Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Nevernight Book Review

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Book 1 of the Nevernight Chronicle.

Overall: ****

Romance: ****

Reading Rate: ***

Pages: 464

Purchase on Amazon: Here

Holy cow I was not prepared!!!! Nevernight has been allllll over the book community as a much read since I joined last year. Due to that hype I was a bit nervous to read, but after reading Illuminae and loving Kristoff’s work so much I decided to give it a try.

I actually had a hard time getting into the very beginning of the book and picked it up and put it down a few times over the last few months. Once I made it past the first few chapters I was hooked and blew through the rest of the book.

What I liked:

  • As Jay warns this is NOT a YA book and has quite a bit of wonderful violence and smut, that while is a personal preference is certainly not for everyone.
  • While I was able to predict some of the overall plot points you really never know 100% who is “good/bad” or if anyone is ever safe.
  • Mr Kindley!!! If you have read any of Jay or Jay/Amie works you know first hand how lovable and  they can make there characters and Nevernight brought it 100%.

What I struggled with:

  • The story does tend to jump from past to present a bit. This was necessary for the story line and building out the history but it can make it a little challenging to read.
  • The footnotes can be challenging, I started out trying to read them and then just started skipping. Most of them are really interesting information about the world and funny snips from Jay, but I didn’t feel like I missed out on the story line by skipping them.

Synopsis:

Nevernight is the first in an epic new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author, Jay Kristoff.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic ― the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.

Revenge.

After the ending of Nevernight I dove right into the second book Godsgrave and pre-ordered the final book in the trilogy Darkdawn (that releases in September).

Bookish Merch, For the home, Products I love!!

Top Bookstagram Props

Kiss of Deception The Remnant Chronicles ReviewShopping for props and putting together photos for Instagram (Bookstagram) is so much fun. But sometimes finding just the right prop can be a challenge so I have created a list of some of my favorites! Almost all of the items below I have personally ordered and used and I will continue to add more as I find new and wonderful products.

Crowns:

I use the crowns ALL the time in my Bookstagram photos! I love the sparkle that they add to pictures, but can still be used in darker themes.

Click on the below photos to shop for these crowns and more!

Backgrounds:

I change out my background every few months. I have tried several different options but have found its worth spending a few extra dollars for a nice matte backdrop. I tried a few stick on options or cheaper plastic options and they either did not last of caused terrible lighting glares that made editing a nightmare.

This is the current background that I am using in my photos, I highly recommend it and will be purchasing in a darker color for fall/winter here soon!

Swords/Daggers:

Swords and daggers make such a fun throw in for photos, especially for someone like me who reads a ton of fantasy where main characters are often warriors or assassins. They can also be used to add an extra edge to creepy photo styles.

Flowers:

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan Book ReviewFlowers are a wonderful way to fill up blank place in photo set ups and they tend to add such a great touch! I usually pick up flowers from my local hobby store for a few dollars a stem.

You can use flowers or foliage to enhance any theme set up, it does not have to be a “fluffy” set up to include them. I like to use muted or darker colored flowers to accent my darker aesthetic photos and then use bright white flowers for my lighter themes. I have also seen some folks do amazing rainbow themes with their flowers.

Scarves:

I use scarves in the background of TONS of my photos to break up the wood color and add another layer to the photo. I personally have a ton of scarves that I wear throughout the year so I really enjoy being able to leverage my collection for photos as well.

Fun Accessories:

I am always on the hunt for unique accessories to fill spaces in my photos, I personally can not stand having a lot of open space. I have included links to a few of my favorite items that I have picked up (just click on the pics below).

You can also add layers to your photos using folded old books, book pages, or rolled pages. I have picked up a couple of old dingy books from the dollar or resale shops to re-purpose.

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) Book Review

The Kiss of Deception – Book one of the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

Overall rating: ****

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: ****

Pages: 492

Buy it on Amazon: Here

The Remnant Chronicles have been on my TBR for quite some time now. When a read along was posted with some fellow Bookstagrammers I jumped at the chance to join one for the first time. Kiss of Deception The Remnant Chronicles Review

We are first introduced to Lia the Princess and First Daughter of Morrighan as she prepares to flee from her arranged marriage to the Dalbreck Prince. She and her lady in waiting escape to a beautiful seaside town to try and start their lives over where unbeknownst to Lia she meets the Prince she was meant to marry and the Barbarian Assassin who was sent to kill her.

