20 Questions Book Tag 2019

20 QUESTIONS BOOK TAG

I wanted to do something fun this week because it is all dark and gloomy outside. So, let’s have a good old fashioned book tag! Shoutout to Paper Fury for their post!

1. HOW MANY BOOKS ARE TOO MANY FOR A SERIES?

Seeing at Harry Potter is one of my favourites (obviously) I’ll say any more than 7 is too many. I say that because I haven’t read a series with more than 7 books although if there is another ACOTAR trilogy on top of the 3 and a half that are out already I wouldn’t complain…

2. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?

I have a real love/hate relationship with cliffhangers. If it’s in a series I can deal with it and it makes me excited. On the other hand, if it’s a standalone I get so irritated. What are you doing? Why would you cause this stress?!

3. HARDCOVER OR PAPERBACK?

Hmmmm for storage reasons and bag space it’s paperbacks but I do love a good hardback.

4. FAVOURITE BOOK?

I don’t have one! I can’t choose and you can’t make me!!!!

5. LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK?

Technically, it’s a play but it was in book form and I queued up at midnight for it but The Cursed Child. Do I need to say any more?

6. LOVE TRIANGLES, YES OR NO?

Personally, I’m not a fan. I find them super boring to read about so I’d rather not have to deal with them BUT can understand how they work in some books.

7. THE MOST RECENT BOOK YOU COULDN’T FINISH?

Conversations with Female Serial Killers, it was for book club and it was just SO BAD. For a non-fiction the guy had a lot of opinions and tried to use them as fact? 1 star and DNF’d. Nope.

8. A BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett! It’s about a teenager who is HIV positive and her life as she tried to navigate romance, sex and other people’s stigma. So far I think it’s a great read.

9. LAST BOOK YOU RECOMMENDED TO SOMEONE?

Pretty sure it was It’s Not Ok to Feel Blue (and other Lies) edited by Scarlett Curtis. Review to come soon!

10. OLDEST BOOK YOU’VE READ BY PUBLICATION DATE?

Full novel is probably Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë because I could not get through more than my assigned reading of Chaucer at A Level…

11. NEWEST BOOK YOU’VE READ BY PUBLICATION DATE?

At the time of writing I’m half way through Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett which is an October 2019 release.

12. FAVOURITE AUTHOR?

How can I choose just one?! Here are 5 that I love (not in order):

  • J.K Rowling
  • Sarah J Maas
  • Jodi Picoult
  • Laura Steven
  • Alice Oseman

13. BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING BOOKS?

I have to say I’m a sucker for buying new books but I try and get them on a deal so I can add them to my personal collection. That’s mostly because I’m terrible at remembering when return dates are for library books.

14. A BOOK YOU DISLIKE THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO LOVE?

I wasn’t keen on Gone Girl or Girl On The Train – I didn’t find them that clever and the twist in Gone girl reeeeeeeaaaally annoyed me. Let’s not even go there…

15. BOOKMARKS OR DOG EARS?

Bookmarks all the way, I have more than I’ll ever need and I won’t stop collecting them.

16. A BOOK YOU CAN ALWAYS RE-READ?

The Harry Potter series, it just gives me a warm feeling and it’s my favourite series of all time so I can’t complain. Also have you seen the illustrated editions? LOVE!

17. CAN YOU READ WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC?

Not normally, I can read with things in the background but music is one of my other loves so it’s normally one or the other for me.

18. ONE POV OR MULTIPLE?

I am happy either either IF the multiple POV books are well written. There’s nothing worse than a poorly written book with a great idea because the author tried to be too ambitious.

19. DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS?

I’m definitely a one sitting kinda girl if a book is that good. I can’t stop and I’ve gone past many bedtimes because I was reading a great book…most recently it was Postscript by Cecelia Ahern because my HEART.

20. WHO DO YOU TAG?

Anyone who wants to do the tag go ahead and have some fun!

All About Halloween Book Tag

Happy Halloween everyone!

