I’d Rather be Reading: Ann Bogel

Title: I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of The Reading Life

Author: Anne Bogel

Publisher: Baker Books

Pages: 160

Rating: 5/5

This is one of those of the books that makes you feel all warm and tingly inside, especially if you’re an avid reader, bookworm, bibliophile..whatever you want to call yourself. This Book is a collection of essays from Anna Bogel and I often found myself nodding along and exclaiming “yes! me too”. I love reading books that have to do with reading because it’s refreshing to hear and see things from another book lover’s point of view. Please do pick up a copy of this book, it’s amazing and will definitely make you smile. I do have a few passages that reminded me of myself and my love for literature, and even though I’m not one of those classic book readers, I’ve learned from reading this book that it’s ok not to be a certain type of reader.

Fave passages:
-“The same book means different things to different people, or in different seasons of life. Since reading is personal, it can be tricky.” (Bogel, p.22)
-“I don’t carefully plan-and yet it’s uncanny how often I seem to be reading just the right book at just the right time.” (Bogel, p.40)
-“If the right book has almost magically appeared in your life at the right time to hold your hand for the journey-you know it feels like a special kind of grace.” (Bogel, p.43)
-“As a child, whenever I felt a little out of place in my one life, sometimes I wished I could exchange my reality for the world in the pages, which seemed a little more meaningful and a lot more interesting than my own ordinary experience.”(Bogel, p.84)

Original Review Published:10/8/18

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Mortuary Confidential: Todd Harra

Title: Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt

Author: Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra

Publisher: Citadel Press

Pages: 257

Rating: 5/5

After my grandmother’s death last year, and after being around so many deceased people, I’ve been interested in Mortuary Science. So I decided to download some books that had to do with mortuary science and of course, real life situations. This book was definitely filled with quirky and funny moments, and a lot of the stories also hit home. Losing my grandmother was one of the hardest things I have ever been through and honestly it still affects me. After reading through all the situations these undertaker’s go through, I must say….It sounds very interesting to me, and I wouldn’t mind opening my own funeral home someday. Another thing that kind of pushed me to pursue this career is when I saw my grandmother at the funeral the day of her wake, I wasn’t satisfied with how she was prepped. She had false teeth in the bottoms and since they had to take them out, they stuffed her mouth and it looked a little bit over done. And I thought maybe I should pursue this career so I can make the loved ones of the deceased satisfied with the caring of their loved one. I know I would never want someone else to feel that way.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I definitely see myself doing some of the clumsy antics some of the undertaker’s went through. lol.
Besides, it’s a lot easier dealing with the dead than the living.

Original Review Published:10/5/18

The Serial Killer Compendium: R.J. Parker

Title: The Serial Killer Compendium

Author: R.J. Parker

Publisher: Createspace

Pages: 396

Rating: 3/5

I finally was able to read this book that’s been sitting on TBR pile since like forever….now I know why…Even though the cases in the book were very intriguing, I felt like they were rushed in the way they were written. The author basically just summarized the cases, a lot of the of them were unsolved and a lot of them were also low profiled cases that I’ve never heard before. I did find there to be ALOT of grammatical errors and a lot of unnecessary wording. This book has potential if they republish it cleaner, more organized, and a lot more detailed.

If you’re looking for something to skim through and make your day go by faster this book is for you, but if you’re an avid true crime/serial killer fan who loves more detail to cases…this book is not for you.

Original Review Published: 10/8/18

Troublemaker: Leah Remini

Title: Troublemaker

Author: Leah Remini

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Pages:234

Rating: 5/5

I must say that I’m so glad I purchased this book. I’ve been a fan of Remini since the good ole’ Saved by the Bell days. I love how she gave you and in depth look of her life growing up and talking about her horrible experience in the cult known as Scientology.
I literally finished this book in two days and I couldn’t stop reading it. I simply couldn’t believe how these people that she has devoted her life to would treat her and many others the way they do. The techniques these people used to brainwash people and scam you into spending money on them and they pocket it. There were so many instances where Remini described the situations she was going through with the church of scientology and I just couldn’t believe it. Your life is just controlled like a robot; programmed even. I do not know how she survived this long but, I am so glad Leah finally stood up for herself. The one thing I love the most about this woman is the no bullish*t attitude, She takes matters into her own hands when she feels something is wrong. True she is isn’t a saint I admit that, but apart from that I love her determination and passion for what she believes in. I really hope that whole scientology shing ding disappears because these people are horrible individuals who suck the soul out of their followers. I highly recommend this book. It’s well-written, funny, makes you mad all in one. That’s what a good book does.

Original Review Published: 4/17/17

A Work in Progress: Connor Franta

Title: A Work in Progress

Author: Connor Franta

Publisher: Atria Paperback

Pages:212

Rating: 5/5

To be honest I didn’t know who Connor was when I picked up this book, but I was familiar with it because I saw a lot of people posting it on Instagram, so naturally I was curious and purchased it. I actually purchased it a few years ago and I just got to reading it. I must say that I am completely in love with this book. He’s such a down to earth person, and while I read a few negative comments on this book, I didn’t let it deter me away from what I feel about it. Even though Connor is young he’s seems to be wise for his age. He gives great advice and I love that he’s so creative. The artwork throughout the book is simply spectacular, you can tell that a lot of work was put into the creativity of the book. It’s pretty cool to see things you have in common with authors, just proves they’re human too. I still am not completely familiar with Connor or his work as much but I will be checking out his youtube and other social media.
I do have to say that I will be reading this book again so I can highlight some quotes and other interesting things that I noticed as I was reading the book because they actually inspire you and make you think.

Originally Published: October 18, 2016

To Selena, With Love: Chris Perez

Title: To Selena, With Love

Author: Chris Perez

Publisher: Penguin Group

Pages: 320

Rating: 5/5 (If I could a 20/20)

I bought this book around the time it came out(2013) but didn’t get to read it till now. I am so glad I made the decision to pick up this book. I’ve always loved memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies. I love to see what a celebrity or an important person’s lives are behind the scenes. Sure we know them at these great superstars but sometimes, us as fans and as individuals forget that these people too are human. This great piece of work was exactly like that. Chris took us further than the stage and let us into their lives before and after being man and wife. I love the little things about Selena, like her love for animals and helping people out. The way she was so spontaneous and determined to work hard for everything in life. Reading this also gave us a glimpse also behind the scenes when the family and the band toured together and how it was for them. Chris Perez is such a great writer. His words are so finessed together and he makes you visualize yourself right at the moment that he’s talking about. After watching the movie Selena, everything that he would describe and I would remember from the movie I visualized it. This book made me feel so many different things. Anger, happiness, frustration and sadness, but that’s what a great books does right? At the end Chris makes you really think, and I too thought if things were done differently we would still have Selena with us. It makes you angry when you think about it, but things happen for a reason I suppose; it sucks.

If you’re a huge fan of Selena, I urge you to pick up this book and read it; it’s definitely a shelf keeper. I’ve never had another book (besides Matilda) that made me stay with a book hangover and that touched me in such a way that I never knew a book could.

Original Review Published:10/13/2016

Hell is a Very Small Place: Jean Casella

Title: Hell is a Very Small Place

Author: Jean Casella/ James Ridgeway/Sarah Shourd

Publisher: The New Press

Pages: 228

Rating: 5/5

Imagine living in a 4 1/2 x 9feet cold, musty, dark, and depressing box, sometimes for days at a time, week, months, years, hell even decades. Hell is a very small place is a collection of essays of people who have lived through this turmoil for years and even decades, some even from the moment they stepped into prison. These prisoners do not have communication with anyone (except those that work in the prison), they sometimes don’t have a window and if they do all you see is concrete. That’s when the prisoners start falling into a dark abyss, they start going crazy, and hearing the yelling and cries from the other inmates doesn’t make it any easier.

I absolutely loved this book. I think sometimes it’s a good thing to listen to what inmates have to say, sometimes they actually want to rehabilitate themselves and change, but the way the system is set up it’s impossible for them at times. Now I believe if someone did something heinous they should be punished and do the time they are given, but also some of the conditions they have prisoners is deplorable too. I don’t want to talk much about the subject, because it’s a pretty controversial topic, but I truly recommend people to read it and get an idea of what these people suffer after years of being locked away like an animal (some don’t even get treated like that). Please open your mind and give it a try.

