Top 5 Wednesday: Books You’ve Read Because of Social Media

Hey beautiful people, welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday as hosted by the lovely Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. I always love talking about this kind of topic because 98% of what I read and buy is from seeing people haul them or recommend them on some form of social media. Here’s the topic:

September 27th: Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc. 
–Discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use.

I’m pretty sure we can all say at least five books that we’ve read because of people we watch/follow on YouTube, a blog, twitter, etc., so here are my picks for books (novels) and comics (because this is my blog and I do what I want).

Books

adsom

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Considering I just finished and reviewed this, this book is definitely on my mind. This was a hugely hyped book when it first came out, and subsequently the sequels were also super hyped, and I’ve gotta say: I get it now. It was such a great, fast-paced read, and I’m very excited to read the next two books soon. I don’t know exactly who I would’ve seen recommend this, but I know a lot of people did.

daughterofsmokeandbone

4. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

I remember watch Kat @ Katytastic one day (or several days) and how in a lot of videos she would talk about this book series. Well, I read it, fell in love with it, and this trilogy is in one of the top five spots of favorite series ever. So yeah, I’m super glad that I found this series when I did through Kat.

annaandthefrenchkiss

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER WAS RECOMMENDING THIS BOOK AT ONE POINT. Actually, the whole companion trilogy was being recommended because they were such cute romance YA novels that everyone was reading and loving and so I had to jump on board. And I agree: very cute. I still haven’t read the other two, but I’ll get there eventually.

myheartandotherblackholes

2. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

I remember Jesse @ Jessethereader talking about this book in several of his videos, and when I watched his review I knew that I would really like it. The subject matter is intense (trigger warning for suicide and depression), but those are also topics that are just near to my heart. I remember enjoying the read, though it was a tough one for me to get through emotionally.

shadowandbones

1. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Okay, I’m pretty sure I saw a huge rise in this book series everywhere, but I definitely think I picked up this series finally after watching Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes recommend it all the time. It’s one of her favorite series and as I’ve read the first two books in the trilogy, I’ve gotta say that I’m hooked (and love Nikolai <3). It’s a beautiful world with lots of danger and I love it.


Comics

youjin

5. You Jin by Fujoking

I spend a lot of time on Instagram (like… way too much time lol) and this popped up in the explore section several times when I was just browsing photos. So when I read it (not on Lezhin’s website), I really enjoyed it. It’s a boy’s love (BL) story and though I can’t really remember everything that happened I do remember that I read it all and liked it and wanted a bit more.

ratqueen1

4. Rat Queens by Kurtis Wiebe

This was probably one of the comics I picked up when a lot of people on YouTube were reading it and recommending it. It wasn’t necessarily my cup on tea from what I remember, but it wasn’t bad either.

royalservant

3. Royal Servant by Master Gin

This was another one of those reads that popped up a lot on Instagram and so when I read it (again, not on Lezhin until later chapters when I actually discovered Lezhin), I was hooked. The content can be sensitive sometimes, but the plot is getting better the farther along it goes and I’m actually really invested in it now.

sirenslament

2. Siren’s Lament by quimchee

This one wasn’t actually recommended to me via social media (but Rayna, this T5W is about–) SHH, I KNOW! It was actually recommend to me in person by my best friend, and since reading it I’ve been reading it faithfully every week since (or when there’s a new update because sometimes authors have to take breaks, too, you know?). It’s a really cute and beautiful series. (Not all cute, some of it is funny or intense or mysterious.)

sagavol1

1. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Okay, this comic was recommended everywhere on YouTube and it’s actually one of my favorite comic series I’ve read. It’s very intense and violent and sexually explicit, but it’s still a good story. Also, I’ve owned the 7th volume for months now and haven’t read it yet. Like… what am I doing with my life?


I could go on and on about books and comics I’ve read because of social media, but these are the first five that came to mind. Honestly, would I even have read any of these books without being a blogger and being on social media as much as I am? Probably not. I’m so thankful for the ones I have read and so glad others like them as well.

Honorary Mentions

shatterme redqueen fallingkingdoms darkfever

 

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Saga & Rat Queens Comics Reviews

Today I’m going to be reviewing three comic books! I didn’t want to keep them in their own posts because the reviews are kind of short.

sagavol6Title: Saga, Volume 6
Series: Saga vol. 6
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel – Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 152
Format: Purchased Paperback

After a dramatic time jump, the three-time Eisner Award winner for Best Continuing Series continues to evolve, as Hazel begins the most exciting adventure of her life: kindergarten. Meanwhile, her starcrossed family learns hard lessons of their own.

Compiles issues #31-36

In this volume we got to see Hazel grown up a little bit as she enters kindergarten. And it’s not exactly a picnic for her either considering all of the crap she’s been through and the fact that even though she’s with her grandmother, they’re still in jail, pretty much.

