Stacking the Shelves #22

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

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

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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

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

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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

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

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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The Animal Crossing Book Tag

I’ve recently been tagged by Alex to do the Animal Crossing book tag! I’ve been playing Animal Crossing since 2005/2006 (I was 6 years old) so of course I’ve been loving New Horizons and I’ve wanted to do this tag for a while. I’ll also be doing a video version of it on Wednesday for you to look out for!

Past Villager – Who is a character you found when you were younger that still has a place in your heart?

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Growing up, I adored Cathy Cassidy books. I think the one I loved just a little more than the others was Angel Cake, I read it so many times and the main character still has a place in my heart!

Blather’s Blatherings – Recommend a historical fiction book that you think everybody should read

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I really don’t usually enjoy historical fiction, so reading this was a shock. But it is also fantasy, which is maybe why I enjoyed it!

Celeste’s Wish – What is a future book release you wish you could read now?

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I’m so, so excited for this book! I adored The Language of Thorns and this sounds similar.

Timmy & Tommy – What is your favourite sibling relationship in a book?

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I adore the Song-Covey sisters! They have such a cute relationship and I love them all for different reasons and their different personalities.

The Easter Bunny – A popular book character that you’re not a big fan of

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It took me a while to decide this, but I’m going to have to say Peeta! I just didn’t click with him like everybody else seemed to.

Nook’s Loans – An author you’d give all your money to

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I love Nina LaCour’s work and I would give all my money to her for new work!

The Sisters Able – What is your favourite fictional family (found or otherwise)?

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I feel strange including this one as I haven’t read the book, but I saw the movie four times in cinema and I adore the relationship in this family!

It’s a C+  – What is a book trope you don’t like that keeps popping up?

Love triangles. Aside from a few rare circumstances, I really don’t like love triangles. I just find them frustrating and annoying!

The Wandering Camel – What is your favourite book set in a land far away from yours?

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The first world that came to mind was definitely Caraval! The world in this series is just enchanting.

What Would Dodos Do?  – A fictional land you wish you could fly away to at any moment?

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I adored this novella for the beautiful world and city that was finally at peace. I wish I could wander it’s streets!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #21

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! Today’s stacking the shelves post comes with me realising I haven’t posted about this book yet and it’s been a while since I received it. I came home to a parcel and a gift a while ago and found this inside! I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time now, and found out Faye had gifted it to me! Thank you so much Faye!

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I’ve been looking for this for a while and I’m so excited to read it. Thank you again Faye!

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Tower of Dawn (#6) by Sarah J Maas

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Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq have arrived in the shining city of Antica to forge an alliance with the Khagan of the Southern Continent, whose vast armies are Erilea’s last hope. But they have also come to Antica for another purpose: to seek healing at the famed Torre Cesme for the wounds Chaol received in Rifthold.
After enduring unspeakable horrors as a child, Yrene Towers has no desire to help the young lord from Adarlan, let alone heal him. Yet she has sworn an oath to assist those in need—and will honor it. But Lord Westfall carries shadows from his own past, and Yrene soon comes to realize they could engulf them both.

This book was exactly what I’ve been waiting for throughout this entire series. It was everything I wanted and more. Ever since Crown of Midnight, I’d felt disappointed that every single Throne of Glass book since just didn’t capture my love for the world and characters like that one did. I didn’t expect Tower of Dawn to be that book, but I’m ever so glad it was.

Ever since knowing Tower of Dawn was set on a different continent in a parallel timeline to Empire of Storms, I was unsure what to think. But while reading the fifth book and beginning to guess who it would be following, I knew I was going to like it, I just never guessed how much.

I will cherish it always.
No matter what may befall the world.

Tower of Dawn feels like the calm before the storm. It was much calmer and slower than the previous books, instead becoming much more character based, which I adored. It felt like such a breath of fresh air, a new look at the world with different eyes. Following Chaol, who is struggling with being in a wheelchair following an accident, Maas begins to tackle disability. I really enjoyed reading about Chaol’s inner battle with his new situation, it felt authentic and real, and it didn’t shy away from the embarrassment he felt.

A new setting and new characters also meant new cultures, which I loved. Maas does an absolutely wonderful job at creating lush and beautiful cities, in fact I think it’s one of the things she does best, and Tower of Dawn was no different. I relished the scenes that would give me more views of the city, the torre, the palace and the world around. It was breathtaking.

