GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW--Beauty and the Beast: A Modern Retelling by Jeanne-Marie Leprince & Ill. by Pete Katz

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

This modern retelling of the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast is told here in a graphic novel format. More than 100 pages of illustrated action, adventure, and love teach a lesson to look beyond the surface and learn to love what’s underneath. A merchant takes shelter in a castle during a thunderstorm, and ends up striking a bargain with its beastly master. His youngest daughter, Beauty, returns to the castle to live in exchange for a restoration of the family’s previous wealth. Beauty befriends Beast, but longs to see her family again. He allows her to visit her former home, but when she doesn’t return at the designated time, consequences ensue.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

As you all know, I am a huge fan of fairy tales and retellings! When I was contacted about reviewing some graphic novel versions of beloved tales, I knew right away that I had to get Beauty and the Beast: A Modern Retelling from Jeanne-Marie Leprince’s version of the story, for I learned a few people enhanced upon Villeneuve’s version. Pete Katz provided the artwork which I thought was done very well. It definitely has a fairy tale kind of vibe to it, wherein the heroes are seen as better than the villains and evil siblings.

The story is the same as we all know and love, let’s step away from the Disney version for anything familiar from that was pretty much from the original as well. Beauty feels guilt over her father’s punishment from the Beast he encountered when traveling home from a trip that proved to be fruitless. When the Beast asked for her to come in her father’s place, she’s only too willing to agree for she is just that kind of thoughtful person, unlike her siblings who remained selfish to their cores.

There were some new twists to the story, as it’s been awhile since I read the original version, so I can’t recall if the faeries had much to do with the Beast’s curse. In this one, they do, as it was when the selfish prince snubbed the faery willing to marry him by flirting with another. She cursed the prince and the faery as well, while the prince was turned into a Beast, the faery was trapped in a mirror that allowed her to communicate with the Beast, and soon Beauty as well.

There was also the added theme of demons in the mix, for the castle was indeed enchanted—no enchanted objects beside the mirror—and a demon guarded it. He rises once a year to battle with whoever should be living there and if they lose, he gets their soul. Since the Beast has been living there for years, he’s bested the demon many times, so it’s never been much of an issue.

Beauty was definitely a character to behold. Yes, she’s the kind and loving Beauty from the original fairy tale, but this Beauty has an added edge! She can knows her way around a bow and arrow if the cover gives you any idea. I liked that she was sort of like other Beautys I’ve come across in different retellings. She’s no simpering princess sort that needs to be rescued, that’s for sure.

As I find with most graphic novels, this one was definitely a page turner! It didn’t take me long to read the book at all. Since it’s a story I already know and love it made for easier page turning. I did like the inclusion of back stories as well, in this I mean we get on a tangent of something that’s happened already and the illustrations change. Much like the way Disney did the backstory with the glass windows.

The ending definitely took me by surprise. While it ends in a slightly less fairy tale traditional way, I must say I loved it and yet, it’s a bit cliffhangery too! I’m practically foaming at the mouth wanting a sequel, but I don’t think there’s meant to be one! It just has that kind of ending that takes you aback and leaves you wanting more! It was definitely a head turner!

Overall, I quite enjoyed this graphic novel! I’ve never read one before that was based on a fairy tale and takes it on a new spin! It was quite the entertaining read and I highly recommend this to all fairy tale and especially, Beauty and the Beast fans! It’s not one to be missed!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars—even with that bit of a cliffhanger, I can’t seem to take off points! It was too good, even if there will never be a sequel! Lol! 

ARC Review--Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Stephanie Garber once again sweeps us away into the mesmerizing world that is Caraval, only this time, in Legendary, the game is far more different than we could have ever suspected. The world may be the same, but there is still much to learn about Caraval itself and I am so utterly blown away that I find it hard to get my feet back on the ground in reality!

As you may know already, Legendary is a companion to Caraval, this time it’s Tella’s turn to shine. Her mysterious friend who played a part in getting her and Scarlett into Caraval the first time around has come to collect his payment. What he asks for is simple, he wants Legend’s true name. In order to gain that information, Tella will have to play Caraval and win the game in order to come face to face with the mysterious Legend. There’s a lot more at play this time around then the game itself. Tella and Scarlett’s past comes to the forefront in this one and Tella is determined to get some answers, though it’s going to be harder than she could ever guess.

