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Ava's demon by Michelle Czajkowski

— feeling amazing
Ava's Demon: Book One - Michelle Czajkowski



Ava's Demon is a comic starts off with Ava Ire being sent to the school principal after screaming in class at a demon that's irking her, that no one can see. That somehow leads to her accidentally escaping her planets destruction on a fellow classmates spaceship (along with an old childhood of Ava's friend whom he kind saved by abducting). The three of them crash land on a planet where the people worship a god named Titan, who supposedly created the universe, and befriend a kind worshiper who helps them on their way. 

Unknown to each other, each of these individuals is hosting a demon with which each made a pact. Things unravel as Ava and her "friends" attempt to escape this planet and continue on their journey, but that's not going to be easy.


That's the story in a nutshell.



The characters are so interesting and complex, even more so with their corresponding demons. You can tell so much thought has been put into these characters, everything from their personalities and down to their names. For instance, everything about Ava screams fire, anger and wrath. She is a tiny, sort or fearful girl- who bubbles over in intense, explosive anger whenever taunted by her demon or others. Both of them are painted in fiery colors, and their names- Ava Ire and Wrathia Bellarmina- speak of the same qualities themselves. This is repeated with each of the characters and their demons, painting interesting and (literally) colorful characters.

Ava's struggles with her demon are so interesting, and though depicted through fantasy elements they can relate so well to the things people with anxiety (lots in Ava's case),depression or mental illness cope with. Each character with their personal demon is like a person struggling with a force  beyond themselves that has latched on for the ride, making it all the harder (...or eventually easier..?).

Anyways, enough with the rambling. 


It's hard to not love this comic, with it's intense and bright colors, intriguing plot, characters and complex sci-fi/fantasy-ish world build. I couldn't recommend it enough.


Furthermore, this review is of book one, which is up online in it's entirety! You can go read it now (or later if you'd like, but you should definitely read it)!


"From the harbor, chains clanked and birds shrieked and ships scraped into their moorings; from the other boats, waves slapped and damplings called and fishing lines squealed. But on the Excalibur, they all chocked on silence."
The Gracekeepers: A Novel - Kirsty Logan

Kristy Logan, The Gracekeepers

"They walked together across the porch, neither seemed sure which should lead. The porch belonged to Callanish and the boats belonged to North- and also, these things belonged to neither of them. For them, everything was borrowed. "
The Gracekeepers: A Novel - Kirsty Logan

Kristy Logan, The Gracekeepers

The Gracekeepers by Kristy Logan

The Gracekeepers: A Novel - Kirsty Logan

A story in a dystopian world where people live either on the land or at sea.

People from these two separate worlds don't mix or mingle- Landlockers fancy themselves supirior to the Dampling filth, and Damplings see Landlockers as snotty folk with strange tradition and a even stranger liking of the land.


North is a performer on circus boat called the Excalibur. Dampling from birth, she doesn't understand people who are so attached to the stagnant land. After losing her parent in an unfortunate accident in the circus as a young child, the other preformers are her family and the circus, her home.

She is the bear trainer on the Excalibur, and between dance performances she give with her bear on nights when the circus docks for the evening when passing a town, she lives a chaotic life at sea. The circus is not what it once was and the performers are struggling to make a living enough to fill their stomachs. The ringmaster's wife is unpredictable and pretty mean person, she has it out for North and is willing to crush her to get what she wants. The ringmaster himself is trying to force North to marry his son. Between that and a deadly storm  at sea- North harbors a secret. She is with child, under the weirdest of circumstances (really, so weird, but I won't spoil), and all she really wants is for her child and bear to be safe. And maybe avoid marrying the man she doesn't love (eww) and becoming a Landlocker (double eww).


Callanish is a Gracekeeper. This means she receives bodies of deceased Damplings, prepares them for burial and then buries them at sea (Kind of the equivalent of a gravedigger/graveyard keeper along with ritualistic priest and mortician). She lives alone on her own little island on which she preforms the Restings. Her life is quite hermit-like. She only talks to people in passing and never leaves her station. Her life is quite empty and lonely. She has her own secret she harbors, as to why she was self-exiled from her native island become a Gracekeeper and what she is covering up under her silk gloves and slippers...


They meet one day when tragedy strike at the circus, arriving at the Gracekeeper's island, and there is a connection between them that neither can deny. But they come from different worlds and lead very different lives, so North leaves with the tide. Neither can forget the other. Will their paths meet again? 


