Book Review | Like the First Moon Landing

Like the First Moon LandingLike the First Moon Landing by Matthew J. Metzger

EBook

Published Apil 13, 2020

4.5/5 stars

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

Such a beautiful LGBTQ story about identity, relationships, acceptance, struggle, questioning, confusion … all of those terrible things we all deal with, but even more so as an individual who doesn’t feel like the labels of the world quite fit who they are … and does it even really matter? Does a label matter? Should it?

Beautifully written and beautifully emotional. It reads more like a story of self and relationships, placed against the background of space and suspense, than a true sci-fi fantasy adventure.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“Stranded and injured in deep space, Maggie McLean has one chance at survival–the ship drifting off her starboard side, refusing to answer her distress calls. The ship the whole universe has been looking for.

Maggie most of all.

The Swift vanished without so much as a cry for help. There have been endless conspiracy theories, from aliens to government corruption to wormholes leading to other dimensions, but one thing was certain. She was gone, with all two hundred and thirty-six crew members on board. Including Maggie’s wife.

Maggie’s going to figure out what happened come hell or high water—but she might not like what she finds.

What I liked

I flew through this book in the series of a few hours time … and it felt like minutes. This book captured my attention from page one and never let me go.

The story was a beautiful representation. A story for anyone struggling with identity … especially those struggling with gender identity. It brings to light the various labels we find throughout the community and asks the question … are labels truly necessary? Or is it enough to just be “you” and loved for “you”? This story also brings up relationships – why we hold on to them, and when it is better that we let them go. As a whole, this is a story that makes you question and makes you think … and this world needs books that force us to do just that.

If we’re being honest, not a lot really happened, but the suspense that Metzger was able to paint across the entire setting was brilliantly done. Even with little action taking place, I was constantly on the edge of my seat, and consistently engaged.

And the writing … absolute perfection.

What I did not like

I wasn’t completely hooked on the relationship between our two characters as I felt like I could have been. That being said, it quickly grew into something that felt very honest.

In Conclusion 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was very excited to find that Metzger has plans for a second book in this series. I went into this book thinking it was going to be a stand-alone, of which it is not. Thank goodness … because when I read the final sentence of this book I audibly shouted “What? You can’t end it there!”

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy reading about the internal struggles of ones self.

 

Book Review | Until All Curses Are Lifted

49898821. sx318 sy475 Until All Curses Are Lifted by Tim Frankovich

 

Kindle Edition, 438 pages
Published August, 13 2019

2.5/5 stars

This book is a glorious winged beast leaping from the nest before it is quite ready to fly.

In short … underdeveloped.

This story was every bit of promising, every element that makes up an incredible story was present … almost. Where this book fell short was in the writing. I honestly fell like this is a problem with not enough revisions, not enough editing, and not enough people being critical with their reviews. Which is actually quite tragic … because this story, this world, these characters … are all incredible. Not to mention a unique magic system which is hard to come by in this day and age.

The Story

You have Marshal and you have Seri. Basic chosen one scenario on both ends. Mashal is cursed through no fault of his own and has a back-story that I’m sure we can all pretty early on guesstimate. Seri wants to be a mage … the first female mage … the first female master mage … but we don’t every really get much about her as to why … or as to why she was chosen as an acolyte. All of these things are just expecting the reader to accept and move on … which I do not like. But we will begin with some positives.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“The laws are enforced by magic.
If you break the law, you’re cursed.
But the rich and powerful twisted the laws to allow for… exceptions.

Marshal has been cursed since birth for his unknown father’s crimes. When he discovers he’s also heir to immense magical power, he must flee for his life. His half-brother wants the power for himself and has hired an assassin to pursue Marshal and his mother. No one has ever escaped from a curse, but it’s the only way for Marshal to be truly safe.

Seri wants to become the most powerful mage in history. But the magic that holds the world together is failing and no one knows why. While the ground itself shakes, someone begins murdering mages. In danger from all directions, Seri must learn how to use her unique abilities before everything falls apart.

