Thursday, May 29, 2014

TILT: Bookish Gifts for Dads (or Grads)

I kind of hate the "Dads and Grads" phrase, but it's appropriate for the season so I'll go with it. This week's Things I Love Thursday focuses a little more on book lovers of the male persuasion. ;) Obviously, anyone could get these items, but I know I tend to do a lot of female-centric TILTs, so I am trying to change that up a bit.

(if you do not want your item shown here, 
please contact me & I will remove it immediately!)

Book Cuff Links by ExLibrisJewellery --wouldn't these be great to give your dad if you were having a book-themed wedding?? Awww... This shop has lots of other goodies too, I like the necklaces a lot!

3D POW Letters by RoseberryStore --I know my dad would like these and wouldn't they be cool over your graphic novel section?

Don't Worry I Got This Bookends by BlessingAndLight --hah, I love these! Made of concrete blocks, these would be perfect for a "man cave"!

Reading is Cool Skull Art Print by GoGoBookArt --this shop is like the Mecca of book art prints, I love it! This print would be great for Shakespeare lovers, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review: "Persuasion" Classic a Month #4.2014

Persuasion by Jane Austen
3 out of 5 stars

Before I started this, I read that Persuasion is considered the "intellectual Austen book" and I have to agree. It was a hard one to read, much harder than P&P or S&S. (At least it only has one word in the title though lol.) The language is very grandiose in the beginning and there is very little dialogue, so it's hard to follow at times. Once we get into the story and into main character Anne's head more, it gets a little easier. And it's a funny thing. After finishing each of Austen's books, I've looked back on the previous ones with much more fondness than I first thought them. In this case, I feel like S&S is now my favorite of her books, but looking back at my review, I was very "meh". I think Austen's books really benefit from reading more than once, which I am likely to do in the future, and I can tell that at least one of them could become a "top 10 favorite book".

Persuasion is a quiet, subtle story and you can tell that this was Austen's final novel, as there is a maturity to it that is not seen in her previous books (at least the ones that I've read). Anne is the heroine of this story, but to her family and most of society, she is a nobody. At "seven and twenty years", she is well past her prime and in danger of becoming obsolete. Although nobody seems to be too worried about her sister, who is 2 years older. Anne did have her chance for true love, 8 years prior, with a Frederick Wentworth, but was persuaded by her family and close friend, Lady Russell, that it was not an appropriate match and so she broke it off. I was persuaded by my best friends to dump my 7th grade boyfriend because he was too weird. I'm still not over it. (Joking)

Anyway, it's 8 years down the road, Anne is still single and now Captain Wentworth is coming back to town, also conveniently single. Anne is a wreck on the inside, wondering how he is going to address her and if he's changed and if he thinks she's changed and if he still has feelings for her, etc...But on the outside, she's calm, cool, and collected. This is "society" after all. Women must always be demure and sensible, never showing true emotion. Psshhh...

So this story basically just follows Anne and how she deals with Captain Wentworth, who is pretty much freezing her out. He is looking for a wife, but "he had not forgiven Anne Elliot. She had used him ill; deserted and disappointed him; and worse, she had shown a feebleness of character in doing so, which his own decided, confident temper could not endure. She had given him up to oblige others. It had been the effect of over-persuasion. It had been weakness and timidity." Kind of harsh, considering she was only 19 at the time.

(sarcasm font, from both him & me!)

They must go along in the same social circles and make polite chitchat when absolutely necessary, but otherwise the two former lovebirds never interact. At the same time though, they are each slowly falling in love again. Especially for Captain Wentworth after he sees another man have an interest in Anne. He gave her a momentary glance,-a glance of brightness, which seemed to say, "That man is struck with you,-and even I, at this moment, see something like Anne Elliot again." Typical man lol. And this other man is definitely interested too. He's a distant relative of Anne's (I'm not really sure how or why that works, but we'll just go with it.) He had a falling out some time ago with the family, and was actually assumed to be attached to Anne's older sister Elizabeth, but that obviously didn't work out. Now he has worked his charms to get back into their good graces and seems smitten with Anne. Luckily, Anne doesn't seem as smitten with him and thinks there is something odd about his new behavior.

