I love Jane Austen and I love bookish inspired decor. No surprises there, I’m sure! I recently came across these library-inspired candles. They have several authors, but my favorite is the Jane Austen one (for no other reason than I’ve enjoyed her books).
If you like classics and candles I kinda feel like this is a must. The only downside is that it’s a bit pricey. If I ever come across these in a shop I’d love to smell them and take a real look at it so I can decide if it’s worth it. I’m 98% positive that I’ll love it though!
Are you candle obsessed as well? I’ll actually be posting about my candle collection over on Trendy Edgy Chic next Friday if you’re interested!
Over the last few months I have purchased a few books and gotten quite a few for review. Since I haven’t filmed a haul in a while the pile was up to my waist! If you’ve read any of these and think I should move them up on my TBR definitely let me know!
Title: Famous in LoveAuthor:Rebecca SerleSeries:Famous in Love #1Publisher:PoppyDate: October 21, 2014Pages: 336Format: ARCSource:For ReviewDescription: "The romantic story of a girl who gets plucked from obscurity to star in the next major feature film franchise based on a book and the ensuing love triangles she gets entangled in on—-and off screen.
Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…
When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.
In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.
Famous in Love was a fun, fast read and I’m looking forward to the sequel despite the annoying characters and lack of a strong plot. Famous in Love is exactly what it sounds like. A girl who is famous falling for her co-star. Both of them, possibly. Which means if you don’t like love triangles, you can walk away from this book right now.
I happen to love a good love triangle. Yes, they can go south pretty easily, but when they’re done well they can really add a lot to a story. So how did we do with Famous in Love? Meh. At first Paige has feelings for Ranier and I just found it hard to buy into them couple. I didn’t particularly like Ranier and while the two had chemistry, it wasn’t mind blowing or anything. Then we meet her second co-star, Jordan, and the story starts to get a lot better. I really liked Jordan’s character and he added a lot to the story.
Paige, however, is pretty annoying. I’m the type of person who can still enjoy a novel and not like the main character, so Famous in Love doesn’t lose too many points with me for this. It’s not even that Paige is torn between two people that bothers me. What bothers me is that in the end she knows what she wants but makes her decisions despite her true desires. It just seemed so irrational. I feel like the main reason behind choosing something she didn’t want was to add more conflict for future novels and I hate that.
Sometimes you find a great book and you get to the end and you’re just disappointed. Sometimes someone, somewhere decides to take a perfectly fine (and possibly excellent) stand alone and turn into a series. As a reader, you’re going along and everything is great and then BAM we work in the most unnecessary plot twist ever and our wonderful book loses pieces of what it could have been thanks to the ever-present, not-always-necessary sequel. I know a lot of us went through this when we read The Selection linkand I’m sad to see happen again with Famous in Love.
Title: IllusionariumAuthor:Heather DixonPublisher:GreenwillowDate: May 19, 2015Pages: 368Format: ARCSource:For ReviewDescription: "What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.
Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he's a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.
I’m pretty good at knowing which books I’ll love and which ones aren’t for me based on the book cover and synopsis, but with Illusionarium I was a little bit off base. For some reason I had a lot of trouble connecting with the characters and plot, which is an essential element to enjoying a story.
The characters were well-developed and Jonathan, our main character, was really funny. Heather Dixon included footnotes of side commentary from Jonathan throughout the novel that made me laugh, but also pulled me out of the story a bit since I would have to pause mid-paragraph to read them. The supporting characters don’t have Jonathan’s humor and may seem a bit ridiculous at first (particularly Lockwood), but as the story progresses it’s clear that Dixon has put a lot of thought into each person.
Even though the characters are great, however, the romance is not. Love does not feature a prominent role in the novel, which is fine. Most of the romance comes from the supporting characters and I wish we had just cut it out all together. Insta-love, people. Insta-love. At it’s prime no less. The two character meet, they’re attracted to each other, and like 5 pages later they’re so into each other they’d die for one another. Can we not????
Luckily the plot and world building were better than the romance, but they still weren’t great. I was really apathetic to the whole thing. Alternate worlds is a cool concept, but I wasn’t that interested in how they came about or the differences between the two. The quest to save the world plot line had a lot of potential too, but it all just fell flat for me.
Even though there are plenty of elements here for an amazing story, something about the way it was combined didn’t work for me. Maybe I needed a more interesting alternate London? Maybe I needed a heart-stopping romance? Maybe we needed better bad-guy action? Whatever it was, I wanted to love this one and just didn’t.
