Oct 21

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Book Reviews, Books/Writing 2 ★★★★

Book Review: Stalking Jack the RipperStalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
Published by Jimmy Patterson on September 20th 2016
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Goodreads four-stars

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


This was my Creepy Cover pick for the Halloween Read-a-thon (hosted by the lovely Lauren at Wonderless Reviews)! So far, out of three Halloween reads, it’s been my favorite. 🙂

First of all, look at that gorgeous cover! I could practically reach out and touch the silk of that dress. Also I swear I see blood on the knife, every time I see it out of the corner of my eye. But when I look at it closely, of course there’s nothing there. And that, my friends, is why this was my Creepy Cover. Because no matter how many times I look at it…I see that blood (it’s probably the combination of the lip color with the knife when I just glance at it…but still). Oh, and inside at many of the chapter beginnings, there are these AWESOME old creepy pictures.

Like this.

Like this. Courtesy Wikipedia.

I’m fascinated by unsolved true crime. Yes, I am one of those people. At the same time, I like keeping a semi-safe distance between me and the crime. Hence, Jack the Ripper fits the bill because he’s obviously dead by now. Phew. All the same, this book raised the hairs on the back of my neck. While simultaneously causing me to tear up in the final chapter. Like what IS this mix of emotions, even?!?

Audrey is a scientifically minded young woman with a backbone of steel. She is fascinated with the human body and despite the VERY suspicious appearances, studies under her uncle, a professor with an unsettling obsession with the dead (now we call it forensic science). I love the way she flaunts society while at the same time enjoying what fashions suit her own fancy. Of course, this also involves disobeying her extremely protective father, who honestly comes across as rather unhinged after the passing of her mother. She still cares deeply for him, despite her constant frustrations with the limitations forced on her. Audrey’s brother, Nathaniel, is another sympathetic character. He deals with the loss of their mother much differently, seeming to have picked up and moved on as a sadder, melancholy person concerned only with his family and holding them together. Her motivation for studying science above and beyond what’s considered proper really resonated with me:

It was then that I knew I’d rely on something more tangible than holy spirits. Science never abandoned me the way religion had that night…God no longer held dominion over my soul.

Yessssss. I’ll join you in hell, dear sister.

Ahem. Moving on. *insert “Fight Song” playing in the background*

Then there is Thomas, the quirky, socially awkward student with the face of an angel and tongue of a viper. He’s annoying in an endearing sort of way. Every time I was about to be all, “Awwwww,” he would make some other caustic remark that made me want to slap him. Like for real slap, not pretend slap. He gets better and we get inside his crusty exterior more and more as the story goes on, though, and by the end I was feeling very charitable towards him, indeed. In the way one feel charitable to a naughty but adorable puppy.

Yep. Like that.

The hunt for the serial killer (a term not yet coined) Jack the Ripper – first called Leather Apron by the press (look at me, learning things!) keeps the plot moving along briskly. The attention to historical detail in this book is AWESOME, even if there were a few liberties taken that made me roll my eyes. Like at one point Audrey’s cousin says women should be able to wear a certain type of clothing to “go to work.” Um…wealthy women in the 1880s most definitely did not “go to work.” Just saying. I understand Audrey is something of a revolutionary, but to maintain believability I think a couple things like that should have been edited out. I do love the way she comes into her own through the story, and THAT part is handled exceptionally well.

“This who deserve respect are given it freely. If one must demand such a thing, he’ll never truly command it. I am your daughter, not your horse, sir.”

The creep factor is amazing. At first I thought it was going to be relatively tame (flaying bodies open and lots of blood really don’t bother me, ummm…sorry?), but the psychological aspect of it really starting affecting me about a third of the way in and I couldn’t put it down at all! I started it in bed one night…and quickly decided to finish the rest in broad daylight. 😛 I was by turns fascinated, horrified, and at the last just so very sad. The foreshadowing was incredible – which means it was so skillfully done that I was completing flailing in chapter before the reveal and while I felt completely broadsided, immediately saw the clues I’d missed.

My biggest issue with the book is actually the romance. Thankfully, it’s more of a sub-plot, but I think the whole thing would have been better by just hinting at possibilities to come instead of anything actually happening. In the first several chapters it’s WAY too distracting and it really seems out of place for Aubrey’s character. Contrary to popular opinion, it seems, I think you can have a very successfully told YA story without having any romance at all. Sometimes “just-friends” friendships are the strongest ones we have.

