Saturday, June 6, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Title: In Real Life

Author: Cory Doctorow

Illustrator: Jen Wang

Publish Date: October 14, 2014

Genre: Graphic Novel

Why I Read this Book: I found this book at my local library and loved the artwork.






About the Book (from Goodreads):  

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. 

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer--a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake. 

From acclaimed teen author (Little Brother, For the Win) and Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow and Koko Be Good creator Jen Wang, In Real Life is a perceptive and high-stakes look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture clash


The first thing that I fell in love with in this book was the artwork. It is truly amazing. Not only is the cover amazing, but the artwork throughout is some of the best that I have seen in a graphic novel.

The basis of the storyline was also what brought me to want to read this graphic novel. The main character is a female gamer and she helps friends from across the world, not only in the game but also in real life.

I do not want to give away too much of this story, so I will keep this short. You will want to read this graphic novel if you want great artwork and a sweet and engaging storyline.

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 13+ for some foul language (2-3 throughout the graphic novel)

Overall Rating: 4/5

Friday, June 5, 2015

#TBRTakedown Readathon Daily Update Post (Complete Thread)

Today, I have my wrap-up post for the #TBRTakedown Readathon. I have it broken up by what I read on each day of the readathon. Also as a reminder, there were 5 challenges for this readathon and these are discussed in length in my TBR post.


I read the first 19o pages (out of 304) of Shaken by Kariss Lynch.  This book I used for the "First in a Series" challenge. I also read 3% (approximately 11 pages) of an e-book that I recently hauled from Netgalley, The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I loved the beginning of both of these novels. Initially, I planned on not reading two books at the same time because I thought that I would finish more books this way, but I started The Fixer because I needed a break from Shaken. Shaken has a very intense book and I ended up crying for over an hour during the section that I ended on. I wanted an action-packed novel to pick me up.

Today's Page Count: 201
Total Page Count: 201


I read 36 more pages of Shaken for the "First in the Series" challenge. I also read 55% (about 211 pages) of The Fixer. I was not planning on reading so much today, but I was really hooked on The Fixer.

Today's Page Count: 247
Total Page Count: 448

Wednesday & Thursday

I did not read much on Wednesday and did not really track my progress, but on Wednesday and Thursday I read the last 78 pages of Shaken. I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait to pick up the second in the series, Shadowed. I gave this book 5/5 stars and I will have a review of this book up on my blog Tuesday.

Today's Page Count: 78
Total Page Count: 526


I read the last 42% (approximately 161 pages) of The Fixer. I loved this book and gave it a 4.5/5 stars. I will have a review of The Fixer on my blog on the release day which is July 7, 2015.

I also started Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning for my "Out of My Comfort Zone" challenge. Almost Perfect is a young adult fiction novel about 70 year old dog breeder and her teenage neighbor who has autism and who has desperately wanted a puppy all his life.  I usually read YA dystopian, fantasy or adult clean romance novels, so this book is out of the ordinary for me. I read 27 pages of Almost Perfect today.

I was enjoying Almost Perfect, but was not in the mood for this type of books today; it was too slow of a pace. So I picked up Shadowed by Kariss Lynch for the "Unread Sequeal" challenge. This is the sequel to Shaken that a read earlier this week. I read 15 pages of Shadowed today and I am really enjoying it. So far, it is a very fast-paced book, just like Shaken, and this is really what I think I need at this point in the readathon.

Today's Page Count: 203
Total Page Count: 729


Today was a rough reading day for me. I am getting a tooth pulled on Tuesday and until then I am on pain medicine that is making me drowsy. I really wanted to read today, but it was hard to keep my interest up.

I read 62 pages of Shadowed. I am not enjoying this book as much as I enjoyed the first in the series. Although the series is written in third person, each chapter focuses on one of the two main characters: Kaylan or her boyfriend Nick. The first book, Shaken, was mainly about Kaylan and Shadowed seems to be mainly about Nick. Nick is a SEAL and although I appreciate that he serves our country in this series I am finding it more difficult to connect to his story line.

I also read 20 pages of Almost Perfect. Although I am enjoying the story, I don't think this is the book that I am in the mood to read today.

Today's Page Count: 82
Total Page Count: 811


I read 102 pages of Shadowed. I am really enjoying this book.

Today's Page Count: 102
Total Page Count: 913


Total Page Count: 913
Books Started: 4
Books Complete: 2

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Review: Numbers Game

Title: Numbers Game

Series: Numbers Game (Book 1)

Author: Rebecca Rode

Publish Date: March 10, 2015

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Why I Read this Book: I received this book from the author as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review of this novel.






About the Book (from Goodreads):  

Treena is nervous for Rating Day. A single number will brand her forever—a valuable citizen, or a pathetic waste of space. Her top-Rated boyfriend is confident their scores will coincide so they can attend the academy together. But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone. 

To get her life and boyfriend back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone wants her dead. And then there’s Vance, the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. Treena must join up with Vance if she is to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within her heart.


My favorite part about Numbers Game was the well developed characters. Many characters where introduced in this novel and each had a unique personality and unique goals/ambitions. Because the characters were so well developed, it was easy to predict what the characters would do next in the story line.

Numbers Game was very predictable. There were only a few things in the plot that surprised me. I believe that it was intended to be suspenseful, but it was not well executed. Additionally, there was a predictable love triangle in this book as well. This book was very similar to every other Dystopian novel out there.

I believe that I will continue reading this series just to see where the plot goes and because I enjoy the characters so much.

I would recommend this series to those who love Dystopian and are looking for a fast-paced and action-packed read.

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 13+ for intense action

Overall Rating: 3/5

Monday, June 1, 2015

#TBRTakedown Readathon TBR and Goals

The #TBRTakedown readathon takes place from June 1 through June 7 and is hosted by leaninglights on Youtube. You can find the official announcement video here. This readathon has 5 challenges. Here are the challenges and the books that I am going to try to read:

  1. A book that's been on your TBR shelf over a year!
    • Nettles by Ronnie Johnson
  2. An unread sequel sitting on your TBR shelf.
    • Shadowed by Kariss Lynch
  3. A first book in a series on your TBR shelf.
    • Shaken by Kariss Lynch
  4. An "out of your comfort zone" book on your TBR shelf!
    • Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning
  5. A book from your most recent book haul!
    • The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

If you want to know more about these books, please check out this goodreads shelf that I created.

I probably won't read all of these books this week, but I hope to get through a chunk of them. I have a really busy week this week because I am a graduate student, but while reactions are running (such as PCR reactions) I should be able to get a good amount of reading completed.

Are you participating in this readathon? What are your goals? What have you read recently? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @blog_gal.