Author Archives: Brittany

What to Do With All of That Extra Book Merch… Or Where to Find More!

If you’re a collector of merch for all of your favorite book series, there are a number of place online or via apps to either destash some things you won’t be needing anymore or keep an eye out for things you’re hoping to get! Here are a few of the places I use to both buy and sell bookish items, collector’s editions, and things that can’t be sold in online stores!

OWLCRATE’S BUY/SELL/TRADE FACEBOOK GROUP

This is probably the largest community you’ll find to buy, sell, or trade bookish merch, and it doesn’t have to come directly from an Owlcrate box! I’m guessing Owlcrate created this community to swap or search for items from their own boxes but by now it’s this huge group where people post all kinds of things to sell or trade, including exclusive items from boxes, special editions of books, ARCs for trade, or really anything you can think of related to bookish merch! It doesn’t have to be exclusive items either. Want to unhaul some books? You can put those up for sale and see if anyone is interested!
Membership Required? Yes. It is through Facebook so you do have to have a Facebook account and you also need to request to join the group and be approved.
Special Rules? Yes, check out the rules once you’re approved to join the group! They’re pretty common sense, kind person type of rules but there are some other things to note when you’re selling items!
How to pay for things or get paid: PayPal only. For everyone’s protection, every transaction between buyers is to be made as PayPal Goods & Services.
Link to Join: OwlCrate Official B/S/T

BOOKISH ISO GROUP

If you’re trying to get more bookish items for your collections and you want to ask for something specifically, head on over to the Bookish ISO Group! While you may find what you’re looking for based on what someone is selling, this group allows you to post about what you want specifically so you can create your own post about what you’re in search of (ISO = in search of). This group is an off-shoot of the OwlCrate BST group when it got to be way too much having all of the ISO posts alongside the selling posts, so this is now its own dedicated group. They also try to limit the amount of spoilers in this group so if you do subscribe to a box, things are kept a little hush-hush for a few days until people start to get their boxes so you won’t get constantly spoiled by being a part of the group.
Membership Required? Yes. It is through Facebook so you do have to have a Facebook account and you also need to request to join the group and be approved.
Special Rules? Yes, check out the rules once you’re approved to join the group! They’re pretty common sense, kind person type of rules but there are some other things to note when you’re selling items!
How to pay for things or get paid: PayPal only. For everyone’s protection, every transaction between buyers is to be made as PayPal Goods & Services.
Link to Join: Bookish ISO Group

MERCARI

Mercari is a selling app where people can go on to sell whatever goods they’re looking to get rid of! This app isn’t book-specific so you can find tons of other things on here too but there’s a good little niche of people who post a lot of special editions and book box merch. It’s a little bit easier sometimes than having to create a PayPal invoice for someone or make a huge list of items for the Facebook groups, or it’s a nice way to sell and look for things if you don’t have a Facebook account or don’t want one.
Since it is an app and service, Mercari does take a 10% fee out of anything you sell, but they take it right off the top before you get paid and they let you know how much money you stand to make out of what you’re selling. You do need to take at least one photo for the listing and go through their standard categories and questions when listing.
Unlike Facebook Marketplace, Mercari is a shipping-only website/app so anything you sell or buy will be shipped — no face-to-face encounters. You can choose to set your own shipping rates (including free shipping) or use Mercari’s labels to select a price automatically.
Membership Required? Yes, you have to sign up for Mercari’s service and you do have to do most of the transactions through the mobile app.
Special Rules? All items must be shipped (I’m sure you could get around this if you REALLY wanted to meet someone in person), Mercari takes a 10% cut, special rules that usually apply for selling groups (no harmful items, no illegal items etc) but you’re also not allowed to sell food/drink so no bookish teas or coffees on here! You’re also allowed to make special offers on items, the seller can offer discounts or “promote” items at a lower price, or you can message to see if someone’s willing to budge on a price.
How to pay for things or get paid: PayPal or credit/debit card. In order to receive your funds from when you sell something, the buyer must first receive the item and then rate you. Once the funds hit your account, you can transfer to a bank account or use that cash to buy something else on the app!