So I’m not a horror fan so trying to come up with a review for tonight was a little tricky – instead I wanted to have some fun with a Halloween themed tag! I found this over on Madame Writer’s blog (original post here) and thought it would be fun for Halloween!

What are your favorite Halloween movies?

As I noted above I’m a HUGE scaredy cat which is why my favourite Halloween watches are films I used to watch as a kid. Who doesn’t love Scooby-Doo? These were two of my favourites growing up. Also, baby Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and a story about twins that’s magical. Classic 90s Halloween film.

What is your favorite Halloween book?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Not what most people would consider a traditional Halloween read but c’mon. TROOOOOOOLL, TROOOOOOOLLL IN THE DUNGEON.

What other Halloween books would you recommend?

What can I say, the Victorian era had some creepy as hell books that are perfect for Halloween, Jekyll and Hyde is a classic for a reason. Dorian Gray is damn creepy and clever and The Tell-Tale Heart gives me chills. For a newer Halloween book I highly recommend The Graces by Laure Eve for witchy, cursey, goodness.

Fun fact, when I first read Dorian Grey for college I absolutely hated it and wrote a review to match BUT then I read it again without analysing it and realised for its time it was incredible.

Do you own any Halloween ugly sweaters?

No but I really think I should get one that’s long lasting.

Update: Everything is either trying to be sexy and therefore bloody cold, terrible quality or super expensive…

What are some of your favorite Halloween costumes?

Now this is a question of whether we’re going for traditional Halloween or the american version of Halloween where you can be anything/anyone. I absolutely love dressing as a witch if we’re going with traditional BUT if I could go as anything I’d want to get a little more creative. A few of my friends and I were considering going as The Heathers this year but that doesn’t seem to be happening because…

What are you doing for Halloween this year?

Halloween is on a Thursday this year. 🤦‍♀️

I’m practically an old lady at this point so I do not plan on going out/going to any parties on a Thursday. But why not Friday or Saturday you ask? I’m going to a concert on the Friday and it’s my lovely finaceès birthday on the Saturday.

No Halloween outings for me this year but I do have a packet of spooky Haribo that I’ll probably work my way through white sitting around my decorations.

What is your favorite childhood Halloween memory?

My lovely parents took my sister and I to Disney for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I’ve been twice, the first time when I was 11 (check out my super cool outfit below…I’d been wearing the wig itself around the park because I was clearly extra af) and then again when I was 16.

It’s super fun you go trick or treating, the characters are dressed up, there’s a special parade. I now have the ‘Boo to you’ song stuck in my head.

What are some of your favourite Halloween memories? I’d love to hear them!

Book Review: The Disconnect – Keren David

Could you last six whole weeks without your phone? Six weeks without sharing photos, without group messages, without being kept in the social‑media loop?

An eccentric entrepreneur has challenged Esther’s year group to do just that, and the winners will walk away with £1,000.

For Esther, whose dad and sister live thousands of miles away in New York, the prize might be her only chance to afford flights for a visit…

But can she really stay disconnected long enough to win?
 

Out of the three books I picked up at YALC this year, one of them was kindly gifted to me by Barrington Stoke and you’ll be hearing more about them in another post!

I picked this up because I found the concept fascinating – living without your phone, particularly as a teenager in 2019. I mean, I was a teenager between 2007 & 2013 and even then we were pretty obsessed with our phones (rest in peace my faithful iPhone 3GS) but now it’s a totally different world.

I really liked Esther, she felt incredibly real and so did her family. Often in Young Adult books the families of protagonists aren’t that well written but in this case they were integral to the plot. The fact that she misses her sister and Dad really resonated while reading as a motivator.

The plot tackled a lot of themes in a pretty short book (it was only 224 pages in a larger font, specially created for Dyslexic readers) – missing your family, money, a mention of police corruption, technology, bullying and more but at the same time this didn’t feel forced. They naturally fell into the plot because this is what a teenagers life is like – all these things can be going on at the same time and it was refreshing to read.

