Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Review- Firsts (Laurie Elizabeth Flynn)



Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.


My Review 

Firsts is a difficult novel to review. While I went into this expecting something light (think along the lines of Easy A with Emma Stone), it actually presented some hard to swallow topics. The writing itself was god enough to keep me reading, and the story was ‘entertaining’ for lack of a better word.

The idea of the book seemed a little far-fetched when I first read the synopsis, but the more I read the more I could see how a young person may get themselves into this type of situation. I’m not saying that it’s a common occurrence in today’s youth (although what the hell do I know, really) but I feel that many teens, male and female develop warped views of sex and sexuality. 

"Virginity is supposed to be something a girl gives up only when she is ready and feels comfortable, something a girl discusses at length with her friends and flip-flops over a million times in her mind before actually doing it. A guy is expected to be born ready."
- Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (Firsts)

Now Mercedes, didn’t exactly go about things the right way. The issue I have with what she did, is not that she was having sex (or even the fact that she was doing it with other people’s boyfriends- although I highly frown upon that), I mean at least she was practicing safe sex…right? The problem in question is that she only thought she was doing it for herself, when really it was an escape, just like alcoholics use booze in attempt to gain control over an aspect of their life, Mercedes used sex. The truth is, she really had no control over it, and she was doing it for all the wrong reasons despite telling herself differently. Add to the fact that teen boys can’t keep their mouth shut after they get laid and you have a whole range of problems ahead.

The doorbell rings and I sink into a heap on the carpet. With any luck, whoever is down there will just go away.  But I’m just starting to think nothing goes away, no matter how deep you try to bury it. 
- Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (Firsts)

In contrast to the heavy topic and the drama inevitably surrounding Mercedes once the shit hit the fan (because obviously it’s going to… no spoiler here), some really important themes around friendship and relationships are presented. Not just romantic relationships either, Mercedes and her mum’s tumultuous relationship plays an important part in many of Mercedes decisions, along with her lack of a father figure. 

Overall, this is an eye opening book. In a way it teaches us to be responsible for our own happiness, and that seeking solace through other means rather than facing the real issue is the equivalent to putting a band aid on a severed limb. 

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Series Review- Y- The Last Man (Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra & José Marzán Jr)

Y: The Last Man #23


"Y" is none other than unemployed escape artist Yorick Brown (his father was a Shakespeare buff), and he's seemingly the only male human left alive after a mysterious plague kills all Y-chromosome carriers on earth. But why are he and his faithful companion, the often testy male monkey Ampersand, still alive?

He sets out to find the answer (and his girlfriend), while running from angry female Republicans (now running the government), Amazon wannabes that include his own sister (seemingly brainwashed), and other threats. The Vertigo team of Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and José Marzán Jr. have given us a great read!


My Review 

This is a graphic novel of epic proportions… but I wouldn’t expect any less from the man that brought us Saga.

In the first volume we are introduced to Yorick our main man (literally). He’s in his early 20’s and like many of us is having trouble ‘adulting’ and getting his life together. Beth, his college girlfriend has just moved to Australia to continue her passion for anthropology, and while Yorick struggles to find his way after college, he keeps himself occupied with his escape magic (think Houdini) and a pet capuchin who he is training to be a helper monkey.

So anyway on the  July 17, 2002 all the men in the entire world die, and not in a slow way so anyone can find out what’s wrong or do something to preserve the human race, I’m talking bleeding out of every orifice dead within seconds kind of death…you know except for Yorick. Who is the last remaining man on Earth… and so begins our journey.

Yorick’s ultimate goal is to find Beth and reunite with her. However these things aren’t as easy as they seem, being the last man on earth comes with its challenges. There are Amazons; an extreme feminist group of woman seeking out to destroy anything in relation to men, Israeli soldiers who want Yorick as a spoil of war, secret society agents, really horny woman and obviously the weight of the worlds future on your shoulders since you’re the only one left with a Y chromosome.

