The To Be Read Tag

It’s no secret that I LOVE tags, whether or not I am actually chosen to participate in completing them! This time, however, I was ACTUALLY tagged by Sarah from Book Hooked Nook to fill out the To Be Read Tag!

How I Keep Track of My TBR Pile:

I really don’t keep track – officially! I do have a ginormous Goodreads TBR shelf, but it’s mostly for EVERYTHING that looks or sounds interesting, plus, I always add books I may want to get notifications about if there are giveaways for them.¬†

I stick entire series on the GR shelf, even if I haven’t read the first installment and have no clue whether or not I’ll even like it! So, that particular TBR list is pretty much a catch-all.

Mainly, I know what’s on my TBR by just browsing my Kindle, my library e-books, and my closet – which is filled with books I own. I’m better at keeping a TBR when I’m dedicated to fulfilling a reading challenge!

Is My TBR Mostly Print or E-books:

I’d say it’s about equal parts print and e-books. For instance, I’m obsessed with haunting the e-collection belonging to my local library, where I typically use up the maximum amount of holds I can. As for my print books, I own them all – I’m too lazy to actually cross the street to get to the physical library! ūüėÄ

How I Determine Which Book From My TBR to Read Next:

I’m a serious mood reader, so I read just whatever I feel like most of the time. However, if I’m participating in a reading challenge, I’m more likely to go for whatever is in my challenge lineup. Even then I’m a mood reader – typically – especially if I have a list of books that I can read in any order I choose.

A Book That Has Been on My TBR the Longest:

It’s tough for me to nail down an exact book that’s been on my TBR seemingly forever, but I’m sure it’s a classic, as I have dreams of reading them ALL – one of these days! I have wanted to read¬†Treasure Island¬†by Robert Louis Stevenson for a LONG time!

A Book That I Recently Added to My TBR:

Probably the most recent book I’ve added to my list is Marissa Meyer’s¬†Wires and Nerve, Vol. 1. I really don’t know what took me so long to add this title to my TBR, as I’m obsessed with graphic novels – better late than never!

A Book on My TBR Strictly Because it Has a Beautiful Cover:

I love the cover for¬†I’ll Give You the Sun¬†by Jandy Nelson! It’s so striking and just plain gorgeous! While I do plan to read it at some point, it’s not high on my TBR list.

A Book on My TBR That I Never Plan on Actually Reading:

Molly Jong-Fast’s novel,¬†Normal Girl, has been on my list for absolute ages, but I doubt I’ll read it. I bought it because of its precious hot pink cover, but I’ve noticed that reviews for it aren’t very promising, so I probably won’t go there, although it looks cute in my little library!

An Unpublished Book on My TBR That I’m Excited for:

I’ve written about Dan Brown’s upcoming fifth Robert Langdon novel,¬†Origin, quite a few times, but it’s totally the yet-to-be-published book I’m dying to get my eyes on the most!

A Book on My TBR That Everyone Has Read but Me:

The answer to this one has got to be¬†Throne of Glass¬†by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve basically got the entire series on my Kindle, I just haven’t gone there – yet. This will more than likely change soon, as I’ve got it scheduled for the Make Me Read It read-a-thon coming up in August!

A Book on My TBR That Everyone Recommends to Me:

For this one, it’s a toss-up between¬†When Dimple Met Rishi¬†by Sandhya Menon and¬†The Hate U Give¬†by Angie Thomas. I’m number one million for each on the library holds list, so it’ll be a bit before I get to them, but I certainly will one of these days!

A Book on My TBR That I’m Dying to Read:

I’m about to explode to read¬†Stalking Jack the Ripper¬†by Kerri Maniscalco! It’s also on my Make Me Read It read-a-thon list for next month, so hopefully, I’ll get to it then!

The Number of Books on My TBR:

According to my Goodreads TBR shelf, I have a grand total of 745 books to read! LOL! I don’t think it’s humanly possible to read that many books in a lifetime, especially since I’m constantly adding to my list! I pretty much want to read ALL THE BOOKS!

