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Top Ten Tuesday – Best books I read in 2018

Hello lovely blog readers – I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Tuesday posts can be found here over on That Artsy Reader Girl’s blog. This weeks prompt is: Best Books I Read in 2018


  1. I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

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    This was definitely my top read of 2018. Full of brilliant relatable characters, societal pressures, severe anxiety, confusion over sexuality and the dangers of obsessive fandoms, I Was Born For This is, in my opinion, Alice Oseman’s best book so far.

  2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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    The first thing I read this year! A Darker Shade of Magic was gorgeously crafted – with magic twisted through each page. It was dark and bloody at times, and was such a fantastic start to a series I could really get my teeth into.

  3. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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    V.E. Schwab never fails to create wonderful books. Vicious was a truly gripping tale of ex-friends Victor Vale and Eli Ever, after they die, resurrect themselves and gain extraordinary powers. This book is full of such rich characters that think they’re doing the right thing when in reality they’re awful human beings…

  4. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

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    A real tear-jerker of a book, and a must-read for fans of The Hate U Give. Dear Martin is the story of Justyce, who is fed up with the cops treating him like dirt due to the colour of his skin. He begins to write letters to Dr King to help him seek guidance. This book really punches you in the gut and leaves you aching for days after reading it.

  5. Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

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    Another brilliant book that tackles the racism from cops that is rife in America. Moss has been left with crippling anxiety after the murder of his father by police, and this anxiety gets worse when officers start guarding his school and threatening students. This is an excellent book that will leave you enraged and infuriated.

  6. What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli

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    I hate insta-love, so don’t know why I loved this book so much. It was so fluffy, sweet and wholesome and I enjoyed every single page. This was a lovely easy read, I’d highly recommend it.

  7. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

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    As much as I loved this book, it did make me feel all sorts of emotions. It was beautifully written, and lots of scenes made my heart stir or feel like it was being squeezed in a vice. This is a stunning book, and will surely make you shed a tear while reading.

  8. For Every One by Jason Reynolds

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    Such a great little poetry book! It really puts life into perspective, even when things are looking tough. I read this at a well-needed part of the year as it gave me a little confidence boost that there is always the power to change situations.

  9. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

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    Alice Oseman is ridiculously talented, and released her webcomic in printed form earlier this year via Kickstarter. Telling the blossoming love story of Charlie and Nick, Heartstopper is a beautiful story with gorgeous artwork.

  10. Fruits Basket collector’s edition vol.1 by Natsuki Takaya

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    I revisited this book this year after reading it in my childhood and didn’t regret it at all! It was lovely to reread a book that I loved and cherished so much as a young teen reader, and to see it in a brand new collectible format is even better.


Which books did you love in 2018? Are there any on this list you’ve never read?

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Looking back at… 2018 Bookish Resolutions

At the beginning of 2018, I set myself some Bookish Resolutions’ in the hopes that I would keep to them and maybe push myself to read more books, or perhaps to read a different genre! Now that the year is over, I thought I’d take a look back at them now and see how well I did.


Read 50 Books

I managed to do this – and I actually doubled my goal! I always attempt to read 50 books at least, but for me to read over 100 this year is a huge achievement for me. Some may say that books like graphic novels and manga don’t count, but I don’t listen to people like that. I’ve read so much this year – and a varied selection too! Poetry, non-fiction, short story compilations, stuff that I wouldn’t usually pick up! I’m really proud that I managed to read so much.

Read more adult books

When I started this blog, I read primarily YA books with no adult books at all. That changed this year – I read a ton of adult fantasy which was glorious! I also read a lot of adult non-fiction – one of my personal favourites is Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.. It was a striking and at times terrifying read – as a lot of it is prominent in the world today. I think I definitely did well with this resolution!

Write more

I actually did write a lot more this year! They may have been the beginnings of story ideas I never got around to finishing, but I definitely did push myself to write more! I even sat and wrote a whole part of a story idea that came out of nowhere, which was fun to do!

Review every book I read

Ah…ahahah…this one didn’t happen. It became virtually impossible to juggle work, reading, reviewing, photography, blogging and just life in general. There was never enough time in the day to review every single book I read! I acknowledged in my original post that I thought this would be a really tricky resolution to keep – and I was right!


Did you have any bookish resolutions of 2018? And did you manage to stick to any?

