Life update

Hi folks!!

I had intended to get a blog about how I organise my bookshelves sorted, but we have no internet (or tv) here until the 14th December so I am relying on my phone data keeping me entertained.

The move is exhausting. It took us 2 days to get everything here, and we have spent today unpacking. Still have another day to go until we are finished (for now…).

Me and the other half have aches on our aches, and I am only just getting time to read some more ACOMAF. I never want to move again.

The area where we have moved to though is so green and gorgeous. The cottage is going to become the cosiest place ever as well!!

Anyway I am rambling. Just wanted to stop by and let you know I haven’t forgotten you all! (Please don’t forget me…)

Hopefully speak to you all soon!

Peace xo

Fairyloot November 2017 Unboxing

 

The November box was my most anticipated box from fairyloot, and it will take some serious beating to improve on this. As usual, I had decided to wait a short while before posting my unboxing, especially as this box contained an ARC published in May 2018. If you have not received your box yet, then do not read any further, as this post contains the items in the November box.

The theme of this box was “Ladies that slay” and I was so glad to be receiving a box full of badass ladies and heroines. The first item from the box that caught my eye, is the tea by Bookish Teas. The theme of this tea was inspired by Blue Sargeant from The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Steifvater. The tea smells very fruity, and will make a good gift to someone as I don’t drink herbal teas.

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The second item in this box that I would like to talk about is the candle by Flick The Wick, inspired by Hermione Granger; The Brightest Witch. I am a fan of candles, and this will be a favourite I will be burning over christmas, as it smells perfect for curling up on a cold winters day. Fairyloot subscribers are also able to purchase a full size version of this candle (Bonus!!).

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My favourite item in this box is the “Fire is Catching” iron on badge inspired by Katniss Everdeen, made by Literary Emporium. Katniss is renound for fighting against the systems of opression, and this patch being ironed onto a jacket or bag is just perfection. I certainly cannot wait to show off my inner fire.

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Next, and the first time in fairyloot history, is the book sleeve designed by Aunjuli Art, covered in swords and books which represent all the females in YA literature. This book sleeve is bigger than the sleeve in the Illumicrate box, but I am sure I will find a book big enough to fit in it!

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Also included was this cute sticker perfect for a laptop or notebook, and designed by Reverie and Ink. This quote is from An Ember in the Ashes, and really makes me want to pick up the book (despite it being on my TBR list…).

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The mystery ARC included in this box is Furyborn by Claire Legrand, and is not out until May 2018! The book is filled with kickass ladies, and I cannot wait to get to read this! I feel honoured to be part of the fairyloot family, and I hope this is the first of (hopefully) many ARCS in the future.

The book chosen for this box is the Fairyloot Exclusive edition of The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. This special edition has silver foiling, compared to the standard gold foiling. This book is said to take you on a ride filled with fierce ladies and dragons and all the fantasy one could hope for. I am a little ashamed that it has taken this beautiful book arriving in my fairyloot to convince me to read it.

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Extra items!

Two badges; one saying The Last Namsara, and another of the Mortal Coil.

A Print from the book; The Last Namsara.

 

I am also #Fairyloot125121 so feel free to message and fangirl about this beautiful box!

The Last Dog on Earth – Adrian J Walker

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Brief Synopsis:

Every dog has its day…

And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can be.

Reg, an agoraphobic writer with an obsession for nineties football, plans to wait out the impending doom in his second floor flat, hiding himself away from the riots outside.

But when an abandoned orphan shows up in the stairwell of their building, Reg and Lineker must brave the outside in order to save not only the child, but themselves…

Goodreads rating: ✮✮✮✮ (4.22 stars)

My rating: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5 stars)

 

I am the type of person who watches Marley and Me not long after their cat (and BFF) gets put to sleep, so I was really not expecting much that would upset me from this book. However, I became so fondly attached to the very sweary dog known as Lineker, that tears were involved at times in this book.

