Bookish A-Z Survey Tag

Bookish A-Z.pngI was recently tagged by the lovely Siobhan to do this tag! I truly suck at keeping up with tags so if you’ve tagged me in one I promise I’ll get to it (eventually!). Let’s get to it!

Image result for city of bonesImage result for lord of shadowsImage result for the cruel princeScreen Shot 2018-09-21 at 21.31.03.pngImage result for dangerous girls

A- Author you’ve read the most books from

Definitely Cassandra Clare. Having read all the Shadowhunter books along with The Iron Trial, it comes down to a total of 12 books! As long as she keeps putting out books, I’ll be there to buy them.

B- Best sequel ever

Hands down Lord of Shadows, can I please just have Queen of Air and Darkness in my hands already??

C- Currently reading

I’m currently in the middle of The Cruel Prince, I’m only 100 pages away from the end and I’m feeling so many emotions!!

D- Drink of choice while reading

I can’t multitask to save my life so I don’t drink anything whilst reading. But if I had to choose I’d pick hot chocolate over anything any day, it’s the superior and very underrated warm beverage.

E- E-reader or physical book

I love physical copies, they’re beautiful to look at and I adore the feeling of flipping through the pages. However, e-readers are so much more convenient and I can read them sprawled out in my bed in any weird position. So both!

G- Glad you gave this book a chance

I almost passed on Dangerous Girls because YA thrillers aren’t my thing but when I saw my favourite Goodreads reviewer gave it 5 stars I decided to give it a try. Thank god for that.

H- Hidden gem book

I have a whole post about 10 Amazing Underrated Books, but to name one from my list: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. READ IT.

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I- Important moment in your reading life

Reading Percy Jackson. That series seriously cemented my love for reading when I was growing up. The way most people feel about Harry Potter and J.K Rowling, I feel towards Percy Jackson and Rick Riordan.

J- Just finished

I just recently finished reading Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I’m amazed I actually managed to finish it considering how many times I thought about ending my suffering by just DNFing it. Needless to say a review is coming soon 😉

K- Kinds of books I won’t read

Any adult crime, mystery, or thriller fiction. Just not my cup of tea hot chocolate.

L- Longest book you’ve read

Outlander. I really dislike long books so I’m surprised I even gave this a shot but I am so glad I did because it was 850 pages of pure beauty. I just have to get up the nerve to read the second book already but it’s so long.

M- Major book hangover because of

See above.

N- Number of bookcases you own

Just one, my room can’t fit another one in so it means I regularly have to take down and give away books to make room for new ones. Which is both sad and really helpful!

O- One book you have read multiple times

I am not the type to ever re-read books but this summer I re-read Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S- I Still Love You and The Summer I Turned Pretty. And it was a grand time.

P- Preferred place to read

My bed. Nothing can beat it’s comfort; n.o.t.h.i.n.g.

Q- Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you have read

To quote a recent read of mine, The Hate U Give: “At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them

Image result for harry potter bookRelated imageImage result for everything i never told you coverRelated imageImage result for simon vs

R- Reading regret

Taking a 2 year reading hiatus and never having read Harry Potter beyond the first book.

S- Series you started and need to finish

Too many my god: The Winner’s Curse, Six of Crows, Wayward Children, The Trials of Apollo, Penryn & the End of Days, and Grisha Verse.

T- Three of your all-time favourite books

How is this allowed to be a question? Since I can’t choose I’ll pick my favourite three of the year so far: Everything I Never Told You, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Winter.

U- Unapologetic fangirl for

YA. Seriously, people like to be such snobs about reading sometimes. Since I major in English literature where we study classics and very obscure books, I noticed people love to look down on books that are easy to read. Not reading YA doesn’t make you any worse or any better that people who do. Period.

Image result for queen of air and darknessRECEIPTImage result for heartlessImage result for my plain janeImage result for the wicked king

V- Very excited for this release more than all the others

Once I get Queen of Air and Darkness in my hands you’ll know, because you’ll able to hear me screaming all the way from London.

