A Year Full of Beautiful Covers

Listen, I’m not saying I judge books by their covers. I’m just saying, they’re nice to look at, and I’m more inclined to take pictures of them and display them on my shelves and okay maybe I judge books by their covers.

It’s just so hard not to when the books coming out are so dang pretty, and this year’s releases are no exception.

My blog is full of posts talking about books and their contents and reviews of those books. I think I’m entitled to be shallow every once in a while and bask in the beauty of a butt-load of book covers.

So here we go.

51ub94q0GWL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Even though I may not have loved A Very Large Expanse of Sea, the writing on this cover is so aesthetically pleasing. This combination of colors and pretty fonts is perfect, and I’m just disappointed I couldn’t love the inside as much as I loved the outside.

91JGnozCxiLThere is something so wonderfully ghostly about this paranormal re-imagining of Jane Eyre, My Plain Jane. I also happened to really enjoy this read, even more than I did My Lady Jane! Although I’ve never read Jane Eyre before, it definitely made me want to get into the original! And anything that inspires me to want to read classics is a win in my book.

81PYy9EQs1LWhat’s a pretty cover collection without a Schwab title? So I’m mad that this cover isn’t available in the US and I ended up with the blue-ish cover, but I can still admire this beauty from a distance. *soft crying noises* City of Ghosts was such a fun, adorable read, and it has convinced me that Victoria Schwab can literally write anything. Any genre, any age group, anything.

60869Another stunning cover that I think everyone can agree is just jaw-dropping is The Hazel Wood. The gold and silver embossing on this book is to die for; if I hadn’t actually enjoyed this read, I still would have kept it on my shelf just because. This one has such opposing reviews online, but thankfully I found it inventive and haunting and I can’t wait to read the next one!

the-wicked-deep-9781481497343_hrThe Wicked Deep is another obvious one for me, especially for the naked hardcover on the first edition and the beautiful night sky. *heart eyes* Such a lovely, atmospheric read, with writing just as pretty as the cover. I can’t wait to reread this next year around Halloween!

34499221I’ll indulge myself one moment longer and share the cover of To Kill a Kingdom, this beautiful Little Mermaid retelling. I absolutely loved this read, and it gave me hope that retellings aren’t completely hopeless! That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them, but lately they’ve become a little repetitive. To Kill a Kingdom was inventive and unique while still remaining true to the source material.

Thank you for sticking around for my book fashion show. I promise I’ll go back to intelligent musings and discussions after this, but come on. You have to admit. They’re so pretty.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: OwlCrate “Mythical Creatures”

*Disclaimer: for those who are subscribed to OwlCrate and do not wish to know what the contents inside are, please do not proceed.*

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This morning, I was quite surprised to receive my September OwlCrate box, especially considering I never received my email notification. No matter, it’s here, and I was so excited to open this one. This is the third OwlCrate box that I have received, and this month’s theme was Mythical Creatures, for fans of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones.

For those who don’t know, OwlCrate is a YA book subscription box that typically contains 4-6 items relating to the theme. Each box also carries the monthly hardcover book with an OwlCrate exclusive cover, with both a signed bookplate and a letter from the author. Each box is so much fun to receive and I have loved every item that has come with them.

I was very interested to see what they were going to do with this theme, and I was pleased with it. While the box didn’t have as many items, I’m guessing this is because of the more anticipated item, the Book Beau!

21767599_1802559003107516_689884393_nBook Beau is a company that creates unique and beautiful book sleeves to protect your preciouses. The exclusive book sleeve that we received in this month’s OwlCrate box has two mythical creatures incorporated in the design, fitting perfectly with the theme. I was very excited to hear that this box would include a book sleeve because I’ve been seeing them all over Instagram and have been positively lusting after them. I love the various designs and wish that I wasn’t trying to save money, or else I would buy them all. I was disappointed that this particular size of sleeve will only fit paperbacks and small hardcovers because the majority of my books are hardcovers, but I know I will still find plenty of use for this.

21624236_1802558976440852_1650861161_nOne of the first items I pulled out of the box was this container of bath salts made by The Soap Librarian. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to use this right away because my tub is have some problems draining. However, once this problem is resolved, I’m so looking forward to using this! Inspired by Percy Jackson, these Son of Poseidon bath salts smell of chamomile, lavender, rose, hibiscus, etc. There are even cornflower petals in the mix! I’m not a huge bath salt user so I’m not sure what the benefits are to this, but it seems interesting to me and I’m definitely not opposed to it. It has a very calming fragrance to it and I think this was a very fun, creative item.

21622035_1802558999774183_1078306024_nThe next item I opened was a canvas coin purse created by OwlCrate! I think it’s so awesome that their team is making items of their own. This is such a cute little pouch and I feel I’ll definitely be using this to organize my purse. My one complaint about this item is the material used for the inside lining; it’s made of that crinkly stuff that I’m not super fond of. Still, the print itself is very pretty and again, very fitting with the theme. I’m so excited to see what else the team at OwlCrate continues to create and include in these boxes!

