spoiler free, Uncategorized

Browsing Bloggers Bookshelves with Lauren @Northern Plunder

One of my favourite bloggers, Lauren from Northern Plunder has started a new feature on her blog recently where she swaps pictures of her bookshelves with others and then we discuss each other’s shelves perhaps mentioning which books we would like to read, would recommend or perhaps would not recommend. I loved the idea and got in touch asap with Lauren to swap pictures and today you can see what we thought of each other’s shelves. You can find Lauren’s post here. I actually met Lauren at YALC last year and I love that she reviews graphic novels as well, not to mention the fact that she’s a fellow gamer and also loves Mass Effect too 😍

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First off, I love this style bookshelves, mine are so boring in comparison. Also, I’m living for the Brienne of Tarth pop figure in the bottom left corner! As for books, I’m super pleased to see two of the three Iluminae Files books (my favourite) I cannot recommend them enough!  Below them is Nevernight which I still have to read but am very excited to do so, there are also two of the Sookie Stackhouse books if I’m not mistaken they’re early on in the series and therefore are still actually pretty good, they went downhill a little towards the end. Much like ACOWAR, I can just about see there too. ACOMAF wasn’t too bad though.

The only book in the second cubby I even recognise if Kingdom of Ash which I am yet to read fully, I started it and just haven’t got back to it yet. I do like the sound and look of the spine for Welcome to the Night Vale though. In the third cubby, I see the first four books in the Vampire Diaries series. As much as I still enjoyed the others these four are the best and were still written by the original author whereas the others were ghostwritten, they didn’t age amazingly but I still like to go back and read them every so often. I also spy one of the Night World omnibus books by the same author that I do really want to get around to reading at some point. The last book there I recognise is Allegiant which is the third book in the Divergent series if I’m not mistaken. I enjoyed the first few books quite a bit but I really wish I hadn’t read the third book I’m sorry to say.

In the fourth and final cubby, are some pretty hardbacks. Spellslinger caught my eye as it’s the first book in a series that I would like to try reading, I recognise Eve of Man which I had on my TBR after buying it because the cover was so pretty. I didn’t realise it at first but Truthwitch is also on that shelf which is one of those books I really wanted to like that I just couldn’t get on with. Soulstealer, the cat woman novel by Sarah J Maas is hidden away up the top there as well which is another book on my TBR that I do want to to read but just haven’t felt it’s been the right time for yet.

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I’m absolutely drooling at all the Laini Taylor goodness on that top shelf, especially the Illumicrate special edition Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares. I’m also glad to see it wasn’t just me that needed more than one edition of Nights and Puppets as well. Also is that a Six of Crows arc hiding away behind King of Scars? Because OMG.

The second shelf has the almost obligatory Throne of Glass books which I’ve read, Caraval which I really liked and not one, not two but three editions of The Cruel Prince, I’m assuming it wasn’t just me who loved this book? I’m super jealous of her special editions of  Vicious and Vengeful too! I’ve read City of Ghosts but am yet to read the Darker Shade of Magic or Our Dark Duet books yet but I do own them and they’re on my TBR. I’m interested in Grace and Fury as I’ve heard a lot of people liked it and Lauren obviously likes it enough to have three copies of it so consider it added to my list. I@ve read Rebel of the Sands and it was okay but I did carry on with the series and love the rest of it, I’ve also read a few chapters of State of Sorrow but haven’t finished it yet. The only book on that shelf that I’ve read is Everless and sadly it was one that I really didn’t enjoy.

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I was intrigued by Spare and Found parts so quickly looked it up and I absolutely need that book in my life. I also really want to read the Vic James books as well, I’m reading Sanctuary by her at the moment and loving it so want to get round to reading her older books too. I’m loving that this shelf has some comics and I checked out the artist Lolsh, again out of curiosity and I’m so glad I did because her art is absolutely STUNNING!

This next shelf looks to be like it’s all books from Fairyloot if I’m not mistaken as I used to have a very similar looking shelf myself. It took me far too long to get around to it but I loved The Last Namsara up in the corner there and although I own a few of the other books I haven’t read any of them such as Legendary, Even the Darkest Stars and enchantment of Ravens. I’m intrigued by Given to the Sea and I think I gave away my copy of Flashfall but will have to check as I’m really interested in reading it right now and it was my first Fairyloot book.

