Thursday, February 14, 2019

Top 5: Love Songs

Hello, all!

As it's the day of lovey-dovey-ness, I thought what better than a Top 5 dedicated to the songs that inspire those heartfelt feelings.

1. If I Should Fall Behind- Bruce Springsteen: The Boss is known for being a gruff mans man, but boy, does he know how to sing a pretty song. This is all about staying beside one another and helping each other through the hard times, and it's just lovely.

Favorite lyric: "If as we're walking a hand should slip free / I'll wait for you / And should I fall behind / Wait for me"

2. "These Arms of Mine"- Otis Redding: This song makes me want to get married just so I can use it as my wedding song. I've loved it since the first time I heard it in Dirty Dancing, and if it's good enough for Baby and Johnny, it's good enough for me.

Favorite lyric: "These arms of mine, they are yearning / Yearning from wanting you / And if you would let them hold you / Oh, how grateful I will be"

3. "Wouldn't It be Nice"- The Beach Boys: This is such a happy, fun love song and it never ceases to put a smile on my face whenever I hear it.

Favorite lyric: "Happy times together we've been spending / I wish that every kiss was never ending / Oh, wouldn't it be nice?"

4. "Your Song"- Elton John: Could I really have a Top 5 without this? It's such an iconic love song and no matter how many times you hear it, it still makes you all warm inside.

Favorite lyric: "I hope you don't mind that I put down in words / How wonderful life is, now you're in the world"

5. "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"- The Smiths: Maybe a slightly unconventional pick, but Morrissey just knows how to yearn. It's one of my favorite songs by The Smiths and I just love it so much.

Favorite lyric: "To die by your side / Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine"

Do you have any favorites? Lemme know!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

99 Percent Mine Review

Hello, all!

I recently found out that there's a book genre called "chick-lit", and it's pretty much rom-com's in book form. And if you weren't aware by now, I love a good rom-com. One of my favorite reads last year was The Hating Game  by Sally Thorne (which I just found out got a movie deal!), and when I saw she was coming out with a new novel at the end of January, I rushed to be the first in line at my library.

Pub Date: 1-29-19
Adult - Contemporary
99 Percent Mine follows Darcy Barrett, who has traveled the world and met a lot of men, but none who compare to her childhood friend (and crush) Tom Valeska. The only mark against perfect Tom is that Darcy's twin brother, Jamie, claimed him as his best friend first. Despite continuous efforts on Darcy's part, Tom has stayed off limits and loyal to Jamie. After finding the man of her dreams when she was 8, and a photography career that peaked when she was 20, Darcy has learned to settle for just good enough.

When the twins inherit a ram-shackled cottage from their grandmother, they're tasked with bringing it back to its former glory in order to sell the property. Darcy plans on jumping on a plane as soon as the renovations start, but that all changes once she sees a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire, Tom has come in all his tight t-shirt glory and he's single for the first time in almost ten years.

Suddenly, Darcy has a change of heart and decides to stick around and help with the job under the guise of not wanting her brother to ruin the inherit magic the cottage has. Getting close to a sweaty Tom isn't so bad either, or the fact that he's reignited her love of photography. As sparks start to fly, Darcy realizes sharing part of Tom just isn't good enough, she wants all of him.

I read this entire book in one day because I just couldn't put it down. Thorne's writing is quick, witty, and adorable. It literally reads like a popular rom-com movie. I could just see it all playing out in my head as I was reading. Her characters are relatable, and actually feel and act like real people. Like most in this genre, it does lean a bit towards the cheesy and slightly predictable side, but I don't really mind much. If you're looking for a fun fast read, I definitely recommend!

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Both of these books I received through Netgalley and the publishers, so a big thank you to them! I also decided to start including my ratings of the books I review going forward to give you all a more well-rounded view of what I thought, in case you don't follow my Goodreads.

