Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Beetlejuice Review

Hello, all!

Beetlejuice has always been one of my favorite movies, so when it was announced that there was going to be a Broadway adaptation, I knew I needed to see it. I finally saw it over the weekend, and despite it being way different than its original source material, I really enjoyed it.

Basically, the show keeps some of the core details from the movie, but completely shakes up others. For example, rather than dying in a car accident, Barbara and Adam die from falling through the floor in their home. Delia isn't yet married to Charles Deetz, she's only a "life coach" for his weirdly obsessed with death daughter, Lydia. Also, Beetlejuice serves as the show's narrator so he's in the mix right from the get go.

Even though there were a lot of changes from screen to stage, the core of the story was still there. Beetlejuice is still a "bio-exorcist" trying to get the Deetz's out of the Maitland's house using his grossly wacky ways. Barbara and Adam are still two adorable nerds. Lydia is still an emo Hot Topic goth who's strange and unusual. There's even a huge sandworm that pops up throughout.

The musical numbers were funny (there's still the classic "Day-O" scene) and Beetlejuice was the raunchy ghost with the most we all know and love. The scenery kept the Tim Burton aesthetic that made the original film so loveably weird, and the score really paid tribute to the Danny Elfman classic.

Despite the few liberties the play took, I enjoyed it and I thought it was funny. The actor who played Beetlejuice was hilarious not only with his delivery, but even in his movements. He almost reminded me of Joey Fatone mixed with Fat Mike from NOFX. The young actress who played Lydia was ridiculously talented, and the two together really made the show shine.

If you're a fan of the movie, this is a show worth checking out. You can find all the info here.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cuba, Day 3

Hello, all!

May 9th was our last full day in Havana since our flight home was super early the next morning, but we still managed to cram a lot of stuff in.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Cuba, Day 2

Hello, all!

Our second day in Havana was my absolute favorite. It ended up being way more emotional than we were expecting, and truly made the trip worth every second.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Cuba, Day 1

Hello, all!

My Grams is Cuban, and I grew up listening to all her stories and seeing pictures from her time there, dreaming about one day going myself. My cousin (his Grandma is mine's sister, but we still call each other cousin cause it's easier) and I have always been fascinated by our family history. We're obsessed with all the different ancestry and DNA sites, and delving into our past, so actually seeing Cuba has always been a goal of ours. We recently got to spend a few days there last week and it was so magical.

I'm going to break our trip up into different parts, so check back for more of our adventures!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Unhoneymooners Review

Hello, all!

I've been reading a lot more "chick-lit" books lately, and I'm totally alright with it. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren quickly became one of my favorite reads this year, so a massive thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 5-14-19 by
Gallery Books
Adult - Fiction - Contemporary 
Olive and her twin sister Ami could not be more different. Whereas Olive has had a lifelong streak of bad luck, Ami has won every contest she's ever entered from coloring competitions to a free wedding buffet and honeymoon for her upcoming nuptials. Olive loves her twin more than anything, but she's dreading spending the entire day with her enemy, Ethan, who just so happens to be the groom's brother and best man.

The wedding goes off without a hitch, that is until the reception when every person, except for Olive and Ethan, get horribly sick off the tainted free seafood buffet. With a free all-included Hawaiian honeymoon up for grabs, Olive and Ethan put their hatred of each other aside and agree to go together posing as the happily married couple. While the two are determined to spend the entire vacation avoiding one another, Olive's little white lie after a run in with her future boss threatens to change everything. The pair have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, but what happens when they stop pretending?

This was the first book I've read by Christina Lauren and I loved it. It was so charming and adorable, and I found myself smiling throughout the whole thing. Doesn't hurt that I do love me a hate-to-love trope, and this one was just too good to put down. I also really loved the writing style of this book. It was chock full of one liners and so many pop culture references (there was even a Clue reference!) and I was so here for it. My favorite part was all the banter between Olive and Ethan, especially their running bit of addressing one another by the wrong names. The two of them together was so fun to read and you could really feel the chemistry building between them.

