Monday, November 30, 2020

November OwlCrate Review

Hello, all!

The theme for this month was "Growing Wild" and it had a very Hufflepuff vibe to it.

The first item was this dandelion fluff necklace with art on the box by Studio Kyra inspired by Wild Beauty. I like how OwlCrate has been leaning more towards subtly bookish items, and I while I do think this is really pretty, I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of it.

Then we had this A Darker Shade of Magic inspired wooden flower press created by Peppermint Lines. I've actually never pressed flowers before, so I thought this was a unique item to get.

Then we had these Lord of the Rings botanical prints by Rheannon Ormond which I think are so pretty. I'm actually not the biggest LOTR fan, but I really love the whole aesthetic of these prints.

Last but not least, we had the 2021 reading planner designed by Blue Star Press along with some Pipstickers planner stickers. I always enjoy their planners, but I'm not sure if I'll use it next year since I already have two other reading journals.

The book for this month was Among the Beast and Briars by Ashley Poston. Cerys lives in the kingdom of Aloriya where there is no disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. But as Aloriya prospers, the woods around it grows darker and more cursed. Cerys knows the dangers of the woods first hand after watching it kill her mother and friends. Now, Cerys holds a part of the cursed woods within her. When a new queen is crowned, the woods begins to crowd in on the kingdom and Cerys is forced to flee, her only companions a strange fox from her garden, a powerful bear, and the magic within herself. It's up to Cerys to find the elusive Lady of Wilds and beg for a way to save her home, but the road may prove to be darker than Cerys could've imagined.

I haven't heard much about this, but I'm intrigued. I also love the edition OwlCrate created and it also has maroon sprayed edges, and we all know how much I love a sprayed edge. Let me know what you thought of this box!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Birthday Book Haul

Hello, all!

Happy Thanksgiving! As you may have seen, my birthday was at the beginning of the month, and I decided to really run with the "Treat Yo'Self" mentality. To be fair, some of these I bought a few months ago, some were sent to me by publishers, and some were gifts, but the majority are ones I did buy myself so we're just lumping them all into one great big haul.

1. Egg Drop Dead- Vivien Chien
2. Cookies and Scream- Virginia Lowell
3. A Field Guide to Internet Boyfriends- Esther Zuckerman
4. Nights at the Circus- Angela Carter
5. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories- H.P. Lovecraft
6. Royal Holiday- Jasmine Guillory
7. A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem- Manda Collins
8. Call Me By Your Name- André Aciman
9. Crazy Stupid Bromance- Lyssa Kay Adams
10. The Diviners- Libba Bray
11. Lair of Dreams- Libba Bray
12. Before the Devil Breaks You- Libba Bray
13. The King of Crows- Libba Bray
14. Candy Corn Murder- Leslie Meier
15. Death in the Stacks- Jenn McKinlay
16. Well Played- Jen DeLuca
17. The Tourist Attraction- Sarah Morgenthaler
18. Blood & Honey- Shelby Mahurin
19. The House in the Cerulean Sea- T.J. Klune
20. From Blood and Ash- Jennifer L. Armentrout
21. A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire- Jennifer L. Armentrout (E-Book)
22. The Shadows Between Us- Tricia Levenseller
23. Kingdom of the Wicked- Kerri Maniscalco
24. The Silvered Serpents- Roshani Chokshi
25. The Huntress: Origins- Paul Levitz/ Joe Staton
26. Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy- Amy Ratcliffe
27. Harleen- Stjepan Sejic

 As always, let me know if you have any recommendations, or let me know what the last book you bought was!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Review

Hello, all!

Like most people, one of my most anticipated releases for this year was The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I'm so happy to report that it is totally worth all the hype it's getting and I loved it so much.

Pub Date: 10-6-20
Adult - Fantasy

It's 1714, France, where the only thing a woman is good for is getting married and having children, but twenty-three years old, Addie LaRue, wants more. She wants to be free. So, on the night of her wedding, she panics and runs into the woods, pleading to the old gods for help, but she makes a mistake. In her desperation, she doesn't realize that the sun has gone down and night has fallen, and one should never pray to the gods who answer after dark.

When a handsome, dangerous being called the Darkness answers Addie's pleas, she's cursed to live forever, but to be forgotten by everyone she comes in contact with. She can leave no lasting impression on anyone or anything. This curse leads Addie on an incredible journey that spans centuries, but despite all the wondrous things she's seen and done, Addie longs for the comfort of being truly seen. Then one day, a man in a bookshop remembers her, and Addie's life is once again changed forever.