ABEBOOKS

AbeBooks is an online bookstore, similar to Amazon’s used copies. AbeBooks allows booksellers and stores to cross-post their books onto the website as a middle-man to get their books out to buyers so you’ll see companies from all over the world sell here. You can purchase books from other countries and other versions, so there are a lot of foreign editions to choose from too if you’re a collector! Some prices can be steep but sometimes you’ll find a good deal or an edition you’ve been waiting for and want to shell out the money in order to grab it. I wouldn’t really say this is the best place to sell your books, more so seek out some editions from stores across the world.
Membership Required? You can sign up for an account. I don’t know if they make you when you check out but it doesn’t cost you anything to do so.
Special Rules? Not really! Just standard buying and selling practices when purchasing from a website. Make sure you check their policies on how things get handled if the company doesn’t ship a book or it gets lost in transit! Overseas purchases can be tricky.
How to pay for things or get paid: PayPal or credit/debit card

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY

The Little Free Library program is all over the WORLD! This is a better option if you’re just looking to unhaul books and get rid of them, not looking to profit or anything but you may get a trade out of it! Little Free Library, if you haven’t seen or heard of it before, is pretty much what it sounds like! Someone creates a little structure outside of a home/business/park/wherever that officially associates with Little Free Library. It looks like a little house or building and has doors to open and close to keep the books inside safe. Anyone, anytime, anywhere is free to drop off books to donate or take some in return! You just have to find one on their map to see what’s closest to you. This is really only for books, but books of any kind! Merch buyers or sellers would need to seek other options.
Membership Required? Nope! Just find a Little Free Library near you and drop off or peruse some of their items. If you’re looking to set up a Little Free Library of your own, you may want to check out their website. The libraries themselves may have some guidelines!
Special Rules? Not that I know of! Just pick up or drop off. I would say some common courtesy applies, like don’t take ALL of the books in the LFL when you’re taking one…
How to pay for things or get paid: No payment necessary!

OTHER IDEAS

There are still tons of other ideas on where to get rid of some books/merch or how to get more. Here are just a few more places and ideas!

  • Used Bookstore
  • eBay (for items that have monetary value only. please don’t sell ARCs here)
  • Facebook Marketplace outside of the above Facebook groups
  • Other Facebook groups that have B/S/T options like Illumicrate BST, The Fairyloot Club, ARC Trades Only, Biblophile’s B/S/T, Buy/Sell/Trade YA Books
  • Donate to a local library or local teacher/school (check in with them first! Libraries and schools are not always accepting donations)
  • Thrift store (this can include merch too!)
  • Garage sale

How do you unhaul your books/bookish merch? Do you often go looking for more? Where to you find them?

Mini-Review: Time of Death (A Stillwater General Mystery #1) – Lucy Kerr

Mini-Review: Time of Death (A Stillwater General Mystery #1) – Lucy KerrTitle: Time of Death (A Stillwater General Mystery #1) by Lucy Kerr, Erica O'Rourke
Publishing Info: December 13, 2016 by Penguin Random House, Crooked Lane Books
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library, Used bookstore
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Date Completed: May 28, 2019

Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Related Posts: Dissonance (Dissonance #1), Harmonic (Dissonance #1.5), Resonance (Dissonance #2)

It’s been twelve years since ER nurse Frankie Stapleton fled the quiet banks of Stillwater, but with her sister’s pregnancy taking a dangerous turn and a string of failed relationships in Chicago hanging over her, Frankie is back–and hoping to put the past behind her. Within minutes of arriving at Stillwater General Hospital however, she ends up saving a man’s life, only to have him turn up dead hours later – and the hospital blames Frankie.

Her instincts say Clem Jensen didn’t die of natural causes, but the more she digs, the more she discovers too many suspects, a few surprising allies, and some hard truths about the first man she ever loved–and left. Now the boy she once knew is a skeptical sheriff’s deputy, her family's hardware store is in jeopardy, and the rift between Frankie and her loved ones is deeper than ever.

With her career–and future–on life support, Frankie must catch a killer, clear her name, and heal the wounds of the past in Lucy Kerr’s enthralling mystery debut, Time of Death

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I’m so glad I finally read this book! It was a fun mystery that had more of a contemporary focus than a lot of mystery/thrillers do. The main character is back in town to help her family and runs into her old first-love/ex-fiance so there’s a lot of family stuff going on as well as a little hint of a potential romance. I love how the romance wasn’t rushed and there’s still plenty of time to explore that option in the rest of the series!

