FAVORITE BOOK & CUTE THINGS: August 2018 Owlcrate Unboxing

After years of swooning over Owlcrate unboxing videos, bookstagrams, and blog posts, this fangirl finally decided to get an Owlcrate of her own! I admit that I get nervous when it comes to book subscription services in case I’m not a fan of the book being included in that box. However, I know that Owlcrate includes both quality books and merchandise, and I have some of their merch from Book Con and Book Expo. For my birthday, I asked for the August 2018 box, Ruthless Royals. I was really intrigued by their social media hints for this box, especially since there was an exclusive Throne of Glass item and a never-before-seen item inspired by The Cruel Prince. I also wanted an exclusive edition of this month’s book, which I guessed correctly!

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Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart Exclusive Edition- Grace and Fury is one of my favorite books of 2018. I have an advance copy that I read and reviewed, and I knew that I wanted my own finished copy. I absolutely love the Owlcrate exclusive edition, which is signed by Tracy Banghart. The box also includes a note from the author and a bookmark.

The Belles Inspired Pocket Mirror (Catarina Book Designs)– I haven’t read The Belles yet, but I love the design on the mirror and know it will come in handy.

Throne of Glass Tea Towel (Little Inklings Design)– I’m a sucker for any Throne of Glass merch and I really like the quote. I have plans to turn the tea towel into a wall hanging.

Gemstone Ring (GeoCentral)- This was an unexpected item, but I really like this ring and I can see myself making it a statement piece in some of my outfits. Or a nice bookstagram prop. I really like how the ring’s color/pattern was unique to each box.

The Cruel Prince Inspired Book Tin (Stella Bookish Art)- Owlcrate hinted that The Cruel Prince inspired item was something that they’ve never done before, and I really like the uniqueness of the book tin. The artwork throughout is absolutely stunning! I think this will also make a great bookstagram prop and I might keep some bookish things in it for my dorm room. Or maybe for my love letters (can you tell I’m still on a To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before high??).

Villanious Queens Bookmarks (Craftedvan) –I can’t get over the adorableness that are these magnetic bookmarks, featuring the Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, and the Evil Queen.

Before She Ignites Artwork/Quote Card- I haven’t read the Before She Ignites series, but I like this quote and plan on hanging it up in my dorm with my photos.

As always, the box also included a Owlcrate pin, a Ruthless Royals guide, and a teaser for  next month’s theme, Masters of Disguise.

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Overall, I loved the Ruthless Royals box! My favorite items include the Throne of Glass tea towel, the magnetic bookmarks, and Grace and Fury. I’m not really interested in the Masters of Disguise theme, but I can definitely see myself ordering from Owlcrate again in the future.

Do you subscribe to Owlcrate? Did you get the Ruthless Royals box? Share in the comments!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Movie Review

So one advance screening and three at-home rewatches later, I feel confident to launch into my review of my most anticipated 2018 film, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Just like the beloved book by Jenny Han, I absolutely loved To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and it will always be a movie I can return to again and again. This Netflix film also gives us the opportunity to channel our true Covey-Song selves with being able to put on our comfiest pajamas with plenty of chocolate chip cookies and face masks at hand.

IMG_E5419When it comes to book-to-movie adaptions, us bookworms most like to discuss the differences between book and movie. There were minor changes made, but nothing that was significant enough to affect the plot, in my opion. For the most part, the changes usually involved the setting of certain events. I admit that I was a bit sad that Lara Jean lives in Oregon, not Virginia, in the movie, but I’m sure this had something to do with the movie being filmed in Canada and having to find a similar US setting. I don’t want to go into too many spoilers, so I’ll talk about the most obvious change that you can find in the trailers. Kitty was made to be older in the movie -she’s starting the sixth grade. Director Susan Johnson revealed that they wanted a bit more mature, older Kitty in the movie so she could act as a comic pinpoint. Which is fine by me, because I laughed out loud at almost everything she said.

While the actresses who play the Covey-Song girls aren’t all Korean, I was still so happy that the film was not whitewashed, many thanks to Jenny Han, because it just made the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before feels even stronger. I’ve seen some debate over if Janel Parrish was too old to play college freshman Margot, but I did like her as Margot- even though I always pictured Margot to be a bit more nerd-chic for some reason. And like I said above, I LOVED Anna Cathcart as Kitty. Her comic delivery was just so good! I know there’s a lot of loves being thrown around here, but Noah Centineo as Peter K was just so perfect and much love to John Corbett as Dr. Covey. I think I also liked movie Chris a tad more than book Chris?? Her questions about Dr.Cover’s career choice was one of my favorite moments. Most importantly, I think it’s safe to say that Lana Condor is the Lara Jean we all hoped for. From her wardrobe to her bad driving skills to her introvert self to her messy room her love for her family, Lana is the Lara Jean I always imagined. And let’s not forgot about that Jenny Han cameo! I love how she lingers in the background for a bit so readers really have the chance to recognize her.

