Stacking the Shelves #9

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! This post is a little late as it’s been a few weeks since Chain of Gold was released, but I’m excited to tell you guys about the copies I got.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.
James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.
 

I had the edition below preordered, but then I started seeing the normal hardcovers. I was worried they were going to print them shiny like the hardcovers of Ghosts of the Shadow Market, but these are matte and gorgeous! And they have ‘collectors first edition’ on them. You can bet I picked one up!

The Last Hours: Chain of Gold Exclusive Edition (Hardback)

Goodreads | Waterstones

I also had my gorgeous Waterstones edition on pre-order. It’s such a lovely colour, I love the rich purple.

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 Series to Help You Escape

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I did a top 5 list, but this one has been springing to mind over the past week or so.

To put it bluntly, the world sucks right now. Things are hard, and I’m sure a lot of us are using TV, films, games and books to escape from the madness. Here are 5 recommendations from me that I found completely absorbing and couldn’t put down!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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.

Cassandra Clare was the first author that came to mind with this post. It took me 3 months to read all of her books and I loved being absorbed in the world of Shadowhunters and I’m hoping to read Chain of Gold while we’re in isolation.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after — the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, she does the unthinkable — she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge. 

I read Girls of Paper and Fire last year and I loved it so much.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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 4 book series is so amazing and absorbing! There’s also a fifth book Call Down the Hawk which I’d love to get to soon.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Feyre is a huntress.
She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…
Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.
Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.

If you fancy a captivating fantasy, these books are amazing. I’m so tempted to start the Throne of Glass while we’re in isolation!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone.
A convict with a thirst for revenge. 
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past. 
A spy known as the Wraith. 

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.
Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.

The Six of Crows series is one of my favourites, and Leigh Bardugo is such a talented writer. I might storm through the Grisha trilogy finally soon!

Which books do you want to read while we’re in isolation?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Goodreads | Waterstones

For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split.
Nobody ever knew why. Until now.
They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently.
The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed.
Making music is never just about the music. And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin.

This book was a 2019 staple for so many people, so even though it isn’t something I’d usually read, I decided to pick it up. And now, I understand what everybody loves so much. There is something capturing about this book. Enticing, just like Daisy Jones herself. There is something that throws you until you don’t know how to feel anymore. It’s enigmatic.

I often find it difficult to read in formats I’m not interested in, like interviews and verse. So when I heard Daisy Jones is written in an interview format, I was very hesitant to pick it up. I just find with interviews, some of the character development can be missed. But this one was different.

I used to think soul mates were two of the same. I used to think I was supposed to look for somebody that was like me. I don’t believe in soul mates anymore and I’m not looking for anything.

Unfortunately, in some ways, I was right. I did enjoy the interview format, as it worked well for the subject and made it a super quick and easy read. But I just….didn’t feel a connection to the characters. I didn’t even like Daisy and Billy.

I think this was where the majority of my disappointment about this book fell. Even though I often felt drawn to them both and sympathetic for them, I couldn’t bring myself to really like them as much as I wanted to. And this was just…quite a big drawback and happened with more characters than I wanted it to. I loved a lot about Daisy, and all the members of The Six. But then something would happen that would put me off them completely.

But if I did believe in them, I’d believe your soul mate was somebody who had all the things you didn’t, that needed all the things you had. Not somebody who’s suffering from the same stuff you are.

Other than the characters, this book was fascinating, and I found it hard to put down. I enjoyed it a lot, but characters mean a lot to me. I can definitely see the appeal of this book, and why it blew up so much in 2019. It’s enticing and somehow alive. I’ll definitely recommend it to people. But there were a few things about it that unfortunately made it not quite as much for me as I wanted it to be.

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: P.S. I Still Love You (#2) by Jenny Han

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

I couldn’t help but enjoy this book. I was a little unsure about the first book and didn’t want to carry on with the series initially, but I adored the first movie adaptation when it was released and decided to continue. I’m really glad I did, because I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one when I read it years ago!

My favourite part of this story remains and probably always will be the family dynamic. We don’t see enough families in YA, and this is one of the only YA series I can genuinely say focuses around the sisters. The chaotic connection between them reminds me of a modern Little Women – although the two cannot be compared.

There’s a Korean word my grandma taught me. It’s called jung. It’s the connection between two people that can’t be severed, even when love turns to hate.

One of the main issues I had with the first book was the love interest, and to a degree that continues in P.S. I Still Love You. Although I rooted more for Peter in this book, I still questioned some of his actions towards the relationship and struggled to sympathise with him at times.

I also didn’t particularly enjoy the love triangle, or at least found it a little unnecessary and would have rather seen Lara-Jean have a meaningful friendship. But on the other hand, this is kind of the point. No relationship is without it’s rocky parts, and Lara-Jean’s confusion and jealousy from both of them is one of their rocky parts.

You still have those old feelings for them; you can’t ever completely shake them loose of you; you will always have tenderness in your heart for them.

Some of the side characters were brilliant (I’m looking at you, Stormy) and I really enjoyed reading some of the scenes. These books might not be perfect, but I’m still finding them quite engaging, easy to read and will definitely be reading the last book in the series and am looking forward to seeing it on the big screen.

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. No one knows what happened to either girl, and Ellery’s family is still haunted by their loss.
Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother’s remarriage vaulted her and Malcolm into Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but their new status grows shaky when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. No one has forgotten Malcolm’s brother-and nobody trusts him when he suddenly returns to town.
Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure. Then another girl disappears, and Ellery and Malcolm were the last people to see her alive. As they race to unravel what happened, they realize every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe.
And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.

After reading One of Us Is Next with Alex, we decided to carry on and read Two Can Keep a Secret together! And I’m so glad we did, because it became both of our favourite McManus books so far.

There was something about this book that stood out from her others. For a start, it felt startlingly creepier to me – maybe enhanced by the setting of a somewhat decrepit theme park. The scenes, especially those in theme park itself, felt almost tangible and too close for comfort. It was delightfully creepy and a perfect read for a cold, dark winters night.

“Welcome to life in a small town.”

Problems I had with McManus’ other books were almost banished with this one. In her other books, I’ve struggled with the amount of Points Of View and it tainted the story for me as I found it hard to follow everything going on. In this book, however, we only focus on two POV and I found it much easier to follow. The only criticism in plot is the major rush that seems to come towards the end of her books after such a big build up, which can be slightly overwhelming.

However, another favourite part of this one for me was the characters, especially Ellery. They were so good to read about and I really liked having the POV of both somebody involved in the past crimes of the small town and somebody who had relatives in the town but had only recently moved to it.

“You’re only as good as the best thing your family’s done. Or the worst.”

This was definitely my favourite of Karen M McManus’ books so far and I’d love to read more from her in the future.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #5

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! Although I have bought books recently, I bought some to replace editions I already had, so luckily didn’t add to my TBR! So what did I replace?

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Goodreads

Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

For Bella Swan, there is only one thing more important than life itself – Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is more dangerous than Bella could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of an evil vampire. Now they realise their troubles may just be beginning.

I’ve had a few of the white editions of these books for a while, and I decided to finally complete the collection by adding these two! They look so pretty together.

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Heartstopper Volume 3 by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In this volume we’ll see the Heartstopper gang go on a school trip to Paris! Not only are Nick and Charlie navigating a new city, but also telling more people about their relationship AND learning more about the challenges each other are facing in private…
Meanwhile Tao and Elle will face their feelings for each other, Tara and Darcy share more about their relationship origin story, and the teachers supervising the trip seem… rather close…?

Yay! Heartstopper 3 is out in physical form! My lovely friend Chloe introduced me to the Heartstopper Webcomic around a year ago now and I ended up reading it in one sitting and absolutely adoring it. I’ve been keeping up to date with the online comic every time it’s updated and have introduced a few of my friends to the graphic novels too!

I was lucky enough to go to Alice’s signing on 6th February, which also happened to be the release date of the third graphic novel. I’ve been collecting the physical graphic novels as they are released, as I adore them so much it’s simply a joy to reread them.

The differences in the third book are apparent – this one explores quite difficult topics such as eating disorders. I really appreciated the delicate insightful way Oseman approaches these topics. After some heavy topics in Solitaire, which is the novel Charlie first appears in, Heartstopper can come across as very different in tone.

Another difference in this novel is that it’s set in Paris! I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris a few times – once on a college trip – and I adore the city. It was so fun to read about Nick, Charlie and their friends in such a beautiful city.

These books are some of the few I see reading again and again. They comfort me so much and have such a lovely, soft aura about them.

You can also keep up to date on Tumblr or Tapas!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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