W- Worst Bookish habit

Using receipts as bookmarks?

X- X marks the spot: start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book

Heartless. I’ve yet to read that one!

Y- Your latest book purchase

I just got My Plain Jane yesterday and I’m so excited about it! I haven’t yet read My Lady Jane but I already know I’ll love it so I thought I’d go ahead and buy the companion sequel too.

Z- ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up way too late)

The Cruel Prince kept me up until 4am last night and will probably do the same tonight since I plan on finishing it today.

3.pngWhat do you think of my answers? Where do you agree/disagree? Tell me an answer to one of the questions above! I love tags because you can learn a lot more about a person in a quick post! If you have an Instagram or Twitter please tell me in the comments so I can add you 

It’s your turn! For this one I tag Brianna Lois Erin May Raven Sammie  

No pressure to do it and if you’ve already done it, feel free to link it in the comments so I can still see your answers!

Signature Mara

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10 Amazing Books I Want to Read this Fall | TOP TEN TUESDAY

top ten tuesday across the books

I haven’t posted a blog post in a week and I apologise but I start university next week and all the moving and preparation has kept me pretty busy! I do plan on posting two reviews this week and scheduling some posts so I don’t run out of content once uni begins. If you have some tips on how you balance school/work and blogging, please let me know!

This week’s TTT prompt revolves around Fall TBRs. I suck at sticking to TBRs however since this TBR is for the whole of autumn I feel like it will be more flexible and realistic. Last week’s prompt, Hidden Gems, was really fun and helped me find a lot of underrated books I’m interested in, some of which I’ve included in this TBR list!

Books I Want to Read This Fall

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1. Beartown by Fredrik Backman

This one has been on my TBR for a few months now and I think fall would be the perfect season to finally read it. I haven’t read the synopsis of this book but it was recommended to me when I was looking for a book with a similar vibe to Little Fires Everywhere. Although I don’t know what it’s about, I’ve heard amazing things about the author and the first line of the book already has me hooked.

2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I originally wasn’t going to read this book because I’ve heard some really mixed things about it, but in the end my curiosity got the better of me and I ended up buying it yesterday. Oops. Yet again, I have no clue what it’s about just that people either absolutely love it or hate it (and I really hope I’ll be the former). Either way I’m excited to be reading my first Holly Black book!

3. Vicious or A Darker Shade of Magic or just any V.E. Schwab book

I feel extremely late to the party. I don’t know why I haven’t read these books yet, I own both of them and have been following V.E. Schwab on Twitter for years. I feel like the hype surrounding her books is huge so my expectations are really high and I just don’t want to be disappointed. I definitely want to read one of her books by the end of the year, so do let me know which one I should start with!

4. Scythe by Neil Schusterman

I’ve always heard great things about Neil Schusterman’s books and this series seems to be the most loved. My sister just recently finished reading it along with the sequel and although she’s not big on YA, she massively enjoyed it so I can only imagine how good it is!

5. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Confession time: I am not a fan of The Raven Cycle series. I’ve read the first three books and although I loved the characters, I found the storyline really dull and boring. However, I really do enjoy Maggie Stiefvater’s writing and the premise of The Scorpio Races sounds so intriguing. It centres around the Scorpio Races, a yearly competition where riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses until the finish line; most of them dying in the process. The MC Puck Connolly accidentally enters the competition, the first girl to do so, and I’m guessing suspense and action ensue!

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6. Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Earlier this year I finally finished reading The Lunar Chronicles and it has since become one of my favourite series. I am now wanting to read anything Marissa Meyer publishes, which means reading her new sci-fi/fantasy trilogy. Yesterday I stumbled across the book with the US cover and immediately went to buy it because the UK cover isn’t nearly as pretty. The sequel comes out in November so I should be able to get to it before then!

7. Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

Most of the YA contemporary books I’ve read this year have been really disappointing so I’ve been looking for ones that I think I’d really enjoy. I read Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything years back and really enjoyed it so I’m hoping I’ll like her newest release just as much!

8. Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne

For last week’s prompt, Jo from Book Lovers Blog, highlighted some underrated books by UK authors and it really inspired me to pick up more UKYA books. It made me realise that even though I live in London, I mostly read and talk about books by American authors. I decided to change that by purchasing Holly Bourne’s newest book. It’s been getting amazing reviews and it seems like it has great mental health representation so I’m very excited to get to it.

9. A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

I’ve never read a Jodi Picoult book even though I’ve been meaning to for ages. All her books seem to explore controversial topics and start interesting discussions and this one is no exception. A Spark of Light follows a hostage situation at a women’s reproductive health services clinic that tackles the complicated issue of abortion and what it means to be a good parent. It comes out in October and I am so ready.

10. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I’ve been seeing this book everywhere on the blogosphere recently and it looks like such a fun and quick read! I don’t know much about the storyline only that’s it enemies to lovers, and honestly that’s all I really need to know. I don’t read a lot of adult romance books but this one sounds too good to pass up on.

3Have you read any of the books on my list? Are any on your TBR? What book are you looking forward to reading the most this fall? Do you have any books by UK authors to recommend? Let’s chat in the comments 

If you did this week’s prompt, feel free to link it!

Signature Mara

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10 Amazing Underrated Books That Are Worth the Read | Top Ten Tuesday

top ten tuesday across the booksA few weeks ago I did two blog posts talking about amazing books that lived up to the hype and disappointing books that didn’t. I was planning on doing a blog post that goes along with those two where I would talk about books that deserve a lot of hype, but are unfortunately very underrated. However when I saw that that was exactly a prompt for a future Top Ten Tuesday, I decided to wait and do it then. So here we are today! I’m really excited to share the books on my list because people seriously need to have these books in their lives. Some of these books are really underrated, while others were talked about during their release but have since disappeared from the face of the earth.

Underrated Books That Deserve More Hype

181669361. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavander by Leslye Walton

Much like the title says, this book is a strange and beautiful story about Ava Lavander, a girl born with wings. Ava’s wings are more of a curse than blessing since her unusual disposition prevents her from fitting in with her peers and makes her the focus of a man’s escalating obsession. It’s a breathtaking tale that tackles family, desire, and the ugly truth of wasted youth. Even though it’s magical realism, it unravels truths about human nature in a devastating and bittersweet way. It’s a quick but powerful book so you have no excuse to not pick it up!

256134722. A List of Cages by Robin Roe

When former foster brothers Adam and Julian reunite after years apart, Adam is ecstatic until he realises Julian is keeping dark secrets about what goes on inside his uncle’s house. Secrets that could cost both boys their life. This book has an amazing group of friends and the sweetest brotherly relationship I’ve read about. Make sure to prepare your tissues though because it is such a fast-paced read that you don’t realise you’re crying until a good chunk of the page is wet and you’re having a hard time reading the words through the film of tears. This book handles really difficult and heartbreaking topics and was very hard to read at times, but it’s such an incredible read.

134776763. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Although Matthew Quick is famous for The Silver Lining’s Playbook, this book deserves as much hype. This book is the strangest mix of depressing, funny and hopeful. And that’s one of the reasons why it’s amazing; it’s wholly unique. Leonard Peacock plans to kill himself and his former best friend on his birthday, but not before saying goodbye to the only four people that matter to him. Leonard Peacock is such a vibrant and peculiar teenager, but most of it feels like a facade he puts on in order to hide the loneliness and neglect that eats him up on the inside. While there are a lot of funny moments, they are paralleled with very depressing undertones that build up through the book as more backstory into Leonard Peacock’s life is revealed. I’m gonna tear up if I keep thinking about it, so just please do yourself a favour and read it.

