Sunday, 31 December 2017

Friday, 29 December 2017

Mini Reviews #3 // Science Fiction edition

I am back with another collection of mini reviews! I'm getting ahead on next semester and reading the books for my Science Fiction module. It is the module that I'm most excited by, and the reading has not let me down so far. With all of these books I'm only going to give them a quick summary, because to say too much would give a lot of what is so great about them away.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

I was expecting my anticipated releases of 2018 to mainly consist of sequels, but going through my TBR led me to find that it's a perfect mix! Even more exciting is that four of them are by authors I have never read before. I'm branching out more in my reading choices which I'm quite happy about, although it does mean that I have a lot more books I want to read! (Most of these books don't have covers yet, sorry!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Book Haul // September-December 2017

The time is here for my third and final book haul of 2017! I decided to share a book haul post every 4 months this year rather than have them at the bottom of my wrap up post every month. I try really hard not to buy too many books, and I find that this is a much more effective way to track my bookish spending. You can find parts 1 and 2 of my 2017 book haul here and here.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Books I Hope to get this Winter

I'm not actually expecting any books from Santa, but I do have a lot of book vouchers left over from my birthday to spend. At the moment I'm holding off on using them in case I need them for university books for next semester. I usually borrow all my required reading books first, and then buy the ones I plan to write my essays on when the essay questions are released - so I'm unlikely to be spending them over this Christmas. I also doubt I'll have time to read any books that aren't for class in the coming months. But it's nice to think about the books I would buy if I had the time. Or preferably, imagine Santa bringing them for me (because hardcovers are expensive - especially since most of the books I want to buy have only been published in the US!).

Friday, 15 December 2017

Latest Love // Young Justice

Latest Love is a series of posts where I talk about a recent obsession. This could be a bookish obsession or otherwise - anything that has been making me happy recently that I feel like sharing. The important thing about this feature is that it isn't a review. This is just a way of me expressing a few reasons why I like something, and maybe find some more people to talk about it with. 😊

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Favourite Books of 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, I want to focus on the good things that have happened this year. I didn't do much in terms of personal achievements, particularly in the latter half of the year. I've struggled to do and enjoy things, which shows in the recent drops in my blogging and the low ratings in my reading. But Christmas is on its way and I'll be seeing more friends soon. I will be seeing the new Star Wars movie in a couple of weeks. I have a module on Science Fiction next year and I'm really excited by the reading list. There are so many new releases next year that I can't wait to read. And although I didn't have nearly as many good reads as I did last year, there are plenty that I adored. And to maximise the love, I'm listing ALL of my 4 and 5 star reads, including re-reads, to make a mega-list of book love. 💖

Friday, 1 December 2017

November Wrap Up

My reading wrap up makes the number of books I've read this November look far more impressive than it actually is! Three of the books I read were short stories (I read them all in one day!), plus one play (which I also read in a day), and a novel that was under 200 pages (read in a few days). But I'm happy to keep the illusion up that I'm doing a lot of reading!

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Books On My Winter TBR

My Autumn reading has been a struggle. There have been so many wonderful books that I have wanted to read, but if you've seen from my required reading mini review posts, I haven't had much of a chance. It is difficult when work and studies overlap with hobbies. My leisure time now feels like it could be more productive by choosing to read books for class over books I want to read. But I am working with it, and hopefully I can sneak in a few of these books that I've been really excited for this Winter before I have to get started on my reading for next semester.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Mini Reviews #2

I'm powering through my university reading, which continues to be a mixed bag. My tolerance at the moment is quite low, so I'm DNFing books after a couple of chapters, sometimes even a few pages. I hate that I'm doing it, because I genuinely want to be more well read. However, I'm still attending lectures (even the ones that mean I have to get up at 6:30 😭) and I am still participating in class discussions. Plus the way I am assessed means that I don't have to read every book I'm assigned, so I'm forcing myself to get over my perfectionist people-pleasing guilt.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Books I Am Thankful For

This time last year the Top 10 Tuesday prompt was authors I am thankful for. 365 days later and I think that list is pretty much unchanged for me. The 5 authors I listed there have been and are some very important people to me. I've admired them all at different points in my life, and I admire them still. This year's focus is on books. There are a lot of books I could say I am thankful for. But there are only 4 that came to mind that I think really captured my life: 2 in how they represented an era of my life for me, and 2 in how I could so strongly relate to them.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Latest Love: Stranger Things (spoiler free ramblings!)

