April Fairyloot unboxing

I received the beautiful Fairyloot box the other day and if you’ve never heard of this, it’s a UK-based YA/fantasy subscription box! I absolutely love getting these boxes because they always put the best books in and have such cute little bookish items inside and feature some brilliant designers/artists.

This month the theme was DREAMS & WISHES and we definitely knew it would feature something inspired by ACOMAF (one of my favourite books ever) and The Bone Season (another of my favourite series!) so naturally I had to get this box as well as it featuring one of my favourite artists, Risa Rodil.

Despite having to wait over the weekend till the postroom at uni opened again on Monday, I didn’t get spoiled so everything was a lovely surprise! (As it should be but unfortunately people do like to post unboxings on instagram as soon as they’ve got it!) I love looking at people’s instagram stories for when I haven’t ordered the box and it’s a great way of showing the contents of the box but allowing people to avoid being spoiled as they can avoid looking at their story.

But enough about that, here’s what I received in my box!

  • The Mime order quote tote bag by Miss Phi
  • ‘To the stars who listen, and dreams that are answered’ ACOMAF quote mug by Risa Rodil
  • Reverie candle by Meraki Candles which smells of mint, marshmallows and
  • ‘dreams’ enamel pin badge by House of Wonderland
  • gemstone notebook by Portico
  • dreams magnet by Fairyloot
  • bonus items: Hunted postcard and Spindle Fire quote print

My favourite item has to be the mug and bag because I can’t choose and they are both GORGEOUS! I also absolutely love the smell of the candle and I’ll totally use the cute little pin badge and magnet. I really want to read Hunted which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and Spindle Fire sounds like a great Sleeping Beauty retelling too! I love it when they include little recommendations and upcoming book release peaks because it means more books to discover!

And now for the book featured this month…

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It’s GIVEN TO THE SEA by Mindy McGinnis!

I totally googled ‘YA April releases’ and found this book which fitted the description that Fairyloot gave when they released the theme for April – I couldn’t help myself! It was still a nice surprise because I couldn’t be sure!

I’m very happy with the contents of this box this month and I’d thoroughly recommend checking out Fairyloot! Sometimes I find the boxes aren’t quite to my taste, so I wait for the themes and designers I like – they always announce a theme and some items/suppliers that will feature in the box so it’s not too hard to avoid being disappointed! Everyone has their preferences but most of the time this box has such good bookish items and the most amazing YA reads in it!

Jo x

Beauty and the Beast Book of the Film book review

by Elizabeth Rudnick (2017) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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This is an absolutely beautiful book of the film of Beauty and the Beast – one of my favourite films ever. I already love the story of Belle the bookworm being the outsider in her little village and the Beast being the first real person she has met, so naturally I went to see the live action film and it was just outstanding.

Keen to stay in my little bubble of the magical world of Beauty and the Beast, I found this book on instagram and thought it sounded just what I needed after being enchanted by the film.

As soon as I turned the first page I knew it was going to be a brilliant read and it definitely was! It follows the live action film almost exactly with the dialogue and occurrence of events and even though I already knew exactly what the characters would say and do, I was still eager to turn the page and read on.

The only thing missing, obviously, are the songs but the scenes of which a song is featured, is still described thoughtfully in the book so their significance is not lost.

With gorgeous description and totally reminiscent of the live action film, it’s a heart-warming and truly magical read. If you love Beauty and the Beast, this is such a good book to pick up and relive the magic!

“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.” – Beauty and the Beast

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder book review

by Sara Barnard (2017) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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Stefi is a selective mute and has pretty much been invisible all her life but it suits her and she gets by. But a new guy starts at her school, Rhys who is deaf and their common knowledge of sign language has Stefi talking more than she ever has before. Because love isn’t a flash of lightning, sometimes is a small rumble of thunder which builds and builds…

Love, love, love this book! I didn’t want to put it down I just couldn’t get enough of this beautiful story. I loved how it wasn’t a typical love story, I mean yeah they get together so it is a typical love story but it also isn’t because they both have their own mental and physical illness which impacts their lives differently. Stefi can’t talk to people which makes everything the average person takes for granted so hard, but Rhys can’t hear and has a whole other world in his life most people don’t give a second thought to.

Rhys is absolutely adorable. Seriously, he is a cutie and I love him and Stefi together in this book because they are so sweet. They argue over which is the best Pixar film: Toy Story or Wall-E (and for the record, it’s most definitely WALL-E I mean there’s just no competition) and then he gets her two pop vinyl figures for her birthday – a Wall-E and Eve! God can Rhys please be my boyfriend haha!

