The Friday 56 [3]



The Friday 56 (with Instagram 56) – Hosted by Freda’s Voice is an easy prompt where you grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% on your eReader. Find a sentence that grabs you and post it either on your blog or on Instagram tagged with #Friday56.


“Libraries were full of ideas – perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

So I had seen this quote floating around the internet and I’m happy to see that it fell on one of my quote post days. It is true that books can help foster ideas which are powerful if you know how to use them. I will say that books have been a bit of my saving grace these past few months. I think my husband might have noticed a change too in how I’ve been acting. I received a diagnosis of depression back in middle school, along with ADD. Those paired along with the anxiety I have developed in college are a nasty combo. Books have been a great way for me to clear my head and to push the negative thoughts out the door. At least books are cheaper than therapy.

Do you relate to this passage in a way? Let me know in the comments!

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#WAYRW [4]


What Are You Reading Wednesday – Hosted by It’s a Reading Thing

A weekly feature where you can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog via the link up.


1. What’s the name of your current read?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.

“Above his unadorned white shirt was a fine cobalt-blue jerkin trimmed with gold. She would have snorted, but he did look rather good in his knee-high brown boots. And his leather belt did go nicely  – even though the hunting knife seemed a bit too bejeweled.”

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

I’m only a few pages in so far, so I’m not 100% sold on the world just yet. From what I have experienced so far, it seems that the ruling kingdom of the area Celaena is currently in uses their wealth too frivolously and is too hard on conquered people. So, with that being said, at this moment it’s a no.

I totally know that I’m WAY behind on reading this series (5 years too late), but I wanted to hear why others who enjoy SJM’s the A Court of Thorns and Roses series liked about the Throne of Glass series. Obviously, I’m a fan of the aforementioned series, but I need to keep reading ToG to see how I feel about it. It definitely starts off with a high-fantasy vibe which is WAY different than how ACOTAR started. I also have a crack-theory that the Fae that were driven out of the lands of Erilea are the same Fae that control the lands of Prythian.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Books on my Spring TBR

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Writing prompts (posted in advance) for “10 Books That …” and other bookish prompts in a list.

A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J. Maas
I haven’t had to wait as long as others, but I am super stoked to get my hands on this and to check out the ACOWAR book tour when it hits CT in May to meet SJM.

Blackhearts & Blacksouls – Nicole Castroman
I have heard a lot of buzz around this series. I was able to get my hands on an eARC of Blacksouls, so I made sure I got my hands on Blackhearts to read as well.

the handmaid's tale

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
I had read this a few years back for my Women’s Literature class in college and enjoyed it, but didn’t really have a lot sink in because who really retains books that are for work, rather than pleasure? I also want to re-read this before the TV show airs on Hulu. This was dystopian before dystopian was cool.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
This is something that I want to read for a multitude of reasons, mainly because as a white woman I have a lot of privileges that I sometimes take for granted. With today’s political and cultural climate, I want to know more to be a better ally.

the wrath and the dawn
The Wrath & The Dawn – Renee Ahdieh
So the cover was what drew me in to check this book out and the synopsis is what landed it on my TBR list. Plus, I want to read more diverse authors and situations than my normal fantasy go-tos.

Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas
So is my current read, but one that I wanted to start to hold me over until I get my hands on SJM’s next release in the ACOTAR series. Hopefully this series lives up to the hype I see surrounding it.

the lunar chronicles
The Lunar Chronicles – Melissa Meyer
I had been eyeing these books since they first came out, but it wasn’t until recently that I was able to pick them up to read. I’m a big fairy tale lover, so I’m always interested in retellings in all forms. I still need to pick up Cress & Winter.

Fangirl: A Novel – Rainbow Rowell
THIS HAS BEEN ON MY SHELF FOR AGES! I have no idea why I’ve let it sit so long, but I’m hoping to dig in soon.

the circle
The Circle – Dave Eggers
This was totally purchased because I’m loving the premise of the movie – and what do I do if I know a movie/TV show was sourced from a book? Well, I have to read the book ahead of time.

I think that’s a pretty solid TBR list so far for this spring. I’ll probably end up adding more as new books come out or come across my radar. I could probably keep adding to this list with all the books I want to get my hands on.

Anything good that you’re looking forward to read this spring?

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Saturday Shelves 3.11.17

Saturday Shelves

Saturday Shelves – Hosted by me, Literary Alchemy
This is about what books/bookish items you’ve added to your bookshelf, physically or electronically.

Since I missed posting last week, I’ll compile all the books and items I added to my shelf this week.
belle book store

Physical Books:

  • Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones
  • Matched – Ally Condle
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • Cinder – Marissa Meyer
  • Scarlet – Marissa Meyer
  • Endgame: The Calling – James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton
  • Blackhearts – Nicole Castroman
  • Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray*
  • The Sweet Far Thing – Libba Bray*
  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  • Witches of East End: A Novel – Melissa de la Cruz*
  • Trickster’s Choice – Tamora Pierce*
  • The Isle of the Lost – Melissa de la Cruz*
  • Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins*


  • 21 Ways to a Happier Depression – Seth Swirsky
  • Happy Pretty Messy – Natalie Wise
  • Geekerella – Ashley Poston
  • Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Vol. 1: Who is Oracle? (Rebirth) – Shawna & Julie Benson
  • Batgirl Vol. 1: Beyond Burnside (Rebirth) – Hope Larson
  • Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Die Laughing (Rebirth) – Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner

Bookish Things:

You may have noticed an asterisk * next to a few books I had picked up these past couple weeks. These are books I snagged from my local Goodwill and want to turn them into zippered book clutches. Some of the books I haven’t read, so I want to make sure that I read them before cutting the pages from the spine to make this IDY project. Feel free to check out my Instagram feed over at @literary.alchemy for any updates on this project.

Did you pick up any cool items this week?


Review: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

ensnared-cover-rita-stradlingTitle: Ensnared

Author: Rita Stradling

Published: Expected December 18, 2017

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Science Fiction, Retelling

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Kindle eBook, 380 pages

Source: NetGalley

Recommended For: Those who enjoy Beauty and the Beast with a futuristic/ science fiction twist

Goodreads Rating: 3.51

My Rating:✰✰✰

This was one of the first books that caught my eye when I had signed up for an account on NetGalley, it was definitely a cover buy. Though the second thing that had sold me on the story was that it was a futuristic retelling of Beauty and the Beast – which, as you can tell, is one of my favorite stories. I didn’t go in to reading the book with any expectations, but wanted to see who it would shape and mold the BatB story to this new genre. I’d honestly say that if I hadn’t been told that it was a retelling, it could probably stand on it’s own since a lot of the original was swapped in some way.

**Spoilers ahead**

Some of the differences I noted that were flipped were:

  • Plain, average girl VS. a brainy beauty.
  • Good-looking friend, who may have had an interest in Alainn VS. good-looking, hyper-masculine character fawning over said girl.
  • Cybernetic monkeys who stayed their form VS. magical, spell-bound household items who turned back into people.
  • Killer robot named Rose/Rosette who tries to “fix” humanity VS. magical rose that ticked down the remaining “humanity” in the Beast.
  • Scarred man, trying to understand human connections because he was deprived of them VS. man who had human connection, but lacked the empathy that mattered.

But there was so much more that stood out as unique to the story without the connection to BatB. I was happy to see that there was a backstory to the motivations in the main character, Alainn. I wish there had been more to the backstory of Lorccan because there were events in the story that didn’t seem too fleshed out and I needed to know more. It was also refreshing to see how Artificial Intelligence was portrayed in the book – each AI had their own personalities and it didn’t seem out-of-place in the story. This retelling had bits and pieces of the original but did a fantastic job (even if later on) fitting it into a complex, scientific setting.

But I have certain feelings about the book and some things that I need to know more. Such as:

  • They did a great job of making things scientific, but why wasn’t there more backstory on why Lorccan was holed up in his tower because of an auto-immune disease. At the end of the book, it seemed like the doctors at the hospitals thought he was making things up…did his parents just make him “think” he could die at any point because they were controlling/manipulative or did he REALLY have an issue.
  • What did Alainn’s father fraud-wise to get him into so much trouble? Even though he had a gambling problem, it didn’t seem like he didn’t deliver the goods.
  • The romance between Alainn and Lorccan – even though Alainn was “sent there” to be a test for Lorccan’s physical relationship with Shelly, he was under the impression she was a robot. What are the social implications of a human and robot having “relations” in this world? She literally becomes the one thing he clings on to and doesn’t care if she’s real or not and that just sits weird with me. Also, how in the world did he not KNOW she was a human. Being around robots all the time, he really believed whatever she said?!
  • The character names. Seriously…you have normal names like Colby, Terry, Shelly, etc. and the two main characters have the most complicated names ever. Alainn and Lorccan? Just because it is science fiction, doesn’t mean that the main characters have to have “unique” names to make them stand out.

