Beautiful Quote #130 / Isla and the Happily Ever After

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! I’m so tired today, I’ve had such a busy week but it’s been amazing. I finally met up with Sophie for the first time ever and we had such an incredible day exploring Dublin! I’ll be posting about our day later in the week.

Travelling and talking about Europe with Sophie reminded me of the Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins, so today’s quote is from Isla and the Happily Ever After! I’ve always heard this is people’s least favourite in the series, but I think it was actually my favourite at the time 🙂

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“What are you working on?” I ask.
“The last page.” He gestures towards the table, where a pencilled sketch is being turned into inked brushstrokes. It’s a drawing of us, in this café, in this moment.
I smile up at him “It’s beautiful. But what comes next?”
“The best part.” And he pulls me back into his arms. “The happily ever after.” 
― Stephanie Perkins, Isla and the Happily Ever After

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #96

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

Hi everyone! All of the books featured in today’s post were gifts from my lovely friend Chloe, who I’m actually attending YALC with! Thank you so much again Chloe 🙂

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Recklessly loyal.
That’s how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Caring for her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But lately she’s grown resentful of everyone—including her needy best friend and her absent mom—taking her loyalty for granted.
Then Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems to get her in a way that no one else does, and he hasn’t even met her.
Until Arden sets out on a road trip to find him.
During one crazy night out in New York City filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

I’ve had this book on my TBR for years, yet I’ve never picked it up! I was so excited to have this copy.

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Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal. 

It’s the exact same situation with this book, I can’t wait to try it.

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In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown. 

I’ve had these on my TBR for a while now, and they sound so intriguing.

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Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Books I Love But Never Mention

Hey readers! I’ve had this post idea for so long (like over a year), and I’m finally getting around to doing it. You know those books that just fade into the background but still deserve to be shouted about? Maybe they’ve been overshadowed, or aren’t talked about enough, or you read them years ago but still love them. These are those books for me!

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Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true
.

I definitely think this one is overshadowed by Everything Everything! As much as I love both books, this one deserves to be talked about too..and I’m so excited for the movie.

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Mitsuha, a high school girl living in a rural town deep in the mountains, has a dream that she is a boy living an unfamiliar life in Tokyo. Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo, dreams that he is a girl living in the mountains. As they realize they are changing places, their encounter sets the cogs of fate into motion. The light novel is written by director Makoto Shinkai of the animated film Your Name.

This one is a little different, mainly because I would usually talk about the movie, but I adore the light novel version too.

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It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

I do not see this book enough! It was one of my favourites of 2018, and was such an important read for me.

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On the anniversary of her daredevil brother’s death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake’s favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother’s exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.
As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn’t bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

I reckon this one is the most underhyped on this list, because it’s one of my favourite books ever but is never talked about. This book focuses heavily on grief and friendship, but the most awesome thing ever is that it’s set in abandoned buildings in Ohio. They’re real places too – how cool is that?

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Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

I mean, I can’t exactly say this book is underhyped. It was actually my favourite book for a long time, but the reason I don’t mention it much anymore is because I don’t know how I’d feel about it if I read it now, and a big part of me doesn’t want to risk reading it in case I don’t enjoy it!

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

Another really underhyped book that I adored when I read it. Romance and time travel? Yes and yes.

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In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

I loved this book, but I read it all the way back in 2016. I’m desperate to get my hands on The Rose and the Dagger, but I just don’t have time right now to reread the first one.

Other books I don’t mention enough are The Raven Cycle, Six of Crows and A Court of Thorns and Roses! Who else is excited for Call Down the Hawk in November?

Which books do you love but never talk about?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 Books That Made Me Cry

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 lovely people! I wasn’t sure what to post about today and then I spotted the topic ‘books that made me cry’ in my list and thought why not? I don’t usually cry at books – but I do get very emotional and have a few tears for many different reasons! I can definitely be a crybaby at times 😛 Here are a few that have made me cry.

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On September 5th, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but for different reasosn, they’re both looking for a new friend on their End Day. The good news: there’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure – to live a lifetime in a single day. 

I mean, it’s pretty much a goal of Adam Silvera’s to make his readers cry, right? And he doesn’t fail – I even have What if It’s Us on my made-me-cry Goodreads shelf!

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If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?
The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.
Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.
Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

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17 year old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.
But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective. 
Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

This book can be absolutely heartbreaking and I had a few tears towards the end!

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Jude and her twin Noah are close until a tragedy drives them apart. Now they are barely speaking – and both are falling for boys they can’t have. Love’s complicated.

