Review: My Neighbor Totoro by Tsugiko Kubo

17571527

Goodreads | Amazon

The beloved animation classic by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro is now retold in novel form. This prestige, hardcover edition features original illustrations by Miyazaki himself, accompanying a story written by veteran children’s book author Tsugiko Kubo. Sure to delight both existing fans and new readers! Eleven-year-old Satsuki and her sassy little sister Mei have moved to the country to be closer to their ailing mother. While their father is working, the girls explore their sprawling old house and the forest and fields that surround it. Soon, Satsuki and Mei discover Totoro, a magical forest spirit who takes them on fantastic adventures through the trees and the clouds–and teaches them a lesson about trusting one another.

I can’t even begin to tell you how lovely this book was. I found it so comforting! I started watching Studio Ghibli movies a few years ago, and they really hold a special place in my heart. I’ve come to love the franchise, and when I saw this book I knew I’d want to pick it up. I wasn’t wrong in adding it to my TBR, I got through it in just a day and I adored it!

“The rain kept falling, falling, falling….”

If you’re a fan of the movie like I am, this book is definitely worth the read. Told mostly from the view of 11 year old Satsuki, it explores the challenges of moving to a new house and having an ill family member. It’s lighthearted and extremely gentle, but still nostalgic of the more emotional undertones of the beautiful movie.

This book is extremely cute as a physical item, and is scattered with beautiful watercolour illustrations that are reminiscent of the animation. The story reminded me of Enid Blyton, who I adored as a kid! It really made me think how much I would have loved this book if I’d had it read to me as a child.

“The sound of rain was everywhere.”

I read this in bed, with fairy lights on, while I wasn’t feeling well one rainy day. The countryside setting is described beautifully, and overall the narrative is sweet and calming. If you like the movie/Studio Ghibli in general, this book is definitely worth the read.

★★★★★
5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Redbubble |

Beautiful Quotes #95 / Anna and the French Kiss

Beautiful Quotes is a weekly meme hosted by me, where I post some of my favourite quotes. Any other bloggers are welcome to join me in this and just link my blog!

Hi everyone! So a massive thing happened today…I started uni! I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet as I’m still very nervous, but I’m excited to find out what’s to come.

I was thinking about uni/school while looking at my bookshelf, and I thought what about this beautiful book? I couldn’t help thinking how I relate to Anna in her nervousness starting a new school, and I thought it would be fitting to talk about this week.

17453983

Goodreads | Amazon

“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” 
― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Redbubble |

Stacking the Shelves #62

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

I can’t stop buying books! I think it’s because my birthday is next month so I keep looking at books to go on a wishlist, and I end up buying them! Anyway, this book is because I recently read Shatter Me, and I couldn’t wait to carry on with the series. I ordered a second-hand copy of Unravel Me online, and I was so worried they would send me the wrong edition! But I’m very happy to say they sent me the right one and my books match.

13104080

Goodreads | Amazon

I’m going to finish my current read, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and start this book. I can’t wait!

Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Redbubble |

Let’s Discuss! To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before

Can I please start with something? I am (or was) not a fan of this book. I actually rated it 3 stars when I read it a few years ago, and gave the book away because I was determined to not carry on with the series. I was not hyped for this movie and I thought the trailer looked cheesy as hell.

But god, did this movie explode? As soon as it hit Netflix I saw reviews and fans spring up all over the place. In the book community, this thing has been big. Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I sat down to watch this adaptation.

And I might still think it was cheesy as hell, but I really enjoyed it!

Image result for to all the boys i loved before movie screenshots   Image result for to all the boys i loved before movie screenshots

Image result for to all the boys i loved before movie screenshots   Image result for to all the boys i loved before movie screenshots

Mostly, I remember not liking Peter in the books. And he still came out with some things that made him a little bit of a d*ck in the movie, but he definitely came across better. I still couldn’t help feeling for Josh in the movie, but I feel like that was handled better too. Not gonna lie, but I was kind of rooting for him in the book, but I don’t think there was as much focus on him in the movie which made me feel better!

I feel like the movie put emphasis on all of the best things about this series. For one, Lara-Jean is Korean-American. She has a friend called Lucas, who is gay and Afro-American. This book focuses on Lara-Jeans relationship with her two sisters, the younger of which is sassy and awesome (and also wears a necklace that reads feminist during the movie!). Not only that, but her dad is in a few very well written scenes, and her mum is discussed in some very important scenes about grief.