Latest Love is a series of posts where I talk about a recent obsession. This could be a bookish obsession or otherwise - anything that has been making me happy recently that I feel like sharing. The important thing about this feature is that it isn't a review. This is just a way of me expressing a few reasons why I like something, and maybe find some more people to talk about it with. 😊

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Books I Think All Young People Should Read

I believe it's really important for young people to read, but unfortunately for my siblings, that means I pressure them to read every book I have ever read and loved. The result of this is rarely successful, and I've been trying to back off and let them read what appeals to them rather than giving them a yearly tour of my bookshelf for updates. Having said this, there are a small selection of books that I genuinely believe that all young people ought to read.

Friday, 10 November 2017

What is it that attracts adults to read YA?

When I first started this blog I was 17, and all I read was YA. I read the occasional classic or adult book too, but YA was where my heart was at. Now I'm almost 20 (yikes), and the YA section is still my first stop when I enter any book store. I love the genre as much as I did then, maybe even more, and I don't think my age is ever going to change that.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Leading Characters I'd Follow into Battle

I know that I said I wouldn't be posting as many Top 10 Tuesday posts anymore and focus on posting more of what I want to write, but I think I have to retract that statement, because I got 0 interactions in the whole of October. It turns out that this meme is the only reason I get views, and stopping it means the posts I work hard on all suffer even more than they had before. I do like TTT, and even though I'm not always inspired by the prompts, the posts are fun and easy to write. I will keep writing them as well as the posts made from my own ideas and hope that you like and get to see both. But as for whether I keep this meme on the blog or not, I think the readers have spoken! (Or more like not spoken. This blog was like a wasteland last month!)

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

September & October Wrap Up

These past couple of months have felt a little disorganised, but I think this blog is coming together again. As I said in a post in mid October, you're going to see fewer Top 10 Tuesday posts and more posts that I want to be writing.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Mini Reviews #1

The weight of my required reading for university feels a little crushing right now. It feels like there are so many more books I need to read this year. Thankfully it's more fiction than theory, but at least when I was assigned theory, even when I couldn't understand it for the life in me it was never more than 20 pages. But I have 27 novels/stories/poetry collections I need to read by the end of December, and reading for necessity rather than pleasure does crush the fun out of reading a lot of the time.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Latest Love // Voltron: Legendary Defender

In an attempt to give this blog a bit of a fresh start and be producing more content that I love, I'm starting up a new feature.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Some Changes

I can't lie - blogging is getting hard. Ever since mid-summer when I didn't have good internet and struggled to update, I haven't been able to get back into the stride of things. With no schedule to stick to, my motivation for blogging, for bookstagram, and even for reading vanished.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Books that Feature #OwnVoices Characters

It makes me happy to no end that we are seeing more and more diverse books hit bestsellers lists like The New York Times, and even happier to see the success of own voices authors. If you're not familiar with the term, when a book is referred to as own voices it means that the characters of a book represent the author's own identity, and it's super important to be encouraging the publication of these books. We want to see the world represented accurately across all fiction, of course, but whilst doing so we also need to be lifting up authors who are writing about their own experiences.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Books on My Autumn TBR

Autumn means it's back to classes for a lot of us, and for me as an English student, it means back to long required reading lists that I didn't actually get to reading this summer like I should have. I've actually been in a slow place in terms of reading this summer, so having a bunch of new books to be reading that I'm not excited by isn't ideal. Last year I was able to read the books I wanted in between the ones I was assigned, and it really helped me power through them all. But if my weird reading place persists I don't know if I can do the same this year.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

5 Books I Put Down This Year

I'm sorry I missed another week of Top 10 Tuesday - life has been busy at the moment. I haven't actually been able to come up for anything creative for this week's TTT, so because it's a throwback, I'm going to throw back to last week's challenge that I missed! (I feel like I always break all the rules with challenges like this, oh well).

Friday, 8 September 2017

Book Review // Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

It's always a risk when one picks up a book on a whim. It's impossible to know what to expect when you've never heard of a book, and there's always the potential of it going disastrously wrong. But Daughter of the Burning City ended up being a pleasant and refreshing surprise that stands out from the YA fantasy crowd.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

May-August 2017 Book Haul

I'm back today with another 2017 book haul! I decided to share a book haul post every 4 months this year rather than have them at the bottom of my wrap up post every month. I try really hard not to buy too many books, and I find that this is a much more effective way to track my bookish spendings. You can find part 1 of my 2017 haul here.

Friday, 1 September 2017

August Wrap Up

My August reading hasn't been the best in terms of quantity. I was saying last month how I hoped to be reading more books this summer, but I wound up reading fewer in August than I probably have all year. What's worse is that for a lot of this month I had limited Internet, so I definitely expected to have read more. For #TheReadingQuest I thought I'd set my bar to 10 books this month so that I'd be motivated enough to reach at least 5, but perhaps the over-ambitious technique doesn't work for me. I think I'm going to cut back on the ambitious goal setting for the next month, and maybe I'll get to read a bit more of what I want before my required reading is required to be read.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Book Review // They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

I don't know how I can ever let myself feel emotions after this. Normally when I know a book will make me sad I try to embrace the emotionless void - to save myself the hurt (and from having others see my cry - acquaintances/strangers on the train don't need to see that). But I just couldn't do it. I sobbed with abandon because I couldn't stop myself from becoming deeply attached to this story.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Book Review // The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I guess The Scorpio Races and I were not meant to be. This was my third attempt at this book, and the first time I completed it thanks to the audiobook (and surprisingly quickly, too). The story is told in alternating first person perspectives, and the audio helped me tell them apart, because on paper they didn't read as that different. It also meant I could absorb more of the story, which I couldn't manage to pull myself through before.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Hidden Gem Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books

Sorry for being absent for this last week! I had bad internet and couldn't post, but I'm back once more for another Top Ten Tuesday post 😊. This week is all about hidden gems, and I've specifically chosen to stick with SFF books because there are so many of them I love but hear nothing about. I've also noted how many Goodreads ratings each book has so you know which you definitely need to give the most love to 💕.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

August probably isn't when this book tag was meant to be completed, but it's close enough to mid-year that I'm doing it anyway! The Mid Year Book Freakout Tag was created by two booktubers (1, 2) and I was inspired to do it after Eve's post on Twist in the Taile.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Books For Fairytale Lovers (that aren't retellings!)

There is a lot of love for retellings in YA, and although I haven't read too many, there are some I really love. I grew up reading fairytale books, so books that reimagine those stories like The Land of Stories books by Chris Colfer have a nostalgic kind of magic for me. But there are some books that manage to hold that kind of magic that aren't retellings. For some of them it's the language, for others the setting just has a feeling.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Book Review // Release by Patrick Ness

What a uniquely wonderful book. That was my final thought when I finished Release. It was unique in the way that Patrick Ness is able to make every book of his utterly different from the last. And it was wonderful in that I fell for it after expecting not to like it at all.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Diversity Spotlight #5

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks, and involves featuring 3 diverse books every week. This week I'm focusing on 3 contemporary books with LGBT+ characters.

Friday, 4 August 2017

#TheReadingQuest Sign Up!

This is my first ever reading challenge and I'm really excited to be joining! The brilliant idea of #TheReadingQuest comes from the mind of Aentee @readatmidnight, and the utterly adorable character art comes from CW @readthinkponder, so please go send both of them some love! If you would like to find out more or sign up, you can go to this post.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

July Wrap Up // a month of consistently good reads

July has been very consistent in terms of my reading. I read 5 books this month, which is just about average for me, although considering it's summer I was hoping to be reading more. Those five books were all YA Fantasy, which is to be expected, minus Meddling Kids which was Adult Horror/Fantasy. And to top that off, every book I read was either 3 or 4 stars. No new obsessions, but I did really enjoy all of them. Also from this month: I went to YALC! It was my second time going to this UK book convention, and I really enjoyed it despite being super antisocial (I think I recognised a few bloggers but I didn't want to be creepy and say hi). You can read about what I did in my YALC post which I linked at the bottom of this wrap up!

Monday, 31 July 2017

YALC 2017 Recap and Haul

I think it's official. I'm going to go to the YA Literature Convention every year for the rest of my life. I'm not a big socialiser and I didn't really talk to anyone other than the three friends I went with, but the atmosphere of book nerdiness and being surrounded by fiction is enough for me to have an amazing time.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Book Review // Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Have you ever wanted to give a book a hug? I knew little about Timekeeper before I started, but now I want to hug and thank it for its utter cuteness.

