spoiler free, tbr thursday

April TBR

monthly tbr

After not getting a lot read last month (although what I did read was actually from my TBR for a change) I’m planning to keep it small this month too. I do a lot of my reading when I get quiet moments at home and lately, there haven’t been too many of them at home so I plan to take it a bit more casually this month and see how I get on.

Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman.
This is my current read and I think I’m about halfway through at this point so will definitely be finishing this up within the next few days with any luck.

Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Heroes by Tom Taylor.
My comic review for the month will be a follow on from last months, this time looking at the trade paperback collection focusing on the heroes from the sequel trilogy. This might change to The Rise Of Kylo Ren comics as I am due the last issue any day now so we’ll see how long I can resist and avoid spoilers.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston.
As you may have seen previously I was lucky enough to be gifted an arc copy of Bookish and the Beast, part three of the Once Upon a Con series which I plan to start this month. The few conventions I attend a year have been (understandably) postponed and it’s still unknown whether they will happen at all so I’m hoping I can live vicariously through these books. Not to mention I’ve been planning to read them for ages!

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston.
Being the second book in the Once Upon a Con series this follows the same reasoning as Geekerella. I’m not sure I’ll get to the sequel this month but I’m hopeful!

Have you read any of the books on this months TBR? If so let me know what you thought or if you’re reading any of these this month as well! What book are you hoping to get read this month? Also, are you finding you’re reading more or less during the lockdown?

 

 

Monthly Wrap up, spoiler free

Monthly Wrap Up – March 2020

Monthly Wrap up

It’s been a heck of a month hasn’t it? I’ve been in self-isolation for fourteen days (I’m free today!) and the country, along with a large portion of the world has gone into lockdown. Times are scary right now and although things been hard we can’t stop enjoying the things we love as long as we do so safely. So here is my monthly wrap up (a little later than usual but here all the same.

Currently Reading.

Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman.
I have been SO excited for this, I really loved The Devouring Gray and I’ve been desperate to read the sequel since before the first book came out so the moment this was delivered I literally opened the package, sat down and started reading. I’m not getting through it as quick as I would like but that has more to do with me finding the time between keeping everything together at home and the amount of time I’ve been playing Animal Crossing for…we’ll come back to that.

Books I’ve read.

Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Villains. My comic book read for the month was quite an enjoyable one and pretty interesting getting a closer look at some of the characters.

Cursed: An anthology of dark fairy tales. I found this book a very mixed bag and this does happen quite often with anthologies I find, that some stories are great whereas some you can’t finish or barely get through and Cursed was very much like that which is why I make sure to review each story individually with a few lines and try to work out an average rating for the book itself. Henry and the Snake Wood Box was my favourite.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelisation. I finished this last week and had planned for the review to go up on Tuesday and then the Wednesday but although I did really enjoy it I just found myself unable to write much last week and couldn’t get the words down. I’ve had much better luck this week and said the review will be out pretty soon.

Changes from TBR

I did pretty well with this I think considering. I read two of the four books I had on my March TBR which is honestly better than I do a lot of the time because I’m such a fickle mood reader! I was lucky to get a copy of The Rise of Skywalker Novelisation early which helped as I didn’t have to choose between reading that or playing Animal Crossing for very long!

Books I’ve brought/received. 

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare – Decided to order this the day before it came out after deciding I wouldn’t buy it for months beforehand. I caved when I realised there were special first editions.
The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman – GIFTED from Titan books.
Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston – GIFTED from Quirk Books
RWBY Official Manga: Vol 1 – Red Like Roses – Spotted this in Waterstones after having gone in for something else and couldn’t help myself.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker expanded edition by Rae Carson – Again, went into Waterstones for one thing and came out with this.
Emily Eternal by M.G Wheaton – I managed to acquire one of the very pretty arc editions of this from a friend on Twitter.
Dragon Age; Tevinter Nights Anthology – GIFTED from Titan Books
Star Wars: The Queens Shadow by E.K. Johnston – Treated myself to this when I had to go into self-isolation.

Shows I’ve seen.

