Let’s Discuss! Bookoplathon 2021 Wrap-Up

Hi everyone! I took part in something so exciting over the weekend and I wanted to share it with you. I joined in with Becca’s bookoplathon, which was a 48 hour readathon. The point of the bookoplathon is to use Becca’s bookopoly board (a play on a Monopoly board) to pick prompts for the readathon over the weekend. The other fun thing about this readathon is that you can’t really plan your TBR because the prompts were released over the weekend at 12 hour intervals! Becca explains how the readathon works in the video below, if you’d like to find out more.

The other crazy part of this readathon is the fact Becca decided to make it completely live for the whole 48 hours! No, she didn’t stay up the whole time, but a group of other booktubers joined to make sure the entire weekend had live reading sprints all of the time. I absolutely adored this as it made for a real sense of community and was so much fun to watch live sprints and read alongside others.

I decided to join this readathon only a few days before, and I was in the middle of filming a vlog at the time. I decided to turn it into a Bookoplathon vlog when I joined the readathon, and you can see this below! It’s a very long chilled out vlog that covers a few days before the readathon until just after it ends on Sunday night.

I managed to choose the first two prompts beforehand (as the first two are the only one’s announced in advance) and I decided to go for A Court of Silver Flames and The Black Flamingo. I was actually already reading A Court of Silver Flames but that’s okay in the rules of this readathon so I went for it! I’ll put a full list of prompts below and the books I decided to read for each prompt.

Prompt 1 – A fantasy book

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

As I mentioned I was already reading this book when I decided to join the readathon, and initially I had the (very) hesitant goal of just finishing this book. I managed to read 425 pages of this on the Saturday of the readathon, and 100 pages from midnight on the Friday night when the readathon began. I really loved this and I’m so proud of myself for finishing it so quickly!

Prompt 2 – A book with a dark cover

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Cassandra Cain is the daughter of super-villains and a living weapon trained from birth to be the ultimate assassin. But that doesn’t mean she has to stay that way, right? She’ll have to go through an identity crisis of epic proportions to find out. But how do you figure out who you’re supposed to be when you’ve been trained to become a villain your entire life?
After a soul-shattering moment that sends Cass reeling, she’ll attempt to answer this question the only way she knows how: learning everything she possibly can about her favorite hero–Batgirl. But Batgirl hasn’t been seen in Gotham for years, and when Cass’s father threatens the world she has grown to love, she’ll have to step out of the shadows and overcome her greatest obstacle–that voice inside her head telling her she can never be a hero.

I initially read The Black Flamingo for this prompt, but I had some time left on Saturday night so I decided to pick up this graphic novel instead. This was so emotive, with beautiful art and most of it was set in a library. What’s not to love?

Prompt 3 – A book with POC rep

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A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.

I read this book originally covering 3 different prompts, but eventually covered only one. This is one I’ve wanted to read for a long time and it was so beautiful and impactful.

Prompt 4 – A contemporary book

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The manga adaptation of the beloved novel by #1 Bestselling author Rainbow Rowell!
New York Journal of Books
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath just can’t let go. Now that they’re in college, Cath must decide if she’s ready to start living her own life. But does she even want to if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow community with thousands of fans online.  But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner … And she’s barely heard from Wren all semester!

I ended up picking this one up at the very end of the readathon for the contemporary prompt. It was a cute way to re-read the story, but nothing extraordinary.

Prompt 5 – the first book in a series

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The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.
Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

I was unsure of what to pick up for the first book in the series prompt, but I’m so glad I read this one. It has become a quick favourite and was so cleverly written. However, I do want the second book asap now!

Prompt 6 – chance card

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Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.
In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.
That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

I slightly misunderstood the chance card prompt and ended up randomising my entire TBR and picking the top standalone. I am glad I picked this one up as it’s been on my TBR for so many years, but it was a bit of a let down for me.

Prompt 7 – a book outside of your usual two genres

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Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen and the White Rabbit all make their appearances, and are now familiar figures in writing, conversation and idiom. So too are Carroll’s delightful verses such as The Walrus and the Carpenter and the inspired jargon of that masterly Wordsworthian parody, The Jabberwocky.

For this prompt, I chose my two main genres as fantasy and contemporary and decided to choose classic as one I don’t pick up as much. I’m glad I did because it allowed me to choose Alice in Wonderland, which was so wacky and such an entertaining read.

Prompt 8 – a book set in the present day

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The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns! Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart! Did Chase and Gert’s love survive their time apart? Have Karolina and Nico’s feelings made their friendship impossible? What emotional landmines lie in wait to DESTROY the Runaways?!

