Gift Guide: Best Book Subscriptions

The best gifts are the ones that keep on giving–which is why a monthly subscription service featuring books makes a great gift for any bookworm in your life.

A lot of these were started by fellow book lovers, who know and understand what readers get excited about, including unique art, special editions, and book-themed goodies.

A few to check out below:

FairyLoot

FairyLoot focuses on Young Adult Fantasy, and their book box includes a newly released special edition title and a few book-related things that tie into a different theme every month. Their special editions are gorgeous, and some can be bought separately in the Fairy Trove.

Illumicrate

Illumicrate is a monthly subscription service with two options: you can choose to receive only a book every month or to receive the full book box. They sometimes offer special edition books and also have Debut Boxes, which features new debut authors. This service features primarily books in the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genre.

Book of the Month

Book of the Month features mostly Fiction books (aimed for adults). Book of the Month is cool because they give you the option of several different books to choose from every month, with options to buy more than one book or to skip the month completely.

The Picture Book Club

The Picture Book Club is aimed for babies and children (ages 0-7). It makes a great gift for parents and children alike, and of course, encourages an early love of reading.

Fae Crate

Fae Crate is another book box that primarily features Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi novels. It comes with fun book-themed objects that all center around a monthly theme. There’s three subscription options, which provides a little more flexibilty.

OwlCrate and OwlCrate Jr.

OwlCrate is awesome because they have two different options for a wide range of readers. OwlCrate Jr. is aimed for middle school readers (ages 8-12), while the regular OwlCrate version is aimed for ages 14+, featuring Young Adult books (which anyone can read!).

Gift Guide: Best Books for Fantasy Lovers

It has been months since I’ve written a blog post. 2020 has just been the craziest year, and naturally, blogging got pushed to the side.

But today, I’m back with *many* book recs. This is the first post in my book gift guides series, and I’m so excited to share gift ideas for the book lovers in your life (or you!)

And since fantasy is my all-time favorite genre, that’s what I’m starting with.

Serpent & Dove

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I read Serpent & Dove earlier this year, and it was so good I read it in less than 24 hours. It was amazing, and one of the best books I’ve read this year, if not the best. Shelby Mahurin perfectly captures the emotions of her characters, and weaves an intriguing plot and romance. And I’m a sucker for any book with an enemies-to-lovers romance.

Recommend this for ages 16+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

witches, magic, romance, funny dialogue, plot twists, family drama, lots of tension, stories with two different perspectives.

The Cruel Prince

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I just finished The Wicked King a few days ago, and this is on track to becoming one of my new favorite series! Another book featuring an enemies-to-lovers romance, lots of magic, Fae, and a kickass heroine.

Recommend this for ages 15+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

magic, humor, heroines that kick a lot of ass, faeries, magical world building, and romance (but nothing too explicit that younger audiences wouldn’t be able to read it).

A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Sarah J. Maas writes really captivating fantasy with extensive worldbuilding, chracters you’d follow anywhere (especially the main character!), and of course, great character romances. This book series also dives deep in mental illness, which I really liked. When I was reading this book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and immediately bought the next two books in the trilogy.

Recommend this for ages 18+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

magic, faeries, extensive world building, character-driven stories, heroines that kick a lot of ass, and lots of romance (gets pretty steamy so would not recommend for younger audiences. Also a lot of violence, so keep that in mind).

The Starless Sea

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Erin Morgenstern has an amazing imagination, and I will read anything she writes. I first read Night Circus by her (also in this post) and I loved it. But The Starless Sea is an absolute must-read for hardcore fantasy lovers. It starts off a little slow, but Morgenstern weaves all of these different plots together that perfectly make sense at a certain point in the story. Combine this a dreamy underground magical world, intriguing characters, and a LGBTQ+ romance at the center.

Recommend this for ages 18+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

lots of magic, character-driven stories, mystery and intrigue, magical worlds, and stories with different perspectives.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

One of my favorite books of all time. Laini Taylor writes beautifully, and creates these really amazing worlds and characters. This book has some great reveals that’ll make you not want to put this book down.

Recommend this for ages 16+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

mystery and intrigue, plot twists, magical worlds, angels, unique magical creatures, and romance.

Strange the Dreamer

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And speaking of Laini Taylor, she also has Strange the Dreamer (and Muse of Nightmares, the follow-up to this story) which is a really beautiful story about two different characters that completely suck you in and you just can’t wait for them to meet each other. It will also probably break your heart, but it’s completely worth it (and the second book makes up for it!). The world she creates for this book is also amazing, and I wish I had an imagination like Taylor’s.

Recommend this for ages 17+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

a very cute romance, magical worlds, intriguing characters, plot twists, and stories that break your heart but in the best way.

Night Circus

As mentioned earlier, Night Circus made me into a big fan of Erin Morgenstern. This book combines history, lots of magical circus imagery, magic itself, and a seemingly impossible romance. It’ll definitely have you guessing until the end.

Recommend this for ages 17+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

magic, intriguing characters, forbidden romance, magicians, magical circuses, amazing prose, and an epic plot.

