Treat Your Shelf | January 2019 Edition

Hey guys!

I think it’s only right I celebrate the first month of 2019 nearly being over by buying myself some books – sometimes you’ve just got to treat your shelf!

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There are so many books I want to buy, but unfortunately being a student doesn’t allow me the funds I need to afford a home library. So to try and tame my impulse Amazon book-buying (it’s just too tempting when I can have a book delivered the next day), I thought I’d write a post about the books I’m thinking about buying, so I’m more considerate of what I’m spending my money on. And then I thought, why not make it a monthly segment?

Treat Your Shelf is a new series of blog posts where I’ll be talking about the books I’m planning on buying that month. The title was, of course, inspired by this wonderful gif:

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

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

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I’m so disappointed in myself for not having bought this book already. I know what an amazing author Holly Black is from her previous novels (The Coldest Girl In Coldtown possibly being my favourite), so I have no clue why it’s taken me so long to finally get around to this book. But late to the party or not, I’m hoping The Cruel Prince is the great read I’m expecting it to be!

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

The Netflix film was so cute and feel good! I liked the body positivity message, and how much Dolly Parton was referenced. Before the adaptation came out I’d heard great things about the book, so I’m hoping it lives up to my expectations!

They Both Die at the End

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

I’ve wanted to read this book since it was published two years ago! It sounds like it’s going to be an emotional and heartbreaking read, but I’m so ready for all the feels.

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is one of the Queens of YA fantasy! I loved the character Nikolai from her Shadow and Bone series, so of course I need King of Scars in my life (or on my shelf haha!). There’s a signed edition on Waterstones, which I’m hoping I can get a copy of!

I’ve loved all of the books I’ve read by Bardugo – if you haven’t checked out her novels yet, you need to! You can check out my reviews of Six of Crows and Ruin and Rising here!

And those are the books I’m planning on buying this month!

Next month, I’m not planning on buying any books other than university essentials – I think the five novels above are enough of a treat to cover February as well, but we’ll see how long it takes for me to crumble haha!

Have you read any of the books above? Are there any books you’re hoping to buy soon?

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Books I Started But Never Finished In 2018

Hey guys!

I published a post yesterday about how to know when it’s time to give up on a book, and it made me think of all the books I started last year, only to never finish. It wasn’t necessarily because I wasn’t enjoying them that I put them down – half the time I was so busy I didn’t really have the time to continue reading them, so I forgot what was happening  and was too lost to carry on reading.

I thought I’d look at the books I started reading last year and see whether I have any interest in picking them up again! Here are the books I started but never finished:

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’ve heard a lot of praise for this book, but it’s never been one that appealed to me because I’m really not into anything to do with the World Wars or history. A novel narrated by Death intrigued me though, and I did find I quickly settled into the writing style. But the plot didn’t hook me, so I didn’t continue reading it. I don’t see myself picking this book any time soon, but maybe in a few years I’ll come back to it.

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

The Selection by Keira Cass

The Selection is one of those series that seems to feature on every popular YA book list out there, so when Apple had it as one of their free books for the month, I thought it was the perfect time to give it a go. I was close to the end when I stopped reading it. I realised I wasn’t overly enjoying it, whether that was down to me not being in the mood for it or something else. The plot just seemed a bit annoying to me – I feel like it’s a novel I probably would’ve enjoyed it when I was younger, but it seemed a bit immature to me now.

Things a Bright Girl Can Do

Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls

As I mentioned above with The Book Thief, I’m not into things to do with history. It just doesn’t interest me, but I’m a feminist and believe everyone deserves equality, so I wanted to try this book. But it just didn’t hold my attention – it’s not a genre I enjoy,  and not even the subject matter could get me to power through.

How to Stop Time

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

If there’s ever a chance for me to gush about Matt Haig, I’ll definitely take it. Matt Haig’s novels are pretty much the only adult fiction that I’m interested in reading. His book The Humans is a wonderful novel, and Reasons To Stay Alive is so truthful and touching. If you haven’t read them, you should!

