HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! So, we are now in 2018! I feel like 2017 flew past and I honestly can't remember much of it. This post was going to be a year overview as well as a wrap-up of my 2017 goals, but the post turned out to be a lot longer than expected, so I've had to change some things. This post is a month by month run through of what happened this year when it comes to my reading & blogging. A post with what happened with my 2017 goals will be coming soon along with my new goals for 2018 (that I'm pretty excited about). However, first we need to take a look back at 2017, from the start.
A new year had come along and I was really motivated to get reading and back into blogging again. It was a successful reading month for me as I managed to read 7 books as well as a book which I DNFed, while still in school. I read the last 3 books of the Harry Potter series for the first time and fell in love with the story. I also read and reviewed a Netgalley title, Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen.
I was posting roughly once a week on my blog and I was beginning to find my feet in the bookstagram world again.
The motivation carried through from January and I was able to read another 8 books. I finished the Geek Girl series by Holly Smale and cried at Forever Geek, the last book. I also finished the Demon Road trilogy by Derek Landy and loved that also. I read some amazing books and had quite a few tears. On my blog I posted some reviews, a book haul and talked about some of the diverse releases coming out that month. On bookstagram I posted around 5 times and was really enjoying getting back into it.
My reading was still going good, but I had limited time as school got busier. I started The Infernal Devices and fell in love with the characters. I couldn't stop thinking about the story and was excited to be so invested in a new series after finishing two in February. I also continued with The Mortal Instruments and took City of Fallen Angels off my TBR. I wasn't very active on my blog as I had less time, but managed to get two more reviews up. I was still going on bookstagram though and got about another 4 posts up.
April was the month of reading review books as 4 out of 5 of the titles I read had been sent to me for review or that I'd requested. One of the review books I had was Geekerella by Ashley Poston and I loved reading this geeky Cinderella retelling. Before the month finished I also started Clockwork Prince as I couldn't hold off any longer, but unfortunately didn't finish it before May came along.
Stuff happened in April and I sort of had an absence from my blog for a bit and didn't post anything. My bookstagram was in a similar position, but I posted twice to explain some of the things that were going on in my life.
I managed to read 3 books in May. One was a review book, Marco's Seeds by Nathan Smith and the other two were Clockwork Prince and City of Lost Souls both by Cassandra Clare. I was back in the Shadowhunter world and was loving every bit as I got more involved in the story. On my blog appeared some new posts as I went through some new releases, a review or two and also showed you the book haul that had been growing since December. In the month I posted once on Instagram to talk a bit about some of the stuff that had been happening in our world and how I was feeling. Following this I took a bit of a break...
Ahh, June. The month in which I finished The Infernal Devices and couldn't help but cry as the beloved trilogy came to an end. I read another book that month, The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and quite enjoyed it. Those were the only two books I finished that month as I DNFed yet another book, Dream Machine by Will Davis. My blog was mainly filled with reviews that month as well as the monthly new releases post that I got into doing. I didn't post at all on Instagram.
July was the best reading month yet! I was still in school as we didn't finish till the last week or so of July, but booktubeathon came at this same time and I decided to take part for the first time. I had so much fun and managed to read more than I ever thought I could in that amount of time. I also tried to participate in the #7in7readathon, but spent more time doing other stuff and didn't quite make it to 7 books, but I was just enjoying being able to read and be back in the community. By the time the month finished, I'd read around 13 books and I couldn't have been happier. There was only one post on the blog in this month and that was a book blitz. My bookstagram absence continued as I just felt no motivation.
It was summer and I was enjoying the entire month away from school! I went on holiday to Cornwall and spent most of the week reading on the beach in the sun. It was yet another very successful reading month as I completed 14 (or so) books. I read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas after hearing all the hype surrounding it and was blown away. This book is definitely one of my favourites from the year. My blog was probably the most active it had ever been during August and I was spitting out lots of posts. Most of them were book blitzes and cover reveals, but I did also share with you guys quite a few reviews throughout the month. I returned to bookstagram with a new outdoors theme seeing as I had nice weather for once.
I returned back to school and just like my mood, my reading deteriorated. I managed to read 4 books even though there was so much going on in the month. I read another Netgalley title, Caterpillars Can't Swim by Liane Shaw, which featured Gay representation and the main character was a person who is disabled. It was nice to read something from a different perspective and to see this representation in YA. I also read another Holly Bourne book, this time Soulmates, and cried yet again! I loved the story and it really got me back interested in reading. After promising to be back, I disappeared from bookstagram once again.
