Book Review: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

Blood and Salt by Kim LiggettAuthor:  Kim Liggett

Genre: Young adult, horror

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 22, 2015

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Putnam for letting me read this!

The first line of this book is: “The dead girl hung upside down over our kitchen table.” What an excellent start to a horror novel! The beginning of this book continues to be super creepy and strange, and it hooked me right away. You can really hear that rope creaking as the dead girl swings, first over the kitchen table then later in Ash’s room, school, and everywhere else she sees her. It gave me the creeps. I won’t say I felt that way throughout the entire book though. The middle part dragged a bit and wasn’t nearly as creepy nor satisfying as the beginning and the end were (the last 50 pages or so? WOW).

As for the romance parts of this novel, I really wanted to be all in for Ash and Dane – you’re meant to root for them, but not only was there a bit of instalove (which you guys know I’m not a fan of) explained away by the fact that they are magically attracted to each other (um. By their scent…?), their love felt a bit forced in places. I didn’t get it. However, I won’t lie: they are some swoon-tastic moments here. For real. Also, I honestly felt more about Ash’s brother Rhys and his love interest. Man, were they adorable. Plus, Rhys is probably the character that felt the most…real to me? His emotions were very honest and genuine and it was easy to feel for him. Some of the characters felt a bit flat in comparison to him.

The mythology in Blood and Salt was fascinating, but it was also a bit confusing in parts. There were a few instances when I just didn’t understand what was happening. However, overall, the magic and history about Katia and Ash’s bloodline were really interesting. I think the issue I had was mostly with the middle bits where we were getting some history about Quivira and its people.

The bottom line: Although I did have some issues with this one (mostly with the instalove and the middle part of the novel), I’ll definitely be picking up the second book in this duology. That ending left me wanting more, and I’m looking forward to reading what happens next.

Rating: 7 – pretty good

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Book Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys (ARC)

Slasher Girls & Monsters BoysAuthor:  Various authors; stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

Genre: Horror

Publisher: Dial Books

Publication Date: August 18, 2015

385 pages, hardcover/ARC

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys was a horrifying, creepy, thrilling, strange collection of stories from some of the coolest YA writers out there right now. It was a perfect one to read during this time of the year, and I would highly recommend it for a Halloween read. I love that each of the stories are based on horror stories and movies, and it was really cool to try to figure out their inspiration or find out when I finished the story.

My favorite stories of the lot were:

Jay Kristoff’s “Sleepless” – a story that is sure to creep out anyone who’s ever spoken to someone on the internet and never knew who they really were. It’s full of unexpected twists and turns that are sure to surprise you. Although I knew where the inspiration for this one came from pretty quickly, it wasn’t predictable and was quite horrifying. I really want more from Jay Kristoff.

Nova Ren Suma’s “The Birds of Azalea Street” – Nova is so good at magical realism, and this story is no exception. I really like her writing style, and this one was decidedly creepy because it felt real even with the addition of the magical realism.

Carrie Ryan’s “In the Forest Dark and Deep” – Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but oh so much creepier. It’s a terrifying story of monsters in the woods, mean girls, tea parties in the woods, and the terrible things that people…or creatures can do.

Marie Lu’s “The Girl without a Face” – I love that this one was inspired, in part, by the film Los Ojos de Julia, which is one of my favorites. You could really get that super creepy and eerie feeling from it. It’s definitely the most “traditionally” scary one of the whole collection. It makes you want to keep your closet door open and check under your bed. *shudders*

The rest of the collection is made up of some great stories as well, and a few that I could’ve done without. I was a little bored with Stefan Bachmann’s “M” and Cat Winter’s “Emmeline”, but was intrigued by A.G. Howard’s story inspired by Frankenstein. Overall, I really liked this collection, and I’ll definitely be rereading some of these at Halloween next year.

The bottom line: Add this to your Halloween TBR.

Rating: Each story has its own rating, but overall, I’ll give this collection a 7 – pretty good

Shout out to Dahlia Adler who sent me an ARC of this one.

Waiting on Wednesday: Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Shallow Graves by Kali WallacePublisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Author: Kali Wallace

Release date: January 26, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads: For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.

Why I’m excited: This is the perfect one to be looking forward to during the week of Halloween, isn’t it? We really need more awesome zombie books, and this one sounds perfect. Plus – cults, monstrous humans, revenge, and something for fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma? Count me in. I’m a sucker for a good book about how horrible people can be. If that makes me weird, so be it. Bring on the creep factor.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things That Give Me the Creeps in Books and/or Movies

Halloween TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Halloween themed freebie — your choice (ie. 10 best ghost stories, 10 things that scare you in books, 10 literary Halloween costumes, 10 vampire novels, 10 books that WILL scare you, 10 non-scary books for Halloween, 10 scariest covers, etc.)

10 Things That Give Me the Creeps in Books and/or Movies (I don’t want you to think I’m a pansy. These things may creep me out, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want or read these kinds of books – okay, except mannequins. Keep those things away from me)

  • Dolls/mannequins that come to life
  • Possession
  • The person looking through the window/watching you when you don’t know it
  • People eating other people and/or using their body parts for other things (like when people wear someone else’s face *shudders*)
  • The dark
  • The person who is always facing away from you and never turns around
  • People without faces
  • The monster under your bed
  • Little kids singing – you know the kind I mean
  • When things come out of the water – in a lake or a bath

What things creep you out in books or movies?

Z Resurrected The Zombie Blog Tour [Interview with Dana Fredsti & Giveaway]

Banner 1 - Corrected

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for a new zombie anthology Z Resurrected! This anthology is cool because it takes characters from the authors’ previous zombie books sometime after the books were set for an all new story! We’ve got 6 authors, 6 stops with author interviews or excerpts, and a bunch of zombie books to give away! Today I’m hosting Dana Fredsti, author of the Ashley Parker series, for an interview!

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Describe yourself in 6 words: 

Sword-slinging crazy cat lady wino.

Describe the book the story was based on in 6 words:

Buffy Meets the Walking Dead

How long after the book is your short story set? 

With the aid of flashbacks, part of it is set during the same period as Plague World, the third book in the series, and the rest a few days after the end of the same book.

What was it like to revisit the characters from your books?

I really enjoyed the chance to dive back into Ashley’s world. JT is one of my favorite characters in the series and there were scenes I wanted to write for the original trilogy that just didn’t fit the overall story arc (or the word count), so I was delighted to have a chance to tell one of those stories and get back into the heads of Ash, JT and Griff.

Are you ever frightened by the things you write? Do they keep you up at night?

Nope.  The sort of things that keep me up at night are more along the lines of not being able to pay rent, afford cat food, losing a family member to cancer… stuff like that.  Very little horror actually scares me any more, although I occasionally creep myself out.  More normal for me is writing something really disturbing (like the scenes with Jake) and giggling.  My husband worries about me.

What’s your favorite zombie movie/book?

Favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead (original) followed closely by Shaun of the Dead and The Dead. Favorite book would be Dead City by Joe McKinney, which was the first really good zombie novel to come out back before zombies were the new darling of the monster world, and the Book of the Dead anthologies edited by John Skipp and Craig Specter. My favorite series (giving you way more info than you asked for, I know…) are the Benny Imura YA books by Jonathan Maberry. I could really go on and on as far as books…

How about your favorite “bad” movie/book (your bio says you’re addicted to bad movies)?

Favorite bad movie as far as zombie movies… it’s a bad/good movie called Zombi by Lucio Fulci.  It’s got some incredibly bad acting/writing/camerawork, but it also has some of the most iconic and unforgettable shots and images out there.  I also love City of the Living Dead (another Fulci movie).  Favorite bad NON zombie movie?  Oooh, it’s a toss-up between The Room and Troll Two. 

Tell us about Ash Parker (for new readers, she’s the heroine in the Plague Town series).

At the start of the series, Ash is a 29 year old who’s been dumped by her college professor husband for one of his 19 year-old students. She decides to go back to college, and is trying to fit in with a younger crowd when the zombocalypse starts. She’s bitten, but instead of dying, she survives and becomes a wild card.  Wild cards are a very small percentage of the population who, if they survive the initial attack, are not only immune to the zombie virus, but also have enhanced senses and physical skills.  This makes them uniquely qualified to be in the front lines of the fight to save humanity. 

What’s your favorite part of writing about zombies?

There really is no downside. The whole experience is fun.  I’ve been a fan of the zombie genre since I saw the original Dawn of the Dead and its predecessor, Night of the Living Dead (before zombies were cool, thank you very much!). So writing about my favorite monster is like full time play time. 