I have said over and over again how much I hate sibling love triangles. They suck and I, generally speaking, cannot stand them. Do you know how many times a sibling triangle was actually done well? That means I didn’t want to hit the characters, I still liked everyone involved, and I wasn’t internally screaming at the TV or my book? Once. That’s right, just once:
Brothers First and Foremost
Damon and Stefan don’t turn their backs on each other. Well . . . not permanently anyway. Sure, over the decades these two have had their ups and their downs. They’ve gone years without speaking, but in the end they really do love each other. They would do anything to protect each other and that brotherly bond really comes through in the show
Damon Tried to Step Aside
Damon loves Stefan. He has fought his feelings for Elena during almost the entire show. There are moments when he confesses his feelings for Elena and then compels them away. It’s very clear how much he loves her, but he always tries to step aside and do right by his brother. I actually think Elena would have picked Damon before she even met Stefan if she had remembered him. But Damon wants Elena to be happy and he think that means pushing her away. I think in a lot of ways Damon feels he’s a bad person and can only hurt those he cares about. So he puts as much distance as possible between him and Elena in the beginning and encourages her to be with someone he also loves: Stefan.
It took a long time for Elena to fall for Damon
In part because he would erase her memories. Elena liked Damon the first time she saw him. They definitely had a connection and you can see all the sparks. All the potential. But as Damon has pointed out — he can’t be selfish with Elena. So he tries to keep her away. He does terrible things, he’s not always nice, and he compels away a lot of their heartfelt moments.
Thanks to all of this, it takes Elena a long time to realize she has feelings for Damon. It’s a series of small kindnesses and moments that make her laugh. It’s the sacrifices he makes for her happiness — even when it’s killing him. She sees his loyalty to his brother and to her, and she realizes he’s really not a bad guy. This love triangle took years to truly develop and they both fought it. Neither one of them wanted to hurt Stefan, so they stayed apart for a long time.
Nothing Can Tear Us Apart
There is no denying that the sibling love triangle is a shitty situation, but they don’t let the love triangle come between them. Despite all the pain, Stefan wants Damon to be happy. He sees that Elena makes him better and he wants that for Damon. In the end seeing how much kinder and happier Damon is when he’s around Elena helps Stefan work through the pain.
Damon never wanted to hurt Stefan. He wants Stefan to be happy. Stefan wants the same thing for Damon. This is one of the worst things I can imagine happening to two brothers, but their bond is surprisingly strong enough to overcome it. Maybe 173 years of life gives you a level of maturity that is beyond what us mere mortals can understand.
Not at the SAME TIME!!!
This is one of the most important parts. Elena did not have a relationship with both of them
at the same time. She may have had feelings for both of them at the same time, but she wasn’t in Stefan’s bed one night and Damon’s the next. She didn’t bounce back and forth. She was completely devoted to Stefan until Klaus came along and turned Stefan into a monster. As a result she and Damon spent a lot more time together and Elena admitted she was conflicted. After a short time she returns to Stefan and isn’t with Damon again until she turns. Even though the feelings for both brothers is present throughout the series, she’s not constantly jumping between brothers.
How do you feel about sibling love triangles? Do you always hate them or do you have any special exceptions, like The Vampire Diaries? If you love them in general you have to let me know! I don’t think I’ve met anyone who just loves sibling triangles, so if you do definitely tell me why in the comments . I love getting different perspectives on these things.
Ah, the controversial Girl in a Dress cover. Many hate it, but I love it. I’ll take a gorgeous gown on my book any day! I really love the red dress with black lace detail on the Illusionarium cover and had to see if I could find a few that had the same vibe and would be wearable in 2015.
I freaking love the middle dress. I want it noooooow. I also want the one on the right, but I can’t pull off that silhouette. I end up looking like I’m wearing a potato sack, which is unfortunate it because it looks so nice on other people. And the dress on the left? Hot Topic. I know — again — I can’t believe it either! That one isn’t my style, but I thought it worked really well with the steampunk theme we have on the cover.
If you had to pick one of these to wear, which would you go with?
BEA (Book Expo America) is one of my favorite times of the year. This will actually be my fifth time attending, so I’d like to think I have a pretty good handle on the show at this point. Over the years, I’ve really refined what I bring with me to BEA, so I wanted to show you all of the things I’ll be packing in my handbag. This is definitely a good look at a few BEA essentials, but I also have a BEA tips & tricks post if you’re interested.
If this is your first time going, or if you’re just curious about what it’s like I made a vlog for last year’s trip – I show you the booths, NYC, Javits. The whole experience really. I also wrote up a recap of last year’s event and I have quite a few BEA posts in my archive.
