Saturday, April 9, 2016

"Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman


Rating: 

It's been days since I have checked out this book and the reason some may be wondering why am I reading all these children picture books is because I have recently been cleaning up my TBR pile on Goodreads and I've noticed that I have this huge chunk of children's books that either needs to be deleted or read so I've been checking it out from my local library.

I read this book when my six-year old cousin and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing him laugh throughout the book especially since he finds it absurd for a baby bird to think a cow or even a dog could be a baby birds mother. Hearing him laugh made this book stand out for me and while this book is not 5 stars material for me, I still highly recommend reading this book to children. The book deals about a mother bird who panics when she realizes that her baby bird is going to hatch from its egg soon.

Immediately she sets off towards providing food for the bird and when it hatches the bird tries to find his mother since she is no where to be found and tries to fly the nest which unfortunately the baby bird's wings are not fully efficient and crashes to the ground and wonders toward looking for his mother and stumbles along the way to meet different animals who it mistakes for as their mother. 

I believe children books are for all ages because odds are a parent is reading a book to their child and that is their special quality bonding time and the book is suppose to entertain your kids but connect with each other on a human level which is a reason why we must keep reading children books when we are older and no longer toddlers. For a second I thought Dr. Seuss wrote this book but it's interesting to learn that someone else wrote this simple story. The illustrations are basic compare to Dr. Seuss but nonetheless fun to read.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 04: The Heart's Desire by Robert Kirkman


Rating: 

If you guys think these characters have lost their marbles before wait till you read this volume! It is exciting to witness how we are still in the beginning phases of this series and already we have seen death, chaos, and madness when it comes to these characters, their loved ones, and the consequences of their action.

The comic begins where Dexter (the murderer) wants the gang to leave the prison and has them on gunpoint and while his actions may seem insane he forgot one single component which is when he found the guns he forgot that the entire prison hasn't been swept so a massive army of Zombies have escaped and now the gang has to fight them and in-between that drama Rick kills Dexter in order to save the gang. This is crucial detail because it will haunt him by the end of this volume! His actions are justifiable and would have done the same thing but I believe all these killings have taken a toll on him and everyone else.

After that incident everything becomes fine and dandy except for a new character that enters this story and causes drama. She knows how to kill Zombies well without using guns and wants to live in the prison for sanctuary which was granted except she cannot have any weapons and has to live in a jail cell which is nothing compare to being on the road for months killing zombies 24/7. Immediately while being in the prison she has the hots for Tyreese and with her special skills goes down on him. He doesn't fight and essentially he ruined his relationship with his girlfriend and all hell breaks loose.

Rick and Tyreese get into a nasty fight over how Ricks killings are justifiable compare to Tyreese who has essentially murdered people out of anger. The fight becomes deadly and Rick almost died from it and after that nasty fight the group decides to make a committee that will have equal power and responsibility of making the rules, enforcing them, and trying to be civil in a savage world. The gang is afraid of Rick for murdering Dexter and lying to them and Rick gives an eloquent speech saying to go fu%%@$#k themselves and stop living this fantasy that we will all be saved and everything will go back to normal.

I do not know but I agree wholehearted with Rick and while these responsibilities of being a leader has taken a toll on him, his actions are justifiable and at the very end I wanted to smack everyone who disagreed with him. Living in this dystopian society is not easy but it is interesting how false hope can do wonders for people and how ignorant they have been while pursing this dream of salvation. The salvation is themselves for trying to maintain order and survival until they die and Rick made the connection that they are the Walking Dead since the moment they die they become Zombies.

I have no clue where this series is heading and thats what I love about the Walking Dead. In one volume they can cram months or even years to one issue and we see the effects the Zombies have damaged them in the progression of time since the Apocalypse. I would like to know desperately what caused this epidemic and hopefully these series continues to be phenomenal compare to other graphic novels that should have quit by the 10th volume (*Cough Cough Fables Cough Cough*). 

Until next time on The Walking Dead...

Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall


Rating: 

When it comes to this book I have mixed feelings because the message that the author was trying to illustrate in this book failed to grasp my attention and made it seem this book was similar to "The Days the Crayons Quit". I did not read the description of this book before reading it and I believe whether or not someone did it still wouldn't have change the outcome of this story.

We meet this Red Crayon that for some apparent reason is coloring Blue and not Red. Teachers, parents, and family members try to encourage the Red crayon to start coloring red but no avail and at a certain point the Red Crayon discovers that you can't change who you are and discovers that it's perfectly normal to draw with the color Blue and they live happily ever after. The End.

Forget the hidden meaning at first, in my imagination I'm figuring well if the Red crayon is drawing Blue then clearing they put the wrong label on the crayon and they should fix it. Then I smacked my head and realize that this story deals with LGBT people and this made me angry. I have nothing against teaching kids about LGBT and how theres nothing wrong with being Straight but this book failed to deliver. I do not believe children would understand the hidden meaning behind this story and there is so many creative ways to illustrate that you are born different when it comes to being attracted to someone compare to this story. I'm sorry for my rant but the story doesn't make sense because if you are a crayon labeled Red but you are drawing blue then you got the wrong label but maybe I am reading this book wrong. 

