OwlCrate Unboxing: Fear the Night September 2019

Hi book nerds! Guess who has another unboxing? It’s me and my first ever Owlcrate!

I’ve always wanted to try OwlCrate and the September theme just sounded too good to pass up. Plus with my friend Shaked‘s encouragement, I had no reason not to.
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It arrived last week of September, just in two weeks! I know right? What a shocker? I’m so used to packages from the US taking a month or more to get here. But it arrived, and I adored it! These are the contents:
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💀 Skeleton fingerless gloves
💀 Scare-amel corn coffee by @bonescoffeecompany ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
💀 Frankenstein-inspired ceramic trinket dish by @stellabookishart
💀 Something Wicked This Way Comes-inspired art print by @annelambelet
💀 Gothic skull enamel pin by @lapelsandspells
💀 Exclusive Free Preview of The Beautiful
💀 Exclusive paperback edition of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
💀 And the BOTM, Exclusive OwlCrate edition The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
💀 Author letter
💀 Exclusive BOTM-inspired die-cut bookmark

OwlCrate Fear the Night Unboxing

This was a wonderful box! My favorites are definitely the coffee and the enamel pin! I feel odd about the OwlCrate exclusive cover though. The original black one looks so good, and the white cover (though it looks good too), feels odd for me.

Any of you received this box as well? What do you guys love about this box?!

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Cover Reveal: Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons

Hey book nerds! I am so excited to help Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons reveal the cover of their upcoming novel Set Fire to the Gods!

And here it is!

Set Fire to the Gods book cover

About the cover:

Artist: Johannes Voss
Art Directors: Michelle Taormina and Jenna Stempel-Lobel

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Y’all this cover is stunning and if it caught your attention, you might wanna keep on reading to see what this book is all about!

Set Fire to the Gods

Authors: Sara Raasch, Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Expected Publication: August 4, 2020

Summary:

Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games. The fights put Madoc in Ash’s path, and she realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.

Set Fire to the Gods cover reveal ad

Set Fire to the Gods has a Greco-Roman inspired world and is pitched as Gladiator meets The Hunger Games!

Super excited for this book! What do you guys think about this cover?

Book Review + Favorite Quotes: The Vine Witch | Blog Tour

Title: The Vine Witch
Author: Luanne G. Smith
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre/s: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Publication date: October 1, 2019
Goodreads synopsis:

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

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Hey there book nerds! It’s my stop on The Vine Witch Blog Tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! For my blog stop, I reviewed the book and listed down some of my favorite quotes from it!

The Vine Witch is a fun and enchanting read! What I thought would only be a typical or simple story about wine makers, turned out to be an exciting story about the magic of wine making and magic of witches.

Great writing

I adored the writing style of this book! It was elegant and mysterious, plus the visualization of certain sceneries and setting was enough to transport me into the magnificent French countryside. The author also used several metaphors to describe wine making and wine tasting, which for me truly showed the beauty and magic of wines.

Solid characters

The characters here in The Vine Witch were pretty solid as well. I loved Elena’s passion for the vineyard and her determination to restore it in its glory. Plus I liked how well-developed Elena’s character is. I also adored Jean-Paul and how he left his former profession to do something that truly makes him happy (wine making that is). Even the minor characters were also great and they helped keep the story fun and exciting.

As for the romance part, it was good but I feel like I needed more interaction and chemistry between the two main characters. Don’t get me wrong, they did have chemistry, but I just wish they had more

Interesting plot

This book has an interesting plot indeed. At the first few parts though, I thought it would only be simple, but the story took an interesting turn—a plot twist I didn’t expect—and I loved it! It’s also great to see all the little details and scenes come together and make sense at the end. It was mysterious and enchanting, yet still cohesive. I also liked how there were other kinds of witches involved, not just vine witches. To me, that helped expand both the plot and the world-building.

I only hoped there was bigger fight though as the climax felt a little safe. It kept me at the edge of my seat alright, but I feel like it wasn’t enough to make me hold my breath.

Favorite quotes

The Vine Witch Favorite Quotes

Buy The Vine Witch here:
Amazon |
 Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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Overall, I truly enjoyed this book and I’m glad to be a part of this blog tour. 4 stars for this one! Have you heard of this one book nerds? What do you think?

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About the Author

The Vine Witch Author Luanne G. SmithLuanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in the series, THE GLAMOURIST. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Tour Schedule

See more reviews, interviews, guest posts, playlists, and dream casts from other wonderful bloggers in this blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! Click here to see the tour schedule!

Giveaways

Did this book catch your attention? Are you interested? Well, then, enter the ongoing giveaways now for a chance to win a copy of The Vine Witch!

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🌿 G I V E A W A Y 🌿 . . And yet just because a thing can't be seen doesn't mean it isn't real. . . Happy Wednesday, everyone! We have a new book to share with you today. It's @luannegsmith new novel, #TheVineWitch. We fell in love with the cover first and then the story which involves a lot of our fav things: wine and witches 🍷🧙🏻‍♀️ set in France, with lots of magic, betrayal, and revenge. A novel we 100% recommend. . . This is why we are giving away 1 copy of THE VINE WITCH by Luanne G Smith (US ONLY) . . ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Follow @theffbc & @whatmakespatri ▪︎Follow the author @luannegsmith ▪︎Comment what's your favourite witchy book, tv show and/or movie? EXTRA ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Tag a friend (each friend will be an extra entry). ▪︎Share on your stories about the giveaway (remember to tag me @whatmakespatri and @theffbc) ▪︎Follow @michellesulk & @artsyreadergirl ▪︎Follow any other FFBC team member participating in the tour (let us know on the comment section who did you follow). Check everyone's Instagram handles below: @novelknight @tweetybugshouse @popthebutterfly @moonlight_rendezvous @poisonbooknerd @flyingpaperbacks @adreamindream @wishfulendings @shelfrated @sometimesleelynnreads @gwendalyn_books_ @obscure.pages . . Also, there's a 2nd #giveaway going on where we are giving away ANOTHER copy. Go to @theffbc website, check on the right hand side of the website, under CURRENT GIVEAWAYS, THE VINE WITCH cover and click on it and enter the rafflecopter! . . GIVEAWAY ENDS ON OCTOBER 15TH 2019. US RESIDENTS ONLY. INSTAGRAM IS NOT AFFILIATED. #blogtour #bookstagram #bookporn #instabook #booksofinstagram #bookphotography #bookworm #bookshelf #booklove #youngadult #ya #yareads #yabooks #epicreads #winbooks #bibliophile #bookish #booknerd #mybookfeature #bookstagramming #bookaesthetic #bookshimmy #booksbooksbooks #bookcommunity #bookgram #yabookstagram #ireadya #booksatgrammer

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Book Review: Tyler Johnson Was Here

Title: Tyler Johnson Was Here
Author: Jay Coles
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐💫
Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Goodreads synopsis:

When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.

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Tyler Johnson Was Here is a beautiful story of family, grief, loneliness, and choosing to be strong and fight for something despite all of the odds.

I picked this book up because I felt like I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy novels lately. This book definitely gave me a break from all the fantasy and fictional worlds, but man, the story can definitely weigh you down with sadness.

The writing

The writing style of this book was great. The author weaves a sad and beautiful story about family and injustice, grief and loneliness. This book can truly provoke emotions from the reader and I was definitely moved.

The characters

I liked the characters just fine, but there were times when the characterizations seemed a bit off for me. Marvin’s mom lacked characterization for me, so did Ivy and G-mo (and they were Marvin’s best friends so I expected a bit more), plus the chemistry in a certain relationship in the book felt nonexistent and/or not convincing enough for me. I also wanted to know more about Marvin and Tyler’s Dad; I liked him and his parts, and I feel like he deserved to be involved more in the story. Tyler lacked a bit o backstory too, and at the end, I’m still left with a couple of questions on my mind.

