Anticipated autumn releases

It’s so hot right now in the UK but never fear! Summer will soon be over and autumn will swoop in with its gorgeous oranges and browns and falling leaves, and of course, many new book releases! So what books are coming out in September, October and November that I’m excited for?

Wayward Son by Rainbow RowellImage result for wayward son uk

The sequel to Carry On is due to be released on October 3rd (it’s October third – get the reference?) and even though I’m a bit annoyed the cover won’t match my copy of Carry On, I’m still excited for this long-awaited sequel.

 

 

 

The Beautiful by Renée AhdiehImage result for the beautiful renee ahdieh

A book about vampires? I haven’t really read one since Twilight all those years ago but I absolutely love Renée’s writing. Out October 8th, it’s a perfect book for the month of Halloween.

 

 

 

Find Me by Tahereh MafiImage result for find me tahereh mafi

The second book of two novellas in the Shatter Me series includes both Shadow Me and Reveal Me which are numbers 4.5 and 5.5 respectively. I have yet to read Defy Me but I love this series and think a reread is on the cards for me soon! Find Me is also out October 8th.

 

 

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie StiefvaterImage result for call down the hawk

Having read the sampler of this from YALC, I know this is going to be a good book. I’ve already read the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater and Ronan was an awesome character – I can’t wait for this new Dreamer series. Its release date is November 5th.

 

 

 

The Queen of Nothing by Holly BlackImage result for the queen of nothing

The third in The Folk of the Air series sees the ending to this trilogy and while I don’t absolutely love the series, I’m still keen to see how it ends and I’m really hoping a certain person gets their comeuppance. The Queen of Nothing is out November 19th.

 

 

 

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen ZhaoImage result for blood heir amelie wen zhao

I read the sampler of this from YALC as well and I was completely drawn in to this story about people with gifts called Affinities and a princess on the run. I’ll definitely be getting this on the day its released which is November 21st!

 

 

 

What are some anticipated autumn releases for you? Or have you been lucky enough to read some of these awesome-sounding books prior to their release? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

What Magic is This? Book Review

What Magic is This?Image result for what magic is this holly bourne

Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Pages: 152
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis from goodreads:

“Sophia, Mia and Alexis are clinging on to a spark of hope that maybe – just maybe – they’re special. But could they really be witches with the power to cast life-changing spells? When the three friends gather to cheer up heartbroken Sophia, they’re ready to put their theory to the test. But when long-held secrets are revealed and hard truths start to hit home, their night of bewitching quickly takes an unexpected turn…”

I picked this book up at YALC so I could get it signed by Holly Bourne and I finally read is the other week and of course I loved it! What Magic is This? is a novella about three high school friends that come together one night to try and cast a spell to improve an aspect of each of their lives. It’s a book about friendship and the magic that it brings.

This novella is actually a dyslexia-friendly book with a large and simple text for an easy-to-read format and with no complex language. I thought this was a great idea because some books I’ve read in the past have had very small fonts or long passages of italic text, which even I find hard to read sometimes, so it must be really difficult for people with dyslexia. I’ve even been put off reading some books due to the format of the text inside (for example if it’s too small) so I really hope more publishers think about increasing the size of the text in future publications to make for an easier reading experience and open up to a larger audience.

The story inside however was every bit as brilliant as a Holly Bourne novel. The three friends reminded me of the three from the Spinster trilogy with an outgoing one, a shy/secretive one, and the one in the middle as the narrator. Magic is a recurring theme in this book be it real or not, but I think the inclusion of magic was brilliant and not what I was expecting.

If you want a quick and easy read to get stuck into and lose yourself for an evening, then pick up this beautiful novella about the magic of friendship and remind yourself of what’s important in life.

 

The Channeler Book Review

The ChannelerImage result for the channeler jenna ryan

Author: Jenna Ryan
Publisher: TCK Publishing
Pages: 240
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis from goodreads:

“Caleb Swift knows he’s a complicated guy. He sees the unseeable: winged beings that haunt both his dreams and his waking visions. He knows the unknowable: horrifying visions of countless unspeakable futures he feels powerless to prevent. And if that weren’t bad enough, these potent revelations might be driving him insane. Who needs that kind of trouble?

Not Caleb. He’s doing his best to live a totally uncomplicated life, to ignore the visions of doom that hound him relentlessly. But no matter what he does, one particular vision still plagues him. The one with the girl. The girl who’s in mortal danger (or will be soon). The girl only he can save.

Now Caleb has a choice. To ignore his gift, to live the ordinary life he so desperately desires, even if it means letting her die… Or to act. To interfere. To become extraordinary. And let one girl’s future turn his present completely upside-down.”

