Owlcrate – October’s Mythical Creatures box.

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The September Owlcrate was my first ever box and I am so glad I bought it. I will admit that when I heard it was mythical creatures and the book was about dragons I really wanted this one. I did look up which books were coming out that month to see if there were any books with dragons that I’d like because that’s one of the reasons I’ve never purchased a box, incase I don’t like the book. But I was like 99% sure I had figured the book out and I just got it anyway.ย DMYaqe2VQAAT0rj

I also saw the sneek peek on Owlcrate’s instagram about including a Book Beau and they are always so expensive to ship to New Zealand so I wanted to give the box a chance because I’d get a Book Beau too.

So the Book Beau was a little squished into the box and came creased. I haven’t tried to get them out yet but I might one day. It’s not the biggest size, Before She Ignites is a very tight squeeze but I can get it in… I’ve been using this for paperbacks though. I have another one from a different company that fits hardback booksย so I wasn’t too bothered that this didn’t fit a hardback book. And the pattern is definitely growing on me. It has a mermaid and a unicorn on it.ย DLlNi6yUIAE6rfH

One of my favourite items in the box is the woodmark from Ink & Wonder. I’ve been looking at their bookmarks for a while and I didn’t know how thick they were or if they’d damage a book but they’re really thin and there is so much detail in them. I love this one, it had Daenerys and her dragons on it.

I took this photo for the Owlcrate photo challenge so it doesn’t show off the bookmark really well but I still like it. There are three dragons on it and if you can’t see it says “I am the blood of the dragon.” If you want to check out Ink & Wonder’s other bookmarks click the link here. They sell a bunch of other stuff too. (The candle is from Faerie Tale Creations if you’re wondering. You can check out their etsy store here.)

The other item I really liked was the sticker from Susanne Draws. It’s of Hagrid and DMXqws1V4AAupMrBuckbeak and is adorable. I have no idea what to do with it though because I don’t want to put it on something and then regret it. What do you do with your stickers?

I’d never even heard of Susanne before I received this sticker in the Owlcrate box but if she draws other things just as cute I’d want them too. Which is why I haven’t looked because I need to save my money. Not that it’s actually working…

I didn’t take a lot of photos of the items in this box. I do have a few more but they’re on instgram and I just can’t be bothered finding them. There were some Son of Poseidon bath salts which smelt amazing but I don’t have baths so I ended up giving them to my mother. A dragon coin purse that was designed exclusively by the team at Owlcrate. It’s also adorable and I’m pretty sure I’ll end up using that one day. My wallet/purse/whatever it is doesn’t hold a lot of coins and it drives me crazy.ย 22280148_365328680569473_1890221652499759104_n(1)

Then there was Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows. I am actually looking forward to reading this. I love dragons and this book sounds like somethings I’m really going to enjoy. I have no idea when I’m going to read it though because my TBR is crazy at the moment.

I also received the October Owlcrate today and I love it. I’m hoping to share that sooner than I shared this one. Maybe after the Owlcrate photo challenge and then I’ll hopefully have a photo of every item. Unlike this time. Maybe.

Have you bought an Owlcrate boxย before? What do you think of the boxes?

– Aimee.

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July Book Haul.

 

Watercolor flower wreath background for beautiful design

I was meant to be on a book buying ban this month. That lasted like three days? I only bought five books but they did cost me a lot of money… Well not a lot but more than I usually pay for books in a month. But I did get a pretty good deal. I’ll talk about that later though.ย 1

So the first book I got was sent to me from HarperCollins New Zealand. I’d seen this on Booktube I think and thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy.

I think this is about siblings, a brother and sister, competing for the throne? I’m not 100% sure so don’t quote me on that.

This would totally have been a cover buy for me had I not had the opportunity to review it because this cover is gorgeous.

I think I’ve read two books by Charbonneau. So I’m looking forward to reading this.

2

The second book I received to review was from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review. I didn’t realize this was a sequel until it arrived so I won’t be reading it until I have a copy of the first book. Which I haven’t gotten around to buying yet.

I haven’t really read much about this because it is a sequel but I know it’s about mermaids, or a mermaid.. Whatever. I’ll figure it out when I get a copy of Lorelei.

This is another book with a gorgeous cover. And it’s even better in person because the gold scales are holo I think.

