Stacking the Shelves #19

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! Another week has gone by and of course I bought another book. I’m so excited to share this beauty with you!

I had an email from Harper Voyager about one of their new books and I just couldn’t resist the beauty – I admit this one was mostly a cover/edition buy. I was at work at the time and my manager told me we had two copies in, and I knew I wasn’t leaving without having one of them in my hand!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In the dark days following a failed French Revolution, in the violent jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, young cat-burglar Eponine (Nina) Thenardier goes head to head with merciless royalty, and the lords of the city’s criminal underworld to save the life of her adopted sister Cosette (Ettie).
Her vow will take her from the city’s dark underbelly, through a dawning revolution, to the very heart of the glittering court of Louis XVII, where she must make an impossible choice between guild, blood, betrayal and war.

Isn’t this cover so pretty? I’m so excited to read it too, all I’ve heard is good things and it sounds interesting too.


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Review: The Crow Rider (#1) by Kalyn Josephson

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Princess Thia, her allies, and her crow, Res, are planning a rebellion to defeat Queen Razel and Illucia once and for all. Thia must convince the neighboring kingdoms to come to her aid, and Res’s show of strength is the only thing that can help her.
But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.
As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’s magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I read the first book in this duology last year before it’s release, and I knew since then I wanted to pick up the next one. I adored the first book and found it such a lovely fantasy with a twist. The Crow Rider was no different, and I’m so glad I had a chance to read it!

It was so lovely to delve back into this beautiful world. Josephson does a brilliant job of describing the world and cities, honestly some of the passages describing the markets and cities took my breath away. I was immediately enveloped once again into this world of castles and beauty.

The writing was beautiful and I kept wanting to go back for more. Whenever I picked up this book I didn’t want to stop, there was a weird kind of comfort I remember from reading The Storm Crow that only comes with knowing how much you are going to enjoy a book. Another thing that came back was the openness when Josephson discusses grief and depression. I had forgotten how this was discussed and it impressed me over again, especially when I read a specific passage. Not enough fantasy talks about mental health and I admire how this one does.

The magic and crows were amazing as ever. I loved having Res as a full character, even though he is actually a crow. The way Thia communicates with him fascinated me, and every time anybody insulted him by calling him chicken or pigeon it made me chuckle.

The only complaint I had is I didn’t feel as much connection to the characters as I wanted to, and I felt confused by them. I didn’t know who was who, which made the war councils and politics difficult too and I mainly just skim read the political scenes. However, I think a lot of this was from the fact I read the first book almost a year ago, and I wouldn’t have felt so confused if I had only just read the first book.

Overall, this was a brilliant, emotional and utterly beautiful conclusion to this duology. I loved it and would definitely recommend the series!

4 out of 5 stars


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Stacking the Shelves #17

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 treated myself to something a little different – a manga book. I never really buy myself manga, and the only one’s I actually own are the Your Name mangas. If you know me you’ll know how much I adore Makoto Shinkai’s films, and I also own the light novels. I had the first two already but not the third, so I finally picked it up!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

What did you buy this week? 


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May Wrap Up

Hi all! I’m here today with my May Wrap Up. I only read 6 books in May unfortunately, mainly due to finding it hard to read alongside Throne of Glass. I also read The Empress of Salt and Fortune in the last day of April, which is why it missed the list and ended up on this one!

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Review | Goodreads

A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.
Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.
At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.


Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Everyone at Fairvale Academy knows Bryson Keller, the super-hot soccer captain who doesn’t believe in high-school relationships. They also know about the dare Bryson accepted – each week he has to date the first person who asks him out.
A single school week is all anyone gets. There have been no exceptions to this. None.
Until me, that is.
Because brilliant Bryson Keller forgot one thing. He never said it could only be girls . . .


Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness. 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?


Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. She’s at last returned to rescue her once glorious kingdom to confront the shadows of her past, but before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight. She will fight for her cousin. She will fight for her friend. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal King and awaiting their lost Queen’s triumphant return. 


Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

 The New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this action-packed, heart-wrenching and fantastically addictive sequel to Sarah J. Maas’s epic debut Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her. Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of this New York Times bestselling sequel, in what is undeniably THE hottest new fantasy series.

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

A sublimely twisty LGBTQ+ thriller that subverts expectations at every turn, Hideous Beauty probes the hidden secrets that haunt a seemingly perfect relationship in the wake of a terrible tragedy. Compulsively readable and engaging, Hussey’s YA spine-tingler is a future classic of the genre. Dylan is forced to come out after his secret relationship with Ellis is exposed on social media, but to his surprise, everyone is really supportive – or appears to be. But Dylan’s and El’s happiness is short-lived, and following a tragic accident, Dylan begins to realize how little he knows about the boy he loves…or those closest to him.


Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back…
The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

My least favourite book of the month was The Empress of Salt and Fortune (including it as it made the list), and my favourite was Crown of Midnight! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the Throne of Glass books live up to that one.

