where our team of writers love to talk all things books, sharing reviews, features, lists, interviews and more.

Getting lost in a book is escapism at it's finest and it's what everyone who contributes here thrives on.


Sunday 4 July 2021

Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms | Crystal Frasier, Val Wise | Review


Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications.

Her former friend BeeBee is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them. 

I hadn't heard of this graphic novel until I discovered it on Netgally this month, but I'm so glad I did!

This is a really sweet story about Annie and BeeBee and their friendship. The two girls used to be friends, but have drifted apart a bit over the years. When Annie is encouraged to join a team - cheerleading no less - to try and improve her college applications, she's reunited with BeeBee.  

As well as dealing with school grades, parents, and teen drama, they're also experiencing everything that comes with being queer high schoolers; the good and the difficult. The two become close, and eventually discover there might be more than friendship ... 

It was such a cute story, while also covering some really important issues that arise through characters. The illustrations are very Faith Erin Hicks-esque, and I loved the style of art created by Val Wise. It's definitely my favourite type of graphic novel; soft and round, rather than sharp and edgy, if you know what I mean. 

If you're looking for a sweet tale of friendship and love (and pompoms), then pick up Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms, when it comes out in August.

Thank you to Netgally and Oni Press for the free version of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

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Thursday 25 March 2021

Features | Women's History Month - Our Favourite Women Authors

Woman wearing a white dress and a straw hat, sitting under cherry blossoms trees reading a book. Women's History Month - Celebrating our favourite women authors on Blogger's Bookshelf

The month of March has been Women's History Month!

So what better way to celebrate than to share with you some of BB's favourite women authors. These are just a selection, mind due, as if we listed them all we'd be here forever (and how great is that?!).

From poets to fantasy writers, YA authors to general fiction writers, our list is long and varied. So much so that we've included a shout-out list for those authors whom we love but have yet to write reviews for on BB.

There are overlaps between the genres below, but for organisation's sake, we've broken them into general genres. We've included book reviews on BB but would love to know which books from these authors you've read and loved. Drop a comment below!


Margaret Atwood | Check out: The Handmaiden's Tale review by Ria

Taylor Jenkins Ried | Check out: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo review by Erin

Heather Morris | Check out: The Tattooist of Auschwitz review by Sophie

Nicky Pellegrino | Check out: A Dream of Italy review by Sophie

Juno Dawson | Check out: Clean review by Erin and Ria

Young Adult

Morgan Matson | Check out: An Unexpected Everything review by Erin

Angie Thomas | Check out: The Hate U Give review by Sophie

Malorie Blackman | Check out: Noughts and Crosses review by Lucy

Rainbow Rowell | Check out: Landline review by Ria

Jenny Han | Check out: To All the Boys I've Loved Before review by Sophie

Mackenzi Lee | Check out: A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue review by Anjali

Alice Oseman | Check out: Loveless review by Anastasia 

Becky Albertalli | Check out: Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda review by Anjali

Maureen Johnson | Check out: The Name of the Star review by Ria

Karen M McManus | Check out: One of Us is Lying review by Erin

Nicola Yoon | Check out: Everything Everything review by Ria

Sandhya Menon | Check out: From Twinkle With Love review by Anastasia

Sara Shepard | Check out: The Perfectionists review by Erin

Lauren Oliver | Check out: Delirium review by Ria

Alexandra Bracken | Check out: Passenger + Wayfarer review by Sophie

Fantasy + Science Fiction + Supernatural

Laini Taylor | Check out: Daughter of Smoke and Bone review by Anjali

VE Schwab | Check out: A Darker Share of Magic review by Ria

Holly Black | Check out: The Cruel Prince review by Anjali

Cassandra Clare | Check out: Clockwork Angel review by Anjali

Sarah J Maas | Check out: Throne of Glass review by Emma

Leigh Bardugo | Check out: Shadow and Bone review by Anjali

Victoria Aveyard | Check out: Red Queen review by Anjali

Tricia Levenseller | Check out: Daughter of the Pirate King review by Anjali

Morgan Rhodes | Check out: The Falling Kingdoms Series review by Anjali


Slyvia Plath | Check out: The Bell Jar review by Ria

Author's whose books we also love (but don't have reviews on BB at this time):

  • Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Nikita Gill
  • Astrid Scholte
  • Casey McQuiston
  • Laura Jane Williams
  • Katherine McGee
  • Helen Hoang
  • Rachel Hawkins
  • Celeste Ng
  • Beth O’Leary
  • Shirley Jackson
  • Emily St John Mandel

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Friday 19 March 2021

Book Club | January - March Roundup



How We're Using Our 2021 Book Club List

When we introduced this year's BB book club we encouraged anyone taking part to use the list of prompts in whatever way best suited their reading habits. Whether it be simply trying to tick off all 24 prompts by 31st December 2021, selecting your favourite 12 and tackling one each month across the year, or even using them to create bingo sheets, there are lots of ways to get involved. So how have some of Team BB's members chosen to use the list?

