My Fall Bucket List

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Fall is boot season, and boots are my second favorite type of shoe behind Converses. I’m very excited that it finally being Fall means I get to put away my flats and low-rise Chucks and break out my Peter Pan boots and high tops. Also, it doesn’t hurt that I have cozy blanket scarves and heavy cardigans just waiting in my closet for those chilly 50 degree days.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Fall.

Now that it’s officially Autumn (Yay September!), I get to share my “Fall Bucket List” with you. There’s nothing earth-shattering on it, but I’m looking forward to all the cozy, pumpkin-y activities all the same!    

My Fall Bucket List

  • Carve Pumpkins ~ I have a love/hate relationship with carving pumpkins. I hate the squishiness of pumpkin innards and the mess it leaves on your hands, but oh, do I love the look of finished Jack O’Lanterns and the feeling of accomplishment at having made a funky looking Halloween decoration all my own! I want to have another pumpkin carving night this Autumn, and hopefully, I’ll be able to come up with a nifty design (Spoiler Alert: It’ll probably be Star Wars-related).
  • Watch Four Horror Movies ~ I’m squeamish about horror. . .which is something you might not expect from a person who loves the TV show Hannibal very intensely. When it comes to films, though, I tend to avoid anything with too much blood, gore, and violence (I will never ever watch a Saw film, for example.). I would like to *try* to expand my horizons a little this year and watch a Halloween-type film that’s a bit more adventurous than Hocus Pocus or Practical Magic. Any recommendations for scary films that aren’t that gory?
  • Read a Stephen King Novel ~ Every year, I say I’ll read a Stephen King novel in the lead up to Halloween, and every year, I fail spectacularly. Not this year! I’ve already purchased my to-be-read book and I’m pleased to announce that it’ll be the total chunker Under the Dome. I’ve been rewatching the spectacularly awful TV show adaptation this Summer (I love it so much) so it’s about time I gave the source material a try.
  • Watch Northanger Abbey (1987) for Halloween ~ Watching Northanger Abbey on Halloween is a tradition I started about five years ago. If you’ve never watched the 1987 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, you are missing out. The adaptation is nowhere as good as the 2007 version with Felicity Jones and JJ Field, but it is bonkers and that’s all that truly matters.
  • Read One Classic Novel ~ Every year, I try to read one new-to-me Classic. I did read The Hound of the Baskervilles this year already, but I’d also like to tackle a novel either by George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, or one of the books I’ve missed by a Bronte sister. I’m not certain which book I’ll choose yet. Hopefully, it’ll be one from my shelves so I can check another purchased book off my TBR.
  • Knit Indy a Sweater ~ Indy has a lot of fur so he might not *technically* need a sweater, but I’m sure he could still use one when he goes on walks this (likely frigid) winter. I already have the yarn picked out (it’s a sea green color) and I’d like to get working on it before it’s too, too cold out. I’m also counting on his dog sweater giving me some much needed practice knitting clothes so I can FINALLY knit a Weasley sweater for myself before Winter is out.  
  • Drink Spiced Apple Cider ~ I love Spiced Apple Cider and I look forward to it showing up on the shelves every year. I can only drink it in moderation (thanks to all that sugar wreaking havoc on my anxiety levels), but I love savoring it when I give myself the chance.
  • Watch Stranger Things ~ Oh my gosh, so Stranger Things is back in October and I am hyped. I think I’m having withdraws from all my favorite spooky shows (seeing as they’re either cancelled or abandoned) because I am so glad this show is finally coming back. I really cannot wait to see more Hopper, Nancy, and Steve in particular. They are my faves!
  • Bake a Pumpkin Pie (or Anything Pumpkin) ~ I used to love eating pumpkin muffins and pumpkin roll every Autumn. Now, thanks to being on a gluten free diet, my store-bought pumpkin options are limited to Pumpkin Spice Cheerios and (gross) pumpkin-flavored yogurt. I baked a delicious pumpkin pie last year so I might try that again OR I might be braver and attempt a gluten free pumpkin roll or muffin. Only time will tell. . .
  • Start Recording a Podcast ~ Working at a library gives you ample time to listen to podcasts so I’ve become a tad addicted over the last two years (If you’d like recommendations for non-True Crime podcasts, let’s say I’ve got you covered). Lately, however, I’ve really been wanting to start my own. Unfortunately, thanks to me being horrible at decision making, I’ve been struggling to come up with a definitive focus. This Fall, I need to buckle down a pick a topic and name a just get going–which, for me, is MUCH easier said than done.

