S4S – Bookish Wishes

Well hello, it is I the #SixforSunday fairy again! 

How are we all on this fair Sunday? What have you all been reading today? 

I’m here today to share my answers for this week’s #SixforSunday:

Bookish Wishes

6 wishes I have for my bookish self in 2019?

  1. Melinda Salisbury and Sara Barnard to collaborate.
    This should NOT surprise anyone.
  2. Release dates to come quickly.
    There are SO MANY books I’m excited for this year that I need them to come quicker… I LOVE THE BOOKS OK?
  3. Another Kaz Brekker book
    Now we know this isn’t going to happen, but a girl can wish!
  4. More of my favourite characters
    Let’s be real, I just want more Simon/Blue, Twylla (Mel, I’m looking at you), Amani/Jin. I want more chances to be a shipper basically. I’m all about the shipping.
  5. More Northern events
    COME ON GUYS, LONDON ISN’T THE ONLY PLACE YOU CAN HOST EVENTS. *ahem*
  6. More people reading and loving MG/YA
    I LOVE seeing people who don’t usually read MG and YA reading cause it makes my heart so happy. Just cause you’re not a teenager or a child doesn’t mean you can’t read those books… YOU CAN READ ALL OF THE BOOKS. 

So yes. Bookish wishes for 2019. More of my faves, more chances to see my faves, more books. This should not surprise ANYONE.

A massive thank you for joining in this week, I think #SixforSunday has had it’s most people this week and it makes me so happy! I’m loving all your posts!

See you next week!

S x 

2018 round up!

WELL HELLO 2019.
How are you my dear darling? 

I’m here to give you a round up of the December, and then a short round up of all of the goings on in the old reading world! 

So let’s start with December! In December, I:

Finished my first term as an NQT
Read 11 books in total
Read most of those books in the Christmas holidays
Spent time sorting through a LOT of books
Laughed a lot
Hated the dark days
Rewatched so many of my favourite films
Helped pull off a brilliant nativity play with my brilliant kids
Had a lush Christmas and New Years!
Played pool for the first time in FOREVER and won!

So, what MG books did I read in December?

december mg

I was 100% spoiled with the MG books I read in December. The brilliant brilliant humans of all the publishers sent me these and I loved each and every one of them. I think The Midnight Hour is going to be SPECIAL next year when it comes out. The world building and the characters were just exceptional. Keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks for reviews on all of these books! 

What about YA, Steph? Did you abandon it like you did a few months ago?

NO NO I DID NOT.

december ya

I had a thoughly enjoyable December in YA books. All of these books I adored for very different reasons. Oh My Gods was such a brilliant tale; Dry was dystopian that could be; Slay was just fun and This Lie Will Kill You terrified me. Watch out for full reviews of all of these books to come! I have lots to say about all of them! 

As December was the last month of 2018, my book challenge round ups are for the WHOLE YEAR. 

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 113/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 99/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 162/52

I read some ABSOLUTE SMASHERS this year. I think 2018 was an incredible year for books. I had quite a lovely time going through my Goodreads challenge to see all of the books I read! Check them all out below!

Just look at all of them together!
What a beautiful set of books I read in 2018! 

Here’s to 2019!

How did you do on your reading challenges?
What was December like reading wise for you?
What 2019 releases are you most excited for?

Talk to me! I’d love to know your thoughts!

S x

BOOK BLOG: S.A. Patrick

A Darkness of Dragons: a brilliant adventure!

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“After playing a forbidden spell-song to save a village from rats, 12-year-old piper Patch Brightwater is thrown in jail. But there he meets Wren – a noble girl under a rat-shaped curse – and together they befriend Barver, a fearsome dracogriff, and set off on a grand adventure filled with sorcerers, dragons, bandits…and one very deadly enemy.
From the depths of the Tiviscan dungeons to the highest peak of Gemspar Mountain, this stunning book reminds us of the soaring joy of adventure, the captivating danger of magic, and of the delight of finding friends in unexpected places.”

The brilliant humans of Usborne sent me a copy of A Darkness of Dragons a while back, but I’ve been in a bit of a state of reader’s block (as I explained in my November wrap up post). I’ve just been unable to read/do anything bookish of late… blame it on tiredness/SAD/general life. I read the first five chapters of this before said reader’s block started. Then, on Saturday, I picked this back up and within the space of a few hours I had CONSUMED the whole thing – that’s how good it is! 

This book is based in the world of the Pied Piper of Hamelin (which for me made my heart SO SO HAPPY – I love when books are based around traditional tales. If someone could write a book like this based on Rumplestiltskin, that would be incredible! I am a massive Rumplestiltskin fan!). Obviously, the Pied Piper is a terrible man and in this world, pipers are well loved and respected people. I loved the world of the pipers – the thought that music and magic were very much intertwined was a sheer delight to read. This was one of those books that once I was there, I was immersed in the world. I was walking through the forest with Patch and co. It’s an incredible world to be part of too… although I don’t know that I’d survive ha!

As well as this book being an incredible adventure, a young man, his dragon friend, his rat friend and an adventure to save their world, it features some absolutely incredible characters. Patch (the main character) is an incredibly brave and somewhat stubborn protagonist that I think kids will absolutely adore. Throw in Wren, a brilliant young girl who has been hexed into being a rat, and an incredibly sarcastic and dry dracogriff in the mix and you have this excellent bunch of characters who I just wanted more from. (I can’t wait for book 2 because I am a SUCKER for sequels!)

There’s some brilliant themes of friendship in this story. Unexpected friendships particularly. I loved the friendship that grew between Patch and Wren in particular. It showed that friends are there to support and guide each other through everything. These friends don’t have it easy, but they stick through the thick and the thin with each other! I mean, how many friends would stick by you when you’re thrown into one of the worst prisons imaginable?!

I think this book is going to go down a STORM at school. I can’t wait to hand it to some of the readers in my class. 

Have you read A Darkness of Dragons?
Can you think of a story you’d love to see revived?
Would you like a dragon friend?

Talk to me! Send me a dragon… please… someone?! Massive thanks to Usborne for sending me a copy!

S x 

November wrap up!

It may be December 10th, but I still am yet to round up my (rather pitiful looking) November reads!

In November, I:

Only read 3 books!
Started a few books, but my brain wouldn’t let me read.
Suffered from some pretty bad SAD.
Was a bit poorly.
Slept a lot.
Started rehearsing for the Christmas play at school.
Experienced my worst reading block for a while.
Did some Christmas shopping!

My November in books is a pretty TINY pile comapred to some months… but hey, when you’re not in the mood, you’re not in the mood!

The books I managed to get through were:

2 YA books and 1 kids book. 

I was SO VERY FORTUNATE to be send a proof copy of Fierce Fragile Hearts and I consumed it in a matter of hours a few weekends ago. I’m currently still trying to process my thoughts on it, but I tell you this guys, you NEED to get on it. It’s out next year and I just think Sara Barnard has yet again written an absolute winner. She is 100% one of my faves.

I’ve written a review of The Boneless Mercies here and my review of Fortunately, The Milk is to come!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 105/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 92/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 152/52

Now, for all this month wasn’t a GREAT success reading wise, I am still streets ahead of my yearly goal… which pleases me to no end! I’m hoping to read 4 books in December, so that I’m on 156 books (300% of my original target). Bring on the Christmas holidays!

How is your yearly goal looking?
Are you looking forward to Christmas festivities too?
What’s on your Christmas to read pile?

Let me know in the comments!

S x

The Bookish Naughty or Nice tag

Morning troops!

How are we all? What’s going down this here Friday morning? Has Christmas reached your house yet? 

As we all know, Christmas is the time when you are deemed “naughty or nice”, so I thought I’d find a naughty or nice themed tag to do! I luckily found the perfect one… a bookish one on my friend Amy’s blog. You should check out her post here.

Received an ARC and not reviewed it: Naughty

Now I have never done this on PURPOSE, but I can imagine there’s an ARC or two in my collection that I’ve not reviewed.

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley: Nice

I’ve not used Netgalley for ages as my Kindle has been dead for a good few months. I need to find my charger lead. There’s so many brilliant books on the old NG that I need to get on!

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

Again, not purposefully. I ALWAYS intend on reviewing, but there’s bound to be one that’s slipped under the net. I always review on GR as I use it to track my books.

Folded down the page of a book: Nice

This is sheer heracy. I am a page rememberer (much to the dismay of my best friend!)

