As Seen on Bookstagram [1]

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

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I recently shared a post featuring this Little Mermaid print from Nerdy Post‘s Disney box from a few months back on top of some book cozies from The Cozy Life. The photo just started out as me digging through my “Instagram Prop Box” to see what I hadn’t photographed in a while — if ever — and I hadn’t even taken a close-up of this beautiful print with a quite from The Little Mermaid! I tend to play around with the layout of my photos a lot and didn’t like the first shot of the print by itself, so I put it on top of my stack of book sleeves from my favorite book sleeve company, The Cozy Life.

Even more inspiration to write this post today was that I went a little overboard on Steffani’s restock yesterday with some really fun fall and flannel prints! I realized that I didn’t have a book sleeve big enough to fit my RENEGADES ARC and since I tote my books around in my purse, it really needs one! My purse is a tad too small and I’m not exactly gentle with it so I need that extra cushion and protection so I don’t beat up my books!

On my Instagram post, I had shared a little bit about how I came to purchase from The Cozy Life. Book Beau was the big name in book sleeves on the scene at the time but I never had luck snagging one before they were all sold out, and I got really discouraged in many ways. I gave up for a little bit until I found The Cozy Life! I purchased one of Steffani’s book sleeves and fell in love! I was hoping to grab a book sleeve before I had to leave to stay in Indiana at the hospital with my husband for two months and I REALLY wanted to get a sleeve before I left so I knew I could keep my books safe, both in transit and while I was staying somewhere new. I had ordered my very first and left a note in the comments for Steffani, letting her know my situation and that I had to leave in a few days, requesting if possible for it to be shipped quickly but being a small business myself, I know that’s not always possible so I totally understood if she couldn’t. My Cozy shipped immediately, arrived in lovely packaging, and was just beautiful! I became an instant fan and have only shopped at The Cozy Life since!

Steffani has three different sized book sleeves (and I love that they’re named after trees): Sapling, which is meant to hold ereaders and mass market paperbacks; Pine, which is meant to hold paperbacks and smaller hardcovers; and Redwood, which is meant to hold larger hardcovers and thicker books! I had instantly purchased a Pine and later followed up with another Pine and a Sapling. I just snagged my first Redwood yesterday and I can’t wait to receive it!

I’ve loved everything I’ve received so far and I’m so excited for my new fall book sleeves! I got a few flannel prints that will also work well for winter and I can’t wait to show them off on Instagram too!

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Do you have any book sleeves from The Cozy Life? Which prints have been your favorites? I didn’t think I needed more than one in each size but I’ve somehow become addicted and need different seasonal ones! Damn you, collector’s spirit!

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

Top Ten Tuesday: September 19, 2017 – Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Fall

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: 
Ten Books on my fall TBR
… but I tweaked it a little bit.  

So I know that A) it’s not fall yet and B) some of these books were ones I read in August and not September, but sharing things on my TBR just adds PRESSURE, like once I announce them on Top Ten Tuesday, I need to read them this fall and I’m SUCH a mood reader that I know it’s not going to happen. So instead of sharing things I’m planning on read, because I have plenty of ideas and no set plans, instead I’ll share some things that I’ve already read this September (and some from August too).


THIS SAVAGE SONG by Victoria Schwab
Fall is a paranormal, dark, witchy, monster-y time for me so with the series complete, it was a good time to start THIS SAVAGE SONG. I wasn’t AS hooked as I had hoped and I always feel like I need more background/history in the world-building from Victoria’s Schwab’s books, but it was very enjoyable and started OUR DARK DUET right after. | Goodreads


HAUNTING THE DEEP by Adriana Mather
I had so much fun with the first book in this series, HOW TO HANG A WITCH, and needed more witchy reads ASAP! HAUNTING THE DEEP was a little disappointing because it’s far less witchy, focusing on ghosts of the Titanic (which I knew, but still…) and I didn’t like the plot as much as the first book, but I’m definitely curious to read more. Plus, it’s really cool that Adriana Mather is a descendant of prominent figures in the Salem Witch Trials and has relatives who survived the Titanic. | Goodreads


