September Book Haul

It’s the end of September already?! Where has this year even gone?!

There have been some amazing releases this month, and considering that last month I didn’t buy a single book, what with being on a boat and all, I think I’ve done pretty well to control my book buying this month! So without further ado, this is what I’ve bought:

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Godsgraveby Jay Kristoff

Alex & Elizaby Melissa De La Cruz

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

The Bone Seasonby Samantha Shannon

Invictusby Ryan Graudin

Things A Bright Girl Can Doby Sally Nicholls

Warcrossby Marie Lu


Whilst I many not have bought many books in comparison to my usual 15+ book hauls, I did buy a whole load of bookish merch, which I don’t normally do… oops! I got some amazing items though, so I’ll do a separate post for that haul tomorrow!


What books did you buy this month? And what upcoming book releases are you excited for?

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In The Spotlight: Happy Piranha Candles

Hey everyone!

Some of you may know that I am a rep for the fabulous company, Happy Piranha! And I figured I’d do a little feature post to tell you a bit more about them, and show you some of their amazing products – there’s even a special discount code for you all at the end!

Happy Piranha are an online company based in the UK, who specialise in themed candles. They have a HUGE selection ranging from book inspired scents, through to game themed scents for all you gamers out there! Not only to they smell incredible, but they also have some of the most gorgeous label designs that I have ever seen on a candle. Like, EVER.

Here are some of my favourite candles that I have taken photo’s of on my bookstagram:


“The Greatest Show On Earth”Caraval and The Night Circus inspired candle, this smells of Toffee Apples. It’s a very sweet, indulgent scent, perfect if you love sweet scents, but smells even better when burning!

“Polyjuice Potion” – one of several Harry Potter themed candles, this one reminds me of marzipan, another sweet scent and one of the most incredibly detailed packaging designs. This one smells great burning, but I sometimes like to just leave it sat in a room with the lid off… My room smells amazing!

“Wing Leader” – inspired by Manon Blackbeak from the Throne of Glass series, this is my ultimate favourite candle of any candle to ever exist. It smells so fresh, and has a gorgeous pink colour!

“Courage (Gryffindor)” – one of four Hogwarts House scents, this one smells divine. A warm, woodsy scent with a hint of sweet cinnamon, this is the perfect smell for the Autumn season, and any Gryffindor!


Happy Piranha have also just launched a range of tealight sets!

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The three sets are:

Unicorn Farts (Pack of 6)

Waxtasia (Pack of 6)

Every Fragranced Candles (Pack of 12)

The packaging for these sets are super cute, perfect for gifts leading up to Christmas, and to make it even better, each tea light in the box has a different scent! I can’t wait for my package to arrive so I finally get to try these out!


Make sure you all go and check out HappyPiranha.com – all of the candles are very reasonably priced for the incredible quality of the products, but you can also get a 10% discount by entering the code INCASEOFPIRANHA at the checkout.

Go and make those Piranha’s extra happy!


 

Book Review: The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

23592175Synopsis: Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy – a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder – or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.


I have heard so many good things about this book and Hardinge as an author.

I don’t know if I was just reading this at the wrong time, but I just wasn’t all there for this book. Firstly, it took me AGES to get through. Like, 2 weeks… it’s barely 300 pages long…

Like I said, I don’t know if it was just because being on a boat for 6 weeks had completely mentally drained me, but I found the first half of the book painfully slow. It wasn’t until half way through (coincidentally, when I was settled back at home) that I became more engaged with the story and the characters.

I found the concept really intriguing, and actually loved the descriptions of Faith’s visions when under the influence of the Tree’s “truth fruit”; it was whimsical and magical whilst remaining dark and haunting. I also loved Faith’s bravery and determination to overthrow the societal views towards females – The increase of strong female characters in children’s literature over the past few years has been inspiring and long overdue!

Unfortunately, I really hated all of the other characters. I found Faith’s mother intolerable, and Faith’s father was so distant and uninvolved that for the first two thirds of the book, I really didn’t understand Faith’s devotion towards him and his memory.

I don’t feel like my review of this book can ever be 100% true to my feelings, just because I really don’t know where I sit with it, and whether my enjoyment of the book was in fact influenced by my severe need to be back on dry land! But overall, I still don’t like I would have fully enjoyed the book as I feel like the characters would have grated on me regardless of my location.

Ultimately, although it took me a while to get into it, I genuinely enjoyed it. A dark, mysterious tale with a strong female protagonist.


View The Lie Tree on Goodreads

Book Review: Salt to The Sea – Ruta Sepetys

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

28103790Synopsis: 

It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across East Prussia, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore’s The Siege will be totally absorbed.

This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, brilliantly imagines their story.


I read this book about a sinking ship, whilst on a ship… whose wise idea was that?!

So anyone who knows me, knows that I love anything set during the second world war. I don’t know why, but there is just something about that time period that just grabs my attention.

I was sure that I was going to love this. Only, I didn’t love it. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, I just didn’t love it as much as I had expected. I have really high expectations for books set in this time period, after my favourite book, The Book Thief blew me away, and then All The Light We Cannot see followed suit.

I don’t particularly know why, but perhaps it was due to the fact that I didn’t feel connected to any of these characters for about half of the book. The story follows four main perspectives, all of which are keeping a dark secret. When I found out these secrets, I felt like for the most part, they weren’t big enough to have much significance, and so where I spent a lot of time focusing on these secrets, I lost a lot of the parts which would have made me grow fond of these characters.

The actual writing and telling of the story was beautiful. I felt like I could picture every moment, and still now, after a month since reading it, I can recall specific images in my mind. The turmoil and destruction, and sheer desperation of these people seeking to flee was depicted devastatingly well.