Overall, 4 out of 5 stars.

Monsters were supposed to be scary and ugly. They weren’t supposed to hide behind friendly smiles and well-trimmed hair. Goodness, twisted as it might be, was not meant to be locked away in an icy heart and anxious exterior. Grief was not supposed to hide guilt of wrongdoing.




Oct 20

A New Home for the Bent Bookworm!

Books/Writing, Life 0


So I’ve been a little quiet over the last couple of days. Rest assured, I’ve still been reading – but I’ve also been waiting to get all the new hosting and website set up! I’m still learning a lot, buuuut…

Here we are! I’m so excited to have this new, prettier, lighter version of The Bent Bookworm up and ready to go. I’m still figuring out all the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, but Ashley at NoseGraze has helped me out with EVERYTHING and just overall been TOTALLY AWESOME. 😀 There are so many more options with this hosting and I can’t wait to make use of them all! Especially, as I mentioned before, the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin, that’s going to enable me to include SO much more information with book reviews, as well as organize all the book reviews on the blog into indexes. All this without doing tons and tons of typing and linking over and over and OVER again. 😀 😀 😀 Very, very happy little book blogger here. Please explore a bit and tell me what you think! Also be patient as I figure things out. There may be some hiccups and things may move around a little more. I’m so happy with it though, it feels much more like home than before. 🙂

Reviews from now on will be formatted a bit differently, and I’m going to try to go back to some older ones and add in some info that will add them to the new review index(es).


My Halloween Read-A-Thon is still going…however I’ve had to change one book due to…er…losing it. I’m still so upset that I can’t find my copy of The Architect of Song. I think I might have accidentally donated it to the library. 🙁 Also, I had to DNF Something Wicked This Way Comes. So that was a bit of a downer.


Oct 18

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Snowfang Bride

Books/Writing, Giveaways 0

I’m excited to be participating in this book blitz for Merry Ravenell’s new release! I haven’t read any of her other work, but I have a soft spot for werewolf stories and this just sounds like fun. It’s available in paperback and also for e-readers. Amazon and Barnes and Noble both have the electronic version for 99 cents at the time of this writing. I bought a copy and hope to write an actual review in a few weeks! Sounds like it’s a good one to curl up with as the weather gets colder. Take a minute to enter the giveaway at the bottom, after you read the short, slightly steamy excerpt. 😉

The SnowFang Bride
Merry Ravenell
(Snowfang #1)
Publication date: October 11th 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal

Centuries of political games killed most of the female werewolves. Now only a few survive, and the Elders work to change the old ways of thinking.

Winter, the only daughter of the SilverPaw Alpha, finally meets the soul Gaia has chosen for her: Sterling, the cold, demanding, and entirely-too-human Alpha of the tiny SnowFang pack.

Thrust into a world of human wealth for which she was never prepared, Winter must become Sterling’s flawless wife and Luna from the moment she arrives. The city is full of threats, both werewolf and human, and Sterling’s past is full of secrets best left undisturbed.

When they are betrayed by those closest to them, Winter and Sterling embark on a dangerous game of brinkmanship that will change their lives, and the future of the werewolves, forever.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks


Sterling had been prepared to be resentful and distrustful of me, certain I was playing along with some ploy to part him from a large chunk of his wealth, or ruin him in some way. Knowing that wasn’t the case after all had to have been the final insult. Him thinking he had been bullied and played, just to find out he wasn’t even worth toying with.

Sadly, for both of us, this wasn’t as simple as me being my father’s pawn.

It would have been a hell of a lot more straightforward if I was bait, and Sterling the nice woolly sheep being led in for fleecing.

Him sleeping apart from me wouldn’t make things any better between us, or easier on the pack. It’d make things worse.

Sterling’s lips compressed a little tighter.

“I won’t make off with your virtue,” I told him.

A glint in his hazel eyes, like a knife twitching in and out of direct light. He leaned forward, his voice like a hand through my fur, “Whatever virtue I had was made off with long ago.”

A little color crept to my cheeks, my insides squirmed, but not from fear. What would those hands feel like on my skin? Rough like the scrapes and callouses on them, or gentler? Angry, perhaps. His fingers pulling through my hair, perhaps just a little too rough.

One thing at a time. Maybe I should find out how his hands got that scraped up before I let him touch me with them.

Sterling kept watching me, observing, learning my every nuance and tick, as mates—especially Alphas—will do. He came to the conclusion my body wasn’t actually on offer just yet. “You trust me to not lay a paw upon you.”

“Should I not?” I asked.

He leaned closer, his breath on my cheek, his lips very close to mine. “When I shake off the shock, Winter, I would not trust me.”

His words were like a rough caress, sending fire over my skin and a single shock through me. Desire overrode the haze of rattled anger and insult. I think I might have whispered something monosyllabic, and certainly imbecilic. It didn’t matter. He closed the final breath of distance between us, his strong body pressed mine against the wall, and kissed me.

I had never been kissed like that. Hard. Rough. Hungry.

My fingers found his shirt and jawline, one set twisting into the fabric, the other raking fingernails along his flesh, enjoying the painful bristle of his unshaven skin.

He grabbed a handful of my thigh, lifted me against him, his touch rough and everything I had never known I needed. No, not rough enough, not nearly enough. He felt so strong, so solid, so rough under those tailored human clothes.

I gathered myself and pried him back a few degrees. “Not tonight,” I breathed. “Gaia may have chosen you for me, but I want to see why.”


Author Bio:

Merry leads a heavily caffeinated lifestyle offset by the occasional 5K or 10K. She lives in the North Bay area of CA with her husband and fellow author, David, plus their two cats.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Oct 17

Book Review: Throne of Glass

Books/Writing, Quotable, Reviews 0


Yes, I’m just now reading this book. 😛 I was very late to the Sarah J. Maas train, only discovering her books after the publication of A Court of Mist and Fury. I was intrigued by reviews I saw of THAT book, and on the strength of those alone I read A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first in that series (which I wasn’t entirely on board with but then there was a horribly cliffhanger ending sooooo) quickly followed by ACOMAF, and I’ve been obsessed with the series ever since. Naturally I wanted to read her original series as well, but to be honest I’ve been a little scared. What if I don’t like it as much? What if I just think it’s crap compared to ACOTAR? Such high expectations. Honestly though, I was kind of braced to not like it, as everyone kept saying (as with ACOTAR) not to judge the entire series off the first book. So, SJM, I love you, but something about your first book game isn’t quite meshing with me…or maybe I just take a long time to fully commit to characters. Hrm. Anywho.


This is my Treat choice for the Halloween Read-A-Thon!

I have done my best to avoid spoilers and there are definitely no plot spoilers! However if you don’t want to know ANYTHING about the characters you might not want to read.

Throne of Glass launches us into what promises to be an epic fantasy adventure. I love the way we’re immediately thrown in with Celaena in a dangerous, scary situation because I, naturally, want to know HOW THE FUCK she ended up there. Also how she can seem to be so young and yet so skilled, so brutal…and yet so obsessed with frilly dresses.

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Both of these are totally Celaena. I’m still not sure how she does it or why, especially as she even notes that all the layers of skirts hamper her fighting skills. Only somehow she doesn’t seem to get caught in particularly bad situations while all dolled up. Hmm.

The forest was different here. The leaves dangled like jewels – tiny droplets of ruby, pearl, topaz, amethyst, emerald, and garnet; and a carpet of such riches coated the forest floor around them. Despite the ravages of conquest, this part of Oakwald Forest remained untouched. It still echoed with the remnants of the power that had once given these trees such unnatural beauty.

Maas has created a beautiful world that is by turns thrilling, intriguing, and terrifying. I would like to visit, but retain the option to return to my own world with the push of a button. 😛 Because Cain and those demon things were scary AF, and the king gives me nasty chills. I want to know all about it though, and I feel like there is SO MUCH that still needs explaining. Where did the current King of Adarlan come from? What happened to Celaena’s family and why? Why is Dorian so very unlike his father? Who is Chaol, really? How did the magic of Adarlan just…die? Where did the Faery people go?

The plot really moves along at a good clip. I loved the constant suspense of waiting for each new test of the Champions, and seeing who would be eliminated or die trying. I also really enjoyed the continuous building of tension in the court, as Celaena tries over and over to piece things together as she gains new information.  It all flows smoothly leading up to the final duel…except that Kaltain’s part seemed rather forced and contrived, to me…of course there is someone like her in EVERY court (usually several), but it was just very convenient and felt a bit out of place.  Maybe part of that was due to the influences on her, I’m not sure.

There are a couple of tropes here, and I spotted them almost as soon as the book started. I took notes as I rolled my eyes around page 47. Verbatim: “Celaena is naturally the most gorgeous woman at court, both the captain and prince will fall in love with her, and the prince is possibly/probably not the prince at all.” I was slightly annoyed.


