Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Favourite Villains

This is hosted by Something of the Book who created this tag out of a love for lists. There are different topics for us all to be able to take part and you can find the prompts here. There isn’t a specific number of favourites so it’s entirely up to you how many you share. You can share your most or least favourites too!

As I did a post on my favourite villains not too long ago, I thought I would share my favourite Disney villains instead!

So here are the Disney villains I love or love to hate!

1 Hades from Hercules – I actually love Hades, I mean I know he’s trying to take over Olympus but he’s so sarcastic while doing it that you just can’t help but root for him just a little.

2Maleficient from Sleeping Beauty – The only good thing about this film was Maleficent.

3 Scar from The Lion King – Another absolutely awful villain who was sarcastic enough for me to actually enjoy his presence

4 Gaston from Beauty and the Beast – The Disney version of white male privilege and damn I could not stand him.

5 Jafar from Aladdin – I really hated him and how he view Jasmine as a thing to be owned

6 Mother Gothel from Tangled – I have never hated a Disney villain more than her. She manipulated, isolated and controlled Rapunzal and gaslit her when she tried to fight for her dream. Urgh! I really hate her!

So these are the villains I love to hate! Let me know who your favourites are!

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Lifestyle

Bingeworthy TV Shows

So this is around the time that new seasons of all our favourite shows start. And as it gets older and darker I just love snuggling on the sofa in my blanket and a cup of tea and watch my favourite shows. So I thought I would share some of the shows I love watching.

Especially as the shows I love to watch are very different to the types of books I love to read. I love fantasy and sci-fi books but I when it comes to shows I love watching crime and thriller/mystery shows, even though I don’t particularly like reading those books.

Anyways here are my favourite shows:

1 NCIS – I have been watching this show since practically the beginning and it never fails me. I can watch this show every single day on repeat and never get bored! I love the characters and their banter and they have such great story arcs and one of the slowest of slow burn romances ever!

2 Criminal Minds – Another show that I love watching the repeats even though it is pretty dark at times but I love how the whole team is like a family!

3 How To Get Away With Murder – My sister convinced me to watch this and omg I love it! I love to watch all the episodes in the season over a few days though. So I always wait for the season to end before watching it. Look every episode leaves me wanting to know what will happen next and I can’t take that week wait

4 Sherlock – I watch the episodes ALL THE TIME I absolutely the BBC Sherlock. They are witty and sarcastic and has me totally engrossed every single time no matter how often I watch it

5 Ertugrul – This is a Turkish show inspired by the real history of Ertugrul, who is the father of Osman. Osman founded the Ottoman Empire. I am completely and entirely addicted and obsessed with the show and I highly recommend watching it!

So here are the shows I love to watch and often binge watch. Do you watch any of these? What are your favourite shows to watch?

Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Blog Tour – The Never Tilting World By Rin Chupeco – ARC Review

Thank you to Caffeine Book Tours for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review and having me on the blog tour.

As soon as I heard about The Never Tilting World I knew I just had to read it and when I am so excited to be part of the blog tour and to share my review because I absolutely loved it!

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Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.
While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.
But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.

The concept of this story immediately intrigued me and I really loved this book. Rin incorporated climate change and the destruction it can cause on our planet into the story so well. And the parallels to real life were so well done. The youth are the ones trying to make a difference whereas those in power are content to stay in their palaces and forts safe regardless of what that means for everyone else. The four main characters want to try and undo the damage and make the world a better and safer place to live for everyone yet the adult tell them to focus on other things.

I remember the world back when it was soft and good, where I could watch the sun set before stars graced the sky with their shine. Do you know what I would give to see a sunset again, lad?

There are four points of view in the book and I really loved seeing things from all of them. Though my favourite is definitely Arjun. He a moody cinnamon roll and I loved him! The two sisters are separate throughout the book because they have grown up on opposite sides of the world so we see their separate and very different journeys with their companions (and love interests).

Odessa travels with Lan who is a healer and they have a very difficult relationship which they have to work through in this journey because of certain things that happened before they started. Haidee travels with Arjun who grew up as a desert scavenger unlike Haidee who has grown up in a palace surrounded and protected by fort. They come from very different lives yet they end up working together so well! They were definitely my favourites as they were so adorable! I really loved seeing how different Haidee and Odessa are yet are so similar in many ways too.

I really loved that right from the beginning we are thrown right into the story and the magic system and we slowly learn more over the course of the story. We learn about why the way the world is the way it is and the history and how the magic in the world works. But it was even more interesting because we learn half from Haidee and half from Odessa who have both been given half truths and kept in the dark about many things from their mothers.

We’re chasing a dying sea under an endless sun that kills us with a thousand little cuts every day

The story is also quite dark at times from the monsters that they have to deal with, they were actually pretty terrifying at times. Discussion of how people can abuse their power and positions of authority and will often never be held to account are also discussed. We see the discussion happen in quite depth in the story where abuse is often ignored and covered up. Social class and inequalities are also something that are discussed in the story.