The next five books I bought for myself. I went into a local second-hand bookstore and these were sitting on the counter. Apparently they were an unwanted gift and the guy3ย took them into the store. I already had the paperback editions of the A Song of Ice and Fire series but I couldn’t just leave them.

So I started talking to the woman in the store about the books and she took $10 off for me and then I was like “okay I’ll take them.” Now I have to sell my other editions.

I have read the series up to A Dance with Dragons twice and I’ve read A Game of Thrones three times. I still want to re-read A Dance with Dragons before the next book comes out. If it ever comes out. So obviously there’s no rush for that re-read.

The next book I got was a surprise fromย Penguin Random House New Zealand. I’d read 4the synopsis of this but didn’t request it. I do plan on reading this for ARC August though.

So from what I remember of the synopsis a woman is at home making dinner and the next thing she knows she’s waking up in the hospital… The police are saying she was up to no good. Her best friend doesn’t know what to think. Her husband is on her side. But she’s not sure who to believe. I think it sounds pretty good and I’m looking forward to reading it.

I don’t know when I’ll get to it though because I’m in another reading slump at the moment so yay me. I’m reading The Crown’s Game to try to get out of it.ย 5

Hachette New Zealand sent me a copy of City of Circles to review. This is another book I have on my ARC August TBR.

I think this follows a girl who lost her parents and is trying to find out what happened to them. And something about a circus. But I’m not really sure what.

Fans of Erin Morgenstern will apparently like this. I haven’t read her books though so I’m not sure what to expect. Which I think is good because it won’t let me down.

Okay so this isn’t the kind of book I usually read but it said fans of Jojo Moyes will enjoyย 6this and even though I’ve only read two books by her I did enjoy them.

I’m just going to admit that since I read the synopsis a couple of months ago I cannot remember what this is about. But I am looking forward to reading it. It’ll give me a break from the books I usually read, which is always a good thing for me.

I don’t know when I’ll be reading this though. My TBR is a little crazy this month but I’ll hoping that I can get to it soon. There was also something mentioned about keeping the secret once you’ve read the book. Which seems really interesting…ย 7

Allen and Unwin New Zealand also sent me a copy of Sparrow to review. This was a complete surprise as I didn’t request it. But because it’s by an Australian author I think I’ll give it a chance. One day.

I don’t remember what this is about either. Obviously it has something to do with alligators or crocodiles… I guess I’ll find out whenever I pick it up. I think my mother plans to read it as well. I’m not really sure why… But whatever. I don’t care if she wants to read it first. She probably will get to it before I do.

Hachette New Zealand also sent me a copy of The Taste of Blue Light to review. This isn’tย 8out til next month but I do have it on my ARC August TBR. I’ll probably read this at the end of August though.

I think this is about a girl who wakes up from a coma and her dreams, or nightmares, are all in red. I don’t know what that has to do with blue light but I’m sure it’ll make sense when I read the book.

I thought this sounded really interesting when I read the synopsis so I’m looking forward to reading this as well. There’s a note at the start of the book that made it sound really good too but I can’t remember who wrote it.

I can’t remember who sent me a copy of Slave Power. I think it actually came from the author but that’s not who I requested it from….ย 9

I did read the synopsis of this but it was so long ago that I don’t remember what the book is about. I know it’s the first in a new series and that it’s meant to have a strong female lead. But that’s all I can remember.

Oh, it’s also by a New Zealand author which is a big reason behind me wanting to read it. I love supporting local authors. I’ve never heard of Raewyn Dawson until I was sent an email about the book.

Anyway, this is on my August TBR, which I will be sharing this weekend.

Bonnier Publishing Australia sent me a copy of And Fire Came Down to review. This isย 10the sequel to Resurrection Bay which I read and reviewed a couple of months ago. If you want to read that review you can check it out here.

I really enjoyed Resurrection Bay so I’m excited to read And Fire Came Down. I think Caleb, the main character, is investigating the death of a woman when it leads him back to his hometown again.

I have And Fire Came Down on my August TBR and am hoping to read it soon. But I also have a couple of other books to read first.ย 11

I received some surprise book mail from Bloomsbury Australia in July. These two were completely unexpected but definitely welcome.

I don’t know when I’ll get to these, hopefully soon, but I have another book from Bloomsbury Australia on my TBR for August. If I can fit one in I’ll definitely will but I’m not sure I will.