There are a lot of pieces to the world that you are introduced to early on in the book without explanation such as the First Daughters, Gifts, and the concept of the Ancients and the Gods. I was constantly on the lookout for more information and answers to my questions. While I didn’t get all that I was looking for in the first book there were certainly a lot of gaps filled in, the author has a very “all things in due time” writing style. I know this can be frustrating for some readers but I really enjoy the way she keeps me on the hook and wanting to know more.

What I liked:

  • This book gets tons of credit for being the first in a long while to throw me for a huge loop. I am usually good at predicting things in books and I really felt while some things were the standard fantasy story line there were still a lot of elements that really surprised me.
  • I was sucked in!!  I made it through the book in about 2 days even though it is almost 500 pages long. I immediately wanted to dive into the second book but made myself hold of for the Read Along discussion 🙂
  • The detailed world and characters keep it interesting and keep me guessing. There was a decent amount of world building done in the first book and also a ton of questions that were posed. I looks forward to learning so  much more in the next two books.

What I didn’t like:

  • This really is not a negative but more a notable element.  This is firmly a YA book, while there are detailed fighting scenes and love elements to the story line so far everything has remained PG-13. I personally would like to see a little more steam, but the story is still very good without.

Synopsis:

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love. 

The read along is for the Remnant Chronicles Trilogy Remnant Chronicles Trilogy as well as Pearson’s Dance of Thieves leading up the release of the final book in the duology Vow of Thieves releasing in August. So look for lots more review goodies to go!

Have you read the Remnant Chronicles or Dance of Thieves? Tell me what you think of them below in the comments.

 

Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

My Top 5 Bookish Essentials

1. Book Sleeves

I have one heck of a book sleeve addiction. I have always been someone to take a Top Bookish Essentials- Book Sleevesbook almost everywhere with me, which also often leads to damage to my books from floating around in my purse or car. As soon as I discovered book sleeves I started using them all of the time. I will even use them for non- bookish items like my planner, or traveling with pictures or important paperwork.

I have tried many vendors for Book sleeves but the top product that I have found comes from Book Beau. I have several of their sleeves in multiple sizes.

  • Their Jumbeau is the only sleeve I have found that fits those large hardback like your Sarah J Maas or Harry Potter.
  • Also I recently have become totally obsessed with their travelers for carrying my kindle, books, headphones, chargers etc.
  • The one down side to Book Beau is they sell out quite quickly and have the highest price point I have encountered (for something not custom).

Beau 1If you are looking for some slightly cheaper options that still have good quality a few other vendors I would recommend checking out are:

  • Book Gizmo
  • Fandom Sleeves
  • Pages Remembered

Amazon also has a few really cheap options that are available with Prime shipping:

  • The Book Sleeve fox has a medium sleeve for only $10.99 that comes in a ton of colors- check them out here
  • Yesodrine also has a really need book/e-reader/planner zip up sleeve that I am just head over heels for, the only downside being that it only comes in a small size- check them out here

2. Kindle E-reader I love love love my Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. Now I totally agree that it does not replace a physical book but for someone who reads as much as I do… and also for getting electronic ARCs I cannot replace the convenience. Kindle Paperwhite ereader- top 5 bookish essentialsThere are a lot of e-readers that do more fancy stuff but I love the basic paperwhite. Its extremely light, have incredible battery life and is easy to access existing and download new books to.

The kindle low down:

  • All-new Kindle (base model)- still has incredible battery life, 4 G of storage, adjustable lights and wi-fi compatible.
  • Kindle Paperwhite– this is the next step up from the base Kindle. While it is the same size it has higher resolution, larger storage, its waterproof, and supports Audible.
  • Kindle Oasis– this is the highest level Kindle with an inch larger screen, highest resolution and storage space as well as being waterproof. It also sports an auto adjusting light sensors and spiffy colors. But at around a $250 price point I cannot justify the splurge when I am more than satisfied with my Paperwhite.

Bookish essentials Kindle paperwhite with popsocketI know there are several other vendor who support e-reader, and you can also leverage the Kindle App on your phone or other tablet. I have used these features as well and will pull up my phone for certain locations but I have not encountered another e-reader that beats my Kindle for weight, comfort, and being easy on my eyes when reading for hours at a time.

*Little Lifehack- I dont know why it took me so long to think through adding a pop socket to my Kindle but it has been life changing!!

3. Vera Bradley Travel Pillow/Blanket

This is a little out there for a bookish supply but it is my go to when I travel or even just sitting on my couch or reading nook at home. I works as a reading pillow, arm rest, or a blanket when I want to curl up and relax… I know there are a ton of similar products out there but for the quality and softness I have not found one I like better. I even got both my mom and little sister each one for Christmas and they still use them frequently even though they are not big readers. You can find them up pretty cheap at an outlet or on Vera Bradley Travel Blanket- Bookish Essentialsclearance. I have included the link to purchase on Amazon below as well as a few cheaper but similar alternatives.

  • Vera Bradley Fleece Travel Blanket- check it out here
  • Forestfish Fleece Portable Travel Blanket- check it out here

  • Portable Cozy-Soft 2 in 1 Microfleece Blanket and Pillow- check it out here

 

4. Headphones

I actually use a strange mix of headphones depending on where I am. Most of the time when I am using wired headphones I take my cheap apple headphones with me wherever I go and have my nice Bose headphones at home. I have also included some details on my higher and lower end wireless headphones… I am terrible at charging things hence my limited wireless use. I got my little sister a pair of the Bose Wireless earbuds mentioned below for her Birthday in January and she literally takes them everywhere with her

  • HPHigh end wireless earbuds- Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, they come in several colors and run between $100-$150 depending on the sale you catch them on.
  • Low end wireless- LETSCOM IPX7 Waterproof, Wireless Sport Earphones, again they come in quite a few colors and are only $20 plus Prime shipping. Not the best quality but they are cheap and get the job done. 
  • High end wired- Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, these run between $150-$200 depending on the sale you catch. Mine are an older generation that I believe I snagged for about $70. While Bose does have some even higher end headphones I love these so much! The quality is everything I need and they are so comfortable (my husband also uses these when he DJs).
  • Low end wired- Apple Headphones.. guys I know there are a ton of opinions out there about these headphones but in my experience these things just keep on going and going!

5. Bookish Candles

Yes I know this seems still but I LOVE having bookish candles. It is so fun to me to have a candle that embodies a character or bookish place that you love! A few of my favorites shops are listed below.

  • Flickerwix– her glitter babies are amazing and all of the scents are so light and mix so well. Hands down the best candles that I have ordered. As far as individual candles go this is my go to shop, I really only order from anywhere else now if they have a box that I really want… and I have tried quite a few vendors!
  • Wick and Fable– They have an amazing collection of candles and the art on the labels is just incredible. They also have some of the best boxes I have ever seen. While shipping is a bit hit or miss for them the boxes are always worth the wait.

 

Do you have any Bookish Essentials or Shops you recommend? Let me know below in comments.

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Finale by Stephanie Garber Book Review

Overall rating: ****

Romance: **

Reading Pace:***

The Caraval series is one of the few times I have read a series as they released. I actually did not know that it was a series until I got to the end of the first book.

I was so so so excited for Finale and to see how the story ended and completely thought that I would breeze through this book in about a day as I did with the others, but it actually took me right at a week to get through. There was a lot more complexity to this book than the previous two. There was a real dive into the characters and how they are felt and tied together versus the hustle and bustle of the Game that you encountered in the first two. As a standalone book I did not like it as much as the first two, but I think it did a great job of bringing everything together to wrap up the story. I think that is a bit of the curse of final books a lot of the time and of course no one is happy to see a series that they love stop, even if they really wanted that ending!

Finale Caraval Book Review

What I liked:

  • Deeper dives into the main characters feelings… and all the great Tella and Legend moments
  • Finally having all of the secrets revealed!!!
  • The author left some amazing opportunities for Spin-offs series or novellas of the Fates… please of please give me some more Jacks!

