Friday, December 29, 2017

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

29 December 0 Comments

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake - and her own.

(Snyopsis from Goodreads)

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Graphix (September 13, 2016)
Pages: 256
Genre: Growing up, facts of life

I liked this book a lot! I think it would be a great tool for teaching children about Dias Los Muertos. My favorite part were how adorable the ghosts were drawn!
Heartfelt and fun, it's an easy book to get through in one sitting. All of the characters are absolutely lovable, and I can relate to Catrina's anxiety about certain things which made her a really interesting person to read about.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any outside factors.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels + BookishFirst!

27 December 0 Comments
"They walk side by side through shin-deep snow, dragging branches for their shelter behind them. The footprints they made on the way out are little more than small depressions in the drifts of swirling white. It's as if the wind has a single intent - to wipe out any traces of them."

(First paragraph of Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels)

Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels
Publisher: Hyperion
Expected date: 12/19/2018
Genre: Thrillers and suspense
Pages: 320

This is the first book I've received from BOOKishFIRST! All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any outside factors.
If you don't know what BOOKishFirst is, you can click through to explore it more, I highly recommend this website to anyone who likes books, and to anyone who loves to review them as well!

I don't read very many survival stories. I prefer to read about other things, but when I do pick up this genre, a book like this is exactly what I'm looking for.
Wallenfels delivered an extremely strange, edge-of-your-seat thriller. The tension build-up in this book was out of this world. You could literally feel the testosterone between the five boys.

Five friends: Colin, Ceo, Grahame, and Ellie go on a hiking trip. When the trail they planned to take literally went up in smoke during a forest fire, they decide to take another trail. The Snow Creek Falls trail.
A snowstorm comes up out of nowhere. Under-dressed and severely under-packed, the group tries to figure out how to make it off the trail still safe an alive. With the threat of a sneak bear attack, and Ceo's attitude at an all time high, tensions quickly rise between the group.
When they all split up and one of them doesn't make it back to the tent, they try to piece back together the events that happened all while trying to maintain their lives in the blistering cold.
It's 320 pages but I finished this book in almost a day because of the short chapters and the riveting cliff-hangers. I loved this book!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz

25 December 1 Comments
"The stall door won't shut all the way.
What the hell kind of bathroom doors does our school have?
The kind with crooked doors that don't always latch. The kind you don't want to get caught in. Not with your head above the toilet. Not when you're kneeling on the floor, puking your guts out. Not with a fifth of vodka - which I desperately need right now."

(Beginning of Someone to Love. Quotes may be subject to change based on final copy of the book when it's published).

Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected date to be published: January 2nd, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 400

Trigger Warning: Self-harm, eating disorders

I'm not really big into contemporary, but this book was a welcome surprise. I received it in the mail, let it sit on my counter for a few days so I could finish another book, then picked this one up.
At first I really thought I wasn't going to be able to get into it. It seemed so cliche, the main character, Liv, seemed too shallow.
Fast-forward to a couple hours later: still in the same spot, still in the same position on the couch. Devouring this book.

While I'm aware of eating disorders, I know I'm not knowledgeable enough to speak on them. Cruz invited me into a whole new and horrifying world of bulimia, and left me with more knowledge than I had before reading.
It hurts me to know there are people out there suffering with this. It hurts me even more to know that I can't be there to help everyone, and that people fall victim to this horrible disease every day thinking that they're all alone in this world. This world is heavy and painful, and I wish it were a softer place for everyone so no one would have to deal with these things in their lives.

I really like the theme of Olivia being an artist in her tightly-wound political family. The opening to the chapters included inspirational quotes by famous painters like Gogh or Kahlo. The chapters are short and easy to get through, so it spurs you on from one to the other.

I feel like this is a book I should share with people who have really self-deprecating thoughts or mental illnesses, as it was a story of hope and wisdom to me that I really, thoroughly enjoyed.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any outside factors.

The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

25 December 1 Comments
Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.
Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.
One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.
She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.

 TW: Rape
There are only two book I've read this year that I think will fully stick with me, and Monahan's The Hollow Girl is one of them.

Bethan is a Romani girl who is brutally attacked on her way home from the marketplace by five boys. As if that weren't bad enough, the boy who tried to help her (and has a soft spot for) gets killed. In order to save the boy, she has to extract something from each of the boys to make up the five senses in order to fully restore him to his former self.

Books that deal with rape rarely show just how truly horrifying it can be for someone to endure. Monahan seems to know exactly how to bring this to light and manages to hit the nail on the head with the amount of detail and horror she describes it with, while still managing to keep it off stage. It is a devastating blow to Bethan, and a learning experience to us all.