In all, I enjoyed the story, but it didn’t WOW me like others I’ve read so far – the kind of WOW that causes a book hangover. I would recommend it to others based on interests or if they made specific requests on a recommendation.

*I received an eBook ARC of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest opinion/review. I thank the author for the opportunity to be able to do so.*


#WAYRW [3]

What Are You Reading Wednesday – Hosted by It’s a Reading Thing

A weekly feature where you can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog via the link up.


1. What’s the name of your current read?

Ensnared by Rita Stradling

2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.

“The banging on Alainn’s door came twenty-six hours after she missed dinner. Twenty-six hours in which she’d lain in the bed, unmoving in her underwear. At some point, she realized the necessity of food and found a sandwich with spongy and cold melted cheese waiting in its drawer. Later when she’d checked the restroom, she found all the womanly supplies she needed. It seemed that Rosebud 03AF planned to keep her humanity a secret. Alainn still hadn’t decided on whether she should.”

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

There hasn’t been much outside world development to make a choice based on that – this is a book set in the future, and I’m totally down for robots one day to help with day to day tasks and such, but so far I’m not sure I’m not sure if I want to live in this future or not. 

Is anyone else reading Ensnared? I was able to receive my copy to read from NetGalley and cannot wait to see how this book unfolds as a futuristic version of Beauty and the Beast.


February 2017: Monthly Wrap


So I’m a few days late into writing up my February wrap-up. Honestly, I totally don’t know where the time went. Seriously, how in the world are we already into March?! Maybe it’s because it’s absolutely freezing up here in the New England and there is a possibility for snow in the forecast this weekend, that makes it seem like March and Spring is too far away. It’s crazy that I started this blog a month ago and have already started making friends in the book community and even made it onto a street team to promote a book! I’m really hoping that by keeping this blog, I can start using it as a jumping point for landing a job closer to my degree (B.A. English). I’d honestly love to work with publishers in any way and this feels like a step in the right direction.

So, here’s the wrap up for the month:
I was able to get through 6 books this month! You’d think this wasn’t a big deal with someone who had to read all the time for their degree, but when it’s for pleasure that’s an awesome achievement. I am nowhere near getting through all the books I need to review for publishers or that have been sitting on my shelf, but if I can keep pushing through at that pace or more I will totally hit my goals. Speaking of goals, I’m reading 50 books in 2017 as far as my Goodreads Challenge goes. As of today, March 7th, I’m two books ahead of schedule! Not bad, considering that I started reading at the end of January and was almost 3 weeks behind in the 2017 challenge. You can see what books I’ve read for the year here.
Out of the books that I have read for February, they all were fantastic. I have to give a shout-out to all the Bookstagrammers for posting such fantastic books to check out. I’ve been completely enraptured by the A Court of Mist and Fury fandom and CANNOT WAIT until May for A Court of Wings and Ruin. I need my Rhysand fix and my In The Wick of Time candle only does so much. You can get the candle for yourself here. Another surprising book that I was hesitant about amidst the praise, was Caraval. A lot of readers said that it was comparable to Night Circus – I wasn’t overly thrilled or majorly disappointed in the book, it was just okay for me. I didn’t realize it was a part of a series, so with the cliff-hanger ending of Caraval, I’m pretty exited to see what happens.
This month also brought with it a lot of access to Advance Reader Copies (ARC) of books not out to the public. I had never had the chance to ever get my hands on ARCs or really understood them until talking with a few friends and fellow bloggers about them. Now I have a full eShelf of them to work through reading and get feedback to the authors and publishers! One that I am so excited about being released this year is Roar. I don’t want anyone to think I’m biased (I’m on the promotional street team after all), but it’s such a great start to, what I’m pretty sure will be, an amazing series. You can read past blog posts that contain snippets in a few older posts of mine. I just cannot get over the concept of storm-welding in this book! I think, like a lot of people, we are always fascinated by storms/weather. There is some sort of magic to be had in them, even if we can explain how they’re formed through science. There’s a wonder to it when you see lightning jump from cloud to cloud or how destructively beautiful a tornado is. I could gush on and on about this book and the weather…but you’ll just have to keep an eye on my blog for the full review closer to it’s release, June 13th. Tor Teen, you definitely found something special for trusting in Cora Carmack with this story.

Can’t wait to see what March brings for the blog and what books I’ll read.

Have a magical day!