Books · Haul

Summer Book Haul!

Book-Haul

Hey Guys!
Hope you’re having a great weekend!
Today’s post is just going to be the books I’ve bought/received over the last month or so. I’ve have been really lucky and received quite a few books to review!

Let’s get on with the haul!

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Firstly, I bought:  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte using my birthday money. I’ve been wanting to read more classics so I picked up these gorgeous editions.

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*Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Thank you to Jamie @ Tor UK for this gorgeous copy!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Thank you to PythiaReads for the trade!

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The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
These two I got at a local summer fayre for 20p each! Such a great bargain and they’re in pretty good condition.

*Ascension by Victor Dixen
Thanks to Hot Key Books for a copy of this! Can’t wait to read and review it!

 

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Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
I got this second hand from World of Books on the Amazon Marketplace. It was in near perfect condition and super cheap!

*The Light Between Us by Katie Khan
Thank you to Doubleday books/Penguin UK for an early copy!

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*The Hallowed War by Tim Akers
The Pagan Night
The Iron Hound
The Winter Now
Thank you to Titan books for sending me this series!

*Books marked with an asterisk (*) were sent to me for free, this does not affect my opinion in any way. All views are my own.


Let me know if you have read any of these and what you thought!

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Books · Review

Review: In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira

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Synopsis:
This sweeping multi-generational love story introduces readers to mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When Marilyn was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie’s father, James, who was African-American. But Angie’s never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she’s never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive, too? So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Along the way, she uncovers some hard truths about herself, her mother, and what truly happened to her father


Plot:
The story follows two points of view, a mother and daughter, Marilyn and Angie. In the present-day Angie wants to know about her father, having died before she was born,  her mother gets upset every time Angie mentions him and doesn’t know anything about him. After finding out she has an Uncle Angie is determined to find out more about her father.

In the flashbacks, Marilyn is a girl of seventeen, it follows her story of being somewhat abused by her mother and her meeting James, Angie’s father. Marilyn is forced to attend auditions, her mother basically pushes her dream of being a star on to Marilyn and since they have little money, Marilyn goes along with it.

Thoughts:

The writing style makes the story quick and easy to read, it wasn’t super gripping but I still wanted to read on to know what happens. Toward the end I flew through it, I just had to know what happened to James.

I did prefer the flashbacks chapters from Marilyn’s perspective, mainly because I really needed to know what really went down with James. Marilyn and James were so cute together, knowing he dies really made me want to know what happened.
I loved how the stories intertwined and there were parallels between Angie and Marilyn’s stories.

Both Marilyn and Angie’s characters were really realistic and relatable, I didn’t expect their stories to hit me as hard as they did. I found it to be quite a powerful and emotional story about family, love and loss.

Overall it was a really good story and I recommend it, if you’re looking for a cute but tragic story this would be a good pick!

Rating: 3.75 Stars
* Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me this in exchange for an honest review!


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Books · Tips & Tricks

Reading On a Budget: Where To Find Cheap Books

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A great way to get books cheap would be to buy them secondhand. New books, especially new releases can be pretty pricey, when I can, I always buy my books used/secondhand. You can save so much money by buying used books, yeah okay sometimes you can’t get new releases but unless I’m super desperate, I’ll wait until I can get it secondhand or the price drops.

Have a browse through your local charity/secondhand/thrift shops for books, I’ve have found some really cheap books from there. In one of my local charity shops, they have a deal of 3 paperbacks for £1!
Another way to find secondhand books would be at any local fayres or car boot sales, they’ll be dirt cheap! I recently went to a summer fayre at a local church and the paperback books for just 20p!
The best thing about buying secondhand books in person is that you can see the quality and condition they’re in for yourself. Whereas online, they can say it’s in ‘very good condition’ but it could come a bit damaged.

Online – If you don’t fancy going rummaging around charity shops and car boot sales, you can always buy secondhand books online.
My favourite places to shop for secondhand books online are; World of Books, Amazon Marketplace, eBay and Music Magpie.

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From World of Books, I ordered Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor and it came as a first edition SIGNED copy. I was so excited, I had no idea when I ordered. You can really get some hidden gems when buying secondhand!

With places like Amazon Marketplace and eBay make sure you read the reviews/feedback of the sellers, so you know they’re legit. Also, make sure you check the location of the seller and the delivery charges so you aren’t caught out! If you’d rather stick to big sellers go for World of Books or Music Magpie, I’ve never had any trouble ordering from them (+ the delivery is free!).

