Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/12/19-7/14/19

About a year ago, through Uppercase box (See Let’s Talk… Subscription Boxes for more information about their box. Side note: This subscription box no longer sends out book boxes. At the time of this switch, I was no longer a subscriber, but a quick Internet dig shows that their item store is open, but the subscription system is closed.), I got sent Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. The general premise sounded similar to something I read when I was a young’n (Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass), and I absolutely ended up loving the story. When I saw that Bennett had another book coming out soon, I immediately got the pre-order for Serious Moonlight. And then…. I got sent it. Whoops!

Since I am trying to declutter my mess of a room, I felt like it was finally time to pull out this box and read the book, so here goes nothing. I literally looked at nothing before jumping in, all I know is that reading a Bennett book is like the Hotel California, once you are in, you can’t leave.

Page 221

I am so happy with this book! She has a writing style that makes it hard for me to immediately get into a book. I felt the same way when I read Starry Eyes, and it took me a really long time to read the first 50 pages until my interest was grabbed. With that being said, the next 200 were so easy.

This book is about Birdie, an amateur detective, as she begins her new job at the Cascadia Hotel in downtown Seattle. When she starts, she learns she is working with Daniel, her ex-hookup. Daniel, in an effort to get closer to Birdie, tells her of the mystery of Raymond Darke, a thriller author who has never been pictured, but for whatever reason stays at the hotel every Tuesday night for about an hour. As they begin to investigate, their feelings begin to grow stronger, and the mystery continues to get more and more complex.

As for the gifts: the necklace is really cool. It definitely will be something that I hold on to. As for the nail decals (yes, that is what they are), they are cool, but I doubt I will ever use them. But hey, never say never.

Page 258

So technically, the gift is the “tarot card”, but I think the real gift is the luggage tag. You best believe the next time I have to check luggage, I am going to be whipping this bad boy out! While I understand the aspect of creating a gift that follows the words of the book, these types of gifts are my least favorite. They often feel like a cop out to me.

As for the story. We see Daniel open up more in this section. We also see how more vulnerable Birdie becomes as her feelings for Daniel grow. However, for the sake of keeping some mystery, I won’t be giving away much more plot details unless I know there will be more in the story.

Page 403

I have never read a Miss Marple mystery from Agatha Christie, so I am excited to take the plunge and read one! They did a good job of dressing the gift to fit the storyline of book!

As for the ending, I was surprised! Maybe I’m not a good detective, but I didn’t put all the clues together to discover the final gut-wrenching secret. I enjoyed the ending, but I felt like it was a little cliff-hanging, maybe that’s just me.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/28/19-8/4/19

Welcome back to me cleaning out my room! Here is another OUABC for you guys! Similar to how I treat all of these books, I literally know nothing. I am going into this completely blind, so here goes nothing!

Page 44

Hmmmmmmm… okay, so I didn’t even read a synopsis about this book so I LITERALLY went into this with 0 expectations. I was expecting it to be a book that is all about magic, and while I still have a lot of book to go, I am still surprised how heavily historical this book feels. It seems really dense to me, and that may just be due to the writing style, but it took me a seriously long time to get to the first gift.

As for the gift, the picture might be a little bad, but it is a bookmark that has a note saying to read to page 89 to get the second half of the gift. Yes ladies and gentlemen, there is a gift within a gift (side note: that gift is in a shiny gold bag, and my princess of a puppy has stolen it from me 3 times so far, so either it is filled with puppy treats, or my puppy really likes shiny things)! So I will see you all in about 40 pages!

Page 89

Why hello! Another day, another gift. This book still has not aired out for me, and I am finding it difficult to read it. I am still hopeful that the farther I go, the easier it will be to read, but I just am not there yet. This book follows Camille, a young girl from Paris (her age is never given, but I would expect that she is 17/18) who is trying to take care of her sister, Sophie, while dealing with a drunkard as a brother. She meets a boy named, Lazare, who seems to be an inventor/ adventurer, and they are flirting with each other, while neither is sure how the other feels. When Camille realizes that she can use her talent for magie to potentially win rent money after her brother robs them blind, she decides to take her gift to Versailles, with the hope of winning some real money.

