Wednesday, August 28, 2019

OwlCrate August Review

Hello, all!

This months theme was Storms and Seas, and I really enjoyed the items they picked, so let's get to it.

First up was this wooden bookmark inspired by Daughter of the Pirate King created by Juniper and Ivy Designs. I really love how this is a bit thinner than normal book marks we receive. I also love the whole design with the lettering and the octopus tentacles.

How cute is this little tea light candle lantern? It reminds me of the little lanterns we were given on a ghost walk when I went to Salem, so I dig it. I don't usually burn a lot of tea candles, but it'll be a cute decoration piece regardless.

Then we had this pencil case created by Stella Bookish Art based off The Scorpio Races. I don't fully love the design, but it'll definitely come in handy for all my bullet journal pens.

Can you really have a box about the ocean without including something Little Mermaid related? These bath salts were made by The Soap Librarian, and while I do like the coconut-sunscreen-y smell, there's bits of flowers and things mixed in, and I'm not a fan of things floating in my bath.

The last item was this Sea Witch tea from Riddle's Tea Shoppe. I always love when we get tea, and this earl gray and hazelnut spice sounds perfect for fall. I also like how this is decaf because I try to stay away from caffeinated teas. I can't wait to try this one out.

The book this month was House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. This is a story of a family who lives in a manor by the sea on a secluded island. There were once 12 daughters, but tragedy struck four of them and leaves the rest thinking there's a curse picking them off. One daughter, Annaleigh, takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of this mystery before the darkness comes for her.

I actually received an ARC of this book, and reviewed it earlier this month. I enjoyed this. The whole vibe was a bit dark and twisted, and I just loved the entire atmosphere. I'm also a fan of the pin this month designed by Laserbrain Patch Co inspired by the Thaumas family crest. If you're a fan of murder mysteries, check this one out!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Steamy Hallows/The Strand

Hello, all!

A few months ago, I heard that there was a Harry Potter themed pop-up coffee shop in the City called Steamy Hallows. Naturally, I needed to check it out, so the other day I played hooky at work to go in for a visit.

While I did think it was cool, I felt it was a bit underwhelming. There weren't too many Harry Potter references aside from the names of the coffee and a few bits of decoration. It had a way more just witchy vibe than Harry Potter. The decor was really cool and definitely my aesthetic, just didn't really give me all the HP feels that I was expecting.

Since I don't drink coffee I just went for a tea, and I had read the menu before going that said there were pastries and cookies, but there wasn't any food when I went which was a slight let down. If you're interested in checking it out yourself, it's located at 514 E 6th Street. They don't have a website, but they do have a Facebook page. The place itself is also incredibly small, so I would suggest going once they first open or else it'd probably be a long wait to get in.

After getting our teas, we walked the 20 minutes or so to one of my favorite places, The Strand bookstore. If you're unfamiliar with The Strand, it's a huge bookstore in the City that has pretty much everything you can think of: from new releases to rare first editions. It's literally 18 miles of books, and I love everything about it. I roamed the stacks for a bit and I'm really proud of myself that I didn't buy everything I saw.

I definitely needed a little mental health day, and drinking tea and book shopping was absolutely the answer! Here are some of the pictures I took throughout the day;

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

On the Corner of Love and Hate Review

Hello, all!

Big thank you to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 8-20-19
Adult - Fiction - Contemporary
Emma Peroni has spent her whole life in politics. From her dad being the Mayor of their small town, to dedicating her adult life to helping bettering the town for the future. With her father's retirement looming, it's time for the town to choose a new Mayor. Emma will do anything for her town, but when her father asks her to be the campaign manager for Cooper Endicott, Emma's life-long friend and notorious Casanova, she's horrified. Knowing she can't say no without delving into their messy past, Emma reluctantly agrees. First on the agenda: finding a nice girl for Cooper to settle down with to lose his womanizing reputation which isn't helping the polls.

Cooper has politics in his blood: his mother is the Governor and his family founded their town generations ago. He's always known he wanted to run for Mayor, he just wasn't prepared for the drama that comes along with it. With his opponent playing dirty and digging up every skeleton from his closet, Cooper has no choice but to go along with Emma's crazy plans. The only problem? He's falling for the one person he shouldn't: the Mayor's off-limits daughter and his best friend.

