Categories
TBR

February 2018 TBR

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It’s February in a couple hours! It feels like only a couple days ago it was New Years! So I was not prepared to make this TBR yet and I also haven’t done my February Anticipated releases because I didn’t realise how close it was to the end of January!!

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So that is all for my TBR! I am participating in #AYearAThon and my TBR for that is already up! I am also participating in Duodecathon and my TBR for that will be up later in the month!

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Reviews

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: 
Patrick Ness
Genre: 
YA Diverse Fantasy
Publication Date: Aug 27th, 2015
Pages: 317 (Hardback)
Publishers: Walker Books
Rating:
3 star

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What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

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I actually enjoy the cover of this. It’s pretty simple and matches the story exactly. I also love that the hardback edition of this I got came with spray edges and the endpapers are gorgeous too!

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The writing was fine. It was amazing and out of this world but it wasn’t bad either. I did enjoy that the author talked directly to the reader at times. I also liked that they added the additional summary of the ‘chosen one’ story at the start of each chapter so that everything made sense.

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Well there isn’t a tonne that happens. There are a few big things that happen but nothing really major as the major things were happening to the ‘chosen one characters’ and only summarised in tiny paragraphs. Also, there were so many aspects of the plot that were just confusing because there was hardly any detail about them. Thye just happened and you’re sitting there thinking ‘Why? What? Huh?’.

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I honestly didn’t feel any connection with any of the characters and I felt like most of them were kinda dull and flat. I do appreciate the diversity though! We have characters with anxiety, eating disorders, LGBT+ & different races. We also have the representation of an alcoholic father too, in no way is that the only way an alcoholic acts but I guess it could be a good representation. That is definitely not how I know it from personal experience.

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 Overall the idea of this book sounded amazing but the execution could have been done better. The book was overall underwhelming. The writing was okay, the plot was pretty dull and the characters were flat. The best thing in the book, in my opinion, is the diversity!

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Challenges/Readathons

February #AYearAThon TBR

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So I have decided to participate in the #AYearAThon this year as well as Duodecathon! However, I will be adapting the challenges and stuff to fit me as quite simply I am not interested in some of the challenges or I’m confused. For example, I skipped January because the theme was ‘Harry Potter’ and the challenge was ‘Adaptations’ and I just don’t get it? Is there any Harry Potter adaptations?? Not that I know of, so I’m confused as to what was meant to be read for this!

January: 5th – 11th
Theme: New to You Authors
Challenge: Translations

So for this month, I will not be reading any translations as I don’t own any and I’m not going to go out and buy a book specifically for this challenge. So I will be concentrating on authors that I have never read before! This is a great chance for me to get to some of the ARCs I have!! So here is my TBR!



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This will be the first book I read as I need to read and review it before it comes out on the 13th (but I like to have ARC revies scheduled for a week before they release). And yes, I have never read anything by Tamora Pierce before!

And these are just 3 other ARCs I have atm that I am behind on and need to read!!



And that is my TBR! I’m not doing a crazy big TBR but if I finish these there are a few others on my shelves that I could pick up too!

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Author: 
Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #1
Genre: 
YA Diverse Fantasy Horror
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 189 (Hardback)
Publishers: Tor
Rating:
4 star

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Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

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*Exactly the same as in Every Heart a Doorway review*

I really like the cover of this book. It is simple, but catches your eye and also betrays the story well. I really enjoy how all the covers in this series just have a landscape background with a single item in the middle standing out.

I like how much darker and creepier than the first book!

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The writing is still beautiful in this book but again, a lot darker, even than Every Heart a Doorway! These books have amazing world building fitted into such small books. I liked that this book dealt with some issues in this book such as parental influence and it’s effect on children & Identity issues. I can’t speak personally but I think these issues were shown well. The initial beginning of the parently influence part felt a little excessive but it could realistic, but I have no experience, so I’m not sure.

I really enjoyed the drawings that pop up in this book too! It was an awesome addition to the story.

