Sunday, December 31, 2023

Best Books of 2023

Another year gone by :) This was a better reading year for me. Which I am very happy about. I ended up reading 30 books this year. Which is very good for me, ha. It is ten more than last year. I am hoping I will manage to read even more next year. Fingers crossed. I did a few re-reads. And read even more five star books. But also a whole lot of two stars. Oops. But no one star rating this year, which I'm pleased about. I have had a pretty good year. My health sucks, always. But I'm doing good despite this. This year I turned thirty. My cat turned ten. We are both doing great. I do not have much more to update about this year, just that everything is still the same, haha. And I'm so very, very happy about the books on my best of list this year. Ended up with nine favorite ones. Sort of in the correct order of which one that I loved the most. But I honestly just loved them all very much. A great reading year. What were your best books of this year? :)

Best Books of 2012. Best Books of 2013. Best Books of 2014. Best Books of 2015. Best Books of 2016. Best Books of 2017. Best Re-Reads of 2015. Best Re-Reads of 2017. Best Four Stars of 2018.
Best Books of 2018
. Best Four Stars of 2019. Best Books of 2019. Best Four Stars of 2020.
Best Books of 2020. Best Books of 2021. Best Books of 2022.
Goodreads 2023 Challenge. Goodreads 2023 Year in Books.

1. Silver in the Bone. Favorite book in a long time. It ruined me. Best setting. Most incredible characters.
2. A Crown of Ivy and Glass. Such an amazing romance. I so loved the sisters. The magic was stunning.
3. Divine Rivals. Most adorable couple. A heartbreaking moment in time. Probably the worst evil ending.

4. Champion of Fate. Such an incredible tale of heroes and those who make them. My most favorite girl.
5. A Study in Drowning. This was simply the most romantic story. And it was set in such a great place too.
6. Lore. Everything about this book hurt me. But it was a good hurt too. I so adored everything about this.

7. Strike the Zither. The most exciting story set during a war. I loved the main girl and how smart she was.
8. Sound the Gong. This was beyond evil. Yet all kinds of thrilling. The romance was the actual best thing.
9. The Isles of the Gods. A truly magical story set at sea. Enjoyed getting to know all of these characters.


Saturday, December 30, 2023

In My Mailbox #634

Happy Holidays. <3 I hope you all had the very best Christmas :D I very much did. Been having the best week. Family time and Christmas food and Christmas movies. <3 And I also got the very best presents for Christmas, eee :D Got a little bit of mail as well. I'm also taking it more easy this week. Had some bad pokemon news. Ugh. First it was a Christmas miracle. Then a nightmare. So, yeah. That was not nice at all. But I'm doing better about it now, haha :) Cannot believe it is almost January and a new year. So rude. Tomorrow I will be sharing my best books of 2023 post, eee. I read a whole bunch of amazing books this year. Eee. This week I'm waiting on The Enchanted Lies of Cèleste Artois :) Happy almost New Year :D

What the River Knows. December Fairyloot book. Looks pretty :D First time I hear of it. Hoping it's good.
Funko Pop. Got this gorgeous diamond Stitch as a Christmas present :D Wanted it for ages. He's so cute.
Nintendo Switch. This Dreamworks Kart game looked awesome, ha. Christmas present. Was a bit bad :)
Gremlins. I bought these myself, as I have a few of the ornaments. Now have more, eee. So very cute :D
Legolas Ornament. Another Christmas present, and it is the cutest. A Lord of the Rings stocking. Love :)
Playstation 5. I had wished for this cute pink controller :D Love it. I need to play more Playstation, oops.
Shoes. Eee! Got new adorable slippers. New Uggs from my sister for Christmas :D Love them most. <3
Decoration. This gorgeous crown was a gift from my sister. <3 And I just love it so very much. Gorgeous.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #636

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


Goodreads Description:

In this lush and lyrical fantasy, Ryan Graudin transports readers to the hidden magical pockets of early 1900s Paris, a place of enchanted salons, fortune tellers who can change your stars, and doorways that can take you to the most unexpected places—and introduces readers to the delightful Céleste Artois, a con artist who will make a deal with the devil in exchange for her life...and change the fate of the world.

Once, Céleste Artois had dreams of being an artist. But when the creative elite of Paris dashed those plans, she turned her talents to forgery and cons. She and the Enchantresses—her two fellow thieves and best friends—see Paris as a rich hunting ground for marks. Yet even though their hideout in Peré Lachaise cemetery is bursting with francs, Céleste cannot rest. There is always more to take. And the blood she has begun to cough into her handkerchief means her time is running out.

But everything changes when she encounters Rafe, a mysterious and beautiful stranger who leads her to an enchanted salon—a place where artists can bring wondrous imaginations to life. Céleste is captivated by this establishment, and learns of the existence of magical Paris, hidden in the pockets and alleys of the ordinary world, if one only knows where to look.

Rafe offers Céleste an irresistible deal: the gift of time in exchange for lending him and his benefactor her forging talents. But one must be careful making deals with devils, and there's more to this hidden world than meets the eye. Shadows have begun to circle Paris. And soon, the Enchantresses will find that true magic is far more powerful, and deadly, than they ever imagined.

Format: 480 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: August 27, 2024 by Redhook
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Another new book by Ryan, ha :D From middle grade to adult this time. And I think this book sounds pretty amazing too. And I will give it a try; hoping to love it. It seems interesting and I like the cover :)
What are you waiting for on this enchanted Wednesday?