LAST SEEN LEAVING by Caleb Rohrig
Book comparisons are SO TRICKY so when I had seen several GONE GIRL comparisons, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was similar… but also not, so it was a complicated mess of feelings for me but an enjoyable mystery with a twist I surely didn’t guess! | Goodreads


SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND by Moira Fowley-Doyle
I also expected this book to be much more witchy (I mean SPELLbook) but I should have known from Moira Fowley-Doyle’s first book that it would be much more magical realism. It was very interesting but I also wasn’t quiiiiite satisfied with how things played out, but she did do a stupendous job of having everything come full circle. | Goodreads


WARCROSS by Marie Lu
WARCROSS was a very fun futuristic, sci-fi read. I was pleasantly surprised with some of the twists and I really enjoyed this cast of characters! I was left on a cliffhanger and I cannot wait for the next book! | Goodreads


THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins
I don’t usually do horror but I liked that this was more 90s slasher than anything else. It was a very fun read, fast, and interesting! I thought the ending could have resolved a lot better but it was still entertaining. | Goodreads


JANE, UNLIMITED by Kristin Cashore
This book was VERY neat, set up sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure book. I thought the different possibilities and mash-up of genres was quite unique! | Goodreads


LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green
I have never really been a fan of John Green but I also haven’t hated them. I mostly just don’t enjoy his writing or find his characters realistic, and I had the same issue with Alaska in this book. Actually, everyone else was fine except for Alaska. Don’t hate me, friends. | Goodreads


THE DIRE KING by William Ritter
I binge-read the first three books and this series and sadly, this fourth book just lost some magic for me. I still enjoyed the characters but I really didn’t feel hooked by the plot. As with a lot of series conclusions, there was so much SERIOUS going on and it lost some of the levity that I loved. | Goodreads


The Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray
I had been meaning to read this series for SO LONG and with it finally being complete, I figured why not binge? I wanted a sci-fi book to start on Eclipse Day and ended up bingeing the rest! It was very fun and I really enjoyed all of the different worlds!! | Goodreads


What books have you read so far this month/season? Do you mood read for the seasons??

Warcross (Warcross #1) – Marie Lu

Warcross (Warcross #1) – Marie LuTitle: Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu
Publishing Info: September 12, 2017 by Penguin, Listening Library
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 10, 2017
Related Posts: Legend (Legend #1)

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

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WARCROSS is only my second Marie Lu book (I’ve only read LEGEND. I know, how horrible am I? I loved it too…) and I’m so glad I had the chance to get back into her writing! Every since READY PLAYER ONE, I’ve been dying for more video game/virtual reality-type adventures and I know there are others out there but WARCROSS was one that really caught my eye, both because of author and concept.

Either this book was shorter than I thought or time just flew by as I was listening! I listened to the audiobook (thanks, Listening Library!) while I worked and it seemed like this story just flew by, which I guess means that I was really enjoying it! I really enjoyed WARCROSS! It was a fun, futuristic read that reminded me of READY PLAYER ONE meets THE HUNGER GAMES but still in its own original way. I loved the game aspect behind it and I think games within a story really pull me into the action! There were plenty of action-packed moments, especially during the games themselves, which were not at all like Quidditch but reminded me of the action breaks that Harry Potter took to play out a Quidditch game. It brought some fast-paced scenes to the book and added more the the character relationships, meanwhile adding a dash of plot all at the same time. The game sequences also really added to the world-building, showing exactly how Warcross worked and why everyone was so excited for these competitions. It’s essentially like everyone playing sports and then the tournaments featured here are like the Olympics.

I really enjoyed all of the different relationships throughout the book! Emika is kind of a loner to start and as the book progresses, she learns how to work on a team and finally starts to let people back in. She also lets go of her heart a little bit and ends up with an unexpected relationship (or at least more than friends) with a prominent figure in the book and the romance was sweet and exciting all at the same time! I really liked the team aspect and how that really brought Emika in, as much as she didn’t want or expect that, and I always love gangs of characters who might not have otherwise been friends coming together like that.

