June 2021 Fairyloot

Fairyloot is a Young Adult book subscription box focusing on fantasy based out of the UK. Each month you receive a new Young Adult hardback book and 5-6 bookish goodies. Like most book boxes the hardback are special editions and the items are a combination of both practical things and more decorative items. June’s theme is Animal Companions.

The bookish items included this month are a House of Earth and Blood flower pot, a Priory of the Orange Tree metal bookmark, a set of pillow covers with quotes for the Raven Cycle, an enamel pin showcasing Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service, and an acrylic stand character art from Kingdom of the Wicket.

All Fairyloot books come with exclusive covers, signed by the author and include a letter from the author. This month the book also has sprayed yellow edges, artwork on the reverse of the dust jacket, and foiling on the hardback. This months book is Fire with Fire by Destiny Soria. A contemporary fantasy where two sister are born to be dragon slayers that is until one meets a dragon and become soul bonded to him. However, they end up on opposite sides of a coming war and will do anything to protect each other.

July’s theme is Tales Retold.

June 2021 Owlcrate

Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as décor or for a pin/bulletin board. June’s theme is Go Your Own Way.

Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books. This months items include a lunch tote, a Strange the Dreamer foil art print, an enamel bottle opener and magnet, a metal water bottle which is the next in the season drinkware collection, and a metal decision coin inspired by Fable.

Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. This months book is Sisters of the Snake which also has art on the reverse of the dust jacket and a foil design on the hardcover. This book follows Princess Rani and the thief Ria who happen to be identical. When they run into each other they agree to switch places for a time in an attempt to get what they most desire.

July’s theme is Potions and Poisons.

June 2021 Wrap Up

In June I read seven books including two nonfiction and two manga. I also finished Persona 5 The Royal and the video game Journey.


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in duology set in the Grisha world that takes place after the events of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy but focuses on new characters and locations is this world. We follow Kaz Brekker a criminal in the trade hub of Ketterdam and his crew as they attempt a dangerous heist that could make them rich but also they may be the only ones who can stop the destruction of the world as they know it. In general while I love the Grisha world I heated where the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and with this series being so hyped I tried not to have too high of expectations. I loved all the characters but felt at times there was too much information about everyone’s backstories. Not my favorite but I do plan to continue with the series.

The Anthropocene Review by John Green is a nonfiction selection of essays that Green wrote reviewing different things and topics in the world. This includes both personal accounts and background on the history of the topic. I book that I find hard to review but one that I absolutely loved. For me I feel like I read this book at the right time and otherwise I might not have loved it as much.

Maiden Voyages by Sian Evans is a nonfiction book about the women who worked on the Ocean Liners traveling between Europe and North America. While this book is incredibly detailed I was expecting more about the individual women and their personal lives and less about the Ocean Liners and the general history of the time. I’m also surprised that a fellow historian who perpetuate misconceptions of the Titanic Sinking. Specifically, the reported 300 foot gash at caused the ship to sink. Though this was reported in newspaper after the sinking and believed by many, multiple Titanic historians and researchers, including Tim Maltin, have determined that the damage was intermittent. However, even with these criticisms I do see this book as a good starting point for someone who is interested in Ocean Liners and the women who worked on them.

Sailor Moon Eternal volumes 3 and 4 are the continuation of the Sailor Moon manga series. We start where volume 2 leaves off with a mysterious girl threating Uasgi which starts the Black Moon Arc where the Black Moon Clan from the feature is threating the world. Volume 4 finishes off this Arc which is not my favorite because of Chibi-Usa becoming Black Lady as I find this part of the story creepy and off-putting. Also I personal prefer the 90s anime translation where she becomes Wicked Lady as I feel it fits the story better. Overall this is still one of my favorite manga series which I plan to finish collecting in these editions.

The Ivies is a young adult thriller that follows a group of high schoolers at a prestigious boarding school that will do anything to get into the Ivy League Universities. When Olivia and Emma secretly get into Harvard while Aery who expects to but doesn’t is furious. The next day when Emma is found dead Olivia decides to investigate to find out who killed Emma. I love the premise of this book and the attention given to toxic friend groups. However, I didn’t connect with the characters of the story. I feel as a recent college graduate that I’m a little removed from the drama of high school but this would be perfect for students currently in high school or those that love the high school setting.

Skin Deep by Renee Miller is a short horror novella that follows Victoria MacDonald who wants to find a way to die beautifully and ends up becoming a murder. This wasn’t what I was expecting. Since the book starts out with Victoria’s mother selling her daughters soul to say beautiful and the obsession’s with dying beautifully I thought that it would become a story where Victoria has to kill to stay beautiful. The switch from her trying to die to get sexual gratification from murder is very fast and not something that the story gives enough time to the reader to understand. Also there is no reason to have the selling ones soul as an aspect of this story. Given the subject matter the book uses in the plot I’m surprised that there were no trigger warnings listed at the beginning.

