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Sunday Shopping – OwlCrate January Unboxing

Little Prince Tea from First Edition Tea Co.:

Cost – US – 2.58, AUD – 3.35

Shipping – US – 6.18, AUD – 8.03

Thoughts – Eager to try but not completely hopeful.

Would I Buy It – Probably since I am not a huge fan of most teas.

Soap Book from TeaSoapBooks:

Cost – US – 7.21, AUD – 9.37

Shipping – US – 14.47, AUD – 18.82

Thoughts – While I normally only buy liquid soap I think I would have gotten one to test out.

Would I Buy It – Probably.

Bookmark from Lexy Olivia:

Cost – US – 8.24, AUD – 10.71

Shipping – US – 9.78, AUD – 12.72.

Thoughts – I think its so cute even though I have no idea where the quote is from

Would I Buy It – Yes and some other things from her shop too.

Phantom of the Opera Magnet from Sweet Sequels:

Cost – They don’t normally seem to sell magnets so this is a one off.

Thoughts – I am not a Phantom of the Opera fan so its not really something I am interested in.

Would I Buy It – Nope.

Calendar from Obvious State:

Cost – US – 24.71, AUD – 32.13

Shipping – US – 11.28, AUD – 14.66.

Thoughts – While cute it doesn’t quite suit my needs in terms of calendar.

Would I Buy It – Because I don’t like all the designs and the there is no space for writing I would not buy it.

Roseblood by A.G. Howard:

Cost – US – 15.29, AUD – 19.92

Thoughts – Not normally something I would pick up since I don’t like the story it was derived from.

Would I Buy It – Probably not.

What I Paid For The Box: US – 49.98, AUD – 69.21

Box Worth: US – 99.74+, AUD – 129.71+ 

Final Thoughts: Probably my least favourite one thus far but I will continue to buy.

Not the best one I have gotten before but I am still happy with the value and the overall experience so I shall continue to buy.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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3

Book Review – The Secret Garden

the secret garden

Title: The Secret Garden

Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Genre: Classic, Childrens,

Length: 341

Rating: 5 Star

Movie Reviews: 1993, 1994, 2001

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Description/Synopsis:

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. One day she learns of a secret garden in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Oh this book.

I love this book.

This is one of the books where I simply do not care if I already have two copies of it on my shelf, I will look at other pretty hardcover versions of it because I love it so much. And I will read all those different covers of it too. Right after I purchase them. This is simply just a stunning story.

The only thing I remotely question about this book is that its a children’s book. Its awfully sad and series to be a children’s book to me, but I suppose that is what makes adults love reading it to kids, that they can appreciate it on a deeper level than the children will be able to.

I loved the sad start to this story. The story starts in such a sad place and so does Mary, she is almost just a hollow human being, and she is just forgotten by everyone who was supposed to be looking after her when her parents died. She was nasty on the outside and hollow on the inside. No one gave her any kind of real love, and didn’t teach her how to be a real person.

But then she goes to this dark, cold and wet foreign place and discovers people who actually pay attention to her enough to actually care about the way she acts.  For the first time she sees others as people, and thinks about the way she should be treating them. Then she finds this secret little world that no one loves and no one wanted, and she feels a connection to it and begs to have her little bit of Earth. She wishes to help it grow and become whole again, and as she and the other children go there and grow and become more whole and beautiful people, so does the garden.

I loved all the characters, and I adored the comparisons between the two cousins. How they were different and how they were the same and the different places they had come from in life before they met each other.

I will grudgingly admit that I did feel some parts of the story dragged more then they needed to, but these were only the parts in the story were Colin was going on about how he wants to do scientific discoveries on magic, and how he was going to give grand speeches on the subject, while giving long speeches.

I cannot urge people to read this book more. This is a must read for anyone before they die. Don’t listen to the childrens category, adults will love it. I also think children in school will also love it, I know I did. Just go forth and read it. Just thinking about it makes me want to go read it again, and buy another copy.

 

Till next Time…

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Mini Mondays – Passion, Fallen In Love, The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Welcome to a new segment I am introducing to try and help keep me up to date with my reviews, even if I don’t have much to say about them. This segment is going to be called Mini Mondays. In these posts I will be reviewing about 3 books in a couple of paragraphs. Because of the size and nature of these reviews, they will generally only be 1-3 stars. I might as well get on with it now.