Not this AGAIN.

HOWEVER. The love triangle was handled much better than a lot that I’ve seen, and the special snowflake turned out to be a special snowflake through much hard work, not just being born to it. Why does she have to be so gorgeous that practically every man falls at her feet? With the exception of the other Champions, thank the gods that be. But the constant references to her beauty in the first part of the book were really annoying. Blah. The love triangle was slow in the build-up, and if I hadn’t already seen so many memes and fangirl sites over ToG I might not have been so sure about it early on (thanks, interwebz), but I still feel like it was pretty obvious.

As I’ve said many times, characters are what really make a book for me. This one is STUFFED FULL of wonderful amazing people that I want to go live with. They are flawed – each and every one of them. They do annoying things that make me want to choke them. (Chaol, anyone?) They also have pasts that I am DYING to find out about because they are such strong people but they have scars and tender spots that show through now and again and yet NO. Apparently I must wait for the next book (which, not to worry, has already been requested from the library).

“Second place is a nice title for the first loser.”

Ah, Celaena, our heroine. Despite her annoyingly perfect body and face (even with her time in the mines and the abuse to the rest of her body, her face was somehow left alone), she’s definitely someone I’d want in my corner. She’s got a backbone of steel, a quick mind, and…well, she’s The Assassin. She’s been hurt, and horribly. But she hasn’t entirely hardened herself again the entire world yet. She is, however, a badass with a flair for the dramatic, and she likes attention.

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

Also, she loves books and good food. Seriously, the descriptions of the library in Rifthold made me feel lightheaded and all delicious food she was forever gobbling down kept me feeling hungry. Thankyounotreally.

 “I can survive well enough on my own— if given the proper reading material.”

Girl after my own heart, I’m telling you. Such a fighting and adventurous spirit – and yet she loves books.

She had often wished for adventure, for old spells and wicked kings. But she hadn’t realized it would be like this – a fight for her freedom. And she’d always imagined that there’d be someone to help her – a loyal friend or a one-armed soldier or something. She hadn’t imagined she would be so…alone.


No, they’re not brothers, but they might as well be.

Dorian and Chaol – best friends consisting of the crown princeling and captain of the guard – are…well, they’re just sweethearts and good guys. Dorian more openly so. Chaol is, to be honest, something of an ass, but underneath it is a soft heart that shows through from time to time and I just want him to be able to open up and trust SOMEBODY. Geez Louise, but the man seems to wear his tough guy armor 24/7 . Dorian, on the other hand, needs to grow a pair (he’s working on it, I know I know but come ON). I am solidly team Chaol, at the moment. Also, not going to spoil for anyone that hasn’t read it but…Celaena NAILED IT towards the end of the book, when dealing with these two. HATS OFF. YOU GO GIRLFRIEND. Now that, took guts.

Oh, but back to other characters. There is of course Princess Nehemiah, who is very intriguing indeed and has me dying of curiosity about her country and magic and all the sparkly creepy things she seems to know about. I’m sure we will see more of her. There’s also Nox, who I’m NOT sure we will see more of but I hope we do. The most intriguing side character by FAR though, is Elena…who I can’t really discuss without giving stuffs away. Mph.

“You could be great. You could rattle the stars. You could do anything if only you dared.”

SO MUCH POTENTIAL IN THIS BOOK. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Now that the competition is over but ALL the dastardly schemes are just getting started.

That said, I’m giving 3.5/5 stars. It definitely got better as the story progressed, but I did a lot of eye-rolling during the set-up, and still feel like the love triangle itself was/is unnecessary, even if the characters are definitely not. Also I’m still not sure on the prince thing, nothing else ever happens to make us think that Dorian isn’t the prince, but for some reason it’s still in the back of my mind.




Oct 16

Something Else Sunday #12 – The Beginning of a Love Affair, Part 2

Books/Writing, Life, Musings 6


Mid-yawn funny face. Still cute.

It’s Sunday again! I’m in the middle of a 24 hour shift at work (which basically involves sitting at a desk, being available, and awake…not a lot of actual work). Still waiting on the new domain to transfer over so I can start blogging over there…I’m sooooo excited and feel like I can’t possibly wait another day but wait I must. 😛

This week I’m continuing my story from last week’s Sunday. Like I said: I’m doing something a little unusual, a departure from my typical Sunday posts. Why? I just felt like something different, and this idea had been knocking around in my head for awhile. It’s my story, one that’s still growing, but the beginning, at least, I can tell because it’s over and done with. This part sounds kind of like a downer…but it gets better! Also, even if it’s depressing or sad, it’s still MY STORY and deserves to be told. If it can help even one person realize that they are worthy of happiness and fulfillment in life, than it’s worth writing.

