Top 5 Wednesday: Fictional Places I’d Take A Date To

Good morning, and happy Wednesday! It’s time for yet another Top 5 Wednesday post! The prompt for today was “Fictional Places You’d Take A Date To,” and trust me, this was a fun post to write! While reading, I often think about if I’d want to visit the world. Since I usually read a lot of dystopian or dark fantasy, the answer is usually a resounding “NO!” but it was nice to think about some of the nicer settings. Without further ado, my list.


1. Godspeed (Across the Universe)

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It’s no secret that I love space! Just look at the name of my blog and the background behind it. I think that a date on a spaceship would be perfect for me! Stargazing, checking out the engine, exploring… I would practically explode of happiness! Godspeed is such a unique ship, since it has multiple floors and areas to explore. I think it would be a great date location.

2. Hogwarts (Harry Potter)

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Okay, who hasn’t wanted to explore the halls of our favorite school for witchcraft and wizardry? I would love to grab my boyfriend’s hand and just lead him in an exploration of the huge campus. We could solve the riddle to get into the Ravenclaw common room, seek out the room of requirement, and just have some magical fun.

3. Elfame (The Cruel Prince)

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Of course, we all know that the gorgeous world of Faerie is not made for mere mortals like us. (Just take a look at the missing part of Jude’s hand for proof!) However, I think that a picnic in the woods somewhere would be fun and romantic, provided that we could be safe! I’d want to go to one of the revels and dance, but that would probably be a bit too risky.

4. New Pretty Town (Uglies)

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Okay, let me start this out by saying that I wouldn’t want the “Pretty” operation. Leave my brain alone, please! However, I think it would be so much fun to explore the town on a hoverboard, or go to some wild party! It’s a town full of luxury, so why not?

5. New York City (Afterworlds)

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I think that this one might be cheating a bit, but I would love to visit New York! Afterworlds is all about book publishing, which is the industry I want to work in. Also, New York has so many restaurants and clubs to explore (Like the ramen shop that Darcy and Imogen visit!)


 

Thanks for reading! You can see my other Top 5 Wednesday Posts here!


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ARC Review: Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen

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Date Started: 2/23/19

Date Finished: 2/23/19

Publication Date: 4/17/19

Genre: Graphic Novel

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads

Thoughts:

*I received a free e-copy of this book via Netgalley*

Lately, I’ve been getting more and more into graphic novels, as they allow a busy college student like myself to read a lot in a short time. They’re typically short, easy reads. Pilu of the Woods was just that, but it was also quite impactful and would be perfect for children and adults alike.

The graphic novel tells the story of a girl named Willow, who struggles with keeping her negative emotions in check. One day, after getting angry, she retreats to the woods near her house and meets a lost tree spirit named Pilu, who also has similar struggles. The two become friends as Willow guides Pilu home. As the story progresses, we learn more about the two characters and really get a feel for their unique emotions and situations. It’s really a touching, heartwarming story that actually had me shedding a few tears by the end.

Part of what makes this such a lovely graphic novel is the art. The colors were beautiful, with a lot of natural colors that fit the theme of the book. The art itself reminds me of gorgeous woodblock prints! I really enjoyed taking in the beauty of the woods. One of my favorite drawings in the novel was that of the Willow’s “monsters.” You’ll know what I mean when I see them.

All in all, I really enjoyed this heartwarming exploration of family and emotions. When the art and storyline come together, it forms a truly lovely graphic novel. Pilu of the Woods was a short but beautiful story, and I would recommend it to anyone. The whole family could enjoy it.


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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Date Started: 1/23/19

Date Finished: 2/22/19

Publication Date: 6/5/12

Genre: YA Fantasy

POV: 1st Person POV

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads

Thoughts:

I started Shadow and Bone with high expectations. There’s been so much hype around the Grishaverse novels as of late due to the recent publication of King of Scars, so I decided to finally leap into the series. I’ve actually had the full trilogy (THE ORIGINAL HARDCOVERS) on my shelf for a while, but I never got around to them until now. I actually tried to read Six of Crows before reading this, but I simply couldn’t get into it. More on that later.

Back to Shadow and Bone, the novel is narrated from the point of view of Alina Starkov, a young soldier and mapmaker who discovers that she has a rare power, which marks her as one of the elusive Grisha, who are people who can manipulate matter in a way that resembles magic. It’s very much a coming-of-age story, as Alina learns to fit in among the Grisha and control her long-dormant power over light. It’s set in a beautiful Russian-inspired setting, and Bardugo’s descriptions of the world and culture within it really help to bring it to life. The setting is definitely different than that of any other YA novel I’ve ever read, which is quite refreshing.

That being said, this book is not without problems. For me, it felt like it lasted forever… and not in a good way. As you can see from my start and finish dates, it took me nearly a month to get through it. Granted, I’m a busy college student, so I didn’t have as much time to read as I normally would, but still, even during my blocked out reading sessions, I found that it dragged on forever. Normally, the endings of books feel like they go by in a flash, but the last… 50 pages seemed to go on forever, and I actually just wanted it to end. The middle also felt like it went on forever with not a lot going on. We see Alina training and practicing and interacting with her peers, but aside from a few advancements and big moments, not much really went on for the middle part of the book, which was disappointing. The pacing was a major problem with this book and kept me from enjoying it as much as I’d hoped.

