May 2018 TBR

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So I have a few things going on in May! Firstly there is the usual ReadAThon, Duodecathon. I usually do #AYearAThon as well, however, I have decided to skip May as I think the theme and challenge are stupid and I don’t get it. The theme is rereads and the challenge is graphic novels. So are we only allowed to reread graphic novels?? I’m confused by this ReadAThon most months. As usual, I will be reading the BOTM for the Facebook Group I run, The YA Book Nerds. It is a book I have already read so I will just be doing a reread via audiobook to refresh my memory. In another Facebook Group, that I am a helper in, they have an event called Book to School happening which is middle grade based. So I will be reading some books for that (I will do a separate TBR to show the challenges for that one). So let’s get into what I’m actually reading!

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What is on your May TBR? Have you read any of these? What did you think?

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May 2018 Anticipated Releases

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I only have 3 books on my list for this month. I have ordered 2 already.  I was going to buy Legendary but the hardcover is $31 & the paperback is $18 and I simply can’t justify spending that much on it! Why is it soo expensive?! I bought Caraval in hardcover as soon as it came out and it wasn’t that expensive! I don’t get it.

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Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Publication Date: 31st, May 2018
Publishers: Hodder & Stoughton

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A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

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Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 512 (Paperback)
Publication Date: 3rd, May 2018
Publishers: Penguin

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A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

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Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 512 (Paperback)
Publication Date: 1st, May 2018
Publishers: Sourcebooks

This one may already be out for some of you as on Goodreads it says it releases April 15th but on Booktopia which is an Aussiebooksellerr, it doesn’t release till the 1st of May.

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Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

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WHAT ARE YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES FOR May? ARE YOU LOOKING FOrWARD TO ANY OF THESE?!

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ReadAThon Guide – May 2018

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So it is time for the next ReadAThon Guide! This has all the ReadAThons I could find that are happening in May and corssover with May! I devide each ReadAThon guide up into time frames, however this month I couldn’t find any 2 – 4 week or month long ReadAThons.

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The TBR BustAThon 24 Hour ReadAThon

This is a special edition that is just 24 hours. I’m not 100% sure when exactly this is as there are no times specified and it just says 4-5 of May. Which is more than 24 hours. You can find the ReadAThon Twitter HERE and hopefully, they will post some more detailed info closer to the date if you’re interested in participating.

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#AYEARATHON

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!

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

Duodecathon

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:

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

Alphabethon

This one happens often and each round focuses on a different letter. They are going in alphabetical order, so this round is F. All the books you read have to either start with F or the Authors first or last name starts with F. There are also optional reading challenges! There is also a giveaway which you can find info on in the announcement post that I link below.

As this one crosses over with April & May I added it to both my April & May ReadAThon Guides.

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 30th of April till 11:59 pm on the 6th of May.

Reading Challenges:

Read a book over 400 pages
Read a fantasy book
Read a book that has a main character whose name starts with F
Read a book that has an F setting (town, state, country, world, etc. begins with F)
Read four books
Read a book recommended by a friend
Read a book that has an object that starts with F on the cover (flowers, fairy, food, etc.)

You can find their Twitter HERE and the announcement post on their blog HERE!

Bout of Books

There isn’t much info out yet for this one as of when I’m posting this but if this Bout of Books is going to be the same as the others then there are no challenges, the only goal is to push yourself to read more.

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 14th till 11:59 pm on the 20th of May.

You can find the info on their blog HERE & on their Twitter HERE!

BorrowAThon

So the BorrowAThon is exactly as it sounds. The challenge is to read books that you borrowed. This can be borrowed from the Library, eLibrary or from friends or family! There are also reading challenges for this one if you want some extra challenges.

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 20th till 11:59 pm on the 27th of May.

Reading Challenges:

A book award nominee or winner
A book with your initials on the cover
Someone else’s favourites
A book that everyone else has read but you
A book from your favourite genre
Read a book that features a library

You can find the ReadAThon Twitter HERE!

Series Crackdown

This one isn’t actually a week but I don’t have a space for 10 day ReadAThons! This one also crosses over into June. Series Crackdown doesn’t have any reading challenges but the goal is to try and finish those series that you have started but still havent finished (or atleast catch up on series that aren’t fully released).

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 25th of May till 11:59 pm on the 3rd of June.

You can find the ReadAThon Twitter page HERE!

