Saturday, November 27, 2021

In My Mailbox #525

This week went by so fast that I did not even have time to think about reading. Oops. But I do have my next read ready. Just.. not ready yet, ha :) Might give it a try tomorrow, though. I decided to cancel my surgery for next week. I don't feel ready for it. And especially not doing Christmas month. So yeah. Will get it sometime next year instead. I also have another cold, ugh, which is currently killing me. Rude. I'm waiting on some epic mail, hopefully arriving early next week. <3 Epic to me, ha :) Just sad that the sun is gone already. So photos will be dark for some weeks now. Until late January, maybe. I shall survive this, hopefully :) Did get some pretty mail this week, though. <3 And busy playing Animal Crossing, as always, and now been playing some Pokemon Brilliant Diamond as well :D So much love, as always. This week I'm waiting on Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena :) Hope you are all doing well and staying safe. <3 December is almost here, at last :D I love looking at my pretty Christmas tree. Sigh. Gorgeous.

Animal Crossing. Eee. I couldn't not buy this gorgeous calendar, haha. I love this game the very most.
Lyra's Oxford. Another edition, oops. This time the US version, which I did not own any copies of, ha :)
Gilded. International paperback edition. <3 It looks so gorgeous. I'm reading this book very very soon :D
Keeper of the Lost Cities: Unlocked. Yes, yes. So behind. But bonus content, ha :D So I had to buy this.
Nintendo Switch Games. SO excited about the new Pokemon game :D And I bought the other versions too, because I realized that I can play both games, since there are different pokemon in each game. Ha :)
Pop Figures. Ahh. That Harry Potter dragon is my favorite of all my HP pops. It's gorgeous. Love them all.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday #528

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

TEAM CHU AND THE BATTLE OF BLACKWOOD ARENA
BY JULIE C. DAO


Goodreads Description:

A rollicking, action-packed adventure of laser tag and fierce sibling rivalries, Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena is the first book in a commerical middle grade fantasy series by Julie C. Dao.

Clip and Sadie Chu couldn’t be more different. Popular, athletic Clip wants to become his school’s first seventh-grade soccer captain, while brainy star student Sadie is determined to prove that she can do anything her boastful brother can.

They have just one thing in common: they love laser tag. Like, really love it.

When the Blackwood Gaming Arena comes to town, bringing virtual reality headsets and state-of-the-art courses, they couldn’t be more excited—or competitive. But then a mysterious figure appears and claims to be a part of the game, forcing the Chus and their friends to save themselves from a sinister force lurking inside the simulation.

Together, they must fight their way through epic battlegrounds that will test their speed, skills, and smarts . . . but will Clip and Sadie learn that they’re far better off working together than competing for the ultimate victory?

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: July 26th 2022 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Pre-Order: Book Depository
and Amazon #ad

This book looks pretty amazing :D And I think it sounds pretty fun too. I have only read one book by Julie so far, oops, but I own all her books. So I will be giving this one a try too. I'm hoping to love this a lot :)
What are you waiting for on this competitive Wednesday?

Saturday, November 20, 2021

In My Mailbox #524

Another week gone by. I have not gotten much done this past week. Oops. But I am doing good. And I read a book, so yay for that. And hoping to read again shortly :) Fingers crossed. I love having all my Christmas stuff up. It's so stunning. And I just cannot wait for Christmas, ha :) I finished pretty much all my present shopping ages ago too, everything wrapped up as well. Always get a lot for my small family. <3 I just can't wait for Christmas movies and cookies and food and everything. Eee. But oh. Also surgery on December 1st. I am not looking forward to that. Gah. Hoping it will go okay. Fingers crossed, please. I did get some really lovely mail this week. And waiting on even more amazing things :) I shared my review of Clarice the Brave. <3 This week I'm waiting on Gallant :) I hope you are all doing well and staying safe. Have any of you gotten Christmas ready as well? :D There isn't long left, eee. <3 Christmas is the best :)

The Walking Dead. I couldn't resist buying this art book. And oh, it looks so wonderful. I do love this show.
Gilded. Second US hardcover arrived, ha :D But a bit damaged, ack. This will be my reading copy, lol :)
Aurora's End. Someday soon I will re-read book one and two. <3 UK signed edition, US hardcover. Love.
Graceling. The Graphic Novel. Eee! Paperback edition. And it is goddamn gorgeous. Sigh. Love it most.
Middle-Earth Ultimate Collector's Edition. Oh. This was beyond expensive. But worth it. Best movies :D
The Scorpio Races. Ahh! 10th anniversary edition via Owlcrate. See instagram for more. It is perfect. <3
Pop Figure. Eee! Thank you so much Funko Nordic for this Harry Potter special edition :D I love him so.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday #527

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

GALLANT BY V. E. SCHWAB

Goodreads Description:

Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source.

