Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Book Snob Tag

Happy Saturday, everyone! This week has been another doozy, but I'm super excited to be back on the blog with a super fun tag. I saw this tag at Finding Wonderland. Apparently this started on Booktube, but thankfully Rissi has brought it to the bloggers!

I feel like some people would definitely ball me a book snob, but I definitely don't feel like one at all. It seems like primarily reading YA books as an adult makes me the opposite of a book snob, but the tag will tell! Let's dive into the questions!

Adaptation Snob: Do you always read the book before you see the film?

No, definitely not! Sometimes I do try to read the book first if I know that a movie or show is coming out soon. Bird Box, for example. Most of the time I don't, though. Some adaptations that I saw first and then read the book (or made an attempt) are The Lord of the Rings, Call Me By Your Name, The Ritual, and Game of Thrones.

Format Snob: You can only choose 1 format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose: physical books, eBooks, or audiobooks?

Oh, this one is hard. Honestly, I think I'd have to choose audiobooks. As much as I love reading physical books, I listen to audiobooks almost all the time. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have books to listen to in the car, while I'm working, or walking. There are only so many podcasts!

Ship Snob: Would you date or marry a non-reader?

Yep! In the time that I've known my husband I think he's read The Hunger Games, The Raft by S.A. Bodeen, and half of Deception Point.

Genre Snob: You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

Contemporary romance, no contest. It's the genre I read least and one I wouldn't miss at all.

Uber Genre Snob: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

Fantasy. Again, no contest. It's the genre I read 99% of the time and there's just so much out there to choose from!

Community Snob: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

I don't know how to answer this?? What does it mean? I think people are most snobby about classic literature. As if reading Frankenstein and Little women somehow makes them better readers. BUT, I think YA contemporary romance gets the most snobbery thrown at it. See the latest ridiculous and unwarranted criticism thrown at Sarah Dessen.

Snobbery Recipient: Have you ever been snubbed for something that you have been reading or for reading in general?

I definitely have met a lot of people who are SHOCKED that I actually own books and READ them. I've had people tell me that they haven't read a book since high school like it makes them cool and me a nerd. Joke's on them because I'm too old to care what other people think.

I tag whoever wants to join in!
Have you ever been called a book snob?
Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

ARC Review: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Title: Mooncakes
Author: Suzanne Walker
Artist: Wendy Xu
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Lion Forge
Pages: 256
Add to Goodreads

//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers' bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

I spotted Mooncakes for the first time at ALA where my friend Erin told me that I absolutely HAD to read it! I missed out on grabbing an ARC of it there but thankfully received one from Netgalley later. The art style was what really made me want to pick this one up and I couldn't wait to dive in! Unfortunately, once I started reading it took me way too long to get through this relatively short graphic novel.

Mooncakes is a story about a witch named Nova and her friend Tam, who happens to be a werewolf and may also be more than a friend. First let me say there is so much amazing rep in this book! Nova wears hearing aids, Tam is non-binary, both are Chinese American, and they're in a relationship with each other.

I adored watching Nova and Tam learn about their magical sides and the friendship between these two was so cute, although their romance was a bit instalovey. I know that there was already history between them before the start of the book, but I wish there had been a bit more lead up to their romance.

While I did enjoy the art style and the story was fun, I did wish there had been a bit more depth to it. The plot was a bit generic and surface level and the villain was underwhelming. It definitely felt like younger YA than I expected. I did find myself a bit bored at times, but it was still a cute read. I'd definitely give it a try if you're in the mood for a cute, witchy, and diverse graphic novel!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #264: Favorite Bookmarks

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Seven Favorite Bookmarks

Happy Tuesday! Today's topic was pretty hard for me! I don't often buy bookmarks, I just kind of end up with them. The one shop I absolutely LOVE seems to have gone away from selling bookmarks now so I had to set off on a search. Click the photos to be taken to the listings!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Weekly Recap: 11/3 - 11/9


Hi everyone! Well, it has been another hectic, emotionally draining week and I haven't gotten a single book read from start to finish. I did start reading The Deathless Girls and I'm honestly not sure if I like it so far. I didn't think I'd finish it this week, but alas. I also finally started The City of Brass and I am INTO it! I'm torn between hoping I love it and being scared of the collection I'll have to complete if I do. :/

Candle business has been BOOMING and it has been stressful. Earlier this year I began making candles for a local spa. All the orders from them have been quite small and manageable, but all of a sudden they're ordering more than I usually make in a few months and I'm overwhelmed. Like, I'm happy for the business, but I'm probably going to be roping my husband into helping me soon.

Speaking of roping my husband into helping, we also started upgrading my library/office this week! Paint is finally on the walls after a fiasco with the paint being... not great. We ended up with four coats of two different brands of paint, so yay. Next are a couple more shelves, curtains, and a chandelier! I can't wait! I'll try and share some pictures next week.



Nothing this week!


