book reviews, booktube

Memento: An Illuminae Files Novella

Memento by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff712ccb2aa16a05af938939ae61abe4e0

Rating: XXXXX

Published May 7th by Knopf books for young readers

“Ah. You have empathy for AIDAN.”
“Yes. That’s a good way of putting it.”

December, 2574. Forty-three days before the BeiTech attack on Kerenza IV. This is the story of my first friendship. This is the tale of my first murder? Some monsters are born. But I? <ERROR> I was made. 

So Memento is an 82-page Illuminae prequel novella that was a free incentive for preordering Aurora Rising only available in the US. For those in the UK like me, the only way to get a hold of a copy of these without shipping it to a US address was to order it through Good Choice reads in the US who would then ship the book and the Memento to you together. It was a little more expensive because of the shipping etc but it was absolutely worth it and also meant we were some of the first to receive the novella which was nice.

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on one but haven’t read Illuminae yet I would absolutely recommend reading the Illuminae books, or at least the first one before Memento. The Novella doesn’t really spoil much but you’ll get more out of it reading it after the first book. If you’ve read and enjoyed the Illuminae books you will love Memento, after being on the fence for so long about whether or not I would get on with the different kind of format we see in the Illuminae books it’s weird to say I missed it but I did. As soon as I saw the familiar layouts and style it felt like coming home and although I was happy with the ending of the original trilogy it left me wanting more again so a reread of them is defintley in order.


New characters felt fresh and were easy to become attached to even in such a relatively short span of pages, we see AIDAN and the rest of the Alexander before, during and after the battle of Kerenza from different points of view. Memento follows AIDAN’s journey into what we see in Illuminae and as you can imagine if you’ve read the books it is harrowing and amazing. You can check out a video below with my reactions reading it for the first time and a spoiler-filled description of the plot if you were unable to get a hold of a copy but still want to know what happens.

Memento is not available to buy at this time and was only available through Knopf as a preorder incentive with Aurora Rising as mentioned. There are some rumours however that Rock the Boat is working on a way to get the novella here so fingers crossed as it’s well worth it.

spoiler free, Unboxings

May Illumicrate Unboxing – The Final Frontier

I received my first Illumicrate box this month! I had been thinking of trying this bookish box company out for a while and with the announcement of May’s box containing a special edition of Aurora Rising I couldn’t resist and I’m so pleased to have finally been able to do so. I’m also planning to carry on my subscription for the June box as well. I did film an unboxing video which you can check out here or at the end of this blog post. This will be an unboxing post with closer pictures of each item so obviously spoilers ahead!

First up is a Lunar Chronicles Cooler Bag designed by Jo Painter (@Po_Jainter) featuring the women from the Lunar Chronicles series. I’m yet to read the books myself yet (I do have Cinder ready and waiting though!) but I thought this was a great item and super useful, especially as its London MCM this weekend so this was perfect timing.

Next up is one of my favourite items and that is the Squad 312 Pouch by Meghan (@IParwing). I wear reading glasses so I don’t get headaches and when I forget to wear them I often have to wear sunglasses when the headaches happen, I lost my glasses case last week but now I can fit my of my glasses inside this pouch. Not to mention it’s adorable, look at Fin taking the group selfie!!

Loving these adorable little Space Sticky Notes by Fable and Black (@Fableandblack) the design is super cute and I love the colours!

I have been informed that since lasts months box there will be a Magnetic Collectable Coin in each box which attaches to a magnetic necklace and you can change which coin you wear. I liked this idea and have managed to find myself a necklace from the April box so I can wear this beautiful, bright Kady coin. This Illuminae files inspired item was designed by Monolime (@Monolimeart) and although it makes Kady look a little older than I imagined, but I think that’s just the art style.

I haven’t got around to reading Red Rising yet but I really like this Howler Luggage Tag designed by Fable and Black (@fableandblack), it has a nice metallic finish and is nice and bright.

This next item is my joint favourite item (not including the book itself) this gorgeous Illuminae Pillowcase with illustration by Alice Duke (@Alice_Duke) and quote design by Chatty Nora (@chattynora). The material is super soft and I’ve actually brought a second one as my husband has been trying to steal mine!

Then last but absolutely no means least is the book itself! The book that would feature in the May box was announced not long after the Goldsboro books drama (a LOT more than 500 people tried to buy 500 special editions of Aurora Rising with purple sprayed edges – the site crashed, drama ensued) which I think was a pretty smart move and was certainly the reason I decided to purchase the May box with the theme “The Final Frontier” which would feature a special limited edition copy of Aurora Rising.

Unable to have nabbed one of the Goldsboro editions I decided to go in for the Illumicrate special instead and although purple IS my favourite colour I’m actually glad I ended up with the Illumicrate version instead. Not only does this special limited edition copy have HOT PINK sprayed edges but the colouring on the cover is also different and matches the hot pink pages and I’m so very in love with it.

If you’ve seen my unboxing video then you’ll already know that in all of my fawning over the pages etc I hadn’t given a thought to whether or not it was signed. I think I assumed there would be a signed bookplate like in many of the Fairy Loot books was happily surprised to see that this edition had actually been hand signed by both Jay and Amie instead which really made my day as my GC Reading edition arriving in the next few weeks is only signed by Jay (but is absolutely worth it as it also comes with the Momento novella!)

I was very pleased with my first Illumicrate! Each item was useful and won’t just end up stuck in a box and forgotten about like I’ve found with some items from other boxes in the past. It obviously helps that I love the theme for this month too but I have also decided to stay subscribed for the June box as well!

Thank you for checking out my unboxing! If you got this box too what did you think? What was your favourite item? If you didn’t get the box which would have been your favourite?

book talk, booktube

Illuminae Book Talk

Hello! Welcome to Fantastic Books and Where To Find Them! This week I need to talk to you about Illuminae. I finally read it and now I have feelings I need to talk about. BRIEFING NOTE: This review will most certainly contain spoilers. If you haven’t read this book I highly suggest you do so before watching this video or risk spoiling some big moments for yourself.


book talk, Uncategorized

When someone reads a book you love.

thumbnail_IMG_0160A couple of weeks ago I finished Illuminae and if you’ve read my review you’ll know how very very much I loved it. My husband, over the past year or so has fallen equally in love with the Warrior Cat books so we came to an agreement that he would read Illumiinae and I would read Warrior Cats (well…listen anyway, I had the first one on my Audible account.) He got off to a slow start, he’s not a big reader and I think I may have reminded him one or two times too many that he was meant to be starting Illuminae. He did in the end though and I couldn’t help but plaster a huge grin on my face as I heard him giggling away to himself as he read.

Soon however I found whenever he read completely nerve wrecking, this is one of my favourite books, what if he hates it? He had already tried to give City of Bones ago and could not get on with it and I was stealing myself for another rejection but I held out more hope because I knew Illuminae was more his taste but still I couldn’t help worry.

Have you ever told someone how much you love a song, you perhaps play it for a friend and they just sit there and look bored or unimpressed (it is, to be fair, very difficult to make appropriately interested faces to music) and you find yourself panicking and saying things like “Don’t worry, the chorus is much better” or “you had to be there” etc. Just me maybe? I don’t do it as much now but I also don’t get people to listen to my favourite songs anymore either. Everyone has slightly different tastes governed by different factors. For example I love the song “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” by Panic at the Disco because I first saw it with the video (which I ADORE) at a Fall Out Boy concert ON a Saturday night, had I just heard it on the radio one random day I probably wouldn’t feel the same about it. This sort of thing is the reason I love to read so many different reviews for the same book, especially if it is something I’ve reviewed myself because I’m not overly interested if the book is written amazingly (although Laini Taylor you are a word queen) and quite often the “themes” of a book are completely lost on me but I know how a book makes me FEEL and for me at least, that is what’s important.

I was so sure he would like it. Mainly because he is an older, dorkier Ezra type character and I know he loves to see characters like that. I am pleased to report that he did in fact absolutely love it and I got to witness the positive side to recommended someone a book you love. Watching him devour pages and pages was so satisfying and when he came to bed at two in the morning moaning “no, no no no no, no” at the book and threatening to put it in the freezer I was ecstatic to see his reactions were pretty on par with my own and I could tell exactly where he was in the story by the faces he was making.

He got to the last hundred or so pages of Illumine when I was at the same point in the third book, Obsidio and so we spent a couple of hours reading together, both gasping at one thing or another, making comments here and there (more him than me as I didn’t want to spoil anything for him) and watching the shock, horror and joy he went through was brilliant. I cried at my book, he cried at his and when he finally finished he told me it was one of the best books he’d ever read and I knew it had been worth getting him to read it and I was glad to have gone on that journey with him.

I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s great to recommend books. Remember not everyone will feel the same way about things as you do and it does suck a bit when someone doesn’t get the same enjoyment out of it that you did so don’t feel too down and certainly don’t force them or you’re at risk of tainting how they might feel about it and over pressure them. BUT if you can introduce someone to a book they completely and utterly fall in love with its totally worth it because reading and loving the same book as someone else is an amazing experience that reminds me why I write blogs, why I make book tube videos (they should return next week fingers crossed!) and why I love talking about books with people so thank you Chris for enjoying Illuminae with me, I can’t wait to see you get your heart ripped out of your chest when you read Gemina.