Funko Wishlist & Collection Part 2

One of my new-to-me fandoms in 2020 has been Star Wars. Star Wars has always been a fandom I’ve really admired, but had never really tried getting into… until my family got Disney+ and my mom and I decided to watch the original trilogy on Christmas. Since then, I’ve completed the original and prequel trilogies and The Mandalorian, and I have started the new sequel trilogy- all I have left is The Rise of Skywalker. That being said, I’ve been looking into Star Wars merch, which of course includes Funko Pops!

IMG_4168As I’m writing this post, I just realized that I haven’t really done any sort of Funko collection update or wishlist since 2018! Since then, I’ve only added four new Funkos: the 2018 San Diego Exclusive Nearly Headless Nick, Luna Lovegood with her Gryffindor Hat, Order of the Phoenix Harry Potter (With Prophecy) and Herbology Hermione Granger (holding the mandrake). This Luna Lovegood was on my original wishlist and was a harder find – I think Barnes and Noble finally had it online in stock about two years ago and I knew it would be one of my few chances at getting it. I had also always wanted a Hermione Granger for my collection and the mandrake version was just so cute to pass up!

While I’d still like to add some of the Funko Pops from my original wishlist to my collection, here are a few more that I would love to grace my bookshelves.

Luke Skywalker and Yoda (Star Wars) – Funko is releasing more Star Wars Funkos for The Mandalorian and for the 40th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back. I know I want some sort of Yoda inspired Funko for my collection and I really love this one of him and Luke.

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Han Solo (Star Wars) – The original Star Wars Funkos are almost impossible to find other than eBay. I’m actually not too crazy about the originals because they were based on Funko’s old design. Han Solo is my favorite character from the original trilogy. I would consider adding the original Han Solo to my collection (for a reasonable price), but I also do like the Solo version of him.Read More »

ANTICIPATED SEQUEL: Girls with Razor Hearts Review

Summary (from the publisher):

46404346Make me a girl with a razor heart…

It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.

The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.

And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.

 

My Rating: 3.75/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

After really enjoying Suzanne Young’s Girls with Sharp Sticks last year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, Girls with Razor Hearts. Girls with Sharp Sticks is set an elite private school, Innovations Academy, where girls are trained to be basically be the perfect companions for men. When Mena begins to suspect that things aren’t what they seem to be, her and the girls begin to rebel against their instructors and investigate what their school’s true agenda.

Girls with Razor Hearts was a solid follow-up novel to Girls with Sharp Sticks. Based on its sequence of events and ending, I suspect that there is going to be at least one more book in this series. That being said, Girls with Razor Hearts did fall into middle book syndrome. In the sequel, Mena and her friends must adjust to life outside of Innovations Academy, which includes facing their past trauma and stress. The girls are also on a mission to find the son of one of Innovations Academy’s prime investors at theor new and almost equally-sexist-as-Innovations school.

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favorite poetry collection: break your glass slippers review

Summary (from the publisher):

amanda lovelace, the bestselling & award-winning author of the “women are some kind of magic” poetry series, presents a new companion series, “you are your own fairy tale” the first installment, break your glass slippers, is about overcoming those who don’t see your worth, even if that person is sometimes yourself. in the epic tale of your life, you are the most important character while everyone is but a forgotten footnote. even the prince.

 

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I am a firm believer that everyone needs to read a poetry collection now & then (or more often than that, if that’s your reading jam). One of my go-to authors for when I’m in a poetry mood is amanda lovelace.  I really enjoyed the princess saves herself in this one and the witch doesn’t burn in this one, the first two books in the women are some kind of magic series. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review her upcoming collection, break your glass slippers. break your glass slippers is the first book in amanda’s latest series, you are your own fairytale, and this first collection puts a spin on Cinderella.

I’m so happy I read break your glass slippers when I did. As soon I finished reading it, I found myself going back to the beginning and rereading so many of the poems. amanda lovelace covers a wide range of sensitive topics, including abuse, toxic relationships and friendships, sexual harassment, eating disorders, trauma, fatphobia, and suicide. All of these topics are forewarned in the very beginning, with reminders to practice self-care and self-love while reading.

