Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Made Me Want To Do/Learn Something

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This week’s Top Ten topic is books that have made me want to do or learn something from reading them. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and The Bookish, and if you do one of the prompts set, you can link your post to their post and others can read your top ten. Cool, right? Lets start.
1. Sketching (Isla and The Happily Ever After)
I already draw a lot, but then I read Isla and The Happily Ever After, and my passion for sketching just exploded from there. I was inspired, sue me.
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2. Turning into an animal at will (Harry Potter)
Who didn’t read Harry Potter and wish they could be an Animagus like Professor McGonagall or Sirius? I like to think I’d turn into an animal as quirky and unusual as I am.
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3. An exciting adventure/quest (Lord of The Rings)
Like Charlie said:
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4. How to be a samurai or ninja (The Young Samurai series)
From the moment I started reading this series, I was hooked and I really, really wanted to be a samurai, and then later on a ninja (because why not?), and for a while that was definitely my dream.
5. Archery (Hunger Games)
Lets be real, everyone wanted to be a top-notch archer after reading about Katniss and her defiant bow and arrows.
 
6. Fly a spaceship (Scarlet)
Ugh, I want to fly the Rampion so much! Yet, I know Thorne would rather give up both hands than give up control of his beloved ship. Boo.
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Sourced from Tumblr

7. Go to a grand ball (Cinderella)
This is all any little girl wants – to get all prettied up to just dance the night away at a ball with a prince. Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!
8.  Leaving a notebook with dares in a bookshop ( Dash And Lily’s Book of Dares)
I actually did this one! After I’d finished reading Dash and Lily, I made my own little book of dares and left it in my usual bookshop, but nobody picked it up. Oh well. I tried.
9.  Flirt with a Starbucks barista ( Fangirl)
I still haven’t done this one, mostly because I live nowhere near a Starbucks and also because I can’t flirt to save my life, but I would love to find the real-life equivalent of Levi who, lets be real, is a literal cupcake.
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Sourced from Christy on Goodreads

 
10. Fall head over heels in love ( every romance book ever)
Hey, don’t judge me! I’m a hopeless romantic who believes in happily ever after, and love at first sight. I’m still looking for anyone who wants to date me, since it hasn’t happened yet, but hey, hope springs eternal.
What have y’all put on your lists this Tuesday? Send me a link to your post, and I’ll definitely have a look, because I’m genuinely fascinated about this topic.
Happy reading!

Book Review – Opal (Lux #3)

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Title: Opal (Lux #3)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis: After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Okay, how do I begin this review? With all these feelings, I guess the only way is to express them with gifs.

Me when I started reading it:

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Me halfway through it:

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Me once I’d finished it:

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Get the gist? Yeah, I’m still working through all my feelings about this. Let’s try actual words now.

Opal follows on from the end of Onyx, and relationships are fractured by the losses suffered in the previous book – especially Dee and Katy’s friendship. However, now the third Black sibling is home, and that brings both happiness and complications, involving the DOD.

Ugh, Blake is the biggest arsehole out of all the arseholes in the world. After what he did in Onyx, I never fully trusted him again, and with good reason. After all, what’s the phrase? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Blake must die! Die, die, die!

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Dee, on the other hand, deserves all the love in the world. Grief makes her a little bit of a bitch, but she’s still a total sweetheart. It really hurt when her relationship with Katy was basically a pile of poop – broTP, much? – but it just made it all the more heart warming when they took that step forwards again. Yay Dee and Katy!

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Then we have Daemon. Like Katy, I alternate between wanting to have my way with him, and wanting to kill him. He’s so annoying, yet ridiculously sexy. Here lies the perils of having book boyfriends.

Also, have I ever mentioned how much I love that Katy is a book blogger? I mean, there’s parts of the books where she’s just being a book blogger or book fangirl, and Daemon is genuinely interested, and I love that.

