Review: When He Was Wicked

Posted 23 July, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons #6)
By: Julia Quinn
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one’s life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London’s most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer—the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

But that was then… Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love… until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets…

All right, on to the next Bridgertons book! 🙂 After long hearing about Francesca in previous books and how she is a widow (it’s not a spoiler at this point, I think, that I can mention it freely before the cut), it’s nice to finally turn to her and her story 🙂

Read More

Comics: Two Reviews

Posted 20 July, 2018 by Lianne in Comics / 0 Comments

So I was in mood for reading comics recently and whilst I wasn’t able to get the comics I wanted to read (who knew it was so hard to get ahold of a particular Captain Marvel book or Thor volume?), I did get a hold of the following two:

+++

Black Widow, Volume 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted
By: Mark Waid (Writer), Chris Samnee (Writer, Artist), Matthew Wilson (Colourist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer)
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

They wowed you with Daredevil, now the Eisner Award-winning team of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee take Black Widow to new heights -by forcing her to go on the lam!

Natasha has a lifetime of secrets, and when some of the darkest ones are made public, nobody is safe. As S.H.I.E.L.D. turns on its once greatest asset, she seeks out her own answers in a knockdown drag-out tale of action and espionage! But will the Widow’s hunt for the Weeping Lion send her back to the one place she never wanted to go? And, when a S.H.I.E.L.D. funeral makes the assembled top brass an attractive target, it’s lucky for them that the Black Widow is still on their side, even if they aren’t on hers.

Collecting: Black Widow 1-6

So here’s the thing: I did start reading the previous Black Widow series (forgot the name of the writers) from Marvel Now! but I was left rather disappointed as her story–the overarching one, anyway–went nowhere (much as I loved the art). So I was a bit wary picking this comic up but I had heard good things about it so when I did come across it, I decided to pick it up.

Well, this story definitely starts off running and the pacing is just relentless, which is something I expect from a Black Widow story. There’s actually not much talking at the start from Black Widow, which I appreciated as I thought it’s something that’s just part of the character. She’s tough, she’s determined, and she certainly has a lot going on in her past. It was interesting to actually see a bit of her past and about the Red Room. What was a bit of a downer was the reveal of what the Weeping Lion had on her that set off the chain reaction leading her to being on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. but overall the volume was a fast-paced romp of intrigue and action.

Rating: ★★★★☆

+++

Rocket Raccoon, Vol. 2: Storytailer
By: Skottie Young, Filipe Andrade (Illustrations), Jake Parker (Illustrations)
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Rocket Raccoon continues his quest to try to fix his past…um, bad calls, but as a stranger stalks him from the shadows, he just might cause a cosmic calamity on the dreaded Winter Planet! Then, what happens when you water Groot a little too much? Grootzilla! He’s faster than a speeding Rocket, more powerful than Drax the Destroyer, able to eat tall buildings in a single gulp – and he’s not happy! And Rocket’s skills will be put to the ultimate test as he challenges everything he’s known about himself. Does the Book of Half-World – the mythical text of Rocket’s early adventures- actually exist, or was it all a big hoax? Is Rocket really the last of his kind? Find out once and for all, right here!

COLLECTING: ROCKET RACCOON 7-11

All right! So I read the first volume years ago (errr, you’ll have to sift through the Marvel tag for that review), which I greatly enjoyed because of Scottie Young’s art and his grasp of Rocket Raccoon’s character. It’s still there in this volume but the vignettes were a bit different here: the first story about the Winter Planet was great, and I especially enjoyed the art there, but the story about the Book of Half-World sort of fell flat–could’ve been longer, I think–and the short story of Grootzilla was a filler, really. And the last story…well, it’s just classic Rocket Raccoon and Groot, really. All in all it was fun, but some stories were a little memorable than others. But a story with Rocket is always fun.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Review: To Sir Philip, With Love

Posted 18 July, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

To Sir Philip, With Love (Bridgertons #5)
By: Julia Quinn
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he’d proposed, figuring that she’d be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except she wasn’t. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her and more. Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn’t marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking and wondering and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except he wasn’t. Her perfect husband wouldn’t be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled and when he kissed her the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn’t help but wonder could this imperfect man be perfect for her?

