All Booked

Hi Book Lovers!

Last month I saw an unboxing for Beacon Book Box. I was intrigued, so I went online to read more about them and thought I’d give them a try! What I found I adored about this book box was that the curator, Cameron, is only 15 years old! His family is on board with his desire to send out YA book boxes to people with the same passions as himself. I just loved this touch and it’s what made me want to try them out! Here is my first unboxing.


This month’s theme was:
Buccaneers & Bandits

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How cute is this personalized note? This was such an amazing touch to start this book!

 

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The spoiler card.

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A Marin – Corsario Royalty candle inspired by Pacifica. This was created, as you can see, by Novelly Yours. It smells fresh and light and I really enjoy this smell.

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Pirates of the Caribbean necklace. It reads “Dead men tell no tales”. It says it was provided by Team Beacon Book Box, and it was wrapped in book pages which is wonderful.

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Captain Alosa bath fairy dust. This was made by Books Are Key by Marissa in honor of Daughter of the Pirate King. I don’t get to use these types of items right away so I’ll hold off until I am somewhere with a bath!

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Pirate booksleeve created by Book Gizmo. It’s a really tough material and the inside is really soft!

A tasseled bookmark with a quote from Children of Blood and Bone and the other side with a quote from Sky in the Deep. This was created by Bookish Signs and is a nice, thicker material.

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I wanted to put this in as this is what the book of the month was inside. It’s a little backpack and thought it was a great way to include an extra item into the box by putting the book in it.

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The book of the month was These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch. First, this book cover is beautiful in person. Second, it’s pretty big. I was slightly interested in this book a few months ago when I was looking at upcoming releases and I didn’t realize it was a hefty book!

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This book was signed by the author and there was also a note from the author that says “Make Waves” which is especially wonderful.

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Lastly, there was a note from the author which was a cute touch as well.


I didn’t take a full picture of everything this time because I was short on time and didn’t want to put up something that looked ridiculous. However, I do want to say that I was very impressed with this book box and loved the little details that really made the box more exciting and fun. I will be excited to see how next month’s box turns out! Check them out!!!

  • Have you heard of this book box?
  • What was your favorite part?! (I loved the personalized note, I’m not going to lie.)

♥♥

Hi Book Lovers!

I’m behind, per usual, on a lot of things including a book haul for last month. Though, to be fair to myself, I didn’t get many books in July (except for book box books). This is a combination of a July book box haul and the start of August haul. Let’s take a look.


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  • The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
  • Bear Town by Fredrik Backman
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Sanders

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  • Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

    I’m sure I’ll have a few more unboxing books to post towards the end of August but for now here’s some more books I don’t need but still went ahead and bought anyway!

  • Are any of these recent reads for you?
  • Any favorites in this small list?

♥♥

Hi Book Lovers!

Time for another review.


When Elephants Fly

When Elephants Fly
By Nancy Richardson Fischer
Release Date: September 4th, 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Pages: 400 pages
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5/5)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: E-Book


To start, I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Secondly, there are a few potential triggers for anyone tirelessly working through mental health challenges: abuse, suicide, and schizophrenia.

 

Book Synopsis:

Lily Decker is a high school senior with a twelve-year plan: avoid stress, drugs, alcohol and boyfriends, and take regular psych quizzes administered by her best friend, Sawyer, to make sure she’s not developing schizophrenia. Genetics are not on Lily’s side.

When she was seven, her mother, who had paranoid schizophrenia, tried to kill her. And a secret has revealed that Lily’s odds are even worse than she thought. Still, there’s a chance to avoid triggering the mental health condition, if Lily can live a careful life from ages eighteen to thirty, when schizophrenia most commonly manifests.

But when a newspaper internship results in Lily witnessing a mother elephant try to kill her three-week-old calf, Swifty, Lily can’t abandon the story or the calf. With Swifty in danger of dying from grief, Lily must choose whether to risk everything, including her sanity and a first love, on a desperate road trip to save the calf’s life, perhaps finding her own version of freedom along the way.


Favorite Quotes:

“Crazy is genetic. It’s the house I was born inside. There are no windows, just two locked doors. One door leads to Normal, the other to Insanity. At some point, I will inherit a key, but I don’t get to pick which door it unlocks. Even if I did, there’s no guarantee I’d understand the choice, or realize where I was when I got there.”