What would your role be in the zombie apocalypse?

Hopefully a survivor.  Heh. I was on a panel with a fellow author, Mark Allan Gunnells, and he was asked the same question. His answer was “I’d be the guy who’s been bitten and hides it and then dies and turns inside the safe house.”  Our nickname for him is “BiteMark.”  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dana FredstiDana Fredsti is an ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical combat (a skill she utilized in Army of Darkness as a sword-fighting Deadite and fight captain). Through seven plus years of volunteering at Exotic Feline Breeding Facility/Feline Conservation Center, Dana’s had a full-grown leopard sit on her feet, kissed by tigers, held baby jaguars and had her thumb sucked by an ocelot with nursing issues. Her other hobbies include surfing (badly), collecting beach glass (obsessively), and wine tasting (happily).She’s addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which include zombies.

She is the author of the Ashley Parker series, touted as Buffy meets the Walking Dead, as well as what might be the first example of zombie noir, A Man’s Gotta Eat What a Man’s Gotta Eat, first published in Mondo Zombie edited by John Skipp, and more recently published as an eBook by Titan books. She also wrote the cozy noir mystery Murder for Hire: the Peruvian Pigeon, and is the co-author of What Women Really Want in Bed. She guest blogs frequently and has made numerous podcast and radio appearances. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and fellow author David Fitzgerald, their dog Pogeen, and a small horde of felines.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Amazon

ABOUT THE BOOK

zres_final_ebookTitle: Z Resurrected

Authors: Dana Fredsti, Tom Leveen, Joe McKinney, Eric A. Shelman, Mark Tufo, & T.M. Williams

Genre: Short Stories, Anthology, Horror, Zombies

Publication: Half Light Publishing; October 14, 2015

In this anthology, six horror authors revisit some of their most infamous zombie characters, resurrecting the undead. Contributing authors to Z Resurrected are some of horror’s best, who have each carved a distinct path in the world of zombies: Dana Fredsti, Tom Leveen, Joe McKinney, Eric A. Shelman, Mark Tufo, and T.M. Williams.

Find Out More:

ZResurrected.com
Goodreads | Amazon

THE GIVEAWAY

zombie gif

Dana is giving away a set of her Ashley Parker series paperbacks and you’ll also get a paperback copy of Z Resurrected. US only. Ends 11/5.

Giveaway Enter

Check out the other tour stops!

Tom Leveen
Host: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions

Joe McKinney
Host: Ashley @ Books Blogging Beauty

Eric A. Shelman
Host: Emily @ Emily Reads Everything

Mark Tufo
Host: Nicole @ Boundless Bookaholic

T.M. Williams
Host: Bex @ Aurelia {lit}{geek}{chic}

#WICKEDREADS for Halloween

I don’t know about you guys, but Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday. Not only is it during fall – my favorite season – but it’s all about candy and costumes and creepy books. So get out your flashlights, candy corn, blanket, and get ready to pack your shelves with some wicked reads. (All titles linked to Goodreads, as always)

Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett     The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle     Slasher Girls & Monsters Boys     The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

BLOOD AND SALT by Kim Liggett (come back later this week for my review!) – A commune, a freaking cornfield, murder, blood, a FREAKING CORNFIELD. *shudders* Why do scary things always come from the cornfield?

THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moira Fowley-Doyle (come back later this week for my review!) – Not necessarily as scary as the others or what you would think of as horror, but this eerie, haunting story about things that lurk in your backyard, violent accidents, and taboo will still put you in the mood for Halloween and fall.

SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS by various authors, curated by April Genevieve Tucholke (come back on Wednesday for my review!) – This collection of creepy, horrifying, strange stories by some of the best YA authors is seriously awesome. There were a few stories that literally had me looking over my shoulder and keeping the light on.

THE DEAD HOUSE by Dawn Kurtagich – You guys might have read my review of this one, but it’s perfect for fans of psychological horror, possession, and the strange things the mind can do.

The Walking Dead, Volume 1 cover     Coraline by Neil Gaiman     Through the Woods cover     Doll Bones

THE WALKING DEAD, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman – I’m sure I don’t really need to explain this one too much, but if you haven’t read these comics yet, what the heck are you waiting for?