In a rush to finish all 8 prompts of the readathon (which I never expected to do!), I picked up another graphic novel right at the end. Although this one wasn’t my favourite, I’m definitely going to see where the series goes and I’m glad I managed to finish it and round off the readathon.

Did you join in with the bookoplathon? Or do you take part in readathons?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Anticipated Releases January-April 2021

I know what you’re all thinking, how late is this post? I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while but just haven’t gotten around to doing it. But even though we’re now into February, I still want to include January releases and shout about them, as I haven’t personally gotten around to reading any on this list!

January

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5th January

Goodreads | Waterstones

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.
Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.
The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

I really want to read more books (or any at all, really!) about Greek mythology – and this one looks beautiful.

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12th January

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With his King Lord dad in prison and his mom working two jobs, seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter helps the only way he knows how: slinging drugs. Life’s not perfect, but he’s got everything under control. Until he finds out he’s a father…
Suddenly it’s not so easy to deal drugs and finish school with a baby dependent on him for everything. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. But when King Lord blood runs through your veins, you don’t get to just walk away.

I had no idea this book was being published until around a month ago, but I love Angie Thomas’ books and I can’t wait to read this one.

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21st January

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Felipe is fat. And he doesn’t need anyone to remind him, which is, of course, what everyone does. That’s why he’s been waiting for summer: a break from school and the classmates who tease him incessantly. His plans include catching up on TV, finishing his TBR pile, and watching YouTube tutorials on skills he’ll never actually put into practice.
But things get a little out of hand when Felipe’s mom informs him that Caio, the neighbour kid from apartment 57, will be spending the next fifteen days with them while his parents are on vacation. Felipe is distraught because A) he’s had a crush on Caio since, well, for ever, and B) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he’s going to entertain his neighbor for two full weeks.
Suddenly, the days ahead of him that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) end up bringing a whirlwind of feelings, forcing Felipe to dive head-first into every unresolved issue he has had with himself – but maybe, just maybe, he’ll manage to win over Caio, too.

I’ve been seeing this around on Bookstagram for a while, and I had to add it to my TBR!

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January 26th

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I still haven’t read A Heart so Fierce and Broken, but I loved the first book in this series and I really want to read the next two!

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28th January

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It’s been more than a year since Simon and Blue turned their anonymous online flirtation into an IRL relationship, and just a few months since Abby and Leah’s unforgettable night at senior prom.
Now the Creekwood High crew are first years at different colleges, navigating friendship and romance the way their story began—on email.

I love all of Becky Albertalli’s books and the idea of jumping back into this world with a novella really appeals to me.

February

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2nd February

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Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.
People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.
But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

This book looks so good and that cover is gorgeous. I can’t wait to pick up a copy!

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4th February

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When Hugo and Ada travel to their friend Dorian’s planet for the holidays, android Hugo is anxious about being accepted by Dorian’s powerful family. But when they arrive on Hydrox, there are more pressing things to worry about, as the planet has been overrun by refugee butterflies. Displaced from their home by climate change, the butterflies have been offered sanctuary by Dorian’s parents, but they’re quickly running out of space. Meanwhile, beneath the seas, a strange creature is wreaking all kinds of havoc …
Can Hugo, Dorian and Ada step in before the crisis gets out of control?

I’m a little behind on reading them, but I will buy anything Lauren James writes. She is an auto-buy author for me and I really enjoy her books!

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9th February

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If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee.
If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and spark and fire. She loves art, and she dreams of making a career of it one day. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including expecting her to work practically full-time at their family’s pho restaurant.
For decades, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh have resolved never to befriend each other, for fear of pushing too far and bringing on undue heartbreak. But when a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao closer, sparks fly . . .
Can Linh and Bao’s love survive in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

Anything that includes discussions of food are a must-buy for me, so I had to add this one to my TBR!

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16th February

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Nesta Archeron has always been prickly – proud, swift to anger and slow to forgive. And since the war – since being made High Fae against her will – she’s struggled to forget the horrors she endured and find a place for herself within the strange and deadly Night Court. The person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred, winged warrior who is there at Nesta’s every turn. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. And when they are forced to train in battle together, sparks become flame.
As the threat of war casts its shadow over them once again, Nesta and Cassian must fight monsters from within and without if they are to stand a chance of halting the enemies of their court. But the ultimate risk will be searching for acceptance – and healing – in each other’s arms.

