Spooky reads for Halloween

Who else is loving October with its beautiful golden oranges and blushing reds, frequent rainfalls and pumpkin spice aromas? But of course, with autumn comes the fantastic celebration holiday of Halloween, and how do we celebrate? By watching Hocus Pocus, listening to the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack on repeat (as I’m listening to it right now) and by picking up some spooky books to read!

So I’ve compiled a list of some books perfect to read in the next few weeks and some books that have just been released that I can’t wait to read that sound perfect for Halloween:

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Image result for city of ghostsImage result for tunnel of bones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Ghosts pages: 285
Tunnel of Bones pages: 287

City of Ghosts is a middle grade book set in Edinburgh that’s full of ghosts and a brilliantly spooky read for Halloween! The sequel, Tunnel of Bones has just been released and is set in Paris. For a super quick and easy read, you could even read them both on the day of Halloween!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Image result for coraline neil gaiman

Pages: 192

Another middle grade book but with a very creepy premise – a young girl finds a door that only appears at nigh which leads to her ‘Other Mother’ who is everything she’s ever wanted in a mother. There’s just one small problem: her Other Mother has buttons for eyes. This edition has some very creepy illustrations and if you’re keen on this story then check out the equally spooky film!

 

 

 

The Witch’s Kiss by Katharine Corr and Elizabeth Corr

Image result for the witch's kiss trilogy

 

The Witch’s Kiss pages: 424
The Witch’s Tears pages:
The Witch’s Blood pages:

A trilogy about a struggling sixteen year old witch and a centuries-old curse – it’s a very sweet trilogy about magic and friendship.

 

Toil and Trouble by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe

Image result for toil and trouble book

Pages: 405

An anthology that includes 15 tales of women and witchcraft – could this book be any more perfect for Halloween?! There’s something for everyone with historical fiction, contemporary and all different types of witches including some LGBT representation.

A book full of short stories at this point in October is great for just picking up and reading one each day!

 

 

 

Forever Autumn by Mark Morris

Image result for forever autumn doctor who

Pages: 256

If you love Halloween and Doctor Who then this book is absolutely perfect for you! I love the style of writing in this book as I think the author captures Ten’s mannerisms so well. This is a brilliant book for reading in the run-up to Halloween as you follow Martha and the Doctor to the town of Blackwood Falls for some mystery and spooky cats!

 

 

 

 

 

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

Image result for the beautiful renee ahdieh

Pages: 448

This is a newly released book from the author that brought us The Wrath and the Dawn that’s all about vampires. Set in New Orleans in 1872, a young girl gets pulled into a murder mystery after fleeing her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Books about vampires seem to have taken a backseat in the last few years so this a new vampire story to bring us back into their world!

 

 

 

 

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Image result for ninth house

Pages: 458

The newest book from the author behind Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, this is a creepy thriller about a young woman who gets a mysterious benefactor to monitor the activities of Yale’s secret societies which turns out to be more sinister than first thought.

This sounds like a very weird and creepy book that fits in well with the spooky season and I can’t wait to read it.

 

 

 

Which of these have you read or plan to read this October? And let me know your Halloween book recommendations in the comments below!

Three awesome stand alone fantasy books

So I did something different yesterday and posted my first book post of a book tag that I have participated in and low and behold, when the post went live, it had all been deleted. All of my answers to some book blogger questions were gone and I can’t remember where I saw the original post and no one had actually tagged me anyway so I might just give up with that one! I feel a bit disappointed because I was really happy with that post – I might have to have a go at redoing it again for next week when I have some more time.

Anyway I’m salvaging this week with three book recommendations for some stand alone fantasies for you all instead so I hope you enjoy! I think stand alones are sometimes underrated and we all love a book series to get lost in, but stand alones can be just as good for the added mystery that the story must end in that one book and I think it can give a sense of trepidation to the reading experience! Here are three stand alones I thoroughly enjoyed reading for the first time:

  1. HuntedImage result for hunted meagan spooner

First off, it’s HUNTED by Meagan Spooner! If you like fairy tale retellings or if Beauty and the Beast is your favourite fairy tale, then you’ve got to check out this amazing stand alone novel!

I absolutely love Beauty and the Beast retellings and this one was a lot different than what’s already out there. It felt a lot darker and melancholy to read compared to the beloved fairy tale we know, but the thing that made this book so special was the author’s note at the end – it’s not one to miss.

