Spring Wishlist Giveaway

April 26, 2017 in Bookish Posts, Current Giveaways

It’s been a while since we ran a giveaway on the blog so I think a wee Spring wishlist giveaway is in order. There have been so many fantastic releases lately with many, many more to come, I thought I’d give you the chance to win a book from your wishlist. Whether it’s a new release this Spring or a book you’ve been meaning to pick up for a while, you could get your hands on a copy.

win a book from your wishlist

Simply enter via the rafflecopter entry form below. There are no mandatory entries, so just do as many or as few as you wish!

The giveaway is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY as long as The Book Depository ships to your location (check here). The winner will receive a book of their choice up to the value of £10.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Bookworm Candles & Crafts March Box

April 11, 2017 in Bookish Candles, Bookish Posts, Unboxings

Back in February. I purchased a couple of bookish candles from Bookworm Candles and Crafts for my sister-in-law’s birthday. As soon as they arrived, I must admit I was pretty jealous and wanted to keep them for myself! Obviously, I gave them to her, but as soon as the opportunity arose I placed an order for myself too!

I was really impressed by Danielle’s attention to detail in the candles I ordered, so when I saw her March box was to be an ACOTAR theme, “I Love You, Thorns And All” needless to say I couldn’t resist.

So, I thought I’d share the box with you. Fair warning though, I couldn’t figure out how to change the settings back on the camera after my husband had been photographing the Aurora Borealis, so these are taken with a phone.

The box came well wrapped and protected. Had this yellow tissue paper been the entire wrapping I’d have been very pleased.
packaging collage

However, under the tissue paper was I found this!

box

Just look at that attention to detail!

label

It seemed such a shame to open this box, but open it I did and it was full of goodies ALL handmade by Danielle herself.

first look

First of all, I unwrapped this stunning Rhysand candle.

rhys candle collage

It smells incredible and quite honestly I’m rationing it as I love it so much. With every candle Danielle adds a crocheted touch using wool specially selected to match the scent – once again, that attention to detail!

I wish I had a better photo of this rose lip balm.

lip balm 2

It is lightly topped with glitter and the balm itself is lovely.

Continuing with the rose scent, we received rose bath salts.

Untitled collage (3)

I haven’t used them yet but I’m so excited to, I love bath salts!

This Rhysand quote mirror is a really cute addition to the box.

mirror

As is this charm bracelet (sorry again for the poor quality photo).

bracelet collage

Finally, possibly my favourite item – the Spring Court candle!

spring court candle 4 collage

It really does smell like spring flowers, and look at the finish of the candle!

I can’t emphasise enough how impressed I am with Danielle’s work. She goes the extra mile to ensure that all of her items are special.

contents

Bookworm Candles and Crafts have recently launched their new website. If you pop over you’ll be able to get your hands on the April, May and June boxes – the themes sound fantastic! There are just a few April boxes left though – Hunger Games fans, you might want to check this one out!

I’m so pleased with my box, it was such a special experience – a true treat.

Illumicrate #6: Unboxing

March 23, 2017 in Bookish Posts, Illumicrate, Unboxings

Every three months I squeal with delight as my Illumicrate box lands on my doorstep.

box

I’ve been subscribed to Illumicrate from the first box and I love it. You can find unboxings of all of the other boxes here.

So let’s take a look inside the February 2017 box!

View Spoiler »

If you are interested in getting your hands on the next Illumicrate (in May) subscriptions are open now! Also, Daphne has revealed that the May box will include a pre-release book and subscribers will be the first to get their hands on it. #excited

Top Ten Tuesday #50: Spring TBR

March 14, 2017 in Bookish Posts, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. If you’d like to participate too, see here.

Top 10 Tuesday Strupag

This week the topic is…

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

Untitled collage (2)

I realised that it’s been AGES since I participated in TTT so I thought I’d ease myself back in with this week’s topic – my Spring TBR.

 

1

Strange The Dreamer

Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor. Out 28th March 2017

Hodder kindly fulfilled my wish on NetGalley so I’m currently reading this and REALLY enjoying it.

2

The Ship Beyond Time

The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl From Everywhere #2), Heidi Heilig. Out now.

I read the first book, The Girl From Everywhere, last year and really enjoyed it (review here) so I’m intrigued to see how this duology ends.

3

Lucky Boy

Lucky Boy, Shanthi Sekaran. Out now.

Penguin International kindly sent me a copy of this book. They feel it’s a very important and timely novel and want to get the word out across the world. I can’t wait to read it.

4

The Twelve Lives

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Hannah Tinti. Out 28th March 2017.

I’m lucky enough to have an ARC of this book, but I’ve been saving it! Why do I do that? I think I’ll dive in very soon.

5

Red Sister

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1), Mark Lawrence. Out 6th April 2017.

Epic fantasy & a female assassin? Yes please!

6

ACOWAR

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court Of Thorns And Roses #3), Sarah J Maas. Out 2nd May 2017.

