WWW

It’s “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:

The Furies by Katie Lowe

I’ve literally read less than a chapter of this so far but I’m excited about it. One of my favorite booktubers, Becca from Becca and The Books, has spoken so highly of this one so I jumped for it when Netgalley gave me the chance. This YA contemporary “murder mystery” sounds really compelling to me and I can’t wait to tell you all what I think about it when I’m finished. Thanks for the rec, Becca!

Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff

I started this yesterday as my first book in Reading Rush 2019. I won this book from BookishFirst and so far it’s really good! I’m only halfway through it, but it’s an adult thriller with a really interesting science angle. It brings up moral and philosophical quandaries about the future and technology, as well as about how far we would go to protect our family. So far so good! This book comes out in September so I’m eager to get it read for review! I’m using this for Reading Rush challenge #4: Read an author’s first book.

The Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

This is an adorable Middle Grade fantasy that my book club is featuring this month and I’m excited to read it! I’m still in the beginning of this one but I know that it the beginning of a beloved series and I’ve heard a lot about it, especially being someone who doesn’t read a ton of Middle Grade books. Looking forward to the rest of the adventure! I’m going to be reading this for Reading Rush challenge #1: Read a book with purple on the cover.

What I’ve recently finished:

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippencott

Aww I really liked this. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d heard basically nothing about this from people I know personally, but assumed that it was sort of like A Fault in Our Stars. It was, but also not really? It still felt interesting and fresh and, while it absolutely pulled on all of my heartstrings, I was actually relieved that it didn’t make me ugly cry quite like FiOS did. It was sweet, sad and hopeful all at once. Would recommend. I read this for Reading Rush challenge #2: Read a book in the same spot.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

I finished six books during the #24in48readathon and I had SO much fun. This was one of the books I read! I also needed to read this book badly for review, since it’s scheduled to come out in just a few months. I won this copy from BookishFirst and was so lucky to get my hands on it, I know it’s a highly anticipated release. And honestly, for good reason! I enjoyed this a lot. It was dark, rich, indulgent, and all the best things about dark YA historical fantasy. I think you’ll enjoy this. Look for my full review soon!

What I think I’ll read next:

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Continuing my Harry Potter re-read! Man, things are getting dark and I am so excited. It’d been so long since I’d read these books that I forgot just how much I really enjoy them. I’m also going to be using this for Reading Rush challenge #6: Read a book that has more than five words in the title.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Arghhhhh thiiiiis boooook. I have been trying to read this book, so close to reading this book, for weeks now and somehow I still haven’t started it. How does that happen?! This time it’s going to go down though, cause I’m using it for Reading Rush! This will be challenge #3: Read a book you meant to read last year. Oops!

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

I know next to nothing about this book, BUT someone said it was a Little Mermaid retelling and I am all about that. I’m particularly in the mood since the awesome casting decision for the new movie, BUT that’s neither here nor there. I’m looking forward to reading this and I hope its good! I’ll also be using this for Reading Rush challenge #5: Read a book with a non-human main character.

Whew! There are literally too many books and literally not enough time.

What did you read this week?

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Unboxing

Owlcrate Unboxing!!

I am so excited to share this with you guys: My first Owlcrate!

If you’re unfamiliar with Owlcrate, they are a monthly subscription box that delivers an exciting new YA release and a ton of bookish and fandom goodies with it.

I’ve always wanted to snag one of these but it’s never fit into my budget yet, so THANK YOU Owlcrate for this fun experience!!

When this arrived on my porch I got SO EXCITED. I texted a bunch of people, who didn’t understand how exciting it was to have a box I hadn’t opened yet haha, and then sat down on my bed to document the experience. If you want the whole experience with me, you can check out the pics and videos on my Instagram, here! I had a blast.

Now, let’s get to the goods already, shall we?!

This spoiler card is ADORABLE!!

It’s a little hard to read in the picture, but on the banners above it says “Owlcrate Annual Bee Race.”

How cuuuuute! I love this, and it’s going to look perfect on my bulletin board above my desk.

The second best thing about this spoiler card is what makes it a spoiler card, the back! On the back is a description of every item in the box and the names of all the designers and creators who contributed this month. That way, I can share those awesome people with you too!

The next item in the box that I found was this adorable little coin purse!!

If you know me, you know that I hate carrying change, HATE it. I’ve never used a coin purse but I’m thinking it may be time to try it out, this one is so cute. And it’s Hunger Games themed! A series and fandom I love.

(Bo seemed to like this one too!)