Original Review Published: 8/15/2016

Color Me Creative: Kristina Webb

Title: Color Me Creative

Author: Kristina Webb

Publisher: Harper Collins Publications

Pages: 214

Rating: 5/5

I picked this book up a year or two ago at Barnes and Noble knowing exactly who Kristina was because her artwork is just simply amazing and beautiful. However, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I picked it up finally, and I have to say…OMG…WOW!…this book has some beautiful illustrations in it (obviously Kristina’s art). I instantly was sucked into her story. She starts off the book talking about her life of course and I just love how amazing and supportive her parents were during her childhood and teenage years. At the end of the book you even have your own area to create your own works of art. You can use just about anything in those pages to create your own masterpieces. I highly recommend this book, you will definitely have some fun with it.

Original Review published: 4/15/16

The Walking Dead, Compendium 3: Robert Kirkman

Title: The Walking Dead, Compendium 3

Author: Robert Kirkman

Publisher: Image Comics

Pages: 1088

Rating: 5/5

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Volume 17, issues 97-102

On the way back from the Hilltop, the group’s van is surrounded by men on motorcycles, demanding all their supplies as tribute to Negan. Rick refuses, believing this group to be the majority of Negan’s forces. A fight follows and all of Negan’s men are killed except one, who’s charged with bringing a message back to Negan: the Hilltop is under Rick’s protection now.
When they get back to the Safe Zone, Maggie tells Glenn that she’s pregnant, Rick makes his case to the community, laying out how they have nothing to offer the Hilltop aside from their protection, and Andrea and Rick discuss the possibility of a future together.
Early the next morning, without letting anyone in on their plan, Eugene and Abraham leave the Safe Zone to find equipment to make their own ammunition. As they talk about Rosita, Abraham is shot through the head with an arrow, killing him.
The Saviors, led by Dwight, take Eugene hostage and bring him to the gates of the Safe Zone, demanding to be let in. The Safe Zone residents open fire on them. When Dwight makes a run for it, Rick and Andrea give chase, only to be turned back by a pack of walkers. They take Abraham’s body back inside the gates and consider their next move.
Glenn and Maggie (who is now pregnant) decide to move to the Hilltop with Sophia thinking that it’s safer. Rick, Michonne, Heath, Glenn, Maggie, Carl, Sophia, and some others head out for the Hilltop. When they stop to camp overnight, Negan and a large group of Saviors show up. They force everyone onto their knees. Negan informs them that the Safe Zone is now theirs, and to reinforce this point, he’s going to execute one of them. After weighing his choices, he picks Glenn. The group is forced to watch as Negan beats Glenn to death with a barb wire-wrapped baseball bat named “Lucille.”
Negan tells the group he’ll be visiting them in one week to take half of everything they own.
After dropping Maggie and Sophia off at the Hilltop, Rick and his group return (with Paul) to the Safe Zone to find that the Saviors have attacked. The gates held and Andrea and the others were able to kill a dozen saviors before they bugged out. They also managed to capture Dwight.
Rick ultimately decides to let Dwight go. He wants to live in peace. He tells his people that Negan is too powerful to fight. Secretly, he sends Paul to trail Dwight back to Negan’s base.

Volume 18, issues 103-108

Andrea, still upset about Rick freeing Dwight, questions Rick on his plan. He reassures her he’s intentionally acting frightened so the Saviors will attack. Soon after, Negan shows up at the gates and Rick lets him into Alexandria. He informs Rick he’ll take some of their supplies and mentions how vacant a lot of the houses are. Carl confronts Negan and threatens to not mess with them. Negan’s amused but tells him to head home.
Meanwhile, Denise holds a Savior at gunpoint for taking supplies but Negan reassures them it’s only half. Rick tells people Negan is in charge now and they need to be more prepared when he arrives next time. Carl sneaks onto the Saviors truck and rides with them back to their compound.
On his way back from Alexandria, Dwight is informed he’s been followed by Jesus since he left. The Saviors capture him alive for Negan but he manages to escape. They finally make it to the compound, which is surrounded by chained-up walkers. Carl suddenly appears, shoots a couple of Saviors, and is brought into the compound by an amused Negan.
Negan shows Carl his living area, which is full of women that he sleeps with. He convinces him to remove his eye bandage because it looks “more badass” that way. After making Carl sing to Lucille, Negan shows him what punishment is like in the compound: he claims “Rules keep us alive” and presses a hot iron to a man named Mark’s face (this explains what happened to Dwight’s face).
Jesus makes it back to Alexandria, where everyone’s looking for Carl. Spencer suggests him missing is an unnecessary distraction. Despite this, Jesus takes Rick, Andrea, and Michonne to the Saviors compound. They run into Negan on the way and Rick demands he tell him where Carl is. Negan teases him that he’s dead and Rick lashes out. Negan grabs him and tells him he was just trying to get a rise from him.
Rick believes Negan can be reasonable and takes on a new level of optimism. While Eugene locates a factory to manufacture ammunition, Jesus takes Rick to a place called The Kingdom where a man named Ezekiel rules. They also meet his tiger, Shiva. Dwight shows up and tells them he can help them take down Negan but judging by Rick punching him in the face, he’s skeptical.

Volume 19, Volume 109-114

After meeting Ezekiel, Gregory voices his concerns to Jesus about their new tiger-owning companion. Jesus assures him Ezekiel is pivotal to bringing down Negan. Meanwhile, Rick explains his plan to Andrea and tells Carl he’s grown enough to help fight. Rick also speaks with Olivia about going on a run to attain more weapons.
Jesus asks Earl the blacksmith to craft Maggie a knife and later follows him to Kal, where they meet a group of Saviors. Jesus threatens them that the Hilltop will offer less to them, prompting Savior leader Conner to punch him.
Michonne is introduced to Ezekiel, who she does not at first get along with. Rick, Andrea, Carl, Michonne, Ezekiel, and others hold a feast to celebrate the new alliance. Michonne later warms up to Ezekiel (and Shiva). Meanwhile, Jesus arrives at the Hilltop and demands Gregory give him 20 able fighters to battle the Saviors. Gregory resists and Jesus labels him a coward. Gregory reluctantly agrees and the group meet Rick and the gang at The Kingdom, where Andrea’s training people to shoot.
Negan arrives early to Alexandria and asks Olivia to show him the best house they have so he and his men can stay there. Spencer approaches him and suggests Negan kill Rick so Spencer can become the leader. Negan is offended by this ‘no guts’ proposition and slashes Spencer’s stomach, killing him.
Rick’s group returns to Alexandria where a distraught Denise catches them up on the action. Furious, Rick confronts Negan about their agreement. Negan reminds him that he didn’t kill Carl and Rick eventually backs down. As the Saviors begin loading the supplies Rick instructs Andrea to head to the watch tower. As they leave, Andrea takes out the truck driver.
Rick instructs the Saviors to not move and put down their guns but there are Saviors hidden around Alexandria who shoot the guns away from the Alexandrians. As Negan lines up Rick’s men Carl shoots at Negan and hits Lucille instead. This infuriates Negan and he threatens to kill Nicholas, Holly, and Holly if Rick doesn’t hand over Carl. Connor surprises Andrea in the watch tower and they brawl. Andrea eventually flips him out of the tower, letting Connor fall to his death.
Before Negan can kill the Alexandrians, Jesus shows up with Ezekiel, Shiva, and their fighters forcing them to retreat. Rick discovers Connor’s the one who fell out of the tower, not Andrea. Rick finds Andrea, takes her to Denise, and vow they need a new plan. Meanwhile, Negan tells the Saviors they’re going to war.

Volume 20, issues 115-120

Alexandria is preparing for war with Negan and the Saviors. Ezekiel’s Kingdom fighters have shown up and Eugene’s ahead of schedule on ammo manufacturing. Rick calls a meeting to ensure the community’s ready and hatches a plan to go to the Savior’s compound.
Rick and his men make it to The Sanctuary and propose a last-ditch effort for the communities to make a truce (including the Saviors not receiving any more supplies). Gregory, who’s with Negan, declares the Hilltop is siding with The Saviors. This leads a few of Rick’s men to leave, but not enough to have the impact Negan wanted. Frustrated, Negan kicks Gregory off the roof. Suddenly, two of Rick’s men are taken out by snipers…forcing the group to take cover.
It quickly escalates into a shootout as Rick instructs his men to watch the windows. As the chained-up walkers become restless, Negan instructs Dwight to round up the Outpost Saviors to join the battle (but Dwight has other plans). Negan notices the snipers are in cover and Rick’s gang are just shooting the windows for no reason. Suddenly, walkers from all around surround the Sanctuary as Rick intended.
Most of Rick’s crew retreat to the buses but Rick and Holly stay behind. Negan witnesses the surrounding horde and tells Dwight to put his “shitting pants” on. Holly overpowers Rick, jumps in a truck, and rams it into the Saviors’ wall to help the walkers get in. The Survivors celebrate but Rick tells them it’s not over. Negan captures Holly and rambles on about the benefits of killing a man’s woman. Holly tells him he has the wrong woman, and after some arguing he tells his men to take her away.
As Rick and his gang camp out that night, they’re attacked by walkers. Shiva jumps into action and Ezekiel explains she’s not affected by their virus. Later, Rick lays out his plan: they’ll split into two groups to begin taking out the Savior outposts. Meanwhile, Negan and his men become swarmed with walkers and are forced to retreat into the Sanctuary. Negan demands his men figure out an escape plan.
Shortly after, David (one of the Saviors) checks on a tied-up Holly and tries to rape her. Negan barges in and lectures him on the immorality of his actions. A sucker for punishment, Negan sticks his knife into David’s neck and apologizes to Holly. Gregory and his men return to the Hilltop. He and Maggie argue over Gregory siding with Negan…Maggie punches him for calling Negan reasonable and then says “I believe in Rick Grimes.”
Michonne arrives back to Alexandria to update Carl on the battle. Meanwhile, Rick’s groups begin taking out the outposts. Unfortunately, Eric is lost in the firefight. Jesus and Ezekiel separately take care of the Saviors. Surrounded, Ezekiel is saved from walkers by Shiva, who is quickly consumed by the walkers. Later, a broken Ezekiel opens up to Michonne about the losses he’s suffered…leading Michonne to punch him and remind him he has people to lead.
Back in Alexandria, Michonne catches Rick up on what he missed. As Rick tries to prepare for a counter-attack Negan and his men throw grenades over the gates. Rick demands they give a hooded Holly back to them and Negan agrees. Denise takes off her hood revealing her to be a walker…Holly bites Denise and Negan yells for his men to attack. Heath runs over to help but has his leg blown off by a grenade. Denise tries to help as more grenades are thrown over the wall. Jesus throws one back, killing some of the Saviors.
As Alexandria burns, Maggie and the Hilltop Colony show up and start shooting at Negan and his men. Rick takes a hurt Carl to Denise, who confirms Heath will live. Rick collapses from exhaustion as Negan declares victory outside the wall.

Volume 21, issues 121-126

After walkers overrun the ammo factory Negan shows up and questions Eugene what he’s doing there. Back in Alexandria Rick wakes up in the infirmary where Dr. Carson has been monitoring him. Denise is in the other room with a severe fever. Rick steps outside, assesses the damage and plans to move everyone to The Hilltop. Jesus informs him Eugene’s been taken but Rick figures there’s nothing they can do yet. Denise turns and attacks Heath…Michonne puts her out of her misery and they hold a small funeral.
Negan taunts a tied-up Eugene back at the Sanctuary. After he leaves to be with his wives Dwight comes in and informs him of his plan to break him out of there and overthrow Negan. Carson overhears and volunteers to join.

Volume 22, issues 127-132

A group of survivors led by Magna walk through the woods, trying to be as discreet as possible to avoid zombies. This fails when a group of horse-riding survivors, led by a much different Paul Monroe, advances on them leading a gigantic herd of over a thousand roamers to an uninhabitable area. Magna and her group hides over their horse-transported container, but to no avail as the horde manages to topple it. They are saved just in time by strangers, including Heath, now wearing a prosthetic leg.

Away from the herd, Eugene Porter comments how they’ve successfully managed to steer the herd’s trajectory away from The Kingdom, which is 10 miles down the road. They introduce themselves to the new survivors and invites them to Alexandria to talk to their leader, Rick Grimes.

In Alexandria, Rick wakes up, goes to the bathroom and puts on his prosthetic hand. He goes back to bed and is greeted by Andrea, and they both have a brief talk about their routine. When making breakfast, he is hounded by Carl, who wants to have a talk with him about something important. Rick dodges it, saying they’ll talk later at night. He goes outside and sees an extremely different Alexandria, now completely rebuilt, with several new houses, buildings, crops, and farms.

Outside, Andrea greets Siddiq, who’s working on some sort of pathway leading to the safe-zone for the upcoming fair, an event between the communities set to happen in two months time. She comments how she expected more progress. Siddiq remarks that Rosita took half of their manpower to herd duty, and mentions that they should be back in a day. Just as he says this, Rosita shows up, explaining how little progress has been made.

On their way back, Andrea asks Rosita about whether or not she has talked to Eugene yet, to which she says no.

At the grand hall, Rick greets the new survivors brought by Jesus. After a brief introduction, the new survivors led by Magna agree to stay. He then meets with Eugene, who reports on the munitions factory and the herd duty. He then says Eugene has become too valuable and won’t go out on herd duty anymore.

After a long day, Rick returns home and is met by Carl, who takes the opportunity to finally have the talk. Carl states that he wants to be a blacksmith under Earl Sutton at the Hilltop Colony. After some convincing, Rick agrees to think about it. Later, Rick and Andrea have a talk about how he’s growing up. Andrea says to Rick, “your boy is growing up”. Rick replies, “our boy is growing up”.

Later that night, Carl goes to the basement of an unknown house and talks to a figure in the shadows. He says that he, Mikey, and some other boys went to a girl’s house after class, and she showed them her breasts. He says it was cool and all. He remarks that he had his affections her, but after this he’s not very certain. Carl doesn’t want to be with someone who behaves in that manner. The figure says that it’s nothing wrong and the girl probably just wants some attention. He then says to Carl that he enjoys the talks, that it’s good for him to keep track of time and days. Before Carl leaves, the figure asks him whether after all this time, all the things they’ve shared and the talks they’ve had, Carl still wants to kill him. He turns around and faces the person behind bars, and simply states:

“Yes, Negan. You know I do.”

Negan is shocked to know that after all the things he and Carl shared with each other, that the latter still wants to kill him. The following day, Rick and Eugene visit the mill, they both talk about Eugene and Rosita’s increasingly cold relationship. He comments how he feels she doesn’t truly want to stay or him and fears they might split up soon.

Elsewhere, Andrea interviews Magna about what she and her group had to do to survive. She tells where she came from, the place they lived for a good amount of time, how it fell and how much time they spent in the wilderness.

In the Grimes’ home, Carl takes Josh to his room, hoping to sell some carved items. Josh is impressed by Carl’s carvings and asks him if he could make a unicorn carving for his girlfriend in return for a custom hoodie.

Back at the mill, Rick and Eugene greet Olivia who’s baking bread. They briefly meet Mikey, who is now an apprentice under Olivia.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the woods outside the Hilltop Colony, Ken and Marco are off in uncharted territory when they come across a pack of wild horses. The man urges Ken that the two should head back, but Ken, eager to bring the herd back to the Hilltop, heads off in a rush to try and wrangle the horses.

As he does this, he collides with several zombies resulting in the horse giving way underneath him and crashing. As Ken struggles to lift the dead horse, who is on his leg, one of the zombies tries crawling to him but is killed as the other man catches up to him. He manages to get the horse off of Ken’s leg as more of the undead begin to appear. The man helps Ken onto his horse and the two ride off. As they do so, Ken groans out how much his leg hurts to which the man responds that really he needs to worry about how pissed Maggie will be after finding out they lost a horse.

Back in Alexandria, Eugene arrives home and finds a letter from Rosita saying she’ll be out late and not to “wait up”.

Outside their house, Carl approaches his father, saying how he did nothing the whole day and that Rick doesn’t know how it feels like to see everyone around you doing something. Before Carl can continue, Rick announces that the following day they’d travel to Hilltop. Before Rick can complete the sentence Carl gives him a tight hug.

Inside a house, Magna and the group discuss how the safe-zone is; debating whether or not they should trust them. Magna tries to remain optimistic about their new home but notes that when something is too good to be true… it usually is. She finishes off saying they’ll find what Alexandria is hiding.

Andrea helps Carl prepare for the trek to the Hilltop. Carl comments on how much stuff he has to pack and says it is weird having to pack more than one bag’s worth of belongings now. Andrea comments saying that he does not need to take it all, and that one day he might be back with his own family some day.