You can find the link to goodreads here and a link to my goodreads review here.

 

2. The Last NamsaraRelated image

While it is technically part of a series, the sequel, The Caged Queen, focuses on different characters and so The Last Namsara can be taken as a stand alone. This book was an absolute joy and wonder to read because not only is it a story about a girl who slays dragons, but it actually has small stories tucked away inside for added depth and richness to an already incredible story.

It felt like a proper old fashioned storybook and I loved every second! My copy is in this beautiful silver foil that was included in a Fairyloot box. Whatever cover you find, it’s sure to reflect the gorgeous story inside.

Link to goodreads here and link to my review here.

3. Vassa In The NightImage result for vassa in the night

This is a book that is perfect to read around Halloween due to the spooky feel you get from it! Set in the modern day in Brooklyn, all it takes is for one trip for some light bulbs to set off a change of events that could be devastating.

I found it captivating yet creepy to read and I loved the character of Erg – a little wooden doll that talks and is very cunning indeed.

If you’re looking for something different to add to your TBR then try this out! You can find the link to goodreads here and a full review on my blog here.

 

I hope you enjoyed these recommendations – let me know in the comments if you’ve already read them and what you thought! I’ll be posting some more book recommendations for stand alones soon! Have a good day everyone ♥

 

My Favourite Books of 2018

Happy New Year! It’s officially January 1st 2019 – goodbye 2018 and hello to a whole new year of reading and bookish goodness! The Goodreads 2019 reading challenge is up and it’s purple – I really like it! I’ve put my goal of 45 books up, just a bit more than last year.

I did a post yesterday looking back at my year of reading but I didn’t explain my favourite books so I thought it would be a good way to start the new year with some amazing book recommendations for you all! Here are my top five favourite books I read in 2018 with some of my other favourites mentioned at the end:

A Curse So Dark and LonelyImage result for a curse so dark and lonely

This book is out later this month on the 29th and I implore you all to read it! It’s a truly outstanding Beauty and the Beast retelling, now I love fairy tale retellings but THIS is something else. Set in the modern day with a main character who has cerebral palsy, she gets flung into another world and it’s amazing to see how she interacts with the characters there – she is one of my favourite characters ever. I loved this book, the characters and the story and magic inside. I was captivated from the first page and I cannot wait for more bookworms out there to read this in 2019.

 

The Other Side of LostImage result for the other side of lost hardcover

I received this book in the September BookBoxClub I bought (if you’ve never heard of this book box subscription service, then click on the link and check it out!) and I absolutely fell in love with the book that was inside. It’s a wonderful and beautifully descriptive story about a girl that lives a fake life on social media, portraying a version of herself that is completely untrue. Heartbroken over the state of her life and what she has become, she sends out a confession video and goes on a solo hike in the steps her cousin would have taken before she sadly passed away. It’s a story of feeling lost and finding out who and what you want to be.

 

Unravel MeImage result for unravel me

I finally started the Shatter Me series in 2018 and WHY DID I WAIT THIS LONG?! This is an amazing series with some seriously fantastic writing and plot twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. While I love Shatter Me, the second book in this series was just absolute gold for me which is why it’s my favourite and included in my top five. 2018 also saw the release of the latest sequel to the series, Restore Me which sees the story carry on and go onto new and exciting avenues for us to discover. This is definitely a series to pick up if you haven’t already done so and make it a series to finish in 2019.

 

King’s CageImage result for king's cage

This is the third book in the Red Queen series and it’s SO GOOD! I love this series but this book had some great writing and character interactions. The villain is amazing because he’s so grey and I genuinely think he cares for the main character, Mare, but he doesn’t know how to be a caring person. This is another series to pick up in 2019 if you haven’t yet – I still have the fourth book to read, War Storm, and I’m so excited but also sad to see the series finish!

 

 

 

The Last NamsaraImage result for the last namsara

I remember feeling like I was sucked into a wonderful fairy tale when reading this book and it really is just that. It’s a book all about dragons that breathe fire when they are fed stories. Scattered throughout the book are these exquisite little fairy tale-esque stories that add richness to the book and pulls you in to believe that this really is history and happened before. The Caged Queen is a sequel to this and I need to read it in 2019!

