Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Random Book Haul with a Splash of Biology and Society

bacteria reading a book, reading bacteria, meme, bacteria meme, cartoon, scketch, drawing
Hello-Hello! Recently I got my hands on some awesome books. Some of them were free - somebody was literary throwing them to the garbage - and some of them I got for a cheap price in second-hand stores. I know that in some parts of the world, to buy from second-hand stores is seen with judgmental eyes in the eyes of society... like an embarrassment because you cannot afford to buy unused things, brand new. It is more about moral pride than the quality of the things and some people are even ashamed to admit that they entered and bought something from a second-hand store. I am speaking from my experience and I am not pointing fingers because it is impossible for me to know everything in this universe. :)
American view changed that opinion I had through books mostly. I found brand new books in second-hand stores. Barely opened or scratched books like the ones you are going to see below. It is crazy how many valuable things people are donating for other people to buy for a couple dollars.
Like that saying: One man's trash is another man's treasure.
I mean... It is a saying for a reason, right?
Don't be afraid about germs. Usually the stores disinfect them. Or in extreme cases you can disinfect them yourselves. Plus, a sterile life is impossible - except for fetuses in their mother's wombs and even there I might be wrong. Your are covered in germs yourself. Without your microbiota you will not be able to survive on this Earth. If you cannot believe me, you can listen to this guy from PBS who has a Ph.D. (doctorate) --> It's Okay To Be Smart - You Are Mainly Microbe... Meet Your Microbiome! 
You can see how much of a geek I am when I am turning a Book Haul into an educational post. Nevertheless, this shouldn't stop you to "stay curious" like Dr. Joe Hanson says. 
Now it's time for the BOOKS!!!!
book haul, book list, books, read
 Books I got for free:
Anne of Avonlea -- which I donated to a Free Library program in my town
book haul, book list, read
 Books I got from a second-hand store:
If you are interested in reading any of these books, I included the link for their respective Goodreads page. You just have to click on the name of the book from the lists above to learn more about that said... book. Gosh, that was a mouthful. Yes, I repeat everything I write in my head to make sure it sounds right.
Anyway... Let me know if you read or want to read any of the books I hauled today. I want to read your thought, feelings, and opinions in the comment section - even if you read this post 20 years in the future.
Oh! And did I spark you curiosity about biology and people?


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

To Tempt a Viscount by Naomi Boom Entangled Nobility One or A Romance in Need of More Romance

to tempt a viscount, naomi boom, book, series, romance, historic, regency


Book Synopsis

to tempt a viscount, naomi boom, book, series, romance, historic, regencyLady Laura Rosing knows two things: first, she will marry for love, and second, she detests rakes. When she meets Lord Gavin Farris, she understands immediately that he fails both her criteria, and worse yet, he is an absolute cad who refuses to leave her be.
Lord Farris has always appreciated women and cannot understand why Lady Laura is so resistant to his charms. While pretty, she is not his usual type, but something about her intrigues him. Much to his chagrin, he finds himself desperately in love with her, but he may be too late. His adamant refusal to marry just might have planted her firmly in the arms of another. To Tempt a Viscount - Goodreads 



My Opinion

rose, sketch, graphic, romance, drawing, blog3.75/5 stars.
This book was something different than my usual Romance-Regency novel. I like Laura and Lord Gavin. They were the typical protagonists you normally find in these books. The girl is an innocent debutante who separates from the others through her unique beauty and wit. The guy is a rake who does not believe in love until he meets the heroine then he has a change of heart. (Pun intended.)
Since these are my favorite tropes... I am not going to complain. For these things alone, I will give this book a green card.
The beginning was promising. We have cousin Eleanor who pretends to be a dove but she is a viper instead. I did not know how Laura could tolerate her throughout the whole book. I called her act and disliked - since hate is such a strong word - her from the moment she was introduced. Laura and Gavin have a wonderful chemistry. And the setting is the perfect place for romance to bloom.
four stars, rating, sketch, graphic, drawing, blogAfter the tragic moment which - in general - separates the protagonists in all romance novel, things stared to slow down a little. It was not necessarily bad because we get to know potential great - and probably future - characters like Alexa, Lord Collins, and Lord Farris' mother. The lack of major interaction between the love interests was unexpected and a bit disappointing. Reading about their genuine attraction, I was expecting more steam... way more steam than the author offered. Surprisingly, I still had the drive to know what happens next.
Overall the story was done nicely with a good writing. Well... probably with a few awkward phrases here and there. For a debate novel, this was pretty good. I can see that the author has great potential to grow. That is why I gave such a high star rating, for encouragement. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.
To Tempt a Viscount was my cup of tea with the tea a little under brewed.