There is a brief storyline where Anne and her younger sister and her family goes on a mini vacation to a small beach town and of course Captain Wentworth is there too. He has been courting Louisa, a family friend of Anne, until she (Louisa) gets into an accident and sustains a head injury. It's a pretty tense moment and Anne steps up, being calm and in charge. Wentworth sort of admires her after that and realizes that he doesn't really want to be with Louisa. He disappears for awhile and Anne concentrates on figuring out Mr Elliot's plan and trying to move past her former feelings for Captain Wentworth. Later on, she gets in a heated discussion with Wentworth's friend about who feels love's stinging loss more-men or women-and comes out with this little gem: "Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove any thing." Go Anne! Go Jane Austen! (Bolding mine!)

Of course, Wentworth is there listening to everything and can stay silent no longer, so he gives his grand gesture in the form of a letter, pouring his heart out and hoping for the return of hers. It's maybe not quite as good as Mr Darcy's speech, but it still made my heart flutter, as did Anne's. And this time, she didn't let anyone persuade her differently. And they lived happily ever after, Mr Elliott runs off with some floozy, Louisa recovers from her head injury but is a little more serious now, and Elizabeth remains a spinster living with her father. (I'm assuming on that last one. I really didn't like her.)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Giveaway: Nrrrd Grrrl Art Print! *CLOSED*

My sister and I went to Dallas Comic-Con last weekend and had tons of fun and bought some awesome artwork and toys. One of the pieces is by an amazing artist, SoloCosmos, who I had actually bought from last year too. When I saw this print, I immediately squealed like a proper fangirl (mostly on the inside though) and had to have it. Then I decided that I had to give one away, because I know you all will love it too! So I bought an extra print and I'm going to give it to one of you. :)

Isn't it adorkable??? The artist, Jessica, is super nice and was just as excited about this print as I was! She told me that she was commissioned by rapper MC Chris to come up with something to go along with his song Nrrrd Grrrl. I was really intrigued, so I went and listened to the song when I got home and it is my new jam!! You can buy and download his music here and Nrrrd Grrrl is on the album "MC Chris is Dead" and mixtape "Fan Remixes Vol 1" just FYI! (I know it sounds like I'm being paid to promote these 2 artists, but I promise I'm not! I'm just fangirling lol...)

Okay and now the giveaway are entering to win a signed by the artist 5x7" giclee print (meaning it's not glossy) of SoloCosmo's "Nrrrd Grrrl".  It's super easy to enter and win, just follow me in one or more of the ways mentioned below and/or comment here telling me what you nrrrd out about! :) The contest is open to everyone around the world (over 18 yrs), runs thru Tuesday the 27th morning, and I'll announce the winner later that day. I hope you're as excited about this print as I am!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: "Showdown: Sweet Valley High # 19"

Showdown: Sweet Valley High # 19 by Francine Pascal
2 out of 5 stars

Before Reading: Jessica and Lila are fighting over a boy??! Shocker!! They both look very plain on the cover to me. Not the dazzling beauties they're made out to be. Lila has creepy claw hands.

The Main Plot in 50 Words or Less: Lila finds a mysterious new hot guy in town and claims him. Jess decides she wants him too. The guy wants both of them, but may not be all he seems.

The Second Plot in 20 Words or Less: Liz discovers a budding new photographer for the newspaper and also a secret affair between two good friends.

Opening Lines: "I just can't wait to meet Lila's mystery man," Jessica Wakefield announced to her twin sister as they cleaned up after their usual Sunday family brunch.

Closing Lines: Elizabeth let out a horrified gasp. George and Enid! The ordeal was not over yet!

Best WTF Lines: "I didn't know Robin could write like this." 
"She used to write all the time," Elizabeth explained, "before she lost all that weight. Remember? When she was the butt of everyone's jokes instead of the girl all the boys wanted to date?" 
"She used to write because she needed some kind of outlet, a bit of comfort," Elizabeth continued. "Then when her life did that turnaround and she got onto the cheering squad and everything, she gave it up." [Seriously?? Seriously!? I'd expect this kind of talk from Jessica, but Liz?? UGGHHH]

Happenings in SV: Lila has a big swimming party at her fabulous mansion to welcome the new guy, Jack, into town (and her heart, hopefully). Penny, the editor of The Oracle, has mono so Elizabeth is in charge. I always wanted mono as a kid, especially after reading the Baby-Sitters Club book where Mallory gets it. (I haven't gotten to that one yet, darn it!) Luckily, Liz has the help of young, handsome Roger Collins, everyone's favorite teacher. One of the books does discuss his possible "relations" with a student, doesn't it? Anyway, Liz is a little overwhelmed at first, but she obviously does an awesome job.