 

 

 

Other five star reads I loved in 2018:

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
  • A Darkness of Dragons by S A Patrick
  • Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne
  • Floored by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson, Eleanor Wood

 

I’ve read some amazing books this year but I want to set myself some reading goals for 2019 so here they are:

  1. read a Jane Austen novel all the way through – I keep starting her books but never finishing them and I want to finally read one the whole way through. I got a Jane Austen Pocket Bible for Christmas to help understand the books a bit better so hopefully this will encourage me to finish one!
  2. finish some series I have started – I’ve got a few series sat on my shelf that I have started but not finished like The Crown’s Game and Ruined so I want to finish these series in 2019
  3. post more on my blog – I’m not very good at posting on here frequently so I want to improve this in 2019 and interact more on my Twitter, bookstagram and follow more blogs! Let me know of any blogs or accounts you think I should follow below in the comments!
  4. I also want to take part in the Beat the Backlist 2019 challenge – I want to get on top of my TBR pile and this seems like a great way to do it! Some books I want to read this year on my TBR are: GracelingHeartlessThe GracesRebeccaHow to Find Love in a BookshopMuse of NightmaresVendetta, Every DayForest of a Thousand LanternsThe Invisible LibraryThe Fate of the TearlingNorthern LightsWing Jones

And there you have it! This is officially goodbye to 2018 and hello to the start of a new year. I’ve listed my favourite books I read in 2018, I’ve set my Goodreads reading challenge goal and some other personal goals for myself.

Let me know your favourite books you read in 2018 and if you’ve set any bookish goals for yourself! Here’s a happy 2019 full of reading.

Two Festive Book Recommendations to read before the New Year

HAPPY CHRISTMAS BOOKWORMS!!! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, spent time with friends and family and ate loads of delicious food! No matter where you were and who you were with, I hope you had a good day doing what made you happy. I know Christmas can be a tough time of year for some, so don’t worry if you didn’t have a great day because soon it will be the new year and 2018 will be firmly in the past. It’s scary how quick this year went, but have no fear, I have two more festive reads to recommend to you today to delve into during this blessed lull between Christmas and New Year. It can be quite sad to say goodbye to Christmas after all that excitement and preparation, or maybe you’re glad to see the back of it and want to enjoy a few days of quiet, or perhaps you’re back to work and it’s hectic! Personally, I adore Christmas and it’s always sad to see it go and give way to January, so here are two books to help cling onto that Christmas spirit and give a little nod goodbye to the season.

One Day in DecemberImage result for one day in december

Author: Josie Silver
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 417
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

One day in December, Laurie sees a man through a bus window – possibly the one for her. For the best part of the year, Laurie can’t get this man out of her head and yearns to find him, and luck has it, she does. Only he’s the boyfriend of her best friend and roommate, Sarah.

This book is set over ten years with brief visits to the month of Christmas so it’s a great book to read just before New Year whilst still being just that little bit festive as it begins and ends on the season. It’s moreish and so easy to keep reading. It’s amazing to see how the characters change over the years and is quite a realistic yet beautiful romance to lose yourself in. I was surprised how much I loved it; it’s not all perfect characters and fairy tale romances, it has a more real life feel to it which makes all the more for a better story.

The Afterlife of Holly ChaseImage result for the afterlife of holly chase

Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 416
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I loved this book! An absolutely perfect read for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but still something you can get stuck into the few days after Christmas to hold onto that spirit. Holly Chase, a Scrooge through and through, is visited by the three Ghosts of Past, Present and Future. Fast forward in time, and Holly is the new Ghost of Christmas Past and it’s her job to help Scrooge’s turn their lives around before their imminent demise where Holly failed to do so.

A brilliant book based on the classic Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol, it reminds us what’s most important in life and that sometimes people just need a second chance. It’s super Christmassy but with that tinge of sadness over the lost soul that is Holly. I absolutely loved it and I’m sure it will be a firm favourite of mine to read in Christmasses to come.

What books have you read this Christmas? I hope you got some books of Santa like I did and have lots of reading material to get you through the next couple of wintery months! I’ll be posting my end of year review in a few days where I look back over 2018 with my favourite and not so favourite books. Can’t wait to discuss my favourite books with you all! Happy reading, bookworms x

Some Christmas reads for December and the New Year

Hi everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t posted for a few weeks – it’s been a bit busy with uni at the moment and I’ve had to do some placements back home so I’ve been travelling back and forth a fair bit. It can get exhausting and expensive because I now have no money left in between travelling and the inevitable Christmas present-buying! But I am finally all done now and nearly have everything wrapped. I’ve been listening to endless Christmas songs (Magic FM 100% is the radio station this Christmas!) but I still have some films on my list to watch!

