Book Tag

The “I Should Have Read That” Book Tag

So I was tagged by Travels in Fiction to do this fun tag! Thank you for tagging me!

Rules

Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
Link to the creator’s blog booksnest.co.uk in your post
Answer the questions below and tag others to take part

So this tag is perfect for anyone who reads because lets face it we always have more books than we have read and we will continue to buy more!

1 A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

My friend Anisha has been telling me to read a couple books since they released and I haven’t gotten to either of them yet. All the Wandering Light and Queen of Air and Darkness are books I really need to read soon! Especially as she’s waiting for me to read them so she can fangirl with me!

2 A book that’s been on your tbr forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up

SO MANY! I have a ridiculous tbr, honestly it’s getting out of hand. One that I have been meaning to read since it released over a year ago is Iron Gold by Pierce Brown. I adore the Red Rising trilogy so I was super excited about reading it but I just haven’t yet. I really want to read it soon though as Darkk Age will be out this summer.

3 A book series you started but haven’t got round to finishing yet

The Kiss of Deception was a book that I read last year and really enjoyed but I never got round to continuing the trilogy. I want to read them this year though. You know, before I forget what happened in the first book.

4 A classic you liked the sound of but never actually read

Peter Pan, I mean I love the films and I’m pretty sure I will love it but I just never read it. Maybe this year! I especially want to read it as my friend Fatima loves it so much and is always telling me to read it.

5 A popular book that it seems that everyone but you has read

I feel like everyone has read Children of Blood and Bone except me. I have been meaning to read it for ages. Hopefully before book two is out I will get to it.

6 A book that inspired a film/tv adaptation that you love but haven’t read yet

A Discovery of Witches, I watched the show and completely fell in love but I had never thought about reading it before I watched but now it has been added to my tbr. Also I so need season two already. Why are they torturing me?!

7 A book that you see all over Instagram but you haven’t picked up yet

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab, it was recently re-published and it’s absolutely everywhere on Instagram. Hopefully will be able to pick it up soon!

So these are my answers. Everyone is welcome to join in the tag!

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Book Reviews

The Quiet At The End Of The World by Lauren James – Book Review

I received a copy of this book from Walker YA in exchange for an honest review.

I loved The Next Beginning and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe so I was super excited about reading Lauren’s new book and it did not disappoint!

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Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

How far would you go to save those you love?
Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.
Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .

This book starts with Lowrie and Shen being normal teenagers, but we quickly learn that they are the youngest people alive and that they grew up in a time very different to the one we live in. There is no one else their age and the population is in the hundreds and they will have to watch the population go extinct.

The story is beautiful and heart breaking at times but still hopeful. It’s a dystopia set in the future, it is still feel good and leave you feeling warm inside, yet still deals with serious and heavy topics.

This book like Lauren’s other books deals with many important topics and the consequences of those if no one does anything about it. The environment is a topic that is discussed throughout the book and what can happen to the earth if we don’t look after it. Another thing that’s discussed is what does it mean to be human? Another thing that both characters thought about throughout the book was what will they leave behind, what will be their legacy. These are things we all think about and it was so interesting to see.

I also loved how inclusive and diverse Lauren’s books always are it doesn’t feel forced. It’s so nice to see and that the characters were so accepting of it, unlike a lot of what we see today.

Okay so like Lauren’s other books there was one hell of a plot twist halfway through the book that left my shouting, WHAT?! I did not see it coming and I actually had to stop reading to process everything that I read so far in light of this new information. Just wow! I love how she can bring in plot twists that you did not expect at all.

Lowrie and Shen are such great characters. I loved their friendship and how it developed into something more. Shen is Chinese and deaf in one ear, he is kind and considerate and loves learning new things, especially in technology and computers. Whereas Lowrie prefers more active hobbies such as scuba diving and building and fixing robots. It was nice to see how different they are yet how well they live and work together. They supported each other and understood each other so well.

I also loved Maya and Riz who we see through social media posts that Lowrie finds. Even though we only see them through their posts I felt like I got to know them so well. I also loved their messages to each other and especially how passionate Maya was about the issues they both faced when they were first faced with the infertility and the human race could become extinct.

So as you can tell I really loved this book and I cannot wait to read what Lauren writes next!

Top 5 Wednesdays

Top 5 Wednesdays – Characters That Embody Your Hogwarts House

Hey booknerds! It’s another Top 5 Wednesday post! This is hosted by Sam over on Thoughts on Tomes where you share you top 5 for the chosen topic for that week. You can check out each weeks topic over on Goodreads.

As I’m a Hufflepuff I’m going to share characters that I think would be in the same house as me.

1 Cath from Fangirl – she is obviously a Hufflepuff!

2 Jane from Pride and Prejudice –I think she’s the poster girl for Hufflepuffs

3 Wylan Van Eck from Six of Crows – he may make explosives but he’s a cinnamon roll and is most definitely a Hufflepuff

4 August from This Savage Song – yes I know, he’s technically a “monster” but he has a better sense of justice and doing what’s right than some of the humans in the story.

