Do Your Bookshelves Spark Joy?

Do Your Bookshelves Spark Joy?

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So I know I’m a little late to the party but I finally watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. I saw a lot of discussion about this show on Twitter, particularly people not agreeing with the idea of getting rid of books that don’t ‘spark joy’.

I am a complete and utter book hoarder. I love wandering through bookshops and I adore second hand book shops and charity shops. I currently have six full length book shelves that are bursting at the seams with easily 1300/1400 books. (There’s also quite a few stacks in the spare bedroom). I am also known to buy special editions of books I already own and if a publisher kindly sent me an ARC I often go out and purchase a finished copy too.

So sitting down to watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo I was very much in the ‘you should keep your books forever’ category. I watched a few episodes and it really did get me thinking.  My house has kind of been taken over by books and I don’t often see my favourites sitting on the shelf because they are jammed in by so many others, I started to wonder if I’d be able to part with some of them and if I could rid myself of a bit of clutter.

Completely shocking to my boyfriend and all my friends, taking them all off the shelf and looking through them actually worked. I found books I read for University that I know I won’t read again, books I didn’t even like and books that I did enjoy but I know I’m going to pick up again – so why am I holding onto them?

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Now I’m not saying I got rid of all of my books. I still am very much in the hoarder section but I did manage to take 348 books off my shelves! It meant all the stacks on the floor are now actually on shelves and I can see my favourites as well as all the books I’ve still got to read – some that I was really excited for that then got lost in the abyss.

After decluttering my shelves I also made a catalogue of all my books (which currently sits at 960 books), meaning I could much better keep track of how many I had and how many I have to read.

My shelves definitely look so much better and it’s so much easier to find things, so if you’re skeptical about the Marie Kondo method I absolutely recommend giving it a go. I never thought in a million years I would be the person passing 300+ books to my local charity shop! I’m probably still going to buy tons of books but hopefully now I can periodically remove the ones I’ll never read again or have lost interest in and someone else can love them instead.

If you do regular book unhauls or you’ve tried the Marie Kondo Method definitely let me know how you got on or what your secrets are for keeping your shelves in order!

TBR Tag!

TBR Tag!

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I saw this tag over at Bookish Coffee Blog and thought it looked really fun! As always my TBR is pretty much out of control so I know there’s plenty of books for me to talk about!

How do you keep track of your TBR?
I use a spreadsheet created by Kaleena from Reader Voracious (it’s brilliant you should try it) and it keeps try of all the review books I have and when they’re due. The books I’ve bought just live on my shelf until I feel the notion to pick them up. I keep thinking about making a proper TBR shelf on Goodreads but I’m not sure if the amount of books will overwhelm me a little.

Is your TBR mostly print books or e-books?
Mostly print. I do read ebooks occasionally and I occasionally I use Netgalley but I struggle with reading electronic books because I get headaches.

How do you decide which book on your TBR to read next?
It’s usually whichever book is next in terms of reviewing obligations but if I don’t have any review books it will usually just be whatever I’m in the mood for or maybe something that I’ve seen on getting good reviews on other blogs and Goodreads.

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A book that’s been on your TBR the longest
Heartless by Marissa Meyer has definitely been on there a while. I’m definitely still interested in reading it but for some reason I just haven’t picked it up yet.

book cover - 2019-03-01T142202.525A book that you recently added to your TBR
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman arrived in the post this morning so that’s definitely the most recent addition to my TBR.

book cover (82)A book on your TBR strictly because of the beautiful cover
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos isn’t on there only because of the cover but I was certainly drawn into buying it for the cover.

book cover - 2019-03-01T142437.038A book on your TBR you never actually plan on reading
I mean I hope that I get to all the books on my TBR one day but there are probably some intimidating classics on there that I realistically won’t get to – maybe Dubliners or War and Peace.

book cover - 2019-03-01T143051.847An unpublished book on your TBR you are excited for
One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence! I’m so excited for the release of this book.

book cover (2)A book on your TBR that everyone else has read but you
Nevernight. I’m not even going to say anything else because I know how much I need to read this book.

book cover (85)A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.
Definitely Night Film by Marisha Peshl, everyone says this book is brilliant.

Untitled design (80)A book on your TBR you’re dying to read
Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence. It arrived last week and I’m so excited to dive back into this story.