No Spring TBR list would be complete without an ACOTAR book!

7

The Walking Dead

I love The Walking Dead TV series and I’m trying to read more graphic novels, so it makes sense that these are on my list!

8

Final Girls

Final Girls, Riley Sager. Out 29th June 2017

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about this thriller and have an eARC from NetGalley so I’m looking forward to seeing what all the online chat is about!

9

The Name of The Wind

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1), Patrick Rothfuss.

I REALLY want Spring 2017 to be when I finally read The Name of the Wind!

10

THUG

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas. Out 6th April 2017.

I’ve heard so much about this book online! Walker kindly sent me a copy ahead of the UK release and I’m so grateful. I can’t wait to read it.

What books are on your Spring TBR?

Discussion: Carve The Mark

February 17, 2017 in Bookish Posts

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Discussion: Carve The MarkCarve The Mark by Veronica Roth
Series: Carve The Mark #1
Published by HarperCollins on 18th January 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favoured by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

I’m not quite sure how this is going to go. I mean, I know how I feel, I just don’t know if I’m going to be able to articulate it.

OK

A bit about me first. I suffer from a chronic illness. For the past 11 years my illness has ruled my life. Among many symptoms, I suffer from chronic pain.

END

I had some issues with this book. I sat quietly in my own wee world reading and formulating my thoughts. I started to wonder if it was just me? Was I being oversensitive? I took to Twitter and soon realised that, no, I was not alone with my concerns.

Set in a distant galaxy, we follow two characters, Akos who is Thuvhesit and Cyra who is Shotet. Their people live on the same planet separated by the Divide and a mutual hatred of one another.

Both of our main characters are ‘fated’; they are among a small group whose futures are fated and have been seen by the Oracles.

Each child in this world grows into a ‘currentgift’. The ‘current’ is the force that passes through all things. Everyone’s currentgift is different and is apparently formed around the personality / needs of the individual. Akos’ gift is that he stops the current, Cyra’s is chronic pain which she suffers from herself and can impart upon others through contact.

Let me start by saying that I was actually initially very pleased to see such a dominant author as Veronica Roth include chronic pain in her novel. Prior to diving into the book, I hoped that perhaps this would help to bring some understanding into the mainstream. Sadly, I was left disappointed, frustrated and even angry with this book.

I did read this entire book and, trust me, I tried to keep an open mind. There were points when I had hope – Cyra’s pain crippling her to the point she’s just in a heap in her room and the portrayal of the side effects that she suffers as a result of painkillers at the start of the book.

However,  I very much take issue with chronic pain being called a ‘currentGIFT’.

Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘gift’ as “a natural ability or talent.”

So, what? I have a talent for inflicting pain upon myself? I’m not convinced that even Britain’s Got Talent would consider THAT a talent!

Ok, so maybe we can agree that on the surface of it ‘gift’ was an unfortunate word choice.

“Every currentgift is a curse”

“But no gift is ONLY a curse”

In fairness, here she does have a point. My illness has taught me a lot about myself. I’m a different person to the one I was pre-illness. I’ve had to reassess, to identify what’s important in life and change everything to find a way to live. While I’d obviously rather I hadn’t had to go through this, I do now understand myself more. I see the world in a slightly different way.

The part that I very much take issue with in terms of Cyra’s currentgift, is the implication that her ‘gift’ is connected to her mental state or personality. I think this is very dangerous territory. When I first became ill a doctor implied that my pain and other symptoms were “all in my head”. Needless to say, most other health professionals were aghast at this statement and thankfully, on the whole, I’ve received excellent care. But this attitude is not uncommon towards chronic illnesses and it’s very damaging to sufferers and their families. To have this concept reinforced by way of a novel, to almost give the ‘okay’ to this kind of attitude is not acceptable to me.

I wish I could articulate my points more clearly. This post has been hard for me to write – it’s an emotional issue. I don’t like being negative, I strive to see the good. Writing a book with a central character who suffers from chronic pain is good, it’s just that I didn’t appreciate the way it was done.

Akos can use his currentgift to alleviate Cyra’s pain. Reliance on other people is something I’ve struggled to come to terms with over the past decade. I feel that this is an issue that could have been explored further, with more impact.

However, the idea of this relief by Akos is also something that bothered me. Although I know from an interview I saw online with Roth that she was conscious of avoiding a ‘magical cure’, that’s kind of how this felt to me.

Cyra’s later method of dealing with her pain also irritated me.

View Spoiler »

ARGH. I apologise that this is more of a rant than anything, but I couldn’t talk about this book without attempting to convey my feelings and issues with it.

I know that others have different issues with the book, so I recommend that you check out a few more reviews as I’m not the right person to address these issues.

If you made it this far, thank you for sticking with me. I’ve tried, however poorly, to explain my feelings on the handling of chronic pain in this book. It’s important to note though that these are just MY feelings.

Have you read this book?

How do YOU feel about the handling of chronic pain in this novel?

Am I just being oversensitive?