Currently reading: comics! ALL the comics!

Because San Diego Comic Con’s happening, Marvel’s got a discount going on for their Marvel Unlimited thingy. Normally it’s $9.99/month, but from now until July 29th you can get one month for $0.99! I’ve signed up and I’ve been reading ALL THE COMICS and basically August will now be comicbook month at HTBB.

Marvel Unlimited works best when you’ve got a tablet, patience, an internet connection, and recommendations on what to read.

Here’s my recommendations! And then…

5 books to enjoy with tea

5 books tea teacup pot
Tea books are like beach books! Only you read them with a refreshing beverage in hand instead of trying to keep sand from going up your crevices. They’re books you can snuggle into like a cozy blanket made of awesome; they’re comforting, but not in a boring way.

Here’s five of my favorite tea books, along with recommended tea companion. I picked all the teas using Stash Tea’s website, not because I’m getting paid for it but because their descriptions are adorable.

sylvester wicked uncle georgette heyer1. Sylvester by Georgette Heyer (my review)

Rank, wealth, and elegance are no match for a young lady who writes novels…

Sylvester, Duke of Salford, has exacting requirements for a bride. Then he meets Phoebe Marlow, a young lady with literary aspirations, and suddenly life becomes very complicated. She meets none of his criteria, and even worse, she has written a novel that is sweeping through the ton and causing all kinds of gossip… and he’s the main character!

Companion tea: Black Forest Black Tea: “Rich chocolate and cherry flavors, hibiscus, and black tea combine to create a dessert tea with all the decadence of Black Forest Cake, without the guilt.”
This is basically a comedy masquerading as a gothic novel, so I figured a dessert tea pretending to be something dark and mysterious would be a perfect match! And then…

REVIEW: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

REVIEW: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn DolamoreDark Metropolis (Dark Metropolis #1) by Jaclyn Dolamore
Published by Disney-Hyperion (2014), ARC, 304pg
Filed under: Fantasy, Fiction, GLBTQ, Sci-fi, Young Adult
Got my copy from: ALA 2014
Buy your own copy at Amazon or BookDepository (affiliate links | info) or add it to your Goodreads shelf

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Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don't always seem to stay that way.

This was the first book I read coming back from ALA Annual, and YAY! It was so good!

First, it has flappers. Stick a flapper in a book and I will read immediately want to read it, no questions asked.1 Because Dark Metropolis is a fantasy-land/dystopian mix, there’s less glitz and glamour than you’d expect from a pseudo-1920s book, but it totally works. It’s a dark metropolis, gritty and hazy with broken promises; these are dark flappers, like if Siouxsie Sioux had a baby with a disco ball. And then…

REVIEW: The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist

REVIEW: The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny LundquistThe Princess in the Opal Mask (The Opal Mask #1) by Jenny Lundquist
Published by Running Press Kids (2013), eBook, 352pg
Filed under: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
Got my copy from: Bought
Buy your own copy at Amazon or BookDepository (affiliate links | info) or add it to your Goodreads shelf

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Every Fairy-Tale Ending Has a Price. . . .

Orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, Elara is determined to learn her true identity, even if it means wielding a dagger. Meanwhile, in Galandria's royal capital, Princess Wilha stands out as someone to either worship or fear. Though no one knows why the king has always made her conceal her face--including Wilha herself.

When an assassination attempt threatens the peace of neighboring kingdoms, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face . . . with a chance at claiming new identities. However, with dark revelations now surfacing, both girls will need to decide if brighter futures are worth the binding risks.

I bought this book because of Clare’s review! Go read Clare’s review because it is very well-written.

Unfortunately, I had an almost completely different experience from her! First, the good:
1. the cover.
2. princess(es)!
3. court intrigue kinda? And then…

Currently reading: Essential X-men Vol. 2

essential x-men instagramI’ve been marathon-listening to Rachel and Miles X-plain the X-men during my commute, and it’s given me a hankering for superhero comics! The last episode I listened to talked about a few good ways to start reading the X-men series, one of which was to pick up the Essential X-men collections. They’re basically black-and-white reprints bound into hardcover. My library had Essential X-men Vol. 2, so I decided to start there!

It’s SO GREAT. It’s silly and melodramatic, but in an amazingly entertaining way. I’m super glad I listened the podcasts beforehand, though, because it prepared me for what to expect character and plot wise. And it prepared me for Chris Claremont’s writing, too! I love picking out the various things I learned from the podcast– like CC’s mean narrator voice, and Professor X being a terrible mentor.

So I definitely recommend listening to the Rachel and Miles!

Downsides: I do miss having color pages, if only because late 1970s comics clothing is a thing of terrible beauty. Sean Cassidy’s horrible plaid pants! I CAN’T.

What’re you reading this weekend? And then…

REVIEW: The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian Farrey

REVIEW: The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian FarreyThe Vengekeep Prophecies (The Vengekeep Prophecies #1) by Brian Farrey
Published by Harper Collins (2012), Hardcover, 400pg
Filed under: Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade
Got my copy from: Library
Buy your own copy at Amazon or BookDepository (affiliate links | info) or add it to your Goodreads shelf

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“You can’t convict what you can’t confirm.” That’s the motto of 12-year-old Jaxter Grimjinx and his infamous family of thieves. And while Jaxter may not have his father’s burglary prowess, his mother’s forgery skills, or his little sister’s mastery of sleight-of-hand, his book-fed knowledge of non-magical solutions to magical problems makes him invaluable to the family’s heists.

But the Grimjinxes may have pulled one con too many in their hometown, Vengekeep. After swapping the prophetic tapestry used to guide Vengekeep’s actions for a fake concocted by Jaxter’s mother, the Grimjinxes are stunned when the false prophecies begin coming true, bringing destruction in their wake.

Suddenly, Vengekeep is besieged by “natural” disasters and rampaging monsters, courtesy of the secretly enchanted counterfeit tapestry. With his family forced to stay and combat the impending doom, Jaxter must leave his hometown in search of a way to keep the increasingly dangerous prophecies from wiping Vengekeep off the map.

Things that make me happy:
1. Brett Helquist’s illustrations.
2. Con artist families.
3. Con artists turning into heroes.
4. Con artists going on adventures and getting into trouble.

So it’s no surprise that I loved The Vengekeep Prophecies, as it’s got ALL THOSE THINGS. It’s almost as if it were written specifically for me! And then…

REVIEW: The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

REVIEW: The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily KoppelThe Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
Published by Grand Central Publishing (2013), Hardcover, 288pg
Filed under: Adult, Biography, History, Non-Fiction
Got my copy from: Library
Buy your own copy at Amazon or BookDepository (affiliate links | info) or add it to your Goodreads shelf

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As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons.

Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFK's favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a secret. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, meeting regularly to provide support and friendship. Many became next-door neighbors and helped to raise each other's children by day, while going to glam parties at night as the country raced to land a man on the Moon.

As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragic death began to touch their lives-they continued to rally together, and the wives have now been friends for more than fifty years. THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.

I love space! I love people who study space, people who go out into space, people who send other people out into space to study it, etc. etc. You hand me anything involving space ships, aliens, or intergalactic flight, and I am THERE.1

I’m particularly into the early space stuff, from the 1940-1970s. The Astronaut Wives Club, on the surface, seemed like something I’d be into because it covers that time period AND it’s about an aspect of humanity’s history with space that gets overlooked. It’s about the women married to the dudes who went out into space! Should be awesome, right?

Well…not so much. And then…