First Lines Friday

Goodbye November, hello December! The last month of the year and, just like all the others, we think that this one will fly past us as well. We want to wish everyone some happy holidays! Whether that’s Christmas, Kwannza, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, or just spending time with your family, we hope that you have good and safe times. (But we’ll also probably wish specific holidays as they come up.)

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today is/was the last day of the survey. By the time you read this, the link will be closed down and you won’t be able to take it. Thank you to everyone who took it! We appreciate it. But, if you forgot or ran out of time, never fear! Feel free to click that contact button to email us books you’d like to see us read in 2018.

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


Dr. Stephenson turned away from the bed where the dying man lay breathing so lightly the blanket over his thin chest barely stirred. His bony, restless fingers plucking at the edge of the wool were the only signs of life and awareness. Twice the young woman sitting on the bed beside him had tried to still them, covering them with her own, but her father’s hand picked up the silent tattoo again, like a drummer remembering his place, as soon as she released it. He had already frayed an inch of the binding. She gave up and sat back, sighing.


This book is one that I’m not terribly excited to read. Why, you might ask? It’s the fifth book of a, currently, 20 book long series. And a series that hasn’t thrilled me. But, I keep going back to it. I guess I’m fitting the definition of insanity with this book choice, which is…

WATCHERS OF TIME BY CHARLES TODD

Watchers of Time (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #5)

The biggest draws to this series are the writing and the uniqueness of this series. So, the writing is beautifully haunting and nostalgic. Then, Ian Rutledge, the main character, is a veteran of World War I who has the diagnosis of shell shock (which we now would call PTSD) and hears the voice of a fellow soldier who died during the war.

Sadly, though, I do find this series a bit dull at times. And the books, from what I remember, bleed together. Yet, it’s usually a series I pick up once a year to read a book or two of since I generally like it.


She waits until we’re driving over the bridge to tell me. This is a strategic move. Wait until your temperamental daughter is suspended over the Atlantic Ocean to drop the bomb, thereby decreasing the chance that she’ll fling open the car door and hurl herself over the edge. 

My mother is many things. Beautiful. Annoyingly affectionate after a few drinks and mean as a starving snake after several. Quick-witted and hilarious when her latest boyfriend isn’t turning her into some sycophantic sorority girl. But a fool? 

No. 

My mother is no fool. 


This is a 2017 release that I have taken far too long to start reading. I literally just checked it out on Overdrive from my library. I don’t even know if I will get to it in the three weeks I have it, but I will try. It’s important to me that I try and read more because it’s a nice way to unwind after work but requires more energy than I usually have. Which is none. 

This week I have chosen…

How To Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

how to make a wish cover

It is my goal to talk about as many LGBTQIA+ books and I think I’m doing a pretty good job. I also thing f/f romance books are important as well as they can be overlooked. I think I’ve done well at that too. This book also deals with a young woman’s relationship with her mother. Even though I am close to my mother, we have been through a lot together. There is good and bad, but that’s what happens when you live with someone for 25 years. I’m very interested in this book and I hope to get to it soon. 

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Idyll Threats by Stephanie Gayle

Idyll Threats cover

(Chantel)

Caidyn did a review of this earlier this month and you can find it here if you want to know his thoughts.

4/5 – It’s rare that I step out of my comfort reading zone and read a genre that’s completely foreign to me. I read Idyll Threats in 2016 and I only read it because the main character was gay. To me, a gay protagonist with his own series is incredibly compelling. I absolutely adored the book when I first read it and upon a second read, I still loved it. Thomas Lynch is such a great character, in my opinion, he is just a normal guy. He reminds me a lot of Chief Hopper from Stranger Things actually. They are no-nonsense cops who are married to their work. Going forward, I wouldn’t mind seeing a softer side to Thomas Lynch but nothing that would feel too out of character.

This is a mystery novel and at the center of it is a murder of a young twenty-year-old woman. Multiple times Idyll Police and Lynch hit multiple dead ends. In a town where nothing happens, there is a lot of pressure to get this murder wrapped up and solved. But who fits the bill? I’ll admit I wasn’t completely satisfied with the reveal. I would’ve liked more of a foundation laid for who ended up being the killer. Everything up until that point was very interesting to me. Especially the way Thomas approached his work. Instead of sitting in his office doing paperwork all day, supposedly what a Chief of Police would normally do, he is interviewing people who knew the victim and chasing down meddling kids. He is good at his job and he almost single-handedly solves the crime.