Love, Maggie

The Clue in the Crossword Cipher

The Clue in the Crossword CipherThe Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene
Series: Nancy Drew #44
Published by Grosset & Dunlap on January 1st 1967
Genres: Children's, Mystery
Pages: 192
Format: ebook
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy at The Book Depository
Goodreads

For cliffhanging suspense and thrilling action read THE NANCY DREW MYSTERY STORIES-the worlds most popular mystery series for young readers! Millions of fans have matched wits with Nancy Drew, helping her solve more than fifty baffling cases.

I adore Nancy Drew books in general, but¬†The Clue in the Crossword Cipher¬†is probably one of my favorites in the mystery series yet. I’ve probably mentioned that I love to learn as I read and with this book, set in South America, namely in Peru and Argentina, I was captivated.

In the story, Nancy and her closest chums, Bess and George, travel with another friend, Carla, to her home in Peru in an attempt to solve a mystery revolving around an ancient artifact, which has been in the possession of Carla’s family for centuries.

Now, me, being a person who rarely reads book synopses in full, as I feel synopses sometimes spoil the book, expected the mystery to involve a literal crossword puzzle, straight out of The New York Times or something. However, I was very wrong!

The crossword is actually a piece of a puzzle engraved on the ancient artifact owned by Carla’s family – which definitely came as a surprise! Full of suspense, snooping snoops, and true to its time,¬†The Clue in the Crossword Cipher¬†kept me entertained and on the proverbial edge of my seat – I did not solve the mystery prior to the book’s conclusion, which always makes me happy.

The story takes Nancy and her comrades from the ruins of Machu Picchu to the Nazca lines, which are archaeological sites of great interest to me. While I did have to suspend disbelief a bit while reading about Nancy and friends’ escapades at the sites, I still very much enjoyed the book and learned a bit about South American Indian culture along the way.

The only thing I could see being problematic regarding all Nancy Drew mysteries is the fact that, like I said, they are true to their time, as in they were written in the 1950s and 1960s – meaning that gender stereotypes and silliness are found in abundance.

For instance, there is a bit too much focus on the fact that Nancy is ‘attractive’ and Bess is ‘overweight.’ However, knowing the time in which these books were written, before women were seen in a more modern light, I can brush off these references.

Nancy Drew mysteries are always light, quick reads that are definitely go-to books when I’m in a reading slump. They were prominent staples in both my and my mother’s childhoods and reading them takes me back to being that young girl who had become intrigued by reading and especially mysteries.

Love, Maggie

#ARCAugust

I am so thrilled to have discovered #ARCAugust, hosted by the ladies at Read.Sleep.Repeat via Twitter pals who are also participating. This will be my first attempt at joining in on the challenge, which I desperately need, as I have a few ARCs that I have got to read and review! #ARCAugust is the perfect motivation for me to do just that!

Currently, I have four NetGalley ARCs that I absolutely MUST finish during the challenge, plus, I have two manga editions of classics – neither of which archive soon – that I’d love to complete. In addition, I am waiting for an ARC to arrive from Emma at Miss Print, which I was lucky to receive through her awesome ARC adoption program!

Also, I have some ARCs that have been requested of me to review, but have sorely neglected, that I’d also like to get through. Luckily, the challenge lasts throughout the whole month of August, giving me – hopefully – plenty of time to meet my goals!

The List & the Source

  • Click’d¬†by Tamara Ireland Stone [Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program]
  • The Jewel Tree¬†by Lee Summers [requested by author]
  • Bubblegum¬†by Sari Taurez [requested by author]

I’m really looking forward to reading all of my ARCs, especially the ones with amazing covers – I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m a sucker for covers! Good luck to all who are also participating in #ARCAugust and I hope to visit your posts soon! ūüėÄ

Love, Maggie

The Monday Review, Vol. 2

Hey, y’all! Welcome to The Monday Review, an original weekly meme where I invite YOU to link up your favorite book reviews!

Reviews may include, but are not limited to, posts from the past week, month, year, whenever – as long as it’s a review you’re proud of and would like to share with the blogosphere!¬†

Simply add the direct link to your chosen review to the linky and voila! 

Thank you for your participation – I’m hoping to keep this meme going as long as y’all are willing to provide your review links! ūüėÄ

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Love, Maggie

Mid-Year Book Freak Out

I’ve gone bananas for books this year! I’m well on my way to completing my 40-book Goodreads pledge, clocking in at 37 books read! Yay, me! FYI – I’ve never met my Goodreads challenge goal!

