Episode 13: Once and For All with Millena Silva and Carson Long

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This week we have new guests: Millena Silva and Carson Long of Kennesaw State University’s podcast: Book Club Soda! We discussed our first of two YA books: Once and For All by Sarah Dessen! Meghan and Carson have some serious feelings about this book, but both agree that they will give Sarah Dessen books another try. Millena and Carson take a moment to talk Taylor Swift lyrics, all three kind of roll their eyes at the main character’s first love, discuss YA tropes and major series, and explain that there is a difference between red heads and gingers.

Book Drink: Mimosa

Books Discussed This Episode: 

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Paper Towns by John Green
Looking for Alaska by John Green
DC Rebirth: Batman, Harley Quinn and The Flash
A City Stained Red 
by Sam Sykes
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Under the Dome by Stephen King
Revival by Stephen King
Enter, Night by Michael Rowe
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
My Favorite Things is Monsters by Emil Ferris
The Diviners by Libba Bray

Shows/Movies/Musicals Discussed:

Newsies
Melissa & Joey
Young & Hungry
Community
Rick and Morty
John Wick
The Good Place

 

Find us on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Email: judgingcoverspodcast@gmail.com

Find our host and guest(s):

Meghan’s Twitter | Book Club Soda Podcast | The Peak ? KSU Lifestyle | The Peak ? KSU Lifestyle Facebook | The Peak ? KSU Lifestyle Twitter

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Episode 12: Annihilation with Liz Babish and Dawn Gildenmeister

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This week we discuss book one of the Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation by Jeff VenderMeer.  This book is a bit of a dystopian, postmodern nutter of a book, and none of us quite understand what the hell is going on in this world on a greater level.

Drink of the week: The Brightness, created by Liz! Check out the blog for the recipe.

Books Discussed This Week:
Annihilation by James VenderMeer
True Blood Series by Charlaine Harris
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Birdman by Mo Hayder
Dating an Alien Popster by Kendra L. Sauder
Authority by James VanderMeer

Movies and Television Shows Discussed:
Get Out
Descendent
Brazil
Doctor Who (Cassandra)
Back Swan

Find us on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Email: judgingcoverspodcast@gmail.com

Find our host and guest(s):

Meghan’s Twitter | Liz’s Twitter | Keeping Up With the Carringtons Podcast Twitter |  Beckett to the Future Podcast Twitter | Beckett to the Future Podcast Facebook

Two Quick ARC Reviews of Christmas YA Romance Books

Time to clear out some of my Netgalley ARCs! I appreciate their willingness to continue giving me ARCs of books, and for also letting me continue to give honest reviews.

Book 1: Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider

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To be published: October 2017

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It is weird that I can’t find anything about the author of this book. I did find a review that said it’s a was pseudonym for two authors, but I can’t find anything on those authors or anything to confirm this? In a world where self-promotion is so important for books, this was shocking.

I’m wavering at a 2.5/3 for this story. I love Christmas stories. I love one nights together, running around the city and falling in love stories. I love New York, especially at the holidays.

But this one didn’t….quite hit the mark. I mean, it’s Christmas in New York, and not one of the major Christmas trees are seen on this quest through the city? Rockefeller Center, South Seaport, none of the museums, Lincoln Square, none of the Christmas festivals are discussed (and there is one in every major park so it’s not like they’re avoidable.) It’s almost told like it’s from the perspective of someone who doesn’t actually live in or hasn’t experienced Christmas time in New York and literally all of it’s magic.

Outside of that, I couldn’t get past the constant “reading my look” or “having a conversation just through looks…” and then at one point Charolette even goes “we’ve only known each other a few hours how does he expect me to understand his look!?” right before he kissed her. We’ll you have been all night….

Final issuance: Charlotte tells her ex she loves him at Lincoln Center. Later, she talks about doing it at Rockefeller Center. Just an edit that didn’t get caught. Like all the missed italicized television show names.

As for the book itself, it’s cute. It’s exactly what it says it is — just like a Hallmark movie classic. Why Charlotte was in the city is a bit weird, but that’s okay, and as someone who has to go to JFK frequently, straying too far from the airport is odd.

Also, I can’t tell what the relationship between Anthony and his brother is supposed to be — not enough there to completely understand honestly.

