Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Bookish Holiday Gift Guide!

The holidays are upon us! I don't know about you, but I always struggle with finding the perfect gift for my friends and family. It's just so hard for me because I'm constantly worried that they're not going to absolutely love whatever I get them. So, while I can't give you recommendations on gifts for everyone in your family, I figured I would use my expertise to help you find the perfect gift for your bookish friend or family member. 

In many years past, I've put books on my Christmas lists but not everyone does that. And with hardcore book lovers like myself, we prefer to pick the books we read and sometimes gifted books just don't interest us, as hard as it may be to say that aloud. However, if your gift recipient is anything like me, then they'll appreciate these bookish goodies! 

The first recommendation I have is a book sleeve. What is a book sleeve exactly? Well, basically it's a little padded pouch that you can put your book into so that it won't get damaged in your backpack or purse. I have a growing collection of sleeves and use them constantly to keep my books protected! Some notable book sleeve companies that I personally have sleeves from are Book Beau (on Amazon prime OR on their website; left photo by @bookbeau), Book Bud by Gabriel Lea on Etsy (a lot of her sleeves feature her own printed designs!), and Melvis Makes on Etsy (I have a glow in the dark sleeve and it's amazing!). Of course, you can pretty much just go to Etsy's website and type in book sleeve and dozens upon dozens of options will come up for you to chose from! There's patterns, sizes, and types for every different book lover in your life! Don't forget to check Instagram to see if these companies have reps with coupon codes! 

And, of course, no book lover can ever have too many bookmarks! They're pretty much the number one essential for a reader who prefers physical over ebooks. With all the creative people out there, there are so many different bookmarks to chose from! Again, you can pretty much find bookmarks at any bookstore or online, but here are a few notable ones. BookishTextDesigns is a small business run by Minju, who hand letters and hand paints every single piece of art in her shop! She sells bookmarks for a really good deal, too, and you can use LAUREN10 for an additional 10% off your order (left photo by @bookishtextsdesigns). I also am very partial to HappyHelloCo who makes these adorable magnetic bookmarks based off your favorite characters (right photo by me). I have so many of these and I love them all! 

Candles are also a great way to go. There are so many amazing candle companies out there that cater to all different types of book lovers. Some candles that I find amazing are the ones that smell like old books or libraries, the ones that smell like different seasons, and the ones that are themed after different books and characters. My absolute favorite candle company is ACourtofCandles (left photo by @thefearlessreader) and they make book and book character themed candles as well as teas and bath items. I love their Throne of Glass candles especially. TheMeltingLibrary (right photo from @themeltinglibrary) is another popular candle company who does book/character themed candles but also candles themed around seasons and more. Don't forget to check their Instagram's for rep coupon codes! 

Something my friend got me for my birthday and I think is really cute is a folding book light. It looks like a book but when you open it, the pages turn into a lamp. This one on Amazon is rechargeable and has two colors: warm white or plain white. My favorite thing to do with mine is open it up, set it on my bookshelf, and turn off the other lights in my room. 

Another great idea is a library embosser for those book lovers in your life who don't mind marking up their books! You can get it personalized with your gift recipient's name and then they will be able to personalize their books so that no one can ever steal it! This one here on Neiman Marcus is one of the best priced I've been able to find and they have fast shipping! 

Last, but certainly not least, a book box subscription could work! There are so many amazing subscription boxes out there and many offer one-time purchases or 1-, 3-, and 6-month subscriptions, so there's an option for each budget! Usually these boxes come with a book (often-times signed, with a bookplate, or even with an exclusive cover) and a mixture of goodies. My personal favorite subscription box is Fairyloot, a YA fantasy box with their November 2017 box pictured here, but there are options for everyone. Some are like book clubs, some are geared towards young children, some pair books with tea or coffee--there's really a box for everyone. I suggest checking Cratejoy or this list by Urban Tastebud and, after chosing which box, looking at their Instagram for possible rep coupon codes! 

Thanks for reading!

Follow my bookstagram here. New giveaway will be posted soon!