Due to how much I’ve enjoyed previous novels by Haig, I thought I’d like this one, too – and I did, but there was a scene that I didn’t particularly like (just because it was emotional and horrible what happened). I took a break from reading it but haven’t picked it back up since. I think I’ll get around to reading this one at some point, but maybe not this year.

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)

 

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

I really enjoyed the first book in this series! My issue is I really don’t like gore and gross descriptions, and this series is full of them. The gore got a bit heavy and put me off, but I’d still really like to carry on with the series at some point – maybe when I get a bit better at dealing with gore haha!

Replica (Replica, #1)

Replica by Lauren Oliver

This book’s synopsis was intriguing! The format was different from anything I’ve read before: two stories in one novel that can be read together or one after the other. I got a fair chunk into it and enjoyed what I read. However, it was taking me too long trying to read the two different novels together so I lost interest in it. I’d like to pick this one up soon and try again!

Have you read any of these books? What did you think about them?

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How To Know When It’s Time To Give Up On A Book

Hey guys!

I really struggle to know when it’s time to give up on a book. I’ll carry the same book around with me for weeks, convinced I can finish it if I just keep trying to read it, regardless of whether or not I’m enjoying it anymore. There’s something in me that doesn’t want to ever give up on a book. I feel like if I’ve gotten to the middle of the novel or past, I should be able to power through and finish it.

But trying to persist with a novel that I’m really not enjoying is often what sends me into a reading slump (and there is nothing worse than hitting a reading slump when you’re a bookworm).

If you struggle when to know to give up on a book, here are some things to consider:

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1. Are you still invested in the story line?

If you’re no longer interested in what’s going to happen next, or how the novel ends, it’s unlikely you’re going to find the motivation to power through however many pages remain. Unless…

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2. Are you connecting with the characters or the world?

This one links in with being invested in the plot: not connecting with the characters can make it hard to care about what you’re reading. And if you don’t care about the world the book is set in either (whether it’s a fantasy world or a contemporary background) there’s not much else that’s going to make it an enjoyable read. But…

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3. Does the writing style flow well?

A writing style that flows well can make up for characters lacking development and plots that kind of fall flat. The writing style has got to work for you if you’re struggling to power through a novel; if it’s too complicated or just isn’t what you’re in the mood for, it’s going to become a chore to read, and that isn’t what reading is about! Especially if…

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4. Is there another book you want to read more?

Bookworms have so many books on our TBR lists that we always have books we want to be reading. If there’s another book sitting on your shelf that’s just begging to be read, read it! Put your current read on hold if you’re not getting anywhere with it – you’ll come back to if it’s worth it.

And the final thing to consider is this:

5. Do you still want to read it?

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It might sound like an obvious question, but it’s easy to try and force yourself to read something you don’t really want to because you feel like you have to finish it, or because others have loved it and recommended it. But there’s nothing wrong with putting a book you just can’t connect with aside, whether you come back to it at a later date or not.

And that’s the end of this post!

How do you decide when to give up on a book? Are there any popular books you couldn’t finish?

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My Five Most Anticipated 2019 Reads!

Hey guys!

2019 has in store for us some wonderful new reads! Last year I didn’t really manage to keep up to date with new releases, which is something I’d like to change this year. And so I thought what better thing to do than to search through Goodreads and make my TBR even more unbearable see what’s being published in 2019.

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Here are the five books publishing this year that I’m most anticipating:

 

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: 29th January, 2019

All of the books that I’ve read by this author I’ve loved. The Shadow and Bone trilogy introduced us to the Grishaverse, an intricate and fascinating fictional world where Bardugo’s books are set, and Six of Crows is just a masterpiece of a novel. I’m really looking forward to what this new duology will bring!

Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)

Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2) by Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: 2019

If you haven’t read Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, you should stop reading this post right now, go to the nearest book shop, buy it and read it. Carry On is such a wonderful novel, and I’m so excited for this sequel!

