Saturday, September 1, 2018

Graphic Novel Review of Alone by Chabouté

Read for: Recent Purchase & loved Park Bench

Synopsis: "On a tiny lighthouse island far from the rest of the world, a hermit lives out his existence. Every week a supply boat leaves provisions, yet the fishermen never leave their boat, and never meet him.
Years spent on this deserted rock, with imagination his sole companion, has made the lighthouse keeper something more than alone, something else entirely. For him, what lies beyond the horizon might be... nothing. And so, why would you ever want to leave? But, one day, as curiosity gets the better of him, a new boatman steps onto the island.
Intertwining tenderness, despair, and humour, Alone captures how someone can be an everyman, and every man is someone."

My Review: I loved Park Bench so when I saw this one available I had to pick it up. It wasn't what I expected but I loved how the story developed and the direction it took at the end. I love the illustration style of these graphic novels, using bold lines and monochrome colors. Where as the previous book was wordless, this one had quite a bit of dialogue, except for by the main character, and that really helped develop the stories. The story involves a lot of imagination by the main character, picturing things he has never seen and I found that element to be really creative and again added so much to the story and the connection to the character.

My Rating: I was expecting something much different from this one but was very pleasantly surprised at the different direction this took and the twists that were in the story. I really enjoyed it and give it a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Arrg-ust Bedtime Story: Pirate Boy by Eve Bunting

Read for: Children's Book Challenge/ Arrgust

Synopsis: "After reading his favorite book about a pirate boy, Danny wonders what would happen if he sailed away on a pirate ship. Luckily, his mother reassures him that she would find him, even if she had to ride on a dolphin, battle sea monsters, and wield a bottle of magical pirateshrinking  spray to do it! Young readers will love this adventurous and ultimately reassuring tale of a mother's love."

My Review: This was a cute book but it seems more meant for a mom's sentimentality that a young boys sense of adventure. It is a great story to help reassure young kids who are starting to branch out on their own, that mom will always be there when they need. This illustrations were beautiful and appeared to be paintings. Munchkin wasn't a huge fan of this book but it would make a good soothing bedtime story for younger children (maybe 3-4 years old).

My Rating: Sometimes even pirates need to know Mom will be there for them.  This is a sweet book and will be a great reassurance for those youngsters.  We give it a rating of Three Paws.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Arrg-ust Review of Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

Read for: Requested Review/ Penguin First to Read

Synopsis: "After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all...or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?"

My Review:  I have really been on a big pirate kick lately but have really been disappointed in the YA fantasy selection featuring pirates. Luckily, that is no longer the case, I really enjoyed this one! I loved the unique characters, the lady power they had, the close knit ties, and of course all the twists that are thrown at you throughout the book. The book is fast paced and the pages just keep turning. The world building is smooth and creates a world so vivid you can see it. I am a little disappointed that yet again there is some kind of drug use involved in a pirate story, this really bothers me but that is entirely a personal opinion. Even with that one element I wasn't a fan of, this book was definitely a solid start to a trilogy and I can't wait for more books to be released! (And be forewarned you will NEED that next book immediately).

My Rating: I really enjoyed this book, it was full of action, great characters and unexpected twists. The ending definitely leaves you hanging and eager for the next book. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

I received this book from the Penguin First to Read program with no obligation or compensation, the above is my honest review.

You can find out more about Natalie C. Parker and her books on her Goodreads Page and Website.

Seafire was just released on August 28th, you can now obtain your own copy in digital and print formats from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or ask at your local bookstore.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Arrg-ust Pirate Themed Book Box (Discount Code Included)

If you have stopped by either here or on my Instagram much, you will know that I love getting book subscription boxes. Earlier this year I made my own Frankenstein themed book box and of course having so much fun with the Arrg-ust theme this month I wanted to do that again!  Sadly, with the big family vacation and all the craziness at home in the office, I wasn't able to get everything together.  So instead, I am going to show you what I would put in a Pirate themed book box.  And luck for you, one of the shops I would have gotten an item in has offered a discount code just for my followers, so be sure to stay tuned for that!

Now on with my dream Pirate Book Box:

You couldn't have this box without having it all packaged in a treasure chest!

Everyone needs a map and I loved this big tapestry map from Amazon that could hang on the wall, be an instagram prop or even a light throw blanket.

When you mention pirates one of my first thoughts is the Goonies and One Eyed Willie, so of course I had to included these awesome Goonie Pencils from Define Design from Etsy

We definitely need a notebook to use those pencils in and I LOVE this Peter Pan notebook by Hardback YoYo on Etsy that not only features this awesome cover but included with the blank pages are also some pages from the book.

While I haven't been a big Pirates of the Caribbean fan, I love this quote and it makes a great bookmark from Otter Nonsense Designs on Etsy for those pirate books.

We need to be able to carry all our pirate booty with us and I love the classic style of this Treasure Island Tote bag from Literary Book Gifts

And finally the books, it was a hard choice because there are so many great books pirate books out there, but I decided I would included a classic and a new release. 

