Sunday 28 August 2022

Down The TBR Hole #100


It's my 100th post of this series so here's a bumper edition with 20 books!
 
Current TBR shelf: 3348

Last week's TBR shelf: 3354

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?
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Thursday 25 August 2022

Book Review (Blog Tour) | Beguiled by Cyla Panin


Publication Date: 23rd August 2022 by Amulet Books
Format: Netgalley ARC
Target Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

Content warnings: Mild self-harm, emotional abuse, gaslighting.

Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Book Depository  • Indigo

• IndieBound


Synopsis

Ella is a 17-year-old weaver whose entire livelihood depends on her loom. She dreams of opening her own shop, but when her father died in debtor’s prison, she had to support herself by taking whatever clients she could get. In order to buy her supplies she goes into debt of her own, and when her loom breaks, Ella realizes she needs more help than a repairperson can give her. She, like everyone, has heard about the old washerwoman spirit called the Bean-Nighe who will grant any one wish—for a price.
 
But Ella is desperate, so she asks the Bean-Nighe to fix her loom. And it works. The loom is fixed, and she's creating beautiful pieces she could have never imagined before. All she has to do is feed the loom a drop of blood each time she weaves—a small price to pay for such magnificent silks. And when she brings two bolts to a rich client, she meets a mysterious young man named Callum and bargains for an invitation to his exclusive party. At that party, he's so mesmerized by her talent, he offers Ella a place to live and patronage for her art. It seems like Ella's fortune is finally turning for the better . . . until she begins to notice the loom taking more from her than she offered.

As she becomes entangled in the lives of the city’s rich, swept into Callum's allure, and trapped by the Bean-Nighe’s magic, Ella must figure out a way to secure her future while she still has a future at all.

Rating


My Thoughts

"Did the sun mind sharing the sky with the moon? Did they ever spar over who could shine brighter? Or maybe the sun and the moon worried about the stars outdazzling them."

I've been craving a fairytale-esque retelling and Beguiled certainly hit that spot. Ella is a weaver who finds herself trapped in debt she can't hope to repay and with a broken loom; her last hope is to pray to the Bean-Nighe, a mythical creature that grants wishes, to aid her. Suddenly Ella is weaving magical creations and is taken under the wing of a charming young man but as in every fairytale, you must be careful what you wish for.       

I really liked the premise of the story, I hadn't heard of the Bean-Nighe story before, it's a little reminiscent of the Rumpelstiltskin tale, and I enjoyed this foray into Celtic folklore. I always enjoy stories that take lesser known folk tales and weave them into something unique, giving them a wider audience. The plot is set up nicely and whilst there was a slight lull in the middle, by the last third the pacing really picks up and I did find myself unable to put it down. 

I loved Ella's character. It's no secret I like a determined, strong-minded MC and Ella was fiercely independent in her pursuit of a better life for herself. Her sacrifices to make her dream come true may seem na├»ve but you can't help but want her to succeed because of her resolve. Ella also grows in character a lot throughout the book, she comes to terms with her choices and faces the consequences head on.  

The writing is captivating, it has that fairytale quality to it whilst also feeling fresh. Panin writes these characters and their world so well, they know how to enchant their audience and create a enthralling story of morals and magic. 

I did find the middle of the story a little slow. I also thought that the overall arc of the storyline was very obvious so my intrigue suffered slightly too. I would have also liked the Bean-Nighe to have played a more central role. 

Saying that this is a enchanting story that blends fantasy and folklore really well. With strong female characters and a feminist twist, it questions what you'd be willing to sacrifice in order to get your hearts desires and enforces that everything comes with a price. 



Cyla Panin is an MG, YA and Adult Author who prefers to look at the world through a dusting of magic. 
After spending most of her childhood wanting to escape into the wonderful worlds her favourite authors created, she’s now using her own words to craft magical places. When not writing, Cyla can be found playing dinosaurs with her two young boys, watching swashbuckling and/or period TV shows with her husband, and, of course, reading. 

Her YA debut, STALKING SHADOWS will be out with Amulet, Abrams Fall 2021. She is represented by Chloe Seager of the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV, and Film Agency.