I can’t remember what either of these are about but I did like the sound of them when I first read the synopsis.

Walker Books Australia sent me a copy of Tell It to the Moon to review. This is the sequelย 12to The Moonlight Dreamers. Which I read recently. I’m not going to talk about Tell It to the Moon because it is a sequel and I don’t want to spoil things for anyone who hasn’t read The Moonlight Dreamers yet.

But The Moonlight Dreamers was so good. It was about four girls, all completely different and from different backgrounds, that come together and not only become friends but better people as well.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ll be holding a giveaway for both books when I post my review of Tell It to the Moon (sometime in August). So if you live in New Zealand or Australia then keep an eye out for that. The books will be sent from Walker Books Australia.ย 13

The next two books are both from Hachette New Zealand. Friend Request is a mystery/thriller (I don’t know which).

A woman gets a friend request on Facebook from someone she knew in high school. But this friend has book missing for years and people assume she’s dead. So, who’s sent the request? And is this Maria actually dead?

I thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy so I’m looking forward to finding out what’s going on in this book. I do like thrillers so I couldn’t resist requesting this.

I Am Traitor is about an alien invasion and one girl thinks she’s found a way to saveย 14humanity (I think) but it means trusting the enemy. I’m pretty sure I got that right. But again, don’t quote me on it.

I love alien invasion books. Not that I’ve read a lot of them but out of the ones I have read I enjoyed them.

I can’t wait to see what this alien invasion is about and what exactly is going on. I think this is set in London if I remember correctly. But my memory is shit so I doubt it. I think this is also out in September so I won’t be reading it this month. Unless I can fit it in right at the end.ย 15

So a couple of months ago I was contacted through my blog about reviewing this book. I don’t normally say yes because it’s always an e-book and I can’t read digital books. But they offered to send me a physical copy of the book.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold has adventure, pirates, stolen gold, criminals, ship wrecks and some curses.

I’d never heard of this before I read the email but I am always happy to help out indie authors if I can. This is the first book in a series and is also on my August TBR.

So the last two books I received in July were sent to me from Hardie Grant Australia to review. I totally forgot to take a photo of these so I’ll have to just link to their Goodreads pages.

The first book was I Have No Secrets and I thought this sounded really good. This is on my ARC August TBR so I’ll be reading this soon. The second book was In the Dark Spaces which also sounded really good. I’m hoping to get to this soon too.

So that’s my July book haul. How many books did you get last month?

– Aimee.

December Wrap Up & January TBR.

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I know I’m a little late posting this but I’ve been a little busy moving out of my old house into a temporary place until our new house is ready. It’s been a little crazy around here but hopefully I can get back into things soon.

Anyway, I’ll just jump into my December wrap up now.

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Blood for Bloodย by Ryan Graudin –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
A Game of Thronesย by George R.R. Martin –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
The Sun is Also a Starย by Nicola Yoon –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
Someone I Wanted to Beย by Aurelia Wills –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
The Jewel by Amy Ewing –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition)ย by J.K. Rowling & Jim Kay –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
The Wrath and the Dawnย by Renee Ahdieh –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5

I don’t think I did too badly in December considering I read A Game of Thrones which was over 800 pages. The Wrath and the Dawn isn’t pictured because it’s a library book and was returned before I took the photo.

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I don’t know how many of these I’ll actually get to read this month. My reading did slow down for a bit with all the moving but I’m hoping it’ll pick up again soon.

I have read a few in this photo and finished The Invasion of the Tearling which I started in December but didn’t finish.

What did you read in December? Anything exciting on you January TBR??

Aimee.

Review: A Game of Thrones 20th Anniversary Edition by George R.R. Martin.

Title โ€“ A Game of Thrones
Series โ€“ A Song of Ice and Fire #1
Author โ€“ George R.R. Martin
How I Got It โ€“ From the publisher
Pages โ€“ 896 pages
Publication Date โ€“ October 18th 2016 by Harper Voyager
ISBN โ€“ 9780008209100
My Rating โ€“ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5

“Summer spans decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must …and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.”

I received a copy of the 20th Anniversary edition of A Game of Thrones from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. This is an illustrated edition of the original story.

