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