Monday, 24 July 2017

Readathon Challenges - Biannual Bibliothon, 24 in 48 and Booktubeathon (even though I'm not a booktuber but hey, why not)


So, I've decided to do something crazy (and very fun) and that crazy-yet-very-fun thing happens to be...participating in not one but two reading challenges. It was initially three (I was going to try to do the 24 in 48 reading challenge but I don't think I could've managed that). I'm on summer holiday, I'm volunteering 3 times a week and as the library has been quite quiet lately, I get around 3 hours of pure reading time. This opportunity probably won't come around again, so time to seize the moment. YAS.

I'll link the videos explaining the biannual bibliothon and booktubeathon here and here! Basically, they are week long reading challenges where you try to read as many books as possible. Biannual bibliothon (bibib for short) started yesterday (the 23rd) and runs until the 29th of July (next Saturday!) and Booktubeathon runs from the 24th of July until the 30th of July. There are also challenges you can complete which I'll try my best to do! 

I've created a TBR pile and I've chosen books that can work towards both of the readathons' challenges and I'll try to read as many as possible. However, I doubt I'll be able to read seven books this week as I'm not a very fast reader and the books I've chosen aren't very thin either. My main goal is just to read as much as possible for several hours a day which hopefully I'll be able to manage! 

WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU,

THE CHALLENGES: (Booktubeathon)
1. Read a book with a person on the cover
The Archived (The Archived, #1)

For this I'm choosing The Archived! I've heard so many amazing things about this book and I am BEYOND excited to read it!


2. Read a hyped book
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)


This trilogy – and V.E. Schwab in general – has been receiving so much hype! It's one of the books I have to read for my book club and it's due back the first day of August so it's time to get a move on and read it!


3. Finish a book in one day
The Hiding Place

I'm going to say The Archived again (352 pages) or The Hiding Place (218 pages) – which I should be able to manage!

4. Read about a character that is very different from you
And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)

I've heard the main character is brutal and cruel and I like to think I don't share those traits with her.

5. Finish a book completely outdoors
I generally love reading outside but it's literally been raining 24/7 here the past week so I think I'll stay inside, thanks. IF there's sun – which I doubt – I'll try reading The Hiding Place outside.

6. Read a book you got because of the cover
Barefoot on the Wind (The Moonlit Lands, #2)The Archived (The Archived, #1)

I don't think I've ever got a book purely based on the cover. HOWEVER, The Archived and Barefoot on the Wind definitely intrigued me because of their gorgeous covers. I MEAN, JUST LOOK AT THEM.

7. Read seven books
HAHAHAHAHA. That's cute. If I read three books that'll be an achievement.

THE CHALLENGES: Biannual Bibliothon (BIBIB for short)
1. Group book challenge
have reserved a copy of Flame in the Mist but I don't think I'll get it in before the challenge is over. Fingers crossed I will, but I doubt it.

2. Read a book from one of the host's favourite genres. These happen to be magical realism, historical fiction, high fantasy, diverse books, dystopian/sci-fi, paranormal, urban fantasy
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

For this I'm choosing high fantasy and going with A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab!

3. Banned book
FAHRENHEIT 451. I'm literally so amped to read this. I have no idea what it's about except there's book burning involved (MY HEART, IT BLEEDS) but hopefully I'll love it!

Fahrenheit 451

4. Throwback challenge (I'm choosing retelling!)
Barefoot on the Wind (The Moonlit Lands, #2)

Barefoot on the Wind is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and it's set in a fictional Japan so if that doesn't sell you, I don't know what will.

5. Book to movie adaptation
I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle looks so adorable and I think I'm going to love both the book and the movie!

6. Book seen other than booktube
Barefoot on the Wind, The Hiding Place or I Capture the Castle!

7. LGBTQIA+
I haven't chosen a book for this challenge because – please don't hate, it's personal preference – I don't really feel comfortable reading books in that category. I mean no offence but like I said, personal preference.  

