Unboxing

Owlcrate Call Down the Hawk box Unboxing

Hello, lovelies! Today is release day for Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater, so what better day to share my unboxing of the special edition box from Owlcrate?

This was an amazing box. I loved every item included and I cannot wait to start reading.

Let’s get started and see what was inside!


First was this awesome stainless steel pendant created by Team Owlcrate and featuring Chainsaw 😍 It gives me more Edgar Allen Poe vibes than anything, though.


Next are these cute and cozy Pynch themed socks designed by Michelle Gray. They feature a quote from the book said by Adam and Ronan to each other, as well as ley lines 😍 They’re super soft and warm.


How cool is this enamel keychain??? It was created by Owlcrate and Brio and Brandish, and it’s heftier and sturdier then I expected. It’s definitely one of my favorites items ❤️


I love candles, and I especially love woodwick candles. This one, from Rose & Adder, is not only beautiful but smells amazing 🤤


Sadly it doesn’t get that cold in Florida but I’ll still make time to wear this beanie. This was also designed by Michelle Gray, and it’s soft and thick and really cute.


Next up are these matching pillowcases designed by Stella Bookish Art. I love that these are double sided 😍


Next is the collectible enamel pin, designed by Iron and Ink Designs. I love the simplicity in this design and the quote is very poetic.


Last but not least is the book itself! This special signed edition has a blue cover instead of the original yellow/orange. Honestly I wasn’t a huge fan of the cover design when it was first revealed but this simple color change made a huge difference. I love it so much 😍😍😍😍😍


There it is! I hope you enjoyed seeing all these gorgeous items in this format. I’d like to do this kind of post more often.

Let me know what you think!

XO,

Kerry

Review

The Octopus Curse by Salma Farook

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“Science would have us believe that we are nothing but cell upon cell. I disagree. We are made up of stories. The stories we hear from our mothers, the ones we tell our daughters. The tales we share with sisters and friends. The ones we never say out loud, but are heavy on our minds and run like a fever in our blood.

There are a multitude of great divides between us; race, religion, cultures, the way we dress, the languages we speak, but the stories we tell bridge us together in the universal tongue of smiles, tears, pain and laughter. They remind us that, as women, we’re all chasing similar fairy-tales.

This book is a call to celebrate the bridges, delight in our stories and to focus on the joy in our lives right now, rather than racing behind the happily-ever-after. That will come in it’s own time.” ~Summary from Goodreads


I was given an eARC of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review

This is a collection of beautifully written free verse poems separated into multiple sections with their own distinct emotions. Each section is headed by a small fact about the octopus that is then related to human emotions and relationships. In between the poems are also some beautiful illustrations.

I was blown away by how much emotion these poems evoked from me. They weren’t just beautifully written, they were raw and real and even the poems that I couldn’t relate to personally still made me feel something strong. There were quite a few of them that made me stop reading for a minute to let the words sink in or to catch my breath from the sudden shock of feelings.

There were a few of the poems whose prose felt like it didn’t flow very easily, but even those were still well written. And all in all, I very much enjoyed reading this book.

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The Octopus Curse will be released on November 1st, 2019 and the ebook will be free on Amazon from November 1st to November 5th. 

 

Review

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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“Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.

The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.”

 

Let me start by saying somehow I became utterly obsessed with this series before ever actually reading it. Simply seeing other posts, photos, quotes, fanart, and hearing Jay Kristoff talk about the series himself, I was immediately fascinated. I knew I needed to read it, but I wasn’t able to get a copy until this past month. And I’ll admit a part of me was scared that it wouldn’t live up to all the hype, both outside and in my own head, but boy was I wrong.

Mia Corvere has gone through hell. She’s lost her entire family, her home, her station, and all she has left is her thirst for vengeance. She seeks out The Red Church, an organization of unparalleled assassins, in order to hone her killer instincts and gain the skills she needs to see that vengeance fulfilled. She meets many fascinating individuals in the halls of the church; some who become her friends, others who don’t like her all that much.

