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#MangaMadnessReadathon Round 8 Announcement

I am coming to you today with the Announcement for the next Manga Madness Readathon Round which will run from November 2nd-10th and you’ll be able to use #MangaMadnessReadathon to share your progress, TBR, and Updates, if you decide to join. This will be the last round for this year. The sign up post is at the bottom of this post. There will be prizes again this round so keep reading to find out what they’ll be.

Bingo Board

There are 25 Challenges to complete, although you don’t have to complete all of them, but you can if you want to, and it will take the form of a Bingo Board, all the have to do is complete at least one Bingo, but if you would like to try for a Blackout and complete the entire board, Good Luck. There will be different option for those who aren’t too fond of Bingo Boards though so everyone can participate. This can be a easy or difficult as you would like it to be, you set the level, if you enjoy a challenge, or even if you prefer a more low-key readathon. I will also link some of my Recommendation posts below if you are unsure on what to read. Anyway, here’s the Bingo Board:

After reading said Manga/Volume during the readathon, you will be able to cross that square off of your BINGO sheet. Also, If you don’t want to do the Bingo Challenges, you don’t have to. You can still participate even if you decide that you don’t want to do those challenges. As long as you’re reading Manga and you’re having fun, it counts. And there’s no limit to how much you read, you could read 1 volume or 50 volumes, as long as you read something. The main goal is to just have fun.

These three Different Options you’ll be able to choose from if you don’t want to do the bingo board are:

Option 1: Bingo Board Challenges 
Option 2: Read anything you want 
Option 3: Stick to one Series. For those of you who want to continue or Finish a series and not switch between different series!

On the sign up post you will also have the option to mix up any of these options or even do a mix of all the options.

Instagram Photo Challenge

Instagram Photo Challenge is returning again this year as I love seeing your photos for this, and if you would like you can also post this on Twitter, or just on Twitter if you don’t use Instagram, just make sure to use the hashtag so I can see them.

Manga Recommendations

If you’re unsure what to read I have a few posts you can check out where I recommended some of the Manga/Anime that I’ve read/Watched, you can also check out some of my Manga Reviews HERE

Manga Madness Readathon Round 7 Recommendation
Manga Series I’ve Read from Start to Finish – Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Bonus Challenges

Also returning this year is the Anime Bonus Challenge which you can read all about below and the Light Novel Bonus Challenge. Both of these are Optional but if completed, you’ll be eligible to win a prize. I’ve recently bought a new LN that I’m hoping to read for this round.

Prizes

Prizes will be returning again this round. All prizes are made by me and Available in my Etsy Shop, which can be found HERE. If you win a prize you will be able to choose which Bookmark you would like. There’s very limited stock as these are clearance items. If I announce that you’ve won a prize, please DM me within 24 hours to claim one these bookmarks. Anyway, these are the Bookmarks you will be able to win.

Official Readathon Bookmark - 4 colours to choose from
One Piece Usopp Bookmark
Cardcaptor Sakura Happiness Bookmark
One Piece Nami Bookmark
Cardcaptor Sakura World Bookmark
Black Butler Alois Bookmark
Black Butler Elizabeth Bookmark
Pandora Hearts Bookmark

How to Win a Prize

And here’s the criteria you need to complete to win any of these Prizes. There are lots of ways to be eligible for a prize so anyone can win something – Just make sure you Sign Up below.

These are fairly easy, so anyone can win a prize no matter what option you choose. Anyway, if you chose the Bingo Board Option you can win a prize if you reach your first bingo and a second prize if you get a Blackout and complete to entire Bingo Board.

If you just want to Stick to a series throughout the entire readathon, you will be eligible to win a prize when you finish the entire series, and every series after that if you finish more than one, If you choose to read more than one series or a second series!

And for the read anything option, I wanted to give everyone a chance to win something so every 10 volumes will give you the chance to win something, so please do let me know if you reach 10 volumes!

Any of these will still go if you chose to do a mix of options, as long as you complete any of these! All prizes will be sent after the readathon finishes!

Sign Up:

The readathon will mostly be taking place on Twitter but you can write a blog post about the readathon and your progress or post on Instagram. Anywhere you want to basically, just don’t forget to fill in the sign-up form so I can keep track of who’s participating and how many of you are participating! You can find the sign-up form here.

Will you be taking part in this readathon? Any suggestions or improvements you can think of? Feel free to let me know in the Comments, or on Twitter.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope to see around on social media using the #MangaMadnessReadathon so I can see all your posts and progress throughout the readathon! If you are participating: GOOD LUCK!!!!

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Manga Review: Fairy Tail: Ice Trail Volume 1 & 2 by Hiro Mashima (Original Creator) & Yuusuke Shirato (Story & Art)

Fairy Tail: Ice Trail
Published By: Kodansha Comics
Publication Date: December 15th 2015 – June 16th 2016
Genres: Manga, Fantasy
Date Read: August 31st 2016 – June 25th 2018
Links: Goodreads

Gray Fullbuster’s master Ur was his only family left in the world. When she sacrificed herself to encase the demon Deliora in ice, he was left to wander the world alone…and eventually, years later, joined Fairy Tail. But before that, Gray had to undergo a journey of self-discovery and redemption, with a lot of adventures along the way!