Shadow and Bone is the first of a trilogy, but luckily it doesn’t end with an awful cliffhanger. There are definitely loose ends and a continuing plotline, but you could theoretically read this as a standalone. I will go on to read the next book, but I’m just hoping that some of the pacing issues are resolved. ‘

In the end, I have to give Shadow and Bone 3/5 stars, due to pacing issues. I’ve heard that Bardugo’s writing improves as her books go along, so I’m hoping that the further I dive into the Grishaverse, the more I’ll like it.


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Top Five Wednesday: Love Interests I Would Have Broken Up With

Hello everyone! It’s time for another Top Five Wednesday post! Today’s prompt was “Love interests you would have broken up with,” a.k.a, Let Leah rant about her least favorite book boyfriends. This post was pretty fun to write, so I hope you enjoy it!


1. Cardan Greenbriar (The Cruel Prince & The Wicked King)

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Oh Cardan. I don’t know what I expected when I started reading The Cruel Prince, but I think I expected Cardan to be a better love interest to Jude. I knew that he would be “cruel” but I don’t know, I expected him to change or have a softer side, but he remains pretty rude to Jude throughout the entire thing. I haven’t read The Wicked King yet, so I don’t know how their strange relationship evolves, but based on The Cruel Prince, I would not want to be with Cardan, even if he is a hot prince of Faerie!

2. Travis Maddox (Walking Disaster & Beautiful Disaster)

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While Walking and Beautiful Disaster are two of my favorite NA books, I can’t deny that Travis would be a bit problematic as a boyfriend. He loves Abby hard, but that love becomes a bit controlling/toxic at times in the book. There were definitely some red flag moments in the book, like when he practically trashes his room after Abby leaves, or when he breaks his phone to keep from calling her on New Year’s. He has his sweet moments, but I just don’t think I could stay in a relationship like that.

3. Michael (Dark Hope)

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Oh my gosh, it’s been a while since this book has crossed my mind. I read it in the early days of my book blog, and it was one of the first books I really struggled to enjoy. You can read the review (from 2016!!!) here, if you really want to. Basically, Michael was really controlling and somewhat abusive in the book, and I would have called it off with this “love interest” ASAP.

4. Jacob Black (Twilight)

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Don’t hate me please! I was very much Team Edward back in the day. I really have no justification for this one. I just never really liked Jacob until the 4th book, and even then I found it kind of creepy that he imprinted on Bella and Edward’s NEWBORN baby! He’s still a fairly sweet guy, but I couldn’t date him. Not to mention that he turns into a werewolf, which is a big nooo for me.

5. Rochester (Jane Eyre)

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Lastly we have…. Rochester from Jane Eyre. When I was reading it for class last year, I could somewhat understand his charm and appeal to Jane. Rochester is lowkey kind of sketchy for a variety of reasons (Spoiler: He’s been keeping his mentally ill wife locked up in his house, but wants to marry Jane while she’s still alive. WTF, Rochester.) Like Jane, I too would have swerved out of his Thornfield estate.


Thank you for reading! In the comments, let me know what love interester character you would break up with!


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Unboxing: Spearcraft Book Box – January 2019 – Cursed Kingdoms

Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to share my unboxing of the January Spearcraft Book Box! The theme was Cursed Kingdoms.

This was actually my first Spearcraft Book Box ever, and I was blown away by the items in it! I was chosen to be an Instagram rep for this company, so the box was sent to me for free. All opinions are my own though! Without further ado, let’s just get right into the unboxing, because there were so many exciting items in this box!


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Tote Bag: This was the first thing I pulled out of the box, and it’s quite striking! I haven’t watched Once Upon a Time, but it’s still a very pretty tote bag with a nice quote.

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Enchanted Apple Necklace: I love getting bookish jewelry in boxes! This apple necklace is so pretty and I can totally see myself wearing this out, probably with a plain shirt.

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Sleep Mask: I’m not sure how I feel about this item! It’s definitely cute and feels well made, but I don’t think I’ll use it much. It looks a bit juvenile in my opinion, and also I have a room to myself at college, so I don’t need to block out any light. It’s still a nice item and fits the theme since it’s Sleeping Beauty inspired, but it’s just not for me.

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Candle: This is possibly my favorite item in the box! I love basically any candle, but this one is particularly unique! Dio Candle Company made this 1 oz candle that’s so tiny and adorable! For it to be so small, it’s still quite fragrant, smelling like rose and vanilla. It’s grey with pink glitter, and is called Enchanted Rose!

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Pop Socket: If you’ve never used a pop socket before, you’re totally missing out! They’re little things you put on the back of your phone, and it can act as a stand, a grip, and if used with the car mount, a mounting device! I have one on my phone now, but it is getting a bit worn, so I might switch to this one soon. It’s very pretty!