What I loved about this book is how it represents two completely different but so similar people in the fact that they both have some sort of illness/disability – Rhys is deaf and Stefi is mute and has social anxiety. It helps to understand just how someone with anxiety is affected by this and I was quite shocked how some things she did I would consider to be rude or blase. Like at one point she answers a question in class with one word but doesn’t look up and carries on drawing in her notepad – I would have found this to be disrespectful if I didn’t know she was a selective mute so it just goes to show that you can’t presume you know everything about a person just from how they act – there’s always something you don’t know about.

And I learnt so much about sign language and lip reading! I had no idea how much someone could understand what someone is saying just from lip reading, or that someone who is deaf could talk so much. Because it’s not a part of my life – I don’t know anyone who is deaf – I have no idea how someone who is deaf manages with day-to-day life and what obstacles they have to overcome.

I love books like this. Ones that are not only enjoyable to read, but educate the reader about things they just wouldn’t have come across in their life. It was so lovely to read and made me laugh at times as well! I love Stefi’s friend with her cheeky humour and the fact that Stefi has separated parents and two families; it shows that life isn’t perfect but it’s what you make of it and I really liked the representation of family and friendships in this book, as well as starting a relationship for the first time.

It was such a sweet romance to read about, with their texting and their communication through sign language and they were just so cute together! And I absolutely loved the realistic ‘first time’ that Stefi experienced with Rhys – it shows that, again, it’s not the fairytale wonderful moment you dream it to be. This book was just so on it with the reality of life and it was so refreshing to read.

Love and relationships be they family, friend or romantic, are always hard and have their obstacles and difficulties. This book shows that in a beautifully subtle way and I recommend reading it!

“With lightning, you’re never really sure if that’s what it was; it’s just a flash. Thunder, you know. You feel it.’
‘You can keep your quiet thunder. I’ll keep the exciting lightning.” – Sara Barnard, A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Caraval book review

by Stephenie Garber (2017) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself magic in this world.” – Stephanie Garber, Caraval

Once a year, the legendary and magical Caraval performance brings wonder and madness into life, a game where the audience takes part and anything can happen. Scarlett has never left her tiny island but dreams of seeing Caraval and escaping her father with her sister, Tella. But those far-flung dreams soon become reality when Scarlett and her sister receive an invitation, only for Tella to be kidnapped by the director of the game. Scarlett must save her beloved sister before she disappears, but she must also remember that what happens in Caraval is never quite what it seems…

Wow, wow, WOW!!! This book has certainly lived up to the hype because my god is it amazing!!!

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Seriously, the world-building in this book is extraordinary and there was nothing predictable in this book whatsoever. Every character was brilliantly constructed, my favourite being Legend because of how mysterious and dangerous he’s made out to be. Scarlett and Tella have a typical sister relationship with each of them trying to do what’s best for the other every time and I liked both of them because they were flawed and believable as sisters.

The DESCRIPTIONS in this book were something else – is it possible for words to actually seep magic because that’s what I felt like was happening when I read Caraval. I could just read writing as beautiful as that all day; I never once tired of it or found myself bored – it really grabs and holds your attention throughout the whole book.

Sp the story goes that Scarlett must solve a series of clues along with other participants in order to save her sister from Legend, with the help of a sailor she met along the way. But everyone has warned her that it is only a game, and to not get swept away by it… Scarlett soon learns things and speculations are made but I could not have guessed what happened in the end! It was so unpredictable and amazing with a slight cliffhanger teasing you at the end that definitely leaves you craving for more.

“Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea. Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game.” – Stephanie Garber, Caraval

Now of course I’m going to have to mention many spoilers because SO MUCH HAPPENED in this book that I did not see coming so look away now to avoid spoilers!

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I shall start by freaking out.

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THIS BOOK WAS SO AWESOME I CAN’T-

Okay so Scarlett and Tella live with their abusive father who actually beats them up. But if Tella does something wrong, he beats up Scarlett and vice versa. I just didn’t see that coming and that was only in the first few chapters!! Doesn’t even scratch the surface of twists and surprises.

They both escape to go to Caraval with Julian the mysterious sailor who seems to know an awful lot about Caraval. Tella is taken hostage by Legend and Scarlett has to save her, and if she wins the game, she gets one wish.

Legend was just the most enigmatic character made and I couldn’t wait to meet him. As Scarlett and Julian tried to solve the clues to find Tella, I had a sneaky suspicion that Julian might be Legend BUT I WAS WRONG. Right, so maybe the guy who says he is Legend when Scarlett confronts him is Legend.

WRONG AGAIN.

Where the hell is this Legend guy and who is he?!

