Pusheen Box – Winter 2016

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Pusheen Box
Cost: $43.95 USD every quarter.
Shipping Costs: $6 to the US, $20 to Canada and $25 – $30 internationally.
Mailed Out: Mid-December 2016 / Mid-April 2017 / Mid-July 2017 / Mid-Oct 2017
Payment Method: Credit Card and Paypal.
**Note:  subscriptions renew automatically**

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My box was shipped on December 16th and delivered to my office in early Jan while we were closed – I will have it redirected this year, not making that mistake again! My review is super late because my internet provider has decided to stuff up my connection and can’t fix it, so I have no wifi at home! 😦 But as this is a quarterly box, I figure I’m good posting it in February since the Spring box hasn’t come out yet! 😉

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Review – ‘Dreadnought’ by April Daniels

Title:  Dreadnought
Author: April Daniels
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT+
Date of Publication: 24th January, 2017
Page Count: 276 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, she was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But then her second-hand superpowers transformed her body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but between her father’s dangerous obsession with curing her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and the classmate who is secretly a masked vigilante, Danny’s first weeks living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined.

She doesn’t have much time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer, a cyborg named Utopia, still haunts the streets of New Port City. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

I feel so lucky to have had two 5-star reads in a row courtesy of Netgalley ARCs! I knew this was going to be good from the start – you know how some authors are just so wonderfully competent that their characters jump off the page from the first chapter fully-formed like old friends that you’re catching up with and the writing has such a great ease and flow to it that you can plunge through several chapters and not even realize that you’re half-way through? That was my experience with this book.

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Book Lover Mystery Box – March Theme & Coupon Code

I am so proud to rep for Book Lover Mystery Box  – I try to read as many diverse books as possible and it is AMAZING that they have announced for March, they’re putting together their first ever LGBT box with the theme Love Knows No Limits!

This box includes 1x signed Nic Starr Paperback, 1x Signed Laura N Andrews Paperback, 1x mystery LGBT Paperback, min of 3 LGBT-themed eBooks, a Sweet Bookie Cookie cookie, awesome Kristy’s Kreative Nook swag with a unique twist plus a golden ticket.

How cool is that?! If you’d like to enjoy a wonderful selection of LGBT books, be sure to order a box ASAP so you don’t miss out! And be sure to use my discount code 4YUXRY for $10 off. 😉

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Check them out on instagram @book_lover_mystery_box (also on Facebook and Instagram).

Review – ‘Terminal Regression’ by Mallory Hill

I’m sorry about the lateness in posting! I’ve had a wi-fi blackout at home for the past month and unfortunately I’ve been too busy at work to be able to blog. :/ This post is long overdue, so let’s just get straight into it!

Title:  Terminal Regression
Author: Mallory Hill
Genre:  Dystopia, Romance
Date of Publication: 17th January, 2017
Page Count: 277 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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“WINNER OF THE SECOND ANNUAL AUTHORS FIRST NOVEL CONTEST Laura Baily’s life is meaningless. In a world where purpose and passion are everything, Laura feels as though she has no place and no business even existing. Her life is forfeit, and it would be better for everyone if she simply ended it, if she simply got a ticket for a train to oblivion and faded from memory. But what awaits her at the end of the line isn t death but Terminal B a community of people more like her than she considered possible, including the beautiful, tormented Will Noble. Though Laura still thinks little of her own life, the lives of others begin to fascinate her as never before. And when those lives become imperiled, Laura discovers the last thing she ever expected to find on her way out of the world: a mission and a reason to live. Compelling on both a human and global scale, TERMINAL REGRESSION is a novel of rare power and humanity. It is the story of a tomorrow that teeters on the edge of utopia and dystopia and a resigned outsider who might just change it forever.”

In short: I loved Terminal Regression beyond reason.

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The main character was witty and had an enjoyable pov; I snickered at a lot of her wry asides and observations of society. What was most important to me was the depiction of mental illness – I empathized so much with Laura who suffered from clinical depression, and her reactions and coping mechanisms rang very true to me. Her depression wasn’t simply window dressing to make the book ‘edgy’, it was a major part of her character and informed her choices and the events of the book.

There was a fairly small cast of characters and while a couple weren’t as fleshed out as they could’ve been, for the most part I felt that the supporting characters were well-drawn and realistic, and I liked how Will, Grant and Mimi had their own stories and history instead of just being players in Laura’s hero’s journey.

The author came up with such a creative and fresh take on the dystopian society trend that is very popular right now, with a revolution unlike any other I’ve read before. In an era of Hunger Games and Divergent and the like, this was a breath of fresh air. Some may find the climax to be, well, antic-climactic, and perhaps it was a little too easily resolved, but I appreciate the originality and found it very appropriate to the story being told. This is more about Laura and focuses intimately on her issues and struggles, as opposed to focusing on the society in general.

At length (with some spoilers, be warned):

This book really moved me. I can’t emphasize enough how deeply it affected me. The reason I requested this ARC was because I’ve struggled with depression for over a decade now and while I’ve never acted on it, suicidal ideation (wanting to die) has been a part of my daily routine. I read as a form of escapism, but I also like to read books in which the main character represents something personal to me and articulates what I’m unable to express.

