Posted in Subscription Box

May Lit-Cube Subscription Review

I am so excited because my very first Lit-Cube subscription box came in while I was on vacation, and I could not wait to get home to open it! For those that don’t know. Lit-Cube is a monthly subscription box that sends you a book, a wearable, and other little bookish goodies.
IMG_0689The cost: $29.99/month + $4.99 s/h to U.S. and $14.99 s/h to Canada

<–This is what it looks like on the inside, after you first open it! The anticipation is exciting. This months theme was “Wonderland”, I’m assuming it is because the Alice Through the Looking Glass directed by James Bobin will be released in theaters at the end of the month.

 

img_1116

 

This was the first item out of the box that I pulled out. It says “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

This is a Lit-Cube exclusive “Wonderland” shirt that has a value of $19.95

 

 

The next item I pulled out was the paperback book “Alice Takes Back Wonderland” by David D. Hammons. This came with a letter from the author!

22590207On Amazon you can purchase this book in paperback form for $16.99.

Goodreads summary:

After ten years of being told she can’t tell the difference between real life and a fairy tale, Alice finally stops believing in Wonderland. So when the White Rabbit shows up at her house, Alice thinks she’s going crazy.

Only when the White Rabbit kicks her down the rabbit hole does Alice realize that the magical land she visited as a child is real.

But all is not well in Wonderland.

The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland and is systematically dismantling all that makes it wonderful. Plain is replacing wondrous, logical is replacing magical, and reason is destroying madness. Alice decides she must help the Mad Hatter and all those fighting to keep Wonderland wonderful.

But how can she face such danger when she is just a girl?

Alice must journey across the stars to unite an army. She discovers that fairy tales are real in the magical world beyond the rabbit hole. But they are not the fairy tales she knows.

Fairy tales have dangers and adventures of their own, and Alice must overcome the trials of these old stories if she wants to unite the lands against Ace.

With the help of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and heroes old and new, Alice may have the strength to take back Wonderland.

After I read the book, I’ll make sure to link my review here.

Update: Finished the book! Check out my review here!

If you have the subscription you can also read the first chapter of book 2, that hasn’t even been released yet! Lit-Cube sent out an e-mail with the link, so make sure you check it out or maybe it’s on their website.

Here are a couple of little goodies from the box. At the top is a custom Alice in Wonderland makeup bag, with a $12.99 value.

On the far left is a custom bookmark made by Star In My Pocket from Etsy, this has a $3.25 value. The last two items are Wonderland 5×7 art prints also by Star In My Pocket, with a value of $12.99 (I am assuming together). On her Etsy shop, you can purchase these two as 8×10 prints for $10.00 each.

So far, not so bad.

These are the last two items out of the box. The item on the left is an exclusive Through the Looking Glass pocket mirror, with a value of $8.99. The cookie was made Sweets by Steph, and has a $3.50 value. (update (5/26/16): The cookie was delicious.)

IMG_0695

All in all, not a bad box. The total for this subscription is $34.99, but has an overall value of $78.66.

What do you think about this box? Has anyone read Alice Takes Back Wonderland?

Next months theme is the Roaring 20’s! If you don’t have a subscription already, you can use the code SPEAKEASY10 to take 10% off of your first box! Everyone loves coupons!

Posted in NetGalley, Young Adult

The Assassin Game Review

The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay27969100

Expected Publication: August 2, 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

Goodreads Summary:

Who will be left after lights out?

At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game- it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “Killed” during a series of thrilling pranks, and only the Game Master knows who the “Killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join the Assassins’ Guild, she know it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.

But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save the Guild. But can she find the real assassin before she’s the next target?

Originally published in the United Kingdom by Chicken House in 2015 under title: Killer game.

I found this book for the most part to be really entertaining. Although, it did take awhile for the real “killings” to start, but after it did boy did the book really start to pick up speed. The first half of the book we get the backstory on the game, as well as a little bit about Cate and her friends. After Vaughan arrives, it seems as if Cate just drops her other two friends and the relationships don’t really evolve past that. If it helped the plot, then we saw Cate interact with them but other than that it was like they were acquaintances rather than best friends for the past two years.