21754472_1802558973107519_861444953_nOne of the most beautiful products in this month’s box was the wooden bookmark from the company Ink and Wonder Designs. I’m assuming this was the Game of Thrones inspired item, and while I’m not a part of this particular fandom, this is one of the most gorgeous bookmarks I have ever beheld. Also, I’ve never seen a wooden bookmark before and when I heard that this box was going to be containing one, I was skeptical. I was concerned that it would be flimsy and easily breakable, but it’s actually quite sturdy and pliable. The work done on it is very clean, and you don’t have to worry about getting splinters if you run your fingers across the surface of it.

21744690_1802558959774187_1919960114_nPerhaps one of the cutest items OwlCrate featured this month was this Hagrid sticker designed by Susanne Draws. My husband was curious and wanted to watch me unbox this, and funny enough, he and I were just watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban yesterday. However, we hadn’t quite finished it before he had to go back to work, and we had just finished the part where Buckbeak *spoilers* “dies”. This is his first time watching the movies so of course, he’s a little sad. He is not an emotional person in the slightest, but the sight of this sticker produced the smallest of pouts. “Well that’s cruel,” he proclaimed, crossing his arms over his chest, pretending to not care even though he totally does. I’m going to make a Harry Potter nerd out of him, yet.

The last item before the book was this month’s pin. Each box has a pin, always something that matches the artwork on the spoiler card, both pictured below. On the backside of the spoiler card, you’ll find the names of all the items included in the box and the company’s that provided each item. It also has a synopsis for the book, which I will talk about next.

Keeping with the theme of Mythical Creatures, this month’s book is promised to include many, many dragons. Without further ado, the book is: Before She Ignites, the first book in the Fallen Isles Trilogy by Jodi Meadows. I just want to say that I totally guessed the book; trying to predict each month’s book is one of my favorite things. I love to just browse through upcoming or recent releases on Goodreads and look for books matching the short synopsis provided for us by OwlCrate. I guessed last month’s box, The Hearts We Sold, and I guessed this month’s box. I’m 2/3, y/all.

Also included with this box is something that I haven’t seen from them before: a short little pamphlet with an interview with Jodi Meadows, an interview with the creator of Book Beau, Benita Botello, as well as a sneak peak for next month’s box, themed Find Me in the Forest. As seen in the picture below, they also compare the original cover to the OwlCrate exclusive, which for this particular month was a subtle swapping of silver to gold print.

In conclusion, I’m quite pleased with this month’s box. I believe it’s an excellent value for the money, which is $29.99 for all. I’ve loved this box, even before I was subscribed to it; I used to watch unboxing videos and pictures longingly, wishing that I could order one of my own. Now I finally have, and it’s such a fun thing to anticipate each box every month. You can find links to all stores, shops, and socials below; thank you for reading!

 

OwlCrate: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Book Beau: Website | Facebook | Instagram

The Soap Librarian: Website

Ink and Wonder Designs: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Susanne Draws: Tumblr | Etsy | Instagram | Twitter

Jodi Meadows: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows “My Lady Jane”

22016296_1813520372011379_1081536989_nTitle: My Lady Jane

Author(s): Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

If you don’t know the tragic backstory of Lady Jane Grey, it doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that her young life was extinguished much too soon. She was eventually seen as a victim and martyr, poor thing.

Don’t be so mad, I haven’t spoiled the end for you.

In this story, our narrators Hand, Ashton, and Meadows attempt to rewrite history in a fun, clever way. Not only that, they give the story a happy ending, which is what I’m here for. If you know me at all, you’d know that I hate a sad story, and I was so excited to read a book where a tragic history gets retold.

This story has some serious fantastical elements to it, so there is no doubt that this is fiction. Instead of a religious tension between Catholics and the Protestants, this is a story about a division between people who can change into animals, Edians, and those who can’t, Verities. It’s so silly, it borders on ridiculous; yet somehow it works. The language in the book seems a little too contemporary, but I suppose when one of the main characters is a horse, you can afford to be a little lenient?

Jane Grey is arranged to be married to Lord Gifford Dudley (who also happens to be the horse mentioned above). She doesn’t discover this crazy secret until the morning after her wedding night, when she awakens to find her hungover husband has turned into an animal. He can’t control the change, unfortunately, and is doomed to be in equestrian form during the day and a man only at night.

Our newlyweds also despise each other, although surprisingly, this has nothing to do with the fact that the groom is a horse. (Can I mention this enough?) This is something that I can’t help but love: when two characters that seem to hate each other eventually catch feelings. It’s a popular trope, and maybe an annoying one to some, but I will always think it’s adorable.

I can’t say much about our King Edward because he had no personality. He was so tasteless and charmless and boring to read. And unfortunately, this was what eventually killed the story for me; although I found it funny and sweet and entertaining, the story only got slower and slower. I wanted to be into it, but I just kept skimming.

Also, another thing I thought was irritating: every time a character changed from animal to human form, they would be naked. It makes complete sense and I know this was vital to the story, but the characters wouldn’t shut up about it. Someone would change and all they could talk about was how naked they were. Like okay, we get it, they’re naked. Grow up.

All in all, it was entertaining and crazy enough to pique my interest, but not enough to keep me hooked. I’ll read any sequels just to see what happens, but they won’t be a priority read for me.