What’s on Your Fall Bucket List?


{30 Journaling Prompts} Fall Television

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It’s almost time for fall television! I, for one, am very excited to get back in the swing of watching TV week by week. My summer’s been filled with catching up on Sleepy Hollow and Arrow, but I love fall because that means having shiny new episodes to watch every week. I’m completely ready for new seasons of my favorite comedies and superhero shows to start and I especially cannot wait for The Gifted (I’m a sucker for anything X-Men related).

With all the excitement of new and old shows starting, I decided to make a list of “Fall Television” themed journaling prompts. I love doing geeky journaling challenges and fall TV felt right for September and beyond. I’ve written 30 prompts and I hope you’ll join me in trying them out. If you don’t journal, you can always share your thought in other ways (on Twitter, in blog posts, through photographs, etc.)–it’s all about channeling your fandom and creativity!

{30 Journaling Prompts} Fall Television

  1. Favorite Spooky TV Show
  2. Top 5 Characters in Your Zombie Survival Team
  3. Top 5 Shows Returning This Fall
  4. Top 3 New Shows to Watch
  5. Favorite Comic Book Show
  6. A Character You’d Get a Pumpkin Spiced Latte With
  7. A Character Who Inspires My Fall Fashion
  8. TV Show You Wish Was Returning This Fall
  9. A Character You’d Bring Back From the Dead
  10. A Character You’d Bake Pumpkin Pie With
  11. Favorite Headcannon
  12. Top 5 Places You’d Visit in a TARDIS
  13. Top 5 Ships
  14. Write a Single Page Fall-Themed Fan-Fiction
  15. Draw Your Favorite Character
  16. Make a List of Reasons Why You Love Your Favorite Show
  17. Favorite Shows from Childhood
  18. What Character Would You Knit a Sweater For? What Would it Look Like?
  19. Top 5 Shows in My Netflix Queue
  20. Top 5 Shows to Binge Watch
  21. Draw a Character from an Animated Show You Love
  22. Top Five Shows as Cozy as a Hot Cup of Tea
  23. Best Show to Craft During
  24. I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Watched. . .
  25. Books that Should be TV Series
  26. Character Most Likely to Jump in a Leaf Pile
  27. I Wouldn’t Want to be Stuck in a Spooky House With. . .
  28. If I Could Recast Any Role, I’d Recast. . .
  29. One Page Coffee Shop AU
  30. The Next Show You’re Going to Start

I’m starting these prompts on September 22nd. If you’d like, you can join in then or start any time that works for you. Like I said, it’s about having fun and being creative–somethings I think we can always use more of!

Do you journal? What TV Series Have You Been Watching this Summer?

Top Ten New Books on My Fall TBR

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Joining in on The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday again. This week’s theme is Fall TBR!

Summer is my least favorite season for reading. I hate that it’s hot and sunny and I don’t feel like drinking tea when I curl up with a book. Fall, on the other hand, is so much more conducive to reading. I’ve already been spending cooler afternoons wrapped up in my fox blanket with a cup of tea and pillows. I only wish I could eat wheat so I could have a biscotti or a scone to keep me company.

*Searches Pinterest for Gluten Free Biscotti Recipes*

Now that the season’s are changing, my new seasonal TBR is remarkably vast (unlike my sad Summer one). I have more than a handful of books on my shelf that I’d like to get to before Autumn’s out and a whole host of books on hold for me at the library. Today, I’m only sharing the books on my library holds list as there are quite a few. Next week, I’ll have my “From My Shelves” TBR up too!   

Top Ten New Books on My Fall TBR


1. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (October 10) ~ I have read a grand total of one John Green book and it was the completely basic choice of The Fault in Our Stars. I actually loved it–which is surprising only because I’m not a huge consumer of Contemporary YA or sappy(ish) love stories. When I saw Turtles All the Way Down in my library catalog, I figured why not add it to my holds list (I’m the 6th of 16 holds), and now, as the release date gets closer, I’m actually excited to pick it up. I might want to read at least one more of John Green’s books before Turtles is released. If you have a recommendation as to which one, be sure to tell me!

2. There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins (September 26) ~ Of course, I’ve read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. There’s Someone Inside Your House sounds NOTHING like that. It appears to be a book version of a slasher film, and I figure that’ll be a perfect thing to read leading up to Halloween. Also, I have to admit that I’m downright curious how the author of Anna writes a horror novel. Should be interesting!

