Thursday Tag:Winter Wonderland Book Tag

Happy Thursday friends!

How are you all? We are here again. Thursday. You know what that means. It’s a tag day.

How do you all feel about tags? Do you like doing them? Do you like reading them? Have you got a good one that you want me to do? I need more tags in my life!

ww tag

Today, I’m taking on the Winter Wonderland Tag. I know it’s not TECHNICALLY winter yet, but here, in my world, it is. It’s cold and dark all the time and my body knows that it’s winter… (as usual, I’m not sure where I found this tag as I’ve just saved the questions, so if it’s your tag, shout at me because I’d love to credit you!)

One: What book is so happy and so sweet that it just warms your heart?

Image result for unconventional maggie harcourt"Unconventional – Maggie Harcourt
I remember reading this book and just SMILING. It was such a lovely book and it’s nice every now and again to come across books which are great at just making you smile.

Two: What’s your favorite book with a white cover?

Image result for scars like wings cover"Scars Like Wings (proof edition) – Erin Stewart
I don’t know if this is cheating because it’s the proof cover, but I just think it’s so simple, yet so effective.

Three: You’re sitting in a nice, comfortable chair with a cup of hot chocolate. What monster book are you reading?

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The Toll – Neal Shusterman
This book was A MAMMOTH READ. 630 pages of absolute stress. 630 pages of not knowing what was going to happen next. I think I need to be able to read it again as I know what’s coming to enjoy it. Can not recommend enough though. PROPERLY BLOODY GREAT.

Four: Its snowing outside and you decide you want to have a snowball fight. What fictional character do you want to have this snowball fight with?

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Song of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
Luvian Fen. I need say no more. You guys know I love him.

Five: Sadly, your campfire is dying. What last few chapters of a book would you throw in the fire to revive it and keep yourself warm?

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
I have NO doubt this will be a very unpopular opinion, but my god I hated the “twist” at the end about the relationship between two of the characters. I finished this book at the beginning of the year and I am STILL annoyed about how it ended. Sorry like. I loved the book though… I just couldn’t get away with the ONE thing at the end.

Six: What book do you love so much that you would buy another copy of it to give to someone as a Christmas gift (or any gift really) to inspire them to start reading?

LOL ALL OF THE BOOKS. Seriously? Nope. I can’t choose just one, soz. I might make this question into an actual blog post though…

Seven: Who do you tag?

You. Her. Him. Them. Anyone. All of you. None of you (if you don’t want to).

And there you go! My attempt at the Winter Wonderland book tag. It was somewhat successful! If you’d like to have a go, feel free!

S x

BLOG TOUR: The Pearl in the Ice

Good morning everyone!

Today is a very exciting day as I have to share with you something very wonderful and fun. As you can tell from the title of this blog post, I am hosting a stop on the ‘The Pearl in the Ice’ blog tour. This book, which was released earlier this month from Chicken House, is absolutely wonderful. I am here to share with you an extract… the very first chapter that had me gripped, asking questions and wanting to read on from the get go!

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“Marina’s father, a naval captain, has been away for most of her life – certainly since her mother died – and yet Marina feels the pull of an ocean she’s never known. When sent to boarding school to learn to be a lady, Marina decides instead to stow away on her father’s ship. A perilous voyage awaits – but where are they sailing to and why, and what has it to do with the dark shape in the deep that seemsto be following them?”

Click the link to read the extract!
Pearl in the Ice extract 1

A massive thank you to Nina for asking me to be part of this blog tour and to the publishers Chicken House for sending me a copy of the book! My review will be up in the next few days… one of my children stole the book before I got the chance to finish it!

S x

Me, my shelves and I

Good morning friends!

How are you all on this here Monday? Have you had a restful weekend? Did you get up to anything exciting?

A while ago (and I mean QUITE A WHILE AGO) I posted a blog post all about my book shelves, and since then I’ve had a little reshuffle so I thought I’d share what my bookshelves look like now. I’m really interested in posts like this. I love a ‘what’s in my bag?’ kind of blog post or Youtube video, so if you have one, link me below and I will check it out cause I am a NEBBY NORA.

