I was tagged for this by Shari at YA Book Monster so thank you very much to her! You should go check out her blog if you haven’t already and then return to see my answers to this tag.
- How long have you been a blogger?
I’ve been a blogger for over a year and a half now. I started in June of 2014 on a whim and I’ve honestly surprised myself that I’m still here and, more importantly still loving it!
- At what point do you think you will stop? Honestly, I don’t know, but I hope I never stop. I love book blogging so much, so the only reason I can think of stopping would be if I stopped enjoying it, but at the moment, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.
- What is the best thing?
The best thing about blogging has to be the people you meet and all the fangirling you get to do with people who truly understand and share your passion – books! The friends I’ve made are great and I now can’t imagine life without this bookish outlet.
- What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?
The worst thing I find is the pressure I put on myself and when I look at other people’s blogs and feel like my blog is terrible in comparison to theirs. Sometimes I find it hard to remember I should blog for me and not for others. Then I get a lovely tweet or comment which reminds me that people enjoy reading my blog and I should be proud of it.
- How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?
Not that long, as I don’t use that many pictures in my posts. I take some myself, use pictures of covers easily found on Google or use gifs. I don’t really edit my pictures that I take, so none of these options take much time.
- Who’s your book crush?
Book crush, singular? How do you expect me to answer that one? All of my other book boyfriends would be hurt I didn’t pick them. To make it easier on myself, I’m going to pick my book crush from the books I’ve read so far in 2016 and that would have to be Arin from the Winner’s Curse.
- What author would you like to have on your blog?
The obvious answer is J.K. Rowling because that lady is amazing but failing that I’d love to have Marie Rutkowski as I love her Winner’s Crime series and I can’t wait for the next book. I’m dying to see what happens!
- What do you wear when you write your blog?
Baring in mind I usually blog in the morning on a weekend or in the evening, I pretty much always wear my pyjamas, usually one of my many Harry Potter sets of Pjs.
- How long does it take you to prepare? At the moment, not that long, since I’m quite a last minute person, however I am trying to get better by taking more of my own pictures of books, although I feel as if there is a lot of pressure as lots of people take truly beautiful photos. I’m also trying to make sure I schedule more posts and that my posts are aesthetically pleasing as well as interesting to read.
- How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?
99% of the time I absolutely adore the book blogging community as it is full of really nice and supportive people who I just love so much! Sometimes there is a bit of unpleasantness in the community which is a shame, but generally it is a great group of people to be friends with.
- What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
It sounds really cliché and cheesy but be yourself. The blogs that are my favourite are those which have a clear and unique voice to them. Don’t feel pressurised to do what others do or change your blog. You have to blog, first of all, for yourself and secondly for your readers
- Who do you tag?
I’m sure you can remember a little while ago I was participating in an event called Bloggiesta where I had a list of things I wanted to do, so I thought I’d see how much I actually managed to achieve.
My To Do List for this Bloggiesta was:
- Beautiful People Link Up Post
Next 2016 Debuts Post 1 Review Flawed By Cecelia Ahern (scheduled)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Rewatch Post
Comment on 10 other participantsI actually commented on all 44 participant blogs
- Update Goodreads reviews
Change one thing about the layout of my blog.I simply shuffled a few things about, I didn’t really do much
So I managed to do 4 out of 7 things. Not bad really, especially for me. I didn’t get to writing all the posts I had hoped to, but I was super pleased I managed to visit every blog because it was a really nice thing to do and I discovered some new blogs.
I also managed to join in with part of the Twitter chat which again was a great way to get involved in the community.
Goodbye for now, sorry this is just a quick post, but I’m off to update my Goodreads reviews as I didn’t manage that one during the weekend!
I have more to say than could ever be squeezed into 140 characters so I’d thought I’d write a letter!
Don’t let anyone else define you. Being a girl doesn’t decide what career you can do or tell you that you can’t have a career – you must be a stay at home mother. Be a scientist, an engineer or doctor! But equally you don’t have to go into science or maths to prove them wrong. Be a writer, a translator or a teacher! Do whatever makes you happy and don’t apologise for it. You shouldn’t have to say sorry for doing what you love. Be unapologetically yourself.
Your beauty isn’t limited by someone else’s. For some reason, the world is trying to tell us there is only one definition of what beautiful is. That’s wrong. My beauty isn’t defined or limited by yours. We can be beautiful together and we don’t have to look at all alike. In the same way a rose and a sunset are beautiful, you and I are beautiful.
Help other girls out but don’t feel indebted to them. As girl, it’s easy to feel like you’re in competition with other girls, but that’s not true. You prove nothing by being better than her, you only put her down. Instead help her up and support her. Let her know she’s not alone. At the same time, you don’t owe everyone. Sometimes you just have to put yourself first and that’s okay. In fact, that’s better than okay, that’s a good thing.
Say No as often as you like. Don’t be afraid to say No. It is always your right to say no, regardless of the question or circumstances. Whatever the question is, you should never feel guilty for saying no and you never owe it to someone to say yes.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to say yes. Don’t turn down opportunities because someone else says you should. Go out and grab what you want, saying yes to everything that comes your way. Don’t think you don’t deserve it, becuase you do. You deserve the chance to try just like any man.
