Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #213: Bookish and movie merch wishlist


Today's Topic: 
Bookish & Movie Merch I’d Like to Own

Today's topic is a bit weird because, despite the fact that I make bookish candles, I really don't collect merch. I do collect some stuff, but not really things like bookmarks, book sleeves, stickers, or buttons. Sadly (so sadly) I have more expensive tastes. These are the top ten bookish and movie fandom things on my wishlist!


THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX SET


There's no link for this one since you kind of have to search around to find it, but it has been on my list for YEARS and no one in my family will get it for me! *cries forever*


I have been staring at this beauty for AWHILE. I don't usually care much about jewelry and this may be the first piece I've asked for... maybe ever? I just love the design and the color and, of course, Belle is my all-time favorite Disney Princess.




EXCUSE ME IT COMES IN KING SIZE! This is my number one complaint about having a king bed - nothing cute fits it! But this one is legitimately on my Christmas list. I'm waiting to see what my husband says when he notices it. XD




Have I ever mentioned that Galadriel is my favorite LotR character, hands down? Have I ever mentioned that I have her inked permanently on my body? I've been obsessed for 16 years, what can I say? I already have the (Nenya) ring and I really need the necklace to match!




Hi, my name is Tracy and Mal can drive off a cliff. I will always and forever ship Alina and the Darkling and this poster is everything! I love this contrast so much and I need it hanging in my library.




Do I live in Florida? Yes. Do I need a velvet robe anyway? Yes. This Ravenclaw robe looks so luxurious! I will turn the AC up just so that I can wear it. It even looks like there's an eagle instead of a raven!




I don't even know if this is for sale, but it's beautiful and I'd love to have one just like it! Look how gorgeous his wings are!




I already have one too many wands, but this collection is just so cool! It's another thing that has been on my list for years, but my family refuses to get because they think I'm weird. :/




Most people wouldn't get the reference, but this quote is so powerful whether you know the fandom or not! I also happen to think the art on the shirt is beautiful. I'd definitely wear it.




Who doesn't need a time turner in their jewelry box? I've also seen the packaging for this and it's so pretty! I'd love to have one someday!


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

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Weekly Recap: 11/4 - 11/10


HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi everyone! This has been another hectic week and I haven't gotten much reading done. Again. :/ I was in North Carolina with my family through Tuesday following my friend's wedding and then we made the very long drive back home on Wednesday. Since then I've been dog sitting and getting my house put back together and I am tired! I'm shocked to report that I am STILL reading Wicked Saints and have been sad to discover that it's a really slow read. Here's hoping I end up loving it!

Also this week, Tor Teen partnered with my blog for an AMAZING giveaway of a Witchlands series prize pack that includes the books, a Voidwitch hoodie, and a tote bag! If you're a Witchlands fan or a lover of YA fantasy, you should definitely check it out in the sidebar!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK



THIS WEEK I READ



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was my backlist TBR for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday audiobook review of Bird Box
On Friday I partnered with Tor Teen for a Witchlands giveaway
Saturday DNF audiobook review of The Haunted Forest Tour


UPCOMING REVIEWS

  

We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, November 10, 2018

DNF Mini Audiobook Review: The Haunted Forest Tour by James A. Moore & Jeff Strand

Title: The Haunted Forest Tour
Authors: James A. Moore & Jeff Strand
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 378
Add to Goodreads


Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Haunted Forest Tour! Sit back and enjoy a smooth ride in air-conditioned comfort as your heavily armored tram takes you through nature's most astonishing creation. The forest is packed to capacity with dangerous and terrifying creatures of all shapes, sizes, and hunger levels, and you'll get to observe these wonders in complete safety.

Howl with a werewolf! Gaze into the glowing eyes of a giant spider! Look right through a spooky ghost! See horrific monsters you couldn't even imagine, only inches away from you! Things with fangs, things with claws, things with dripping red jaws -- you'll see them all!

Not thrilling enough? Well, it's Halloween, and so we're offering a very special tour through the Haunted Forest. The new route goes deeper into the woods than any civilians have ventured before, and you're guaranteed to get a good scare! Rest assured that every possible security precaution has been taken. The Haunted Forest Tour has a 100% safety record, and technical difficulties are unheard of. You will be in no danger whatsoever.

We promise. 

I started reading The Haunted Forest Tour as part of Fraterfest this year, but ended up not completing it, so it carried over after the read-a-thon. Unfortunately taking extra time to battle through it didn't help very much.

