Book Review – Kick The Moon by Muhammad Khan

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Title: Kick The Moon

Author: Muhammad Khan

Demographic: Young Adult

Genres and themes: racism, toxic masculinity, feminism, empowerment, all-around awesome geekiness.

Release Date: January 24th 2019

TRIGGER WARNING – This book tackles racism, toxic masculinity, revenge porn, slut-shaming and emotional abuse. It has a lot of slurs, including some that are homophobic. They aren’t there without purpose and are handled well but if you’re particularly triggered by this, it might not be the best book for you.

Synopsis – Fifteen-year-old Ilyas is under pressure from everyone:

GCSE’s are looming and his teachers just won’t let up, his dad wants him to join the family business and his mates don’t care about any of it. There’s no space in Ilyas’ life to just be a teenager.

Serving detention one day, Ilyas finds a kindred spirit in Kelly Matthews, who is fed up with being pigeonholed as the good girl, and their friendship blows the social strata of high school wide open. But when Kelly catches the eye of one of the local bad boys, Imran, he decides to seduce her for a bet – and Ilyas is faced with losing the only person who understands him. Standing up to Imran puts Ilyas’ family at risk, but it’s time for him to be the superhero he draws in his comic-books, and go kick the moon.

Introduction

There’s always that worry in the back of your mind as a book blogger that you’re not going to like a book as much as you’d hoped. With social media being as much of an influence as it is today and author/blogger interactions a pretty regular thing, it’s very easy for a writer to see all of their hard work knocked down with just a simple tweet. Personally, I don’t tag authors unless what I’m writing is positive and I don’t ever tweet something negative unless it’s constructive – in which case, I still wouldn’t be tagging an author. But, I am followed by a few and those authors could easily see my thoughts without me purposely trying to get them to read my opinions. I had such high expectations for this novel, but I always had to plan how to go about rating and reviewing it if on the off chance, I wasn’t going to enjoy it. I am a book blogger and reviewer and I would never want my opinions to be biased, no matter how much I may like the author and his work. Thankfully, not only did this book match my ridiculously high expectations, it sucker punched them, blew them right out of the water and left me sobbing – in a good way!

Muhammad Khan’s debut I Am Thunder from last year was phenomenal. Asian and Muslim representation isn’t massive in YA and it was excellent to read a book that was so real. One of the things that I loved most about it, was how dark and unflinching it was in it’s subject matter of Islamophobia and terrorism. It’s a perspective I’ve never seen before and I appreciated how Muhammad didn’t dumb anything down for his younger audience. That definitely carried through in this sophomore novel, Kick The Moon.

My Thoughts…

‘ …selfless but to the point of losing his identity’

Ilyas Mian is one of the most special characters I’ve had the pleasure of following in all of my years of reading literature. No exaggeration.

I’ve read countless stories about being strong and taking control of your life, standing up for what you believe in and basically, not giving a shit what people think and I have to say it was refreshing to see a protagonist do this, whilst also struggling to speak up. He’s a geek. He’s emotional. Most importantly, he has a good heart but he’s got the weight of dozens of expectations placed upon him by various people in his life. Because he puts other people first, he typically follows through with whatever his friends and family want him to do without ever really considering himself. He’s selfless but to the point of losing his identity. It was just lovely to follow his journey and see a timid boy, grow into this strong, still-nervous but resoundingly moral character without it being too unrealistic a transformation. I actually briefly met Muhammad Khan last year for a couple of minutes at YALC and I definitely see a lot of his personality in the character which I think adds an even more heartwarming and personal touch to the novel.

The supporting characters were all exceptionally thought out. Yes, there were a lot of stereotypes floating around but in a way it reminded me a little of The Breakfast Club in the sense that the stereotypes were there for a purpose. Everyone WAS placed into a box but certain characters prevailed and showed more depth than was originally there. In reality, some people are exactly as they appear. Imran was a horrific human being. He had a lot of issues growing up, but they turned him into what he is now and that’s that. For some people, there is no redemption arc and I liked that it mirrored reality in that respect.

Besides Ilyas, Kelly was a great, empowering character. I liked that their relationship was purely platonic as well as the fact that she was a rich white chubby girl with crazy hair. At times, she was also a sheep. And once again, the reality for a lot of people, including myself, is that even if we consider ourselves a feminist, sometimes peer pressure knocks us down and we have to get back up again. I saw a lot of myself in Kelly, and paired with Ilyas, they were unstoppable. Their developing friendship was fantastic to read about.

Ms Mughal was kick-ass and once again, I love how Muhammad’s career as a maths teacher shines through. His school settings are always realistic and definitely where he excels. From the way he wrote Ilyas’ mother and from the dedications at the back of the book, I’d imagine he took a lot of inspiration from his own maternal relationship there too which is a lovely addition.

