Fairytale News | 5 Upcoming Fairytale Retellings.

I know I disappeared for some time – again – but I guess I just have to deal with the fact I will not be able to be a consistent blogger anymore. I've been really busy with other hobbies and taking care of the wedding, so for now I will just put up random posts when I feel like it. Today I decided it was time to bring back one of my favorite features: sharing upcoming fairytale retellings in my Fairytale News. There are many new books that will be published in 2018 and sometimes it's hard to keep track of them, so it is my pleasure to show case them! Here are the first five books:

Blanca & Roja. by Anna-Marie McLemore.
Pitched as: Snow White and Rose-Red meets Swan Lake.
Expected publication: October 9th 2018 by Feiwel & Friends
The Cerceta girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals. They know that one day, they’ll find themselves drawn into a dangerous game to determine which sister will stay a girl and which will be cursed to live as a swan. But when two of their childhood friends become drawn into the game, the curse threatens to decide the fate not just of the sisters, but of all four of them.
Extra information:
After some spy work I found this tweet from the author:
So Blanca & Roja are Latina sisters, one queer, one straight. The two boys who get drawn into the woods' magic with them are a non-binary boy & a boy adjusting to a disability. So Blanca & Roja & those 2 boys are the 4 POVs you'll see in the book. The non-binary boy uses he/him & she/her pronouns. There's also a f/f couple who are not POV characters, but who might be 2 of my favorite characters I've ever written.
You can find an excerpt on the Bustle website.

The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson.
Pitched as: Aladdin retelling.
Expected publication: June 26th 2018 by Thomas Nelson.
From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.
Extra information:
This is the 8th book in the Hagenheim series. These are Christian historical fiction books.

The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill.
Pitched as: Feminist Little Mermaid retelling.
Expected publication: May 3rd 2018 by Scholastic.
Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice?
Extra Information:
Here is a tweet from the author where you can read the first page!

The Queen Underneath by Stacey Filak.   
Pitched as: Loose retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
Expected publication: May 8th 2018 by Page Street.
The Above and the Under have a tenuous truce that is shattered after the death of both their respective rulers. Gemma, the new queen of Under, must throw history aside and team up with Tollan, the heir to the Above throne, in order to take down a power that seeks to rule them all.
Their group of rebels is comprised of an assassin, a sex worker, and a palace servant from Above, and we follow their unique perspectives as they are forced to question previously held beliefs. But even with war looming, romance still grows. Challenging gender roles and the expectation that every prince must have a princess, Tollan discovers love with Elam—a young man, a sex worker, and one of Gemma’s closest friends.
Extra information:
This is the blurb on the Stacey's website:
In the city-state of Yigris, a secret pact has maintained the peace for over a hundred years. The King of Above rules over the nobles and the merchants, while the Queen of Under controls the thieves, assassins, and whores. The peace is shattered when both monarchs are murdered on the same day, leaving their heirs apparent to deal with the consequences.
Gemma Antos, the new Queen of Under, has only just begun to understand her new role when she is faced with a city under seige -- strange brambles erupt throughout the city, fires rage, and a mage rebellion threatens everything she cares about.

And you can read an excerpt on YA Books Central.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik.
Pitched as: Rumplestiltskin retelling.
Expected publication: July 10th 2018 by Del Rey
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders... but her father isn't a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife's dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers' pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed--and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.  But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it's worth--especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.
Extra information:
This was actually a short story in an anthology called The Starlit Wood, but she decided to explore the story and expand it into a full novel!

Talk Bujo to Me | Bright Ideas Metallic Brush Pen Review.

If you are new to bulletjournaling: it is basically a wish list, to-do list and journal – and what I like to do is decorate it with doodles, handlettering, stamps and washi-tape. I have two informative posts about my step into this bujo-world and setting up collections.

Disclaimer: I received these pens from Abrams - Chronicle Books for review purposes, but every opinion is my own. I'm not paid.

This set is the Bright Ideas Metallic set, which consist of 8 double-sided pens. One side has a regular marker, the other side is a brush pen. I love double-sided pens, because it makes them more diverse. You can use the regular side for normal writing or decorations, while the brush pen helps you to make more fancy handlettering.

The brush pen itself is more flexible in comparison with the Tombow Dual Brush Pen markers. I don't mind the difference, but I would say it is harder to work with as a beginner. It took me some extra practice to get straight lines. I love the different effect it gives, because you can make even thicker down strokes by pressing harder. I prefer these pens over the Kuretake Fude Brush Pen, because the tips from the Bright Ideas set are smaller.

The colours are beautiful and have a nice metallic sheen. I love how bright and colourful they are, not opaque at all. As you can see this is more noticeable on black paper, but I also love the effect on regular white paper. The 8 colours are Silver (Silver Screen Dreams), Gold (Midas Touch), Green (Mermaid Tales), Blue (Tip of the Iceberg), Purple (Simply Mauvelous), Pink (Rose Reverie), Light Pink (Petal to the metal) and Copper (Champagne Wishes). This is a perfect range of colours to work with, although I would love to get a red shade! 

The pricing is, what I would call, a regular price for these type of pens. This set retails for $13.45 on Amazon, which means every pen is about $1.70. That's a really good price considering the quality. Other products I could find in this Bright Ideas line are:
-Regular 20 double-sided pens.
-The Bright Ideas Notebook, with different coloured paper.
-Sticky Notes
-Graphite Pencils, also in Metallic Edition.
-Neon Glitter Gel pens.

I'm really happy with this set and I'm definitely interested in trying out more products, like the regular set with the primary colours.

Monthly Recap January '18 | Wedding Updates.

25th Annual_thumb[2]

You can see more pictures about my daily life on my Instagram: @Mel_1704
OUAT_thumb3This was a really exciting month for me, where I made some progress towards the wedding.
Hello Beautiful
I went to the Hello Beautiful Wedding Event hosted by Randy from Say Yes to the Dress. It was such a fun experience with my mother, grandmother and sister. We saw two big wedding shows (where he showed some dresses from his new collection) and he gave some tips and tricks about looking for your wedding dress. I got some inspiration from the stands, mostly for rings and entertainment and we had a nice lunch.

Next up was my appointment to try on wedding dresses. It was my first time and I found THE dress. It was the 7th dress I tried on and I am not kidding when I say I had my true 'Say Yes to the Dress' moment. I walked towards the mirror that covered the entire wall and then I had tears. I just felt so beautiful and it made me realize that I'm really going to be a bride, haha. The experience overall was fabulous. The lady who helped me listened to my likes/dislikes and she eventually picked out the dress for me based on my opinions. She never made me feel rushed and at the end of the appointment she even let me walk around my dress for rougly 15 minutes while she was taking care of all the details around buying the dress. It was also incredibly special that I had my two grandmother's with me (together with my mom, sister and practically second-mom, because this family friend has been around for forever) It was fun to try out two dresses completely the opposite of my taste - and it proved to me that I was looking in the right direction. It was mostly all the elements I was looking for and I can't wait to wear it on our big day!

Another fantastic event was seeing Lady Gaga's concert! She is truly an artist. She knows how to entertain her crowd and her voice is unbelievable, especially if you consider she is dancing all the time. And last but not least, I went to Pitch Perfect 3 with my mom and sister and I loved it + I surprised Jasper by taking him to Jumanji, which was hilarious.

I broke my book buying limit (5 books every month) for one reason: I got a gift card as Christmas bonus from work, so of course I had to get some books for it, so I got four extra.

1. C.J Redwine – The Wish Granter.
2. Zoƫ Marriott - Shadows on the Moon.
3. Robin Hobb - Assassin's Apprentice, because it's time to read a book by this author.
4. J.K Rowling - A Journey through the History of Magic.
5. J.K Rowling - HP and the Chamber of Secrets illustrated.
6. Katherine Longshore - The Bear and the Nightingale.
7. Ashton, Hand & Meadows - My Lady Jane. Bargain.
8. Stina Leicht - Cold Iron. Bargain.
9. Marjorie Lu (author) + Sana Takeda (illustrator) – Monstress.

I also received two awesome review copies from Abrams. I've emailed them telling them that I would love to review some of their art products too, so I received this gorgeous 'Find your Adventure' notebook and a practice book for Watercoloring. I can't wait to try them out and review them after a few months!

Find your adventureWatercolor

And the last thing that came in the mail was my Fairyloot January box 'Talk Faerie to me'. I already had a feeling we were receiving Holly Black – The Cruel Prince and I'm stoked. I've heard so many good things about it! I'm also in love with the pillow case and the Faerieland exclusive coloring book.

Since last year I've been in a little funk when it comes to reading, but I participated in Bout of Books and I'm back into it!

1. Melissa Bashardoust – Girls made of Snow and Glass. 4.5/5. Favorite!
2. Sarah Andersen – Herding Cats. 4/5.
3. S. Jae Jones – Wintersong. 3/5.
4. Becky Albertalli - Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. 1.5/5
5. Sarah Prineas – Summerkin. 3.5/5.
6. Sara Holland – Everless. 3/5.
7. Sarah Prineas – Moonkind. 3/5.
8. Marjorie Lu + Sana Takeda – Monstress. 4.5/5. Favorite!

