Books

Owl Crate Subscription Box: March

It’s time for a look at the most recent Owl Crate subscription box, and once again, I am running late! I am entering my crazy busy time of wedding season and between that and (still) recovering from being so sick, well, blogging is taking a backseat. Oh and we also started potty training this week. #funtimes But despite all that, I gotta share the Owl Crate love, even if it is late love, so let’s take a peek at the contents of the March box, Sailors, Ships, and Seas.

The novel included in this month’s box was Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. I haven’t started it yet because my TBR is out of control this month, but it looks really interesting. Pirates of the Caribbean was always one of my favorite rides as a kid so I have a special place in my heart for pirate lore. I’m hoping to read the book next month if I have enough time.

I am in love with this mermaid washi tape from Simply Gilded. Washi tape is one of my favorite office/craft supplies and this pattern reminds me of Ariel, so I was automatically a fan. I am also a notepad hoarder (as you probably know by now if you’ve read any of my other box reviews) so this octopus notepad from Boygirlparty will definitely be put to good use. This ship themed tea towel from Kitch Studios was my least fave of this month, mostly because it doesn’t fit in with my decor at home so it probably won’t get used, though I do love the quote.

This necklace from The Geeky Cauldron was my favorite piece this month. I love that is has two different sides (see the featured image at the top of the post for the flip side), but this side is definitely the one I love the most. This is a piece I will definitely be rocking in the future.

I am really excited for next month’s (actually this month’s) box because the theme is Head Over Heels. I am expecting some cute stuff and a fun read! If you are interested in trying Owl Crate for yourself (and you definitely should!) please use this link right here and help me out!

Happy reading!

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Owl Crate Subscription Box: February 

Guys, today is the first day in about two weeks that I have felt like an actual human being. I have been battling the worst cough/cold/sore throat and I have been sicker than I have been in a long time. Boo. So today I am playing some major catch up and finally getting around to a couple of blog posts that I have been planning for some time and just haven’t had the mental wherewithal to actually write. Today’s is my February Owl Crate reveal, which is so late that it will shortly be followed by my March Owl Crate reveal since that box should be on its way soon! But I definitely wanted to share this box with you because it was an AWESOME one. I feel like I am repeating myself every month, but these boxes really do get better and better each month. So let’s take a peek at February’s Circus themed box!

So for the first time ever, I actually guessed the book for this month correctly! And I was so excited to see it in the box because I was planning on buying it anyway! Caraval by Stephanie Garber has been hyped as the next Night Circus, so I am definitely psyched to read it. And now that I don’t feel like poo, I might actually get some reading done!

The little goodies in this month’s box were some of my favorite ever. I love when I get items that I will actually use! Attic Journals provided this cute playing card notebook and I LOVE these circus themed page flags from Girl of All Work. And the lip balm from Geek Fire Labs is doughnut flavored y’all. Yeah, it’s as awesome as it sounds.

My favorite item this month is this Night Circus inspired tote bag from Evie Bookish. I am a tote bag whore, and I especially love literature bags, so this one is my new fave. And this Le Cirque des Reves inspired candle from Frostbeard Studio smells divine.

All in all, it was an amazing box this month and I am so thrilled with everything I received. March’s theme is Sailors, Ships, and Seas. I have no idea what to expect from the March box, but I’m hoping for some mermaids! If you would like to check out Owl Crate for yourself, please use this affiliate link and help me earn some free boxes! Any guesses as to what book will be in next month’s box?

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What I Read: February

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So after a really good month of reading in January, February was kind of a let down. I read one really good book, one that was pretty good, and two that were just eh. So far March has been much better to me, but I want to share my Feb reads anyway, because it wasn’t all bad (hang in until the end for the good stuff!).

Home by Eleni McKnight: So I was asked by the author to read and review this book, which is something I try to do as often as possible for no charge other than a free copy of the book. According to every blogger and social media expert out there this is not something I should be doing as I am basically giving away my time and influence for free, but as someone who is hoping to become a published author at some point in the foreseeable future, I have a soft spot for new authors and I want to do what I can to help bring attention to books I love. Unfortunately, Home has a lot of problems and it screams new and inexperienced author. Honestly, if I weren’t reviewing it, I wouldn’t have finished. The story itself is awesome, it’s very dystopian, but also has a lot of religious cult themes that were interesting and not something I had read before. However, the book is riddled with spelling and grammar errors that render the book almost unreadable. We’re not talking typos, we’re talking straight up errors that any editor or proofreader (or author for that matter) should have caught and fixed before publishing. I had high hopes for this novel since I loved the idea behind it, but it was just not good.

