Review: Nick and Charlie (#1.5) by Alice Oseman

49438663

Goodreads | Waterstones

CHARLIE: “I have been going out with Nick Nelson for two years. He likes rugby, Formula 1, dogs, the Marvel universe, the sound felt-tips make on paper, rain and drawing on shoes. He also likes me.”
NICK: “Things me and Charlie Spring do together include: Watch films. Sit in the same room on different laptops. Text each other from different rooms. Make out. Make food. Make drinks. Get drunk. Talk. Argue. Laugh. Maybe we’re kind of boring. But that’s fine with us.”
Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake!
But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever … 

I wasn’t sure whether to do a review for this book or not seeing as it is a short novella I flew threw in an hour or so. But I found myself finishing it with so many thoughts I just wanted to write them all down!

Firstly, you’ve got to have some talent to make me laugh, cry and break my heart all in 158 pages. But Alice Oseman can do that. I know we’re not necessarily introduced to the characters in this novella, as I have been reading about them in my much loved Heartstopper for a year and a half, but it still shocked me how quickly I built up an emotional connection with these boys.

Charlie curled up so beautifully in my bed, the orange street-lamp light shining on his skin,

This novella hit me so hard because it’s something so real and raw that so many teenagers go through – I certainly did as a young adult – and I related to it so much. Although I am much more secure and confident in myself now, I could still see myself reflected in Nick and Charlie’s insecurities and it made me so emotional.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the physical book itself. I have the Waterstones limited signed edition and it is beautiful. I loved the chapter pages, I loved the illustrations. It was all just downright adorable. I have read other reviews expressing concern for the publishers money-grabbing by this being a thing, but although I agree, I can’t be mad. Because I want this on my shelf so badly. It is utterly gorgeous, and looks amazing with her other books. It made me so happy.

and I felt like if I was going to die, this would be what I wanted to see last.

Overall, this was the sweetest and softest novella about Nick and Charlie from Heartstopper. I would definitely recommend it for all Heartstopper fans, it is just so adorable and you won’t be able to put it down! It was much more hard-hitting and raw than the graphic novels, showing a tougher side to teenage relationships, which I loved. I don’t think I can rate this anything less than 5 stars!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

BookTube: Beth Finally Reads the Grisha Trilogy: A Summary

Hi loves! Today I thought I’d do a bit of a different video and film a little discussion. I’ve been finding my reaction to the Grisha trilogy interesting, having read all of Leigh’s other books first, so thought I’d have a bit of a chat about how I found the series!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Siege and Storm (#2) by Leigh Bardugo

14061955

Goodreads | Waterstones

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

I didn’t quite read this one as quickly as Shadow and Bone, but I very easily could have. The only reason I didn’t was in fact I took a break to do other things I needed to focus my time on. But even so, I did still read it in practically three sittings – one time reading around 115 pages, the next time reading around 200 pages, and then finishing off with a short 65 sprint.

This book didn’t capture my attention quite as much as the first one, I’ll admit. But I still loved a lot about it, including Nikolai. Forget the Darkling, Nikolai was such a good character. I loved his dialogue and banter and complicated nature. I wish the love triangle (or square, or whatever-the-hell it is by now) just wasn’t a thing, as I really think having Nikolai as just a super cool friend would have appealed more to me in all honesty. But having him in this book was awesome, and I loved his character.

The less you say,

Alina really progresses in this book and becomes a character with a much deeper, darker nature, constantly battling her own demons. I felt like I was riding such a rollercoaster with her, and wow that ending left me wanting more. Sometimes the plot of this series can come across as predictable, but I was so lulled into the story that the last 20 or so pages really shook me.

The tone of this series is brilliant. I love the world Bardugo has created, especially with the dark, steampunk undertones constantly shining through. Considering a third of this book is set on a ship with pirates (sorry, privateers), it’s a shock how much I loved it, as I usually drift away from anything set on the ocean for some reason. However, the characters were just so intensely well written that I was so drawn in!

the more weight your words will carry.

Overall, this book felt much the same as the first for me. I loved the plot and the story, but the romance let me down. The characters are very well written and have depth, which only expands in the second one. I’m very excited to see where the last one takes me!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Shadow and Bone (#1) by Leigh Bardugo

16059492. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.
Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two. 

Having read Leigh’s books in the complete wrong order, I had no idea how this series would feel for me. I began with Six of Crows, then Crooked Kingdom, The Language of Thorns and have even read King of Scars, which kind of ruins some of this series for me. I still wanted to give it a go though, and especially considering I don’t remember much of King of Scars at all, I don’t feel like it spoiled too much for me.

Having read her later writing first, I definitely noticed a difference in this book being earlier. Bardugo’s writing develops so much throughout her releases, but in a lot of ways it actually made Shadow and Bone really enjoyable for me. The writing is simpler, less complicated and felt like a good place to start in the universe, for Bardugo herself and for the reader. In a lot of ways I really do wish I’d started with this series, as I remember how long it took me to get into Six of Crows the first time around.

