Sunday, April 30, 2017

Book Review: Crazy is My Superpower by AJ Mendez Brooks

Title: Crazy is My Superpower
Author: AJ Mendez Brooks
Genre: Autobiography, Wrestling
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pub Date: April 4, 2017
Pages: 304
My Copy: Hardcover that I bought

Book Summary:

Recently retired WWE superstar AJ Brooks is a powerhouse strong, quirky, and totally confident. But that wasn't always the case. Growing up, AJ was a quiet girl trying to act normal when she felt anything but. As her family struggled with drug addiction, poverty, and mental illness, she found escape through comic books and video games, inspired by the tough and unconventional female characters. It wasn't until she discovered the WWE that she learned superheroes could be real. 

Determined to become the superhero she d always needed, AJ trained and sacrificed for years to finally achieve her dream. Yet, she quickly faced industry pressure to play the role of the damsel in distress and dress more provocatively to cater to male fans. But she fought back and created an ass-kicking alter ego that was a genuine representation of herself: nerdy, enthusiastic, and a little bit crazy.

With humor and tremendous heart, AJ opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and gain control over her life. What most people view as a hardship, AJ embraced as inspiration for her superhero persona.

Book Review:

A totally unique look at one of the most interesting World Wrestling Entertainment female superstars. AJ Lee, was one of those people who you wouldn’t expect to be a wrestler, given all the things she had to overcome.

One of the things I like is how we get to hear her tell the story of her upbringing an it was quite a chaotic, but filled with love as she talks about her family. She grew up as one of three children who had parents that were very young when they got married and always seem to struggle. There was a lot about her upbringing in this book and how chaotic it was, but there was a sense that they were a family and had to stick together. Having two siblings made things even more interesting.

Also really like how she explains how she and her parents were like gypsies moving around. Her parents were always struggling to find work and keep steady jobs as they were trying to find a place to live. Things would get bad as well. Plus the way she grew up was chaotic. Her relationship with her siblings was interesting as all siblings love each other, but fight. I also like how she describes certain events as when she is young, how the relationships were and how even getting along with her classmates at different schools was.

I like the fact that we do get to talk about things such as mental health and how sometimes we don’t talk about it, because we don’t view it as something is wrong. Plus she also talks about how one day her and her brother Robbie were watching WWF at the time, now WWE and how she said that she wanted to be a superstar and her mother said “That’s a not a real job”. I thought that this was an interesting book. Also the fact that AJ was a real trouble maker, not really but got into some fights. So things were not always easy. We also get to see some of her up and downs along with her parents.

Also at one point, they were in Puerto Rico, living with their father’s parents. I thought that this seemed like a period of two years that they were in a pretty good situation. They got to have some sort of stability and then they suddenly decided to go back to the states where things got a little bit more chaotic. I like how we seem to be right back where they were. Also, there was an incident where AJ and her sister Erica got into a fight and AJ’s head got split open and her mother just said to put a towel on it. AJ could have died because head injuries are something you don’t mess with. Her mother was not in the right state of mind at the time.

We learn about what happened during high school and how she was working a job along with her brother and sister. Also when her brother graduated High School, he went into the Armed Forces. So that made things very different as the family dynamic changed. Now it was Erica, AJ and their parents. AJ was also an excellent student and had straight A’s. So she had her dream of going to NYU and we all know that school is really expensive as she uses in really colorful language. Also things happen that put her going to her dream school in danger, but she manages to get the money to afford the tuition. I thought it was a great thing that her classmates did after her mother used the money to pay the rent.

Also when she gets into NYU, she starts to realize that something might be off, and starts seeing a shrink. Right about this time her mother also starts to feel like she needs help as well and overdoses and it’s a scary thing when your life feels like just when you are dealing with your own issues, someone else also is needing your help. So of course after she gets the medicine and some help, she realizes that her mother needs her and drops out of NYU and also starts to seriously think about pursuing professional wrestling.

I really found the last part of this book about her wrestling to be really interesting and much more dynamic. She is pursuing her dreams. Working towards a goal makes her feel really good. Not to mention, getting your body to take bumps and being told that you are too tiny and demure looking to compete. Yet she does it. It takes her a few years before she reaches WWE and we get to hear how she met her friends and co-workers. She talks about Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, real name Phil Brooks, (who ironically is now her husband). These stories were interesting. I like how she talks about how wrestling went for. There were a lot of stories and people she met.

