Science Comics Dinosaurs: Fossils & Feathers Blog Tour -- Babies Read Too

Release Date: March. 29th, 2016 | First Second 
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Science
Pages: 128
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic--dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you're a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty-year-old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!

This volume: in Dinosaurs learn all about the history of paleontology! This fascinating look at dinosaur science covers the last 150 years of dinosaur hunting and illuminates how our ideas about dinosaurs have changed--and continue to change.



Toddler Takeover!
I teamed up with my future Paleontologist to uncover the history of Dinosaurs. 
I may have been harmed in the process.


As any parent that loves to read, it's the best feeling in the world when your children share that passion as well. Just last year, I started noticing that my son was picking up a knack for reading. He'd often reach for a book before he would a toy, so that was my cue to encourage reading with him as much as possible. We read together all of the time, covering his favorite topics, animals, nature, or cars, but nothing beats his absolutely favorite . . . DINOSAURS. When I say my son is obsessed with dinos, I mean OBSESSED. We started a dinosaur collection on his 3rd birthday, and now just short of a year later, my house is swarmed with these extinct creatures, to the point where I'm tripping over a triceratops one moment, and a Velicoraptor the next. (I could've broken my neck) Natgeo, Animal Planet, and Dino documentaries are constantly watched in my household, so when I got wind from Nori that First Second was putting together a blog tour for this MG series, I hopped on as fast as I could!

You know mama gotta look out for her baby  

What Tihamer and I loved the most about this graphic novel, was the amount of history the author managed to pack into such a tiny book. As I noticed from the beginning, we're given a " timeline " of events and information, starting with tid bits about how dinosaurs walked the earth 165 million years ago, all the way to how fossils are formed and discovered. 

Did You Know:  
Dinosaur poop can be fossilized, allowing Paleontologists to determine a dinosaur's last meal and what they ate? Super gross, but definitely cool right?

It was also nice to discover more dinosaurs Tihamer and I weren't familiar with. He's extra bossy and thinks he knows everything, (something he gets from his Nina, not me lol) so seeing how shocked and excited he was about, " doing more research on these new dinos " made me realize just how much he enjoys learning about them. We were schooled on different scientists, and even found out that animals living amongst us today, birds, frogs, and some mammals, have an ancestry of dinosaurs in their family! If a cat becomes a Catasaurus I'd lose it lol. 

Ever thought about naming a dinosaur? Here's how!

1. Become a Paleontologist. Discover a new species and write about it!
2. Win a contest!

Did You Know:
 In 2005, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis held a contest to name what became " Dracorex Hogwartsia " which means, " Dragon King of Hogwarts? "

In other words, someone cool nerd referenced the hell out of Harry Potter. They will forever my idols. 

Speaking of names, let's listen to my little monster point out a few of his favorite dinosaurs we spotted in this book!

So as you can see Tihamer really enjoyed his very first graphic novel, and you know what? I did too! 

Side Note: The text throught the GN is a bit tiny, even for me. Good thing my son has eyes like a bug haha


The Decent Proposal Blog Tour | Netflix & Chill For Half A Million?

Released: April 5, 2016 | Harper Collins
Genre(s): Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 305
Edition: ARC Paperback

An addictively readable debut romantic comedy, drama, and mystery rolled into one, about two very different strangers whose lives become intertwined when they receive an unusual proposition. This is a funny, tender, and enchanting story about love, attraction, and friendship: Jane Austen in Los Angeles.

A struggling Hollywood producer, Richard Baumbach is twenty-nine, hung-over, and broke. Ridiculously handsome with an innate charm and an air of invincibility, he still believes good things will come his way. For now he contents himself with days at the Coffee Bean and nights with his best friend Mike (that’s a woman, by the way).

At thirty-three, Elizabeth Santiago is on track to make partner at her law firm. Known as “La Máquina” The Machine—to her colleagues, she’s grown used to avoiding anything that might derail her quiet, orderly life. And yet recently she befriended a homeless man in her Venice neighborhood, surprised to find how much she enjoys their early-morning chats.

