Monday 28 December 2020

#5OnMyTBR | Planned To Read In 2020


This meme was created by E. @ Local Bee Hunter's Nook and you can find the announcement post here. Also, side note, these aren't necessarily books that I own physically but they're all on my Goodreads TBR and they'll mostly be the five most recently added.  

This Week's Prompt is...

Planned To Read In 2020 and while there are a few that I could've included in this list, I think these five are the ones I'm most bummed about not getting to. 

Thursday 24 December 2020

The Festive Christmas Book Tag

Merry Christmas everyone! I couldn't let December pass without doing a festive tag, could I? I really like the variety of questions in this one and It's a good excuse to talk about books some more! I spotted this tag on Jenniely's blog but it was originally created over on booktube by GirlReading

1. A fictional family you would like to spend Christmas dinner with?

My first thought was the Weasley's but I feel like that's an extremely popular answer and I wanted to go for something different. So my next choice would be the March family from Little Women. I think I could fit in perfectly with this family; Hannah's cooking would be devine, Beth could play the piano, Amy would probably moan about something!, Jo could perform one of her stories after dinner and then we could all go ice skating (Laurie included)! I wouldn't even mind giving away half of the food to the Hummels!

 2. A bookish item you would like to receive as a gift?

I've been debating about buying a book sleeve for a while now, I see so many pretty ones on Etsy and other websites but I'm a bit hesitant. I don't really know how much use I'd get out of it to be honest. If you have one, do you use yours a lot? I'd also really like to get a pin banner at some point as I've acquired a lot of enamel pins over the last few months and I need somewhere to display them.

3. A fictional character you think would make a perfect Christmas elf?

I think Paddington would be a terrific elf, if you're looking for a bit of chaos! He would be so optimistic and would always be there to lend a helping hand though. He may be a bit clumsy at times and there may be some mishaps along the way however he would definitely be raising everyones spirits throughout all the stress of Christmas. 

 4. Match a book to it’s perfect Christmas song.

I haven't read too many Christmas themed books and I found it difficult to match a Christmas song to just a normal book! I decided to go with Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan because although it's been a while since I read the book, I did recently just watch the Netflix Adaptation and it was so cute and festive. I'm going to match it with Christmas Without You by Ava Max which is a new favourite Christmas song. It's romantic and as the title suggests, the singer can't imagine Christmas without this certain someone and I think it relates a lot to Dash and Lily's relationship particularly as Dash is a reluctant Christmas lover and it was Lily that made him more appreciative of the holiday. 

5. Bah Humbug. A book or fictional character you’ve been disappointed in and should be put on the naughty list?

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë was a big disappointment when I read it last year. I was so looking forward to this classic and it was the classic I was most excited to read. Unfortunately, it was just boring and confusing and I just didn't get a long with the characters at all. I found them all so frustrating. I did like the atmospheric setting but that couldn't really save it in the end so this book is going on the naughty list!

6. A book or a fictional character you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserve to be put on the nice list?

The Cogheart Adventures series by Peter Bunzl doesn't get as much hype as I believe it should. It's such a wonderful fantasy/sci-fi middle grade series that follows Lily, Robert and their mechanical fox Malkin on all sorts of crazy adventures. It's set in an alternate Victorian London and has lots of steampunk elements such as mechanical people, animals and clockwork hearts. The series has four books and after all of the madness I think Lily and Robert deserve a nice relaxed Christmas!

7. Red, Gold and Green. A book cover that has a wonderfully christmasy feel to it.

This isn't even a Christmasy book but for some reason when I first glanced at Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price it really gave me Christmas vibes. Probably due to the colours and the floral elements on it, it's a gorgeous cover as well so even though it's not Christmas based I definitely want to check it out when it's released next year.

8. A book or series you love so much, you want everyone to find under their Christmas tree this year so they can read it and love it too?

I've only read the first two books but the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden is already a firm favourite and I can't wait to read the third book in January. This is the perfect set of books to read in the colder months and it incorporates Russian folklore with a strong female main character and plenty of magic. I adore it and even though it's a popular series, if you haven't read it yet, you should absolutely go out and pick yourself up some copies!
I really liked doing this tag, it's super festive and fun! I don't tag people but if you decided to do this tag please share in the comments so I can check it out! Happy Reading and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Hope Santa Brings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that highlights ten books that all relate to a certain topic and is  hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This Weeks Topic Is...

