July Unplugged Book Box Unboxing and Review

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            This was my choice to get this box instead of literally of the other boxes that I got up until this month. I got rid of IPSY and fabfitfun because they no longer align with what I am into and what I want. I decided that I wanted a book box. I love Once Upon a Book Club’s Halloween boxes because they are so fun. Maybe someday I will get that as well, this company though, popped up on my Instagram about a month or two months ago and I started thinking about subscribing. I bought this one as well as my subscription that starts in August. 

            Alright so this blog post will be two parts the first is what was in the box, they pull different fandoms and that’s super cool, different from Once Upon a Book Club, that goes with the book. Different companies have different things and I am not complaining about it. I just like the idea of getting a box with a book in it and items related to that book or books that I have read or maybe might want to read. The second part is going to be the book review when I get around to reading the book. (Which as I am writing this at the end of July it’s my next book on the list.)

            So, what was in the box? 

Song of Achilles tea cup and saucer:

            Never read Song of Achilles, from what I have heard it’s sad. I might read it eventually to understand. I do really like the tea cup and saucer, right now it’s going to stay in the box because I don’t have anywhere to keep stuff like that so while it’s really interesting and I love the artwork on it. It’s just going to have to hang out in the box until I have the room to put it out on display.

Verity hand and body lotion:

            Never read a Colleen Hoover book and that is a personal choice. I know people who have read this and no one that I personally know enjoyed it. The smell of the lotion is really good though and I like it. I have heard what it’s about and it’s just not up my street and that’s totally okay because books are subjective and not every book is for everybody. It feels really nice on the skin and like I said, smells amazing. 

The Jasmine Throne lip balm:

            It sounds like a really interesting book and the lip balm smells amazing. I am one of those people who uses lip balm like twice and then all of a sudden, I lose them. I have never actually gotten through a full tube of lip balm. Literally found seven or eight Burt’s Bees lip balms in my desk when I still lived in Indiana because I would lose one and then have to open another one. I still so that I have three? On my desk at the moment and that seems excessive. 

Book Garden Beach/ Garden Tote:

            This is the coolest thing! I love this bag. I love this bag so much. It’s super cool and non-themed to a book. I love this bag and I plan on using it all the time. I love the artwork on the front of it and the rope handles. I am going to love using this canvas bag and I can’t get over how nice this one is. There is a zipper on top and that is such a cool feature! 

Tea bag holder:

            It looks like a squirrel! It’s super cute. I drink a lot of tea during the fall and winter so having this as a cute little friend on the edge of my teacup is going to be so fun! It’s just a cute little red silicon squirrel. I love the idea of it and that’s so exciting! 

These two were different from what was in the booklet, so just an FYI. 

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires vampire repellent rosemary oil:

            This book I have seen in Barnes and Noble before and I haven’t bought it, I want to read it now. I now just have a bottle of rosemary oil on my desk. I am not real mad about that and I like essential oils, I usually diffuse essential oils again, during the fall and winter. It smells good and that’s about all I want when I have oils, I just don’t use it on my skin because that’s just not something I deal with.

Sherlock Holmes amethyst bath bomb:

            Another thing that smells amazing. I cannot use bath bombs in my bathtub because my bathtub doesn’t seal properly to allow me to use it. It’s bergamot (which is one of my fave scents), sandalwood, and mysteries. I don’t know what mysteries smell like but I do like that already. I really love bath bombs though; I miss being able to use them. 

            Now for the book! 

The Woman in The Library by Sulari Gentill (3.7/5)

            It was really interesting. I loved the fact that it was a book in a book. I really enjoyed watching the emails from Leo, you never hear from the author Hannah and I thought that was really interesting. It kept me guessing from the first page on who actually did it. They leaned into one character super hard and that was kind of how I figured out that he didn’t actually do it. I figured that out pretty early on. The emails with Leo! They got me real creeped out real quick and that was one thing that was also super interesting throughout because you watch this character devolve into well…read the book to find out. 

            I loved the characters in the novel within the novel though and I was happy about the little touch of a love story. I am American so seeing all of the stuff about the author and the author being Australian was really cool to see just the subtle differences in the dialogue and actions. I read a lot of English fiction though so it wasn’t as jarring as it might be for others. 