Picard. I would like to rewind time and watch the entire series again, please? I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this show but now that we’ve seen the whole thing (well, the first series at least) I can say for certain that I loved it. I wasn’t sure it could live up to Discovery for me, which I adored but honestly, it’s just as good just in a different way.

Duck Tales. This is not one I expected to be writing about and not one I’ve seen the whole of as I wasn’t particularly interested, it was more something we put on for my little one to watch, then Chris started watching too as he loved the old series, then I started watching it too and it was actually really good.

Tangled the series. I had been meaning to watch this for ages and with the launch of Disney Plus I have now finally started it and I’m already absolutely loving it. Cassandra is life.

Films I’ve seen.

Nothing new this month I don’t think but I did watch Ice Princess and both Princess Diaries films in one afternoon/evening with Chris about a week into our self-isolation.

Games I’ve played. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I think it was fairly obvious that this section would probably only consist of one game (although I did play a bit of Stardew Valley at the beginning of the month) and honestly, this game has been the main reason I’ve stayed anything close to sane this past week. Doing my own thing and spending evenings with my friends in-game has been amazing and so incredibly fun. We’ve had themed evenings, games, evenings just wishing on shooting stars and chatting. It reminds me of the month when Pokemon Go first came out years ago and everyone was out together every evening just catching Pokemon and yeah it’s been unreal.

Anything else?

A lot of great games of Dungeons and Dragons have occurred this month, even my more laid back games have had some incredibly tense moments and there are a lot of feels which I am obviously living for. I actually started recording our Monday games and episode two just went live on YouTube a couple of days ago if that’s something you’re interested in you can find the video below! (Warning there is some bad language).

For now though, happy April 1st, with any luck my tiny April TBR will be up tomorrow and then everything will be back to normal next week. Take care and stay safe.

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Characters I’d go on a date with

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! The weekly challenge where we give six answers to a prompt form the lovely Steph at A Little But A Lot. This week the prompt is six characters I’d like to date. I tend to crush on book characters a lot so this was pretty easy! The only challenge was picking just six and trying to figure out just want kind of dates they would be.

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Kady Grant from The Illuminae Files.
I adore Kady, she’s smart, sarcastic and witty (which seems to be my type looking at the rest of these to be honest). I feel like we would probably have a fun but silly date.

Jace Herondale from The Shadowhunter Chronicles.
Okay, so Jace would either be horrible or brilliant at this. It probably helps that I am absolutely down for learning to use various weapons on said date though, to be honest.

Oz from NPC Tea.
I feel like Oz would be one of the only ones to actually take me on a ‘semi-normal’ date like a restaurant or something but we would probably both be awkward nervous messes.

Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer
The only limit with this date would be our imagination and honestly, that’s kind of scary but also awesome. Lazlo is sweet and kind (not to mention pretty) so I’m very okay with this.

Tric from Nevernight.
I feel like this would be perhaps another attempt at a ‘normal’ date and it would be terrible but hopefully sweet OR he would absolutely surprise me by thinking of something stupidly thoughtful. It’s Tric so I’m fine with either.

Jude Duarte from The Cruel Prince.
This would almost certainly nearly get me killed or cursed but I’m one hundred per cent here for it.

That was fun! I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post as much as I wrote writing it! I hope with everything that’s going on at the moment you’re all keeping safe as possible and I’m sending you all tons of love and have a great Sunday. If all goes well I’ll see you back here Tuesday with a review.

 

spoiler free, Tags

TBR Book Tag

tag Thursday

It’s book tag time! Does anyone just look at their book tag and despair sometimes? I have SO many books to read yet I keep buying more!! I have cut down on the books I buy and am not taking on as many review requests at the moment because I just have such an enormous amount of books I own but haven’t read yet so I decided to do a TBR book tag today and it’s made me realise I probably need to have a good sort out and get my TBR into some kind of organised system to help me get through it. This tag is originally by @aperfectioncalledbooks and I found it here over at Stories and Spoons.

How do you keep track of your TBR book pile?  
I don’t currently have a way to keep track of this yet. I am debating spending my afternoon sorting through my books though and trying to sort out a spreadsheet and/or a good reads list to help me out. I also have a TBR jar that I should probably try and get around to using.

