Popular Books I Still Haven’t Read – Blogmas Day Three

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a bookworm who has far too many books on their TBR as it is, will get bombarded with more books that they HAVE to read whenever they go on any social media platform. 

Yes, that’s right. For the third day of Blogmas, I will be talking about the popular books that I still haven’t read yet. Will I be getting round to reading them at some point in the future or do they just not interest me? Let’s found out!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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If you haven’t heard of this series then you must have recently re-emerged from living under a rock. This has got to be one of the biggest YA series and fandoms since the whole Hunger Games/Divergent/Maze Runner craze. So why haven’t I read it? Well truthfully, because it’s so damn intimidating in size. Now that the series has wrapped up, I’ll definitely be reading it soon because I can take my time without worrying about catching up before the next book. I read the A Court Of Thornes and Roses trilogy this year and was OBSESSED so I have no doubt that I’ll enjoy this series as much. 

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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Once again, this is a series that had a storm of publicity and fans. Until suddenly it just didn’t. Everything stopped. People started hating on it, there was some controversy with the author, and now whenever I hear about this series, it’s always in a negative light. I’ve actually had all of the books sitting on my shelf for TWO YEARS. But I’ve still yet to pick them up. My other half wants to read them, so I’ll definitely be keeping them around for that reason but besides a light curiosity, it would be a miracle if I ever pick these up. 

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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Now this is slightly different because as I’m writing this, this is the only book released in the series which makes it a lot more accessible. This has to be one of the biggest books of 2018, and I am genuinely VERY excited to get around to reading it. I have it on my shelf, soI’ll either be reading it at the end of this year or it will be one of my first reads of 2019. I’m a little intimidated by all of the hype surrounding it, because unlike the previous two series I’ve mentioned, this one is actually well liked and respected, but all I can do is hope it lives up to it and give it a try! 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Again…I am genuinely ashamed that I haven’t read this yet. It’s meant to be one of the most important, insightful and honest YA books ever written. I bought this in the summer because I was in the mood for contemporaries, but then it just sat there because it wasn’t light and fluffy and then summer ended and now all I want to do is read fantasy! It’s on my TBR for this month though, so my fingers are crossed that I will end up reading it before the year is out!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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I don’t really know a whole lot about these books other than that the fantasy world and magic system is supposedly really great and that the spin off duology is meant to be just as good if not better. I’ve got this first book in the series on my shelf, and I also have Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom but I want to read the original Grisha trilogy before I read the duology. For some reason I’m reluctant to pick up Shadow and Bone until I have the next two novels because I have a feeling I’m going to want to binge read them. That is genuinely my only reason for not reading these yet. 

City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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I have never read a Cassandra Clare book. There I’ve said it. And in all honesty, I’m not sure I ever will. Beginning the Infernal Devices series is such a big commitment and given all the varying opinions on this series, I’m not sure I want to undertake that. From what I can gather, it’s a series that a lot of people loved when they were younger, and the people that still love them now do so because of the nostalgia element. I’m sure there are people out there that picked this up as an adult/older teen without having that connection and still enjoyed them, but I just don’t see this happening for me. 

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

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I’ve been looking to delve deeper into adult fiction next year, and Brandon Sanderson is the name that keeps popping up everywhere. Most of his books seems to interlock in the same world I believe, so finding a starting point has proven tricky. However, the Mistborn trilogy is the one that even the author himself thinks is the best starting point for new readers. I’ll definitely be giving it a go in 2019 and it’s one of the reads I’m most excited for! 

A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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And last but by no means least on this list, is the Darker Shade Of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab. Once again, I’ve never read a book by this author. Gasp. Yes, I know. I am a horrible human being. I’m not really sure which book is best to start with in regards to V.E. Schwab but I think I’ll probably end up reading Vicious before I read this, just because the premise interests me slightly more but I’m looking forward to reading this series a lot and I’ve heard nothing but great things about all of her books. 

Thank you for taking your time to read this post and I hope you’re enjoying Blogmas so far! Are there any books on this list that have surprised you? Any books here that you definitely think I should give a try? Let me know in the comments! 

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My Favourite Characters of 2018 – Blogmas Day Two

HELLO and welcome to the second day of Blogmas here on Matilda’s Library! Today I will be discussing my absolute favourite characters that I’ve read about in books released this year!

Not going to lie but it was only when writing this post that I realised I’ve actually read considerably more back list books than new releases this year meaning this was really hard. In fact, I’ve not enjoyed a lot of the characters I HAVE read this year so the ones that I have narrowed it down to were really special to me. 

Jules from Everless by Sara Holland

If you don’t know the story of this book, it follows a girl named Jules in the land of Sempera, where the rich are in control of everything. Even time is extracted through blood and made into iron coins, meaning that the poor are draining their life away while the rich are living for far longer than they should be. Jules’ father is planning on draining the rest of his life away to clear their debts but instead Jules decides to take a job on the estate of the heartless Gerling family. There she uncovers and re-discovers lots of secrets that could change everything forever. 

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I personally loved Jules as a character simply because she never gave up. She continued to fight for what she felt was right whilst also following a path in life she didn’t really want to follow to save her father. Everless was definitely a character driven book and I know lots of people were disappointed with the plot. Sure, it’s a bit slow and the whole book was a build up to the ending, but once you stop looking for something that isn’t there and embrace all of the characters within Everless, that’s where it really shines. I can’t wait to see how her character development continues in Evermore because she’s definitely one of my favourite leading ladies in YA at the moment!

Muzna from I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

If you have ever spoken to me about YA this year, or about anything actually – oops – then you know that I am essentially shoving this book at you whenever I have a chance. If you’re looking for a STRONG female protagonist then look no further because Muzna’s your girl! 

I Am Thunder follows fifteen year old Muzna Saleem as she moves to a new school in South London after her best friend is shamed in a scandal and deemed a bad influence. She’s always been quite passive and not stood up for herself in the past but decides that she’s going to start doing exactly that and make the most of this fresh start. Bullies are everywhere and finding her voice isn’t easy but when one of the hottest guys in school – Arif, starts to take notice of her, she starts to believe in herself. 

Unfortunately Arif and his older brother have many secrets and despite all of the prejudice Muzna has already seen in her life, she’s not entirely sure she shares the same extreme views of the world as them. Can she learn to believe in herself, her voice and her power all on her own, or will she follow Arif down a path she never expected to take? 

