16 Jan 2019

#Discussion: 5 Favourite Merch Items + Where to Buy Them

16 January 0 Comments
Today's post is not sponsored at all but I am telling you all about my favourite merch items (mostly for books) and what stores I generally buy them from. Let me know in the comments some of your favourite merch items - or if you have the same ones as me!

5 Favourite Merch Items + Where To Buy Them

1. Mugs

I own a lot of mugs in general, but mugs that show off my fandoms???? YES PLEASE!! I have so many mugs and I love taking them to work to have "casual" conversations about books I love. They are actual selling points! I usually buy them off of Society6, like the one in the post below!

2. Prints

I love love love prints, especially the ones on Society6 (this is a recurring theme in this post). However, I really love when authors post their own art on there as well! It's official fan art! I then like to get them plaqued to hang on my walls!



I love THE SCORPIO RACES by @maggie_stiefvater so much that I buy all the artwork I can find for it so I can show off my love on my walls. The two typographical prints are by @eviebookish (who has the most ah-mazing designs!) and the Sean and Puck print is from Maggie's society6 store. What's one book or series you buy everything for? // It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
A post shared by Jamie @ Books and Ladders (@booksandladders) on

15 Jan 2019

ARC #Review: FAMOUS IN SMALL TOWN by Emma Mills

15 January 0 Comments

FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN

Author: Emma Mills
Series: N/A
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
For Sophie, small-town life has never felt small. She has the Yum Yum Shoppe, with its famous fourteen flavors of ice cream; her beloved marching band, the pride and joy of Acadia High (even if the football team disagrees); and her four best friends, loving and infuriating, wonderfully weird and all she could ever ask for. 

Then August moves in next door. A quiet guy with a magnetic smile, August seems determined to keep everyone at arm's length. Sophie in particular. 

Country stars, revenge plots, and a few fake kisses (along with some excellent real ones) await Sophie in this hilarious, heartfelt story.
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.

I am so in love with Emma Mills' books, characters, and writing. She makes every character unique while having the same feel to them: vulnerable, unsure of how to move forward, and always willing to try and do as much as possible for their friends. I love that Emma is able to make so much happen in her books that are generally about living your life as a high school student. Yes, there is always conflict and relationships and messiness, but that's everyone's lives. I highly recommend any and all of Emma's books.


14 Jan 2019

#Review: A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab

14 January 0 Comments

A CONJURING OF LIGHT

Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #3
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:
Summary:
Witness the fate of beloved heroes - and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED...
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell - once assumed to be the last surviving Antari - begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace - but never common - thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Do you ever get tired of running? 
No. 
Then you haven't left enough behind.

Hoo boy. I waited a LONG time to read this one because I didn't want the series to end. But Victoria is writing a spin-off that takes place after the conclusion so I figured I should probably get on it. And OMG. This blew me away. A fantasy of truly epic proportions.

12 Jan 2019

#StackingTheShelves (2): January 12, 2019

12 January 1 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!

January 12, 2019

This week has been super exciting for me - I am finally back into reading, writing reviews, and participating in blog tours! Plus I'm in full steam ahead with Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays by hosting a giveaway for a copy of THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin that runs until the end of the month!

See what I've been up to below...



11 Jan 2019

#Review: GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE by Natasha Ngan

11 January 0 Comments

GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE

Author: Natasha Ngan
Series: Girls of Paper and Fire #1
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:
Summary:
Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most cruel.

But this year, there's a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after--the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king's consort. But Lei isn't content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable--she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: This book (and, subsequently, my review) has trigger warnings for domestic abuse, sexual assault, and gore. I discuss all these things in my review so if this is triggering to you, please use caution and self-care before, during, and after reading both this review and the book.

I read this as a buddy read with Theresa!

I felt like there was a lot missing in this one to make it a decent read. There were so many contradictions in the plot, writing, character's actions, etc. that it made it difficult to follow. I was glad that there was the story of being strong even during abuse and rape because that doesn't happen often in media, especially media targeted to teens. However, I had issues with how that was portrayed as well.

9 Jan 2019

#Discussion: 5 Basics to Blogging

09 January 0 Comments
Today I'm taking the time to tell you about the five basic aspects to running a blog! These tips go across all niches, content creation, and levels of expertise. I hope you learn something so let's get to it!

5 Basics to Blogging

1. Platform

The first consideration when blogging is choosing your platform. I have a Blogger with a custom domain and custom theme. But it may be that you want to use Wordpress or Tumblr or just a social media network such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Whatever feels right to you is what you should use.

2. Content

I try to plan and create my content a week in advance. I typically schedule a month's worth of content in my planner but create the posts every Friday night or Saturday morning. This makes it easier to ensure you always have fresh content for people to see on your blog. However, you should choose how much and when you post.

I post three times a week typically, with extra posts for blog tours. If you can and want to, you can post every day. Some lifestyle and fashion bloggers will post every day with an Outfit of the Day, Recipe of the Day, Organization Tip of the Day, etc. If you want to, feel free to make that content and commitment. As long as you are consistent or transparent about when you will be posting, your audience will know when to look for new content.

