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.

Image result for percy jackson bookImage result for obsidian bookImage result for outlander bookImage result for to all the boys i've loved beforeImage result for the hate u give cover

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

Pinterest LogoBloglovin LogoInstagram copyTwitter copy

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. 

Image result for the nightingale coverRelated imageRelated imageImage result for angelfall coverImage result for we are the ants

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

Pinterest LogoBloglovin LogoInstagram copyTwitter copy

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

10 Amazing Books That’ll Make You Want to Relive High School | Top Ten Tuesday

top ten tuesday across the books.png

This week’s TTT prompt is a back to school freebie, which means we get to come up with our own topic that fits the theme of school!

I decided to centre this week’s prompt on high school. It hasn’t been long since I graduated from high school and while I certainly miss it sometimes I would never actually want to go back. However when I read or even think about certain books they somehow make me want to relive high school all over again if only I could be the main character and part of that universe! Continue reading

5 Disappointing Books That Did Not Live Up to the Hype

5 books that did not live up to the hypeLast week I did a blog post talking about “hype” and whether it’s a reliable way to judge books. In it I recalled the times hype was actually trustworthy by listing 5 amazing books that lived up to the hype. At the end of the post I mentioned I would do another one dedicated to the opposite; books that sadly did not live up to the hype. And so here we are today!

The disappointment you feel after reading a hyped book that has not met your expectations is 10x worse than any other disappointment. That is because you might have actually liked the book for what it was had you not been assured by your friends, family, and the entire bookish community that you would absolutely love it. So let’s get into the books that did just that. Continue reading

Mirage Review – A Stunning Debut Worth Your Time


Mirage (Mirage, #1)Mirage by Somaiya Dau

Series: Mirage #1

Published by Hodder and Stoughton on August 28, 2018

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Pages: 320

Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Mirage is a Moroccan inspired fantasy/sci-fi book about a village girl named Amani who gets kidnapped by the Vathek empire. She is taken to be the body double and protector of the hated half-Vathek princess Maram, whom she looks identical to. Between missing her family and plotting her escape, Amani makes unexpected friendships in the palace and a romance starts to bloom. When a rebellion plotting to overthrow the Vathek empire asks Amani for help she must decide where her loyalties lie, all the while playing the cruel princess to perfection or risk losing her life.

What a stellar debut! Mirage really took me by surprise and went directions I never expected it to. While it primarily reads like a fantasy it has some really great sci-fi integrations like intergalactic travel and laws, droids and exploration of different planets. While there is some action that takes place, this book is dominated by it’s electric characters and intriguing court politics. Continue reading

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – a Lighthearted Rom-Com that Stays Authentic to the Book

To All the Boys I've Loved Before Movie Review.png

                                                                                                                                                    Image: Netflix

After going “awhhhh” a thousand times and pausing the screen out of giddiness another one hundred, I finally finished watching Netflix’s adaption of Jenny Han’s beloved novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. The movie easily exceeded my expectations and gave me all the emotions and excitement I felt when I read the book for the first time four years ago! Continue reading

5 Amazing Books that Lived Up to the Hype

5 Books That Live Up to the Hype

The word “hype” is often thrown around in the blogosphere. It usually means there’s been a lot of buzz and praise for a certain book with raving reviews up on Goodreads and tumblrs dedicated to said novel well underway. As a result, I think hype generally has both pros and cons. On one hand it’s great because a title is able to reach a winder readership and gain recognition, while readers are able to connect and fangirl with a larger group. On the other hand, some hyped books are kind of overrated. To explore the topic further I thought I’d write 2 blog posts sharing my experience, with the first one listing 5 amazing books that lived up to the hype, while the other will focus on books that unfortunately did not live up to the hype. Continue reading

Favorite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s TTT prompt is to list your favourite book blogs or websites. I feel like I browse a lot of sites with bookish content so I’m really excited to narrow it down to my Top 10. Let’s start!

1. Refinery29

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 18.44.37.png

This website basically covers any and every topic from health, style and beauty to finance, career advice, and politics. I particularly love their book recommendation section because it is so aesthetically pleasing and has a lot of variety; interviews, discussions and lists!

2. Parchment Girl

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 19.42.20.png

I really like frequenting this blog not only because I get a lot of great book recommendations, but also because Kate has an amazing series called ‘The Ultimate Guide to Book Blogging” where she covers topics such as monetizing your blog, writing reviews, choosing your blog design, increasing blog traffic and a lot more! The information and experience she provides is really helpful for both beginner and established bloggers.

3. Emily May

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 19.41.32.png

Emily is probably my favourite book reviewer of all time. She’s honest, witty and so articulate which really translates into her reviews because they are freaking amazing. She’s my ultimate role model when it comes to reviewing books and I can only dream to be just as good as her one day. I read most of her reviews on Goodreads, but I love her blog as well.

4. Bustle

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 19.16.06

This one is similar to refinery29 in that they both cover a range of topics and have an amazing books section. I’m really drawn to websites that are pleasing to the eyes and if the content is also good (like in this case) it’s just a win-win.

5. Netgalley and Edelweiss

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 19.49.38.png

If you’re a book blogger you’re probably already familiar with these two sites. Netgalley and Edelweiss both offer free ebooks to book bloggers in exchange for an honest review. A lot of the titles available are ARCs which is great for readers who cannot wait until the release date for certain books! It’s also great for publishers because they are able to garner more hype about a title prior to the publication date. Again a very win-win situation. (pro tip: if you sign up to these services don’t go too crazy with requesting titles, you’ll end up with 15 unread books, 8 of which you’ve already lost interest in)

6. Queen of Contemporary 

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 19.39.29.png

I’ve been a fan of Lucy’s content even before I started my blog. She is the creator of the weekly Twitter chat #UKYAChat which I really enjoy reading through. I like her approach to topics and discussions and her reviews are always fun to read. Her debut novel is being published in 2019 so I think she’s very motivational and inspiring!

7. Electric Literature

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 19.45.31.png

This is my favourite bookish website for discussions. They cover such a wide range of topics but still manage to make every single article unique and enjoyable. Amongst discussions they also have essays, lists and “read more women” recommendations.

8. Goodreads

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 19.43.28.png

If you do not know this site by now, I’m just going to assume you live under a rock. Besides its general function of adding and looking up books, Goodreads also has a really great blog. They make some really nice recommendations and I’m able to add books to my TBR on the spot which is pretty cool. If you’re on Goodreads, let’s be friends!

9. The New Yorker

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 19.44.48.png

When I am in the mood to read something more serious and sophisticated (albeit, that is rare) I think The New Yorker has some amazing and hard-hitting pieces. Some content on there can be undoubtably dull so when you finally find a hidden gem it’s such a satisfying and rewarding read!

10. WordPress! (or any other blogging platform)

Image result for friendship gif

Honestly no website compares to the book blogging/online community. I’ve been a part of the online book community on-and-off since 2013 and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. It sincerely has the kindest and best people in it and I’m so glad to have joined it ☺️

Do you read/use any fo the websites I’ve mentioned? If not, are you going to check out any of them? What are some of your favourite bookish blogs/websites? If you did the TTT prompt for this week feel free to link it in the comments!

Until next post,