Post Uni/Yay its Summer Book Haul!

Hello, dear bookworms of the interwebs! I hope you’ve all been enjoying soaking up the summer rays, especially if you live in the UK where we’ve been having a serious heat wave (to those of you stuck in offices with poor air conditioning I weep for your souls). Personally, I have been indulging in some well deserved time off. My final year of university was a super stressful slog, so I am currently taking advantage of my post-student but have-yet-to-be employed status (Yep, I’m a slacker now!) by catching up with family, friends and my books (not necessarily in that order).
As a gift to myself for completing my degree I decided to splurge on some books I had been pining over for a while, especially now I have the opportunity to fit in some serious summer reading!


So first up we have two YA contemporaries that deal with an important topic that is not often covered in YA, gender identity! As someone who has studied psychology and gender as a topic, I was desperate to get my hands on these as soon as I saw they were being published. I also loved the simplistic covers so much I decided to splash out and buy the hardbacks full price! The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson is a dual narrative book that follows a transgender teen coming to terms with his identity (I recently reviewed this book here so you can check that out if you’re interested). In comparison, None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio is about a girl who discovers that she in intersex (has both male and female genitalia) and has to deal with coming to terms with this, as well as coping with the reactions of her boyfriend and friends. I think these novels mark such an important step forward in diversity in YA!


Next up we have The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. I haven’t seen much hype around this one, but as soon as I stumbled across it I knew I had to get a copy IMMEDIATELY. It’s got a historical setting and follows two characters who have been chosen just like Antony and Cleopatra and Romeo and Juliet, to see whether their love can prevail or if all will end in tragedy. It sounds like such a unique spin on an overused trope, and I love the idea of it being part narrated by love and death! Plus, super pretty cover. 😀
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon was an equally impulsive buy. It’s the second book in a series that has the potential to be incredibly gripping and unique. I finished the first book The Bone Season last week which was phenomenal (Look out for my upcoming review!), and bought The Mine Order before I had even finished it because I knew that I would want to know what happened next. It’s set in a bizarre criminal world where some people have the ability to control spirits and it all goes on in underneath London’s streets. In other words, it’s totally awesome!


I’m not the biggest contemporary reader, but this genre does seem to be getting better and better and every time summer rolls around I carefully hand pick some of them that I think I will enjoy. I’d had my eye on Since You’ve Been Gone for a while because it’s a story based around some interesting friendship dynamics. Emily is a passive/shy girl who follows her outgoing friend Sloane’s lead. But suddenly Sloane disappears leaving Emily stranded, the only thing left is a list of daring things for Emily to complete. Basically, this book sounds really fun and perfect for summer so I’m looking forward to it! In comparison, I decided to pick up Just One Day based on Cristina’s and Lauren’s brilliant discussion about it. I believe it’s about a girl who’s just finished university and meets a guy spending 24 wonderful hours with him that have a knock-on effect on the rest of her life. Travel + romance + self-exploration sounds like a win to me!


I also picked up All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven having read a brilliant Q&A with the author that really impressed me. The story starts with two teens on a ledge intending to commit suicide. Will they both jump? Will they convince each other not to? What led these two teens to this position in the first place? These were all questions that sprung into my mind when reading the blurb and I’m looking forward to finding out the answers. Again the psychology side of me loves books about mental health, so I hope this one will tackle it well!


I managed to get both of these books for a sneaky £2 each on eBay. Although they’re second hand they’re in brilliant condition! I’ve wanted to read 1984 for such a long time. Everyone seems to consider it one of the best dystopian novels, so as a fan of the genre, I’m very intrigued. Alternatively, Carrie is often given the credit for being one of the first books to link going through adolescence with gaining supernatural powers that is so often seen in YA books, and after reading It by Stephen King, I’m looking forward to trying out another of his novels!


On my final day at my university accommodation and after packing up all my belongings, I decided to have a final look around the charity shops searching for book bargains. It seems I was in luck because I came across these two beauties, I couldn’t believe it as they were such recent releases! We All Looked Up is a kind of contemporary but apocalyptic story where teens contemplate their lives when the world is said to be coming to an end, while Crown of Midnight is the second book in a series about an assassin. Two awesome YA release I was more than happy to snap up!


