Review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Tashikazu Kawaguchi

Goodreads | Waterstones

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.
In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.
But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

I’ve wanted to read Before the Coffee Gets Cold for a very long time, and I recently finally picked it up (on audio, of course…). I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to feel about this book, but it is a beautiful story of wanting to spend every last second with a person, even if you know going back in time isn’t going to change the present, or future.

This book (and I believe, the one that comes afterwards) reads almost like short story collections, following a set of characters as they visit a cafe where they can go back in time, with some (many) restrictions. I loved how this book played with an idea I think about a lot – that people all around us have lives just as complex as our own. We see a number of different characters with completely opposing narratives, but they all face different struggles, and have different loves.

She wanted to do things without having to worry what others thought.

I read this one on audio and I really liked the narration. The book itself isn’t very long and each chapter of the story was told as one continuous audio chapter of around an hour each – perfect for a long run or car journey. I liked the opportunity to have these snippets of somebody’s life in one go, and be able to fully absorb myself into their story.

These characters are ever so slightly intertwined, but are merely mentioned in one another’s perspectives – leaving the full attention on them and their story. The focus on each character left me so invested in each story that I found myself feeling quite emotional as I discovered certain aspects of their life, or left them at the end of the chapter.

She simply lived for her freedom.

I can see why this book might not be for everybody, as it does have a balance of magical realism I haven’t seen before, and could sometimes become confusing with many different characters. I do also wish we could have re-visited the characters at the end of the book, as some of the endings felt quite abrupt. But overall, I really loved these stories and I will definitely be reading the second book.

★★★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Noah’s Gold by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Goodreads | Waterstones

Being the smallest doesn’t stop you having the biggest ideas.
Eleven-year old Noah sneaks along on his big sister’s geography field trip. Everything goes wrong! Six kids are marooned on an uninhabited island. Their teacher has vanished. They’re hungry. Their phones don’t work and Noah has broken the internet. There’s no way of contacting home . . . Disaster!
Until Noah discovers a treasure map and the gang goes in search of gold.

This book was so much fun. I can’t even tell you how many times this book made me chuckle and fully laugh out loud, which I always find rare with books.

This one follows Noah, who has snuck in the back of the minibus on his sister’s geography field trip. The unlikely gang end up on a deserted island, and now they have to band together to try and survive on the island and maybe also fix the internet too (I still don’t quite understand what that bit was all about!).

I loved this unlikely group, who were so much fun to read about and had some great interactions. Noah made such a funny narrator with a lot of honesty that I think so many kids will relate to. The illustrations were so good and complemented the story so well too. This one is definitely an adventure story at it’s heart, and I really enjoyed blasting through it and seeing where it was going to go.

The friendship group were so heartwarming to read about and there was also some interesting discussions of living without technology too. It’s great to see these kinds of stories being so popular with children.

Although there was a lot of fun plot, I didn’t quite understand where the ‘internet’ aspect fit, which did let it down a little bit for me. I just feel like this book was strong without this extra seemingly quite random aspect to the story that also didn’t feel fully fleshed out.

Overall, this one was so much fun and I’ll definitely be recommending it to a lot of kids at work!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

Goodreads | Waterstones

There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…

Wow. This was everything I love about middle grade (and children’s books in general) rolled into a gorgeous little parcel and tied with a bow. Throughout reading this one, I kept thinking back to what I loved as a child and I just know I would have adored this one if I picked it up.

We follow April, an animal loving girl who travels to a remote island with her father so he can look after the weather station there. While living alone with her father on this island, she makes friends with Bear, a polar bear who isn’t meant to be on the island.

There were so many aspects of this book I adored. I loved the relationship April had with Bear, it was so sweet and moving but also made April reflect on other aspects of her life, such as climate change and her relationship with her father.

Although this one is emotional and does discuss grief, it never felt too heavy or overwhelming and felt like the perfect level for children to understand and relate to. The discussions of climate change also felt quite appropriate for children, while also being passionate and important.

The adventure aspects of the story made it so easy to escape into, and I loved being able to pick it up and fly through some pages. I honestly think this is perfect for adults and children, and I never felt like I was reading a story that wasn’t applicable to me, despite it being written for a much younger audience.

