Once Upon a Rhyme 

Once Upon a Rhyme by Jack Heckel (#1)
☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2017

Genre: Scifi/Fantasy

In every fairy tale, there is a point in the telling when the fire dies down low and the dark of the night grows deeper and the children gather closer together and the storyteller lowers his voice and whispers, ‘Now, dear ones, this is the scary part.’ And then, inevitably, into the story steps the villian, and whether an evil queen or twisted stepmother or foul beast, the listener begins to doubt, maybe the hero doesn’t make it, maybe there’s no happily ever after.

I picked this one up on sale and am glad I did. 

Written in the humorous tones of Terry Pratchett, what if Fairy Tales were real? And what happens after the dragon is slain and the Princess saved? Willam Pickett finds himself in such a situation after his scarecrow accidentally impale the dragon, thus killing it. He tells his sister that the rumors are true and sets out to save the Princess from her slumber in the dragons lair. And what follows is a humorous adventures that combines all the elements of classic fairy tales. 

I loved this book and look forward to reading the next one. It was funny. I loved Prince Charming and his egotistical self and the strong women characters found in Elizabeth and Rapunzel. It was an interesting take on classics well known. Which in my opinion, is hard to pull off.

I highly recommend this series. 🙂

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The Magicians 

The Magicians by Lev Gossman (#1)
☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: Fantasy 

It’s like he’s opening the covers of a book, but a book that did what books always promised to do and never quite did: get you out, really out of where you were and into something better.

So I’ve been told to read this one by my house mates. And then I’m supposed to watch the show based on these books. I was told that it was like…a Harry Potter for adults but instead of primary school, it’s a wizard college. 

Quentin Coldwater has never felt right. Until he gets a mysterious acceptance into a magical college that seems like right out of his favorite childhood story. He proceeds to learn magic, make friends, and be awed by the world that has finally accepted him. Until he graduates and learns that stories are, in fact, real. And straight out of Narnia-esque setting, find himself with his friends overthrowing an evil tyrinical overlord in a magical land. 

I did like this one, despite feeling rushed as Quentin and co. went through school. I love books about books and this was no exception. Luckily I have the entire series on hand and look forward to reading the rest of it. 

I do recommend this to people who like fantasy and books about books. It was quite good.

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Sorta Like a Rockstar 

​Sorta Like a Rockstar by Matthew Quick
☆☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: YA Fiction 

And I had been praying for a chance to make a difference in the lives of people who need it the most, because that’s all I really want to do with my life-to help people who need it.

This was read at the start of my trip to Missoula.  

Amber Appleton is the poorest kid in school. She’s homeless and lives with her alcoholic mom on a school bus in the bus yard. (Her mother works as a bus driver). She owns a dog and a garbage bag of belongings. But life doesn’t get her down. She has a group of fantastic special needs friends, teaches Koreans how to speak English through soul music and befriends a Vietnam vet through a letter program. She volunteers her time helping other people because Jesus is her Rockstar. 

Then, her life falls apart when her mother is raped and murdered. 

This book was AMAZING. You can’t help but feel for Amber as life keeps beating her down and how she always tries to come up on top. After her mother passes, she is faced with so many hard decisions and life in general.  It was an uplifting story. (Despite everything.) 

I highly recommend anything written by Matthew Quick.

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The Fear Institute 

The Fear Institute by Jonathan L. Howard  (Johannes Cabal #3)
☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: Fiction 

Every waking moment of our lives we spend as hostages to the terrible ‘perhaps’. We dread the unnameable that lurks beyond our doors. We collapse into ridiculous phobias with the most fleeting provocation. Clowns! Birds! The number thirteen! Each one a nail driven into the fabric of our lives, limiting our movements, hemming us in, draining our futures of possibilities. How many better tomorrows have been lost because of natural human timidity? How many wonders have never seen the light because those who dared dream them could never build them?

This is the 3rd book about Johannes Cabal, Necromancer of little infamy. He’s made deals with Satan, became a detective and now he finds himself in the employment of The Fear Institute who proposes a trip into the Dreamlands to capture the Phobia Animus, or the creature of fear. Things don’t go the way you expect (per usual) and Johannes uses his wit and cunning to get through the land imagined by HP Lovecraft. 