A disclaimer: These books aren’t ALL of the books I own. There is in fact a whole bookshelf of books at school which belong to me. There’s books in the drawers under my bed which I own. There’s 2 boxes full of books which are still to be read. There’s 2 boxes of books which are picture books I use for school. There’s a big pile of non-fiction that is for school/to be read. These shelves are 2 deep. You can only see the front row of books because they are FAVES.

I promise you… my bedroom is just books. And a bed ha.

First up: my shelf of “favourite” picture books.

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These aren’t all my favourites because there’s some at school, and there’s some in my ‘Picture books for school’ box too. As you can see, they’re roughly split into hardbacks (I do own the other hardback HP books which are out now too) and paperbacks. There’s some candles in the middle from when my friend owned a candle shop, some zippy pouch things filled with samplers from YALCs past (the blue spotty one with the black zip is actually from a bag making workshop I did with Melinda Salisbury – my one true queen).

Next shelf down: my YA faves shelf

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I don’t think anything on this shelf will come as a surprise to anyone. (No I don’t know why my collection goes picture books, YA books and then MG books either). This shelf is pretty much front and centre on my bookshelves, so it has pride of place in my room. As you can see there’s some absolute Steph faves on these shelves. This is where you’ll find my collections of my fave authors. And it’s fair to say that these books are by my utter faves. There’s proofs and finished copies of books where I can have them too (and even some American versions of Sara Barnard books, provided by the lady herself. Sara, I love you!) I really need more room for my YA books because there are so many more books I’d love to ook at everyday, but these ones are my utter faves. The book wrapped in a map is actually a copy of Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury that I was sent for being on her blog tour, but I can’t bring myself to unwrap it! Don’t be fooled by these shelves though… I own multiple copies of every Mel book. In the black drawstrings you can see, there’s my hardback State of Sorrow book that was a Fairyloot exclusive. So yeah. There’s my YA shelf!

Third shelf down: My MG faves!

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Much like my YA shelf, this shelf and the books on it will not come as a surprise to many people! Front and centre is of course my fave Maz of all time. These shelves house some of my favourite kids books that I’ve read in recent years (as well as a few candles from my friend’s now non-existent candle shop). This shelf and my YA shelf really highlight to me the love that I have for fantasy books. Bloody love me some fantasy! And yes, yes, I do own 3 copies of The Explorer by Katherine Rundell (a proof, a hardback and a paperback… sue me!).

And that’s it for today! If you’re interested in seeing what my shelves USED to look like and seeing if they’ve changed recently, go check out THIS POST.

Have you shared your book shelves recently?
What’s your favourite thing about your book shelves?
What’s something you’re surprised to see on my shelves?

Talk to me in the comments! I’d love to know your thoughts and I’d love to see your own shelves, cause I’m a nosy person!

S x

S4S – Books with blue covers

Good afternoon friends and foes alike!

How are you on this chilly Sunday day? I hope it is warmer where you are than it is in Newcastle as it is CHILLY. I say that… in the sun it’s warm enough, but in the shade it is CHILLLLLL.

Anyway, enough of my whinging about the cold. You’re here for this week’s #SixforSunday post and I’m loving seeing what you all are sharing! Share your link in the comments for everyone to go and check out! This week’s theme was:

Books with blue covers

Now as I recently realised, I read a lot of books with blue covers, so I literally could have been here for EVER showing you different ones. I’m going to try and share 6 books that I don’t share often in the hopes of recommending something new to everyone! I’ll also share my Goodreads review too so you can see what I thought of the book!

Storm Witch: Storm’s story is brilliantly told and I am very curious about what’s to come. This is perfect for Y5+! Danger, magic and acceptance are encapsulated in this story, with a dash of the importance of being kind. I loved the sense of community life on the island and Storm’s kind, if not a bit stubborn, nature!

Look Both Ways: Just finished this and it’s a proper delight. Jason Reynolds keeps writing absolute winners. This book tells the same walk home from a wonderful mix of characters and I just adored each of them. The friendship, the love, the sense of community in the book gave me such warm vibes. The stories are the perfect length and I think this would make an absolutely wonderful read aloud to a Y5/6 class!

