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It’s not often that I read comics. In fact, it’s probably been at least fifteen years. Not that that matters, because I will happily watch, read, or listen to anything Bob’s Burgers-related. That silly cartoon is one of my favorite shows, and the first volume of its comic does not disappoint.

Each character gets their own story, and everything is very true to the show. I particularly enjoyed Tina’s Erotic Friend Fictions, mostly because Tina is my favorite character and I’ve always wondered what she has hidden away in those journals of hers…

The first one may have been the best. I nearly fell out of my bed when I read the following exchange:

“What’s your name, stud?”
“Horse Jimmy Jr.”

Because of course Tina would write about herself and Jimmy Jr. as horses. Of course.

There’s not a lot to say about this one, aside from highly recommending it to any fan of the show.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

For my 2015 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #49: a book based on or turned into a tv show.


A Discovery of Witches has been on my radar since shortly after it came out. I’d seen glowing reviews and heard great things from friends, so I figured I should give it a shot. I received this book for Christmas last year, and finally got a chance to pick it up about a week ago. Honestly, I’m not really sure what I think.

Here are the basics:

Our main character, Diana Bishop, is a historian and non-practicing witch descended from the famous Bridget Bishop (of Salem Witch Trials fame). Not wanting to be accused of getting ahead by using her magic, Diana refuses to use it for anything aside from necessities. When the book begins, Diana is at Oxford, researching alchemy for her next project. She puts in a request for the well-known Ashmole 782, and given her credentials, it’s readily provided to her. Suddenly, it seems that every supernatural creature in all of Europe has flocked to the library to watch what happens, because little did Diana know, but Ashmole 782 has been something of a mystery for hundreds of years. This super-special, super-enchanted manuscript has baffled even the most powerful witches, but Diana opens it by simply laying her hands on it. She knows there’s something special about it, but given the fact that she’s denying her magical heritage, she just gets what she needs and sends it back to the stacks. That’s when all hell breaks loose and she requires the assistance of a very old, very mysterious, very handsome vampire to keep her safe.

I’m not going to lie. I really struggled through the first half of this book. At one point, I made it about five pages before falling asleep. In the middle of the day. (That is not something I do, ever.) The first half of the book is dedicated to ridiculous, painstaking, overly-detailed descriptions of what Diana is reading, what Matthew is drinking, and what everything smells like. It’s like Harkness hadn’t quite found her plot yet, but wanted to keep filling pages while she thought about it. The pacing does improve about halfway in, but not enough to compensate for the first half. With the improved pacing comes a fairly predictable plot:

• Diana and Matthew passionately kiss. Diana wants to sleep with Matthew, but he turns her down.
• Diana is put in harm’s way. Can Matthew save her? (Of course he can.)
• Diana and Matthew passionately kiss. Diana wants to sleep with Matthew, but he turns her down.
• Diana is put in harm’s way. Matthew can’t save her this time, but can she save herself? (Obviously, there’s two more books.)
• Diana and Matthew passionately kiss. Diana wants to sleep with Matthew, but he turns her down.
• Diana is put in harm’s way. Can she figure out how to use her magic in order to save herself?
• Diana and Matthew passionately kiss. Diana wants to sleep with Matthew, but he turns her down.

I took issue with a few things in the book that made it really hard to like the main characters:

• Matthew thinks it’s perfectly fine to break into Diana’s rooms himself – before he even knows her. But he flies into a rage when he finds out that someone else did the same.
• Matthew convinces Diana to flee to France with him because of the supposed danger she’s in at Oxford. But once they’re there, he abandons her (probably because he loves her so much, or something) and she literally cries enough to fill a room with water.

This book is basically just Twilight for adults, and I really wish someone would have told me that before I started, because this is not what I signed up for.

A Discovery of Witches is much too long, and much too detailed. A decent editor could have cut out at least 100 pages of unnecessary descriptions and backstories. A good editor could have probably taken this book down to half its length.

I’m not sure whether I’ll pick up the next two books in the series. Harkness seems to think that by having Matthew repeatedly say, “You don’t need to know about this right now, I’ll tell you later,” I’ll be compelled to keep reading. Honestly, I don’t think it’s worth the effort. I was frustrated with the slow-moving plot and pages upon pages of unnecessary description. I wasn’t impressed by A Discovery of Witches, but it’s also not the worst book I’ve ever read.

I’ll give it a generous two and a half stars for drawing me in at the very end.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

For my 2015 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #1: a book with more than 500 pages.

Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve liked a lot of books lately, but The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things hit me on a totally different level. Sage and Shane are completely awesome, beautifully flawed characters who defy pretty much every teenage stereotype that exists in young adult novels.

Sage prides herself on leaving her dark past behind her and moving on to a cheerful future. She makes a point to leave a compliment on a random student’s locker every day (written on hot pink sticky notes in sparkly purple pen, no less). She helps out so much at home that her friends think she’s crazy. She volunteers. She tries her best to get good grades. All this so that maybe she can forget what an awful person she used to be. Shane is trying to lay low and make it through high school without ending up in juvie. He made a lot of mistakes at his old school, so he just wants to keep to himself, avoid conflict, and make it through the next few months. Sage and Shane weren’t counting on finding each other, but maybe they’re just what each other needs.

The first thing that I noticed about The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things was the beautiful writing. Each sentence flowed so well, and the dialogue felt natural. Actually, everything felt really natural, from the personalities of the characters to the conflicts to the pacing. It was pretty near perfect, and I had a tough time putting it down at night!

I felt like the characters were really well-developed, from the main characters to their friends and the minor characters who have their own little lives on the sidelines. I think it’s rare, particularly in young adult novels, to have minor characters whose personalities are so developed that we understand the rationale for their actions. I was surprised at the amount of attention given to the main antagonist in the story, and the fact that small offhand comments from the beginning of the book were followed up on throughout.

The only semi-negative comment I can make has to do with the language used in the book. Yes, it is 100% natural for RIGHT NOW. But in five or ten years, I’m wondering if the people who read it will be thinking, “She can’t even? She can’t even what? That’s not a full sentence!” or “Why do these characters keep saying ‘forever alone’ and what does that mean?!” Aguirre does a great job of not dating the book through its use of pop culture (for example, when Sage watches Crazy Stupid Love, she mentions that it came out years ago but she’d never seen it), but as a total linguistics nerd, I wonder how today’s slang is going to hold up in the future.

Aside from that totally minor complaint, everything in this book is amazing, and you should probably preorder it right now.

Thanks to Goodreads First Reads and the publisher for the free copy!

Final rating: ★★★★★ (more like 4.5)

For my 2015 reading challenge, I’m checking off #36: a book set in high school.

Goodreads | [not available for purchase]

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky is a cute, short glimpse into the teenage years of the dashing Carswell Thorne. We first met Carswell in Scarlet, and he’s no less charming at thirteen years old than he is fully grown.

I loved this little window into his childhood, and especially the fact that he’s always wanted to captain the Rampion. This is a really short review for a really short story, but I don’t want to give anything away! As always, Marissa Meyer weaves an excellent story with characters you can’t help but care about.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

For my 2015 reading challenge, I’m checking off #35: a book set in the future.