This cute little purse was designed by Kit Cronk Studio and I think they did a fantastic job, this is such a simple and universal design with a powerful and bookish quote. Love iiiiit.

The next two gifts were a joint collaboration, and they work together!

The first is an Owlcrate exclusive cut puzzle, and the second is an art print that the puzzle will create! Both are inspired by the ever-popular book The Night Circus, and the art is truly beautiful. I’m also really excited about this one because I love puzzles haha.

I haven’t read The Night Circus yet, but I can still appreciate this beautiful art print. I love that all of the melted candles make up the design, and all of the little hidden images!! Not to mention that quote…it’s so true, it’s universal. This is gorgeous and I can’t wait to break out this puzzle! We can thank Holly Dunn Design for this beautiful print.

AHHH and look at this MUG!

Okay guys, we have already found my favorite item, this thing is so beautiful.

I love the artwork!! The artist, Cara Kozik, has done a truly phenomenal job. The work is colorful, cute, and clear enough to see all the amazing things she’s drawn happening.

On this is a recreation of the Triwizard Tournament challenges from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. IT’S SO CUTE!!

There’s Harry on his broomstick fighting a dragon in the picture above, with the raucous Hogwarts crowd watching behind him. There’s the lake and the hedge maze and the Triwizard Cup on the other side, and all of it is so beautifully done. (Check out my Insta stories for the full view!)

The next gift inside this box of never-ending gifts was a deck of beauuutiful playing cards!

These are inspired by The Essen Tach, a magical competition, within the world of A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab.

I loved these!! Pictured are only four of the twelve characters that have had their portraits stunningly rendered onto these face cards. Queen Maresh, pictured in the top right photo, was probably my favorite portrait.

These beautiful designs come from a handful of talented artists: Nicole Deal, Gina Hilton, Marianne Martin, Diana Dworak, and Michelle Gray.

I can’t wait to play a game or two with these and show them off!

The next gift I pulled out of the box was this gorgeous enamel pin.

This pin depicts the sun and the moon and the magical shears that Maia uses in her quest to become the new Imperial Tailor, in Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. (hiiiiints???)

It’s genuinely beautiful. The gold shimmers and so do each of the different blues woven into the scissors and the fabric.

Stunning. This one’s design comes from Dust and Pages, and they really nailed it.

And last, but certainly not least at all, the BOOOOOOK!!!

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim is a book I’ve talked myself out of buying so many times, because I’m so eager to read it. I’m ecstatic that patience paid off!!

This book looks incredible. The gold lettering in the title and the gold spine (which I totally forgot to photograph, so you’ll just have to take my word for it) are beautiful. It’s such a cool thing to change just a few details in the cover art for subscribers and Owlcrate does a great job. This is beautiful!! I’m so happy to add this to my shelves.

The book is signed inside (ah!!) and it also came with an art-print that I’m going to use as a bookmark, seen in the photo on the right, and also a hand-written letter from the author about all the things she loves about this story. This is writer/reader heaven. I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THIS!!

Guys, this was, as first experiences go, a pretty phenomenal one. Look at all this gorgeous loot!! I am so grateful to Owlcrate for sending me this awesome box and I wholeheartedly hope to do some more unboxing posts for you guys in the future, I had a blast.

What’s your favorite item this month?? Any other great sub boxes out there?? Tell me in the comments!

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Reviews

Mini-reviews!

That’s right, kiddos! It’s time for some mini-reviiiieeeewwwsss!

I spent all weekend reading, writing, posting updates, and generally getting as involved as possible in the 24 in 48 Read-a-thon! Because of which, I’m exhausted. So instead of one, big, long review, you get these!

Honestly, I love mini-reviews because I don’t get to fully review everything that I read and want to tell people about. So let’s do this!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This. Book. Was. Spectacular. I read Daisy Jones and The Six, by the same author, last week and after falling in love with Reid’s newest phenomenon, I immediately had to pick this one up too. I can’t believe what I was missing!! This book follows journalist, Monique, on the assignment of a lifetime: interviewing timeless Hollywood starlet Evelyn Hugo about her scandalous and luxurious lifetime of fame. The book was phenomenal. I found myself exclaiming and talking out loud when things happened that I didn’t want to happen, when characters grabbed much-deserved victories, when hearts broke. I laughed and cried, and the last sentence of this book made my heart grow three sizes. After these two fantastic novels, I can safely say that I am a hardcore Taylor Jenkins Reid fan. I may do a full review of this one just for the sheer love of it, and I’ll be reviewing Daisy Jones and The Six sometime this week! Wholeheartedly recommend them both.