I was sent this as an ARC e-copy in exchange for a review.

The first page instantly grabbed my attention with Caleb’s over-thoughtfulness and it was great to see the main character in their early twenties, which is often neglected in YA with a lot of protagonists mainly in their teens. I was pretty much sold on Caleb’s character from the off because of how similar some of his thoughts are to mine, and I loved how ordinary he seemed but with this extraordinary power to glimpse the future.

What would you do if you could see the future? Heed it as a warning? Try to prevent it? Well Caleb has tried everything but in the end, he opts for denial that a certain vision will happen, even when he meets the one person involved in the vision as they become a dear friend to him.

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When will these clairvoyants ever learn? Being able to see the future has always intrigued me as a superpower because surely it’s not that useful? You’d just know before everyone else what will happen but if you try to avoid it or prevent it from happening, it will find another course. It’s always the way! You can’t stop it from happening once you’ve seen it. I think I’d much prefer mind-reading or invisibility.

Anyway back to Caleb, he’s a guy at college with a brilliantly supportive friend and aunt, having lost his mother a long time ago and never knowing who he father was. He also has another secret along with his clairvoyance and that’s his angel-like friend, Gabe, who appears to Caleb in times of need like when he’s wounded physically or mentally. He acts like his guardian angel who watches over him and I have to admit that would be pretty cool to have – someone who appears when you really need someone completely out of the loop and can look at your problems objectively and offer support.

But what I loved about this book were the amazing friendships that have a foundation of trust and never waver. They developed throughout the story and it felt so genuine which was great to see because so many books it’s either insta-love or you become friends out of great peril, but the friendships in this book just grew with time. They trusted each other and talked things through rather than bottling it up and were there for each other.

Image result for friends gif

I thought the plot was good if not a little predictable at times but I honestly didn’t see one thing coming and I was pleasantly shocked! For me, the writing was a little simple with not enough description (I love description) to really immerse me into the story, but that’s just personal preference.

However I LOVED the portrayal of Caleb’s romantic relationship in this book because it shows what a guy should do – he asks before presuming, takes thing at both their paces and is just plain kind and thoughtful which was beautiful. You read about and see in movies so many guys that just grab the woman’s head and kisses them, leaving them no choice if they want to pull away, but watching this relationship unfold was so sweet and so different from what I read/see in stories these days. So I’m very glad this was included.

It was a tricky book to rate because I was toying between three and four stars, but I decided in the end that I liked it, not really liked it which was the difference for me. Though I am really keen to read what happens next so I’m looking forward to the sequel!

If you’re looking for a book set in the modern present day world with a bit of a supernatural feel to it and are prepared to read some very adorable friendships, then give The Channeler a go!

July wrap-up

Well what a weird and wonderful month it’s been! After some pretty rubbish news in my life, I’ve kept myself very busy this month with a summer job and I’ve visited the beautiful city of Bath to see the Roman Baths and the Jane Austen Centre, had an awesome and incredible time at YALC, and finally been to Richmond Park in London and seen some deer! I’ve made some good memories and seen some lovely places this July, but I only managed to read three books overall and a couple of novellas. I’m hoping to step up my reading game for August! But for now, here’s what I read in July:

A Thousand Beginnings and EndingsImage result for a thousand beginnings and endings

Authors (in order of story appearance): Roshani Chokshi, Alyssa Wong, Lori M. Lee, Sona Charaipotra, Aliette De Bodard, E. C. Myers, Aisha Saeed, Preeti Chhibber, Renée Ahdieh, Rahul Kanakia, Melissa de la Cruz, Elsie Chapman, Shveta Thakrar, Cindy Pon, Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 336
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link
Full review here

An amazing anthology of retellings of Asian myths and legends – this has to be one of my favourite anthologies I’ve ever read! I enjoyed so many of the stories, my favourites being Forbidden Fruit and Nothing Into All. Featuring some of my favourite authors and new ones to discover, this was a brilliant book and started off my month of reading on a high!

Smoke in the SunImage result for smoke in the sun

Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Pages: 408
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

The sequel to Flame in the Mist, we see Meriko and Okami trapped in the imperial castle as more games ensue where the first book left off. I thought this was a brilliant sequel and while I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as the first, I was gladly wrong and I thoroughly enjoyed the ending of this Mulan retelling duology.

 

OkamiRelated image

Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Pages: 13
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

Directly following the events of Flame in the Mist, this short story allows us to see things from Okami’s perspective for a brief glimpse. I thought this was a welcome addition to the series and it was interesting to see things from Okami’s viewpoint and it allowed us to understand a little more about this amazing character.

