20 Apr 2019

Stacking the Shelves (14): April 20, 2019

20 April 2 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
Last weekend I went to a Small Press Book Fair here in Windsor and hauled a bunch of new books! It was so much fun and I loved meeting new local authors.

How has everyone's 2019 been going so far?

19 Apr 2019

ARC #Review: WICKED SAINTS by Emily A. Duncan

19 April 2 Comments

WICKED SAINTS

Author: Emily A. Duncan
Series: Something Dark and Holy #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

Summary:
An instant New York Times bestseller!

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.




Trigger Warnings: This book has blood magic, self-harm, lots of violence, and an off-handed conversation about said self-harm in the course of its 400 pages. Please practice self-care before, during, and after reading this book.

From the fact that I had PREORDERED it and asked to participate on the blog tour, I think you can tell I was EXTREMELY excited for this one. It was actually one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. But. What the actual eff. Why is this getting such good reviews. Ignoring the fact that I was bored by 10% into this book, and probably wouldn't have finished if Dani and I hadn't been reading it together, after like 65%, I mostly just anger read this one. 

I don't generally like putting negative reviews on my blog and saving them for Goodreads, but there were things I felt I had to address with this because it is gaining such traction and I had been a part of the blog tour. A lot of things about this one really bothered me, beyond the abusive aspects that I talk about below.

The characters are boring, the plot feels reminiscent of literally hundreds of YA books before it (Dani and I were counting off specific points and lines that are basically the same as others we have read), and the "morally grey" aspects made me want to tear my hair out. I have read a couple reviews on here that talk about how Nadya doesn't have a lot of agency in this book - even in her POVs she is reduced to a side character. Once I saw it articulated, I agreed. I do hope that in the rest of the trilogy she is given the opportunity to grow; however, I will not find out because I'm not reading the rest of this.

You have to continuously wait for things to happen in this. It goes from one Big Point to nothing for like another 100 pages until you get to another Big Point, etc. etc. The fact that the characters find out they have been lied to and then so easily trust other people is ridiculous. The "halo" aspect of Nadya's character.... frustrates me to no end. So much of this just ANGERED me because I have no problem with books that use tropes, plot ideas, etc. from other books - but only if they do them well.

I am no longer going to be reading any "enemies to lovers" books that glorify tactics used in abusive relationships as "romantic" and "sexy." I read somewhere online that the test you should do is to imagine it is Peter Pettigrew (specifically the actor from the movies) doing these "hateful" things and see if they are still ~sexy~. If it isn't sexy if Peter Pettigrew does it, then it isn't sexy at all. I'm over villains and generally bad people who get a pass because they are attractive. No thank you!

This is a spoiler and a trigger warning, but I wanted to share because I haven't seen much said about it in reviews. I had a really big problem with a conversation between Malachiasz and Nadya. The more I think about it, the more upset I am that in WICKED SAINTS, the use of blood magic doesn't scar you because magic JUST so the author could put in the bit about Masshole self harming so he would be seen as a damaged boy. I can't handle how this topic was used and abused in this book. 


Just read the Grisha trilogy instead.
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17 Apr 2019

Subscription Box #Review: April #IndigoBookBox

17 April 1 Comments

I am reviewing the April Indigo Book Box for you today! While Indigo DOES send me their Staff Picks of the Month for review and promotion, they DO NOT send me these Teen Book Boxes for the same purpose. I purchase these myself.

They are a little difficult to find on the Indigo website because Indigo is (much) more than just a subscription box website as they are the only Canadian big box store for books, home goods, etc.


Past boxes (that are still available):

Today, I am reviewing the April box that featured WICKED SAINTS by Emily A. Duncan and give you a full wrap-up of worth, value, etc. at the bottom for both.

April 2019: WICKED SAINTS by Emily A. Duncan


Price: $29.99 (with free shipping)
Shipping Time: 3 days
Included inside...
  • A copy of Wicked Saints signed by the author
  • A letter from Emily A. Duncan
  • A pouch of Read All Night tea from Canadian tea company Tealish
  • A detailed map card displaying this epic fantasy world on one side and a fierce quote on the other – to help you navigate between the dark and the light
Here's where I get real with you.