#1 New York Times–bestselling author Victoria Schwab weaves a dark and original tale about the place where the world meets its shadow, and the young woman beckoned by both sides. The Secret Garden meets Crimson Peak in this stand-alone novel perfect for readers of Holly Black and Neil Gaiman.


Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Schwab crafts a vivid and lush novel that grapples with the demons that are often locked behind closed doors. An eerie, standalone saga about life, death, and the young woman beckoned by both. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Melissa Albert, and Garth Nix will quickly lose themselves in this novel with crossover appeal for all ages.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2022 by Greenwillow Books
Pre-Order: Book Depository
and Amazon #ad

I feel pretty curious about this book :) Been a fan of Victoria for years, though I'm also so very far behind on reading her books. Oops. Catching up one day, ha. But yeah. I think Gallant sounds pretty great and I like the cover too. I will be buying this one, and hoping that I will love it a whole bunch. Fingers crossed :D
What are you waiting for on this haunting Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Review: Clarice the Brave by Lisa McMann

This was a book I knew I needed to read the moment I saw that cover. Because it is way too cute. And I loved that it was a story about a mouse. I have been a fan of Lisa for years, though I am also many years behind on reading her books. Oops. But I own pretty much all of them. This one I simply could not wait to begin.

And I could not have been happier about this book. Giving it four stars, and oh, how much I loved it. It was such a cute story. But also so very evil and full of sadness at times. I even cried near the ending. So rude. But then it gave me so much joy as well. I adored these animals way too much. So yes. I loved this book.

Will begin by saying that the writing was pretty lovely and I had no trouble connecting to this story. It is a book told mostly from the point of view of Clarice, a small mouse living on a ship. And a little from her brother too, Charles Sebastian. But this story is for the most part about Clarice. And I loved this mouse to pieces. They used to be a bigger mouse family living in the pantry of this ship. But they have lost their family one by one. Their sister to one of the three cats, and their mother to the waves, just a week before this book begins. And so Clarice and Charles Sebastian are all alone and not sure how they will manage to survive, when the rest of their family did not. To make things even worse, the sailors are talking about mutiny. A word they do not know.

But these two small mice are soon to know what that word means, as it will change their world. Once the sailors start with their mutiny against the captain, they make him and his supporters leave on a smaller boat. Giving them a little food to survive, which include the crate Clarice and her brother are living in. She stays in this crate, while it is lifted off the ship. But Charles Sebastian always runs when there is danger, and he ran out of the crate. And so they were separated, he still on the large ship, her leaving on a boat.

Which is what this adventure is all about. These two small mice trying to find each other again. Without being able to do a thing about it. All they can do is listen to the humans, trying to figure out what they are planning. And there was a whole lot of planning. It was interesting to see what Clarice thought about it all, how the humans were to her. This is her story. But we learn about them too, and their mutiny. There are lots of deaths. One I thought was sad, but also not that much, because he kind of deserved it. Ha. Sorry.

We see a little of Charles Sebastian, still on the ship. He has lost track of the pantry, not sure how to find it again. And we get to see him trying to survive on his own for the very first time. As his family always did everything for him. And I loved seeing him grow braver on his own. He also starts a small friendship with a human girl, a prisoner of these mutineers. I felt so badly for her. And I loved that he helped her a little, at least. I did adore this little boy mouse. He was cute and pretty brave at times too. I liked his story a lot.

But yeah. The star of this book was Clarice. And also Special Lady. One of the three cats, who ended up on the small boat with Clarice. This book takes place over many weeks. There are weeks of starving and barely surviving. Many of the sailors did not make it. But Clarice and Special Lady did. Since they helped each other. And I loved that beyond words. Cats and mice are enemies. Special Lady even ate her sister. They hated each other. But on this small boat, they needed each other. And that was the very best thing.