I was not a fan of this prequel side story. This was not written by Hiro Mashima and sadly you could tell. This is the story of Gray and his time before Fairy Tail. The adventures he went on were great, they just weren’t him.

The plot was all over the place. The illustrations were fine, but not amazing. It had a lot of western type bubbles announcing glares and nervousness. And I got a different vibe from Gray Fullbuster in general. It isn’t necessary to have read the original series to start this one, however, this volume does start at the point in Gray’s background that we’ve been told of in Fairy Tail.

Definitely could have been a stronger series, but it was vaguely enjoyable. It just didn’t add much to the original Fairy Tail story, which is my main gripe with side stories and prequels in general.

Let me know if you’ve read this! If so, What did you think of it?

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eARC Review: Challenging Chance by Anyta Sunday

Challenging Chance by Anyta Sunday

Publication Date: July 29th, 2018
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQIA+
Series: Love Letters, #3
Format: eBook
Pages: 186
Date Read: August 8th, 2018
Links: Goodreads

C is for Chance Roosevelt-Sutton
Chiseled jaw. Smug attitude. Wild ways. 
Chained to his ego—or so everyone thinks. Except his personal assistant, Brook. He knows better. 
Chance is challenged to make his father happy for once, but he needs Brook’s help. 
Choosing honesty is too risky, so instead they choose secrecy. 
Choked by their pasts, they dream of a better life . . . and 
Charm each other into submission. 

Will their pasts ruin what they have, or will they grow together? 

C is for Challenging Chance

Tropes: Alpha male, millionaire bad boy, athlete, help/comfort 
Themes: Basketball, coming out 
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance 

I received a copy of Challenging Chance from the Author for Review Consideration. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

I’m going to say that Challenging Chance can be read as a standalone. Ben and Landon from book two are marginally present, but they don’t add anything to the story, and you won’t miss out on too much, although I would recommend reading the entire series.

Chance and Brook —our main characters— are two faces of the same coin. Two playboys trying to redeem themselves. The rich and the poor. The family guy and the lonely one. The openly gay and the closeted bi trying to be better. Although, it’s not my favourite in this series, that would go to book two, but I honestly didn’t expect to end up liking Chance as much as I did.

I kind of hated Chance before reading this book, but I think that’s the point, if you read book two you’ll understand why. Like all the people in Chance’s life, I was looking at Chance from the outside and judging him based on the playboy, douchebag facade he presents to the world. But deep down inside, Chance is insecure and lonely. He wants a closer relationship with his father and brother, who dismiss him at every turn. He doesn’t have any friends, not really. The guys on his team only hang with him because he pays for everything. 

There were a lot of similarities between Brook and Chance, and it’s one of the things that made them work so well together, They could relate to each other. Classic “misunderstood” millionaire with a douse of redemption. This is my least favorite so far. Chance is not as bad as he is described before. I love Brook’s determination. They do have chemistry and I like them together.

It is amazing seeing the character development in every instalment on this series. Every single character is so charming. I’m not a big fan of millionaires or books about millionaires but it’s Anyta Sunday, so of course I had to read it. Every interaction was beautiful and I love the important role both families played.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the Comments!

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October 2019 Book Releases

Today, I’m coming to you with October Book Releases. I had a lot of fun writing up the September Book Releases so I thought I would continue them. There’s a lot of Book Releases this month and they all sound amazing! I have a few October ARCs that I still need to read that I’ll list below as well. I’ll also be linking them to goodreads, if you’re interested in any of these, click on the titles and check them out.

ARCs to Read:

All or Nothing by Riina Y. T. – Expected Publication Date: October 7th – A fun LGBT holiday Romance story about two guys who get stuck in a blizzard.

Master of Restless Shadows by Ginn Hale – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – I received an eARC of this one from Netgalley. This is set in the same world as Lord of the White Hell, but I don’t think it’s necessary to read that series before reading this one as it features different characters.

One Walk in Winter by Georgia Beers – Expected Publication Date: October 15th – Received this one from Netgalley. I’ve never actually heard of this author so I requested this one on a whim. This is an LGBT Romance, and I’m excited to read it and find out more about this one.

I’m a Gay Wizard by V. S. Santoni – Expected Publication Date: October 29th – I also receive an eARC of this one from Netgalley and really liked the concept of it so hopefully the actual story is a good as the concept sounds.

Want to Read:

Fiction

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – New book by Stephen Chbosky, I’m intrigued. I love the concept of this, and with it being horror, count me in.

Full Throttle by Joe Hill – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – I’m yet to read anything by Joe Hill, but I’m hoping to read NOS4A2 soon, this one also sounds really good though. This is a collection of short fiction, featuring 13 Supernatural Suspense stories, and two stories co-written with Stephen King.