Books I Hope Santa Brings and I've actually only included five books this week as I don't tend to ask for particular books for Christmas, I just ask for Waterstones gift cards and buy them myself. I am getting one book off my dad that I know of but the others are books that i'm highly considering buying with my vouchers after Christmas. 


Monday 21 December 2020

#5OnMyTBR | Christmas

This meme was created by E. @ Local Bee Hunter's Nook and you can find the announcement post here. Also, side note, these aren't necessarily books that I own physically but they're all on my Goodreads TBR and they'll mostly be the five most recently added.  

This Week's Prompt is...

Winter Celebrations so I just decided to go full on Christmas romance although I'm realising that I've been highlighting some of these a lot recently! These are just a few festive reads that pretty high up on my TBR and even though I won't get around to reading them this year, I have high hopes for Christmas 2021!

Sunday 20 December 2020

Down The TBR Hole #15

Current TBR shelf: 3937

Last week's TBR shelf: 3943

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?

Thursday 17 December 2020

Book Review | Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Title: Clap When You Land 
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo • Author's Site 
Publication Date: May 5th 2020 by Hot Key Books
Format: Library ebook
Target Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary  


 Trigger Warnings:
  • Depictions of rape & sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Stalking
  • Cheating mentioned
  • Pregnancy, childbirth (labour) & premature birth
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a father
  • Plane crash (off-page)

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people...

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance-and Papi's secrets-the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they've lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi's death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Yahaira and Camino are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.


My Thoughts

"A queen offers her hand to be kissed, & can form it into a fist while smiling the whole damn time."

Oof, was this book an incredible piece of art or what? I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of books written in verse as I tend to have trouble following the flow of the narration and understanding certain aspects of the characters and such. Elizabeth Acevedo has crafted a remarkable story though and has placed herself firmly at the top of authors that I want to read more from. 

This, as I've said, is a book written in verse and follows two sisters who discover the other exists after their father's plane crashes. Whilst dealing with their father's death they come to find that they share a much deeper bond then either expected and their lives unexpectedly collide. 

Written in dual perspective we get to see how very different Camino's and Yahaira's lives are with Camino living in the Dominican Republic and Yahaira residing in New York City. Although they both share the same blood, the different ways that they grew up and the cultural differences are evident. Both have such strong, distinct voices and I loved them both equally. 

Whilst both have to learn to deal with their grief, they also have personal struggles of their own. Camino is fighting to make a better life for herself away from her stifling town where she feels she has no prospects and dreams of making a better life for herself. Yahaira has been struggling with keeping a secret for the past year which ultimately ending with her giving up her hobby of chess and finds herself regretting how she left things with her dead before his death. Both of their journeys throughout this novel are well constructed and felt genuine and real. 

"A woman should be able to sell whatever she wants to sell. But not if it's at the insistence of a man."

Acevedo's writing is beautiful and I found that I kept having to pause in order to highlight quotes and passages. Her verse is so lyrical and fast paced that before I knew it I'd read almost the whole book in a short amount of time. She is able to weave in themes of feminism, race, grief and sisterhood so effortlessly and there are so many relevent quotes that relate to real life situations and emotions throughout. It's a powerful look at how a tragic accident such as the one in the book can have such a massive impact on a community. The events were inspired by the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 that occured on November 12th 2001. Being so soon after 9/11, it was largely overlooked in the media but Acevedo sheds light on the effects it had on the families and friends of the victims especially with many of the victims being of Dominican descent.      

This was a really powerful read and one that i'd urge everyone to pick up. It's a gorgeous story of the bond between sisters and how there is always life beyond significant loss. It has wonderful diversity with both MC being Dominican, Yahaira is a lesbian and her girlfriend is black. I own another of Acevedo's books, With the Fire on High, and I'm very excited to read more from the mind of this author.   

Please check out these Own Voices reviews as well:

Feminist Book Club


Wednesday 16 December 2020

WWW Wednesday | 16/12/2020

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words that highlights three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

What did you recently finish reading?

Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber ended up being quite a surprising read for me. I hadn't heard anyone talking about it but I loved that it had a podcast element in it so I decided to borrow it from my library. It's an incredibly readable mystery/thriller with some interesting characters. Some parts were predictable (I did guess the ending around the halfway mark) but other twists came out of nowhere. I will say that I don't think the title and the tagline of this book match the contents very well, I wouldn't say the plot has much to do with sleeping or nightmares very much at all so don't go into this thinking that that's a main focus.

