Review Policy Update!

Hey guys!

I wanted to write a super quick post just to share that I’ve updated my review policy, and I’m happy to say that I’m finally able to accept e-books for review again! If you’d like to read my full review policy, you can check it out here.

I’d been thinking about buying a Kindle again because I used to love my old one, and when I saw the Prime Day deal on the Kindle Paperwhite, I decided to treat myself (and I guess my digital shelf, too). This definitely won’t be a replacement for print books – I’ll never stop buying them, but I wanted to be able to read e-books again. It only arrived yesterday, but I’m enjoying using it so far – it’s so easy to highlight quotes I like!

Do you have a Kindle?

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August Anticipated Releases!

August Anticipated Book Releases Facebook

Hey guys!

There are some wonderful YA books being published these next couple of months! Now that I’m finally starting to read more again, I’m hopeful I’ll actually make progress with my TBR and be able stay up-to-date with new releases.

Here are the books being published next month I’m most looking forward to:

Let’s Call It a Doomsday

Let’s Call It A Doomsday by Katie Henry

Publication Date: 6th August, 2019

I’ve been impatiently waiting for the release of this book for so long! It’s probably my most anticipated book of the whole year – maybe even more so than Rainbow Rowell’s Wayward Son, which says a lot. I’m hoping it lives up to the high expectations I have!

Goodreads Synopsis:

There are so many ways the world could end. There could be a fire. A catastrophic flood. A super eruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one. What she doesn’t expect is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah calls their meeting fate. After all, Ellis is scared about the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen.

Despite Ellis’s anxiety — about what others think of her, about what she’s doing wrong, about the safety of her loved ones — the two girls become fast friends. As Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, she learns there are secrets Hannah isn’t telling her. But with time ticking down, the search for answers only raises more questions. When does it happen? Who will believe them? How do you prepare for the end of the world when it feels like your life is just getting started?

Start Here

Start Here by Trish Doller

Publication Date: 13th August, 2019

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I enjoy books that are about friendship, so this was one that stuck out for me when I came across it on Goodreads. Start Here sounds like it’s going to be a wonderful, emotional read, and I can’t wait to start it.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.

Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.

The Downstairs Girl

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

Publication Date: 13th August, 2019

If I’m perfectly honest, I don’t really like anything to do with history (unless its about Ancient Civilisations), which means I steer clear of the historical fiction genre because it’s really not my thing. But this book sounds really interesting, and I’m excited to give it a go!

Goodreads Synopsis:

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.

While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light.

What book releases are you anticipating in August? Are any of the books above on your TBR?

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July Reading Update!

Hey guys!

For the first time this year, I managed to read more than one book in a month (granted it was only two, but that’s still an improvement)! I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish maybe three in July, but I’ll be happy even if it’s just one.

I’ve been procrastinating over a couple of posts for a few weeks now, and for some reason I’m really struggling to write reviews at the moment, so I thought I’d post a reading update in the hopes I’ll find inspiration to get back into the swing of blogging.

Currently Reading

Sorcery of Thorns

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns was FairyLoot’s featured book for June, and my favourite thing about it is that the pages are painted a beautiful blue/green that sparkles! The sparkly pages weren’t the only reason I liked the sound of this book though – a review I’d read prior to receiving it had already made me want to pick it up, and the blurb intrigued me.

I actually took this book on holiday with me, thinking I’d speed through it in no time…however, that wasn’t the case. Unfortunately this book isn’t quite what I thought it was, and I’m starting to feel like I might have to give up and DNF it – but maybe it gets better later on? I’m just not finding the characters very genuine at the moment.

I Hate Everyone But You (I Hate Everyone But You, #1)

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

I’ve been searching for books set at college, and when I came across this one on Amazon, I realised it was a book I’d liked the look of ages ago but completely forgotten to look up. I started it a couple of days ago, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some aspects of it. It’s not exactly what I was expecting, but I’m hoping I’ll finish it soon.

What are you currently reading? Have you read either of the books above?

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FairyLoot Unboxing | May

FairyLoot Unboxing

Hey guys!

It’s been over a month since I last posted – how are the days going by so quickly?! But I’m finally back today with a FairyLoot unboxing for May’s box, even though I’m kind of a month behind with it!

Bamboo Travel Mug – this cute little mug features art inspired by Tahereh Mafi’s Ignite Me. It’s the perfect size and I love the quote on it!

Sticker – I love The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and I love the actors who play Magnus and Alec in the TV show, so it’s no surprise I love this sticker with those two characters on, either.

Mint Tin – this mint tin is just great!

Magnetic Bookmark Set – these bookmarks were inspired by Renée Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn duology. I loved the first book in this series, and these bookmarks have reminded me that I need to get around to reading the second book soon.

Crown Keychain – this keychain features a quote from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, which I still have yet to read, but I love the mini crown!

Starfall Candle – I love bookish candles and Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns & Roses series, so I was really happy to see this item in the box!

FairyLoot Tarot Cards – the tarot cards included in this month’s box featured characters from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo, which is such an amazing book. I still need to read the second book – I always seem to forget about it when it comes to picking a new read – but this will be the summer I get round to it, I’m determined!

