InstaReview: Something New

[Caption] Though I’ve read graphic novels in the past, they were usually comic books or Manga, so reading this type – a true story in cartoon form – was only slightly foreign. Something New by Lucy Kinsley, tells the story of the planning of her wedding👰 and events leading up to the big day.

It’s such a well-written (and drawn) book, with lots of funny moments as she tries to unravel the complicated world of the wedding 🔔 business and do her own DIY wedding 💍. I loved the insert of pictures from the actual day that was scattered throughout the book and the magic that she was able to paint of her actual wedding day. 💒

Though I've read graphic novels in the past, they were usually comic books or Manga, so reading this type – a true story in cartoon form – was only slightly foreign. Something New by Lucy Kinsley, tells the story of the planning of her wedding👰 and events leading up to the big day. It's such a well-written (and drawn) book, with lots of funny moments as she tries to unravel the complicated world of the wedding 🔔 business and do her own DIY wedding 💍. I loved the insert of pictures from the actual day that was scattered throughout the book and the magic that she was able to paint of her actual wedding day. 💒 #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #readingaddict #bookphotography #bookphoto #instareview #bookreview #bookrecommendation #amreading #lucykinsley #somethingnew #graphicnovels #nonfiction #weddings

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InstaReview: My Lady Jane

[Caption] ✨Take history🇬🇧, magic and just a bit of comedy, and you’ve got the formula for My Lady Jane. Written by three authors – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – the story is told from three different perspective – King Edward, Lady Jane and Lord Gifford (call him G🐎). There are shapeshifters (Eðians), a dastardly plot, a jealous older sister, a lot of blueberries, a trip to France🇫🇷, quite a few misunderstandings, a tad too much of Edward’s perspective, but at its core, a love story.

It sounds like a lot, and it is a rather long book, but it went by surprisingly fast. In addition to the layer of fantasy, it takes a lot of liberties with the actual storyline of Lady Jane Grey and of King Edward. 👑

On a whole, it’s highly comical. The most endearing part of the story is the relationship between Lady Jane and G, I wish I knew who wrote their perspectives because I’d go out and buy their novels right away – especially G’s!

✨Take history🇬🇧, magic and just a bit of comedy, and you've got the formula for My Lady Jane. Written by three authors – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – the story is told from three different perspective – King Edward, Lady Jane and Lord Gifford (call him G🐎). There are shapeshifters (Eðians), a dastardly plot, a jealous older sister, a lot of blueberries, a trip to France🇫🇷, quite a few misunderstandings, a tad too much of Edward's perspective, but at its core, a love story. It sounds like a lot, and it is a rather long book, but it went by surprisingly fast. In addition to the layer of fantasy, it takes a lot of liberties with the actual storyline of Lady Jane Grey and of King Edward. 👑 On a whole, it's highly comical. The most endearing part of the story is the relationship between Lady Jane and G, I wish I knew who wrote their perspectives because I'd go out and buy their novels right away – especially G's! #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #readingaddict #bookphotography #bookphoto #instareview #bookreview #bookrecommendation #amreading #myladyjane #CynthiaHand #BrodiAshton #JodMeadows #youngadult #historicalfiction #ladyjanegrey #fantasy

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A Year of Owl Crate

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Last year, I thought to try out a few book boxes because I wanted some good books to read. This month marks one year since I started Owl Crate.

Owl Crate sends a book a month in addition to a few bookish items. It’s introduced me to some wonderful new authors and bookish products, and it’s something to look out for every month.

It’s introduced me to a lovely tea shop – Adagio Teas – and the Wonderland Elixir tea blend from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe.

Some #bookish jewelry from my #owlcrate boxes. #ayearofowlcrate #bookphotography #bookstagram

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Great bookish jewellery – the Sleeping Beauty bracelet from The Geeky Cauldron fits in nicely with my Alex and Ani selection.

Lovely smelling candles with bookish themes.

And book page flags – which, I use all the time! I love these.

Looking forward to reading this! Love the new cover from #owlcrate

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But one of my favourite boxes was this special print jacket of Heartless! I know it’s just white while the original is black, but there’s something gorgeous about this cover.

I’m really pleased with this subscription, and all the hard work the folks over at Owl Crate put into creating each one. An entire year of Owl Crate and I’m definitely looking forward to the second one.

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InstaReview: Dream On

The second book in the Silver Trilogy by Kerstin Gier, Dream On, continues with the dream travels of Liv and her new friends.

