quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green




I am very excited to be a part of the blog tour from Rockstar Book Tours for BONDING, a sci-fi/romance that asks questions about love and existence.  Check out my review below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Book Information

Title: Bonding: A Love Story About People and Their Parasites
Authors(s): Matthew Erman and Emily Pearson 
Publication Date: January 31, 2023
Edition: Hardcover, eBook; 208 pgs
Publisher: Vault Comics
SourceRockstar Book Tours
Find ItMajor Retailers
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
1/16/2023 - Sadie's Spotlight - Excerpt/IG Post
1/17/2023 - Bookish Trisha - Excerpt/IG Post
1/18/2023 - Writer of Wrongs - Excerpt
1/19/2023 - The Clever Reader - Excerpt/IG Post
1/20/2023 - A Dream Within A Dream - Excerpt
1/21/2023 - Two Chicks on Books - Excerpt/IG Post

Week Two
1/22/2023 - Nagma | TakeALookAtMyBookshelf - IG Review
1/23/2023 - Jeff_of_allmedia - IG Review
1/24/2023 - GryffindorBookishNerd - IG Review
1/25/2023 - @bubbles_books09 - IG Review/TikTok Post
1/26/2023 - travelersguidetobooks - IG Review
1/27/2023 - Eli to the nth - Review/IG Post
1/28/2023 - Nerdophiles - Review

Week Three
1/29/2023 - @coffeesipsandreads - IG Review/TikTok Post
1/30/2023 - Brandi Danielle Davis - IG Review/TikTok Post
1/31/2023 - brittreadsalattebooks - IG Post
2/1/2023 - Jenguerdy - IG Post
2/2/2023 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review/IG Post
2/3/2023 - A Blue Box Full of Books - IG Review/LFL Drop Pic
2/4/2023 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - Review/IG Post

Week Four
2/5/2023 - See Sadie Read - Review/IG Post
2/6/2023 - Mallory Books - Review/IG Post
2/7/2023 - @just_another_mother_with_books - IG Review
2/8/2023 - Nonbinary Knight Reads - Review/IG Post
2/9/2023 - Novel Novice - IG post
2/10/2023 - Two Points of Interest - Review 
2/11/2023 - The Momma Spot - Review/IG Post

Week Five
2/12/2023 - onemused - IG Post
2/13/2023 - @jacleomik33 - IG Review
2/14/2023 - @thebookishfoxwitch - IG Review

The Summary

“Wear your heart on your sleeve.”  That’s the saying. But in BONDING, people wear their anxiety on their chests – in the form of a  parasite that shows everyone just what you’re feeling on the inside …


A man, a woman—and their parasites. Marcus has been alone since the loss of his closest friend and has just recently entered into the dating scene, while Laura has drifted in and out of relationships since high school. They meet, they have a great first date, and Marcus almost dies—because the slug-like parasite that everybody carries in this world nearly rejects him, its host. BONDING is a funny, quirky, and honest look at love, in a world where everyone wears their anxiety, not on their sleeves, but on their chest like big ol' leeches.

Fans of Matthew Erman's work on Vault Comics' WITCHBLOOD and Archaia's JIM HENSON'S THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE will find lots to love in BONDING. Fans of Image Comics' ICE CREAM MAN VOL. 1, DC Comics' COLLAPSER and even books like THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer and THE PARASITOLOGY TRILOGY by Mira Grant will enjoy this foray into all the stressors of dating...where a parasite is the least of your worries (unless it kills you, that is.)

“Erman and Pearson skewer genre norms in this sweet and casually unsettling comics romance-dramedy…”- Publishers Weekly

My Review

What I think makes reviewing graphic novels a bit harder than books is the fact that the visual aspect is just as important as the story.  A graphic novel can have an amazing plotline, but if I don't like the art, I can't read it.  Conversely, if the art is gorgeous, but the plot is horrible, I can't read it.  Luckily, Bonding: A Love Story About People and Their Parasites by Matthew Erman and Emily Pearson has both beautiful art and an engaging plotline.

Erman and Pearson come together to write one weird book, but it is weird in the absolute best possible way.  The Earth has been taken over by aliens, little slug-like parasites that have to use human plasma to survive.  So every person has a slug, and if the slug dies, you die.  Can you imagine your whole survival is reliant on this alien AND you have to move through the anxiety that is being a human being?  That is exactly what is explored in Bonding.

The storyline is generational, so we start off two generations after the invasion, where we meet our couple Marcus and Laura.  Both are young enough not to remember a time before the slugs, but old enough to know the changes within culture (such as chlorine now being completely illegal due to its' harmful effects on the slugs).  We follow their love story, trying to navigate the regular trials of dating/relationships, but within this sci-fi world of slug reliance.  We then fast-forward to their son, Ira's, story.  He, too, is in the first stages of a relationship when a catastrophe involving the slugs starts to occur.  I liked to see where Marcus and Laura end up, as well as the further development of this Earth living with slugs.  