I have a few more books than this on my June TBR, so I’m hoping I can push myself to read a little more!

What did you read in May?


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Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas


Goodreads | Waterstones

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.
Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…

If Throne of Glass was good, Crown of Midnight was something different. Something new. Something quite magical. It had everything that Throne of Glass was missing. I wonder how much of this was due to the fact me and Alex decided to read The Assassin’s Blade before jumping into the second book, and I definitely felt a difference going into the book with the knowledge I had gained from reading the short story prequel collection.

I definitely had a new found respect for Celena having learned everything she went through before the events that occurred in Throne of Glass. I felt closer to her and more understanding of the decisions she makes throughout the book, and sympathetic towards her.

“You’ll figure it out. And when you do…” She shook her head, knowing she shouldn’t say it, but doing it anyway. 

Again, the castle and city were both beautiful, and some of the scenes in the library made me so happy, I love how integral the library is to the story. I cannot describe how Sarah J Maas approaches places, but I adore the way she does. I felt towards these places the way Feyre feels towards these places, they felt close to my heart, her bedroom, the castle, the library, the city, the grounds. I felt intertwined with it all.

The characters were brilliant and the romance surprised me, especially how much I adored reading about it so soon after reading The Assassin’s Blade. The brief part of this book that felt happy, felt like a pause and reset before we continued with the wild ride. And my, what a rollercoaster it was. I knew this series would be a complete series of ups and downs, and it really starts here. I never want to put it down, and the last few days I really wanted to pick it back up in the morning.

“When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn’t have made any difference to me. It’s never made any difference to me when it came to you. I’d still pick you. I’ll always pick you.”

Overall, this book was such a ride and I loved it, definitely my favourite Throne of Glass book so far and it’s made me supremely excited for the rest of the series!

4.5 out of 5 stars


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8 YA Movie Adaptations You Should Watch

Hi all! Maybe you’re bored and still in lockdown? Or maybe you just want a nice night in with a good YA adaptation. Either way, here’s some of my favourites you should check out!

1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All The Boys I've Loved Before Sequel Is In The Works – 4 Your ...

Honestly, these movies have become a massive comfort for me. I think they’re really great adaptations and the cinematography is beautiful.

2. The Sun is Also a Star

Yara Shahidi in The Sun Is Also a Star on We Heart It

I managed to catch this at the cinema on the last day it was showing in my local cinema last year, and I’m so glad I did, it was just lovely. It’s also new to Netflix which means you should definitely give it a go!

3. Dumplin’

11 Differences Between The "Dumplin'" Book And The Movie

I’ve been watching a movie every Saturday with Faye and Alex and the last one we watched was Dumplin’! I loved it yet again.

4. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List

Trailer victoria justice naomi and elys no kiss list GIF - Find on ...

I used to watch this movie a lot with a friend and we adored it. I rewatched it recently for the nostalgia!

5. Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything – readinganyone

Yet another beautiful Nicola Yoon adaptation, with a beautiful soudntrack and cinematography.

6. Love, Simon

love, simon — lovesimon-gifs: simon and bram bonding over... (With ...

I loved Love, Simon! It was great to see on the big screen.

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

the perks of being a wallflower gif | WiffleGif

It’s been a while since I watched The Perks and I really should watch it again or re-read the book!

8. Paper Towns

Love 'Paper Towns'? You'll Be Addicted to Our Gif Version of the ...

And I just had to include a John Green movie in here but I thought I’d be a little different and go with Paper Towns, which I really loved.

Which YA movie adaptations do you love?


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Review: Throne of Glass (#1) by Sarah J Maas


Goodreads | Waterstones

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? 

It’s been a while since I read A Court of Thorns and Roses and absolutely adored it! I’ve been looking forward to reading Throne of Glass ever since but also daunted by the size of the, and the worry I wouldn’t enjoy them quite as much as the other series. I’ve heard so many people say either one Sarah J Maas series or the other is your series, but I think they just offer different things.

I realised quite early on in this book how different it is to A Court of Thorns and Roses. It just feels different in so many ways, and one of those was definitely the writing. I could tell this was Maas’ debut in the writing style, and it didn’t quite live up to the level of writing I became used to in the ACOTAR series. However, I actually found it made the book easier to get used to and become involved in.

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. 

It was lovely to feel an early easiness with this book, and I found it helped me with not feeling daunted for the rest of this long series. I kind of needed the writing to be slightly less complex for me to easily slide into this series and get used to the world.

Although I felt a slight lack of richness to the description of the surroundings and world, I could still picture the castle and tests well and really enjoyed reading about them. I also think there is a slight lack of development in the characters, but I think the foundations have been laid for me to get to know them better in future books. I already have a soft spot for Celena which is the main thing and I know I’m going to enjoy reading about her as a protagonist!