3. The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente (September 5) ~ I love Catherynne M. Valente. She wrote The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland series and Deathless. She has a flair for fairy tales (not really surprising I’ve read a number of her books then), and I’m fascinated that her next novel is a Middle Grade fantasy novel about the Brontes. Obviously, it’s a must-read for me.

4. Artemis by Andy Weir (November 14) ~ I have mixed feelings about Andy Weir’s The Martian. It’s one of those unputdownable books that don’t particularly stick with you after you’ve finished the last page. Still, his second novel Artemis sounds exactly like my sort of thing. Lady smuggler heroine? Check. Powerful people hiding a conspiracy? Check. Takes place in space? Definite check.

5. Warcross by Marie Lu (September 12) ~ Everyone seems to be talking about Warcross. I keep seeing that pretty cover on book blogs, booktube, and across social media. Its premise appears to be “What if Ready Player One wasn’t awful?” and I’m all for that. I’ve never read anything else by Marie Lu, but she’s writing Batman: Nightwalker as well as Warcross so that’ll be changing soon!


6. Barbary Station by R. E. Stearns (October 31) ~ I have another book about space criminals on my list (not surprising at all). This time, they’re space pirates and they’re running from an evil AI. The only way this book could be more of a “Melissa Book” is if the AI could inhabit robots or if there are robots involved period. I await that reveal with bated breath.

7. Retrograde by Peter Cawdron (September 12) ~ There’s a surprising number of Sci-Fi books that appeal to me this Fall. I’d say I have very particular taste when it comes to Science Fiction (Robots! Criminals! Noir! Space Zombies!) but Peter Cawdron’s book about what happens to a Mars colony when disaster strikes Earth is loosely up my alley. I’m hoping it devolves into a horror story about survival–which is exactly up my alley.

8. An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard (September 26) ~ An Unkindness of Magicians is a Urban Fantasy, but it’s also a story about fading magic, a powerful magician, and a decaying system which reminds me a lot of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and The Sorcerer to the Crown–two books I absolutely loved. This novel, however, is set in New York and presumably modern day but I’m absolutely hoping that all that adds an interesting dynamic to this sort of Magic Society story.  

9. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (October 10) ~ A retelling of Snow White where the Evil Queen is the heroine? Oh my gosh, yes please! I’m also all for an East Asian inspired fantasy world. I have the tendency to read a lot of European and Indian inspired fantasy so it’ll be a nice change up to read something set in a different type of world all together.

10. That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E. K. Johnston (October 3) ~ By the title alone, I thought That Inevitable Victorian Thing was going to be a Steampunk novel. As it’s actually set in the future, I doubt it, but, who knows, there could still be airships. (Let there be automatons, at least!)  E. K. Johnston’s novel is actually about a descendant of Queen Victoria and seems to be a courtly, political drama. The description on Goodreads is confusing  yet interesting enough to get me picking up this novel. I want to see what it’s actually like!

So, What Books Are On Your Fall TBR?

Image Source: Goodreads

Board Game Pile of Shame: Five Games I Own But Haven’t Played

A product presentationby Alessandra A. Guerra (1).jpgFour years ago, I discovered the wonderful world of board gaming. It was a bit of a revelation. You see, I’d never been a console gamer and my PC gaming mostly consisted of me playing American Girl Premiere, Oregon Trail, and Torin’s Passage in junior high and high school. Board games, however, caught on with me in a way PC and console gaming never had. I’m an analog sort of person so I liked being able to go into my game closet and pull out whatever game I was obsessed with at the moment (most likely Archaeology). I soon started attending some board gaming clubs and amassing a collection of games.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take too long before that collection of games got a little too big–at least, too big considering I only play five or so of my games in rotation. My unplayed games quickly began lurking in the front of my game closet, daring me to play them, but as a creature of habit, I didn’t take up those dares. The games remained in their sad, plastic wrapping.

I’m sharing five of these sad games with today in the hopes that putting them out in public will encourage me to actually play them. Maybe you all can even help me pick which ones to play first!  