I’ve only read one Marie Lu book but I feel like she’s good at keeping readers on their toes! One thing I really enjoyed was a nice set of twists that she incorporated into the plot. I totally saw one twist coming and was like, “Oh yeah, predictable…” and then BAM! A totally different twist caught me by surprise. I’m not sure if I was supposed to see the one coming but I definitely appreciate that it threw me off for the other one, thinking I had already caught the “twist”.

The book ended before I knew it and I was so engrossed in the audiobook that I didn’t even realize it was coming to a close! Marie Lu left us on a hell of a cliffhanger which I loved but also whyyyyy! I’m so anxious to read the next book and as much as it sucks to be left on a cliffhanger sometimes, I’m definitely left wanting more as soon as possible!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Gaming books. I’m not a gamer but I actually love reading about virtual reality and gaming-type books. I love the sense of competition and how reality and games meet!
Left Me Wanting More: Oomph. I loved the book but it was missing just a touch that would have pushed it towards the edge for me. I’m not sure what it was, but either way, it was still a great read!!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

What a fun start to a series! I can’t wait to read more, I love where this is going, and this was such a solid beginning.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE WARCROSS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

     

Genuine Fraud – E. Lockhart

Genuine Fraud – E. LockhartTitle: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Publishing Info: September 5, 2017 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 19, 2017
Related Posts: We Were Liars

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

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For many, WE WERE LIARS was an epic, twisty, and gripping read but it never really stuck a chord with me. Being my first E. Lockhart book, it had be a little hesitant and yet also curious to read more of her works. I didn’t grab a copy of GENUINE FRAUD at ALA because of my hesitation but when I was offered a review copy of the audiobook from Listening Library, I knew this would be a good way to read the book!

GENUINE FRAUD was so different than what I expected! It was highly unique and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it to be honest… It’s just book that’s really hard to put a rating on because of how different it was and what it turned out to be. I love reading Cait from Paper Fury’s reviews on Goodreads and she kind of summed up exactly how I felt as well — “This book is very very good but I also didn’t like it.” It was so incredibly interesting and very well put together but I also still had a hard time liking it.

The set-up of this book is wholly unique and I don’t think I’ve read anything like it. I received the audiobook for review from Listening Library and since the format is a collection of files, I thought something was wrong with my file when the book started with Chapter 18 (because that’s happened to me before when a book got jumbled up and I couldn’t straighten it out)… but it really does start with Chapter 18 works its way backwards to Chapter 1. The screwy timeline and twists and turns were very akin to movies like Pulp Fiction and Memento, where stories work themselves backwards and all around from a certain point rather than moving in chronological order. It was super interesting to watch the story unfold in reverse while still unfolding forwards and I’m so impressed with E. Lockhart’s writing in this book!

The book is also hard to rate because of this concept. It was so fascinating but it was kind of in that way where I was in awe of the writing and the absolute debauchery that was happening in the book that I just couldn’t tear myself away. The characters are actually mostly unlikable, which isn’t a turn-off for me because those can be some of the most interesting characters, but sometimes I do have a hard time connecting to them. There were also moments where action abruptly started or stopped, cutting off the flow and picking up at a different point in time, so some things were a little hard to follow, and I didn’t even realize the end of the book was coming when it happened!

It was really different than I expected, but in a really neat way and yet I still can’t quite put my finger on how I feel about it. I feel like it’s worth the read with its sinister plot, moments of action, intense thrilling points, and morally complex characters, and yet at the same time, I still didn’t love it. I think if I had made that one connection where a character really pulled me in, it would have blown my mind.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Twisty writing styles. Man, this was sooo unique and very cool to read! Once I realized there wasn’t an issue with my audio I was like, okay. I’m here for this! I love seeing stories not follow a chronological timeline and still progress the plot forward.
Left Me Wanting More: Character Connection. Almost all of the characters were unlikable and that doesn’t always deter me but here it did a little bit. It wasn’t like a morally gray character that you know you love, but more like, “Wow, these people are actually awful human beings and yet I’m kind of rooting for them?” I think I wanted a little more sinister or a little more like.