1. Vikings season 5, episode 1-7. Oh boy!
2. The Punisher season 1, episode 4-8. I'm enjoying this more than Daredevil.
3. Game of Thrones season 2, episode 2-4 rewatch.
4. Sense 8 season 2, episode 7-8, I'm watching this really slowly because I don't want it to be over..
5. Outlander season 2, episode 2-3.

1. Bright.
2. Jumanji.
3. Thor: Ragnarok.
4. Pitch Perfect 3.


Review | Marissa Meyer - Heartless.

Marissa Meyer - Heartless.
Published November 8th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends.
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Cath loves baking and her dream is to open her own store together with her maid, and best friend, Mary Ann. Her mother has even bigger dreams though; the King of Hearts is proposing to Cath. Idonia Pinkerton, Marchioness of Rock Turtle, wants nothing more than seeing Cath become Queen of Hearts, ruler of Hearts. Cath's passion of baking are crushed when even her father refuses to fund her bakery. The only one who seems to accept her for who she is, is Jest, the new court Joker.

From the moment they make eye contact, Cath is obsessed with him. While I loved him as a character, I did not like this hint of insta-love. He also throws in the famous, and one of the most annoying lines if you ask me, that 'she is not like other girls.' Because I did not care enough about this ship, I was also not shattered at the end of the book. I wish I had felt more, because if it had been delivered in another way, it would have been much more emotional.

Jest, together with Hatta, are in Hearts for a reason. We only get to see a glimps of what is going on in the world of Chess, where the Red and White Queen are battling for power. If Cath wasn't so stupid and naive to ignore the advice of the three sisters, we would have seen more of Chess. He was my favorite character for sure.

That was most probably the most problematic aspect of this book. I LOVED every character in the Lunar Chronicles, especially the girls, but I did not give a damn about Cath. She is selfish and without a doubt, stupid. She has captured the heart of the King, reasons still unknown, and she keeps messing with him. The whole I'm-going-to-say-no-or-perhaps-I-will-say-yes-situations kept going on and on and on. I missed a good plot like with the Lunar Chronicles..

The next thing I missed was the truly madness feeling of Wonderland. For some reason it felt rather bland and that's not something I expected from Meyer, who created such a fascinated world before. I wanted to see more strange things! I was looking for the same overly weird experience that I had with the original tale, that almost felt like a plunge into a bad trip. She could have done more and I feel she didn't went overboard enough. She did spend a lot of time into describing food, and I liked it, but at the end of the day I wasn't blown away.

Review | Jodi Lynn Anderson – Midnight at the Electric.

32075663Title: Midnight at the Electric.
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson.
Pages: 272.
Publication: June 13th 2017 by HarperTeen – I got an eARC from the publisher through Edelweiss. Thanks!
Divided by time. Ignited by a spark.
Kansas, 2065.
Adri has secured a slot as a Colonist—one of the lucky few handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.
Oklahoma, 1934. Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine fantasizes about her family’s farmhand, and longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called the Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire—and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life—Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.
England, 1919. In the recovery following the First World War, Lenore struggles with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?
While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined.(

If you are looking for a science-fiction book, this is not the one.
If you are looking for an intricate contemporary book, this is the one for you.

The story starts out in Kansas, 2065. Adri is going to be one of the first people to live on Mars. Weeks before the launch she goes to live with Lily, her old demented cousin. She discovers handwritten letters of the people who lived on the farm before Lily. She becomes intrigued by the story between Catherine's mother Beth and Lenore.

Catherine lives in the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma, 1934. The dust is threatening her sister's life, Beezie. She first saves up to visit the Midnight Electric, but when that doesn't have any effect on Beezie's health, Catherine decides she must take a bigger step. Beth is blind for the dangers and can think of one thing: maintaining the farm.

Then we follow the life of Lenore in England, 1919, during the recovery after the First World War. Her family deals with the grief after her brother passed away in the war. Her letters to Beth stay unanswered, but she has set her mind on visiting Beth anyway. The last two stories slowly entwine the close we get to the big answer: what happened with all of them in the end? Did Lenore and Beth ever meet? Did Catherine and Beezie survive the dust? We follow Adri on her small quest to find answers, while she is preparing for her mission to Mars.

I hate to say this, but I really disliked Adri.. There was something so distant and unkind about her and she was quite the opposite of the sweet and talkative Lily. The story of Lenore was the most interesting to me. The writing-style is gorgeous, like I am used to from Anderson, but the story itself failed to impress me. In a way, I think it's because I didn't warm up to Adri, and in another way it is because most of the story is told through letters. It's a different way to experience a story and I found it harder to connect with the characters and their lives.

