Unboxing: Ignite English Box – January 2019 – American Dreams

Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to jump on here with an unboxing of Ignite English’s January box! I recently became a box rep for this brand, and I was really excited to get it! The

The English Box is a bi-monthly subscription box focuses on literacy and English skills. Each box comes with fun bookish goodies, a book, and a reading guide created by actual English teachers. Everyone from teachers, students, literature enthusiasts, and book lovers alike can enjoy this unique box!

This month’s theme was “American Dreams.” Let’s get into the unboxing!


20190129_003510_HDR.jpgBath Salts: These bath salts are from Soak and Unwind! It’s called “Dreaming of a Farm” and is a really pretty blue color! I don’t have access to a bathtub while on campus, but in the meantime, they smell really nice! I wish I were better at identifying scents, but I guess that these smell a bit like like citrus? I’m not sure, but just know that they smell great!!!

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Hand Sanitizer: I was initially quite apprehensive about this hand sanitizer, which is also from Soak and Unwind. Most scented hand sanitizer gives me  headache, but this one is really subtle and doesn’t bother me at all! Again, I’m not sure how to describe the scent, but it’s pleasant and not overwhelming.

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Mouse Book Clip: Okay, this is my favorite item from this box! I simply cannot get over how adorable this little mouse clip is. It’s a little felt mouse on top of a paperclip, so it can peek out from the top of your book! It’s so cute and I wish I had more bookmarks like this, because this is precious!!!

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Buttons: The last item before we get to the book is this button set. They’re themed around Of Mice and Men, with one button having the initials of the book, and the other saying “Tell me about the rabbits George” This leads perfectly into the book of the month!

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Book:The book this month is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I’ve never actually read Of Mice and Men, so I’m excited to get this! I normally don’t reach for classic books unless I’m reading them for class or if I already have them on my shelf, so here’s my motivation! I also love that there’s an activity guide and chapter cheat sheet for this book (see them below) so that I can really get into the book, as though I were in class!

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Activity Guide and Chapter Cheat Sheet: One thing that’s unique to the Ignite English Box is the activity guide. I don’t want to show the inside of it, but it contains discussion questions, themes, character charts, and more, to help with your comprehension of the book. It’s really helpful, and I think anyone could enjoy this. There’s also a chapter cheat sheet, which can help you if you get stuck while reading!

20190129_003322_HDR.jpg Art Print/Spoiler Card: Lastly, here’s the art print, with the spoiler card on the back. The art print works quite well for the book, and I’ll be adding this to my collection of art prints (someday, which I have enough space, they’ll all be hanging on my wall!) I’ve also included the spoiler card.

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In conclusion, I’m really pleased with how this box turned out! I love that everything was cohesively themed around the book itself, rather than various fandoms. I can’t wait to see what their March theme will be, since they really knocked it out of the park with this one. If you’re interested in getting your own box (either this one or their previous Banned Book Box) check out their shop! You can get boxes and other fun items there. Also, be sure to use my code STARLIGHT10 to save on your order.


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Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Book Covers of 2018

Hello everyone! I’m back with another Top 5 Wednesday post. I’m starting to like these a lot more than Top Ten Tuesday, so expect to see more in the coming months! This week’s prompt is a freebie, so I decided to show off my favorite book covers of 2018! There were definitely some beautiful ones last year, and I can’t wait to see what covers I’ll fall in love with this year!


1. Give the Dark my Love -Beth Revis

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I just love the way that this cover looks! It really captures the vibe of the book itself, dark and mysterious and slightly sinister. I can barely put into words why I like this, but just know that this book and it’s covers are my favorite of 2018! You can read my review here!

2. Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

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So, the original cover of Girls of Paper and Fire is gorgeous, but can we talk about the Fairyloot exclusive edition? The rainbow color really makes it pop, plus it came with pink sprayed edges, which are so bright and beautiful!

3. Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott

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I. Love. This. I love this book, I love this cover, I love everything about it. I love the color blue, and I love stars and flowers, so how could I not love this? At first, I actually didn’t realize that the flowers and branches were forming the shapes of lungs, which is soooo cool. I love that the cover is actually comes up in the book itself!

4. Kingdom of Ash – Sarah J. Maas

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Alright, so I haven’t gotten this far into the TOG series (I’ve only read the first two books) but I can’t deny that the cover for Kingdom of Ash looks beautiful. I love the bright gold in contrast with the rest of the books in the series. Someday, I hope to read through the full series and have this on my shelf.

5. Evermore – Sara Holland

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I haven’t read Everless yet, but the cover of Evermore is striking. I saw it in Target the other night and I was honestly so taken by how good this cover looks. The designs colors make it look so elegant and regal and almost like it’s on fire. I thought that the cover to Everless was pretty, but this knocks it out of the park!


Thanks for reading! Check back soon for new reviews, lists, and other fun content!


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Review: Seven Places Without You by Juan Berrio

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Date Started: 1/28/19

Date Finished: 1/28/19

Publication Date: 1/23/19

Genre: Graphic Novel

Rating: 2/5

Goodreads

Thoughts:

Seven Places Without You promises to be a graphic novel that explores a couple going through a rough period in their relationship. Instead, this story is more about Elena, so much to the point that we only see Jorge at the very end.

I didn’t find the story to be interesting or memorable at all. It was a bit awkward at times, and I couldn’t really understand most of the characters. I was really hoping to see Jorge and Elena talk earlier in the book and work through their problems, but he didn’t show up until the very end, which didn’t allow for closure. I was pretty bored and disinterested throughout the whole thing, and I didn’t feel like it flowed well. It was lacking in the emotional depth that I expected from a book like this. I’ve read shorter graphic novels, such as A Story About Cancer (With a Happy Ending) that had more of an emotional impact. There were often parts that I wanted to see expanded, like Elena’s friend who had a crush on her, but after that scene we never really see him again. I just wish that there was more.