Richard and Elizabeth’s paths collide when they receive a proposal from a mysterious, anonymous benefactor. They’ll split a million dollars if they agree to spend at least two hours together—just talking—every week for a year. Astonished and more than a little suspicious, they each nevertheless say yes. Richard needs the money and likes the adventure of it. Elizabeth embraces the challenge of shaking up her life a little more. Both agree the idea is ridiculous, but why not?

What ensues is a delightful journey full of twists, revelations, hamburgers, classic literature, poppy music, and above all love, in its multitude of forms. The Decent Proposal is a heartfelt and often hilarious look at the ties that bind not just a guy and a girl but an entire, diverse cast of characters situated within a modern-day Los Angeles brought to full and irrepressible life.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



Absurd Situations Always Lead To Great Things.
2 strangers + an unbelievable offer + other interesting things I won't spoil = a book worth a read.


You want to know the beauty of reading a book you've never heard of before? The element of surprise! You're going in completely blind, most certainly oblivious to what the story has in store, but that's what makes it exciting right? Not knowing what's going to happen -- if you're actually going to like the book or not. Often times, these types of situations result in one of two endings: horribly fucking bad, or incredibly fucking good. (There are definitely in betweens) The Decent Proposal written by the oh-so-handsome Kemper, (isn't his name so cute?) Donovan not only surprised me, but impressed me enough that I read it (almost) in one sitting.

And no it's not because I'm crushing on the author's face . . okay I'm lying but whatever. 

I'd Take That Offer For 500 Bob. 
If someone, an anonymous someone might I add, asks you to spend time with a complete stranger every week for an entire year, would you do it? How about for half a million dollars? I don't know about you guys, but for that amount of money, you damn skippy I'll Netflix & Chill with this catfish. Of course I need him to be my type, and he MUST submit to a background and psychological check because you know, I don't do the crazies. I liked Joe from YOU by Caroline Kepnes, not sure I can handle him in real life. Anywho, that is the exact proposal our two main characters, Richard and Elizabeth receive from a mysterious person. At first I expected the book to be cheesy, because come on, how absurd is this situation, but as I mentioned before, I was surprised to see that I not only enjoyed the concept, but the characters, the LA scene, the easy-going writing . . almost everything Kemper had to deliver.

So Opposites Really Do Attract, Eh?
I'm a hard-on-characters type of reader. Sometimes when I read a book, I'd end up liking one character but hating the other, especially in YA relationships. (Thank goodness this is Adult huh?) However, Richard and Elizabeth were a match made in heaven. Before I dive into the duo, thank you cute author man, for sliding diversity into your novel without A. Shoving it down my throat, and B. Waving a " my book is incredibly diverse " flag in my face. I had zero clue Elizabeth would be a Latina from South Central, or that Mike (bestfriend of Richard) was actually a girl . . a Korean girl at that. Nice touch man, nice touch.

What I liked the most about our main characters, is that they were so freaking different. Richard reminded me of someone I could chill with on a daily. He's a social drinker, ratchet texter, (yes his text messages are full of slang and abbrievations, my type of texting buddy) just an all around cool, easy-going guy. Now Elizabeth is definitely the moon to Rich's sun, and even though she's more reserved and was a bit stiff in the beginning, I absolutely adored her. While Richard was into movies, (he was a producer BTW, a struggling one but still.) Elizabeth was an avid reader. Her favorites are classics, EW and she likes re-reading books, DOUBLE EW, but you can definitely see how their personalities fit together like one nerdy ass puzzle.

Stradling The Fence
After finishing this novel, I had no clue what I wanted to rate it. I enjoyed it enough for it to warrant atleast 4 stars, but then I had a bit of an issue with " the reveal " being a bit underwhelming. I felt that caused a ping-pong effect with my thoughts, in other words, I just couldn't freaking decide. I do however, think The Decent Proposal is a solid read. This is one of the few times I've enjoyed a book told in the third perspective, and even though others had a problem with the writing being " info-dumpy " it didn't bother me not one bit.