The stakes are definitely higher in this one, for Tella’s mysterious benefactor, Jacks, is a far more sinister type. He asks for the impossible and if Tella can’t deliver, well, it won’t be good for her! Then there’s Dante who played a bit of a role in her getting into trouble with Jacks in the first place, but yet the boy just doesn’t leave her alone. After spending the night together after the first Caraval, Tella was ready to walk away from him, as she’s been known to do with any boy she kisses, but Dante isn’t one to be walked away from. He just keeps coming back. I will admit, their interactions were enjoyable! If I wasn’t laughing at their antics I was positively swooning over something Dante said or did. These two were just wow! I thought I was totally for Scarlett and Julian, but I have to say I think Tella and Dante are definitely my favorite Caraval couple!

There’s definitely an added tension to this one that I feel like wasn’t quite there in the same way in Caraval. Tella has a much more pressing deadline to win the game this time and get what Jacks is demanding. She’s also still trying hard to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother. Tella was always more hurt by her leaving than Scarlett was.

Though Scarlett was still in this story every now and then, she wasn’t as present as I would’ve thought. There were reasons for that and I guess it’s more fitting that Tella has her own journey through Caraval on her own like Scarlett did.

The ending left me emotional, let’s say that! There were answers and then there were the things that were left unsaid. At the time of writing this, I haven’t heard if there will be more to come with this world. It’s my greatest hope that there is!

Legendary is a befitting title for this companion to Caraval. It’s as magical, exciting, and stunning as its predecessor, if not a little more! There’s so much mystery and beauty to this book that I was simply swept away by Stephanie’s words! This book was pure magic! My heart aches to return to this world already and see what more adventures could be had within its pages, because I am far from ready to say goodbye just yet.  I can’t remember the last time I read a series where the magic felt so real that I lost myself from reality, but Legendary has in fact done that to me! If there’s any book recommendation you will take from me, let it be this one!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

releases May 29, 2018 

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

Last Week I Read:

Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (ARC)--Review to come at a later date

Review That Was Posted:

Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong (Early Copy) (4 stars)

About to Start Reading:

Dark Tales: Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince 

What I Plan to Read this Week:

Dark Tales: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
Beast by Lisa Jensen (ARC)

Other Posts of Interest:


Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

Well for bookishness this was a sort of quite week. I had a preorder, two review requests approved and then a Book Depository coupon was sent to me so I had to order something! Lol! Didn't do too bad all things considered!

Here's what I bought:

Valentine by Jodi McAlister--have had this on my wishlist for a year now and thought I'd buy it since I had a coupon! Only I just now learned there's a sequel!! How did TBD not tell me this?!
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard--I can FINALLY read the rest of the series now!! I just need the time! Lol!

Then for review from the publisher I received:

Stray Magic by Kelly Meding (ARC)--SO excited to read a new book from her!!
Beast by Lisa Jensen (ARC)--a little hesitant with this one because I didn't quite like Alias Hook as much as I had hoped, but this is B&tB and I had to at least give it a try!

THANK YOU Harper Voyager & Candlewick Press!!

Then some other goodies that I got this week were:

A super special sticker from Crystal Cestari and her Windy City Magic series!

THANK YOU Crystal!

A new shirt from Out of Print! My gorgeous When in Doubt Go to the Library in my Gryffindor red shirt got a hole in it after one wearing! So I wrote to them and though they couldn't get me another one of those, they did allow me to pick any other shirt, so I went with this one since I LOVE this saying!

My new blogging planner for the coming year! Not that I see the cover at all, but I thought this one was cute! Plus the lines inside are just how I like them! Already added my July scheduled reviews in it! Making progress already!

And that was my haul this week! What did you get?


Let's Discuss: Biggest Accomplishments

And now I've come to the last topic to discuss on this handy dandy list I found that started out as a twitter thing where so many likes get a certain question answered! I thought, why not turn that into a discussion post instead! I think I only ever skipped like 2 of them because it was something like favorite sport and I am not a sports fan, so that would've been my shortest discussion post ever! Lol! The last one today is...

Biggest Accomplishments

Finishing college with my degree in four years is definitely one of them. I am proud of myself...though of course like many, it seems, I still can't find the right job some years later. Or ever a good job of any kind as it seems employers want you to have 4-5 years of experience and could careless about a college degree. Or sometimes they want both! So yeah, finishing college in fours years is one of my accomplishments yet society makes it hard to truly enjoy it!

I guess another one truly is looking at all my lovely books, because I know I've read every single one of them! I've never lost my love of reading and oddly, I feel like that is a rather big accomplishment. I've kept up this blog for over 9 years now, getting almost to the halfway point of 10 too!

