The smash-hit spinoff comic series based Cartoon Network’s top-rated cartoon, Adventure Time, is here! Join fan-favorite characters Marceline and Princess Bubblegum for riot grrl rock-fueled excitement in this brand-new ADVENTURE TIME mini-series! Thanks to a newfound interest in music, Princess Bubblegum joins Marceline’s paranormal rock band for a tour across the land of Ooo! But when they’re threatened by everything from scenesters to beasts born of self-doubt, can they make it to the RADDEST GIG EVER in time?! Written and drawn by acclaimed cartoonist Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), this graphic novel collecting the entire hit series is a must-have for any ADVENTURE TIME fan!
So how many of you watch Adventure Time on Cartoon Network? My boyfriend and I LOVE this show, have seen it from the beginning, and have episodes we rewatch over and over again. It’s supposedly a kids show, but it has depth of character and story the likes of which I have never seen in animation before. The Ice King in particular has one of the saddest tales of human error EVER OF ALL TIME. The backstory is interesting, there is so much to learn in Ooo about the Mushroom War, but the female characters are my favorites. In the show, a long, troubled friendship between Princess Bubblegum (PB or P-Bubs to Finn) and Marceline the Vampire Queen is hinted at, but we don’t see much of them together. This sort of fixes that, and in the best way possible. This is a series of six comics, so I’ll review them one by one, then have a summary graf at the end.
#1: Right off the bat, PB is annoyed by Marceline. We know from experience that PB and Marceline are both jealous of the other and seem to have a hard time saying so. Marceline pretends like she doesn’t care about PB’s opinion, but she does, and it upsets her that the princess doesn’t seem into her music. The history between the two girls I mentioned before is hinted at some more here, with Marceline calling PB “Bonnibel,” which is the princess’s middle name. Obscure, right? A bunch of fan favorite characters–Tree Trunks, Peppermint Butler, Cinnamon Bun, and others–make brief cameo appearances that made me happy. This was a cute first issue, and the song at the end made my day.
#2: We follow Marceline and her band as they embark on their first ever tour. PB is their manager and none too happy about the state of their affairs. She does her best to help promote Marceline, but Marcy’s just a little…prickly. It was fun to see obscure-ish music references (after they meet a record executive, Keila says, “I’ve got the CBGBs!”) as well. But what this series really seems to be about is acceptance. Everyone in the comic has some self-esteem issues and they’re worked out along the way. I think that’s part of what the show is about: being yourself and not caring what others think. The little story at the end was cute too.
#3: In this one, we see Lumpy Space Princess, who I love and adore beyond reason, and Marceline gets a taste of criticism. Marceline is all fast burning emotion; anger is so easy for her, plus she’s insecure, though she’d never come out and say it. PB seems to get a little love interest, but some lycanthropy might stand in their way (plus who doesn’t ship PB with Finn?). Marceline is very deeply offended/hurt by the negative review, and she reacts by leaving the band. There is a lovely Earl of Lemongrab story at the end, who is always a crowd-pleaser.
#4: It turns out that Marceline hasn’t quit the band after all, but her bad attitude remains! The drawing in this one is gorgeous, probably because the kingdom they’re visiting is underwater and I love mermaids. The romance between Guy and PB continues to be funny (to me anyway), because no one talks about it. We also get some insights into PB, who misses home, and a little story about Peppermint Butler (and the Ice King) at the end! This was my favorite of the series.
#5: This one bring us to Marceline’s hometown, the Nightosphere. She is especially insecure and uncomfortable here, even though her performances seem to go really well. PB is fed up and has to leave, but not before telling Marceline that the tour changed PB’s life. This is sort of a mini look at Marceline — her roots, the environment she’s used to, the people she knows. It’s pretty horrible there, as anyone who watches the show knows. As PB and Tree Trunks woefully leave the Nightosphere, Marceline is contemplating scaling back and moving home.
#6: Here we are at the end of the PB and Marceline friendship adventure! Bubblegum has some truly great hair in this one. One thing that sets Adventure Time apart as a show is that the characters tend to change, especially the women. Marceline and PB change their outfits regularly. Marceline, meanwhile, is completely losing her mind onstage at the Scream Queens’ farewell show. Bubblegum saves the day in a sort of heartwarming-for-them moment, and LSP makes a typical and hilarious appearance to round the whole thing out.
The art in these is lovely, and I liked how there were different covers and different interpretations of our leading ladies. As usual with PB and Marceline, this is a story about competing priorities and a strained friendship, with little dashes of low self-esteem here and there. The stories at the end of the comics were about usually unrelated Adventure Time characters, and they were pretty much universally great, though as I mentioned above, Peppermint Butler wins. There isn’t as much depth here as there is in the show, but I’m not sure it’s meant to, and you certainly can’t expect one medium to express things in the exact same ways as another. I liked these. I had a fun romp, and it’s always cool when they add a little bit more backstory to the mysterious land of Ooo.
