Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April TBR

April TBR

This month I am going to try to be more practical when writing my TBR. I usually am not able to meet all of my goals because I write to many books on this TBR list and don't leave myself any room to add last minute impulse books. 

This month the books I really hope to get to are...

1. The Annotated Alice and Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass and Where Alice Went 
by Lewis Carroll
2. The Graceling by Kristen Cashore
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 
4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab
5. Vampire Knight Vol 4 and 5 by Matsuri Hino 
6. With the Light 2: Raising an Autistic Child by Keiko Tobe

Six books is a lot less than I usually read in a month but I think that this is a good amount to commit to as I generally throw quite a bit of unexpected reading in during the middle of the month. 

What are you guys reading this month?

Have a great day bookworms! 

March Wrap-Up

March Wrap-Up

Hey guys! I can't believe another month has already passed us by! Time seems to be going so fast. This month I was able to stick with most of my reading goals for the month but like always I have a few impulse reads that through me off from completing my goals.

These are the books I hoped to read this month...
1. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
3. Fables: The Deluxe Edition Books 3 and 4 by Bill Willingham
4. Locke and Key Vol 5 and 6 by Joe Hill
5. Death Note Black Edition Vol 2 and 3 by Tsugumi Ohba
6. The Annotated Peter Pan
7. Naruto Vol 1 by Uzumake Naruto
8. Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper Kazu Kibuishi
9. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis
10. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L James
11. The Elite and the One by Kiera Cass

These are the books that I actually managed to complete this month...
1. Locke and Key Volume 5 by Joe Hill
4 stars
2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
5 Stars
3. Vampire Knight Volume 1 by Matsuri Hino
3 stars
4. Locke and Key Volume 6 by Joe Hill
5 Stars
5. The Annotated Peter Pan by J.M Barrie
3 Stars
6. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
3 Stars
7. Amulet the Stonekeeper Book 1 by Kazu Kibuishi
2 Stars
8. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis
4 Stars
9. Death Note Black Edition Volume 2 by Tsugumi Ohba
3 Stars
10. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
2 Stars
11. Vampire Knight Vol 2 by Matsuri Hino
3 Stars
12. Vampire Knight Vol 3 by Matsuri Hino
4 Stars
13. Death Note Black Edition Volume 3 by Tsugumi Ohba
4 Stars
14. With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child by Keiko Tobe 
4 Stars
15. Aspergirls by Rudy Simone
3 Stars 

The totals are...
5 novels
9 graphic novels/manga
1 nonfiction

It was a pretty good reading month overall and I have full reviews for almost all of the books I read this month unless they are sequels to a manga in which case I may have just done a review for the first volume. How was your reading month? What was the best thing you read this month?

Have a great day bookworms!  

PopSugar Challenge: Aspergirls

PopSugar Challenge

Aspergirls by Rudy Simone

Read a Nonfiction Book 

I decided to pick up this particular book to fill my "read a nonfiction book" due to my recent diagnosis with Aspergers syndrome. I have talked briefly about my diagnosis and Aspergers vs Autism in my review of the manga "With the Light" by Keiko Tobe. 

This book delves into the ways that women and girls with Aspergers are different and unique. It also talks about many of the struggles that people with this syndrome have to go through. For instance, many people with Aspergers syndrome have problems staying in college, keeping a job, finding meaningful friendships and ultimately finding a life partner. 

From personal experience I can say that much of what this book talks about is true and is helpful. It is nice to know that you are not alone and that you are not a complete freak. I have not actually ever met another woman with Aspergers so it was nice to read about others experiences. However, I did have a few problems with this book. There were a lot of assumptions made by the author and I noticed quite a few generalities being made. For example, the way she writes seems to say that if something is a symptom of Aspergers then EVERY woman will suffer with that problem. I also found many parts of the book depressing. For instance, it doesn't give much hope for those who have Aspergers to ever find meaningful relationships or a semi-normal family life. There were parts in which the book made me feel bad about myself or that I was somehow less-than. 

Overall I think this is probably a must read for anyone who wants to know about Aspergers for women. This is mostly due to the fact however that there is very little literature on the subject. It was a interesting read but not absolutely amazing. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child (REVIEW)

With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child Volume 1 
by Keiko Tobe


I came across this manga on Goodreads and for personal reasons I thought it sounded interesting.  I didn't really want to spend the money to purchase it so I was delighted when I found out that my local library had the entire series. I don't know why I found this so surprising but I did :-).

This manga is about a mother and father that find out their son is autistic. They struggle with many family issues as well as how to bring their autistic son up in normal society. Simply living daily life is a hardship for this family and they have to work many times harder than families with normal children just to get through a school day. This book deals with the difficulties families with autistic children face as well as the prejudice that comes along with the diagnosis.

I have recently really gotten hooked on Shoujo manga and anime so it was a nice change of pace to pick up a manga about real human problems. I was interested in this particular book due to the fact that I have Aspergers. I obviously know a lot from experience about high functioning autism but I wanted to know more about the other side of the spectrum. I assumed that I would share some similarities with fully autistic individuals but I wasn't sure to what extent. 

After reading this manga I feel that the gap in my mind has been bridged a little between the high and lower functioning ends of the autistic spectrum. I found out that people with Aspergers have many things in common like repetitive behaviors, a rigid sense of structure, a obsessive interest in certain things, and more. I also found out though that there are many differences. For example, people with Aspergers usually do not have a delay in speech and are at the same cognitive level of their peers or possibly at a higher level. We do however usually have a very hard time interacting with people in a socially acceptable manor. Many people with autism however may have trouble speaking or communicating. 

Reading this manga made me feel incredibly sad for those with autism as well as for their parents and caregivers. I can't imagine how damaging it would be to have a  disability in which a  person could not talk or function at a normal level. I also know that I would simply not have the patience to deal with the type of person that is described in this book. That makes me sad while I also feel ashamed of myself in some way for not having more empathy towards a group of people that are in fact very similar to myself. I think it is great though that there are people in the world that are able to educate and support the autistic community and are able to interact in such a kind manner. 

I would really recommend this book to anyone either interested in manga or in autism. It is extremely well thought out and explained, the graphics are wonderful, and it gives a ton of useful information about autism. 

Have a great day bookworms! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books that make you think

Top 5 Wednesday

Books that make you Think

1. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Ayn Rands ideas about Objectivism, selfishness, and a persons individuality make this book one that has a lot of complex ideas to chew on.

2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The themes of war in this book, especially war from a teenagers point of view, make you really think a lot. It brings up questions such as whether or not you should stay safe under a tyrannical ruler or if you should break away through violence and war.

3. 1984 by George Orwell
In my opinion this is one of the most interesting book I've ever read. The idea that the government is watching your every move and that you can never be your own person really gives you something to think about.

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This book is super complex and you never know what is going to happen. It sent my mind racing trying to figure out what was going on. The ending also makes you sit back and say WTH!

5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel 
This book makes you think because you never know what is real and what is just imagination. 

Have a great day bookworms!

Here is the link back to the Top 5 Wednesday page if you guys want to check it out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday 

Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR

Not all of these books are going to be released this spring (though most are) they are mostly just the books I want to read the most this spring. They also are not in any particular order.

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab

3. The Heir by Kiera Cass

4. Lying out Loud by Kody Keplinger

5. Ms. Marvel No Normal 

6. Hook by K.R Thompson 

7. The Start of me and you by Emery Lord

8. The Selection Stories: The Queen and the Favorite by Kiera Cass

9. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

10. Overruled by Emma Chase

Have a great day book worms!
What books are you most excited about reading this spring?

Here is a link back to the Broke and the Bookish if you want to check out some of the other Top Ten Tuesday posts!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Just Listen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

A Review

I have recently been trying to read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon but it has been making me feel pretty slumpy. 'Just Listen' by Sarah Dessen had been sitting on myself for probably a year and I had heard good things about it so I figured what the heck? Might as well read it. 

This book is about a teenager named Annabel who has a secret. Something happened last summer that Annabel refuses to talk about. The same night that she lost her best friend. Annabel is alone and isolated when she meets a hard core music lover named Owen and develops a friendship with him. During the course of the book Annabel struggles with her sisters anorexia, her mothers depression, love, friendships, and her inability to tell the truth. 

I thought that this book was a extremely generic and typical YA contemporary read with flat characters. I felt that there was nothing really interesting or different about it and to be honest it reminded me a lot of 'Since You've Been Gone' by Morgan Matson. I feel this way because both books had very similar characters and events. For example, Annabel really reminded me of Emily and the plot was set up very much in the same way. Both stories have a falling out with two best friends in which one of the friends meets a new guy who helps her through her issues. 