Neither of them know they are being watched from another realm…

What I liked

Unique, whimsical, intriguing.

I enjoyed reading this book, although I had to turn off the critical reader parts of myself in order to do so. Surface level, this is a wonderful story. Extremely enjoyable even with all of it’s flaws. I cared about the characters … even though I felt like their stories were underdeveloped. I enjoyed this world, even though it lacked spacial descriptions to set the atmosphere.

I will say that the one thing that was not lacking was the magic system. Extremely unique and very well explained. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the story.

What I did not like

As I mentioned, this book lacked something in almost every aspect of the writing. It was doomed to be always “almost”. The dialog was not great, with much of it being unnecessary and even cringe-worth at times. The characters could have been pushed a little more, especially supporting characters, all of which fell extremely flat. Because the secondary and supporting characters were underdeveloped, the relationships between the characters felt flat as well.

I think Marshall’s side of the story was a little more successful over-all. Seri’s story had a lot of plot holes that, again, I feel could have benefited from letting this whimsical story marinate a while longer before publishing.

In Conclusion 

I enjoyed the world and the story, but I am saddened by the potential this book had and did not achieve.

 

Book Review | The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us by Kasie WestThe Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Paperback, 312 pages

Published July 2nd 2013

2.5/5 stars

This book was not the most horrific thing I have ever read … so there is that. I honestly enjoyed it … to an extent. But it was not without it’s problems.

This was my second attempt at a Kasie West book and I have to say … I was mildly disappointed yet again. On the one hand, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I enjoyed By Your Side (See Review HERE) but I did not LOVE this book by any stretch of the imagination. It was cute … I guess.

The Story

(Goodreads synopsis):

 

“Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.”

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Book Review | The Girl From Everywhere

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi HeiligThe Girl From Everywhere (The Girl From Everywhere #1) by Heidi Heilig

Hardcover, 454 pages
Published February 16th 2016

3.5/5 stars

This book was a beautiful whimsical adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed! Though I did end up having a few issues with it overall.

The beginning of this book is phenomenal! I was immediately immersed in this world of pirate ships and time travel and maps and maps and more maps! All things that I love of course. However, the middle of the book because far less interesting to me. Again, I did enjoy this read and will be picking up the second installment of this series soon!

The Story

Nix is a girl from everywhere. She has spent her entire life on board the Temptation traveling from map to map, through time and places both real and mythological, in search of the map that will bring her father to the one place he seeks to return. The place where he lost the woman he loves. Nix has her own fears however, mainly that doing so might have the unfortunate side effect of wiping her existence off the map (see what I did there *wink*)

(Goodreads synopsis):

Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.”

What I liked

This story was very easy to follow. Time travel books have a way of leaving me behind, and this book did not have that problem. I loved the potential of this book. The magic of the beginning was immersive (as stated in my first thoughts). The idea and the writing was beautiful and whimsical and magical! Also, Kashmir! I love him and the relationship between Nix and Kashmir was adorable! I totally ship these two! (I know, I’m just full of bad jokes today). The ending of this book was also a strong point. It was fast paced and a bit intense for a moment, resolving nicely and intriguingly.

What I did not like

The middle of the book sort of abandoned all of the things I loved about the beginning. The story line took a few turns I was less than enthused about, but made sense in the grand scheme of the book as a whole. Also, the romance between two particular characters felt a bit forced and inta-love-ish (not my favorite way for a character to fall in love/like/whatever).

Basically I liked where I thought the story was going and then it became something else. And not in a great way (at least not for me). It actually became a little more historical than I was expecting and a lot less time travel-y and treasure hunt-y.

In Conclusion 

Over all, this was a really solid read!

 

Saturday Morning Cartoons | Vol. 2

 

Saturday Morning Cartoons is a new feature created here at A Thousand Lives of Frankie Lovely. In this post I will be featuring the new Comics, Manga, Graphic Novels etc. that I recently read, am currently reading and/or am looking forward to.


