Beautiful Quotes #24

Today’s quote is from a Christmassy book in theme with the week! I loved this book when I read it last Christmas, and I’m going to find out if I still love it just as much! Pete and I are going to be reviewing each short story on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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Goodreads | Amazon

“I always had this idea that you should never give up a happy middle in the hopes of a happy ending, because there is no such thing as a happy ending. Do you know what I mean? There is so much to lose.”
John Green, Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances

Which Christmas themed books do you adore?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


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The Crown’s Game. Book Review #2

Hey everyone!

I hope your all having a dazzling December whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

So I want to talk about a book that I finished a few days ago. The Crown’s Game is a low fantasy/historical fiction set in Tsar ruled Russia in the 19th century.

At the beginning of the story we meet Vika and Nikolai, a sixteen year old girl who lives on a small island with her father and Nikolai an eighteen year old who lives in the bustling city of St Petersburg.

Vika and Nikolai are enchanters. Two of the few gifted people who can conjure and manipulate the little magic that is left in the world. Vika can commune with the elements, create flames at her fingertips and call storms from the sky. Nikolai can see through walls and levitate objects with his mind. Both are players in The Crown’s Game. Both will have to risk their lives to become the imperial enchanter aiding the Tsar and defending the entire empire of Russia. One of them must die.

We’ll start with the worst bit. So the characters were kind of flat. They felt like paper cut outs of popular YA troupes: Vika was centre stage, the wild and passionate teen queen, just her, her dad and her dream to get out of her small town life. I’d heard her narrative twenty times before I even read the book which was kind of sad. There was no depth to Vika’s character which on its own would’ve led me to deem this book as nothing more than a measly one star read but because of all the other bustle that was going on it wasn’t too bad. Vika was ok. But that was all she was really, ok.

I liked Nikolai more who was actually mildly interesting. His orphan beginning and his intellectual mind were fun to read about at times. I also appreciated his estranged relationship with his mentor Galina. Ultimately Nikolai did fall short with me in his depth in character. His past was dreadfully interesting but his present? Well… he was not funny, he wasn’t charming and he didn’t even provide much in terms of character building. Nikolai was nice to read about but he felt very static, there was no growth and he was the same guy at the start as he was at the end.

We’ll move on to next kind of bad bit which was actually less bad than the characters. Romance is my favourite part of any story but in The Crown’s Game it was disappointing which disappointed me. I was excited going into this story for the classic love triangle that the blurb described. The reality was not exciting. Insta-love is the perfect term to describe the growing relationships between Vika, Nikolai and Pasha who go from strangers to daydreaming fools. Their love was addictive to read in the way that all YA love stories are but from a reviewer’s point of view it was simply false and cheap.

Let’s finish by talking about the best bits because it’s always fun to be positive. The world Skye creates is gushing with vivid detail. From the streets of St Petersburg to little Ovichin Island everything she writes feels real. Her books are portals to other worlds. The magic system in The Crown’s Game was simple and sleek. It was explainable enough for anyone to understand and some of the gorgeous scenes that involved magic felt so real I could touch it. The plot was actually incredible and in itself beautifully original but I won’t talk about that because then I’d been spoiling!

I give this book 3.7 stars out of 5 and should you read it? Probably, if you like the sound of it. It was informative and addictive but it’s arc was dull and the love was nothing original.

I hope you enjoyed my review!

Here’s some fanart I did of Vika when I was picturing her hair at Pasha’s birthday ball.


Side note: I drew Vika as a person of colour for a reason. Black people are so under-represented in YA so I thought it was important to create a Vika that was from a different ethnic background even though it’s completely culturally and historically inaccurate.

Keep on reading!

And thanks again Beth!

ARC Review: Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt

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Goodreads | Pre-order on Amazon

Lexi Angelo is a Convention Kid – she’s got a clipboard and a walkie talkie to prove it.

Aidan Green is a messy-haired, annoyingly arrogant author and he’s disrupting her perfect planning.

In a flurry of awkward encounters, lost schedules and late-night conversations, Lexi discovers that some things can’t be planned… Things like falling in love.

Disclaimer: I was extremely lucky to receive this book as an ARC through a book club I attend! This hasn’t changed my review in any way.

I knew I would fall in love with this book as soon as I read the short synopsis. It’s all the things I love! Romance, contemporary, set at a convention and including a messy haired author. Gimme!

