Monday, July 31, 2023

Book Review - Heart Eyes: The Complete Series by Dennis Hopeless + Giveaway




Heart Eyes: The Complete Series by Dennis Hopeless centers on a young girl, Lupe,l who wanders around San Antonio in a post apocalypse world.  The world has been taken over by monsters that consume humans and their brains. Humanity is at the brink of collapse with the few remaining survivors focused on surviving instead of fighting back.

Rico spots another person, Lupe,  wandering around the rubble. He is curious to know how she survived and why she is smiling. He knows that no one smiles and laughs anymore, especially in the streets where the monsters can get you. Rico finds himself attracted to her and wants to know more about her. How is Lupe able to walk around in the open without being food for the monsters?

The graphic novel was a quick read but I thought the story didn’t explain much. The ending was predictable and a bit of a let down. I wish the story went into more detail about why Lupe was able to do certain things.  I didn’t really care for any of the characters mostly because they didn’t seem developed enough. The graphics were realistic and well drawn. The graphic novel has gore and adult content that might not make it suitable for young readers.

**Disclosure - I received a free in copy in exchange for an honest opinion**


About The Book:

Title: HEART EYES (The Complete Series)

Authors: Dennis Hopeless & Víctor Ibáñez (Illustrator)

Pub. Date: July 18, 2023

Publisher: Vault Comics

Formats:  Paperback, eBook

Pages: 144

Find it: Goodreads

A post-apocalyptic monster story teeming with horror, Lovecraftian-inspired monstrosities, romance, and one devil-may-care teenager named Lupe who is much more than she seems. 


Sanity-eating monsters ended humanity. The unlucky few who survived now hide in the cracks of a broken world. And yet somehow, beneath the graveyard that used to be San Antonio, Rico met Lupe, the girl of his dreams - and an enigma. How did she get here? And why is she smiling? No one survives out in the street. No one smiles where the monsters lurk. But Lupe does.

Join teenagers Rico and Lupe as they journey through a the desolate landscape of monstrous devastation - and their own obstacle-ridden relationship.

Heart Eyes explores themes of loneliness, mental illness, being your own worst enemy, and human connection reflecting the pandemic and post-pandemic world in which we live.

For fans of Lovecraftian monsters and horror, weird romance, post-apocalyptic fiction,Caitlin R. Kiernan (Houses Under the Sea ,The Tinfoil Dossier series, Vile Affections, Tales of Pain and Wonder, Daughter of Hounds, Alabaster, Comes a Pale Rider), the Ellen Datlow-edited Lovecraft's Monsters, James Tynion IV's Something is Killing the Children, Robert Kirkman's Oblivion Song, Scott Snyder's Undiscovered Country, Bad Girls, Rick Remender's Low, Justin Jordan's The Spread, and Human Remains.

Collects the complete five-issue series.

About Dennis Hopeles:

Dennis Hopeless is a Harvey Award-winning writer from Kansas City, MO best known for Marvel titles such as X-Men, Avengers, Spider-woman, and Captain America. Hopeless has also written for DC Comics, Image Comics, BOOM! Studios, and is the writer and co-creator of HEART EYES for Vault Comics. 


Keep in touch here:

Twitter | Instagram



About Víctor Ibáñez:

Victor Ibanez is a critically-acclaimed illustrator based in Barcelona, Spain.


Keep in touch here:

Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive finished copies of HEART EYES (The Complete Series), US Only.

Ends August 5th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


The Book View

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Two:


Tara’s Book Addiction

IG Post


Writer of Wrongs



Sadie's Spotlight

Excerpt/IG Post


Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

Review/IG Post


Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt/IG Post


Cara North

Excerpt/IG Post


A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Three:


#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt/IG Post


Brandi Danielle Davis

IG Review/TikTok Post



IG Review



IG Review



IG Review/TikTok Post


Bookish In Bed



The Book Countess

Review/IG Post

Week Four:


Books With a Chance

Review/IG Post


Locks, Hooks and Books



Country Mamas With Kids

Review/IG Post



IG Review


A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic/TikTok Post



Review/IG Post



IG Review

Week Five:


Lifestyle of Me




IG Review


Kim's Book Reviews and Writing Aha's

Review/IG Post






IG Review/TikTok Post





Fire and Ice

Review/IG Post

Week Six:


Books with Brandie Shanae

YouTube Review/IG Post


two points of interest


Saturday, July 29, 2023

Book Rview - Falling Upwards: Living the Dream, One Panic Attack at a Time by Jeremy Fall


Falling Upwards: Living the Dream, One Panic Attack at a Time by Jeremy Fall is about the author’s journey to manage a successful career while juggling his mental health issues. Jeremy Fall was raised by a single mom who managed a restaurant. Jeremy grew up blocks away from LA's infamous Skid Row and he and his mother struggled financially.

