Friday, June 2, 2017

Review: The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading

Title: The Dragon of the Month Club
Author: Iain Reading
Format: Paperback, 236 pages
Pub. Date: December 18th 2014
Source: Author

Book Description:

The Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new book series that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club - The Dragon of the Month Club.

On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons - not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.

But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler's messy bedroom. Traveling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.

Drawing inspiration from some of literature's most memorable stories - from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes's London - the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.



I couldn't resist when I was offered a chance to read this book. I love fantasy and dragons, plus I'm a sucker for books that use other books as part of their plot (like Inkheart, for example). All in all I was really happy to have read this book.

First, I would like to clarify that this book is more of a middle grade level than a young adult level. It doesn't matter to me, but it might if you have a child.

Anyway, I really liked the friendship between Ayana and Tyler. I felt that it was well thought out and it seemed like they really care about each other. I love that they get into these dragon-summoning shenanigans together.

A lot of detail and planning went into this book, and I appreciate that. Each dragon that Ayana and Tyler summon is an individual, with its own personality, traits, and story. It was kind of cool, because honestly who really pictures a dozen different kinds of dragons? Not me! There's also the detail that comes into play as the pair find themselves in a booklover's dream- a fantasy book land. There's so many references and it makes my literary heart happy.

It got a little muddled at times, because there's so many worlds and dragons and things going on, but ultimately it didn't detract from my reading experience very much.

I recommend this to the late elementary/middle school crowd, to any kid who loves fantasy, magic, dragons, or who loves books in general. It's an engrossing adventure that kids are sure to love.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 1, 2017

It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson

Title: It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays
Author: Shane Dawson
Format: Paperback, 256 pages, autographed.
Pub. Date: July 19th 2016
Source: c2e2 / Anderson Books

Book Description:

New York Times bestselling author Shane Dawson returns with another highly entertaining and uproariously funny essay collection, chronicling a mix of real life moments both extraordinary and mortifying, yet always full of heart.

Shane Dawson shared some of his best and worst experiences in I Hate Myselfie, the critically acclaimed book that secured his place as a gifted humorist and keen observer of millennial culture. Fans felt as though they knew him after devouring the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal bestseller. They were right… almost.

In this new collection of original personal essays, Shane goes even deeper, sharing never-before-revealed stories from his life, giving readers a no-holds-barred look at moments both bizarre and relatable, from cult-like Christian after-school activities, dressing in drag, and losing his virginity, to hiring a psychic, clashes with celebrities, and coming to terms with his bisexuality. Every step of the way, Shane maintains his signature brand of humor, proving that even the toughest breaks can be funny when you learn to laugh at yourself.

This is Let's Pretend This Never Happened and Running With Scissors for the millennial generation: an inspiring, intelligent, and brutally honest collection of true stories by a YouTube sensation-turned one of the freshest new voices out there.



This was just the book I needed after my reading slump. Seriously, it's been like a year since I was an active reader. When I saw a signed copy of this at the Anderson's Book booth at C2E2, I couldn't resist.

I'm a big fan of Shane Dawson's YouTube channel, and I wasn't disappointed in this book at all. His dark sense of humor, his passion for film, and his voice are all clear in this collection of essays.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much emotion was in this book. I really related to his struggles. A lot of his stories come from his time as a (self-professed) poor fat kid. I was a poor fat kid, so I really understand the things he talked about like "chub rub" and terrible plus sized Goodwill clothes. I also really related to his discussions about his coming to terms with his bisexuality. I identify that way myself, and it's fairly uncommon to read books where it comes up (other than erotica). It's nice knowing sometimes that you're not alone. Like him, I didn't come out until my 20s, and I struggled for a really long time.

I've been watching his YouTube channel for years, and I feel like this book made me learn more about the guy behind the channel. I couldn't help but to read the whole book in his tone, and it made the funny parts even more hilarious, and the sad parts even more heartfelt.

I liked that each essay was prefaced with a piece of art done by a fan, and a little bio about the artist. I thought this was a really nice way of incorporating his fans into the book, and it was interesting to see everyone's art style, and how the piece related to the topic of the chapter

There were parts where I laughed my ass off- like when he accidentally ended up in Mexico, or when he started to delve into the world of online hookups. There were parts where I even teared up, like in the last essay when his mom wrote about how proud she was of the man he's become, or when he hired a medium to talk to a deceased relative.