I also liked the character development in this. Olive starts out a bit downtrodden, quick to blame everything on bad luck and a bit pessimistic, but by the end she really blossoms into her own. I also loved how she wasn't afraid to stick to her convictions when a certain drama goes down even though every person doubted her.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was full of cute moments, funny interactions, and a relatable main character. Does it have a few predictable moments? Yes, but that's the case for most in this genre, but I don't necessarily mind so much. I'll definitely be checking out more from Christina Lauren because I just couldn't put this one down.

Rating: 5/5

Monday, May 6, 2019

Middlegame Review

Hello, all!

I've been a big fan of Seanan McGuire since I devoured her Wayward Children series, so huge thank you to the publisher, Tor.com, for sending me a copy of her newest novel, Middlegame.

Pub Date: 5-7-19
Adult - Fantasy
Roger and Dodger are not your average twins. The pair were raised on separate coasts after being adopted into different families, neither actually knowing the other exists. Until one day, when Dodger speaks to Roger telepathically. The twins realize that not only can they speak to one another psychically, but they can also see through the others eyes. That isn't the only power the two seem to have either. Roger has always had a way with words, he's able to able to effortlessly learn languages and persuade people with the right turn of phrases, whereas Dodger has never met a math problem she hasn't been able to solve and can even go back to a fixed point in time and cause a re-do to their entire timeline. He understands the world through the power of word, and she through numbers. The two aren't human, but they're not necessarily gods either. Not yet, at least.

The two come to learn that they were created by a powerful alchemist named Reed who plans to use the twins as the physical embodiment of the Doctrine of Ethos, aka the highest power in the universe. Once the twins mature, they'll be able to bend all time and reality to their will, and Reed plans on ascending with them and claiming their authority as his own. The only problem is, once Roger and Dodger come to understand their true purpose, they turn the tables and work together with another rogue creation to take out Reed and dismantle his whole operation before the entire world implodes.

I really enjoyed delving into the relationship between Roger and Dodger. They're so linked in ways that you don't necessarily realize at first. If one dies, so does the other. If they use their powers together, they could literally destroy the world. The two of them are so unique, and so beyond flawed, but the love they have for one another transcends all the different timelines/lives they've witnessed.

From reading other work by McGuire, I knew I was in for a bit of a darker story, but holy cow, I was not prepared for just how much. The whole premise of Middlegame is incredibly complex and a bit twisted, it definitely makes you question pretty much everything you stand for. The whole issue of morality and science/alchemy is really fascinating to explore. Honestly, I'm not even sure I fully comprehended what I read, but it was compelling from the very first page. I couldn't help but get a bit of a Stranger Things/Umbrella Academy vibe while reading this as well, which I dug. If you're interested in a darker story that makes you think, check this one out.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Top 5- Star Wars Quotes

Hello, all and May the Fourth be With You!

Before getting into this post, I just want to touch upon the loss of Peter Mayhew earlier this week. I was lucky enough to meet him at a Wizard World convention once. It was my first ever con and I was so nervous, but he was incredibly kind and nice to everyone in line. The Force will be with you always, Chewie. 💓

Star Wars has been a huge part of my life ever since I first saw Return of the Jedi when I was 5. It has been my constant companion throughout the years, and one of my biggest sources of wisdom. That being said, this Top 5 is dedicated to some of my favorite quotes throughout the series.

1. "I've got a bad feeling about this" - Multiple characters: This is one of those phrases, like "May the Force be with you", that always wiggles its way into every movie, and I love it. It's so universal, and I can't help but say it in my best grumpy Harrison Ford voice whenever anything slightly goes wrong in my life.

2. "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter" / "Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda: I'm cheating a little on this one by having two, but they come from the same scene so I'm counting it as one! These are the two quotes that've really stuck with me throughout the years, and probably are my very favorites of the bunch.

3. "Why you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder!"- Leia: Now, there are so many great sassy Leia quotes, but this one popped into my head first. It just makes me laugh and really is the perfect insult. Leia was the full package for me: smart, strong, independent and sassy as heck. Little Heather wanted nothing more than to grow up to be just like her, and honestly, still wish I could be her when I grow up.

4. "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause"- Padme: Like many, I don't particularly love the prequels. They definitely have their fair share of flaws, but my thing is, they're still Star Wars movies so I'm still gonna like them despite all that. What I did enjoy about them, though, was Padme and whenever I think about the prequels, I always immediately go to this quote.

