Sunshine Blogger Award

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I was nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by @PrincessofPages. This award honors bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. I’m honored to be selected for this!

In addition to being a really fun friend on Twitter, @PrincessofPages has a great blog where she discusses the books she’s been reading. I know my list of things to read has grown dramatically since I’ve been following her.

Rules:

Once nominated, a blogger is required to 1) write a post in which they thank the blogger for nominating them and link back to their blog, 2) answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you, 3) nominate eleven other blogs and 4) give them eleven questions to answer, 5) notify your nominees and display the rules and The Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Questions

  1. What’s the perfect day for you? My perfect day involves family and friends and a great meal at a restaurant so I wouldn’t have to cook or clean.
  2. What was your last 5 star read and what made it great? I loved, loved LOVED Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff. It was original, fast-paced, funny and packed a punch.
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  3. Do you prefer series or standalones? I usually love the first book or two in a series and then get impatient with them as soon as the novelty (pun intended) wears off. I prefer stand-alones.
  4. Do you read multiple books at the same time, or do you read one at a time? I only read one book at a time.
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  5. Do you have any book regrets? No, not really. Of course, there have been books I haven’t enjoyed, but I don’t regret trying them. Reading broadly is important to me.
  6. Who are the 3-6 guys in your harem? You can only choose characters from books, and only one character from each book. I couldn’t deal with more than one guy. The mere idea of that stresses me out. That being said, I would tolerate a harem consisting of Westley from The Princess Bride, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird and Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars.

  7. If you could spend the day with any fictional character, who would you choose and what would you be doing? I’d enjoy spending the day with Lemon Fresh from LifeL1k3. She would be a hoot to hang out with!  We’d crack jokes, oggle some hotties, and drink some kaff. I would avoid eating neomeat though.
  8. If you could only read one more book for the rest of 2018, which book would you choose? A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Iriving. I’ve long claimed this is one of my favorite books, but haven’t read it in ages. It’s time for a refresher.
  9. Do you ever review audio books? I haven’t yet, but that sounds like fun!
  10. What are three non book related things, you want to share about yourself? I love coffee, but drink tea more often. I can bake killer bread. I was born in Wyoming.
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  11. If you could choose any books series to be made into a TV series, which one would you choose and who would play the hero and heroine?  I can totally envision Lifel1k3 being produced for the big or small screen. Perhaps Eliza Taylor could play Eve and Bob Morely could play Ezekiel. Maisie Williams could play Lemon Fresh.

I Nominate:

  1. Reading Under the Blankie
  2. Loretta
  3. Reader Voracious
  4. The Bibliophile Empress
  5. Books in the Skye
  6. jenniely.com
  7.  There are so many deserving bloggers for this award. I think many of the bloggers I frequent have already received this award. If you haven’t and would like to play along, consider yourself nominated!

The questions PrincessofPages sent me are great, so I don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel 🙂

Calling All Cat People!

chiChi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata and translated by Ed Chavez, is the pawsitively charming story of a kitten who gets distracted when on a walk with his mother and siblings and ends up lost. It’s a big and “fwightening” world for such a little creature, full of barking dogs, roaring cars and wide open spaces.

Distraught and lonely, Chi breaks down sobbing in a large urban park. Luckily, Yohei Yamada and his mother stumble upon the poor kitten and take her home, despite the fact that pets aren’t allowed in their apartment.

And that’s when the fun adventures begin! The Yamadas must keep Chi’s presence a secret from their nosey neighbors, while satisfying the kitten’s needs for affection, food and play. I was particularly amused at the story of how Chi ended up with her name. You’ll have to read this to find out.

As much as I wanted to highlight a book in translation, the words are not the star in this book. In fact, I didn’t particularly like the baby talk used to represent the kitten’s first impressions upon her new environment, but I have to concede that it was an appropriate choice. Chi is a baby, after all!IMG_3584

What really shines are Kanata Konami’s brilliant illustrations that express the unbounded curiosity and playfulness of her subject. The kitten’s sweet “purrsonality” shines through each and every panel. If you are as enthralled with cats as I am, I guarantee you will adore this book.