This book seems somewhat more than a book, rather than the relationship between dog and human, and how one influences the other. This journey takes place in London in 2021 (and if the country does not become more accepting, could happen…), and Reginald (not Reg) takes us on a journey through London as he sees it.

Lineker is the main character in this book. Lineker has such a foul mouth and is such a…well, a dog, that I love him so much. I love how he views the world, and I love how, no matter what, squirrels will remain the enemy. I think Lineker is the character every story needs, and has made me want a dog as a pet even more.

Reginald. At times he would get on my nerves, especially when the orphan was concerned. But at the end of the day, he is a good man. His character development is probably the best in the book, and it helps explain the way in which grief can influence how a person behaves.

I have seen people complain about the language in this book. I mean, it is awful. But did they not read the blub on the back? (who buys a book without reading the back…?) As it does mention about a very sweary dog.

This book has destroyed my life, and I think you should all have your lives destroyed too.

An Evening with Sarah J Maas

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It’s Manchester. It’s raining. I have left the house without my glasses and I am squinting looking at my phone as I stumble to Oxford Road, to the safety of a coffee shop. I manage to get my bearings, and then it hits me; tonight is the talk with the lovely Sarah J Maas. It seems like a life-time ago since I met her at Hay Festival in 2014 when she complimented my Simon and Baz t-shirt.

This brought back memories of queueing for YALC, and, if I am perfectly honest, I had not missed. The only thing that made it better was being in the company of my friends. There were people there which were behaving like children, as well as smokers smoking in a no smoking area. You’d imagine readers would be able to read signs as well as books? Apparently not.

Anyway, rant over. The staff at The DanceHouse were amazing at letting everyone in, and despite me not enjoying the Throne of Glass series (yes, I know Tower of Dawn (ToD) is part of that…), I was completely taken aback by the amount of sprayed copies of ToD. Enjoy this photo I tried to sneakily take…

 

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The talk itself was eye-opening, and I learned so much that I did not know already. Such as the story of Sarah’s Jewish Grandma, and all the travelling she does, as well as the excellent friendship between Sarah and Charlie Bowater. This event would have been much better if Charlie did the interviewing, as the chemistry between Charlie and Sarah was amazing. It was nice seeing an author and artist complementing each other so positively (As seen by smiling faces below…).

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From what I could gather from last night, there will be plenty of Maas books coming out, and maybe even some more Throne of Glass books in the future. My only issue is the smut? I’ve heard mixed things about how good she writes it, mostly negative, and I’m not sure how it is going to work with her younger readers. But I guess that is for her to decide. Plus she is pregnant! I am so happy for the Maas clan!!

Despite not getting a ticket for the signing afterwards, and there being a number of things to improve on, this was a decent event, and I do look forward to Sarah and Charlie doing more events together in the future.

NaNoWriMo 2017

Writing to me, is something that I enjoy doing. Both with a pen and paper, and using a computer and keyboard. NaNoWriMo is something I have attempted for the past couple of years, most successfully in 2016 and 2017. All of my attempts failed due to a decline in my mental health. For example, I was extremely run down with work, and knowing that November was going to be a busy month, that I was too poorly to write for the first four (4) days of the month.

NaNoWriMo is such a wonderful idea and I think that when it comes to getting people writing, it is extremely successful. However, if you are unable to participate, or stop participating, you are still a writer. If you cannot write 1667 words a day, you are still a writer. If you cannot write 50,000 words in 30 days, you are still a writer.

Writing should not impact your mental health in any way. Doing something you want to do, should be a positive thing, and being unable to participate in an event, when there are 11 other months in the year, is not something that should get you down.

If it does, then stop. In 2016 my boyfriend made me stop, and this year I decided that I was going to stop by myself, because it just was not worth it. I do have a story in me, like many of you I imagine, but it will come out of me eventually. Most likely over a period of longer than 30 days.

I am waving with my pom-poms for everyone still writing, and I am proud of everyone who has kept at it/ given it a go/ decided it was not for them etc. Feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think!

Peace x

Review: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

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A brief synopsis:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

 

Goodreads rating: ✮✮✮✮ (4.53 stars)

My rating: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5 stars)

 

I loved reading this collection of short stories, and this has made me want to get back into the Grishaverse and finally start the Six of Crows duology, which has been staring at me from my TBR for much longer than I would care to admit.

This collection highlights the different worlds that Bardugo creates, and these stories are filled with creepiness and intrigue. There is everything that you can possibly want in this collection, from clever animals, to in-love puppets, to lesbian mermaids, among other things. My favourite story was The Witch of Duva, as I felt like this story intrigued me the most, and one that I felt was far too short! The other stories are just as good though!

This is a rather short review, because you just need to read and imagine the stories in this book for yourself.

 

26 things I have learnt in my 26 years on Earth

  1. You are never too old for Harry Potter
  2. Tea does not taste any different if you add the milk before or after the water
  3. You cannot please everyone in life, so eat that avocado (I don’t like avocados).
  4. My cats are my world
  5. I am a woman and I do not want kids, and that is okay
  6. smear tests are incredibly uncomfortable but completely necessary
  7. I will never have enough books
  8. Teddy-bears are essential, and have feelings
  9. I would be happy if I never had to leave the house ever again
  10. Making your own cake/cookies means there are no calories if you eat them
  11. Not liking/wanting sex is completely normal
  12. Check those boobs. You never know when it’ll save your life
  13. Blankets. I am a blanket whore
  14. Make tea in bulk (in a flask, thermos, whatever) as it will save so much time
  15. Friends met online are real.
  16. I am panromantic asexual, and my sexuality is valid
  17. Autumn is my favourite season
  18. Rain is my favourite weather when I don’t have to work
  19. Cake can be eaten at any time
  20. You are never too young to fangirl
  21. Read what you want, not what you should
  22. Education is better when you get older
  23. The teen years are the worst years of your life. But life does get better when you also get through your 20s (or I am hoping so anyway…)
  24. Tattoos and dyed hair will not stop you getting that job
  25. Money can definitely buy happiness, and if anyone tells you it can’t has never lived without it.
  26. YOU CAN NOT BE RACIST TO WHITE PEOPLE, OR SEXIST TO MEN

It is November 14th and today I turn 26. I hope you enjoyed my mini life tips/hints or whatever.

Let me know what you’ve learned, as I would love to made a big bloggers list ❤

 

Fairyloot October 2017 Unboxing

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This was my first fairyloot box (my september box got lost) and it was definitely worth the money. I wanted to wait a while before posting an unboxing as not everyone had got their boxes, and I hope that if you’re reading this, you don’t get spoiled. (if you do, sorry..)

The theme of this box was VILLAINOUS first item I want to talk about is the Maleficent candle by Meraki Candles. I have yet to find out how good this smells, due to not being able to get the lid off, but if it’s like their other candles, I am expecting it to smell amazing.

Next item is the death eater pin badge by House of Wonderland. As a hufflepuff I can atest to this pin being all kinds of baddie. The badge is well-made and I must admit the snake is a little bit cute.

One of my favourite items was the ‘Every Fairy Tale Needs a Good Old Fashioned Villain’ coaster by Evie Seo. I love a good coaster, but I think this one is probably too pretty to use.

I never really know what to do with mirrors, but I think this pocket mirror by Little Inklings Design with a quote from the Young Elites series by Marie Lu. No doubt when I become more invested in bookish photos this will become a regular prop I will use.

Also included was this beautiful print, also by Evie Seo, and is from the Aeneid by Virgil, and is frequently mentioned by Sebastian Morgenstern in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare; ‘If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell‘. This card is gorgeous, and will definitely be included in any pictures I take of the Shadowhunter books.

There were also postcards based on The Language of Thorns books by Leigh Bardugo. The six postcards were bonus items from fairyloot, and are based on the six novels in the collection.