I really loved how diverse this story was, there were characters of different ethnicities all interacting with each other. Arjun has a disability, where he has lost his hand and it was really great seeing how he compensated for it but also that it does affect him. Lan suffers from PTSD and her journey of accepting help and feeling safe to talk to someone was done really well. Odessa also suffers from a chronic illness and I really loved seeing that! We never really get chronic illness rep and really related to it (a chronic illness sufferer) that she had to learn to balance between doing something and having to rest and how difficult was for her to accept her limitations.

A demoness is what men call a goddess they cannot control

The Never Tilting World is a journey of self-discovery of wanting to be more than the label they have been given and doing something that will make a difference in the world. It’s about family and friendship and love and power. You will be swept away by this wonderful story.

 

Here is the full blog tour schedule where you can find all other posts and follow the author on social media.

You can find the full schedule and giveaway here

Schedule (The Never Tilting World)

You can also join in on the Twitter chat happening on October 19th

CBTTC (The Never Tilting World)

Follow Shealea and Rin Chupeco to keep up to date with everything!

PS. You can find the twitter thread here

Book Tag, muslim shelf space

#TheLightbearers Book Tag!

Today I’m going to be doing a book tag inspired by The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah! This book will be out on October 29th so make sure you all go check it out and preorder!

This book tag was created by the lovely Amna over at YA Book Corner you can check out her post here

Before I share my answers, here’s what The Light at the Bottom of the World is about:

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.
Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people, often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.
When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.
Now, she’ll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hot headed companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture-and her father might be lost forever.

The book tag is inspired by different aspects of the book so I hope it peaks your interest and makes you want to read the book even more!

So here are my answers:

1 The LIGHT book cover features the city of London. Name a book that depicts a real or fictional city on its cover – The first book that comes to mind is the Ayesha Dean books by Melati Lum. They have the cities that the book takes place in. So Istanbul and Seville are each on the covers (along with a hijabi!)

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2 Leyla McQueen is a champion submersible racer. Name a character you would like to see race against her in the London Submersible Marathon – I think Carswell Thorne would be a super competitive and make it an interesting race!

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3 Leyla ventures outside of London for the very first time in LIGHT. Name a book where you enjoyed exploring its world – The Grishaverse! I love seeing the world expand with each new book and how different parts of the world are so different yet all interesting!

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4 Leyla and Ari are reluctant companions on a long journey. Name a character you would want on an epic adventure with you – Prince Alizayd Al-Qahtani! Did anyone expect me to give anyone else as an answer?! I will follow my Zaidi to the ends of the earth.

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5 Leyla is never far from her brolly, or umbrella in LIGHT. Name a character accessory you wish you had – Ever since I read ADSoM, I have wanted Kell’s coat! It’s so cool and I can turn it inside out to get a new coat to match all my outfits! Practical and fashionable!

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6 Books from the Old World are considered valuable in LIGHT. Name a book that you hope would survive for future generations to read – Wow that’s such a difficult decision! There’s so many! But I will have to go with the Daevabad trilogy. It has wonderfully diverse rep, beautifully nuanced Muslim rep and well lets face it, I am completely in love with the books and I need everyone to read them for generations to come. (But not my copies, no one can touch those)

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So that’s all my answers! I hope enjoyed reading and if you read it then consider yourself tagged!

Book Reviews

The Beautiful By Renee Ahdieh – ARC Review

Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I have loved all of Renee’s books and The Beautiful was no exception! Once I started reading I was completely hooked!

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Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

Renee has made me completely and entirely fall in love with her books and her writing. Ever since I read The Wrath and the Dawn I have been hooked! If you haven’t read any of her books then you need to go fix that asap!

The Beautiful is set in New Orleans and although I don’t know much about it, after reading this book I most definitely want to go and see it. Renee’s writing is beautiful and you become completely immersed in her world. She creates this wonderfully dark atmosphere with rich and vivid world building from the setting to the clothes and food. I could see all of Celine’s beautiful clothes and was practically salivating reading the scenes which describes the food they ate.

I’m a girl who’d rather experience life than watch it pass by from my window

One of the things I love about Renee’s books is that her female main characters are all so wonderful and Celine is no exception. She is smart and witty and outspoken. She fights for what she wants and doesn’t let anyone walk all over her. I related to her so much and how she was so tired of being told what to do and being treated as if she isn’t capable of doing anything herself and just needs to be saved by a big strong man. She is a badass and won’t allow men to talk for her.

And of course a Renee Ahdieh book would not be complete without a swoon worthy male main character, in the case of The Beautiful, his name is Bastien. Say hello to you newest book boyfriend. I loved him from the moment we met him. He is roguish and charming and because we see him from Celine’s point of view it made him really mysterious and intriguing, and even though we know that is no gentlemen you can’t help but fall in love with him.

