Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – My Favourite Friendships

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

This week is a love freebie so I thought I would share my favourite friendships in books because love isn’t always a romantic one and I have such wonderful friendships with my girls that it’s one of the things I absolutely love seeing in books.

So here are some of my favourite bookish friendships:

1 Nina and Inej from Six of Crows – I absolutely adore their friendship and how they look out for each other.

2 Cinder and Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles – They are one of my favourite friendships ever! I love their banter and sarcastic comments at each other but they are also always there for each other.

3 Percy and Grover from the Percy Jackson series – They have a literal empathy link okay I mean their friendship is amazing.

4 Will and Jem from The Infernal Devices – They have such a beautiful friendship I love them so much!

5 Magnus and Samirah from the Magnus Chase trilogy – They are absolutely adorable and I love how respectful Magnus is of Samirah’s faith.

6 Laia and Izzy from An Ember in the Ashes – They go through so much together and risk their lives for each other. I love them!

7 Mehreen, Cara and Olivia from All the Things We Never Said – These three literally save each others lives. They are all so different yet they get along so well.

8 Lia and Pauline from The Kiss of Deception – I loved how much they supported and sacrificed for each other.

9 Ayesha and Clara from Ayesha at Last – Everyone needs a best friend like Clara! I love how supportive they are of each other and help each other.

10 Alizayd and Lubayd from The Kingdom of Copper – I was so happy that Ali finally made a true friend and Lubayd was always there for him and looked out for him.

So these are my favourite friendships! Tell me some of yours!

Fiction Books, YA Books

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.


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

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Book Characters I’d Love to Be Besties With

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

This week I am going to share characters I would love to be friends with. There’s always characters when you read about them, you instantly love them and wish you could hang out with them and just be friends with them and I have read so many amazing characters like that.

1 Samirah Al-Abbas from Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan – She is a badass and unapologetically Muslim and I just wish I was half as confident as her in her beliefs when I was her age.

2 Zainab from Love From A To Z by S.K. Ali – Another character who is unapologetically Muslim and I saw myself in her and I feel like if we were in school together we would definitely be friends

3 Ayesha from Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – I really loved her and who she was and would love to hang out with her

4 Tessa from TID by Cassandra Clare – A fellow booknerd! How could I not be friends with her?!

5 Zainab Al-Qahtani from The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – She is sassy and smart and I just want to be friends with her okay

6 Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – She was the first character I saw myself in, a booknerd and studious. I would most definitely be friends with her.

7 Cress from TLC by Marissa Meyer – She is a fangirl and I could see us happily fangirl together for hours

8 Nahri from The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – She is a badass and not afraid to stand up for what is right but she’s also smart about it. She would totally be an activist and we could campaign together.

9 Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I love her and although she would be intimidating at first I think she would be an amazing friend.

10 Audrey Rose from Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – We would both totally geek out over all the human biology and talk about how fascinating the body is together

So here are the characters I would be besties with!

What characters would you be besties with?

Fiction Books, YA Books

No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter – ARC Review

I picked this ARC up at Northern YA Literature Festival and I’m so glad I did because I really loved this book!


Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Meet Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. Everything changes. At first he seems perfect. But as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in.
With her mum trying new fad diets every week, and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.

I am so glad books like this are being released which not only have a character where the character is not the typical perfectly skinny and flawless teenage girl but she is also happy within herself and what her body looks like. Can we please have more of these books please!

This book is about self-acceptance, about being comfortable in your own skin and loving yourself. It is about body positivity and I really loved it! It also deals with how others can create self-doubt and how others perception of you can be the thing that actually holds you back. It can cause low self-esteem and even result in them suffering from mental health issues.

“It’s not my body that’s holding me back. I think it’s more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back.”

I really loved the discussion around family and friends who may not even realise that telling someone they need to lose weight to look better is not okay, even if they say they are only saying this because they love that person. It still hurts regardless of “how they meant it” and can cause people to become distant from each other. Like in the book Emily has a difficult relationship with her mum because of how her mum always tries to get her diet, and even tricking her to attend weight loss meetings, saying she only does it because she loves her.

But it was also important to show how these doubts that make us feel less, that make girls feel like they aren’t pretty enough or skinny enough can affect them so much in adulthood too. Like Emily’s mum who constantly worries about her weight.

It was also interesting to see how something as simple as trying on clothes in the shops can be frustrating and stressful for someone who is fat and not many people will understand that stress, especially if they don’t experience something like this themselves.

Emily’s friendships were so wonderful to see, it felt real and relatable. She has a wonderful group of friends who support each other. Her best friend loses a lot of weight over the summer so Emily has to deal with a whole range of emotions from feeling jealous to feeling pressured to lose weight and also being happy for her. And it does cause some tension between them but I was glad to see that they worked through it.

As the story progressed and we see more of Emily’s and Joe’s relationship and how he treats her I was totally rooting for her to go with her gut instincts and I’m so glad she did. I love how the author showed that we shouldn’t be okay with anyone making us feel less than who we are or be with someone who is embarrassed about how we look. Though I do wish the author had spent more time on this part of the story

The ending is the only part I wish we got more of. The middle part of the story felt too long and the ending felt rushed and I would have loved to see more of Emily realising she deserves so much more.

Overall I really enjoyed this story and I hope to see more books that deal with body positivity being released.

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Characters I See Myself In

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

This week is a character freebie so I decided to do a past topic I missed.

So I am going to talk about characters I see myself in. Growing up I rarely saw characters I could completely and entirely relate to. Yes, I related to aspects of them, like they were bookish or introverts but I never saw a character who looked like me or was from a similar culture as me. Someone who was similar to the family dynamics of growing up Asian, whose religion and spirituality was a part of and as important as other parts of their lives. But I am so glad that I have seen more and more characters from diverse backgrounds being included in books!

So here some of the characters that I have related to and seen myself in:

1 Cath from Fangirl – she was the first character that I read that had anxiety and I related to her so much. She found it hard to interact with people and struggled with change and it was so similar to how I felt at 18.

2 Amirah from She Wore Red Trainers – she was focused on her studies and her family and didn’t think about marriage at all. It was how I felt as a teenager and I loved how she was trying to practice Islam and learning and growing.

3 Scarlet from Caraval – I really related to her protectiveness and love for her younger sister. Being the oldest sibling I was the same and was always looking out for my sisters.

4 Samirah from Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – she is a badass who is also a hijabi and someone who practices her religion unapologetically and I loved seeing that in a middle grade book!

5 Ayesha from Ayesha at Last – I related to Ayesha so much! She wants to do so much yet responsibilities hold her back and I really felt that.

6 Cress from The Lunar Chronicles – another socially awkward introvert fangirl who I related to!

7 Mehreen from All the Things we Never Said – her first chapter was basically how I felt about my mental health. It’s complex and includes my feelings about my religious beliefs and I finally felt seen.

8 Ayesha from Ayesha Dean – she’s a hijabi doing her thing! I loved seeing that.

9 Zaynab from Love from A to Z – so unapologetically Muslim and had to deal with Islamophobia and this made her angry and lash out and I totally relate to those feelings.

10 Hermione from Harry Potter – the first character I ever related to as a kid. She is bookish and a nerd and she made taking her studies seriously cool and she stands up for her beliefs. I love her so much.

So these are the characters I see myself in. I love how you can see different parts of yourself in different characters and how it makes them so much relatable and by them being relatable you love the story even more.

What characters do you see yourself in or relate to?