No matter the oceans, or mountains, or forests in the way.

The characters we come across are vibrant and wonderful. Yrene is a delightful edition, a young woman you may remember from The Assassin’s Blade, with a temper and strength I admire greatly. I loved Nesryn, even though her and Chaol’s relationship was frustrating at points. The side characters, such as the royals, healers and Nesryn’s family, all held their own roles and added to the story.

Overall, I can see why this book isn’t for some readers. But it was definitely for me. The study of characters, the focus on the relationships and inner battles, was exactly what I enjoy reading about. I felt close to the world and characters because of it. It was beautiful, and my favourite so far in the Throne of Glass series!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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BookTube: 5 Series I Want to Read by the End of the Year

Hello again everyone! I’m back with a big commitment – 5 series I want to read by the end of the year. This feels like a lot, but I know I will fly through some of these books and I only need to read a series a month to finish them!

Watch the video below to see which series I chose!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Blog Tour + Review: Supper Club by Lara Williams

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Twenty-nine year old Roberta has spent her whole life hungry – until the day she invents Supper Club.
Supper Club is a secret society for hungry women. Women who are sick of bad men and bad sex, of hinted expectations to talk less, take less, be less. So they gather after dark and feast until they are sick. They drink and dance and roar. And, month by month, their bodies expand.
At the centre of the Supper Club stands Roberta – cynical yet anxious, precocious and lost. She is seeking the answer to a simple question: if you feed a starving woman, what will she grow into?
This is a story about the hunger that never goes away. And it is a story about the people who make us what we are – who lead us astray and ultimately save us. You look hungry. Join the club.

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

This book was not what I was expecting at all. It was raw, honest and in-your-face. It is full of rage and passion and hunger. It is disturbing and kind of brilliant, all at once. It reflects a starvation I think all women feel at some point or another in their lives – the need to fill a space we are made to feel we are not allowed to fill.

But in the way that hunger is presented, it transcends into darkness I was not prepared for. It is written full of anger, bluntly discussing rape, self harm and abuse in a way that made me feel almost repulsed. In the middle of a conversation it will bring in the most point blank feelings and thoughts that will jar you out of any sense of connection with the book.

The line between pleasure and revulsion can seem so very thin,

Supper Club follows Roberta through her life at university and 10 years later in an unsatisfying office job with an intern, Stevie. Stevie and Roberta end up living together and start supper club, an answer to their feelings as women of being made to feel small and non-threatening to the world around them. Supper club begins as a gathering of women, and evolves into something bigger and more criminal, with dumpster diving and breaking into venues. These are all an assertion of anger, a way to stand up and say women can take over whatever space they believe they can.

The book is peppered with descriptions of food. Even though these threw me a little when they spoke about meat in a certain way (as a vegan, this became jarring in itself), they were all around beautiful and they reflected the story quite well in the sense of growth, of ever changing and becoming something beautiful.

The plot was interesting and I thought it was paced well, the flashbacks between university and current day were long enough to not confuse the reader, and explained what had made Roberta so angry, the relationships and interactions that left imprints on her for the rest of her life.

Despite this, I still didn’t quite click with Roberta as a main character. Sometimes I related to her, and other times she came across as a selfish brat. I felt like the men in her later life were often dismissed and not sympathised with because of the men she had dealt with in her university years. It almost felt like a pure hate-letter to men in general at points, which just plainly goes against any moral feelings I have. What I felt was missing in Supper Club was the realisation that in fact Roberta and these women were fighting problems they had with society, and not with men.

if it even exists at all.

The problems I had with the book stemmed mainly from being shocked by the content, so if you are deciding to pick it up, I would recommend it with a harsh warning of the jarring scenes. The execution was actually, I found, quite excellent, the writing passionate and beautiful. Just be prepared to be disturbed, forced to be introspective and constantly question your role as a woman in the modern age.

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Book Tag: 2020 Mid Year Freak Out

Hi everyone! I’m here today with a book tag, and it’s time to freak out about being over halfway through the year and realising you still have around the same number of books on your physical TBR as when the year started…

But…anyyyywayyy. Let’s not focus on that, and focus on answering the questions instead! I’ve taken these questions from Paper Fury’s blog, you can find their post here. I have a video version of this blog post coming next Wednesday, but I also wanted to write one up!