I can’t wait to read more from this author and dive into her newest release The Lost Whale. I also would like to congratulate Hannah on winning the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2022, which is so well deserved!

★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

April TBR

Hi all! It’s a new month, so it’s time for a new TBR! I’ll actually be doing my TBR in two separate halves this month, because I’m doing a TBR for my mini golf game on YouTube (see the video below) and I’ll also be taking part in the magical readathon which I’ll write another post about soon.

So the books mini golf picked for me to read this month are….

Goodreads | Waterstones

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the ‘Cemetery of Forgotten Books’, a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, one cold morning in 1945, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Julián Carax.
Captivated by the novel from its very first page, Daniel reads the book in one sitting. But he is not the only one interested in Carax. As he grows up in a Barcelona still suffering the aftershocks of a violent civil war, Daniel is haunted by the story of the author, a man who seems to have disappeared without trace after a duel in Père Lachaise cemetery.
Then one night, in the old streets of the city centre, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from ‘The Shadow of the wind’, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax’s works in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julián Carax, and to save those he left behind.

I’ve wanted to read this for a while and the prompt second hand allowed me to pick it up!

Goodreads | Waterstones

I really need to continue with this series so I’m really glad I had the excuse to pick it up with the prompt a book you’ve had for over a year.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Skandar Smith has always yearned to leave the Mainland and escape to the secretive Island, where wild unicorns roam free. He’s spent years studying for his Hatchery exam, the annual test that selects a handful of Mainlander thirteen-year-olds to train to become unicorn riders. But on the day of Skandar’s exam, things go horribly wrong, and his hopes are shattered…until a mysterious figure knocks on his door at midnight, bearing a message: the Island is in peril and Skandar must answer its call.
Skandar is thrust into a world of epic sky battles, dangerous clashes with wild unicorns, and rumors of a shadowy villain amassing a unicorn army. And the closer Skandar grows to his newfound friends and community of riders, the harder it becomes to keep his secrets—especially when he discovers their lives may all be in graver danger than he ever imagined. 

I wanted to get this one on my TBR before it comes out on April 28th, so I’m very happy to be able to get it on the list with the prompt odd page number.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Brilliant yet poor, Ramesh Kumar grew up working at his father’s tea stall in the Old City of Delhi. Now, he makes a lucrative living taking tests for the sons of India’s elite—a situation that becomes complicated when one of his clients, the sweet but hapless eighteen-year-old Rudi Saxena, places first in the All Indias, the national university entrance exams, thanks to him.
Ramesh sees an opportunity—perhaps even an obligation—to cash in on Rudi’s newfound celebrity, not knowing that Rudi’s role on a game show will lead to unexpected love, followed by wild trouble when both young men are kidnapped. 
But Ramesh outwits the criminals who’ve abducted them, turning the tables and becoming a kidnapper himself. As he leads Rudi through a maze of crimes both large and small, their dizzying journey reveals an India in all its complexity, beauty, and squalor, moving from the bottom rungs to the circles inhabited by the ultra-rich and everywhere in between.

This is the other book I wanted to read this month as it is our thriller of the month at work, and I chose it under the prompt new author.

Goodreads | Waterstones

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

And last but not least we had shortest book, and the shortest book on my physical TBR came out as the first volume of Paper Girls! Mark bought me this one for my birthday and I’ve wanted to read it for a while. I’m also glad to have a graphic novel on my TBR for April.

What would you like to read in April?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Pride & Prejudice – a retelling by Laura Wood

59583200

Goodreads | Waterstones

Witty, intelligent Elizabeth Bennet has no desire for a marriage of convenience. And when she meets the handsome, wealthy Mr Darcy, her opinion of him is quickly set: he is aloof, selfish and proud – the last man in the world she would ever marry.
Until their paths cross again, and again, and the pair begin to realise that first impressions can be flawed… But as Elizabeth and Darcy become entangled in a dance through the strict hierarchies of society, will there be space for true love to bloom?

After having read A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood and Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen last year, I knew this one would be one I wanted to pick up. I then realised just before the book was released that this one is actually published by Barrington Stoke, a dyslexia friendly publisher. I’ve read a few books published by them, and after reading this one with Alex, we found out there’s also retellings of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights that we’d love to pick up in the future.