Rick is visiting Negan at his cell. Negan comments saying that the worst part of his day is when his shit is taken away in a bucket, but is also his favorite because Rick is the one to do it. He tells Rick not to discipline Carl for sneaking down and talking with him. Negan tells Rick that he and Carl are “friends”.

Carl gives a carving of a unicorn to Josh, to which Josh promises Carl a red sweater when he returns. Josh then tells Carl that Anna is looking for him.

As Rick leaves Negan’s jail cell, he runs into Magna who is confused about which buildings are actually houses. Rick tells her that this is the jail and that there is only one person who is residing within it. He tells Magna that she can meet him when Rick returns from the Hilltop.

Rick and Carl saddle up on horseback as Anna hands Carl a note. Rick teases Carl and says that it is a love note. Carl feels embarrassed and asks Rick to stop teasing him.

On the road, Rick and Carl pass by many people patrolling the area for roamers. They eventually stop for a lunch break when a few roamers begin walking out of the woods. Rick grabs his hatchet and tells Carl not to shoot unless it is needed.

Rick kills two roamers and then his body gives in, Carl having to shoot the remaining roamers as Rick nearly gets bitten from behind. A horseback rider in riot armor approaches Rick and Carl. The rider dismounts and apologizes for the area not being clear, as he had just cleared it 5 minutes ago. When the rider realizes that it is Rick he apologizes even more. Rick is angry and begins to beat the rider with his cane. Once he tries to protect himself in the fetal position, Rick stops. Rick asks the rider who he is and where he is from. The rider tells his name to be Benjamin, and he is from The Kingdom. Rick screams at Benjamin telling him that others would be grateful for this job and that he messed up badly. Rick says that he hopes this is is his first incident. Benjamin tells him that it is and that it won’t happen again.

Elsewhere, Ken and Marco are riding horseback on a plain field. Ken appears ill and falls off the horse, claiming he cannot go on any further. Marco then climbs off of the horse to assist Ken. As they talk, the horse gallops away and roamers begin to close in. The duo attempts to catch up with the horse, as Ken wonders what the sound of the roamers really is.

Magna and her group decide to sneak into the jail. Once there, Negan grabs onto the bars of his jail cell in a frantic frenzy. He states that he must be freed from these horrible people and that Alexandria is a group of animals. Magna and her group appear shocked at what Negan has said to them.

The issue begins with Magna and her group speaking with Negan for the first time. He tells the group that he’s being tortured by Rick. Negan claims that he’s been in jail for so long, he doesn’t even remember what he did wrong in the first place. Magna instantly tells Negan that she knows he’s lying. She says that she knows what someone being tortured looks like, he then admits it, introducing himself as Negan and telling them he’s been lonely lately, and asks if they want to talk. Magna and her group ignore him leave the jail immediately.

Elsewhere, Marco and Ken are struggling to get away from a herd of zombies. Ken is having trouble keeping up due to his injury. Marco, refusing to leave Ken behind, pulls him into a ditch, so the herd won’t find them. As they are hiding, they hear strange voices among the herd.

Rick and Carl are still making their way to Hilltop. As soon as they get there, Rick is swarmed by admirers. Carl meets with Earl Sutton, delivering a carved boar figure, which Earl remarks that looks more like a pig. Carl also learns there’s a boy apprenticing with Earl already, which makes Carl slightly upset.

At the house, Maggie takes Rick to see Hershel, Maggie and Glenn’s baby. While they look at the baby sleeping peacefully on the crib, Maggie says that’s only possible because of the sacrifices Rick made in the past, namely, the events of “All Out War”.

Meanwhile, Marco is found in the woods nearby, being rescued by the guards. He is taken to the infirmary, where Dr. Carson says he is likely dehydrated and starving.

He wakes up, an extremely disturbed and terrified Marco wakes up, saying how he had to leave Ken behind. He then says that “there were whispers and he was afraid”, in the end revealing he that what he heard was actually the zombies themselves whispering to him.

Marco yells to everyone that the dead were talking and they have to find Ken. Maggie along with Dr. Carson manage to calm him down. Although she and the others don’t believe the dead were talking, she still sends a group to find the missing survivor.

Meanwhile, Carl runs into Sophia who is standing up for a boy, Brian who is being beaten by two bullies. Sophia accidentally hits Carl in the face and apologizes. After a friendly reunion, Carl asks Sophia where Alex lives, as he needs to deliver a letter to him from Jesus.

Elsewhere, Larry and Louie are showcasing what seems to be some sort of alcoholic drink, and a man named Dante, the one who found Marco earlier, tastes it, remarking that it is very good. Maggie arrives and orders him to go find Ken with a small search party.

Later during the community meal, Earl invites Carl to sit and eat with him and the other apprentice, an invite which he denies, starting to talk about how he moved to Hilltop hoping to become his apprentice, just to find someone else already apprenticing. Earl then smiles, asking “who said I can only have one apprentice?”

Elsewhere, Dante and the two more men ride through the countryside searching for the barn, and Dante talks about his feelings for Maggie, and the small chance he has with her. Eventually they find a barn and discover Ken’s clothes, but before they can properly search for him, they are ambushed by a group of roamers.

After eating, Rick and Maggie have a talk about the past and how everything has changed, and how the world is much more peaceful, and that things are almost better than they were before the apocalypse. Rick remarks that he still misses some of it, also saying he misses Maggie and “even after all this time”, he still misses Michonne.

Later, Carl is moving his bags to the Remington House. When asked by Sophia why there are so many bags, Carl reveals that he’s moving in, which makes her quite happy.

Back at Alexandria after speaking to Eugene about Rosita, and how much she loves him, Andrea is ambushed and confronted by Magna and her group inside her house. They menacingly say she’ll be the one answering questions now.

Magna tells Kelly to let go of Andrea, who then tells she can answer their questions. Andrea then informs if they hurt her in any way they will be dealt with.

Brianna brings Hershel to Maggie, as Rick and the two watch the sunset. Sophia and Carl join them later on.

Dante, guard named Doug and another one fight their way out of the barn. A roamer with knife stabs Doug in the back, and another kills the other guard. Dante, now only surviving member of the search party, fights the armed roamer. It informs Dante that the undead will not notice if one whispers, as Dante is surprised that the undead can talk.

Dante is able to kill the roamer, and finds out it is actually a disguised female survivor, who has a mask on her head. He is then surprised by a pack of other disguised survivors, one of them pointing a shotgun to his head, saying “Don’t move.”

Volume 23, issues 133-138

As the threat of the new group, known as the Whisperers, emerges, tensions arise within the Hilltop after Carl loses his sanity. Many start to question both him and Maggie’s leadership. Meanwhile Jesus, having captured a member of the Whisperers, realizes the full scale of the new threat placed on the Hilltop. Carl Grimes wakes up at this bedroom inside the Barrington House at Hilltop. After not being able to find any free bathrooms, he returns to his room and reads the letter from Anna. In the letter, Anna explains how she thinks Carl is special, and apologizes for her behavior, saying she was just doing it for him, so he could notice her. Finally, she admits she does like Carl, and wants him to like her, too.

He finishes reading and smiles, and puts the letter in a drawer.

In Alexandria, Andrea continues to tell Magna and her entire group about the events that occurred before their arrival, specifically the events of the herd, and how Carl got shot in the face but survived thanks to a now-deceased surgeon that resided in the safe-zone. When asked about Carl being her son, Andrea responds that he is her apocalyptic-my-boyfriend-hasn’t-actually-proposed-yet marriage, and that she has washed his underwear – a teenager’s underwear, and that makes them a family.

Kelly asks about the guy in the basement and how things worked out after the war, Rick’s leadership and what happened to The Saviors – they are still active and are led by Dwight, and are part of the network of communities.

Paul Monroe knocks on the door, asking Andrea if everything is alright, she replies it is, and that they’re just getting to know each other a little. Paul then announces that he and a group will take the horses and return the following day, and then leaves. Andrea asks with a smile if they want some coffee.

At his house, Eugene is sitting on a couch after a bad night of sleep. Rosita tells him she’s sorry and he asks if it isn’t his. She replies that she didn’t love him and he didn’t love her, and that it was stupid. It is revealed that Rosita cheated on Eugene and is pregnant with this person’s baby, although Eugene agrees to raise the baby as his own child, and that no one will know.

