Cassandra Clare & Holly Black Event | Bookworm Adventures

Hey guys!

This post was supposed to go up on Thursday, but I only just had the time to take the photos for it today – sorry about that! I haven’t posted a bookworm adventure in such a long time, which surely means I need to go on more bookish days out, right?

Anyway, last month I went to an amazing event for two of my favourite authors:

I met Cassandra Clare and Holly Black on their King and Queen tour!


The King and Queen Tour was to promote both authors newest releases, The Wicked King by Holly Black, and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. As soon as I saw the tour on the Waterstones website, I bought tickets instantly – I love all of the books I’ve read by both of these authors, and I admire their writing so much – it wasn’t an event I could miss!

Despite it being slightly hectic at first, with trying to find a seat and collect the stuff that I’d bought with my ticket, I was really pleased with how the event turned out! The ticket I bought came with the Waterstones edition of The Wicked King, an exclusive art print, and a tour tote bag – I also got a couple of pins too which I completely forgot to take photos of (but I’m sure they’ll feature in some of my photos on Instagram soon).

It started off with Holly and Cassie in conversation with each other, and then a Q&A. Sometimes there can be a bit of a rush when it comes to Q&As, and not enough people have the chance to ask their questions, but it seemed like Waterstones had allocated the perfect amount of time for this. The authors were able to give proper responses, which I’m so glad about, and it was so great hearing what they had to say! I’m always to shy to ask questions at events like this, but there was a really relaxed atmosphere which added to the experience.

(Fun fact: in Cassie’s The Dark Artifices trilogy, there originally was another Blackthorn sibling called Ariadne, but she got rid of her after deciding there were just too many Blackthorns.)

After the Q&A, it was time to meet the authors! I was a bundle of nerves whilst waiting, fearing that I wouldn’t be able to talk and I’d just be incredibly awkward. However, they were both so lovely and really easy to talk to!

First I met Holly, who is the author of an abundance of amazing books. I still can’t quite believe I met her! My favourite book by her is The Coldest Girl In Coldtown (trust me when I say you will never read another vampire book like it), and whilst she was signing it she said she was thinking about writing a sequel for it, and asked if I thought she should do it – to which I said she definitely should.

Then I met Cassandra Clare, who I’d actually met before back in 2016 (which you can read about it here). If you have yet to hear me gush about the Shadowhunter chronicles on this blog, all you really need to know is this: The Mortal Instruments series is why I’m the bookworm I am today, and I love the Shadowhunter universe so much. It will forever be one of my favourite series!  To meet her again was so wonderful – she was so lovely, and complimented me on my name!

Overall, I had such a brilliant day – the event was amazing, and I’m so grateful I got to meet one of my favourite authors again, and meet another for the first time.

Have you read books by either of these authors?! What bookish events have you been to?!

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February Wrap-Up & March TBR

Hey guys!

I wrote this post at the beginning of the month but never got around to publishing it – I had a sudden rush with assignment deadlines, and ran out of time to do anything except procrastinate study. But I’m happy to say that I managed to hand my work in on time, which means I can relax for a bit now and get back to blogging again.


February Wrap-Up

Blog posts from February:

I wasn’t as active last month on my blog as I wanted to be, but the days just went by so quickly. I was busy planning fun bookish things and trying to ignore the looming assignments deadlines I had, but this month I want to start posting regularly again!

Reading wise, I actually finished my first book of the year in February! I can’t believe it took me two months to get through it though – I think I’ve been stuck in a kind of reading slump for a while now, and I just can’t seem break free from it. But I have some amazing books on my TBR at the moment, so I’m hoping they’ll drag me out of it.

 


March TBR

The Chaos of Standing Still

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

Ever since I discovered this book, I’ve been desperate to read it! It sounds like it’s going to be a great emotional contemporary, and I’m really hoping this is the month that I finally get around to picking it up.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

The Shades of Magic series by Schwab is an absolutely amazing trilogy, and it’s probably – scratch that, definitely – my favourite adult fantasy series. I read the first couple of chapters of this book a couple of days ago, and I like it so far. Maybe Schwab’s brilliant writing will be the thing to drag me out of this reading slump?

Those are the only books I have planned out for this month, but I’m kind of feeling a reread of a favourite book, too. I’m also hoping to finish the audiobook of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows – even though I’m still not convinced audiobooks are for me, I’m going to give it a go.


On Thursday I’ll be talking about a bookish event I went to last month! If you follow me on Instagram over at @thebookcrunch you’ll already know about it, but for those of you that don’t, I’ll give you a hint at what it was: I met one of my favourite authors again, and met another fave author for the first time!

That’s it for this post! What books are you hoping to read this month?

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The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson | ARC Review

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A fantasy novel that actually puts a name to a mental illness is something I’d never read until The Storm Crow! To see depression being spoken about in fantasy so openly was just wonderful, and I’m so glad I had the chance to read it.

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: SourcebooksFire

Publication Date: 9th July, 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ & 1/2

Goodreads Synopsis:

Eragon meets And I Darken in this thrilling new fantasy debut that follows a fallen princess as she ignites a rebellion to bring back the magical elemental crows that were taken from her people.

