Review: Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh

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Goodreads | Amazon

A century ago, scientists theorised that a habitable planet existed in a nearby solar system. Today, ten astronauts will leave a dying Earth to find it. Four are decorated veterans of the 20th century’s space-race. And six are teenagers, graduates of the exclusive Dalton Academy, who’ve been in training for this mission for most of their lives.
It will take the team 23 years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years spent in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong. And something always goes wrong. 

When I saw this author was going to be at YALC, I was intrigued right away. YA book about space exploration? I am THERE. And I have to say, I haven’t been left disappointed.

Granted, this book was not perfect. But it was so intriguing, enjoyable and had so much depth to it. We follow ten astronauts, 6 of which are young people who have been picked for the long journey to Terra-Two, a brand new habitable planet.

First of all, I adored that this focused on young people. Due to the long journey and need for the astronauts to still be fairly young when they reach Terra-Two, this book also shows them growing up and maturing as the teenagers they are. A 23 year space exploration journey isn’t going to be without it’s problems and sufferings, but throw in 6 teenagers and you have yourself some kind of twisted reality style story. And I loved it.

Seeing the difficulties these teens faced as they dealt with so many struggles on and off the ship was deep, meaningful and hit home for me. And it’s not just the teens, the adults face their own kind of problems too. Each character was deeply troubled in their own way and had suffered their own loss and guilt, and I adored that because it made them real. Of course these astronauts are brave and strong and completely badass, but they have to learn to work with each other no matter their differences.

The setting of space gave these characters a unique backdrop for their rendezvous, and the whole notion of Terra-Two was so interesting to me. Although I couldn’t picture the ship perfectly, I had some idea from the description for the more important scenes.

Unfortunately, I did have a few other small issues with the book that let this review down from 5 to 4 stars. I found the pacing very off. Yes, this book is definitely a slow burner, and in a lot of ways that did work. But I just wish I’d been more driven to pick up this book in the earlier pages, and only found myself fully hooked for the last couple of hundred. I also found that because of the large cast of characters and third person view, some of the more emotional scenes weren’t as gripping as they could have been.

However, these were very small issues in what turned out to be a very enjoyable, somewhat gripping, drama filled novel. It’s a very strong debut, and I’d love to pick up more of Temi Oh’s work in the future.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #99

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!

YALC is this week. I repeat. THIS. WEEK.

Guys, I’m super excited! And scared about how much money I’m going to spend while I’m there on new books. But I feel pretty prepared with the one’s I’ve bought so far, especially as there is so many! This week and next week will be about books I preordered for YALC, then I’ll do a YALC haul post the weekend after when things have calmed down a little 🙂

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Goodreads | Amazon

I was lucky enough to pick up all 4 of these books in like new condition on eBay for just £8! Ebay has definitely been my friend recently.

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Goodreads | Amazon

I decided to carry on with this series, so I bought the second book. Unfortunately though, it’s a different size to my first paperback which is very annoying!

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Goodreads | Amazon

And although I’m super thrilled to have all of Renee’s books I want to read now, this one is also different to book one in cover and size. How annoying is that?

Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! New Designs in my Etsy Shop

Hi everyone! As you may or may not know, I’ve owned an Etsy shop since earlier this year where I design and print bookmarks. These range from quotes, to fandom, to TV shows! Due to me moving house, starting a new job and finishing up my first year of uni, I unfortunately haven’t been working on the shop or keeping up with it as much as I’d like. But recently, I finally got around to having a lot of new designs printed and I thought today I could show you a few!

If you’d like to make a purchase, any orders made before 12noon GMT tomorrow will be sent out on the same day!

Want 10% off? Use code SAVE10 at the checkout.

I didn’t have any generic, non fandom bookmarks and I thought these would make perfect gifts for the bookworm you don’t know which fandoms they’re part of! You can find it here for just £1/$1.30.

I just had to make some Anna and the French Kiss inspired designs, and I’m so happy with how my little hand drawn icons (the heart, rose and star) turned out. You can buy the set here for £2.90/$3.76.

How could I make new designs without including some Harry Potter ones? The pattern one might be my favourite so far! This set is also just £2.90/$3.47. Or if you just want one, they’re £1/$1.30 each and can be found on: Hogwarts is my Home, pattern and always.

I used to have a bookmark I could use in bookstagram photos that I’d hand painted myself, and loved it. I thought I’d take inspiration from that and make some #bookstagram designs! You can buy both here for £1.90/$2.47, the watercolour one here for £1/$1.30 or the galaxy one here for £1/$1.30.

This set was the first of my new designs, and I spent so much time trying to get each one unique to the colours of the books! The Raven Cycle is one of my favourite series ever, so it meant a lot to make these. You can buy the full set here for £3.20/$4.15.

You may or may not know that I’m a massive fan of the TV sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S, so I jumped on the chance to make a bookworm crossover! This set is just £1.90/$2.47.

Love, Simon has some great quotes, and I wanted to try my hand at making one in this style. The quote reads ‘Everyone should have to declare one way or another, & it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, whatever’. This two bookmark set is also £1.90/$2.47. Just want one? Find the Love, Simon design here for £1/$1.30 and the quote design here for the same price.

And last but not least, my boyfriend Josh has also pitched in and joined me this time! We both watched and loved The Umbrella Academy, and he wanted to take his own style to make this gorgeous 3 bookmark set for my shop. You can find them here for £2.90/$3.76.