Tpassionitle: Passion [Fallen 3]

Author: Lauren Kate

Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Romance

Length: 420

Rating: 2 Star

Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

As some of you who have been following me for quite awhile, over two years ago I started reviewing the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. I reviewed Fallen and Torment and then the reviews stopped. This was for only one reason that up until I decided I would allow myself to do these mini reviews, I could not get past. I hated this book, and when I reviewing these books they were re-reads. I could not bring myself to read it for the third time (I read it twice because I forgot how much I hated it between its release and Raptures). I found this book to be completely pointless, and brought nothing to the story. There are only certain sections of this book that you actually need to read to know what on earth is happening in the last book. The story drags and just repeats itself over and over again. Part of me wants to let this detail go because Luce and Daniel’s story is very repetitive, but that doesn’t mean we needed to be reading about them at all. We got the idea of it when it was explained to us in the first 2 books.

So I am going to do something a little sacrilegious in the book community and basically suggest that you just skim read this book and avoid most of it. If it were not for those few moments on goodness or needed information, I would say just skip it. The Daniel chapters in the first half you can avoid all together.

 

Fallen-In-Love-cover-fallen-by-lauren-kate-26640712-1668-2524Title: Fallen In Love [Fallen 3.5]

Author: Lauren Kate

Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Romance

Length: 201

Rating: 2 Star

Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I feel a bit cheesy saying this but I will anyway, I did not fall in love with this book. We were given a number of stories to read about in the world of Fallen, which In theory could be really interesting. There are a wide variety of characters in this book and we do not know a lot of their backstories, which could be extensive when dealing with the lives of the angels on Earth. However, I found that I in general did not like the stories being told. The book in the Fallen series that I liked the least was the third book Passion, as you can see in my review above, and I found these stories were just more of the same rubbish we got in that book. The only story I liked in this book was the third story because we finally got Arianne backstory on how she got the scares that were such a big mystery in the main story but never got answered. I also found this one to be the best written. In the others I felt like the characters had lost their depth and were not acting like themselves, but with Arianne I didn’t have this issue.

If you liked the main series, and were driven crazy about what on earth happened to Arianne like I was, I would suggest picking up this book purely to read that story. I would even suggest skipping the other ones if they are not seeming too wonderful, since you will not be missing anything by not reading them.

picture of dorian grayTitle: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Author: Oscar Wilde

Genre: Classic, Gothic

Length: 214

Rating: 3 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Looking back on the comments I made about the book and the rating I gave it on goodreads, I am really surprised. In my head all I remember is totally hating this book and thinking it was one of the most boring books I have read with just horrible characters that just didn’t have any redeeming qualities.

When I actually stop to think about it though, I suppose it was not as bad as it came out to be in my mind. It did have series flaws that refrained me from putting it up anymore stars. In a style that I generally find in classics, certain parts of it just dragged on and on, and were painfully boring. Parts of the story held no purpose to the overall plot and were in there just as word filler. I remember hating Henry(?) and coming to hate Dorian, but I don’t think I had any issues with the rest of the characters.

I think if the book had of just focussed more on Dorian and his picture, and the fact he was struggling to stay beautiful on the inside while his picture made him beautiful on the outside. I would have loved more of a look at the fantasy element and the overall idea of what makes beauty and what we should seek in life. But those pointless and long bits just ruined the story for me.

Since my memory of the story was clouded by the bits I did not like, I cannot really say if anyone should read this book. I am most certainly not going to give it another try to find out.

3

Book Review – The Handmaid’s Tale

the handmaid tale

Title: The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Genre: Classic, Dystopian

Length: 324

Rating: 5 Star (4.5)

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Description/Synopsis:

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I love love loved this book.

I thought the plot was great. Dystopian is a genre I feel has sort of been played out a lot. While I still enjoy reading most of them I don’t find that I get anything new from them that often. I feel as of this book actually brought something new to the table.

I loved the plot. While I don’t consider myself a feminist I could nearly feel the spark in me after reading this book. The downfall of rights for women in this book just blew my mind, and we got the perspective of a woman who was considered as one of the ‘lucky’ ones. Just the thought of not being allowed to read killed me. Thats like my main joy in life, I don’t know what I would do with myself if it was illegal for me to read.

I was really absorbed in everything Offred was doing. All her memories of what things were like before really put lots of things in perspective to how she was living now. I both liked and didn’t like Offred. I admired that she could adapt, but some of her choices and thoughts drove me a little crazy. With her memories I don’t know how she doesn’t go crazy and just ruin the small bit of safety she has. I wanted her too.

The writing was beautiful. It only told you as much as you needed too know in a very subtle and very powerful way in which you cannot help but get swept up in.

I will put a warning in for the ending though. Just talking about the ending is really a spoiler so if you don’t want to know anything about it and the previous paragraphs got you interested go read the book and find out yourself. Now onto the ending. There are really two endings to this book. The second ending I don’t think should have been in there at all, it put me out of the feel of the story. The first ending was very open ended and this will annoy some. I am torn about it. I both liked it but I also really want closure.