5. "Chewie, we're home." - Han Solo: Getting new Star Wars movies is always a thrill, and I vividly remember stopping everything at work to watch the trailer for The Force Awakens and getting so choked up at seeing Han and Chewie back on the Millennium Falcon. It was an emotional moment and just made me even more pumped for the new trilogy.

Let me know some of your favorites!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The East End Blog Tour

Hello, all!

I'm so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Jason Allen's debut novel, The East End. Being a Long Islander, I'm always interested in stories that take place here, and this was written by a fellow Long Islander as well, so I was even more intrigued.

The East End follows Corey, a young kid from the Hamptons who gets his kicks by breaking into the neighboring mansions and playing pranks on their owners. One night, he decides to break into his employers house, but his boss, Leo Sheffield, turns up with a companion in tow. Unable to leave in fear of getting caught, Corey witnesses a horrible fatal accident by the pool and the lengths that Leo goes to in order to cover it up before the rest of his family and friends arrive. What Leo doesn't know is that Corey wasn't the only one who saw what happened, and he'll do whatever it takes for his secrets to stay hidden. I pretty much devoured this in about a day and a half because I just couldn't put it down, so I'm very happy to be able to share with you all an excerpt from the book.


"He stood still for a moment, looking between the bars of the tall iron gates crowned with spikes. Beginning tomorrow morning, and then all throughout Memorial Day weekend— just as he had the past few summers—he’d spend long days working there. Gina would be so pissed if she could see him now. She’d at least threaten to disown him if she ever found out he’d broken in, but that would be a hollow threat anyway, and he’d already convinced himself that she’d never know. The Sheffields should have paid her more to begin with, even if she didn’t have a deadbeat husband like Ray pissing her meager savings away on his court fees and gambling debts. But the memory that sealed Corey’s decision tonight had been replaying in his mind for almost a year—the dinner party last summer, when Sheila Sheffield yelled at his mom right in front of him and about ten guests, berating her for accidentally dropping a crystal chalice that she said cost more than Gina’s yearly salary. While Leo and the grown Sheffield kids looked on dumbly and didn’t bother to make a peep, Corey had followed Gina into the kitchen and stood a few feet away from her, unable to think of what to say to console her while she cried. Ever since then, he’d wanted to get back at them all.
Fuck these people, he thought.
He would rob them, and smash some windows on his way out so they wouldn’t suspect anyone who worked there. All he had to do was make sure not to leave any evidence behind, definitely no fingerprints, and he’d take the extra precaution of scaling the gates rather than punching in the code.

He wriggled his fingers into his gloves. Crickets chirped away in the shadows, his only witnesses as he looked over each shoulder and back through the bars. He let out a long breath. Then he gripped the wrought iron and started to climb."

Hope you all enjoyed this little sneak peak! You can find all the info on the book and author below. Definitely check it out if you're looking for a fast paced gripping read. It would also make a perfect beach read!

Pub Date: 5-7-19 by
Park Row
Adult - Fiction - Thriller 

Buy Links:

Social Links:
Twitter: @EathanJason

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

LitJoy Crate April Review

Hello, all!

This months theme was Born Rebel. Here we go!

I've said before that I love when subscription boxes give you something useful, and these make up brushes are so cool. They also give me such Taylor Swift-Reputation vibes, and I'm here for it.

Then there was this Shadowhunters inspired sticker. I'm actually not a fan of The Mortal Instruments series, I tried once to read it, but I just didn't get the hype.

I'm starting to get such a collection of magnetic bookmarks thanks to these boxes, but I'm not complaining. These Aladdin ones are super cute, and so on brand with the new movie coming out soon. Also, can we please talk about the fact that Rajah has a piece of underwear in his mouth from when he bit that prince's butt? So adorable.

The bracelet this month, inspired by the Percy Jackson series, was by far my favorite so far. I grew up obsessed with Greek mythology, so this is right up my alley.

Then we had this felt book sleeve by Nerdy Post. I get a ton of use out of my Book Beau sleeve that I received in another box, but sometimes I can't always fit a larger hardcover in it, but this looks like it would be a great size for those.

The book for this month was The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala. Esha is known as the legendary Viper, a highly skilled assassin for a band of rebels. She has spent her entire life devoted to avenging what she's lost, and has now been tasked with her most dangerous mission: to take down the ruthless General Hotha. On this mission, Esha crosses paths with Kunal, nephew of the General and a soldier since birth, and the two are thrown into an unimaginable chain of events.