If there was one way to adapt this book, well done, Netflix. You have achieved it. You’ve won my heart and I’ve decided to actually re-read and continue with this series sometime soon!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Redbubble |

Review: Shatter Me by Tahareh Mafi

13455782

Goodreads | Amazon

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Before I begin, thank you to the lovely Anna for pushing me to read this book! An old friend gave it to me for my birthday almost 2 years ago and it’s taken me until now to finally pick it up. But I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed it so much that it took me under 2 days to complete.

“Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat.”

I think the thing I found most enjoyable about this book is it’s so easy to read. The pages literally fly by, because after the first couple of chapters the pacing is steadfast. The short chapters left me wanting to just read another one, making Shatter Me a book I just couldn’t put down. I also loved the cast of characters, from our clever villain to Adam’s sweet little brother. Although Juliette was whiny and cliche, I couldn’t help but understand her situation.

This book kind of reminded me of The Selection series in the ways it made me feel. The insta-love annoyed me a little as it was cringy, but I still couldn’t help but enjoy reading about their story. I just wish I’d read this one a couple of years ago instead, because I would have loved it even more!

“That I have one, too.”

Alongside some of the cringe, I had a few small issues I want to address. For one, why does Mafi not know about commas? I understand that this pushed forward the whole diary/notebook written aspect, but some sentences just really needed breaking up. It didn’t bother me too much after a while, but if I didn’t think it was intentional, it would have just looked unprofessional.

But niggles aside, I couldn’t help but enjoy it. I’ve already ordered the second book and I can’t wait to carry on with the series soon!

★★★★
4 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Redbubble |

T5W: Books I Wish I’d Read Sooner

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

This weeks T5W topic is books I wish I’d read sooner. So this post is a strange mix of books I would have enjoyed as a kid/teenager, and books I think taught me important things about life!

22841994

Goodreads | Amazon

It’s no secret that I only read this series this year, and I definitely agree I should have read them sooner and I’d have loved them as a kid!

17571527

Goodreads | Amazon

I just finished this book yesterday (review coming soon), and I definitely wish I’d read it as a child.

30197201

Goodreads | Amazon

I adored this book when I read it last year, but I think my ever so slightly younger self would have loved it even more.

30653853

Goodreads | Amazon

Same with this book! I read it earlier this year, but give me this a couple of years ago and I would have devoured it.

18336965

Goodreads | Amazon

This one, alongside A Quiet Kind of Thunder taught me a lot about mental and physical health conditions. They definitely taught me important life lessons and I wish I’d carried them throughout my teenage years.

Which books would you give to your younger self?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Redbubble |

Review: The Raven King (#4) by Maggie Stiefvater

17378527

Goodreads | Amazon

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I can’t believe I’ve finished this series. It took me so long to get round to finishing, but it’s all I’ve been thinking of for the past couple of weeks. Take a read of the quote I included in this, because it’s exactly how I felt about this series! The Raven King was ups and downs for me, but I did end up loving it.

Something I disliked..where was Noah? The little sweet thing, I missed him so much in this book. His lack of presence was the only thing I really disliked, and it made me feel Henry was only there to attempt to make up for it. Sorry, Stiefvater, but a Noah shaped hole can never be filled.

“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went,”

I do have to say that I unfortunately found the pacing off yet again in this book! But once I got into it, it flew past for me. I found the plot interesting, and I’m glad this one focused mostly on the group of friends rather than villains, and included some really interesting scenes with them all.

Talking of the group of friends, I won’t give spoilers but I ship two different couples in this book 😉 Fans of the series will know how happy I feel! I mentioned in my review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue that I felt each of these books focused more on a different character, but I’m happy to say that I think The Raven King made the group equal. I loved reading about each of them!

“and he didn’t want it to be over.”

I don’t think I can say enough about the characters. It’s just so rare for YA to not focus on romance and actually focus on intimate friendships and friendship groups instead. Alongside Stiefvater’s absolutely beautiful writing and scenes that will stay with me for a long time to come, I feel the characters and their friendship warms my heart the most. That’s what made me truly fall in love with this series.

★★★★★
5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Goodreads |Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Redbubble |