The dialogue was very heavy on British slang which for some people might get a bit grating, but I grew up all over the place and I heard a lot of it as teen, so it didn’t bother me in the slightest. In fact, I definitely think it added a lot to the grittiness. There were also a lot of cultural references weaved in, but it never felt overdone. And being a massive geek, I appreciated all of them.

And to conclude…

I can’t fault this book. You may read it and disagree. But every so often, a reader will find THAT story that connects with them in such a deep way, that all minor flaws potentially hidden beneath the surface completely evaporate until there’s nothing but love for the pages beneath their fingers. For me, that’s this book.


I gave this a five out of five 🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

Pre-order it now!

Amazon / Wordery/ Book Depository

About The Author

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Muhammad Khan is an engineer, a secondary-school maths teacher, and a YA author. He lives in South London and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at St Mary’s. Muhammad takes his inspiration from the children he teaches, as well as his own upbringing as a British-born Pakistani. He has written two novels for Macmillan Children’s Books: I Am Thunder, which was one of the most highly anticipated YA debuts of 2018, and Kick the Moon.

(Author bio and photo taken from Pan Macmillan’s author page)

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My Best Reads of 2018

Hello and welcome to a whole new year on Matilda’s Library! I hope you have had a lovely Christmas and had a great time celebrating the end of 2018! Sorry for lack of blogmas posts but life got in the way as always. One of my goals for the new year is to create a blogging schedule and stick with it. As of right now, I’m hoping to post every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday so stay tuned for a lot more posts!

So…I guess we should get into my favourite books from last year. Not all of them were new releases but all of them now hold a lot of fond memories for me and deserve their place on this list.

This list is in order, from my least favourite of my favourites (wow, that’s a weird way of phrasing that), down to my absolute favourite book of 2018. Without further ado, let’s get started!

10. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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I had heard a lot of people online GUSHING over this debut in 2018 and after talking to a guy at the Hot Key book stand at YALC, I instantly picked up a copy. Siren/mermaid stories are very hit and miss for me so I did take a while to actually get around to reading it but when I finally did, I discovered a dark, fantastical fast paced read with characters I grew to really care about throughout the entirety of the book.

9. Even The Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

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I received a copy of this from a Fairyloot box back in 2017 and the book cover took my breath away with how beautiful it is. Seriously one of the most stunning books I’ve ever seen. I hadn’t really been in a fantasy mood so when I finally was, this was one of my first choices. I love novels that focus on a journey and was not disappointed with this one in the slightest. From the intense world building and surprisingly creepy elements weaved in to the wonderful cast of characters and my genuine lack of warmth throughout. This was a book I didn’t just read, but I FELT. Absolutely incredible and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of the sequel.

8. Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

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I’d put off reading this for a really long time because I expected it to be quite juvenile. Zoella’s review on the front of the book ‘So creepy and amazing’ didn’t exactly make me think otherwise either. However, I read a few other Red Eye books and my other half really wanted to read this particular one so we bought it. It definitely proved me wrong, and was certainly not juvenile. I watch a lot of horror movies, and I’ve never been scared from a book before. Within the first chapter of Frozen Charlotte, that changed. This had my mind racing and my eyes anxiously looking around the room. I even had to make sure my leg was under my duvet which is always a sign of pure terror! Alex Bell created a masterpiece of YA horror with this book and whilst the killer doll thing has been done before, it still felt original!

7. Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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I wasn’t a massive fan of Caravel so was hesitant to pick up the sequel and put it off for quite a long time. The first book had so much potential but failed to create the magical setting and atmosphere I had expected. Legendary definitely took a drastic turn in terms of plot and overall vibe and because of that, I fell head over heels in love with it. Tella is the far more interesting sister and I much preferred having her POV. I’d imagine Finale will feature both sisters and I’m curious to see if being in Scarlett’s mind has become slightly more exciting. Regardless, Legendary was a full blown, edge of your seat fantasy and I adored every minute.

6. Everless by Sara Holland

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This was one of my first reads of 2018, and it was definitely a highlight! The intriguing concept of time being drained from your blood is fascinating to me, especially delving into the political difficulties that would follow something like that. I felt so much sympathy for the people living in this world ruled by the seemingly immortal hierarchy, and Sara Holland crafted the bleakness and hopelessness perfectly. The romance side of the story elevated it into a slightly lighter tone but this world is brutal. And I loved every second of it.

5. All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth

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I grabbed myself a copy of this at YALC purely because of the beautiful aesthetic of the book. The plot sounded intriguing of course, but that was definitely an afterthought. Yes, I know…I’m a shallow book buyer. However, this ended up being my favourite thriller of all time. Yes. All time. The flashbacks, the characters that I ended up despising and adoring, the high stakes, the settings..it all just pieced together beautifully and I urge you to go and buy a copy right this second. The less you know about it the better.

4. A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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I didn’t know which book to include because I loved them all, so just consider this the whole series. It may be a guilty pleasure and the overly explicit sex scenes do definitely take away from the book in my opinion but other than that, I fell in love with this trilogy. Lucien, Elain, Tarquin, Bryaxis and the Suriel were my favourites among the impressively large cast of characters and the ending emotionally devastated me. I cannot wait to finally read the Throne Of Glass series in 2019 and see how it compares.

