Books

Owl Crate Subscription Box: January

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It was another amazing month to be an Owl Crate subscriber! I have been an Owl Crate member for almost a year now, and I swear, these boxes keep getting better and better! The theme for this month was Classic Remix, and full disclosure: I am not big on the classics. Despite having an English degree and being a former English teacher, I have read pathetically few of the classics canon and I don’t really have any intention of starting now. BUT I was stoked to see that the main classic featured in the box was Phantom of the Opera, which happens to be the first Broadway musical I ever saw, sparking a lifelong love of theater that continues to this day. So that was super exciting! Enough of my babble, let’s get to the goods!

This month’s novel was RoseBlood by A.G. Howard, and I already finished it! It got off to a slow start, but by about halfway through, I was so intrigued by this Phantom of the Opera retelling. It was a fascinating read that I would especially recommend to all you theater lovers out there. If you are not familiar with the story of Phantom, I would definitely watch one of the movie versions first so you have some background on the story and the history. The other Phantom themed item was this beautiful magnet from Sweet Sequels. My fridge is becoming so literary thanks to Owl Crate!

Also included in this month’s box was a classic themed calendar from Obvious State. Each month features a quote and an illustration from a different classic novel. I’m not a tea drinker (coffffffeeeee), but the packaging of this The Little Prince themed tea from First Edition Tea Co is so cute that I might just put it on display somewhere.

I LOVE this Secret Garden inspired book soap from TeaSoapBooks! Her Etsy shop is closed for a short break right now, but I will definitely be ordering some of her other bookish soaps as soon as she reopens (I got my eye on a Shakespeare soap!). Also, this gorgeous bookmark from Lexy Olivia has such a great quote on it: “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” I may or may not have purchased another one of her bookmarks already because they are just so pretty!

As always, we got a sneak peek at next month’s box, which is circus themed and looks amazing! I am hoping the novel is what I think it’s going to be, because it is a book I have been lusting after for a while. Fingers crossed! If you want to get in on the Owl Crate action (seriously, highly, highly recommend it), please use my referral link and help me save some moola! Now let me go begin the countdown until my February box arrives!

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My 2017 Reading List

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If you were around for any part of 2016, you might have noticed an influx of book related posts here at Falon Loves Life, mainly due to the fact that as Squirt gets older, and now that I am working from home, I actually have more time to read. Which is awesome because reading has been a passion of mine for like thirty years (not even exaggerating there, which is a little scary…I’m old). I did an okay job completing my 2016 Reading List, though I didn’t finish all the books on the list. But that’s okay because I read about a hundred others. This year, I need to get through the fifty books I bought last year but haven’t read yet (only a slight exaggeration). I would like to say I’m not going to buy any new books until I finish the ones I have, but that would be a big fat lie. I’m sure I will veer from this list, but these are the books I hope to read in 2016:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: I polished off the entire Throne of Glass series last year, and despite some slow moments, I really enjoyed all five books (so far, there is still at least one more to come in that series). I have heard that ACOTAR is even better so I am excited to start this one.

Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin: Okay okay, so this one was on my list last year, as was Game of Thrones. I finished GoT and managed to get about halfway through CoK, but I gotta buckle down and finish.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven: I LOVED All the Bright Places and I have heard great things about Niven’s latest release. Hopefully it’s not quite as emotionally devastating as her first book, but I’m pretty sure it is.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: This book is going to see an upsurge in popularity due to the HBO limited series coming out this February, starring some kickass ladies like Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern.

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover: I own this book already, and yet have legitimately no idea what it is actually about. But it was all over bookstagram last year, so it’s probably good!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer: The Lunar Chronicles were some of my favorite books from last year so I am super stoked to dive into the latest offering from Marissa Meyer.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero: This is another one that really made a splash on the blog/book community scene that last year. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while now, I just need to find the time to read it!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: When it comes to YA fiction, I am not typically drawn toward romance, but this series seems to be pretty popular, and not going to lie, I love the cover.

Everything Everything by Nicola YoonI just finished Nicola’s other book, The Sun is Also a Star, and I freaking loved it so much. Probably the best characters I’ve read in a love story in a long time. Looking forward to reading her other work!

Yes Please by Amy PoehlerI picked this one up a couple of weeks ago because it was on clearance at my local bookstore, and I’m excited to read it. Amy is hilarious and I have heard great things about the book.

