Christmas/Birthday Book Haul

Because I love being late to the party, here’s my Christmas book haul. Expect my January book haul sometime in the next year or two… I must get better at this whole blogging thing! Anyway. I love Christmas. It’s a great excuse for me to add lots of lovely books to my TBR pile without feeling guilty for spending money on them, BECAUSE IT AIN’T MY MONEY. HAHAHA!

These are the books I received for Christmas/my Birthday/bought myself in the sales because I have no self-control. I hope you enjoy the list, I think each of them makes a great gift so if you’re looking for any inspiration for upcoming birthday presents for loved ones, or maybe even Valentine’s Day gifts, these are some pretty good choices!

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2017 Reading Resolutions

I am a pretty voracious reader, always have been and (hopefully) always will be. I think I read a respectable amount, especially whilst juggling a full time job with a social life and other commitments. But each year I go in and out of reconfidence-in-sunshineading slumps and it’s always tough to dig my way out. I’ve found, however, that a very effective way of getting back on the ball is to set reading goals and challenges – such as the Goodreads yearly challenge. I took part last year and read 31 books out of a goal of 30.

So, for 2017, I’ve decided to carry on creating some fun reading goals for myself to hopefully inspire me to read more widely. Here we go!

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… And a Happy New Year?

nyeSo, here’s the thing: I don’t really like trilogies at the moment. Or duologies. Or series of any length really. I haven’t read a full series of books since I was in university and I was devouring The Hunger Games in the back row of a Critical Theory lecture. But despite my current feelings of hesitation towards emotionally investing in a long series of books, I’m here to shout about the one trilogy I did read this year and why you should read it too.

I’m talking, of course, about the Spinster Club series by Holly Bourne. Comprised of three books, Am I Normal Yet? (#1), How Hard Can Love Be? (#2) and What’s a Girl Gotta Do? (#3), the Spinster Club series follows Evie, Amber and Lottie, three young girls attending college in the UK, as they navigate an array of trials and tribulations. Each book focuses on a different character, delving deeper into their lives and personalities, whilst tackling some pretty important subject matter. For example, the first novel in the series, Am I Normal Yet?, follows Evie who is just trying to keep it together, juggling starting a new sixth form college with recovering from a mental illness. It’s such a sad, inspiring read, that portrays mental illness in an honest and heartbreaking way. It also perfectly introduces our cast of strong and intelligent female characters that lead the series and build the Spinster Club (later known as FemSoc), an outlet for their feminist musings – and an opportunity to eat an abundance of chocolate and cheese.

The rest of the novels also focus on some interesting topics, touching on family problems, first loves and standing up for what you believe in – even if others want to pull you back down. But overall, the Spinster Club series is about love, friendship, feminism (!) and it makes my heart happy. It is an exceptional set of YA novels and I just want everyone to read them. The best part about the series is that it’s finished, so you won’t have to spend hours tearing your hair out waiting for the next installment. Plus! Holly Bourne recently released a final, special novel to round off the series, … And a Happy New Year?, which features all three girls equally and ties up their stories very nicely. Set, as you might expect, on New Years’ Eve, it’s time to say goodbye to the Spinsters.

As it’s New Years’ Eve tonight, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to chat about these books and show off my copy of … And a Happy New Year? It’s the only one of the series I actually physically own, opting to read the others on my Kindle, and I think it’s the best one to own by far. The cover design, the colours used and the gold foiling makes the book look and feel like a gorgeous, glittering gift. It’s going to be the perfect addition to my bookshelf, and (I’m hoping) maybe it will serve as a good luck charm to make 2017 a very happy year indeed.

 

 

The Reading Group: January by Della Parker

the-reading-group-januaryI was a little bit disappointed to jump into this without reading the first book in the series (The Reading Group: December), but was pleased to see that this didn’t matter at all with regards to the cohesion and my enjoyment of the novel.
If you are looking for a sweet, light and romantic read, this is the one for you. It follows Anne-Marie, a self-proclaimed matchmaker who is far more interested in helping the singletons of Little Sanderton find love than she is in finding it for herself. But matchmaking isn’t as simple as it seems and, much like the heroine of the Reading Group’s latest read, Emma by Jane Austen, Anne-Marie finds herself in a bit of a mess.

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Notes on a Dark Day

Last night, like a night last June, I bit my fingers to pieces. The cuts my teeth left turning the skin infected, hot and red. But nevertheless, I went to sleep confident that I’d be waking up in a world I’d still want to be in.

Last June, I had to vote. An easy choice with only two possible options. Remain or Leave. In or Out. A vote that resulted in an unexpectedly historic outcome. Like today, I woke in a sweat, already somehow knowing, long before I checked my phone. Before I saw messages from friends. Messages that read things such as “I feel sick” and “How could this happen?”. Today, I woke up to almost the same messages of fear and nausea, this time for events happening thousands of miles away.

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The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless

Formerly published as ‘Little White Lies’.

Downloaded on a whim, The Best Thing I Never Had turned out to be a pretty great read. Reminding me slightly of David Nicholls’ romantic novel, One Day, the story follows a group of university students in their final year of studying.

Lawless’ insight into university life and beyond felt very on point for me. We meet the gang in February 2012, several years after finishing uni. Miles has just proposed to his long term girlfriend, Nicky, leading to a mass text to all of their friends to spread the good news. However, for Nicky, Sukie, Harriet and Leigha, who lived together at university, a lot has changed and the prospect of being reunited is jarring. Especially for Harriet whose relationship with the rest of her university pals has broken down almost entirely. Flashback to September 2006, the start of her last year of studying, and we discover why.

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Autumnal Reading Reccs

Autumn is my favourite season. It’s the season of fallen leaves and rainy days. We start to look forward to Christmas without worrying too much about being behind on our shopping. But most of all, autumn always makes me want to read a very specific type of book. I’m no longer in summer mode, craving sugary sweet romances, I’m after something darker. Below are some of my recommendations of books I’ve either read or am hoping to read very soon that I reckon will be the perfect stories to curl up with this autumn.

Go Short

Afraid of commitment? Or just fancy some quick, atmospheric reads? These have you covered…

short-autumn

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On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher

I really wanted to love this novel.

Now before I start, I want to say that I didn’t dislike it. I definitely enjoyed it! It made me laugh and it made me cry. It is an incredibly sweet first novel that I know lots of people have been loving so far! But On the Other Side was not 100% my cup of tea. Perhaps I’m too picky or maybe I was a little bit too old for it, despite the novel technically being classed as “Women’s Fiction”. Either way, I know that lots of people will have enjoyed On the Other Side a lot more than I did. I’m not here to tell them they’re wrong for doing so! But I did have a mixed response to it, so here are my thoughts overall.

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