was extraordinary, it just wasn't something I was used to. It was something not seen before.

At the time in 2012, I was envisioning the thoughts and movements of buildings and inanimate objects. As you can tell, all this sounds crazy on paper but it is true. You have to read his writing, particularly The City's Son to understand it. And truly Tom Pollock is remarkable as is his writing, especially as it is those that are vastly original that truly end up being the most interesting.

Tom Becker: Funny. Tom Becker was an author I came across by mere chance. One day I was at the library and I looked at a book called Darkside. My interest was incited due to its cover looking like something out of the Tales from the Darkside movies/TV series and the Tales from The Crypt movies/TV series.

I guess I liked that and afterwards from the premise, I was further taken in. Once I read I got a look into a darker side to London, England. Writing was rich from characters and universe development. Not to mention Tom Becker knows how to skillfully move words in an exquisite manner. Reading his books reminds me of all the times I have fallen in love with great books. Those where you can tell the author has a natural talent for writing as if they were meant to be writers and nothing else. My only sadness is I wonder if he is known enough? I sincerely hope so because truthfully I feel with every fiber of my being that he is one of the greatest writers in the universe. Genre be damned.

J. Gabriel Gates: Ironically, I wasn't expecting much with The Sleepwalkers. While I was excited for it and intrigued by the premise I wasn't sure it was going to be anything mind-blowing. Mostly because a lot of Horror I have read has not been all that noteworthy. I was wrong with The Sleepwalkers. 

From the first moment I read it, I was like. Wow, I was so wrong. Good thing, I am not embarrassed to admit I can be wrong. 


Oscar Wilde: For a few years, I encountered Oscar Wilde getting quoted by Cassandra Clare in her The Mortal Instruments series but never put much thought in it besides the fact I really thought he was witty and insightful. 

Only to years later watch Dorian Gray a movie based off The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Interestingly enough this is the only full-length novel by him.

Steven L. Shrewsbury: My discovery of Steven L. Shrewsbury all began out of my involvement with small press publisher, Seventh Star Press. To this day, I only hold well-wishes toward Seventh Star Press. Other than having introduced me to Steven L. Shrewsbury they have also introduced me to two other skilled female writers, Jacker Gamber and J.L. Mulvihill.


But back to Steven L. Shrewsbury. He was something particularly interesting. He could write about fierce warriors that seemed as in the flesh. I was in love that someone's writing could do this. And while a lot of Steven L. Shrewsbury's work contains profanity I was surprised I could suspend my adverse reaction to it. I think I chalk it up to given what Steven L. Shrewsbury is doing with his writing, the profanity, at time becomes necessary so that when it comes it doesn't feel completely unwarranted.

Jeff Neal: Gosh! Jeff Neal's book Awful, Ohio is perhaps the one and only most bizarre book I have ever read. Beating even Tom Pollock's The City's Son. Yet, I loved it! 
Jeff Neal


It's remarkable. Nothing in this world comes close to it. His book shows that you don't have to be a small press published author or even a big house published author. Natural writing talent outs. Wherever it may be.

Eoin Colfer: I used to have a wonderful middle school teacher and I believe she knew or may have liked the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. And while I knew her I never read the series, one day years later I decided to begin the series just to see what all the stir was about and it was wonderful! 

I love the main character of the series who some would likely see as a villain, the Science Fiction elements, and the great story pacing. In addition, Eoin Colfer knows how to write brand-new story situations for his characters with each book. The icing on the cake was when I found out much later that he was a U2 fan.

Chuck Wending: Chuck Wending was an author that I passionately pursued out of the review recommendation from a fellow book blogger called Stefan from over at Civilian Reader. Honest. I read a review of his and later proceeded to buy a copy of Chuck Wendig's Double Dead off of Amazon.com.

The rest is history. I find it funny that like with Steven L. Shrewsbury, Chuck Wending also uses profanity and while I don't like hearing profanity I still appreciate his work. 

John Hart: My introduction to John Hart all happened thanks to the help of Goodreads. I entered a giveaway on there and I won John Hart's book The Last Child. I was worried I would not like his book since I am not much for mystery thrillers but I was dead-wrong. I loved it. His writing was emotional but insightful.

