Sorting out my bookshelves- in defense of Marie Kondo’s philosophy on books!

Guys, I am liberated. I have given away or sold 60 books and 25 candles.

A year ago I would have fought tooth and nail to keep all my books, and in various sort outs over the years I have always managed to keep the majority and only give away a small pile. This time round I knew something had to give, and it was either my books or my bookshelves.

This time round though I had a new method- the Marie Kondo method.


How adorable is this woman?

According to Marie’s method you should pick something up, hold it in your hands and look into yourself to see if it sparks joy. If it does you keep it, if it doesn’t you thank it for it’s time and let it go.


This was also Emily Gilmore’s technique in Gilmore Girls, and she got rid of her dining room chairs. I’m not going to go quite that far!


The thing I found so therapeutic about this method is you aren’t denying that that object once gave you joy, you are just assessing how much joy it still brings you. In the past I would often keep books I knew I had enjoyed once, but there is a difference between keeping books you actually do have a sentimental attachment to- and therefore still bring you joy- and books that you did enjoy at one time but you know you’ve moved on and will probably never read again.


My empty shelves after clearing them out

Part of Marie’s philosophy is that you should put all things from the same category in one place before you start organising what stays or what goes. I believe in some kind of method to shock you for how much stuff you have.

Unfortunately for me after clearing these shelves it was apparent I would never be able to put the other shelves books on my bed all at the same time so I had to do it separately.


As you can see here, it was a mess!

The action of thanking each book I was done with also made the whole experience feel a lot more like an ending of a journey- I was done with these books but happy to have had them in my life- then just a callous dumping of them into a bag for charity. I’m happy to think that they will have a new home where hopefully they will be able to be appreciated all over again!

I now have three completely empty shelves, and it has made me feel a lot lighter. I know I no longer have the same kind of physical baggage I used to have hanging around every surface in my room, and I couldn’t be happier!

One thing the Marie method really helped with was letting go of ‘rare’ books. I have been a bit of a book collector for a while now and I have quite a few books which are signed or first editions. Obviously some of these do make me happy, and these ones were kept, but some I just have for the sake of having them. Keeping to Marie’s rules I will be selling these or passing them on.



In defense of Marie’s book philosophy


Marie got a lot of stick in the book community after in an interview she seemed to suggest owning a maximum of 30 books.

Here’s what she said, a quote taken from her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up-

“I now keep my collection of books to about thirty volumes at any one time.”

Never once does she say she believes everyone should limit themselves to 30 books at a time.

She later cleared this up by adding in an interview;

“The most important part of this process of tidying is to always think about what you have and about the discovery of your sense of value, what you value that is important…  The question you should be asking is what do you think about books. If the image of someone getting rid of books or having only a few books makes you angry, that should tell you how passionate you are about books, what’s clearly so important in your life. … That in itself is a very important benefit of this process.”

At the end of the day all Marie is asking you to do is assess if an object brings you joy or not, what’s so threatening about that?

Don’t keep books that no longer make you happy, and keep books that do make you happy.


And on a personal note, I’m a lot happier now that my bookcases have been sorted out and I have new space for growth. I can’t wait to see what new books end up on my new shelves over the coming year!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi!

39863498This weeks waiting on Wednesday is dedicated to The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Choksi! I read her Star-Touched Queen series and really enjoyed it, and I found out Roshani was writing this book when I researched my list of books set in Paris a couple of months ago- yes, The Gilded Wolves is set in Paris.

Synopsis from goodreads;

Set in a darkly glamorous world The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts:

An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

[Add on Goodreads]

The Gilded Wolves is released on January 15th 2019!

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 YA books that centre around social media!

Social media has become an increasingly important part of our lives, especially for us young people- so its no surprise that it is also becoming a popular plot piece for YA books. Whether it’s as a meet cute, a career or a way to connect to fandoms and friends, social media in YA books is all around, so I thought I would compile a list of a few social media savvy YA books to add to your TBR!

1. #famous by Jilly Gagnon


In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

[Add to Goodreads]

Famous came out in a time after Alex from Target shook the web (remember him?) and it’s clear that it influenced this book- but lets be honest- virality can strike anyone at anytime, its lightning in a bottle and it makes for a pretty good story.

2. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills


Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

[Add to Goodreads]

As cool as this premise sounds, I imagine being real life friends with a youtuber would be exhausting, especially if they are vlogging all the time.

3. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett


The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

[Add to goodreads]

I really love that old trope of two people falling in love at a distance and then finally meeting- and this seems to play on that kind of theme…. wait a minute, I’m going to see how much this is on kindle!

4. Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson


The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.

[Add to goodreads]

5. Simon vs the Homo Sapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli


Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

[add to Goodreads]

Come on, I know you’ve heard about this one!

6. Follow Me Back by Av Geiger


Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

[Add to goodreads]

This one sounds like it takes a turn at the end…

7. Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia


Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

[Add to goodreads]

I’ve wanted to read this book for ages, and hopefully I get around to it soon. Fanfiction is something that has been a part of my life throughout all my teen years, and I’ve only heard good things.

8. At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer


Who would have thought that a teenager could have a successful career creating makeup tutorial videos on YouTube? For Lacey Robbins, this dream has been her reality. An up-and-coming YouTuber, she has thousands of fans and can’t wait for the day when her subscriber count reaches the one million mark. And when she is offered a high school internship at On Trend Magazine, she figures that this could be the make it or break it moment.

But sometimes your dream job isn’t all that it seems. Her editor is only interested in promoting junk products, and her boss in the Hair and Makeup department introduces her to the larger world of makeup artistry, making her wonder if making tutorials online is all she is meant to do. To top it all off, when the magazine’s feature subject , musician Tyler Lance, turns his broodingly handsome smile her way, falling for him could mean losing her fans, forcing her to make a decision: her YouTube life or her real life?

Fans of Zoella’s GIRL ONLINE will fall right into the world of this YA DEVIL WEARS PRADA and stay hooked from the first blush to the last glossy kiss.

[Add to Goodreads]

9. This is what happy looks like by Jennifer E. Smith


If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

[Add to goodreads]

10. Internet Famous by Danika Stone


High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

[Add to Goodreads]


Five for Friday: 5 Books with ALIEN love interests!

In this list we are looking at alien love interests who are in relationships with humans- think an Edward Cullen scenario, but maybe a bit more blue…


At this point I’m pretty sure we’ve had so many YA books that nothing- not even Alien love interests- are unique anymore!

So let’s begin!


Just like YA, Katy Perry has a song for EVERY occasion

1. The Host by Stephanie Meyer



Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

[Add to goodreads]

Does this count as a YA? I’m not sure, but it definitely could be. I’ve mentioned this before, but the Host is one of my favourite books of all time, and one I love to recommend to people- seeing as most people read twilight and then grew out of that and haven’t tried any other Meyer books. The Host is a totally different experience from twilight, the characters and plot are really all encompassing, and engrossing. The relationships are so strong, and the ending makes me sob like a baby every single time! Even if you’ve watched the movie, do yourself a favour and pick this one up!

2. Alienated by Melissa Landers


Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

[Add to goodreads]

This one sounds like a wild ride- it’s basically a roommate romance story, but the roommate is an alien? I’m also not sure how realistic the ‘exchange student with aliens’ idea is, especially only two years after first contact, but if you ever wanted to know what would happen in this very specific scenario, here you go! (I am also pretty curious right now, I can’t lie).

3. Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

[add to Goodreads]

I remember when this book was released- and yes, I did actually read it. This was published in that weird period of time for the YA genre after the Twilight hype where all books where some kind of paranormal romance and HAD to have black covers. Unfortunately during that point in my life I was consuming these paranormal romance books at a rate of three a week, and I honestly couldn’t tell you if I liked Obsidian, but I didn’t read anymore of the Lux books, for whatever thats worth.

4. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer


(minor spoilers! also I won’t share the synopsis for this one, being the third book in the series). Technically not the only Alien/Human romance in this series but- in my opinion at least- the cutest; Cress and Thorne. Sigh. Hands down one of my favourite fictional couples.

5. The Diabolic by S.J Kincaid


Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…

[Add to Goodreads]

Whether or not Nemesis is actually an alien is up to you- she’s definitely not human, she’s more like a custom creature made to be a super bodyguard- and the other half of this relationship also might not be human- but he is humanoid and you know what? That’s enough for me.


So thats it, five books with alien romances. Is this a trend you’d like to see more of, or less of? It’s certainly interesting, thats for sure!


Waiting on Wednesday: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor!

38525180I recently wrote a list of my most anticipated books of the rest of 2018- and somehow missed out one of my most anticipated books OF ALL TIME- Muse of Nightmares, the sequel to Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I just didn’t realise that it was out in 2018! To remedy this oversight I thought I would dedicate an entire waiting on Wednesday post on how much I cannot wait to get my hand on this book.