 

YumiRelated image

Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Pages: 8
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

Flame in the Mist #1.75 gives us the opportunity to see into Yumi’s mind and see the world through her eyes for a brief moment. I enjoyed this short story slightly more than Okami’s because I thought Yumi was an excellent character and she deserved more time in the main story, so this novella was a great addition to the duology.

 

The ChannelerImage result for the channeler jenna ryan

Author: Jenna Ryan
Publisher: TCK Publishing
Pages: 240
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

A story about a 21 year old guy that can see visions of the future and suddenly the woman from one of them makes an appearance in his life.

I really enjoyed this supernatural story, but what really stood out for me was the beautiful friendships in this book which were delightful to read about. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!

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YALC 2019 recap

This time last week I think I was on my fourth train out of six to get to YALC, anticipation thick in my veins and excitement urging me along my slightly stressful journey from the West Midlands! Virgin trains had had issues the day before and what with the inevitable part suspension on tube lines, meant I arrived in Olympia at half 10 to a surprisingly long queue for YALC. Sniffer dogs were in operation for suitcases and the cosplay was rife – yes I had arrived at Comic Con! After an annoying wait, I was finally let in and oh my was YALC beautiful this year.

So what did I get up to? Well it was straight to the ‘Be kind to your mind’ panel to see one of my favourite authors, Holly Bourne, in conversation, along with Sara Barnard, Amelia Mandeville and Emma Smith-Barton (the latter two I had not heard of before). This was a thoroughly interesting panel where I discovered two new authors and books to check out, and listened to some brilliant discussions over self-care and mental illness in books. I loved listening to what the authors thought about the characters they had created and how they practiced (or didn’t practice!) self-care, as well as some tips from the authors themselves. I particularly liked Holly’s idea of scribbling down every thought that is worrying you, leaving it for ten minutes to enter a calmer frame of mind, and then replying to the worries like a letter to yourself. We are often so kind to others but a horribly harsh critic to ourselves, and I thought this was a great idea to start doing to ourselves what we do to others and exercise some kindness to our own minds.

After a slightly heavy panel, I lightened it up with a trip to Literary Galaxy‘s workshop to make a gorgeous bookmark! This was super fun and Jenniely was so nice and ran such a great workshop! I love the little bookmark I made and I could have perused through the selection of ribbon and charms she brought along for ages because they were all so pretty!

I then quickly ran along to the Holly Bourne book signing and bought her new book What Magic is This? to get signed and she was lovely as always. I can’t wait for her new book, The Places I’ve Cried in Public, which is released in October.

Me and my friend then spent a good while finally visiting all the amazing stands on offer including lots of publishers which had lots of raffles going on! I had to make a note of which raffle drew at which time in case I lost track which I almost did! I couldn’t resist some 3 for £10 paperback deals which I thought was an incredible bargain, and some 2 for £15 on hardbacks. These are the books I bought:

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I somehow amazingly won some proofs this year in the raffles and even got given a proof for free! I can’t wait to get stuck into these:

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And of course I managed to pick up lots of free samplers kindly provided by publishers, some of which I’ve read already and fallen in love with the story inside – The Evil Queen and Blood Heir are both incredible and I’m so excited for the books to be released! I also enjoyed the dystopian story with Shrinking Sinking Land and a rather poignant contemporary, And the Stars Were Burning Brightly.

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I picked up a good haul this year of books and samplers to say I only went for the one day, and I actually met Renée Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn and Flame in the Mist. She was so lovely and I’m really thrilled I met her as this was her first signing in the UK and I was worried I was going to miss out on meeting her like I did with an author at last year’s YALC.

Unfortunately Renée wasn’t at the ‘Ten things I love about YA retellings’ and the panel didn’t really cover the ten things and was more about two authors talking about their one retelling they did each, but I did enjoy the ‘Is it romantic or just creepy?’ workshop ran by Holly Bourne and was met with some interesting discussions on portrayal of relationships in books and movies, and how their behaviour can be very creepy indeed without my even noticing it first time round.

Alas, I had to leave at five and start the return journey of six trains back home, but YALC 2019 was still absolutely fantastic and I definitely want to come back for all three days next year! Here’s the obligatory photo behind the YALC sign with me looking as awkward as I felt posing for the photo and my friend on the left:

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YALC 2019 you were amazing and I can’t wait for YALC 2020!

What did you get up to at YALC if you went this year? Let me know what your favourite bits were in the comments below!