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Board Game Pile of Shame: Five Games I Own But Haven’t Played


The Game: Iota

How Long I’ve Owned It: About Three Years

Like most board games, I bought Iota because Wil Wheaton recommended it on his Youtube channel. It sounded like a game I’d enjoy (and not just because of its thirty minutes playing time). Iota’s a pattern making game along the lines of Quirkle but it’s tiny–small enough to carry in a very small purse. Its size is probably the main reason I haven’t played it yet. It gets overwhelmed by everything else in the game closet!


The Game: Munchkin

How Long I’ve Owned It: About Two Years

Munchkin is one of those few hugely popular board games. It might not quite as all encompassing as Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride but I feel like it’s close. I bought my copy on clearance at Target and it’s been sitting in its plastic wrap ever since. Part of the problem is that it’s a relatively long game (two hours of play time is long for me) and the other part of the problem is I can’t convince my family to play it with me.


The Game: Slash

How Long I’ve Owned It: About Three Years

This one is just sad. I got Slash through the game’s Kickstarter AGES ago but never sat down to play. The concept is basically that it’s Apples to Apples but instead of putting descriptors to nouns, you’re putting characters/historical figures/famous people together in ships. Basically, it’s a fangirl’s dream game.


The Game: Lanterns

How Long I’ve Owned It: About Six Months

I discovered Lanterns on Tabletop last year, and from what I remember of the game, its Quirkle meets Archaeology (I really like games where you make patterns and collect cards). Lanterns also has a relatively quick playing time: twenty to forty minutes. My only excuse for not playing this game yet is that I haven’t taken the time to relearn the rules.  


The Game: Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City

How Long I’ve Owned It: About Six Months

Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City was a Black Friday deal that I couldn’t pass up. I’d been wanting to play the original version (where you make a city and an amusement park), but I hadn’t wanted to shell out the thirty bucks for it. Bright Lights, Big City was cheaper, however, and since it was an expansion by way of companion game, you could play it without owning the original. Of course, I still haven’t played either. *Sigh*

Do you have a board game pile of shame? If you do, definitely take a picture and send it to me on Twitter or Instagram (@readerlygeek on both). Tag it #MyBoardGameShame and help me not feel so bad about my unplayed games.

 So, important question, which of these games should I play first?

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Six Marvel Shows I’d Rather Watch Than Marvel’s Inhumans

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The trailer for Marvel’s Inhumans series dropped today, and I must say I’m completely underwhelmed. From the first photos of the cast in costume, I’ve been dreading the release of this series. From the horrible red wig to the nondescript outfits, this show looks bland at best and downright awful if you’re being pessimistic. Take a look:

With the exception of Lockjaw, nothing in the trailer speaks to me. Instead, I find myself distracted by Ramsay Bolton as Maximus, THAT AWFUL WIG, and how mundane this Sci-Fi epic looks. I can’t say I’m completely surprised by my reaction. I may be in the minority, but I have a terrible time caring about the Inhumans plot-lines in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. When it comes to oppressed powered people, I prefer the X-Men, and it still grates on me that the Inhumans were such a big deal in the comics until recently (presumably because Disney, owner of Marvel comics, doesn’t have the film rights to those characters). I don’t really want more Inhumans-focused storylines–particularly in a show that doesn’t contain any of the recent, fan favorite Inhumans.

There are many ABC/Marvel shows I’d rather watch than this one. Some would contain Inhumans, but others would just be fun, adventure series that would pair perfectly with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at its best.

Six Marvel Shows I’d Rather Watch Than Marvel’s Inhumans


Ms. Marvel Unlike a lot of people, I’m not the hugest Ms. Marvel fan, but even I can acknowledge that this comic series is great for teenagers and could potentially make a fantastic show. If you want to make a show about Inhumans, why not spring for Lockjaw’s best friend instead of Woman-in-a-Horrible-Red-Wig and company?  




Squirrel Girl ~ Technically, there is going to be a Squirrel Girl show, BUT wouldn’t it be better if this series was an hour long dramedy rather than a half hour comedy? After Powerless, I question the wisdom in making half hour long superhero shows. It’s not that they are inherently bad. It’s just that I don’t know how many people will be drawn to watching comic book stories in that format. Squirrel Girl deserves more than half a season on a doomed comedy. Hopefully, she’ll get more than that, but I have my doubts.



Moon  Girl and Devil Dinosaur ~ If we’re going to get Lockjaw-level special effects in the Inhumans series, perhaps ABC and Marvel could have digitally created Devil Dinosaur instead. (I love you, Lockjaw. This isn’t about you. I swear.) In Season Four of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., there were definitely Moon Girl vibes coming from Mack’s Framework daughter, Hope. It made me wish they had let his daughter live so that she could have become Moon Girl–a definite candidate for a spin-off series.  




