Tuesday, May 31, 2016

[BOOK REVIEW] The Hardy Boys: D.A.N.G.E.R. Spells the Hangman Volume 18 by Scott Lobdell

Title:  The Hardy Boys:  D.A.N.G.E.R Spells the Hangman Volume 18

Author:  Scott Lobdell

Artist: Paulo Henrique

Genre:  Mystery / Adventure / Thriller / Crime

Year Published:  2009

Year Read: 5/29/2016

Series:  The Hardy Boys #18

Publisher:  Papercutz

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Fighting Scenes)


Well, it seems that I am on a “Hardy Boys” reading binge as I am checking out almost all of the “Hardy Boys” graphic novel series and I have stumbled upon another “Hardy Boys” graphic novel called “The Hardy Boys: D.A.N.G.E.R Spells the Hangman” which is a pretty interesting volume dealing with the spelling bee…in a murder plot!

What is this story about?

The story starts off with Joe Hardy having to go to the National Spelling Bee after Cassie London, the real spelling bee winner, was unexpectedly called to London for a violin performance.  It was then that Joe discovers that there is a murder plot unfolding at the Spelling Bee and he has to do the case solo due to Frank having to take their pet parrot to the vet.  Meanwhile, while Frank is taking their parrot to the vet, he discovers a bunch of burglars trying to steal dogs from the animal shelter to make money off of them and Frank goes out to stop the burglars from kidnapping the dogs.

Can Frank and Joe solve their respective cases?

Read this book to find out!

What I loved about this story:

Scott Lobdell’s writing: Scott Lobdell’s writing is as usual extremely interesting to read as I loved the way that Scott Lobdell wrote each character and the relationships between them, especially the relationship between Frank and Joe as it shows that they truly care for each other when comes to solving cases together.  I really loved the fact that we have a storyline where Frank and Joe are separated from each other and we get to see how both brothers manage their respective cases without the other.  I especially loved the fact that we get to focus more on Joe Hardy’s intelligence as we find out that he has participated in the Spelling Bee before and that he was known to be really good at the Spelling Bee and this story shows much more depth with the Hardy Boys’ intelligence in other areas besides the cases they get involved in.  I also enjoyed Joe’s interactions with Tam, as it seems that they have a bit of a friendly rivalry going on between them and I wished that this volume showcased that rivalry a bit more in the story.

Paulo Henrique’s artwork:  Paulo Henrique’s artwork is as usual fantastic to look at as the characters are beautifully drawn in the typical anime style and all the action sequences where the Hardy Boys fight off bad guys are extremely well detailed.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I gave this volume a four star rating was because, just like the previous volumes, the story seems a bit clunky as the ending was rushed and there was not enough build up leading to the conclusion of the case.  I would have liked this story more if they had developed the clues to the mystery a bit better and actually gave us some kind of closure to the case.  Also, I would have liked to see more moments between Joe and Tam as I felt that their relationship with each other would have made a pretty interesting story and it was a shame that we do not get to see more of their relationship in this volume.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “The Hardy Boys: D.A.N.G.E.R Spells the Hangman” is a great volume starring the Hardy Boys and once again, I will try to seek out more “Hardy Boys” graphic novels in the near future!

Top Ten Tuesday #27: Top 10 Beach Reads for the Summer

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

So today's Top Ten Tuesday theme is "Top 10 Beach Reads for the Summer!"

So, here's my top 10 Beach Reads for the Summer (in no particular order).

1. The Martian by Andy Weir

2. Golden Son by Pierce Brown

3. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

4. Cress by Marissa Meyer

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

6. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

7. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

8. The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

9. Looking for Alaska by John Green

10. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Blog Tour + Cover Reveal: Under a Million Stars by Rita Branches

Under A Million Stars
Rita Branches
Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?

Her heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.
Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.

Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realizes that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.

Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.
Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?


Author Bio:

Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit: http://ritabranches.wordpress.com/

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Blog Tour + Book Blitz: The Heart's Journey Home: A Layover in Doppelganger-Ville (The Heart's Journey Home #2) by Nikki Jackson

★✩★✩Book Details★✩★✩

The Heart’s Journey Home: A Layover in Doppelganger-Ville
Nikki Jackson

(The Heart’s Journey Home, #2)

Publication date: April 30th 2016

Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Picking up where The Heart’s Journey Home: California Blend Summer Vacation leaves off, book two in the series follows seventeen-year-old Tori Logan as she and her best friends, AJ and Kalea, accompany Tori’s archeologist father to Israel.