What are you currently reading?

I'm only less then 100 pages into One Snowy Week in Springhollow by Lucy Knott because I've just had such a slow reading week and I've been feeling pretty slumpy for some reason. I haven't felt the urge to pick anything up for the last few days. I'm not invested in this one yet so maybe that has something to do with it, I'm finding the MC annoying and the dialogue has been pretty off in some places. I'm going to keep going with it though and hope my reading picks up a bit.

I'm picking up 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston today in the hopes that I can get through it pretty quickly and actually finish a book! I'm hoping a cute YA festive romance is exactly what I need to pull me out of this slump. I love the premise, being set up on 10 blind dates by your family sounds choatic, and yeah, fingers crossed that I like it. 

What do you think you'll read next?

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden was actually under my currently reading header on last weeks WWW Wednesday but I just have not been in the mood for it recently. I've only managed about 40 pages and I haven't picked it up since. I don't understand why because I loved the first book and I think i'll love this one too but motivation is just working against me at the moment. After 10 Blind Dates, I'm hoping that i'll be more inclined to pick it back up.  

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What are you currently reading and hoping to pick up next? Leave a comment or link your own WWW Wednesdays below for me to check out!

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Top Ten Tuesday | Books On My Winter 2020-2021 TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that highlights ten books that all relate to a certain topic and is  hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This Weeks Topic Is...

Books On My Winter 2020-2021 TBR. So, this is a selection of books I'm hoping to read towards the end of December all the way into February. There in a vague reading order as I've already planned out my January TBR and made a start on my February one! 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

I'm 100% percent reading this book this month and I genuinely can't wait. This of course has gotten so much hype since it's release and it's a book that I really think I'm going to enjoy a lot. I've been mildly interested in V. E. Schwab's books before but this one has stood out to me more then the rest. Probably because I like the light fantasy/historical aspect plus the premise just sounds so interesting. This is also meant to be pretty emotional so I'm mentally preparing myself for it already!

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston     

This has been on my top ten Tuesday list two weeks in a row now! I ordered this book last month because I wanted a light, Christmas romance on my December TBR and I think that's exactly what I'm going to get. The whole 'family chooses my blind dates' thing is going to bring about a whole load of disasters I'm sure.

All I Want For Christmas by Wendy Loggia   

Another festive romance, this one wasn't initially on my December TBR but my library just got a load of Christmas themed books on the app and I just happened to be in the mood for a cute romance. I'm going to try my best to squeeze this in towards the end of the month but we'll have to wait and see.
As we head into January I'm hoping to read this book fairly early on in the month as it's a library loan that I only have until the middle of the month. This is another really hyped book at the moment, so many people are talking about it. I love the premise too, a library that allows you to look at infinite ways that your life could've been different. A lot of people have said it's the perfect heartwarming read which is why I feel it'll be a good one to kick off 2021.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng   

I wasn't originally going to add this to my January TBR but I saw a few clips from the tv adaptation a couple of weeks ago and I was really intrigued. I own both of Celeste Ng's books so I'm hoping that I really like this author. I'm not too sure what this is about but I'm happy to go into this one blind. 
I got my edition in the October Owlcrate and I've been trying to squeeze onto my TBR's since but I'm finally going to read it in January and I'm so excited. Pretty much everyone who has read this has loved it so I'm already hoping this is a five star read for me. I love the sound of the magic system, the secret society aspects and the fact that it's inspired by the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz   

I've had this book for years and it's just been sitting on my shelf all this time that I think I need to get around to reading it finally. I'm trying to prioritize books I've owned for a long time and this is one that's higher up on my list. I remember so many people talking about this book when it was first released  and although it seems more character driven then plot driven, I'm hoping I'll love it all the same. 

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney  

I read Normal People earlier in the year just before the amazing adaptation came out and I really enjoyed so I want to give her other novel a try. This one doesn't interest me as much but I think I could still end up liking it, just not as much as Normal People probably. Also, I always find it weird reading books with characters that have the same name as you. People with common names, I don't know how you do it! 

