Fairyloot: March Box


It’s finally time for me to reveal what I received in the March 1 year Anniversary Fairyloot box! (This picture low key annoys me because the bookmarks kind of fell over and I’ve only just noticed!). If you don’t know, Fairyloot is a YA Fantasy book box. I was really excited to receive this box as I have been a fan of Fairyloot since June 2016 and have loved every box since. This box was purple and came with a special booklet that told us all about Fairyloot’s journey. The theme for this box was: Myths and Monsters. So what did this box come with?

  • Silver Dragon Scale Scarf
  • Unicorn Fairy Lights
  • Nephilim Candle by GeekyClean
  • Mermaid Mirror by BookOtter
  • Dragon & Phoenix bookmarks
  • Anniversary Booklet
  • Fairy Scoop newsletter
  • Fallen Online Chapter Sampler card
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • Letter from Laini and book postcard

Here’s a closer look at some of the items:

These are the Dragon and Phoenix bookmarks (that had fallen over in the first pic) and I think they’re soooo cute! Look how cute the Dragon is especially, I love it!

 

This is the cool mirror designed by Book Otter. I love Liza’s designs so was thrilled to receive this. The colours are so pretty and the art is just brilliant! This fits so well with the ‘myth’ part of the theme!

 

 


This is the Nephilim candle made by Geeky Clean and the scents are Black Cherry and Lime. The black cherry scents really stands out to me but at the end of sniffing it, the lime starts to come out. It seems to me more like an after smell.. It really reminds me of the Black Cherry car air freshener/candle too which is made by Yankee Candle. Basically it smells really good and the colour is soooo bright! It goes with Cassandra Clare’s name on the cover of City of Bones!

And now for the book….

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So we received a U.K. first edition with blue sprayed page edges featuring Laini’s signature and artwork. I actually took this book with me along to Laini’s signing in Birmingham as I knew the signature was digital and I wanted her to actually sign/personalise it for me! I actually much prefer the U.K. cover of this book to the U.S. version, thought the U.S. does look shiny. I just love the mix of blue and gold on this cover and the back has this pretty shade of purple and stars on the back and basically it’s one of the most gorgeous books I own. I am yet to read it as university is currently stopping me from reading anything, but I have heard amazing things about it so I’d like to read it very soon!

All in all, I loved this box. The book is perfect, I love the bookmarks, candle, mirror and all the other items. I’ve never received a scarf before but I love the print on it! I would fully recommend FairyLoot if you’re looking for a book subscription box. I would think that having bought every box since June 2016 would be a clear sign that I love FairyLoot!

Did you receive this box? What did you think of the goodies?

Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman

 

Title: Lying About Last Summer

Author: Sue Wallman

Pages: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 2016

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★


The story centres around a girl called Skye, who is sent to a camp for troubled teenagers after her sister dies in an accident. However, once she is at the camp she starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister


A very brief synopsis but straight to the point. I bought this book last Summer after spotting it in my local Waterstones not long after its release, but honestly, the cover was one of the main things that drew me in because I loved the colours plus it’s textured! I picked this up as I felt myself starting to slip into a slump, so thought I’d read this relatively short contemporary book in an attempt to try and shake myself out of it. I think it did the trick, however university work isn’t quite helping me read as much as I would like to at the moment!

Just to mention, this book is set in England, which I surprisingly don’t read a lot of in books. So, Skye has lost her sister, Luisa, in an accident which leads to her developing certain phobias and means that she is in the grieving process. I am sure no matter who you lose in your life, it is so very hard to deal with the loss, and Skye loses her older sister who she is very close too. Following her death, Skye and her family move to London but Skye comes close to her old town when at a camp for those dealing with losses. At camp, she meets Faye and Brandon, among a whole host of other characters, who are also dealing with the loss of someone.

This book dealt with grief, but kind of in a round about way. It was about facing phobia, returning back to the scene of the accident to essentially try and help cope with what happened. Though there are talks of therapy, there is no actual session that Skye attends. I’m not sure if it would have been useful as obviously it didn’t work for Skye but for someone at a camp for dealing with loss, I kind of would’ve expected a scene featuring it.

I’ve given this book three stars as I didn’t think that much stood out to me. Skye was quite obviously very close with her older sister and had an ill, younger brother, but other than that, a lot didn’t stand out to me. I didn’t really feel like I knew all that much about Skye, other than the loss of her sister basically took over her life which meant that she isolated herself from her former lifestyle and friends. There was not much friendship in this book, as in Skye didn’t really get close to many people apart from perhaps Brandon, who helped her bloom a bit more, and Faye. There were also other characters, such as Danielle who I didn’t really understand the whole importance of. She was mentioned a fair bit but I was expecting a friendship to bloom out of it and nothing came.

