Mar 8, 2021

Review | Shine Your Icy Crown by Amanda Lovelace



Title: Shine Your Icy Crown

Author: Amanda Lovelace

Date of publication: 
26th, January 2021 

Print length: 
ebook, 160 pages

Genres: Adult, Poetry, Feminism, Fairy Tales, Nonfiction, Mental Health

Trigger Warnings: Child Abuse, Toxic Relationship, Sexual Assault, Eating Disorders, Mental Illness, Self-harm, Sexism, Suicide, Trauma



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“Make them rue the day they underestimated you.”

This is a story about not letting society dictate the limits of your potential. it’s time to take back your power & realize that you don’t need a king in order to be a queen.

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    I was pleasantly surprised when I have found this book on Netgalley in the read now section. I was so grateful to have found it and be able to read it. I knew I had to get the copy straight away! I highly enjoy reading poetry; I read Amanda Lovelace's poetry books before and I did like them a lot. I read "The princess saves herself in this one", "The witch doesn't burn in this one" and "The mermaid's voice returns in this one" and I loved all three (some poems more than others, but I overall found the books to be great). In my opinion, Amanda Lovelace is one of the best contemporary poets and from which I am most excited to read from.


    I do really enjoy her writing style. Her poems are packed with a lot of feelings. Each and every poem open your eyes to the world. Amanda Lovelace has a magical way with words. The illustrations are gorgeous, adding a visual side to the poems. I did highly enjoyed how every other poem was dedicated to a sister, and to the reader. Even though I do not have a sister, I had a fictional one while I read this book. Or so it felt like to me!
    

    I do love the themes of these poems. It encourages feminism and gives a fresh perspective on fairy tales. It is emotional, sensitive, and covers everyday problems in a very original way, bringing them under the spotlight. It empowers women and supports equality. It brings a fresh perspective on modern poetry and it reads like a story, having some narrative in the poems (some being indirectly connected to the rest).


    I would very much recommend reading this book in one sitting. It is a quick read and I think it was designed to be read all at once. I didn't have the possibility to finish it all at once this time around, and I think that took part of my enjoyment, but I do plan to reread it when I have more free time. This is a book for everyone, but if I were to only pick one category of readers it would be young women as they can most benefit from this book in my opinion.

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Originality 5/5, Writing 4/5, Illustrations 5/5, Emotion 4.5/5, Enjoyment 4/5, which equals 4\5 stars.


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Feb 15, 2021

A week in the life | January 18th to 24th of January 2021 - Getting back into reading?


I don't know about you, but I love watching reading vlogs and weekly study videos or life updates. I enjoy seeing how others are spending their time and what they do to achieve their goals. It motivates me and gives me ideas of how I can improve myself. Unfortunately, I do not feel comfortable with putting my face all over the internet, so I thought it would be a nice idea to put this concept into writing. As I have been absent for quite a while now, and I took a shot trying to have a blog on a different platform, I'm not sure how much engagement I'm going to have here. I still want to have these posts regularly as it is a way of documenting my life and my growth as well as a way of keeping me accountable to read. Either way, even if no one ever reads these posts but me, I will feel accomplished to have written them. My main reading challenge for this year is to read 52  books. I have never read so many books in a year. Will this be the year when I surpass all my reading habits and expectations? I think the most I ever read is 35 books in a year, and that happened a while back. In the last few years I barely reached 30 books. 52 books seem like quite a challenge and commitment right now.

Let me make a small introduction about the week ahead and what I am currently reading. This is project submission and examination week, and the end of my first semester at university. Also, because I started reading quite a few books lately and I still have books I have been reading for a while, I would love to finish at least two books. I do think it's something manageable to accomplish. I would also like to write my post before I start reading another one, but I don't want to force myself to do that as I am quite busy. It is one of my intentions, we'll see how it goes. You can find in the picture below the 5 books I am currently reading.


Monday, 18th January:

9:20 am - Good morning, World! It's Monday morning and it's the beginning of a very busy day. I didn't get around to read this morning as tonight we need to hand in the code of the project and tomorrow night is the deadline for the academic report. I went to bed at around 2:30 last night, so the hour I could have used for reading I spent in bed wishing for sleep. That sounds like the typical student life to me... There's no time to lose so let's get into what I need to finish today: I need to enter a team meeting, check the last changes of the code, finish a post and go out with a friend. Hopefully, I can also squeeze in some reading. My best guess now is to try and make a schedule for the day and do my best to stick to it as much as I can.