Although I probably won’t be reading it right away, I’m still so excited to have a copy of this book and the opportunity to jump back into this magical world.

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23rd February

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I have similar feelings about this book and even though I may not read it straight away it will feel so nice to complete the set!

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23rd February

Goodreads

With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.
This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.
In New York, she’s able to ignore all the annoying questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

I only just added this one to this list but it sounds amazing, and I adore the cover.

March

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2nd March

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Emma is a die-hard romantic. She loves a meet-cute Netflix movie, her pet, Lady Catulet, and dreaming up the Gay Rom Com of her heart for the film festival competition she and her friends are entering. If only they’d listen to her ideas. . .
Sophia is pragmatic. She’s big into boycotts, namely 1) relationships, 2) teen boys and their BO (reason #2347683 she’s a lesbian), and 3) Emma’s nauseating ideas. Forget starry-eyed romance, Sophia knows what will win: an artistic film with a message.
Cue the drama. The movie is doomed before they even start shooting . . . until a real-life plot twist unfolds behind the camera when Emma and Sophia start seeing each other through a different lens. Suddenly their rivalry is starting to feel like an actual rom-com. 

Another subject I love to read about is films and the film world. I’m having similar vibes from this book as Everything Leads to You, which is one of my favourite books!

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2nd March

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Another one on this list I may not read straight away as I would quite like to wait for the trilogy to be completed! But I can’t wait to have the multiple editions I have preordered…

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30th March

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Hopefully it won’t take me too long to get to this one, although I would like to reread King of Scars before I read it.

April

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1st April

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The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

This one has been on my TBR for a while as it sounds so good and I fell in love with the cover! It sounds so thrilling.

Which books do you have on preorder?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Series I Want to Read in 2021

Hello and welcome back to another book about 2021! Am I milking the new year? Totally. But I’m really enjoying spending time reflecting on my reading year in 2020 and thinking about my reading in 2021.

I spent the last 5 months of 2020 reading a series every month that had been on my TBR for a while, and I really liked doing it that way. I’m not sure if I’ll carry on doing this for 2021, as it took up a lot of my reading for each month and I’d quite like to mood-read for a while, but here are a few that I would like to get to soon. I actually don’t have that many complete series on my physical TBR left, which is a crazy thought!

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A sharpshooter. A dreamer. A damn good liar.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it s an unforgiving place, especially if you re poor, orphaned, or female.
Amani Al Hiza is all three. She s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she s destined to wind up wed or dead.Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she d gallop away on a mythical horse or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

I’ve had this complete trilogy for a while, but I haven’t read this one yet! I actually started reading the first book years ago (when it first came out), and I just couldn’t get into it at the time. However, I felt like I might enjoy it more at another time…that time just hasn’t come yet.

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When the lift cranks open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone – an army of boys welcomes him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a terrible maze. The Gladers have no idea why they’re there, or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out.

This is another series I’ve had for years and still haven’t read. I feel like I might find these a bit young for me now, but I still want to finally read it!

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One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkeness bind them
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.
In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

I’ve only had this sat on my shelves for a few years, but the series daunts me so much I haven’t read it yet! Maybe 2021 will be the year?

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Kell is one of the last Antari-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons. There is Red London, where life and magic are revered, Grey London, without magic and ruled by mad King George III, and White London, a city slowly being drained through magical war, down to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London… but no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell acts as an ambassador and messenger between the Londons, in service of the Maresh Empire. Unofficially, he’s also a smuggler, a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences-as proved when he stumbles into a setup with a forbidden token from Black London. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cutpurse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive… Prepare to be dazzled by a world of parallel Londons-where magic thrives, starves, or lies forgotten, and where power can destroy just as quickly as it can create.

This one is only very recently completed as I just ordered the last one I needed to complete the series today, but I loved The Invisible Life of Addie Larue so much that I’m really excited to read this series now!

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Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

I completed this series about a year ago when I was sent an ARC of the second book, so I decided to buy the first. I feel like I’ve heard so many amazing things about this duology but I just haven’t picked it up yet!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

This is a world divided by blood—red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance—Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart. 

There are a few series I haven’t included on this list because I want to re-read the first book(s) in the series, but I thought I would include this one. I read Red Queen when it very first came out and I never carried on with the series. I have them all now but I just can’t remember what happened in the first one and definitely want to re-read it before I carry on!

Which series do you want to read this year?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Reading Goals for 2021

Hi everyone! I tend not to set myself too many reading goals per year, especially because, as we have very well learned in 2020, you just don’t know what life is going to throw at you! However, I did fairly well on my 2020 resolutions, and with my reading speed improving in the latter half of the year, I thought I would make some resolutions for 2021.

  • Read 100 books

I have no idea if I can complete this, but I really want to try. If I continue my reading speed of the past 6 months, I can definitely do this! I also want to utilise audiobooks and graphic novels more to help complete this. Obviously, we have no idea what 2021 will throw at us and if I end up not being able to complete this then that’s okay!

  • Read more series on my TBR

I did super well with completing a similar resolution in 2020 by reading a series a month for 5 months and knocked 6 whole series off of my TBR, and completed a few others. I actually don’t have many series left on my TBR now, and I would love to get most of them off my TBR this year!

  • Read more classics

I set myself a goal of reading only one classic in 2020, which I actually don’t think I completed, other than re-reading the audiobook of A Christmas Carol. But this year will definitely be different, because I have purchased myself the entire wordsworth classics set, and I want to start working my way through those!

  • Stop buying so many books!

I’ve had a couple of years now where I really haven’t knocked anything off my TBR, despite going on book bans and trying to control my book-buying. As I’ve just treated myself to the wordsworth set, my TBR is currently the highest it’s ever been (help) at 107 books. I really need to make sure I don’t buy so many books this year, as I just don’t have the space for them and I want to get that TBR under control in 2021!

  • Stay organised!

This marks my second year of using a reading spreadsheet by Reader Voracious. You can find it here and it includes things like keeping track of your reads, books you bought, blog stats, ARCs, buddy reads, new releases and an entire calendar for the year. I adore using it and I find the stats it produces fascinating! If you’re looking for something similar, I’d highly recommend it.

What are some of your resolutions for 2021?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Top 10 Books of 2020 Countdown

Hi all! 2020 was a pretty good reading year for me. I read 87 books overall, which is probably the most I’ve ever read in a year. I’m super proud of that amount and it’s allowing me to push myself for 2021! I recently sat down and filmed the video below, which covers my top 10 books of 2020. I wasn’t planning on ordering anything beyond the top 3 (or even just my favourite), but I naturally ended up numbering them, so I thought I’d do a countdown from my 10th favourite to my absolute favourite of 2020.

So, let’s get to the countdown!

10. Rules for Being a Girl

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Marin is a smart, driven, popular girl – she’s headed for Brown when she graduates and has a brilliant career as a journalist ahead of her. Especially in the eyes of English teacher Mr Beckett. He spends a lot of time around Marin, and she thinks it’s harmless . . . until he kisses her. 
No one believes Marin when she tells them what happened, so she does the only thing she can: she writes an article called ‘Rules for Being a Girl’ for the school paper to point out the misogyny and sexism that girls face every day. As things heat up at school and in her personal life, Marin must figure out how to take back the power and rewrite her own rules.

This book was such a shock for me. I received an unsolicited ARC from the publishing company and even though it didn’t sound like one for me, I thought I’d try it. And I ended up devouring it. This was so good and I really believe every teenage girl should read it!

9. Boy Queen by George Lester

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Review | 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.

This book was so much fun and I absolutely loved it. It introduced me to the world of drag and it was so fabulous, but with heartfelt and heavy moments.

8. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state candidate – as long as he’s behind the scenes. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is cancelled, her parents are separating and now her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing – with some awkward guy she hardly knows …
Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worstthing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer – and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural crush of the century is another thing entirely.

I’ve really enjoyed all of Becky’s books and this was no different! I loved this partnership with Aisha and the political subject was actually so interesting.

7. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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Review | 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?

Another big surprise for me was Radio Silence. I’ve enjoyed everything by Alice Oseman, but some more than others, and I thought this one would fall to the bottom of the list as I feel like Alice has developed over time and this is one of her older books. However, this was absolutely amazing and became my favourite book of hers!

6. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.
When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….
But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

I absolutely adored this and it opened my eyes so much to being transgender. It really hit me in the feels and at some points I had all over goosebumps and chills from the pure emotion of this book.