The number of books on your TBR
I’ve never actually counted because I think it would make me cry, definitely in the hundreds!

So that’s my version of the TBR tag! I’d love to know how many books are currently on your TBR, hopefully I’m not the only one with a crazy amount!

NYALitFest TBR!

NYALitFest TBR!

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I’m so excited to be going to my first ever Nothern YA Literature Festival! This is a wonderful event that takes place in Preston on the 16th of March. There’s lots of amazing authors going and quite a few them have books which are sitting on my TBR so I thought it would be fun to make a post about all the books I’m hoping to read before the event. It’s a pretty ambitious TBR, but I’m up for a challenge!

1. After the Fire – Will Hill
bffAfter the Fire is a book I know very little about, except that I know lots of people absolutely adore it, and it’s won tons of awards. I’m pretty sure it features a cult, and I’m really intrigued to know more.

Father John controls everything inside The Fence. And Father John likes rules. Especially about never talking to Outsiders. Because Father John knows the truth. He knows what is right, and what is wrong. He knows what is coming.

Moonbeam is starting to doubt, though. She’s starting to see the lies behind Father John’s words. She wants him to be found out.

What if the only way out of the darkness is to light a fire?

2. Trouble – Non Pratt
gdfNon Pratt is one of those authors I’ve always wanted to read and just haven’t gotten around to trying yet. I saw Trouble in a second hand book shop so I quickly snapped it up and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love.

3. Monsters in the Mirror – A. J. Hartley
hjThis is a middle-grade fantasy novel that just sounds brilliant! I’m going to be on the blog tour for this one so stay tuned for full review!

Darwen Arkwright’s world is turned upside down when he is forced to move from a small English town to Atlanta in the United States of America. Feeling out of place and struggling to fit in at school, Darwen seeks solace in a mysterious shop full of mirrors. It’s there that he discovers the ability to step through mirrors into different worlds – worlds beyond his wildest imagination. Darwen befriends creatures including Moth, a tiny being with mechanical wings, but he soon learns that there is a terrible darkness threatening this new world . . . and only he can save it.

The problem with doors is that they open both ways. There are monsters inside, and some of them are trying to get out . . .

4. Song of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
book cover (70)Melinda Salisbury is one of my favourite authors so I am super excited to have a copy of Song of Sorrow to read. This is the second instalment in the series and I’m so excited to find out what’s going to happen next!

Sorrow Ventaxis has won the election, and in the process lost everything…

Governing under the sinister control of Vespus Corrigan, and isolated from her friends, Sorrow must to find a way to free herself from his web and save her people. But Vespus has no plans to let her go, and he isn’t the only enemy Sorrow faces as the curse of her name threatens to destroy her and everything she’s fought for.

5. The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon
Untitled design (10)This one is technically cheating because it doesn’t come out until next week but it is one of my most anticipated releases and I’m just dying to read this one.

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

6. The Graces – Laure Eve
book cover (87)I got this as a Christmas present last year and I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet but it sounds amazing and I definitely hope I get to it before the festival!

Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

7. Spark – Alice Broadway
mlkI read Ink a while ago and loved it but I still haven’t gotten around to Spark yet so I figured this was the perfect opportunity!

Leora is reeling: questioning everything she has ever known about her family and herself.

As half-Marked and half-Blank, can she ever wholly belong in either fractured community? Mayor Longsight wants to use her as a weapon: to infiltrate Featherstone, home of the Blanks, and deliver them to him for obliteration. Leora longs for answers about her mysterious birth mother, and Featherstone may reveal them.

But will she find solace and safety there or a viper’s nest of suspicion and secrets? 

8. Floored – Various Authors
florredThis book is really intriguing to me because it’s written by so many authors that I love, and quite a few that are going to the festival –  Melinda Salisbury, Sara Barnard, Non Pratt, Holly Bourne, Tara Byrne, Eleanor Wood and Lisa Williamson. I’m excited to see how it will work with so many authors collaborating in one story.

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.

9. A Girl Called Shameless – Laura Steven

shameI read The Exact Opposite of Okay last year and it was an instant five star read for me. I picked up the sequel today and I’m so excited to dive in!

Funnier. Ruder. Angrier. Izzy O’Neill is back in the hilarious sequel to The Exact Opposite of Okay. 