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Jennifer Armentrout just creates this fascinating world of aliens and humans and hybrids, and you can’t help but get sucked into it and into these complicated and layered characters. I only just finished Opal today, and I can’t wait to move on to reading the next one ASAP.

In case you haven’t jumped on the Luxen bandwagon yet (which rock have you been hiding under?!), here’s several quotes to get you into this book:

Daemon was beautiful but prickly, like a Christmas cactus.

-It had taken a lot for us to get to this point, being in the same room with each other, and not overcome by the urge to commit first-degree murder.

Our precious moment of being normal ended with a body lying on my bedroom floor.

It always felt good typing up a review on a book I enjoyed and I went all out, finding bizarre pictures to emphasize the wow factor. I preferred ones with cute kittens, and llamas. And Dean Winchester.

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– “He’s like a suicidal Energizer bunny.”

Oh dear baby kittens…she’d been mutated.

It sucked – sucked worse than people who pirated books, sucked more than waiting a year for the next book in a beloved series, and sucked more than a brutal cliffhanger ending.

The only reason I’m giving this a four star rating instead of a five is because of that ending. That’s not just a cliffhanger – it’s cruel. Curse you, Armentrout! Not really, I love you.

Happy reading!

Book Review – Isla And The Happily Ever After

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Title: Isla And The Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Synopsis: Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: Why did I wait so long to read this?! It’s amazing! I have so many feelings about this book, but I’m going to try and put them into words (and a few gifs).

We first met Isla briefly in ‘Anna And The French Kiss’ and we know Josh – St Clair’s best friend – from the first book as well, but in this book we get to know Josh and Isla a lot more. Isla has been nuts about Josh for years, and he likes her too, but there’s always some obstacle in their path to happiness.

Oh my god, there were so many obstacles! Romeo and Juliet just had their parents to worry about -Isla and Josh have family drama on top of their own messed up schedules, and their separate friend groups, and new school rules on top of that, as well as Isla’s own insecurity. It’s a wonder they ever find their happily ever after.

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I absolutely love Stephanie Perkins’ fluffy writing – it’s just the thing you need when you’ve been stuck into some pretty serious literature or even just having a bad day. It’s the perfect antidote to life.

There’s cameos from past favourites like Anna, Etienne, and even Lola and Cricket, but we also meet new characters like Kurt – Isla’s best friend. Oh my god, Kurt is incredible! It’s very rare that you see a character with Aspergers in a YA book, but Kurt was written exquisitely.

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Josh knows that Kurt has high-functioning autism. Everyone here knows. When a stranger misinterprets Kurt’s behaviour as rudeness and reacts poorly, I can usually forgive them. But when someone who knows him doesn’t even want to try to understand him? No. I can’t forgive that.

“Yeah. What the DSM used to call Aspergers, and what they now call high-functioning autism. It’s the same thing. But it’s not a problem, it’s not like it’s something that needs to be cured. His brain just works a little differently from ours. That’s all.”

Ugh, so good! Everything about this book is so good! Well, except Isla’s sister Hattie. Hattie is a brat.

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I think my favourite part of the whole book is at the end when everyone’s together at Point Zéro – if you’ve read the book, you’ll know why this is my favourite. Everyone’s together and happy and it’s just such a pleasant atmosphere.

I’m actually very sad that this series is over, because you know, you only read a book for the first time once. On the other hand, I’m a sucker for fluffy romance, so I’ll probably read this book again soon.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book, chosen especially for this review;

If only I could say, “Listen, I like you, and you like me, so let’s go find a secluded park and touch each other.”

“It must be difficult to remember when your brain is smaller than your penis. Which, rumour has it, isn’t that big in the first place.”

“My fiancee and I are headed out for a celebratory dessert. I’d ask you all to join us, but I don’t want you there.”

Five star book! Go read it if you haven’t already, because it really is amazing. The whole series is a cute, fluffy breath of fresh air that I consider to be the antidote to life.

