YALC 2018 TBR

A bookshelf with the YALC logo on top and the text '2018 TBR'.

At the end of this month I’m going to be attending the YA book con YALC and I CANNOT WAIT. I had so many wonderful experiences last year and I hope that it will be just as fun. And for a new year, there are new authors with new and exciting books! Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll make it through this TBR before YALC, but we can always hope.

Cover of A Closed and Common Orbit. Two silhouettes looking up at a red and white star-streaked sky.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers I ADORED the first book in this series so shh, please don’t tell anyone I haven’t read this sequel yet. (And I believe the 3rd book is due to come out just before YALC.) Thank you to Becky Chambers for giving me the space gays I deserve!!

Cover of Hope is Our Only Wing. Illustration of a yellow wing next to an orange-tinted photo of a person's face looking outwards. The title is in large block letters.

Hope is Our Only Wing by Rutendo Tavengerwei This is set in Zimbabwe! And it sounds excellent!

Cover of Floored. The subtitle reads 'When seven lives collide'. The legs of 6 people wearing shoes at the top and one pair of legs on the side as though fallen over.

Floored by various authors I nabbed a sampler of this at last year’s YALC and found it very intriguing, so I’m keen to read the rest of the story. Also, WHAT A COLLAB?? I’ve never seen a book co-written by this many people so it’s very exciting.

Cover of A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars. A paint-like illustration of a dark skinned figure in the centre, with flames and waves curving around, and a starry night sky above. In the flames there is a ballerina on a white horse, in the waves a boat, and in the sky a yellow bird.

A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe I’ve barely seen anything about this one but it sounds incredible?? The MC Sante is Ghanaian and she has a pet golden eagle and there’s possible some fantastical elements? Also, the cover is beautiful.

Cover of Noah Could Never. A photo of 2 bananas and the title in a crayon font.

Noah Could Never by Simon James Green I just bought this on Kindle and I am very ready. I’m not going to lie, there were some VERY cringey moments in the first book, but I know that it was supposed to be cringe haha, I’m just bad at coping. I saw Simon James Green at an event earlier this year and he made it sound very good.

Cover of The Belles. A glamorous brown-skinned person with flowers in their hair looks back at the camera. The subtitle reads 'the revolution is here' and the title text is disintegrating.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton I know I’m super late to this one!! I really want to read it! It feels like I haven’t read a dystopia in absolutely AGES.

Cover of The Hazel Wood. Illustrations of blue leaves and the text 'Stay away from the hazel wood'

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert I knew this one was on the NYT bestseller list but I still don’t really know what it’s about? A spooky forest? Anyway, I’m sad it’s not in the library but it sounds cool.

Cover of Before I Let Go. A photo of ice which is broken at the top. A red glove lies next to the broken ice.

Before I Let Go Marieke Nijkamp  From the blurb, I’m not sure if this will quite be my thing, but I’d really like to give some of Marieke Nijkamp’s work a try!

Cover of Starfish. Drawings of a jellyfish, turtle and small fish over a starry sky.

Starfish I’ve heard great things about this book and once again I’ve been meaning to read it for AGES. It’s actually on sale as an ebook right now if you’re interested! Alas, I think want to buy it in paperback since it’s a) super pretty and b) I love getting books signed.

Cover of How Do You Like Me Now? Illustration of a person with long hair and red lipstick sitting on the floor next to a mobile and coffee cup.

How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne I very much enjoyed Holly Bourne’s other work so I’d love to read her first adult novel.

OK, in summary I just think ALLL the books sound incredible and exciting. I’m going to YALC for the whole 3 days and I’m not going with any IRL friends so do let me know if you’re going too and would like to meet up. 🙂

have you added any new books to your tbr lately? do you know any of these?

 

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The Pride Flag Book Tag

A hand holding up a rainbow pride flag over a clouded sky, with the words 'the pride flag book tag'.

Hi there! It’s almost at the end of Pride Month and I really wanted to write a post to celebrate before June finished. I was inspired by reading May @ Forever and Everly’s Pride Flag Book Tag and I thought that it would be great fun to do this tag — thanks so much for bringing this to my attention! The tag was created by Common Spence on Youtube, with an added prompt for black/brown by May.

  1. red (life) 

a book with a spirited protagonist totally proud of who they are. someone who gives you LIFE!

Cover of Queens of Geek. The title over long pink hair.

I would like to pick Charlie from Queens of Geek! I think she’s awesome and I love that book so much. Not sure what else to say except that. (I’m just getting started with blogging again, please cut me some slack haha.)

 2. orange (healing) 

a book that made you, as the reader, find a deeper meaning or catharsis in your own life

Cover of When the Moon Was Ours by Anna Marie McLemore. Illustration of a silhouette of a water tower at night. Moons hang down from the top of the book. A silhouette of a boy pointing to the sky on the right, and a girl lifting her hand towards him. Illustrations of roses decorate the title text.