Rather than this book being inspired by Pride & Prejudice, it’s actually a direct retelling of the story using the same characters, plot and basis for the writing. It’s a simplified version of the story which takes the bare bones but keeps the feeling, plot and even some of the main quotes from the original book, which I loved.

Laura Wood did an incredible job of taking this story and making a much shorter, more accessible version that still gave me the atmosphere and feeling that the original book did. If I ever wanted to have a taste of the original book without watching an adaptation, I’d definitely pick this one up happily!

★★★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: The Poppy War (#1) by R.F. Kuang

40022965. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.
But surprises aren’t always good.
Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.
For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .
Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

You know there are some books that just grip you from the start and you have a feeling that they just may turn out to be a 5 star read? This one was one of those books, but I’m very sad to say it didn’t quite live up to expectations as we went through the story.

This book starts with Rin studying to pass the Keju exam which will allow her to travel north to Sinegard, a military academy and escape a marriage that has been set up by her parents. I loved these chapters so much and I was so optimistic with the start of this book. I listened to this one on audiobook, and I feel like there are some audiobooks you have to focus on throughout the entire story, and some that capture your attention so suddenly that you can’t help but be entranced. This was one of those books.

I have become something wonderful, she thought. I have become something terrible. 

However, what I thought might last for the entire book ended quite soon into the story, and around 150-200 pages in, we are thrown from Sinegard Academy and into a war zone. Although this was more what I expected from this series before starting it, I was enjoying the academy setting so much that I did find it quite disappointing to go to the complicated, confusing and pressure-filled environment of a war. Although the rest of the book was still enjoyable, it in no way blew me away like the first 150 pages did, dropping my rating from 5 stars to 4.

There was still so much I loved about this book, however. I really liked how a lot of the topics were handled, from marriage to birth control and children, racism and classism to self harm. Please beware if you are going into this book there are a lot of trigger warnings and heavy topics that I will mention at the end of this review, and some of these were disturbing to read about. But for the most part, I thought a lot of the difficult topics were handled quite well.

Was she now a goddess or a monster? Perhaps neither. Perhaps both.

Overall, this didn’t end up being a 5 star read for me, but I did still really enjoy it and I’m intrigued to see where the story goes in the next two books!

TW: sexual assault, self harm, violence, murder, genocide, gore, rape, animal cruelty, human experimentation, torture, mutilation

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Stacking the Shelves #71

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 another stacking the shelves and I really need to slow down my book buying because there’s even more this week! I also received a couple of gifts which are lovely.

Bought

58846555. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

A seasonal Poirot and Marple short story collection that includes: The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding; The Mystery of the Spanish Chest; The Under Dog; Four and Twenty Blackbirds; The Dream; and Greenshaw’s Folly.

42621710. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

When Alice Ascher is murdered in Andover, Hercule Poirot is already on to the clues. Alphabetically speaking, it’s one down, twenty-five to go.
There’s a serial killer on the loose. His macabre calling card is to leave the ABC Railway guide beside each victim’s body. But if A is for Alice Asher, bludgeoned to death in Andover; and B is for Betty Bernard, strangled with her belt on the beach at Bexhill; then who will Victim C be?

55702554. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: ‘I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.’ Yet in this exotic setting, nothing is ever quite what it seems… 

51386448. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Motives for Murder: A fortune in uncut diamonds, hidden by an eccentric old man. A woman’s love, too freely given. A business empire built on ruthlessness. Each of them may have been a motive for the brutal slaying of wealthy old Simeon Lee. Coupled with Lee’s family, each member of which hated him and wished to see him dead, they presented Hercule Poirot with a baffling challenge–one which the astute detective solved only through his uncanny ability to see “the little things.”

The only books I’ve bought this week are Agatha Christie books to complete my collection of these stunning hardback clothbound classics. I’m so happy I’ve got this whole set now!

Gifted

55977848

Goodreads | Waterstones

I was sent a copy of Room to Dream by Knights Of, which is the third book in the Front Desk series, which I haven’t read yet but I really want to! Thank you to the publisher for this one.