I had a short break from school in October for half term, but even with that bit of extra time, I only managed to complete 3 books. One was off my TBR, Caspar Lee by Emily Riordan Lee and Caspar Lee. The other two were Hetty Feather and Sapphire Battersea as I started my long awaited reread of this series by Jacqueline Wilson. The only posts appearing on my blog throughout the month were book blitzes and cover reveals as that seemed like the only type of post I had time to do. Also with me not reading as much, I didn't really have any reviews to write. Still no new posts on Instagram.
In November I had some review books that I really needed to get to. That didn't really happen, but I managed to check one off my list, The Girl In The Glass Box by Andi Adams. I loved reading this YA Snow White retelling and helped get me out of a reading slump that was beginning. As I still had limited time, book blitzes were still the only type of post going up, but at the end of the month I was determined to get back to blogging properly so I made the snap decision to do Blogmas on the run up to Christmas. I posted my announcement on the 30th, not leaving myself much time to prepare.
In December I only managed to read one book and that was Truly Madly Awkward by Beth Garrod. This is the sequel to Super Awkward that I believe was released last year (?) and that I really loved. I enjoyed Truly Madly Awkward but it took me a couple of month to finish it due to the lack of time. December was the month I took back control of my blog and I managed to complete my goal and post every day of December leading up to Christmas. The posts included hauls, wrap-ups, TBR posts and tags. There was a couple of book blitzes as well. It came to the end of the year without another post on my Instagram/Bookstagram. I went into the New Year motivated and excited to make changes.
That is a month by month run through of the year in terms of my reading, blogging and social media. It's been a weird year, some things bad and some things good. I hope you guys didn't find that post too boring as I actually had some fun writing it. It all came off the top of my head as I didn't plan to write this and I just sat down and started typing, so I apologise if it's a bit jumbled. I'll be back soon!
How was your year - good or bad? Let me know below.
BLOGMAS DAY 9: September, October & November Wrap-Up!
As many of you would have noticed, over the last month or two I got really quite behind on blogging. I didn't have much time to sit down and properly write a full post other than book blitzes, which I'm pretty sure you all got sick of. One of the posts that I got behind on the most had to be my monthly reading wrap-ups, so today I'm here to catch up (finally!). Just like I didn't have much time to write any posts, I didn't have much time to read either. Basically, I thought the best thing would be to combine the past three month all together and get it out there for you guys, so I can get back on track before the new year.
Carry on reading!
The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas
Date Started - 1/9/2017
Date Finished - 2/9/2017
Synopsis: Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.
Grace has Asperger's and her own way of looking at the world. She's got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that's pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn't make much sense to her any more.
Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it's up to Grace to fix it on her own.
I saw this book in Waterstones and picked it up on a whim. I knew a bit about it before I picked it up, but hadn't heard much or saw anyone else's ratings or reviews.
The main character, Grace, had Asperger's and one of the secondary characters, Gabe, has ADHD. I found the story a bit slow and hard to get into at first, but it picked up towards the second half. It was quite emotional as I neared the end and there was one or two moments where I was on the verge of tears.
I'm not able to say how accurate the Asperger's representation is, but it was refreshing to read about a character who has it, as I've never done so before.
Overall, it was a good read, but I felt like there was something missing/stopping me from getting fully into it.
Rate - 3.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32187354-the-state-of-grace?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-State-of-Grace/9781509839551
Soulmates by Holly Bourne
Date Started - 8/9/2017
Date Finished - 11/9/2017
Synopsis: Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love…thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems.
Enter Poppy, the 17-year-old cynic with a serious addiction to banana milk, and Noah, the heart-throb guitarist; residents of mediocre Middletown, sometime students, and…soulmates.
After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, (and a looming psychology coursework deadline), they are left with an impossible choice between the end of the world, or a life without love…
This book had been on my shelf for about a year and a bit and it was finally time for me to read it. Just like my experiences with Holly's other books, I loved this one. I was completely sucked in from start to finish. I loved this storyline and how tense it got towards the end. There was never a dull moment and I found myself flying through the pages at certain moments.
I connected to the characters and really wanted the best for them. I have to admit that I did get quite emotional towards the end and may have a cried a tiny bit (okay, maybe a bit more than tiny) at the end, but so much happens and I just couldn't control myself.
I'd really recommend this one as well as Holly's other books. They're just so good!
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16099393-soulmates?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Soulmates/9781409557500
Caterpillars Can't Swim by Liane Shaw
Date Started - 16/9/2017
Date Finished - 16/9/2017
Synopsis: Ryan finds his freedom in the water, where he is not bound by gravity and his wheelchair. When he rescues his schoolmate, Jack, from the water their lives become connected, whether they like it or not. Ryan keeps Jack's secret about that day in the water, but he knows that Jack needs help. The school is full of rumors about Jack's sexuality, and he has few friends. Almost against his better judgement, Ryan decides to invite Jack on a trip to Comic Con he's planned with his best friend Cody, the captain of the school's swim team. The three boys make an unlikely combination, but they will each have the chance to show whether they are brave enough to go against the stereotypes the world wants to define them by.