Pub Date: 2-19-19 by
Simon & Schuster
Adult - Fiction - Mystery
Who Killed the Fonz?- James Boice: This was described as being if Happy Days were an '80s crime noir, and that immediately drew me in. The story follows Richie, now Richard, Cunningham who is a 40-something down-on-his-luck Hollywood screenwriter. After a bad meeting with his agent, he gets even worst news: his best friend from back home, the Fonz, has died in a motorcycle accident. When Richard goes back to Milwaukee for the funeral, he uncovers something fishy about the way Fonzie died-- it was no accident, it was murder. I was a fan of Happy Days growing up, and so I really enjoyed all the nods to the show, and how the chapters were laid out like the days of the week like in the theme song. It was also a very quick read, but I felt like it took almost half the book to really get into the mystery behind Fonzie's death, and it turned out to be a bit predictable. Even though I wished it was a bit grittier, I did enjoy it for the nostalgia factor.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 2-12-19 by
Berkley Publishing Group
Young Adult - Fantasy - Retellings
The Beast's Heart- Leife Shallcross: Once I saw that this was essentially a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but from the Beast's perspective, I knew I wanted to read it. However, I was incredibly disappointed. The Beast has been alone for centuries until one day a weary traveler stumbles upon his lands. He offers the stranger food and hospitality from the shadows, and once the man falls asleep, the Beast looks into his dreams and see a beautiful girl he wants for his own. The following day, as the man is leaving, the Beast manipulates him into plucking a rose from his garden. In exchange for this flower, the man must bring his daughter, Isabeau, to stay in his castle with him. The Beast knows the man will not grant his wish, but Isabeau goes despite her father's protestations. From there, the story just really goes downhill for me. I felt there was just no connection between the two, and what I did feel was obsessive and uncomfortable. I also didn't like Beast's actions throughout, such as spying on her family with his magic mirror and constantly proposing marriage despite Isabeau saying no every time. Aside from those issues, I also felt the writing itself was heavy and boring, and felt myself losing interest the longer the story went on. This whole thing was really just not my cup of tea.

Rating: 2/5

Friday, February 1, 2019

Collectibles Haul

Hello, all!

I'm back again with another little haul of sorts. You all know by now how much I love a collectible, and so here are just a few I've picked up/received lately.

Beetlejuice is one of my favorite movies, and I picked up a Pop of the ghost with the most a few months ago, so obviously I needed to have Lydia as well. The second I heard Funko was making her in her wedding dress, I knew I needed it to be mine.

I'm a big fan of Weird Al (I actually have a Weird Al tattoo), so when I saw this at Barnes and Noble I immediately added it to my pile. I mean, just look at that tiny accordion and checkered Vans!

Funko had posted a pre-order for their Lost Boys Pops early last year, and I didn't even hesitate before adding this one of David into my cart. They were supposed to be released over the summer, but then they kept getting pushed back and back and back. Then finally this little baby showed up months later, and it was totally worth the wait. Now, whenever I look at it I can't stop going, "Maggots, Michael. You're eating maggots."

For Christmas, my Mom got me this cute little Q-Fig of Hermione casting a spell and I love it. I'd never seen a Q-Fig before, but I actually really like them.

This is probably my favorite thing I picked up: a chocolate frog replica. I saw various YouTubers who were talking about this, and then I stumbled upon it at Barnes and Noble and got super excited. The replica itself is made of a silicone type material, so it kinda wiggles when you move it, and it comes with the wizard trading card too. There's so much detail that went into this and I love it.

So, there's my latest additions to my ever growing piles of stuff. Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

LitJoy Crate January Review

Hello, all!

The first theme for this year was Pirate Thief, so let's jump straight into it.

First up was this print of Captain Rolfe from the Throne of Glass series designed by Salome Tortladze. This is the first time I've ever received something by her in a subscription box before, but I dig her style. It's exactly how I pictured Rolfe while reading the series.

Can you have a pirate theme without something drinking related? This little shot glass was a LitJoy exclusive, and it's a cute little addition for your bookshelf.

Next up was another exclusive item, a Pirates of the Caribbean inspired charm bracelet. I'm not a huge fan of the PotC movies, I think I only saw the first two and only liked the first, but I do like these types of bracelets.

These coasters featuring four famous pirates were designed by EvieBookish. They're really nice quality and I'm always a fan of her designs.

What goes hand in hand with pirates? A sea monster, of course! This kraken banner is really fun on its own or can be used as a pin banner. Mine did come untied, but that's no big deal. Then we had two more of the LitJoy Collectors Trading Cards of Manon and Lysandra from the Throne of Glass series. Both of these are some of my favorite characters in that series, especially Manon, so I'm super excited about these.

This month LitJoy included two books. The first was Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne. This follows the story of Stella, who is living on a spaceship which has been orbiting around an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. With no prospects, Stella will do anything to leave, and jumps at the chance to be a governess on the private ship, the Rochester. The captain, Hugo Fairfax, is notoriously moody and a bit of a drunk, but he's kind to Stella. While on the ship, Stella discovers that someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she digs the more she uncovers a conspiracy aboard the Rochester. This is supposed to be a Jane Eyre retelling in space, so I'm interested to see how it plays out.