The sailors did not feed the cat. Which made me want them all to die. Hmph. So rude. But Clarice fed her. She was able to sneak food from the sailors and give to the cat. Keeping her from dying, all those weeks at sea. And Special Lady helped Clarice get water that she couldn't find on her own. I so loved reading about these two becoming friends. Of them connecting and starting to care for each other. It was what I loved most about this book. Sigh. Of course, it was full of other great things too, but that was my favorite.

Not going to say much more about this story. Took me a few days to read it, as I can barely read right now, but it was a really fast read and can easily be read in a few hours. I know I would read this book again. The ending hurt me. But it was also so good. There is so much going on. And I so loved every moment. Claire the Brave was just the kind of book I needed. Full of adventure and danger. The most beautiful friendship between a cat and a mouse. I loved it a whole lot. And you all need to read this too.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

In My Mailbox #523

How can time be moving so fast? Gah. Plus side, Christmas is getting closer :D And I may have actually gotten all my Christmas ornaments up today, eee :D Just missing my Christmas tree. Might go look for it tomorrow. Just. Yeah. I love all my Christmas things. <3 It's so pretty. So I couldn't wait any longer, ha. I'm glad I got it all up today :) I haven't read anything this week. Sigh. But have the next book ready, and will read tomorrow. Just busy playing Animal Crossing New Horizons :) Which is still the very best thing. Sigh. Also watching Jungle Cruise last night, which was awesome. And oh my gosh. Red (Taylor's Version) is SO BEAUTIFUL. I already loved the songs, of course, but love them even more now. And love all the new songs so much too. Sigh. She is the very best. And the video for All Too Well. Gosh. It is so good and so evil. Sigh. So much love. Anyway. Only one new post. This week I'm waiting on My Imaginary Mary :) Got a bit of lovely mail, as always, ha. <3 Medicine day again on Monday. Ugh. Hope you are all doing well :)

Empire of the Vampire. Finally got my regular UK hardcover. Shipped via Australia, took months. Ack :)
Gilded. Eee! First US hardcover, haha. I cannot wait to finally get to read this book veeery soon. <3 Yess.
Skin of the Sea. This book looked so gorgeous. I had to order it :D I'm hoping to love this a whole bunch.
Miss Moriarty, I Presume? Eee! New book in this most amazing series :D I'm so very excited for this one.
Pop Figures. Finally got my Stitch, after waiting months. Love my Dug. And patronus cat :D So very cute.
Flåklypa Grand Prix. Eee. Norwegian game, haha :) I loved playing this on my computer as a kid. Excited.
Mario Party Coasters. A pre-order bonus here in Norway. A little cheap quality, but they do look pretty :)
Animal Crossing Series 5 Amiibo Cards. Eee! Only two packs, ha. Waiting on 40 more soon. Oops. Love!

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday #526

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

MY IMAGINARY MARY (Mary #2)
BY CYNTHIA HAND & BRODI ASHTON & JODI MEADOWS

Goodreads Description:

It’s aliiiiiiiive! The bestselling authors of My Lady Jane are back with the electric, poetic, and (almost) historical tale of the one and only Mary Shelley.

Mary may have inherited the brilliant mind of her late mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, but she lives a drab life above her father’s bookstore, waiting for an extraordinary idea that’ll inspire a work worthy of her parentage—and impress her rakishly handsome (and super-secret) beau, Percy Shelley.

Ada Lovelace knows a thing or two about superstar parents, what with her dad being Lord Byron. But her passions lie beyond the arts—in mechanical engineering, to be exact. Alas, no matter how precise Ada’s calculations, there’s always a man willing to claim her ingenious ideas as his own.

When fate (er, fae) connects our two masterminds, they learn their talents are rare indeed—because their parents were two of the most powerful fae to have ever lived. And with the right training from a fae godmother, they can achieve anything they dare to imagine. But when their dream team accidentally-on-purpose results in a living, breathing, thinking automaton, Mary and Ada face a villain of Gothic proportions. . . .

With comic genius and a truly electrifying sense of adventure, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows continue their campaign to turn history on its head in this YA fantasy that’s perfect for fans of The Princess Bride and A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.

Hardcover, 512 pages
Expected publication: August 2nd 2022 by HarperTeen
Pre-Order: Book Depository
and Amazon #ad

I'm pretty curious to see what these lovely authors will to do this Mary Shelley story :D It sounds pretty amazing so far. I.. am still behind on these books. Sigh. But will still be waiting for them all and will be buying all the new ones too, of course :) Hoping to be able to catch up soon. <3 Also, love this cover :D
What are you waiting for on this imaginary Wednesday?

