Thursday, May 30, 2019

LitJoy Crate May Review

Hello, all!

Let's jump right into this months "Darkness Calls" box.

First up was something I've never received in a box before: pot holders. I love the Hades/Greek mythology theme, since I'm a huge fan of that, and I can definitely get use out of these so it's a win-win.

Next up were these Harry Potter inspired magnets. I'm really surprised by how nice the quality is of these, they even have a bit of heft to them. You can never have too many magnets, so I put these right on my fridge.

You know how I mentioned I don't usually love the pillow covers in these boxes? This is one of them. I do like its inspiration, The Cruel Prince, but this isn't something I see myself using anytime soon.

The last item in the box was this Night Court stationery set. I'm a big fan of stationery, so I was excited about this. It almost looks like a ticket rather than a post card, but I really do like the design on these.

The book this month was Nocturna by Maya Motayne. Fin is a faceshifter who gets caught by a powerful mob boss who forces her to use her talent to steal a legendary treasure from the Castallan castle or be stripped of her magic forever. After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfie is now first in line to inherit the Castallan throne. Feeling like he will never live up to his brother's legacy, Alfie will do anything to bring his brother back, including dabbling in forbidden dark magic. When Fin and Alfie's fates collide, they accidentally unleash a terrible ancient power, and must work together to contain it before it devours the world.

I haven't heard much about this story, but I'm definitely interested to see how it plays out. Also, the cover is gorgeous. Lemme know what you thought of this months box!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Darkness on the Edge of Town Review

Hello, all!

I'm a huge Stranger Things fan, so I was really excited when I heard that they were going to start bringing out novels to expand the universe. Luckily, I received a copy of the newest addition, Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher via Netgalley, so thank you to them!

Pub Date: 5-28-19
Young Adult - Fiction - Sci-Fi
It's Christmas 1984 in Hawkins, and all Chief Jim Hopper wants to do is have an easy quiet holiday with his new adopted daughter, Eleven, but she has other plans. After unearthing a box marked "New York" from the basement, Eleven starts asking questions about Hopper's past. Why did he leave Hawkins? And why has he never mentioned New York before? Hopper would rather face off against the Demogorgon again than open up about his past, but Eleven won't budge. Thus begins his tale of being a NYPD homicide detective in the summer of 1977.

After returning home from two tours in Vietnam, Jim Hopper is looking to start over with his wife and young daughter. He takes a job as a detective in New York, so the family packs up and leaves Indiana in hopes of starting fresh in the Big Apple. Soon, Hopper and his feisty partner Delgado are assigned a series of unsolved brutal killings that seem almost ritualistic. Their investigations are halted once a group of shadowy federal agents swoop in and seize all their files. Hopper, not one to let anyone take away his things, decides to take matters into his own hands by going undercover into one of New York's most dangerous gangs. Just as he seems to be closing in on the truth, a blackout hits and Hopper and the boroughs are plunged into a darkness the likes of which have never been seen before.

Jim Hopper is one of my favorite characters on Stranger Things, so I was immediately drawn to this story. Anything about his background and life before he became the grizzly grump we all know and love is right up my alley. It was so interesting reading about his life outside of Hawkins, and I would love it if the show touched upon it as well. What I loved most though were the little snippets in between the story of Hopper and Eleven. I absolutely love these two together. Their dynamic works so well, and you can really feel the fatherly love Hopper has for her. This was such a fast paced, action packed glimpse into Hopper's backstory and a must read for any fan of the show.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, May 23, 2019

OwlCrate May Review

Hello, all!

This months theme was Epic Adventures. Here we go!

Stardust is my favorite Neil Gaiman book, so this glass water bottle inspired by it was probably my favorite thing in the box. This was designed by KDP Letters and I love it. It's a really nice size, and not too bulky so it won't take up much room in my bag which is always a plus.

How adorable is this Howl's Moving Castle sticker by Naomi Lord? I really love the style of this, it's so cute. I've become way more obsessed with stickers lately, so I'll definitely be checking out this artist to see what else they've got.

I recently came back from a trip where I had to use my passport, and how I wish this had come sooner so I could've used it! This fun passport holder was designed by KitCronk Studio and it's based on The Hobbit.

Can we take a moment to appreciate how pretty this sleep mask by Bookworm Boutique is? You all know how I feel about the ACOTAR series, so this is great. I've tried sleep masks before and I didn't fully love them, but the quality of this feels so soft, so maybe I'll give them another go.

The last item was a pillowcase inspired by A Darker Shade of Magic designed by Stella Bookish Art. I'll admit, I don't usually love the pillowcases they send, but this design isn't too bad. I love the nautical pirate theme, and the quote/font is nice.

The book this month is We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. Zafira is the Hunter, she disguises herself as a man and goes into the cursed forest of Arz in order to provide for her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, quick to assassinate any fool who would defy his father, the ruthless King. Both have to hide their true selves: if Zafira is outed as a girl, all her achievements will mean nothing; if Nasir shows his true compassion, his father will punish him in the most brutal way. Both are reluctant legends in their land. When the two are sent on missions that will cause their paths to cross, they stumble upon an ancient evil that poses a giant threat that neither the two could ever imagine.

The pin this month was also designed by IceyDesigns, who I've followed on Etsy for a while now, so I'm excited to add this one to my collection. Lemme know what you guys thought of this months box!

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,, 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