Saturday, June 30

June Recap | a.k.a. All the Books, Movies & Shows We Ate This Month

Woah, I feel like June has just started, and now it's already over!? What the hell is up with that. To be fair, I was mostly lazing around the house relaxing at home after my last exam of the semester, so that probably explains why time seemed to fly by. But shh, don't berate that from me.

One thing that does showcase the passing of time is how many books I've read, because wow, I'm proud - but also slightly worried - for myself, as I've managed to eat 20 books. TWENTY. BOOKS. I'm... shocked. 

Anyhow, enough about me, because this post is not just mine - it is also Clare's debut in a TRC recap (!!!) which is full of books (duh), with some movies, tv shows & bookish news thrown into the mix. We worked TONS on this, so I'm super-excited to see what y'all think! 

Thursday, June 28

Ancient Myths, Talking Leverets and a City on the Brink of Danger - The Wild Folk by Sylvia V. Linsteadt

When the Star-Priest Brotherhood from the City threaten to ravage and destroy the land of the Wild Folk, their only hope rests with two young hares and their human companions – Tin, an orphan City boy with a passion for invention, and curious Country girl Comfrey. In this magical quest, to protect the precious stargold that runs through the land, Tin and Comfrey must complete seemingly impossible tasks set by the mysterious and terrifying Wild Folk - each stranger than the last - to find the one who holds the secret to saving their world.

The Wild Folk is a timeless adventure, weaving fantasy and folk lore into an enchanting tale that will fill you with wonder. The first in a duology, with a dash of Ursula Le Guin, a pinch of Frances Hardinge, and a generous helping from C.S. Lewis, this is a future classic, filled with unforgettable and diverse characters, and a story to be read time and again.

Tuesday, June 26

Ten Series We Want to Binge-Read

The original topic for this week was Series We've Given Up On/Don't Plan to Finish. This didn't work for me because I am a notorious binge-reader - so I'm dragging Vera into binge-reading with me and looking at the series we most want to marathon! Because why suffer through cliff-hangers and long waits for the next book when you could just binge the entire series at once? 

(We're completing this topic for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl)

Saturday, June 23

{Discussion Review} A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

Thrilling and powerfully written, this is an explosive debut for YA readers which tackles the dark topic of domestic abuse in an ultimately hopeful tale.

Hello friends. Ever since its announcement, Clare and I have both been excited for A Thousand Perfect Notes, aka a fellow blogger's debut! So, really, it was no question that we would buddy read it, and to share part of that experience with you and make this review more interesting - we're discussing it, instead of writing about it individually. Hope you'll enjoy this at least half as much as we enjoyed making it. :)

Thursday, June 21

All the Action and Dinosaurs for the Adrenaline Junkie in You in Exile (The Extinction Trials #2) by S.M. Wilson

Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to The Extinction Trials.

After surviving on Piloria once, Storm and Lincoln are the obvious candidates to return to the dinosaur continent to test the new virus that should clear the way for human settlement. But they have their own priorities – finding a cure for the plague that’s sweeping Earthasia, and keeping themselves alive.

Received in exchange for an honest review from Usborne Publishing UK.

Exile, the sequel to Extinction Trials, follows Stormchaser and Lincoln as they're faced with newer challenges and hurdles in pursuit of their individual goals. While the first book left things on uncertain terms between the characters, the second book takes off with us seeing how each character is faring with the aftermath of their stay (and subsequent victory) in Piloria, the continent of dinosaurs. Does the book do justice to what the first book lead up to? Do we see more in terms of character growth in each lead? Do we have enough dinosaurs and action in this latest installment of the Extinction Trials? Does the romance amount to anything? 

Tuesday, June 19

Books We Will (Hopefully?) Read This Summer

Isn't it fun to make a list you know you're never going to complete? Cuz I sure as hell seem to think. See, any time I make one of these seasonal (or monthly) to-read lists I fail them. Spectacularly so. 

These ain't working for me. If anything, they seem to jinx my excitement for the novels I list, and more often than not, I end up not only not reading the featured titles, but also lose interest in them completely. 

