Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

June Uppercasebox Review

It’s that time of the month again! A new box from Uppercase by Lisa Parkin!

Every month you receive:

  • a brand new hardcover book, the book is either signed or you receive a signed bookplate,
  • 1-2 high quality bookish items,
  • Uppercase reading experience with exclusive content,
  • and a special note!

You can choose from two different plans:

Expert plan: comes with everything above for only $23/month plus $6 shipping and handling;

IMG_0699Book exclusive plan: comes with everything above except the 1-2 bookish items for only $17/month plus s/h.

All the items are inside this cute little bag. After awhile, I am going to need to figure out a way to recycle them! This month, I received a signed book, a tote bag, a Harry Potter item, a bookmark, and a letter from Lisa!

 

 

 

The book this month is My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows.

Here is the Amazon blurb:IMG_0004

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England.

Like that could go wrong

This book is regularly priced at $17.99, but on Amazon you can purchase it for $10.58. This book is also signed by all three of the authors! For me, this adds value to the book, especially since I really like all three of them!

Check out my review of the book here!

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Inside the case is also a letter detailing all of the items inside the box, as well as a personal message from Lisa on why she choose this book. It just makes the box a little more personal than just receiving a regular subscription. There is also a bookmark that once you reach a certain page, you can go to the website, enter the code that unlocks the exclusive content for that part of the book.

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This box came with this really cute tote bag designed by Risa Rodil. This is an Uppercase exclusive, so she doesn’t have this particular one on her website, but she does have some really cute ones. On her site they retail for $18.77. If you are an Uppercase subscriber, then you can purchase this as an add on for only $12.99.

 

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A My Lady Jane bookmark. Which I will definitely use once I start reading the book! I don’t know who designed the bookmark, so it’s very hard to put a value to it, so I’ll just guesstimate a $1.

 

 

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The last item in the box, is this Deathly Hallows wooden magnet from Juniper & Ivy Designs. I love all things Harry Potter, so this was a welcomed surprise! You can purchase this particular magnet on their website for $8. On Uppercase, you can actually purchase this for $6.99. This will make a very cute addition on my fridge!

 

 

IMG_0009Here is a picture of all of the items included in this month’s Uppercase box! Not bad. For a $29 subscription, this box retailed approximately to $35. Ideally, I would like for my items to retail a bit more than $6 above the subscription cost, but I really like the items so it is okay.

You can check out my other reviews of Uppercase here.

Here you can check out my other reviews of book subscription boxes.

If you received this box, what did you think of this months items?

Posted in Uncategorized

Father’s Day 2016

Father’s Day is this weekend and I don’t have a gift yet! As usual, I never know what I am going to get my dad. Normally, I’ll get him something Harley Davidson related or a Star Trek book. This year, I decided to break away from the usual and get him something different. So a little research is in order of Father’s Day appropriate books.

Alright so here’s my list of possible Father’s Day appropriate books:

For the science guy:

the gene
The Gene: An Intimate History  by Siddhartha Mukherjee, published May 2016 by Scribner.

Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

 

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World by Bill Nye, published November 2015 by St. Martin Press.unstoppable

In UNSTOPPABLE, Bill Nye crystallizes and expands the message for which he is best known and beloved. That message is that with a combination of optimism and scientific curiosity, all obstacles become opportunities, and the possibilities of our world become limitless. With a scientist’s thirst for knowledge and an engineer’s vision of what can be, Bill Nye sees today’s environmental issues not as insurmountable, depressing problems but as chances for our society to rise to the challenge and create a cleaner, healthier, smarter world. We need not accept that transportation consumes half our energy, and that two-thirds of the energy you put into your car is immediately thrown away out the tailpipe. We need not accept that dangerous emissions are the price we must pay for a vibrant economy and a comfortable life. Above all, we need not accept that we will leave our children a planet that is dirty, overheated, and depleted of resources. As Bill shares his vision, he debunks some of the most persistent myths and misunderstandings about global warming. When you are done reading, you’ll be enlightened and empowered. Chances are, you’ll be smiling, too, ready to join Bill and change the world.

For the father that is more interesting in cooking:

bobby flayBobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay, published April 2013, by Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. I love watching all of his shows on the Food Network Channel! Since my dad loves to grill, this would be perfect for him! If he didn’t already have so many cookbooks, and that he hardly uses them =/

 Here is everything you need for a great backyard bash: pitchers of cold drinks, such as Sparkling Bourbon Lemonade, and platters of starters to share, like Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Cilantro-Mint Chutney, and inventive sides, including New Potato-Corn Chowder Salad.

How about the Stephen King fan?SK

End of Watch (Bill Hodges Series #3) by Stephen King, published June 2016 by Scribner. Although, my dad is a big science fiction fan, he will sometimes read a good horror fiction here and there. This is the third book in the series, so if I get him this, I’ll have to buy him the first two books. But since it is a trilogy, it will make a nice box set!

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the heart-pounding, supernatural suspense that has been his bestselling trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and chilling suspense. No one does it better than King.