(Read part 1 first)

The little girl was growing up very fast, now. Pain has a way of doing that.

People kept asking her what she wanted to do. She was good at writing. Or she had been. She loved books. But she wanted to go places, do things, and help people. She wanted adventure. Some people kept putting pressure on her to be a teacher, be a writer…but she knew in her heart that while she loved those things, she didn’t want to make a career of them. Reading and writing were her joys, her relaxation, her outlet, and to her it just didn’t make sense to make a job of it. Odd as it was, given her other interests – medicine, the science of the human body, and to some extent the biology of the entire world, was her real driving interest. 

About her junior year of high school, she started writing again. Non-fiction now, more than before. Her fiction seemed uninspired, and her lack of experience annoyed her. She felt she couldn’t write a good, realistic story – even of the fantasy type – without more experience with people and places than she had, and it frustrated her. 

It came time to make decisions about college, and she let certain people push her away from what she wanted to be her life work. She majored in English. 

About this time too, there was this guy. 

She was angry about a lot of things, and so was he. She was in love. She thought they needed each other. She thought they would make each other happy. So she married him. 

Turned out, he was really very bad for her. He cut her down in all kinds of little ways, and told her he was intimidated that she was good at – better than, he thought – he was at a lot of things. Like writing. He was a writer. He was going to be an author. And her writing – that she already thought was rather shoddy and miserable – intimidated him. 

She loved him. She didn’t want to make him feel bad. So she stopped writing all together. She wanted to be a supportive wife, so obviously making herself smaller or giving up part of herself for him was the proper course of action. 

Little did she know how far down a dark road that way of thinking would lead her, and how long it would take her to come back to the light. But this was still the beginning.


She finished her degree, and was so tired of picking apart books and essays for hidden meanings that she quit reading almost completely for about two years. During this time she had developed a rather snobbish attitude about popular literature (no Twilight or smutty romances for HER, thankyouverymuch), so the idea of picking up something that might be lighter, easier, more FUN to read, was out of the question.

But she had graduated, and that meant she could go on to other things now. Things that interested her, that set her brain racing, that made her stretch her mind and grow new thought pathways. So she went to phlebotomy school – it was the only medical course she could afford. 

She passed with flying colors. Her patients loved her. She loved working with all the different people, learning new things every day, playing with all the different machines and tests. This, THIS was what she was made for.

The books – she still loved books. In a way she still loved writing. But nothing had made her feel alive like this before, even though her job was a very simple one. Funny thing though, working this job – rekindled her love of reading. It was as though working a job so far removed from books, writing, and the literary world in general, made it come back into focus for her. 

Slowly, she began to realize that she didn’t necessarily have to make a choice. Even more slowly, she began to realize that it was okay to good at something and be proud of that thing. But she still had a long way to go.

To be continued next week (final part)…


Oct 15

Book Review: The Werewolf of Paris

Books/Writing, Reviews 9


This is my first finished read for the Halloween Read-A-Thon being hosted by the lovely Lauren at Wonderless Reviews! You can see my complete list in my first post. I picked an older book because I wanted to see some of the beginnings of modern paranormal literature.

19119826 The Werewolf of Paris was first published in 1933. The writing style is definitely of the age, but it also shows marks of the beginnings of modern day novel writing. Apparently they liked their smut in the 1930s too, they just tended to be more embarrassed about it. 😛 The first few chapters in this book made me think that maybe this was going to be more of a bodice-ripping paranormal than I was anticipating, but after the initial set-up most of that dies off. There’s only a few particularly descriptive passages.

Bertrand Caillet is the main character, but his story is mostly told by others – a young American who finds a written account of his crimes, and his adoptive uncle (the writer of the account).

The first third of the book has an entirely different flavor than the later parts. It sets up the story of Bertrand’s parents, leads us up to the full onset of his condition, and generally paints him as a sympathetic character. There is a lot of action and a decent amount of dialogue. After Bertrand’s arrival in Paris as a young man, however, the narrative devolved horribly into a dry, boring history lesson on the Franco-Prussian War – I had SO MUCH trouble staying focused!

