The Boujee Book Tag

Blogmas 2019 – The Boujee Book Tag

‘Tis the season for more book tags tra la la la la la la la laaaaaaaa. I know I’ve done a lot of Christmassy Book Tags over Blogmas but I’ve seen so many good ones, so why not?

This tag was created by abookolive. Go and give her some love!

1. What is your average monthly budget for books?

Hahahahahaha. Oh, you’re serious? I don’t set myself a budget some times I’ll buy 1, sometimes 3 or if I got to a bookish event like YALC I might get 20 or so…

2. What’s the most you’ve ever spent in a bookstore?

Probably £50 or so? BUT I do get discount in a book shop this Christmas…so we’ll see. At YALC though which isn’t technically a book shop but a lot of stalls I saved and then spent about £150. Eeek!

3. Are you willing to pay full price for a brand new release, or will you wait until you have a coupon or there’s a sale?

I will completely pay full price for a new release! Although I am guilty of a buy one get one free…

4. Would you rather buy one new book or several less expensive used copies?

It depends on the condition of the books to be honest. If they’re in good condition yes but if they’re stained and battered probably not…

5. What do you think is a reasonable price for a new hardback book? A paperback? An eBook?

Hmmm it depends on the book really. I think £15 for a hardback is reasonable, £7.99 for a paperback and about £3 for an ebook.

6. Is a signed book worth more to you? How about a first edition?

Yes, 100%. I love having signed books that the author has touched themselves. And I absolutely LOVE going to signings!

7. What is your most valuable book (sentimental or actual value)?

Hmmm, probably my first edition delux of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Fun fact, we found it at a car boot sale for 50p because people didn’t know what they were selling…

8. Will you pay more for a cover or edition you like better?

Yep.

9. What physical characteristics does a good quality book have?

Nice cover, good quality pages, not mass market or a film poster cover *shudder*.

10. If you won the lottery, what bookish things would you do with the money?

Ok so I have this dream of renting a huge car or even a limo and taking it up to Waterstones Piccadilly and Foyles in Tottenham Court Road after hours to shop to my hearts content. Then have my own library in a new house. Also track down a first edition copy of The Bell Jar.

BONUS: Give us an image (actual or mental) of your dream home library!

Ok so first of all huge, thick carpets and electric heating (open fires are great but fire near books?!) wall to wall shelves, comfy sofas and a small tea tray stacked with snacks and tea at all time.

Want to have a go? Then I tag you – make sure you post your link below!

The End Of The Year Book Tag

Blogmas 2019: The End Of The Year Book Tag

I was inspired by Hailey in Bookland’s video to have a bit of fun with this tag so, let’s do it!

1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
Honestly, I haven’t DNF’ed any books this year, and the only ones that I’ve started but haven’t finished are the ones that I am currently reading…. soooooo…. I guess not!

2. Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Normally it would be Harry Potter because well, I love it but I’m not sure this year. 🤔

3. Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

No! Thankfully all of the books I’ve been waiting for are here for me to enjoy!

4. What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos

5. Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

I already have so many great books fighting for the top spot so I’m sceptical that anything can knock them off of the top spot but I am working in a book shop so who knows?

6.Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

Firstly, the fact that it’s going to be TWO THOUSAND AND TWENTY in a few weeks is a little disturbing. But yes I do, I’m going to be doing another 100 books a year challenge and I want to make sure that I get through my YALC haul reads in the first half of the year before I go again in the summer!

What are your reading plans for 2020? Let me know below! 👇

Blogmas 2019: Everything I Read In November 2019

Well, I’m glad November is over! It’s probably the least I’ve read all year with no audiobooks as I haven’t been working at home much! That said, I was impressed with most of the books I read in November, so here they are!


A Winter’s Promise – Christelle Dabos

So, this is one of our book club reads for January chosen by my friend Maddie and I am in LOVE with this book, I can’t wait to read the next in the series and there will be 4 books altogether! This was originally published in France and has been translated so there are some points where it doesn’t flow as well BUT it’s a magical book that I gave 5 stars.

City of Ghosts – Victoria Schwab

My second Schwab book and another Maddie recommendation and it LOVED it, this is at the younger end of teen but it was completely gripping and I couldn’t put it down. Again, this is the first in a series and I can’t wait to read the next one after Christmas! Another 5 star read.

No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference – Greta Thunberg

I’ll admit I didn’t know that much going in but I’ve seen snippets of Greta’s speeches. This little book contains 11 of those speeches which are all pretty similar. I have the utmost respect for her and what she is doing but I much prefer watching her rather than reading her speeches. 3 stars for me.

Full Disclosure – Camryn Garrett

This book is going to be huge, if it’s not then I don’t know what’s going on. An incredible read about an HIV positive teen who’s navigating relationships, friendships and life as a young adult. A 5 star read that I loved and am so grateful I got an ARC of this.

They Called Us Enemy – George Takei

I didn’t really know anything about Japanese American injustice until I heard about it from George Takei. This was incredibly important in current times and I think everyone should read it. 5 stars!

I backed this on Kickstarter because I enjoyed Sarah and Stef’s other adventures, so I got this for me and Ali. It’s a cute book of comic strips about their time in Canada. 4.5 stars.

What did you read in November? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Heartstream – Tom Pollock

“I just wanted to see you. Before the end. A taut psychological thriller about obsession, fame and betrayal, for fans of Black Mirror. Cat is in love. Always the sensible one, she can’t believe that she’s actually dating, not to mention dating a star. But the fandom can’t know. They would eat her alive. And first at the buffet would definitely be her best friend, Evie.

Amy uses Heartstream, a social media app that allows others to feel your emotions. She broadcasted every moment of her mother’s degenerative illness, and her grief following her death. It’s the realest, rawest reality TV imaginable. But on the day of Amy’s mother’s funeral, Amy finds a strange woman in her kitchen. She’s rigged herself and the house with explosives – and she’s been waiting to talk to Amy for a long time. Who is she? A crazed fan? What does she want? Amy and Cat are about to discover how far true obsession can go.”

Oof, this book! This book. If that blurb doesn’t grab you I don’t know what will. I could not put this book down, I stayed up way too late because I needed to know what was going to happen, I needed to know answers!

Initially I did find it hard to connect with Amy, I found her a little bratty and couldn’t gel with her – this did change throughout the novel as I got to know the character. Cat, on the other hand, I instantly connected to and wanted to know more about her and her life – overall I did prefer Cat as a character.

It took me a long while to understand what the connection between Amy and Cat and it drove me a little crazy, then when it dawned on me I definitely gasped out loud and continued racing through. This also broke me out of a slump I was having and made me interested in thrillers again.

While I did work out a few elements before they happened that was towards the end and I still had some shock moments. Pollock can clearly write a thriller that feels new and I can’t remember the last time I read one of those.

I found it really interesting how the plot centers around technology and emotion. We don’t know where technology and streaming is going to go and while this is a terrifying possibility it’s also fascinating because I think people would subscribe to this and use it in the real world. That said the positives and negatives are both there, which adds a great sense of balance.

I gave this 4 stars, a really strong book and that ending…THAT ENDING. I definitely need to know more and while I doubt there will be a follow up, I would read it within a second – I need to know what happens after! A strong thriller that I would definitely recommend for someone looking for something a little different with a technology twist.

What I Read In October 2019!

So it might be a little late but I had a fantastic reading month in October with a lot of 4 and 5 star reads! I’m not going to spend too long rambling, instead, let’s get to the books.

So, P.S I Love You was one of my favourite books and up there with my favourite films too so I preordered the follow up as soon as I found out about it. When it came I was so nervous to read it – would it live up to the story I loved? It did Postscript is beautiful and I fell right back into Hollie’s world. A 5 star read for me.

It’s Not Ok To Feel Blue And Other Lies was also a preordered book after I loved Scarlett Curtis’s Feminists Don’t Wear Pink. This a collection of essays about mental health from some people you’ll know such as Matt Haid, Emilia Clarke, Adam Kay and Scarlett herself. It was a brilliant collection and while it is quite hard hitting it’s an important read. A 4.5 star read.

For my book club read we picked up Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield and I really enjoyed it. It’s a little different in the way it’s told and has mystery elements, ghostly elements and more. It was a great read that I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise – a fantastic advertisement for book clubs everywhere! A solid 4 star read.

The Liar’s Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson was one I picked up for myself about a girl who is rescued from a cult and what life is like for her once she leaves the only place she knows. I read this so quickly and I only wish it was longer! Another 4 star read.

I’ve watched a little Queer Eye and loved Jonathan so after seeing interviews of him promoting his book I decided to purchase the audiobook of Over The Top and it was perfect. This is fantastically funny but also deeply heartfelt and I learned so much through listening. A 5 star read and I’ve been recommending it to everyone!

I also listened to Freedom by Jaycee Dugard about her experiences after she was released from her horrific ordeal being kidnapped and forced to live with her captor and give birth to her daughters – fathered by him. An emotional 4 star book.

Next up two more non-fiction reads. I listened to MP Jess Phillips’ newest book Truth To Power and it was absolutely brilliant and just what I needed when we’re heading towards a General Election. A 5 star read for troubling times.

I also picked up Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas from the wonderful Adam Kay author of This Is Going To Hurt. This is a short read but an incredibly important one. It made me appreciate the NHS even more because of the pressure that they face, even more so in the winter. A must read that I’ve persuaded book club to pick up – 5 stars!

Heartstream is the thriller I didn’t know I needed. Tom Pollock is an excellent storyteller and I tweeted him almost immediately after finishing asking for more! I gave this 4.5 stars.

And last but definitely not least was Dear Girls by Ali Wong. I think Ali is hilarious and I loved both of her Netflix specials so when I heard she was writing a book I was down! Again, I listened to the audiobook for this one and I’m glad I did. This is all about Ali’s life and the lessons she wants to teach her daughters (although it is definitely for a mature audience) there was also a really sweet addition by her husband at the end. This was a 4.5 star read for me.

What did you read in October? Let me know in the comments below. 👇

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.