3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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Once again, I wasn’t sure which book to include so I’ve included the whole series. The Lunar Chronicles far exceeded my expectations and upon putting the final book down for the last time, I truly felt like I’d found myself a new group of friends. I loved the dystopian-esque vibe mixed with sci-fi and fantasy. It blended beautifully together and with each book and each new character, I fell even more in love with everything about the story. The way Marissa Meyer retold classic fairytales and loosely weaved their plots through the series was effortlessly done and I even loved Fairest, the story of how Levana became the Levana we come to know.

2. What The Flower Says of Death by Danielle Koste

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Never has a book meant so much to me. It crushed me. I sobbed like I have never sobbed when reading a novel before and I mean that in only the best way. It’s a story that deals with suicide and depression in a genuinely honest way, and for some people, it might even be too honest. All I know is that this book has found a permanent place in my heart. It’s bleak, hard-hitting and magically romantic. I urge you to go into this knowing very little, but please be warned. It speaks openly about depression, self harm and suicide.

1. I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

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This was a complete surprise to me. I hadn’t heard of the author, I hadn’t heard of the book…but when I went into my local library and they’d placed Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed next to this, I instantly picked them both up and checked them out. I was disappointed with the book I’d actually gone into borrow. I felt it brushed over the terrorism element of the story in favour of following a fluffy romance. I still enjoyed it but it wasn’t what I had been wanting. I picked up I Am Thunder straight afterwards, and never before have I been so gripped by a contemporary. I remember being huddled under my duvet in my sister’s house scared because I was all alone in an unknown house and reading to comfort myself except the book was making me even more scared! How many contemporaries can you say that about? And despite the weird creaky noises in the house, I still stayed up into the early hours because I HAD to find out how the story was going to end. Muzna was an excellent protagonist. She wasn’t perfect, not in the slightest. But for that reason, she should be an inspiration for young girls and boys everywhere. The racism and the general bullying she has to face during the novel, and how she finds the will to overcome all of it is astounding. That’s not even mentioning the darker element of this book. Radicalisation. I’m just so happy that Muhammad Khan did not shy away from speaking about this topic openly. It’s almost as if authors and publishers think the YA audience won’t be able to cope with such a heavy subject, but this book proved them all wrong. Go into this knowing it’s about a strong woman dealing with Islamophobia and let yourself be surprised by the rest! A truly remarkable debut.

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this post and hopefully you’ll go and check out some of the books that you haven’t read yet. What were your favourites of 2018? Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments and thank you for reading!

Interview with my other half – Blogmas Day Fourteen

Hello and welcome to DAY FOURTEEN of Blogmas here on Matilda’s Library. I’m going to do something a bit different today and interview my boyfriend of four years – John. He’s a book lover as well and also has a blog named Books & Fables (although he’s not really posted a whole lot this year!) 

Just a few quick questions so my readers can get to know him a bit more. My questions will be in bold and his answers are in normal font. I hope you enjoy this random Q&A session!

Hiya and welcome to your interrogation. You’ve been a massive disappointment this year in terms of reading and despite my relentless prodding to read books I think you’ll love, you’ve constantly disregarded my makeshift TBR’s for you! 

Yeah..so what’s your question? 

Is there a particular reason you don’t like following my book recommendations?

Yes there is actually! I want to read what I want to read. If I don’t read what I want to read, I won’t read it! 

Surely there’s got to be some recommendations that I’ve geared you towards in the past that you’ve ended up loving?

Yeah, of course there are. Illuminae for instance, I probably wouldn’t have discovered on my own, but I read it when I wanted to read it, not when I was prodded. I do think you know what I would like to read better than I do myself, but the timing is crucial!

So, no makeshift TBR’s in the future then? 

You know how I feel about your makeshift TBR’s! I might start the first book but then I’ll probably stray away from everything else.. And DNF the first book too.

I think something that would work really well with the type of reader you are would be buddy reads. You can take them as seriously or as casually as you like and you have someone to gush over a book with. I’m not necessarily saying do one with me, but is it something you’d consider? 

Yeah I’d definitely consider that. I love talking about the books I’ve read (as you no doubt know by now), so having someone to do that with would be great! We certainly like different sorts of books, or rather judge them based on different things, so our views on the same book can be very, um, polarising – which makes a buddy read with you veeeery interesting.

You’ve not completed your reading challenge this year, and it’s looking unlikely that you will. I’ve heard you speak negatively about the stress they bring to reading throughout the year, so why is it that they just don’t click with you? 

I’m not sure, because they work with so many other people. I must just be missing something! I remember the end of last year when I was speed reading just to complete my challenge and I think that’s the reason that I didn’t read again until what, mid-2018? I would much rather just read when I want to, and not have a number to hit by the end of the year. Sitting down with a book is one of the most relaxing things I can ever do, and I don’t want to feel pressured into doing so, otherwise it takes away from that for me. 