Jack starts dating Jessica during the week and Lila on the weekends. Jess knows and doesn't care, Lila thinks she's the only one. Nicholas Morrow is pretty sure he knows Jack from somewhere and doesn't figure it out until a prep-school friend is visiting from out of town and recognizes him. Turns out Jack is bad news (duh) and created this whole fantasy world where he's rich and basically cons people (girls) out of money. Oh and he's on drugs. Conveniently, the two boys realize this right after seeing Jack & Jessica go driving off towards Jack's house and the boys immediately go tell Liz. She runs to Jessica's rescue, assuming the worst, and breaks in right as Jack is holding a knife to Jess' neck after she found his drug stash. The boys tackle Jack and Jessica does her best cheerleading kick to get the knife out of his hand. (No, really, that's what happened.) And everyone is safe.

Liz finds out that Enid's boyfriend is cheating on her with former fluffy girl, Robin. She has to decide what to do, besides you know, telling her best friend. The book ends with Liz confronting the cheaters and telling them to come clean or she would for them. George promises to tell Enid after he takes her for an airplane ride (he just finished getting his pilot's license with Robin).

Fashion Icons: At the swim party: [Jack] was dressed conservatively in a pair of khaki walking shorts, a green Lacoste shirt, and Top-Siders. When [Jessica] got within a few feet of [Jack] and had made sure he was looking in her direction, she slipped out of her terry-cloth beach robe, revealing a minuscule turquoise bikini that showed off her every curve. 

Jessica stood in the middle of Elizabeth's cream-colored bedroom and modeled a slinky, royal-blue dress. It fell softly to just below her knees, with a slit up both sides to midthigh.

Dressed in camel-colored slacks, a button-down shirt in light-blue Egyptian cotton, brow loafers, and a matching belt, he looked as if he'd just stepped out of the pages of Gentleman's Quarterly. (I like how these books always describe the guys' clothes too.)

"How does this outfit look?" [Jessica] asked, turning slowly as she modeled her crimson sweater-dress, with the buttons running all the way down the back, and her flat-soled black sandals. Her hair was brushed to a shine, and one strand was woven into a tiny side braid.

Twin Hijinks: Jack confuses the twins at the swim party, but that's about it for this book.

Other Thoughts: Jack is obviously a skeeze, right from the beginning. Taking both girls' numbers? No. But Jessica knows that Lila really likes him and that doesn't stop her from macking all over him too. Elizabeth tries to get Jess to see how poorly she's treating Lila, but Jess doesn't care. Jack says he's a construction worker but used to be a rich playboy and ran away from daddy's stern rules. Both girls are convinced that he'll one day be the Prince of Sweet Valley, with the right girl on his arm.

The Next Book*: Can George and Enid avert disaster? Find out in Sweet Valley High #20, CRASH LANDING!

*(not necessarily what I'll be reading)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review: "Mallory on Strike: The Baby-Sitters Club #47"

Mallory on Strike: The Baby-Sitters Club #47 by Ann M Martin
4 out of 5 stars

This is the 2nd book in a row with a school project centering around authors and books. What's the deal? Did they switch ghost-writers in between and forget to inform the new ones of what they were doing? Either way, I actually enjoyed this one a lot more than the last. I think I've finally come to terms with Mallory being my favorite character. I mean, appearance wise, I'm more of a Mary Anne and family wise, more of a Kristy. But I just connect with Mallory more. I'm a big nerd and I'm okay with that.

Annnyway...Mallory's life is changed forever when her creative writing teacher tells them about "Young Authors Day". Okay, first: Mal is in the 6th grade. She was picked for this class because she's so freaking creative. How can they tell? From her 5th grade work? I was creative in 5th grade too (example), but come on. This is more of a 10th grade class. And second: another special event?? I am repeating myself from the last book, but really, these kids should be studying SAT vocab lists. Ugh, I hated those lists. My younger sister was so lucky I kept all of mine too because she totally just copied mine lol.

Mallory is convinced that she is going to be an Author one day and decides to enter the Best Overall Fiction Story category. She goes home from school all excited to start writing and then gets distracted by all her brothers and sisters. You know what's really distracting? Those pants she's wearing on the cover. Seriously, what's going on there? With all the chaos, Mal starts to wonder if she'll even be able to write her story. "Seven brothers and sisters is just too many! I hate to admit this but sometimes I wish they would just disappear so that I could have a normal life." And then her guardian angel appeared and showed her how everyone's lives would be different if her siblings weren't around. Just kidding. :) She goes to her BSC meeting and we get a What Claudia is Wearing (or might wear, actually).