He also almost runs it into the ground. One of the most interesting parts of the mystery was that Thomas had seen the victim before she was found dead. He had been attempting to hook up with a guy, and instead of revealing that information and subsequently outing himself as gay he keeps it to himself. Ultimately, though, this doesn’t amount to anything. He doesn’t get revealed, instead choosing to come out on his own.

This series takes place in 1997 so the cops make a lot of jokes at the expense of gay men. This presents another problem for Thomas in that his men might not be okay with him being gay. Nearly everyone who is gay in the town keeps it private because maybe Idyll isn’t the most accepting town. There is definitely some tension that will continue through the next book and I’m interested to see how it’s handled.

In the end, I read this a second time so that it would be fresh in my mind when I started the sequel and it just reinforced how much I enjoyed the book and how much I adore Thomas Lynch as a character.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)

(Caidyn)

3/5

On Thanksgiving, Chantel and I watched Rogue One together. While you might think that us watching a movie together had nothing to do with this book, it does. I hated that movie. I made Chantel laugh by thanking the bad guys for killing people off. That movie had a pointless plot. There were no compelling characters. I knew no names. And it took ages to get to the point.

Much like this book.

While it’s only 250 pages for my copy, it took me so long to read it and it didn’t get very good until the last section.

I would describe The Gunslinger as an acid trip in the desert… and I wasn’t given any of the mushrooms. Or, I was dropped in a modern art gallery where everything has *~meaning~* but there’s no explanation so I’m left looking at these random smudges of paint. In the introduction, King wrote that he went through this book to make edits for clarity. I couldn’t tell that one bit. If he made those edits, I can’t imagine what the book was like before.

This book was, for me, a 2-2.5 star read.  The only reason I bumped it up to three stars is because of the final part. It finally got to the point of the story and set the stage for the book to come, while about 225 pages of it prior were just pointless. I think that this would have been better as a novella than the novel it was.

Basically, not a promising start and it matched everything I had heard about this book. I will keep reading since I’ve heard the series gets better.

First Lines Friday…er Saturday

Hello all, we hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, due to the holiday, we didn’t get around to getting this set up in time, oops, but we don’t want to leave you guys without. So, here we present to you, First Lines Saturday!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Also, for the rest of this month, I’m going to provide the link to our poll if you haven’t taken it yet. This is us trying to be better for you guys and so you can see more things you’d like to. Click here to take it! Remember, this is us working for you. Next Friday, we’re going to be closing it in order to go over the results and make decisions about what we’ll read.

Chantel will be in purple. 

Caidyn will be in blue.


Empress Yui wrestles with her broken zither. She’d rather deal with the tiger again. Or the demons. Or her uncle. Anything short of going north, anything short of war. But a snapped string? One cannot reason with a snapped string, nor can one chop it in half and be rid of the problem. 

When she stops to think on it – chopping things in half is part of why she’s alone with the stupid instrument to begin with. Did she not say she’d stop dueling? What was she thinking, accepting Rayama-tun’s challenge? He is only a boy. 

And now he will be the boy who dueled One-Stroke Shizuka, the boy whose sword she cut in half before he managed to draw it. That story will haunt him for the rest of his life. 


So, I’ve been holding out on posting this book in FLF because I’ve been very excited to read it and I now have the opportunity to do so. I have been excited to read this since I saw it on a booktuber’s channel. It is the first book in a fantasy series with an f/f romance. This is always exciting to me and I can’t wait to start reading it. Which will be soon. I promise. 

Anyway, the book is…

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

The Tiger's Daughter cover

I would briefly like to address the fact that this book has some controversy surrounding it. This book has been criticised for its misuse and appropriation of multiple Asian histories and cultures. I personally am ill-equipped to say one way or the other, but I know it’s important to point out because it shouldn’t be ignored. 


“It’s finally happening, babies. Parole is burning. They say we started out in a blaze of glory, and now we’re all going down in flames.”

Sidewalks split apart into huge cracks, and giant craters devoured cars and buildings and people like hungry jaws. Black smoke and tongues of flame licked up from the crevices as the asphalt crumbled, and everywhere screams cut through the terrible noise of the collapsing city. And a sunny girl’s voice issues from every radio, every frequency, every speaker. She talked quickly, desperately, a rapid-fire barrage of comfort and direction, and every single person in the city shut up and listened.