This autobiography was excellent. It dealt with a lot of issues. One of the things this book talks about is mental illness and doesn’t sugar coat it. I think if you ever feel overwhelmed or something is wrong, talk to somebody, because chances are, you are not alone and sometimes getting help can save your life.


4.5 Hearts

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Clean Sweep Arc Challenge

clean sweep 2017

  • Link-up
  • Add button to your blog (optional)
  • ARC’s must be read between May 1st, 2017 and May 31st, 2017
  • Challenge starts and ends at midnight in your local time zone
  • All ARCS/finished copies that were provided by publisher/author are eligible. They can be in any format (eBook, physical, audio)
  • Post start-up post with goals. Be sure to link back to hosts.
  • Tweet using hashtag #cleansweeparc
  • You do not have to post a review on the blog during the month of May. Just give a link to Goodreads showing read May 1 to 31st with a two sentence review. Please friend us on Goodreads so that we can see your shelves: Kimba and Kristin
  • Twitter Party Thursady, May 18th at 7:30 pm (EST) #CleanSweepARC
  • Post Results -can be combined with start-up post
  • The Participant Giveaway will include entries for books read (2 book entry a day allowed on giveaway), posting about the challenge, start up/results post (can be combined), having a button on your sidebar, participation in the Twitter party.
  • Grand Prize- One winner will receive a new release of their choice (can be audible credit, novel or eBook) valued at up to 20.00 US dollars. Open internationally.
  • The rafflecopter for Participant Giveaway will post on May 1st and will close on June 2, 2017.


4 to 6 ARCS...

I have so many arcs, that I don't even know where to start, but I do have a spreadsheet...

So Here are some of the ARCS that I want to clear off my shelf

NetGalley ARC's

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
Royal Bastards by Andrew Schvarts
The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano
The Infinite by Lori M. Lee
Pocket Full of Tinder by Jill Archer-Reading Now
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnes
Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep
A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
How to Train Your Highlander by Christy English
The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter

So if I manage to Read 4-6 of these books, this will be successful. 

Stacking The Shelves, Bought, Borrowed and Bagged, Coloring Book Updates

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Bought, Borrowed and Bagged is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe Blog.


E-Books Gotten

Coloring Book Haul
The Pink Case is to Hold My Derwent ColorSoft Pencils

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Coloring Book

Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

I Love Coffee Besties Coloring Book

Lacey Sunshine's Enchanted Seas Coloring Book

Romantic Country Coloring Book 

Sweet and Simple Whimsy Girls

Twilight Garden Coloring Book

Vampires Adult Coloring Book:Jade Summer

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

YA Book Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pub Date: March 14, 2017
Pages: 384
My Copy: Courtesy of Edelweiss and Harper Teen

Book Summary:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Book Review:

An exquisite book. This is one of the best retellings of Beauty and The Beast that I have read in a very long time. Everything that Meagan Spooner does is definitely different and the way she writes this book is completely unique and beautiful.

I love how this book alternates between Yeva-Beauty and The Beast point of views. You see that both Yeva and Beast’s lives are not easy. In fact Beast is looking for something, but we don’t know what that is exactly until much later. Yea is living a nice life, and learning how to be a lady as she is a member of the baronessa’s court. These ladies have a great chance to meet a husband and much more.

So of course her father used to be a hunter and would hunt for things in the woods, and then he met Yeva’s mother and he had a few daughters. So when he loses his fortune, Yeva and her sisters think that this is going to be bad for them as they might not have as good opportunities for marriage. So of course when they go back to the cabin, their lives change in ways they can’t imagine. They don’t get to see many other humans besides each other. Their father has to hunt for their food while Yeva and her other two sisters, not the younger ones try to fix the cabin up the best they can. Her father hunts, but during a hunt, he doesn’t come back.

The Beast sees him one day in his forest and things go badly of course, and Yeva’s father sees him and becomes obsessed with finding this Beast. The Beast tries to get away because he needs a hunter to find the Firebird. The Firebird if he manages to find it, can break his curse. So of course things transpire that leads Yeva to go hunting. The beast of course sees Yeva and thinks that she is the answer to his problems.