Kate Bishop a.k.a. Hawkeye ~ Since we already have Clint Barton in the MCU, there couldn’t be any harm in bringing the other–arguably cooler–Hawkeye into the fold. Kate Bishop is amazing and it’d be fantastic to have her lead a show that could potentially expand to include the other members of the Young Avengers (much like Smallville grew to include the Justice League).




Mockingbird ~ Before Inhumans, Marvel tried to make a Bobbi Morse/Lance Hunter spin-off happen. It didn’t take–which I can’t say I’m sorry about. I adore Bobbi Morse, but Lane Hunter of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was one of my least favorite characters on that entire show. IF a show focusing on Bobbi and not her husband could happen (you know, maybe Lance could be fridged), it would be a blast–particularly if it was in the style of Chelsea Cain’s Mockingbird series.



Agent Carter ~ And finally, the wisest choice would have been just to renew Agent Carter. It wasn’t a perfect show, but it had so much going for it. The cast was brilliant. The fashion to die for. And the historical setting lent itself to exploring areas of the Marvel Universe that get overlooked by the films.  I mean, we didn’t even get to meet Tony’s mother!! That is a complete shame.



All this isn’t to say I won’t give Marvel’s Inhumans a chance. I’ll watch it in the hopes that it’ll be better than it looks in the trailer. I just wish Marvel and ABC would have taken a chance on another Marvel story–one that could have appealed to those who really just want to see their favorite, female heroes on the screen.

What Marvel Comic Series Would You Like to See On TV? Are You Excited About Marvel’s Inhumans?

Image Source: Goodreads

{Film Review} This Beautiful Fantastic

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Bella’s beginning were unconventional. Found among ducks as a baby, she was raised in an orphanage where she nursed a fear of the outdoors and soothed her loneliness with books. Now an adult, Bella lives very much alone with only those books, a typewriter, and radio for company. Her interactions with the outside world occur at the library where she works and over a garden wall with her curmudgeonly neighbor. It isn’t until she has an accident in her neglected garden that her lonely little world begins expanding. Gradually, she is forced to let in her cleaner/cook, the aforementioned grumpy neighbor, and a handsome inventor.

This Beautiful Fantastic is a whimsical fairy tale along the lines of Penelope, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and–perhaps the most well-known of all quirky, girl films–Amelie. Jessica Brown Findlay excellently portrays Bella, a character who has spent years building walls to protect herself from the grief of losing her parents too young. It’s a quiet role–one which calls for Findlay’s expressive eyes and gentle, physically comedy–and while Bella is described as the oddest of oddballs by our narrator, the film and Findlay never allow her quirkiness descend to ridiculous levels (that’s left for her manic pixie dream boy love interest). Bella spends her time dressing like Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice, learning foreign languages on the radio, and obsessively ordering her house. She’s essentially a relatable sort of weird and you can’t help but root for her to begin writing her book and make friends the individuals thrown in her path.

These prospective friends come in the form of cleaner Vernon (Andrew Scott), neighbor Alfie (Tom Wilkinson), and inventor Billy (Jeremy Irvine). Each role is played to varying success.  Andrew Scott is impeccable as always as the first person to knock bricks from Bella’s wall. His sweet charm and adorable bumbling-ness make you understand why Bella would immediately make room for him and his calming hugs in her life. It’s a shame really that they cast someone so incredibly likiable in this role because it’s difficult to understand why she would pass up her kind cook/cleaner in exchange for a mad, inventor boy. (Sigh.) Before we get to that mad inventor, it needs to be said that Tom Wilkinson manages wonderfully as Bella’s antagonist/mentor. His character sets Bella on her journey, but he’s more than just the catalyst for the film’s gardening-heavy plot. He’s also given room to grow as he overcomes loneliness and grief of his own. It is the bond and sympathy between Alfie and Bella that centers the story–which is one of the many reasons why her love story with Billy feels so extraneous.

Billy–the main weakness in the film–is in all essentials a Manic Pixie Dream Boy. He dresses like he’s a member of a Steampunk club, builds robots that are powered by moonlight, and always has tea and a spare cup at the ready. His character appears to be part of a separate (far quirkier) film altogether, and his and Bella’s love story sparked my only annoyance with the film. Certainly, his “Luna” gives Bella the protagonist for her children’s book, but it’s her experiences with Alfie that drive the fable she’s writing and illustrating. Billy’s cartoonishness makes for an odd fit tonally in this film, and seeing as he’s the only character without proper development, it would have been better if his role had been written around and out of This Beautiful Fantastic.

Thankfully, Billy’s presence doesn’t break this movie. The writer/director Simon Aboud created a  whimsical tale about grief, creativity, and caring for something outside yourself in This Beautiful Fantastic, and while it might not inspired the viewer to pick up a spade and take to the garden, it certainly reminds one of the importance of creativity and moving forward.  

If You Like This Beautiful Fantastic, Check Out. . .

  • Penelope
  • Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
  • Amelie
  • The Brother’s Bloom

{Book Review} The Girl With All the Gifts

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Melanie lives in the bunker and knows very little of what exists outside the little world of her cell, showers, and classroom. She spends most days studying math, science, literature, and history while locked in a wheelchair–the only bright spot in her days being when her teacher is Miss Justineau. She doesn’t know a different life so her limited experience is not strange to her. There are times, however, when she is curious about the outside world and the secrets those at the bunker are obviously keeping from her.

Unfortunately for them all, Melanie will have the opportunity to discover them.  

The Girl With All the Gifts is an action-packed, popular Sci-Fi novel in the vein of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter or Wayward Pines series. These books are emphatically not thoughtful, character-driven novels. They’re plot-driven, high concept rushes–perfect for movie or TV series adaptations and people needing an engaging, quick read (i.e. they’re great reading slump busters). None of that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes you need fluff with teeth. I certainly did when I picked up this book.  

M. R. Carey (a.k.a. Mike Carey of comic book writing fame) never lets us readers take a breath or forget the high stakes in The Girl With All the Gifts. You know the very lives of Melanie, Miss Justineau, and their companions are on the line as things go from bad to worse at the bunker and you’re waiting for something truly awful to happen to them. In that respect, you might be disappointed. There’s not *quite* so much death and mayhem here as you might like (okay, I might like), but what Carey’s novel lacks in excessive blood and gore, it makes up for in the mounting terror that infects each of the characters. The most frightening aspects of The Girl With All the Gifts aren’t violent but rather psychological because, while the writing is reminiscent of Blake Crouch, the story is cousin to Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and Childhood’s End.

What I liked most about the novel was watching Melanie’s limited experience of the world widen. As she learns more about humanity and what happened to the England outside of her cell, it’s fascinating to see how she deals with the logical ramifications of her knew knowledge. Melanie might be a child, but she is fearless in the face of mounting danger and is a genius who is able to extrapolate truths from the facts she learns from her companions. Both of those things make her dangerous–both to her enemies and possibly even to her friends.     

While Melanie’s story in The Girl With All the Gifts is thoroughly entertaining and frightening, it doesn’t quite make for the perfect action juggernaut. There are plot holes and the characters’ depth is shallow at best (most notably with the onenote villain). The plot maybe relentless, but the first act is a slow enough burn that it’s difficult to get through if you don’t already know where the story is going. None of this makes the book unreadable. It just makes it no shocker that I struggled through the first 150 pages but read the remaining 250 in one day. There are obviously worse faults to have, but I don’t think The Girl With All the Gifts is a book I’ll reread because of them.

If you like thrilling Sci-Fi/Horror or are looking for a book to break you out of that reading slump, definitely give The Girl With All the Gifts a chance. It’s not a perfect read, but it will wrap you up in it’s chilly embrace and refuse to let go.
Do you have any books you’d recommend to end a reading slump?

Top Ten Graphic Novels for Summer Vacation

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Joining in on The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday again. This week’s theme is Summer Reads!

When the days turn warm and the sun starts shining, it’s time to put away comics filled with horror, dystopia, and darkness and turn to lighter fare. Tales of friendship, adventure, and mystery can be a welcome relief from all the monochrome and murder–especially when illustrated in radiant pinks, yellows, and blues.

If you’re looking for something to tuck into your beach bag or read at the park on a sunny day, these ten graphic novels suit as well as any breezy beach read.

