August TBR!

Hey guys!

As you may have noticed, I haven’t really been active on here consistently in a while. Life’s been keeping me busy, but I’m determined to make time for my blog! I haven’t read as much either, and I’m really behind on my Goodreads challenge – but it’s summer, so I’m hoping to catch up a bit.

Here are the books I’m hoping to read this month:

Since You've Been Gone

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson is a wonderful author, and I love the two contemporaries I’ve read by her! I decided to buy this one after reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour (you can read my review of that book here!), so I have high hopes for this one.

The Nowhere Girls

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

I bought this book a month or two ago, and I’m hoping to get round to it soon! I think it’s going to be an emotional read, but I think the message it’ll convey is an important one.

Talon (Talon, #1)

Talon by Julie Kagawa

I was bought this book years ago, and I started it and I was hooked. I was only a few chapters away from finishing it when for some reason, I put it down and never reached the end. But I’ve decided now is the time to delve back into it – I read The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and really liked it, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this book!

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And that’s my August TBR! I’m such a mood reader now that planning what I’m going to read is normally a futile attempt, but I’m going to try and stick to these!

I’m hoping I actually manage three, as well – I seem to start so many novels, get close to the end, and then put them down and forget about them. I have so many unfinished reads it’s ridiculous!

Personal Update!

Last month was Camp Nanowrimo, and I decided to take part! I’ve had a couple of goes at Nanowrimo before, but have always faced the end of the month with a very little amount of words written, and hopes completely depleted of ever writing a novel.

However, not this time! I’m so happy to say that I finally did it: I completed Camp Nanowrimo and hit my word goal!

Winner 2018

I ended up writing just over fifty-thousand words in thirty days, which is the most I’ve written for a single project ever. Now comes the editing part, and trying to fix all of the plot holes I know are lurking around everywhere – but I’m giving myself a break for a few days!

Have you read any of the books on my August TBR? Did you take part in Camp Nanowrimo this year?

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Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson | Book Review

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Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 4th May, 2010

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

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This novel had been sitting on my shelf for years unread, because whenever I picked it up, I never seemed to be in the mood for it. I’d pretty much given up on the idea of ever actually reading it – it was just going to be one of those books that I couldn’t get rid of but would never end up reading.

A few weeks ago though, I found myself in the mood for a contemporary, and saw this book sitting on my shelf and decided I’d give it another go. I’ve so desperately wanted to find myself hooked in it ever time I’ve tried to read it, because Second Chance Summer by this author is so wonderful, and I wanted this novel to be as great as that one.

And I’m so happy to say that after all these years, I loved it.

‘The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.’

I really enjoyed reading about our main character, Amy, and the emotional journey detour she ends up taking with Roger. There’s a lot of learning and healing that takes place, and as a reader I feel like there’s a lot that can be taken from this novel. It explores grief and how differently it affects people, and looks at other hard-hitting subjects, too.

And there was a really sweet romance aspect, as well. It made my heart fill up with feels throughout the book!

There were really cute additions to the normal prose which I liked – travel journal entries and playlists feature at the end of each chapter, and different photos and receipts are dotted throughout the book as well. It just added to the reading experience in a positive way.

‘We can’t know what’s going to happen. We can just try to figure it out as we go along.’

There are some books that tear your heart apart, but slowly put it back together again, until you feel more complete upon finishing it than you did before beginning it. This is one of those books. It had me laughing, it had me shedding a few tears, it had me feeling everything – and it was just wonderful.

I found it very inspiring. It’s about how you can’t predict what’s going to happen in your life, but you have to keep going because things work out in the end; don’t let yourself get stuck in the past!

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is the perfect contemporary read for the summer, and you can get it from Amazon here! I’m so ready to take a trip across America after reading this book haha!

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Topic Awareness:

  • Death
  • Addiction (Drug)

Book & Bake | Cream Cheese Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies!

 

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Hey guys!

I’m currently facing my last week of college ever, and instead of focusing on the ever important question of what the heck am I going to do with my life?!, I’ve been baking. A lot.

