Thursday, July 9, 2020

Unboxing: Dreamy & Co's "Welcome to Crescent City" Box

Today I'm here with something that I haven't done in a unboxing! I rarely buy book boxes anymore, as I usually don't have a need for most of the items that come in them, but I do occasionally splurge on one. Usually the book boxes I buy nowadays are those that have one fandom only, which is exactly what Dreamy & Co does! When they announced the June box, I knew that I had to jump on it. 

I absolutely love this box. I think that you really get good quality items with beautiful designs at an excellent price point. What really made me get this box was the fact that it was only $20 whereas other boxes with all of these goodies usually sell for much higher. I also was, of course, in love with the theme which was all centered around House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas! I feel like I've rambled enough so far so let's go ahead and just dive right in! (Tip: to see the pictures better on their own, click on them and it will give you a slide-show of the enlarged images)

So Dreamy & Co has these super cute boxes that they ship in every month. It's also a perfect sized box for storing art prints, pins, and other small merch items. I plan on keeping this box to use for my Crescent City-themed merch until I have actual bookshelves again!

When you open the box, you're greeted with the spoiler card. I avoided looking at it until after I was done going through the box, but there's information about each item and who the artists were. Plus, the monthly theme artwork is just really pretty.

The first thing that I pulled out of this box was a gorgeous pin banner designed by Evie Bookish with art and the quote "Light it up." Not only is this pin banner stunning, but it's also huge! I am definitely going to be displaying all of my Sarah J. Maas themed pins on this one in the future. It could also work just as a mini tapestry or wall hanging.

The next item that I saw was this gorgeous candle from Flick the Wick. It's theme was Lunathion (the name of the city in the book) and smells like red currant, wood, fig, and obsidian salt. I'm not a scent person so for those who don't know what those smell like together, I'd say that it's a woodsy, yet sweet and salty scent--like something you'd find in a cabin. I really like the smell and I'm very excited to use it in pictures!

The next item that I pulled out was a coaster that has the quote, "Loyal unto death and beyond." It's so gorgeous and I absolutely love the significance behind this quote! This coaster was designed by Dreamy & Co themselves. I actually use coasters quite a bit. I don't use specific sets, but I have a few coasters that I use at my desk and my nightstands and I have a feeling this will be one of them!

Up next was a gorgeous enamel pin designed by Azura Arts. It has the quote, "Through love all is possible," which is one of my favorite quotes from the book. I can't wait to use this one in pictures as well! I have another pin with this quote on it from Bloomsbury, but whereas that one is more simplistic, this new pin has artwork and is beautiful.

The next item was a double-sided sturdy bookmark designed by Dreamy & Co. On one side it says, "You see everything I am, and you don't run away from it." The other side has the quote, "Then let the world know that my first act of freedom was to help my friends." I love both of these quotes and think that this bookmark is so pretty! I can't wait to use it in pictures and for my Crescent City rereads.

Then I pulled out a double-sided wooden bookmark, also designed by Dreamy & Co. This is absolutely stunning and I am so in love with it. One side says, "To live, To love, knowing that it might all vanish tomorrow. It makes everything that much more precious" (there was a typo on this quote on the bookmark, but the company has been in contact with two options for rectifying it). The other side says, "My friend are with me, and I am not afraid." When I tell you the angst I felt reading that quote!

Lastly, there were two double-sided sturdy prints. On one side of each print there was artwork of Hunt and Bryce designed by BxRomance and on the other sides there was quote art designed by Dreamy & Co. I really like the artwork of the characters (it's some of the best I've seen). The quotes one each print were, "Bound by Blood. Tempted by Desire. Unleashed by Destiny," and, "The power shall always belong to those who give their lives to the city." I love both of these quotes and can't wait to use these prints in pictures!

Overall, I am very satisfied with this box. An enamel pin and a candle alone can sometimes cost $20+ so the fact that we got those items plus two more items, two bookmarks, and two prints is really amazing. I am also very happy with the quality of the items in this box and the artwork. I will definitely be buying from Dreamy & Co again when they have another fandom that I'm interested in!

Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Book Review: "The Crow Rider" by Kalyn Josephson

The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson
Title: The Crow Rider
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Series: "The Storm Crow" #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 368 pages
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: 4 // 5 stars

*I was provided a free e-arc from Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own*

When I read The Storm Crow, I fell in love with the story and the characters. After the way the first book ended, I was really interested in seeing how things were dealt with in this novel. I do think that I liked the first book a little bit more, but I still really enjoyed this finale.

One of the things that I like most about these books is how easy it is to fall into them. Kalyn's writing is so wonderful and I've never had any issue with becoming engaged with her stories. One of the things I like about this duology is that we get an engaging high fantasy with wonderful characters but it's not dense, overly-complicated, or super long. While I do like dense fantasies some of the time, I also really love ones like these books. For me, this duology is the epitome of a good Young Adult Fantasy in that it's accessible for younger readers but engaging for those who like a bit of a grittier premise.

I adored the characters just as much this time around. There were a few side characters who were featured heavily in book one that didn't get as much page time in this one that I wished I'd seen more of. However, there were some new characters that were introduced that I really connected with.

Obviously, I love our main character more than the rest. Thia is just so strong and complex. Her bonds with the other characters as well as her internal struggles added such great depth to the story. Additionally, one of the things I liked most about the first book is that it included Thia's mental health journey. I was really glad to see that not only do we get the continuation of her growth and journey, but we also get to see other characters' also healing from trauma and pain.

As much as I loved this book, I'm also really left wanting more. I want more of these characters, more of the world and lore, and so much more of the crows and magic! I would love if the author revisited this world following a different character (or even a continuation of Thia's story) because I just am so intrigued by everything in it. I really wish I'd gotten to see even more of the different magic systems and history but I also feel that I was never confused due to lack of information. Overall, I wish there was more of everything because I just really liked this duology!

Thanks for reading!

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Monday, July 6, 2020

June 2020 Book Haul

Hello everyone! Today I am back with my book haul for the month of June! I really like the haul I have this month and I'm excited to read all the books I got! I got a total of 10 books and have already read some of them. Let's just go ahead and dive right in!

The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy, #2)The first book I got this month was a finished hardcover of The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala which was sent to me by Wunderkind PR! This is the sequel to The Tiger at Midnight which I read in May and enjoyed! I'm really excited to see where this sequel goes since the synopsis seems to hint at some exciting things!

Girl, InterruptedThe next book I got was one that I ended up buying for class before finding out the professor put up digital copies for us to use. That was Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. I did read this one in June and it was pretty eye-opening and interesting, but I wouldn't say that I enjoyed it or liked it. I don't think this is one that I'm going to read again so when I get the chance I'm actually going to unhaul it.

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial DivideUp next I have How to Be Less Stupid About Race by Crystal M. Fleming. This was a book recommended to me for education on systematic racism in America. I'm hoping to read it later this summer because I definitely need to be more educated on all aspects of how ingrained racism is in our society.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About RaceThen I got Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. This is another book discussing systematic racism but this has a focus on Britain. I've actually been wanting to read it for a while but finally got the push I needed to buy it. As someone who wants to study in Britain for my masters and hopefully get a job there after graduating, I know that I need to learn about how systematic racism presents itself in the country I want to live in.

Archenemies (Renegades, #2)The next book I got was through a trade so I didn't end up paying anything for it which was nice. That book was Archenemies by Marissa Meyer, the sequel to Renegades. I'm planning on binging this trilogy in July and I'm really excited to have the first two books already!

Rage and Ruin (The Harbinger, #2)Then I picked up a copy of Rage and Ruin by Jennifer L. Armentrout. More accurately, I preordered it months ago and was so caught up with class that I forgot I had it ordered until I got the shipping notification. Either way, this cover is absolutely stunning, especially put side-by-side with the first book, and I'm very excited to read this series!

Dear Martin (Dear Martin, #1)Up next I picked up a copy of Dear Martin by Nic Stone. This is one that's been on my radar but I never bought it. It was on sale in June and I knew that a lot of people had recommended it for fiction by Black authors and so I decided to pick it up. I also ended up being so intrigued that I started reading it the day I got it and finished it the next!

Then I got my UK preorder of The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty. The UK editions are absolutely stunning and I'm so excited to have this edition for my collection. I cannot wait until I have shelves again and can display these books properly! I also got my preorder for the US hardcover of The Empire of Gold as well! Both editions are stunning and I am so excited to have them.

The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy, #3) The Empire of Gold (Daevabad Trilogy, #3)

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in AmericaLastly, I picked up a copy of Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. I am going to be doing a lot of reading for education this summer on systematic racism, but I also think that it's important I learn the history of how it all started and how we got to the point we're at. I've heard a lot of praise for this book and I'm definitely hoping to at least get a good chunk of it read in July (since it is 600+ pages!).

Thanks for reading!

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