I really like the illustrations and because of it and being in a good mood I rate this 4 stars instead of 3 because at the end of the day I believe children will enjoy this even though it doesn't make sense.

The Flash, Vol. 4: Reverse by Francis Manapul


Rating: 


Francis Manapul did his magic again! Applause Applause Applause!


This entire volume is a full of action-pack adventure with a mix of time traveling and kick ass fighting! It almost made me forget how awful the first volume is in terms of storyline and lack of character background. In the previous volume we get a glimpse of the Reverse Flash and this time around we get the full package as he is murdering everyone who is connected to the speed force. When Barry rescued Iris and a few other civilians who were trapped in the speed force, every one of them got the ability of super speed. 

At first Barry Allen aka the Flash thought these people who he rescued died from accidental deaths but quickly he learns that someone is killing them and possibly their next target is Iris. When Flash finally attracts the attention of Reverse Flash all hell breaks loose. We find out his whole backstory and essentially his true identity. I have to admit I was surprised and mad that I didn't figure out his identity sooner! What I love about this plot is we discover that Flash and the Reverse Flash are the same coin just different sides and I actually understand the Reverse Flash motives.

What makes a villain phenomenal besides how they don't have any limits because of their insanity is we can relate to them and possibly could have ended up like them if we dealt the same fate as these iconic characters. The Reverse Flash ability is he can go backwards in time and the main reason why he got that ability is he wants to fix all the wrongs that ruin his life and his family and while that may seem pure intention, he goes to the extreme as killing those who abuse him to have a better outcome in the future.

Every human being on this planet wishes they could go back in time and fix all the mistakes that inflicted us pain. While that may seem marvelous to fix, you never know the consequences when dealing with time and at the end of the day we learn from our mistakes. I guarantee you that most of my mistakes were dealing with boys but if I didn't experience it then I would have been gullible and too focus on the guy then taking care of myself. During that time I felt horrible and miserable but I learned that I needed to focus on myself and my self-esteem in order to learn how to love myself before investing my time into a relationship.

Enough about me and more about the Flash...

We get some juicy details about Barry Allen's past like how Iris West had the hots for Barry and they passionately kissed in Gotham before Barry dated Patty. It is obvious that Iris loves Barry and she doesn't try to seduce him yet its clear that her emotions are out in the open and whenever Barry is disguised as the Flash, it shows that deep down he cares deeply for Iris. I have a feeling that Patty is going to get killed because Barry needs to end up with Iris.

In the comics I could careless about Patty because her relationship with Barry sounds desperate like she never dreamed of being with some that is handsome like Barry and now that she is dating him she walks around eggshells hoping nothing bad will happen whereas with Iris I feel warmth and safety and I do not know if the writers have done it intentionally or not but its clear that Iris will be with Barry by the end of the series. If you wanted to talk about the tv show, while I want Barry to be with Iris, I was heartbroken when he broke up with Patty Spivot. 

Before I forget we get to meet Kid Flash from the Teen Titans which was extremely random and I hope it is not the last time we see him because I want to know about his past life, whats his connection to the Flash, and I believe he is the child of Reversible Flash. I cannot get enough of this comic and I hope the next one can live up to the high expectations of this volume!

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney


Rating: 


This was a beautiful book that taught me lessons that I thought was not possible in a children's picture book. I highly recommend everyone to read this simple story especially for little girls because this book teaches you that you do not need to listen to the rules that society dictates one must accomplish instead become a better human being and contribute something to mother nature.

This story is about a little girl named Alice who lives a normal life that of a girl in the early 20th century. She lives close to the sea which is where she helps her grandfather with his painting business and at night he would tell her stories about faraway lands and opens her mind to the unlimited possibilities of the imagination. During that time she makes a promise that she will travel to these faraway lands and her grandfather tells her that she must promise him 3 times that she must accomplish before she dies: 1. Travel to faraway places, 2. Live nearby the sea, and finally she must do something to make the world more beautiful. Simple right?

Quickly we see Alice grows up and she becomes a librarian and while she helps countless adults and children and teaching them of faraway places she hasn't traveled and following her promise she travels to exotic worlds and pretty much we see the years passed by right before our very own eyes and we see that she's now reaching her 40s-50s and she lives in a house thats right next to the ocean. The illustration is beautiful and this part of the story resonates me wholeheartedly because I've always dreamed of having a house near the sea. She thinks of different ways on how to make the world beautiful and when you read and discover what she does it is beautiful and wonderful.

What I loved the most about this story is it teaches us about the circle of life and how each generation must contribute something to help mother nature since it is vital for our survival. The other message that Barbara Cooney did marvelously is you do not need to get married and follow what society tells to women that they must get married, have children, and live happily ever after. You never see Alice being depressed about not having a boyfriend and instead you see how she sacrifices everything to pursue her freedom to travel and being an independent woman while helping the Earth.

This is one of the few books especially children's picture books that teaches the reader it is most simplistic language about spirituality, freedom, and the purpose we must fulfill on this Earth. The illustrations are great and I really enjoyed this book and it definitely should be a classic for everyone to read and discover its beauty. Can't get enough of this book!