There we have it folks. This was an amazing book but if you want closure I suggest thinking about it before you take a trip in this book. If you don’t mind pick it up right now, it was stunning.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – The Story of the Treasure Seekers

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Title: The Story of the Treasure Seekers [The Bastable Children 1]

Author: E. Nesbit

Genre: Childrens, Classics

Length: 202

Rating: 2

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Description/Synopsis:

When their father’s business fails, the six Bastable children decide to restore the family fortunes. But although they think of many ingenious ways to do so, their well meant efforts are either more fun than profitable, or lead to trouble.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I went into this book with mild interest. It had been on my shelf for ages and it wasn’t that I was ignoring it, it was just hat I have better things to read pretty much always. But I finally picked it up for the AYearAThon’s march theme of bench warmers. I was greatly underwhelmed.

The start of this book was pretty good. I liked the idea of this group of children doing their innocent ideas to try and help bring back their family fortune after their father tried very hard to try and hide the fact they were struggling from them. The ideas are exactly what a bunch of children would think of and the way they followed through with them was pretty cute, even if some of them were really stupid.

The characters themselves were alright, nothing amazing but nothing terribly dull. We don’t really get much of a view of the adults in this story because its not about them and the children don’t really spend much time with them at all. I did really like it though when we did finally get some time with their father and he begs them to not spend their money on anymore business ideas. I also really liked the chapter where they accidentally ‘capture’ a really nice robber which actually turned out to be one of their father’s friends.

The story itself though was very dull to me. It was ok to start off but when I got to about the middle, especially when I got to the chapter where the children write a newspaper, I was about ready to rip my eyes out. It was so boring. The story didn’t develop at all throughout the book and didn’t really move at all until the very end in the last few pages when everything gets wrapped up in a nice little package. Yes, the book is a children’s story, but that doesn’t give the author permission to not even try to make it a quality story. Parents/adults generally will be reading these stories to their kids and the story has to be enjoyable to those adults to otherwise the parents are not going to want to be reading that story to their kids. The story still has got to have depth and development in my opinions.

An excuse for the way that the story was written could be because the story its self is written by one of the children in the book after all these events have taken place. But the story didn’t really have much meaning. We could almost say that the innocence of children’s thinking and ways of going about things is something that adults need to connect with again to actually have a happy life and to move forward themselves, but I feel like I would be giving the book a bit too much credit if I said that.

I don’t really have much more to say about this story. It wasn’t my thing at all. If you have read and enjoyed it I would really like to know how you felt about it and what I may have been missing when reading this story. As it stands though I wouldn’t be recommending this book to anyone.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Little Women

Little-Women-by-Louisa-May-Alcott

Title: Little Women [Little Women 1]

Author: Louisa May Alcott

Genre: Classic, Young Adult

Length: 400

Rating: 2.5 rounded down to 2 Star

Series Review: 1, 1.5, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

Rich or poor. we will keep together and be happy in one another.

Christmas won’t be the same this year for Meg. Jo, Beth, and Amy, as their father is away fighting in the Civil War, and the family has fallen on hard times. But though they may be poor, life for the four March sisters in rich with colour, as they play games, put on wild theatrical, make new friends, argue, grapple with their vices, learn from their mistakes, nurse each other through sickness and disappointments, and get into all sorts of trouble.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I think this was something I needed to read at a younger age.

I can kind of see why they make people read it in school even though I didn’t have to. The main kind of theme to this book is appreciate what you have while you have it because it might not last long or things can change quickly. It also has a kind of underlying theme of working for what you want rather than being spoilt. As I have been doing all those things for many years now, this theme was just kind of obvious to me and didn’t really hold any interest.

I suppose following the antics of the girls was enjoyable enough for a time. I kind of cared about what they were doing and I felt a bit panicy when I thought one of them was going to die. I also was hoping that their father would return safely. Jo’s and the boy next doors relationships was very entertaining to me, and Beth was a sweetie.

But thats all that really held me captive. Liking the antics of children trying to grow up can only keep you entertained for so long and I soon was counting the pages until the book ended.

The style of the writing and the dialogue also had me cringing at times. While I get that there was a theme that was trying to be brought across, the characters talked like those really bad motivational cards and it drove me nuts. Yes, I got it. Work for what you want. Learn to take care of yourself. Blah Blah Blah. No one talks like that so please stop.

Despite how bored I was with this book towards the end, I am still planning on picking up the next one because perhaps now that they are larger and closer to me being able to relate to them I will find the book more enjoyable.

 

Till Next Time…