Claudia can wear anything and it looks great. Like she'll wear polka dot leggings with a short red skirt. Then she'll wear a long-sleeved T-shirt with a black vest (covered with cool pins that she's made herself) over that. Sometimes she decides to go fifties and wears penny loafers with white anklets.

At the meeting, Mal is offered a sitting job for the Hobarts for the next 4 Saturdays which would be "yay, money!" but "boo, no time to work on her story!" so she turns it down. But she doesn't explain to the other club members why she's turning it down, so they just basically think she's being a brat or something. The next day, Saturday, she gets up early (she usually sleeps til eight) to finish her homework and have time to work on her story all day. Only she doesn't get more than a sentence written, because her family needs her help all day long. I know how that is! Just writing this blog, I've had to dry my own clothes and help my sister pick out nail polish colors lol...she chose the smaller polka dots just FYI.

Mal knows something needs to change, so she makes herself a super strict schedule that doesn't leave any time for fun or new baby-sitting jobs. She almost misses a BSC meeting because she was on a roll with her story and Kristy gives her the Death Glare. Mal starts to wonder if maybe she should just leave the club for a while. And her baby-sitting job with the Impossible Three, the Barretts, helps make that decision a little easier. They spill flour all over the kitchen floor and try to clean it up with water, then Buddy cuts his foot bad on his bicycle and Mal has a minor freakout, thinking she's a horrible baby-sitter. She tells the other girls at the next meeting that she wants to be demoted and, predictably, it does not go over well.

"So please demote me. If you don't, I'll quit!"
There. I'd said it. Jessi gasped in horror. Mary Anne's eyes instantly filled with tears. Claud dropped the candy bar she was unwrapping onto her lap and stared at me, openmouthed.
"Quit?" Stacey and Dawn repeated in barely a whisper.
Kristy sat very still. No one had ever voluntarily quit the BSC. It was unthinkable.

Kristy tells her to just take 2 weeks off to think about it, which duh, is all she really needed to work on her story. Back at home, Mallory makes a sandwich board with the titular "Mallory on Strike" and lets her family know that she won't be leaving her room until she finishes. Unsurprisingly, Mr & Mrs Pike go along with it and also later reward her with her very own Mallory Day. Mal finally gets some writing done on her story, "Caught in the Middle", and is very pleased with herself. And of course, she wins the Best Fiction award and everyone cheers for her and she's totally awesome.

On Mallory Day, her parents take her & Jessi to the mall and we get an extra special What Mal & Jessi Are Wearing: [Mallory] changed clothes three times before finally settling on jean skirt and jacket, bright red tights, sneakers, and multi-colored earrings that Claud had made. [Jessi was] dressed in a new purple jumpsuit with a gold turtleneck, which made her look taller and more like a dancer than ever. (I'm sorry, I just could not force myself to make Jessi's outfit, so I updated her a bit!)

While they're at the mall, they have lots of fun, but Mal realizes that she actually misses her brothers & sisters and decides to make up an adventure for them. She and Jessi take them all on an Explorers' Day thru the neighborhood, generally making lots of noise and being annoying for the neighbors. And everything ends up happily ever after...for now. Dun dun DUN!! ;)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

TILT: Book Nerds Get Naughty!

I haven't done a Things I Love Thursday in forever-ever and I miss it! Did you miss it? Did you even know I did this? Lol...well, now you do! This is a (usually) weekly feature of some of the fun and usually bookish things I've found on the interwebs that I want to share with you. I'll always include a link, as long as I can find it, to the original site/person and if they want to be removed, I will immediately do so. And I always want to hear about what you're loving this week, so comment below or send me a link! Maybe eventually I'll try to do a link chain? That would be fun.

So! This week I thought we'd get a bit naughty. But just a smidge, because I don't want to have to get the censor bars out. ;) Just because we're book nerds doesn't mean we can't have a little fun too. Also, how do you feel about the term "nerd"? Do you prefer "geek"? I tend to think of "dork" as too negative, myself.

Book Lovers Sachet by SewGeekySachets --I didn't even realize this was a scented sachet when I faved it and that makes it even better! This way you can be secret naughty.