Lots of love,
Last week, we met the authors themselves, now it’s time to meet their books!
I can assure you, they’re wonderful!
The Serpent King
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, as he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and his very public fall from grace. The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia.
But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. The end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is happy wherever he is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangirl who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy.
But Dill’s only escape is his music and his secret feelings for Lydia—neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, Dill must cope with another ending—one which will rock his life to the core
Find your path.
In an almost-average society, there is one phenomenon no one has been able to explain: the Pains, a biological occurrence that causes soulmates to share each other’s wounds. From small bruises, to the pain of a broken bone, and even death, all is shared between two people. In this world, there are four lost soul’s amongst the crowd, desperately searching for their other half: Lauren Laveau, a 19 year old with a love for older men and a dark mental affliction; Andrew Donovan, an old actor who’s desperate to find his soulmate, but fearful of what society will have to say about it; Molly Brand, Lauren’s pun-loving best friend who’s madly in love with an older woman; and Sarah Goode, Andrew’s niece who is waiting for the true father of her son to come along and complete their family. The destiny’s of these four will entwine, but fear and doubt will play the role of the antagonists, fighting against their happy ending.
Crushes conventional standards
The Square Root of Summer
Gottie H. Oppenheimer is… Seventeen. Motherless. A maths genius. And she’s losing time. Literally.
When the fabric of the universe surrounding Gottie’s sleepy seaside town begins to fray, she is hurtled through wormholes to her past:
To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died.
To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral.
To the day her childhood best friend Thomas moved to Canada, leaving her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.
Although Grey is still gone, this summer Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide — and be changed forever.
With time travel, quantum physics, and world-stopping kisses, this stunning YA debut is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and figuring it all out.
Deutschland, physics, cats.
Indigo lives in the Lake District and spends his time exploring the mountains he loves. When an unexpected parcel arrives containing his grandfather’s satchel strange things begin to happen and Indigo finds himself treating an injured magpie-cat, curing a cockatrice of its death-darting gaze, and defending a dragon. Indigo realises he must uncover the secrets his family have kept hidden, and travels alone to the Polish mountains to search for his grandfather and the truth …
Fantastically monstrous secrets.
The Star-Touched Queen
Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.
Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.
THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.
Starry, hungry, eerie
After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.
Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.
Every city in the world is run by a clock tower. If one breaks, time stops. It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old Danny knows well; his father has been trapped in a town east of London for three years. Despite being a clock mechanic prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but time itself, Danny has been unable to free his father.
Danny’s assigned to a damaged clock tower in the small town of Enfield. The boy he mistakes for his apprentice is odd, but that’s to be expected when he’s the clock spirit who controls Enfield’s time. Although Danny and the spirit are drawn to each other’s loneliness, falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, no matter how cute his smiles are.
But when someone plants bombs in nearby towers, cities are in danger of becoming trapped in time—and Enfield is one of them.
Danny must discover who’s stopping time and prevent it from happening to Enfield, or else he’ll lose not only his father, but the boy he loves, forever.
Magical time boys.
Summer of Sloane
Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.
These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.
Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.
But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.
Hawaii. Heart-break. Possibilities.
Hadley St. Clair’s life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them revealing the ugly truth about her father. Now as her family falls apart in the wake of his year-long affair, Hadley wants everyone-her dad most of all-to leave her alone.
Then she meets Sam Bennett, a cute new boy who inexplicably “feels like home” to Hadley. Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret about his family that could ruin everything.
Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.
Betrayal, kissing, forgiveness.
These Vicious Masks
England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.
Jane Austen’s X-Men
Unscripted Joss Byrd
Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.” But on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called THE LOCALS, Joss is on the verge of colossal failure. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off an Oscar-worthy performance. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss goes off-script to stay true to herself and to make the impossible leap from child star to star.
Child star confidential
The Abyss Surrounds Us
For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.
There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.
But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she’s not about to stop.
Pirates. Kaiju. Future.
Liars and Losers Like Us
Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.
For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.
When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.
With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.
Lies, Loss and Prom
Waiting for Callback
Geek Girl meets Fame meets New Girl in this brilliantly funny new series!
When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent she imagines Oscar glory can’t be far away (all she has left to do is work out what to wear on the red carpet), but instead she lurches from one cringe‐ worthy moment to the next whilst (mostly) retaining her sense of humour. Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of “dead girl number three” without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi‐lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills? Off‐stage things aren’t going well either, she’s fallen out with her best friend, she’s stuck in the friendzone with the guy she has a crush on and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra’s life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring – waiting for callback
Try, fail, try-again.
Girl in Pieces
Charlie Davis is in pieces. At seventeen, she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget it through cutting; the pain washes out the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. She doesn’t have to think about her father or what happened under the bridge. Her best friend, Ellis, who is gone forever. Or the mother who has nothing left to give her. Kicked out of a special treatment center when her insurance runs out, Charlie finds herself in the bright and wild landscape of Tucson, Arizona, where she begins the unthinkable: the long journey of putting herself back together.
Heartbreaking, funny, right-on.