It’s been two months since a leaked explicit photo got Izzy involved in a political sex scandal – and the aftershock is far from over. The Bitches Bite Back movement is gathering momentum as a forum for teenage feminists, and when a girl at another school has a sex tape shared online, once again Izzy leads the charge against the slut-shamer. This time she wants to change the state law on revenge porn. 

Izzy and her best friend Ajita are as hilarious as ever, using comedy to fight back against whatever the world throws at them, but Izzy is still reeling from her slut-shaming ordeal, feeling angry beyond belief and wondering – can they really make a change?

So that’s my TBR for NYALitFest! Hopefully I can make a good dent in it over the next week or so and I do have the three hour journey down there to read some books too! I would love to pick up Wing Jones by Katherine Webber and maybe something by Lucy Christopher too but I’m not sure I’ll be able to squeeze anymore in. If you want to know more about the event, or register to attend (it’s free), all the information is here! If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know which ones to prioritise!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

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Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re talking about our favourite books that don’t have many ratings on Goodreads (under 2000). I thought it might be quite hard to find books on my read shelf that fit this category but it was actually pretty easy. I loved all of these books and gave them all four or five stars – so let’s dive in!

1. The Sisters of the Winter Wood – Rena Rossner (1,698 ratings)
Untitled design (96)I loved this book so much, it was so beautifully written and it was definitely a stand out book for me in 2018.

Raised in a small village surrounded by vast forests, Liba and Laya have lived a peaceful sheltered life – even if they’ve heard of troubling times for Jews elsewhere. When their parents travel to visit their dying grandfather, the sisters are left behind in their home in the woods.

But before they leave, Liba discovers the secret that their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan. Perhaps, Liba realizes, the old fairy tales are true. She must guard this secret carefully, even from her beloved sister.

Soon a troupe of mysterious men appear in town and Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And these are not the only dangers lurking in the woods…

The sisters will need each other if they are to become the women they need to be – and save their people from the dark forces that draw closer.

2. The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven (590 ratings)
book cover (98)This is a very recent read for me and it’s one that I raced through because it was so addictive. The first in a new crime thriller series, I’m already dying for more!

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive…

3. The Gilded King – Josie Jaffrey (142 ratings)
gkThis exciting fantasy tale is the first in the Sovereign Series from Josie Jaffrey. I really loved reading this first instalment and I am itching to get started on book two and three!

In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

4. Darksoul – Anna Stephens (150 ratings)
book cover (20)This is the second instalment in one of my all time favourite series, I loved this book and it was pretty much an instant five star read and I need book three like yesterday.

The Wolves lie dead beside Rilpor’s soldiers, slaughtered at the hands of the Mireces and their fanatical army.

The veil that once kept the Red Gods at bay has been left in tatters as the Dark Lady’s plans for the world come to fruition. Where the gods walk, blood is spilled on the earth.

All that stands between the Mireces army and complete control of the Kingdom of Rilpor are the walls of its capital, Rilporin, and those besieged inside.

But hope might yet bloom in the unlikeliest of places: in the heart of a former slave, in the mind of a soldier with the eyes of a fox, and in the hands of a general destined to be king.

5. Ravencry – Ed McDonald (841 ratings)
book cover (22)This is another second instalment in a series that I just absolutely adore. It got quite a lot of buzz on social media when it was released so I was really surprised it ended up on this list!

Four years have passed since Nall’s Engine drove the Deep Kings back across the Misery, but as they hurl fire from the sky, darker forces plots against the republic.

A new power is rising: a ghost in the light known only as the Bright Lady manifests in visions across the city, and the cult that worship her grasp for power even as the city burns around them.

When Crowfoot’s arcane vault is breached, an object of terrible power is stolen, and Galharrow and his Blackwings must once find out which of Valengrad’s enemies is responsible before they have a chance to use it.

To save Valengrad, Galharrow, Nenn and Tnota must venture to a darker, more twisted and more dangerous place than any they’ve walked before: the very heart of the Misery.

6. Witchsign – Den Patrick (161 ratings)
Untitled design (61)I really loved Den Patrick’s Boy with the Porcelain Blade so I was really excited to find out he was releasing a new fantasy series and I definitely wasn’t disappointed!

It has been seventy-five years since the dragons’ rule of fire and arcane magic over Vinkerveld was ended, and the Empire was born. Since, the tyrannical Synod has worked hard to banish all manifestations of the arcane across the lands. 