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Let's Talk: "Kingdom of Ash" by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Kingdom of Ash
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: "Throne of Glass" #7
Genre: Y/NA Fantasy
Page Length: 980 pages
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Date Started: October 23, 2018
Date Finished: October 28, 2018
Rating: Infinite stars


Okay, now that that's out of my system, let me just inform you how this review is going to work since it's a little different than my normal reviews. This review is going to be split into 2 parts: non-spoiler and semi-spoiler. The non-spoiler section will be completely spoiler free for the entire series. I won't be spoiling any of the previous books in this section. In the semi-spoiler section, I will spoil previous books, but not Kingdom of Ash. There will be ample warnings and headers, though, to prevent you from getting spoiled if you haven't read the series yet. I will be doing a completely separate spoiler discussion so there is no risk of getting spoiled for Kingdom of Ash in this review. So read on, and enjoy!


As stated above, this section will not be spoiling any of the books in this series. Therefore, it is also going to be the shortest of the sections as I can't talk too much about this book without spoiling the previous seven.

Overall, I thought that this was a beautiful ending to an amazing series. As I reread this series and dove into this final book, I could definitely see the threads that Sarah has been weaving since book one. I loved how everything connected and interwove throughout the books. I know a lot of people have been annoyed in previous books for seemingly unnecessary details, but those things come to light in later books and I love that.

I definitely am walking out of this series and this book with such love and happiness in my heart. I'm honestly just so grateful to Sarah for sharing this story with the world because it has brought me so much happiness, joy, and more to my life. This was the perfect ending to an amazing series. 


This is the semi-spoiler section. There will NOT be spoilers for Kingdom of Ash, but there will be spoilers for every book before it and the novellas, so please be advised. 

As I said in the non-spoiler section, I thought this was an amazing book. Seeing how Sarah weaved things together from the get-go was amazing. Especially when events that happened so long ago from Crown of Midnight or The Assassin's Blade were referenced. 

After Empire of Storms, I wasn't sure how Sarah would emotionally hurt me next or how she would tackle the massive cliffhanger at the end of that book. I think she did so beautifully. It was definitely a hard journey but the pacing and actions behind it definitely felt true to the characters and story. 

It was amazing seeing Aelin grow as a character in previous books and her journey in this book was equally amazing, and a little heartbreaking. I think we readers oftentimes forget that she is 19, my age. She hasn't even hit 20 yet and she's dealing with all of these terrible things being done to her and her world. She's just such a strong, amazing character and I loved every second of her 8-book journey. 

The other characters were equally amazing. Rowan was just amazing. Seeing how he was both with and without Aelin and the strength he shows at different parts of the book just made me love him even more. I've also loved seeing Dorian, Manon, and Chaol's character arcs as well as meeting new and returning characters. I think my favorite side character is Fenrys because he's such an amazing person and so strong to be stuck in this blood oath with Maeve at the end of Empire of Storms, knowing full well he's about to see Aelin tortured. 

Overall, I thought the plot, pacing, and characters were superb. There were so many mind-blowing moments, heart-breaking chapters, and amazing parts that I can definitely say this is one of my favorite books ever, if not my favorite in the series. It will forever hold a place in my heart (and my record book, as it is currently the longest book I have read to date!). 

Prior Series Book Reviews:
The Assassin's Blade
Throne of Glass
Heir of Fire
Empire of Storms
Tower of Dawn

Thanks for reading!

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

NaNoWriMo Mid-Month Update!

Hello all! Today I'm not talking about reading, but instead I'll be discussing writing! Writing has been a passion of mine as long as reading has been. In fact, I remember writing Taylor Lautner fanfiction in 5th grade math class more than I remember the actual class. Writing has been a passion for mine for so long, and even when I fell out of touch with reading for a few years, I continued to write and write and write.

This is my third time participating in NaNoWriMo. I've won the previous times I've done it, but we'll see if I can swing that this year. But wait, what is NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it's a challenge during the month of November to write 50,000 words. It's quite the feat and one that I am tackling this year.

I came into this NaNo already having written this story and plotted out some of it. The only thing I'm going to say about my novel is that it's a young adult (so far) fantasy about dragons. I started writing it years ago, yet I revamped it at the beginning of Freshman year of college and then again at the beginning of this past summer. I've been steadily working since then, but before this month, I hadn't added much to the story yet. For NaNo this year, I decided not to use the 13,000+ words I'd already written and instead try to add 50k. It's not working out too well.

So far, in the month of November, I've written about 14,000 words, which is about what I had written from the beginning of summer until now. That's still a good amount of words, but the target goal for today is over 28,000. That means I'm only about halfway to the target for today and many, many words behind if I'm going to write 50k by the end of November.