Looking back on 2018, what has been your favourite and least favourite read of the year?

My favourite was probably Illuminae for me. The entry book into the trilogy was a breath of fresh air (yes, I know you think it’s a gimmick!) for me, and the fact that it was very heavy on the sci-fi just made it even better. I was left wanting more, and I think that’s proven by how quickly I read Gemina straight after! My least favourite would have to be How You Ruined My Life by Jeff Strand. It was an ARC that we picked up from YALC this year – definitely a whim. Not one that paid off, judging by the fact that I DNF’d it…

And given you’re dating someone who appreciates aesthetically pleasing book covers, do you have any personal favourites this year?

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett. It is BEAUTIFUL. I cannot wait to read this just based on the cover alone!

If you could gift a copy of any one book to everyone you know this Christmas, which book would you like everyone to experience?

Cure For The Common Universe by Christian McKay Heidicker. Anyone who likes a quirky contemporary with pop culture references needs to read this book. It’s such an original idea, it’s funny, relatable, and it carries a deeper meaning too. Hands down one of my favourite books.

Will you be blogging again next year or is it something you’re just no longer interested in?

I don’t know. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t! I have to be in the right mood to make a blog post, and also have the free time on my hands to do so. Unfortunately, it’s quite rare that both of those things combine!

Given this is a Blogmas post, it seems only right to ask you this next question. What are your favourite things about Christmas?

The food. The food, and company, too. There’s nothing quite like sitting down to gorge yourself on a massive Christmas dinner with the people you love. The gifts are a bonus too!

Are there any 2019 releases you cannot wait to get your hands on?

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – after reading two of the Illuminae Files books, anything these two release is an automatic buy for me.

And that’s all we’ve got time for because as per usual this was not pre-scheduled or pre-written. A massive thank you to everyone who read this as well as John for agreeing to take part! 

My Surprising Reads Of 2018 – Blogmas Day Thirteen

We’ve all had that moment of shock after finishing a book when you either expected to love it and were incredibly disappointed, or when you weren’t really all that excited by a synopsis but you’re in awe of how much you ended up adoring it! In this Blogmas post, I’ll be talking to you about the books that happened to me with this year! They’re not all 2018 releases but I did read them all in 2018 so I’m counting them!

Let’s get to it! 

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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I was talked into buying this in June by someone at the Hot Key book stall at YALC. He said it was amazing and everyone was talking about it so I picked it up. Truthfully, I don’t know why I did because it really didn’t interest me all that much. However, I finally got around to reading it this month and I loved it! It was fast paced, fantastical and I adored both of the protagonists. It wasn’t particularly original, but I was surprised by how gripping it was! 

Save The Date by Morgan Matson 

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She’s essentially the queen of heartfelt contemporaries so this was an auto-buy novel for me. Unfortunately, this is the first of her books that I just couldn’t get into. The whole wedding setting was stressful and repetitive and I didn’t feel any emotional connection to any of the characters or the plot itself. I’ll still be picking up her next novel but will have to re-consider in the future if her next book is as boring as this was.

Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke

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My other half RAVED about this book being a gripping YA thriller so I instantly picked it up because, you know? It sounded GOOD. Unfortunately it felt boring, predictable and I disliked every character. The premise was intriguing but a thriller needs to keep you on the edge of your seat. I was just waiting for it to be over. 

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell 

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I expected to enjoy this, but I wasn’t expecting to be blown away! I’m a horror movie fanatic and get scared easily when watching them but it takes a lot more to scare me when I’m reading a book and this did! I was terrified! It’s not fantastically written or anything but the author managed to create such a tense and sinister atmosphere that left me hooked! 

The Island by M.A. Bennett

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I’ll be talking about this later on in another Blogmas post, but I HATED this book. I met the author herself at YALC and she was so lovely. Heck, I even got her to sign my copy before I’d even read it! Unfortunately, this book made me feel a bit sick and I thought there were a lot of problematic elements to it that didn’t get discussed. I’d been genuinely looking forward to reading it so of course, as you can imagine, I was insanely disappointed by this one. 

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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After I had finished Caravel I was undecided on whether or not I’d be continuing on with the series because it wasn’t my cup of tea at all. I bought the sequel during it’s week of release and I only picked it up this month. That’s how low my expectations were. Now? I cannot express how excited I am to read the final book. Legendary was everything I wanted from the first book and I am just in awe at how magical everything felt. Bring on Finale!

An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

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The cover is gorgeous, and the first half of the book matched the outside. It was magical, romantic and had a lot of potential. However, I think that because the book was so short, the author felt like she needed to wrap everything up too quickly and there was very little plot because of this. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what her next novel is like because I think there’s a lot of potential for her to be a great YA fantasy author, but this just didn’t do anything for me. 