I'm not sure why I continue to read these YA contemporaries if it is more than likely I will not enjoy them. I guess I wanted to give this book a shot because I can remember absolutely loving one of Dessen's other books, 'Along for the Ride'. Maybe I should just only read contemporary if it is written by Stephanie Perkins and then I wont have to write anymore negative reviews. :-)

"Silence is so freaking loud." 
-Sarah Dessen 'Just Listen'

Have a great day bookworms!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Anime Lovin': Blue Spring Ride

Anime Lovin'

Blue Spring Ride

Blue Spring Ride is an anime about a girl named Futaba who is trying to change her life. She has been pretending to be really un-feminine and uninterested in guys in order to be liked by all of the other girls in her class. The only boy Futaba has ever liked was Kou Tanaka but he moved away suddenly in junior high school When he finally comes back into Futaba's life during high school she is ecstatic but Kou quickly makes it known that things have changed and that he no longer has feelings for her. 

This anime is so cute and I love that it is much more than simply a girl likes boy show. The development of Futaba's friend group is also a big part of the show and I love it. Futaba's friends are amazing and loyal and they are a great addition to the anime.

I don't know what it is about a lot of anime having quite a mean male character as the lead love interest but this is the second one I've watched just this week. It doesn't bother me though. It makes for a lot of good drama and it is interesting trying to figure out why the guy's being such a jerk. 

The only real problem I have with this show is the ending. In my opinion the show didn't really end and it was ridiculously unsatisfying. I'm fine with the ending if they plan on releasing another season but if not I think I might be pretty angry. Especially since this is another one of those manga's that has not been released in English.

You can find this anime on Hulu and I strongly suggest you go check it out! There is also a live action movie that was released last year but I'm not sure how to find it as I have decided that I don't really want to watch it. 

Have a great day bookworms!

Monday, March 9, 2015

PopSugar Challenge: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2015

Read a Book With Nonhuman Characters
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis

I was read aloud this entire book series by C.S Lewis when I was in third of fourth grade. I remember thinking it was fantastic and looking forward to reading time each day. This year however I realize that I had never actually set down and read this book myself. I went into it honestly expecting that I wouldn't care for it much. Lately I have been giving many middle and elementary books reads or re-reads and simply finding out that they are no longer to my liking as I have gotten older. Because of this I was so surprised when I found myself loving this book. 

The world and characters are so fantastical and wonderful in this book and everything is just as it should be. I love all of the nonhuman characters, especially the beavers as I love beavers in real life. There is giants, centaurs, fauns, lions, witches, and a whole host of other talking animals to enjoy. C.S Lewis's writing style is also something to brag about. I usually take no notice of the way an author writes but this book struck me as something special. There is such a light charm to the writing of this book and I enjoy how the author takes the time to talk to the reader personally about the story.

I wasn't a huge fan of the obvious Christian symbolism as I am not religious myself. However, it detracted very little from the story and I was able to enjoy it on the whole despite this. 

I happily found out while reading this book that this series is one that can span all ages. You will be able to enjoy this story as a child, an adult, and hopefully even into your old age (we'll see about that). I would recommend this book to anyone of any age and I can't wait to continue with the series!

*I chose to read these books in order of publication date. That seems to be the way most authors like their books read. I know though that there are many people that read these books in chronological order. I'm sure there is no right or wrong way but is simply a preference of the reader. 

“She did not shut it properly because she knew that it is very silly to shut oneself into a wardrobe, even if it is not a magic one.” 

Have a great day bookworms!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Anime Lovin': Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Anime Lovin' 

Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Hey guys! So "anime lovin'" is going to be a little blog series I'm going to start doing on here. These posts will be about a specific anime that I have watched that I want to review. In today's post I want to talk about Wolf Girl and Black Prince.

This anime is about a girl named Erica and a guy named Kyoya. The series starts off by Erica lying to her friends about having a boyfriend. She takes a random guys picture on the street and shares it with her friends. She soon finds out that Kyoya actually goes to her school. She then must make a deal with him in order for him to play along with her secret. In exchange for him pretending to be Erica's boyfriend, Kyoya wants Erica to be his loyal dog. She must do whatever he says whenever he says it and consent to being treated like an animal. This premise was extremely interesting to me and out of the ordinary so I knew I had to watch it. 

