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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #4

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly post hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Because ‘diverse’ covers many different topics, we’ve decided to focus on one aspect each week and this week we are featuring books with a lesbian main character.

a-book-i-have-readFar From You by Tess Sharpe
Goodreads | Amazon

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Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That’s how long recovering addict Sophie’s been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong – a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.
Forced into rehab for an addiction she’d already beaten, Sophie’s finally out and on the trail of the killer—but can she track them down before they come for her?


I am slightly cheating with this one as our main character, Sophie is actually bisexual. However, the love interest, Mina, is a confirmed lesbian. I checked with the author but we’re not sure if it’s stated in text. This is the only book I could include that I’ve read with a lesbian character that I have enjoyed and would 100% recommend. Not only does this book have excellent LGBTQIA rep but it also has disability and drug addiction rep which is very rare in YA novels.

a-book-i-have-readOf Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Goodreads | Amazon

25164304Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.


The story about the princess getting the princess in a lesbian love story. Despite having mixed reviews, I’m still excited to read this take on a fairytale. After doing a bit of research, I’ve discovered that this also has the hate-to-love trope(!) and is #ownvoices. I also think the fantasy world within the book isn’t heteronormative, there are several cases of same sex relationships being mentioned and nobody bats an eyelid. I’m not sure if this is true but if it is, that’s amazing!

a-book-i-have-readGirls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Goodreads | Amazon

32768509At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.
Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.
Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.


I think everybody and anybody is raving about this book right now. There are ARCs flying about getting raving reviews and I’m somebody who fell in love as soon as I saw the word ‘feminist retelling’ and ‘Bloody Chamber’ but I couldn’t compare it to Frozen seeing as I haven’t seen it. The entire story sounds beautiful, there is a F/F romance between a main character which is healthy and well-developed and the book features a lot of amazingly complex female characters. I’m just super excited for this book and it will be released on September 5th!

 

Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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I decided to do something a bit different today and experiment with more styles of blogging – incorporating some lifestyle and photography into our posts. Below will be some shots of my typical day.

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My family finally invested in a record player so the first thing I did was buy a Mumford and Sons vinyl off Amazon. I haven’t listened to their music in a while but I am happy I remember all the lyrics and could happily dance around the living room. If you’re considering buying this vinyl, I’d definitely recommend it. It has the cutest packaging and lyrics on the inside! The record player is from Urban Outfitters.

IMG_9005.JPGA cup of tea is always an essential in the mornings along with starting my current read. At the moment I’m rereading one of my all time favourites – The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel! A random fact about me is that I have three sugars in my tea but at one point, I had up to five! What are you guys currently reading?

1.jpgIMG_9014.jpgIf the weather permits (haha) I try and do some reading outside. Despite it being August, today we’ve had a mixture of cloud, rain and sun so my time outside didn’t last long. That included with my two dogs who enjoy putting their toys on my lap whilst I’m trying to read. I wouldn’t recommend this technique. 0/10.

IMG_8995.jpgI am also in the middle of reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn which I was sent for review and The Humans by Matt Haig which I found at a charity shop. Also, being a co-owner of a Bookish Candle shop requires me to test a lot of candles throughout the day. Who needs perfume when you work with essential oils?

IMG_9021.jpgFinally I catch up on the blog, be that writing up blog posts or blog-hopping which I’ve been doing a lot lately. I’ve been getting so much inspiration from other book bloggers and I’m really in the blogging mood lately after quite a long slump. If you have a book blog, make sure to link yours in the comments below!

 

That’s it! Did you like this post?
Let me know in the comments! Love, Angharad @
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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly post hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Because ‘diverse’ covers many different topics, we’ve decided to focus on one aspect each week and this week we are featuring books with a black main character.

a-book-i-have-readThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Goodreads | Amazon

32075671Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


I feel like this book should be on book recommendations everywhere. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to read it. If you haven’t recommended it yet, you need to and if you haven’t boosted it yet, you need to. No other book is as relevant right now. This book explores the Black Lives Matter movement and despite it being a work of fiction, this book is terribly real and something that happens in day to day life. Not only that but this book has one of the best family dynamics I’ve read in any book, ever. The love between the Carter family just jumps from the page and despite this novel being heartbreaking, there are moments of humour and hope all the way through. Just read it and read it again.

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Piercing Me Together by Renée Watson
Goodreads | Amazon

25566675Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.
But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.
Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.


If I’m honest, I don’t know too much about this book other than it has a black main character and it’s a young adult contemporary. The cover is what drew me to this book initially, that and the raving reviews I see it getting. I haven’t read anything by this author before but I am told that her writing is amazing and this book is packed full of important discussions such as race, privilege and identity. I’m excited to get into this one and to finally get this cover on my shelves!

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Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
Goodreads | Amazon

27426044Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. 
Forever. 
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden–a planet that Babel has kept hidden–where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe. 
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.


I’m actually currently reading this one after being accepted for it on Netgalley and despite being only a few chapters in, I’m already loving it! It reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games and Divergent, especially where the story is at the moment with the kids competing against each other but the difference? This book is insanely diverse. Not just kids of different ethnicities from America, they come from all over the world! Japan, Palestine, etc. It’s fun and tense and I’m so excited to see where this is going. Plus, space is my jam.

 

Lots of Love,
Angharad @

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WWW Wednesday / August 2nd

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WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme that was previously hosted by Should Be Reading and is now hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

To play along you just had to answer the following three questions:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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The Hollow Girl was sent to me on Netgalley. If you follow me on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter – pretty much anything then you know how much this book means to me right now. It’s a book set in my country!! That never happens. It tells the story of Bethan, a Welsh Romani who lives with her grandmother and will succeed her as the community’s healer/witch/badass. Full review to come closer to release date!

Queens of Geek was a book I desperately wanted to get around to after hearing it had an autistic main character. If you guys didn’t know, I was diagnosed with autism at the age of 18 so reading about it in a young adult novel was a big deal to me. This book is fun, especially if you’re a fan of all things fandom. Not only that but it’s diverse! An autistic main character with an anxiety disorder and a biracial (Chinese/Australian) bisexual main character who’s also a HUGE Youtuber! Although I didn’t love this book, I still really enjoyed it!

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The Alice Network is my current read after I got sent it in exchange for an honest review. I’m only 100 pages in so far but I am absolutely loving it. I love that it switches between the two women – Charlie who trying to solve the mystery of her missing cousin in 1947 and Eve, a former spy who tells us of her life during 1915. The two women’s lives become entwined and it is making for an excellent story so far. I love historical fiction but having two very different women as the protagonists is definitely my jam.

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Nyxia is hopefully my next read after being accepted for it on Netgalley. If I’m honest, I don’t know much about this book. In fact, I’ll have a look right now… Okay, it’s young adult and it’s sci-fi. It sounds perfect. It has been compared to The Hunger Games without killing but with added magic. It’s character driven, has multiple POVs (including one by a black character) and it has a lot of POC. Oh, and it’s a trilogy! I’m excited now so definitely ready to get into it!


I’m really enjoying this tag. Let me know what you’re currently reading in the comments!
Lots of love,
Angharad @
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My Top 5 Underrated Books

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I’m on a kind of blogging roll lately and today I was thinking about what to post when I came across when of the books I’m going to feature. I realised that despite it being one of my all time favourite books, it isn’t mentioned very much in the blogging community/bookstagram/Twitter. I’m not saying these books haven’t been read by you guys and maybe there’s a reason they aren’t as popular but I thought I’d mention them anyway.

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“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Goodreads | Amazon

Homegoing is the debut novel of African author Yaa Gyasi. A historical-fiction novel that follows the story of a family though generations starting with half-sisters, Esi and Effia, two women with very different destinies – Effia marries an English slave trader and Esi herself is sold into slavery. They never meet and yet the generations that came after them tell their stories. The book gives us a look at the colonialism and slavery that took place across Africa and America over the course of 250 years. It is raw and honest and it’s clear that this is a very important topic to the author and her family. It isn’t an easy read, it is heartbreaking and infuriating but it is a necessary read, especially in terms of diversity.


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Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Goodreads | Amazon
Bird Box tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world where something evil and mysterious lurks outside. Some believe it to be creatures but nobody really knows as whoever looks upon it will become insane and kill whoever is in their path before killing themselves. We follow the story of Malorie, both as she tells us the events of the apocalypse happening and also in present day as she is a mother of two children who she has trained from birth to see rather than hear. Four years previous, Malorie was contacted by someone who could promise her a safe life with her children if only she could get to them by the river. This is where her journey begins, when she and her children must navigate the scary, outside world, blindfolded.


IMG_8960.jpg The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Goodreads | Amazon
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is an adult science-fiction novel that follows the story of a crew aboard the Wayfarer, a ship whose job it is to tunnel through space. This isn’t your average sci-fi novel – it doesn’t consist of twists and turns and epic space battles but focuses more on the crew and their characterisation. This may put some people off but this book was everything and more, in my opinion and has definitely become an all-time favourite of mine. This book is definitely not plot-driven. It centres more on the characters separately and also as a whole. It is the story of their journey and our journey as we are welcomed into their world. We see their world as Rosemary does, with fresh eyes. We learn with her and eventually, we even feel accepted into the family alongside her.


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Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel
Goodreads | Amazon
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.


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The Summer That Melted Everything
by Tiffany McDaniel
Goodreads | Amazon
I went into this book without having a clue what it was about. I usually hate doing that but in this case, it worked in my favour because it isn’t usually a book I would think about picking up. This novel tells the story of Fielding Bliss as he reminisces and tells the story of his summer in Breathing, Ohio, 1984. That is the year he became friends with the devil. Since being sent the book for review, I have stayed in contact with Tiffany and also got the opportunity to interview her. I wouldn’t even know what genre to fit this book into. Adult fiction? Magic realism? Historical Fiction? All I know is that from the first page, I was hooked. It has some heavy themes such as racism, homophobia, religious extremism and mob mentality but it still entwines itself with some happy moments between family and also what it means to be family.  

 

Are there any underrated books that you wish other people would read? Let me know in the comments!
Lots of love,
Angharad @
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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #2

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly post hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Because ‘diverse’ covers many different topics, we’ve decided to focus on one aspect each week and this week we are featuring books with a trans main character.

a-book-i-have-readIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Goodreads | Amazon

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Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.


A transgender main character in a YA novel? Yep. Not only that, it’s also written by a transgender author. This is so important for young readers, regardless of the story itself. She is brave character and incredibly strong. She tells us her story from present day but also switches between years and months ago, from a very young age when she knew that she should have been born a girl. There’s this amazing parallel scene in the book – in one chapter, Amanda tells us of the time she took pills and tried to end her life but then we also experience the moment she took pills that began her transition and the two scenes – one heartbreakingly sad and the other heartbreakingly joyous really stood out for me.

a-book-i-have-readGeorge by Alex Gino
Goodreads | Amazon

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BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.
George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part. . . because she’s a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.


A middle-grade novel incorporating what it means to be transgender and how it is manifested in children. Despite the heavy issues, this book being narrated by 10 year old George allows it to remain a lighthearted and heartwarming, especially George’s blossoming friendship with Kelly who accepts her without question. I’m so ready to read this for myself!

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Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee
Goodreads | Amazon

32200944Bells Broussard thought he had it made when his superpowers manifested early. Being a shapeshifter is awesome. He can change his hair whenever he wants, and if putting on a binder for the day is too much, he’s got it covered. But that was before he became the country’s most-wanted villain.
After discovering a massive cover-up by the Heroes’ League of Heroes, Bells and his friends Jess, Emma, and Abby set off on a secret mission to find the Resistance. Meanwhile, power-hungry former hero Captain Orion is on the loose with a dangerous serum that renders meta-humans powerless, and a new militarized robotic threat emerges. Everyone is in danger. Between college applications and crushing on his best friend, will Bells have time to take down a corrupt government?


After reading and loving the prequel to this book, Not Your Sidekick, I knew I would have to pick this up on its release date. Then I found out that this book follows Bells, a character we meet in book one! In the universe these books are set in, being trans and having your pronouns known is a normal thing. We only find out Bells is trans when Jessica asks him if he’s been wearing his binder all day! I can’t wait to read a book in his perspective, especially as the previous book ended with him being seen as the villain. This book will be released on October 5th!

 

Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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WWW Wednesday / July 26

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WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme that was previously hosted by Should Be Reading and is now hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

To play along you just had to answer the following three questions:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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The King of Bourbon Street is the first book in the NOLA Nights series. This was unlike anything I’ve read before (an adult erotica fiction) but I absolutely loved it. It was diverse, including a fat protagonist and despite being based on a dom/sub relationship, it still managed to be healthy and consensual. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Eliza and Her Monsters  is a young-adult contemporary that tells the story of Eliza, a teenage girl with a perfectly normal every day life but online, she is famous as the creator of an online web comic series. This book deals with internet life vs real life, depression and social anxiety. It was everything I want in a book. An immediate five stars for me.

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When Dimple Met Rishi is my main current read that I am more than halfway through. I’m really enjoying it. It’s really interesting to read about Indian culture and from the perspective of two characters who come from the same background but have very different views. Excited to see how it ends!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is my second current read that I am only around 30% finished with despite attempting to read it for the past few days. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not in the mood for historical fiction or because it’s just not my type of book but I’m slumping really hard with reading it. I’m going to keep going though, purely for the characters of Percy and Felicity.

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The Tiger’s Watch is the most recent book I got from Netgalley and as I am a huge fan of Julia and her previous works, I’m so excited to get into this one! I believe it has a gender-fluid protagonist(!) a slow burn romance and magic. Plus, just look at that cover.

The Alice Network was recently sent to me for review. I received an email a while back promoting this book and I just knew it was something I was guaranteed to love. It tells the story of two different women during World War II – a spy and a socialite. I’m excited to get into it and my copy has deckled edges *insert sobs*


So that is all my previous, current and future reads! Have you read any of them? And what are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!
Lots of love,
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