“The problem with wanting,” he whispered,

Although a lot of the plot was predictable in places, I really liked learning Alina’s story. She made a great protagonist to introduce this world with, as she is learning about the magic system herself and starting from scratch. Talking of, I really liked how the magic system was put together and portrayed. The Grisha themselves are really cool and unique magic wielders, and I love reading about their world.

Although Alina made a great female protagonist, I didn’t enjoy the love triangle so much. Love triangles always put me off a little, and this one was no different. I did really like the Darkling, however, and I thought he was a very cleverly written ploy.

I can’t write this review without telling you guys how I read the entire thing in a day. Not 24-hours. I literally read it from morning to evening. I read 170 pages in one go. Although it didn’t quite make this book 5 stars for me, I cannot hide how purely enthralling and page-turning a book has to be for me to pick it up like that and simply not want to put it down. I was captivated.

his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, “is that it makes us weak.”

Overall, this book let me down in places and the plot could be predictable, but I really loved it and wish I’d picked it up sooner. What a story. It grabs you by the shoulders and doesn’t let go. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Stacking the Shelves #23

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! I’ve bought a few books recently that I’m super excited for and thought I’d share with you all tonight.

49438663

Goodreads | Waterstones

CHARLIE: “I have been going out with Nick Nelson for two years. He likes rugby, Formula 1, dogs, the Marvel universe, the sound felt-tips make on paper, rain and drawing on shoes. He also likes me.”
NICK: “Things me and Charlie Spring do together include: Watch films. Sit in the same room on different laptops. Text each other from different rooms. Make out. Make food. Make drinks. Get drunk. Talk. Argue. Laugh. Maybe we’re kind of boring. But that’s fine with us.”
Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake!
But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever…

I’m so excited for this one and it looks amazing with Alice’s other books. As I’m sure you know, I adore Heartstopper and I can’t wait to read this!

36314220. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires. There the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray.
Follow Brother Zachariah and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festive celebrations, Anna Lightwood’s first romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin and Tessa Gray plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah…

I’ve been told to read this before carrying on with Clare’s other books (i.e. The Red Scrolls of Magic), and I’d been waiting for the paperback to come out to match my set. Now it’s out, I finally decided to pick it up!

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

45800564. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Los Angeles, 1992
Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.
Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.
With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book would have been brilliant and hard hitting at any time. But reading it now, so soon after George Floyd’s death and with Black Lives Matter being so prominent in the media, I really felt this book. It bought to the forefront of my mind the struggles that Black people have faced and still face. This book is set in 1992, but it didn’t feel very far from home at all. Aside from a few pop culture references (which I loved!), the experiences Ashley faces feel like they could happen, and are still happening today, almost 30 years on.

Ashley lives a charmed life, attending a private school and being somewhat sheltered and surrounded by white friends, openly not interacting much with her fellow Black classmates. Her sister, Jo, who has married and moved out, is far from this. When the Rodney King riots occur, Ashley is forced to open her eyes to what is going on around her, especially when her sister starts getting involved.

This book is shocking, giving a first hand of experience of a wealthy family who are still deeply shook by the riots. Their stories shook me to the core. The discussions of race and class were superb and brilliantly written, as it feels like Ashley is only just realising herself what is truly happening around her. The starkness of this book is impressive, comparing an early event of Ashley and her white friends being stopped for breaking and entering, to a later event of Ashley and her Black friend being held at gunpoint because they are believed to be breaking and entering their own house. The Black Kids has grown on reflection to be even more hard hitting than you initially realise, as you are seeing it through the eyes of a teenager learning and growing.

The relationships were beautiful and important. I loved reading about the difficult relationships between Ashley, her family and her sister, Jo. The different characters all added layers to the story themselves, especially Ashley’s friendship group and the people she finds throughout the story, including the other Black kids at her school.

The only part of this book that really disappointed me was that it just didn’t grab me enough at the start. I spent the first 50 percent of the book feeling like I was wading through water, slow and muggy. On reflection, I realise this is due to the fact Ashley herself felt like she was perhaps disentangled from what was going on around her, and is a stark contrast to the second half of the book, when everything is almost turned up in sharpness. It took me 3 days to read the first 50 percent, and only one to read the rest. I just wish it had grabbed me more from the start!

This intense and hard hitting read feels relevant even today, discussing themes such as police brutality and race and class divide through the eyes of a young, coming-of-age teen. It is a stark, raw and beautiful story of growth and change, a change I can only hope continues as we look forward to a brighter future.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Blog Tour + Review: Far From Perfect (#2) by Holly Smale

52183674

Goodreads | Waterstones

Faith Valentine has it all – fame, money and extraordinary beauty. But what she wants more than anything is a quiet life away from the cameras. Except nobody ever asks Faith what she wants, and her family’s expectations are crushing her.
The world thinks she’s perfect, but is there is more to perfection than meets the eye?