The topic was Christmas vibes for Top Ten Tuesday
Thursday ARC review of Winterwood
Things were less spooky than expected for Saturday Screen Time



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, November 9, 2019

Saturday Screen Time #38: Nostalgia, evil(ish) queens, and the antichrist

Happy Saturday, everyone! Over the last month I didn't watch quite as much as the previous month. There was just SO much going on! Luckily, I didn't watch anything I hated. There wasn't as much spooky in spooky month as expected. Instead there was a bit of nostalgia and an evil(ish) queen, among other things. But there are defintiely some movies coming out this month I can't wait for!  


The Blair Witch Project - It's that time of the year so of course I had to watch one of the most iconic horror movies of my generation! The Blair Witch Project is a movie that has always scared the crap out of me, but this time it really just wasn't as frightening as I remembered. I'm not sure if I was in a weird mood or if I've become too desensitized. Either way, this was still amazing even though it wasn't as terrifying as it has been in the past. If you've never seen this movie you NEED to grab a copy! (4/5 stars)

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil - Honestly, I wasn't that eager to see the new Maleficent, but my husband was dying to go. He'd heard that it was even better than the first movie and we both really enjoyed that one. I was pleasantly surprised by Mistress of Evil! I loved the extra lore that was added to the world and Maleficent and her sidekick continued to be amazing characters. Unfortunately, Aurora was just as useless as in the first film and the ending took a bit of a weird turn. This is still one I'll add to my collection though. (4/5 stars)

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie - The hype was SO REAL when I saw that this movie was coming out! We sat down to watch it and I immediately felt like I needed a major refresher on the events of the final season of the show. Honestly, who can remember back that far? But once I realized what was going on I did enjoy it. It was the ending I'd always hoped for although there was something I can't put my finger on that I just didn't absolutely love. I'm not sure this movie needed to exist, but I'm glad I got to see Aaron Paul as Jesse one more time. (3.5/5 stars)

The King - The King was on my radar as soon as I saw that Timothee Chalamet was the lead. I was intrigued by the rest of the cast, as well as the fact that this would have 100% been my favorite kind of movie as a teenager! I didn't know much about this particular historical figure, so I was fascinated to see it play out. Chalamet did a fantastic job as the king and, while I was really skeptical of his ability to do an accent, I didn't hate it! I'd defintiely give this another watch. (4/5 stars)


American Horror Story: Apocalypse - Okay, I am SO glad this season finally came to Netflix! I've avoided spoilers completely somehow and had no idea what to expect going into this one. The first couple episodes had me absolutely hooked. I was obsessed with Michael Langdon and his weird, creepy story. But then the rest of the season happened and, eh. Why? I didn't love season three of AHS so an entire second season of witches really wasn't what I'd hoped for. I still loved Michael Langdon's story, but I really wish the entire season had followed the post-apocalyptic storyline. (3.5/5 stars)


The Conjuring - Okay, don't hate me. I remember being insanely bored by The Conjuring the first time I watched it but decided to give it another try since The Conjuring 2 is one of my favorites. I was still incredibly bored. I don't know what it is about this particular story but it almost puts me to sleep. I just couldn't finish it. :/ 


What upcoming movie are you most excited for?
What movie just bores you to TEARS?
Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

ARC Review: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Title: Winterwood
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 320
Add to Goodreads

//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago. 

Winterwood caught my eye with its gorgeous cover and magical synopsis. I had no idea what to expect going into this book, having never read a Shea Ernshaw novel before. I hoped for a story that was a little magical, a little spooky, and a little romantic and that's basically what I got, although I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped.

Nora Walker lives in the woods near a camp for troubled boys. She and her family are some of the few to brave the winters and the only family to go into the woods. Walker women are able to venture into the woods where others don't dare to venture. Oliver is a boy at the camp nearby and he has been missing for weeks, only to be discovered by Nora in the woods on one of her trips inside.

Together, Nora and Oliver form a tenuous relationship while they ride out the harsh weather. Meanwhile, Nora tries to get to the bottom of what has happened amongst the boys in the camp and how that relates to Oliver. There are other characters important to this story, but I didn't feel particularly connected to a single person in Winterwood. None of them were particularly likable.

While this story was by no means bad, I definitely think Winterwood is a case of "it's not you, it's me." Shea Ernshaw's writing was beautiful, but I found myself quickly becoming frustrated at how many words were used to say not much of anything. It's definitely worth pointing out that I usually don't enjoy overly flowery writing and that definitely could have been my problem here. The story was interesting, but it took so long to get to any point that I accidentally zoned out more than once.

The best part of Winterwood was the atmosphere. I loved the spooky woods and the winter setting. The seclusion of Nora and the camp made everything just a little bit more unnerving than it would have been otherwise. Just the thought of being stuck with no way out because of the weather reminds me of why I did not love Alaskan winters when I lived there!

I've also seen some people call this story and its twists predictable and, while I felt like something was going to happen, I wasn't able to put my finger on it. The twist defintiely caught me off guard and that's something I loved despite my other issues. If you're already a fan of Earnshaw or flowery prose is your jam, you'll probably love this book, but for me it was just okay.