Though quite mystical, nothing in this book was downright magical most of the time- it was the narrative that laced everything in magic (will definitely be reading more by Kristy Logan). Just like a fairytale. Somehow circus stories are colorfully magical in there own way. It was lovely. 

I loved the multiple points of view that gave more to the story and different looks at what was going on -but left more frayed endings! So many questions!

It could be very sad and depressing at times, but was full of life and hope and magic as well. 

The strange and vivid world was charming, even when laced with conflict, chasms and loneliness.


So very recommended. Read if you've dreamt of running away to the circus or just if you like reading about them to run away for an hour or two in your mind.

Fans of The Night Circus might like this one as well!



"That's why I guess people always want to run back to their childhood, for that ugly real world never soils your existence. During your childhood you live in a cushioned world of your own where everything is blown out of proportion, where everything is magic and sublime. What more could one ask for?"
The Last Soul Children - Aman Chougle

Aman Chougle in The Last Soul Children.

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

What We Left Behind - Robin Talley

What We Left Behind is the story of girlfriends, Toni and Gretchen, who need to deal with a long distance relationship when they both go away to separate colleges after high-school graduation. Starting with keeping the fact that she is going to a separate college then Toni, Gretchen puts the first physical tear in there relationship. From there on, it only gets harder- now Toni is keeping a big secret from Gretchen. Toni's gender identity comes to question and Toni is not quite sure what to think anymore... When Toni neglects to share this with Gretchen, will this couple that was once thick as thieves call it quits?


After reading Robin Talley's Lies We Tell Ourselves, I was really excited to read her next. I loved her first book a lot, it's one of my favorite recent reads. But this one was a let down...

Since this book is about a transgender/gender non-binary person, I thought it held even more potential for awesomeness. But the story to me was not more then the very technical transition that Toni goes through. Just a jumbled chaos. Just a skeleton of a story because of how little it focused even on Toni and Gretchen's actual relationship. Or on emotions. Seemed to be a lack of those. All the thoughts the characters had were not really expressed.

I thought Toni was more than a little bit selfish, seeing how kind Gretchen was kind to Toni no matter what, and Toni still shoves her away with claims of- "But you don't understand me"! C'mon, she just said she loves and supports you no matter what! Give her a break!

Also, Gretchen sadly had very little to her plotline, because she kind of just waited around for Toni constantly while Toni was busy having a life.

Though I know very little about what it means to be transgender personally, I saw numerous reviews saying that this book did no justice to the topic or to describing what it means to be genderqueer accurately.

It seemed the author was so focused on trying to pin that anyways that she left a lot of frayed edges to the story... What happened to the friends Gretchen made? It didn't even seem that Toni came to any feeling of identity, so the topic stayed confusing to me in regard to Toni's character. They both do some pretty shitty things that don't really have any resolution. Or even lack thereof- they kind of just get overlooked. They don't really talk about ANYTHING with each other. So much is left unsaid.

Felt like a lot at once, and like the book left me with nothing at the same time. 


I don't particularly recommend this book. (But do yourselves a favor and read Lies We Tell Ourselves. You won't regret it.)

The Last Soul Children by Aman Chougle

The Last Soul Children - Aman Chougle

I don't read non-fiction books very often, so this was an out of the ordinary book for me to read...


The Last Soul Children is an autobiographical piece by Aman Chougle in which he reminisces on his childhood memories, relationships and connections. It read very much like a conversation with a friend over coffee, just talking about your lives, flowing and casual like speech. He tells specific stories to raise points and thoughts about what it's like to grow up- and though they are unique to his life, they are are very simply universal, in my opinion. He gives interesting insight and opinions about his surroundings and still- laughed at some point when I realized that I could simply switch his perspective with my own (or someone else's) and it wouldn't be to far fetched. So, definitely relatable and very insightful. A simple and breezy read that feels comfortable and friendly.


Because I was reading things so relatable and real, I did find myself impatiently waiting for something crazy to happen, some dragons to fly into the room and abduct Aman's nasty teachers, even. I prefer to stick to fiction mostly, it's somehow easier on my brain. 

(Not connected to the story, when I was reading this book and formatted it for my Kindle, the spacing was all weird and the chapters all blended. That kind of drove me crazy....)


