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.


Monday 30 September 2019

Book Club | September 2019 Roundup

Things have been a little quiet here on BB this month, but we'll be back to sharing more posts soon as we head into October to celebrate our 7th birthday! For now, it's time to share our September book club roundup where our theme was 'also a movie or TV show'. Here are some of the books shared this month...

For this month’s @bloggersbookshelf book club we’re reading books that have also been adapted into TV shows or films, so I chose a book that’s been on my TBR for a while, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Everything, Everything is the story of Maddy, a teenage girl who is allergic to the outside world. Maddy can’t leave her house, where she lives with her doctor mom, and very few people are allowed in, so she spends her day attending online classes, watching movies with her mom, and being monitored by her only other friend, her nurse, Carla. It’s not ideal, but it keeps Maddy alive, and she’s content with not knowing what she’s missing. But when a new family moves in next door, and Maddy makes friends with the son, Olly, over email, she gets her first taste of what she can’t have. After that, it’s hard to go back to not wanting it. Perfect for fans of classic YA romance with a unique twist, Everything, Everything is the kind of engrossing read that sweeps you up into its world and dares you to step away. I can see how, for some, it may be a little too heavy with those romantic YA tropes, but when done well, I think they’re great, and in this novel Nicola Yoon does them very well. - #vsco #vscocam #bloggersbookshelf #bookshelfbookclub #everythingeverything #nicolayoon #bookreview #bookstagram #vscobooks #bookbloggers #bookworm #booklove #prettybooks #beautifulbooks #instabooks #bibliophile #igreads #booklover #ya #yabooks #yabookstagram
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First, they killed my father by Loung Ung

"A memoir of Ung's personal experiences as a child survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, 'First they killed my father' is a harrowingly necessary account of war through a child's eyes. This is admittedly a book you don't enjoy but you devour. I know little of the Cambodian civil war and the mass genocide in Phnom Penh, but Ung's account is so horrifyingly vivid you almost feel as if you're living the sadness and anger alongside her. 
From the invasion of the Khmer soldiers, leaving behind her family home, separation and eventual execution of members of her family, severe exhaustion and starvation, her recruitment as a child soldier, every emotion she felt during those years bleed into the page. 
Whilst obviously a difficult read, the story ends with hope (and eventual reunion with her brothers and sisters in Vietnam). Ung was one of the lucky few who escaped and has used her experience to teach others and advocate for a better world so no child ever goes through what she did."  

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We'll be introducing October'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 6 September 2019

Dumplin' | Julie Murphy | Review

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all. 
While Dumplin' has been out since 2015, it was only this past month that I got around to picking it up. Perhaps I was prompted by the Netflix movie and wanting to see that but read the book first, or the fact that I was given Puddin' by Julie Murphy and wanted to read Dumplin' before getting stuck into Puddin' (although I don't think it matters if you read them in order). Whatever the reason, I finally picked it up.

This was a really sweet book, and the description above pretty much says it all. Dumplin' was a fun read, and overall I enjoyed it. There were definitely parts that I was really annoyed about (Willowdean has long periods of not talking to two different characters, and the reasons behind her decision and anger were a touch on the ridiculous side), and there was a whole thing with 'mums' in the book that I got super confused about when both the author and the characters are American (and so therefore say 'Mom'). That was, however, until I did some Googling and discovered that a 'mum' is a Texan homecoming thing, and not just the British spelling of 'mom'.

While the book had it's moments of ridiculousness, it also had plenty of 'naw' moments and you were definitely cheering for Will the whole time. I can safely say that I can now watch the film.

Have you read Dumplin'? What did you think? 
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Sunday 1 September 2019

Book Club | September 2019 - Also A Movie Or TV Show

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 September is... Also A Movie Or TV Show

What we'll be reading...

Erin's Pick: Dexter In The Dark by Jeff Lindsay

"When we selected the prompts for 2019's book club, I thought September's theme would be an easy one but I actually found it quite difficult to choose a title for this month. I've already read a handful of books that would've worked earlier in the year so probably should have timed my library loans better! Instead I've opted to read a book that's been sitting on my shelf for a while (read: years). I started reading the Dexter series back in 2013 so it's about time I moved on to book three! "

Anjali's Pick: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

"This will be a re-read for me, but it's one that I've been wanting to pick up again ever since I read for the first time. I re-read the first in this duology, Six of Crows, a month or so back so am really looking forward to continuing with the story (again). While not strictly speaking a book that has been made into a show or movie yet, the whole Grishaverse created by Bardugo is in the process of being turned into a TV show. This is going to include the characters and story lines from this duology and also the Shadow and Bone series. It's still very early days, but boy am I looking forward to it (but also really hope they don't muck it up!!)."

Other suggested reads...

- The Book Thief (Markus Zuzak) - review
- Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan) - review
- Ready Player One (Ernest Cline) - review
- The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas) - review
- Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro) - review
- Wonder (RJ Palacio) - review
- To All The Boys I've Loved Before (Jenny Han) - review
- You (Caroline Kepnes)
- About A Boy (Nick Hornby) - review
- Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli) - 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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