These are just ten of the many books I plan to read in 2017. With the exception of Everything, Everything and Holding Up the Universe, I already own copies of all the books on my list, so there are no excuses! Time to brew some coffee and get to reading! What are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

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Owl Crate Subscription Box: December

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Well folks, it’s that time again, my favorite time of the month (or time to talk about my favorite time of the month because the holidays kicked my butt and I am way behind on posting…but anyways…). Time to reveal the full contents of my Owl Crate subscription box. If you are new to these parts (welcome!) Owl Crate is a monthly subscription box designed especially for lovers of young adult literature. I signed up about eight months ago and I have not been disappointed with the contents of my boxes! December’s theme was EPIC, and this box was the shizz. I loved November’s box, but this month’s was basically made for me (though it did not contain either Richard Madden or Orlando Bloom, so there’s that). But on to the goods! Here’s what we received in the December Owl Crate box:

These Game of Thrones coasters from Dark Horse Comics are the best. Probably my favorite item I’ve ever gotten in an Owl Crate. I am still halfway through book two in the Song of Ice and Fire series (as I have been for about six months), but I am hoping these coasters will encourage me to actually finish reading them soon. If nothing else, they will be a sweet addition to my Season 7 Game of Thrones premiere party (though it may be hard to top the last one, I’m going to try!).

This month’s book is Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. I am really excited to read this one because it seems like a unique take on fantasy and I am in love with the fact that there is an LGBTQ teen in the novel. It has been bumped up on my TBR list because I am so excited for it.

Obvs I love me some Harry Potter so I was sooooo excited to add to my HP Funko collection. I have to say, I think I like the minis better than the full size, however since I already had a full size Harry, it looks a little funny next to my mini Hagrid (Harry is double the size of Hagrid, which just ain’t right). But this is the cutest Hagrid ever and I love it!

I have loved Jane Mount’s pins from Ideal Bookshelf for a while (please make a Romeo and Juliet pin Jane!!!) so I was stoked to see the Lord of the Rings pin in the box. Not gonna lie, never read the books and I have no intention to, but I loved the movies (I know how that makes me sound, no judging….also I may or may not have had an unhealthy Orlando Bloom obsession back in the day).

Also in the box was this amazing Narnia themed greeting card from Susanne Draws (her artwork has been in the boxes in the past and it’s always so beautiful!) and this Darker Shade of Magic sticker from Miss Phi, along with the monthly pin illustrating the theme.

Honestly, I probably would have been happy with this box with just the coasters and my Hagrid mini Funko, so all the other awesomeness was just a bonus! The January theme is Classic Remix, which should be interesting because despite the fact that I have an English degree and taught English for six years, I haven’t read the majority of classics in the literature canon. So we’ll see what happens! If you are interested in checking out Owl Crate for yourself (and you should!) please use my referral link and help a sista out!


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Book Review: Girl in Pieces

This post contains affiliate links. In addition, I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Ugh, you guys. This book was soooooo good. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow is about a seventeen year old girl named Charlie who is a cutter. She is sent to an inpatient clinic, but is released after just a few weeks because she can’t pay the fees (so many thoughts on that subject). She ends up traveling to Arizona to meet up with an old friend and she starts to get her life on track. She gets a job, finds a place to live, and seems to be doing okay. Then she meets Riley West, a former one hit wonder rocker with a serious drug and alcohol problem and things start to take a dangerous turn. Charlie has to figure out what kind of life she wants to lead and what kind of person she wants to be (and think about how hard that is to do as a teenager, now couple it with a mental health issue).




I loved this book for so many reasons. One, the writing is beautiful. This is Glasgow’s debut novel, which is actually hard to believe because the writing is so powerful and well-crafted. Two, this is such an important topic and I am so glad that so many young adult literature authors are handling it in such an authentic way (see my review on All the Bright Places if you want another awesome book on teen mental health). I spent eight years of my life working in junior highs and high schools and I can personally attest to the fact that there are so many teens struggling with self harm and the majority of them do a really good job of hiding it. When books like this come out and gain popularity it can have such a tremendous impact on kids who are in a similar situation. It makes my heart happy to think that there are kids out there reading this book and seeing themselves in Charlie. If nothing else, they know that they are not alone.

The main reason I think this book resonated so much with me is that all of the characters are so real. Charlie is the kind of character that makes the reader feel her pain along with her. When Charlie struggles, you want her to be okay. When she succeeds, you cheer on her achievements like you would your best friend’s. The supporting characters are equally as strong and well-developed, and are a diverse and interesting group of people who seem real and authentic.




Whether you are a young adult literature fan or not, Girl in Pieces is the kind of book that everyone should read. Mental health issues are a huge problem in our country (mainly due to the serious stigma that goes along with them) and we need to start the conversation, especially with teens. Books like this can do so much to help that conversation along and I truly hope you will take the time to read it soon.


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The Best Books I Read in 2016

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2016 was an interesting year to say the least. I could say many things about the year in general, but I don’t want to be a downer. Instead, I thought I would share with you some of the best books I read this year because reading is always a good thing. This year I was really able to get back in the swing of things book-reading wise and I am so happy to finally have some time for one of my favorite passions. I hope to read even more books next year, and I think I am going to need to start keeping track because I had a hard time remembering everything I read. But these are the books that stood out the most to me in 2016.