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As for the plot, I kinda feel like the plot was a little in the background. There was a plot, but it wasn’t really the main focus. The focus was on the characters and their development.

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Again we have some diversity! So that’s always good!

Jack is definitely my favourite character from the book. She is smart, determined to learn, brave and super funny.

Jill is naive and easily persuaded into things. She is also jealous and ridiculously cruel! What happened in Every Heart a Doorway makes so much more sense now after learning more about her.

Master is explored as much but he mainly just feels possessive.

Dr Bleak was a patient teacher/guardian but still stern! He was also really understanding. He was an enjoyable character compared to Jill & Master.

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 I didn’t enjoy this book as much as Every Heart a Doorway. This book does have better character development as it’s concentrating on two specific characters rather than a tonne! So that was good but as it was concentrating on the characters more I feel like the plot was lacking compared to Every Heart a Doorway. Those are the main reasons I gave this 4 stars compared to the 4.5 stars I gave Every Heart a Doorway.

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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Challenges/Readathons

ReadAThon Guide – February 2018

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Here is my ReadAThon guide for February!! At the moment I am only planning on participating in Duodecathon & AYearAThon. If I decided to participate in others I will post specific TBRs for those!



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This ReadAThon occurs every month and each month there is a different focus on what to read.

So this ReadAThon has 2 parts, first, there is the theme. So the idea is to try and read books related to that theme and then there are the challenges, they are an extra challenge and not necessary but add some extra fun.

HERE is a link to their Goodreads page & HERE is the link to their Twitter.

This ReadAThon happens every month so here are all the future challenges in case you wanted to plan!

Feb 5th – 11th
Theme: New to You Authors
Challenge: Translations

Mar 5th – 11th
Theme: Retellings (of any kind)
Challenge: Marathon a series

Apr 2nd – 8th
Theme: Benchwarmers (books that have been sitting on your shelf for a while)
Challenge: One Word Titles

May 7th – 13th
Theme: Rereads
Challenge: Graphic Novels

Jun 4th – 10th
Theme: Catch Up/Finish Series
Challenge: Read a duology

Jul 2nd – 8th
Theme: TBR Catch Up (Let’s meet those halfway marks on our goals!)
Challenge: Read A Trilogy

Aug 6th – 12th
Theme: Family Favourites (Read your mums/brothers/cousins/etc favourite book)
Challenge: Read the longest book on your TBR

Sept 3rd – 9th
Theme: #OwnVoice Novel
Challenge: Short Stories

Oct 1st – 7th
Theme: Thrillers
Challenge: Big Books (400+ pages)

Nov 5th – 11th
Theme: NaNoWriMo Winners (Books that begun as a NaNoWriMo project and were eventually published)
Challenge: Read the shortest book on your TBR

Dec 3rd – 9th
Theme: Books under 300 pages
Challenge: Read books recommended to you by others

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This ReadAThon also is every month. This one has 12 options for challenges that you can pick from and the idea of this is that you participate every month and by the end of the year you will have done them all.

You can find info and join the Goodreads group HERE.

UPCOMING DATES:

Feb: 15 – 21
March: 22 – 28
April: 8 -14
May: 21 – 27
June: 22 – 28
July: 22 – 28
August: 8 – 14
September: 1 – 7
October: 8 – 14
November: 22 – 28
December: 22 – 28

CHALLENGES TO PICK FROM:

Read 1,200 pages
Read the second book in a series
A book about a villain/antihero
A book published the year you were born
A 2018 bestseller
An award winning book
A book with multiple points of view
A book with antonyms in the title
A banned book
A book with a great first line
A “high school” book you haven’t read
A book recommended by someone in the Duodecathon group

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So this one isn’t really a ReadAThon, it’s kinda more of a reading challenge! But I’m still including it.

Fantastic February goes for the whole month of February and the only challenge is to read as many Fantasy or Paranormal books as you can! You don’t have to read only Fantasy and Paranormal, but read as many as you can! To join all you have to do is write a blog post showing your possible reads! If you wish to chat on social media about Fantastic February then use to hashtag #FantasticFeb to join with others!

