Summer Sweatalong Book Tag

I haven’t been posting for the last couple of weeks because I’m in revision mode at the moment for my exams soon, but I thought I shouldn’t leave it too long to post something! To break up revision, I thought I’d do a quick book tag that I thought of as I went for a sweltering walk –

Image result for it's so damn hot gif

I am not a lover of summer. It’s so hot and I feel tired when I go outside, and so stifled indoors! I am a winter baby. I love the cold with snuggly jumpers and blankets – it’s where I belong! So I was thinking of what summery book tag I could do and I came up with the Summer Sweatalong Book Tag which is all about finishing books fast! I hope you enjoy it, here are the rules:

  • link back to the original creator of the book tag (thebookwormdreamer)
  • start off with telling us your favourite season and why it is/isn’t summer!
  • tag five friends to take part
  • enjoy!

So here’s my Summer Sweatalong Book Tag!

Don’t stop! A book you couldn’t stop reading

Image result for harry potter and the order of the phoenix book

To start, it’s a simple one; a book I just couldn’t stop reading the first time I read it was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was while I was away with my parents in their mobile caravan (shudder) and I was a stroppy teenager hating every second, but I was reading Harry Potter for the first time and this fifth book was my absolute favourite! I didn’t want to stop and I read it all the way home in the car, went straight upstairs to my room and finished it. I was very antisocial for that trip and as soon as I finished it, I went straight onto The Half-Blood Prince.

 

 

You’re a cheetah – a book you read in just ONE DAY

Image result for everything everything paperback

There are a few books I have devoured in a day and Everything, Everything is one of them! It’s written in such a way that you can’t help but read it under a day and it’s the perfect size to avoid giving you a headache as well! I loved the sweet romance and the daring risks taken by the main character as she uncovers some truths about herself she didn’t know. It’s a quick and cute read with some depth about grief and loss.

 

 

 

Couldn’t let go – a book you reread straight away

Image result for a court of mist and fury

never reread books as soon as I have finished them but this book gave me a serious book hangover and I just couldn’t let go. I read A Court of Mist and Fury in two days and then had a MASSIVE book hangover so I reread the entire thing the day after. It essentially took me three days to read it twice and it was so worth it. I was utterly lost to that world for three wonderful days and it was amazing.

A Court of Mist and Fury is the second in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy.

 

 

Calm it down! A book that got your heart racing

Image result for the chemist hardback

I’m usually not one for thrillers, but I do like the occasional one to read and The Chemist  was just what I want from a thriller! I was hooked and I read with rapture – it was tension-building and suspense as I tried to guess what would happen. It’s such a good read as we follow an ex-agent on the run from her employers and she unravels a whole new plot we didn’t see coming.

If you’re not one for violence and gore but you love a bit of suspension, then check out The Chemist!

 

 

 

Second best – a sequel you read faster than the first

Image result for the song rising book

The Bone Season series for me has been such a roller coaster. I read the first book and liked it but sort of didn’t get it, then I read The Mime Order and got sucked into it but then when it came to The Song Rising – oh my word! This has definitely been my favourite so far and I raced through the book. I am buzzing for the subsequent sequels but I’m not sure they will manage to take the top spot in this series that The Song Rising is currently residing! I just loved the amount of action embedded into the plot and such character development in the space of one book! So good.

 

 

Books on fire! A series you read straight through

I discovered the Shatter Me series last year and wow are they amazing! I read through the trilogy like I was starved of stories and it was glorious. But then the plot thickened! I found out a new trilogy was being released to follow this series, essentially making a six book series overall so I quickly grabbed up the fourth, Restore Me, and raced through that as well. This is a dystopian series with some seriously amazing characters and I can’t wait to read the last two books.

Image result for shatter me series

Midnight madness – a book that kept you up late

Image result for the dark vault bookThere are so many books that have kept me up past the midnight hour but one I read recently that I couldn’t stop reading well into the night was The Dark Vault by V E Schwab which is all about a girl doing her job – and that job is essentially putting restless spirits back to sleep. It’s two books in one and the second was brilliantly done and didn’t go the typical way I thought it might. There are fantastic characters in this book and it promises so much and gives even more.

 

 

 

And there you have it! Sometimes finishing a book feels like you’ve just ran a race and you’re left breathless and your heart’s pounding. Who needs exercise when you have books? I hoped you’ve enjoyed this Summer Sweatalong Book Tag, I now tag The Paperback Piano, Bookishly Brittknee, BooksNest, Jill’s Book Blog, and Bookmark Your Thoughts!

Feel free to participate in the book tag if you want to, I can’t wait to see everyone’s responses! ♥

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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

May wrap-up & June TBR

May has been a busy month for me – I had my exams, found out my results (I passed!) and went on a plane for the first time! I went abroad for the second time in my life and saw the beautiful Lanzarote with some uni friends and of course the highly anticipated ACOWAR came out which I devoured in two days (and cried at a book for the first time). It has been a crazy month, thankfully full of ups and good news and not to mention some brilliant books!

Books I read in May:

 

A Court of Thorns and RosesImage result for a court of thorns and roses uk

Author: S J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star (reread)

 

 

 

 

A Court of Mist and FuryImage result for a court of mist and fury uk

Author: S J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star (reread)

 

 

 

 

A Court of Wings and RuinImage result for a court of wings and ruin uk

Author: S J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

 

 

Given To the SeaImage result for given to the sea

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Putnam’s Childrens
Rating: Image result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

 

 

Everything, EverythingImage result for everything everything

Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Rating: Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the wonderful ACOWAR came out and I absolutely LOVED that book! I couldn’t stop reading and read it in two days, crying on the last page purely because of the terrible sense of loss, of something ending that I didn’t want to end. It was amazing and I loved it, but I still think ACOMAF is my favourite. I got the beautiful colour map of Prythian as well which I’ve stuck on my wall 🙂

I loved rereading ACOTAR and ACOMAF but it’s never quite the same as when you read a book for the first time! It’s interesting picking up on little things you may have missed or get mentioned later on.

Given To the Sea was the book included in the April Fairyloot box and I started it on holiday but only just finished it a few days ago. I have to say it’s not a favourite of mine and I didn’t really enjoy it that much, however Everything, Everything was so good and just what I needed!

My TBR for June will include some more contemporaries I think, like Wing Jones and Summer Days and Summer Nights (a collection of twelve summery short stories). I need to finish off my ACOWAR reread and possibly read the Fantastic Beasts screenplay. Hope you all had a brilliant month and June is even better for you!

Jo x