5. The Lido by Libby Page

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Kate is a twenty-six-year-old riddled with anxiety and panic attacks who works for a local paper in Brixton, London, covering forgettably small stories. When she’s assigned to write about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center), she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum at the lido daily since it opened its doors when she was a child. It was here Rosemary fell in love with her husband, George; here that she’s found communion during her marriage and since George’s death. The lido has been a cornerstone in nearly every part of Rosemary’s life.
But when a local developer attempts to buy the lido for a posh new apartment complex, Rosemary’s fond memories and sense of community are under threat.
As Kate dives deeper into the lido’s history—with the help of a charming photographer—she pieces together a portrait of the pool, and a portrait of a singular woman, Rosemary. What begins as a simple local interest story for Kate soon blossoms into a beautiful friendship that provides sustenance to both women as they galvanize the community to fight the lido’s closure. Meanwhile, Rosemary slowly, finally, begins to open up to Kate, transforming them both in ways they never knew possible.

I didn’t expect to adore this one quite as much as I did, but it was like picking up a warm cup of tea on a cold winters day. I was actually recommended this book by a customer at work because of our mutual love of outdoor swimming, and I’m so glad I took the recommendation to heart!

4. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

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Review | 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.

This was another book that absolutely opened my eyes. I read it as part of Non-Binary November and I loved it. It made me so emotional, but was so heartfelt and beautiful. I also recently read I’ll Be Home For Christmas which is a novella about the same characters which was super cute!

3. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

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Review | Goodreads

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 read this one back in January 2020 and it stayed with me the whole year. It was so beautiful, but so sad and tackles grief and friendship and love. I’ve read a couple of books by Nina LaCour now and I’ve loved them all.

2. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
And love makes fools of us all.

I adored this book. I thought I’d like it, but I had no idea that I would fall in love with it the way I did. It was beautiful, I loved the setting, the romance and the characters so much. I savoured this book and I never wanted it to end. I thought it would be my favourite of the year, until….

1.The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.

This was incredible. I didn’t read it until early December but it quickly surpassed all of my other reads of the year so far and I just adored it. It broke my heart and made me cry, but it utterly stole my heart too.

Which were your favourite books of 2020?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! 2020 Wrap Up and Stats

Hello everyone! I’m here with a very nerdy post about my 2020 reading stats. This is going to be a combination of my Goodreads Year in Books which you can view here, and my own stats from the amazing reading spreadsheet I use by Reader Vicarious. The up to date version of the spreadsheet is here if you want to use it too! I love seeing my reading stats all in one place, and I thought it would be cool to post them here with my year in reading.

I read 87 books last year, which is the most I’ve ever read in a year! I also read 22 more books than I read in 2019, and 6000 more pages.

I also believe Kingdom of Ash is the longest book I’ve ever read! I’ve been getting into novellas and shorter books recently too, and I think there will be more in my 2021 reading.

My average book length was actually shorter in 2020 than in the previous year, going from 413 to 387.

I finally read Divergent this year, alongside a few others that have been on my TBR for a while! I have a lot of hyped series on my TBR for 2021 too.

Goodreads says my average rating for the year was actually 4.1 stars, but my least favourite thing about Goodreads is the fact you can’t rate in half stars. It’s also one of my favourite things about using the reader spreadsheet, because as you can see from these stats, I use half stars so much, and definitely a lot more than I used to. When I’m rating on Goodreads, I round up rather than down, so I felt like the 4.1 average was probably much less accurate than this graphic.

I tend to not re-read books when I have a lot on my TBR, and let me tell you, my TBR has only grown recently. I found it interesting (but not surprising) that I read a lot on my backlist, because also I don’t tend to read new releases as much with so much on my TBR. In any case, this actually has more than I expected on it from 2020 new releases!

I found this really interesting to see too, as I have definitely changed over the years, and I read so much more fantasy than I used to. It would be so interesting to see my years in comparison, but I’ve sadly only been using this template for the past year!

I expected my books per month to be higher in March-June when we were in lockdown in the UK at the start of the year, and I was shocked to find my reading got better as the year went on. But I think finding new ways to read (audiobooks are amazing!) and getting into my stride, really helped me read more.

So those are my very nerdy stats for 2020! I find this fascinating to look back on and I hope you’ve enjoyed this post too!

Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Non-Binary November Readathon

Hi everyone! I’m here today with a really exciting announcement. As you probably know, I run a YouTube channel with Blue and Alex and we’ve decided to run a month long readathon together!