StrangeAThon

StrangeAThon is actually a 8 day ReadAThon, but I don’t have a section for that, so here it is! This one has reading challenges but is overall horror based, but not strictly.

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 1st of May till 11:59 pm on the 8th of May.

Reading Challenges:

Strange in appearance (Read a book with an unusual cover)
Strange Perspective (Read an own voices book from someone underrepresented in books/media)
Forgotten Tome (Read a book you own and have forgotten the summary of)
Birthday Surprise (Read a book set during your birthday)
Illustrated works (Read a book with pictures of some kind)
Down a rabbit hole (Read a book set in a different world)
Graveyard fun (Read a book with a graveyard in it)
Bonus:
The F-Up (accidentally pick a book that doesn’t fit any of the challenges)

You can find the ReadAThon Twitter HERE!

The Buzzword ReadAThon

This ReadAThon is being hosted by Lala of BooksandLala on Youtube! This ReadAThon will be happening recurringly, they haven’t announced how often as yet though. The idea is that each round will have a Buzzword picked by the hosts and all the books you read have to be based on that buzzword. For this, the buzzword actually has to be in the title of the book, not just in the info about the book.
If you don’t know what Buzzword means, it is basically a word that is mentioned in the title or description about a book makes you definitely want to pick that book up. So it’s a category/thing that is something that really interests you and you love reading about. Some examples, my mum loves everything with Dragons, so her Buzzword is dragons. Cat @ Little Book Owl on YouTube’s Buzzword is Assassins.

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 7th of May till 11:59 pm on the 13th of May.

For this round, the Buzzword is “GIRL“. In the description of BooksandLala’s announcement video, she leaves a link with ideas of books with “Girl” in the title and she has also asked people to comment with recommendations of books with “Girl” in the title.
They are also having a group read which you can choose to participate in.

There will be live shows held before & at the end of the ReadAThon. The first Live show is on May 6th @ 1:00pm PST with BooksandLala & DylantheReader5 on BooksandLala’s channel & the second will be in the evening on the 13th of May on BooksandLala’s Instagram.

Make sure you use the hashtag #BuzzWordReadAThon on all social media posts!

Group Read:

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Young Adult Fantasy Mystery

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You can find Books and Lala’s announcement video HERE & the ReadAThon Twitter HERE!

MusicAThon

This one is a music-themed ReadAThon happening at the end of the month! There will be challenges and also a giveaway happening but no info has been posted yet.

The ReadAThon goes from midnight on the 21st of May till 11:59 pm on the 27th of May.

You can find the ReadAThons Twitter HERE to keep up with the upcoming info!

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Moody May 2018

This is a month long ReadAThon held by fellow blogger Kathy @ Books & Munches! This goal of this ReadAThon/challenge is for the whole month you do not set a TBR, don’t make a list of books that you have to read and don’t pressure yourself! It is all about picking up what book you feel like reading at the time!

Rules:

The main rule is to NOT post a TBR! You still have to make a post/tweet/whatever saying you will join but no TBRs for May! You can post a full list of all the books on your physical/eBook/audiobook TBR, or maybe even a list of books you should be reading in May (eg. ARCs) but won’t be worrying about thanks to Moody May!
If you are talking about Moody May on Social Media use the hashtag #MoodyMayBM

Check out Kathy’s announcement post HERE!! Also just follow her as she is always holding awesome ReadAThons and challenges!

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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.

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ANZAC Day – 13 Historical Fiction I still need to read

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I’m scheduling this post, so it was written well before ANZAC Day, but when this goes up I will be on holidays! It will be really weird not going to the ANZAC Day parade at home, but we will still be attending one nearby where we are staying. So it will be interesting seeing another town’s ANZAC Day parade, as I’ve only ever gone to one here in town.

Anyway, I decided to make a post inspired by ANZAC Day and talk about historical books. For those that do not know, ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps and the day is dedicated to remembering those who served and died in any of the wars that Aus & NZ were involved in. It is an extremely important day to a lot of us, especially those who had family that fought. I have also changed my images to poppies. I believe that the Poppy not only symbolises war remembrance for Australia but also all over the world. The poppy is not only for those that were lost but also those that are still in service. In Australia, Poppies are worn, not only on Remembrance Day (11th of November) but also on ANZAC Day (25th April).

They shall grow not old, while we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest We Forget

So I have read a fair few historical fictions and mostly enjoyed reading them! I especially love reading World War II books. However, today I will be talking about some of the historical fictions that are still on my TBR! So let’s get into this!

