T5W: 2019 Releases I’m Not Bothered 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!

Hi guys! It’s time for another top 5 Wednesday and this week we’re discussing 2019 I’m not bothered about reading. Honestly, I’m not a blogger/bookworm who waits on their doorstep for a lot of books to be delivered. I do preorder, but only a very few select auto-buy authors that I’ll get really excited for. So unfortunately, it’s not really hard to select some books that I’m not too worried about missing!

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I’m not saying I definitely won’t be reading this in the future, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually read a book by Holly Black.

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I really loved The Wrath and the Dawn when I read it, and I definitely want to continue with that series, but this one didn’t spike my interest. I’m not a historical reader, so I don’t think this book will be for me.

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Again, I’ve never read any Kiersten White, and I wasn’t bothered reading this long synopsis!

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Unfortunately, this one sounded quite same-y to other contemporaries I’ve read and I’m not ready for another one.

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This one was tricky – as I know how much hype Angie Thomas has. However, I just couldn’t get into The Hate U Give. I need to give it another try at some point and then maybe I’ll want to read this too?

Which 2019 releases are you not excited for?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! 2018 Wrap-Up + Favourites

We’re 8 days into the New Year and I haven’t stopped thinking about my 2018 in books. Here are just a few totals to get started!

Firstly, I’m so happy I managed to smash my Goodreads goal by reading 67 instead of 50! Secondly, isn’t it funny how all of my stats included Harry Potter books? 2018 was definitely the year of Harry Potter for me, and I’m hoping 2019 will continue that trend!

And here’s a summary of every single book I read! Can you spot any of your favourites?

Last but not least, we have my top 5 books of 2018! As always, this was really hard to sort through…but here we go.

5. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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I had to include a contemporary in here and 2018 was the year I discovered Adam Silvera and the way he blends reality with fantasy. Of course all of Adam Silvera’s and Becky Albertalli’s deserve a shoutout, but I kept coming back to this one. It was beautiful, and definitely made me cry! Review here.

4. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

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I think this one was my biggest and best surprise of the year. I went in with little expectation and came out with a sense I’d just read one of the most important YA books of our time. It was truly wonderful. Review here.

3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

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2018 was definitely a year of fantasy for me, and I knew it was the right time to delve back into this series. I ended up falling completely in love with A Court of Mist and Fury and it’s following books! Review here.

2. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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Another big surprise for me was The Infernal Devices and how I fell truly in love with the series. Clockwork Princess made me absolutely sob, broke my heart but also filled it with joy and love for this series. Review here!

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

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Although I really considered this for a long time and kept swapping my top choice, nothing could really come close to Harry Potter. I loved a lot of books this past year, but this series made me fall in love. It won me over in so many ways, and has managed to become such a big part of my life.

So everyone, those are my top 5 books of 2018 and a wrap-up from me! Which is your favourite book of the past year?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #110 / Clockwork Princess

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 everyone! I’ve had an incredibly busy but wonderful day today at one of the best places ever – the Harry Potter studio tour. I’ll have a full discussion on Sunday with photos but I need time to sort them as I took over 250! Thank you to my boyfriend Josh for the best birthday present ever.

I’ve also been reading The Mortal Instruments and looking back on 2018 reading. I adored The Infernal Devices and one of those books might be my favourite of 2018! Have a look tomorrow in my wrap-up and see.

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“You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing tight around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.”

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: My True Love Gave to Me – Various Authors

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On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

As this book is full of little stories, I’m going to review them all separately! This was such a fun read and it was perfect for the festive season.

Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell – 5 out of 5 stars
Let’s start this on a high! I’ve read this short story before and it’s honestly brilliant, 26 pages flies by with this year-by-year tale. It’s so simple but focuses on the characters which I adored, the ability to build characters in such a short amount of time is incredible. Perfect for New Year, as it’s set on New Year’s Eve hence the title!

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link – 2 out of 5 stars
Honestly, this one really didn’t do it for me. The only real positive is that it did have a Christmassy feel, but otherwise it was downright confusing and a little weird. I’m all for a little weird, but I just didn’t know what was going on. At all.

Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena – 4 out of 5 stars
This story was so cute! I’m all for Christmas fantasy, but adorable festive contemporary romance is where its at. This story is one of Shy and the girl upstairs over Christmas, and it manages to not only be cute but be raw and honest and kind of beautiful in such a short amount of pages.

Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – 4 out of 5 stars
This story was so overwhelmingly Christmassy! You can’t get much better than a story set in the North Pole for Christmas, surrounded by elves. I liked the protagonist, Natalie, who was the only human to ever live in the North Pole. It made such a unique story which was so fun to read!

It’s a Yuletide Miracle… by Stephanie Perkins – 5 out of 5 stars
Perkins does it again! I remember this from Summer Days and Summer Nights – if anyone can write an amazing short, it’s Perkins. This story was unique, with likeable characters and a beautiful backdrop. I would read a whole book about these two happily.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – 4 out of 5 stars
I always find levithan a little hit and miss, but I really enjoyed this story! It’s about a guy called Connor who asks his boyfriend to dress up as santa to keep Christmas magic alive for his little sister. It was a really cute contemporary with a cast of different characters who I enjoyed reading about, however I do feel like too many conversations with different characters were fitted into a very short story!

Krampuslauf by Holly Black – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m really not sure how to feel about this one. Build up a quirky contemporary with a group of friends and a New Year’s party on a trailer park, throw some drama in and then sprinkle it with magic. I think the magic was my main issue, because it just felt forced and like a last minute edition. It threw the story off kilter and threw me off too. Very weird.

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – 4 out of 5 stars
Contemporary romance definitely suits festive short stories better than contemporary and a weird mix of fantasy. I’m still holding out for a full on fantasy though? Anyway, Forman really brought out holiday cheer with carol singers and pie and a little twist with Hannukah which I loved! It’s the story of (surprise) Sophie Roth, a college student who isnt yet home for Christmas. Its about new discoveries and making mistakes, and although it wasn’t perfect, I damn well enjoyed it!

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I can’t say I disliked this story, it was Christmassy enough and enjoyable. But I just found it strange and I felt so disconnected to the characters! It followed a guy who had to do community service for a church at Christmas, which was an interesting concept but it just wasn’t all there for me!

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten white – 5 out of 5 stars
Yes! I didn’t think I would find another story to match Stephanie Perkins, but this one sure did. It follows the story of a girl who lives in Christmas, CA and their Christmas traditions. It was heartwarming, heartbreaking and heartfelt. All in 40 pages.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – 4 out of 5 stars
Another story, another Christmassy town ! I really enjoyed this one too, although it lacked the depth that made me love Welcome to Christmas, CA so much. Still a unique and heartwarming tale of a girl trying to escape her life and ends up finding a family of her own.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – 2 out of 5 stars
This was so weird?? I don’t even know what was going on? I stand by the fact that fantasy doesn’t work as well as contemporary in these kinds of situations usually – world building just isn’t possible in 30 pages. I didn’t properly understand the world or the story, therefore I didn’t enjoy it. The pages were used to explain the town rather than the characters, and I related only to the protagonist. It didn’t feel Christmassy either! It did have a satisfying ending, however.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it was perfect to start the New Year with. Although the stories are very mixed, it’s great to give new authors a chance with books like this one. Sure, I didn’t enjoy a few but that’s bound to happen. And I loved a number of stories enough to rate this book highly! I’ll definitely be giving some of these a re-read next Christmas.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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December Wrap-Up and January TBR

It’s 2019! Can you believe it? The past year went so quickly and we’re in January once again. I’m battling the January blues by reading The Mortal Instruments and an upcoming visit to the Harry Potter studios 😉

Here’s the 7 books I read in December!

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My least favourite book of the month was Genuine Fraud and my favourite was definitely Clockwork Princess!

Books I Bought in December

The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo
Queen of Air and Darkness (Waterstones edition) – Cassandra Clare
Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassandra Clare

I also received a few books for Christmas and I bought some for myself with a voucher! But I definitely spent less money on books, and I’m officially on a ban now.