The Voice of My Mind by T.A. Fish

I hate giving bad reviews, especially when its clear the author worked so hard, but this one didn’t do it for me. This book of poetry was provided to me through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review, and it was…okay. I love poetry and consider myself pretty lenient, though I do have one bias and this book hit it right on the head: everything rhymed. So is that really a critique or just a personal preference? Eh, both, honestly. I can get past any bias of mine if the work is stellar, but this just didn’t move me or touch me emotionally the way I expect poetry to do. The author explores themes of darkness and death, as well as feeling at home in your own mind and trying to understand the world. The work was clear and clean and if you like poetry that rhymes and reads quickly, you may love this way more than I did.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

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This was fun! Excepting the first couple of Harry Potter books, I haven’t read anything considered “Middle Grade” in SO LONG. It was fun to jump back into that childlike mindset! Small Spaces is an eerie little ghost story about a scrappy young girl, Ollie, and the history of the town she lives in. This book was sweet, creepy, and all about the power of strong friendships in the face of evil and selfishness. I had a lot of fun reading it and would recommend it to any kids looking for a fun, new book to enjoy over the Summer.

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris


Oh, what to say about Bring Me Back. I liked this, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I’m a big B.A. Paris fan, I’ve loved her previous two novels, Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown, so to be fair to this novel– my expectations were high. And it wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t as deliciously, spine-chillingly, satisfying as her others. The ending left something to be desired for me. If you’re someone who likes their Thrillers a little gentler and more domestic, this might be for you. If you’re someone who likes a long, slow burn, this might be for you. Don’t take it from me, check it out and you can decide for yourself.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Oh, this was great. I had a funny time reading this: I borrowed it from my library’s digital audiobook lending service, and then…I had to return it before I was finished. So after that brief intermission of two weeks, it’s finally done! And I really enjoyed this new adventure in the city of Luthadel. This is the second book in the Mistborn trilogy. I loved the first and this one was just as brutal, character-driven, complex, and satisfying as the first. Maybe even more so, if I’m being honest, but I can’t decide. This book broke my heart open, but only because Sanderson does such a good job of making you love and care for the characters in his books. I can’t wait to read the final installment of this series, and I highly recommend the first two!

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

The Invited was a really good time. I read the bulk of this while on long, monotonous drives and it was my saving grace, haha. The Invited was creepy, startling, interesting, and just perfectly weird, in my opinion. I loved the characters and, even though I kept yelling “Why would you bring haunted things into your house on purpose!!” at them, I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy that part too. The Invited is not an “in your face” jump-scare kind of a novel, instead its a slow unwinding of the historical ghost story that lives in this town and how those stories change with time, judgement, and blame. This book was about family and believing in what you see, and also in reaching out to help someone even when you’re afraid to do it. Definitely a fun read, perfect for dark, Summer nights around a bonfire. But- is that a shadow in the corner of your eye?

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Last but certainly not least, Gilded Wolves was a fun read that I didn’t expect! While a little derivative sometimes, the sources of inspiration it draws from are some of my favorites and they all come together to create something…more original than I thought it’d be. I was not disappointed! I’ve seen such mixed reviews for this novel that I avoided it for a while, but I can’t deny now that I really enjoyed it. It has so many wonderful facets to the story that just drew me in: magic, mythology, A HEIST, a whole bunch of misfit characters. The world inside this book is so rich and luxurious, so easy to immerse yourself in. And if that wasn’t enough, have you seen this book? It’s gorgeous. The cover is gorgeous, the book under the cover is gorgeous, its beautiful. Regardless, I had a lot of fun reading this, and I think if more people gave it a chance they would too.

And that’s that! What have you been reading lately??

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Challenges

#24in48

Wow. What a whirlwind of a weekend. I had so much fun!

For those of you who aren’t familiar, I participated in a read-a-thon this weekend called 24 in 48. It runs for 48 hours and hundreds of readers all over the world try to read as many hours, up to 24, in just those two days. It’s crazy, insane, totally unadvisable, and it’s really really fun.

This Summer’s 24 in 48 started at midnight on Saturday morning and ended at midnight last night. Whew! I’m beat, honestly. And that means its time for some stats!

Hours read: 20 hours spent reading

Number of books read: Six

Number of pages read: 2,194 pages

Number of breaks taken because the cat needed attention: 8

Number of times I lost my bookmark: Every time I took it out of the book.

Number of times I reset my timer accidentally: Too many.

Missed the updates? Here’s a peek!

I had such a fun time AND I got to put a dent in the stack of books that’s been sitting on my desk to be read this month. What did I read, you ask?

