These past few months I’ve been trying out a few book subscription boxes. I didn’t want to clog up this post with a bunch of pictures, so if you want to see pictures of everything go check out my Instagram page.
I paid for all of these myself and I’m not paid in any way by these subscription boxes for sharing my opinion
I ordered the May 2019 box, and it arrived May 18th. This subscription auto-renews and I have to cancel it every month that either I don’t like the theme or I cannot afford it. I liked how fast the box arrived, and I really liked that it included useful and practical items as well as collectibles. This box included:
-We Hunt the Flame book (exclusive silver cover edition) by Hafsah Faizal along with a pin designed by the author herself.
-A Court of Mist and Fury sleeping mask.
-Howl’s Moving Castle inspired vinyl sticker.
-A passport wallet featuring a quote from the Hobbit.
-An exclusive edition water bottle featuring a quote from Stardust.
-A pillow case featuring a quote from A Darker Shade of Magic.
-Some character design cards.
I ordered the June 2019 box, and it arrived July 11th, I didn’t like that it arrived the month after, but I did appreciate the very unique items that were inside; like a puzzle and car coasters. This box included:
-The Red Labyrinth book by Meredith Tate special faecrate edition, with a signed plate and a note from the author.
-Two Gilded Wolves car coasters.
-A Six of Crows bracelet that says “Trickery is my native tongue.”
-A Ready Player One puzzle.
-A drawstring cloth bag that says “TBR level 1000.”
-A globe with a map of Prythian -A Court of Thorns and Roses world.
-A collectible metal coin from the Raven Cycle.
-A Warcross collectible polaroid of Emiko.
Illumicrate 41.99 euros
I ordered the June 2019 box, which arrived June 25th. This one also had two books, which I appreciated. I loved the color for this box, it has been my favorite one so far, but it was also the most expensive. It included:
-This time will be different book by Misa Sugiura, with signed plate and yellow sprayed edges.
-Birthday book by Meredith Russo, with signed plate, rainbow edges, and bookmark.
-TBR Jar (one of my favorites).
-Goddess of reading tapestry, illustration by Carol G.
-Page flags (another favorite).
-Tea and books booksleeve.
-Reality bookend part 1. (Part 2 comes in the July box).
-Collectible coin, featuring Hermione Granger.
I ordered the May 2019 box, and it arrived May 24th. I liked that this subscription does not auto-renew and I don’t have to worry about cancelling it every month. I loved that this box brought two books instead of one. It included:
-We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal book, signed special edition with reversible dust jacket.
-Romanov by Nadine Brandes, signed special edition with navy blue and gold cover.
-The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare first chapter sample.
-ADSOM -Kell and Lila chess pieces.
-Ready Player One bookmark.
-Strange the Dreamer moth pin.
-Harry Potter portkey water bottle.
-Chronicles of Narnia plastic pouch (note: this is the only item I’ve had an issue with since it broke after a few uses).
Have you tried any other boxes you would recommend or advise against?
This is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer three questions: What are you reading now? What did you just read? What will you be reading next? I find this a great way to touch base every week, and to get on the right reading track.
What I’m reading now:
I couldn’t believe it when I got an e-ARC of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young from Netgalley. I will forever read anything she writes. I’m also finally reading Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, which I’ve only been looking forward to forever.
What I just read:
I just read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which wasn’t as action packed as Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom, but I do understand a lot of world building was necessary. I also listened to an audio of Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, which also reminded me a lot of Six of Crows, a band of misfits full of special and unique talents. You can read my mini reviews for those here. Finally, I read an e-ARC of Call it What you Want by Brigid Kemmerer, she has also quickly become one of my auto-read authors.
What I will be reading next:
I hope to finally get to Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and hopefully start making a good dent on my physical TBR. The e-books and audio books I pick up next will depend on what’s available to be checked out on Libby, and if I get approved for any e-ARCs from Netgalley. I don’t usually buy e-books or audio books, unless I have free credits on the Audible app, or a good book is available for free on kindle first reads. If you have the kindle app and have not signed up for kindle first reads I highly recommend it -it’s free and they let you choose a free book every month from a list.