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And after all that we still didn’t find out who Legend is and by the end of the book I am internally screaming because I need to know who he is!!!

I honestly thought we had met him at the end when he was going all crazy and manic but we all knew that Julian was involved somehow in the game so when ‘Legend’ KILLED him-

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And then we aren’t even left to get over that because straight away Scarlett goes to find her sister and Legend strolls in all concerned that Scarlett has got too swept away by the game. Tella believes him and things escalate as she realises Scarlett was telling the truth and she THROWS HERSELF OFF THE BALCONY

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WHAT ARE YOU DOING GARBER?!

I couldn’t deal with all that it was too much for a first book in a series, it felt more like a finale or something. But the magic of books is that they always surprise us and of course Julian and Tella didn’t really die! They appear at the end all well and totally not dead but we’re still left just as confused as Scarlett.

Just as it’s about to end, Tella creeps off somewhere and we discover the letter that Legend wrote back to her on receiving her proposal for tickets to Caraval. She owes some kind of payment for her wish being granted for basically her and Scarlett to get away from their abusive father.

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So what does Tella have to do in payment for getting tickets for Caraval and escaping their father? Who the hell is Legend and when exactly are we going to meet him?! I have questions! So many questions!!

I loved every second of this book and I cannot WAIT for the sequel!!!

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.” – Stephenie Garber, Caraval

 

A little bit about me

So I’ve realised that I don’t ever post anything about me, I only post book reviews and wrap-ups mainly, so I thought I’d do a little Q&A about myself because why not? Plus it’s a Sunday and I’m procrastinating from doing revision… So here’s a little bit about me:

Where am I from?

I’m originally from the West Midlands but I currently go to uni in Hertfordshire!

What am I studying at uni?

I’m in my third year at vet school – I’ve just started the clinical years and it’s all getting a bit too real now!

Any pets?

I have three cats: Rosie (a tortoiseshell), Bobby (a black cat) and Eva (black and white). They’re all unrelated and rescues (and all adorable).

Favourite film?

So it HAS to be three because I always said my favourite film was Wall-E (hence my cat’s name) but then my friend introduced me to How To Train Your Dragon and the adorable Toothless. But of course I absolutely love Beauty and The Beast as well, especially after seeing the live action one, so it has to be those three: Wall-E, HTTYD and Beauty and the Beast (both versions)!

Favourite book?!

It’s like your favourite song – you just can’t choose one and there’s too many to choose from. I absolutely love Harry Potter, naturally, and I love the Throne of Glass and ACOTAR series as well as the Darker Shade of Magic series, The Lunar Chronicles and The Bone Season series.

Favourite authors?

JK, V E Schwab, S J Maas, Samantha Shannon, Holly Bourne, Stephenie Meyer, Marissa Meyer, Rainbow Rowell… There are still so many authors that I haven’t discovered yet though!

So there you go – a little bit about me this sunny Sunday. Feel free to do this yourself or ask me anything else! I love meeting new people on here 🙂

Jo x

 

March wrap-up & April TBR

March has been a brilliant month because Beauty and the Beast came out (seen it twice now and it’s definitely one of my top 10 films ever) which was amazing and I loved it so much and I read a total of eight books! The Song Rising came out this month and I went to the launch party in London as well as making some more beautiful book purchases.

Books I read in March:

The Mime OrderImage result for the mime order uk

Author: Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury
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Review here

 

 

 

The Pale DreamerImage result for the pale dreamer uk

Author: Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury
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The Song RisingImage result for the song rising uk

Author: Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

On The Merits Of UnnaturalnessImage result for on the merits of unnaturalness uk

Author: Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury
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City of BonesImage result for city of bones uk

Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
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InkImage result for ink alice broadway

Author: Alice Broadway
Publisher: Scholastic
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The Wrath and the DawnImage result for the wrath and the dawn

Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: Putnam
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The Rose and the DaggerImage result for the rose and the dagger cover

Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: Putnam
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My favourite book was definitely The Song Rising – I had such a good time at the launch event and I devoured that book in two days! I also loved reading the little novellas to continue staying in that world 🙂 I finally got round to starting the Mortal Instruments series and I plan to read more throughout April. I also finally got round to rereading The Wrath and the Dawn so I could, at last, read the sequel! My least favourite book was probably Ink but I still found it an interesting read but I enjoyed every single book I read this month.

I’ve just started Beauty and the Beast Book of the Film and I’m loving it! It is basically a book version of the film with description and added speech – I absolutely love that film so this is a perfect read for me right now. When I’ve finished I want to read Strange the Dreamer which sounds amazing but I’ve also got a few more books arriving in the post so we’ll see what happens!

Jo x