Book 2: My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

To Be Published: October 2017

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I probably should have held off on reading another Christmas-y YA book, but what can you do. I fought with myself the entire book on whether or not I would DNF it, but honestly, it’s a quick read. It’s rather predictable – I wasn’t expecting it not to be, and part of my issues could be my own single, black cold scrooge like heart.

I just couldn’t get on board with the main character. I get the neurotic, needing to plan everything and the anxiety that comes when it’s not. However, Charlie never grows or learns that maybe it’s okay to not be as structured and neurotic, or that she might need to get help for it. The character isn’t immature….she’s simply flat. And what’s funny is she is quiet possibly the most well rounded character.

For example, at some point she realizes that she’s read a bakery order wrong. Her best friend doesn’t really get mad at her, no one sits her down to try to get her to figure out that maybe her obsessing over this guy is causing her to overload herself. It’s just……flat and boring.

I get the need for the perfect for you boyfriend, I get the desire to win and being one track minded. I can almost forgive the fact that she doesn’t really make any of the Secret Santa gifts or even try, but pawns it off on JD(??) But there’s really…..no action in this book. There is a gossip queen who hates the main character, and that doesn’t play into the story at all.

I know that if this had been a Hallmark holiday movie, I would have watched it multiple times, and I shouldn’t hold a holiday book to a higher standard. But maybe I would have had an actual attachment to the main character.

Season 3: Which Retelling Next?

Interested in helping us decide what we do for season 3? Vote here!

Fableulous Retellings Podcast

Season 1 is almost done, and we’ve got Season 2 under way, but now we need YOUR help! What fairy tale retelling should we delve into next?

This is just a mere fraction of the fairy tales written down in the world, but you guys, there are SO many options of what to delve into!

We’ve got a couple of ideas of where to head to next, but it would be fun to see what you guys want to see us discuss. So for that to work, we’ve made a teeny tiny poll. Tell us which of the fairy tales you want discussed in our podcast. To keep it concise, we’ve listed down three fairy tales and if you want to suggest us something, throw them in the comments section!

Please make note that we do look for fairy tales that have been RETOLD in at least two different works…

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Season 1, Episode 4: Beauty by Robin McKinley

I swear at some point I’ll actually make a blog post about books and yarn but for now, please go enjoy Mari and I talking about Beauty!

Fableulous Retellings Podcast

Mari and Meg discuss a not so modern retelling, but one that is still very important to the Beauty and the Beast circle: Robin McKinley’s Beauty! This book has more of a backstory for Beauty, it even gives her a proper name! They also discuss the importance of describing food and whether or not monkeys can be legally owned as pets.

Also, the origin story of our artwork!

Follow us on social media, and don’t forget to rate and review us!

FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Website | Email: fableulous@gmail.com

Join us every Tuesday for a new episode!

Thank you to BenSound for our theme music and VidaLovesCake for our artwork!

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Quest Accepted: A Reading Quest!

Hark faire reader! I have received a scroll this morning requesting my help on an adventure! A map to venture through and gain skills and become a true adventurer! Am I brave enough to accept this mission?

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A mission that is going to help me develop different skills and become a true conquer of the land?

I Accept! 

So how shall I venture through out this quest? Shall I start as a bard, a rogue, a mage? A Knight? No I and definitely not a Knight yet. As I ponder what path I shall start with, I have at least put together a list of what books I plan on reading as I venture down each path. Obviously none of these are set in stone, but I am pretty proud of the cross section I’ve put together.

As August 13th approaches, I’ll make a post deciding which path I am starting down and with my ID card, plus a place to organize my XP and HP points!

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Okay, so what the heck is all of this? Well, Aentee over at Read at Midnight is running #TheReadingQuest! It’s a reading challenge running from August 13 to September 10! AND it’s an Australian based reading challenge (which means nothing as I’m American really, but I love love love seeing non-US based reading challenges.) I was able to work in four ARCs I need to read as well as FIVE podcast books!

So check back in with me in a few days who see which path I am picking first and how it’s going!

