Saturday, April 25, 2015

That Time of the Month! (OwlCrate #2)

*Text that is in bold is a little extra snark from Rachel.

It’s that Time of the Month again! The good kind not the miserable kind, holla. Last time we praised the postal service for getting us our boxes on the same day. This time? Not so much. They kinda sorta really suck. BUT EITHER WAY WE WERE REALLY EXCITED FOR THIS MONTH’S THEME. #allthefeels

Rachel got to open hers first and refused to tell me what was inside besides the book and her candle scent. FINALLY two days later I received my box and got to see what other goodies lay inside. HERE’S WHAT WE SAW:

I was excited about the candle because I’m a 92 year old cat woman at heart. I got Hazel’s Flowers which I love a lot. It smells like Sweet Pea from Bath & Body Works, if you’re familiar with that scent. I got The Giving Tree, which smells like a pine tree (go figure.) I’m not a huge candle person, but it’s a nice little knick knack even if I don’t like the book.

Next was very obviously a jewelry box of some sort (in ~Tiffany Blue~), tied up all cute with a red and white string which I tried desperately to save but wound up cutting off because Y’ALL ARE THOROUGH BOW MAKERS. I immediately cut mine. I didn’t even try saving it. Each box includes one of two styles of necklace, and we happened to get one each.

Debatably the best part of the box was this tote bag that I think we can all relate to a lot. Too much? Never. My first thought when I saw the tote bag: “YAAAAAS.”

And finally, this month’s book, which is a contemporary. Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay.

I will say this book seems a lot more interesting to me than last month’s A Darker Shade of Magic. And that’s all I’m allowing her to say because I’m still trying to read it and won’t allow spoilers. But also, I agree. Here’s a summary from Goodreads:

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore. 
And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?
Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

I’m a sucker for these, not gonna lie. I probably own like 9 other books with similar plot lines. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a plot like this which is pretty surprising with how much YA I consume. The book came with a sticker, bookmark, and signed bookplate.

So what’s our opinion of this month’s box? Better than last month just because. I definitely love this box and OwlCrate is already one-upping their last box. They’re catching on quickly too, so we be all proud and stuff. Hopefully one of us can finish the book soon and get a review up.

Next month’s theme was announced to be “Parallel Worlds.” Unforutnately we’re both skipping that shipment money problems suck, but if you’re receiving it, send us a message and let us know what you think of it! Until then, happy reading!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (4/8/15): Immaculate by Katelyn Detweiler

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Immaculate by Katelyn Detweiler
Expected publication: May 26, 2015

From Goodreads:

Mina is seventeen. A virgin. And pregnant.
Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in school, able to reason and study her way through anything. But when she suddenly finds herself pregnant—despite having never had sex—her orderly world collapses. Almost nobody believes Mina’s claims of virginity. Her father assumes that her boyfriend is responsible; her boyfriend believes she must have cheated on him. As news of Mina’s story spreads, there are those who brand her a liar. There are those who brand her a heretic. And there are those who believe that miracles are possible—and that Mina’s unborn child could be the greatest miracle of all.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (4/1/15): Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Even When You Lie to Me by Jesicca Alcott
Expected publication: June 9, 2015

From Goodreads:

Charlie, a senior, isn't looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.
But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he's the only one who gets her.
She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.
In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships-and their boundaries-in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.
Who doesn't love a good scandal? ;) Rachel is alarmingly excited about this one too.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Shameless Self-promotion

Hey, guys! So recently I opened up a Society6 shop to try to sell prints of my photography, and shortly after, I decided to invest in Creative Cloud and try my hand at typography. I’m still learning so a lot of the stuff I do is very simple stuff (not to mention I’m more of a fan of minimalist stuff), but I am trying to learn how to use different tools in Illustrator. A lot of the typography I do will be book related (so far I’ve done Colleen Hoover, Rainbow Rowell, and Sarah J. Maas), but I have started doing song lyrics as well. I do take requests and I will do my best to get to them as soon as possible. If there’s a quote you want with a specific idea in mind, feel free to pitch me your idea and I’ll let you know if it’s something I can do. I already have done a custom request for Rachel if you want to see an example (it’s the scales in the collage above.)

Feel free to browse my shop and a big thank you if you purchase anything to help out this broke college student!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Publish date: July 8, 2014

So Landline. I love Rainbow Rowell and her writing, and ever since Landline has been released, I’ve heard tons of glowing reviews and everyone was loving it. It’s fair to say I had sort of high expectations because of the reviews from others and because of my experience with her other books, but throughout the book, I just felt like it was… okay.

