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.


Thursday 30 April 2020

Book Club | April 2020 Roundup

Our April 2020 book club is complete! Our theme was 'written by a POC' and there are several great recommendations below to add to your summer reading lists. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts and photos this month and if you missed out on April why not join in for our May theme which will be introduced here and over on our Instagram page tomorrow.

My choice for this month’s @bloggersbookshelf #bookshelfbookclub and my Muggle Studies choice for the #owlsreadathon2020, On the Come Up is the story of Bri, a teenager who wants, more than anything, to make it as a rapper so she can help her family and get out of the neighbourhood that killed her father. No one writes like Angie Thomas. She captures that authentic teen voice in a way that few authors can and I’m pleased to say that this book packs every bit as much of a punch as The Hate U Give. Although, this one didn’t make me cry as much, which probably makes me like it a tiny bit more tbh. - #vsco #vscocam #bloggersbookshelf #bookstagram #vscobooks #bookworm #booklove #prettybooks #beautifulbooks #instabooks #bibliophile #igreads #booklover #bookreview #coolgirlsread #readeverywhere #readmorebooks #onthecomeup #idratherbereading #bookaddict #cozyreading #readingbringsjoy #potterhead #pottergram #wizardingworld #hogwartsismyhome #hogwartsforever #owlsreadathon
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Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

"I think I’ll read pretty much read anything by Becky Albertalli; her books are always a fun read. I’ve never read anything by Aisha Saeed before, but now I want to look into what else she’s written. Yes No Maybe So was co-written by the two authors, with each taking a character, alternating chapters. I really enjoyed this book! It was a tad predictable in places, but overall a really enjoyable YA read." - Anjali

Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman

"I loved revisiting this book which I remember from my childhood. I opted for the audiobook version, which was only around five and a half hours, and really enjoyed it. Definitely one to pick up if you've never read it!" - Erin

We'll be introducing May's book club tomorrow so don't forget to check back! Use the hashtag #bloggersbookshelf or tag @bloggersbookshelf to share your photos and mini reviews with us throughout the month.
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Monday 27 April 2020

I Go Quiet | David Ouimet | Review

How do you find your voice, when no one seems to be listening? A young girl struggles to make herself heard, believing she is too insignificant and misunderstood to communicate with the people in her life. 

Anxious about how she thinks she should look and speak, the girl stays silent, turning to books to transport her to a place where she is connected to the world, and where her words hold power. As she soon discovers, her imagination is not far from reality, and the girl realizes that when she is ready to be heard, her voice will ring loud and true.

With the ongoing closure of libraries here in New Zealand due to COVID-19, I've been making use of OverDrive and Libby (great apps that are connected to your library and makes accessible eBooks and audiobooks). I was having a browse for some graphic novels (something I prefer to read on Kindle/tablet over novels), and I stumbled across this one. I was drawn in by the cover, even though, as Sophie pointed out when I showed her, it's "a bit creepy".

I Go Quiet is a short but poignant graphic novel about an introverted girl who finds her place in the world in stories rather than in the physical world around her. Each page has stunning images of the girl wandering through life, keeping quiet, then walking through her imagination into new places.

This book came out in March 2020, so it's very new to the book world. If you manage to find it online or at your local bookstore or library, pick it up and have a read!
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Sunday 26 April 2020

Features | March Reads

With everything that's been going on recently I managed to miss sharing my March reads, but I thought I could quickly squeeze in this post today before it's time to share April's roundup!

My March reading got off to a great start with the audiobook version of Dear Evan Hansen, a novel adaptation of the stage musical. I haven't seen the show itself, but I've heard great things about it and really enjoyed the book. Another favourite from this month was Your House Will Pay (Steph Cha), which I haven't heard many people talking about but thought was a brilliant read.

For our March book club prompt (a book about siblings) I finally managed to get hold of a copy of The Most Fun We Ever Had (Claire Lombardo) just before my library closed thier doors. Whilst I didn't quite love it as much as I had hoped, I really enjoyed the multigenerational aspect. I also had a lot of fun drawing ginkgo leaves for my March book club inspired art piece!

The final book I picked up in March was Saint Anything (Sarah Dessen); another last-minute library loan. This book made it's way onto my TBR after I listened to the audiobook version of The Rest Of The Story last year and almost rated it 5 stars. Similarly, I flew through Saint Anything and picking up this book made me realise that after hitting a mini slump, Contemporary reads should be my go-to genre for the next few weeks. You can expect to see some similiar titles in April's roundup...!
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Saturday 25 April 2020

Features | 3 Great Young Adult Novels Released in 2020 So Far

One of the things I'm very fortune to be able to do is review books for a couple of publishing companies here in New Zealand. This means that I'm often getting books either a little bit earlier than the public, or just as they are released. I've never been more up to date with Young Adult books (published by those that I work with anyway) before, and have really been enjoying reading books in the months they're released.