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

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*I received this ARC in the December FairyLoot box!*

I’ve read so many YA fantasy books over the years that I know pretty much all of the tropes and clichés that can be expected – good and bad. But I have to say that, whilst this book still had the obligatory palace ball (a YA fantasy couldn’t exist without one, and I’m actually okay with that), there was a uniqueness to the plot that really made the book the enjoyable read it was.

Surprisingly, the most unique thing about this book wasn’t the magical crows (that were kind of like smaller versions of dragons), but it was the diversity of the characters. The representation this book offers is wide – in terms of race, sexuality, and mental illness – but it was particularly the rep for the latter which surprised me.

The main character has depression, and I loved that The Storm Crow is a fantasy that actually addressed a mental illness and called it what it is. The author didn’t shy away from Thia’s struggles, and her journey of handling and accepting her mental illness interweaved so well with the wider plot line of saving the kingdom of Rhodaire. I don’t have depression myself, so I can’t comment on how exactly accurate it was, but I personally feel like the author did a good job of carefully and sensitively depicting certain aspects of it.

‘I knew what I needed to do, but working up the will to do it felt like trying to fight my way above water in a depthless ocean.

It was so hard not to drown.’

Unfortunately, I did have a few issues with this book. There has to be a delicate balance in fictional writing between showing a reader what a character is going through, and between telling a reader what is happening. All showing all the time would lead the story nowhere – but over tell and under show, and the emotional depth and the connections a reader can make with the characters and the world just kind of fades away.

I often found this book skimming over things that would’ve helped me connect to it more. I felt like I was told too much, and didn’t experience things with the main character, and that made it hard for me sometimes to understand why the characters were feeling the way we were told they were.

The Storm Crow starts with the kingdom of Rhodaire being invaded, and some important people in Thia’s life die in this scene. Due to these deaths being so early on in the book, it was hard when they were mentioned in any way to show Thia grieving them because as a reader, I knew nothing about these characters. If there were some flashback chapters involving them, giving some background to what they meant to Thia, I think it would be so effective in hooking readers emotionally.

The author’s writing style itself was enjoyable – it flowed well, and I found it very easy to read (and I’ve also tabbed out a number of lovely quotes that I came across!). It was just the execution wasn’t quite what I was hoping for  – it needed to delve deeper into the world and the relationships between the characters.

‘I wanted to let the world swallow me up. There were days where I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, couldn’t think.’

Aside from feeling a bit frustrated about the lack of some details, this book was a good read (and it’s important to remember that this is an ARC, so it isn’t the final version). I cannot stress enough how amazing it is that the author spoke about depression in a fantasy book! The representation was brilliant, the plot behind it was intriguing, and there are magical dragon-like crows!

If you’re a fan of fantasy, I’d definitely keep a look out for when this one publishes later in the year.

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Galentine’s Day | My Fave Female Friendships in YA

Hey guys!

The books I’ve read during the past few years have featured some of the most heart-warming love stories I’ve ever read, and Valentine’s Day is the most obvious day to gush about them.

But I’m a big advocate for YA books that show how important friends are! So this Valentine’s Day Eve, I thought I’d write a post to celebrate friendship by talking about my favourite friendships featured in YA books.

Then I realised it’s Galentine’s Day, so why not celebrate my fave female friendships?!

 

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Kaz & Ruby

Remix by Non Pratt

If you haven’t read Remix yet, you can check out my gushing review of it here! It’s such a wonderful, contemporary novel that’s full of the truths of growing up, and we see best friends Kaz and Ruby tackle a number of trials and tribulations, all whilst dealing with the fact that their lives are taking them both in very different directions.

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Helen & Claire

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

I love the Starcrossed trilogy so much! Whenever I need something to brighten up my day, I always pick one of the books up for a reread. The friendship Helen and Claire have is full of fun and loyalty, and shows how far best friends will go to be there for one another.

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Evie, Amber & Lottie

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet? is such a wonderful novel! The way in which Bourne handles OCD and acknowledges the nature of Evie’s compulsions and thoughts as being the most stereotyped version of the mental illness is just brilliant. And the support Evie, Amber and Lottie offered each other throughout this book was so great! It showed that true friends, no matter what you’re going through, will always be there to support you during your low moments – and that they don’t expect anything but your friendship in return.

And that’s it for my Galentine’s Day post!

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February Reading Update!

Hey guys!

I’m two books behind on my Goodreads reading challenge already, but I’m determined to read more books this year – I just need to get organised so I can find more time to read!

I made a post about my TBR for this month, but I’m very much a mood reader, so planning out what I want to read ahead of time doesn’t generally work for me. I’m hoping I can stick to what I’ve planned, but we’ll see.

I haven’t finished any books yet this month (not even this year actually – where has the time gone? I feel like the days are just going so fast), but here’s what I’m currently reading!

Current Reads

 

The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow, #1)

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Can my excuse for taking so long to get through this book be that I’m a student and have other things to read? I feel like that’s an acceptable reason, right? I’m enjoying this book a lot, but I just can’t seem to find the motivation to pick it up when I have a free moment. Hopefully this weekend I’ll finish it and be able to move on to another novel though!