Back at the Hilltop, Rick and Carl bid each other goodbye, and Carl asks if he could deliver a letter to Anna, and Rick jokingly says he’ll only do that if he is told what is the letter’s content. Rick then leaves The Hilltop.

Elsewhere, Dante is confronted by a disguised survivor. He pleads with the survivor, not to shoot him, and that he didn’t know the “zombies” were real people. The survivor says he’ll ask questions, and Dante will be the one answering nicely, and asks him to keep his voice down, as it’ll alert the other zombies – the real zombies.

Dante realizes he’s surrounded by a group of disguised zombies. The survivor says that he entered their land, killed their kind, and now they will explore his land, learn about his people. That they will know them, and that they will fear them.

Somewhere on the road, Paul Monroe and a group of survivors meet up with a road guard and is briefed on the roamer situation. After finding out a patrolman has gone silent, they rush to his last location. Unbeknownst to them, they are being followed by a “herd” of disguised survivors.

Back at The Hilltop, Carl is working with Earl, and makes his very first spear. At the end of the day, all dirty from his work, Carl walks back to the Barrington House and is greeted by Sophia, who notes that he “smells like shit”. After showering, Carl and Sophia go eat together.

Maggie and Brianna are walking with baby Hershel, and watch Carl and Sophia. Brianna notes that a Grimes/Greene union would sure make people talk, and Maggie tells her not to get ahead of herself.

Paul Monroe and his group continue to search for the missing patrolman, when they are about to go back, one of the disguised roamers stabs one of the riders in the back. Paul tries to back away with the others, but they are swarmed by “living” roamers, who brutally stab all survivors to death, except for Paul, who is now surrounded by the living “zombies”.

Jesus is surprised by the attacking swarm of talking dead but manages to fight off the Whisperers and takes one of them prisoner. Darius, though severely injured, is saved by Paul.

Back at the Hilltop, Gregory confronts Maggie about the disappearance of Dante’s group who have been gone for two days. He insists they send out more parties to search for them but Maggie declines. She informs him that they still don’t know what’s going on and until they know more, she won’t risk anyone. Gregory is upset by this and states that she is being irresponsible and states that he’ll step in if he needs to and go out himself to search for Dante and his men. Maggie obliges and tells him to go ahead. She then asks if he can even ride a horse before storming off.

Carl and Sophia are eating together outside reminiscing about how the undead look sad when they are attacked by two boys. One of them slams a brick in the back of Carl’s head and grab Sophia. As Carl runs off, the bullies call him a coward and then start beating Sophia. Just then, one of the bullies is struck in the back of the head by Carl with a shovel, who then proceeds to viciously beat one of them before turning to the other, who begins to beg for his life before being struck down by Carl in the same manner. Sophia looks on in shock as Carl repeatedly beats the kid with the shovel.

Jesus soon arrives at the Hilltop and sends Darius to see Carson. Maggie looks on in disbelief at his prisoner when Carl and Sophia call out to Maggie. An injured Carl helps a severely beaten up Sophia stand up, and he says they got attacked by two boys, and that he thinks he killed them.

Sophia passes out after revealing what happened. Maggie carries her out to the hospital, leaving Jesus alone to deal with the prisoner.

Sophia is being treated by Alex as Maggie and her fellow citizens get into a serious discussion about the situation with the parents of the boys who Carl beat up standing up to their leader. Carl claims self defense, explaining to them that the boys were trying to kill Sophia and he had to stop them, but the parents do not agree. Maggie takes Carl away from the hospital.

Elsewhere, Jesus questions the Whisperer, 16-year-old Lydia, who reveals that her group tries to cooperate with walkers and that they do not kill them. Lydia informs Jesus they have to work with them or they will be killed.

Maggie takes Carl into a cell, and tells him they won’t kill anymore as Rick figured out after the war. She leaves to inform Jesus that Darius will survive, and takes him away from Lydia. Lydia greets Carl with a large grin on her face.

While discussing how to handle Carl, Gregory informs the bullies’ parents that there is a solution, and that it involves killing Maggie.

Gregory tells the bullies’ parents that the best solution would be to kill Maggie and have himself be the leader again, saying that their kids were nearly killed and Carl will be at dinner like nothing happened. The parents refuse Gregory’s plan.

At the medical office, Marco explains to Maggie and Paul Monroe that he had left Ken to die, and that he’d heard at least three Whisperers. Jesus deducts that it’s the same group of people he had encountered, but it was odd that the group was so far away from where he’d been attacked. He then lets Marco know that the people were wearing suits of walker skin, and that he was is not crazy.

Meanwhile, in the holding cells, Lydia asks Carl what he did to get imprisoned, or if he’s just there to spy on her. Carl fills her in on the attack with Sophia and her bullies, and Lydia chimes back that the group makes less and less sense for throwing Carl in jail for defending their leader’s daughter. Carl tries to defend his point by explaining to Lydia that his group is above killing now, and Carl reassures her that she will be forgiven. Lydia reveals that she was on her first outing and started to attack Jesus and his men because the rest of her group was attacking. He tells her that it was a misunderstanding and that maybe if she can tell Maggie more about the Whisperers, they can work things out. Lydia says that she wants to believe Carl, but she’s too afraid.

Sophia wakes up with Maggie by her side and asks if her bullies are dead. When Maggie says no, Sophia insists that her doors be locked. Maggie asks Sophia to tell her what happened, and after she hears Sophia’s story, she walks past the bullies’ room where they are sleeping and says that she can’t wait until they wake up, and calls them “monsters”.

Maggie opens Carl’s cell and allows him to go free, but informs him that he will still be punished for what he did. As the two walk down the hall Carl asks Maggie to let Lydia go and to give her a chance to be a productive member. Maggie, however, denies the request after the ambush on Paul’s group. Carl then pleads that they at least untie her as she is alone and her cell is locked.

In the forest outside of the Hilltop, two Whisperers keep watch over the community. One of them asks whether the Hilltop is the place that one (Paul) of their members was heading. The other assures him that it is and states that their leader is coming and that Lydia is strong enough to take care of herself as they wait in the bushes.

Meanwhile, back at Alexandria, Andrea and Magna are in the middle of harvesting corn for the winter and the upcoming festival when a worried Eugene walks past them. Andrea explains to Magna who he is and his situation with Rosita’s pregnancy. Magna is curious as to why Eugene would be worried about with the world the live in now when Andrea insists they drop the topic. Rick shortly appears after returning from the Hilltop and admits that he is a little worried about leaving Carl on his own and that it was hard for him to let him go. He is pleased to see Magna and Andrea getting along and asks how everything is going.

The father of one of the bullies who attacked Carl stares down Carl as he works with Earl. Earl lets Carl know that there is a bit of gossip going on about him and, though this is normal, he better watch himself. Carl goes back to the cells to talk with Lydia where he comforts her about her chances in Hilltop. He leaves her for a moment to collect something.

The vengeful father makes his way to Gregory’s trailer and tells him that he is willing to help Gregory reclaim his leadership position, but that they have to kill Carl as well.

Sitting outside Lydia’s cell, Carl reminisces how he has survived the apocalypse and the obstacles he and his group have overcome. He states that because he has overcome some impossible odds, he has felt almost invincible. He tells her that he knows how insecure and scared she must be and that he has felt the same many times. He finishes that he doesn’t believe in magic, but he can’t ignore what he’s lived through and the security it has brought him. He assures Lydia that if it has worked for him, then maybe it will work for her. Lydia smiles and tips Carl’s hat as she thanks him for his advice.

Carl asks Lydia if she likes his hat and if it makes her feel better. Lydia responds by saying she does not like the hat but likes talking to Carl. Maggie and Jesus enter finding Carl and Lydia talking. They stress Carl into questioning what they need to do. Carl defends Lydia by arguing that if the group treated her better and did not imprison her, that she may open up to them. Carl also says although Lydia’s group killed people, they have killed people as well.

Maggie and Jesus begin to question Lydia but she does not respond. Alex enters and informs Maggie that the two boys that attacked Carl and Sophia have awoken in the infirmary. Maggie goes back to the infirmary to greet an angry mother upset that Carl is able to walk free when her son is lying injured. Maggie explains that Carl will be punished but also her boys. The mother begins to threaten Maggie who suggests that the family relocates. Gregory enters and calms the situation down while Maggie thanks him. Gregory invites Maggie to his trailer later to discuss a solution to the problem.