“I hold my breath, frozen like a soldier who has stepped on a land mine. But no matter what I do, eventually it’s going to blow me up.”

“I had the urge to tell her that there’s a relief when you no longer have to prove to the most important person in your life that you’re worthy.”

“The one certainty in life is that it changes.”

“It’s impossible to bend crazy to your will. It wins, hands down.”


My thoughts:

This book hooked me from the beginning and I soon found myself unable to complete any real-life tasks to continue reading Lily’s story. Lily comes from a genetic line predisposed to schizophrenia. After almost losing her own life due to her mother succumbing to her own delusions, Lily grows up hoping to beat the odds of something she cannot see coming. She has a long-term plan of no stress (or fun of any kind) in order to come out, hopefully, free of the same mental illness that’s been plaguing the woman in her family for several generations.

However, Lily begins volunteering, and eventually writing small stories for the local newspaper in her town. Her story on the local zoo preparing for a new elephant calf, soon named Swifty, leads her on an unexpected journey after Swifty’s mother tries to kill her shortly after birth.

Lily is quite the character. She’s slightly infuriating. She’s slightly too calm and laid back. She’s slightly avoiding truly living life. Yet, I couldn’t stop thinking about how fearful I would be if I were her knowing that there was a strong possibility I would find myself drowning in a sea of mental illness that I couldn’t avoid. While I do not struggle from schizophrenia nor personally know anyone who does, my heart ached to see the way this illness can suck the life of anyone it goes after. To hope for a life you are pretty sure will not play out as you’d hope would probably make me just as cautious and anxious as Lily was for most of this story.

Her best friend, Sawyer, was a wonderful character, although this idea he was ridiculously rich wasn’t something I bought into for the majority of the story. Sawyer also harbors secrets of his own and it becomes clear in understanding the superbly adorable to the friendship Lily and Sawyer have created over their own internal struggles through the years.

This story also had another hot topic in it for me: elephants. I’ve read several stories about elephants in the past that discuss their depth of emotion and how they typically act in the wild. Sometimes those ideas are hard to listen to and this story does touch on several instances of animal abuse which were hard to stomach through for myself. Still, the elephant’s stories are just as important here and only added to the tugging on my heart.

I enjoyed almost everything about this story: the mental health representation which I do not think we see nearly enough in YA (or any other genre), the elephants, the friendship, but most importantly the decision between living your life or letting your life control you. Is it better to take risks that might not let you live as yourself as long as you’d like? Or is it better to play it safe and hope to peacefully ride out the waves without creating any yourself?

There were only a few pieces of the story I did not enjoy as much: Lily just up and leaving out of the blue for a story, her selfishness during some of Sawyer’s personal problems arising, and her initial carelessness at how her life affected other people’s (such as Swifty). Lastly, the odd way the story ended wasn’t necessarily bad, but it kept taking odd turns I wasn’t expecting and with people I wasn’t expecting. Also, without saying what it is, the final piece of Lily’s puzzle at the end really tore me apart for a few days after finishing. I non-stop thought about mental health and how I choose to live my life, even without the battles Lily faces.

I’d highly recommend this story to just about everyone: it isn’t a perfect, happy story, but it is something that should be thought and talked about more often.

  • Has anyone else read this book?
  • What were your thoughts on this story?
  • What did you think of the mental health topic in this book?

♥♥

Hi Book Lovers!

I recently did a review for An Ember in the Ashes which was a re-read in anticipation of A Reaper at the Gates to come out. That obviously meant I needed to FINALLY get around to A Torch Against the Night so when the third installment was available I could devour it immediately (which I did). Let’s get started.

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A Torch Against the Night
By: Sabaa Tahir
Pages: 452
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Genre: YA
Format: Hardcover


 

Book Synopsis:

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.


 

My Thoughts:

I think this book was my favorite of the three so far. Firstly, I knew more of the world, rules, and culture and what was going on so instead of spending the first several chapters wondering what was happening I could easily jump right in and simply enjoy it from page one. Second, I enjoyed the overall story line of this book the most simply because of where it came from and where it led to by the end. Third, I loved the characters SO much more in this story than in An Ember in the Ashes.

In regards to the story line, it was easy to follow. I always enjoy that there are still plenty of details in her writing and stories but it doesn’t ever feel as though we are stuck in one spot or bogged down too much that it stalls the story line. I appreciate that. I understand that this book is definitely a slight “filler” in that there is mostly traveling and the idea of scheming going on here, however, I think I enjoyed getting to know Lia, Elias, and even Helene more.

