Category: Books

Owl Crate Unboxed: January Magic

Owl Crate Unboxed: January Magic

I’m a bit obsessed with subscription boxes. The surprise! The loot! The thrill of getting mail! Here’s a look into my latest box: Owl Crate. The Book Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go. What is this? How have I not heard of this book before? I’m so intrigued… Read more »

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Owl Crate Unboxed: December’s Get Inspired

Owl Crate Unboxed: December’s Get Inspired

I’m a bit obsessed with subscription boxes. The surprise! The loot! The thrill of getting mail! Here’s a look into my latest box: Owl Crate. I was a little delinquent in my posting during December, so I’ll be posting the January unboxing next week! The Book   Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott Have you ever looked at a famous portrait and wondered the backstory of its model? In Da Vinci’s Tiger, L.M. Elliott fleshes out the story behind Ginevra de’ Benci and the famous portrait of her by Leonardo Da Vinci. I’ve just finished the book, and found it to be quite enjoyable, providing a look into fifteenth-century Florence and all its intrigue and poetry. Elliott’s Ginevra is smart, virtuous, well-learned and ultimately, a feminist. She chafes at the roles society has given her, and must deal with the duality of her nature: proper married woman and fierce tiger. This is not… Read more »

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Owl Crate Unboxed: November’s Myths and Legends (Plus Soundless Giveaway!)

Owl Crate Unboxed: November’s Myths and Legends (Plus Soundless Giveaway!)

I’m a bit obsessed with subscription boxes. The surprise! The loot! The thrill of getting mail! Here’s a look into my latest box: Owl Crate. The Book   Soundless by Richelle Mead This was a little deflating as I already have a copy of this book from BEA. BUT, that is the risk you run with subscription boxes. This final edition is still very beautiful though! And because I have an ARC already, I will be giving this copy away, replete with the bookmark and temporary tattoos it came with. My review for Soundless isn’t up yet, but it was an enjoyable, if simplistic story. Enter for a chance to win below.  The Other Goodies Snow White Tea by adagio teas An apple tea blend to help Snow White ward off the wicked Queen’s poisonous spell and awake with the gentle kiss from her handsome Prince. This was a very… Read more »

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What to do with Landline: How to classify genre benders

What to do with Landline: How to classify genre benders

It’s Sci-Fi Month, courtesy of Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow! If you want to get involved, you can check out the details here. Today I wanted to discuss a recent book I read that blurs the line between contemporary and sci-fi: Landline by Rainbow Rowell. To me, Rainbow Rowell is a fantastic writer. She really excels at dialogue and building very interesting characters. I recently saw Rowell on a panel during NerdCon, and she talked a little bit about how a lot of herself is in her stories, which may be why they feel so realistic. That, and the majority (Carry On now excluded) are contemporary works of fiction. Landline toes the line though: its major conceit is a landline phone that allows the main character to speak with her husband from the past. Admittedly, Landline isn’t my favorite story of Rowell’s. It might be my least, though I… Read more »

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Sci-Fi Month Review: The Body Electric

Sci-Fi Month Review: The Body Electric

It’s Sci-Fi Month, courtesy of Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow! If you want to get involved, you can check out the details here. Today I’m reviewing The Body Electric. I was attracted to The Body Electric because altered memories is one of my favorite tropes. One of my longest running (and favorite) WIPs is about a future society with ever increasing mind control and a protagonist with hidden memories. This book was sort of homework for me in a way, because I really wanted to see how the lost memories were handled. It was also my first Beth Revis story, though I know she is pretty well known in the YA world for her Across the Universe series. There was so much to enjoy in The Body Electric. Right off the bat, we are introduced to a unique setting: a rebuilt Malta. I loved that the book didn’t take… Read more »

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Sci-Fi Month Review: The Martian

Sci-Fi Month Review: The Martian

It’s Sci-Fi Month, courtesy of Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow! If you want to get involved, you can check out the details here. Today I’m reviewing The Martian, which is probably my favorite Sci-Fi read of 2015. When I hear hard science fiction, it terrifies me. Mostly because I don’t think I can handle all the technical details that comes with hard sci-fi and it’ll prove I’m not as smart as I think I am. :P So imagine my surprise when I could not put down The Martian, a book basically written as a love letter to engineering and problem solving. From the first sentence I was engaged in the story. What’s the first sentence you ask? ‘I’m pretty much fucked.” What makes The Martian work so well is the humor. Mark Watney is hilarious, and surprisingly optimistic for being stranded on Mars. Without such a likeable character… Read more »

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It’s NaNovember! Let’s get to writing!

It’s NaNovember! Let’s get to writing!

  I am half agony, half hope. NaNoWriMo is quite the treat. I spent last November simultaneously pulling out my hair and giggling with joy. It kills me to write so quickly with no room to edit, but I feel so hopeful about having something, anything, down on paper. It made me feel like I could be a for-serious writer if I put my mind to it. SO LET’S DO IT AGAIN! What is really exciting about NaNo this year is that my fair co-blogger Ashley is participating too! I’ve been pressuring her for a while now, and I am so glad she’ll be as insane pumped as I am writing a novel in 30 days. Here’s what we have cooking: Anne’s NaNo novel: The Natural Order of Elements I’m not very prepared for this, but I have had the idea of these characters in my head for some time so I figured why not play in… Read more »

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Beer & Book Exchange: October 2015

Beer & Book Exchange: October 2015

Ashley lives in New York, Anne Minnesota. Each month we send each other one care package in the mail: a book plus a beer to match. The Beer & Book Exchange is a fun way for us to keep connecting over books (not that we need the help). Plus, who doesn’t love getting packages?! Ashley’s Beer & Book   Book: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner Beer: Cygnus X-1 Porter | Flat Earth Brewing Co. Why Anne shipped it: I went a little crazy with this box! I wanted to do a really strong theme, and started with the book because the cover is pretty gorgeous and I know Ashley liked These Broken Stars. The Leeloo was somewhat unintentional — I bought her for myself, but when she came in the same box as the book, well she matched so well! And, I knew Ashley would love her. As for… Read more »

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Owl Crate Unboxed: Spooky October!

Owl Crate Unboxed: Spooky October!

I’ve tried a few subscription boxes over the years. For the longest time I was a Birchbox fan, and then I was sick of getting anti-aging samples and weirdly colored nail polish. (There was one that was a yellow tint that gave me smoker’s nails. wtf?) Next I tried Lootcrate, and that was cool for a while, until I realized I didn’t like half of the items I received. Since I’m not a DC fan, most of that stuff was lost on me, and I gave it away. It wasn’t that smart to buy something I ended up ditching. Now I’m trying Owl Crate. This is my first experience with a bookish subscription box, and I’m really pleased so far! Last month was leading ladies, and Ashley is planning to review. But, since I just received my October box and I CAN’T WAIT to show it off… This month’s box… Read more »

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BEA Book Review: Black Widow: Forever Red

BEA Book Review: Black Widow: Forever Red

Sigh. I had high hopes for this one. After all the line at BEA was excruciatingly long and people could hardly contain their excitement. I admit, I was one of those people. Who wouldn’t want to read a novel dedicated to Black Widow? She’s a very interesting character, and a bada$$ Avenger. Alas, I was still disappointed. First things first. This novel isn’t really about Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow. She’s present, but not the main character. It’s really about Ava Orlova – a fellow Russian test subject escapee. I didn’t really know this going into the novel, so for roughly 50 pages I was like when are we going to talk about Natasha? Ava was saved by Natasha in an attempt to end the crazed Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room. She’s then put into protective S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, until she decides to break out and make it on… Read more »

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