The Flash, Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare by Francis Manapul


Rating: 

The Flash, Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare is a refreshing, entertaining, and adventurous book that only took 3 volumes to finally perfect! While I enjoyed the previous volume it still had something missing that couldn't put my finger on when reading this book and immediately I recognized that this story was coherent and I could understand the different characters, their background story was provided, and when you everything in order than the story naturally flows and gives the reason why we love comics books in the first place.

It begins immediately where the 2nd volume ends which is King Grodd has come to Central City to wreak havoc and kill the Flash. The Flash was not only having a major battle with the Rogues when Grodd came to invade but when looking at different scenarios in his speed force insight he realizes that no matter how much he fights or runs it will either end with death or destruction for Central City so he makes the decision to surrender to Grodd. Now you may be wondering why the hell is he being a wimp and giving up the fight? Well if you know a thing or two about the Flash aka Barry Allen, you know he is up to something while his mind is going by the speed of light to ensure he can defeat Grodd and protect his city.

One major character that my mind was wondering throughout the previous volumes is where is the Reverse Flash? He is the main bad guy on season 1 of the hit show and when reading that incomprehensible graphic novel Flash: Rebirth, the reverse flash is the main character against the Flash and now my questions were answered because he's witnessed what Barry has been doing inside and out of the speed force and he wants Barry to receive a can of whoop ass from a villain that he has never encounter before let alone another speedster.

I cannot wait to see the juicy drama that will reveal itself in the next volume. I applaud the illustrators because the graphics in this comic is fantastic and it always blows my mind away how quickly I get absorbed into the story especially when they found the important formulas to create a great comic book and I hope they work their magic again because I cannot get enough of the Flash! 

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

Rating: 

This is me almost 70% percent of the time while reading this book:

This story is meant for the innocent at heart regardless of age and this book illustrates how appearances are deceiving when it comes to the stereotypes we fall into because of our sex, ethnic, or career. We meet Princess Pinecone which I am guessing is living in the Vikings era and everything is going great in her life except she wants a horse that will help her become a strong warrior in battles or at least this annual contest in her village.

She makes it clear to everyone that she wants a horse and when the moment arrives on her birthday she discovers that her parents bought her a... PONY! Insert pony: 

She's disappointed at first and tries to make the best out of the situation by training the pony to become a warrior and it fails miserably. The pony farts, makes a mess in Pinecones room, and doesn't look very intelligent and when the competition begins Princess Pinecone is scared that she is going to lose but you never know what will happen when you put a pretty adorable pony in the middle of the battle.

I love the illustrations and it really made the book pop with its colors and how huge everything is from the pony to the Vikings. After reading Boot & Shoot I needed a children's book to stand out and bring life into the story and I applaud Kate Beaton for putting the hard work and accomplishing this task. It is not easy to write a children's book believe it or not and I definitely cannot wait to read more books by Kate Beaton! I definitely recommend everyone to read it especially those who love adorable looking animals.

Boot & Shoe by Marla Frazee


Rating: 


How I felt about this story? Meh.

This book is too predictable even for a little kid and the constant repetition did not help the fact that I felt as though the author simply copy and paste their writing and created a story about two dogs who looks like cats and how one squirrel stirred things up and knock them out of their usual orbit. The author literally used the same line twice when talking about the dogs and within a few pages I figured the ending out and I guarantee you children across the world will predict the ending too soon.

Why do I rate it 4 Stars and not 3? 

Good question I'll get back to you in a few years from now. In all honesty I have to admit that I really enjoyed the illustrations even though the dogs look like cats for some apparent odd reason. While the plot was predictable I still enjoyed the story even though it took me a less than 5 to finish it. Obviously picture books are extremely short and usually I can tell when a picture book is phenomenal is when the illustration and the plot gather my attention and while the plot was meh, the illustrations are great.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 03: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman


Rating: 


This volume was epic in the sense that I wish that the 2nd volume did not exist. The story has a better plot, interesting new characters, and the chaos that ensures when these characters are placed into difficult situations. We got plenty of Zombie killing action and by the end of the story it makes me regret now that I haven't picked up the next volumes from the Library!

The gang have found a new place to call sanctuary and it is a federal prison. It's humongous and while it is infested with Zombies its still manageable and could bring a ton of benefits for the group in terms of survival. The unfortunate news is they thought all the prisoners were zombies but later they discover that a group of prisoners were held cooped up in the cafeteria.

The gang are now scared because they are fearful that the criminals would murder them especially when one of them mention that he murdered his girlfriend when he found her in bed with another man. No need to worry because Rick and the crew refuse to give them weapons. Everything is fine and dandy as they clean up the place and even bring some familiar characters back to live in a better place.

Sadly for one of the characters, Tyreese, he discovers that his daughter got killed by the boyfriend because they were going to kill each other to avoid the misery that is now called life and the boyfriend pulled the trigger too soon. She dies but somehow comes back to life as a Zombie so Rick makes the connection that regardless how you die, you will be reborn as a Zombie and I believe the main reason is because what virus lead the breakout of Zombies could be airborne and now it's the blood system so when they get bitten or die it releases the chemical and leads to this epidemic.

When Rick makes this connection, he needs to settle some unfinished business and leaves the prison for a few hours. In the meantime evil lurks among the gang and they discover that two girls from the group were murdered and Lori immediately jumps to conclusion and believes the murderer is the prisoner who murder his girlfriend and they keep him locked in a cell until further investigation and they made the wrong choice because now the prisoner wants them out of the prison.

