WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday July 17th

Okay so after June moving at a glacial pace July is moving far too quickly, YALC is next week and I still have so much more to read! Still, it’s time for my fortnightly bookish check-in!

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? 

I feel slightly victimized by this question because I’ve dipped my toe into numerous books over the past fortnight as I frantically try to find the best order to read them in. My main current read is Revenger by Alastair Reynolds in preparation for YALC (and I’ve had it to read for a while). I’ve also been reading Finding Home by Hari Conner and The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neil, both of which have been absolutely healing my soul. I’ve been enjoying Revenger as well but there’s just something about the story and art styles for these two graphic novels that just soothes me, Hari’s landscape pieces transport me to beautiful forests where I can fill my lungs with sweet air and Katie’s soft edges and pastel colours lull me into a relaxed dreamland, I can’t get enough of them.

What did you recently finish reading?

Last weekend I finished Wastelands: The New Apocolypse, the dystopian anthology I was reading and Heartstream. I really enjoyed Heartstream and read it very quickly, it was a little traumatising and had some difficult parts in it but I loved it, you can check out my review here. Wastelands was a great anthology but it just felt so huge! Just writing the review is taking me ages as I made notes for every single story and there are over thirty of them! I’m glad I decided to read it but I was so pleased to finally finish it. A review should be coming next week with any luck.

What do you think you’ll read next?

For a change, this is actually super easy to answer and shouldn’t change! If it hasn’t already arrived by the time this post goes live Heartstopper volume two should be arriving and I’ll be dropping absolutely everything for that! My next YALC book to read is Do you Dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh which will my next non-graphic novel read. I’m also lucky enough to have been accepted for the new Tea Dragon Society graphic novel due out in September so will defintley be getting to that too!

What are you reading next? What have you been reading? What are you reading right now? Let me know!! Those of you attending YALC and still working through your TBR’s for it how are you getting on?

 

Advertisements
#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?

 

 

 

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

S4S – Couples who need a sequel

Another week has gone by, another Sunday has arrived and it’s been somehow both a long week and a short one. It’s flown by but it’s been a hard one and I’m glad to see the back of it! I’m hoping things will calm down with any luck although amongst other things I’m off to Lego Land with my little family next week so we shall see. For now, at least it’s Six for Sunday time and this week the prompt is “Couples that deserve a sequel” which considering the past couple of weeks have been similar it was starting to get very difficult to pick some new and fresh ones but here we are and  I hope you enjoy them!

BRIEFING NOTE: Couple related spoilers are present throughout for Heartstopper, To Kill a Kingdom, The Mortal Instruments etc, Gemina/The Illuminae Files, Strange the Dreamer and Ouran High School Host club.

Nick and Charlie from Heartstopper by Alice Oseman.

I know they are getting a sequel and Alice updates Tapas with chapters regularly but these two will always need more because I love them so much.

Lira and Prince Elain from To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I would love for there to be a sequel with the gang all getting back together, crew and all!

Jace and Clary from City of Bones etc by Cassandra Clare

Okay so I know that they technically already have like, six books BUT I would love even just a short story about them running the institute or something. I hate to say it but I kind of miss them.

Nik and Hana from Gemina by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

I would love a story (short form or otherwise) of the two of them off on holiday or something after everything that happens. Hana just wants things to be normal so they try to go on a simple trip for a weekend, something like an exotic beach on another planet etc but then maybe there’s a hostage situation or something and things get all Die Hard? Oh my gosh. Die Hard meets Gemina yes, please.

Thyon Nero and Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

So I know these two aren’t really a couple but I loved the chemistry between the two of them right at the beginning of Strange the Dreamer and I think I would love a soft little story with these two just being kind, it doesn’t have to be romantic, although I think Thyron has always had a bit of a thing for Lazlo, to be honest.

Tamaki Suoh and Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

So this couple is actually from a manga series I read years and years ago that ran for eighteen volumes (80-ish chapters) it was a sweet, silly series about a girl who pretends to be a boy in a male host club at a school for insanely rich kids so that she can pay back a huge debt she incurs when she breaks an incredibly expensive vase. Both Tamaki and Haruhi have trouble understanding and later confronting their feelings for each other but everything turns out okay in the end as Tamaki moves to the USA with Haruhi and unbeknownst to them until the last moment, the rest of the Host Club are their neighbours! I loved the series and it did have a really great end but I would still very much like to see another volume or maybe even a small mini-series about what the gang get up in the USA.

Let me know what your choices would be in the comments or send me a link to your Six for Sunday post for this week!

 

spoiler free, Tags

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Oh sorry, WHAT. How is it that time already? How has it been HALF OF A YEAR already? I honestly have no idea where the time has gone, it feels crazy. I’m technically doing this about a month early as last year I posted this on July 19th instead of June 20th but here we are, I figured this was as good a time as ever.

First off I had a look at last years Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag and at the time I was 72% through my Goodreads reading challenge so I thought it would be fun to compare that as well. I’m currently at 52% I’m four books ahead at 31 out of 60 which considering the month difference as I’m doing this a little earlier makes sense as that 72% last year was 36 out of 50. I thought I was a little slower this year so that’s interesting.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

So this is a really tough question and I’ve had to come back to it after answering all the others and having a think about it for a few days and I don’t think I really have a clear answer, I like a few books the best so far for different reasons. I loved the crazy twists and immense tension and storytelling in both A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson as well as Sanctuary by Vic James, I fell in love with the ragtag crews in both Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta and Aurora Rising by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff and I had my mind absolutely shattered to pieces by The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James. Not to mention the Memento Novella (also by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff) I’ve been lucky enough to have read so many great books this year already and I refuse to choose.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

The Wicked King by Holly Black. I know these books are hit and miss for some but I personally love them to bits, especially the second. Jude and Cardan are absolute trash and I love them both.

img_8647

3. New release you haven’t read yet but want to

There are honestly so many but I’m really looking forward to reading the Ghosts of the Shadow market bindup. I’ve been watching the Shadowhunters TV show again lately and it’s got me nostalgic for some Nephilim goodness.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. I adored Skyward and I can’t wait for the sequel!!

5. Biggest disappointment

I think this probably goes to Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, I had really high hopes for this book but found it fell a little flat for me personally. I’m still excited to read her next book though, The Girl the Water Gave Back.

6. Biggest surprise 

Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings was definitely a pleasant surprise, it was really good, especially in comparison to its predecessor Zenith which although I did enjoy overall I feel had a lot of problems that were absolutely rectified in Nexus. I’m actually pretty gutted we’re not getting a third book now.

7. Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)

I LOVED The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman and I definitely think Christine is one to watch, I’m beyond excited for the sequel and for the new book she just announced coming next year.

img_0546

8. Newest fictional crush

I absolutely have a platonic crush on Ed from The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie, I love him so much! As for a romantic crush, I think I may have a thing for Cole from The Near Witch by V.E Schwab.

9. Newest favourite character 

Definitely Finn from Aurora Rising, he’s the best bean, I love that he’s sassy and funny and he’s such a sweetheart too I would die for him.

10. Book that made you cry

So I’ve cried at a few books this year with the front runners being Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, (I think I cried within the first ten pages of that book), Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta, Aurora Rising by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff and The Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart destroyed me.


11. Book that made you happy

Heartstopper volume one by Alice Oseman filled me with so much joy and love that I can’t even begin to explain. It made me so immensely happy and just reading it feels like wrapping myself up in a nice cosy blanket on a rainy day.  The Paper and Hearts Society was another great feel-good book that made me happy as well.

3727d2b0-7b82-4d15-b811-708ed74ee5ab

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year 

I think we all know the only answer to this is Good Omens because COME ON of course it is.

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year

I haven’t posted it yet but I’m immensely happy with my review I’ve written for Sanctuary which I’ll be probably be releasing at the beginning of July. This book was INTENSE and I was worried I would have trouble writing the review for it but honestly, it was one of the easiest reviews I’ve ever written and if I may be so bold, one of the most eloquent. You’ll just have to wait and see.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

The Quiet at the end of the World, beautiful both inside and out. Look at that beautiful cover, it’s absoloutley gorgeous and I love all the little reports inside about the things Shen and Lowrie find, not to mention the story itself is a work of art in it’s own right.

52703757_326794144856054_4360831564376965120_n

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Gilded Cage by Vic James, Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare and various authors and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

As usual, I’m not going to tag anyone in particular but if you wanted to have a crack at the Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag for yourselves then consider yourself tagged and have at it!