While Helene was not my favorite character in An Ember in the Ashes, I found her growing on me throughout this book. Being torn between your mind/heart and the life you need to live to survive is a tough call, and I feel slightly bad for her most of this book. Lia felt slightly more naive in this book. Perhaps it’s the issue with the Nightbringer that made me roll my eyes. While she didn’t seem as afraid as in the first book, I did wonder about some of her choices and why they were necessary or if they were doable (Kauf? I mean.) Elias is wonderful. His story line made me feel the most: sad, confused, worried, etc. Without spoiling it, I was not in favor of where his story went by the end of this book. It felt like a cop-out and a way to keep the story going.

The love (triangle[s]?) weren’t my favorite piece of this book. While I can appreciate loving and hoping despite the terrible things going on around you in desperate times, some of these situations felt pushed and unnatural. I really could have cared less if there were any love stories involved here as I feel like the main plot doesn’t revolve around this idea anyway.

Lastly, while it made me feel anxious at times, when Tahir doesn’t stray from the way this world works, the rough stuff and all, I appreciate the story a little more. Listening to tales at Kauf was not easy, but almost necessary. Listening to the brutality of other situations and fights along the way were also difficult but, again, made me appreciate the story more. I’m growing to like when a story doesn’t stray from the hard things just to save face or be constantly fluffy and happy (even though those are usually my favorite stories).


  • TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK!
  • What was your favorite part?
  • Least favorite part?
  • Did you like the love situations?

♥♥

Hi Book Lovers 🙂

This was sent out a little late from Shelflove, but things happen so I’m simply glad I finally received it!

I LOVE Shelflove Crate and if you’re interested in a book box I’d definitely recommend checking this subscription service out!

This month’s theme was:
Let the Games Begin

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Spoiler Card!

 

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A candle from Flick the Wick. Inspired by Legendary, there were 4 different candles sent out to subscribers and I got The Fallen Star. Sadly this one was slightly melted when I received it (it’s 110 here and who knows how long the box sat outside before I got home so I ain’t even mad. It’ll melt when I light it and go back to normal shape.)

 

A set of 6 poker chips inspired by Six of Crows. I’m assuming the designs on the chips would be more relevant if I had read this book? It’s somewhere on my TBR list, so maybe one day I’ll get to it! They are pretty heavy duty chips, though, if I’m being honest.

 

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A 250-piece puzzle with an image of the Tri-Wizard Maze. Clearly inspired by Harry Potter, this image was created by Sweet Sequels. I do puzzles when I can so this was such a unique thing to receive!

 

Cruel Prince inspired bookmark. It’s beautiful on the back with the wording and was created by Love You More Studio.

 

Cute, cozy socks inspired by The Hunger Games. They say “May the odds be ever in your favor” and were created exclusively for Shelflove Crate.

 

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The sixth trading card inspired by the Lunar Chronicles which is an exclusive to Shelflove Crate. This is Winter, as it says, and the artwork is by Kat Adara. Additionally, the bookmark was also designed by Kat!

 

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The book of the month is The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen.

 

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This month we got the book signed by the author which is a first for Shelflove (at least as long as I’ve been getting the boxes), so that is always a nice touch. Again, I don’t know much about this but I’m excited every time I get a book I’ve never heard of before.

 

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  • Do you get Shelflove Crate box?
  • Have you heard of this book prior to seeing it here?
  • What is your favorite piece here? (I love the puzzle!)

♥♥

Happy Sunday, Book Lovers!

The past two weeks have been great for me as far as reading goes, but I’ve realized I enjoy a little space after finishing a book to fully collect my thoughts on it before writing about it anywhere. I’ve been starting/adding to about 6 reviews recently so one day I’ll post those. In the meantime here is an unboxing to share with you all!

This box was a little late getting sent to me (along with my Shelflove Crate which still hasn’t been shipped out yet, sadly). However, life happens and it doesn’t always go as planned so I was just happy to finally receive this box to tear open and eventually share on here.

I highly encourage you check out Unicorn Crate if you haven’t already. Every month they have something unicorn inspired and I enjoy almost always getting a different book than other boxes are sending out at the same time.


This month’s theme was:
Magic Systems

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The spoiler card (pretty, huh?)