Books I Want to Read in January

We’re back to where I was with Harry Potter, because I just want to read as much of The Mortal Instruments as I can this month! If I keep up my 7 books a month, I will finish it…but I’m not so sure. Let’s see!

What did you read in December?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Book Review #50

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and a happy New Year!

This week I’m going to be talking about The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers which I picked up whilst visiting Astley Book Farm with Beth!

TLWTASAP is a Sci-Fi, new adult story that follows the Wayfarer, a wormhole tunnelling ship that hurtles through the galaxy, boarded by an eccentric and eclectic crew of ‘spacers’. Set in the distant future, this book asks the big questions about gender, sex, humanity, science and the environment.

TLWTASAP was brilliant because it was story-less. Going into this, reading the blurb, you might think thats its going to be about Rosemary, the new clerk onboard the Wayfarer and her new life in space. And yeah, it is about that but it is also about every other crew member and all of their other pasts and loves and lives. I think its important to tell you now that TLWTASAP does not have a plot per se, but is more like a Tv show in that you will watch lots of episodes that all cleverly tie together before a satisfactory but equally independent season finale. This style of writing was like nothing I have ever encountered before and thats why it was even more refreshing; One chapter I might be reading about interspecies relations and the history of the Galactic Commons (This was extremely interesting) and the next I might be pouring my soul out over the tragic past of a crew members life on their homeplanet. Between each page, the possibilities and the size of the universe feels endless.

I want to shed light on my favourite part of the book which wasn’t a moment in the narrative or an aspect of a single character but instead a focus within the writing itself. TLWTASAP impressively makes you think about who you are as a human by spending over a third of the book, intermittently, describing, discussing and enlightening you on the mannerisms, cultures and belief systems of entirely made up species. The multi-species crew has all of the flare that you would expect from aliens in Sci-Fi but it also allows us to question what we value as modern 21st century citizens when the institution of marriage for an Aandriskk is so completely different to ours or the concept of happiness to the Grum is but a trivial endeavour. Chambers is especially good at being specific about the histories and worlds behind her aliens. These are not UFO-riding green men, these are sapient beings with rich backgrounds – they are, paradoxically, real people.

The only limitation for me was the fluffiness of the crew and how perfectly ‘troupey’ they all felt at times. Sometimes this read more like a fan fiction than a piece of fiction – which isn’t always a bad thing. Perhaps, in my dream novel, everyone would be a bit more cynical and gritty, but in space its fair enough that they wouldn’t all have there feet on the ground.

I recommend this book, not if you are looking for an epic space opera, but if you are wanting to read a story about people.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Keep on reading!

And thanks again Beth.

T5W: 2019 Reading Resolutions

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!

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Happy New Year everyone! I’m honestly not one to set New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t think it’s personally healthy to me if I don’t achieve them. However, I do loosely follow bookish one’s and I always attempt a reading challenge! So here are some of my 2019 reading (and blogging) resolutions.

Read 50 Books
I’ve just set my Goodreads goal of the year and it is 50 books again! I managed to read around 15 more than that in 2018, but I like to keep things realistic.

Read a Classic. Any Classic.
I’m sorry to say that the only classic I’ve ever read is Jane Eyre. And I loved it, but whenever I go to read a classic now, I think back to the standalone YA books I have on my TBR and find them too daunting. So instead of making a big goal to read a number of classics, in 2019 I’d just like to start.

Read More Series
I was actually very proud of myself in 2018 for the amount of series I managed to read and get off my physical TBR! I’ve always been more of a standalones kind of reader, but I’m definitely getting more into series. In 2019 I’d at least like to tackle The Mortal Instruments, The Dark Artifices, Divergent and Throne of Glass.

Lessen My Physical TBR
Honestly, this is probably my most important rule on this list. I’m not certain, but I think I’m starting this year with around the same unread books as last year, and I’m not going to let that happen again. I’m going to be stronger, and try and control my book-buying urges! So far, being in a joint book-buying-ban with my best friend is definitely helping that 🙂

Blog Most Days
I couldn’t do this list without including at least one blog related resolution. I’d like to continue blogging most days in 2019 whenever I can.

What are you attempting in 2019?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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