The mix of sci-fi/romance/body horror gives you such creepy vibes.  One minute it will be a traditional "does he/she like me?" and then the next will be a race to stop one's slug from killing their host.  With each page, you don't quite know what to expect, which kept me glued.  I think that this isn't the story for everyone, especially straight romance readers.  But if you're a sci-fi reader who likes a little romance, then Bonding: A Love Story About People and Their Parasites will be right up your alley.

Final Rating


About the Author(s)

About Matthew Erman:
Matthew Erman is a comics writer from Columbus, Ohio. Alongside Lisa Sterle, he co-created the critically acclaimed comic horror series, Long Lost, which was optioned for Film/TV by Producer Jenny Klein (The Witcher, Daisy Jones and The Six). Erman has since worked on the comic book series Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and graphic novel Power Rangers: Sins of the Future with BOOM! Studios, series Care Bears: Unlock the Magic with IDW, the upcoming science fiction/horror/humorous romance original graphic novel Bonding, with artist and co-creator Emily Pearson for Vault Comics, and the smash supernatural action adventure comics series (with artist/co-creator Lisa Sterle) from Vault Comics, Witchblood. His short work can be found in anthologies such  as Corpus (2018), Dead Beats (2019) and Everything is Going Wrong (2019).

About Emily Pearson:
Emily Pearson is a freelance comic book artist from Davis, California.
She has previously worked for Black Mask Studios; “The Wilds”(2018) and “Snap Flash Hustle”(2018-19), Oni Press’s “The Vain”(2020), and the upcoming “Bonding” coming to Vault Comics in 2022.

In addition to comics series, she drew a short story for the Ringo Award Winning “Mine!” an anthology for Planned Parenthood, Vault Comic’s “Cult Classic Zero Short”, “CORPUS” curated by Nadia Shammas, and “Everything is Going Wrong: Comics on Punk & Mental Illness”.  She has illustrated various covers for comic books including: “Stranger Things: SIX” from Dark Horse Comics, “Calexit: Emmie X”, “The Devil Within”, “Sweet/Vicious”, “The Wilds”, “Snap Flash Hustle” from Black Mask Studios, “Going to the Chapel” from Action Lab, “Atlantis Wasn’t Built For Tourists” from Scout Comics and many more.

2 winners will receive a finished copy of BONDING, US Only.

Ends February 18th, midnight EST.




 I am excited to be a part of the blog tour from Rockstar Book Tours for the start of this awesome series from Disney-Hyperion, A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith.  Check out my review below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Book Information

Title: A Ruinous Fate
Authors(s): Kaylie Smith
Publication Date: January 3, 2023
Edition: Hardcover, eBook; 432 pgs
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
SourceRockstar Book Tours
Find It: Major Retailers
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
1/2/2022 - Kait Plus Books - Excerpt/IG Post
1/3/2022 - YA Books Central - Excerpt/IG Post
1/4/2022 - Books and Zebras - Review/IG Post
1/5/2022 - Library of Becca - Review/IG Post
1/6/2022 - pluvioreads - Review/IG Post
1/7/2022 - travelersguidetobooks - IG Review

Week Two
1/8/2022 - @more.books.yes.please - IG Review/TikTok Post
1/9/2022 - Wanderingwitchreads - TikTok Review/IG Post
1/10/2022 - NeverKnotReading - IG Review
1/11/2022 - Review Thick And Thin - Review/IG Post
1/12/2022 - Ohyouread - IG Post
1/13/2022 - onemused - IG Review
1/14/2022 - Book Reviews by Alison - IG Review

Week Three
1/15/2022 - Book Briefs - Review/IG Post
1/16/2022 - The Momma Spot - Review/IG Post
1/17/2022 - Thindbooks Blog - Review/IG Post
1/18/2022 - @brittyoreads - IG Review
1/19/2022 - A Blue Box Full of Books - IG Review/LFL Drop Pic
1/20/2022 - A Dream Within A Dream - Review/IG Post
1/21/2022 - A Bookish Dream - Review/IG Post

Week Four
1/22/2022 - popthebutterfly - Review/IG Post
1/23/2022 - OneMoreExclamation - Review/IG Post
1/24/2022 - @froggyreadteach - IG Review
1/25/2022 - Eli to the nth - Review/IG Post
1/26/2022 - Nerdophiles - Review 
1/27/2022 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - Review/IG Post
1/28/2022 - The Book View - Review/IG Post

Week Five
1/29/2022 - @drew_ambitious_reading - IG Review/TikTok Post
1/30/2022 - Momfluenster - IG Review/FB Post
1/31/2022 - Eye-Rolling Demigod's Book Blog - Review/IG Post

The Summary

Fate does not choose the weak. Fate chooses the ready.

Illustros is a cursed realm ruled by the ruthless Gods of Fate, and no one understands the Fates’ wrath more than Calliope Rosewood. Blessed with unspeakable powers that terrify even the most dangerous witches and fae, Calla hides her forbidden magic in shame and fear that one wrong touch could send her to her death. With only her two best friends in tow, Calla deserted her coven and has been on the run ever since.

Worse, Calla is concealing an even darker secret: fate has chosen her as the final prophesied Blood Warrior, the being destined to start the Fates’ War, which will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.