Words cannot express how much I love Muzna. First of all, it’s great to have another Muslim protagonist in YA because we really need more of them. Islamophobia is brutal, but it’s real and any novel that’s going to help people going through similar situations find their voice and be fearless about it, is a great book in my eyes. This book didn’t shy away from the dark stuff. It discusses radicalisation and extremism in religion which is never an easy subject to discuss but Muhammad Khan does so effortlessly. He manages to write his  protagonist into the worst possible situation, and he doesn’t shy away from the fact that at her age, love and attention may be more important than anything else. Waiting to see whether Muzna was going to follow Arif and his brother down the extremist route was difficult to read and I felt sick at some points knowing that this was something real people go through everyday. Muzna was not perfect. In fact, she was a very flawed character. But that’s what made her so great. She was real. 

Jack from What The Flower Says Of Death by Danielle Koste

After a failed suicide attempt Violet goes to live with her grandmother at an oceanside estate that once housed a lot of good memories. But things are different now. Her mother is selfish and seemingly only takes care of herself, her grandfather is upstairs in a coma and her grandmother seems to be avoiding the reality of her situation. At least there’s no one there to stop her from trying to kill herself again on her eighteenth birthday. Enter Jack, a young gardener on the estate who seems to be stalking Violet rather than raking leaves. Violet’s plans are inevitable but maybe Jack can give her something she’s been desperately trying to evade….hope. 

This was a difficult book to read. As I previously mentioned in my review for this, I have gone through similar experiences to Violet and this book wrecked me. In a good way. It was realistic in it’s portrayal of suicide and depression, more so than any other novel I’ve read. The magical realism element was breathtaking and Jack was the most important part of that. He was funny, and inquisitive. Mysterious, yet still charming. He was kind. Everything I wish I had found when I was suicidal. He made Violet question things. Question her reality. He tried to give her hope and be there for her when she was completely devoid of it. He truly was one of the best male protagonists I’ve read about. And a character that will stay with me forever. Everyone deserves a Jack. 

So that’s that! Only two characters instantly sprang to mind when I began writing this post (Muzna and Jack) and only one extra was added when I began to look through the releases from 2018 that I’ve read. Did anyone else fail to connect to characters this year? Who were your favourites? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you again tomorrow for Blogmas Day Three! 

My December TBR – Blogmas Day One

First of all if you’re reading this, I’d like to say thank you so much for sticking by me when I was struggling to put up blog posts! It’s been quite a tough year and unfortunately it probably wasn’t the wisest choice to start up such a big commitment like running a blog! But me being me, I lack common sense and well…I love to talk about books so that’s exactly what I did!

Secondly, happy first of December and welcome to Day One of BLOGMAS! I fully intend to post every day for the duration of December, meaning I’ll be posting more this month than I have all year *facepalm*

Anyway, for December 1st, I thought I would share my TBR for the month with you. I’m still unsure as to how I feel about TBR’s, as sometimes I do feel that they’re a bit limiting because if I don’t follow through on reading those books, I always feel a little disappointed in myself. Having said that, I do enjoy making them anyway! So without further ado, here are the books I want to get to before the end of 2018!

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is achristmascarol.jpg‘To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before it’s too late.’

My mum has always had an obsession with this story, and when I was younger it would DRIVE ME INSANE. Now? It’s almost like I inherited her obsession with the story. Maybe for the nostalgia elements of it, but mostly because I do think it’s a fantastic tale of hope and everything that the Christmas season is about! I still haven’t read the book in it’s entirety but this month, I hope to finally get round to reading it.

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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I first read Caraval in 2017 and despite the hype, I didn’t think it was all that great. I was still intrigued to pick up the next book as it focuses more on Tella – the more interesting sister of the two. I’m curious to see how I feel about the sequel as this will be a decider on whether or not I plan on reading the final book. But let’s be real…I’m gonna buy it anyway just to complete the collection on my bookshelves.

The Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum

 ‘Follow the yellow brick road! Dorothy thinks she’s lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival – will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?’

I have the Barnes and Noble leatherbound edition of this, so ideally I would like to read all of those in the collection before the year is out! It’s one of my favourite movies and I’m already enjoying seeing all of the differences between the film and the novels. Can you believe that the iconic ruby slippers were actually silver in the books?! BLEW MY MIND.

The Picture Of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

‘….Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work.’

I love the concept of this story and I’ve heard great things about this from Merphy Napier on booktube. I struggle to read classics, not because I don’t like them, but I do find them considerably more time consuming than modern publications. This wouldn’t be a problem to some, but I am obsessed with reading stats. Not in a way that diminishes my enjoyment, but in a way that pushes me and makes me excited to meet my reading targets. I’ve heard that this is gripping and very fast paced for a classic so I’m hoping I can read this on the train when I visit my family for Christmas.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

‘Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.’

Yes, I know. I STILL haven’t read this. I think it’s just been hyped up so much now that I’m worried it will never live up to that. However, I put a poll up on Twitter to decide which book to take to my parents house at Christmas and this won by a landslide! So there you have it, despite my fears, I shall be reading this incredibly poignant and important book soon!

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

‘Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?’

Once again, this was a book that you voted I read this month so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I have high expectations for this as I love re-imaginings of classic stories, and I also love sirens. I do hope that this is a dark story and doesn’t focus too much on the romance, but I have a feeling it might? Still super excited to read it though!

The End Of The World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

‘When the world ends and you find yourself stranded on the wrong side of the country, every second counts.

No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. 550 miles away from his family, he must push himself to the very limit to get back to them, or risk losing them forever…

His best option is to run.
But what if your best isn’t good enough?’

This book is the one that has been on my physical TBR for the longest time now, clocking in at almost two years. If I don’t read it now, I’m not sure I ever will. The synopsis sounds amazing, and I love the idea of branching out and reading more adult sci-fi/fantasy novels in the future so this would be a good start.

So there you have it! My final TBR of the year! I’ll check back in to update you on how I’m doing with all of these books soon, but for live updates you can follow me on Goodreads and on Twitter where my handle is @matildaslibrary.

Have you read any of these books? What books are on your TBR for this month? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you all have a great first day of December! 

Blog Tour & Author Interview – Double Double Toil by Amber Elby

amber-eSix months after the events of Cauldron’s Bubble, Alda is stranded in her remote cottage, unable to recreate the magical object that allows her to travel between time and place. Meanwhile, Dreng’s home with Miranda on a distant island begins to crumble. They both escape to Fairy Land, where they become embroiled in a battle of immortals as the clans of Queen Titania and King Oberon fight for supremacy. In order to evade capture and return to their worlds, Dreng must rely on his adversary, Caliban, while Alda discovers an ally in the mysterious Ophelia. In a realm where only humans can die, will Alda and Dreng save themselves and, more importantly, each other? Or will they succumb to the fantastical powers in play?