The ending was a bit cryptic in my opinion. I’m still not 100% sure on some of the details of how events following the disaster played out, or even who the letter at the end is written by. I feel like I would have to re-read it to grasp it.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I think it’s a beautifully told account of events well worthy of it’s Carnegie nomination.


View Salt To The Sea on Goodreads

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

23766634Synopsis: 

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


I can’t even begin to tell you all how much this book destroyed me… What a finale!

This gave me all of the feels, and despite what anyone says, I think I will always love Maas’ writing. When I started reading the ACOTAR I had no idea that I would love it this much! Can everyone just give me all of the related merchandise so I can make a shrine please?

Of course, it had it’s flaws, but so does every book. It’s the relationships between the characters that keeps me turning and turning those pages. The developments and plot twists throughout had me hooked, and the war, although short, gave me the chills and had me bawling my eyes out!

The only* fault that I can pick with this (*that I remember), is that the final war was SO short. For an event that the entire series had been leading up to, and the book is titled for, it felt a tad bit rushed. It was over in a matter of about 50 pages, which was slightly disappointing for me; I felt like it could have been even more epic. But still, it grabbed me and I basically just devoured the entire thing. I did have to stop reading in a public place when I came dangerously close to ugly crying…

Here are some of my thoughts on the characters by the end of the series:

I HATE TAMLIN. And always will, even though he did try to redeem himself.

I LOVE RHYSAND. Can I marry him please? Okay, so him and Feyre are great together, so maybe I can force myself to be happy for them… *sighs*

Nesta, although I hated her to start with, has grown on me and I now love her and absolutely need to read more about her and what’s going to happen!

Again, as with ACOMAF, this is probably not suitable for young readers and should be pitched as New Adult, due to the amount of sex scenes (there are a LOT).

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I seriously cannot wait until May 2018 so I can read more, and hopefully go back to The Court of Dreams, where I belong.


View A Court of Wings and Ruin on Goodreads

Autumn/Fall Reading Recommendations

It’s the time of year once again, where bookworms can finally have an excuse to snuggle up with a blanket, a good cup of tea, and read by the fire…

Like we already needed an excuse?! But autumn is upon us, and as the weather gets colder, what better way to spend our free time than being nice and cosy with a great book?

In autumn, I like to read the books that warm my heart, and give me all the feels. After all, we’re safe in our hibernating state, so now’s the perfect time for a tear-jerker!

Historical Fiction and Fantasy (when is Fantasy not?!) are also my go-to’s in the season of golden leaves, so here are some of my favourites.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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This just had to be top the list! I absolutely adored this book. Set during WW2, this book follows the story of a young girl, Leisel, and her discovery of books and growing friendship to the Jew in her basement.

Narrated by Death, this book has a truly unique perspective which is just utterly engaging.

Wonderfully heartwarming, but equally heartbreaking, this is one of my favourite books of all time. 500 tissues recommended.


18143977All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Another WW2 historical novel for you!

This one is told from multiple perspectives, but mainly those of Werner, a young German boy, and Marie-Laure, a blind young French girl. A story of valiant adventure and courage, the descriptions in Doerr’s writing are incredibly vivid and poignant. This book is stunningly beautiful.


26114463Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

This is one I’ll be reading next month!

With a tagline of #stabstabstab I don’t think I need to say much more!

A fantasy to knock your socks off. This has assassins, a super cool school setting, and a little bit of friskiness…

Lots of death and excitement ahead.


History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

25014114One of my favourite contemporaries of this year. I cried a heap. On the bus. I know, embarassing right?!

This follows the story of Griffin, a teenage boy who has just lost Theo, his ex-boyfriend and love of his life. As he seeks comfort in Theo’s “current” new boyfriend, Jackson, we see him deal with all of the confusion of love and loss, and overcome the past.

Read this one in the safety of your room with a box of tissues, trust me, you’ll thank me later.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

32613366Best. Book. I. Have. Read. This. Year.

Best book published this year…

Bold statement, I know, but I’m running with it!

It has everything, and seriously, I would put this on every single recommend list if I could. I’d find a way to make it work.

Based on the “Black Lives Matter” movement, this book is diverse, empowering, moving, enthralling, exciting, daring. I could go on with words to describe it. If you haven’t already read it, now is the time!


So those are my recommendations for this season.

What would you recommend? Comment your autumn/fall reads below.


 

Review: Who Runs The World? – Virginia Bergin 

Rating: ⭐️

33891082Synopsis: 

Welcome to the Matriarchy. 

Sixty years after a virus has wiped out almost all the men on the planet, things are pretty much just as you would imagine a world run by women might be: war has ended; greed is not tolerated; the ecological needs of the planet are always put first. In two generations, the female population has grieved, pulled together and moved on, and life really is pretty good – if you’re a girl. It’s not so great if you’re a boy, but fourteen-year-old River wouldn’t know that. Until she met Mason, she thought they were extinct.


Where to begin with this book…

I’ll start by saying that when this was released, it was a book that I was VERY excited to read. It has an gorgeous cover and I bought it as soon as it arrived in the delivery at work. Seriously, it didn’t even make it onto the shelf…

The principal of the book sounded fantastic – a world where women rule? YES. Seeing the trials and tribulations that men are put through as the oppressed gender? YES. Did I find this when reading? NO.

Unfortunately, the contents of this novel did not live up to my expectations.

I found that instead of this being a refreshing, powerful piece of feminist writing, it just came across as man hating.

The male characters were consistently referred to by the female main character as “it” even after she had spent time with the male and had her mother and grandmother explain it to her, which really just infuriated me.

I’ve heard it said before and I’ll say it again… man hate is not feminism.

I had to leave this book less than 100 pages in, so it has been marked as DNF.


View Who Runs The World? on Goodreads