Skid Row is known for being an area where people who are down on their luck or addicted to drugs hang out. The majority of people who reside at Skid Row live on the streets. Society expects people who come from this area or surrounding area to stay there and not excel in life. 

At night, Jeremy would go into the kitchen in the restaurant and prepare snacks that would help calm his anxious, OCD mind. He creates things without following a recipe but to his own taste. Following his dad, Jeremy was drawn to the nightlife and wanted to create something that was low key but still fun and noteworthy. He created a few successful ventures in the nightlife and food space. He became known as “The Food Guy”. Many of his ideas were widely successful, creative, and out of the box. He used this idea of “paper clipping” two unrelated ideas to make a successful new idea.

As Jeremy continues to rack up accolades and achievements, he still couldn’t quiet the voices in his head that told him that he wasn’t good enough. He struggled with crippling anxiety that would leave him coughing and unable to focus on the situation at hand. Jeremy was hesitant to see a therapist or take drugs to help manage his condition until one day he decided he needed to stand up and take charge of his health.

I thought the book was an interesting read. I am not familiar with Jeremy Fall so reading about his work and accomplishments was new for me. I enjoyed reading to see how Jeremy tries to use his anxiety to his advantage until the day he realizes he needs help. It was a big step for him and anyone else who realizes when they need help and tries to get it. It was refreshing to read about his experiences with his therapist and finding the right treatment plan for him.

I liked reading about his different career paths and accomplishments. I did hear about the boozy cereal milk idea but had no idea the author was behind its creation. It was interesting to see his thought process in creating new ideas. His idea of “paperclipping” seemed cool and I am not sure if it can be applied to other areas but it was an interesting technique to learn about.

It was entertaining to read about his childhood and how his childhood experiences shaped him. He got his love for food from his mother and his love for nightlife from his dad and he paperclipped those two loves into a successful career. It was inspiring because he grew up with modest means and tried to be successful so he would never have to feel poor again. As someone who grew up in a similar financial situation, I can understand and connect with him on that level. 

I also tend to have a lot of anxiety and it was educational seeing someone else describe their anxiety. He had a similar experience and even our need to people please over our own wellbeing. We both tend to stress and overthink situations that are beyond our control. The author also shared a helpful tip on using a stop light when we find ourselves spiraling. We should stop to think about why we are thinking about it and then understand why we feel the need to continuously ruminate on it. Then we decide if it is something in our control or if we can do anything to change the situation. If not, we should let it go and move on. I found this helpful when I found myself stressing over something and was using a similar technique when I was trying to manage my anxiety. If you are a fan of Jeremy Fall, I think you would enjoy this book.


Thursday, July 27, 2023

Book Review - The Girl Who Lost a Leopard by Nizrana Farook


The Girl Who Lost a Leopard by Nizrana Farook is about a young girl, Selvi, who likes being outdoors and exploring the beautiful area behind her home. She likes spending her time climbing the mountains. There she comes across a leopard. Since Selvi doesn’t have any human friends, she befriends the leopard.

Selvi names him Lokka. Unlike other leopards in the area, Lokka has a beautiful shimmering coat with huge golden eyes. Together the duo roam and explore the wilderness. Because Lokka has a rare and beautiful coat, he becomes prey to hunters who want his fur. Selvi wants to protect Lokka and ensure he is not caught, but circumstances lead to Lokka’s capture. She feels powerless against the hunters and she isn’t sure who she can turn to for help. Will Selvi be able to help rescue her friend before he is sold to traders?

The book is a quick and fun read. The novel has short chapters for young readers. I liked that the book contained lush descriptions of the wilderness and the characters were well fleshed out. I liked the cute illustrations. While the book was based on a fictional Sri Lanka, I would have loved to learn more about the actual culture and people.

I thought the book was a heartwarming read about a young girl who befriends a wild animal because she was struggling to fit in. I liked that she mentions that she can’t control Lokka, i.e. that she will always remain on guard because Lokka is a wild animal and she needs to be careful of this creature. As the book progressed, I liked seeing the different characters finding their voices and standing up for their beliefs. It was nice seeing Selvi and the other characters grow while finding a supportive community. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Book Review - The Blue Flame by Christopher Cantwell


The Blue Flame by Christopher Cantwell is about an HVAC repairman who creates a suit that allows him to travel into space. Sam Brausam is a blue collar repairman during the day and at night, he is Blue Flame, a vigilante, who fights crime.