OH MY GOD, THIS BOOK. Within the first few pages, I knew that this was going to be a new all-time favorite. The writing is beautiful and sad, the characters are so well-developed, and the story itself is just *chefs kiss*. I adored Addie and loved seeing her journey throughout time. Not all of it was good, she went through more downs than ups, but she never lost her will and overcame everything that was thrown at her. I know a lot of people remarked on the pacing being a bit slower due to how much backstory she has, but I enjoyed it and thought it was just right. The absolute highlight though was when Addie meets Henry, and I couldn't get enough of these two precious babies (even though Addie and Luc are a delight together). Their relationship was everything and destroyed my heart and then put it back together again. This was just so stunning and atmospheric and one I know I'm going to come back to over and over again.

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Big thanks to Netgalley for these copies!

Pub Date: 11-15-20

Emo: How Fans Defined a Subculture- Judith May Fathallah: This should've been called Sugar, We're Goin' Down Snoozin'. I went into this thinking it was going to be a fun look back at the music scene I grew up in, but that wasn't necessarily the case. Fathallah really dives deep into the cultural impact emo music had on society, and isn't afraid to shy away from tough subjects such as gender stereotypes, and even the violence, that plagued this genre. While she touches upon different bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate and Dashboard Confessional, she sticks with the "emo holy trinity" of My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and Panic! At The Disco to really drive her message home. Along with the musical holy trinity, she touches upon how the social media holy trinity of Livejournal, Myspace, and Tumblr also played a huge role in the success of emo music, especially in the early 2000s. This is a very research-heavy book, so I think it would be an interesting read for someone who is more into the academic side of music. While I did appreciate the nostalgia factor, it read a little too much like a thesis paper for me to fully enjoy.

Rating: 2.5/5

Pub Date: 11-10-20
Science Fiction - Fantasy

From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back- Various Authors: This is such a fun anthology to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back! This is essentially forty different stories retelling the events of the movie, told by different authors, and all from the point of view of a wide array of characters-- from those we know such as Wedge and Dak to those we may not have even given a second thought to such as the wampa and tauntaun. The latter stories are what interested me the most. I thought it was so cool to read from the point of view of some of the creatures, and I didn't think I'd be so moved from the inner thoughts of a tauntaun! You get a nice mix of POVs from both the Rebellion and the Empire, so you can get a feel for how it is on both sides. As with most anthology collections, there were some stories I favored over others, but even the ones I didn't love as much were still fun. This is definitely one to pick up if you're a Star Wars fan.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 11-3-20

September Love- Lang Leav: Yet again, Leav takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster. The poems in this collection range from hopeful to hopeless, from being in love to being alone. Whatever emotion you may be feeling, there's a poem for you to embrace. I flew through this in one sitting because I just didn't want to put it down. There were so many quotes that I felt a connection to and so many lines that I had highlighted. A few of my favorites were "Taking Time", "The End of Love", "Night and Day", "Ten Things" and "Show of Love." If you're a fan of poetry, I'd recommend checking this collection out.

Rating: 3.5/5

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


Hello, all!

It's time for another round up of things I've been loving lately. Lemme know some of your recent favorites!

Listening to:

"Golden"- Harry Styles: I will forever shout my love of Harry Styles from the rooftops. I must've watched this video four times in a row once it came out, and the song is just so catchy.

"Kyoto"- Phoebe Bridgers: I can't believe it took me this long to get into Phoebe Bridgers. Her voice is so calming. Her whole album, Punisher, is great (especially for rainy days), but I've had this one in particular on repeat for months.

Christmas Music: Now, usually I'm on Team No Christmas till after Thanksgiving, but it's 2020 where there are no rules and you need to find joy wherever you can. My roommate has even put up our tree already, so we're getting way into the holiday spirit over here.


Harley Quinn: A few months ago, my brother added me onto his HBO Max account just so I could watch this, and I'm so happy to report that I loved it! I will admit, I find Kaley Cuoco's voice slightly shrill at times, but other than that, it was a fun time. The highlights are definitely Clayface, King Shark and Bane. I die every time they open their mouths.

The Great British Bake Off: I live for Bake Off time! It's my cozy show and I love spending my Friday's with a cup of tea and the newest episode. If anyone else watches, let me know who your favorites for this season are.

The Mandalorian: I pretty much only use my Disney+ account for this show. This is also one of the shows that my supervisor and I have to talk about every Monday morning.


Book Light:
No surprise but I read a lot. I don't have the best lighting in my room, so I asked for a book light for my birthday and I've used it every single day since. It has different settings where you can have it warmer or cooler and adjust the brightness. I just think it's the most convenient thing ever. 

Yoga with Adrienne: I've been trying to be more active this year, so I decided to give yoga a try and I'm really enjoying it! I've been trying to do the 30 Days of Yoga challenge on Yoga with Adrienne's YouTube channel, and I'm 100% not doing the moves correctly, but at least it's something.

Teavana Spice Apple Cider tea: Of course, I had to include a tea on here because you all know I'm an addict. I was afraid it would taste too clove-y because of the "spice", but it's barely there. If you love apple cider then you'd love this. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2) Review

Hello, all!