After a betrayal from her infuriating ex Ezra leads her one step closer to fulfilling that age-old prophecy, Calla is desperate to do whatever it takes to reset her fate. So when a mysterious and charming witch offers to help Calla do just that, she immediately agrees to his plan. Only catch? That plan includes journeying into the deadly Neverending Forest with Ezra and said witch, who just so happens to be Ezra’s tempting older brother. Torn between her past desires and alluring new possibilities, Calla brings along her best friends to fight what lies ahead.

As the group ventures into the enchanted woods together, they’ll all soon learn that choosing your destiny comes with dire consequences . . . and the Fates are not to be tested. Calla believes the Fates have it out for her, while others believe they have chosen her for a reason. But in the end, Calla will have to fight to forge her own destiny and decide if the risk of choosing herself is worth the possibility of damning everyone else.

My Review

A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith is a fun YA-fantasy with an interesting premise that doesn't quite deliver.  The world-building and magic system is grand but not as fleshed out as needed, and readers get thrown in the deep end starting with Chapter 1.  It takes a while for one to get to stable ground.  But the promise is there, and it is very unique.  So much, that I would definitely read the next book.

The Fates decide every witches destiny through the use of Witch's Dice, whether the witch is powerful or to be used as a pawn.  The Fates are relaying on 6 unlucky witches to roll a 6 count, 6 times, marking them as Blood Warriors.  Blood Warriors who will start a massive war. Our main character Calla is one such possible Blood Warrior, already on her fourth roll of 6.  And so starts the race against fate and Calla's freedom.

Like I said, the magic system is unique, if a bit clunky.  It takes a while for the reader to understand how everything works, but the different facets of magic, not just within the Witchlands, but all of Illustros, is interesting.  There are three types of witches: Rogue, Terra, and Onyx.  Each of the covens have their own type of magic which grants then particular abilities.  Then there are Fae, Valkyries and Sirens just to name a few of the multitude of fantasy creatures within this world, each with their own type of magic.  Of course, none of these groups like each other, so the outskirts is a dangerous place to be.

While the world-building is shaky, the plot does move fast.  It is action-packed and places our characters in dangerous situations over and over.  This really ramps the reader up, making you want to keep flipping the page to find out what happens next.  With this being the first book in a series, you are left wanting more, but not disappointed in the ending to this installment.

Character development is a pivotal point, speaking a lot about fate vs. self-determination with each of the characters, not just Calla.  Her two best friends, along with the four male witches they join, all go through some sort of discovery, whether big or small.  Speaking of characters though, there are multiple love triangles within the book, which sometimes creates more chaos than is really needed in an already packed story.

This was a very ambitious first book, and while it didn't hit all of my must-haves for a favorite, it was enjoyable and kept me engaged until the end.  I'm excited to see what else lies in store for this crew, and to learn more about this war brewing on the horizon.  If you're a YA-fantasy lover, you'll want to check out A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith.

Final Rating



The midnight constellations grinned down on the forest with polished teeth. The Fates were in good spirits tonight. 

The girl’s captor, however, was not. 

She leaned back from the cottage’s open window and watched from  the corner of the cluttered room as her liege frantically wove threads  across the entire expanse of the ancient map hanging on the wall. The  usual dark, inky color of the thread used to track the Fates and their  bargains was gone. Instead, tonight the thread was the color of blood. 

The energy in the room was odd in a way that was abnormal even  for this cottage, and she moved toward the large dining table in curiosity, peering at the delicate parchment that her captor ripped open only  moments before. The letter had suddenly appeared on the table, unannounced—as things often were within the demonic forest—and sealed  with gilded wax. Whatever the note contained shifted the entire mood  in the air around them. 

She looked down at the messy black ink scrawled over the page. As she reached out to run her fingertips over the paper, her blood began  to pulse through the midnight veins that spiderwebbed beneath her  translucent skin as it sensed the heavy magic that lingered there. She  squinted to try and decipher the words and quickly realized it was not  a letter at all—it was a contract. 

Across from her, her captor continued working the thread with their  long gray fingers. It was as if they were trying to outrun a ticking clock  she could not see. Over and over, they ran the thread across the map  with increasing fervor. From the far corner of Estrella, to deep within  the Northern Fae Courts, the bloodred thread rapidly pursued across  all of Illustros, turning the once clear map into a jumble of crisscrossing  lines. Until finally, everything went still. Not even the monstrous forest  around them dared to breathe or shed a leaf. 

Her liege turned away from their weaving as movement from the  table caught their eye and it took only a moment for her to realize what  had captured their attention. The contract. 

There at the bottom, where it had been blank only moments before,  four names were now signed in blood.

About the Author

About Kaylie Smith:
Kaylie Smith is a writer and lover of all things magical and fantasy. She grew up in Louisiana where she frequently haunted bookstores and practiced her writing craft. After getting her degree in graphic design, she decided to fully pursue her dream of being an author, and the first book in her YA fantasy series, A RUINOUS FATE, debuts in January 2023 from Disney Hyperion. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found at home with her menagerie of animals, fussing over her houseplants, or annoying people about astrology.

1 winner will receive a finished copy of A RUINOUS FATE, US Only.

Ends February 4th, midnight EST.


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