Saturday, 30 June 2018

READATHON TIME: My #TomeToppleTBR!


IT'S READATHON TIMEEEE!!!

Now that it's summer, I'm looking forward to participating in ALL THE READATHONS. The first one I've decided to participate in is the Tome Topple readathon, where you try to read books over 500 pages. I love big books...but they scare me. However, since I have plenty of time on my hands, I thought this is the perfect opportunity to dedicate time to the big books I've been putting off reading because 500+ pages is scary.

Tome Topple is hosted by Thoughts on Tomes and runs from the 29th of June until the 12th of July (I didn't manage to start the books on my TBR yesterday though – I was completely engrossed in The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury). There are several challenges you can complete, if you want, and I'm hoping to complete a couple of those!

The challenges are:
  1. Read more than 1 tome
  2. Read a graphic novel (still over 500 pages!)
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series
  4. Buddy read a tome
  5. Read an adult novel
I probably won't complete 2 and 4, as I don't have graphic novels over 500 pages and although I might be able to buddy read Renegades by Marissa Meyer with my friend, I'm not sure if we'll get around to it, but we'll see!


AHH LOOK AT THEM. SO BIG. SO BEAUTIFUL. SO...DAUNTING. I'm really excited to read these though! I got See Me out of the library yesterday as it will qualify for the “read an adult novel” challenge. I've always wanted to read a Nicholas Sparks book, so I'm ecstatic to finally read one of his works!

I've also been meaning to read City of Heavenly Fire since it first came out, but I've never gotten around to it?! My friend has been nagging me to read it forever, so I'll finally bite the bullet and read it. I was so scared everyone would die, but I haven't heard it being referred to as The Deathly Hallows of Cassandra Clare books...so I think I should be okay.


Satellite and Seraphina are both books I acquired from the library recently, and they're both around 500 pages, so I thought I'd try to read those too!

Renegades, The Murderer's Ape and I Capture the Castle are also books I've been meaning to get to for ages. The Murderer's Ape has an excellent premise, but it's nearly 600 pages so I've been quite intimidated to pick it up!


I'll probably read The Unexpected Everything for the readathon. It's summer time which means time to read ALL THE CONTEMPORARIES! I've heard so many amazing things about Morgan Matson's books – I'm so excited to read this.

I definitely won't get around to all of these, BUT I'm hoping I can read at least three of them!

Are you participating in this? What's the biggest book on your TBR pile? Have you read any of these? Will you be participating in readathons this summer? 
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Thursday, 28 June 2018

A bite-sized review of Never Say Die by Anthony Horowitz which made me feel ALL THE THINGS


Never Say DieTitle: Never Say Die
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Genre: Middle-Grade, Young Adult, Spy
Publication: June 1st 2017, Walker Books
Pages: 377 pages, Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5/5 Cupcakes
Alex Rider is back in this brand new, explosive mission in the number one bestselling series.
In this brand new, explosive adventure in the number one bestselling series, Alex Rider is trying to get his life back on track after the traumatic events of his last mission. But even Alex can't fight the past ... especially when it holds a deadly secret.

This is the first book review I've written in FOREVER. Like, I feel as if I've forgotten how to form words?? Coherent thoughts?? Exams, what have you done? 

I just finished Never Say Die, the latest Alex Rider book, and I LOVED IT. I closed the book and immediately Googled when the next one was coming out. It has a title but no release date. EXCUSE ME WHILE I CRY. I NEED MORE ALEX RIDER. This book was so good and I was a mixture of anxiety and happiness whilst reading it. Anxiety because ALEX CAN YOU STOP TAKING SO MANY RISKS, YOU'RE GIVING ME HEART PALPITATIONS. Happiness because ALEX (precious cinnamon roll) RIDER. I'm just so hyped up for more books, guys. I have very fond memories of spending the summer of when I was sixteen marathoning the Alex Rider books. I'd read a couple of them when I was around twelve, but then I'd left the school that had the books and never got around to finishing them until four years later when I found a bind-up of the first three books. I was hooked all over again and spent many days completely absorbed in them. These books are part of me, guys.

I was so sad when it ended. I may have cried.

BUT THEN, Anthony (the legend) Horowitz, decided to write another book. HAPPY DAYS!!! I finally got around to reading it (post-exam treat)...and I fell completely in love with it. It was emotional, it was fast-paced and it was every bit as brilliant as all the other Alex Rider books I'd previously fallen in love with.

I'm not going to speak too much about the plot because SPOILERS, but it was incredible. It was fast-paced, action-packed and gripping – the classic Alex Rider book. The villains were chillingly evil, the scrapes Alex managed to get into had me fearing for his safety (I was sitting outside in the sun with the book right by my face, muttering “no no no no”. The neighbours think I'm mad). The character development was brilliant and the writing was as wonderful, as always. I forgot how much I love the way he writes. I find a lot of books written in third person quite impersonal and I'm not as engrossed in them, but not with the Alex Rider books. Anthony Horowitz writes third-person brilliantly. He zooms in and out on different characters in the book and on different scenes, that richly layer the book with an intertwining plot that has me on the edge of my seat and that results in a genius revelation blows my mind. Man, I love these books.

One of the things that most stuck out to me was how Alex had changed as a character. He seems older now. More mature, and more confident, and throughout the majority of the book, slightly more broken. The plot and the writing and other ingredients combined were the classical elements that form an Alex Rider novel and this glorious conglomeration made me feel like I'd been reunited with an old friend, but the subtle change in his character gave the book a slightly different feel. Alex Rider is growing up, but he's still the incredibly smart, witty, brave and kind character I fell in love with when I was twelve. I love that Anthony Horowitz has shown his evolution as a character, though, it makes him feel that much more real. However, although Alex Rider has changed slightly, the books are still fun and light-hearted, making them the perfect read for escapism.

I absolutely loved this book.

I give it: 4.5/5 CUPCAKES!
 

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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

2018 Summer Reading Plan!



Making seasonal reading plans is one of my favourite things in the world. Do I stick to them? Not often. BUT I LOVE MAKING THEM ANYWAY. I have so many wonderful books to read this summer – I can't wait to show you!

I have quite a few library books I want to read and a lot of review copies too! I'm not planning on having a particularly busy summer, so I should be getting quite a lot of reading done. I was also thinking of hosting a summer readathon thing – would anyone be interested in that?

Generally in summer, I love reading contemporary novels. However, I've surprised myself this year, because the books are mainly of the fantasy/sci-fi genre. WHO EVEN AM I?! However, my review TBR is mainly contemporaries, so don't worry, I haven't been replaced by an alien or something. 



Yes, those are all library books. Yes, I did say I wouldn't take out library books this year. DON'T JUDGE ME. I JUST WANT TO READ ALL THE BOOKS OKAY. And I've already read one of these! Never Say Die, by Anthony Horowitz, if you were wondering. It was amazing. You should read it. 

I'm so excited to read Deception by Teri Terry. I checked Contagion out of the library (what a surprise) last summer, and I read it in pretty much one sitting. It's intense, it's chilling, gripping, unique...ALL THE GOOD THINGS. If you want a fast-paced summer read, you should definitely read it.

I first noticed Every Hidden Thing when I was browsing Waterstones. I'm not entirely sure what compelled me to pick it up as I didn't find the cover particularly interested (ah, my bookish shallowness has been revealed), but then I read the blurb and I was like "Holy cow, this sounds so good?!". PRIME EXAMPLE OF NOT JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER. It's promoted as Romeo and Juliet meets Indiana Jones, and if you read the blurb, you'll see why. I don't know about you, but it sounds like a mash-up I never knew I needed until now. 

I have heard endless good things about Wing Jones. So when I saw it sitting in my library, my first though was "Ooh, its sprayed edges are so pretty" and "Everyone loves it. I'm going to read it. And hopefully love it, because if I don't that'll be a little awkies". SO I BORROWED IT AND I'M EXCITED TO READ IT.

I saw The Surface Breaks a day before my second-to-last exam and I squealed and immediately snatched it from the shelves. It was a glimmer of light in an otherwise dark, dark world. Ahem. I am SO EXCITED to read this. I'm not entirely sure what it's about (what's new), but I know it's a dark, feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid? I think. IT'S SO PRETTY.


AHHH I'M SO EXCITED TO READ FRESHERS!!! I listened to the authors give a talk at the Bath literature festival back in October. They seemed so nice and it made me want to read their book even more! You don't get a lot of books set at university, and as being a university student is the next phase of my life, I'm looking forward to reading a book about characters who are going through the same thing.

"AND TONIGHT I'M FEELING LIKE AN ASTRONAUT CAN ANYBODY TELL ME WHYYY I'M LONELY LIKE A SATELLITEEEE". Sorry, every time I read "Satellite" I think of the song Astronaut by Simple Plan. Good song. Much teenage angst. Anyway, I'm looking forward to this book. I love the premise. HOWEVER, I read the first few pages and things are purposefully (I hope) spelled weirdly, like "u c the sky is blue" (not a direct quote from the book, excuse my non-imaginative example). I think I'm going to struggle with that for the first few pages, but hopefully I'll get used to it. 

I'd always noticed The Loneliness of Distant Beings when browsing my library's shelves, but I'd never felt too compelled to pick it up. However, I was sent the prequel to review so I thought, "Whelp, time to read it". It looks quite good, so hopefully I'll enjoy it! 

THE ARCHIVED. I've been meaning to read this for approximately 756 years. I will get to it this summer. I WILL. Also, I'll finally be reading This Savage Song because it's my book club's book of the month. YAY! Time to read ALL THE SCHWAB.

I kindly got send The Crown's Fate to review, so I'm hoping to read The Crown's Game this summer so that I can get around to the sequel. I've heard mixed reviews on the books, but hopefully I'll love it! 

BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN!!! I really enjoyed the Wonder Woman novel in the DC Icons series, so I'm hoping I love Batman: Nightwalker, as he's one of my favourite super heroes EVERRRR.

I've been in a sci-mood lately, so when I saw Defy the Stars in my library I thought I'd try reading it. The two protagonists are enemies in an interstellar war, and the male protagonist is a machine who's been abandoned for years and whose advanced programming is kicking in. IT SOUNDS SO GOOD. I AM EXCITED.

I've heard so many good things about the Graceling trilogy, and I'm hoping to finally marathon it this summer. I HOPE I LOVE IT.

Take Back the Skies and The Sin Eater's Daughter are both books that my book club read that I missed out on. I SHALL READ THEM THIS SUMMER. Better late than never, right?

All Fall Down looks so good. I'm always up for a spy/political thriller. I've only read one Ally Carter book (The Heist Society), which I absolutely LOVED, so I have high hopes for this! 

Song of the Current looks so pretty and I love the premise: pirates and magic. Um, YES.

I'm not sure if I'll read Seraphina this summer, only because it seems like a more wintery read, you get me? I'm quite a seasonal reader, so I love reading fantasy/sci-fi novels when it's cold and rainy outside. However, I'm sure we'll get an overcast day sometime soon, and then I'll read it! It's got dragons in, by the way. I like dragons.

I'm also SO EXCITED to read The Last Namsara. It's so pretty and it's got dragons. I TOLD YOU I LIKED DRAGONS.

The Cruel Prince sounds amazing, and if it's anything like The Darkest Part of the Forest, I know I'm going to adore it.


I told you I'd be reading contemporaries this summer - it wouldn't feel like summer without them! Also, can we admire how well these books go together?! 

I've heard so many wonderful things about I Capture the Castle, and I have a feeling I'm going to absolutely love it. 

I'm also ECSTATIC to read Holly Bourne's latest novels! It Only Happens in the Movies and Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? sound epic. I've read three of Holly's books and I loved every single one of them. MY HOPES ARE HIGH.

The Names they Gave Us, Letters to the Lost, Stargazing for Beginners and No Filter are a few review copies I was sent last year (I know, I'm a bad blogger) that I never got around to. I really hope to get to them this summer! I think I'm going to love them. 

Ta-da! My summer reading list! I'm SO EXCITED to read all of these. Which book should I read first? Have you read any of these? What books are on your summer TBR?
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Sunday, 24 June 2018

I'M DONE WITH HIGH SCHOOL, EXAMS ARE OVER AND I AM BACK



GUYS, I'M BACK AND I'M DONE WITH HIGH SCHOOL!!!

Yes, you read that correctly. I'M DONE WITH HIGH SCHOOL. I am happy, proud and also slightly terrified, because now I have to be an adult, I guess. How does one adult? Tips will be appreciated. It feels SO GOOD to be back! I disappeared off the face of the Earth (or, at least, the book blogosphere) for a couple of months while I prepared for my A-level exams. They are finally over. I had a long, gruelling six week exam period, but it is finished. I had my last A-level exam on Friday the 22nd of June, and I'm utterly ecstatic that I'm finally on summer holidays.

It's been tough, the past few months. I'm home-educated, and I've pretty much taught myself since I started home-education when I was thirteen. I got tutors for my A-levels this year, but I only saw them a couple of times when I got stuck on something. It's been hard work, but it's finally over. And I'm so happy! A little bit anxious though, because it's been a stressful time, so I'm still feeling a bit meh, but I know I'll feel right as rain soon!

I'm also going to be taking a gap year. I haven't applied to university yet, as I wasn't sure what I wanted to study. I thought I'd wanted to study physics for the longest time, but then I wasn't so sure. Then I had to complete a week of physics practicals at Bristol university in April and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. So then I was like, “Yep, this is what I want to do”. I need to apply this year, and hopefully I'll have the grades that are required. During my gap year, I want to get a job (at a book store, preferably – hoping to apply to several soon!), do a little bit of travelling around the UK/Europe, read a lot, blog a lot and volunteer. I also want to prioritise my mental health this year. If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll know I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks, and I feel like a break from school will really help me to focus on healing my anxiety a bit more.

So, that's where I've been (in the library, studying), but I'm back. And I don't need to study, so I'm looking forward to writing blog posts, reading books and reading your blog posts. I've missed you guys! Man, I'm glad it's holidays. I DON'T HAVE TO WAKE UP EARLY TO STUDY. OR WORRY IF I'VE STUDIED ENOUGH. I CAN SOCIALISE AGAIN.

LET'S CHAT!!! Has anything interesting happened in your life lately? Have you read good books? What are your plans for the summer?

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