But I'm not stressing. If I don't finish, then I don't finish. November is a busy month for this college student. November sees an influx in papers, assigned readings, exams, and art projects that take up so much of my time. Did I mention I also run this blog, a bookstagram account, and am trying to hit my Goodreads reading goal? 

I think for me, November is just a terrible month to do this in. December isn't the most ideal, but at least I'd have winter break to sit around and write. It's quite the feat to write a novel at any point of the year, but this month is especially stressful.

So I'm not letting it stress me. I'm not worried about reaching the required word count because, at the end of the day, I'm writing and that's all that matters. I'm adding to my novel and I'm doing something I enjoy. On days where I don't feel like writing, I'm not going to force myself or I'll end up hating this novel. But, eventually, I will finish. And it will be a glorious achievement. 

To all my fellow NaNoWriMo-ers, good luck! I hope you're enjoying the challenge and not stressing yourself out too much. I know you have it in you to write as much as you can this month, whether that be 50k or 10k. 

Thanks for reading!

Follow my bookstagram here. New giveaway will be posted soon!

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Let's Talk: "Forged Alliances" by Katherine McIntyre

Title: Forged Alliances
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Series: "Tribal Shifters" #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Page Length: 184 pages
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Date Started: November 12, 2018
Date Finished: November 13, 2018
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

*I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

When I was contacted to review this book, I was very excited. I've read one of Katherine's other books and really enjoyed it, so I was pretty interested in reading this one. Not only that, but I am and always have been a sucker for shifter/paranormal romance books. So this was pretty exciting going in.

I enjoyed this book. I really liked all of the characters we got to know, and my favorite outside of the main two was Finn. I'm interested in seeing where all of these character relationships go and how everyone interacts with each other in subsequent books.

One thing I felt we missed out on, though, was seeing more of the Tribe, but I'm sure we'll get more of that in more books. I also think that we didn't get much of Drew's motivations for all of the trouble he was causing. It seemed to me like he was being the antagonist just to be the antagonist. Don't get me wrong, I think he was a good antagonist, I just wanted to see more of his motivations.

I loved the wit and sass between the two main characters. I thought they complimented each other well and I'm excited to see how they progress in subsequent books. For me, I think that we've reached just the tip of the iceberg on their relationship and I want to see a lot more of their connection.

I enjoyed the action scenes, but I think that some of them could have been a bit longer or more fleshed out to really leave me with a fast heartbeat and sweaty palms over what's going to happen.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book but I wished it had been longer because I just want more. I want more from these characters and I want to know what happens next! I cannot wait to see how the series progresses and a big thank you to Katherine for allowing me this chance to read this book!

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Read Before 2019

Hello everyone! We're back with another exciting top 5 Wednesday. This week, I'm discussing the top 5 books I want to reread before 2019 rolls around. As I'm sure is the case with a lot of you, my TBR is pretty big and there's always a book that I want to read, so narrowing it down to the 5 I want to read before 2019 was hard. Hopefully, I'll get through all of these! I have Thanksgiving break coming next week and eventually winter break after that, so fingers crossed I can get through these and more.

These aren't really in any order, but let's start with Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I've been hearing nothing but great things about this series since this book came out years ago. In fact, I've had no excuse to not read it since I've had the book since it came out. But, alas, I haven't read it yet. However, since I just got word that I won a giveaway for the entire series, I'm planning on binging the series this winter break before the end of 2019. Exciting, right?!

Then we have P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, the sequel to one of the only contemporary books I've read and actually loved. The first book was so cute and I loved the movie, but I'm not sated. I need more! I cannot wait to read this one, hopefully by the end of November!

Next I have Vicious by V.E. Schwab, a book that everyone seems to love. The hype around this book, and now its sequel, has been insane lately. Plus, with the gorgeous cover, I knew that I had to read it eventually. I think that this will be such a fun read and I cannot wait to get to it.

After that, we have Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. So many people seem to love this and I haven't had the chance to read it yet, but that will happen! I am counting on myself to get through this duology and finally see what all of the hype is about.

And, lastly, I want to read The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, which is actually the book I am starting today after I fill my NaNo quota. This is a high fantasy that has received amazing reviews and I cannot wait to dive into it. I actually read the first 60 pages when I got it and was really immersed in the story, but was too busy to actually finish it at the time. Now is my time! 

Thanks for reading!