Amazon Marketplace is good for both new and used books, you can compare prices and find the cheapest option available, usually, there are places cheaper than Amazon themselves.

amazon-marketClick underneath the Amazon prices to look at the Marketplace prices and compare, as shown in the picture above, you can save a lot by buying from other sellers on Amazon.
Amazon usually has some sort of deal on paperbacks, sometimes the offer is 2 for £7 or 3 for £10, if you prefer to buy your books new, this might save you some £££.

Other places to buy cheap new/ unused books would be The Works, they have a decent book selection and always have deals and offers going on. I’ve seen deals like 6 paperbacks for £10 online and in my local store, it’s 3 for £5.
My local WHSmith has a clearance section with hundreds of discounted books, I have got brand new books there for just £1. It’s worth seeing if any of your local bookstores have a clearance section too!

That’s all my tips for now! The next post in this Reading on a Budget series will be how to get books for free! Stay tuned for that!

**Disclaimer – This post is NOT sponsored, all the companies mentioned are ones I personally use and my opinion is based on my experience using them. 


Comment and let me know your favourite places to buy books! 

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Books · Review

Review: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

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Synopsis:
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks – and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears.

Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society.

In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart – an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests – or she’ll have to leave the city and confront her deadly fate once and for all.


Before I start, this book has been getting so much hype maybe I expected too much. So I ended up pretty disappointed. It’s an okay book but not the mindblowing story it was hyped up to be.

Plot:
Majority of the book is so slow, I didn’t find myself gripped to the story at all and I kept putting down for a while. Middle grade is usually a genre that I find fun and gripping and an easy read, I usually fly through it. I found the last 70-80 pages were the best part of the entire novel, the story picked up and was actually interesting for a bit.

The writing style is just meh? Nothing particularly great about it, the story itself was pretty flat and wasn’t very unique or creative. I don’t understand the praise surrounding this book at all…
The ending/ final trial was a complete cop-out, in my opinion. Left me pretty damn disappointed. The ‘plot twists’ were just meh, nothing shocking.

The world itself was the most interesting part, in my opinion, Nevermoor seems like such a weird and wonderful place. I am interested in knowing more about it so I really hope the next book has more worldbuilding.

Characters:
Morrigan Crow: She was an okay main character, I didn’t love her but I didn’t dislike her either; she was just average. I did feel sorry for her, being a ‘cursed’ child and having everything blamed on her but she was still a bit bland. She started off well, she was a bit feisty but she seemed to lose that trait after the first few chapters.
I did like her friend, he was quite entertaining and their friendship was quite sweet.
Jupiter North: I found him to be an interesting and amusing character but even he couldn’t save the boring plot.
I saw a lot of people mention the talking cat, Fen, but she was just boring, I don’t see the appeal, personally.

Overall:
It was an alright book. Some parts were enjoyable but a lot of it could have been better.  I am actually interested to see where the story goes so I will be continuing the series to see if it does get better!

Rating: 3 Stars


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Books I Have Removed From My TBR | Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!
This weeks topic is; Books You’ve Removed From Your TBR; Discuss the books that you wanted to read at one point, but don’t anymore.

*A few of these are going to have similar reasons/explanations 

1) The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
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I picked this up in a charity shop and I did want to read but I never ended up reaching for it. I decided to unhaul this and give it back to a charity shop!

2) Captive Prince by C S Pacat
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I’ve heard some bad things about this book, I’ve also had it sat on my shelves for ages and I no longer have any interest in picking it up.

3) Ringer by Lauren Oliver
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This is the second book in the Replica series, I didn’t really enjoy the first one, it was pretty boring but I kinda wanted to see what happened. I did plan on picking up the sequel but over time I completely forgot about it and no longer have any desire to continue.

4) The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
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After seeing a lot of negative reviews I decided I wasn’t going to read this one.
It doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy, I’ll trust the reviews I’ve seen and give it a pass!

5) Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
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The premise of this book sounded interesting, which is what initially drew me towards this. I am not actually a subscriber of Sasha so I wouldn’t have got it just for her. However, from reviews and some quotes I’ve seen it doesn’t seem like a well written story at all. Since I didn’t buy the book, I had an eArc, I decided to give it a miss!


Let me know any books you’ve dropped from your to-read pile/list!

