June Owlcrate – Bookish

This month’s theme was Make It Out Alive and man was it an awesome box. This was the first color themed box they have ever done and I must say I loved it!

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  • A Divergent inspired bath bomb with charms inside that sort you into a faction! These were made by the super amazing@fizzyfairyapothecary!
  •  A cool iron on patch inspired by The Giver. This was created by@laserbrainpatchco!
  • A beautiful extra large magnet designed by @littleinklingsdesign. The magnet features a quote from An Ember in the Ashes.
  • A very pretty double sided bookmark designed by @treehouseofbooks. It featured great quotes from A Court of Wings and Ruin!
  • A silly (but fun) zombie sleep mask from @archiemcphee! Perfect for catching up on sleep during the zombie apocalypse!
  • They also included two books this month! The first was New World Rising by@jkwilson29 and published by @oftomes!
  • And the main book this month was The Sandcastle Empire by @authorkaylaolson! We sent out an OwlCrate exclusive edition of this awesome book which had a gorgeous cover. The book also came with a letter and signed bookplate from Kayla, as well as some fun survival stickers.

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I had already read New World: Rising (awesome book btw) but my edition was one of the first and didn’t match my copy of New World: Ashes. This one does. Yay for all things matching! I read through The Sandcastle Empire quickly after getting it and blogged it recently. Here is a summary from Goodreads.

When all hope is gone, how do you survive?

Before the war, Eden’s life was easy—air conditioning, ice cream, long days at the beach. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.

Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. Eden has lost everything to them. They killed her family and her friends, destroyed her home, and imprisoned her. But Eden refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores.

Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves—but the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected.

This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.

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The Sandcastle Empire – Book Review

Author: Kayla Olson
Published: June 6th 2017 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Rating: ★★★★✰
sandcastle_empire_book_cover_-_embed_-_2016Before the war, Eden’s life was easy—air conditioning, ice cream, long days at the beach. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.

Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. Eden has lost everything to them. They killed her family and her friends, destroyed her home, and imprisoned her. But Eden refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores.

Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves—but the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected.

This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.


This book was in Owlcrate’s May box just as I was hoping it would be! It was marketed as a Lost meets the Maze Runner but I feel like there was more Catching Fire in the mix then The Maze Runner.

The year is 2055 and the lower income downtrodden citizens named The Wolves have started a war and taken over the country, forcing the one percenters into work camps as revenge for years of oppression. Our MC Eden is confined to one of these work camps. She has lost everything to The Wolves, but that doesn’t stop her from planning an escape. She has a map given to her by her father that has directions to the only known neutral territory left on earth. Sanctuary Island. In an action packed moment of surprise Eden escapes with 3 other girls, none of whom Eden knew. She convinces them to sail to Sanctuary Island, it’s really not that hard, where else could they go? Once there it doesn’t take long for them to realize that the island is anything but safe. When one of their members vanishes in the night they search for her, discovering just how dangerous the island really is. Eden is a strong character, she lead a life of privilege before the war but losing her friends, her boyfriend, her father and her freedom made her find strength within herself. She has to face many more hardships and challenges on the island, including conquering her worst fears and facing *SPOILERS!* It’s really hard to talk about much from this book without spoiling it!

I loved the setting. Husband and I are currently binge watching Lost on Netflix, me for the first time and him for the second, so this island was not hard to picture at all. In my mind the island was a mash up of the Island from Lost and the arena from Catching Fire. The plot was so full of action and suspense it kept me turning pages waaay after my bed time! I mean the book starts off exploding into action and it doesn’t let down until the last page!

Aside from some unconvincing insta love, which felt really forced and unrealistic, and a ending I felt was a bit rushed, I really enjoyed this book. I honestly would have given it 5 stars if the romance had fit in the plot better. I love that it is a stand alone. As much as I love series and trilogies they take a lot out of you, you invest a lot of time into them. This stand alone was a nice fun read. It’s over and I can move on to the next book!

I’ve heard rumors that this book is going to make it’s way to the big screen with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to it. That would be fantastic if it is true! This story was so easy to visualize while reading, just cast the right people (I’m looking at you Divergent) and this would make a great movie! Fingers crossed it happens!

 

Once again this was an Owlcrate book with an exclusive cover to Owlcrate subscribers. The white cover is the exclusive and the green is the original. I think I prefer the green one, but I still like my exclusive cover complete with signed book plate!

Waiting on Wednesday – What to Say Next

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I am waiting on What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Expected publication: July 11th 2017


51jOMH3fHOL.SX316Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth? (goodreads summary)


Why I Am Waiting

I fell in love with Julie Buxbaum’s writing in Tell Me Three Things. I loved that book and have put her name on my mental list of authors to keep an eye on. This is a book with a mystery and I’m a sucker for a mystery. Two very different people on a quest to find out the reason to a tragic car accident. Yes please!