Anyhow, I’ve been haunted by the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag and decided it’s time for me to tag myself and fill it out too! I adore tags and this should be a blast! ūüėÄ

Best Book I’ve Read So Far in 2017

For this one, it has to be¬†The Night Circus¬†by Erin Morgenstern. Gorgeous prose combined with a beautiful love story equals pure magic! This was a book I couldn’t put down!

Best Sequel I’ve Read So Far in 2017

I think Saga, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan was pretty freaking amazing!

New Release I Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To

I’m most looking forward to reading Mackenzi Lee’s¬†The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue! I just received it in the July OwlCrate box, which made me beyond happy!

I keep seeing amazing things about this book all over the place and I can’t wait to get my eyes on it!

Most Anticipated Release For the Second Half of the Year

I love Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon novels and I’m beyond excited that he has a new one,¬†Origin, releasing in early October!

Biggest Disappointment

I’m sad to say that I didn’t enjoy Roshani Chokshi’s¬†A Crown of Wishes,¬†her follow-up to¬†The Star-Touched Queen, which I absolutely adored last year.

I think my expectations for the sequel were too high, plus, I wanted more Maya and less Gauri.

Biggest Surprise

So far, the biggest surprise book for me this year was Kasie West’s¬†The Fill-In Boyfriend, which I never expected to like!

Now, West is an auto-buy author for me! Through reading the book, I discovered that I actually AM a fan of contemporary romances, which blows my mind!

Favorite New Author [Debut or New To Me]

My favorite new-to-me author, as mentioned above is totally Kasie West! I’m so thrilled I gave her books a chance! In addition to¬†The Fill-In Boyfriend, I also loved¬†On the Fence.

I’m hopeful that I’ll enjoy¬†By Your Side,¬†but, from the looks of other readers’ reviews, it’s going to be a toss-up.

Newest Fictional Crush

I adore Rob, Ella’s best guy friend, from Kelly Oram’s¬†Cinder & Ella! He is such a dang sweetheart and is a true platonic friend, which seems hard to come by.

Newest Favorite Character

My newest favorite character is totally Elle from¬†Geekerella¬†by Ashley Poston! Talk about cool…

Book That Made Me Cry

Honestly, I haven’t stumbled across a book that has made me cry so far this year.

Book That Made Me Happy

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal¬†by G. Willow Wilson made me happy because it is SO different from many [if not all] of the books I’ve read thus far.

Most Beautiful Book I’ve Bought [or Received] So Far This Year

The prettiest book I’ve gotten this year, thus far, is a Penguin Classics copy of Lewis Carroll’s¬†Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland¬†and¬†Through the Looking Glass!

The Books I Need To Read By the End of the Year

WAY too many to list here! ūüėÄ

Love, Maggie

Insanity

InsanityInsanity by Cameron Jace
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on December 19th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 254
Format: ebook
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll's paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland's real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

Well, I sure am glad I went into reading Cameron Jace’s Insanity, the first in the series of the same name, without reading the summary on Goodreads – had I read it, I wouldn’t have been so pleasantly surprised by the story’s plot.

I’ve been curious about Insanity for a long time, but had held off on reading it because I judged the book by its cover, which isn’t my favorite by a long shot. However, when I found the first three books in the series available for rental from the Kindle Unlimited library, I took it as a sign and checked them out virtually.

I was almost instantly sucked into Insanity, with its short and sweet chapters and quick action. As I mentioned before, since I hadn’t read the Insanity summary, I was very surprised to learn the series revolves around the maybe real Alice from none other than Lewis Carroll’s famous Alice in Wonderland.

I’ve never read Carroll’s original work, but I am aware of the basic plot points, which are touched upon by Jace in the Alice retelling.

This may be odd to some bookworms, but I very rarely go into reading a book actually knowing what it’s about. I generally don’t even read the backs of books or the insides of their jackets; I’ve read too many silly summaries, which have turned me off particular tomes.

Which leads me to a big reason I’m glad I skipped the Goodreads Insanity summary – I’m bothered that one of the major characters is referred to as ‘Professor Caterpillar.’ Granted, the character is the caterpillar of Lewis Carroll’s imagination, but in Jace’s retelling, he is NEVER referred to as ‘Professor Caterpillar’ exactly – he’s Pillar the Killer.

Anyway, despite my aggravation with the summary, the imagination that went into the writing of Insanity is incredible. Not only does Jace take the reader on a ride with Carroll’s characters in the modern world, the author delves into the personal history of Lewis Carroll himself, who also plays a role.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the book is the guessing game played by the reader in a dance with Jace to figure out whether Alice Wonder is in fact THE Alice in Wonderland.

This is the first book in a while I’ve read decently quickly and without moving it to the back burner to start another, more exciting story. I am genuinely interested in the fates of Jace’s characters, who are those from Alice in Wonderland re-imagined, and I’m tickled that there is an upcoming eighth book.

I adored this book and am excited to continue the series. I give Insanity four stars…I would have most likely given it five, but there were a few typos I can’t let go.

For instance, the name of one of Alice’s sisters is different in one sentence – I wouldn’t have known who was being referred to had the actual name not started with the same letter as the incorrect one.

Every other facet of the book – plot, world building, character relationships, pace – fit into my reading style perfectly.

I very highly recommend Insanity, especially to those who adore retellings, as I have recently discovered I do.

Love, Maggie

The Monday Review, Vol. 1

Hey, y’all! Welcome to the inaugural installment of The Monday Review, an original weekly meme where I invite YOU to link up your favorite book reviews!

Reviews may include, but are not limited to, posts from the past week, month, year, whenever – as long as it’s a review you’re proud of and would like to share with the blogosphere!¬†

Simply add the direct link to your chosen review to the linky and voila! 

Thank you for your participation – I’m hoping to keep this meme going as long as y’all are willing to provide your review links! ūüėÄ

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Love, Maggie

A to Z Survey

So, I adore discovering tags and surveys, especially when I’m clueless about what exactly to write. I stumbled across The A to Z Survey, created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner, way back in 2013 and decided to give it a shot!

Author I’ve Read the Most Books By

Hmmm…I need to travel back in time for this one, as I tend to jump from one author to another quite a bit! I’d say I’ve read almost all of Ann. M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club series as well as the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene! ūüėÄ

Best Sequel Ever

I adored Leigh Bardugo’s follow-ups to¬†Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising!¬†The original in the Grisha series was awesome, but the sequels tied the whole story together and were very entertaining!

Currently Reading

Right now, I’m officially in the midst of reading four books! I’m reading¬†A Batter of Life and Death, a precious cozy mystery by Ellie Alexander, for The Candid Cover’s Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge¬†and I’m doing buddy reads of both Oscar Wilde’s¬†The Picture of Dorian Gray¬†and¬†The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie¬†by Alan Bradley.

In addition, I’m taking a short break from reading Stephen King’s behemoth post-apocalyptic novel,¬†The Stand. I never used to read multiple books at once, but I think I like jumping between reads!

Drink of Choice While Reading

My drink of choice is always coffee with only cream! I drink it all day, every day! ūüėÄ

E-Reader or Physical Book?

Honestly, I enjoy both my Kindle and physical books. Generally, I’ll switch back and forth between reading an ebook and a hard copy.

Fictional Character I Probably Would Have Dated in High School

OMG! I adore Rob in Kelly Oram’s retelling,¬†Cinder & Ella! Although Rob is simply an excellent guy friend to the main character, he is too sweet for words and doesn’t pressure Ella into a romantic relationship!

Glad I Gave This Book a Chance

Insanity¬†by Cameron Jace was a big step out of my reading comfort zone! I’m so happy I decided to read it, a retelling of¬†Alice in Wonderland. It’s sort of overwhelming, as there are at least seven total books in the series, but I love the story and plan to read them all!

Hidden Gem Book

For this one, it has to be John Steinbeck’s¬†Of Mice and Men, which I read for English class in high school. I went into reading it not knowing what to expect, but it seriously pulled at my heartstrings and will forever be very special to me.

The reason this book holds such a special place in my heart is because my older brother, Bill, is autistic. One of the main characters, Lennie, is descried by Steinbeck as ‘simple-minded’ and his story really makes me think of Bill.¬†

Plus, with the tragic, yet merciful ending, I can’t help but put myself in the shoes of George, Lennie’s closest friend‘.