Newly Discovered!

Ava’s Demon by Michelle Czajkowski

Copyright Michelle Czajkowski | author, illustrator and creator of the web comic Ava’s Demon

Ok so I just recently read Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia and NEEDED Monstrous Sea to be a thing … for real!

Lo and behold … I stumbled upon a blog post mentioning this amazing web comic called Ava’s Demon which might just satisfy my need!

Seriously, check it out! The art is amazing and creator Michelle Czajkowski says the story HAS AN ENDING … which is always good to know lol.

New pages are posted every Thursday and it is shaping up to be a really fun adventure. I am loving it!

CHECK IT OUT!

 


Currently Reading

Wires and Nerve by Marissa MeyesWires and Nerve Vol. 1 (Wires and Nerve #1) by Marissa Meyer (author), Douglas Holgate (illustrations)

Hardcover, 240 pages

Published January 31st 2017

This is repetitive because I put this one on the backburner when I had a million books to get though over the past few weeks.

Going to try and curl up with this one all the way through tonight I think (seeing as how my library loan is over tomorrow … oops)

LUNAR CHRONICLES IS LIFE omg! So when I heard that Meyer was working on a graphic novel featuring one of my all time favorite book casts … I FREAKED! In a good way!

Unfortunately the waiting list for this GN was outrageous at my library so I had to wait! BUT NO LONGER BECAUSE I AM HERE! And it is glorious my friends ❤

I only just started this one but I am already giggling like a child because I LOVE THEM SO SO SO MUCH!

(Goodreads synopsis):

“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 and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.”


On The TBR

Jyu-Oh-Sei Vol. 1 by Natsumi ItsukiJyu-Oh-Sei Vol. 1 (Jyu_Oh-Sei #1) by Natsumi Itsuki

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this is going to be my first venture into the world of Manga. After reaching out to Dani @ Perspective of a Writer because of her Top 10 Tuesday: Manga Series To Start post, she listed this series as one she would recommend I try. So I bought all 3 volumes (because I have no chill) and can’t wait to get started! The story sounds fantastic so I am expecting great things here. I am hoping to get to these when I get back from vacation around the end of this upcoming week.

(Goodreads synopsis):

Inspired by the anime. In the year 2436 A.D., twins Thor and Rai are living on the Space Colony Juno space station. Their entire lives turn upside-down after their parents are murdered and they are kidnapped and sent to a forsaken planet by masked men. Young adult.


What are your favorite graphic novels, manga series, ect? Also I am always open to suggestions and recommendations if anyone has any? I would love to hear from you! Comment below!

Book Review | Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies by Isaac MarionWarm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) by Isaac Marion

Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 25th 2012

1 star

Zzzzzzz …..

*snores* *snoffs* *sniffles* *yawns*

*opens eyes*

Oh hello there … what was that? It’s over? Oh … er … um … hm, I must have fallen asleep. Wow that was boring!

So I listened to this book as an audiobook and the good news is … I found a cure for my insomnia.

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Book Review | Storm Siren

Storm Siren by Mary WeberStorm Siren (The Storm Siren Trilogy #1) by Mary Weber

Hardcover, 320 pages

Published August 19th 2014

1.5/5 star

This book had so much POTENTIAL (though let’s face it … all of it wasted)

OH
MY
GOD!
Let me take a moment to pick my jaw up off the floor!
The end of this book just kicked me in the face with a major cliffhanger!
But let’s buckle our seatbelts for a moment because this review is about to get a little rough.

MAJOR SPOILER BELOW … it’s marked … but definitely resist the urge to let your eyes wander … you have been warned!



The Story

Orphaned from a young age, Nym is a slave facing her 15th sale. Nym has a dark past and a deep secret. A secret that could have her killed. A secret that has killed before. A secret that is about to be revealed and exploited in a twisted tale of politics and war.