Yaaaaaaaahhhh, I’m finally getting around to reading the last four books in the Bridgertons series! It’s not because I didn’t want to, but I wanted to savour the fact that I had these four books remaining, which is why I also didn’t get around to reading them right away when I got a hold of the new mass paperbacks that included the 2nd epilogues. Anyway it’s summer now and I don’t have classes so I’m finally reading them 🙂

Read More

Two Book Reviews

Posted 16 July, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

The following are two reviews (sort of) that didn’t warrant a post of their own. Unfortunately this post is a bit of a downer, but I also didn’t want to pass them off and not post about them, if that makes any sense lol.

+++

Love in a Cold Climate
By: Nancy Mitford
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Polly Hampton has long been groomed for the perfect marriage by her mother, the fearsome and ambitious Lady Montdore. But Polly, with her stunning good looks and impeccable connections, is bored by the monotony of her glittering debut season in London. Having just come from India, where her father served as Viceroy, she claims to have hoped that society in a colder climate would be less obsessed with love affairs. The apparently aloof and indifferent Polly has a long-held secret, however, one that leads to the shattering of her mother’s dreams and her own disinheritance. When an elderly duke begins pursuing the disgraced Polly and a callow potential heir curries favor with her parents, nothing goes as expected, but in the end all find happiness in their own unconventional ways.

This book has long been on my wishlist so it was nice to finally pick up the book and read it. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, which might be a culmination of having started it before going on vacation and then picking up and finishing it when I got back. But maybe it was my mood too as before I left I wasn’t terribly invested in the story already. There were some witty dialogue here and there, but otherwise I was just bored by the story, a lot of it was hearsay (heh, isn’t life a lot about stories we hear from other people?) which I guess it also part of the society that Polly and Fanny live in. So yeha, it should’ve been a story that should’ve interested me a lot more, and there’s a lot going on in their story, but yeah, in the end I just didn’t really care for it 🙁

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Learn more about the author on Wikipedia || Order this book from The Book Depository

+++

Holding on to Normal
By: Alana Somerville
Format/Source: ARC courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA

A compelling memoir about trying to live meaningfully with illness and triumph beyond it, by breast cancer survivor Alana Somerville, a teacher and mother of two young children.

I looked at all the sick people around me. Was I going to be like them? Was that already me? Did I suddenly have a time stamp on my life? Would I make it out of this alive?

Alana Somerville—wife, teacher and mother of two small children—was thirty-three years old when she was diagnosed with stage-two, triple-negative breast cancer. The diagnosis changed her world and the relationships she had with everyone around her. Suddenly she was faced with endless medical appointments, multiple surgeries and procedures, the challenges of chemotherapy, and all the decisions involved in her treatment. She also had to deal with the trauma of realizing that her support network—sometimes even her closest friends—could struggle with how to help or even how to react to her anymore.

Throughout the course of her illness, Alana learned to maneuver through the medical system, to advocate for herself, and to build a truly supportive network. She also discovered how to keep her positive spirit intact while undergoing a double mastectomy and ongoing treatment. She is now living cancer-free—a survivor and an advocate.

Alana’s story is not unique. It’s a story that will resonate with anyone who has suffered illness and found themselves navigating a whole new world upon diagnosis. This is an “everywoman’s” journey through the experience of cancer, tracing the emotional, physical and psychological steps that are common to all. In the end, this memoir will offer hope that one can live a healthy, fulfilling and happy life beyond diagnosis. Holding on to Normal is for anyone who is suffering—or knows someone who is suffering from—a setback in life, and who is looking for inspiration on how to navigate their own journey.

I tried to start this book a few times since receiving it from Simon & Schuster CA (unsolicited, but anyway, I give unsolicited books a chance should they pop up in my mailbox) but I just could not. It’s not to say this book is not worth checking out or whatever, it’s just that given my job in healthcare and working with patients who are living with a cancer diagnosis (though they shouldn’t be at my hospital as my hospital is a rehab/continuing care facility) and moreso patients having had a history of cancer, it’s just not something I’d read about on my spare time. I might go back to it at some point but for not I’m nowhere inclined to read it.

Rating: DNF

Visit the author’s official website || Order this book from the Book Depository

Review: Dark Matter

Posted 13 July, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Dark Matter
By: Blake Crouch
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

Since hitting mass market paperback format, this book has sort of been following me around whenever I’m at the bookstore, lol. I had heard of it since it was first released but it was only more recently that it was finding its way further up the wishlist. As I was looking for a book to read when I went on holiday a few months ago I decided this would make for a good read. Unfortunately I didn’t get much reading doing during my vacation (opting to either be writing or sleeping when I wasn’t taking photos and wandering about) so I only got around to really reading this book when I got back.

Read More