160747584. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Spring Break gone wrong…very wrong. It follows a group of friends as they take a trip to Aruba only to have one of their friends brutally murdered and two of them accused of the crime. When I hear people talking about YA thrillers I rarely see this book mentioned which is such a shame because it’s such a mind fuck. The ending left me shocked and staring at my ceiling for what felt like hours. Besides the main reveal, the book is satisfying as a whole as it tackles the psychology of female friendship, the slippery nature of truth and the hardships of young love. While I read it in one sitting, the ending has stuck with me for a long time.

155053465. On the Island by Tracey Gravis Graves

Survival story of a 30 year old tutor and her student as they crash land on a deserted island after the pilot of their seaplane en route to the Maldives suffers a heart attack. Your classic story of survival and love, it really is a quick and easy read perfect for summer. I love how complete the story arc is, as it follows the characters before, during and after the crash and gives a very satisfactory ending with an epilogue. The progress of time is very realistic and the character growth are really well done. Having to hunt your own food and survive violent tropical storms does make you mature faster, I should think. Pick it up before summer ends!

382326056. Elefant by Martin Suter

This is a story of a tiny glow-in-the-dark pink elephant. Seriously. For Schoch, an alcoholic who has taken to living on the streets after a bitter divorce, the tiny pink elephant is a symbol of hope and second chances. While taking care of the tiny pink elephant he names Sabu, Schoch comes to realise he should give life another shot. The book is a morality tale that tackles a lot of controversial topics like genetic engineering, alcoholism, homelessness, faith and others. You should definitely give it a try if you’re looking for something different and unique to read!

135388737. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Story of a web designer who gets a job at a little odd bookstore, where nothing is quite what it seems. Clay Jannon embarks on a journey to uncover the meaning behind the shop’s existence and the mysterious codes written inside certain books. It’s a very quirky and internet savvy book that packs a big punch in less than 300 pages. If you love books about books, where you can learn a thing or two about coding while reading something that is uplifting, this book is for you!

233056148. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

A funny, enlightening and heart-warming story about a girl named Audrey who suffers from severe social anxiety. She has such bad social anxiety that she can’t speak to anyone outside her family and wears dark glasses 24/7 to avoid eye contact. The book follows Audrey as she takes small steps in order to overcome her anxiety and the friends and family that help her along on her journey. Her character was so likeable and real that I easily began to cheer her on from the comfort of my bed. Things that may seem easy to us, like walking into a Starbucks, are terrifying for her. Although she stumbles a bit on the way, Audrey grows tremendously over the course of this short book. Her story is very uplifting and is a good pick me up if you’re in a slump!

158638329. Angelfall by Susan Ee

Epic and dark YA urban fantasy about an angel apocalypse with a kick-ass female heroine and witty banter between the characters. I feel like there was a lot of hype around this trilogy when it was releasing but I rarely see it nowadays. However, everyone that has read it can vouch for how amazing and unique this book is. It is seriously an addictive page-turner!


1606903010. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Another case where there was a lot of hype when these books were coming out, but hardly anyone talks about them anymore. Which is such a shame because this book is a whole lot of betrayal, mystery and romance, which is a perfect mix for a YA fantasy. The book is centred around the concept of the “winner’s curse”, which basically states that the winner of an auction has also lost, because he/she has won by paying more than what the majority of other bidders think the item is worth. If that intrigues you, as it should, give it a try.

I wonder how many times I’ve said the word “unique” in this post lol, but honestly all these books are and I wish they got the recognition they deserve.

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? If not, are you intrigued by any of them? What are some of your favourite books that you think are seriously underrated? Let’s chat in the comments 

If you did this week’s prompt, feel free to link it!