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Fairyloot – December 2016: Sci-Fi Adventure!

Fairyloot is a book subscription box that offers you a newly released fantasy Young Adult novel along with 4 – 5 bookish goodies matching a different theme each month.

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Fairyloot
Cost: £26 monthly.
Shipping Costs£4.30 for the UK or £10.85 for international. (more details here)
Mailed Out: between the 15th – 20th  of each month.
Payment Method: Credit & Debit Cards and Paypal.
**Note:  you can either purchase a single box or you have a choice of a monthly, 3-monthly or 6-monthly auto-renewing subscription**

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My box was shipped on the 19th of December and arrived on the 4th of January.

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Book Lover Mystery Box – January 2016 Review & Coupon

The Book Lover Mystery Box is an Australian subscription box that provides you with a minimum of 2 romance novels (occasionally up to 4) – depending on the number of books in the box, bookish extras such as candles, bookmarks, jewelry, etc. may also be included.

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Book Lover Mystery Box
Cost: $39.99 AUD (discounts available on longer subscriptions)
Shipping Costs: Free within Australia (varies to other countries).
Payment Method: Credit Card or Paypal.
Mailed Out: the first week of the month

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Book Lover Mystery Box

Last month I reviewed December Book Lover Mystery Box – I was quite happy with that purchase and enjoyed what I received in it. Color me surprised and thrilled when BLMB reached out to offer me a complimentary January box for review!

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Of course I said yes, what self-respecting sub box addict would turn that opportunity down! My box is currently on its way and I can’t wait to see what’s in it, but in the meantime, I want to highlight February’s box that is currently on sale with a theme that is close to my heart:

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“This is the perfect girls night in, this box is all about Valentine’s and a fabulous new release signed book to snuggle up and fall in love with.”

I am a hopeless romantic – several of the books I’ve reviewed recently are romances, and more than a couple are LGBT romances, so this box is all about my favorite things!

If you’re interested, check out Book Lover Mystery Box (also on Facebook and Instagram). Plus you can use my discount code 4YUXRY for $10 off your bookish goodness! 😉

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Review – ‘A Wizard’s Forge’ by A M Justice

Title:  A Wizard’s Forge
Author: A M Justice
Genre:  Fantasy, Science-Fiction
Date of Publication: 19th September, 2016
Page Count: 326 pages (Kindle edition)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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On a planet far from Earth, descendants of marooned space travelers fight a decades-long war. Shy scholar Victoria knows nothing of this conflict until pirates kidnap and sell her to the sadistic tyrant behind it. He keeps her naked and locked in a tower, subjecting her to months of psychological torture. After seizing an opportunity to escape, Vic joins the fight against her former captor and begins walking a bloody path toward revenge.

As the Blade, Vic gains glory raiding her enemy’s forces, but the ordeal in his tower haunts her. Bitter memories keep her from returning the love of the kindhearted Prince Ashel, whose family has fended off the tyrant’s invading army for a generation. When enemy soldiers capture Ashel, Vic embarks on a quest to rescue him and, on the journey, discovers a source of spectacular power. With wizardry, Vic can rescue the prince, end the war, and wreak the vengeance she craves, but she might also destroy her only chance for peace.

I’ve had quite the tumultuous journey with this book – at first, I couldn’t stomach the chapters with our heroine Vic in captivity, because it made my stomach churn too much. I turned to other books and left this behind, until I felt too guilty about having this on my TBR for so long and picked it up again, determined to soldier through. Once I got into it, I was HOOKED – I stayed up til 3am in the morning and had to force myself to put my phone down before I risked dropping it on my face out of weariness! Then the following day as I was reading the second half, some of the plot threads just didn’t come together properly, other arcs were introduced that didn’t go anywhere and the tone grew rather unexpectedly dark towards the end. I’ve never had such mood whiplash with a book before!

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ARC Review – ‘Diffraction’ by Jess Anastasi

Title:  Diffraction
Author: Jess Anastasi
Genre: Romance, Science-Fiction
Date of Publication: 2nd January, 2017
Page Count: 352 pages (Kindle edition)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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After his unusual reaction to a weapon, Commando Varean Donnelly is accused of being a shape-shifting alien and imprisoned onboard the Imojenna. Sure, he has abilities he keeps hidden from everyone—including the gorgeous doc examining him—because the government makes sure people as different as him disappear. For good.

Imojenna doctor Kira Sasaki knows there’s something different about the handsome commando the captain’s thrown in their brig. She doesn’t think he’s Reidar, although he might have been a victim of their cruel experiments. But when Kira learns the stubborn commando’s racial make-up, she finds herself torn between defending him to Captain Rian Sherron and his crew or urging Varean to escape while he still can.

Well, I suppose my lucky streak with ARCs had to end eventually…honestly, this was a struggle to get through. I didn’t expect to have as much trouble as I did finishing this one because the synopsis hit my sweet spot – a feisty lady doctor wrangling the bad news commando sounded right up my alley. Plus I like sci-fi romance, which is a sub-genre I don’t often get to read, so I was looking forward to this story, but was ultimately quite let down.

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