I don't know much about this one, but I really dig the cover. It's also a big'un, so that excites me cause I love a detailed high fantasy. Lemme know what you all thought of this box!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

OwlCrate April Review

Hello, all!

This months theme was The Dark Side, and it was full of fun stuff, so let's get to it.

First up was this pop socket designed by Hey Atlas Creative inspired by the Vicious series. I'm actually a big fan of pop sockets, so I'll definitely use this at some point.

These Six of Crows socks by Out of Print were probably my favorite thing in this months box. I love socks and I love Six of Crows, what more could I want?

You all know how much I love a pretty notebook, so I'm pumped to add this one by Stella Bookish Art to my ever growing collection. I also love how the quote is inspired by Manon, the ruthless witch from the Throne of Glass series, who just so happens to be one of my favorite characters.

The next item was this lovely scarf by Bookmark'd Tattoos inspired by the Darkling from the Grisha series. I've never heard of this shop before, but I'm interested now to see what else they offer.

The last item was this OwlCrate exclusive pin banner designed by Michelle Gray. I'm an avid enamel pin collector, and with OwlCrate including pins each month now, this is definitely going to get a lot of use. Plus, now I can display all my pins instead of putting them all in a jar.

The book this month was Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. This story follows Nadya, a young girl who has the ability to speak to the gods and take hold of their magic. Along with a prince and a blood mage, Nadya is thrown into a centuries-long war. The unlikely trio form an alliance and devise a dangerous plan to assassinate the king in order to finally put a stop to the fighting. This is a brutal story about walking down dark bloody paths with mysterious saints, and forbidden romances which toe the line between light and dark.

I've been hearing a lot about this book recently. I've heard it compared a bit to Joan of Arc, so I'm really interested in seeing how this plays out. I'm also really diggin' the silk map they included along with this months pin. I'm such a sucker for a book that comes with a map. Lemme know what you thought of this months box!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Book Haul

Hello, all!

Since today is World Book Day, I thought it'd be nice to do a little book haul. I've been really good lately with not buying many books, or only really buying books when there's a sale, so here are a few I've picked up within the last month or so. As always, let me know if you have any recommendations!

1. Book Love - Debbie Tung
2. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World - Debbie Tung
3. Jim Henson's Labyrinth - A.C.H. Smith
4. The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden
5. The Princess Saves Herself in This One - Amanda Lovelace
6. The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One - Amanda Lovelace
7. Fruits Basket, Vol 1
8-9. Cardcaptor Sakura, Books 1 and 2

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

LI Comic Book Expo

Hello, all!

I've been a little bummed that I'm going to be missing NY Comic Con this year (I'm going away that weekend), so I was super excited when I heard about the LI Comic Book Expo which happened this past weekend.

The convention itself was held at the Old Bethpage Restoration Center, which is a historic site on Long Island that always has various events going on. I'd been there a few times for different things, but never a comic convention. The building itself isn't the largest, so it does tend to get cramped and hot very quickly, but I went first thing in the morning so it wasn't too bad yet.

There was a really nice mix of comic book, collectibles and toy vendors, as well as artists, so the Expo really had something for everyone. They were also having cosplay competitions and table top gaming in a smaller building. I heard there were also panels going on, but I never saw anything posted about them, so I wasn't aware of that aspect. I wish they had posted more about that or made it more prominent because I would've been interested to see what they had to offer.

Being a smaller expo, and again due to the size of the venue, you can see everything in about an hour, so we were in and out pretty fast. I didn't pick up that much stuff, but there was definitely a lot I was eyeing. There were tons of fun prints, pins and $1 comic bins to rummage through everywhere you looked.

It was such a fun way to spend a Sunday morning, and something I'd be interested in going to again if they have it next year. As much as I love NY Comic Con, it's so packed and huge that I get a bit overwhelmed and anxious, but this was just so relaxed and calm. Do you all prefer larger or smaller conventions? Lemme know of any fun ones in your area!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Top Game of Thrones Moments

Hello, all!

