July “Good vs. Evil” OwlCrate Unboxing!

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A couple days ago I’ve received my second OwlCrate box. In case you don’t know what that means, OwlCrate is a monthly book subscription box. There is a different theme for each month, but you neither know which book you are going to get, nor which 2-3 awesome goodies it will include. You can find out more details by clicking here.

This month was especially exciting because you could receive one of two boxes. Either the good or the evil one and I have joined the forces of GOOD! (Not that I had much of a choice, as with everything, the box you got was a surprise)

The Book

I’ve been right about the book for the second time in a row, which just makes me incredibly happy! We got This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab, which I totally would have ordered if I didn’t have the feeling it would be in this box. The constant mention of monsters and human and where the line is drawn just made me feel really sure that this would be the book. I haven’t started it yet, but will fairly soon. The chapter headers remind me of the Silence from Doctor Who, which is already a good sign that I will like it.

The Goodies

So, here are the amazing things that were included in this month’s box:

  • Full size Funko Pop figure – if you received the good box, you had a 50/50 chance of either receiving Luna Lovegood or Dobby to remind you to always be yourself and be kind. Although I would have loved to get Luna, I am happy with my Dobby. He looks so desperate and cute with his little sock in his hand.
  • Millennium Falcon necklace by Vector Engraving – it is so beautiful guys! I love things that are made of wood, so this is brilliant. The only downside is that the clasp is not really working, which is a real bummer. It’s sort of stuck, but I’m going to try and see if I can fix it.
  • Alice bookmark by Jane’s Tiny Things – it’s a really cute magnetic bookmark and I don’t think I have to tell you how much I adore all things Alice. I also think that it’s actually prettier than the Queen of Hearts the evil box had in it, so I am double happy.
  • Illuminae sticker by Drop and Give Me Nerdy – it hasn’t been too long that I’ve read Illuminae, so that was a nice treat. I don’t know if I will ever use the sticker, because I am scared of putting it on something and then not liking it there, but not being able to ever get it off without ruining it. I guess I will just leave it like that.
  • A letter, signed book plate and little coloring book – all of those things are amazing and I’ve been thinking about getting one of those adult coloring books for a while now, so getting a sample with YA covers is just brilliant. I can test it and see if I really want a whole book for that (because those things are expensive).

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I will most likely post more pictures on my Instagram account soon, but as you might have been able to see from my lack of posting, life has been rather busy lately. As much as I love getting these amazing boxes from Owlcrate, I do feel the urge to check out something else. For September I’ve already set my eyes on a Fairyloot box, but I will have to see what I’ll do for August. And I better do it quick before everything is sold out!

What do you think? Have you ordered one before? Which one did you get?

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (Book Review)

SerpentKing

Publisher: Crown Publishing
Page Count
: 370

I bought The Serpent King because I saw many (really, oh so many) good reviews for it, but I didn’t actually have a clue what it was about. The only thing I did know was that even though it has a title that 100% screams Fantasy at me, it’s a YA contemporary and apparently a brilliant one at that. Well, after reading it, I certainly cannot disagree!

I did not fall in love with this book headfirst. Set in a religious small town in the deep South of the US, you are immediately confronted with the sad reality of Dill, Travis’ and Lydia’s life. They are passionate, funny but also different, which makes them instant outsiders in their world. The whole thing was laced with this kind of inherent sadness that I just wasn’t prepared for. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading the book, but I didn’t love it, yet slowly and gradually it won me over.

Dill, Travis and Lydia are such strong characters and this book will push you down to the ground until you sob about their fate and then be the helping hand that guides you up again and shows you the better side of things. Whenever there was a truly happy instance, it got crushed immediately or vice versa. It didn’t feel like made up drama though, they may not have been conventional circumstances for all of us, but they definitely felt honest, raw and real.

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The beauty of it all was that you could easily find a piece of yourself in each of the characters. I designated Lydia to be my personal kindred spirit. She’s a blogger too (even though she talks about fashion which I know virtually nothing about – that’s really only semantics) and she is so confident and quick and smart, she is the kind of person I wish I had been in high school. Travis is this incredibly sweet and darling guy, who is completely lost in the fictional world of his favourite books and seriously, who cannot relate to that? And Dill … Dill feels stuck and as if everyone is leaving him behind after graduation. They all have their hardships to face, even though I think the guys have it much more difficult than Lydia, who at least has the most amazing, present and caring parents (which is ever so rare in YA these days).

