WWW Wednesday || 10/7

WWW Wednesday || 10/7

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted Taking on a World of Words that I thought would be fun to get involved with. It involves answering three WWW questions about recent reads.

Over the last week, I’ve actually read a fair amount! I’m quite happy that I’ve essentially made up for about a week of not reading anything by reading 3 this week. Here’s to hoping I can keep that up for the next few weeks, especially with YALC coming up!

What are you currently reading?

I just picked up The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh last night after I finished The Wrath and the Dawn.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished S.T.A.G.S. by MA Bennett and I have to say, I didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as I thought I would which was disappointing. I then read Book Love by Debbie Tung, which was a cute book full of bookish cartoons. I then finished The Wrath and the Dawn just last night!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Depending on when I finish my current read, I’ll be moving onto We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faisal which is released in the UK in August. I want to read it before I head to YALC, ideally.

What are you reading this week?

June 2019 || Wrap Up

June 2019 || Wrap Up

June has gone a lot faster than I expected. I thought this month would go fairly slowly but it’s completely passed me by and now it’s July. I’m really happy that it’s July because it’s my birthday month but more importantly, YALC is happening at the end of the month! I’m really hoping that July is a good reading month. As you’ll be able to see below, I had a fairly decent month of reading. No 5-star reads this month however I did manage to hit my Goodreads reading goal of 30 books in 6 months so I am very pleased. I feel like it has kind of taken the pressure off now however I’m looking to double that and have read at least 60 books by the end of 2019. We’ll see about that though.

In terms of life, June was fairly uneventful however it was my boyfriends birthday in the middle of the month so we had a nice weekend celebrating which was a lot of fun. I also started my new accounting qualification in the middle of the month so I’m now getting back into study mode. I’m hoping it won’t impact my reading too much and that I can find a happy balance between working, studying, socialising and reading! I’ll work it out somehow, I hope..

Monthly Reading Total: 6 ||  Total Books Read In 2019: 32/30


Reading Goals for Last Month:

  1. The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
  2. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
  3. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  4. S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett
  5. The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood-Hargrave
  6. It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

What I Actually Read:

  1. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli ★★★
  2. The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg ★★★
  3. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski ★★★★
  4. It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne ★★★★
  5. Gumiho: Wicked Fox by Kat Cho ★★★★
  6. Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne ★★★★

I’ve stuck to my TBR fairly well, I think. I decided fairly early on that I just wasn’t in the mood for The Girl of Ink and Stars this month which is a shame but ultimately, I want to read as much as I can and I knew that if I forced myself to read it then that could put me in a slump which I absolutely do not need a month before YALC. I also didn’t have enough time to read The Wrath and the Dawn and wasn’t really in the mood for it, favouring contemporaries over fantasy, but I have moved that onto my July TBR. I’ve read a similar amount to what I read in May which is great. I’m hoping to keep this up by reading roughly the same amount of books every month.

July TBR:

  1. S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett
  2. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
  3. A Girl Called Shameless by Laura Steven
  4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I’m still reading books that are on my YALC TBR but I also want to start reading books that aren’t for YALC now. I only have a few that I definitely need to read before YALC so the pressure isn’t so great now. I don’t have a lot on my TBR for July just because I don’t really know what I’m in the mood for but decided that I’ll read just whatever takes my fancy. At the moment, I’m really enjoying Holly Bourne’s books so I might pick up another one of those but who knows?

What was your favourite read of June? What books are on your TBR for July?

Truly, Devious: Six Reasons to Read the Series So Far

Truly, Devious: Six Reasons to Read the Series So Far

Title: Truly, Devious | The Vanishing Stair

Author: Maureen Johnson

Pages: 416 | 384

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Published: 2018 | 2019

Source: Bought


I am still relatively new to the YA mystery genre but I’ve been exploring the genre a bit more over the last year or so. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed over the last year (and please correct me if I’m wrong) is that there aren’t a whole lot of YA mystery books out there at the moment but there are definitely more coming out.

Truly, Devious is a YA mystery series that I had on my shelves for a little while but hadn’t picked up. If I’m totally honest, I didn’t really know very much about it but once I read the synopsis, I was very much wanting to read it. Before I’d even finished reading the first book, I’d got the second book, The Vanishing Stair, on order. Let me tell you, I enjoyed The Vanishing Stair more than Truly, Devious which I had quite liked.

With that, and the cover reveal of the third and last book in this trilogy, The Hand on the Wall, I wanted to do a little post featuring six reasons why you should pick up the books in this series.

1. As mentioned, The Hand on the Wall, which is the final book in the series had it’s cover revealed yesterday. It’s coming out in 2020 and so you should absolutely pick up the first two books in this series so you’re up to date and ready to complete this series once the third book has been released.

2. It’s a YA mystery set in a boarding school. Need I say more?

3. Ok, the blurb already mentions it so I don’t feel like it’s a spoiler but this series isn’t just a mystery series, it’s a murder mystery series. But just saying that doesn’t quite do it justice. It’s also a mystery based on a historic case that happened at the boarding school in the 1930s which is being investigated.

4. The characters are smart and interesting. Ok, yes, they do feel immature at times but then weren’t we all when we were their age? The characters are at a boarding school for some of the most intelligent kids and are given free reign over most things so that makes things quite interesting!

5. As with any mystery book, there’s twists and turns at every angle. I love trying to solve mysteries myself but with this one, we have an advantage as there are flashback scenes. I love the inclusion of the scenes from the original case as I feel like we have an advantage over our main character who is also trying to solve the case. However, despite the extra information we get, I don’t seem to be very good at trying to crack the mystery!

6. It’s fun! I know, a slightly funny thing to call a murder mystery fun but it’s true. It is quite a well thought out mystery story and it’s just even better that it’s a YA!

I’m really happy that I finally picked up this series earlier this year and whilst I understand mysteries aren’t for everyone, I hope that I’ve managed to convince you enough to give this series or at least the first book in the series, Truly, Devious, a try.

WWW Wednesday || 3/7

WWW Wednesday || 3/7

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted Taking on a World of Words that I thought would be fun to get involved with. It involves answering three WWW questions about recent reads.

Can you believe it’s July already? The year is going super quickly but I’m also very happy that we’ve finally made it to July because 1. it’s my birthday month and 2. YALC is happening!

With that in mind, I’ve still got quite a few books on my TBR to get through and this week, I’ve barely made any progress with them. I’m just not feeling completely in the mood for the last two books on my immediate YALC TBR, unfortunately.

What are you currently reading?

My current read is still S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett. I’m only a few chapters in so not entirely sure what to make of it just yet but hopefully I’ll be into it after the first 100 pages!

What did you recently finish reading?

Nothing this week, unfortunately!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I need to read The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh before YALC comes around so realistically I need to have my current read finished by the end of this week and have TWATD to read the week after because once the first two weeks of July are done, I’ve got a busy few weeks ahead of me what with work, studying, my birthday and exams!

What are you reading this week?

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

 

Title: The Paper & Hearts Society

Author: Lucy Powrie

Pages: 355

Publisher: Hodder Children’s

Published: 2019

Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thanks, Team Bkmrk!

Rating: ★★★★


Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn’t want to go to parties – in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.

It’s like she hasn’t found her people …

Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING – especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.

But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it’s the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed’s fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself …

Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?


I have been looking forward to reading Lucy’s book, The Paper & Hearts Society ever since I heard that she was writing it. I’ve been following the journey of her debut novel and it’s just been such a joy to watch it go from a document on her screen to a physical copy that can be held and read.

The Paper & Hearts Society is quite a heartwarming book and is so fast paced that I completely raced through it. I was excited to read it because it features books and reading so heavily which are obviously quite a big part of my life and it did not disappoint. I’m really happy that I picked it up as I really enjoyed it and now I want my to form my own Paper & Hearts Society.

Thoughts

The Paper & Hearts Society follows Tabby, our main character, after a move down to Dorset as she gets used to a new life in a relatively new place. Tabby moves in with her Gran and, because she is living in a new place, we follow her as she meets new people and settles into new surroundings.

I enjoyed the writing of this book. It was fairly simple which meant that I was able to fly through the pages. As mentioned already, the pacing of it was quite fast and that, along with the writing, was consistent throughout. The plot flowed really well from one chapter to the next and was easy to follow. The only thing that stood out to me is that I felt that this book was a little on the younger side but that also made it quite quick for me. I would say that The Paper & Hearts Society is perfect for any high school or college student. I wish that I’d had this book when I was younger and in my first few years of high school as I think that’s the type of age group that it really appeals too.

The plot follows Tabby as she joins a newly formed club of friends and fellow book nerds. I really enjoyed the plot as I felt like it made a point of making sure that reading is nothing to be ashamed of and that it made it cool.  What I found positive with this book was that it explores themes of mental health and the exploration of LGBTQ+ and identity. Because of these themes, I feel like the book is more relatable, especially for young people who are perhaps dealing with mental health themselves or are exploring their own identity. This book will help you feel like you’re not so alone and that other people do go through similar. This book also explores bullying in the present day climate where social media is involved. Again, I do feel like this book could encourage young people dealing with this to seek out help and hopefully prove that it is ok to talk about how you’re feeling.

I liked that the characters, Tabby, Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed are unapologetically bookish and that, though they might have differing opinions on books, they stick together and help each other whenever one of them is feeling less than their best. I think that this book really helps to promote positive friendships and how important and supportive a group of friends can be. My favourite character in this book was probably Ed, just because I found him quite funny but in all honesty, I enjoyed reading about all of them.

