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“One Dark Throne” – Kendare Blake

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in Books, Reviews | 0 comments

Spoilers for book one “Three Dark Crowns”. You can view my review for the first book here.

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“One Dark Throne”

(Three Dark Crowns #2)

Kendare Blake

Published Sept. 19th 2017 by Harper Teen
Format: EBook
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Amazon | Goodreads

The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

There was a lot of struggle for me in the first half of this book. I think my biggest problem was that there are three main characters sharing space on the page. Every time I would start to really get into a chapter, it was over and switching to one of the other sisters, and it felt like I was starting all over again. However, once the story started to pick up pace, I couldn’t stop reading.

Blake has created a unique world that I love. There are three sisters who are all supposed to kill each other. One minute you’re rooting for one, the next you’re hoping they fail. With three different upbringings and three different powers, it’s interesting how a set of triplets who spent the first 6 years of their lives together, can so drastically change and differ from one another.

Without spoiling the ending, I will say that I did feel very satisfied with it. I feel a bit ambivalent that two more books are being added to the series, but I’m also excited by the idea that we may get to explore more of the world, and perhaps see more depth to the characters and their relationships with each other.

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

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“Geekerella” – Ashley Poston

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 in Books, Reviews | 1 comment

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“Geekerella”

By Ashley Poston

Published April 4th 2017 by Quirk Books
Format: EBook
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Goodreads | Amazon

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Within minutes of starting this book, I knew that I was in love with the main character. While I often admire the protagonists in the books that I read, it’s not often that I relate so whole-heartedly with one (besides the whole orphan and evil step-mother/sisters thing). Elle (first of all, favourite name!) is a total scifi nerd, she is addicted to the now cancelled TV show Starfield. She blogs about the show, she used to go to conventions for the show. She is so inspired that she wants to go to college to become a screen writer so that she can inspire others with her own shows.

This is 17 year old me EXACTLY. Just replace “Starfield” with “Stargate”. I was so passionate about Stargate and wanted nothing more than to be involved in creating a show that would inspire others like it did me. Geekerella was a nostalgic ride, reminding me of those fandom days. I’m not sure if I’ve grown out of it or there’s just nothing good on TV that I’ve fallen as in love with.

Geekiness aside, Geekerella is a truly adorable modern-day retelling of Cinderella. I love how Poston wove the classic Cinderella elements into the story (like working in an orange pumpkin food truck). And the romance of the story was really well written. The narrative switches between the two main characters as they get to know each other, and even though you know that it’s going to have a Cinderella ending, you still hold out for these two characters to get together and learn the other’s true identity.

After devouring this in a day, I’m over here dying while waiting for Ashley Poston’s next book “Heart of Iron”. It’s set in space (!!!!!).

Thank you to Quirkbooks for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my (very delayed) review.

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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.

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Presentation

owlcrate02Uppercase
The Uppercase “box” just comes in an envelope and then a little bag inside with all the goodies.

Owlcrate
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.

 

Cost

Uppercase
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
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

uppercasesept16-02Uppercase
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.

OwlCrate
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

Uppercase
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.

OwlCrate
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!

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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!

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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

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• “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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UPPERCASE unBOXing

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:

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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

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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.

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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

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“Burning Bright”

By Melissa McShane

Published August 15th 2016 by Curiosity Quills Press
Format: EBook
FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarHalfStar
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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