June 2017 TBR

After the success of last month, I’m going to challenge myself again with by TBR this month. I also want to read a more varied range of genres, as I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately and though I adore it, I feel like I should branch out a bit.

June is also Pride month, so I hope to read books that have some LGBT rep.

Good Bones by Margaret Atwood – This is a selection of short stories. After reading The Handmaid’s Tale (read full review here) at the end of April, I found myself longing to return to Atwood’s writing. I’ve already started this and I love it already. The stories have a really unique take on feminism and the role of women both in life and literature.

This Savage Song by V.E Schwab – I managed to grab a copy of Our Dark Duet yesterday, a whole 10 days before it’s official release date, so now I can binge read them both! I’ve been holding off reading this one for a whole year just so that I wouldn’t have to wait for the sequel…

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – I’m really looking forward to reading this one, and lucky enough to be meeting Adam Silvera at an event in Waterstones Piccadilly in just a few days!

Who Runs The World? by Virginia Bergin – GIRL POWER! This sounds great (Though I’ve seen very mixed reviews on GR…) and is The Green Room’s (YA Book Group) pick for this month.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol – This has been on my TBR for 3 consecutive months now… will I ever pick it up..?

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – It’s time to crack out the cute summer contemporaries! Starting with this bundle of cuteness. I’ve heard so many wonderful things, and I can’t wait to get stuck into it.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I have so many contemporaries that have been neglected on my reading list for so long. This was one of them! I finally bought this with my birthday book voucher, so now I can actually read it!

Yet another ambitious month… 1 book longer than last month’s TBR, and 2 more books than I actually managed last month. These are, however, considerably shorter, so I think I can make it happen!

Wish me luck!


What books are you planning on reading this month?

May 2017 Wrap-Up

May was a good month for books! We had so many fabulous new releases, and it was my birthday, which means that I bought lots of books at no detriment to my own bank account! SCORE.

I also actually pretty much managed to achieve the TBR list I set out for myself at the beginning of the month. I ended up scrapping a couple, but the majority was completed for the first time in a very, very long time…

What I set out to read:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Letters From The Lighthouse by Emma Carrol

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol

Release by Patrick Ness

What I Actually Read:

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (Full Review)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (Full Review)

Release by Patrick Ness ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (Full Review)

A Court of Mist & Fury by Sarah J. Maas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (Full Review)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Review Coming Soon)

As you can see, I enjoyed pretty much everything I read last month, and considering a couple of those books are about 600 pages long, I actually read a lot for me!


What’s the best book you read last month?

Review: Release – Patrick Ness

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Synopsis: 

Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.


Whilst I haven’t read all of Patrick Ness’ rep, I have read A Monster Calls, which I found absolutely hauntingly beautiful (you can read my full review here) and I plan on making my way through all of his books over the next year.

I’m in two minds about this book. One half I loved, the other… I just didn’t really understand it’s relevance.

Release is essentially told from two perspectives. The first, is from a gay teenage boy struggling to overcome a past relationship, and the continuous disapporoval of his highly religious family and their homophobic views. This part, I loved. I found it moving, interesting, and empowering. I really liked Adam as a character, and it was just lovely to read his journey throughout the day, and see him develop and find himself.

The second perspective, I wasn’t a fan of. I can’t say too much without spoiling it for those who haven’t read it, and I don’t want to influence anyone’s opinions, but I found it very confusing. It had a kind of magical realism element to it, which I found interesting and added an extra twist to the writing, but didn’t quite feel like the two parts joined together. It made the narrative feel a bit too disjointed and surreal for my liking, and actually took away some of my enjoyment whilst reading it. I found myself racing through those parts just so I could get back to reading about Adam.

I still found myself hoping that somehow at the end, the two would marry together beautifully, but it just didn’t happen. The two characters meet briefly at the very end, but the event didn’t seem important or pivotal enough to recover that element of the book, and the book was just too short for it to hold great significance.

By the time I actually got into the flow of it, it was over. Maybe a re-read would alter my opinion slightly, but it’s not a top priority for me right now.

It’s a shame, because Adam’s story was a solid 5 stars from me, but the second perspective just let it down in my opinion.

I’d still recommend it because half of it really was wonderful, it’s got a great LGBT rep in its characters, and Ness’ writing is generally just a joy to read.