I actually liked that Kemper decided to not only show but tell. Whenever you think of world-building in a novel, your mind automatically jumps to the genres fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian. Contemporaries rarely come to mind. So the fact that I was taken through the streets of LA as if I was right there, front and center, was fascinating. Do you know how obsessed I am with In-N-Out? We don't have one in my area, so I have to resort to looking up the #Innoutburger tag on Instagram. (Yes I'm that pathetic.) But see, cute author man actually took me inside of an In-N-Out restaurant! He gave me a vivid picture of the red and white 50's style decor, made me think I could order a double-double with extra cheese and a milkshake right through the freaking book. With all of the places and people he described, I felt as if I was touring the city through his writing, he painted THAT perfect of picture, and you know what? I thought that was pretty fucking cool.

Look, all I'm trying to say is that this cute author man, referenced one of my favorite movies from my teenage years, (Blue Crush) and gave me a Latina from South Central that likes to read and surf. Um Michelle Rodriguez anyone? My teenage hero people. So technically, he deserves not only a read, but a freaking hug.

I like you Kempster, cute author face guy. Oh and your book too.

P.S: If you're reading this, think you can mail me a double-double? Extra cheese & mayo. No pickles. (On the side is acceptable.) 


Tika's Epic Guide To Navigating New Adult & Adult Like A Boss Bitch.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



* Cue Info-Commerical Here *
this guide includes: rule book + mini reviews for an additional $17.89! Pay with cash, credit, bacon, or books.


Do you ever have those moments where you come up with a great idea, but have zero motivation to execute it? This is me 100% of the time. Being a mother takes time, dedication, and a whole lot of patience, and after trying to recover from the blogging slump that slayed my entire bookish life last month, there was no way I could muster up enough strength to create any type of post other than a review. In Feb, I came up with an idea to do a list on all of my favorite new adult/adult novels. I posted one a hundred and two years ago, and because our reading tastes are constantly changing, I thought an updated list would be cool to showcase along with some recommendations from other smut lovers. But then came another idea. I'm always getting asked HOW I find good NA/Adult titles, (yall know I'm queen at this) so I came up with the idea to create an epically ridiculous guide to find great reads within the genre. But wait. How can I possibly achieve any of this when I still have quite a few books to review? Well . . .

You mash these shits together Tika DUH!


Rule #1: Become A Cover Whore.
Joining the cover whore association definitely has it perks and advantages. The most important being the ability to judge a cover, giving you complete whore-ish eyesight to discover what themes the book will consist of. For example, have you ever seen those weird covers with the overly sexy couples on the front? The guy is usually all muscular, tatted, and sweaty, the girl half naked with her head thrown back in some orgasmic ecstasy, both clad in leather or ripped jeans? Or what about those covers with the suited guy that looks like he smells strongly of a french courtesan? Think Fifty Shades of Shitty Grey people. Sexy guy with dark past, girl seduced by his enchanting manhood, Erotica, BDSM. Everything that involves a freaky romance. Paying attention to covers while using your upgraded eyesight will definitely help to determine themes if the synopsis is too vague.  

By the covers alone, I knew that the YOU dualogy would give me something new, refreshing, and all types of effed up, which is exactly what I needed at the time. I was searching for a title that would pull me out of my slump, and since nothing in YA was making the cut, I decided to jump into the sea of Adult to then be rescued by Caroline Kepnes. Both YOU and Hidden Bodies are unlike anything I've ever read. Our main character Joe is hands down one of my favorite characters. He's a bookworm that makes cool references between books and movies, he's cute, he stalks women . . and men . . and sometimes kills people, but he's HILARIOUS! I mean guys, try not to be so judgemental okay? Yes, he's a psychopath, but he's so damn cool and is such boyfriend material. Told brilliantly from the first and second perspective, we're given a dark and compelling plot, mangled with bat-shit crazy characters that add a repulsive, yet humorous light to the story. Kepnes's ability to romanticize a novel so effing twisted is probably the best thing I've ever witnessed. If you haven't read these books, you're truly missing out. #TEAMJOE. 

Rule #2: Dig Deep Baby Pup. 
Never, ever skim the surface when looking for NA and Adult titles. You'll end up with only the most popular books, (which are never all that great to be honest) missing out on the hidden gems that are buried beneath all of the BS. Dig deep my friends. Go to the ends of the bookish earth, and I swear you'll find your next favorite read that almost flew completely under your radar. 