 

I know I talk about it ALL the time but When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore came into my life at a really important time where I was first exploring my gender identity, and although my experience does not align exactly with that of Sam, his story made me feel so seen. I can’t emphasise enough how much of a relief it was to read about what I was experiencing. This is actually one of the only books that’s ever made me cry. Also, it’s just a damn beautiful book and you should all read it.

 3. yellow (sunshine) 

a book that fills you with so much joy it could brighten even your darkest day

Cover of The Summer of Jordi Perez. Photo of a girl with pink hair and sunglasses eating a burger.

I just finished reading The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding and IT WAS SO DARN CUTE. Please give me all the soft f/f rom-coms!! It starred a fat gay girl being happy and awesome in summer! Man, it was just so wonderful.

 4. green (nature) 

a book that is set out of this world—a reality different to our own

Cover of Labyrinth Lost. The silhouette of a figure standing before gates with a skull on.

I picked up Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova as a during-exams treat and I ended up finishing it in like a day — it was so readable! I didn’t realise it was going to be queer before I started so I was like HECK YEAH. I can’t wait to read the sequel Bruja Born.

 5. blue (peace) 

a book where one of the characters finds peace with a difficult truth

Cover of Wild by Hannah Moskowitz. The title in blue over a photo of a forest.

I admit, I struggled a little to think of a book that fitted this one, but I went with Wild by Hannah Moskowitz. Both the main character and the love interest are bi, and for a lot of the book the MC Zack basically goes running to try and solve his problems. I don’t want to spoil it but I do feel like he finds some peace in his life, of a sort.

 6. purple (spirit) 

a book that deals with LGBT+ themes and religion

Cover of I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman. Illustrations of many small people on an orange background. The title in a brush font.

Although of course I love Autoboyography, I thought I’d go with something different — I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman. One of the MCs, Jimmy Kaga-Ricci, is a queer trans guy, and he’s also a Christian. I don’t want to give too much away, but religious imagery does feature quite heavily in here. There are also several other LGBTQ+ characters and the other MC Angel is a Muslim.

7. black/brown (inclusivity) 

a book where one of the characters is a queer character of colour / queer indigenous character

Cover of Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. The words 'Little & Lion' over a flat line illustration of a palm tree, a magazine, a flower, a coffee cup, and a book.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert here before but I really enjoyed it! The MC Suzette is a black, Jewish bisexual girl which is awesome. I thought the writing style was wonderful and writing this actually makes me want to reread it.

how’s your pride month? did you know about the history of the pride flag? got any lgbtq+ book recs? i would LOVE to hear them!

BBC Les Mis: Opinions! Predictions! Old posts revisited!

All the way back in 2016, when the new TV adaptation of Les Mis was first announced, I wrote a post called 7 Things I Want to See in BBC Les Mis. It’s taken a LONG time, but finally we’re getting some more news about it, and it’s due to air at the start of 2019. And my Les Mis obsession seems to be rising from the dead, because now I check for the imdb page and talk to people about it all the time. SORRY.

Anyways. I thought it would be fun to revisit my old wishlist, see what’s changed, and add some of my current thoughts on information we had so far. (Because I can only jabber on at my IRL friends so much. They get a bit tired.) I hope that it’ll still be entertaining even if you’re not quite a Les Mis obsessive like me. Although it’s been like 3 years now since I read Les Mis itself so I have to admit, I don’t remember it as clearly as I could in 2016…

But before I look back through my list, I want to talk a bit about my thoughts so far!

Firstly, it’s written by Andrew Davies, who did War & Peace and Pride & Prejudice (the one with Colin Firth). In the interviews I’ve read with him, he seems to very vehemently hate the musical, describing it as a ‘shoddy farrago’. He seems to really want to show people that Les Miserables is a lot more than that, etc. etc. Personally I enjoy the musical and the book so, you know. We’ll see what comes of his desire to show the true character of Les Mis. I do hope that it means he’ll get some good stuff in there but who knows.

Next, the main cast — Dominic West as Valjean, David Oyolewo as Javert, Lily Collins as Fantine, Olivia Colman and Adeel Akhtar as the Thenardiers, Ellie Bamber as Cosette, Josh O’Connor as Marius,  Erin Kellyman as Eponine and Joseph Quinn as Enjolras.

Frankly, I barely know any actors, so I don’t have much to go on, but I’m super excited for David Oyolewo as Javert!  And I didn’t realise until just now that Dominic West played Jonathan in the movie Pride (it’s a great movie, you should go watch it) and now I feel more excited. I’ve written more in deetail about some of the castings below, in my response to what I wrote in 2016.

