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Sunday, 31 March 2019

Book Club | March 2019 Roundup

Our book club theme for March was books with 'an animal or creature in the title' and we saw quite a variety of different picks!

Thank you to everyone who shared photos and mini reviews over on social media throughout the month. We loved seeing your selections and finding new titles for our TBRs. Below are a selection of our favourite images and mini reviews shared over on Instagram.




This month’s theme for the @bloggersbookshelf Book Club was a book ‘with an animal or creature in the title’ so Not Forgetting the Whale by John Ironmonger was a perfect fit. Not Forgetting the Whale tells the story of a city analyst called Joe and the tiny Cornish village he washes up in one day. Having created a computer program that has predicted the end of the world, and possibly caused an economic crash, Joe flees to the very end of the country, where he finds unexpected help, first from a whale, and then from a whole village of people. Not Forgetting the Whale is unlike any apocalyptic story I’ve read before, and, cheesy as it sounds, it did leave me feeling a little more hopeful for the human race. Also, if you’re looking for an accurate portrayal of small Cornish communities, this is it! - If you want to join in with our book club next month, the theme is ‘non-fiction’! - #bloggersbookshelf #bookshelfbookclub #bookstagram #bookbloggers #currentlyreading #instabooks #reading #books #bookworm #booklove #bookcovers #prettybooks #beautifulbooks #instabooks #bibliophile #vsco #vscocam #vscobooks #igreads #booklover #notforgettingthewhale
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The Tusk That Did The Damage by Tania James

"Chronicaling the story of an elephant tribe in South India, and the humans that surround them, The Tusk That Did The Damage offers a multilayered look at wildlife conservation and poaching.

The book itself is told through the eyes of Gravedigger (once an orphaned elephant calf then sold into labor and exhibition, now infamous for his seemingly violent attacks on humans), the poachers who are spurred on by revenge for Gravedigger's misdeads, and white documentary filmmaker who both captures and entangles herself in tensions between Government, conservationists and the locals themselves).

I did struggle with the switching narratives initially. The three voices in the book are so distinct, it felt a bit jarring to go from the elephant's narration, straight into our filmmakers' dilemma. Not to mention the time jumps between certain chapters made it hard to gauge where in the story you were. As the book reached it's climax everything suddenly clicked though. And I found myself suddenly committed to finding out how all of this tension that had built would explode out." - @RCagz

Percy Jackson and the Sea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan


"This year I hope to read the five books in the Percy Jackson series, which has been a long time coming. I read the first in January, and the second in the series, Sea of Monsters, was a perfect fit for the March theme. Percy, now knowing that he is a half-blood (his father is Posiden, god of the sea), is deep into the land of gods, goddesses, mythological creatures and tales, and the adventure in this book involves a boat trip, a Golden Fleece, a cyclops (or two!), sheep of doom and various other slightly out-there concepts. While I didn't like Sea of Monsters quite as much as the first book (Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief) I did still really enjoy getting back to Percy's story. It's a 3/5 stars from me, but with the recommendation that this series is really fun to read and you should get on it if you haven't already." - @anjalikay





I’ve been busy and I have let Instagram go a little bit. But I haven’t let reading go. So for @bloggersbookshelf March prompt, “With an animal or creature in the title”, I read Fox 8 by George Saunders. I sort of forgot that I wanted to do the @bookriot Read Harder challenge as well. So this be ok also worked for the prompt “A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point of view character”. This quick read was an under 50 pages read. So the large bar of chocolate was barely eaten (yet). I typically don’t enjoy books from an animal’s point of view (or an inanimate object’s) but this one was fun and sweet. Through this 30 minute read, Fox 8 learns some lessons about humans (or yumans, as written). He’s a sweet and curious fox. Through his perspective we get to see ourselves. The grammar was entertaining, the ending was so sweet. The illustrations were a delight. What a great start to March. . . . #readandeat #bibliophile #reading #2019readingchallenge #bloggersbook #bookshelfbookclub #bookriotchallenge #readharder #readharderchallenge2019 #georgesaunders #fox8 #bookish #bookstagram #instabooks
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We'll be introducing April's book club tomorrow so don't forget to check back!
Use the hashtag #bookshelfbookclub and tag @bloggersbookshelf to share your photos and mini reviews with us throughout the month.

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Thursday, 28 March 2019

Serious Moonlight | Jenn Bennett | Review


Raised in isolation and home-schooled by her strict grandparents, the only experience Birdie has had of the outside world is through her favourite crime books. But everything changes when she takes a summer job working the night shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

Birdie Lindberg loves a mystery. After the death of her mother, and under the strict, watchful eye of her grandmother, the only adventures Birdie ever had where the ones she read about in the pages of her favourite mystery novels. But Birdie is eighteen now, her grandmother has passed away too, and Birdie and her grandfather both agree that it's time for Birdie to go out into the world and find her own adventures. Starting with taking a job working the night shift at a historic Seattle hotel, once the scene of an infamous murder.