 

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A Red London candle by the Leaky Candle. It smells good, as is pretty normal for most candles I receive in boxes. It’s a decent size, too, instead of just a smaller “sample” sized candle.

 

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A water bottle inspired by Roar. It was created exclusively for Unicorn Crate. I probably will give this to my sister as I’ve got so many water bottles in my home that they are coming out of every cabinet at this point. However, I do like the top (it’s easy to hold on to) and it’s really secure.

 

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An art print from Stella Bookish Art. It’s inspired by the Grisha trilogy. Nice quote – it is nice to receive prints that can be put up that don’t necessarily have to do solely with the book they are from so others can enjoy them, too!

 

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Shadowhunter Rune earrings. These were created by The Bookish Company. While super cute, I do not wear earrings! I do have someone in mind who would enjoy these, though, so they will go to a good home. 🙂

 

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A cork pencil pouch which has a quote from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Another exclusive item for Unicorn Crate. It’s very unique and I use all pouches I receive but I am slightly sad this one is missing a tiny piece towards the top left. I made a little sad face when I noticed but I’ll be using it all the same!

 

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Harry Potter spell pencils set. This was made exclusively for Unicorn Crate and are precious. Anything about Harry Potter swoons me – I’m a sucker, what can I say?

 

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A “Luthadel” postcard inspired by Mistborn. While this book is high on my TBR, it currently means very little to me until I know what the story is about. I initially thought it was a Hogwarts image but realized quickly it wasn’t. Silly me.

 

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“Believe in Magic” unicorn socks created by Unicorn Crate. I loveeeeeee these. They are ridiculously cute.

 

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The book of the month is Fawkes by Nadine Brandes. I’m going to be honest (per usual) here. I’ve wanted this book since I saw what it looked like. However, also per usual I don’t know what it’s about really. This is a TOTAL cover-love for me. I think it’s GORGEOUS and even when the day comes and I read this and I do or do not enjoy it, I’ll keep it just for the cover. 100%. EEEEEkkks. It came with a signed bookplate and a note from the author (which I didn’t photograph for some reason).

 

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This wasn’t my absolute favorite Unicorn Crate, but I still enjoyed it all the same. Not every box can be the box of my dreams but I’m still happy with several of the items and the book!!!

  • Do you have this book?
  • Does anyone else get this subscription box?
  • What are your favorite items in this month’s box?

♥♥

Hi Book Lovers!

I was lucky enough to receive this book on Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review. Let’s talk about this emotional roller-coaster ride.

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Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh (Raised Somewhere Else)
By: Colleen Cardinal
Pages: Unknown (E-Book / no pages listed)
Genre: Nonfiction
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Format: E-Book on Kindle

“What they didn’t see was the pain, trauma and suffering that we endured living under that roof with those people.” – Colleen Cardinal

It’s been a few days since I finished Colleen’s story. I had a lot to think about. Colleen, an Indigenous woman, grew up in the Sixties Scoop – a practice that occurred primarily in Canada where Indigenous children were taken from their families and sent to foster homes or adopted (usually by white families) in the late 1950s on. Her story is one of growing up in a family different from her own and how it snowballed into the life she created for several decades. Colleen dealt with abuses abound including mental, emotional, physical, and even sexual. Trauma can alter people in vastly different ways and this story was a look at how Colleen coped through her life (very rough, detailed patches and all) and found her way back to herself and to the people and culture she was taken from years ago.

Colleen told this story as if she were sitting across from me speaking her truths. Honestly, there were a few instances I looked up almost expecting someone to be there telling me what her words were telling me about her life. What also impressed me is how she has owned up to so many things about her past that even she admitted aren’t easy to do for many people. In that, I applauded her greatly.

“I am not perfect by any means and have hurt and been violent to other people in my past.” – Colleen Cardinal

“Like a familiar piece of luggage, I have dragged my abuse right along with me, and in many ways have taken it out on my children.” – Colleen Cardinal

Perhaps wisdom does come with age and watching Colleen’s story unravel and lead her to a place of self-discovery was inspiring, hopeful, and educational (the Sixties Scoop was yet another piece of Indigenous culture I didn’t know existed beforehand). Additionally, her extreme love for her children was something to be cherished as I read. Yes, she has made many errors in her life (which of us haven’t?), and sometimes her own desires sadly did come before her children’s desires. However, she credits them for her ability to grow and change constantly and I appreciate that as I never had a mother who loved me as much as she loves her children.