Addiction Rating
Try it!

It’s a very cool book, and if you make that connection, it could be a total five-star read for you!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE GENUINE FRAUD

(Click the cover to see my review!)

     

A Book and a Candle | American Gods + Wednesday (Canterbury Road Co)

I was chatting with my dear friend Andi from Andi’s ABCs the other day, mulling over what kind of new blog post I could possibly come up with for my blog. After blogging for five years and feeling like I’m repeating so many things and having candles take over my life with Novelly Yours (in a good way), I just don’t have as much time or energy to create some of those fun graphics and infographics that I used to love to spend hours and even days creating! Book and a Beverage really kind of died out with so many people having already done it and me having a hard time keeping track of blog posts sometimes so she suggested I switch things up to fit my life with more of what I’m doing now… and do a little switch from books & beverages to books & candles! I already post quite a bit of books & candles on my Instagram account and it seemed like the perfect way to really tie everything back together!

Here on A Book and a Candle, I share two of my favorite things! I started my own candle shop about two years ago and ever since then, my candle addiction has only grown exponentially! I share a lot of my photos on Instagram but not many really make it to my blog so this seemed like a great opportunity to talk some more about books and candles and how one enhances the other!

To kick off the feature, I’m sharing a photo from a couple weeks ago that I really enjoyed! I had never photographed my copy of AMERICAN GODS, although maybe once in a “haul” photo when I first received it as a gift, and especially with watching the show (although shhh I still need to finish), it seemed like a great time to feature the book! Add in the fact that I had just received my candles from Canterbury Road Co. which included a Wednesday candle and I knew my post was set!

AMERICAN GODS + WEDNESDAY (@canterburyroadco)

 

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THE BOOK: AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman | Goodreads | Review
THE CANDLE: Wednesday from Canterbury Road Co
Candle scents: Thunder, lightning, mead, coins

I read AMERICAN GODS back in 2015 as an On the Same Page group read with my girls Amy & Alyssa. Admittedly, it started a little bit slow for me until I got the hang of the plot and all of the different gods involved but then I couldn’t put it down! Alyssa is the Queen of Gaiman and she introduced me to his writing so I think this was the third Neil Gaiman book I read. I had enjoyed his other books and knew I could get into this one but it was the first more adult read (after THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and STARDUST) so it had a very different feel. Not in a bad way, but in a way where I just had to readjust my brain a little bit! The story was incredibly unique and very fun and I loved the complex characters and connections from start to finish.

Wednesday, the inspiration for this candle, is a main character in the book (and what is also now a TV show on Starz). Related to his character, Wednesday is often drinking mead, has an affinity for coins, and for obvious reasons if you pick up on the whole Wednesday thing is related to thunder and lightning. Sometimes I’m wary of candles that include scents that don’t have a specific scent (like thunder, lightning, and maybe coins) because I don’t quite know what the candle is going to smell like but I know Shannon (the owner & creator at Canterbury Road Co) from blogging and I had all the faith in no matter what candle I would be getting! Naturally, the candle is amazing. It really does have a thunder, lightning, and coin feel,  believe it or not! The candle has a great overall blend of some soft ozone notes with a little bit of an outdoorsy feel that might make you feel like you’re feeling that crackle in the air during a lightning storm! There are some other notes that can be perceived as metallic to make that coin connection and a delicious fragrance of sweet and spicy mead to round it all off!

What I love about Shannon’s candles is that they’re such great blends. You can pick out the different notes that she’s included but they also make for a great overall fragrance for an all-encompassing experience. The Wednesday candle is actually no longer being sold BUT there are pleeeenty of other candles for you to choose from at Canterbury Road Co including candles inspired by Outlander, The Queen’s Thief, Maggie Stiefvater, and a great “Reading” line which is quickly becoming a Canterbury Road niche! (Reading in the Leaves, Reading Under the Stars, Reading in the Garden, etc).

I love the combination of this book and candle and how well this character is embodied! I really love the scent combinations at Canterbury Road Co so make sure to check out Shannon’s shop and peruse all those beautiful candles!