Maggie returns and asks Jesus if Lydia has spoken any more but it has not happened. Maggie appears to have an idea.

Sophia returns Carl’s glasses to him as Carl promises to Sophia that nothing will happen to her while he is around. Maggie enters and asks to speak with Carl.

Carl enters Lydia’s cell and informs her that he will be letting her out on one condition. Lydia is solely Carl’s responsibility and if she does anything wrong, Carl will be held accountable. Lydia promises not to cause any trouble. Carl impresses on her that if she tries anything to hurt his friends, family, or people, he will kill her. Carl says he wants to trust Lydia. Lydia promises not to hurt anyone as they leave the cell.

Maggie arrives at Gregory’s trailer to discuss the situation with the boy’s and their families. Gregory invites Maggie in and offers her a glass of wine as Maggie accepts. Gregory then inserts some type of powder into the drink and hands it to her. They begin their conversation.

Meanwhile, Carl is showing Lydia around The Hilltop. They pass a large chicken coop and Lydia asks to sit down near the chickens as she likes the sounds they make. Carl asks Lydia what The Whisperers ate while inside of the herd. Lydia explains that they ate wild berries, and vegetables grown from wild gardens. She also tells him that they ate dead animals as well. Carl asks if Lydia has eaten anyone she has killed and she denies that she has.

Carl explains their encounter with The Hunters and how Dale had died. He tells Lydia that his father and the group had to kill them. Carl tells Lydia why they had to kill the people who threatened them to get to where they are now. He explains the no killing rule implemented by Rick back at the prison, and how it has changed over time. Lydia counters by saying that Carl had threatened her earlier and Carl responds by saying that he only did it to make sure he got his point across and that he was sorry.

Lydia says she is cold and begins to cuddle into Carl’s arms. Lydia tells Carl that she likes him and Carl says the same in return. They begin looking at the Hilltop together.

Back at Gregory’s trailer, Maggie begins to feel dizzy and light-headed. She realizes that Gregory has poisoned her. She tries to fight back but Gregory says that fighting back will make the substance work quicker. Maggie passes out and Gregory menaces over her gloating. He says that Maggie would not take over forever and that is all right with the world again. Gregory does not look behind him in which Jesus is standing with a horrified look on his face.

Lydia asks Carl to take his glasses off so she can get a better look at him. Carl assures Lydia that she does not want to see his face. Lydia asks why one lens is darkened and the other is not. Carl explains how he got his eye shot out. Lydia gently removes Carl’s glasses and begins touching his face.

Lydia begins to approach Carl and licks the hole in his face, informing him that she feels the hole is sexy. Carl is very shocked. Lydia licks her lips and pushes Carl to the ground while climbing on top of him. Carl is in shock and asks Lydia what she is doing. Lydia asks Carl if he had ever had sex before. Carl is at a loss for words as Lydia whispers into his ear that she can show him how.

Carl gazes into Lydia’s eyes, pauses, and agrees. Carl and Lydia both hold each other’s hands near Carl’s hat.

Jesus kicks Gregory to the ground, and with a now bloody nose, Gregory exclaims “What the fuck!?” He starts to persist that Jesus has the wrong idea and that Maggie has passed out, but Jesus isn’t convinced, and while hurrying to pick up Maggie, he threatens to kill Gregory if anything happens to her.

Maggie urges Jesus to set her down, and says that she’ll be fine. She asks Jesus to lock up Gregory. When Gregory starts to protest, Maggie snaps back telling him to shut up, and that he’s incapable of being a leader if he can’t even poison her correctly.

Lydia and Carl lay in the field while Lydia says “that was nice”, explaining how their intimacy was slow and clumsy compared to what she usually experiences. When Carl gets defensive, she further explains that members of her group would thrust it upon her even if she didn’t want to, leading Carl to conclude that she’d been raped. She denies the phrase and tells him that it’s basic animal nature and is only considered wrong by the standards of the “old world”.

Lydia tells Carl that she’s enjoying the way of life he’s shown her, and that she doesn’t want to go back to her group. Carl tells her that he won’t allow her to be forced back into her group of Whisperers. When Carl tries to put on his glasses and get her to go tell Maggie about this, she tells him not to put on his glasses because he shouldn’t hide who he really is, and leans in to kiss him.

After locking up a still resistant Gregory, Maggie and Jesus is approached by a very frantic Oscar who tells them they need to follow him to the gate, where a group of nearly two-dozen Whisperers stand behind their leader, who asks if Maggie is in charge. Maggie says yes, and that while the size of their group is impressive, the Hilltop is capable of defending themselves as well in case of conflict. The Whisperer leader says that there will be no conflict as long as Maggie’s group stays off of their land and doesn’t kill their people. The leader removes her walker mask, and introduces herself as Alpha, and states that they’ve come to retrieve her daughter, Lydia, in exchange for Ken and Dante.

After assuring each other that none of the captives have been harmed, Maggie goes to retrieve Lydia.

Carl is defiant of giving up Lydia, arguing that she had told him she doesn’t want to go back, but Maggie explains that there’s a small army outside offering a trade for their unharmed Hilltop members. Lydia steps in and tells Carl that she will go back to her group and gives Carl a kiss, telling him that they are her people and she needs to go back to them, and that she misses them. Carl still argues saying that the Hilltop could fight them off, but Lydia refuses. Back at the gate, Carl pleads to Maggie saying that he knows Lydia, but Maggie says otherwise telling him he’d only known her for one day.

Lydia walks over to her group saying “I’m sorry mom. Thanks for coming to get me”, and is answered with “You call me Alpha like the rest,” and Lydia obliges. With a final look back at Carl, the group of Whisperers make their way back towards the woods.

Back inside, Carl continues to carry out the argument with Maggie, saying that she’d sent Lydia to a horrible group and that Maggie had basically sacrificed her. Maggie counters with the argument that Lydia could have been a “murdering savage” for all she knew. After another remark from Carl, Maggie declares the discussion over and tells him she needs to drop the subject for now.

Maggie walks into the medical office and asks Doctor Carson how Dante and Ken are, and Carson says that they’re in great health, and whoever set Kens leg really knew what they were doing. Dante and Ken explain that they were well fed with meat, and from inside the tent they were kept in, they could hear the Whisperers slaughtering the animals for food. Dante tells Maggie not to cross these people, saying that from what he heard, it sounded like there were thousands of them.

Sophia knocks on Carl’s door saying that her mother wanted her to check up on him, and when she opens the unlocked door, she calls out Carl’s name once more while looking at an empty room.

While walking with Alpha, Lydia is told that she needs to stay towards the center until they can get her a new walker suit. Lydia assures her mother that she tried to keep the suit safe, and Alpha tells her daughter that she was very strong and she is proud of her. They continue walking into the woods, keeping their voices down.

Carl is seen outside the walls without his hat or glasses, which implies he is chasing after Lydia and her group.

Volume 24, issues 139-144

While Carl continues to learn more about The Whisperers, a survivor’s fate is decided while another steps down. Blunders are made and a deadly promise is given that is all too real. In the end, lines are crossed that affect everyone. A small group from The Kingdom head towards the coast. Ezekiel leads the way, slaying walkers and “having some fun.”

They meet with the other group, composed of Rick, Heath, Aaron and Magna. Ezekiel remarks on how the group is wasting ammunition on the dead, with Rick saying they have more than they really need, and that they also want to draw them away from the coast before the others arrive. They discuss that the next big project is a road leading to the coast, meant to start construction after the fair.

At the Hilltop, Maggie is told that no one can find Carl, who disappeared earlier that day after The Whisperers’ visit. After some thinking, Maggie and the others reach the conclusion that Carl went after the Whisperer girl, with Dante crudely remarking that “the first piece of ass you get makes you do crazy things,” much to Maggie’s dismay. She goes on to state that, should the Whisperers assume Carl is a spy, it could cause problems.

Elsewhere, Carl wakes up from a brief rest, Alpha and other Whisperers are right in front of him. She questions him, asking if he’s following them. Carl explains, pointing his gun at Alpha, that he left on his own and that he just wanted to make sure that Lydia is okay. She suggests he should put down his gun before he hurts himself, and he taunts her saying the dangerous end of the gun is not pointed at him.

She says that whatever his options are, shooting her or not, he’ll probably end up killed by the others, and tells him to use his head and that he might just live. She then gets up, asking him if he’ll come with them.

