Review: Black Widow: Forever Red

Disclaimer: I went into this book with very little knowledge about it other than knowing it was a Black Widow YA novel. I was sold when I heard about it. But I didn’t want to spoil myself by looking up the synopsis. I kind of wish I had because I went in expecting an origin story for Black Widow (I thought it was Disney/Marvel’s response to never giving us a Black Widow movie).

What I ended up getting was a three person point of view novel with Widow being almost a secondary character. I had a very hard time distinguishing between the three characters of Natasha, Alex, and Ava, and I found the relationship between Alex and Ava way too insta-lovey for my liking. I also saw the ending of the book coming from the first couple of chapters, so it was not a surprise when that scene happened. I honestly felt like the book was much more Ava’s origin than anything else, which would have been fine because it was a perfectly good origin story, but what annoyed me is that Black Widow was the titular character, not Ava. Also, Alex’s tattoo was never fully explained, and that bugged me to no end. Who exactly had gotten to Alex? How exactly had they gotten to him if he was living with a SHIELD agent? Why didn’t they take him if they wanted to prove that they could get to him in order to shake up Natasha?

Speaking of Natasha, it was really jarring to go from Russian to the immediate translation of whatever was said into English. While it was great that the characters were speaking their mother tongue (yay for actually staying true to their origins), it would have been more effective to have the dialogue that was taking place in Russian be in italics to signify that the English was really Russian. It felt like the author was just trying to show off that she had researched Russian phrases and, for me, it took away from the reading experience.

Another thing that took away from the reading experience was that I couldn’t tell where this book was supposed to take place – the comic universe or the MCU or some other universe. I’m assuming the MCU, but if so, then SPOILER: why was Coulson there? Because the Avengers were clearly established and referenced, so shouldn’t Coulson be, ya know, dead?  Another confusing point that made me wonder whether it was in the MCU or in the comics is that the story revolves around Odessa and physicists. So is this the time that Natasha was shot by the Winter Soldier? Because according to this book, her mission was to save Ava, not the physicist. And there is absolutely no mention in the story about trying to smuggle the physicist out. So between Coulson still being very clearly alive despite the Avengers Initiative being very much a thing and Natasha being very clearly not shot, where does this story fall within the different universes?

Also, where the hell was Clint? They pulled another Captain America: Winter Soldier with this bullshit of him not existing at all. He’s Natasha’s best friend (in both the comics and the MCU) and there was absolutely no mention of him, despite several mentions of Rogers and Banner. I did enjoy the relationship that Tony and Natasha had, though.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with the book, but I did enjoy that it read like an action novel.

I gave Black Widow: Forever Red 3 out of 5 stars



Review: Humans of New York: Stories

This is what I was hoping for in a Humans of New York book. I love how in this one, compared to Brandon’s first book, Humans of New York, there was a mix of long, detailed stores and short one-liners that convey just as much emotion and background.

The quality of pictures was top notch, as is expected from pictures taken by Brandon.

I was grinning hugely, I was close to tears, and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book and reading experience that I got with Humans of New York: Stories.

5 out of 5 stars



Review: Little Humans

I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t quite what I got. I love the HONY blog, and I love the “Today in Microfashion” portion of it, so I was super excited when I heard about this book.

While the pictures are the quality you’d expect from Brandon, the text left very little to be desired. I would have preferred to have a story accompany all of the pictures rather than the simple one sentence per picture. I think the stories still would’ve portrayed the message that little kids can do big things. While I personally wish that it was written like the other HONY books, I recognize that it’s a really great book for young children and I look forward to sharing it with my future kids to help inspire them to be creative and to strive for whatever goals they may have. The message is loud and clear – even though they are little, children can achieve huge things.

Overall, it was a quick and enjoyable read.

I gave Little Humans 3 out of 5 stars


Monthly Recommendations

March Monthly Recommendations: Stand Alones

The lovely Kayla Rayne ( and Trina ( started an awesome GoodReads Group (  where every month has a topic that members use to guide their recommendations to other book lovers. The topic for March is stand alone books, so here are my 7 recommendations!

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes

I found out about this book from my sister when we were planning what to get our mutual friend for her birthday and knew that I needed it in my life right away. It’s a hilarious take on many of the myths I already knew (Greek, Egyptian, American) with the inclusion of myths from other cultures and religions that I am not familiar with at all.