The cast list hasn’t been updated loads, but there are a few more characters lurking on the IMDb page if you care to look. We’ve also been seeing some pictures from filming, which I’m greatly enjoying  — you can see updates on this BBC Les Mis updates tumblr if you so wish.

Here’s some pictures of the set for the Barricade, with all the French flags out:

However, I was saddened by the announcement that it won’t be airing until 2019. PLEASE, I NEED THIS TO HEAL MY SOUL. Maybe to heal my soul through raging at it. Who knows.

1. Valjean’s James Bond convent escape
2. Nuanced Cosette
3. Non-hunky Enjolras
4. Les Amis de L’ABC
5. Thenardier’s botched robbery (starring Marius)
6. Marius being a nerd
7. The Thenardier family

I mean. I still agree with these. P L E A S E I crave Cosette content so badly! Ellie Bamber seemed cool in an interview I read so…? Who knows? In reference to Enjolras: I don’t know anything about this actor, but they should have cast a black actor. (Read this excellent thread by @JEHANCOURF on twitter and also check out their zine, The Case For Black Enjolras.) Archie Madekwe who plays Courfeyrac seems GREAT though, I’m so excited to see him.

For a while I was Very Stressed that they had cut out the Amis (since the IMDB cast list doesn’t have many of them on) but then we saw some set pictures and it looks like they’re at least present. Although there was also an interview with someone who said they were playing an unnamed student extra, so maybe not.

I mean, I have no idea whether they’ll put in any of the scenes I mentioned here. (And yes, I do know that there are many adaptations out there with various different scenes in! But, you know.) In addition, to this, I really would like to see this adaptation maintain the theme of social change and revolution. Yes, it’s an excellent story, but that message is also a key part of it!

I’ve just spent AGES doing practice Chemistry paper so excuse me if my brain is a little tired. Ah well. In the meantime, I desperately await more news and continue to check the IMDb page every day. Oops.

do you like les mis? what do you want to see in the adaptation? what’s your favourite tv adaptation?

 

 

Spring/Summer Releases on my TBR

Hi everyone! I feel like I haven’t done a bookish post in a while, so here I am. I’m talking about the YA releases of this spring and summer which I’m getting really excited for. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I’m sure there’s more wonderful books that I’ve left off — these are the ones that came to my mind.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Okay, I only just realised this was being released in summer, and it sounds excellent. Please give me the haunted Edinburgh ASAP.

Run, Riot by Nikesh Shukla

There’s some great UKYA being released in the next few months! I’m very excited for Run Riot, a crime thriller which looks at gentrification and police brutality.

Floored by various authors

And a second great UKYA! Floored is a collaborative novel by some of my favourite authors like Non Pratt and Tanya Byrne. It’s such a cool concept, right?? I read a sampler of it last summer and it really got me hooked.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

This is another book by an author I love; I’m so excited to see more of the characters we say in Simon Vs, and also YAY a bi girl MC!

Clean by Juno Dawson

Okay, I know this is technically already out, but shhh. It wasn’t out when I first drafted this post. I might have to prepare myself mentally before I read this but I’m also very interested in this since I’ve enjoyed several of Juno Dawson’s other books.

 

The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

I loved Jen Wilde’s Queens of Geek! And this book also looks SUPER BISEXUAL! Yay! From my look at the reviews, it also seems like it has a genderqueer character? I can’t wait to see. And it’s about a band, which brings me onto my next book…

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

You all know that I am actually obsessed with the work of Alice Oseman and I simply cannot shut up about her books. This is a about band fandom, the internet, and the danger of fame. It has two MCs who I am already in love with — Angel, a hijabi Muslim girl, and Jimmy, the lead singer of her favourite band The Ark. I crave trans characters so badly, I can’t wait to meet Jimmy! (Also, side note, but I can’t think of any other UKYA with trans characters of colour. Are there any???)

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

I loved Menon’s first book so I can’t wait to try this one. It’s about an aspiring filmmaker, and also from the blurb I think it has some internet romance? Anyways, I am READY.

 

Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

I am SO READY in my SOUL for Theatrical. When I read the author’s other book about conventions, I said that someone should write a book about theatre tech, and NOW IT’S HERE. Or it will be.

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

I admit, I haven’t actually yet read the second book in the Wayaferers series… But I’m super excited for this nonetheless, because I adored the first one. I love good good queer space books.

Oh dear, I am rather tired today, but reminding myself of all the wonderful books out there cheered me up.

what releases are you excited for? did I miss any crucial ones out? what are you reading right now?

The Orchestra Book Tag

The words 'orchestra book tag' with a music note icon beside. A photo of the books The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, Radio Silence and Warcross in a pile on a checked blue duvet cover.

I love creating new tags even more than I enjoy doing them so I HAVE A NEW TAG EVERYONE. It’s a book tag based on instruments in the orchestra, because I am kind of a music nerd and definitely a book nerd.