So of course we had to go with The Princess Bride by William Goldman in the Deluxe Edition that came out last year. I haven't actually read this book, but the movie is such a classic and this edition is just so pretty and I will be reading it in the near future!

The new release, which came out yesterday is Seafire by Natalie C. Parker.  I had the opportunity to read this one early and it was amazing, full of lady pirates and high seas battles. 

What would you include in your pirate themed book box? 

How about a little coupon code to get something awesome from Literary Book Gifts?!  I was contacted by Melissa, the owner of the Literary Book Gifts online shop to offer all of you wonderful followers and exclusive discount!  Use the code EASTERNSUNSET20 for 20% off any item in the shop! She has a great selection of classic literature inspired clothing and totes.

This post is completely voluntary, while I was contacted by Literary Book Gifts, this is not a paid promotion or advertisement.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review of Brave Enough by Kati Gardner

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley

Synopsis: "Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She never really had a choice of whether she learned to dance or not. Her mother, the conservatory's artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason's life. But that's about to change. Cason has been hiding an injury, and it's much worse than anyone imagines.

Davis Channing understands all too well what it's like to give up control of your life. He's survived cancer, but his drug addiction nearly killed him. Now he's been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital. But just when he thinks he's got it together, Davis's ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her addiction, barrels back into his life.

Cason and Davis are not friends. But, as their worlds collide, they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds?"

My Review:  I was immediately attracted to this book because of the cover and the mention of ballet. I have always loved books where the character is involved with dance in some way, though I don't often read YA contemporary anymore, I really wanted to give this one a shot. I found it to be very reminiscent of the Lurlene McDaniels books I consumed as a teenager. The one major difference was that Cason's perspective was much more true to life with major emotions. I really liked reading her story and the way she developed as a character and influenced those around her. On the other hand I was not a fan of Davis, I clearly did not read the full synopsis because I am not a fan of drug abuse being a part of the books I read, even recovery and sober. Though again his struggle was very real and it was clear that one never fully recovers from an addiction, it is a constant battle. I am glad that the bit of romance did not completely take over the story line but it did add that bit of connection and support that was needed for the characters to move forward.

My Rating: Being that this is a bit out of my wheel house, I still enjoyed the story and the character development.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley with no obligation. The above is my honest review.

You can find out more about Kati Gardner and her connection with her story on her Goodreads Page .

Brave Enough was just released on August 21st and is now available in digital or print formats from Amazon and Barnes & Noble or check your local bookstore.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

The Pirate by Harold Schechter (Arrgust)
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Arrgust Series Review)
The Ship from Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (Arrgust Series Review)
Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell & Corinna Luyken (Blog Tour)
Pirate Mom by Deborah Underwood (Arrgust Early Reader)
Polly and the Pirates Vol. 1 by Ted Naifeh (Arrgust Graphic Novel)
Who Was Blackbeard by James Buckley, Jr.  (Arrgust)
The Pirate's Guide to First Grade by James Preller (Arrgust Bedtime Story)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Magic Marks the Spot
Super Secret Project
Brave Enough

Currently Reading:

Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller - Print - on page 36 of  416
Letters to Sam by Daniel Gottlieb - Print - on page 41 of 176

Pages Read/ Time Listened
412:58 Hours Listened (None listened this week)
27,892 Pages Read (728 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Luck Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Frankenstein Alive! Alive! Trio by Steve Niles
Frankenstein, Alive! Alive! #4 by Steve Niles
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Beyond the Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
True North by Marie Force
The Sorting Room by Angelina Singer
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims
The Belgaraid by David Eddings
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Fight for Everything by Laura Kaye
Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan
Light as Air by Mari Carr
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Half Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Guardian of Whills by Greg Rucka
Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Opal
And I Darken by Kiersten White
Frostbite by Joshua Williamson
The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Pirateology by Dugald Steer
Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak
LifeL1k3 by Jay Kristoff
Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez
The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon
The Pirate by Harold Schechter
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
Bob by Wendy Mass
George by Alex Gino
These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
All Systems Red by Martha Wells


Boy, it is crazy being back after 2 weeks of vacation.  The brain still isn't functioning, especially since I got very little reading done while on vacation. I should have known better than to think I would get to sit back and read a bunch!  We spent hours upon hours in the car (31 in total, not including the flights) but I can't read that much in the car without getting motion sickness. But all in all it was a great vacation, very busy but a lot of fun was had by everyone as we traveled 3 states and visited family and friends.
Camp site & flyfishing in the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

Red Lodge, Montana/ Beartooth Pass

Cousins <3

This lucky little boy got to visit the pilots on our flight home!

We have also survived 2 Fantasy Football drafts, Munchkin's 6th birthday party and our annual summer party! Boy am I exhausted! We just have the first day of school coming up on Wednesday and then we will have a week of down time (other than the usual work and school) before soccer season starts.   Hopefully, after a day or two in the office I will be able to get back to my regularly scheduled reading and posting! 

Hope you have all had a great month!