September Book Merch Haul!

In September, I seemed to actually spend less money on actual books, and more money on book things. We’re talking candles, bookmarks stationary etc. So when I did my book haul, I thought, ‘hey, maybe I should do a merch haul too…’, and so here we are! It actually took me a while longer than expected to put this post together, but I finally got there.


Bookish Candles

Yes, they need their own sub-sections…

Happy Piranha

The first candles I received in September were from happypiranha.com who I rep for over on bookstagram. I absolutely adore their candles; they smell amazing, and the packing is just gorgeous! I talked about them a whole load in a blog post not too long ago, which you can read here.

One of the candles I got this month, which was part of my rep package, was “The Greatest Show on Earth” candle. I also bought the “Polyjuice Potion”, “Courage” and “Wing Leader” candles.

 

Don’t forget that if you buy anything from HappyPiranha, you can get 10% off by using my code: INCASEOFPIRANHA


Bookish Burns

I recently discovered another UK candle company, called BookishBurns, and just had to buy the “Court of Dreams” candle. It smells really fresh with a hint of citrus, and is also sparkly!

I’ll defnintely be buying more from this company in the future (I have my eyes on the Hogsmeade Autumn Treat candle…)

 


Book & Nook

Yep, we’re still going on the candles… September was a long month, okay?!

I bought 3 candles from Book&Nook this month:

  1. Liesl’s Song (Wintersong inspired, 4.5oz)
  2. Rhysand (ACOTAR inspired, 4.5oz)
  3. Weep (Strange The Dreamer inspired, 7oz)

I absolutely adore all of them, but I think my favourite is Liesl’s Song – it smells Uh-MAY-Zing! I already had 2 candles from this company, so knew I’d love them, but they still surprise me every time!


Bookmarks

I may have gone a little overboard on the bookmarks this month… is that possible? Can you have too many?

I bought bookmarks from the following companies and love them all!

HappyHello

HeyAtlas

Ink&WonderDesigns

StrangeTheBookmark


Other Stuff

Funko Pop Vinyl Figures:

  1. Luna with Glasses
  2. Harry Potter (#1)
  3. Newt Scamander

Literary Emporium:

I bought the mystery lucky dip box from LitEmporium, which comes with a randomly selected stationary item, jewellery item, and pin badge. I was so surprised by this, and even though it states that the items will be “slightly imperfect”, I couldn’t actually detect a fault with any of them! I love each item, and they’re of such amazing quality. Whether I’ll buy another of these boxes for myself, I don’t know, just because I’m scared I’ll get the same item. However I will definitely be buying them for gifts for friends!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset


Book Sleeve

I bought my first ever book sleeve this month! It’s from BookBuddleUK and the quality and print design are just so worth the money. I struggled for ages to find a UK book sleeve company who’s designs I liked, and BookBuddle just ticked all of the boxes. I bought the large hardback size, which fits all of my heftier hardbacks in nice and snugly. The print is super cute and woodsy, perfect for autumn. I definitely want to buy a paperback size in the future.


So that’s it!

One HUGE book merch haul… I’ve never bought any merch before, so I really went to town this month whilst I had the money to do so, and made sure that I got a little bit of everything to try. I’m so impressed by all of these companies, and can’t recommend them enough – there really are some very talented people out there!

I still have orders from Society6 and Meraki Candles on their way to me, but I’ll save those for my October haul, seeing as I am now on a BOOK BUYING BAN.

Oh god, save me.

I need it, and I will be thankful for it, but it’s going to be tough… wish me luck!


Liked this?

Click here to see my September Book Haul.

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Book Tag: Christmas Song Book Tag

Happy December everybody! Only 24 sleeps to go until the best day of the year… WAHHHOOOOO!

I was looking for a fun book tag to do, and found this one, although I’m not sure who created it to begin with. If anyone knows who created it, please do let me know so I can give credit where it’s due! I chose this one because it’s Christmas themed, and I’m a little bit excited for the holiday season this year, if you couldn’t already tell… I mean, I put my tree up mid November because I just couldn’t wait any longer!

In this tag, titles of popular Christmas songs are taken and a question is made out of each one. Here we go!


1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” – Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love to hate.

I’m picking an obvious one here, but she is my absolute favourite villain… Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order fo the Phoenix.

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I just think she’s fantastic. A big pink, seeming fluffy, crazy cat loving pile of evil meringue.

2. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree this year? 

Ahhhhh there are so many! I would love the illustrated HP books though. Or anything with a beautiful hardback cover like the Barnes and Noble leatherbound editions. I also love the Puffin in Bloom classic editions.