FIND CANTERBURY ROAD CO AT: 
Etsy | Instagram | Twitter

** All candles featured in A Book and a Candle have been obtained by my own choosing, whether by direct purchase or in a candle swap and there have been no exchanges or free product sent to me to feature. Candle shops featured are of my choosing and each candle summary/review are my own words and opinions. I have not been influenced in any way to write these posts other than my own pure enjoyment of each candle! I’m just sharing what I love! ** 

Little Monsters – Kara Thomas

Little Monsters – Kara ThomasTitle: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
Publishing Info: July 25, 2017 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: ALAAC17, Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller, Psych/Mental Health
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 13, 2017
Related Posts: The Darkest Corners

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.

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LITTLE MONSTERS caught my eye because of the author and concept. I had first read Kara Thomas’ work with THE DARKEST CORNERS and enjoyed her writing and I’m always looking for more YA mystery/thrillers! I’m very glad to have read LITTLE MONSTERS and I continue to be pleasantly surprised at the conclusions of Kara Thomas’ books, not always able to guess the ending!

I enjoyed LITTLE MONSTERS from start to finish and it was hard to stop listening to the audiobook. (Thanks to Listening Library for the review copy!) The concept reminded me of what I imagine Pretty Little Liars is like (I haven’t read the books or watched the show) combined with A GOOD IDEA and THIS IS OUR STORY — a little bit frenemies, a little bit mental health, and a little bit small-town mystery. I always find thrillers involving fatal friendships fascinating, especially when it comes to young adult thrillers. Teenagers are quickly trusting and throw themselves into their friendships and relationships, so it’s easy to completely trust someone that you feel is your best friend. When a friend’s character gets questioned, it’s so interesting to watch the other side of the story unfold and see what secrets were lying beneath the surface the whole time.

I certainly didn’t figure out the ending of this book, that’s for sure! Being a mystery lover, I tend to read a lot and I can therefore guess a lot of endings but LITTLE MONSTERS was very well-crafted and I had no idea which way it would go! There were lots of pieces to throw the reader off and lead me in a different direction and it was really interesting to see the ending unfold!

I wasn’t AS hooked as I had hoped to be but it was a very solid read and very enjoyable. I’m always looking for solid young adult thrillers and/or mysteries and LITTLE MONSTERS is definitely a solid, well-crafted read. I love being able to see how an author started with a concept and worked their way backwards to keep the big reveal moment at the ending, and it’s always so neat to see a mystery unfold. I’m definitely up for anything Kara Thomas writes and I’ll continue to look forward to more books from her!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Frenemies. MAN, frenemies in thrillers just get me. I kind of really don’t like it in contemporary fiction because I don’t like when things get catty but in thrillers? BRING IT. It’s so sinister and usually ends up being horrifying which I… kind of like. Ha.
Left Me Wanting More: Magic. Not literal magic, but there’s just that little something that didn’t WOW me. It was still such a solid read but it didn’t quite blow me away.

Addiction Rating
Read it

If you enjoy mysteries or thrillers, this is an interesting read and I’m confident recommending it! Add this one to your TBR.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE LITTLE MONSTERS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

     

A Fortnight of Fright 2017 | Intro & Sign-Ups!

FoF2014

October 17th – October 31st, 2017

Wow. I can’t believe we are doing this for a SIXTH year in a row! Alyssa (blog and Twitter), Amy (blog and Twitter) and I try and host this two week feature where we celebrate all things Autumn and (if you want) HALLOWEEN!

I am basically just going to copy the same blurb I have for years cause 1. I am lazy and 2. It’s the pertinent info that ya need….SO for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about (hello, and welcome!) Fortnight of Fright is a time in which we host and share different posts related to Autumn and Halloween! We work with you guys and sometimes amazing authors to showcase some creepy books, interviews, movies, and SO MUCH MOAR! There is no limit on what you can post about! Do you have a signature Halloween or Autumn cocktail recipe? Pinterest board filled with DIY decorations? A book recommendation for those of us who love to be scared? We want it all!! JOIN US!!