Everything You Are by Kerry Anne King – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – Braden Healey is a musician, and when his hands are severely injured, he loses not only his career, but also his family, as he turns to alcohol. This book is about music, love, and forgiveness.

Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – A Time Travel Thriller set in Paris! A historical story about the Ottoman Empire and what happened when one man discovered time travel and went back and with modern warfare knowledge changed the outcome of a war in 1683.

Find Me by Andre Aciman – Expected Publication Date: October 29th – The Sequel to Call me by Your Name! I didn’t know until recently about this sequel, and even though I had some issues with the first book, I am interested to know what this one is like.

Young Adult

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – A Historical Fiction set in 1957. This book has an intriguing premise of characters struggling to exist under the militaristic dictatorship of Francisco Franco in Spain.

Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – I love the Halloween vibes this cover gives off. I haven’t read anything by Zappia yet, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about her books, especially Eliza and her Monsters.

Rebel by Marie Lu – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – New book in the Legend series! The Cover is so gorgeous. Another series that was supposed to be a Trilogy but they decided to drag out of retirement so I really don’t know how I feel about this.

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – A light, historical, murder mystery, romance, fantasy read. Elena is a vine witch, one who uses her spells to enhance the vineyards of the Château Renard, a common occupation in the Chanceaux Valley. This sounds so good.

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This is a sapphic retelling of Twelfth Night.  This is probably the book I’m most excited for this month. This is an LGBT book inspired by Twelfth Night, what more could I want!

Conceal, Don’t Feel by Jen Calonita – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This one sounds really interesting! This explores what would happen if a key turning point had not worked out as planned.

The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman – Expected Publication Date: October 3rd – This is the second book in the Book of Dust series. This one is a spin off from His Dark Materials about Lyra as an Adult and set 20 years after the first book.

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – This is the first book in a new Fantasy series and there is also supposed to be some LGBT Representation is it, although I don’t know much about that.

I Know you Remember by Jennifer Donaldson – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – This Thriller is set in Alaska, I haven’t read many books ser there yet.  It follows Ruthie Hayden as she arrives in her hometown in Alaska, only to discover that her closest friend Zahra has gone missing.

The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – A Book about Books. While I don’t usually enjoy romances too much, this one does sound really good and seems to have other themes in it that might interest people who aren’t Romance Readers.

Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor – Expected Publication Date: October 15th – LGBT+ #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel. This one has a definite Steampunk feel to it and I am really excited to read this.

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco – Expected Publication Date: October 15th – This cover and title are absolutely gorgeous! A story about magic, sisterly feuds, two adjacent worlds with their own specific planetary functions, climate change, and sand dolphins. Honestly, I can’t keep up with all these amazing New Releases.

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon – Expected Publication Date: October 29th – The premise of this sounds so intriguing to me. 

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett – Expected Publication Date: October 29th – This book follows Simone a teenager born HIV positive who lives in constant fear of her peers finding out about her condition. Adding to this already rare subject matter, is a diverse cast, and deals with topics of both race and sexuality. It sounds really good, and I’ve heard a lot of positive things about this one so far and can’t wait to read it.

Mystery/Thriller/Horror

Drowning with Others by Linda Keir – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This books follows High School Sweethearts and ‘It Couple’ of their expensive Boarding school Andi and Ian Copeland. Twenty years later, the school is still part of their lives.

The Lying Room by Nicci French – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This is stand alone murder mystery, I don’t know much about this one, but it sounds interesting.

Little Voices by Vanessa Lillie – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This is a political thriller/murder mystery about a former female prosecutor who’s set on finding her close friend’s killer.

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This one is told from the viewpoints of both Maureen and Alison, across two time periods. One summer, Maureen arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach and before the summer is up, she vanishes.

The Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This is the second book in this series and these covers are gorgeous. This Murder Mystery Series follows Naomi Cottle, an Investigator, who has a knack for finding missing Children.

The Twisted Ones by T Kingfisher – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – I think this one is categorised as a Supernatural Horror, and it sounds really good, right up my alley, a Cabin in the Woods-style horror.

Tuesday Mooney talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – I love the Edgar Allan Poe concept and themes, he’s my favourite poet so there’s no way I’ll pass up on this one. When Vincent Pryce, Boston’s most eccentric billionaire, dies, he leaves behind clues inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. He sends the people of Boston on a Poe-themed treasure hunt to recover his fortune. Well, this sounds interesting, and features some of my favourite things, it sounds like a fun read to be honest.

I Will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll – Expected Publication Date: October 10th – This story follows Alice – a journalist – who receives a threatening phone call from a mysterious stranger, this is not the only threat she is sent, and strangely it always occurs on a Wednesday.

The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas – Expected Publication Date: October 15th – This is the Fourth book in the Lady Sherlock series, I haven’t actually read any in this series yet, I’ve heard a lot about it though.

Blue Moon by Lee Child – Expected Publication Date: October 29th – A new instalment in the Jack Reacher series!

The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This story follows a woman trying to outrun her past and is drawn to a quiet coastal town in Maine.

