Friday, June 29, 2018

ARC Review: Heroine's Journey by Sarah Kuhn

36606133Title: Heroine's Journey
Series: Heroine Complex #3
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Source/Format: Netgalley; eARC
More Details: Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: DAW; July 3, 2018

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

The final book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series completes the "Heroic Trio" as Bea Tanaka joins her sister, Evie, and diva Aveda Jupiter in their quest to free San Francisco from its demon portal problem...

If there's one thing Beatrice Tanaka never wanted to be, it's normal. But somehow, her life has unfolded as a series of "should haves." Her powers of emotional projection should have made her one of the most formidable superheroes of all time. And she should have been allowed to join her older sister Evie as a full-fledged protector of San Francisco, pulverizing the city's plethora of demon threats.

But Evie and her superheroing partner, Aveda Jupiter, insist on seeing Bea as the impulsive, tempestuous teenager she used to be--even though she's now a responsible adult. And that means Bea is currently living a thoroughly normal life. She works as a bookstore lackey, hangs out with best friends Sam Fujikawa and Leah Kim, and calms her workplace's more difficult customers. Sure, she's not technically supposed to be playing with people's mental states. But given the mundanity of her existence, who can blame her?

When a mysterious being starts communicating with Bea, hinting at an evil that's about to overtake the city, she seizes the opportunity, hoping to turn her "should haves" into the fabulous heroic life she's always wanted. But gaining that life may mean sacrificing everything--and everyone--she holds dear...
Heroine’s Journey didn’t disappoint me in any way. This book was as awesome as I was hoping it would be. In fact, it far surpassed my expectations. The story basically followed Bea on her quest to become a superhero like her sister. It was easy to get drawn into the story, because right from the start, there was this perfect balance between supernatural, superhero, mystery, and even some romantic elements. This book accomplished all of that with the same charm and whit that made the last two books so enjoyable. Needless to say, I was hooked.

One of the most appealing aspects of this series has always been the characters. They made the story, and it was no different in this book. There was a lot of character development done for Evie, Nate, Aveda, and of course, Bea. Heroine’s Journey is best described as a journey. It was as much a book about self-discovery as it was about being a superhero and what that really meant to Bea. It all tied together. In that way, Kuhn nailed the human aspect behind the capes and signature costumes—behind the superpowers and crime fighting.

I'm glad that there was finally a story from Bea's perspective, because it's by far my favorite of the series. One reason was that it delved more into the complicated relationship she had with her older sister, Evie. It was something that was always present in the stories, but it was from everyone else's perspective except for Bea. Bea and Evie had their share of issues. There was everything from communication shortfalls, misunderstandings, and some issues caused by outside factors. And I liked the fact that Heroine’s Journey centered on that and expanded on what was already established. I also liked how the conflicts were handled, because Kuhn didn’t shy away from writing  difficult, messy, and emotional conversations. And it was great.

The secondary characters—like Rose, Leah, Shruti, Lucy, and others—were also cool. They weren’t just part of the background. I liked them mostly because they were so individual and interesting. They felt like proper characters with personality and backstories separate from that of the main character.

And while I was happy with how Heroine’s Journey ended, there were some lingering mysteries and potential for other stories. All in all, Heroine’s Journey was a fantastic read. Kuhn is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and I look forward to reading whatever she writes next. And if you enjoyed any of the books in this series, then Heroine's Journey is a must read.
About the author...

Sarah Kuhn is the author of Heroine Complex—the first in a series starring Asian American superheroines—for DAW Books. She also wrote The Ruby Equation for the comics anthology Fresh Romance and the romantic comedy novella One Con Glory, which earned praise from io9 and USA Today and is in development as a feature film. Her articles and essays on such topics as geek girl culture, comic book continuity, and Sailor Moon cosplay have appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine,,, Back Stage, The Hollywood Reporter,, Creative Screenwriting, and the Hugo-nominated anthology Chicks Dig Comics. In 2011, she was selected as a finalist for the CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) New Writers Award.

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by DAW via NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I'm Now On Instagram...