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The Christmas Stocking Tag

It’s nearly Christmas! Can you believe there’s only two days until Christmas day? I still get so excited counting down the days, and it’s always great to spend time with friends and family during the festive season. The wonderful Kate over at Reading Through Infinity created this tag, and while I wasn’t tagged in a post myself I really wanted to do this super Christmassy tag!

Rules

  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Link to Kate, as she’d love to read your answers
  • Answer all 10 questions, choosing books for each theme
  • Tag five people to do this. I’m tagging Esmée, Louise, Lucinda, Charlotte, & Sarah

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman. This graphic novel is a truly refreshing and vibrant read – the art is gorgeous and uniquely styled, and the storyline will tug at your heartstrings. It’s such a lovely one to have on the shelf!

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The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. (Yum) Which book have you recently bought that was expensive, but totally worth the high price?

I don’t actually think I’ve bought a really expensive book lately. The only thing I can think of is the The Incredibles 2 artbook at £20 but it was for my sisters birthday present so does it actually count?

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You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

This has to be A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. BLOOD?! ATTACKING RUTHLESS MONARCHS?! VILLAINS?! GOING THROUGH WALLS?! Oh and did I mention BLOOD?! This book is jam-packed with action scenes, and every one of them is tense and gripping enough to have you squeezing the book as tight as you can!

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Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?

I will probably have to say the All For The Game series by Nora Sakavic. The Foxhole Court was a bit of a slow go, and far too wordy at times, but The Raven King was so much better – and the series is so different from what I normally read! Lots of shocking scenes and truly dark moments, I was really intrigued by the second book and really want to read the third.

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You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?

Starr Carter in The Hate U Give. Despite everything she is going through, she always manages to be a true beacon of hope. She represents standing up and having faith in your voice, and having the courage to be brave when everything looks bleak.

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There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?

Definitely A Series of Unfortunate Events. It is such a perfect mystery series, with a bit of crime thrown in for good measure and plenty of mystery. There are points where the characters are discussing things that are so cryptic and confusing, and it will only make sense either two chapters or four books later. There’s so many little hidden references through the entire series too – stuff that is right under your nose the whole time but you can’t see the significance of it!

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There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

I think V.E. Schwab definitely has an inspiring writing process, especially as she seemed to endure lots of hate online regarding a sequel for Vicious. She is a ruthless writer and powers through, whether she writes three words or three thousand words a day. It’s definitely fantastic to follow her posts discussing how she writes and how she plots.

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To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen. Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?

I thought long and hard about this one, and think I’d actually rewrite parts of Leah On The Offbeat. Leah was a very bitter and unlikeable character at times, so I think I’d want to rewrite scenes to make her just a little bit…nicer? Plus I’d definitely want to fix that scene. You know the one.

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There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?

Six of Crows duology. It took a long time for me to actually want to pick this book up, and sat on my shelf for a good few months before I finally picked it up to read. It was completely and utterly worth it, and I’ve already reread the first book in the series.

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Your pile is getting really big. You reach in to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden snitch. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.

One book that really surprised me was Dungeon Fun by Colin Bell and Neil Slorance. I was expecting it to be good, I was expecting it to be funny, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so funny that my stomach ached from laughter. It’s such a clever graphic novel, with little hidden jokes within the speech and backgrounds of the panels! (You should definitely check this one out and support independent artists!)

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So there we have it – the Christmas Stocking tag! Feel free to fill this in yourself if I’ve tagged you – I’d love to see your answers! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and get all the bookish things you’ve been dreaming of!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Winter TBR

Hello lovely blog readers – I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Tuesday posts can be found here over on That Artsy Reader Girl’s blog. This weeks prompt is: Winter TBR.

We’ll still be in Winter through February as it’ll be ridiculously cold, so there are plenty of books that I want to read through this season!