For more books I’m looking forward to, check out the Upcoming page.
These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker (February 2016 – Swoon Reads)
“Evelyn has no interest in marriage and even the dashing Mr. Kent can’t inspire her to give in to society’s expectations. She’d much rather assist her beloved sister Rose in her radical quest to become a doctor. Then she meets Sebastian Braddock. The reclusive gentleman is vexing, annoyingly attractive, and quite possibly mad—and his interest in Rose is galling. So when Rose disappears, Sebastian is immediately suspect.
Yet Sebastian’s strange tales of special powers soon prove to be true, and Evelyn learns that Rose’s kidnappers have much worse in mind for her than simply ruining her reputation. Surrounded by secrets, lies, and unprecedented danger, Evelyn has no choice but to trust Sebastian, yet she can’t help but worry that his secrets are the most dangerous of all…” Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa (October 2015 – Harlequin Teen)
“The Iron Prince—my nephew—betrayed us all.
He killed me.
Then, I woke up.
Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. Although humankind’s glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world has been cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now, she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Summer and Winter—a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever.
Leading the Lady’s Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan’s nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan’s enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore.” Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson (July 2015 – Henry Holt & Co. BYR)
“Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.
Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.” Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Endure by Sara B. Larson (January 2015 – Scholastic)
“The remarkable third novel in Sara B. Larson’s bestselling Defy series!
At last, Alexa and King Damian are engaged to be married. But their lives are far from safe. The kingdom of Antion is under siege, and Rylan is a prisoner of the enemy. Even worse, Alexa remains at the mercy of the evil Dansiian Rafe, who controls her mind and can force Alexa to kill or harm Damian at any moment. Despite this, Alexa is determined to rescue Rylan, which soon leads her far from Damian and deep into enemy territory.
When she arrives, what awaits her is deadlier than anything she could have ever imagined: an army of black sorcerers, and a horrifying plot to destroy the world as Alexa knows it. Will she be able to gather the strength to free herself, protect the love of her life, and save the land? Will there ever be true peace?
Acclaimed author Sara B. Larson has woven a stunning, romantic, and evocative finale to the Defy trilogy, that is sure to leave readers breathless until the very last page.” Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
There are a lot of books I’m beyond exited about in this pile! I have been waiting on Iron Warrior for over a year and it’s one of those books that kept getting pushed back, but it will be here really soon. Then there’s Endure and The Heart of Betrayal. I adore both of these series and I positively must know what will be happening with Alexa and Lia. The one book that is completely new to me here is These Vicious Masks. I have not read anything from either of these authors before, but the synopsis just really grabs me. It kind of reminds me of Jane Austen but with magic (most likely due to the language used).
What books are you excited for? Have any of these made it to your TBR?
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
Snow Like Ashes has gotten some very high praise since it was released. Well, even before that really. Therefore, my expectations were really high going into this one and I’m pleased to say that they were, generally speaking, met.
Now, the very beginning of the book was awesome. I instantly liked Meira and Mather and just knew I was going to really like the story. But then it started to drag a teeny bit for a few of the early chapters so I wasn’t so sure anymore. After those 2 -3 chapters ended though, I was right back to absolutely loving the story.
I’m a little torn as to wether I liked the plot or characters better since this was one of those books that really had it all. We have a rebellion (more of a fight to reinstate a kingdom), some light romance, and a wonderful balance between action and slower paced scenes. The only thing I think the plot loses points for is that it’s a wee bit predictable.
If we look at the characters though, we have some all around great people. Meira, Mather, Theron, Sir are all wonderful and dynamic. The thing that makes me hesitate about the characters really concerns the romance. Check back for my love triangles postwhere I explain in spoiler-filled detail what bothers me about that.
Snow Like Ashes is a truly wonderful addition to YA fantasy. It was a solid book that has basically everything you could ever ask for. Everything was wrapped up pretty nicely in this first book, but we know that there is much more left to explore and I personally cannot wait!
Yes, I feel very strongly about the word “probably” and how it is used in a sentence. I kind of feel like I am the only person that is bothered by the way this word is so often used in YA books, so if this bothers you too, for God’s sake let me know I’m not alone!
“Probably, she just went to the store”
“She probably just went to the store”
Why, oh why, do people insist on starting the sentence with probably? It makes me want to hit someone! It’s also pretty much guaranteed to pull me out of the story because I’ll be beyond irritated. I don’t even know how many books I’ve seen this in, but two that come to mind are Evernightby Claudia Gray and 99 Daysby Katie Cotugno.
What do you think? Am I crazy or is starting the sentence with “probably” really annoying and not even grammatically correct?