Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 12th September 2017
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Goodreads
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honour roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgement and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
So I get tagged in a few posts and I hate so much that I ignore them. I get so overwhelmed, and then they disappear in my mentions. So, if you’ve ever tagged me in something and I haven’t responded, I apologise. But this year, everything changes.
I was tagged in the A-Z Bookish Survey by Natalie over at Teen Literati, and I’m gonna do it! It’s long but I’m gonna do it! So thank you Natalie and here we go:
Author you’ve read the most books from:
I checked Goodreads, not realising they had a function where you can do that, and it’s Holly Black! I’ve read The Curse Workers Trilogy, The Darkest Part of the Forest, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and The Cruel Prince.
Best Sequel Ever:
Honestly, if I’ve fallen in love with a book, the sequel will probably tear me to pieces. But, I always find sequels magical when I like it even more than the first one. That crown will always go to Now I Rise by Kiersten White. While I enjoyed And I Darken in hindsight, straight after I’d read it I wasn’t sure whether I was happy and excited or confused and annoyed. I had fallen in love Radu, but he was making horrible decisions that pissed me off throughout the whole book. But then the sequel came and everything became so epic, so much bigger that I decided that this was gonna be one of my favourite series.
Tin Man by Sarah Winman.
Drink of Choice While Reading:
Literally any soft drink, but if I’m feeling fancy, chocolate milkshake.
E-reader or Physical Book?
I flip flop a lot. I love the feeling of a physical book; curling up on the couch and turning the pages. However I also do a lot of travelling and I like to keep my baggage nice and light – can’t really do that with a physical book. Having an e-reader means I can read a 100 page or 900 page book and my bags don’t get any heavier. So I can’t answer this.
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
At the moment, I am loving soft boys, and I would like to think that when I was younger, I would have fallen in love with them and dated them. But no. I was knee deep in the Harry Potter fandom during the majority of my teen years, so Draco Malfoy had my heart entirely. I don’t think I had a crush on any other character; even when Twilight came out and I became obsessed with that, I still didn’t waver from my favourite blonde Slytherin.
Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla. My non-fiction shelf is non-existent, save for this book. I used to try and read non-fiction when I was younger, trashy autobiographies that made me realise I was not a big of a fan of these celebrities as I thought I was, and some memoirs during uni as required reading. But I’ve never picked up non-fiction of my own accord, as an adult, until I was recommended The Good Immigrant.
It’s a collection of essays written by BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) bloggers, actors, writers, teachers, singers etc discussing life in Great Britain as a person of colour. Not only was it insightful, it was funny, sad, heartwrenching and anger-inducing, and has not only opened me up to many more books on the topic of race in the United Kingdom, but to also appreciate non-fiction more.
Hidden Gem Book:
No one talks about The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes enough. NOBODY TALKS ABOUT IT AND I DON’T GET IT. IT WAS FABULOUS.
Important Moment in your Reading Life:
When I finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It was the first book where I decided to take a picture of it, put it on Instagram, and write a review on my tumblr book blog. It was the catalyst to starting my whole online adventure of book blogging.
A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews
Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
I’m just not a fan of horror, in any aspect. Thrillers and things I’m not bothered with, but I hate horror films and jumpscares, so if a novel has those, I’m not for it. Non-fiction books that talk about child abuse and sexual abuse are also books I just cannot pick up. A friend from school used to read them all, and while they were all quite similar, they were so harrowing that she was traumatized. Just…not for me.
Longest Book You’ve Read:
I don’t know how to find the longest book I’ve ever read, but the longest one I read in 2017 was A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab at 666 pages.
Major book hangover because of:
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I think this was one of the largest hangovers I’ve ever had. It was a night or two before my birthday, I was home alone, and just bawling my eyes out. I’m not great with tragedies but I still read them in a masochistic sort of way.
Number of Bookcases You Own:
Just the one! With three shelves. I tend to put books in cupboards as well but I’m very good at unhauling and getting rid of books I didn’t like or don’t care about anymore.
One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
I’ve never read a book more than once, but I plan on reading Song of Achilles again (see above) and maybe some that I felt luke warm about and should try again!
Preferred Place To Read:
We have a large armchair in the conservatory that can almost fit two people on – but I like to spread out. It’s got the perfect lighting during the day, and it means I’m not reading on my bed (which I don’t like to do unless I’m about to go to bed).
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
I rarely find quotes that I give time to. Usually I just can’t remember them, but I do like this one from Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff:
The heavens grant us only one life, but through books, we live a thousand.
Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):
I have the last book in The Lunar Chronicles called Winter, and I STILL haven’t finished Dreams of Gods and Monsters from The Daughter and Smoke and Bone trilogy…I fear I’ll never read it because it’s so big and I can’t remember what even happened in that story.
Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I hate questions like this! This is only three of my fave books, not my three faves! I have more!
Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
I am very, very excited for Bright We Burn by Kiersten White, the third and (I think) final chapter in the The Conqueror’s Saga. I’m on edge thinking about it, we were left on such a cliffhanger I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to my babies!
Worst Bookish Habit:
For me, learning too much about a book is my worst habit, because it puts me off bothering with reading it. I’m the same with shows and films I want to watch; I’m not sure I’ll like it, so I look it up, then read the whole plot. Rinse and repeat. I read way too many reviews too, spoilery ones, to the point where I know I won’t pick it up. A lot of books have been ruined because of my impatience.
Your latest book purchase:
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren!
ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
2017 is coming to an end, and while I’ve had a fantastic year filled with fantastic books, there’s always that select few that let the whole class down. These are the best and most disappointing books I’ve read in 2017.
Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicles) by Jay Kristoff
I’ve been excited for Godsgrave since I finished Nevernight, sat on a balcony in Bavaria Germany, back in June 2016. I couldn’t wait for it to actually be released, and entered every competition, giveaway, and even emailed the publisher to get my hands on it early. But to no avail. Thankfully, the Netgalley gods blessed me and finally provided a UK e-arc online and when I received that email saying I was approved to read it, I dropped everything to start it. Of course, it was fantastic, and I loved every minute. I then bought a signed hardback and am now sat here waiting for the third book. As you do. My review is here.
The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes
This one did not exist in my life until I saw it as an ARC while perusing through stalls at YALC. There was no queue, no competition, there was just a pile sat there which you could take if you just provided your email address. It was a floppy paperback, which instantly made me want to own it, and I’m so glad I read it. It’s such an epic story that spans generations that no one seems to be talking about. I love it when a book that I knew nothing about surprises me. My review is here.
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
Of course a V.E. Schwab book is going in here. For every year I’ve been blogging, I’ve had a V.E. Schwab book wriggle it’s way into a favourites. I adore her writing, her characters, her magic systems. It’s all so elegant. So, you bet your ass I cried when the finale to The Shades of Magic came out. I bought it at Waterstones, just a few doors down from my then-work, on my break, and snapped a picture of it to mark the occasion. My review is here.
Now I Rise by Kirsten White
I think I gave And I Darken, the first in this series, four stars, which is a bit strange because I absolutely adored Now I Rise. I don’t think I knew what to expect when it came to this series and grabbed And I Darken at YALC last year and have become hooked. It’s a retelling of the story of Vlad the Impaler as a young girl named Lada and her childhood and how she becomes a bloodthirsty ruler, along with her soft boy brother, Radu. My review is here.
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
I mean, is it really an Adam Silvera story if it doesn’t make you cry? History Is All You Left Me is by far my favourite Silvera novel; I cried on the first page. Every line, every part of this book is so beautiful and emotional and so real, I think that’s why I cried a lot. I couldn’t read this in public out of fear of bursting into tears. I don’t know if this will persuade you to read it but hopefully my review will.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
This book was such a shame. The hype and marketing for this book was incredible. I saw it everywhere; in ads, in interviews, in people’s tweets just going crazy for it. The amount of people who had already added it to their TBR was incredible. Proofs had been sent out and people were glowing about it. So, I asked for it for my birthday, and read it, and gave it two stars immediately. This book was TERRIBLE. It was boring, poorly developed, and annoying. My review is here.
Love and Gelato by Jena Evans Welch
Love and Gelato was just a flop. It definitely has the appeal; about a girl who, after her mother dies, goes to live with her estranged father in an Italian countryside villa and learns about the past of her mother. It gave me The Arsonist vibes, but a cutesy summer version rather than a harrowing war-torn country version (like The Arsonist was). But actually, it was just a lot of blah. It was luke-warm porridge left out too long. However, I feel like others would enjoy it, but not for me. And it’s in this list because I was stuck in Italy with it. That’s right, I bought set in Italy while in Italy because I thought I would be all cute but instead it did this to me.
All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
This book was also a shame, but I’m not surprised. I love The Raven Cycle so much. I love how, you may think this an urban fantasy that’s plot heavy, I found it to be an in-depth character study that kind of allowed me to ignore the plot if I so wished. I think that’s what All The Crooked Saints was trying to be too and of course; this is Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style. But it was her writing style x100. It was super confusing. There was so much purple prose and going off on tangents that I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t even review it because what would I review? They were just a bunch of words strung together that I didn’t understand.
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Now if we’re gonna talk about shame, then this book takes the cake. Oh my God what a SHAME. Most of the time, if a book has LGBT focus, I’ll pick it up. I gotta rep my community and honestly? They just make for better reading, in my opinion. I got super excited about The Love Interest because it was a twist on the spy genre. You know, the spy genre? Coated in misogyny and heteronormativity. But this book was going to be different; about two boys tasked with seducing the same woman only to fall in love with each other. DOESN’T THAT SOUND AMAZING?
Thing is, I read the first page and knew this wasn’t going to be as fun as I thought. I explain why extensively in my review but to sum up my feelings: very, very bad writing.
If you’re looking for more books I’ve adored throughout the years, I have a category on Goodreads called ‘faves’ which you should definitely check out! As for my most hated books? Here’s the category ‘just awful’.
Publisher: Simon & Schuester
Release Date: 7th September 2017
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Goodreads
When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn’t know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it’s his last chance to get out there and make an impression.
Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it’s time to run.
Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love…
This is the first Adam Silvera novel where I haven’t cried, which is sad in itself because I love it when I cry at Adam Silvera novels. You’re supposed to cry; you’re supposed to have emotion pouring out of you. So while I enjoyed They Both Die At The End, there was always a small voice in the back of my head wondering why I don’t have butterflies in my stomach and my eyes not on the verge of tears.
I loved both Mateo and Rufus and how distinct their voices were. They definitely complimented each other and would have loved to see their relationship evolve, but I think it would have felt a little more realistic if maybe there was a bit more time in between them meeting and falling in love? I already had to suspend my disbelief with Death-Cast which, I really couldn’t, and it glared out at me while I was trying to concentrate on other part of the stories.
I want to point how happy I was when I found out that Rufus was bisexual. This isn’t a spoiler, a character’s sexuality isn’t a spoiler or a plot reveal, but it was so lovely to see the word used, to have a character to say that they are bisexual and to be proud and wear the label on their sleeve without any ‘I don’t use labels’ or ‘I’m just fluid’. Sometimes, people are bisexual, and characters who allude to be don’t say it enough in canon. So thankyou Adam Silvera. BISEXUAL VISIBILITY! *raises fist*
Great third novel by one of my favourite authors. But not my favourite novel by one of my favourite authors.