Unfortunately I couldn’t include every instrument since a) I didn’t want the tag to be too long and b) I probably couldn’t think of that many things but no personal offence is intended to any instruments. I couldn’t find any tag similar to this so I just decided to go for it — I have no intention of copying another tag but if you find another one around let me know!

How the tag works: link back to this post, if you were tagged then link back to the person who tagged you, do some or all of the questions, and then tag as many more blogs as you like. 🙂 You can also tag it on WordPress with ‘the orchestra tag’ so that it can be found more easily. I’ll put all the questions in a nice, easy-to-copy list at the end.

Conductor

a character likely to mastermind an evil plan

I mean, Kaz Brekker is an obvious answer, but it’s CLEARLY Kaz Brekker. He literally already did this in Six of Crows.

Cover of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Half-burnt matchsticks arranged in a simple house shape (a square with a triangle on top). The title in a brush font inside the house.

 

Violin

a popular book you enjoyed

I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (which I believe is a Sunday Times bestseller) for my school book club and I actually…liked it a lot? It’s one of my favourite books I’ve read for school book club.

Cello

a character who surprised you

Daniel from Radio Silence by Alice Oseman! I mean, I love this book DEEPLY so obviously must include it in as many posts as possibly. I didn’t pay too much attention to Daniel at the start of Radio Silence but as the book continued some stuff happened and now I love him a lot.

Viola

an overlooked book

The comic Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat! written by Kate Leth and illustrated by Brittney Williams. I absolutely ADORED this comic and I’m so upset that it got cancelled?? I understand it might not be for everyone but I can’t understand the multitude of negative Goodreads reviews because, man, it just clicked with me SO MUCH and I deeply wish more people would know about it so they can love it too.

Cover of Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz. Two fish hooks arranged in a heart shape over a white scaley background. The title within the heart and the tagline 'Miracles aways come at a price.'

Oboe

a book with an unusual premise

This immediately calls to mind Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz, which is about gay magical fish. It sounds weird, and it definitely is weird, but it’s also VERY good. Just trust me.

Clarinet

a book you’d recommend to anyone

(I am personally a clarinetist so obviously I had to include us. Clarinets are very versatile, folks.) The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. I think this could apply to so many books (and versatile doesn’t necessarily mean a book is better or  anything) but The Loneliest Girl was just such a gripping read for me. Sci-fi has a reputation for being a bit dense but I think this is super easy to understand and enjoy. (Bonus piece of music: have you heard the Saint-Saens clarinet sonata? Isn’t it lovely?)

Flute

a character who stands above the rest

I just read Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence and I loved Indigo, she was such an engaging & interesting character. (Bonus piece of music: Carillion from L’Arlesienne by Bizet. You might have already heard bits of it but it has a Very Nice wind section in the middle which I played in my orchestra.)

Cover of Love, Hate & other filters by Samira Ahmed. A person with brown skin and dark hair in a bun taking a photo with the camera pointed at the reader. They stand in front of a red wall with colourful tessellating patterns at the bottom. The title and author above.

Trumpets

a talked-about book on your TBR

I’ve heard so much about Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed and I just downloaded the eBook to read this week! I’m super excited! (UK readers, it’s on sale on Amazon for only £0.99 which is an amazing deal. This isn’t sponsored, I just love a bargain haha.)

Horn

 

a historical book

I don’t read much historical fiction, but the last historical thing I read was the novella Caroline’s Heart by Austin Chant. It’s a historical fantasy which really gave me Howl’s Moving Castle vibes. Also! I love reading books with multiple trans characters! Please give me all the sweet sweet trans books!!

Tuba

a book which strongly informs how you are as a person

(Because tuba is the bass, like a basis for you, get it? I don’t know. Maybe that’s a bit tenuous.) Probably Les Miserables by Victor Hugo? That might sound pretentious but getting into Les Mis has had a really big effect on my life in terms of affirming my own beliefs and identity.

Cover of The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. An old-timey engraving-esque illustration of a boat with two figures riding a wave under a stormy sky. Two animals climb over the gold title text.

Piano

a very long book

I mean, I already banged out the longest book I’ve ever read which was Les Mis (oops), but I wanted to keep this one open for both already read books and those on your TBR. So I’ll go with The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. I loved His Dark Materials when I was younger but I haven’t yet got round to this because I’d like to reread the original trilogy first. I guess I’d better get going… (Bonus piece of music: we’re doing this movement from the Beethoven Pathetique sonata for GCSE music and it is a TUNE.)

Timpani

book which finished with a bang

Hmmm. HMM. (Don’t you just love it when I have to think real hard about answering my own questions?) OH OH I KNOW. Warcross by Marie Lu! This one had me VERY shook. Obviously I don’t want to spoil it but you should 100% read it.

Anyway, during the course of writing this post it has become apparent to me that the left and right alignment of images does not work on my actual blog webpage anymore which is rather annoying. Anyone else getting this?? Or is it just my super old theme?

Never mind — I do hope you enjoyed this tag! Once again, the questions are as follows:

Conductor – a character likely to mastermind an evil plan
Violin – a popular book you enjoyed
Cello – a rich, nuanced character
Viola – an overlooked book
Oboe – a book with an unusual premise
Clarinet – a versatile book you’d recommend to anyone
Flute – a character who stands out from the rest
Trumpets – a talked-about book on your TBR
Horn – a historical book
Tuba – a book which strongly informs how you are as a person
Timpani – a book which finished with a bang
Piano – a very long book

And I’m tagging Lia @ Lost in a Story, Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff, Jess @ Bookends and Endings and anyone else who wants to do it! But there’s absolutely NO pressure, please don’t worry. 🙂

Middlemarch: the Webseries and Novel

Hey everyone! I hope you’re doing well. Exams are really taking it out of me at the moment, to be honest, so I decided to do something fun which is just going to be lots of talking about a thing I’m into recently! And that’s the webseries (and also novel) Middlemarch.

I don’t normally read classic books, particularly ones that were written before the 20th century. In fact, the only other ones I can remember reading are a few Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I can name a few more books that might be considered ‘modern classics’ but in general I do stick to YA and comics.

My love for Les Miserables and Middlemarch have one a lot in common — and one big thing is that I was inspired to read both of them after become a fan of an adaptation. For Les Mis, as you might have guessed, this was the musical adaptation. I love musicals, and I love that musical a lot, but the book was a pretty different experience! In a good way. I don’t think I’d ever have had the motivation to continue reading through these (frankly rather long) books if I wasn’t already invested in seeing more of the characters. I usually fall in love with things for the characters, and that was no exception here.

I decided to read Middlemarch because I had begun watching the wonderful webseries adaptation, Middlemarch: The Series. It’s a super queer modern adaptation set in college which is told through vlogs. You can absolutely watch it without reading the book (as I did for about the first half) and I’d highly recommend it! It gives me SO MANY FEELINGS and it’s now complete if you don’t want to wait around for updates. You can find it here and watch the trailer below.

Having previous knowledge of an adaptation also helps me to get a better understanding of the overall plot and characters. It allows me to pick up on more subtle characterisations which I might have missed or to go ‘ohh, I see which bit this is!’ when I realise what it corresponds to in the adaptation. It makes it just SO for me to connect with the characters I’m reading about.

To be honest, I found the novel rather slow and difficult at the beginning. I missed the queer characters from the webseries and I found the language hard to understand. However, I think a big reason I started enjoying it more is that I put more into the reading. I’m a pretty bad skim reader and especially during books with small writing I find myself turning page after page only to realise I’ve been absorbing absolutely nothing. THIS DOES NOT WORK FOR ME WITH BOOKS LIKE THIS.

Once I made myself read more slowly, take stuff in, and actually think about how that section resonated with me, it worked a lot better, and by the end I was invested and feeling for the characters all over again.

Reading classics is a very different experience for me from reading YA. (Well, I’m sure it is for many people haha.) Some people try to give the sense that you’re only a “proper reader” if you read classics or whatever but that is TOTALLY INCORRECT and you should read whatever you want! Or even not read at all! Personally, I don’t see myself reading lots more classics in the future, but I found reading Middlemarch to be a rewarding and different experience to my normal reading fare. Now I’m back to catching up on the webseries. 😀

As I said, mock exams have been pretty tough for me, so please forgive me for posting with less frequency than usual. I send you good vibes from this rainy day where I am. ❤

do you enjoy classics? what do you think of modern adaptations? have you watched any webseries?

 

New Years Resolutions Book Tag

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to be talking books in this book tag which I saw on Lia’s blog Lost in a Story — thanks Lia for letting me do this! I believe this tag was created by Charr Frears on Youtube but the video has been deleted, so I don’t actually know. That was what I found anyways!

1. An Author You’d Like To Read That You’ve Never Read

I really want to read Muhammad Khan’s debut book, I Am Thunder! It’s released at the end of this month and it sounds like it’s going to be amazing.

Cover of I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan. Red, puple and blue illustration of a girl's face inside a lightning bolt shape. The words 'I am thunder and I won't keep quiet' beside.

2. A Book You’d Like To Read

Hahaha… SO MANY BOOKS. How could I choose! But I just bought Indigo Donut and Autoboyography with my Christmas book token so I’m planning to read those soon.

3. A Classic You’d Like To Read

I hope to read Pride and Prejudice at long last; it’s one of my mum’s favourite books ever and she’s desperate for me to discuss it with her. I’ve been meaning to read it for so long but I just…haven’t quite got round to it. I need to get it out from the library instead of reading my badly formatted digital version haha.

