Review: Noah’s Gold by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Goodreads | Waterstones

Being the smallest doesn’t stop you having the biggest ideas.
Eleven-year old Noah sneaks along on his big sister’s geography field trip. Everything goes wrong! Six kids are marooned on an uninhabited island. Their teacher has vanished. They’re hungry. Their phones don’t work and Noah has broken the internet. There’s no way of contacting home . . . Disaster!
Until Noah discovers a treasure map and the gang goes in search of gold.

This book was so much fun. I can’t even tell you how many times this book made me chuckle and fully laugh out loud, which I always find rare with books.

This one follows Noah, who has snuck in the back of the minibus on his sister’s geography field trip. The unlikely gang end up on a deserted island, and now they have to band together to try and survive on the island and maybe also fix the internet too (I still don’t quite understand what that bit was all about!).

I loved this unlikely group, who were so much fun to read about and had some great interactions. Noah made such a funny narrator with a lot of honesty that I think so many kids will relate to. The illustrations were so good and complemented the story so well too. This one is definitely an adventure story at it’s heart, and I really enjoyed blasting through it and seeing where it was going to go.

The friendship group were so heartwarming to read about and there was also some interesting discussions of living without technology too. It’s great to see these kinds of stories being so popular with children.

Although there was a lot of fun plot, I didn’t quite understand where the ‘internet’ aspect fit, which did let it down a little bit for me. I just feel like this book was strong without this extra seemingly quite random aspect to the story that also didn’t feel fully fleshed out.

Overall, this one was so much fun and I’ll definitely be recommending it to a lot of kids at work!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Family of Liars by E. Lockhart

Goodreads | Waterstones

A windswept private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
A hungry ocean, churning with secrets and sorrow.
A fiery, addicted heiress. An irresistible, unpredictable boy.
A summer of unforgivable betrayal and terrible mistakes.
Welcome back to the Sinclair family.
They were always liars.

Thank you to Hot Key Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’m glad I grabbed the opportunity to pick up this book when I was offered the chance, because I honestly don’t think I’d have picked it up otherwise. Reading We Were Liars and Family of Liars back to back was such a great experience, I really felt the atmosphere and got so tangled up in the writing.

I really like the unique writing style of the Liars books. I’ve read quite a few of E. Lockhart’s books over the years and We Were Liars was always the most memorable one for me. The atmosphere is also impeccable and may well be my favourite thing about this series as a whole. It made me feel like I really want to go on holiday and gave me all of the summer vibes, despite the dark undertones to these thrillers.

I felt quite a lot of disconnect between the characters from Family of Liars and We Were Liars, and I also found them harder to like and relate to in this book. I have mixed feelings for all of the Liars, but this one just felt a little more forgettable to me.

Overall, I did enjoy a lot of aspects of this book and it definitely kept me reading! Thank you Hot Key for the opportunity to read-along this one!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: The Gifts That Bind Us (#2) by Caroline O’Donoghue

Goodreads | Waterstones

Maeve and her friends have revealed their powers and banded together as a coven: Roe can pick locks, Lily sends sparks flying, Maeve can read minds and Fiona can heal any injury.
And even better than their newfound talents? Roe and Maeve are officially an item.
But with strange things happening at school, and old enemies appearing in new places, it soon becomes clear their powers are attracting all the wrong attention. It’s not long before Maeve’s gift start to wane, drained by someone – or something – that’s hiding even from her second sight…

I’ve been meaning to pick this one up ever since it came out, and I’m glad I finally did. I buddy-read the first book with my friends Amy and Jo last year, and I’m enjoying the series a lot so far. This one is a magical, witchy series with a tarot focus and it’s set in Ireland. In this second book in the series, the friendship group formed in All Our Hidden Gifts come together to face a bigger enemy: the Children of Brigid.

I read this one on audio and I’m actually really glad I decided to. Although I liked the first book a lot, there’s something about reading the audio of this one I really enjoyed. It almost felt clearer to me on audio, and it felt entertaining and adventurous. The narrator was brilliant too and I’m so glad she was Irish!

I love the discussions of LGBTQ+ issues across this series, but especially in this book. I had a few questions about representation after the first one, but they were definitely addressed in this book. The friendships and relationships faced difficulties, but it made the characters feel all that more real.

There was definitely some unexpected turns of events throughout this book, which made it all the more enjoyable to read. I particularly loved the found family aspects with such a variety of characters and I’m looking forward to reading more in the series!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Goodreads | Waterstones

We are the Liars.
We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.
We are cracked and broken.
A story of love and romance.
A tale of tragedy.
Which are lies?
Which is truth?
You decide.

