T5W: Mother Figures

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

Hi readers! Today’s T5W celebrates Mother’s Day in the US, which is a little weird for me as we had Mother’s Day back in March in the UK. However, I’m all for talking about the mum’s I love in YA/literature, although none will be as loving and awesome as my own mum, of course :p

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When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

I’m breaking the T5W rules here and going straight into Harry Potter. I just couldn’t write this post without including Mrs Weasley, because she is just amazing!

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Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

I loved Starr’s whole family in this very important novel, so shoutout to them all really!

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College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don’t show many signs of life, but they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town’s terror or will she drown like everyone else?

I couldn’t write this post without including the series I’m reading right now, which is the Morganville books. Claire’s parents become more and more prominent throughout the series, and I love them.

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When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by — and torn between — two best friends and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all. 

How would I be able to write this post and not include someone from the Shadowhunter world? Of course this is dedicated to Charlotte!

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Even if Blue hadn’t been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.
But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.
This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.
This is the year she will fall in love.

Although Blue’s mum is awesome, so are her aunties! So this one is for all the brilliant females we have in The Raven Boys.

Which mother figures stand out to you in YA?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: Bookish Things I’ve Changed My Mind About

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

I read this topic heading and thought I would struggle with brainstorming for topics to talk about. But after having a think and looking at other people’s blogs, there are so many interesting little things I have changed my mind about over the years!

1.Fantasy

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Fantasy is definitely the biggest thing I’ve changed my mind about, as I used to hardly ever read fantasy. Now, YA fantasy is probably my favourite genre, and depending on my mood I usually much prefer them.

2. Long series

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I was also very much a standalone reader! I just used to find series so daunting. And I still do sometimes, but I appreciate them so much more (obviously, as I’m currently halfway through a 16 book series).

3. Star ratings

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I think this is something that comes with time and experience, but I am a much harsher critique of books now than when I first started blogging. I’ll look back on a 5 star read and go what were you thinking? as 5 stars is reserved for special occasions now!

4. Goodreads shelves

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This has definitely been one of my major turning points in being a reader. I used to wonder why people had so many different Goodreads shelves. Now I have loads too, including physical-tbr, books-that-made-me-cry and beautiful-covers. I just think it’s such a great way to organise, and it probably becomes more crucial as you hoard more books!

5. Unhauling

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I used to feel as though I had to read every book that came my way. Now I’ll start a book and just think ‘this isn’t for me’, and have no shame in giving it to charity. Why should I spend my time on reading something I know I won’t enjoy?

What have you changed your mind about?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: Rainy Day Reads

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

Hi everyone! I know what you’re thinking – it’s not Wednesday! I know, but unfortunately I was too busy to post this on Wednesday and I really didn’t want to miss out on doing it, so here I am a few days later. This week’s topic of Rainy Day Reads could not be more appropriate for me this week, as England definitely has April Showers.

I’ve been reading a lot of people’s posts from this week as I was really interested in finding out what people class as a rainy day read! To me, atmospheric fantasy is perfect, but occasionally a fluffy contemporary is needed to beat the weather.

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Even if Blue hadn’t been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.
But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.
This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.
This is the year she will fall in love. 

This series is definitely one of my favourite fantasy series! It’s also so atmospheric and perfect for a rainy day.

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The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

I’m sure you guys know that I love all of Cassie’s books, but The Infernal Devices is definitely perfect for rainy days. There’s something about the setting of Victorian London that I just adore for rainy day reads.

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Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.
Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.
Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.
This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

I couldn’t write this post without including something from Leigh Bardugo – so here we are. Her short story collection is just so beautiful and magical.

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The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
 

Talking of magic, The Night Circus has got to be the most setting/location heavy and also atmospheric book I’ve ever read. I adore it.

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What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once? Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. 

The last book is definitely a change of tune! Of course, some rainy days demand a pick-me-up, and I remember watching the movie adaptation on a day when I was sick and not feeling very well.

Which rainy day reads would you recommend?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: Favourite Jokesters

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

Welcome to another T5W post! This one has definitely been one of the hardest topics I’ve written, but here are some of the funniest characters/jokesters I’ve come across in YA.

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I read The Bane Chronicles only last week (review here), and it made me laugh out loud so much. It’s definitely one of the funniest YA books I’ve read, and I had to include Magnus.

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How could I write this post without including the ultimate jokesters and pranksters, Fred and George!

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I might be going off the movie a little bit here as I watched it last week and I read this book in 2015, but Mr Worth is absolutely brilliant. Tony Hale plays him in the movie, and as I love Arrested Development so much, he was the perfect guy for the role.

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I mean, maybe I’m including this because I laughed so much and the insanity and ridiculousness of this book. I don’t know. But I do remember laughing.

