T5W: Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

It’s time for a good moan because today we’re talking about most disappointing reads of 2018! I wrote a few down at the end of the year and it’s going to be so fun to share them with you all.

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Ugh. I did NOT enjoy this book (review here). With the amount of hype the book got when the movie was released, I just really expected something better.

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Whoop, more unpopular opinions time! I loved Illuminae, but I didn’t like Gemina. I wanted to try out the third book because of how much I adored Illuminae, but I was utterly disappointed yet again. Review here.

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This book is How To Ruin a Series 101. I was enjoying it, and then we got to this, and no no no. Review here.

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I never in a million years thought I’d mark a Wizarding World book as a disappointing read. But this one proved me wrong, and I’m still gutted about it.

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I have to say I wasn’t expecting too much with this one. I really loved We Were Liars and How To Be Bad, but E. Lockharts other books have also been disappointments for me. I thought I’d give this one a go, and unfortunately it was the worst E Lockhart book so far! Review here.

Which books made your list of disappointing reads of 2018?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! 2018 Wrap-Up + Favourites

We’re 8 days into the New Year and I haven’t stopped thinking about my 2018 in books. Here are just a few totals to get started!

Firstly, I’m so happy I managed to smash my Goodreads goal by reading 67 instead of 50! Secondly, isn’t it funny how all of my stats included Harry Potter books? 2018 was definitely the year of Harry Potter for me, and I’m hoping 2019 will continue that trend!

And here’s a summary of every single book I read! Can you spot any of your favourites?

Last but not least, we have my top 5 books of 2018! As always, this was really hard to sort through…but here we go.

5. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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I had to include a contemporary in here and 2018 was the year I discovered Adam Silvera and the way he blends reality with fantasy. Of course all of Adam Silvera’s and Becky Albertalli’s deserve a shoutout, but I kept coming back to this one. It was beautiful, and definitely made me cry! Review here.

4. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

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I think this one was my biggest and best surprise of the year. I went in with little expectation and came out with a sense I’d just read one of the most important YA books of our time. It was truly wonderful. Review here.

3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

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2018 was definitely a year of fantasy for me, and I knew it was the right time to delve back into this series. I ended up falling completely in love with A Court of Mist and Fury and it’s following books! Review here.

2. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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Another big surprise for me was The Infernal Devices and how I fell truly in love with the series. Clockwork Princess made me absolutely sob, broke my heart but also filled it with joy and love for this series. Review here!

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

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Although I really considered this for a long time and kept swapping my top choice, nothing could really come close to Harry Potter. I loved a lot of books this past year, but this series made me fall in love. It won me over in so many ways, and has managed to become such a big part of my life.

So everyone, those are my top 5 books of 2018 and a wrap-up from me! Which is your favourite book of the past year?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: My True Love Gave to Me – Various Authors

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On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

As this book is full of little stories, I’m going to review them all separately! This was such a fun read and it was perfect for the festive season.

Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell – 5 out of 5 stars
Let’s start this on a high! I’ve read this short story before and it’s honestly brilliant, 26 pages flies by with this year-by-year tale. It’s so simple but focuses on the characters which I adored, the ability to build characters in such a short amount of time is incredible. Perfect for New Year, as it’s set on New Year’s Eve hence the title!

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link – 2 out of 5 stars
Honestly, this one really didn’t do it for me. The only real positive is that it did have a Christmassy feel, but otherwise it was downright confusing and a little weird. I’m all for a little weird, but I just didn’t know what was going on. At all.

Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena – 4 out of 5 stars
This story was so cute! I’m all for Christmas fantasy, but adorable festive contemporary romance is where its at. This story is one of Shy and the girl upstairs over Christmas, and it manages to not only be cute but be raw and honest and kind of beautiful in such a short amount of pages.

Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – 4 out of 5 stars
This story was so overwhelmingly Christmassy! You can’t get much better than a story set in the North Pole for Christmas, surrounded by elves. I liked the protagonist, Natalie, who was the only human to ever live in the North Pole. It made such a unique story which was so fun to read!