This is my sole opinion. ^_^

I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Adult, Romance, Historical Romance, Regency
Language: none to mild
Sexual content: mild to moderate
Violence: none to mild
Drugs/Alcohol: none to mild


Truth or Date by Susan Hatler, Book Two in the Better Date than Never Series

Book Synopsis

truth or date, susan hatler, short romance, adult, contemporary, bookGina Hall is done with men who won’t commit. Ten years waiting for her ex to propose wasted her time. Never again. When her friend Kristen starts a game of Truth or Dare, she dares Gina to go on a date with Ethan, who’s amazing and total marriage material.
As Gina plans the going away party for office playboy Chris Bradley, she spontaneously initiates a game of Truth or Dare with him. When his turn comes around, he dares Gina to pose as his girlfriend to help get a flirty colleague off his back. Gina finds playing couple with Chris way too much fun.
Even though Gina and Chris are pretending, their relationship begins to feel painfully real. Fearing she might be falling for another fly-by man, Gina must focus on Ethan so she doesn’t make the same dating mistakes all over again. Truth or Date - Goodreads

stars, four, 4, drawing, sketch, rating My Opinion

3.65/5 stars.
This is another Susan Hatler's romance short story or novella. I got it for free from Amazon and you know I cannot say "No" to free books. Or maybe no? Whatever, now you know. I looove free books.
Beck to the actual review.
In a few words, the story was cute, funny, romancy, and relatable.
The writing was easy to follow and made the events to flow nicely. On the other hand, the narrative was quite rushed due to the short length of the book.
So far, this is my favorite Susan Hatler story.
Are you in a mood for a quick romance with no excessive steam and just the feels? If yes, this might be your cuppa tea.
Oh! Since it is asecond book in a series, spoilers for the previous book might be obvious. Although, I believe it can be read as a standalone too.

This is my sole opinion. ^_^

Feel Free to check out my other reviews on books written by Susan Hatler: Susan Hatler-A Christmas Kiss and Susan Hatler-Shaken.

rose, cartoon, drawing, sketchGenre: Adult, Romance, Short Stories, Contemporary
Language: mild
Sexual content: mild
Violence: none
Drugs/Alcohol: moderate

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Beauty and The Beast Manga Movie Adaptation by Mallory Reaves

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beauty and the beast, manga, movie adaptation, graphic novel, romance, fairy tale, romance, classic, mallory reaves
Disclaimer: The original photos were created by Tokyopop and Mallory Reaves based on the Disney's musical live-action movie Beauty and the Beast. I just used Paint to manipulate and tweak the photos. I do not own the original pictures or the story. 



beauty and the beast, manga, movie adaptation, graphic novel, romance, fairy tale, romance, classic, mallory reavesIn Disney's live-action film Beauty and the Beast, Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast's hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince inside. This manga explores Belle's innermost thoughts as she learns that true beauty comes from within. Belle's Tale - Goodreads
beauty and the beast, manga, movie adaptation, graphic novel, romance, fairy tale, romance, classic, mallory reavesA tale as old as time ... told in timeless manga style
Disney's much-anticipated live-action adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" hits theaters in March 2017, and it stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. This original two-part manga series is based upon the upcoming movie... but you've never seen this classic love story told quite this way before.
The "Beauty" manga delves into Belle's deepest thoughts as she's taken prisoner by the Beast in his majestic castle. Where the "Beast" manga explores Beast's deepest thoughts as he captures Belle in his castle and finds himself falling in love with her feisty attitude and adventurous spirit. The Beast's Tale - Goodreads

My Opinion

Belle's Tale - 3.75/5.00 stars The Beast's Tale - 4.75/5.00 stars
I am going to start by saying that the graphics of this manga were exquisite. (Oh! Look at me using big words.) The overall story was not very far from the original Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the cartoon. I know. I haven't seen my most anticipated 2017 movie, yet. Notice the "yet."
Since it is based on the movie, there may be lots of spoilers.
We learn more about the characters' backgrounds. Belle's part was confusing-ish and felt cut short, in a way, while The Beast's was intriguing. Probably because we knew so little about the beast in the previous Disney's adaptation. Or the manga story makes more sense the second time and it happens to be The Beast's point of view. The overall dialogue combined with the images made the tale to flow rather nicely. Since the manga focused on Belle and The Beast, we do not see too much of Gaston and LeFou. Some plot holes are here and there because of the shift from third person - seen in the movies - to first person in the manga (e.g. the crowd from the castle).
This was a great quick read. And if you are a Beauty and the Beast, you might want to ask Mrs. Potts for some tea because this might be your cup of tea. ;)
Also, are you caving for more Beauty and the Beast? Feel free to check out my review on the French adaptation, La Belle et la BĂȘte, here
This is my sole opinion. ^_^ 
I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
rose, romance, the Book Portal, blog, drawing
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fairy Tale, Manga, Graphic Novel, Sequential Art
Language: none
Sexual content: none to mild
Violence: moderate to heavy
Drugs/Alcohol: none


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Melody Obsession of the Week Brought to You by Me Presents Katy Perry Rise

Hello-Hello! I am back with another song pick.
melody madness lots of music notes
Before I post the song, I want to say "Happy Mother's Day" to all the mothers. Today, May 14th, was mother's day in the USA.
Remember your mother, give her a call or a hug, and be thankful. Even if it's just for the fact that she carried you in her womb for nine months and brought you on this world.
cat gif mother's day
And... In life... If you have any doubt, RISE like the song by Katy Perry says.
Katy Perry - Rise
Do not be shy and feel free to check out the last Melody Obsession.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My Book Clubs' Book Pick of the Month for April and May

Hello-Hello! Today is another day to watch BONES. Although... Before that, let's talk about BOOKS.
Last month, I was negligent and I did not post the books picked by my book clubs. Now I am going to do two posts in one. Consider this as... I do not want to call it a recommendation... It's more of an introduction to the books. As in, I present these books to you and then it is up to you!



This book is about a sci-fi fan-girl, Elle Wittimer, who is excited because she finally has a chance to go to her TV show / movie (no specifics in the synopsis) Starfield ExcelsiCon (something similar to ComicCon, I assume) convention. Darien Freeman, a geek himself, is the actor who is going to play the main character in the Starfield reboot. Bad news... the fandom does not like him. Elle and Darien meet at the convention and... Well, the rest of the book happens. :D Geekerella - Goodreads


For this one, think about the Kardashians' TV show but with expensive car brand names. The name of the main character is Bentley. She wants a normal life but her family (most of it) does not and the potential cancellation of their show is not a good thing. Her sister plans a fake wedding to save the show; however, a very serious car accident makes things very serious. Also, the story is told in a "tongue-in-cheek voice that takes a swipe at all things Hollywood, Royce Rolls is a laugh-out-loud funny romp with an LA noir twist about what it means to grow up with the cameras rolling and what really happens behind the scenes." Royce Rolls - Goodreads 



Alice and Teddy are no strangers to misfortune, especially when it comes to people from their lives. Alice does not believe in luck but she believe in love and she has her eyes set on Teddy. On his birthday, Alice buys Teddy a lottery ticket and, surprisingly, it's a winner one. At first the money seem like a blessing but then, little by little, they become a curse reaping Teddy and Alice apart. As they try to reconnect with each other, Alice rediscover herself in way she did not expect. Windfall - Goodreads 


This is the second book in the series so... SPOILERS Ahead. (I will try not to spoiler too much.)
The God Apollo is turned into a human by Zeus as a punishment for the things which happed in the Heroes of Olympus series. His only solution to become god again is to find out what happened with the Oracles. Now he has to leave the safety of Camp Half-Blood and travel across North America for answers with "heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series." The Dark Prophecy - Goodreads  
And if you want to know more about my book clubs' creators, feel free to check them up on YouTube.
Christine from polandbananasBooks
Jesse from jessethereader
Kat from Katytastic

Sasha from  abookutopia 
 Regan from PeruseProject 

Also if you are interested to find more books, you can check out the March book picks here.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Seasons of Book Blogging Tag