This ReadAThon is run by Books & Munches who you can find on Twitter HERE or blog HERE! There will be a new challenge each month! So check out her blog or keep an eye out for my upcoming ReadAThon Guides for future info!

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So there isn’t a tonne of info about this ReadAThon except for a little bit on the creators Goodreads page. But what I can gather is every month the creator releases 3 challenges and you can either pick one or do all 3! The main challenge though is that you have to only use books you already own! You can’t buy a book that fits the challenges you have to find a book you already own to complete 1 or more challenges!

This challenge goes all month!

HERE is their Twitter Page.

You can also find their Goodreads Group HERE! This group also has ReadAlongs going on all the time.

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TBR BustAThon is a week long ReadAThon that concentrates on getting those TBRs down! The main rule is that you can’t read books you have already read! So rereads don’t count for this ReadAThon!! The TBR BustAThon has reading challenges & there will be twitter sprints on  The TBR BustAThon page! As for the reading challenges you are allowed to use 1 book for 2 challenges, but no more than 2!

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 4th til 11:59pm on the 10th of Feb! (Which also happen to be the same dates as the Unicorn ReadAThon – Details below!)

Reading challenges:

– Read a book that has been on your TBR pile for more than 2 years
– Read a banned book
-Read a 400+ page book
-Read a YA Contemporary
-Read a book with pink or red on the cover
-Read a popular book you haven’t read yet
-Read a book released between Nov 2017 & Jan 2018

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The Unicorn ReadAthon is a week-long ReadAThon dedicated to magical creatures! The only challenge is to read books that have magical creatures!

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 4th til 11:59pm on the 10th of Feb!

You can find the Twitter HERE!

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The InLoveAthon is a week long Valentines Day themed ReadAThon. The challenge is to complete 7 challenges in the week but what is unique about this ReadAThon is that there are 10 challenge options. So you can choose which ones you wish to complete! There will also be a WatchALong but that is yet to be announced.

This ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 9th til 11:59pm on the 15th of Feb!

Challenges:

– Read a book from your favourite romance author
– Read a book that has your favourite romantic trope
– Read a book with a prince/princess
– Read an original fairytale & then watch the movie adaption (e.g. Cinderella, Beauty & the Beast, etc.)
– Read while eating Valentine’s themed treats (can include Wine 😉)
– Read a book that takes place where you’d like to spend your Valentine’s Day
– Read a book with red or pink on the cover
– Read an LGBTQ+ romance
– Read a classic love story (e.g. Romeo & Juliet, etc.)
– Read one of the hosts fave romance books
Losing It by Cora Carmack 
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin
Fill in Boyfriend by Kasie West
Hunted by Meagan Spooner 
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

You can find the ReadAThons Twitter HERE!

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Series Crackdown is a 10 day long ReadAthon. The only challenge for this ReadAThon is to complete series that you have already started. There are going to be Twitter sprints & Instagram challenges too!

For Series Crackdown you have to Sign Up!! You can find the signup form HERE!

You can find their Twitter HERE!

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 9th til 11:59pm on the 18th of Feb!

Instagram Challenges:
9th: Series Crackdown TBR
10th: Favourite Author
11th: Reading snack essentials
12th: Show off those bookshelves
13th: A book you read because of the book community
14th: Favourite Bookmarks
15th: Hogwarts House Pride
16th: Reading Den – Where do you read?
17th: Currently Reading
18th: Series Crackdown Wrap-Up

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The Alphabethon is a pretty chill ReadAthon. The only challenge is to read books that either the book title or Author (first or last name) starts with a certain letter

For this month I’m assuming the letter will be E.

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 12th til 11:59pm on the 18th of Feb!

You can find there Twitter HERE!