Signature Mara

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10 Amazing Books with a Compelling First Line

10 amazing books with a compelling first line

Recently I’ve noticed that when I browse through books in the bookstore, the first thing I do when I pick up a book (after noticing the pretty cover) is read the first sentence. I usually don’t look at a book’s synopsis if I can help it because I like to go in without knowing much about the plot. Because of this I find that a book’s first really does play a big role if I buy a book on the spot or not. If I pick up a book I don’t know much about but the first sentence is unique and compelling enough, there’s a high chance I’ll still buy it. I feel like a lot of books are known for their famous last lines but I think the same importance should be placed on the opening line as well. An opening line sets the tone for the rest of the book and what you can expect from the plot to a certain extent. So today I have compiled a list of 10 amazing books on my shelf with a compelling first line/sentence.

10 Books With a Compelling First Line

Related imageImage result for beartownImage result for circe bookImage result for the leaversThe Blind Assassin by [Atwood, Margaret]

1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

2. Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead, and pulled the trigger.

3. Circe by Madeline Miller

When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. 

4. The Leavers by Lisa Ko

The day before Deming Guo saw his mother for the last time, she surprised him at school, 

5. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. 

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6. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are. 

7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. 

8. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say, about anything. 

9. Angelfall by Susan Ee

Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious. 

10. We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Life is bullshit. 

Ending on a positive note.

What is your favourite opening line of a book? Did you find any of the above first lines compelling? How do you choose to buy a book; from the cover, synopsis, hype or maybe first line? Let’s chat in the comments 

Signature Mara

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10 Amazing Book to Screen Adaptions Worth Your Time | Top Ten Tuesday

top ten tuesday across the booksThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is to recommend amazing TV shows and movies people should watch then they’re not reading. I thought it’d be fun to narrow down the list to just book to screen adaptations as that it fits the theme of my blog better, plus there’s so many to choose from!

All readers know the combination of excitement and dread when they hear one of their favourite books is being adapted to the screen. That’s because for every amazing book adaption, there are probably 5 not so amazing adaptations (I’m looking at you Percy Jackson and City of Bones). However when adaptions are done right, they are a thing of beauty. So today I’m going to break down 5 TV show and 5 movie adaptions that I think live up to the source material and are perfect for binge-watching when you’re taking a break from reading!

5 Amazing Binge-worthy TV Shows

Image result for outlander poster1. Outlander

My love for this book and TV show cannot be properly expressed in words. Watching it is an adventure, one that is full of twists and turns that make you high on happiness one second only to have it crushed in the next scene. The actors playing Claire and Jamie have such fantastic chemistry, it is hard not to love them as individuals and together. I don’t believe a period drama about a 20th century woman being transported back in time to 1743 Scotland can be anything less of amazing. As a reviewer pointed out, “Outlander has the most peculiar mix of gothic horror, swashbuckling adventure, magical fantasy” and I love that about it. Try it for the beautiful scenery and storyline, and stay for Jamie’s Scottish accent. All three seasons are on Netflix, just saying. (trigger warning: rape, sexual assault, torture)

Related image2. Big Little Lies

I binge-watched this show in July and finished all 7 episodes in one day. It was such an addictive and thrilling ride. It’s entertaining while also shining light on human nature, and the intricate relationships in marriage and motherhood. The casting is phenomenal. I mean come on, the TV show stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon! There’s definitely a good reason why it won big at the Golden Globes and Emmys. Season 2 is coming early next year, so now is the perfect time to catch up on the show. (trigger warning: domestic abuse, rape)

Related image3. Sherlock

A modern day Sherlock Holmes series full of gripping crime-solving and hilarious banter between Sherlock and Watson. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is entirely eccentric and indifferent to human emotions, making him the master of serious and comedic relief scenes. The cases being solved are entertaining and educational while the main plot is more than engaging.  Kinda makes you want to put on a detective hat and become a forensic criminologist yourself. Each season has around 3 episodes that are one and a half hour long, so it feels like you’re watching a mini movie marathon! (trigger warning: suicide, assault)