Konami Kanata (jp. こなみ かなた, Kanata Konami; born 3 July 1958, Nagano) is a Japanese cartoonist best known for her cat characters Chi’s Sweet Home.
Her works revolves around the daily life of house cats.

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Lifel1k3 is the Real Deal, Not a Cheap Piece of Fugazi

6105kSuTLdLI had never heard of Jay Kristoff before this year, which most book bloggers would take as a sign that I’ve had my head buried under a rock. Along with Amie Kaufman, he wrote the Illuminae Files, a wildly popular series, which may be turned into a movie sometime in the near future.

After reading Kristoff’s Lifel1k3, I’ve succumbed to a full-on case of FOMO and will be reading every last thing he has ever written. It’s just that good. No, it’s better than you might imagine. In fact, if an aspiring author wanted me to suggest something for her to read which hit every note perfectly, which was paced exceptionally well, which asked big questions, and which was thrilling to read from start to finish, I’d hand her a copy of Lifel1k3 without thinking twice.

Frankly, I was surprised that I liked the book so much. Nothing about it is usual for me. I don’t read a lot of post-apocalyptic sci-fi and the idea of synthetic lifeforms only interests me in so far as they might be programmed to make coffee or do the particularly disgusting parts of housekeeping like cleaning out the cat box.

Why did I buy a copy? Well, I was in my favorite book store, the scent of fresh paper and ink was heady, and I liked the cover. It looks like a honeycomb and made my mouth water.

What is it about? I’ve heard it described as a mash-up between Romeo and Juliet and The Terminator. That’s fairly accurate, except it doesn’t capture its humor and philosophical earnestness.

The main character is a seventeen year-old girl who is trying to scrape out a living on a junk heap situated in the middle of a radioactive wasteland. All she wants to do is make enough money to buy her grandfather some medicine to ease his suffering and avoid local gangs and religious zealots. Unfortunately, she attracts all the wrong kind of attention when the robot gladiator she built ends up as a smoking pile of spare parts and it looks like she destroyed its opponent with the power of her mind.

A host of fascinating characters accompany Eve on her adventures. There’s Cricket, her cautious robotic sidekick; and Kaiser, a loyal robotic dog. True to their artificial nature, they don’t evolve throughout the course of the novel. Their constancy is a helpful touchstone and is what we end up loving about them.

Lemon Fresh is Eve’s best friend and the fizziest character imaginable. Even when things are at their worst, she hitches up her sassy pants, throws down some eye-popping taunts, and reaffirms her love for her best friend.

“I don’t care who’s after you. Where you’re from or where you’re going. It’s you, me, Crick and Kaiser. No matter what. Rule Number One in the Scrap, remember? Stronger together, together forever.”

Finally, there’s Ezekiel, the impossibly perfect Lifel1k3 who will protect Eve at all costs, but whom she doesn’t trust. If one could imagine the perfect lover, he would be remarkably similar to Ezekiel: dimples, chiseled abs and a penchant for saying the right thing at the right time:

“Deviation’ or whatever you want to call it? That’s just another expression of it. You call it freakish. I call it incredible.” (Translation: you’re perfect because of your faults, not despite them.)

Every romantic on the planet will swoon when he or she reads this line:

“It’s simple to love someone on the days that are easy. But you find out what your love is made of on the days that are hard.”

This rag-tag bunch takes off on a doomed flight, travels through the belly of a sea beast, scrambles through the warrens of a crime-ridden city and races across the desert to rescue Eve’s grandfather and find sanctuary.

There’s scarcely a moment to breathe between one crazy, heart-pounding experience and the next. The pacing makes it nearly impossible to put this book down. If I were to suggest one critique of the book, it would be this: There weren’t enough quiet moments for the reader to look around, absorb everything and get her bearings. I only offer that in a half-hearted fashion, though.

Lifel1k3 poses some deep questions: How real is too real? Is truth really more important than belief? Does one’s past matter as much as one’s present? Is subjugation of any class of beings ever acceptable? If you don’t truly know yourself, can you truly love? Why do villains like chewing tobacco so much?