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The ReadAThin is a month long ReadAThon concentrating on thinning out those TBRs! The main rule is that you can only use books that you already owned or had ordered prior to the reading challenges going up. The challenges went up today Sunday 28th-Monday 29th (depending on time zone). So any book you ordered yesterday still counts! This ReadAThon goes all month and the goal is to complete 6 challenges, but obviously, you can read other books throughout the month, that just depends on how much you read in a month. The goal is 6 challenges but you can complete as many as you want! Don’t stress yourself out. You can also use 1 book for 2 challenges, but no more than that. So you could complete the ReadAThon by reading 3 books if you could find ones that fit.

This month they also have a group book, which I don’t understand the point of personally. If you don’t already own the book then it doesn’ count & you can’t already own the book as it doesn’t release till the 6th of Feb (unless you have an ARC)!!!

The group book:

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Reading Challenges:

– 2017/2018 release
– Buddy Read (This can include the group book)
– Least Favourite Emoji
– Read a New To You Author
– Finish a series
– A book with a spring themed cover
– Read a book with red, pink or white
– It’s Black History month, Read a book with a Person of Colour
– Read a book featuring a diverse relationship *
– Read a smutty book
– Read a book with NO romance

*For clarification, they are only counting LGBTQIAP+ relationships, not relationships that feature any other diversity, such as mental illness, race, etc.



Well, that is all. If you know of any other ReadAThons happening in February then please let me know in a comment or tag me on Twitter @duskangelreads.

Lizaxx1

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: 
Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #1
Genre: 
YA Diverse Fantasy
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Pages: 173 (Hardback)
Publishers: Tor
Rating:
4 and a half star

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Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

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I really like the cover of this book. It is simple, but catches your eye and also betrays the story well. I really enjoy how all the covers in this series just have a landscape background with a single item in the middle standing out.

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This book is beautifully written and to some degree, the writing is fairly lyrical, similar to Laini Taylor’s but not quite as much. But also a lot darker! Overall, the book was a lot darker than I expected. I just thought it would be a casual YA Fantasy, but it actually turned out to be a Murder Mystery as well. So even though it was unexpected, it was done well and I enjoyed the reading.

I was worried that being such a short book there might be confusion or details left out, however, everything flowed together nicely and was concluded well. The only real mystery was the worlds that these children had been to and I do find it a shame that we only get to dive into two of them with the companion novels Down Among the Sticks and Bones & Beneath the Sugar Sky. Hopefully, it will be extended later on as I would love to dive a bit further into the other worlds!

I also enjoyed the multi-POV, however, I did wish that it was specified whose POV we were reading from at the time as it did swap around randomly and sometimes to completely random characters that we hadn’t heard from before. It wasn’t really an issue but it just would have been nice.

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So the plot itself was a little typical when it comes to murder mysteries, but they all kinda are I guess, someone gets murdered and the MC tries to discover the murder. I did enjoy it, but it was a little predictable, I didn’t guess from the start of the murders, but I did guess a little further in. I still enjoyed myself while reading and it was still pretty well down, even with the predictability. The plot wasn’t my favourite part of the book though and the reason I didn’t give the book 5 stars.

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My favourite thing is the diversity in this book! The MC is Asexual, which is rare to find and I’m pretty sure I haven’t read a book with an Asexual MC. I can’t speak for the rep but I have heard all the diversity is well done! As well as the Asexual rep we also have a Trans character, characters of varying races & characters with different gender identities. So A+ for the diversity!

Overall I didn’t feel huge connections or have a full understanding of any of the characters. But with the amazing world building and the mystery going on, and only in 170 pages, you can’t expect everything I guess! For that reason, I don’t have a tonne to say about them.

Nancy was the Main Character I guess but as it was multi POV all the focus wasn’t always on her. She also didn’t get thrown into the typical female MC in Fantasy trope that we usually see! The Badass or powerful girl who even if she doesn’t think she can, she ends up saving the world type MC.

Kade was enjoyable but also kinda felt like a typical male side character.

Sumi was overactive and loud but also kinda hilarious. Some of the crap she came out with was pretty damn funny, so that was enjoyable even if the other half of her time she was saying negative stuff.