For the dads who think they are comedians:

batdadBatDad: A Paradoy by Blake Wilson, published May 2016 by Crown/Archetype. I love his videos that pop up on Facebook, so I am sure my Dad will get a kick out of this!

Life as an everyday superhero when your Batmobile is a minivan, the villains you face are your crazy kids, and your Bat Cave is always covered in piles of dirty laundry. 

 

So ultimately what did I end up buying my dad? I’ll most likely end up choosing the Bobby Flay cookbook (and make him grill me something when I go visit), and the BatDad book (just for laughs). I’ll probably even throw in a Star Trek: the Next Generation book in there, just because I know he’ll really enjoy it.

What are/did you get your dads for Father’s Day?

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Young Adult

Real Neat Blog Award

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Thank You To @onceuponabookshelfblog for Nominating Me!!

This is my very first tag, and I am very excited for being nominated!!

The Rules:

  • Thank and link the blogger that nominated you.
  • Answer the 7 questions that the nomination has provided you.
  • Create 7 questions for your nominees.
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers.

Questions

If you can live any fictional world, which one would it be and why?

If I could live in any fictional world, I would probably want to live in the Harry Potter universe. Magic and fantastical beasts? Enough said.

What made you start reading and why do you like it so much?

When I was younger, my dad used to read me stories every night. I enjoyed listening to the books so much, that I started to read at a very young age. Reading is such a great past time. If something in life is stressing me out, I can just pick up a book an escape for a little while.

Was there a book where you loved the side characters more than the main characters? If so, which one and why?

Hmm…I would have to say in the most recent books I have read, I would pick Ophelia Adrift by Helen Holtz. I was not a big fan of Ophelia, and her friends were much more dynamic and smarter than the MC.

Would you rather face Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter) or Queen Levana (The Lunar Chronicles) on a one to one battle?

Oh, that is very hard. I would have to say I would rather face He Who Shall Not Be Named. Mainly, because I will have magic on my side to help me out and a backup army, which never hurts.

Besides reading, what do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy going to the beach since it is only 30 minutes away from me. I am also trying to make my dogs love the beach more, instead of being afraid of the water the entire time. I also love going to the movies and eating the movie theater popcorn, because for some reason it is just not the same as popcorn at home.

What is your typical coffee order at Starbucks?

A grande skinny vanilla latte.

What is your favorite fairy tale or Disney movie when you were a child?

The Lion King. Hands down.

My Questions for You

  1. What is your favorite genre to read?
  2. Currently, what is your favorite series?
  3. What series do you love to hate (that isn’t Twilight)?
  4. Who is your fictional crush?
  5. If you could give one book suggestion, what would it be and why?
  6. What is your favorite place to read?
  7. What do you enjoy doing, besides reading, in your free time?

I TAG:

@gimmesamich89

Anushka@livinginpages

@bookishdaayla

Plus 4 more =)

Sorry if you have already done this tag! You don’t have to do again if you don’t want to. But for everyone else, have fun! And let me know if you have your answers up and I will definitely check them out!

Posted in Fiction, Movies

Me Before You Book vs. Movie

Yesterday, I finally saw the Me Before You movie! I read the book a few weeks ago, so you can check out my review of it here.

I was fairly pleased that they kept most of the book in the movie. There was obviously some differences, but it wasn’t that big of a deal (at least to me). The main differences that I noticed were; one-Will’s sister was absent from the movie,  two- Will’s fathers affair was nonexistent, and a few others that I’ll mention below.

What did bother me was the fact that Patrick wasn’t as present in the movie as in the book. That could be because I really really like Matthew Lewis. Okay, you caught me, it’s because he was in Harry Potter <3. In the book, Patrick was not just a class A jerk but he really only noticed Lou when Will got between them. Sure, they dated for a long time, but it was as if he got comfortable in their relationship and just took it for granted. In the movie, Patrick was still a jerk, but it seemed as if he was more oblivious to what was going on and just wanted to run. I could go on, but since he was barely in the film there isn’t much else I can compare. Except, that I wish Neville (sorry I mean Patrick) had more screen time just so I could look at him!

Sam Claflin was an amazing Will! He did a fantastic job and I wouldn’t have wanted to see anyone else in that role.

Alright, now on to Lou. I expected some crazy outfits, but this was over the top.  I know she was going for artsy, but this was…I don’t even know how to describe it. It was the like costume department just bought every item that they liked in a thrift store, and threw it on her. Being out there is one thing, but at least match your colors or something. Also, I realized that the movie left out a big aspect of Lou’s past. I won’t ruin it for people who haven’t read the book, but a life event happened near the castle and Lou didn’t like going near it. In the movie, she had no problems and they never mentioned it. I thought that that particular scene in the book helped solidify Will and Lou’s relationship. He was able to understand her in a new light, and help her get over the past so that she could grow beyond it. But alas, that was not to be in the movie. I also liked the fact that everyone in the movie wasn’t as mean to Lou as they were in the books. In the books, I felt so bad for her I just wanted her to run away from her family and never look back.

Overall, I think I enjoyed the movie a little bit more than the book. The acting was great, and I love the cast.

