BookTube: October Wrap Up

Hi! Today’s video is my October wrap up! It was quite late to go up on YouTube because of my posting schedule, but I still wanted to chat about these books and I love doing wrap-up videos, so I decided to go with it anyway.

What did you read in October?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Once & Future (#1) by Cory McCarthy and A.R. Capetta

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Goodreads | Waterstones

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.
No pressure. 

This book was one of the weirdest and quirkiest things I’ve ever read. And I kind of loved it. Ari is the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, and she is a woman who lives in space. Merlin is destined to be her teacher, as he has been to all of the Arthur’s who went before her. And if he goes by the past reincarnations, Ari is pretty doomed.

This was fantastically strange and I really enjoyed it, despite having very little knowledge of King Arthur’s story that inspired Ari’s. It takes place on various planets in space, with our current world being referred to as Old Earth. At the start, I was a little worried I would find it hard to get to grips with the story, as it has a lot of different strands. However, as we went on I followed it easily enough and knew what was happening.

It’s true, I’m no murderer. 

One of the best things about this book is the characters. The queer rep in this was amazing, but also discussed at points, which I really liked. For example, one of the characters was enby, and at one point Merlin got their pronouns wrong, and it was addressed straight away by another character. This not only was a great, and very real discussion, but it made the characters feel very genuine too.

Their interactions were light and funny in places, and solemn and serious in others. It actually made me chuckle a few times, which I find happens rarely with books for me. My only complaint with the characters would be that the romance feels a tad forced and rushed at times, especially in certain situations. I was still rooting for the main couple though!

But I do have an impulse control problem. And a sword.

Overall, this wasn’t perfect but I really enjoyed it. It was inventive and clever and queer and funny. But it was also a great discussion of sexuality and friendship and relationships and family. I admire Cory and Amy a lot for what they’ve created, and I’ll definitely be reading The Sword in the Stars!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Bone Witch (#1) by Rin Chupeco

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Goodreads

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice. 

This book follows Tea, a bone witch/necromancer, who has also brought back her brother from the dead. After finding this out, Tea travels to another land, with a mentor, to be taken to a school to become an asha. From what I understood, Asha are kind of like Geisha, in that they learn to perform for others, dance and sing, and are recognised by their outfits, which in this case is hua.

They also have heartglasses, which hang around their necks, and change colour with the emotion of the wearer. Silver heartglasses means you can draw runes and fight, as an asha (for women) or a soldier (for men). Heartglasses are also exchanged with the person you fall in love with, which can be dangerous as they are essentially a part of you.

Then perhaps we should carve a world one day where the strength lies in who you are

There was a lot I liked about this book, but I did feel mixed about it. For a start, I felt like I was being thrown into this story almost as if it was a sequel. The world feels very fantastical and for a good chunk of the book, I just felt a bit..lost. If you enjoy high fantasy, I think you’ll get on with this just fine and enjoy it. But for me, who has only recently gotten into fantasy, I still find it hard to wrap my head around some things and it felt like I was being plunged in at the deep end sometimes! I also couldn’t quite grasp who was telling the in-between chapters, even though I enjoyed them I have since learned it is also Tea, telling the same story but in the present, whereas the main narrative is Tea in the future, telling the tale.

All that aside, there are some really cool parts of this story. Once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. The pacing isn’t exactly fast, but I didn’t want to put it down in the second half either. The writing is just beautiful, magical and weirdly comforting, and I really enjoyed reading about the world.

I also want to say I love how Rin discusses gender. Even in a regimented world in which there are two genders and they both have their roles, gender issues are discussed. The fact that Asha face criticism as females is not shied away from. The characters as a whole were great, and I really loved Tea’s mentor and some of the older Asha’s. Her relationship with her brother and friendship with Likh were also lovely to read about.

rather than in what they expect you to be.

