Let’s Discuss! August Releases I’m Excited For

Hi all! I know we’re a week into the month already but I thought today I’d talk a little about August releases I’m excited for! There are just too many I have on my shelf or I want to read to avoid shouting about them.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake!
But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever…

My copy of Nick and Charlie arrived yesterday and I’m so excited to read it. It looks so pretty alongside Alice’s other books!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Robin Cooper’s life is falling apart.
While his friends prepare to head off to university, Robin is looking at a pile of rejection letters from drama schools up and down the country, and facing a future without the people he loves the most. Everything seems like it’s ending, and Robin is scrabbling to find his feet.
Unsure about what to do next and whether he has the talent to follow his dreams, he and his best friends go and drown their sorrows at a local drag show, where Robin realises there might be a different, more sequinned path for him . . .
With a mother who won’t stop talking, a boyfriend who won’t acknowledge him and a best friend who is dying to cover him in glitter make up, there’s only one thing for Robin to do: bring it to the runway.

I haven’t picked up my copy of Boy Queen yet, but I’m really looking forward to it because it sounds amazing.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.
Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball . are forfeit.
But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world.

I’ve heard so many good things about Cinderella is Dead and I really want to pick up a copy myself!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.
Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.
With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

I have an ecopy of this book through NetGalley and I’m really desperate to read it – in fact it’s next on my list after Loveless!

Which books are you excited for this month?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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July Wrap Up + August TBR

Hi everyone! I’m here today with my July wrap up and August TBR. I read 5 books in July, which isn’t my best amount I’ve read in a month, but does include some super long one’s like Kingdom of Ash so I’m trying not to be too disappointed!

Books I Read in July

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Goodreads | Waterstones

They never should have met…The comet’s arrival is imminent, and Taki puts his plan into action to save Mitsuha and the people he has come to care for during his time in her body. Convincing a whole town of skeptics that the sky is falling will take some doing – and a little delinquency – but if Taki wants any hope of a future with Mitsuha, they will have to save the town in the here and now…!

I finally decided to pick up the third manga in this series, and I loved it of course. It was so lovely and felt like a re-read as I have read the light novel and seen the movie a number of times!

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Review | 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?

I was on the blog tour for this book and it turned out to be super interesting!

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

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.

Tower of Dawn ended up being my favourite book in the Throne of Glass series, I adored it.

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy–he just didn’t think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right?
Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature… until his old life comes knocking on his door. Now, Amir has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to a US Customs officer, or risk losing his hard-won freedom.

This book was definitely my most disappointing of the month, and I didn’t enjoy it much unfortunately!

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…
With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.
And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

I just finished Kingdom of Ash, but as I read it mostly in July I’m counting it in my July wrap up! It’s also the longest book I’ve ever read, clocking in at 980 pages.

My favourite book of the month was Tower of Dawn, and my least favourite was unsurprisingly How It All Blew Up.

Books I Want to Read in August

Lot – Bryan Washington
Far From Perfect – Holly Smale
The Black Kids – Christina Hammonds Reed
Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm – Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising – Leigh Bardugo

I have a few ARC books I need to read this month and I definitely want to finally read the Grisha trilogy which I’ve promised to read now I’m done with Throne of Glass!

What did you read in July and what do you want to read in August?

-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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Goodreads | Waterstones

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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Goodreads | Waterstones

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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ARC Review: How It All Blew Up by Arvin Ahmadi

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy–he just didn’t think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right?
Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature… until his old life comes knocking on his door. Now, Amir has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to a US Customs officer, or risk losing his hard-won freedom.

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

I unfortunately went into this book with an already negative viewpoint as the author had twisted the words of a reviewer I personally know and attacked them on social media. However, I decided to push on anyway and pick this one up, more out of curiosity than anything.

The story follows Amir, who is 18 years old and earns money by writing Wiki articles for payment. When he is blackmailed with a photo of him kissing another boy, he uses his money to escape to Italy, where he befriends a group of older, gay men. This in itself felt problematic and somewhat predator-ish, how he was very quickly taken under the wing of these men, even living with one of them for a while and being made to feel uncomfortable by another, which appears to not change how his friends feel about this man at all, and has no negative impact on him. Even any other side characters were one-dimensional and unimaginative.