They discover who the real killer is and what I love about this volume is before this outbreak, our society had a set of rules that govern ourselves for over 200 years and because of that we never had to worry about anything since these laws have been placed since the beginning of time. Now that the group is dealing with a murderer, how do we punish him? Do we kill him or kept him in prison and this question makes the group divided because now they are both the judge and the punisher and they have to dictate laws in order to manage the chaos and return back to being civilized people even though they are broken human beings because of this Zombie apocalypse.

This series is phenomenal and I cannot rave enough about it and I believe everyone should read this because it will raises questions that you never thought of before until reading this series. I love Rick Grimes and I hope he survives! I just wish this graphic novel was in color instead of black and white. Until next time of the Walking Dead!

The Flash, Vol. 2: Rogues Revolution by Francis Manapul


Rating: ★ 1/2

After reading this 2nd volume I have to admit that the storyline has excel considerably compare to the first book in the series but I have to admit that the writers are negligent when it comes to providing background information when it comes to certain characters and their conflicted issues with the Flash. I am an amateur when it comes to superheroes comics and I am not going to invest countless hours trying to study every single character and their origin story and that issue can be fixed efficiently with only a few pages of backstory in the comics.

I am delighted that we finally get to learn about Barry Allen's past specifically when it comes to his parents and how his mother got killed (Even though I know this already thanks to the television show) but we still are left out of the loop when it comes to villains like Captain Cold, Heatwave, Captain Glider and others. 

Periodically when it comes to comics, these issues get answered later or not at all but between the artwork and the action scenes, these questions often get put aside and in this book this issue is transparent. I do not know why we have this elephant in the room but I hope the issue gets fixed because when the creators/writers do not provide the essential details it comes across that they don't care about the readers and it ruins the experience of reading our favorite heroes.

Now back to the story... The Flash discovered the speed force and trapped inside this vortex is a man named Turbine who appears to be causing the raucous of ripping the fabric of time whenever Flash reaches high levels of the speed force. Turbine wants to escape and thanks to the Flash he has found his escape and both him and Flash get sucked back into Earth except Flash meets a civilization of sophisticated gorillas who has a new leader called Grodd. Apparently this source of lightening has been trying to find an individual who can use these powers effectively and throughout civilizations every time this flash of electricity has shined on a certain tribe it either flourished for a certain period of time or wreaks havoc because they cannot handle this power.

Before Barry Allen received his powers, this group of Gorillas got shot by lightening and the aftermath of this incident has lead these Gorillas to become intelligent beings who the likes have never been seen by humans and they realized that Barry is the messenger that their time on Earth has ended since they have become a savage society under their ruler and Grodd cannot accept and wants to kill the Flash.

The other storyline that develops is these groups of villains known as Rogues are now taking advantage and causing chaos in the city which the Flash needs to take care of asap. I admire tremendously the amount of handwork these illustrators put into the graphics and making the story believable with a superhero who runs at the speed of light and they make the effort look smooth. I have absolute no clue what is the direction this comic is heading but I have faith that the storyline will improve the further we venture along in the series. I would recommend this graphic novel to those who love the television series and need their daily dose of Barry Allen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys by H.A. Rey


Rating: 


Disappointing, Forgetful, and Troubled book.

It is not official whether or not I will begin the Curious George series and based on my research this book is the first book to feature George and I have to say for anyone who loves Curious George, please skip this book. I give you permission. The writing was all over the place, raised questions that were left unanswered and sugar coated the tragedy of how we hunt and capture animals to be sold to Zoos across the world.

We meet Cecily Giraffe who had the perfect life living in the Jungle, with family and friends to hang around and be loved until they were capture and sent to the Zoo. Now she is all by herself with no one to play with or for that matter someone to love. Then we meet these 9 monkeys who are sad because humans have destroyed their natural habitat and now they can't find a new place to call home so they begin their journey for a better place and along the way they meet Cecily and immediately all of their sadness is over because they live with each other as one big happy family. The author forgot one small detail... George gets captured by the man with the big yellow hat and goes off to live in a Zoo separated from his family never to see them again (Correct me if I am wrong? I hope I am wrong).

I know this book is meant for children but this should never have been written because then you have to address to a child how come George left his family to go live with a stranger in a faraway land. Hopefully this was not the authors intention because his story about how he fled from France to get away from the Nazis is remarkable and courageous but this book made the whole story of Curious George as an allegory for Slavery. I guarantee you if I had read this when this was published as a child I wouldn't have any qualms about it but now thanks to the Internet and the documentaries that goes into details on how we kill and capture animals makes this story outdated in terms of our ignorance.

I have no issues with Zoos, considering those that take in animals that are endangered or need medical treatment to survive but I would want my kids to be educated that animals should not be in a cage. The same goes to aquariums ever since I saw the Oscar-winning documentary, The Cove, my perception have changed when it comes to the captivity of animals. Probably this is the reason why I haven't encountered children books like Curious George in the 21st century because then you have to explain how it is perfectly fine for an animal to get captured by humans and then comes to love its captor and they become friends. Now when it comes to the Curious George series I will try my hardest to pretend that I never encountered this book. Sorry for my rant.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman


Rating: ★ 1/2

** Zombie Warning: If you haven't read the first volume beware because I may drop (not intentionally) some spoilers. You have been warned!**

Coming off the high from reading the first volume, I found this volume troublesome but explainable in terms of plot and dialogue among the characters. Most of the scenes from the previous volume dealt mainly of Rick trying to find his family, escaping Atlanta, and being the leader which meant that there was less dialogue and more action scenes as they shoot and kill Zombies on every page.