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My eyes immediately go to Heartstopper here but that book is an absolute must. SO cute and wholesome, definitely recommend. I like that Lauren’s graphic novels are all such great colours and there are some great choices here, Saga and the Fables books are ones I’ve read before as well as the Rat Queens books which I love. I’m interested in Paper Girls from that shelf mainly for the brightly coloured spines.

This last shelf looks to be mainly arcs and I’ve not read a single one of them. I do own a finished copy of Warcross I’ve been meaning to read through though and the Mortal Coil books have always seemed interesting to me so this has reminded me to put them on my TBR list officially.

Thank you so much to Lauren for letting me take part in this fun new feature, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to browse your bookshelves and hope you enjoyed looking at mine even if they are an absolute state at the moment.

Do you do anything in particular with your bookshelves? Do you order your books in certain ways, perhaps you have shelves filled with books by particular authors? Do you have bookish merch or other things amongst your books as well? Show me your bookshelves or tell me all about them, I love to see them and don’t forget to check out Lauren’s blog where you can see what she thought of my bookshelves!

 

book reviews, spoiler free

Once and Future

36233085Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

Rating: XXXXX

Published: March 26th by Rock the Boat

“So tell me, forty second King Arthur, do you believe your fate is to unite humankind?”

“My fate…” Ari gasped, “…is mine.”

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

So this is the part where I usually quite calmly talk about how I discovered this book (I was stalking the Rock the Boat Twitter feed for news about Aurora Rising arcs) what interested me about and made me want to read it (all of the things) and occasionally how and where I received it from (drooling over it via Twitter, thank you so much to the lovely people at Rock the Boat for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review) but honestly I just want to yell SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES.

I’m genuinely not sure where to start with this review because as I suspected this is a book I really want to scream and shout about. The characters are all so unique and different with different strengths and beautifully tragic flaws. On the back of my arc copy one of the things this book is likened to is Mass Effect (my favourite game series) and I can totally get behind that because Ari and her ‘knights’ feel like an amazing, dysfunctional family in much the same way as the crew of the Normandy in that they all have their own goals and most of the time those goals line up but not always and that can make things messy, especially when you know each other but you’re not really sure you know them enough to trust them as much as you should. The differing interactions between the characters here feel just the right kinds of tense and it really gives weight to those moments.

I hate to say it so bluntly but this book is hot. Honestly, there are some fantastic moments that pretty much took my breath away but without being crude or even bordering on erotica. I love that pretty much everyone is a little “thirsty” because honestly they’re all beautiful and fairly confident with their sexualities and there isn’t much of any pussyfooting around these moments apart from one AMAZING almost kiss that blew me away. I’m obviously not saying that everyone needs to be like this in their day to day lives but there is certainly something very liberating and refreshing about how comfortable these kind of moments we see in this book are.

While on the topic of sexuality one of my favourite things about this book is how diverse it is, the main character is pansexual and as someone who is pan themselves I cannot explain how pleased I am and how much it means to me to see this kind of rep as we’re often just lumped into gay/straight/bisexual and it’s exhausting, we’ve been totally spoiled with Ari, she’s such an interesting, complex bad-ass and I’m honestly pretty much in love with her myself. Not only do we have a wide range of sexualities it’s also not made a huge deal out of and it isn’t used as any kind of plot point, they just are because that’s how real life works. This book is chock full of amazing characters that are gay, pan, straight, disabled, fluid, cis, non-binary, black, aromantic, mixed heritage, lanky, muscley and curvy and it really makes me yearn for something like this kind of acceptance for all – just without the evil mega-corporation, please.

I immensely enjoyed that Once and Future is not only a kind of parallel of sorts to the King Arthur tale but it also manages to completely turn it on its head and look at from different perspectives. I know the story of Arthur, Merlin, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table is something that has been done and done and done again but honestly, you will never find another story like this, it feels so fresh and unique, not just because of the gender twist but the heart of the story just feels so very new.