Video Games:

This month I finished two video games, Persona 5 The Royal and Journey.

Persona 5 The Royal is a retooled version of the original Persona 5 with new story elements. The main plot is that you are a normal high school student that is now on probation after attempting to stop a sexual assault and the man got injured. You and your group of friend get pulled into the Metaverse where you awaken a Persona and fight against the corrupted cognitions of others. I love this game and also have a full review posted.

Journey on the other hand is a much different game. You play as a robed figure traveling through a desert trying to reach the mountains in the distance. This is a very visual and emotional game that doesn’t use any dialogue. A game to pick up on a lazy afternoon when one wants a game that is very different from others.

Video Game Review: Persona 5 The Royal

Persona 5: The Royal is an enhanced and slightly retooled version of Persona 5. Where you play as the protagonist who has been sent to Tokyo after being put on probation for assault and is attending a new school Shujin Academy. During his time there he gains the powers of Persona and uses them to traverse the Metaverse with other Persona users to destroy and change the distorted desires of different people and society. In the end you fight the main bad guy an evil politician, Masayoshi Shido, and the god of control. You basically defeat the god of control with the power of friendship.

I loved the original Persona 5 and I also love Persona 5 The Royal however one is not better than the other. Its just a different take and characters but ultimately the same basic story. If you liked the original, you will like Person 5 The Royal. However, with the amount of changes, new characters, and the third semester add on it couldn’t just be a DLC as it changes too many things in the base game. I will give a brief rundown of some of the changes but to really talk about Persona 5 The Royal I will have to get into spoilers and must assume that you know the main story of the original game.

So changes that have been made are: two new confidants, a new character in Mementos, and expanding Akechi’s confidant, a third semester with a completely new story, new locations and activities to do with friends, and multiple changes to palaces, battles, and Mementos.

In general, the main story is same as it was in the original with tweaks made to make Mementos and palaces more interesting. Such as new boss battle stages and Jose in Mementos who can change the cognition of Mementos so you can gain money, EXP, and items faster. The main story changes come with the new confidants: Kasumi Yoshizawa, a young gymnast who transfers to Shujin at the same time as the protagonist and Takuto Maruki, a school counselor who comes in after the actions of Kamoshida are brought to light. Also Akechi’s confidant mostly no longer advances as part of the game you must hang out with him to advance his story which gives us more insight into who he really is. To get to the third semester you must max their confidants before fighting Shido otherwise you just get the original ending.

On to the new story, as you befriend Kasumi you find out that she and her now deceased twin sister always planed to become world famous gymnast together and she has some guilt that her sister isn’t with her. She also awakens a Persona but doesn’t become a Phantom Thief and her confidant gives you better ambush abilities in the Metaverse. Maruki as the school counselor listens to all the problems of the main characters and has an interest in cognitive Psience, with his confidant increasing SP and allowing it to recover when low.

After you defeat the god of control, Sae will ask you to turn yourself in to help prosecute Shido however now Akechi shows up will to confess everything as he survived Shido’s palace. On January 1, when you are planning on a shrine visit with Kasumi when things start to change. These changes include Morgana being human, Futaba’s mother, Haru’s father, and Makoto’s father not being dead, and all the horrible things that have happen to the character never happening. Only the protagonist and Akechi know that this is not how the world is suppose to be. You find out that Maruki has a Persona and a palace. He is using his power and the information given to him during counseling sessions to stop all the bad things in the world from happen and make the world a “better” place.

While traversing Maruki’s palace you find out that the Kasumi that you knew is really Sumire Yoshizawa who blamed herself for her sisters death and decided that it would be better if she became Kasumi as Kasumi was better at everything and the one Sumire perceived everyone wanted. She doesn’t want the world to go back to how it was as she doesn’t want to be Sumire anymore. Its hard to say that this world is a bad ending since the events that made life horrible never happen however my issue with Maruki’s concept is why does Sumire’s wish to be Kasumi supersede what is most likely her parents wish to have both of their daughters back. In a world where nothing bad ever happens and no one struggles what is there to strive for.

If you plan to reject Maruki’s world you end up finding out that Akechi really is dead and defeating Maruki will return the world to what was meant to happen. So the protagonist will end up in juvenile dentation and Akechi is gone. However, the changes Maruki made caused our cast of characters to realize that they still can persuse their own dreams and its implied that Akechi didn’t die.

Ultimately, I love both the original Persona 5 and Persona 5 The Royal and I don’t feel like the existence of Royal makes the original a lesser game. The changes to the game added about an additional 30 hours of game play on Easy and I expect a little longer on a harder setting. I only thing I do like a little better with Royal is the determination of all the characters at the end to peruse their own paths and dreams while staying friends.