Beautiful Quotes #135 / The Next Together

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! So as much as I’d love to give ya’ll an update on my past week, it’d be long and sad and probably not very entertaining. It’s been very hard and therefore lead to me unfortunately kind of abandoning the blog, but I’m trying hard to get back on track with reading and blogging. So here we are! Like I said on my Instagram this morning, a more entertaining part of my week happened earlier, when our washing machine decided to spit out water all over the floor. Hence me getting up at 8am (I usually get up at 3am for work), to go and mop it up in my PJs!

Moving on, here’s today’s beautiful quote, which is from The Next Together by Lauren James! Lauren is one of my favourite authors, and I was just thinking about how excited I am about reading The Last Beginning, so I thought why not post about the first book in the series, which I adored.

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Goodreads | Amazon

“Not exactly hard, is it?”
“That’s what she said,” Kate interjected.
Matt shook his head. “And this is where I chose to lay my affections,” he muttered, like it was just the latest in a series of bad life choices he’d made.” 
― Lauren James, The Next Together

Have you read this book/series?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Starlight Watchmaker by Lauren James

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Goodreads | Amazon

Wealthy students from across the galaxy come to learn at the prestigious academy where Hugo toils as a watchmaker. But he is one of the lucky ones. Many androids like him are jobless and homeless. Someone like Dorian could never understand their struggle – or so Hugo thinks when the pompous duke comes banging at his door. But when Dorian’s broken time-travel watch leads them to discover a sinister scheme, the pair must reconcile their differences if they are to find the culprit in time.

What an absolutely charming novella. Lauren James is one of my favourite authors and an auto-buy for me. I picked this book up at YALC alongside a free necklace which is very cute (and I’m actually wearing right now)! I remember seeing the cover reveal of this and knowing immediately I wanted it on my shelves, and it didn’t disappoint.

Considering this book is only just over 100 pages, James manages to create a quietly vivid world with a great atmosphere. I honestly marvelled at some of the things she had dreamed up and described in ways I could picture so easily. The Starlight Watchmaker is set on a college campus, but is also in a very futuristic, sci fi world with different planets, androids and species. The college campus setting was recognisable enough and easy enough to picture for me as the reader to be able to comprehend the rest of this wonderful world.

Hugo as a character was brilliant. Lonely and trying to find a place in the world, hiding himself away and not realising how dire his need for friendship was until he meets Dorian. Both characters were cleverly written and I quickly sympathised with them in such a short amount of time.

Overall, this was such an enjoyable read as usual. The only reason I’m knocking off a star is purely because the language was a little young for me and felt very simplistic compared to her other novels. Obviously this is a very personal reason as I’m sure young teens would absolutely adore this!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #101 / YALC Books I Bought

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!

Last week on Stacking the Shelves I talked to you guys about books I was given, won or had as buying incentives at YALC! Here I am this week to talk about books I bought outright, or bought in order to get those buying incentives, haha.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Wealthy students from across the galaxy come to learn at the prestigious academy where Hugo toils as a watchmaker. But he is one of the lucky ones. Many androids like him are jobless and homeless. Someone like Dorian could never understand their struggle – or so Hugo thinks when the pompous duke comes banging at his door. But when Dorian’s broken time-travel watch leads them to discover a sinister scheme, the pair must reconcile their differences if they are to find the culprit in time.

I knew I wanted to buy this before meeting Lauren James again and so I could catch up on her books. It also came with a cute little key on a necklace! She unfortunately couldn’t come to YALC in the end, but I’m still glad I got this gorgeous novella.

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Goodreads | Amazon

It’s 1999 and the internet is still a novelty. At a newspaper office, two colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, e-mail back and forth, discussing their lives in hilarious details, from love troubles to family dramas. And Lincoln, a shy IT guy responsible for monitoring e-mails, spends his hours reading every exchange.
At first their e-mails offer a welcome diversion, but the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realises just how head-over-heels he is, it’s too late to introduce himself.
After a series of close encounters, Lincoln eventually decides he must follow his heart… and find out if there is such a thing as love before first sight.

This was the last Rainbow Rowell book I needed to finish my collection, I’m so glad I picked it up in a deal.

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Goodreads | Amazon

For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

I wanted to buy more of Alice’s books in these paperback editions, but Waterstones actually sold out of a lot just before her signing! I did manage to get my hands on this one, though.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD. 
To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .

I bought this for a number of reasons:
1) It sounds interesting
2) I’ve heard good things about it
3) That cover!
4) It had a free ARC of American Royals with it

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Goodreads | Amazon

Raised in isolation and home-schooled by her strict grandparents, the only experience Birdie has had of the outside world is through her favourite crime books.
But everything changes when she takes a summer job working the night shift at a historic Seattle hotel. There she meets Daniel Aoki, the hotel’s charismatic driver, and together they stumble upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—is secretly meeting someone at the hotel.
To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell, and in doing so, realize that the most confounding mystery of all may just be her growing feelings for Daniel
.

I couldn’t help but add this to my haul on Sunday when I saw it for just £2! I’ve loved Night Owls and Alex, Approximately, and I can’t wait to dive into this too.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.
But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.
Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway. 
With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s. 

What a beautiful cover and interesting book. Another one that came with a free ARC of my choice.

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Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.
Now I’m done hiding.
My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.
No pressure. 

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Goodreads | Amazon

Misa Sugiura is back with another smartly drawn coming-of-age novel that weaves riveting family drama, surprising humor, and delightful romance into a story that will draw you in from the very first page.
Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.
Then her mom decides to sell the shop — to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for. 

My lovely friend Alex from Library of Books and Tea shared the Illumicrate 3 for £25 deal and I picked up these two. I’d spotted This Time Will Be Different at YALC and I’ve wanted Once & Future since release because I adored You Were Here by Cori McCarthy!

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Goodreads | Amazon

Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t. 
But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself. 
Heartstopper is about friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us. 

I was lucky to be able to pick up this too, they sold out pretty quickly and I got one of the very few left when they restocked! I’m so excited to read it soon for my N.E.W.T.s readathon.

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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. 

Last but not least, I spotted this on the last day for £10 and a free ARC. I had the hardback bookmarked to buy, because it has a beautiful design under the dust jacket, so I couldn’t resist when I saw it!

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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Goodreads | Amazon

It’s 1999 and the internet is still a novelty. At a newspaper office, two colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, e-mail back and forth, discussing their lives in hilarious details, from love troubles to family dramas. And Lincoln, a shy IT guy responsible for monitoring e-mails, spends his hours reading every exchange.
At first their e-mails offer a welcome diversion, but the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realises just how head-over-heels he is, it’s too late to introduce himself.
After a series of close encounters, Lincoln eventually decides he must follow his heart… and find out if there is such a thing as love before first sight.

This was my first read for my N.E.W.T.s TBR and I’m so glad it was because it was such a quick and enjoyable read. I’ve now read everything major Rainbow Rowell has written, and I don’t have a bad word to say about any of them. They all have soft spots in my heart for very different reasons, but Landline and Attachments do for their quirkiness.

Attachments follows Lincoln, who takes a job where he reads people’s work emails and feels creepy about it. Especially when he starts reading the exchanges of best friends Jennifer and Beth, he feels even more uncomfortable when he starts to fall for one of them.

I mean, evidently this book was made for me. Not only am I called Beth, but I was born in 1999! It was weird reading about the year of my birth, but also kind of nostalgic and super interesting. Having the book set in ’99 gave it so many quirks you wouldn’t see today, let alone the whole email concept and Y2K thing itself.

‘“I’d know you in the dark,” he said. “From a thousand miles away.”‘ 

Jennifer and Beth were immediately likeable and funny characters. The chapters are pretty much alternate between Lincoln’s prose and Jennifer and Beth’s emails. All of the chapters are short, but the fact Jennifer and Beth’s parts were shown in email form made it such a quick read for me and didn’t take anything away from the story. I still sympathised with them and found them both very relatable.

In fact, the entire cast of characters were just brilliant. Lincoln is so charming and lovable, and we can’t possibly feel weird about him reading Beth and Jennifer’s emails because we’re reading them too. It’s all very cleverly executed.

The larger cast was so heartwarming, too. I loved Jennifer’s subplot and really grew to like and sympathise with her. Lincoln’s weird but likeable friends were so great and different in their own ways. His mum, sister and Doris made me laugh and warmed my soul.

‘”There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.”’

Honestly, I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did. Rainbow Rowell has a habit of writing somewhat cheesy romances that have just been….elevated. It was awesome, and made me nostalgic for Landline!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! YALC Positives + Negatives

Hi readers! I know a lot of my recent posts have been about YALC, but after seeing a few posts around about the event, I’ve decided this one is too important a discussion not to have.

