Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: My True Love Gave to Me

Hi everyone! If you aren't familiar with Teaser Tuesdays, it's a bookish meme hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. All you  have to do to participate is grab one of your current reads, flip to a random page, and share a sentence or two. It's super fun and easy! Head over to Books and a Beat for more info and a linkup.

My teaser is from My True Love Gave to Me, an adorable holiday anthology.


Not even trying to sound casual about it, Miranda says, "It's going to snow. It has to snow. And if it doesn't snow, we're going to do something about it. We'll make it snow."

She feels quite gratified when Lillian looks at her her as if Miranda is insane, possibly dangerous.

- page 43; My True Love Gave to Me, "The Lady and the Fox" by Kelly Link.

Feel free to comment below so I can visit your posts!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Rating: PG-13
Minutes: 133
Categories: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Family
Released: November 18th, 2016
Director: David Yates
Writer: J.K. Rowling
Main Actors: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, and Dan Fogler

Me when I first heard about Fantastic Beasts:

Me after the movie, knowing that there will be five more of these magical things:

Guys, I was a little nervous about this movie. The wizarding world is very very precious to me and I was really unsure about how a new movie would ever compare to the original Harry Potter saga. I think the solution is simple, and something many people who are disappointed in this movie might consider: don't get into it expecting Harry Potter. The week before I saw Fantastic Beasts, some coworkers of mine were saying how disappointed in it they were, which you definitely would be if you were expecting a pseudo-sequel. But on its own merits, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them is a wonderful foray back into the world we love, with new and interesting characters to boot.

Okay, can we talk about Eddie Redmayne? 

He was the perfect casting choice, and so darn cute, honestly. I love that's he's a Hufflepuff, it's about time that house got some recognition for the heroes it produces (I'm a Ravenclaw myself, but most of my best friends are Hufflepuffs). Also, if you haven't seen Eddie's PSA for the Hufflepuff house, you need to. 

I really liked the other characters, although they weren't quite as engaging as Newt. I also appreciate that the film doesn't try to rush romance. There are two budding romances in Fantastic Beasts, but they both grow naturally and at their own pace. The plotting was a tad bit slow in the beginning for my tastes, but I did enjoy getting to know the 1920's New York wizarding world, including some of it's less than ideal parts, such as no-majs (Muggles) and wizards being unable to be married or even friends.

Newt is basically a magical biologist, which, as an ecology major, is so up my alley it's insane. The CGI was amazing, and really brought the creatures to life in a way that wouldn't have been possible just a few years ago. If you've read J.K. Rowling's mini-book, also called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, you may find some of the magical critters familiar. If not, they'll all be brand new to you. 

Finally, that ending.
It set up the next movies perfectly and I am PUMPED. There's also an intriguing romance in Newt's past that I can't wait to hear more about! Also, here's hoping that we get to see Dumbledore in the sequels!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (12.3.16)

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. I'm participating in Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga Reviews, today! This is a weekly meme where we share the book goodies we got this week, whether physical books that we bought, ebooks, library books, borrowed books, etc.

I don't normally buy a ton of books, but there have been so many great deals lately that I've really stacked up! 


I'm super excited about all of these! Three Dark Crowns and This Savage Song are book club reads on one of my Goodreads groups, and Rebel Angels and Killer are both part of series that I started forever ago and never finished.


These were all on sale for 2.99 or less - which is an amazing deal for the four book Jennifer Estep bundle! I've heard great things about all of these.

Print Books

Again with the amazing deals - everything except for Heartless I got for four dollars or less. I've already started reading My True Love Gave to Me and it's so adorable I want to marry it. Heartless came in November's Owlcrate, along with some amazing Alice in Wonderland items!

That's it for me this week! I might have to take a break after all this book-buying, because I definitely don't have a bookshelf right now... Not to mention I brought two bags full of books back from Thanksgiving at my parent's house! Wish me luck in my search for a big enough (cheap enough) bookshelf. :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Book Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, or, What To Do With My Life Now

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)
Pages: 400
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Author Website: Maggie Stiefvater

Cover Comments: I really love the cover, and it matches the other covers perfectly of course. However, the deer is just a bit out of the blue.

First Line: “Richard Gansey III had forgotten how many times he had been told he was destined for greatness.”

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.



“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn't want it to be over.”

Once again, Queen Stiefvater leaves me feeling so happy that there are books and series like this in the world, and devastated that this one is over. Maggie is so so good at creating unique characters that you just have to care about. They're flawed, hilarious, brave, and feel very real. Over the course of the series, each character has been fleshed out and explored, and while there are many new things to discover about the characters in this book, (some surprising to me) all the revelations feel very right given what we already know.

I assume if you're reading this, then you've already read the first three books in the series. If not, GO NOW DO IT. Ahem. One of the other unique things that I enjoy about this series is the family dynamics. Often in YA, especially fantasy, parents are conveniently never around, and can't interfere with any supernatural havoc or teen romance. However, each of the main characters in the Raven Cycle have very different home lives, and rather than being brushed under the rug, their families are highlighted as an integral part of themselves, as it should be. Blue's mom knows all about the fantastical adventures her daughter is having, and they have an open and honest, if a bit terse, line of communication about Blue's love life: 

"Do you love him?" Maura asked curiously.
"I'd rather not," Blue replied.
"He has lots of negative qualities I can help you hone in on," her mother offered.

Gansey's family, on the other hand, knows that he is searching for an ancient king, but brushes it off as a historical quest, ignoring any magical element. Even though Gansey's family is not a huge part of the books, Stiefvater shows how Gansey's single-minded quest affects his relationships with his family.

Now, to the romance. I am SO HAPPY about the romances that bloom in The Raven King. One I expected, and one I only suspected, but they both ended up feeling so perfect. Romance is still not the central focus in the story, but it does take up significantly more space than it has in the previous books, which I am not complaining about.

One comment I've seen about this book/series/Stiefvater in general, is that some aren't a fan of her pacing. Sometimes it seems like the plot takes forever to progress and then runs at a breakneck pace. Maybe I'm just so in love with Stiefvater's writing that she could write about laundry and I would be interested, but this has never proven to be a problem for me. It's true that  A LOT happens near the end of the book, and not a ton in the beginning/middle, but I think this was necessary to set up the end.

And the end. I definitely didn't see everything happening the way it did, but it was utterly perfect. I'm very satisfied with the ending and I'm already planning my next dive into Stiefvater's books.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts - (un)Conventional Bookviews

This Thursday, I'm participating in Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts, a weekly meme hosted by (un)Conventional Book Views. I'll be sharing a food quote from Heartless by Marissa Meyer this week!

"Three luscious lemon tarts glistened up at Catherine. She reached her towel-wrapped hands into the oven, ignoring the heat that enveloped her arms and pressed against her cheeks, and lifted the tray from the hearth. The tarts' sunshine filling quivered, as if glad to be freed from the stone chamber."

These were actually the first few lines from the book, and since the main character is a baker, I  know I can look forward to many more delicious lines like this. Actually, this sort of inspired me to do a feature here on the blog, tentatively titled Book Cooking. I've read so many books where amazing meals were described, and I've been trying to learn to cook, so why not actually make some of the book meals? Have y'all heard of a feature like that already or do you think it's something you'd be interested in reading? It would most likely also involve pictures of kitchen disasters and me covered in flour so there's that! 

Tangent aside, I'm loving Heartless so far!

Have a happy Thursday!