My Favorite Thing Is Monsters – Emil Ferris

Book 82 of 100

This one was suggested to me by my husband.  He’d been hearing lots of buzz about it, and since I had decided to venture into graphic novels I thought this would be a good one to try.  It was great.  The artwork was phenomenal, and the story was really entertaining.  It sucked me in right away, and I wanted to read it fast, but at the same time I wanted to study each and every page for hidden details in the drawings. The only negative thing I can find to say is that I didn’t know it was a two parter.  I got to the end and the story wasn’t wrapped up, so that’s a little disappointing.  The second part doesn’t come out until April of 2018, wah wah. 😦  Overall, though I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who has an interest in graphic novels.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge. Full-color illustrations throughout.

Up Next:

Side Effects May Vary – Julie Murphy

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The Possessions – Sara Flannery Murphy

Book 81 of 100

I got this as one of my Book of the Month Club choices back in February, and I just now got around to reading it. I’m still not really sure how I feel about it.  The concept was very interesting; that’s what made me choose it, but I feel like it wasn’t executed all that well.  I had a hard time staying engaged. I kept picking it up and putting it down, and it was a struggle to finish it.  I’m also still fuzzy on some of the details, and I don’t think I completely understood what happened in the end.  I did manage to finish it, but only because I forced myself to (there’s nothing that I hate more than not finishing a book that I’ve started). I think this one just wasn’t for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances

In an unnamed city, Eurydice works for the Elysian Society, a private service that allows grieving clients to reconnect with lost loved ones. She and her fellow workers, known as “bodies“, wear the discarded belongings of the dead and swallow pills called lotuses to summon their spirits—numbing their own minds and losing themselves in the process. Edie has been a body at the Elysian Society for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses’ anesthetic effects and distances herself from making personal connections with her clients.

But when Edie channels Sylvia, the dead wife of recent widower Patrick Braddock, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the murky circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s drowning, Edie breaks her own rules and pursues Patrick, moving deeper into his life and summoning Sylvia outside the Elysian Society’s walls.

After years of hiding beneath the lotuses’ dulling effect, Edie discovers that the lines between her own desires and those of Sylvia have begun to blur, and takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly, she finds her quiet life unraveling as she grapples not only with Sylvia’s growing influence and the questions surrounding her death, but with her own long-buried secrets.

A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.

Up Next:

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters – Emil Ferris

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Goodbye, Vitamin – Rachel Khong

Book 80 of 100

This was one of my Book of the Month Club selections for July.  It’s about a 30 year old woman who moves home for a year to help care for her father who has been diagnosed with early onset alzheimer’s disease. This book was fantastic. It’s told in a series of diary entries, and that format makes it a really fast read. It’s funny and sad and deeply touching. This is one that is definitely worth reading!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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A young woman returns home to care for her failing father in this fine, funny, and inescapably touching debut, from an affecting and wonderfully original new literary voice.

A few days after Christmas in a small suburb outside of L.A., pairs of a man’s pants hang from the trees. The pants belong to Howard Young, a prominent history professor, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Howard’s wife, Annie, summons their daughter, Ruth. Freshly disengaged from her fiance and still broken up about it, feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job and arrives home to find her parents’ situation worse than she’d realized. Her father is erratically lucid and her mother, a devoted and creative cook, sees the sources of memory loss in every pot and pan. But as Howard’s condition intensifies, the comedy in Ruth’s situation takes hold, gently transforming her grief. She throws herself into caretaking: cooking dementia-fighting meals (a feast of jellyfish!), researching supplements, anything to reignite her father’s once-notable memory. And when the university finally lets Howard go, Ruth and one of her father’s handsome former students take their efforts to help Howard one step too far.

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.

Up Next:

The Possessions – Sara Flannery Murphy

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The Cellar – Natasha Preston

Book 79 of 100

I really enjoyed this one.  It’s pretty dark; there’s kidnapping, murder and rape, but overall the story was good.  It was tense and fast paced, and I connected pretty well with the characters.  I thought that the writing seemed a little amateur, and I thought the end was a little bit anti-climactic, but if you like creepy thrillers then you should check this one out.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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When sixteen-year-old Summer Robinson goes missing one night, her family, friends and boyfriend are devastated. Nothing ever happens in Long Thorpe, so the disappearance of a school girl shocks the whole community. The police waste no time in launching a search and investigation, but with nothing to go on and no trace of Summer, hopes of finding her quickly fade.

Colin Brown, is a thirty-year-old solicitor living alone after the death of his mother. He suffered a traumatic and abusive childhood, and is left with no sense of right or wrong. Desperate for the perfect family, Colin, referring to himself as Clover, turns to drastic measures to get what he wants.

Up Next:

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

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The Huntress: Sea – Sarah Driver

Book 78 of 100

I bought this book because the cover was beautiful, and I mean beautiful! The picture doesn’t even do it justice.  The pages in the book are gorgeous too. Each page has some sort of drawing or design around the edges that pertains to what’s happening in the story. While this book is beautiful, I had a hard time getting into it.  I thought that it started slow and was a little bit confusing. It’s told in the first person, and the main character uses lots of slang that made it a little bit hard to follow.  Once I got the hang of it though, I really started to enjoy it. It’s pretty fast paced, and super original. Check this out if you like fantasy adventure stories!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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In the sky, the fire spirits dance and ripple. Grandma says they showed our Tribe that I’d be a captain, before I was even born.

Ever since Ma died, Mouse has looked after her little brother, Sparrow, dreaming of her destiny as captain of the Huntress. But now Da’s missing, Sparrow is in danger, and a deathly cold is creeping across Trianukka . . .

Sea-churning, beast-chattering, dream-dancing, whale-riding, terrodyl-flying, world-saving adventure. The first book in a stunning new fantasy adventure trilogy, perfect for readers aged 9+ and fans of Philip Pullman, Piers Torday, Abi Elphinstone, Katherine Rundell and Frances Hardinge.

Up Next:

????? I’m reading several things right now, and I’m not super close to finishing any of them.

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