I thought I'd share just a few of books that I've read and really enjoyed which have been published in the last four months. Perhaps you've already read them, or perhaps they're on your TBR list. Either way, do let us know in the comments!

1. The Vanishing Deep, by Astrid Scholte

"Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn't food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister's life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn't a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.

But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn't want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn't commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents' death and mend their broken bond. But they're pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea's time is up--and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed."

After reading Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte last year and absolutely loving it (must read it again!) I knew that The Vanishing Deep was going to be a good one. The Vanishing Deep was such a great concept. The description does a great job at giving you the low down on the setting and over all plot so I won’t go into it too much, for fear of giving anything away. Like Four Dead Queens, Scholte’s second book was a combination of great characters, imaginative settings, wonderful plot lines and even surprising twists. If you’re up for “a story of sisterhood, love and loss, and the lengths we will go to for the people we care about” then this is for you.

*Not the actual cover. Also look at that sad post damage! * cry *

2. Yes No Maybe So, by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

"Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state candidate - as long as he’s behind the scenes. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is cancelled, her parents are separating and now her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing - with some awkward guy she hardly knows ...

Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer - and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural crush of the century is another thing entirely."

I think I’ll read pretty much read anything by Becky Albertalli; her books are always a fun read. I’ve never read anything by Aisha Saeed before, but now I want to look into what else she’s written. Yes No Maybe So was co-written by the two authors, with each taking a character, alternating chapters.  It wasn't quite as sweet as Simon vs the Homospaiens Agenda or What If It’s Us, but it was still a fun read.

3. Only Mostly Devastated, by Sophie Gonzales 

"When Ollie meets his dream guy, Will, over summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself one prince short of a fairytale ending. To complicate the fairytale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country—Will’s school—where Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted—and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship. But as Will starts ‘coincidentally’ popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.



In many ways Only Mostly Devastated was your classic Young Adult romance novel. Teens meet, fall in love, but oh no something/s happen and it’s not all roses, but don’t worry, it all works out in the end. It was very predictable, but that worked okay for this story I think. I really enjoyed reading Only Mostly Devastated and managed to read it in just a few hours. The side-characters were your classic American high school stereotypes, with a few additional surprises and twists thrown in to zhoosh it up a little bit.

What books have you enjoyed so far this year?

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Friday 17 April 2020

Features | Thoughts on Reading Middle-Grade Books as an Adult

During the past month I've been reading some middle grade books, and it's been really interesting seeing which middle-grade books I love and can't put down and which ones I didn't love as much as I did when I was actually around the age they were aimed at.

Last year I was sent the latest middle-grade book by Eoin Colfer, The Fowl Twins. The book follows Myles and Beckett Fowl, who are the twin brothers of the famous Artemis Fowl, who has an entire series of books (8!) dedicated to his adventures with fairies. When I received the book I was excited to get back in to this world that I loved as a kid growing up. But I realised that I hadn't actually read the last two books in the Artemis Fowl series, and I wanted to do that before I read The Fowl Twins.

Back when I was in middle-grade (which is 8 - 12 years old) and I was reading these books, and even into my early teens, I remember really loving them. They were a lot of fun and they were an absolute joy to read. Now that I'm in my late 20s (gasp!) and reading them again, it's a lot different. They're still the highly enjoyable, fun, quirky books they've always been and I still love the characters and crazy plot lines that Colfer (in this example) comes up with. But somehow it's not quite the same.

I found myself reading the last two Artemis Fowl books and The Fowl Twins so slowly it was like I wasn't really reading. There would be several days between me picking up the book, and it wasn't for lack of liking the story. I think it was just that it wasn't as gripping or relatable as it once was. Finding a teenage boy genius who converses with fairies is hard to relate to at any time, but I hope you see what I mean.

Interestingly enough, in the past year or so I've read Victoria Schwab's City of Ghosts and Tunnel of Bones, both of which follows Cassidy Blake and her paranormal-TV-host parents on their adventures. These are also middle-grade books, but for some reason I loved them and couldn't put them down.

So is it just Artemis Fowl that I've finally grown out of? Or is middle-grade books in general? Am I finally too old to be reading the books that I loved as a kid? Or do I just need a break for a while?

I don't know if these questions have any answers, but it sure is interesting asking them.

Taking your thoughts on middle-grade books! Drop us a comment if you've read any middle-grade books recently that you've really loved, or a book that you're re-read recently and it's not quite what you remember reading as a kid. Would love to hear your thoughts.
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Saturday 4 April 2020

Bookish Links #55 - Bumper Edition!

1. Olivia's book The Insecure Girls' Handbook was recently released. In this post she answers questions about the writing process.