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Books · Reread Review

Reread Review: Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson

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Synopsis:
(From GoodReads) – This is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses. Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city. A world transformed by a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous as breath can only be collected one unit at a time.

On the back of the book – Warbreaker is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, a lesser god, and an immortal trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.
Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city. A world transformed by BioChromatic magic, a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous: breath can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.
But the rewards are great: by using breath and drawing upon the colour in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be performed.


Plot:
Where do I even begin with this book? I love it so much I cannot put into words how amazing this book is.
The world, the magic, the characters and the plot are all perfect?! Absolutely nothing is a let down in this story.  Anyone who has read any Brandon Sanderson novels knows his worldbuilding is incredible, I honestly have no idea how he is capable of creating new, unique and interesting each time, it’s insane.
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If you’re looking to getting into Brandon Sanderson but find his huge series intimidating, this would be a great one to start with. It is a standalone story, that eventually will have sequels but is satisfying and work by itself.

Characters: This book is one of the rare ones where I actually love every character and enjoy each POV perspective.

Vivenna: She is the oldest child of the royal family of Idris and has been raised her whole life to be the wife of the God King. Vivenna’s preparation for becoming the God King’s wife is all thrown away when her father decides to send her younger sister instead. After Siri takes her place Vivenna doesn’t know her place in the world and feels like she has no purpose, so she follows her sister into Hallandren, determined to save her from the dreaded God King.

Siri: She is the youngest child of the royal family of Idris and younger sister to Vivenna. Siri is sent in place of Vivenna to become the wife of the God King. Having never been trained to be the wife of the God King, Siri has no idea what to expect, she is thrown into a new place alone and the God King is vastly different than what she had learned.

Lightsong: He is a ‘Returned’, which is someone who died and returned as a God. Despite being a God, he doesn’t believe he is a God and doesn’t act as the other God’s do. His character is very funny and I love the little friendship he builds with Siri.

Vasher: A mysterious man with a talking sword. Despite loving Vasher, you have no idea what his intentions are or what side he’s on until the very end. Can’t talk about him much without giving away spoilers but he’s awesome!

Nightblood: I don’t know if you could class ‘him’ (?) as a character as such but it is very entertaining. I could literally read an entire book through Nightblood’s perspective. Nightblood is a talking sword, not as crazy or childish as it sounds, he’s very entertaining and of course, murderous.

Rating: 5/5 Stars!


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Books · Review

Release Day Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Spoiler Free!)

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Synopsis:
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand


Plot: The beginning of the novel really sets the scene and creates intrigue, I was hooked from the beginning. I really had no idea where the story would go but I couldn’t stop reading so I could find out. The middle slowed down a bit for me, I did find some parts a little boring and I wasn’t a fan of some of the POV character’s but they were important to the story.
I liked the beginning of Uprooted but it went downhill for me from there and when this got slow in the middle I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to like the rest of the story.
The writing is beautiful, I wasn’t a huge fan of Uprooted but I did love the writing.
The last 150 were fast paced,  that’s when I become really addicted and could not put the book down!
I didn’t see the ending coming at all, it was adorable!

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Characters: I had no idea going into this that there would be multiple POV’s, from the synopsis I thought Miryem was the only POV character but there’s actually quite a few, around 6(?) I think.  The thing that bothered me is that there’s nothing to indicate who’s perspective the chapter is. I have no issue with multiple POV’s but it can be hard to realise who’s chapter it is when there’s no name at the beginning of the chapter. I’d much prefer having the name of whoever’s chapter it is at the beginning.

Miryem: She was definitely my favourite character, her chapters were my favourite to read and her journey. It’s actually really refreshing to see a character act ‘cold’ and not be a pushover to people who have wronged her and her family. Nothing annoys me more than when the main character/ their family is treated badly and it’s just kind of brushed off and they’re too nice to do anything!?

Wanda: It’s not that I found her chapters boring but they weren’t as gripping as Miryem’s. I did feel sorry for Wanda, she’s had a hard life, been abused and living in poverty.

Irina: I liked Irina, her chapters were interesting, as was her part of the story. I overall like Irina as a character but there was *something* that made me like her a bit less towards the end. But no spoilers 🙂

Rating: 4 Stars!

*Spinning Silver was sent to me for review, all opinions are my own
Thank you to Jamie @ UKTor + Pan Macmillan for sending me an early copy!

Spinning Silver is out TODAY! 12th July;
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