I’m actually baking more than I am reading at the moment, and so I thought if I can’t blog about books, I can try and blog about what I’ve been baking instead. But then I thought: why not meld the two? My blog is called The Book Crunch after all, so here is the first post in a new segment I’m calling Book & Bake!

In these posts, I’m going to be pairing a book with what I’ve baked. The bake will either be decorated to match the book, or I’ll just be recommending a novel I’ve read and enjoyed!

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I stumbled across these cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies on Sally’s Baking Addiction, which is full to the brim of other delicious treats to make, so you should definitely check it out!

The first thing I have to explain is that my cookies ended up not being red velvet, because someone kind of forgot to check if she had red food colouring or not before starting. I did try and substitute the red for pink, but it had no effect, so basically they’re just chocolate cookies. But they’re filled with cream cheese frosting goodness, and that makes up for my complete failure on the red velvet side of things.

Here are some of the cookies:

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(Sorry for the bad photo!)

The recipe was really easy to follow, and except for a few mishaps with the cream cheese filling oozing out of a few cookies, I think they actually turned out okay! I think if I were to make them again, I’d probably use a bit more cream cheese in the filling, and maybe include chocolate chips, because chocolate in cookies is wonderful. And, of course, make sure I have red food colouring!

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The book I chose for this weeks Book & Bake was originally picked because I thought the red and white of the cookies would match the cover, but the cookies didn’t quite turn out to plan. Oh well!

The book I’m recommending is…

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Frostblood by Elly Blake

In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light – until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable…and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King’s men, she’s taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her – and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she’s spent her whole life withholding.

 

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This year hasn’t been great so far on the reading front for me, but as soon as I picked this book up, I was hooked. I read it in just over three days, which is the fastest I’ve read a book all year. It’s a pretty cliched story, but sometimes cliches are exactly what you’re in the mood for! My review of this one will be up soon!

Have you read Frostblood?! What type of cookies are your favourite?!

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

June Anticipated Releases!

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Hey guys!

All year I’ve been completely out of the loop when it comes to new YA book releases, meaning I’ve been missing out on some awesome reads! So I’ve decided in order to make myself more aware, I’m going to go through Goodreads at the beginning of every month and see what’s being released. I’ll then make a post and talk about which books I’m most looking forward to!

I feel like this is only going to result in my TBR pile growing even more excessive, but oh well! Here are the releases I’m most anticipating this month:

Save the Date

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Publication Date: 5th June, 2018

I heard about this book a few months ago, and since then I’ve been waiting for it’s release! It sounds like a book I’ll really enjoy, and I’m looking forward to reading it!

(Side note: I read Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson a while back, and I remember absolutely loving it. It broke my heart, but it was a wonderful novel and I can’t recommend it enough!)

The Art of French Kissing

The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Shrum

Publication Date: 5th June, 2018

This book sounds like it’s going to be a sweet contemporary, perfect for reading in the garden on a sunny day! And whilst eating yummy snacks, of course.

Fat Girl on a Plane

 Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos

Publication Date: 5th June, 2018

I think this novel sounds really promising – it’s supposed to be about body positivity and loving yourself, and I’m all for that. I’ve seen mixed reviews, but I’m hoping for the best!

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood

Publication Date: 5th June, 2018

I love books that take place over the summer months, so I was instantly drawn to this because of the name. I’m looking forward to reading a book told from four sisters POVs!

What are some of your anticipated reads for this month?!

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May Wrap-Up!

Hey guys!

May has been a busy month for me – I’ve had a bunch of assignment deadlines for college and exams, and I’ve just completely let stress overtake me. I’m currently nine books behind my Goodreads schedule, and I’m thinking I might not complete my challenge this year if I don’t get my read on!

 

Books I’ve Read…

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty #1) by Rosamund Hodge

My feelings on this book are very much mixed! I’ll be posting my review soon, so watch out for it!

Goodreads synopsis:

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Teardrop (Teardrop, #1)

Teardrop (Teardrop #1) by Lauren Kate

I finished this book a couple of days ago, and I enjoyed it! I still need to write a review for this one!

