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Nerd Vortex

Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in Website | 0 comments

Hey there, long time no see!

I plan to update you all soon on everything that I’ve been up to lately, including some fun new projects, but today I want to share one of them with you…

My friend Kelsey and I have finally decided to start a new blog together! You can check us out at www.nerd-vortex.com


It’s a place where we can share our love of movies, tv and books, and it’s going to be a lot of fun!

So what does that mean for this blog? Well, I really do want to keep posting here, but I will be focusing more on that blog for now. Updates may be sporadic like they have been, but I will make more of an effort. You may also see less full book reviews, but I’d like to still do some recaps of what I’ve read.

I’m going to try to start catching up on my blog reading too, so you should start seeing some comments from me soon!

Anywho, more to come soon, but please come check out nerd-vortex and nerd out with us!

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Harry Potter Studio Tour

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Photography, Television & Movies, Travel & Adventure | 0 comments

When we were in London this summer we knew that the Harry Potter Studio tour was an absolute must-see. We’ve done the HP Universal Studios a couple of times, but this was exponentially more amazing. Zack and I both agree that this was our favourite part of our trip. I can go on and on about how awesome the tour is, but I’m going to let the pictures tell the story… lots and lots of pictures. Prepare to be pic spammed.


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OwlCrate vs Uppercase

Posted by on Oct 1, 2016 in Books, Reviews | 0 comments

Alright, the YA book subscription box showdown is here!

I decided to try out a couple of book subscription boxes last month and pick one of them. I went with Owlcrate and Uppercase (check out my unboxings here and here). So let’s get down to business and compare these two.



The Uppercase “box” just comes in an envelope and then a little bag inside with all the goodies.

The Owlcrate is an actual box that feels more like an actual experience when unboxing and pulling all of the goodies out.

Winner: OwlCrate – It’s a lot more fun to open and pull out all the loot.



Uppercase offers 2 different packages: The Expert Plan $23/month (plus $6.99 shipping) and the Book Exclusive Plan for $17/month (plus $6.99 shipping). The Book Exclusive Plan is currently on sale for $13.99, FYI.

OwlCrate has just the one package at $29.99/month (plus $6.99 shipping). They also offer 3 month and 6 month prepay packages, but they only save you $1 for the 3 month and $2 for the 6 month, not really a great bargain.

Winner: Uppercase – It’s cheaper, and has different package options.


Content – Books

While I hadn’t heard of the book I received, it was still one that I’m definitely excited to read. Looking at past months, Upperase has had a lot of books that I either want to read, or have read and loved. The book is also either signed by the author, or comes with a signed bookplate.

I’ve been excited for “Three Dark Crowns”, and was thrilled to find it in this month’s box. In the past they’ve had a few good books, but most I haven’t heard of or aren’t interested in. This one came with a signed bookplate, but from what I’ve seen, they don’t often have signed books.

Winner: Uppercase – They have a history of really good books.


Content – Bookish Items

With the cheaper price, the Expert Plan comes with 1-2 bookish items. It also comes with exclusive reading content where you can go to the website with codes to see videos and other content throughout the book.

This one comes with 3-5 bookish items and some promotion materials from authors and publishers.

Winner: OwlCrate – for $7 more a month it feels like you’re getting a lot more items, even though some of it is a bit of throwaway promotional items.


And the winner is…

Ok, so I’ve been going back and forth on this decision a lot. I believe the Uppercase Box has better books and I like that it’s cheaper, but the OwlCrate is so much fun to open and comes with so many bookish items and fun little extras. I honestly ended up signing up for another month of both and maybe then I can make a better decision. IF I had to choose right now, I’d probably end up going with Uppercase because of it’s history with great books. Also, because OwlCrate sells their previous boxes (if they have extra) so there’s a chance you can still grab them if you see an awesome box.

Let me know what you think! Are there any other YA Bobk subscription boxes out there? I know there’s a new one starting up called HootLoot, I’ll wait to see how that one turns out before I think about trying it out.

You can sign up for Uppercase here and OwlCrate here. If you sign up for OwlCrate, please use this referral link! For every 3 people who sign up, I get a free box! Yes please!

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OwlCrate Unboxing

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Books, Reviews | 0 comments

Last week I shared my Uppercase Box unboxing, now it’s time to check out the OwlCrate!


The Owlcrate comes in a fun little box, full of goodies. I can’t even tell you how fun it was to go through, it was the box that kept on giving. I really liked that it had lots of little things for various series, and the fact that I love most of the series included made it even more exciting. I mean, just look at all of this stuff!



The Book

owlcrate03I was soo giddy when I saw that the book was “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake. I’d actually been hoping this book would be in one of my subscription boxes this month. It’s about triplets who are all magical and heirs to the throne. It also came with a signed bookplate.


The Goodies


• “Celaena’s Cake” candle (Throne of Glass series) by The Melting Library
• Miss Peregrine’s Zip Pouch by Out of Print Clothing
• “Fortune Telling” bath bomb from Da Bomb
• “Crooked Kingdom” bookmark by Evie Bookish (OMG her stuff is sooo cute!)
• A written note from the author on the back of a map from the book
• “Remade” Vol 1 – a Serial by Mathew Cody, EC Myers, Carrie Harris, Kiersten White, Andrea Phillips and Genda Bond
• Booklet introducting PC Cast’s new book “Moon Chosen”
• A “Three Dark Crowns” Fortune Teller – I believe Americans call it a cootie catcher? I’m not sure what we called them in Australia.
• Sneak peak for next month’s box

So, is it worth it?