I really struggled with how Bertrand was portrayed. As I said, at first he seems like a truly sympathetic character – his werewolf nature is in his blood, it’s not something he asked or encouraged. His uncle keeps anything he learns about it from him. He is locked up as a teenager, a prisoner in his own house. He believes his rampages are dreams. So far, so empathizing. BUT. THEN. He begins to figure it out…and he doesn’t fight against it, at least not at first. He is only conscious of his need and desire…he feels shame and sadness when he comes to himself, but he doesn’t truly seek for a cure until later. His relationship with Sophie was truly sad…all the passion of young love (though, what HER mental issues were, I never quite figured out) with so much sickness and no help at all offered to them. No one took pity, no one tried to truly understand, they just tried to force them into acceptable societal roles. 🙁

Overall, this book didn’t strike me as a horror novel, but more of a tragedy. Even reading it after dark didn’t help with that! I even took it to bed with me and read IN the dark with my backlight…yeah, not scary. I’m giving 3/5 stars. While of course there are some gruesome bits…I was mostly just overwhelmed by sadness for Bertrand, for Sophie, and for their families. Not the thriller/scary book I was hoping for.

That said, I can definitely see where this was an influential book for paranormal movies and novels in the modern world. Now I really want to delve into the history of the legends!


Oct 13

Review: September 2016 OwlCrate

Books/Writing, Uncategorized 7

I’m back again with another OwlCrate review! I love this subscription box so much, I could marry it. This is the September “Darkness” themed box and it was a-maz-ing as always. Once again, they managed to send me a book that had been on my wishlist since well before it was released – bravo, guys! It also included a mini-candle, a bath bomb, and some other stuff. Candles – bravo again! I adore candles. Possibly even more than Funkos. They go with my decor better, anyway, haha.

This month’s book was Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake (who also wrote the Anna Dressed in Blood that I’ve become obsessed with reading before October is out, thank-you-all-the-50-people-that-have-it-on-your-Halloween-Read-A-Thon-list). I literally had this book in my Amazon cart and was bravely resisting the temptation to buy, and then this happened. Very happy bookworm. The Miss-Peregrine’s inspired pouch on the top right is from Out of Print – it’s a lovely, sturdy canvas. I have got to get to that book…one day. The Six of Crows inspired bookmark is designed by the amazing Evie Seo (Evie Bookish) – yet another book I still need to read! The little “passport” book is a mini-coloring book/excerpt from a soon-to-be-released novel.

Then there is the Celaena’s Cake candle, by The Melting Library – obviously inspired by the Throne of Glass series (which I still haven’t read, but I know the character names!). THIS THING SMELLS SO FREAKING GOOD! I haven’t lit it yet, but I like just leaving it open on my desk. Haha.

Then there is this awesome little…mini-book? Pamphlet? Anyway, it’s a printed version of the first “episode” of Remade, a series by The Serial Box. Such an awesome idea, and a throwback to the days of Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and other famous serial authors. I was rather disappointed that this seems to be a one-off solely for OwlCrate, as their serials are all available only electronically. It’s such a cute little thing, I was envisioning lines of them across my bookshelf…anywho. Still an awesome idea! They have several ongoing series at the moment. ALSO, check out that AMAZING bath bomb!! It’s by Da Bomb Fizzers, and inspired by The Raven Cycle. It looks so cool I’m afraid to use it.

All in all another TOTAL win for OwlCrate! I can’t wait to see next month’s box…this is the teaser for it. I had to include both sides this time because…well.

img_3983 img_3984


Oct 12

Giveaway Winner!

Books/Writing, Giveaways 5


I am super excited to announce the winner of my BotM: The Woman in Cabin 10 giveaway! Jen from Portland, you’re the winner by your entry of following @BentBookworm on Twitter! As always, the winner has 48 hours to reply (I’ve already messaged) and if there isn’t a reply I’ll draw another.

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who entered, and to Book of the Month for allowing me to keep the “oops” box and give it away! Stay tuned for another giveaway in a few weeks – the next one will be international. 🙂


Oct 12

Exciting Changes

Books/Writing, Life 7


CUPCAKES FOR EVERYONE!!! (Why yes, I’m a total Hufflepuff, how did you know?)

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has followed or commented in the last day or so…I’ve had a HUGE influx of both subscribers and comments and it’s made me SO VERY HAPPY you have no idea. Actually most of you probably do, hehe. 😉 But anyway, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! You’ve made this little book-obsessed blogger very happy. 😀

Second, I am also very excited to announce I’m switching from the free WordPress to a hosted site, which will mean a new design and hopefully more cool bookish stuffs. The lovely Ashley at NoseGraze is taking over my hosting and I am so grateful for everything she has helped with already. I am pretty much technologically illiterate when it comes to websites and all the behind-the scenes stuff, so all the things I read about self-hosting and domains and widgets and code just made me feel like my brain was leaking out my ears. I’m really happy to be able to just let her handle all this, while I get to read more books and play with more bookish stuff AND still have an awesome blog!

There shouldn’t be any interruption, as far as I understand it, but I’m sure I will have an EVEN MORE EXCITED post when all the transfer is complete! I am well aware that this post already contains way too many exclamation points, but you know what…deal with it. I’m allowed to be overly excited for once.



Oct 11

Book Review: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic

Books/Writing, Reviews 4

This cover is horrible. Seriously, when I saw it, I thought the book was published in the 80s. WHAT WAS YOUR GRAPHIC ARTIST THINKING, YO.

This cover is horrible. Seriously, when I saw it, I thought the book was published in the 80s. WHAT WAS YOUR GRAPHIC ARTIST THINKING, YO.

Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman.  During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty.  Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true.

Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally—and a reluctant one at that—is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student—and learning magic herself—to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.

This book was recommended to me by one of my oh-so-awesome penpals (no, WordPress, I do NOT mean pencils…as I’ve spent 5 minutes trying to give a cease and desist letter to your autocorrect)! I’ve been on a real fantasy kick lately and she provided some spot-on recs…like Sabriel.

I was instantly doubtful of The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic. However, I am happy to report that the actual reading improved the impression I had drawn based on the cover (gag) and title (odd). Overall I’m giving it 3.5 stars…I am leaning towards 4, but…the sheer length of it is taking a half star off for me. I don’t mind longer books, as I read faster than average…but honestly this one could have been edited a little better, starting with less scenes of boring medieval castle chores. The writing itself is of excellent quality, I have no complaints whatsoever! Emily Barker has created a colorful world peopled with interesting characters. I finished it in about 3 days, despite the staggering 570 pages!


I’m a sucker for any books that have to do with books or bookish people, and Nora’s grad school/literary critic/teacher occupation intrigued me. Her personal life woes in the beginning are oh-so-very first world, but thankfully we don’t spend much time with that before she goes wandering and plunges headlong into the other world. The first, oh, about 60 pages…I felt like I was drunk and wandering around trying to figure out what was going on. At first I was extremely annoyed and though I wouldn’t be able to finish the book, but then as I kept going I realized that the feeling was intentional, to make us feel how Nora feels when she first enters the alternate world. Well done indeed. Maybe keep it to 40 pages next time though. 😉

The world she enters has a deep history and so many interesting characters – most of which are MUCH more interesting than Nora herself. There are stories within stories – both in the form of sub-plots, and actual stories characters are telling. I loved that part. I absolutely despised Aruendiel until the last 100 pages or so, but his story was just so DAMN INTERESTING I had to keep reading. So much intrigue – and so much innuendo and crimes hinted at but not fully explained. Which, I suppose, is quite in keeping with the medieval type society depicted. Oh…don’t even get me STARTED on all the patriarchal nonsense that Nora has to put up with. I did really like that she was constantly resisting all that malarky, even when it was shoved on her day in and day out.

The overarching conflict was very long in coming to its conclusion (see comments on editing). I could have done with a few more fight scenes. If the tempo of the last 200 pages had been over the majority of the book, it would have definitely been 4 solid stars. Emily Barker has, thankfully, avoided the dreaded tropes of either a love triangle or a special snowflake. Nora is underwhelmingly average, as she is frequently reminded. I can really appreciate that after so many books lately just chock-full of ALL THE SPECIALNESS.

Just when I thought the ending was resolving itself…oh, haha, nope just kidding! We’re left hanging by a thread and while part of the conflict was resolved we never find out what happens to some of the main characters. *flail* This is so unfair! Especially since there is no hard and fast date for a sequel. *cries* I. Must. Know. I actually checked my book to make sure no one had torn out the last chapter (I had a library copy). Nope. Just a massive cliffhanger. I will definitely be looking at for the next one, even if from the sounds of the author comments on GoodReads, it might be a long time in coming.