Again, any orders made before 12noon GMT tomorrow will be sent out the same day, and if you’re thinking of making an order use the code SAVE10 for 10 percent off! Click the banner below to browse.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #131 / Call It What You Want

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 all! It’s been a tiring week but we’re back on track now and back in routine hopefully. It’s also been a weird week for me reading wise as I was trying to slog through A Darker Shade of Magic and it just wasn’t working for me. You can read more on my post from yesterday called DNFing books!

So here’s a (small) throwback to a book I really enjoyed, Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer. I read it as an ARC and thought it’d be perfect to post about now it’s actually out in stores 🙂

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Goodreads | Amazon

“Other people don’t have the challenges we have… but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own.” 
― Brigid Kemmerer, Call It What You Want

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! DNF’ing Books

Hi all! You might be sat there wondering what on earth this title means. Well, for those of you who don’t know, DNF stands for Did Not Finish in the book community. And I’m here to talk about it!

What is DNF’ing?

Marking a book as DNF’d means you decided to put it down part the way through without completing the book.

Why would this happen?

For example, someone could DNF a book because they decide they didn’t like it, or the writing style isn’t for them, they don’t understand what’s going on, or maybe it just isn’t the right time for them to read it right now. I’ve definitely put books down before knowing it’s not for me right now but I’ll probably pick it up again in the future!

Why is this important?

It really depends on the reader to whether you DNF a book or not. I spent a long time never, ever DNF’ing books under any circumstance, determined to see it all the way through. It’s only in recent times that I’ve decided it’s not worth my time anymore.

And I think it all comes down to that – sometimes it’s just not worth your time to carry on reading a book you just know isn’t for you. Sometimes that could be temporary, sometimes forever.

When do I, personally, DNF a book?

I’ve been thinking about this subject because I recently decided to mark A Darker Shade of Magic as DNF’d. This was for a number of reasons:

  • I didn’t understand the full extent of the book
  • I decided I didn’t much care for the characters
  • I didn’t want to pick the book up at this particular time
  • I didn’t have any intrigue to the outcome of the story

This was a really hard thing for me to do, as obviously this is a very hyped read. But personally, it definitely wasn’t the right time for me. I’ve put it aside for now with the intention of maybe trying it again at some point in the future.

Where do you stand on DNF’ing books? Do you ever do it?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #98

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!

Hi all! Sometimes, isn’t it great to buy books knowing you’re not adding to your TBR? I have around 70 unread books, so it’s a relief sometimes to know I won’t be adding to it!

Today’s books are one’s I’ve already read because they’re the illustrated editions of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They’re both so beautiful and I’m excited to meet the illustrator in a few weeks at YALC.

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Goodreads | Amazon

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Goodreads | Amazon

Have you bought any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Blog Tour & Review: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Hello readers! I was lucky enough to be selected by Source Books Fire through Midas Public Relations to take part in this blog tour. It was such an exciting tour to be a part of and I’m really grateful for the ARC copy they sent me in exchange for this honest review. Thank you again, Source Books Fire!

I’m finishing up this tour alongside DMCI Reads and The Library Looter. Go check them out!

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Goodreads | Amazon

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.

I fell in love with this book the moment I saw it. I mean, the beautiful cover is a pretty good start, right? As soon as I started reading, I felt somehow comforted, in the sense I just knew I was going to enjoy this one.

It felt so lovely to read a good fantasy. I recently read The Last Namsara, and even though I liked it, The Storm Crow just seemed to add the things I missed in that one. For a start, the world was beautiful and so well described – I felt enveloped in the rich, lush description of the lands and kingdoms. The writing was poetic and lovely.

One of my favourite parts of this book was the first chapter. It was full of action and intrigue, and kept me intrigued for the lulls and slower parts. And unfortunately, the only downside for me was that this book did lull. Although the writing was great, the pacing unfortunately wasn’t. The action was very sporadic and I felt left for the majority of the book without any. Part of me understands due to Thia’s mental health, and the slow plot did make me sympathise with her personal struggles.

But that’s where my complaints end – I adored everything else about The Storm Crow. Thia resonated deeply with me in a way characters in fantasy don’t usually. I find with fantasy there can be some disconnect if the characters seem unattainable or unrealistic. With Thia, things are different. She struggles openly with grief and depression, and the way this was discussed felt so important. She was still a badass, passionate and heroic woman, but she was also struggling and surviving day by day. It made her so much more real.

My love for the characters doesn’t end there. This book had a great cast of side characters too, and I loved them all for their own roles. Thia’s relationship with her sister felt well written, and so did her friendship with Kiva, who I loved. Her friendship with Caylus and difficult friendship with her husband-to-be also offered interesting, dynamic relationships I became quickly invested in. And I can’t write this review without giving a shoutout to a villain I absolutely loved to hate, Razal.

The whole crow element to this book is something I’ve not really seen before in YA, and I loved it. Having such a strong connection to the magic and animals gave the story a whole different dynamic and focus, rather than just the politics. Instead, the story flickered between politics and magic and Thia’s passionate love for the crows, which kept me on my toes and interested.

Overall, this book encompassed me in such a love for a rich world, diverse (in all ways), lovable characters, magic and passionate writing. All in all, the only reason this didn’t quite get 5 full stars from me is unfortunately the pacing – everything else was there and I loved it.

★★★★★ 
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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