The mystery was also really well-put together. There were clues laid about so things were still constantly coming to light but the ending was a bit of a mystery until the reveal. I’m usually reading some darker thrillers or mysteries so this was a fun change of pace! It was somewhere in between a silly/fluffy cozy mystery and that dark thriller. A very happy middle!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Mysteries. I read a lot of thrillers and I had fun reading something that was more into the mystery realm without that element of constant suspense.
Left Me Wanting More: Books! I was pretty satisfied with this one so I’d say I’d just like to read more of this series and see where the character storylines go too!

Addiction Rating
Read it

This was a really good read for me and I loved reading an adult mystery that wasn’t a thriller (as much as I love thrillers). I think it’s easily readable by those who like contemporary romances too!

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BOOKS LIKE TIME OF DEATH

             

All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) – Adalyn Grace

All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) – Adalyn GraceTitle: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace
Publishing Info: February 4, 2020 by Macmillan, Imprint
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Date Completed: February 8, 2020

Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

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I went into ALL THE STARS AND TEETH with an open mind because I haven’t been getting along with a lot of new YA fantasy lately. Catch me at the beginning of this book and I was raving about how happy I was that I was excited, interested, and swooning over bantery pirates! The more I read, the less interested I became and by the end, I felt like I just wanted to know what happened and how the book would end.

I didn’t totally love Amora throughout the whole book, but it was easier to understand her in the beginning of the book because she didn’t know what was going on and it was interesting to follow her while she was figuring everything out. There was a lot for her to discover throughout the whole book but for some reason it was easier for me to connect with her in the beginning. I loved Bastian, our sassy pirate, and I really liked the attitude and tone he brought to this story! Obviously being a main character, he has a big role in the overall plot as well, but he certainly did keep things interesting. He and Amora had some great chemistry and of course, I loved the cleverness. I also really liked Ferrick who added something really nice to the group dynamic. I don’t want to go too far into it because there’s a lot that happens in the beginning and I don’t want to spoil anything, but I liked that he became a part of the book and that he was the kind of “nice guy”. It was easy to be sympathetic to him and I felt like he brought a nice balance to the group.

I think Adalyn Grace packed a lot of punches in the beginning of the book that I wasn’t expecting, including Bastian, who he was, and why he was there, so it was really exciting! She didn’t save every twist until the very end and I was really happy to see some things to help kick off the book. The pacing was pretty consistent throughout the book but there was a point in the middle where I had to put the book down (just because of reading time) and I wasn’t able to come back for a week and then…. I just a hit a stall in interest. Things didn’t quite pick up again like I had hoped and there were moments when I found Amora more irritating while she was discovering some of the politics of her world. It just started to hit a point where everything felt a little more tropey and I was sad that it lost that magical spark for me.

The magic system and world building were pretty cool but I also felt like they could have been developed a liiiiittle bit more for me to really latch onto them. It still felt like a lot about the magic was thrown in at the beginning, which I guess you kind of need in order to understand some parts of the world, but I almost wanted to discover it a little more slowly because some parts of the magic and world-building felt like a bit of an info dump. There’s a bit of a journey in the middle and there are some pieces of some of the magics that are explored but there’s not really a reason why or how or how much. Magic doesn’t always need a why because sometimes that’s just a part of what the world is, but I felt like I needed just a bit more than “everyone has magic and here’s what they can do”. I felt like if we went one layer deeper, I would have really appreciated the world more.

I’m a little bummed because I really did love the beginning so much and I was talking it up, but I just really lost interest towards the end and just wanted to be done reading it. It wasn’t bad at all but I felt like it started off as something special and different and then it just fell into the pattern of the average YA fantasy novel. I’m sure others will really enjoy it but it just fell a little flat to me towards the end.

 

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Kept Me Hooked On: Pirates. So I don’t always care about pirate books but I WANT to care. The pirate part was kind of major, kind of minor, but it worked SO WELL.
Left Me Wanting More: World/magic depth. There are secrets about the magic, we know, but I just wanted a little bit more world-building and magic depth. I would have rather spent a few more pages working on those elements to really secure a world instead of some of the fluffy descriptions of towns or appearances.

