Judging A Book By Its Cover: Alternate Austens

This is my weekly post where I highlight and appreciate cover designs and the general physical appearance of books. We all judge book covers to some extent. I can’t say that I’ve ever decided against a book with terrible cover art if I liked the sound of the plot, but I do purchase special editions of books and multiple editions of books based on their cover art. If book covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t put out so many beautiful editions!

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Five Peculiar Years

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

Five years ago, the fascinating and strange Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was released into the world by author Ransom Riggs. I was immediately intrigued by the idea of the book and excited by the “found photography” aspect. Today, love for the series is still going strong and there’s even an upcoming movie.

To celebrate the series anniversary, the kind folks over at Quirk Books sent me a peculiar tote, along with an extra to give away!

To enter, please head over to my Instagram (@milliebot_reads) – follow me there, like the post and tag a friend! My giveaway will run from today (6/20) to Friday (6/24) and I’ll announce a winner on IG on Saturday (6/24). (Rules and such: Must enter on IG in order for your blog entry to be valid. No giveaway accounts.)

For an extra entry, comment here with what peculiar power you’d like to have. And I don’t mean the run-of-the-mill powers that we all wish for like flight and teleportation or telekinesis. Something odd!

Personally, I’ve always had the strange desire for what I call “past vision.” It would probably be a mostly useless power, but I wish I could see what the land wherever I was standing looked like 50, 100, 300 years ago. Since I was fairly young, I would be somewhere, like a city or at a theme park and I would wonder what that place looked like before things were built or developed the way they are today. Is that weird? (probably.)

At any rate, this tote is pretty neat. You can even write (well…paint probably) on the back to show off your peculiarity!

If you’re interested, Quirk is also hosting a fanart based giveaway on their site and for more information, you can click here. Stay peculiar bibliofriends!

Judging A Book By Its Cover: The Resurrectionist

This is my weekly post where I highlight and appreciate cover designs and the general physical appearance of books. We all judge book covers to some extent. I can’t say that I’ve ever decided against a book with terrible cover art if I liked the sound of the plot, but I have purchased special editions of books, or multiple editions of books based on their cover art. If book covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t put out so many beautiful editions!

My Sweetbeeps bought me this lovely, creepy tome as a wedding gift. Who wouldn’t love a compendium of the anatomy of mystical creatures? Published by Quirk (no wonder I love this book) in 2013. ISBN: 9781594746161.

Book Review: My Best Friend’s Exorcism

My Best Friend’s Exorcism
By Grady Hendrix

My Edition:
ARC Paperback, 332 pages
2016, Quirk Books
ISBN: 9781594748622
Expected Release Date: May 17, 2016

I received this book for free from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.

Abby and her three friends rule the school. One summer evening, after horsing around at the lake and then dropping acid together, Gretchen disappears into the woods after skinny dipping. The others find her hours later, hiding in an abandoned building, naked and dazed. The four brush off the incident, but afterwards Gretchen begins to act differently. As her personality takes a drastic change, Abby begins to think back to that night Gretchen spent in the woods and wonders if something  supernatural might be going on. Abby watches in horror as her world turns upside down and wonders if there is a way to save her friends.

Hendrix brings back his flare for horror and gore and adds a touch of 80’s culture in this creepy new read. I loved his first novel, Horrorstör, because it gave me the willies and kept me wanting more. I hoped that My Best Friend’s Exorcism would deliver more freaky flair and it didn’t disappoint. Abby was a relatable character who stood by Gretchen as her actions destroyed her friendships and popularity at school and wreaked havoc on her body. Even after suffering abuse at Gretchen’s hands, Abby was still willing to save her friend from the demons that plagued her.  I also enjoyed that the book had its dark moments, but also managed to stay somewhat lighthearted overall.  I think if you enjoyed Horrorstör, you’ll also enjoy My Best Friend’s Exorcism.

Book Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge
By Paul Krueger

My Edition:
Paperback, 281 pages
2016, Quirk Books
ISBN: 9781594747595
Expected Publication Date: June 7, 2016

I received this book for free from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.

Bailey Chen has graduated college and, like many typical graduates, has ended up moving back in with her parents, with no money and no job. An old friend, Zane, offers her a position as a bar back at his Uncle’s Chicago bar, Bailey jumps at the chance. When she decides to sneak a drink on the job and it starts glowing, Bailey finds there’s more to the bartending job than she ever imagined. Turns out there are magical types of alcohol that the local bartenders are consuming to help them battle the nightmare demons that literally drink the life from unsuspecting patrons.

This book was clever and funnier than I expected. Krueger’s infusion of urban fantasy with bartending lore made for a unique read. I liked Bailey’s character – she was a relatable college grad, a bit down on her luck and her smarts and degree underutilized, yet she kept a positive attitude and was determined to make the best of her new job – especially after she learned it involved fighting monsters. I also like that she stuck to her beliefs and fought for what she felt was right, even when it seemed like she was fighting alone.

Bailey, Zane and Vincent were the most fleshed out characters. I feel like the other secondary characters were a little flat and I would have liked to know more about how they came to be part of the elite realm of demon-slaying bartenders. Krueger has put a lot of thought into this world, giving different types of liquor their own base powers and each cocktail its own magical effect (for example a martini will make you invisible) to help the drinker fight the powers of darkness. He even created a Cupbearers Court that rules over those who mix magical cocktails.

The book also contains real recipes from The Devil’s Water Dictionary (a mystical bartender’s bible), that regular old folks like you and me can use to mix our own drinks (magic not included) and witty “historical” commentary about each recipe and the origin of its elements.

This was a refreshing (pun?!) urban fantasy and I certainly hope there’s a sequel because I deeply enjoyed the effortless and humorous way Kruger told his tale. If you’re looking for something funky, funny, and alcohol based, check out Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge.

Mini Review: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy

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The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
By Sam Maggs

My Edition:
Hardcover, 207 pages
2015, Quirk Books
ISBN: 9781594747892
Expected Publication Date: May 12, 2015

I received this book for free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.

Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs  and RPGs and MMOs and more – it’s never been a better time to be  girl geek. This guide is the ultimate handbook for ladies living  the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom.

What a cute little book! Sometime last year I won a copy of Eric Smith’s Geeks Guide to Dating, also published by Quirk and I knew this book would be in the same vein – I’m a sucker for little guides like this. I love the overall style of this book, with the little illustrations and the bright blue accents in the text. I found that primarily this book gives information and tips on attending different types of conventions, and how to navigate and conduct yourself on social media. There are other sections detailing the joys of various fandoms, mini interviews with famous fangirls and even a section on feminism. If I ever decide to attend a convention, I’ll definitely refer to this book for advice, or if I need nerdy inspiration or gift ideas, there’s a great section of websites listed in the back of the book.

Maggs delivers all this information in a witty, relatable way, using lots of modern terms and inside jokes that our dorky sides will understand. I actually learned a few terms thanks to the vocabulary sections provided, especially where fanfiction was concerned. Like, how did I not know what NOTP meant!?

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Are you a geek? A nerdy girl? Do you squee over your favorite shows, kick ass at video games, and/or re-read your favorite series over and over? Then chances are you’re a fangirl and this book has some helpful hints, nerdy resources like websites and convention info, and inside jokes that you’ll enjoy. I think it’s a little overpriced, but it would make a great gift for the fangirl in your life.

Bonus pictures!

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