The Beast and The Yeva go through some up and downs. He is trying to teach her how to track and hunt what he is looking for. They start off as two individuals who hate each other. She really is put through a ringer because of the Beast. The Beast needs her to help him. They start to form a relationship that doesn’t start off on the best of terms, but they learn to come to respect each other. Their relationship starts to become much more deeper. I like how the author really developed their personalities. The Beast eventually lets her go back to her family.

Once back with her family, she finds that a lot of time has passed. Things have changed. One of her sisters has died. Not to mention, Solomir, has fallen in love with another sister and is about to become the new baron, as the old baron doesn’t have any children and appointed him as the heir. This was an interesting development. I also thought how people treated her differently as she was different in a way they hadn’t seen before. I also like how she has fallen in love with the Beast and only realized it when she is home.

Also not to mention she finds the Firebird on her way back to the Beast. I like how the Beast listens to her fairy tale, again with intense interest. The firebird tells Yeva indirectly that she is the answer to the Beast’s curse. When she does indeed meet the beast again, things happen between them and somehow she meets the man behind the beast and breaks the curse. I really like the way that Yeva and Beast find their happily ever after. 

This was a great retelling.


Four Hearts

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Stacking The Shelves, Bought Borrowed and Bagged, Coloring Book Updates

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Bought, Borrowed and Bagged is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe Blog.

Note: This was a hard week as I work in an accountants office, my carpal had started to act up again, so took some time to heal that...


E-Books Gotten:

Coloring Book Haul

Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Jasmine Beckett Griffith Coloring Book

Lacy Sunshine's Enchanted Seas Coloring Book

Sweet and Simple Whimy Girls

Twilight Garden Coloring Book

Vampires: The Adult Coloring Book by Jade Summer

Thursday, April 20, 2017

YA Book Review: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Denard

Title: Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Denard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #1
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk, Zombies, Paranormal
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pub Date: July 24, 2012
Pages: 388
My Copy: Hardcover from my TBR pile

Book Summary:

There's something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia. . . .

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about.

Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she's just read in the newspaper:

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor . . . from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she'll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance. 

Book Review:

An interesting book. I really love the character of Eleanor Fitt and all the supporting cast, except Eleanor’s mother of course in this book. Eleanor Fitt is really in a situation that you don't expect. (RN: I love zombie books, steampunk books, so this seemed like a natural fit for me). 

I love how this book starts and how the dead play a part of it. Eleanor is looking for her brother at a train station and he never shows up. This is very bad. Then a member of the dead delivers a strange letter to her. One that really doesn’t make sense at first, but then she believes that he has gotten into some major trouble. Eleanor finds that she is in a weird place. Her mother is forcing her to socialize, so that she can find a wealthy suitor. They are in a difficult situation financially, according to her mother. I do like the fact that Eleanor doesn't really want to find a husband, but finds herself meeting some young men, but one in particular Clay seems to be someone that just is pursuing her. His sister Allie is someone that has had some history with Eleanor. They seem to be okay at first.

Then somehow Eleanor learns things about her brother, through the Spirit Keepers who somehow manage to stop the dead from doing things and turning others into dead through their instruments and sometimes magic. We learn that her brother was looking for a grimore. A Grimore is a book of magic that is very dangerous. I like how at first everyone views as Eleanor as something as a bit of a snob and a little high and mighty. I kind of feel bad for Clay as he is interested, but Eleanor is not.

This book took on some interesting twists that I didn’t see coming. Not to mention when things go bad, they go extremely bad. Also the fact that Eleanor wants to join the Spirit Hunters, because she is scared for her brother and what might or could have happened. They are an end to her goals. Her mother also thinks that she and Clay are dating one another and that she is on the right track, not realizing this is not true. 

Also Eleanor is starting to remember things about the past and her father’s relationship with his friends and that Clay’s father was really doing something and pulling certain things. I totally find that this leads to some more investigating and certain people having connections. I was surprised by how many people have done things. Not to mention the Dead is a threat that some people don’t consider serious or only do when they are threatened by one.