The collection is split into three sections. The first section spoke as the most Cinderella retelling-like to me, as about half of the poems take the form of wisdom from the fairy godmother. I especially loved the poems from the fairy godmother. This section is especially focused on the protagonist’s very toxic relationship, something I could not necessarily realte to but still appreciate obviously that amanda lovelace writes about this hard, but very real topic.Yet, there are many universal themes that all types of readers may be able to relate within this section. Although the toxic relationship does take focus, there were so many poems I particularly loved about self-care, self-love, and female friendship.

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Contemporary Romance TBR

Since about mid-2019, adult contemporary romance has been the genre I’ve been craving the most. I absolutely fly through most books in this genre, yet I find myself unsuccessfully attempting to take my time reading them because I want to enjoy them as long as possible. Everyone knows I love binge-reading series, but I’ve been trying not to binge-read the books in the series so I know I always have a book to look forward to.

Since I’ve been practically adding more contemporary romances to my TBR whenever I’m scrolling through Goodreads, today I’ll be sharing which adult & new adult contemporary romances I plan on reading (hopefully soon). I’ve divided this TBR by released books and 2020 releases still to come.

Well Met by Jen DeLuca – I’ve decided that on my next bookstore trip (or whenever I get a Barnes & Noble coupon) I’ll be buying Jen DeLuca. I’ve heard so many great things about this ren-faire inspired romance from many contemporary-loving bloggers. There will be also be two more books set in the Well Met world, Well Played (September 29) and Well Matched (2021).

Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher – Not the Girl You Marry has received some mixed reviews, but I read its synopsis while strolling through the romance section in the bookstore and still added it to my TBR. I haven’t read a book set in the city in a while, and I love how the female protagonist, Hannah, is an event planner.

Roomies by Christina Lauren – I could probably dedicate a whole TBR to Christina Lauren books (actually, that’s not a bad future post idea…). Roomies received a ton of love and attention when it first came out in 2017, and I think it’s time for me to see what the hype is about.

Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec & Andi Arndt – What the main character does in Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words honestly sounds like something I would do. After being fired from her job as a kindergarten teacher, Heidi starts a podcast reading the steamy scenes from romance novels and finds way more success than she could have imagined.Read More »

MUST-READ SPORTS ROMANCE: Playbook Series Review

Sports romance is one of the many ways you could describe my reading life in 2019 and 2020. From Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus and Briar U series to Lyssa Kay Adams’ The Bromance Book Club, I have been especially craving new adult and adult romance series that involve protagonists who are in relationships with professional athletes. I find myself rating almost all of these books 5 out of 5 stars because I genuinely enjoy them so, so much!

Enter Alexa Martin’s football romance series, Playbook, which includes Intercepted, Fumbled, and Blitzed. The wife of an ex-NFL football player, I love how Alexa Martin brings some personal experience to this series. As a football fan myself, I really appreciated how this series incorporates football alongside romance, family, friendship, and the plot overall.

Intercepted 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

41V+0iO3ZkL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Intercepted was easily one of my favorite binge-reads of 2019. I read this book in two sittings, between the first one hundred pages and then the remainder of the book. Intercepted follows Marlee, a website designer and long-time girlfriend of Denver Mustangs football player, Chris. Marlee struggles fitting in with the Denver Mustangs WAGS (wives and girlfriends) club, the Lady Mustangs. Things get way more complicated when a football-playing, one night hook-up from her past, Gavin Pope, joins the Mustangs. When Chris cheats on Marlee one last time, Marlee finds herself once again falling for Gavin.

Intercepted was such a fun and entertaining read. A few reviews I’ve read have had problems with Marlee’s use of hashtags, but I didn’t really mind them and found myself relating to a few. “#SaintLukeBryan” is a personal favorite of mine! Much of the plot revolves Marlee’s combatting of the Lady Mustangs with her best friend, Naomi,  and the pressure and gossip surrounding her relationship with Gavin. However, one of the other major plot lines that I really enjoyed was Marlee’s balancing her career and personal apsirations with dating a NFL star like Gavin. Marleee does not at all want to give up her career and personal goals to become Gavin’s personal cheerleader- not that Gavin expected her to. Marlee is such a strong character and Gavin gives her space while yes, helping her fight some battles.