Jack and Jill were very different characters for twins, but now after reading Down Among the Sticks and Bones that makes total sense. All the forensic stuff that Jack did was a little confusing at times as it was hard to see her as a character that has had life experience and not a child. Jill was a little more absent and mysterious in this book. She played a part but didn’t have as much page time as Jack did. Also, it was so hard at the start to think of ‘Jack’ as a female with a nickname ‘Jack’.  After a while, I got used to it, but it was a bit hard at the start.

Eleanor, the women who started Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward children gave me huge Alma Peregrine vibes! And also just the name of the school reminds me of the  Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series!

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children…
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children…

This makes me slightly iffy about the book itself. I know authors take inspiration from other books but that is just a little to close for comfort.

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Overall, the world building and writing was the best part of the book. The world building was amazingly down and the writing was gorgeous but dark! The Characters could have used some more development, but as I say in 170 pages you can’t have everything. The plot was my least favourite part of the book and the reason it didn’t get 5 stars!

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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2018 Winter Biannual Bibliothon Wrap Up

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So the Winter Biannual Bibliothon finished over 12 hours ago for me here in Aus. I am really happy with how much I read even though I didn’t complete every challenge. So let’s get straight into what I read!

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The only challenge I did not complete was the ‘Read the group book’ challenge. I started Otherworld by Jason Segel but I wasn’t really feeling the book after a couple chapters so I put it down and picked up something else on my TBR instead.

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Read a Sequel

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Read a book you’ve never heard of before

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Originally for this challenge, I was going to read Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee however when I got to reading it, I just didn’t feel like picking it up so instead I was just scrolling through audible to see what I could spend my credit on that I hadn’t heard of before and I saw Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. At that point, I thought ‘why don’t I just find an Agatha Christie book I haven’t heard of’ so that is what I did. One of my 2018 goals was to read more Agatha Christie books, so this helps!!

Read a book about mental illness

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In this book, Michael, our Mc, has anxiety & OCD so yes this features Mental Illness.

Read a book that was mentioned in another book/movie/TV show

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Read a book under 200 pages

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Read a backlist book

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I listened to about 40% of Strange the Dreamer during the ReadAThon but I started it before the ReadAThon & didn’t finish it during the ReadAThon either but I was up to 71% at the end of the ReadAThon.

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I only read 2% of this book as I started and then fell asleep as I was exhausted after working all day at the Australia Day Pool Party at the Aquatic Centre I work at.

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I also listened to 12% of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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Well, that is all for my wrap up! The #24in48 ReadAThon started as Winter Biannual Bibliothon finished so it is currently going on. I will have a Wrap Up for it up in a couple days as well as reviews for Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, The Rest of us just Live here & Darkness, Be My Friend over the next day or so.

Lizaxx1

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Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge – Possible Reads

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I have been debating over the last few weeks whether or not I will participate in the Popsugar Reading Challenge and I have finally decided that I will. However, it’s not going to take over my reading by any means and I won’t stress if I don’t get it completed.

So I just wanted to share a list of the books I may possibly read for each of the challenges.

I tried as hard as possible to choose books I already own, have already pre-ordered or books I will definitely be picking up soon but it wasn’t always possible.

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HERE is the link to the PopSugar post!

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*The image above belongs to PopSugar!*

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A book made into a movie you’ve already seen

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I’ve watched these movies so many times and I have tried to read the whole Chronicles of Narnia but I was not enjoying the first book  ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ in the slightest! So I stopped reading. So I’m completely skipping that and just starting with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I also already have an eBook of the whole Chronicles of Narnia books

True Crime

I haven’t decided on this one yet

The next book in a series you started

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I may have already read this one!

A book involving a heist

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Nordic Noir

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A novel based on a real person

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I’ve already read this book, twice actually. I finished by reread via audiobook last night of Stalking Jack the Ripper!

A book set in a country that fascinates you

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Anything set in Germany fascinates me and I have been meaning to read this for ages! I also have it on audiobook already.