Sign ups will be open from 9/11 – 9/22 and you will be notified the following week to confirm your post topic, and so on. We are going to ask that all posts get to us the week of 10/9 as we will be hosting you during the event which runs from 10/17 – 10/31! As always, the more the merrier, so scroll on down to our Google Doc and sign up to help us out!

Wondering what we had going on from years past? Check it out:

PREVIOUS FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT POSTS

SIGN-UPS FOR A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT 2016

 

Fast Five Friday | Not-Too-Scary Horror

fast five friday

I love blogging and writing and recommending books… but I know that I tend to get a little long-winded in my blog posts! FAST FIVE FRIDAY is a means for me to recognize some favorite books and round them up for recommendations without talking your ear off.

FAST FIVE FRIDAY | NOT-TOO-SCARY HORROR

I am not a horror person, but I picked up THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE because of course, it’s written by Stephanie Perkins and I just adore her! I don’t tend to read SCARY books, but I do enjoy some 90s slasher film-type reads, which fits perfectly along side TSIYH! So those are the books I’m sharing today!

What: Sweet
Who: Emmy Laybourne
Why: Think cult classic zombie movie and you’ve got SWEET! It’s funny, campy, and totally gory but it was such a fun read!  
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: The Fall
Who: Bethany Griffin
Why: A retelling of the classic Poe tale, this was such a creepy, atmospheric read. It gave me the shivers but it wasn’t too horrifying for a chicken like me!
Where: Goodreads| Review

What: This Dark Endeavor
Who: Kenneth Oppel
Why: A Frankenstein retelling! Sort of an origin story and very interesting. It definitely falls under the horror category but isn’t TOO horrifying.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Who: Kerri Maniscalco
Why: Can I recommend this series enough? Probably not. How much more horrific can you get than Jack the Ripper?
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls
Who:  Claire LeGrand
Why: Middle grade books can still possibly scare the pants off of you, but this creepy read was so much fun! I don’t read a lot of middle grade but when I do, it’s always fantasy or some sort of paranormal/horror. Lots of fun!
Where: Goodreads | Review


That’s my fast five for today! Have you read any of these mildly horrific books? What are some of your favorite chilling reads for horror-chickens?

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) – Melissa Grey

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) – Melissa GreyTitle: The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Grey
Publishing Info: April 28, 2015 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Gift
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: June 29, 2017

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants…and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

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I’ve heard so many good things about THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT and with having the second and third books on audio from the publisher, I figured it was finally time to buy the first from Audible to get the series binge going!

This book really reminded me a lot of Daughter of Smoke & Bone and The Conspiracy of Us with a little urban fantasy feel. The tone of the book was fun, with Echo’s sass and sarcasm (always something I enjoy as long as it’s done well) and some nice friendships…

… But the ragtag group of misfits don’t really jive. They all have different personalities and they sort of seem to be fighting each other, not outwardly as character arguments but the personalities just aren’t meshing for me. It really does feel garbled together and not like the misfit group of characters like The Dregs, who are all misfits but all have the same goal and same attitude towards life.

THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT was a fun story but it felt sort of… average in a lot of ways. I’ll admit, the hype really got to me after seeing a lot of fan-girling reviews so I had some very high expectations. The story was enjoyable BUT I’m not sure it was really worth the hype. One thing I was really missing was the world-building throughout the entire book. I was all for the worlds of the Avicen and the Drakharin but… why do they exist? What are they all about? Were they always in the shadows of the human world, in hidden places or did they have to move there? How did this whole war get started? Who pissed off who? Tell me more about the magic, the history, the reasoning… We got a little of Echo’s backstory and how she ended up being taken in by the Avicen but, did she never question who they were and why they existed and why people don’t know about t them?

I have some more spoilery thoughts about the romance and the actual hunt of the Firebird, but I do try to keep my blog reviews spoiler-free so if you want to peek at spoilery thoughts, you can go check out my Goodreads review where you can peek behind the spoiler tags!