We didn't get to see the struggles these survivors face as food is becoming scarce and figuring out a place to live where they can be safe from Zombies until now. They had to leave camp to figure out if there are other survivors alive and if they know of a place that might provide sanctuary for them. Remember Shane? Yea he's dead. Apparently Shane had always wanted to be with Rick's wife aka Lori which unfortunately Rick was the lucky man who put a ring on it and had children. Except when they left Kentucky, Lori moved on with her life and at the heat of a passionate moment she slept with Shane.

Shane believed that Rick was officially dead or it was merely impossible for him to survive and find his family so for the short time that Shane was with Lori it seem like paradise except faith screwed with him. Now that Rick was back, Shane's plans were all ruined and in his crazy demented head he made the connection that if he kills Rick then all his troubles are over. Again fate screwed him over and Rick's son Carl shot and killed him. But wait the plot thickens... Lori had sex with Shane and of course didn't use protection so Lori is pregnant. What a great time to have a child, in the middle of an apocalypse where it's difficult to find an Doctor, medicine, and proper food to nourish a baby. 

On top of that drama, Rick can't understand the math of Lori's pregnancy or chooses to ignore the real truth for fear it will shred what's left of his sanity and tries to be supportive during all this nonsense. As Rick's family is trying to cope through all this, the survivors find a lovely community of empty houses and believe they found their paradise. It's already Christmas time so the land is completely cover in snow. The survivors believe that now they can settle down in this neighborhood and not fear about Zombies except that one of the signs says "All Dead Do Not Enter". 

They didn't see the sign until the next day and by then it was too late. A horde of Zombies comes out and try to kill the gang and actually kills some. Luckily for our main character, Rick was able to get out and protect his family. For the rest of the story it deals mostly that same formula of them trying to find a place and hopefully in the next volume they can finally settle down somewhere. We meet new characters throughout this volume and we get to see the impact on how Zombies have killed family and friends and how difficult it is to survive in this chaos.

Compare to the previous volume it was all action and violence that kept us entertained and wanting us to pick up the next volume and now in this book we get to see the effects this Zombie apocalypse has on our characters and the darkness of this new world as each day becomes difficult to find the silver lining when our characters loved ones are monsters. 

At times we feel like these characters are clueless and it shows in the dialogue and I do not know if the writers are doing that on purpose in order for the readers to be distracted as a new story arc will begin soon or at the time they were clueless in what direction should they head for these characters. All I know is I will be reading the next volume and I hope it keeps me entertained to continue with this series.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman


Rating: 

I know I am late on the band wagon train when it comes to The Walking Dead but I am excited that I have joined this brand new graphic novel series. I remember a few years back I saw the entire first season and never bother to continue it and a few months back I tried the 2nd season and I had no clue who were the characters, the plot, and the general arc from the previous season which discouraged me until now! I know the show stays almost accurate to the show but I believe you should at least read this first volume before you Netflix marathon the Walking Dead.

I remember when I was in high school, I saw some of my fellow peers reading the graphic novel and being obsessed about it and I had no clue what they were raving about because I could honestly care less about reading at that moment of time. What I realized was when AMC announced that they were making The Walking Dead, they were reading the comics that were available to see what the show was about and what to expect with a Zombie Apocalypse television series.

I have to admit that this series is complete and utter BADASS.

Immediately I was sucked into this world and I realized that I love dystopian worlds in graphic novels because I remember I was hooked on Brian K. Vaughn's Y: The Last Man within 20 pages and now the same magic has stirred up in me again when it comes to The Walking Dead.

If you live under a rock and never heard of "The Walking Dead", you may be wondering what the hell is this comic book about?

No worries here is the general plot without ruining the whole story. We meet Rick Grimes who is a small town local sheriff and one day he gets shot in the line of duty and emerges from a coma in a hospital. He walks around the hospital trying to find nurses when he stumbles into Zombies. He freaks out and luckily makes a break for it back to his house where he discovers that his wife and son are no where to be found.

He meets some new strangers hiding in his neighbors home and discovers that during his time in a coma, the world has fallen prey to Zombies and no one knows how they came to life but we soon find out that if a Zombie scratches, bites, or kills you, you automatically become one of them and the undead are rising everyday all over the world. The government tells all citizens to evacuate to Atlanta where it would be easier to protect our civilians from the Zombies while scientist try to find the cure to this wickedness and Rick figures that his wife left to Atlanta to see her parents.

Along the way we see ignorant mistakes that humans make during these moments of crisis because the minute Rick arrives to the big city he meets thousands of zombies who want to eat him and luckily gets rescued by a guy name Glenn who knows his way around the city. They learn that Atlanta was the worst place to evacuate because by having all the living in one city it became a buffet for the undead to snack on. 