Matt Haig: My love of Matt Haig's writing all began through an online book blog tour. I was simply browsing one day and his book called to me. Once I won his book in a giveaway and read his work I was certain he would be an author that would remain in my memory for as long as I lived. My recommendation? The Radleys

Peter V. Brett: All I can say is the way Peter V. Brett writes, a lot, of his books could be either movies or TV series. His is high fidelity Fantasy. 

J.D. Salinger: Reading Catcher in the Rye was an eye-opening experience. It was through this book I learned that I wasn't the only one who had these thoughts. I only wish more books could be this important as a whole in Literature.


Khaled Hosseini: It's impossible to understand how school often produced some of my most favorite authors. Like with J.D. Salinger, Khaled Hosseini is another author. 

Things like A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner make you realize that this whole world is vast and what you may worry about is nothing in comparison to the pain others may suffer. Khaled Hosseini is remarkable precisely because he writes about such sensitive topics but with finesse and beauty.

Nicholas Sparks: Coincidentally, I had watched The Notebook and A Walk to Remember way before I knew who Nicholas Sparks was. And The Notebook and A Walk to Remember are both movies to this day I hold close to my heart, but it wasn't years and years later until I would watch another Nicholas Sparks involved movie named The Last Song and would finally noticed that this movie too was based off a book by Nicholas Sparks. Seeing this I finally read The Last Song in book form and I was converted. I became a Nicholas Sparks fan!

Paulo Coelho: Paulo Coelho is self-explainable. I am drawn naturally to Philosophy since a young age and if you take a closer look Paulo Coelho's writing has this spilling from its every pour and I drink from it like my thirst could never be quenched.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Giveaway Hints #18













Fiction and Film has a $10 one. Ends May 18, 2016.


Amazon Kindle and Amazon Fire Giveaways: Michael Patrick Hicks and Daniel Arthur Smith are giving away a Kinlde Fire HD 6-inch in celebration is Michael Patrick Hicks's Clones anthology. Ends June 30, 2016.




Thursday, May 12, 2016

Latest in Blog Visiting: May 6-May 12, 2016

Check out!
The favorite blogs of the week and why their content made them the favorite of the week of May 6-May 12, 2016!

1. Me, My Shelf, and I blog: Imagine my surprise when I came across a character/author interview with Lauren Oliver, one of my new favorite Middle-Grade authors over at Me, My Shelf, and I. Having recently read and reviewed Liesl & Po this was wonderful, indeed.


Post Visited @ Me, My Shelf, and I-{Character Interview} The Great Goldini from The Screaming Statue by Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester

Interestingly, Lauren Oliver has already begun a Middle-Grade series co-authored with H.C. Chester called Curiosity House.


2. The Mile Long Bookshelf blog: Amber writes a love letter to libraries. Probably my most favorite post from her book blog, among a few others.

Post Visited @ The Mile Long Bookshelf-A Love Letter to Libraries

3. Kim's Pensieve 2.0 blog: Kim talks about her visiting comic bookshops for Free Comic Book Day, an event I would love to take part in if only Roswell, GA had more comic bookshops. 

Post Visited @ Kim's Pensieve 2.0-Free Comic Book Day 2016 (FCBD)


4. The Reading Queen blog: Christina brings up an excellent point, most of us book lovers, have like no self-control when it comes to books and book buying. At least, I know I don't.

Post Visited @ The Reading Queen-Ten Books I Need To Read This Summer


5. LilyBloomBooks blog: I finally linked up to Tonyalee's Middle-Grade Madness event. The May link-up.


Post Visited @ LilyBloomBooks-Middle Grade Madness // May Link Up + #Giveaway


6. Geeky Reading blog: While I have wanted to read Citrus for a long time, this Geeky Reading review convinced me to definitely read some day. Too bad my to-read pile is overflowing.

Post Visited @ Geeky Reading-Manga Review: Citrus, Volume 2 by Saburouta


7.  BookLovers for Life blog: I also read a review for Dare to Take by Carly Phillips. Somehow the review made me realize this was not a book for me given how Lacey mentioned this is definitely not a story with utmost novelty and I don't like predictable or tropey. Therefore not something that can pique my interest and hey I have to be picky with the books I buy, after a while book buying adds up.

Post Visited @ BookLovers for Life-Release Day Review: Dare to Take by Carly Phillips

8. Music Knows No Bounds blog: Finally for something a little different. Sigh and double sigh. Despite my better intentions to break away from TK's music. I can't. As such as soon as I came across a Live Report of one of TK's concerts thanks to Polaris I was utterly giddy. 