  1. Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo
    I really should finish this series… I keep meaning to. I think in January I should definitely try to finish this book at least.
  2. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
    I’m so so excited to read King of Scars! I’m really looking forward to some more Nikolai scenes, and to have some Nina scenes too! This duology sounds great and I can’t wait to read it once its out!
  3. The Wicked King by Holly Black
    The first book of this trilogy left on such a huge cliffhanger, so I can’t wait for the next one to be out so that I can devour it immediately! Give me more brutal faeries now!
  4. Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
    I love everything that Jeff Zentner has written, so I’m really looking forward to this one! It seems like it’ll be very different from his last two books!
  5. Retrograde Orbit by Kristyna Baczyniski
    This is a gorgeous graphic novel that I may have finished by the time this blog gets posted. The colours are spectacular and it sounds like a really good concept for a story – I’ve heard nothing but good things!
  6. Odd One Out by Nic Stone
    I really loved Nic Stone’s first book Dear Martin, so can’t wait to read something else from her! Really excited to read this story.
  7. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
    I bought this earlier in the year and am really looking forward to reading it – I’ve heard so many good things about this and have avoided spoilers so far, so can’t wait to read it!
  8. Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon
    I heard the author of this book speak at an event earlier in the year, and the descriptions of the book and the story to it being written was very moving. Can’t wait to read it for myself.
  9. Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne
    Holly Bourne writes mental illnesses really well, and I’ve heard that this book really nails this tricky-yet-important topic. I’ve read some of her other books and this will be an interesting one to read too.
  10. The King’s Men by Nora Sakavic
    I’ve read the first two in this series, and really want to see how it all comes to a head! It’s something really different to what I’d normally read!

Have you read any of these books? And will any keep me cosy and warm through winter…?

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Most Anticipated Reads of 2019

Hello all!

2018 is coming to a close. How has it been for you? I think 2018 has been a fairly good year for me: I got a kickass haircut, my book club is running strong, I got a new job, and I even managed to read a total of 100 books. Let’s hope that 2019 has some really good things in store.

Speaking of 2019… there are some truly amazing books coming out next year! I’ve got so many that I can’t wait to read, so wanted to list them all here! So without further ado…

My Most Anticipated Reads of 2019


 

1. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

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Okay, so I’ll read anything that Leigh Bardugo writes. Her style is amazing, and the world building in her books is impeccable. When I heard the announcement that she was writing a new book in the Grishaverse, my ears pricked up. When I found out that Nina Zenik from Six of Crows was going to be a major character, I was well and truly sold. Despite me not finishing the Grishaverse trilogy, I’m still really excited for this book!

2. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

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As soon as I heard that Angie Thomas was writing a new book, I knew I had to read it. The Hate U Give has to be one of the most revolutionary books of 2017, and was so important and made a huge impact. Angie Thomas isn’t afraid to hold a mirror to society’s flaws and call them out, and I expect great things from On The Come Up.

3. The Wicked King by Holly Black

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Oh yes, I’m ready to get back into the disturbing nasty world of the Fae. I’m ready for more Cardan being an absolute jerk to everyone near him. I’m ready for more shocking scenes and faerie nastiness. Give me The Wicked King NOW.

4. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

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The sequel to Children of Blood and Bone! I thought this was such an accomplished debut, it was incredibly strong and powerful and I’d really love to see what happens next – especially after THAT cliffhanger. I really need to know if characters survived those last few chapters…

5. Internment by Samira Ahmed

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I’ve only just discovered this book but it sounds fascinating. Set in a horrifying near-future United States (and let’s face it, the current climate in the US is horrifying enough), 17-year-old Layla and her mother are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. This sounds like a truly powerful read, and I think it’ll be a very important one too.

6. I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

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I’m actually really excited for this one – and not just because the artwork on the cover is lovely! I’m very pleased to see both an own voices non-binary character, but also a black character be featured in this book as LGBT+ – this is something that is few and far between in YA. I hope this will also be able to tackle the somewhat stigma of LGBT+ black men that has always had struggles.

7. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

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What’s this? Another Leigh Bardugo book? 2019 is giving me too much already. This is about *checks notes* a high-school dropout with a criminal past, entering Yale University to keep tabs on the underground occult societies… Yes hello, I think I’d very much love to read this book now.

8. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

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I nearly fell over when this was announced. A sequel to Carry On?! Of course I would want this in my life!! Carry On is the story of Simon and Baz, enemies to lovers with lots of anger and magic thrown in. It’ll be really interesting to see how their relationship has developed since the first book – plus look at that suit Baz is wearing. I aspire to have a suit that cool.

9. The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

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Here’s one I’ve been anticipating for a while! Written by one of the most bookish people on the planet, Lucy Powrie certainly has a great debut with this one. It’s about… a BOOK CLUB! I’m so excited for this book – and to have it coming from such a great blogger and well-known person in the online bookish community is just amazing!