The plot took awhile to really kick off which was a slight problem because Rainbow’s books aren’t the longest. The plot was also just… weird to me. I knew ahead of time what was the source for all the weirdness in the plot, but even then, it was still just weird to me. I’m not entirely sure how to explain it. The weirdness of the plot made it hard for me to really get into the story like I had with Rainbow’s other books.

She still does a fantastic job of establishing relationships and characters quickly and deeply, so that department was still A+. For me, however, that wasn’t enough. I was fond of Georgie and her quirkiness and of her relationship with Seth (and how that conflicted with her and Neal’s relationship), but I didn’t have the same Attachment(s) to her that I have with Cath, Beth, and Eleanor.

Overall, this book was okay. It wasn’t bad, but if you asked me to list Rainbow’s books in order from favorite to least favorite, Landline would definitely be at the bottom of the list. If you were looking for a Rainbow book to get you started in her writing, I’d definitely go with one of her other three books first and work your way to this one last.

(3 out of 5)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (3/25/15): What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
Expected publication: August 4, 2015

From Goodreads:

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.
The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?

I've never read anything by this author. Have you?

Sarah J. Maas fans, rejoice!

Hey, guys! Sort of a last minute post to let you guys know that Sarah J. Maas and GoodChoiceReading announced earlier today that Sarah will be teaming up with the Barnes and Noble in Neshaminy Mall to sell signed and personalized copies of A Court of Thorns and Roses and the four Throne of Glass books. You can buy them at the store or, if you’re like me, you can order online to have your book sent to you. If you want more than one book, you’ll have to add each book individually to your cart.

The books will be signed on May 5th and they will be shipped out on May 6th and 7th. The sale ends on April 22nd, so be sure to get your order in before then! Additional information can be found here.

I ordered Crown of Midnight because Chaol. Let me know what you ordered in the comments below!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

That Time of the Month! (OwlCrate #1)

*Text that is in bold is a little extra snark from Rachel.

Guess what, chicken butts? Our OwlCrates arrived (obvi)! We’ve been counting down the days until they shipped and were eagerly waiting for them the moment we got our tracking numbers. We live on opposite sides of the country, but they were somehow delivered at basically the same time. You done good, postal service. Nice hustle. *makes it rain*

Rachel then proceeded to kill me with the wait so we could open our boxes together (like nerds.) BUT FINALLY we were able to sit down (I was standing) and open them. Here be what we seen:

Don’t judge me but I really like that grassy stuff. Forget tissue paper.

The theme of this month was Fantasy and what says “fantasy” better than Game of Thrones? And unicorns! (I got Joffrey and Rachel was a pile of poo and got a cool dragon thing) Neither of us watch Game of Thrones incase you can’t tell. Cool dragon thing? I mean, I’mma love it for eternity ‘cause it’s kinda cute but I wouldn’t hate knowing the actual name of it, ya feel? I, however, will burn Joffrey. Oh.

The couple behind OwlCrate had custom bookmarks made by CraftedVan. MAGNETS. They also included a bookmark with a discount code for GeekyCon, which has authors like Marie Lu and Veronica Roth. (I'm reading Marie Lu's Legend series right now if anyone cares.)

I was distracted by the swaggy bandages for a while before eventually getting to the heart of the box, which is of course the book. In this month’s box is a cool hardcover of A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab, which is the first in the series. I don’t know anything about this author but it doesn’t matter; I’m still gonna call them Cotton Schwab from this moment forward. Let’s see what it’s about.

Kell is one of the last travelers - magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.
There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king - George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered - and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London - a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cutpurse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.

Packaged with the book was also a poster.

So, what’s our overall opinion? For the debut box of OwlCrate, it’s off to a good start. We most definitely got our money’s (or galleons if you’re a Harry Potter fan) worth. It’s too soon to say if the book was a good choice or not, but other reviews are glowing. Hopefully we can post one ourselves soon. Either way, we’re both excited to sit down (or stand. You don’t know my reading preferences) and read it.

We can’t wait for April’s “All The Feels” box!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (3/18/15): Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
Expected publication: September 1, 2015

From Goodreads:
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.
Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (3/11/15): Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Expected publication: May 5, 2015

From Goodreads:
Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

I've always loved me some Sarah Dessen. She may choose some heavy subject matter sometimes, but her quirky settings and characters make for an easy, enjoyable read. It feels like it's been forever since her last one! 