Overall, I had mixed feelings about this but overall quite enjoyed reading it. This world has so much potential and I will definitely be carrying on with the series, now I have more understanding about how the world works I think I’ll really enjoy it!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Non-Binary November Readathon

Hi everyone! I’m here today with a really exciting announcement. As you probably know, I run a YouTube channel with Blue and Alex and we’ve decided to run a month long readathon together!

Key information

  • The readathon is called the Non-Binary November readathon, will run from 1st-30th November and aims to read and promote books by non-binary authors and with non-binary rep!
  • You can cover more than one prompt with each book if you need to – for example, The Bone Witch covers non-binary author, non-binary side character, non-binary author of colour, N or B in the title and a colour of the non-binary flag (purple!)
  • Our group book is The Bone Witch which we all be reading and encourage you to join us for!
  • You do not need to read non-binary books for all of the prompts if non-binary is not specified, however it would be great to make sure they are LGBTQIA+!
  • The hashtag we are using for this readathon is #NBNOV, which can be used on Twitter to join in and discuss the readathon
  • We have a giveaway! All you have to do is subscribe to our channel and tweet using the hashtag #NBNOV, and you will be entered to win either The Bone Witch or a non-binary book of your choice. The giveaway ends at midnight on November 1st and the winner be will announced the following day and contacted via Twitter.
  • Prompts are below the video, which also provides this information!

Prompts

  • Read a book with a non-binary main character
  • Read a book by a non-binary author
  • Read a book with the letter N or letter B in the title
  • Read a book with a cover that has one or more of the non-binary flag colours (purple, yellow, white or black)
  • Read a book with a non-binary side character
  • Read a non-binary book by an author of colour
  • Read a book that represents another gender identity
  • Read a book recommended by a non-binary reviewer (like Blue!)
  • Free space!

Watch this space for another video with prompt ideas, books recommended by Blue, and all of our TBRs! I will also post a blog post with my TBR closer to when the readathon starts.

Want to join us? Just post on your platform with your TBR an read with us in November!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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September Wrap-Up and October TBR

Happy Monday! And Happy Anniversary to this blog! I’ve been blogging for 5 years today – I can’t believe it. Anyway, that aside, onto the Wrap Up!

I didn’t read as many books in September as I did in August – but then again I read a lot of verse and shorter books in August. I also still managed to read the 3 books I had set for the month, so I’m still fairly happy with what I read!

Books I Read in September

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.
On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.
Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.
They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate..

My least favourite book of the month was Knife Edge and my favourite was The Deathless Girls!

Books I Want to Read in October

Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
The Evolution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
The Retribution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

I’m currently reading Serpent & Dove and I’m loving it! I only want to commit to reading my series for the month (Mara Dyer) and then go for whatever else I fancy.

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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Stacking the Shelves #25

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! Welcome to my second recent installment of stacking the shelves, featuring books I’ve bought recently. Last week I posted about books I had been gifted/received, which you can see here!

Books I Bought in September

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Goodreads

I couldn’t resist the beautiful Waterstones edition of The Lost Book of the White, to match my other Cassie books!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

I also picked up the normal hardcover, which luckily has a reverse dust jacket to match the design on The Red Scrolls of Magic.

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Goodreads

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
And love makes fools of us all.

I ordered a copy of Serpent & Dove while I could still get hold of one! I knew I wanted to read the series so ordered this copy while there was still hardbacks available.

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Goodreads

I also pre-ordered myself a copy of Blood & Honey with some money I had on a gift card. I’m super excited to read this series and actually started Serpent & Dove last night. I’m about 100 pages in and loving it so far!

What have you bought recently?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! August Releases I’m Excited For

Hi all! I know we’re a week into the month already but I thought today I’d talk a little about August releases I’m excited for! There are just too many I have on my shelf or I want to read to avoid shouting about them.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake!
But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever…

My copy of Nick and Charlie arrived yesterday and I’m so excited to read it. It looks so pretty alongside Alice’s other books!

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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.