Recommended, read if you want to read something down-to-earth, subjective about the little things in life, or just to realize that it's such a small world.

(Though I will stick to the more "less-down-to-earth" stuff, probably...)



I won this book in a Booklikes giveaway! Thanks, Aman! You can find find him on Booklikes here.

The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell

The Mermaid and the Shoe - K.G. Campbell

The story of a little mermaid discovering what her talents and passions are, who she is and what she likes to do. What it means to be USEFUL.

When Minnow discovers a shoe that plummeted to the depths of the ocean, she does what she is good at- asks questions. But no one knows where it came from or what it is. Also, having 50 sisters is no piece of cake- at least one of them is bound to be downright nasty. But Minnow doesn't stop.

She sets out to find the answer on her own, discovering new worlds and things she didn't know before.


I liked the emphasis of the importance of exploration in this one, the one thing about Minnow that is put on a pedestal here is her love for adventure. And the fact that it's a gift she wants to use to share with other by telling them about things they've never heard of or seen (Yes, human feet are a shocking thing, indeed). That the search for something that makes you that excited is important.

The art awesome. The mermaids were eerie and glowing in the dark and murky light of the depths of the ocean. When Minnow discovers things above the surface, everything is soft and colorful pastels. Colors, shapes and tones she hasn't seen before, don't exist in the prior pictures.

Sometimes the pictures covered the full pages, sometime they were more blank pages with words and smaller framed pictures that looked like close ups, or portraits. More attention to details, a spotlight.


Beautiful art and inspiring story.

""It's raining," he said. Poly thought he sounded surprised.
"It's been raining for the past half-hour," she told him, amused in spite of herself.
"I don't like being rained on."
"Oh. Well, there's not much you can do about it, you know."
Luck tilted his head back to observe her, a puzzled line between his brows. "Of course there is," he said."
Spindle - W.R. Gingell

...A typical, casual conversation between Luck and Poly.


W.R. Gingell, Spindle

Spindle by W.R Gingell

Spindle - W.R. Gingell

Spindle is a retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty.

One that spans form the minute our "princess" Poly is awakened, rudely, by a kiss. She was put under a spell long ago and you'd think being awoken solves everything, but things only get more strange and complicated from there forward. Why are people trying to kill Poly and Luck, the wizard who broke the spell? Why are they running, from whom, why can't Poly remember so many things about her past? What leads to her lying in the princess's bed (she isn't the princess), and sleeping for 400 years? (And why is Luck so infuriating that he won't answer all these questions?)

From there forward, they travel through colorful and magical landscapes full of strange and quirky characters at every twist and turn, trying to fully break the spell as Poly keeps falling asleep and her very long hair keeps acting out...


If I had to sum up this book in one word, I'd say FUNNY. It made me smile and giggle, Not only was the dialog so laughable, but the situations the characters got themselves into, even in perilous moments. It gave the book a light and warm feeling despite the moments of danger and despair.

Poly reminded me in a way of Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle. The characters and dialogue in general, too. If you've ever read this classic by Diana Wynne Jones, you know this means I find her very likable.

And Luck, too. Combined, this story has a very airy, easily distracted wizard and a very oblivious "princess"- and hilarity ensues. They bicker like an old married couple from the minute they meet. Or like young school children. I can't decide. (And take for ever to realize their love for one another!)

It's got a precise and thought out system of magic, as well as array of magical creatures- a dog-boy, a dragon, wizards, enchantresses, gremlins... all different and delightful.

And it is a book in a series, so I might just read the next.


I'd give this one a read if you want cozy type of fairy with a perfect fairy-tale ending, but also interesting characters and a rich and fast-paced plot. 


I won this book in a Booklikes giveaway, thanks W.R Gingell!

Find her on Booklikes here and here.

"You question EVERYTHING. Just because you can. Because it's right there in the laws of your land. But is there nothing you'd greet with a simple, Yeah, okay fine? What if the love of your friends depended upon it? The love of your family? Would you tell a lie?"
The Big Lie - Julie Mayhew

Julie Mayhew, The Big Lie

The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

— feeling shocked
The Big Lie - Julie Mayhew

So. This is a hard one to review. 

I wanted to give this one more stars, I think the only reason I didn't is that it was a hard book to stomach, thus less enjoyable. I can hardly think of my exact stance on the actual plot, except I would have preferred a different ending... The story just kind of gave me the shivers.