Season 1, Episode 3: Faerie Tale Theatre Presents

Fableulous Retellings Podcast

This week Mari and Meg discussThe Beauty and the Beastepisode of Faerie Tale Theatre! Mostly we just giggle a lot at the obviously 80s of the show, even despite it trying to be regal and set in olden times.

Also, Anjelica Huston pretty much steals this episode away.

Meg tries to insist that there is a first Gaston appearance and MAYBE this is it?

For a link to the full episode of Faerie Tale Theatre: Beauty and the Beast, click here!

Follow us on social media, and don’t forget to rate and review us!

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Website| Email:fableulous@gmail.com

Join us every Tuesday for a new episode!

Thank you toBenSoundfor our theme music andVidaLovesCakefor our artwork!

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First Readathon

Hello blog I miss you! How terrible have I treated you for months and months and months….

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I’m not sure how much I am going to come back to it, but I do have plans to clean up and restart my blog back up. And what better way than to discuss the nerdy nerdy thing I did this past weekend – a readathon!?

In the middle of treatment and a very hot July, I decided that the idea of sitting in my apartment and reading sounded like the most magical thing I could do.

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I found a post in the Owlcrate Facebook group (lots of thoughts about that group, but that’s for another day) that asked if anyone was participating in 24in48.

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My Owlcrate Box came during the readathon YAY!

What the heck was 24in48??

I headed over to 24 in 48 to take a look. Simply put, you read for 24 hours in 48 hours of a weekend. It started at 12.00 AM on Saturday, July 22nd and ended at 11.59 PM July 23. There were opportunities for prizes and cheering, and honestly, it sounded exactly like what I needed. Plus it allowed for audiobooks to count, so I had no excuse to miss out on cleaning and cooking for the sake of reading.

So I signed up and started planning my books.

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My single issue comics?
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The books and volumes to read..

…..and knew that would be too many. BUT it also inspired me to clean out my Goodreads TBR lists.

 

Since starting two book based podcasts, I’ve had some low-key anxiety about how my reading time is starting to feel more like I’m back at school rather than for fun. It’s such a thin line to walk, and rather than do so, I’ve just been panicking about it. Because of this, and because I was between episodes of Judging Book Covers Podcast and Fableulous Retellings JUST started, I figured I could take 48 hours to read WHATEVER I wanted. And remind myself that I can balance my reading and podcast reading again.

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The starting stopwatch!

What I Read During 24in48 Readathon

Apparently I was REALLY BEHIND on my graphic novel reading.

  • 2 Books
  • 4 Graphic Novels
  • 1300 Pages

1. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

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Published: 2016
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Ratings: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 3/5 Moose

This book was recommended to me a few times last year, and  I wanted to read something light to start off this Readathon, It…..wasn’t that at all This book was written kind of as an homage to the author’s life and relationship with her mother. It was a bit heavy and yet a bit of a weird chick lit book. I was happy with the ending though. It resolved in an appropriate manner without seeming cheesy or off? But I was glad to be done with it. It wasn’t for me, it wasn’t for my fun summer readathon, but I’m glad I read it.

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Charlie was really excited about reading Saga again!!

2. Saga Volume 6 by Brian Vaughn (writer) and Fiona Staples (Artist)

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Published: 2016
Genre: Graphic Novels, Sci-Fi, Space Opera
Rating: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md

Saga! I love Saga. I don’t even read it in single trades — I let it build up and binge when I can! It’s always worth it though. This issue discusses Kindergarten and jail? Plus a lot of WTF are the adults doing. The end of this trade brought some tears….but didn’t prepare me for what was to come.

3. Saga Volume 7 by Brian Vaughn (writer) and Fiona Staples (Artist)

29237211Published: 2017
Genre: Graphic Novels, Sci-Fi, Space Opera
Rating: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md

Have tissues for this one. It’s……it’s an ending. This one primarily takes place on Phang, which new friends and relationships.

Just……have tissues.

 

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Another look at the clock..

4. We Can Never Go Home Volume 1 by Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, and Josh Hood

26527323Published: 2015
Genre: Graphic Novels, Fantasy??? Bloody??
Rating: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md

First review:

What….what did I just read?

This is violent and weird and beautifully done and WHAT DID I JUST READ.

Honestly, I still haven’t changed my thoughts.