I ended up being completely obsessed with this show. The actual artwork is pretty normal and looks like many other anime's I have watched. While I know that many people are annoyed by Shojo anime, I find that I really enjoy it. It is totally unlike regular television shows and I actually like all the crying and screaming and large emotions. 

This show could definitely be described as a guilty pleasure romance but I don't care. I'm totally fangirling over it. I watched the entire season in one day and since then I've watched some episodes over again. The season is 12 episodes which in my opinion isn't near long enough since I love it so much. I will say though that the ending does wrap it up well and I'm happy with the way it ended (unlike Blue Spring Ride!). One thing that really does frustrate me is that from what I can tell it is pretty much impossible to get an English edition of this manga. I found just a few options on Ebay and they were all ridiculously expensive. You can find the anime though on Hulu and I suggest any girl who just likes silly, fun, guilty pleasure type shows check it out! The opening song is also amazing and I have basically been listening to it on repeat all day! :-)

Have a great day bookworms! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

PopSugar Challenge: My Heart and other Black Holes

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2015

My Heart and other Black Holes 
by Jasmine Warga

I read a quote from this book on Goodreads and I was hooked. I knew I had to read this book. The issues in this book surrounding depression and mental illness are close to my heart. I have read many books in the past concerning mental illness and it is my personal opinion that very few get it right. This book however was able to portray depression and mental illness in a way that I at least found to be believable. 

I thought that the characters seemed very cold and uncaring throughout much of the book which I find to be extremely realistic. Some people think that it is weird that they acted this way but I understand that when you are that depressed and are ready to die, that you simply don't care about anything anymore. I also really loved how Aysel described her depression as a slug that eats away at all of her happy thoughts. This is wonderful imagery. 

This book has some truly amazing quotes. I'm pretty sure I just blew up my Goodreads account "liking" quote after quote from this book. There are so many wonderful sayings from this book that I will want to remember for a long time to come.

“Maybe the sadness comes just before the insanity” 

Why the three star rating you may ask? Well, while I really enjoyed this story and felt that it was realistic, I just thought it was a good story and not a great one. I really enjoyed reading it, in fact I read it in one sitting. However, I just don't think the story or the characters will stick with me for a long time and I certainly wont be re-reading it. For me a three star rating mean that I simply like the book. So it is not a bad rating and I hope this review doesn't discourage anyone from reading it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about mental illness or if you are just looking for a sad story.

“Depression is like a heaviness that you can’t ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like tying your shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty-mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it’s in your bones and your blood.” - Aysel

Have a great day bookworms!

Review: Amulet The Stonekeeper

Amulet the StoneKeeper by Kazu Kibuishi


I picked up this graphic novel because it has been hugely hyped recently on Goodreads. You think I would learn my lesson by now and just admit to myself that I don't like what everybody else likes. Alas, I picked this up anyway partly due to the hype and partly due to the fact that the cover art looked very good. I was certainly not disappointed with the artwork. It was absolutely stunning. It was realistic and colorful and perfectly to my taste. Unfortunately the story itself was not. 

I found that I was not interested in the story and could not attach to the characters. I don't think this is the fault of the graphic novel however. I just think that I might be a little to old to enjoy this middle grade story. Maybe if I was a little younger I could have loved it immensely.

 The beginning really reminded me of the comic book series Locke and Key which I love. From the house to the key shape in the window, there was so many things that reminded me of the Locke and Key series. I was prepared to really love the story but just couldn't. I will not be continuing with this series. 

Have a great day bookworms!

Friday, March 6, 2015

PopSugar Challenge: Peter Pan

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2015

Read a Book that's over 100 years old

Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

This is my first time reading Peter Pan by J.M Barrie and it has obviously been a long time coming. I finally decided to pick it up because of the recent release by K.R Thompson called "Hook". "Hook" is about Captain Hooks early life and how he got his beginnings as a fearsome pirate. I am a Once Upon a Time fan so naturally I would be excited to read anything about my favorite character from the show. I felt though that it was important to read the original story of Peter Pan before I could read this new book about Hook.

I have very mixed emotions about this book which makes it extremely difficult to rate or review. On one hand, many parts of the book are very entertaining and have you wishing that you could live in Neverland. Battling pirates, meeting mermaids, befriending an Indian tribe, and flying all sound pretty spectacular to me. On the other hand, there were times where I found all of the characters to be annoying and juvenile to a ridiculous degree. For example, it is quite aggravating how Wendy is constantly acting like a little mother even though she is a child herself while Peter Pan is also constantly forgetting every event and every person that has ever come into his life. 

