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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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Books That Have Changed Your Life (Blogger Edition)

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“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.”

I am super excited for this post. For a while I have wanted to put together a blog post that features other book bloggers but I just didn’t know how until last night. I put out a Tweet asking for anyone who wanted to take part and the response was so much larger than I expected. I simply asked the bloggers to name one (or two at most) books that have changed their life, why it has and why they would recommend it. These are their responses –

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Rima @pardonmywritings
The book that changed my life was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Without hesitation. I was fifteen and it was the first book to assure me that, I, as a person of colour, as a Muslim, with hopes of publishing my writing one day, could also write. His writing was striking, plot-line gripping and characters heartbreaking. I cried three times through my first read and I’ve read it three times in total. It’s a book that remains in my heart six years on.

 

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Audrey @libertea
This change my life because I read this book when I was in a bad mood with my anxiety, and when I got bullied. So I start reading it after a while that i have stop reading it. And all the character gave me hope, and fate and thought me to fight for what i think it’s good. To be myself and always try to think good. I think Sabaa really help me in that period because While i was reading it, i talk to her and.. yes… i think between her word and her personnality I fell in love with the books. How she put so much energy on it Like this quote : as long as there is life there is hope. Also i always recommend it bc i think this book is pretty awesome and show how you can be? I don’t know how to explain, but i think it’s a must read.

 

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Ava @bookishnessandtea
FAR FROM YOU was one of the first books I read with bisexual protagonist. It was the very first book I read where I saw a bi character who was not a caricature or stereotype, who was utterly HERSELF, who struggled and had problems and wasn’t perfect. In FARFROM YOU, Sophie was determined and focused but also made a lot mistakes. Besides just seeing the bisexual representation that most definitely changed my life, FAR FROM YOU was also a book where I saw a bisexual character with the focus not on her sexuality – it was about murder mysteries and recovering from drug addiction and friendship and romance and many, many other things, which is why I can’t recommend it enough and want everyone to read it.

 

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Gabi @booksablog
The first book I’ve ever had the pleasure of fangirling about was Percy Jackson’s The Lightning Thief. The Summer of 2009 was when my book obsession began, at the wee age of 8. I’d recommend Percy Jackson to all book starters or book lovers. It’s a series filled with awesomeness and hot heroes, and to this day Percy remains my second most favorite fictional boyfriend.(Will is always #1)

 

 

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Jamie @jrosewordsmith
I started having problems with my joints in my teens, then in my mid-twenties my knees basically gave up on me. I struggled for a long time to come to terms with that. Then I met Kaz Brekker. Disabled and badass. Clever, resourceful, determined and ruthless. Never let himself be defined by his physical limitations, and if others make assumptions because of them, that’s their problem, not his. Six of Crows made me reexamine the way I thought about disability, including my own. Without it, I’d probably still be feeling sorry for myself and not able to call myself disabled without flinching. And when my condition deteriorates to the point I need a cane, you can bet I’ll be getting a crow’s head one.

 

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Leah @
whilereadingandwalking
NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman changed my concept of what a fantasy novel could be. I was blown away. I am now a book collector, specifically of Gaiman’s work, and his work has both shaped and helped my book blog when he’s shared some of my posts and reviews. My own writing, and my current work-in-progress, wouldn’t be what it is today without Gaiman’s work. When I met Neil in 2013, I had to decide which of my three most prized books of my collection to get signed, and I chose the book that started it all—my battered, worn, spine-broken copy of NEVERWHERE.

 

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Joel @fictionalfates
One book that has changed my life would probably be Harry Potter and the DeathlyHallows. I know, HP quite clichè but this was the first series I had ever read and seeing it end was difficult for me. This book series had taught me so much about friendship, loving other people and acceptance that it was hard to let go. But, Deathly Hallows for me felt like the theme was letting go. Letting go of the past and moving towards the future and letting go of who you once were and becoming who you want to be. I laughed and I cried but I wouldn’t forget the feeling of finishing a book series ever again. AND I STILL KEEP READING TODAY!

 

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Liv @curlyhairbibliophile
One book that changed my life was Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee. Tash Hearts Tolstoy changed my life because it wasthe first book where I saw an asexual person in a novel. I am on the ace spectrum and seeing a person like me in a YA book truly changed my life.

 

 

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Vale @valesbookshelf
Warm Bodies Series by Isaac Marion I read the first book back when the movie came outand I LOVED it, Marion has such a poetic way about writing his books that just really made me appreciate being able to do the little things. Like just the basic senses of the human body. Being able to see and hear birds, eat the food we eat, feeling of a soft fabric. When his second book came out, I was reminded of all this and that its okay to be flawed, even the most perfect seeming characters, have dark secrets that are just so real. The book is EVERYTHING!