Follow my bookstagram here. New giveaway will be posted soon!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Largest Books on My TBR

Hello everyone! Today I'm back with another Top 5 Wednesday, what a surprise! November has been going pretty well so far. If you weren't aware, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo and I'm behind a little, but either way I'm making progress on a project I've been thinking about for a very long time! I've also read two books already, so I'd say we're doing well!

Anyway, this week's topic for T5W is the largest books on my TBR. If you don't know what TBR means, it stands for "To Be Read." I have a pretty large TBR that I am a little ashamed of, but I'm taking strides to reduce it. Either way, here are some of the biggest books on my TBR. I may have some that are larger, but these are among the ones that came to mind first! It should also come at no surprise to anyone that most of these are adult high fantasies...

At number five, we have The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss at 662 pages for the US paperback. I've heard nothing but good things about this book and yet, in all my years of owning it, I have yet to read it. I don't know why I'm intimidated, since I've read many books that are longer than this, but I am just worried that my expectations won't be lived up to. 

For number four, I picked Malice by John Gwynne at 672 pages for the paperback. This is one that I discovered very recently and haven't picked up yet, but I'm excited to get to when I finally get the time. It's a little bit longer than The Name of the Wind but it's still nowhere near as long as the longest book I've ever read.

Next, at number three, we have Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare at 701 pages for the US hardcover. Gasp! I know, I haven't read it yet. But I'm planning on doing a series binge when the final book comes out. I've noticed that I'm generally really bad at reading Cassandra Clare books when they come out, but when I finally read them, I love them! Here's to hoping I can binge this trilogy over winter break. 

At number two, we have Dragonfly in Amber, the sequel to Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon which comes in at 743 pages for the US paperback. I know exactly why I haven't read this one yet. I watched the first season of the show before I read the first book, and I think that really helped with how dense these books are. But when I tried to go into this one without watching the second season, I was really struggling. Therefore, I need to rewatch the first season of the show and continue on so that I can then read this book, which I plan on getting to at some point! 

And, lastly, at number one we have The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson at a whopping 1,007 pages for the US hardcover. This is one of my friend's favorite series and I've been meaning to get into Brandon Sanderson's writing for a while, so I definitely plan on reading it at some point in the next year! I think with this one it is definitely a size intimidation issue, but since I recently finished a 980 page book, I think that I can get this one done pretty easily. I just have to find the time! 

Thanks for reading!

Follow my bookstagram here. New giveaway will be posted soon!

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Let's Talk: "White Stag" by Kara Barbieri

Title: White Stag
Author: Kara Barbieri
Series: "Permafrost #1"
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 368 pages
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Date Started: October 31, 2018
Date Finished: November 3, 2018
Rating: 2/5 stars

*I was provided a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest, non-spoiler review*
TW for talk of rape in the book and this review., I didn't love it. I didn't hate it, but I'm mostly left feeling underwhelmed and disappointed by this book. There were definitely times where I was somewhat enjoying it, but for the most part, I was just let down by this book. I didn't even go into this book with high expectations, so I'm still sad that I didn't love it like I had hoped.

I think, for me, my enjoyment of this book was colored by personal experiences as well as just my own critical reading skills. After taking numerous creative writing courses, studying literature in college, and reviewing books for years, I have a much more critical eye when it comes to books than I used to. I have no doubt that 15 year old me would have absolutely loved this book, but 19 year old me had a lot of issues with it.

I would like to say that my issues aren't really with the plot, though there are a few things I was iffy about. The story itself, if you described it to me in detail, I would probably have said sounded fascinating. And that's the truth: this book was cool and very different than what I've read before. I've never read a goblin book, or one that pulls from Norse mythology. The idea of this book was a good one, but I thought it wasn't executed in a way that showcased this story the best.

That being said, the actual writing is beautiful. I found Kara's writing to be lyrical and, at times, mesmerizing. But, the other technical parts of this story were lacking. The pacing, character development, etc all could have been worked on a lot further. To me, this felt like a first or second draft of a book. And, again, I was provided an advanced copy of the book, so maybe this will all change with the release. But, I don't think that there will be drastic enough of changes between the arc and finished draft to fix these problems I had.