I feel like there is so much to say about this book, but I simply don’t know how to express it! A couple of unexpected things happen, especially one big twist. It felt so very twisted in the faith department and it showed so much injustice. That’s a thing I can never handle very well, because it’s so unfair and all you can do is just watch … This book definitely crushed my feelings, but it also gave me so much hope and inspiration. I will gladly pick up the next book by Zentner.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Broke my heart into a million pieces and then mended it again.

5stars

Do you feel like picking up this heartbreaker? Have you read it already? Tell me all about it!

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (Book Review)

TUE

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count
: 518

I read The Unexpected Everything together with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much. Although it turned out that it wouldn’t be our favourite Matson book, we still had tons of fun reading it.

This is really the perfect summer read. I get that it’s not actually summer everywhere on the planet at the same time, but still, it does fit the summer time perfectly. I thought that it featured really original and unique characters, even if the plot itself was sort of predictable. Yet it covers so many different topics in a super entertaining way, that one can overlook the flaws easily. It’s not happy all the time, but it’s all about friendship, family, first love and dog walking. (You have to love those dogs!) It’s about how people change and how they sometimes need to find their way outside of their comfort zone.

It was one of the first times where I could not relate to the main character, Andie in this case, the most – at least concering Matson’s books. I got her control freak ways and fear of not getting where she is supposed to go in the future, but that was about it. I much more adored and related to Clark and immediately crowned him as one of my new favourite book boyfriends (yes, there are several!). He is geeky, awkward and adorable. His job is definitely goals (although I don’t want to spoil you) and he’s just downright a good guy.

I am not sure how I feel about the length of the whole thing. Only twenty chapters in over 500 pages is not very much … somehow I prefer shorter chapters as they increase the pace of the whole story for me. There were tons of lovely and really “normal” moments, that just showed the relationships beautifully and I don’t regret having those moments, but I am just saying … maybe a tad long. However, I loved that Matson pulled a bit of a Rainbow Rowell and added snippets of a Fantasy novel inbetween. Now, if only she would agree to make that a full story!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A great, engaging summer read!

4stars

Did you read TUE? What’s your opinion of it?

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour/David Levithan (Book Review)

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Publisher: St. Martins Griffin
Page Count
: 250

I got this book because I won it at a giveaway (my FIRST giveaway win!) from Aila who is blogging at One Way or an Author AND Happy Indulgence. She’s currently on hiatus, but I still cannot thank her enough for hosting the giveaway and letting me choose this amazing book! THANK YOU!

I don’t know if you remember, but a while back there was this TTT topic of author duos you wish were real, and I totally called for a Levithan-LaCour-pairing AND IT HAPPENED! Not because I said it, since they were already working on You Know Me Well by then, but I didn’t know that … so, I like to pretend my wishful thinking made it come true! I just knew that combined, they would make a beautiful LGBT+ novel and I was right! It would have been the perfect read for Pride month, but you should celebrate pride all year round, so I am not that disappointed I didn’t get to it in June.

This is not a book about teens coming out (although there may or may not be a character in the story who still needs to come to terms with his sexuality), but rather it is about finding that one person you feel comfortable with. Where you are not afraid to be yourself around and who you are ready to be there for and share everything with – a true friend. Kate and Mark have been in school with each other for years but they weren’t among the same group of people, until one fateful night brings them together. I definitely don’t believe in insta-love, but I do think that insta-friendship can be real.

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Sometimes you just click with a person and that’s what happened here and it’s 100% platonic and there is no indication of romancing between Kate and Mark whatsoever, which is just perfect (and the way it should be since they both aren’t into the other gender). They were comfortable with their sexuality and so were their surroundings. I am not saying that they didn’t have to face problems in their life because of it at some point, but I was so happy to see them in an accepting environment, that simply took it all as a given.

As much as it was about friendship, it was also about changing relationships, heartbreak, wrong expectations, fear of the future and the fact that everyone needs to figure out their path all by themselves at some point in their life. I loved that, because I could relate to so much of it. But first and foremost, I adored how good it made me feel. I was on the verge of crying and it wasn’t because it made me sad, but because it was so precious.

Lastly, I remain of the opinion that Levithan does his best work when he is having a co-author to par with and I am glad this one worked out so well. It all took place during the course of a week, but I didn’t even need 24 hours to finish it, which means it was way too short for me. I could read about the adventures of Mark and Kate forever!