10. PROUD – assorted authors

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A compilation of LGBT+ YA stories, featuring authors and artists that I absolutely adore! Simon James Green has his story illustrated by Alice Oseman – what a dream duo! I’m really excited to read this, especially as I read an LGBT+ compilation book this year with historical stories – it’ll be great to read some modern contemporary ones too!


Are there any books on the list that you want to read too? Have I missed anything that you think I’d love? Let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Merch I’d Like to Own

Hello all! Happy Tuesday! The Top Ten Tuesday posts can be found here over on That Artsy Reader Girl’s blog. This weeks prompt: Bookish merch I want. This’ll be tough to cut down to just ten things…


  1. Draco Malfoy’s wand
    I already own a wand – Luna Lovegood’s – and I do really want to own Draco’s as I would have two of my favourites! But I have absolutely nowhere to put another wand…
  2. Six of Crows character cards
    Whenever Leigh Bardugo does signings, she has playing cards of the official Kevin Wada art that she gives out. I, of course, have never been to a signing, but would absolutely love to have a full set of these cards to display on my shelf.
  3. More bookish candles
    Who can resist more candles?! Not me, clearly… I really want some more of different book characters – a Victor Vale one would be brilliant, wouldn’t it?
  4. Map of Ketterdam
    Ketter-damn more like. I want this on my wall, how cool would it look?!
  5. Bookish pin badges
    I can never refuse a good pin badge, but one related to a book? How could I resist?? I have quite a few already, but it would be great to have a wider range of Six of Crows ones.
  6. Graphic novel prints
    I would love to decorate with lots of prints from my favourite graphic novels. Some art from Saga would be amazing, and I don’t think I’d be able to resist having art from some of Tillie Walden’s books on display!
  7. A replica Nimbus 2001
    I’ve seen this, and believe it when I say I stood at that glass cabinet and watched it fly up and down for ages. I want this just to mount to my wall and stare at.
  8. Straight Outta Ketterdam
    I need this because it makes me laugh so much. It’s so cool?!
  9. Themed tote bags
    Six of Crows, Vicious, Shades of Magic, I don’t care what the theme is. If it’s themed on one of my favourite books, I want the tote bag.
  10. No Mourners, No Funerals tapestry
    Where the hell would I put it? I don’t know. But it’d look damn good on a wall.

I want all the bookish merch…give it all to me… Anything I’ve missed that you think I’d love? Let me know!

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BOOK REVIEW: Heartstopper

In case you don’t already know, I have such a fondness for graphic novels. They are a beautiful combination of art and story, and it’s always great to find a brand new favourite. When Alice Oseman, one of my favourite UKYA authors, decided to start a Kickstarter campaign to transform her webcomic Heartstopper into a printed volume, there was an amazing response. Heartstopper had a goal of £9,000 and was funded within hours, with a whopping £58,925 raised to bring this webcomic to life. I backed the project alongside many others, and am so thrilled to have it on my bookshelf.


Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Heartstopper is honestly such a joy to have read. It’s brilliantly British (yes, I laughed at the ‘cheeky Nando’s’ joke), lighthearted and covers such a sweet blossoming romance. Charlie is openly gay and has managed to move past the bullying he received once he came out – although his anxiety over this still threatens him constantly. Nick starts off thinking he’s straight, but after meeting Charlie and spending time with him (developing quite the crush) he’s starting to wonder whether there’s more to his sexuality than he first thought.

It’s really lovely to read such an uplifting book about an LGBT+ relationship. Of course it has its ups and downs – Nick and Charlie are only just discovering that they like each other, so there are bound to be crossed wires. But it’s a relief to not have such a harrowing story focused on traumatic events. It’s also brilliant to have some bisexual representation in the form of Nick. There is a scene that resonates with me where he’s desperately googling things to try and understand what’s going on in his head and his heart, which I think many young LGBT+ people will understand entirely. Nick and Charlie’s relationship is wonderful to watch grow, and there shared shy moments and close scenes will have any readers heart fluttering.

The novel is illustrated with Alice’s unique style, and is peppered with quirky little illustrations in the speech bubbles to show what tone characters are responding in. As with all of her books, there are some really lovable characters and there are ones that you can’t help but dislike (Harry, I’m looking at you…). The whole book leaves you with such a warm feeling inside – despite ending on a sadder cliffhanger which you’ll need volume 2 to ease your mind – but it’s a book that I will be constantly revisiting and rereading, and is one that I’m thrilled to have on my shelf.

Final thought: Heartstopper? More like Heartlifter. 5/5