Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Scribe Stash February Box Review!

Hello! I know it's been FOREVER since I've posted, but I wanted to return today to review another YA book subscription box. This box comes from a new company called Scribe Stash.

For those of you who don't know, YA book subscription services send out boxes every month (or every few months) with a brand new hardcover YA novel and some goodies. In the past, I've reviewed FairyLoot and OwlCrate, two established YA subscription boxes, and you can find my post comparing the two here.

Scribe Stash is the YA subscription box for individuals who love to read and write. That's why you'll find a journal in every box along with the book, pens, pencils, and a surprise treat.


Here's a picture of the Scribe Stash box (along with some of the MANY books in my collection creating a bookish background). The box itself is plain white with the words "Scribe Stash" on the side, and it's wider than the OwlCrate and FairyLoot boxes (which allows Scribe Stash to fit both the book and the large notebook in the box) but shorter than the boxes you'll get from OwlCrate or FairyLoot.

The box itself was securely taped shut and wasn't damaged beyond the small dent you can see in the photo above (near the "e" in "scribe").  I'm always a little paranoid that my subscription box is going to get injured in the mail, so seeing how well the box had been closed made me feel a little less worried about the contents being harmed during the shipping process.


Once I managed to cut through the tape and open the box, I noticed that the month was stamped on the flap. A cute touch!

The lighting on the picture below isn't great (I was too excited to unwrap everything to spend time setting up for the perfect photo), but you can see how nicely wrapped everything was:


I think this was the part of Scribe Stash's box that blew me away the most. Knowing someone had taken the time to position everything perfectly in the box made it feel extra-special. If you want a subscription box that really feels like a gift, I would pick Scribe Stash over any other subscription box I've tried.

One of the things I also really liked about Scribe Stash is the fact that they let you pick which genre you'd like (they offer five: General Fiction; Fantasy & SciFi; LGBTQ+ Fiction; Romance; and Mystery, Thriller & Horror) and what colors you want for your box. It's super easy to personalize the box to your preferences, so you'll never be surprised with a fantasy novel if that's a genre you abhor.

I requested to receive the Romance book and asked for the pink and purple color options. (Maybe Valentine's Day was getting to me...)


Here's what I found inside my box:

SAY YOU'LL REMEMBER ME: I haven't had a chance to start this book yet, but it looks really interesting. I love a good romance read, so I'm excited to dive into it. Also, I'm totally not immune to the fact that the purple/pink cover perfectly matches the rest of the box!

Journal: The journal is absolutely gorgeous! I actually gasped out loud when I was unpacking the box and saw it. The pattern is made up of flowers, fans, and there's a few adorable little birds on it, too. The cover is made out of a woven material, and I honestly love it so much. Scribe Stash gets an 12/10 on the journal selection.

Pens and pencils: The box included a purple ballpoint pen, a pre-sharpened pencil, and a pink felt tip pen. The ballpoint pen and pencil aren't exceptional (but I go through writing utensils quickly, so I can always use more), but I love the pink pen. I've never had a felt tip pen like this one before, and I'm now questioning why I didn't have one in my life sooner.

But wait! There's more...


(I was going for a spa aesthetic and I think I failed. Sigh.)

Soap: The surprise in this month's box is a "Soap Rock." I received the "rose quartz" one and smells WONDERFUL...sort of floral, but a sophisticated floral. The soap itself is a clear pink with some flecks of gold and ribbons of darker pink throughout, and it's gorgeous.

Scribe Stash Newsletter: Scribe Stash also includes a newsletter in every box, which features the titles of all the books they sent out, upcoming sales, a shout out to featured book blogs and Bookstagramers, and an original written piece from a member of the Scribe Stash community!

The verdict:

This box is only the fourth Scribe Stash has shipped, and I can tell that they are definitely hitting their stride! I was wowed by the quality of the items they included, and I cannot exaggerate how much I adore the journal. I love that the newsletter includes original work from subscribers...it gives the writers who subscribe to the box a place to see their work published, which is always awesome!

Each Scribe Stash box is $30 (plus shipping), but the value of the items included in this box added up to $40, so it's definitely a good deal!

I'd love to see Scribe Stash partner with independent artists in the future to provide exclusive items, but overall, I loved receiving a Scribe Stash box and will be ordering more in the future.