We’re half-way through the year already, so I thought I would summarize all the five star reads I’ve had up to now. I’ve either been very generous this year with my ratings, or I’ve just been reading a lot of fantastic books. I’ve read a total of eleven five star books this year. For me these are books that I’ve absolutely loved and I would re-read them again. Also, these tend to become my auto-buy authors, and I will buy anything they write forever and ever.
Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5) by Marissa Meyer
I loved the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and this was Queen Levana’s story. I haven’t read many stories from the villain’s point of view, and this was a very interesting read. In reality I just really missed this world and even a small mention of the main characters made me happy. I enjoyed finding out exactly what happened to Cinder and Snow when they were children at the hands of Queen Levana. I liked reading about the events that made her into the evil Queen. After reading this novella I had to go and reread the whole series of course. I’m planning to write a full review on the whole Lunar Chronicles soon.
The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw
This story was profoundly real. It delves into hard topics such as depression, anxiety and suicide, while also throwing some humor into the mix. I would recommend it to anyone wishing to learn more about the human condition and what it means to be alive. Read my full review here.
A Very Large Expanse of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi
I love Mafi’s Shatter Me series, and this stand alone totally unrelated book was amazing as well. The characters felt so real. It had a diary kind of feel to it that kept me glued to the pages wanting to find out what was next. You can read my full review here.
The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1) by Cassandra Clare
I had been looking forward to The Red Scrolls of Magic for almost a year. One of my favorite characters from her other Shadowhunter books is Magnus Bane, and when I saw the book was mostly about him I was super excited. On the other hand, one of my least favorite characters is Alexander Lightwood, but this book was exactly what I needed in order to understand his personality more. You can read my full review here.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
I found the plot to be fast paced and gripping, but without feeling too rushed. I’ve read a lot of fairy tale retellings, and this one was different enough to be entertaining yet it still kept many of the familiar concepts I associate with Beauty and the Beast. It included the beast (of course), a girl taken against her will, and an enchanted castle. I also thought the romance aspect of the story was very realistic, especially the fact that at a young age it’s hard to identify what love feels like. You can read the rest of my review here.
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
The women in this book are strong, and many of them are leaders. The men worship their women, and fight to protect their people. I liked that both sexes are seen as warriors and providers. I heard her next book The Girl the Sea Gave Back is in part about him. I recently got approved to read it on Netgalley and I cannot wait to get started. I loved everything about this book, and I will definitely be reading anything else she writes. Come read the rest of my review here.
Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) by Julie Kagawa
This was my first audio book. I never thought I would get into audio books but I really needed something productive to do while on the way to and from work, and I thought listening to an audio book was a great idea. I liked the fact that Yumeko and Tatsumi were voiced by a female and a male respectively. They each changed their voices when another character was involved, and I thought it was well done. I did have the e-book as well, and that was nice to have for any down time, and to check the correct spelling of names and places. It also had a handy glossary at the end. The story, the characters, and the scenery were described in great detail, and at the time I could not wait for the second book. You can read the rest of my review here.
Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa
**Some spoilers for Shadow of the Fox, the first book in the series**
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa transported me to a warm campfire under a starry night, while a bearded old man told this mythical tale in between puffs of smoke from his old wooden pipe. Suddenly, I was in a world in which emotions like grief and despair had smells, and everything from the scenery to the food was described in poetic detail. I particularly found the Forest of a Thousand Eyes terrifying, even when described from Hakaimono’s demon perspective, who tried to make everything sound amusing. Read the rest of my review here.
Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons, #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Catwoman: Soulstealer was written by Sarah J. Maas, and the audio book was narrated by Julia Whelan. I read it in my down time, and listened to it on my work commute, as well as in the shower and while doing house-work. Honestly, I found myself looking for any possible excuse to listen to this book. This narrator was the best I’ve heard yet, she did all the male and female voices perfectly and even did their accents. Read my full review here.
