Saturday, August 26, 2017

Aaru by David Meredith book thoughts

Title: Aaru
Series: Yes (The Aaru Cycyle Book 1)
Author: David Meredith
Published Date: July 9th, 2017
Publisher: Amazon
Source: Author
# of Pages: 305
Format: Ebook
Genre: YA/NA/Sci-Fi
Days to Read: 4
Rating: 3.75/5 stars
Would I recommend it?: Yes
Would I read more books by this Author?: Yes
My Social Media: Goodreads/My Booktube Channel/Twitter/Instagram

Goodreads Synopsis

"…Death and the stillness of death are the only things certain and common to all in this future…"
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.

She is sixteen years old.

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.

Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.

My Thoughts

I received this copy from David Meredith in exchange for my honest review.

This book really did tug at my heart strings. It starts off with Rose dying in the hospital thanks to Leukemia. While I have never had Leukemia so I understand it's different, having been born with vacterl association, among other things, living disabled and with chronic pain, and often being in the hospital for one surgery or another, I was able to relate to Rose in ways. In how she felt and the things she thought, I've had those same feelings and thoughts. And I don't think i've ever seen them written so plainly in a book before.

Even though Rose's body dies, they scan her brain beforehand so she can live on in Aaru, still able to communicate with others like her sister Koren and their parents. Her essence living on in basically a huge computer. What would you do if you could communicate with a loved one after death, their essence living on, able to talk to you through data in a computer, through a computer screen you could see each other? Sound too much like blasphemy? Playing God? Would you think it's a wonderful future, essentially conquering death once and for all? What about their soul? Is it truly them?

Since Rose is the first to really experience it, Koren is asked to be a spokesperson for Aaru, to help spread the word, and at just 13 years old becomes a celebrity. Both Rose and Koren have POV's. Not everyone is happy with Aaru but Koren does get many fans. The life of a young celebrity isn't exactly easy though. Even among her fans not everyone is...well good.

This tackles questions of life and death, of what it means to be alive, of being a celebrity and young.

I had a couple issues with it but over all did enjoy it. My issues having to do with Koren's mother slapping her and that never being mentioned as not ok, despite the situation. Even though I could understand her mother's feelings it isn't ok to slap your 13 year old child. One case of the r-word and a thing with Jonas (Koren's celebrity crush that she does end up meeting) that I don't want to spoil but left a bad taste in my mouth. Though about that last thing I did like that Koren does act like the young teenager that she is. I have nothing against the way she acted and thought, I could understand that having once been a teenager myself. I just don't want to spoil it..

I loved the characters and the writing had me flying across the pages while I was reading it, desperate to know what happened next. I cried and felt many emotions while reading. I loved the conversations about life, death, being sick, the way people treat you and the things they say when your chronically ill that I related so much too, and the role religion played. There were people of different religions and ethnicities in Aaru and that played a part in how they felt about it.

I am glad to have read this and am looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Hate Fairyland Vol 2 Fluff My Life by Skottie Young book thoughts

Title: Fluff My Life
Series: Yes (I Hate Fairyland #2)
Author: Skottie Young
Published Date: December 13th, 2016
Publisher: Image Comics
Source: I bought it
# of Pages: 128
Format: Comic/Paperback
Genre: Fantasy/Humor
Days to Read: 2
Rating: 4/5 stars
Would I recommend it?: Yes
Would I read more books by this Author?: Yes
My Social Media: Goodreads/My Booktube Channel/Twitter/Instagram

Goodreads Synopsis

All hail Gertrude, the new Queen of Fairyland. After thirty years of wreaking havoc across this magical world to find her way back home, she must now overcome her biggest challenge yet... ruling the place she hates most. Join Gert as she continues her never-ending quest to get the FLUFF out of Fairyland. The hilariously brutal Fairytale adventure continues by superstar cartoonist SKOTTIE YOUNG. Collects issues 6-10.

My Thoughts

It's difficult to review a comic, especially as this is not the first in the series. That said I very much enjoyed this second installment of I Hate Fairyland! Gertrude is still trying to escape fairyland to get back home. There is still plenty of deaths, blood and humor. I know how it sounds but this series doesn't take itself too seriously and it's all cartoony and colorful and still definitely not for kids! It's funny, gory and light-hearted. I feel like a bit more happened in the first volume but I still very much enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the third volume.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland book thoughts

Title: My Life as a White Trash Zombie
Series: Yes (White Trash Zombie #1)
Author: Diana Rowland
Published Date: Publisher: DAW
Source: I bought it
# of Pages: Format: 310
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Days to Read: 5
Rating: 4.75/5 stars
Would I recommend it?: Yes
Would I read more books by this Author?: Yes
My Social Media: Goodreads/My Booktube Channel/Twitter/Instagram

Goodreads Synopsis

Angel Crawford is a loser.

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she's a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who's been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn't have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there's a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it's an offer she doesn't dare refuse.

Before she knows it she's dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she's hungriest!

Angel's going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn't, she's dead meat.


My Thoughts

TW: Abuse, Suicide, Rape (no suicide or rape is in the book but if you read it you'll understand the trigger warnings), r-word (one instance that I noticed)

I'd heard some good things about this book and it sounded interesting, so I picked it up and i'm so glad I did! Not only was it entertaining but it was also deeper and had a bigger impact than I was expecting!

Angel is such an amazing character! She's flawed, human (or...sort of being a zombie but you know what I mean). She's had a rough life. Her and her dad live in a trailer with her father's beer bottles littering the driveway. The abuse is from him to her. Her mother wasn't much better but is no longer around. I don't know how to adequately describe it all but suffice it to say she hasn't had it easy. She dropped out of high school, got addicted to pills, has issues from the way her father treats her and not really knowing how to be a grown up because no one was there to teach her life skills.