This is the third time I’ve read A Game of Thrones and I still love it just as much as the cy3ytimuqaapoozfirst time I read it four years ago. I was kind of late to the party but better late than never Iย guess. So, because of how many times I’ve read this I don’t think I can review thee story anymore. But every time I’ve read it I have given this five stars so I think that give you an idea of how much I love this book. I don’t give many books five-star ratings.

I loved the illustrations in this edition. Some of them, the building and castles, took me a while to figure out when I first flipped through the book but they are pretty much easy t figure out even if you’re just flipping through. I pretty much spoiled of them before I started re-reading it but I just couldn’t wait to see them.

Most of the illustrations are in black and white but there are a few beautiful coloured illustrations. I mean, they’re all beautiful in their own way but the coloured ones just have a little bit more. I guess because they’re in colour.. I don’t know. I was going to share a few of my favourite ones in my review but I czg2u0gvqaarxflchanged my mind. I feel like I’d be ruining the experience for fans who haven’t had a chance to read this yet. I did share one on my Instagram so I’ll put that one here. Tyrion is one of my favourite characters so I couldn’t resist sharing one of him.

I really enjoyed reading this edition of A Game of Thrones. It was a new way to experience the story I’ve read twice and seen on TV a few times. Even though I knew what was going to happen in the story I loved seeing all the illustrations as I read it again. But it does get kind of heavy after a while… It’s over 800 pages.

I’d definitely recommend this to any fan of the Song of Ice and Fire series. And even if you’ve only watched the TV show it’s additionย for any fan. Plus, there’s still time to make hints for Christmas ๐Ÿ˜‰

* Thank you so much HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

If you’ve read this edition let me know what you thought.

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [December 14th 2016] โ€“

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.ย All you have to do isย answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

Currently Reading โ€“ ย ย czlsm9fusaaacsw
I can’t say much about this yet because technically I haven’t started it yet but I will when I have a chance.ย 

Someone I Wanted to Be follows Leah as she is bullied in school by her fellow students and so-called friends. And then one day she makes the mistake of calling a guy and pretending to be someone she’s not. Now she has to fix it before it’s too late and someone gets hurt.

That’s pretty much what I got from the synopsis. Like I said, I haven’t started it yet so I can’t say anything about it. I’m looking forward to reading it though.

Recently Finished โ€“ย czb2oqduaaerunv
I finished The Sun is Also a Star yesterday and I loved it. I think I liked it even more than Nicola’s first book, Everything, Everything.

This follows Natasha and Daniel as they meet one day in New York City. Daniel thinks it’s fate and they’re meant to be but Natasha isn’t convinced. But it’s complicated.. Natasha is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Will Natasha find a way to stay in the country she calls home? Is Daniel right, are they meant to be?

I’m not going to say more here because I’ll be doing a full review soon but I will say that I loved this and gave it four stars.ย cy3ytimuqaapooz

I’ve also finished reading the 20th anniversary edition of A Game of Thrones. This is the third time I’ve read this and I still love it.

I’ll be doing a review on this soon. Not about the story because I’m biased now. But I will be talking about the illustrations. A little anyway.

If you’re a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire then this is definitely an edition you’ll want to add to your collection.

Reading Nextย โ€“ย 18
Now that I’ve seen the movie I am going to read the book. Or screenplay.

I was told by a few people that I should see the movie before reading this and they were probably right. I’m not sure I could have pictured the creatures, with the exception of the Niffler and Pickett, if I’d read this first.

Anyway, I’ll be doing a review of this too when I’ve read it. Which won’t take long because it’s a screenplay and not an actual book. Just like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But I am excited to re-live the movie without having to pay to see it again.

What have you been reading lately?

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [December 7th 2016] โ€“

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.ย All you have to do isย answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

Currently Reading โ€“ ย 7
I haven’t done a WWW Wednesday in a while so this may be kind of long…ย 

I started reading the 20th Anniversary Edition of A Game of Thrones two days ago. This edition is also illustrated and the illustrations are beautiful. Most of them are black and white but there are some that are in colour. I’ll be sharing some of my favourites in my review but not all of them. I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone.ย 

I love the Song of Ice and Fire series and I am so grateful to HarperCollins New Zealand for letting me review a copy. I won’t be reviewing the story because this is the third time I’ve read A Game of Thrones so nothing is new to me and I don’t think I can review the story now. But I don’t know yet.ย 4

Recently Finished โ€“
I finished Blood for Blood on Sunday and I loved it. I read Wolf by ย Wolf last year and thought it was really good. This is the sequel and conclusion to Wolf by Wolf.