Golden Boys (Paperback)

Goodreads | Waterstones

Gabriel, Reese, Sal, and Heath are best friends, bonded in their small rural town by their queerness, their good grades, and their big dreams. They are about to embark on the summer before senior year of high school, where each is going on a new, big adventure. Reese is attending a design school in Paris. Gabriel is going to Boston to volunteer with a environmental nonprofit. Sal is interning on Capitol Hill for a U.S. Senator. And Heath is stuck going to Daytona Beach to help out at his aunt’s beachfront arcade.
What will this summer of new experiences and world-expanding travel mean for each of them—and for their friendship?
 

I also received a copy of Golden Boys by Phil Stamper. I still haven’t read a Phil Stamper book but I’d really like to! Thank you to the publisher for this one too!

Which books did you buy or receive this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

February TBR

Hi everybody! It’s time to tell you all my TBR for February, which I’m very excited for! If you didn’t know, I have a Youtube channel which I play a mini golf game to decide what I read. If you want to check out the video, I’ll leave a link below for you to give it a watch! Most of the books I’m going to talk about today were decided by this game.

Books I want to read in February

56239501. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Wren Greenrock has always known that one day she would steal her sister’s place in the palace. Trained from birth to return to the place of her parents’ murder and usurp the only survivor, she will do anything to rise to power and protect the community of witches she loves. Or she would, if only a certain palace guard wasn’t quite so distractingly attractive, and if her reckless magic didn’t have a habit of causing trouble…
Princess Rose Valhart knows that with power comes responsibility. Marriage into a brutal kingdom awaits, and she will not let a small matter like waking up in the middle of the desert in the company of an extremely impertinent (and handsome) kidnapper get in the way of her royal duty. But life outside the palace walls is wilder and more beautiful than she ever imagined, and the witches she has long feared might turn out to be the family she never knew she was missing.
Two sisters separated at birth and raised into entirely different worlds are about to get to know each other’s lives a whole lot better. But as coronation day looms closer and they each strive to claim their birthright, the sinister Kingsbreath, Willem Rathborne, becomes increasingly determined that neither will succeed. Who will ultimately rise to power and wear the crown?

I’ve had a beautiful proof copy of this for a while already and I’m so excited to finally pick it up!

13153400

Goodreads | Waterstones

Remember a time before cell phones could be found in every pocket? Or when even accessing the world wide web was something only readily available in a library? Back then letters still filled up postboxes and moments just felt so much more precious when captured on Polaroid film. Now life seems to move at the speed of light. Our memories are captured and shared with the world on social media platforms. And love, which is already capricious, can feel like it is moving at terminal velocity.

I’m so happy that I picked this up in my tbr game as I’m hoping to do a themed reading vlog including this book! I’m also hoping to watch the film later this month after reading this book.

38087912. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.|
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

40139338. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

I wasn’t necessarily planning on reading this series, but it fit some of my prompts perfectly in the game, so here we are! I’m going to be buddy reading this one with Alex which I’m excited for.

21956524. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza’s impassioned advances and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half-century, Flornetino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again.
When Fermina’s husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives?

Mark picked this one out for me at Christmas and I’m going to be filming a reading vlog including this one too.

41950149. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

56155249. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

As part of the same Christmas video, Mark bought me the 5th and 6th books in the Noughts and Crosses series which I’ll also be reading in the vlog! I’m looking forward to seeing where this series goes.

54739125. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Alex and I are hoping to read this graphic novel after reading the Villains series.

41118857. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

I’ve been buddy reading The Poppy War and really enjoying it, and I think we’re going to also read The Dragon Republic soon.

36328397. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Drifters in search of work, George and his childlike friend Lennie, have nothing in the world except the clothes on their back – and a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are dashed as Lennie – struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy – becomes a victim of his own strength.

Mark also bought me this one, which I’ve actually never read and I’m excited (and nervous) to finally pick it up!

20764916. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

There is something strange about Coraline’s new home. It’s not the mist, or the cat that always seems to be watching her, nor the signs of danger that Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, her new neighbours, read in the tea leaves. It’s the other house – the one behind the old door in the drawing room. Another mother and father with black-button eyes and papery skin are waiting for Coraline to join them there. And they want her to stay with them. For ever. She knows that if she ventures through that door, she may never come back.

I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane late last year and loved it, so Mark also bought me Coraline to carry on with Neil Gaiman books!

