Book Challenge: A Book that Surprised You

Wow! Another post! Go me! Better late than never, right?.

For #grimdragon, A book that surprised me! At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson @shauniedarko

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Ozzie’s boyfriend Tommy is missing and Ozzie’s family and friends’ memories of Tommy have vanished. He tries to look for Tommy, but no one remembers who Tommy is and Ozzie soon learns the universe is also shrinking.

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So much surprised me about this book! I thought it would be a Sci-fi mystery, but it was so much more. Ozzie’s persistence in finding Tommy and the imminent loss of the shrinking universe before Ozzie could find him made the story compelling, but what surprised me (in a good way) was how much I became invested in the characters–they were such important figures in Ozzie’s life and I loved how that came through in the story as Ozzie tries to figure out what happened to Tommy.

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Another aspect that I enjoyed in the story was how seamless diversity was represented through race and sexuality in the characters’ identities. Ozzie is gay, Tommy is gay and biracial, Lua (Ozzie’s best friend) is gender fluid, Dustin (Ozzie’s other friend) is asexual and Chinese-American, and Calvin (possible love interest) is bisexual. But their race and gender is not what defines them—it’s just part of who they are.

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This was such a fantastic read! I highly recommend this for readers 14 years and up though. At the Edge of the Universe was about heartbreak and learning how to cope—this story was definitely gritty and raw at times. I also want to mention trigger warnings for sexual abuse/child abuse, self-harm, and some graphic violence. You can scroll down to see the Goodreads summary about this book. 

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What are some books that surprised you?


 

Book Challenge: Last Read/Current Read/Next Read

Hello! Hey! My goal is to get back to a regular posting schedule since summer is winding down and school starts next week here. I’m trying to stay optimistic but history has shown that things get even more busy once school starts! We’ll see!😄.
For #grimdragon Challenge on Instagram, Last read/Current read/Next read! Pretty much the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne have been my life this past month and a half. I finished The Providence of Fire last week and I’m currently reading The Last Mortal Bond. My next read will be Skullsworn (which I still need to get!) If you enjoy high fantasy with incredible world building, some intrigue and dynamic characters, you’ll love this series! If you like Joe Abercrombie or Brandon Sanderson’s books, this is perfect for you.

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I’ll have more to say on this series once I’m finished, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to love this. I also have Holly @the_infinite_book_dragon and Corey @grimdark_dad to thank for introducing this series to me. These are some of my favorite humans here on BG and they have the best recs for Adult SFF/Horror! Check them out and give them a follow or check out the challenge they host #grimdragon for more recs by other fantastic humans. 

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How was your Monday? What are you reading? We watched the eclipse online since we were outside the path of totality. Pretty cool! Then we gave the kids haircuts. They go back to school next week! Parenting pro tip: If your kid(s) needs a haircut, make sure to do it a week in advance so that’s there’s time for it to grow out a little. That lesson was learned with the oldest. The younger siblings got to benefit from that lesson. 😏😄

Current read at the beach!

Hellooooo! How are you all doing? I hope you’re all having a fantastic summer! It’s been really busy here, but it’s been a great summer so far!.

The quick and dirty: I finished writing my book, had to pack for a camping trip, organize house for fumigation while on camping trip, go camping, clean up house after fumigation and then do mountains of laundry from camping trip. 😵

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Things are settling down and we’re enjoying a beach day. This is my #currentread Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo @kerrimaniscalco and I’m enjoying it so much! I love Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell is fighting to be my book boyfriend and is winning.

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How is your summer? What are you currently reading? I hope you have a fabulous Friday!

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Supernatural Funko Pops and The Demon’s Lexicon

Any Supernatural fans here? We’re long time fans but took a break when kids happened and we just started catching up on the show. We’re currently on season 8 and loving it but the feels! 😭I wish the Winchester boys could get a break!😢.

My SIL recommended The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Reese Brennan because she said it was a lot like Supernatural. Two brothers whose father is dead and whose mother is crazy but who is also being hunted by demons hired by magicians? YES PLEASE. Sounds like I’d enjoy this a lot!

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I may have also put this post together to show off my Dean and Sam Funkos. 😏 Dean came up as a deal on Amazon Prime Day for $8 so I said take my money and of course I had to get Sam too! Also featured are a bookmark, tattoos, and a Dean and Sam sticker from the Supernatural @nerdy.post.

