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Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Waiting List: Five Exciting July Releases

The Waiting List is a feature hosted by PrintedWords&, to highlight some of the new, exciting releases for the upcoming month!

July has a number of book releases to look forward to but the following five titles sound incredible to me. Note that these release dates may vary depending on your country. I've noticed that Australia's releases have been later than U.S scheduled dates.

July Waiting List


Cinderella is Dead by Kaylnn Bayron
Genre: YA Fantasty/Fairytale Retelling
Release Date: July 7th, 2020

Set 200 years after the ball that Cinderella attends, it is now an annual tradition and girls will present themselves, waiting to be chosen by men who are looking for a wife. The girls who aren't selected are never heard from again. Sophia is determined not to follow through. At the ball she meets Cinderella's last descendant, Constance, and her step sisters. They come together to try and dismantle this tradition but along the way discover a secret that changes the story of Cinderella's happily ever after.

If this doesn't pique your interest I don't know what will?!

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 7th, 2020

Soraya is poisonous. She hides herself away in the castle to make sure everyone is safe. Then the day of her twin brother's wedding arrives and she must decide if she wants to continue hiding in the shadows or find answers herself. There's a demon in the dungeon who holds answers and a young man in the castle who doesn't fear her. Can Soraya really find out whether she's human or monster?

The Storytelling's Daughter
Genre: YA Fairytale Retelling
Release Date: July 14th, 2020

In the kingdom of Westfallen, everyone is born with a Gift. Except for Cosette. Her attempts to hide this misfortune causes her to be summoned to the King, demanding she use her Gift for a planned war. Desperate for a solution, she hears whispers of an old king who might be able to grant her freedom. But when she tries to enlist the help of Rumpelstiltskin, she finds him trapped in a dark curse and Cosette now has to find a way to save not just herself but Rumpelstiltskin as well.


The Year of The Witching by Alexis Henderson
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: July 21st, 2020

Immanuelle Moore lives in Bethel, a land that dedicates their life to the Father, and the word's of the Prophet. Her family has been shamed after finding out her mother has had a relationship with a stranger outside of the land. One day Immanuelle finds herself lured into the Darkwood where four powerful witches were killed by the first prophet. Their spirits hand over a gift to Immanuelle, her mother's old diary. And in this diary she finds secrets and truths that spark a new journey and life for Imannuelle.

I came by someone's explanation of this as Salem (The Crucible) meets The Handmaid's Tale and yes, I'm here for it.

This is My America by Kim Johnson
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: July 28th, 2020

Tracy Beaumont's father has been on death row for 7 years. She's been desperately trying to help him because she knows he's innocent, except time is running out. Then her brother, Jamal, is arrested for the murder of a white girl. Tracy starts investigating Jamal's relationship with Angela. It's up to her to save her family whilst uncovering the racism that has been deep rooted in her town.

This is a must read.


What Release Are You Excited For This Month?


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Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Parachutes Is The Book You Need To Read Now

Title: Parachutes
Author: Kelly Yang
Publication Date: May 26th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Add to Goodreads
They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California. Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate-team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. When her debate coach starts working with her privately, Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course.

Desperately trying to avoid each other under the same roof, Dani and Claire find themselves on a collision course, intertwining in deeper and more complicated ways, as they grapple with life-altering experiences. Award-winning author Kelly Yang weaves together an unforgettable modern immigrant story about love, trauma, family, corruption, and the power of speaking out.

Review

TW: sexual harassment, sexual assault, racism



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Sunday, 5 July 2020

Why I Almost Didn't Finish The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Title: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes 
Series: The Hunger Games #0
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publication Date: May 19th, 2020

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined -- every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute... and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Review



Rating



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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Monthly Wrap Up | I Completed My Reading Challenge in June!

June's come and gone and we're now into the later half of 2020, which sounds both entirely crazy but also not? I don't hold expectations for the rest of the year, in that I don't expect 2020 to turn out a certain way. Rather, I want to instead, be able to finish this year and say hey, amongst all the chaos in this world, I still set sight and worked towards the goals that I want to achieve. This leads me into announcing that I completed my 2020 reading challenge. YAY! I set a goal of 12 books to read, which isn't a lot, but in the last 6 years I've barely been able to complete a reading challenge so this makes me super happy and proud of myself. Anyways without further ado, this was my June! 

On The Blog

Black Lives Matter. I stand by the Black community and the anti-racism fight. Systemic racism and injustice needs to be eradicated, and has to be done through collective effort. This point is a compilation of resources, donation sites, petitions, educational sources that I have come across over the past few days. A lot of these have been put together by Black people, which I am highly grateful for because the onus is really on us to seek further information and educate ourselves.