Overall, I'd say if you're familiar with Shane Dawson and are a fan, pick up this book. If you're new to him, you'll still enjoy it, but be warned that it's full of, shall we say, blue humor. Lots of sex jokes and swearing. For me, this is a plus. For others, maybe not so much. It's also worth mentioning that I have not read his first book "I Hate Myselfie". I didn't feel like I was missing anything without it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Freeks by Amanda Hocking!

Title: Freeks

Author: Amanda Hocking

Release date: January 3rd 2017


Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodies are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.



I was so excited to get a chance to read this book, thanks to St. Martin's Press. I've read Amanda Hocking's work before, and loved it. I'm happy to say that Freeks didn't disappoint!

One reason that I really enjoyed this book is because the plot centers around a sideshow. One way to ensure that I read a book is to make it feature a side show, carnival, or circus. I have no idea why, but it's one of my absolute favorite settings to have for a novel. Naturally, this is what lured me into reading Freeks. I wish there would have been a little more focus on the actual traveling show, but that's nitpicking a bit.

It's also pretty dark and creepy, which is a huge plus. Hocking is great at getting that unsettling undertone into her writing, so that you're not exactly sure where the twists of the story will take you, but you know you should brace yourself for when it happens. Hocking also demonstrates her writing skills when it comes to the depth of her characters. They're the ones who sell this book, and by the end of the adventure you'll definitely have some feelings and connections to Mara and Gabe.

Speaking of Mara and Gabe, this book also features a romance. This was a little shaky for me. It wasn't bad, necessarily. I actually can't really explain why the romance didn't work perfectly for me. The timing seemed off somehow. It's okay, but there were some spots in their story where I was left raising a brow.

All in all, I am not sorry that I read Freeks. It is a paranormal young adult romance set in the 1980s that has the dark, southern charm of Louisiana mixed with a traveling side show and a super cool cast of characters. It's like Cirque du Freak grew up into a teen and got itself a boyfriend. If you like supernatural talents, mysteries, romance, or circuses and freak shows, I recommend Freeks for sure.

Thank you so much to St. Martin's Press, who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

Get it Here:

Amazon | Macmillan | BN | BAM

Find the Author:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Pinterest


Thanks to St. Martin's Press, who offered up one hardcover copy of Freeks for a US reader!

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children #1
Author: Ransom Riggs
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Pub. Date: June 7th 2011
Source: Half Price Books

Book Description:

A family to heal him?

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.



Well.... This book is certainly peculiar.

I'm always a bit hesitant to read books that are crazy popular. This is an example. But with the recent movie release.... I just couldn't resist. At the end of the pages, this book left me feeling a mixture of disappointed, irritated, and mildly amused.

First, I'll go over what I liked about it. I can honestly say I haven't read a book like it before. I really enjoyed the photographs and letters that were included throughout the novel. It added a vintage feel of authenticity to the story. The descriptions of location were really well done- I felt like I could explore the house or the island alongside Jacob. It was enough to keep me reading and exploring.

But I didn't really enjoy the flow of the book. It felt slow until the last two chapters or so, as though this were more of a prequel or a primer for reading the next story. It made the story drag, and it made it take longer for me to get through reading it.

The book also felt a bit disjointing to me. I didn't really feel connected to any of the characters, other than Jacob and Emma. That's disappointing, because there's a whole house full of interesting, "peculiar" children that I would have loved to learn more about. But other than a name and a brief description of what makes them peculiar, I was left hanging. There's a half-attempt at a love story awkwardly placed in all the chaos. I don't mind romance in the slightest, but it came across as forced.

And then there's the ending.... Which is where I felt the most torn. On the one hand, it's where the book picked up speed for me. And that's good! But it also unfolded a bit like an episode of Scooby-Doo. A trusted figure takes off their face, ends up being the bad guy, and then a ragtag team of spooky teenagers/children jet off to save the world.

Overall, I'm not mad that I read this book. It held my attention well enough, and I really liked some aspects of it. I enjoyed the idea of the time Loops, the photographs, and the integration of history/the war throughout. Unfortunately, it fell short in some ways too. I don't think that I'll reread this one any time soon, but I might pick up the next book in the series if I come across it.

I feel like young adults and fans of Beautiful Creatures might enjoy this.

Newvember (I'm Back, Baby!)

Alright, lovely readers.

