Monday, September 18, 2017

Muse Monthly Unboxing + Review

Today's post is a little different! I thought I would share with you a subscription box. Now, I don't get subscription boxes hardly at all -- as a broke college student, it's just not really something I can do right now. However, Muse Monthly is one that I consistently love, and consistently feel like I'm getting my money's worth. So, I thought I would share.

Disclaimer: I was sent this box by Muse Monthly. All opinions are strictly my own, as I have bought boxes in the past with my own money and stand by everything I say in this post. I received no compensation, nor use any affiliate links. I wasn't even asked to write this post. I just like 'em.

If you don't know, Muse Monthly is a books + tea subscription box. Each month, you get a new book (usually literary fiction) and a new, full-size tea to go along with it. September's book was Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and we also got TWO teas this month.

The teas I've gotten from Muse Monthly boxes have honestly been some of the best teas I've ever had (y'all I'm still holding on to my last little bit of tea from the Feb 2016 box because it was THAT GOOD). Every box I've had from them has been so well-curated; Christina does an excellent job of picking great books, and carefully picking teas that go well with it. There is also usually another item with it, in this case a Burning Books candle that smells SO good.

So there ya have it! If there was one subscription box that I would recommend, Muse Monthly would be it. I don't buy a lot of bookish merch/items, but I think it would be cool to start showcasing the ones I do. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Girl with the Red Balloon {by Katherine Locke}

Title: The Girl with the Red Balloon
Author: Katherine Locke
Series: The Balloonmakers #1
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
source: NetGalley

When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.

This book took awhile for me to get into. I don't know if it was the writing style, or Ellie's narration, but after I got into the story, I was drawn into the story.

The story is told in three POV's: Ellie, Kai, and Benno. Honestly, I probably liked Kai's the least. His seemed more like info dumps, and not things that actually moved the plot along. I think I liked Benno's the best, although his were also the saddest.

I liked our characters, but still felt meh. I didn't feel that I really connected with any of them. I think they could have been written to be a bit more complex. There seemed to be a lot more telling than showing. I wasn't really drawn into the story through the characters, if that makes sense.

The plot had me intrigued and is what kept me interested throughout the story. The magic system of the balloons, although at times a bit confusing, kept me intrigued. I wouldn't say this was so suspenseful or anything, but I liked it.

In general, I felt a little mediocre about this book as a whole. It definitely has captured my interest, so I will probably pick up the second one. It has potential, and I'm curious to see if that potential is fulfilled.

More books by this author:

Katherine Locke:

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Welcome Home {anthology}

Title: Welcome Home: An Anthology on Love and Adoption
Edited By: Eric Smith
Genre: Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
source: NetGalley

Welcome Home collects a number of adoption-themed fictional short stories, and brings them together in one anthology from a diverse range of celebrated Young Adult authors. The all-star roster includes Edgar-award winner Mindy McGinnis, New York Times bestselling authors C.J. Redwine (The Shadow Queen) and William Ritter (Jackaby), and acclaimed YA authors across all genres, like Adi Alsaid, Lauren Gibaldi, Sangu Mandanna, Karen Akins, and many more.

As always, it's very hard for me to review an anthology. Of course there are stories that I liked, and some that I didn't. I think this is an important one, with stories that are very needed in YA, especially.

In general, I think this anthology had a good mix, both in genre of stories and voice. Some will be good for younger audiences, and I think some will speak to older audiences. The running theme of adoption is such an important one.

Ultimately I felt that as a whole, this book fell a little flat. There were stories that I liked, but none that I truly loved, and I was left feeling a little disappointed.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Most Anticipated SEPTEMBER Releases!

First off, yes, I am back from hiatus! And I'm back with a new kind of post. I'm not sure I've ever done a post on my anticipated releases, actually. This year, I started a new way of tracking the new releases I was most excited about by month as to actually stay on top of them. It's been working out for me fairly well, and I decided, why not share which books I most looking forward to each month?

September actually has quite a few, I feel, compared to other months. So here we go!

September 1
  • The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke (review)
September 5
  • Welcome Home edited by Eric Smith (review)
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
September 12
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
September 19
  • Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
  • Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
September 26
  • Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
  • The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

My most anticipated for this month are probably Warcross, Hunting Prince Dracula, and The Language of Thorns. What books are you looking forward to in September?