There were also the text messages that come from her ‘dead sister’, however the reveal of who sent the messages was actually very disappointing. I feel like the ‘shock’ ending was there to try and wrap the story up nicely, but it just felt slightly forced, as if it was trying to really amp up at the end, but by the time I’d got to it, it just felt a bit deflated.

All in all, I enjoyed the pacing of the book as it was short and kept my interest, but in terms of the story itself, I’d probably rate it 2.5/3 stars as, especially now looking back on it, it just did not stand out to me that much and I just did not connect to the characters all that much.


You can see more of of my pictures (like above!) at instagram.com/hunguponbooks_

Strange the Dreamer Event

Another event! I attended the Samantha Shannon signing on the 1st April, but the last time I attended an author event was in October to see Sarah J. Maas. The time before that was in August to meet V.E. Schwab, so it’s safe to say I don’t go to many author events at all, but two within two weeks? Madness. I wish we had more events!

So on the 11th April, 2017, I met Laini Taylor! Being a new fan of Laini Taylor’s books, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I haven’t even finished her series yet, let alone read Strange the Dreamer, however that wasn’t going to stop me. If you follow me on instagram, you may know that I was debating whether to read Days of Blood and Starlight or Strange the Dreamer, as I didn’t want to run the risk of being spoiled however I decided that I was probably more at risk of being spoiled for her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, so I thought I best get a wriggle on and read the second book in the series! I never got to finish the second book in time because I am super slow and university work is currently taking priority over anything else, however this wasn’t an issue as I wasn’t spoiled for anything

Prior to the event, I met up with Mia who is thecosyreader. I’ve been talking to Mia for a while now and she is super sweet and so I was really excited to get the chance to finally meet her! We popped to Starbucks, along with her husband Michael who is also lovely, and had a natter and a drink before continuing on to the event which started at 7pm. Mia made me laugh during the event as we had our books out just before the talk started as we wanted to be ready to storm to the front of the signing queue, but she dropped them twice. Michael ended up taking them off her, haha!

The event was hosted by Waterstones in Birmingham (thank you!) and was quite full. Myself, Ruby, Mia and Natalia managed to score seats at the back as we were keen to be at the front of the signing line due to trains and all that. The event itself started at 7pm, and the talk finished at about 7:45pm, including questions which was surprising as I expected it to last a little longer but not an issue. I was lucky and was picked to ask Laini a question, so I asked what tips did she have for someone with a book idea but was struggling to actually get it down on paper. After the talk, we were pretty close to the front of the signing queue.
When I got there, I spoke a little to Laini about how I was enjoying the series, I said thank you for answering my questions and that I appreciated it as I have my own idea that I’m struggling to write. We then spoke a bit about how I was in my final year at university and that I wanted to visit Prague even more once I read DoSaB. She was so lovely and wished me luck with my last month of university, and then we quickly grabbed a picture. She actually asked me and Ruby if we went to University together, and when we said no, she asked if we were sisters! We told her that we’d actually met at a book signing but found that we actually live in the same place, and Laini said how she loved it when people met each other and became friends at book signings. After that, I packed up my books and waited for Mia, Michael and Natalia. We then left the shop and parted ways, but not before snapping a quick picture! (Mia, Natalia, Ruby and me!)

All in all, I had a really great time at the signing, meeting up with the gals, and Laini is so lovely! If Laini is near you, I’d for sure recommend going to her signing! I’m sure the next time you’ll see an event post from me will be after YALC!

Fast Track: Poetry

Fast track is where I mini review multiple books in the same post.

Today, we’re talking about two poetry books that I read in January and February of this year: salt. and bone.

 

Title: salt.

Author: Nayyirah Waheed

Pages: 251

Publisher: CreateSpace

Published: 2013

Source: Free on Kindle

Rating: ★★★

Review

First of all, this book cover is super hard to see as it’s on a plain white background so all you see is the title name.