What I didn’t like:

  • I honestly missed the game in this book, I wish it had been closer to sequences of Caraval and Legendary.
  • This points of view flipped back and forth between Tella and Scarlett, so it was a little harder to get invested in the characters connection for me.
  • There were a lot of people and characters- I really think the dealing with the fates alone could have been split into another two books.

I know people have a lot of strong opinions about this series and it seems to be in extremes. Yes, while I agree that the series is not a work in literary art. They are fun, suck you in stories that leave you wanting more and wondering what on earth is going to happen next. Also, if you happen to follow author Stephanie Garber on social media, she is super sweet, always going out of her way to keep fans informed and thanking them. Honestly just on person alone I would read her work.

Official Synopsis:

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in Stephanie Garber’s #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release Date: May 7, 2019

Book Boxes, Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

OwlCrate World Of Caraval Special Edition Unboxing

Just a Final 🙂 Warning- LOTS of spoilers below

Overall Rating: ****

Value: ****

Uniqueness:****

I am so so so excited for the release of Finale!!!! I want to set aside all of the other books in my TBR list to start reading right away! These books always leave me needing to know what happens next! I am forcing myself to finish off the two books I am currently reading before I can dive in…. so probably will be my weekend treat!!!

Now without further ado! The unboxing of the World of Caraval Special Edition box from OwlCrate.

What was all included in the box:

  • LeeLoo’s Bath Steamer-I could smell this thing outside of the box and it was wonderful!!
  • Enamel Pin by Alchemy and Ink. There were actually three different version of this pin inspired by the book covers that you could have received.
  • Book Tin from Stella Bookish Art that features quotes from all three books.
  • Citrus and Sea Salt Scented Candle by Rose and Adder
  • Throw Pillow Case designed by Catarina Book Designs
  • Tote Bag designed by Evie Bookish
  • Art Prints depicting scenes fro Caraval and Finale
  • Deck of Playing Cards inspired by the Deck of Destiny… this might be my favorite item in the box, after the book of course.
  • Finale with Exclusive OwlCrate Alternate cover!!! I love this alternate cover so much, especially since I am not a purple fan!!

I believe there are still some unsigned books or boxes with unsigned books available on OwlCrate’s website.

I did give this box 4 starts instead of 5 as I didn’t feel the items really warranted the higher cost, I might be spoiled with how many items are usually in the monthly OwlCrate boxes, but I didn’t feel I received a whole lot of extra. Also aside from the cover art the book doesn’t have any exclusive content so I will still need to purchase a Barnes & Noble Exclusive version of the book if I want the extra chapter from Legends perspective. I don’t enjoy having multiple copies of the same book, so I will wait and see how much I love the book before deciding if I really really need the extra content.

How do you feel about the series??? Let me know in the comments below, and of course Spoiler warnings please!!!

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater Book Review

I posted a review of The Raven Boys a little while back and have since finished the remaining books in the series- The Raven Cycle. I still stand by my statement of “Wonderfully Strange”. I enjoyed this series so much and actually am already looking forward to a reread because of all the things that I know that I missed the first time around.The Raven Cycle Book Review

I never feel like I had a clue about what was going to happen next or who else might come into the picture. Not to mention I was always worried about someone dying at basically every point during this series! The characters are so wonderful and I have to say again that I really love the way she describes the odd things about people and places and how she writes the strange thoughts that people really have in their head.

This series is so hard to describe without giving anything away, which is a part of the fun of leaving you guessing all of the time. I will say these books are not a quick fast paced read. I actually listened to them all on audio book and I think I would have had a hard time getting into them, and would have taken much longer to read a physical copy.

The full list of books in the series:

After reading this series by Maggie  Stiefvater I immediately started searching out more of her work and discovered that in additional to several other series, she has also written a novella called Opal, that takes place after the events of The Raven Cycle. She will also releasing another book in The Raven Cycle universe in November of this year called Call Down the Hawk.

Needless to say I will be consuming everything Steifvater that I can find!!!