Monday, October 30, 2017

Product Review: Girl's Best Friend by Sweet Vibrations

30 October 0 Comments
I purchased this item on October 25, and it reached me on October 30. It only took two days to get to me, since two of those days were the weekend!
I was very satisfied with the shipping time. The box was extremely discreet and came perfectly packaged with not even a scratch or dent on it.

What I liked:
-It's a two in one vibrator. The side with the bristles stimulate oral sex, (it actually feels like a sucking sensation) while the other side functions as a normal vibrator. Use whichever one you like to suit your mood at the time!
-Fast shipping time
-It's rechargeable so you don't have to have batteries, which is a major plus to me. Comes with a USB cord and a wall plug as well. The website says it can work up to six hours on a single charge, but one time around with this bad boy and I am absolutely spent, which never usually happens to me until now!
-It's pink and cute!
-The head comes off for easy cleaning.
-It has a black travel case for carrying it anywhere with you. It's not see through so no one will know you have it with you.
-There are 20 sucking modes, as well as 20 vibrations you can try out.
-It didn't break the bank, you can buy it here for $39.98 with free shipping!
-It's water resistant.
-It's not too heavy, which is perfect for you gals out there who take awhile to get er done. ;)
-It has a life warranty!

What I didn't like:
-The noise. It's pretty loud, so if you're using it while the children are asleep, play some music or something to muffle the vibration noise.

All in all, I am very satisfied with the quality of Girl's Best Friend. It is easily the best vibrator I've ever used.

Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection: Field Notes by Dr. Robert Twombly by Don Roff

30 October 0 Comments

"The year is 2012, and what starts as a pervasive and inexplicable illness ends up as a zombie infestation that devastates the world's population. Taking the form of a biologist's illustrated journal found in the aftermath of the attack, this pulse-pounding, suspenseful tale of zombie apocalypse follows the narrator as he flees from city to countryside and heads north to Canada, where he hopes the undead will be slowed by the colder climate. Encountering scattered humans and scores of the infected along the way, he fills his notebook with graphic drawings of the zombies and careful observations of their behavior, along with terrifying tales of survival. This frightening new contribution to the massively popular zombie resurgence will keep fans on the edge of their seats right up to the very end."

Synopsis taken from Goodreads

TitleZombies: A Record of the Year of Infection: Field Notes by Dr. Robert Twombly
Author: Don Roff
Illustrator: Chris Lane
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Published: October 14, 2009
Pages: 144
Genre: Comics and graphic novels, zombies, horror

I decided to pick up a zombie book considering it's Halloween tomorrow, and I felt like I needed to read at least one "horror" book before October is out.

It's 2012. The outbreak happened quickly. The dead are alive again. We learn about this through diary entries left behind by a Dr. Robert Twombly, a guy dedicated to taking an accurate account of what he has witnessed since the outbreak.

Although the subject of this story isn't original by any means, I think the gross artwork littered throughout the pages is what makes the story so authentic. The amount of detail that went into creating these illustrations were astounding.

It was a quick read, and the ending was super abrupt. You're left to draw conclusions on what happened. I definitely don't like endings like that, but only because I was left wanting more of what I was reading.

I think this book should be a staple on the bookshelves of people who love zombies everywhere.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Wires and Nerves by Marissa Meyer

29 October 0 Comments

Title: Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Illustrator: Douglas Holgate
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Published: Janurary 31, 2017
Pages: 240
Genre: Comics and graphic novels, science fiction, fantasy

Synopsis from Amazon:
In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new,action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold.When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Winter, and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

I loved this graphic novel! I honestly had no desire to read any of the Lunar Chronicle books until I picked this one up and fell in love with every aspect of it. Now I have to go out and search for those books! Even though I didn't read the books prior to this one, I didn't have an issue keeping up considering we get a small recap of what went down before this book.

There are a ton of positive messages throughout this book, littered with some very bad-ass, positive role-models. There is a little bit of violence, but nothing that's too out there for older children to read. A small amount of romance, but it's also kept extremely G-PG.

I loved Iko, and felt very upset she had to deal with so much discrimination in her life based on the fact that she's a "droid." Every feeling she has gets thrown back in her face and saw as "fake" because of her programming software. Despite that, she is fearless, hilarious, and adorable. You can see she cares deeply for her friends and would do anything to protect them. Including hunting some wolf-human hybrids that look like they're on steroids, despite the fact that she's putting herself in harms way. Alpha Steele is the bigges threat out of all the hybrids, he plans on hunting Queen Selene down and forcing her to revert their curse even though she doesn't have the means to do so. He thinks she's lying. He gathers and army, and the rest is to be continued.

I've never been big on Sci-Fi, but this book definitely takes the cake for me. Fast paced and easy to read, not to mention easy on the eyes, it's a book I would recommend to anyone who asks me for a quick but good book to read. The art style is to die for, and it really is the most gorgeous book I've picked up in awhile.

I can't wait until the next one comes out.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Hostage by Guy Delisle

28 October 0 Comments

Title: Hostage
Author: Guy Delisle
Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
Published: April 25, 2017
Pages: 436
Genre: Graphic novel

Synopsis from Amazon:

How does one survive when all hope is lost?
In the middle of the night in 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André was kidnapped by armed men and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus region. For three months, André was kept handcuffed in solitary confinement, with little to survive on and almost no contact with the outside world. Close to twenty years later, award-winning cartoonist Guy Delisle (PyongyangJerusalemShenzhenBurma Chronicles) recounts André’s harrowing experience in Hostage, a book that attests to the power of one man’s determination in the face of a hopeless situation.
Marking a departure from the author’s celebrated first-person travelogues, Delisle tells the story through the perspective of the titular captive, who strives to keep his mind alert as desperation starts to set in. Working in a pared down style with muted color washes, Delisle conveys the psychological effects of solitary confinement, compelling us to ask ourselves some difficult questions regarding the repercussions of negotiating with kidnappers and what it really means to be free. Thoughtful, intense, and moving, Hostage takes a profound look at what drives our will to survive in the darkest of moments.

I would say Hostage shows what it's like to be held captive, but that doesn't do it justice. Even though we are reading about what Christophe endured during those months after he was abducted, we won't ever truly understand how miserable yet hopeful he was throughout his harrowing journey.

I know for a fact I could not have handled being tied up to a radiator with only minimal human contact. The hope would be crushed in me, I would have lost my mind. Not Christophe, though. He persevered and remained hopeful, and that's how he saved himself. (Not a spoiler, this is an account taken from Christophe, and put into graphic novel form).

The word that kept coming to mind was misery. How miserable he must have been laying there and only having himself to talk to in his mind. How lonely it would be to have to listen to people who speak a language you know nothing of, and have to wonder what fate has in store for you. How scared he must have been. It truly is a terrifying re-telling of his own story, and one you won't want to put down until you find out exactly what happens and how he escapes. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Spill Zone #1 by Scott Westerfeld

26 October 0 Comments
Title: Spill Zone
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Illustrator: Alex Puvilland
Publisher: First Second
Published: May 2, 2017
Pages: 224
Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, YA

Synopsis from Amazon:
The first volume of an original graphic novel series from New York Times--bestselling author Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Alex Puvilland.
Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone.
The Spill claimed Addison’s parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone's twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death—or worse.
When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits—and it seems to be calling Addison's name.
This title has Common Core connections.

This book was...phew. I don't even have a strong enough word to describe it. I loved it, most definitely. Not only is the story outright wonderful, driven forward by a strong female lead, but the concept of the whole story is unique as can be.

This book is super easy to get through, but you'll wan to flip through and enjoy the art style Puvilland decided to bless us with time and time again. I felt like I got lost in the Spill Zone, risking my life just like Addison does. Feeling poor little Lexa's heartbreak. I felt like the main characters were my family, or at the very least, my best friends. I almost never get that invested into characters, but I had no problem connecting with any of them throughout the book. Even the police officers were hilarious!

I never felt bored at all, and I just want to keep reading to see what happens. Too bad the next one won't be out until July 10, 2018. I can wait, though. If it means the second is as good as the first!

I wouldn't recommend this book to easily scared Elementary school kids.. I think it's more appropriate to 6th graders and up who can grasp the concepts of this book more. It deals with a rather disturbing plot and can be more than downright creepy at times.

Product Review: O My!

26 October 5 Comments

What is O My?
O My! is a company dedicated to providing you with safe, quality bath and body products made from goat's milk. Their products have no palm oil, paraben, phosphate, phthalate, sulfate and gluten free!

I suggest these products to anyone who has sensitive skin like I do. Knowing that they are hand-crafted with care and dedication to the happiness of their costumers makes me happy as well. Not to mention it's a better alternative than the soaps you find in massive retailers filled with ingredients we have no idea about.

They are also a part of multiple organizations and charities, and each month they pick an organization to donate a percentage of their sales to. A business who cares about their costumers and other organizations is a business I support. All of their products are also 100% American made!