They cost basically the same amount as what the book does - maybe $5 more on average. Plus you get free shipping. This is about $40 less than what I pay for other book boxes. Are there perks in those? Of course. OwlCrate gives you exclusive covers, FairyLoot focuses on Fantasy, Once Upon A Book Club gives you things to open as you read the book, etc. But a lot of these boxes are filled with things I would never pick up for myself and would never use. I am glad they want to showcase artists and people's small businesses but I don't need 1000 art prints of the same characters over and over again.

The Indigo Book Box gives you official merchandise, a signed copy of the book, and not too many trinkets or items that you don't need. They include practical items that everyone could have a use for. And now that they are selling book sleeves, I look forward to those being thrown in every now and then!

On top of that, they tell you what's in the box before you actually purchase it. No guessing about what book it could be or what other items you may get, they lay it out for you on the website. There are usually a couple more items included that aren't listed, but these are fun little surprises (usually from the publisher) and not irrelevant items or ones from a fandom I'm not part of.

Beyond this, they try to be fairly inclusive. It isn't just the Big Names or Books that get featured, but diverse authors and a mix of publishers. The next book is WE HUNT THE FLAME by Hafsah Faizal so I know what books I don't need to necessarily "preorder" because I have them in this box. That cuts down on duplicates and all that jazz.

I definitely recommend this box if you are in Canada and want a cheaper option but still want to participate in the subscription box scene.

What subscription boxes do you get?

16 Apr 2019

#BlogTour: THE BOY WHO STEALS HOUSES by C.G. Drews // #Blitz

16 April 1 Comments
Hello and welcome to my blog tour post for

THE BOY WHO STEALS HOUSES by C.G. Drews!

I have information about the book for you today plus a giveaway! Be sure to check that out below. But first, let's learn more about the book...

THE BOY WHO STEALS HOUSES

Author: C.G. Drews
Series: N/A
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: April 4, 2019

Summary:

Can two broken boys find their perfect home? 

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he's ever known. Now Sam's trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he's caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing - each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie. 

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.
Purchase:


C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her dog, a piano, and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novel after novel. She blogs at Paper Fury, never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast.

Connect with the Author:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram
a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 Apr 2019

ARC #Review: THE RED SCROLLS OF MAGIC by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

15 April 1 Comments

THE RED SCROLLS OF MAGIC

Author: Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu
Series: The Eldest Curses #1
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.


In theory, I should have loved this book. It falls in after the third book in the original Shadowhunters series, after my FAVOURITE romantic conversation between Alec and Magnus ("I want to know why you haven't called me back.") and I thought "perfect, let's see more."

But. This ended up being a case of "careful what you wish for." 

I could, genuinely, tell where Wesley Chu had input because I really like the way he writes characters, dialogue, and action sequences. I thought that the action sequences in this were a lot tighter than usual - maybe because of Chu, maybe because of how many books Clare has now written. But it made these scenes much easier to read and understand the first time around.

And I did like that there were a lot of swoonworthy moments between Alec and Magnus throughout. Yes - they were cockblocked a lot, but I was expecting that. I liked seeing how their romance evolved over time as well. It was one of those things where if you want to get to know someone and if you can spend your life with them, you should travel with them, but times 1000000.

However, I felt like this got away with a lot of aspects because it focused on Malec, the most beloved couple in all of Shadowhunters. There wasn't a lot going on throughout as they were travelling around to find out who started a cult. I didn't find it interesting, I didn't like all the over exaggerated cameos so that there are tying points between all of Clare's novels so you have to read them all.

I feel like this is one of those times where I would have been okay with the author just tweeting about it instead of writing a whole book about it. And, I would like to reread the Shadowhunter books once this trilogy is done to see if the timeline stays correct and true to how it had been even with this inserted.

I wanted to like this so badly. Magnus, Alec, trip! But I was mostly just bored. I've started and stopped quite a few of the spin off aspects to the Shadowhunters world so maybe it's time for me to stop trying.

13 Apr 2019

Stacking The Shelves (13): April 13, 2019

13 April 2 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
I went to my aunt's house last weekend and bought a bunch of clothes. I was thinking about doing a closet tour and discussing how I style myself? But I'm not sure if people would like to see that so let me know!

How has everyone's 2019 been going so far?