4. A Book You’d Like To Re-Read

Oh gosh! So many options! I’ve been saying this for a while now but I do want to re-read Les Miserables (especially in preparation for the BBC tv show which FINALLY HAS SOME NEWS HECK YEAH). In particular I’d like to try a different translation, if I can find it.

5. A Book You’ve Had For Ages and Want To Read

I picked up an ARC of The Fandom by Anna Day at YALC, but it got buried in my room and I never got round to it. I’ve been hearing positive things though so I look forward to it.Cover of Middlemarch by George Eliot. Painting of an old-timey British countryside and village with two people in the foreground. A black panel at the bottom with the title and author.

6. A Big Book You’d Like To Read

Hmm, this might be cheating a tiny bit, but I’ve almost finished Middlemarch by George Eliot which is almost 900 pages and I am very excited to finish it (although I enjoyed it a lot).

7. An Author You’ve Previously Read and Would Like To Read More Of

Alice Oseman — I adore her book Radio Silence and I am desperate to read her 3rd book, I Was Born For This, which is due to release in spring. I NEED IT SO BADLY.

Cover of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. A wet kitten meowing on a bright yellow background.

8. A Book You Got For Christmas and Would Like To Read 

I’m so excited to read We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. It’s a non-fiction book which is a bit unusual for me, but I’d like to read more essay collections and non-fiction this year.

9. A Series You Want To Read From Start to Finish 

To be honest I don’t really know anything about the Australia trilogy but I can’t actually think of any other series at this time…? Also, I won the 3rd book in this series so I already have it! Which is useful!

10. A Series You Want To Finish That You’ve Already Started

*sweats* I obviously am not reading many series at the moment as I can barely think of any that aren’t still in progress. Perhaps The Young Elites by Marie Lu? I preferred Warcross but I still enjoyed the first two books in this series and would like to complete it.

11. Do You Set Reading Goals? If So, How Many Books Do You Want To Read in 2018?

Yes, I do, but I try to keep them achievable — I’ve set my Goodreads goal at 100 books again, which I’m usually able to finish without too much stress.

12. Any Other Reading Goals?

To prioritise reading more books by authors of colour, in particular reading more UKYA books by PoC. I can do a lot more to support and uplift these authors and I know I’m missing out on so many great stories. If you haven’t already, do check out the UKYA novels by British PoC being published in 2018 in this list by Mariam Khan!

I’m not tagging anyone, but if you fancy doing this tag please do go ahead! I have mock exams right now so I’m rather behind on commenting back, but I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are. ❤

do you have any 2018 reading goals? any books you’re excited for? are you reading anything at the moment?

My 2017 in Books

Background of many open books, with the title 'My 2017 in Books' written on a banner.

Hey everyone! I enjoyed doing my 2016 in books post so much last year that I am VERY excited to be doing my yearly bookish wrap-up here today. 😀 I feel like I’ve read so many great books this year, as well as getting more into comics which I’ve been wanting to do for AGES.

overall summary

According to Goodreads, this year I read 134 books at the time of writing, which is the highest number since I started using Goodreads. However, I think this might be due to the aforementioned fact that I read way more comics this year which are faster than books! (Especially if it’s a single issue.) I completed my reading challenge of 100 and then later 125 books which I’m really happy about.

Diagram showing all the books read in 2017, arranged by star rating, with a pie chart of shelf names at the side.

I didn’t rate a bunch of books this year because I’ve sort of been feeling a bit ‘meh’ about rating… I dunno. I went through a phase of that, anyway. I can’t quite decide where I stand now — I feel like it would be best for me to write a short review for every book but that’s probably never going to happen so, who knows.

In terms of genres, Young Adult is still my most popular shelf — no surprises there for me. Within that contemporary actually rates ahead of fantasy, with comics right after, which I was a little surprised by. Although I’ve read some excellent contemporary and comics so maybe I shouldn’t be.

favourite books

I am a little nervous about saying this since I am indeed planning to read more books before the end of the year, but, alas, this has to be posted at some point. I can always add them to next year’s. 😛 These are the ten books I read this year which I feel I enjoyed the most, and gained the most from. I haven’t put comics in here, but you can check out all my posts about comics here.

 

 

I love Everything Leads to You so much! It’s such a cute soft queer girl read and it REALLY  needs to be a movie okay. I love the Shades of Magic series so A Conjuring of Light is probably no surprise here; it was such a thrilling conclusion. I don’t read much non-fiction but The Good Immigrant, an anthology of essays by BAME writers, has really stayed with me. Strange the Dreamer took a little while to get into — I was intimidated to begin with — but then suddenly I was utterly absorbed. The Hate U Give truly deserves all the success it has had; it was one of the most beautifully written and powerful books I have read, like, EVER.