Key information

  • The readathon is called the Non-Binary November readathon, will run from 1st-30th November and aims to read and promote books by non-binary authors and with non-binary rep!
  • You can cover more than one prompt with each book if you need to – for example, The Bone Witch covers non-binary author, non-binary side character, non-binary author of colour, N or B in the title and a colour of the non-binary flag (purple!)
  • Our group book is The Bone Witch which we all be reading and encourage you to join us for!
  • You do not need to read non-binary books for all of the prompts if non-binary is not specified, however it would be great to make sure they are LGBTQIA+!
  • The hashtag we are using for this readathon is #NBNOV, which can be used on Twitter to join in and discuss the readathon
  • We have a giveaway! All you have to do is subscribe to our channel and tweet using the hashtag #NBNOV, and you will be entered to win either The Bone Witch or a non-binary book of your choice. The giveaway ends at midnight on November 1st and the winner be will announced the following day and contacted via Twitter.
  • Prompts are below the video, which also provides this information!

Prompts

  • Read a book with a non-binary main character
  • Read a book by a non-binary author
  • Read a book with the letter N or letter B in the title
  • Read a book with a cover that has one or more of the non-binary flag colours (purple, yellow, white or black)
  • Read a book with a non-binary side character
  • Read a non-binary book by an author of colour
  • Read a book that represents another gender identity
  • Read a book recommended by a non-binary reviewer (like Blue!)
  • Free space!

Watch this space for another video with prompt ideas, books recommended by Blue, and all of our TBRs! I will also post a blog post with my TBR closer to when the readathon starts.

Want to join us? Just post on your platform with your TBR an read with us in November!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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! ☽

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8 YA Movie Adaptations You Should Watch

Hi all! Maybe you’re bored and still in lockdown? Or maybe you just want a nice night in with a good YA adaptation. Either way, here’s some of my favourites you should check out!

1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All The Boys I've Loved Before Sequel Is In The Works – 4 Your ...

Honestly, these movies have become a massive comfort for me. I think they’re really great adaptations and the cinematography is beautiful.

2. The Sun is Also a Star

Yara Shahidi in The Sun Is Also a Star on We Heart It

I managed to catch this at the cinema on the last day it was showing in my local cinema last year, and I’m so glad I did, it was just lovely. It’s also new to Netflix which means you should definitely give it a go!

3. Dumplin’

11 Differences Between The "Dumplin'" Book And The Movie

I’ve been watching a movie every Saturday with Faye and Alex and the last one we watched was Dumplin’! I loved it yet again.

4. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List

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I used to watch this movie a lot with a friend and we adored it. I rewatched it recently for the nostalgia!

5. Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything – readinganyone

Yet another beautiful Nicola Yoon adaptation, with a beautiful soudntrack and cinematography.

6. Love, Simon

love, simon — lovesimon-gifs: simon and bram bonding over... (With ...

I loved Love, Simon! It was great to see on the big screen.

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

the perks of being a wallflower gif | WiffleGif

It’s been a while since I watched The Perks and I really should watch it again or re-read the book!

8. Paper Towns

Love 'Paper Towns'? You'll Be Addicted to Our Gif Version of the ...

And I just had to include a John Green movie in here but I thought I’d be a little different and go with Paper Towns, which I really loved.

Which YA movie adaptations do you love?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Book and Outfits

Hi everybody! You may have seen the books as outfits trend going around on Twitter like I did, and eventually I just gave into the hype and got involved. So with a big photoshoot and a lot of help from my lovely boyfriend, here’s some of my favourite books as outfits!

To start with – pink covers and baby pink tops. I adore this colour and these two books!

I stole this shirt from Mark and it’s often a staple for me now. And he suggested it’d match Pumpkinheads!

I love this combination of black velvet and this beautiful special edition.

And continuing the Leigh Bardugo theme, I love how the blue matches my denim jacket on Ninth House! It’s one of the only books I matched that I haven’t read yet, but how could I resist with my nails painted blue too?

Traitor in the Throne is the other book on this list I haven’t read – but the maroon cover matched my jacket perfectly, so I knew I had to include it.

I absolutely adore my kimono, but I don’t often find a chance to wear it. I thought it matched the cover of Flame in the Mist really well though!

This was actually the first outfit-match I did, when I wore this floral combination the other day and it reminded me of This Time Will be Different!

And I’ll Give You the Sun is the second outfit-match I did, when I wore this top and just knew how well it would match the cover!

Continuing the yellow theme, Mark suggested I match my Hufflepuff jumper and Vans to my special edition book. As you can tell, I wasn’t sure how to show off my shoes 😉

Yet even more yellow, but how could I resist matching my cute Totoro patch to the book?

Here’s my last outfit/book cover match, I’ve wanted to try this one for so long and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!

Thank you to all those who inspired me (shoutout to BooksNest for being one of them with her post!) to do this, and to Mark again for helping me out 🙂

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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