[Book Haul] November 2018

I honestly cannot believe it’s December… another year gone! There are so many great releases in 2019 that I’m looking forward to, I will compile a list of my most anticipated before the month is out. But first, my November Haul!

I got some amazing books this month, a couple I bought and the rest are from publishers – thank you to Titan, Gollancz and Harper360YA for being amazing, always!

November Purchases:

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald – J.K. Rowling

Throne of Glass (Collectors Edition) – Sarah J. Maas

Girls of Paper and Fire (Fairyloot Edition) – Natasha Ngan

Publisher Haul:

The Dark Vault – V.E. Schwab

Archangel’s Prophecy – Nalini Singh

Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean

Pride – Ibi Zoboi

Skyward – Brandon Sanderson


Do you spot any favourites or books you want to read? Let me know below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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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!

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Oh my poor, poor TBR I’m so sorry…

Review: A Gathering of Shadows – V.E Schwab

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: img_1308

(Synopsis contains spoilers for previous book)

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.


Okay, so I’m probably going to be dubbed with the “unpopular opinion” label here, but this book seriously suffered from the “second book syndrome”…

Like, nothing happened.

Okay, so we were introduced to Alucard, the cocky Captain of The Night Spire, who is actually one of my favourite characters just because he’s so outrageously arrogant. We also had more of an insight into Rhy’s character, which developed nicely in terms of his courage and love for Kell, and the past relationships between the three of them.

Other than this I was a bit underwhelmed, I’m not going to lie. I really enjoyed the first book (you can see my review here), and I had such high hopes for this one, but the plot was dull… I spent 500 pages reading essentially nothing, and it wasn’t until the last 80 pages that something actually happened! I mean, obviously the Essen Tasch needed to happen to allow Lila to make the discoveries she did (still love her, by the way) but it just didn’t excite me as much as I was hoping.

You may be wondering why I still gave the book 4/5 stars? Well, that’s because I still enjoyed the reading of it. I love the worlds in which the narrative takes place, and the characters are reasonably well rounded enough to make me still want to read it. And the last 80 pages were actually worth the read…

Regardless of this book not being as good as the last, I’m still looking forward to reading A Conjuring of Light – I’ve heard wonderful things and I’m excited to see how the plot will unfold!


View A Gathering of Shadows on Goodreads

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E Schwab

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis:IMG_1304

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.


I’m a sucker for magic, so naturally, I loved this!

People have said it was slow to start, but I didn’t find that at all; reading about all the different London’s and worlds intrigued me from the offset, and I just flew through this book! I’m excited to read the next two instalments to the series now, especially to follow more of Lila’s story – she’s by far my favourite character (super badass female who  doesn’t take any sh** from anyone!)

The trouble with books about magic, is that they’re now pretty much always going to be compared to Harry Potter in one way or another. What I enjoyed most about this book is that the Magic is totally different to the spells we all know so well from Hogwarts and the like. There are no wands or “silly incantations” – the magic comes from within, like a source at the centre of the earth that must be summoned. And the Magic itself materialises in the control of the elements: earth, water, fire and, the most dangerous of all, bone. For this reason, this book shouldn’t be compared to Harry Potter. Whilst the Magic is there, and is enjoyable in the sense that it takes me back to my childhood of wanting to be Hermione Granger (ahem), I never once found myself picking fault and referring back to HP. I loved this book for it’s own reasons.

This book was exciting, gripping and daring – none of it “beat around the bush” so to speak. I feel like I know enough about the characters to connect with them, but then not too much to make the next books boring – there’s still more to be discovered, which excites me.

Now, to decide on my favourite London… it should be easy!

Grey London is, I imagine, based around the real London of today – I live here, so I guess that’s how I see it anyway. The similarities are definitely there. Regular, a bit dingy, the people are half decent for the most part… But there’s no magic… boring!

White London is definitely evil. I would say “dark and twisty”, but everything is totally washed out of colour and white, very much like winter – cold, and no one likes it.

Now, Red London – happy, bright, full of magic; thriving and prosperous. I think I like it here best! Obvious choice. I’m predictable, what can I say?

Because I’ve only just managed to find time to write this review, I’ve actually already read the second book of the series, A Gathering of Shadows. I’ll let you know my thoughts on that soon…

If you love fantasy, magic and danger, I’d definitely recommend this book!


View A Darker Shade of Magic on Goodreads

March Wrap Up & April TBR

Another month passes and I’m already behind on my Goodreads challenge – oh dear!

I’ve found it difficult to really get stuck into a book this month, so I have several on the go and haven’t really finished much!


Here’s what I’m currently reading:

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E Schwab – I’ve been on a fantasy binge for the past few months now, and I think I’m in need of something a bit different, so it’s taken a while for me to get into this one. But now I’m over 100 pages in and I’m starting to get into the swing of it a bit more now! I loved the first book, so I’m excited to really make progress with this one!

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – I picked this up a few days ago from the library as an emergency replacement book when I forgot to bring my book with me for a long journey. I’m absolutely loving it, it really is just stunning and devastating and I can’t wait to finish it – I’m flying through it!

Illuminae by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff – still haven’t picked this back up… just not feeling it at the moment, it’s not grabbing my attention at all! Might just put it down and come back to it a bit later.


Books I’ve read this month:

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 I really enjoyed this! Full review coming soon.

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️(.5) This book really surprised me, pleasantly. It was a super quick read, and I got through it in just a couple of days. I may have also cried a few times… full review coming soon!

Looking at that feeble 2 completed books is a bit disappointing, but actually if I think about it, I’m about 100 pages into each of the 3 other books I’ve got on the go, so not totally horrendous! Just been in a slight slump this month again, but I’m definitely getting back into it! I may also finish at least one of these books just before the month is out…


April TBR

I’m going to be ambitious this month, and set myself an actual TBR list! I haven’t done this in a while, so I’m hoping it will encourage me to boost my reading rate and shove my Goodreads challenge along a bit. There’s also a lot of books that I’m really excited to get stuck into!

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas – My BF has actually caught up with me on this series now, so we’re going to read this one together; cute!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I’ve been left in charge of the teen book club at work next month, and this is the selected book, so that’s worked out as a nice excuse to finally get around to reading it!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Another book my BF is desperately waiting for me to read so he can borrow it… I’m just being kind. I also told myself I need to read this before I read Strange The Dreamer, which I’m so hyped to read!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – I’ve been desperate to read this since I got sent my proof copy, but still haven’t been able to get to it. This month. It will happen.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carol – This is my “if I have time” choice. Nice and short, and something that I really should have read many years ago but just didn’t!

Five books is probably slightly unrealistic seeing as I’ve already got 3 in progress, but a girl can dream! Also, better to shoot for the moon and land among the stars, some might say… 😌


Also, considering I was saying “I might need something different” other than fantasy, the majority of these choices are fantasy… oops! Hopefully they’ll provide enough variety!


Goodreads Challenge Status: 7/40 (2 Books Behind Schedule)