5 Alizayd from The City of Brass – okay so he may also be a Gryffindor because he’s so reckless but hear me out, he’s loyal and always fights for justice and that makes him a Hufflepuff!

So these are some of the characters that I think are Hufflepuffs.

So what house are you in? what characters do you think would be in your house?

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Standalones That Need A Sequel

Hey booknerds! I’m taking part in another week of Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. You can find more information here

I don’t really read that many standalones as I love series and being able to spend books and books in the same world. But there are some books that I have loved and read that are standalones and yes I’ve been left wanting more. So these are the books that I want a sequel for!

1 One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus – I just want more of these characters okay! I completely fell in love with them and how much they grew and developed throughout the story and I just want more!

2 The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James – Romy is such a wonderful character and I want to see more of her story

3 Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – Ayesha and Khalid are my OTP and I want to know more of their story

4 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – this story is so damn adorable and I just want more of Cath and Levi okay

5 Wonder by RJ Palacios – this story had me in tears but this is such an important story and I would love to have more of the story

6 To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – I want to go on more adventures with Elian and see what type of sea queen Lira becomes!

7 Saints and Misfits by SK Ali – I really want to see Janna get the justice she deserves!

8 Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo – I loved the story and I want to see more adventures and world saving with the whole team!

9 She Wore Red Trainers by Naima B Robert – it ends with them getting on a plane to Mexico just after getting married so I would love to see older versions of them and what they’re doing

10 The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James – I just finished this book and I just want to see more of the world that Lowrie and Shen live in and how they cope as they get older.

So these are the books that I would love a sequel for! Is there a book you wish had a sequel?

Book Reviews

It’s Not About The Burqa Edited By Mariam Khan – Book Review

Today is international women’s day so I thought that it would be the perfect day for me to share my review of this amazing anthology and how much this book is needed.

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Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When was the last time you heard a Muslim woman speak for herself without a filter?
In 2016, Mariam Khan read that David Cameron had linked the radicalization of Muslim men to the ‘traditional submissiveness’ of Muslim women. Mariam felt pretty sure she didn’t know a single Muslim woman who would describe herself that way. Why was she hearing about Muslim women from people who were neither Muslim, nor female?
Years later the state of the national discourse has deteriorated even further, and Muslim women’s voices are still pushed to the fringes – the figures leading the discussion are white and male.
Taking one of the most politicized and misused words associated with Muslim women and Islamophobia, It’s Not About the Burqa is poised to change all that. Here are voices you won’t see represented in the national news headlines: seventeen Muslim women speaking frankly about the hijab and wavering faith, about love and divorce, about feminism, queer identity, sex, and the twin threats of a disapproving community and a racist country. Funny, warm, sometimes sad, and often angry, each of these essays is a passionate declaration, and each essay is calling time on the oppression, the lazy stereotyping, the misogyny and the Islamophobia.
What does it mean, exactly, to be a Muslim woman in the West today? According to the media, it’s all about the burqa.
Here’s what it’s really about.

As soon as I first heard about this anthology being published, I knew I had to buy it as soon as it released. A book that is written by Muslim women about their experiences? Yup I need it! Just reading the introduction had me hooked!

It’s not about the burqa brings together Muslim women’s voices. It does not represent the experiences of every Muslim woman or claim to cover every single issue faced by Muslim women. It’s not possible to create that book. But this book is a start, a movement: we Muslim women are reclaiming and rewriting our identity.

Each essay is so powerful that even though some were more relatable than others I still loved them all because they all dealt with issues that I can relate to. They discuss so many relevant issues that Muslim women deal with, especially living in the west, from misogyny, racism to islamophobia and taboo subjects in the community and how each of them has been affected by it and how they dealt with it.

While reading the essays I would often stop and need to go talk to my husband about the topics that were being discussed. It reignited my passion about speaking out about so many issues that are so common with our communities. I felt heard and that I wasn’t alone in feeling like this.

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Some of my favourite essays were by Sufiya Ahmed, Nafisa Bakkar, Afia Ahmed, Jamilla Hekmoun and Mariam Khan. I resonated with these essays SO MUCH!

Sufiya was talking about Khadijah (ra) and how much Khadijah (ra) inspired her, I felt the same. Khadijah (ra) has been one of my role models since I was a teenager so it was wonderful to see someone else speak about her and how much she loved her. Khadijah’s (ra) life and all that she achieved made a huge impact in my life.

Above all, Khadijah (ra) taught me that I had every right to exist as I chose. Just like she did as the wealthiest merchant in Mecca.

Nafisa’s essay was so thought provoking and written so eloquently, in a way that I would never be able to express myself. She made me rethink the way I see diversity in the media, how Muslim women are shown in the media when it comes to brands wanting to show diversity. I loved reading her essay so much and it sparked many discussions with people I spoke to.

What is the point of being represented if it is only our image that is invited to the table?