As for the gift, I was extremely disappointed to discover that this gift doesn’t attach to the chain from the previous gift. Unless I managed to do that completely wrong. The picture is of a woman holding a baby, and yes, it easily came out. The actual gift is a little locket that has little fake diamonds surrounding it.

Page 180

Man… this book is going to be a rough one for me. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am trying to prep a different book, I probably would be cheating and listening on Audible. I just can’t stay in it, I find myself so easily distracted and it isn’t getting easier for me.

As for the storyline, we have learned that her mother had a magical trunk full of items that can change her appearance to look more noble. She uses that look to get into Versailles, where she meets a young man, Chandon, and his group of friends at a gambling table. Though she loses her first meeting, she gets invited to play again, where she does relatively well thanks to her magie. She learns that Chandon is also magie, and he warns her that she needs to be more careful about using magie to change cards to make it look less obvious. Camille also visits Lazare’s workshop full of his hot air balloon plans, and he promises to show her a secret whenever he is ready, which is a ride on his hot air balloon. We open the gift as she explains her successes at Versailles.

I LOVE THIS GIFT! Oh man, it is so pretty, and grown-up, and sparkly, and I will definitely be using it in my adult life!

Page 360

And we found the cop-out gift of the box! I thought for sure there was more in the package, but I was sadly disappointed. However, there are 4 other gifts in this box, which is higher than usual, so I shouldn’t complain.

As for the story, I FINALLY got to a point where I can read this book for longer than 10 minutes at a time! Still not my favorite book, and it still is really dense, but I am getting things done (after watching the entire new season of Queer Eye because I am not a monster).

Since we last talked, Camille has learned that Seguin, who is one of the noblemen from Versailles, is also magie. He, however, is only interested in producing as much chaos as possible with his magic, which is concerning because he is attaching himself to Sophie. We also learn that Lazare is an aristocrat, who also hangs out with the same group of friends that Camille has met. He seems to have an attraction to Camille when she is hidden by magic, causing her to struggle between whether he likes her or her magical self more. We also learn that Lazare and his other aeronauts are struggling to get the funding they need for their balloon expeditions, which weighs heavy on Camille’s heart.

Page 392

Wow, I have gotten so many shiny things in this box! Since we are incredibly far in this book, I am not going to be telling you plot details, but this gift is a very shiny broach that I probably will never wear!

Conclusion

The last 100-150 pages were fast-paced and easy to read, though some of the French I had to look up. Just wished the first 250-300 pages were the same pace. I probably won’t end up reading the sequel to this book, but hey, to each their own. Based on my own personal preferences, I would rate this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/21/19-7/23/19

Surprise OUABC? I’m still desperately trying to get rid of all the boxes in my room, so these will still (probably) be thrown in with other reviews!

As for this book, I don’t know much, as I normally do when I jump into these OUABC books. I do know that this box is a specialty box for Valentine’s Day, so I am assuming that there will be a romance of some kind. So I figure we’ll just jump in and get it read!

Page 59

I am already feeling like I am going to like this one! It is similar to other books I have read on here (*cough, cough* Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler) and I am excited to keep going! Also, I obviously ordered this months ago and I can’t remember them asking for my size, but it actually is a size I can wear, which normally doesn’t happen, so I’m excited. (P.S. this is a t-shirt, the picture doesn’t really show that) (Side note: after making this post, I had gone onto the OUABC page (for a completely different reason) and saw that they did ask for your t-shirt size)

This book is about Charlotte and Ginny, identical twin sisters who come from a line of pageant queens. Charlotte has 0 intention of being a pageant queen, and is instead an elementary school librarian who is there to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. However, Ginny gets an allergic reaction, and Charlotte is debating whether she should take place in the preliminary parts of the pageant in order for her sister to qualify for the finals, since this is the last year she could qualify. Also, there’s a cute boy.