The plot

The plot was okay and was easy to follow. Though it was simple, it was poignant and it held so much significance and resemblance to the real world. My issue is that some subplots and little issues or conflicts here and there were not resolved and that irked me. I would have loved if these little details were not left hanging.

Quotes from the book

I take back what I told you about not crying. Crying can free you, son. Crying can make you see past it, past the pain that hurts your growing heart.

Mama used to say that a strong man isn’t the same as a good one. That a good man is hard to find because the strong ones usually turn bad.

“Who do you even call when the cops are the ones being the bad guys? Who do you even beg to protect you?”

Sometimes it’s hard to hear people tell us to stay strong. But you never know how strong you really are or can be until it’s the only choice you have.

Sometimes people need reminding that they matter, more than they need reminding that they’re alive, because sometimes being alive just isn’t enough.

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Overall, this book was a nice read and I give it 3.5 stars! Have you guys read this book yet? If you liked The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, I definitely suggest Tyler Johnson Was Here to you!

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ARC Review: Marrow Charm

Title: Marrow Charm
Author: Kristin Jacques
My rating: 2.5/5 stars
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Goodreads synopsis:

‘In his pursuit of the occult, the Third Reich opened the Gate to a realm of magic and brought the world to ruin. The Gate was eventually closed, but They were already in our world and They were hungry.’

-The Lost History, Library of Avergard

Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above.

Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes.

The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world.

And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.

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I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much The Parliament House!

Marrow Charm, though it was interesting and great at some parts, can be confusing and a bit of a letdown. There’s an interesting world-building and a fast-paced story line, but the plot, for me, failed to bring me as a reader to new heights.

Marrow Charm Book Cover (Goodreads)

Atmospheric writing

The writing was one of the things I really liked about this book. It was dark, it was atmospheric, and at times, it could be creepy, as well. The author has an excellent way of describing the current setting of the scene, and that will really get the readers hooked. Indeed, the visualization in this book was truly awesome.

Okay characters

The characters of Marrow Charm were okay and I loved reading about their journey, and the dangerous things they went through. However, I was not that invested in them.

Azzy was interesting and I loved her love for her brother and her family, but I just wasn’t quite hooked with her character. She was interesting, but there were a lot of vague things about her that weren’t explained. Kai was okay as well, but I wanted more backstory for him. Same with Brixby and Armin.

Letdown plot

Let me begin by saying that the synopsis is a bit misleading. In the synopsis, they talked about the Gate and Armin’s powers, but I didn’t see that in the book. If there was, it was very little and it wasn’t the main focus. Which is a bit disappointing for me, because there was a fast-paced story line and dangerous conflicts and adventures here and there, but all of those things didn’t add up to one big showdown or some sort of revelation. With all of those in the book, I definitely expected Azzy’s journey to reach a climax, or a plot twist, or some pivotal situation that will heighten the story. Sadly, I did not see anything like that, and the ending, for me, was just confusing and lacking. I believe this is the first book of a series, but that ending didn’t really give me something big.

Interesting world-building

As I said before, the author has a very atmospheric writing—she was able to describe the setting of the story, both Below and Above. The author also described the creatures and the animals so wonderfully and it just helped the world to come alive even more.

As much as I loved that part though, it still felt lacking to me. Again, in the synopsis there was stuff about the Gate and everything, and I feel like that is such an important part of the history and the world-building, but there was no information about that. I’m always craving for a great world-building, but Marrow Charm fell a little bit.

Overall, this book was okay. I expected to love it, but unfortunately, there were more lows than highs for me.

Buy Marrow Charm here:
Amazon Barnes & Noble

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I’m so sad to be giving this such a low rating! I truly expected to love this book as it sounded so good.

But anyway. Maybe Marrow Charm is more your thing, dear reader. Have you heard of it?