Thanks to Glenn, Rick meets other survivors who are living in the outskirts of the city to avoid Zombie attacks and be ready in case the government has found the cure. In this man-made camp Rick is reunited with his wife and son but something is off because his partner in crime, Shane Walsh, protected them while Rick was in a coma and clearly he is not himself and later on we learn all the dirty juicy details.

I won't say more because this series is phenomenal and I need to get my hands on every volume possible from the library so stay tuned to more reviews! What I enjoy most about this comic is that we are dealing with a world that raises tons of moral questions about ourselves and how we follow these rules that were placed in society because we live in a "civil" world but once that goes out the window these rules no longer apply then what happens now? 

We discover these characters who are put into unpredictable situations and we get to learn more about ourselves and how when pushed to the ultimate limit would we go insane and give up or try to salvage the little of humanity that is left in us as these characters are trying to survive for another day hoping a cure exist in the world. I haven't researched what lies ahead but I have a feeling our government has something to do with this zombie drama and the cure may be possible but it won't necessarily help us bring the Zombies back to normal.

I have no clue where this series is heading but I am in it for the long ride! It is scary to think what would happen if everyone turns into Zombies and I hope that never happens in real life.

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx


Rating: 


Brokeback Mountain is a gem of a story and I never realized until now the amount of layers that are shed throughout the book and I wish that Annie Proulx had turn this short story into a novel. With its simplistic dialogue I was immediately absorbed and now that its over I have been struck with these overwhelming unfulfilled questions that makes me wonder if its possible Jack and Ennis were real people. It goes to show that Annie Proulx is a beautiful writer and if I ever read any of her other works I hope she puts the same amount of effort and beauty into her storytelling.

Before I begin I have to mention that if you are reading this book because of the hype surrounding the controversial movie then I have to admit that this story will hands down be a disappointment for you. I was 10 years old when this movie was released and I remember everyone gossiping about it because it was the first time in history that a movie was featured on the big screen with "gay cowboys" and showcased that relationships between two men is possible, normal, and quite beautiful. Tons of people were outraged about the film because in 2005 it was utterly blasphemy to showcase two guys having sex or making out and then it got nominated for Best Picture and raised the hype through the roof.

I do not remember what year I saw the film but I remember vividly the only way I was able to watch it was on cable in my bedroom late at night when everyone else was sleeping and it is a beautiful story with a phenomenal cast plus it doesn't hurt that you have two gorgeous men on screen having sex. 

In Brokeback Mountain, we go back to 1963 where we meet two lone cowboys named Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal). They are both 19 years old and practically had the same upbringing of being high school dropouts to help support their family. They need money and a job so they apply on a ranch in Brokeback Mountain and both are hired. At first they are apprehensive with one another because they are strangers but over the course of the upcoming days and weeks they grow to like each other.

Because they have similar backgrounds and could relate to one another, as a reader you start to notice a shift that they finally found someone who they relate and confide in. Learning about their sad upbringing makes them vulnerable with one another and it doesn't help they are desperately lonely. Then one night they share a tent together and one minute they are next to each other and by the next page they are having intimate sex. It is a confusing moment for our main characters because they are not gay, this intimacy they are experiencing is completely unknown for them and it scares them.

What helps is they are by themselves on a mountain connecting with nature and not letting society dictate what they should or shouldn't feel because it is beautiful to witness two lost souls find each other and wishing that this fantasy will never end but at the certain point it has to and it is heart wrenching to see them leave after that blissful summer. This was never heard of in 1963 that two men living together like a married couple and it lasting. I know for sure that Jack Twist would have given everything up in order to be with Ennis forever but Ennis succumbed to the pressures of society and got married then had children.

The story shifts 4 years later and everyone seems to have moved on from Brokeback Mountain but for Ennis and Jack they still love each other. They are both married and by the look of it they are miserable for allowing to settle less instead of following their dreams. Even though it has only been a short amount time since they last seen each other it feels like decades because of their obligated responsibilities of being man of the house. Luckily the minute they see each other again it feels like we are back on Brokeback Mountain but this time its different because they are older and less naive. 

Over the span of twenty years we see these characters struggle between following their hearts and the voice of society and at times it is very difficult for either of them to speak their thoughts because both are afraid of losing each other and they would rather enjoy the few moments they share with each other throughout the year then being alone without their soulmate. Jack brilliantly mentions it in one of their conversations that he regrets getting married and having a child, if he had simply follow his gut and intuition he could have gotten a ranch and lived happily ever after with Ennis by his side. 

I do not believe the characters are bisexual or in the closet because they only had these sexual experiences with themselves. They never bother having sex with other men when they were married and in the end I believe if anything that its two straight men who fell in love with each other. I believe love is universal and at the end of the day it is possible for two straight men to fall in love with each other because when you are lonely and you find someone who makes you become a better person then you hold on to that person as hard as you possibly can. 

For Jack, he made that connection right away and after he divorced his wife, he never forgot about Brokeback Mountain and essentially had his life all planned out if Ennis ever decided to finally settle down with him. Unfortunately it would take a tragic moment for Ennis to realize that if he had ignored society and listen to his heart he would have lived a more fulfilling life. This story is beautiful inside and out and because it was super short it left me with questions about what happens to Ennis, their upbringing, and what happened during the 20 years that they shared? 