 


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Laura @bbliophile
A book that changed my life was Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand. I have anxiety and get panic attacks, and I never really knew how to describe them to my friends and family. The main character in this book, Finley deals with a lot of the same things I deal with, and Claire Legrand describes this so amazingly that for the first time, I felt like I found the words how to describe my situation to the people around me. Now every time someone asks me what it’s like I recommend them this book, and they’ve been able to understand me a whole lot better.

 

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Demelza @booksftpolitics
The God of Small Things made me fall in love with reading. It’s passionately politicalfiction at it’s best. It’s the reason I studied English Lit and work in books today. Every time I read it I notice something new in Arundhati Roy’s writing. I couldn’t recommend it enough!

 

 

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Vicky @hunguponbooks
Anna and the French Kiss was the book that got me back into reading which has changed my life as I’ve now read plenty of books and it has turned me into the bookworm I am today! I’d recommend AatFK because it has a lovely setting and is a light and fun contemporary read!

 

 

 

Areli @arelireads28926581
Recently, Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno has changed my life. I’ve been hearing bad things that people are saying about YA books; they are saying that YA books are so clichè. Well, I wanna shove this book into their faces and say, “HEY! YOU’VE BEEN READING THE WRONG YOUNG ADULT NOVEL! READ THIS AND YOU WILL SURELY THROW UP EVERY BAD THING YOU SAID ABOUT YA!” Yes, that intense. I love how this book communicated directly with me. I love how it deals with the most important things in life that many people have not been thinking of alot lately, especially in this millenial age: the importance of family, dealing with life and death and mental health, exploring out of your comfort zone, and appreciating every little thing around us (because somehow, they all affect us). Now, I’m recommending this book to EVERYONE because, just like the main character in this book, we all need to step up our game. We need to get out of our comfort zone. We need to read YA books with mature content and theme and life lessons you seriously could live by. So, put this on your endless to-buy list and don’t forget to grab it first thing on July 25! Thank you, Katrina Leno, for this book (along with your two other babies!).

 



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Maé @readwithmae
I think I’m going to be the least original person ever and say Harry Potter. Because it’s been there with me for so long I can’t imagine my life without these books and these characters. I relate so much to Harry, and I’m so glad Hogwarts houses exist because it made us part of something. Like everyone knows if they are gryffindor or Ravenclaw or hufflepuff or slytherin. And re-reading these stories always make me feel good and less lonely. It might be weird, but everytime I’m in a dark place of mind, I think about harry potter and how i can be part of this amazing adventure. And of course this book allowed me to be more myself. And by that I mean that thanks to these books, I met a ton of great people who still are my friends on the internet thanks to the potterhead community, and also because thanks to Draco and Hermione, I started to write fanfiction, and this helped me A LOT. Harry Potter is definitely a huge part of my life.

 

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Lili @utopia-state-of-mind
One of the books that changed my life was the xenogenesis trilogy from Octavia Butler. Itshowed me the possibilities that exist in science fiction for women, and women of color. It also inspired me to find more diverse science fiction and Fantasy.

 

 

 

                                                  Amy @amyjanealice
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For anybody who knows me, or even just follows me on social media, the book (or books in this case) that changed my life will come as no surprise. I read both A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury one week last year, and A Court of Wings and Ruin back in May, and I just haven’t been the same since. The series ignited my love for fantasy that had lain dormant for far too long, and not only opened a whole new world for me in a fictional sense, but joining the SJM fandom has meant that I’ve been able to meet so many like-minded people, and even make some new friends! Sarah J. Maas just has this amazing way with words, that grips you entirely and can have you laughing, sweating, grinning, crying, shouting, gasping and swearing all in one chapter. The only way I have found to get through the very real feeling of loss after finishing the final book in the trilogy is to re-read, and buy alllll of the themed merch I can get my hands on. You better believe I have pillows, art prints, candles (several from a certain Two Thieves), bookmarks – you name it, I’ve got it. I don’t think I could ever put my feelings and thoughts into a sensible and coherent review, whilst still doing the books justice, so I’ll end with this: I will forever be grateful for Sarah J. Maas and the ACOTAR trilogy. It came into my life right when I needed it and definitely changed things for the better. I genuinely can’t imagine what I would be like now if I hadn’t read these books! If you love high fantasy, action, characters that you can’t help but fall in love with, god damn beautiful High Lords, a romance that you are totally rooting for but also can’t help but be a little bit jealous over, kickass quotes, a strong female lead, a seriously gripping plot and so much more, please pick up A Court of Thorns and Roses – you won’t regret it!

 

Ann @annelisemontewriter12000020
The book that changed my life is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of theUniverse. It was the first book about queer characters I ever read, so it was the first time I read about characters who were like me. That was so incredibly validating. It rekindled a love for reading that I had lost and spurred me to start reading again and writing more. I expect more from the books I read because of this and have never loved reading more than I do right now.

 

 


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Ash @thebooklight
A book that changed my life was Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, it certainly isn’t perfect but it helped me escape this world when it was horrible to me when I need a friend it was there for me it’s sounds cheesy but it’s true. when things got tough it kept me going and sometimes thinking about it makes me smile and I couldn’t be more grateful for this book . I’d recommend to basically anyone who can read. It’s fun and light and filled with lots of laughter & (tears) furthermore ridiculously sassy. It’s a YA fantasy set in London 1878 the characters are so special even though you want to kill them some times but they hold a special place especially a certain stubborn & charming Herondale.

 

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Zulfa @lovelyowlsbooks
Anyway, the reason why I loved When Dimple Met Rishi is because of how I related tothe characters. Me and Dimple share some of the same life experiences and it was nice to read something familiar to me as a South Asian girl!

 

 

 

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Christine @weereader
I’d maybe say The Falconer by Elizabeth May. I read mainly fantasy so it’s difficult to think of a book which is changed my life. The Falconer was the first time I ever read a YA book with a female Scottish main character. It probably wasn’t life changing but it was really special.

 

 

 

 

13335038Nadia @wordsbeneaththewings
i don’t think any book has ever ‘changed’ my life, but the divergent series has a specialplace in my heart for the message it embodies; discovering who you are, learning to accept that but also knowing that labels don’t define us. through the books (and the movies!) i have also forged some incredible friendships i know will last a lifetime and created so many other beautiful memories. the books aren’t perfect and we don’t talk about the movies but i’d still 100% recommend the trilogy + four. just make sure to give that new epilogue a miss.

 

 

Lots of Love,
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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR SUICIDE MENTIONS & MENTAL ILLNESS

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Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.
Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.
But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.


Do you know that feeling when you finish a book and all you want to do is track down the author and give them a huge hug? That’s what I felt upon finishing Eliza and Her Monsters.
I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s diverse because it isn’t. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s something I’ve never read before because certain aspects reminded me of Radio Silence which is another book I loved but both of those things didn’t stop me from enjoying it and feeling a deep connection with the main character, Eliza. Eliza is the anonymous creator of an online webcomic called Monstrous Sea and the comic and its fandom are huge. However, Eliza is just a teenage girl struggling through high school and dealing with home life. It isn’t stated until later on in the book but it is clear from the beginning that she suffers with an anxiety disorder. I know this purely because I do too and I noticed the symptoms. Between that and the fact thats she only feels at home when she’s online, talking to her online friends and being a part of forums, I saw a lot of myself in her. Her parents struggle to understand her ‘obsession’ with her phone and computer, Eliza feels that her two younger brothers are like strangers to her and her only friends are Emmy and Max, two Monstrous Sea fans she met online.
Essentially, this is a contemporary with romance added in. Yes, we have the trope of her falling in love with the new guy at school but it is so much more. Wallace, despite being built like a football player, is extremely shy and struggles with talking aloud so many of their first meetings take place purely with them talking via notes. He is a huge fan of Monstrous Sea and writes fan fiction – more specifically, he’s in the process of typing a transcript for it. Despite falling in love with him over time (and yes, it’s a slow burn), Eliza feels that she can’t tell him that she created his beloved series.
For reasons that I won’t spoil, Eliza goes through a spell of deep depression, resulting in contemplating suicide so TW for that. I think this was written very realistically and as a person who suffers with both anxiety and depression, seeing the two come together for Eliza was very real. Her and Wallace don’t magically cure each other – they both end up seeing therapists and working through their problems. Eliza grows a lot as a person throughout this novel, making it seem a lot longer than it was.
The book also includes Eliza’s artwork from her comic and what I assume is Wallace’s transcript so we can delve into the world of Monstrous Sea. Now I’m hoping it is actually released as a graphic novel (hint hint nudge nudge.) Overall, I would 100% recommend this book. Despite feeling like a light-hearted read, it deals with serious topics such as mental health, loss and the struggles teenagers can face daily. It deals with fandom life, the world of the internet and the age old argument of what defines ‘real’ friends.

 

Have you read this book?
Lots of love from Angharad @

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #1

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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 bisexual main character.

a-book-i-have-read.pngHow to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
Goodreads | Amazon

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All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.
Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

I read this book at the start of the year and it definitely impacted me. Grace is unapologetically herself and is an open bisexual character. The story doesn’t just manage to be about her sexuality, it also focuses on the love that develops between herself and Eva and her difficult relationship with her mother – not to mention living with her ex-boyfriend. A beautiful, summery contemporary read and very diverse.

a-book-i-have-read

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
by Mackenzi Lee
Goodreads | Amazon

29283884


Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was neve
r one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

I haven’t even got a valid excuse as to why I haven’t bought this book yet. I have had it on my TBR for the longest time and now that it has been released, the 5* reviews are coming in thick and fast. Of what I know, the main character, Monty, is bisexual. This book is supposed to be diverse, funny and a must-read.

a-book-i-have-read

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
Goodreads | Amazon

33158561For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

The book features houses filled with huge families, and more importantly, queer women. Our main character, Estrella, her cousins and some of their mum’s and grandmother’s are bisexual and this is stated. Yes, this is a YA novel that features older women actually having a sexuality! I also believe there is a genderqueer character although I am not 100% certain (please correct me if I’m wrong.) This book will be released on October 3rd.

 

Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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Mini Reviews II & Trip to the Bookshop

Becky and I have discussed adding more posts based on the lifestyle style of the book-lover so today, as well as doing a second part to this post of mini reviews, I’ll be adding a few photos of my trip to the bookshop today and my very mini haul. So here is some of the books I’ve read in the past few days and what I thought about them in a few sentences and some shots of my favourite place in Swansea.
 
 
 
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
 
Yes, it’s a Christmas July miracle. I finally read this book after attempting twice. This is always recommended on book Twitter and seeing as the sequel is around the corner, I thought I’d make an effort and I.Loved.It. Jessica Tran is now one of my favourite characters, Abby is amazing, Bells is a badass. If you love anything superhero and more importantly, diverse, then definitely pick up this book. Our main character is Chinese/Vietnamese and Bells is trans (and the sequel is based on him!!) Go!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
 
This was one of those books that I just knew I was going to love as soon as I read the synopsis. A high school girl who makes it her mission to end sexism in her school by distributing Moxie zines anonymously and gradually, all the girls – from every clique and every belief – come together and fight back! I could have cried from anger and happiness throughout this entire book (which I read in one sitting!) It reminded me a lot of the Holly Bourne Spinster series, especially What’s a Girl Gotta Do? and I think they both should be required reading in secondary schools. This book is dedicated to teenage girls, showing that their voices are just as important as anybody else. Overall, read this book. Spread the word. #moxiegirlsfightback
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

 

 
I loved this book! I loved Genie from pretty much the beginning when her reaction to Quentin screaming ‘you’re mine!’ at her made her want to teach him that there are certain things you don’t say to women. Despite this book being full of Chinese mythology and Genie being thrown into a world of demons, she still manages to maintain her worry over finishing school and getting into a good college. This is so important and realistic, especially in YA. Another thing that stood out to me was the humour. Genie came out with hilarious one-liners that made me laugh out loud. So if you’re looking for a YA fantasy that’s diverse, funny and realistic (other than the demons), then I’d definitely recommend this!
 
 
 
Thank you to Orenda Books for sending me a copy for review.
 
 
 Exquisite by Sarah Stovell
 
Another case of a ‘psychological thriller’ that I found neither psychological or thrilling but I seem to be in the minority here. I did complete this book in one sitting. Despite my rating, I did find the story very addictive which I think is one of the key elements of a psychological thriller. I wanted desperately to know what happened next, how everything would end, etc. It’s just when I closed the book, I felt disappointed. However, this book is based around a lesbian relationship (albeit a toxic one) but I think it could have been handled better. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend.
 
 
My local bookshop (Waterstones for U.K. people) isn’t the largest and sometimes finding a new release in there is like finding a needle in a haystack but it is my favourite place in Swansea. Despite recovering from agoraphobia and struggling to leave the house, I always feel safe in here amongst the books. 
 
However, today they had two amazing tables on display. One featuring Trump’s Small Hand Soap (along with other piss-taking books) and two books that won the Women’s Prize for Fiction – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Power by Naomi Alderman. 
 
 
Overall, despite the fact that I’m supposed to be on a book-buying ban, I bought these two at buy one, get one half price! I got The Power because of the Women’s Fiction Award it won. I’ve seen mixed reviews but the premise sounds very interesting and the cover was so striking as soon as I walked into the shop. The Crow Girl has been on my TBR for a while but this cover’s edition looks so different from the original that I’ve been walking past it for ages! It’s a psychological thriller and I am so excited for it! 
 
And that’s it! I hope you guys liked this post as it is something a bit different. Becky is planning on a post where she matches clothes/outfits to books and their characters so stay tuned for that. We hope you’re all well and have the best weekend.
Love Angharad @