At a local convention to showcase the acts of Blue Flame and his fellow vigilantes, an unexpected and horrific tragedy occurs. The tragedy leaves many people hurt and killed, including Sam and all of his friends. While Sam is trying to come to terms with the aftermath, he is given an impossible task. 

There is another story arc, where Sam uses his special suit to visit another planet. While there, he is captured by the native inhabitants. His captors put him on trial and tell him that he must prove why humanity is worth saving, otherwise they will wipe Earth of all humans. Sam isn’t sure if he is able to help humanity when he is barely able to help himself overcome his grief. Will Sam be able to pull himself together to help humanity one more time?

I thought the graphic novel was a confusing read. I normally don’t read sci-fi novels but the premise of this one seemed interesting. The story did have a few twists but I had a hard time following the two different timelines: 1) where Sam survived a shooting and 2) the timeline where the world depended on Sam. I didn’t understand why he was on trial to defend humanity. Was this a test that his conscience came up with or is this actually happening? I felt that the ending was a bit abrupt and didn’t really let the audience know what humanity’s faith was. Were we supposed to read between the lines? The book was boring and it didn’t help that the author didn’t flesh out the story to help understand why Blue Flame specifically was on trial.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Book Review - Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko


Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko is about a young girl who is sent to live with her father who had abandoned her at a young age.  Seventeen-year-old Coley finds herself alone again after she loses her mother. She moves to rural Oregon to live with her father who abandoned her mother and her when Coley was young. 

Coley is afraid to let anyone into her heart. However, when she crosses paths with Sonya, Coley feels immediately attracted to her. She worries that she isn’t worthy of being loved, as everyone she has ever cared about has left her. Coley is also afraid that Sonya might not be into her since Sonya has never been with a girl before.  As Coley and Sonya spend more time together, Coley does feel a certain level of attraction from Sonya, but also feels hesitation from Sonya. Will Coley be able to open up her heart and love again, or will Sonya leave her like everyone else in her life has so far?

The book was an okay and straightforward read. There were no unexpected twists or turns. Both Coley and Sonya are two complicated characters who are desperate to feel and be in love but have different hangups when it comes to love. Coley is fragile and afraid to open up herself to love again while Sonya is afraid of being “different” and disappointing people she cares about. It was heartbreaking at times, watching two characters who seemed to love each other hurt each other and themselves in the process.

The book takes place in the early 2000s. It is told by alternating point of views but also includes snippets of LiveJournal and AIM conversations. I did enjoy reading the AIM conversations as it was very nostalgic. I felt after a while the LifeJournal entries were repetitive and didn’t really progress the story, especially towards the end. I wanted more closure after their fight and more narrative of what happened after that. If you like cozy queer romances or are a fan of Hayley Kiyoko then you might enjoy this book.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Book Review - Barbaric Murderable Offenses by Michael Moreci


Barbaric Murderable Offenses by Michael Moreci is about a Barbarian who is under three witches’ curse and his journey to find a way to unravel it. The witches have put Owen under the curse as atonement for his murderous past. To help him with his journey, he is accompanied by a literally bloodthirsty talking Axe that serves as his moral compass. 

Owen is trying to be good even if it  means leaving a bloody trail of bodies. When he comes across a witch that needs help, he is hesitant to help her since three witches put him in his current predicament. He will need to put his resentment aside because he is cursed to help whoever needs his help. Owen wants to reclaim his free will and to go back to his original nature.  Will Owen be able to figure out a way to break the curse?

The graphic novel was filled with humor and action. I liked that the story was easy to follow and the author revealed the protagonist’s history early on. The author did leave a few things a mystery, which I don’t mind since that kept me hooked for the next book. The artwork is beautifully done and looks amazing. I can’t wait to read the next installment.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Book Review - The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz


The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz is an epic sci-fi about people creating and exploring worlds. Destry is a part of the ERT, Environmental Rescue Team. The team is responsible for caring and protecting the planet while maintaining the young eco-system at optimal levels. Destry has followed the same path as her parents and grandparents.  She has dedicated her life to the newly created planet Sask-E. She wants to ensure that the planet has everything it needs to thrive and prosper. As she begins her daily tasks, she notices an intruder on the planet. She decides to break protocol and deal with the problem as she feels is best for the planet. Little did she know she was going to set off a chain reaction that will change the trajectory of the planet and its inhabitants. 