I want to start by saying there is absolutely no way I’m sh**ting on YALC or London Film and Comic Con as an event here. I had one of the best and most enjoyable weekends of my life there and I will definitely be attending next year. But, having had time to reflect on the event, it is no where near perfect. A lot needs to change to make the event more accessible and all around smoother in the future. If, instead, you want to find out what I ended up doing at YALC, read this post!

I’d also like to point out this post is highly inspired by Jenniely’s post about accessibility at the event. Go and check it out here!

The Positives

Virtual Queuing

This year, YALC adopted a virtual queuing system where you collected a numbered ticket each morning and used that to attend signings. I believe they handed these tickets out for the first hour and a half of each day, and at the end of the lines afterwards. The whole idea is that only 20 or 30 people will be physically queuing at one time, as they’ll start by letting in people who have tickets with numbers 1-30 and go up in 10’s after that.

Personally, I found this system worked pretty well. Depending on the speed of the author themselves, it meant I got to see everyone I wanted to, never got fully turned away after queuing, and never stood up for a prolonged period of time. Although it was a little annoying checking with the staff practically every 5 mins which number they were up to, it’s definitely more effective than just a normal queue, which they wouldn’t have the space for.

However, the whole VQ system itself wasn’t perfect. For example, we missed out completely on the whole thing on the first day because I’m pretty sure YALC didn’t Tweet about the system even being a thing until the morning of. Luckily we still managed to meet all the authors we wanted to, but only because Alice Oseman stayed for so long after she was scheduled to finish signing!

The Staff

Personally, I found the staff very friendly and helpful. I felt very welcomed when staff at both Penguin and Waterstones recognised me on the second day of the event, even saying hi to me by the last. But also, the Showmasters staff were very helpful in general and mainly very friendly and approachable.

The Schedule

The schedule and author list was definitely one of the most positive things for me. They were released early enough for me to properly plan and enjoy the event.

The Stalls, Authors and Panels

I couldn’t fault much about the stalls, authors or panels! Like I said above, I even had some staff recognise and say hi to me, and they helped me feel so welcome at the event. The stalls were so enjoyable to look around, and I only had one major issue which is discussed below. Every author I met was so friendly and I know at least a few stayed way behind to finish signing. Although I didn’t attend as many panels as I’d have liked to, the ones I did attend were brilliant, and I really enjoyed them!

The Negatives

The Stalls

As I’m sure you know if you attended, Simon and Schuster released ARCs of Infinity Son on all 3 days. The fact I didn’t manage to get one of these was my biggest disappointment of the whole event. For one, I don’t believe they ever announced a time when they would give the ARCs away, meaning I missed out on them the first day.

I arrived at 9:15am on the Saturday to find them all gone, so our group decided to get up at 6:15am on the Sunday to try and grab a copy. Then, they announced because of people stampeding to grab a copy, they would be raffling them on the Sunday. My main issue with this is that (forgetting it shouldn’t have even been organised like this in the first place), is it should have been one way or another. You can’t change halfway through, surely! Also, unfortunately unless they track who picked up an ARC on the separate days, people will try to grab more than one if they’re attending for all 3 days, meaning those of us who didn’t manage to pick one up lose out on our chance.

Organisation

I’d just like to quickly cover the organisation before the event. Although it was mostly great, the Instagram Q&A was, although helpful, full of spelling errors and things that just…looked bad on the organisers. The floor plan also never made it to the website itself, only appearing on social media like a day before the event, and only in good enough quality to read/print on Twitter.

The Queuing

I’m not talking about the signings here, instead I mean getting into the venue. To be fair, I found the system pretty good in many ways, especially on Sunday when I had all of my luggage with me from the entire weekend. But once we got inside, the positives ended. We were so crammed in, I accidentally nudged the woman behind me as I put my rucksack on, and she shoved me back so hard I actually stumbled. This very person proceeded to climb over my friend’s suitcase to reach the first lift, separating my friends from one another. I know this can’t really be helped as it is going to happen at events like this, but I felt like it should be mentioned.

When 9am rolled around, no one even took the barriers down and eventually we let ourselves through. Then came the stairs, which we had been told by staff that morning would be quicker to go up if we wanted to reach the YALC floor first. I, along with a few other people, went for this option, to find they were locked. Fun.

