OwlCrate & Uppercase Boxes

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Yes, it’s late but I still thought I’d post about my OwlCrate and Uppercase subscription boxes!

For those of you unfamiliar with OwlCrate, it is a monthly YA subscription box that features a newly released book as well as 3-4 bookish items that are set around a theme. The theme for April was “Dystopia”. This is what the box contained:

Again, not a book I would have chosen for myself. I have heard a lot of negative things about Flawed, but I will eventually give it a read to judge for myself. After another lack luster box, I’ve decided to cancel my OwlCrate subscription. Next month’s box will be the final one that I’ll receive. I just can’t justify continuing to pay for a box that I’m not totally enjoying. Does anyone else feel the same?

Uppercase is also a young adult book-of-the-month subscription box. You receive a recently published YA novel and some additional book-related items. This month the box (or cloth bag) contained:

I love Uppercase more and more each month! First, the book is signed. It’s honestly not one that I had heard of before, but the blurb on the back makes it sound like something I’m going to really like. And…so much Harry Potter goodness!! The bookmarks are adorable and the quote and totally go up in my classroom. I’m really looking forward to the box next month!

Bookish Mixes

bookishmixesTwo of my favourite things are books and music! Blending them together can trigger memories, deepen a scene or set the mood. Each week I plan on sharing some of my personal favourite mixes or mixes that I have made myself.

gggg.001The new season of Outlander is in full swing and absolutely amazing! If you haven’t watched it, DO IT!!! I picked up Outlander by Diana Gabaldon after living in Scotland for a year. I missed it (and still do to this day). The book is a combination of two of my most favourite things: history and time travel. The romance and oh so handsome Jamie were also a huge bonus 😉 These playlists transport you to the Highlands of Scotland with a mixture of English and Gaelic songs. Some are a rallying cry for Scottish independence, describe immense loss and celebrate the love between my favourite OTP Jaime and Claire! Enjoy! 

Have you read the book? What do you think of these playlists? Do you have any others to suggest?

Bout of Books 16 Read-a-Thon!

BoB16-200x200So, I have decided to do my second ever read-a-thon! I’m still in a bit of a slump, but I’m hoping having to share my reading progress with others will help kick-start my wanting to read again.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is hosted by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It will begin on May 9th at 12:01am and end May 15th. There are giveaways, challenges and a grand prize, but this is all optional. This read-a-thon is perfect for me because it’s low pressure and I can do my best depending on how much work I have or how the whole slump issue is going.

To signup or for additional information, visit the Bout of Books blog. SIGN-UP!!! You know you want to!

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Friday Finds

jhihioooo.001Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Books and a Beat. It was created to showcase all the books we’ve added to our TBR piles in the past week.

This week I received my very first physical ARC from a publisher! It was so exciting to get in the mail and I can’t wait to read it!!! A big thank you to Brittany from Holiday House for being all kinds of amazing.

I also received an eARC from NetGalley. It’s another novella from the Echoes of the Ascended series, which I’m a huge fan of. Also, I finally picked up my monthly book boxes from the post office. Both books weren’t what I was expecting, but it’s good to branch out and try something new.

Have you read these books? What books did you find this week?

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Review | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Release date: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Paperback

Goodreads | Amazon

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In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

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What I liked:

I was caught up by the magic factor. I really enjoyed every page and chapter, since they were short and easy to understand  plus, I flipped though the book fast. The whole assassin idea at the beginning did not interest me, but Celaena’s nothing like a “regular” assassin character, instead she’s smart, social and girly. The book is quite full of mystery and action. Every chapter intrigued me, there’s always something going on. If Celaena’s not on a quest, she’s with the prince, or with the Captain of the Guard. The storyline keeps the reader guessing, and that’s what I liked about this.

About the characters: Celaena’s practically very realistic, in the sense that her personality is the one of a girl her age, quite friendly and not like some characters that sometimes become annoying and at some point you can’t stand. Chaol, is my favorite character, he is the  Capt. of the Guard and becomes Celaena’s friend. And OMG, isn’t he amazing???!!!!!!
There are other characters too, but the most interesting are definitely these 2!

What I did not like:

I cannot think about something that I could not stand. The narrative is pretty awesome. But if I was to point out something, it would be the love triangle. As soon as Chaol and Dorian were introduced I knew there was going  to be some tension between them, which makes it kind of predictable. Other than that, if you enjoyed Game of Thrones and the Hunger Games, this book’s definitely for you!

I am now reading Crown of Midnight, and I am so loving it!

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Thursday Quotables

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Thursday Quotables
 is a weekly meme hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.

I have mixed feelings about And I Darken by Kiersten White. My review will be up soon, but I think I just expected so much more from the book. How could I not? It’s basically what if the sadistic Vlad the Impaler was a woman? While I wasn’t completely sold on the characters or some of the plot lines, I will probably read the sequel. I’m curious where the author will go next with her reimagining of this fascinating (and frightening) character.

“So the question becomes, Daughter of the Dragon, what will you sacrifice? What will you let be taken away so that you, too, can have power?”

Book Traveling Thursdays

yyyyyyyBook Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme created by Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @Danielle’s Book Blog. To Find out more, join the Goodreads group.

Topic: Everyone needs a companion. Choose your favorite bookish pet. 

Growing up, Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander was one of my favourite books. It featured all of my favourite things: cats, history, time travel and fantasy. Basically, a young boy named Jason has his life turned upside when his talking cat Gareth takes him on nine amazing adventures through time. What I didn’t realize until now was how old this book actually is! I thought it was published in the early 1990s, but nope, it originally was released in 1963!!  Ok, now to the covers…

Original Book Cover + Cover From My Country:

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This was the cover on the book I purchased from a Scholastic book fair in elementary school. Does anyone remember those? You would get the catalog, beg your parents for tons of books, complete the order form and boom! The book fair would arrive and it was seriously the best week ever! So many new books!! Do they still do those?

Favourite Covers:

Besides the cover I am most familiar with, I really liked the US paperback cover from 2012. I love the how it’s bold and the colours match perfectly.

Least Favourite Covers:

This first cover on the left is from the 1985 paperback release. Maybe it was a good idea then, but for me now, it looks dated and not appealing at all. The cover on the right is from 2003. It’s more recent, but why does everyone look so confused? Terrified? I don’t know, but the colouring and strange image choices would not entice me to purchase this book.