A book with a time of day in the title

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Night counts right?! Already own!!

A book about a villain or antihero

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Already own this too! I’m doing good so far haha!

A book about death or grief

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Pretty sure this one will cover that and I already have it on audiobook!

A book with a female author that uses a male pseudonym

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AKA J.K. Rowling of course!

A book with a LGBTQ+ protagonist

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This one has a Trans character who is a lesbian after changing gender. So it definitely counts! And I have this as an eBook through Scribd

A book that is also a stage play or musical

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I’ve wanted to read some more Roald Dahl so this helps!!

A book by an author of a different ethnicity to you

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I have already read this one! I finished it today actually.

A book about feminism

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I have been hearing tonnes about this so I’m keen!

A book about mental health

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I am using this book for the same challenge for the Winter Biannual Bibliothon which is next week!

A book you borrowed or was given to you as a gift

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I received this one for Christmas from my father and I have already read it!

A book by 2 authors

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I already have this one pre-ordered and I can’t wait!!

A book about or involving a sport

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A book by a local author

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So, I live in the middle of nowhere! So I don’t know any local authors, so I just chose an Aussie author!!

A book with your favourite colour in the title

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I received this book in The YA Chronicles AGES ago! I really need to get to it but I have heard mixed things about it, so I have been hesitant.

A book with alliteration in the title

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I have wanted to read more Agatha Christie books, both Hercule Poirot & Miss Arple stories! So I added a couple to this TBR.

A book about time travel

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This has been on so many TBRs! But it’s so big, so I keep skipping it!

A book with a weather element in the title 

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close enough! And I already own this book.

A book set at sea

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy

This doesn’t have a cover yet, but it releases later in the year and I am so keen on it! I’m also guessing that it will take place at sea due to the Piracy part of the title.

A book with an animal in the title

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This one has two! So, bonus!

A book set on a different planet

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I’ve already started the audiobook for this. I really enjoyed the audiobook of book 1, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

A book with song lyrics in the title

I haven’t been able to find a book that interests me that fits this challenge! So if you know any YA books that fit this that aren’t romances then please let me know!

A book about or set on Halloween

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This is a Frankenstein retelling, so close enough. I really don’t give a damn about Halloween as we don’t celebrate it. So I just chose this instead

A book with characters who are twins

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Another Agatha Christie!

A book mentioned in another book

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I feel like the Winter Biannual Bibliothon got some inspiration from this list for their challenges as this is the second challenge that is the same as WBB!

A book from a celebrity book club

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I found an extensive list HERE for a book group called Vaginal Fantasy by Felicia Day.

A childhood classic you’ve never read

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I used to watch the Tv show for this as my Mum loved it, but I have never read the book.

A book that’s published in 2018

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I have already pre-ordered this and I can’t wait!!

A past Goodreads Choice Award winner

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I already have a copy of this book and I have been meaning to get to it.

A book set in the decade you were born

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I want to reread Harry Potter this year, but the physical books. I have been rereading via audiobook a fair few times now and I have reread the first couple books using the illustrated editions but I’m yet to reread the physical books again in full. So this is a start.

A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to

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I have owned this for a fair while now and it has been on a couple TBRs in the past, but I still haven’t picked it up! But it needs to happen, especially with the upcoming release of the prequel book, which I plan to purchase and read before picking up Truthwitch.

A book with an ugly cover

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This is one of the eARCs I have from NetGalley however it is not a recent release, it has just been left on NetGalley, it actually released in 2011 I think.

A book that involves a bookstore or library

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A favourite prompt from 2015, 2016 or 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenges

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For this, I chose the challenge ‘An audiobook’ as I love audiobooks and I have also already started listening to the audiobook of this one!

Advanced Challenges:

I won’t be doing all of these but I will try for a couple. I will still list all below though.