Product Review:
Vanilla Latte lip balm (not pictured): This arrived just in time. I had major chapped lips and used it once before bed. I woke up and my lips aren't puffy or red and inflamed anymore. They actually feel soft with very little dry skin. I was so glad it relived my problem! It also smells wonderful, and made me want to go reach for a vanilla latte.

Raspberry pie lip balm: This lip balm smells like you picked a raspberry straight off the bush and immediately baked into the sweetest smelling pie you could ever make. I have this one on my lips now and I can't stop breathing in to smell it.

Black raspberry vanilla lotion sampler: I absolutely adore the smell of this one. Raspberry and vanilla are two of my most favorite smells and they are wonderful and unique combined together. I always have issues with lotions being a little too greasy for me, and I used too much the first time so it took it awhile to sink into my skin. After that, my hands were left smooth as a baby's bottom!

Zesty Lime soap: This zesty lime soap reminds me of that Irish Springs soap that's green. It smells slightly better than that one, though. I have yet to use it but I keep picking it up off my table to smell it through the package. It just smells so fresh and clean. Will be using this one before I use the oatmeal, milk, and honey soap!

Oatmeal, milk, and honey soap: This one smells amazing as well! I can't wait to dig into it after I use the zesty lime one first. I definitely smell the honey more than any other ingredient and it makes me hungry.

I was absolutely floored by the quality of these products. They all smell and feel amazing and I'll definitely be buying from Oh My! a lot more now. You can find them here:

O My! bath and body products

DISCLAIMER: I received these products in exchange for my truthful and unbiased opinion. All opinions expressed are impartial to the fact that I received the products for free. 

Signs of Hope: Messages from Subway Therapy by Matthew "Levee" Chavez

26 October 0 Comments
Title: Signs of Hope: Messages from Subway Therapy
Author: Matthew "Levee" Chavez
Pages: 176

Goodreads Synopsis:

A deeply moving, candid, and inspiring collection of personal missives and color images from the most expressive subway wall in the world, a tribute to the diverse voices of a teeming city.
New Yorkers are never short on opinions, and Matthew "Levee" Chavez observed in early 2016 that given the chance, they wanted to talk. He brought a table and chairs to subway platforms and spoke with anyone keen on conversing. A practiced listener and secret keeper for commuters, Chavez showed up in the subway a day after the presidential election with stacks of brightly colored sticky notes. "Express yourself," he told passersby. The response was electric.
As the colorful squares spread along the tiled wall, a vast mosaic of personal messages took shape, beautiful to behold, rich with personality, cathartic and consoling. Calling himself "Levee"--one who supports the city's emotional tide--Chavez turned a communal underground maze into an ever-changing, ever-growing art space known as Subway Therapy. Thousands have picked up the mantle to create Subway Therapy walls in cities across the nation, including San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
Capturing the feelings leaping from the wonderfully diverse 3-x-3-inch notes and weaving in quotes from Chavez and participants about the project, Signs of Hope's intimate reflections, humorous musings, fond remembrances, and fierce calls to action reach out with unencumbered love to one another and to us. Individually, these "posts" bravely bring the personal and the momentary into the open. Together, they show us a vision of inclusivity, communication, and hope.

I have never been to New York. In fact, I've barely left my small Indiana town. I've seen the ocean three times on vacation, but always come back to my hometown. We don't have Subways here, we don't even have a bus except for the schools we have here. Nothing like this would ever happen in my town in Indiana. We're a small community, and tight-knit.

The author mentions that New York seems like a lonely place, which may seem weird to us seeing as how the population is so dense. Messages from Subway Therapy shows that there are people filled with hope, people who are scared, people who are there for others. Even if you're alone, you're really not alone. You're surrounded by people who are like-minded, and people who would be there for you if you reached out. No matter how alone or scary this world is, you'll always have someone who's there for you, and someone who will help you.

Throughout this book, there are a million sticky notes with messages of hope, sadness, optimism, even inspiring quotes from Harry Potter. They're colorful, and they show us that out of this cold, hard world, there are people still working on humanity. Sprinkled images of some of the people who visited the wall where Matthew set up his stand are in this book as well. He captures all of the emotions in their faces following the election that happened this past year.

This book really has made a lasting impression on me, and I will be passing it onto my best friend to give her hope as well. I felt all kinds of emotions reading what others took time out of their busy lives to write, hopefully it'll elicit the same response in here. I don't feel so alone anymore.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Thornhill by Pam Smy

25 October 0 Comments

Title: Thornhill
Author: Pam Smy
Grade level: 5-9
Pages: 599
Release Date: August 29, 2017

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.
1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it's shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she's left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.
2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill's shadowy past. 