Strange the Dreamer was one of my favourite books last year, but it also had a real staying power over me- I literally thought about it for months after I finished it- and not just that shock ending either, all aspects of the rich world, the characters, the story; they were all so perfect and real. I was lucky enough to be given a ARC of Strange the Dreamer, which only meant I spent months going on and on about it to people who hadn’t read it yet, probably annoying them all half to death.

If you haven’t yet read Strange the Dreamer- why? Go out and read it now, I’m sure you’ll love it.

I’m going to share the synopsis of Muse of Nightmares now, so a warning for potential spoilers below.

Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.
She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise.
She was wrong.

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice–save the woman he loves, or everyone else?–while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Timesbestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

[Add to Goodreads]

Muse of Nightmares is released on the 2nd of October 2018!

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 YA Fantasy Books without Magic!

My brain really likes to compartmentalize things, lists make my soul happy. I’m currently working on a VERY long list of 50 high fantasy YA books, but I’ve noticed a number of YA books which don’t quite fit into the ‘high fantasy’ genre, they have the setting but they lack the magic. So, of course, my mind wants to have these together in list form- so here we are.

I love books with magic, but books with the historical aspects of most fantasy books, without the magic are really interesting as well! I

(The list of 50 YA high fantasy books is going to take some t i m e, so it will be out soon, but not too soon)

So let’s get started!

1.  The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross


When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

[Add to goodreads]

2. And I Darken by Kiersten White


No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

[add to goodreads]

3. Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers


In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

[add to Goodreads]

4. Ruined by Amy Tintera



A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

[add to Goodreads]

5. Valiant by Lesley Livingston


Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

[Add to Goodreads]

6. Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan


Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadowsis Sophie Jordan at her best.

[Add to goodreads]

7. Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill


Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

[Add to goodreads]

8. Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh


Two clans. Only one will survive.

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

[Add to goodreads]

9. Long May she Reign by Rihannon Thomas


The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

[Add to Goodreads]

10. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts


Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . .

[Add to Goodreads]


Five for Friday: 5 YA Books set around Weddings!

We are officially in the midst of wedding season! Weddings are happening everywhere at the moment- I myself was a bridesmaid at one only a week ago.

Wedding fever reached a peak this year after the glorious wedding of Meghan and Harry- can we all agree that the whole wedding was complete goals?


So, its not really a surprise that weddings are having a bit of a renaissance within YA fiction. We’ve seen two major contemporary authors release so called wedding books in the last year, and I for one am LIVING for this troupe- give me ALL the wedding books please! So I decided to see how many more wedding centric YA books I could find- and heres the list!

Save the Date by Morgan Matson


Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

I was interested in this at first because I read somewhere that Charlie, the protagonist, plans the wedding which ends up going all wrong- and event planning is what I do. Plus, even though things going wrong at my events would be the worst, I’m sure I could see the humour in this fictional event ending up being a disaster.

This book was released in June 2018.

[Add to goodreads] 

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen



Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Another YA wedding book! This one was released last summer, and also centres around a wedding planner, of sorts, and a romance.

[Add to your goodreads]

The Story of Us by Deb Calleti


Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fiancés, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise:

Cricket’s future stepsisters make it clear they’re not happy about the marriage. An old friend decides this is the week to declare his love for Cricket. Grandpa chooses to reveal a big secret at a family gathering. Dan’s ex-wife shows up. And even the dogs—Cricket’s old, ill Jupiter and Dan’s young, lively Cruiser—seem to be declaring war.

While Cricket fears that Dan is in danger of becoming ditched husband-to-be number three, she’s also alarmed by her own desires. Because even though her boyfriend looms large in her mind, Ash is right in front of her….

This one was released a whole while ago, but it definitely centres around a wedding- so it counts, alright? This one also sounds interesting, the wedding sounds like more of a backdrop to the story but there’s that family drama that weddings can cause in the mix as well.

[Add on Goodreads]

The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt


Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?

And then there’s Grandpa’s letter. Not only is Holly running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money—fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family’s mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and… Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there’s a wedding chapel to save.

This is one I definitely want to read- the premise is so unique- warring wedding chapels? Sign me up. I wonder if real Las Vegas wedding chapels do have rivalries…

[Add to Goodreads] 

And last but not least-

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han


I’m not going to add the synopsis here, because this is the third book in the series and spoilers are a thing, but lets just say there is a wedding in this book. Thats all.