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Which version did you like better, the movie or the book?

Posted in Young Adult

Burning Glass Review

BurningGlassBurning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Published: March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

Series: Burning Glass Book 1 out of 3

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

Let me just say that I really enjoyed about the first 100 pages, and the last couple of chapters. Those sections are really only where the plot happens. Everything else is filled with love triangles and crying.

I was more than wild—I was a walking keg of gunpowder

Sonya is an Auraseer who can feel other peoples emotions, but she is untrained and she can do things other Auraseers cannot. For instance, she can touch anything dead or drops of blood and feel their last emotions. You would think with her being extra special that this would help move the plot along or something, but it is mentioned a lot and barely used.

His face was blurry through my watering eyes.
I didn’t let the tears fall until he grew bored of me.

Sonya for the most part doesn’t know who she likes, the emperor (Valko) or his brother (Anton). When one brother doesn’t show his affection or treat her the way she wants then she goes to the other brother, and it is a constant back and forth for most of the book. Until eventually she does pick a brother and then we have to watch her cry because she doesn’t feel like she is good enough. Which I guess I can understand her self pity, but if she can sense everyones emotions shouldn’t she be able to at least discern his feelings for her a little bit? Even if he knows how to throw up a wall around his feelings, some of them are bound to leak out eventually. You would think finding out peoples feelings would be almost second nature to her.

My task might be monumental, but my gift-my curse-was the only means I had of making a difference in this world.

The plot, where you would think based upon the synopsis would be about Sonya picking a brother and a revolution that puts the brothers on opposite sides. You would be right and wrong. Right in that she has to pick between the two brothers, but hardly because of the revolution. The revolution is mentioned briefly in secret messages once or twice throughout the book, until almost the very end. So that part of the plot was very minuscule in the 500+ page book. On the other hand for about 400 pages of the book, the “love triangle” takes front and center stage. Valko has “feelings” for Sonya, and he is constantly manipulating her and she seems to never be able to say no (unless he is physically abusing her). Anton seems to always push her away, and we find out its because of some gypsy prophesy that his true love will have the same birthmark as him. ::eye roll:: To top it off, he thinks Sonya is only reflecting his feelings for her, so he doesn’t believe that she really loves him.

My feelings for you are here when I am alone, when you are miles form the palace I keep you with me. I choose to. you are the most impossibly stubborn person I have ever met. You are also the most honorable, the most caring. I love every part of you.

Would I recommend this book? Yes and no. If you like plots that deal heavily with romances and little else, then you will enjoy this book. You will root for Sonya and Anton and wish that he realized her true feelings earlier. If you don’t and want more action, then this may not be for you, unless you can deal with the love triangle mess.

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This is me barely hanging on, but I was so close to finishing!
Posted in Young Adult

The Forbidden Wish Review

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The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Published: February 23, 2016 by Razorbill

Format: Audiobook

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Goodreads Summary:

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world…

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

This was a fantastic retelling of Aladdin. It had the similarities of the Disney movie we all know and love, but for the most part was still it’s own story. Where Aladdin was focused around him and Genie, the Forbidden Wish is focused on Zahra and her interactions with Aladdin and the other characters. There was definitely a slight feminist feel to this book, which I thought was great.

“You’re a—you’re a—”

Say it, boy. Demon of fire. Monster of smoke. Devil of sand and ash. Servant of Nardukha, Daughter of Ambadya, the Nameless, the Faceless, the Limitless. Slave of the Lamp. Jinni.

“. . . a girl!” he finishes.

For a second, I can only blink at him.

Zahra was a very strong character, but she still had her weaknesses that made her human even though it’s been a very long time since she was one. Early on in the story we find out that she is haunted by her last master, and she wants to gain her freedom by any means necessary. Zahra uses Aladdin and his wishes to gain access to the palace where she has to fulfill her promise in order to gain her freedom. So part of that means Zahra tries to push Aladdin onto the princess, but instead we see the romance that buds between them. With freedom so close to her fingertips, Zahra has to make a choice, freedom from her lamp or Aladdin?

For the first time I think about what comes after I win my freedom. For so long that’s been my single goal, but what happens next? Do I return to Ambadya, where they hate me? Do I stay in the human world, where they would destroy me if they knew what I was? I have nowhere to go to and no one to spend my freedom with, and for the first time I begin to wonder if that’s really freedom at all, or if I’m exchanging one prison for another.

Aladdin, just like in the original, is a thief and wishes to become a prince to get the girl. That’s about the only aspect that is similar. Here he is a charmer and likes to drink. This made him more real as a character instead of the stereotypical Disney prince.


‘‘Even a thief may have honor, and even a jinni may have a heart.’’

The other characters in this novel is just as great as Zahra and Aladdin. There is a group of girls who don’t slut shame or put down each other. Rather they are friends and together they are stronger. As much as I liked the feminist touch in this story, there was a lot of names to remember as well as their personalities.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Even though it took awhile since it was an audiobook, I would recommend it. The narrator did a very good job distinguishing the different characters, which also helped keep the characters apart.