I visited my local library to pick up some graphic novels to take a break from reading heavy books because I was feeling bogged down and not really enjoying any book I picked up. I have a bone to pick with this book, but I loved it at the same time.

Ella is a girl who moved into a house across from an old orphanage called Thornhill. Her story is told in gorgeous black and white illustrations. Mary's story is set in 1982, and told through her diary entries.

Mary was left alone with her tormentor after the orphanage was about to close down. She didn't know who to turn to, or who she could talk to. Most of the time, Mary kept herself locked in her room in the company of the beautiful puppets she was so good at making.

I feel as if this book should be aimed for a teens in their later years, seeing as it made me sad throughout the whole book. It just seems like it's too heavy of a topic for children to be reading to me, since I had such an intense reaction to it.

Ella's story is equally sad considering her mother might be? dead, or absent, and her father spends most of his time out of the house working. She begins a relationship with the mysterious girl she sees next door in the abandoned orphanage.

I hated the ending. That is the only complaint I have. I won't give anything away because that's the big twist, but if you've read it, what are your ideas about WHY that had to happen and it couldn't happen any other way?

It's a quick read, but a large book so it looks daunting until you open it. It's beautifully written and I'll be re-reading it before I take it back to the library.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Product Review: Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo

19 October 0 Comments
I haven't done a product review in awhile, but I'll slowly be making some because I have a lot of products to review.

I've always had issues with dandruff. My head would itch so bad I'd end up with scabs because my head was just so irritated by how deep the dead skin went. I've tried a multitude of dandruff shampoos but none of them seemed to work as well as Maple Holistics has. The smell is very dainty and not overwhelming like a lot of the dandruff shampoos I've tried. It's also safe to use on color treated hair, which is a plus for me because I keep my hair dyed usually and the dye comes out with a lot of the shampoos I get.

Another thing I really like about this brand is that they don't test their products on animals. I try to get products that aren't ever tested on animals, so when I saw that this shampoo worked AND they weren't testing them on animals I fell in love.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Gyo, Vol. 1+2 by Junji Ito

12 October 0 Comments
 Title: Gyo 1+2
Author/Illustrator: Junji Ito

Synopsis for Gyo, Vol. 1 from Goodreads:
Young couple Tadashi and Kaori are vacationing in Okinawa, but instead of enjoying their time, they bicker endlessly about such important topics as Tadashi's bad breath! But that stench may actually be something quite different. When a strange walking fish appears, Tadashi and Kaori know something's amiss. When a Great White Shark attacks -- walking -- they know they're in real trouble!

Synopsis for Gyo, Vol. 2 from Goodreads:
Tadashi hopes to save the horribly mutated Kaori from a fate worse than death, but the treatment by Doctor Koyanagi may be worse than the disease. This new volume features a struggle between man and machines powered by dead flesh -- will mankind survive?

I've been trying to get more into manga lately, so I figured I'd go ahead and start with Junji Ito.
His artwork throughout both novels was fascinating. It's all so terrifying to think about. Fish with legs, or being held against your will in order to be the life force of a murderous gas potentially created as a weapon of mass destruction...
It's not a concept you hear about every day, so it definitely held my attention.
Easy to get through as well, which is a plus!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

03 October 2 Comments

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Pages: 372
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:
It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them. 
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 
A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

This novel is set in a futuristic world filled with bleakness and depression. In order to escape from all of this, the OASIS was made. You could be or do anything you wanted in the OASIS. Of course, there are bad guys who want to take all of that and turn it for a profit. This is where our main character Wade comes in. He's set out on a mission to solve the puzzles James Halliday has left behind hidden in his best game ever made: the OASIS.
With the help of a few friends and a love interest, he's in a race against time to solve these puzzles before the bad guys do.

I really loved the pop culture references made within this book. It added so many movies to my to-watch list I'll probably never get through them all. I also added a crap ton of video game knowledge to my brain, just in case I'll ever need to use it. Even though I probably won't, it was still cool to learn about the first video game ever made, and then the ones following that. If you were born in the 80s, have a fascination with the 80s, or just love video games in general, this is not a book you want to miss.
It has murder, it has a witty and funny main character with lovable supporting characters, and mystery with little bits of pop culture facts sprinkled throughout the whole book. 5/5 would recommend to anyone!