1.How much have you read?

I’ve read 37 out of 50 books so far this year! I’m 12 books ahead of schedule which makes me very happy as I definitely think I’ll easily complete my goal for 2020.

2. What have I read this year?

I’ve been reading a pretty even mix of fantasy and contemporary with some other genres in between!

3. Best books you read so far in 2020?

It’s difficult to pick between these three which have all been so good for different reasons!

4. Best sequel you’ve read so far this year?

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I’m currently reading the penultimate book in this series alongside Alex, but I don’t think any of them will beat the sequel. I loved it!

5. New release you haven’t read yet but want to

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I just received my copy of this book and I’m so excited to read it, hopefully soon.

6. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

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There are so many books on my list I’m excited about, but my copy of Loveless arrived today and I cannot wait to read it!

7. Biggest disappointment of the year so far?

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This was my first read of the year and unfortunately also the most disappointing as I’d been so excited to read it.

8. Biggest surprise?

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I really didn’t think this book was for me and I ended up adoring it so much. It was so much more hard hitting than expected and I really felt the importance of the story.

9. New favourite author

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I had this recommended to me by a customer in the bookshop where I work and I ended up loving it so much. I can’t wait to read her other book too!

10. Underrated gems you’ve discovered recently?

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I read this book recently and it was SO GOOD. It definitely deserves more attention!

11. Rereads this year

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The only re-read I’ve done this year is Heartstopper! I struggle to re-read when I have so many unread books on my TBR, but I still read the physical editions of Heartstopper as they are released even though I’ve read them all online.

12. Book that made you cry

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I read this early in the year after reading Everything Leads To You and I adored it. But it definitely made me cry!

13. Book that made you happy

This also has to be Heartstopper! I adore these graphic novels and they always make me smile.

14. Most beautiful book you have bought so far this year (or received)

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I’ve bought a few books that are drop dead gorgeous, but I think this one is the most beautiful. I saw the cover and had to buy it straight away!

15. Goals for the rest of the year

  • Read 50 books in 2020
  • Read the Grisha trilogy
  • Read more series
  • Have less on my physical TBR at the end of the year than I currently do! (84 books)

Did you take part in this tag? Leave a link below to your post!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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BookTube: Would You Rather? Book Tag

Hi all! I’m sorry I’ve been around less – things have been a little busier now they are getting back to normal, especially now I’m back at work! But I managed to film a video today, and I finally answered Alex’s bookish Would you rather tag questions. You can find her video here and mine below.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Empire of Storms (#5) by Sarah J Maas

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.
With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Wow, Throne of Glass just seems to step up and up with each book. I’ve been enjoying the emotional rollercoaster, but this one was on a whole other level. Alien and her court are back together, travelling across the beautiful land. It was so cool to see more of the land and other wider characters in this book.

Talking of, this seemed to be the one where more of the storylines begin to intertwine and I loved it. Although I appreciated Manon’s strength and female power, her story bored me a little up until the past book or two. I slowly became more and more invested in it for it to lead to the events of Empire of Storms, and it was worth it. This book made me appreciate all of the storylines that came before, if only to see the group together and love the Court together and as individuals.

I love you. There is no limit to what I can give to you, no time I need.

This book also felt more readable than the previous – it felt like the pacing had improved. I enjoyed the slow scenes between the characters, which rounded and built them perfectly. And I enjoyed the fast paced action scenes they led up to, especially the incredible ending.

I missed a certain character and I am looking forward to Tower of Dawn for that reason. But the edition of new characters and certain storylines really improved the story. Instead of feeling like I have before, which is wanting to get through certain chapters to reach others, I was really invested in all of the characters for a change!

Even when this world is forgotten whisper of dust between the stars, I will love you.

Overall, Empire of Storms was really enjoyable but still doesn’t quite match up to how much I loved Crown of Midnight – I’m at the point of not knowing whether it can be beaten, but I’m looking forward to finding out!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #20

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! I’m back with another book! I’ve been a little busy being back at work and able to go and visit my boyfriend now which is so lovely. But it means less blog posts for a while as I get used to having other commitments again!

Anyway, onto the book I bought this week. I received my copy of You Should See Me in a Crown, which I bought for Black Publishing Power. I’ve heard so many good things about this book and I’m really excited to read it!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.
But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.
The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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