Which is why I had to read her Live report. I heavily recommend it!

Post Visited @ Music Knows No Bounds-TK from Ling Tosite Sigure Live Report Tokyo (4/16)

You can also catch it here on Wordpress-TK from Ling Tosite Sigure Live Report Tokyo (4/16)



That was it. While my talking about these pieces may have been good and all make sure you check out the original write-ups over at the blogs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Mail Time! Sunborn Rising by Aaron Safronoff

Having requested an ARC for review purposes of Sunborn Rising I was really looking forward to seeing this show up in my mailbox. And it has! It's beautiful! 



About Sunborn Rising
A brand new other-world fantasy novel with full color illustrations and line art.

On a distant world of forests floating on an ocean around a star, a blight threatens to plunge all life into darkness.
But three friends seek the light.
Together, they will Fall and be lost.
And at the very Root of darkness, they will find themselves.
But will it be enough to help them find their way home?


A review to come on the blog! Oh, and if interested there is a Goodreads giveaway right now until May 15, 2016 for 100 copies of Sunborn Rising autographed by Aaron Safronoff himself. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Movie Review—Underworld: Awakening (2012)


After the other movies I was thinking that would be it. No more Underworld movies but imagine my happy surprise when there was to be more. I was truly filled with joy. These after all are films I view as the highest of the highest when it comes to films. 

While I was worried where the story would go next that proved to be a baseless worry. In this story character development for Selene, no, all the characters on Selene's side gain more dimensionality. We see a side of Selene that is both tender and nurturing. Far away from the vampire warrior we have seen before and as a fan of the franchise that was wonderful to see. Half the time when this happened I was overcome with emotion because hey Kate Beckinsale was putting her acting on display (not that she hasn't before too). 

Furthermore, Underworld: Awakening embraced its action horror title way more than the other previous installments. This was made the more clear when toward the end Selene goes full out and blows up entire building sectors. It gives a nod to how incredible Selene can be and the whole action aspect of the Underworld franchise. Which every Underworld director has owned. 


Whether a fan of the Underworld film franchise or not, you, really should give the films a chance. All of them thus far up to Underworld: Awakening have had extraordinary acting, cinematography, and subtle, developed character development and interactions.

Standout Performances: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, India Eisley, Michael Ealy, Stephen Rhea, Sandrine Holt, Charles Dance, and Kris Holden-Reid.

Underworld: Awakening Directed by: Marlind & Stein


Minor elements introduced with the film: Science Fiction

Genre: Supernatural, Horror, Action


Support a blogger and buy your own DVD copy of Underworld: Awakening!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Movie Review—Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)


Despite Underworld: Rise of the Lycans being directed by another director entirely, the film, maintains its high level of quality as the previous installments. It is the prequel the Underworld film franchise deserves. 

Here we look deeper and deeper into the past. More of a honing in on the story of Vampire King/warlord Viktor along with the story of Sonja and Lucian. As covered before in Underworld: Evolution, not all lycans are made equal. Lycans are usually werewolves that can revert to human form while werewolves are wolves who can never take human form again. Right from the start in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans whereas we have Alexander Crvinus and his two later immortal sons having been the originators of the vampires and werewolves, Lucian, on the other hand is the originator of his Lycan species. 

While the film keeps viewers in continual awe at how the mythos of the vampires, lycans, and werewolves can be further developed it is even more strengthened by the performances of the cast, yet again like all other Underworld films. Although it is nice to see more acute attention to detail in the costumes of the characters: Viktor, Lucian, Tanis, Sonja, and the slaves. 


However, it is here that the directorial influence can be felt, instead of sexy, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans offers us nuanced character interactions and scene changes. Which makes for an interesting change of scenery for Underworld fans. Without a doubt, it isn't a bad move since we get to try to understand how Viktor could ever kill his own daughter and the root hatred between Viktor and Lucian.

Standout Performances: Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Kevin Grevioux, Rhona Mitra, and Steven Mackintosh.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans Directed by: Patrick Tatopoulos

Music by: Paul Haslinger

Costume Designer: Jane Holland


Genre: Supernatural, Horror, Action

Buy the Underworld Trilogy! Includes Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.


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