The downside to her story, for me, was certain parts felt slightly repetitive. It wasn’t necessarily overdone to a point I was irritated or annoyed, however, it did detract from the way her story unraveled when we would see her travel back a moment to re-live something already discussed. I think why this was hard for me is that Colleen’s story has a lot of emotional and rough spots in it – things I have never experienced and things I wish no one would ever have to experience. Rehashing a section that I already felt sad about was difficult the first time and sometimes I didn’t want to stomach things a second time.

This book was neither easy to read nor bursting with warm, fuzzy feelings. I cannot relate to her on many levels, yet that is why I loved her story so deeply. I have been in awe of Native American and Indigenous culture since I was around five or six and have felt that so many of their stories have been skipped over or not given a platform or opportunity to reach as many people as they should. What has happened to their lifestyles and culture has unsettled me for decades and in listening to Colleen’s story I felt proud for her and her people to finally raise a voice and put a foot down to accepting what they are told to accept. While many voices are still not heard, this story was fascinating, saddening, and hopeful. I hope it allows others like her to find their way back to their true selves and allow the rest of us to see what has happened to so many Indigenous people. Those actions cannot be taken back – history is history. Yet there is always time to change the future to be better and brighter for future generations that have been previously been wronged for so long.

“There are things you just keep on doing no matter what. You drag your ass out of bed or off the couch and you keep going because you have to, because no one is going to do it for you.” – Colleen Cardinal

This is just one of many stories that should be read by many to help further the knowledge of what has happened under the rug to so many for years upon years. Don’t assume you know the full story unless you’ve truly looked at every angle. I highly recommend reading this story for anyone interested in learning more about the Sixties Scoop and understanding what’s really happening under the stereotypes put on many Indigenous by those who do not truly understand.

 

♥♥

Hi Book Lovers

Let’s start out this TTT with not one but two sleeping dogs.

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Okay, since that is done, let’s move on to this week’s TTT:
Popular books that have lived up to the hype.

This week’s list isn’t a full ten books. I only listed eight. Oh well!

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
This was a book I felt like EVERYONE was talking about (more so recently when Obsidio was released), but I finally picked it up and I loved the crap out of the entire thing. The story is cool yet slightly creepy, the characters I loved, and the writing style is unique. Totally embraced the hype on this one and I’m sure glad I did!

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An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir
Before A Torch Against the Night was released, I kept seeing An Ember in the Ashes all over – to be honestly I mostly was interested in this book from the cover. However, once I picked it up I fell in love and even after re-reading these two in anticipation of A Reaper at the Gates I still think the hype around them is legit.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
While a slightly “older” hype I still see this pop up frequently for many readers as a favorite and there’s a reason for it. The story is told from Death and it’s around the topic that tugs at my heart: WWII.

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Renegades by Marissa Meyer
When I first got this book in a book box I was slightly terrified of the size (it’s huge). However, I actually enjoyed the story (and the cover) and fell in to the hype around this story like so many others.

Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Again, this is from a few years back. However, I kept seeing people read and rave about this story. I couldn’t avoid it and one day caved into picking it up. I felt sick, happy, sad, and stressed over this story and it deserves all the kudos it has ever gotten.

Nov 24

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
COME ON. Did you think for even a split second this wouldn’t be on my list? It’s worth every second of my time. Every. Second.

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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I was OBSESSED with this at the same time everyone else was. I wanted EVERYONE to read this (I still do). Besides, the cover is gorgeous.

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The Giver by Lois Lowry
This story was good when it was big, even wayyyy back in the day (I’m like a hundred at this point, I swear). It’s not only still good but it’s such a great story that deserves to be loved and cherished. I love this story.

I feel like a lot of the “hyped” up books NOW I’m too afraid to pick up so they sit on my shelves despite my eagerness to read them (hypocritical, I’m aware). Still, finding a book that people love to rave about and enjoying it just as much as the masses always fills me up. While it may not always happen, I love being able to devour a book so many others also love.

  • What books made your list?
  • What are is the “oldest” popular book that lived up to the hype in your collection?
  • What about the “newest”?

Hi Book Lovers

Caution! Spoilers ahead! Read More

Hi Book Lovers!

sunshine-blogger

I was nominated by two different people for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I’ve never been tagged before and to receive not only one but two of these made me want to squeal with joy! So, thank you to both of you for tagging me!