However, children are still born bearing the taint of the arcane, known to all as witchsign. So each year the Emperor sends out his Vigilants across the continent to detect the arcane in these children. Those found tainted are taken, and never seen again. Steiner has always suspected his sister Kjellrunn of bearing witchsign. But when their father’s attempt to protect her from the Invigilation backfires, it is Steiner who is mistakenly taken. However it is not death which awaits Steiner, but an Academy where the children with witchsign learn to master their powers – some at the cost of their lives. Steiner is determined to escape the Academy and protect his sister from this fate.

But powerful enemies await him at every turn, and Steiner finds himself taken on a journey straight into the heart of the Empire’s deepest secrets, which will force him to reconsider everything he has known about witchsign.

7. The Way Past Winter – Kiran Milwood Hargrave (270 ratings)
book cover (25)This is a beautifully told middle grade story full of magic and mystery. I absolutely adored it and it’s fast become one of my favourite middle grade books.

Mila and her sisters live with their brother Oskar in a small forest cabin in the snow. One night, a fur-clad stranger arrives seeking shelter for himself and his men. But by the next morning, they’ve gone – taking Oskar with them. Fearful for his safety, Mila and her sisters set out to bring Oskar back – even it means going north, crossing frozen wild-lands to find a way past an eternal winter.

8. The Ninth Rain – Jen Williams (962 ratings)
I binge read the The Ninth Rain and the sequel The Bitter Twins because the series was just so unputdownable. Jen Williams has created such a fascinating world and honestly I can’t get enough.

book cover (94)The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall…

9. Book of Fire – Michelle Kenney (76 ratings)
bfI loved this YA dystopian/science fiction story and thought it was a really interesting take on the genre. I have book two on my TBR and I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for these characters.

Life outside the domes is not possible. At least that’s what Insiders are told. Twins Eli and Talia shouldn’t exist. They’re Outsiders. 

Their home is a secret. Their lives are a secret. Arafel is a secret. 

An unexpected forest raid forces Talia into a desperate mission to rescue her family while protecting the sacred book of Arafel from those who would use it as a weapon. As Talia and her life long friend Max enter the dome, she makes some unexpected discoveries, and allies, in the form of rugged Insider August, that will change the course of her life forever. 

She’ll stop at nothing to save her family but will she sacrifice her heart in the process?

10. The Scarecrow Queen – Melinda Salisbury (1246 ratings)
cqThis is the concluding book to the Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy and honestly this book broke me a little bit. I love Melinda Salibury’s writing and this series is one of my favourites.

The final battle is coming . . .

As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever . .

So those are the top ten of my favourite books with under 2000 ratings on Goodreads! Which books made your list?

January Book Haul!

January Book Haul!

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Today I’m bringing you my January Book Haul! I’m trying to make a concerted effort to buy less books in 2019 – I’m also tracking how much I spend on books over the year so that will be interesting to see what the total is in December. I was lucky enough to get quite a few books from publishers (thank you so much!), so as usual I’ve split them into two lots. Let’s dive in!

Books I Bought:

1. The Wicked King – Holly Black
The sequel to The Cruel Prince obviously had to be the first book I bought in 2019. I’ve read this already and it was brilliant.

book cover (13)You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

2. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One – Amanda Lovelace
ssdI really loved the first book in this series so I just had to pick up the second instalment of Amdanda Lovelace’s inspiring poetry. I’ve also read this one too and loved it as well.

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

3. The Witch of Willow Hall – Hester Fox
I have an e-ARC from Netgalley for this book that I still haven’t read so when I saw it in the bookshop I decided to pick it up.

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

halTake this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall. The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end… 

4. A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
I really love Brigid Kemmerer’s books so I’m so looking forward to reading this Beauty and the Beast retelling.

book cover (46)Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

5. King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo
Favourite author has a new book about one of my all time favourite characters, need I say more?

book cover (47)Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Books From Publishers:

6. The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven
This dark and twisted thriller completely hooked me and I can’t wait for the next book in the series (check out my full review here)

book cover (98)A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive…

7. Dark Forge – Miles Cameron
The continuation to the Master and Mages series was another brilliant read and you can check out my stop on the blog tour here.

book cover (99)Only fools think war is simple.
Or glorious.

Some are warriors, some captains; others tend to the fallen or feed the living.

But on the magic-drenched battlefield, information is the lifeblood of victory, and Aranthur is about to discover that carrying messages, scouting the enemy, keeping his nerve, and passing on orders is more dangerous, and more essential, then an inexperienced soldier could imagine . . . especially when everything starts to go wrong.

Battle has been joined – on the field, in the magical sphere, and in the ever-shifting political arena . . .

8. We Are Blood and Thunder – Kesia Lupo
This honestly sounds like such a stunning book and comes out in April from Bloomsbury Books.

bldthIn a sealed-off city, it begins with a hunt. A young woman, Lena, running for her life, convicted of being a mage and sentenced to death. Her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear – those with magic.

On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. She knows only too well how the people of Duke’s Forest loathe magic. Years ago she escaped before her powers were discovered. But now she won’t hide who she is any longer.

A powerful and terrifying storm cloud unites them. It descends over the dukedom and devastates much in its wake. But this is more than a thunderstorm. This is a spell, and the truth behind why it has been cast is more sinister than anyone can imagine … Only Lena and Constance hold the key to destroying the spell. Though neither of them realise it, they need each other. They are the blood and they have the thunder within.

9. Five Feet Apart – Rachel Lippencott
This kind of reminded me of a Fault in Our Stars kind of story and I know there’s a movie coming out soon so I’m definitely going to have to get to it before that comes out!

book covlhkjgerCan you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

10. The Killing Joke – Christa Faust
I loved the Harley Quinn novel in this series and Titan books kindly sent me copies of book one and three!

killing jokeA tragic, unnamed engineer-turned-criminal is immersed in chemicals that disfigure him bizarrely, driving him mad and thus giving birth to the Joker. While the insane criminal is imprisoned, Batman and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) patrol Gotham City together, taking down perps such as the crime boss Maxie Zeus. Simultaneously Detective Harvey Bullock works with Commissioner James Gordon to take down a drug factory. Back in Arkham Asylum, Joker learns of a new technology he wants to acquire and escapes, setting out on a mission designed to break the Commissioner, forcing him to abandon his ideals as a police officer. In a violent home invasion he shoots and cripples Barbara, then takes Gordon hostage. Batman races to rescue Gordon, ultimately confronting his arch-foe in an amusement park fun house. This edgy adaptation by Hard Case Crime novelist Christa Faust expands upon the cast and adds intricate layers to the events of the graphic novel, further examining the nature of morality.

11. The Court of Owls – Greg Cox
This is the third instalment in the DC comics novels!

bojhghgBeware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time
Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime
They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed
Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.
–a nursery rhyme

The Court of Owls is a criminal secret society that has existed in Gotham City since the 1600s, led by some of the city’s wealthiest and most influential families. They employ deadly trained assassins known as Talons, taken as children from circuses such as the one where Dick Grayson’s parents were killed. These children are trained to become the assassins known as Talons. Bruce Wayne came to the Court’s attention when he announced plans to reinvigorate Gotham, threatening their control. They sentenced him to death, bringing themselves to the attention of Batman. Though they suffer defeats, the Court continues to fight to retake control of the city’s underworld – a fight that has gone on for centuries.

12. Shadow Captain – Alastair Reynolds
This is the second book in the Revenger series, it’s been a while since I read book one so I’m definitely going to have to binge read them both.

bjhk coverAdrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen’s ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen’s hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession.

Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don’t care if she’s already been killed. They’ll happily take whoever is flying her ship.

Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escapes and wealth beyond imagining … and of betrayal.

13. Dread Nation – Justina Ireland
This has long been on my wishlist so I was super excited to be sent a copy to coincide with the publication in the UK.

book cove4rJane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

14. Sky In the Deep – Adrienne Young
I’m so excited about this Viking/Fantasy story and I’ll be participating in the blog tour so make sure you check that out.

grhwoigwRaised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

15. Stronger, Faster & More Beautiful – Arwen Elys Dayton
This sounds like such a unique and fascinating read so it’s very high up on my priority list.

jjjjjSet in our world, spanning the near to distant futures, Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is a novel made up of six interconnected stories that ask how far we will go to remake ourselves into the perfect human specimens, and how hard that will push the definition of “human.”

This extraordinary work explores the amazing possibilities of genetic manipulation and life extension, as well as the ethical quandaries that will arise with these advances. The results range from the heavenly to the monstrous. Deeply thoughtful, poignant, horrifying, and action-packed, Arwen Elys Dayton’s Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is groundbreaking in both form and substance.

16. Monsters in the Mirror – A. J. Hartley
This sounds like such a fun and exciting middle grade story and this is another one that I’m participating in the blog tour for!

hjDarwen Arkwright’s world is turned upside down when he is forced to move from a small English town to Atlanta in the United States of America. Feeling out of place and struggling to fit in at school, Darwen seeks solace in a mysterious shop full of mirrors. It’s there that he discovers the ability to step through mirrors into different worlds – worlds beyond his wildest imagination. Darwen befriends creatures including Moth, a tiny being with mechanical wings, but he soon learns that there is a terrible darkness threatening this new world . . . and only he can save it.

The problem with doors is that they open both ways. There are monsters inside, and some of them are trying to get out . . .

17. End of Magic – Mark Stay
Mark kindly reached out and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing his new fantasy novel and of course I immediately said yes. This sounds amazing and it’s definitely going to be my next read!

endThere are epic fantasies where magic is a thing of the past, spoken of in hushed tones until some kid pulls a sword from a stone and it all kicks off again… This is not one of those stories. The End of Magic will take you back to a time when magic collapsed, when the world went mad, chaos reigned, and we’ll get to see it through the eyes of three people who have everything to lose… Sander Bree is a royal mage. The personification of privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still finds plenty of time to complain that he’s stuck in a rut.

Rosheen Katell is an immigrant freelancer and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills. Oskar is Rosheen’s younger brother. Mute from birth he is a moonchild. Alone and vulnerable, he will endure more change than anyone. Both Sander and Rosheen are entirely dependent on magic. The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their world forever. Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Oskar needs to survive unthinkable terror and find his sister. All are set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before.

So those are the books I picked up in January! If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know which ones to prioritise!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

ttt
Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re talking about our favourite couples in books. I don’t read romance novels or much in the way of contemporary so most of these are from fantasy books! There might be slight spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read these books so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

1. Yelena & Valek – Study Series
Yelena and Valek are definitely my favourite couple from a book. This series is one of my all time favourites and I loved watching their relationship grow over the six books.
the calling
2. Hunter & Morgan – Sweep Series
These two were some of my favourite characters growing up and I loved them as a couple. I’m currently rereading this fifteen book series and I still adore the characters so they definitely deserve to be on this list.

3. Vasya & Morozoko – Winternight Trilogy
I recently read the final book in this beautiful trilogy so I couldn’t make this list without my favourite heroine and the King of Winter. They were such fascinating characters and the romance between them blossomed so well in the story!
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4. Jude & Cardan – Folk of the Air
I imagine this one might be on a lot of people’s lists. The love/hate relationship between Jude and Cardan is one of the things I love most about this trilogy and honestly I’m just dying to read Queen of Nothing.


5. Hanna & Nik – Illuminae Files

I loved these two so much. Hanna is on the surface a pampered princess but with much than meets the eye and Nik is the drug dealer with a heart of gold. What’s not to love about this couple?
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6. Alosha & Riden – Daughter of the Pirate King

This duology was completely not what I was expecting and was much more romance focused than I originally thought but I really loved the sassy banter and budding romance between Alosha and Riden in this series so they were an easy choice for this list!

7. Lara Jean & Peter – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
THEY ARE JUST SO CUTE AND ADORABLE. This is the only contemporary couple on this list but they are just perfect. I loved them in the books and I adored them in the movie – they’re sweet and funny and definitely one of the best couples.
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8. Alina and Mal – Grisha Trilogy

This might be a bit of a controversial one. I know a lot of people don’t like Alina and Mal together and while I really love the Darkling, I think Alina and Mal make a really lovely couple and ultimately she ended up with the right person.

9. Hoshiko & Ben – Showstopper
These two make a really fascinating couple because they come from such different worlds. Ben is rich and lives comfortably with his status as a Pure and Hoshiko is forced to perform in a deadly circus as one of the Dregs of society. They get together and they’re such a sweet couple!
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10. Lou & Robert – A Sky Painted Gold

This Gatsby-esque historical fiction novel features a romance between the wealthy Robert Cardew and local girl Lou and I completely fell in love with their story when I read it last year. It’s a perfect summer read and a gorgeous romance!

So those are my top ten couples from books. Which couples made your list?

November Book Haul!

November Book Haul!

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It’s time for another book haul! Today I’m talking about all the books I picked up in November!

From Publishers

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1. Mad Love – Paul Dini and Pat Cadigan

This was sent to me from Titan Books and is a novelised version of Harley Quinn’s origin story. Harley Quinn is one of my favourite DC characters so I was so excited to read this. I flew through this and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

Untitled design (93)2. Shadow of the Fox – Julie Kagawa
This was my first time reading a book by Julie Kagawa and I really enjoyed it. Shadow of the Fox is a fun and fast paced fantasy novel that you’ll find difficult to put down. I’m definitely excited to read more from this author and if you’re interested in knowing my full thoughts on this book you can check out my stop on the blog tour here!
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3. The Glass Town Wars – Celia Rees

I won a copy of this in a giveaway and the publisher sent it to me last month. This is a genre bending novel based on the early work of the Bronte sisters. It wasn’t my favourite Celia Rees book but it was an enjoyable read.

Untitled design (51)4. Skyward – Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is an author that is beloved by so many people that I was really excited to read my first book by him. Skyward is a YA science fiction novel about a young girl named Spensa who dreams of being a pilot. It was so action packed and kept me hooked from the very first page. If you want to know more you can check out my blog tour stop here!
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5. The Last – Hannah Jameson

The Last is a new mystery/thriller publishing from Viking in January 2019. The tag line is ‘one hotel, twenty survivors.’ The story follows a group of people stuck in a hotel during a nuclear blast. It sounds like it’s going to be really dark and gripping and I can’t wait to pick it up.

book cover (40)6. Wolves of Winter – Tyrell Johnston
The Wolves of Winter is a dystopian/science fiction story following a woman trying to survive since society has collapsed following a nuclear war and widespread disease. I’m clearly in the mood for some dystopian type stories between Wolves of Winter and The Last so I’m hoping I enjoy them both.

book cover (39)7. Shadowscent – P. M. Freestone
I am SO EXCITED about this book. It came in a gorgeous package with some perfume and it is top of my list to read at the start of 2019. The description reads ‘When disaster strikes and the crown prince lies poisoned, long suppressed rivalries threaten to blow the empire apart. It’s up to a poor village girl with a talent for fragrances and the prince’s loyal bodyguard to find an antidote.’ This is publishing in February 2019 from Scholastic UK and it sounds amazing.

Books I Bought

book cover (41)8. The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang
I picked up a copy of this in my local bookshop because I’ve heard some amazing things. This is a dark and brutal adult fantasy and so many bloggers have rated this incredibly highly. I’m probably not going to get this in 2018 but I’m really looking forward to reading it.
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9. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee

This honestly sounds so fun and enjoyable and it is next on my TBR to read. I picked this up partly because of the hype surrounding this series, but the synopsis definitely has me intrigued. It’s another one that I’ve heard amazing things about too.

Untitled design (99)10. Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan
This was another one I picked up in my local bookshop and it sounds incredible. Another dark fantasy, this one features a female/female romance between two concubines for the King. This was on my list of books I wanted to read before the end of the year but I am fast running out of time to read it!

book cover (1)11. Gemina – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Who is surprised I bought this? No one. I read Illuminae recently and thought it was basically the best thing ever so the next day I had to click and collect Gemina. I’ve since read it and I honestly can’t decided if I love Kady and Ezra more or Hanna and Nik. I’ve also picked up Obsidio and I’m excited/terrified to find out how it’s going to end.

Untitled design (50)12. Fire and Blood – George R. R. Martin
I’m absolutely dying to read this but I haven’t picked it up yet because it’s so huge. I love GRRM and all things Westeros so I might start 2019 off by diving into this book which follows the history of the Targaryen line.
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13. Wild Magic – Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is an author that so many people associate with fantasy but I have never read any of her books. This arrived in a subscription box recently and it’s quite short so I’m hoping to pick it up quickly because I imagine I’ll fly through it.

book cover (42)14. Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean
This too arrived in my November Illumicrate and I’m really excited to read it. It’s one that I haven’t seen too many reviews about but I’m really looking forward to it. This edition has gorgeous sprayed editions too!

So that’s all the books I bought/received in November! If you’ve read any of these let me know what you thought and what books you picked up in November!