I requested this a couple of months ago on Netgalley and read it as soon as I got accepted for it. I have a review written and in my drafts, which I will probably upload on one of the Blogmas days coming soon, so stay tuned for that.
The main character, Ryan, is disabled and the only kid in a wheelchair at his school. Jack is struggling to be his true self as he tries to understand his sexuality. The two are brought together after an incident and their story and friendship develops from their. It was a really easy story to get into and I found it easy to connect to the characters even though we are different. I was really invested in the storyline and found myself racing through the pages to the end.
You'll have to wait for my review to be posted to hear more of my thoughts!
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34949098-caterpillars-can-t-swim?from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Caterpillars-Cant-Swim-Liane-Shaw/9781772600537
Soundless by Richelle Mead
Date Started - 17?/9/2017
Date Finished - 30/9/2017
Synopsis: In a village without sound…
For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.
When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.
One girl hears a call to action…
Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.
She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…
And unlocks a power that will save her people.
I brought this book quite soon after it was released and it's just been sat on my shelf unread ever since. I was hesitant about reading it as since its release, I have heard quite mixed things.
I thought the storyline was good and that it had a lot of potential, but I feel it was a bit hard to get into and it was pretty slow moving up until the end. I thought the second half or so was a lot better and the story was finally getting started and going somewhere. I was more invested towards the end and I thought the ending was good.
Overall, I was slightly disappointed, but glad to have finally read it and to have gotten it off my TBR shelf.
Rate - 2.5 - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24751478-soundless?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Soundless/9780141364865
Hetty Feather (#1) by Jacqueline Wilson
Date Started - 1?/10/2017
Date Finished - 3/10/2017
Synopsis: London, 1876 and Hetty Feather is just a tiny baby when her mother leaves her at the Foundling Hospital. The Hospital cares for abandoned children - but Hetty must first live with a foster family until she is big enough to go to school.
Life in the countryside is hard but with her 'brothers' Jem and Gideon, she helps in the fields and plays imaginary games. Together they sneak off to visit the travelling circus and Hetty is mesmerised by the show, especially Madame Adeline and her performing horses.
But Hetty's happiness is threatened once more when she is returned to the Foundling Hospital. The new life of awful uniforms and terrible food is a struggle for her. But now she has the chance to find her real mother. Could she really be the wonderful Madame Adeline? Or will Hetty find the truth is even more surprising?
Jacqueline Wilson will surprise and delight old fans and new with this utterly original take on a historical novel. Set in Victorian times and featuring a brand new feisty heroine, Hetty Feather, this is a Tracy Beaker-esque tale that will thrill young readers. Warm, moving, funny and totally fascinating, it's the perfect gift for girls of eight and older.
When I was younger I used to read a lot of Jacqueline Wilson's books and I remember I used to get her magazine as well. Her books were one of the main things that got me into reading and one of my favourites was her Hetty Feather series.
I read all the books basically as soon as they were released. When she released Little Stars, I asked for it for my birthday. I knew I needed to read it as soon as possible, but I felt like I couldn't remember enough of the series to start it. So I decided that I would re-read the series straight away so I could finally get through Little Stars. However, that re-read never happened and I just kept putting it off so I could read new books.
October came about and I was really in the mood to start my re-read before the end of the year. I started Hetty Feather and all the memories came back. I loved it this time just as much as when I read it when I was younger. I was trying to savour it as much as I could, but I flew straight through it. The one thing that I love about this series is how easy the books are to get into.
Ever since finishing this pone, I've wanted to continue, so I hopefully I get round to that soon.
I'm really excited to finish my re-read and get stuck into Little Stars and Hetty Feather's Christmas.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6435965-hetty-feather?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Hetty-Feather/9780440868354
Sapphire Battersea (#2) by Jacqueline Wilson
Date Started - 6?/10/2017
Date Finished - 8?/10/2017
Synopsis: A fascinating, funny and moving Victorian novel featuring Hetty Feather.
Hetty Feather was just a baby when her mother left her at the Foundling Hospital. Hetty longed to find her real mum -- and finally her wish was granted. But just as they have found each other, they are separated again, as Hetty leaves the home to become a maid of all work to Mr Buchanan. Set in London in the 1870s, this sequel to Hetty Feather is a wonderfully evocative and original historical novel, perfect for girls of eight and older.
After finishing Hetty Feather, I just needed more of this series, so I picked up Sapphire Battersea. The storyline to this one was even more developed and I was somehow even more invested in it. It has an emotional ending and I may have got a bit teary just like the first time I read it.