            I have never been to Boston but I would really like to go see the reading room now. I want to live in a big city for the big city libraries alone, nothing else, just these big public libraries in old buildings with history and architecture. I grew up near Chicago and I was never in the Chicago Public Library, but I should have gone, I should have gone whenever I was in the city. 

            This book was a really good book though, I am actually really glad that it touched on the pandemic and the racial tensions in this country because that’s just what we are dealing with. I really liked that the novel in the novel was pandemic free. (As someone who writes, I have left it out of a lot of my books because the pandemic was hard, it was so much and it changed so much, I have written it into a few, but I wanted to use the alternative timeline where we didn’t have millions and millions of people die.)

            The descriptions were great, the reality of it all was really interesting, but the ending came up super-fast for me and it did leave the ending open because of a character that is mutual between the novel and the novel within a novel. The character building in this was phenomenal though and I loved seeing all the twists and turns and secrets uncovered throughout the entire novel. 

            I want to know if they actually got a happy ending! Though sometimes with thrillers you don’t get that “happy ending”, I am a fan of the happy ending though so, I would have loved an epilogue in this one. 

Overall:

            The box is super cool and I am looking forward to August! That’s all I can say about it at the moment, I am excited to see the stuff this upcoming month. The book choice was good, the self-care items are nice and you know what; This box suits me more than some of the other boxes that I used to get. I used to get so many lifestyle boxes that just no longer suited me. 

            Alright, until next time, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 

            -MJ 

May 2022 Book of The Month Review:

Title: Darling Girl

Author: Liz Michalski

Rating: 4/5

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, here we are, I have had book of the month for almost a year now which is super cool because I had read a lot of really amazing books. This was for sure one of them, it was a lot. I am going to start out by saying that.

            There are going to be spoilers so if you want to read the book, stop reading this, I will see you in the next post. 

            A Darling, Wendy’s granddaughter, has secrets and they are starting to pile up and spill out. This book had a really slow start and then it really kicked off, you have to get through like the first 30 or so percent of the novel but after that it moves fast. 

            Holly is trying her best, she lost her husband and one of her twin sons and her daughter is in a coma, she’s trying to keep a company together while also trying to grow it and raise a teenage boy who is brooding and she’s trying to protect him. Her daughter’s blood has some sort of healing protein, which, cool. 

            Her daughter goes missing and that’s a lot because she’s been in a coma for ten years. So she goes to London, she suspects that Peter Pan, yes that Peter Pan has her because Peter is the girl’s father. There is mention of sexual assault so that is for sure a trigger warning for those of you who don’t like that. Peter is unhinged, like super unhinged. This is why heroes are overrated, well, what we know of them. 

            There is a lot of mentions of the original book, which I read last year and of course we have all seen the Disney film. 

            The twists and turns of trying to find her daughter take her to a hook handed man, and of course thanks to Once Upon a Time all I could picture was Hook from that show and well, here we are. Private detective with a motorcycle who’s a combat vet, he’s brooding and so much cooler than Peter.

            It’s a lot of deception and lies, there are for sure a lot of those throughout the story, I liked Holly as a character, when you are given two impossible choices you have to pick the lesser of two evils and that’s about what it is for her. 

            Peter Pan has had a lot of retellings over the years, I have a few of them in my collection from the original to The Child Thief by Brom, which needs to be on my list to actually read because that book is beautiful. I started it my senior year of high school (so 2010) and it’s been on shelf ever since, but I wanted that book for such a long time and it was worth the price.

            This book was great, I actually really enjoyed it once I got into it. The ending comes up quick and it leaves it open, I don’t mind the openness of it. I wish that they would have wrapped up what happened with Elliot though because I feel like that could come back and bite someone in the butt later on. 

            Her company was kind of secondary to the rest of the story which I was totally okay with. 

            There is a lot of family expectations in this novel and that’s totally cool as well, that dynamic really did spur the story forward throughout because while Holly is the main character seeing Jane, who is Wendy’s daughter and a typical London socialite grow and change throughout the story was really nice. I love a good dynamic character, but who doesn’t.

            Peter in this one is kind of terrifying, like I wouldn’t want to be young forever and there is a lot of loss of innocence moments throughout, innocence in different ways mind you. 

            Seriously though if you are trigger by drug use or sexual assault, I would tread carefully, it’s not a big theme but they are both still there in the story. 

            Alright if you want to see what else I have read this year, you totally can, January, February, March, and April.

            I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then I hope that everyone has a safe, happy, and healthy week.

            -MJ