Which jokesters did you find this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: Collectables on my Shelf

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

Hi everyone! This week we’re talking about items and collectables on our bookshelves. There are many things I adore (books and otherwise) on my shelves, and I’m looking forward to talking about a few.

My Pops are really the only thing I collect other than books themselves. My 10″ Niffler Pop is probably my favourite!

I also have a giant jar of bookmarks, and more recently I’ve been able to add ones that I’ve designed myself! You can find my shop here.

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Of course I couldn’t write this post without including at least one special edition. I have many gorgeous (shiny) special edition books, but this one is one of my favourites!

I also have this gorgeous mug I picked up at Comic Con a while ago. It sits on my Harry Potter shelf and holds makeup brushes!

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One thing I love on my shelves are candles. I burn them almost every day and I’m definitely a candle fanatic! My favourite is my Woodwick one, although Clinton’s Illuminate candles are also amazing.

So those are just a few of my favourite bookshelf items/collectables! What are yours?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: Books You Thought You’d Hate but Ended Up Loving

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey and Samantha. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

Hows that for a long title? But I kinda love this topic – it’s so intriguing thinking back to my expectations of books vs the reality of actually reading them. I’d actually love to do a reverse of this topic, too – ‘books you thought you’d love but ended up hating’!

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Multiplatinum pop icon Lily Ross’s biggest hits and biggest heartbreaks (because they are one and the same):
1. AGONY. (That feeling when her ex ripped her heart out of her chest and she never saw it coming.)
2. GHOSTS. (Because even famous people are ghosted by guys sometimes. And it sucks just as much.) 
3. ONCE BITTEN. (As in: twice shy. Also, she’s never dating an actor or a musician ever again.)
But this summer’s going to be different. After getting her heart shattered, Lily is taking herself out of the spotlight and heading to a small island in middle-of-nowhere Maine with her closest friends. She has three months until her fall tour starts-three months to focus on herself, her music, her new album. Anything but guys.
That is . . . until Lily meets sweet, down-to-earth local Noel Bradley, who is so different from anyone she’s ever dated. Suddenly, Lily’s “summer of me” takes an unexpected turn, and she finds herself falling deeper and harder than ever before. But Noel isn’t interested in the limelight. She loves Noel-but she loves her fans, too. And come August, she may be forced to choose.

This book was such a shock for me! I was completely over this trope and prepared to not go into it again. But I kept spotting this book and ended up picking it up cheap, and falling in love with it.

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For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

I wanted this book years ago but never got around to reading them – when I finally did it sounded like the cringiest thing in the world. And I’m not saying it wasn’t – but I still ended up enjoying the first 3!

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Charlie Bloom never wanted to be ‘with the band’. She’s happiest out of the spotlight, behind her camera, unseen and unnoticed. But when she’s asked to take backstage photos for hot new boy band Fire&Lights, she can’t pass up the chance. 
Catapulted into a world of paparazzi and backstage bickering, Charlie soon becomes caught between gorgeous but damaged frontman, Gabriel West, and his boy-next-door bandmate Olly Samson. Then, as the boys’ rivalry threatens to tear the band apart, Charlie stumbles upon a mind-blowing secret, hidden in the lyrics of their songs…

I have to say I didn’t expect to enjoy this book quite as much as I did. Yet now I’ve read and enjoyed the whole series!

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It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

This is definitely one of those books that your expectations drop for because of other people. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone actually adore/recommend this book. But I went about it with a really different mindset, and loved it.

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It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

I was so done with John Green when this came out. I thought The Fault in Our Stars was super overhyped, and hated An Abundance of Katherines, with Will Grayson, Will Grayson being not far behind. But I thought I’d give him another go, and I ended up actually relating to and liking this one!

Which books did you expect to hate but ended up loving?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: Hufflepuff Characters

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

This is such a fun and inventive topic idea! I’m not going to lie, it was hard to think of at first, but such fun when I got going. I’m a Hufflepuff, so I started hunting for characters that are kind, accepting, empathetic, soft, gentle, patient and animal lovers!

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Steffi in this book is such an animal lover – and if I remember rightly then there is definitely a dog in this book. How could she not be a Hufflepuff?

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I was thinking about which houses the boys would belong to from The Raven Cycle, and I definitely think gentle, soft Noah would belong to Hufflepuff house.

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Ty was the first Hufflepuff I thought of when I saw this post topic, as I’m currently reading Queen of Air and Darkness.

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I was also reminded of Jacob – he definitely has the empathetic traits of a Hufflepuff.

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I couldn’t not include Matthias and his wolf, Trassel. *softly cries*

Which characters fit your Hogwarts House?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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