Since I’m not really into the books I’m reading and the one book I am into, I’ve already used for FLF, I’m going with something I’ve read and discussed, but never really given a glimpse into. It’s an indie book and had amazing LGBT+ and mental health representation. I read the original version, but I haven’t read the updated one yet. And I’m planning on it because I really remember wanting to know how the sequel would handle a certain cliffhanger.

So.

What’s the book?

It is…

CHAMELEON MOON BY ROANNA SYLVER

Chameleon Moon (Chameleon Moon, #1)

As I said, I read this before. Like, three or four years ago. But I always have it as an immediate response when recommendations are asked since I remember being so impressed by it. I even wrote a long review of it before I started writing long reviews of books. Impressive, right? This book stuck with me and still sticks with me. One I really do recommend.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids

(Caidyn)

1/5 – DNF at 90%

So, I love Scooby Doo. When I was a kid, it was probably my favorite thing to watch. I loved the movies, the TV shows, and anything else I could get my sticky hands on. I mean, I still own and will never get rid of a Scooby Doo fact book that I would pull out and quiz people on. Obviously, I was a cool kid. Hell, I even made a YouTube channel just so I could follow a channel that only posted episodes of Scooby Doo. This was before the copyright laws really kicked in, kids.

For me, this book was a lot like Zombie Island, which is one of my favorite Scooby movies. Andy, Kerri, Nate, Peter, and a dog went to a house to solve a mystery, caught someone, and called it done. Yet… it stayed with them forever and they’ve come to realize that the things they saw that night were real. And they have to go back to finish it. Except, one broke out of prison, another from a mental health facility, one has a drinking problem, and the other is dead.

It’s an intriguing plot. I love the whole leaving and coming back to finish things trope, however, there was one issue that actually turned me off so much with the reveal of who the bad guy was that I stopped listening to the book.

What’s that issue? Transphobic comments.

Now, this book is set in 1990. Back then, making those comments were okay and socially acceptable. Today, not so much. I don’t like imparting current moral views onto past ones, however the comments and plot literally could have been nixed and nothing would have been missed.

There were some comments before the big reveal, too. When Nate was in the asylum, he repeatedly called someone with a rather feminine name and feminine presenting a hermaphrodite. That is not socially acceptable and I don’t think it has been for years. Even in the 90s. I tried to forget it and move on with the book. Then, there were comments about how Andy was very much a tomboy and butch and then that they all thought she was going to “transition”. Aka, was a transman. Again, brushed it off. Ignored it.

Then the reveal happened. And there will be spoilers for the end. I’ll try not to mention names.

The bad guy in this is trans. Or… “became” trans. They transitioned for a cover and it was disgusting. It’s equating evilness with being trans and that it was all a plot to trick people. Because that’s what being trans is. Then, the person told Andy how easy it is to transition. Sorry, but I don’t know what planet you live on. Being someone who’s transitioning I know it’s not easy. It’s the furthest thing from easy. And in the 1990s? Fucking please. Give me a damn break.

While perhaps Cantero didn’t mean for it to come across this way, but I took it as very insensitive and disgusting. It canceled out everything I liked about the book before it happened. I sincerely hope this doesn’t win anything for the Goodreads Choice Awards since it’s just reinforcing perceptions that transpeople have had to deal with for years.

Zealot by Reza Aslan

Aslan sketch_10.indd

(Chantel)

3/5 – I am going to be completely transparent in that I am not religious at all. That is the perspective I am going into this book with. I’m not well versed in the Bible at all and I know very little of it. This book has a clear bias from the author, as most non-fiction books do, and this is only one point of view. My goal with this review is not to offend anyone’s religion. This book is simply viewing Jesus through a historical perspective and that’s what I found most interesting about it. Even if the book, on the whole, didn’t fully engage me.

The first part of this book is setting the stage for the time and place Jesus lived in. A lot of this part was focused on the area of Judea and Galilee which was under Roman rule at the time. Several who called themselves messiahs had come forth to rid their land of the temples and wealthy priests. They usually did so with violence. One by one they all failed. As someone who doesn’t know a lot about history, this was fascinating to hear. Roman history is very interesting to me as well, and I frankly had no idea the Roman Empire extended that far into the Middle East. I sure did pay attention in history. So to have some background history was helpful moving forward. It was easily the most interesting part to me.