She goes through a lot of character development through-out the novel. She nearly dies and would have if she hadn't been turned into a zombie, essentially giving her a second chance. She gets a job at a morgue, which she doesn't understand why at first or how but it eventually becomes clear. She has to learn how to grow up if she is to survive. She's 21.

This book shows the effects of abuse and it never condones or normalizes it. She learns that she doesn't deserve that crap and learns how to stand up for herself. She's a caring person, realistically flawed, and she really grows into herself and is a strong character (and i'm not talking the hyped up on brains zombie strength). Angel is my favorite part about this book! I loved the entire thing though.

The plot was interesting and had me wanting to read on and know more, the writing sucked me in, the pacing was steady and picked up even more in the second half. I was never bored. I cried multiple times, I hugged the book and I squealed with joy. It made me think and at times hit really close to home for me. This story truly gave me all the feels! There are well written characters, interesting zombies, mystery and feels wrapped up in a bad-ass fast paced package!

If it sounds at all interesting to you i'd highly recommend giving this story a read! I can't wait to pick up the rest of the series!

Monday, August 7, 2017

An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen book thoughts

Title: An Uncertain Grace
Series: N/A
Author: Krissy Kneen
Published Date: August 31st, 2017
Publisher: Text Publishing
Source: Netgalley
# of Pages: 174
Format: Ebook
Genre: General Fiction/Adult/Erotica
Days to Read: 5
Rating: 4.5
Would I recommend it?: Yes
Would I read more books by this Author?: Yes
My Social Media: Goodreads/My Booktube Channel/Twitter

Goodreads Synopsis

Some time in the near future, university lecturer Caspar receives a gift from a former student called Liv: a memory stick containing a virtual narrative. Hooked up to a virtual reality bodysuit, he becomes immersed in the experience of their past sexual relationship. But this time it is her experience. What was for him an erotic interlude, resonant with the thrill of seduction, was very different for her—and when he has lived it, he will understand how.


A convicted paedophile recruited to Liv’s experiment in collective consciousness discovers a way to escape from his own desolation.

A synthetic boy, designed by Liv’s team to ‘love’ men who desire adolescents, begins to question the terms of his existence.

L, in transition to a state beyond gender, befriends Liv, in transition to a state beyond age.

Liv herself has finally transcended the corporeal—but there is still the problem of love.

An Uncertain Grace is a novel in five parts by one of Australia’s most inventive and provocative writers. Moving, thoughtful, sometimes playful, it is about who we are—our best and worst selves, our innermost selves—and who we might become.

I know him. I recognise him from the other world, the real world. It is me of course, this man. In the other world I see him smiling at me in the mirror, catch glimpses of him as I walk past shop windows, see him in photographs.

Me. Of course it is me.

And I am her. I am Liv. And this is my room and it is his room and he, I, put my hand up my, her, skirt. I push the cotton aside with his finger and it hurts.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me the chance to read this.

This story has 5 parts, all connected. In the first part I was very uncomfortable (TW: Rape), in the second I was just confused but then as I read parts 3-5 the story and points to it became clearer. This is a story that I am still processing and thinking about. It's very thought-provoking. It takes on gender, sexuality, body image, sex, aging, and a future with how technology might alter our relationships with ourselves.

The content of this book is sometimes uncomfortable, but for a good reason. It forces us readers to take a look at ourselves, to ask questions we probably don't want to but need to. It makes you think, confront your own demons, biases, feelings, and how you approach and deal with these subjects.

The severity of sexual crimes are not treated in a light-hearted away or condoned in any way. This novel manages to open your mind to difficult areas of discourse, think about futuristic ideas and promoting compassion for people different from ourselves.

It started off slow and confusing for me, but slowly my mind was opened and I began to really think on all the topics and discussions explored within. While I highly recommend this book, I also recommend taking it slow and taking the time to process it all. I think i'm going to need a re-read of this sometime in the future.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July 2017 Wrap up, Book Haul #3, and August Want to Read

July 2017 Wrap Up

This month's ratings from highest to lowest

Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan 5 stars
I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young 5 stars
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera 4.5 stars
Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson 4.5 stars
Cinnamon & Cigarettes by Samantha Kate 4.25 stars
The Lonely Merman by Kay Berrisford 4.25 stars
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton 4 stars
Walking on knives by Maya Chhabra 2 stars

Other Posts

June Book Haul #3
July 2017 Book Haul #1
July 2017 Book Haul #2

July 2017 Book Haul #3 (All Kindle)

All the kindle books were free. I was surprised to learn the Frankenstein most people not the original one. Seems Mary was made to make it "more conservative", how i'm not exactly sure. This kindle version (on Amazon, still free right now at least in the US, not sure of anything else) is the original uncensored version. I have read Frankenstein but then I took a look and it's the 1831 more "conservative" version, the more commonly read one. I liked Frankenstein but I am so curious as to what it was really ment to be! Thank you Amazon!

August Want to Read

As usual, will see what I end up getting to. Here is what is currently on my radar for one reason or another.

I also want to pick up 2 graphic novels but I have more than just 2 options and i'm not sure which ones i'll be picking up, but hopefully 2 of them. I got Aaru from the author as I had also got his previous book "The Reflections of Queen Snow White" and reviewed it. "My Life as a White Trash Zombie" is for Candybook Land (surprised i'm still doing that on track, one a month). The Martian is a Top 15 books to read this year pick. "Lustmord" and "An Uncertain Grace" are a couple books from Netgalley (though I do also have plenty of other Netgalley books).

Month: August
Place#: 19 Red
Task: Read a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy book
Book: My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

What did you read in July, get in July or hope to read in August? Read any of these books and have thoughts? (No spoilers please)