All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: You can read my full review here. This is one of the best books I have ever read and I feel like this is such an important story to tell. Everyone should read this book ASAP.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Not going to lie, I only picked up this book because my version has a pink cover and it’s so pretty. But I really enjoyed reading Fangirl and I’m definitely going to add the companion book, Carry On, to my 2017 reading list.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: So I guess I discovered this year that I really like Rainbow Rowell! I picked up Eleanor and Park because there was a piece in one of my Owl Crate boxes designed around it and I was so happy I did. Definitely a fun and easy read, but also one with a lot of substance.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I actually read the first four books in the Throne of Glass series this year (still waiting for the last one to come out in paperback), but Throne of Glass was my favorite. I haven’t loved the other three as much as I did the first one.

Cress by Marissa Meyer: So the Lunar Chronicles series is one of the few series where I think I equally enjoyed all four books. I read them all this year (if you haven’t read the series yet, make sure you start with Cinder) and I LOVED them. It was hard to pick a favorite, but Cress and her love interest were my favorite couple so I decided to go with her story as my choice.

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern: Flawed was in my first Owl Crate subscription box and it is one of my favorite books I have gotten from Owl Crate so far. I loved this dystopian novel and I really enjoyed Ahern’s writing style. Can’t wait for the sequel!

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Look, I read adult books too! So at first I had mixed feelings about Night Circus, but really the writing is just so beautiful that I had to put it on my list. This is one I really want to go back and reread, so I just need to make it through my TBR list so I have time!

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: OMG, another adult book! So Girl on the Train is not in my normal vein of what I like to read, but it was one of those books that everyone was talking about so I figured I had to check it out. It was a fast read for me, and it was entertaining. And even though it was kind of weird and creepy, it didn’t give me nightmares, which I appreciate.




Overall, 2016 was a great year for books in my opinion. I’m currently working on my reading list for 2017. Any recommendations for me to add to my list? Let me know!

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Read, Reading, Up Next

This post contains affiliate links. I was provided with a free copy of some or all of these books in exchange for my opinion. All thoughts are my own.

Hello book-loving friends! I have been doing a lot of reading lately and I have read some really great books that I want to share with you! Here is a look at what I recently read, what I am currently reading, and what is coming up next.

Read: I recently finished reading Winter, which is the fourth and final book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. This was bittersweet for me because I loved reading this series and I was so sad to see it come to an end. However, I really enjoyed Winter and I thought it was an awesome ending to the series. No spoilers, but I really, really liked how this ending differed from a lot of other YA series. I’ll leave it at that. If you haven’t read the series, get all four books because you are going to want to read them all!

Reading: Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson is a little more serious than what I usually like to read, but I was drawn to it because it is a Shakespeare adaptation and I am all about my main man Wills. This book is part of a collection of novels based on Shakespeare plays. This one takes the Merchant of Venice and gives it a bit of a modern spin. I love how the author has made the characters relatable for a modern audience and his spin on the plot is interesting. Definitely not as light and fun as many of my reads, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

Up Next: Today I posted some of my to be reads on my bookstagram account (@coffeebookswinerepeat) and asked my followers what I should read next. It was a pretty close vote between Red Queen and The Raven Boys, but TRB won out. I’m excited to start a new YA series and see what this one is all about!

What are you currently reading and what’s up next for you? 

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Owl Crate Subscription Box: November

Hello fellow bookworms and welcome to another Owl Crate reveal! In last month’s box we got a teaser for the next box letting us know the theme for November would be Wonderland. Not going to lie, I was kind of eh about the theme because Alice in Wonderland is not my favorite. But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the contents of this month’s box! It might actually be my favorite one so far! There were some really cool individual items, and all together the themeing of the box was really well done. Here’s what we got this month!

The book for this month is Heartless by Marissa Meyer (author of the Lunar Chronicles series). This might be the first time I had actually heard of the book before getting it in the box, so that was exciting! I am just about to start the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series and I am loving them so far so I am really excited to read Heartless.

Riddle’s Tea Shoppe created this blend just for the Owl Crate box. I don’t drink tea (give me all the coffee) but the tin it came in is so cute I was excited for it anyway! I handed off the tea to my friend and kept the tin for myself!

I am a big fan of Authored Adornments so I was super psyched to see this gorgeous bookmark in the box this month. I also really love this magnet from Evie Bookish. I really love the quote used on the magnet!

In addition to our copy of Heartless, we also got this adorable version of Alice in Wonderland, designed by Rock Paper Books (who has a collection of Shakespeare covers that I am seriously coveting). The book and the matching bookmark are just too cute for words. I actually haven’t ever read Alice in Wonderland, but I am thinking I have to now!

I am so excited about the contents of the November box from Owl Crate. Everything is so beautiful and I think the themeing of this box was completely spot on. Next month the Owl Crate theme is Epic, and we have been promised goodies inspired by Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Lord of the Rings (hello all my favorites!). What are the chances Richard Madden and Orlando Bloom will be wrapped in my box? No? Well, if you would like to check out Owl Crate for yourself, please use this referral link right here and help a sista out! Happy reading!


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