July Wrap-Up and August TBR

I’m very proud to say that I managed to read at least one book by every author I had books signed by at YALC! Saying that, July was still definitely a slow month for me and I’m excited for keeping more on top of my blog and TBR in August. Hopefully doing the Magical Readathon will help with that!

Books I read in July

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Review | Goodreads | Amazon

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Review | Goodreads | Amazon

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Review | Goodreads | Amazon

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My favourite book of the month was probably Do You Dream of Terra-Two? and my least favourite was City of Ghosts, although I think these were all 4 star reads!

Books I Bought in July

City of Ghosts – Victoria Schwab
The Rose and the Dagger – Renee Ahdieh
Solitaire – Alice Oseman
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated – Jim Kay
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated – Jim Kay
Knife Edge – Malorie Blackman
Checkmate – Malorie Blackman
Double Cross – Malorie Blackman
Smoke in the Sun – Renee Ahdieh

I bought quite a lot at YALC too, which I’ll be posting in my August wrap-up! I’m definitely going on a ban (other than preorders) now.

Books I Want to Read in August

Definite:

Attachments – Rainbow Rowell
The Starlight Watchmaker – Lauren James
Flame in the Mist – Renee Ahdieh
This Time Will Be Different – Misa Sugiura
Heartstopper Volume 2 – Alice Oseman
Parked – Danielle Svetcov
Scars Like Wings – Erin Stewart

Extras:

Girls of Storm and Shadow – Natasha Ngan
The Marrow Thieves – Cherie Dimaline

As I’m taking part in the Magical Readathon, these are books on my set TBR and a few extras! Good luck to everyone taking part!

What did you read in July and what’s on your August TBR?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #100 / YALC ARCs + Gifts

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! I had so many books from YALC that these posts are going to have to be done in two parts. Today I’m going to talk about all of the books I was given, ARCs I won or ARCs I got as buying incentives! And next week, I’ll be discussing books I actually bought outright.

Given

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Goodreads | Amazon

Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden but what they don’t know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves. 

This lovely author was giving away beautiful copies of her book to bloggers and vloggers! I was lucky enough to catch her and ask for a copy.

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Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.
But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

I managed to pick this up in a Fairyloot giveaway and it sounds so interesting.

ARCs Won

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16-year-old Ava Gardener is heading back to school one year after a house fire left her severely disfigured. She’s used to the names, the stares, the discomfort, but there’s one name she hates most of all: Survivor. What do you call someone who didn’t mean to survive? Who sometimes wishes she hadn’t?
When she meets a fellow survivor named Piper at therapy, Ava begins to feel like she’s not facing the nightmare alone. Piper helps Ava reclaim the pieces of Ava Before the Fire, a normal girl who kissed boys and sang on stage. But Piper is fighting her own battle for survival, and when Ava almost loses her best friend, she must decide if the new normal she’s chasing has more to do with the girl in the glass—or the people by her side. 

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They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.
On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.
Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate… 

I won both of these books in raffles over the weekend and I’m so grateful for them.

ARCs Bought as Incentives

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When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American. And their country was born of rebellion.
As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

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High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all. 

Penguin gave both of these away with purchases over the weekend, so I nabbed them both at different points!

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Twelve-year-old Jeanne Ann has doubts when her mom spends their savings on an old orange van and bundles them off to San Francisco to chase Mom’s dream of working as a chef. There, they camp on the street while her mother looks for a job she never gets. Before long, Jeanne Ann realizes that this van is the closest thing she has to a home.
Across the road, twelve-year-old Cal watches the homeless community parked just beyond his big house. Cal’s mom is busy with the upscale restaurant she owns, but they’ve always been close–until Cal does something his mom just doesn’t understand.
Then Cal and Jeanne Ann meet. Cal is too tall and too weird and too rich and wears all his emotions on the outside of his skin, and he just wants to help. Jeanne Ann is smart, she is funny, she is stubborn–hers is a royal-looking chin, in
Cal’s opinion–and she does not want his help. But a quirky, meaningful friendship develops between them, and as it does, the pair is buoyed by a remarkable cast of nuanced, oddball characters, who let them down and lift them up. When Jeanne Annn’s situation worsens, though, and Cal’s desire to help gets the better of him, will their friendship survive? And without it, can either of them find their way through this mess?

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Pixie’s defenses are up, and it’s no wonder. She’s been uprooted, the chickens seem to have it in for her, and now her beloved sister, Charlotte, has been stricken with polio and whisked away into quarantine. So it’s not surprising Pixie lashes out. But her habit of making snap judgements–and giving her classmates nicknames like “Rotten Ricky” and “Big-Mouth Berta”–hasn’t won her any friends. At least life on the farm is getting better with the delivery of its newest resident–a runt baby lamb. Raising Buster takes patience and understanding–and this slowing down helps Pixie put things in better perspective. So too does paying attention to her neighbors, and finding that with the war on she’s not the only one missing someone. As Pixie pushes past her own pain to become a bigger person, she’s finally able to make friends; and to laugh about the fact that it is in places where she least expected it.

I’m not going to lie, I was very drawn to the covers of both of these books!

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In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost.
Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.
Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?

I’m not going to lie, this is the best thing I managed to get my hands on over the whole weekend and was totally worth the entire hour I spent queuing to get it! I can’t wait to read it.

So those are the books I managed to get at YALC other than buying! See you next week for books I bought!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 Books I Want to Reread

This Top 5 Wednesday series is inspired by the weekly meme on Goodreads which you can find here. I no longer follow the topics and instead use my own.

