Review: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

31371681. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out what is real and what is not. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8 Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal. Can she trust herself? Can we trust her? 

I think this might be the first book I’ve read with a protagonist suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, and it felt so important because of that. The whole idea of the narrator having schizophrenia meant reality was constantly being questioned, and gave a magical realism level to the novel similar to that of Adam Silvera’s style of writing. It also allowed for some pretty big plot twists, which kept me constantly intrigued and engaged.

Although this is very much a contemporary novel, Alex’s schizophrenia left a mysterious element to the story. I found it so interesting how she used a camera and photography to try and capture the real to distinguish it from what was in her head. The only frustrating aspect of this was not always knowing what was real and what was happening inside Alex’s head.

I realized I wanted to kiss him. I didn’t know why.”

Alex’s story still tackled family, friendships and romance. Unfortunately I don’t think I fell for Miles as much as everybody else seemed to, although his character did become sweeter throughout the story. I found her relationships fascinating and heartwarming, especially the one she shared with her sister.

Although Alex’s story was emotional, I didn’t find it as heart-wrenching as I expected. The mystery was compelling but a little far fetched for me, so I lost a little connection with the book because of this. The mystery plot-line was fun, but that fun seemed to take away some of the emotional depth for me.

“Maybe it was the way he looked at me like I was the only thing he wanted to look at.”

Overall, this book was fascinating due to the main character having paranoid schizophrenia. It surprised me with the compelling plot twists and entertaining mystery element, but wasn’t quite as heart-wrenching as I wanted it to be and lacked some connection to me as a reader.

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

October Wrap-Up and November TBR

Hi all! My reading has improved a lot in the past month and I’m happy to say I managed to get through 5 books. If I can stick to 5 a month I’ll be happy!

Books I Read in October

43204703. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

35547617

Goodreads | Amazon

44004352

Goodreads | Amazon

35209422

Goodreads | Pre_order on Amazon

37903962. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

My favourite book from this month was definitely The Places I’ve Cried in Public and my least favourite was Pixie Pushes On, though not by much.

Books I Bought in October

Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer
A Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
Call it What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer
Viper – Bex Hogan
The Places I’ve Cried in Public – Holly Bourne
Pumpkinheads – Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

I mainly bought books for signings this month, which was so exciting!

Books I Want to Read in November

Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo
Made You Up – Francesca Zappia
Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell

I’m not going to put pressure on myself to read books unless I want to read them, so I’m going to go for some mood reading in November.

What did you read in October and what do you want to read November?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Beautiful Quote #140 / Wing Jones

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! I’m here to talk about a book I read a long time ago but I still keep close to my heart. I was recently given Only Love Can Break Your Heart for my birthday and I adored reading more of Katherine Webber’s work. It made me really want to go back and pick up this one up for a reread!

25909375. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

“Then he smiles at me and it’s like I’ve been living in darkness and now there is light.”
― Katherine Webber, Wing Jones

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Beautiful Quotes #139 / Call Me By Your Name

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!

Hello everyone! Today I want to post about a book I didn’t particularly enjoy for a change. I find it really interesting that sometimes, we can have really complicated relationships with whether or not we enjoyed a book? At the time I read Call Me By Your Name, I really disliked this novel, but I put enough distance and time between reading it before watching the film with my lovely friend Andrew the other week.

And guess what? In film format, I ended up really enjoying the story. I could finally see this from a different, more enjoyable point of view. It made me accept the beauty of this story in the way I wish I had with the book. So because of this experience, I thought I’d share a beautiful quote from this beautiful story!

36336078. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

“We had the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.”
― André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name

Have you read this book or watched this movie?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne

44010409. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

Amelie loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. So now she’s retracing their story and untangling what happened by revisiting all the places he made her cry.
Because if she works out what went wrong, perhaps she can finally learn to get over him.

This book is a reminder of how powerful words can be. A reminder of how they can make you cry, make you smile, and make you feel so much less alone. I’m lucky enough that I have never been through what Amelie went through in this book, but I have been in many similar places to her. I have cried in public. And I know how it feels when love doesn’t make you happy anymore.

Amelie’s story is such a powerful one and is unfortunately true of many women (and men) all over the world. Her relationship with Reese includes the most basic forms of manipulation and emotional abuse, which gradually strip her from her confidence and happiness.

‘It’s such a simple torture – the silent treatment. As basic as tripping someone over or pulling their chair out before they sit down. And yet it’s so very effective.’