Frostheart: GUYS. This is exceptional. It’s fun, daring, dangerous and cool. I absolutely loved my journey on Frostheart with Ash and the crew. A proper icy cold ride, with a massive heart. The illustrations throughout add so much too. Absolute smasher!

Amelia Fang: I love Amelia Fang stories and they just keep being wonderful! They’re full of fun and gorgeous illustrations!

All The Things We Never Said: Well this is bloody amazing. It made me cry, made me cross and made me happy. I don’t have words right now for this. The power of friendship, but also the power of negative thoughts is discussed in this book.

The Boy Who Steals Houses: Deary me. Sam – what a pickle you find yourself in. This book is just magnificent. I am a crying mess. This book is hard edges and summers days. It’s light and dark. It’s love and hate. It’s everything I needed. The thing that really makes this book is it’s characters. I just adored every single thing.

And there you have it! My 6 books with blue covers!

Don’t forget to share your link in the comments so me and other people can check out your #SixforSunday post!

See you next week!

S x

Thursday Tag: The Fireworks Book Tag

Hello friends!

I know it’s been Bonfire Night but SHUSH. I’m not a massive Bonfire night fan. Here I am, late as ever, with my take on the Fireworks Book Tag. (I don’t remember where I found this, so please, if it’s your tag, let me know so I can credit you!)

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SCREAMERS
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU WANT TO SCREAM! (IN A GOOD OR BAD WAY)

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This book GENUINELY made me want to scream. Whether it was screaming with laughter or anger, this book is just everything I need. I have definitely screamed about this to plenty of people in the world because I love it SO MUCH. Laura is a PROPER genius and she just writes gorgeously brilliant and hilarious characters who have a purpose. Izzy O’Neill is my babe. 

BOMBERS
A BOOK YOU READ BEFORE IT EXPLODED IN THE BOOK COMMUNITY 

Image result for no big deal

I felt like a lucky duck when I got to read this because Bethany Rutter is one of my absolute inspirations in life. She’s gorgeous, she’s smart, she’s hilarious and she’s an amazing author. This book is EXCEPTIONAL and it deserves every single bit of praise it has got. I’ve loved seeing everyone just go mad about this book. PLEASE KEEP GOING MAD OVER IT. If you haven’t read it yet, please do!

BANGERS
A BANNED BOOK YOU READ 

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I had to go and research which books have been banned and I was surprised as to some of the books I found on the lists. It doesn’t surprise me that Nineteen Eighty Four is on the list though… we studied it for GCSE and I really loved it. I’d read it again (if I ever started doing that!)

PEONY
A BOOK/AUTHOR YOU THINK EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ

Image result for paper magician 

This series is EVERYTHING. I read them on a whim on my kindle about 2 years ago and I just think EVERYONE should read them. They are not talked about nearly enough for my liking! They’re just wonderful. It’s a trilogy (Paper Magician, Glass Magician and Master Magician) and they’re just a brilliant fantasy series with brilliant characters. Please someone tell me they’ve read them!

CROSSETTE
A BOOK/SERIES WITH A COMPLICATED PLOT 

scythe trilogy

(I’m not sure what’s wrong with this picture… soz pals!)

The Scythe trilogy gets a BIT complicated by the time you come to the end of book 2. Book 3 makes it all clear, but there was definitely a bit of me that was CONFUZZLED as to what was going on. Don’t let put you off though… it is an EXCEPTIONAL series. 

DIADEM 
A BOOK/SERIES WITH AMAZING CENTRAL CHARACTERS 

Image result for sara barnard

Now, you’ll need to read Beautiful Broken Things first… but these two books follow the same bunch of characters and I just. I love them ok? They’ve got a very special part of my heart the gals in these books. And Sara also has a very special part of my heart too. If you do not know of Barnard’s writing, then please go and check them out.

(While you’re there… get yourself State of Sorrow and Song of Sorrow because Sorrow and Luvian are the most amazing characters ever… but I didn’t want to be TOO predictable!)

MATCHES
LIGHT YOUR OWN FIREWORKS BY TAGGING FIVE PEOPLE

I’m not gonna tag 5 people because I am a REBEL. But if you feel you’d like to do this (Charlotte), then go for it!