This was an adorable political rom-com and I really enjoyed it. I thought Emma and Cooper's relationship was so relatable for anyone who's been in that weird "Will they? Won't they?" stage with someone. Their dynamic, especially with their two other best friends Nick and Henry, was such a highlight for me. I really liked the setting of this small Pennsylvania town that felt so cozy, and the humor was really witty and felt like real bickering, but loving, friends. The only downside for me was some scenes, especially that plot point where the main character gets sick so the potential love interest drops by to take care of them, I've seen numerous times before and in slightly better ways. Other than that, I liked this and felt myself rooting for not only Emma and Cooper's relationship, but the election itself. If you're looking for a sweet fun read, then check this one out.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Real Neat Blog Award

Hello, all!

I want to give a huge thank you to Michelle over at A Geek Girls Guide for nominating me for the Real Neat Blog Award. I always think these things are so fun, and Michelle came up with some great questions, so let's get into them!

1. What one item from a video game would you want to own in real life?

The 1-up mushrooms from Super Mario would come in handy.

2. What magical creature would you want to have as a pet?

SO MANY. But probably a Bowtruckle cause I could just pop him in my pocket and take him around everywhere.

3. What fictional world would you want to go on vacation?

It's not technically a "world", but I'd love to visit Stars Hollow and just sit in Luke's Diner and people watch all the different wacky characters.

4. What is your favorite geeky memory?

Probably the first time I ever saw Star Wars. My dad took me and my brother to a showing of Return of the Jedi for its 10 year anniversary, and my little 5 year old mind was completely blown. I remember walking out of the theater knowing I'd just seen the coolest thing ever.

5. What is the most recent new geeky thing you’ve tried?

I started a bullet journal for all the books I read.

6. If you could trade lives with a fictional character, who would it be?

Luna Lovegood. I'd love to have even a thimble-full of her carefree attitude.

7. What is something on your geeky bucket list?

I really want to go to see the new Star Wars park in Disney.

Now for my nominations/questions! It seems like a lot of people have already done this, but I tag Katy and Monica!

Here are my questions:

1. What it your go-to comfort film?
2. What underrated superpower would you want?
3. Is there any fandom people specifically associate with you?
4. What other non-geeky hobbies do you have?
5. What 3 fictional characters describe you the best?
6. Is there any fandom trope that you find overrated?
7. If you could bring back one cancelled fandom, which would it be?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

House of Salt and Sorrows Review

Hello, all!

We're coming into that time of year where all I want is all the spooky vibes. When I heard that House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig was basically a murder mystery taking place on a secluded island, I was all about it. Thank you to Netgalley for the copy!

Pub Date: 8-6-19
YA - Fantasy
Annaleigh Thaumas lives a sheltered life on Highmoor, a secluded manor by the sea with her sisters, father and stepmother. There were once twelve Thaumas girls, but tragic events took the lives of 4 of Annaleigh's sisters leaving the rest to mourn the losses. With each death happening in a more gruesome way than the others, the girls are convinced there's a curse picking them off one by one.

Soon, Annaleigh becomes plagued by increasingly disturbing visions and begins to believe the deaths were not a coincidence-- her sister's were murdered. While the rest of her sisters are sneaking out night after night to attend balls and dance their troubles away, Annaleigh seeks to get to the bottom of these haunted happenings surrounding their home and family. With the help of a mysterious stranger with secrets of his own, the pair set off on a whirlwind adventure to uncover who--or what-- is behind the darkness before it claims Annaleigh next.

I was really intrigued by the premise of this story. The idea of family full of daughters who die in these tragic circumstances seemingly from some strange curse seemed really interesting to me. I only found out after reading this that it's supposed to be a re-telling of the fairy tale, Twelve Dancing Princesses, which I'm actually not familiar with. I think that was in my favor because I wasn't really comparing this to anything else while reading.

I did enjoy the thriller/mystery vibe with a dash of horror elements that were sprinkled throughout. My only issue with the story was at times, especially around the middle, it seemed to lag a bit. It felt a tad sluggish and almost like it was trying to find its footing, but it really amped itself up at the end. I also liked the writing style; it was eerie and atmospheric, you could almost feel the sea spraying your face. I feel like this would make a nice Fall read. If you're a fan of a darker fantasy this stand alone might be worth checking out.

Rating: 3/5