Fazit: 5/5 rainbows! Light, beautiful and really fun! Perfect (but not only) for Pride month!

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Have you read You Know Me Well? What do you think? Do you want to read it?

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand/Brodi Ashton/Jodi Meadows (Book Review)

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Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count
: 512

For those of you who didn’t know yet, I received My Lady Jane as part of my June OwlCrate box (more about that here). I was super proud to have guessed the book right, however, I didn’t actually know what it was about. I knew that it was some sort of alternate historical novel, but I had never heard of Lady Jane Grey before (I am totally oblivious to some things … such as the succession history of British monarchs). I definitely didn’t expect the book to be as hilarious as it was though, even though multiple reviews have claimed that already. Humour, after all, is something very subjective.

I don’t really want to spoil you for the story, because where’s the fun in that? But the special spin on the story is that it’s fantasy – there’s a definite element of magic in form of Eðians (pronounced as eth-y-uns). Said people are able to transform into certain animals, yet not all of them can control their change. It’s so very interesting to find out how the different animals correspond with characteristics of the people. The country is split between those capable of that ancient magic and those not, which in turn just creates a prime example of racism (or magicism … no idea). Also, the book covers female empowerment as well, with grace and humour like nothing I have seen before.

So, the book treats those really important topics, while being funny and entertaining to no end at the same time. It has strong characters, which I am sure you can find part of yourself in without a problem. Jane, foremost, is so outspoken and bookish, she could really be any of us!

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Nonetheless, the book is not flawless, how else could it be? Sometimes the pacing is a bit wonky and it doesn’t go as in depth with the characters as it maybe could, but that is what makes it such a light and enjoyable read and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! It has one of the sweetest and most on point happy endings I have seen and I am still so very glad that I got it in the OwlCrate box! Now, I am only hoping I am right for July as well (my guess is on This Savage Song)!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Will make you laugh out loud in public places without shame, because it’s just that good!

5stars

Have you heard of My Lady Jane? Do you want to read it? Which animal would you turn to, what do you think?

June “Royalty” OwlCrate Unboxing!

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As I’ve mentioned in the previous month, I have finally ordered my very first OwlCrate box. If you have no idea what that means, OwlCrate is a monthly book subscription box. You neither know which book you are going to get, nor which 2-3 awesome goodies it will include. There is a different theme for each month, but you can find out more details by clicking here. Now, I hope no one considers themselves spoiled by this post, but I think the 1st of July is a legit day to do the unboxing.

The Book

The book is *drum rolls* My Lady Jane and I absolutely adore it already. It’s an alternative historical YA Fantasy novel, changing the life of Lady Jane Grey completely. The authors wrote quite the stunning and also funny letter for all the OwlCrate recipients and even included a paper crown – I felt so royal. I didn’t know much about the book going in though and I don’t really want to give away anything now either, so just let me tell you that it’s hysterical. I laughed out loud several times while being on public transport, which caused strangers to glare at me, but I didn’t even care. This book is bound to life your spirits!

The Goodies

You’ll see the pictures of everything at the end of the post, but here is some info on the content of the box.

  • Magnetic bookmarks by craftedvan – which are absolutely adorable. They were made exclusively for the box and are a king, queen and carriage!
  • A bracelet by RichShoppeLove – it’s a quote from the Lunar Chronicles, which makes me want to pick up the books even more!
  • A print by Evie Bookish – inspired by Red Queen, it fit the theme perfectly
  • Funko Mystery Mini – I was SO excited about them, because I have a slight obsession with mystery minis. The suspense of which one you are going to get is just the greatest. They were all part of the Disney Princess mystery minis and I got Tiana from Princess and the Frog, which makes me happy, because I was already considering buying her as a pop figure. SHE IS SO ADORABLE!
  • Sneak Peek card for next month! I am not going say what it said on the back, but it’s commonly known that the theme for July is Good vs. Evil. For the first time ever, there will be two different boxes inspired by heroes and villains, namely from Harry Potter, Star Wars and Alice in Wonderland. I AM SO EXCITED! (Yes, that means I will get it again!)

So, as mentioned above, the July box will be “Good vs. Evil”-themed. There are only very few spots left and the biggest excitement is that no one will know which of the two possible boxes they will get. So, if you want to order one before it is too late, just click here and don’t forget to use the code WELCOME15 to get 15% off your first order!

What do you think? Would you want a box as well? Have you ordered one before?