Again, But Better

Again, But Better by Christina Riccio

Release Date: 7th May, 2019

I’ve been looking for YA books that are set at university/college so I’m glad I stumbled across this one! It sounds like it’s going to be a great contemporary read, and I can’t wait for its release in May.

Pumpkinheads

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks

Release Date: 27th August, 2019

The main reason I’m looking forward to this one is because it’s by Rainbow Rowell, and it’s widely acknowledged she is the goddess of contemporary YA books. And the illustration on the cover sold it to me as well!

The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow, #1)

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Release Date: 9th July, 2019

One of the items in last month’s FairyLoot box (you can check out what FairyLoot is here) was an ARC of this novel! I’m really looking forward to reading it soon – I hope it’s as good as it sounds!

What books are you most looking forward to this year?

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New Year, New Goodreads Goal…

Hey guys!

It’s been over three months since I last blogged – how has it been that long?! This year I’d really like to get back into blogging regularly and making more time to read.

Last year my Goodreads goal was to read forty books, which I didn’t think was too far out of reach considering I read thirty-four the year before… but I failed majorly.

I read only thirteen books last year (which is actually a few more than I thought it was), but I’m using the excuse that I had a super busy year and didn’t really have that much time to read (which is kind of true – I did have a busy year, but there’s always time to read).

This year, my Goodreads goal is to read twenty-eight books. It’s definitely an achievable number, so I’m really hoping I manage to at least hit this goal!

Here a wrap-up of the thirteen books I read last year:

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I watched the movie adaptation before reading the book (can I still be called a bookworm?!), and I really liked it. I loved the book too, but found the love interest to be annoying and not as charming as in the movie. I do want to read the rest of the books in this trilogy when I get the chance – hopefully before the second movie is released!

Since You've Been Gone

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Morgan Matson writes great novels, and Since You’ve Been Gone was no exception. I really enjoyed this novel, and was intrigued as to where it was going to go, and it wasn’t a let down at all.
Starry Eyes

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Starry Eyes was another contemporary that I loved! You can read about why I found it to be such a great novel here.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is a book I’ve owned for many years, but whenever I tried to read it before, I just never found myself hooked and interested in what was going on. But I decided that I’d give it one last try, and I’m so glad I did! This novel is the perfect summer read – it made me want to take a road trip myself! Here’s my review!

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)

Frostblood by Elly Blake

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book was quite clichéd, and whilst I didn’t find it to have the most original plot, I really enjoyed it. You can check out this post to read more of my thoughts on this book!

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race is such an important novel; it made me see certain things in a different light and made me aware of things that I hadn’t even thought of before. It was a really interesting read, and I recommend everyone giving it a try.

Teardrop (Teardrop, #1)

Teardrop by Lauren Kate

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I wasn’t a massive fan of the way this book started, so I was instantly sceptical. I felt like the idea behind the novel was a really interesting one that had a lot of potential, but it just didn’t really work for me. I’m kind of intrigued what the next book in the series might bring about, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it any time soon.

Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is one of the many books that I’ve had sitting on my shelf unread for years. Whenever I’ve picked it up I’ve never been in the mood for it, but I powered through this time and found myself interested in the story.

The issue is this: the idea behind the story is a really interesting one, but the execution of it didn’t work. I had some really big issues with this book (all of them to do with the love interest), but the writing was enjoyable – I don’t think this is a series I’ll continue reading though.

Remix

Remix by Non Pratt

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Remix was probably my favourite read of the year! There was just something about it that really made me feel for the characters. You can read my review where I gush over it here!

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Verse, #3)

Ruin & Rising (The Shadow & Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I started The Shadow & Bone trilogy years ago, but it was only this year that I finally read the third and final book, and it was amazing. It was so emotional and made me cry, but it was the perfect ending to the series (though it did break my heart). Here’s my review if you want to check it out!

(Side note: I’m so happy this series is going to be combined with Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology and adapted into a TV series on Netflix! I can’t wait!)

Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1)

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve reread this book – actually, how many times I’ve reread the whole trilogy. It’s just a book that I love, and it makes me happy to revisit it every now and then. If you like Greek mythology, I’d recommend you give this book a go!

The Start of Me and You

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I read so many contemporaries this year, and they were all so great! I really loved this one (and the cover is so pretty); it had such a cute romance! It’s definitely one I could see myself rereading during the summer months! To read more of my thoughts on this book, you can check out my review here!

The 100 (The 100, #1)

The 100 by Kass Morgan

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I read this book in January last year, and picked it up because I liked the first few series of the TV adaptation. Whilst I did like the book, I preferred the TV show – but the novel was interesting. You can check out my review of this book here!

*****

 

And those are the books I read last year! 2018 was filled with some great contemporary reads, and I hope to read even more this year!

How many books are you hoping to read this year? Have you read any of the novels above?

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Bookish Birthday Wish List!

Hey guys!

Whenever my birthday comes around, I always try to convince myself that this time, I won’t just ask for books – I’ll think of something else to ask for so I don’t add to my already huge physical TBR, but every single year, my wish list is always full of books. I just can’t help it; I’m a bookworm!

Here are the books I’m wishing for this birthday:

Save the Date

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

I love the novels I’ve already read by Morgan Matson, and this one sounds as if it’ll be just as wonderful as them! I’ve wanted to read it since I heard about it, so this is one I’m definitely wishing for.

(On a side note: I recently wrote a review for Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, which you can check out here!)

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

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

This novel isn’t being released for a few months yet, but the special edition is available to pre-order on Waterstones, and I so need it! I love the Shadowhunter world, and I’d love to have this special edition of the book.

The Darkest Star

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This book comes out at the end of October, but it’s another one I want to pre-order. I love The Lux series (more specifically, I love Daemon), and I’ve reread it so many times! I can’t wait for this book to be published!

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

The movie adaptation of this novel came out a couple of days ago, and as soon as I started watching it, I instantly realised that I need to read the novel. The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny is a series that I love rereading, so I know I’ll enjoy this book, too.

(P.S: I absolutely loved the film; the story was so cute and touching, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to!)

*****

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movie?!

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Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett | Mini Book Review

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Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: May 17th, 2018

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best-friends-turned-worst-enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to try to make their way to safety. But as the two travel deeper into the rugged Californian countryside, secrets and hidden feelings surface. Soon it’s not simply a matter of enduring each other’s company, but taming their growing feelings for each other.

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I like contemporaries that have cute romances and deal with real issues, and Starry Eyes was one of those contemporaries. This novel saw our characters go through difficult experiences (such as the loss of a parent, family struggles, and suicide), but it wasn’t a heavy read; it didn’t go very in-depth, but there was enough detail that I felt these issues were appropriately addressed. It also faced other small issues that still have a big effect on life, like falling out with friends and such.

Zorie, our main character, plans out every detail of her life, and I particularly liked how the novel touched upon how planning everything affected her life, and lightly explored what had led to her feeling like the only way to live was to plan everything out.

‘There’s comfort in knowing that when your plans fall apart, you can survive. That the worst thing imaginable can happen, but you can get through it.’

If a cute romance and real-life issues aren’t enough to make you add this book to your TBR, I’ll say this: diversity! This novel has diverse characters, which was so wonderful to see. Representation is essential, and I’m so glad this book had some.

And I have to mention the cover of this book! I own two of Jenn Bennett’s books, and they’re both so pretty. I’m so happy that the story lived up to its lovely cover!

Overall, this book was a cute read that had a unique twist for me, because I haven’t really read any books that include camping before (I hate camping myself, but it was interesting the journey they went on in this book – it reminded me a little bit of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour which I read beforehand), and it felt like a great contemporary to read during the summer.

If this book sounds like one for you, you can get it from Amazon here!

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Topic Awareness:

  • Death (and suicide – not descriptive)