Booksish Discussions

Books I Find Intimidating

Is there any books on your shelves that you’re putting off reading because they’re just so intimidating? Some because of their size, some because you’re not ready for the distress you will go through reading about your favourite characters suffering. Or because you’re afraid that they won’t live up to the hype. So many reasons to be put off from reading books you actually really want to read!

So I thought I would share a few that I really do need to read soon, hopefully sharing it on here will help…maybe…

So anyways here are some books that intimidate me:

1 Lord of the Rings – I absolutely adore the films and I’m worried they won’t be as good or I won’t enjoy it as much as I just don’t want to be disappointed.

2 Iron Gold – I suffered while reading the Red Rising trilogy and this book is massive so there is plenty of time for me to suffer and I’m just not ready. It also does not help that the book is so heavy and I have no idea how I can hold it to read.

3 The Book of Dust – Another book that I want to read but also I’m worried that I won’t enjoy it as much as the original trilogy

4 Priory of the Orange Tree – I did actually start reading but I got quite confused as there was a lot of information but the story was really interesting so I do want to continue reading this!

5 A Reaper at the Gates – Look I just need to know when the last book will be published because I already died waiting for this book and I can’t go through that pain again

So here is some books I’ve been putting off reading! Let me know if there’s any books you’ve been putting off reading!

Book Events

My YALC Experience – Part 1

This year was the first time that I had booked tickets to attend YALC for all three days and I was so excited about going and a little nervous as I wasn’t sure I would manage such long days with my health. But my sisters were going to be there with me so at least I wouldn’t be on my own if I needed help.

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I did mostly enjoy being at YALC, it was amazing to be surrounded by so many bookish people and the atmosphere was awesome! My favourite day was Friday as that’s when the authors I really wanted to see were there and it was the absolute best being able to finally meet them!

But before I talk about my favourite parts I want to talk about the issues that I had with the event.

My main issue was issues with accessibility. I found that there was a lack of seating that was available. There were literally no seats anywhere except the main stage where the panels were. For someone who suffers from chronic pain it made it really difficult for me during the day as sitting on the floor is really difficult for me and the standing for long periods meant that it made my pain really bad, especially carrying books or anything else I picked up during the day. (Even though I did use the cloakroom and have a suitcase to put my books instead of carrying them)

They said they had a chill out zone but again it was literally an empty space where people were sitting on the floor. This combined with the heat and humidity triggered my pain and anxiety. So much so that the pain made it impossible for me to even attend the Sunday which I am really upset about. I hope that there will be more seating available next year as it will really be the deciding factor on whether I can attend or not again and as much as I would love to go I don’t want to trigger my pain to the extent that I can barely get out of bed. It’s just lucky that I had my sisters to help me.

Another thing I want to mention is that some places were first x number of people get the ARC and I felt this was unfair and put those with disabilities at a disadvantage. We cannot stand outside and queue hours before YALC opens or rush to get there to be first. I also felt this could be pretty unsafe as the crowds could cause injury. I know most places did a raffle which I felt was much fairer and accessible to everyone and I hope that everyone will adopt this for next year.

I also wished they were a little more organised with the virtual signing system. It wasn’t clear whether we had to get a ticket for every author before but on the day we found out by chance we needed to get them for each author. We had to repeatedly come and check if we could get in the queue and while I understand that, that is necessary, if we are told to come back three times, after being told every time come back in 10 minutes it does get frustrating. My sister was told to come back at a certain time for an authors signing but when she came back at that time (which she was told by staff to do) the author had finished signing and left so she actually missed out on meeting the author she was most excited to meet.

The last thing I want to mention is that there was very few authors of colour and when I saw the author line up I was a little disappointed, although not surprised. I do hope that there are more authors of colour there in the future. It’s a little ironic that white authors are there talking about their books with PoC, yet authors of colour are few and far between at the same event.

Another part of diversity that I want to add is the lack of promotion or anything really, geared towards boys. I spent ages looking for something there that would interest my husband that I could say that he would enjoy if he came but there wasn’t much. Although I do have to say that this isn’t solely an issue at YALC but in general, book events are marketed towards girls.

Okay so I know I’ve gone on about the issues I had with being at YALC and I will probably not go again for all three days unless the seating issue is dealt with appropriately. But I will be posting another blog post about my highlights tomorrow!