The plot is an absolute ride, although I do think there are certainly some pacing issues and moments where I found myself thinking, “huh…what…how did we get here? How did this happen? Did I miss something?” as well as feeling like there were a few plot holes here and there but having spoken to Amy and Cori, I’m told there were A LOT of copy edits due to the ARCs needing to be done and sent out so early so I’m really looking forward to having another read through when my finished copy arrives today (if it hasn’t already because I’m writing to you from the not so distant past) because even WITH the small issues I had I loved this book to the stars and back so I can only imagine how I’ll feel about the complete finished product.

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Once and Future absolutely blew my mind, it riled me up, it crushed my heart then it brought me back, shoved a sword in my hand and it told me to go save the world.

Once and Future is out RIGHT NOW and just in case you hadn’t already preordered it or ordered it today then may I just say again…SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES.

 

 

 

Blog Tours, Tags

Moxie Book Tag

I hope you’re enjoying Fierce Female Reads February and have been enjoying all of the posts from all the lovely bloggers taking part! Today is my turn and I present to you my Moxie Book tag to celebrate our chosen book for the Fierce Female Reads February read-a-thon!

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35383830Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Published:

Rating; XXXX

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her high school teachers who think the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mum was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates 
Moxie, a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond and spread the Moxie message. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realises that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

TIME TO FIGHT LIKE A GIRL

A page-turning read with a feminist message, for anyone who has ever had to deal with #everydaysexism

“This is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or an equalist or whatever. But a feminist. It’s not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that’s always finding ways to tell them they’re not.”

Girls Supporting Girls –Your Favourite female friendship.

Delia and Josie from Rayne and Delilah’s Midnight Matinee by Jeff Zentner, win this one easily. The compliment each other so well, they know how to interpret each other and wants best for their friend. They have their disagreements, as do any friends, but they never stop caring for each other and come to understand the choices each of them has to make for themselves and the path it leads them on, even if it’s apart. (My review for this is coming so soon so keep an eye out for it if you like the sound of this!)

“And you telling me not all guys are like that doesn’t really help me feel better. Because some guys are like that. A lot of them, actually.”

Seth –A book that problems, maybe it made you angry or you just hated it but it worked out in the end.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart, by Katherine Webber. First off I want to say that this book is amazing and got a XXXXX from me in my spoiler-free review but I had a hard time reading the first half to three quarters or so because the main characters and their relationship made me SO MAD. This is intentional, they are not a healthy relationship and a lot of the things they do and ways they act are vile but I feel this is the point, we are only human, we all make mistakes, we can all be selfish and horrid and this book really delves into that and is about recognising that and understanding it. I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish the book but I’m so very glad I did.

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“Audre Lorde quote on them. YOUR SILENCE WILL NOT PROTECT YOU.”

GRIT: Girls respecting and inspiring themselves – A book that made you feel inspired.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman is another difficult book to read in the best and most heartbreaking way. Kiko is a character that I feel like a lot of people today could see themselves in; those suffering from depression, anxiety or an unhealthy relationship with an emotionally abusive parent or children of interracial couples who aren’t considered “passing” or have trouble reconciling with their heritage as well as those who are treated differently on a day to day basis for the colour of their skin. Kiko overcomes so very much and it’s not all smooth sailing and the ending is left in a way where we know she still has hardships ahead of her but this book helped me to realise that things are hard a lot of the time and things don’t always magically get better but the way you deal with the way these things make you feel and the actions you take (or don’t) because of that, are important. This book made me aspire to do better and not give up.

“It’s easy to talk to Emma Johnson, I realize. She’s just a nice girl who goes to my high school. That’s probably all she’s ever been.”

Queen Emma – A Book that surprised you.

I’m sure we all know the story now about the time I picked up a pretty book that sounded like a cute, fluffy, fangirl style romance story in space and discovered that it was, in fact, a hair raising on the back of your neck thriller that would give me some of my first book related nightmares. That amazing book was The Loneliest Girl in the Universe! (I reread it last week and you can check out my review here)

“We are marching because those words deserve to be run over. Steam rolled. Flattened to dust. We are marching in our converse and our candy-coloured flip flops and our kitten heels, too. Our legs are moving, our arms are swinging, our mouthes are set in lines, so straight and sharp you could cut themselves on them.