Double Double Toil continues to build on the world introduced in Cauldron’s Bubble by intertwining Shakespeare’s plays in a unique and exciting way, introducing their stories to new readers and established Bard fans alike. Elements and characters from Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet combine in this fast-paced tale of magic and adventure. Read on…

Welcome to Day One of the Double Double Toil blog tour! Amber Elby was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about a variety of topics, from her exciting sequel to the importance of book bloggers. So let’s check out what the self confessed Shakespeare enthusiast has to say! 

Before we begin I’d just like to say make sure you go and check out all the other lovely bloggers participating as well! A full list will be included at the bottom of this post! And SURPRISE, the first page of Double Double Toil will be unveiled! 

But for now, let’s begin! 

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Why is it so important for you to make Shakespeare accessible to a wider, and younger, audience?  

Everyone who reads already knows Shakespeare, whether they are aware of it or not.  Apart from some religious works, Shakespeare’s plays have the greatest influence on Western literature, yet many younger readers aren’t aware of his importance because his works are “old,” which may be synonymous with “boring.”  I was lucky to have a graduate school professor who encouraged us to re-read the Bard’s works as we wrote screenplays to look for techniques and inspiration, so I learned to associate his plays with the act of writing. This association has influenced all of my written works, but it’s obviously more explicit in the Netherfeld Trilogy.  My hope is that others will look for similarities between modern writing and early fiction in order to appreciate and understand the full history of our literary culture.

As an author, how do you think the prominence of social media and book bloggers has impacted your releases?

I don’t think that book bloggers are for authors; they are for readers.  I do enjoy interacting with the blogging community on Twitter, and I have picked up many books based on bloggers’ recommendations, so I know their influence firsthand.  As an author, I’ve seen spikes in interest in my novels following reviews, so there is a measurable effect as more readers become aware of books. I’m conscious that when reviewers write about my books, the author is not their intended audience, but I am always grateful for the time and energy they put into reviews.  

Cauldron’s Bubble incorporated elements of The Tempest, Hamlet and Macbeth – which plays can we expect to see woven into Double Double Toil?

In addition to those plays, I draw from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet.  I also mined information from outside of the Bard’s fiction: there is a character in Double Double Toil referred to as “the beautiful youth,” which alludes to the young man who inspired many of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and I named an original character after one of Shakespeare’s family members.  The third novel, Trouble Fires Burn, will continue to draw inspiration from parts of Shakespeare’s life, even though he is not a character in the world of my books.   

Whilst Alda and Dreng are the two protagonists within the books, can we expect to see even more from the supporting characters this time round and are there any exciting new additions?

Of course!  I’ve added many characters from Shakespeare’s cannon, including Oberon, Titania, Puck, and Ophelia, but all have been twisted and/or expanded to make them more original.  Caliban has an increased presence in Double Double Toil, and Hamlet continues to be an influence off-stage.  There are also cameos from lesser-renowned Shakespearean characters, but I don’t want to spoil anything.  Additionally, Double Double Toil takes place six months after Cauldron’s Bubble, so Alda and Dreng have both grown during the time between novels and have some surprises for readers as well.   

It’s clear to see from your Twitter account that you’re very much a family orientated person – are there any elements of yourself, your children or your husband that you’ve incorporated into characters within the Netherfeld world?

My immediate family is strewn throughout my imaginary worlds.  My husband knows that he has always been the inspiration behind Dreng because he was Dreng’s age when we started dating.  He offers critiques when my hero seems off-character, and some of the dialogue in Double Double Toil was taken directly from our conversations.  My two daughters’ names were combined and shortened into “Alda,” and my oldest daughter’s natural climbing ability is something shared by my female protagonist.  My youngest daughter is a self-declared fairy expert, so she told me many stories that influenced my creation of Fairy Land. I’ve been asked before if my grandmother or mother inspired Alda’s Gramma; some of the details are similar, like the cookies she makes in Double Double Toil, but my family is not as mysterious or magical as Alda’s, even though the women on my maternal side all know how to dowse for water.   

If you could invite three characters from Shakespeare’s works to a dinner party, who would you choose and why?

I’ve heard others answer this question before and have always enjoyed their responses, so I’m happy to have a chance now!  I think I’d have a girls’ night with Hamlet’s Ophelia (because she really needs to find her own voice), A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s Hermia (because she is funny and fierce), and Juliet (because I’d like to give her some advice about boys).  

The third and final book in the Netherfeld trilogy is being released next year. Have you taken any time to think about what’s next for you as a writer?

My upcoming third book, Trouble Fires Burn, will be released in August of 2019.  After the conclusion of this trilogy, I’m going to write a stand-alone novel set in the magical worlds of Netherfeld called Caliban and the Void.  I realized earlier this year that I would not be able to fit Caliban’s entire story into this trilogy, so he deserves his own book.  Once that is completed, I plan to write a similar fan fiction series based on the works of a different author, one not as famous as Shakespeare but who has much more potential for world building.  That author’s identity, for now, is top secret.

BONUS QUESTION – There is currently a lot of controversy regarding reviews within the book community and as a book blogger myself, I know we’re always curious to see writers’ opinions on this topic. So, as an author who uses Goodreads, what are your thoughts on negative reviews about your work?

There are two kinds of negative reviews that I find frustrating – not simply for my own novels but for any book.  The first type are from reviewers who get concrete information wrong. I’ve read reviews of classics in which the reviewer obviously missed some connection or failed to understand some concept, so they essentially review a straw man and not the actual book.  The second type are reviews from people who read books knowing that they won’t like them; often these begin with something like “I don’t like this genre, but I decided to give it a go.” That would be like a vegetarian ordering a steak and then criticizing it for being made of meat… What did you expect?  Of course it goes without saying that all opinions are valid, but I would personally only post positive reviews because I don’t see the point of wasting time on something that I do not enjoy. Yet if someone loves writing negative reviews, and that makes them happy or fulfilled, then to quote Shakespeare, “To each his own.”

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A big thank you to Amber Elby for kindly answering my questions! 

Click the link below to read the first page of Double Double Toil and see how Alda and Dreng’s magical Shakespearean adventure continues! 

The First Page

If you’re in the local area, Amber is having a book launch in Austin, Texas at Malvern Books on October 14th at 2PM and attending the Mid-Cities Teen Book Fest at North Richland Hills Library in Texas on October 20th! I’m sure she would love to see you there! 