As you may have seen from my last post, I've really been enjoying the Cursebreakers series by Brigid Kemmerer, and A Heart So Fierce and Broken, was such a solid follow up.

*Potential spoilers ahead*

Pub Date: 1-7-20
YA - Fantasy

Grey may have once been the Commander of Prince Rhen's royal guard, but after defeating the enchantress Lilith, he's now on the run after learning his true identity as the rightful heir to Emberfall. With no desire to challenge Rhen's right to rule, he decides to flee with his secret and start a new life as a stable boy. While living under an assumed name and trying his best to keep his head down, Grey learns of rumors spreading about this mysterious heir and the magic he's said to possess causing many to turn against Rhen and his rule. Soon, Grey and his new companion, Tycho, are captured and brought before Rhen, who will do anything to get the information he seeks, even if that means torturing his oldest friend to get it.

As the daughter of Karis Luran, Lia Mara is no stranger to cruelty. She may be the eldest daughter, but she was passed over being named heir since she lacks the vicious brutality of her younger sister. Where she and their mother believe solving problems with a sword is the right way, Lia Mara believes in peace through negotiation. When she sneaks away to try her hand at a treaty, it leaves her a prisoner in Rhen's castle. Her only hope of escaping and uniting her country with Emberfall without more bloodshed is Grey. But can she convince him to stand against everything he's ever known to protect the good of all?

I enjoyed this sequel a lot! I really loved Grey from the first book, so I was so happy that he would be the focus here. He's so fiercely loyal and that comes at a huge personal cost. He always puts everyone in front of himself and his actions was a way of protecting Rhen rather than self-preservation. I loved learning more about his character and background. I also really enjoyed the new characters that were introduced, especially Tycho, who I just found so heartwarming. I liked Lia Mara, and while I did find her self-deprecation slightly grating at times, I overall liked her compassion and intelligence. I also have to admit, my feelings for Rhen have significantly dropped in this one. He was just so frustrating in this and refused to see reason.  With all the events that happened, I can't wait to see what the next installment has in store.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) Review

Hello, all!

You all know how much I love a Beauty and the Beast retelling, so I have no clue how it took me this long to pick up A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. Once I finished this, I went directly into the sequel, so stay tuned for that review on Thursday!

Pub Date: 1-29-19
YA - Fantasy

Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, holds a dark secret: he was cursed by an enchantress to relive the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over again. The only way to break the curse is for Rhen to find someone to fall in love with him. As a young arrogant prince, Rhen figures this would be easy, but at the end of each season, he turns into a dangerous beast and destroys everything in his path, including his family, his townspeople, and the occasional potential love interest. Now, entering his last season, Rhen is more desperate than ever to do whatever it takes to break the curse.

Life hasn't been kind to Harper and her family. Her father left leaving his loan sharks to come after her family forcing her brother to work for them to pay off his debts, her mother is dying of cancer, and she's constantly being handled with kid gloves due to her cerebral palsy. When she tries to prove that she isn't some damsel in distress by trying to save someone from being attacked on the DC streets, she's sucked into Rhen's world. The longer she stays in this enchanted world, the more she comes to understand what's at stake, and she's willing to help however she can. But there are darker forces at hand than just a prince's curse, and it may take more than Harper has to offer to save Emberfall from ruin.

I can't believe it took me this long to get into this series, but I'm hooked! I usually love any Beauty and the Beast re-tellings, and this one was no exception. I liked Harper and how independent and strong she was. She may have a handicap, but she never once let it define or hold her back from anything. Rhen was complex and I think grew the most throughout. He started sort of resigned and by the end was willing to fight to the very last for his kingdom and people. I also enjoyed all the secondary characters, especially Grey and Freya. My only slight issue was I found the beginning a bit slow, but considering all the world-building in this, I understand it was needed to ease you in. So, if you're into action-packed re-tellings, strong characters, and subtle romance, definitely check this out.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, November 5, 2020

A Star is Bored Review

Hello, all!

I've been reading a lot of top notch books lately, and I'm living for it! I feel like the second half of the year has been full of new favorites, and A Star is Bored by Byron Lane is definitely one of them. 

Pub Date: 7-28-20
Adult - Fiction

Charlie hates his life. He has a terrible job writing the news on the graveyard shift where he never sees the sun, he lives in a small apartment, he's single, and he's depressed. When he gets the opportunity to interview to become the personal assistant to one of his childhood icons, he jumps at the chance. Kathi Kannon is a world-famous actress best known for her role in a blockbuster sci-fi film, an author, Hollywood royalty, and admittedly, absolutely crazy. Charlie will do anything to get the job, but he's completely unprepared when he does.