YET, HERE I AM TRYING AGAIN. #killme But this time, I also have Clare listing her titles, which... nearly sounds like a competition to me? I'm a very competitive person so just comparing the amount she finished by the end summer with mine *might* spur me on. WE SHALL SEE. 

(We're completing this topic for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl)

Saturday, June 16

Summer Recs #2: Romance Novels to Melt Your Heart

Hello friends! As you might have seen last week, I decided to dedicate my three June-posts to thematic recommendations. My first list concentrated on thriller, mystery and horror novels (see it here), while today's is all about ROMANCE NOVELS. 

To clarify, that means that the romance is, in fact, the most important part of all the books I'll list down below. HOWEVER, in most cases there are other equally significant topics broached - from self-confidence, through following your dreams to killing the bad guys... you'll find a pretty solid selection of books here. 

Thursday, June 14

I Don't Know How I Feel About The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller

Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls barely know their father, a plant hunter usually off adventuring through China. Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan reneges on his contract to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid. He will be thrown into debtors’ prison while his daughters are sent to the orphanage and the workhouse.

Elodie can’t stand by and see her family destroyed, so she persuades her father to return to China once more to try to hunt down the flower—only this time, despite everything she knows about her place in society, Elodie goes with him. She has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China. But now, even if she can find the orchid, how can she ever go back to being the staid, responsible Elodie that everybody needs?

Tuesday, June 12

Books We Wish We Had DNF-ed

Hello friends! Isn't it positively infuriating when you pick up a book, all excited and hopeful... only to be severely disappointed by it? It is one thing if put it down, mark it did-not-finish, and quickly get on with your life. If you frequently do this? Well, congrats, you're awesome, and I'm hella jealous, because DNF-ing is hard as hell for me. 

Usually, what I do is power through a book, no matter how much I'm hating it, looking for redeeming qualities and hoping it'll get better... I mean, it has to, right? RIGHT? Well, sometimes it doesn't. Today, Clare and I brought you 5-5 novels we badly disliked, and wish we had DNF-ed. 

Yes, this is last week's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) topic, but shhh.

Saturday, June 9

Summer Recs #1: Thrillers and Mysteries To Get Your Heart Racing

Hello friends! Knowing that the summer is that part of the year when many readers have ample time to read - either because of being on break, or because of going on a vacation - I've decided to bring you something special this June. Drumrolls, please!

A three part series where I'll share a variety of book recommendations with you!

To make navigating this list - it ain't that long, don't worry - easier & more comfortable for you, I included some bullet-points about the books. In these, you'll find the age-group these are aimed at, the sub-genres and basic information about the novels. Moreover, the book covers lead to the books' Goodreads page, so you can flood your TBR list pretty fast. 

I really hope you'll enjoy this little snippet into the land of my favorite novels! 

Thursday, June 7

On Why I Haven't Been Reading As Much As I Should and K-dramas That Have Taken Over My Life

I hereby declare I'm out of my reading slump. 

I've been in various slumps on and off for the past year and reading has been the most worrying of it all, so colour me extremely excited to find myself capable of picking up a book and staying invested in it for two hour straight. 

However, in a worrying turn of events, I've come to realize that slump or not, I'm unable to actually read unless I know for a fact that I can read at leisure, that I'm in the right head-space for reading, that I'm not flooded with things to be done immediately, and therefore, I don't actually pick up a book unless I see myself spending at least 30 mins on it at a stretch. 

Uni has been tiring, to say the least, and the coming months only prove to be more hectic with deadlines looming up and it's Ramadan which means I have less time for myself AND I'm constantly tired. Stress + Me is definitely not the recipe for reading. Add physical books and ARCs to the equation and reading is pretty much out of the question because I don't read physical books at night (and I'm not into e-books at the moment), and review copies mean I need to be doubly conscious about how I feel about anything related to the book, so yeah. ISSA DILEMMA. 

I still am very much capable of feeling excited about books, hoarding them, picking them up and fondly stroking them but I really am not reading as much as I should.