When talking about Jesus, Aslan had to disprove a lot of what the Bible claimed about the figure we know as Jesus Christ. He specifically was focusing on Jesus of Nazareth who was a Jewish peasant that went around Judea spreading his message. He points out that some of the gospels contradict each other and tell different versions of Jesus’s life and story likely because they wrote the gospels after Jesus was crucified. Most, maybe all, had never even met Jesus when he was alive. The focus of this book is to show that there is a disconnect between who Jesus, the man actually was, from the divine figurehead of Christianity. “The memory of the revolutionary zealot who walked across Galilee gathering an army of disciples with the goal of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth, the magnetic preacher who defied the authority of the Temple priesthood in Jerusalem, the radical Jewish nationalist who challenged the Roman occupation and lost, has been almost completely lost to history” (215). Aslan argues that the man, Jesus of Nazareth is just as compelling a person to believe in and I think it makes him easier to relate to, which may or may not appeal to everyone. However, I find myself drawn more to someone if I can relate to them.

Then there was some history of Paul and of Christianity itself. What I found the most interesting about Paul is how he helped define the religion almost singlehandedly. His version of events is the one that has stood the test of time. It is very interesting the versions of history that end up being the definitive version of events, whether they are true or not. History is all we have in order to look back on the past, but who and how is it decided what becomes the most commonly accepted history. However, by this part of the book, I just wanted to finish it.

All-in-all, I found this book hard to follow at times with all of the different terminology and names, and with my lack of knowledge of the Bible didn’t make it easier. There was a lot of repetition in what he was saying and by the end, I was just trying to get through it. However, I found a few interesting things in this book and I don’t regret reading it. Aslan is a great storyteller, the way he describes certain events occurring was excellent and I think I might read more of his books in the future. Also, he has a soothing audiobook voice.

 

What We’re Grateful For

Here in America, it’s Thanksgiving, a day where we gorge ourselves with food, spend time with our obnoxious family members, get drunk because of those family members, watch football, and willfully ignore what we did to the Native Americans. (We kid, we kid. But seriously.

One big thing about Thanksgiving, though, is gratitude. What are you grateful for? We decided to answer that question.

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


I think that I’m grateful for many things, honestly. My family and friends are my top ones, which includes Chantel. She’s probably my closest friend, just because we do so many things together, albeit remotely. As I said, I’m also thankful for my family. Mainly my mom and dad, honestly. They’re the family that I’m closest to. I haven’t seen my sister in about a decade, my brother in five years, and my extended family in even longer. My mom knows me the best and also tolerates me. My dad, I’m so grateful to have him at my job or I’d go insane.

And, despite not enjoying my job, I’m grateful to have it. I’m also grateful to have an education. Not everyone can have one as well as I’ve had and I realize that more and more as I get older. I’m just lucky to have been born where I was.

Lastly, I am grateful for this blog and all of our followers. I didn’t think the blog would be that hard when Chantel texted me about starting one, but it is hard work. And I’m grateful that we stuck with it as a team and that you all decided to follow our crazy posts and random tangents.


For those of you who might not know, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, despite the awful history behind it. I very much enjoy holidays that revolve around food and I’ve had plenty of delicious Thanksgiving dinners (ones not involving turkey, thank you very much) but this year I am spending Thanksgiving alone. But don’t worry, my mom and I are going out to lunch on Friday. So, I’ve decided to make Thanksgiving dinner for myself and I’d like to share with you all the things I’m grateful for. 

There are two people I am infinitely grateful for and that is my mom and Caidyn. I’m not a social person and I don’t have a lot of friends at all. I consider myself pretty awkward and I spend a lot of time alone in my apartment. I’m also terrible at getting back to people. I’m sorry about that. But, I am almost always texting Caidyn. Either at home or even at work we normally have a constant conversation going on from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed. He is my best friend and the person I’m closest to besides my mom. It doesn’t even matter that we haven’t ever met in person because despite what some people might think, we are still very close. I’m not very close with any of my extended family, but I know I have two people I can always count on. 

I’m also thankful for Watson. I mean, he’s pretty cute I guess.

Another thing you might not know about me is that I was homeless about two years ago. Luckily, I not only had a job but I was staying in a shelter. I never had to sleep on the streets and for that, I’m eternally grateful. However, for a little over a year, I’ve lived in my own apartment and it is such a relief to have a roof over my head and a place to sleep every night. I will never stop being grateful for that. Even if the office downstairs holds my packages hostage. 

In addition to my apartment, I’m grateful for my job. I’ve worked at a hardware store for over two years now. Let me tell you something, I would’ve never believed I would have a job for two years. I once worked at a grocery store and quit after like two weeks. I’ve been very lucky to not have to work most of my life, but I’m very dedicated to my job even if it exhausts me. This year, I’ve been promoted and have been working full time since June. It’s not easy, but paychecks sure do help. 