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Bookmarks: Who doesn’t need more bookmarks! These two bookmarks feature Belle and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. They’re double sided and feature the two characters in different forms or clothing, also with different quotes. They’re both very cute and I definitely plan on using them.

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Magnet: This magnet is actually quite pretty! I haven’t read Strange the Dreamer yet, but I love the UK cover, which this magnet is based on. The quote is beautiful as well. This will definitely go on my fridge!

 

 

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Postcard and Spoiler Card:

The spoiler card art is soooo  beautiful! I love the look of stained glass, so this is perfect, and will go up on my wall. In addition to the spoiler card is a signed promotional postcard for the book Blackwoods The Beginning. I’ve never heard of it, but the art on the postcard is beautiful!

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Books: This month, two books were included! The bonus book was Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, which has a beautiful cover and an intriguing premise. I can’t wait to dive into this one, but first, I want to read the main book of the month, A Curse So Dark and Loney by Brigid Kemmerer. This book, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, has been on my TBR list for AGES and I can’t wait to read it! Both books have gorgeous covers and I’m so excited to own them both.


Wasn’t this box spectacular? I can’t wait to get the February Box later this month! The theme is To the Sky, and you can definitely expect to see an unboxing of it here! If you want to get your hands on your own box, feel free to use my code STARLIGHT10 to save a bit of money on your order!

Thanks for reading!


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Top 5 Wednesday: Nostalgic Ships

Hello again everyone! I’m here with another Top 5 Wednesday Post! Today’s theme is Nostalgic Ships. While I wasn’t really into shipping people together when I was younger, I still had my OTPs! Here are my top 5 nostalgic ships.


1. Across the Universe – Beth Revis

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Here it is, baby’s first ship! While Across the Universe didn’t really have a love triangle, I definitely shipped Amy and Elder together throughout the entire series. Such an adorable couple.

2. Twilight – Stephanie Meyer

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I confess: I was part of Team Edward. As a young teen, I was definitely more into vampires than werewolves, and I still am. It’s only natural that I fell for our favorite vegetarian vampire and shipped him with Bella!

3. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

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I was team Peeta all the way. I honestly could never see Gale as a love interest for Katniss. Perhaps it’s because we didn’t get too much of Gale in the first book, or maybe it’s because even though their relationship began in the most awful and forced of ways, I could see how gentle Peeta and fiery Katniss could balance one another out. It just seemed right to me.

4. Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling

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Here’s the ship that never sailed. I was one of those people that wanted to see Harry and Hermione end up together. I didn’t really care about Ginny at all and didn’t really see their relationship coming. I mean, it works out, I suppose, but I wasn’t thrilled.

5. Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr

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Wicked Lovely was one of the first faerie books I ever read, and it was also one of the first books where I was torn as to who I wanted to end up with Aislinn. I eventually settled for edgy boy Seth. To be honest, I think I was too young to really form a good opinion on our love triangle the first time I read it, so I think I’ll need to read it again, especially now that I own the full series!


Thanks for reading! You can see my other Top 5 Wednesday Posts here!


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January in Review

Hello everyone, and happy February! January was definitely a busy month. After a nice, relaxing vacation I settled back into the familiar grind of school and work. Finding a nice balance for social time, studying, and reading has been tricky, but things are finally settling down and I’ve found myself with a lot more time to read.

January saw the release of some books I’ve been quite excited for, such as The Wicked King and A Curse So Dark and Lonely. (I’ll be getting those books very soon!) January also saw my lovely home state of Illinois dip down into record breaking temperatures that resulted in class cancellations, A.K.A. more reading time!

I’m really quite proud of both my blog and Bookstagram this month. On Bookstagram, I settled into a theme I really like, and it’s only been getting better. On my blog, I’ve posted more consistently than ever. I’ve been feeling quite motivated as of late! Anyway, let’s get into my monthly review:


What I Read:

1. Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott

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2. The Lost Sisters – Holly Black

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3. A Story About Cancer (With A Happy Ending) – India Desjardins

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4. Illuminae – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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4. Seven Places Without You – Juan Berrio

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Subscription Boxes I Tried:

1. Ignite English Box

*The Faecrate Wicked King Box and Spearcraft January Box both got delayed! Luckily, they both should be in very soon, maybe next week! I’ll include them in my February post.)


Bookish Items I Ordered:

1. My preorder pin for The Wicked King came in way sooner than I expected it to! It’s quite pretty, and I can’t wait to see what they do for Queen of Nothing.

2. After seeing a bunch of unboxings of the Owlcrate Wicked King Box, I couldn’t resist buying the gorgeous rose gold pin from a Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook. It’s so detailed!

3. While it’s technically not an order, I got to choose some things for my second Wonderdame Bookmarks Rep Package! I’m really excited to get this and share it with you all very soon, because her bookmarks and candles are only getting better and better!

4. This is a spoiler for those who haven’t gotten their January Beacon Book Box yet, but last night I couldn’t resist buying the beautiful tapestry that was included in the box. I don’t have pictures of it to post yet, but trust me, it’s great!


That’s about it for January! I’m pretty pleased with how my year started out, and I can’t wait to see what what February brings!

Thanks for reading!


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