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Stacking the Shelves (63)

Between my book shopping spree in London, getting my Fierce Reads seasonal blogger box and the generosity of other wonderful pubs, this is one very long Stacking the Shelves!

I went to London knowing I'd probably get at least 3-4 books and instead I walked away with 7. The covers are just so much prettier and I definitely underestimated how tempted I'd be to buy everything in sight. (Be proud, there were two ones I almost bought and managed to put down.)

Then I was incredibly surprised by the #bookmail I got recently. Aside from Fierce Reads box, I got an early copy of Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (not pictured because I lent it to a friend; FYI it was amazing!) and Priory of the Orange Tree. Both are books I'm super excited about. It's definitely one of those weeks where I'm super grateful for the connections I've made through blogging.

So, onto the books!

The Darkest Star: Review + Lux Fan Gift Guide

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout
pub 10/30/18 by Tor Teen
Young Adult - Paranormal
Received ARC from pub
I’ve made no secret of my love of Jennifer L. Armentrout and to this day, Lux remains my favorite series of hers (not to mention, one of faves in general). But I never once considered that she might return to that world. When I heard she would, I couldn’t be more excited and when I found out it would center on Luc, I was surprised but it made sense. There was definitely a story to be told and Armentrout proves that within the first few pages. I was hooked right away. It was the perfect balance of nostalgia (I’d strongly recommend reading the original books first) and introducing something fresh through the eyes of Luc and new heroine Evie Dasher. While I will always love Daemon and Katy best, these two are pretty damn compelling too. We find out what happens in the aftermath of the world discovering that aliens exist and how they’re cohabiting. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t come easy or without prejudices. When Evie is caught at a raid in a club notorious for humans and Luxen mingling freely, she gets her first real glimpse of that and Luc. From there, the book hits the ground running and we learn what Luc has been up to and where Evie fits in it all. I was very much invested, chuckling at Armentrout’s signature banter, swooning at (again) her signature romantic scenes and even gasping out loud as the plot unraveled. This Lux spin-off by far exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait for book 2.

Do I recommend? Yes! Lux fans won’t be disappointed and if you haven’t read Lux yet, fix that ASAP and then pick this up right after.

Lux Fan Gift Guide
The Darkest Star comes out October 30th and because I'm so excited for this upcoming release, I wanted to share a little something special from one Lux fan to another. So, here is my gift guide for anyone who loves the series as much as I do! All my choices are based on details from each of the books, which I'll explain below, but I'm sure you'll the references even without them ☺

1 | When you're a fan of something, obviously you need a t-shirt! The "Hey Kitten" one was a birthday present I received from Alexa and it quickly became one of my favorite sleep shirts. The second is based on a shirt that Katy wears in the books and I've often thought about ordering one. 

2 | Again, I own these Katy and Daemon magnetic bookmarks and they're even cuter in person. I personally find it hard to find Lux fan-made merch, so when I immediately snagged these when I saw them on Etsy. 

3 | I own a Daemon Black candle from The Melting Library which unfortunately isn't sold anymore but luckily for you, FaerieTalesCandles is offering one! (Now to find a Katy candle.)

4 | Katy basically represents us all book nerds and if there's one thing I know she's understand, it's the importance of keeping your books pristine. Which is why a book sleeve felt appropriate to put on this list.

5 | In one of the books, Daemon presents Katy with an alien doll and I couldn't help looking up one to add here. I think the one pictured above is actually pretty cute.

6 | Who can forget the scene were Daemon asks Katy if she wants a cookie? If you love that scene, then you understand why cookies were necessary for my gift guide. My personal favorites are Schmackary's and Milk Bar. (credit)

7 | Katy loves zombie movies and one of my favorite moments in the series is a quiet one between Katy, Daemon and Dawson. It shows both the depth of the romantic relationship between Katy and Daemon but also a better glimpse into the sibling relationship between Daemon and Dawson. Land of the Dead is a movie they specifically mention (but if you ask me, I would pick Zombieland to watch). 

Are you a fan of the Lux series?
And if so, what's your favorite item on the gift guide?

Table for Two #22: Milk Bar

Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and I have teamed up to bring you Table for Two, a collaboration that involves two of our favorite things - New York City and food. The two of us will be highlighting restaurants and dessert spots in New York City. You'll be hearing our personal opinions on the place and the food, as well as where you can go to try it out for yourself.

For this month's Table for Two, I'll be chatting about Milk Bar and Alexa is featuring Ruby's Cafe.

The first time I ever tried Milk Bar was about a year ago and I had gotten their cereal milk soft swerve which I loved. The second was when I had some downtime before dinner with friends and noticed one as I walking. I decided to stop in to read and try their cereal milk latte and cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie. So when I needed to pick a dessert spot for today's post, I immediately thought of Milk Bar because I was craving everything. Which is why I bought all three things I mentioned, although I saved the cookie for the next day. Even though it all sounds super sweet, I personally find them to be just right. The soft swerve is pretty light but the cornflakes add a lot of flavor and crunch to it. I've tried the cereal milk latte as an iced drink and a hot one and both are great! I might slightly prefer it iced but you really can't go wrong with either (Alexa got the birthday cake latte as seen in the picture with the sprinkles!). And the cookie. If you like salty and sweet flavors, this is the cookie for you. When I have a cookie craving, I immediately think of this place (or Schmackary's). 

There's a bunch of locations in the city and for this recent visit, we went to Nolita. And even though the service was super quick (which was impressive with only one person handling it all!), there's no actual store to go into, although we did luck out with finding a free bench nearby. The midtown location has a store but again no seating. I think my favorite spot so far is at the West Village because there are (limited) benches inside at least. 

You can find Milk Bar at 7 different spots in NYC. Let us know if you check it out!