Page 173

I was getting real nervous for this one. That was a very small box for an ice bucket, but hey, it all worked out! Also, fun fact, a great way to stop a puppy fight is to try and convince them to put an ice bucket on their heads. Also, they won’t do it.

As for the story, Charlotte takes on the role of contestant for her sister. Turns out that the cute boy who also loves literature (is that even possible?) is also the judge for the pageant. And our girl Charlotte is falling hard. As for the pageant, Charlotte is finding herself making friends and doing well? But sometimes it is hard to distinguish herself from her sister, which could make the fling with Gray (cute boy) a little dicey.

Page 201

Ummmm… I literally do not own anything to go with this headpiece. Also, even if I do, I doubt I could pull this off. But, hey, maybe this could be my calling and I really could pull this off!

As for the story, we just watched the preliminary talent portion, and Charlotte won!

Page 215

Since I started this book, I was sure that I was going to get some type of alcohol, specifically wine. When I got to the point where I opened this gift, I thought that I was a magician because I was sure I was going to get champagne. Sadly, there is no alcohol in this box, but there is a champagne flute, so there is that.

Book wise, we learn that Ginny is going to continue the lie with their parents, and this gift came from Gray. So yea, don’t have much for you!

Completion

I’m going to say meh, and I am pretty sure that the only reason is because I am currently also reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I literally listened to that book all day. Since that book is also about a set of twins and it features a love story, I found myself comparing the two for the last 50 pages. Which I know, isn’t fair. But I did it.

As for the book, it definitely played as a rom com movie. I read it super fast and I really enjoyed reading it.

I would probably give this book 3.5/4 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/8/19-

Funny story: About a week or so after I got this box, one of my friends went to BookCon. She ended up picking up this book because not only was she interested, but she thought I would be, too! I am making it a point not to read the back, although I am guessing it is a reimagining of Cinderella. So as always, here goes nothing!

Page 7

GUYS! HOLY POOP STICKS! I NOW OWN A REAL(ish) QUILL! Okay, I think that all of us after reading Harry Potter wanted to own a quill purely because we wanted to feel fancy. Now let’s be real, I seriously doubt I am going to be pulling out my quill to handle my business, but it is for sure going on my shelf to show off. Solid reminder that if I ever have a fancy invitation, this is the pen I am going to be using to sign off on it!

As for the book, it’s different than I was expecting. This gift marked the end of the prologue, and it is very dark and creepy. It actually reminds me of Aladdin (as weird as that sounds) where a creepy dude finds himself in a tower where he infiltrates the people and convinces them to do his deeds. It also reminds me of Spinning Silver, which is a reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin.

Page 144

Don’t mind me strategically taking a picture of a mirror without showing myself. This gift is cool to me for 2 reasons: 1) most of the gifts that OUABC sends are knickknacks and this isn’t, and 2) I have decor to go with it! Man, now I need to really work on my gallery wall!

The book is definitely outside of my comfort zone. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Spinning Silver, and this book falls into the same category. Surprisingly, when I do pick up the book, I am enthralled. The biggest issue for me is to pick it up in the first place. And don’t get me wrong, this book is good. It just isn’t a book I would normally read for myself.

We all know the story of Cinderella, but what happens to her “ugly stepsisters” once she gets her happily ever after? This story follows Isabelle (poor choice of naming, although I’m not sure she chose the name, or if the original story did) as she comes to terms with her new reality. Believing that her “ugliness” was her real misfortune, she meets Tanaquill, known as the “fairy godmother” in the popularized version of the story. In order to become pretty, Isabelle must find the broken pieces of her heart.

As Isabelle is trying to figure out where her missing pieces are, Chance and Fate are battling for the girl’s destiny. On one hand, Fate declares that Isabelle will die due to the dictator that is destroying France. But Chance believes that she will be the one that can defeat the dictator and save them all. Discovering Tanaquill has begun to change her destiny, Chance and Fate ask her where the broken pieces are. Once they find out that they lie with Felix (her young love), Nero (a horse), and Ella (her stepsister), it is a race to either help (Chance) or hinder (Fate) the challenge presented.

