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.

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely Book Review

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer Book Review

Overall rating:***

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: *****

Pages: 484

Buy it on Amazon: Here

I was so so so excited for A Curse So Dark and Lonely to come out! I also got a stunning edition in my Fairyloot Beauty and the Beast crate. I put my whole TBR aside and started reading this right away! This turned out to be a suck you in, fast paced read and only took me two days to knock out. Sometimes I love books like this that send me into a reading rush to cure my hangover from the story.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely Book Review

I admit I thought this was going to be a 5 star read for me, but after much consideration I landed at 3. Just a few pages in I already had a major ship going and as the book went on a love triangle started to come out. I know some folks totally love this angle though, it tends to frustrate me a bit as a reader… I am really a die hard One True Pairing kind of girl.

I thought this was an interesting take on a Beauty and the Beast. Most retellings that I have encountered the “Belle” knows that the Prince is the Beast. In this book the nature of the curse is a bit different in that a new girl is brought to Prince Rhen at the start of a “season” and he has until the end of that season to make her fall in love with him, before he turns into a monster. Once the season has ended, often with a large amount of loss, it resets and a new girl must be found to start all over.

We come in at the start of the last season for Prince Rhen as he is has upset the Enchantress, and she has doomed him to be a monster forever if he cannot make this final girl fall in love with him. That is only where some of the trouble begins as Harper attempts to stop the abduction of the final girl, only to end up in her place….

This is the first book in a series and I feel it will only get better with time now that a lot of the ground work and character building are in place. The second book in the series A Heart so Fierce and Broken is set to be released by Bloomsbury Publishing in January 2020.

Have you read A Curse So Dark and Lonely or have other retellings that you love? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Official Synopsis:

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

 

 

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Book Review

Overall Rating: *****

Guys! I cannot say enough about this audiobook!!!! I admit I didn’t even read the synopsis for this book before I started listening and I COULD NOT STOP. I went through an 11 hour audiobook in two days!!

I have heard that the book is a bit harder to read as it is written like a file after the eventsIluminae Files Book Review have occurred. The audiobook is done with a full cast and it comes off wonderfully!!! This book had the Sci-Fi, the end of the world dystopian feel, the zombie land feel, AND the love story. I think I cried 4 times listening to this and have also now ordered a hard copy to have for a follow along reread with the book accompaniment. I would have started the second book right away, however I hit my max of audiobooks on scribd for the month so have to wait a few more weeks for it to be available.

The characters in this book are so well done, I can’t believe I was able to connect with them so much through a “case file” document. I think you love or hate (or can’t determine which feeling you really have) each of the characters detailed along the journey.

One warning- This book has a lot of heart wrenching moments and quite a bit of graphic death. If the story had not been so consuming I would have had a hard time being ok with it.

The book is in the YA section but is more in the NA spectrum, I don’t feel it would be appropriate for a child younger than 15-16 just due to sheer gore factor and sexual references.

Official Synopsis:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

 

I would love to hear your opinions on this story (include spoiler alerts if applicable please) in the comments below! I hear I am going to need a support group after the final book!!!

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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

I almost bought An Enchantment of Ravens from Book Outlet a few weeks ago and decided to hold off after reading the synopsis didn’t do anything for me. Then I stumbled upon it on Scribd and decided to go a head and give it a shot… and I am SO glad that I did.

This book was such a neat take on Faerie and really made humans seem superior in so many ways. The narrator did a great job with the characters even though the guys voices are a little hard to take seriously. The writing was very descriptive and I was able to keep a clear picture of the characters and events occurring even while listening instead of reading, which is a bit harder for me. I think it might actually have been a bit challenging for me to read vs listen to in the beginning due to all of the descriptions.

This is a standalone and also a pretty short book so is a good light read if you are in a slump or not wanting to take on a complex series. If anything I wish there had been more to the story or more books to read. The author Margaret Rogerson is actually releasing another book this year called a Sorcery of Thorns in the same universe and I am sooo ready for it now. Just one more thing….. these covers are gorgeous!!!!

Official Synopsis:

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

I had heard a lot of good feedback about this book but I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading this book. The synopsis didn’t draw me in but it was an audiobook on my unlimited subscription so I decided to give it a try any way.
Wonderfully Strange is the best way I can think to describe this book. The way that you meet the characters and the way the world is built out is presented in such a genuine way. The author says the odd little things that people think but usually don’t say out loud, for me it formed a unique bond with the characters.

I hate to even try to describe the plot of the books, it’s almost impossible to tell you what it is really about without giving away too much. This book had all kinds of paranormal elements with a house full of psychics and even a ghost (or two). So many things I may have seen sprinkled here or there in a book but never all together and in such a wonderful way.