A bestseller from the year you graduated high school

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A cyberpunk book

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A book that was being read by a stranger in public

As I barely see anyone reading in public that I don’t know. I just don’t have one for this. I live in small town, so we are lacking on people that are strangers to me, places I go that people would sit and read and also just readers in general. If I twisted the challenge slightly I could choose The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor as I have seen one of the girls I used to work with reading that while waiting for her children at the pool while I was working. But not a stranger.

A book tied to your ancestry

I really don’t understand this prompt! My only guess is to read a book that was set in a place where my family was originally from. In which case I would have to read something set in Scotland, Prussia or Germany. But I haven’t chosen anything yet.

A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title

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An Allegory 

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I still don’t understand what an allegory is really but I just looked at a list on Goodreads and this showed up and as I am already reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe I decided to choose it.

A book with the same first or last name as you

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A Microhistory

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Another one I don’t really know the meaning of. What’s the difference between a Microhistory and normal history?! This book is known as both Deep Down Dark & The 33 as they changed the name to The 33 after the movie version.

A book about a problem facing society today

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Police brutality may not be as extreme here in Aus as it is overseas, but it is still definitely a problem!

A book recommended by someone else taking the Popsugar Reading Challenge

Are you participating? Then comment a recommendation. Please, not romance heavy!!

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Well, I think that is it! I might do an update every month or so to show how I’m going! Let me know if you are participating and what you plan to read for the challenge next?

Lizaxx1

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Guest Post

Guest Post: You’re Too Gay: LGBTQIA+ Publishing in 2017 // Hannah Carmack

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Hannah recently gave me the opportunity to read an eARC of her book Seven-Sided Spy which has now been released! As there are a few characters in Seven-Sided Spy which are on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum we decided for her to write a guest post based on that topic! So here it is!

You can find my review for Seven-Sided HERE!



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I’m just saying, you’re too gay, and in 5 years it’s going to be out of style and your books won’t sell.

My jaw nearly smacked our table at Ruby Tuesday. As I sat across from my friend – someone I considered very close – it dawned on me that maybe I didn’t know the first thing about this person.

You’re too gay. Out of style. Books won’t sell. As much as I wish this was an isolated incident and that these sentiments were rare, I can’t. I’ve heard this kind of advice time and time again. Now, the knee-jerk and honest reaction is so the fuck what? If you’re writing for yourself then it shouldn’t matter whether a book will sell. If you’re writing the story that has to be told and that story happens to be gay, should I care? These are true, valid responses and honestly the one I gave. Write for yourself.

However, when you’re publishing, there is a part of you –for me a GIANT part– that wants to move as many units as possible and get that book into as many hands as you can. So then, you have to consider the statement, are gay books going to be selling in the next five years?

Hell. Fucking. Yes. I’m fortunate in that both my debut novel, SEVEN-SIDED SPY, and my next project, TAKE YOUR MEDICINE, have been picked up by a press dedicated to publishing queer voices and queer characters- Nine Star Press. They actually don’t publish anything that doesn’t have some kind of LGBTQIA+ lead –Hurrah! If there’s one thing I’ve learned at this press, it’s that “too gay” books aren’t going anywhere.

Over the course of the past six months I have met some of the most talented writers I’ve encountered in all my conference going, speed-networking, and forum reading. And I’ve met them right there in the Nine Star Press author group. They produce amazing work and strong-sellers. And we’re just one indie-press, out of dozens and dozens of press’ publishing queer-work.

To say that “gay books won’t sell,” is to discredit not only a large chunk of writers, but also a large chunk of readers! I’ve had a handful of readers contact me asking for book recommendations that fall in the same line as my own. Often times LGBTQIA+ books can be hard to find in smaller bookstores, if at all. By grouping all of our works together in one super-awesome press, we’re helping connect the readers with the books they’ve been looking for.

And this isn’t even touching on all the top-10 publishers who are putting out awesome queer works. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera and Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee are two best-sellers who feature queer MC’s. We are in a golden-age of queer lit, and these books aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.