 

 

 

Oops, two VE Schwab books in here? What can I say. Our Dark Duet dazzled and destroyed me. Release is one of my favourite Patrick Ness books; he’s one of the only (mainstream published) authors I’ve read who can ROCK third person present tense. Wild Beauty’s beautiful magical realism & sisters was SO SO GOOD; Anna Marie-McLemore is one of my favourite authors writing today. I read all three of Adam Silvera’s books this year (he’s excellent) but History is All You Left me struck me most in the heart. Finally, The Loneliest Girl was a pacy, gripping read with lots of science and space and a twist I totally didn’t see coming.

hidden gems

These books are lesser-known ones which I’d love to see people discussing more, or in a genre/style which was new and exciting to me.

 

 

Openly Straight is an awesome book set in boarding school which is super cute and also looks at the pressures of being openly gay as a young person. I really think that I should read more m/m books by actual queer men, and this is a great one!

Margot & Me surprised me as I sped through it way faster than I thought I would; it’s a wonderful story about the power of women and family. Also some history! See, I read historical fiction too, promise…

Wild is a Deaf/hearing romance which features lots of running. (Yikes. As in, I could never do that much running. But a great book.) Hannah Moskowitz continues to be excellent and in my opinion very underrated.

Truth or Dare was such a cool concept and beautiful physical design, but that’s not all — I adore Non Pratt and she’s written another gripping story here.

The Diviners is a mash-up of fantasy, mystery and the occult in 20s New York — and I can’t wait to read the next book! It’s super cool and I love everyone in it.

Y’ALL, I JUST READ SO MANY GOOD BOOKS THIS YEAR. I can’t wait for all exciting books out next year! (Maybe that’s a post idea. *winks*)

were your top books of 2017? have you read any of these? what books are you excited for in 2018?

 

7 Beautiful New Book Covers

Two hardback books, Release and Wild Beauty, on a stripey blue blanket, with the words '7 beautiful new book covers'

I just adore talking about book covers, and it’s that time again y’all! I am here to flail about 7 wonderful covers of recent or upcoming YA books, and I am so excited. (Also, all these are either cool books I’ve read or cool books I would like to read.) It was super difficult for me to pick just 7 because uGHH SO MANY. But, you know, I’ve got to keep that brand consistency of lists with 7. The things I do for you. *shakes head*

Cover of Release by Patrick Ness. An illustration of a figure walking down a blue river among darker silhouettes of trees, which when viewed from afar are the profiles of two heads.

1. Release by Patrick Ness It took me several months of looking at the poster I have of this cover on my wall to realise that the river also outlines two faces looking at each other. I know, right?!? IT’S AN OPTICAL ILLUSION. Anyway, yeah, the shades of green are great, I love that it’s so clean and just, mmm. Such a good cover. (I managed to find a nearly-new hardback in the charity shop and IT WAS SO EXCITING. Hardbacks are just so pretty.)

Cover of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. A smiling Indian girl holds a plastic cup of coffee with the title written on it in pen.

2. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon I sometimes dislike covers which use photos, especially of faces, but this one is SUPER COOL. It’s so aesthetic, it’s cool to see Dimple on the cover (and yes for more PoC on book covers because we need that!!) and also that writing on the coffee cup combined with the font of the author’s name? So great. I love me some good fonts.

Cover of We Are Okay by Nina Lacour. Illustration of a girl standing on a bed, both coloured pink, who looks into a blue lake whilst snow falls. width=

3. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour This book always looks so beautiful in photos. *heart eyes* The colour combination of the blue and pink in the illustration is so nice, and the drawing itself is kind of surreal but also cool; I love the drawing style. It makes me so curious about this book!

Cover of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Photo of a young man wearing old fashioned clothes, with the title in hand-doodled font and smaller doodles of a ship, a music note, playing cards, a violin, and a top hat around.

4. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee Hey, those doodles and doodle-y font? I LOVE THEM. MY ACTUAL FAVOURITE. Such a good font choice. Everything works well. Gives off a teen movie-vibe. Honestly, when will I get round to reading this book. (Answer: probably when it comes out in paperback.)

Cover of Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. The title in gold, fairytale-esque font in the centre with lush flowers all around, and a gold outline of a girl reaching out to the title.

5. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore I feel so lucky to own this hardback because IT. IS. GORGEOUS. Props to whoever designed this — not only is the actual cover image  beautiful, but it has such nice phsyicality. Impressions of the flowers on the dustjacket! Gold foil title underneath! The end-papers are such nice paper! The font for the chapter titles! To be honest, it’s just beautiful to fit such a beautiful book.

Cover of Want by Cindy Pon. Illustration of a young person with short dark hair wearing a glass helmet. The blurred bright lights of a city shine behind and the title text glows.