But WOW. What a plot.

So here is a sum of what the book is about:


Jessika Keller is a teenaged girl Nazi England, circa 2014. 

Yes, Nazi England. 2014.

In this alternate universe, Germany was victorious in WW2 and everything unfolds from there. Jessika is a good girl, meaning she does what she's told and follows the rules. Her best friend Clementine is quite the opposite, though. She is a rebel, and she questions EVERYTHING. Something Jessika doesn't understand. Her adoration of Clementine and realization of her budding sexuality (as she is very much attracted to her best friend) are part of what cause her to start doubting the regime. It becomes for her a battle of loyalty between the Fuhrer, the regime and it's standards versus the people she loves, herself, freedom and ideals. What is "right" and what is "wrong", in a world so black and white?

How far would you go for your loved ones or the freedom of your people?


Beautifully written. Chilling. Dark. Very quotable. Still, very uncomfortable to read. Pretty surreal.


PrinceLess #1 - D.E. Belton, Jung-Ha Kim, Jeremy Whitley, Shawn Gabborin, M. Goodwin

What do you do if you are tired of waiting around for your prince charming to show up and save you? Save yourself, of course!


Princess Adrienne decides to do just that when her father, the king, has her and her sisters locked up (in towers, as that is the tradition) in an attempt to find them husbands and an heir to the throne. She takes matters into her own hands and then decides to go and save her other sisters who have befallen the same fate.

She is a fierce and fiery character, but she's not the only one... There is awesome diversity in this book, and lots of stereotype bending characters. My personal favorite was Princess Adrienne's one brother Prince Devin, who would prefers to read poetry, about love and such, to sword fighting. This is of course infuriating to his father, the king, that doesn't think he'd make a very good heir to the throne.

It doesn't end there- An spunky, female blacksmith who is good with weapons; a dragon who makes a good pet, though it was bred to guard a tower and be slain...

And lots of thugs to fight.

A memorable and laughable moment for me was when a knight-in-shining-armor who is attempting to save Adrienne calls her a fair maiden, and she goes off on him for not realizing how offensive he's being when she is clearly not fair-skinned. Dark skinned, in fact. You can count on her to have the most funny and witty retorts.

It's funny, but still action filled AND full of awesome female characters that the authors totally did justice.

A story about taking your own fate into your hands, no matter what others tell you and no matter the circumstances!


I like where to story-line went, and it did so with humor and fun. A great read! I'm definitely going to read the rest. I want to see what this princess-in-shining-armor does next!


Bold Riley by Leia Wheathington

The Legend of Bold Riley - Leia Weathington

A graphic novel, or a series of comics, about an Indian princess who goes by the name Bold Riley. A restless spirit, she leaves the palace as soon as she is old enough to set out and see the world. She is not simply a rich girl on a very long vacation, though- quickly pulled in to situations with Indian gods and spirits, pranks, traps, danger, and people who need her help. She is a girl on a mission, even as she wanders and goes where the wind leads her. She is a hero.

This book is split into a few parts, separate stories and adventures narrated as legends. Each one has its own separate are style, as if you have suddenly stepped into a completely different world as the stories progress. They actually do seem to be reminiscent of different art styles depicting places that in the real world would correspond to different countries and continents.  They are beautiful, unique and wild. I loved them.

Stories of bravery, love, sacrifice and kindness- topped with some creepy demons, sword wielding, blood and gore.

An empowering type of story, very enjoyable, very recommended. 

— feeling haha

A reenaction of Edward watching Bella sleep from the book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

Christine Riccio is a booktuber, and besides reviewing books, she also makes funny videos and skits that book lovers will relate to!

Check it out here.

"The word 'love' is a tool. It's a crowbar. You can get yourself into all sorts of places-someone's pants, someones heart, someone's life. And it's a hammer, too. Lot's of people swing it, with no idea who they'll hit. In fact, you can pound the shit out of people with that word: Dad on us, or Grandma on Dad.
So maybe I should stay away from Rob. What if I put a dent in his head, or sink the claw into his cheek, and all he's trying to do is 'love' me back?"
The Sky Always Hears Me: And the Hills Don't Mind - Kirstin Cronn-Mills

- Kirstin Cronn-Mills, They Sky Always Hears Me

Currently reading

The Abyss Surrounds Us
Emily Skrutskie
SG - Suicide Game
Progress: 82/358 pages