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Random fact: My son is named after Dean and my youngest was almost named Sam but we went with Sophie instead after Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle. #nerdparentsrepresent

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Scroll through to see close ups of Sam and Dean and @nerdy.post swag. Also, I’ve included the Goodreads summary for The Demon’s Lexicon in the last slide.

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Anyone read this yet? Who’s your favorite Supernatural character?

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Happy Sunday! I hope you’ve all had a fantastic weekend! Our date night for our anniversary turned out to be a family night that involved Funkos, books, and froyo which actually was a lot of fun. I managed to pick up some SDCC exclusive Funko Pops that I’m excited to share with you guys soon! (I can’t believe how many Funkos I bought this month.🙈)

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Owlcrate Unboxing: July “Make it Out Alive” 

I got some fantastic book mail today! My July @owlcrate arrived and I can’t wait to share it with you. I realized I hadn’t shared my June Owlcrate and thought this is the perfect time. Last month’s theme was Make it Out Alive! Such a fantastic box!.

I’m so excited for last month’s book The Sandcastle Empire. It’s a YA dystopia story about survival in a world taken over by a revolutionary group. We were lucky to also get a second book from @oftomes New World Rising. I’ve had my eye on this book for a while and was thrilled to receive it in last month’s Owlcrate.

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And the goodies? I love the gorgeous double sided ACOWAR bookmark by Hey Atlas Creative @treehouseofbooks. The zombie sleep mask cracks me up! And The Giver patch nearly had me crying because I used to read The Giver with my students which I really enjoyed doing. Of course, being trash for Sabaa Tahir, my favorite item was the Ember in the Ashes inspired magnet “Fear is your enemy only if you allow it to be” designed by @littleinklingdesigns! I love Megan’s handlettered bookmarks and was happy to have this! Make sure to scroll down to see close-ups of the goodies!

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The July theme was Wanderlust and friends, I don’t know how Korinna does it, but every month she always gives me something I’m hoping for and sometimes things I didn’t know until I got it in an Owlcrate! This month one of my most anticipating releases was included and I nearly died when I saw it. I can’t wait to share it with you!

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Happy Friday! I hope your week was good and that you have fun plans for the weekend! Today is our wedding anniversary (16 years). We’re going to have date night Saturday to see Spider-Man and afterward (hopefully) try some ice-cream tacos!

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What’s your most anticipated read this year? What are your plans for the weekend?

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Jane Austen: 200 year anniversary!

It’s actually been a while since I posted about Jane Austen and in case you didn’t know, she’s one of my favorite authors of all time! She got me through my first year teaching and during that time my father passed away, so she also has a sentimental place in my heart..

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of hers and got me into writing fanfic and eventually pursuing my dream to becoming a published author.

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I was able to visit her home Chawton Cottage and saw the little writing desk where she wrote her novels in secret. She wrote during the Regency era in England when women’s standing in society was restricted to respectable positions–being a writer was not respectable for a woman, but she wrote anyway and 200 years later we are still reading her books!

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Notable facts: July 18, 1817 marked the anniversary of her death. She was 41 when she died. While she was alive, she published four novels which were noted to be “By A Lady”. After her death, two more of her novels were published and those were published under her name.

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Do you have a favorite Austen novel? Which author inspires you?

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Book friends are the best friends! Wonder Woman Anthology 

So here’s more on how awesome this book community is! I had posted on my Story on Instagram weeks ago that I was going to see the Wonder Woman movie and my friend Renee @bookishblissandbeauty chatted about the movie which lead to the comics and it turns out Renee is a fan and also quite the comic book reader! I was so happy to talk about Wonder Woman and her history with Renee and how comic books feel like they’re becoming more accessible–at least for me. My current favorites are Ms. Marvel and Saga because I can identify with the characters in these stories..

A few days later, I received a package from Renee with these comics that she thought I’d enjoy! I already had Squirrel Girl and Monstress on my TBR and so I was thrilled to see the first issues included here. I was also touched by the handmade card she included! I’m so grateful to have found you Renee!

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After seeing the movie and talking with Renee, I found this Wonder Woman collection at Costco (Renee highly recommended the artist from this collection) and of course I also had to pick up some Wonder Woman Funkos too! I’m including a brief flip through of the graphic novel of you’re interested in getting a peak at the art.

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I’m always looking for comic/graphic novel recommendations! Let me know in the comments some of your favorites! And if you’re not following Renee @bookishblissandbeauty, please visit her and give her a follow! She’s amazing and very sweet!

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Hope you’re all have a fabulous Monday!

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