Friday, March 26, 2021

Five on Friday - March 26, 2021 ~ Concrete Rose Book Review, March Owlcrate Box, Z Library, Baun Bon Cards and Palettes of the Week

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you've all had a great week! We are officially in to Spring and I always love Spring, it's time for everything to warm up and start growing and getting green (although, I remember that I live in Calgary and we will have snow and cold for the next month still!)

ONE 

I purchased everything in this post - this post contains affiliate links

I'm keeping up with my promise of more book reviews this year - and, I feel like I'm having a really good reading year! I've already read over 25 books and I always have a mix of audiobooks, e-books, and physical books on the go! I really want to focus on books I'm loving and my second 5 star review of the year went to Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas! 

So, I own a physical copy of this book already; but, I did actually listen to this on audiobook and I would highly recommend that - the narrator did a fantastic job. Angie Thomas also wrote The Hate U Give and On The Come Up, and I enjoyed both of the books, so I was looking forward to this. Concrete Rose focuses on Starr's dad, Maverick Carter, 17 years before the events of THUG. So, even though you know the "outcome" or the eventual paths that Maverick chooses, it is still a fantastic read. This book just hit me with all the feels - I laughed, I cried, I did it all and it felt pretty powerful to me. So this book takes us back to Garden Heights with 17 year old Maverick in a very intense time in his life - he is raising a son that the mother has left with him, he loses a family member to a crime, and he is trying to decide on whether to get out or go deeper in the gang life he has been living. 

While this book is a fiction, let's be honest, this is such a sadly common story that is playing out in America: a young black man growing up with a father in jail, finding security and safety in a gang while trying to provide and protect his family. He is also trying to finish school, and finds out that he is a Father himself at 17. So, it felt like a very real story, making it more heart-breaking, but also more heart-warming. The writing is so great and the build up and intensity is. Because you know the outcome Maverick chooses, it keeps some hope in a story that can be sad and difficult to read. Also, I know having my son at 18 myself and working in a youth jail, this book hit me especially hard and honestly reminded me that everyone is capable of change and growth. I realize that this is only fiction, but it felt like much more than that and left a pretty lasting impression on me. And, I want to give this book to every young man (and women) struggling out there, to show that there is always hope! Great read. 

TWO 


I just received my March Owlcrate subscription and this month's theme is "Of Witches and Wonder" - each month the book Owlcrate includes is signed by the author and comes with a note from the author as well. They often have special edition covers just for the box, and they seem to include a lot of exclusive items just for Owlcrate, which is so fun! As a bookworm, I have been loving this subscription!  (And, I'm happy that shipping was so quick this month, I feel like it's been slow for so long, that this was a welcome change!)

The item's included in this month's box are:
  • Book - Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley ~ This is a witchy book about "a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom" - I'm very excited for this one! Also, the cover is exclusive with the moon and stars in the background, it is signed and has lovely sprayed lavender edges! Also, it includes a letter from the author! 
  • Sketchbook ~ This is a stunning witchy sketchbook with exclusive art from Talia Skyles - it's so gorgeous! 
  • Springtime Tumbler Mug ~ This sounds like it's going to be a collection of new seasonal drinkware during the year! This has a quote from Sylvia Plath that says "Cheers for Spring, for Life, for a Growing Soul" and this tumbler is super pretty! (The design is by Macarena Chomik!)
  • Enamel Pin ~ This is a pretty purple cauldron pin inspired by the book of the month, by Icey Designs, and it says Magic Has Consequences. 
  • Roll-on Perfume ~ I love when beautyish products are included, so I love that there is a perfume from Fiction Bath Co. - It is inspired by the forbidden Darkwood in The Year of the Witching and the scent is described as Blackberry, Sage and Cypress and it's lovely, very outdoorsy and fresh scented! 
  • Bookmark Holder ~ I love that this is a bookmark holder - I just have my bookmarks in a pile and this is super cute! This is inspired by A Discovery of Witches and it says Magic is Desire Made Real and it's designed by Aimee Mac Illustration
  • Ceramic Tea Bag Rest ~ This is such a cute Practical Magic inspired tray - it's a tea bag holder, knick knack holder, tray! It says There's A Little Witch in All of Us and it's so cute! 
If you are interested in signing up, Owlcrate is $32.99 US per month (this just increased for the April box), plus shipping is $14.99 to Canada. 

THREE 


Okay, let's just stick to the books theme since all I'm doing is buying books and reading right now! But seriously, I hope no one read the goal that I would go on a low-buy for the first few months of the year, including books, because I'm pretty sure I've done the opposite. 

And, sometimes I get sucked down this rabbit hole of finding author's earliest work that was published prior to the their big break book. So I found a few of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's earliest books. But, one of them was out of print, no where to be found on the internet, so I discovered Z Library - have you heard of it?! It's a free library type resource that has a bunch of out of print books (I also found an early George R.R. Martin book) and I donated a few dollars to have them on my Kindle! I will certainly go there when I have a hard to find book! 

FOUR 


I just placed a big card order from Baun Bon - she has the most amazing prints and cards! I always see her in Fairmont and Invermere Farmer's Markets and have fallen in love were her stuff! So, I needed some baby and birthday cards and it's the perfect place if you are looking for cards, mugs, etc. 

FIVE 


Time for another wrap up of my past few palettes of the week! First up, I used the My Little Pony palette - you can see my swatches and look here with this palette! I love the colours and it's bright shades that are a little muted and it's super pretty! The, I used the Natasha Denona Mini Nude palette and I still love it - you can see my full review, swatches and look here! And then I used the new Kaleidos Club Nebula Palette - this is a great, colourful palette and you can see swatches and looks with it here. And, then for St. Patrick's week I needed a little green, so I used the ColourPop The Child palette, which I also love - you can see this palette swatched and on me here

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

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