Please, any of you who have read it, share your opinions below. I’d love to hear what everyone else has to say about the second perspective. ❤️


View Release on Goodreads

Review: A Court of Mist & Fury (ACOTAR #2) – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis

(Contains spoilers to previous instalment. Review is spoiler free, so skip ahead if you need to)

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.


Just a disclaimer to start, that this book is very much “New Adult” rather than YA. There’s rather a lot of sex, so if you don’t like that sort of thing, just know that it’s in here. Frequently.


This world is just incredible. I’m so absorbed in it, and I have that magical feeling I remember having when I read Harry Potter for the first time. That feeling where all you want to do is be able to live in that world, and be friends with all your favourite characters…

This has officially taken place as one of my favourite ever books. I’ll be wanting to re-read this a few years down the line just to escape to The Court of Dreams once more.

Enough gushing.

The characters in this series, comparing to Throne of Glass, are so much more rounded. They are so much more relatable, even in the fantasy world, and it just makes all the difference in connecting to the plot line. Which, by the way, is incredibly gripping.

This book is 600 pages long. It’s not a short book. But every page had purpose. I didn’t feel like there was a single dry point. The twists and turns kept coming, and the descriptions were beautifully vivid. I have such clear images in my mind of all of the places, characters and creatures, and the relationships are just… yes.

No spoilers here.

But I’m shipping to the end of the world over here (whilst secretly being incredibly jealous…)

And the ending… WHY?!?!

I have to hold off from reading ACOWAR for a few weeks as I have other books I need to read first. I’m torn because I can’t wait to read more, yet I don’t want it to end.

Sarah, why do you break me so?

I also want to add, that I’m sorry some people have been offended in various ways by this book and the rest of the series. I appreciate your points of view, and I want to be clear that me enjoying this book by no means reflects my opinions on those issues.


 

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetSee also:

Review: A Court of Thorns & Roses

Review: Throne of Glass


View ACOMAF on Goodreads

Review: The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: 

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. 


I’ve waited a couple of weeks since reading to write this review, simply because it hit me so hard, and I couldn’t put all of my feeling and opinions into words. I’m still struggling.

The Hate U Give is phenomenal. Better than that. I can’t think of any word that does this book justice, and as Angie Thomas’ debut novel, I’m so excited to see what she writes next.

Everything about this book was just incredible on so many levels. The characters were fully formed, and even minor characters didn’t get forgotten about. I feel like I knew all of these people, which made me care all the more.

Starr was depicted perfectly, in all of her teenage greatness, and I particularly loved her family. All of their individual personalities shone through, and I just wished I could have jumped through the pages to meet them all! The sense of humour was subtle yet effective, and I found every single one of them to be totally genuine. There was no bulls**t here.

I laughed. I cried. I was continuously in a state of awe at how good this was.

Now, to the nitty gritty. The subject matter of this book is so important. Not only does it highlight the terrifying reality of segregation between Black and White, and the horrifying consequences of involvement in drugs and gang culture, but it speaks volumes about the power of speaking up for what you believe in. Supporting each other in times of need.

With everything that has happened recently in the news, there hasn’t been a need so great for us to find our voices, join together, and find the sense of community that this novel paints so beautifully.

I couldn’t stop turning the pages reading this. I would have read it in one sitting had I of had the opportunity. I wanted to continue reading about Starr’s life and see where life takes her next.

As soon as I finished this book I was sure to put it in my bag and pass it on to my sister. This book is one I want to share with everyone, and shout about it to every person I pass on the street.

If you haven’t read it yet, please do, because I cannot recommend it enough.

The best book I’ve read this year.

Seriously, read it now…


View The Hate U Give on Goodreads

The Big Summer Book Swap!

IMG_0989Guys, I’m so so excited for this…

I’ve always loved book swaps, I find it so lovely to write to a fellow book lover and send them a book that you think they’ll love. And most of the time, you get to keep in touch with those people and create a great bookish friend!

Oh, and you also receive the same in return, but from a completely different person… 2 bookish friends, yay!

I’ve seen a lot of people on twitter wanting to do an international book swap, so I figured why not host one?!

Anyone can participate, and there’s no limits. All I ask is that you send a great book and a personal letter to the person you are allocated. You can send more if you want to, but remember, it’s the thought that counts – the more personal, the better.