And there we have it! My most surprising reads of 2018! Are there any books that you didn’t love but expected to or vice versa? Let me know in the comments and thank you for reading! 

My 2019 Book Buying Ban – Blogmas Day Twelve

Following on from yesterday’s post, I’ll be discussing my plans for reducing my TBR in 2019. I definitely need to get down and do this, because I would LOVE to be a person who can go into a bookshop and pick up my next read without feeling pulled down by all of the books waiting to be read on my shelves.

So here are the rules for my 2019 book buying ban! 

  • Write a list of all the books I actually own and intend to read, and donate any books that no longer interest me. 
  • Make sure to write a TBR at the beginning of each month but not feel tied down to those books if it’s only going to put me into a reading slump. 
  • Create a space on my bookshelf for any books that I haven’t read yet so they’re not mixed in with books I already have. 
  • Buddy read books that have been sitting around for ages so that I can capture some excitement about them again. 
  • No bookish subscription boxes. 
  • Create solo readathons on my days off but invite others to join in too and if a readathon comes up that I’m miraculously available to do, then do it. 
  • Avoid charity shops and second hand bookshops at all costs so I don’t create some weird loophole in my book buying ban. 
  • Not picking up any free books or accepting review copies. 
  • If I do go to YALC I’ll judge my circumstances at the time and decide whether or not I’m allowed to buy any new books. 
  • Create a list at the beginning of the year of any new releases throughout the year that I am allowed to buy and not stray from it. 
  • Do wrap-ups at the end of each month so I can keep track of how well I’m doing. 
  • I will be able to buy sequels of books I already own if I’m that desperate to read them but I’m not allowed to begin any new series I don’t already own unless they’re on my list I create at the beginning of the year. 
  • If I’m struggling to focus on classics I will read them alongside a different novel so I’m not solely focused on that one book. 
  • Book ban will run from the 1st of January through to the 24th of December 2019. 

And there you have it! Am I crazy? Am I stupid? Perhaps. But I’m also oddly excited! Are you attempting to reduce your TBR in 2019? Do you want to join me in my challenge? Let me know in the comments and thank you for reading! 

My Bookish Goals For 2019 – Blogmas Day Eleven

Hello and welcome to Day Eleven of Blogmas! I’m going to get straight into it today and discuss my book related goals for the new year! 

  • Up my followers on all social media accounts – Blogging for me isn’t about the stats, however it is nice to know you’re connecting with people, so I’d definitely like to set myself some targets for next year. I would really like to reach 1500 followers on Twitter, 350 on my blog and 200 on Instagram. I don’t think I’m going to quite achieve the follower goals I set myself mid-year but I like to think the ones I’ve set for 2019 are achievable. 
  • Have a blogging schedule – I’m all over the place when it comes to writing and scheduling posts in advance. I write when I wanna write and I post when I wanna post. However, I’d definitely like to at least get a rough schedule set so my days are mapped out. I’m hoping to get a diary/notebook to help make this happen because I am a lover of lists and I always need another notebook. 
  • Reduce my physical TBR – I’m always going to have a mental TBR of all the books I don’t own and I can’t really do anything to help that, but I can try and reduce the books I do actually have on my shelves. In early 2019, I’ll have a plan set out of how I’m going to do that so stay tuned, but for now…it’s a mystery. All I know is that I don’t want to go into 2020 with 80 books on my TBR. I miss the days where I’d buy a book, instantly read it and then go and buy my next one. Whether or not I’ll be able to reduce it by that much I don’t know but that’s definitely a goal of mine. 
  • Start researching and possibly drafting my first novel – I love writing. I have a creative mind and I think I could have the potential to make an amazing story. I’ve got a couple of ideas that I’m toying around with and just need to finally sit down and actually think about where it could all go. Definitely need a little writing space to help me get motivated though. 
  • Utilise my Goodreads more – It’s amazing having a platform specifically designed to discuss books and organise our never-ending TBR’s but I definitely don’t use mine enough. I’m obviously going to set my reading challenge at the beginning of the year as always but I would like to sort out my bookshelves a lot more and make sure I review everything I read. 
  • Maybe branch into Booktube – I don’t know whether or not my confidence has upped itself enough to post videos of myself on the internet yet but I would love to give Booktube another try in 2019. I love watching everyone else’s content, so why not create my own?
  • Get a new bookshelf…or two – I have run out of space for my books. It’s getting a lil’ messy around the house now because there are stacks everywhere so it’s really needed. I suppose I only need one if I’m meant to be reducing my TBR but it’s always good to have a spare one right?
  • Get my own blog domain – I’ve loved being able to utilise WordPress and getting to know how to make my blog look like a real blog, but I would really love to be able to have my own blog domain. It’s something I really need to look into in the new year. 
  • Stop reading books I don’t want to read – We’ve all been here I think? Reading a book because you NEED to review it but not because you WANT to be reading it? Well, this is something I’m definitely stopping. I’ve read a couple of books this year that I felt I needed to review and I didn’t enjoy them as much as I could have because of that. Next year, I want to spend my time off work reading the books I’m wanting to read. I spend too much time pleasing other people at work and a little self care never hurt anyone! 
  •  Read more adult literature – I love YA. I always will. But sometimes I need to read about characters who are slightly closer to my age or books that are a little bit more complex. I think it’s a shame that a lot of YA books dumb themselves down to appeal to the target audience and they really needn’t bother but a lot do and sometimes I just need a book to be really dark or a bit more philosophical. 

Do you have any goals for the new year – bookish or otherwise? Let me know in the comments! I’ll be doing a list of my non-bookish goals too in my 2018 wrap-up post but for now, goodbye and goodnight! I hope you enjoyed Day Eleven of Blogmas!

My Favourite Booktubers – Blogmas Day Ten

Welcome to Day Ten of Blogmas here on Matilda’s Library! Today I will be sharing my favourite booktubers with you all! Before I begin let me just say that I would LOVE to watch smaller accounts and I don’t know why I don’t. I guess I just don’t know where to start? So if you know any amazing lesser known booktubers then please link them down below! 

Let’s begin with…

Tilly And Her Books

Tilly And Her Books was the first Booktuber I discovered two years ago before I even knew people made videos to discuss everything bookish! I found her funny, easy to relate to and she also loves animals! She doesn’t post as regularly as she used to and I do miss seeing her content but I’m hoping in 2019 she makes a full return! I’ve discovered so many amazing reads through her channel and I can’t wait to discover more! 

Super Space Chick

Once again, Kristen’s Super Space Chick account was one of the first channels I discovered! I instantly fell in love with her bookshelves which were organised by colour at the time and then realised we have a lot of similar interests outside of books too! She’s so down to earth and the fact that she’s a New Yorker makes her all the more fascinating for a Brit like me! 

Hailey In Bookland

Everyone knows Hailey by now if you regularly watch Booktube. Again, she was someone I instantly connected to and we share a lot of similar tastes in books and are both obsessed with Alice in Wonderland! I have to say, I haven’t enjoyed her content quite as much as I used to recently and I’m not really sure why. I think I just prefer her reading videos to her writing ones and she’s very focused on being a writer at the moment. Either way though, she’s one of those accounts I instantly rush to watch as soon as she posts something new!

PeruseProject

Bit of a different story for Regan from PeruseProject compared to the others. I actually really didn’t enjoy her videos for quite a long time. Then she started doing reading vlogs, and suddenly she was up there with my favourites. I definitely enjoy getting a lot of adult literature recommendations from Regan’s channel and I love just seeing her day to day life in New York during her reading vlogs. 

Merphy Napier

And last but by no means least, Merphy Napier! I stumbled across her channel about two weeks ago when I was watching unhaul videos, and she instantly became my favourite booktuber. I ended up binge watching so much of her content as well as adding so many books to my TBR. She’s so down to earth, has a beautiful family and I love how varied her taste in literature is. 

Like I said earlier, please link either your booktube accounts or just some smaller creators that you know down in the comments and I’ll be sure to go and check them out! Who are your personal favourites and do we have any in common? Thank you reading my tenth Blogmas post and I shall see you again tomorrow! Have a great day! 

The Christmas Stocking Tag – Blogmas Day Nine

Kate at Reading Through Infinity created this super fun and festive tag so make sure you go and check out her original post! I haven’t been tagged by anyone but really liked the questions included in this so thought I’d give it a go! Without further ado, welcome to Day Nine of Blogmas on Matilda’s Library! 

You get up on Christmas morning and your stocking is full! You take it down and start to unwrap the treats inside. The first thing you see is…

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

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I’d definitely say Wing Jones by Katherine Webber. The book features a lot of diversity, and the story was full of colour and featured dazzling magical realism. It just felt like a really vibrant novel in so many ways and it’s definitely one of the most life affirming and positive books I’ve read this year. 

The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. (Yum) Which book have you recently bought that was expensive, but totally worth the high price?

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I don’t really have that many expensive books but for this one I’ll say my Barnes & Noble edition of The Wizard Of Oz. I’ve never read the original novels but I ADORE the movie with all my heart and this special collection of the first five is simply gorgeous. I also have the second book they’ve released which is the next five stories and it’s equally beautiful.

You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

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This has to be the final book in The Lunar Chronicles series, Winter by Marissa Meyer. The book was action packed from start to finish and had me on the edge of my seat throughout it’s entirety. I cared about the characters so much and every battle was intense because the stakes were so high. I just didn’t want to lose anyone. 

Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?

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The Caraval series by Stephanie Garber. I wasn’t a massive fan of the first book at all. Don’t get me wrong it was okay but that’s all it was to me. Just an average YA fantasy. I recently finished the second book in the series, Legendary, and it was insanely entertaining. I still have my issues with some things but I’ll definitely be reading the final book now. 