I Read Past My Bedtime Pendant by ThePendantChick --I totally do, especially in the summertime. Something about those long, hot evenings where you just want to stay in the air conditioning and read all night long. :)

Book Lovers Pin/Magnet by FOTSDesigns --so true. I'm gathering quite a collection of book nerd buttons on my cork-board, this would be a great addition!

Book Lovers Mug by Alisa Bobzien --ah yes, the book boyfriend. We are all well acquainted with that, aren't we? ;)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Double Review: Reality Bites

Something Real by Heather Demetrios
Reality Boy by AS King
4 out of 5 stars

At first I was going to do a Literary Death Match for these two books, but then I realized it would be full of spoilers, so I nixed that idea. These are two very similar stories though, so I am going to discuss them together still. Like music-themed books, I have recently become obsessed with books about reality shows. Do I like reality shows in real life? Some. Not all. I love Amazing Race, So You Think You Can Dance, Big Brother. I enjoy Say Yes to the Dress, The Voice, Dancing With the Stars. I cannot stand Dance Moms, Sixteen and Pregnant, Toddlers & Tiaras. So I guess you could say I enjoy the ones that are about the actual talent or about adults who are old enough to know what they're getting into. The ones about young children seem so exploitative and that is what these 2 books are about. Children being forced into a reality show by their (sometimes well-meaning) parents and the ways it affects them as they grow up.

Something Real gives us an up close & personal look on the Baker family, which is eerily like the real life Gosselins. I feel so sorry for the Gosselin kids, you know the twin girls don't want to do any more reality shows, but their mom is just forcing them into it for the money. And that's what Bonnie née Chloe Baker's mother is doing to her and her twelve siblings. Their reality show, Baker's Dozen, has been off the air for 4 years and 17 year old Chloe is finally starting to feel normal again. When Chloe finds out that her mother has reignited their career, she wonders if she'll be able to handle it again. She barely did before and her part in the cancellation has haunted her since then.

Reality Boy Gerald Faust was 5 years old when his parents brought in a professional TV Nanny to cure him of his anger issues and habit of pooping in unfortunate places. Though he was only on 2 episodes, his infamy has followed him into high school, where he is still trying hard to control his anger. (Luckily, he's gotten the pooping under control.) (I never thought I would have to use the word "pooping" in a review.) Gerald has learned what his anger triggers are but there's not much he can do to get rid of them...they're family. There comes a point though when you just have to take control of your own life and not care how it affects everyone else.

Despite the fluffy theme, both these books attack some serious subject matter. Mental health, suicide attempts, extreme anger, parent/child relationships, homosexuality, eating disorders, it's all there. And it's handled really well. Chloe's anger at her mother for putting her in this situation again is heart-breaking at times. And yet, in the midst of all the drama (real and scripted), there is young love too. I had a hard time connecting with Gerald's romance, but Chloe and her boy made the tween in me squeal lol. Her brother, Benny, and his young love too. Even with all the anger in these two different teens, they both end on uplifting notes. Maybe they can change their futures and let go of their pasts. Sometimes that means creating new families in the process, but it can be done.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Book Covers I'd Use As Art

I thought it'd be fun to do this week's The Broke & The Bookish Top Ten topic, since I haven't done one in a while and it won't require much writing lol. (Lazy) So let's get to it! Here are some of my favorite book covers that I'd love to have as artwork.

Let's start with a favorite set of covers, the Soul Screamers series. These are the volumes that include 2 books and a short story in each and are such a good deal at around $10 each. And okay, yes, it's one of those covers with a pretty girl in a long, sweeping dress that has nothing to do with the plot. But...look how pretty!! :) I've only read the first 2 volumes so far (review for vol 1) but really enjoy them.

Next up, some random covers that I love:

Backwards Compatible by Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark -I'm going to review this soon, but it's a very cute book about nerd love and the cover just pops.

The Girl With the Cat Tattoo by Theresa Weir -kitty! In a hat! Love!!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell -my sister bought me this for my birthday last weekend and I'm so happy I now have my own copy to read and look at and pet. (Okay, that was a little creepy.)

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson -I've said this before, but this cover just screams "movie poster" to me.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern -love the crisp black and silver and red.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore -the blue and the keys would go perfectly in my room!

I also love the covers of the Willow Falls series by Wendy Mass. They are so bright and cheerful, they'd go great in a children's playroom or something like that.