Overall, I loved this one more than Hetty Feather and it's just made me even more excited to carry on and see how the series develops.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10751324-sapphire-battersea
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Sapphire-Battersea/9780440869276
Caspar Lee by Caspar Lee & Emily Riordan Lee
Date Started - ?/11/2017
Date Finished - ?/11/2017
Synopsis: This is a book about me.
Unfortunately, I didn't write it - my mum did. WTF!
Let me tell you now that 98% of it is total lies. Actually, I'm pretty sure this book is illegal. So if you've bought it, you've basically supported a criminal. How does that feel?
I think she's getting me back for my first day in this world when I mayyy have tried to kill her. She won't not be able to mention that . . . You might also find out about my first day at school, why my head is so massive, how I've always been a hit with the ladies and other things like that.
You know, important stuff.
Anyway, I found the book at the printer and you'll see I've corrected some of her most outrageous lies.
So, you know, enjoy. Just remember only the bits that make me look good are true . . .
I brought this last year in the new year sales at Waterstones because it was half price. I love Caspar and have been subscribed to his YouTube Channels for a few years now. I finally picked it up in November as I thought it'd be quite a quick read and another good book to check off my TBR. I loved hearing more about his childhood and his upbringing and I especially loved that it was mainly from his mum's, Emily's, perspective. I liked Caspar's little notes throughout and there were some funny little moments, but you also got to see the real side to his life and that everything isn't always perfect. I'm glad I read this book as I feel it has opened my eyes to just how normal he is and how everyone has their own problems that they might not always talk about.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29450745-caspar-lee?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Caspar-Lee/9780718184094
The Girl In The Glass Box by Andi Adams
Date Started - 10?/11/2017
Date Finished - 20?/11/2017
Synopsis: A witch. An apple. A mirror. That’s all most people think of when they recall the story of Snow White. But the truth is rarely so simple. What if the Queen wasn’t born evil and the princess wasn’t always so pure of heart? Is it possible that these two women could have ended up in one another’s place?
The Girl in the Glass Box tells the story of Agrippine and Genevieve, two women who are not all that different, but who quickly learn through a series of choices, encounters, and devastating losses that the course of their fates can change in an instant. Through the influences of the people they love and lose, both are redefined as their stories head for a different sort of happily-ever-after.
I requested this for review, so I will have a full review up soon when I can get round to writing it.
The thing that attracted me to this title was the Snow White retelling bit with a twist. I absolutely loved it! I don't think I've read too many fairy tale retellings before, but I really want to read more after this one. The storyline was so developed and so easy to get into. As the reader you really get a feel for the characters and I felt like I could connect well to them.
I was really invested in the story and once or twice it took me a moment to register that it was only a story. I just wish it could've been longer and that maybe the ending would've been slowed down a bit as I felt some things happened too soon and that some character reactions weren't voiced and as clear as I'd hoped.
Overall, I'd really recommend this if you're looking for a fairy tale retelling with a twist! Stay tuned for my review, which will hopefully be up by the end of Blogmas...
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30368932-the-girl-in-the-glass-box?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Girl-in-the-Glass-Box-Andi-Adams/9781945495014
I also started reading Truly, Madly Awkward by Beth Garrod and I'm hoping to finish it this month.
That was my September -> November Wrap-Up and I hope you guys enjoyed it. Hopefully I'll get more reading time in the coming months and be able to stau on track with my monthly wrap-ups.
As always, if you've read any of the books above, let me know your thoughts on. Also, make sure to leave any good fairy tale retellings below and I'll make sure to check them out soon.
August Wrap-Up (Part 2)!
So, if you haven't read Part 1 of my August Wrap-Up, you might want to check that out first.
Part 1 - http://sprinkleofbooks.weebly.com/blog/august-wrap-up-part-1
Basically, August was a pretty good reading month and I was writing my wrap-up, I realised that it was going to end up being a pretty long post. Due to this, I've decided to split it into two parts.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the rest of my August Wrap-Up!
The World's Worst Children 2 by David Walliams
Date Started - 15/8/2017
Date Finished - 15/8/2017
Synopsis: The brilliant follow-up to David Walliams’ bestseller The World’s Worst Children! Ten more stories about a brand new gang of hilariously horrible kids from everyone’s favourite children’s author, illustrated in glorious full colour by Tony Ross.
If you thought you had read about the World’s Worst Children already, you’re in for a rather nasty shock. The beastly boys and gruesome girls in this book are even ruder, even more disgusting and WORSE than you could ever imagine!