Romance

Hidden Cove by Meg Tilly – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This is the third book in a Romantic Suspense series, these books can be read as Standalones though.

The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – This is the second book in the Origin series. To be honest, I’m still making my way through the Covenant series, and once I finish that series I plan to start either the Lux series or the Titan Series.

Fantasy/Science Fiction

Shadow Frost by Coco Ma – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This cover is beautiful! Okay, I know we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but this one makes it really hard. It’s gorgeous and so aesthetically pleasing.

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansey – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – I love the idea of this one. It has gotten less than stellar reviews though, but I’m still interested in reading, I’ll decide for myself.

Angel Mage by Garth Nix – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – I still have actually read anything by Garth Nix, although I do know of his inherent greatness and influence of everyone else in the free reading world. I own a lot of them and I’ve met him at a book signing so I feel kinda guilty for not having read any of them yet.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – The blurb for this entertaining coming-of-age is a weird mix of space opera and magic reads.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – A new series by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve only read her Shadow and Bone series so far, and while I thought it was a bit overhyped and didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to, that’s not to say it’s not an an interesting read though, I would like to read this one and maybe even the Six of Crows series.

Historical Fiction

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This is the second book in the Tattooist of Auschwitz! This book is set in 1942 Poland during World War II. I’ve seen the first book around a lot and I’ve wanted to read it for a while, with the release of this book maybe I’ll read it soon

The Dressmaker’s Gift by Fiona Valpy – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – This one is set in 1940 Paris during World War II. Harriet is on a journey from the UK to make a life in haute couture in Paris, inspired by a photo she finds unexpectedly one day of three young women, one of whom she recognizes as her grandmother, outside a fashion establishment in Paris

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – A historical drama set in the US Depression era in Kentucky that draws on real life history.

Secrets of the Chocolate House by Paula Brackston – Expected Publication Date: October 22nd – This is the Sequel to Little Shop of Found Things. I haven’t read the first book yet, but I’ve heard really great things about so I hope to read it soon.

Graphic Novels/Comics/Manga/Light Novels

Food Wars! Shokugeki No Soma Volume 32 – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – I haven’t started this series yet but it sounds super good, and I’ve had a people recommend it to me. This one has recently finished publishing, ending with 36 volumes with another 4 volumes to be translated to english so I think I’ll be starting it soon, that way if I really enjoy it, I can binge read it. I’ll have a lot of volumes to read through.

Ghostly Things Volume 1 by Ushio Shirotori – Expected Publication Date: October 1st – A new Fantasy Manga series! This sounds so much like the Demon Prince of Momochi House series, one of my favourites so I definitely will be checking this one out soon. This is about a girl delving into the secrets of her Supernatural House. Yachiho moves into the “haunted” house and can see spirits.

The Promised Neverland Volume 12 by Kaiu Shirai – Expected Publication Date: October 1st –  Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. Good food, clean clothes and the perfect environment to learn. One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing.

Hitorijime My Hero Volume 5 by Memeko Arii – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – I’m caught up on this series so I’ll be reading this one soon. I’ve also watched the anime for it too.

Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 3 by Tomohito Oda – Expected Publication Date: October 8th – To her classmates, quiet Shoko Komi is serene, elegant, charismatic and pretty, the class goddess. But average Tadano stumbles upon the secret that she suffers so greatly from social anxieties and shyness that she is selectively mute and has no friends. I can really relate to Komi, I have yet to read this series, but I’m looking forward to reading it and finding out more about this series.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Volume 6 by CLAMP – Expected Publication Date: October 15th – I adore this series. This is the sequel series to Cardcaptor Sakura. I’m mostly caught up with this series, I still need to read volume 5 though.

Tokyo Ghoul: re Volume 13 by Sui Ishida – Expected Publication Date: October 15th – I am so out the loop with this series, I’ve only read 3 volumes so far and there’s already 13 volumes. I Loved this series almost as much as the original series, at least what I’ve read so far, I loved all the new characters and returning characters. I can’t wait to continue it.

The Saga of Tanya the Evil Volume 8 by Carlo Zen – Expected Publication Date: October 22nd – I’ve heard a lot about the Anime, but to be honest, I haven’t heard much about the Manga at all though. I love the Concept of this.

Black Butler Volume 28 by Yana Toboso – Expected Publication Date: October 29th – I’ve recently started reading this one so I have a lot of Catch up to do which I don’t really mind at all.

Bungo Stray Dogs Light Novel Volume 2 by Kafka Asagiri – Expected Publication Date: October 29th – I’ve recently been watching the Anime, and I absolutely love it, the story and the Characters are complex, and it’s just a really character driven story.

The Mortal Instruments Graphic Novel Volume 3 by Cassandra Clare – Expected Publication Date: October 29th – I still have to read Volume 2, but I really want to read these soon, I can’t really afford any books at the moment though.

There’s so many books being released in October and they all sound amazing! Have you read any of these titles? If so, any Favourites? Are any of these on your TBR? Let me know in the Comments so we can discuss them.