Is your TBR mostly print or eBook? 
My TBR is mostly comprised of print books as I tend to only buy books on kindle if they’re on sale or I want to read them there and then other than requests I’ve been approved for on Netgalley which is a far few but nowhere near as many as I have sitting on my shelves and TBR trolley ready and waiting.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next? 
I am most definitely a mood reader, all the way. It can make it hard to try and get through my TBR and reminds me of when you decided to watch something on Netflix but you just spend an hour scrolling through everything trying to decide what to watch instead of actually watching anything.

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest? 
After taking a look at my shelves I think it’s probably Outside In by Maria V Snyder. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the first one and I did consider reading this after reading her latest sci-fi release I just honestly keep forgetting about it and it’s been so long since I read the first book (Inside Out) that I don’t know how much sense it would make to me at this point without rereading.

 A book you recently added to your TBR? 
I received my copy of Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare yesterday. I was a huge shadowhunters fan and I do still love the series but after the Dark Artifices Trilogy took me forever to read (I don’t do well with large books) I’ve found it hard to get back to the series. I still have The Red Scrolls of Magic sitting on my shelf waiting to be read and I had decided I wasn’t going to get Chain of gold because of that but when I realised there was a special first edition version I succumbed and ordered the damn thing. I now need to reorganise my bookshelves again because my shadow hunter shelf is SO full.

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
I don’t think I have any books like that. Often I’m drawn in because of the beautiful cover but then I look deeper before buying to make sure it’s something I’ll like. I guess the closest would be Circe as the moment I saw the cover I knew I needed it.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading? 

If I’m not planning to read it why would it be on my TBR? Looking at my shelves at the moment I think one of the books I’m least likely to read is probably Tales of the Peculiar, a companion book of short stories to the Miss Peregrine’s books, I brought it because it was pretty, on sale and I was currently reading the first book in the series. I own the second book but not sure when I’ll get around to it, let alone to this pretty hardback of stories about characters I don’t really have a connection to yet.

Scratch that, I found a copy of the Strawberry Theif by Joanne Harris, I do want to read the Chocolat books but seeing as I don’t even own the first few and haven’t read them I feel like maybe this one would be the least likely to be read. Which is a shame because I love Joannes work.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for? 
I’m really looking forward to Bookish and the Beast! I’m reading the first two books after I’ve finished my current read and then I have a beautiful arc to dive right into afterwards and I am SO excited to read it!!

(I’m also, predictably excited for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelisation too, not long to go!!)

A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you? 
SO many of those. The first one that catches my eye is Sorcery of Thorns, I kept seeing it everywhere and it sounds completely up my street, I was gifted it over Christmas from my wishlist and I desperately want to read it. But I also want to desperately read everything else too..

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you? 
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a book anyone who knows me and has read it tends to recommend to me and I can see why because it sounds completely in my wheelhouse and like a book and series that I will love. I’m starting to freak out now over just how many awesome books I have and want to read right now. But all of them.

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read? 
Honestly, most of them. I haven’t been making as much time for reading lately as I think maybe I could and I’m sad that there are so many great books for me to love just sitting on my shelves waiting for me. Now that I’ve thought about I do really want to get around to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet but I don’t think it’ll fit into my reading mood at the moment, not to mention the ever-growing pile of books from published I have to review at the moment.

How many books are on your TBR shelf? 
On my physical shelf at last count which was sometime last year, I think, it was at over one hundred…I have had a clear-out since then but I’ve also received and brought a lot go books since then too. I am going to go through them all later today with any luck and I’ll update this post when I do so. Not going to lie…I’m a little scared.

So that was the TBR Book Tag and it certainly did the job of inspiring me to go through my books that I still need to read for sure. How big is your TBR pile and do you only include books that you already own? Like I do or do you include books you’ve not yet brought or received? I’ll see you back here Sunday for this weeks Six for Sunday post, take care and watch out for falling TBR stacks.

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Six Characters I’d like to be stranded with

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! The weekly challenge where we give six answers to a prompt form the lovely Steph at A Little But A Lot. This week the prompt is six characters I’d like to be stranded with. Now this prompt is fairly open-ended as it doesn’t state where exactly we would be stranded so I would like to think that I’ve managed to cover most eventualities or at least characters that would work in a number of situations.

Janek from Finding Home by Hari Conner
Obviously, he’s a great cook, he’s lovely, supportive and funny so a big win already. I also think we would get on pretty well personality-wise so hopefully wouldn’t be at each others throats after a few days stranded somewhere.

Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Lazlo tells the best stories. If we’re going to end up stranded somewhere I can’t imagine we would have necessarily packed a lot of books (depending on how long we’re stranded that is because we would definitely have a few between us) and when they run out it’s nice to have someone on hand who is full of imagination and stories. Also, think of the games of D&D we could run!

Rumi Seto from Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
This one felt a little bit of an odd one at first that I couldn’t quite put my finger on for a specific reason why unlike with the others but she just feels right. I’m sure we could write some awesome songs together at the very least.

Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
So Zuzana is amazing and I would happily be stranded with her anywhere. She is my favourite part of the Smoke and Bone trilogy and she would be first pick if I had could choose who I was stranded with.

Remy Silvers from The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Another slightly weird one I know but I feel like if I got stranded in space then having Remy aboard wouldn’t be too bad or maybe I get stranded aboard her ship for some reason? Think then of all that TV we could watch together and all that fan-fic we could read-write. All sounds pretty fun to me.

Hanna Donnelly from Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I was debating between Hanna and Kady but figured that although I adore Kady I do also love Hanna and I think she would be more adaptable and more than capable of any physical tasks that may arise.

Is there anyone on my list you wouldn’t mind getting stranded with? Who would you pick? I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend, see you back here on Tuesday for my monthly comic review!

book reviews, spoiler free

Harley in the Sky

Book Review

38326343._SY475_Harley In The Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Rating: XXXX

Published March 10th by Ink Road Books

“I love the circus. I love the mystery, and the wonder, and the way every act transports my soul into another dimension. I love the way it makes me feel as if the world is in reverse and upsidedown all at once – like there’s starlight beneath my feet and the ocean above my head, and every impossible dream can come true with a single whisper.”

Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day.

After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival travelling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams. 

As you may have seen from when I posted the cover reveal for Harley and a Book Tag (have a go yourself and you could be in with a chance to win a set of art cards from the book!) a few weeks back I was lucky enough to be a part of the Street Team for Akemi’s newest book and had the chance to read it early. I adored Starfish and Summer Bird Blue and I was so pleased to be given this chance, although I’m not primarily a contemporary reader Akemi’s books just seem to have this spark and this energy to them and she’s become an insta-buy author for me.

First of all, I haven’t been to a circus for years but the moment we see both of the circuses in this book through Harley’s eyes I find myself filled with the wonder and magic of it all that Akemi has captured so incredibly well. She really manages to anchor you into Harley’s point of view which I think is vitally important for a character who makes rash and sometimes hard to understand choices but put in her mindset it’s much easier to rationalise the seemingly irrational thoughts. Harley is, at times a difficult character but as a teen who often tried to run away (thankfully with much less success)  and who to this day still makes decisions based too heavily on strong, fleeting emotions I feel like I got her and that a lot of us possibly used to be her to some extent.

The cast of characters, Harley included, is a wonderfully diverse mix of cultural backgrounds and full of colourful personalities who are hard not to get immediately attached to, I particularly loved Dexi and Vixen! I found Vas an interesting character and thought he played mysterious stranger well, with all of the information about his past and motives coming out in a way that wasn’t exactly hidden but forthcoming due to Vas purely being a private person which was a nice touch.

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Although for me the characters really make this book the plot is still an enjoyable one and although a little predictable at times, especially the romance I still enjoyed it immensely and although there are certainly some wonderful and painful moments I found it a much lighter read than Starfish and Summer Bird Blue making this a bit of a comfort read for me, especially the around the middle of the story. Don’t let my words fool you though, there are still definitely some tough moments (trigger warnings include depression, mood swings, heart attack and references to suicidal ideation).