Saturday, December 23, 2023

In My Mailbox #633

Happy almost Christmas :D It's the night before Christmas here. <3 I'm so excited for tomorrow. There will be turkey for dinner. My favorite. Then opening of presents in the afternoon. I'm all kinds of excited :) Hope you will all have the most wonderful Holiday. <3 This week I got no books in the mail, but a bunch of pop figures, ha :) I did read another book, my final one of the year. It was meh. Oops. But made it to thirty books read, which I'm happy about :) Been re-watching a bunch of Christmas movies these past days. <3 It's the best. And eating lots of good Christmas snacks, haha. Will be so much good food this coming week. Sigh. Excited. Two new posts. I shared my review of The Forest Grimm :) This week I'm waiting on The Girl Who Kept the Castle. <3 Hope you are all doing well. <3 MERRY CHRISTMAS :D

Lush. Eee! Finally got to buy more bath bombs, ha :D They are just the best. Sigh. A big box of them :)
Funko Nordic. Ahh! Thank you so, so much for this most wonderful Holiday gift :D The three in boxes. <3
Funko Europe. Uhm. Yeah. I placed a new order. Oops. So many new pop figures, ahh :D But I had to have them all, haha. Love the new Robin Hood ones :D And Sauron. And Bruno. And so so many other great ones. Tried more mystery mini. Still no Max. Sigh. But got two new Harry Potter; love the dragon :D

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #635

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


Goodreads Description:

Nevermoor meets Howl’s Moving Castle in this engaging fantasy—the first in a duology—from acclaimed author Ryan Graudin. Perfect for fans of wizards, dragons, magical castles, spectacular spells, and a spunky cat who may not be what he seems.

Wizard West was dead for nearly an entire day before he noticed. And it is up to Faye, the daughter of West’s groundskeeper, to inform the wizard that he is a ghost who has lost all of his magical powers. (But not before the wizard tries transforming her into a cat!) To make matters worse, the enchanted castle of Celurdur—the only home that Faye has ever known—will fall apart at the next full moon if its foundation spells can’t be renewed.

After (sort of) accepting his demise, West decides to host a competition to choose his successor. Faye finds herself fighting to keep the tournament running smoothly behind the scenes: putting out kitchen fires, feeding the compost dragon, and making sure competitors stay away from the cockatrice pen. 

But killer roosters soon become the least of her worries. A servant of the evil Shadow Queen has sabotaged the contest—set on destroying not just Celurdur but the entire kingdom of Solum. It is up to Faye to stop him, but she’ll need more than a mop. Will a maid’s magic be enough to save everything she loves from utter destruction?

Format: 336 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: June 18, 2024 by Quill Tree Books
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Ohh. I am very curious and excited about this book :D I have been a fan of Ryan for years now. And I can't wait to read this middle grade of hers. It sounds adorable and that cover is all kinds of perfect :)
What are you waiting for on this magical Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Review: The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie

This book sounded a little spooky and a little romantic. And so of course I had to give it a try. The author was new to me, so I was a little unsure. But I decided to buy this book anyway. Hoping that I would love it. But I did not. Sigh. It may not be so easy to write my review, as I have decided to give this two stars. I'm disappointed.

I truly thought that I would like this book more. I did enjoy parts of it, sure. But I was also annoyed for most of the book. And I did not connect with the writing like I wished. I also very much did not like the main girl, Clara. I tried to love her, truly. But she was not at all making it easy for me. And then it was not a scary book. So rude.

There is so much for me to share about this book. I will probably want to share too much about it, haha. So going to try not to write it all down. This book is told from the point of view of Clara. She is seventeen years old. Clara lives in a village with her grandmother. Her mother went missing in the forest three years before, and her father died at that time too. She lives in a village that is cursed. It is now forbidden to enter the Forest Grimm; the forest will not let anyone in. Unless they are to become Lost. Which was weird, to be honest, the way they talked about the Lost. Anyway. The village was not always cursed. For about a hundred years or so, they were lucky. They had this book where anyone above sixteen could make their one wish that would come true. If shared, the wish was reversed. And then someone wished with murder.

And now they are all cursed. Which is what this book is about. Clara's mother went into the forest after they were cursed. She never returned. Many others did too, during those three years. Over fifty people gone. They all want them back again. But it is not possible to enter the forest to look for them. Clara just want her mother back. She is certain she is still alive. Clara has had her grandmother read her future in cards since she was little. She is fated to die in the forest. Yet all she wants to do is to save her mother.

I wish I could say that this plot line was exciting and heroic and whatever. But I did not find it to be. I really truly wanted to love this book. But I did not. Sigh. It sounded like it would have a great, sort of forbidden, romance. What it started as was a boy who had lost the love he was supposed to marry on their wedding day to the forest. Yeah. And that was the romance. Clara and Axel. And then they were off to the forest to search for her mother and his lost love. Yeah. Not the type of romance I was expecting or wanting at all.

So yes. I was disappointed. Clara obviously loves him. And he obviously cares for her as well. They have some moments. They have been friends for years, in this small village. But never more. And I would have loved this. If it were not for the mentions of his lost girlfriend. Yeah. Big no for me. Ugh. I guess they were not meant to be, him and his past. But that takes forever to be known. So yes. The romance was not at all for me and it just made me very angry. Sigh. It was impossible for me to ship them together, sadly. I tried.

But anyway. This book was not only about the romance. Clara found a secret way of entering the forest without being thrown out of it again, like everyone before her. She took Axel with her. So they could look for the Lost people and break the curse. I would have liked this. They had a great moment their first night there in the forest. But then suddenly Clara's best friend had followed behind them, Henni. And she was there at all times too. I did like her. But I was not expecting it, and it ruined the romance even more. Ugh.

I did try to like the friendship between Clara and Henni. As it was good at first. But then Henni got angry when she found out Axel cared for her. Since she was the younger sister of his lost girlfriend. Yeah. Some drama. I did not care for it at all. Ugh. Anyway. Already sharing too much about this book. And yet nothing about the plot, haha. I'm honestly not sure what to say. There were a few fairy tale characters thrown into the story. And they all sucked, I'm sorry to say. It was supposed to be scary. It was not. At all. I wanted it.

Where was the dark and deadly twists the summary promised? On the very last pages. And that was not very good either, ha. So yes. I was disappointed in that too. Oops. I just. I wanted more from this. More danger, more romance. More exciting things. But I did enjoy parts of it too, I think. The forest was kind of interesting. I liked the wolf, for a moment at least. Did not at all like the writing. Sigh. Clara has a crooked spine, which I liked. I did not like how it kept being written the same all the time, as a bad reminder. Ugh.

There were a few other things that bothered me as well. At one point all of them were stuck in a small cage for over three days. Not one mention of any of them having to pee. The cage was not opened. So, yeah. Bad writing. There was even a ghost in this story. It made no sense at all. I tried to enjoy the fairy tales. But they were just weird to me. And not scary either. There is sort of an ending to this book. But also not. There will obviously be a second one. I'm not sure if I would read it, though. This was not good.

Anyway. I had really hoped to love The Forest Grimm. And I very much did not. But I am still glad that I gave this book a try. And the Fairyloot edition of it that I have is beyond stunning. Just wish the book had been too, haha. Might just be a me issue, though. So you should give it a try too. I have written way too much about this book now. Yet I feel like my review is a little bit of a mess, as I had too many thoughts to share. Mostly this book just annoyed me. But it was easy and fast to read, which I was happy about, ha.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

In My Mailbox #632

Ahh! It is almost Christmas :D Getting closer and closer, haha. I am so very excited. <3 Christmas is the very best time. This week I finished reading a book. And I will hopefully start a new one tomorrow, final of the year :) Will then have made it to thirty books read this year, eee. I'm very happy with that. I have had an okay week. It was medicine day earlier this week. Which went better, thankfully :) I am not sure if I like the effects of it, though. But giving it some more time. Hmm. As I have been so so so very tired lately. So rude. But I'm doing my best :) Still taking daily walks, though shorter ones, as it's been so cold. Brrr. But getting better from now :) Been seeing some stunning northern lights as well. <3 Still playing pokemon go at all times, haha. And animal crossing new horizons on my switch and animal crossing pocket camp on my ipad :) I love these games the most. This week I got way less mail; one book and one book box, haha. But next week. Ohh. Next week I'm getting a whole bunch of pop figures. Oops. I can't wait, though, ha :) I have been watching some movies this week. And I will start a new book tomorrow. And then it is time to watch only Christmas movies. <3 I'm so excited for the end of next week, eee :D Two new posts. I shared my review of The Night Hunt :D This week I'm waiting on The Last Rose :) Happy almost Christmas. <3

The Last Rose. I know. I haven't read the first books. This is the fourth one! Ahh! Reading all one day :)
The Raven Boys Owlcrate. Eee! Finally bought this book box, ha :D One of the very last ones in stock. I had wanted the book for ages, but did not really want to pay so much for all the items. Sigh. But then I decided to do it anyway, haha. And I'm glad I did :) The book is just gorgeous. I love it so. Cute items :)

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #634

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

THE LAST ROSE (Sisters Ever After #4) BY LEAH CYPESS

Goodreads Description:

The fourth book in the Sisters Ever After series of fairy tale retellings, this is the wild story of Mera, the only one who can save her beautiful older sister when she is kidnapped by the Beast who viciously rules over their small village.

For as long as Mera can remember, she and her sister Darina have feared the Beast who lurks in the castle above their village. On countless nights they have locked themselves into their home while the Beast led his hounds on the Wild Hunt, preying on anything in his path.

Now Darina has been kidnapped by the Beast, and only Mera can save her. But she soon finds that in the Beast’s eerie, magic-haunted castle, nothing is quite what it seems—including her own sister. Here, Mera will discover the dark secrets that have bound her village to the Beast for so long.

But in order to set them all free, she will have to face the most dangerous secret of all: the truth about herself.

Format: 304 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: December 5, 2023 by Delacorte Press
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Ohh! Suddenly a fourth book in this series in out. Oops. I have not yet read book one. Ahh! But I do own them all, and I'm waiting on this one in the mail too, ha :D It came out last week, but I am getting it this week. So I'm excited about it. I'm thinking about reading all of them at once. They sound so very good. <3
What are you waiting for on this beautiful Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Review: The Night Hunt by Alexandra Christo

This sounded like it would be such an great monster book. And it was. I really liked this story a whole lot. A four star for me. It was almost perfect. It was so much fun and a little bit of sad too. Most of all it had a bunch of romance, which I liked most of all. Oh, and monsters. So many of them. The writing was pretty much perfect.

I may struggle to find the words to describe this book, though. But going to do my best to write this review. I very much enjoyed this story. I liked that it was about monsters living in the human world. I liked that it was a fantasy world, not like ours. I so loved getting to know the different types of monsters. They were all interesting.

I must also mention that cover. It is so stunning. And it is what the main girl looks like. The monster part of her. Although she mostly passes for a human. I loved her white hair. I loved reading about her when she was fully a monster, loved her horns. I so loved her powers of feeding on fears. It starts with that, which is how we get to know Atia. I liked that a lot. Her powers were awesome, ha. A bit creepy, but I very much loved that. I also loved getting to know her. As she was pretty amazing. She had been alone for the past three years, since her parents were murdered when she was fourteen years old. She is now the very last of her kind, the last Nefas. I liked how we got to know more about her type of monster as this story goes on. I loved her. And I just found all of it to be pretty fascinating, to be honest, ha. It was written pretty well.

Then there was Silas, the Herald. Also some type of monster. But he wasn't actually alive. He seemed to be around Atia's age of seventeen. But he had been a herald for fifty years, stuck in place, not living. His job was to help the dead move on. Which seemed so boring, ha, but so interesting too. Silas is so not like the others of his kind. He wants more. He want to remember his past, which has been taken from him. He wants to know who he was. And he does not want to live life as a herald anymore. I so loved this boy. Oh.

Atia and Silas end up together when he is sent to curse her. She looses her immortality and her abilities. But Silas knows of a way she can get them back. By killing three different monsters. He also needs her help, to get his memories back. So their journey together begins. They have two more with them, though. Tristan and Cillian. I liked getting to know them both, as they were pretty adorable. And I liked how much closer they all got. Tristan was fully human. Cillian was half human, half banshee. This was so awesome.

There is so much going on in this book. Yet it takes place over a very short amount of time. I'm not going to say too much about everything, I do not think. It was a fast and easy book to read, despite taking days for me to read it, as I had too little time. Oops. But it was a book that I will not forget. And I so very much enjoyed it. I liked that it was pretty dark. Atia feeding on the fears of humans. Her having a sort of vampire friend who murdered humans. Then herself killing some other, less kind, monsters. I loved it. Was creepy.

It is about Atia and Silas wanting to change their lives, their future. Somewhat. Atia has been hiding in the darkness of night her whole life, as her parents were too scared of something. Then they were killed. And Atia is still hiding. And also blaming herself. I liked the small glimpses of her past life, her parents seemed great. She was full of pain. Yet full of life, and I just adored her. I loved her instant connection with Silas. A little banter at first. But then a lot of love too. They just fit together. Sigh. Anyway. Was a pretty good story.

And yet. This book was a four star for me, not five. As I did not fully love all of it. I found the romance to be pretty much incredible, yet also a little bit of cheesy. And it moved so very fast. But I did love it. There was one short moment of betrayal, that I did not like, but it lasted like five pages, ha. So I did not mind at all. And it happened during an almost-death of one of them. I loved that the most. Sigh. I had one issue with the writing, as I thought there was a little too much smirking. I just do not like it, ha. Sorry about that.

But even so. The Night Hunt was such an incredible story. And I very much enjoyed it. I loved many parts of it. The characters were amazing. The world created was all kinds of fun and interesting. I liked the five different kingdoms. I wish Vail had been punished more, so I was disappointed about that, ha. I liked the ending a whole lot. And I'm glad it had finish, though I would love more about these characters, of course. But yes. This book was good. And I cannot wait to read even more books by Alexandra. You must read it.

Goodreads - Blackwells - Amazon US - Amazon UK

Saturday, December 9, 2023

In My Mailbox #631

This past week have gone by so fast. Ahh! I have started a new book, at last. <3 But have not had much time to read. Hoping to be able to read lots tomorrow, though :) I'm liking it a lot, at least. This week have not been the best. I'm dealing with having gotten medicine again last week. I'm not sure it is working right. Stomach is worse. My wrists are killing me. I am so very tired. But my hips pain are gone. My psoriasis is better, somewhat. So, yeah. I hope my stomach gets better too. Hmph. But ugh. I am so tired these days. So trying to get things done, but it isn't easy. Still making it on my daily walks, though, so that is a plus :) But it's freezing cold. Brrr. But good for me, I guess, haha :) I got some new stunning books this week. <3 And I'm glad to be reading again too, though need to read a little faster. Oops. Reading lots tomorrow, for sure. This week I'm waiting on The Darkness Within Us :) Hope you are all doing well this December. <3

Fairyloot November. Not heard of The Scarlet Alchemist before, but it looks stunning :D Reading one day.
Shatter Me. I know. This series is so not for me. Though I did read the first. Wanted this special edition :)
A Study in Drowning. Final copy of the published ones have arrived; UK paperback edition :D Love it. <3
Movies. I just had to own the new Mario Bros movie, ha. Loved it. And a Tangled tv-show dvd as well :)
A Crown of Ivy and Glass. At last got the replacement dust jacket in the mail for the bookish box version.
Swag Pack. Traded for on Twitter :) Lore fairyloot items that I was missing; collection complete. <3 Eee.
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding + The Last Life of Prince Alastor. Paperback editions :D Love. <3

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #633

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

THE DARKNESS WITHIN US (The Shadows Between Us #2)

Goodreads Description:

Chrysantha Stathos has won.

By hiding her intelligence and ambition behind the mask of a beautiful air-headed girl, she has gathered important secrets, earned her father’s constant care, and become a wealthy duchess—all by age nineteen. Now, she is only one elderly, dying duke away from having all the freedom, money, and safety she’s ever wanted.

Or so she thought.

Turns out her little sister somehow snatched the true victory away from her: Alessandra is wedding the Shadow King, the most powerful man in the world. Meanwhile, after the death of Chrysantha’s no-good, lecherous husband, a man claiming to be the duke’s estranged grandson turns up to inherit everything that should be hers.

Chrysantha is enraged. There is no way that she’s going to let some man take everything from her. Never mind that he’s extremely handsome and secretive and alluring with mysterious powers… No, Chrysantha wants Eryx Demos dead, and in the end, a Stathos girl always gets what she wants.

Format: 336 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: July 9, 2024 by Feiwel & Friends
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

I know, I know. I haven't read book one yet. Oops. But I do own it, ha :) So I will be reading this second book too, one day. When I find the time to read the first one. Oops. But I think that I will like them both :)
What are you waiting for on this dark Wednesday?