You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?

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Muzna from I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan. She is hands down one of the most inspiring characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about and I don’t know if I’ve ever rooted for a character as much. By the end of the book I’d screamed into my pillow so many times due to second hand embarrassment, happiness and irritation. She wasn’t perfect but my gosh, was she incredible.

There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?

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The A Court Of Thorns and Roses trilogy was heavily laden with fantasy tropes. Pretty much every trope from every genre to be completely honest. Turns out however, that I really didn’t care. I thought it was a highly entertaining fantasy series and maybe it wasn’t great, and indeed full of cliches but I’d still recommend it to anyone looking to get gripped by a series. Even if you may roll your eyes occasionally….

There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

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I still have yet to read a book by the author I’m about to mention, but I saw her talk at a panel at YALC this year and I loved how passionate she appeared to be about writing and about the genre she typically writes. That author would be Becky Chambers. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and I really cannot wait to get around to reading her books. 

To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen. Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?

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The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. The premise was actually very good, but there were so many problematic issues with it that ultimately overshadow the positive aspects. Didn’t we almost all love this series when we were younger? I just wish I could have had the power to edit some things out and give Bella a bit more of a personality. 

There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?

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The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp. I bought this at the beginning of last year when I was really heavily into reading adult fantasy/horror/sci-fi and I kind of drifted out of that phase really quickly leaving me with a bunch of unread books that I’d already bought. This was one of them and I finally got around to reading it in October of this year. It wasn’t amazing by any means but thoroughly enjoyable, hilarious and at times very creepy. 

Your pile is getting really big. You reach in to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden snitch. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.

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I hadn’t been really into reading in years when my mum bought me a copy of this book for Christmas two years ago and in all honesty, I didn’t intend to read it. It just didn’t interest me. However, of course I did end up doing so and now I have a book blog and tons of social media dedicated to my re-discovered love of reading. That book would be The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey. I owe so much to that novel. 

I tag anyone who wants to do this but in particular 

Kate @ Book Lover Kate

Stark @ Random Melon Reads 

John @ Books & Fables 

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned or are you planning to? Also let me know if you do the tag and link me down below so I can go and check out your post! Thank you for joining me for Day Nine of Blogmas and I shall see you again tomorrow! 

My Christmas Traditions – Blogmas Day Eight

Welcome to DAY EIGHT of Blogmas here on Matilda’s Library. Today we’re taking a slightly less bookish but considerably more festive route and talking about CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS. Everyone has them. Whether that be opening up a book on Christmas Eve or not celebrating at all and ordering a Chinese takeaway. 

So let me tell you a little bit about Christmas traditions in my house! 

What’s On The Table?

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A very dry turkey made especially dry by my mum leaving it in the oven overnight. A ham joint covered in honey and breadcrumbs and fifteen million cloves. Sausage meat mixed with sage and onion stuffing and baked to perfection. Gravy with so much wine in that you might as well be having a bottle of it poured over your dinner. Potatoes roasted in goose fat. Honey roasted parsnips. Brussels sprouts – if you’re that way inclined. 

What’s On The Box?

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Typically, we’re not really the kind of family who watches anything on TV on Christmas Day. But there’ll always be hundreds of A Christmas Carol adaptations we watch in the run up to it – my favourite being the Muppets version. As well as the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special, Love Actually and The Holiday. 

What Games Do We Play?

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Ticket To Ride has become a staple on our dining room table in the last five or so years but that’s the only game that has stuck around for a long time. Monopoly just takes way too long to play, so we never play that anymore but a few years ago I’d have said that too! And maybe Trivial Pursuit?

What About Presents?

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We are a family who likes to go all out at Christmas. Not in a spoilt way, but just because we like giving gifts to each other. Over the years, we’ve tried to open presents AFTER Christmas dinner, but my eldest sister who’s in her early thirties gets far too excited and moans that she wants to open her presents, so we do usually still unwrap them in the morning. We’ve never been a stocking kind of family and little gifts are under the tree too. Our mum buys us all the same chocolates year after year. Guylian for me. Ferrero Rocher’s for the over excitable eldest I previously mentioned and Toffifee for my other older sister. Who knows when my mother decided that those were the chocolates we would like for the rest of our lives, or even when we liked them in the first place, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also typically receive a pair of cosy pyjamas. 

What Decorations Do We Have Up?

A tree! Varies each year on whether or not we have a real one or not. Personally, I do prefer them but they are very expensive, so not always a viable option. I like to have very natural coloured baubles and lots and lots of fairy lights. At my parents house, we’ve always put something random on top of the tree. Something like a soft toy seal. My other half and I now have a glittery silver star that we put up year after year in our own home along with fairy lights and natural coloured tinsel around my bookshelves. 

What about Boxing Day?