One of my random, favourite things about this book that didn’t fail to make me smile every time was the sheer amount of “nerdy” references. ‘Nerd’ culture is, I think, more popular than ever at the moment which is brilliant but other than the occasional mention of Harry Potter I haven’t seen it reflected in many books (this may be because of my habit of not reading a lot of contemporary) and it was very enjoyable, it also seems me and Akemi have a lot of the same taste in fandoms!

Harley in the Sky is out March 10th (in just three weeks) so make sure to get your pre-orders in and get ready to visit the Circus with Harley!

 

Tags

Harley in the Sky, Circus Book Tag

tag Thursday

One of my most anticipated releases for 2020 is out in just 47 days! Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman (author of Starfish and Summer Bird Blue) is out on March 10th and let me tell you I’ve been excited for this beautiful gold book for a good while now! In-fact you might remember my cover reveal post last year when I became a part of the street team. I’ve now read an advanced reading copy of the book and let me tell you, folks, you are in for a treat so don’t forget to pre-order!

I decided to drum up some extra excitement on the run-up to release by creating a Harley in the sky/Circus themed book tag! I won’t tag anyone in particular as if you see it and like, you are more than welcome to have a go yourself (please link back to me in your posts) and you could be in with a chance of winning a set of Harley in the Sky art cards! Don’t forget to also check out all of the other lovely challenges that have been going on and are yet to come!

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RingMaster – What book introduced you to your favourite genre? 
I’m not actually sure what my favourite genre is, either fantasy or Sci-Fi I think. I know for fantasy the book that introduced me was “The Two Princesses Of Barrmere” by Gail Carson Levine. “The Other Boelyn Girl” by Phillipa Greggory introduced me to Historical Fiction and The Vampire Diaries by L.J Smith introduced me to paranormal romance/YA in general but for some reason, I can’t pinpoint a book that got me interested in Sci-Fi which I think was a progression from watching a lot of it on TV and in video games instead.

Acrobatics – A fast-paced read.  
Starsight by Brandon Sanderson is the first book that comes to mind, there are some quiet moments but there are some absolutely adrenaline-filled moments whenever Spensa gets in a cockpit.

Clowns – A book that made you laugh. 
I’m someone who will often cry at a book but I very rarely laugh at them while I’m reading so this one took a fair bit of effort to look back on but in the end, I remembered this PERFECT moment in Finding Home volume two by Hari Conner that had me in absolute fits. Poor Janek.

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Knife thrower – A book that had you on the edge of your seat.  
Obsidio by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I think I had my jaw gritted for most of this book, all of the books in the Illuminae trilogy have had me on edge really which I think is brilliant considering the kind of format it’s presented in. The third one though just felt like all bets were off and anything could happen which is why it was the one I picked for this answer.

Tightrope Walker – A book you just couldn’t put down. 
Sanctuary by V.V James.  This book was a fantastical wild ride that felt almost physically painful to have to stop reading for any length of time. If you haven’t read it, folks, you seriously need to get on it.

Ventriloquist – A book with a great twist. 
*Brings out a list of Lauren James books*
Seriously though, I have to pick just one?

I pick The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James, it’s just done so SO well. The particular twist I’m referring to is a fairly big revelation that I kicked myself for not seeing coming after it blew my mind at 2am, but it’s set up so well and looking back there are so many little clues sprinkled around and it just made so much sense, that’s a great, well-crafted twist to me and this one nails it.

Magician – A book with a magic system you love. 
I have a lot more to find out about it but I love the “creatures” in A Discovery of Witches with the witches, Daemons and Vampires, not just the differences between them but also how we get to see a more scientific approach (to a degree) to the point where they can tell a witches powers, which they seem to inherit genetically from analysing her blood. I’ve only read the first book but I can’t wait to get further into the series and find out more!

Static Trapeze – Best or Worst Cliffhanger. 
Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. I haven’t decided if it was the best or worst cliffhanger yet but it was definitely one of them. The whole third quarter of that book was insane and the end was just…

I’m so glad that I only had to wait a few weeks between Godsgrave and Darkdawn because I would have lost my mind if I’d had to have waited a full year.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tag and that you’re looking forward to the release of Harley in the Sky just as much as me! You can add it on Goodreads here and you can preorder from Amazon here and Waterstones here (but don’t forget to support your local bookstore if you’re able).