When I finished The Paper & Hearts Society, I felt happy and definitely ready to read the next book, Read with Pride. It made me feel happy reading this book because I was listening to characters talk about their own love of books. It was actually quite comforting to see others be passionate about books and the things they love, even if they are fictional characters themselves.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed Lucy’s debut novel and I’m really excited for everyone to read it now that it’s out in the world. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next book, Read with Pride, takes us. I’d absolutely recommend this book if you’re looking for a fun, quick read and I’d especially recommend it if you’re looking for a book to gift to someone who is in high school or college – or even to you if you’re either of those things!

The Struggles of Having a Big TBR

The Struggles of Having a Big TBR

I wanted to discuss something that many of us in the book community have to deal with and that’s a TBR list. Now TBR lists can be used in a variety of ways. Maybe you have a TBR list of all the books you own, or perhaps you have a monthly TBR. For this post, I want to talk about my owned TBR and how, though it is great to look at my own personal collection of books, it can be quite overwhelming to see all the unread books on my shelves.

So being overwhelmed by books? Well, that’s something I’ve been dealing with for the last 5 years or so now. I became the reader I am now back in Spring 2014 and my TBR has honestly not stopped growing since. I do have a big owned TBR list and there is absolutely no way I can deny that. I have about 250 books on my Want to Read shelf on Goodreads and I am constantly in the process of trying to bring it down to 200 books.  I’ll be honest, it’s not going too well but I am trying and I do feel like I am more motivated than any other year to decrease the number of books on my TBR.

Now as I said earlier, having a big TBR can be great at times because I’m never stuck for books to read but it can also be overwhelming because I do have so many books on my shelves staring at me, asking for me to pick them. Well believe me, if I could read all of them at the same time, I absolutely would and sometimes I just get this urge to try but of course, there’s no way I can keep track of 250 books at a time. Although of course, I’d leave one or two spare! Despite this positive of always having books on hand to read, I do feel the pressure to read them. There’s so many hyped books especially that are on my shelves to read that I just haven’t yet because I was reading something else when it was released or I wasn’t in the mood. I’ve even developed this habit of buying special or signed editions of books that are in a series I own but haven’t read yet because there are only limited copies available. It’s a serious problem.

Sometimes I really do wonder how I ever let myself buy this many books. Having a lot of books to read isn’t exactly the worst situation to be in, but I do sometimes just feel guilty for going on such a book buying splurge when I started reading again in 2014 because there are so many books from those early years that I haven’t even got to yet.

How will I ever get through them all? Will I ever get through them all? I want to read them all but I just don’t think I can.

So attempting to read the 250 books on my shelves and the pressure that comes with that? I’ll be the first to admit that I am a slow reader and that really does hold me back from getting through my TBR, not to mention all the new releases contributing to that. I just wish I was one of those people that could read over 100 books a year. I know, I know, I shouldn’t compare myself to others at all because we all read at different speeds and that’s great but while some people are reading 100+ books a year, I’m struggling to even get to 60 books read in a year. If I was able to read even 100 books a year, I’d be able to get my TBR down to almost nil in 2/2.5 years.

I’ll be honest my TBR does feel never ending and some days I really do feel like I am being drowned in books.

I do have plans to try and combat my TBR which includes finishing any series I’ve already started as so many of the books on my TBR come from series. For example, one of the biggest series on my TBR are the Shadowhunters books. If I read all of the books I own from that world (not including the three that I’ve already read), that would knock 11 books off my TBR alone which is quite a considerable amount. It looks like I’ll be looking to get that series read over the next year for sure!

Of course, having a big TBR isn’t always bad. I love knowing that once I’ve finished my current read, I have plenty of reading material to suit my mood. There’s also the added benefit that I can never be bored and that I have so much choice, I can literally dive into whatever world I feel like. I also love having a large owned TBR because it is my personal library collection and so it’s unique to me.

There’s just so much to read and so little time!

 

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on having a big TBR. How many books do you have on yours? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your TBR list? Are you desperately trying to bring your TBR list down? Do you like having a big TBR with plenty of books to look forward to?

WWW Wednesday || 26/6

WWW Wednesday || 26/6

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted Taking on a World of Words that I thought would be fun to get involved with. It involves answering three WWW questions about recent reads.

Ah, that last week of June. I can’t believe it’s July next week. 2019 is going far too quickly, although it does mean that next week I’ll be able to say ‘I’m going to YALC this month’! I haven’t done very much over the last week except working, studying for the new module I started last Monday which I have evening classes for again this week and reading. I’m ok with that though. I feel like the next couple of weeks will be full of excitement once we hit July because I absolutely just can’t wait for YALC!

What are you currently reading?

My current read is S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett which I’ve just started today so I’m not very far through it. I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Gumiho: Wicked Fox by Kat Cho, which was my current read last week. I really enjoyed it and found it so interesting. I also finished Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne on Tuesday evening.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am hopefully going to pick up The Wrath and the Dawn once I’ve finished my current read. I haven’t really felt like reading fantasy as much which is a little sad because I do really love fantasy but I think it’s because it’s Summer and, like a lot of people, Summer is putting me in the mood for Contemporary. Not such a bad thing though as at least I’m reading!

What are you reading this week?