Additionally, the task and research behind it made me think a lot about my own relationship with my phone. I spend a lot of time on it, partly because it’s my job but I am trying to do better when it comes to leaving my phone across the room and getting off it in the evening. Could I have gone 6 weeks without my phone as a teenager? Probably not, I probably would have cracked.

I gave this book 3.5 stars, I thought this was a positive book and while I’m not the target audience I did appreciate the novel for what it was. Due to the nature of the book and publishers this is meant to me a shorter read with straightforward themes as they are aimed at teens with Dyslexia.

I’m intrigued to know – do you think that you could have lived without your phone as a teenager? Let me know below. 👇

Book Review: The Other Mother – Jen Brister

When Jen falls in love with Chloe they have a great life and eventually decide that having a small person was something they wanted to do. As her wife goes through the process of IVF and pregnancy Jen finds herself as ‘The Other Mother’. There’s also the small matter that Chloe became pregnant with twins, it’s a lot for anyone to handle.

I have to say, I’m not a parent to an actual human child, I currently only have fur babies in my life so I can’t be the judge on how realistic this is but I found it to be a book that shares a lot. Jen is completely honest about her experiences, about how tough she found it at times and how boring looking after kids can be.

I found myself laughing so much while reading this book and now I’m desperate to see Jen perform as a comedian. It just feels incredibly real but also she’s not afraid to laugh at herself, her thoughts and her actions. This isn’t a book telling you how to raise a child or being the perfect parent.

Jen is also respectful of the privacy of her children. Her sons are referred to throughout the book as Twin 1 and Twin 2 and while she shares stories about her life with Chloe raising them, we don’t know their names. It’s clear that Jen wants to protect the identity of her boys and who can blame her? This book is about her experience of being ‘The Other Mother’ it’s not a biography of her children. I respect that.

Also, I can highly recommend the audiobook which is how I absorbed it and I really couldn’t stop listening. Although a note to anyone who does get the audiobook, be ready to laugh out loud at various points and look a bit nuts.

I gave this book 5 stars and have been recommending it to a lot of people recently. It’s funny but also gives a real look at what it’s like to be a non-biological parent in 2019.

Travels With Sushi Giveaway!

Who doesn’t love a good giveaway? The lovely people at Midas PR popped me an email about a super interesting book called Travels With Sushi In The Land Of The Mind by Eduard Shyfrin. Take a look at the blurb below to see why I got so excited.

While on holiday, sharing an evening meal with their family in their favourite Japanese restaurant, Aaron and Stella doze off and awaken to find themselves in the mysterious Land of the Mind. A world in turmoil, the Land of the Mind is being pulled apart by warring factions who have it teetering on edge of complete destruction. Chosen by an invisible Supreme Ruler, it is up to Aaron and Stella to bring order back to this world by recovering the ancient Book of Understanding.

Travelling through strange lands, meeting fantastic characters and pursued by the minions of the Black Queen, the forces of evil are closing in, determined to stop the children from restoring peace to this place. Aaron and Stella realise that they are the key to the Book of Understanding’s return and that time is running out. But how can two children manage to defeat all the forces against them?

Sound good? You can win a copy of Travels With Sushi In The Land Of The Mind! Head over to my Twitter here so that you can win, this is a UK only giveaway.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was gifted my copy and cake pops from Midas PR to collaborate on this giveaway.

Book Review: The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy works in a publishing job she loves but it doesn’t pay much, combine that with needing to move out of her ex-boyfriends flat she’ll tak anything, including a slightly unusual agreement. Leon is a hospice nurse who’s in need to money to support his brother and a flat share sounds like a perfect plan.

I need to start by saying that this is one of the cutest books. I’ve been more interested in contemporary romances recently, books I know will have love and humor and The Flatshare ticked both of those boxes. I had seen this all over the internet with great reviews so I picked up the audiobook narrated by one of my favourite theatre actresses and youtubers, Carrie Hope Fletcher. I also now love the voice of Kwaku Fortune!