So what have I been reading recently? Well I’ve had a good few fantasy books with a 2019 release that had me falling in love with some amazing story-telling and characters! See my review post of the wonderful A Curse So Dark and Lonely here. I’ve also read an autobiography and a very strange book of dark fairy tales. But this post today is all about CHRISTMAS READS! Because it’s CHRISTMASSSSSS!!! I’ve finally picked up a nice December romance that I’m currently about half way through and loving. And because it’s Christmas and I’m currently listening to Michael Bublé as I’m writing this, I thought I’d make a Christmas book recommendation post for you *cue Holly Jolly Christmas* And just for some holiday fun, see if you can spot how many Christmas song titles I reference in my Christmas recommendations!

A Gift to RememberImage result for a gift to remember book

I read this gorgeous little book Last Christmas and it’s a wonderful Christmas romance which involves a bookshop in Manhattan, a husky and a good bout of temporary amnesia. Darcy, a bookworm and daydreamer, literally sweeps a man right off his feet and he lands up in hospital. His dog is left all alone and Darcy immediately sets about atoning for her guilt as she tries to help the man she knocked down to regain his memory of who he is back to himself.

This is a fairy tale-like Christmas romance that’s sure to get you in the spirit.

 

 

Christmas at Mistletoe Cottage
Image result for christmas at mistletoe cottage

The second in the Hope Meadows series based of the children’s series Animal Ark, Mandy Hope is now a vet in her home village in Yorkshire and has set up her animal rescue centre – a dream she has had since she was little. There’s plenty of festive cheer with goats called Ruldoph and little baby donkeys! This adorable tale of a vet in winter is sure to keep you warm on a Cold December Night. It’s perfect for reading by the fire, curled up in an armchair with maybe a cat or dog lay within stroking distance.

 

 

 

My True Love Gave to MeImage result for my true love gave to me book

A book full of young adult short stories centred around the holidays ranging from Christmas to Hanukkah with plenty or romance to go around. There are twelve short festive stories written by twelve different young adult authors, giving you the chance to read some of your favourites and maybe discover some new ones! It’s a book you’re sure to love finding Underneath the Tree this Christmas Time. I think this is the perfect book to read after Christmas has passed and there’s the quiet lull until new year.

 

 

 

Christmas at the Cat CafeImage result for christmas at the cat cafe

Step Into Christmas with a book told from the view point of a cat called Molly! Molly’s cosy little lifestyle in a cafe with her kittens is threatened when Debbie’s, the owner of the cat cafe, sister comes to stay. It was different from anything I’ve read but sure to fill you with cosy Christmas cheer as you read a tale of love, loss and miracles at Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me know your festive reads! I’m currently reading One Day in December after seeing it advertised on Reese’s Book Club on instagram and I’m glad I picked it up! It’s about a woman who lives in London and sees the potential one-for-her through a bus window one day and after a year of thinking about him, he suddenly pops back into her life. It’s just what I wanted to read before Christmas but I’ve got a couple more Christmassy reads I want to fit in before the year is up! Stand by for the final post of 2018 as I look back over my favourite books this year – I can’t believe how quick 2018 has gone!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these or if you have any Christmas recommendations! I hope you all have a lovely Christmas however you’re celebrating and if this year is a tough time for you, I hope you are okay and feel free to comment and talk to me should you need. I’d like to remind you all that Sarah Millican does a Christmas campaign for people lonely this Christmas. Simply follow the hash tag #joinin and don’t be on your own this Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

 

Books to read this Halloween

Halloween is mere days away – I’ve got pumpkin pie in the fridge, having pumpkin pancakes tomorrow and going to make some pumpkin biscuits and if that’s not enough, I’m going pumpkin picking today with my sister – it’s pumpkin crazy round here at the moment and I’m loving it! I’ve finally bought Hocus Pocus and as I’m writing this I’m listening to The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. I never realised how much I actually enjoy Halloween – not the proper scary part of it, the more fun and treat-filled side! I went to a scary escape room yesterday for Halloween and it wasn’t that scary at all – I was getting more annoyed that I couldn’t solve the puzzles in time. It was a good escape room, but it was strange in the fact that normally you solve everything in one room and then open another – this one you randomly opened the doors to other rooms half way through and then still had puzzles to solve in the original room so it did make things a bit confusing!