I cried at I’ll Give You the Sun for more reasons than one. It is heartbreaking, but I also cried with relief because I expected it to end on a worse note! I remember just finishing this book and bursting into tears, it was such a rollercoaster.

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At Thornfield Hall, resolute and independent Jane Eyre finds fulfillment in her duties as governess, and the love of her life in her employer Edward Rochester. But when a dark secret from Rochester’s past comes to light, Jane must make the most difficult decision of her life: to stay beside the man she loves regardless of the truth, or to embark upon a new life free of the encumbrances of the past.

Jane Eyre has to be one of my most loved and most read books. I picked it up for the first time when I was 11 and have probably read it 4 or 5 times since. Every time it never fails to make me cry in it’s most intense and desolate parts, even though I know the full story and how it ends!

Another worthy classic to note for me for a different reason is East of Eden! I actually didn’t cry during the story, but instead was overcome with emotion when talking about it to my boyfriend Josh, who had recommended it to me. It changed my view of reading so much that I couldn’t help but cry over the magnitude of my feelings for it.

Which books made you cry? And why?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Last Namsara (#1) by Kristen Ciccarelli

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In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer. 
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her. 

I saw that this author is going to be at YALC 2019 and decided to give it a go! Unfortunately, it was a super slow burner for me and I’m left with very mixed feelings. I always find reading fantasy for me can go two ways – either I love it straight away or it takes me a long time to completely understand the story and eventually might enjoy it. This was the latter!

For a start, I couldn’t, even at the end, picture the characters very well at all. It just seemed to lack basic imagery, and I would have loved more detail about the characters appearances and the land itself. I find that some authors, especially for debuts, will be able to picture a world in their head so well that they struggle to include the smallest details on paper, because for them, they aren’t needed. But for us as readers, we need even the smallest detail to build up a picture of the world.

‘Then may Death send his worst. Cold to freeze the love in my heart. Fire to burn my memories to ash.’

Unfortunately because of this, it took me almost a week to finally finish this book. I just wasn’t drawn to it for the majority, and I didn’t particularly mind what happened to the characters. However I pushed through and got to the last 150 pages, where I felt the book really picked up!

For a start, I loved Asha as a main character. She was strong, brave, and a brilliant woman. After reading the acknowledgements at the back of the book, I found an even deeper respect for Asha as a female main character. I love the strength she had and I love that she challenged what is expected from her as a woman. We definitely need more girls like her in literature!

‘Wind to force me through the gates. Time to wear my loyalty away. I’ll wait for you at Death’s gate.’

I could definitely see the writing improve greatly by the end of the book, and had a clearer picture of the world in my mind. I was more invested in the characters and loved Safire (Asha’s cousin), Dax (Asha’s brother) and Torwin.

Even though this wasn’t my favourite, it slowly grew on me and I’ve decided to continue with the series eventually! Considering this was a debut, I saw the improvement throughout the first book and I’m sure the writing improves with the others.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #129 / You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

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 lovely readers! I’ve had a very packed and stressful weekend with family, it’s been lovely but also left me exhausted! I’m back to work tomorrow but I’m off Saturday as I’m meeting Sophie from Mind of a Bookdragon for the first time ever. I’m super excited as we’ve known each other for like 5 years and never met in real life!

I thought I’d finish up June with another Pride based Beautiful Quote to end Pride month on. I think we should celebrate Pride all year round, but why not have another quote today? Today’s is from You Know Me Well, a book by David Levithan and Nina LaCour about two friends trying to find themselves! I adored it, and I really want to read more of LaCour’s books because I also loved Everything Leads to You!

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“I hate that word. Straight. At the very least, those of us who are nonstraight should get called curvy. Or scenic. Actually, I like that: ‘Do you think she’s straight?’ ‘Oh no. She’s scenic” 
― Nina LaCour, You Know Me Well

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #95

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!

Another week and the YALC craziness continues! I bought another few books in preparation for the event this week, and I’m super excited for them.

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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.

But before my YALC books, I was pleasantly surprised to find an ARC copy of The Storm Crow delivered yesterday! Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire, I can’t wait to read this next.

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

I found this debut through YALC, and it sounds like something I’d love. I just ordered it today so I can read it before the event!

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The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

I’ve been hesitant about this one for a while – I’ve seen the hype and then seen the book in shops and almost picked it up, but God is it daunting. I’m not sure if I’ll read it before YALC, but I knew I’d regret not having it signed!

Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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