Speaking of messy rooms and camera shots, I obviously give this move an A+, but its camera angles and cinematography gets A+s themselves. This movie was just so beautifully shot, and I loved the sequences, like when Lara Jean is opening the hatbox and the different shots as she shows the letters, pictures the boys, and sweeps the hatbox aside when Margot comes in.

I’m so happy that we can watch this movie again and again on Netflix, and I’ll likely buy it if it ever comes out on DVD. Netflix powers, please give us P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean adaptations. Especially after that ending.

Have you watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Attending the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Advance Screening

On Tuesday night, I attended my first advance screening for my most anticipated movie EVER of the year: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I was beyond excited for the opportunity to attend an advance screening for one of my favorite books of all-time. This experience was also pretty special since To All the Boys I’ve Loved is a Netflix original, so now I can say that I’ve watched the film both on the big screen and small screen.

I went to the screening with my completely non-bookish, but movie-loving sister. Who else could have brought to a rom-com about sisterhood?? We got to the move theater in uptown New York City a little over an hour before the event’s official start time at 7 PM. I’ve heard that this is common with advance screenings, especially through gofobo, but we could not believe how long the line was when we got there! It had to be at least 50 people deep, so I’m thankful that we decided to go right to the theater instead of getting dinner beforehand.

My sister and I didn’t get into the theater until 7 PM. I really don’t know how many people were able to get in after us because by the time we made it in, the theater seemed pretty filled up. gofobo said that the theater was overbooked beforehand and seats were not guaranteed, so unfortunately I don’t know what happened to all the people behind us in line. Luckily, the actual movie tickets we got once inside already had assigned seats (we had perfect spots in the middle!) and we received free popcorn and drinks. Everyone also received their own Netflix-inspired swag bag, which included the movie tie-in edition of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (so glad I didn’t buy it!), a notebook, a pencil, and bookmark.

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While my full review will be coming on Monday (this fangirl needs to watch the movie 2 or 40 more times), I will say now that To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before completely met my expectations and more. While a few minor details were changed, I was so happy with how much the film felt like the book! It had all the warm feels, the Covey-Song sisters bond, and PLENTY of laugh-out-loud moments from Kitty.

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After the film ended, there was a Q&A featuring Jenny Han, Lana Condor (who plays Lara Jean), and Susan Johnson, the director of the film. The Q&A was on the shorter side, but it was so cool getting to hear from these awesome ladies. A few things that they revealed were: Jenny wrote love letters and kept them in a hatbox too, Lana couldn’t believe how long her hair was in the movie until watching the film, and Susan hopes for more romantic comedies. By the end, the audience was cheering for 2 more sequels -hopefully the Netflix executive in the room heard!

The Q&A was then followed by a signing with Jenny. I got the movie tie-in edition and my own copy of P.S. I Still Love You signed- now all of my Jenny Han books are signed!! I’m also so proud that said non-bookish sister also attended her very first book signing and got her copy signed! Even though she made me spoil the endings of the books for her on the way home.

Overall, I am so grateful for my experience at the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before advance screening. This movie is easily my favorite of the year, so make sure to watch it on Netflix now!

Have you watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before yet? What did you think?? Share in the comments!!

Burn for Burn Series Review

Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian are two of my favorite YA contemporary authors, so it was about time that I read their co-authored series, Burn for Burn. The Burn for Burn series includes, Burn for Burn, Fire with Fire, and Ashes to Ashes.

Burn for Burn Summary:

Jar Island is the type of place where people don’t have to lock their doors at night and parents can sleep easily, their daughters safe and sound in bed. But even bad things can happen to good girls, and sometimes the only way to make something right is to do something wrong. After this summer, Lillia can’t trust boys, and she’ll be damned if the same thing that happened to her happens to her little sister. Kat, Jar Island’s resident bad girl, is through with all of the cruel jokes and snide remarks thrown her way. And it’s all thanks to her ex-best friend. After four years of being away because of a boy, Mary is back to Jar Island a different person. But like Kat and Lillia, Mary wants one thing: sweet revenge.

Cover Lust: Covers with people on them are hit or miss for me, but I love how all 3 books feature the same models. I’m a little bummed that the third hardcover book took on a different style when it came to the lettering. But I am obsessed with the naked look of all 3 books.

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My Ratings:

Burn for Burn: 5/5 Stars

Fire with Fire: 5/5 Stars

Ashes to Ashes: 4/5 Stars

 My Thoughts:

I didn’t give Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire 5 stars each because they were the best books that I’ve ever read. These books are just so enjoyable to read, having read each in less than two days floating around my pool. They were such a throwback to some of my first YA books, i.e. cheesily delicious books. The perfect way to describe a series, am I right?