I’m feeling perfectly spooky and of course, with Halloween comes some spooky reads to have on your shelf and even though I’m currently about 650 pages deep into Kingdom of Ash at the moment, I’m still hoping to fit in some spooky reads before the day comes along! So here are a few recommendations of books to read if you just want a little taste of some spooky stories before Halloween!

CoralineImage result for coraline book

Coraline is such a good film and the book is perfectly creepy too! Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell in this gorgeous version, it’s a quick 192 page story with one of my favourite characters (the black cat) and a brilliantly spooky Other Mother (which we all have!) Definitely pick up this book this Halloween and give the film a watch too! Both are guaranteed to get you in the mood for the spooky season.

 

 

 

Because You Love To Hate MeImage result for because you love to hate me

Haven’t got a lot of time to read before Halloween? Pick up a book of short stories with this book all about VILLAINS with a perfect number of 13 tales. Featuring some of my favourite authors like V E Schwab, Samantha Shannon and Renée Ahdieh, it’s got some awesome writing to get you hooked on new authors whilst giving you some amazing villains to love to hate!

 

 

 

 

Toil and TroubleImage result for toil and trouble

Another book of short stories but this time it’s all about WITCHES! I have yet to pick up this book (since I’m reading the tome that is Kingdom of Ash!) but I’m hoping to fit in a few of these short stories before Halloween rolls around and finish it off in November because Halloween doesn’t have to end on October 31st! A perfect book to give you a taste of witchery and I’ve not read any of the authors featured in this so I’m excited to discover some new ones.

 

 

 

Forever AutumnImage result for forever autumn doctor who

I loved reading this last year for Halloween – Forever Autumn is a story of the tenth Doctor and Martha who get caught up in some creepy events in the town of Blackwood Falls. Even if you don’t like Doctor Who, it’s a great Halloween-feel read to get you in the spirit of the season! At only 256 pages you can read this in a day or two right before the 31st hits!

 

 

 

 

 

City of GhostsImage result for city of ghosts book

A final recommendation is City of Ghosts by V E Schwab. I’ve not read this yet either (I’m saving it for the day of Halloween!) but anything this woman writes is worth reading with her A Darker Shade of Magic series and This Savage Song and Vicious being complete winners. You could even start up either This Savage Song or Vicious and get into the spooky spirit with the monsters in these stories! But for this book, it’s all about ghosts. It’s a middle-grade book and only 285 pages set in beautiful Edinburgh – so what are you waiting for?

 

 

 

There are loads more books I could recommend but being so close to Halloween now, I thought I’d recommend some quick reads that would give instant satisfaction and Halloween vibes! So go grab a slice of pumpkin pie and enjoy these Halloween reads and have a Happy Halloween everyone!

YA contemporaries to read this Summer

I love the YA contemporary genre and I think they’re such good summer reads – lay in the sun, lay on a beach or sitting in your usual reading chair, they tend to be quick light reads that flow well and they always pick up my mood. They can help you out of that reading slump you’ve been in and let you discover some fantastic new authors. YA contemporaries can be looked down on by some people that think YA isn’t a ‘real genre’ or doesn’t deal with ‘real issues’ but I would choose a YA contemporary over an adult any day! So here are some of my favourite YA reads and why I love them so much.

The Manifesto On How To Be InterestingImage result for the manifesto on how to be interesting
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Pages: 448
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Bree thinks she’s a loser and nothing ever happens to her, so she creates a project for herself called ‘The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting’, setting rules for herself which only leads to trouble and heartbreak.

This book takes you on Bree’s journey, looking in as a reader and wishing you could be the friend she needs to stop her from her antics! It has such a beautiful and heart-warming end message and is a book to treasure for always. And remember, “Being interesting isn’t important. But being happy is. As well as being a person you’re proud of“.

A Quiet Kind of ThunderImage result for a quiet kind of thunder
Author: Sara Barnard
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: 320
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is the first book I read by Sara Barnard and I’ve been in love with her work ever since. Steffi is a selective mute and hardly speaks to anyone but the new boy at the school, Rhys, speaks to her through sign language, being deaf himself.