This box was special, because it included a special red-foiled edition of The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo, as well as Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao. As with all fairyloot books, it came with a signed book plate and a letter from the author.

 

This box was beautiful. My fairyloot number is: #fairyloot122966

Let me know what you thought of this beautiful box.

 

 

Review: Night of Cake and Puppets – Laini Taylor

 

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A brief synopsis

In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana’s fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

 

Goodreads rating: ✮✮✮✮ (4.35 stars)

My rating: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5 stars)

 

Two nights it took me to read this book, namely because I kept getting distracted by looking at all the gorgeous artwork by the talented Jim Di Bartolo. I loved reading about the Daughter of Smoke and bone trilogy, initially by mistake because I thought I was going to be reading about the Darkling (Shadow and bone trilogy). I am so glad that there is a physical copy of this book out! The book itself is gorgeous and just everything inside is perfection (even if I was secretly hoping it would be a 300+ page novel as a surprise from Laini…).

There is a lot of controversy online lately regarding novellas, as a popular author is saying that readers should buy one of her already published books if they want to read about a 11k word novella. Then saying that if people cannot afford it, then go to a library, as she claims to have received a message from a reader saying they pirated her books and read them that way online. This author is problematic (despite me being completely invested in the Raven Cycle Quartet, I mean hey, nobody’s perfect?) and this isn’t really something I want to go into further. Just that Laini has done the right thing here, and publishing it in hardback with artwork from your talented husband? major props.

Right, let’s finally get down to this book. Zuzana and Mik. I love Zuzana so much and I was glad to see her published, as well as have sneak peaks into her artwork, as well as Karou’s sketch book. Zuzana is fierce and decides to go after the guy she wants, not wanting to mope around any longer. Mik also ends up playing Zuzana at her own game and they are just perfect together.

This book made me miss the dosab series and I am just glad that my bby Zuzana got her own book. The art work is just something else. Laini and Jim are like the most creative power couple ever and honestly she could write her name on a tissue and I would still pay to read it.

I don’t know how else to describe my feelings without crying all over you. This book was romantic and beautiful inside and out, and made me feel very nostalgic for this series. Laini has outdone herself yet again and I just have no words for how happy reading this book has made me.

 

Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

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A brief synopsis:

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Goodreads rating: ✮✮✮✮ (3.78 stars)

My rating: ✮✮✮✮✮ (4.5 stars)

 

I read this book over a week (I think) and I loved it so much! The only downside was the fact that I wanted it to be so much longer, because I just couldn’t get enough of it. The book was a different take on the fairy genre of stories, and it was nice to read about a different fae.

Characters

Isobel: Isobel is a fierce female protagonist and it was such a relief to have a female character that remained independent and had morals she wanted to stick with. Isobel knows what she wants, and won’t sacrifice it for anything. The only thing that would make me like her more was if she was a Fae-hating Lesbian.

Rook: Rook is hilarious. I laughed more in the scenes with Rook than I did with any other character. The fact he is the Autumn Prince and believes he can do what he wants is also a contributing giggle factor. It is nice and refreshing to see a male character who thinks he can do what he wants, and actually be told that he can’t. All that aside, I love Rook and he is my ideal cinammon roll.

March and May: These two. They aren’t really main characters, but I have such a soft spot for them. They are evil and horrid creatures and I just love them so much.

Gadfly: A main/side character depending on the part of the book. Gadfly seems really nice but he is a bastard. Don’t believe the false niceties, and just think of him as Fae – crafty and manipulative. I want to slap this arsehole so much.

 

The language

This book is filled with the most beautiful writing I have read in a long while. The descriptions are on point, and really make you feel like you are really there alongside the characters. All the posts and quotes online about how the autumn is crisp and golden etc have nothing on this book. I feel like Margaret Rogerson writes how everyone wants to write, but can’t.

 

Overall thoughts

I loved this book and the language and imagery and everything else, but the immediate romance put me off that half a star, and my asexual butt couldn’t get past this, which is why I voted the 4.5.