I’m all for reading books that place near the beach or water during the summer. Burn for Burn takes place on Jar Island, starting with the last week of summer through the end of Lilia and Kat’s senior year. While it’s not a summer contemporary, since it takes over the course of one school year, there are many beach feels. We also get the occasional trip off-island to Kat’s favorite music shop and Lillia’s apartment in Boston. While it’s never explicitly said, I’m assuming that Jar Island is has a similar location to Martha’s Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts. Fantasy books have made me too lenient on maps.

And speaking of cheesily delicious books, one of the many reasons I enjoyed this series is because it reminded a little bit like The Clique! Most of the privilege comes from Lillia and her core group of friends, but any description of her lifestyle, let alone closet, reminded me so much of Massie Block.

But I don’t want to overstretch The Clique comparison too much because our three main characters and perspectives, Lillia, Kat, and Mary, are not bratty. Lillia is the privileged, all-American girl, Kat the bad girl, and Mary the quiet one with a hidden past. While I liked Kat more and more with each installment, Lillia was my favorite because I liked to explore her relationship and friendship dynamics. All three books definitely play around with some high school tropes, like partying and dating, but it does take some more serious topics, like sexual assault and bullying.

I went into Burn for Burn knowing there were going to be supernatural elements , but I was honestly expecting all three girls to have some sort of powers from the get-go. In reality, the supernatural element comes into the end of Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire and takes up a large part of Ashes to Ashes. Which causes you have to have some ah-ha or ohhhhhhhhh moments when thinking about the first two books. While I didn’t mind the supernatural so much, I didn’t really like its direction in Ashes to Ashes because it controlled a lot of the plot and made me scared for everyone.

Overall, the Burn for Burn trilogy is the perfect binge-worthy read, especially if you want to kick back with a high school drama type read.

Have you read Burn for Burn? What are some of your favorite binge-worthy reads? Share in the comments!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Inspired Baking

As you may know, Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of my all-time favorite books and series. AND IT’S BEEN TURNED INTO A NETFLIX FILM THAT COMES OUT ON AUGUST 17TH! In preparation for the movie, I of course had to at least reread To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. And P.S. I Still Love You. And my Always and Forever, Lara Jean reread is still yet to come, but IT WILL. While rereading, I found so many new favorites quotes, many expectedly coming from Kitty, but I was really into all of Lara Jean and company’s baking. Since one of the Song sisters’ most beloved Christmas traditions is their Christmas Cookie Bonanza, it only seems fair to make it all about cookies! I’ll be sharing with you three cookie recipes inspired by To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

One of Lara Jean’s goals in the trilogy’s final book, Always and Forever, Lara Jean, is to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. The recipe below is my family’s go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookie bars, which is the perfect on-the-go snack or companion for some late night reading. Plus it’s easier to lose track of how many bars you eat vs. cookies! This recipe can also be used to make regular chocolate chip cookies.

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Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are Lara Jean’s key for getting Kitty on her good side. While I do make 100% homemade Snickerdoodles from time to time, I find that my family likes Snickerdoodles made from yellow cake mix best!

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White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

I will forever be a Peter K. girl, but Josh’s favorite cookies sound too good to pass up! This recipe is taken directly from the US paperback edition of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

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How excited are you for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before to hit Netflix? What are your favorite cookies? Share in the comments!

WEST COAST WANDERLUST: Alex, Approximately Review

Summary: Bailey “Mink” Rydell has yet to meet someone who loves classic movies as much as she does IRL. At least she has her fellow witty film geek and online friend Alex, who she may or may not have a crush on. The two live on opposite sides of the county anyway, until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as Alex. Faced with fear that her online relationship is too good to be true face-to-face, Bailey decides not to tell Alex that she’s moved to his hometown. Besides, she’s too busy working at the local tourist-trap museum, where she’s tormented daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter. Porter is supposed to be Bailey’s archenemy, her villain – until Bailey begins to feel something for him that’s not exactly hate. 

My Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

A congratulations or two OR TWENTY is in order for so many of my blogger friends and fellow bloggers for convincing me to finally pick up Jenn Bennett’s Alex, Approximately. After being a bit obsessed with Starry Eyes earlier this summer, I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed Alex Approximately– yay to being able to add another fun summer contemporary to my read pile!