You can grab your very own copy of the book on Amazon UK or Amazon US

Thank you so much for reading and make sure you head over to visit Meg at Between The Pages for DAY TWO of the blog tour tomorrow! She’ll be discussing Amber’s most influential books and you’ll also be able to read the second page of Double Double Toil! 

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About The Author

Spiral Stone Photo.JPGAmber Elby was born in Grand Ledge, Michigan but spent much of her childhood in the United Kingdom. She began writing when she was three years old and created miniature books by asking her family how to spell every, single, word. Several years later, she saw her first Shakespearean comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, in London. Many years later, she studied Creative Writing at Michigan State University’s Honors College before earning her Master of Fine Arts degree in Screenwriting at the University of Texas at Austin. She currently resides in Texas with her husband and two daughters and spends her time teaching, traveling, and getting lost in imaginary worlds.

 

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Release Day Review – What The Flower Says Of Death by Danielle Koste

Title: What The Flower Says Of Death  wtfsod

Author: Danielle Koste

Demographic: Young Adult

Genres and themes: paranormal, romance, death and suicide, family and relationships

Release Date: September 25th 2018

TRIGGER WARNING – Both this post and the book itself discuss both suicide and self harm openly.

Synopsis – ‘Violet Holt has already met Death once.

After a failed suicide attempt, she finds herself dumped by her callous mother on the doorstep of her family’s desolate oceanside estate. With only the company of her estranged grandmother, comatose grandfather, and the monsters in her head, at least there was no one to interfere with her plans to try again on her eighteenth birthday.

No one, except maybe Jack: a skeleton of a boy who says he’s there to rake her grandmother’s leaves, yet seems more experienced at stalking than grounds-keeping. She knows he’s keeping a secret behind his gentle smiles and aloofness, but it’s difficult for Violet to be put off by his untimely thin-air appearances when figuring out the mystery of his true identity makes for such a good distraction.

Violet’s trauma is deeper than the wound on her wrist though, and it cannot be simply whisked away in a whirlwind of guessing games and pleasant gestures. She struggles to reconnect with her grandmother, find forgiveness for her mother, and closure with her grandfather’s dire condition, all while battling the strain of it all on her family. Even with a flicker of something hopeful blossoming within herself, Violet knows her birthday plans must be inevitable.

Death wouldn’t be there for her if it wasn’t.’

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My Thoughts…

 ‘…limited cast of characters all playing such a heavy role.’

Violet, the female protagonist of What The Flower Says Of Death (WTFSOD) has significantly more depth to her than most of the leading ladies in YA. She’s dealing with one of the most difficult battles that anyone will ever have to face and living in a cold reality where the people she cares most about feel just out of reach. Even as the story progresses and the relationships strengthen or fall apart, she’s always slightly too scared of what they could mean for her in the long term to ever fully commit to what’s happening in the moment. I will be talking about what this book meant to me personally  a little later on in this post, but as someone who has tackled her own battle with suicide, I’ve never seen a character written so closely to how I was feeling throughout that. Violet was cool, distant, kind and strangely idealistic at times but Danielle never failed to keep on writing a ‘real’ person. Typically I’ve found that when authors attempt to write about such a heavy issue, the characters often begin to fall into stereotypes but no one in this book ever did. Most importantly to me, every single character helped move the book forward in some way and were vital to the story because of that. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a novel that has such a limited cast of characters all playing such a heavy role.

Jack, the male protagonist was deliciously mysterious and intriguingly reminiscent of a classic novel style love interest. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such a genuinely romantic character in YA. He was effortlessly written in that sense (in every sense!), and I dare you to not fall in love with him as you’re reading. Without the addition of spoilers, may I just say…that whole entire Christmas decoration scene though. *insert heart eyes emoji*

Violet’s mother and grandmother were oddly my favourite characters. Their relationship was a prime example of what can happen if you make mistakes as a parent and just how much that can affect not only the relationship with your child, but also how your child will turn out. Because of issues they had in the past together, everything has spiralled and has created a domino effect that played a huge part in why Violet is suicidal. I’m not sitting here primarily blaming her mother for everything, of course I’m not. There’s a lot of different and vital things that lead to someone even considering suicide, but WTFSOD has shown the impact bad familial relationships can have on a person in such an emotionally stirring way. Both Violet’s mother and grandmother undergo a lot of character development to get them to where they are at the end point of the book but I’m so glad they got there.

‘You will sob like you have never sobbed before..’

I’m going to be completely honest here (as I always am in my posts), and say that WTFSOD had the potential to be TOO bleak. It’s not an easy subject to read about in the slightest. However I found it to be an oddly comforting and cosy read. If you are planning on picking this up, it’s definitely a great choice now that the weather is getting colder and the blankets are coming out.

As a reader, we are given early insight (if you use your common sense of course) into what Jack’s big secret is, but Violet doesn’t find out for quite a while. I felt this worked perfectly and automatically made the pacing flow properly. To me, this was very much a book that had a beginning, middle and end. All very obvious and integral to the story.

The ending of this book was sad. That kind of earth shattering, gut wrenching, howl crying sad. But it was perfect. Any other ending would not have made sense to me, and it’s almost like every single character has the part they played in the story revealed. Like I’ve said, everyone is there for a reason and everything becomes clear in the last couple of chapters. But be warned. You will sob like you have never sobbed before.

‘…every ‘taboo’ is out in the open’

This is without a doubt an unapologetic look at what it is to be suicidal and as someone who has been suicidal before it was the most accurate portrayal I have ever read. I know that everything is all relative and everyone deals with things differently, but I can’t quite believe how much this mirrored my own life.

Just like Violet, I used to set myself ‘suicide dates’. A day in which if my life hadn’t changed for the better before then, I would attempt to kill myself on. These tended to be on my birthdays. Most notably my eighteenth and twenty first.

I also appreciated how Violet would be feeling happier but her mind would flicker slightly to how something could aid in killing herself or how she felt conflicted when she felt happy because her ‘date’ had been set.

The relationship she has with her mother was like looking at a reflection of my mother and I. Thankfully this relationship has improved drastically in recent years but my mum didn’t have the slightest clue how to help me with my self harming and suicidal thoughts. It was a pretty toxic environment for a while and I moved in with my boyfriend mostly to get away.

WTFSOD doesn’t shy away from anything, every ‘taboo’ is out in the open and I think people need to realise that not all familial relationships are good and you can take yourself away from that situation if you need to.

And to conclude…

Overall, What The Flower Says Of Death is one of the highlights of the year. It’s quite simply a masterpiece and I strongly urge you to buy yourself a copy. Magical realism at it’s finest.