Eliza and Her Monsters – Book Review

Author: Francesca Zappia
Published: May 30th 2017 by HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, Fandom
Rating: ★★★★★

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

33401730In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. (Goodreads Summary).


“She drew so many monsters that she became a monster herself.”

This book is amazing. I read it through in one sitting because I just couldn’t stop. I’m so happy Owlcrate included it in their May Comic Explosion box!

Eliza is the creator of an extremely popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea and the book provided amazing drawings and snippets from this webcomic that the author Francesca Zappia drew HERSELF! How cool! I’m hoping the author will pull a Rainbow Rowell and release a graphic novel of Monstrous Sea, I would read that in a heartbeat. Anyways back to Eliza. She has build this fandom empire from her webcomic, there are tons of people writing fanfic about it, and subscribing to the webcomic. She has an online shop with merchandise that has done so well that she doesn’t even have to worry about paying for college. She is an internet goddess going by the name of LadyConstellation. But offline and outside of her bedroom she is just weird Eliza that people steer clear of. Until she meets Wallace who is the biggest fan of Monstrous Seas and they begin the cutest of awkward friendships!

“There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt.
The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster though, is smart. It’s always watching, and when I am completely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and lets it run wild. even when I know it’s coming, I can’t stop it.”

I really loved Eliza. I can relate to her so well. Well other then drawing being her outlet, I can’t draw to save my life but I do love to read, to lose myself in a story far far away from my reality. Eliza is friendless IRL (by choice), she has two close friends online that she shares everything with. She doesn’t do well in social situations and steers clear of them if she can, as someone with social anxiety I can relate and sympathize. She feels like no one understands her but her online friends. And then she meets Wallace, who also has a stressful time dealing with social situations. I loved their weird little relationship so much! Wallace helps draw Eliza out of her shell a little bit. I also loved Eliza’s younger brothers. She thinks that they don’t really like her but after her secret is released into the world they really had her back. That hit me in the feels.

I appreciate that more and more books are being written about mental illnesses. It helps to know that other suffer too, that your not alone. And it shows those who get to live a normal life what others have to deal with. That we are still people too, just with monsters we have to live with.

I loved this book so much! It might be my favorite release of the year and definitely my favorite that has come in Owlcrate! I highly recommend reading it!

 

Since Owlcrate is sending out more and more books with custom covers I will be comparing them in my reviews. The cover on the left with the green text is the original cover. The one on the left with the yellow is the Owlcrate exclusive cover. I think I like it better.

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“Fight your monsters” – Francesca Zappia

Epic Reads Meet Up – Bookish

img_2550Last week I got to attend my very first author event! Sadly not many people feel the need to visit Oklahoma or any of the other fly over states near me so I haven’t had a chance to go to a signing. So when I saw that EpicReads was doing a meet up in Edmond Ok, (about an hour from where I live) I was on it! The were four authors that were visiting:

This meet up was very different then I expected. It wasn’t just a line up and get your book signed and picture with the author type of event. We had 4 chair circles that the authors would sit in for about 15-20 minutes and talk about their book, sign books we had, answer questions and discuss the books and the inspirations behind them before moving on to the next group. It was so much more personal then I expected and I am very grateful for it!

The first author that came to our little circle was Evelyn Skye. She was the one I was most excited to meet since I had binge read her books the month before! She was very nice and so interesting! She almost had a job in the CIA because of her degree in Russian History! She almost gave up writing after 8 books didn’t get published, but then she wrote The Crown’s Game and the rest is history!

She brought a “fan copy” of her book for us all to sign. I think that is so cool, it was so full of signatures and notes! I signed somewhere in the back.

 

The second author was Kim McCreight. I hadn’t read any of her books yet but Reconstructing Amelia is on my TBR and after talking with her, The Outliers and The Scattering are now on my TBR as well.

 

The next author that came by our circle was Joelle Charbonneau. Her book Dividing Eden had just released that day and I was so excited for it. I called up to the bookstore hosting the meet up to make sure I had a copy held for me! Joelle was very eccentric but I loved it! She talked about her observations on twins for her book which was fascinating!

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The last author was Julie Murphy and she was awesome! She was so funny and light hearted and she’s from Texas so it’s almost like we’re neighbors (haha)! After listening to her talk about her books I have added Dumplin and Ramona Blue to my TBR. She describes Dumplin as Julie on the outside and Ramona Blue as Julie on the inside.

It was so great getting to meet all these authors and get my books signed (and PERSONALIZED!) After meeting them I feel a special connection to them and their books. I want to read them all and will probably read whatever they publish next. Does anyone else feel this way when they meet authors?