Saturday, November 6, 2021

In My Mailbox #522

I have read a book this week! YAY! Finally, haha. Have read so little this year. And had now been two months since my last read. Gosh. But I read something. And it was a four star. So it was good :) And already planning on what to read next, so fingers crossed I will finally be reading a little more. Okay, I loved reading, but it was so so difficult to make myself continue to read. I still have no real motivation to read, honestly. I love it so once I start. But starting is the issue. Every time. Sigh. Hope it gets better soon. Anyway. This week have been mostly good :) I'm still pretty exhausted, but doing better, I suppose. I was going crazy waiting for the Animal Crossing amiibo series 5 cards to be up for pre-order on the Nintendo UK site. And they never came. Not until the release day this Friday. Ahhh. Rude. I was refreshing pretty much every five minutes for a few weeks. Oops. But that meant I managed to order a bunch when they finally did drop :) But now waiting to see if they will ship my orders to my UK friend, as I did place a bit more that what was allowed.. but I think it will go fine. Gosh. I hope they ship them all. So nervous, to be honest, ha. But yeah. Fingers crossed. The new Animal Crossing New Horizons update is aaamazing so far. So I'm now playing even more than I usually do, haha. But love it so. Sigh. Got a bit of pretty mail this week too. <3 And finally two new blog posts, ha. This week I'm waiting on Rise of the Vicious Princess :D And I shared my review of Small Favors :) Hope you are all doing well and staying safe these days. <3

Signed copy of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. International. Ends 11/08. FINAL CHANCE!!!

Daughter of the Deep. Oops. I couldn't help but buy the US and UK editions. Really hope to love this one.
The School Between Winter and Fairyland. I couldn't resist buying this pretty MG book. Hope to love it :D
Archenemies + Supernova. Both US paperbacks just came out :D I still have not read them. Aack. Soon.
Gilded. First of many copies have arrived, ha. This is the signed UK paperback from Waterstones. Love.
Nintendo Switch games. LOVE the new Mario Party. Excited about Aladdin + The Lion King and Smash.
Ed Sheeran = Equals. I bought this to enter a competition; did not win. But excited to listen to it even so.
Claire Legrand bookmark. EEE! Thank you so, so much Whitney for sending me this. <3 I LOVE IT SO.
Pop Figure. I was certain this Hades was missing in the mail. Shipped ages ago. But he is here at last :D

More Instagram photos here. <3

Friday, November 5, 2021

Review: Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

I finally got to read this gorgeous book that I have been wanting to read for ages now. I adored the first book by Erin and I could not wait to read more by her. This book also looks so stunning. And I knew I would end up loving it. Which I did. And that makes me so very happy. It wasn't always perfect, but I liked it so much.

And so I'm giving this book four stars. Four very good stars. Will do my best to write down all my thoughts. But I fear they may be few, as this book has left me with no clear thoughts at all, ha. So I shall begin by saying that the writing was perfection. I had no problem with it, and no trouble connecting to all the characters.

Small Favors is told from the point of view of eighteen-year-old Ellerie. She lives in a very small town with her family. It's a place where everyone knows everyone. I am not sure what to call this book. It felt very much like a book set far in the past. But it had a lot of modern things too, more like the future, but set in a small town that acted like they were in the past most of the time. I very much liked this setting, though. A little confusing, but good. We get to know a whole lot about Ellerie. And I adored this girl the most. She could behave a bit weirdly, with how she changed how she felt about someone super fast during a few certain scenes. But oh, I adored her. Getting to know her was so good. I loved how she was brave and fierce. How she loved her family.

And oh, her family was pretty amazing. Her little sisters, Sadie and Merry. Eight and sixteen years old. Her twin brother, Sam. And their parents. I liked her mom a whole bunch. Her dad too. A little strict at times, but I adored him as well. I did not really like her twin brother at all. Oops. He did so, so many bad things in this story. I am not a forgiving person. So, yeah. Sadie was adorable, though. A little childish, a whole lot of cute. I loved Merry as well. Mostly I loved how they all loved each other. Great relationships.

I will not be saying too much about this book. It tells the story about Ellerie and her family. And their lives in this small town. We get to know an awful lot of people around them too. Maybe a bit too many people, as I had a bit of trouble keeping up with all of them. Sure, they were interesting at times, but I didn't really care about any of the people of the town, haha. There was so much drama with them at times too. A lot of fighting and violence happened as well. It was pretty great to read about, though, haha. It was interesting.