2. To keep fans entertained whilst working or schooling at home Neal Shusterman is reading some of his lesser known short stories and sharing them over on YouTube.

3. Anjali compiled a list of books that are all over 500 pages, but definitely worth your time.

4. Kate shared some of her all time favourite books.

5. Over on Instagram, Kelly has started sharing writing prompts to help us all stay creative whilst we're staying home.

6. If writing more is something you're hoping to do, you'll also love this post from Michelle.

7. Anna shared her tips for reading more, as well as some of her favourite titles.

8. Emma added a bookish accent wall to the Ravenclaw bedroom at her Harry Potter themed B&B; here's the how-to!

9. If Thrillers are your thing, check out this list of 5 gripping titles for your TBR.

10. Alternatively, if you want a lighter read Jaime's post has you covered.

11. The Baby-Sitters Club is coming to Netflix! Here's a first look at the poster for the series.

12. It's not too late to join in with the 2020 Magical Readathon. Visit the website to find out more about how to get your O.W.L.S.

13. Love reading about food? Megan has an amazing list of titles to add to your TBR.

14. If you're a book blogger, you may find Holly's post about Netgalley to be a very relatable read.

15. Our final link is to Kelly's review of Fierce Fairytales. How beautiful is that cover?!
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Friday 3 April 2020

Features | What We're Reading During Self Isolation

Like many around the world at this time, the Blogger's Bookshelf are in self isolation, whether that be for their own safety and health, or that and government decree. For us bibliophiles, self isolation and/or lockdown just means more time to read.

We thought we'd share with you what the BB team is reading during this time. We would also love to know what you're reading if you're self isolating at the moment. Drop us a comment or flick us a Tweet.

"Audiobooks have definitely been my friends this week!

I was already working my way through the Harry Potter series in this format as and when each one became available from my library and just finished The Order Of The Phoenix yesterday; I have The Half-Blood Prince lined up too! For a little break from HP, I also just finished listening to Checkmate, the third book in Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses series, and have a few other titles reserved including Little Women (which I’ve never read) and The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo (which I read a physical copy of last year and loved).

Aside from the audiobooks, I’ve just picked up Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen as last year I really enjoyed her most recent novel The Rest Of The Story." - Erin

"I'm currently in a bit of a reading slump and frankly, all of my free time that I would usually spend reading has been taken over by Animal Crossing.

However, I made myself finish the book I've been reading at the weekend (a reread of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (again excellent)) so that I could start on The Hand On The Wall by Maureen Johnson. All of BB have raved about this series and after finishing the first two books last year I couldn't wait to get stuck into the third when it came out this month, and I finally made it to the top of the library reserves list last week!" - Sophie

"So far I've been gravitating towards the kind of cosy romance stories that guarantee a happy ending, like The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan, and The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas. Both are novels where the heroine's world is shaken at the start but with the kindness of strangers everything works out in the end." - Anastasia

"The past few weeks I've been reading Artemis Fowl. I never finished the series as a kid for some reason, so caught up on the last two books before diving into The Fowl Twins, which is the beginning of a new series by Eoin Colfer. I'm about to pick up some stories which will be pretty feel-good, like The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky novella by Mackenzi Lee and Yes No Maybe So which is the new one from Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed." - Anjali

"I've been turning to old favourites right now. I'm re-reading The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman, and working through the audiobooks of the Harry Potter series. I'm trying to see this as a chance for reading and writing." - Kelly

"I'm currently reading In the Country by Mia Alvar. I've found attention span waning and am, like many I suspect, a little homesick. So a short story collection about Filipinos around the world seems like the perfect antidote right now." - Ria

What are you reading during self isolation?

Photo by Fabiola Peñalba on Unsplash

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Wednesday 1 April 2020

Book Club | April 2020 - Written By A POC

For our 2020 BB Book Club we've put together another printable list of twelve different prompts, one for each month of the year. Just as we did in 2019, 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 #bloggersbookshelf or tag @bloggersbookshelf on Instagram.

Our prompt for April is...  

Written By A POC

What we'll be reading...

Anjali's Pick: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

"I read To All The Boys I've Loved Before last year and really enjoyed it. It's time to read the second one! While the movie came out on Netflix a little while ago, I still haven't watched it because I hadn't read the book yet. Looks like I'll be able to do both this month. Looking forward to it; maybe I'll even keep going and read Always and Forever, Lara Jean too!"

Erin's pick: Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman

"For our April book club I've decided to re-read Pig Heart Boy after I recently discovered that my libary has the audiobook version. I read this children's book many years ago and also remember watching the BBC adaptation so I'm looking forward to revisiting the story."

Other suggested reads...

- Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
- Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
- Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- Naturally Tan by Tan France

For more ideas, check out this post over on Epic Reads!

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