Did any of you experience any difficulties of being there?

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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 these are my unpopular bookish opinions and well…don’t hate me because I know that a lot of you love these but I just don’t. Sorry!

1 I cannot stand Feyre and Rhysand from ACOTAR. I never liked Feyre and well, Rhysand’s character was problematic from the beginning. By the time I read ACOFAS I could not stand them AT ALL! Like seriously I do not want to see them again in any future books. Just let them go have babies and play happy families somewhere far away.

2 I am also not a fan of Rowan and Aelin from Throne of Glass. While I don’t hate them I still don’t see why everyone loves them so much, especially Rowan. He’s so meh. I think I just cannot stand overprotective, overly jealous, macho alpha males.

3 On the other hand I do love Chaol from Throne of Glass and I feel like he doesn’t deserve the hate he gets. I really liked his character and his bromance with Dorian and I really loved Tower of Dawn, even though it felt more like Yrene’s story than his.

4 I am not a fan of John Green books. I just cannot get into them at all and by this popint I’ve given up even trying.

5 Another popular character that I don’t like is Carden. I especially do not like that him and Jude are meant to be love interests because he has bullied her for so long and why? Oh because he liked her. Urm hell no! That is not okay!

6 I have no interest in reading or watching Game of Thrones. That’s all you get from me.

7 I also have no interest in reading or watching Outlander. I mean I tried to watch a couple episodes but it was so violent and so much sexual assault that I just couldn’t stomach it, no matter how interesting the storyline is.

8 Deckled edges look pretty but are an actual nightmare when you try and read the actual book.

9 Snape got the redemption arc that Draco deserved. I’m still salty about Harry naming his kid after him.

10 And the last one, I did not enjoy The Night Circus. I really struggled to get into it, I found the writing confusing and I got pretty bored reading it.

So there you have it! My unpopular bookish opinions!

Share yours with me in the comments and you can of course disagree with mine and others but please be polite and respectful of each other!

Fiction Books, YA Books

The Sharp Edge Of A Snowflake by Sif Sigmarsdottir – ARC Review

Thank you to Hachette’s Children’s Group and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book sounded really interesting so I was excited when I got accepted for an arc of this book. Though I do have to say I have mixed opinions about the story.

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Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Hannah Eiríksdóttir has been banished from her home in London to a place of eternal punishment for the wicked. No, not Hell, but close: Iceland. There, she faces a new life working as a journalist for her father’s newspaper – a man she barely knows.
Imogen Collins has the perfect life as a social media influencer, showing off her glamorous London existence to adoring fans. But behind the filters lies a dark secret. She thought she’d buried it: But the Beast is back – a ghost from her past who’s threatening to ruin her future.
When a man is found murdered at the edge of the road in snowy Iceland the girls’ lives collide. Imogen had the motive. Can Hannah find out the truth and discover the reality of the girl beneath the filters?
Behind perfection often lies unbearable ugliness.

This book sounded so interesting and we got to see the story unfold from both Hannah and Imogen’s point of view. So we get to see more than what the characters around them know. We see how appearances can be deceptive and not everyone is who they seem.

Even though the book seemed like it would be really intriguing I have to admit I was a little bored at times. I had issues with the pacing of the story and felt it dragged in the middle. I also found the different points of view a little confusing to keep track of who’s point of view I was reading at first though it did become clearer as the story went on.

I did really enjoy the setting, it’s set in Iceland and it was really atmospheric and gave that dark vibe that really went with the story. It also sounded really beautiful and made me want to visit even more!

Another thing I really loved was the Instagram posts that were included with the captions. What the captions actually say and what they were actually thinking about when posting it. The difference between what they actually write and what they are thinking and feeling was really great to see. Especially as social media is such a big part of many people, especially young people’s lives. What you post and what you say in your post can be seen by everyone and it makes people want to seem “perfect” at all times in the public.

There was quite a few themes in the story, from effects of social media, ethics of journalism, sexual assault, family and murder being among them. I really liked that they were included and spoken about especially how social media can influence people and the ethics of what journalists write as they are also influencing people’s views. Sexual assault was also a pretty big theme in the story and affected how Imogen was throughout the book and you can see the toll it takes on her yet she is blamed. And you can see the parallels in real life society currently, with everything happening in the media lately.