This book felt like I was reading about real people and I believe this feeling will linger with me for years to come. I was touched by this incredible story and those last few pages I was in tears. It's horrible that it takes a tragedy for someone to realize the things we take for granted in life but it happens everyday and this book is no exception. It was entertaining to see that this story takes place around nature in a period where you could easily disconnect from the world and discover who you are with nature. This book by far is one of the best gay adult romance books I have encountered and I believe for decades to come this story will still have a major impact for me. 


The Flash, Vol. 1: Move Forward by Francis Manapul


Rating: 

Ever since the CW has produced, The Flash, I have been hooked on Barry Allen and his friends as they adventure new territory into the unknown when it comes to his superhero abilities. I worship the show and while I do not know his true character history in the comics I have always been open minded towards reading comics about the Flash. My first encounter with Barry Allen was in "The Justice League" cartoon series and all these animated movies that have been released over the years that feature him as either a member of the JLA or his standalone film, Flashpoint. For the most part I felt indifferent when it came to this first volume.

Deep down in my gut I know I should rate this 3 stars with no questions but I have to give credit where credit is due which is the illustrations are phenomenal and I love the effort they put into the colors and the overall vibe of this series and that is why I am giving it 4 stars. I know that I want to read more of the Flash so hopefully this series will improve the further I venture myself into this universe. 

My main issue with this comic is lack of introduction and character development. I am no expert when it comes to Superheroes comics regardless whether it is DC and Marvel. As a newbie, you would think if they restarted this series all over again don't you think we should get an introduction to the character and how he got his abilities at least for the first volume or a few pages of flashbacks? Yea well the creators said screw it and jump to the action.

In one sentence they sum up Barry Allen as a Scientist for Central City Police Department who got shot by lightning and with chemicals he got the ability to run fast at the speed of light. Now he is superhero protecting Central City while discovering who is he now that he has a new identity. Oh did I forget that his parents are dead without any info as to how they died?

If you are extremely new to the Flash then I highly don't recommend it because you won't understand who are half of these characters and what are their relation to Barry or the Flash. I am fortunate enough that while the television show may differ from the comics at certain points or storylines it nonetheless stays true to the origin story so it wasn't difficult reading this comic especially after reading Flash: Rebirth. 

I won't provide any details about the plot because if you are fans of the show then this feels like a random episode where Barry is saving the day and discovers something new about his powers and the Speed force. You meet Captain Cold, his sister, Grodd, Patty Pivot, Iris, and a new character that I have never heard of before but may know his identity already.

One thing I have to comment and I do not know if it's just me but there were countless homoerotic undertones in this comic that I couldn't help but notice throughout this book. Barry has to help a long time friend who is in danger and sure enough every time they showcase a flashback I get these feelings that they were best friends but easily could pass that boundary of friendship to love. Plus the head of the Police Department is in the closet and is sleeping with Pied Piper and it's extremely clear in this book. I hope the next volume is better than this or I will quickly retire this comic series and focus on Grant Gustin.

Lucifer, Book One by Mike Carey


Rating: 

My feelings after reading this graphic novel? Meh.

I do not know about you but I am in love with this brand new show on Fox called Lucifer. 


Oh yes you do!

I love the actor who plays Lucifer and it's been months since I haven't read the comics and I decided that I should read it to figure out what is the general plot for the television show. I am afraid to announced that the show is completely different from the comics and I am still curious if that makes the fandom quite divided or makes these two universes separate for both parties to enjoy. The only thing that the show and the comic have in common is Satan has quit ruling Hell and is residing in Los Angeles, California.

Lucifer is living the luxurious life among humans with his own club/restaurant called Lux when an angel messenger from God appears seeking Lucifers help. Apparently there is this evil spirit lurking in the shadows that helps provide wishes for mortals and with each wish granting this evil spirit gets superior in force. Heaven cannot get in the mix with Earth so they need the devil to do Gods work.

Lucifer does not have an issue with accomplishing this task in exchange for a letter of indulgence from God. At first it seems such a silly wish nonetheless God grants him the letter. Knowing Satan, he has calculated everything and follows the necessary precautions to achieve his plans and to void detection. By having this letter, Satan is able to open a portal that enters a realm outside of creation meaning with the right set of skills and power he can create a whole universe and become God.

I was disappointed with this series mainly because it's nothing like the television show. I believe if the show never existed I would have enjoyed this graphic novel but the other issue that lies in this series is organization. Lucifer plans are not revealed to us at first and it is through the course of the story that we see his plans unfolding as we meet different characters who will become important by the end of this first volume.

There is nothing wrong introducing countless different characters in a series but the writers lack the skills of how to properly introduce this characters and not interrupt the flow of story arc. What would catch me off guard would be that 100 pages would go by and everything is about Lucifer and his plans then out of nowhere come the next page and you meet a random girl who can talk to ghosts. It would take about another 50 pages to see Lucifer again and his connection to the girl.

In all honesty I believe the writers could have done a better job at connecting the dots with these characters and their ties to Lucifer and hopefully in this next volume the story gets polished. I want to continue this series because I have faith in Neil Gaiman but I am not in any hurry to read the next volume. Hopefully we can see the qualities that we love in the tv show reflected onto the book.