I’m not a huge reader of poetry, however within recent months, books such as salt. and Milk and Honey have received a lot of attention, and as they were free on Kindle, I decided to give them a go to see what everyone is talking about. Now, I am no poet nor do I read poetry at all, but these were getting such good reviews that I just had to check them out.

salt. had a lot of interesting and insightful poems, however none of them really stayed with me. I realise that in my lack of poetry experience, the meaning of some of these poems might be lost on me, so perhaps this is why. Personally, I just did not feel that moved by them. Don’t get me wrong, some of the poems were beautiful and there were some that I loved, but I just didn’t feel totally smitten with this poetry book like others have been.

 

Title: bone

Author: Yrsa Daley-Ward

Pages: 136

Publisher: CreateSpace

Published: 2013

Source: Free on Kindle

Rating: ★★★★

 

Review

I preferred this poetry book to salt. so much more. Perhaps having read one poetry book already, my mind was a bit more accustomed to the different format, however the poems in this book were laid out more like a story in terms of one poem almost led on from the next, or one poem had a connection to a previous poem. Because of this, I found bone to be much more enjoyable. I found the poems in this book to be not so  much relatable, but more that the poems stayed with me and really resonated with me in some instances.

 

I think poetry is an important literary form, and although it’s not really my thing, if you enjoy it or are looking for some poetry to start your poetry reading journey off, I would fully recommend these. Just because I perhaps couldn’t quite get fully invested in these two poetry books doesn’t mean that I won’t be giving Milk and Honey a go, as I see this book all the time around instagram and the blog world, and having read one of the poems when flicking through it at my local bookstore, I feel that perhaps I might be able to find myself a bit more interested when reading the poems in it. So all in all, I’m still not the biggest fan of poetry – I find it hard to connect with, but it doesn’t meant that I’ll rule out reading it all together.

 

 

The Song Rising Event

On Saturday, 1st April 2017, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Samantha Shannon, author of The Bone Season books. The event was hosted by Waterstones in Birmingham and although it was a small event, it was a great one. The small group meant that Samantha was able to take a bit more time with everybody when signing books and answer more questions.

So the event itself. I met up with Ciara, who I had met at a V.E. Schwab signing in August 2016, so it was really lovely to see her again. We grabbed some food at Five Guys (honestly, how expensive?) before getting to the event for 6:30pm. So the host/interviewer had loads of questions to ask which was fab as I was basically struck silent for the whole event as I couldn’t think of anything to ask or say. There were questions about the series, Book 4, the characters, Samantha’s other book project as well as other things. I actually got to ask a few questions myself (once I had thought of some), including, Will we ever find out what happens to Finn (Paige’s cousin)? The answer being yes, we will so thank goodness, because I really want to know. Following someone else question which asked whether any other material similar to the On the Merits of Unnaturalness pamplet that was released a while back would be released in future, I also asked if we’d ever see a copy of The Rephaite Revolution which Paige and others create in The Mime Order – specifically I asked if we’d see the two versions of it that were featured in the book.

Following the talk, which was fabulous, I then queued up to get my books signed. You may or may not know this but my copy of The Song Rising is the special edition purple jacket so that came signed already, so I wanted to get that personalised. My copy of The Bone Season, which I had bought off Amazon ages ago also arrived as a signed copy, so again, I wanted this one personalised. Samantha personalised both as well as signing my copy of The Mime Order. We then spoke a little and I asked when she started writing The Bone Season as I knew that she’d started writing it at University and I, myself would love to write a book however I am now close to end of my final year of University and I am stressed. Samantha reminded me to take time out from university work and told me she believes in me (it’s fab when an amazing author says that to you!). I also then proceeded to ask for any writing tips as I have an idea for a book but I wasn’t sure about it. I ended up spilling my idea to which she said I must write it and to write it for her! So I guess after I’ve finished University in May, that’s what I’ll be doing!

All in all, the event was fab and I actually quite liked that there weren’t that many people there as it meant that the event was a bit more intimate and that at the end, you could actually have a proper chat with Samantha which was great! If Samantha ever visits your town, I would fully recommend seeing her, she’s lovely!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

 

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor

Pages: 418

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Published: 2011

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★


Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.

I’ve been wanting to read this series since I heard that the last book came out. Actually, I believe the last book was released right at the time I started reading again, and that was 3 years ago now. I decided I’d finally read this book as I am attending Laini Taylor’s event for her new book, Strange the Dreamer, on the 11th of April and I didn’t want to be totally out of the loop with Laini’s books!  I am now asking myself why the heck I waited so long as I really enjoyed this and I’m looking forward to moving onto the second book in the trilogy.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is set in Prague which is a fabulous setting and has now made me want to visit, particularly in Winter. In Prague, we are introduced to Karou, who is our main character who I love, as well as Kazimir (all I could think of was Kaz Brekker..) and Karou’s best bud, Zuzana . Karou is a pretty cool gal who loves to create art, however there is another side to her that she conceals from the human world, though she doesn’t really try that hard to do so..however the difficulty with this other half to her life that Karou hides is that Karou doesn’t actually really have much of a clue who she is. This is, however, something that we come to find out in this book which I am sure helps with the rest of the series.