Problem 1: the pacing. Most of the time, I found myself looking at what page number I was on and seeing how far away the ending was. The pacing wasn't done in a way that kept me interested all the time. Background, informational scenes, and their travels or angsty conversations were spread out for a long time, but most of the action scenes were over in a page or two. And a lot of this was split up with inner monologues from our main character that were very repetitive. Frankly, I spent a lot of my time skimming her monologues and most of this book after I hit 100 pages.

Problem 2: sub-par characterization. Don't get me wrong, the characters were the best part of this book in my opinion. But that doesn't mean that I love them. I enjoyed them, but I already can feel myself forgetting about them. I know that if they were real people and I met them in real life, I'd probably like them. But as characters, I felt detached. The bad guy is the bad guy just because...we don't get any information other than when we're told he's the bad guy and has done terrible things. The good guy is the good guy simply because he's not the bad guy. There was more of a feeling that we were being given information and being told to like them rather than forming connections.

Problem 3: too-easy solutions. So there's a lot of life-or-death situations and many problems that the characters face in this book. And, even though there's a lot of death throughout, every situation seems to be remedied pretty quickly. It makes me wonder why we're told a situation is dire if it can be resolved in a couple of pages? This is a common theme throughout the book, especially when it comes to the ending. I just wish that we'd gotten more time with these scenes instead of the inner monologues.

Problem 4: problematic areas. First things first, the way the main character's rape is handled in this book was not the best. It's used more for shock value and to create a cliche tortured main character than anything else. It didn't add anything to the book (as in, you could have taken it out and it would have changed nothing) and I felt like the use of rape was poorly handled. Also, I like Soren and I like Janneke, but I don't particularly like them in a romance together. We're told, even in the description of the book, that they're the possible romantic pair for this book. But, from the beginning, I couldn't get behind it. Janneke is a thrall--aka a human slave who was kidnapped from her home and brought into the Permafrost--while Soren is her master/owner. While she doesn't call him that, he can give her orders, binds her to him, and she's under his protection when they're around other goblins. I just see this as not the best precursor to a relationship? I don't know, I just can't get behind the idea of her essentially being his slave and then them getting together.

Problem 5: the goblins. So, the goblins in this book are supposedly beautiful and tall and badass, but for most of the first part of the book I could only imagine them as 3-foot tall green things? By the end, I kind of put it together in my mind that they were beautiful, but it still confuses me a bit. It felt more like they were fae or elves but didn't want to be in that specific trope so they were then called goblins? I don't know, maybe this was just me.

Problem 6: the tropes. Oh gosh, there were so many tropes. I just felt like we were going through this book ticking items off an imaginary checklist of most-used YA tropes. Don't get me wrong, I love tropes but only when they're done well. And in this book, I mostly found myself rolling my eyes at them or groaning when another trope popped up.

Overall, I'm not sure about this book. I liked the characters in theory and the idea of the story, but the way it was executed was sub-par in my opinion and that left a serious damper on my enjoyment of it. I probably will not continue with the next book, but I do hope that others can find this book more interesting than I did.

Thanks for reading!

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

October 2018 Book Haul!

Hello everyone! I'm back with another monthly book haul, and this one was pretty big, but not as big as the previous months. There were a lot of exciting releases that came out this month, which is why I got so many, but in upcoming months, my hauls will definitely be trickling down to only a few. Anyway, I got 13 physical books and 4 ebooks this month. Let's go ahead and jump straight in!

The first book I got this month was The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell. I've heard nothing but amazing things about this book since it was released and especially with the release of the second book this month. I found it for really cheap on Amazon Marketplace and I can't wait to read it! 

The second book I got this month was Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. This is the beautiful 1st edition UK hardcover that came with orange sprayed edges and I'm in love. It's so pretty and the books next to each other are so aesthetic. I'm super excited to start reading the first book soon!

After that, I got a copy of What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. When I got an Amazon gift card all the way back during the summer, I knew I wanted to preorder this book. I love Becky's books and I've been wanting to read one by Adam for a while, so I'm very excited to read this one hopefully soon!

Next, I picked up the Collector's Edition of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I know this book is going to wreck me, but I feel like with the current issues in America, this book is definitely one that I should read. Especially with the movie coming out, I knew I wanted to read the book before watching that.

After that, I made a trade for an arc of Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy which comes out in March. I saw this on someone's Instagram story and I knew I had to have it when I heard the synopsis. It's a gender bent, modern-day King Arthur retelling set in space. It sounds so badass and I can't wait.

The next two books I got were in this month's Owlcrate. You can find my complete unboxing here, but the first book that was included was Pride by Ibi Zoboi. This is a modern-day Pride & Prejudice retelling set in Brooklyn. We got an exclusive cover, exclusive endpages, and the book came signed this month! The second book that Owlcrate included was a signed, exclusive edition of Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagwa. I haven't heard much about this book other than it's based on Japanese folklore and a lot of people have been raving about it. I'll definitely be giving it a try!

The next 5 books I got are all different editions of Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. Each edition has something different about it and I'm obsessed with them all. The first edition I got was the Books-A-Million edition which came with fan art on the endpages. I love love love the fan art and I'm so happy to have this edition. Gabriela, the artist, really outdid herself on this art. The second edition I got was the Target edition which came with a collectible Aelin trading card. The third edition I got was the basic regular edition from Amazon which I'll be annotating and tabbing up, and potentially trying my hand at paining in the future. The fourth edition I got was the UK Waterstones paperback edition, which also came with fan art in it. It's the same fan art as the Books-A-Million edition but in the paperback, and I love it. The UK editions are gorgeous and I think I actually prefer the UK cover to the US. The last edition I got this month was the signed, tour edition from the Chicago tour stop. You can find my tour recap post here

The last book I got this month was from the Fairyloot October box, which you can find my unboxing for here. The book included this month was Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I've been excited about the release of this book for so long and I'm thrilled to have this edition. It's a signed copy with an exclusive cover and pink sprayed edges! I cannot wait to read it!

The first ebook that I picked up this month was Neutral by Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington, which is a novella set between the 4th and 5th books in the Curse of the Gods series, which is one of my favorites. This follows two side characters that I've been loving since the beginning and I can't wait to read this in my binge of the series in November.

The second ebook I got was another novella called Meeting Sang: Silas by C.L. Stone. The author is releasing the first book in this series (which is another of my favorites) split up into the different boys' POVs. I cannot wait for the next one!

The third ebooks I got this month was Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I own almost all of her books in ebook format and this one was finally on sale enough for me to buy it! For me, it's just a comfort knowing that I'll always be able to have my favorite book series with me no matter where I travel, especially next year when I'm going to study abroad and am unable to bring books with me. 

The last ebooks I got this month was Secrets from the Grave by B.L. Brunnemer, the 6th book in the Veil Diaries series that released on Halloween. This is one of my favorite RH series and I'm super excited to see where the story takes us next! 

Well, that's it for my October book haul! Thanks for reading and can't wait to see you in November!

Follow my bookstagram here. New giveaway will be posted very soon!

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

October 2018 Wrap-Up!

Well well well, another wrap up has arrived! This month was such a good reading month for me. I read so many books and completed my monthly TBR for the first time in a long time. I read 14 books, a startling 8 more than last month. I also was able to post a lot more this month on my blog as well as watch some TV shows and movies. It was a pretty productive month, which surprised me considering I had midterms going on. Hopefully I can read as many in November, but with National Novel Writing Month and a few term papers coming up, I'm not quite sure I'll be able to do it. So, without further ado, let's go ahead and jump right on in! 

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating: 5/5 stars
Rereading this book was such a journey. From the first time I read this series, this was the book that really kicked everything into motion. I definitely got that feeling again. Rereading the previous three books has been amazing and so fun and nostalgic, but rereading Heir of Fire was a completely different experience. It was so heart wrenching at times and so full of foreshadowing that you don't even notice until you finish Empire of Storms and then reread this book. Just...Sarah really is quite amazing and this series is something else. I can't wait to continue my reread of the series.

Title: The Oresteia
Author: Aeschylus
Rating: N/A-read for class
We read this trilogy of plays in my Ancient and Medieval Literature class. I wouldn't go as far to say I loved them, because at times I was so bored and wanted to be doing anything other than reading, but I mostly attribute that to the fact that I was being told to read these instead of given the choice myself.

Title: Oedipus Rex
Author: Sophocles
Rating: N/A-read for class
T'was pretty boring and I didn't really like it. However, I found Oedipus to be quite honorable and I'm glad to finally fully understand where the psychology term "Oedipus Complex" comes from. Overall, though, I'm just glad to be done with the end of this.

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Barduog
Rating: 4/5 stars
I ended up liking my reread of this book a lot more than the first time I read it, but I still didn't 100% love it. I think for me, the pacing was still a bit slow but the characters more than made up for it. I am very excited to see where this duology goes with the next book! 