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon 

I always enjoy books set over small amounts of time and this book about a graduation class game set over 24 hours sounds promising. I've seen a lot of people enjoying this recently and I saw that it's just been added to Scribd so I automatically added it to my TBR as soon as possible except it won't be until February! I've been losing interest in YA contemporary lately but hopefully this will remind me why I love the genre.
Another one I hope to read in February and another ebook that I borrowed from library. This drew a big conversation when it was released at the beginning of the year and I always meant to try it but never got round to getting it physically. This book deals with themes such as racism and white privilege so I'm sure it will be an eye-opening read.  

Have you read any of these? Which books are on your Winter TBR? Leave a comment or link your own Top Ten Tuesday's for me to check out! Happy Reading!


Monday 14 December 2020

#5OnMyTBR | Animals On the Cover


This meme was created by E. @ Local Bee Hunter's Nook and you can find the announcement post here. Also, side note, these aren't necessarily books that I own physically but they're all on my Goodreads TBR and they'll mostly be the five most recently added.  

This Week's Prompt is...

Animals so I chose to highlight five books with animals on the cover that I'm excited to read in the future.

The Harpy by Megan Hunter

Lucy and Jake live in a house by a field where the sun burns like a ball of fire. Lucy has set her career aside in order to devote her life to the children, to their finely tuned routine, and to the house itself, which comforts her like an old, sly friend. But then a man calls one afternoon with a shattering message: his wife has been having an affair with Lucy's husband, Jake. The revelation marks a turning point: Lucy and Jake decide to stay together, but make a special arrangement designed to even the score and save their marriage--she will hurt him three times.

As the couple submit to a delicate game of crime and punishment, Lucy herself begins to change, surrendering to a transformation of both mind and body from which there is no return.

This sounds so twisted and dark, the synopsis is vague enough that I have no idea how the events in the book are going to turn out. 

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger 

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

I've talked about how much I want to read this book before but I had to mention it again! This sounds magical and wintery and that cover is gorgeous.

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.

This just sounds like a lot of fun and I love the sound of a dragon racing tournament. I'm hoping there'll be plenty of action in this one. 

Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

Cerys is safe in the kingdom of Aloriya.

Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone.

As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.

This is the book that's included in the November Owlcrate box (which should've arrived by the time I post this!) and I knew immediately that I wanted it. Aside from that incredible cover, the synopsis sounds like everything I want out of a fantasy. 

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

This book has been talked about a lot. Normally, it might not be my thing but the fact that she has to solve murders has me intrigued. 

Which books featuring animals on the cover are on your TBR? If you've already read some of these, let me know what you thought! Leave a comment with your own #5OnMyTBR posts for me to check out! Happy Reading!


Sunday 13 December 2020

Down The TBR Hole #14

Current TBR shelf: 3943

Last week's TBR shelf: 3950

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?

Friday 11 December 2020

Owlcrate November 2020 Unboxing | Growing Wild

I knew as soon as the theme for November was announced I knew that I was going to love this box. I love everything floral and fairytale-esque so I was very impatient waiting for this box to arrive! I swear, these artwork cards get more and more beautiful every month, the illustrations are just gorgeous. This month's theme was Growing Wild which perfectly describes the collection of items we received this month, everything is wonderfully presented and fits the theme so well. Let's get into the items...

The first thing in the box was of course, another item with incredible packaging (I hate throwing them away every month cause they're just so pretty!) which contained a little flower press kit designed by Peppermint Lines and is inspired by A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. I've never tried my hand at flower pressing so I don't know how much use I'll get out of it but it would be fun to give it a go at some point. I do really love the design as well, it's beautifully drawn. 

I am obsessed with that box, it's designed by Studio Kyra and features a quote from Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore! It's so cute and the gold lettering is stunning. I'm definitely going to have to keep it if only as a little trinket box.  I was so suprised by what was inside though, we have a lovely dandelion pendant necklace that I can actually see myself wearing a lot. I don't wear jewelry often but when I do I like it to be slightly quirky.  

Next, we have some beautifully illustrated botanical postcards created by Rheannon Ormond and inspired by the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. I actually really like these and I think I'm either going to stick them on my wall or properly display them in frames cause they have a gorgeous vintage feel to them. 

I've got so many things to display this month as I think i'm going to stick this print up there as well. Everything in Owlcrate is always so stunning to look at and even things like this that aren't technically made for displaying are just too beautiful to hide away in a drawer. This is just a little sneak preview at the Tales From the Hinterland by Melissa Albert which is releasing in January and i'm definitely highly anticipating it. I love anything fairytale inspired so I can see myself loving this collection of original tales a lot.  