Seasons illustation by the author of The Book Portal Blog
Hello-Hello, readers all over the world! Today, I decided to do a book tag. I know I've been absent from my blog lately; thus, I decided to do a tag and keep you all entertained.
Savannah from The Book Prophet nominated whoever wants to do the tag all back in January. As you can see (read), I decided to do it since I live in the Northern Temperate Zone - aka four seasons.
Side note: Did you know that the North geographic pole is actually the South pole of Earth's magnetic field and the South geographic pole is the North magnetic pole? CRAAA-ZYYY!
 Now, back to the post!
The creator of this tag is Jordyn from J. Bookish.
Don't be a grumpy troll and go visit these hard-working bloggers. No offense trolls but you are kind of grumpy imaginary beings.


1. Thank the creator (so she can see all of your answers!) and the person who tagged you.
2. Begin with the month in which you have been tagged and move forward from there!
3. State the best gift you’ve ever been given after you answer the question for your birthday month.
4. Tag whomever you’d like when you’re finished.. or else you’ll be “it” forever.
5. Have fun, of course!
January begins a new year. Name a resolution you made this year and if you’ve kept it or not!
Well, Well, Well... I've made a long list in the last hour of 2016. I can say that I kept some of them and some of them - sadly - I did not. By the end of the year, I want to put all my strength in keeping them. I just realized that I am very vague with "them." Let's just say that one of my resolutions is to trade some of my fat mass for more muscle mass.

spongebob square pants muscle memes funny

Oh! January is my birth month. I do not remember every single thing I received over the course of my life so far but I can definitely say my mom's home made birthday cakes and my 18th birthday piece of jewelry made of precious metal and stone. (In Romania, the 18th birthday is like a rite of passage into adulthood because you become an adult legally able to do and buy anything you want. Slow down you envious American teenagers :].)
February is the month for relationships. Name your favorite book relationship: romantic, platonic, or familial, your choice!
Laia and Elias from An Ember in the Ashes. I will stop commenting on their relationship any further cause... SPOILERS. :D
Let's just say it's realistic - as realistic it can be in a fiction fantasy setting :).

An Ember in the Ashes book by Sabaa Tahir fantasy young adult
March is the month for luck and new beginnings. Name a book or series that you would like to re-experience as if you’d never read it.
I know what you are thinking: "HARRY POTTER!"
Tara Duncan book series books one through eight covers Europe
It is Tara Duncan series before Twilight and way before Harry Potter. This was actually my very first book I picked up from a shelf in a hypermarket called Auchan, Romania. I read the first's book synopsis on the back and on the inside of the cover, loved the graphics, liked the story, and said "I want it!" My parents looked skeptical at me because I was not much of a fan of reading but they bought it for me. At that time the only thing I liked to read was the W.i.t.c.h. comic books. As expected, I read only 75 or 74 pages of the Tara Duncan and the Spellbinders then put the book down cause I could not get into it. Slow starters for an energetic kid like me... unattractive. After that, I got into Twilight and it encouraged me to give Tara Duncan another shot. And it was an amazing adventure. Unfortunately in U.S. only the first two volumes are translated while in Romania they stopped translating after book eight the last time I checked. And... There are at least 13 books total. My only solution to finish the series is to learn French - again. Or I could boycott the U.S. or Romanian (Ro) publishing houses.

Tara Duncan and the Spellbinders book one in the tara duncan series middle grade fantasy

April is a spectacularly ordinary month. Name a book that was so over-hyped that it just could not live up to your expectations.
Tough one... Can I say every single classic book I heard of because "It is a CLASSIC." Although, from what I remember, in Romania, post Twilight era - book-wise at least - there was a huge hype around Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely. People were talking left and right including my eight grade classmates. The Ro cover looked pretty for me at that time. The story sounded interesting... I said, "Why not?" As you could see on my Goodreads, Melissa Marr's story or her writing style or both were not for me. For a long period of time, I tried to convince myself otherwise. Paradoxically, I never picked up the rest of the series either. And that says a lot. (Now that I see the Ro cover again... It does not represent the book at all. It is too cheerful and the title... Fascination - English translation. Really?)

Wicked Lovely Melissa Marr romanian edition Fascinatie         Vs.

May is the month when the flowers start to bloom. Name a book that was a pleasant surprise to you.
I want to come with a new book than the ones I have in previous posts, e.g. Easter Book Tag, for the sake of diversity... think... Think... THINK... Alright, a recent one!
Illuminae, the audiobook. I will let the audiobook "talk" for itself. It. Was. Epic.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff book one in the Illuminae Files sci-fi
June is the time to take a break. Name a book or genre that you like to read when you just need to check out.
Hmmm... I usually gravitate toward a few genres... Most likely Romance and/or Fantasy with a splash of humor.
July is the time to celebrate your independence! Name a book that made you see fireworks. (Figuratively. Please don’t light books on fire.)
Ha-Ha-Ha! My mom did that with the books she owned because - according to her - were ruined by rodents to a point of no return. Unfortunately, after I got my Bachelor degree in science, I realized she was probably right. Rodents do carry diseases.
Enough with childhood horror book stories. Please do not cry and dislike my mother. :))
In what sense, I need more than that. In a good way, bad way, actual fire in the book, action, space, Earth, future, history... What? Words, what?
Since it's about independence... I will say Return Once More.

Return Once More by Trisha Leigh book one in the historians series
August is the hottest month of the year. Pick an up-and-coming author that you think will be the next hottest thing.
Oh, gee! These are getting harder and harder.
Goodreads lists:
Popular 2017 Debut Books
YA Debuts 2017
And the list may continue...
From what I heard... it is either: Stephanie Garber or Angie Thomas or Jeff Giles (The Edge of Everything-Review).

the edge of everything by jeff giles book one urban fantasy yaCaraval by stephanie garber book young adult The hate you give book by angie thomas contemporary

September is time for students to go back to school! Pick a book you read for school that you actually enjoyed.
I have two books for this one: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Frozen.

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootFrozen by Melissa de la Cruz book one in the heart of dread series

October is time to celebrate Halloween! Pick one character that you would love to dress up as for Halloween.
A popular answer would be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. Last Halloween, I dressed up - sort of - as Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games.
Shout out to my friend Emily who helped me out with the "costume."
I don't really know... I have a black vampire Halloween dress that I have yet to wear and I was thinking about goddesses.
Either Valoria or Cleiona from Spirits and Thieves series or Nyx from Greek mythology depicted in The Heroes of Olympus and House of Night series.

November is the month when we’re reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. Choose one book you’re grateful for having read and give a shout-out to the person who recommended it!
Shout out to Alma or Alexandra (like all Romanian she also has lots of aliases like myself - inside joke :]) my desk-mate from seventh and eighth grades. I remember her talking  - a lot - about Brida by Paulo Coelho and The Legends of Olympus (mot-a-mot translation of the title) by Alexandru Mitru. She actually recommended reading the Legends of Olympus. I borrowed from her both Brida and The Legends of Olympus (I am not 100% sure about this one my memory is quite fuzzy) and I thank her for that. And now it's time for the truth since then I did not want to crush her high hopes and excitement for these two books.
Brida was good but strange for my seventh/eighth grader self. I liked it.
The Legends of Olympus... hate is such a strong word. Ha-Ha-Ha! I absolutely disliked it. I found it gross, vulgar, and too much incest. It discouraged me to read the second volume regarding the heroes.
Now, I am in love with Greek mythology. I have her to thank since she was the one who introduced me to it.
Oh! I just remember... She also used to talk a lot about The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles. I love that series. Because of her I start reading it. Thank you for that too!

Brida Paulo Coelho book standaloneThe Legends of Olympus, Legendele Olimpului by Alexandru Mitru, vol one zeiiThe Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney book one in the wardstone chronicles
December is a time when friends and families come together and celebrate. Name one book you would give as a gift.
Another hard one... I really do not know. I usually do a research
  about a person's taste in books before buying it as a present. I like laughter and adventure/action... and the first author name popping in my head is: Rick Riordan.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Percy jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan book one in the series
Tag time 
You are not obligated to do this tag if you do not want to. 
I tag the following bloggers:
Giulia from Books Crumbles 
Abigail from What Makes a Good Book 
And if you, reader of this post, want to do this tag... considered yourself tagged. 
Plus, do not forget to tell me if you decided to do it. Why? Cause I would like to hear your answers. :)