Do you know any more books that include weddings? Let me know!

Waiting on Wednesday: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal!


Out of all the upcoming books I am anticipating, We Hunt the Flame has one of the most unique premises- and beautiful cover art.


Synopsis from Goodreads;

The darkness speaks to those who listen. Those who listen are those who have accepted the darkness.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing in Arawiya, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, WE HUNT THE FLAME is a gripping story of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

[add to goodreads]

I have this thing about women dressing up as men trope- maybe why Twelfth Night is my favourite Shakespearean play), and I also enjoy reading about characters who are reluctant players in their own story, which seems to be the case here.

We Hunt the Flame is out in May 2019- almost a year away…


Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer!

28421168Regenades by Marissa Meyer, the author best known for the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, is the first of a triology which follows Nova, a member of the underground ‘villain’ group the Anarchists, who blames the the superhero group the Renegades for her parents and uncles murder. 

When Nova was a child the city was lawless- governed by warring groups of supers, people with powers, who offer protection to citizens for money. Unfortunately the Renegades who should have been protecting her parents don’t arrive when they really need them, leaving Nova in the protection of her uncle- who just so happens to be the leader of one the biggest superhero groups- Ace Anarchy.

Fast forward 11 years and the Renegades ultimately won the battle to take over the city, and now govern. The few Anarchists who survived the battle in which Nova’s uncle lost his life to the hands of Captain Chronium, everyone’s favourite superhero, are now underground, literally, living in an abandoned subway tunnel. 

But Nova, or her Anarchist alias- Nightmare, can see that underneath the facade to see that the Renegades are becoming dictators, they abuse their powers and allow no one to challenge them. Seeing no other way to stop them Nova decides to infiltrate the Renegades ranks herself to see how they can be taken down from the inside.

Adrian Everheart has grown up a Renegade- both of his dads are Renegades, in fact, his dads are Captain Chronium and Dread Warden, famous for defeating Ace Anarchy. Adrian has been experimenting with his powers when he battles Nightmare and barely wins. Obsessed with finding her again, and finding out why she uttered the same phrase as his mother’s mysterious murder, he starts a investigation into the shadowy figure.

When he meets Nova at the Renegades trials a week later will he put the pieces together, or not?

One of the most common negative comment I’ve seen on this book is that nothing happens- and obviously everyone’s opinion is valid- but I’d really like to know if we were reading the same book. SO. MUCH. HAPPENS. It took me half an hour to get that synopsis which only describes about the first 50 pages by the way, down to 300 words, I could have written an essay. I can sort of understand the argument that the characters are in the same place at the start of the book as they are at the end- but we as the reader aren’t, we’ve come so far and I really care about Adrian and Nova by the end and that’s what I feel Meyer was trying to achieve.

Meyer’s strengths in her past works have always been her characters and their relationships, and how she can make you feel connected to them. I’ve said before I feel she needs more then one book to really work up those connections, which is why I didn’t feel too connected to the characters in her standalone book Heartless. Meyer has spent this first book setting up the groundwork of these relationships, and I’m excited to see what she does next.

The plot has also been really intriguing and unique so far, I’ve never read a book with a world quite like this one before. Meyer has spent a lot of time setting up this world, which is really only as large as the city which is the backdrop of the whole book, in a way that really makes the place feel real.

I may be in the minority on this one, but I adored this book, and I can’t wait to see where this series goes next. I’ve heard that this series has been extended from a duology to a trilogy, which is also something I think is great- more space for Meyer to add to those tense relationships.

That said, this book was rather long in places where it was a little unnecessary, and the pacing did need some work.

I’m giving Renegades 4 ice creams out of 5!

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[Add Renegades to Goodreads]

Book News Round-Up! August 17th- #soapgate edition!

Welcome to your fortnightly YA news update with your host, Katie! I’ll be rounding up all the top stories of the last two weeks in the YA world (including the *ahem* soap that took my timeline by storm this week).

Let’s begin!

Let’s start with #soapgate, shall we?

So… where to begin? This week bookstagram and book twitter where shaken by the news that a book subscription box, Bookish and Stuff, included a, *ahem*, soap shaped like an anatomically correct piece of male genitalia- or as the internet is dubbing it- the soap dick- in their most recent Illyrian box (which did come with a 18+ warning before purchase).

I have included a photo below which I don’t think is toooooo graphic- seeing as it’s still in it’s wrapping- plus also, it’s a soap- but viewer discretion is advised…


Neadless to say, twitter had more then a field day over this, I’m talking like a field week. Everyone had something to say-

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Whether you think it was funny or grossly inappropriate, it has started up the conversation about the importance of correctly age rating books when they are released. For instance- this box was based on the book series ACOTAR, which is pretty smutty, let’s all admit, yet for some reason it’s classed as a YA book and as such is listed as a ‘Children’s Bestseller’!!!! For a book series I wouldn’t even be able to read aloud without blushing!

It seems that retrospectively placing age warnings on the back haven’t achieved anything either; the books are still stocked with YA books either way- so really can you really say the soap dick was inappropriate for the age group of the readers when it’s more or less in line with the books contents (albeit in a tongue in cheek way)?

Bookish and Stuff have commented on the controversy to say that the debate really comes down to whether ACOTAR ‘should really be YA or NA’ but the fact the series contains ‘graphic sex scenes’ is a fact we are all aware of, and they did warn consumers ‘multiple’ times to the 18+ nature of the box’s contents, which amounts to what is normally sold as a ‘bachelorette joke favors in the real world’.

They added most of their feedback from their costumers has been positive and ‘with everything in life there will always be those that are scandalized. If the box scandalized you, it wasn’t for you’.

Personally, I agree. I was quite shocked when I saw the pictures of the unboxings, but as I read further my opinion changed when I found out this was no rogue dick situation- consumers knew what they where getting themselves into. The argument about whether ACOTAR is YA or NA isn’t within their control, but they had warned people this box wasn’t suitable for teens. I’ve seen people say this is adults encroaching on teen space by oversexualising teen literature- but come on, ACOTAR sexualises itself!

Overall this has proved the age old adage that no publicity is bad publicity, I’m sure this box will see a pick up in sales in the future.

Though if anything in the box was crossing a line for me, it’s the fanfiction which was bound like a booklet and sold- something which really isn’t legal or appropriate.


We all know authors and publishers have more or less turned a blind eye to the rise of all of this unlicensed merchandise- I’m talking candles and pillows, etc- in the past- but there is a line, and that line is fiction. You cannot sell fanfiction people! You just can’t! Put it online for people to read for free as much as you like, but don’t sell it.

Whether or not Bloomsbury will react to any of this remains to be seen, but what happens in the next couple of weeks could end up changing the things book subscription boxes can get away with without the approval of the rights holder and publisher- or maybe in a month this will have all blown over. We’ll see.

Leigh Bardugo announces new magical yearly planner!

This week we got exciting news from the Six of Crows author, who announced this week she has been working on a grisha/ magical journal/planner!

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We even got a cover AND a release date, all in one go!


The Severed Moon is on sale from the 29th January 2019, and you can preorder it here!

The most exciting thing about this release is what it means for YA books- is this a new trend? If it is, would you like to see more yearly journals with quotes, inspiration and snippets from your favourite books, or would you rather save your money for real books? I think this is an interesting direction for Leigh to go in, and I’m sure if it’s successful other authors will follow.

Happy release day to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix!


The movie adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is released today on netflix, and has already been receiving critical praise, with Variety commenting-

If John Hughes were alive today, he might very well make a movie like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” which doesn’t talk down to its audience about subjects such as sex and dating, but instead treats them as young adults, demonstrating how anyone’s initial attempts at romance are like learning to walk: We’re all a little bit wobbly at first.

You can read their entire review here.

Last week I counted down five books you should read before their movie adaptation is released, so even though you are out of time for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before you won’t miss out on the rest! You can view that list here!

Holly black finishes her first draft of Queen of Nothing- Cruel Prince #3!

Even though we’ll still have to wait until January to get our hands on the second Cruel Prince book, The Wicked King, Queen of Faeries Holly Black has been hard at work finishing the first draft of the final book of the trilogy- Queen of Nothing.

She tweeted this week-

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To think that right at this very moment, somewhere on a hard drive, is the whole third and final instalment of this series! I’m very excited by this news, though I imagine I will be a great deal more excited when I actually get to the end of The Wicked King!

Authors on Tour!

Laini Taylor has announced she will be on tour to promote the release of Muse of Nightmares from October 2nd to 19th. She will be visiting CA, MO, TX, MN, WI, MI, IL, NJ, NY and OR! See the details here.


And that’s it for this fortnight! I’ll see you again in September for the next book news round up!