Who Was Spartacus?

Spartacus, the television series first aired back in 2010. This show was an immediate hit and anyone with a taste of Roman and Greek history with gore, passion, quite a bit of sex and nudity, but ultimately, an amazing storyline performed by true artists, will be floored by this series. Spartacus is the star of the show. The story begins when the Romans deceive the Thracians into joining them in the fight against the Greeks. Spartacus is then taken as a slave along with his wife when he refuses to fight for the Romans. Spartacus’s journey begins at that moment as he desperately tries to break free and get back to his wife. My husband and I spent many nights binge watching this series and it’s still one of our favorites.

If you haven’t seen this eye-popping series, click below for the trailer.

And now, for the true purpose of this post. I recently watched the documentary of Andy Whitfield, the actor who played Spartacus in the first season. He sadly lost his battle against cancer in 2011, a very short time after the success of his role as the gladiator, Spartacus. Please head over to Sup Nerds! for my full review on the Andy Whitfield story: Be Here Now.

x Steph

 

Illuminae (Bk 1): Book Review

illuminae   This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Note*** Blurb was taken from Amazon.com

I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I have to say that it took me a bit longer than I expected. It’s a pretty long read at 599 pages long. However, the format is very different from any novel I have ever known and this is what really sets this book apart from any other. The story is told in a series of dossiers, emails, interviews, and secret encrypted messages. This is by far the most unique read I’ve encountered since being introduced to Ellen Hopkins and her writing style in Crank many years back. This is my first science-fiction read and I really enjoyed it. My only complaint is that while the format is extraordinary, I found it challenging at times. The story made up for that and it was a minor setback to staying on track with the reading. This way of storytelling is innovative and eye-catching to say the very least. Illuminae has all the elements a young adult novel should have, young love, breakups, makeups, and heart-stopping twists in this dystopian setting. When I first laid eyes on this hardcover, I knew I had to have it. It’s so beautiful and when you take a look inside, you know you’re in for a real treat. This book is one of three and I give this first installment 4.5/5 stars. I will definitely be picking up the second book very soon! If you’ve read this book, please let me know what you think!

Happy reading!

xSteph

 

#supnerdsRC2017

Book of the Month Subscription Box: Review

***Note: I posted this yesterday and it disappeared! Poof! Gone! I really wanted to share how great this review on the sub box so here we go! 🙂 

 

It’s been a while readers! School has been crazy! It’s totally consuming. All worth it though 😉

So, I’m coming to you today with a subscription box I joined in January. If you have been following my blog, you know that I am an avid reader and jump at any chance to have another book added to my library, digital or hard copy. I decided to give the Book of the Month Club sub box a shot because there is not commitment and I rather enjoy receiving a book in the mail each month. Especially a hardcover! I have not read these books yet because I want to make a nice dent in my reading challenge,

BOTM selection

How does it work?

You choose one book from a selection of five, carefully put together by a set of judges. If you do not make a choice then a book will be chosen for you. When you sign up you select the genres you enjoy reading so no worries on getting a novel you won’t enjoy! If you don’t see a book you have to have then you simply skip the month. Pretty sweet, right?

How much does it cost?

When you join for the first time, we offer 3 standard enrollment offers:

  • 1-month for $5.00, then $14.99 per month
  • 3-months for $9.99 per month, then $14.99 per month
  • 12-months for $11.99 per month

All membership plans automatically renew, but you can cancel anytime.  

If you were previously a member, and are looking to rejoin BOTM, we offer 3 re-enrollment plans.

  • 3-months for $14.99 per month
  • 6-months for $13.99 per month
  • 12-months for $11.99 per month

For both new members and former members, special offers, different from those listed above, are occasionally made available through email and our partners, like magazines, blogs, and instagramers.

Note*** Payment information taken from https://www.bookofthemonth.com/contact-us

I love this deal and you get the chance of receiving hardcover novels before they hit the shelves! Along with the book, you receive a written review from one of the judges on a BOTM bookmark! I love this extra touch!

Below I will share the books I received along with a synopsis of each. 😉

January 2017

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When I signed up, there was a special offer going on where new members received Gillian Flynn’s book, The Grownup. I also received a BOTMC tote bag because I signed up for the 3-month membership. This sold me immediately on that membership because hey, we need another tote for all of the new books we’ll be lugging around! 😉

 

Lucky You by Erika Carter

An official Book of the Month Club selection.

In Erika Carter’s fierce and darkly funny debut novel, Lucky You, three women in their early twenties find themselves aimlessly adrift in the Arkansas college town they’ve stuck around in too long. Ellie, Chloe, and Rachel are friends (sort of), waitresses at the same dive bar. Each is becoming unmoored in her own way: Ellie obliterates all feeling with alcohol and self-destructive acts of sexual promiscuity; Chloe pulls out patches of her hair and struggles to keep incipient mental illness at bay; changeable Rachel has fallen under the sway of a messianic boyfriend with whom she’s agreed to live off-grid for a year in order to return to “health”, and she asks Ellie and Chloe to join them in “The Project.” In a remote, rural house in the Ozarks, nearly undone by boredom and the brewing tension between them, each tries to solve the conundrum of being alive.
By turns funny, knowing and hauntingly sad, Lucky You is a study in damage and detachment, a fearless portrait of three women at a crucial point in their lives. With startling exactitude and wickedly deadpan humor, it lays bare the emotional core of its characters with surgical precision. The writing is deft and controlled, as natural and unforced as breath–which makes it impossible to look away.
Synopsis was taken from Amazon.com
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

“The Grownup,” which originally appeared as “What Do You Do?” in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world’s most original and skilled voices in fiction.

Synopsis was taken from Amazon.com
February 2017
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I’ll let you have a moment while you coo over the cover. Yes, cooing over a book is a thing!
As soon as I saw this gorgeous cover among the selections, I knew I had to have it! I was so pleased that the story sounded as powerful as this cover reflected!
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
National Bestseller

A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone.

Profoundly moving and gracefully told, PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life.

So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja’s family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

Synopsis was taken from Amazon.com
March 2017
51n+GHTDlNL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ I haven’t received my March box yet so I have included a photo from Amazon. This novel will be released April 4, 2017.
Marlena by Julie Buntin

An electric debut novel about love, addiction, and loss; the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades

Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat, inexperienced and desperate for connection, is quickly lured into Marlena’s orbit by little more than an arched eyebrow and a shake of white-blond hair. As the two girls turn the untamed landscape of their desolate small town into a kind of playground, Cat catalogues a litany of firsts―first drink, first cigarette, first kiss―while Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try to forgive herself and move on, even as the memory of Marlena keeps her tangled in the past.

Alive with an urgent, unshakable tenderness, Julie Buntin’s Marlena is an unforgettable look at the people who shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull oneself back from the brink.

Synopsis was taken from Amazon.com

 

I will definitely continue my membership with the Book of the Month Club! I love the selections thus far! If you want to give this sub box a try, click on the link below!

https://www.mybotm.com/835s7cfrc3ow29

 

Happy Reading!!

x Steph