Beautiful Quotes #131 / Call It What You Want

Beautiful Quotes is a weekly meme hosted by me, where I post some of my favourite quotes. Any other bloggers are welcome to join me in this and just link my blog!

Hi all! It’s been a tiring week but we’re back on track now and back in routine hopefully. It’s also been a weird week for me reading wise as I was trying to slog through A Darker Shade of Magic and it just wasn’t working for me. You can read more on my post from yesterday called DNFing books!

So here’s a (small) throwback to a book I really enjoyed, Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer. I read it as an ARC and thought it’d be perfect to post about now it’s actually out in stores 🙂

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“Other people don’t have the challenges we have… but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own.” 
― Brigid Kemmerer, Call It What You Want

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! DNF’ing Books

Hi all! You might be sat there wondering what on earth this title means. Well, for those of you who don’t know, DNF stands for Did Not Finish in the book community. And I’m here to talk about it!

What is DNF’ing?

Marking a book as DNF’d means you decided to put it down part the way through without completing the book.

Why would this happen?

For example, someone could DNF a book because they decide they didn’t like it, or the writing style isn’t for them, they don’t understand what’s going on, or maybe it just isn’t the right time for them to read it right now. I’ve definitely put books down before knowing it’s not for me right now but I’ll probably pick it up again in the future!

Why is this important?

It really depends on the reader to whether you DNF a book or not. I spent a long time never, ever DNF’ing books under any circumstance, determined to see it all the way through. It’s only in recent times that I’ve decided it’s not worth my time anymore.

And I think it all comes down to that – sometimes it’s just not worth your time to carry on reading a book you just know isn’t for you. Sometimes that could be temporary, sometimes forever.

When do I, personally, DNF a book?

I’ve been thinking about this subject because I recently decided to mark A Darker Shade of Magic as DNF’d. This was for a number of reasons:

  • I didn’t understand the full extent of the book
  • I decided I didn’t much care for the characters
  • I didn’t want to pick the book up at this particular time
  • I didn’t have any intrigue to the outcome of the story

This was a really hard thing for me to do, as obviously this is a very hyped read. But personally, it definitely wasn’t the right time for me. I’ve put it aside for now with the intention of maybe trying it again at some point in the future.

Where do you stand on DNF’ing books? Do you ever do it?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #98

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

Hi all! Sometimes, isn’t it great to buy books knowing you’re not adding to your TBR? I have around 70 unread books, so it’s a relief sometimes to know I won’t be adding to it!

Today’s books are one’s I’ve already read because they’re the illustrated editions of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They’re both so beautiful and I’m excited to meet the illustrator in a few weeks at YALC.

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Have you bought any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 Books Set in Summer

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

Hi lovelies! It’s definitely summer here in England and is actually warm for a change 🙂 It’s made me think about books I relate to the summertime and books I would love to be re-reading if I wasn’t in the middle of my TBR for YALC!

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The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

I absolutely loved this book, and it was so unexpected because when I picked it up only last year I thought I wasn’t bothered by contemporary anymore. Turns out I was wrong!

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Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?

Another more recent contemporary I’ve really enjoyed, along with any of Adam’s or Becky’s books.

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Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother is moving all the way across the country and needs Amy to drive their car from California to the East Coast. But since the death of her father, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel of a car. Enter Roger, the son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute.

Originally I wanted to discuss summery covers, and this was the first one to come to mind. If I didn’t have such a long TBR this would be my first re-read for sure.

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Last summer, Gottie’s life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason left her – the boy to whom she lost her virginity (and her heart) – and he wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral! This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything. And as life turns upside down again she starts to experience strange blips in time – back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then…
During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last.

The Square Root of Summer is such an underhyped one for summer! I distinctly remember reading this in the late summer sunshine a few years ago and really enjoying it.

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Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.
Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.
Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.
In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.

This is another book I relate to a memory – as I read it on holiday and I remember the gorgeous sunny weather. It’s the perfect holiday read with more depth!

What do you like reading in summer?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

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Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.
Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?
In this gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel, black and white are right and wrong.

Well, that was a rollercoaster.

I know, I’m so late to the party with this one! I’ve seen it around and heard about it all of my life, yet somehow never picked it up myself. I thought at 19 it may be a little young and irrelevant for me, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

With Callum being a Nought (seen as a lower member of society) and Sephy being a Cross (more privileged), they defied normal expectations by falling in love. Noughts and Crosses just don’t mix. Of course we’ve seen this trope many times before (Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester, hello), but bringing race into the mix made this book turbulent, upsetting and frankly heartbreaking.

‘I used to comfort myself with the belief that it was only certain individuals and their peculiar notions that spoilt things for the rest of us.’

Even though this book is almost 20 years old, I could still see it relating to today’s society. I’m proud to say I think the UK is far past the racial divide we see in Noughts & Crosses, but I was constantly reminded that the actions taken throughout this book have very probably happened to real people. It is so sad and hard hitting to read and ponder.

Noughts & Crosses carries weight. It was the early noughties The Hate U Give, and it crushes my heart into pieces that even when The Hate U Give came out, stories like this still need to be told. But much like with THUG, I’m very glad they are being put out into the world, for us to reconsider how we treat one another.

I found this book very character driven, but I actually really enjoyed it. Callum and Sephy have very upsetting lives for completely different reasons (due to their class divide and differences), and seeing the world and racial struggles from their PsOV really related to me, even being much older than them. Due to feeling so close to them both, I felt so gripped to the story and ended up finishing it in a couple of long sittings. The short chapters and younger language ensured I read over 100 pages at a time, which is unlike me!

‘But how many individuals does it take before it’s not the individuals who are prejudiced but society itself?’

Talking of the language, it’s a tricky one to define. Yes, it’s young, but that I expected and didn’t mind. It’s also over dramatic and includes way too many exclamation marks. Like damn girl, those were overused. Personally, I do believe it was more common in writing around the time, and for that I forgave the language quickly. Only in that way does this book show it’s age, but it would have been more enjoyable with more contemporary writing.

It’s very hard to describe how else Noughts & Crosses let me down. In some ways, I found Callum and Sephy felt a little…forced? In a way, it’s very obvious their romance is a big plot point, and because of that I missed a natural connection between them both. And although the ending was incredibly gripping, it was also a little over the top for me personally.

Even with these small criticisms, this book is still very enjoyable and I can see why it has so much love and attention. It’s definitely worth a read!

★★★★ 
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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Cass can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead.
When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh. Here, graveyards, castles and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms.
But when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift”, she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil—and herself. And she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

I was drawn to this book for a few reasons: 1. It has such a pretty cover, not going to lie. 2. It’s has such an intriguing synopsis. 3. I’ve never read a VE Schwab book before, and I thought MG might be a good introduction!

And I definitely wasn’t wrong. I don’t usually read middle grade at all, but it didn’t stop me from really enjoying this one. I read it in just over a day, and I just know I would have loved it in my pre-teen years!

‘”Stories have power,” she says.’

This book was so much fun and overall a great adventure. I’ve never visited Edinburgh myself, but this book has made me want to. It seemed to capture the history and essence of the city, and it was so atmospheric. The fact Cassidy was visiting a city for the first time herself too made it even more of an adventure, which I loved.

City of Ghosts is such an entertaining novel, fast paced and full of action. I really couldn’t put it down, even though the plot was definitely predictable for an older reader. Unfortunately this brings me to my only criticisms, this book lacked depth. Not much, I just wish the characters were a little more fleshed out and the plot a bit more intricate. It’s totally what I expected from a MG book and I completely understand the reasoning behind it, but that’s my opinion as an older reader.

‘”So long as you belive them.”’

Saying this, however, I still found depth in some of the more poetic lines and passages, and the relationships Cassidy had. Her somewhat complex relationship with Jacob was so interesting to read about and I’m interested to see where it heads in the further novels. I also found her relationship with her parents well written, and I really liked the scenes with her parents. They led such interesting lives themselves!

Overall, definitely a very enjoyable read, just lacking a little depth and leaving me wanting more. I’d definitely consider re-reading this around Halloween!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #97

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

Hi everyone! I’m here again with more YALC books. Honestly, I’m going to be taking so many with me when we go, my suitcase will be so heavy! I still have a short list of books I want to buy, but I’m nearly there now 🙂 I think I’ll definitely be going on another book ban after YALC 😛

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Goodreads | Amazon

Cass can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead.
When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh. Here, graveyards, castles and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms.
But when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift”, she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil—and herself. And she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

I actually picked this up a little on a whim in Dublin last weekend, knowing it would be a good introduction to VE Schwab’s work! I’ve already read it and enjoyed it, and you can see my review tomorrow.

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I knew I wanted to pick up the second book in this series eventually, so I managed to get a semi-cheap matching edition to the first book.

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In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.
My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.
Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.
I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.
I really don’t.

I actually ordered the new pink paperback of this, but of course they sent me the wrong one. The good thing is I managed to get a refund without sending the book back, so I’m going to use it as a trial to see if I want to buy Alice’s other books!

Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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