Top Ten Graphic Novels for Summer Vacation   

  • Archie Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, Veronica Fish, and Annie Wu ~ If you’ve never read Archie Comics before, The New Riverdale is the perfect place to start. The art is breathtaking and the writing is guaranteed to make you giggle. This sure isn’t Riverdale–which makes it perfect sit in the sunshine reading.
  • Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh ~ Brosh’s comic deals with heavy topics like depression, but it’s also sprinkled with HILARIOUS stories about her childhood and awkward misadventures. Warning: Do Not Read This Book In Public Unless You Are Comfortable Getting Weird Looks From Strangers Because Of Laughter.
  • Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra by Kenneth Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau ~ Do you like magic girls? Yes? Then read Zodiac Starforce! It’s about teen girls saving the world with their magical abilities–all while wearing cool outfits and being BFFs!
  • Patsy Walker a.k.a Hellcat Vol. 1 by Kate Leth,  Brittney Williams, Megan Wilson, Joe Sabino, and Clayton Cowles ~ Patsy Walker, unfortunately, wound to a close a couple of weeks ago, but it’s a series that’s highly worth checking out if you’re up for female friendship, cat jokes, and butt-kicking.  
  • Mockingbird Vol. 1: I Can Explain by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk ~ If you like how awesome Bobbie is in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., this is a series for you. It’s funny, bright, and features a strong female character who breaks that now-traditional mould. There’s also Hawkeye in a swimsuit, if that suits your fancy.
  • Step Aside, Pops by Kate Beaton ~ One rule of recommending comics is to always recommend Kate Beaton. Her work is the perfect mix if you’re drawn to pop culture nerdery and riffs on history and literature (i.e. if you majored in History or English).   
  • Groot by Jeff Loveness and Brian Kesinger ~ You shouldn’t need a reason to read a Groot comic, but the selling point for this volume, in particula,r is that it contains art by Brian Kesinger–an animator who worked at Walt Disney Studios. The art is very Disney-fied as a result and absolutely adorable.
  • Grayson Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral by by Tom King, Tim Seeley, Jeremy Cox, Mikel Janin, Stephen Mooney, Guillermo Ortego, Juan Castro, Jonathan Glapion , Carlos M. Mangual ~ A little something for the ladies! Grayson is an action, adventure spy comic written by the fabulous Tom King (check out his current run on Batman and his work on The Vision for non-Summer appropriate fare), but of course, the writing isn’t what’s most memorable about Grayson. It’s the art. The very, very nice art.  
  • Green Arrow Vol. 1 by Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt ~ Green Arrow is one of the most memorable DC Rebirth titles. The art, in particular, is lovely and Black Canary absolutely rocks as she goes toe-to-toe with Ollie once again.
  • Goldie Vance Vol. 1 by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams ~ Goldie Vance is a modern Nancy Drew with mad driving skills and a nose for trouble. Basically, there’s nothing to dislike about this fun romp of a series.

What comic would you recommend reading this Summer?

My Top 7 Picks for the 13th Doctor

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It’s been official for awhile now, but Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who during the Christmas Special later this year. I’m sorry to see Capaldi leave. . .this season. I would have liked him to stick around one more year with the new showrunner Chris Chibnall so we could see what he could do with a competent head writer. He had so much potential as the Doctor, but I feel like he’s been wasted more often than not during his tenure.

In spite of that, I can’t be truly upset that it’s time for a new Doctor. The nature of the show is change and it’s always exciting to get someone different in the TARDIS. According to some gossips, the new actor in the role is Kris Marshall. I, however, prefer to believe that’s all guesswork and supposition (at least, until the show releases anything official). To top that off, Kris Marshall reminds me of Shaggy from Scooby Doo–which is not a selling point in his favor.

Like everyone else, I have top picks for who I’d like to see in the role. Many are the same actors I was dreaming of when Capaldi was cast all those years ago, but who knows, maybe this time they’ll get the role!

My Top 7 Picks for the 13th Doctor  


Sue Perkins ~ If I had to choose, Sue Perkins would be my top pick for the Doctor. Obviously, she was fantastic as the co-host of The Great British Bake Off, but she’s great in Supersizers Go. . . as well. Sue could definitely bring madcap humor and heart to the role.


Miranda Hart ~ Miranda is my second choice, but only because her humor primary rests on her awkwardness (physical and otherwise)–which could make dealing smoothly with aliens and all that running difficult! Still, it might be nice to have a Doctor who’s not totally savvy for once.    


Damien Molony ~ As will become increasingly evident as this list goes on, I’m a huge fan of Being Human, and Damien Molony as Hal was one of my favorite things about that show. As an actor, he can balance being charming, frightening, and awkward in just the right degree to make him a perfect Doctor (and he’s quite young and cute–which could be nice switch up from curmudgeonly Capaldi).