Anjali: While I'm not sure I'll be able to cross off all the prompts, I'm definitely trying! Though I'm definitely slotting the books I'm reading into the prompts, rather than choosing a book to read that's based on a prompt. It's working so far, and out of the 7 books I've read so far this year, I've only not been able to slot one book in.

I have a few more books on the go at the time of this post, so I'll be ticking a few more off the list in the next week or so!

Erin: I'm hoping to cross off all of this year's prompts! With the books I've read so far I could have completed a few more already but I've chosen to only purposefully tackle around two per month, and similarly to Anjali I’m not currently specifically picking out books only because they fit the prompts.

After reading a few books in the autobiography/memoir category through the first couple of months of 2021, and having a bunch more on my TBR, as an additional challenge I've also chosen to try and complete this particular prompt every month throughout 2021.

What Have We Read So Far?


With Foiling On The Cover: The Betrayals by Bridget Collins

On Your TBR For Over A Year: This monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

With A Face On The Cover: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

A 2021 Release: Game Changer by Neal Shusterman 

500+ Pages: Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

A 2020 Goodreads Choice Award Winner Or Nominee: The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab


A 2021 Release: The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

With A Face On The Cover: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

A 2020 Goodreads Choice Award Winner Or Nominee: The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Set At Or Featuring A Wedding: Majesty by Katharine McGee

A Murder Mystery: This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Bonus Challenge - books that fall into the Autobiography/Memoirs genre read so far include:

  1. We're Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
  2. Straight Outta Crawley by Romesh Ranganathan
  3. To Be A Gay Man by Will Young
  4. As Good As It Gets by Romesh Ranganathan


If you're joining in with our 2021 book club we would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or contact us on Instagram (@bloggersbookshelf) to let us know which prompts you've crossed of and the books you've chosen to read.

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Wednesday 17 March 2021

Inspired Artist: Block Print For Beginners | Elise Young | Review

Review copy c/o NetGalley

Written by Elise Young, a Toronto-based artist and creator of Bloomingprint Studio, Block Print For Beginners is a brilliant new guide to printmaking techniques. Starting with the basics of tools/materials and sharing tips on how to find inspiration before moving onto different techniques and project ideas to try, the book is informative and flows really well. There are lots of pictures of finished prints/designs throughout, as well as step by step images and links to download templates which makes it really easy to follow along with the projects.

One of my favourite techniques showcased in the book is the Multicolor Interlocking Block Print. The design idea shown features a cute stack of four tea cups printed in shades of blue, perfectly demonstrating this technique where cutting the block into sections allows you to use a range of different colours and reassemble before printing. Another project I loved was the Mosaic-effect Block Print that shows how you can create an outline stamp design which can be filled with origami papers to add beautiful patterns and colours. Whilst I have created stamps similar to this before I’ve never tried adding in papers so this is definitely an idea I’ve added to my own ‘to try’ list! The final project that really stood out to me was Printing Abstract Forms, where simple geometric shapes are carved as individual stamps and can be used to create a variety of designs. I really love these types of patterns and as the shapes are simple this is a great project idea for beginners.

In addition to those focusing on a variety of techniques, there are also further suggested projects including customised tea towels, wallpaper, wrapping paper and cards, showing readers how the possibilities for using their newly created blocks/stamps are endless! The wrapping paper in particular I thought looked really pretty and would be perfect for unique birthday and Christmas gift wrap.

Near the end of the book there is a handy glossary page as well as resource links to help readers expand their knowledge beyond the ‘beginner’ projects included.

The author’s love of printmaking and creating art using these techniques shines through in Block Printing For Beginners and I would recommend it as a great starter guide for those new to the world of block printing. I would also recommend the book to those who, like myself, have some printmaking experience but might just find a few new ideas to try too.

You can find more about the book and see some of Elise’s beautiful prints over on her Instagram page @bloomingprint
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Tuesday 9 March 2021

Book Club | Team BB Recommends: Autobiographies and Memoirs


Welcome to the first of our roundup series where we'll be sharing ideas for some of our 2021 book club reading prompts.

We wanted to include at least one non-fiction prompt on our 2021 book club reading list and we think autobiographies/memoirs are a great way to learn about different life experiences and points of view. Whilst we're sure many of our readers are already fans of the genre, if it isn't your usual go-to or you're simply stuck for ideas today's post is for you! 

Below are 17 suggested titles you could pick up for our 2021 book club prompt 'an autobiography or memoir'. If you have any favourites not listed here we'd love for you to leave further suggested reads in the comments section below, or tag @bloggersbookshelf on Instagram.