Thank you to Harper Collins and Kaleidoscopic Tours for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than expected, it was such a pleasant surprise. Having not read any of Smale’s books, not even the first book in this series, I had no idea how I would feel about this one. However, as this book follows Faith, the sister of the protagonist in the first book, I understood the story perfectly and didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

As soon as I picked this up I knew it would be a quick and easy one to get through. I thought I’d just read 50 pages at most, but ended up reading 100 in one go and finishing it in just over 24 hours! I couldn’t tell you the last time I read a 400+ page book in that short amount of time, but this was pretty addictive.

I found the story really interesting as it’s something I wouldn’t usually pick up. Faith’s life is controlled by the media, social media and her fame, which seemed like an important topic to portray to what will likely be a younger audience. The plot was highly entertaining (which is why I couldn’t put the book down!) but also felt unrealistic to me, which I couldn’t help but feel irritated by.

I liked the cast of characters for the most part, especially Faith’s dysfunctional family. However, there were points in which I felt topics could have been handled better (for example, her mother had a problem in which help was never seen as an option, whereas she seemingly needed professional help). Scarlett was a fun character but I just found something off about her that I couldn’t click with.

This book is definitely aimed at a younger audience than me, and I can see a younger me really enjoying it. It was incredibly entertaining and fun, with a fast paced plot which kept me on my toes. Although I found it frustrating at times, a younger me would have likely looked past the few problems I saw and enjoyed it even more!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman

42115981. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.
As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.
But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.
Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?

Oh my gosh. We don’t need to talk about how much I love Alice Oseman, but it has to be said that this is her best writing yet. I just clicked with it immediately in a way I haven’t with her other books – it captured me from the off and I didn’t want to stop reading. Georgia was such a relatable character who was struggling with finding out who she is, which I think is something we have all found in life, whatever sexuality.

Although I’m not asexual myself, I found Loveless made me reflect a lot on my own sexuality. Almost a year ago, I realised I am demisexual/demiromantic, which means I am only sexually and romantically attracted to people I have an emotional connection with. Some of the stark and raw conversations Georgia and her friends have about sex were so bold and relatable and we simply need more of this in YA. These conversations not only made me chuckle, but it taught me a lot about why I am the way I am with relationships and my sex life.

Give your friendships the magic you would give a romance.

I (mostly) loved the cast of characters. Although they could be annoying at times, I think it was only because they were all learning and discovering things about themselves, which only prompted the story to be more realistic and relatable. The discussions the characters had were not only heartfelt, but incredibly sex-positive and funny. Hardly any books make me actually laugh out loud, but I couldn’t stop chuckling!

The plot was entertaining, and even if a little predictable at times, I still loved it. The diversity was amazing. The casual way Oseman would drop in white privilege and racial issues had me reeling. If she can do it, anybody can do it. It’s just not that hard. The diversity felt natural, added to the story, avoided stereotypes and tokenism. It was executed with grace and thought.

The friendships were also so great and well written. The way this book showed how friendships are just as important as relationship is perfect. I have felt this so many times in my life, and I definitely agree that friendships are just as important and meaningful as romantic relationships are. There is still love and adoration and fear and intimacy. I cannot express how grateful I am for Alice to writing this and these characters and this book.

Because they’re just as important.

I think the underlying most important thing about this book is we need it so badly. We need more books discussing sexuality. Exploring how identifying as a certain sexuality might mean a different life and that this is not weird or bad. We need more sex-positive books that talk openly about sex lives and masturbation and how it varies for different people. We need for teenagers, children and adults to be able to see themselves in books. Loveless taught me so much about asexuality. If all books did what Alice Oseman has done, how much could we learn?

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Let’s Discuss! August Releases I’m Excited For

Hi all! I know we’re a week into the month already but I thought today I’d talk a little about August releases I’m excited for! There are just too many I have on my shelf or I want to read to avoid shouting about them.

49438663

Goodreads | Waterstones

Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake!
But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever…

My copy of Nick and Charlie arrived yesterday and I’m so excited to read it. It looks so pretty alongside Alice’s other books!

49109726. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Robin Cooper’s life is falling apart.
While his friends prepare to head off to university, Robin is looking at a pile of rejection letters from drama schools up and down the country, and facing a future without the people he loves the most. Everything seems like it’s ending, and Robin is scrabbling to find his feet.
Unsure about what to do next and whether he has the talent to follow his dreams, he and his best friends go and drown their sorrows at a local drag show, where Robin realises there might be a different, more sequinned path for him . . .
With a mother who won’t stop talking, a boyfriend who won’t acknowledge him and a best friend who is dying to cover him in glitter make up, there’s only one thing for Robin to do: bring it to the runway.

I haven’t picked up my copy of Boy Queen yet, but I’m really looking forward to it because it sounds amazing.

48855787. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.
Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball . are forfeit.
But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world.

I’ve heard so many good things about Cinderella is Dead and I really want to pick up a copy myself!

45800564. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.
Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.
With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

I have an ecopy of this book through NetGalley and I’m really desperate to read it – in fact it’s next on my list after Loveless!

Which books are you excited for this month?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere