February Favorites

Here are some of my February favorites!

KindleKINDLE BOOKS: The Fever King by Victoria Lee // The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta // The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I was lucky enough to purchase The Fever King for free — one of the perks of being a Prime member. 😁 It tells the story of a technopath, whose family was killed by viral magic, now determined to infiltrate the magical elite and use his magic to take down the government. The Serpent’s Secret — a middle grade book about a 12-year-old girl who finds out she’s an Indian princess — promises a magical adventure full of Bengali folklore. And I’ve been eagerly anticipating The Priory of the Orange Tree ever since it was announced. I’m thrilled that it’s finally out in the world! It’s an epic fantasy full of assassination plots, forbidden magic, and dragons. (And I know I say this a lot, but have you seen the cover? SO BEAUTIFUL.)

GRGOODREADS ADDS: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin // The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett // What Monstrous Gods by Rosamund Hodge

I added Serpent & Dove to my Want to Read list after reading the first line of the synopsis: “For her sixteenth birthday, Louise le Blanc’s mother gave her three things: a sacrificial altar, a ritual knife, and a wicked scar.” There’s an ancient war between the Church and witches, a young huntsman, and a marriage plot. I’m definitely intrigued! The Lady Rogue also features a hunter of sorts — a treasure hunter. The protagonists, Theodora and Huck, are not only trying to find Theodora’s father, but also a magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler. You might know him as Dracula… 😈 It might be a while until Monstrous Gods hits shelves, but the brief synopsis promises a girl chosen by the gods, a heretic sorcerer, and a ghostly presence. Having enjoyed Hodge’s Cruel Beauty, I’m looking forward to seeing what dark, magical tale she weaves in this book!

CandleCANDLE: Victor Vale from Icey Designs

My husband is currently reading one of my favorite V.E. Schwab books — Vicious and it reminded me of this candle. The label is perfection and mimics the blackout poetry Victor Vale is known for creating. And the scents — bergamot, pine, tobacco, and sandalwood — work together to create an alluring, smoky impression. In some ways, it reminds me of my favorite candle from last month. It seems that I might be partial to stronger, spicier scents during the winter. 🤔 Or maybe I just have a weakness for candles inspired by villains. (Let’s be honest. It’s probably both.)

 

SleeveBOOKISH MERCH: Book Sleeve from Story Time Sleeve

I own several book sleeves from Story Time Sleeve, but this one is my favorite. ❤️ Lately, I’ve been using it to carry around my ARC of Wicked Saints. It keeps books — especially paperbacks — secure, and the shop always stocks a variety of prints. These are quality sleeves that are made with care and lined in such a way that they don’t feel flimsy. If you’re someone who travels often or just likes to carry a book with them on the go, check out their Etsy shop and see if there’s something you like. I think they accept custom orders, too!

OTHER THINGS I’VE LIKED:

  • After having a terrible reaction to a face mask last year, I’ve been hesitant to try anything new. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Pixi Glow Mud Mask. It’s helped my skin look brighter and clearer, and it doesn’t dry it out too much.
  • I recently caught up on reading The Devil is a Handsome Man — a webcomic that follows a demon named Xolia as she makes a deal with the devil and begins to unravel not only a mysterious plot, but also her own past. The artwork is phenomenal, and the story grows more intriguing with every new chapter.
  • Speaking of demons, I’ve been binge-watching the anime Black Butler. I’m very late to the party, but it’s a story about a young earl who makes a deal with a demon — a demon who makes it his mission to be one hell of a butler. (His pun, not mine.)

January Favorites

This year, I’ve decided to share my monthly favorites! 😃 Some of these will be book-related, but I’ll also be talking about other favorites of mine, including TV shows, movies, songs, candles, games, and more.

Here are some of my January favorites…

jankindle

KINDLE BOOKS: The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi // The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty // King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about The Gilded Wolves, so I couldn’t resist adding it to my library. Even though I have yet to read The City of Brass, I decided to purchase the sequel The Kingdom of Copper so that I can binge both books… sometime. (Soon! Hopefully. 😅) And DUH, King of Scars. It’s taking all of my willpower not to just dive right in, but I still have three books standing between me and my sweet Nikolai. I even deleted my Twitter app to avoid spoilers. I’m taking this book very seriously…

jangrGOODREADS ADDS: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson // These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling // Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

The Storm Crow is described as “Eragon meets And I Darken,” and the cover is so beautiful!  If you’re looking for a story with elemental witches, blood magic, and F/F romance, look no further than These Witches Don’t Burn. (Which, coincidentally, comes out on my birthday! 😁) And do I even have to explain my excitement for Empire of the Vampire? It’s devastating that we have to wait until 2020 for this book, but at least we get Darkdawn — the highly-anticipated conclusion to Kristoff’s The Nevernight Chronicle — in September. 🖤

TV SHOW: The Good Place

Holy motherforking shirtballs, this show is the BEST. It’s a hilarious, feel-good comedy about the afterlife that is still, even after three seasons, completely unpredictable. It should be criminal to have such a perfect cast, and I have laughed, gasped, cried, and felt pretty much every feeling possible while watching it. A+, 10/10, would recommend to literally everyone. The first two seasons are available on Netflix. Also: Have I ever identified with a character more than Chidi Anagonye? Probably not. Indecisive intellectuals, unite! 😂

jancandleCANDLE: Fine, Make Me Your Villain from Rose & Adder

I mostly chose this candle because it was inspired by the Darkling, and I just finished my reread of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. (You can read my mini-reviews of each book here!) But I also think this candle is perfect for winter. The scents are black currant, anise, and clove. It’s an intoxicating, heady scent that’s perfect for one of my favorite hot-yet-murderous-and-overall-problematic faves. 😉 You can check out Rose & Adder’s shop here!

SONG: “Moving On” — Anna of the North

If, like me, you watched (and fell in love with) Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, you’ll probably remember Anna of the North’s song “Lovers.” As great as that song is, I personally think this one is even more amazing. It’s bubbly, retro, and perfect for a solo dance party while doing laundry. (Don’t tell me I’m the only one who does that.) While “Lovers” has over 26 million plays on Spotify, this song only has a little over 2.5 million. Listen now, thank me later. 🎧

jancomicWEBCOMIC: Lore Olympus

Step 1: Download the LINE WEBTOON app. (Or visit their website, linked above.)
Step 2: Bask in the utter perfection that is this webcomic. ❤️

Here’s a synopsis:

Witness what the gods do… after dark. The friendships and the lies, the gossip and the wild parties, and of course, forbidden love. Because it turns out, the gods aren’t so different from us after all, especially when it comes to their problems. Stylish and immersive, this is one of mythology’s greatest stories — The Taking of Persephone — as it’s never been told before.

The artwork is stunning, the dialogue is sharp and witty, and the short chapters will leave you eager for the next one. Lucky for you, there are 47 available right now, and the comic is updated every Saturday at 9 PM EST. You can follow the brilliant creator, Rachel Smythe, at @used_bandaid on Twitter.

MOBILE GAME: The Arcana

I’ll admit it. I’m trash for this game. 😝 It’s described as an interactive novel, and it’s more fun than it has any right to be. You’re able to choose between romancing your magic teacher, the alluring countess, the fugitive former plague doctor, and the mysterious, brooding outsider. Yes, it’s one of those games that tries to make you spend your actual money on in-game money. BUT there are multiple ways to earn free coins and keys, which are used to unlock exclusive content and access chapters. So if you’re patient — like, really, really patient — I assure you, it can be done without spending a dime.

janrecipeRECIPE: Stacked Cantina Nachos with Everything Cheese Sauce from The Simple Kitchen

One of my goals this year is to learn some new recipes, because I seem to just cook the same stuff every week. These nachos were a huge hit, and the cheese sauce was really easy to make. (And it’s not that gross, yellow-orange nacho cheese, so, bonus! 😄) I skipped the refried beans, pickled jalapeños, and sour cream, because I’m a somewhat-picky eater. But these were so nice, I made ’em twice! I highly recommend Chad and Donna Elick’s cookbook, The Simple Kitchen, along with their blog, The Slow Roasted Italian.