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool

Hawkeye vs Deadpool

Two of my all-time favorite Marvel characters are Hawkeye and Deadpool. Put them together and you’ve got me sold. I absolutely love their partnership and the hilarious hijinks they found themselves in.



If you’ve seen the movie, you are pretty familiar with what happens in the graphic novel. However, the graphic novel goes so much more in detail with the world, including excerpts from newspapers and books from the time of the story. In a world where the tensions between the Russians and the Americans is at an all-time high due to the nuclear arms race, what happens when you throw superheroes into the mix?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Perks of Being a Wallflower

This is probably one of the more recommended books, but it got me through my hell-ish sophomore fall semester where I was questioning everything about my major and my future goals. I related to Charlie and his letters felt like he was speaking to me as a friend, which is exactly what I needed. It’s a heartbreaking story, for sure, but it’s an important one that needs to be told.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends

One of my favorites from when I was growing up. I love Shel Silverstein’s poetry and how he has such a command of words. His way of telling the concerns of growing up is so imaginative and allows for both children and adults to relate to what is happening.

Cezanne is Missing

Cezanne is Missing

I was assigned to read this book when I was in 9th grade and was, quite frankly, dreading reading it because I’m not one for Holocaust stories (I can’t stomach the horrific conditions the victims were subjected to) . However, I quickly fell in love with the characters and felt invested in the mystery surrounding ‘Cezanne’. It’s set right after 9/11, but it’s main focus is on the story of decoding what happened during World War II. I haven’t read it since 9th grade, but it has stuck with me for almost 8 years.



I couldn’t make this recommendation list without mentioning a classic. Dracula is one of my all-time favorite books and I sped through it when I was flying from Corpus Christi to El Paso and back. I think I finished it in like 10 hours (which, for me, is extremely fast, even if it’s normal speed for others) because I was gripped by the story and had to know what happened to Mina, Lucy, Jonathan, Van Helsing, and Dracula.


I Swear I’m Still Here: Updates and What’s To Come

It’s been a hot second (okay, more like a long, long two months) since my last post. This was mainly because I have reached that point in nursing school that everyone warned me about: writing the dreaded care plans. Well, it’s more than just the care plans, to be honest (because those didn’t crop up until the beginning of March). Second semester is like first semester. On steroids. And you’re riding your bike. But it’s on fire. And you create nursing diagnoses for yourself and your friends (such as ‘Severe anxiety related to research project as evidenced by tachypnea, dyspnea, chest pains, palpitations, nightmares, excessive thoughts, and diaphoresis’). Honestly, though, I absolutely love what I am learning/doing in my clinicals, so it makes it all worth it if you ask me.

Let’s check in on my resolutions and how I’m doing:
-Read at least 1/2 of the books I already own: hahaahahah (I CAN’T STOP BUYING BOOKS, IT’S SUCH A PROBLEM)
-Read at least 1/2 of the graphic novels I already own: yeaaah, about that (though I have been very good about not buying new ones)
-Read the books I receive in OwlCrate within a month of receiving them: Wow, I’m failing hardcore at these resolutions
-Do the 2016 TBR Jar challenge: 2/2 and working on this month’s pick!
-Use the PopSugar Challenge when I’m in a reading slump: I’ve used this a couple of times
-Read at least 75 books: According to GoodReads, I’m 3 books behind =(
-Utilize the “What I Read” journal from OwlCrate: I’m 5 books behind…
-Finish ASOIAF: hahahaha, I haven’t picked up A Storm of Swords yet (for reference: it’s been almost three years since I finished A Clash of Kings….)
-Write a review for each book I read: I’ve written one for each book on GoodReads, but not here

Obviously I have a lot of catching up to do with these resolutions. But now that I *think* I have a routine down with how my weeks are going to go, I should be able to work more on reading and I’m really going to try to update here more.

Without further ado, here’s what I’m hoping to post in the next couple of days:
-Reviews for Little Humans, Humans of New York: Stories, Black Widow: Forever Red, The Magician’s Nephew, The Lightning Thief, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
The March Monthly Recommendations based on the topics from the GoodReads group ( started by Kayla Rayne ( and Trina ( this will hopefully become a recurring thing on this blog!

So there you have it! I’m looking into a few more groups to join with to add some variety to what I post, so keep an eye out for those.