What do you want to read in February?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: You and Me at the End of the World by Brianna Bourne

58811852. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

This is no ordinary apocalypse…
Hannah Ashton wakes up to silence. The entire city around her is empty, except for one other person: Leo Sterling. Leo might be hottest boy ever (and not just because he’s the only one left), but he’s also too charming, too selfish, and too devastating for his own good, let alone Hannah’s.
Stuck with only each other, they explore a world with no parents, no friends, and no school and realize that they can be themselves instead of playing the parts everyone expects of them. Hannah doesn’t have to be just an overachieving, music-box-perfect ballerina, and Leo can be more than a slacker, 80s-glam-metal-obsessed guitarist. Leo is a burst of honesty and fun that draws Hannah out, and Hannah’s got Leo thinking about someone other than himself for the first time.
Together, they search for answers amid crushing isolation, but while their empty world may appear harmless . . . it’s not. Because nothing is quite as it seems, and if Hannah and Leo don’t figure out what’s going on, they might just be torn apart forever.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was a little hesitant going into this one as it sounded a little cliche, and I wasn’t wrong. This book felt very teen to me, and was definitely something I would have enjoyed more if I was younger, so I would definitely recommend this one for a pre-teen/young teen audience.

This book is told in alternate points of view and flicks between our two main characters, Hannah and Leo. Both of the characters have awoken in a world where they are the only two people left, and they have no idea why. 5 days later, at the start of this book, they stumble across one another and find they’re not alone in the world.

Sometimes it’s easier to be strong

One of my major concerns going into this story was that Hannah and Leo would be overly characterised, and they definitely were. Hannah was very much a ‘Ballet Chick’ (and was literally referred to as this by Leo on multiple occasions) and whenever Leo was shocked by something Hannah said or did, I almost rolled my eyes. Leo was the classic ‘Bad Boy’ with softer undertones that Hannah wasn’t expecting. As I said, this was something I would have probably looked over as a younger reader but did slightly annoy me as an adult.

The most intriguing part of this book was definitely the whole apocalypse. I was so intrigued to find out why Hannah and Leo had been left as the last people on earth, and this book kept pulling me in by teasing what could be happening. Without spoiling any of the book, I was a little concerned about where this could have been going but I actually quite liked the ending and felt like it was done quite well.

if someone else is showing cracks.

Overall, this was definitely mixed but I did enjoy reading it and I liked it, I just didn’t fall head over heels for it. If it sounds like something you’d like, I would definitely recommend it, just be aware that it does read a little younger in my opinion!

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Anticipated Releases January-March 2022

It’s 2022 and there are so many exciting books coming out! I thought I’d do a little wrap-up of some of the books I’m excited for in the first quarter of the year. The dates on these might not be exactly the same as the release dates in your country, but hopefully they’ll be within the same month at least.

January

58666307

January 11th

Goodreads | Waterstones

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.
Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.
To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.

I didn’t pre-order this one but it looks so beautiful and I’ve heard so many people talking about it! I’m hoping to pick it up soon now it’s out.

53369734

January 11th

Goodreads | Waterstones

Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.
In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.
Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?

This isn’t one I would normally be drawn to if it wasn’t for my friend Sophie, who loves this author and this book! All of her hype has definitely made me want to pick it up.

February

56554281

February 1st

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.

I have an arc copy of this one which I’m hoping to pick up this month before the February release. I’m so excited to see how it is!

58695977

February 3rd

Goodreads | Waterstones

I loved the first book in this series and I’ve already pre-ordered the second, which I can’t wait to read when it comes out.

40132775. sy475

February 15th

Goodreads | Waterstones

This one is definitely one of my most anticipated books of the year. I read the first one, House of Earth and Blood back in August, and I’m looking forward to reading the next one hopefully soon after release.

58922203. sy475

February 22nd

Goodreads | Waterstones

Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.
Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.
Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.
But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking… 

This book looks absolutely beautiful and I loved XOXO by the same author when I read it last year. This looks very different to her first book, but I’m super excited for it.

March

58490066. sy475

March 1st

Goodreads | Waterstones

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Prior is missing three things: a mother, a father, and a voice. Her mother vanished all at once, and her father by degrees, and her voice was a thing she never had to start with.
She grew up at Merilance School for Girls. Now, nearing the end of her time there, Olivia receives a letter from an uncle she’s never met, her father’s older brother, summoning her to his estate, a place called Gallant. But when she arrives, she discovers that the letter she received was several years old. Her uncle is dead. The estate is empty, save for the servants. Olivia is permitted to remain, but must follow two rules: don’t go out after dusk, and always stay on the right side of a wall that runs along the estate’s western edge.
Beyond it is another realm, ancient and magical, which calls to Olivia through her blood…

And we’ve reached my absolute most anticipated book of the year – Gallant by V.E. Schwab. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is my favourite book ever, so I can’t wait for this one.

59058504. sy475

March 1st

Goodreads | Waterstones

The world’s best young magicians accept the opportunity of a lifetime.
Six are chosen. Only five will walk away.
The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…
– Libby Rhodes and Nicolas Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.
When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.

I’ve heard so many good things about The Atlas Six, and I’m so glad it’s getting a big publication! I’m hoping to pre-order a copy soon.

57771224

March 8th

Goodreads | Waterstones

It’s the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve and Nur is steeling himself to tell his parents that he’s seeing someone. A young British Pakistani man, Nur has spent years omitting details about his personal life to maintain his image as the golden eldest child. And it’s come at a cost.
Once, Nur was a restless and insecure college student, struggling to present himself after being transplanted from his hometown with only the vaguest sense of ambition. At a packed house party, he meets Yasmina, a beautiful and self-possessed aspiring journalist. They start a conversation–first awkward, then absorbing–that grabs Nur’s attention like never before. And as their relationship develops, moving from libraries and cramped coffee shops to an apartment they share together, so too does Nur’s self-destruction. He falls deeper into traps of his own making, attempting to please both Yasmina and his family until he no longer has a choice. He must finally be honest and reveal to those who raised him the truth he’s kept hidden: Yasmina is Black, and he loves her.

I’ve had an arc of this one for a while and I’m hoping to read it soon.

58444841

March 22nd

Goodreads | Waterstones

I read the first book in this series, The Bright and the Pale, last year, and I’m hoping to re-read it when this one comes out so I can marathon the series together.

58490569

March 29th

Goodreads | Waterstones

Bailey and Vanessa shared everything: laughter, secrets, and packets of Pop Rocks to ward off bad days. But that all changed the night Vanessa left Bailey’s, headed for home, and ended up swerving off a cliff nowhere near her house. Now Bailey, who thought she knew Vanessa better than anyone in the world, is left with a million unanswered questions, and the only person with answers is gone.
To help grieve her loss, Bailey creates a chat bot of Vanessa using years’ worth of their shared text messages and emails. The more data she uploads to the bot, the more it feels like she’s really talking to her best friend. That is, until the bot starts dropping hints that there was more going on with Vanessa than Bailey realized–a secret so big, it may have contributed to Vanessa’s death.

I hadn’t heard of this one since I read about it in an email from the publisher last week, and it looks so interesting!

58437772

March 29th

Goodreads | Blackwells

Eighteen-year-old chauffeur’s daughter Jane Marlow grew up among the domestic staff of a wealthy LA rock producer, within reach of bands she idolizes, but never a VIP. Every summer, Jane and her father head to the Sierras to work at the producer’s luxury lodge at Lake Condor—a resort town and the site of a major musical festival.
The legendary family who runs the festival are the Sarafians, and Jane’s had a longtime crush on their oldest son, Eddie—doltish but sweet. So when a long-distance romance finally sparks between them, she doesn’t hesitate to cross class lines.
But Jane’s feelings about Eddie are thrown into question after she returns to the lake and reconnects with his alluringly intense brother, the dark horse of her placid summer plans. A fellow lover of music—and hater of the game—Fen Sarafian has been ousted from the family and is slumming it at a vinyl record shop. He burns for Jane like a house on fire and will do anything to sabotage his older brother, even if it means taking a wrecking ball to a multi-million-dollar music festival. Or Jane’s heart.

I will read anything Jenn Bennett writes and even though I still need to pick up a few of hers, I’m hoping this will be one of them!

Which books are you excited for in the next few months?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere