Illumicrate Unboxing – November 2017

unboxing

Illumicrate is a bookish subscription box based in the UK. It contains at least one book and lots of other bookish delights. It is a quarterly box that arrives in February, May, August and November.

This is the nineth illumicrate box so far and they are now beginning to do special boxes around certain series – they’ve recently done a Grisha box and their next one is a Howler (Red Rising). I think they plan on doing a ACOTAR themed box soon too!

I’m always super excited to get these not only for the books but for the amazing bookish goodies with it.

Spoilers ahead! Don’t read on if you haven’t opened yours yet…

November Box

dsc_0073

Artemis by Andy Weir (exclusive edition)

I wasn’t overly excited when I first pulled this book out of the box as it doesn’t really look like the sort of book I would usually choose for myself. But that’s part of the reason I subscribe to this box! When I read the blurb, it actually sounds really interesting!

My Thoughts (2)

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of Jazz’s problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself – and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even more unlikely than the first.

DSC_0177.JPG

Bookish Tea Towel by @evannaveillustration (exclusive)

Always need a tea towel to wash up all my tea mugs. plus, the design is in my favourite colour. Win.

DSC_0178.JPG

“The Right Book” Print by @nutmegandarlo (exclusive)

I adore this quote! I’m putting it straight up in my classroom for all my children to see.

DSC_0179

Unicorn Journal by @prismofstarlings (exclusive)

This has a super cute design on the outside but my favourite part is the inside. It has the birthdays of famous literary figures, which I just love!

DSC_0180

Reading in Bed canle by @ Merakicandles (exclusive)

This is my favourite item in the box! It smells like chocolate and it looks gorgeous. I loved the last candle Meraki Candles did for the box too – I will definitely be ordering people presents from them!

DSC_0185

Moon and Stars Necklace by @ohpandaeyes (exclusive)

The description say “a little tribute to stories set in space” but my first thought was Game of Thrones. Eitherway, this is super cute!

Extras: Excerpts of The Mortal Coil and Iron Gold, and an ARC of The City of Brass by S.A.Chakraborty.

This has a beautiful cover! It’s not released until Spring 2018 so we’re very lucky 🙂

My Thoughts (2)

 

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for

DSC_0189.JPG


Have you bought anything from these suppliers?

Are you subscribed or going to subscribe to Illumicrate?

DSC_0193

Advertisements

The Awakening + The Struggle (Vampire Diaries #1+2) by

The Awakening & The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2)

Title: The Awakening + The Struggle
Author: L.J.Smith
Series: Vampire Diaries #1+2
Publication: 1st January 2007
Genre: 

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

The Awakening: Elena Gilbert is used to getting what she wants and she wants mysterious new boy, Stefan. But Stefan is hiding a deadly secret – a secret that will change Elena’s life for ever …

The Struggle: Elena is torn between her boyfriend, Stefan, and his brother, Damon. But these brothers hide dark secrets and a tragic past that threatens them all. Damon wants to lead Elena astray – and he’d rather kill Stefan than let him possess her …

My Thoughts

I dragged myself through this book so I could tick off the challenge, from Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge, of reading one of the 100 best YA books. Imagine my frustration when I realised I got confused and it’s actually Vampire Academy that’s on the list, not this. On the bright side, at least this isn’t in the top 100 best YA Books because it’s truly awful.

The first book was originally written in 1999, so years before Twilight. However, it was hard not to draw connects between the two as it’s incredibly similar. They both had annoying and whiny main characters, stupid instalove and frustrating writing. This obviously reflects worse on Twilight than this book. I can’t say I was overly impressed with either of the books but at least Twilight was slightly better writing and marginally better characters.

The main character, Elena, is blonde, skinny and self claimed queen of the school. She prides herself on getting any boy she wants, so when a dark, handsome boy walks past her, completely blanking her, she instantly dumps her boyfriend and won’t rest until this stranger is hers. Rolling your eyes yet? It get worse. She is just a horrible person, she is manipulative, obssessive and egocentric.

Of course this dark, brooding stranger is a vampire and is staying away from her because she looks exactly like the love of his life from his past. He spends half of the first book ignoring her and when they finally do talk BANG they’re together and “in love”. God knows why, maybe because they’re both as dry as each other?

Then there’s Stefan’s brother, Damon. He’s the consistant “bad guy” who sexy and mysterious. Guess what, he want Elena too. Funny that. Turns out he was in love with the girl that Elena looks like too.

Guess I should have learnt from the TV series. Wasn’t overly impressed with that either.

My Thoughts (1)

1-star

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

You know how last week I said I had been naughty and bought a stupid amount of books? Well, I maaaay have done it again. I’m not even sorry. It was 3 for £10, how can you say no?

I bought Open Very Carefully and Zog and the Flying Doctors for my class. I was also an idiot and went to buy The Lion Inside but accidentally clicked kindle, so now it’s no use to anyone 😦 I also bough Parsnips, Buttered : How to win at modern life one email at a time, The Light Between Oceans, Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime and The Hufflepuff Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Although I’ve bought a stupid amount of books I’ve actually done some reading this week! How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends was not my best purchase, but that’ll teach me for not reading the children’s book before I buy it. I completed Parsnips, Buttered : How to win at modern life one email at a time by Joe Lycett, which was so so funny. I also read Saga and Fables (reviews on Thursday).

Saga Vol. 1 by [Vaughan, Brian]Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile (Fables, #1)

A child also made me stifle laughter when they randomly asked “Do you know what boozy means?” When I asked them if they did, they replied with “It means when you’re really really cozy.” How adorable is that?!

My friend’s child also seriously thinks babies are conceived by the man weeing on the bed and the lady sitting in the wee. I really hope they haven’t gone around telling their friends that!

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

I’ve been so naughty this week. I’ve bought a stupid amount of books even though I don’t have the time or space for them!

It didn’t take much persuading but I bought Blood for Blood because I liked the first book so much. I was looking for some good children’s books about friendships (If you know any, please throw your suggestions this way) and ended up buying two books. Then I accidentally bought Sarah Millican’s autobiography.  I’m such a nosey moo and have started getting into autobiographies – mainly about female comedians. Yesterday we were in the Picaddily Waterstones and it would be rude not to buy a book from there, right? So Daz got the the first two Witcher graphic novels and I finally bought Saga.

Wolf by Wolf: Blood for Blood: Book 2 by [Graudin, Ryan]The Witcher Volume 1 by [Tobin, Paul]Saga Vol. 1 by [Vaughan, Brian]

My housemates both watch YouTubers playing video games (don’t ask me what ones, I have no idea….) In one of the videos they were telling each other facts to throw each other off. My house mates have been repeating some throughout the week. my personal favourites are;

Did you know a blue whales’ penis can be over 8ft long?

Did you know the ant eater has the largest penis to body size ratio?

Did you know 1/4 of your bones are in your feet?

 

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

This week I’ve been feeling rally sorry for myself. I’ve been ill. I hate being ill and I’m one Wolf by Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1)of these people that pretends I’m not and power through. Seriously, i went to school with the flu and fell asleep before. So the fact that I had to have not one but TWO days off week this week was very frustrating. On the plus side I spend my day just sleeping, reading and having a bath – so it’s not all bad, right?  I managed to finally read Wolf by Wolf which was incredible and I spend the evening gushing about it to my housemates – My review is due to go up on Thursday but to summarise it, if you haven’t read Wolf by Wolf , go and read it! Cheer Up Buttercup

As it was payday, and I used up all my bath supplies having so many baths, I went a bit crazy in Lush and bought lots of lovely new ones. I particularly like Cheer Up Buttercup (it’s so zingy!)

I’m also really excited because I’ve finally been put on a place for Maths training. My Mr finds it weird that I’m so excited about this (and he’s head of Maths…).

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.

Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.

Title: Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Jusr Me.
Author: Lily Collins.
Series: N/A
Publication: 27th March 2017 by Harper Collins
Genre: Biography

My Thoughts (2)

Goodreads

In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins—star of Mortal Instruments and the upcoming Rules Don’t Apply—is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating, and so much more.

For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She’s learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.

My Thoughts

I have been wanting this book for a while and finally caved and bought it. I started reading it in the bath and didn’t stop until the water turned cold.

This isn’t a biography with a sequenced timeline but is more of a collection of essays, or personally life experiences under a set header – a bit like Anna Kendrick’s book. I imagine this is because it’s more aimed at Young Adult audience.

Lily opens up about a lot of different things; her family, her relationships, her battle with anorexia, her tattoos. She discusses overcoming every day obstacles and issues that many of her audience would experience. It was refreshing, eye opening and relieving to read. Her brutal honesty, especially with her abusive relationships and anorexia, was unexpected and eye opening, and I imagine would come as great support to many of her readers.

As it was done by topic headings rather than being her timeline, it did mean that some things were repeated a few times, her relationships being one of them. However, I absolutely loved the chapter on her tattoos. I love knowing people’s stories and meanings behind their tattoos and Lily has one behind all of them – plus we got to see photos, that’s always great.

I liked Lily before I read this but came out liking her even more afterwards; we’d make great friends discussing Harry Potter over tea. Mine would be hot, yuck to cold tea.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

ARC August: Week 2

ARC August begins! graphicWoah, we’ve come to the end of the second week of ARC August (hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat). This week wasn’t anywhere near as good as last week, I only managed to complete Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I’ve started Age of Swords (The Legends of the First Empire #2). I loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. If you haven’t read it yet, I would definitely recommend you go and get it now.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

 

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live.

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

Age of Swords (The Legends of the First Empire, #2)

Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhune make it all but impossible to unite against a common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess makes the Fhrey indistinguishable from gods?

The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feels nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid—a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan. There, an ancient adversary waits—an enemy as surprising as it is deadly.

In total, I’ve managed to raise my Netgalley percentage from 66% to 72%!


Have you managed to read any ARCs this month?

Love Hurts by Malorie Blackman + more

Love Hurts

Title: Love Hurts
Author: Malorie Blackman, Patrick Ness, Lauren Myracle, Gayle Foreman, Susie Day, Jenny Downham, Maureen Johnson, Laura Dockrill, David Levithan, Markus Zusak, Lauren Kate, Catherine Johnson, James Dawson, Philip Pullman, E. Lockhart, Non Pratt, Bali Rai, Melvin Burgess, Phil Earle, Andrew Smith, Matt haig, Tabitha Suzuma and Marcus Sedgwick
Series: N/A
Publication: 29th January 2015 by Corgi Children’s
Genre: YA, Love and Romance, Fiction.

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A book written by at least two authors.

This book counts towards my ARC August 2017

Advanced Reading Copy provided, in exchanged for an honest review, from the publishers.

My Thoughts (2)

Have you ever fallen for someone the rest of the world thought you shouldn’t have? Malorie Blackman brings together the very best young adult authors writing today in a stunningly romantic collection of love against the odds.

Featuring stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak. This is a collection for anyone who has ever loved and lost – and loved again…

My Thoughts

This is an anthology combining a mixture of clippings from books and novellas, all about love, by some very famous and talented authors.

It contains clippings from:

  • More Than This by Patrick Ness
  • The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
  • If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
  • Trouble by Non Pratt
  • Rani and Dukh by Bali Rai
  • You Against Me by Jenny Downham
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  • Junk by Melvin Burgess
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • Heroic by Phil Earle
  • I Am Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
  • Echo Boyu by Matt Haig
  • Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  • Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
  • Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
  • We Were Liars by E Lockhart

And short stories by:

  • Malorie Blackman
  • Susie Day
  • Laura Dockrill
  • David Levithan
  • Lauren Kate
  • Catherine Johnson
  • James Dawson

This book is a complete mix, containing something for everyone. It has stories about blindness, transgender, coming out and incest. It has all different stories all with the main theme of love. And best of all, it’s not all straight love and not all from the girl’s perspective.

I had already read some of the clippings in here, like: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, Northern Lights by Philip Pullman and Troubled by Non Pratt, so I just skipped these. I’m not going to lie, there were some stories that didn’t grab me, but the best thing is that I could skip that clip and go onto the next bit. I didn’t have to drag myself through tonnes of pages just to complete the story. There were a lot of clipping that did grab my attention, and I know I’ll be adding to my every growing TBR list.

My favourite short story was definitely the first one by Malorie Blackman Humming through my fingers. It was just so interesting and beautiful – I would happily read an entire book about this. I didn’t want it to end.

If you’re expecting a novel by Malorie Blackman then you will be thoroughly disappointed. But if you’re looking for some short stories and new books, this is the book for you.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

Top Ten Books I’ve Read Due To The Blogging Community

35fed-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. They’re currently on a break until mid-August so I’m choosing some past topics I missed out on in the meantime. This week I’ve chosen “ Top Ten Books I’ve Read Due To The Blogging Community”.

Some of these I loved and others not so much….

Click on the book cover to see my reviews!

 

When Dimple Met RishiLady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)One Of Us Is LyingAnna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Holding Up the UniverseEverything, EverythingAll the Bright PlacesCarry OnWhen We CollidedHarry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)


Which of these books have you read?

What books have you read because of the blogging community?

Help, please!

I’ve found myself in a bit of reading rut lately. Every book I pick up I’ve ended up putting down after less than 50 pages.

These are the ones I’ve tried reading, with no luck:

Angel of Storms (Millennium’s Rule, #2)Nineteen Eighty-FourGraceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It AllThe Best of Adam Sharp

… and these are the last books I’ve read that I enjoyed:

Truth or DareOne of Us Is LyingDreamland

Have you got an suggestions of books I could read to pull me out of this rut? I don’t really have a genre I fancy reading at the moment – I guess just anything easy and enjoyable.

Thaaaaanks!