Richard  Ayoade ~ Of course, Ayoade’s an obvious choice for Doctor. He’d be hilarious in the role, but he doesn’t top my list solely because we’ve just had an emotionally reserved Doctor. I feel like it’s time to have someone with a bit more heart a.k.a. more along the lines of Tennant or Eccleston.


Russell Tovey ~ Another Being Human alumi, Russell Tovey spent the past television season being surprisingly buff on Quantico. He’s got the goofiness, dialogue delivery, and general quirkiness to make him an excellent Doctor too. . .and isn’t it about time we had a Doctor with abs?


Hayley Atwell ~ Another obvious choice. Hayley was fantastic as Agent Carter, and she deserves another chance at a big role. I *doubt* she would seriously ever be chosen for the Doctor, but it is fun to imagine what she could do with the role.  

Tom Mison ~ You know who’s free now that Sleepy Hollow is cancelled? Tom Mison. If nothing else, Sleepy Hollow proved that Tom could be excellent at soliloquising and being endlessly curious about new surroundings. He was actually one of my choices to replace Matt Smith, and I’d definitely wish him to be in the running once again.

Who would you like to see at the 13th Doctor?

Gif Sources: X, X, X, X, X, X, X

{Book Review} A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin

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It didn’t take me quite as long to read A Feast for Crows, but my enjoyment level between it and A Storm of Swords can’t even be compared. Once I struggled through the first three hundred pages of A Storm of Swords, I reached the wonder that was simultaneous road trips and Jaime and Brienne BFFing all over the place. A Storm of Swords quickly became my favorite book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series thanks to the antics of Jaime, Tyrion, and Brienne so it came as a shock to find the next book such a trudge.

A Feast for Crows focuses on the stories of the Lannisters (sans Tyrion), the female Starks, the Grejoys, and the Martells. There’s a handful of other characters and families in the mix, but A Feast for Crows keeps it’s eyes on Cersei and her struggle to keep Tommen on the Iron Throne. There’s plots concerning Myrcella, Greyjoys restless for power, Littlefinger playing the long game, and discord in the Lannister House.  The familiar characters plot and scheme while the rest struggle to stay alive.

It’s the same old game of thrones–expect nothing earth shattering happens until the last fifth of the book.

While A Storm of Swords was filled with character development, forward plot momentum, and lots of main character deaths (bye, Joffrey), A Feast for Crows seemed content to drag itself along like a half dead auroch. I struggled and struggled through chapters concerning the Greyjoys (Dear George, please kill these characters off forthwith), and nearly threw the book against the wall whenever Jaime and Cersei’s viewpoint chapters failed to move the plot along whatsoever (I love you, Jaime, but fulfill the prophecy and kill you sis already). It was ridiculous the level to which the plot kept being bogged down with endless characters giving endless history lessons and no one doing anything.

To me, Samwell Tarley’s storyline was the only one with proper character development, emotional stakes, and a plot period. Sam’s never been one of my favorite characters, but I found myself longing for his chapters in A Feast for Crows because I wanted to know what happened next to he and Gilly on their journey to Oldtown. I can’t say I looked forward to reading any other character in this entire book and that’s a shame.

What A Feast of Crows really needed was a heavy hand when it came to editing. So much of this book felt unnecessary and indulgent. I understand that some fantasy readers might love the breadth of his worldbuilding, but George R. R. Martin allowed backstory to bog down his actual story and it was problematic. If George R. R. Martin had cut a significant chunk of this book or simply consolidated chapters (which he absolutely could have done), it could have combined with A Dance of Dragons–which I can only assume has it’s fair share of filler too.  I’ve always been of the opinion that splitting one book or movie into two leads to trouble (hello, The Hobbit films and Connie Willis’ All Clear series), and A Feast of Crows did not change that opinion.

Now, it might sound like I absolutely loathed A Feast for Crows, but I didn’t. I still fangirled over Jaime even when his story went nowhere and I worried about Sansa, wishing for her to be reunited with Tyrion. I even adored the last one hundred pages and whooped with joy when Cersei finally got some comeuppance. I love these characters and their stories so much that I would absolutely struggle through all manner of Greyjoy chapters for their sake. I just wish I didn’t have to.

Who is your favorite Game of Thrones character? Do you struggle through these books for their sake too?