8 Jan 2019

#BlogTour: WHITE STAG by Kara Barbieri // #Excerpt

08 January 0 Comments
Hello and welcome to my blog tour post for

WHITE STAG by Kara Barbieri!

I have an excerpt from the book for you today and can't wait to share this dark, twisty fantasy with you. But first, let's learn more about the book...


WHITE STAG

Author: Kara Barbieri
Series: Permafrost #1
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Summary:
The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.


Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling. 
Purchase:

1 MASQUERADE


THE FIRST THING I learned as a hunter was how to hide. There was a skill in disappearing in the trees like the wind and merging into the river like stones; masquerading yourself as something you weren’t was what kept you alive in the end. Most humans didn’t think the masquerade was as important as the kill, and most humans ended up paying for it with their lifeblood.
Here, as the only mortal in a hall of monsters, I was very glad that I was not most humans.
I kept my steps silent and my back straight as I passed beneath the white marble pillars. My eyes flickered around me every so often, counting hallways, retracing my steps, so I could escape at a moment’s notice. The Erlking’s palace was treacherous, full of twists and turns, stairways that led into nowhere, and places where the hallways dropped to gaping chasms. According to Soren, there were also hollow spaces in the walls where you could slink around unnoticed to the mundane and the monstrous eye, but you could hear and see all that went on in the open world. The lair of a king, I thought bitterly. I dared not say it out loud in case someone was near. But beside me, Soren sensed my disgust and made a sound deep in his throat. It could’ve been agreement.
Soren examined his king’s palace with the usual contempt; his cold, calculating eyes took in everything and betrayed nothing. His lips turned down in a frown that was almost etched permanently into his face. Sometimes I forgot he was capable of other expressions. He didn’t even smile when he was killing things; as far as goblins went, that was a symptom of chronic depression. He lifted his bored gaze at the gurgling, choking sound coming from his right, and it took all my willpower not to follow his line of sight. When I felt the subtle whoosh of power transfer from one body to the next, my fingers twitched to where I’d slung my bow, only to remember too late that it had been left at the entrance of the keep in accordance with ancient tradition.
A scream echoed off the cavernous passageways as we made our way to the great hall where everyone gathered. It sent chills down my spine with its shrillness before it was abruptly cut off. Somehow, that made me shiver even more. Ancient tradition and custom aside, nothing could stop a goblin from killing you if that was what they desired. My hand reached for my nonexistent bow again, only to be captured by cold, pale fingers.
Soren’s upper lip curled, but his voice was low and steady. “The next time you reach for a weapon that isn’t there might be the last time you have hands to reach with,” he warned. “A move like that will invite conflict.”
I yanked myself away from his grip and suppressed the urge to wipe my hand on my tunic like a child wiping away cooties. “Force of habit.”
Soren shook his head slightly before continuing on, his frown deepening with each step he took.
“Don’t look so excited. Someone might get the wrong idea.”
He raised a fine white eyebrow at me. “I don’t look excited. I’m scowling.”
I bit back a sigh. “It’s sarcasm.”
“I’ve told you before, I don’t understand it,” he said.
“None of goblinkind understands sarcasm,” I said. “In another hundred years I’m going to lose my understanding completely.”
Another hundred years. It hadn’t hit me yet, not until I said it out loud. Another hundred years. It had been a hundred years since my village was slaughtered, a hundred years as a thrall in Soren’s service. Well, ninety-nine years and eight months, anyway, but who’s counting? Despite the century passing by, I still looked the same as I had when I was forcefully brought into this cursed land. Or, at least, mostly; the scars on my chest hadn’t been there a hundred years ago, and the now-hollow spot where my right breast should have been burned. The four months when I’d belonged to another were not something I liked to think about. I still woke up screaming from nightmares about it. My throat went dry and I swallowed. Soren isn’t Lydian.

7 Jan 2019

ARC #Review: LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE by Claire Kann

07 January 0 Comments

LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE

Author: Claire Kann
Series: N/A
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting--working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she's asexual). Alice is done with dating--no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
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.

I could not stand the writing style with the extra information in brackets. It pulled me out of the story every time it happened. (Which was a lot.) But the romance was cute. Definitely not YA though, Alice is a sophomore in college so like this is New Adult. Which is fine but I wish it was labelled as such.

5 Jan 2019

#StackingTheShelves (1): January 5, 2019

05 January 1 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!

Happy 2019!


Today is my first Stacking the Shelves post and I can't wait to start this weekly meme with you guys so you can learn more about books.

In case you missed it, I kicked off Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays again! I am starting with a giveaway for a copy of THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin.


4 Jan 2019

ARC #Review: GRIM LOVELIES by Megan Shepherd

04 January 1 Comments

GRIM LOVELIES

Author: Megan Shepherd
Series: Grim Lovelies #1
Source: Raincoast Books
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Raincoast Books and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

I liked a lot of this one - it was really interesting, kept my attention, and had a really cool magic system. I thought it was a little too long in certain areas, but I loved the way the characters developed and especially the ending! There are some review out there talking about the "bury your gays" trope, but the character isn't explicitly dead on the page so I am choosing to believe they are alive until actually stated otherwise.