Ellerie and her family own a farm. With her dad being a beekeeper. And Ellerie is finally starting to learn a little more about the bees too, and I so loved how she was excited about that. Did not love how she was depressed about how being a girl in this town and world meant a lesser life at times. But Ellerie did more than what she was meant to do. And she had a pretty great life in this book, I think. This book tells the story about how things are going wrong in this town. And how something evil might be behind all of this.

Which is something that I really liked reading about. I truly liked reading more about the monsters in the woods. I liked when people who went into the woods ended up murdered, ha. But there was too little of all of this as well, I think. It took so very long before there was even a mention of the small favors that these creatures are asking for. Way more than half the book. I wish there had been more of everything. More scary, more creepy. But I also truly liked reading this book, because I loved Ellerie and her family. Yeah.

Oh. And I have not yet mentioned the boy. He just suddenly shows up close to their yard, and he starts appearing more often after that. I liked reading about him and Ellerie together. I loved how he flirted with her. And she with him, sometimes. He did not give her a name. So she gave him one. Whitaker. I liked it. And I loved him. He was a little off at times. A little weird. And then was also gone for such long moments. Rude. But the story with him and Ellerie was pretty great. Okay. I have shared too much. Yet not enough.

There is a big accident that happens kind of early in the book. A fire. And it makes it so their parents have to leave. Then they are gone for the rest of the book. How rude. But gosh, I think maybe reading about that accident may have been my favorite part of the book. Maybe. It was horrible and kind of evil at the same time. Yet so interesting to read about. There was another fire at the end of the book, with a whole lot of dead people, but I cared more for the first fire. Despite how they were both pretty awful. Loved it.

I did have a few small problems with this book, which is why this is a four star and not a five star. The pacing was a little off to me. There was so little happening for so very long. And then it happened again and again too. With huge time jumps with barely anything going on. I did understand why it was so, but it got to be a little boring at times. And I wouldn't have minded more action, more story, less jumps. I also wish it had been more scary, haha. It was creepy, but not truly scary. Still. I did like this book very much.

I will say that I am so happy that I read Small Favors. That it was a book that I adored. Not fully perfect, but so very good. And there were parts of it that I really loved. Oh. I wish there had been more about the bees. I mean, they are right there on that pretty cover. But so little in the book. How rude. I liked reading about them, though. And oh. The ending was rude. I am not pleased. Okay, it was good, for some. Also a little open. I wished to know more about a couple characters. But anyway. You need this book in your life.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday #525

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

RISE OF THE VICIOUS PRINCESS BY C. J. REDWINE

Goodreads Description:

The first in a thrilling and romantic YA political fantasy duology about a fierce princess determined to bring lasting peace to her kingdom regardless of the cost to her heart—from C. J. Redwine, acclaimed author of the Defiance series and the New York Times bestselling Ravenspire series.

Princess Charis Willowthorn is the dutiful sword of Calera. Raised to be ruthless and cunning, her only goal is to hold her war-torn kingdom together long enough to find a path toward peace with their ancient foe, Montevallo, even if the cost is her own heart.

When violence erupts in the castle itself and an unseen enemy begins sinking Calera’s ships, Charis realizes a threat much greater than Montevallo is coming for her people. So she forms a plan. By day, she is Calera’s formidable princess intent on forging an alliance with Montevallo. By night, she disguises herself as a smuggler and roams the sea with a trusted group of loyalists, hunting for their new enemies. And through it all, there’s the one boy she can’t have—who guards her life but steals her heart.

But her enemies are much closer than Charis realizes, and her heart isn’t the only thing she has left to lose.

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: June 14th 2022 by Balzer & Bray
Pre-Order: Book Depository
and Amazon #ad

Eeee! I am SO very excited about this book :D Gosh. Such a huge fan of C. J. <3 Have loved her and her books for so many years now. Sigh. And feel like I have waited ages for her next book, haha :) This one looks gorgeous and sounds like it will be amazing. Sigh. I can't wait. And yesss for it being with Harper, meaning I will be auto-approved for an eARC on Edelweiss, haha. Hoping it will be there. And soon. I have read so little lately, and will not read more ebooks, but this is one of very few eARCs I would read :)
What are you waiting for on this vicious Wednesday?