3. “Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer” – Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Does Celeana Sardothian count? I’m saying she does. I mean, imagine having your whole world just ripped apart like hers continuously is. Yet she stays strong and kicks ass! Goals.

4. “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” – a) Which character do you think is at the top of the naughty list and b) which character do you think is at the top of the nice list?

I’m sticking with a theme for this one and picking two characters from Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon:

Naughty List: Maddy’s Mum… (What an evil B****)

Nice List: Olly. What a sweetheart.

I wrote a review of this book not too long ago.

5. “Frosty the Snowman” – Which book just melts your heart? 

All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr.

It melts it, then breaks it, then puts it all back together again.

Click here to read my review

6. “Feliz Navidad” – Pick a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Most books do, because a lot of what I read and is written is set in the US. I’m in the UK, so let’s go somewhere other than the US and say The Book Thief – Markus Zusak which is set in Germany.

7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Which Christmas book do you use to spread the Christmas joy.

I can’t actually remember reading a book set over Christmas… Which upsets me because I love everything about Christmas!

8. “Sleigh Ride” – Which character would you choose to spend the holidays with?

This is a toughie. Can I pick Buddy the Elf…? I know he’s not from a book, but…

200_s

9. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – which book, that you didn’t like, would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Gone Girl. Burn that pile of overhyped nonsense to the ground!

10. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” – Which book do you think everyone should read?

I have to say The Book Thief, because even though it was over a year ago since I read it, it’s still my favourite.

You can read my recommendation here


Fell free to spread the Christmas cheer and try out this tag for yourselves! Be sure to comment a link to your post below if you do decide to do it so I can check it out.

Happy holidays! 🎄

Mini Review: Throne of Glass (TOG #1) – Sarah J. Maas

This is the first instalment in the Throne of Glass series. In total, there are currently five books, with a 6th yet to be released as the finale, and a companion book of prequel stories.

With this being a pretty long series, I thought it best just to do a brief review of each book, rather that go into depth, and then do a full review of the series once I’ve finished every book, simply because I feel that each book affects each other, particularly in the middle of series’, so it wouldn’t make much sense to review them on an individual basis.


Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: 13519397

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly.
Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?


What a start to a series this was. I’m totally hooked! The protagonist, Celaena, is a fierce female assassin who just completely wins at being totally awesome. Aside from the killing part, I want to be her (and in most ways I totally relate to her. Is she my spirit animal? Quite possibly…) Her character traits are written in so brilliantly and her personality is so three dimensional; you can just picture her little quirks perfectly.

Chaol, the King’s guard, is my new book crush. Sexy. Very, very, sexy. On paper anyway. If someone could bring him to life that would be great. I like Dorian too, but he just seems not my type. I’m going off on a tangent here. The book, talk about the book…

Yeah, it’s great. A fabulous start to a series that I know I’m going to love, and is quickly becoming my favourite. If you like semi-historic fantasy with assassins, bad-ass females, magic, demons and sexy men… This book is sooooo for you! If you haven’t read it yet, what on earth are you waiting for?! Get it! NOW!


View Throne of Glass on Goodreads.

Review: Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

18692431Synopsis:  My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.


It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog – sorry everyone! I’ve been going through some personal struggles recently, so I thought it was best for my bookstagram and blog to take a back seat whilst I got myself back up and running.

It’s also been a while since I read this book… But it was really great so I still wanted to do a review, so that if you haven’t read it, there’s another recommendation for you to read and tell you exactly why you SHOULD read it!


Firstly, let me just say: a mixed race, female lead character – POWER! In light of this recent *ahem* political twists, it’s never been more important to get those voices out there. It’s also great that her life is far from perfect, but she defies the odds, finds her strength and kicks ass, despite the consequences it may have, because she’s fighting for her happiness and independence. Glorious.

The writing for me, wasn’t seamless, but still flowed beautifully. I absolutely flew through it. Time wise it only took me a couple of days, and that was with only a couple of hours reading time available. Had I have had the opportunity, I think I would have devoured it in one sitting.

The romance was beautiful. I have some issues with the whole “love-at-first-sight” concept, and teenagers declaring that they’re in love with someone they talk to online, but in this case it really didn’t bother me that much. In fact, when things got difficult for them I found myself sobbing just a bit… Shameful.

Now, there’s one thing I really dislike about contemporary novels, and that is their abrupt endings. This has that… I just wanted MORE, I mean, why did it just end there? But I guess that just goes to show that I really did love what was written.

If you want a quick, action packed, romance with diversity, twists and turns and lots of household drama, then I urge you to pick up this book.