Also 2 out 4 of these authors said they loved my hair and that is was gorgeous. So they love my hair, I love their books so now we’re best friends obviously! 😜

Thanks Epic Reads and Best of Books in Edmond, Ok for putting on this awesome meet up!

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All the book swag I got from the meet up!

 

 

 

May Owlcrate – Subscription Box

My May Owlcrate’s theme was Comic Explosion!MayOwlcrate

  •   In it was a full size Funko Pop figure from@originalfunko! They sent out 7 different characters and I got Sailor Moon.
  • An exclusive zipper pull!
  • A super fun pen that has 6 colours of ink. It features cute comic artwork as well. Made by @weareooly.
  • An exclusive Wonder Woman candle handmade by the wonderful team at@diocandleco! And it smells amazing.
  • An exclusive full-colour sampler of a new comic from @imagecomics, called AFAR!
  • Super yummy coffee candies from@kafecandy!
  •  Collectible OwlCrate pin designed by@spykles
  • And the amazing book pick this month was ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS by@chessiezappia! The book also had an exclusive cover, just for OwlCrate subscribers. They also included a signed bookplate, letter and original artwork from the author!

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I am so happy that Eliza and her Monsters was the pick for May! I’ve had this book on my TBR for a while now and have heard only good things about it. I also love the exclusive cover, so pretty!

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator ofMonstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. (goodreads summary).

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A Court of Wings and Ruin – Review

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: May 2nd 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Genre: Fantasy,  New Adult,
Rating: ★★★★★

ACOWAR_USFeyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all. ( goodreads summary)


“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”

I read ACOTAR in two days. I read ACOMAF in one day. I some how managed to stretch this book out a whole week. I wanted to devour it like I did ACOMAF but I just couldn’t bear the end coming. But come it did and it left me an emotional wreck! Those last 100 pages were a roller coster of feels and emotions BUT… it did not end up getting thrown across the room like Allegiant. So there’s that.. But I think Sarah J. Maas did an excellent job of wrapping this part of ACOTAR series. She about gave me a heart attack several times but I thought the ending was pretty perfect.

I have been trying for 2 weeks now to write a review worthy of this beautiful book. But that is just obviously not going to happen. This book gave me all the feels and I’m still just completely messed up over it. SO I’m just going to bullet all of the snippets that are still flying around in my brain in as non spoliery of a way that I can.

  • Rysand is the best
  • Hybern is the worst
  • Tamlin is the literal worst
  • I hate the Spring Court and I fully support all of the carefully thought out shenanigans Ferye pulled there.
  • Lucian. I’m so glad he was in this book more. His family drama puts Mor’s family drama to shame!
  • Feyre – man has she done some amazing character growth. She’s not the starving little human who thinks so little of herself. She IS High Lady of the Night Court. She knows who and what she is deep down inside and it doesn’t bother her one bit.
  • Cassian and Nesta. Oh sweet lord if the next book isn’t all about them I’m suing.
  • I honestly didn’t feel sorry for Elaine. Buck up buttercup. Stop being such a weakling.
  • Her fiancé is a twerp though.
  • I foresee an underlying problem in future books being a love triangle between Azriel, Elaine and Lucien.
  • RIP the Suriel. I actually got a little teary eyed at that part.
  • The Bone Carver’s form that he shows to Feyre is actually WHAT!?!
  • I still don’t understand what that thing was living in the bottom of the library
  • Is a requirement for being a High Lord acting like a douchebag?
  • The High Lord of the Dawn Court is actually ******’s Father! WHAT?!?!
  • Mor.. huh.. well that explain’s a lot.
  • Cassian and Nesta be still my heart♥
  • Rysand and Feyre be still my heart
  • Father Archeron be still my broken heart!
  • AMEREN YOU FITHLY LYING SON OF A MOTHER!!
  • The cavalry has arrived!
  • DANG Elaine finally grew a pair!
  • AMEREN! ♥♥♥♥
  • RYSAND NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
  • WHYYYYY?!?!?!
  • NOOOOOO!
  • WHY SARAH WHYYYY?!?!
  • $(&%*&@$(*#&$!
  • I still can’t believe who died and who didn’t. I feel like there should have been more casualties because it is a war and all.. but I love my little character babies and am sooo glad they are all safe and sound!

I can’t wait for the next installment of this series. I am so unbelievable sad that Feyra and Rys won’t be front and center for that but I have fallen in love with this world that Sarah J. Maas has created as much as her characters and can’t wait to read more of it!

“The great joy and honor of my life has been to know you. To call you my family. And I am grateful – more than I can possibly say – that I was given this time with you all”