I did feel however that as the story is pretty short there was a lot of themes covered but not enough time dedicated to delving deeper into them. I wish we had gotten more conversation about the sexual assault and how social media affects people’s lives.

I think my biggest disappointment in the book was the ending. I felt underwhelmed with the ending and who actually turned out to be the murderer. I felt that it came out of nowhere and I just felt a little confused as to why this person decided to murder the man. I wish there was more build up and we got a bit more at the end to explain better the persons motives, especially as we barely see this person throughout the book.

Overall I did enjoy this book and thought there was some interesting themes explored in the book but I was a little disappointed by the ending.

Diverse Books, YA Books

The Princess And The Fangirl by Ashley Poston – eARC Review

Thank you to Quirk Books and Netgalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I adored Geekerella so when I heard there would be a companion book I was so excited! And this book did not disappoint. In fact I probably loved this even more than Geekerella.

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Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.
When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

This book is filled with so much adorable geekiness, I just cannot deal! It’s a feel good book that left me feeling giddy and wanting to go to a con myself. There is so many pop culture references and I loved it! From Harry Potter to Star Wars and so much more. It made the characters, being at the con so real and so relatable! Honestly, I don’t read many contemporaries especially cute fluffy ones but wow did I love this.

This story is essentially a modern prince and the pauper retelling and it was so nice to see a retelling of a different story, as all I seem to see a beauty and the beast retellings. With the added bonus of it being set in a con over four days, it was fun and fast paced and intense. A lot happens in these four days from each of the girls learning more about themselves and each other to how it is on the other side of the fandom.

I really loved the diversity in the book too. Ethan is Asian and there is a f/f romance. I thought it was really well written and not like it was forced in there.

Jessica is the actress who plays Princess Amara on the film Starfield and she receives a lot of hate. People are always commenting all over her social media, sending her hateful messages, which is difficult for her to handle. She feels as though no one wants her there because she wasn’t a Starfield fan and she didn’t want to be in future films. As a result of all of this she is distant and generally looks like she doesn’t want to be there. Although I didn’t particularly Jess at the beginning of the book as her story developed and we get to see all that she has had to go through and how unhappy and lonely she is and I ended up really loving her and totally rooting for her!

“We need those stories, too. Stories that tell us that we can be bold and brash and make mistakes and still come out better on the other side”

Imogen is probably the opposite of Jess. She is reckless and passionate and adores Starfield. So much so that she has spearheaded a campaign and started a petition to save Amara. She has a younger brother Milo who she feels she is constantly in the shadow of. Her mums can be a little over protective and she had her heartbroken at the last excelsicon. So she puts everything into the saving Amara campaign, regardless of whether Jessica Stone wants to continue being Amara or not. Throughout the story we learn why saving Amara is so important to Imogen but she also learns why it isn’t okay to force Jess to play a role that makes her so unhappy.

They both have some great character development even though it is only set over four days and the beginning of a romance. While they switched places they both meet someone who they start to develop feelings for. Imogen’s hate to love was great, I loved how they both misunderstood each other and their own prejudices got in the way of them realising their feelings. And I oved that Jess was able to meet a girl who she could talk openly to without fear of her words being twisted and shared all over the internet. I loved seeing their friendship develop into something more. I liked that neither couple “fell in love” but that it was the beginning of something as they have only known each for a few days.

I loved that the darker side of cons and being part of a fandom was also discussed from how obsessive fans can make the actors feel uncomfortable and unsafe. To how females are portrayed in films, especially sci-fi/fantasy. They tend to be a love interested and there to push the story and character development of the male hero. How actresses are held to higher and stricter standards than their male colleagues, even mentioning real actresses that this has happened to.

“I’m sick and tired of princesses being either damsels in distress or the foil for a male character’s emotional growth.”

I think the only thing I was unsure of was the motives of the person who leaked the script. Why was it leaked? What did this person hope to achieve? I also figured out pretty early on who it was but none of this lessened my enjoyment of this book. It’s honestly so fun and anyone who loves cons and is part of a fandom will love this!

P.S Can we have Starfield made into a real show?

This book releases on April 2nd so you still have time to preorder!

*Any quotes used are from the arc and subject to change in the final copy.