In my opinion, Alex Approximately was a unique YA read for a few reasons:

  • Bailey, Grace and Porter’s workplace. The Cave isn’t the most normal of museums, but Bailey and Grace had so much fun working in the Hot Box together (for the most part)
  • There’s a ton of old school movie love between Bailey, Alex, and Porter
  • -Bailey and Porter both have traumatic experiences before the start of the novel. I’m not sure how I exactly feel about Bailey’s situation yet (I know that fiction gets to be fiction, but it felt a little bit left field still), but I understand its purpose for the connection between her and Porter.
  • Alex Approximately has one of the best YA contemporary covers ever. Reminder to pick up a movie screen and cute string lights for my backyard ASAP.
  • There’s intimate romance done right! AKA no cringe-moments! I loveeeeeeeee YA contemporary with all of my heart, but often romance scenes can be a bit cringe. However, I think Jenn Bennett wrote the intimate/sexual scenes so well (I also noticed this in Starry Eyes). Bailey and Porter also both come off as really mature characters.

Speaking of characters, I loved so many of the side characters in Alex, Approximately, including Bailey’s dad, Mrs. Roth, Grace and Pangborn. I think we’ve gotten to a point in YA where parents and family members are present and ARE AWESOME. Bailey’s dad and Porter’s parents are no exception.

If there’s one thing that was frustrating me as a reader of books’ covers, IT’S THAT ALEX, APPROXIMATELY’S REAL BLURB SORT’VE SPOILS THE BOOK! Warning: if you want to go into Alex, Approximately with zilch idea of who Alex could be, DO NOT READ THE BLURB ON THE PHYSICAL COPY. Even though halfway through the book it’s not hard to figure out Alex’s real identity, next time please save my non-spoiler wishing self.

Overall, Alex, Approximately is perfect for any movie-loving, especially You’ve Got Mail, YA readers. I’m highly anticipating Jenn Bennett’s 2019 release, Serious Moonlight, and I just added The Anatomical Shape of a Heart to my TBR.

 Have you read Alex, Approximately? What’s your favorite Jenn Bennett book? Share in the comments!

20 Books for My 20th

Sorry not sorry the perhaps misleading title, but today’s post is not about finding twenty books for $20 (you might be able to do this at a library sale though). Instead, today just happens to be my 20th birthday! It feels exciting but definitely weird to not be considered a teen anymore- even though I still feel 17 years old at heart and it’s not just because of all the YA I read!

I’ll be celebrating here on the blog by talking about 20 books that have influenced my life over the past years. While I am forever thankful to the books I grew up reading and how they shaped me to be a person passionate about literature, I’ll be talking about books that I’ve read in the past four years and the reasons why they’ve stayed with me. During this time, I feel that I really entered the YA and adult fiction worlds, read new genres, and started Fangirl Fury. So let’s not think about all the money I’ve given Barnes and Noble over the past twenty years and let’s talk about why these are twenty of my most memorable reads.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Reason: Fangirl re-sparked my love for YA, and yes, Cath truly is one of the most relatable YA characters.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Reason: I could go on and on about this series, but baking, sisterhood, romance, and another of the most relatable YA characters. Lara Jean is honestly the most relatable character for me.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Reason: This is easily the most emotional Morgan Matson book, and I love it so much for its summer setting, family focus, and making me reach for the Kleenex so much.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Reason: I stand by the epicness that are Sarah J. Maas’s books, and Tower of Dawn is no exception. Long live Chaol, Nesryn, and Yrene.

Legend by Marie Lu

Reason: Dystopian is alive and well. Legend encouraged me to pick up more dystopian and sci-fi/fantasy fiction, and made Marie Ly one of my favorite authors.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Reason: The Handmaid’s Tale is the best book that I’ve ever read in school and has a bad-ass TV adaptation.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Reason: Give me more books about villains AKA Vengeful.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Reason: I read this book on a day I was home sick from school, and I honestly learned more than I would’ve in school that day. Between Shades of Gray sparked my love for Ruta Sepetys.

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Reason: Ice cream and feminism are a great duo.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Reason: I love contemporaries with a focus on family, and Molly is another super relatable YA character for me.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Reason: Taught me to not judge books by their cover and that cover changes are not totally evil.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Reason: I love family dramas and character-heavy books and basically everything in Little Fires Everywhere.

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Reason: Eliza and Her Monsters gave me ALL the Fangirl feels, but in its own right.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

Reason: Another book that made me reach for the Kleenex, another book that made me want to go to summer camp and fall in love.

I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott

Reason: If I can only have two Eliza solos in Hamilton, then give me more Eliza-inspired beauties, like I, Eliza Hamilton.

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Reason: Can we please have more YA fantasy meets The Handmaid’s Tale stories? Or can I please just have book two?

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Reason: I stand by the epicness of sequels, and Crooked Kingdom was the perfect(ly heartbreaking) sequel to Six of Crows.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Reason: Bookstores are magical, especially Australian ones, and summer is amazing. Words in Deep Blue was also an amazing beach read for me.

What books are most important to you? Any of the above? Share in the comments!