And of course, I had to pull up some of my favorite Baby-Sitters Club covers...this is just up to what I've read so far, it'll probably change later! (If I ever get my lazy butt back to reading them hah!) Do you have a favorite out of these? Or one I should be looking forward to? (Click to make bigger)

Monday, May 5, 2014

30 Things I Learned from "Sideways Stories From Wayside School"

I read the 3 Wayside School books recently and decided to do something a little different for my I give you 30 Things I Learned from Wayside School. :)

  1. Sometimes you can do math the "wrong way" and still get the right answer.

  1. "It isn't how many pictures you have, but how good the pictures are. A person could spend his whole life just drawing one picture of a cat. In that time I'm sure Bebe could draw a million cats. But if that one picture is better than each of Bebe's million, then that person has produced more art than Bebe."

  2. If there is no nineteenth story and no Miss Zarves and no note to deliver from Mrs Jewls, then you've already not done your job.

  3. Everyone else's flavored ice cream will always be better than your own. Except Kathy's. "Kathy-flavored ice cream tasted a little bit like old bologna."

  4. "Pigtails are meant to be pulled."

  5. Sammy is the nastiest, grossest, most disgusting student in Mrs Jewls' class.

  6. The green bouncy balls are the best ones on the playground.

  7. If you eat the cafeteria food, weird things will happen.

  8. Sometimes you have to read the story backwards. It was purple.

  9. Mrs Gorf is "frog" spelled backwards. Also, Louis' meanest teacher was Mrs Drazil (Lizard).

  10. Always go up the stairs on the right and down them on the left, so as to avoid traffic jams.

  11. "You need a reason to be sad. You don't need a reason to be happy."

  12. If you're running late for school, always make sure it's not actually a Saturday first.

  13. When Halloween falls on a Sunday, you always celebrate at school the Friday before.
  14. Socks make you stupid.

  15. You can be free or you can be safe. You can't be both.

  16. "It is very embarrassing to borrow someones pencil and then chew on it."

  17. You'll know you really love a story when you laugh like a giggle box and cry like a leaky faucet.

  18. "There is no Miss Zarves. There is no nineteenth story. Sorry."

  19. When a hippopotamus gets mad, it wriggles its ears. And so does Mrs Gorf.

  20. It's good to be in a group when nobody is strange because nobody is normal.

  21. Cows will walk up 30 flights of stairs, but you can't get them to walk back down again.
  22. The "Pet Day" chapter in Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger will make you want to do logic puzzles. Curb this desire. Or get out your paper and pencil.

  23. "Door" is a bad word. From now on, use the word "goozack".

  24. If you do something bad in elementary school and your teacher writes it down in her blue notebook, it will follow you for the rest of your life.
  25. Babies don't think in words.

  26. To use the new elevators, take the blue one to go up and the red one to go down. 

  27. You will find these books hysterical even as an adult.

  28. Every other school is way stranger than your own.

  29. The author's name is pronounced "Sacker" not "Satcher".

Friday, May 2, 2014

Review: "Saga: Vol 3"

Saga: Vol 3 by Brian K Vaughan
5 out of 5 stars

I just love this series so much, y'all. It keeps getting better and better and if you haven't started it yet, you are missing out mister. Go read my review of volume 1 here and then get to the store or interwebs and buy it! My one complaint, as usual, is that it is not long enough and that's the best kind of complaint for a book, don't you think? And if you have been reading it, this review will most likely have spoilers for the first 2 volumes, so be warned!

This volume starts off with a new story-line following two journalists who are out for the story of the rogue soldier Alana and her mysterious former prisoner Marko. They helped us get some back-story on Alana and introduced a very intriguing character related to Marko. I really can't wait to see where that story goes. In the meantime, Hazel is continuing her story of their trip to the infamous author of the love & war story that brought the two lovebirds together. Mister Heist was pretty awesome. 

"There are only three forms of high art: the symphony, the illustrated children's book, and the board game."

I am loving The Will more and more as this story goes on. He saved the Slave Girl (who gets a name finally) and along with Gwendolyn and Lying Cat (my second favorite), he helps her start to overcome her horrible past. There is one heart-breaking moment that I'm going to refrain from posting here, but you'll know it when you see it. 

The two parties finally collide and chaos ensues. People die, people live, there are lots of adventure and twisty turns and cliff-hangers. So much cliff-hanger. And really, that's all I can say without spoiling it for you.