Back at the coast, a fishboat arrives. Rick asks if Ezekiel is nervous, much to the latter’s discomfort. He says it’s clear that he’s not over her, and that everyone knows including her: Michonne is the first to leave the boat. She argues that there was no one else to do it. Ezekiel mentions he was keeping her Katana warm for her. They start to load up the fish.

Rick approaches Michonne privately, jokingly asking if she missed him. She asks about the new woman. Rick tells her about Magna and her group, saying that she’s smart. Michonne jokingly asks if Andrea has something to worry about, a joke misunderstood by Rick, who rebukes that he’d never do that to anyone. She apologizes, saying that they don’t do a lot of talking on the boat and that she’s getting bad at it. He jokes that she was always a talkative person.

He asks her if she found what she was looking for, but gets no response. She apologizes for everything. Rick argues that she disappeared and they spent a great deal of time looking for her and that people could have died. She explains that it just didn’t feel right, being there at The Kingdom with Ezekiel, happy, after everything she’s been through and everything she’s done. She says she abandoned her children because of her job and destroyed her marriage.

Rick says that they do deserve happiness after everything they’ve been through, telling her to get her shit together and stop punishing herself for stuff that wasn’t her fault, and to go home.

At the pier, Rick and Michonne continue to talk for a while about her daughters. When telling her that she shouldn’t live her life in misery due to their believed deaths, Michonne becomes defensive. She however is quickly defused when Rick apologizes explaining that he didn’t want his best friend to be miserable. They then talk about the fair. Michonne explains that Pete is attending but she plans to remain at the pier. Rick asks her to attend stating that Carl would like to see her. She says she would like to see him too and when Rick cheerfully believes this to mean her attendance, she says “we’ll see” with a smile.

At the Hilltop, Gregory has been locked up and is begging Harlan to be freed making up a story that both Maggie and Jesus were attempting to frame him. Harlan does not believe the story however and points out many flaws within it before Maggie also comments on the lie explaining that she had already told him that Gregory would make up a story. He seems surprised when he hears Maggie’s voice and the two enter a angry, short lived conversation which ended with Gregory asking if he would be killed and Maggie remaining silent.

Jesus and Maggie then talk about Gregory and how to handle the situation; Jesus suggests that the bullies families were probably aware of his plan and Maggie agrees that it makes sense and plans to talk to them when Dante enters cheerfully. Due to his happy tone Maggie assumes that it means he was able to find Carl however he reports that he has not, Jesus comments that Rick will not be pleased but Maggie disregards it explaining that she has bigger problems and that Carl is on his own.

Carl, Lydia and the Whisperers continue their journey. They explain that they only have to travel a little further and Carl believes that this means they have a camp, Alpha then explains that they don’t have camps and instead live how they were intended to live (Without shelter, instead huddling together for warmth). They then arrive to a large group of people, disguised in the same costumes with camp fires, livestock and other necessities.

Maggie then interviews Tammy. She reveals that she and the other parents did indeed know about the planned attack and apologizes as she sobs. When Jesus asks why Tammy hadn’t come forward to warn them she explains that she was still angry about the fight between her son and Carl and that it was this anger that previously blinded her judgement. When asked if this was the same for the other parents she admitted that Gregory could be persuasive.

After discovering that both the Rose and Harlan families were aware of the attempt on Maggie’s life, Jesus asks what should be done to them, suggesting exile. However, Maggie tries to remain focused on Gregory which frustrates him as she still remained undecided on what to be done with him. She reveals however she is no longer undecided and that Gregory must be killed.

Meanwhile at Alexandria, Negan is bathing in a small tub provided for him outside of his cage. He is being guarded at gunpoint by two men during this. Olivia is also trimming his hair and the two share uncomfortable words about his scars as she does so. Andrea enters to assure that everything was ‘good’ to which Negan responds “The one thing I’ve never been accused of is being good”. The two men then take the tub as Negan dresses and Andrea orders him to go back into his cell with her gun drawn. Olivia seems to initially struggle with locking the cell but eventually believes to succeed. The two women then also leave and Negan sighs, but much to his surprise, he realizes that in fact the cell door was still unlocked.

Rick arrives at gates of Alexandria, back from his trip to the coast. Before he can enter, he is greeted by Dwight, who doesn’t feel like going inside the zone and talking with the others.

After being questioned about Sherry, Dwight says she found a nice guy, someone who “has more face than he has” and that they’re in good terms with each other. He then opens up to Rick, saying he doesn’t feel like he’s fit to be a leader, and asks him to choose a new leader for The Saviors.

Rick states that he can’t do that, because Dwight took control of The Saviors, back there at the end of the Battle of Hilltop, and that he needs to tell his people that he’s stepping down, and that they will need to elect a new leader.

After The Saviors leave, Aaron and Heath discuss how everyone doesn’t particularly like The Saviors, and how they’re the weirdest group of the mix, joking that The Sanctuary should be renamed a “[place with] bunch of weirdos.”

Andrea meets Rick inside the gates, asking him how the trip went. He greets her, and they discuss the upcoming fair. The conversation is cut short by Rick going to visit the jail, much to Andrea’s dismay.

He goes down, and much to his shock, Negan is sitting inside his cell, with the door open. Negan sarcastically welcomes him home.

Rick reaches for his gun, only to be taunted by Negan about his leg and his “grandpa” appearance. Negan then questions Rick about the gun, since he could have easily sneaked behind and subdued Rick, but instead he decided to stay, as to make Rick trust him a little. He goes on and says that he could have booby-trapped the safe-zone, he could have started a fire in the house to kill Rick and Andrea while they’re asleep or that he could have simply raped Andrea without anyone knowing.

Much to Negan’s surprise, Rick still says that nothing has changed and that he has no trust in Negan. Knowing that nothing he says will work, Negan proceeds to taunt Rick about the reason why he’s keeping him here, only to prove to himself and no one else that he has mercy, and that he wants others to believe he’s a good person and the only one who can fix the world.

Elsewhere, Rosita announces to the Alexandrians that she and Eugene are going to have a baby. Discreetly, Rick takes Olivia away from everyone and harshly chastises her for leaving Negan’s cell unlocked.

Later, he and Andrea talk about what happened and discuss the risk of having Negan there, “living” with them close to everybody else. Andrea suggests that they should just kill Negan already and be done with it. Rick then proceeds to talk about how he must give an example and prove that they’ve changed, that death as a punishment isn’t necessary anymore, that they can control their emotions and prove that they’re civilized people, and that if they let that go and kill again, everything will fall apart.

At the Hilltop Colony, Maggie and the rest of the residents watch Gregory being hanged as punishment for his attempt on Maggie’s life.

Gregory’s corpse is taken down from the tree, as Maggie delivers a speech to the Hilltop citizens, saying that she expects it to be the last time an execution has to happen, and that she wants everyone to work with her to ensure the success of the town.

In Alexandria, Andrea wakes up and goes to check up on the structures set up for the fair, which will happen later that day.

At The Whisperers’ Camp, Carl and Lydia watch the skinning of a zombie. Soon, Alpha approaches Carl, and, after noticing the latter’s aggression, reminds him that he’s still a captive. She announces that there is no other way, and that she must learn more about Carl’s people.

Back in Alexandria, Siddiq shows Maggie, Sophia and baby Hershel their room. Later, Paul joins her when she tells Rick about Carl’s disappearance. After a brief moment of tension, Rick accepts Maggie’s apology for not telling him sooner, and Rick decides he must go out and look for Carl himself. Shortly afterwards, Rick, along with Andrea, Michonne and Dante go out to search for Carl.

At the fair, Earl Sutton is talking to a mysterious woman about her work, impressed by the machetes and spears she is showing off at her tent. He asks her how long ago she joined the communities, to which she responds that she joined them very recently. Unbeknownst to him and everyone else, the woman is Alpha, the leader of The Whisperers, infiltrated in the fair to learn more about the communities.

Earl Sutton continues speaking with Alpha at the fair. As she walks off, Ezekiel approaches Earl and mentions that Alpha seems strange. Pete joins the conversation, telling him that they should speak about Michonne. Pete points out that it is obvious that Michonne still likes him and that Ezekiel should come talk to her and hopefully snap her out of whatever made her distant. Ezekiel runs off overjoyed and promises to never give up on Michonne.