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Review: My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

Publication Date: March 1st 2012
Genres: Nonfiction Graphic Novel
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Date Read:  June 26th 2018
Links: Goodreads

You only think you know this story. In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer — the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper — seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, “Jeff” was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides.  In My Friend Dahmer writer-artist Backderf creates a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young man struggling against the morbid urges emanating from the deep recesses of his psyche — a shy kid, a teenage alcoholic, and a goofball who never quite fit in with his classmates. With profound insight, what emerges is a Jeffrey Dahmer that few ever really knew, and one readers will never forget.

I have always been interested in true crime, so when I found out that there was going to be a movie made based on this graphic novel I needed to read it. I read this after watching the movie. My Friend Dahmer is a graphic novel by one of his previous friends from high school, Backderf. Very interesting read!

Written (and illustrated) by a classmate of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer, My Friend Dahmer depicts the teenage years of Dahmer’s life and his slow downward spiral into murder.

I’d also like to mention that I feel this novel aims (and does) attempt to provoke some sympathy for Jeffrey Dahmer’s past. I hate to admit there were a few moments where I truly wanted to empathize with someone who at the time was just a troubled teen, with faint knowledge of what he would become in the future.

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed my time reading this book. Jeffrey Dahmer graduated from high school in 1978. Most of his classmates, when they thought about him at all, considered him weird, but another student was regarded as the “class psycho.” As classmate, author and “friend”, Backderf tells it, “He was the loneliest kid I ever met.”

I was surprised to learn of Dahmer’s binge drinking in high school. Backderf once watched him drink an entire 6-pack in 10 minutes, and he frequently roamed the halls with liquor on his breath as early as 7:45 in the morning. How could the teachers have missed this? As the author points out, high school in the seventies was a far different world from today’s almost prison-like schools. Teachers wanted to appear hip. They wanted the students to think they were cool. And tattling on a student wouldn’t have been cool.

And Dahmer’s parents? They were basically indifferent, caught up in their own brand of marital warfare. His mother may have suffered from some mental problems. Jeffrey Dahmer killed his first victim, a hitchhiker, shortly after finishing high school He would later kill 16 more people before his conviction. He was murdered in prison in 1994.

There is much speculation in the book about what could have “saved” Dahmer. The author maintains that the adults in his life were too “incomprehensibly clueless and/or indifferent.” I agree with the indifferent part. But what would have changed the way things turned out for Jeffrey Dahmer and his 17 victims? We’ll never know. In this graphic novel, Backderf attempts to explain some of the reasons why Dahmer went down the path he did.

I enjoyed it overall though, it provides quite an interesting insight into the earlier life of Dahmer, although I do feel like the term “friend” is being used loosely here. He merely seems to have just been a classmate!

I had normal friendships in high school… and really never had any close friendships after high school.

When he gets to high school Dahmer finds the first and only friends he will ever have. If you could call it friends. They call their gang “The Jeffrey Dahmer Fan Club”. It wasn’t a fan club. More like a freak show affair. His antics that are amusing to them are Dahmer reenacting his mother’s helpless spasms. I don’t really want to think about that the only friends he ever had kept him around as a sideshow attraction.

This book humanizes Dahmer in a way that I have thought for years to be kind of necessary. To humanize someone like Dahmer (in his pre-murderous life) is to remember principles that are important to remember every day, as building blocks of compassion and understanding for others. Like: if you can feel this way about someone who was historically a monster, if you can understand him and be gentle with his past in retrospect, you can surely feel this way about the guy who cuts you off in traffic or your boss when she’s angry about nothing again.

You know a book is great when it makes you have sympathy for a depraved serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer. Our author Backderf makes it clear throughout this book that everyone thought something was off with Dahmer. Now obviously he didn’t know Dahmer would become the monster he became but no one tried to help him. His home life was hell, at school no one cared and despite the name of the book Dahmer never had a real friend in this world.

While this was a really insightful graphic novel, it was definitely an uncomfortable read, though I’m not sure how any nonfiction book about a killer-in-the-making wouldn’t be. While there’s not actually much talk at all about Dahmer as a murderer of humans, there is a lot of commentary surrounding the animals he abused and killed, as well as his terrible actions towards other human beings.

Content warnings: violence, animal abuse, ableism, homophobia, necrophilia, sexual assault.

I was putting off reviewing this book as I really didn’t know how to review it or what to say so I hope this all made sense. Thanks for Reading! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book and what your thoughts are on it!

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3 Year Blogiversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Ups and Downs of Blogging!! And my Favourite Posts!!

How exciting!!!! I’ve been blogging for 3 years today and I just can’t believe it!

Wow, what a ride it’s been! I started blogging and posted my first post October 6th 2016 and though I don’t get to post as often as I like these days, I still love it, and can’t imagine not doing it. My Blog has grown so much and I hope it continues to grow. There are definitely ups and downs though, and what I have learned however, is that the ups and downs are all a part of blogging, and that I can’t take it personally if things slow down for a bit. Honestly, my favourite part about blogging is my readers and the community! I love chatting with everyone and sharing each other’s work. So thank you! Thank you a million times over!