It’s a beautiful story of a budding romance and showing how we can bring out the best in each other. I adored Rhys and his relationship with Steffi, and I especially loved reading and learning more about sign language and lip-reading! Oh and the title is just perfect, don’t you think?

The Sky is EverywhereImage result for the sky is everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 320
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A story about a girl whose sister, Bailey, dies suddenly, leaving Lennie alone in the world and trying to keep it together as she struggles through college and relationships, as well as a grieving family.

It’s a tragic story but a wonderful read, portraying grief in all its honesty and showing how un-perfect we are sometimes. Maybe a bit heavy for a light summer read, but it’s a book you don’t want to put down. Maybe have a few tissues near by if you do cry at books though! “… if you’re someone who knows the worst thing can happen at any time, aren’t you also someone who knows the best thing can happen at any time too?” 

Under Rose-Tainted SkiesImage result for under rose tainted skies
Author: Louise Gornall
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 272
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Norah has agoraphobia and looks on the outside world from inside her house. It’s a struggle to even step outside to pick up a package that’s been left just outside her house. Then suddenly a guy moves in next door, Luke and somehow, Norah’s world gets turned upside down from from the inside because life happens, no matter where you are.

This book is kind of similar to the next book I’ll mention, Everything, Everything as they both include a girl stuck inside their house, but for very different reasons. This novel brilliantly explains agoraphobia as a girl tries to navigate through her world in a way not many of us can even imagine. It gives you pause, and I am so glad I discovered this little book.

Everything, EverythingImage result for everything everything book
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Pages: 310
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book is about a girl who has a physical illness that means she’s allergic to just about everything. Trapped inside because of her physical condition, she longs to experience the world outside, and a guy moving in next door just might be the ticket out of the house she has been wishing for.

Very different from Under Rose-Tainted Skies, this is about physical illness and showing the life of a girl trapped inside all day, every day. It was a joy to read and I whipped through it in just a day. Oh, and the film is gorgeous too – read the book first, then watch the film!

FangirlImage result for fangirl book
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 459
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Cath is a fangirl and writes fanfiction about her favourite book series, Simon Snow, with her twin sister, Wren. But now they’re both going to college and Wren doesn’t want to be roommates with Cath, things are changing. But Cath can’t let her beloved fanfiction go.

I LOVED this book! It was such a brilliant YA read and I adored Cath as a character, and when Levi comes along!! It’s such a cute story about growing up and moving on, everything changing… It’s an uplifting story and one to love forever and always, but it also teaches you the important of letting go sometimes… “The whole point of fanfiction is that you get to play inside somebody else’s universe. Rewrite the rules. Or bend them. The story doesn’t have to end. You can stay in this world, this world you love, as long as you want, as long as you keep thinking of new stories.”

FlooredImage result for floored book
Author: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Not Pratt, Melina Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: 385
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Seven completely different and under-any-other-circumstance-would-definitely-not-have-met people come together in a lift where from that day forward, their lives are changed forever.

There are some serious The Breakfast Club vibes in this book and I loved it! Seven people meet in a lift one day and then suddenly they meet up nearly every year after, forming unlikely friendships and changing as we watch them grow from shy fifteen year olds into confident twenty one year olds. It’s a story of growing older and wiser, of finding out who and what you want to be. It’s amazing and fantastic and so worth the read.

And there you have it! Seven YA contemporaries that I can wholeheartedly recommend to you after having thoroughly enjoyed them myself so much! Let me know in the comments if there are any you think are missing from this small selection – you know how much I love recommendations from you bookworms!

Happy reading x

Fairy tales, fairy tales everywhere

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

-Neil Gaiman, Coraline

love a good fairy tale and I adore a fairy tale retelling! There seems to be quite a few books based on fairy tales out there, and YA is no exception. I’ve discovered some brilliant authors and books all based on fairy tales, and it’s so intriguing to see where they go with their retelling – some base it is in the present day, some in the past and some in the future. There are fairy tale retellings sticking to the traditional characters we know and love, and there are some which take a totally different spin on said character and make something completely new. Whatever take an author has on a fairy tale, it’s very likely I’ll read it and I’m always pleasantly surprised with the story I find!

So here are some of my fairy tale retelling reading recommendations, feel free to comment with your own suggestions! I’m always looking for new reading material, and as I’ve said, I love a good fairy tale retelling!!