Book Review – Hiatus

Goodreads | Netgalley

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Title: Hiatus

Author: L.A Witt

Synopsis: Three’s a disaster when things come unraveled.

Rock star Nate Keller is on top of the world, but his headlining tour has one drawback. It keeps him away from his boyfriends, Theo and Cameron, for weeks at a time. Yet after four-and-a-half years—and a lot of hard work—the trio is still going strong.

But then Cam comes to visit with devastating news. After seventeen years together, he and Theo have agreed to a trial separation. Nate tries desperately to fix his lovers’ broken relationship, but there’s only so much he can do from the road.

At home, Cam tries to carry on, but feels like his whole life is spiraling out of control. Theo struggles to cope with the split as his depression worsens. They’re both spinning their wheels, quickly losing hope they can keep it together—and keep the man they both still love.

Desperate, Nate drops everything in a last-ditch attempt to pull their trio back together before they hit rock bottom. Except their love could already be shattered beyond repair.

Warning: Contains two men who must face how broken they are before they can fix their failing marriage, and the man who loves them both—but doesn’t know how to save them.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: *I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

This is not the first L.A. Witt book I’ve read – last year I stumbled upon ‘Running With Scissors’ on Netgalley, and I fell head over heels with it. That’s why when I saw this on Netgalley, I was over the moon. Trust me, I so wasn’t disappointed!

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Is it possible for something to be totally adorable and totally hot at the same time?

This is something I’ve been interested in for a while – a polyamorous relationship.I was instantly intrigued by the premise of the book from the synopsis – a rockstar who happens to have two boyfriends, who in turn happen to be married to each other? Fascinating. However, as soon as I started reading, I was drawn into this triad of drama and feelings and emotions that is the relationship between Nate, Cam and Theo.

Let’s see, how can I summarise this succinctly? Nate’s a musician who’s making it big with his band and touring almost constantly, but this puts a spanner in his relationship with Theo – oh yeah, and Theo’s husband, Cam. It’s hard enough for Nate to be away from his boyfriends for months on end, but it gets even harder when Cam appears and breaks the news that the two husbands are having a ‘break.’ You think being in a triad relationship is hard? The drama and tears are just starting.

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The three different points of view threw me off a little at the start, and a little thoughout because just as I would get into Nate’s POV, it would switch suddenly to Theo, and I’d have to re-adjust, but that’s pretty much the only bad part. Okay, now we’ve got that out of the way, lets get into the fangirling and squealing.

It’s so refreshing to read something where it’s about the existing relationship and working with that, rather than establishing a brand new relationship. Theo and Cam work on fixing their relationship with each other, their relationship with Nate, and also fixing themselves. They’re all just so adorably pathetic and sad, and I ended up head over fictional heels in love with each and every one of them.

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There is graphic sex scenes in it, but they’re few and far between, so you’ll be okay even if smut isn’t your cup of tea. Actually, they’re kind of hot – dyad (two-person) sex scenes, and then an explosively hot threesome later in the book. Ooh la la!

This is a definite recommendation from me if you like guy-on-guy romance novels, or any books where there’s a poly relationship. I can’t wait to get the hard copy of it when it’s released on July 19th.

Happy reading!

Book Review – Great

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Title: Great

Author: Sara Benincasa

Synopsis: Everyone loves a good scandal.

Naomi Rye usually dreads spending the summer with her socialite mother in East Hampton. This year is no different. She sticks out like a sore thumb among the teenagers who have been summering (a verb only the very rich use) together for years. But Naomi finds herself captivated by her mysterious next-door neighbor, Jacinta. Jacinta has her own reason for drawing close to Naomi-to meet the beautiful and untouchable Delilah Fairweather. But Jacinta’s carefully constructed world is hiding something huge, a secret that could undo everything. And Naomi must decide how far she is willing to be pulled into this web of lies and deception before she is unable to escape.

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I do love a good retelling, and this certainly fit the bill. I haven’t read ‘The Great Gatsby’ since I was sixteen (five years ago now), but I remembered enough of it to see parallels throughout this book.

