Comic Review: Tabatha by Neil Gibson

Never did I think I’d find myself rooting for a thief. Thanks, Tabatha.

Disclaimer: I was given a galley of this comic thanks to Diamond Book Distributors (who also own Image Comics!) on Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

Tabatha cover image courtesy of Netgalley

Tabatha cover image courtesy of Netgalley

Publisher: TPub, Diamond Book Distributors

Publication date: November 3rd, 2015

Type of Book: Comic/ Graphic Novel

Official Book Description

Luke works as a mailman in Los Angeles and moonlights as a thief – the empty houses on his postal route are rich, easy pickings for him and his friends. Everything goes as planned until one house turns out to not quite be so empty. The situation spirals out of control, leaving the happy-go-lucky thieves battling for their lives. And all because of Tabatha.

My Thoughts

Before Tabatha, my comic reading endeavors had been pretty much limited to reading superhero comic trades from my local library, with a few exceptions, like Saga and Kinski. Tabatha was a nice change that still delivered all the action I’d expect from reading a comic book, with an eerie twist. I loved how it started out almost normal; we follow your average mail delivery guy, and then as you read, the story unfolds and the action builds up. Suddenly, this isn’t just a guy delivering mail and robbing rich houses with his friends. Luke picks the WRONG house. And then you meet Tabatha.

The tale has your fair shares of creepiness and humor. There were times where I laughed at moments on every single page, and times where I had to recollect for a moment before moving on. (I will never become a mail delivery person. Not happening.) But besides the awesome story itself, the artwork is drawn beautifully. I cannot stress that enough. The the panels are drawn with such attention to color and vibrancy that you’ll find it hard to look away.

I can’t believe I’m that person who’s about to talk about a holiday that isn’t for another three months BUT seeing as this comic releases November 3rd, you’ll want to round up your leftover Halloween candy and pick up this creepy and entertaining start to the comic series when it hits the public! (Not literally, of course. I don’t think comics are allowed to do that nowadays. Although, I’d totally watch that happen.)

I’m giving Tabatha 3.75 stars, for being entertaining and beautifully drawn. If you can take creepiness, you’ll enjoy it. If you’re someone like me, it’s definitely entertaining, but I think I’ll stick to my usual Ms. Marvel for now.

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Review: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

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Disclaimer: I was given this ARC in a goody bag at a book signing in September. I was not asked to review it and all opinions are my own!

Genre: Contemporary YA

Publication Date: December 2014

My Synopsis
It’s Christmas Eve and rather than spend her day relaxing or doing early celebrations with her family, Chloe is stuck working the six a.m. shift at Goodfoods Market. She and her fellow staff members know the day is the busiest of the year, but they certainly aren’t prepared for what follows; she and some of her coworkers are trapped in the store in so-called “work jail” after accusations arise that they stole $10,000. On top of this, Chloe is not getting very far with her crush Tyson. Will anyone step forward and admit to the crimes, and will Chloe finally work up the courage to ask out Tyson?

My Thoughts

The Good
– This is an easy read for when you feel like you haven’t read enough books and need to get one more in.

– I want Christmas to come ASAP! (*belts out* RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEEEEERRR)

– Chloe is relatable. She says the wrong things and is kinda awkward sometimes- that is so me!

– The book is totally appropriate for teens of all ages

The Bad

– This book is a quick read at just under 300 pages. (It took me an hour and fifteen minutes). However, it didn’t feel as quick because the whole book takes place in just one day. Normally in books, a day is just a few chapters, so you feel like you are moving through time. You don’t realize until the end of this book that you are in this one day for the whole book!

– I expected this book to be a romance. It turned out to be a lot less if a romance; the romance part was more to develop Chloe’s character and personality. However, I’m not a fan of full-on romance novels so I was totally OK with this!

Verdict: 3 to 3.5 stars!

I’d recommend you get this book when it comes out and read it during the Holiday season!!

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

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Fasten your seat belts for this wild read. (Pun totally intended!)

Disclaimer: I did read an advanced readers copy of this book however I received this at a book event in September, after the book was published.

Short and Sweet Summary:
Leila is on a road trip to the Northern Lights, all by herself. But along the way, she makes friends, has her heart broken, and has a hell of a lot of fun. The book is divided into sections based on who Leila meets, and chapters within these sections.

So basically, all you can expect from this book is to have fun.

And boy,  did it deliver.

I felt like I was on a road trip. My life is pretty boring, which is probably why I read books. But my life didn’t feel boring when I read this. I felt like a wild teenager on a road trip that I won’t get in trouble for since I wasn’t actually on it. Leila and her road trip adventures are a ton of fun, and honestly a breath of fresh air. Leila is encouraging and all about living the moment. Don’t wait to get the guy/girl; life is too short.

Don’t be mistaken; this is no meaningless road trip. This is a road trip about finding yourself and making both a physical and mental journey from start to finish. Along the way, Leila changes the lives of random strangers, and each stranger makes an impact on her too.You can really see this book has a lot of meaning to the author.