Aside from the slow moving plot, in the beginning, I really enjoyed this book. I felt like Nancy Drew trying to solve the mystery before I was the next victim. Although, left to my own devices and following Cate’s judgement, I would not have been able to figure out who the Killer is in the game and the Killer in real life. After the revelation, it totally made sense and I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it sooner.

I liked how at the end, we got to see how Cate was handling the events a few months afterwards. It made her a more believable character that she didn’t just go riding off in the sunset with Vaughan. We saw that she was still affected by the real killer and was suffering from PTSD. I almost wish that this was a series, rather than a stand alone just so that the author could have gone into more detail about life on the island, and the game specifically.

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Posted in NetGalley, Young Adult

Ophelia Adrift Review

Ophelia Adrift by Helen Goltz30054281

Expected Publication: July 1st, 2016 by Atlas Productions

Goodreads Summary:

In her wildest dreams, Ophelia Montague never imagined she would leave the city, her friends, her school and move to a seaside village. But when her parents die in an accident, that’s just where she finds herself – ensconced in a rambling house on the beach, with her uncle Sebastian, his boarder – nineteen-year-old Adam Ferrier, and two Great Dane dogs named after shipwrecks. By the ocean’s edge she meets Jack Denham who seems to command the sea and the moon—and if he has his way—Ophelia, too.

This book probably contained the number one worst insta-love romance, I have ever read in a YA book. Not only does Ophelia fall instantly in love with Jack, without even knowing him, she is “consumed” by him and gets depressed if she thinks he is with another girl. And then there’s Jack. Who knew who she was before she even set a foot in town, and he was already claiming her as his soulmate. Crazy.

The plot itself was pretty slow, and basically nonexistent. We start off with Ophelia moving to a new town after the death of her parents, and then she meets a lot of new people. While being stalked the entire time by Jack, but of course she doesn’t know that. But thanks to his narration, we get to hear it all.

“I wanted to hold her, absorb her, crush her to me and become one, feel her around me; I have to own her.”    

And this is just one example, there are plenty of other inner thoughts from Jack that border this psychotic, obsessive line of thinking. Then all of a sudden after he finally shows himself to Ophelia, Jack decides that he has to disappear from her life. Who was already depressed about her parents deaths, and is now even more depressed because he broke her instantly in love heart.

“He might come tonight. Maybe I should just join my parents…I could be buried at sea. Not a healthy thought, but I didn’t have many bright thoughts at the moment.”

I do have to say that the plot twist (if you can call it that)  with Jack was pretty great. Although I could guess what it was in the beginning, it was still a refreshing idea for a story. I also enjoyed the mystery of the shipwrecks surrounding the area, the little that was in the story for it to be part of the plot. After a whole lot of nothing in the book, the climax happened way too quickly, and was over before I could register what happened. I feel this was a wasted moment, we slowly built up to this climax, and then all of a sudden we find out Jack’s true intentions? (Well, really we knew it from the beginning. But Ophelia didn’t) On top of that, we didn’t even get to read it from Ophelia’s perspective, it was from Holly’s, who didn’t really do much.

Aside from all of the plot issues, it was an interesting book. It had a good premise, and after some editing I think could be a great series. Since this is an arc, I am hoping that the final version is better!

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Young Adult

Gilt Hollow Review

Guilt Hollow by Lorie Langdongilthollow

Expected publication: September 27th, 2016 by Blink.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Willow Lamott’s best friend is a murderer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. For four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow reminded him what he’d been missing. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton fears his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves, especially the girl he left behind.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this stand alone book. It was fantastically written, and the characters were very believable. I enjoyed the setting, the minor characters, and the plot of the story (although it did move a tad bit slow in my opinion, but it didn’t bother me as much).

My intention was to uncover the truth and somehow clear my name. But someone’s been working overtime to send me back to jail.”

This story is told by two first person narratives, Ashton and Willow. Their chemistry was palpable through the page and I couldn’t help but root for them.

The mystery behind who really killed Ashton’s friend four years ago gets very convoluted and leaves you guessing until the very end. I got very invested into the who done it aspect, that I read this entire book in one day! The author could have cut some scenes out that were unnecessary, but by the end I didn’t even care.

If you are looking for a good mystery then you should definitely check this book out!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.