I gave it a five out of five! 🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

BUY IT NOW

Ebook!

Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes and Noble / Google Play / iBooks / Kobo

Paperback!

Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes and Noble / Indigo / Book Depository / Adlibris

About the Author

daniellekoste.jpgDanielle Koste is a born and raised Canadian, but currently lives with her significant other in the equally snowy and cold Stockholm, Sweden. While working a day job and learning the language of the locals, she spends her free time honing the craft she’s always had a passion for.

When procrastinating, Danielle likes to enjoy other forms of rich story-telling, besides the obvious abundance of novels filling up her apartment and Kindle. Movies, music, and video games are among her favorite time-wasters.

Website / Goodreads / Patreon / Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

A massive thank you to Stark at Random Melon Reads for introducing me to this phenomenal book.

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Sounds Like Sunday #1

Other than my blatantly obvious obsession with books, I also have other passions in life. And music is definitely high up there on that list of things. So, I thought to myself this morning, why not start a weekly post on my blog all about my love of music? Now here we are and I’m ready to give you a list of my favourite songs this week. I have had them on heavy rotation and still can’t get enough of them.

These are in no particular order and I do have VERY varied music taste, so just beware! Only kidding! Kind of…

Given that this is the first week, I’ve actually decided to go fairly easy on your ears and not include any songs that feature screaming vocals or a southern drawl but believe me, there will be at some point!

Please find below a list of ten YouTube videos featuring my chosen songs. If you would rather use Spotify, there is a link at the bottom of this post which contains all of the audio there too.

Happy listening!

   1. You’ve Got Your Whole Life Ahead Of You Baby by IDER

    2. Hemisphere by elegant slims

      3. “99” by Barns Courtney

     4. Sweet But Psycho by Ava Max

     5. Turn by The Wombats

    6. Mantra by Bring Me The Horizon

    7. Limo Song by Jack River

     8. Eighteen by Pale Waves

     9. Miracle by CHVRCHES

     10. Loyal To Me by Nina Nesbitt

Please check out the Spotify playlist down below to add the songs to your own, or simply follow mine!

I’m currently in the process of creating a whole new bunch of personal playlists which means my account is currently very bare on there but I’d love it if you followed me if you have an account of your own.

As always, thank you for reading – and listening – to this post. Comment down below which songs you liked and those you didn’t! What have you been playing on repeat this week?

matildasignoff

Issues with the book community

I’ve been unsure if I should even post this blog discussion because I genuinely don’t want to start any disagreements or controversy, but a few of my friends and fellow bloggers are getting really disheartened by some issues within the book community, and they’ve even said that they feel like giving up with their blog because of it. I am not okay with that. Not in the slightest.

Now, I know I’m pretty much a nobody. I have a decent following on Twitter and a moderate following on my blog itself, but I want you to put that aside for now and not focus on my statistics or who I am. I just want you to focus on some of the issues that I think we’re dealing with as a community.

ladybird

My first issue is…

Self important blog hopping

When I first joined Twitter and started up my blog, one of the things I got told all the time was that to be successful, I needed to blog hop – meaning that I needed to go around commenting and liking other bloggers posts simply because I needed them to respond and do the same back to mine. This was explained to me dozens of times.

Safe to say, I was not okay with it at all.

Why are we under the impression that to be successful within this community, we have to reciprocate with comments and likes? Why is it considered rude to receive a comment and then not go and comment on a post that fellow blogger has written. It’s not.

It’s almost like we’re playing a game.

‘163878TheReader has liked 32 of my posts and commented on all of those too, but I’ve commented on and liked 33 of their posts so I think they’re an asshole and I’m no longer going to engage with their blog.’

*163878TheReader likes your post*

*163878TheReader commented on your post* Haha that’s cool. Great post!

‘Oh okay, all is forgiven! Let’s see what they’ve posted lately on their site’ 

10001 things I thought about candy corn by 163878TheReader

Well…I don’t have any interest in candy corn so I’ll just skim to the end and comment something that relates so she’ll think I did. That’s so supportive right? I’m like the best blogger ever.’

It would be easy to think that this isn’t a real thing that people do. Believe me, I was in shock when I was included in discussions about this. But it’s true, and it’s happening with more people than you would think. It’s such a shame that some bloggers value statistics and popularity over being a nice, supportive person.

I was hoping that this was just an issue I faced alone and fell in with the wrong creators, but I’ve spoken to a few other bloggers and they’ve had the same issues too but with different people.

I guess what I’m trying to say with this is that I don’t think we should be reading things with the intention of commenting and liking posts. Read the content you’re genuinely interested in reading. Comment if you have something to add, and like only if you genuinely liked the post. Most importantly don’t feel like your work is valued solely on how many comments you’re receiving back. It’s not. You’re worth more than that.

If you receive a comment or like from me, know that it’s because I genuinely really liked your post.

DISCLAIMER – I am well aware that blog hopping doesn’t always mean this, and it can just mean to go and have a look at other peoples blogs.

I’m also not saying not to reply or like comments on your blog. Of course you should totally engage with your readers!

Anyway, moving onto the next subject which is….

The God complex of bigger creators within the book community

This sort of ties in with the blog hopping discussion because typically the people that are initiating all of that are the bigger creators. When I first started out, I saw a lot of support groups for newbies and I joined a few. Some of them were really helpful. Others however seemed to act as more of an ego boost for the blogger in charge. We weren’t allowed to disagree with said creators, we weren’t allowed to do things slightly differently, we weren’t allowed to do anything that strayed from these bloggers thoughts on what your blog should be. And if you did do any of that, you could guarantee that you were put on the outside of the group and ignored by them for the rest of your blogging life.

Now, it’s not just these insanely condescending support groups that this happens with but also the little cliques on social media. There are certain accounts who I see regularly ignore comments from smaller creators, yet always reply to those they are friends with. Even if the comment from the smaller creator was more relevant or interesting.

I don’t think we should ignore anyone. I understand that some comments do not warrant a reply, but there’s always a like button. Just clicking that means you’ve noticed and appreciated this persons comment. If you don’t, it’s easy to make someone feel invisible and undervalued.

Obviously, if you’re someone like Hailey LeBlanc or Zoe Herdt, I completely understand why you can’t reply to everyone. I also understand why you wouldn’t want to read everyone’s comments because when you’re even partially famous, I imagine they’re not always nice to read. But I’m talking about people with like 4,000 followers. Those who have slightly more success than the rest of us. Ignoring the people who are most likely making them successful is really not the best way to go.