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare


Rating: ★ 1/2

I remember during my years in Middle School I saw this book floating around the gothic/emo-girls at my school (which they were the first to read Twilight before it became mainstream) and never bother to ask what it was about because I despised reading at the time and it was weird hearing girls going crazy over killing demons and other paranormal beings. Then years later I bought this book at B&N because I heard the movie version was going to be released soon.

I never got towards reading the book and seeing the film in theaters so I waited to rent it and it was spellbinding to watch the film which makes no sense why it was a box-office flop and news about this series disappeared into the abyss. Once I got addicted to Goodreads and the BookTube community I saw that this book is essential when it comes to the YA Genre like how it is required to read Harry Potter when you become an avid reader. 

It was disinteresting to read this series because I discovered that you had to read the 1st three books of this series, the prequels, then the last three books and now there is a spinoff sequel coming out now and I wasn't ready to commit my time and effort to the Mortal Instruments until now. Months ago I heard that the former ABC Family aka Free Form green-light this series to become a television show called "Shadowhunters" and I was ecstatic about this concept because I remember that two of the main characters are gay and I need to see some love action between two guys projected onto my television screen.

I procrastinated when it comes to reading the book before the show premiered but I am glad that I waited until investing on the tv series. Immediately I was addicted to the show and propel my desire to read the book before the show concluded and discovered that the show is different from the book in the sense that they want to feature more action and have all the main characters in every episode whereas most of the book is dialogue and the main focus is on Clary and Jace. I am not angry about it and in fact I see that they keep the main plot points exactly like the book and made everything else more action and adventure so the fans of the book series shouldn't be discouraged from enjoying the show.

What is the City of Bones about?

We are introduced to a girl named Clary Fray who is your typical teenager living in the Big Apple with her mother but nothing is typical about her. One night she attends the Pandemonium club with her childhood friend Simon and witness some murky activity and follows the call of danger and discovers these group of teenagers who are about to kill this demon but he looks completely human. She seeks police help and discovers that she can only see these people and discovers they are called Shadow hunters. The shadow hunters cannot believe that a human aka mundane can witness them in plain sight and leave the club to avoid further company. 

She is shocked by the whole experience and between the club incident and other nonsense she arrives home late and gets in an awful quarrel with her mother and it doesn't help that she wants Clary to leave New York to live in a farmhouse with a family friend named Luke for the rest of summer. Clary leaves the apartment and heads to a poetry slam with her friend Simon and as the event gets started, Clary witness at the corner of her eye that one of boys (Jace) from the Shadow hunters group has followed her and wants to speak to her. As she inquires more about them she answers her phone and hears that her mother is in danger and tells Clary to stay away from the apartment.

Obviously Clary is not going to obey orders and once she reaches the apartment she discovers that it is completely trashed and a demon is lurking around which leads to this fight and Clary almost dies but luckily she was rescued by Jace and heads to the Institute which is located inside a Cathedral. As she recovers she discovers that everything mythical such as Faeries, Demons, Vampires, Werewolves, Warlocks and all paranormal beings actually exist but to the mundanes they are not able to see these creatures because these monsters are a glamour so it distorts their perception and makes them believe that they are seeing something else from the truth.

Also Clary finds out that her mother has been kidnapped by this evil man named Valentine and wants the Mortal Cup. This Mortal Cup is a mystical cup that allows humans to become Shadow hunters or if it gets into the wrong hands then Demons can convert humans and so on. Her mother Jocelyn was a shadow hunter and used magical spells to wipe her memory away so that way she could never have the sight that allows her to see this paranormal world and the location of the Mortal Cup. So now Clary needs to get her memory back and the Mortal cup in order to rescue her mother. She needs the help of the Shadow hunters which are Jace, Isabelle, and Alec in order for her to retrieve her mother and save the Earth.

Why 4.5 rating?

While I enjoyed reading this book I had some issues which I can thank Stephen King for affecting my reading. If I had read this before reading Stephen King's On Writing this would automatically get 5 stars. I notice sections throughout the book where Cassandra Clare uses double negatives and that drives me fu@#%king insane. I have always disliked it because it stops the flow of my reading and makes me ponder what she is writing about and if she didn't have to put the double negatives then the sentence would have been clean and simple. 

Also I do not like laziness when it comes to writing and one example which is not exact from the book but sometimes she would write sentences like, "Some of the girls in the club look like a Dega painting". The average teenager is not going to know who is Dega and now I have to research and figure out that meaning and for me that is a total waste of my time. Don't use references where the vast majority of your audience are not going to know or understand. A few times I have never heard of the painting or the artist and that gets me frustrated. 

Before Stephen King I would ignore this issue but now I discover that it is bad writing and the author of this book uses it a lot in terms of dialogue. In moments of intense conversation, the author would use -ly whenever it was he said or she said. When I was younger I wouldn't care about it or even now for that matter but I am learning how to become a better reading and why books sometimes take months for me to read and I have learned thanks to Mr. King it is because of bad grammar.

Would I recommend this series? HELL TO THE YES! I knew halfway into this book that I wanted to read the sequel because I wanted to know what happens next and while this series is extremely popular among YA readers, I have been fortunate enough to not get spoiled about this series and I hope that continues as I venture further into this series.