What did you think ofmy answers?
Are you a fireworks fan?

See you all soon!

S x

Half term happy post

Having time to myself. Spending time with my favourite people. In jokes. Knowing that I can switch off and switch back on. Seeing my Welsh pal for the first time in forever. Train travels. Reading. Spending quiet time with people. Naps. Laughing a lot. Excellent food. Breakfast. Lots of breakfast. Lie ins. Hot water bottles. Getting up knowing I’ll see my favourite people. Cuddles. Cakes. Lovely texts. Knowing the people I love are safe. Plenty of cups of tea. Quilliams. Looking after myself. Reading lots of brilliant books. Meeting doggos. Pick and mix. Takeaway YA does half term. Having people around me who I am comfortable being silent with. People trusting my opinion. Doing something productive. Being thanked. Book post. Unwinding. Relaxing. Not thinking about work for a minute. Switching off. Walks along the coast. Being by the sea. The comfort of home. The excitement of travels. Watching my friends together. Listening to conversations. Having a good catch up. Running up to Christmas. Buying Christmas presents. Reading that book you’ve waited months for. Being comfortable around people. Not worrying. Reading. Always reading. 

October in books

Hello friends!

We are a few days into November now, so it’s about time I share with you what I read in October. I had a more productive reading month in October because of half term and reading dates with some of my favourite people! I do enjoy half term and the fact it allows me to read more. It’s always nice to unwind and unwinding with a book is one of the best ways to unwind. 

october in books

I read kids books, YA books and an autobiography this month! Branching out a little (ha!) is always good for me… although it helps when the autobiography I was reading was from one of the people who I think is the loveliest in the world (more on that later!).

Let’s start with MG books…

october 19 mg

I managed to get through 7 MG books last month. I have to say as well, they are all absolute corkers! I enjoyed each and every single one of them for very different reasons. There’s something for everyone in this pile of MG books. I was absolutely delighted to get my hands on the new Jason Reynolds book because I ADORE Ghost and Patina… and this one does not disappoint! Reviews for all of these books coming in the next few weeks!

Now the few YA books I read…

october 19 ya

I was really chuffed to get through 3 YA books. My TBR pile is definitely a lot more MG than YA at the minute! Saying that, anyone who has been following this blog for long enough will know that seeing The Toll on that list of books is INCREDIBLE. I’ve been pestering the delightful humans of Walker about release since I finished book 2 (last year) and when they sent me a copy, I was over the moon. I’m still formulating my thoughts for that book because it is A LOT. The other two books were also brilliant. Again, reviews for these will be coming in the next two weeks.

Now for the autobiography…

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I don’t think this book will come as a surprise to anyone. I am a MASSIVE Queer Eye fan. I was a massive fan of the original series, but this new series just stole my heart. I think JVN is one of the most amazing people on the planet and this book just confirmed this for me. Can completely recommend this book!

And that’s it.

HOW AM I DOING FOR MY BOOK CHALLENGES?

GOODREADS CHALLENGE: 125/52
#52BOOKS CHALLENGE (JUST KIDS BOOKS): 66/52

This was short and sweet, but thanks for stopping by! Talk to me in the comments!

How did you do with your reading in October? 
What were your stand out books from last month?
What are you still dying to read from this year?

S x

S4S – Snowy books

Hello friends

How are you all doing? Welcome to a brand new month here at #SixforSunday where we are taking a new load of prompts! November sees the weather taking a turn for the chilly and therefore our prompts are a little chillier!

Today we are taking on:

Books with snow/ice in the title!

I found this trickier than I should have ha!

I went ALL SNOW. ALL OF THE SNOW ALL OF THE BOOKS. (I hate snow in reality! It’s lush to look at, but if I have to go out and be a human in the snow I am NOT down with that!)

I can’t wait to see if you all struggled with that as much as I did (ha!).

Thank you so much for sticking with me this year! If you have any ideas for prompts for #SixforSunday for 2020 then let me know! I’m going to do some thinking over the next few days and I’ll post the prompts before the end of the month!

You’re all amazing! See you next week for ‘Books with blue covers’ 

S x