Birdie thinks she knows exactly what mystery she wants to solve, but then she meets her new coworker, Daniel, who she actually met once before. After a very awkward encounter in the back seat of Daniel's car, had before either of them realised they'd be working together, Birdie tries to avoid Daniel at work, but Daniel knows the way to Birdie's heart. He has a mystery they can solve together, about why a famously reclusive author might be using the hotel for secret meetings. Birdie can't resist the chance to solve a real life mystery, but spending so much time with Daniel only leaves her with even more questions.

Birdie has a lot of growing up to do in the pages of Serious Moonlight and much of it very quickly becomes entangled in her relationship with Daniel, an amateur magician she meets one night in her favourite diner. Having, until this point, lived a very sheltered life on Bainbridge Island with only her grandparents and her eccentric artist godmother, Mona, for company, Birdie doesn't always know how to deal with her developing feelings for Daniel, least of all when he shares a difficult truth about his past with her. Birdie preoccupies herself with solving mysteries as a way to make sense of the world that took her mother from her, but Birdie's own feelings are often what she really needs to make sense of, which feels very appropriate for a novel about an eighteen year old girl trying to figure out who she is.

Although Birdie has her own idiosyncrasies, such as creating suspect profiles for everyone she meets, and although the mystery of the elusive author spotted in the hotel contains many twists and turns that wouldn't be out of place in a classic spy thriller, the real problems Birdie faces are extremely real. The pressure she feels not to repeat what her grandmother saw as her mother's mistakes, her reluctance to find out if her sleep problems might be linked to her grandfather's narcolepsy, the fear that her godmother, her one link to the life she had with her own mother as a child, might leave her, the trepidation she feels after sleeping with Danial, and later, after Daniel reveals a very painful secret about his own past. These are all extremely important problems facing a lot of people Birdie's age, and Bennett handles them sensitively and in a way that feels believable for Birdie.

Birdie does not always know how to react to the real mysteries life throws in her way, but she's eighteen, why should she? Growing up is messy and the heart of this novel lies in watching Birdie figure out what she wants her life to look like and how she can make it happen.

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions expressed are the reviewer's own.
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Friday, 22 March 2019

Features | 10 YA Novels I'm Looking Forward To in 2019


I realise we're half way through march already (already?!) but I keep seeing books on Goodreads and blogger's early ARC reviews of novels that are coming out this year. I have to say, I am definitely looking forward to what this year will bring to my book shelves.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to pile a list of some of the Young Adult books that I'm really looking forward to, with a few honourable mentions of books that have already hit the shelves.

Features | 10 YA Novels I'm Looking Forward To in 2019


Once & Future, by Amy Rose Capetta and  Cori McCarthy (March)

This is just about to be released, and it sounds super neat. This is a gender-bending retelling of none other than the great King Arthur. It's Sci-Fi too, so it should be a really interesting, hopefully very unique take on an old tale.

Wicked Saints, by Emily A. Duncan (April)

"A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself. A prince in danger must decide who to trust. A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war." I don't think I need to say more.

The Red Scrolls of Magicby Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu (April)

The next Shadowhunter book coming out is the first in the The Eldest Curses series, which is focused on Alec and Magnus travelling around Europe, I believe. While I struggled through the latest Shadowhunter book, Queen of Air and Darkness (it was 880 pages long you guys! That's about 400 pages too many!) I am looking forward to this series.

Finale, by Stephanie Garber (May)

I should probably read the second in this series before this one comes out, but I really enjoyed Caraval, the first in this series by Garber.

Romanov, by Nadine Brandes (May)

I'm so so so looking forward to this re-telling of Anastasia and the Romanov family. One of my all time favourite kids movies is Anastasia and I don't think it gets enough credit at all. I believe it's on Netflix at the moment, so you guys should totally get on that train. It's wonderful.



Stepsister, by Jennifer Donnelly  (May)

Another re-telling to add to the list, this time for Cinderella. But it's a flip on the story we all know so well (perhaps too well?), and told from one of the stepsister's perspectives.

Sorcery of Thorns, by Margaret Rogerson (June)

This one is about magic and libraries. Could a book have any greater potential? It also looks to be a stand-alone, which I can totally get behind (don't get me wrong I love series, but it's also nice to dive into a stand-alone fantasy every now and then).

Pumpkinheadsby Rainbow Rowell (August)

Um, hello. Another Rainbow Rowell book is coming out and this time it's a YA graphic novel! This looks super cute.

Wayward Son, by Rainbow Rowell (September)

The long anticipated sequel to Carry On, which was never meant to have a sequel, is finally coming! I am so looking forward to this book! Check out my review of Carry On here and Sophie's review here.

Chain of Gold, by Cassandra Clare (November)

Another start of another series in the Shadowhunter world from Clare, The Last Hours series is jumping back in time to sit somewhere between The Infernal Devices series and The Moral Instruments series. Really looking forward to this one, too!


Honourable mentions

These books have already been released sometime in the past 2.5 months, but I haven't got around to reading them yet. Let me know what you think of them if you've already managed to have a read!