Tori Logan is used to her life looking a little different from the lives of other girls her age. She’s also used to having plenty of adventures, so when she and her best friends see an excavated quarry in one of Jerusalem’s most famous archeological sites, they waste no time checking it out for themselves. Adventurous and fiercely independent, Tori leads her friends into the quarry where they happen upon what appears to be a secret passageway. As the trio laughs and jokes, small rumblings turn into big quakes and the walls start to crumble around them.

Kalea and AJ escape, but the site collapses before Tori can find her way out.
When she comes regains consciousness, Tori realizes she’s traveled back in time to ancient Jerusalem. With her quick wit and drive to survive, she concocts a story about why she, a foreigner, is there and finds shelter with a widow woman named Judith – who looks exactly like her father’s live-in girlfriend, Rachel.

As Tori encounters other people who are spitting images of loved ones back at home, she must reconcile truths about herself with the hard realities about the situation in which she finds herself. But will these lessons last once she’s back at home?
Will she even make it home?

★✩★✩Guest Post★✩★✩

Guest post by Nikki Jackson

My Weird Fascination….

I have a weird fascination and its scary movies.

I have sworn off them more times than I can remember because I actually find them so terrifying but like a little chocolate addict my hand finds its way back to the box. I can only blame it on a mildly warped fascination with the fact that that someone wrote, out of their own imagination, something that could cause such physical, emotional and psychological reactions in the reader (or if it’s a movie – the viewer).

I remember back in the day when the movie The Exorcist debuted. It was 1973 and no movie like it had ever really be made and it was the scariest thing in town. To this very day I’ve never seen that movie. I read the reviews and watched the news spots and that was more than enough to keep me away from it. There were reports of moviegoers crying, fainting and throwing up (especially during the head spinning around part), all because they’d been so affected by what was going on with the little demon possessed girl.

The scariest movie I’ve ever seen in life to date was The Ring. I got caught up in the premise: watch the video, get the phone call, dead in seven days. The curious side of my brain just knew there was a safe, logical way out of this and I wanted to see how the latest victim would beat the curse. I still don’t know how the movie ended. When that little kid came out of that well I started screaming.
I was screaming at the guy watching this play out on his TV to turn it off and get out of there. He didn’t hear me. He just sat there spellbound while that kid came out of that well and was moving, like some weird stop-action closer and closer, and then shocks of shocks….when that kid climbed through the TV set….I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t call the police, I was a hot screaming mess. It was like she’d climbed through my TV set and into my living room. That’s the last thing I remember.
I turned on every light in the house (why did I watch it at night, alone?), made sure all the doors and windows were locked (twice) and I spent the night on the sofa with a blanket over my head praying to still be alive with the new day’s dawn.

Here’s what’s so intriguing – that hot mess of a movie was first a writer’s creation. Somebody sat down and imagined it and then wrote it down. As traumatizing as that movie was to me, the thought that a writer wrote it is fantastic. Don’t you see? I was scared and traumatized and ready to throw-up and pee all at the same time – I was physically and emotionally and yes, psychologically effected and caught up and spent and I didn’t even last the whole movie!

As a writer I don’t want to scare the bejeezus out of anyone, but I want to take the reader on an exhilarating, crazy wild rollercoaster ride. I want the reader to be giddy, shocked, angry, moved, excited, teased, floored, bowled over – and happily spent when they finish reading a book of mine. I want to pull the reader out of their present setting and take them on the journey of a story with me and my characters. I want to give the reader a break from life as they know it and I want them to eagerly join me on an imagined adventure.

Sure, I’d like to make a million bucks writing, but when I really think about it? I’d rather prefer making a million friends.

★✩★✩Author Details★✩★✩

Nikki Jackson considers herself to be an Indie Writer, Journeyman and Traveler. She's camped out in the Grand Canyon just to see the sunrise over a stupendous backdrop and she yet dreams to travel to Mount Everest, not to climb any part of it but to simply stand at the North Base Camp and take it all in, in person. Nikki's love of adventure was inspired at an early age at the local library where she spent summers reading about young travelers going cross-country and around the world. She loved the adventures that took her out of the bottom bunk of her bed (her favorite reading spot) and had her soaring across the clouds to lands filled with wonderful and diverse people. It was then and there Nikki decided she wanted to be a writer - she wanted to have the same effect on people reading books had on her. The Heart's Journey Home is the beginning of the adventure.

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