However, I do have a couple critiques.
Why do none of the parents in this book care about anything, aside from the teens eventually returning home!?! For example, Leila’s parents? Hudson’s Dad?

But hey, if parents got involved, this book wouldn’t exist and I want this book to exist!

Bonus points for the book having one of the cutest book covers of 2014. I mean actually, I gave my mom a hearty speech about how in a dream world I’d have the book cover framed or displayed it’s that beautiful. (I swear I’m normal!) The postcards between sections are also an adorable touch! Aesthetically, this YA novel is nearly perfect.

Thanks, Adi; now I want to take a road trip too!
(But realistically, next stop, the library!!)

I give Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid a 4.5/5 stars for being a fun, feel-good read that still managed to have meaning.

Battle of the Sequel: Cinder vs Scarlet

It’s a battle of epic proportions. Two novels. One winner. Which will survive the grueling tests? Which will emerge victorious?  *Dramatic music now plays*

Well, maybe not epic proportions. But Cinder and Scarlet are at least somewhat out of this world, if you know what I mean. OK, enough with the bad puns.

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Both images are from Goodreads.

My opinion: I preferred the second book in the series, Scarlet, to be much better than the first book, Cinder.

Arguments:
1. Cinder spent more time setting up than getting to the action, a point you’ve probably heard me say only about five different times. Scarlet had the PERFECT opening. You were dropped right into the real plot and action from page 1. I already knew I would love it.

2. Cinder is cool, but I liked seeing her more as a secondary character in the second book. It gave her more of a status (hey there’s that kick-ass mechanic cyborg girl from Book 1 on the run! Awesome!), somehow, seeing things through the eyes of someone other than Cinder. It was like reading about a familiar friend.

3. Scarlet’s story is frankly more eventful, but less sci-fi-esque than Cinder. This could be a good or bad thing depending on how you see it.

4. Scarlet had cooler characters; Thorne tops my list of favorite book characters ever. He is one of the few characters that actually made me laugh out loud. Oh, and there’s our mysterious Wolf. (Scarlet is based off of Little Red Riding Hood)

5. This point does not effect my opinion, but I would say Cinder’s cover is more intriguing than Scarlet’s. Cinder’s is an x-ray view into Cinder’s android/human foot and Scarlet’s is… A cape and an elbow?

However, don’t disregard Cinder. I rated it very highly, especially when it came to the second half of the novel! Lots of people try and remake fairy tales, but nobody has done it like Marissa Meyer.

Remember, you must read Cinder before you get to Scarlet! No skipping!! On to Cress, Book #3!

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

Cookbooks Haul!?

So to break up my usual YA fiction library hauls, I thought I would show you two teen cookbooks I got from the library as well.

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I haven’t actually made anything from these yet but I’ll tell you that I have made note of a lot of recipes I want to try. I can’t cook; I’m one of those does making toast count? people. I consider cooking to be toast or frozen food. So healthy! (Not). That isn’t to say that’s all I eat obviously. I’m just saying I lack the ability to cook anything else.

Anyway, these books are aimed at teens and explain everything in a very beginner/easy to understand fashion, while the recipes are still jazzy and delicious looking. They even give you tips to avoid common disasters. (Such as when I tried making a pizza from scratch the other day, I made an Under the Dome style pizza by accident. By that I mean the pizza was literally dome shaped. Thankfully, it wasn’t the size of the dome. Now, I understand my mistake)

Can you cook? Anything you’d recommend? Let me know down below!
P.S I leave tomorrow for the beach! Like this post if you want to see lots of photos and maybe even videos of my vacation!

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

Required Reading?! (Part 1)

This is the first installment in a post series I have yet to name about classics and/or required reading. I know that teens generally lean immediately towards the “modern” books. Classics and required reading are generally dreaded.  One of my goals in this series is to make any required reading choices a little bit easier and more fun, and also to simply encourage people to go back to the classics. Of this post specifically, this is only part 1. I put a lot of time and energy into this post, and writing about all the books I’ve had to read at once would be much too long. This is a small sampling of the books I’ve had to read. Rather than just include books I love, I decided to include books I was iffy on so that you can make your own decisions. Enjoy!

Whether or not you are still in High School, you probably remember at least some of the books you had to read over the summer, for homework, or in class. These are the books everyone dreads to read, but there a couple that I enjoyed. They are in the order I read them for the most part.

The Giver by Lois Lowry; published in 1993
Note: I had to read this in 7th grade English
Jonas lives in a Utopian world. There is no pain or violence. You receive an assigned role when you are 12, and Jonas must be an assistant to the Giver. But once he learns the horrifying truth, things will never be the same.

Did I like it? In 7th grade I wrote a goodreads review of it which makes me laugh. In the end of my complaints I wrote that I thought maybe I didn’t love it because I didn’t love sci fi/dystopia. Now, I love those genres! Plus, it’s being made into a movie. I rated it 3 stars at the time, but I wasn’t the dystopia lover I am now. I remember it being a page-turner, not something I wanted to abandon.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe; published 1958
This book revolves around a man from a tribal Nigerian Village, Okonkwo. During this time, it is what the western world called the “Scramble for Africa.” White, Christian men rushed in to (violently) take over villages and countries like this one. The book tells this story of the clash between Nigerian and European cultures at the same time as tell the story of Okonkwo’s large family and missteps in his position in the tribe.