I can’t wait to get my copy of The Sun is Also a Star – I have very high expectations Ms Yoon! ❤️


Read it? Let me know your thoughts below.

View Everything, Everything on Goodreads

Book Tag: Bookish Book Lover

My first official book tag! How exciting! Big thanks to mreadsbooks and CaptivatedByFantasy for both tagging me to do this one.



Rules

  1. use the banner
  2. answer the questions including lots of book covers🙂
  3. tag your bookish friends!

What books are you currently reading?

Crown of Midnight (ToG #2) by Sarah J Maas, which I am completely hooked on and addicted to! And also Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which I’ve now been “reading” for 2 months… I think it’s going to end up as a DNF very soon…

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Gone Girl

What’s the last book you finished?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas! I couldn’t even bear to break between the first and second books in the series – I love it soooo much!

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Favourite book you read this year?

Oh Jesus, how can I possibly choose?! Books I’ve loved this year have been Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, and of course… Throne of Glass!

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)All the Light We Cannot SeeMe Before You (Me Before You, #1)Everything, Everything

What genre have you read most this year?

Surprisingly, I’ve had quite a spread range of genres this year, but ultimately Fantasy does tip it slightly…

What genre have you read least this year?

Classics… I haven’t read a single one this year!

What genre do you want to read more of?

I should probably say classics… But actually I’d like to read more general and critically acclaimed modern fiction.

How many books have you read this year, and what’s your goal?

I started late (March) this year, so I’m only on 19. My goal is 25, so definitely achievable, and I will be increasing my goal next year!

What’s the last book you bought? 

Officially, Heir of Fire (ToG #3) ready for when I finish #2, but I’ve just ordered the entirety of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare in the pretty coloured cover editions to pick up later this week.

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

What book are you saving up to buy next?

So, I really want to buy the gorgeous hardback box set of the new editions of the Harry Potter series. I mean, I already own the books in the original covers, but they’re an annoying mix of some paperback and some hardback. They also come in a beautiful red box with opening doors…

How many books did you check out last library visit?

None. I signed up for my local library, but they have a really poor range, so I intend on using the online part of it to loan downloadable audio books!

What’s a book you can’t wait to read?

The rest of the ToG series…? Too obvious? Okay. Ummmm I actually really can’t wait to read Game of Thrones, but I keep putting it off because it just seems so intimidating! I plan on starting off by reading along to the audio book.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

What’s a series you’d recommend to everyone?

Harry Potter. Obviously. And Throne of Glass for those fantasy lovers among you. I haven’t even finished the series and I already know I want to recommend it to everyone!

Who’s an author you’re hoping writes more?

John Green. I haven’t heard from him in a while, and it’d be nice to read something more of his individual writing, rather that his collaborative stuff.

A few books your heart adores?

Harry Potter will always hold a special place for me, just because it’s what got me into reading! But also any of the Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson books, because they were literally my childhood.

What series’ coming conclusion makes you sad?

I don’t have enough series’ on the go to really answer this, I don’t read series very often, and when I do, I’m usually so far behind that it’s already ended and I’ve read the whole thing in one go. But I suspect I’ll be very sad when the ToG series comes to an end…

What books are on your wish-list?

Too many! I want AAAALLLLLL the books. But I’d really love the illustrated Harry Potters and the movie Vaults books, so I can say I’ve got the whole collection.


I’m not going to tag anyone specifically, but if you’re reading this and haven’t already done it, consider yourself tagged! Make sure that you link to your post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Review: The Wolf Wilder – Katherine Rundell

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

The Wolf WilderSynopsis: Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.


When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.


Another children’s book here, and although it was very good, it wasn’t quite as exciting as Cogheart.

[Click Here to read my review on Cogheart by Peter Bunzl]

It was however, beautifully written, and one of those books where you don’t realise you’re reading a kids book. It wasn’t patronising and contained themes such as class-division and war – themes you’d find in adult literature – just written in a more child-friendly way without imposing opinion onto the reader (I hate it when authors do that…).

The story was a little slow for me, there were exciting moments, but then it would become dry for a while, and I just found myself waiting for the next bit of action.

For me, the focus was on the beautiful sense of community that these people have, and how welcoming they are to someone who maybe doesn’t look like them or behave in their traditional ways, but has something to stand for that they very much believe in, so they all pull together and fight for their community at the end.

My favourite part of this book was, wait for it, the Wolves… I loved that they were all given little personalities and behavioural traits just like humans, and this made it even stronger when [MINI SPOILER] something tragic would happen… I may have shed a little tear or two at one point (shh, don’t tell).