THE TBR (in pictures):


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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Midyear Book Freak Out Tag

I've seen this tag circling around booktube and the blogosphere and even though I wasn't tagged by anybody, I'ma do it #somuchrebel. BECAUSE I LOVE TAGS. So if you want to do this, I tag you. You're welcome. 

I can not believe it's midyear already! I swear it feels like it was January a month ago. I think the reason my year has flown by so quickly is because I've had so much school work and my life has been utterly consumed with studying, coursework and past papers this year. The days go by so quickly when you're working so much and it's going to be even busier from September. Please send help. ANYWAY, I've read quite a few good books this year. I haven't read a lot of books but I've read a substantial amount, some have been brilliant, others not so much. LET'S GET INTO THE TAG!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

I think you mean best books. I can't simply choose one! The amount of favourite books I've discovered this year is pitifully small compared to previous years which makes me sad. Am I getting fussier or am I just not reading absolutely amazing books? THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW. However, I have read three amazing books this year that have made it onto my favourites list. I present to you:
THESE THREE BOOKS MAKE MY LIFE. I read the first book on the second of January this year and if I even think about it I want to start crying. It's one of those books that made me think and it made me feel (boy, oh boy, it made me feel) and I thought about it for months afterward. It was hard-hitting, it was raw, it was funny, honest, unflinching...I loved everything about it. I read it in one day (that virtually never happens) and I stayed up super late reading it and I remember having bad chest pain during *that* scene because I got so, so emotional. Gee, this is turning into a mini review. ANYWAYS, it's absolutely amazing and you should definitely read it! 

Windfall was such a cute story that I also read in a day. I just loved the characters, the themes, the plot, the writing, the romance, the family dynamics - it was so brilliant! Maybe I should reread it soon because I LOVED IT SO MUCH. You can read all my thoughts here: http://blogofabookaholic.blogspot.com/2017/03/16-reasons-why-i-loved-windfall-by.html


Bone Gap...holy heck, Bone Gap. Let me tell you a little story about this freaking gem of a novel. It's magical realism, right? Magical realism and I don't get along. At all. It was a book I was offered to review and I think the only reason I accepted was because I had heard a few bloggers say they had loved it even though I wasn't sure *I* was going to love it but you never know, right? Anyway, I put off reading it for months because there were other books I wanted to read that I was certain I was going to love so it took me awhile to get around to reading it. Then I opened the book. Read a couple of pages. And immediately fell in love. I devoured it, it became a part of me. I loved it so much that a couple of days after finishing it, I read it AGAIN. I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT. EVER. It's such a magical story and you should definitely read it. Here's my review: http://blogofabookaholic.blogspot.com/2017/03/my-2450-word-love-letter-to-bone-gap-by.htmlIt's 2450 words long though, so make sure you have a cup of tea and a snack before you read it. 


Honourable mentions: First Girl by Gloria Whelan, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr, Darkmere by Helen Maslin

2. Best sequel of 2017 so far?

I just realised I've read pretty much no books that are part of a series this year, they've mostly been standalones and the sequels I have read I didn't LOVE enough to mention here. BUT I did read one sequel that I LOVED and that was ...And a Happy New Year? by Holly Bourne. I absolutely LOVEEEE the Spinster Club trilogy and this novella made me so emotional, it made me laugh and it made me cry and I absolutely loved it! 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

PRETTY MUCH ALL OF THEM. I'm literally so far behind it's actually pathetic. My top ones that I NEED to get to but haven't yet are: 
CaravalCarve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)Once and for AllOne of Us Is LyingFlame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)Never Say Die (Alex Rider)

AND THESE AREN'T EVEN ALL THE 2017 RELEASES I NEED TO GET TO. *runs around screaming, having an existential crisis, the usual* I have Carve the Mark and Once and For All on my bookshelf waiting for me! I'm hoping to purchase Strange the Dreamer (LAINI TAYLOR, I LOVE LAINI TAYLOR), Never Say Die (Alex Rider is one of my all-time favourite series) and Lord of Shadows (Cassandra Clare, duh) soon because I've loved all the authors' other books. I've reserved Caraval, Flame in the Mist and One of Us is Lying from the library so hopefully they'll come in shortly! 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

I'M SO EXCITED FOR THIS BECAUSE WONDER WOMAN I LOVE WONDER WOMAN (even though I still haven't seen the movie UGH) BUT I LOVE THE COMICS AND THE ANIMATED FILM AND JUST EVERYTHING DC FOREVER YES PLEASE.

5. Biggest disappointment?

The Monstrous Child

This book sounded perfect and can we just admire that cover?! IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL. I really thought I'd love it because NORSE MYTHOLOGY. I hadn't read a book before this one that involved Norse mythology, I'd only read books revolving around Greek mythology. I was fully expecting to love this but it was so boring and the main character whined constantly and I was just so disappointed because it had so much potential. WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME PRETTY BOOK, WHY?! Also: you can read my full review here. It's slightly ranty but those are fun, right?

6. Biggest surprise?

Darkmere

I loved this book so much more than I thought I would have and in fact, I never would have picked it up if it weren't for it being chosen as my library's book club's choice of the month. I was under the false impression that this book was about horses. Dark horses, to be specific. Dark horses in the literal sense and not the metaphorical sense, to be more specific. I swear I saw this book with a horse on it once and also "mere" and "mare", it's easy to misread one for the other. So yes, I avoided this book purely because I thought it was a horse book. I LOVE horses but I don't like reading about them. Anyway, IT'S NOT ABOUT HORSES. THERE ARE PRETTY MUCH NO HORSES IN THIS BOOK. It's actually about haunted castles and ghosts and tragic, gothic romances. It's dual POV from a girl in the 21st century and a girl in the 19th century. It's an absolutely incredible book that I loved a lot and it was definitely a brilliant surprise! You can read more of my thoughts here.

Image result for surprised horse gif

7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you)? Freaking Laura Ruby and Jeff Zentner! They're absolutely incredible. I adore Laura Ruby's writing, it's utterly beautiful and golden and GOALS (to put it simply). I also LOVEEEDDD being introduced to Jeff Zentner's books. He writes everything with so much honesty, his books feel so real and I love how he's not afraid to talk about difficult topics and I appreciate that he talks about said topics in such a lyrical, poignant manner. 


If you two read this (which I doubt but miracles do happen)...I LOVE YOU AND YOU INSPIRE ME SO MUCH AND YOUR BOOKS HAVE MADE A HUGE IMPACT ON MY LIFE.
Ahem.

8. Newest Fictional crush?

Let me tell you about my boy, Aidan, from Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt. He's a writer and he's funny and he's sweet and adorable and he writes books that make you feel as if they were written for you. He's so adorable and I love him muchly. You can read more of my fangirl ramblings on Unconventional here!

9. Newest favorite character(s)?

OKAY BUT LIKE, THIS IS A REALLY HARD QUESTION BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY, HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO ANSWER THIS?? *heavy breathing because pressure*
Okay, so I'm just going to add an s on the end of "character" (who knew I'd turn into such a rule breaker, not I). There we go. Better. 

So, I LOVEEE Dill, Travis and Lydia from The Serpent King. So much. They're all so vastly different and complex and they feel like genuine, real people. I hope I can write characters half as good as Jeff Zentner because he's utterly incredible at writing characters. Dill and Travis have such horrible home lives due to their fathers and Dill is this quiet, wonderful character who I fell completely in love with and Travis is this gentle giant who wants nothing more than to reread his favourite fantasy series over and over again. Lydia is bubbly and has big dreams for herself (she's a highly successful blogger) and I absolutely adored her, too. I just love those three so muchm I can't quite describe it. 

Then there's Finn and Sean O'Sullivan, Petey and Roza from Bone Gap. FREAKING HECK I LOVE THOSE FOUR. Finn and Sean are also so different but so wonderful. Finn is gentle and kind and quiet and a dreamer and Sean is big, gentle and caring - I LOVEEEE THEM. Then there's Petey and Roza who are so inspiring and definitely some of the best female protagonists I've ever encountered. I could fangirl about these four all day but you can go read about that in my freakishly long review. 

10. Book that made you cry?

Counting by 7sThe Serpent King

THESE TWO FREAKING BOOKS TURNED ME INTO EMOTIONAL WRECKS. Counting by 7s is an utterly beautiful, heartbreaking story about a twelve-year-old genius who loses both her parents in a car crash. Reading about that hit me hard because it's my utter worst nightmare. I'm with my parents pretty much all the time and I rely on them a lot because I still have bad anxiety that makes it hard for me to do normal stuff. I'm a lot better but not where I want to be. ANYWAY, it's an incredibly moving story and actually such a positive one which I was surprised about. I cried a lot though.

What a surprise. The Serpent King broke me. I cried three times before I was even halfway through the book and I thought that was the only crying I'd be doing. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Ah, the naivety. I cried so, so much more than I thought I would. I didn't actually cry at *that* scene (if you've read it, you know what I'm talking about) because I was so shocked and I didn't actually think it had happened. I thought I was going to have a panic attack though because I was so upset so I'm going to count that as crying because SEVERE EMOTIONS RIGHT THERE.

11. Book that made you happy?

Othergirl

Othergirl made me happy because it was SO MUCH FUN to read! It had superheroes in, friendship, romance...it was just such a cute book and it definitely made me happy!

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year?

I HAVEN'T SEEN ONE. *cries* I'm waiting on Everything, Everything to be released in the UK (next month!) and I'll definitely be going to see that as it was one of the best books I read last year!

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year? 

Bone Gap review. Very words, much fangirling. GO READ IT, PLEASE. I also quite like my Windfall review, it's in list form which I've never done before so THAT WAS FUN.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? 

ALL OF THEM. No but really, I want to try to read quite a lot of 2017 releases before the year is over! And 2016 releases too. WHY AM I SO BEHIND?! I'll probably make a separate post on this because there are SO MANY I want to try to read before the year is done!

THERE'S MY TAG! If you want to participate, I officially tag you. Yes, you. Now go forth and answer these snazzy questions! If you want, leave the link to your post in the comments section so I can check it out!

ALSO, tell me one book you're going to make a priority to read before the year is over?
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Monday, 17 July 2017

What I've Been Reading #17


HELLO!

How's your week going so far? Mine is going quite well! I volunteered for the first time on Saturday and it was so fun. I also volunteered today and on Tuesday - I'll write a full post on how I'm finding it so far! (Spoiler: I'm loving it)

I read a heck of a lot last week but I didn't finish very many books because a lot of the books I was reading were a) really thick and b) nonfiction. I read almost 100 pages of my French grammar book and several pages of this 800 paged theology book (SUCH A BIG BOOK. TINY WRITING. MUCH INTIMIDATING). I also read two YA books which I enjoyed so much! 

OthergirlWonderboy

Other Girl by Nicole Burstein ⭐ | Wonder Boy ⭐.5

I really enjoyed these two and I read them each in a day! Super fun superhero stories with fantastic storylines and lovable characters. I absolutely loved the action and that both books were from the point of view of a normal person with no powers and a character whose superpowers aren't as advanced as other of the superheroes. It's always nice reading from the POV of the underdog.

Mere Christianity

GUYS, this book is so good and it's definitely going to get 5 cupcakes from me! I don't read much non-fiction but lately I've been on a non-fiction kick and I'm LOVING IT. I would highly recommend this book, even if you're not a Christian. In fact, if you have questions about Christianity, about God, about Jesus etc I would really recommend that you read this because C.S. Lewis lays out everything so nicely. He doesn't shove religion down your throat, but he lays out the facts on Christianity and the ideas behind it and the evidence behind the ideas in such an accessible manner. If you are a Christian, it will strengthen your faith and help you understand concepts of Christianity that you might have struggled to come to grips with before. C.S. Lewis is an amazing writer - I MUST FINISH THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA.

The Sign Of OneThe Hiding Place

I'm hoping to get to these two next! The Sign of One sounds like a fantastic sci-fi dystopian thriller and I'm so excited to read it. The Hiding Place is a nonfiction, autobiography and it sounds incredible! 

What did you read last week, what are you currently reading and what do you think you'll be reading next?

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

Stacking the Shelves #105 - Charity store bargains!


HELLO EVERYONE!

I hope you are all well.

I'm currently writing this Friday the 14th of July so when this post goes up I'll have started my library volunteering work which I'm so excited about and I can't wait to share how it goes with you all. My first day is today (if you're reading this on Saturday the 15th of July) and I'll be working for 3 and a half hours. I'll be helping kids sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge and I'm also supposed to help them choose books to read (if they need help!) and discuss the books they've read with them – it's literally the perfect job for me. I'm going to be volunteering 3-4 times a week so I'm going to be spending so much time in the library which makes me really happy because it's literally my favourite place in the world. I'll let you guys know how it goes!

I've had a really good reading week. I've read several books and I've read a lot of nonfiction (French grammar, theology etc) but because they're quite big and dense and require a lot of concentration, I haven't finished any of them so I don't feel like I've made that much progress. BUT YAY FOR READING A LOT!

I've also picked up quite a few books this week which I wasn't expecting but...these things happen, as I'm sure you know. My library has an ongoing book sale and they keep adding new books so I've picked up some really interesting ones there. I also went to a couple of charity stores this week and I got some books I've been dying to read. My last few library reservations also came in so I'm excited to show you those too!

The Canary ClubThe Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1)

I'M SO EXCITED FOR THESE AND I CAN'T BELIEVE MY REQUESTS WERE ACCEPTED FLAIL WITH ME PLEASE. I've been dying to read The Diabolic since I first heard of it, so I'm super stoked to read these. I also requested Canary Club because it sounds INCREDIBLE. Gangsters, secrets, murder, a romance between a wealthy gangster's daughter trying to take control of the city through politics and manipulation and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks IN 1920S NEW YORK (!!!). Here's the blurb: DOES IT NOT SOUND FREAKING INCREDIBLE?!
Bad Luck” Benny is a fella from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.

Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.

Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Image result for excited gif

AM I EXCITED? YES, YES I AM.




I was really good at the library this week and only took out the books that I had reserved a few weeks back (#selfcontrol) and I'm SUPER EXCITED to read them!

SQUEEE V.E. SCHWAB AND KATIE MCGARRY. I literally LOVE Katie's books so much, I can't even begin to describe how much I love them BUT I LOVE THEM A LOT OKAY. I've heard sooo many great things about V.E. Schwab's books so I'm so excited to read them! Ink and Bone is going to be the book club book of the month in upcoming weeks so I need to read that (it sounds AMAZING) and I've got all the Reckless books out of the library now so I'm going to binge read them soon! Have you read any of these and what did you think?



The Double Shadow | Liberty | Before I Fall | Shiver | Pure | Who Could That Be at  This Hour? | Cold Spell | The Last Leaves Falling | Eon: Dragoneye | Five Things They Never Told Me 

These all look so amazing! I've been wanting to read Liberty (IT'S A SPY/ESPIONAGE BOOK - YES, PLEASE!), Shiver (I bought the other books ages ago!), Before I Fall is a book I've been dying to read (pun not intended­čśé) forever and I've been wanting to read Eon: Dragoneye for such a long time too! I'm definitely going to be going on a book buying ban soon! I NEED TO.

What books did you acquire this week? Have you read any of these? DON'T YOU THINK THE CANARY CLUB SOUNDS AMAZING?! 
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