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In Reading, Review on
October 23, 2016

OwlCrate Review (Once Upon a Dream Theme)

OwlCrate review - is it with the price?

OwlCrate Review – YA Book Subscription Box

Today I am sharing with you an OwlCrate review (c/o). OwlCrate is a $29.99 young adult book subscription service where each box follows a theme. In each box comes a book and items related to that book or theme. The October box had a Once Upon a Dream theme. Click read more below to see what came in my box and whether or not I think the cost was worth the price of this book subscription.

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In Reading, Review on
August 21, 2016

Review and Giveaway: The Curse of the Sphinx & Demigods and Monsters by Raye Wagner

The Curse of the Sphinx and Demigods and Monsters Giveaway by Raye Wagner

Hi Kind Friends! Today we have a review and giveaway for The Curse of the Sphinx and Demigods and Monsters by Raye Wagner, books 1 and 2 in the Sphinx series. I’ve been noticing a resurgence in mythological based Young Adult books lately. Have you seen it too?

The Sphinx series follows Hope as she first tries to keep hidden from the beings sent to kill her (in book one) and then as she tries to break the curse that has befallen her family for centuries (in book two). This curse forces her to transform into a “monster”, a sphinx, for a few days out of each month. Can she break the curse?

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In Reading, Review on
August 4, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane

BookTube Tour and Blog Tour - There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane

Hello, Kind Friends! Today I’m bringing to you a book review video from the LovingDemBooks BookTubeTour group. This month I’m featuring There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane and it’s one of my favorite reads so far this year. I’m sure you all will love it!

Here is the book synopsis:

Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of her dome. Now Nat wants answers. What else might her government be hiding from the good and loyal people of Dome 1618?

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In Reading, Review on
June 5, 2016

Review + Giveaway – Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder by Julie Wetzel

Hello Kind Friends! Today I’m happy to be sharing with you a book review in collaboration with the LovingDemBooks BookTube Tours for Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder by Julie Wetzel.

I received this book in exchange for a review, but this post has not been sponsored and my options are my own.

This story is set in New York City where Vicky gets a job as the personal assistant to the CEO of Ritter Industries. Before she knows it she is thrown into the world vampires and her boss is one of the most admired of them all. There is a light romance in the book, but it looks like the actual vampire romance elements will come more into the picture in book two.

 

Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder Book Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed turning off my brain as I entered into Vicky’s life. The writing style of the author is usually not what I’d chose in a novel, as I prefer more descriptions and comparative language while this story was more straightforward, but as a whole this book entertained me and kept me stress-free on hard days. That’s exactly what I hope to find when I’m reading!

Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder by Julie Wetzel Book Review

I was pretty much binging this book during my work lunch breaks. I wonder what books baby Jack will enjoy reading?

As for things I think could be improved upon; the main character didn’t seem to have any flaws in the story, which made her come off at times as slightly Mary Sue. As I move through the series I hope to see a little more development of this character. I also had trouble moving past some of the typos in the story, as I felt there were a little more than I’d typically see in a published novel.

On another note, if you actually read the acknowledgements of the first two books, you find out that they were initially combined in one manuscript. The story was written by Julie to help keep her sister entertained while she was deployed and I just love that idea. It made me happy to have that little sneak peek into the origins of this novel.

Enter the International Book Giveaway for Julie Wetzel’s Debut Novel

On Goodreads I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars. I’m about 20% into the sequel, so make sure to add me on Goodreads to see my review once I finish part two of Kindling Flames.

Don’t forget to also enter the international giveaway to win a swag pack of Kindling Flames. You can also get five additional entries if you purchase the eBook or physical book of Kindling Flames. To get those entries, make sure to email a copy of your receipt to LovingDemBooks@gmail.com. 

You can purchase Kindling Flames on Amazon, Book Depository, and Barnes and Noble. Add it to your Want to Read list on Goodreads and check out reviews here.

What have you been reading lately? Send me your thoughts in the comments!

In Reading, Review on
May 21, 2016

The Crown by Kiera Cass Book Review

Who does Eadlyn pick at the end of her Selection?

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass has finally come to a close. I can’t believe it! I’ve been enjoying and re-reading this series over and over again the past three or so years and it’s odd to finally have a conclusion.

If you haven’t heard of The Selection Series, here is a synopsis of book one:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

In the below video I share my book review of The Crown as a whole (with and without spoilers) and how it fits in relation to the series.

 

Overall, I believe that the plot elements of The Heir and The Crown were really interesting, but I felt that they should have been explored with a few additional other scenarios added in more gradually as a three book arc. Eadlyn’s transformation isn’t a surprise to me, but I felt like it should have been more built up over time, especially considering the huge announcement she released to the country on the Capital Report in the last chapter.

As for the husband she ends up choosing, I’m happy with the choice (for spoilers on who wins Eadlyn’s selection, see the above video). However, I feel like the relationship was rushed in the last quarter of the book. There had been a few hints in book four, but it wasn’t what I would consider a gradual love that built up because of the way it was presented.