The more I talk about the book, the more unhappy I am with it. It just didn’t seem to really do much. It wasn’t intolerable and I had planned on continuing the series binge but I picked up the second book and my heart just wasn’t into it. I stopped my journey with this series after book one and I don’t find myself missing anything.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Unique fantasy concepts. The Avicen were an interesting creation and I always like reading about new concepts where I can!
Left Me Wanting More: Base. This book just needed more world-building, a bit more character base, and needed to feel a bit more grounded. It just felt very… new.

Addiction Rating
Get a second opinion

I have some friends who loved this one but this was a very middle-of-the-road read for me that ended up teetering towards the side of indifference. I just didn’t really care to keep going.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT

(Click the cover to see my review!)

     

Top Ten Tuesday: September 5, 2017 – Ten Books I Struggled to Get Through

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: 
Ten Books I Struggled to Get Through! 

I’ve never been afraid of the big old DNF but sometimes I’ll stick it out if I think that a book has potential, if I need to know how it ends, or if it’s a short book and I want to count it towards my Goodreads goal (ha). With a topic of books I struggled to get through, here are some reads that I didn’t particularly enjoy but still finished… and I’m sure you’ll find a lot of nice black sheep moments here!


TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard
I just didn’t connect with this book at all. I wanted so much more world-building, I didn’t think the characters had a lot of depth and the pacing just didn’t grab me. I still finished it because so many friends raved but I tried reading this on audio (I hated the voices) and then in print and it was still rough.


DEFIANCE by C.J. Redwine
I had high hopes for this book but it was kind of dystopian and kind of fantasy? The genre concept just seemed all over the place and I wasn’t a big fan of the characters but I really wanted to see exactly how it ended.


INTERWORLD by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves
I’ve been a fan of everything Neil Gaiman has written… except for this book. It got really messy and weird and a little too odd for my tastes. It also read way younger than I thought it was going to so that wasn’t enjoyable, really, but it was an audiobook so it was easy to keep listening and finish.


NOBODY BUT US by Kristin Halbrook
This book was supposed to be romantic but it was just… boring. The main characters are 18 and 15 and the 15-year-old felt very, very young and I had a hard time with the whole book reading how the characters spoke. It just wasn’t my thing but it was short and I wanted to finish.


WENTWORTH HALL by Abby Grahame
Wentworth Hall was like Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey but it seemed more like a ploy to combine them rather than doing it well. It was cheesy and not enjoyable but short, quick, and read it for a feature so I finished it!


WHERE FUTURES END by Parker Peevyhouse
This book consisted of five different stories at different points on a timeline and the first one was the only one I liked. I was listening to the audio so I kept on going but the stories got less interesting for me as the book progressed.


SHADE ME by Jennifer Brown
I was so excited to read a book about synesthesia but the way it was done was just… not put together well. There were several plot holes in how it actually works, a lot of things didn’t make sense, and the characters were just not enjoyable to read about.


TRAITOR TO THE THRONE by Alwyn Hamilton
I AM STILL SO BUMMED ABOUT THIS. Rebel of the Sands was one of my favorite reads of the whole year last year and this book took a turn. It was very long (unnecessarily, in my opinion), the characters were split up, it took a break from the action, and I didn’t like the plot points that were used. Such a major bummer that I don’t even know if I’ll read the last book in this series.


REBEL by Amy Tintera
I waited waaaay too long to read REBEL after REBOOT (like several years) and I was just so out of the story that it was too hard to catch up again. I also just didn’t feel as involved in the story line either way so it was a little rough.


STRANGE AND EVER AFTER by Susan Dennard
Oops, that’s two Susan Dennard books on my list now but this book just didn’t do it for me. I had a hard time getting into the story of this last book and I was falling out of love with the characters but I got really upset because I was following Susan Dennard on Twitter and she spoiled her own book for me by tweeting about a BIG THING in this last book even though I had only started reading it about 6-9 months after it was published. Way too soon to tweet spoilers for your own book so I had a sour taste in my mouth.


Well, those are my complaints for the day haha! Other times I just DNF but these ones I made an effort to finish. Do you often finish books you’re not enjoying or just say, see ya later?