Beat The BackList 2018: My Sign Up Post

Hello everyone! My name is Nicole and I’ll be participating in Beat the Backlist challenge this year.


What is this challenge? Basically, you read (or listen if you use audiobooks) books that were released before 2018. It’s a great way to work on the growing TBR problem I’m sure we’re all having.

How long does it last? It lasts all year, from Jan 1-Dec 31. If you wish to join, click HERE to go to Novelknight’s page for more information about the challenge and to sign up.

This challenge also includes some competition if you want to participate in that. When you sign up, you’ll be placed in a team: Novel Knights, Dewey Dragons, Story Sorcerers, or Book Bards (I love all the names, so I’m happy to be on any of those teams!). Teams compete by gaining points per books read and by posting reviews on retail sites. The person who gets the most points get a prize at the end. Again, if you want all the details, see the site HERE.


So, last year was pretty bad for me. I didn’t get to participate in the challenge like I wanted to, so I’m hoping to do better this year.

10 Books This Year is the goal

And my team is…*drum roll*


Okay,  I know I said I would be happy with any team, but I was really hoping for this one. I’m a bard! And if you follow me on Twitter, you know I’m a Critical Role fan and I love Scanlan who is a gnome bard, so I’m glad I get to keep a little bit of him with me this year since Critical Role is starting a new campaign this coming Thursday (This is all Dungeons and Dragons stuff if you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about).

I’ve already gotten started on this challenge as I’m reading Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer. Thanks for checking out my post and I hope this got you interested in joining the challenge as well.

Good luck with your reading goals this year!

Until next time, my fellow adventurers!


Book Review: Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

11389398Publisher: First Second
Published Date: February 2012
Genre: YA, Graphic Novel, Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series: N/A
My Source: Own Copy
Links: Goodreads
Review Also On: Goodreads and Amazon

Goodreads Summary:

After years of homeschooling, Maggie is starting high school. It’s pretty terrifying.

Maggie’s big brothers are there to watch her back, but ever since Mom left it just hasn’t been the same.

Besides her brothers, Maggie’s never had any real friends before. Lucy and Alistair don’t have lots of friends either. But they eat lunch with her at school and bring her along on their small-town adventures.

Missing mothers…distant brothers…high school…new friends… It’s a lot to deal with. But there’s just one more thing.


Friends with Boys did not turn out the way I thought it would. With the title, I thought it would have a lot of focus on how Maggie’s only friends until going to high school were her brothers and we’d look more into their relationships with her. I also feel like a lot of things are left in the air, so readers don’t get much closure (although going by the Goodreads’ reviews, I may be in the minority with my thinking).

I liked Maggie. I thought she was a nice character, and I wanted to see her get through her first days of high school, make new friends, and hopefully start dealing with her feelings about her mom leaving. She’s nervous about starting high school since she’s been home-schooled, and she feels alone since her brothers have already made themselves at home in the scary place of Sandford High. She meets Lucy and her brother Alistair, and she feels less alone. However, she is also being stalked by a female ghost.

Maggie’s got cool brothers. There is Daniel, the oldest and loves to act, and the twins Lloyd and Zander. In this short story, we get to see that everyone is struggling with something, and while I appreciate learning these things about each of the characters, I don’t feel like we got enough time to explore everything. I feel like the twins, Lucy, Alistair, and Maggie’s issues are all a bit unsolved. And as far as I can see, we won’t be getting a sequel for this graphic novel.

With Maggie, I’m not sure if she’s starting to deal with her mother leaving. I also don’t like how we’re left within a rocky place between Maggie and her father.

And the ghost. The ghost!! Nothing is truly explained about the ghost. We have a potential story about her, but it’s never confirmed if that haunted story is about THIS ghost. Why does she follow Maggie around? Will she continue? She still seems so sad. What’s her story? How come Maggie and certain people can see her and others cannot (or possibly cannot. Again, many things left unanswered)?

I enjoyed the art and I liked the premise of this book, but I just feel so…underwhelmed? Is that the word I’m looking for? I just feel like I have so many questions about the characters and whether they’ve learned/grown that it leaves me feeling like “Eh…This was okay, I guess?”

Rating: 2.5 STARS ~ More okay moments than struggle moments.