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

My (Old) Review

I read this book a few years back and loved it! Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) is on my TBR for this month, so I thought I’d listen to the audiobook of the first novel to remind myself of what happened before I get to it (and it’s bringing back all of the feels).

This is also the first audiobook I’ve listened to, and it’s interesting! It’s strange hearing the accents the narrators use for the characters – it’s so different from how everything sounded in my head. I haven’t listened to enough of it yet to actually decided whether or not audiobooks are for me, but I’m a bit sceptical.

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Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3)

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

I’m looking forward to starting this one soon! I’m slightly worried I’ll be confused when I get to it – it’s been so long since I read the previous novels, but hopefully I’ll remember what happened when I start reading it.

And that’s it for my February Reading Update!

Have you read any of these novels? What are you currently reading?

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February TBR!

Hey guys!

January felt like it lasted a lifetime, but I didn’t manage to finish even one book. Only a month into the new year and I’m already two books behind for my Goodreads challenge – it doesn’t really bode well for the type of reading year that’s ahead of me.

But I have a lot of books I want to read this month, so I’m hoping I can crawl out of the slight reading slump I’ve been falling into and actually finish my first novel of the year!

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Here are the books I’m planning on reading this month:

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3)

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

This book is the final instalment in The Dark Artifices series, which follows on from the whirlwind of events that destroyed my soul happened in Lord of Shadows. It was published in December, so I really should’ve gotten round to it already, but I’m determined this will be the month!

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This is another book that I should’ve gotten round to much sooner than I have! I’m hoping this book lives up to all of the hype surrounding it (which I’m sure it will because it’s Holly Black!).

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve already spoken about Leigh Bardugo’s Queen of YA Fantasy status, so I’ll refrain from gushing again (her books are just amazing!). I’m currently listening to the audiobook of Six of Crows to remind myself of what happened before getting to Crooked Kingdom. I love the characters in this series, so I’m looking forward to seeing where this novels goes!

Have you read any of these books?

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January 2019 FairyLoot Unboxing!

Hey guys!

I’ve been subscribed to FairyLoot since last September (thanks to my lovely sister!), and every month the box brings a little bit of joy to my day when it arrives. This month’s box is the first one I’ve had since I’ve come back from my blogging break, so I thought I’d do an unboxing post!

*If you have yet to receive your FairyLoot box this month and don’t want any spoilers, stop reading this post now!*

This month’s theme was…

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Unbreakable Bonds

This month’s FairyLoot is all about friendship. I was super excited for this box, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint!

Here were the items in the box:

Fellowship Friendship Woodmark – this woodmark was created by Ink and Wonder, and was inspired by The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I’m a fan of Tolkien’s world, and I love that the material used for this was ethically sourced!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate – I love salted caramel hot chocolate so much, so this is definitely one of my favourite items I’ve received from FairyLoot! It’s made by The Tea Leaf Co and is suitable for vegans, and the characters on the tin are from The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. I haven’t read this series, and haven’t actually heard too much about it either. If you’ve read it, what did you think?

Lip Balm – created by Book and Nook, this lip balm was inspired by characters from Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. This is another item in this box based on a series that I haven’t read yet, but I read Antigoddess by Blake a few years back and loved it. I think this is a series I’ll have to check out soon!

Dregs Hair Band – Leigh Bardugo is such a wonderful author! I love her Grisha series and this hair band was inspired by Six of Crows! If you haven’t read Six of Crows yet, you should. It’s amazing.

Will & Jem Candle – I love the Shadowhunter novels by Cassandra Clare, so when I saw this candle was in this month’s box, I was so happy! It’s inspired by characters from The Infernal Devices, and was created by Geeky Clean.

FairyLoot Tarot Cards – FairyLoot have started including tarot cards in their boxes, and the first set they’ve created is inspired by Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns & Roses! The two characters featured on the cards this month were Feyre and Azriel, and the artwork is so good!

Raven Crew Cushion Cover – this cushion cover features a quote and characters from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, and was designed by Monolimeart and KDP Letters. The art on both sides of the cover is so pretty! I’ve only read the first book in this series but I want to get around to the other novels soon.

The book of the month was…

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Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

Though I love a good, heart-warming contemporary, fantasy is my favourite genre and probably always will be. I love books that take me to another world, and whilst I probably wouldn’t have gone out and bought this book at the moment, I’m looking forward to reading it and seeing where the story takes me!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

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This art print is inspired by the two main characters from Circle of Shadows, and was illustrated by @sallteas!

Overall, I really liked the items in this month’s box! I think book subscription boxes are such a wonderful idea – not just because of the wonderful merchandise included, but also because the books I’ve received so far are either ones I haven’t come across prior to the box arriving, or wouldn’t have thought I’d enjoy, and it gives me a chance to reach a broader selection of novels than I normally would.

Next month’s theme is…

If you want to find out more about February’s box, click here to visit FairyLoot’s post!
Do you subscribe to any book boxes? Is Circle of Shadows on your TBR list?
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