I understand that the annoying traits of Barrie's characters were purposely written in order to show the reader how polar opposite being a child and being an adult is. However, it does make it a slightly more tedious read to read about characters that you don't necessarily even like all of the time. 

I usually read books purely for entertainment value but I found myself liking that this book had me thinking about deeper issues. The writing makes you remember yourself as a child and how wonderful it was to be innocent and carefree. It also shows you though that not growing up also has it downsides. In the end what I got out of the book is that childhood is a great thing to be enjoyed immensely but that there is also merit in growing up and that both of these states of being have there perks and there downsides. 

I was going to give this book a 2.5 stars out of 5 but considering it's depth and the way in which it made me think, I will say that it deserves a three star rating. 

*My favorite character in this book was surprisingly not Hook. While I really enjoyed him, I just ended up liking Peter better. He certainly had his downsides like I wrote about earlier but I loved that he was the embodiment of good form. He was a fair fighter, a loyal friend, and a overall good little boy.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder… or forgetful.” - J.M Barrie

Have a great day bookworms!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino

Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino


I found this first volume of Vampire Knight to be fairly confusing. The dialogue does not run smoothly and the pictures are hard to follow. The characters are all pretty one dimensional and fell flat in my opinion. I did however really enjoy Zero's character. He was the most developed and something about his story intrigued me. I really enjoyed the premise of this manga though. I am interested in the idea of vampires living side by side with humans as well as a human that bitterly hates vampires becoming one himself. I can see that there is also probably going to be a love triangle and I have to admit that I'm a sucker for romance.I am going to continue with the second volume of this series in hopes that it gets better. 

Have a great day bookworms!

Monday, March 2, 2015

PopSugar Challenge: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2015

Read a Book Set in High School
The Unbecoming of Dara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

What the heck and holy crap on a cracker. I can't believe what I just read. I am completely obsessed with books/movies/TV shows about mental illness but I find that very few do it right. This book absolutely knows how to portray mental illness. 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a story about a girl with a body count. Mara's three best friends are dead and she can't remember how it happened. Throughout the book most people think that she is crazy. Simply suffering from a case of PTSD after the trauma she experienced with the death of her friends. That is until the hottest boy in school begins paying her attention. Mara and Noah become unlikely allies, searching for answers to what happened the night of her best friend's death as well as whether or not Mara is truly crazy. 

This book is truly amazing for so many reasons and is one of the best books I've read in awhile. The characters are extremely likable and the story is about as realistic as it could possibly be considering the paranormal/mental illness themes. Mara Dyer is a likable and relatable character and OMG Noah Shaw! He is a really sexy character to read about. Honestly his character reminds me of a mix between Christian Grey and Travis Maddox but that is a whole different can of worms.

I love how this book keeps you guessing and you almost never know what it real and what is fake (for the most part). I will admit that I was able to guess from the beginning how Mara's friends died and what exactly her special power was. I will say though that being able to predict that part of the book didn't at all detract from the rest of the book. There is so much happing and so much action crammed into this tome that it is okay to figure out a couple of the plot points. 

The only thing about this book that I think may bother some readers is the insta-love. I know that a lot of people don't like it when characters fall in love at the drop of the hat but it honestly doesn't bother me. I think it really worked in this books favor even because since there is so much information and action crammed into it, the author would have been hard pressed to draw the romance out any further without making the book at least another 100 pages longer. 

It is hard to decide what to label this book as. It has romance, family issues, paranormal aspects, mystery, and mental illness all wrapped up into one neat package. In my opinion it couldn't have gotten any better and it made me laugh out loud more then a few times. I mean what is more awesome than a book that has it all? The sequel to this book "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" is just sitting on my shelf just begging me to dig into it. I hope I will be able to soon!

“My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something. A pseudonym. A nom de plume, for all of us studying for the SATs. I know that having a fake name is strange, but trust me—it’s the most normal thing about my life right now. Even telling you this much probably isn’t smart. But without my big mouth, no one would know that a seventeen-year-old who likes Death Cab for Cutie was responsible for the murders. No one would know that somewhere out there is a B student with a body count. And it’s important that you know, so you’re not next.” 
-Mara Dyer

Have a great day bookworms!