Hi everyone and happy Wednesday! Today’s post is about books I want to reread, and kind of started because of the Carry On re-readathon I keep seeing. As much as I’d like to join in, I never seem to have the space or time in my TBR to re-read books, but here’s a list of those I’d like to!

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Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Of course I had to include the book that inspired this post. I’m hoping I might be able to squeeze a reread in before Wayward Son?

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Jude and her twin Noah are close until a tragedy drives them apart. Now they are barely speaking – and both are falling for boys they can’t have. Love’s complicated.

I constantly want to reread this book, in fact it’s probably at the top of my list!

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On the anniversary of her daredevil brother’s death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake’s favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother’s exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.
As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn’t bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother. 

I adored this book so much, I’d love to read it again. I’m very excited to say, however, that I managed to pick up Once & Future and I can’t wait to read it!

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What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

This is the only book on this list that I can actually see myself rereading in the near future. I definitely want to reread it before carrying on with the series.

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Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic
.

This is another book I desperately need to reread before Finale, alongside rereading Legendary! Oh, the pain of waiting for books to be released and forgetting everything that happens in the previous ones.

Which books would you like to reread?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 Authors I’d Love to Meet

This Top 5 Wednesday series is inspired by the weekly meme on Goodreads which you can find here. I no longer follow the topics and instead use my own.

This topic came to me because of the amount of authors I’m lucky enough to be meeting this weekend at YALC. Some of them I’m super happy to be able to meet in person, and it got me thinking about other authors I’d love to meet one day. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some awesome people over the years, and here’s some more I’d love to add to my list.

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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’ve grown up reading Morgan Matson books, and I’d love to tell her how much of a constant she has been in my life. I read Second Chance Summer when I was first getting into YA at around the age of 11, and I still read her new releases at the age of 19 now.

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It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down. 

Do you ever want to meet an author just to tell them how important their book is? Of course it would be great to do this with Angie Thomas, but honestly I think she already knows what an impact she has made 😉 Instead, it’s mean more to me to say that to Tahereh Mafi or Sabina Khan.

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The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

I would love to tell Erin Morgenstern what an incredible and magical world she created, and how she changed my views on pacing and the importance of a setting.

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Emi has been entrusted with her brother’s Los Angeles apartment for the summer as a graduation gift, but she isn’t sure how to fulfil his one condition: that something great take place there while he’s gone. She may be a talented young production designer, already beginning to thrive in the competitive film industry, but she still feels like an average teen, floundering when it comes to romance.
But when Emi and her friend Charlotte discover a mysterious letter at the estate sale of a Hollywood film legend, Emi finds herself chasing down the loose ends of the movie icon’s hidden life. The search leads her to uncover a decades-old secret and the potential for something truly epic: love.

Nina LaCour has definitely been one of my favourite contemporary authors in recent years. In Everything Leads to You she created a complex world of film sets and romance. I adored it with all of my heart.

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Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

And last but not least, I don’t think I need to explain why J.K. Rowling is on this list or what I’d say to her. Mainly because I’m sure what I’d say to her would be a babbling mess!

Who would you love to meet and why?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #99

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!

YALC is this week. I repeat. THIS. WEEK.

Guys, I’m super excited! And scared about how much money I’m going to spend while I’m there on new books. But I feel pretty prepared with the one’s I’ve bought so far, especially as there is so many! This week and next week will be about books I preordered for YALC, then I’ll do a YALC haul post the weekend after when things have calmed down a little 🙂

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I was lucky enough to pick up all 4 of these books in like new condition on eBay for just £8! Ebay has definitely been my friend recently.

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And although I’m super thrilled to have all of Renee’s books I want to read now, this one is also different to book one in cover and size. How annoying is that?

Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #131 / Call It What You Want

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! It’s been a tiring week but we’re back on track now and back in routine hopefully. It’s also been a weird week for me reading wise as I was trying to slog through A Darker Shade of Magic and it just wasn’t working for me. You can read more on my post from yesterday called DNFing books!

So here’s a (small) throwback to a book I really enjoyed, Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer. I read it as an ARC and thought it’d be perfect to post about now it’s actually out in stores 🙂

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“Other people don’t have the challenges we have… but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own.” 
― Brigid Kemmerer, Call It What You Want

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! DNF’ing Books

Hi all! You might be sat there wondering what on earth this title means. Well, for those of you who don’t know, DNF stands for Did Not Finish in the book community. And I’m here to talk about it!

What is DNF’ing?

Marking a book as DNF’d means you decided to put it down part the way through without completing the book.

Why would this happen?

For example, someone could DNF a book because they decide they didn’t like it, or the writing style isn’t for them, they don’t understand what’s going on, or maybe it just isn’t the right time for them to read it right now. I’ve definitely put books down before knowing it’s not for me right now but I’ll probably pick it up again in the future!

Why is this important?

It really depends on the reader to whether you DNF a book or not. I spent a long time never, ever DNF’ing books under any circumstance, determined to see it all the way through. It’s only in recent times that I’ve decided it’s not worth my time anymore.

And I think it all comes down to that – sometimes it’s just not worth your time to carry on reading a book you just know isn’t for you. Sometimes that could be temporary, sometimes forever.

When do I, personally, DNF a book?

I’ve been thinking about this subject because I recently decided to mark A Darker Shade of Magic as DNF’d. This was for a number of reasons:

  • I didn’t understand the full extent of the book
  • I decided I didn’t much care for the characters
  • I didn’t want to pick the book up at this particular time
  • I didn’t have any intrigue to the outcome of the story

This was a really hard thing for me to do, as obviously this is a very hyped read. But personally, it definitely wasn’t the right time for me. I’ve put it aside for now with the intention of maybe trying it again at some point in the future.

Where do you stand on DNF’ing books? Do you ever do it?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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