The Cover Changing Curse

I'm pretty sure one of my earliest readerly woes was when the Artemis Fowl series changed covers. I had just finished the third book when I went to the bookstore and found that the fourth book was there, but looked entirely different. I spent hours searching on the internet to try and find copies of the remaining books in the covers I loved, but they were all painfully expensive and disappearing off the face of the earth by the second. And so I had to settle for a cover change.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Series Review // Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab

My love of Schwab's fantastical worlds is not a love I keep secret. Every book of hers I have read is conceptually unique, and it is these wondrous worlds that keep me coming back to her stories. The Monsters of Verity duology were not my favourite of her books, but they still hold a place in my heart.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Books I Almost Put Down But Thankfully Didn't

It's rare for me to put a book down with no intention of picking it up again. When I do this, it's normally because I get super frustrated in my inability to get into a story, and it's often made worse if the book is very hyped.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Diversity Spotlight #4

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks, and involves featuring 3 diverse books every week. This week I have chosen to focus on diverse Science Fiction, because truthfully there aren't a lot that come to mind. I'm so glad that with the surge for more diversity in our fiction there are authors who are challenging our expectations of what kind of characters can lead a sci-fi, and I think a lot of these authors are also challenging the entire conventions of what the genre can be.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Book Review // Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor has the most beautiful ability to shape worlds from words. It was her world and her words in Daughter of Smoke and Bone that had me instantly captured, and wondering this: how can one mind create such curious beauty?

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Meddling Kids // a darker, more adult and twisted version of Scooby-Doo

Meddling Kids is a book totally outside of my comfort zone, and a completely unexpected new love. It took me some time to get into, but once I did I was so hooked that I didn't want to stop.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Fellow Bloggers: I Need Your Advice on Custom Domains!

I've been considering getting a personal domain for my blog for a while now (basically cutting out 'blogspot' from my URL), but I just don't know how/where/if it's worth it.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

May & June Wrap Up

I've combined my wrap up post for May and June because I did really little reading in May and was also on a blogging break for most of that month. But I am back once more, and after a bit of a struggle to get back into reading, I actually found a couple of books I really loved.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Ash and Quill // a world and characters I can't get enough of

My reviews for The Great Library series: Ink and Bone (#1) | Paper and Fire (#2)

Ash and Quill was one of my highest anticipated books of the year, and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

9 Five Star Books of 2017 So Far

Only having 9 five star reads out of the 34 books I've read this year looks really sad. And it kind of is. It's even sader when you know that 3 of these books are rereads. It's been a bad reading year so far for me, and I've been in a bit of a slump lately which doesn't help. Last year 30 out of 71 books I read were 5 stars, but I don't know what's changed this year that I've been struggling to find books I actually like. Hopefully that will change in the latter half of the year (although probably not if my required reading has anything to say about the matter!).

Friday, 23 June 2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue // exciting, funny, and adorable

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is the most fun I've had reading in a long time! Set in the 18th century, three friends steal a magical object that leads to them being chased across Europe, whilst also trying to escape the paths that life has laid out before them.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Series I Have Yet to Start

I'm thankfully on top of most of the series I'm currently in the middle of, but there are a bunch more on my TBR that I haven't touched yet. Starting a new series is a lot of commitment! Especially if you know it's going to have more than 3 books and is unfinished. Hopefully I'll be able to get to some of these this summer.

Monday, 19 June 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi // great representation but not so great a story

I was looking for a cute summery read to get me out of my reading slump, and after hearing so much love for When Dimple Met Rishi, I thought this would be the book to do it. But maybe my slump or my inexperience with entirely romance centred novels got in the way, because I don't think this book was for me.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Diversity Spotlight #3

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks, and involves featuring 3 diverse books every week. I'll be participating once a month, but I hope I'm able to convince you to get your hands on these books, and maybe in the process get some recommendations too! This week I will be looking at an alternative history series and an outer space sci-fi - two genres I haven't read too much of.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

False Hearts // not as awesome as I'd hoped

False Hearts is the first in a series of standalone novels set in the same universe. Set in a futuristic San-Francisco with advanced drugs and technology, the story focuses on Taema, a previously conjoined twin, who must assume her sister Tila's identity in order to bring down a crime syndicate and clear her sister's name.