#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Summer TBR

So I have already posted a TBR for the month which is also sort of doubled up as my YALC TBR as well so I’m going to take the opportunity this week to use the Summer TBR prompt for this weeks Six for Sunday as a broader TBR of books I want to read over the next few months. There are a lot of books that have been out for a good while that I’ve been meaning to get to. I may have cheated a little bit and lumped some series of books together but I won’t tell if you don’t. You can find lots of awesome stuff, including some of the 2019 prompts for Six for Sunday if you want to join in over at Steph’s blog A Little but a Lot. 

Nevernight, Godsgrave and Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
I am determined to finally finish Nevernight and get through Godsgrave in time for the Darkdawn release in September! I’ve loved what I’ve read of it so far but I made the mistake of sandwiching my reading of Nevernight between two blog tour books and ran out of time to finish it. Once I’ve worked my way through this months review books I’m dedicating August to getting caught up ready for the final book and Jay’s impending September visit to the UK as well!

Six of Crows and The Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
I made the same mistake with Six of Crows as with Nevernight and had to abandon it over halfway through which was painful because it’s SO up my alley, I LOVE groups of misfits, heists and morally grey characters and Six of Crows has all of these things. Then obviously I can move onto the Crooked Kingdom which will mean I’ll be caught up enough to finally read King of Scars although that’s not a summer priority for me.

Gilded Cage by Vic James
Since reading Sanctuary I’ve been desperate to read Vic’s earlier work, I’ve been hearing great things about this trilogy and I would really like to at least get the first one read before YALC (I’m debating trying to go Saturday too so I can meet her!)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I have been meaning to read this book and its sequels FOREVER. I think I just get worried they won’t live up to the hype I’ve heard sometimes but this is one of the reasons it took me so long to read the Illuminae files which have become my favourite books so I know I need to take the leap and I think this summer it might finally be time.

Ghosts of the Shadowmarket By Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
The most recent book on this list, I’d really like to get this bindup of short stories read to start The Red Scrolls of Magic in the Autumn, I kept putting it on my monthly TBR but I think this is one that will have to wait until later in the summer as it is one of the only ones I have yet to buy.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
I’ve been debating reading this for a little while now. The sheer size of it has put me off time and again but earlier this year both the kindle and audible versions were on sale super cheap so I brought them both and now have absolutely no excuse not to finally listen to/read this book!

I’m so excited to finally read these damn books. I get distracted so easily so feel free to bug me and bug me about reading them!

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer and are any of them books you’ve been wanting to read for a while?

 

 

 

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#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books with Sunshine on the Cover

*melts*

It’s been an absolute scorcher here this week and although I like a bit of sun now and again I find it best enjoyed from the shade or with a glorious breeze. It feels very apt then that the prompt for this weeks Six for Sunday (courtesy of the lovely Steph from A little but a lot) is “Books with Sunshine on the Cover” not something it seems, that I own a lot of but these are the ones I could find on my shelves that I think fit the prompt the closest.

Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
It’s literally an actual sun so this was the first one I thought of.

Wunderkids (Part 1: Wildwood Academy) by Jacqueline Silvester
I love the way the light filters in through the trees for this cover and I’ve only just noticed the sneaky logo made of light too!

Warrior Cats: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
This first in the series, this book cover always makes me think of summer as I started reading these books then as well as those lovely rays of light beaming down on Firepaw.

Saving Charlie by Aury Wallington
I know this is technically an eclipse but there is sunlight too! I loved this book so much even though it’s been such a long time since I’ve read it.

The Next Together by Lauren James
I actually remember that before I’d ever read anything by Lauren James the sunset on this cover caught my eye, I love this cover so much.

Reys Survival Guide by Jason Fry
I’m getting desperate here but surely when you think of Jakku you think of desert and hot scorching sun right? So it feels like a perfect fit for this prompt and if you look close enough you can totally see an actual sun in the bottom right-hand corner.

Are there any particular things you do or do not like to see on book covers? I don’t often like peoples faces on them or “real people” as opposed to illustrations.

spoiler free, tbr thursday

July TBR

I know I shouldn’t be shocked as I just did my June wrap up last week but OH MY GOSH how is it July now?! YALC is this month and I’m in no way prepared. I’m only there for one day in all likely-hood but I still have some reading to get done! I have a backlog of books to review but there are also some books I want to read in time for YALC as well as some new releases I’m desperate to get around to. I think my TBR list for this month is going to be a little over hopeful but what the heck I can but try!

Heartstream by Tom Pollock
I actually started this last night and I already can’t wait to get back to it. This is my first book by Pollock that I’ve read and I think I’ll look into his other works after as I’m really loving his writing style.

Revenger by Alistair Reynolds
I got this when Shadow Captain came out earlier this year in preparation for my sci-fi binge but never got around to it, Reynolds will be at the sci-fi panel I’m excited for at YALC so I wanted to make sure I got it read in time for then, hopefully if I really enjoy it I can pick up the sequel as well and get them both signed too.

Do you Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
I’ve seen quite a few people who enjoy similar books to me that have been loving this and I’ve been intrigued for a while but I don’t often buy hardbacks and I kept putting it off but as Temi Oh will also be at YALC on the same panel as Alistair Reynolds (in addition to Lauren James and Sasha Alsberg) I feel this is a sign I need to finally get around to reading it.

Shadowscent by P.M Freestone
Another YALC read, I brought Shadowscent on the day it was released because it sounds brilliant and the cover is gorgeous but, yet again and shocking absolutely no one I still haven’t read it because I’m terrible. I’m enjoying using YALC as a good excuse to get all these books I’ve been looking forward to actually read. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve known authors were at events but because I hadn’t read their books yet (despite already owning them in most cases) I didn’t get my book/s signed and then regretted it terribly once I’ve read and loved the book. I do not want this to be one of those times!

Heartstopper – Volume two – By Alice Oseman
I’m SO excited for volume two of Heartstopper releasing this month! I was hoping to make it to the event on July 11th but sadly don’t think I’m going to be able to make it now, I can’t wait to read it though!

Men in Black International: The Official Movie Novelization by R.S Belcher
One of my review books, I had decided to take fewer review books on this month but as soon as the lovely people at Titan offered me this book I couldn’t say no. I’ve really been looking forward to the film, I’m yet to see said film itself yet so I think it would be interesting to compare the two when I do finally see it.

X-Men: Days of Future Past by Alex Irvine
Another review book for the month from Titan, I received this last month and will quite likely be my next read after Heartstream. I’ve been in an X-Men mood for a little while now and although I’m not officially taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo I am starting to jot down ideas etc for the project I’ll be carrying on with for NaNo later in the year and as my characters have extra “abilities” I always consider anything X-Men related as “research” plus I just kind of love them.

Sanctuary by Vic James
So I have actually already read Sanctuary once already. I was lucky enough to have read a copy via NetGalley and my review has been written and ready for a while now but as the book isn’t out until August I’ve kept it waiting in the wings. I’m going to be taking part in the blog tour for the release and would love to give it another read through and maybe spruce up my review for the occasion. I’m really hoping I get enough book time to do so!

I have a good feeling about this months TBR, despite it being so huge (for me). I think it might be a bit of a squish towards the end but after stressing (non-bookish/blog related stuff) so much last month that I made myself ill I’m taking a lot more time to just read, relax and enjoy my books.

What do you absolutely have to read this month? Have you read any of these books already? Let me know what you thought of them!

spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday July 3rd

img_6935It’s somehow been a fortnight already?! Time for WWW Wednesday!

If you want to join in with WWW don’t forget to send over a big thank you to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for keeping WWW alive and kicking.

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

What are you currently reading?

Heartstream by Tom Pollock
I took a break from the dystopian anthology I’ve been reading (Wastelands: The New Apocolypse edited by John Joseph Adams) to jump headfirst into this new YA thriller by Tom Pollock. I hadn’t previously read anything by Tom but the premise sounded intriguing and I’ve been thirsting for a good thriller again already after cutting my teeth on A Good Girls Guide to Murder and then The Girl in Red a bit more recently (I’m also noticing a certain colour aesthetic it seems.) I’m already just under 200 pages through despite starting it just last night and I can’t wait to see just where it goes.

What did you recently finish reading?

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I ended up really enjoying this despite the amount of time it took me to actually get through (6 months) it was worth it though and the audiobook being narrated by James Masters was a bonus. You can check out my spoiler-free review here.

The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
This was such a lovely sweet book, I found it a little predictable but enjoyed it no less for it. Heartwarming and lovely. Review coming soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

X-Men: Days of Future Past by Alex Irvine
I’m really feeling in the superheroes with powers mood at the moment and I particularly love the X-Men, I put this one off for a little longer than I planned but excited to finally get to it now.

My full TBR for July will be up tomorrow and it’s huge for me and I think probably a bit too ambitious but we’ll see. What have you been reading lately?

book reviews, spoiler free

The Starlight Watchmaker review

44097002The Starlight Watchmaker by Lauren James

Rating: XXXXX

Published July 15th by Barrington Stoke

“Doesn’t it get tiring being judged for who you are all the time?” Ada asked, “and treated like you’re less than other people?”

Wealthy students from across the galaxy come to learn at the prestigious academy where Hugo toils as a watchmaker. But he is one of the lucky ones. Many androids like him are jobless and homeless. Someone like Dorian could never understand their struggle – or so Hugo thinks when the pompous duke comes banging at his door. But when Dorian’s broken time-travel watch leads them to discover a sinister scheme, the pair must reconcile their differences if they are to find the culprit in time.

A wildly imaginative sci-fi adventure from YA star Lauren James, particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+

At the Quiet at the End of the World event a few months back Lauren announced that she would be releasing a novella with Barrington Stoke later this year and as time went on we got a title, a cover reveal and synopsis for The Starlight Watchmaker which I’ve been excited for ever since.

I don’t normally go into much detail about publishers but I really wanted to rave about Barrington Stoke for a moment. They are a fantastic publisher who have been helping dyslexic and reluctant readers for over twenty years by working with writers and illustrators to publish super readable books as well as adding little adjustments like using a unique, dyslexia-friendly font specially created to make reading easier, Accessible layouts and spacing stop the page from becoming overcrowded and even Heavier paper with a gentle tint helps reduce visual stresses, their motto is every child can be a reader and I think reading can be so daunting for young children today that we need to do everything we can to create a space and opportunity for all readers, including those who might be reluctant or have difficulty reading for pleasure. I had read a couple of Non Pratt’s books published by Barrington Stoke previously and loved the shorter book format and just how effortless they felt to read which can be really motivating and confidence building.

I reached out to Barrington Stoke about Lauren’s new title and the lovely Kirstin sent me a proof to review in exchange for an honest review. At just 128 pages it is an extremely short read but oh the wonders Lauren can work with 128 pages. The Starlight Watchmaker is set in a universe that feels like magic and science, the academy that Dorian attends and Hugo works at is incredibly diverse, full of all kinds of sentient creatures from across the galaxy. It was absolutely refreshing to read all of these fantastic descriptions of different races and species, I was fascinated in particular with one of my favourite characters, a student like Dorian called Ada (Lady Ada de Winters – short for Adedeneumdora) who is essentially a mountain that can walk around and will eventually become a planet all of her own just like her mother, the planet Zumia. She’s well spoken, smart and fantastically quirky as well as being a brilliant departure from the usual humanoid looking alien lifeforms we usually see.

Hugo is an android and an absolute sweetheart who I love, he’s a hard worker making the best of a bad situation who enjoys what he does and is mostly content but finds himself yearning for more, things like friendship and freedom, not to mention he really likes plants. Our other main character, Dorian is a fifth-year student but also a Duke who comes to Hugo for help but comes across a little brusque at first and perhaps a bit to forward which could be misconstrued negatively but I think he really grows and learns over the course of the story and you learn more about him as well as Hugo and see how they react to each other.

Somehow, even in under 200 pages Lauren managed to fit a nice little twist into the story, the plot is simple but honestly all the more enjoyable for it, the narrative is fast flowing and straight forward but conveys every detail and emotion needed. This entire book is akin to a nice chilled glass of juice on a hot day or that feeling when you step out of your morning shower, it’s refreshing and soothing and the moment I finished it after reading it the first time I managed to put it down for five minutes before I decided to pick it back up and read it all over again. The story is well rounded and unlike with some short-form works where I find myself  wanting more in an unsatisfied way, I found The Starlight Watchmaker to be the perfect bite-size piece of cake, it felt complete and whole and I felt like I’d been on a journey after reading it which is why I read, to be whisked away on adventures and feel a better person at the other end. This is a beautiful tale of friendship and I cannot recommend it enough.

The Starlight Watchmaker will be available on July 15th, don’t let it’s smaller size fool you, it’s a fantastic little read and one that can definitely be enjoyed by a variety of ages.

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Characters I want to be friends with

It’s Six for Sunday time! Rounding out the last of the Bookish Wishes prompts for this month is “Characters I want to be friends with” which is very similar to a prompt we had last year which was characters you think would make great friends” (You can check out the post here, this was one of my better earlier posts I think) I’ve read a good few books since then so consider this in addition to last years list and maybe a bit more tailored to me instead of just characters I think would make good friends.

Olivia from The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
I love Olivia so much, she’s so bubbly and full of energy, she plans as over the top and as excessively as me so we’d always have great detailed plans too.

Pippa Fitz-Amobi from A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
She’s loyal, wicked smart and not afraid to ask difficult questions, I feel like she would challenge me to be better and maybe I could make her laugh? We’d absolutely get into trouble.

Charlie from Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Charlie is adorable and I know he already has some pretty great friends but I would love to be one of them, he’s a little dorky which I can totally relate with and I would absolutely fuss Nelly ALL of the time.

Finnian from Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I knew I would pick someone from the Aurora Rising crew I was just trying to decide who, it was a toss-up between Scarlett and Finian but I think even though I’d probably be half in love with him (as well as Scarlett), I think me and Finn would make better friends.

Katherine from The Next Together by Lauren James
I feel like we’d get on pretty well as we’re both pretty sarcastic, I always loved reading her parts in The Next Together because her attitude and the way she interacts with Matthew really mirrors mine and Chris’ relationship, minus the time travel and reincarnation obviously.

Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
As someone who can also find themselves easily lost in stories I think me and Lazlo would get on pretty well although we probably wouldn’t get much of anything useful done with our heads stuck in books or talking about them.

Okay so that did end up being quite a different list and was less about who would just make good friends in general but who would I think would make a good friend for me. It was fun! Would you pick any of these for yourself? Who would you like to be your fictional best friend? I think out of all these I’d love Olivia to be my best friend.

 

Monthly Wrap up, spoiler free

June Wrap Up

Okay so I haven’t done a wrap-up since my first one in March for some reason, June though, seems like a good month to finally give it another go perhaps? As I keep saying, things have been a little hectic lately and will hopefully start to calm down for a bit over the next few weeks but we’ll see. Despite the crazy though I have managed to get some books read, some more TV shows watched and even a film! I also decided to start including books I’ve brought or received in my wrap-ups too as I thought it would be interesting. So long June, enjoy your last days.

Currently reading

Wastelands: The New Apocolypse by various authors
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Books that I’ve read

Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (Reviewed) XXXX
X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Stuart Moore (Reviewed) XXXX
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare (Reviewed) XXXX
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry (Reviewed) XXXXX
The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie (Review to come soon!) XXXX

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Books that I brought or received

Zenith and Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
The Chosen and The Novice by Taran Matharu
The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
Wastelands: New Apocolypse by various authors – Review Copy
X-Men: Days of Future Past by Alex Irvine – Review Copy
Heartstream by Tom Pollock – Review Copy
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Men in Black International: The Official Movie Novelization by R.S Belcher – Review Copy

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo
I was lucky enough to win my copy of the Into the Crooked Place arc at the Out of this Galaxy YA event (blog recap coming soon) and I’m SO excited to read it!

Films

X-Men: Dark Phoenix – XX
I did not enjoy this film. I had been so incredibly excited about it but it just didn’t meet any of my expectations. I know you should hold remakes or retellings at different standards to their original forms but damn there was just so much wrong with this film, not to mention the fact that they screw with and mess up their own timeline? On the bright side, it did make me go back and enjoy X-Men: The Last Stand a lot more because although that didn’t fit as well either it did, for me, do a better job. Full review to come of this soon possibly.

TV Shows

Good Omens XXXXX
Damn this show. I have so much stuff to watch but I’ve just been watching this over and over. Odds are if I’m not watching it I’m probably thinking about it. I’m sad to say I hadn’t read the book before, I did start reading it beforehand with the idea that I wouldn’t watch past the first episode until I’d finished the book but I just couldn’t help myself. I have so many feelings about this show and it’s bittersweet but perfect six episodes single season and most of them are just joy or joy adjacent to be quite frank. I think I actually swooned and clutched my chest in episode three. If you haven’t checked out this show I highly recommend it, it’s addictive, beautiful, funny, quirky and honestly inspiring.

Shadowhunters Season 4 Ep 9-14 XXXX
After finishing Queen of Air and Darkness (at last), I decided to revisit the Shadowhunters TV show as it’s finished now I can see how it ends! I’d heard some people compare parts of the ending to parts of the ending for QoAaD so wanted to wait until I’d finished it to check it out although I have had two bits spoilt for me already (my fault for not keeping up and/or muting the hashtags etc). I’m enjoying it, these past few episodes have been really good, I’m especially loving what they’ve done with Johnathan although it’s really making me miss Sebastian, especially as Johnathan mentions when he met him *crying face*

American Gods S1, Ep 1 XXX
Chris wanted more after Good Omens as he’s not a big rewatcher so I suggested trying American Gods as it was by Neil Gaiman and had a similar, if not certainly more adult, quirky feel and I think he enjoyed it? I did although it’s probably not a show I’m rushing to watch as it didn’t grab me hugely but that’s probably the aesthetic and my personal taste more than anything else. I’ve also been listening to the Audiobook and have become super attached to the voice actors in that, the Mr Wednesday though is pretty amazing and I’ll certainly get around to watching more at some point.

It’s been a pretty good month, Good Omens has kind of blown everything out of the water for me at the moment, to be honest. I have really enjoyed the books I’ve read and I’m loving the different stories in Wastelands: The New apocalypse, I never realised just how broad the dystopian genre could be.  I’m hoping to keep the wrap-ups a bit more regular now with any luck as I’m really enjoying putting them together!

What book, show or film has really stood out for you this month?