Addiction Rating
Try it

I bet a lot of people will really love this one. I enjoyed it so much in the beginning but I’m left a little sad that it kind of turned for me towards the end. I just felt like the beginning was so different and towards the middle, it fell into typical YA plotting.

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BOOKS LIKE ALL THE STARS AND TEETH

             

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1) – Holly Jackson

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1) – Holly JacksonTitle: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder #1) by Holly Jackson
Publishing Info: February 4, 2020 by Random House Publishing Group, Delacourte Press
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Date Completed: January 30, 2020

Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn't add up, and a girl who's determined to find the real killer--but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can't shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn't want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you'll never expect.

bookreview1

This was such an interesting read and great fun with added interview portions! The audiobook had a full cast that jumped in to be characters that were being interviewed, so that was a neat addition for the audiobook versus reading the print copy. I’m always big into audiobooks but that was also something that really set the reading experience apart and made the audiobook a unique experience!

I’m always nervous when I read YA mystery/thrillers because there has to be a valid reason why the teens wouldn’t work with adults or cops. In this book, it’s Pip’s capstone project to solve a murder. Well, really it’s supposed to be social media’s influence on investigations, but she uses that as a reason to investigate the murder of a teenager five years ago, wanting to prove that the accused murderer was actually innocent. Things went really smoothly (well, they went horribly wrong but the plotting was smooth) as far as this being a conceivable story. There were only a couple moments where I got annoyed with Pip for one of those dumb reasons that she felt like she couldn’t talk to someone else, but that was about it!

I was also really impressed that this book constantly kept me guessing. Pip gets a great deal of answers throughout the book so the reader still feels like they’re constantly solving the mystery. One question leads to another, but then we get an answer and a different question. Holly Jackson did a great job at keeping the pacing consistent and moving forward. Lots of doors are opened to the things that were hidden years ago and Pip slowly uncovers mystery after mystery. We finally get the answer in the end and THEN we get even more answers. I just felt like the book was really well-written and very carefully executed!

In checking out more details on the book, it looks like it got picked up to be a pretty big series (Goodreads it showing four books so far) and I am totally here for it! I wonder if they’re going to be related, companions, or totally unrelated. No matter what it is, I’m looking forward to more mystery investigations from Holly Jackson!

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Kept Me Hooked On: YA mystery/thrillers. I love when I get a good thriller and it’s even better when I’m pleasantly surprised! I always hope to enjoy what I read and I really just loved the pacing of this.
Left Me Wanting More: Laughs? I don’t know why but I thought this was going to be campy, probably from the title. I’m almost glad that it turned out not to be what I was expecting because I’m glad that it wasn’t silly but I am always craving some dark comedy like that.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

I really, really enjoyed this one. Sometimes I have a hard time with YA mystery/thrillers and everyone having valid reasons why they need to take investigations in their own hands. Holly Jackson made me throw those questions out the window and just enjoy reading without thinking about any of that stuff!

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER

             

What I Loved [January 2020]

In an attempt to get back into the blogging swing, I wanted to revisit my monthly recaps but in a much more casual way! Instead of focusing on stats and posts, I’m sharing some of my favorite things about this month, from books to merch to life and everything in between!

BOOKS

 

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January was a pretty good month! I had a lot of unusual reads for me, stepping outside of my comfort zone which was pretty cool! It was fairly consistent with some good, solid reads even if none of them were amazing yet.

I’m also really trying to get back into my #bookstagram photos! I had a lot of fun in December getting creative and posting my top reads of 2019 so I made it a goal to follow some more photo prompts and keep that fun going!