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black
In this sequel to “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black. We continue the story of Jude Duarte, a human in the realm of Elfhame, who is struggling to hold on to her newly acquired power over its high King Cardan and his subjects. The graphics on this cover were amazing, and I loved the little drawings of dragonflies throughout the book along with the drawings at the beginning of each chapter. The dialogue between Jude and Cardan was so entertaining to read. I could just read about those two talking forever. Read my full review here.
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo
I loved this band of misfits. This was a super fast paced book packed with action, even more so than the first book in the series. If you love stories with a good heist in them, then this is the book for you. It is told from six different points of views, but Leigh Bardugo does it seamlessly so that it never becomes an issue. Each character is unique and fleshed out, even if their names weren’t at the top of each chapter, you could still probably tell who was narrating every time. Come read my full review here.
I came across this tag in a blog called Right Writing Words and it looked like a lot of fun, so I decided to give it a try. I personally love the Harry Potter series, they were the books which sparked my love for reading. I even wrote about them on this post.
What house are you in?
“Their daring, nerve and chivalry set Gryffindors apart.” I was surprised when I took the test on Pottermore and I got Gryffindor, I always thought I would be a Ravenclaw because I’m a big nerd. Gryffindor values courage and bravery, and our mascot is the lion.
What is your patronus?
So I really wish my patronus was a panther or a tiger, but it’s a stout *rolls eyes.* I actually had to google what a stout was, it turns out it’s a type of weasel/ferret. I had a ferret once, they’re really annoying.
What is your wand?
Fir wood with dragon core, 12 3/4″ and reasonably supple flexibility. Dragon core, now that sounds more like it. According to Ollivander, wands of fir wood come from the most resilient of trees, which produce wands that demand staying power and strength of purpose in their true owners, and that they are poor tools in the hands of the changeable and indecisive. Fir wands are particularly suited to Transfiguration, and favor owners of focused, strong minded and, occasionally, intimidating demeanor. (from Pottermore.com)
What would your bogart be?
Probably a swarm of very small insects, doesn’t matter what type, only thing that matters is that they might crawl all over me at once. I can take any insect if it’s alone, I cannot handle them in a group. *shudders*
What would your position in Quidditch be?
I’m not sporty at all, but I’m observant and patient which are good attributes for a seeker, so seeker it is.
Would you be pure blood, half-blood or muggle-born?
I spent my whole eleventh year of my life wishing I was muggle-born and my owl would arrive with my letter to take me to Hogwarts, but it never happened.
What job would you want after graduating Hogwarts?
I would love to write bizarre relevant stories for the Quibbler.
Which of the Deathly Hollows would you choose?
I know the good choice is the invisibility cloak, but could I break into a bank with it? Because I’m really broke right this minute. If not, then the elder wand just for a bit and then I swear I would destroy it.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, because I feel it’s the book where Harry really grows and comes into his own, and it’s where things start to get darker. Also, Umbridge totally gets what she deserves.
Least favorite book?
Nope, I love all the books.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, because of the Yule Ball, the tournament, the other different schools, and a million other reasons that made this movie so action packed… also dragons.
Least favorite film
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, because they really messed up the ending. It’s one of the only films that was not very consistent with the book, they made up a few things and really changed others.
This is so hard, but I really loved Snape, both in the books and on the films. I loved his snarky comments and dark humor. Always.
Lavender Brown, to me she was super annoying both in the books and the films.
Favorite teacher at Hogwarts
I’m split between Professor Lupin and Professor Slughorn. I thought both of them had really good hands on teaching methods, and interesting approaches to teaching.
Least favorite teacher at Hogwarts
Umbridge, enough said.
Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?
I get a little annoyed when people who have never read the books call themselves Harry Potter fans. Read the books people!