CORALINE by Neil Gaiman – Kids trapped in mirrors, strange people with button eyes who kidnap Coraline and want her to sew buttons on for her own eyes. I mean, what more do you want?

THROUGH THE WOODS by Emily Carroll – You might’ve also read my review of this one, but this is a graphic novel made up of four seriously creeptastic stories with some chilling illustrations. ‘It came from the woods. Most strange things do.’

DOLL BONES by Holly Black – This one is a little different from the others in that it’s a MG novel, but like I said in my review, I think Doll Bones was just creepy enough, but not too much to scare young children into nightmares.

Some others that I’m looking forward to checking out:

Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski     Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs     Survive the Night by Danielle Vega     Shutter by Courtney Alameda

NIGHTFALL by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski – A world in which the sun only rises every 28 years. YEARS. Just imagine how different the world would be if it was almost always night. You would definitely have reason to be afraid of the things that go bump in the night.

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs – my awesome Secret Sister just sent me this one and I cannot wait to read it! Just flipping through this one could creep you out – it’s full of some disturbing and strange photos.

SURVIVE THE NIGHT by Danielle Vega – An underground rave in NYC that turns deadly. Teens are being hunted in the creepy, dank tunnels of the NYC subway system. Sounds pretty thrilling and terrifying to me.

SHUTTER by Courtney Alameda – A ghost hunt that goes wrong and infects the hunters with something that will kill them unless they can exorcise their own entities. Add in the fact that the MC is a descendant of Van Helsing and you’ve got me hooked.

What are your favorite wicked reads?

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Something you guys might interested in too, which I think is super awesome, is that Penguin Teen is hosting a week long contest on Twitter this week (today until Halloween) in which you can write a spooky story in 140 or less using the #TwitterGhostStory hashtag. Your story (make sure you use the hashtag) will enter you for a chance to win a prize pack of Penguin Teens’ Wicked Reads featured titles (find out which titles on their Tumblr HERE). I’m really excited to see what people come up with for their stories.

ALSO, if you follow me on Twitter, you might’ve seen that I hosted a Wicked Reads Twitter chat a week and a half ago (Thank you again SO MUCH to Penguin Teen for letting me host!). There’s one more Twitter chat left THIS FRIDAY, October 30 hosted by @mashreads – you can chat with and ask questions of:  Danielle Vega, author of The Merciless and Survive the Night, Peter Kujawinskivg, author of Nightfall, Kim Liggett, author of Blood and Salt, April Genevieve Tucholke, author of Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, Carol Goodman, author of the Blythewood series, and Sally Green, author of the Half Bad series. SO many awesome authors!

Wicked Reads - Penguin Teen

Cold Weather Happiness #1

I’m a walking contradiction this time of year. I live for the cooler temperatures, coffee on the front porch, nights around the fire, boots, sweaters, scarves, yellow leaves, driving with the window down, just…fall. I LOVE it. But I also start to get a little anxious because cooling temperatures means earlier sunsets, darker evenings, cold nights, and less sunlight. It means, unfortunately, that my depression usually worsens. I wasn’t always like this. I am a contradiction because I both crave and am scared of the cold weather, the darkness. I hate this, SO starting today and every Sunday during fall and winter (hopefully), I’m going to post what I’m calling “Cold Weather Happiness” – this could be anything from a song to a quote, a picture to a post about a person, lyrics to a description of a favorite place, anything that will remind me to be happy, to fight through the cold, dark place my mind goes to sometimes and remember that it’s not always like this. I’m sorry if this is a little deeper than I usually go, but I need to do it for me, and I hope that, maybe, it can help some of you too, because I know I’m not the only one that feels this way during the fall and winter.cold weather happiness

twenty one pilots // Holding On To You

Remember the moment you know exactly where you’re going,
‘Cause the next moment, before you know it,
Time is slowing and it’s frozen still,
And the window sill looks really nice, right?
You think twice about your life, it probably happens at night, right?
Fight it, take the pain, ignite it,
Tie a noose around your mind loose enough to breathe fine and tie it,
To a tree, tell it, “You belong to me,
This ain’t a noose, this is a leash,
And I have some news for you, you must obey me.”

ARC Review: Persuasion by Martina Boone

Persuasion by Martina BooneAuthor:  Martina Boone
Genre: Young adult, paranormal
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
464 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon Pulse for letting me read this!