I got into Game of Thrones thanks to an old co-worker. He lent me the first season and I binged the entire thing within a weekend, and demanded the next that following Monday morning. I was hooked from then on. Seeing as how Sunday marks the premiere of the last season, I thought instead of doing my usual Top 5, I would do a Top 7 and dedicate the list to my favorite moments from each past season.

Now, there are so so many amazing moments that I had the hardest time narrowing down only one to showcase from each season. Not gonna lie, I got a bit anxious making this list because there were just too many to choose from. With that in mind, I decided I was just going to go with the first moment that popped into my head when I thought back. Obviously, some spoilers here if you haven't watched the show.

Season 1: Ned's Death- Oh, Sean Bean, you were taken too soon. There are so many deaths in Game of Thrones, and most way more gruesome than this, but I felt like Ned's death was so shocking because it made you see that literally no one is safe in this world. You can be as just and honorable as you want, but you're still gonna get the ax for it. This moment is one of the catalysts for all the conflict that comes next. Also, watching Sansa and Arya's reactions just breaks my heart.

Season 2: Jon and Ygritte- I was gonna go with the Battle of Blackwater for this season because that wildfire explosion was sick, but c'mon, Jon and Ygritte will always be top for me. Their whole relationship was everything and I loved every interaction between the two. It also gave us the phrase that became more and more true throughout the series, "You know nothing, Jon Snow."

Season 3: Jaime Opens up to Brienne- Yeah, Dany torching the slave masters was great, but we get to see the dragons breathe fire a lot. What we don't get to see much of is Jaime without his emotional armor, and that's exactly what he does here. He opens up to Brienne and tells her his side of what happened when he broke his oath and killed the Mad King. I felt like this was such a turning point not only in his character development, but for the blossoming relationship between the two as well.

Season 4: The Purple Wedding- We all know weddings aren't really joyous occasions in Westeros (I will never be over the Red Wedding).  And yes, of course, murder is wrong and you shouldn't be happy when someone dies, but man, did I celebrate once Joffrey finally bit it. I've read all the books, so I sort of knew what was coming, but actually seeing it unfold after seasons of Joffrey's abuse and cruelty was just so satisfying.

Season 5: Cersei's Walk of Shame- Throughout the whole series, Cersei always felt like she was untouchable, and this was the rudest wake up call. While having to walk naked throughout the city getting pelted with nasty remarks and even nastier objects may have humbled her a bit, you can tell it also fueled her fire to seek revenge on all the people who've wronged her.

Season 6: Battle of the Bastards- There are so many epic battles in this show it's hard to pick any favorites, but this one is definitely up there. The show really hyped this up as the battle to end all battles and I really felt like it delivered. It's fierce and unrelenting, and I always get claustrophobic watching Jon almost get trampled. You go through so many emotions during this battle, everything from utter horror at the thought of Jon and company losing to "THANK THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW" when you see the Knights of the Vale coming to help. It also leads to Sansa going all boss ass bitch and killing Ramsay which was another death that everyone was waiting for.

Season 7: Olenna's Confession- This was probably the hardest season for me to just pick one moment from because there were just so many good ones, but you can't beat the sharp tongue of the Queen of Thorns. I've loved Olenna from the moment she came into the show because she's never been afraid to speak exactly what was on her mind. The fact that Jaime was trying to give her a quick, almost merciful, death with the poisoned wine, and she just downed it before dropping the bomb of killing Joffrey solidified her place as the most badass in all of Westeros.

Ahh, that was way harder than I thought. I can't wait to see what this final season brings. I just know that my heart is going to break no matter what, but I'm also super excited. Let me know some of your favorite moments or what you're looking forward to for this season!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Big thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the copies!