The book is split into three sections with each narrator connected to the previous narrator. I was on the fence with this novel. It was interesting reading about the different sci-fi elements and how different beings were considered “people”. However, I am at a loss as to what the actual point of the book is. 

The author went into detail about the scenery and it’s vivid, but I had a hard time imagining some of the concepts. At times, the book was a bit boring and seemed pointless. The middle arc was about a group of researchers/explorers trying to find a way to create public transit to the planet. They go into detail about trivial things for pages with the point being so mundane that I kept yawning while reading. I was confused as to why corporations would create workers to maintain their worlds but then there were workers who weren’t owned. It was confusing on how the corporations hired some workers and created others. I felt more backstory was needed to explain certain aspects of this world.  If you like reading about world building and epic sci fi novels, then you would enjoy this one.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Book Review - The Woman Inside by M.T. Edvardsson

 The Woman Inside by M.T. Edvardsson is about an affluent couple who is found murdered in their house.  Bill Olsson recently lost his wife to cancer. He has tons of medical bills and is struggling to provide for his daughter, Sally. He is unable to find a job and is not able to pay rent by himself. He decides to rent out Sally’s room to help cover expenses. Bill rents out the room to Karla.

Karla is a law student and aspiring judge. In her spare time, she is a housekeeper to the Rytters. The Rytters are an incredibly wealthy couple. The wife is ill and she hasn’t been able to leave the house for months. The husband is a well respected doctor. He has tendencies to be controlling and obsessive when it comes to his wife. Is he a worried husband that is concerned about his wife’s well being, or does he have malicious intent?

As Bill’s financial situation becomes more dire, Karla is empathetic to his plight. She understands what it’s like to have a rough childhood, and doesn’t want Bill’s financial strains to affect Sally’s outlook. She feels that she is forced to make a difficult choice between helping someone or doing something bad. 

When the Rytters end up dead, Karla is questioned due to her employment in the household. They bring up parts of her past that she would rather keep a secret.  Every character in the novel seems to be hiding something or isn’t what they seem, but is one of them desperate enough to kill to keep their secret?

I thought the book was an okay read. I felt like the story was drawn out with no unexpected twists or turns. The book is narrated by three different people: the cash strapped Bill, the housekeeper Karla, and a young woman named Jennica. Bill and Jennica are connected by his late wife. We got each of their views but they were biased and didn’t give the entire story. I wish the author went into more details about Bill’s wife. 

The story is littered with police notes from interviews with and news snippets regarding everyone related to the case.  The novel is a slow burn as it slowly hints at who might be the culprit. I felt that the ending was predictable and boring. I didn’t care for any of the characters. They were all selfish and acted entitled. I didn’t like Bill the most and felt like he was completely responsible for his situation but doesn’t have any accountability for his actions.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Book Review - Lying in the Deep by Diana Urban


Lying in the Deep by Diana Urban is about a young woman who tries to escape her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend who betrayed her. Jade is looking forward to the adventure of a lifetime. She will get to visit 11 countries in 4 months aboard a luxurious cruise ship.  She couldn’t wait to move on and experience all that the cruise has to offer, only to find out that the people she is trying to escape are also on the trip with her. 

Her obsession with the couple begins to grow as she spends every moment trying to analyze what went wrong in the relationships. She tries to analyze what went wrong with her relationships with her ex and ex-best friend. Her obsession becomes an issue when someone ends up murdered. Then more of her friends are dying and Jade has become the prime suspect. She will have to figure out who is behind these crimes before anyone else ends up in a body bag.

This young adult novel is a closed room thriller with a few twists and turns. I thought Jade was an annoying main character. She was too stubborn and stuck in her own head. When she wanted to find out the truth over her relationship, she was basically stalking the couple. To me, her character seemed stereotypical: The sweet and caring character that everyone seems to love. She always tried to see the best in people even when there were so many clues pointing to them being the bad guy. When she realized that one character could have prevented another from dying if they spoke up earlier, she still tried helping that character instead of having them face any consequences.

Some of the dialogue and characters seemed one dimensional and juvenile. They seemed to make silly mistakes that I would assume someone younger would do. I was also surprised that a scene in the book mentioned the characters doing meth. I feel like that seems out of place for college students.  The book did reel me in the beginning but then it started petering out towards the end because it seemed unbelievable and far fetched.