I was first nominated by Bookaholic Dreamer back in June and I was just too busy at that time to get around to completing it. However, I love her blog so go check her out and follow her!

The second nomination was from The Cozied Reader this week. Her blog is beautiful and I ALSO recommend you check her out!

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog.
  • Answer the questions
  • Nominate 11 blogs with 11 questions
  • List the rules as well as display the Sunshine Award Logo on your post.

Since both have offered different questions I will split them up by the two who nominated me. Sorry this is about to be an unnecessary amount of information about me here….

First Set of Questions:

  1. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it?
    I am currently listening to Scythe by Neal Shusterman and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. I started out enjoying Scythe and I’m almost half way through and I’ve come to a stop because it seems like it isn’t holding my attention. It’s such a hyped up book that I’m going to get back to it in a few days and hopefully I’ll enjoy the second half! Next, this HP book is my second favorite despite a lot of “camping” and moving around so I’m thrilled to be finishing this book again!
  2. Do you annotate your books?
    I do for books I send to my best friend. Also, if anyone would ever be interested in annotating books back and forth I’m all about it. I saw someone on Booktube doing this, fell in love with it, and decided to try it out. The problem is that I’m not good at doing it for books I’m not sending off to someone else. I want to, in theory, but I always forget or get too caught up in a story to do it all the time. Anyone have tips?
  3. Which country/state do you live in?
    I live in the U.S. and for the past 11 years I’ve lived in Arizona (basically the scorching desert of the U.S.).
  4. How long have you been blogging?
    For about 2 years, though I had a HUGE gap (almost a year) between where I stopped blogging completely. I picked it back up at the start of this year and I’m glad I did!
  5. Do you usually go to see a film adaptation of a book you’ve read?
    Not usually unless it looks super wonderful. I tend to be disappointed a lot in film adaptions.
  6. How many languages do you speak?
    English fluently and I am proficient in reading/listening to Spanish but get intimidated when speaking it with others. I also count in French…don’t ask why, I don’t know.
  7. Do you ever DNF books?
    I try not to. I know the reasoning behind why people do this – I know there’s more books out there to read that I’d like than books I’m forcing myself to finish, but I still struggle to put books down even when I hate them (I’m talking to you, Red Queen series).
  8. Do you have a favourite reading spot?
    My bed or the couch. I can read almost anywhere but I do get distracted in certain spots and besides, those spots are super comfy!
  9. Do you have a bookstagram?
    I do not. I actually dislike most aspects of social media and only have a Facebook account because my family out of state harassed me enough to ensure I log in to my account more than 2x a year.
  10. Do you have reading goals for 2018?
    On my Goodreads I have 40 books set as my goal. Obviously I’d love to read more than that but I work two jobs, have a new puppy, and go to school full-time as well so I tried to be realistic at the beginning of the year.
  11. What was the last TV-show or film you watched?
    My husband and I are re-watching True Blood right now. We are slightly binging it and have gotten through 2 seasons in a week. Sorry, not sorry.

 


Second Set of Questions:

  1. If you could only recommend one book for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
    Yikes starting off with a tough one. I would probably say one of the HP books (probably #1 to get people into the series), Second Glance or House Rules by Jodi Picoult. Why? HP seems pretty straightforward as to why, and with the other two, they are just books that I gush over even after reading them for 10+ years. I love to love them and I want everyone else to love them, too.
  2. What’s the book that got you into reading?
    I have been reading since almost 4 years old and I honestly do not remember that far back. Hooked on Phonics got me into reading and after that I always read so I cannot accurately answer this one.
  3. What’s your favorite book-to-movie or book-to-television show adaptation?
    Since I’m watching True Blood, I’m going to say the first few seasons of that were adapted well compared to the books. I also liked Big Little Lies adaption despite it being a smidge different and drawn out compared to the story.
  4. What trope do you love/hate the most?
    I don’t know if I’d consider it a big trope or anything, but when characters are “all knowing” or “all gifted” without many flaws. They want to run, scale, and jump across buildings and can without training or practice? Wow. Super. Awesome. They pick up on a new language or skill that would take a normal person much longer to learn but they do it within a few days? I see. It’s so unrealistic and I cannot stand it.
  5. What was your last DNF book? Why didn’t you finish it?
    I mentioned above I don’t usually do this often. The last book I DNF’d was The Magician but it was only because I was borrowing it from the library and my return date approached and it got sent back before I finished it and now I can’t get it back right away.
  6. If you could meet any character, alive or dead, who would it be?
    Albus Dumbledore is a pretty big one. Pino Lella from Beneath a Scarlet Sky. Molly Burkhart from Killers of the Flower Moon.
  7. Do you have any pets? If not, what kind of pet would want to get?
    I do! PLEASE LOOK AT MY PETS. PLEASE!