My answer is similar to my thoughts on the Uppercase Box (comparison of the two boxes coming soon). It all depends on what you’re value of money is. If you add up the retail of the book and the items, yes, you’re getting your money’s worth. A few of the little items I don’t care about and are just bonuses thrown in for the fun of it. I think the experience of opening this box was so much fun and I’m really happy with the book and a few of the items.

If you decide to get an Owlcrate please use this link! For every people who sign up I get a free box!!

Stay tuned for my OwlCrate VS Uppercase showdown!

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Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Books, Reviews | 0 comments

I’ve always wanted to get in on the book subscription boxes. Whenever I see the unboxing videos/posts I drool with lust, but I just could never bring myself to pay for a book and not know what I was going to get. BUT I’m going to be paying off the last of my student loans in a few weeks so I’ll have more money coming in monthly and gosh do I deserve something shiny to celebrate.

uppercasesept16-01I ordered a one month subscription of both the Uppercase Box and the Owl Crate (referral link!) and plan to choose one of them to purchase a subscription.

The Uppercase Box arrived first. I was so silly excited and nervous. The previous month had been a contemporary, so I felt safe that this month would be scifi/fantasy. I also have a few ARCs from Book Con that recently published so I was worried about getting duplicates.

Anywho, here’s the pretty that was in the bag:


The Book

uppercasesept16-03What a relief! Not only do I not own “The Forgetting” already, but it’s a dystopian novel and by Sharon Cameron who I’ve already read and enjoyed. I actually haven’t heard of this book before opening my bag, but it sounds really interesting, so it was a pleasant surprise. It is also signed be the author!

The Goodies


uppercasesept16-05I love the purple “This is how we roll zipper pouch” by Out of Print. Check out their site, they sell a lot of bookish merchandise including Pride and Prejudice!

Honestly, “The Forgetting” mini-notebook, while cute, is kinda pointless and I won’t really use it. But the book addict sticker by Nerdy Post is super cute and will make it’s way onto one of my pin-up boards. I also like the bag it all came in, it’s perfect to protect your book when you throw it in your purse (books are precious, they need protection!).

So, is it worth it?

Hmmm… ask me a year ago and I would’ve said no. I didn’t like the idea that I could easily buy the book on sale at a fraction of the cost of the box ($30 with shipping), I was worried that I wouldn’t like the book, and that I don’t really need the bookish items that come with it.

However, now I feel a little differently. It may have to do with having more money now that I’m going to be getting back almost half my paycheck when my student loans are paid off. I like the idea of getting a random book, it’s fun! And even if I don’t like all the additional little items, it’s still a fun little gift to myself.

As for whether or not I’ll continue with Uppercase and buy a subscription? My Owlcrate will be arriving this week, so I’m going to look at the pros and cons of each and choose which one to get. So stay tuned for my Owlcrate unboxing and my comparison of the two.


If you’re interested, check out the Uppercase Box website. You can see their past boxes and check out their plans. I got the Expert Plan which is $30 with shipping. They do have a cheaper plan that comes without the extra items which is $20 with shipping.

What do you think about subscription boxes? Anyone subscribed to Uppercase or Owlcrate?

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“Burning Bright” – Melissa McShane

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 in Books, Reviews | 4 comments


“Burning Bright”

By Melissa McShane

Published August 15th 2016 by Curiosity Quills Press
Format: EBook
Goodreads | Amazaon

I’ll be honest, I was browsing Netgalley when I saw this pretty, shiny cover, briefly browsed the summary, realized it was a regency involving ships and magic and I had to have it.

Elinor is the eldest daughter in a fairly wealthy family, but wants nothing to do with all the flair that comes with being a young, unmarried woman in society. But when she discovers she has an Extraordinary fire burning talent, her father thrusts her back into society to marry well and raise the family’s status. But when she finds herself with the option of marrying a total lech, or her being under her father’s miserable rule for the rest of her life, she takes the third option: join the Navy! Then the adventures begin.

I’ve found myself on a bit of a ship kick ever since I read “The Girl From Everywhere” by Heidi Heilig. And now I just want all the sail boats!

There are so many things that I adored about this book. Elinor is just awesomely tough and resourceful, the Captain is such a gentleman and resourceful leader (so dreamy!), and the magic is unique. I like all the different talents (especially Jumpers, what a cool concept!) and how the Navy has implemented them to their advantage.

Overall I think I just loved that it was an adventure, there are pirates, a girl putting misogynistic creeps in their place, sea battles, magic battles and a cute little romance to top it off.

The one downside is that I struggled a little in the beginning. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but I don’t like how the author revealed some of the magical elements of the world. Things were mentioned, but not explained for a little bit, and I felt myself wondering if I’d missed something, or was just dumb. An example would be the “Extraordinary” part of the talents. At first I assumed that was just what those with abilities were called, but then it’s revealed that it’s those with exceptional abilities, and I don’t think that was really properly explained because I still don’t know where the distinction is other than, they’re really good.

This also happened with a couple of characters with abilities where they did something magical, and I was confused, thinking I’d missed an explanation of their ability, but then it’s explained a little later ( I thought one character was a mover at first, then jumpers were explained). But once everything was established, everything flowed smoothly and it was easy to forgive the miscommunication in the beginning.

I’m really excited for this series. It sounds like each book will focus on a different female character in the world with an extraordinary talent.

Oh, the worst thing about this book? That it’s only available in ebook so I can’t buy a pretty hardcover to go on my bookshelf *pouts*

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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