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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Everyone is talking about this one, so of course, I want to read it as it’s had so much praise!!

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In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences.

City of Thieves by David Benioff

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From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York TimesCode Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

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Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

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In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she’s ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

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Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands

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“Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

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Her story begins on a train.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

From the author of The Walled City comes a fast-paced and innovative novel that will leave you breathless.

Shadows of War by Michael Ridpath

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This one is actually the sequel to a book I have already read, Traitor’s Game, which was really good. At the time I didn’t realise it had a sequel, so I never picked it up.

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October, 1939: War has been declared, but until the armies massed on either side of the French/German border engage, all is quiet on the Western Front.

But just because its quiet doesn’t mean that it’s not deadly.

There are those who believe the war no one wants to fight should be brought to a swift conclusion, even if it means treachery.

A year ago, Conrad de Lancey came within seconds of assassinating Hitler. Now the British Secret Service want him to go back into Europe and make contact with a group of German officers they believe are plotting a coup.

But this is the Shadow War. And the shadows are multiplying. And it’s not only disaffected Germans who are prepared to betray their country to save it…

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

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In 1919, Ada Navarra—the intrepid daughter of immigrants—and Corinne Wells—a spunky, devil-may-care heiress—make an unlikely pair. But at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat.

When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne—her partner in crime—can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer

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India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who’ll accept her – an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he’s ill.

Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won’t tell India why any old one won’t do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London’s best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she’s certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless again – and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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The international literary sensation, about a boy’s quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget.

Barcelona, 1945 – just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.

As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons—The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera?—but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, “The originality of Ruiz Zafón’s voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature.” An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller’s art.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

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The Continent by Keira Drake – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Continent
Author: 
Keira Drake
Series Name: The Continent
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 19th, 2018
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Harlequin Teen Aus
Rating:

2 and a half star

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For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two nations remain perpetually locked in combat. Most citizens lucky enough to tour the Continent do so to observe the spectacle and violence of battle, a thing long vanished in the peaceful realm of the Spire. For Vaela, the war holds little interest. As a smart and talented apprentice cartographer and a descendent of the Continent herself, she sees the journey as a dream come true: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.

But Vaela’s dream all too quickly turns to nightmare as the journey brings her face-to-face with the brutal reality of a war she’s only read about. Observing from the safety of a heli-plane, Vaela is forever changed by the sight of the bloody battle being waged far beneath her. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, Vaela finds herself much closer to danger than she’d ever imagined—and with an entirely new perspective as to what war truly means. Starving, alone, and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home—but first, she must survive.

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The cover art I really don’t understand. On the bottom, I’m assuming is the Spire and on top a glacier? There were a couple icebergs mentioned in the book, never with a real purpose and a lot of snow, but never a glacier. So I simply don’t understand what the point of that being on the cover is. Also, the city displayed on the bottom doesn’t look anything like how the Spire was described.

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The book is poorly written, to be honest. I don’t have much to say about it really. It is just meh. My main problem with the writing though was its extreme predictability! Especially at the start of the book. If you are like me and don’t read the synopsis of books, then you wouldn’t have any clue what books would be about.
So yeah, I didn’t have a clue what this book was about but I soon guessed as it was blatantly obvious what was going to happen! Literally, the most predictable thing in the book was towards the beginning and that thing is vaguely mentioned in the synopsis of the book. Spoilers ahead in italics! So, for some base info, the event was a plane accident. Leading up to the plane accident it is mentioned 100 bloody times that none of their planes has ever crashed. They even say multiple times that they took 5 out of the 6 escape pods out because they had never been used in any of the planes and they were a waste of space. Take any guesses at what happens? Of course, the plane is going down and the MC’s parents put her in the escape pod… I saw it coming from the first time they mentioned that the plane wouldn’t crash, like how could they have made it any plainer!?

I’m not going to talk about all the Racism comments that a lot of people are claiming. When I read fantasy books I don’t even think about similarities to races and such in the real world. So no, I didn’t see the similarities between the people of the Continent & our own Native American & Japenese people.

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I have a couple problems with the plot, besides the predictability. The main one is the ending! It ended so abruptly! The battle went for a little bit but then within one or two pages everything was over and resolved! Of course, what happened was also so obviously coming but was meant to be a huge plot twist.

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The characters were underwhelming and a bit typical. I also felt absolutely no connection to any of them and the only one I even slightly cared about was Noro’s little brother Keiji as he was really awesome and a cute character. So yeah, beside him I don’t have anything to say as I didn’t like them or hate them.