THIS is the primary reason I get from friends in the blogging community when they say they feel disheartened. They feel like they don’t matter. And they do. All of us do.

DISCLAIMER – Not all support groups are condescending. Some of them are actually really helpful!

Now onto something a little bit different, which is…

The lack of importance when it comes to male creators

My boyfriend John from Books & Fables is the main reason I am discussing this part of the blogging community. He’s a YA reader, he’s a passionate and excellent writer and he’s a genuinely nice person. I helped him create his blog back in January but he only gathered up the confidence to write his first post a few months ago because of one reason in particular.

Where are all the male book bloggers?

They’ve gone away, that’s where.

John saw me try and make a name for myself within this community and we also both saw a lot of male bloggers try and do the same thing. So why am I still here and they’re not? Because most of us aren’t interested in what they have to say. They have the same standards and writing quality on their blogs as we do, but for some reason, we don’t invite them into this world. There are a few exceptions, but I’m sick and tired of constantly seeing male bloggers give up because they think we don’t care about them.

Unless said person is not a nice person, we should be supporting everyone. Regardless of gender.

Maybe this isn’t an intentional thing that we do but I can count on both hands how many male bloggers are left from the ones I saw start up at the beginning of the year. It’s definitely something I think we could all work on.

Greedy wishes and unrealistic expectations

First up, I thought the Bookish Wish phase on Twitter was incredible. Gifting a book to people with no hints of the materialistic and self important traits humans often possess – it was a truly beautiful thing… while it lasted. Because there are always people out there that can turn something lovely into a complete and utter shit storm.

Bookworms were making lists of books they wanted that spread across five different pages, others were causing uproar because they wanted a hardback and got offered a paperback, and then people who had originally been gifting in the first place were getting angry that no one was gifting them a book back?

Woah. Shame on you if you did any of that because that’s not what this community should be about. It all ended up being a massive disappointment. You took away the kindness and replaced it with greed. It was horrible to watch.

It also made me dislike some people who I originally really did like. Which leads me to my next subject. Unrealistic expectations.

We are a community of thousands of people. We all have a similar passion in life. That does not mean to say that we’ll all get on with each other. It is actually really okay to not like a different book blogger. This may all be online, but it is reality and there’s no way you’ll like everyone. You don’t have to go around faking it. If you want to unfollow someone on Twitter because they’ve posted something horrible and you don’t agree with it, go ahead. No one’s going to gang up on you for standing up for what you believe in.

Obviously, don’t go around causing drama that needn’t have been caused but a simple unfollow is absolutely fine, or if you think an issue could be resolved, go and speak to that person.

We all seem to pretending that the book community is a wholesome and pure thing. It’s not. It’s majorly fractured. It’s real. Let’s stop walking on eggshells and start calling things out. I want to blog. I want to write about books and I want to engage with my readers. I also really want to see that from others.

What I don’t want to see are bloggers using other people to get where they want to go. And I want to see us stop putting so much importance on statistics and whether or not we’re popular enough to be approved for ARCS. Start caring more about your content and let that be what makes you happy.

I myself have statistic goals, but it’s not the end of the world if they’re not as high as you would like.

Be a real person, be honest and have fun. Because that’s all that matters.

ladybird

Please, please comment down below because in all honesty I have been terrified of posting this, but I really needed to get it off my chest. Do you have any issues you’d like to share? Do you agree or disagree with what I said?

Thank you for reading!

matildasignoff

August 2018 Wrap-Up

I don’t know about you but August was a pretty shitty month for me. I felt like I was getting kicked while I was down over and over again. But it’s finally finished, and I’m welcoming September with open arms. I didn’t do too well with my reading this month, but my personal life was falling apart so given the circumstances, I’m pretty happy with how I did.

I realise that I haven’t been reviewing books AT ALL recently, so I will give you a quick view of my thoughts on each book as we go along.

Book One – Open Road Summer by Emery Lord.

This story follows a young girl named Reagan O’Neill as she embarks on a trip across the USA with her best friend – country music megastar and American sweetheart, Lilah Montgomery. This is Lilah’s first headlining tour, and it all seems to be running smoothly until a counterfeit photo leaks to the press and threatens to ruin not only the show, but her whole career. Enter ex-boyband member Matt Finch – her publicity team’s attempt at creating a distraction. Sure, he may be Lilah’s fake boyfriend and all, but that doesn’t mean Reagan can’t fall for him, does it?  

Open Road Summer was exactly what I had anticipated before diving into it. A sugary sweet contemporary that was almost identical to an episode of Nashville. Lilah Montgomery felt like she was based on Taylor Swift pre-1989, and her friendship with the protagonist Reagan, reminded me so much of Taylor’s friendship with Abigail. Ignore all of this if you’ve never been a die hard Taylor Swift fan before. OpenRoadSummer

If I’m being completely honest, there wasn’t much of a plot and I did feel myself getting bored about halfway through. I loved Matt and Lilah but Reagan came across as really unlikable. She was constantly miserable, and yes, she did have a lot of issues but I don’t think she was a very realistic character. In fact she almost came across as a caricature of someone with depression at times. I suffer with my mental health, so I know what it’s like to be down all the time – but something about this representation didn’t sit well with me. 

Overall I did enjoy reading this but it was very forgettable. I gave it a 3/5 – 🍁🍁🍁

Book Two – A Court Of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court Of Wings and Ruin sees Feyre return to the Spring court undercover in an attempt to gather as much information as she can about Tamlin’s treachery and the imminent invasion that has the potential to change Prythian forever.

I put off reading this series for so long, only to fall in love with almost every aspect of it. Especially this particular book. I often find that trilogies, especially within YA, follow the same formula. Book one – sets up the whole story and introduces relationship prospects and typically hints at an impending life-changing war. Book two – often sees the main protagonist lose themselves and become a much colder, harder person because they have been chosen to lead the sudden rebellion that they accidentally caused. Book three – features mostly scenes set during the war/rebellion that was hinted at from the first chapter of the first book. acwar

For this reason, I was dreading the third novel. I am not a fan of war scenes in books at all. I find them frightfully dull, often because they’ve been written with such detail that they take up a third of the story. I needn’t have worried because despite there still being an aspect of that, there were so many other things happening at the same time that it didn’t even start to feel boring.

The main protagonists stayed true to themselves and we finally got to see a lot more of the more minor characters. The High Lords and the Archeron sisters were my personal favourites – as well as the Suriel and the oddly adorable Bryaxis.

There’s not a whole lot more I can say regarding this book because simply put, I loved every second of it.