Lizaxx1

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Reviews

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: One Dark Throne
Author: 
Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Sept 21st, 2017
Pages: 450 (Paperback)
Publishers: Macmillan Children’s Books
Rating:
4 and a half star

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The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, the elemental sister once thought to be the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must confront the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

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I feel like the Three Dark Crowns & One Dark Thrones books look so much better in person than the images you find online. I love how that most of the book is dark and then there is the pop of colour in the middle representing the 3 queens.

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My favourite part about this book is the Multi-POV. We follow I think around 10 or more people. Mostly the three queens, Arsinoe, Katharine & Mirabella but also Jules, Joseph, Natalia and a few more. This made it easy to get every POV of the story and not just hearing the stories from other characters. It makes for a very in-depth read!

I love the map in this book! And I also really enjoyed the addition of a ‘Cast of Characters’ list. This was a handy little recap when jumping back into this series after such a long break between books.

Also, I’m just going to completely ignore the love triangles in this book!

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This plot is intense. It’s just one thing after an another which makes this book gripping and completely unpredictable! You don’t even have a chance to think about’s what’s coming because it’s so fast paced and action packed. The ending was a little underwhelming. The last book ended on a huge cliffhanger whereas this one kinda just ended. Usually, I come out of a great book thinking ‘I NEED MOREE!’ but with this one, it wasn’t as much of the case. I kinda felt like the end of the story but there is a third book coming.

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I feel like there is kinda 2 main characters out of all the POVs and those are Katharine & Arsinoe.
Arsinoe has finally grown into her character in this book. She has accepted that she has a chance in this and she turns into such a strong and caring character!
Katharine is just cruel and obsessed with being on top. Her choices were reckless and it felt like she never fully thought anything through before doing it. I wouldn’t say she was a ‘well-done villain’ but she was definitely determined and cunning.

Mirabella kinda took a back seat in this book. She was just kinda there and just did what others wanted or told her to do. There was only once where she really stood up and made a change in her life but it didn’t last long. It definitely felt like there was more effort put into Arsinoe & Katharine than in Mirabella! I really hope more is done with her in book 3.

Jules was a bit iffy in this book. Yes, she is strong and loyal to Arsinoe but she also got a bit annoying in this book. I can’t really talk about this without spoilers but I can basically only say that she was kinda strange and made some questionable choices in this book. I know there is a reason for it but it was still annoying.

Madigal irritates the crap out of me. She just makes so many choices that you are thinking ‘what the actual fuck did I just read!’

Joseph was okay. I didn’t love him in book 1 but I do like him a little more in this one. I can’t talk about why without spoilers for book 1, but he does something in book 1 that I hated but in this book not only does he discover that choice he made was not 100% his vault (someone else uses low magic that affected him) and he redeemed himself a bit in this book.

Nicolas is just irritating. He is obsessed with anything that will get him power and as soon as he gets that power he abuses it and pays the price for it. I actually laughed at what happens to him.

Pietyr was just kinda desperate. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and always thought that he knew what Katharine wanted and what she said she wanted wasn’t valid and that pisses me off.

Billy is probably my favourite male character. Well compared to the 3 above, he is my favourite as the others are kinda horrible. But Billy is kind, loyal and loving. Also, I don’t think he was involved in a love triangle like some people say. If you want to know why I think that then keep reading (in bold) but it will contain spoilers! So just skip to ‘Overall’ if you don’t want to spoil yourself!
So when Billy goes to Mirabella it is done for a reason and that reason is not to for a relationship. He even says he tried to hate her but she was too nice and they came to an understanding. When they think Arsinoe is killed then they form an agreement for him to become king if Mirabella wins as a way to fight back against Katharine. When they find out Arsinoe is not dead there is no question about Billy going to her. He never loved Mirabella, it was simply a mutual agreement and mutual goals. 

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Overall I loved the plot! It is action packed and fast paced. The writing is really good and I loved the Multi POV! Some of the characters are great and some are a bit iffy and some are just what the hell! I really hope book 3 expands on Mirabella a bit more!



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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