I read and loved the first book in this series, Compulsion, earlier this year. I really enjoyed the southern gothic feel, the mythology, and Watson’s landing. All of which were things I still loved in this sequel.

One of my favorite things in Persuasion was the new magic that Barrie discovers once she comes back to Watson’s Landing. She meets a man named Obadiah who may or may not be strictly human. He wants her to find something that will let him break the Colesworth curse, but because he threatens to take away her ability if she doesn’t find it, she must go behind everyone’s back and lie to those closest to her in order to do so. Even though I really liked Obadiah and thought he was that perfect kind of magical, creepy character, he created the biggest problem I had with this book.

Barrie lies in this book. A lot. She “has” to because she thinks it’ll save those closest to her and not get them involved with whatever Obadiah will do should he not be satisfied. But because of this, her relationship with Eight was a lot of “I love you, but I want to protect you, so I’m going to push you away” but then she’d be right back in his arms making out. Then arguing with him and pushing him away. Then making out. UGH. It felt very toxic and not as adorable as they were in the first book. In addition to this, I also was a bit bored in the middle – partly because of that back and forth I mentioned above but partly because it was just a bit too long. There was a lot of history and…these flashbacks that were a bit overwhelming.

However, I really loved the voodoo magic and the ghosts and the southern charm and the mystery. I think Boone is really skilled at creating a magical-feeling world with a lot of mystery. The magic, the voodoo, the curses, and all that is what really makes these books shine, and I was not disappointed in the slightest on that aspect of Persuasion.

The bottom line: Despite the fact that I wasn’t quite as impressed with this one as Compulsion, I’m still excited for the next one. Here’s hoping Barrie and Eight’s relationship gets better. That cliffhanger at the end gave me the grabby hands though.

Rating: 6 – good, but not great

ARC Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffAuthor:  Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
608 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTEI was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for letting me read this!
ALSO, shout out to the lovely Vania who gave me her physical ARC because it’s BEAUTIFUL.

After the illegal Kerenza colony is attacked by the BeiTech corporation, two teens, Kady and Ezra, find themselves racing through space for their lives along with thousands of other survivors. They are attempting to outrun the Lincoln, a BeiTech ship dead set on their destruction in order to ensure there are no living survivors of the attack on Kerenza. But not only do they have to survive this deadly race, they also have to survive the fleet’s AI system, which was damaged in the attack and has gone a little…crazy. As if all of that wasn’t enough to completely stress these survivors out, there’s also a horrible plague making its way through the fleet.

HOLY ████, you guys. This book is ███████ awesome. All I could say on Goodreads when I was done was “WOW.” I’m still struggling to find words to describe this book because it’s seriously awesome. I was pretty wary of this book before starting it for two reasons. 1. I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I don’t read or review a lot of sci-fi on this blog. It’s rare I find sci-fi that I like, but this? THIS I could read over and over. I can’t wait for the next book to be out! 2. The ███████ hype. It was pretty intense. I don’t know if I saw a single bad review of Illuminae before I started reason and it felt like EVERYONE walking talking about how much they loved this book. Let me just tell you: they hype is seriously well-deserved.

I mean, if that absolutely incredible summary doesn’t hook you, I’m not sure what else will. But let’s see. This book is told through an awesome series of “hacked” documents (like emails, IMs, medical reports, interviews, ship schematics, military docs, and more) put together in a dossier by the mysterious Illuminae group. Then on top of the alternate story-telling methods, which you know I LOVE, the formatting is so ████ beautiful! I kept showing other people how pretty the setup was. It’s ███████ fascinating, and I read its 600 pages in only TWO days.

The bottom line: Illuminae is fast-paced, emotional, and brilliant. It will make you rage, laugh, cry, and clutch the book to your chest. There’s some swoony moments, some holy-████-what-is-happening moments, some rage-y moments, and a lot of this-book-is-incredible moments. I am not even a big fan of sci-fi, but I devoured this one. Can we have the next book, please?! I ordered this book for the library, and I can’t wait for it to come in so I can push recommend it to everyone!