I love Mia. She’s every bit the ruthless killer I expected her to be, but there’s so much more to her than that. She’s a girl, a teenager, and acts in ways you’d expect of a teenage girl in certain situations. She also has a lot of compassion and heart in her, even if she herself doesn’t realize it. I loved seeing her discover that inner moral compass and decide who she ultimately wants to be.

There’s an intense conflict in this story beyond the trials Mia faces during her time as a student of the church. There are plot twists and shocking revelations that left me reeling in a way I absolutely expected from Jay Kristoff. I called one plot twist in particular, though it wasn’t totally confirmed in this book. I can’t wait to find out the whole truth in book two. (Hopefully I don’t have to wait till book 3 😅)

As usual, Mr. Kristoff has me singing his praises and cursing his name in one breath. I love everything about Nevernight and Mia and the other characters. But at the same time my heart was shredded by the end and I was in tears multiple times.

I’m a glutton for his work, though, and I’ve already started book two and can’t wait for book three to arrive. Bring on the pain and feels!

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Have you read Nevernight? Come talk to me about it some more!

XO Kerry

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters I’d Love to Be Besties With

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Hello, lovelies and happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

It’s been a little while since we’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday and I’m really excited to dive back in. This week’s topic is a great one; it’s something I’ve actually thought of often while reading. Now whether I can limit my list to 10 is the real question.

Let’s get started!


Alice – Let’s Talk About Love

From practically the first page of Let’s Talk About Love I knew Alice was something special. She’s an absolute sweetheart and if I ever met her in real life I’d probably squeeze her tight and never let go. I just love her to pieces.


Bitty – Check, Please!

Who doesn’t want a precious doll like Bitty for a friend? Not only is he the softest boy and a total mom friend, but he bakes!!! With a friend like him I’d never run out of pies!


Nina Zenik – Six of Crows

I would take a bullet for Nina Zenik. She’s just everything, and I would feel so lucky to be her friend. And she would love me because I actually make some pretty damn good homemade waffles. Only downside to being besties with Nina: I’d probably totally fall in love with her.


The Weasley Twins – Harry Potter

I mean, who wouldn’t want to be friends with a couple of awesome troublemakers who bring constant excitement to your life? Things would never be dull with those two around.


Merlin – Once & Future

Yet another cinnamon roll I would die for. This particular incarnation of Merlin is one of the most precious babies I’ve ever read. I would be so blessed to have a friend as open and loyal as Merlin.


Victor Vale – Vicious

Let’s be real, Victor Vale would probably be the most dangerous person on this list to be besties with. Chances are, I’d die. But Victor is such an endlessly fascinating character that no matter what happened, it’d be worth it.


The Raven Gang – The Raven Cycle

I tried to pick just one, I really did. But honestly, why? The Raven Gang are perfect as a unit and I think it would be amazing to be a part of a group so connected to one another. I love each one of them so much as individuals, but together they’re even better.


Eelyn – Sky in the Deep

Eelyn is amazing and I love her more than most characters out there. She’s brave and fierce and full of so much love.


Simon Spier – Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon Spier is bae. I love him so so much. I would have kicked Martin’s ass for what he did to Simon.


Tohru Honda – Fruits Basket

I spent most of high school utterly obsessed with this manga and trying hard to live my life like Tohru. She’s so unfailingly kind and hopeful and just radiates joy and love and makes a huge difference in basically every person she encounters.


Which fictional character would you choose as your bestie if you could only pick one?

I’m glad this is a Top Ten, otherwise I’d never be able to pick just one myself.

Thanks for reading and see you next Tuesday! ❤

XO Kerry

Review

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

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I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

“Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.” ~Summary taken from Goodreads

 

 

*Disclaimer: This is my first fully written review after a few months away so please forgive me if it’s short and lacking. I’ll be writing another review of this book after it’s published and I’ve had a chance to sit down and read the completed version*

It took me quite a while to actually finish reading this book, and I attribute that in part to the slow-ish pace at the beginning. Unfortunately, I think the gaps between my actually reading it made it harder for me to connect to the characters, which in turn made the story fall flat for me. Because of this I’m more than willing to read it again after publication and see if I can get that connection after all.

That being said, I really enjoyed the general aesthetic of the story. It has a lot of Poe-esque qualities and references and is overall glittering and mysterious and eerie.