Accessibility and Disabled Access

I would just like to point out I am writing from the POV of a fully able bodied person, who still found issues with what should come as standard at such events. The major issue, which has unfortunately always been the same at YALC, is the lack of seating. Although there is a Chill Out Zone, I would be exaggerating to say it had 10 chairs in it. And those chairs were mainly blow up, very low, and had mostly gone down by Sunday. As someone who has absolutely no problems with sitting on the floor, it wasn’t exactly fun to sit on the floor for 3 days. Seating should be the easiest thing to organise at an event such as YALC, and I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it is for people with disabilities and health issues.

Water and other necessities

Yes, I have a whole section for water. But again, I’d like to point out water coolers should also be the easiest thing for such a big venue. Yet, water was not readily available, and you had to go to the cafe to have water bottles refilled (by what I’ve heard were grumpy staff who were not happy about this little arrangement). On the grand scheme of things, this was a very small issue, but it’s also one that shouldn’t be an issue in the first place. Otherwise, the venue is very hot. Especially seeing as it has a glass roof! Luckily, this is something YALC has realised, and they included a fan in the goody bags, which I thought was a brilliant idea.

God, I admire you if you made it this far in my post! You deserve a pat on the back and a medal! Although this ended up being super long and negative, I’d again like to point out that this event is absolutely vital to my calendar and I had endless amounts of fun. I’ll definitely be attending next year, with hope that these issues are sorted!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 Anticipated Books for 2019

This Top 5 Wednesday series is inspired by the weekly meme on Goodreads which you can find here. I no longer follow the topics and instead use my own.

Hi all! I’ve been doing something this year I don’t usually do a lot of – preorder. I’m hoping that instead of buying books all the time, I can just plan to buy preorders that I know I really want throughout the year. I’m definitely on a ban right now aside from preorders!

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Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.
Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?

I was so happy to preorder a Fairyloot edition of this book! I have the (non Fairyloot) hardcover of the original and an ARC of this, but how could I resist this beautiful edition?

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Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.
Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.
But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.
Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .
What if their last shift was an adventure? 

No special editions here unfortunately, but my copy will be signed from Waterstones! I’m super happy that this is being released soon and I can’t wait to read it around Halloween.

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Goodreads | Amazon

The story is supposed to be over.
Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after… 
So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?
What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…
That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.
They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place… 

As soon as I saw the beautiful sprayed edges on this Waterstones exclusive, I put it in my basket. It won’t match my copy of Carry On, but it’ll be beautiful all the same!

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Goodreads | Amazon

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a strange book hidden in the library stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to a subterranean library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.
What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose — in both the mysterious book and in his own life

I’ve honestly been throwing my money at Waterstones recently. How pretty is this? And after The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern is auto-buy for me!

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Goodreads | Amazon

  Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?
Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. 

I’m so glad I got a preorder of this copy before it sold out! How cool is that snake?

Other preorders I have for the rest of the year are the 10th Anniversary edition of Clockwork Angel and the special edition of Crooked Kingdom.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Bone Season (#1) by Samantha Shannon

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Goodreads | Amazon

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant – and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

I left The Bone Season with such mixed feelings about it. It took me a while to get through but I found the ending much more compelling and enjoyable. So even though it was a slow read, I would like to continue with the series in the future!

Paige was such a great female lead. She was headstrong and independent but not immune to her own personal struggles. Paige was definitely one of my favourite things about this book, and I really liked reading about her personal journey.

“There was no normal. There never had been.”

However, many other parts of this book let it down. Coming from a reader who enjoys a lot of YA and hasn’t read much fantasy until the past few years, I found this book incredibly daunting and somewhat annoyingly intricate. Shannon has created a very unique and impressive world by inventing so much, but unfortunately this included so many people and so much slang that it was confusing at the best of times. Hence, I definitely began to enjoy this read a lot further into the book as I finally understood more about what was going on. Luckily, there is a glossary to help put the pieces together!

I’ve seen a lot of reviews describing this book as dense, and I can definitely agree. The pacing is slow, but somewhat addictive, especially towards the end. Just expect to put some effort in if you do pick this up!

I can safely say the worldbuilding and all around confusing aspects were definitely the worst part for me. Despite it, there were many times I sat there thinking ‘god, this book is good’. I found myself so invested in those amazing, passionate action scenes.

“”Normal” and “natural” were the biggest lies we’d ever created.”

From what I understand, this book was Samantha Shannon’s debut. Going off that, I’m intrigued to see how much her writing has developed, and I’m super excited to read The Priory of the Orange Tree. If it wasn’t for the intense worldbuilding and issues surrounding the confusing aspects, I would definitely be giving this a much higher rating!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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