Maybe we hope you do.”

Walkout – A book you just couldn’t finish.

I hate not finishing books but the last one I remember really giving up on was Big Bones by Laura Dockrill. I know a lot of people like this book, including those who, like myself, are larger ladies but I just couldn’t get on with this book. The main character made me furious, she just seemed so lazy and whiny and I some of the food descriptions made me feel genuinely sick. Apparently, it does improve but at the time I was so mad and done that I didn’t want to give it any more of my energy. This isn’t to say it’s a bad book by any means and I liked the idea that plus size ladies, especially ones who like to eat are getting rep but this just wasn’t a book for me.

“Moxie Girls Fight Back! …and hunt you down! …and remember your face! …and take names!”

Show some Moxie – Your Favourite Feminist Read.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven is by far my favourite feminist read, it’s funny, important, inspiring, painfully eye-opening and a hell of a ride that I honestly wish everyone could and would read. (You can check out my spoiler-free review here,  which explains just how much I love this book and why I wish everyone, everywhere could read it).

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Thank you so much for checking out my Moxie book tag, I tag EVERYONE! If you want to take part in this book tag consider yourself tagged and let me in the comments if you do so I can check out your answers too! Don’t forget to check out the #FierceFemaleReads hashtag and tomorrow, February 22nd: Cait @ Functionally Fictional  will be posting her Top 10 Fierce Females With Power”

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spoiler free, tbr thursday

TBR Thursday – Janurary

The very first Thursday of the year has arrived and thus the first of January, this means it’s time for my monthly (when I remember) TBR post! I’ve had so much to read lately and there are still so many great books coming out this year that I’ve upped my Goodreads reading challenge goal from fifty to sixty for 2019 and I’m feeling pretty confident I’ll easily smash that. As for this month, I’ve got a couple of my highly anticipated books to read, a future release and a recommended title before I start to dig into my ever mounting physical TBR pile that I’ve been meaning to get to for the whole of last year! Let’s take it easy and just start with January for now though shall we?

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A Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
This is my current read and I’m having to listen to most of it via Audiobook because it’s just so huge and heavy it feels impossible to read physically. James Masters is a brilliant narrator and there have been some absolutely brilliant scenes but so far there is A LOT of filler and I can’t believe I’m saying it but I’m so done with the over the top teen angst right now and I literally live for books full of it normally, not to mention the crazy amount of sexual tension but it just feels so overdone in this book that I’ve already had to take a couple of breaks from it. I would really like to get it finished this month if possible.

Monsters by Sharon Dogar
This is a Young Adult fictionalising of the early life of sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein from Anderson Press. I was lucky enough to receive a proof for this book due out in February 2019 and have just started to read this book that I think sounds very promising and from what I’ve read so far I’m sure will keep me enthralled. 

The Wicked King by Holly Black
I’m so excited to be back with my favourite trash ship Jude and Cardan this year despite feeling like one of the only people to have not already read the sequel to The Cruel Prince. The first folk of the air book completely blew me away and I have high hopes for its successor, with less than a week to go however I’m cursing the fact that I forgot to preorder it though so this may end up being a kindle read until I can afford to get to a town with a bookshop or it comes back online at Waterstones or Amazon!

A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
I’ve technically read almost the whole of this book already after I devoured my beautiful advanced reading copy I was lucky enough to win at YALC. Electronic Monkey were super clever and tore the last few chapters out of the ARCS so we had to contact them to have access to those last few chapters which I’ve done and although I received them last year and promised myself I would read them as a reward for finishing NaNoWriMo things have just been too hectic but this month I’m determined to finish it ready to read the finished copy when it releases May 2nd!

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A Boy made of Blocks by Keith Stuart
This book was actually a gift from Nate’s childminder and although at first glance it is nowhere near my kind of book she recommended it to me after reading it herself and it turns out it’s about a little autistic boy who loves to play Minecraft. As me and Chris have always enjoyed Minecraft and now Nate is rather obsessed with it I knew this was something I had to read and like with Monsters I have started it already although I’ve only made a small amount of progress as I feel like I need to be in the right frame of mind to read it as it can feel a little emotionally heavy and perhaps a little close to home for me and I’m sure it’ll rip my heart out so I’m taking it slowly between my other reads for the time being.

As you can see there’s a nice bit of variety mixed in but sadly no Sci-Fi unless I get stupid lucky and Rock The Boat accept a blood sacrifice for an advanced copy of Aurora Rising then of course all of these other books get thrown out of the (not literal) window until that’s done, I’m actually thinking of focusing purely on some science fiction reads next month so I’ve kept it out of my TBR this month before I become utterly obsessed in spaceships again next month. Let me know if you’ve read any of the books on my TBR and if you liked them? What are you most excited to read this month?

book reviews, spoiler free

One Way – Spoiler Free Review

34326051.jpgOne Way by S.J Morden

Rating: XXXX

Published August 23rd 2018 by Gollancz

Eight Astronauts.

One Killer.

No Way Home.

ONE WAY opens at the dawn of a new era – one in which we’re ready to colonise Mars. But the contract to build the first ever Martian base has been won by the lowest bidder, so they need to cut a lot of corners. The first thing to go is the automatic construction… the next thing they’ll have to deal with is the eight astronauts they’ll sent up to build it, when there aren’t supposed to be any at all.

Frank – father, architect, murderer – is recruited for the mission with the promise of a better life, along with seven of his most notorious fellow inmates. As his crew sets to work, the accidents mount up, and Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all. As the list of suspects grows shorter, it’s up to Frank to uncover the terrible truth before it’s too late.

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Following on with the theme of murder and mystery I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read One Way which features both of those things IN SPACE. Count me in!!

This was one of those books I absolutely devoured at every opportunity I could. There were shocks and twists around each turn and I enjoyed that you were never really sure who you could trust, this is one of my favourite things in any kind of murder mystery or “whodunnit” type story and although by the time we find out who the killer is I think I was a little underwhelmed as it seemed fairly obvious by that point and was certainly an option I had considered fairly early on. One way is, however still full of tense, suspenseful moments throughout.

We are introduced to Frank Kitterridge, our main character who is in prison for killing his sons drug dealer, he is a well described and somewhat relatable character considering he is a murderer and I feel we get a really in-depth look into his background and characteristics, we understand him very early on. When he takes a job that will send him to Mars with a group of other cons he ends up at a training camp and meets his team of other inmates there. This is one of my favourite chunks of the book, a part that would probably be nothing more than a training montage if it were a film was insightful and at times just as tense as some of the moments on Mars. We get a little background on some of the other prisoners and learn a few important things about them, their characteristics and what kind of role they will potentially play on Mars.

On Mars the situation is dire and there was a real sense of panic that came across in the pages that had me turning them frantically. There were times though when there was just driving happening or a lot of explaining of the tech stuff that I feel could have been used a little less, I understood some of it but I just ended up glossing over it because it just felt like it went on a little too long or was a little too wordy. The “techno babble” as it were may be fantastic for people who are interested in those fields or enjoy that kind of thing but it reminded me of food being described in G.R.R Martin books. I would much rather have had more information and development from the other characters who at times felt like walking stereotypes which is a shame as I would have liked to get to know some of them better, especially Zeus and Marcy.

Despite some of the little problems I had with the pacing and the fleshing out it was overall a really good book, as mentioned before the tense moments are done really well and its an interesting story that I’m glad I got a chance to read.

#SixforSunday, Uncategorized

S4S – My Favourite Bloggers

One of my favourite things about being a blogger is the community, I love supporting and chatting with other bloggers and the fact that we all help each other out. With today’s Six For Sunday post I’m going to share with you six of my favourite bloggers! Know that if I follow you but you’re not on this list however I still love you and support you too!

Charlotte (and S!) from Charlotte Somewhere

Jenn from A Page Of Jenniely

Cora from Tea Party Princess

Charlotte from Charlotte reads things

Manon from Cafe Manon

LaRonda from FlyingPaperbacks

I love reading posts from all of these lovely people and you should totally check them out!

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