Elsewhere, Rick, Dante, Michonne, and Andrea are on horseback riding through an extremely overgrown suburban area. Rick apologizes to Dante about being harsh with him about Carl. Dante accepts Rick’s apology and explains how the Whisperers took him even farther out than the area where he was captured and that he is fearful of them. Rick mentions that he has to hold out on Carl being alive. Dante reassures Rick and Andrea mentions that Carl is a badass.

A Whisperer then walks out saying “your son is quite handful,” prompting Rick to pull his gun out. Rick threatens the Whisperer, ordering him take the group to Carl. The whisperer then tells Rick that he should be mindful of who is listening to his threats. Just then, a group of Whisperers emerge from behind wreckage. The group is surrounded as the whisperer tells Rick that he will take him only to Carl and that everyone else must stay put under guard.

Back at the fair, Jesus and Maggie are discussing how they are going to go about telling Rick that they have killed Gregory. Maggie tells Jesus that it was not a good time to tell Rick after she had just mentioned the issue with Carl. She also states that she is the Hilltop leader and that it is not Rick’s business to know what she does. Maggie mentions that she does not even want to think about Carl and what had happened to him. Jesus reassures her that Carl is okay by saying he has probably only grown stronger, to which Maggie agrees.

Back at the Whisperer camp, Carl is being held back by Lydia as he demands to know where Alpha has been all day. A Whisperer tells Carl that he shouldn’t care what others are doing. Another Whisperer approaches and calls out that he “caught one” on the road. Carl sees Rick and is surprised, but apologizes for scaring him. Rick is surprised Carl does not have his glasses on.

At the fair, Eugene and Rosita are shopping for maternity clothing. Rosita mentions that after she has the baby she is going to need all the incentive possible to get back into shape. Eugene replies that he does not care what she looks like and will accept her in whatever shape is comfortable for her. Rosita begins to cry and says that she is terrible. The two hug and apologize as Eugene says that Rosita is only human. As Rosita leaves crying, Eugene buys a broken CB radio from a seller for a beer.

Back at Whisperer camp, Rick and Carl are talking while Lydia sits nearby listening. Rick wants Carl to come with him but seeming as Lydia won’t leave, neither will Carl. Rick stresses about the dangers of this group as Carl responds by saying that he never asked his dad to come. Rick puts his hand on Carl’s shoulder and tells him that he is getting him out of here.

Carl pushes his father’s hand away as Rick looks shocked. Carl tells Rick that ever since his eye was taken and he was disfigured, no one would look at him without flinching, even him and Andrea. He then goes on to say that the only person who accepts him for it is Lydia and says she looks at him like he is normal. He then tells Rick that Lydia is special to him and that they care about each other. He states that he has finally found something good in this world and that he wants to hold on to it. Rick, looking defeated, sighs and says that he understands.

Alpha then approaches and says that she isn’t impressed upon seeing Rick after all of the things she had heard about him. Rick tells him that he does not appreciate being held captive and that he would like to leave with Carl. Alpha says that she wishes he was never held captive. Alpha is holding a blood-stained machete.

Alpha says that she encountered some trouble on the road home and that it was unavoidable. Rick asks her what she has done and if she has hurt Andrea or Michonne before being punched by a Whisperer. Rick says that he will remember this as he wipes blood from his mouth. Alpha tells one of her people to go clean the machete and then tells Rick that he is in no position to threaten her and needs to be broken of the habit of threats. She tells Rick that the two of them will be going for a walk as Rick shouts that he will not leave Carl. Alpha threatens to kill Carl if Rick does not comply, forcing him to cooperate.

Alpha holds Rick at gun-point as they walk. The duo pass an overgrown gas station and a freeway. Rick asks her that if she planned on killing him that she could have saved them both a lot of time. Alpha states that although she is willing to kill Rick, she has no desire to. Alpha tells Rick to stop talking and to keep his voice down. Rick then asks Alpha where she is taking him as Alpha points to a building ahead of them.

Rick and Alpha approach a four-story building with a small water tower on top. Alpha tells Rick that the building is clear and the two go all the way to the roof of the building. Alpha tells Rick to go to the edge and look. She tells Rick that she wants him to see that she will destroy everything he has built in this world, everyone he has loved in this world, and that this is not an empty threat. Rick then looks over the edge with Alpha to see a massive herd below.

After showing Rick the massive horde of Roamers, Alpha takes him off the building and takes him back to the Whisperers camp. Rick asks Alpha what she wants from him, she replies he has nothing to offer her. She proceeds to mock Ricks “fake” way of life and say how they are like children playing pretend. “You’ve built a shrine to a world long dead,” Alpha says how her people are the ones who live truly and live a life of freedom. Rick then questions her about her ideology about the Whisperers being free despite them referring to their leader as “Alpha” and having to sleep in the cold and wear dead human skin.

Back at the Whisperers camp, Lydia tells Carl that if he sees the opportunity then he should leave. However Carl says he refuses to leave without her. Lydia warns Carl that Alpha hates outsiders and that they are in major trouble that Rick showed up and threatened Alpha. Rick and Alpha show up, Rick tells Carl that they can leave peacefully however Carl refuses to leave Lydia. He tells Rick that the Whisperers rape Lydia and Alpha allows it and he confronts Alpha about it. Alpha claims that Rape is a power of the natural world and making it excusable. Lydia breaks down telling what has happened to her and Alpha is disgusted by her show of emotion and strikes her in the face calling her weak. She preaches how in order to survive in the new world one needs to be strong and she too breaks down. Rick separates them and Alpha whispers to him that they can provide the safety to Lydia that she could not. She then disowns Lydia and tells her to go with Rick and Carl. Alpha informs Rick that she has marked a border that separates them and the whisperers. And that they are not to cross that border or her horde will cross into their side. Rick takes Carl and Lydia and they leave.

Rick, Carl and Lydia return to where he left his search group and sees two horses surrounded by dead whispers and the group of Michonne, Andrea and Dante missing. They quickly get on their horses and ride off, Carl questions why his father is upset. Rick says he worries about Andrea and the fact that Alpha had blood on her machete. He was also puzzled by this border Alpha mentioned. Rick is interrupted when he sees a long line of reanimated heads impaled on stakes, Rick is in shock when he sees that the heads on the stakes include Olivia, Josh, Carson, Tammy, Luke, Erin, Ken, Amber, Larry, Oscar, Rosita and Ezekiel. Devastated by the line Rick collapses to the floor when the tearful Andrea, Michonne and Dante appear and Andrea asks what they will do now…

Well guys after a long few weeks I finally finished compendium 3, and I must say it didn’t disappoint me. I have really taken a love to the walking dead novels. It made me feel all the feels. I decided to put the breakdown of all the volumes here (thanks to the walking dead site from Robert Kirkman). I feel it’s more for my own refreshment in case I forget what happened (1000+ pages is way too much to read over again lol).

I cannot emphasize how much I hated Negan. That man is pure evil and I still think Rick should’ve killed him without thinking twice. But I definitely understand why he did it too. Can I also express how much it annoys me that after Rick finally gets some kind of stabilized life for his people , some other crazy crew comes and crashes the party, but I do have to admit the last cult type looking people looked pretty cool and did a pretty smart move using zombie skin to deter them away.

I am so looking forward to reading issue 145 and seeing what else holds in store for these people.

Original Review Published: 5/16/16

Luxe: Ashley Antionette

Title: Luxe

Author: Ashley Antoinette

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 352

Rating: 5/5

It’s been a while since I picked up a street lit book. I haven’t been keeping up with Ashley’s books, but I saw it at the library and knew my sparkly little fingers needed to get it. I’ve read almost all of Ashley’s books and she never disappoints and Luxe is no different.

Bleu Montclair was top notch in school. Her greatest dream was leaving her dismal life in Flint, Michigan and of course going to her dream school UCLA. So when she gets that scholarship she always wanted, she knew that that was her ticket out of her hellhole that she called home. Once she gets there, everything starts falling apart. She ends up meeting all the wrong people and her life becomes a downward spiral of unfortunate events. As I learned more and more from Bleu you can’t help but feel bad for her, I mean this poor girl went through so much crap as a little girl, and then as an adult it even gets worse, But you have to admire the fact that she had a hell of a friend in Noah. He supported that girl through all the hard times as a kid. And then Bleu meets another man who sweeps her off her feet and does anything and everything to make her happy and help her. Is it real love or just a game? This book is just action packed from the first page. I highly recommend it.

Original Review Published: 4/29/16