It’s a Yuletide Miracle… by Stephanie Perkins – 5 out of 5 stars
Perkins does it again! I remember this from Summer Days and Summer Nights – if anyone can write an amazing short, it’s Perkins. This story was unique, with likeable characters and a beautiful backdrop. I would read a whole book about these two happily.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – 4 out of 5 stars
I always find levithan a little hit and miss, but I really enjoyed this story! It’s about a guy called Connor who asks his boyfriend to dress up as santa to keep Christmas magic alive for his little sister. It was a really cute contemporary with a cast of different characters who I enjoyed reading about, however I do feel like too many conversations with different characters were fitted into a very short story!

Krampuslauf by Holly Black – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m really not sure how to feel about this one. Build up a quirky contemporary with a group of friends and a New Year’s party on a trailer park, throw some drama in and then sprinkle it with magic. I think the magic was my main issue, because it just felt forced and like a last minute edition. It threw the story off kilter and threw me off too. Very weird.

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – 4 out of 5 stars
Contemporary romance definitely suits festive short stories better than contemporary and a weird mix of fantasy. I’m still holding out for a full on fantasy though? Anyway, Forman really brought out holiday cheer with carol singers and pie and a little twist with Hannukah which I loved! It’s the story of (surprise) Sophie Roth, a college student who isnt yet home for Christmas. Its about new discoveries and making mistakes, and although it wasn’t perfect, I damn well enjoyed it!

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I can’t say I disliked this story, it was Christmassy enough and enjoyable. But I just found it strange and I felt so disconnected to the characters! It followed a guy who had to do community service for a church at Christmas, which was an interesting concept but it just wasn’t all there for me!

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten white – 5 out of 5 stars
Yes! I didn’t think I would find another story to match Stephanie Perkins, but this one sure did. It follows the story of a girl who lives in Christmas, CA and their Christmas traditions. It was heartwarming, heartbreaking and heartfelt. All in 40 pages.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – 4 out of 5 stars
Another story, another Christmassy town ! I really enjoyed this one too, although it lacked the depth that made me love Welcome to Christmas, CA so much. Still a unique and heartwarming tale of a girl trying to escape her life and ends up finding a family of her own.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – 2 out of 5 stars
This was so weird?? I don’t even know what was going on? I stand by the fact that fantasy doesn’t work as well as contemporary in these kinds of situations usually – world building just isn’t possible in 30 pages. I didn’t properly understand the world or the story, therefore I didn’t enjoy it. The pages were used to explain the town rather than the characters, and I related only to the protagonist. It didn’t feel Christmassy either! It did have a satisfying ending, however.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it was perfect to start the New Year with. Although the stories are very mixed, it’s great to give new authors a chance with books like this one. Sure, I didn’t enjoy a few but that’s bound to happen. And I loved a number of stories enough to rate this book highly! I’ll definitely be giving some of these a re-read next Christmas.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: 2019 Reading Resolutions

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

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Happy New Year everyone! I’m honestly not one to set New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t think it’s personally healthy to me if I don’t achieve them. However, I do loosely follow bookish one’s and I always attempt a reading challenge! So here are some of my 2019 reading (and blogging) resolutions.

Read 50 Books
I’ve just set my Goodreads goal of the year and it is 50 books again! I managed to read around 15 more than that in 2018, but I like to keep things realistic.

Read a Classic. Any Classic.
I’m sorry to say that the only classic I’ve ever read is Jane Eyre. And I loved it, but whenever I go to read a classic now, I think back to the standalone YA books I have on my TBR and find them too daunting. So instead of making a big goal to read a number of classics, in 2019 I’d just like to start.

Read More Series
I was actually very proud of myself in 2018 for the amount of series I managed to read and get off my physical TBR! I’ve always been more of a standalones kind of reader, but I’m definitely getting more into series. In 2019 I’d at least like to tackle The Mortal Instruments, The Dark Artifices, Divergent and Throne of Glass.