This is a cast of characters I know will be one of my favorites for years to come. The grumpy old grandma who's terror and reputation goes unmatched. The strong-willed Bethan who finds who she really is through a horrible experience. A soft-spoken boy who really enjoys the company of the unusual girl next door to his market stall, Martyn. Even the five boys she is sent to collect from. Each assaulter left an impression on me that would be hard to forget.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Smoke by Dan Vyleta

09 December 0 Comments
An England where people who are wicked in thought or deed are marked by the Smoke that pours forth from their bodies, a sign of their fallen state. The aristocracy do not smoke, proof of their virtue and right to rule, while the lower classes are drenched in sin and soot. An England utterly strange and utterly real.
 An elite boarding school where the sons of the wealthy are groomed to take power as their birthright. Teachers with mysterious ties to warring political factions at the highest levels of government.  Three young people who learn everything they’ve been taught is a lie – knowledge that could cost them their lives. A grand estate where secrets lurk in attic rooms and hidden laboratories. A love triangle. A desperate chase. Revolutionaries and secret police. Religious fanatics and coldhearted scientists. Murder. A London filled with danger and wonder. A tortured relationship between a mother and a daughter, and a mother and a son. Unexpected villains and unexpected heroes. Cool reason versus passion. Rich versus poor. Right versus wrong, though which is which isn’t clear.

(Synopsis from Goodreads)

Title: Smoke
Author: Dan Vyleta
Pages: 423 
Source: Paperback advance reading copy
Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, historical

I really can't quite tell if I liked this book, or if I hated it. It's a mixture of sci-fi and alternate history which are two very strange genres to mix together IMHO. 

The beginning was really good. Imagine a world where you began to billow smoke out of your being whenever you felt intense emotions. All of your deep feelings on display for the world to see. 

The ending, or rather the last 200 pages dragged horribly on for me. It was dull, but at the same time I wanted to finish the book because it was such a strange one for me I felt like I needed to see it through to the end.

There was a lot of bouncing around of view points during every chapter, which kind of made it hard to follow what was going on, but I think I managed to keep things in order. I find myself liking the ending a lot better than the beginning or the middle.

I give this book props for thinking up a topic no one else has written about that I know of, so hats off to creativity and imagination. Took me about two weeks to get through because I had to take it in in small doses. 


DISCLAIMER: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any outside factors.

Gillette Venus Swirl

09 December 0 Comments
Disclaimer: I received this product free for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any outside factors.
 I have been using a cheap $1 razor for the past few months because I've been too lazy to go out and look for a razor that I might like. I decided to sign up for Influenster and I somehow landed a VoxBox in no time. It saved me a trip to the store, which I am more thank thankful for.

Gillette Venus Swirl is purple with a cute design on it. It also includes a FLEXIBALL meant to help the razor contour to everyone's individual curves for a smooth and flawless shave. The first razor with a FLEXIBALL!
It has 5 blades that are very, very sharp. I had been used to using my cheap razor I forgot how easy it is to cut yourself on good razors! It also has a serum on the razor that is moisture-activated that helps it glide smoothly. Unscented as well.

Gillette Venus Swirl is recommended for people who have normal skin, if you have dry skin you can check this razor for an alternate product from the same company.

I don't recommend putting the razor face down on anything because it will ruin the moisture-activated film on the head of the razor, so it should be put down face up or in a dish without the head touching anything.

I got no razor burn with this which was a relief! And whatever the moisture-activated film is made out of didn't break my sensitive skin out, and that really surprised me.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Pink B.O.B - Rippled Silicone Vibrator

06 December 1 Comments

The Pink B.O.B. Rippled Silicone Vibrator is a whole new sensation for me! It's made out of silicone, so it feels smooth for a sexier feeling, but still firm enough to keep it on the right spot. The tip of it does have a little give, but I like that because I can't have something hard pressing into me or else it begins to feel uncomfortable. I never once felt uncomfortable using this vibrator. It was fun from the moment I turned it on to the moments after I was basking in the after-glow.

The angle of the end of the vibrator is perfect for stimulating the G-spot. The ripples of the vibrator also create a feeling I haven't felt before in the best way possible. 

With 10 different settings, there's a setting for everyone. This vibrator is perfect for people who don't need something too big (beginners), but still want a good amount of vibrations with not too big of a toy for penetration. The firmness of the ridges while it goes in and out creates a mind-blowing experience I don't ever want to come back from! I prefer toys with girth, but this toy is still a favorite of mine because it more than gets the job done.

It's firm enough to use as both a vaginal insert, just a normal vibrator, or if you're into it, anal. It won't pop out if you're a beginner due to the ridges and the firmness.

You do need your own 2 AAA batteries. I'm glad I read that I had to keep the piece of paper inside of the toy for it to work properly, because I was about to take it out and I would have been super sad had I not read that before using.

You can use water-based lubricant on this vibrator safely. It's also quiet enough to use in your bedroom without music or other background noise on if you live with someone else but the paper does need to stay on considering that's what keeps your vibrator quiet. The vibrations have both strong and soft settings for people who like one or the other, or even both for different times during the play session.
 It is not water-proof so a damp washrag with whatever you use to clean your other toys with will do.

It's a pretty pinkish/purple color, and super soft to the touch while maintaining the rigidity perfect for this specific toy. It looks a little flimsy when you connect the top half to the bottom, but I've used it every day since I received the product and have not had an issue with it breaking so far.

I love the fact that it's a good size to take apart and take with you on a trip secretly as opposed to other toys that may be longer.

-Quiet and discreet
-Perfect for beginners
-10 different settings so there's a setting or two, or all, for everyone
-Use for inside and outside, and can be used to anal

Things I'd change:
-The girth
-The length

This is only because I'm a seasoned toy collector! I loved the vibrator regardless of the girth or the length of it, but bigger for me would have been the icing on the cake!

Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any outside factors.