Goodreads synopsis:

Never, ever cry… 

Seventeen-year-old Eureka won’t let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean. And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother’s death and Ander’s appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don’t make sense. Can everything you love be washed away?

Posts…

April Wrap-Up!

Remix by Non Pratt | Book Review

May Book Haul!

My Fave YA Books About Mental Health!

Hay Festival 2018!

This month hasn’t been great on the reading front (actually, this year hasn’t been great for reading at all, but oh well), but I’ve blogged more than I have been recently, which I’m happy about!

What books have you read this month?!

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Hay Festival 2018!

Hey guys!

I’m currently on break from college, and I had planned to spend my free time catching up on blogging and reading. However, I haven’t done much of either because I’ve been so busy – such as with last weekend, when I found myself at a literature festival!

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Hay Festival is a literature festival held every year in Hay-on-Wye over the span of a week, and has talks from special guests and author signings. It was my first time visiting the festival this year, and I’m happy to say I had a great time!

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I went to two talks, one of which was an interview with Rupert Everett about his upcoming movie about Oscar Wilde! This was a talk my sister wanted to go to because of her love of Everett and Wilde, and it was really good. I’d already watched the documentary about Rupert writing the script for The Happy Prince, and his struggles to get funding and everything to actually make the movie happen, and it was interesting to hear him talk about it and his career!

Now You're Talking: The Story of Human Communication from the Neanderthals to Artificial Intelligence

The second was a talk from Trevor Cox, author of Now You’re Talking: The Story of Human Communication from the Neanderthals to Artificial Intelligence. This talk was fascinating! I really enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to reading his novel!

I bought two books whilst at Hay, which were:

Things a Bright Girl Can Do

Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls

I first heard of this book at YALC last year, and the first time I spotted it was at the Hay festival book shop! I’m really happy I spotted this one, and I’m currently a few chapters in!

The Sun Is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Oxfam had a second-hand book stall there too, where I found a proof copy of this book! I loved Everything, Everything, so I’m excited for this one!

Have you read either of these books?!

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My Fave YA Books About Mental Health!

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Hey guys!

This week is mental health awareness week, and I wanted to post about some of my favourite YA books that feature mental illnesses and spread awareness for how important mental health is.

There’s a vile stigma that surrounds struggling with your mental health, and I think it’s really important for YA books to talk about it and help give people a better understanding of mental illnesses, and how important taking care of your mental health is.

Here are my favourite YA books that feature mental health issues:

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Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

This book was so wonderful, and really touched my heart. It gives a strong insight into how agoraphobia and OCD can affect daily life, and also explores relationships and how romance is not a cure-all when it comes to mental illness, which is done so truthfully.

You can check out my review of this wonderful book here! I would like to add there are sections of this novel that could potentially be triggering to some.

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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I feel like even those who have the barest of experience with mental health issues will be able to understand our main character and her struggles in this novel. John Green really captured the essence of OCD and anxiety in this book, and how difficult it can be for sufferers themselves, and the people close to them.

am I normal yet

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

I found it hard to read this book; it was full of emotion that really hit me. How Holly Bourne depicts OCD is just so accurate, and I think the layout will really help people understand this mental illness better. I also think it was important that it was explained that OCD has many different forms – it’s not always to do with cleanliness!

Another reason to love this book aside from the rep for mental health: it talks about feminism! Here’s my review of this book!

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

This book took a more delicate approach to mental illness, so it was lighter to read than the others in this list. I really enjoyed it, because it was a really sweet read in regards to plot, but it was also great in terms of diversity: not only is our main character facing mental health issues, her love interest is also deaf. A deaf character was not something I’d come across in  a YA book before, so it was wonderful to get a better insight into that.

And that’s the end of this list! Do you have any recommendations of YA books about mental health? Have you read any of the novels above?

If you’re struggling with your mental health, reach out to someone; you’re not alone! Mind are a charity which offer support and information for people experiencing mental health issues – you can find their website here.

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!