(Shout out to my North Carolina authors)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (3/4/15): The Heir (The Selection #4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Heir by Kiera Cass
Expected publication: May 5, 2015

The following summary (from Goodreads) may contain spoilers for previous books in the series: 

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

After the disappointing ending of The One, I'm hoping the continuation of The Selection series goes a lot better.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (2/25/15): Confess by Colleen Hoover

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Confess by Colleen Hoover 
Expected publication date: March 10, 2015 

From Goodreads: 
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin… 

We (especially me) really love Colleen Hoover up in here, so this choice shouldn't be a surprise. BONUS: there's full-color art in the books. Ugh, I'm so excited.

*quiet screaming*
- Rachel

Monday, February 23, 2015

Series Review: Throne of Glass

So two or three months ago, Rachel and I were talking, and I was telling her how I need to read more fantasy since most of the time in my own writing, I write fantasy. She remembered this series she started so many years ago on FictionPress that is now known as Throne of Glass. I was immediately intrigued by the summary, and little did I know this would quickly become probably one of my top five series (and have two of my favorite characters).

I’ll admit that initially reading Throne of Glass that I found it interesting but I wasn’t too sure I was loving it. I was definitely intrigued by the plot and Celaena was proving to be the start of an interesting character (although her arrogance got my nerves a little bit at first) and Chaol Westfall, ugh, do not talk to me about him. I just love him so much, okay.

After reading Throne of Glass, it was all downhill from there. I eagerly devoured Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire, and this series has left me remembering why I like finding series that are already complete because I’M GOING TO DIE WAITING FOR QUEEN OF SHADOWS. The Assassin’s Blade, which contains the five accompanying novellas to the series, provide such an interesting look into what brought Celaena to the point where she was in Throne of Glass.

All of the characters are proving to be so complex, the plot is rich, and it’s written so beautifully. I highly recommend this series to anyone into fantasy or searching for a wonderfully written female protagonist. The first book may be a little hard to get through, but I really, really do think you’ll get hooked in Crown of Midnight.

- Yajaira

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (2/18/15): A Court of Thorns and Roses

Breaking the Spine is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Expected publication date: May 5, 2015

From Goodreads:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

I've been devouring all of Sarah's Throne of Glass series lately and when I heard she was releasing a new series, I thought I'd give it a read to expand my fantasy boundaries (and have something to kill the time until the next Throne of Glass book comes out).


Monday, February 16, 2015

Thoughts on The Selection

Spoiler warning! If you’re reading The Selection or plan on reading it and don’t want spoilers, please proceed with caution. I’ll try to avoid them or be vague, but there will more than likely be spoilers.

So The Selection. I have very mixed feelings about this series. I won’t go saying this series is like, the best series ever, but I did like it enough to want to purchase the next book as soon as I could. It’s a decent, easy read for someone looking to fill in the gap between series. The romance was good (albeit a tad predictable but that’s a lot of YAs these days) and the plot was intriguing, but I felt like Kiera Cass really missed the mark with the last book.

The Selection is another dystopic fiction where there’s a heroine who dares to challange the tyrannical government. And if it followed the same formula as the other dystopian trilogies, The Selection would’ve been the set up, The Elite the build up, and The One the climax. The first two books followed that formula, which left me relatively excited to read The One. I finally got to The One, and it kept me interested throughout even though I could already tell you the ultimate outcome from the very beginning.

But then I got the ending and it was so anticlimactic.

There was all this buildup and it just fell flat on its face. The final “battle”, if you want to call it that, was such a let down. Reading it, I was like, “Is this it? This is really how this is going to end?” And lo and behold, it ended that suddenly. All that buildup especially with America and Georgia and the other rebels seemed like a waste. I really felt like that could’ve been explored more. The book probably could’ve benefited from at least 100 more pages to allow for more development and not just “BANG BANG king and queen are dead, Maxon does end up with America, the end”.  It really disappointed me because I liked this book enough to get invested in it, and I’ve never really been let down by book like that until this one.

So yeah, The One was a huge letdown for me and I hope Cass’s new series (assuming there’s more than one to it) starting with The Heir is handled better than The Selection was.

What’d you guys think of the ending? Let me know in the comments!