Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: Bookish Goodies from Literatee (with a giveaway!)

Hi Everyone!

I am so excited that I get to share with you a place to go and buy yourselves and/or your bookish loving people amazing bookish things!

I promise, this is a review, but I am not going to hold you in any sort of suspense for wanting to know how I truly feel about the products that this store has to offer.....  I LOVE THEM!

Okay okay.  Obviously I am getting ahead of myself here, I mean... I haven't even told you the NAME of the store yet!  Geesh!

So this cool and amazing bookish store that I am here to tell you about today is called Literatee  (www.literatee.com).  Isn't that just a fun name to say?  And super easy to remember if you ask me (and I am a person who does forget random things kind of often).

So in exchange for an honest review, Literatee  offered to let me pick out a couple of items of my own choosing so that I could check them out and let you guys know what I think about them.  And well, I couldn't pick.  I had to tell the lovely owner of Literatee, Larissa, to go ahead and pick for me.



And this here...this is what she sent me!  Isn't it the absolute cutest!  Both items were perfect for me and I absolutely love them.  They fit so perfect into my book loving life.  And I mean....a Harry Potter quote?  YES PLEASE!

In regards to the qualities of the items, I must say that I am please with both items.  The tote appears to be really sturdy.  The color of it is perfectly neutral and will go with most everyone.  The shirt (though I am not normally allowed to buy white for myself....I tend to stain it looking at it from a distance) is very soft and quite lovely too.  The images for both the t shirt and the tote are printed on too, not painted or appearing to just be sitting on the surface.  So the images (this is especially important for the tote I think) will be able to withstand use and not disappear on you.

Now, in regards to Larissa, I had the pleasure of talking back and forth with her via email as we discussed me doing a review, what I wanted, when she would send it, etc.  And I found her to be incredibly responsive and on top of things.  She is definitely the sort of person I like to buy items from - very responsive and great with communication.  I would not feel any sort of hesitation having to go to her if I ever did have any problems with one of her products.

And then there is the website itself.  I think it is absolutely beautiful and well done.  It is super easy to navigate.  And there are a lot of different categories - literary shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, book tote bags, and a lot more.  The only thing I kind of wish were available, that don't appear to be there at this time are hoodies and more color options for various shirt designs.  But all in all, these not being currently available at Literatee does nothing to how I feel about their product over all.  It would just make it just tad bit more awesome.

So, yes, I like Literatee.  And when I need to buy some gifts for book loving friends, it is definitely going to be on my list of stores to shop at.  I know more than one person who could really use the Cat Lover Tee in their lives!

This review is based on items received in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Giveaway

You didn't think I would leave you all a raving review about Literatee and not give you a giveaway where you can with a $30 eGiftcard to spend on the website did you?  This giveaway is for US residents only!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Book Review: A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess


Title: A Poison Dark and Drowning
Author: Jessica Cluess
Series: Kingdom on Fire #2
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Source: Blogging for Books



Color me excited when I got a hold of a copy of A Poison Dark and Drowning to review!  I even made myself reread book one, A Shadow Bright and Burning (find my review HERE) before I let myself read it since it had been such a long time.

This being said, this is a 2nd book in a series....so there may be spoilers for book 1.  Consider yourself warned.



This book takes place not too long after the first book ends.  Henrietta is living with Blackwood at his estate as his guest/friend.  She is working to try to find a cure for Rook.  The world is still in ever worsening danger.  And the Ancients are demanding that the Sorcerers hand her over.

This book is definitely action packed.  And filled with a lot of twists and turns.  Some of which I expected and others surprised me.  And of course, new ones were brought up, and I have my suspicions on how they will turn out...

As far as character development goes in this story, I am kind of disappointed in how some of the guys have gone.  Actually I think I am disappointed in all of them.  Except Rook.  I still do not care about Rook.  Two books have gone by and I still could do without him.  He feels like a background character that isn't actually supposed to be a background character.  But he feels so flat compared to other characters.  Flat and boring.  And I really hope the other guys get redeemed in the third book.  I am really not happy with how either Magnus and Blackwood have developed/or failed to develop so far.

And the love square?  I am kind of really over that.  A triangle is bad enough...but a freaking square?  That is probably my biggest complaint with this series.  Our heroine just seems to be ready to go to which ever guy will flutter his pretty lashes in her direction.  She just keeps flipping and flopping all over the place with them.  I still have my preference as to which one I like the best, and I have them ranked.  But, I am very ready for her to decide and stop dragging that part on.

And we did get some new characters and new bits of the world explained to us.  All of which was pretty cool and interesting.  The weird feeling between Magicians, Sorcerers, and Witches has a bit more development.  We learn a lot more about the Ancients too.  A whole lot more!

It will be really interesting to see how book 3 goes for this series.  I love the characters and the world.  And I really want to see how they make it through their new challenges!

My Rating
4.5 Stars

This review is based on a copy provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts are mine and mine alone.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Book Review: History's Mysteries by Kitson Jazynka


Title: History's Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles From the Past
Author: Kitson Jazynka
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Source: Publisher




Oh my freaking goodness!  I had no idea I would love this book as much as I actually did!  Truth be told, I am actually kind of sad that it ended.

History's Mysteries is filled to the brim with bits of stories and information on a lot of different topics.  All of which are unsolved or things not quite figured out (and may never be).  And it covers quite a range of topics - buildings/structures, creatures, lost things....

Some of the things in the book I kind of knew about, but not really.  An example of this would be Stonehenge.  I of course have heard about it, but I haven't really looked into much information on it.  And while this book doesn't have a lot of information on any one thing, it does have some pretty good information for each thing.  So I definitely learned some new stuff on something I already knew a little about.

Then there were the things I had no idea about!  Like the "money pit" up in Novia Scotia.  Oh my goodness!  That thing sounded so cool!  I actually ended up doing some Googling on it and learned that there is a show on the History Channel just about that!  So now I need to see if I can find that show to watch it!

This book, while it doesn't have a lot of information on any one thing, it has enough information to get your feet wet and to entice you to want to learn more on the subjects that it covers.  This is a great book for those who like to learn random bits of information about things.  And it may just convince them to do some further research onto some of the topics like it did for me!

If you can't tell, I totally recommend this book!

My Rating
5 Stars

This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Review: The Peddler's Road by Matthew Cody


Title: The Peddler's Road
Author: Matthew Cody
Series: The Secrets of the Pied Piper
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Source: Publisher



A retelling!  For a story I don't normally run into a retelling for!  So of course I had to give it a shot.

And boy am I glad I did!

This particular retelling, if you cannot tell from the title is of the Pied Piper story.  You know the one?  The one where the pied piper comes and plays his music and removes all the rats from the town.

Well in this one, once upon a time, he did do that...and then the village didn't pay the price that he asked, so he came and took all the children.  Minus one - that kid couldn't make it.  Or at least that is the story the town tells.  But everyone else just believes them to be fairy tales.

Then we come to more of a now time in history and there are two kids, Max and Carter, are in the town of the story with their dad (a person who researches fairytales) and things start happening.

First they see a strange person hiding out in the shadows.  Then they have their house flooded with rats....and then they find themselves in a strange place with all the children of Hamelin that were taken over 100 years ago!

Then from there the adventure starts.  They, obviously, want to find their way home.  And they want to help the kids find their way back too.

Of course, there are giant evil rats in the way.  And some wizards.  And some fairies....  And other creatures...

It is quite a fun story!  I really enjoyed it!  The adventure was actually quite fun, filled with little twists and turns.  The world was very creative too.  There were so many different types of "creatures" and "beings" that we encountered through the whole story.  You never really knew who would turn up next.  And the characters themselves were quite enjoyable.  They all had their distinct personalities, and I found myself enjoying the crass old wizard guy.

There are more books in this series, and yes I am totally going to read them!

My Rating
4 Stars

This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts are mine and mine alone.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Review: Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer


Title: Spindle Fire
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Series: Spindle Fire #1
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Source: Glasstown Entertainment


Color me excited when I was asked if I wanted to review Spindle Fire.  If you are follower of my blog you already know how much I love a fairy tale retelling.  I only tell you all every single time I read one how much I love them.  If you are new here...well...be warned... I really like fairy tale retellings!

Spindle Fire is actually a retelling of Sleeping Beauty!  This story has seeds of the story that we know, but there are some considerable differences (yay!).

In this version Aurora cannot talk and she cannot feel pain.  Those traits have been tithed (traded) away from her thanks to her parents for other fairy gifts that they deemed more important for a princess to have.  And she has an older half sister named Isabelle.  Isabelle cannot see.  Her eyesight has also been tithed away by her parents.

The two have an amazing relationship despite them being so different.  Aurora is light and beautiful where Isabelle is dark.  Aurora finds solace in stories and Isabelle loves adventure.  Two sides of the same coin almost, but their love for each other transcends all.

This is actually where the regular Sleeping Beauty story comes into play.  Isabelle was going to be sent away to live in a convent once Aurora was married to a prince (originally supposed to be Prince Phillip) so Isabelle ran away with her friend Gil.  Aurora then chased after her sister... and one thing led to another and she pricked her finger on the ever famous spinning wheel that puts her to sleep.

Then things happen to both of them and the story unfolds.

The writing of Spindle Fire feels as though you are reading a fairy tale which only adds to its flavor.  It is almost musical in the way that it reads.  It instantly pulled me into the world and drowned me.  I loved it.  I had absolutely no problem imagining this story and the characters within.

I also loved that the story only had little seeds of the original fairy tale and then takes it on to its own new story.  There is enough there that you can tell where it has come from, but it is different enough that you don't feel like you are reading the same old story.

I also enjoyed the characters.  I actually cannot tell you which sister I liked the most.  They each have their own traits that made them their own.  They had things I liked and things I didn't, but that only made them more real in my mind.  I mean, who likes everything about anyone?  And I definitely felt that, especially Aurora, had some character growth and I can only hope to see even more of that in the next book.  I do think some of the side characters and their relationships with our main characters fell a little short though and felt some what forced at times.  However, the main characters definitely shined.

In short, I really enjoyed this retelling and thought it was done very well!

My Rating
4 Stars

This review is based on a digital copy provided by Glasstown Entertainment in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review: The Breathless by Tara Goedjen


Title: The Breathless
Series: Stand Alone
Author: Tara Goedjen
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Source: Publisher


Let me completely honest with you here.  I finished reading The Breathless a couple of weeks ago and have just been sitting on writing this review.  Why?  Because I have no idea really what to say to you about it.  And I have been finding myself still lost in thought over things that happened in this story.

The Breathless was one of those books where you read it and it just makes you think.  A lot of things happen in this story and the writing is beautiful.  But there is something about it that makes you keep going "hmm" when it's over and done with.

The Breathless is about a girl named Mae.  Her sister had suffered a tragic death - the kind where they think she was murdered and they think that her boyfriend is too blame.  However, her boyfriend has been missing since it happened...almost a year.  Her sister then finds this mysterious book and other strange things start happening....

One thing really just rolls into another and you find yourself spellbound by the story within.  Yes, sometimes you can pretty much see what is happening, you don't really find yourself caring that much.  The story telling is superb and it makes up for that *some* of the story is predictable.

Now, you may recall that I told you I keep thinking on this book.  And it is because that despite being able to predict things, there were other bits I was not.  And there are strange bits littered throughout the story.  It was one of those books that when I finished I was really tempted to go back and reread it again.  To see the things that I missed.  Part of me thinks, though, that if I were to do that I may be even more confused than I am.

There is just such an air of mystery and intrigue to The Breathless.  I am not really sure if we are supposed to be able to decipher all of the strange.

I have really wanted to discuss this book with someone since I read it, so please contact me once you finish!

My Rating
5 Stars

This review is based on an eARC copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book Review: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman


Title: The Invisible Library
Author: Genevieve Cogman
Series: The Invisible Library #1
Publisher: Ace, Reprint Edition
Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Source: Blogging for Books


Oh my goodness this book.  I had heard things on and off about this series from the book world via the internet...and then one day I saw it was available on Blogging for Books.  So I snatched it right up.

Then I finally got to where I had time to read this book in my not so busy but some how it is still busy life.  I cracked opened the covers and started reading.  I was instantly hooked on the world

I will admit that it took me a little bit to be fully drawn into the story, but when I started it off, I was not in the best place mentally.  I blame this small problem wholly on this.  By the time I was done with the book, my mental status had much improved and I was LOVING this book.  ABSOLUTELY LOVING!

What we have here is not an alternate history book, not really.  It is an alternate reality book that happens to take place in our past.  It also has a touch of paranormal and steampunk.  Really right up my alley.  I should have read this much sooner.

So we have our main character Irene.  She gets charged by The Library to go find a book in a specific world.  The Library likes to collect books for various reasons and it sends its Librarians out to retrieve them.  Sometimes the retrieval is easy, other times it is not.  As you can guess this time was no so easy.

We meet a huge cast of characters and not all of them are human!  The world she is sent into has all sorts of creatures in it - vampires, fae, werewolves, humans, and more.  So much awesome!

My favorite character by far was Vale.  But I happen to love Sherlock Holmes and Vale is very reminiscent of him.  So don't mind me while I drool over him.  Kai, Irene's trainee was okay I guess.  But Vale was *yes*

The steampunk element was definitely there, but I do wish it had had a bit more.  As I love steampunk, but that is okay.  It didn't really diminish the story or the world for me.  I guess I am just greedy when it comes to wanting more of an element or something.

I am now a huge fan of these characters and look forward to making time to read the rest of the books in this series!

My Rating
4.5 Stars

This review is based on a copy provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.