Pub Date: 4-16-19 by
Gallery Books
Adult - Fiction 
City of Flickering Light- Juliette Fay: When Irene Van Beck jumps off a moving train to escape the burlesque life, she sets off a chain of events that will forever change the course of her and her friends Millie Martin and Henry Weiss lives forever. The unlikely trio set out to make it big in Hollywood, but they soon learn the road to stardom isn't always as glittering as it seems. The friends only have each other to fall back on as they face prejudice, poverty, and hopelessness all in the name of chasing the Hollywood dream. I find the 20's era Hollywood to be an interesting time period, so I was instantly swept up into this story. While it does show the upside of being a movie star during that time, it also doesn't shy away from the corruption and addictive behaviors that were prevalent. I felt like it was a glamorously gritty view of old Hollywood. I loved how there were quotes from famous people from that time as chapter headers, it made the story feel more atmospheric. The one thing that really made this book for me was the friendships. Irene, Millie and Henry go through everything together, from the highest highs to the lowest lows, and they stuck by each other every step of the way. Despite some moments being a tad predictable, overall I found this enjoyable, and it really made me want to binge some old classic movies.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 4-16-19 by
Picador USA
Adult - Fantasy - Sci-Fi
The Time Collector- Gwendolyn Womack: Roan West has an incredible gift-- he's a psychometrist, meaning he can sense the history of an item just by touching it. He uses his skill to find lost heirlooms in order to return them to their rightful families. His life is turned upside down when his close friend, who has the same power, is kidnapped due to his research into "ooparts" or out-of-place-artifacts. Roan quickly learns that someone is targeting psychometrists, and he hurries to find Melicent Tilpin, a young woman who just went viral for showcasing her powers, because he believes she's the next target. The pair are then thrust into an adventure that takes them around the world in search of answers. I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked right from the jump. The whole story was just so fascinating; I'm such a sucker when it comes to historical fiction mixed with fantasy elements. I especially loved all the glimpses into the past of objects they touched. The characters were engaging and Roan and Melicent's relationship together never felt dull or forced. There were also twists that I didn't expect which I enjoyed. Womack did such a great job with this book. This is one of those rare cases where I wish this wasn't a stand-alone because I just want more.

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Daisy Jones & The Six Review

Hello, all!

I'd been dying to read Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid since the second I heard about it, and I so glad to report I am obsessed. The story follows a band from the 1970s, detailing everything from their inception to their catapult to stardom to their mysterious demise in the middle of a tour.

Pub Date: 3-5-19
Adult - Fiction 
Daisy Jones is a teenage girl coming of age in the late '60s-early '70s. She starts sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, and she's quickly mystified by the sex, drugs and rock and roll scene, but her true dream is to be the one singing on stage in front of millions. By the time she's twenty, she's finally getting the recognition she deserves, not only for her voice and looks, but her hard partying ways as well.

Also getting noticed is the hard rock band, The Six, led by the broody Billy Dunne. Right before their first major tour, Billy's wife Camila finds out she's pregnant. Combined with the pressures of stardom and fame, Billy goes wild on the road and lands in rehab. Nervous for the future of the band, The Six's producer decides it would be a good idea to collaborate with Daisy Jones, the new talk of the town. What happens when they get together is explosive and quickly becomes the stuff of rock and roll legend.

I absolutely loved this book. I just couldn't put it down and flew through it. I just wanted more and more. It gave me such Fleetwood Mac/Behind the Music vibes. The narrative style is set up as an oral history with each band member, or person who worked with the band, basically telling their own story. I wasn't sure how I'd get on with that, but it turned out to be the best way for this story to be told. It really played out like a transcript from a music documentary. You get to see a perspective from each member, and it's super interesting to see how one moment can be construed differently for each person. Billy and Daisy get a lot of focus being the front people, and you see what toll that takes on the rest of the band. You really get the sense of the tension that was building throughout the group.

Reid does an amazing job at fleshing out this band and really makes you forget that it's fictional. I spent the entire time wishing I could hear these songs, or pull up a video of a performance on YouTube. I loved how she even included the lyrics to the album at the end of the book. The contrast between the characters was also intriguing. Here you have seven people, each with their own opinions and addictions, and Reid does such a fabulous job showcasing all the ups and downs and in-fighting that comes along with the pressures of fame.

The setting was also done amazingly well. You feel transported to the '70s music scene, almost as if you could smell the smoke and whiskey wafting about. I also felt a lot of the influences at that time weaved throughout. Especially with Daisy. I got such a Pamela Des Barres turned Janis Joplin vibe from her that was so intoxicating. I also really enjoyed the twist of who turned out to be the "author" of the bands story, it really made everything come full circle. All in all, I had such high hopes for this book and it more than delivered.

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, March 28, 2019

LitJoy Crate March Review

Hello, all!

This month was dedicated to the Man of Steel. I've never been a huge fan of Superman, but I still enjoyed this box.