*As an unrelated aside, I am suffering from the worst book burnout I have ever experienced, resulting in me reading a quarter of a book then throwing it down in disgust and disinterest over and over. I am particularly burnt out on YA supernatural novels and their romances (I blame Untold). I am trying to remedy this by reading adult urban fantasy, adult mystery, YA contemporary, and a ton of comics/graphic novels. I’m also playing a ton of the Sims 3. In the meantime, reviews from me might be slow-ish. Don’t worry though. I’m still here
In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.
Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.
I understand you’re confused. Ashley, the contemporary lover is back with another high fantasy book. WHAT IS GOING ON?! Tina and I were recently discussing that it is interesting: she’s more into contemp and I want to read all the fantasy on my TBR list.
While this book was as good, or even better than the first book The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I did however have problems getting into it, because as we discussed before, if I’m not reading fantasy on plane my mind wanders. Once I got into it, I was sucked in. Hector and Elisa made me feel like I was back home. Into their world where things are dangerous, questionable and of course exciting.
And then I could not put the book down, that was honestly in part to the slow burn that is Hector and Elisa and the fact it is so slow it’s close to perfect. (I cannot believe I just said that. I am so not a slow burn person.) But the slow burn works because while Elisa understands she is supposed to get re-married and produce another heir, Carson has Elisa more worried about being strong and worrying about survival. Which of course is an awesome genius thing to see in a YA book. Elisa also spends a good portion of the book fighting for what her faith means to her and coming to understand when one grows up their view changes and sometimes that hurts.
However, this book did make me swoon harder than most books do. Which is weird for me, because I read a steady stream of romance novels for a solid decade there. But things like this get said and my heart was all SWOOOOON.
I am wholly and irreversibly in love with the commander of my Royal Guard. –The Crown of Embers p 191
That simple line got me because Elisa did not see it coming. It slapped her in the face with shock. The romance is such a slow burn. So. So. Slow. But anything else wouldn’t have worked. Really. Mostly because the relationship sneaks up and scares Elisa. She doesn’t know how to handle these feelings or what to do with them and it’s adorable to see her flounder in an area of her life. But like I said above: romance isn’t the point of the novel. Someone is after Elisa’s life and everyone is worried about her and her safety and a good portion of the novel is dedicated to escaping the assassin only to end up where the assassin wanted them all along.
I cannot wait to see the conclusion of this trilogy in The Bitter Kingdom.
From Sarah Strohmeyer, author of Smart Girls Get What They Want, comes this romantic comedy about one girl’s summer job from hell. Think The Devil Wears Prada set in Disney World.
When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they’ve hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie-like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want?
Once Zoe arrives, however, she’s assigned to serve “The Queen”-Fairyland’s boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money.
Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe’s job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams? – Goodreads
I have been a huge Sarah Strohmeyer from her Bubbles series so when I found out that she wrote a YA novel my heart soared and oh how did I love and adore that book and then she wrote Zoe. For some stupid reason I put Zoe on the back burner for a reason. Not a good reason, I just did. I’m going to blame grad school, because I can. I recently picked up Zoe again and devoured it in one sitting.
Zoe has had a fairly hard life. Her mother was sick for most of it, when she wasn’t at home or school she was being shuffled back and forth to the hospital to see her mom. Then, one day, her mom ultimately dies. Zoe is still working through the grief, yet is still able to land a summer internship, with her cousin and BFF, Jess at Fairyland Kingdom (don’t you dare mention THE MOUSE!) At Fairyland Kingdom while everyone dreams of playing a character, Zoe continues to be confused to why she’s even there and then it comes out: she is to be the assistant to the Queen Bitch of the park. Although not her official title, that is what I call her, because ultimately that is what she is.
Much of the plot is based on what Zoe has to do her for boss, which is a lot of running around doing mundane every day tasks. Thrown in there though, there is a focus on friendship, because although Zoe and Jess can’t see each other every moment of everyday, they are still there for each other when needed. They aren’t catty and backstabby like so many female friendships are portrayed. There, of course, is a romance plot intertwined. But what is genius about this plot is that is it is not thrown in your face. To me this was never a romance novel, to me it was a story about first impressions and friendships.
I loved Zoe. I love that this is what I consider to be a perfect read. It’s light, it’s fluffy, but it has a plot. You feel for the characters. I want more of this from YA.