See more details in my above video and if you haven’t, check out the creative book trailer for The Crown from Epic Reads.

Did you read The Selection series? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.

Don’t forget to also follow me on Goodreads for more book thoughts.

In My Journal, Reading on
February 15, 2016

I Confess, I’m Binging Books

Books and books and books and books

Why I'm trying to stop my book binging habit

I love to read. I feel like I’m pretty much always reading. And you know what? When I think back on the books I’ve read recently, I have trouble remembering the plots of those books. That’s just not cool. Because what is the point of reading, if the stories don’t stay with me?

I wish I could blame Audible and the convenience of Overdrive (renting audiobooks? I’m so down!), the new binging culture brought upon by the ease of Netflix, or any other reason. But it’s me. I’m letting myself get swept up, letting the dishes wait a little longer, listening to my phone wherever possible, staying up a bit later, waking a bit earlier, binging bing binging.

So one of my goals for February is to calm it all done, and take my time with books. I don’t need to multitask so often, I need to soak it all in. Why? Books are magic, they transport you into another person’s life, took authors over a year to create, and that shouldn’t be rushed. I think all of the hard work that went into a book should provide me entertainment for a whole week, not just two days.

To illustrate my point, here is my most recent book wrap-up video where I explain the 11 books (yes, 11!) I’ve read these past two months and a little more on why I need to slow it down.

Books mentioned: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirMatched by Ally Condie, Crossed by Ally Condie, Reached by Ally Condie, The White Rose (Lone City #2) by Amy Ewing, The Jewel (Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing, Similar to a fantasy version of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Crime by Marie RutkoskiTeardrop by Lauren Kate, These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerPrincess Academy by Shannon HalePalace of Stone (Princess Academy #2) by Shannon HaleThe Forgotten Sisters (Princess Academy #3) by Shannon Hale, and The Siren by Kiera Cass

That’s a lot of books discussed in such a short amount of time!

So, let’s admit it, how many of us out there are binging books and TV shows as well?

Personally, I just hate knowing that there is a conclusion to the story out there, and I could know what it is RIGHT NOW, if I kept reading. I think that’s one of the main reasons I’m a binge reader and Netflix marathoner.

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In Reading on
January 12, 2016

The Best Young Adult Books I Read in 2015

Book recommendations for those that love young adult books and dystropian fiction

My favorite thing about young adult books is that they cover the really emotional age where teens are finding out who they are and where they stand in the world, which is a genre I am all about. Especially if you throw in a dash of dystopia and magic.

Today I’m sharing with you all five of the best young adult books I read last year, they all happen to be part of series’ so if you give these stories a shot you’ll end up with a lot of reading material. Four of the five are dystopian and one is a time-travel romance so we’ve got some fun plots to talk about.

In no particular order, my favorite five books I enjoyed reading in 2015:

1. Shatter Me by Tahera Maffi: Remember when I said this list was in no particular order? I lied. This book was placed at the top of the list because it is now my favorite book of all time. Shatter Me covers the life of Juliet, a girl born with a touch that kills. Literally. Abandoned by her family, we follow Juliette and the life she leads after she is abandoned by her family. This story is gripping, making me want to scream and cry simultaneously.

2. Matched by Ally Condie: This is a new series I started last month, where everything is decided for you by the government using statistics meant to create the optimum efficiency. But when Cassia is accidentally matched with two husbands, she starts to fall for the mistake and questions everything she has ever believed.

Both Shatter Me and Matched are narrated on Audible by Kate Simses and she does such an amazing job. If you don’t have an audible subscription, sign up at audibletrial.com/rebecca and get one of the above books for free. You won’t regret it! She is so talented.

A video sharing this information:

3. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier: This is a very unique time-travel young adult book, adapted from German. It stars Gwyneth, a girl born into a time-traveling family. Every few generations, a time-traveler is born and Gwyneth has been lead to believe her cousin, Charlotte, is that person. But despite all of Charlotte’s training, when the day of her first reported time-traveling incident was supposed to happen, Gwyneth time travels instead. Surprise!

4. The Heir by Kiera Cass: This is the fourth book in The Selection Series. The first three books in the series that covers the America Singer as she participates in basically a reality show to win the love of the future king of their dystopian society. This fourth book, released in 2015, covers America’s daughter as she participated in a similar scenario. The fifth and final book comes out later this year.

The author Kiera also has a YouTube channel that I love watching. She hasn’t updated it in almost a year, but the content she’s put up in the past has really helped me get to know the author and her family – which has been so fun.

5. Winter by Marissa Meyer: This is the last book in a series of fairytale retellings. The series follows different versions of Cinderella, Red Ridding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White as they take down a threat from a colony on the moon and fight the plague. Now that is a fun plot!

There you have it, Kind Friends, the five book series I really enjoyed this past year.

Want to keep updated on what I’m reading? Add me on Goodreads.

What were your favorite books of 2015? I’d love to know what you’ve been reading.