First up was this LitJoy exclusive bamboo bookmark with artwork by Hallie Bertling. This is actually a reversible bookmark, the back has little pairs of glasses, tractors, newspapers, and a few other Clark Kent related bits. I really like the quality of this bookmark, it's very sturdy but also has a bit of a glossy feel. It's like a regular wooden bookmark, but a bit smoother.

Another exclusive was this luggage tag. I think it's clever to make it look like Clark's Daily Planet ID badge. It's a nice touch.

I think this was my favorite thing in the box. I've seen a bunch of A Court of Candles other candles on Instagram and Etsy, but I've never tried them before, so I'm excited to light this baby. It has such a sweet scent of fruit punch. I think I've found a new candle shop to obsess over.

Usually any bag I've received in these types of boxes have been the normal tote, but this is a cross body bag, which are my favorite kinds. It's not terribly big, though, so I'm not sure how much I could really fit inside it. The artwork is by EvieBookish, and while I do like it, it's just throwing me off a little that the majority of the letters are DC Comics character and then just one Marvel character for the 'E'. I sorta feel like either go full DC, or put more Marvel characters so it's a bit more balanced.

So, no surprise given the theme, the book this month was Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt De La Peña. This is the fourth book in the DC Icons series, which are interesting takes on different DC Characters. I've yet to read them, but I've heard good things. Clark Kent has always been faster and stronger than everyone around him, but has always kept it to himself and flown under the radar. This proves to be rather difficult once he stumbles upon a crying girl. Clark soon learns of the deep secrets corrupting Smallville, so he teams up with his best friend, Lana Lang, in pursuit of the truth. His investigation will bring Clark face to face with the evils lurking in the shadows of his small town, forcing him to step into the light that will lead him down the path to becoming the Man of Steel.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Soulless Review

Hello, all!

Aside from fantasy, historical fiction is my favorite genre to read. I especially love a Victorian-era historical fiction. So, while I was perusing the stacks at Barnes & Noble, I came across Soulless by Gail Carriger and it checked all my boxes. Historical fiction? Check. Fantasy elements? Check. Pretty cover? Check check.

Pub Date: 10-1-09
Adult - Fantasy - Paranormal
Alexia Tarabotti has three strikes against her: 1. She has no soul 2. She's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead and 3. She was so rudely attacked by a vampire which is totally against all social protocol. If that wasn't bad enough, Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, which leads to the annoyingly charming Lord Maccon being sent to investigate by Queen Victoria. Oh, and he just so happens to be a werewolf.

With the recent string of vampire disappearances, and appearances of new vampires, everyone believes Alexia to be the one responsible. So, she uses her preternatural ability to negate the supernatural to get to the bottom of what's going bump in the night of London's high society.

Soulless is the first book in the Parasol Proctectorate series, and I loved it from the very first page. It's smart, witty, and so funny. It's described as being if Buffy were set in Jane Austen's time, and that's pretty much spot on. I absolutely loved Alexia and Lord Maccon's relationship, but my favorite was Alexia's friendship with Lord Akeldama, the flamboyant vampire rove. Their banter back and forth was so fun, and made you wish you could be friends with them.

The story itself was also really interesting. My only issue was that at some points I felt they were a little too descriptive of things, it was kinda like 'Yeah, we get it'. Other than that, I flew through this book and really enjoyed it. Alexia is such a great character as well. She's intelligent, strong-willed and not afraid to go against the societal norms for women at the time. The way her and Lord Maccon play off one another and push each other's buttons was delightful to read. The book also has a touch of a steampunk feel as well, which set it apart from other Victorian-set books I've read. I can't wait to dive into the rest of this series.

If you're a fan of fantasy, historical fiction, or are just looking for a fun read, definitely check this one out!

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) Review

Hello, all!

A few months back I gushed all about how much I love the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn. From the moment I read it, it quickly became one of my favorite series of all time, so needless to say, the latest installment was my most anticipated release of this year. I'm so happy to say, it did not disappoint!

A quick little recap of the series: It takes place in Victorian England and follows Veronica Speedwell, a fiercely independent lepidoptrist (someone who studies butterflies), and the adventures her and her dashingly broody natural historian companion Stoker often get wrapped up in. The two use their scientific minds to help solve mysteries with a good ol' helping of sass and sexual tension thrown in for good measure. Seriously, this is one of my favorite fictional relationships but the slow burn of it kills me.