So I completely loved this series. Not only is Yorick an endearing character that you come to love, but you also become very attached to all the secondary characters. The main plot delves and dives bringing in more characters including threats and allies. It’s a great story of a ‘boys’ transition to manhood, in an epic setting.

My final words are READ THIS NOW. 

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 11 April 2016

ARC Review- Paper Girls Vol 1 (Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang & Matthew Wilson)

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan


In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

My Review 

* Many thanks to the publisher for providing me this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

As soon as I saw this up for grabs on Netgalley I had to read it. As a huge fan of Brian K. Vaughan I was undoubtedly not disappointed with his latest graphic novel series.

The story centres around 4 pre-teen girls who all have paper runs. Early post Halloween morning in the year 1988, they all run into one another and stumble upon some freaky stuff… and I’m not talking Halloween freaky, I’m talking pterodactyls flying in the sky, disappearing adults and time-travellers.

While the premise had a lot going on, with many elements coming in to play, there were a few instances where I yearned for more explanation as to what was going on or a little more backstory. But what I’ve learnt is that Vaughan is all about the slow reveal. The artwork on the other hand was spot on. I was a huge fan of the stylization and colour tones/palette.

While it was not my favourite work of Vaughan’s, this series has a lot of potential and I can’t wait for future instalments. 

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Quarterly Challenge Update (Jan- March)

So it's that time of year, where I post a little update on how I'm coming along with my challenges for the year and ...So far, so good. I'm pretty happy with my progress so far this year, I'm falling a little behind on my Audiobook challenge, but I've got some upcoming books I intend on listening to. I'm also keeping on track for my Goodreads challenge of 75 books this year. So all-round I'm pretty stoked.

How are you guys doing on your challenges thus far?

Flights Of Fantasy 2016

My Goal: 10 Books

The Accident Season (Moira Fowley- Doyle)
The Winner's Curse (Marie Rutkoski)
The Winner's Crime (Marie Rutkoski)

Completed: 3/10

2016 Audiobook Challenge

My Goal: 5 Books

All The Bright Places (Jennifer Niven) 

Completed: 1/5

2016 TBR Pile Challenge

My Goal: 20 Books

Since You've Been Gone (Morgan Matson)
The Art of Lainey (Paula Stokes)
The Accident Season (Moira Fowley- Doyle)
We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)
Last Year's Mistake (Gina Ciocca)
Pivot Point (Kasie West)
Split Second (Kasie West)
The Winner's Curse (Marie Rutkoski)
The Winner's Crime (Marie Rutkoski)
All The Bright Places (Jennifer Niven)

Completed: 10/20

How are you guys doing on your challenges thus far

Sunday, 3 April 2016

March Wrap Up

March went by in a flash. To think that we are already a quarter through the year is crazy. Anyway, works been kicking my butt this past month and I've been watching more telly than reading as a way of winding down. But I think I haven't done too bad, I finished a graphic novel series (review to come soon) and read two ARC's + a 2016 debut author release. 


   Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn  Pivotal Moments by Trinity Hanrahan  Dreaming of Antigone by Robin Bridges
Y by Brian K. VaughanY by Brian K. VaughanY by Brian K. Vaughan

First things first, I completed Y- The Last Man (Brian K. Vaughn) so points to me. I truly enjoyed this series, although the ending was rather bittersweet. Overall though I would highly recommend this to fans of Brian K Vaughns other series Saga.

I read and reviewed two ARC's as well this month. Pivotal Moments and Dreaming of Antigone. Pivotal Moments was a so-so read for me. It just didnt really stand out from the other many contemporaries out there. Dreaming of Antigone kept me turning the pages the whole time, the characters were complex and there were some big twists I didn't see coming.

Firsts, is a hard one to describe. I enjoyed it for the most part, but its hard to describe exactly how I feel about it. There are definitely some hard issues raised in this book and there are certain scenes that are difficult to read.

Up Next In April

 Emmy & Oliver The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)  The Scorpio Races

So this is all I have planned for April, I feel like I'm just going to see where the mood takes me this month. 

What books did You read in the Month of March?  Which was your favorite? 

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