If you’d rather not send internationally, that’s okay too. When you fill out the form, there is the option to send within your country of residence, I know international postage can be expensive.

I hope that you’ll all be as excited as I am for this little project! Book swapping is such great fun!

There do, however, have to be rules:

  1. If you enter, please make sure that you do send something out. It’s not fair if one person is left without receiving something after they’ve put lots of time and effort into their gift. If you don’t intend to send, don’t enter.
  2. All books must be sent by the 1st July. That gives enough time for everyone to receive their gift. I go away from the 15th, so chasing people up after then will make my life extremely difficult…
  3. You only have to send out 1 book, and a letter to your person. You may, if you wish, include other bookish items, but do not expect to receive the same in return – I have added an option for this on the entry form.
  4. Please ensure the books are either new, or in as good as new condition. Please don’t send old battered books that have been thrown in a river and then your dog chewed. If you wouldn’t want to receive it, don’t send it. You can get really good prices from online sites such as The Book Depository and Wordery – both of these sites offer free shipping.
  5. Please don’t post directly from an online store. This isn’t very personal and shows a lack of care and thought. Unless you have specific reasons, in which case, please notify me in advance.
  6. LASTLY. This is just a fun little thing to spread some summertime cheer. Fill the form out as accurately and detailed as you can. It gives your buddy more to work with so you can receive something tailored exactly to your tastes.

I hope you’ll all join me on this.

If you enter, please share the link and image on you blog/twitter etc so more people can see it and join in!

You can also use the hashtag #BigSummerBookSwap to chat to others taking part.

Please fill out the form below by no later than 10th June. I’ll then get all people paired up with details sent within 7 days from then, giving you 3 weeks to buy your book, write your letter, and post it out in plenty of time. Please bear in mind international shipping will take longer, so the quicker you can ship, the better!

Form not showing up? ENTER HERE

 

Top 5 Releases I’m Looking Forward To This Month…

Already this year has seen some EPIC book releases, such as The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Release by Patrick Ness, and the highly anticipated A Court of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.

But there’s still more to come!

Here are just a selection of titles that you should look out for this month:


Flame In The Mist (Flame In The Mist, #1) by Renee Ahdieh – May 16th 2017

23308087The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires. 

Goodreads describes this one as “Mulan meets Throne of Glass”… you need say no more, I’m sold.

It also has an awesomely diverse cast! Woo!

“TOMORROW, tomorrow, it comes out tomorrow!” – those are the lyrics, right?

Alex Bedder musical abedder broadway annie GIF


Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2) by Cassandra Clare – May 23rd 2017

30312891Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

Confession: I haven’t read any Cassandra Clare… but I OWN them all, which means that I’m excited to own this one, so my set remains complete. #bookhoarderproblems

I will read them. One day. I hope.

I know that loads of you guys are super hyped about this one though, which is why it’s on my list!


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – May 30th 2017

When Dimple Met RishiA laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Quite possibly the longest Goodreads synopsis, ever…

I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book from the lucky people who’ve already read it, and I’m super excited to get my hands on it!

It sounds soooo cute, and it’s a diverse read – couldn’t get any better!

This is one of the few contemporaries on this list, most are fantasy (sorry) so I’m looking forward to the contrast in genre from what I’ve been reading lately too.


One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus – May 30th 2017

One of Us Is LyingOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

I’m not usually one for thriller/mystery genres, but this sounds so interesting!

Karen M. McManus is also going to be at YALC this year. I’m away, so can’t go, but for those of you lucky cherubs with tickets, keep your eyes out for this!


Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2) by V.E Schwab – June 13th 2017

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

I know, I know, this is technically June, but it’s less than a month until it’s released so I figured I wasn’t quite cheating by including it!

I’m yet to read This Savage Song, but as soon as this comes out, I’ll be binge reading them both!

I love Schwab’s writing, so really looking forward to jumping into this world.


 

There are so many more great releases coming out this year, and I’ve already started making lists of books I can’t wait to get a hold of over the next coming months! But these are just my top 5 for May (+1 June…), and I’ll definitely be buying them pretty close to their release dates, if not straight away!

 kids book fantasy read books GIF

 

Oh my poor, poor TBR I’m so sorry…