Page 204

Oof, regretting that close up of my finger, but this has to be the coolest ring box I have ever seen. While I probably would get rid of the stem (especially because I broke it trying to throw it back in the box, whoops), I probably would hold on to the rose ring box. The ring itself is small for me (which doesn’t say much because I have humongous fingers), so I probably won’t wear it much if all, but it is extremely beautiful (the stone is lavender in color, sorry for the poor lighting #bloggeronabudget).

I’m debating in my head about what I want to say about the plot. We are introduced to Nero in this section, and our storyline with Felix has progressed. We also start to see the progression of Isabelle as she becomes more courageous and proud of herself. The overarching feminist theme of the novel is punctuating more as Isabelle begins to solve her problems in order to find her pieces of her heart.

Page 261

Don’t mind the spacing, I was struggling to make it work! Okay, so here’s the thing. I got 3 really cool gifts in this box, and I also know that I should not be selfish. But all I got was a piece of paper. A piece of paper related to the story, but a piece of paper nonetheless. Not even a professionally printed paper. I am talking a piece of regular paper with this printed on it. And while I appreciate the thought, I am still really disappointed that this is all I get (millennial problems, am I right?).

As for the story, there isn’t much I feel comfortable telling you guys without giving away the story. What I will say is that Fate is playing super dirty and I am so proud of my girl Isabelle.

Completion

Let’s go! Way to go Isabelle! Dude, I love Isabelle! The overall story is one about the power of the heart, and the emotions that are attached to it. It is very empowering, beautifully written, and fun to read. I recommend it for anyone (and that says a lot because I don’t normally read these types of books). I will say that the Fate/ Chance storyline was a little confusing, especially in the beginning, but it clears up as the story continues.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/7/19

The box is so cute!

Today I am going to attempt to read the November 2018 box (I know man, I’m late to the party). I have told myself that I cannot watch the movie (although, man, I really want to) until I finish the book. So here we are!

Every box comes with a 3×5 print!
The magical cover!

Page 2

First gift time! I can’t tell you really anything about the story, though the cover is by Stella’s sister. No idea who Stella is other than her lungs suck. Yea, I got nothing.

This one is supposed to be a picture of Stella and her sister. Here’s the thing. Cool idea, but what am I supposed to do with that? I’m not going to keep a picture of 2 girls I have never met for the sake of a box.

Page 210

Wow. A lot has happened. Basically, there is this girl, Stella. She has an amazing personality, but really crappy lungs. She has cystic fibrosis, and thanks to an infection, she is stuck in the hospital. Then there is Will. He has been in hundreds of hospital thanks to an infection of B. cepacia, which basically means that he has a bunch of bacteria growing in his lungs that laugh in the face of antibiotics. Like, antibiotics literally do nothing. For them to be with 6 feet of each other would spell death for both of them. They meet, and as all these types of books go, they begin to fall for each other.

Unlike the first gift, I could actually use this (if I wasn’t useless in the kitchen). It is rubber and it seems durable, so we’ll see if I end up breaking it out every once in a while!

Page 225

Ummmmmm… EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?!

You can’t just do that to me! That was completely uncalled for and I am going to be writing a STRONGLY worded letter!

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I love it! It is so cute and so in my comfort zone and I am going to be wearing this! Don’t you worry your little heart about that!

Page 262

AND I’m crying. I normally wouldn’t have ripped open this gift right away (shout out to my fingerprints that immediately ruined my shot, but I was hoping there was going to be a drawing AND THERE WAS! And while I won’t tell you the ending, because spoilers are no fun, I am so incredibly amazed by this book! What a great Sunday!