Can I also just say that the illustrations in this book are wonderful, they add such a lovely atmosphere to the story without drawing away your attention from the words on the page. Just a perfect balance.

I rounded this up to 4 stars on Goodreads, but I actually now feel like it’s more of a 3.5 for me, as it wasn’t as good as some of my previous reads that I have given 4 stars to.


After a very long winded reading slump, I managed to pull myself out of the gutter and finish two books in one sitting the other day!

I’ve also finally go round to catching up on all of my book reviews, blog posts etc, and I’ve got a full week and a half worth of posts scheduled – HALLELUJAH! 


View The Wolf Wilder on Goodreads

Review: Gifted – J.A George [PLUS Exclusive Interview with the Author!]

[I received a paperback copy of this book in return for an honest review]

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Synopsis: There is no chosen one in this story.

29915954Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.

Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.

Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.

But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in. Friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.

However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love.

Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.


Before I get into my review, I’d just like to say a big thank you to Jessica for sending me a copy of her novel for me to read and review. Not only did she send me a paperback, but it was also beautifully wrapped in tissue paper with a cute little tag with a hand-written note. It was just so thoughtful! I always feel humbled when authors contact me asking for me to read their books, I know how daunting it must be especially as a new author, to have people post their opinions all over the internet!

Now, onto the book. This was a little gift – I swear I didn’t know I was writing the pun until after it happened… I really enjoyed reading this! I absolutely flew through it. With very little time to myself, it only took a total of 4 days, which at the moment is very good going against my work schedule. It was fun, light hearted, easy to read, and had just enough mystery to keep me intrigued. Oh, and the cover is sooo pretty too!

Although at times I found it to be a bit expositional – there were points where we were just told a lot of information – I was interested to read about the world, characters and all of their unique gifts. In most novels you only find a few select “powers” that people possess due to their family, or what-not, but here each character had their own power, and a specific skill or development of that, be it telepathy, weather control, fire yielding etc. Along with this, cultural diversity was at the core of the characters, which made for a refreshing change, but could sometimes seem as though there was no specific reason for it beside to make sure that each denomination is represented. Thoughtful, and obviously fair, but was it essential? I don’t know, perhaps more themes such as race will be tackled in the coming installments.

I also want to know how the relationship between Ava and Theo is going to plan out. There was a little hint of something, but then nothing really kicked off. The superficial part of me is hoping for a romance, but the other part likes that it’s not obvious!

Overall, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a bit of magic, adventure, mystery and teen fiction –  I know I’ll be reading the second book when it’s released!


A little interview with the author, J.A. George:

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My author name is J.A. George and my full name is Jessica George. I’ll leave the middle name a mystery. I like to read, write, bake, socialise with my friends and watch movies at the cinema. I’m the author of GIFTED – The Hayven Series and I am a chocolate fiend. Seriously, it’s gotten to the point where I may need to seek professional help about it. My perfect day would involve all of the above and perhaps an hour or two spent at a food market. I can’t wait to adopt a dog, but I also want a pet pig…

How did you come about writing the book?

I started off writing Gifted because I wanted to read it. I wanted to read a contemporary YA fantasy novel that didn’t feature instant-love, a chosen one or a girl growing up in a dystopian society. I just wanted to read about someone normal, someone I could relate to. Someone who worries about the way she looks, but never says it out loud, has a sense of humour, thinks about the small stuff. Then I wanted to take her and place her in a world she never thought existed. I wanted to explore real young adult relationships, friendships and modern-day topics such as, body weight issues and cheating in relationships. Gifted is a lot less sombre than it sounds, I promise!

What are your inspirations?

There are many but I’ll list the main two. I am inspired by the opportunities and possibilities writing Gifted can bring and I am inspired by ordinary people who are extra-ordinary in some shape or form.

Any challenges you’ve overcome?

Yes, and that’s trying not to write for other people. Like I mentioned above, I wrote Gifted because I wanted to read it. Somewhere along the to year line I lost that and began crafting a book I thought readers would like and buy, dismissing my feelings entirely. In my second edition (the one that’s currently published), I happily returned to writing the book I want to read.

What plans do you have for the rest of the series?

There are three more books in the series and the POV will alternate. I am so excited for this! Things get a lot more serious in book two and onwards, and the group won’t always be together. So you’ll see what’s happening from each of the seven main character’s POV’s and maybe an additional extra or so.

This sounds so exciting! I know I for one, cannot wait for book 2…


“Where can I get a copy?!” I hear you say… why, just click the links below:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

You can find out more about Gifted here:

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