    The dopey white thing you see is my new Great Dane puppy. He’s almost 5 months now and 70 pounds. His name is Kuzco (from Emperor’s New Groove). The black dog is my other Great Dane mix who is almost 6. His name is Koda (Brother Bear) and he’s actually perfect and the love of my life. And the white cat is my runt-of-the-litter baby who is almost 8 and her name is Madeline.

  8. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
    Well, I feel like I’ve lived 400 lives at this point in my life so I’ve done a few adventurous things. Travel without directions, money, or an end game is pretty fun. Loving someone is an adventure. I mean, so many things.
  9. What’s your favorite movie?
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Cars
    Wreck It Ralph
  10. What are your hobbies (outside of reading/blogging)?
    Bullet Journals
    Puzzles
    Thrift store shopping
    Cooking some good vegan meals
  11. What are three things that most people don’t know about you?
    -> I am double-majoring: World History, Anthropology, and a minor in Sociology. I want to be an Archaeologist regarding WWII in European History or American Indians in the United States.
    -> I am an INFJ (yes, I totally believe in this)- the empathy I am gifted and cursed with can be debilitating if I don’t handle it properly.
    -> I am vegan. I don’t like telling people because many people think I will try to convert them. I chose to become vegan from a health standpoint – many foods make me very ill and eating raw, whole foods has greatly increased my mood, health, and life overall.


    I nominate the following bloggers:

Lori’s Bookshelf Reads \\ Bookish Connoisseur \\ A Fictional Bookworm \\ Gina Reads Books \\ In Case of Bookishness \\ Sophril Reads \\ Bookneeders \\ Alex Reads and Blogs \\ The Limit of Books Does Not Exist \\ Whit Reads Lit

I tried to ensure none of these people had already completed this post so I apologize in advance if I missed you doing this already! Here are my questions and I look forward to continuing to learn about my fellow bloggers:

  1.  What is a book that has been unread on your shelves the longest?
  2. Do you prefer paperback, hardback, or mass market paperback when reading and why?
  3. What genre of music is your go-to most days?
  4. What are three things people don’t know about you yet?
  5. How do you organize your bookshelves (genre, color, title, author? Also, I’m all about seeing pictures of them!)?
  6. What are your favorite posts to do on your blog?
  7. Do you have any animals (pictures are the best!)?
  8. What genre do you not usually read but would like to try and enjoy more?
  9. Where do you typically find yourself blogging: at home, at a coffee shop, at a friend’s house?
  10. What book do you wish you could warn everyone to avoid reading and why?
  11. How many people in your everyday life do you talk to about books?

 

♥♥

Hi Book Lovers!

Today we are gathered here to discuss the sad tale of how much I disliked a story. If you’ve put that together with the title of this blog post, you’ll know I was NOT A FAN OF THIS BOOK AT ALL. Let’s discuss.

SLIGHT spoilers ahead.

King's Cage

King’s Cage
By: Victoria Aveyard
Pages: 528
Genre: YA
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5/5)
Format: Audiobook

 

Book Synopsis:

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

 

My Thoughts:

Alright. Alright, alright, alright. As I was prepping this review I was looking at my Goodreads and I honestly couldn’t help but panic a bit when I saw the overall rating for this book is 4.02/5. Needless to say, I think this will be a bit of an unpopular opinion review.

I read this book a few months ago now and I’ve been waiting and waiting to review it because I kept having conflicting thoughts on what I wanted to say. To sum it up: I no longer have much to say, and what I do have to talk about will be small in amount and not necessarily positive.

If it is possible to hate Mare Barrow more than in Glass Sword then I hadn’t anticipated it at that time. Her character is bitter in a self-loathing way which made me despise her more and more as every chapter began. Cal is also in the same self-loathing-so-it-affects-change-from-happening type of person in ALL of these books that I constantly struggle when I’m reading reviews that talk about how much they love him. The only reason I have clung on and went through with this book was due to Maven. I don’t even like “the bad” characters often because I’m a total softy at heart and just want everything to work out perfectly in the end. Yet, this story (for me) is so dull that Maven is the only thing that keeps me interested because I almost WANT him to destroy everything and everyone just for something to actually occur.