I have actually read this one before, but it’s now been 6 years since I first picked it up. I didn’t expect to enjoy this book half as much as when I first read it, honestly, but I did still enjoy it a lot. This one is definitely aimed at a much younger audience than me, and I did love it as a teen, but it’s still enjoyable now. I wasn’t necessarily aiming to re-read this one, but when I was offered a copy alongside Family of Liars, I decided to go for it.

I’m glad I picked it up, and it was exactly what I needed at the moment. The chapters are only a couple of pages, which means it was super quick to read and easy to get through. It’s also only just over 200 pages, meaning I read it in a couple of days.

We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged.

I’m glad it’s been so long since I read it, because I had honestly forgotten completely what happened at the end and I was shocked and surprised all over again. The writing was also brilliant, and once you get used to the prose, it’s unique but really enjoyable to read. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d get back into it, and I’m glad I read Family of Liars directly afterwards while I was still in the same mood.

I do have mixed feelings about the family themselves and the characters, but I did still enjoy reading their story. Even if I didn’t like the Liars themselves, the way they were written about was so clever, powerful and emotional.

We are cracked and broken.

Overall, this might not have been quite as enjoyable on a 6 years later re-read, but I did still really like it and I’m glad I picked it up again!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Stacking the Shelves #81

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

Hi everyone! I bought a couple of books this week, but they were both really special ones I’m super excited about.

Goodreads | Alibris

Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes.
Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail.
And Sam picks up the phone.
In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever.

I’ve wanted to read this one for a while and I love the hardback version, which has flowers under the dust jacket. I hunted around and managed to find a reasonably priced one at Alibris (linked above) which arrived a few days ago and is very pretty!

Goodreads | Waterstones

In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.
Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

I also pre-ordered some books last week, including this one which has already arrived! I managed to get a Waterstones exclusive before it sold out, and it’s beautiful.

What have you bought or received this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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14 books you should read if you loved Heartstopper

With the recent release of Heartstopper on Netflix, I thought it would be the perfect time to recommend you some similar books. I know everyone is loving Heartstopper at the moment, so I’m going to talk about some similar books I love.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town. One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods.
As a genderqueer werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home. Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

I love this graphic novel so much, I picked it up last year and it was one of my favourite books of the year. It’s queer, has magic and a bookshop – what’s not to love!

Goodreads | Waterstones

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

The Tea Dragon books are so heartwarming and beautiful, with these delightful creatures at the heart of the story. I just adore these graphic novels, and they’re perfect for picking up when you might be feeling a little low.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.
Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.
Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

The first novel on this list is Date Me, Bryson Keller which is such a cute male/male romance also set in a high school, with similar vibes to Heartstopper!

Goodreads

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

I love this book so much. It’s emotional and tackles difficult topics but is really heartwarming too. This one also has a lot of discussions about gender identity, and the main character is non-binary.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.
But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.
Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

The first sapphic book of the list is The Falling in Love Montage, which is a fast-paced romance with difficult discussions. I flew through it in a day!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

I love Nina LaCour’s books and it was difficult to pick just one to put on this list! This one is one of her sadder books but is so beautiful too.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Griffin has lost his first love in a drowning accident. Theo was his best friend, his ex-boyfriend and the one he believed he would end up with. Now, reeling from grief and worsening OCD, Griffin turns to an unexpected person for help. Theo’s new boyfriend.
But as their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, dangerous truths begin to surface. Griffin must make a choice: confront the past, or miss out on his future.

Again, it was difficult to pick just one Adam Silvera book for this list, but my favourite of his is definitely History is All You Left Me!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.
But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

I love both of these books, and the second one is actually my favourite. These are also beautiful audiobooks!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Jake Hyde doesn’t swim—not since his father drowned. Luckily, he lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, which is in the middle of the desert, yet he yearns for the ocean and is determined to leave his hometown for a college on the coast. But his best friend, Maria, wants nothing more than to make a home in the desert, and Jake’s mother encourages him to always play it safe.
There’s nothing “safe” about Jake’s future—not when he’s attracted to Kenny Liu, swim team captain and rebel against conformity. And certainly not when he secretly applies to Miami University. Jake’s life begins to outpace his small town’s namesake, which doesn’t make it any easier to come out to his mom, or Maria, or the world.
But Jake is full of secrets, including the strange blue markings on his skin that glow when in contact with water. What power will he find when he searches for his identity, and will he turn his back to the current or dive headfirst into the waves?

I wanted to include a mix of graphic novels and novels on this list, and a graphic novel I love is this one, which is actually a DC graphic novel Mark bought me. I really enjoyed it and it has LGBTQ+ themes and a male/male romance!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. You probably think that they are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and she is a girl. They don’t. They make a podcast. In a world determined to shut them up, knock them down, and set them on a cookie cutter life path, Frances and Aled struggle to find their voices over the course of one life-changing year. Will they have the courage to show everyone who they really are? Or will they be met with radio silence?

