For the love of Books, Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Books On My Fall TBR

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

So there is so many books I want to read before the year is over but these are definitely high up on my TBR

1 Legendary by Stephanie Garber – I adored Caraval and I have been waiting for ages to read this book but I still haven’t got round to reading it

2 Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas – I am simultaneously excited and scared to read this book and I know I will be a mess by the end of it

3 Vengeful by V.E. Schwab – I love Vicious and I have been waiting for this book for forever! I cannot wait for this book to release

4 Renegades by Marissa Meyer – The Lunar Chronicles is one of my all time favourite series and I am excited to dive into this trilogy too

5 This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada – I have heard so many great things about this book and I’ve been wanting to read it for ages

6 Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman – I adore Illuminae and Gemina so I really need to get to Obsidio asap

7 Iron Gold by Pierce Brown – The Red Rising trilogy is one of my favourites by so brutal and I’m kind of scared to read Iron Gold because I can imagine it being just as brutal and I don’t know if I can stand the wait in between books

8 A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir – Ember and Torch was so brutal but so good and I really need to continue this series

9 The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli – The Last Namsara was so good so I’m looking forward to being back in this world

10 Mirage by Somaiya Daud – I have heard nothing but amazing things so I’m really excited to read this!

So these are some of my top books on my TBR for the next few months. I’m really excited to get to these and I hope they’re as good as I think they will be!

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What books do you want to read soon?

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Book Reviews

Are we all Lemmings and Snowflakes? By Holly Bourne – Book Review

When I heard about this book I thought it was really intriguing and it was about mental health so I just had to pick it up when it released and I’m so glad I did! It’s such a wonderful book and I highly recommend reading it!

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So what is this book about? Well you can read the synopsis here, taken from Goodreads:

Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?

The first thing I want to say is that this book has such great mental health rep! It a realistic, honest view on mental health. The characters are so real and have great character development that shows exactly how managing and dealing with mental health can be. It’s not a straight line up, there’s up and downs but you still keep going.

One of the things I loved was that through the story I actually learnt a lot about mental health services and different mental health conditions, but it was never pretentious of preachy. It all just felt naturally part of the story.

The story itself was so interesting and so relatable and the messages it gave were wonderful! The message about being kind not only to others but also to yourself were so powerful and really makes you think.

“You don’t have to stop looking after yourself just to help the world. In fact, sometimes it’s better for the world if you put yourself first. That’s not being selfish, in fact looking after yourself is the greatest act of kindness you can give the world. Loving yourself first is the best way to spread love. You’ve tried so hard to be kind, but you’ve not started with you, and maybe that’s where it’s gone wrong?”

Each character was genuine and fully fleshed out. They were more than their mental illness and I loved that about them. I also loved that despite them being in a place which will hopefully help them to learn how to manage and live a better quality life they had moments where they did relapse but also made progress. It all felt so real! I honestly can’t explain how much I loved the portrayal of each character! It was real and respectful.

I’m so glad books like this are being written now as they are so needed. Because we need books with good mental health rep not only for those who suffer from it but also for others so that more people can understand what it is like. The message of this book is so important; kindness to ourselves and others is so important. The world could be a much better place if we were kinder. And remember #KindnessIsContagious so spread it!

“I think real kindness, real compassion, is having the strength to stop and try and see where another person is coming from. To try and work out why they’re being the way they’re being. It takes time and patience. It’s not easy, but that’s real kindness.”
Unboxings

Illumicrate Unboxing – Oh So Criminal August Box

Hey booknerds! I have an unboxing for you today! This is the August Illumicrate box and I loved this box! They had items inspired by some of my favourite fandoms and I love the villains in the stories so I knew I had to get this box and they did not disappoint.

So lets get to the unboxing!

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The first thing included in this box is a nail file inspired by Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. This was such a unique idea and I loved it! The artwork is by @heyatlascreative

The next thing is the Easiest Lies mirror inspired by the curseworkers books by Holly Black. Although I haven’t read the books I still love this mirror! Designed by @reverieandink

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One of my favourite items was the Sirius Black coaster! It’s so cute and I love that it says Sirius snacks! Designed by @katieabey

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Also included was a Six of Crows lanyard! I’ve been wanting a lanyard for ages so I’m glad I finally got one and even better that it’s one of my favourite books ever! Designed by @fableandblack

Another item that was included that I love was the Perfect Heist candle. I am obsessed with bookish candles so I love getting them in boxes! Especially as they’re exclusive! Made by @elvenwickcandles

They also included a necklace which says antagonist on one side and protagonist on the other. Made by @_down_the_rabbithole_

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They also included a tote! I love bookish totes and I adore this one as it says Villains are my bag! Artwork by @kdpletters

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The last thing that was included was this amazing Gothan Sirens print. I love it so much!

And of course the book this month was Catwoman by Sarah J Maas! This was an exclusive hardcover with sprayed pages! I love books with sprayed pages and this one is especially stunning! They also included a catwoman bookmark.

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So there you have it! The August Illumicrate box!

Did you get the box? What was your favourite item this month?

Top 5 Wednesdays

Top 5 Wednesdays – Books For My Younger Self

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.

So this weeks topic is books for my younger self. So I chose books that I wish had been around when I was younger.

1 Are we all Lemmings and Snowflakes? By Holly Bourne – I recently read this book and I loved the mental health rep and I wish there had been books like this when I was a teenager to help me understand

2 Wonder by R.J. Palacio – I adore this book and the message it shares and I wish more people would read this book especially kids

3 Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed – this book shows how difficult it can be for some girls to get an education and it made me realise how much I took for granted growing up

4 Jinxed by Amy McCulloch – the main character in this book is science nerd and proud and I am so happy to see these kind of books especially for teens

5 Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan – one of the main characters is a Muslim hijab wearing girl who is not only unapologetically Muslim but also a kickass Valkarie. I wish I had characters who I could relate to like this growing up

So there you have it! Books I wish I had when I was younger!

What books do you wish you could’ve had when you were younger?

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Hidden Gems

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

So this week the topic is Hidden Gems. Books you think deserve more recognition.
So I’m going to share some of my favourite books with you all that I feel like don’t get enough love!

1 The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman – if you like historical fiction then you will love this! The last book is out in a couple months and I cannot wait!

2 Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk – I got this book in a book box and it’s become one of my top reads this year! It’s a Spartacus retelling and I highly recommend it!

3 Gilded Cage by Vic James – this book will tear your heart to pieces and keep you on the edge of your seat and guys, it’s so good!

4 The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson – a book with dinosaurs?! I knew I had to read this book and it’s amazing!

5 The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar – this book deals with the refugee crisis and I highly recommend reading it. It’s such a relevant book and beautifully written.

6 Flawed by Cecilia Ahern – this dystopian was chilling. It’s quite scary how this parallels society and I feel like not enough people know about it.

7 The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – okay so I know that quite a few people have heard of this book but I feel like it’s still very underrated and it’s so good and deserves all the love!

8 Jinxed by Amy McCulloch – I came across this book recently and I fell completely in love but not many people know about this gem and you’re all missing out!

9 The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James – this book has great mental health rep and a badass heroine but not in the conventional sense and I loved it so much!

10 Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed – this book is about the right for an education for all girls and is a topic close to my heart. It deals with a very important topic but not enough people have read it and I definitely recommend it

So these are my recommendations for you all! I highly recommend reading all of these books as they’re all amazing!

What books would you recommend that are amazing but don’t get enough love?

Monthly Wrap Up

August Monthly Wrap Up

Hey booknerds! Another month is over! So that means it’s time for a wrap up. This month has been crazy busy for me with my family staying over and me going to my parents and it’s wedding season so with so much going on my reading has been neglected and so has my blog. But I will be a lot more active next month! And also why this wrap up post is super late!

So I think because I have been so busy I think my enjoyment of what I read has also been affected. I felt like I wasn’t able to enjoy the books as much as usual. Although I did read a few books I really loved.

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But here is what I did read this month:

1 A Treasury of Ghazali by Abu Hamid Ghazali – I read this book slowly over a few month as it’s a book to read and reflect and I really did enjoy this book.

2 Jinxed by Amy McCulloch – I picked this up at a book event and I absolutely loved it! It is such an interesting story and I adored the characters. You can read my full spoiler free review here

3 Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi – I enjoyed this book a lot more than Shatter Me so i’m looking forward to continuing the series.