I also came across these two during my search, which had been on my ‘maybe to read’ pile for quite some time, and when I saw them so cheap I decided to treat myself! I don’t know that much about either of these novels but The Girl With All the Gifts has gotten a lot of great reviews and also has a quote by Joss Whedon on it praising the novel so I was pretty much sold with that! While Rivers of London mainly lured me with its setting and supernatural/magical elements!


My final purchases were also second-hand bargains. I picked up The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry because I liked the quirky title. I remember that this book was EVERYWHERE a while back and it sounds really interesting although it’s not my normal genre. But I like the idea of a man traveling around the UK on a bizarre mission and learning things about himself along the way. Meanwhile, The Shock of the Fall is a novel that’s been on my wishlist for ages because it has a character with schizophrenia, which is again, a topic I’m passionate about! (Hmm, I sensing a psychology theme in this book haul.)

So, I hope you might have found a few more books to add to your tbr after this post! Have you read any of the novels above? What’s the best book you’ve read this summer so far? What books have you splurged on recently? 🙂

48 thoughts on “Post Uni/Yay its Summer Book Haul!

  1. “We all looked up” sounds like my current work-in-progress, I’ll have to look that one up! I finished school / work about two hours ago…a glorious six weeks off.
    You have an impressive haul there. I loved Carrie, brilliant book! 1984 is eerily prophetic…btw, I just finished “The Handmaids Tale” which is well worth looking at.

    Enjoy your summer!

    • Oooh, really? I am intrigued. 🙂 It’s a really interesting concept to play around with – how would teens react if they knew the world was ending? Go crazy and get drunk no doubt, hehee!

      YAY FOR YOU. Summer holidays are awesome. Lots of time to relax and read!

      Thanks, I think I know all the basic plot points from Carrie purely from pop culture, but I still can’t wait to see how the real thing compares. I’ve wanted to read The Handmaids Tale for ages! Did you enjoy it?

      • The end of the world is a fun concept to play around with… How different personalities would deal with it! :-). I gave Handmaids 4/5, brilliant book. There’s a review on GR.

        When do you get your results, btw?

      • Agreed. I have no idea how I would react, it’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? I think mostly, I’d just want to spend the time with people I cared about, and possibly road trip to some cool places if there was time!

        Just read your review, awesome stuff. 🙂

        I actually already have my results, I passed everything, yay! I will be posting about it all more in the next week or so, so stay tuned.

  2. So many of these books are books that I NEED to buy ASAP! This was a wonderful book haul and I hope you get around to reading all the ones you plan to read and I can’t wait ti hear your thoughts on all of them xoxo

  3. This is an impressive yield! I’m definitely adding “All the bright places” and “The shock of the fall” to my TBR list. They sound like the sort of books I’d really like. And maybe “The game of love and death” too… and “We all looked up”…
    Argh, my TBR list is long enough as it is!

  4. Great grabs! I’ll look forward to your review of “The Bone Season” and “Carrie” when you get to that. I saw “The Girl With All the Gifts” today in Barnes & Noble and was tempted to purchase it and “Soulless” by Gail Carriger but I steadied my hand and turned away because I’ve bought too many books already.

    • Glad you approve, Zezee. 🙂 Currently writing up my review of The Bone Season right now, it’s such a unique book, but it’s really hard to describe. The post should be up sometime next week.

      Wow, such restraint you good bookworm! Well done. Occasionally it is important to say no to new books, for fear that one day we will be found crushed to death underneath our tbr piles. 😛

  5. Woweeeee!!! I thought my recent birthday book haul was amazing, but your book haul is spectacular :). I love gazing at all the beautiful book covers and wondering what wonderful adventures are awaiting the reader inside. Happy reading book buddy – you totally deserve some relaxing reading time. I do to after the week at work I had, so I intend to sit on my deck in the sunshine all day and lose myself in a great book. I just started the third book in the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness.

  6. I’ve read a couple of the books from your haul! I’ve read Just One Day, The Shock of the Fall and Since You’ve Been Gone, I really enjoyed all 3. I recently went book shopping and I found the entire The Infernal Devices trilogy and a hard cover copy of The Raven Boys in a sales bin. I was ecstatic. This month I have accumulated so many books, by far the biggest haul of 2015!

    • Ohh yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed all three books! Hopefully, that means I will enjoy them too.

      Ooooh, NICE FIND! Book sales bins are the best things ever, it feels like the uncovering of precious hidden treasure. Especially if there’s a cheap beautiful hardback involved. 🙂 I hope you find some time this summer to relax and enjoy your finds, and congrats on your huge haul!

      • Let me know your thoughts once you do read them! Thank you so much, I’m super excited about my haul! However, because I’m in Australia my winter holidays have just finished! I have to go back to school today. So I don’t know when I’ll get to read them 😦

  7. Books and a break from uni = perfect summer! I just graduated as well, and I’m loving the relaxation. 🙂

    Please, please do a review when you finish Crown of Midnight, that one looks fantastic!

    • It sure does! Ahh, congratulations to you as well then, what an awesome achievement, you should be so proud (and like me, now definitely deserve some time off 😉 ).

      I haven’t actually read Throne of Glass yet which is the first book in the series followed by Crown of Midnight, but I will definitely be reviewing both once I’ve read them! I hope they live up to my expectations.

  8. Pingback: Premio Dardos Award | Zezee with Books

  9. To your questions :
    1 – slaughterhouse five by kurt vonnegut
    2- eva luna by Isabel allende
    3- place of reeds by caitlin davies

    And my last book haul, about three weeks ago………. 14 books for 17 bucks 😀
    I hunted the library (cancelled books- $1 fiction, $2 non, go figure?)
    St Vincent de paul thrift shop (10 cents -$1)
    😉 😉
    And, the warehouse (i search for ‘a monster calls)
    They didn’t have it! So I didn’t buy it 😦

    • I’ve been thinking about giving Slaughterhouse Five a go for a while, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! I haven’t heard of the other two book, I’ll have to look them up. 🙂

      Sounds like you got some BRILLIANT bargains, 14 books for 17 bucks is amazing. Getting older books sold by the library is always great.

      Sorry to hear you didn’t manage to get your hands on A Monster Calls, that one is definitely worth the read!

  10. Vonnegut’s book is great!
    It’s classed as an anti war book but i don’t entirely agree and think it’s so much more than that. I read it 3 times (it’s quite short) to try to figure out why I loved it so much, it’s inclusion in the top 100 is well deserved.

    Caitlin davies is the daughter of prodigious authors Margaret Forster and hunter davies which clearly shows in her writing ability.
    This book really disturbed me, because like most people i like a happy ending, so I needed to walk up and down the river and along the coast to try and clear my head.

    Allende has such an imagination!!!, it makes it easy to overlook such things as character dialogue, a true teller of tales!
    (a goodreads review mentions RITALIN, good call)

    I should have added jack Londons sea wolf. and the wisdom of laotse to that list and…….
    So many good reads this year 🙂

    The library rocks!

    Yes definitely, two of ness’s books are on the list plus your latest five star read.
    Lucky you, you might get to meet/see them both at yalc
    Have fun ❤

    • Ahh, I love books like that, where you have to reread them again to figure out why exactly you loved them. It’s like working out a puzzle! I don’t actually know much about the story so I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s about.

      I’m one of those really rare people that love depressing/sad/not happily ever after endings, so I’m sure I would like it.

      Glad to hear you’ve read a lot of amazing books this year!

  11. OH MY GOD I’m equal parts jealous and thankful that you’ve mentioned all of these books!

    There’s a few that I haven’t heard of but they sound SO intriguing. I’ve just added pretty much everything that you’ve mentioned to my wish-list *stares forlornly at empty bank account*

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