I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes included in this review are subject to change. Massive thank you to Amulet Books for providing me with a review copy. A huge thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for letting me take part in the blog tour. 
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Sunday 21 August 2022

Down The TBR Hole #99

 
Current TBR shelf: 3354

Last week's TBR shelf: 3360

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?
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Sunday 14 August 2022

Down The TBR Hole #98

 
Current TBR shelf: 3360

Last week's TBR shelf: 3367

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?
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Wednesday 10 August 2022

WWW Wednesday | 10/08/2022


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?




I finished Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey yesterday, a sort of literary mystery about a woman who's daughter goes missing for four days but upon her return refuses to talk about what happened as well as exhibiting some strange behaviour. I thought this was good, I enjoyed the writing and the overall atmosphere of it. It doesn't get as dark as I initially thought it would and it's slow but an interesting look at the relationship between mothers and daughters. 

What are you currently reading?




After finishing the 1963 radio dramatisation of The Hobbit, I decided to move on to the Andy Serkis narrated versions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy starting with The Fellowship of the Ring. Look, the audiobooks are looong so even though I've been listening to it on and off since the middle of July, I'm still only 44% in. Andy Serkis is just so captivating as a narrator though and I'm really enjoying it.  


I really should be focusing more time on Beguiled by Cyla Panin as I need to read it for a blog tour coming up at the end of the month, I'm just finding it hard to find time for it. It's building up nicely though, I'm 10% in and enjoying the fairy tale feel of it. I was always going to be intrigued about a weaver who makes a deal with a Bean-Nighe meaning she waves beautiful dresses but sacrifices a drop of blood each time. But these deals never end well...


A library pick that I know next to nothing about! On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick explores the summer of 1976 in Ireland where a dolphin is found at a local cove and four friends find themselves caught up in the frenzy. I've literally only read the prologue so don't have much to go on just yet. 

What do you think you'll read next?




Another library book that I picked at random is Who is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace. No idea what this book is about but seems like it could be a fun, upbeat read. 

Tom got a note from his girlfriend. It says she hasn't left him, but she's gone.

But where the hell is she? When is she coming back? And what is Tom supposed to do in the meantime?

With each new clue to Hayley’s whereabouts, Tom is forced to question whether he truly knows his girlfriend at all. Because who is Hayley really, anyway? Who is this other strange girl following him?

And who, for that matter, is Tom Ditto?

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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Monday 8 August 2022

Down The TBR Hole #97

 
Current TBR shelf: 3367

Last week's TBR shelf: 3375

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?
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On My Radar | August 2022


A little late getting this post up so some of these have already been released but this is an excellent month for releases with 14 books on my list!

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Saturday 6 August 2022

July 2022 Reading Wrap Up


I read 7 books in July AKA my average! Luckily, everything was a four star or above so quality wise it was a success. August will be my month though! I have a whole week off work coming up which means plenty of time for reading!

STATS



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Wednesday 3 August 2022

Book Review (Blog Tour) | Alliana, Girl of Dragons by Julie Abe


Publication Date: 2nd August 2022 by Little, Brown
Format: Netgalley ARC
Target Audience: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy


Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Book Depository  • Indigo

• IndieBound


Synopsis

Once upon a time, Alliana believed in dreams and fairy tales as sweet as spun-sugar clouds. Alliana wished on shooting stars, sure that someday she and her grandmother would be able to travel to the capital city to see the queen. Then her grandmother passed away—and those dreams disappeared in a disenchanted puff.
Now Alliana’s forced to attend to the whims of her wicked stepmother—with long days of cleaning her stepfamily’s inn as her skin burns raw or staying up until the crack of dawn to embroider her stepsister’s ball gowns. Until she meets two beings who change her life forever—the first is a young nightdragon who Alliana discovers she can magically talk to. And the second is Nela, a young witch.

Nela needs Alliana’s help navigating the mysterious abyss, filled with dangerous beasts, a place Alliana knows by heart. Alliana sees Nela’s request as a chance to break free of her stepmother’s shadow and to seize a chance at a life she’s barely dared to hope for—but there’s a risk. If caught, Alliana will be stuck working for her stepmother for the rest of her life. Can Alliana truly make wisps of dreams into her own, better-than-a-fairy-tale happily ever after?

Rating


My Thoughts

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