Book Love: From the Page

Hi everybody! I’m thinking of doing a series of posts called “Book Love” where I combine my love for books with my love for lifestyle-related bookish things. If you have any suggestions, feel free to contact me and I will see what I can do.

The first thing I wanted to draw your attention to is From the Page, a candle-making shop inspired by all things bookish!

from the page

I discovered them through Twitter, when an author I followed tweeted about them, and then found them on Etsy. I have ordered six of their tin-candles and absolutely love them. The problem is that I don’t like burning them because they’re so cute that I want to keep them. My favourite scents are Hobbiton, Peeta’s Cakes, Hagrid’s Pumpkin Patch, and Dauntless Cake (which I don’t think they have anymore–I’m so sad, agh!).

from the page hagrid

from the page peeta

I currently have Hazel’s Flowers sitting untouched on my headboard because I can’t bear to part with it.

from the page hazel

Everything about these candles are so cute and thoughtful, from the design to the scents and packaging. Delivery was super-speedy and they made great gifts for my mom and in-laws. I even gave two to my boyfriend that he keeps in a drawer as incense.

I encourage you guys to check them out and buy their stuff! If you’re not sure where to start, I’m happy to recommend some things, and the shop owner is also super friendly; contact her if you have any questions.

Let me know what you guys think and what your purchases are! I’m so excited for you all the get to know From the Page.

-Ember Book Reviews

P.S. From the Page has no idea I did this and did not sponsor me in any way.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten (Five) Characters I’d Like to Check in With

I heard about this post by The Broke and the Bookish through Erika the Bibliophile. I thought it was super neat because, as an avid reader, writer, and daydreamer, book characters are more than just fictional to me: my imagination transforms them into real people—friends—who I am convinced are still out there doing their thing to this day. So OF COURSE I fell in love with the idea of listing all the characters I wonder about on a casual (constant?) basis. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with ten characters that I’m all that worried about. Instead, I picked my top five. I’m also going to tell you all where I hope they’ve taken their lives, or where I think their lives might have gone based on where the book(s) left off. Hopefully you guys will comment and give me your two cents as well! I’d love to hear who your top ten (or five or seven or three-hundred eleventy-one) characters are.

#1. The Harry Potter characters

I know that Erika the Bibliophile also posted this as her number one, but can you blame her? I grew up with this series and was heartbroken when I read the final lines, knowing that I would never read them for the first time again. Like Erika, the epilogue wasn’t enough for me, but rather than wondering about the main gang (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, etc.), I’m more concerned about the next generation and how Hogwarts is carrying on after the final battle.

Here’s what I think: I like to imagine that Harry’s son is a teensy bit evil. I don’t know why. I guess I just think it will thicken the plot a little bit (I felt that the epilogue led into a very boring story and I’d like to spice that up). I imagine him in Slytherin, but I picture him isolating himself from the other children and eventually taking a turn down the dark path. I mean, how crazy would that be? Harry defeats the Dark Lord just to have his son turn around to become Voldermort, the Next Generation.

hp harry's sonvoldemort

#2. Gemma from Libba Bray’s The Gemma Doyle Triology

Kartik was left in a tree. I mean, enough said, right? Not that Gemma can’t go on without Kartik or anything, but she really loved him. I guess I just wonder if that tree still stands, if Gemma eventually moved on but in her old age still thinks about him. I wonder if, like Rose in the Titanic, she spent her life with somebody else but her heart still truly belongs to Kartik. I kind of hope it does, but at the same time I feel sorry for the poor bugger she ended up with. (I mean, the ending of Titanic is great and all—it’s my favourite movie—but when she returns to Jack, IS NOBODY WORRIED ABOUT HOW HER POOR, DEAD HUSBAND IS FEELING LOOKING DOWN ON ALL THAT???)

gemma doyle

#3. Allie from The Vinyl Princess

It’s been a long time since I read this book, and I don’t remember the precise spot that it left off at, but I still wonder about Allie skateboarding through the streets on her way to work at the music store. Basically, Allie was awesome, I wished I could be her, and I think she’d make a freaking cool thirty-year-old, so I’d like to see that.

vinyl princess

#4. Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars

(Yeah, I refuse to call her Hazel Grace. That was Gus’s thing. It wouldn’t feel right for me to get to call her that.) So, if you don’t know how TFiOS ended, you’ve been living under a rock. Basically, I just want to know if Hazel is okay. I want to know if she’s still even ALIVE. But most of all, I want to know that wherever she is or wherever she left off, she still loves Gus with all her heart. What can I say? I’m a romantic. I hope she’s still best friends with Isaac, and I hope that they think of Gus whenever they play video games. I hope that Hazel has a little picture of her and Gus in Amsterdam tucked away somewhere that she pulls out to look at occasionally. I hope she spends lots of time with her parents. I hope that wherever she is, she’s happy.

tfios

#5. Macy and Wes from The Truth About Forever

This one’s a bit trickier for me. The book left off with Macy and Wes jogging down the beach together, and they make a cameo in another of Sarah Dessen’s novel, but it’s not 100% whether or not they stay together. That’s why it’s tricky: I want to know but I don’t. If they’re still together, I want to know. If they’re not, I don’t. I also can’t really picture what their happily ever after would look like. Do they have kids? Do they have a dog? A house or an apartment? Does Bert visit them in his ambulance? Is Macy still best friends with Kristy? So much of the novel was spent with Macy and Wes navigating boundaries and not with them actually together that it leaves me with too many question marks. I’m overwhelmed. I almost don’t even want to start looking for answers.

the_truth_about_forever

-Ember Book Reviews xxoo

SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

shiver4 out of 5

Grace is your ordinary, hard-working student. As a child, she was attacked by wolves lurking on the edge of the forest that lines her backyard. Ever since, she has had a fascination with the yellow-eyed wolf. She knows nothing about him except that he somehow saved her from the rest of the hungry pack. Ever since, she has had a connection with him that cannot be explained.

Sam is anything but ordinary. Attacked by wolves as a child, he is different from Grace in that he turned. Now a man in the summer and a wolf in the winter, he too feels a connection to Grace, the girl he saved from the pack many winters ago. When a boy from Grace’s town is attacked and presumed dead, and the order is released to have the wolves killed, Sam is shot. He crawls to Grace’s back door where she finds him lying naked in the cold—human—and she knows it is her wolf. But this may very well be Sam’s last year and once he makes the change back into a wolf—something he can’t control—he may never turn back into a human again.

Grace and Sam must fight against the seasons to spend what little time together they have left. A love story as endearing as it is haunting, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater will leave readers dying to know what happens next in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

Their love was real. This is what I find myself thinking over and over again post-read, despite the improbability and strangeness of their relationship at the beginning of the story. Part of the problem I had stemmed from the fact that Grace and Sam continuously refer to themselves as having obsessions with each other and being creepy. This definitely added to my initial sense of the book being very weird, which I otherwise would not have felt quite so strongly. Grace also constantly pointed out how clichéd Sam’s character was, which lead to me seeing him that way. It was as if Stiefvater’s insecurities about her writing were coming into the text; had she left me alone to take the book as it came and just enjoy it, I might have never thought certain negative things about Grace and Sam.

On the topic of characters, Rachel was pointless. One of Grace’s best friends (Olivia being the third member of their trio), she was said to be the one who held their group of three together, but she was never presented that way. She was introduced in the beginning and then largely ignored once Sam hit the scene, and rightly so. My biggest problem with Rachel is that she was constantly described as being “hyper” or high on caffeine, but she really came off as ditzy. Unfortunately, I feel as if Stiefvater was trying to write “the way teenagers sound,” and this never ends well. Isabel was another character who came off sounding strange because it seemed like the author was trying too hard to make her “sound like a teenager.”

The book did feel a bit like Twilight/Jacob fan-fic. From the bland way Grace’s character was presented to the fact that Sam hints at possibly being “native” (page 13 in the eBook), they have Bella and Jacob written all over them. Some of the names of the wolves in the pack were even the same. Twilight was published in 2005 and Shiver was published in 2009. I think it’s definitely a possibility which, if I am correct, is disappointing.

Even still, despite their love being unrealistic at first, I was eventually sucked in. I don’t think anyone can help but fall in love with Sam, despite his clichés. There was also a good deal of suspense. With the dark, looming winter backdrop and the ominous presence of hungry wolves, the setting was on the verge of creepy, almost Supernatural-esque. I hope that in Linger the author adds to this and raises the spook factor a little more. This book left off in a great way in that the series can go in any genre direction: romance, horror, thriller, or supernatural. Definitely worth the read.

-Ember Book Reviews xxoo

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