I wish I could say I enjoyed it other than that, but I’m far from done yet. As pointed out by other reviewers, this book does not take the opportunity to fully represent and discuss Muslim culture. Although the main character is Muslim himself, and makes it very plain that his sexuality would be a problem for his family due to their religion, this is the point in which the discussion of religion stops. Rather than feeling like I learned more about Muslim culture, I was left questioning whether Amir or his family even followed any Muslim practices as they are not at all mentioned in the narrative.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the problems for me. Although I adored the setting in Italy, Italian culture was very much stereotyped, full of pizza, pasta and Vespas. I’ve not visited Italy myself, but I’m damn sure there is more to it than that. I also want to bring up the subject of how panic attacks were represented, which, having suffered from panic attacks myself luckily only a couple of times in my life, felt completely unrealistic to me. Amir had a seemingly normal conversation with a guy in a bookshop, in which he seemed perhaps a little lovestruck. He then went back to his apartment and lay down, in which I thought ‘oh, he’s tired/going to have a nap’, and then proceeded to say how bad his panic attack had been. Now, I completely understand how different people experience panic attacks differently, but I was so disappointed by how this was represented. I had no idea Amir had had a panic attack, because he displayed no common symptoms. It felt like a missed chance to explain to the reader how a panic attack may feel, completely missing the mark for me.

That being said, I was intrigued by this book and absolutely sped through it, wanting to know what would happen next. Despite Italy being stereotypical, it made for a beautiful setting and I enjoyed the descriptions of the architecture and surroundings. Other than finding him vulnerable and frustrating, I liked Amir as a main character and sympathised with him. If this book didn’t have so many damn problems, I even might have enjoyed it. *sigh*

★★
2 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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BookTube: Mid Year Freak Out Tag 2020

Hello lovely readers! Argh, I can’t believe I haven’t posted in almost a week – I’ve missed you guys and I really need to get back on top of posting! Anyway, last time I was here I wrote out my Mid Year Freak Out post and today I am coming to you with the video version.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

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Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

Angie Thomas can just do no wrong. I loved The Hate U Give and it’s been long overdue that I give On the Come Up a shot. I’m aware right now more than ever that we need to amplify Black voices and educate ourselves. And I will not be quiet, I will continue to educate myself and learn the importance of this beyond what is being shown (and slowly disappearing from) the news and social media cycle.

This book opened my eyes so much to Black culture. It opened my eyes to poverty and discrimination and the problems we face within our education systems. It left me shook to the core.

Let be real: We’re black kids from one of the worst neighborhoods in the city.

Bri was such a good character and I really liked reading about her story. Her passion and anger drove me to match her energy. She was young and flawed and made decisions which very much frustrated me in parts, but I understood why she reacted to certain situations with anger, which may have impaired her best judgement. On the Come Up did an incredible job of facing the difficulties of growing up, of family and friends, and paired them perfectly with the deep-rooted problems Bri faces with racism in the education system in particular.

Her passion for rapping and music was paramount, and I loved how it shone through in the plot. It gave her such an interesting way to release the anger she was feeling, and made the plot fast paced and have so much depth. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite hooked from the beginning and it took me a while to get used to being back in Garden Heights, which impacted my rating slightly.

All it takes is one of us messing up, and suddenly all of us messed up.

Once again, Angie Thomas has achieved in writing a beautiful, amazing and hard hitting novel tackling such important issues. Simply put, we all need to read books like this. This is just the beginning of educating ourselves.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

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Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife. When Lo-Melkhiin – a formidable king – arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice – leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man. But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king …if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it drew me in like I didn’t expect. This book is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, which I have never read but know the rough story of, so I had some idea of what to expect. Having the simple backing plot of the fairytale drew me in and kept me interested, and but the magic that sparked in the pages of this book made it stand out.

The narrator, who remains unnamed, I really loved reading about. She has a strength and fire and I really appreciated her as a female narrator. Even though this book is naturally sexist and shows women to be ‘lower’ than men, she has an amazing voice.

“I do fear him,” I said, which was close to the truth. “I fear him as I fear the desert sun and poisonous snakes.

The plot was slow burning, but it felt insignificant as most of the plot had already been laid out with it being a retelling. The pace picked up towards the end and offered a big payoff for reading the slower parts. I really enjoyed the slower parts too though, and the detailing of the palace where the narrator spends most of the story shined through. I appreciated the minute detailing of the surroundings, as it made the story enchanting and encompassing.

The King was a spiteful character, but his development throughout the story was so interesting and kept me on my toes as I never knew how to feel about him. The rest of the cast of characters were also brilliant, and the narrators sister I just adored. One conversation between her and her sister really stood out.

They are all part of the life I live. But the sun gives light, and snakes will feed a caravan if they are caught and cooked.”

Overall, this was quite an enchanting story that drew me in. The writing and plot were simple, which unfortunately led me to rate this lower than I would have liked. I also really enjoyed the magical elements, but they could be confusing in their descriptions, which is another factor that went towards a lower rating. Aside from this, I really enjoyed the book and it was an interesting twist on a classic story.

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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