Sunday, November 18, 2018

Weekly Recap: 11/11 - 11/17


Hi everyone! This week has been (you guessed it) hectic! I'm actually sitting here trying to remember what I did. XD The one thing I can say for sure is that we spent most of the day on Thursday at Magic Kingdom and it was so much fun! We went to two of the gingerbread displays in the Contemporary and Grand Floridian resorts. If you'd like to know more about the gingerbread, you can check out my gingerbread review post from a couple years ago! Yesterday I went to the eye doctor and had a contact fitting so that I can actually see fish later this year when I go snorkeling on a cruise. (Glasses don't really work with masks.) Hurray for seeing!


The only new thing I got this week was an I Spy book because I'm a nerd and my husband had NEVER done one!



The topic was my bookish merch wishlist for Top Ten Tuesday
Thursday graphic novel reviews of Saga & Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
On Friday I went back down the TBR hole



We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Friday, November 16, 2018

Down the TBR Hole #7

Hi everyone! I'm back for another edition of Down the TBR Hole, in which I try to get rid of books faster than I find new ones to read. Spoiler: I'm failing so far.

The Down the TBR Hole meme was started by Lost In a Story and it is the most perfect tool for cleaning off shelves that I've come across. Here's how it works:
  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?



I had completely forgotten this book until now! Slated has my attention mainly because it's a dystopian book and we're in a dystopian dry spell at the moment. (I guess we're getting our fill in real life.) I think I'm definitely going to have to read this! VERDICT: KEEP


I added Stitching Snow when I was just getting into retellings. Although Snow White is far from my favorite, this sounds interesting enough. But it's also a sci-fi retelling and I feel like those are a bit overdone (or maybe I'm just tired of them). I think I'm going to have to let this one go for now. VERDICT: PASS


This book is compared to Pretty Little Liars and Final Destination. I have this book sitting on my physical bookshelf right now. Why haven't I read this yet? VERDICT: KEEP


I added this one because it was a retelling and several of my blogging buddies enjoyed it. I've never read it because I don't care for The Wizard of Oz at all and it seems that there's not much romance in it. I always need amazing romance in my retellings! VERDICT: PASS


I LOVE the Amityville Horror movies! I didn't care for the book much, though. I added this way back when before it was published. Sadly the reviews aren't very good. I've read several reviews by people who've said it wasn't very scary and that does tend to be my experience with YA horror. I think I'll have to skip this one too. VERDICT: PASS

Not a bad week, if I do say so myself! Three more books are off my TBR and hopefully more will follow because it seems like I'm adding them as quickly as I delete them! XD

What have you added or deleted from your TBR lately?
What genre do we definitely need more of?
Let me know in the comments! 
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Graphic Novel Reviews: Saga & Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Title: Saga, Vol. 1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples 
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Image Comics
Pages: 176
Add to Goodreads

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults. 

Saga has been on my radar for years. Is there anyone who doesn't know about this book? I wasn't sure what to expect, but I came away feeling like this was a bit too weird for me.

This is the story of two soldiers in love who run from the war together to raise their newborn baby... and it's strange. They're being hunted by multiple people and one of them seems to be a computer screen on a person's body. I don't know guys, my imagination just isn't big enough.

The main characters themselves are very likable and sympathetic. I loved them together and the lengths they went to in order to stay together with their child. The plot was fine, but there was somehow a lot of it while nothing much really happened. The main characters ran, people ran after them. Rinse and repeat. I do have to say, I didn't really get the "sexy" part of the blurb in this volume, apart from a couple nude alien creatures.

My favorite thing about Saga besides the characters was the artwork, which was stunning! Overall, this was an okay read for me. There were parts that I found interesting and I can certainly see why so many people love it, I just don't think I'll be continuing it anytime soon.

Title: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1
Author: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Robert Hack 
Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Archie Comics
Pages: 160
Add to Goodreads

On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress Sabrina Spellman finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family's past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda. Archie Comics' latest horror sensation starts here! For TEEN+ readers. Compiles the first six issues of the ongoing comic book series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. 

I picked up Chilling Adventures of Sabrina after watching the first episode of the show and finding it really fascinating. It's easy to see the similarities between the two, but there are definitely quite a few noticeable differences. I won't go into them, but suffice it to say I found the first volume of the comic to be quite a bit more gruesome than the first episode of the Netflix show.

Sabrina is a teenage witch who has been raised by her aunts and must make the decision whether to become a full witch, which is quite the intense process. She also has a boyfriend who she loves, even if he loves her through questionable means. I didn't really get a great feel for Sabrina and her romantic relationship, but I definitely loved her internal struggles as she tried to make a decision.

As I said before, this comic is DARK. It's definitely not what I would have expected, having been a die hard fan of Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the 90s. Madame Satan was terrifying and I can't wait to see what happens with her storyline.

I really enjoyed Sabrina a lot! It wasn't the Sabrina I know and love, but I'm definitely open to loving this one too. My main issue right now is not knowing whether to finish the comic before jumping back into the show! I definitely recommend this if you're a fan of horror or witchy comics.

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!


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


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!




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



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!


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


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.

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.