From the author of my one of my favourite time-travel series, Dream On (book two in her Dream series) is a different type of travel – dream travel. Continuing from the first book, (spoilers ahead!) Liv spends time in the dreams learning to manipulate her surroundings and self with Henry. This book is a little bit sinister mystery -who's sharing Liv's personal life with Secrecy, and why is her sister sleepwalking into dangerous situations? It's also got that cheeky humour that I'm beginning to notice as Kerstin Gier's style. It keeps you tuned in and turning the pages (especially towards the end). However, it does leave quite a few loose ends which I'm assuming will be wrapped up in book three. Loved the idea of dream sharing, and very curious to see it all tied together in the last installment. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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[Caption] From the author of my one of my favourite time-travel series, Dream On (book two in her Dream series) is a different type of travel – dream travel.
Continuing from the first book, (spoilers ahead!) Liv spends time in the dreams learning to manipulate her surroundings and self with Henry. This book is a little bit sinister mystery -who’s sharing Liv’s personal life with Secrecy, and why is her sister sleepwalking into dangerous situations? It’s also got that cheeky humour that I’m beginning to notice as Kerstin Gier’s style.
It keeps you tuned in and turning the pages (especially towards the end). However, it does leave quite a few loose ends which I’m assuming will be wrapped up in book three. Loved the idea of dream sharing, and very curious to see it all tied together in the last installment. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Philly – A Weekend

There was a part of me that assumed I couldn’t travel on my own, and it was that part of me that I wanted to challenge. Travelling with friends is fun – as long as you and the friends are compatible travelling companions, and I’m lucky to have some good friends that are great travel buddies. Still, I wondered what it would be like to set my own pace, to wake up at 11 am and spend three hours wandering a museum or sitting in a park reading a newly purchased book from the local bookstore, simply because I fancied doing so at the time. So, when I was started feeling a deep desire to spend time alone, I took a random weekend trip to Philadelphia.

I had to set goals, I wanted to see two places of interest, the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and I wanted to visit at least one local bookstore – if I purchase something, that would be a plus!

After arriving by Amtrak on Friday afternoon, making my way to my Airbnb for the weekend (in the heart of the city!) and finding some cheesesteak at Reading Terminal Market, I decided to map out my weekend. The next day I’d try to visit the Liberty Bell and take a walk across town to the museum, then the following day it would be bookstores and shops. Continue reading

InstaReview: Heartstone

You’ve got your dragons, sassy heroine and dashing hero; but layer that on top of Pride and Prejudice and set it in an alternative historical time and you’ve got quite a fantastic novel.

If you like good retellings, Pride and Prejudice, and dragons, then you'll enjoy Heartstone by Elle Katharine White. Overlaying the well-known plot is a story of Riders and their dragons🐲 (or wyverns🐉, or other mythical creatures) who defend the country from Tekari (mythical creatures who don't care much for humans). There is a lot of history there, and while I do love a good retelling, I did wonder what would have happened if the story veered just a little, and expanded outside the scope of the P&P plot. The politics could have been intriguing, and the dragon training and bonding could have made for an exciting read. However, keeping to the limits of P&P I'm pleased with the direction the book takes. Aliza is as witty and intelligent as Elizabeth, and Daired just as caring under a snooty exterior as Darcy. The addition of the dragons did add another dynamic to the story and Akarra turned out to be my favourite characters. 🐲 I would have loved to see a bit more regarding the change in character of Daired – we definitely saw a good deal in Aliza, more than we did in the original P&P books. I'd like to know more about the hobgoblins in the garden of a certain stately house and the mysterious Pan. About Carlyle and what happened to him. And how Mari could know certain things about these creatures, but the fighters didn't. I suppose White could have gone on building the world and expanding, but that might have made for a much longer book, so perhaps that was a good choice to keep it concise. However, I hope there are more stories set in this world. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ . . #bookstagram #books #bookish #booksofinstagram #instabook #booklover #bookworm #igreads #ilovebooks #bookaholic #readingaddict #bibliophile #instaread #reader #reading #read #amreading #review #igreviews #bookreview #ellekatharinewhite #heartstone #dragons #highfantasy #fantasy #janeausten #prideandprejudice #harpervoyager

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[Caption] If you like good retellings, Pride and Prejudice, and dragons, then you’ll enjoy Heartstone by Elle Katharine White.

Overlaying the well-known plot is a story of Riders and their dragons🐲 (or wyverns🐉, or other mythical creatures) who defend the country from Tekari (mythical creatures who don’t care much for humans). There is a lot of history there, and while I do love a good retelling, I did wonder what would have happened if the story veered just a little, and expanded outside the scope of the P&P plot. The politics could have been intriguing, and the dragon training and bonding could have made for an exciting read.