As a young boy, Charlie idolized Kathi as this otherworldly being, but he soon finds out she's just like any other mere mortal. He organizes her life, from her pills to her underwear, he watches her spending, and he makes sure she doesn't leave her cell phone in a department store...again. While the work may be tedious and aggravating at times, the moments alone with Kathi make it all worth it. From last-minute trips to see the Northern Lights to shopping sprees to just dancing around the house, these are the moments that help Charlie see that life is worth living. As the year's pass, Charlie and Kathi's relationship grows into more of a friendship, which forces Charlie to look inward and ask himself if he's ready to step out of the shadows and lead his own life.

This is said to have been heavily influenced by Lane's own time as Carrie Fisher's assistant and you can definitely tell. Kathi has that same acerbic wit and middle finger attitude that Fisher was notorious for. She also has some of the same mental illnesses that Fisher suffered from, which I thought were handled nicely in here. I loved her and Charlie's relationship so much and thought it was the highlight. They're so different--Kathi is boisterous and doesn't care what anyone thinks and Charlie goes into a panic over everything--but they complement one another so well. They start as strangers, but by the end are family. It was both a coming of age and a love story, but not in the traditional sense. It was funny, it was sad, it was deep, it was moving, and you could tell it came from a place of such love and respect. I just simply adored it and can't recommend it enough.

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

OwlCrate Exclusive The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Review

Hello, all!

I've always seen OwlCrate bring out these amazing exclusive boxes for new releases, but I've never actually bought one before. Then I got an email that they were doing one for V.E. Schwab's latest release, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and I couldn't hit "Add to Cart" fast enough. I wasn't even sure if I was going to get this because I had a few issues with the post office saying they delivered it when they didn't, and when it did finally come the box was all damaged, but luckily everything inside was in tact!

First up, we had this wooden page holder designed by Juniper and Ivy Designs. I love the design and I've never used a page holder before, so I'm excited to test it out.

It wouldn't be a book box without a candle! This one is from Alchemy and Ink and it has a very deep woodsy scent which usually I'm not a fan of, but it seems to have a little sweet undertone, so I'm hoping that will cut through nicely when burning to offset the pine.

I've actually been needing a new reusable water bottle, so I'm really pumped on this one by @paperbackbones. It even has a little tea infuser you can pop in and out for loose leaf tea which I love.

Now, for the most unique item I think I've ever gotten in a box before: this gorgeous wooden calendar by Daffodils and Ink. I'm terrible at just changing a regular calendar, so I'm not sure how on top of this I would be, but the design is incredible and very chic.

The last item was this 3-year journal designed by Michelle Gray and Unlucky Designs. I've had a journal like this before and for the first few months I was really diligent about filling it out, but then I eventually stopped, so we'll see if I can keep up with this one.

Now, can we take a moment for the actual book. It is 👏stun👏ning. I'm such a fan of hardcovers with no dust jackets and I really wish more came this way. Aside from the naked book (which again was gorgeously designed by @paperbackbones), there's a ribbon bookmark, exclusive endpapers and rose gold foiling. This is definitely one of the prettiest books I now own.

So, this story follows Addie LaRue, who in 1714, France, in a moment of desperation strikes a deal to live forever, but there's a catch: everyone she ever meets will instantly forget her. This leads Addie on an incredible journey that spans centuries, but despite all the amazing things she's seen and experienced, Addie goes through life never leaving a lasting impression on anyone or anything around her. Until, in a bookstore 300-years later, someone remembers her.

Ahh, I cannot wait to pick this up. What do you think of this box? Have you read this yet? If so, lemme know what you thought!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Hello, 32

Hello, all!

I'm 32-years old today! I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of birthdays, especially with it being such a weird year, so I'll just be spending today with a quick trip to the bookstore and food with family and some friends at home.

I thought it might be fun to get a little more personal and give you guys a few fun facts about me, so we can get to know one another a bit more!

1. I don't post a lot of myself because I actually hate getting my picture taken.

2. I have a massive sweet tooth. I'll eat my weight in almost any baked goods except for fruit-based pies (I love a custard or pudding pie though) or cheesecake (this one is only due to me being lactose intolerant.)

3. I'm not a fan of breakfast foods. Pancakes, waffles, French toast, etc, big no thank you. Basically, please don't invite me to brunch, or do because then it gives me an excuse to eat fries super early in the morning.

4. I love going to museums. One of my favorite shows to binge is Mysteries at the Museum, and I even went on vacation to Washington, DC a few years ago strictly to go to all the museums there and see the items that were on the show.

5. As I've gotten older, I've developed terrible motion sickness if I'm traveling long distances. Also, if I'm on a train, I have to sit facing whichever way we're moving. I'm pretty much always stocked up on anti-nausea medicine whenever I'm going places, so if you're ever in need, I'm your gal!

Let me know something fun about you!