Five Feet Apart Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6472976/

They did an incredible job of matching the movie to the book. There obviously were details that were taken out, but the movie took the time to match other details from the book that I wasn’t expecting to see in the movie. It wasn’t a movie that I would watch over and over again, but it was a solid book adaption!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Once Upon a Book Club

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen! One of the first Let’s Talk’s I posted was about Subscription Boxes. In that post, I talked about the ones I was currently using, including Once Upon a Book Box. I haven’t been reading those that much since I have been focused on so many other books, and now I am completely overwhelmed with boxes. In order to declutter, I am going to be reading some of my boxes. However, reading them is different than reading any other book, so here’s what is going to happen:

These reviews are going to be less structured than my regular reviews. Since there are gifts with every box, I am going to be pausing in my reading to show you the gift, while also talking about the book. That also means I won’t be posting a clear synopsis. Since I am talking throughout reading, you’ll be hearing spoilers for not only the gifts (if you hadn’t known already) and for the plot.

I am also going to be posting these about once or twice a month. I am still trying to figure out logistics (mainly if they are going up on a different day since the review is so different), but for now, I am just going to be mixing them into my other reviews.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s talk…. Subscription boxes

In May of 2018, I went on a huge shopping spree. I signed up for way too many subscription boxes so that I could get books delivered to my front door once a month. Here is what I have learned:

Bookish Box

$18-$40/month

I was subscribed to this box for a brief time while I was in college. While it was fun, it just produced a lot of clutter. I re-signed up in May and felt the same lackluster feeling. For people interested in knickknacks, this is a great box, but for those who are interested in something meaningful, this probably isn’t the best box. By the way, I have a ton of enamel pins if anyone wants any. This box offers both adult and young adult options, as well as many different t-shirt sizes.

Uppercase box

$35/month

I absolutely enjoyed this box when I first started getting it. One of the biggest draws, for me, was the interactive experience. Every month, they send you a book, along with other bookish items, and a bookmark that lists 5 pages and the codes for that page. Then, you go on their website, look up that code, and hear something from the author, take part in discussion questions, or hear from other reviewers. Over time, the books have gotten farther away from the type of books that I enjoy, so while this experience is no longer for me, I am sure that someone else will absolutely love it. The only option in this box is young adult.

Bookcase Club

$100/ year

I am sure they have plenty of other options for what pricing you would like to do, but for less than $10/ month, I felt like I couldn’t do much better. Each month, you get sent 2 books. My biggest issue with this box is that, while the option is young adult, it almost felt like the book choices were either way outside of my literary preferences (when did I become such a snob?) or were extremely juvenile in content. Again I say, this box would be great for somebody, that somebody just isn’t me. They have plenty of children options and young adult options.

Once Upon a Book Club

$35/month

Okay, that title is really cute, right? Not just me? Anyway, this has become one of my favorite parts of the month. You get sent a box (which looks like a book, I mean come on people) filled with gifts and a book. It is your job to show the self restraint to read the book, and once you reach a certain page, you can open the gifts. It is so much fun when you read that the protagonist gets a locket, then open the locket yourself. While I absolutely love this box, it does produce clutter. They offer young adult and adult options, as well as specialty boxes.

Book of the Month

$15/month

Okay, I use this service rather religiously. That $15 a month is for the credit of 1 book. While that’s great, you can add up to 2 other books to your box for only $10 each. So ya girl gets 3 of that month’s books for a grand total of $35. And while some people may think that is ridiculous, it has quickly become a point of pride. If I were to buy the books on amazon, I easily would have paid double, especially because they are pre-orders. The way it works, every month their readers chose 5 books that will come out that month. They then offer you to choose any of those 5 books. In some ways, this is a limiting factor, but they often find books that could work for anybody. You also always have the opportunity to skip. Being the person I am, I have put myself on a mission to read all the books that have been offered in the time I have been signed up to the service. You also can choose to add-on any of the books they still have available from previous boxes if you don’t like the options they posted for that month. I literally see no reason why someone hasn’t signed up for this service.

If you have ever used one of these services or just have an opinion of your own about these or another one I should try out, let me know in the comments section. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, e-mail me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog and I will happily chat with you! Thanks guys and I will see at the next book!