Image result for 13 reasons why4. Thirteen Reasons Why

While not without its flaws, I think this show conveys a strong message about bullying in an engrossing and honest way. It explores the deep rotted insecurities of teenagers and the challenges of surviving high school. It’s raw and unblinking in the way it explores how teenagers unintentionally, or intentionally, hurt each other and the dire consequences that result from it. While the topic being dealt with is heavy, the plot’s mystery makes it an engaging binge-worthy show. (trigger warning: self-harm, rape, suicide, sexual assault)

Related image5. The 100

A sci-fi adventure about a group of juvenile young adults exiled to Earth where decades prior a deadly nuclear war rendered it unliveable. It’s highly suspenseful, action packed and fast-paced, while also holding an air of mystery throughout the seasons. It’s a lot of fun to watch, and it only gets better with each season. The characters are all phenomenally fleshed out, while the plot is ambitious and ruthless in its undertaking. The storyline thickens with each season, making sure there is not a single dull moment in the show. The show currently has 5 seasons so it’s perfect for a binge-watch session!

5 Amazing Movies Done Right

Image result for love simon1. Love, Simon

I was planning on mentioning Netflix’s adaption of TATBILB again but then I remembered that I don’t really mention Love, Simon often which is a shame because it’s just as adorable. It’s funny and heartwarming, and made me relive all the emotions I had when I read the book. The characters are all charming and the humorous banter between them is great. The movie has a perfect balance of lightheartedness and emotional depth, plus it’s a super important movie, so go support it!

Image result for pride and prejudice2. Pride and Prejudice

A classic! I’ve probably seen this movie more than 5 times but there’s always something new to see in it. Jane Austen’s dialogue is adapted perfectly and all the actors do a fantastic job in their role. All the scenes make you feel engaged and the romance is a slow burn to die for. A tale as old as time, it’s a movie you’re able to re-watch forever.


Image result for call me by your name3. Call Me By Your Name

You will rarely hear me say a movie is better than a book, if ever. However, Call Me By Your Name was made to be a movie. It is visually stunning, the cinematography and soundtrack are breathtaking and engross you into the story. The actors give such an authentic performance that makes you feel like you are there in the moment. It is a coming of age love story that’s both beautiful and melancholic and you need to see it if you haven’t already.


Image result for the great gatsby4. The Great Gatsby

Another classic turned into a movie wonder! The Great Gatsby is probably my favourite classic and the movie is nothing less of amazing. It’s visually stunning and captures the essence of the book perfectly. The cinematography and soundtrack play a big role in telling the story and creating a certain atmosphere, while the actors give a stellar performance in individual but especially group scenes. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Gatsby is straight out of the book, there couldn’t have been a better casting than this one . The intricate relationship between the characters builds up anticipation and momentum throughout the film so when the credits roll it, it’s though not to think about it long afterwards.

Image result for the perks of being a wallflower5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Talking about classics, this is probably one of the, if not the best YA adaption I’ve ever seen. The themes of the book are expressed so well in this movie, it really does a great job to make you feel a weird yearning and nostalgia for high school. An amazing coming of age story that is as charming as it gets. I love the portrayal of friendship in this movie, and the message that with the right friends anyone is able to get out of their shell and live their best life. (trigger warning: sexual assault, abuse)


I hope you’re ready for all the incredible binge-worthy content if you decide to watch any of the TV shows/movies on my list!

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Have you seen any of the TV shows/movies on my list? Are you a fan? If not, do you think you’re interested to try any of them? What is your favourite book to screen adaptation? Let’s chat in the comments! 

Signature Mara

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August Wrap-Up | Body Doubles, Secret Love Letters and Tiny Pink Elephants

august wrap-up

August has come and gone and I only managed to read three books. I forgot if I was in some sort of reading slump or if I was just enjoying the beach and sun too much. Either way, the three books I did read were all really good. I’m hoping I can read more books this month before I have to go back to university. I study English Literature so summer is really the only time I get to read a lot of YA books before I’m off writing essays on Shakespeare and obscure classics my professors love to assign. Continue reading