A Whole New World by Liz Braswell: I sooooo wanted to love this book. You all know how much I love my Disney (duh) but Aladdin in particular has a soft spot in my heart. It was always one of my favorites growing up, and it was the best production I ever directed, with some of my best kids ever, plus I am a huge fan of the Broadway musical. So it’s safe to say I love me some Aladdin. I really loved the idea behind this retelling (a lot of comparable political situations happening in this version of Agrabah and America right now) but it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I was thrown off in the beginning at how similar the book was to the movie–like exact scenes and lines of dialogue. And I just never really got into it. Very disappointing because this is a series and I so wanted to read all of them, but now I don’t think I will read anymore. Sad.

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman: After two disappointing reads, I really needed something to get me back in the swing of good reads and Legacy of Kings mostly did that. This is book one in a series mainly focusing on a teenage Alexander the Great. There are lots of mythology references in the book, which I enjoyed, and it is clear the author did a lot of historical research while prepping to write it (the author is actually known for her non-fiction books and you can see that in her fiction). In general, I really enjoyed this book. It has a good mix of action and adventure, with a bit of romance and magic thrown in for good measure. My main complaint about the book is that there are a lot of characters and it was hard in the beginning to keep everyone and their storyline straight in my head. But it got easier as the book went on, and I have already read the second book (recap coming next month) and will definitely pick up the third when it comes out.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: Okay, I know most people have already read this book, but I just picked it up and it was sooooo good! I blew threw this one in about two days and I loved all of it (though some of it was scary since my kid is almost ready for school). The basic premise follows a small group of kindergarten moms and a murder mystery and it is fascinating to watch the relationships between the moms, and to see how it affects the kids (again, scary). HBO is currently airing a mini series based on the book and I have only watched one episode so far, but it was just as good as the book. I already went out to buy more of Moriarty’s books and I can’t wait to read more by her.

Already, March has been a better reading month than February, but I am glad that I found a new series and an awesome new author. You’ll see more from both of them in next month’s recap. What are you reading right now?

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What I Read: January

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If you don’t know by now, I really love to read. I am obsessed with books, particularly those in the young adult lit category, and I devour them whenever I can. I made a yearly goal to read 52 new books this year, and made a monthly goal for January to read four new books. If you caught my goals recap for January, you saw that I crushed it in the reading department last month and actually read seven new books! Woot woot! I loved pretty much everything I read last month so I figured I would share some of my reads with you!

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon: I’ve talked a little bit about this book already, but words do not do it justice. This book moved me. Like actually reached out through the pages and touched my heart. I cannot recommend this book enough. Seriously, so so so good.

Romeo and What’s Her Name by Shani Petroff: So I was drawn to this book because I am a longtime lover of Romeo and Juliet. This comedy novel was okay, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. It was a quick and easy read, but it was predictable and is one of those books I was just eh about. (Note: I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for my opinion.)

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher: This memoir was FASCINATING. This is Carrie Fisher’s last book, and I, like many others, picked it up after her passing. I haven’t read any of her other books, but I am going to now. Carrie’s writing is so beautiful and poetic, and this particular book contains her actual diary entries from the filming of Star Wars (and her diary entries sound better than anything I have ever written). The book focuses on her affair with Harrison Ford during the shooting of A New Hope and it is a must read for any Star Wars fan.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst: This was the December Owl Crate book and for the most part, I really enjoyed this fantasy tale of a young princess who moves to a new country to be with the boy she is betrothed to, only to find herself falling in love with his sister. I loved the twist and the LGBTQ elements, though some of the writing was a bit wordy and drawn out for me. But overall, a solid and entertaining read.

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard: This was the January Owl Crate book, and it might be the first time I finished the book in the same month I received the box! I was super excited to see this retelling of Phantom of the Opera in my Owl Crate and overall I really enjoyed the book. It did take me a while to get into it, but once I was in, I was hooked. However, printing a book with red type is dumb and no one should do it ever again.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han: I LOVED THESE BOOKS! I mean, it should be a testament to their awesomeness that I read two books from the same series in the same month. I am so into Jenny Han’s writing style, and the characters she has created in these novels are magic. They are so real, you feel like you are friends with them by the time you are done reading the book. The final in the trilogy comes out in a couple of months and I can’t wait. Also, these are some of my favorite covers ever!

All in all, it was a really great month of reading! I am hoping to read four more books in February, and I will be sure to share them with you next month! I’m always looking for book recommendations, so let me know what you think I should read!

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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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