I enjoyed this volume because we got to see progress of Alana and Marko coming together to rescue their child, of Hazel’s teacher wanting to help Hazel when she reveals her wings to the teacher, and more on other side characters.

I thought that this volume really started to pique my interest again because I’m excited to see where the story goes next with all of the fun surprises that happened at the end, plus a little bit of happiness for the family.

It wasn’t the best volume, but I still enjoyed it and give it 4/5 stars.


ratqueen1Title: Rat Queens, Vol 1 Sass & Sorcery
Series: Rat Queens vol 1
Author: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Illustrator: Roc Upchurch
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel – Fantasy
Pages: 128
Format: Purchased Paperback

Who are the Rat Queens?

A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit.

It’s also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!

Collecting Rat Queens #1-5!

This comic had a lot of buzz floating around it and I can definitely see why. The illustrations are absolutely lovely and detailed, even if the story in this first volume felt very jumbled to me.

There are four women who are part of the Rat Queens, a group of people who kill others for a living protecting the town: Hannah, Dee, Betty, and Violet. Each one has their own distinct personality, which I picked up on right away and appreciated, and each one brings their own abilities to the group. I found that, as a group, they all worked well together and did what was necessary to achieve their goals.

Despite that, I wasn’t super comfortable with the amount of profanities in this novel. It’s actually really obnoxious because for almost all of the characters they have some profane word to say almost every other word and definitely in every sentence, which I felt took away from the main point of the story.

I also felt that the story was kind of jumbled and hard to follow at times, because the sequences didn’t really fade out smoothly all that often, but when they did I found that I liked it more.

Other than that, I really did enjoy it. I thought that this volume was definitely more of an introduction into who the characters are and just what they’re meant to do.

I rate this volume 4/5 stars.

ratqueens2Title: Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth
Series: Rat Queens vol 2
Publication Date: May 6, 2015
Pages: 128
Format: Purchased Paperback

This booze-soaked second volume of RAT QUEENS reveals a growing menace within the very walls of Palisade. And while Dee may have run from her past, the bloated, blood-feasting sky god N’rygoth never really lets his children stray too far.

Collects RAT QUEENS #6-10

I’m going to admit: I definitely liked this volume a lot more. The plot really picked up and I didn’t feel that it was as jumbled and all over the place as the last one, plus we got to see a bit of back story for some of the characters due to an evil squid. Yeah. Seriously.

The characters are all trying to figure out just who was really behind their attempted assassinations, and even though they’re given a name, they didn’t know the severity of their situation. This volume packed in a lot of story and action, and though a few sequences had me confused, I felt that it was all very smooth and much easier to follow.

I really like that we got to have a little bit more of an in depth look at Dee, who ran away from her home and religion to find answers in the world, and how what is happening in this volume encompasses her religion entirely. It was interesting to see how she dealt with the issue and that she used logic and a sound mind to go through with it all.

Again, there were a few things in the story that I didn’t appreciate, but it’s more of a preference and whatnot (drug use and the profanities again), but I really did appreciate getting to see a bit more of where Hannah and Violet came from before they were in the Rat Queens.

I rate this volume 4/5 stars.

Saga Volumes 1-5 Review

sagavol1Title: Saga, Volume 1
Series: Saga volume #1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel – Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
Pages: 160
Format: Purchased Paperback

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Collects Saga issues #1-6.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I went into this graphic novel series, but I was quickly captured by it. The story of two races who are at war with one another, and one from each side who falls in love and have a child together, is not an uncommon story, but the way Vaughan weaves it alongside the beautiful illustrations of Staples makes it a spectacular story.

I thought that the art itself was beautiful in each volume, capturing the essence of the story while giving just enough to understand the emotions being emitted or the situation at hand.

Alana, the female heroine, is kind of a hot mess. She’s fiercely protective of her child and she loves her husband, Marko, very much and would die for either of them. She’s a headstrong woman, very sarcastic, and she knows how to kick ass.

Marko, the male heroine, is a solider who vows to never use violence again – it can overtake him and control him rather than him being in control. He loves his family intensely and would do anything for them.

I think that these two, along with several other that we meet along the way, are what makes this story incredibly unique and engaging. And in just the first book I was whisked away with feelings of surprise, sorrow, joy, and so much more.

I will say, though, that this comic series is not for an underage audience. I’d definitely recommend being 17+ when reading this series. There is explicit sexual content as well as graphic violence and language, so just remember that going into this series.

I highly recommend this comic series and I give the first volume 5/5 stars.

sagavol2Title: Saga, volume 2
Series: Saga volume #2
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Pages: 168
Format: Purchased Paperback

From award-winning writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (Pride of Baghdad, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (Mystery Society, Done to Death), SAGA is sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and horrific monsters, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters her strangest adventure yet… grandparents.

Collects Saga issues #7-12

I think this second volume really just made the series better. The plot is thickening as the family races into space to escape a lot of people who were hunting after them (not that that’s going to stop them from hunting them) when they have to rescue one of the ones who came on board with them while Marko deals with issues with his mother.

Not only that, we get more backstory into some of the characters’ pasts and why and how they got to be where they are. I think this is a crucial element to the story and one that I really enjoyed.

The Will (yes, that’s his character name) is a freelancer, someone who hunts people for a price, and he’s after Alana, Marko, and Hazel. But when he arrives on Sextillion for a little side trip looking for a good time (you know what I mean), he is given to a young girl – Slave Girl – who is six years old – and he is not okay with that. He wants to rescue the girl but ends up getting kicked out before he has a chance to. I think that The Will has a lot of potential in him for either good or bad, and I’m really interested to see where his choices take him.

I think that Slave Girl is very shy at the beginning and she’s quick to please. I think that partially comes with age and the fact that she was thrust into a very sexual world. But she doesn’t let anyone touch her in that way, at least not from what we’ve seen so far.

And then we meet Gwendolyn and she’s just all about the revenge on her ex. Very fierce woman.

I really enjoyed this volume and thought it was better than the last. 5/5 stars.

sagavol3Title: Saga, volume 3
Series: Saga volume #3
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Pages: 144
Format: Purchased Paperback

From the Hugo Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Y: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples (North 40, Red Sonja), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Searching for their literary hero, new parents Marko and Alana travel to a cosmic lighthouse on the planet Quietus, while the couple’s multiple pursuers finally close in on their targets.

Collects issues 13-18.

Man, the plot just keeps getting more intense as the family is still on the run from pretty much everyone in the universe. Not only do they have their own people after them, but now the Robot Kingdom is after them, too.

There were some plot twists I didn’t see coming in this book. Plus I don’t like seeing relationships become severed over stupid things, but I understand that there’s a lot of tension going around and all of that.

There’s more and more characters being introduced, which isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of. As the story progresses, though, we really see more of just who and what these characters are about and what they’re willing to fight for.

I will say, though, that all of the sexual references and content I can do without. It doesn’t all have to be eliminated, just toned down a bit.

I still really enjoyed this volume, though, and I give it 5/5 stars.

sagavol4Title: Saga, Volume 4
Series: Saga volume #4
Publication Date: December 17, 2014
Format: Purchased Paperback

From the Eisner Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Pride of Baghdad) and Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, Thor, SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. As they visit a strange new world and encounter even more adversaries, baby Hazel finally becomes a toddler, while her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana struggle to stay on their feet.

The family is trying to keep a low profile on a new planet as they try to make a living for themselves in this volume. Though there are a lot of struggles and a lot of bad choices made in this volume, there are some good choices made, too, but it still doesn’t stop from what the characters decide to do.

I think this was a good edition to the series, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite. I was disappointed in the decisions that Alana was making, as well as Marko, but I think that it was a learning experience for both of them to see how strong they are working together rather than trying to get through things apart.

And Hazel’s growing up! So cute!

Of course there are still people are them, and then there’s even kidnapping involved in this volume. Lots of things going on, that’s for sure.

I enjoyed this volume and gave it 4.5/5 stars.

sagavol5Title: Sage, Volume 5
Series: Saga volume #5
Publication Date: September 9, 2015
Format: Purchased Paperback

Multiple storylines collide in this cosmos-spanning new volume. While Gwendolyn and Lying Cat risk everything to find a cure for The Will, Marko makes an uneasy alliance with Prince Robot IV to find their missing children, who are trapped on a strange world with terrifying new enemies. Collects Saga #25-30.

This one was just so much action going on and so many “what’s going to happen” gripping moments that I wasn’t sure how it was going to end. This volume had a lot more fear involved on the part of the parents, but it also had a lot of strength as well as fragility.

Yes, some of the characters keep making mistakes, or decide to do the wrong thing, but they do learn from them and I think that’s the most important part.

The plot in this one was following three separate stories that would all eventually come together, minus one of them, but it was still an important plot point nonetheless.

I think that this volume was a good edition, but it wasn’t my favorite. I am sad about what happens to a couple of characters and I’m happy with a few others, but I’m also really sad that I have to wait for the next volume to come out to see what happens next! Gah!

I rated this volume 4.5/5 stars.

So far, I’m really enjoying this comic book series as it’s also the first comic series I’ve ever read. The story is gripping and it’ll leave you wanting more. The art style is also really beautiful and it really helps to pull the story together. Just remember: for mature audiences.

Accompanying video: Saga Volumes 1-5 Review