Stacking the Shelves #65

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

Hi all! I’ve definitely been doing ever so slightly better with book buying, and this week I only gained two books. One was a gift and one I did treat myself to!


Goodreads | Waterstones

To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.
The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom–and the world.

This one was the one I was gifted by the publisher, and I’m so excited for it! The author quotes on the proof copy really appealed to me and this one sounds like a great 2022 fantasy release.


Goodreads | Blackwells

Readers have been falling for the March family for over 150 years, and Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation is bringing the childhood classic to the big screen for a new generation of fans in 2019. Illustrated throughout with movie stills from the production—starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, Bob Odenkirk, and Chris Cooper—this edition of Little Women tells the timeless story of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy as they navigate hardship and adventure in post-Civil War Concord, Massachusetts.

I’ve wanted to pick up this copy of Little Women for a while (almost 2 years!) and I finally decided to purchase it. When you remove the half book jacket it’s so beautiful and is made to look like the version printed in the 2019 film. My copy also didn’t have Good Wives in it so I’m glad to have an edition that has both parts in it!

Which books did you buy or receive this week?


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Stacking the Shelves #24

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

Hi everyone! It’s time for a bumper catch up Stacking the Shelves editions. I admit I haven’t been great at catching up with these posts in the past month or so, so instead I thought I’d do a couple of posts over the next few weeks with gifts from September and the preorders I had in September. Today I’m going to start with gifts I’ve had and ARC copies I’ve been gifted!

Free Gifts/ARCs from September

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.
There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

This one was actually gifted to me by Courtney in August, as she was gifted two copies for her birthday! Thank you Courtney!

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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.

Alex gifted me her ARC copy of Boy Queen and I bought her a finished copy in exchange, as I really liked how the ARC copy looked but she prefers the finished one.


Goodreads | Waterstones

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.
His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed.
With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?

Alex also passed this one onto me! Thank you Alex.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.
But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

My colleague Jo passed this one onto me! I’ve wanted to read it for a while and I’m glad to finally have a copy. Thanks Jo!


Goodreads | Waterstones

She also gave me this copy of War Storm, which was lucky as it was the only one I was missing in the series!


Goodreads | Waterstones

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.

Blue had a pile of books they were passing on, and I’ve wanted the beautiful hardback edition of this for years, so I grabbed it. Thank you Blue!

Wilder Girls (Paperback)

Goodreads | Waterstones

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true. 

I’ve wanted to read this for a while, and we had a damaged copy at work that hadn’t been cut properly. I luckily picked it up!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Imogen should be nice to her little sister Marie. She should be nice to her mum’s boyfriend too. And she certainly shouldn’t follow a strange silver moth through a door in a tree.
But then… who does what they’re told?
Followed by Marie, Imogen finds herself falling into a magical kingdom where the two sisters are swept up in a thrilling race against time – helped by the spoiled prince of the kingdom, a dancing bear, a very grumpy hunter… and even the stars above them.

I was gifted a copy of this through Kaleidoscopic Tours! I’m on the blog tour for October 23rd and this hardback edition is so pretty.

I was also given ARC copies of I’ll Give You the Sun by Blue and The Starless Sea by Amy! Thank you so much to everybody for these lovely gifts.

What did you buy this week?


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Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare


Goodreads | Amazon

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fireleft him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be. But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

This was one of those books I didn’t know I needed. I loved it, and I can’t imagine the Shadowhunter world without it now. First of all, I love that this was based on Simon, but included a wide arc of characters. I actually liked Simon throughout The Mortal Instruments, but actually being with him through a book really helped me relate to him.

The set of the Shadowhunter Academy was awesome to! It gave a link to each of these stories, and offered up something new to the Shadowhunter world.

“I think sometimes it’s too hard to believe in yourself. You just do the things you’re not sure you can do.”

I also have to tell you guys that it only took me like four days to read this 650 page book?! I think this is due to the clever layout of the book, being cut into short stories of 50-100 pages each. Every day I would aim to read at least 2 stories, and it just flew by. Honestly, the short story concept was so well done in every way. Interlinking the characters by having them come into the Academy was such a clever way to read about side characters, and not stray too far from Simon’s story!

“You just act, in spite of not being certain. I don’t believe I can change the world–it sounds stupid to even talk about it–but I’m going to try.”

Overall, this book is a must for Shadowhunter fans! It’s such a great bridge between The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices, and I feel ready to continue with the next daunting series!

5 out of 5 stars


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Review: City of Heavenly Fire (#6) by Cassandra Clare


Goodreads | Amazon

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

What an ending to such a beautiful, absorbing series. I’m so sad to leave Clary and her story behind, but so satisfied to look back on all that has happened in this 6 book journey!

Firstly, I can’t believe I really didn’t feel the size of this book at all. At 650 pages, it’s quite a big one, but the pages flew by and I barely noticed it. The part that took me longest to read was actually the prologue, as we were suddenly introduced to new characters, Emma Carstairs and her story. However, I pushed on through and found I loved having Emma mentioned throughout the book. Due to her presence, I feel ready to go and read her story in The Dark Artifices. 

“We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us.”

Due to the changing scenery, the pacing was excellent. The books contained so much emotion between different scenes and different characters, and over and over again I was faced with a sense of loss. I adore how Clare works with so many characters and I honestly believe it’s one of her greatest gifts. However, her writing greatly improves throughout The Mortal Instruments and I felt the difference here compared to City of Bones.

I did find the plot a little predictable, as most of the books in this series follow a similar plot, but it was filled with enough small twists and surprises to keep me on my toes.

“As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss.”

I have to also praise Clare for the incredible extended magical world she created. I don’t feel like she’s writing too many books set in this universe, which considering how much she is writing, is crazy. Most worlds have their limits, but this one does really feel limitless. I’m so excited to continue with her books, including The Dark Artifices, The Bane Chronicles, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and many more as they are released! I cannot get enough of this world, and I adore how the characters are interlinked between the series in some small way, leaving me emotional reading mentions of characters from other series.

Overall, what an incredible end to The Mortal Instruments, leaving me feel satisfied but also wanting more from this world.

5 out of 5 stars


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Review: City of Lost Souls (#5) by Cassandra Clare


Goodreads | Amazon

When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

I can’t believe I’m about to start the last book of The Mortal Instruments, as it’s now gotten to the point that I cannot imagine leaving Clary, Jace and their friends and families behind.

It took me only four days to read this wonder, as the pages just flew by. Once I’d gotten into this story, there was no way to get me back out again. I’ve loved all of the books so far, but again, this one stood out for me. Like City of Glass (which still stands as my favourite so far), City of Lost Souls is set in places other than New York. And it fits the story so well to travel, to see these people in beautiful places all over the world.

““I never cared,” he said.”

Again, the characters did not let me down. I’m going to guess that I’m not spoiling things for anyone if I say I ship Magnus and Alec. Honestly, those two have become one of my favourite couples of all time, and I loved their scenes in this book.

I adored how deeply the plot was interwoven with the characters and their relationships. I think that’s the reason why I flipped through this one so quickly, because I couldn’t help but need to know what was going to happen to the characters. Clary, once again, grows and matures in this book and I found she came across as such a strong young woman. I loved the emotional scenes between numerous characters, especially a specific scene between Clary and ‘real’ Jace which brought tears to my eyes.

““I wanted you anyway. I always wanted you.””

Overall, this book had so much substance and complexity that made it so compulsive! I’m definitely hyped to start City of Heavenly Fire despite it’s size and the smaller size of the text in my copy!

5 out of 5 stars


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Review: City of Fallen Angels (#4) by Cassandra Clare


Goodreads | Amazon

To love is to destroy… 
The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and – most importantly of all – she can finally call Jace her boyfriend. But her happiness has come at a price…

I found this book so different and refreshing! It really surprised me that these get shorter in length before getting longer again, but it’s actually just what I needed. Being able to speed through this one has given the series a new lease of life for me, and it’s introduced a new plot so well.

Given the size of the book, the pacing is also really good. It was such a page-turner for me and I couldn’t stop reading. The ending was so tense and enjoyable! Each little twist and turn had me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen.

“”Hearts are breakable,” Isabelle said.”

I don’t want to include spoilers, so I’ll just say we meet a few new characters in this book that really elevated the story for me. I had so much fun finding out more about Simon, and he made a great focus for the book. However, I think without the introduction of these new characters, it could have fallen a little flat for me. Instead, I found it really interesting.

I also have to mention that I’m really glad I read The Infernal Devices before these! I did regret it a little at the start of The Mortal Instruments because of the drop in writing standard, but now it’s made me so much closer to some of the minor characters, and I get so emotional whenever they’re mentioned!

“”And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.””

A few people have mentioned that this book is an ‘in-between’ story, and I do understand what they mean. It just focuses more on the characters themselves than the plot, but still with a good amount of action and plot twists for me. I actually really liked this and felt like it was needed, as I’ll go into the next 2 books feeling even closer to these beautiful characters.

Overall, definitely loved this book! It’s probably my second favourite so far, because City of Glass is hard to beat.

5 out of 5 stars


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Review: City of Ashes (#2) by Cassandra Clare


Goodreads | Amazon

Love and power are the deadliest temptations. Haunted by her past, Clary is dragged deeper into New York City’s terrifying underworld of demons and Shadowhunters – but can she control her feelings for a boy who can never be hers?

This book actually pleasantly surprised me! I liked it just a touch more than City of Bones and it felt like a perfect sequel to explore the Shadowhunting world further.

I just really feel like this book had everything, and it’s even more diverse than the first book. Firstly, we have this great mix of characters. Complicated families, complicated romance, complicated friendships. They’re all so real and relatable and I love that. Only certain authors can create such a big and diverse cast of characters and still have each and every one mean something in the story.

” “I’ve been thinking about you, too.”
“I really was sick. I swear. I almost died back there on the ship, you know.””

The thing I really felt was missing in City of Bones was here in City of Ashes. BIG action scenes with tons of Shadowhunters working together and blowing things up. These end up being some of my most memorable scenes and I just love them. The pages fly by!

Something else Clare is amazing at: making me not feel weird about the relationship two of these characters have. (I’m not going to say who because of spoilers for City of Bones, but think of the Lannisters and you’ll know who I mean). But honestly, hats off to her. I didn’t think anyone could make me read these private thoughts and not be sick all over the pages.

“”I know. Everytime you almost die, I almost die myself.””

I have one, tiny problem with this book though, that stopped it reaching 5 stars for me. I want to know more about the characters inner-workings. I feel like Clare is focusing so much on the bigger picture, that she’s missing so many gems that I think came with time and experience for her (as I didn’t feel like it was missing in The Infernal Devices). I wanted to see more of the thoughts/characteristics of side characters like Alec, that would just make me sympathise with everyone a little more!

Talking of Clare’s writing, it has definitely improved in this book! I have to say, this was also a pleasant surprise as I wasn’t expecting it to improve so rapidly, and it’s made me even more excited to see what’s to come in City of Glass.

4.5 out of 5 stars


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Review: Clockwork Princess (#3) by Cassandra Clare


Goodreads | Amazon

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?
The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.
Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

I am so overwhelmed right now, I don’t even know where to begin. I adored Clockwork Angel, and I loved Clockwork Prince, but this book has everything. It is a combination of everything I loved about both, and I’m just sitting here hoping I can put that amount of love into words.

The action is definitely back in this one, and once it picks up the pace it doesn’t disappoint. I felt like there just wasn’t enough in the second book, but Clockwork Princess definitely makes up for it. Again, the world building and exploration is just incredible. Living in England definitely makes it even more special as I really connected to where Clare was talking about, but the most impressive thing is how she captured the feeling of British countryside without having living here herself.

“Sometimes one must choose whether to be kind or honorable,” he said.”

Again, the characters are just so well written, and I found it even more so as the series continued. Clare has an incredible talent to make the reader sympathetic to even the most unlikely people, and I admire her for that so much. The way Clockwork Princess is constructed was also genius, and I loved how it flicked between scenes of different characters, keeping the tension and fast pace up.

I cannot write this review without mentioning the epilogue. My lovely friend and buddy-reader Chloe told me to be careful reading this late at night, and what did I do? Finish it at 1am. Of course this meant I was lying in bed, tears streaming down my face onto the pillow. And that is why I had to mention the epilogue – because it made me cry so much! Often, books will bring tears to my eyes, and I’ll feel emotional. But it’s rare that a book makes me sob. And oh, how Clockwork Princess made me sob.

“Sometimes one cannot be both.”

Emotionally, this book had it all. It made me laugh, cry, smile. It filled my heart with joy, only to break it into a thousand pieces. This book is a complete gem, a diamond, a shooting star. It is beauty, poetry, wonder. It might even be my favourite book of the year.

5 stars


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Review: Clockwork Prince (#2) by Cassandra Clare


Goodreads | Amazon

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will – the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do? As their dangerous search for the for the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa’s heart is increasingly torn, especially when one of their own betrays them…

It’s time to talk about book 2, and I am still very much in love with this beautiful series. I feel like this one was very much about the characters and I adored that about it. Finding out more about Jem and Will meant so much and gave me such a big connection to the wold and these characters.

In turn, I feel like I’ve got to know Tessa in a different way and even though I had a few problems with her, I love her character so much as a female protagonist. The only small niggles I had is (without giving spoilers), her inability to make decisions about people. But I accepted her age and her weaknesses, and honestly it also makes her a more genuine and flawed character in the end.

“It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone.”

Even though the majority of the book of course follows Tessa, the few scenes we had of other characters really touched my heart. For example seeing Sophie and Charlotte/Henry’s scenes were very heartwarming and made the book really well-rounded.

Of course there were some brilliant action scenes (and one particular one that brought tears to my eyes), but unfortunately I did feel like this one was just a little slow compared to the fast pace of the first novel.

“They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

The last comment I have is that I love the travelling in Clockwork Prince! It’s great to see Steampunk Victorian London, but to see more of England too is just brilliant. I’m already 100 pages into Clockwork Princess and I’m just loving this world and this series.

4.5 stars


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Review: Clockwork Angel (#1) by Cassandra Clare

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 7


Goodreads | Amazon

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Timesbestselling Mortal Instruments series.
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 can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get around to these books, but in some ways I’m glad I’m reading this book now, when fantasy is coming round to being one of my favourite genres. Also quick shoutout to one of my best friends Chloe who I’m buddy-reading this with! It’s so much fun to have conversations about our reactions to all the twists and turns in these books.

I really love Tessa as a protagonist and it’s so awesome that she’s a woman in these times and this kind of magical community! I love how Clare doesn’t shy away from conversations Tessa has with other female characters and the discussions this book brings up are so important. I can’t wait to read more of them in the next two!

“”One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa,”

I also have to talk about this brilliant plot! I felt as though I was eased into the story, which picked up around halfway and then BAM, the real action started. It was so wonderful to read such well written fight scenes and so many plot twists! Doing a buddy-read made me very aware of the moments that shook me, because I was quickly on the phone and messaging Chloe to tell her how I was reacting. It’s making this experience so special!

Clare portrayed a magical and vivid view of Victorian London, and the Steampunk vibe is perfect. It’s such a unique feel to fantasy, and really makes this world stand out from so many others.

“”and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.””

Overall I’m loving this book and it’s so nice to be back in a brand new fantasy world! I have a lot of these books to go but it’s awesome to have so many to look forward to.

5 stars


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