I’m now on Instagram 

It’s taken me a while to set up an account, because initially I didn’t know what I would really want to do with it. Then I decided that I would use it similar to how I blog on Our Thoughts Precisely: posting a little bit of anything that interests me. So, there'll be pictures of books, art, items I’ve recently  bought, and so on. So yeah, I’m now on Instagram. There’s nothing much yet, but you can check out my profile HERE...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Music Monday (48): Panic! At The Disco

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Excuse me, Pray for the Wicked by Panic! At The Disco is finally here. It was one of my most highly anticipated albums of 2018, and my hype for it only grew with every song that was released prior to June 22. I've essentially listened to it on repeat since then, because I love it! So, today, I’m going to mention just two of my favorite songs from Pray for the Wicked. The first one is King of the Clouds. I adore this song. It’s so good!

The second song is Roaring 20s. The name of it is so fitting. The energy and sound of this song is not only awesome but also catchy. It strongly reminds me of electric swing music. I dig it....

Pray for the Wicked is one of my favorite albums by Panic! At The Disco. If you’re a fan of this band and haven’t listened to it yet, well, what are you waiting for? I highly recommend it....

Have you listened to any music by Panic! At The Disco? If so, what's your favorite song by them? Also, what are you listening to this week?

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Friday 56 (134) & Book Beginnings: Art Deco by Victoria Charles & Klaus H. Carl

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.

8879754Synopsis from Goodreads...

Art Deco style was established on the ashes of a disappeared world, the one from before the First World War, and on the foundation stone of a world yet to become, opened to the most undisclosed promises. Forgetting herself in the whirl of Jazz Age and the euphoria of the “AnnĂ©es Folles”, the Garçonne with her linear shape reflects the architectural style of Art Deco: to the rounded curves succeed the simple and plain androgynous straight line… Architecture, painting, furniture and sculpture, dissected by the author, proclaim the druthers for sharp lines and broken angles. Although ephemeral, this movement keeps on influencing contemporary design

Beginning: "Decorative and industrial arts, like all forms of art, are an expression of life itself: they evolve with the times and with moral or material demands to which they must respond."

56: "The monumental staircase and the hall designed by Charles Letrosne were to lend themselves to large and brilliant ceremonies."

Comments: I'm reading about art deco this week. I was thinking about doing a painting inspired by it, but then I also wanted to know more about the it. My beginning is from the introduction, and my 56 is from page 58. What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mid-Year Resolution Check-In

It’s hard to believe that it’s already more than halfway through the month of June. So much has happened and half the year is basically gone. I got summoned for Jury duty at the beginning of June—although I was only on standby, and there went most of that week. I haven’t been reading as much as I thought I would. However, I've done other stuff like finishing the first draft of a novella. So I figured that now was as good a time as any to check my blogging goals and see where I’m at with them....

  • Finish a sketchbook… 
I have not finished my current sketchbook. I’ve made steady progress on it but am nowhere near done with it. That’s perfectly fine since I’m not trying to rush myself along, and it’s a big sketchbook with plenty of pages. I have noticed that I’m having an easier time sitting down and making quick sketches, which I’m happy about. Other than that, I might make or buy a smaller sketchbook so that this goal is a little more manageable. I have watched a couple of book binding tutorials so I might go with the DIY option since it would be easier to personalize it to the exact specifications I want (for the cover and paper combination).

  • Finish more series… 
Well, I haven't finished more than one series in the past two months or so. In fact, I’ve done the exact opposite and started a lot of new series. In my defense, there have been a lot of books that I’ve wanted to read including Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex series (the third book will be out in July). So, I haven’t really finished as many series as I would have liked to, but I’m still working on it.

  • Actually read some poetry… 
For the past two months, I haven’t read any poetry. After a handful of misses, I decided to put this goal on the backburner. I also had a hard time writing reviews for the poetry books I didn’t enjoy, because it’s such a hard thing to critique. More often than not, I didn’t end up writing anything about them and moved on to books I was more likely to enjoy. That being said, poetry is something I’ll eventually return to but just not right now.

  • Allow more flexibility with the blog… 
Out of all my blogging goals, this one is the one I’ve had the easiest time with. I came into 2018 with the mindset of not stressing out over how many books I’m reading, or how many reviews I’ve written. I was also willing to adjust the style, function, and schedule whenever I need to—that's why the general look of the blog got overhauled, the ever broadening range of post types, and the more frequent week-long breaks. 

So, that’s where I’m at with my blogging goals for the year. I’m not disappointed. What were some of your 2018 resolutions? Have you accomplished anything?
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