5. Monstress Volume 1 by Marjorie Liu (writer) and Saga Takeda (Artist) and Rus Wooton (Letterer/Designer) 

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Published: 2016
Genre: Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Horror, Steampunk,
Rating: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md

This book is equally gorgeous in its writing and artwork. It too me a little longer to read than normal because it is BEAUTIFUL. Also the cats in this book are amusing. I am definitely looking forward to the new trade. But 1900s Asia art deco steampunk with demonic connections and AHHH.

 

6. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

18498558Published: 2016
Genre: Horror, Dystopia, Mastery, Apocalyptic
Rating: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md

This book was recommended by a friend who is friends with the author. I liked the concept — a cross between The Happening and The Road, with the added bonus of you cannot look outside or anything the could have been outside too long. If you do, you will die.

This story got back and forth between the “present” which is when the main character and her two kids are rowing, blindfolded, down the river, and the “past,” which is at the beginning of the apocalypse. When the story lines fold into one, it is heartbreaking and terrifying. Sandy Bullock is going to start in the Netflix….something, so I am looking forward to seeing what comes out next.

I also started The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett, which I’ll be finishing up this week/end. I might stick to this horror kick??

How Did I Feel Post Readathon?

I honestly had a blast doing this readathon! It got me mentally back to a good baseline, and I feel more organized to walk the line of podcast reading and personal reading. I feel like I could have done more with time to prepare (I decided Thursday night to do this??) but honestly, I’m proud of what I accomplished.

….Next Readathon?

I am considering two more in August! But I’ll post about those later this week. Otherwise, here’s my face as I realized I could have done Booktube-a-thon, but I didn’t have enough time to plan. So close! But I do have two new ones picked out, and I am also considering what I want to do/need to do to start and host my own. Or if someone needs a host, pick me!!

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And finally, thank you again to Rachel at 24in48 for creating this readathon – I had a blast in my first one.

Season 1, Episode 2: A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

There isn’t much more I can say about this episode, except that we had a lot of fun doing it. Give it a listen!!

Fableulous Retellings Podcast

Mari and Meg discuss one of the first modern Beauty and the Beast retellings! As mentioned last week, Belle is the original Young Adult Heroine?, so how does an actual modern New Adult book compare?

Well, there are fairies, sex, giggling, and eye rolling. And yelling about boy names.

Find out what about a book can actually offend Mari?!

There is also some discussion of Cupid and Psyche, which some scholars believe the original Beauty and the Beast is based on. Let us know your thoughts!

Follow us on social media:

FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Website | Email: fableulous@gmail.com

Join us every Tuesday for a new episode!

Thank you to BenSound for our theme music and VidaLovesCake for our artwork!

Check out this episode!

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Episode 9: The Anubis Gates with Erin Ayers and Gena Radcliffe

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(OH HEY. YOU CAN EXPECT SOME REAL POSTS FROM ME THIS WEEK TOO!)

It’s a hot summer, and movies are playing blockbusters to fill the air conditioned seats. The guest this week recommended the perfect book blockbuster for when you don’t quite feel like walking out of your apartment into the heat! Meghan is joined by Erin Ayers and Gena Radcliffe to discuss Tim Power’s The Anubis Gates, an 1980s “steampunk” time traveling novel that has literally everything. Egyptian gods, clones, time travel, evil clowns, werewolf serial killer?! Love?!

Don’t believe me? Give us a listen!

Book Drink: Blueberry Gin Fizz

Books Discussed:
The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy series
Declare by Tim Powers
Doomsday by Connie Willis (Oxford Time Travel Series)
Timeline by Michael Crichton
Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
A Swifting Tilting Planet Madeleine L’Engie
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris
The White Album by Joan Didion
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Shrill by Lindy West

Movies Discussed:
Peggy Sue Got Married
Back to the Future
12 Monkeys
Dead Ringers
Reversal Fortune
Lolita (can you figure out the trend of the last three movie)
Who Killed Roger Rabbit

Find us on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Email: judgingcoverspodcast@gmail.com

Find our host and guest(s):

Meghan’s Twitter | Kill By Kill Podcast Twitter | Kill By Kill Podcast Facebook | Gena’s Blog | Over the Tabletop Twitter | Over the Tabletop Facebook | Erin’s Blog