1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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This is a four part series CinderScarletCress and Winter with an additional novella, Fairest, and a collection of short stories, Stars Above, set in the future in a world where Cinderella is a cyborg and an evil queen lives on the moon as she tries to take over Earth. I loved this reimagining of the classic fairy tales: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White with the futuristic twist. Each book mainly focuses on a certain fairy tale character, but we do see all the characters mix together as the series goes on and there’s a fair share of romance for each of our beloved fairy tale characters. It was a lovely series to read through and I especially love the Stars Above book of short stories – it was a nice way to end off the series and put a satisfying end to these fairy tale retellings!

2. Hunted by Meagan Spooner
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Hunted is a Beauty and the Beast retelling written with alternating viewpoints from the Beast and Beauty. Not only has it got a gorgeous cover, but it also has a gorgeous story inside with a beautiful ending with a heart-warming acknowledgements from the author.

“Fairy tales are about lessons. Those who are virtuous and true are rewarded, while those who are wicked and greedy are punished.”

-Meagan Spooner, Hunted

I’ve also recently found out that this author is releasing a new book coming out in 2019 called Sherwood, a retelling of Robin Hood!

3. Ravenspire series by C J Redwine

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The Ravenspire series is a collection of books set in the world of Ravenspire and each book focuses on a different fairy tale. Starting with The Shadow Queen, the first book is all about Snow White, called Lorelai, defeating an evil queen and gaining back her kingdom. The Wish Granter is the second book (and what I’m currently reading!) which is based on Rumplestiltskin. The third is called The Traitor Prince which is inspired by The Prince and the Pauper and fairy tale, The False Prince. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series of fairy tale retellings, and I love the Ravenspire world with its different kingdoms. I don’t know how many books are going to make up this series, but there will be at least two more books released so it’s going to be at the minimum a five book series! Though there are seven kingdoms so I rather think this will be a seven book series.

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by S J Maas

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One of my favourite series ever and based on one of my most beloved fairy tales, this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling set in Prythian where fae are most powerful and most definitely real. Feyre is a huntress and kills a fae, for which she must pay to save her family’s life by going to the world of fae and living out the rest of her days. The second book, A Court of Mist and Fury, is one of my absolute favourite books EVER and it ends with A Court of Wings and Ruin to conclude this spectacular trilogy. A novella called A Court of Frost and Starlight is going to be released on May 1st and fair to say, I’m rather excited to be back in Prythian again! It has gorgeous writing and fabulous characters – I dare you to try and put this book down.

5. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Image result for the wrath and the dawnA Thousand and One Nights retelling, this is a truly beautifully descriptive reimagining of Arabian Nights as Sharhzad must tell a story every night to captivate the cruel prince that takes a bride and kills her come every dawn. It’s so gorgeous to read and a brilliant duology, the story concluding in the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger. I also love these covers and think they’re absolutely gorgeous which just reflects the story on the inside. Seriously, you won’t be disappointed with these books nor the level of story-telling which is second to none.

What are some of your fairy tale retelling recommendations?

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

-Albert Einstein

 

 

 

The Shatter Me trilogy and why I can’t believe I waited so long to read it

We all have some book series on our TBRs, a series you’ve heard amazing things about and you keep telling yourself that you need to read it, but of course the time just never comes for some reason and before you know it, it’s months and maybe years later until you finally pick it up.

I had such an experience with the Shatter Me trilogy. It’s been on my TBR list for ages but I just never got round to reading it! Plus, whenever something is really hyped up, it sort of puts me off sometimes because I think I might go into the story expecting too much from the book and if it doesn’t deliver, it’s always a bit disappointing. Hype over books can be a good and a bad thing.

But why oh WHY didn’t I pick up Shatter Me sooner?! It’s a brilliant dystopian written from the perspective of Juliette, a person with the power to kill just by her touch which has resulted in her being locked up in an asylum. The world is in chaos and the Reestablishment has taken over who, incidentally, want to use Juliette as a weapon. The characters are absolutely amazing – each and every one of them, but the writing my god is so moreish! I couldn’t stop reading and I just wanted to start the next chapter and the next and the next and the next. The writing flowed so well and it has the quality of literally reading Juliette’s thoughts, so if she thinks something but decides she didn’t want to really say that (though she meant to) it’s crossed out. It fits in perfectly with her character and shows some honest truth that even her, the narrator, wants to hide from herself.