6. Want by Cindy Pon Firstly, this book sounds super awesome and it’s terrible that I haven’t read it yet. Time to go bug the library more to reserve it. Anyway, this illustration is so beautiful; I love the glowy neon title and general vibe and also the reflected lights just asdfjkl awesome.

Cover of History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Illustration of light and dark blue stripes lines which look like waves, with each word of the title on a different wave.

7. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera For once I…like the UK cover more, I think? The illustrations of water are so effective, and also reflects the story without being super spoilery if you get me. Plus, I believe I’ve seen a special shiny WH Smith edition which is cool.

I hope you enjoyed my rambling about the pretty covers! It’s nice to be writing about books again. 🙂 At the moment I’m hoping to keep up the Wednesday posting schedule I have going on, so stay tuned for another post here this time next week. *nods*

what are your favourite covers? have i missed any out?? (probably!) do you have a favourite book you own?

Reading Recap // three mini reviews

The words 'reading recap' in a white brush script over a blue patterned background, with the words 'at twist in the taile' and an illustration of an open book below.

I confess: I haven’t had much blogging inspiration lately. My brain is very much filled with school and then — well, yeah. School. So I have a LOT of school-related things to say but not much of anything else, oops! However, I’ve been reading some great books lately so I thought it would be fun to, you know, actually do a bit of book blogging and have a bit of a chat about them.

warcross by marie lu

Cover of Warcross by Marie Lu. The word 'Warcross' on each side of a metallic rainbow cube on a white background, with 'Marie Lu' in rainbow at the top and the words 'player hunter hacker pawn' below.

I barely ever buy hardbacks for myself, but one of my friends gifted this to me for my birthday and I feel SUPER BLESSED. I absolutely raced through this, which was something I hadn’t done in a while. I was gripped by the plot, and I think that was helped by the fact that it was such a neat premise with a clear end point that propelled it forwards. (If that makes sense? Friends, I haven’t written a review in like a year, please don’t be too harsh on me.)

In particular, I enjoyed the detail of the technology of Warcross; I don’t play many video games, but the technology seemed really thought out and innovative. I know a bunch of people have been talking about the end, and I definitely did not predict The Thing so THAT WAS EXCITING. I can’t wait to read the sequel! (Although I initially thought it was a standalone, so it was great to discover that actually there’s another book to come haha.)

little & lion by brandy colbert

Cover of Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. The words 'Little & Lion' over a flat line illustration of a palm tree, a magazine, a flower, a coffee cup, and a book.

This book was in fact also a gift from a friend, but it was in so many ways completely different to Warcross. It’s a contemporary, character-driven book which looks much more at the changing relationships between the characters rather than a lot of action. However, I still finished this really fast! I do love me a character-driven plot, and this had such a good cast of  interesting and diverse characters, and also characters who really screwed up and said crappy things. Because, you know, people are often crappy. It discusses racism, particularly casual racism, figuring your sexuality, and what it means to be family, among other themes. (I…probably am going to forget something important.)

Personally, whilst I was reading this I strongly connected with Suzette’s experience of exploring her sexuality (because I am a person who often finds many people of different genders cute!!!), and I also enjoyed the romance. However, on reflection some parts could be read as a love triangle/emotional cheating kind of thing, which you might be frustrated with. To be frank: I don’t quite know! I need to do some more thinking about that. I’m looking forward to rereading this more slowly because I’d like the time to discover and consider the stuff I missed the first time round.

the diviners & lair of dreams by libba bray

I’ve put these two books together because I did actually read them one after the other, despite my best efforts to save Lair of Dreams for a little later. I was super excited to find these in my school library (I think they’ve got some new books this year and it’s amazing?!?) even though I didn’t know what to expect apart from the blurb.

WELL, FOLKS. I loved them a lot! They’re a super weird mix of magic & the occult & 20s New York, with many characters that I adored. I haven’t read long fantasy book in a while, but it didn’t feel like a drag — both of these were relatively easy reads for me. I liked that I got to see Henry, one of my favourite side characters from the first book, become one of the mains in Lair of Dreams, but we also got way less narration from Memphis which made me sad.  I haven’t read a combination of genres like this before so it was exciting for me! (However: the covers for the UK paperbacks are definitely not my favourites. I feel like there is so much potential there, argh.)

Can you believe it I’ve made it to three reviews? To be honest, ME NEITHER. A little cheer for me. Truly, I haven’t written reviews in so long and it was actually pretty nice… Perhaps I shall make this a feature? But, who knows, I’m not very good at keeping up with those haha.

have you read any books recently? do you prefer getting hardbacks or paperbacks? what books are on your tbr list?

Note: I’m away until the 29th, and I probably won’t be able to reply to comments. Thanks for your patience! Also, sorry to those of you waiting on the giveaway; I will be contacting and announcing the winner upon return.