Every boxing day, my grandparents ‘host’ a get together at their house. So we have all of my dad’s side of the family there, a buffet, a game of bingo and some more presents. It’s my favourite tradition and one that I haven’t been able to attend nearly as much in the last few years given we rotate Christmas’ with my family and my boyfriend’s family. Thankfully, I AM going this year! 

Any new traditions this year?

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Technically, traditions are traditions because you’ve been doing them for a long time but I’d definitely like to create a new one and that is….reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens in the run up to December. I love the story and it is so festive so this is definitely something I would like to do from now on!

I’d love to hear about your Christmas traditions! What do you have for Christmas dinner? What games do you play and what films do you watch? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you all again tomorrow for DAY NINE of Blogmas! 

The Bookish ‘Naughty or Nice’ Tag – Blogmas Day Seven

Welcome to DAY SEVEN of Blogmas! So, I haven’t been tagged to do this but the lovely Jenn over at jenniely.com posted and created this tag and given it looked like a lot of fun, I decided to take part anyway! You can find her original post as well as a list of tag questions over on her original post! (Just click the bright blue link to take you directly to the post)

Let’s find out if my bookish habits this year have managed to get me on the nice list! 

Received an ARC and not reviewed it ✔

Yes. I have done this many times. In all honesty, I don’t really like feeling pressured into writing a review which I think is what it can sometimes feel like. I’ve never specifically requested a book and then not reviewed it though. 

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley ✔

Well, I have closed down my Netgalley account because I don’t like reading on a kindle or e-books in general, but when I did have it, it was waaaaay below 60%!

Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)? ✔

All the time. Like are there people out there who actually review every single book they read on Goodreads? Because woah. You people are magic.

Folded down the page of a book ✘

I’m pleased to say that no, I have not folded down the page of a book at all this year. When I was a kid I did this all the time, but now it just upsets me. 

Accidentally spilled on a book ✘

I don’t drink hot drinks and I’m very fussy about what I can and can’t eat while I’m reading, so there’s very little chance of this happening to me! 

DNF a book this year ✔

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I don’t typically DNF books but kudos to you if you do. In fact I think this should be included on the nice list because why waste your time reading books you aren’t enjoying? However, personally, I do struggle to DNF books, but there was one exception this year. Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It just wasn’t clicking with me and it is a BIG book so that’s why I decided not to continue. I’ll be giving the series another go in the future though. 

Bought a book because it was pretty with no intention of reading it ✘

I am a cover buyer, but never do I buy a book with absolutely no intention of reading it. I maybe sometimes buy a book that I have slightly less interest in than others because of how pretty the cover is but I always plan to read what I buy. 

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else   (like homework) ✔

ALL. THE. TIME. Honestly, the amount of times I’m meant to be blogging or tidying the house, or even getting ready for work, you can bet that my head is still stuck in my current read. 

Skim read a book  ✔

GUILTY. I do this a lot, and I am kinda ashamed to admit this one. I devour stories, but I’m definitely not a detail orientated reader. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I really am and I am dissecting every word on the pages, but other times I just want a quick read and skimming does help. 

Completely missed your Goodreads  goal ✘

I’ve already long passed my goal of 50 books, so thankfully not this year!

Borrowed a book and not returned it to the library ✔

I have £75 worth of library fines. Need I say more?

Broke a book buying ban ✔

Yes, but in my defence, I NEEDED the books I bought. 

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about ✔

Once again, are there people who don’t do this?? 

Wrote in a book you were reading ✔

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I annotate a copy of my Nick Cave lyrics book. Don’t tell anyone but *whispers* …it even has a broken spine. 

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads 

I just can’t physically do this. I am desperate to see my latest read lined up with all my other beautiful previously read books in my reading challenge. 

Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend ✘

I don’t borrow books from anywhere other than the library so…nope. 

Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book ✔

The idea of someone bringing back a book of mine and it being damaged, kills me. Coffee stains, bent spine, folded pages…no. I just couldn’t do it. So yes, there’s always a change of subject there or I just flat out tell them I can’t let them borrow it for the reasons above. Depends who I’m speaking to obviously! 

Broke the spine of someone else’s book ✘

Again, I don’t borrow books from people, but at the library I’m very careful to keep a book looking as it did before I read it. 

Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ending up making it even more damaged ✘

I take the dust jackets off all the time but I carefully place them on the bookshelf in a safe place, so this has yet to happen to me. 

Sat on a book accidentally ✔

Yes. Almost on a daily basis. 

                                             FINAL SCORE – 12/20

 I guess this year I’m on the naughty list! In all honesty though, this just a bit of fun and no matter how you read/blog/review, you do you and be proud of it! 

I’m only going to be tagging a couple of people who I think might like to do this, but if you read this and want to take part then consider yourself tagged!

I tag…

Kate @ Book Lover Kate

Stark @ Random Melon Reads 

I hope you enjoyed day seven of Blogmas and I look forward to seeing you all again tomorrow! Let me know in the comments if you’ve decided to take part and link back to this post so I can read yours too!