Book Lover Mystery Box – March 2017 Review

7The 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: $44.99 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

FYI, the 1-month non-renewing purchase is available for $39.99 or you can get a 2-month subscription for $74.99.

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Book Review – ‘ 10 Things I Can See From Here’ by Carrie Mac

Title:  10 Things I Can See From Here
Author: Carrie Mac
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Date of Publication: 28th February, 2017
Page Count: 320 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Perfect for fans of Finding Audrey and Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.

Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?

I like to read other people’s reviews to see if I’m in the majority of minority with my opinion, and I’m really surprised to see that my overwhelming love for this book isn’t the norm on Goodreads where it currently has an average rating of 3.64. Reading through some of the criticisms only reinforced my affection for the main character and her story, and I’m going to stubbornly hold onto my 5-star rating for this one!

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I requested this from Netgalley because the protagonist, Maeve, combines two character traits I relate to and therefore find most interesting to read about: she struggles with mental illness and she’s a lesbian. And on both counts, I was very pleased with how the author portrayed Maeve.

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Review – ‘Making Love’ by Aidan Wayne

Title:  Making Love
Author: Aidan Wayne
Genre:  Romance, Paranormal, LGBT
Date of Publication: 30th January, 2017
Page Count: 92 pages (ebook)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Carla the cupid is an excellent shot, but her chemistry is so bad that most of her matches don’t last. Her dream is to shoot a True Love pair, but until her scores improve, she’s relegated to the Puppy Love division of Aphrodite Agency.

Leeta, a succubus, is looking for a True Love match. Which is highly unusual, as most succubi are aromantic. But Aphrodite Agency—her only hope—turns her away because the receptionist can’t believe she’s not just looking for an easy meal.

Carla agrees to take Leeta’s case on freelance. She figures it’s a win-win: Carla gets to put a succubus’s True Love match on her résumé, and Leeta gets to find her True Love! Except as Carla tries to find a match for Leeta, she finds herself maybe . . . relieved when the matches don’t end well. And Leeta seems to be getting pickier and pickier. Things will never work out until Carla learns enough about chemistry to figure out who’s truly best for Leeta, and until Leeta can admit what—or who—she truly wants.

Word Count: 22,800

I’m not a fan of novellas and I didn’t realize that’s what this was when I requested it…but this story is so  treacly sweet and works best in a small dose, so that ended up being a positive!

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Book Lover Mystery Box – February 2017 Review

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: $44.99 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

Fyi, BLMB is currently having a great sale – you can buy a 3-month subscription for $79.98 or 6 months for $199.95!

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hi, have you met me?

WordPress informs me that it’s my first anniversary! I set up this blog a year ago on February 25th, 2016 – gosh, a year flies fast!

I’m happy with the general format of my posts; I know I tend to be a bit wordy, but I write what I like to see, ie. lots and lots of details, with some gifs to liven up the page! 😉 If you have any recommendations/constructive criticism, I’m happy to hear it, I know I need to work on building stronger connections with other bloggers. Hopefully by my 2nd anniversary, I can get to 500 followers, that would be an awesome milestone to reach. 🙂

On this occasion, I thought I’d share this video that my boss posted on his vlog, Million Dollar Bogan – yes, you read that right, it’s very tongue-in-cheek, but he decided to film a more serious interview with me talking about my journey with the company so far. It’s been a very tumultuous climb from work experience chick to Finance Manager, which is a role I’m not emotionally prepared for, to say the least.

I’ve mentioned here and there in past posts that I suffer from clinical depression – it’s something I’ve had to deal with since my early teens. I’ve self-harmed for many years, dabbled with an eating disorder for a couple years (I wasn’t anorexic, I just severely restricted my food intake), I’ve been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder…it’s been a real rollercoaster, that’s for damn sure. I still see a psychologist because these issues are things that will probably stay with me for life and I just need to learn better coping mechanisms and to keep trying, even if I relapse occasionally.

PS. I haven’t actually watched this whole video myself, haha, I’m too embarrassed! But I know the gist of it. 😛 I’ve been reading the comments on the youtube video and on Facebook, they’ve all been so positive and complimentary, which is nice. I’ve received a couple bunches of flowers from people as a result, with some really lovely cards!

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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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