I absolutely love this series. It’s funny. Johannes is so unlikable he’s likable and I can really see this as a graphic novel someday. 

Be warned, there is a rather gruesome cat death but it ends on a good note. (The guy responsible ends up getting eaten by feral cats). 

I highly recommend this one. 🙂
And because I was cat less again, here’s a Betsy, whom I am dogsitting for the week. 😀

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The Detective

The Detective by John L. Howard (#2 Johannes Cabal)
☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: Fiction 

I do almost everything for reasons that might be characterized as selfish. I regard my life as a vital thread in the ongoing march of humanity from protoplasm to- I don’t know, to be honest. Something slightly better than protoplasm would be a start. Therefore, anything that threatens my life now or later has to be dealt with. Paradoxically, that often means risking my life to secure my safety. The difference is that I risk it on my own terms.

This is the second book in the Johannes Cabal series. Having just finished up the Carnival, Johannes finds himself in a bit of a pickle. He tries to ‘borrow’ a book and somehow finds himself in the waves of political upheavel. He tries to escape on a zeppelin guised as a pencil pushing government employee, and instead finds himself knee deep in a murder plot aboard the Princess. Begrudgingly, due to an attempt on his life, he attempts to uncover the murderer and uncovers more than he bargained for.
I have loved these books so far. They are funny and even though Johannes is dispicable, you can’t help but like him. Very little necromancy in this one. But lots of mystery. 
I highly recommend this series. 🙂

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Carry On

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

☆☆☆☆/5
THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
Genre: YA Scifi/Fantasy/LGBT

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Rainbow Rowell is by far one of my favorite authors. Ever. I absolutely ADORE her writing and will most likely read/own everything she will ever write.

We first met Simon and Baz in Fangirl which was the basis for the MC’s obsession and “fangirling.” Rowell took it upon her herself to give us a Simon/Baz story and I am quite pleased with the result. I kinda skipped over those posts in Fangirl so I wasn’t quite swayed with this one. 😉

Carry On is a Potter-esque type book. Magical school. Insidious Humdrum. Smarty pants female co-character. And so on. This book is basically “What Would Happen if Draco and Harry were Room mates and ended up Falling in Love.” Pretty much.

I highly recommend Rowell’s writing. This one was fun, for YA and a bi/gay lovestory. And yes, I totally fangirled and shipped the hell out of them from the begining. XD

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The Theory of Opposites

The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scott

☆☆☆☆/5
Genre: Chick Lit

13/Clearly not 40 THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

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“Its the Theory of Opposites…we’ll disprove his own theories of inertia and ‘it is what it is’ and ‘Everything happens for a reason’ because we’ll run counter to all of these things. We’ll purposefully choose to live life on the hire wire, or the fine line, where life actually becomes alive.”

William “Willa” Chandler-Golden was supposed to be born a boy. Her father is a #1 bestseller of his self help book ‘Is It Really Your Choice? Why Your Entire Life May be Out of Your Control’ and Willa has an ingrained sense of what happens is all part of destiny. That it was meant to happen. That there is no way around it. Her husband Shawn then proposes a break where they should ‘see other people’ and this is the start of her world falling apart. When it rains, it pours. She loses her job, her brother ends up in jail, she loses her apartment, her nephew is contemplating life’s great mysteries, and she is left with with a sense of “Why?” With the help of her best friend Vanessa, she is able to transform herself from her dad’s shadow and discovers what it really means to be Willa. Together, they decide to write a self help book to end all self help books. Grab life by the bollocks. I Dare You.

This was a book that I needed to read. It was hilarious, well thought out and the pacing was perfect. It was about breaking out of the mold and self discovery. I connected with Willa and knew that sometimes you have to take the plunge to discover who and what you are.

I highly recommend this to the ladies who might need a boost of self confidence. It was a funny, quirky read and I enjoyed it immensely.

This might be the scariest dare of all: to refuse to let life carry you along its stream, to plant an anchor in that stream and say ‘Enough’. ‘Enough’ of letting life whiz by, ‘Enough’ of accepting just okay for yourself, ‘Enough’ of refusing to be bigger than you think you can be. Giving into inertia is the most natural, most innate human tendancies, so we can not promise that this second step will come easily. But when it does, you’ll feel it, deep within your soul, deep inside your heart, that you- little old you- might have the ability to change everything.

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