Subscription Box Review - Owlcrate

I have gotten an Owlcrate box a while ago, but stopped for a bit, because I find it a bit expensive to do each month. Since Frostbeard Studio was featured in the box, I knew I need to subscribe again for a little Christmas present for myself. Here are my thoughts:

The box came packaged well and everything was in great condition after shipping. The box included one of two reading journals from Penguin and Chronicle Books, a delectible smelling candle from Frostbeard Studios, a to-do notepad from Boy Girl Party and a stunning Little Prince magnet created by Sandra Vargas. The featured book was Da Vinci's Tiger by Laura Malone Elliot.

I loved the candle, it was this delicious coffee, cafe smell. So good! Frostbeard is located in Minnesota and I always love to get products from my home state!

How amazingly cute is this notepad? I love it so much and I am definitely a list maker, so I excited to make lists with such a sweet little notepad. Boygirlparty has so many cute things on their website and a coupon was included in the box!

How amazing is this magnet? I want it in a large print. And series, the rest of Sandra Vargas' work is so cool! Plus, the logo on her card is a fox, so of course I am in love!

This was probably the only thing in my box I was a little iffy about. It is a cool concept but I am not sure if I would use it. I do like paper and all, but Goodreads is so nice to keep that all organized. I might re-gift this one.

And finally, the main reason to get a Owlcrate, the featured book! I have had Da Vinci's Tiger on my TBR for a long time and I am so excited to read it!

Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.

When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.

Overall, I am very happy with Owlcrate. I believe the value is pretty decent, but I do feel like it is some of the things I would not buy on my own or don't necessarily need. I am going to get the January box as a birthday gift to myself, but it will be hard to continue getting monthly boxes at almost $40 a box. They are trying a Paypal, one box at a time, situation right now, and I think I would only occasionally get a box or give one as a gift. It is a fun surprise, but when a hardcover is only half the cost of the box, I just feel like I can't justify it all year around.

Waiting on Wednesday with Lady Renegades

From the New York Times bestselling author of Hex Hall comes the sparkling finale in the beloved Rebel Belle series.
Just as Harper Price starts coming to terms with her role as David Stark's battle-ready Paladin, protector, and girlfriend—her world goes crazy all over again.

Overwhelmed by his Oracle powers, David flees Pine Grove and starts turning teenaged girls into Paladins—and these young ladies seem to think that Harper is the enemy David needs protecting from.  Ordinarily, Harper would be able to fight off any Paladin who comes her way, but her powers have been dwindling since David left town, which means her life is on the line yet again.

Now, it’s a desperate race for Harper to find and rescue David before she backslides from superhero to your garden-variety type-A belle.
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings the fun once again in the finale of this pitch-perfect romantic paranormal comedy series.

The expected publication date is April of 2016. It is going to be a LONG wait! Here is my review of Rebel Belle and the review of Miss Mayhem will be on the blog January 4th!

Top Ten Tuesday with Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases in Early 2016

Can you believe that in just a couple days, it will be 2016?! But that is exciting news for us bookish folks, because it means a new slew of releases for us to gobble up! These are a few of my highly anticipated reads for the beginning on 2016!

Review of Alienated

 Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

I have no idea why it took me so long to read Alienated. It was so hyped in 2014 and got good reviews, but I didn't pick it up until now. I listened to the audiobook. It was read by Madeleine Lambert and was 8 hours, 29 minutes long.

  • Although the beginning of the book reminded me of the CW show, Star-crossed, it did start to take on its own story line and plot. 
  • I loved Cara. I love her smarts, her wit and her love of debate. I enjoyed that she was an individual and that she didn't always go with the popular crowd. I also enjoyed that she did not allow herself to be forced into sex when she was not ready. 
  • Aelyx was tall, dark and handsome, in my mind. I loved how he had the wall up around him, but he was able to let humans slowly break it down by actually seeing and listening to them. 
  • It is so easy for people to gather together and hate something they know nothing about. I think this book did a great job showing both sides of the L'eihr situation. Although, there is a lot more that will have to be brought to light in the second book. 
  • I thought Cara had  great parents and they were a strong influence in the book, until they end. I was really surprised there was no fight and they just let her do what she wanted to do (trying not to spoil).

  • No real gripes, there were some similarities to other sci-fi stories, but it still could stand on its own. 
  • There was also a little bit of gray area around exactly what the L'eihrs wanted from the humans. The situations seemed to change multiple times in the book.

Week Recap - Christmas Came and Went

I seriously cannot believe how fast this year went. Christmas came and went like a flash, too. I, honestly, was a little sad about my Christmas this year, because it was so small. It was only my in-laws and hubby this year. I love when it is my huge family, lots of games and lots of chaos. But there have been lots of changes in my family this year, my mom & aunt moved to Montana this year to be closer to my sister and nephews. It has been an adjustment and I am still adjusting. My in-laws helped make the most of it, we played games and watched movies. Next year will be fun with a 6 month-old in the mix!

This Week I Read:

2nd Annual Blogoversary Giveaway

I cannot believe how quickly the year went. The older I get, the faster life goes and it cannot be slowed down. I had another great year blogging, taking a small break in October but I am back now. I am a little late with my blog birthday (it was offically December 9th) but there is always time for a giveaway!

I haven't finished my goal for the year, but there are a few days left to get some more books in. I am fairly certain that I won't hit 150 by the 31st, but I made a great effort and won't beat myself up for not hitting my goal. I read some amazing books in 2015. 

To show my appreciation for you reading my blogging, following and dialoguing with me about books, I want to do a giveaway! I love (and sell) Perfectly Posh products. The winner of the giveaway will get some full-size and sample Perfectly Posh products to pamper yourself into the new year! Thank you so much for reading and becoming bookish friends!