Accidentally spilled on a book: Nice?

I PROBABLY have in the past, but keep your hot drinks away from my books thanks.

DNF’d a book this year: Nice

Nope. I’ve read and finished EVERY book I started this year. I’m not one who DNFs very often.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it: Nice?

I THINK. But let’s be real… I probably have. I’m sure one of my friends will correct me on this one haha!

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

Guilty as sin. Some weekends all I need to do is switch off and read.

Skim read a book: Naughty

Yep. Who hasn’t?!

Completely missed your Goodreads goal: Nice

Nope, I always hit my goal. I aim for a book a week, so I always hit it.

Borrowed a book and not returned it: Naughty

I still have one of my friend Charlotte’s books from like a few months ago. I’ll get round to reading it EVENTUALLY.

Broke a book buying ban: Naughty

MORE THAN LIKELY.

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

LOL, I’m a book blogger. What do you expect?

Wrote in a book you were reading: Naughty

My friends and I used to do a thing where we’d send a book around – it was so lush to see what each of us thought of the different scenes!

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads: Nice

TECHNICALLY, I’m naughty for this because I don’t add picture books to my GR… I know I know, I need to.

Let me know your thoughts about my responses! I’d love to hear how you would answer these prompts!

S x 

The ‘Totally Should Have’ Tag

Hello again! Just me back with more tag goodness! I’m loving the tag lifestyle here.

I don’t remember where I saw this tag, but I’ve had the notes about thgis tag in my blogging notebook for months so I fitured I would get round to posting it finally! This is the ‘Totally Should Have’ tag, where I weigh in on books that totally should have… something or other!

1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

Image result for simon vs. the homosapien agenda

Hmmm… Simon vs the HomoSapiens Agenda. To be fair, I just want a sequel of Simon and Blue goodness because my word I ship that HARD.

2. Totally should’ve had a spin off series

Image result for floored cover

Floored! I would’ve loved to see more about the lives of the crew, especially Hugo (despite the fact I thought he was a dick ha!) or Kaitlyn (cause she was an absolute darling).

3. An author who totally should write more books

Image result for emery lord books

Oooooooooooooh, interesting question! Emery Lord would be one of my candidates! Most of the authors who I think should write more books are currently writing more books, so I don’t know that I can nominate them.

(If you’re reading though Barnard, Salisbury, Evans, Hargrave et al… I mean you lot!)

4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

I have NO idea for an answer for this question. As a serial shipper, this is something I feel strongly about. Let me get back to you!

5. Totally should’ve ended differently

Image result for thunderhead book

The ending of Thunderhead BAFFLED me. I still loved it, but I just didn’t get it. I’m very much looking forward to the third book… but yeah, BAFFLING.

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

Image result for six of crows duology

I stand firm that Six of Crows deserves a movie or 3.

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show

Image result for the extinction trials

The Extinction Trials by S.M.Wilson would make a great TV series in my opinion.

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view

Again, this is one where I’m torn because I LOVE multiple perspective books. I don’t think I’ve read one that I didn’t like the other perspective. Some books have TOO MANY perspectives, which BAFFLES me to no end.

9. Totally should have a cover change

ANY COVER THAT HAS A PERSON ON THE FRONT. Not an illustration, but an ACTUAL person. Anyone who knows and has ever been book shopping with me will know that this is very much my least favourite thing about covers.

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH. Controversial. I do not know though. I think MOST cover changes are done for the GOOD of the covers having shelf appeal.

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

Image result for me before you book

Me Before You. That second book I did not believe AT ALL and haven’t gotten round to reading the third book because I disliked the second one so much.

There we go!

Do you agree with any of my answers? 
What would your answers be?
Have you got any covers that you hate?
DO you agree with me on the “take people off the covers of books”?

Speak to me! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

S x

 

The Reader Problems Tag

HAPPY FRIDAY. How are we all? Have we all survived another week? What have we all been up to? Today I come to you with a tag I’ve seen floating around for a while. I don’t recall where I first saw it, but I stole the questions from my friend Aoife’s blog (check it out here)

Let’s go with the “reader problems tag”!

1. You have 20,000 books in your TBR, how in the world do you decide what to read next?

I am 100% a mood reader, so I will read whatever I am in the mood to read. If I HAVE to read a book, I am so much less likely to actually enjoy reading it.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you put it down or are you committed?