“You could do anything, if only you dared.”

Overall, this was a really positive start to a series I’ve been daunted by for a while. I’m so excited to carry on and see what Sarah J Maas has to throw at me throughout Throne of Glass! Shoutout to Alex for buddy reading these with me, I’m loving reading them together.

4 out of 5 stars


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OWLs Wrap-Up 2020

Hi all! I can’t believe we’re already at the end of the OWLs, and I’m very happy to say I managed to complete my OWLs to become a Magizoologist and a bonus course for Animagus training! This means I read 6 books for the OWLs this year.

If you’re confused or want to know more about how the OWLs works, I’d refer to my TBR post here which explains about the magical readathon.

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As I explained above, I decided to go for the Magizoologist exams, which meant I had to read four books under the prompts listed below.

Care of Magical Creatures – Hippogriffs: creature with a beak on the cover

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.
Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is
 after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.
Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .

I did enjoy this book, but not as much as I’d hoped after adoring The Raven Cycle. You can see my review here!

Charms – Lumos Maxima: white cover

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Frank Li is a high school senior living in Southern California. Frank’s parents emigrated from Korea, and have pretty much one big rule for Frank – he must only date Korean girls.
But he’s got strong feelings for a girl in his class, Brit – and she’s not Korean. His friend Joy Song is in the same boat and knows her parents will never accept her Chinese American boyfriend, so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom.
Frank thinks fake-dating is the perfect plan, but it leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love – or himself – at all.

I was a little hesitant going into this one, but I ended up really enjoying it! My review is here.

Herbology – Mimbulus Mimbletonia: title starts with an (i)

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Goodreads | Waterstones

For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

I read this one so quickly as it was so addictive to read and has made me very excited for Radio Silence! My review can be found here.

Potions – Shrinking Solution: book under 150 pages

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A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy.

I read this on the last day of OWLs and enjoyed it! It’s not something I’d usually read, but I sped through it as it was only 120 pages.

BONUS course: Animagus Training

Arithmancy – Read a book outside of your favourite genre

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George. Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She’s on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it.
So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim – it is the heart of the community.

I read this one as it is an adult contemporary and I don’t usually branch out to adult, but this ended up being a fast favourite. I adored it, and you can find my review here.

Transfiguration – Animagus lecture: book/series that includes shapeshifting

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Goodreads | Waterstones

No one in modern-day Seoul believes in the old fables anymore, which makes it the perfect place to for Gu Miyoung and her mother to hide in plain sight. Mihoung is a Gumiho, a nine-tailed fox, who must eat the souls of men to survive. She feeds every full moon–eating the souls of men who have committed crimes, but have evaded justice. Her life is upended when she kills a dokkaebi, a murderous goblin, in the forest just to save the life of a stupid boy. But after Miyoung saves Jihoon’s life, the two develop a tenuous friendship that blooms into romance forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

This was a mixed one for me, but I did end up liking a lot about it. You can read my review here.

Potions – already covered above!


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Top 5 Fictional Places I Want to Visit

Hi everyone! While in isolation, I’m doing a lot of daydreaming. Daydreaming about seeing my friends, family and boyfriend again. Daydreaming about driving again, singing along to the radio with the window rolled down. Daydreaming about the beach, the feeling of sand between my toes.

So why not add to that daydreaming, and talk about fictional places I’d love to visit too?

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Life isn’t much fun at number four Privet Drive, at least not for Harry Potter, living under the stairs in a cupboard full of spiders, but all of that is about to change. On the eve of Harry’s eleventh birthday the letters start arriving; letters written in emerald green ink on yellowing parchment with an unmistakable letter H on purple wax seals. Because Harry Potter is no ordinary boy, he is the boy who lived, the wizard whose name everyone in the magical world knows and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin and life for Harry Potter will never be the same again.

Obviously this one has to be top of the list. I’d love to be able to wander the hallways of Hogwarts, and I feel lucky enough to be able to do the Studio Tour occasionally.

The Mortal Instruments 3: City of Glass - The Mortal Instruments (Paperback)

Goodreads | Waterstones

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

I remember reading this series and finding the City of Glass sounded so beautiful, I’d love to see it in real life.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey `there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon…

One of my bucket list activities is definitely to visit Hobbiton in New Zealand. It looks so beautiful!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.
Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Honestly, all of these books sound beautiful, but especially A Court of Frost and Starlight. I remember reading this book and thinking how beautiful the city sounded!


Goodreads | Waterstones

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a strange book hidden in the library stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues – a bee, a key and a sword – that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to a subterranean library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.
What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians – it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose – in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

I just couldn’t write this post without including something written by Erin Morgenstern. Her worlds sound so rich and luscious. I’m sure it would be terrifying but beautiful to visit the world of The Starless Sea.

A worthy mention is also Caraval, which I’m sure would be terrifying too!

Which fictional places would you love to visit?


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