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

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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 September Releases to Get Excited About

september book releases.pngIt is a truth universally acknowledged that August has passed in the blink of an eye. Even though I am not quite prepared for September just yet because it means returning to university, I am excited about all the new book releases and thought I’d share those with you. Continue reading

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

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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 REVIEW

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

10 Amazing Books Guaranteed to Cure Your Reading Slump | Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s TTT prompt is to talk about 10 books that’ll cure a reading slump.

Reading slump aka a reader’s worst nightmare is something we’ve all experienced. That feeling when we want nothing more than to read but for some unknown, logic defying reason we just can’t. A reading slump should not be confused with a book hangover, cuz that’s a whole other monster. Although there is no known foolproof solution for a reading slump, it can potentially be cured by a new and exciting book. However, not just any book has what it takes to successfully do that. And so I have compiled a list of 10 books that I believe are engaging enough to have you all but forget you even had a reading slump to begin with!  Continue reading

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

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                                                                                                                                                    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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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,

marades

Books with Sensory Memories | Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s TTT prompt is to choose books that are linked to a specific memory in your life. It can be linked to where you were, who you were with, what you were doing and so on. I’ve decided to link mine to places I have distinct reading memories from. I love traveling and I’m fortunate enough to have had a lot of opportunities to visit really beautiful places and create lovely memories with the books I’ve brought along. So here they are:

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1. Reading Six of Crows in Amsterdam was truly an experience! I had no idea before starting the book that it was set in an Amsterdam-inspired city called Ketterdam so I was pretty hyped to find out I’d picked such a good time to read it 😀

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2. Reading a heavy book like The Secret History while lazying around in Mallorca might not have been the smartest choice. I found the book very dull and unnecessarily long, and it took me more than two weeks to finish it. I will probably pick up a YA contemporary instead next time I’m out in the sun, so lesson learnt!

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3. 2014 was what I like to call my “Jenny Han summer”. It’s the year To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before came out and I fell in love with Jenny Han’s writing. I ended up reading both her Burn for Burn trilogy and The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy! Aesthetic summer sunsets + a Jenny Han books = a match made in heaven

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4. I can’t begin to recall all the books I’ve begun, read or finished on a plane. It’s the perfect way to pass time on a flight and I always manage to get a lot of reading done. Some of the memorable books I’ve read on airplanes include Room, Heir of Fire, Cinder, Where She Went and many more!

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5. Reading by the peaceful lakeside, surrounded by nature in Montreux is pure bliss. Even more so when you have an amazing book like I’ll Give You the Sun to enhance the whole experience! Can you believe it’s been four years since Jandy Nelson’s last book?? I would sell my kidneys just to get a glimpse of her shopping list, that’s how badly I miss her writing.

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6. Is there honestly a better place to read books than in a bookstore? My favourite bookstore to read in is the Waterstones in Piccadilly Circus because they have really comfy sofa chairs and a really nice cafe with delicious hot chocolate! I read a little bit of everything there; new releases, graphic novels, books I just purchased or books I brought from home. Most recently I was there reading my current read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

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7. Although I dislike the winter-time because of how dreadfully cold it gets, I have to admit it makes for a pretty cozy atmosphere. I remember reading Allegiant during New Year’s Eve (priorities) a few years ago and crying for a half hour. Good times.

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8. The tourist infested streets, the ridiculously priced everything, the unexpected downpour; none of these things could take away how magical Paris is to me! My first ever flight was one en route to Paris and while I did not read anything then, the next time I went for a school trip I made sure to bring Eleanor & Park which sparked my love for Rainbow Rowell!

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9. The place I truly spend most of my time reading on is my bed. My bed is somewhere where I can fully relax and immerse myself into the story I’m reading. Some books I have distinct memories reading in bed are Clockwork Princess, Everything I Never Told You and Dangerous Girls!

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10. Finally, one of the most memorable reading moments was when I finished the last book of the Percy Jackson series, The Last Olympian. It was such a bittersweet moment, because I wasn’t ready to let go of my favourite story and characters just yet but I also knew I would see them again in the spin off series. No other series has impacted me as much as Percy Jackson and reading the last book in the backdrop of Nice was a truly happy memory!


What place do you associate with a very good reading memory? Where would be your dream vacation? Do you prefer summer or winter for reading?

Let’s chat in the comments!♥

Until next post,

marades