Mare is locked away for what feels like more than half of this book and it’s SO DULL. Let me repeat: IT’S SO FLIPPING DULL. There’s no great thoughts that come to her in this room (just self loathing and pity for herself), nothing major happens, and months, yes months, go by in this story before she finally escapes from this room that holds no story line. By the time the action began (as appears normal in Aveyard’s books) in the last quarter of the book I was so bored I didn’t even care what that action was in any shape, way, or form. I remember sitting in my car waiting to turn, listening to what I assume was the highlight of the action in the book, and thinking “Wow. I truly do not care about this at all.”

Lastly, the ending with Cal and Mare was so anti-climatic and pointless I wished for a brief moment I had a physical copy of the book so I could actually throw it across the room upon completion just to express to the universe how mad I was at everything.

I’d give more time to this review but honestly, I’m ready to put these characters and story behind me and I have no desire to even finish the last book at this point. I know I’m more of a minority in this series, but at the end of the day (and months of thinking about it) I cannot find any other reasons to enjoy it as so many others have.

 

  • Have you read this series or book? Did you like them?
  • If so, why?????
  • If not, why?????
  • I don’t care to read War Storm, so if you have, tell me how it ends!

Hi Book Lovers!

I don’t do tags too often but find that I’m always reading and watching people do them. I want to be awesome, too. I’m a smidge behind on this tag but like everything else I’m always behind on here…oh well!

Let’s jump into the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Best Book You’ve Read in 2018 So Far

HP6
While I’ve enjoyed most of the books I’ve read this year I think I’m going to pick my favorite being:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.

This is my favorite H.P. book and I enjoy it more every time I read it. Sorry to be cliche.

 

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2018

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This was an easy pick.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

This book was full of characters I enjoy, a story I love reading, and cliff hangers galore.

 

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

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There are quite a few on this list, but the one I want to read the most is

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

It is a beautiful book and it looks like I’d enjoy it (hopefully!).

 

Most Anticipated New Release for the Second Half of the Year

A Spark of Light
I’ve never been shy about expressing my love for Jodi Picoult so when I heard months ago she had a book coming out this fall I was super excited.

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

 

Biggest Disappointment

King's Cage
I thought Glass Sword was rough, but then this guy came along and man, I was proven very wrong.

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

The more time passes since I read this the more I find myself disliking it to the point I want to change my rating and review. Ugh.

 

Biggest Surprise

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Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

I didn’t think I would like this as much as I did, truly. I thought it would be very “meh” for me, but months later I’m still thinking about it and I’m super glad I read it!

 

Favorite New Author (or New to Me Author)

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I’m going with Tahereh Mafi. While I haven’t read any of her “older audience” books thus far, I enjoyed her middle-grade book, Furthermore.

 

Newest Ficitional Crush

I’m not really into this category as I don’t think anyone in a book has truly appealed to me that much. I respect those who have fictional crushes – I am just not one of them as of now in my reading life.

 

Newest Favorite Character

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Kady from Illuminae!

I loved her sassiness, spunk, and will to live. I genuinely adored reading her story and wished it wouldn’t end.

 

Book That Made You Cry

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Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult.

Like a baby.

I cried like a baby.

 

Book That Made You Happy

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Renegades by Marissa Meyer.

I really liked this book and found myself pleasantly happy after I finished it (perhaps because of its enormous size?)

 

Favorite Book to Film Adaption

I don’t have an answer to this – I haven’t read 2018 releases that have been adapted to movies that I’ve seen.

 

Favorite Post You’ve Done So Far This Year

Probably the Book Lover’s Tag post. I enjoy Book Haul posts, too, but I think I had a lot of fun with that one. I haven’t branched out enough on my blog yet to have fun, creative things. Hopefully that will evolve as I do more with this blog through time!

 

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year

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This edition of A Tale of Two Cities.

The sides and back are also gorgeous and I pick it up and look at it often.

 

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year

Here are just a few of the MANY I want to finish by the end of the year!

Thanks for sticking this out with me. Let me know if you did this post so I can check it out!

♥♥