**Potential spoilers ahead**

Pub Date: 3-12-19
Adult Fiction - Mystery
A Dangerous Collaboration starts with Veronica being whisked away to a house party on a remote island by Lord Tiberius Templeton-Vane, Stoker's arrogant older brother, after he calls in a favor of her. Much to Stoker's annoyance, Tiberius also persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancé, which leads him to jealously join in their journey to Lord Malcolm Romilly's castle. What the trio find once arriving isn't your typical party-- Lord Romilly has gathered everyone who had a connection with his missing wife, who disappeared on their wedding night three years earlier, and he means to find out what happened to her.

Once ghostly run-ins, mysterious happenings and disappearances start cropping up, Veronica and Stoker take it upon themselves to get to the bottom of whatever is truly haunting the castle walls. Their investigation takes them all over the island, from the pubs filled with superstitious locals to hidden passageways within the castle itself. As they delve deeper into the mystery, they soon discover that all is not as it seems at Romilly castle and every person there has a motive for murder.

I enjoyed how you really just jump right into the adventure this time around. As always, the mystery itself was entertaining, though it wasn't my favorite of the series so far. The banter between Veronica and Stoker still remains the highlight for me. Their mutual respect for one another is so touching, and their interactions are so witty; they know what buttons to press and never miss an opportunity to do so. That being said, I felt a little off at the start of this one because their relationship was unlike it's ever been-- they had just spent six months apart and were acting indifferent towards one another due to events from the last book. Luckily, Raybourn more than made up for it once they got to the island and really fanned than slow burn. Not only do we get cheeky flirting, we finally get a swoon-worthy declaration of love and it was ev-ery-thing.

I also liked learning more about Tiberius and his backstory. It made you feel a bit more than just annoyance towards him. Also, if it weren't for him I don't think Stoker would've admitted his feelings for Veronica, so he's alright for now in my book. So, even though this mystery didn't engage me as much as the others, overall I really enjoyed this book. It was one of those where after I finished, I went back and re-read all my favorite parts. The ending, which sets up the next mystery Veronica and Stoker will be tackling, is so exciting and I absolutely can't wait for it. Someone please give me a movie or Netflix adaptation of this series because I need it.

Rating: 4.5/5

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

OwlCrate March Review

Hello, all!

This months theme was "Murder and Mayhem", let's get to it!

First up was this Three Dark Crowns inspired sticker by Jamila Mehio. This is such a dark, twisty series about three sisters who are destined to kill each other for their crown, so it's very on brand for this box.

Next up was my favorite item in the box: a Game of Thrones woodmark by Ink and Wonder Designs. I've gotten a few of these wooden bookmarks in past boxes and I'm always so impressed by them. The quality is sturdy and the designs themselves are so nice. This is also one of my favorite quotes from the series (I would definitely be a Stark if I lived in Westeros), so I'm really happy with this.

I love a good travel mug and this one by Catarina Book Designs is no exception. It's based off Nevernight, which I've never read, but the design and quote on the mug make me want to bump it up on my TBR. The mug also came with a silicone band to protect your hands when it's too hot, but I like it without since then you can actually see the design.

I love that this drawstring bag, designed by Michelle Gray, is not only roomy and even has an inside pocket, but that the design is the same as the box the travel mug came in. It's little details like that that make me love OwlCrate.

You all know how I feel about candles. I have an entire storage space dedicated to them. I love fruity scents as well, so this one by In The Wick of Time is right up my alley. It's such a sweet scent that will be perfect for Spring.

The book for this month was Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte. This story follows Keralie, a talented thief, who steals an important package from an honest messenger leading them to unearth a dangerous conspiracy unfolding in their realm. The unlikely pair discover that someone has murdered the four queens that rule over their lands, and go on a desperate mission to uncover who the killer is. I had actually gotten a little chapter sampler of this at Comic Con back in October, so I'm really excited to now have the full finished copy. It sounds like my kind of murder mystery.

Also, the pin for this month was designed by Iron and Ink Designs and it has a fun compass design inspired by the four queens of Quadara.

Lemme know what you thought of this months box!