Thursday 30 July 2020

Three Reasons Why American Street Is My Favourite Read Right Now

Title: American Street
Author: Ibi Zoboi
Publication Date:  February 14th, 2017
Genre: YA Contemporary
On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?


TW: racism, classism, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, graphic and explicit scenes, violence, use of drugs

I loved this book so much that I've decided to include in my Blog Anniversary giveaway to celebrate PrintedWords& turning 8! You can enter this international giveaway here and celebrate with me!

Friday 24 July 2020

It's Been 8 Years On Here! So What Does Blogging Mean To Me Now?


It really does feel surreal to say that I have had PrintedWords& for 8 years now. I started this blog in 2012 and since then it has been a somewhat turbulent but very memorable journey. So here's a post to reminisce, celebrate and reflect on what blogging means to me now!

I will admit that even though I've reached the 8th year anniversary, there has definitely been stages, long stages, where I didn't post regularly or disappeared altogether. I've written posts before about my lack of commitment, falling out of love with reading and feeling the pressures of posting. The last 3 years I would say was when I really stepped away because I was forgetting why I had started PrintedWords& in the first place.

I had a rather successful time with my blog during 2013 to mid 2015. It was so exciting, connecting with other bloggers, finding my numbers increasing and receiving attention from book publishers and authors. Looking back I think I got swept away with the highs of "success". I put pressure on myself to keep up with the new books, trends and what I thought content should look like to keep seeing increases in numbers rather than what I enjoyed myself. Gradually I began to stop reading books, visiting other book blogs and posting on my blog. I basically pretended like PrintedWords& didn't exist.

So why am I back now? If I'm being honest, it's because I now have the time. As soon as the pandemic happened and we ended up in lockdown, I had to find things to do with my time. So reading it was. The one past time that I grew up with quickly became my saving grace and I learnt to love it again. Sounds dramatic I know, but it's been such a blessing amongst the chaos of the world.

What blogging means to me now is something I'd never thought I'd ask myself 8 years onwards. It's definitely been a lengthy journey and I'm surprised by how much blogging on PrintedWords& has actually become a learning curve for me as well. What I want is to be genuine. If I can't be myself online then how do I stay true to myself in person? I want this blog to really showcase who I am, what I am passionate about and be a place where if people do come and visit, they can feel comfortable and find enjoyment in reading what I have to share.

So here's to 8 years of reading and writing reviews and hopefully many more to come! Thank you to every single reader that has come past PrintedWords& in the last 8 years. And those will see this in the future, welcome!


Before you go! I want to celebrate by gifting 3 people a copy of my recent 5 star reads.

I've particularly loved American Street by Ibi Zoboi, Parachutes by Kelly Yang and Sister Heart by Sally Morgan. Three winners will be selected at random to win one out of these 3 books!

American Street is set in Detroit, US following a girl name Fabiola Toussaint who migrates from Haiti to the US to live with her Aunt and cousin.
Parachutes explores the lives of two girls, Claire and Dani, from vastly different backgrounds as they navigate through high school life.
Sister Heart is a fictional recount of a young Indigenous Australian girl who is taken from her family by the Government and sent to an institution to have Western values and education instilled in her.

Just some things to keep in mind:
  • Must be over 18 to enter
  • Make sure Book Depository ships to your country.
  • Giveaway ends 10th August, 2020
  • You can enter in all 3 giveaways, however should you be randomly selected for more than 1 giveaway, you will get to choose which book you prefer and I will randomly select another person for the other giveaway. 
The giveaway is international so get to entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank You & Good Luck!

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?

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.


TW: sexual harassment, sexual assault, racism

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.



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


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?