My favourite item this month is definitely the wonderful reading planner that's included every year in an Owlcrate box. This was designed by Blue Star Press and is such a useful item. I usually just plan everything out on my phone and on a spreadsheet but I'm so looking forward to using this next year. There's something a little extra special about having a planner dedicated to my reading and it's really going to help with keeping track of everything I need to do in terms of blogging too. It's got lots of different sections for all your reading needs such as spaces for TBR's, wishlists, book reviews, quotes, wrap ups and more. I love the style of it as well, it's well set out and has plenty of space so I don't have to worry about running out if I read a lot of books one month. 

Our last main item this month is these stunning stickers created by Pipsticks that are perfect for this month's theme and again, are just gorgeously drawn and printed. I'm looking forward to using these in my planner next year. I especially love those little bees!

We also have have the montly enamel pin which this month was designed by Morgane Brret Shop and is a little bear (a character from the book) in a beautiful floral and pastel pink design. This might just be my favourite pin yet, it's so cute!   

Finally, we have this month's book which is Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston! I couldn't contain my excitement when I found out what book it was this month, I have been eyeing up this book for so long and I finally have a beautiful edition of it. Owlcrate have switched the white background for black, enhanced the purple, blue and pink shades and added some extra gold detailing. I actually prefer this edition to the original a lot, I feel like the colours are a lot more vibrant and it gives it a more fantastical feel.    

We also have the splendid artwork on the reversible dust jacket as well as gorgeous deep pink sprayed edges. The artwork was designed by Cathrin Peterslund and I can't describe how stunning it is, it's so much better in person rather then my shoddy camera work! It's truly something else and possibly my favourite out of the three reversible dust jackets we've got over the last three months.

Lastly, we have the little sneak peek at what's in store for December's box. Next month's theme is Love is a Battlefield and I have a pretty good idea of what the book is, it's been hyped so much so I'm excited to get my hands on a copy. It's also revealed that the box will include an item from Fiction Bath Company, a company that was featured in September's box, so I'm looking forward to another beauty item. 
That's everything for this month! Look out for my December unboxing to find out everything included in that box. Happy Reading!    

Thursday 10 December 2020

Book Review | Spin by Colleen Nelson

Title: Spin 
Author: Colleen Nelson • Author's Site 
Publication Date: August 10th 2019 by Dundurn
Format: Netgalley ARC
Target Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary  



Fifteen-year-old Delilah “Dizzy” Doucette lives with her dad and brother above their vintage record store, The Vinyl Trap. She’s learning how to spin records from her brother’s best friend, and she’s getting pretty good. But behind her bohemian life, Dizzy and her family have a secret: her mom is the megafamous singer Georgia Waters. When this secret is revealed to the world, Dizzy’s life spins out of control. She must decide what is most important to her — the family she has or the family she wants.


My Thoughts

"Slipping from my fingers, you leave / we'll meet again, I have to believe."

I'm slowly making my way through all of my Netgalley ARC's from last year and this one was up next on my list. I'm not sure why I requested this one, maybe I was just in the mood for some contemporary with music as a big part of the storyline. If that's what I wanted then I definitely got it.

Spin is mainly Dizzy's story. She's a fifteen year old who dreams of becoming a DJ star but has always felt a hole in her life due the fact that her mother abandoned the family when Dizzy was very young. Now, her mother is a worldwide singing superstar and her latest tour has brought her to the city Dizzy lives in and she's determined to get some answers whatever it takes. 
There were a lot of components that I really liked about this book. Firstly, we do actually get three POV's; Dizzy, her older brother Lou and their dad Ray, which I wasn't expecting. It worked really well as we got to see how Georgia's departure affected the whole family and how they're dealing with their own problems. It meant the story had a few layers to it but they came together to make a whole picture. I think all three perspectives were all really strong as well. There wasn't a time where I just wanted to get back to another POV because I was interested in each of the characters individually. 
Another element I really liked was the relationship between Dizzy and her best friend Maya. It really spoke through the pages how much Maya cared for Dizzy and the lengths she would go through to help her friend. She was a really selfless and kind character and she's someone I wished appeared more in the book. I also really liked Ray's group of friends, they were like a group of fun uncles that gather at the family's record store to jam out all the time. 
Music obviously plays a big part in this story. Dizzy's mum Georgia is a singer, her day Ray always has his saxaphone ready to play a tune and Dizzy is beginning to find her rhythm with spinning records. The way music flows through this family is pretty special and it really spoke of how much they live and breathe music and use it to tell stories and create messages. I enjoyed seeing how music had a different meaning for each of them whether it's an escape, a way of life or a way of expressing themself.  
Dizzy was an interesting character too. It's her story and she was an incredibly determined and passionate individual that really wanted to find her roots and discover who she really is. She refused to give up on what she wanted and could be a little sneaky in getting it too. I think her age definitely showed through at times though. She could be very rash and naive with her actions, she often didn't think through what she was doing or the consequences for her dad and brother. Whilst these scenes did frustrate me, I think it also made her pretty realistic. As a teenager your emotions are definitely overwhelming and can lead to some pretty bad decisions at times!        