So as well as the mortal world, we also have an otherworld which is called Elsewhere. We don’t see much of this in the beginning but later on in the book, we see it in some form. In this otherworld, we meet Brimstone who is like Karou’s father figure, as well as Issa, Twiga and Yasri. We also meet Thiago who I’m pretty sure I hate at this moment. Alongside these characters, we also meet Akiva. Now, Akiva is such an intriguing character. He seems so complex and like there’s a lot of depth to him. What I took from his character is that he is trained to be a soldier, but he is also quite vulnerable, particularly with love and that he wants peace in his world. He is a solid character and I love the interactions between him and Karou.

So the story surrounds Karou (who’s name also means hope which I feel is potentially important for some reason??) and is basically the basis for the rest of the series. It gives us all our main characters, gives us a lotttt of background, particularly that of the Chimaera and Seraphim (basically angels and monsters) and of Karou’s background, and sets us up nicely for the rest of the series (I am guessing, as I have only just started the second book). In the synopsis, it says about black handprints on doors and this basically is the beginning of the whole story/journey for Karou, as one of the handprints pops up on one of the doors which leads to Brimstone’s shop. This handprint equals bad, bad news and the handprints are to do with what happens in the story, and I can’t really talk about it because this is a non-spoiler review and if I did, I’d probably ruin everything for those of you that have not read this yet, which I definitely do not want to do.

I’ve found it really difficult to review this book without completely spoiling everything so I’m trying to be super vague which is very hard for me so I apologise if this barely made any sense SO, I guess I’m just going to wrap up this awful review right here and say that if you have this, READ IT. If you don’t have it, find a way to get your hands on it because I really enjoyed this and Laini’s writing style is just wonderful! Honestly, I regret having not read this ages ago and I’m glad that I finally picked it up.

I repeat: PICK THIS BOOK UP. You won’t regret it.


You can see more of of my pictures (like above!) at instagram.com/hunguponbooks_

March Wrap-Up

March has felt like it’s lasted forever, which as helpful as that would be with reaching my reading goal for the year, I haven’t actually done that much reading. In March, a few things happened; I began this blog, and I finished the first draft of my dissertation, thank goodness! With just over a month left now before I finish university, I feel like I’m going to become insanely busy. I’m just hoping that it doesn’t affect my reading time.

March has been a fairly successful month in terms of my lack of buying books, other than my pre-order of The Song Rising, so I don’t have much to share in terms of a book haul unfortunately (fortunately for my bank account though)! However, I did read five books this month (I can’t quite believe it) and here they are..

1. The Mime Order – I’ve written a review for this, which you can read here. I enjoyed this book, however it was super long. I switched to reading it on my Kindle for the last 150 pages or so, and I ended up getting through it so much quickly than I did with my physically copy. I’m wondering if physical books sometimes intimidate me, whereas on Kindle, you can’t see the size of a book! But that’s a discussion for another time..

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Man, I really enjoyed this book. It was a great length, the chapters were perfect and I just loved Karou. If anything, this book made me want to be as cool as her, I mean blue hair and able to draw crazy amazing designs? Duh! I’m excited to read the next book in this series. Review for this to come.

3. Paper Princess (The Royals, 1) – This book and the next two below are all from The Royals series, which I read in one night, go me! Christine gave me this book for Christmas and I thought I’d just pick it up as I couldn’t really decide what to read next and my gosh, this series is addicting. It is marked as Young Adult, however this was definitely more in the New Adult category.

4. Broken Prince (The Royals, 2) 

5. Twisted Palace (The Royals, 3)

  

So that is what I read this month! I’m now 14 books into my 20-book reading goal, so I’ll hopefully hit that target in May/June!

 

My plan for April is to read two books. It’s low, I know, but as April is all about me preparing for my dissertation hand in date (4th of May) plus revising for exams, I need to keep the goal low. I’ll probably read more as I’ll be procrastinating, but as long as my uni work gets done, it’s ok.

What did you read this month? What are your goals for this month?