This book is about a forest and really that's about all. It definitely isn't about the characters. I made it 40% in and I honestly couldn't tell you the name of a single one of them. The action begins on the first page and the initial sequence is fascinating! I truly wish we'd gotten to stay in the creation of the forest much longer. Instead, the book jumps to the tour and from there it feels a bit Jurassic Park, but without the tension.

In Jurassic Park, we knew the characters and came to care about what happened to them. When the cars die in the forest of The Haunted Forest Tour and monsters come out of the woodwork, it's very difficult to feel any kind of way about the characters who die. I'm not sure what happens later in the book, but at the point where I gave up, there had been a lot of running and monster kills and very little emotion.

I'm sure there was a great idea here and it's possible that it was better after the 40% mark, but I just couldn't care any less about the characters or what happened to them. A book can have tons of action, but without any attachment to the characters, it's a whole lot of nothing.


Friday, November 9, 2018

Giveaway: Top 5 fictional witches & Witchlands series prize pack


Hi everyone! Today Tor Teen is partnering with me to bring you an AMAZING Witchlands giveaway! With Bloodwitch coming out on February 12th, the hype has been real and, as a lover of all things YA fantasy, I am so excited to have the opportunity to share this with you! Keep scrolling to find out more about this amazing series and the prizes provided by Tor!

Witches are almost always the best, but some definitely stand above the rest. The Witchlands witches are amazing, but I'd also love to talk other favorite fictional witches!


TOP FIVE FICTIONAL WITCHES


Luna Lovegood, The Harry Potter Series
Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent
Moraine Damodred, Wheel of Time Series (fight me)
The White Witch, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Willow Rosenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer



ABOUT THE WITCHLANDS SERIES

A favorite of booksellers, reviewers, and readers alike, Susan Dennard has become widely known for her young adult epic fantasy saga set in the imaginative world of her New York Times bestselling series published by Tor Teen, The Witchlands, told through Truthwitch, Windwitch, the special illustrated novella Sightwitch, and the forthcoming Bloodwitch (February 2019). The Witchlands is set on a distant continent, in which some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others. The series follows best friends Safi (a Truthwitch) and Iseult (a Threadwitch), as well as the cunning ship captain Prince Merik (a Windwitch), and the mysterious and powerful Aeduan (a Bloodwitch) as they must navigate warring empires, political machinations, and mercenaries who seek to use their magic for selfish gain. 

Any fan of a gripping and fast-paced fantasy saga will be captivated by the wonderful world of The Witchlands, where Dennard focuses on the true power of magic, bravery, and most importantly, friendship.


In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch...

Before Merik returned from the dead…

Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.

Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight—and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.

On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.

Set a year before Truthwitch, Sightwitch is a companion novella that also serves as a set up to Bloodwitch, as well as an expansion of the Witchlands world.


GIVEAWAY
Get Carried Away with The Witchlands! One (1) winner receives:
copies of Truthwitch and Windwitch (Books #1 + #2 in the series),
plus a custom The Witchlands map tote bag and a “Voidwitch” zip-up hoodie!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Tor Teen.



Have you read Truthwitch and loved it?
Who is your favorite fictional witch?
Let me know in the comments!
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Audiobook Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Ecco
Pages: 262
Add to Goodreads


Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it's time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat--blindfolded--with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

Bird Box is a book I've had my eye on for years but never got around to reading until now. As a lover of dystopian fiction, I anticipated that it would be right up my alley, and I wasn't far off. This book was unique and suspenseful and creepy enough to keep me intrigued.

Malorie is the MC of this story. She lives with her two children, known as Boy and Girl, five years after the world changed. She doesn't know what it is that's out there threatening her every moment, but she knows that she can't look at it and she's raised her children never to open their eyes outside and to listen always. I found Malorie to be an interesting character. She was certainly strong and sympathetic, but I never quite liked her.

The story is told in two parts, present day and flashbacks to how it all started. The past scenes include a cast of characters that Malorie found herself tied to for survival and I didn't particularly care about any of them either. Honestly, I didn't care about any of the characters at all, but that was really okay. This isn't a book about characters, in my opinion. It's a book about survival and those are my favorite kinds.

I love to be creeped out and Bird Box had no shortage of scary moments. The scariest thing is not knowing what the evil was. It was always there lurking and always hidden because the characters who see it weren't sane enough to tell the tale. I would have definitely prefered at least some answers about them, though. I do love books that leave some questions unanswered, but I also prefer to have an idea of what went on when the book has ended.