There is a huge twist toward the climax of the story that really gripped me tight and that’s the ultimate reason I’m giving this 4 stars instead of less. I loved how much more twisted it managed to get after that point, giving plenty of shocking scenes and “OMG” moments that kept me riveted till the very end. I wish it had been able to grip me that way all the way through but ultimately I’m glad I didn’t just give up completely.

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House of Salt and Sorrows was released yesterday, August 6th, 2019

XO Kerry

Personal

Personal Life Update

Hello, lovelies!

I realize Monica and I have both been totally silent here for a little while now and I didn’t want to just stay away without some kind of update or explanation.

I, my husband, and our kids, are currently in Massachusetts finishing up a much needed family vacation. I’ve managed to keep my bookstagram updated but I haven’t had as much time to sit down and write out any blog posts. Once we’re back home in Florida I’ll do my best to get back on schedule.

Monica, on the other hand, may be absent a bit longer. She’s dealing with a family loss. I won’t go into detail as it’s not my place to talk about. Just know she’s okay, and she’ll be back when she’s ready.

Anyway, we both miss you all! And I promise we won’t be gone forever.

Thanks for reading! ❤

XO Kerry

Review

Night Shifts Black by Alyson Santos

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“His name is Luke. But nobody knows that. He was an iconic musician before he gave up music. But nobody knows that either. They also don’t know he’s twenty-seven, that he used to have an infectious laugh, and that he’s way too young to be widowed. They certainly don’t know the rest of his tragic story. All they know is that he comes into their café at the same time every morning and stares at the same chair at the same table. They know he’s strange. They know he interrupts their breakfast with a cold blast of air as he hovers in the doorway, mustering the courage to confront a piece of furniture.

No one asks why. No one cares. He’s fine with that. He’s done with life. This isn’t even his story anymore. It’s actually Callie’s, the young writer who sat in his chair one day.” ~Summary from Goodreads

“No one can do life completely alone. We’re not supposed to.”

Night Shifts Black is a story about depression and loss and self loathing and healing. I first read this a few years ago and it changed my life. Somehow it came to me at the most important time, a time when I needed a story exactly like this to help me through my own depression.

I’ve read plenty of stories that touch on mental illness, but never have I read anything that portrays it in such a raw and relatable way. And I’ve definitely never read a story that handles the process of escaping and healing from depression in such a healthy way. There’s no magical instant fix, no cure-all that makes it all go away in a single moment. There’s a lot of pain, a lot of backslides back into darkness, and a lot of agony. At times it’s almost hard to read because of how real it is, how much it felt like the characters were speaking directly to me and my own pain, but it’s worth it in the end.

I felt like I was not just witnessing the characters going through their own problems; I felt like their struggles forced me to confront my own. And each time I’ve reread this book I’ve always come away from it feeling lighter and a bit better. I don’t know how Alyson Santos did it, but she wove some magic into these words.

“This is what words do. So often they tear apart, but they can also form miracles.”

Outside of the major themes of depression and loss, the characters themselves are just amazing. I absolutely adore them. Which is, of course, important for a story meant to make you truly feel for the characters.

Callie, especially, is wonderful. She’s a beautifully insightful narrator, and the way her relationship with Luke develops and then evolves is organic and perfect.

Luke is so complex I can’t even begin to explain without giving away important story elements. The plot revolves so tightly around him that every little thing he goes through felt so personal, as if it were happening to someone close to me.

Casey, Luke’s best friend, is the best part of the story, in my opinion. He’s a ray of beautiful sunshine, but he’s hurting as well. And that’s what really gets me the most whenever I read this story. The strongest, brightest smiling person in the story is not without his own pain and suffering. It’s just so real and true.

Anyone who’s has ever suffered from depression, or knows someone who has or is, or anyone who’s suffered a loss, really just everyone in the world, needs to read this. It never fails to change me with each reread. I’m so so grateful that this book exists.

I’ll be starting my reread of the second book in this series, Tracing Holland, this coming week. I can’t wait to finally be able to review that as well.

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*For anyone who is suffering from depression and/or thoughts of self harm or suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) You’re not alone ❤️*