Afia’s essay brought me to tears. She wrote about something that I had been feeling for a while yet I had no one to speak to about it. She wrote about how I feel when it comes to how I feel about the hijab and how “Muslim friendly” attire is shown to us and how all of this can affect my relationship with God. I felt so seen.

No, I don’t take kindly to my religion and ideology being co-opted and appropriated as a money-making scheme. I do not take kindly to aspects of my religion suddenly being acceptable, and not only tolerated but celebrating, only when a tall, white model is dressed in my ethno-religious attire.

Jamilla spoke about a subject filled with misconceptions and ignorance in the Muslim community. She spoke about mental health and what it means to be Muslim and have depression and anxiety. How people will tell you to just pray more and you will be fine and how you can’t possibly be Muslim and depressed. A notion that doesn’t actually exist in Islam. As someone who has anxiety, it’s a topic close to my heart and one that I still have difficulty discussing with people and going to a counsellor who doesn’t really understand my faith means it isn’t always helpful.

My mental illness does not define me. It might change my mood at times, but it does not change who I am, and, most importantly, it does not make me a bad person, especially in the eyes of God.

Mariam dealt with an issue that has been the cause of much argument in the Muslim community, feminism. I loved how she spoke about white feminism and how these women, despite claiming to speak for all women are silent or even against how Muslim women choose to dress. It is something that I have seen time and time again. How discussions amongst Muslim women are often co-opted by white feminists and islamophobes and so we can never really speak for ourselves.

If you want to know if you are going the right way, follow women of colour, sisters and brothers. We know where we need to go and e know where justice is, because when we fight for justice we fight it for all people, for all our communities.

This collection of essays is so relevant and so needed in today’s society and I hope that more people will read it and it will spark discussions amongst people they know. Honestly everyone should read this book.

If you’ve read it then let me know what you thought!

For the love of Books

World Book Day – My Top 5 Childhood Reads

Thursday 7th March is World Book Day and a group of us book bloggers thought it would be fun to share our favourite childhood books. So there will be a blog post every hour all day today from each of us!

The blogger before me in the group is Connie at Connie Reads so if you missed her post do go check it out!

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As far back as my memory goes I have always been a reader. My parents are both readers so as kids we would all go every Saturday morning to the library to spend several hours there and I completely fell in love with books and reading. I still have very vivid memories of searching and discovering new books. And it is where I discovered all of my favourite childhood books.

1 The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton – this is the book that made me the booknerd that I am. I know I enjoyed reading even before reading this book but this is what cemented my love for reading!

2 The Secret Seven and The Famous Five by Enid Blyton – can you tell I was a huge Enid Blyton fan?! I decided to include both series as one because otherwise this will just become an, I love Enid Blyton post. I have also read both series countless number of times. I adored the stories and the friendships in these books. I still remember taking them out and reading them so often that I didn’t even need to read them in order anymore.

3 Harry Potter by JK Rowling – of course I had to mention this series, I have been obsessed with these books since I first read them! I stills remember insisting that my dad had to take me to asda at midnight to go pick up the books as soon as they released! Then i would read the books in a day especially as my sisters would be impatiently waiting to be able to read it after me. It’s safe to say my original copies are battered and almost falling apart.

4 Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – this series introduced me to antiheroes and I fell in love with complex morally grey characters! Artemis is such a great character and the amount of sass and sarcasm in these books is unreal! I love it so much!

5 Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz – a teenage boy who becomes a spy for MI6? Of course I’m going to love it! I practically grew up reading this series and recently a new book was announced continuing his story so yup I’m definitely going to be reading it!

Honourable mention goes to the Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan and the Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman! I loved those books growing up!

So these are my favourite childhood books. There are plenty more but these are my absolute favourites! What books did you love as a kid? Were you always a reader?

And don’t forget to go check out Beth’s post at 2.30pm for what her favourite childhood books were over at Booksnest.

Top 5 Wednesdays

Top 5 Wednesdays – Favourite SFF Creatures

Hey booknerds! It’s another Top 5 Wednesday post! This is hosted by Sam over on Thoughts on Tomes where you share you top 5 for the chosen topic for that week. You can check out each weeks topic over on Goodreads.

I adore so many creatures that appear in fantasy and science fiction books that it was hard to narrow down my favourites! But these are some of the ones I love most.

1 Dragons – okay so this was a no brainer. I adore dragons! If there could be one creature that I wish was real it would be dragons. From Toothless to Smaug, they’re all amazing!

2 Pegasus – ever since I watched Disney’s Hercules as a kid I fell in love with Pegasus and I also love Blackjack from the Percy Jackson series!

3 Phoenix – they’re so beautiful and amazing and I would love to have one for my own

4 Hippogriff – I would love to ride Buckbeak! Plus they are so majestic!

5 Hippocampus – I first saw them in the Percy Jackson books and I loved them! They’re what Percy’s brother called fish ponies!

These are some of my favourites! And yes several are from Greek mythology, what can I say, it’s some of my favourite myths! Let me know which are yours!