I Discuss:
How Life Experiences Have Re-Shaped My Reading Journey

"Top Ten Tuesday"

Reading Wrap Up



Reviews

Tales from a Tall Forest by Shaun Micaleff
Catch a Falling Star by Meg McKinley
-double review here-

Monthly Book Haul


How Was June For You?


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Sunday, 21 June 2020

Double Review: Tales from a Tall Forest & Catch a Falling Star

Author: Shaun Micaleff
Publication Date: October 16th 2017
When an innocent princess wanders into the forest, she finds herself trapped between a wolf with a ravenous appetite and a sweet little house with a secret. Meanwhile, a desperate fisherman enters into a very bad bargain with a power-hungry monkey. And meanerwhile still, a tiny tricksy tailor promises a promise that not even the most magic of beanstalks can help him escape.

Author: Meg McKinley 
Publication Date: March 1st 2019 
It's 1979 and the sky is falling. Skylab, that is. Somewhere high above Frankie Avery, one of the world's first space stations is tumbling to Earth. And rushing back with it are old memories. Things 12 year old Frankie thought she had forgotten. Things her mum won't talk about, and which her little brother Newt never knew. Only ... did he? Because as Skylab circles closer, Newt starts acting strangely. And while the world watches the sky, Frankie keeps her own eyes on Newt. Because if anyone's going to keep him safe, it's her. But maybe this is something bigger than splinters and spiders and sleepwalking. Maybe a space station isn't the only thing heading for calamity.

Review


My latest reads, Tales from a Tall Forest and Catch a Falling Star, are both from Australian authors. I thoroughly enjoyed both, with Catch a Falling Star surprising me most.

Check it out what I thought of both in my double review below.


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Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To Read During Winter


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I may have cheated with this list, considering it's only asking for 10 but I've included series, in particular fantasy series as "one" read. I tend to associate winter with longer and denser reads though, which would explain my wanting to read more fantasy, as well as any book that I know weighs a ton. Something about the idea of getting into bed with a cup of warm tea and a nice, chunky book paints the perfect winter night image for me!

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR


1. The Nicci Chronicles Books 1-3: Death's Mistress, Shroud of Eternity and Siege of Stone by Terry Goodkind
Okay, so technically this is 3 books but they belong to one series that I'm trying to get into. The Nicci Chronicles is a, somewhat, continuation of Goodkind's well known fantasty Sword of Truth series. It follows the character Nicci on her adventures after the end of the previous series. I read up and was told that apparently I can read this series without reading the other so hopefully that is the case!

2. Rebel of the Sands Trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton
I happened to buy the entire series for a super low price so now I have all three and am ready to follow Amani as she attempts to cross the desert to escape her town, Dreamwalk. She's on a quest to escape her pre-destined fate and I'm hoping that I'm swept up on an exciting adventure as Amani finds freedom.

3. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Funny how this has made an appearance on my list when I only bought it yesterday. Yeah, oops. I picked up it purely because I really enjoyed Hardinge's writing and story development in A Face Like Glass. This follows Faith as she tries to unravel the mystery behind her father's death, and it involves a talking tree as well. Apparently.


4. East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity" by Philippe Sands
I added this to my 2020 reading list, which is basically made up of 13 books I want to complete by the end of the year (you can find the full list here). East West Street is a non-fiction read set during WWII and something I have been wanting to read for years now but keep putting it off. It's now or never.

5. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
The premise of this revolves around the attempted assassination of Bob Marley during the 1970s, something that I was made aware of whilst watching a Netflix documentary. Marlon James presents a fictional recount of the complexities of the political landscape and overall difficult times across a number of years.

6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I also added The Hate U Give to my 2020 reading list at the start of this year, and am determined to now read it even more.


7. Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth
Also, the second book, if possible - The Fates Divide. I've had Carve the Mark on my shelf for way too long to justify keeping it if I don't give it a go. The pressures on.

8. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
A re-read but I feel like it's time, not only because it's winter and Deathless is set in St. Petersburg during it's blistering cold, but also because it's been so, so long since I last read it that I'm sure I would appreciate it more now than before.

9. A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice & Fire #3) by George R.R Martin
Is this the year I continue on with this series? Also, now that I think about it, it's actually been so long since I last read the 2nd book that now I'm not sure if I can even continue to read-on? What to do?!

10. Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer
Ok, look I'm sorry. It's ridiculous but I know I want to read Midnight Sun when it's released so to prepare myself, I have to re-read Twilight. The last time I read this series would have to be maybe 6 years ago so this is definitely going to be something else.

What Do You Want To Read This Season?