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • We're Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
  • To Be A Gay Man by Will Young
  • Straight Outta Crawley by Romesh Ranganathan
  • Naturally Tan by Tan France
  • This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare by Gabourey Sidibe
  • Over The Top by Jonathan Van Ness
  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
  • Finding My Voice by Nadiya Hussain
  • In Order To Live by Yeonmi Park
  • Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • A Long Way Home (Lion) by Saroo Brierly
  • Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Year Of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
  • Who Am I, Again? by Lenny Henry
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Tuesday 2 March 2021

Feature | 10 Young Adult Books Being Released in 2021 I'm Looking Forward To

We may be a few months into 2021 already but here are some Young Adult novels to look forward to!

The beginning of the year is always exciting for me because we have another whole year of books coming out, ready to be eagerly devoured by readers.

Despite the urgh of 2020, 2021 is looking mighty fine because of all these epic books coming out! I've been checking out articles and Goodreads Lists over the last few weeks to remind myself of what I'm meant to be excited about, and thought I'd do a bit of a roundup of 10 Young Adult novels I'm looking forward to this year.

1. Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Talk to anyone I know and they're telling you how much I love this universe that Bardugo has created. Rule of Wolves is the second in the King od Scars duology, following one of the characters in the Shadow and Bone series. I really enjoyed King of Scars, so can't wait for Rule of Wolves comes out!

Release date: 30 March

2. Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare

Another Cassandra Clare book you say? Sign me up! If you've been around Blogger's Bookshelf for any length of time then you'll probably now just how much I enjoyed her books. The first in this series, Chain of Gold was out in March 2020 after a delay, and I loved the characters and the general vibe of this book a lot more than her previous Shadowhunter series. Needless to say, definitely looking forward to Chain of Iron!

Release date: 2 March

3. Lore by Alexandra Bracken 

So here's the thing. I review books for publishing companies, which means I often get books before they're on the shelves. Lore by Alexandra Bracken was out in January but I scored it in December and it was brilliant. I so loved the combination of our world and Ancient Greece. I'm a big classics fan, so it was a great combo!

Release date: 5 January

4. The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson 

We're big fans of Maureen Johnson here at BB. Most of us who have read her Truly Devious series have loved it. The Box in the Woods follows on from the Truly Devious series, though doesn't follow the same storyline. As far as I can work out, it follows Stevie, the main character, as she heads off somewhere where she stumbles upon another murder. Cue murder solving and brilliance. Here for it!

Release date: 15 June

5. Heartstopper: Volume Four (Heartstopper #4) by Alice Oseman 

The world doesn't deserve Alice Oseman. Her stories are pure gold and the Heartstopper graphic novel series is no different. This is such a great series and I'm so looking forward to number four!

Release date: 13 May

6. Concrete Rose (The Hate U Give #0) by Angie Thomas

Another book that's already come out, Concrete Rose by the phenomenal Andie Thomas follows Star from The Hate U Give's father as he battles his way through high school as a young father. It's another great story from Thomas, which such important messages. While I didn't love this one as much as THUG, it's still a brilliant read and I highly recommend it, especially if you read and loved THUG.

Release date: 12 January

7. Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales 

To be completely honest, I didn't know this book was being released until I was putting this post together. But I read Sophie Gonzales' book Only Mostly Devastated and really enjoyed that. I haven't read anything else by Gonzale's and this one looks like a lot of fun. Also, Goodreads tells me it's 'Leah on the Offbeat meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before' so you know, that sounds great.

Release date: 9 March

8. Blade of Secrets (Bladesmith #1) by Tricia Levenseller 

Daughter of the Pirate King (and it's sequel) by Levenseller is such a great book. I enjoyed it so much so when I saw that another one of Levenseller's books was being released this year, it was a quick addition to my Goodreads' Want to Read list. 'A teenage blacksmith with social anxiety accepts a commission from the wrong person and is forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she's ever made.' Yup! Let's gooooo.

Release date: 4 May

9. Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow #3) by Rainbow Rowell

When an author says 'there won't be a sequel' and then you're blessed with two ... ! All heavens come at once. However, I suspect this will be the last one. But Rainbow Rowell is finally releasing Any Way the Wind Blow which is the third (and final?) instalment of the Simon Snow series. Check out our reviews of Carry On and also Wayward Son

Release date: 6 July

10. Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3) by Victoria Schwab

Okay, I cheated. Bridge of Souls is a middle-grade book but I love this series by Schwab! It's so sweet and entertaining at the same time and there so many ghosts in it it's brilliant. This is the third and final instalment of the Cassidy Blake series, and while I'm looking forward to reading it, I also don't want it to end.

Release date: 2 March

Young Adult Releases in 2021: The Shoutouts

What books are you looking forward to this year? 

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