No surprise here, but I gave it a 5/5 – 🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

Book Three – My (Secret) YouTube Life by Charlotte Seager

YouTuber LilyLoves seems to have it all. The perfect boyfriend. The perfect clothes. The perfect make-up and the perfect job. Melissa, a sixteen year old girl, has a far more ordinary life and loves to watch Lily’s videos for hours, fantasising about being her and having millions of followers. But is LilyLoves quite as perfect as she appears online and what lengths will Melissa go to, simply to be adored by everyone like her favourite YouTuber?

This was SO frustrating. The synopsis on the back cover didn’t really give me a lot to go on, so I just kind of assumed this was going to be an intense thriller about the perils of fame and beauty. Maybe á la Black Swan. mysecret

But no, unfortunately, this didn’t reach the heights it could have. The idea the author was going with could have made a really interesting story, but ultimately, this felt like a novel written for YA readers that would appeal more towards those of around 10-12. There’s nothing wrong in that of course, but it really didn’t read like a Young Adult novel so I was really disappointed.

The book itself was split into two POV’s. Lily and Melissa’s. I genuinely liked the chapters detailing the difficulties that Lily was facing, but I failed to make any sort of connection at all with Melissa. I presume we were meant to feel sorry for her, even like we could relate maybe? But she came across as a bit psychotic and not in a good way.

I know a lot of people have really enjoyed this, but it was definitely not for me. I sped through it in under three hours though, so it was at least mildly entertaining if nothing else.

The last few chapters actually felt like the point of the novel was finally realised but in the end, it just took a weird detour trying to get to it, so for that reason I gave it a 3/5 – 🍁🍁🍁

Book Four – In Paris With You by Clémentine Beauvais

In Paris With You is a novel told in the form of poetry. It follows Tatiana and Eugene after they bump into each other on the Paris metro, ten years after their last meeting. What happened in their last summer together, and will they ever be lovers after all they have been through?

paris

I still have yet to actually decide whether or not I liked this. It was certainly different and I really did like the eccentricity of it but I don’t know whether something was lost in translation as this is translated from French, or if it is just a bit..meh. Don’t get me wrong, this was filled with humorous lines and quotable sentences but I don’t think it clicked with me.

I would still highly recommend it for people who like the unusual and appreciate French humour but given I am fluent in the language, I think maybe I’d rather go and read the original and see how it compares.

Overall it was a pretty, angst filled poetry novel with a lot of French charm but I think maybe I wasn’t the write reader for it. I gave it a 3/5  – 🍁🍁🍁

Books Four, Five & Six – The Princess Diaries, Take Two and Third Time Lucky by Meg Cabot

Mia Thermopolis is an awkward fourteen year old girl. She’s incredibly tall, sucks at algebra and can never get her hair to sit right. Oh and her mum is now dating her algebra teacher too which of course makes her a downright freak and perfect target for high school bullies. That is until the day she finds out she’s the heir to the throne of a small European country called Genovia and she has to continue living her normal life, pass algebra AND learn how to run a country and act like a princess. Whew.

I picked these up a few weeks ago now because I loved the series as a teen and wanted to see if they still held up. Truth is, I don’t think they do. Maybe it’s because back in the noughties Meg Cabot felt like the Queen of YA, and in all honesty, after reading these back, they read so much more like middle grade. They’re incredibly immature and I’m really struggling to reconnect with Mia as a protagonist. She’s okay and all but I can’t seem to look past how immature she comes across. 51wf-Fs3CQL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_

Michael Moscovitz is still a sweetheart of course and definitely the highlight of these books, but even their relationship comes across as stiff and awkward.  Also Mia’s grandmother is no Julie Andrews – and there I said it. The movie is a billion times better and I can’t let go of that when I’m reading these novels. For once I consider the movie to be inherently better, and whilst I’ll continue reading this series, I’m kind of gutted.

Overall they’re okay and I’m enjoying the pop culture references but they’re just not that entertaining for a twenty two year old. I rated the first a 4/5 but the other two a 3/5 – 🍁🍁🍁

ladybird

So, that was my August wrap-up. I read six books and whilst they were enjoyable, my favourite was without a doubt A Court Of Wings and Ruin!

Thank you for reading! Please let me know how you did with your reading in August! If you’ve written a blog post, feel free to link it down below and I’ll check it out!

matildasignoff

Tackling My TBR – A problem

Once again, I am on a dreaded book buying ban. I vow from this day onward until the 1st of January 2019 to not buy any books for myself. The only loophole I am allowing myself this time is if I need to buy someone a book as a gift, but that it is it. No more silly, ‘I can buy it if it’s secondhand’ or ‘if it’s a sequel, it’s fine’.

No, I am not even going to allow myself to buy Laini Taylor’s guaranteed masterpiece Muse Of Nightmares. I must be strong. I must be vigilant against all of the gorgeous books that may lead me to commit a great act of crime against my physical TBR. NO. MORE. BOOKS. FOR. YOU, MATILDA.


So here is my plan.

From September, I will tackle all of the contemporary books on my TBR. Or at least as many of them as humanly possible. I’m definitely a mood reader, and as soon as it’s very clearly Autumn, I will be wanting to move away from fluffy romances and armchair travel novels into mystical lands and stories about houses with murderous dolls.

The exception to my contemporary binge will be Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand which I will be reading at some point in the next few weeks. I was going to use it as a way to bridge the gap between Summer and Halloween season but I’m not sure how well that will pan out yet.

As soon as October hits, I’m going to be all about horror novels and thrillers. I for one, cannot wait. Hot chocolate, blankets, candles, pumpkins and…a book about teens murdering each other on an island? Yes please.

Once October is over and November rears it’s beautiful head, I will be delving deep into far away worlds and magical castles full of political intrigue. Yes. November is fantasy and sci-fi season in my mind. With perhaps a few historical novels thrown in there for safe measure.

And then in the last month of my book ban, December – I will be all about the classics. I will most likely be catching up on some of the books I haven’t managed to read yet, but for the most part, I want to be devouring the most gorgeous stories the English language has to offer.


What I hope to achieve by trying to tackle my TBR in the last few months of the year, is that I can go back to being a reader who has a few unread books on her shelf but keeps up to date with them. I want to go into Waterstones, knowing full well that whatever I buy will be my next read. I miss being able to do that. I am drowning in books. And despite the initial acceptance of this, I am now resisting the submergence and all that it signifies! I will be free! And able to breathe again. Hopefully.


I will be doing another post on my Contemporary September TBR, so stay tuned for that!

But I want to know how you’re doing with your TBR! Have you had any success with reducing it’s size? Do you even care about doing so? Let me know down below!