Important Moment in My Reading Life

The first thing that comes to mind is when I read Michael Crichton’s¬†Jurassic Park¬†as a fifth grader! I read it after seeing and loving the movie and at the time, it was the fattest book I’d ever read! I’m still really proud of that accomplishment! ūüėÄ

Just Finished

The most recent book I finished reading was¬†Cinder & Ella, quite obviously a Cinderella retelling! It’s a lovely book and I thank Delaney for highly recommending it to me!

Kinds of Books I Won’t Read

The only kind of book I’m really opposed to reading is straight-up erotica! No judgment toward people who enjoy the genre, it’s just not my cup of tea.

Longest Book I’ve Read

At the moment, the longest book I’ve read is Leo Tolstoy’s¬†Anna Karenina, clocking in at 817 pages. When I finally finish it, hopefully by September,¬†The Stand¬†will bump Tolstoy’s classic out of its top spot, as it has 1153 pages!

Major Book Hangover Because of

Anna Karenina! I adored reading it SO VERY MUCH and I didn’t want it to end! I ended up reading a nonfiction book about Catherine the Great,¬†Portrait of a Woman, by Robert K. Massie, not long after finishing Tolstoy’s work, as my mind was still in imperial Russia!

Number of Bookcases I Own

I don’t have any serious bookcases, sadly! I do have an antique curio that belonged to my great-grandmother, but I only store my babies’ books and pictures in it for the time being. Now I have my books in stacks in my walk-in closet, but one of these days, I will have my own real library!

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times

The only book I’ve reread is J.K. Rowling’s¬†Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! I actually reread it via audiobook and with Jim Dale narrating it was amazing! I’m really glad I chose to listen to the first installment in the Harry Potter series; I had forgotten a lot of the detail included in the story and I look forward to listening to the rest of the series soon.

Preferred Place to Read

I like to read anywhere I can, whether it be on the couch, curled up in my bed, nestled in a nook outside, or even in a waiting room – as long as I can read, I’m pretty happy!

Quote That Inspires Me from All the Books I’ve Read

Since it’s fresh in my mind, there is a quote from¬†Cinder & Ella¬†that I absolutely adore!¬†

“Her laugh was my new favorite sound in the whole world.”

Reading Regret

I always regret DNFing books, but sometimes it’s just necessary. For instance, I was really looking forward to reading¬†Great Expectations¬†by Charles Dickens, but I just could not get through it. I am going to try reading a manga version by Stacy King!

Series I Started and Need to Finish

I really need to finish The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer! I’ve read both¬†Cinder¬†and¬†Scarlet, but need to get to¬†Cress,¬†Fairest, Winter,¬†and¬†Stars Above. While I enjoyed¬†Cinder, Scarlet¬†didn’t really grab me. I have a feeling I will really like¬†Cress¬†and¬†Winter¬†though!

I want to throw in the novellas, Fairest and Stars Above just to get the full effect of the series.

Three of My All-Time Favorite Books

Nothing can top Anna Karenina and Of Mice and Men!

Unapologetic Fangirl for

– a good retelling

Very Excited for This Release More Than All the Others

I love Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon novels and his latest installment,¬†Origin, releasing October 3rd, is definitely the one I am most looking forward to getting my hands on!

Worst Bookish Habit

My worst bookish habit is judging books by their covers. I’ve come to learn that an eye-catching jacket does not necessarily mean a quality book is encased within it.

[Your] My Latest Book Purchase

I’ve been on a serious graphic novel kick, so pretty much any book in the genre must be mine! But, most recently, I bought a book in another favorite genre – the cozy mystery! I purchased¬†Crime and Poetry¬†by Amanda Flower.

ZZZ-Snatcher Book

ANY audiobook is likely to put me to sleep! ūüėÄ

Love, Maggie

Summer TBR Wipeout Update

I can’t believe it’s already time to post the first update for the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge, hosted by Olivia at The Candid Cover! This month has zipped by, but, luckily, I’ve done decently well with working toward my challenge goal of reading ten books from my TBR list! [You can find my full challenge TBR list HERE.]

As you can see from my challenge TBR list, I chose to read mainly short-ish books and graphic novels throughout the summer wipeout. Thus far, I’ve completed three books and I’m working my way through the fourth!