The main book of the month was Ship of Smoke and Steel by Django Wexler. In the lower wards of Kahnzoka, the great port city of the Blessed Empire, 18 year old Isoka is a ward boss who enforces the will of her criminal masters by way of the power of Melos, the Well of Combat. When her unique ability is discovered by the government, she's arrested and taken before the Empire and assigned a difficult mission: steal Soliton, a legendary ghost ship that no one has ever returned from, and if she fails, her sister's life is forfeit. Isoka must become part of Solition's brutal crew and confront an even darker magic than what she possesses.

This month they put the book in its own little cloth bag, which I thought was a nice touch. To be honest, although I did like some of the stuff they sent, this box sorta left me a little underwhelmed. Hopefully next month will be a bit more exciting!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

OwlCrate January Review

Hello, all!

OwlCrate kicked off the year with a Magical Artifacts themed box, and it was such a fun way to start. All of the items were great, so let's get right into it.

First up was this lovely antler bracelet inspired by Shadow and Bone made exclusively by OwlCrate. I have really thin wrists, so sometimes it's hard for me to wear bracelets, but this has an opening that you can sort of squeeze to make tighter. I also like how delicate the design is, so it can really go with anything.

Are there any artifacts more magical than the elder wand, resurrection stone and the cloak of invisibility? These Deathly Hollow socks designed by OwlCrate and Michelle Gray are so comfy (I'm literally wearing them right now), and who doesn't love a nice pair of socks?

It was like OwlCrate knew that my roommate just said she wanted a letter opener. This wooden one designed by Juniper & Ivy Designs is inspired by Lord of the Rings, and now she can channel her inner hobbit while going through the mail.

I just recently started bullet journaling, so this A Darker Shade of Magic pouch by Stella Bookish Art is perfect for all my pens/highlighters. I always love her designs and this is no exception. It's also a good reminder that I need to start this series ASAP.

Then we had this tapestry inspired by The Golden Compass designed by Holly Dunn Design. I do think the design is nice, but just a personal preference, I'm not a huge fan of wall tapestries.

The book for this month was one I've been dying to read: The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. This story takes place in 1889 Paris, and it follows Séverin as he assembles a team of talented misfits to track down a long lost artifact in order to redeem his inheritance. The group will have to combine their various skills, knowledge and wit in order to find the item and make it out alive.

The OwlCrate team also included an exclusive luggage tag and enamel pin that goes along with the story which was really cool.

Here's another look at the pin. OwlCrate decided to include enamel pins in all their boxes now, and I'm so here for it. Each pin will be tailored to match whatever the book is, and this first one was designed by Alchemy and Ink and it's so pretty. I can't wait to see what more they have in store.

This box was such a fun way to start off the year, and next months theme is Whimsical Beasts, which I already have high hopes for!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Vintage Video Game Collection

Hello, all!

Ok, first off-- I have a hard time wrapping my head around how these games I'm gonna get into are considered "vintage", but alas, I have yet to come to terms with the fact that as I get older, so do the things I grew up with. But anyhoo.

My 30th birthday was in November and my brother got me the best gift: a Retron 3 game system. I'd been coveting his ever since he got one, so I'm super pumped to now have my own. This system plays NES, SNES and SEGA games (which are pretty much the only systems I'm slightly good at) and I love it. I also really like how the controllers are wireless, although it does take away a little bit of the nostalgia factor of being up close and personal with the TV.

Along with the system, he gave me a few games and then he and my mom both got me some more for Christmas, so I thought it might be fun to show you all!

Mortal Kombat: This is one of my favorite video games ever. This is also a game where I need to apologize in advance for anything I might say while playing cause I get way too into it.

Super Star Wars: Before my Wii decided to go to the Dark Side, I had the Empire Strikes Back game downloaded and would play it all the time, so now I can start from the beginning of the saga.

Super Return of the Jedi: I don't think I've ever played this one before, so I'm excited to see little Ewoks takin' out Stormtroopers with some sticks and rocks.

DuckTales: There's only one thing to say about this one: DUCKTALES, WOOO HOOOO.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: This was another I had downloaded onto my Wii that I loved playing, so I'm glad I get to jump back into the turtle party.

X-Men: Unfortunately, for some reason, this one won't play on my system, but I'm gonna try and use my mutant powers to make it work. If not, I know it works on my brothers since he tried it, so if anything we'll just have to have a sibling game day like when we were kids.

Sonic the Hedgehog: In the words of my brother,  "How can you have Sega without Sonic?"

There's a few games I'm now on the hunt for, namely Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Galaga, so I'm going to have to do some major digging at the vintage game store by me. Or some intense Amazon shopping. Lemme know if you had any games you loved when you were younger!