I’m a finisher. I’m stubborn. I will finish a book through thick and thin. Unless I GENUIENLY can’t wade through any more of it, I’ll stick by it.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re behind on your reading challenge, do you try to catch up? And if so, how?

I’ll just keep reading? If I get to my target, great. If not, no one died because I didn’t read the books I said I would… so it’s all gravy.

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

Lol, I’ll cope because I HAVE TO. If the publishers then release the series with matching covers, you KNOW I will be buying the matching covers. I’m all for matching.

5. Everyone and their mother loves a book that you do not. Who do you bond with over your shared feelings?

Tbh, I’ll survive. I have a merry band of book loving friends who will listen to me. We have differences of opinions on books and that’s cool.

6. You’re reading a book in public and you’re about to start crying. How do you deal?

Cry, lol. I always tell the story of coming back from YALC last year, when I was reading The Last Wild by Piers Torday (brilliant MG book, would recommend to all of the humans) and I was genuinely bawling. The man beside me tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was OK because I was crying so hard, ha!

7. The sequel to a book you loved just came out but you’ve forgotten a lot of what happens. Are you going to reread it?

Not likely. I might reread my review or check out the synopsis on the internet. Or I’ll ask one of my friends to remind me of the plot.

8. You do not want anyone to borrow your books, how do you politely say no when someone asks?

I don’t generally say no? I dunno, my books are very precious to me… but I wouldn’t deny someone.

9. You have picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over this reading slump?

I’m not often in a slump, but if I ever am… I try and read something OUT of that type. I’ll read an MG if YA isn’t tickling my fancy, and vice versa.

10. There are so many books coming out that you are dying to read, how many do you end up buying?

Most of them? I work hard for my money, so why shouldn’t I treat myself?

11. After you purchase all of these books that you’re dying to read how long do they sit on your shelves before you get to them?

It all depends on WHO it is and how much time I’ve been waiting (Salisbury, Barnard, Evans… I’m looking at you!)

If you fancy taking on this tag, go for it! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my answers!

S x

October in books!

Well hello November, you snuck up on me indeed.

I’m not sure where October went (it took half of my half term with it too!), but here we are… the end of another month, around for another bookish round up!

In October, I:

Visited Edinburgh with my favourite.
Spent most of my half term poorly.
Loved every second of being a teacher.
Got to interview David Levithan and Laura Steven at Waterstones (!!)
Went out to breakfast with my best friends.
Finished my first half term as an NQT.
Sang a lot of Livin on a Prayer.
Read 15 books (!!)

October was a pretty incredible month! I NEVER expected to have read 15 books! That’s blown my mind a little bit!

What MG did I read?

october mg

A Chase in Time – Sally Nicholls *
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters – Andrea Beaty *
The Dog That Saved Christmas – Nicola Davies *
Isadora Moon Makes Winter Magic – Harriet Muncaster *
Max the Detective Cat: The Phantom Portrait – Sarah Todd Taylor *
The Boy Who Lived With Dragons – Andy Shepherd *
The Truth Pixie – Matt Haig
A Pinch of Magic – Michelle Harrison *

* reviews to come!

What about YA?

october ya

Thunderhead – Neal Shusterman*
And The Ocean Was Our Sky – Patrick Ness*
Jack of Hearts and Other Parts – L. C. Rosen*
Someday – David Levithan
Firebird – Elizabeth Wein*

Anything else?

I also read The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I am a massive Mitch Albom fan. My review of this is to come!

I’m really chuffed with how many books I managed to read last month! There were definitely some stand outs! Keep your eyes peeled this week for a round up of reviews and some more in depth reviews too!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 104/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 91/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 148/52

Now that it’s November, we will be in for full swing Christmas mode at school! I am also  sticking to my pledge of reading every night before bed.

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in October?
Do you prefer my in depth reviews or my round ups?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

 

Giving a part of yourself…

This past weekend, I was at an amazing day of CPD centred all around reading. At this conference, Piers Torday spoke and said something that has stuck with me, something I hadn’t even thought of, but something that I think is so true. It’s one of those quotes that just hits the nail on the head and then resounds with you for a long time.

“Recommending a book is like giving a part of yourself”

(It wasn’t those exact words, but it was that sentiment nonetheless)

Let that sit with you for a little moment. I’m a day in from hearing that quote (as I write this blog post) and it still blows my mind a little.

I think it’s so important to remember that recommending books is something that happens naturally. We enjoy a book, we want to tell people we enjoyed the book, we hope they also enjoy the book. The act of recommending isn’t the bit that’s scary, it’s the other bit. It’s the someone reading the book and seeing a little bit into who you are. 

Recommending books reveals so much about who you are. Whether that’s as a reader, a person, a thinker, a doer. Recommending books (for either OMG I LOVED IT or MEH it wasn’t for me reasons) reveals so much about your self – the characters and actions you approve of, the ones you question, the stories you relate to. Revealing these things can be quite a scary thing.

We’ve all that terrifying moment of recommending one of our favourite books to someone and “OMG what if they don’t like it?“. I don’t think it’s the “what if they don’t like the book?” bit that scares us, it’s the “this book meant something to me, I hope that person can see it and doesn’t then judge me for it” bit (for me it is anyway, I shan’t generalise).

What you’re saying when you recommend a book to someone is essentially “there’s something in this book that speaks to who I am, deep down, and I don’t mind you seeing it, finding it, exploring it, knowing it about me”. That’s massive.

There’s something very personal about recommending a book to someone, but it’s very liberating. It can open doors, conversations, perspectives that you might never have lived before. 

S x

Would you rather…? Bookish edition

Hello there friends!

Today I’m doing a tag I saw on my friend Amy’s blog, filled with ‘would you rather…?’ type questions (Those of you who have seen any of my events know that I love a would you rather…? question!). Check our Amy’s post here.

1. Would you rather have a friend who loses your books, or one who dog-ears them?

Either way I’d need new friends ha! I think I’d rather have my original dog-eared copy back than not get it back!

2. Would you rather secretly love a book everyone else hates, or secretly hate a book everyone else loves?

Hmmm… I think there’s definitely some books I don’t like that lots of people love… so probably the second option.

3. Would you rather be stuck on a very long plane or train ride without a book?

Who travels anywhere without a book? What kind of strange being do you think I am? However, I’d rather be on a train ride without a book. There’s more to look at out of the window.

4. Would you rather have dinner with your favorite author or your favorite character?

My favourite authors. If I could have dinner with some of my favourite authors, I think I’d just die. That would be excellent. Plus, it could ACTUALLY happen. (Sara, Mel, Katie, Alwyn, Laura, Maz, Kiran: I’m looking at you!)

5. Would you rather date a character you have a crush on or your crush from real life?

Lol. Get me on a date with Jin from Rebel of the Sands trilogy NOW THANKS.

6. Would you rather have your favorite book turned into a movie, or your favorite movie turned into a book?

I’d rather have my favourite book turned into a movie. I never think that movies into books quite have the same impact. Books that are turned into movies are different – there’s always so much more in the book.

7. Would you rather read a book with an annoying cliffhanger, or one where your favorite character is killed off?

WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THIS? What do you by annoying? I am not a massive fan of cliffhangers to be honest. I like my books to end rounded, all loose ends tied up. But I also like my favourite characters to keep existing (Salisbury, I’m looking at you). So if I’m being true to the question, I’ll have to go for cliffhangers.

8. Would you rather lose the ability to read any new books, or the ability to reread books you’ve already read?

Oh this one’s easy. I RARELY reread books, so I’d rather never be able to reread books.

9. Would you rather live in a library or a bookstore?

Oooooh good question. I’m going to go for a book shop. I don’t know why, but that’s my answer.

10. Would you rather lose your place or get a paper cut every time you read a book?

Paper cuts are badtimes. I’ve got a pretty good memory so I’ll go for losing my palce everytime thanks.

11. Would you rather have to always read in the dark, or always read books with tiny text?

Oh lord, reading in the dark. I can use my phone light to see the words. Small text is not funtimes.

12. Would you rather read by a fireplace, or on the beach?

ON A BEACH OK. I bloody love the beach.

And there you go! Some choices for my ‘Would you rather…?’ questions!

What do you think of my choices? Talk to me! Tweet me! Send me a cocktail to the beach with your question!

S x