Tea Towel – this item was inspired by The Selection series by Keira Cass. I started reading the first book a couple of years ago and it wasn’t really my thing, but this tea towel is cute!

Pencil Case – Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone is such an amazing book! It’s like nothing I’ve read before, so I’m super happy to have this pencil case with a quote from the book on it.

Notepad – the quote on this notepad is from Girls of Paper & Fire by Natasha Ngan, which was FairyLoot’s featured book a couple of months ago! This is another book I haven’t gotten round to yet (I really need to get my read on), but hopefully I’ll get to it a little later on in the year.

This month’s featured book was…

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The Beholder by Anna Bright

The cover of this book is so pretty – look at the colour of the title! I’m not as interested in the synopsis as I am the dust jacket, but I’ll definitely be giving this one a go soon!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

 

June’s theme is…

Broody Banter June FairyLoot Theme

Broody Banter

I’m really looking forward to this box – who doesn’t love a bit of broody banter?! Some of the items that will feature in this box are inspired by The Lux series, which is one of my absolute favourites, so to say I’m looking forward to it is a bit of an understatement.

Do you subscribe to any bookish boxes? Is The Beholder on your TBR?

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Book & Bake | Cinnamon Rolls

Hey guys!

I think it’s pretty apparent that I’m a lover of desserts and sweet treats, but one of my absolute favourite baked goods are homemade cinnamon rolls. A crucial part for me is the perfect ratio of roll to cinnamon filling, and a yummy cream cheese frosting.

As soon as these rolls were iced, my family and I all tucked in and demolished pretty much all of them. Of course, I completely forgot to take a photo of them before this, so please excuse the awful photo of the leftovers below – I promise they taste much better than they look!

The Bake

Cinnamon Roll and Book

These are probably the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made, and they’re certainly the biggest! I found this recipe on Ambitious Kitchen, which I’m sure I’ll be visiting again when I’m looking for my next bake. The recipe was very easy to follow, and I’m really happy with how the rolls turned out (if only I could’ve taken a better photo!).

Also, the cream cheese frosting was glorious. I could just eat this frosting with a spoon on its own, it’s that good.

The Book

Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Much like cinnamon rolls, I have a lot of love for this book. I never actually wrote a review for this one, but if I had, I would’ve said that this is a book that touched me deeply. I think it allows people without any experience of anxiety and OCD to understand some of the turmoils and battles people with those disorders go through. I really can’t stress how important and wonderful this book is – I definitely recommend giving it a go if you’ve haven’t already!

Have you read this book? What’s your favourite baked good?!

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May Anticipated Releases!

Hey guys!

These past few days have been so busy for me! I’ve been pretty stressed out because I’ve had an exam and assignment deadlines, so I’m planning on spending the next couple of days just reading and relaxing, and not doing anything too productive.

Here are the books I’m most anticipating this month:

Again, but Better

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

Publication Date: 7th May, 2019

I’ve been looking forward to this book for months now, so I’m really happy the publication day is almost here! I’ve been after books with characters at university for a while, but haven’t really come across many that I thought I’d enjoy. I’m hoping this one lives up to the high expectations I have for it! If you have any recommendations for books with characters at uni, post them in the comments!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic, #1)

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Publication Date: 7th May, 2019

This book was featured in FairyLoot’s April box, and it sounds like it’s going to be a great read! My TBR is ridiculously big at the moment (as always), but I’m hopeful I’ll get round to this one soon!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

What book releases are you anticipating this month?

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The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody | Book Review

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Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: 28th November, 2017

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

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Even before I started reading this book, I knew I was going to love it. It sounded exactly like the type of thing I’d enjoy, but I didn’t realise just how much I would end up adoring it. I was completely hooked from the very first page until the last. The writing pulled me into the story and I became fully invested in the emotional journey and growth of our main character.

My immediate reaction upon finishing it was why did it have to end?! I wanted to keep reading more and more, and the closer I got to the final page, the heavier my heart felt. I haven’t felt that way about a book in a long time – there was just something so honest and relatable about our main character. It’s actually the first book I’ve read in a while that I haven’t wanted to put down, and whilst I occasionally had to because life got in the way, it still only took me a few days to finish it. It’s been taking me months to get through books this year because of the weird reading slump I’ve been stuck in, but I think this book has finally broken me out of it.

“The English language has over one million words in it, and none of them are good enough for Lottie. None of them will capture what I saw when I looked at her. What I see now when I remember her. How she will forever look through my filtered view of the world.”

The writing style was wonderful, and I came across some beautiful quotes. I really enjoyed how there were different sections to the chapters, so past memories could intermingle with the present. This background insight was great because it allowed me to connect to the characters and understand the things they were going through, and it also meant I really felt the emotions of the characters – I found myself laughing and crying throughout the book.

I also felt like the author portrayed grief very well. As someone who hasn’t really experienced much like what happened in this book, I still found it easy to understand our main character’s reactions and emotions, and that was because of how well the author wrote about it. It all felt very authentic and honest (and, of course, heartbreaking), and I was really impressed.

The Chaos of Standing Still is a powerful novel about friendship and grief, and how to carry on living after tragedy strikes. I absolutely adored this book, and can’t wait for read other books by this author.

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Content Warning:

  • Fatal car accident with some description
  • Main character dealing with grief