When it comes to the romance, Alexa Martin certainly delivers on the steam. There aren’t too many romance chapters, but the five to six scenes were very well-written. Outside of the romance, I really liked this installment’s balance of plot with football Marlee certainly knows her football, and I loved how realistic the story became when it came to contracts and free agents.

Fumbled 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

fumbMy final read of 2019, Fumbled was another great binge-read. I didn’t loveeeee it as much as I loved Intercepted, but it was a really solid installment in this companion series. I wasn’t into the premise as much as I had been with Intercepted, but the relationship development, plot, and characters were still really well done. Fumbled follows single mother Poppy Patterson, who feels like she’s finally found a new normal while raising her nine year-old son in Denver. When she unexpectedly runs into her ex-boyfriend and starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, TK Moore, at the club she works at, their suppressed feelings for one another suddenly rush back in. There’s some pretty big secrets between the two that make their relationship anything but easy.Read More »

A 2020 FAVORITE: Harley in the Sky Review

harley-in-the-sky-9781534437128_hrSummary (from the publisher): Harley Milano has dreamed of becoming a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her heart and soul that she would be up there herself one day.

After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family, and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion, and collaboration. At the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 

I never thought I would prep for writing a review by watching trapeze videos, but here we are!

Akemi Dawn Bowman’s Harley in the Sky follows Harley’s dream of becoming a trapeze artist. After watching aerialists perform all her life in her parents’ famous Las Vegas circus, Harley is ready for her turn to be up there in the big top. After her parents refuse to let Harley to train with the lead artist and insist on Harley going to college instead, she feels that she has no other choice but to join the rival circus, Maison du Mystère. While training and trying to prove her worth, Harley must also face how her decisions affect her family, friends, and the past that she cannot let herself repeat.

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When I picked up Harley in the Sky in early February, I had read only one 5 star read so far in 2020. That quickly changed as soon as I started reading it, soon becoming one of my favorite books of the year! I devoured Harley in the Sky over the course of three sittings, instantly falling in love with Akemi Dawn Bowman’s writing style and atmosphere. Harley in the Sky originally had me intrigued for its circus setting and The Greatest Showman meets Sarah Dessen premise. I am here to confirm that the book absolutely delivered on both fronts, while delviving into such important storylines revolving around family, friendship, mental health, identity, and yes, romance.

Although Harley in the Sky is certainly more than a ‘circus book,’ I can’t help but talk about this setting first. This is the first book I’ve ever read that takes place in the circus realm, and Akemi Dawn Bowman does such a fantastic job of setting the reader in this world. From the performers to the circus tents themselves, she does such as great job describing life at both Teatro dell Notte and Maison du Mystère.

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Book Sleeve Wishlist Part 2

The spring seems to be one of my biggest spending times of the year, right next to the start of summer and holiday season.  It must be something with the nice weather calling my wallet, as I prep for and spend days & nights out with friends, spring formals, and school ceremonies & events (including my own graduation!!). There are  also many amazing books coming out this season, so I know a trip or two to the bookstore are soon in my future. That being said, while I’m trying to be diligent about my spending, I am still my fangirl self and find myself looking at new book sleeves.

Trends come and go in the book community, but book sleeves are so here to stay! I started using book sleeves in 2018 and I 100% believe that they are worth the investment. As someone who almost always has a book in her bag, book sleeves protect my books from getting damaged. And yes, the cute designs add to my love.

Since I just received two new sleeves over the holidays (they’re Jumbeau sleeves from Book Beau and the size & zippers are EVERYTHING), I’ll be honest and admit that I probably won’ be adding any new sleeves to be collection anytime soon. However, the following sleeves may just call my name too strongly when stress window-shopping on a busy homework night.

Book Beau: Anatomical Book-Beats Traveler

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I’m definitely interested in trying out Book Beau’s new Traveler size. I think the shape of it may be more friendly towards handbags, and I really like the extra storage pouch.

Book Beau: Lumos 

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I’m in love with all of Book Beau’s Harry Potter inspired prints. I’d love to add them all to my collection, but Lumos particularly catches my eye. I’d probably get this one in XL, especially since all of Book Beau’s new sleeves have zippers now.

The Cozy Life: Little Red Truck

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