It was difficult to pick an Alice Oseman book for this list, but my most recent read from her is Radio Silence, which I absolutely adored.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don’t belong anywhere? Like you’re almost… invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club.
This is the story of one of those days – a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it’s a struggle to leave the house, and when you do, you wish you hadn’t. But even the worst of days can surprise you. When one sad ghost, lost and alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything. Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club – a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.

Another heartwarming graphic novel is The Sad Ghost Club, which is such a cute story you’ll speed through.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but I loved it. It’s a slightly older version of Heartstopper, with discussions of religion.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?

I also wanted to include a Becky Albertalli book on this list, and I decided to go for What If It’s Us. This is such a heartwarming meet-cute story with a Silvera style ending!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Because of a hearing disability, Kohei is often misunderstood and has trouble integrating into life on campus, so he learns to keep his distance. That is until he meets the outspoken and cheerful Taichi. He tells Kohei that his hearing loss is not his fault. Taichi’s words cut through Kohei’s usual defense mechanisms and open his heart. More than friends, less than lovers, their relationship changes Kohei forever.

The only one on this list I haven’t read is I Hear the Sunspot, a manga. I’d love to pick this up soon and I have a feeling it’s going to be quite similar to Heartstopper!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Good Intentions by Kasim Ali

Goodreads | Waterstones

It’s the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve and Nur is steeling himself to tell his parents that he’s seeing someone. A young British Pakistani man, Nur has spent years omitting details about his personal life to maintain his image as the golden eldest child. And it’s come at a cost.
Once, Nur was a restless and insecure college student, struggling to present himself after being transplanted from his hometown with only the vaguest sense of ambition. At a packed house party, he meets Yasmina, a beautiful and self-possessed aspiring journalist. They start a conversation–first awkward, then absorbing–that grabs Nur’s attention like never before. And as their relationship develops, moving from libraries and cramped coffee shops to an apartment they share together, so too does Nur’s self-destruction. He falls deeper into traps of his own making, attempting to please both Yasmina and his family until he no longer has a choice. He must finally be honest and reveal to those who raised him the truth he’s kept hidden: Yasmina is Black, and he loves her.

Thank you to the publishers, Harper Collins, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I thought I’d like this book, but I didn’t quite expect to love it as much as I did. I picked this up because it reminded me a little of The Big Sick, which I really enjoyed. This one follows Nur as he struggles to face his parents about his relationship with Yasmina.

This one discusses culture, religion and race in a lot of depth, which was super interesting if a little difficult to read about. It flicks between Nur and Yasmina meeting to present day, where Nur has finally faced his parents and told them about his relationship. Even though we skip months of time in places, I still felt really close to Nur and the other characters.

Sometimes there is an emptiness inside him so large it would take the entire world to fill. 

Even though Nur makes a lot of questionable and regrettable decisions, I couldn’t help but relate to him on many levels. He suffers with anxiety and panic attacks, and I felt like these were quite emotional moments which I related to on a personal level.

There was a lot of discussions of difficult issues outside of this too, including depression and suicidal thoughts. I would have liked to have seen a discussion of therapy, but I did like the focus on friendships and family relationships. I listened to the audiobook of this one and I really enjoyed it, and it was easy to follow between the changing times and years.

It comes and goes as it pleases, triggered by nothing specific.

I must admit I felt really emotional at the end of this book, which I didn’t expect. I’m not 100 percent sure how I felt about the ending, but I will admit it really gave me a lump in my throat. I really enjoyed it overall and would definitely recommend it if it sounds like something you’d enjoy!

CWs: past self harm, racism, anti-Blackness, colourism, past attempted suicide, panic attacks

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Moominsummer Madness (#5) by Tove Jansson

Goodreads | Waterstones

The Moomins, in case you didn’t know, are kind, philosophical creatures with velvety fur and smooth round snouts, who live in a tall blue house in a beautiful woodland valley beside the sea.
One summer a grumbling volcano causes Moominvalley to flood, forcing the Moomin family to leave their beloved home and find refuge on a floating theatre. When this casts adrift, leaving Moomin, the Snorkmaiden and Little My marooned on land, Moominsummer Madness ensues. Will they all be reunited before the final curtain?

I’ve wanted to read a Moomin book for such a long time, and Courtney bought me this one for Christmas to sink my teeth into! Even though this is the 5th book in the series, she did some research and found this is the best one to start with.

I was thrown into this whimsical, magical world of the moomins, which was even weirder than I expected. There’s even a note in the back of this book commenting on how this one stands out for it’s weirdness. What I absolutely adored about this book was how heartwarming it was. Despite all of the randomness, there is also some beautiful sentences that really stood out for their beauty.

