The Book(ish) Box Review!

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I am so behind in blogging these days. We’ve had lots of friends and family visit us this summer and I always feel guilty about reading and blogging when we have guests (I try not to be too antisocial, even though sometimes I have to escape to my room or the bathroom for a few minutes to myself).

Anyway, at long last I am going to review one of my current favorite things in the whole world: my Book(ish) Box subscription!

Now, I am not exaggerating when I say it took well over a year for me to decide on which subscription box I wanted to sign up for. My husband and I both loved the idea of receiving a goodie box in the mail each month, but neither of us knew which boxes we wanted to sign up for (well, my husband didn’t really struggle with that–I’m the indecisive one). Then, a few months ago, he signed up for The Dollar Beard Club which persuaded me to finally pick a box as well, and I found the perfect one for me: The Book(ish) Box!

Each monthly Book(ish) Box comes with a t-shirt from Appraising Pages and 3-5 bookish home, beauty, and fashion items. You can select different t-shirt styles and sizes, and they are super comfy!

When I discovered this wonderful subscription box I knew I had to sign-up right away! But alas, they were all sold out for that particular month! I am not exaggerating when I say that I was pretty devastated. My husband, being the sweet and thoughtful person he is, secretly emailed the lovely owners of Appraising Pages a long, Victorian-inspired message, asking them if they would have one more box that I could sign up for. He must have won them over with his writing skills because they kindly let me sign up, and I was overjoyed because that month’s theme was Classic novels (MY FAVORITE!).

When my first box arrived, I WAS SO EXCITED to open it. I made myself some tea (because that’s what Classic novels call for, am I right?), and I carefully fangirled over each gift in the box.

June’s Book(ish) Box – Classic Novels

Alice in Wonderland t-shirt (Appraising Pages)
Great Gatsby Notebook (Bugaboo Bear Designs)
Ampersand Ring (A Cute Geek)
Alice in Wonderland Socks (Out of Print)
Magnetic Persuasion bookmark

I wear this ampersand ring nearly every day. It’s not made of metal so it doesn’t tarnish at all, and it fits perfectly on my middle finger :) I also adore the Curiouser and Curiouser shirt and the White Rabbit socks are adorable. The Great Gatsby notebook is made from recycled paper, which is awesome! I recently misplaced the Persuasion bookmark while reading For Darkness Shows the Stars (which just so happens to be a Persuasion retelling), but I’m sure it’s in my couch somewhere!

July and August’s boxes were equally wonderful, and I will share with you some detailed pictures of the Fantasy and Fairy Tale Retelling themed goodies!

July’s Book(ish) Box – Fantasy

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J.R.R. Tolkien inspired t-shirt (Appraising Pages)
Saphira Eragon Blend Coffee (Passive Juice Motel)
Fantasy Antler Headband (Night and Day Baby)
Game of Thrones inspired bangle (The Geeky Cauldron)
The Mortal Instruments inspired crossbody tote (Fiction Tea)

I finally drank the Eragon themed coffee earlier this week when we ran out of our usual coffee. It was good! And I absolutely love the crossbody tote bag, even if I haven’t read The Mortal Instruments.

August’s Book(ish) Box – Fairy Tale Retellings

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A Court of Mist and Fury t-shirt (Appraising Pages)
Peter Pan Necklace (The Bookish Box)
Beauty and the Beast watercolor bookmar (Lexy Olivia)
Mug inspired by Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Evie Sea)
Disney post-it notes (Appraising Pages)

It’s hard to tell, but the Peter Pan necklace is a thimble with a tiny acorn and the Disney post-it notes say: “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” The Beauty and the Beast watercolor book mark is BEAUTIFUL!

If you’re a huge bookworm like me (which, I’m assuming you are since you’re perusing a book blog), you are probably wondering how you can sign up for your own Book(ish) Box immediately!

Here is a link to subscribe: GET A BOOK(ISH) BOX! September’s boxes don’t ship for almost another 2 weeks, and the theme is Literary Ladies (so I’m expecting at least one Hermione themed item!). Hopefully I’ll be quicker at posting a review of that box than I was with my first three boxes :)

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Grimm Memories by Janna Jennings

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The nightmares were getting worse, plaguing her more and more over the last six months. Images, sharp and vivid as a recent memory, invaded her dreams until the lines of reality melted together.

Grimm Memories by Janna Jennings
Published Oct 29, 2014 by Patchwork Press
Young Adult Fantasy
Format: e-book; 337 pages
Also By This Author: A Grimm Legacy
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

(spoilers below for A Grimm Legacy)

Synopsis:

It has been six months since Quinn and her friends returned home after barely escaping Elorium—but no one ever really leaves the world where fairy tales are born. Not a day has gone by where they haven’t thought about returning to save Jack. Even their dreams are urging them to return to the strange world.

Falling back into the fairy tale world, they find the situation more dire than the way they left it. Jack has disappeared, and he’s not the only one. Elorium’s citizens are near panic as characters are missing and rumors are spreading about massive creatures roaming the sky. A rising darkness is enslaving the dreamers, and in a land filled with water nymphs and malevolent mazes, it’s hard to find any allies.
Despite the risks of their rescue mission, Fredrick is determined to bring back his grandfather, no matter how personal the cost.

Thoughts:

“Far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!”

If you’re a fan of Beauty and the Beast you’ll recognize that line from the opening song. It’s the line that kept playing in my head while reading The Grimm Tales series by Janna Jennings.

Grimm Memories, the sequel to A Grimm Legacy, picks up six months after Andi and her friends escape Elorium. The group devises a plan to return to the fairy-tale world after Andi and Dylan begin having strange nightmares. Frederick is determined to rescue his grandfather, Jack, who they were forced to leave behind during their escape. But when the teenagers return to Elorium, they find things a lot stranger than they had left them.

Our four heroes and heroines have changed a bit since we last saw them, although their distinct personalities remain intact. Frederick, Andi, and Quinn are still stubborn in their own ways, but they return to Elorium prepared to fight, both physically and mentally. Dylan, in an appropriate fashion, didn’t even bother to brush up on his knowledge of fairy-tales before deciding to come back to Elorium, something that Quinn hilariously calls him out on more than once.

While our group of fairy-tale descendants are back and better than ever, the world of Elorium has changed for the worse. Houses have been destroyed and left destitute and many Elorians have mysteriously disappeared. Grimm Memories is a lot darker than A Grimm Legacy. The nightmares that Dylan and Andi suffer through every night are haunting, and the new creatures and story book characters the group encounters during their second visit to Elorium are more dangerous and unfriendly than before. This added so much suspense which I thoroughly enjoyed. There are several scenes in this novel where Andi and her friends’ lives are in peril and often people were gravely injured. Suffice it to say that the suspense was killing me during several of the more intense chapters!

The novel’s resolution is sweet and well-done. Some of my lingering questions were answered (always a plus), and while I don’t think there are plans for a third book, there is an epilogue at the end that leaves us with a bit of a cliffhanger, so who knows? :)

Also…once again, I adored this book cover! So pretty!

Read This Book If…:

…you’ve already finished A Grimm Legacy (this is not a stand-alone novel)
…you’re intrigued by darker fairy-tale characters
…you’re in the mood for a good suspense novel
…you like happy endings :)

Final Musings

As much as I enjoyed the first Grimm Tales book, I liked the second one ever more! There was more action, more mystery & suspense, and more adventures with the characters I’ve come to love. Grimm Memories deals with sacrifice, love, and friendship, and it is full of surprises in every chapter! If you like reading stories that can make you laugh, swoon, and bite your nails, this book is for you!

 

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings

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“I’m a girl of many hidden talents.” She gestured to her filthy, damp clothes. “Keeping myself out of trouble is not one of them.”

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings
Published Oct 28, 2013 by Patchwork Press
Young Adult Fantasy
Format: e-book; 308 pages
Also From This Author: Grimm Memories
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Enchanted castles and charming princes thought to exist only in stories come to life in this classically twisted fairy tale that combines the timeless quality of folktales with the challenges of the modern world. 

The woods of Elorium appear ordinary to Andi…until the birds start to talk and elves answer doors. Whisked out of her world along with three strangers, Andi finds herself the reluctant guest of Mr. Jackson, a perplexing millionaire who claims to be able to help them get home. The secrets he harbors, however, make it difficult to know just who to trust. 

When the group of teenagers discover that in this new world, fiction is anything but, and that they all have unexpected family ties to this fairy tale land, they must learn to rely on each other.

Faced with characters short on whimsy and bent toward treachery, Andi, Quinn, Fredrick, and Dylan are forced to play their parts in unfinished fairy tales. But in Elorium, happily ever after is never guaranteed.

Thoughts:

loved A Grimm Legacy! The fairy tale world had me captivated instantly and I was rooting for the four main characters the entire time. Andi is the unwavering leader, the main link between the other characters and the fantastical world of Elorium. Fredrick, a compassionate southern boy, is the brave protector. Quinn, strong and selfless, is always quick-thinking in stressful situations. And Dylan, a stereotypical Californian surfer, has a secret soft spot beneath his persuasive exterior.

This story begins when these four teenagers from different areas of the country mysteriously appear in a foreign world. As the plot progresses, we discover that Andi, Fredrick, Quinn, and Dylan each have a connection to the world of Elorium.

One of the coolest things about this novel is how it echoes popular Grimm fairy tales, but with a twist, of course :) Even if you aren’t too familiar with fairy tales (which I am not), you’ll still recognize references to the major stories. For the lesser known tales, Janna Jennings summarizes them in a fitting way that still leaves you anxious to find out what happens next.

“Don’t say impossible, not after the day we’ve had.”

This book is suspenseful and intriguing! During the more mysterious plot lines I found myself devouring every page. And let me just comment on this gorgeous cover: I love it! I am a sucker for beautiful book covers even though I try not to ignore or judge books with horrible covers (I fail sometimes). This cover is great–it’s simple yet it pulls you in at the same time.

Read This If:

…you enjoy fairy tales
…you are a fan of the TV show “Once Upon A Time” (this book is exactly like that)
…you’re into reading adventure novels
…you love books that leave you hanging in suspense until the last page

Final Musings:

This book exceeded my expectations. It was full of mystery and suspense, and several of the big reveals really surprised me. I can’t wait to read the sequel, Grimm Memories! Check back for that review next week :)