Inside My ADSOM Giveaway Box!

Hi friends! I did a giveaway way way back and have been meaning to share with you its contents, but I wanted to wait until my actual giveaway winner received her box first so it would be a surprise. She finally did, hooray! You can check out her unboxing post here! Here’s what was inside:

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  1. A Paperback Copy of A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
  2. Peony / Rose Candle | So you can literally smell Red London as you read
  3. Charcoal Infused Bath Bomb | So you can pretend your tub is the Red Isle from book 3
  4. Sea Salt Chocolate | So you can taste the ocean breeze along with our favorite pirate
  5. 2 Red Nail Polishes | So you can be cute as hell, okay?!
  6. A Thank You Note | From yours truly. Because thank you.

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Here’s a closer look at the two shades of magic red I picked out : Under Your Spell and I Red A Good Book. I couldn’t help it. They were the perfect colors to go with this box and also, perfectly punny.

Thank you everyone for participating! Hope to see you all at the next one. I had so so so much fun shopping and picking out items to fill this book-themed box. 🙂 What book should I giveaway next?!

Happy Reading!

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July Book Reviews

Soooooo, it’s totally not July anymore. It’s barely even August. To be honest, I didn’t get much reading done in the past month anyway.

Not sure if it was a slump or if I was just too busy, but I think I just needed some time away from this little space. I’m happy to be back though! With a new round of rapid-fire reviews to boot! Whoo. Lesgo.

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The Final Empire ( Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Ah, Mistborn. This brought me back to my early reader days, when I would stay holed up in a treehouse totally engrossed in fantasy stories for hours and hours. It had all the elements of a good fantasy but without a lot of the cliches, no dragons and princesses and such. I loved Sanderson’s world and discovering all the nuances of allomancy. The plot was action-packed, emotionally charged and totally unique in my opinion. Some kinda meh points though :

1) Occasional slow pacing

2) The narration felt really distant from the characters sometimes. I wish we got to know more of them more intimately

3) Fight scenes could be difficult to follow at first, especially when you’re still trying to remember the mechanics of all the pushing and pulling.

4) Totally detached from the Elend / Vin romance. Though I appreciate the general lack of relationship drama through most of the book. This is definitely an action/fantasy adventure – not a romcom disguised as one – and I love that.

Other than that though, I really enjoyed this one. Been a while, but can’t wait to pick this series back up.

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Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

World-building was rushed, not elegant in typical schwab style. There were too many elements, not all of which add to the story. I wasn’t particularly invested in the characters or side characters. The villain/threat felt underwhelming. Stakes didn’t feel high enough because of the general lack of investment. The idea and the premise seemed interesting enough, but I felt like it wasn’t sufficiently fleshed out. From the lore behind the monsters to the two main characters themselves, we weren’t given the time to really immerse ourselves in any of it. End of the day, I was pretty disappointed by this one. To be honest, my library books were due and I didn’t care enough to finish this series out. So I left the last quarter of the book alone and I’m not sure if I’ll go back.

 

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Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

So my sister churned through all these audiobooks insanely fast and told me she was pretty disappointed with how the series played out. I, on the otherhand, felt like the second book gave me what I kept expecting from the first one – all the action and gore of war. Some part of me missed Kaoru when she was just Kaoru because she had a light-hearted, almost naive fearlessness that her Madrigal counterpart seems to tame down a little. But anyways, I was so much more intrigued by the fallout of the star-crossed lovers tale than the tale itself that was presented in book one. Not to mention, all our secondaries (Ziri, Liraz, Hazael, Zusana) get more screentime in all the Eretz madness. Me gusta. All in all, a solid sequel, I think. I may even like it more than the first one.

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Welp, I think that’s it from me for now! Hope ya’ll didn’t miss me too much, ha! Can’t wait to get caught up on all your wonderful posts.

Happy Reading!

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3 Bookish Pet Peeves

There are book tropes I think everyone’s tired of – i.e. the chosen one or the love triangle or the insta-love. These pet peeves I think are a little less talked about but they drive me nuts all the same.

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1. Hot people doing stuff

It torments me to no end when you open a book expecting an actual plot and all you get is 500 hundred pages mentioning how attractive each character is as they do stuff. Don’t bullshit me with your thrilling backcover synopsis. This is just hot people doing stuff. (Looking at you Paper Princess). It also bothers me when everyone in a book is good-looking and it’s a common talking point. I felt like the ACOMAF series did that quite frequently. How dull. Honestly, aside from basic descriptions, I don’t really give a flying rat’s ass what your character looks like. If describing their appearance isn’t a vehicle for some backstory, world-building or character development, I don’t want it. 

The solution? Either create characters that are physically distinctive from each other or forget appearances all together. A Daughter of Smoke and Bones is guilty of occasional gratuitous descriptions, but we also get really imaginatively vivid characters descriptions. I remember hearing the appalling description of Razgut and Izil and picturing the whole scene so clearly. It made it all the more revolting when Razgut licks Karou. Not to mention all the incredible creatures she describes throughout the book. That’s about the only time appearance matters to me.

 

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2. Instant ramen fighters

You don’t get a week of fighting lessons and then go off to war. Hunting rabbits does not a warrior make. You take karate classes at your cool private high school? Nope, still not enough. I’ve been training for fights everyday for a year and a half now, which isn’t that long of a time. If it’s taught me anything, it’s that you don’t get to open a packet of seasoning, add hot water and pop a fighter out of the microwave. It takes years. Years. And even then, that may only give you the skills to hold your own against someone of your size and stature. Forget about fighting off monsters and men strong enough to have become esteemed warriors or evil villains.

The solution? Have characters out-smart or use their own personal strengths to get out of those situations. Example: Lila Bard from ADSOM. Constantly outpowered or outnumbered. She doesn’t always win, but when she does it’s because of her cleverness and willingness to bend the rules to her advantage.

 

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3. Pseudo-intellectual teenagers

AHEMjohngreenAHEM. Really, please see any John Green love interest to see what I’m talking about. It’s lazy characterization to me. Rather than placing your character(s) in situations that reveal their intelligence or maturity, we get ridiculously cheesy descriptions and pages of bad dialogue. This often falls in step with the manic pixie dream girl and hipsters. They’re all an attempt to be different from the mainstream, but are done in such a way that they become their own cliche. Plus, when I’m reading YA, I kind of expect to see immaturity. These are coming of age stories – immaturity and believable age are important.

WHAT KINDA KID TALKS LIKE THIS. 

The solution? Stop trying so damn hard and let kids be kids. See More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, where his characters play tag and behave entirely like teens but still have real, powerful struggles with identity, acceptance and love.

 

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Any of this stuff drive you bananas too? Or is it just me sipping on the haterade?

 

Happy Reading!

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Bookish Fanart

After seeing this fanart of Feyre here and this amazing Carry On cover by Kevin Wada here, I realized how much I absolutely love bookish fanart. The moment I finish a book, I find myself looking up fanart and fancasts just to see how others pictured the characters I just spent a week imagining. Maybe it’s because I’m a wanna-be artist myself, but I really think all this fanart is an underappreciated part of the bookish world. So here are some of my favorite pieces I’ve found recently. Who knows, maybe I’ll start making some too.

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Victoria Ying

 

Kell & Lila from A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

Ya’ll are probably sick of hearing how much I love this series. But there’s not a ton of fanart out there for it. My favorites are from Victoria Ying. They’ve got a spunky illustration feel to them and I love it.

 

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Charlie Bowater

 

Rhys and Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I thought the Feyre illustration I saw on The Booknookae was exactly how I had always imagined Feyre. Turns out the artist, Charlie Bowater, has done a ton of A Court of Mist and Fury fanart and it’s all dead spot-on. Not only is her art just spectacular, but the characters are so true to how I imagined them in my head. I didn’t LOVE this series, mostly because of the writing I think rather than the characters, but it’s still so cool to see it come to life so perfectly.

My Goooooood, these paintings are so gorgeous. I can’t get over it.

 

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Hunter Severn Bonyun

 

Elend and Vin from Mistborn : The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn series reminded me of all the series that made me fall in love with Fantasy novels in the first place. Such epics and violence and heroes and really cool worlds with magical elements. The covers themselves are beautiful illustrations and so much of the fanart is even better. Some really incredible stuff out there, like this one by Hunter Bonyun of Vin and Elend.