Another accomplishment is how I did finish writing a book. Granted, I still need to get back to edit it some more before I try to query it yet again. I took a too long break from writing, but I am slowly, ever so slowly, getting back to it. But still, I finished the story. There are parts that still need tweaking that I struggle to figure out, but I am working on it. I feel like that's a rather big accomplishment too!

What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

Let's Discuss: Favorite Animals

This next one has me feeling all nostalgic with childhood and how my answer would always change, yet still include one of my favorites. I don't even know how it became to be a favorite, really! lol!

Favorite Animal

As a kid, I always loved bunnies! Not sure why or how, I just loved them! They were sooooo cute!! I also came to love dogs, dolphins, seals, and polar bears! Polar bears are sooo cute too! Yeah, they could kill you with a swipe of their claws and all, but I still think they are just so cute! Possibly because they started reminding me of our polar bear of a dog that's all white and all attitude! Lol!

What are some of your favorite animals?


Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: What were your worst movies based off of books? (submitted by Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog
MY ANSWER: Without a doubt it was Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause.
I loved loved LOVED this book! It was one I re-read back in the Dark Days at least three times I think. And when I heard it was made into a movie I was sooo excited. Then I saw it and I was so utterly, utterly disappointed.

If there was ever a movie that was so not based off of a book when it claims to be "based on the novel..." it was this one! Seriously the ONLY things that remained the same were the character names and the fact that Vivian, a werewolf fell in love with Aidan, a human. So yeah. Naturally, the book was freaking incredible and the movie so should have been called something else instead of sharing the title.

Let's Discuss: Choosing Superpowers

This question I feel like we've had before, but I am totally game for talking about it again! My answer has changed quite a bit. I feel like I have three answers that I always go with, but now one of them has remained my go to answer!

What Superpower Would You Choose?

My answer has always fluctuated between flying or being able to function without sleep because hello! That would totally annihilate my TBR pile! 

But I think my true answer now has become I would choose the power to teleport or apparate. Whichever you want to call it. I want to be able to put myself in any other place in all the world with just the thought of it! Do you know how much traveling I could get done? Do you know how many book signings I could go to and never have to worry about traveling and needing to decide which one is most important to use a vacation day for?

Granted I would still travel the old fashion way for longer periods of time. You know, to keep my amazing power a secret and all. But yes, I'd definitely choose to teleport!

What superpower would you choose?

COVER REVEAL: Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen

It's time to reveal the cover for A.C. Gaughen's next release, Imprison the Sky! This is the companion to Reign the Earth from last year! It can be read either before or after Reign the Earth, making it the perfect kind of read!

Are you ready for the cover now? Brace yourselves, it's gorgeous!!

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus's black market empire to captain her own trading vessel--and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can. 

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets--not only that Aspasia is a wind Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free. 

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom. 

TITLE: Imprison the Sky
AUTHOR: A.C. Gaughen
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury YA
ISBN: 9781681191140
GENRE: Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: January 22, 2019

A.C. Gaughen is the author of the Elementae series and of Scarlet, Lady Thief, and Lion Heart. She serves as the Director of Girls’ Leadership for the non-profit Boston GLOW, creating opportunities to encourage and engage teen girls in the Greater Boston area. She has a Master’s in Creative Writing from St. Andrews University in Scotland and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University.

Stay in touch with all things Bloomsbury and A.C. Gaughen by following them on social media!

Bloomsbury Social Media:
Twitter: @bloomsburykids
Instagram: @bloomsburypublishing 

A.C. Gaughen Social Media:
Twitter: @acgaughen 
Instagram: @acgaughen  

The publisher has graciously offered up one hardcover copy of A.C. Gaughen's Reign the Earth to ONE reader located in the US/Canada! To enter comment on the cover or whether or not you've read Reign the Earth and be sure to LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS so I have a way to contact you should you win! ;)



Random Thursday

Only two more weeks left! I can't believe how long this little book lasted me for all these posts! Let's take one of three last looks at That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser!

(image borrowed from Goodreads)
A falling object travels slower at the equator than it does at the North and South Poles.

Note to self, avoid the North and South Poles--as I am huge klutz! Lol!

(image borrowed from National Audubon Society)
Every year, Arctic terns make the 25,000-mile round-trip between their breeding grounds in the Arctic circle and their wintering grounds in the Antarctic. They almost never land, and because of migration patterns, they see more daylight than any other creature on the planet.

Is it weird that I am wondering how the breeding part happens if they hardly ever land? Lol!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Wombats poop cubes.

Now that's just weird!!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Jellyfish are 95 percent water.

This I can believe!