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Overall I didn’t love this book. The best thing was that it was a really quick read as it was only 300 pages. The book was extremely predictable & just not set out very well. It felt like they spent a bit of time on the beginning but had a max of 300 pages allowed and got to page 280 and was like ‘holy fuck better wrap this up’ and that was the last 20 pages just thrown together and ending so suddenly! And where the hell was the map?! There was so much talk about this amazing map that the MC made of the Continent and you still don’t put a map in the front of the book (as I read the eARC, there may be a map in the final copy, if there is just retract what I just said).

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I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to Harlequin Teen Australia NetGalley for this opportunity.

You can purchase this book at any of the below links!

Harlequin Aus Website
Paperback  //  eBook

QBD
Paperback

Booktopia
Paperback

Amazon (Aus)

eBook  //  Hardback  //  Paperback  //  Audiobook

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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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Favourite BookTubers!

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I’m a sucker for YouTube videos! My favourite YouTuber is Safiya Nygaard, but she isn’t bookish related (seriously, go check her out though!). When I’m not watching Saf and her boyfriend I’m usually watching bookish videos! So today I thought I would share some of my favourite BookTubers!

For each person, I will put one of their latest videos!

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Little Book Owl

Catriona is a fellow Aussie and she is one of my absolute favourites! I watch all of her videos (except reviews, which I don’t watch reviews at all unless I’ve read the book). Actually, at the moment I need to catch up on her videos as she is currently posting EVERY DAY of April! So I have missed a couple of them from being busy!

Hailey in Bookland

Another favourite! Hailey does tonnes of vlogs as well which are fun to watch!

Books with Emily Fox

Emily is hilarious and I love watching her trying to pronounce names and stuff in English as English isn’t her first language. The best videos of hers I have watched and literally cracked up laughing at her facial expressions were her Worst & Most Disappointing books of 2017 videos! I link them below!

Bookables

Heather is funny and also kinda awkward at times and I love her. She does read a lot of romance and chick lit type books, which is nowhere near the same taste as me but I still enjoy her videos.

Peruse Project

Regan is another one that does a lot of book vlogs that I really enjoy. She reads a lot of fantasy which is right up my alley and always has awesome recommendations videos!

A Clockwork Reader

Hannah is so sweet. Her videos are a bit funny and really enjoyable. She is another one that always does awesome recommendations videos!

Problems of a Book Nerd

Cece is THE person to go to for diverse reads! She comes under the diversity spectrum herself, so she is someone I trust for diverse reads as she knows if most rep is good! Also, her Harry Potter videos are fabulous and my favourite video of all time was the one that she raved about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! Cece and her girlfriend are also adorable, even though she isn’t in videos too much as they live in separate places I believe.

Jesse the Reader

Jesse is such a fun and bubbly person! He comes up with some of the funniest bookish videos I have ever seen and if I need a good laugh, I go to his channel!

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So these are my favourite BookTubers! There are tonnes of other I watch and for that reason I just wanted to add some honorable mentions here! These are ones that I don’t watch as often, but still enjoy! AbigailHaleigh, Aprilius Maximus, Bexnbookx, Midnight Reads & Read by Zoe. Also a new one I have found, that is really good but I haven’t been watching long enough to make it to the favourites is SquibblesReads!

If you know any awesome YouTubers please comment names/links in the comments!

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April 2018 Duodecathon TBR

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It’s actually a couple days into the Duodecathon but I forgot to post this! So I thought I would quickly put this TBR up!

So if you don’t know the duodecathon is a monthly ReadAThon. There are challenges for this ReadAThon but the cool thing about this one is you have the option to pick from 12 challenges. So there are 12 challenges for the 12 months of the year and the idea is that you participate each month, selecting a new challenge so that by the end of the year you have completed all the 12 challenges!

You can find their Duodecathon Goodreads page HERE.

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

The ones in bold I have already completed! This month I will be doing the challenge A 2018 Best Seller.

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Truly Devious, Renegades & Batman: Nightwalker were all on some of the bestseller lists that I found! The Alchemist is an audiobook that I have on the Magical ReadAThon TBR and I read it during Duodecathon (yes I’ve already finished this one). Lastly, Renegades is also the BOTM of the Facebook group I run, The YA Book Nerds! So I need to read it as well and I plan on picking it up after Batman: Nightwalker.

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