Saturday, December 2, 2023

In My Mailbox #630

Happy December :D Ohh. This week have gone by way too fast. How rude. No new book read, though I know what I'm reading next, hopefully starting it soon :) Finished my The Lord of the Rings re-watch. <3 Best movies, always. Then I re-watched Sweet Home, eee :D Best show. Sigh. As season two came out yesterday. Ahh! Just finished that too. Was a little disappointed. Aw. But it was amazing as well, and I did love it. Now just waiting for season three. Hmph. I got a whole lot of mail this week. <3 Few books. Many pop figures. Oh. Help. I have just had such a busy week. But a good one too. So excited for it to finally be December, Christmas month, ahh. <3 I started entering all of the different advent contests here in Norway online, haha, until Christmas on the 24th. <3 Hoping to win something awesome this year :) Crossing my fingers. This week I'm waiting on There is a Door in this Darkness. <3 Hope that you are all doing well :)

Once Upon a Time in the North. The US edition. Yeah, I know. Still buying all the different copies, haha :)
A Study in Drowning. Eee! So happy I was able to buy this from Goldsboro :D Fully gone now. Gorgeous.
Beth Revis Swag. Ahh! Two swag packs from Beth arrived :D And they are so perfect. Love this swag. <3
Movies. Still buying blu-rays to collect, haha :) I so loved The Little Mermaid. And Strange World as well :)
Poki-Heaven. Bought three pop figures :D Love Hagrid. And my The Lord of the Rings magnets, ahhh :D
Plushes. Eee. These three TY plushes are just too cute. Still addicted to buying all the cute plushes, ha :)

Funko Europe. Help. Two new orders arrived this week, ahh. <3 And oh my gosh. I just had to have all of these, eee :D So much precious. Love the new Disney princesses. Love the ones from Wish. I got that Ace poster just to sell it. Oops. I'm the worst, haha. But I just got it sold too, so, ha. Yay for me. Still not getting my Stranger Things mystery mini Max. Sigh. Not giving up yet, ha. Love my new soda pops. <3 And most excited about my three flocked Aristocats, ahh :D And love my free Nana wallet, eee. Precious.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #632

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


Goodreads Description:

A magic-tinged contemporary YA about grief and hope from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of the Graceling Realm novels.

Wilhelmina Hart is part of the infamous class of 2020. Her high school years began with the election of Donald Trump and they ended with COVID. Now Wilhelmina, like so many of her peers, is in limbo, having deferred college because of the pandemic. Compounding the national trauma of 2016 to 2020, Wilhelmina has wrestled with the devastating loss of one of her three beloved aunts shortly after the 2016 election. This is a loss she felt so keenly that she’s spent the last years deep in her personal depression, only obscured by the seemingly endless waves of national trauma. Now on the cusp on the most consequential election in living memory, Wilhelmina may have found a door in her darkness and perhaps the courage to pass through it, if she can decipher the bizarre messages that keep appearing in her life.

Format: 384 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: June 11, 2024 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Ohhh. I'm unsure about this book. It does not at all sound like something for me, haha. I do not do much of real world contemporary. But this is Kristin Cashore. So I will buy it, of course :) And read it one day. <3
What are you waiting for on this dark Wednesday?

Saturday, November 25, 2023

In My Mailbox #629

Another week gone by. Ack. Another book read, though, so yay for that :) And I re-watched Squid Game with my mom this week, her first time. I liked it better this time, I think. And we saw the first five episodes of the Squid Game: The Challenge, which is awesome. I'm currently re-watching The Lord of the Rings, which is even better. <3 Sigh. My precious. Anyway. I'm exhausted this week. Finally got an appointment for re-starting my medicine, next week. Just have to visit hospital town to get it done. Uugh. Which sucks. But I shall survive. Hopefully :) Got a bit of stunning mail this week, ack. Too many books :) I shared my review of Artifice :) And this week I'm waiting on Daughter of Mine. <3 Hope that you are all doing well :)

The Hunting Moon. US hardcover :D I know. Have not read book one. But I think I will love them both.
Vengeance of the Pirate Queen. Unsure when I will read this one. Oops. I did mostly like the first books.
Dawn Breaker. I have not read book one yet, oops. But own all books by Jodi. I will read them one day.
The Hunting Moon. The UK Waterstones exclusive paperback :D Love the painted edges. So beautiful.
The Last Life of Prince Alastor. Second book in this series, UK paperback. Reading them both soon. <3
A Study in Drowning. Illumicrate edition, eee :D It is so lovely. Cost me a bit too much. Oh. But worth it.
Sword Catcher. Eee! Was able to to get this Owlcrate edition cheaper; small damage but I do not mind.
Champion of Fate & The Isles of the Gods. UK ARCs :D Ahh! Very happy about this trade. <3 Love them.
Funko Pop. Bought this chase Gollum from a seller in Norway. Finally have it, ha :D Been searching long.
Super Mario RPG. I'm hoping to love this new game for my Switch, eee :D It looks pretty awesome. <3
Funko Pop. Ohh. Duchess is the cutest. I think I'm going to take her out of the box, though, ha. Love her.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #631

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


Goodreads Description:

The new thrilling novel from Megan Miranda, the instant New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls, The Last to Vanish, and The Only Survivors.

When Hazel Sharp, daughter of Mirror Lake’s longtime local detective, unexpectedly inherits her childhood home, she’s warily drawn back to the town—and people—she left behind almost a decade earlier. But Hazel’s not the only relic of the past to a drought has descended on the region, and as the water level in the lake drops, long-hidden secrets begin to emerge…including evidence that may help finally explain the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.

Format: 368 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: April 9, 2024 by Marysue Rucci Books
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Ohh. I'm excited for this one :) I haven't read the latest book by Megan yet, but I'm hoping to do so very soon. I have read almost all her books. And her stories are always awesome. I can't wait to read this :)
What are you waiting for on this thrilling Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Review: Artifice by Sharon Cameron

This was a book I had to read, of course. As I have read several books by Sharon and have enjoyed all of them. So I knew I would like this one too. And I did. Very much. Giving this a four star, as I didn't fully love it. But I liked this story a whole bunch. The writing was stunning, of course. The story was all kinds of heartbreaking.

But it was also a pretty slow book. About the German war, taking place in the Netherlands, in 1943. It could have been graphic and horrible and so sad. But it was not. It was more slow and soft and a bit hopeful. So many heartbreaking moments and some details about the war that were simply the worst. But yes. Silent, sort of.