Nym is an Elemental, able to control storms in a world where Elementals are always male and killed at birth. She shouldn’t even exist, and now she must fight to control her powers and keep from becoming a weapon in the wrong hands.

(Goodreads synopsis):

” ‘I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.’

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win .”

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Book Review | Nerve

Nerve by Jeanne RyanNerve by Jeanne Ryan

Hardcover, 1st Edition, 304 pages

Published September 13th 2012

1/5 stars

 

This was ridiculous (or perhaps not quite ridiculous enough?)

Well, anyway … it was definitely rough

I went from “oh ok, this is cool”
to “hm, ok this is dumb”
to “What the fuckity fuck was that?!?!


The Story

“ARE YOU PLAYING THE GAME OR IS THE GAME PLAYING YOU?”

Oooooo …. Chills right?
…… meh

Vee is a shy logical girl who lives life behind the scenes. NERVE is an online phenomenon where players log on and complete dares for money and prizes. By all definitions, Vee is a “watcher” and not a “player” in the world of NERVE. But after seeing the guy she likes kiss someone else, Vee decides that she is through being backstage in her own life and decides to take a risk and play. The game brings her together with “hot” Ian (who I really don’t remember anything about except that he was hot) who helps her break out of her shell and compete. Suddenly (and boy do I mean suddenly because I swear this book went from 0 to WTF in NO TIME) they find themselves in a competition for their lives (no seriously, I made that sound WAY more interesting than it actually was).

(Goodreads synopsis):

“Vee doesn’t know if she has the guts to play NERVE, an anonymous online game of dares. But whoever’s behind the game knows exactly what she wants, enticing her with lustworthy prizes and a sizzling-hot partner. With Ian on her team, it’s easy to agree to another dare. And another. And another. At first it’s thrilling as the Watchers cheer them on to more dangerous challenges. But suddenly the game turns deadly. Will Vee and Ian risk their lives for the Grand Prize dare, or will they lose NERVE?”

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Book Review | Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Hardcover, 438 pages

Published September 10th 2013

2.5/5 stars
Maaaaaaybe 3?
Nope … never mind … I won’t be swayed by the hype … solid 2.5 no higher

In a Word: Meh

And here we find ourselves yet again. Another hyped out of this world book that makes me question myself and my ability to enjoy books. I’m not sorry, but I don’t get it. *sigh*

And so, I will start this review with a short story of my own …

You know that moment when you are telling a story and suddenly realize … it’s boring as fuck? Well, some odd years ago, my friends and I (after hearing a comedian remark on the subject and coin the phrase to be mentioned) started using the phrase “… and then he stabbed him” as a means of pointing out that very moment. You know what I mean. You are going along, telling a fabulous story when you notice … nobody’s listening and … Oh shit, this story is actually really not great *insert* “… and then he stabbed him”.

Well … this is precisely how I think Rainbow Rowell should have finished this book. Just slap a big “… and then he stabbed him” on the end and done. Because this book was a snooze fest.

Honestly, there is no way I would have made it through this book if it hadn’t been an audiobook.

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Book Review | Hush, Hush

Hush hush by Becca FitzpatrickHush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hardcover, First Edition, 391 pages
Published October 13th 2009

 

1 star

Well …. I guess I can say I’ve done that now … *tosses book in the trash*

I was recommended this book by one of my best friends who, before now, I thought had great taste in books. I am now questioning our friendship (kidding, kidding).

I really thought I was going to love this book. It had so many ingredients that I like. Hot boys, Dark hero, romance, danger. Turns out it also had about a bazillion of the ingredients I don’t like. Predictability, instalove, abusive and controlling behavior being glorified. And to top it off, this book hit the cliché nail on the head!

No thanks. Not for me.

The Story

“A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE”

Sounds awesome right?

Patch is an overprotective (bordering on abusive) fallen angel. Nora is a typical high school student. Aaaaaand we all know where this is going don’t we?

(Goodreads synopsis):

“Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.”

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