This gorgeous collection of ten stories from the master himself, David Walliams, will make you snort with laughter and thank your lucky stars that you don’t know anyone like Gruesome Griselda or Fussy Frankie in real life. It also features a special appearance from fan-favourite Raj! Gloriously illustrated in full colour throughout by artistic genius Tony Ross, The World’s Worst Children 2 is a side-splitting companion to David’s blockbuster hit, The World’s Worst Children, perfect for fans aged 9 and up.
After reading the first book, I knew I wanted to dive straight into the sequel. I was quite tired though, so decided to wait till the following day to begin it, so I could enjoy it fully.
I ended up feeling the same about this as I did with the first one, so there's not much to say. Once again, brilliant storytelling and the illustrations (by Tony Ross) were just as brilliant as before.
I can't wait to get my hands on the third book.
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35394276-the-world-s-worst-children---2
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Worlds-Worst-Children-2-David-Walliams-Tony-Ross/9780008259624?ref=pd_detail_1_sims_b_p2p_1
It's Not Me It's You by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Date Started - 15/8/2017
Date Finished - 18/8/2017
Synopsis: One high school girl's comedic examination of her dating past as told by the friends, family, and boys who were involved!
Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a majorly public breakup with the guy she's been dating causes some disastrous waves. It is right before prom and Avery no longer has the perfect date. She runs the prom committee, how could she not show up with somebody?
Post-breakup, Avery gets to thinking about all of the guys that she has ever dated. How come none of those relationships ever worked out? Could it be her fault? Avery decides to investigate. In history class she's learning about this method of record-keeping called "oral history" and she has a report due. So Avery decides to go directly to the source. Avery tracks down all of the guys she's ever dated, and uses that information, along with thoughts from her friends, family, and teachers, to compile a total account of her dating history.
Avery discovers some surprises about herself and the guys she's spent time with -- just in time for prom night!
I have a full spoiler-free review up for this, which I will link down below when it's up.
This was my third read for #7in7readathon, however it took up more time than I hoped. I ended up not having as much time to read, so I ended up having to read it over 3 days instead of 1.
It's written as Avery's oral history report and I loved the idea of Avery basing it off of her dating history and interviewing all her ex-boyfriends. It was a cute, funny read and I really liked all of Avery's little extra Editor's Notes throughout.
Overall, I enjoyed it and can't wait for the sequel/companion.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28113227-it-s-not-me-it-s-you?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/It-s-Not-Me--It-s-You/9781407172491
Full Spoiler-Free Review -
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Date Started - 18/8/2017
Date Finished - 19/8/2017
Synopsis: A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
This was my 4th #7in7readathon read. I was contemplating writing a full-review for this, but I'm not sure. If you guys want a review, make sure to let me know below and I'll do one.
I didn't really know much about this before I went into it as the synopsis on the back is pretty vague and also I made sure not to look much further into it.
The writing style had to be my favourite bit. I absolutely loved the writing and found myself scribbling down my favourite quotes into my book journal.
I also loved the plot and the twists that came along the way. I definitely wasn't prepared for the surprise near the end and I have to admit that I was very close to tears.
I have to admit that I did get a bit confused of which kids belonged to who, so I was thankful for the family tree that was included at the beginning.
Overall, I really loved We Were Liars and will definitely give some of E. Lockhart's other books a try as well as Genuine Fraud when it's released.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16143347-we-were-liars?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/We-Were-Liars/9781471403989
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Date Started - 20/8/2017
Date Finished - 21/8/2017
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
If you guys would like me to do a full review, let me know below and I'll do so.
This book is probably going to be in y top books of 2017. Just calling it now.
Over the past few month, since it's release, I've seen this book everywhere. I've had it on my shelf for a while, but I've been trying to wait till I was in the right mood, so I could take my time and enjoy it. See, that was the plan. I was supposed to take my time with it. However, I was sat down the following day after starting it, staring at the back of the back wishing for more.
I was completely sucked into the story and didn't realise how quickly I was flying through it. It focuses on some really important topics, that some people tend to skip over or pretend aren't happening and I'm really happy that Angie decided to write a book and speak out about them. It features police brutality and racism, but also much more.
The writing was brilliant and I found it easy to get into. The characters all had something about them and they felt so real. I loved seeing how some of Starr's family interacted with each other and how important family and community was to this story.
Overall, this book has really opened my eyes and I'm grateful for that. I'm really looking forward to the movie being released and to see this story shown to more people.
Rate - 5!!/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32075671-the-hate-u-give?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Hate-U-Give/9781406372151
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Date Started - 22/8/2017
Date Finished - 22/8/2017
Synopsis: My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
I decided I would finally give this a go, after having it on my shelf unread for a few months. The main reason I wanted to read it now is that the movie has come out into cinemas this month in the UK. I wanted to go see it, but I decided to read it first.