  • King of Scars, by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi
  • Two Can Keep a Secret, by Karen M. McManus
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer 
  • Four Dead Queens, by Astrid Schotle
  • Evermore, by Sara Holland
  • Enchantée, by Gita Trelease 
  • Circle of Shadows, by Evelyn Skye
  • Crown of Feathers, by Nicki Pau Preto 
  • Ship of Smoke and Steel, by Django Wexler 
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Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Bookish Links #49


1. These handmade corner bookmarks are adorable!

2. International Women's Day may have come and gone but these titles would still be great reads any day of the year.

3. How many books could you read in one year? This test has the answers.

4. Sophie shared mini reviews of four titles she read in February including On The Come Up by Angie Thomas and Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.

5. If you're looking for some audiobooks to listen to this year you'll love this post.

6. Michelle shared her thoughts on all of the companion books to the Harry Potter series.

7. Continuing with the Harry Potter theme, Rachel sorted 2019 releases into their Hogwarts houses.

8. Jessica shared some new favourite authors she discovered last year.

9. We loved Jamie's post all about how her reading life has changed since becoming a parent.

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Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Sadie | Courtney Summers | Review

sadie courtney summers book review blogger's bookshelf

When popular radio personality West McCray receives a desperate phone call from a stranger imploring him to find nineteen-year-old runaway Sadie Hunter, he's not convinced there's a story there; girls go missing all the time. But as soon as West's boss discovers Sadie fled home after the brutal murder of her little sister Mattie, he sees the makings of something big and orders West to the small town of Cold Creek, Colorado, to uncover what happened.

Set in the small town of Cold Creek Colorado, this YA mystery title tells the story of missing girl Sadie Hunter and her younger sister Mattie who was brutally murdered. Having been informed of the situation by a local resident, radio personality West McCray launches a True Crime podcast titled The Girls, investigating Sadie's whereabouts and piecing together clues about Mattie's death along the way.

Throughout the book the chapters alternate between transcripts of McCray's investigative podcast episodes and Sadie's journey to find and exact revenge on the man responsible for her little sister's death. The book also explores the complicated relationships between Sadie, Mattie, their mother Claire who has battled with addiction and surrogate grandmother May Beth, the woman who brought the girls' story to McCray's attention.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of podcasts and have been fascinated by the stories told through popular True Crime series such as Serial, Dirty John and Criminal, so the inclusion of the podcast format was a big draw for me. In the beginning, I found I was enjoying the podcast sections much more than those following Sadie, but I quickly grew to become more and more invested in her chapters as the story unfolded. The book tackles some very serious issues and is a heavy read, but this only highlights just how important it is that stories like Sadie's are told.

Sadie is a haunting and heartbreaking book that has received a huge amount of praise from the bookish community, with positive reviews across blogs, YouTube channels and other social media platforms. Whilst due to the nature of the topics covered in the book it is a tough read, it is also certainly one that's worth the hype.
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Friday, 1 March 2019

Book Club | March 2019 - An Animal Or Creature In The Title

bloggers bookshelf book club 2019

For our 2019 BB Book Club we've put together a printable list of twelve different prompts. On the 1st day of each month, we'll be introducing you to the month's prompt and the books team members each plan to read, along with some other suggested reads we think you'll love. Of course, these are just ideas so please feel free to interpret the prompts however you wish!

We're also inviting you to share photos and mini reviews of your book club picks on social media using #bookshelfbookclub and tag @bloggersbookshelf on Instagram.

Our prompt for March is... An Animal Or Creature In The Title


march book club 2019

What we'll be reading...


Ria's Pick: The Tusk That Did The Damage by Tania James

"I stumbled upon this read when I was looking for books that were set in India, before I visited the country back in 2017. The plot looked really unusual, in that one of the narrators is actually an elephant, plus the story itself was set in one of the regions we'd be visiting. I didn't get to read this before I went on holiday, but I'm hoping that the story will feel even more vivid, as I've now actually been to Kerala (where the book is set) and saw elephants in a sanctuary there too!"

Erin's Pick: Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

"Just like last month, I've decided to use our book club to tackle my TBR list with a title that's been sitting unread on my Kindle for two years. Set in 1956, the book follows an alternate version of history, where Hitler prevailed and a young former death camp prisoner sets out to kill him. Whilst historical fiction is not a genre I tend to reach for often, I've heard nothing but great things about this series and I'm hoping I'll enjoy it as much as everyone else."

Anjali's Pick: Percy Jackson & the Sea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan

"One of my vow to read books this year was Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, which I've already read. Thought this month's theme was the perfect opportunity to keep the series going! Looking forward to reading this one!"


Other suggested reads...

- Six Of Crows (Leigh Bardugo) - review
- Lion (Saroo Brierly)
- Tigers In Red Weather (Liza Klaussman)
- Turtles All The Way Down (John Green) - review
- Dear Mrs Bird (AJ Pearce) - review
- White Rabbit, Red Wolf (Tom Pollock) - review
- A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)
- Monsters (Emerald Fennell)
- The Moth (Catherine Burns) - review

 
Use the hashtag #bookshelfbookclub and tag @bloggersbookshelf on Instagram to share your photos and mini reviews with us throughout the month!
 
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