The only book I foresee having an issue with is Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir,¬†The Secrets of My Life: A History, not because of the content, but because it’s an audiobook – I always have trouble focusing and staying awake while listening! However, I LOVE celebrity memoirs and am really looking forward to reading Jenner’s, I just know it may be a struggle!

Anyhow, I’ve finished¬†Ghosts¬†by Raina Telgemeier, which I absolutely adored! [My review can be found HERE.] I also completed Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic by Jeff Lemire and The Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene, about my favorite girl detective, Nancy Drew. I enjoyed both Lemire’s and Keene’s tales – I’m so proud of my picks for this challenge! LOL! ūüėÄ

I started Ellie Alexander’s¬†A Batter of Life and Death, a sweet cozy mystery, yesterday and I’m making good progress on it – it’s fast-paced and fun! I’ve also listened to the introduction of Jenner’s memoir, so I’ve kind of started it too, although I haven’t continued listening to it yet.

So, I’m nearly halfway through my TBR list and with the challenge officially ending in a month, I’m pretty confident that I’ll actually finish this challenge, which will be a first for me! ūüėÄ

How are y’all doing with the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge? I hope you’re doing well and are happy with your picks! Drop me a line and let me know about your progress – I’d love to visit your update posts! Good luck to all on the rest of the readathon! I’ll be posting my next update during the week of July 29; hopefully, I’ll be well on my way to blowing out my TBR list by then!

Love, Maggie

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone ByeThe Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
Series: The Walking Dead #1
Published by Image Comics on February 19th 2013
Genres: Graphic Novel, Horror
Pages: 144
Format: ebook
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy at The Book Depository
Goodreads

Illustrator: Tony Moore

How many hours are in a day when you don't spend half of them watching television?

When is the last time any of us REALLY worked to get something we wanted?

How long has it been since any of us really NEEDED something that we WANTED?

The world we knew is gone.

The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been replaced by a world of survival and responsibility.

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe causing the dead to rise and feed on the living.

In a matter of months society has crumbled.no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV.

In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.

Sherriff Rick Grimes wakes up in a hospital after being in a coma for a month, only to discover that the world has changed forever – dramatically. Shortly after awakening, Rick runs into exactly what has caused the virtual end of the world – an infestation of zombies of unknown origin. Rick slowly makes his way home, only to find that his neighborhood – and his hometown – have been abandoned.

Rick meets a pair of strangers, a father and son, who ultimately opt to stay behind as Rick heads off for Atlanta in search of his wife and son. After a long journey, involving both a car ride and hitching a horse, Rick finally runs into Glenn in the heart of Atlanta. Glenn shows Rick the ropes, including the importance of restraining from using gunfire when hordes of zombies are lurking.

Glenn leads Rick to his family Рhis wife Lori and son Carl Рwho are shocked to see him alive, living in a camp with other apocalypse survivors РAllen, Jim, Dale, Carol, Andrea, Sophia, Amy, Donna, Billy, and Ben. Rick meets and greets the additional survivors and slowly begins to trust them Рthey are one. 

While Rick and the others attempt to block out memories of the past, Rick becomes suspicious of his old friend and partner, Shane, who seems unusually close with and protective of Lori. 

Soon after Rick’s arrival, the group debates leaving the camp; however, Shane vehemently stands against doing so. Meanwhile, Rick teaches Carl to shoot, much to Lori’s dismay. Ultimately, Carl’s newly developed gun skills pay off, as he saves Rick’s life in an unlikely way.

The thing I enjoyed most about this first volume is the fact that it is similar to, yet vastly different from, the AMC TV series of the same name. For instance, Daryl is not introduced in this installment and the whole scene which involves Daryl being handcuffed to a pipe and then chops off his own hand to free himself never occurs. 

I was grateful to discover that the show does not follow the graphic novels exactly – I actually quit watching the AMC series when it became so convoluted and goofy that I didn’t know what the plot was anymore. Volume one is a great introduction to the plight of the survivors of the zombie outbreak.

Like most of the graphic novels I’ve read,¬†Days Gone Bye is fast-paced and features amazing illustrations. With 28 total volumes to date, I look forward to following the adventures – and misadventures – of Rick and company.

Love, Maggie