BOOKS READ (14):

  • 🎧 The Martian by Andy Weir | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⠀
  • 🎧 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⠀
  • 🎧 Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ ⠀
  • 🎧 Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes | ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⠀
  • 🎧 Replica by Lauren Oliver | ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⠀
  • 🎧 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⠀
  • 🎧 Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle | ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⠀
  • 🎧 The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (reread) ⠀
  • 📖 A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer | ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⠀
  • 🎧 Starsight by Brandon Sanderson | ⭐️⭐️ ⠀
  • 🎧 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (reread) ⠀
  • 🎧 The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⠀
  • 🎧 A Good Marriage by Stephen King | ⭐️⭐️ ⠀
  • 🎧 A Good Girl’s a Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

NOVEMBER READING STATS

  • # BOOKS READ: 14
  • # BOOKS DNF: none
  • # PAGES READ: 6341
  • # AUDIOBOOK HOURS: 11,359
  • RATINGS:
    • 5 STARS: 1
    • 4.5 STARS: 3
    • 4 STARS: 3
    • 3.5 STARS: 1
    • 3 STARS: 3
    • 2.5 STARS: 0
    • 2 STARS: 2
  • FORMATS: 
    • AUDIOBOOK: 13
    • HARDCOVER: 1

MOVIES & SHOWS

I started a bullet journal this year in part because I wanted to make my own reading journal but also so I could keep track of TV shows! I realized how much I actually watch while I’m working and when Shane and I sit down to watch things at night so I started keeping track of the shows I’ve been binge watching!

Here’s what I watched in January:

  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix): watched latest installment
  • Weeds (re-watch, Netflix): re-watch through season 5 so far
  • The Ranch (Netflix): watched almost all of latest installment
  • The Martian (movie, Xfinity streaming)
  • Vampire Academy (movie, I don’t streaming)
  • Let It Snow (movie, Netflix)
  • The Magicians (new episodes as they air, I watch the day after via SyFy streming)
  • Manifest (live TV, new episodes as they air)

I was too lazy to go look up what the actual new seasons were, but you get the drift, haha! I also didn’t do one of these wrap-up posts for December so I also find it noteworthy that I watched Season 2 of Killing Eve in December because I loved watching that show! There’s just so much on, I often forget what I’ve watched by the time the month is over.

I’m so happy to be rewatching Weeds because it’s such a fun (but also stressful) show and I don’t think I ever finished. I actually think I’m coming up to the point where I stopped last time so it’ll be interesting to see where it keeps going!

I’m also working on watching some book-to-movie adaptations this year and I watched three movies! The Martian was very good. A bit anticlimactic at times having just read the book, but I also definitely cried at the end. Vampire Academy was just plain horrible. And Let it Snow was cute! The book was kind of boring so I liked how the movie was more diverse and some plot points were changed to make a better movie.

As Seen on Bookstagram | The Night Circus

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 just read THE NIGHT CIRCUS for the third time and it was another completely magical experience!

I originally posted this photo for a photo prompt about the circus but I incidentally ended up re-reading THE NIGHT CIRCUS again when I was looking for a re-read and didn’t know what to pick.

I read this book for the first time in 2012 and fell in love with the writing, atmosphere, characters, and story. I finally decided to give it a re-read in 2017 because five years later, I had pretty much forgotten everything that happened except for a few broad plot points and some of the characters. Reading it for the third time allowed deeper layers to come to light and this book just gets deeper and deeper the more you read it!

Erin Morgenstern packs this book with so much incredible detail. The first time I read it, I took away the overall story of the Celia and Marco and their tether to the Night Circus, pretty much forgetting everything else. The second time I read it, I realized how much I forgot about the importance of Poppet and Widget and remembered their story a little bit more. The third time, I realized I had completely forgotten about Bailey and then a lot of the secondary characters who may have smaller roles but are still critically important to the book and the outcome of the overall tale. There’s so much to discover and take in each time you read this book and I’m so happy I gave it another read! I think I enjoy it more and more each time and really just get lost in this book.

Re-reading this book also made me even more excited to re-read THE STARLESS SEA. I know I’ll take away so much more from that book the more I read it to, knowing the levels of depth that Erin Morgenstern can include in her books so that’s definitely on my list of re-reads within the coming years!


Do you have any books that seem to get more and more detailed each time you read them?

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! 

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) – Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) – Brigid KemmererTitle: A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer
Publishing Info: January 7, 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Amazon
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Date Completed: January 21, 2020

Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

Find the heir, win the crown.

The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen--until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

bookreview1

I seem to be in the minority having not really enjoyed this one as much as I had hoped. A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY was one of my favorite books of 2019 and I didn’t feel the excitement and the pull as much as I did reading the first book.

So A HEART SO FIERCE AND BROKEN is split up into two POVs like ACSDAL, except this time it’s two total different characters. We see Grey and new face, Lia Mara, daughter of the queen of Syhl Shallow. I think part of the reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much was because I really enjoyed the different voices of Rhen and Harper with Harper having modern speech and Rhen being more antiquated to simulate the more regal tone often adopted with high fantasy locations. I really enjoyed the contrasting narratives and the difference between the two also brought some levity to the book since Harper had to learn about Rhen’s world and Rhen had to understand things that Harper said that made no sense away from the “real world”. I really wanted more of that contrasting narrative from someone from Earth/the US and someone from Emberfall and I think that had really added a lot of character to the story that I was missing here.

I seemed to love Grey more as a side character than from his actual POV. He’s easy to empathize with but I liked the mystery of him more, I think, and I really liked seeing him through Harper’s eyes. His own POV just didn’t appeal to me as much and I was more bored than intrigued. Lia Mara was a nice new addition but I really would have liked to see her (did we see her in the first book?) or at least remember her so she was already an established character. Really what I would have liked to see would have been a handful of Rhen/Harper chapters to keep their story moving forward. I really, really missed them in this book and it didn’t feel the same without them. I felt like Harper’s voice was weaker seeing it from someone else’s POV and Rhen was essentially villainized and I don’t want another ACOTAR situation here, because that’s exactly what it felt like.

There is a twist at the end, but to be honest, I didn’t care for it. It’s tired and it’s been done and I would have much rather seen Rhen and Grey duke it out with other factors holding them back instead of …. this. I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s not where I was hoping this would go at all and I’m really not thrilled about it. I am hoping we get to see all four POVs, maybe, in the last book. (Is it the last?)

I really think this could have been a two-book series (which is what I thought it would be), cutting out a lot of traveling (you know how much I hate and get bored by journeys in books) and cutting down a lot of the random stops along the way from Emberfall to Syhl Shallow and back again. I just didn’t love the structure, I didn’t love the POVs, and I didn’t love the ending, so this was more of a disappointment to me. I really wasn’t engaged while reading and it was fine but I won’t be raving about it any time soon.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Grey. I loved Grey in the first book and I did still enjoy his character here, but I also felt like it wasn’t quite as interesting.
Left Me Wanting More: Consistency. There was just too much that was disconnected from the first book. I missed Rhen and Harper. I missed the connection to DC and the modern world.

Addiction Rating
Read it

I’d say it’s still worth the read but book three has a lot of work to do, in my opinion. I’m curious to see what will happen next!

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE A HEART SO FIERCE AND BROKEN

             

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) – Seanan McGuire

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) – Seanan McGuireTitle: In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire
Publishing Info: January 8, 2019 by Macmillan, Tor Books
Source: Scribd
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Date Completed: January 29, 2019

Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

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While I enjoyed IN AN ABSENT DREAM, I sort of felt like this prequel should maybe not have been the fourth book in the series. I didn’t mind that it was out of order chronologically but I felt more disconnected from Lundy after the last couple books (to be honest, I binge read the first three so I can’t remember which was she prominent in) and I would have liked to see her story earlier.

I liked how, unlike other children who had found doors, Lundy had family history with her door and the Goblin Market and how she was able to go there and back until ultimately the door was shut on her as well. It was also more interesting because she had some ties to the “real world” that she didn’t want to give up and felt an equal pull towards this new one. A lot of the other characters felt 100% better in their new worlds whereas Lundy’s sister gave her quite the reason to stay.

I really liked the feel of the world and the other characters. This felt like one of the lesser-developed portals compared to the other stories, possibly because Lundy kept going back and forth between the two. I would have like to spend more time there discovering more about the rules, spending time with some of the quests and tribulations instead of them being things that were just referenced.

This wasn’t my favorite story but it was still rather enjoyable. I know each story really does go back and it’s out of sequence chronologically speaking, but I almost wish there would have been one more story back and the school first and then heading back out to get more backstories of the other children at the school. I think I needed one more element to tie things back together, possibly.

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Kept Me Hooked On: The many worlds of this series. It’s always so interesting to see what each person’s different world is! I really love exploring each one and seeing the creativity behind them all.
Left Me Wanting More: Character connection. I just felt al little distant from Lundy in this book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was earlier in the series.

Addiction Rating
Read it

I’ve really been enjoying this series! Plus they’re super quick reads and really fun on audio!

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All the Books | Mysteries & Thrillers

I love looking at the different genres I read and how I tend to stick to my preferred genres or branch out of them little by little. I thought it would be fun to take a wide view of all of the books I’ve been reading in a specific genre and share some of my favorites while gathering up some more recommendations!

ALL THE MYSTERY/THRILLERS

I’ve always loved mysteries and I’ve moved around in the combination of the two genres, from cozy mystery to psychological thriller. Here are all of the mysteries and thrillers I’ve read from 2018 – present day! (January 2020)

COZY MYSTERY

FANTASY MYSTERY

SCI-FI THRILLER

ADULT MYSTERY/THRILLER (no specific hook)

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

POLITICAL THRILLER

HISTORICAL MYSTERY/THRILLER (or containing historical vibes)

YOUNG ADULT MYSTERY/THRILLER

I’m definitely always looking for new thrillers to read and I’m heading more towards the adult thrillers, especially psychological thrillers! I’m really open to any suggestions for excellent mysteries or thrillers in any sort of sub-genre so let me know if you have any favorite books, authors, or series that I must try!

The Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) – Emily Suvada

The Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) – Emily SuvadaTitle: This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada
Publishing Info: November 7, 2017 by Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse
Source: Scribd
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Date Completed: January 15, 2019

Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta's death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world's leading geneticist, and humanity's best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole's genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine.

Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world's genetic tech. But it's too late to turn back.

There are three billion lives at stake, two people who can save them, and one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything.

bookreview1

I read this book based off of some glowing reviews from Instagram friends, usually people whose tastes I align with, but THIS MORTAL COIL fell a little flat for me.

I’ve been really into sci-fi lately but I notice a trend with my sci-fi: I’ve been enjoying books involving space or time travel/alternate universes. Sci-fi books with other themes need just a bit more to hold my attention and THIS MORTAL COIL had a little bit of a wow factor but it also lost me in some places.

The big buzz about this book was the series of plot twists, some bigger than others. I was really impressed with the biggest twist, which I didn’t see coming until it was already on top of us. It was a really neat concept and well-executed! I liked that the book as well as the twist had a little something different — a step outside of some of the overused plots. Emily Suvada brought some elements to this book that were unique and creative, and I always love being surprised!

Where I wasn’t as thrilled was the characters. This is a problem I seem to have with a lot of dystopian-type settings. Everything is so life-or-death that everyone is so serious all the time and all of the characters fall a little flat, lacking some of the better depth that I’ve connected with in other books. Aside from being serious and determined, I didn’t really feel a lot from any of the characters. I love banter and just about every group has some sort of comic relief and I just hoped for more of a witty character or someone who lightened things up every once in a while. I can’t count on a romance bringing lightness to a book. I guess it works in some situations and for some readers, but I’d love to see more well-rounded personalities from everyone.

While the ending of the book was interesting, I’m not sure I want to continue the series. The characters just didn’t do it for me and it made me not as interested in their stories, despite the captivating plot. Unrelated, the audiobook narrator was…. weird. She had some mispronunciations for some super common words and it was just plain bizarre that no one corrected her or fixed it. When you pronounce “vaccine” oddly (emphasis on the first syllable), don’t know how to say “capillaries”, and don’t know how to pronounce “saline”… it just really threw me off it was just weird. (Maybe people do pronounce these differently? I’ve never heard it though.)

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Kept Me Hooked On: Interesting sci-fi concepts. I was definitely interested by the plot and there were some good twists and clever concepts here.
Left Me Wanting More: Character connection. The characters were mostly blah to me. It was too dystopian/fast-paced and not enough time developing the actual characters for me.

Addiction Rating
Get a second opinion

I personally won’t be continuing the series and didn’t really connect with this one, but so many people absolutely loved it! I’d say check out some other reviews or just give it a try! It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great enough for me to really want to continue.

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BOOKS LIKE THIS MORTAL COIL