"She had that spark that made her special. Maybe it was guts, or just being ballsy, but failure was not an option for Dizzy."  

I think teenagers will really connect with the characters in this book, it's got a lot of heart and emotion at it's core with really strong writing. It's fun to see three characters at different stages of life and their family bond. It has really strong themes of family, frienship and of course, music, that will speak to a lot of people.

Wednesday 9 December 2020

WWW Wednesday | 09/12/2020

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words that highlights three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?

What did you recently finish reading?

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater is my most recently finished book, I finally finished it on Monday. It took me a little longer to read this one then the others, I think but that may be because I've been kind of slumpy and putting off reading. This is the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series (if you don't count the companion novel, Sinner) and again, this was a three star read just like the other two books. The series as a whole is fine, it's enjoyable for someone who loves paranormal romance but I'm just not really that person. This did kinda wrap things up nicely and was a decent conclusion to the series but I still have some unanswered questions left. 

What are you currently reading?

I decided to borrow Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber from my library's ebook app totally on a whim a couple of weeks ago even though I'd heard absolutely nothing about it. Big suprise, I'm really enjoying it. It's a physchological thriller that follows the daughter of a murder victim ten years after the murder and how her life is turned upside down after a podcaster begins to reinvestigate. This is incredibly readable so far and I'm loving the podcast elements included in between chapters and snippets of the interviews and such. It's really good so I'm just hoping the ending isn't a disappointment!

The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden was one I was trying to get started on over the weekend but it didn't end up happening. I still haven't technically started it yet but I will be hopefully reading a chunk today to make up for lost time. I loved the first book so I have high hopes for this one too.

What do you think you'll read next?

The Snow Rose by Lulu Taylor is going to be my next physical read after The Girl in the Tower. My sister lent me this book a couple of months ago but I've been saving it for when the cold weather hit. I don't know too much about this book or author but my sister is a big fan. I think this is a mystery/thriller that follows a mother and daughter on the run and they end up squatting in an empty house before other people start showing up. Maybe? That's what I'm getting from the synopsis. 
Kate is on the run with her daughter, her identity hidden and her destination unknown to her husband and family. She's found a place where she and Heather can be alone and safe, a huge old house full of empty rooms. But it turns out she's not alone. There are the strange old ladies in the cottage next door, Matty and her blind sister Sissy. How long can Kate hide Heather's presence from them? And then the newcomers arrive, the band of eccentrics led by the charming and charismatic Archer. Kate begins to realize that she is involved in something strange and dangerous, and the past she's so desperate to escape is about to find her . . .


One Snowy Week in Springhollow by Lucy Knott is another library download that I decided to borrow because I was in the mood for some Christmas romance and this was the first one that I spotted. It's childhood best friends to lovers (I'm guessing) and it does sound pretty cute and wintery. It's a new release so it doesn't have too much feedback but hopefully it will give me all the feels. 
Tomboy Scarlett thought Devon would be her best friend forever. He was the only person in Springhollow who supported her ambitious artist dreams. But then one winter, Devon and his parents disappear without warning to start a new life in NYC and a devastated Scarlett is left alone to face her high-school bullies and overbearing mother.

Fast-forward ten years: Scarlett is playing it safe in her childhood village with a dull PA job and a wardrobe that passes her mother's old-fashioned standards. Meanwhile, Devon is a Hollywood heartthrob, starring in the latest superhero blockbuster. And he's finally coming home for Christmas...

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What are you currently reading and hoping to pick up next? Leave a comment or link your own WWW Wednesdays below for me to check out!
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