Rating: 9.5 – practically ███████ perfect

Thursday Thoughts: October Uppercase Box Subscription Review

It feels like, these days, there is a subscription service to literally everything you could think of – from healthy snacks to nail polish to make up to (my personal favorite) books. I’ve been really curious about all of these subscriptions that have been popping up. One such box is Uppercase,Uppercase-logo founded by Lisa Parkin, the blogger at Read. Breathe. Relax., and it has a particular focus on YA titles, which is a selling point for me. Every month, Lisa handpicks a title that she has personally read and love, along with a few other bookish goodies. NOTE: I did not pay for this box but received one from Uppercase Box in exchange for an honest review.

WHAT I GOT:

October Uppercase Box     October Uppercase Box

I won’t lie, I thought it was kind of funny that it’s called an Uppercase “box” and it actually comes in a simple USPS mailing envelope. But I thought the cute canvas bag that all the items come in was adorable, and I’ll definitely be saving it.

Also funny is that I actually have this mint tin. I got it at a little shop in Edinburgh, Scotland when I was living there. I use it as my pill case in my purse (for aspirin and such; NOT a druggie). So even though I owned it already, I was actually excited to get a new one – the old one is about four years old and is pretty banged up.

October Uppercase Box     October Uppercase Box

LOOK HOW CUTE THIS COIN PURSE IS! I have no idea what I’m going to use it for yet, but I absolutely adore it. I have a Cheshire cat tattoo, so I love that it has the “We’re all mad here” quote on it.

October Uppercase Box   October Uppercase Box   October Uppercase Box

I’m reading the Lunar Chronicles series right now, so these tattoos were super fun. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to use them, but I might be able to fit them into a teen program at the library. 🙂

I LOVE that the box comes with a handwritten note that describes the book and why Lisa chose it. Makes the box feel really personal, as do the post-it notes, which are included throughout the book. You can go to the website and enter in a little code found on the post-it notes that will reveal exclusive content and a way to interact with other readers. How freaking cool is that?

Every book that you get through the Book Exclusive plan will either be signed or come with a signed bookplate. I don’t know about you guys, but I love signed books!

October Uppercase Box

Alright, let’s talk about this subscription box.

WHAT I LIKE:

  • THE OPTIONS – There are three different subscriptions you can choose from through Uppercase: Book Exclusive (a book – signed/signed book plate – and exclusive book content and publisher-provided goodies; $17/month); Expert Plan (everything in the Book Exclusive plan, but with bookish items that are exclusive to that subscription ($23/month); Personalized Plan (personalized book choice based on your reading preferences, checked against your read shelf on GR, not signed; $29/month). I think this is really great because it gives you options and price choices.
  • THE READING EXPERIENCE – The codes on the post-it notes that are included throughout the book can be entered online to receive exclusive content (like videos from the author or additional backstories) and allow you to interact with other Uppercase readers. I entered a couple in just to see what there was and saw a video from the author and a few questions for readers to answer and discuss with each other. This is super cool.
  • THE SIGNED BOOKS – Like I said earlier, each book is either signed or comes with a signed book plate. So so cool.

WHAT I’M IFFY ON:

  • THE GAMBLE – As a book blogger, I stay pretty up to date with new releases and (though I don’t buy new releases all the time) I could possibly get a book that I’ve already read (through an ARC) or bought. Uppercase recommends not pre-ordering or buying that month’s new releases until you receive your box. That would work for me personally most of the time, but I can see other people who would struggle with this.
  • THE PRICE – Alright, I’m actually okay with the Book Exclusive plan ($17/month) because not only do you get a book, which is priced in that range by itself, but it’s signed and you get several other items. However, if I subscribed, I’d probably want either the Expert or Personalized plan, and that could get a bit pricey some months.
  • THE RETURN POLICY – At this time, you cannot return an Uppercase box for a refund. I understand this completely because it would get super crazy for them, and while I don’t personally have an issue with it, it’s something to be aware of.

Would I actually subscribe to the Uppercase Box? I’m not sure. I really did love the box, and I’m super excited to read the book and interact with the other readers. However, I’d probably prefer to get the Personalized plan, and $29/month is not always doable. I think the thing that makes me the most unsure is the gamble. I looked back through Uppercase’s past boxes, and there were a few books that I either had an ARC for or already owned (like I bought the book the day it came out because I couldn’t wait). I’m not sure I could justify paying that much money to get a book I already owned. On the other hand, I love the idea of surprise bookish mail handpicked by someone who really knows what they are talking about. I’ve got to think on this one.

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