11:55 am - The project meeting is done and I can't help but be extremely grateful for my team! We worked well together. Now I am scared to have another team... I did start planning for February and for the new term, as well as for blog posts and reading I want to get done. I don't have many holidays, so I need to make the best of the time I have. Now I'm going to take a lunch break and start working on the report until I go out for a walk.

9:20 pm - I am the PROCRASTINATION QUEEN! But at least I got a bit of reading done, a chapter of "The kiss thief" by L.J. Shen to be precise. I also did enjoy myself on a walk and meeting a friend I haven't seen in a while. I also found out I passed one of my classes today, so it made me feel less bad for not putting in all day of work. Despite that, the load of work I still have to finish until tomorrow is high. Guess I'm going to have another white night with loads to study, but if I'm lucky I will be able to sleep-in tomorrow morning! Today was a great day.

Tuesday, 19th January:

7:30 pm - I feel like I haven't done much today, but I did finish most things for the project. I'm exhausted and the meeting is still going. I finished almost everything I had on my to-do list, but didn't get any reading done.

Wednesday, 20th January:

11:00 am - Things are finally slowing down a bit. I could get the morning off today to have some me-time. Have I read anything yet? Well, not really. I've been watching tv, chilling,, and moving around, but I feel much better now. I really needed this time off. I still need to finish some project work, but I think today will be a smooth day. I think I can get some reading done too at some point. Now I want to finish a few things before starting work on the presentation. I'll catch up with you later.

9:00 pm - Did I read anything today? No, no I didn't. I am almost done with the project and I started a reading journal which made me feel great. Now I need to also read more to fill it up.

Thursday, 21st January:

11:20 am - I did end up reading quite a bit last night before I went to sleep. I read around 50 pages of the Kiss Thief by L. J. Shen and I have mixed feelings about that book. I also got to watch an episode of Jane the Virgine, a TV show I love so far, even though I watched only a few episodes. As the end of term is fastly approaching and I don't have any resits this term, things started to slow down and I can start focusing on creating a sustainable schedule for the next period of my studies to also have some time to read and relax. I can finally have a chill tea and reading day in bed! It will probably happen during the weekend as today and tomorrow are project examination days and I need to prepare and be present and active in multiple meetings throughout the day. I am pretty confident I can squeeze in a bit of reading today, so let's see how much I can read. Hopefully, I can finish a book, but that's quite ambitious as I am quite a slow reader.

2:53 pm - Ok, I might get more tasks to do, than I would like. I like helping people, but sometimes I should probably say no. Especially when it doesn't align with my goals, but what if it aligns with my personality? I like studying, it's part of who I am and used to be, so why not help others by giving them extra exercises. But coming up with those exercises and solving them might take quite a bit of my free time this weekend.

8:44 pm - I am watching a movie with my mom tonight and I like it a lot. We are watching Julie & Julia starring at Meryl Streep. It was great movie. It makes me want to cook something, even try a new recipe. (When I cook I rarely follow a recipe)

Friday, 22nd January:

11:00 pm - Today was quite a busy day, but I am quite happy with what I managed to accomplish. I did watch some tv shows, the project is done, and now I can finally start relaxing. The week finally came to an end and I can start catching up on sleep!

Saturday, 23rd January:

8:00 pm - It was such a wholesome day today! I finally found the time to disconnect from everything for a few hours. I'm also really tired and tomorrow I will have quite a bit of work to do. The rest of my plan for tonight is to read and relax. I have my tv on watching HGTV as background noise, I might put on some music instead if it bothers me while reading. The only thing missing is a hot drink and a blanket and I'm good to go.

Sunday, 24th January:

11:40 am - I am so happy I spent last night reading! I stayed up until midnight reading Kyra Radcliff's book and I love it. I am deeply and madly in love with it.  I feel I can appreciate it much more now, then I would have were I to read it earlier this year. In the last few months, I changed quite a bit: my way of thinking changed, my taste changed and I start to notice that my personality is changing too. I do appreciate this book much more now. I have 3 chapters left of the book and I think I can finish it today. I will also try to squeeze in some other activities. I still need to figure out a few things for university. I also logged into my Netgalley account for the first time in many, many months, and I did request some titles. The one I'm most excited to have found in the reading now section is a poetry book by Amanda Lovelace. I read some other books by her and I love her poetry. I would love to read that one today as well as I usually go through poetry quite quickly. I want to also start planning out in advance my next period of classes, as the timetable is out by now. So, I might do some bullet journal layouts today just so it will be easier for myself to keep organized when chaos breaks loose again ( aka I get super duper busy and I feel like doing nothing and it takes a toll on my sleep). Let's see how much I can end up doing because I have quite a big to-do list as you can see. 