Basically anything by Cassandra Clare.

Cassandra Clare has a LOT of books, and I have read a lot of them, so I’m just going to throw them all here. First and foremost, I reccommend reading her Infernal Devices series, which is her best, in my opinion. She really has a talent for creating these lovable and memorable characters that you can’t get enough of. She also has lots of LGBTQ+ representation in her books (which is great!), with the exception of Infernal Devices.

Other recommendations: her Dark Artifices series and The Mortal Instruments series.

Recommend this for ages 15+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

angels, demons, cool world building that exists within our own world, chracter-driven stories, forbidden romance, and an original premise.

Red Queen

Love this series! I really enjoy Mare as a main character, and the premise of this series. The first book is a little bit hard to get through because of writing style, but the plot twist at the end makes you want to keep reading, and every book just gets better. Also talks about mental illness in an accurate way (more in the second book), which is something I always appreciate in books.

Reccomend this for ages 15+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

characters with unique powers, power struggles, hidden identities, plot twists, and great characters.

Honorable mentions: Lord of the Rings (classic), The Hobbit (also classic and better than LOTD in my opinion), Harry Potter (obviously classic as well even though JKR sucks as a person), Throne of Glass series, Crescent City, Tithe, and Caravel.

Growing Pains

Ah, post-grad life. The summer (or whatever period of time) after graduating from college is such a weird time. You are thrust into the adult world. You might have an idea of what to expect, but once you’re out in the real world, you realize you couldn’t have anticpiated all of this. Once the joy of never having to do homework again wears off, where are you left?

Our whole lives,  a huge part of our identity included being a student. Now, suddenly, that title has been stripped away, and your major doesn’t seem to matter anymore either. Finding a job after graduation can be downright disheartening, and you can’t help but wonder if going to college at all was the best idea.

Being an adult seems like freedom but having freedom taken away at the same time. I want stability but also flexibility and adventure out of a job, which seems difficult to find. There’s a worry of not being able to make enough money to pay my student loan once the monthly payments start in December, but there is also the fear that one day I’ll wake up twenty years later, having worked the same nine to five schedule five days a week, with nothing to show for it and miserable. I want to get to a place where I feel confident in what I do but I also don’t want time to move too fast at the same time.

Continue reading Growing Pains

What’s in My Bag

I can be gone on school days for hours, so I always make sure I have everything I may need for the day in my backpack. I hate forgetting things, especially if I have a long day ahead of me. I’m always making lists of what I need to bring with me and leaving sticky notes around my room to make sure I have everything. So I created this list to help other college students not forget any essentials either.

Continue reading What’s in My Bag

What You Need to Remember

What you need to remember is the how it feels to lift your head to the night sky and see the jagged edges of the stars tearing points of light through the dark, the feeling in your chest after you’ve finished something you were nervous for, the way you watch the ocean lap on the shore as though trying to soothe it.

You need to remember that somehow everything works out in the end, and that you need to keep writing. You need to hold close the feeling of triumph, pain and failure in order to move on, you need to keep the swelling of your heart from disappearing, and allow yourself to feel what you need to.

Continue reading What You Need to Remember

Winter Reads

Winter is such a great time for reading–being warm in bed with a book while snow falls softly outside, or curling up on the couch under a thick blanket while velvet flames crackle in the fireplace.

Winter break for us college students allows us more time to read, although I am excited to be able to read more after graduating, since there’ll be no homework left to do.

I’ve rounded up the books I’ve read so far this winter (some fall ones too), what I’m currently reading and what’s next on my list.

Continue reading Winter Reads

Senior Year Part One Reflection

I’m now halfway through my senior year, with one more semester to get through before entering the real world and paying off student loans until I’m 40.

Really though, this past semester challenged me in many ways, and I’m definitely a different person coming out on the other side. I feel like this semester was a journey in itself, the first half of an adventure that will come to a close at my college graduation on the other side of this year.

Continue reading Senior Year Part One Reflection

Start Taking Sexual Assault Survivors Seriously

TW: sexual assault

I’ve been seeing this quote around that describes how some, when a woman comes forward with her story of sexual assault, say “but that was in the past!” or “we shouldn’t blame someone for something they did when they were younger!” But when a woman comes forward saying she was recently sexually assaulted, some will say “but think about his future!”

And few things have hit closer to home than this quote. In the past two years, I have seen so many women (and men!) coming forward to report their sexual assaults, which gives me hope. But with the increase of these reports, I have seen more people rush to defend rapists and make excuses as to why they shouldn’t go to prison. I’ve seen more victim blaming and slut shaming.

Continue reading Start Taking Sexual Assault Survivors Seriously

Growing Up With Anxiety

I used to think that being anxious was just a part of my personality, that it was a flaw in who I was and I would never be able to get away from it. I thought I would eventually grow out of it, but it never happened.

Continue reading Growing Up With Anxiety

Things That Bother Me

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything for this blog, and to try and get my creativity flowing again, I decided to start with this, just an unbroken flow of words where I can take stress and frustration out.

Continue reading Things That Bother Me