However, keeping to the limits of P&P I’m pleased with the direction the book takes. Aliza is as witty and intelligent as Elizabeth, and Daired just as caring under a snooty exterior as Darcy. The addition of the dragons did add another dynamic to the story and Akarra turned out to be my favourite characters. 🐲

I would have loved to see a bit more regarding the change in character of Daired – we definitely saw a good deal in Aliza, more than we did in the original P&P books. I’d like to know more about the hobgoblins in the garden of a certain stately house and the mysterious Pan. About Carlyle and what happened to him. And how Mari could know certain things about these creatures, but the fighters didn’t. I suppose White could have gone on building the world and expanding, but that might have made for a much longer book, so perhaps that was a good choice to keep it concise. However, I hope there are more stories set in this world. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Netflix Originals Faves

I’ve had Netflix for a few years now and have always been a fan of the shows they offered. In recent years, Netflix has started creating Netflix Originals – and I’m hooked!

It started innocently enough, take a popular TV series, put up an extra season, like Arrested Development. But then they started producing their own series altogether like Orange is the New Black. And from the successes of those, they basically took over all my TV watching time. So, here are seven of my Netflix Original faves (in no particular order).

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A Series of Unfortunate Events is based on the children’s book series of the same name. Before Netflix, there was a movie that spanned four of the thirteen books. Let’s just say, Netflix’s approach – currently, each book is two episodes – is a much better one.

The costumes and set design are gorgeous! Since they worked closely with the author of the series, they managed to keep true to the source material – with a few extra bits (that work!) here and there. I especially loved the way they included the story’s narrator – Lemony Snicket. And the acting? Remarkable!

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Netflix released season three of Black Mirror, that was the first time I heard of the show – a British Sci-Fi show with a satirical glimpse into modern society’s psyche. I started from episode one of the third season – imagine a world where you rated others based on your interactions, now imagine those ratings determining your worth to society. Then I moved back to the first episode of the first season. I’m glad I didn’t start with that one, most people I spoke with afterwards were turned off from watching the rest of the series because of the pig storyline. Yeah, what a way to kick-off a series!

There are so many great gems of episodes, so much to think about after seeing each one. Thought provoking is definitely a phrase I would use to describe this.

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As a lover of British history – specifically the monarchy – I was especially happy to see that Netflix was releasing The Crown last year. I binged watched over several weekends, and I’m anticipating the next season. It was so well done, with great acting! Clarie Foy and Matt Smith were exceptional.

Queen Victoria is still the most fascinating monarch to me, but Queen Elizabeth II is coming in a close second.

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I’m not often interested in documentaries, but 13th came highly recommended by quite a few friends, so I decided to watch it. Wow, did it pack a punch!

As an immigrant, who migrated just a few months short of my high school graduation, I didn’t spend a lot of time learning U.S. History in school, and to be honest, at that point in my life I didn’t care much for any history lessons. Now, I enjoy reading about historical figures and learning about past events, so seeing how the laws – and America’s particular history with slavery – shaped the current penal system was fascinating.

It gives you a lot to think about, and I appreciate that it looks at both sides of the political spectrum and has people from both ends commenting on our current system. I believe that it’s a must-see documentary for anyone living in the U.S.

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I’ve heard Stranger Things being described as a nostalgic movie for folks who grew up in the 80s, and I can understand why. There are a lot of references to things a kid of the 80s would understand. Nevertheless, it’s a series anyone would be able to enjoy. I wouldn’t call this a horror, but there were some frightening bits and a lot of suspenseful moments. I’d think of it more like science fiction, a little bit like Firestarter or E.T.

The acting was good overall, but I think the kids stole the show, especially Eleven. I’m looking forward to the next season. Warning, you might have the urge to eat Eggos after watching this show.

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of those shows that I find funny, no matter how many times I look at an episode. There are so many little gems that one might miss after the first viewing. I really love that there was a sweetness to the show under all the comedy.

Season three is releasing soon, and I’ve got my calendar marked!

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A recent fave of mine, The OA is a good deal magical realism and some mystery. It’s compelling enough to keep you clicking on the “Yes, I’m Still Watching” button. I appreciated the way they slowly revealed Prairie’s missing years, allowing the viewers to switch back and forth between believing she’s insane and wondering if, perhaps, what she’s saying is real.

I can’t wait to see how the story continues!

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