Matilda x

Three Things Book Tag

It’s been a really long time since I was tagged to do a blog post, so a massive thank you to the lovely CJ at Random Melon Reads for doing so. Make sure you go and check out his original post!

Three Read Once and Loved Authorsthreeonceread

  1. Morgan Matson – Second Chance Summer was the first book I read from Matson and I fell in love with everything. From the breezy, easy to read writing style, to the fluffy romance to the more serious undertones that her books always seem to have, it was pure contemporary perfection. Just based on this book alone she’s become an ‘instant buy’ author for me – let alone after reading the heartwarming armchair travel book that was Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour.
  2. Holly Bourne – Am I Normal Yet? was not the first book I ever read by Holly Bourne but it is for sure my favourite. The realistic depiction of mental illness – OCD in this particular novel – is gut-wrenchingly honest. I have yet to read a book by Holly where I have not become at one with the main character, and all of her stories are completely gripping. 
  3. Matt Haig – There aren’t going to be that many adult novelists in this blog post as I’m definitely more of a YA girl, but Matt Haig has become one of my favourite authors based on the two books I’ve read by him. Those being The Humans and How To Stop Time. Both feature heavy emphasis on the human mind and what makes us happy.  His stories are surprisingly accessible and he’s one of the easiest writers to read. Definitely someone to check out if you want to get yourself out of a reading slump!

Three Titles I’ve Watched But Haven’t Readthreewatched

  1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman – Easily one of the scariest and best children’s films I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. As a massive fan of the creepy side of childhood innocence and the intricacies of our imagination, Coraline was the perfect story so who knows why I haven’t picked up the book yet? I’ll definitely try and get round to it soon. 
  2. The Fellowship Of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien – I’ve heard really mixed things about the books from people who absolutely adore the movies so because of that I’ve been incredibly hesitant to pick the novels up. Not only that, but they also intimidate the hell out of me. I’m sure I will purchase a beautiful set of these books soon, and when I do they will jump up my TBR but until then, yikes. 
  3. The Shining by Stephen King – Definitely one of, if not my favourite horror movie EVER. However, I read IT by the same author last year, and despite him being hailed as a great writer and a horror mastermind, his writing style really didn’t click with me. I also find the way he writes female characters incredibly problematic but that’s a topic for a whole different blog post. I will most likely pick this book up at some point in my life, but I’m in no hurry to do so.

Three Characters You Lovethreecharacters

  1. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I have been compared to Hermione on so many occasions throughout my life and despite it occasionally being used as an insult, I consider it the biggest compliment. The frizzy hair, the intelligence, the know-it-all-esque quality to her, and the fact that she’s a bookworm. What’s not to love? (Artwork by Maxy Artwork)
  2. Tarquin from the A Court Of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas – Everyone loves Rhys, everybody loves Lucien and most people hate Tamlin but I feel like no one really mentions the lovely High Lord of The Summer Court. His generosity, his commitment to a united world and his uncertainty towards trusting too easily and getting screwed over by the other high lords completely and utterly charmed me. (Artwork by morgana0anagrom)
  3. Elain Archeron from the A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – I love both Feyre and Nesta as well of course, but the sister who melted my heart was Elain. Innocent, pure and in love with nature, I spent the majority of A Court Of Wings and Ruin swooning over her and Lucien. (Artwork by Alexial April)
  4. Special mention to the Suriel and Bryaxis from A Court Of Thorns and Roses as well, and Sparrow from Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor.

Three Series’ Bingedthreebinged

  1. The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth – You probably either DNF’d these or were completely and utterly hooked. There really wasn’t an in-between. Sure, they had a lot of issues but they were addictive, fun and everything I wanted at the time from a YA dystopian. Unpopular opinion alert, but I personally hated Insurgent! 
  2. The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer – I know, I know… what a MESS. From Edward and Bella’s incredibly toxic and emotionally abusive relationship to an adult werewolf falling in love with a newborn human baby (?!?!) – this was a shambles of a series in hindsight. However, at the time, it was a lot of fun and I was totally Team Edward. 
  3. The A Court Of Thorns and Roses Trilogy by Sarah J. Maas – These books have become my babies. Aside from the highly explicit sex scenes, I adore everything to do with these books. Maas definitely has a way with words and her ability to craft such likeable characters is inspiring. 

Three Unpopular Bookish Opinionsthreeunpopular

  1. A Court Of Wings and Ruin is my favourite book from the ACOTAR trilogy – Also hands down the best cover out of the three. 
  2. I felt like the format of The Illuminae Files was a gimmick – I feel like the story was actually really strong but the format of the books totally detracted from it. I understand why some people like the originality of these but it didn’t work for me. 
  3. I prefer The Upside Of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli to both Creekwood books – Don’t get me wrong, I adore all three novels. They are insanely good. However, there’s just something special about this one that pushes it far ahead of Simon VS and Leah On The Offbeat for me.

Three Current Favourite Book Coversthreecovers

  1. Before The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill Despite the fact that it looks like a middle grade cover, this book has one of the most beautiful YA covers I have ever seen.
  2. Evermore by Sara Holland – I know that a lot of people were disappointed with the contents of the first book in this series, but you cannot deny that the covers are absolutely stunning. Especially the UK editions. Personally, I actually loved Everless and cannot wait for the release of the sequel.
  3. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw – Absolutely gorgeous. You can tell what the story is most likely going to be about from just looking at it, and have you seen under the dust jacket? I cannot wait to have this on my shelf! 

Three Goals for the YearthreeGOALS

  1. Start writing my novel – I have the very basics of the story mapped out, but I would really like to start doing my research before the end of the year. I’m super excited about where this novel could go, and hope that I actually get the motivation and time to get working on it!
  2. Gain the confidence to start requesting books from publishers – I still haven’t done this. I’m most likely at the stage where I could contact lesser known publishers and get accepted for print copies but the thought of writing a professional email and sending it off into the abyss, completely terrifies me.
  3. Finish the year  with 1000 followers on Twitter and 250 on my blog – I’ve already far surpassed where I expected to be by this time in terms of followers, so I’ve upped my original goal! I think it’s possible, but I definitely have to commit to posting regularly and not abandoning everything for months at a time.

I tag

Ash at The Book Bakery

Kate at Book Lover Kate

Aditi at Dreamy Reads

You’re welcome to not do them if you’ve been tagged, and obviously if I have not tagged you but you still want to, then go ahead and tag yourself!


What did you think of my choices? Do you agree/disagree with anything I said? Comment down below and let me know!

– Matilda x