There isn't much more I can say about Bird Box without giving away spoilers, but I did enjoy it a lot. It wasn't a perfect book. The characters didn't resonate with me and I would have loved more answers, but I definitely would recommend it to fans of dystopian fiction and I can't wait to see the movie!


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #212: Backlist books


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Backlist YA
Books I Want to Read

There are SO many books to read and so little time that I will always, always have a long list of backlist books to read. Today I chose the ten that I'm currently the most interested to read as soon as possible. We'll see if I actually get to any of them!



Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Even When You Lie To Me by Jessica Alcott
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill



The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
The Well's End by Seth Fishman


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

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Weekly Recap: 10/28 - 11/3


HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi everyone! This week has been crazy! You may have noticed that I've been missing from the blog. My best friend got married yesterday and I spent the last three days helping her prepare and celebrating. I thought I'd have time to read, blog, and do wedding stuff, but I did not. Not even close! XD Thankfully, everything went perfectly and she's off on her honeymoon and things should be mostly back to normal in the next few days!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

Nothing new this week!


THIS WEEK I READ



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was awesome pumpkins for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday ARC review of Girls of Paper and Fire


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

ARC Review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Title: Girls of Paper and Fire
Author: Natasha Ngan
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Pages: 336
Add to Goodreads


//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//
Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most cruel.

But this year, there's a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after--the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king's consort. But Lei isn't content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable--she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

Girls of Paper and Fire was one of my most anticipated reads of the year! I got my copy way back in April and immediately dug in, but I quickly realized that it was not going to work for me. While there are some really interesting aspects of this book, there were just too many issues for it to be really enjoyable.

Lei is the protagonist of this story and she's from the lowest caste in her world, which is unfortunate to her since it makes her easy pickings for the king's Paper Girls. Paper Girls, in case you're wondering, are concubines and this book does not shy away from the sexual aspects.

While I'm open to sexual content when done tastefully (even in YA) I was honestly shocked by the content. There was sexual assault and rape constantly throughout this book. In my original thoughts I compared this to The Handmaid's Tale, but while The Handmaid's Tale had a point to make, I'm not sure what the point is here. Maybe I'm just missing something. In any case, there were no content warnings on the ARC, but maybe there will be on the finished copy. There definitely should.

Lei herself is an interesting character, but I didn't find her to be particularly compelling or interesting. Wren was honestly more interesting and I'd love to have known more about her! Their romance was sweet and one of my favorite parts of the book. I really wish there had been a way to write this story but in a different setting with different circumstances.

The thing I really did appreciate about Girls of Paper and Fire was the mythology and worldbuilding. I don't know much about Malaysian culture, but Natasha Ngan definitely painted a vivid picture! The demon and human races were fascinating in their diversity. The writing was lush and I couldn't help but keep turning pages despite my issues.

I think a lot of people will enjoy this book, especially if they understand what the content is before they start reading. I don't particularly like reading about sexual assault, so that put a huge damper on my enjoyment. I will definitely be giving this author another try based on her world building and writing, though.



Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #211: Awesome pumpkins


Today's Topic: 
Top Five Best Halloween Pumpkins

Today was a difficult topic (Halloween freebie) because I've already talked about Halloween/Horror books and movies multiple times this year. I decided to go with something totally different and share ten favorite pumpkins (decorations and carvings) I've seen this year. Happy Halloween!


Star Wars - found on Reddit


Golden Snitch - found in the Room of Requirement


Disney Villains - found in a closed Disney FB group


Dumbledore - unknown source


Thanos - found on Reddit


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

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Weekly Recap: 10/21 - 10/27


HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi everyone! This week was insane with even more puppy nonsense. My tiniest puppy got a bug bite, which wouldn't be a big deal in itself. BUT it was where he could reach it on his neck and we've spent the last several days trying as hard as we can to keep him from tearing his skin up. Good times! As a result, I've had an embarrassing reading week. I've started three different audiobooks and changed my mind, instead listening to true crime podcasts. I need to find something to read! I'm also making very slow progress on Wicked Saints, which I'm loving, but having a hard time getting time to read. In exciting news, my best friend's wedding is coming up fast! I've been busy planning her bachelorette party and I cannot wait!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

Nothing new this week!


THIS WEEK I READ

Nothing read this week!


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was scariest villains for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday book review of Escaping From Houdini
On Thursday I went back Down the TBR Hole
Friday Fraterfest reviews of four horror books
On Saturday I did the Halloween Creatures book tag


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!