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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.

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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.



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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Thursday, 28 February 2019

Book Club | February 2019 Roundup

As February is the shortest month of the year, we decided to throwback to our 2018 book club theme 'short stories' with the simple prompt 'under 200 pages'.

Thank you to everyone who shared photos and mini reviews over on social media throughout the month. We loved seeing your picks for our February prompt and were impressed by just how quickly some of you finished reading them!

Below are a selection of our favourite images and mini reviews shared over on Instagram - there will also be a roundup of photos in our latest newsletter which hits inboxes tomorrow morning.





The @bloggersbookshelf February Book Club prompt is 'Under 200 Pages', so it's the perfect time to read Ghost Wall, the latest release by one of my favourite authors, Sarah Moss. 🦊 I read this 150 page novella in a single breathless sitting, and enjoyed every second of it. Ghost Wall follows Silvie and her parents as they join an archeological experiment, trying to recreate Iron Age living in the Northumberland countryside. Ghost Wall is filled with tension, and commentary on class, gender, and how history is a narrative. Moss creates a story about how we need our identities, and grip desperately to them even when they crush us. #bookstagram #bookshelfbookclub #februarysbooks19 - Day 12 - Book and a candle #bookobsessed #shelfie #igreads #instareads #bookbloggers #booklovers #bibliophile #bookish #bookcommunity
A post shared by Isabelle 🦊 Folded Paper Foxes (@foldedpaperfoxes) on


THE LAST QUESTION BY ISAAC ASIMOV


"Originally published in the November 1956 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly, The Last Question is a very short story (according to Goodreads it's only 9 pages long!) that you can read online. It's very Sci-Fi, but this mind-blowing wee story somehow fits science, technology, philosophy and theology all into a very short space of time ('space and time' may or may not be a very apt turn of phrase for this tale - you'll have to read it to find out). A friend recommended it to me, and I'm glad I sat down and read it. If you're interested, you can find it here online, and it will only take about 15 - 20 minutes to read." - @anjalikay





Finished @bloggersbookshelf prompt for February already. I’ve read a few of Shirley Jackson’s writing in the past, being a fan of eerie and Gothic stories. Wanting to read more of her work I chose ‘We Have Always Lived In The Castle’ which has the same underlying eerie tone to it. It’s a grim comedy of sorts. Macabre and polite are the two words that pop into my head when thinking about what I just read. The narrative is told through the perspective of Merricat, the youngest of what is left of the Blackwood family. She showcases her observations of her day-to-day with a childlike voice addressing the theme of being an outsider in a small town. “‘I can’t help it when people are frightened,’ says Merricat. ‘I always want to frighten them more.’” . . . . #readinggoals #yeg #books📚 #bookshelfbookclub #bloggersbookself #2019readingchallenge #shirleyjackson #penguinclassics #edmontonpubliclibrary
A post shared by SnacksandReads (@snacksandreads) on

 

STARGIRL BY JERRY SPINELLI


"I was startled at first to start reading this book and discover it wasn't from the perspective of the title-named Stargirl, but rather from a boy called Leo who is at the school that Stargirl comes bursting into. But once I got over that initial that-wasn't-what-I-was-expecting feeling, I settled in for the story which was around 186 pages. Very briefly, it tells the tale of a high school in Mica, Arizona, who is heavily impacted by the sudden appearance of home-schooler, Stargirl. She explodes into their lives in a shower of quirky clothes, a ukulele, and a question formed around her by the entire student body: Who is Stargirl? Why is she so different? It's a beautiful wee story about non-conformity, about standing out because you're different, and for fearlessly being yourself. 5/5 from me, and I recommend picking up before the movie comes out later this year." - @anjalikay





February’s @bloggersbookshelf Book Club theme is ‘under 200 pages’, which was the perfect opportunity for me to read The Last Battle. I finally decided to read The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time last year and it’s been really interesting to finally read these stories everyone else read as children as an adult! This last book wasn’t my favourite in the series. It felt a little bit flat to me, with less of the magic from the earlier novels, and almost like Lewis was trying to tell two stories in the space of one, but I enjoyed reading about my terrible boy Eustace Scrubb again, and I’m really glad to have finally read this series! Now I know what all the fuss is about! - Want to join in with our book club next month? March’s theme is ‘a book with an animal or creature in the title’. - #bloggersbookshelf #bookshelfbookclub #bookstagram #bookbloggers #currentlyreading #instabooks #reading #books #bookworm #booklove #bookcovers #prettybooks #beautifulbooks #instabooks #bibliophile #vsco #vscocam #vscobooks #igreads #booklover #narnia #thechroniclesofnarnia #thelastbattle #cslewis
A post shared by Anastasia Gammon (@stasialikescakes) on

 

STARERS BY NATHAN ROBINSON


"This month I chose to read Starers by Nathan Robinson, a book which had been sitting on my Kindle for quite a while. The story centres around the Keene family whose lives are shaken by an ominous crowd of people gathering around their house, simply staring. As soon as I started reading the book I found that it wasn’t exactly what I had expected but I was kept intrigued by the mystery of where the 'Starers' came from and why they were so transfixed by the Keene household.  Overall I think the idea behind the book was interesting, unique and certainly creepy, but sadly I just didn’t love it." - @sawyerandscout 





JASON AND MEDEA BY APOLLONIUS OF RHODES


"Hard to read as all older classics are but still good and a great telling of Jason and Medea’s tale. I’ve heard all about Jason and Medea but never actually read their story so it was fun to read part of a new myth I wasn’t familiar with. It’s an odd section of the Golden Fleece expedition but I enjoyed it and now want to find a copy of the full version!" - @sofilly


We'll be introducing March'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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Friday, 22 February 2019

Stargirl | Jerry Spinelli | Review


Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli was my pick for February's book club theme: books under 200 pages. At  only 186 pages, it was the perfect fit.

This short little book tells the story of a high school in Mica, Arizona that is hugely impacted by the sudden appearance of home-schooler, Stargirl. She bursts into their world in a flare of colour, ukuleles and a certain spark that no one can truly put out. The story is told from the perspective of Leo, a kid in tenth grade who, like the rest of the school, becomes caught in Stargirl's crazy.

“She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.” 

As Leo gets to know Stargirl a little better, he tries to figure out what makes her tick, what makes her do things like sing happy birthday to every kid in school on their special day, or write imaginary cards to strangers, or leave little token presents on the front porches of the people who live in the town. Who is Stargirl, really? And why isn't she like everyone else?

This was an adorable look at a girl just being her grand self, and a school who tries to fit her into a box, into a mould, that she would only break if they ever managed to squash her into one. It's a story about non-conformity, and what happens if you try and stifle people's creativity and spark and passions. It's a story about knowing who you are, recognising that might not be quite like everyone else, and embracing that. It's a story about high school and peer pressure, about first loves, about friendships; it's about throwing caution to the wind and being free enough and brave enough to be unashamedly yourself. And it's wonderful.

For a book of only 186 pages, there's a sure a heck of lot in it, and all of it is brilliant. Later this year the movie adaptation of Stargirl is being released, and Grace VanderWaal is playing Stargirl, and I already know that's a perfect casting choice. I'm looking for to it!

Have you read Stargirl? What did you think? 
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