I haven’t picked up my copy of Boy Queen yet, but I’m really looking forward to it because it sounds amazing.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.
Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball . are forfeit.
But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world.

I’ve heard so many good things about Cinderella is Dead and I really want to pick up a copy myself!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.
Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.
With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

I have an ecopy of this book through NetGalley and I’m really desperate to read it – in fact it’s next on my list after Loveless!

Which books are you excited for this month?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Kingdom of Ash (#7) by Sarah J Maas

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to assassin to queen reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world…
She has risked everything to save her people – but at a tremendous cost. Locked in an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will to endure the months of torture inflicted upon her. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unravelling with each passing day…
With Aelin imprisoned, Aedion and Lysandra are the last line of defence keeping Terrasen from utter destruction. But even the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save the kingdom.
Scattered throughout the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian must forge their own paths to meet their destinies. And across the sea Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen – before she is lost to him. Some bonds will deepen and others be severed forever, but as the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight if they are to find salvation – and a better world.

Wow. Leaving this series behind after 8 books following this glorious cast of characters is going to be hard and leave a hole in my heart for a while. I can’t imagine not reading about them anymore!

This book has daunted me since it came out. In fact, I think it trumps Queen of Air and Darkness in being the longest book I’ve ever read. But it’s saying something that I really didn’t feel the length of this book at all, I never got bored and I left the book feeling like everything I needed answering had been answered. The pacing was just perfect for me. Reading this series with Alex has really helped me keep on top of reading them, but even when I fell behind in our schedule towards the end after a busy few days, I had no problem reading around 200 pages in a day to catch up with the schedule!

‘There are no gods left to watch, I’m afraid. And there are no gods left to help you now, Aelin Galathynius.’

I love the cast of characters we have followed over this series, and it was so satisfying to see them all reach different ends to their stories. Even though in some of the books I was more fixated on some characters than others, by the time we got to Kingdom of Ash, I just wanted to know about all of them. I never got bored or wanted to skip certain characters chapters, I wanted to know it all. I fell in love with all of them for their own reasons, and I truly felt like I was part of Aelin’s court myself and I never wanted to leave.

Despite this book being so long, I could definitely read more about these lovely characters if it was available to me, and I would totally lap up a novella like A Court of Frost and Starlight but for these characters. The only slight complaint I have that tainted the story for me was that everything felt a little too perfect. I just wish one or more of the characters could have been happy and badass on their own, and didn’t need to get married or have children in their future to be happy. Not that I didn’t ship everyone of course, it just made me almost roll my eyes sometimes!

Aelin smiled, and Goldryn burned brighter. ‘I am a god.’

I always said A Court of Thorns and Roses was my Sarah J Maas series, but you know, this one is up there. I can’t believe how much I adored this series and these characters and this world, and the battle scenes were immense. Thank you for another wonderful fantasy series, Sarah J Maas. Now I can’t wait for the next one!

★★★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #22

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! This week I received a few books for bookstagram tours I am taking part in with Kaleidoscopic Bookstagram Tours, and I thought I’d share them with you.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In the city of Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, weathering his brother’s blows, resenting his older sister’s absence. And discovering he likes boys.
This boy and his family experience the tumult of living in the margins, the heartbreak of ghosts, and the braveries of the human heart. The stories of others living and thriving and dying across Houston’s myriad neighborhoods are woven throughout to reveal a young woman’s affair detonating across an apartment complex, a rag-tag baseball team, a group of young hustlers, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, and a reluctant chupacabra.

The first book is Lot by Bryan Washington! This sounds really interesting and hard hitting and I can’t wait to read it.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Faith Valentine has it all – fame, money and extraordinary beauty. But what she wants more than anything is a quiet life away from the cameras. Except nobody ever asks Faith what she wants, and her family’s expectations are crushing her.
The world thinks she’s perfect, but is there is more to perfection than meets the eye?

I’ve never read any Holly Smale books, but this one sounds like it will be hard to put down.

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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