He’s the oncoming storm…

I have to start by noting a few things I loved about this book:

♥ The setting! I attended YALC back in July and I loved it. This book reminded me so much of that con!
♥ The characters. Ahh, Lexi was perfect as a main character. Sure, she wasn’t right all the time. She made loads of mistakes, but that’s what makes her relatable and real!♥ The love! It wasn’t insta-love. It was slow and beautiful.

and the lightening flashes and the clouds part,

This has to be one of the best, most unique contemporaries I’ve read in a while. It reminded me of the big-names, especially Rainbow Rowell! I can totally see this book going a long way. It has everything I wanted in a book.

I also have to mention that this book wasn’t all about romance. Maggie managed to fit so much into this book! There was discussions about family, friends and growing up.

This is a unique book, contemporary YA with a twist, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell!

and I walk right in.

☽ ☽ ☽ ☽ ☽
5 out of 5 moons

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


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Random: 4…3…2…1…Christmas!

Hi everyone! You may remember a few weeks ago I posted this, telling you I’d be counting down my 4 favourite books of the year every Sunday. Well, as Pete has taken over Sunday’s on the blog, I’m going to be switching to Friday’s! And as I missed last week, today we’ll have my 3rd and 2nd favourite book.

3rd

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Goodreads | Amazon

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

When I read The Love That Split the World back in February (review here!), I knew it would reach my top 3 of this year. It’s just so lovely!

2nd

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Goodreads | Amazon

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

After All the Bright Places hitting number 1 on my list last year, I knew her second book would reach high on this years rankings. You can’t get much better than this!

Next week, we’ll find out which book hit my top spot! Have you got any predictions?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


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T5W: Books I Read This Year

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!

Hey guys! Today I’m going for an old topic rather than this weeks as I haven’t read enough series to be able to take part.

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Goodreads | Amazon

I read this book all the way back at the start of the year but it still holds a special place in my heart!

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Goodreads | Amazon

When I first finished The Love That Split the World, I cried. I cried and then I had a Twitter conversation with the author and I cried some more.

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Goodreads | Amazon

South of Sunshine is one of the most heartfelt and touching books I’ve ever read. I definitely won’t forget it in a hurry!

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Goodreads | Amazon

You Were Here is firmly in one of the top 3 of my favourite books this year. You’ll find out where it places tomorrow, actually!

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Goodreads | Amazon

Holding Up the Universe has got to be one of my favourite books I’ve ever read, up there with All the Bright Places!

Obviously, there’s so many more books I’ve loved this year! But these are some of my absolute favourites. What are yours?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


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Let’s Discuss! How To Bookstagram #2

Hi everyone! You may remember my post from a while ago where I gave you 5 tips for running a book themed Instagram account effectively. Well, today is the second of those posts! I’ll be giving you another 5 tips.

Before I start rambling, I’ll just explain what Bookstagram is! Much like BookTube (YouTube) or Booklr (Tumblr), Bookstagram is simply the corner of Instagram dominated by bookworms. It’s basically another word for the community!

So, let’s get started.

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Take a Book Everywhere

If you can, there is absolutely no shame in carrying a book with you! You never know where you’ll end up, and when you could snap a beautiful photo.Whenever I know I’m heading to the beach or countryside I make sure to take a couple of books with me!

Use a Good Camera

I can’t stress this enough – but it’s also sometimes a really hard one to fulfill for some people. I spent 6 months using my phone to take pictures and it does work! But since I’ve been using a DSLR the quality of my photos have been so much better. If you can’t get a camera to use, I’d recommend trying to work in natural light as much as possible.

Take Photos in Bulk

This isn’t so important, unless you’re using a theme with a one-colour background! White especially will look different in all lights, so taking photos in bulk can really help to keep the light the same.

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Use a Variety of Genres and Colours

If you have enough, make sure you don’t post pictures of the same books over and over! If you do a mix of genres and colours it’ll keep your feed looking fresh and exciting.

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Use Props

This is a tip than can go one of two ways – you can’t use loads of props and make it too busy. At the same time, using just one can look a little like you’ve just picked up anything to hand. The best prop I’ve found to use is flowers with a similar colour to the book(s)! The best use of props I’ve seen is on @dymarthereader and @readingoncloud9.

Drop your bookstagram name below and I’ll take a look at your account!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


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Beautiful Quotes #23

Welcome to another Beautiful Quotes. Before I start, can we all just thank Pete for his great post yesterday! Welcome to the team!

So today we’re going to be stealing a quote from the amazing Illuminae which both me and Pete have recently read. You can see my review here.

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Goodreads | Amazon

“You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who’ll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back.”
Jay Kristoff, Illuminae

I loved that this book had it’s lovely romantic moments as well as the sci-fi and action!

Have you got any beautiful quotes from this book?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


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