(image borrowed from Business Destinations)
The Great Barrier Reef is often referred to as the world's largest organism, but like all coral formations, it is actually made up of many millions of tiny organisms.

Not surprising! So pretty too, but I know I will never see it up close in person because I would never get in the water! Lol!!


Let's Discuss: What Makes You Laugh?

Well, I decided I'd finish up this first list of random topics I found this week. So next week I might be in trouble. The second list of possibilities might not make much discussion!

What Makes You Laugh the Most?

This is hard, because I don't really know! Lol. I feel like when I laugh it's just because I saw something funny. So for the most part it would be comedy movies or even something funny that happened in a book. My (at this time but likely no longer) current read Kill the Farm Boy has me loling, because it's just funny! It's definitely a mix of parody and fantastical story.

So movies and books I guess are the answer as to what makes me laugh the most. I can't say anything specific because my brain isn't functioning in that way. I laugh when I laugh I guess! Lol, yeah that sounds weird!

What makes you laugh?

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

The de Vincent brothers are back—and so is the intrigue that surrounds them—in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s sizzling new novel...

Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up... and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.

Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman... one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.

Forever waiting on a JLA book! Loved the first one in this series and cannot wait to read both of the other brothers' stories!! Bring on Gabriel!!

GENRE: Suspense Romance--Struggling to determine if this was paranormal or not!
RELEASE DATE: June 26, 2018 


Let's Discuss: Describing Yourself in a Sentence

This next one is a doozie! And it doesn't stipulate as to how long it can be or needs to be! I guess run on or incomplete is fine because yeah, it's still works! Lol!

Describe Yourself in a Sentence

I'm that weird, fun-loving, book reading, Disney loving, 90s child kind of gal!

I think that pretty much sums me up in a nutshell! Lol! I am weird and proud of it! Normal is so overrated anyway! 

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.

Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

"Toby had not yet met a troll, and although he had hoped they were jolly people with brightly colored hair, the fact that Grinda didn't want to meet one suggested that Toby really didn't want to meet one." Kindle loc. 38%*

*This quote comes from the ARC, therefore it and its location are not final.

TITLE: Kill the Farm Boy
AUTHOR: Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne
PUBLISHER: Del Rey Books
GENRE: Fantasy/Humor
RELEASE DATE: July 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week's topic is: Books I Disliked/Hated but Am Really Glad I Read Don't Regret Reading Them

*in no particular order
**oh I don't care for this one. Generally if I dislike a book I find that it was a waste of time to stick with it. I guess I'll say I don't truly regret reading it instead of saying "glad".

10. THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas--I know this one will hurt a lot of people, but yeah, I just couldn't get into this one. I love her other series though, but this one just didn't mesh with me.
9. THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK by Amber Benson--despite loving Amber as an actress, I just couldn't get into her books. 
8. THE VANISHING SEASON by Jodi Lynn Anderson--in which I learn you can so thoroughly love a previous book from an author and then feel the exact opposite over another.

7. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: THE LONG WAY HOME by Joss Whedon--I can't remember why this one didn't work for me. I think it might have been the way things started. I felt like I missed something, but the book was season 8 volume 1, so I know I was in the right place.
6. THE GLASS CASKET by McCormick Templeman--I think I was expecting a scary story here and it wasn't that at all and I was just let meh.
5. SECOND STAR by Alyssa B. Sheinmel--it surprised me that I read this one, but it was a Peter Pan retelling and I wanted to give it a go even though I knew it was a contemporary but it kept hinting at that Peter Pan magic, I just don't remember it ever appearing though.

4. FIRSTLIFE by Gena Showalter--since it seemed Gena was abandoning my beloved Intertwined series, I was still willing to read whatever else she wrote, but this one...I could not get into for the life of me! I can't understand how this series did sooooo much better than Intertwined and that this one got to be completed. (Yeah, I might be a tad bitter here! Lol! But seriously nothing hurts worse than a beloved series not being liked enough to be completed, but then the one you didn't like gets all the love!)
3. UNLEASHED by Sophie Jordan--I knew going in that most people were disliking this one but I had to see how it ended for myself. I was disappointed as expected with some of the choices made, but at least I knew.
2. THE GRACES by Laure Eve--I had really hoped that this one was going to be good, but I think what annoyed me the most was the heroine. I could never care about her mission and then the events that happened just really made me dislike her more.

1. A WHOLE NEW WORLD by Liz Braswell--a series that I should've loved from the getgo didn't really pan out in this first installment. But I did eventually love the Beauty and the Beast book. No regrets here!