I have to admit I didn't really like or dislike this book. I found it to be alright, but nothing really that special. I found the first half to be pretty slow, but after that I flew through and finished it within a few hours.
I have heard things about this book being problematic, so I'm going to have a look back through and have a look again.
Overall, it was okay, but I think I might've preferred the movie. I think I will try The Sun Is Also A Star because I've heard some quite good things about it and might end up enjoying it a bit more.
Rate - 2.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18692431-everything-everything?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Everything-Everything-Nicol-Yoon/9780552574235?ref=grid-view&qid=1504461174710&sr=1-1
Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman
Date Started - 23/8/2017
Date Finished - 27/8/2017
Synopsis: Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.
So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.
But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.
Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.
Well, now that I've finish TMI and TID, this was my next taste of the Shadowhunter Academy. Just like with any collection of short stories, I loved some and didn't really enjoy others. The ones in this sort of follow on from each other though and I enjoyed that.
I was really looking forward to getting to this, but I think I might not have been in the right mood as I did struggle to get into it and I felt like I was having to push myself to carry on reading it. I tried to leave it and only read it when I wanted to, so I could avoid another reading slump.
With the last few stories, I was actually wanting to carry on reading and I'm glad that I didn't push myself too hard to carry on.
Also, I'm not sure if it's just me, but I struggled to see Simon as the right age in a few of the first stories. I kept feeling like he was younger than what he was.
Overall, I enjoyed some stories and didn't with others. I am looking forward to starting The Dark Artifices series though and to see where it'll take me.
Rate - 3.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28954137-tales-from-the-shadowhunter-academy?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Tales-from-the-Shadowhunter-Academy/9781406373585
Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green
Date Started - 25/8/2017
Date Finished - 25/8/2017
Synopsis: Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She'd sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she'd have to eat it for breakfast.
But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly.
Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the vulnerable, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.
I received a copy through Netgalley and I have written a full review, which I'll link below when it's up.
This is basically a graphic novel memoir of the author's, Katie Green, struggle with eating disorders (including Anorexia), being sexually assaulted, and depression as well as more.
I'm glad Katie has come out and written a graphic novel about these subjects because they are so often hidden away. It is quite along graphic novel (500 + pages). It was a bit slow and I struggled to get into it at first.
Overall, it was okay, but I struggled to get through it. If you want to hear more of my thought, make sure to read my review.
Review - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17456953-lighter-than-my-shadow?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Lighter-Than-My-Shadow/9780224090988
Full Spoiler-Free Review -
Noah Can't Even by Simon James Green
Date Started - 29/8/2017
Date Finished - 31/8/2017
Synopsis: Poor Noah Grimes! His father disappeared years ago, his mother's Beyonce tribute act is an unacceptable embarrassment, and his beloved gran is no longer herself. He only has one friend, Harry, and school is...Well, it's pure HELL. Why can't Noah be normal, like everyone else at school? Maybe if he struck up a romantic relationship with someone - maybe Sophie, who is perfect and lovely - he'd be seen in a different light? But Noah's plans are derailed when Harry kisses him at a party. That's when things go from bad to utter chaos.
I met Simon at the Manchester YA Cringe Panel and I was really excited to read Noah Can't Even after I heard him talk about it. It's one of those awkward contemporaries where nothing seems to go right for the main character. In this case, that was Noah. There was also more to this then just being a YA contemporary with an awkward protagonist, it's also a coming of age story as Noah has to decide what he's feeling and he also has quite a few family problems. This book covers it all.
I found it super easy to get into and I was able to read it pretty quick. If I'd had more time to read it I probably would've finished it quicker. I began to really feel for Noah and I was rooting for him all along.
The ending was a good one and I liked how things ended though I know there'll be more trouble in the sequel.
Overall, I enjoyed it and am now quite looking forward to the sequel being released.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33961524-noah-can-t-even?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Noah-Can-t-Even/9781407179940
Anyway, this is the end of my August wrap-up! I'm sorry for the long posts. I actually meant to keep it quite short and sweet, but then I just couldn't stop typing.
If you've read any of the books I've mentioned, let me know your thoughts below as well as how August was for you.
I'm glad I managed to have a good reading month in August as September won't probably be as I go back to school and I'll be trying to get back into a routine. I'm going to try and carry on posting as regularly as I can because I've been doing quite well recently, though a lot of the posts have been book blitzes. I do have some more reviews coming soon though to mix things up a bit.
Thanks for reading!
August Wrap-Up (Part 1)!
It feels like August has just gone on forever, but I'm back with my reading wrap-up for the month. I don't know what happened this month, but somehow I ended up reading quite a lot. I finished a lot more books that I have been in previous months and I'm really happy with the progress I'm starting to make through my TBR pile. This month I also unhauled a stack of books and took them to my local charity shop to try and clear a bit of space and it was honestly quite refreshing. So, overall August has been a pretty good month for my reading.