I'm what you call a " late fan " of K.A Tucker. She's a known author in the NA/Adult community, but in my bubble she was hardly talked about, causing me to overlook her titles. I remember going on a hunt via Goodreads for some good NA to read, but nothing recommended caught my eye. It took about 4 pages of scrolling until finally I landed on Burying Water, the title that started my obsession with Tucker's work. From there I jumped right into an arc of her recent release He Will Be My Ruin, which was every bit of what I expected it to be. While it wasn't on the level of her BW series, (in my opinion) her suspenseful take on the " who-dun-it " aspect kept me on edge, reminding me of why I fell in love with her writing in the first place. A mix of unreliable characters, with the dead POV of one living a double life, she was able to deliver a story that made you question everything you thought you knew, and everyone you believed you could trust. Like I said, DIG. 

Rule #3: Make Nancy Drew Your Spirit Animal. 
This rule is a little similar to " Becoming A Cover Whore " but still a lot different. Okay maybe only slightly, but whatever we're rolling with it. Do any of you remember Nancy Drew? Back in the day, she was our badass teen detective, the sleuth we all wanted to be. Well changing your spirit animal from that useless unicorn, (seriously wtf does a unicorn even do? You can't get anything done shitting rainbows) to a clue gathering detective, will keep you from falling into common traps found in the synopsis of titles. For example, if you're reading a blurb to a book, and it sounds like a big ball of cliche, nine times out of ten it is. But don't just stop there, search for clues (keywords or phrases) as to why! 

After I devoured Ugly Love, I told myself that my next CoHo read would be Maybe Someday a.k.a everyone's favorite, but I was a little nervous. The cover SCREAMS cutesy, (and you guys know I avoid anything cute, corny, or cheesy like the plague) which almost made me put it onto my hell-no pile. Thank goodness I used rule #3 to search for keywords that might intrigue me, (cheating, mysterious, passionate, and betrayal) or I would've missed out on a pretty good read. Maybe Someday isn't my favorite CoHo title, but it's still high on my recommendation list. The relationship created between Sidney & Ridge was incredibly realistic. I adored how their connection wasn't just a physical foundation, instead it was intense and emotionally charged, especially due to Ridge's disability. Colleen's flare for the dramatic resulted in a few eye rolls for me, but she definitely made up for it with the relatable characters, angsty plot, and the super cool soundtrack. If you're looking for a light, fast read, Maybe Someday should be your top choice. 

Rule #4: Show Love To The Underdogs.
As I mentioned in Rule #2, if you dig deep within these genres, you are sure to uncover some hidden gems you never knew existed, from authors you've never even heard of. Self-pub and indie authors are a force to reckoned with! After doing a comparison of titles I've read from traditional/popular authors, vs SP&I, the majority of my favorite titles come from the former squad. I call them " the underdogs, " and if you're looking for some original, well-executed work in NA/Adult, head straight for the UD's. Trust me on this one. 

I didn't necessarily have to dig to find Tarryn Fisher's work, but I definitely was surprised to find out that she was a self-published author. She has a slew of titles, three co-written with her best friend Colleen Hoover, but for some strange reason, I never bothered to pick them up. After stumbling across her recent release F*ck Love, (sheesh I love that cover!) I finally decided to give her a go and I'm so freaking glad that I did! First of all, if you're into controversial topics like myself, then you'll be screaming for joy when it comes to FK. Here we have a love triangle straight off a Jerry Springer show, involving our MC Helena, her best friend Della, and Della's boyfriend Kit. Oh how deliciously scandalous this story turned out to be! Although quite strange, I loved the originality of the concept, not to mention the Harry Potter references, and her full of personality writing style added such a great touch 
to this novel. I had a great time living vicariously through these characters, and if it wasn't for an issue I had with one of the supporting characters, (I'm still trying to figure out why Muslim Black was relevant to the story) F*ck Love would've easily been a 5 star read for me!

Disclaimer: No money back guarantee. Dislike these books at your own risk.