And I really loved the scenes between Bastien and Celine. They have such great witty banter and the romance that slowly builds between them is intense and left me screaming at them to just admit their feelings! The angst and the tension that builds up between them was done so well! I also really loved the side characters, every single character is so complex and there’s more to them than we initially see from them.

It’s the land of the free in idea only, then.

One of my favourite things in this book was seeing how diverse it was! All the diverse characters including both Celine and Bastian. And I really loved how Renee showed the social inequalities and how being a person of colour meant they were limited in what they could do in life despite being capable and qualified and how unjust that was. It was also interesting to see that Celine was white passing and as a result of that she had to hide half of herself and her heritage to the point where she doesn’’t even know anything about her mother and where she is from and so feels like she is missing part of herself but that because of this she is able to take opportunities that would otherwise be denied to her.

The story itself is intense and thrilling and will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting to know more. It kept me up reading late into the night because I was so enthralled by it and I just needed to know who the murderer was. We are slowly given the information and as it becomes more tense near the end and then when all is finally revealed you are left with your mouth hanging open because you did not see that coming! We are left on one hell of a cliffhanger and I have no idea how I am going to wait until next year to get my hands on the next book!

Book Reviews

Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart – Book Review

Thank you to Dark Room Tours and Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

When I read the synopsis I was instantly intrigued and when I was accepted as part of the bookstagram tour I was so excited! And I really enjoyed it, it’s such a heartfelt read.

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Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Before, I was a million things. Now I’m only one. The Burned Girl.
Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn’t need a mirror to know what she looks like–she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her.
A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be “normal” again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends–no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever.
But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn’t have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn’t afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theatre just as much as she does, and slowly, Ava tries to create a life again. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she’s going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.

When I first heard about this book it sounded like Wonder but for YA and honestly if you loved Wonder then you will love this book too. It’s a story of loss and grief, of losing yourself and finding yourself again, of overcoming your fears and accepting yourself for who you are.

Everyone has scars. Some are just easier to see

Reading this it’s easy to connect to Ava and understand how she feels, even if we haven’t experienced the loss and life changing event she has. She is struggling to cope with her life now, she has no-one in her life that she can truly open up to and is so lonely. She misses her parents and cousin and she has cut contact with her friends and old life because she doesn’t want them to see what she looks like now.

She goes through such a wonderful story arc of learning to accept herself for who she is now and grieve for those she lost. It felt so real to read her story as it isn’t just a she goes to school and suddenly everything is fine. She struggles, she grows, takes steps forward but also goes backwards at times. It’s an everyday battle that she goes through.

When a wound’s that deep, it’s the healing that hurts.

She thinks that no-one will want to be friends with her because of how she looks but when Asad tries to talk to her, she ignores him, making assumptions yet he truly is trying to be nice and wants to get to know her. Each character has a specific label at the beginning of the book and it was wonderful to see how each of them are so much more than their labels and they all learn and grown throughout the story.

Ava’s friendship with Piper and Asad was so lovely to read, how they both help her in school and help her to accept herself and continue to do what she loves, especially theatre. Her friendship with Piper was especially important in helping her grow. Yet their relationship is also complex as they are both struggling but also showed how important friendships can be when someone is going through a difficult time.

Her aunt and uncle were also such wonderful characters to read about. They have also had to deal with the loss of their daughter and are looking after Ava. They need her as much as she needs them yet it takes Ava a long time to understand how much she needs them in her life. But they stick by her through everything and love and support her in everything.

Scars Like Wings is a powerful story about self-acceptance and learning to grieve and move on in life and filled with important lessons and I highly recommend you all read it.

She conquered her demons and wore her scars like wings

For the love of Books, Lifestyle

Fiction Books With Mental Health Rep – World Mental Health Day

It’s World Mental Health Day and I am really glad to see more people talking about mental health. It affects so many people and yet there is still so much stigma around it.

So I wanted to share some books that I’ve read and loved that have really great mental health rep. I will also be writing a post about non-fiction mental health books, so keep an eye out for that too!

So here are some of the books that I read that I think have great mental health rep:

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1 All The Things We Never Said by Yasmin Rahman – This deals with depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts so it can be a difficult read but I really loved the rep. You can read my full review here

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2 The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf – This book is an ownvoices book with really great mental health rep especially as it discusses how cultural or religious beliefs impact someone seeking help.

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3 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – This was one of the first contemporaries that I read and loved because I really related to Cath and how her anxiety affected her when she started university. You can read my full review here

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4 No Fixed Address by Susin Neilsen – This book shows how a parent having mental health problems can also affect their children. You can read my review here

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5 Are we all Lemmings and Snowflakes? By Holly Bourne – I really loved seeing characters all struggling with different mental health problems in this book. You can read my review here

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6 The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James – The main character suffers from anxiety in this book and I really loved how it was shown.

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7 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I really loved seeing how Kaz deals with his PTSD in this book. You can read my review here

So these are some of my favourite books featuring mental health. Let me know what books you’ve read with great mental health rep!