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And not only is the writing beautiful, but so are the covers! I love everything about these books and I was psyched to see that there are two little novellas slotted into this series, one from Warner’s perspective (omg Warner) and Adam’s perspective. My feelings for the characters in this trilogy changed over the series, and I always like it when that happens – when a character isn’t quite what they first appear or may seem to the protagonist – it makes for a far more interesting and gripping story to read!

Image result for destroy meImage result for fracture meDestroy Me occurs right after Shatter Me in Warner’s viewpoint, and Fracture Me is after the second book, Unravel Me filling in some gaps that Juliette missed in her story at the end of Unravel Me.

These two novellas are combined into a paperback book called Unite Me.

 

So the series goes in order: Shatter MeDestroy MeUnravel MeFracture MeIgnite Me. BUT there was some exciting news relatively recently that Tahereh Mafi was going to write a new trilogy to add to the Shatter Me series and the first book was released last month called Restore Me! I ordered it as soon as I finished Ignite Me but unfortunately it hasn’t arrived yet despite ordering it two weeks ago, but it has finally been dispatched so hopefully it will arrive next week and I can be up to date with the series!

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This series definitely took over my life in the few days that it took me to read the whole trilogy. I rarely read an entire book in a day, one because it just physically hurts my head to do that, and also because I rarely have the time or a book that grips me that much that I cannot put it down. This series was actually unputdownable and I will recommend it to anyone and everyone. There are some truly beautiful quotes in these books and some wonderful characters that I’m glad I’ve met. Seriously, what are you waiting for?! This is a five star book series and won’t disappoint if you’re looking for some gorgeous writing, incredible story-telling, a dazzling romance and a set of brilliant and fearless characters.

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

-Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Top 5 Books of 2017

Looking back on 2017 I think it’s been a good year. I went on a plane for the first time to Lanzarote, went to the Royal Albert Hall for the first time, got my first tattoo (a bookish design), passed fourth year and read so many great books! I actually keep a little Nutella jar full of good things and happy memories I make as I go through the year, writing down little notes as and when, and I’ve opened them all on New Year’s Eve to reflect on the good this year has brought. I did this last year and it was such a good idea because we always remember the sadness or fixate on the bad so this is a really good way to remember the best of the year – there’s always so much you forget about!

I have to say I have enjoyed 2017 very muchly and there has been some truly amazing books this year so here is my top 5 books of 2017:

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by Stephanie Garber

This was a book full of magic as well as tantalising description of a world where you can be a part of the game but not everything is as it seems. Filled with mystery and deceit, it was a rollercoaster from start to finish and I am highly anticipating the sequel and the return (or is it meeting?) of a certain legendary character.

 

 

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by Samantha Shannon

One of my absolute favourite reads of the year and of all time because of how I just couldn’t put the thing down! It was pulse-racing and one of the best books I’ve ever read – it stuck with me for ages. The third in The Bone Season septology with an epic storyline, it’s definitely going to be a favourite of mine out of the whole series.

 

 

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by Laini Taylor

What a beautiful cover to reflect the gorgeous story waiting inside. The first in a duology, this tome holds some of the best description I’ve ever read with such brilliantly constructed characters. It truly is strange and a book for the dreamers.

 

 

 

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by S J Maas

This book legit made me cry and I NEVER cry at books (I know right – heathen!) but normally, I just don’t cry at books or films – I just mope obsessively about them afterwards, but this one had me weeping because it ended. I couldn’t deal with this brilliant trilogy coming to an end and wringing my heart throughout the journey.

 

 

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by Holly Bourne

The only contemporary on my list but one of the best I’ve ever read. This book is about how all that stuff you see in the movies regarding love and relationships, it’s just not like that in life and it follows the story of a girl falling for a typical movie-cliché of a guy and how she deals with the fallout. Honest and with pearls of wisdom, this is a must-read for anyone and everyone.

 

 

And there you have it! My top 5 books of 2017 (some making it onto my top fave books of all time). Are any of these on your top 5 books of 2017? If not, feel free to share with me your top 5! I hope you’ve had an awesome year of reading and 2018 brings some brilliant books as well as memories for you 🙂

I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you out there who actually read what I post and follow my blog – it means so much to me and I appreciate each and every comment and follow I get so thank you so much!!!

Happy New Year everyone x