Lessen My Physical TBR
Honestly, this is probably my most important rule on this list. I’m not certain, but I think I’m starting this year with around the same unread books as last year, and I’m not going to let that happen again. I’m going to be stronger, and try and control my book-buying urges! So far, being in a joint book-buying-ban with my best friend is definitely helping that 🙂

Blog Most Days
I couldn’t do this list without including at least one blog related resolution. I’d like to continue blogging most days in 2019 whenever I can.

What are you attempting in 2019?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #109 / Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

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 readers! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is still enjoying the festive season 🙂 For me, it’s incredibly calm at the moment, that lovely period between Christmas and New Year when you don’t even know the day of the week. Neither me or my boyfriend go back to uni/work until next week, and I am absolutely treasuring this time.

The past week have been full of visiting family, relaxing, watching films, reading, playing games and squeezing in some uni work for me! I finished Clockwork Princess last night and my review of the wondrous book is going up tomorrow. I’m taking a break to read My True Love Gave to Me before I pick up The Mortal Instruments!

Today’s book actually includes a short story from My True Love Gave to Me by Rainbow Rowell, alongside some beautiful illustrations and another of her short stories, Kindred Spirits. Although I have my own problems with this book, I do adore the collectable factor and how gorgeous it is in real life!

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“I need you to be my person. I need to see you. And hear you. I need you to stay alive. And I need you to stop kissing other people just because they’re standing next to you when the ball drops.” 

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: 2019 Releases

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 6

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

It’s time for another T5W and it’s under a week until Christmas! We’re looking at 2019 releases I’m looking forward to.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Leigh Bardugo is an auto-buy author for me and King of Scars is the only 2019 book I have on preorder!

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Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.
Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.
But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.
Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .
What if their last shift was an adventure?

This book has been on my TBR since it was first announced, and I can’t believe we now have a cover and everything.

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Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.
The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.
Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself. 

I really enjoyed One of Us is Lying and I definitely am thinking about picking this one up.

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The official guide to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series complete with characters, creatures, new artwork, and more! Everyone knows the story of the assassin queen. But now, fans of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series will be immersed in her journey like never before. From Adarlan’s dark past to Terrasen’s bright future, this comprehensive guide will bring the people, creatures, settings, magic, gods, and world of Aelin’s epic journey to life in stunning illustrations and descriptive portrayals. Complete with an expansive vocabulary and timeline of events, this is the must-have official companion to the Throne of Glass series. 

Honestly, I don’t think I’m ever going to refuse a Sarah J Maas book. It’s just the way it is.

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I may not have enjoyed Legendary quite as much as the first book, but I will be carrying on with this series.

Which books are you excited for in 2019?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! 2019 Goals

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 5

I’ve been having a quick look back on my 2018 goals, and it’s interesting to see whether I hit or missed them! I aimed to take my TBR list down, and I definitely did that, cutting it from 500 to 200. I also wanted to decrease my physical TBR by stopping the amount of books I bought…which didn’t really happen. Oh well!

What do I want to do in 2019?

Read 50 books
Again, I’d really like to read 50 books. I wanted to read 50 in 2018 and I’ve surpassed that by far. But I’d rather not give myself too big a goal and I’m going to stick to 50 again!

Blog most days
I also want to carry on blogging most days next year! I’ve been extremely proud of myself this year and I’d love to be able to continue this.

Read more series
I never set myself an official goal as such for 2018, but in 2019 I would definitely like to complete Throne of Glass, Divergent, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and Morganville Vampires.

Buy less books!
This is probably the most important of all the goals, and the one I’m most determined to hit. I’m in a joint book-buying ban at the moment with my best friend Courtney, and it’s definitely helping me stick to the ban! This year, my physical TBR hasn’t gone down because I’ve been buying just as many books as I can read, so that definitely needs to go down.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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