Not bad, but so far, her books haven't lived up to the amazing, mind-blowing and heart-wrenching Tiger Lily.

“I wonder if sometimes you can miss something so much it breaks you, and still be happy you left.”

Bookish Resolutions 2018.

Copy of Copy of Surprise!

Every year I write down some resolutions for the new year. This time I tried to make them more concrete instead of some vague description of what I want to achieve. (One of my resolutions last year was to 'buy less books', but it is hard to track this if there is no real goal) It is so much easier to cross something off your list if you set a specific target, so let's get started:

1. I am participating in the Popsugar reading challenge.
Last year I decided to join the challenge and simply read books and see how far I would get (38/52 so far). This year I want to step it up by settting a goal: I want to finish at least 30 of the 50 tasks. You can find all the prompts over here: Popsugar reading challenge 2018.
2. I am doing the Goodreads challenge.
This is still one of my favorite challenges and every year I am excited about the new colour of the tracker. You can find my progress over here. It's just such a fun and easy way to keep track of how many books I read, together with my bookish spreads in my bullet journal and the awesome spreadsheet by Carina. You can find it over here: All About Books spreadsheet. My aim has always been 100 books, but I hope to finish at least 80 books.

3. I want to read at least 10 fairytale retellings.
As you probably know, fairytales and fantasy are my favorite things to read. In 2017 I didn't have any goals set, but In 2018 I hope to read a few fairytales I still have left on my TBR pile.

4. I want to finish at least 10 books that have been on my TBR pile for over 1 year.
This point is part of #5, but a more specific goal. I have many books on my TBR pile that has been in my collection for >1 year and it is time to finally pick them up. I'm trying to determine which books I want to keep and which ones I want to donate. I got rid of ≈ 100 books in 2016/2017 and while it was hard to get rid of them, it also felt good. Buying new books is great, but I also need to give love to the older ones.

5. I want to bring my TBR pile down to 300 books.
*cough* I know. It will be a start to tame my TBR pile. According to Goodreads I'm currently at 352, so I think this should be managable if I keep up with #6. I know I will never be without a big TBR pile, because I love books too much, but sometimes I get stressed out by the amount of unread books and I don't want that anymore.

6. I need to buy less books.
There it is. The one resolution that always returns on my list (and that I fail the hardest) This year I have some extra motivation, because I need to save for my wedding. I have set myself on a limit of 5 books every month, not counting the books I receive in my Fairyloot box, review copies and presents. I  will try to buy books that are sequels or books by authors I love, since I'm trying to cut down the amount of new series I start.

7. Re-reading/Finishing series.
Not only do I want to limit the amount of new series I start, I also want to finish at least 5 of them and that's where the re-reading comes in. I definitely need to re-read some books in order to finish them, otherwise I will not understand the complete story and it gives me a better experience. Series on my list:
1. Elizabeth May – The Falconer. [3]
2. Rae Carson – Gold Seer. [3]
3. V.E Schwab – Monsters of Verity. [2]
4.  No re-reading needed, but Mira Grant – Chimera. [3]
5. No re-reading needed, but Maria V. Snyder – Dawn Study, so I can finish the Study/Soulfinder series.

8. Reviewing and review copies.
It's hard to set this into a specific goal, so my mission is to review at least all the review copies I finish. I have some catching up to do, but I will take it easy. I want to give myself enough freedom to pick up books for me, without feeling the pressure of writing a review for it. I always write down a few sentences on Goodreads (so follow me there: The Daily Prophecy Goodreads). I guess I could always put them together in a 'Let it Go' review post.

I did a quick count and I have around 30 review copies. It would be great to bring this to at least 15, so I need to hold back on requesting too many new books.

9. Bookstagram.
I rediscovered my Canon DSLR camera. I was a little lazy for a while and I just used my mobile phone camera (which sucked) or my other Sony camera (which has a Bluetooth function, so it's really easy to share photos). The Sony camera is fantastic to bring with me on vacation with good lighting, but the quality without good daylight isn't as good as the Canon. I have a new phone now with a better camera, so in combination with Canon I hope to step up my Bookstagram game. I'm going to try to work with a planning in my bullet journal and on that specific day, I will shoot tons of photos I can use throughout the week.

This is something I, and many other people, sometimes seem to forget. We get so swept up in blogging and reading hyped books/review copies, that we seem to forget it is also about us and our entertainment. I love my blog and while I have taken a step back, I couldn't imagine quitting entirely. Even if you are behind on one of your challenges, I think we should always remember WE have set that challenge; and there is nothing terrible about letting go of that pressure. There is no such thing as failure if you are doing it for fun and the moment the fun is out of it.. we should do something else.

Do you have any bookish resolutions this year?