I can’t believe that I have already been blogging for 3 years. I say this every year, but it’s just very surreal. When I started my blog I never thought it would become one of my favourite hobbies. Yet here we are 3 years later with over 670 posts. Blogging has become a hobby that I can’t imagine my life without.

And this year we get 3 Cupcakes for 3 years of blogging. I only had two candles though. I celebrate every year with Cupcakes. These are Gluten & Dairy free Chocolate Cupcakes! I’m not good at baking so I asked my mum to make these for me.

Thank you everyone for following my blog and interacting with me here and my other social media sites. You have made my blogging experience so much more special!

I thought I would share my Favourite Posts I’ve ever published on here, the ones I had the most fun writing or just thought turned out really well:

Interview with Karen Gregory, Author of Countless
Interview with Carmen-Shea Hepburn, Author of Amanzimtoti
Top Ten Authors I have Met/Want to Meet
Halloween Book Recommendations II
A Series of Unfortunate Recipes: Harry Holiday Nog Inspired by Harry Potter
My Journey with Social Anxiety
Coming out as Pansexual
My Chronic Fatigue Journey
Gender Identity: Why I Identify as Non-Binary and What does that mean

Now how about we look at the most popular post based on visits, comments and Such:

Manga Review: TokiDoki One Shot
A Room of One’s Own Book Discussion
Coming Out as Pansexual
Gender Identity: Why I Identify as Non-Binary and What does that mean
Trash my TBR
Series I’ve Started But Haven’t Finished Yet Update
State of the ARC #1

The Ups and Downs of Blogging!

What I struggled with:

Finding the time to blog – This is actually something I still struggle with, honestly. Someone please offer the answer, because I have no clue. I do prefer Quality over Quantity, and now that my posts are a little more spaced out, the quality is better. Life gets so busy and I suffer from Chronic Fatigue so I can’t always be active on here, it can be very exhausting at times, I can’t always get up the energy to post or even to check my blog daily. I occasionally prepare my posts in advance now, but other times, even that proves to be challenging. The posts alone can take so much of my time, it takes hours for me to write most posts, depending on the type… but then you add in making graphics, commenting, and all other blogging things!

Writing blog posts – Finding the inspiration and idea to write a blog post – a creative, and interesting one – was actually much harder than I’d expected! Does anyone else have this problem? Maybe it’s just me. Due to brain fog I have to write down all my ideas and anything that comes to mind as soon as I think it up before I forget. I love writing discussions but coming up with a topic can be so hard and getting all my thoughts together so it all makes sense. Sometimes I’m totally struck by inspiration and it can be easy, but other times I try (and fail) to write something semi-coherent and enjoyable to read.

Getting caught up in the stats – I didn’t expect much when I first started blogging in terms of stats (i.e. followers, likes, comments, etc.) but I think after three years there are things I’ve come to expect from my blog, and I won’t lie, stats kind of really impacted my blogging experience in a negative way sometimes. This is something that I wish didn’t affect me as much but with all the work, time and effort put into this blog getting lots of views, or comments feels good, and makes me feel much more like the work I put into it is worth. I’ve pretty much learnt within in this time of blogging not to care so much about it. I don’t even hardly check it these days, although I’d say that’s more because of lack of time. But It’s perfectly fine to care about stats, just need to find that balance so that it doesn’t start to bring you down.

Blogging Consistently – This is something that I still obviously struggle with, but I’m to get better at it and schedule more post and such. Blogging inconsistently can really affect your traffic in a negative way as I found out earlier this year when my blogging dropped down to 1-3 posts a month. I would love to post about 2-3 times a week. I want to keep creating quality posts but maybe try to do it a little more consistently without the quality decreasing.

Self-doubtsI can’t even tell you how many times I doubted whether I should be doing this or not.  My own self-doubts are my biggest struggle. It comes down to fear. The fear that what I am saying isn’t good enough or that no one wants to hear my opinion or even just the fear of failure. I’ve struggled with inadequacy growing up and just always felt invisible, like my opinion doesn’t really matter. I still sometimes feel this way but this blog has helped boost my confidence a bit.

What makes it all so worth it:

The blogging community – #1 reason, hands down!! My praises for the blogging community are literally endless. If the world was as lovely as the blogging community, we’d have world peace and so much more love!! I don’t know many people in real life who actually enjoy reading as much as I do so not many people in real life actually get my obsession with books like everyone on here does. That sense of belonging got lost to me a few times over my blogging journey, but I’ve never found a place to belong like I have in this community.

All of the struggles I mentioned above mean nothing, at the end of the day when I think about how great all of you are. This is hands down the best part of Blogging! Despite all the struggles I mentioned I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I honestly can’t believe it’s been 3 years!!!! I’ll get used to it. I started this blog at the age of 18 and I am now 21. A lot has happened within these 3 years. Thank you once again, and tell me: have you gone through any of these struggles? How long have you been blogging, and what do you love about it? I love talking to each and every one of you, thank you SO MUCH for just being so supportive and reading my posts, I never imagined that anyone would ever be interested in hearing my thoughts and opinions.