And yes, I am incredibly grateful for this blog. I would never have done it this long if Caidyn hadn’t agreed to do it. Not only have I read more books than I ever thought capable this year, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of interacting with you and creating posts. Even if it’s not easy to get the time or motivation to read or post content. However, we have no signs of stopping and I look forward to some of the posts coming near the end of the year and what is in store for 2018. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Feel free to comment down below what you are grateful for. 

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

Mom & Me & Mom

4/5

(Caidyn)

I decided to read this soon after I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The name really drew me in, and I loved the relationships that the book presented with her various mothers. Plus, the name drew me to it.

I thought that the book would talk more about her grandmother, the woman who raised her for a good portion of her youth, but it actually focused on her biological mother, Vivian Baxter. Vivian really reminded me of my mother. She was calm, fierce, and just amazing. What more do you want from a mother? I spaced out some of it since it rehashed what happened in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, but I paid attention after Maya’s pregnancy. It focused on her growing relationship with her mother, how they truly became a mother and daughter and, most importantly, friends.

It really honed in on her first marriage, the man who gave her that infamous last name. As she grew as an adult, her friendship with her mother grew as well. I think that the funniest story is the one where she recounts her stepfather’s stroke and Vivian’s reaction to it. Basically, she gets a call from her mother, telling her that she’s going to throw her stepfather out unless he starts having sex with her again and that Maya has to tell him that. It’s funnier when you think that Maya actually did that. And funnier yet when you hear that her mother was 74 years old when she did this.

Really, this was a highly enjoyable exploration of a child’s relationship with her mom. As we all grow and change, our relationships with our parents do the same. I loved how Maya took her through these changes without any embarrassment or shying away from it.

A Plague of Giants by Kein Hearne

A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings, #1)

4/5

(Caidyn)

When I started looking at the reviews for this book when I started listening to it, I was mainly confronted with two-star reviews. That got me a bit worried since this is such a long book — whether listening or reading — and it meant that by the time I’d decide it’s not for me, I’d still have had to go through a lot of the book. For me, it definitely wasn’t a two-star read. In some ways, it reminded me of Locke Lamora combined with Avatar.

The story is focused on two main invasions, one of bone giants and the other of giants from the same continent. It’s being retold to people who know the events but done through unique perspectives and in a very different way that I enjoyed. And it’s super hard to explain it without getting into more details of the story.

In this world, there are kennings, something I translate as abilities. They’re a lot like Avatar. There are people who can work with wind, water, fire, plants, and the earth itself. Really, there are five kennings, but there are perhaps seven that could be discovered. That’s another part of the book. And, one ability — I don’t believe it was a real kenning — is being a bard. They can take on the form of someone else, although only through illusion, and that’s how this story is told.

Personally, I really enjoyed it. I found the world interesting and I wanted to know more about it even as things were explained to me. It didn’t feel as if it dragged on even though it was a long book. Although, that could be because I was listening to it and, since I was at work, spaced some things out.

The writing and characters were also great. This is my first book by the author, so I was very impressed by what he presented. There were also gay characters included in the world and it was made to seem as if this was generally accepted, although could differ per place. It was a very involved world and you had to pay attention to keep with what was going on because Hearne definitely doesn’t slow down for you.

All I can say is that this was a very strong beginning and I’m going to keep on with the series.

October Book Subscriptions

Hello, hello! Here we are again for another month of unboxing mystery boxes because that’s so much fun! I’d highly recommend it. Anyway, this month I believe both of us have even more to show you than normal, so let’s just get into it!

Chantel will be in purple. 

Caidyn will be in blue. 


In October, I received two subscription boxes. I received an Owlcrate and a PageHabit box. Double the fun and double the items. It’s like Christmas once a month. 

Owlcrate – Find Me in The Forest

Okay, honestly, this was the best Owlcrate I’ve received yet. I’ve been subscribed for three months now, and honestly, this box was fantastic. Some of my favorite items ever were in this box. They were perfect for the book and I am so excited to read the book. 

Let’s start with the card and pin that come with every Owlcrate box.

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I love the card each month. It always looks great and the pin is just going onto my bulletin board where I already have a collection of pins. They fit right in. 

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This is an art print from Princess Mononoke which is an animated film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Tragically, I have not seen this movie or any other Miyazaki movie, but the art is gorgeous. 

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Let me tell you all, I needed a coaster. Desperately. However, this coaster is so cute and so sweet, I don’t know if I can use it! It’s simply adorable and I’m definitely on board with Owlcrate continuing to send me things I need. 

Now, the mug. This was by far my favorite item and the best item I’ve ever received in an Owlcrate. It’s a Harry Potter themed mug which features things that sit near and in the forbidden forest. I’m not a fan of the giant spider, but I can live with it. I love mugs and now that I’m drinking more coffee, it’s necessary. This just happens to be one of my favorites. 
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I’ve lumped the rest of these items together. There is some decaf (ugh) tea which actually sounds really good. There is a Raven Cycle themed candle which smells really good, very foresty. Then there are these cute little magnetic bookmarks with Max from Where the Wild Things Are

And now, the book. 

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The book this month was Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore and the Owlcrate exclusive cover is gorgeous. I already own one book by Anna-Marie McLemore, which is When the Moon Was Ours. These books are magical realism and feature queer characters. I’ve briefly read part of When the Moon Was Ours and her writing is gorgeous. I need to read her books and fast. Along with the book, there came the standard letter from the author and a signed bookplate to put inside the book. In addition, a packet of seeds came along with the book which is pretty cool.

That was all that came in October’s Owlcrate and it was a great one! I’m also very excited to received this month’s Owlcrate because the theme sounds great. 

Castles, Courts, and Kingdoms. Yes, please. 


PageHabit – Science Fiction

This month I received my first PageHabit box which included a bonus book. I got a few cool things, and I’ve never heard of either book before so that should be interesting. 

First thing, I got yet another coaster! It’s super cute as well. I think Caidyn got one in a previous month, but I’m definitely happy to get one. 

 

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It’s so cute!!

I also got an Einstein bookmark, a rocket tea infusor, and a library card pillowcase. These are totally great items. I think the tea infusor is my favorite and I can use it for the tea I received in my Owlcrate. 

Since it was October, there was a cute little pumpkin keychain that lit up and made noise when you pushed on it. It’s pretty cute and looks creepy when lit up. 

Every month, PageHabit donates a book for each box that’s purchased and this month they donated books to The Democratic Republic of Congo. 

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Each box also comes with a short story and this month it was Help Me Follow My Sister Into the Land of the Dead by Carmen Maria Machado. It looks and sounds creepy. 

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Now, the books. The actual book this month was An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. I did get a bonus book for signing up which was Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel. The letter included is from Rivers Solomon. The unique thing about PageHabit is that there are annotations in the book from the author. 

The best part of subscription boxes is that I receive books I’ve never heard of. I’ve never heard of either book here, but I’m excited to read them both. 

That is it for me this month, but I’ve got some boxes to look forward to next month. 


Like Chantel, I now get two/three book subscriptions. I got PageHabit’s mystery box and I get an add-on for horror. Then, I also started getting Book of the Month, which is where you can pick your book(s).

PageHabit – Mystery and horror

As usual, I got my box from PageHabit and, for once, I was super excited to see all the books. All because I haven’t heard a thing about them.

The yellow thing is a pillowcase that is awesome. My mom has envy over it. She stared for ages with it. Then, I got a bookmark of an Einstein quote, along with a short story titled Peaches. Haven’t read it yet.

As for the books, The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Murders of Molly Southbourne. As I said, I’m really excited for both of the books. None of my friends have read them or reviewed them, so I’m coming into them with a clean slate. I’m resisting the urge to read reviews of them, too. Or to do any digging at all. Wish me luck.

Book of the Month

BotM actually allows you to pick your book(s). They have a few books you can make yours, then you can do add-ons if you really want to. Not required, but you can. This month, I decided to. Why not, right?

First off, I really liked the box and how they packaged it. I didn’t take pictures of that, but I’ll remember to someday.

The book I chose was The Power by Naomi Alderman. First, super pretty cover. Second, it’s all about women who gain superpowers to hurt people and it puts men at a great disadvantage and I’m all for women doing that when needed. Third, Emma Watson’s reading it for her book club this month and so there.

I did pick an add-on this month. I mean, when you sign up, you get three book vouchers for, about $27. That means instead of $15 per month to get a book, you get three books for around $10 each right off the bat to decide if you like it. The add-on I chose for this month was Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King. Somewhat excited for this since I’ve seen a mix of reactions to the book, but it’s soooo preetttyyy.