Adventure is in Tory Brennan’s blood. After all, she’s the grandniece of world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Always up for a challenge, Tory and her science-geek friends spend their time exploring the marshlands of Loggerhead Island, home to the very off-limits Loggerhead Island Research Institute, where something strange is going on. After rescuing a stray wolfdog pup from a top-secret lab, Tory and her friends are exposed to a rare strain of canine parvovirus, changing them–and their DNA–forever. Now they are more than friends. They are a pack. They are Virals. And they’re dangerous to the core. But are they unstoppable enough to catch a cold-blooded murderer? – Goodreads
While I’m a huge fan of the show Bones I have not read Kathy Reichs’ series about Temperance Brennan mostly because science has never been my thing. Liberal arts major over here! But! My BFFSarah has. Sarah read them in the basement of the student union during undergrad and continuously freaked out when anyone would say hi to her. If I never review again, assumed she killed me for telling that story.
Sarah did however give me the okay for this series. She told me forever ago that it was more me than the “adult” series, but my TBR list being what it is, it never happened. And then I went to YALLfest and saw Brendan Reichs do things he would rather forget and then I knew I had to read the series. Yes, sometimes authors do help me adjust my TBR list.
This is a thick book, not necessarily in size, but in information. The co-authors do not dumb anything down for the younger audience and there is a solid 200 pages of plot and an information dump, which of course, thankfully didn’t feel like an info dump to a point. I mean, I still know an info dump when I see one. That being said, this felt like an adult book that was marketed to the YA audience. Tori spoke like a 30 year old. While she skipped a grade, she didn’t skip being a teenager. I understand not all teens talk a certain way, but this did not seem authentic. It felt like a 40 year old in the body of a 14 year old (and that is being said by a 80 year old in the body of a 25 year old.)
This is the story of Tori, Tempe’s grandniece, is extremely smart and confident and I love that about a YA character. Tori lives near Charleston, South Carolina with her new found father, since her mother’s passing. I need to say that Charleston works for this story. I felt like I was in Charleston while reading this. The authors made Charleston work for this novel, plus the feature of two maps was extremely helpful and awesome. (I’m a huge huge map person. Tina, who along with being my friend is my facebook friend, is laughing because my facebook is often LOOK AT THIS MAP GUYS. MAAAAAAAAAAAAP.)
So Tori, lives on this island near Charleston with her father and her best friend Hi. Hi and her go to the local high school where they are looked down upon for being “island people” and the stigma that comes with it. Along with this stigma, Tori must face her father’s girlfriend and the COTILLION world that comes with her. Because nothing screams “THIS WILL MAKE YOU FIT IN” quite like a cotillion does (Southern United States or not.) That aside Tori and her friends run into a fit of supernatural trouble and a murder mystery that didn’t completely work for me. Murder mystery? Yes. The supernatural bit..ehhhh.
I did however enjoy the novel, even if it shocked me at a point which involved me sending CAPLOCKS BECAUSE HOW..HOW DID THIS BOOK SHOCK ME. But it did. I’m not necessarily dying to read the next book in the series, but I am interested in what happens to the characters.
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do. – Goodreads
Yes. I have already reviewed this book once before, on goodreads. It was quick and to the point, very much like “I get why this book has rave reviews. It is not for me…” Because most high fantasy is not for me.
But here’s the thing. I saw Rae Carson speak at the Keynote at YALLfest and I had to give this book another shot. There had to be something I was missing. And that is when I figured it out. High fantasy is my thing when I’m on vacation or on a plane. Who knew?!
I was sucked in. Could not put it down and read any of the other books in my bag sucked in. See the photo to the right of the bag of books I was carrying on the plane. My name is Ashley and I am cheap for shipping. Plus they were autographed. Back to Carson and The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I was sucked in. Heck, I’m still sucked in. Mostly annoyed that I put the second book in a box to be shipped home and now I have to wait. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. And it is high fantasy?! Tina is doing the contemporary books, I’m doing fantasy. ALL SORTS OF CONFUSION AROUND HERE.
All that was said, because you know what. I really, really enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns. (Also enjoyed the girl in the airport thinking I was reading A Song of Ice and Fire..HAHA. No.) I loved that Elisa is a strong girl. She is not the “typical” YA heroine, and I must have overlooked that last time. How, I don’t know, because Carson writes so well that this time I couldn’t stop turning the pages to see what happened to Elisa. Things I remember bothering me the first time I read it no longer bother me. I was enthralled. I cared about Elisa and her growth. And Carson writes her in such a way that her growth needed to happen, not for a boy, or her father, or anyone but for herself. And to have a chachter be a strong woman in that way was awesome to me as a reader.
I cannot wait to see where Elisa’s path of greatness goes in The Crown of Embers. WHERE ARE YOU BOX?! WHERE ARE YOU?!
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret.
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.
Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.
God, you guys, I am just so ashamed that I thought YA contemporary was shallow. This is another just heart-wrenching book, with a more realistic protagonist. Chelsea was popular once, the kind of popularity achieved by being the most popular girl’s BFF/lap dog. She uses information as leverage, to make people laugh, to make herself feel better than the person she’s gossiping about. There are no consequences for Chelsea until the night she tells a secret and a boy gets beaten into a coma. Chelsea can’t keep this secret and goes to the police, which loses her all of her friends. She is alone, and she regrets her decision to tell almost immediately. All she wants are her friends back. She’s very grating and obnoxious at first, but she has a visible arc of growth, and it’s fantastic.
Chelsea stays silent for about a month, and learns so much about herself and the lifestyle she led with her former BFF. She continues to have moments of regret, moments where she misses her old life fiercely. It’s not until the end that she truly realizes what she did was right. Hearing about Noah’s injuries wasn’t the same as seeing them, it turns out. Chelsea is tough. She’s a little hard to like at first, but she definitely grows. She’s not willing to lie down and take the abuse doled out by her classmates, resorting to glares and gestures. She refuses to be broken. This is a coming of age tale wrapped up in a larger message: Chelsea learns so many things about herself while we all learn that homophobia is real and pops up in unexpected, and unfortunate, places.
The romance in this one was super cute too, partially because Chelsea is a little oblivious, partly due to Sam. He’s sweet, and he starts off not really interested in even Chelsea’s friendship. You know how Edward Cullen turned into a horrible person to keep Bella away from him? Sam keeps Chelsea away by showing his indifference. That’s all it really takes. You don’t have to act like a jerk to push people away. Sam grows too, and we get to see this tableau of characters that I didn’t find stereotypical. I just really liked the majority of the pieces in this novel. That might not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it is! Harrington’s writing style is perfect for the topic and she gives voice to the characters really well. Check it out! And then come back and read my review of Saving June.
It’s time to meet your new roomie.
When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl’s summer — and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.
As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they’ve never met.
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate. – Goodreads
This book gave me, mostly good, flashbacks. Flashbacks to myspace (she didn’t have a facebook!) messaging my freshman year roommate the summer of 2006 worried about how it would be and who would do what. Hint: she was a fabulous roomate and we still talk to this day. Mostly about how we went to a party school for undergrad and ended up staying in watching massive amount of TV and eating pizza (Hi Kristie! Miss you! Lets catch up!) It also gave me flashbacks to a few (almost two!) years ago when I sent Tina a DM going “hey! Can I email you?” and her going “OF COURSE” and our lives never being the same.
Here’s the thing about Tina and I. We cannot text or IM each other. When we need to in VERY IMPORTANT situations we will, but it’s almost awkward and forced and not us. It’s painfully not us. Trust me, we’ve tried. I know you’re thinking, it’s the same! Just shorter. Yeah, Tina and I are verbose in emails. We start the day with the simple hi and then I get all dramatic and throw CAPLOCKS around and it’s a failing mess.
The reason I’m bringing up these two moments in my life is not only did they define who I am as a person, but this book brought back a lot of those feelings that I once had and sometimes still have. Just because you’re BFFs and you email a lot doesn’t mean you don’t read an email with a wrong tone. I’ve had days where I was convinced Tina was mad at me, only to have her later tell me that we were fine and I just read the email in the wrong tone. That happens throughout this novel and it made me chuckle every time it happened.
This is the story of Elizabeth, EB and Lauren, two girls who’s lives could not be more opposite if they tried. If they went to the same high school their lives would have probably never intertwined. Of course their college decided their lives should intertwine. Zarr and Altebrando write this novel in alternating chapters, from each girls POV and then sprinkle in a few emails. I adored the emails because that is when the characters shined, in my opinion.
For example, once, Lauren is being bogged down by her 5 brothers and sisters so she is short and tense in an email to EB, without meaning to. Of course EB takes it personal like “what is that bitch’s problem.” Then we get their dialogue about “what did I do wrong?! I thought I was nice” I related to that. Heck, I still relate to that (Tina is now rolling her eyes.)
While this was an enjoyable book for me, there was nothing overly memorable about the book. There were times I wanted to strangle both of the girls because they’re teenagers and you could see the moment was going to crash and burn and ultimately hurt them but Zarr and Altebrando made it work for them. If anything it was a solid novel, the ending however was a bit of a let down for me, but I can see why the authors decided to end it where they did.