Amelie can be a frustrating narrator at times as she is constantly making decisions that make you want to scream at her…but that’s kind of the point. She’s young, and manipulated against her better judgement. I know what it’s like to be young and in love, and I couldn’t be angry at Amelie for the choices she made. Talking of, I need to write a small warning into this post. It hit me hard, even though I haven’t experienced the vast majority of what Amelie did. It was still an incredibly painful and hard hitting read, which will stay with me forever.

Both Amelie, Reese and the other characters in this story are incredibly well written and developed. I feel like Bourne knew her characters inside out and this came across at all times. The only part I’m regretful about is feeling like I could have known Alfie (Amelie’s ex) better going into this story. Just a few more scenes with him may have helped me fully sympathise with what Amelie was leaving behind when she moved at the beginning of the book. Reese is especially well developed, and Bourne did an excellent job of writing his character so we felt exactly how Amelie did about him, through all of the love, charisma, hurt and anger.

The plot meant this book flew past. I love the switches between past and present, as it was a constant reminder of how all of these past events had made Amelie feel in the present day. It allowed the book to be just that little more hard hitting and effective.

‘When someone has the willpower to pretend you’re not there, it nullifies you. How do you fight against that humiliation?’

This was definitely my favourite of Bourne’s books so far, and I can really see how she’s developed as a writer. Amelie is now a young narrator to me, but I still felt all of the hurt and emotion that she did.

Above all, this book feels important. It’s one of those I can’t help but want to push into the hands of other young women out there, to understand that it’s normal to feel unhappy, it’s good to trust your gut and it’s okay to reach out and ask for help. It’s okay to cry in public.

CW: sexual and emotional abuse, PTSD.

★★★★★  
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Birthday Book Haul

Hi readers! It was my birthday a couple of days ago (I turned 20), and I was so lucky to receive some gorgeous presents which included these books. I thought I’d give you guys a little wrap-up of the books I was given.

27840861

Goodreads | Amazon

Courtney brought me a few really special books that she knows I’ve wanted for so long. I never had a hardback copy of Crooked Kingdom to match my copy of Six of Crows, so she gifted me this one just in time to meet Leigh Bardugo next week!

40230178. sx318

Goodreads | Amazon

She also gave me this beautiful American edition of the collectors Throne of Glass. It comes in a slipcase and has pride of place displayed on the top of my bookcase!

28919058. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

My lovely friend Tavi brought me this book and the following from my Amazon wishlist! I’m so excited and appreciative of these beauties. I’ve wanted to pick up Autoboyography since it’s release, and I’ve heard so many good things about it!

37903962. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve wanted to read this since release, as I adored Wing Jones! I’m so excited to read more from this wonderful author.

13138635

Goodreads | Amazon

Would you believe this book has been on my TBR since pretty much I started my Goodreads account 4 years ago? I can’t wait to get around to it.

25201920. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

This is another book I’ve heard so much about and sounds like something I’d really enjoy. All of these books are one’s I can’t wait for! Thank you Tavi 🙂

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (#1) by Brigid Kemmerer

40891244

Goodreads | Amazon

Fall in love, break the curse.
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

As always, I can’t believe it took me so long to get round to reading this book. It may have taken me a while to read it, but as a friend put it, I savoured this book rather than rushed through it. And it was still worth it in the end.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it had just the right balance for me of being a retelling and being original. The fairytale aspect was only a small part of the story, which left room for so much more.

‘We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals.’

This world felt so real and beautiful to me, and I pictured it as Hyrule in Breath of the Wild funnily enough. The characters were all great for their own reasons, especially Harper. We don’t have enough strong female protagonists, and having a disabled main character with Cerebral Palsy is so rare, especially in fantasy. Having not got a disability myself, I can’t talk about the accuracy of the writing from her point of view, but I really admired her all the same.

Rhen wasn’t my favourite character, but I grew to know and love him all the same. Reading about him was fascinating, as he turned out to be a different person as the book progressed, but his progression felt entirely natural.

Even though it took me a while to get through, when I did manage to sit down and read, the pages seemed to fly by. So it definitely wasn’t a problem with the pacing, but instead with my situation in the past month!

‘The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.’

Unfortunately I’m not giving this book a full 5 stars, purely because I didn’t feel quite as drawn in as I’d have liked to. Although my pacing was partly to do with my own situation, I also feel like I could have been more drawn into the story and made to want to pick it up.

★★★★ 
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere