Mini Reviews // Contemporary Edition

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So it’s time for another set of mini reviews! This time we are focusing on contemporary because for some reason my last three reads have been in this genre despite me not normally visiting it a lot. These are all recent releases (bar one which isn’t released yet) so I’m sure everybody is talking about them but here are my thoughts anyway!


Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

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When I was accepted for this on Netgalley, I must admit I shrieked before quickly downloading it and reading it in one sitting (until 2am!) It has all the features of a typical coming-of-age contemporary novel – our protagonist is wondering where to go in life and is also getting closer to her long-term crush. However, Maya Aziz is an Indian-American Muslim and this #ownvoices novel explores the horrific world of Islamophobia and the effect terrorists have on their community. After a local terrorist attack, it is revealed that the supposed bomber was a fellow Muslim with the same surname as Maya and her family – therefore, they are subjected to racism, abuse and violence despite not having any connections. It was shocking and uncomfortable but in all the right ways. It explored the act of terror attacks through the eyes of a teenage Muslim girl which is something I haven’t read before. Maya’s resilience really shone through in this novel, not just through the hate that she endures but also standing up against her parents to pursue her love of filmmaking. This book isn’t released until January 16th, 2018 but I’d definitely recommend picking it up as soon as you’re able to.


It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

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It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Holly Bourne so as soon as I saw this book, I dived on it. Quite literally. Bourne’s previous series (The Spinster Club) remains in my all time top favourites and the one thing I concluded after reading them is that her books should be required reading in secondary schools and after reading her newest release, I stand by that statement even more. Holly takes the idea of a cliche, romance, contemporary novel and turns it on its head by being a brave author! She writes girls who talk about periods, she writes girls who are feminists and proud, she writes girls who don’t compete against each other. In this book, our main character, Audrey and her friend, Alice even have a discussion about losing your virginity and how it isn’t supposed to hurt (which it isn’t!) and how there shouldn’t be a lot of blood (there shouldn’t) and it should be pleasurable for the girl just as much as the guy! I will even admit now that I had no sex-ed classes in school (we had ten minutes of dildo throwing and that was it) so if I had come across this book when I was a young teen, it would have blown my mind because I didn’t know this stuff!! Adding to all this, the story was amazing, the humour was bang on as normal and I just think this is super important for younger teens!


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

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I must admit that I wasn’t going to pick this book up but after seeing it getting a few high reviews (and it being half price in my local bookshop) I thought I’d give John Green another chance. I didn’t know anything about this book and I just hoped it wasn’t all about turtles (but of course the title is another ‘metaphor.’) Despite everything, this book for me was pretty run of the mill and as ever, John Green’s teenagers continue to have very unrealistic conversations. I’m not saying teenagers can’t have deep and meaningful conversations, but all of his characters speak the same and therefore, merge into one. Another disappointment was the ‘plot.’ It is pretty much a mystery/missing person case that gets forgotten about for most of the novel. Maybe it’s because I’m a huge fan of crime cases, both real and fictional, but it just all seemed unnecessary to me. However, the one thing that stood out to me was the mental illness rep. Our main character, Aza (yes there’s a meaning behind her name), has an OCD and anxiety disorder and also displays self-harm tendencies so beware of trigger warnings. Aza experiences a lot of invasive thoughts that I found to be very realistic as I live with mental illness myself. Overall, I have a lot more thoughts about this book but I’ll keep this to the mini review it is supposed to be.


Have you read any of these? If so, what were your thoughts?
Let us know in the comments!
Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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Books That Have Changed Your Life Part II (Blogger Edition)

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“Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart.”

After the first part of this post was a hit (much to our surprise!) and bloggers have since contacted us asking if they could take part if we made a second post, we have decided to go for it! Just like before, we’ve asked book bloggers and authors to tell us one book that has changed or influenced their lives in some way, a few reasons why and we will also provide a link to their blog/websites. We hope you enjoy!

 

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Melanie @meltotheany
Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher evoked emotions and feelings I didn’t even know my bodywas capable of. On top of the beautiful story, important topics, and being one of the most lyrically written books I’ve ever read, this book taught me how important it is to balance your darkness but remembering to still let your light in, even if you need someone to help you let it in. Mud Vein is not a love story, but it is a story about love and all the dark parts of love that people don’t like to talk about. Yet, those dark parts we harbor inside of us are still valid, and important, and life changing.

 

 

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Lauren @readingwritingandme
The book that changed my life was Looking For Alaska by John Green because I’ve never felt more understood by a story. It asks major questions I’ve often wondered about myself and really assured me that I wasn’t alone in my thoughts and feelings.

 

 

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Carmel @bookablereads
I really hate reading novels when I was in high school but when my bff told me to read I read it. And now all I want to read is to collect and read all the books out there. So the book made me the reader that I am today. I recommend it cause the story has moral lessons and it is good for people who have bffs. The book also teach you how important friends are.

 

 

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Haley @teacherswhoread
The book The Border changed my life-or more accurately, how I view my life. It’s about teens who illegally immigrate to the US. Nothing is more important than empathy. I will never again look at an immigrant-legal or otherwise- in the same way.

 

 

 

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Shaine @wandererinneverland
The book that changed my life is It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. It changed my perspective in life in a whole different level. Her book tells about bravery, loving and accepting yourself. Actually mosts of Colleen Hoover has a big impact in my life but It Ends With Us stands out.

 

 

 

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Joel @descendantofposeidonreads
Book of Ernest Cline, Ready Player One has changed my life. Because it shows me the things that 80s do have good year and songs and games that are too good to reminisce and bring back. Be flood with oldies tracks and play the classics, fundamental to what modern improvements we had right now. Though, the virtual reality thing that portrays in the book is the best scifi idea I want to be realistically invented in the near future. You should read this if you got a knack in classic games and 80s songs.

 

 

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Meg @betweenthepages13
My book is Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, it helps me because it made me realise that I’m not alone in suffering with mental health. It gave me hope that it does get better, and the light at the end of the tunnel exists! It also has some beautiful quotes in that I remember on every tough day.

 

 

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Marwa @wordsfallhere
The book that changed my life was When Breath Becomes Air. I know most bookworms are absolutely in love with this book because of the gorgeous and captivating writing style, and it was definitely why I dropped a few tears here and there whilst reading it. But I could personally relate to Dr. Kalanithi’s struggle when he was trying to find answers and life meaning in Literature but could only find them in Medicine. I’ve just started out university and this book was a main factor in changing my mind about working in the medical field.

 

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Julianna @blotsofinkandwords
The book that changed my life was Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke: and the reason it changed my life was because it was the reason I got into fantasy and more advanced books, basically.

 

 

 

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Maja @bookishaddict
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – 1. the book was available for free on Wattpad, because the author wanted to try and release a book, hoping it’d entice readers to check out his other works. In my case, it worked. Not only did I enjoy that book – and many others by him – but I also learned quite a bit about writing from looking at his revised drafts with notes (available in his website) 2. It was also the first time I saw a quote that equally scared and soothed me. “You see, the great thing about madness is that it’s all in your head.” For someone struggling with mental health problems, this was a reminder that I was in control. I’d recommend it because it’s an epic tale of two sisters, magic, adventure and love.

 

 

Wren @whatwrenreads27774758
The book that changed my life was An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, and the Ember series as a whole. I owe a lot to Ember, It was the book that got me back into reading after way too long of falling out of love with it. After hearing about this book, I immediately fell in love with the story and the characters, I was obsessed, and I still am. I’m also so thankful for it because it introduced me to the YA blogging and instagram community, where I have met so many amazing people. I really could never thank Sabaa Tahir enough for her amazing series that continue to inspire me.

 

 

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Beth @iambookmad
The chronicles of St Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor. Just one damn thing after another. The book is about a strong female character who becomes a kickass tea-loving time traveller and historian. I think everyone needs to read this series because it’s under appreciated and I just really need more people to fan girl over it with.

 

 

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Naima @violettebooks
Though many books have been influential in my life, Uprooted has probably had the biggest impact in my reading because it was the first fantasy novel that completely enchanted me with its magic and writing, and made me discover many more incredible fantasies. It’s a very special book and I wouldn’t be reading a lot of fantasy right now had I not read that book.

 


And that’s all for this feature! We have loved receiving these from our blogger friends and hope to do a few more of these posts in the future! Let us know if you want to be involved but for now, we hope you like this edition and find something you like!
Lots of Love,
Angharad & Becky @
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The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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“Bad fates do not always follow those who deserve them.”

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Angharad’s Thoughts
I have never been one for fairytale stories. I spent my childhood years reading both the Goosebumps series (seriously what happened to those books??) and any crime thriller that my mother brought home from the library and because of this, my knowledge of them is shaky. I just know majority of them take place in the woods. However, when I found out that my favourite author was writing a collection of fairytales with the ‘dark’ edge only Leigh Bardugo can create and they take place in the Grishaverse, I preordered the hell out of it. I was not disappointed.

The collection is split into six tales and each is paired with its own beautiful, amazing illustrations – both as page decorations and a final art spread at the end of each story. Despite loving them all, my favourite would have to be a tie between Ayama and the Thorn WoodWhen Water Sang Fire and my least favourite was Little Knife. Like Leigh states in her author’s note, these stories are loosely based on the fairytales that we all know but despite their dark tones, they are more realistic – the idea that the prince isn’t always the good guy and what makes a monster a monster? Another theme that I found to be very strong throughout these tales was Leigh’s feminist beliefs. This book was full of so many diverse and complex female characters and female friendships. Classic tales such as The Little Mermaid and The Nutcracker are turned on their heads and reimagined in new and spectacular ways and despite being short stories, they were still full of twists and turns and you never knew who was going to be the hero or villain of the story. What was constant, however, was the message that each story contained. You can just imagine our beloved Grisha characters reading these stories as children and growing up with their messages instilled.

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Overall, I think I never fell in love with fairytales because they never seemed real enough – even to my young mind. As we all unfortunately learn, life isn’t a fairytale, the bad guy isn’t always the bad guy and the hero isn’t always what they seem and this little collection that I will cherish for years to come just shows that. These stories cater to the people who look just that bit deeper into these stories and see the darkness that peeks from within. What if the children didn’t wander from the path and find danger but actually find solace? What if the monster was actually the victim and the prince only thought of his greed? What happened to the girls who chose their own destiny over those that were decided for them? All of these questions are answered within the pages of The Language of Thorns and they are all brought to life by Sara Kipin’s illustrations. Truly a full five stars from me.

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Becky’s Thoughts
Unlike Angharad, I have always absolutely adored fairytales (although, especially these days, I do tend to root for the villain – even when I know what’s going to happen to them). Leigh states in her author’s note that the six stories in The Language of Thorns are inspired by fairytales that are known around the world, but turned on their heads – and I have to say, I was way more invested in Leigh’s versions of these classic tales.
My favourites were also Amaya and the Thorn Wood – a story which took inspiration from Beauty and the Beast and to an extent, A Thousand and One Nights, it focused on the ideas behind what makes someone a monster; and When Water Sang Fire, an absolutely enchanting story inspired by The Little Mermaid (and also a sort of origin story for one of my favourite villains – and featuring another of my favourite villains, but I won’t say any more on that). I also really liked The Too Clever Fox and The Witch of Duva (a retelling of Hansel and Gretel) which both included clever twists that I definitely didn’t anticipate.

I would say that the underlying theme throughout all six stories is definitely the idea of what makes a villain evil, what makes them monstrous, and it was definitely all about looking beyond outward appearances to the monster hidden beneath the princely face or the seemingly caring father figure. The stories in The Language of Thorns are how fairytales should be written in a feminist world that understands that happy endings aren’t all that they seem, that the hero of the story isn’t always beautiful, and that those who are called monstrous are often not the ones you need to fear. I absolutely adored this anthology of fairytales set in one of my favourite fictional worlds, and honestly would opt to read these to my future children over the classics that they’re based around.

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What did you think of this collection?
Let us know in the comments!
Love,
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WWW Wednesday // October 11th

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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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I was kindly sent I Danced With Sorrow through email but its very talented author, Alicia Wright. It is a collection of short-verse poetry split into five sections that explore heartbreak, abuse and finally, liberation and is very reminiscent of Milk and Honey and Salt. Some were short and to the point and raw and others flowed lyrically and they all came together, almost like a tale. I’d definitely recommend this collection of poetry either if you are new to the genre or a frequent reader of it. It is clear that Alicia put her heart and soul into this book and I’m honoured to have been given the chance to read it.

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212652304.jpgI must admit that Sleeping Beauties was both a cover-buy (I got the exclusive edition from Tescos that also has an engraved front cover) and the fact that it was written by Stephen King. Despite not having a read a lot of his books, there’s a reason everybody knows his name and this time he is joined by his son. This is a very loose retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale – in this world, an epidemic is causing women to fall asleep and enter cocoon-like states. This book is filled with characters and luckily, isn’t just about men running about being men but also about all these different types of women – criminals, mothers, police officers. I’m about half way through so far and despite it being a huge block of a book (700+ pages,) it is incredibly enthralling.

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212652304.jpgYes, you may be wondering what decade I’m in to have Fahrenheit 451 as my next read and where have I been for the past few years but I just haven’t got around to it. However, lately my local Waterstones has had a display dedicated to this book so I just went for it. I probably don’t have to tell you guys the synopsis of this classic but it just tells the story of a fireman whose job it is to burn books as they are forbidden in this world. My idea of hell, thank you very much. I’m sure I’ll love it as much as everybody else does so I’m super excited to get into it.


What are you guys currently reading? Let me know in the comments.
Lots of love,
Angharad @
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The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

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Thank you to Netgalley and Delacorte Press for sending me an early copy

Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.
Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.
One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.
She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.


So this book means a lot to me. I admit that I requested it without knowing much about it, I don’t think I even read the proper synopsis. I was approved, I started reading and just by reading the author’s note at the beginning, I knew I was in love. Then, the best thing happened. I found out that the book was set in Wales. An actual fictional book set in my country featuring the name of my city (in Welsh!) I could have cried. This is something I haven’t seen before and I immediately took to Twitter to thank the author. Another aspect that made this book super important to me was the fact that both the author and the main character, Bethan (Welsh name!!) have a very close relationship with their grandmother. My nanna is sadly no longer with us but she was my best friend and my mentor, not in witchcraft, but in life. Regardless of whatever happened in this book, I knew that it would always have a special place in my heart.

As the synopsis suggests, we follow the story of Bethan, a Romani who lives with her grandmother, Drina and is training to be her ward. Alarm bells probably started ringing when you saw that this book was based on the Roma, but it is done very respectfully (and the author speaks about this at the start) and the word ‘g*psy’ is challenged in text as being a slur and is only acceptable amongst Romani people. Whilst selling her grandmother’s herbs and spells in the nearby market, Bethan meets Martyn, a half-Roma guy who immediately makes her feel something she hasn’t felt before. However, one night, Bethan is raped by fellow Romani, Silas and his sidekicks. The rape happens ‘off-screen’ so it isn’t in detail. The author also mentions this at the beginning so you aren’t surprised and triggered by this. During this event, Martyn is also beat to death by the boys and Bethan decides to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and delve into a world of dark magic to bring him back whilst wrecking revenge on the boys.

Bethan was everything to me. She was strong, she had strong morals (especially to her people) and she’s just desperately human. Seeing her character develop from start to finish was amazing. Her assault changes her massively. Not only because sexual assault would obviously affect you but amongst her people, she is worried she will be seen as impure. Bethan also has a birth mark covering half of her entire body and is encouraged to hide it so outsiders won’t curse her. What meant the most to me, as I’ve mentioned, is her relationship with her gran. It reminded me a lot of the relationship I had with my nanna (although my nanna wasn’t as scary as Drina.) They support each other throughout the book. This isn’t a novel where our protagonist kind of decides she doesn’t need a parental figure and does her own thing. There’s a huge amount of respect in their relationship and it’s clear that despite Drina’s hard exterior, she loves Bethan unconditionally.

The story itself is marketed as a horror/paranormal and yes, this book was super creepy. There’s a scene that really gave me goosebumps (warning if you’re creeped out by scarecrows) but it is so well-written and visceral. I’ve read quite a few books about witchcraft so I’m not going to say this is anything original but I was still super invested and seeing what Bethan and Drina were capable of was really amazing. All of the people respect and fear Drina, even the Chieftan but he’s a different bloody story. I loved the domestic moments between Bethan and her grandmother and their little funny moments, especially when Bethan is eavesdropping and Drina finds out and pours water through the window and onto Bethan’s head.

I’m going to bring this review to an end because I know I’m rambling. Finding a book set in your country is always a nice feeling and I’ve finally experienced it and I freaked out (as my Twitter and Instagram followers know) but even taking away that aspect, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story and read it in one sitting. I messaged the author asking if it’s a standalone and she said yes. I’m sad because I loved this book so much but satisfied because everything ended the way I thought it should have. Overall, I’d recommend this book if you like horror/paranormal, lovely familial relationships, revenge best served cold and a look into the Welsh Romani culture.

*This book will be released on October 10th, 2017*
Goodreads|Amazon

 

Love Angharad @
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September Releases // 2017 Edition

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So can you guys believe that we have arrived at the month of September? Ok, so September isn’t the most eventful month (unless it is your birthday then Happy Birthday!) but that means October is next (Halloween), then November (my birthday!) and then CHRISTMAS! Let’s focus on September first though and it is guaranteed to go quickly with all of the upcoming releases. Here are a few that we’ve found and are looking forward to! If the book is diverse then I have added the information but if some of it is incorrect or missing, then let us know in the comments!

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The Girl with the Red Balloon 
by Katherine Locke
– Releases September 1st –

Plot: Centres around time travel during the war. Our main character enters 1988 Berlin where she meets an underground guild who use balloons to help people escape over the wall.
Diverse Aspects: Jewish-American MC, Romani MC and a lesbian side character

 

 

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They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Releases September 5th –

Plot: Two strangers, Mateo and Rufus, come together through an App hoping to make a friend on their last day on Earth.
Diverse Aspects: Gay MC and bisexual MC

 

 

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Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
– Releases September 5th –

Plot: A feminist Snow White retelling featuring a F/F relationship.
Diverse Aspects: Gay MCs

 

 

 

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I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn
– Releases September 5th –

Plot: An epistolary novel detailing the experiences of two best friends as they head off to colleges on different sides of the country.
Diverse Aspects: Mental Illness Rep (OCD, depression and anxiety) and a bisexual MC

 

 

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The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle
– Releases September 5th –

Plot: From playing it safe and being homeschooled, Emilie is suddenly thrust into the world of public schooling and to make matters worse, she hasn’t told anybody about her epilepsy.
Diverse Aspects: MC with epilepsy

 

 

 

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Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
– Releases September 12th –

Plot: A coming-of-age story about two boys who fall in love whilst attending a writing class despite being from very different backgrounds.
Diverse Aspects: Bisexual MC, Mormon MC

 

 

 

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Warcross by Marie Lu
– Releases September 12th –

Plot: Teenage hacker, Emika lives in a world of virtual reality and when she accidentally enters herself into the Warcross Championships, she becomes an overnight sensation.
Diverse Aspects: Asian MC

 

 

 

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Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
– Releases September 19th –

Plot: A teenage student starts a feminist revolution in her high school after distributing anonymous Zines.
Diverse Aspects: Intersectional feminism rep, LGBTQIA rep

 

 

 

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Release
 
by Patrick Ness
– Releases September 19th –

Plot: Torn between his religious family, his demanding boss and an unrequited love for his ex, Adam’s life is going to change. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Diverse Aspects: Gay MC

 

 

 

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Starfish
 
by Akemi Dawn Bowman
– Releases September 26th –

Plot: Aiming to keep her head down and get accepted into her dream art school, Kiko’s life changes for the worst when her dream doesn’t come true and her abusive uncle returns.
Diverse Aspects: Japanese-American MC, anxiety rep

 

 

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Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
– Releases September 26th –

Plot: An atmospheric collection of short stories and takes on fairytales filled with revenge, betrayal and love. All set in the Grishaverse.
Diverse Aspects: Characters of multiple ethnicities

 

 


So those are the releases we are most looking forward to this month!
What is your most anticipated read?
Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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WWW Wednesday // August 30th

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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?

a-book-i-have-read21265230.jpgI finished A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke this morning. I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this beautiful, unique debut at YALC from Scholastic. It was an enjoyable book based around Ósa, the main character’s, journey to save her people after disaster strikes. I don’t usually like journey based books, but I loved Ósa’s determination and loyalty, and how her strength was portrayed through this rather than through skill or physical strength as it is in many YA books. ASOSAS is out in October!

a-book-i-have-read1.jpgI’m just about to start reading Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. I received this in the July Fairyloot box and, as it’s been on my tbr for a bit, I’m really excited to get stuck in to it! I think there’s been a lot of circus/festival based YA books released recently so I’m looking forward to seeing what DOTBC does differently to these.

a-book-i-have-read21265230.jpgNext, I’m planning to start on Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović. I’ve been looking forward to reading this for ages – filled with Magic and the bonds of sisterhood, what’s not to love? I was sent this book by Harper360, so huge thanks go to them!


Let me know what you’re currently reading in the comments!
Lots of love,
Becky @
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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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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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