It is a truth universally acknowledged that book bloggers are incredibly lovely people that work damn hard.
Book blogging can be a tough gig. Sometimes you feel that you’re flying high and winning at the internet, and other times it feels like you put in so much effort and don’t get much back for it.
For this reason, it’s so important that we support each other! Luckily, at its core, this community is so wonderfully friendly and passionate, to the point where I regularly feel like giving you guys a huge warm squishy bear hug. Yup, and you’re just going to have to take it!
I’m Becky, and I like warm hugs, just like Olaf!
I will be forever grateful for the love and support I’ve received since stumbling into this part of the internet six years ago, and now, I couldn’t even imagine my life without book bloggers in it!
So when I saw that May was going to be hosting the 2019 Book Bloggers Awards, I thought it was an awesome opportunity to try and give back/shout from the rooftops about some of the amazing bloggers I’ve met along the way! You can read May’s post here for more information on how the awards work! Continue reading
Good afternoon bloggers! I hope you’re well! It’s been pretty silent over here the last couple of months, hasn’t it?
That wasn’t really intentional, but the last two months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s been super busy at work and at home, and so even when I have had the downtime to blog, I either haven’t had the want to write or have felt so burnt out that the words don’t flow! I’ve found myself reaching towards Bookstagram more because LESS WORDS. My mental health also took a bit of a dip and I felt like I was taking on a lot of other people’s problems, so I’ve been doing some extra self-care!
But, but, BUTTTTTT, by the time you read this, I will have already hopped over the pond, off on a France roadtrip adventure, and I am PUMPED. I’m going to be going from Calais, all the way down to the south coast, stopping at lots of pretty towns, and I will make sure to share my travels with you when I get back!
Actual footage of our roadtrips when the good tunes come on.
WHAT I GOT UP TO IN MAY AND JUNE:
When I first heard about We Are Not Okay, I was really curious to read it!
It was marketed as four female voices with unique stories to tell, and the short snapshots about each character sounded really intense and interesting. So when an opportunity to review an advanced reader copy came up, as well as to quiz the author, I jumped at it!
Thank you to Harper Collins Publisher HQ for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!
If only they could have spoken out.
Lucy thinks she’s better than the other girls. Maybe if she’s pointing fingers at everyone else, no one will see the secret she’s hiding.
Ulana comes from a conservative Muslim family where reputation is everything. One rumour – true or false – can destroy futures.
Trina likes to party. She’s kissed a lot of boys. She’s even shown her red bra to one. But she didn’t consent to that night at Lucy’s party. So why doesn’t anyone believe
Sophia loved her boyfriend. She did anything for him, even send him photos of herself. So why is she the one being pointed at in the hallways, laughed at, spat at when it was him who betrayed her trust? Continue reading
Hello book lovers!
Fun fact about me: I don’t normally read historical fiction. I don’t know why, especially when I used to love history at school, but it’s just not the kind of book I find myself reaching for.
A fantasy book based around historical events, however? I’m ALL OVER THAT.
I was immensely excited when I came across Romanov, not only does it have THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COVER that basically had me stroking it every five minutes, but it is also based around the history and myth of Anastasia, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. When Nicholas II was forced to abdicate and go into exile with his family, who were later slaughtered, rumors began circulating that Anastasia had somehow survived. Alas, history has now proved this is not the case, but the story still continues to fascinate and capture the hearts of many (including mine since watching the famous animated film and studying Russian history at ALevel!)
I was so excited to see how a YA novel would take on this topic, incorporating it with magic and mysticism, especially considering the role of Rasputin in history as a family friend and holy man who had a ‘mysterious’ hold over the family.
So, did mixing history and magic make for a good read? Find out below!
Another month gone, another wrap-up post. These sure do come around quickly sometimes! (I’d also just like to preface this by saying that despite the title there will be NO Game of Thrones spoilers in this post!)
I’ve been sitting here trying to rack my brain for something interesting enough to share with you guys from April. I did think about trying to convince you that I’d learnt to talk to animals, built a spaceship, or found a fossilized dragon egg in amber that had hatched and I’d become a dragon rider (still ever hopefully after my childhood of watching Jurrasic Park), but somehow, I didn’t think you guys would take me at my word?
(A girl can dream, right?)
April can basically be summed up in Dory’s famous words ‘just keep swimming…’ or the better know phrase, ‘keep on keeping on’.
Of course, there was that brief moment in the UK where we got July-worthy sun over the bank holiday weekend and we all had a freak-out and dug out the BBQ equipment, but it wasn’t long before the status quo returned.
By far the best thing about April for me was seeing all the amazing love you guys have given my Pancake Book Tag. SO many of you have participated in this now and I kind of feel really emotional about it??! I really didn’t think this many people would do it and the whole thing has far exceeded my expectations. You guys are absolutely incredible, THANK YOU! :’D
So, let’s get on with the wrapping up!
Hello book friends! I hope ye are fairing well.
I feel like I’ve been devouring books at a fast rate lately, gobbling up stories like they’re my last meal for the next month, desperate for more characters and more amazing worlds.
Yep, I am a book glutton.
Anyway, as much as I would love to write reviews for every book I read, alas, this thing called time is against me, and I am a pawn to its whims.
Still, I’ve read so many good books lately that I couldn’t let all of them go without giving the nod to AT LEAST SOME OF THEM, and others, I really just wanted to share with you!
So read on for my latest adventures!
Guys, for the longest time, I was totally against getting an Instagram account and joining the Bookstagram community.
I have enough social media to contend with already, I said.
When will I even have enough time to take my own pictures anyway, I said.
But about 6 months ago I caved, and oh boy, I have been utterly enraptured since!!!
I check in on the app AT LEAST once a day to stare at all the pretty shiny things on there, and wow, looking at everyone’s accounts makes me feel so inspired.
Learning how to use, cope, and post on this site has actually felt like a real journey, which is kind of a weird thing to say about something that is essentially a social networking platform! However, I have a feeling a lot of you will:
a) empathise with my struggles
b) feel a little less alone by reading them or
c) find them highly amusing.
…and that’s why I’m bringing this post to you today! So without further ado, here are the 10 stages of being a newbie on Bookstagram from yours truly!
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (a favourite author of mine), was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. It contains all my favourite things after all:
1) Lots and lots of pages…!
*My arms are so much stronger after reading this, no lie.*
3) Complex female character narrators (yay!) with the bonus of an f/f romance *fist pump for diversity!*
I counted down the months, weeks then days until I finally got my hands on this 830 paged beauty, and when its gorgeous cover was in my hands, I disappeared from the internet and dived in!
So, did it live up to my expectations? Eh, I’ll be honest with you – it didn’t. Read on to find out why!
Good afternoon, readers!
I have a question for you: DID YOU MAKE IT OUT OF MARCH IN ONE PIECE? I, my friends, did not. I feel like a walking, talking zombie and I am absolutely cream-crackered! March felt more like 2 months!
THE CHAOTIC THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MARCH:
This can basically be summed up by crazy work shenanigans: first, one of our main members of staff dropped to 1 day a week unexpectedly (and we were understaffed before), secondly, we took on another member of staff who quit 3 days in. So THEN we had to interview for ANOTHER new member of staff, (it’s a really weird feeling interviewing people, btw). We eventually found one (yay!) but now most days are spent training them, which, lemmie tell ya, is REALLY EXHAUSTING.
Actual footage of me at my desk.
NOW, FOR THE REALLY AWESOME THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MARCH:
Hello, book dragons!
I’m bringing this post to you a little later than intended because life has been super busy *SHAKES FIST*, however, I’m extremely excited to be giving you the inside scoop on the Samantha Shannon in conversation event I attended at the end of February, celebrating her new release The Priory of the Orange Tree!
For those of you that don’t know, Priory is a high fantasy standalone novel that’s loosely based around the myth of George and the dragon, which is pretty freakin’ awesome!
I’m still quite new to attending bookish events and I do get a little nervous about them, but the team at London Waterstones Picadilly made everyone SO welcome, even offering us a free glass of wine. Um, VIP TREATMENT OVER HERE!?!
My friend and I arrived pretty early but the room was already half full, buzzing with excitable energy. When Samantha walked onto the makeshift stage there was a large whoop and a round of applause. Joining her and chairing the interview was Alwyn Hamilton. While I haven’t read any of her novels, I really want to now because she was such a funny and vibrant speaker and really set the tone for the evening!
Hello everyone! Today is Shrove Tuesday, hurrah!
While I’m not religious in any way, I certainly jump on any excuse to have a sweet treat like a pancake or waffle, and I have a feeling you do too! 😉
(Literally drooling at this picture right now. Ahdfjdhfiufjf, NOM)
I was scratching my head trying to think of a themed post that I could do around pancake day (and treats in general) because sugar is awesome, and suddenly it came to me, A PANCAKE BOOK TAG.
So I had a little google, and it turned out that I couldn’t see that anyone had done this before, WHAAAAT. So now I feel like pancakes have been underrepresented in the book community, which is just not okay! Naturally, I felt I had to write this wrong.* Also, for the record, I think pancakes should be an all year thing. How do we overlook this?
*I have always been a champion of the underdog
So, I got down to business and created my first ever original book tag, which was kinda scary, but also, I had so much fun doing it and playing around with all the graphics!
SO, if you’re into munching on pancakes, like reading awesome books, and like food-related puns, read on and discover all your favourite things!
Accurate footage of me eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. I am a monster.
I hope ye are fairing well and that February was a positive month for you! It took until about halfway through February for me to stop thinking it was January, and then it feels like I blinked and now somehow there are no days left?!? Like, whoa!
February was a very good month for me, I feel like I managed to squeeze a lot into a very small amount of time, including binge-watching a whole 3 seasons of a TV show, reading a LOT of books compared to my monthly average, and having some great personal experiences!
COOL THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN FEBRUARY
- I visited the Sky Garden in London, which is a building with a 360 view. The viewing space is also full of beautiful and bold plants and landscaped garden areas. I’d definitely recommend this if your heading to London, because it’s completely free – it’s not quite as high as the Shard, but it has a very good view of it!
- I attended the London launch for Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree which was absolutely AMAZING (blog post to come)! It was also chaired by Alwyn Hamilton. SUCH GOOD BOOKISH VIBES. 😀
- I did my first buddy read in 5 years with my interwebs friend and fellow blogger, Tony, and it was so much fun swapping plot theories and character insights! I definitely want to do more of these again in the future because you really think about what you’re reading in so much more detail!
- I had my first ever Wagamama’s, and I liked it! YUM.
- I started looking into the possibility of being a volunteer mental health listener for those who are struggling or are lonely, which I think could potentially be a very rewarding experience if it develops further!
What were your personal highlights this month?
I am quickly learning that when it comes to the author, Lauren James, you should always expect the unexpected!
After reading The Loneliest Girl in the Universe a couple of months ago and being thoroughly impressed with it, even considering I’m not a big science fiction reader, I was extremely excited to pick up James’s newest offering, The Quiet at the End of the World.
Lauren’s new book was certainly a rollercoaster, and I haven’t read a novel that has kept me guessing this much in a VERY LONG TIME.
Thank you to Walker Books for providing me with an advanced reader copy at their book blogger event! This did not in any way impact the thoughts in my review. Continue reading
I came across this super cool tag recently created by the wonderful Purely Olivia. She has a fabulous book blog and you should definitely check it out if you haven’t come across it before!
This tag combines two of my favourite things – books and Taylor Swift songs.
I mean, win-win, right?!
Taylor Swift’s music saw me through most of my teenage years (alongside Paramore and The Pretty Reckless, I’m diverse Y’all). While I’m not such a fan of her newer pop albums, her country songs still make my heart SO HAPPY, and instantly transport me back to teen angst, first crushes, and belting out song lyrics with my friends at sleepovers! 😀
CONTENT WARNING: This post may cause you to unexpectedly burst into song, hum in public for up to 24hrs after reading, or get caught in a dangerous Taylor Swift Youtube cycle.*
*I may or may not have gone on a two day Taylor Swift music binge after writing this. BLAMING YOU, OLIVIA!
I think anyone reading this post will agree that we all read a lot of books. The difficulty comes when there are SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS TO CHOOSE FROM!
There are some authors that you hear about, again and again, tagged along with endless superlatives, and yet somehow never get around to reading despite your best efforts.
Brandon Sanderson has always been one of those authors for me.
I’m a huge high fantasy fan and Sanderson’s work has been recommended to me since I started blogging 6 years ago. After seeing so many glowing reviews for a variety of his novels, I purchased Elantris because it was a stand-alone and I had far too many series on the go at the time. Afterward, I was told that it wasn’t the best of his works to start with, and so there it sat on my shelves for, you guessed it, 6 years. HOWS THAT FOR PROCRASTINATION?!?
Fast forward to 2019 Becky tackling her backlist, and all I can say is that if this isn’t one of Brandon Sanderson’s best, I can’t WAIT to dive into to all his other books, because I enjoyed this immensely!