Anyway, for a few of the books in this wrap-up I have posted or am going to post reviews, so I'll be leaving links to all the reviews below as always.
I started writing this post and got about halfway through and figure it's probably going to be way to long by the time I've finished, so this will be split into two parts. So, here's the first part of my August Wrap-Up!
Remix by Non Pratt
Date Started - 30/7/2017
Date Finished - 1/8/2017
Synopsis: From the author of Trouble comes a new novel about boys, bands and best mates.
Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life... Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.
Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.
I have got a mini-review up for this in a short post about some of the contemporary books I've read recently. I'll have it linked below.
Basically, I've heard so many amazing things about Non and her books and have always wanted to give one of the books a go. I decided to try Remix first and I went into it with sort of high expectations. In the end, I was left disappointed and just found that I wasn't that invested in the story or the characters and found the two main characters to get a bit whiny and irritating.
I am going to try some of Non's other books in the future and hopefully I'll enjoy them more.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21472663-remix?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Remix-Non-Pratt/9781406371444?ref=grid-view&qid=1504362851007&sr=1-1
Mini Review - http://sprinkleofbooks.weebly.com/blog/mini-reviews-recent-contemporary-reads1651315
The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Date Started - 2/8/2017
Date Finished - 3/8/2017
This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.
Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:
To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.
Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.
With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.
I have a mini-review up for this!
I won an arc of this last year sometime and it ended up just sitting on my TBR up to now. I was really excited to read this and thought it'd be an interesting read, however I ended up really not enjoying it.
One of the main things that I was excited about in this book was the idea of the wormholes and how that was going to connect into the story. I was really disappointed and found it to be really quite confusing, especially towards the end where everything kept changing, There was a lot to do with physics etc in this book and I couldn't get my head around most of it, but maybe someone who has more knowledge on it would. It was also quite a slow-paced read and I struggled to get into it.
The ending was alright, but overall I was quite disappointed.
Rate - 2/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25991081-the-square-root-of-summer?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Square-Root-of-Summer/9781509808281
Mini Review - http://sprinkleofbooks.weebly.com/blog/mini-reviews-recent-contemporary-reads1651315
The Maddie Diaries by Maddie Ziegler
Date Started - 3/8/2017
Date Finished - 4/8/2017
Synopsis: THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Teen dance prodigy, breakout Dance Moms star, and judge on So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation presents her uplifting coming-of-age memoir about following her dreams and working hard to achieve success in both the dance world and in life.
Maddie Ziegler had hoped to become a star—she just didn’t know how soon that day would come. At just eight years old, she was cast on Lifetime’s hit reality show Dance Moms and quickly won the hearts of fans everywhere with her natural talent and determination. Soon, she was catching eyes all over—including those of pop superstar Sia, who handpicked her to star in the incredibly popular music video “Chandelier.” The rest, as they say, was history.
In this inspirational memoir, Maddie explains the hard work she put into her rise to stardom and how she keeps her balance along the way—starring in music videos, going on tour, and becoming an actress in The Book of Henry with Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay. She also answers her fans’ burning questions with wise advice she’s learned on her journey. With honesty, charm, and humor, Maddie offers her unique perspective on making her way in the world as a young teenager, reflecting on the lessons she’s learned—and preparing for the exciting road ahead.
I originally wasn't sure whether to buy this or not, as I do like Maddie and do watch Dance Moms. I ended up seeing it at a local supermarket and decided to buy it.
One of the reasons I wanted to buy this was to see more of what Maddie's like, which you don't get to see on Dance Moms. In that aspect I really enjoyed it as it goes into more about touring with Sia, acting etc, but other things really show that she is just a normal teenage girl.
There were also comments from some of Maddie's friends as well as little extra lists of Maddie's advice. It was cool to see some more pictures of her time on tour with Sia as well as ones of her and Kenzie when they were younger.
Overall, I thought it was good, but I didn't find it to be anything that special.
Rate - 2.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31572170-the-maddie-diaries?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Maddie-Diaries/9781471164965
The List by Patricia Forde
Date Started - 4/8/2017
Date Finished - 6/8/2017
Synopsis: In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.
On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.
I was accepted to read this on Netgalley, so I have already posted a full review, which I'll link below.
The List includes some quite typical dystopian tropes, such as war, rebellion etc. I found the idea of the world to be pretty cool and I enjoyed that they restricted the language to try and control people because I haven't read a dystopian with that before.
I did find this pretty hard to get into and I feel like the plot didn't really start moving till about halfway through. However, once I got to that point, I was completely sucked into the story and couldn't put it down.