Which was not at all a bad thing. I liked that this book was not in the middle of the war. That it was not a brutal and graphic story about being beaten and hurt and tortured. It was more about all that was happening on the side of the war. With art being stolen and sold to the Germans. It is about a girl trying her very best to keep herself and her father alive during the war. What happens when she does something she can not take back, that changes everything. I very much liked this story. It is told from the point of view of Isa de Smit. She was raised in an art gallery in Amsterdam with her parents. Her mom died right before the war. Her father has spent the past few years inside at all times, just painting and mostly going crazy. Not helping. With Isa being forced to take care of them, keeping them fed and safe from the Nazis.

I am not going to talk too much about the plot of this book. At least I do not think so. It is so complicated and so much happens. Yet, slow. And yet. It takes place in about just a week. So it happens fast as well. And it was heavy and slow to read. Which I liked. As this book was full of details. I liked getting to know more about this time period. I liked that Sharon made much of it very accurate, with many of the people being real too. I love that it seems like she did so much research for this story. Adored these characters.

First we get to know Isa a bit. And I very much adored this girl. I loved how she took care of her dad, even when he did not deserve it at all. I loved how she tried to keep their art gallery, though it had been closed for years and did not actually have any art left anymore. I loved how she would do anything to keep them safe. And how she was fully brave and loving and kind, most of the time. Fierce and rude too. But also a little bit stupid at times, ack. She made some wrong choices a few times, that hurt, but felt so real as well.

We get to know her best friend, Truus, though she has not been close to her since the war began. They do get closer again now, and I did like that. Somewhat. It was not easy to like Truus. But she was doing something so brave and good and I loved that. And Truus's boyfriend, Willem. I was a little unsure of him at times. But I liked him too. Then there were all the different art people, like the rich older guy who lived in a mansion alone. I did not like him one bit. But I really liked reading about his part in the story even so.

And then there was Michel. The Nazi soldier. The boy who wanted Isa to hide him, so he could desert his post. And oh. This boy. They get close once they meet. Isa hates him and what he is. But she starts liking him too, as she knew him when she was a child. Well, somewhat. He had been in the gallery many times with his father before. And it did not seem like he had actually killed someone. He just helped them steal art and get it moved. Which was enough, I suppose. But I liked him anyway. He was sweet yet a little bad.

This story is about Isa selling a fake painting to the Nazis. About Michel knowing it and trying, badly, to blackmail her for help. About her being dragged into what Truus was doing, trying to save Jewish babies. Getting her own to save, little baby Hildy. Whom was the sweetest little thing. I adored how they all cared for her. Sigh. And this whole story about saving the babies was the best. And yet also the worst, with how many did not get saved. And how those that were saved were taken from their family. It was so very sad.

But yes. The story in this book was exciting. It was about Isa having to sell another forgery. Figuring out how to get it to look real. How to get enough money to save the art gallery and more babies. And how not to get caught. It was not at all easy. But it was a little bit of fun too, and I liked that. I loved reading about Isa and Michel together. Sigh. I do wish there had been a little bit more romance, though. Aw. Those final pages were my favorite. But I wanted more, so I was a little bit disappointed too. Still. I fully adored them.

I shall not say more about this book. It was about the war, yet a more easy part of it, if that makes sense. It was still awful and still sad, but it was hopeful too. And I liked that. Oh. I just remembered what Truus was mostly at fault for and now I am angry with her again. That plot twist near the end of the book really hurt. Hmph. But anyway. Artifice was an exciting and stunning story. It was real and heartbreaking. It was interesting and full of great history to learn. A four star, but I liked it very much. You should all read it too.

Goodreads - Blackwells - Amazon US - Amazon UK

Saturday, November 18, 2023

In My Mailbox #628

I managed to read a book this week too, eee :D I'm happy with how much I'm reading lately, haha. I will be starting a new one tomorrow, hopefully. But yeah. I'm pretty exhausted these days. Been walking less too. Just been hurting too much, hips and arm pain. And I decided this week to begin my medicine again, as I cannot stand having these pains any longer. So yeah. I'm just waiting for that; took a bunch of blood tests this week. So waiting for hospital to get the results then decide when I shall begin medicine again. I do not actually want it. Ugh. But I need it. Sigh. So yeah. I'm hurting a lot lately. But I am doing my best :) Just so excited for it to be Christmas shortly, eee :D Not long left now. <3 A couple of new posts. I shared my review of The Scorpio Races. <3 My 13th read, eee :D This week I'm waiting on Under the Surface :) Hope you are all well. <3 Have you gotten Christmas up yet? :D Now almost two weeks since I did, haha.

Prosper Redding. Eee! Book one and two in hardcover. Had to buy from A marketplace; but looks good.
In the Serpent's Wake. Finally bought the US paperback edition of this one. Have not read it yet, though.
Stellarlune. I know. I'm so behind on this series. Yet I still get all the hardcover and paperback editions :)
The Fragile Threads of Power. Eee! Owlcrate edition. I had to buy this one. It just looks so stunning. <3
Funko Europe. I know. I had a small break from buying pop figures. Oops. But I had to get these, ha :D I love them all. Bridgerton figures! Eee! Had to have them. And diamond nightmare before christmas. Love.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday #630

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


Goodreads Description:

An epic survival-thriller about four teens who get lost in the Paris catacombs for days—a gripping and propulsive story of love, danger, betrayal, and hope… even when all seems lost.

Ruby is terrified to cave to her feelings for Sean and risk him crushing her heart.

Sean is pumped to spend a week with Ruby in Paris on their senior class trip, and he’ll wait however long until she’s ready to take things further.

But when Ruby’s best friend sneaks out the first night to meet a mysterious French boy, Ruby goes after her with two classmates, but caves to another temptation: attending mystery boy’s exclusive party in the Paris catacombs, the intricate web of tunnels beneath the city, home to six million long-dead Parisians. Only they never reach the party.

Underground, as something sinister chases them deeper , they get lost in the endless maze of bones, uncovering dark secrets about the catacombs….and each other. And if they can’t find a way out, they’ll die in the dark beneath the City of Light.

Aboveground, Sean races to find the girl he loves as a media frenzy over the four missing teens begins.

From award-winning author and rising YA star Diana Urban comes a twisty tale of four teens lost in the dark beneath the City of Light and the race to find them.

Format: 368 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: July 30, 2024 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Ohhh :D I am pretty curious about this book. I have not read any of the books by Diana before, but I have followed her on twitter during this past year and I bought her latest book. So I will be giving this one a try as well, I think :) I like the cover a lot. And it sounds creepy and just awesome, haha. I think I will love it :)
What are you waiting for on this sinister Wednesday?

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Of course I had to read The Scorpio Races again this November. Now for the 13th time. It is impossible to not love this story. Even though I always worry that maybe this time I shall find some flaw in it. But I never do. I truly love every part of this book. Which is rare. This is the book of my heart and it means everything to me.

I have shared my love for this book over ten times. I have most likely shared everything there is to share about it, everything that I love about it. And yet I'm still writing new reviews. I still need to put down all my thoughts after reading it, to say how badly I love this story. How badly I adore Sean and Puck and Corr. My heart.

There truly is very much I could say about this. Of course I have already said it all, ha. But I still wish to share more. Though, yes, there is a big chance that I will be repeating myself from previous reviews, as I don't read them again. But still. This book is beyond precious to me. If you still have not read it, you are truly missing out on the best. The writing is stunning. The world is incredible. I love how it takes place on a small and deadly island in the sea. A place filled with deadly water horses around them. They come up to land around November each year, hungry. I so love this. It's such a unique story and I love it to pieces. The part about the horses are always so interesting. And I loved how special this island was. So precious. It's a book filled with magical horses, in a way. A book with the best characters. And a most exciting story.

What is the heart of this story is Sean and Puck. And how badly Sean loves his water horse, Corr. Which he should probably not do, considering all the water horses are beyond deadly and dangerous. But he's had Corr for years now. He knows him. And Corr knows Sean too. And their special bond is what makes this book so very good. I just. I cannot. It is precious. And also Puck with her regular island horse, Dove. She truly loves her as well and I loved their scenes together. Also love Finn and his barn cat, Puffin, ha.

I shall say a little bit about the characters this time. Puck lives with her younger brother Finn and her older brother Gabe. Both their parents were killed out at sea by the water horses a year ago. They are trying to survive by themselves, but it is so not easy. They barely have enough to eat. And then suddenly Gabe is leaving them, moving away from the island. So Puck says she will race in the deadly Scorpio Races, so he will stay a little longer. Then she finds out they will lose the house too. So she needs to win the money.

And this is what the Scorpio Races is about for Puck. Saving their house, trying to get more time with her brother before he leaves, which isn't easy. I still do not like Gabe. But I did understand him too. At least Finn is always fully adorable. And I fully love reading about Puck and Finn together. Best siblings. Just trying their best too. I so love reading about the three women in their lives, Dory Maud and Elizabeth and Annie. I love how they care about them, in the way that they can. I also liked getting to know about Peg.

Then there is Sean. He lost his dad to the races nine years before. And has lived in a small room above the stables to the man who owns most of the island and own the best horses. He has worked for him all that time, won the Scorpio Races four times since then, with Mr. Malvern taking most of the money. I very much did not like this man. Especially his son, Mutt. I always hate reading about that evil boy, haha. His dad too. Ugh. But yeah. Sean just wants to buy Corr, whom Malvern owns. He needs to win once more.

And that is what this book is about. The Scorpio Races. Puck is racing to save her house. Sean is racing to at last get to buy Corr, his heart. But it is no easy thing. Because this is a race of men, a race of only deadly water horses. So Puck is the first girl. And she is racing with her regular horse too. And oh, how much I love this story. I just cannot. I have shared too much. I just love it all so much. I love how they ride together. I love how they spend time together. I love the november cakes. I love every small detail. Sigh.

I have never cared for horses. And there are a lot about horses in this book. And I found all of this to be interesting and exciting and I loved every part of this story. Mostly because of how much Sean and Puck care for their horses. It is what made it interesting to read about them. Like the scene where Sean dives after a colt into the water, trying to save it. That scene always ruins me. Or when he finds the hurt water horse in the stall near the end of the book. It is the worst. It's so much better, because of how Sean cares.

So yes. This book is about the horses. But it is more about the people and their struggles and their hopes and dreams. And oh, how badly I love reading about Sean and Puck. Sigh. Still very much want a sequel. Of course there does not need to be one. I already feel certain about what comes next. But I badly want to read about it. It would bring me so much joy. Sigh. But even so. Re-reading this book again and again brings me joy, as this book is truly perfect. Okay, there could have been a little more of the romance, ha.

But there did not need to be either. As there is romance. And it is everything. The way Sean and Puck starts to care for each other is the very best part. Reading about their friendship was the best. And then it growing into more was truly perfect. I just shipped them very much. They fit together perfectly. It always annoys me how people around them said that Sean was not right for her, because he cared more for the races. And that was not who he was at all. How rude. Puck did not care, of course. She liked him anyway.

I have already said more about this book this time than I had planned to. And yet I have not said nearly enough. But I shall stop for now. I just. I'm so glad that The Scorpio Races is still precious and magical to me, over ten years later and now thirteen reads of it. I honestly love this book more than any other. It is the book I will read again and again and always love it. But yes. I do want more. And I will always want more, haha. I just want more of Sean and Puck. Sigh. They are perfect. Now. Do read this book already.


Saturday, November 11, 2023

In My Mailbox #627

Ohh. I'm exhausted this week, haha. I got all my Christmas decorations up this week :D Eee. And it is all so beautiful. Sigh. And there is snow outside, so it looks extra cozy, haha. Christmas is the best time. <3 And I read a new book this week. Another five star. What even! I have read ten new five star books this year, eee :D I am very happy with that, ha. Might to a re-read of The Scorpio Races next, though. I got a little more books this week. <3 Though no pop figures. Buut. I placed an order a few days ago so getting some next week. Oops. I just had to, haha :) I also got my fifth corona vaccine this week. So I have been aching because of that as well. Well. On top of everything else. I hurt so badly lately. My arthritis is very bad and everything hurts. Ugh. But I'm dealing with it :) This week I'm waiting on The Thirteenth Circle :D And I shared my review of A Study in Drowning. <3 It was so good. Sigh. Hope you are all doing well. <3

The Forest Grimm. Eee! Second official Fairyloot. <3 Love. Have the regular edition too. Reading soon.
A Crown of Ivy and Glass. Ahh! Bookish Box version. Cost me so much. Oh. But it is so gorgeous. <3
Lore Print. Eee! Finally managed to get the Fairyloot Lore print, from depop :D And it is perfect. Love it.
Artifice. I am so very excited about this book. I love the books I have read by Sharon :D It seems great.
Keeper of the Lost Cities: The Graphic Novel Part 1. Of course I had to get this, eee :D Looks stunning.
Switch Games. Oops. Two new ones, ha :D I just had to get the new Jumanji and Wario Wave: Move It.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Review: A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid

This book was not what I thought it would be. I had wished to like it. And I ended up loving it to pieces. Oh. I did not know how very much this one would be for me. So happy that I read it right now. Every moment of this story was perfect. So adored the main girl. And such a sweet romance. Sigh. Writing was fully great as well.

There is so much I loved about this book. I do not know where to start. Or what to share. It all felt magical. I loved getting to know Effy and Preston. I truly loved reading about them spending time together. I loved how creepy the plot was. I so very much loved how soft and broken Effy was. It ruined me. I loved her the most.

I'm giving this book five stars, of course. Because I loved it from start to finish. It was such a stunning story. I fully loved the plot and the characters. I mostly loved the romance, ha. It was truly just perfect and sweet and I found that to be the very best. Sigh. There is much to share about this book. I shall share a little bit, not too much this time. I liked the world it was set in, though we do not get to see too much of it. It felt like something of the past yet also of the present as well. It was about two close countries at war with each other. Which was sad, but we didn't get to know much about it. It was about one of them, where Effy lived. In the south they believed in magic and things like that. And in the north, where she was from, they did not. Although Effy still did. And I so loved that about her. I loved everything she believed in.

I simply have to talk about Effy a little. This girl was the absolute best. She had recently begun studying at a university, where she was to study something she did not actually care about. While also being the only girl in this place. What Effy wanted to study was literature, but she was not allowed. Men only. And oh, it hurt to read about how women were kept from things in this world. Very much like ours, of course. Written very well too. But Effy was trying her best even so, and wanting to study what she could. It was not easy.

And that hurt the most, reading about what happened to her. We get to see small glimpses of it several times in this book. And it hurt every time. Yet I loved it too, as it made her even more real to me, because of how broken she was. And how strong she became. How at first she did all that she could do to survive. And then actually wanting to live, later on. Sigh. But yes. This girl went through so much. Too much. And yet not actually the worst thing, which made my heart a little bit happier to know. Effy deserved the world.

And then reading about her mother. Ugh. I hated her. And we do not actually meet her, only read about her. But yeah. She was not a good person. And what she did to Effy as a child. Well. I'm so not pleased. Because of this, Effy has been on sleeping pills and other pills since she was young. It was interesting to read about it, why she took them, and what they helped against. Well, somewhat helped. I just. I loved Effy. Every broken and hurt part of her. She was so afraid at times. But trying her best and so brave too.

Anyway. About the story. Effy had a favorite author. One of his books was her most treasured one, which she had read hundreds of times and that had helped her when she was hurt. And I so very much loved that. I loved how this book was a part of this story and how we got to see parts of it too. This author was her hero. And then she learned more and more about him and it kept getting worse. Ahh. I loved it, haha. But yes. Effy is invited to his home, six months after his death, to help redesign the place. She's excited.

But it was very much not what she had pictured when she arrived. It took six hours to travel by train. The house was far on top of the cliffs. Almost falling into the sea. It was very much a ruined and broken home. His son lived there, and gods. He was such a creepy man and it bothered me very much. But also written so well. Hmph. I loved the mystery of it all. Effy was not the only one from the university there. A boy was too, Preston. He was there for a different reason, to research the dead author, to figure out all his secrets.

And oh, they had such arguments about this at first, ha. I loved it. They had the best bickering. Because they were somewhat enemies, with Preston being half of the other country. And being a literature student as well, which was her biggest wish. So they did not start out very well. But it changed fast. They became friends. Started to work together a little too. Working to figure out the mystery of that very creepy house. And gosh. Preston was the very best boy. I loved him the very most. His story was so good as well. Ahh.

And then their growing romance was the actual best. Sigh. A little slow. At first. But very perfect. I loved them together. They fit so well. Both a little broken. Both a little soft. A little stubborn. And just the cutest. Okay. I may have written too much about this book already. Oops. And yet too little about the plot. There is a little hint of magic. A story of the fairy king. What Effy believes in, what Preston does not. How it fits with the house and the book. I loved the history of the drowning. I wanted more of that as well. Loved it.

There was just so much amazing in this story. I cannot deal with it. In a way it was not actually a story for me. I'm not much a fan of contemporary books. But this was not only that. And yet I still loved every piece of this. Sigh. I think it was because of loving the writing and how the characters were so perfect. A Study in Drowning was perfection. I loved the mystery of it all. I adored the precious romance. And Effy was the most perfect broken girl. And I loved how she changed as well. You should definitely all read this one too.