Despite the plot and characters, I did like the art style. It was very simplistic and plain, with distinct splotches of color for each chapter. The art style and the colors were mainly what kept me going through the pages. The art was probably the best part of this experience.

All in all, this graphic novel wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t memorable at all and was lacking in plot, depth, emotion, and character development. I would not recommend this book.


Thanks for reading!


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Currently Reading: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Synopsis: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Date Started: 1/23/19

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: 6/5/12

Thoughts so far: I’m only three chapters in so far, but I’m already liking this book way more than Six of Crows, which had me bored and uninterested by the end of the first chapter! (Please don’t hate me! It just wasn’t my type of book!) Obviously, I can’t judge a book based on the first few chapters, especially since we haven’t even gotten to the fun Grisha magic yet, but I’m really excited to finally dive into this series. You can definitely expect a full review when I’m done reading it! I just can’t believe I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages and haven’t read it yet!


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Top 5 Wednesday: Top of My TBR

Hello everyone!  I decided to switch things up this week and try out Top 5 Wednesday rather than Top 10 Tuesday! This is mainly because I don’t want my posts to be too long! This week’s prompt is the Top 5 books on my TBR! If you know anything about me, I have a TBR that’s a mile long and growing, so maybe this post will inspire me to put more work into conquering it!


1. Prism -Nina Walker

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I received an e-copy of this from the author, and it’s sounds so interesting! Color alchemy is such a unique concept, and I’m interested in seeing how it plays out. I started a bit of it and I’m intrigued already. The opening is gripping.

2. White Stag – Kara Barbieri

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I nearly picked this one up at Target last night! The cover is so pretty, and I’ve rarely seen books with goblins! I’ve heard mixed reviews, but I want to form my own opinion of it, so I’ve been trying to avoid reviews.

3. A Curse So Dark and Lonely– Brigid Kemmerer

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Everyone is going crazy over this book! So many book subscription boxes are including it in their January or February boxes, and I can see why! It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which means that as a total Beauty and the Beast fan, I need to read this ASAP! I love this cover, but I really hope that I can get my hands on the shiny holographic ARC cover too!

4. The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

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First off, isn’t the cover of this book gorgeous? I’m always drawn to purples and golds, so this is right up my alley! On top of that, it deals with some dark magic and necromancy, which I’m totally down for! I loved Give The Dark my Love by Beth Revis (see my review here!) and I’m hoping that this can tide me over until the sequel comes out!

5. The Wicked King – Holly Black

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The Wicked King used to be at the top of my TBR list, but it’s actually fallen a bit. Not because I’m not excited, because I definitely am, but I’ve been hearing that the ending has been tearing people apart, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for that yet! The last book in the trilogy doesn’t come out until 2020!!! I’ll probably cave as soon as my Faecrate special edition box comes in. Expect a full review when I’m done!


Thanks for reading! Check back at the end of the month to see how much of my TBR I actually conquered!


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My Most Anticipated Read of the Year: Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed me fangirling on my stories over the newly revealed cover and title for the sequel to Give the Dark my Love by Beth Revis. The first in a duology, Give the Dark my Love was a deliciously dark novel that delivered a perfect blend of grief, morality, and a dash of romance. You can read my full review here, but just know that Give the Dark my Love was my favorite read of 2018, and this sequel, Bid My Soul Farewell will probably be my favorite of 2019. Let’s get into what we know so far!


The Cover:

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First, check out the gorgeous cover! I really like it alongside the cover to GTDML. While they feature different colors and look a bit different, they both maintain that ominous and dangerous vibe with their cool toned colors and similar elements. Also, I’m sure we all agree that Nedra looks quite badasss on the cover of Bid My Soul Farewell. I wish that they had made her hair white, as per the ending of the last book, but I do love the way that she looks on here anyway, as it matches the Nedra on the other cover.


The Synopsis:

Review: A Story About Cancer (With a Happy Ending) by India Desjardins and Marianne Ferrer

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Date Started: 1/20/19

Date Finished: 1/20/19

Publication Date: 1/29/19

Genre: Graphic Novel

POV: 1st Person

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads

Thoughts:

A Story About Cancer (With a Happy Ending) is exactly what the title suggests. Through simple but lovely illustrations, it tells the story of a teenager who was diagnosed with cancer. The graphic novel is short, less than 50 pages, but surprisingly, it still manages to tell a story and dive into the narrator’s relationships with her family, friends, and boyfriend. I wish that it had been longer, but I think that the short length will help it appeal to adults, young adults, and children alike. It’s told in a simplistic style with a relatively young voice, which I think makes it accessible for all.

The art is quite lovely. The colors (or lack of color) are quite simplistic, but also symbolic. The art style is hand drawn in what seems to be watercolor or ink. It’s appealing to look at and compliments the writing quite well.

I’m rating this at a 3.5/5, which I’ll round up to a 4/5 on review sites. While it effectively told a story through text and illustrations, I didn’t connect with it completely. Emotional subjects like familial relationships were touched upon, but not elaborated on. I just wish that the story had been longer. I probably won’t remember this graphic novel in a few months time, and I don’t feel a need to own this book for myself when it comes out. Still, I really appreciated the happy ending, and the fact that I knew going into the story that their would be a happy ending. I’ve read way too many cancer stories that left me broken at the end, so this was a refreshing addition to the genre that anyone can enjoy.


Thanks for reading!


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