Did I like it? I think I should re-read this, just to see if my opinion changes. I know some people who re-read it years later and loved it. When I read this, I just emerged from 8th grade; this was my first high school summer reading book. I got caught up in the disturbing details and how Okonkwo had so many kids and wives that I could no longer keep track. At the time, I gave it a mere two stars. But if this sounds at all appealing to you, try it! It just wasn’t for me at the time.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon; published 2001
– Setting: Barcelona, Spain.
A grieving boy named Daniel finds a mysterious book, The Shadow of the Wind by a Julian Carax. But when he embarks on a quest to find more of Carax’s books he is shocked to find that someone has been purposely destroying every Julian Carax book in existence. Daniel may have the last one. And whoever is destroying these books probably knows that too.

Did I Like It?: Yes, I loved it! This is another book I’d like to re-read so I can pick up on the details I may have missed. This is a book for all you mystery, murder, historical fiction, and international culture lovers out there!

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
Holden Caulfield has been kicked out of every boarding school he’s been in. In Pencey Prep, his current school, he is alienated from the fencing team when he loses the equipment. He leaves the school and spends time in New York City to get away. Holden’s commentary on life is fascinating at times, and there were some memorable characters we meet along the way.

Did I like it? This is a book with symbols I still remember. I’ve even made comments to people like, That’s like Holden Caulfield’s red hunting hat for him! Not my favorite book but definitely an interesting coming of age story. When you finish reading it, then you can learn the disturbing details about J.D Salinger’s life and John Lennon’s murderer..

Flash forward out of 9th grade and its multitude of books (I have five more books+ to add to what I read in 9th grade alone! Plus all the books I read in 10th grade)
11th grade:

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara; published 1974
This is the story of the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War told from both the Union and Confederate POV’s. This battle was essentially the deciding factor of who won the civil war. Even better, it is almost all what actually happened unlike stories that make up the history.

Did I like it? Surprisingly, I loved it! It was so fascinating to read from the eyes of Lee, Longstreet, etc. Plus, it helped us to understand our civil war unit much better. If you have any interest in the civil war (or don’t) try it! After you read it, you will dream of touring Gettysburg, PA and walking in the footsteps of the characters.

And my favorite of all the books in this post…

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Published: 1845

This is a memoir of an ex-slave, Frederick Douglass. He shares his heartbreaking story of his enslavement and how he escaped. You learn so much about slavery and the highly disturbing and brutal life of slaves from reading this account. In fact, I can’t even think of the right adjectives for this, other than the fact that it is an eloquent, brave and honest narrative that everyone needs to read at some point in life. It will shatter all you were taught about slavery and raise it to another level.

That’s it for part 1! What are your favorite/least favorite required readings? What do you think of these books? Let me know in the comments below!

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

July Favorites & Wrap-Up!!

No no no no no. It’s not already the end of July. But it is…
Looking just for the book favorites/wrap up? Scroll down!

Beauty Favorites

Hard Candy Glamoflage Concealer
They say this Walmart-exclusive product can conceal tattoos or facial discoloration and blemishes. I’m not so sure about the tattoo claim but a little bit of this product goes a long way, so you get a lot of use out of that gigantic tube they give you for $6. My recommendation is to use it with a brush like the Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush (the foundation brush in the travel set). I found when I used my fingers to blend the product it moved, while when I blended it in with a brush it stayed in place, concealed, and left a nice dewy finish. You may also want to set it with powder.

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Benefit they’re real mascara

I’ve got to tell you this story. You know home shopping networks like HSN and QVC? Well Benefit Cosmetics was on one of them a few months ago and did a segment on this mascara. Well, I can’t understand why anyone would buy it based off of the demo.. Why? Well, since people tune in at different times, they kept re-applying the mascara. And re-applying. And re-applying. When they finished that, they zoomed in and did a before and after. The poor model had about three eyelashes in the after, and each eyelash looked like the leg of a gigantic spider. In short, it looked terrible. Not the mascara’s fault, it was just because they put on way too much. With any mascara, you should wipe off the brush.

I love this mascara because it looks a lot more natural than some other mascaras. It lengthens my lashes, darkens them and separates them. Just one swipe of it makes a dramatic difference on my lashes, so its great for busy mornings.

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Books

What I read this month (in order):

A Million Suns by Beth Davis
The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My review: http://wp.me/p4MMvX-5

The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
My review: http://wp.me/p4MMvX-t

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My review: http://wp.me/p4MMvX-1C

How did I read so many you ask? In three days, I read an Abundance of Katherine’s, Don’t Look Back and the 100 year old man. That doesn’t always happen though 😉

If you would like to see a review of any of these, leave a comment below!!! It is hard to gauge what my readers might want to see, so your feedback really helps me.

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”