 

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I wish there was more bookish fan art out there, or maybe I’m just not looking in the right places. Either way, they’ve given me an itch to sketch, so keep an eye out. Maybe I’ll be sharing some of my own in the near future.

Happy Reading!

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Featured Follows | More Blogs You Should Read

I started this series of posts to highlight the blogs I follow/follow me that I really enjoy reading or interacting with. Check out the last featured follows here!  

 

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Is book porn a thing? I’m not talking erotic novels, I mean book porn like food porn. I’m talking photos of books and bookish things that are so pretty and visually stunning that it makes you want to buy new books and read all day. That’s what you get from Ramsha @ The Booknookae. Her gorgeous bookstagram photos plus her one or two liner reviews and recommendations make this an easy blog to prowl through.

 

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Author and blogger, Lyndsey @ Lyndsey’s Book Blog, has got it all on her blog. Writing tips, book tags, reviews, book crate unboxings…it’s a combination of all things bookish and to top it off, she seems like a genuine and approachable person.

 

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I’ve been following Savannah @ The Book Prophet for a long while, pretty much since I got back into blogging. Her reviews are thorough without being long-winded and I love that you can always skim just the bolded parts and hilarious gifs for a TLDR version. Lots of books on my TBR list have come from her suggestions. My favorite posts are probably her discussion topics though! Sometimes it gets a little repetitive to see the same book tags across all the blogs you follow and Savannah always has interesting, original discussion posts that get me thinking!

 

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Have any great blogs you think I should check out? No shame in volunteering your own, hahah.

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Happy Friday, ya’ll!

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June Book Reviews

One week late? Oh wells. I’ve given up posting on time. Despite this being a crazy month with me training like mad for my third fight, I actually got a decent amount of reading in. Huzzah! Also seems like I was in a red book cover kind of mood. Totally not planned. Totally digging the aesthetic though.

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I can’t recommend this series enough. A Conjuring of Light was a heart-wrenching, action-packed, feels everywhere ending to a great fantasy trilogy. As much as I loved it, I think my favorite book in the series may still be the first one. There were moments of brevity and light-heartedness whereas A Conjuring of Light was heavy and dark – as all series climaxes should be. Regardless, I totally fell in love with all of these characters and the only reason I’m even remotely capable of talking about it reasonably is because I finished this book at the very beginning of the month. So I’ve had four weeks to mourn its end. Trust me, I was a wreck.

 

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Schwab comes up with the coolest premises and writes such believable fleshed out characters. Vicious was no different in that respect. I was disappointed though in the lack of scheming and complicated plotting particularly from a novel about two supposed geniuses. After reading the Shades of Magic series, I was expecting something a little less straight-forward. Either way, I’ll be picking up the sequel without a doubt!

 

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I actually wrote a full review for this one. TL;DR : I was super impressed with the world-building and creativity of the this book, but super disappointed to see it devolve into a story of star-crossed lovers.

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Yet another Schwab book! What can I say? I was trying to fill the void left by A Conjuring of Light. And yet again, cool world building, but I was left kinda of meh about this book. Even though I was left wanting more with Vicious, I still felt like her characters were unique and creative. What may have fell short for me here was that This Savage Song didn’t make me fall in love with its characters, nor did it have all those cool world-building details that the rest of her novels had. Maybe the fact that it was meant to be YA vs. an adult novel played a role. Idk. It reminded me a little bit of Legend by Marie Lu. 

 

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As usual, I’m also a bit behind on reading all of your posts too. Luckily, I’ve finally got a slow-paced weekend and I can’t wait to see what you’ve all been checking off your TBR’s!

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GIVEAWAY WINNER !

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Image Source : The Bandar Blog

As you all know, I started a giveaway for a copy of A Darker Shade of Magic along with a few other goodies a couple of weeks ago. Well, the giveaway has finally ended and the winner is… (drumroll please)

 

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Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books! 

 

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I actually featured her in my last featured follows post, but I swear this wasn’t rigged. I just pressed the little Rafflecopter button and it randomly selected a winner. Anyways, congrats Kristin! Please check your email and I’ll send you your package as soon as possible!

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Thank you so much to everyone who participated! I’m hoping to have more of these in the future so stay tuned.

 

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In other news, it’s been a crazy weekend for me, but I’ve got plenty of posts coming up in the next week. For those of you in the states, Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Reading!

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