Let’s Discuss! Meeting Cassandra Clare

One of my favourite things about being a blogger is having the opportunity to join other fans at events! I have a few upcoming signings, and if I see anyone I like, I always try to attend events.

Since late last year, there’s been a small group of my friends who head off all over the UK to go to signings together. So far we’ve met Ransom Riggs, Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli and now Cassandra Clare and Holly Black!

I actually met Cassandra Clare for the first time almost 3 years ago, but at the time I had only read City of Bones and mainly went for my friend at the time who adored Shadowhunters. Of course, I’m now a massive fan of all of her books and have read most of them since early December! It was so awesome to go back and meet Cassie as a reader.

Other than the event being in a strange venue (a club/venue for gigs) which was very loud and had disco lights (??), it was brilliant. Cassandra and Holly chatted for a while on stage, and then took questions. There were some really interesting Q&As too! After a couple of hours waiting, we finally got through to meet the authors. I also made Cassie a cake, pictured below, which she loved!

I made her a very British Victoria Sandwich cake, which is layers of sponge with jam and buttercream in the middle. When I told her, she said she’s wanted to try one since researching for The Infernal Devices years ago! Her and Holly Black’s reactions to the cake were priceless.

I absolutely loved this signing and I’m so excited for my upcoming ones!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #117/ Carry On

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’ve been working on a uni project over the past week, which is causing me to think about diverse YA books. That includes LGBTQIA+, and this thought process led me too…Carry On! I read this book when it first came out 4 years ago (where did that time go?!), and I’m definitely due for a reread at some point.

I’ve mainly spent this week doing uni work, and going to a signing! You can find out more about that tomorrow 🙂

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“He’s still looking in my eyes. Staring me down like he did that dragon, chin tilted and locked. “I’m not the Chosen One,” he says.
I meet his gaze and sneer. My arm is a steel band around his waist. “I choose you,” I say. “Simon Snow, I choose you.” 
― Rainbow Rowell, 
Carry On

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

I have a confession to make…I tried with this book before and stopped reading after the first chapter. And I’m not going to ignore this because I loved the book so much the second time round, I think it’s important you guys know. I’m going to be completely and utterly honest about this, and just say I struggled with reading someone from such a different background. I struggled with the language, and that’s why I couldn’t get into this book the first time.

But I knew I had to carry on again at some point, and now I’m meeting Angie Thomas in a couple of weeks time, I couldn’t put it off any longer. Luckily, I can’t even describe how happy and glad I am that I finally continued with this book. My second experience was so different, and made me realise that this book is just incredible.

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong.” 

This book just screams at you about how important it is. I cannot even describe the weight this book carries, the way it makes you sit back and realise that holy crap, this stuff still happens. And I know this, I’ve seen the horrific stories in the news etc etc, but experiencing it first-hard from Starr’s perspective brings everything to the forefront of your mind.

And not only is this book important, relevant and honestly refreshing, it’s also enjoyable in many aspects. We have a relatable teen, fighting for what she believes in with her strongest weapon – her voice. It’s also a great coming of age novel, in which Starr is struggling with relationships and friendships, all normal teenage girl things. The focus on family is so strong and beautiful. I valued the love between the family so much, and seeing them work so fiercely together meant the world.

“The key is to never stop doing right.”

I wish I could explain how important this book is, and how glad I am to have come across it and finally read it. I understand I’m not the only person who struggled with getting into this book, and if I have any advice to new readers it would be to push past the initial 100 pages, because it gets so much better.

★★★★★ 
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #83

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

Hi everyone! This week I have something so special, a bookish gift. Honestly, they are the best kind of gifts aren’t they? So my lovely friend Dani messaged me a while ago that she had accidentally preordered two copies of A Curse So Dark and Lonely, and asked if I wanted one. Of course I said yes, and she gave it to me yesterday.

I also received a few books from my other also lovely friend Chloe, and I’ll post about them next week! But for now, thank you again Dani and I’m so looking forward to reading this beautiful book.

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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.

Did you buy or receive any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Lady Midnight (#1) by Cassandra Clare

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It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.
Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…
Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Clare never fails to astound me, and I honestly think she may have nabbed my top spot on my favourite authors list! To prove a point, I started this book on Friday and finished it on Tuesday. And I know there are many fans who would have been able to read much quicker than I did, but for me, 5 days is pretty damn quick.

There’s something so special about The Dark Artifices, and it makes me constantly realise how incredible Clare is to write numerous Shadowhunter series with different characters and yet have them stand so far apart from one another. The Infernal Devices, The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices all have very special places in my heart, and for different reasons.

“These pictures are my heart.”

I loved The Mortal Instruments so much, but I could very clearly see that Clare was developing her writing. Now on the third series, her writing is better than ever and it made Lady Midnight amazing for me. I could love no one as much as Tessa, Will and Jem, but I became so attached to Emma, Julian and his family throughout this book. The children are so diverse and vibrant and I love them all for it.

This book was full of twists and turns, especially after the initial couple hundred pages. I do think this book took a while to adjust to because it’s quite far removed from the other series, but as soon as it got going, I loved the differences. I literally couldn’t put this book down!

Also I would definitely like to point out that you really need to read Clare’s other books before this series! Not only would this spoil a lot for you, the cameos of other characters mean everything to me. I loved them.

“And if my heart was a canvas, every square inch of it would be painted over with you.”

I cannot even explain how much I adore the cast of this series. Each character was so great in there own ways and I admire Clare endlessly for creating such a vast range of characters. I can’t finish this review without a quick mention of the diversity in this book. Not only do we have gay faeries (and my favourite warlock you know who I mean), and a new Latinx Mexican friend who I adored, but also A CHILD WITH AUTISM. Ahh I could scream with how much I just appreciate this? Ty is so well represented, so well described and I’m so overly happy he is part of this world.

And I didn’t mean to descend into full on fangirling, but I think I managed to explain how much I love this book.

★★★★★ 
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 YA Romance Books

It’s been a week of romance with Valentine’s Day – and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to post about some of my favourite cliche romance reads. I’m going for overly cheesy and jam-packed with lovey-dovey teenagers, so if that sounds like your guilty-pleasure, check these out!

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

I read this book just last summer, when my reading tastes were rapidly changing, yet I still absolutely adored it.

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Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.
Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.
And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

The absolute definition of guilty pleasure for me, this one was so predictable but I couldn’t help falling for it anyway.

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

I haven’t read this book in a while, but it’s everything I love about road-trip romance. Including snapshots from a real journey (receipts, photos and playlists), I adored this book.

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Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.
But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

This whole trilogy is cotton candy fluff, and sometimes that’s exactly what I need. Cute, sweet and set in the beautiful city of Paris!

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Griffin has lost his first love in a drowning accident. Theo was his best friend, his ex-boyfriend and the one he believed he would end up with. Now, reeling from grief and worsening OCD, Griffin turns to an unexpected person for help. Theo’s new boyfriend.
But as their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, dangerous truths begin to surface. Griffin must make a choice: confront the past, or miss out on his future.

One of my more recent romance reads but I loved it! I only discovered Adam Silvera’s books last year and I’m so glad I did.

Which are your favourite romance reads?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #116 / Everything Leads to You

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 everyone! I’ve been thinking a lot about romance books with Valentine’s Day in the past week, and I thought I’d share one with you today.

The past week has been busy, not just with some lovely Valentine’s celebrations but also with my Etsy shop opening! I’m so excited about this, and if you haven’t checked it out yet you can do so here.

Anyway, onto today’s book! Everything Leads to You is one of my favourite LGBT books, and one of my favourite romances.

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“We love films because they makes us feel something. They speak to our desires, which are never small. They allow us to escape and to dream and to gaze into the eyes that are impossibly beautiful and huge. They fill us with longing. But also. They tell us to remember; they remind us of life. Remember, they say, how much it hurts to have your heart broken.” 
― Nina LaCour, 
Everything Leads to You

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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