While a lot of people think this is a fluffy friends to lovers story, there are some excellent and complex themes within the novel and I was so impressed. O’Leary considers toxic relationships, emotional abuse and wrongful imprisonment. She has a talent for weaving in these topics into a novel which ultimately made you feel both happy and more knowledgeable once finishing.

These characters felt very real, I cared about them and what was going on in their lives. There were points where I shouted out loud while reading because I was so invested in what was happening and where the different threads were going to go. For me, the audiobook was absolutely perfect it really added to the experience so I’d really recommend it.

I was wracking my brain while writing this for anything I would change and truly I don’t think I would change it. It’s a perfect mix of humour, romance and topics that make you think. Also I adored some of the side characters too, they really added to the novel and let us get to know Tiffy and Leon a lot better than just their impressions of each other.

It’s really no surprise that I gave this 5 stars. I highly recommend this novel and I can’t wait to see what Beth O’Leary writes next. She’s got a real talent and it can only get better!

My September 2019 Book Haul!

Hello, hello, hello

After YALC back in July you might have thought my book buying/acquisition might have slowed down, you would be wrong. With the combination of my birthday and new releases I picked up a LOT of books in September and I wanted to share them with you all. Get ready it’s going to be a long one.

First up are books I won in a Twitter giveaway that arrived at the beginning on the month. The lovely Sara Barnard gave away all of the books she has written, they’re all signed an dedicated too which is super sweet. So I now have Goodbye Perfect, Fierce Fragile Hearts, Beautiful Broken Things and A Quiet Kind of Thunder. These are all based around friendship which is super exciting and a few I’ve had on my list for a while.

I was also sent Sara’s collaborative book Floored along with other great YA authors. Next up are two buy one get one free buys, Heartstream a YA thriller that I bought alongside this months book club read Once Upon a River I’m not sure what to say about this one it’s kind of an adult mystery?

I also had my copy of The Only Plane In The Sky – The Oral History of 9/11 delivered, this book is full of accounts of 9/11 and I think it’s an important and interesting way to preserve what happened and the changes that the event caused.

I received 4 books for my birthday. The first up A Large Expanse of Sea from my parents which I’ve been meaning to pick up forever. I also received 2 books from my friend Charissa (along with a doughnut because, goals) The Confessions of Frannie Langton an adult mystery and Two Can Keep A Secret which I needed to read after McManus’s debut. I also received Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, I’ve heard great things about this online so I’m excited!

Ok, I’ll fess up I made two drunken purchases – I actually snuck off from a night out to buy books (maximum nerd points), which were It Never Rains and Life of the Party I just picked these up after reading the blurb, I have no idea if they’re going to be good but I’m hoping so.

My preorder of The Deathless Girls, a novel I’ve been keeping an eye out for about the brides of Dracula, perfect for Autumn. My next few books are from a trip to Foyles with my birthday money, because what else was I going to spend it on? I knew nothing about The Liar’s Daughter it’s about the aftermath of a young woman who grew up in a cult. I find these super interesting.

Can we take a second to appreciate the stunning cover of Ziggy, Stardust & Me a LGBTQ YA novel set in the 70s. I also finally picked up With The Fire On High which I’ve heard nothing but good things about. Also, Monday’s Not Coming is another I’ve heard a lot of good things about on BookTube. I was also given a copy of Archie 1941 for my birthday and I love it – I can’t wait to see others in this series.

P.S, I Love you is one of my favourite books so of course I ordered the sequel Postscript and I am so excited to see what Holly is up to now. I also love the film but for very different reasons. I also received a Waterstones gift card and picked up the graphic novel of Speak which has stunning artwork, even though I haven’t read the original book. I also bought City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab because she’s amazing.

And now I need to find a home for all of them, the floorboards definitely hate me right now!

Have you read any of these? What would you recommend? Let me know below.