Birthday Book Haul

Hi readers! It was my birthday a couple of days ago (I turned 20), and I was so lucky to receive some gorgeous presents which included these books. I thought I’d give you guys a little wrap-up of the books I was given.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Courtney brought me a few really special books that she knows I’ve wanted for so long. I never had a hardback copy of Crooked Kingdom to match my copy of Six of Crows, so she gifted me this one just in time to meet Leigh Bardugo next week!

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She also gave me this beautiful American edition of the collectors Throne of Glass. It comes in a slipcase and has pride of place displayed on the top of my bookcase!

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Goodreads | Amazon

My lovely friend Tavi brought me this book and the following from my Amazon wishlist! I’m so excited and appreciative of these beauties. I’ve wanted to pick up Autoboyography since it’s release, and I’ve heard so many good things about it!

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I’ve wanted to read this since release, as I adored Wing Jones! I’m so excited to read more from this wonderful author.

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Would you believe this book has been on my TBR since pretty much I started my Goodreads account 4 years ago? I can’t wait to get around to it.

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This is another book I’ve heard so much about and sounds like something I’d really enjoy. All of these books are one’s I can’t wait for! Thank you Tavi 🙂

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Letters To the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

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Goodreads | Amazon

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

I sped through this book! Thank you to Brigid Kemmerer for finally getting me back into reading. I was so drawn into this emotional, intriguing contemporary that I read it over a couple of days and enjoyed it so much.

Declan and Juliet were both beautifully emotional and complex. They had their own backstories which were widely different from one another but both as heartbreaking. This worked so well and meant I sped through the book, flicking between the characters and their stories. The alternate chapters made the pages fly by, and seeing the story from both of their points of view was so interesting.

‘One day isn’t your whole life.’

With Declan being a young offender, I wondered if I would take so well to his story. But as it turns out, I quickly sympathised with him, and this became more intense as the story progressed. Juliet’s story broke my heart, and I found her so relatable on a personal level as her mother’s career and her own hobby were both photography. Her love for photography gave Juliet so much depth.

I found this novel was treading a fine line with anonymity, and could have gone very wrong in some ways. However, Kemmerer handled the subject incredibly well, and my worries were only fleeting. Unfortunately, I did have one concern throughout the entire novel, which was miscommunication between the characters. Later in the novel, I felt as though Juliet and Declan could have been communicating on a much better level, and it did begin to frustrate me.

‘A day is just a day.’

Overall, this is a contemporary with a twist. It’s tense, dark, emotional and beautiful. The characters are flawed but easy to sympathise with, and I’m sad to leave them behind.

★★★★ 
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (#1) by Brigid Kemmerer

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Fall in love, break the curse.
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

As always, I can’t believe it took me so long to get round to reading this book. It may have taken me a while to read it, but as a friend put it, I savoured this book rather than rushed through it. And it was still worth it in the end.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it had just the right balance for me of being a retelling and being original. The fairytale aspect was only a small part of the story, which left room for so much more.

‘We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals.’

This world felt so real and beautiful to me, and I pictured it as Hyrule in Breath of the Wild funnily enough. The characters were all great for their own reasons, especially Harper. We don’t have enough strong female protagonists, and having a disabled main character with Cerebral Palsy is so rare, especially in fantasy. Having not got a disability myself, I can’t talk about the accuracy of the writing from her point of view, but I really admired her all the same.

Rhen wasn’t my favourite character, but I grew to know and love him all the same. Reading about him was fascinating, as he turned out to be a different person as the book progressed, but his progression felt entirely natural.

Even though it took me a while to get through, when I did manage to sit down and read, the pages seemed to fly by. So it definitely wasn’t a problem with the pacing, but instead with my situation in the past month!

‘The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.’

Unfortunately I’m not giving this book a full 5 stars, purely because I didn’t feel quite as drawn in as I’d have liked to. Although my pacing was partly to do with my own situation, I also feel like I could have been more drawn into the story and made to want to pick it up.

★★★★ 
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #138 / A Monster Calls

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!

Hello everyone! If I tried to use this post as a catch up, I’d be here forever. I unfortunately had to take the longest break from blogging I knowingly ever have, but I’m so happy to be back. I’m using October as a new chapter and it’s time to work harder than ever on what I love, reading and blogging.

It’s also been an extremely slow month for reading, but I managed to finish A Curse So Dark and Lonely the other night and I’m already getting through Letters to the Lost! Talking of books, today I’m here with a quote from a book I keep meaning to watch the movie adaptation for – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

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“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”
― Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

Have you read this book or watched this movie?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #103

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

Hi all! I have a few weeks of Stacking the Shelves to catch up on, and this one is focused on book signings. I have a few signings coming up in the next couple of weeks and I’ve been buying a few books in preparation!

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Goodreads | Amazon

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

This is my current read and I’m so excited to read another Brigid Kemmerer book as I’ve been enjoying them so much!

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Goodreads | Amazon

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.
Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.
When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

Talking of, I was lucky enough to read Call It What You Want as an ARC on Netgalley a while ago, and I loved it. I decided to pick up a physical copy to get signed.

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Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.
But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.
He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.
She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

I’ve been considering buying this book for a long time, and I’m so glad to finally have the chance to meet the author and get my beautiful copy signed!

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Amelie loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. So now she’s retracing their story and untangling what happened by revisiting all the places he made her cry.
Because if she works out what went wrong, perhaps she can finally learn to get over him.

I’ve been so intrigued by this book, so when I booked a ticket for her tour, I knew I wanted to pick it up. However, I’m kind of dreading reading it, as I know it’ll make me cry.

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

This is the only book on this list that unfortunately I won’t be able to get signed, so it’s a good job it is already! I pre-ordered this signed edition from Waterstones a while ago and I adored it. I’m hoping to write a proper review with photos later in the week!

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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September Wrap-Up and October TBR

Hi everyone! Unfortunately, this Wrap-Up is going to be the most disappointing I’ve ever written, but I’ve had one hell of a month so I’m trying not to be too upset with myself about it! I’m also still on track to read 70 books this year, which is 20 above my original goal of 50.

Books I Read in September

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Review | Goodreads | Amazon

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Unfortunately this is all I read in September, but I’m hoping for a better October!

Books I Want to Read in October

Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer
A Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
The Places I’ve Cried in Public – Holly Bourne
Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell
Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo

I’ve got a few of these books to read for signings (yay!), and I’m super excited for Ninth House and Wayward Son. I’m hoping to get to those fairly soon!

What did you read in September and what do you want to read in October?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 Fall Reads

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

Hello October! I’ve had a tough September and I’m so happy to welcome another month. I’m doing a lot better now and I’m excited to get back to blogging! Today has been significantly chillier than the past few weeks, and it really inspired me to post about fall/autumn reads.

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I think a lot of people re-read Harry Potter at this time of year as it’s got the whole ‘going back to school’ vibe!

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How could I not include this gorgeous graphic novel? It’s absolutely beautiful inside and made me so excited for autumn. I wish we had Pumpkin Patches here in the UK!

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I’ve always said The Raven Cycle is a perfect read for this time of year. It’s kind of dark and mysterious, and I love it.

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely is my current read, and I can’t help thinking this is a great time of year to read it.

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I’m not one for reading horror at the moment, so this is about the closest I get. If you’re looking for a Halloween YA series, go for this one!

Which books do you love to read at this time of year?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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