10:00 pm - I did start reading the poetry book I told you of. I did not yet get around to finish reading any books just yet, but I am quite positive I will finish at least one in the next few hours. For this week this is the last update. See you again soon!

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24h Catch-up Readathon Announcement


I started to fall behind with my reading for February so in an attempt to try and catch up I decided to host a 24-hour readathon. I will dedicate myself to reading and blogging for that whole day and hopefully, I will be able to make considerable progress with reading. I will host some reading sprints throughout the day on Twitter. 

When is the readathon? On Tuesday, February 16th from midnight to midnight in your time zone.

Who can join this readathon? Anyone who has the time to read alongside me is welcome to join.

What should you read during this readathon? You can read anything you would like as long as you do your best to read as much as time allows you. I am going to read this readathon to get close to finishing some books and depending on how it goes starting others. I might also decide on DNF ing some books I already started. You are welcome to read books from any genre that you started before the readathon or during the readathon.

A small bonus: I think it would be fun if you were to leave in the comments how many pages and or books did you manage to read during this readathon. Share your experience with us!

Would you like that I host this kind of readathon more often? I am thinking of making one each month so I keep on track with my reading.

Feb 10, 2021

Review | Black River Quiver by Alexa Riley and Jessa Kane



 Title: Black River Quiver

Author: Alexa Riley, Jessa Kane

Date of publication: 2nd, May 2018 

Print length: ebook, 98 pages

Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Novella

Trigger Warnings: Kidnapping 


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Morgan is just looking to have a fun spring break until her workaholic mom brings along her new boyfriend. But when she ditches the two of them she ends up lost in a swamp, ankle-deep in mud, and facing down a gator the size of Godzilla.

Rixen has been praying for God to send him his angel, his rightful mate who will live with him in the swamp and bear his children. When he finds the strawberry-blonde beauty before him in danger, de doesn't hesitate to save her. Then claim his reward.

WARNING: Okay, so, um, this is amazingly terrible. This is so over the top, it’s on top of over the top. This book is on the level of ridiculousness that surpasses all our stunts before this. You know what happens when we team up with Jessa Kane…but this is hands down the best/worst we’ve ever done. And we’re so proud we could wrestle a gator. Spoiler: There’s a lot of animal wrestling ahead. Grab your overalls and bug spray, we’re going in the bayou. 


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I have read two other books by Alexa Riley: one I loved, the other was okay, but maybe not the book for me. I went in this book expecting to get a steamy romance and a fast read and to some extent I did. I really wanted to like this book...however, I ended up cringing quite often while reading this story.

I felt like the plot was lacking. I can't say there was something that impressed me in any way. However, I did enjoy the ending. For me, that was the best part of the book. By then I think I accustomed myself to the style and direction of this story. I like happy endings and seeing family dynamics and we got to see this at the end of the story. I do believe that everyone should have their own choice, but I didn't have the feeling that Morgan did completely have that. I did like the photography aspect of the story, however, just having a state-of-the-art camera in very good shape because a tourist forgot it or dropped it in the swan is a bit of a stretch. I felt like there were parts in this story that make absolutely no sense.

There was some character development in the story, but not enough for my liking. The hero manages to get over some of his insecurities and the female protagonist learns more about herself. However, I didn't like the female character. I consider her quite naive and easily manipulable. In my opinion, she had a week personality. The characters weren't reliable and I would cringe whenever Rixen would call himself 'daddy'. The fact that he talked himself down into believing he's unworthy and ugly is a big turn off for me. I didn't like his possessiveness, I found him to take it a bit too extreme. I do like when a man wants to protect his girl, but Morgan wasn't even his in the beginning and I am quite against the whole "I am a man, you are mine; carry my children" concept. The fact that Morgan was a virgin didn't add anything to the story. Maybe this is a sign that novellas aren't the best piece of literature for me, but I did have mixed feelings about the characters of this book.

Atmosphere: I did enjoy the atmosphere and landscapes. It's the first book I read that was set in the Everglades and I really like the descriptions of the place. The writing was good, easy to get through, even for a non-native English speaker. However, the writing didn't stand out in any way to me. The intrigue felt flat to me, sadly I felt like the story was lacking the plot.

Overall, I think this book just wasn't for me. I know there are people who enjoyed this book and I can see why: the writing wasn't bad, the atmosphere was enjoyable, the sexy time was there, but it personally made me feel uncomfortable every now and then. If you are 18 or older and you think you will enjoy this story go ahead and read it, unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend it.

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Character Development 3/10, Atmosphere 5/10, Writing Quality 5/10, Plot 2/10, Intrigue 2/10, Logic 2/10, Enjoyment 4/10, Overall 3.28/10, which equals 2\5 stars.


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