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

I was a quarter of the way into this book when I started, and I had so much fun rereading it! It’s been years and this book is just as good as it once was.

Sabrina: Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan

This was fun! I read this in anticipation of a Blog Tour I’m participating in for this title and I enjoyed myself! It’s short, sweet, and a fun homage to the Netflix show, which I’m a fan of. Look for the review and tour on my blog soon!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Agh, I’ve already gushed about this book enough in my mini-reviews, and I may even write up a full review for it. I loved this. SO much. Taylor Jenkins Reid has proven herself an outstanding storyteller.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

This was fun and not at all what I usually read, so even more fun for that fact. This is a Middle Grade novel provided to me through Netgalley and I knew nothing about it going in. Turns out it’s eerie, fun, and a sweet, sweet story.

The Voice of My Mind by T.A. Fish

Eh, I didn’t love this book of poetry. Mostly for personal preference, it just didn’t vibe with me. But it was definitely a nice break in between novels this weekend!

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

I won this ARC from BookishFirst and I was SO EXCITED when I did! I needed to get this read so I could review it and I’m glad that I got the chance this weekend! Even though this is a YA fantasy, its outside the topics I usually gravitate toward (recently, anyway) so I was worried. No reason to be! This was such a lush, rich, fun read.

What did you read this weekend?? Any more #24in48 survivors?? Let me know in the comments!

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Challenges

Let’s do this!

Bo already knows what kind of weekend its gonna be…
24-in-48 TBR

I don’t know about you, but there are some pretty exciting reading challenges happening this last week of July!

24 in 48 is the first, and it runs for only 48 hours starting at midnight EST on July 20th. There are challenges and prizes and a whole community including hundreds of other readers! This crazy contest invites people all over the world to try and read as many hours as they can in 48 hours, hoping to reach their goal of spending HALF of those reading. WOW. This will be my first time participating and, though my weekend isn’t completely free of other responsibilities, I’m hoping to make a good dent in this stack!

The second read-a-thon that I’m participating in this month is Reading Rush 2019! Formerly “Booktubeathon,” this event runs the last week of July from the 22nd to the 28th. This week is somewhat geared toward the gigantic bookish community on YouTube, but it’s just as fun and accessible to us non-tubers (is that a word??) as well. I’m planning on taking on the challenges here on my blog with you guys!

This years challenges are:

  1. Read a book with purple on the cover.
  2. Read a book in the same spot the entire time.
  3. Read a book you meant to read last year.
  4. Read an author’s first book.
  5. Read a book with a non-human main character.
  6. Read a book that has more than five words in the title.
  7. Read and watch a book to movie/tv adaptation.

I’ll be tracking my progress through Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads (linked right here, and at the bottom of this page!), but I’ll be sure to check in here with you too.

And that’s it, friends! I’m so excited to join in on TWO fun reading challenges for the first time, its gonna be one hell of a week. ❤

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Book Blog Hop

Time to Hop!

One of the things I’ve been trying to do a lot of since starting this blog is check out other awesome book review blogs and get involved in some of the weekly challenges and prompts they use.

Today I’m going to be taking part in the Book Blogger Hop! This is currently active over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer and bloggers all over the sphere get involved to answer the prompt, visit some of the other responses, and make new connections!

This week’s prompt comes from Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer and they asked:  “If you were to write your own autobiography, what would the title be?

And my answer is: I’ve always kind of liked “The Wilderness Years.”

I heard it a long time ago, I’m not even sure where after all these years, but I know it’s also somewhat associated with Winston Churchill?? I think? Forgive my ignorance, I could have googled, but honestly for me its not about that.

I love the way “The Wilderness Years” sounds and it describes exactly how my journey has been for so long. It’s so easy in life to have a plan, decide what you want, and then to meet the world and have it uproot every plan and thought and feeling you ever had, because the world is not a planned or scheduled thing. That’s what happened to me as I grew up, and for a long time I’ve been in this place of learning how to be comfortable while being totally and completely lost in the wilderness. I’m refocusing on making myself a kind and competent travel companion instead of trying to follow a map I made (that, let’s be honest, would be riddled with mistakes anyway, I’m no cartographer). Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not great at sitting quietly in the wilderness yet and finding my way or anything, I’m still human. But what I love about the concept of “wilderness” is that…we’re all there together. No one on this earth knows more or less about how to navigate this world “correctly,” we all just have to do our best and find our own ways through whatever is wild around us.

I feel like if I don’t write a memoir now I’ll have wasted all this deep analysis, but haha we’ll see. Great question.

What would you name a memoir about yourself?? What would it be about??

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