Top 5 Books That Intimidate Me

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

Hi all! I’ve decided today to look at the top 5 books on my physical TBR that intimidate me. Of course I’m excited for all of the books on my TBR, but that doesn’t mean they also scare me too. I’m usually intimidated by books I think I might not like as much as I want to, or just look so big they scare me off!

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

I’ve heard nothing but good about this book, and I’m fairly sure I’ll enjoy it. But come on, that is a commitment and a half.

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A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?
As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

I’ve always found Patrick Ness very hit and miss, and I think that’s why I’m daunted by this one. I really need to get to it soon though as it’s been on my TBR for such a long time!

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WHEN BEAUFORT SWAN MOVES TO THE gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edythe Cullen, his life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With her porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edythe is both irresistible and enigmatic.
WHAT BEAU DOESN’T REALIZE IS THE closer he gets to her, the more he is putting himself and those around him at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back…

I picked this up cheap pretty much when it came out. And yet I still haven’t read it! I think it’s because this book is actually twice as long as it looks – I only need to read Life and Death.

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Goodreads | Amazon

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 know so many people who love these books, and I myself love the movies. But all I’ve heard is that they’re so hard to get through and I’m so intimidated by them!

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Goodreads | Amazon

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted
.

I have no doubts I will love this series. I adored A Court of Thorns and Roses so much! But that series took me long enough to get through, and I just know that when I start Throne of Glass, it will be a massive commitment.

Which books on your TBR are you intimidated by?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon Wrap Up 2019

Hi all! I’m happy to say my first ever readathon was a great success! I joined in with the N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon this August and thought I’d give a quick rundown of how it went. So, what are the N.E.W.T.s?

What is the N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon? And how does it work?

The Magical Readathon is run by Book Roast on YouTube and is split into two parts: the O.W.L.s are in April and the N.E.W.T.s run throughout August. You aim for a profession using the wonderful career guide created by G (link below). Each profession includes the O.W.L and N.E.W.T levels you need to aim for to pass, including the level you need, that being A for Acceptable, E for Exceeded Expectations and O for Outstanding. Depending on your chosen profession, you’ll be aiming for more or less books than other professions!

If you complete your O.W.L.s in April, you can use these to dive into the N.E.W.T.s, but I joined without completing any O.W.L.s at all and still had a great time. Once you know which exams you have to take, you can use the prompts letter to find out how to organise your TBR (link below). Each exam has different prompts, and you then pick a book to fit the prompt. Once you’ve completed them to the grade you need for your profession, you complete the exams!

Useful Documents and Links

These are taken from the description in the 2019 Magical Readathon N.E.W.T.s video!

My Chosen Career

I chose to aim for the Magizoologist career this year! To pass my N.E.W.T.s I needed an Outstanding in Care of Magical Creatures, an Exceeded Expectations in Charms and an Exceeded Expectations in Herbology. That means I needed to read 7 books to achieve my career. However, I also included the Outstanding prompts in my TBR in case I surpassed these. If you want to have a quick look back on my TBR post, you can find it here.

My Wrap-Up

Care of Magical Creatures

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Goodreads | Amazon | Review

The prompt for this one was to read a book that starts with the letter A. I’d recently picked up Attachments at YALC and thought it was perfect! I really enjoyed this book and rated it 5 stars.

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For the Exceeding Expectations grade, the prompt was to read a book under 300 pages. This one is only around 150, and I flew through it and gave it 4 stars.

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This was the only exam I needed an Oustanding in, and the prompt was read a book with a bird on the cover. What better than a phoenix? I gave this book 4 stars too.

Charms

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The prompt for Acceptable in Charms was read a book with a gorgeous cover. I decided to pick up this one and loved it! I gave it 4.5 stars.

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When I saw the prompt for Exceeding Expectations was to read a comic or graphic novel, I knew immediately it was the perfect excuse to pick up Heartstopper 2! Of course I had to give it 5 stars.

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I didn’t need to reach Outstanding for my career in Charms, but I finished early enough to read Girls of Storm and Shadow! I gave it 4 stars and loved being back in this world.

Herbology

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The prompt for Acceptable in Herbology was to read an audiobook or a book with a green cover. As I’m not one for audiobooks, I picked the greenest book I had and ended up really enjoying it. I gave this 4 stars!

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Goodreads | Amazon | Review

To achieve an Exceeding Expectations, I needed to read a book between 350-390 pages. They’re harder to find than you’d expect, but I read Scars Like Wings and loved it. It was another 4 star read for me, and I’d definitely recommend looking out for it on October 1st!

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Goodreads | Amazon | Review

I didn’t need to achieve an Outstanding in Herbology, but I ended up having enough time to read this one for a book with flowers on the cover. It was only a 2 star read unfortunately, but it allowed me to get Oustanding’s on all of my exams!

My Experience

I loved joining a readathon. I found it really pushed me to read as I wanted so badly to complete my TBR before the deadline of August 31st. I was part of a group chat which was fun too! I’ve already joined the Hogwarts readathon for September, and I’ll be talking about that on Friday 🙂

Did you join the magical readathon this year? Did you achieve your career?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #136 / What If It’s Us

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! It’s been a busy week and I ended up on a great road trip and day out with Pete today, back to work tomorrow so I’m going to relax in bed this evening. I’m about to start reading American Royals, as I’ve joined the Hogwarts readathon and it fits one of my prompts on top of being out later this week!

Now let’s talk about a book that’s been out for a while now but I really enjoyed – What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli.

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Goodreads | Amazon

“I barely know him. I guess that is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.” 
― Adam Silvera, What If It’s Us

Have you read any books by Adam or Becky? What’s your favourite?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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August Wrap-Up and September TBR

Hello everyone! I’m here with my August Wrap-Up, which I’m very happy to announce was a successful month despite some personal ups and downs. I managed to read 9 books after only reading 5 in July! Here are the 9 books I read.

Books I read in August

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My favourite book of the month was actually This Time Will be Different and my least favourite was The Marrow Thieves.

Books I bought in August

I actually didn’t buy any books in August, as I’m on a book-buying ban after YALC! However, I posted about the books I bought at YALC here and here, and I also posted about when I bought To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before a while ago.

Books I want to read in September

Smoke in the Sun – Renee Ahdieh
American Royals – Katherine McGee
Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer
Frankly in Love – David Yoon
Tonight the Streets Are Ours – Leila Sales
The Deathless Girls – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Pumpkinheads – Rainbow Rowell
A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

I’m joining the Hogwarts Readathon this month as the NEWTs worked out well for me (posts coming soon about these!), and these are the books I’m hoping to read. I don’t know if I’ll complete them all, but A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a bonus book so you never know.

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

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #102

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!

This is actually a very belated Stacking the Shelves post for some books I bought a while ago but haven’t managed to post about yet. So, after the release of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie, which I believe was around a year ago now, I decided to reread the first book and purchase the hardback set I’d wanted for so long. I read the first book years ago and although I enjoyed it, didn’t enjoy it as much as the movie (*gasp*).

Unfortunately, as soon as I decided to take the plunge and purchase these beauties, of course they went out of stock everywhere. I ended up waiting until sometime early this year to finally buy them, but LOOK. I’m so happy I finally took the plunge just to have these on my shelves, even if they were a little expensive for me!

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I’m looking forward to rereading the first book and delving into the others fairly soon!

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

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Goodreads | Amazon

Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden but what they don’t know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves.

Thank you to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

It’s so unfortunate that I didn’t enjoy this book. It sounded so intriguing and like such a unique concept, but I was very disappointed with the book itself. I wish it hadn’t been such a let down!

The only way I can possibly think to describe The Marrow Thieves is it feels like there’s so much missing. Like, if I didn’t read the synopsis beforehand, I would have had no clue what was actually happening throughout the novel. It feels like nothing is ever explained in full and everything is quite a random series of events. I wouldn’t have been shocked if I found out someone had actually ripped pages or whole chapters out of my copy. This improved slightly towards the end of the book, but only as I became more involved in the story, and no where enough to recover from the disappointment.

‘Sometimes you risk everything for a life worth living,’

Unfortunately, the plot wasn’t the only problem. The characters also felt majorly underdeveloped and I struggled to connect with their stories because of it. Most of them were just names on the pages for me, and that meant the connection I should have felt in emotional scenes was just lost. I feel like the author concentrated fully on only a few of the characters, only one of whom I actually liked, and the others got lost along the way.

The reason I’m giving this book 2 stars instead of 1 is because the writing isn’t bad at all. At points, I even found myself sucked into some of the short stories within this larger story. In fact, I think this author could write some brilliant short stories and maybe they would be more developed and her forte?

‘even if you’re not the one that’ll be alive to see it.’

Overall, the concept was interesting but left unexplored and underdeveloped. I’d love to read more books exploring indigenous people and it’s definitely something I’d like to see more of, but this was a major disappointment with few things going for it. It’s definitely not the worst or most annoying book I’ve read, but it was by far from the best.

★★ 
2 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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ARC Review: Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart

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Goodreads | Pre Order on Amazon

Everyone has scars. Some are just easier to see …
16-year-old Ava Gardener is heading back to school one year after a house fire left her severely disfigured. She’s used to the names, the stares, the discomfort, but there’s one name she hates most of all: Survivor. What do you call someone who didn’t mean to survive? Who sometimes wishes she hadn’t?
When she meets a fellow survivor named Piper at therapy, Ava begins to feel like she’s not facing the nightmare alone. Piper helps Ava reclaim the pieces of Ava Before the Fire, a normal girl who kissed boys and sang on stage. But Piper is fighting her own battle for survival, and when Ava almost loses her best friend, she must decide if the new normal she’s chasing has more to do with the girl in the glass—or the people by her side.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for an ARC copy of this I won in a raffle at YALC 2019! This book is scheduled for release on October 1st, 2019.

I stormed through this book in around a day. I can be a fairly quick reader when I want to be, but under 2 days is always quick for me, and I literally didn’t put this one down. I always love books that can hold my attention as I struggle to read for 100s of pages at a time usually, but I read this in only a couple of sittings.

Reading from the perspective of a burns survivor was so interesting and heart wrenching at times. Ava’s story (and the stories of those around her) absolutely broke my heart and made me feel so sympathetic towards her. She was not without her faults, but I think her low times only showed how much she’d come through and how much of a warrior she was.

The writing and plot were definitely the strongest points for me. This is a story of Ava and her family/friends returning from one of the hardest things they will ever have to go through. It’s a story of growth and acceptance for all involved and I appreciated seeing it from a year after the fire, rather than directly afterwards. I felt there had been enough time since the fire to focus on moving forward and developing a new life, but of course still facing difficult and emotional issues.

I’d like to take a moment to mention how much I adored Ava’s family. Her adoptive parents, her aunt and uncle, faced so many hardships of her own having lost their own daughter to the same fire that left Ava scarred. The book didn’t shy away from their own struggles of facing a life without their daughter, but adopting their niece. I think if this hadn’t have been discussed, it would have left a massive hole in the narrative.

So, why not 5 stars? I don’t want to say this book lacked depth, because that would be a lie, but half of me wishes it had made me cry. It was such a quick and easy read for such an emotive subject, and although it moved me, I didn’t feel as gut-wrenchingly sad as I could have. It just felt like it needed an extra push, and I think that was partly down to character development.

That being said, this book was a very important read and one I’m glad to be seeing in 2019 YA. Watch this space!

★★★★ 
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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