Blood for Blood picks up where Wolf by Wolf left off. Or a little bit before I think. You get to see the ending in the ballroom from Luca’s point of view and what happened to Felix. Then, the story picks up and it is just as good as Wolf by Wolf and just as sad.

I’ll be reviewing this soon. I still have to write my review but it should be up in the next few weeks.ย cyoivduuqaaxi5q

I’ve finally read Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor. I thought this was just as good as The Sword of Summer. I love learning about the Norse mythology because the only thing I’ve seen before reading these two books were the Thor movies and I don’t know how accurate those are… But then it’s the same with these books. Riordan always has a modern twist to the myths, like Thor using his hammer to watch Game of Thrones…

The ending of The Hammer of Thor was so good and I cannot wait to read the next book. I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for it to be released.ย cx-pbfuvqaayhul

Hotel for the Lost wasn’t the best book I’ve read this year but not the worst. It was really predictable, had some insta-love and a little cheesy in places but I still wanted to finish it. I wanted to know how the story ended even though the tag line on the cover pretty much gives it away.

I’ll be reviewing this soon. Hopefully this week. I think I have one book to review before it but I’ve lost track of what reviews I need to do. I have fallen so far behind it isn’t even funny anymore. Hopefully I can catch up over the holidays but with what’s going on in my life right now I’m not so sure.ย cx0lrbrucaamaxy

Devolve; The Wolf is written by a New Zealand author and is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian story. The first in a series I think.

This isn’t a very long book but so much happens in it. I don’t want to say too much here because everything is already in my review. You can read that here if you want.

You can also check out the Devolve website here and if you’re interested you can find copies of his book there too. His next books, Devolve; The Bug, will be out next year and I cannot wait to read it. It looks really good.

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I’ve already reviewed Stealing Snow on my blog so I don’t want to go into this here either. If you want to check out my review of this you can read it here.

I will say that this wasn’t my favourite book of the year but it also wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read.

I do plan on reading the next book to see where the story is going because the ending was interesting and I still want to give it a chance. But I don’t know what I’ll do if Snow, the main character, annoys me as much as she did in this book. But she kind of stepped up at the end when her world fell to pieces around her.ย cxgemhdusaemcm_

This is the last book I’ll be talking about here. It has been two weeks since I last did a
WWW Wednesday post which is why there are so many books under the ‘Recently Finished’ part of this post.

I loved Girl in Pieces. I still have to review this so I won’t be going into it here but I really enjoyed it. The main character, Charlie, did kind of annoy me at times but I will get into why in my review. That will hopefully be up tomorrow and then I’ll be reviewing Hotel for the Lost on Friday. If I’m remembering correctly….ย img_20151019_131922

Reading Nextย โ€“
I received a copy of The Black Key, the last book in the Lone City trilogy, from Walker Books Australia in October and I need to read the first two books before I can start that. So next on my TBR is The Jewel, the first book in the trilogy.

I read and reviewed the first two books in the trilogy last year so I won’t be doing a review on this. I loved it the first time I read it and I’m sure I’ll love it this time too.

What have you been reading lately? Leave me a comment and let me know.

– Aimee.

November Wrap Up & December TBR.

monthlywrapup

It’s that time of the month again where I do my monthly wrap up and TBR. I didn’t read that much in November but I’m just glad I read some books. Anyway, onto my November wrap up.

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This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan -โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
Devolve; The Wolf by Mike Hooper –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
Hotel for the Lost by Suzanne Young –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thorย by Rick Riordan –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Not a lot of books but still a pretty good reading month. Now onto my December TBR.

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I had Ten Thousand Skies Above You and The Jewel on my November TBR but I didn’t manage to read them so I decided to add them to my December TBR because I really need to read them. Although The Jewel is a re-read.

I’ve read Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin and am currently reading the illustrated edition of A Game of Thrones.

I have no idea how many of these I’ll actually read. A Game of Thrones is over 800 pages so that’s going to take me a while. I guess I’ll just see how the month goes.

What’s on your TBR for this month?

Aimee.