4 The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – This is a reread as part of a readalong and I really loved being back in this world

5 Cress by Marissa Meyer – This was a reread via audiobook and I loved it even more the second time around!

6 The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green – I got an ARC of this in an illumicrate box and I’m so glad they included it! I really enjoyed the book and I’m excited to read the next one! You can read my full spoiler free review here

7 The Golden Child by Wendy James – this is such a thought provoking book! I really enjoyed reading it and I highly recommend picking it up. The story is about bullying amongst children. You can read my spoiler free review here

8 Moonrise by Sarah Crossan – This book was a quick read but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as other people. I think partly due to the way it was written.

9 Sea Witch by Sarah Henning – I had heard a lot about this book before it was released so I was excited to read it and I really loved it!

10 Fairest by Marissa Meyer – another reread via audiobook and I just loved it! Levana’s backstory is so interesting and I really enjoyed hearing it again

11 A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan – A story based on King Midas and has pirate adventures?! I seriously needed to read this book! And I really loved it! I really loved the characters and the story!

I also DNFd Mister Monday by Garth Nix as I just could not get into the story at all. I didn’t find it interesting and just made me feel slumpy so I gave up.

So here are all the books I read in august! Let me know if you read any of these and what you thought!

I also posted a review of:

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar. You can read the spoiler free review here

Book Reviews

The Golden Child by Wendy James Book Review

Thank you to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me a copy of this book to review.

So this book is not my usual read but the synopsis intrigued me so I was happy when Harper Collins sent me this book to review.

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Rating: 4/5

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Blogger Lizzy’s life is buzzing, happy, normal. Two gorgeous children, a handsome husband, destiny under control. For her real-life alter-ego Beth, things are unravelling. Tensions are simmering with her husband, mother-in-law and even her own mother. Her teenage daughters, once the objects of her existence, have moved beyond her grasp and one of them has shown signs of, well, thoughtlessness …
Then a classmate of one daughter is callously bullied and the finger of blame is pointed at Beth’s clever, beautiful child. Shattered, shamed and frightened, two families must negotiate worlds of cruelty they are totally ill-equipped for.
This is a novel that grapples with modern-day spectres of selfies, selfishness and cyberbullying. It plays with our fears of parenting, social media and Queen Bees, and it asks the question: just how well do you know your child?

I really loved reading this book and it gave very interesting insight into the world of bullying amongst children and teenagers that we often hear about in the news. The story is told from multiple points of view from both the bully and her mum and the victim and her mum so it gave the unique opportunity to hear from both sides. I found this gave it a much more realistic view of what happens and made it more real for the reader.

This story had me engrossed from beginning to end and I was up late at night to read just one more chapter. And even though this story is fiction I feel like it is something everyone with children should read. It makes you think about how well you know your children and how we can be so oblivious to what is happening in their lives.

The story starts when Beth and her family move back to Australia and although both her daughters are unhappy about this at first they eventually settle into their lives, though Lucy is more accepting than Charlotte. Charlotte is the confident, popular girl whereas Lucy is more quiet.

As the story progresses we see some of the bullying that happens with Charlotte and her friends at the centre of it and the victim is Sophie, someone initially befriended Charlotte when she first started the school. The bullying eventually leads to Sophie attempting to commit suicide after she is victim to cyber-bullying involving videos and a website called slowphie emerge. She is also sent anonymous messages which tell her to kill herself.

Beth learns that the blame is pointed firmly towards her daughter Charlotte and then has the difficult task of reconciling the daughter she knows and the one who could bully another girl. She is also friends with the mum of Sophie and this adds another layer of complexity. How does she face her friend?

Throughout we also get to read some of Beth’s blog posts and another from the website the golden child. This made the story even more interesting as we assume the website is Charlottes and we also see how we often show a different picture of our life online than how we are off line. Beth’s online persona always seems like she has everything under control but her life is full of events that happen that are completely out of her control and she struggles to deal with.

The ending of the story was so shocking and I was not expecting this at all and it left me thinking about the story long after I finished reading. This book makes you question everything you do and know about yourself and your family. Are you good enough? Do you do enough for your family? Is what happens your fault?

Overall I really loved the book and I am so glad I decided to read out of mu comfort zone and pick this book up. I would highly recommend it to everyone.