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Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Publication Date: June 2018 (Originally Published in 2005)
Published by: Puffin
Series: Percy Jackson, #1
Genres: Middle Grade Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 388
Date Read: September 9th 2017
Links: Goodreads

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. 

People say that if you like Harry Potter you should read the Percy Jackson series and I do understand why after reading the first book of the series. But To be frank I think the Harry Potter characters are more evolved and developed than the Percy Jackson characters, in this first book anyway. I hate trying to review a book like this because I’m never certain if I should review it from the perspective of an adult or from the perspective of the intended audience. So I’ve been putting off reviewing this for too long, but I’m finally going to attempt to review this, and I’ll do my best to write this as coherently as possible.

Comparisons toward the Harry Potter series have always surrounded this book series, but I’m not completely sure why. The only comparisons between these series is that they are both popular Middle Grade fantasy Series, but there the similarities end. The world Rick Riordan created is much more different than the wizard world from Rowling.

While I can see why this is surrounded by a lot of hype, I felt a bit unimpressed with this book. Percy Jackson is a middle grade featuring Percy, who is always getting in trouble or really trouble is always finding him. From evil math teachers to hell hound and centaurs there is so much mythology. I enjoyed the mythology, the Greek gods, the monsters, it was fun to read about. I would have adored this book if I read this as a kid! I was always interested in Greek Mythology, read quite a lot about it starting from my early teens and a book combining child protagonists and modern day adventure with clashes of Greek gods and other mythological creatures would have sent me into a book frenzy. As a grown-up I still like the idea and I can imagine that the story appeals to kids, but I did find the writing and the narrative a bit jerky at times.

Don’t get me wrong I still loved this book, it was extremely fun to read. I loved the camp, I loved the descriptions of the cabins all arranged and decorated with the God in mind, I loved most of the characters, especially Grover, I found Grover to be Hilarious and such a well done character. So I did somewhat enjoy it. The Premise of the Story is quite original and interesting. It wasn’t badly written either, just a bit average.

“In a way, it’s nice to know there are Greek gods out there, because you have somebody to blame when things go wrong.”

So in this story we go on an adventurous quest with Percy and his friends to find the Lightning bolt – as the title suggests – in order to avoid the gods wrath! Lot’s of ups and downs to keep the readers hooked. It is a quick and light read. It just boils down to it being written for a younger audience. Some Middle Grade books just sound a little younger than others, the writing style is very young.

“If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.”

It was really fast paced, and the worldbuilding and the way that the Greek Myth was interwoven with the story was really neat. I loved the way the mythology stayed accurate whilst also having a modern ‘twist.’ But I found I couldn’t connect to the characters that well. I love character driven stories. With this series, the characters take a back seat to the plot. That’s not bad, and I know a lot of people like that. But I wish the characters had more depth.

Percy was interesting and I loved the incorporation of his ADHD and dyslexia. I loved that those two aspects were incorporated into the decisions he made – it made those aspects of his character have a much more real presence in the text. Percy’s character wasn’t bad, I just wish there was more. Something a bit deeper.

Having said all of this, back when I would have been part of the target age group, I would have loved this series. If I had children, I would gladly purchase every book and read them together. I can see where children would love the constant adventure and the gods and monsters that appear on practically every other page. If a series like this can get children to read and to love mythology, then that’s definitely worth something.

Anyway, I liked it, I just didn’t think it was outstanding! I’ve finished this series, and will be posting the other reviews shortly, I do think this series gets better so my other reviews will probably be less hypocritical than this.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it? Do you agree or disagree with anything I mentioned above? Let me know in the Comments, I’d love to hear your opinion!

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Book Recommendations – Big Books II (500+ Pages)

Back in 2017 I did a post recommending some of my favourite books that are over 500 pages so I thought it might be interesting to see if I have some new books to add to that list (Click Here if you would like to check out my original post.) Here are some of my favourite tomes:

P. S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
(501 Pages)

I quite enjoyed this one, and the sequel came out recently too, I haven’t read it yet though. I don’t know if I will be reading it, because I really liked this one as a sequel. This one tells the story of Gerry and Holly. Gerry and Holly are completely and utterly in love with each other. They cannot wait to spend forever with each other. But one day Gerry becomes extremely ill and succumbs to his terminal illness. Holly has to face her worst fear and has to learn to survive in a world without the love of her life. This isn’t usually the sort of book that I would enjoy, but It was fine.

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
(503 Pages)

One of my favourites! This is a Novella bind-up with different stories featuring Magnus Bane from Shadowhunter Chronicles. Despite it being quite a hefty book I read through it really fast.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Pages: 503 / 704 / 748 / 849

I’ve only read the first book so far as it’s the shortest in the series and I’m very much intimidated by the others which are all over 700 pages. It has dragons and elves and magic and swordplay and not a love triangle in sight. I haven’t been in much of a Fantasy mood lately though, but when I am, I’ll definitely be continuing this series.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
(513 Pages)

Henry ‘Monty’ Montague has a bit of a reputation among high society Britain, a constant source of contention with his father. Recently graduated, Monty is due to set off on his Grand Tour of Europe, with his best friend, Percy, and little sister, Felicity, in tow. This is one of my absolute favourite books, it has everything I ever need in a book all rolled up in one big adventure.