If you are interested in trying Scribe Stash out for yourself, you can use the code SPRING15 to receive fifteen percent off your order from Scribe Stash! The code expires March 18, 2018.

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Post That Doesn't Really Seem Like A Post

Hello everyone! I'm sorry I just sort of disappeared there for a while...September was SUCH a busy month, and October is shaping up to be a pretty hectic one as well.

Here's my current problem: I want to do NaNoWriMo in November, but I'm having trouble finding a project that I'm really interested in pursuing. There are a few ideas I have banging around in my head, but none of them are really exciting. I don't really see the point in committing to all that stress and time and work if I'm not passionate about my project (because then it feels like a chore rather than fun). I guess I'll just have to see whether something comes to me or not.

Honestly, I'm not really in the mood to do a review or anything today, so I think I'll just leave it at that. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: LUCKY IN LOVE

I'm usually not the grumble-y type, but I am quite annoyed with the Google accounts set up right now. I have WAY too many email addresses--I'll be the first to admit that--but I hate how difficult they make it for me to switch between them. Grrr.

Anyway, now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's move on to today's review!


YES! IT'S KASIE WEST'S NEW BOOK! Have I ever mentioned how much I love Kasie? 

I'm a little short on time, so I'm going to copy/paste the summery from Goodreads (sorry).

Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

My review:

What did I think? I LOVED IT! 

I'll be completely honest. I was a little disappointed with BY YOUR SIDE and P.S. I LIKE YOU. Both books weren't bad...they just weren't as good as THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US and ON THE FENCE. I was a little uncertain of whether or not I should buy LUCKY IN LOVE since her last two books weren't my favorites. 

But I am so, so glad I bought a signed copy from Hicklebee's (my favorite bookstore). Because I think this may be my new favorite Kasie West novel!

I know a lot of other reviewers weren't huge fans of Maddie, but I found her college-related attitude relatable. That said, I was really mad that Kasie stuck to popular universities like UCLA and Stanford. I'm sorry, but UCLA has an acceptance rate of 18%. Stanford's is 4.8%. Maddie is a good student, but I don't think she had the resume or exceptionality to get into those schools. (Sticking to super selective colleges is my pet peeve and the sole reason I couldn't bring myself to give this book five stars on Goodreads).

I also liked that Maddie's friends felt like real people. They were diverse, and while I didn't quite understand why she was friends with one girl, I thought there was good chemistry between them. I also really liked the love interest, Seth. I think Xander is still WAY more swoon-worthy, but Seth is pretty great. 

I did feel that Maddie was a little irresponsible with her money, but I attributed that to poor financial literacy, which isn't exactly rare in eighteen-year-olds. The conflict in the story was great, and I liked watching Maddie's personal growth throughout the novel.

Seriously. Read this book. If you like YA romance, this is a great fluffy read. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Nothing today!

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a great Labor Day. I've been really busy lately, so I haven't had time to write a review or create a writing prompt for you today.

I hope you have a great Monday and I'll see you back here soon!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Writing Prompt #5

Hello! I started doing writing prompts last year during NaNoWriMo, and I decided to continue doing them from time to time. If you are interested in seeing past writing prompts, I've added a new label for writing prompts to help keep them organized from the rest of my writing posts. I hope at least one speaks to you and helps you get your pen moving!

For today's prompt, you first need to pick two numbers between one and twenty. No, they can't be the same number.

Got them?

Now, look at the list below and find the word or words next to the numbers you selected.

1. Pocket watch
2. A thank you note
3. Apron
4. Paper airplane
5. Stapler
6. A pair of old combat boots
7. Potion
8. Fire escape
9. Designer sunglasses
10. Baseball bat
11. Walnut
12. Spiders
13. Poster
14. Concert ticket
15. Dragon
16. Earrings
17. Glass
18. Screams
19. Polio
20. Wallet

Here's your challenge. Try to write a scene, a poem, or a short story that includes both words. Remember that if it's not working, you can also pick new words and go from there. There's no cheating--it's all about inspiration!

I hope this gets your pen moving!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review: THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER

Hello everyone! I'm here doing a review on a book I read yesterday called THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER.


The book is by Sarah Dessen, who recently released a book called ONCE AND FOR ALL. I haven't read anything by Dessen before, but since I've heard such good things about her work and I couldn't get my hands on ONCE AND FOR ALL, I decided to try out THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER.