This is the first book in the Raven Cycle and I will review the full series when complete. I will say that some might find the writing difficult or the story a bit slow to get into. The story is 100% worth getting through and was way easier with audiobook, this is the only reason I gave the book 4 stars vs 5.

Official Synopsis:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

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The Wicked King by Holly Black Book Review

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)

Overall Rating: ****

I read The Cruel Prince last year and thought it was good but not the most amazing thing I have ever read. The Wicked King was much better in my opinion.The Wicked King Book

It still took me a few chapters to really get drawn in but once I was there I was totally hooked. The Jude and Cardan dynamic just drove me crazy and on top of that you never know who all else is really out to get her versus help her (especially her sister Taryn). I love to hate these characters!

Part of the outcome of the book is a bit predictable due to the release of the title of the third book “Queen of Nothing” but I still did not see the ending coming and I want the next book right now!! (This is why I told you guys I don’t like reading until a series is complete!)

Official Synopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

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March 2019 New Book Releases

What is with all of these amazing books the beginning of this year! I want to share a few of my picks for this month’s releases and also some neat special editions that will be coming out!!

March 5th

The Queen’s Resistance (The Queen’s Rising #2) by Rebecca Ross

I have to admit I have not heard a lot of about this series but it is one that has personally caught my eye… and the covers are just stunning!

Synopsis: Finally, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is settling into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’d just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces another difficult challenge. She must prove herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier, a wholly separate but desirable factor in her new life. Aodhan Morgane, formerly known as Cartier Évariste, is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During his castle’s restoration, he discovers a ten-year-old boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as taken with Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander—what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone? As the Lannon trial rapidly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their feelings aside to concentrate on forging alliances, executing justice, and ensuring that no one interferes with the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling among the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And nothing makes a person more vulnerable than deep- seated love.

 
The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch) by Rin Chupeco

Eeek this trilogy is high up on my TBR and now that it will be complete I am ready to binge!!! Already have the first book queued up on Audiobook as soon as I finish the Rain Cycle.

In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance  Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart. Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a
power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience… 

Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto narrates this gripping companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, set during the explosive events in Restore Me! Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.
The ending of Restore Me left readers gasping, and this novella full of Kenji’s signature sass and big heart is the perfect story to tide fans over until Defy Me (Shatter Me), the shocking fifth book in the Shatter Me series, hits shelves in April 2019.

Superman: Dawnbreaker (DC Icons #4) by Matt de la Pena

Synopsis: When the dawn breaks, a hero rises. His power is beyond imagining.
Clark Kent has always been faster, stronger–better–than everyone around him. But he wasn’t raised to show off, and drawing attention to himself could be dangerous. Plus, it’s not like he’s earned his powers . . . yet.
But power comes with a price.
Lately it’s difficult to hold back and keep his heroics in the shadows. When Clark follows the sound of a girl crying, he comes across Gloria Alvarez and discovers a dark secret lurking in Smallville. Turns out, Clark’s not the only one hiding something. Teaming up with his best friend, Lana Lang, he throws himself into the pursuit of the truth. What evil lies below the surface of his small town? And what will it cost Clark to learn about his past as he steps into the light to become the future Man of Steel? Because before he can save the world, he must save Smallville.

Deathcaster (Shattered Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

I am just loving all of the series conclusions!!! I have always herd wonderful things about China’s work so I will be accumulating this series to reach throughout the year as well.

Master storyteller Cinda Williams Chima delivers spellbinding action, bittersweet reunions, and dazzling revelations in this indispensable conclusion to the Shattered Realms series. 

 
Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

I read her book Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be last year and just loved it! This is one of my most anticipated books this year and I cannot wait to pick it up!

Synopsis: In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out
of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself. 

  • I checked this morning and the B&N exclusive was only $14.99!

 

March 12th
Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1) by Crystal Smith

Guys I have been seeing all of the ARC packages for this book and it is just gorgeous!!! Plus is supposed to be an amazing read! I am pretty sure this will be a drop all of my there books and read this one situation when I get my order.

Synopsis: Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants.
Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her. But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game. To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of
carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.
The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

There are also a few special editions releasing this month that I think you will be very interested in…
I know I cannot wait to get my hand on these!!


A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab Collectors Edition

*End papers featuring stunning fan art
*An updated glossary of Arnesian and Antari terms
*Original (never before seen!) short story from within the Shades of Magic world

There is also a Barnes & Noble exclusive that is a different color.

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab
All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story “The Ash-Born Boy” and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab.

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

There are no strangers in the town of Near. 

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. 
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.  Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.