Me Before Reading It:

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Me Halfway Through Reading It:

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Me After Finishing:

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I loved the LGBT twist on a classic – I could do with some more like this. Let’s do retellings of classic books like this more often, please.

Like always, Naomi Rye goes to visit her famous mother in the Hamptons for the summer, but this time around, she has her head turned by the eccentric but lovely Jacinta. However, she isn’t the only one affected by Jacinta’s unique brand of charm.

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This was one of those books I just whirled through for a few reasons; one, it was a short book, only 200-odd pages, ; and two, the whole world in general just pulled me in further and further with each page. I was enthralled by this sneaky and high-maintenance society that we’re introduced to via Naomi as the narrator.

First of all, I absolutely loved Jacinta from the start – she’s misunderstood, and she’s sweet and caring, and she’s a blogger! I love reading about characters who happen to be bloggers, for some reason. Jacinta in particular is a character who is a little unusual but she’s basically harmless. I can’t say any more without spoiling anything, so let’s move on.

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I do think that it could have been longer – the action all happened in the last twenty or so pages, which made it feel a little rushed and anti-climatic – but that can be excused because it’s stayed close to the original book to an extent. Yay for staying true to the original!

Also, I really hate bittersweet endings for making me feel all these things. The only way I can express how I feel about the ending of this book is through reaction gifs:

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I give it a four star rating because it’s not quite a five-star-worthy book. Almost, but not quite there. If you enjoy books about bitchy socialites, and devious relationships behind closed doors (think Gossip Girl), then you should read this. Even if you just want a filler book between bigger reads, then this is my recommendation to you.

Top Five Friday – LGBTQ+ Books

This is my first Top Five Friday in a few weeks, but I’m looking forward to telling you all about my favourite LGBTQ novels. These books are so freaking awesome, and I love them all, so go check them out (once you’ve read this post, obviously).

1 – Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

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2 – Running With Scissors

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3 – Lies My Girlfriend Told Me

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4 – Geography Club

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5 – Fox-Hat And Neko

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Happy reading!

Book Review – How Not To Summon Your True Love

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Goodreads | Netgalley

Title: How Not To Summon Your True Love

Author: Sasha L. Miller

Synopsis: Though it doesn’t really come as a surprise, Cy is still crushed when he’s dumped. His relationship with Alex had lasted longer than all previous attempts, and started promising when Alex had proclaimed he was perfectly okay with Cy being asexual. On impulse, convinced no one will ever really see him as worthy relationship material, Cy turns to a book that belonged to his late mother, a grimoire of magic spells that obviously won’t work. It’s a stupid idea, and even if magic was real there’s no way a true love summoning spell would work for him…

Rating: 3 and a half stars

Review: I received this e-ARC through Netgalley from Less Than Three Press in exchange for an honest review, and honestly? I’ve read better. That’s not to say that it wasn’t good – it just means that it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. Let me explain.

Cy has just been dumped by his boyfriend, who can’t deal with Cy’s asexuality, and so Cy decides to cheer himself up by trying one of the so-called spells in his mother’s spellbook, not really expecting any of them to work. However, when he does a spell to summon his true love, a hot naked man covered in suds appears. Oops.

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It’s just a cute cross-country road trip story, with witches thrown into the mix. I did enjoy reading it, and I might read it again in future, but to be perfectly honest, if I only had a choice between this or one other book, I’d pick up the other book first.

I found the characters interesting on their own, but I don’t think I could get behind them as a couple. There was very little romance there, except right at the tail end. If it had been a full book (which it had the potential to be), I’d have gotten a lot more invested in the characters and the world.

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On the general scale, this novella falls under the grey area – not that interesting, but not bad either. If you like urban fantasy, or modern witches, or even books with asexual characters, then go read this. It’s being published on March 16th, or you can request it on Netgalley if you have an account on there.

Happy reading!