What it is about:

THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER is follows a girl named Macy, who lost her father about a year and a half ago. Since his death, her family has splintered, and Macy tries to be the perfect, "fine-just-fine" daughter her mom wants.

But that isn't who Macy is. She's miserable at her summer job, and she finds things feeling a little...empty. But when her summer gets sidetracked by a catering crew, Macy begins to see what could be if she just let go of the barriers she built after her father's death and allows herself to not be perfect.

My review:

After reading this book, I understand why Dessen is such a popular author. I really enjoyed THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER. It covered topics that aren't usually discussed in YA fiction and did so quite well. A lot of teens feel trapped in the cycle of achieving "perfection," and I don't think I've read a book that tackles the topic so well.

There's a lot of symbolism and so many literary devices that make this book so much deeper than just a YA novel. While it may not have the same difficult language as, say, Shakespeare, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER would certainly make for a good YA book club read. There's a lot that could be discussed and unpacked.

The plot was well-constructed. It never felt like there wasn't enough or too much going on. There were a few surprises along the way, but I will say that I ran into one of the most cliche cliches to ever cliche near the end. That was pretty painful and really threw me out of the story.

The writing was not as good as many other books in the contemporary YA genre. I didn't feel pulled in to the story in the way similar books do. That's not to say the writing isn't good. It's just not as addicting as other writing I've read.

In addition, I didn't like the way the romance arcs ended up. (warning...slight spoiler) For once, I'd like a book where the main character and a guy can end the book as friends rather than as romantic interests.

If you want to read a YA book that's both light and deep at the same time, check out THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER. I would certainly recommend it, and I'm looking forward to reading more work by Dessen soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: ROAR

Hello everyone! I'm back today with a review of ROAR, the book I got in my FairyLoot box back in June. You can check out my unboxing post/review of the box here.

It took me FOREVER to get around to reading this book, but I'm super happy I finally did! I read it in one sitting, which certainly tells you something about how engaging the story is.

There are slight spoilers in this review (for the first third of the book), so be warned!


ROAR is by Cora Carmack. I've never read anything by her before (probably because this is her first YA novel, although is she a very established Adult author), and while I don't think her Adult books are my sort of thing, I am definitely open to reading more of her YA stuff and I can't wait to read the second book in the Stormheart series.

So, you might be wondering, what is ROAR about?

Aurora (or, as she's sometimes called, Rora) is the princess of Pavan, a sort of city-state in the lands of Caelira where magical, somewhat sentient storms threaten the destroy pretty much everything. Supposedly the only thing that can stop the storms are Stormlings, people who are born with magical powers to battle them.

As queen, Aurora's job will be to fight of the storms that threaten Pavan. The only problem? Aurora doesn't have a drop of Stormling magic. In order to keep her lack of power secret and keep the throne, she agrees to marry the prince of another city-state who is rumored to be extremely powerful.

But she soon learns that the prince she's planning to marry has his own agenda and the things she thought she knew about Stormlings and magic aren't quite true. There's a way for Aurora to become a Stormling--if she's just brave enough to take it.

I have to admit that the plot of the book is pretty straightforward.

Anyway, onto the review!

First and foremost, I think it was the characters that I liked the most. Rora is multidimensional, and I liked that the author made her reactions to things feel natural. Cassius, the prince she's betrothed to marry, is my favorite character by far. He has a Draco Malfoy thing going for him, and the way he thinks is really interesting. I hope that I'll get to see more of him in the second book!

I also liked that the author dipped into the heads of multiple characters. While Rora is certainly the main character, I loved reading scenes from different perspectives, and it did a good job adding conflict to the story.

The writing style feels like fantasy but is also very accessible, which makes it an easy read for people who aren't huge fantasy fans. There are moments when the writing style feels more contemporary, but that only brought me in closer to the story.

ROAR works to set the stage for the sequel, and I could definitely tell that was the case when I was reading it. It felt like not enough happened. In a way, I almost feel like its 378 pages could have been condensed to 200 and then the reader (aka me) could have seen more happen.

I also felt like the magic could have been better defined. I'm not quite sure what the rules are or if there are any. I think this is partially because Rora is learning about the real state of magic, but as a reader, it bugged me not to know what was possible and what wasn't.

Overall, it was a great read, and I feel like I trust FairyLoot's taste in books a little bit more now. A solid our stars.