Reviews

Let's talk about books! #2

As I've previously said in my first bookish post, I just recently got bit by the reading bug again.

The biggest change for me, has been switching from paper books to ebooks. I know for a fact that this choice will make some of you cringe, and although just a few months ago I would have agreed with you, I must admit that it made my reading productivity skyrocket. Nothing will ever be better than a deliciously smelling paper book, and I will most certainly keep buying the printed version of the books I like best, but for now, I'm sticking to the Kindle app if it helps me keep up with my readings. ☺

Now, it probably has to be said that I mostly read at night, before going to sleep. My bed doesn't have a headboard and there's a gap between it and the wall, so I can't just sit and read a book like a normal person would. I don't know, it's kinda weird to explain, but anyway, now that I have an eReader, I can just lay on my side like a (book)worm and enjoy my book without having to deal with awful neck pain in the morning.

Anyway, since one of my NY resolutions was to read at last five books, I wanted to share this accomplishment with you all! These are the first five I've read so far:

We Were Liars by e. lockhart (★★★★ reviewed here)

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (★★)

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (★★★★)

The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre (★★★ reviewed here)

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (★★★ reviewed here)

And you, have you read anything so far this year? And what do you think of ebooks?

ƒ. xx

We Were Liars - book review & illustration

cadence-sinclair.jpg
"Your hair is black,” says Bonnie. “You look like a dead vampire."

Very late on the bandwagon, a few nights ago I download "We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart, a book that if you - like me - frequent the bookish side of Youtube, or just any other book circle, really, you most certainly have heard everyone raving about it since last summer.

Synopsis

The Sinclair family owns their own private island off of Martha’s Vineyard, where they spends their summers holidays. The story is narrated by Cadence, whom is suffering from amnesia after a terrible accident she can’t remember.

Review

I'll keep it spoiler free and won't go into details, but let’s just say that when Cadence returns to the island, two years after the accident, she finds herself dealing with a dark family secret while finding out the truth of what happened to her.

This is the first book by E. Lockhart I've read, but I must say, I enjoyed her writing style a lot. There are many metaphors, or should I say poetic descriptions, throughout the book, that makes it even darker than it already is. I loved that.

I enjoyed We Were Liars, especially for the amazing writing, but I was able to figure out the plot twist within the first half of the book. It is in fact, quite a short book (~240 pages) and because of it, the characters and the story felt a little bit underdeveloped. As soon as I finished it, I felt a little disappointed because I wish I had given the chance to read more about the characters, because besides some - albeit accurate - descriptions, you don't really get to know them.

On the other hand, even if I praised the writing, there's one thing about it I did not particularly liked, which is the sudden change of style from novel, to novel-in-verse - I felt it was unnecessary and I perceived it as an attempt to make it sound deeper than it actually was. Which is something I encounter a lot in YA books, and the reason why I do not gravitate towards them anymore.

All in all, it's a good read: short and sweet. Well, not literally sweet, it's actually quite bitter, but still, if you're looking for an easy read, go for it, it's worth it.

Price: ~$8 Paperback / ~4$ Kindle
My vote: ★★★★

Finally, the one above is an illustration I did while reading it, of how I imagine Cadence to look!

And you, did you read it? I'd love to know what you thought of it! 

PS. I just made a Goodreads account if you want to be friends there!

ƒ. xx

EDIT: ..so, this happened:

Stationery Spotlight: Winged Snail Mail Minizine

A while back, Sarah kindly sent me a copy of the zine I was featured in with an interview about the Postal Society, and today, I'm going to tell you a little bit more about it!

'Winged Snail Mail' is a 32 pages zine about snail mail and related topics.

As mentioned above, you'll find interviews, but also a few interesting articles that focus on different aspects of snail mail, cool ideas for things to include in your letters (such as mail tags), and even tutorials for crafts you can use to easily embellish your letters ☺

The price is $3 and it's more than fair! Let me know if you pick it up and what you think about it!

ƒ. xx

P.S. Sarah's next zine will be typewriter themed! She's currently accepting submissions until May, so if you have anything cool to share, check this out!

BOOK REVIEW: BOOK FOR PAPER LOVERS vol 2

Flow Magazine’s “Book for Paper Lovers” vol 2

If you don't already know, Flow Magazine is a Dutch magazine (but with English editions as well) that is all about paper, creative inspiration, stationery and all that good stuff. Last year they released a book titled Book For Paper Lovers, and the second edition came out on November 18th, and of course I had to put my hands on it. I reviewed the first one here, and today I thought I'd give you a quick rundown of what's inside this one in case you may want to pick this up for Christmas.

If the first book left a lot of us speechless for the huge quantity of paper goodies included, this one will double, if not triple up that number, since the graphics included are even prettier than the preceding edition.

Something that makes this book amazing as it is, is the chance of flipping through the pages and discover and admire one by one all the cutesy stickers, the letter paper, the fun craft projects.. so I won't be including lots of pictures in this post, you're gonna have to know just enough about it, and you're gonna have to get it to uncover this magic paper world!

Some of the things you're gonna find inside include: mini postcards, buntings, tags, letter paper, envelopes… address labels, beautiful quotes, wrapping paper, quirky and interesting crafts projects, such as an adorable raccoon paper doll.. and much more!

Bottom Line

Price: ~$19 USD
My vote: ★★★★★

If you're a paper junkie and need a versatile paper source in your life, get this book, seriously, what are you waiting for?! It also makes a wonderful gift for the paper lover in your life ♥

If you have this book, please let me know how you're planning on using it, and which paper goods are your favorite!

ƒ. xx

Book review: Book for Paper Lovers

Flow Magazine’s “Book for Paper Lovers”

If you don't already know, Flow Magazine is a Dutch magazine (but with English editions as well) that is all about paper, creative inspiration, stationery and all that good stuff. Last year they released a book titled Book For Paper Lovers, and since a second edition is coming out on November 18th, I thought I'd review the first one (which is still available on their website) so that if you're a paper fan as well, you may consider checking it out;

Very rarely I’ve seen a book perfectly described by its 4 letters title like this one is.

The “Book for Paper Lovers” is exactly what it says it is, if not more!

It is in fact a collection of more than 300 stationery goodies that are so varied and beautifully illustrated, that are sure to fit anyone’s liking.

Whether you love tea, animals, flowers, architecture and whatnot, you'll definitely find something in that theme in the book. 

Inside, you’ll find gorgeous mini postcards, tags, letter paper, envelopes… beautiful quotes, wrapping paper, quirky and interesting crafts projects, such as a pop-up page and a "peep box" to assemble.

Literally, a little bit of everything for all your paper needs.

Oh and, did I mention stickers? Because there are tons of them in it, too.

If you’re into snail mail like me, not only you are going to love this book, but your penpals will love you as well if you’ll send them any of the goodies included, I can vouch for that!

Bottom Line

Price: ~$19 USD
My vote: ★★★★½

Definitely get this book if you love paper goods (duh!), stationery, letter writing, or even if you just want pretty things to decorate your walls with!

If you have this book, let me know how do you like it, and which paper goods are your fave!

ƒ. xx

Book Review: Unstuck

“Unstuck: 52 Ways to Get (and Keep) Your Creativity Flowing at Home, at Work & in Your Studio” by Noah Scalin

I have a really bad habit, which is not reading reviews before I buy a book; all I read is the general description on Amazon or Goodreads, because I want to avoid any type of spoiler.

Sometimes it’s a good choice as I get to fully discover the book without any type of bias, but some other times, like in this particular case, reading a review would have saved me $15.

Unstuck presents itself to be a collection of projects tailored to help stuck artists to find their lost mojo, and suffering from the occasional artist block myself, I thought it would have been a perfect artifact to get my creative juice flowing again… but I was wrong.

Although the project are very nicely organized in time categories (from 30 second projects, to one hour ones, and even multi hour ones!), the tasks themselves lack a little bit of consistency; what I mean by it, is that the majority of them are more of an inspirational prompt to make you change your perspective on things, and not actual “art” prompts to stimulate your creative bone.

Many of the tasks require writing (e.g. haikus, memoirs) and as a visual artist, I have no interest in them. Some others, require interaction with people, being outdoor, and although the premises are interesting, in substance I would find it really hard to actually accomplish them in my everyday life.

It has to be said, however, that a few prompts are actually really good and stimulating, but overall, they aren’t enough to “save” the book for me.


Bottom Line

Price: $17.99 USD
My vote: ★★☆☆☆

I would suggest this book if you’re a “jack of all arts” and enjoy a little bit of everything, from writing to people watching, but I wouldn’t suggest this book to who’s primarily a visual artist, as there are very few actual artsy prompt in it.

What about you? Have you read it? I'd love to hear your opinion on it as well, let me know!

ƒ. xx