Title: Introductions
Author: C.L. Stone
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Rereading this was so fun and cute. My friend recently binged the entire 11 books that are currently out, plus the novellas, and hearing her gush about how much she loves these characters made me miss them a lot. I loved revisiting this world as it's so nostalgic for me to read these books since I started reading them 5 years ago or so. I can't wait to reread the next one.

Title: Lysistrata 
Author: Aristophanes
Rating: 4/5 stars
I must have to say, this is probably my favorite of all the plays and epics we've read so far in my literature class. This was just such a funny play and I was laughing out loud for most of it. The translation that I read was so perfectly done and I know I'll be laughing over the amount of sexual jokes in this play for a long time.

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating: 5/5 amazing stars
Well this was a whirlwind of emotion and I am a bit broken right now because of how amazing this book is. I mean, I knew it was amazing since I'd read it before but I swear to god rereading this book was a holy experience in itself. I was blessed by Mala Lightbringer herself when reading this book. If I can ever write a story as good as this one I can die happy.

Title: First Days
Author: C.L. Stone
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Rereading this was so fun. I absolutely love this series and rereading this book definitely sucked me into this series. I can't wait to continue reading this series.

Title: Friends vs Family
Author: C.L. Stone
Rating: 5/5 stars
I forgot how many of my favorite scenes of this series happened in this book. Like, we'd get one and I'd be so fulfilled and then two chapters later we were getting another scene that I think about when someone says "Ghost Bird" and I was living for it. I hadn't initially planned on rereading this one so soon, but lo and behold, I finished it! It sucked me in and left me gasping for more. I think I'll be able to last out until after I read Kingdom of Ash in a week and a half, though.

Title: Four Dead Queens 
Author: Astrid Scholte
Rating: 3.9/5 stars

Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating: 5/5 freaking stars
Honestly rereading this was such an emotional rollercoaster. The entire time I was just noticing all of these foreshadowing moments that I hadn't noticed before. I loved every second of it, well, until I was crying and watching my characters go through terrible pain. I'm very excited for the next book. 

Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating: 5/5 stars
Rereading this book was so fun, and a bit exhausting. Exhausting because I was way behind on my series reread and had to read this entire 660 page book in less than a day, but super fun because I forgot how much I loved these characters. This book was epic and I definitely loved rereading it to remember all the things I had forgotten about. But now my sights are on the next, and final, one!

Title: Kingdom of Ash
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating: 5/5 stars
Review TK

Title: Forgiveness and Permission
Author: C.L. Stone
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I loved my reread of this book. It was the perfect book to read after binging the last three ToG books. I love love love the characters' relationships and revisiting this story was amazing. I cannot wait to continue my reread of this series and continue on to the books I have yet to get to.


Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Magic Systems
September 2018 Book Haul!
Let's Talk: "Six of Crows" by Leigh Bardugo *Updated Review*
Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Villains
Let's Talk: "Four Dead Queens" by Astrid Scholte
Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Creatures
Unboxing: Owlcrate's "Lost in a Bookstore"
How "Throne of Glass" Changed My Life
Sarah J. Maas's "Kingdom of Ash" World Tour Experience
Unboxing: The Bookish Box's "Kingdom of Ash" One-Time Box
Unboxing: Fairyloot's "Beautiful Deceptions"
Halloween Book Tag: 2018 Edition!


I finished off Bones this month with seasons 11 and 12. For blog readers who have been with me for a while, you'll know that I started binging this show back at the beginning of June and I have finally finished all 12 seasons. It was such a fun and wild ride. I'm kind of at a loss for what to binge next, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. If not, there's always plenty of books to read!

I also finally saw Hocus Pocus for the first time. It was so quirky and hilarious and I can definitely see why so many people love it. It also definitely got me in the Halloween mood, even if I went straight back to rereading the ToG series after watching it.

My friend and I also watched season one of Big Time Rush. This is a show that I would occasionally watch when I was younger but I never watched it in order or all the way through, so rewatching it now was so nostalgic and funny.

And, lastly, I watched season one of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This is a spooky remake of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which is a show that I love. Overall, I liked this adaption. It was definitely spooky but at times I thought it was a little boring or the characters frustrated me. I still prefer the original but I will definitely be watching the next season, whenever that may come!

Thanks for reading!

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