I found the way the last part of the book being a very bad place for Eleanor and her mother as we learn that her brother is no longer alive, but rather someone really bad has possessed his body. Then Clay dies and this ruins Eleanor’s mother plans and Eleanor’s future. Her mother says their fortunes are now ruined. I hope that in the second book things get better and much more intense. This book was very interesting and I’m looking to see where this series goes. 


4 Hearts

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Brunch: The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

Title: The White Princess
Author: Philippa Gregory
Series: The Cousin’s War #5
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Touchstone 
Pub Date: March 28, 2017 
Pages: 576
My Copy: Paperback That I bought

Book Summary:

When Henry Tudor picks up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth field, he knows he must marry the princess of the enemy house Elizabeth of York to unify a country divided by war for nearly two decades. 
But his bride is still in love with his slain enemy, Richard III and her mother and half of England dream of a missing heir, sent into the unknown by the White Queen. While the new monarchy can win power, it cannot win hearts in an England that plots for the triumphant return of the House of York. 
Henry s greatest fear is that somewhere a prince is waiting to invade and reclaim the throne. When a young man who would be king leads his army and invades England, Elizabeth has to choose between the new husband she is coming to love and the boy who claims to be her beloved lost brother: the rose of York come home at last.

Book Review:

A really good historical fiction novel that you really come to love these characters who were actual people. I think one of the things is that you have two individuals Elizabeth of York, Princess Elizabeth and Henry Tudor, who become Henry VII, King of England who at first don’t seem happy about the situation. Because of the War of the Roses, they have to unite their houses.

In order to understand the way our characters is to realize that these two individuals have witnessed their families and England going through hell because of which family would rule, Lancaster now Tudor and York. So marriage is a way to unite the houses and put an end to war and conflict or so we think. It is not easy for Princess Elizabeth to deal with the fact that her mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, is her new mother in law and has her own ideas and is a bit of a religious zealot. She is also one of her sons most trusted advisors. This makes things difficult.

Princess Elizabeth also has to deal with her husband’s insecurities and paranoia through out the book. Not to mention we are dealing with uprisings all through out their reign. Not to mention there are a few pretenders who come claiming to be one of the two princes in the Tower who supposedly were killed, but according to history their bodies were never found. Now this leads to some wild theories of what might or could have happened. There are people who claim to be Prince Edward and join to their side. Later on, there is Perkin Yarbeck who claims to be Prince Richard. So this becomes an issue of are these young men really just pretenders. Some people in history have claimed that Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen and Elizabeth’s mother really might have sent another boy to the tower instead of the real Richard, and hid him away. This theory is one that haunts people.

Yet, as the relationship grows between King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth-Lizzie, they learn that they have to fight for their family and that nothing and no one will threaten his reign or his heirs from inheriting the kingdom and what he believes to be truth. They deal with quite a lot. They also tend to have children and we get to see how Elizabeth and Henry handle being parents and royal parents at that. They have to raise their children and educated them on how to act.

This book had some really interesting moments between the couple. I also like how both of them have different attitudes and conflicts. He always believes he is right. Sometimes he doesn’t trust anybody, including her, his own wife because of her being a York. She tells him that she knows nothing and this angers him a lot. I like how he dismisses the fact that her mother placed a cursed on whoever killed her brothers. These things don’t bother him at all. Of course nothing ever goes right for him. He has to always fight for what he believes in and she stands by his side even when it pains her to do so.
I thought that this was an interesting look at how two individuals from two different rival families have to cope with the challenges of uniting and becoming a family. Plus rule England together despite not ever truly trusting each other and dealing with death of their loved ones, plots and turns, paranoia and so much more. 

An interesting book and look at two interesting historical figures. This makes me very excited for the Starz TV Series which is premiering soon.


4 Hearts

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Stacking The Shelves, Bought Borrowed and Bagged, Coloring Book Updates

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Bought, Borrowed and Bagged is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe Blog.


Print Books This Week

E-Books Bought

Coloring Book Haul

Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Fairy Tales Coloring Book

Fantasy Mermaids Fairies

Jasmine Becket Griffith Coloring Book

Marked in Ink: A Tattoo Coloring Book

Sweet and Simple Whimsy Girls

Twilight Garden Coloring Book