I can’t wait to read more from the Moomin adventures! I’d also like to find one of the TV shows to watch somewhere, because I love the look of the new Moominvalley show.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #80

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

Hi all! It’s been a few weeks since I last updated you on the books I’ve picked up, and I’ve got some new ones to share with you.

Goodreads | Waterstones

There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…

I’ve actually already read this one, which I loved so much! It was so cute, and I immediately picked up….

Goodreads | Waterstones

Rio has been sent to live with a grandmother he barely knows in California, while his mum is in hospital back home. Alone and adrift, the only thing that makes him smile is joining his new friend Marina on her dad’s whale watching trips. That is until an incredible encounter with White Beak, a gentle giant of the sea changes everything. But when White Beak goes missing, Rio must set out on a desperate quest to find his whale and somehow save his mum.

This one! Hannah Gold’s second book, which I can’t wait to read.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy’s bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings. When a mysterious new girl appears at school, Sandy’s drawings are noticed for the first time… but Morfie’s fascination with Sandy’s talent soon turns into something far more sinister.

Goodreads | Waterstones

I’ve also read both of these already too, they’re such cute graphic novels.

Goodreads | Waterstones

The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…
– Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.
When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them. 

Amy very kindly gifted me her Fairyloot edition of The Atlas Six, which is beautiful.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Talking of Fairyloot, I also received my copy of Heartstopper Volume 2, just in time for the TV show.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Chloe Green has spent the past four years dodging gossipy, classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect daughter.
But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.
On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbour with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square.
Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe – probably not, but maybe – more to Shara, too.

I received a proof copy of I Kissed Shara Wheeler from the publisher, which I’m so excited for! I love One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, so I’m really excited to pick this one up!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Monique lives a perfect life – a preacher’s daughter and the girlfriend of the town’s golden boy. But it’s not that simple. She’s torn between her parents who want the pure virginal daughter, and her boyfriend, Dom, who wants to explore the more intimate side of their relationship.
Tired of waiting, her boyfriend breaks up with her, spurring Monique to discover she has a medical condition that makes her far from perfect and she concocts a plan to fix her body and win him back.
With the help of her frenemy, Sasha, the overly zealous church girl Monique’s mum pushes her to hang out with, and Reggie, the town’s not-so-good boy, Monique must go on trips to unknown and uncomfortable places to find the treatment that will help her. But in doing so, she must face some home truths: maybe she shouldn’t be fixing her body to please a boy, maybe Sasha is the friend she needed all along and maybe Reggie isn’t so bad at all.

I also received a proof copy of this one, which I’m super happy about as I really enjoyed Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by the same author! Thank you Hot Key!

What have you bought or received this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Desolations of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs

Goodreads | Waterstones

The last thing Jacob Portman saw before the world went dark was a terrible, familiar face.
Suddenly, he and Noor are back in the place where everything began – his grandfather’s house. Jacob doesn’t know how they escaped from V’s loop to find themselves in Florida. But he does know one thing for certain: Caul has returned.
After a narrow getaway from a blood-thirsty hollow, Jacob and Noor reunite with Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children in Devil’s Acre. The Acre is being plagued by desolations – weather fronts of ash and blood and bone – a terrible portent of Caul’s amassing army.
Risen from the Library of Souls and more powerful than ever, Caul and his apocalyptic agenda seem unstoppable. Only one hope remains – deliver Noor to the meeting place of the seven prophesied ones. If they can decipher its secret location. 

So it’s been 7 years since I read the first Miss Peregrine’s book, and I finally finished the series! Thank you to the audiobook versions of the last two books in the series for helping me finally pick them up after owning them since release – I really enjoyed listening to these and it definitely helped with the daunting size of The Desolations of Devil’s Acre.

After following these characters for 6 books, it was definitely bittersweet to see them go, but I’m also ready to move on at the same time.

In the end, our real home had always been one another. 

Maybe it’s just me – but it honestly felt like Ransom Riggs crammed so much plot into this one book, that it’s almost on par with the plot of the first 3 books all together. I was honestly astounded by how much he managed to fit into this last instalment in the series, as I was definitely expecting a shorter wrap-up with not quite as much at stake, but this one definitely went out with a bang.

Although the plot packed a lot in and was quite action packed, it did also feel pretty predictable after 5 of these books. I never felt particularly worried for the characters or on edge, which did let me down. There was just such a lack of tension there for me.

My favourite part of the book was definitely the group of friends, and I couldn’t help but enjoy the ending. Seeing them band together throughout this book and witnessing their banter and the way they treat one another did warm my heart.

And a real home was all I’d ever wanted.

Although I enjoyed this one and the series as a whole, I sadly felt like there wasn’t enough tension to keep me hooked, feeling a bit predictable and quite long!

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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