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Thursday, 11 June 2020

Let's Talk: How Life Experiences Have Re-Shaped My Reading Journey


Today's post has been something I've been thinking about for awhile now. I feel like in the last 12 months, I've come to realise how big of an impact life lessons, views and values we develop overtime and personal encounters are in our reading journey. I believe that for everyone who enjoys reading, it isn't ever really just a hobby or an activity to past time, but rather an act of building connections/relationships with books and finding out what your reading style and choices are as well as the overall experience that you're after.

I discuss, at length (oops) how I've noticed my reading has changed, whether for the best or the worst, and where I sit with my reading journey right now.


What Has Your Reading Journey Been Like?


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Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Added To My TBR & Forgotten Why

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Books I've Added to my TBR and Completely Forgotten About

I swear this scenario applies to every single book I've added to my TBR list, or in my case, my "interest" shelf on Goodreads. I actually reserve my "To Be Read" shelf on Goodreads to keep track of the books on my shelf (IRL) that I haven't read, and the "interest" shelf for books I want to buy or read eventually. Here are 10 (out of 242 lol) that I don't quite remember why it piqued my interest:


What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
YA Contemporary - Released: 2015
What We Saw is based on a real life story, which might be why I decided I wanted to read it. It depicts a story of a girl named Kate who left a party thinking she knew exactly every detail of the night, only to realise that there were so many facts she had forgotten or maybe facts others want to bury.

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Historical Fiction - Released: 2006
One, this is a translated novel and two, it is a romance historical fiction. I've read translated novels before so qualms there but historical fiction NOT set during the Tudor times is a step outside of my comfort zone for sure so I'm not quite sure what past me was thinking. In saying, the story is about an orphan girl who falls in loves and follows the boy of her dreams towards the goal of finding gold. Surely everything goes right for them, right?

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
Non-fiction - Released: 2012
I added this to my TBR in 2016 apparently, which was definitely not when I was into non-fiction so I have no clue where I even stumbled upon this from. I did some psychology study in 2015 so maybe that influenced my wanting to read about the human brain and hallucinations. Do I want to read it now? Look, probably not.

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
YA Mystery - Released: 2016
As much as I couldn't recall ever coming across Shallow Graves I will say I'm not surprised I was intrigued by this. It tell the story of a girl named Breezy who wakes up a year after leaving a party, unsure why she's at her grave and why there is a dead person already lying in it. Honestly, thank you to this topic because 100% I will be reading this.

Infinite Jest by David Wallace Foster
Adult Fiction - Released: 2005
The blurb is better at explaining the novel:
Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.
Right now I'm just asking myself how I came by this ...?

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
YA Contemporary/LGBT - Released: 2017
I cannot believe past Tracey would be into a book called The Love Interest, but then I read the synopsis and was like ah, okay, I see. The title doesn't really give away what the story is truly about, two secret spies who are labelled "Nice" and "Bad". Their mission is to get close to a girl in the real life, but they're competing against each other. The catch? Whoever the girl doesn't choose will die. Cool, cool, cool, cool.

Muriel Avenue Sluts by Maggie Hasbrouck
New Adult - Released: 2016
I am also at a shock that this was added to my list but also not really. In fact, I really kind of want to read this now. The premise involves Julia Turnbow who is about to follow her mum's footsteps to become a sex worker for the exclusive world of the Philadelphia's Muriel Avenue Sluts. Amongst it all she has to deal with issues of abuse, betrayal and a whole lot of other issues she never thought she would face.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Fairytale Retelling (The Little Mermaid) - Released: 2018
I'm a total sucker for fairytale retellings so no surprises here. More surprised I never got around to reading this, but it takes The Little Mermaid and makes "Ariel" or in this case Princess Lira into a character who didn't necessarily want to be human and how she learns to find the middle ground between family ties and what the heart wants.

LIKEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff
YA Sci-Fi - Released: 2018
I haven't ready any Jay Kristoff books so I definitely think this was added on a whim according to the usual hype around rather famous YA authors. I'm not sure I'll be reading this but we'll see.

The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken
Historical Fiction - Released: 2018
Another historical fiction, translated novel. I guess even though I hadn't read anything of the sort, I really wanted to back then? This sounds super intriguing though, detailing a waiter's experience as he caters towards The Hill's, a famous restaurant in Oslo, wealthy diners. His day turns into disarray as a young lady arrives to meet someone she knows at table ten.

Overall, I would have to say I don't really remember ever coming across any of these titles or even what they were about until this post. If anything it means I can weed out what I really would like to read now and what I'm no longer interested in.


What Books Have You Forgotten About Adding To Your TBR?


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