The ending was good and I definitely wasn't expecting some of the surprises. If there's going to be a sequel, which I'm not sure whether it will, I will definitely be continuing on. I really enjoyed it, but the only thing that did let it down for me was the beginning.
Rate - 3.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33846933-the-list?from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-List-Patrici-Forde/9781492647966?ref=grid-view&qid=1504431982243&sr=1-1
Spoiler-Free Review - http://sprinkleofbooks.weebly.com/blog/spoiler-free-review-the-list-by-patricia-forde
The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne
Date Started - 7/8/2017
Date Finished - 9/8/2017
Synopsis: Apparently I'm boring. A nobody. But that's all about to change. Because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you're very welcome.
Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words. Most of the time she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.
But when she’s told she needs to start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting is born. Six steps on how to be interesting. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.
From the bestselling author of Soulmates comes a fearlessly frank take on school, cliques and crushes.
This book does contains scenes featuring self-harm, so just bare that in mind before you read it.
I've read the first two books in Holly's 'Normal' series (I haven't yet finished it) and absolutely loved them and this one had been sat on my shelves for quite a long time. I decided to pick it up and I was hoping that I'd enjoy it and luckily enough, I did.
It's sort of a bit like Mean Girls with the popular girls and the different high school groups. Bree is trying to enter this group to make her life more exciting, so she can write a more exciting book to get published.
I did like the idea of Bree being a "failed" writer and how she then started a blog and this project idea. One of the things that slightly annoyed me was that it was like Bree didn't know where to stop with this project and kept doing stupid things, but I guess she had to to get to the ending.
I think Holly dealt with self-harm really well in this book and I'm really happy that she decided to include that in as it's something that I don't think is talked about enough.
Overall, I did enjoy it, but I did find some parts a bit slow and Bree did annoy me a bit. I'm really looking forward to reading more of Holly's books.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22533460-the-manifesto-on-how-to-be-interesting?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Manifesto-on-How-to-be-Interesting/9781409562184
Mini-Review - http://sprinkleofbooks.weebly.com/blog/mini-reviews-recent-contemporary-reads1651315
The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater's Daughter #2) by Melinda Salisbury
Date Started - 12/8/2017
Date Finished - 13/8/2017
Synopsis: Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater's Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.
I read The Sin Eater's Daughter quite a while ago and purchased The Sleeping Prince as soon as it was released. I even re-read The Sin Eater's Daughter, so I could read the sequel straight away and then I never started it. I decided to this month and I'm o annoyed that I didn't read it sooner. I loved getting back into this world and following different characters , but also how they connected to the characters from the first one and how they were involved later on.
I found it surprisingly easy to get into and I was hooked from start to finish. I ended up really loving and am desperate for The Scarecrow Queen, so I'm probably going to have to buy that very soon.
There were so many twists and turns in The Sleeping Prince and I can't wait to see what Melinda does with the rest of the series.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26625494-the-sleeping-prince?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Sleeping-Prince/9781407147642
The World's Worst Children by David Walliams
Date Started - 14/8/2017
Date Finished - 14/8/2017
Synopsis: From the world’s favourite author, David Walliams – ten cautionary tales and a delightfully dreadful cast of characters; all in glorious FULL COLOUR!
Are you ready to meet the World’s Worst Children? Five beastly boys and five gruesome girls!
• Like Sofia Sofa – a TV super-fan so stuck to the sofa that she’s turning into one!
• Or Dribbling Drew – a boy whose drool gets him into trouble on a school trip!
• And not forgetting Blubbering Bertha – a girl who bawls and tells terrible tales!
Also featuring a special appearance from fan-favourite Raj!
From Number One bestselling author David Walliams comes this collection of wickedly funny, deliciously mischievous tales, illustrated in glorious colour by the artistic genius Tony Ross.
I was attempting to participate in the #7in7readathon this month (14th - 20th Aug), but at a more relaxed level. I didn't complete 7 books, but I'm still happy with the amount I managed to read. I didn't set out an official TBR, but I did have an idea of some of the books I was planning to read and this was one of them.
The World's Worst Children was my first read as it's been on my TBR since it was released. I've always loved David's books and I knew this would be a quick read.
I ended up really loving these gruesome, but fun-filled tales and found myself bursting out with laughter at various points throughout. The illustrations by Tony Ross were amazing and definitely added a lot to the stories. I was able to fly through it and knew that I needed to read the sequel ASAP.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29756824-the-world-s-worst-children?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-World-s-Worst-Children-/9780008197032
Anyway, that was Part 1 of my August Wrap-Up! My Part 2 will be up soon if it's not up already and I'll link it below when it's up.
Thanks for reading!
Part 2 -
Hi! I see you've stumbled across my blog.