The Shining by Stephen King
(Pages: 659 / 531)

Not my favourite Stephen King book, but it was an alright book, it gets better within the last 200 pages, although I didn’t connect with the sequel nearly as much, and I was pretty bored most of the time reading Doctor Sleep, but I thought I would still add it here anyway.

The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins
(608 Pages)

The You I’ve Never Known is mostly told from Ariel’s perspective. She is a 17 year old girl who has lived pretty much her entire life moving from one place to another with her dad. Ariel’s mother abandoned her and her father to be with her girlfriend. Ellen Hopkins has long been a favourite of mine and while I felt this one was lacking, her stories still manage to linger in my head long after finishing. She tackles the subjects that most often need to be brought to light.

Do you enjoy reading big books? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned above? What are your Favourite tomes? Let me know in the Comments!

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State of the ARC #2 – September 2019

State of the ARC is a monthly meme at Avalinah’s Books meant to motivate you to finish up all your long overdue ARCs. You can track your reading progress and link up with your own post.

CURRENT STATE OF THE ARC

In July I posted my first State of the ARC (Check that out HERE) in the hopes of decreasing my number of Review Copies, and I’d say I’m actually doing pretty well with it so far. I was supposed to post this in August but I forgot so this will be September’s Update instead. This has been a really successful Couple Months in regards to ARCs. So, let’s see what my Current State of the ARC looks like (and hopefully it’s improved a bit):

Last state of the ARC, which was in July, I was at 163 Review Copies, I am down by 9. That’s actually not too bad. Considering I’ve added another 10 to the lineup. I still have a long way to go though.

ARCS READ AND REVIEWED IN SEPTEMBER

Hope, Tears, Steam, Gears by Gregory L. Norris Review
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley Review
Eternal Night by Alayna Ravenwood Review
Fear the Wolf by Andrew Butcher Review

SEPTEMBER NEW ARRIVALS

IN THE WORKS

UPCOMING

LET’S GET MOTIVATED

I’ve had an eARC of Beyond the Orchard for way longer than I’d like to admit, and am still interested in reading. A Story of dark secrets, shameful lies, forgotten letters, undying love and devastating despair. This is a Historical Mystery set in Australia. I actually don’t think I ever knew it was based in Australia so that makes me even more excited to read it. Better late than never.

How many ARCs/Review Copies do you have to read? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned above? Are they on your TBR? Are you able to keep up with all the ARCs? If you have any tips I’m all ears, although first I should learn to not request so many books! That’s something that I clearly still struggle with, but there’s many amazing sounding books, and I want to read them all, I just don’t have enough time to do that!

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Review: The Douglas Fir by Anyta Sunday *Spoiler-Free*

The Douglas Fir by Anyta Sunday

Publication Date:  November 3rd 2013
Genres: New Adult, LGBT, Romance, Contemporary
Format: eBook
Pages: 119
Date Read: September 2nd, 2019
Links: Goodreads

Somehow, someway, Jason Kress will find Noah the most unique and clever gift ever. A gift that will surprise him, and win his heart.

A gift that just might be magic . . .

(A contemporary gay romance story)

Synopsis from Goodreads

I’m not usually into love triangle, but this is by Anyta Sunday so of course I read it. I don’t regret it. I really enjoyed reading this novella. The efforts to create magic, the heartbreak, and the friendships among different characters are beautifully written as they always are with Sunday’s books so this is not different. This was so cute!

This book was simply MAGIC! But mostly it’s going to be very difficult to explain especially without giving too much away. Here’s an overview of this story without giving too much away: Jase have been in love with his best friend and neighbour – Noah – for a while now. He wants to give Noah the perfect Birthday Present, but for that to happen he needs a plan. It takes him time but in the end he realizes the best thing would be a magic Douglas Fir (“Christmas Tree”). One which grows not just from watering but also from speaking truths to.

Jase hopes with all of his heart that once Christmas is here, Noah would finally SEE him and maybe want him the way he wants him. For one thing, Jase has to compete with Noah’s other best friend who’s also in love with Noah, and for another, while his gift idea is fantastic, it involves a hell of a lot of work and sneaking around. When Christmas if finally here and the magic Douglas Fir is done Jase needs to realise which are the actual truths he have been saying to the magic tree and what he needs to do so he can at last claim his love.

I loved everyone here. I loved Jase for being insecure about his feeling and his monologues on how he worried that Noah would fall in love with the best friend, Dave. I thought Jase’s idea for the magic Douglas Fir was brilliant and adorable and thoughtful. As always, the story was beautifully written. It was a really sweet story. You can practically feel the emotions jumping off the page.

Have you read this books? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the Comments!