Beautiful Broken Things
Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realizes, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
Friends surprise you.
Shroud is the story of fifteen-year old Gemma, who accompanies her uncle Norm, a botanist, to a prehistoric rainforest in Southeast Asia for a two-week research expedition. Things quickly go wrong once they reach their destination. Unbeknownst to them, the rainforest is home to supernatural beings with a wicked agenda of their own. When Norm falls ill, and they are suddenly cut off from civilization, Gemma must face a series of frightening events alone. She has only her wits to save herself and Norm from their foes’ sinister plans in a world full of enchantment and trickery. How will her nightmare end?
Shroud also contains a novelette, The Disappearance of John Sable, which traces the origins of the otherworldly beings and their ruthless nature.
Compelling, uncanny, enjoyable.
Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.
When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.
When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.
Mystery. Spirits. Love.
Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
You could find this book on Goodreads here.
I have no words to describe how much I loved Beautiful Broken Things. It captures the messy, nitty gritty reality of a teenager’s life. It was a breath of fresh air in a world full of contemporaries where it’s all about love and finding that perfect guy. Beautiful Broken Things focuses on the ups and downs of teenage friendship. And it tells no white lies. Friendships can be messy. Best friends fight and argue, but that doesn’t make them bad friends, which is one the important things this novel portrays. Friendships are often overlooked in YA, in favour of romance and those that do feature tend to be flat and unrealistic.
I loved the dynamic between Caddy, Suzanne and Rosie. At different points throughout the novel, I could relate to each of them. Any teenage girl that says she hasn’t experienced at least some of these girl’s feelings is lying. That’s one thing I loved about this novel, I could relate to the girls, even when they were being frankly quite horrible. Every fight they had I feel as if I have already had with my friends, but at the end of the day, they were still friends. I find in YA, friendships tend to either be perfect or completely terrible, resulting in the friendships ending. I appreciated the realistic balance that this book portrayed, no friendship is perfect and they all involve working for.
Regarding the issue tackled in this book, which is abuse, I think it is handled very sensitively and carefully, which is really important as this is a difficult topic that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This book mainly focuses of after effects of the person who has been abused but it also looks at why abuse isn’t stopped or reported, which I found really interesting. Despite the fact that her brother never stopped the abuse, he loved her and she loved him, which is something I find a bit tricky to get my head around. This book looks at the often forgotten impacts of abuse on young people, such as having to move to live with another relative, not wanting to tell new friends and still being in contact with your family. These are aspects of abuse I and I’m sure many others have never considered so it was really interesting that this is what Sara decided to write about.
Moving on to the different families portrayed in the novel. First off, we have Suzanne’s family, where her Dad abused her, but her Mum and brother did nothing to try and stop but still love her and she loves them. Then you have her aunt, who she stays with for the duration of the novel who seems to care about her, but by the end of the book is sending Suzanne into care, claiming she is too hard work. There is also Caddy’s family, her parents who are protective and try to shield her from everything, discouraging her friendship with Suzanne becuase they think she’s a bad influence. You also have Caddy’s sister Tarin, who seems to be a wise soul who cares about Caddy and her friends and wants the best for them. She has her own back story though and I’d absolutely love a novel all about her. Despite being a minor character, she is one of my favourites now I think about it. I loved the range of different familial relationships shown in this book, which is yet another thing to applaud Sara on.
Overall, I’m so pleased this was my first ever ARC. I absolutely loved reading it and am super happy to award it with five stars.
Let’s start with the basics, what is bloggiesta?
In short, Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta
On the 16-17th January, a mini bloggiesta is taking place and I’m going to join in, why you ask?
Because it’s a fab way to get stuff done and be super productive, which is often something I struggle with. Also it gives you the chance to make new friends and discover new blogs which is always good.
My To Do List for this Bloggiesta is:
- Beautiful People Link Up Post
- Next 2016 Debuts Post
- 1 Review
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Rewatch Post
- Comment on 10 other participants
- Update Goodreads reviews
- Change one thing about the layout of my blog.
So, there we have it! My list of things I want to do this weekend. Mainly they’re posts I want to write, but I also want to interact with other people, so I’ll be commenting on as many blogs as possible.
That’s all for now! Are you joining in? If so, link me to your post!
I know I’m super late on this but I’ve been wanting to sign up for ages, I just haven’t got round to it.
So, #RockMyTBR is a challenge hosted by Sarah @ the YA Book Traveller where basically you aim
To read a minimum of 1 book per month you already own (published book). This challenge is totally what YOU make of it! You can do 5 books a month, 10, WHATEVER! Anything you accomplish is fantastic. This challenge is really what you make of it.
Since I’m signing up so late I’ve already read January’s book – Thorn By Intisar Khanani, a book I requested on NetGalley last year but never read.
To read as many ARC ebooks as possible from NetGalley is my aim for 2016. They have all been on my TBR for at least 4 months but they’ve never been read. So I want to read and review these books in order to bring up my NetGalley ratio.
However as well as them I will be aiming to read as many other book that are on my TBR bookshelf, particularly those that have been there a while.
I think this will be a great challenge that will really encourage me to get reading some of those backlist books!