It's a new month. A new beginning.

And what does that beginning mean for Bitches n Prose?

It means.....

Let the blogging begin once more!

And oh does it feel good to be back.

Let's get bookish, shall we?


Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Humble Apology (and a plan!)

Hey everyone,

It's been a while since I have posted anything substantial on this site. And I'd like to apologize for that, and though I know I don't owe any of you an explanation, I'd like to give one anyway. Even if it's just for my own peace of mind :)

So, I did write a post here (link) that explained my mental health issues. I'll recap it here in a TLDR version- I had a really bad "bout" of depression and anxiety. It got to the point where I was failing classes, where I couldn't get out of bed to even shower or eat, and I was afraid to leave my dorm room.

Thankfully, it got better.

It got so much better, in fact, that I was able to turn all my grades around! After busting my ass for the last semester with a whopping total of 21 credit hours, I got on the Dean's List for the first time ever in my academic career.

And, even better than that, I graduated from uni! I also moved back home from college, which is a whole different can of worms.

AND On top of that still (my time away is like a trifle- full of complex but delicious layers), I got my first "big girl" job! And no, it has nothing to do with my major :P I interviewed a few different days during finals week and was offered a position on graduation day. I can't ask for much better timing than that!

Plus, I volunteer on another website as a moderator, which has taken up quite a chunk of time too.

And.... I went on a mini vacation x.x

As I write this memo, I'm still in the training process for this job. Which, is another layer on the trifle of a busy life.

In short: life got in the way of reading (and blogging!)

I'd like to apologize to any blog tour organizers, authors, bloggers, and publishers if this has caused any issues.

So where do we go from here?
-I'm going to start catching up on posts I had meant to do in my absence
-I'm going to start posting reviews for books I have read awhile ago already and never got a chance to blog about
-I will also crosspost these to Amazon and Goodreads
-I will update my Goodreads information so that I am not so far off base/behind
-I will start participating again in memes such as STS
-I will start lovingly stalking the blogs I once adored via bloglovin'
-I will deal with the hot mess that is currently my Netgalley page
-I will reply to emails in a timely fashion
-I will plan out a giveaway or two to make up for it
-I will start being more active on sites such as tumblr and twitter and instagram and Pinterest
-I will organize my bookshelves, both online and physical
-I will start posting some unboxings, since I've become a mail whore.

I'm sure this is not a complete list, but for now, that is what I need to do.

Thank you to all of you who have kept following me despite the silence. Every one of you means something to me, and without the support of all of you, I would not have the motivation, the fun, or the desire to get back to doing this.

Please comment below and tell me what I've missed! What good books should I be reading? Who has graduated? Who is pregnant? Deets, people! ;D

Bookishly yours,


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Dragonfly by Alyssa Thiessen!

Title: Dragonfly

Author: Alyssa Thiessen

Release date: February 6, 2016

Publisher: Peasantry Press

Summary from Goodreads:

Eighteen-year-old Joshua Miller is great at being invisible, despite the four, large, insect-like wings protruding from his back and his knack for high-rise robberies. He can remember almost nothing of his life before Nik found him and taught him his trade. Now he’s alone, and he likes it that way.

When Joshua unexpectedly meets Lexi on a job, his simple, uncomplicated existence shifts. Although he intends to remain uninvolved, something about her captivates him and he begins to let her in. As he navigates the strange nuances of a relationship with a girl as desperate to be different as he is to be ordinary, he becomes increasingly aware that he is not who he wants to be for her. Confronted by the past he’d forgotten and a family he didn’t know existed, Joshua must decide for himself where he belongs and who holds the key to his future.


The fire smoldered outside, and I stood in front of the large, square mirror in the bathroom. As I looked into my own face, smooth and familiar, I felt shame wash over me. “I’m sorry,” I whispered aloud. Before me was the man who had spent his life stealing from people, who had watched suffering and pain and had felt nothing, done nothing. This was the man who consistently left the only people who loved him.
Dragonfly, I heard her voice in my mind, feeling her certainty and faith again. She didn’t care who I’d been.

Get it Here:


About the Author:

When she's not donning her secret identity and saving the world, Thiessen keeps busy writing her next novel, reading something beautiful, teaching high school English, drinking coffee, cycling, and hanging out with her family - husband, kiddies, and miniature schnauzer.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Follow the rest of the tour here!


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