December & January Wrap Up // In Which Awesome Things Happen but I am Defeated by Illness.

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If you’re reading this, it means you’ve officially made it through the most depressing month of the year, GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK (and maybe a cookie…or 5???)

cookie gif.gifActual image of me being a cookie monster.

There’s something about January that feels a little like limping over a finish line, am I right? It bleak, it’s rainy, it gets dark so early and it feels like you shouldn’t have to go out into the world and DO THINGS.

I’m summarising both December and January in this post because in December I did my end of year wrap up instead.

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My Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2019 in YA & Fantasy!

most anticipated book released 2019

Hello everyone! 

I hope 2019 is treating you kindly so far! We’re two weeks in now, and I kind of still feel like I’m living in some kind of post-celebrations fog??!?
THIS BOOKWORM IS NOT READY FOR THE REAL WORLD YET.

It seems fitting that my first blog post of the year is looking ahead at all the good things coming up in the book world. This is actually my first time doing one of these anticipated releases posts if you can believe it! This is mostly because I am a very unorganised lemon and I never get all my dragons in a row as it were.

However, this year, I seem to have amassed a rather significant list of amazing new titles that I’m desperate to get my hands on.

I’m so excited to discuss these with you so that we can be excited together! I’ve split my 2019 releases into fantasy and contemporary reads, and then within each section by publication date to make things fair.

I’m also pleased to say that my list is a mix of both hyped and lesser-known novels, so I’m hoping that there may be a few on here you haven’t heard of yet!

SO READ ON TO DISCOVER AWESOMENESS! 😀

***Note: Full blurbs can be read by clicking on the drop-down arrows!***

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2018 Wrap Up: On Books, Blogging & Exceeding all my Goals!

2018 Books and Blogging Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

It’s that time of year where your inbox is being overwhelmed with blogging wrap up posts left right and centre. Why? Because December is a great time to reflect on goals both personal and bookish.*

*Also, analyzing your books and blogging stats is so damn satisfying.

So I’m sorry (but not sorry) that I will be joining the queue of bloggers discussing their books and blogging achievements of 2018! If you want to skip this post because you’re feeling oversaturated, I completely understand, but if not, I do hope you enjoy viewing what I’ve been up to, including the best books that I’ve read in 2018!

2018 has been a bit of a rollercoaster of a personal year. I lost two family members in Jan and Feb, and to be honest, 2018 never really recovered from that despite a lot of other amazing things such as mini breaks, theatre visits, gigs, etc.

But when it comes to books and blogging, 2018 was pretty incredible, and I’ve smashed a lot of my personal stats! I AM SO PROUD.

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Mini Reviews: YA Books I’ve Been Devouring Lately!

Mini Reviews

Hello, readers!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the holiday season by eating too much, sipping on bubbly and just maybe, rewatching all the Harry Potter movies. 😉

If you’re anything like me, you’re currently in that post-Christmas but pre-New Years bliss where time slows down, you end up staying in your pajamas all day, and even forget what day of the week it is!

All of this, of course, is very condusive to quality reading time, and I’ve been zooming through an interesting mix YA books, some of which were noteworthy enough for me to share with you!

SO LET’S DO THE REVIEW THING *FIST PUMP*

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The 12 Days of Christmas: A Bookish Wishlist if Money was no Object!

The 12 Days of Christmas A Bookish Gift Guide
Hello, Bookworms!

It’s that time of the year where we’re all rushing around buying gifts for our loved ones and also making our own wishlists for what we might like this Christmas.

One of the things I love most about the book community is that it’s so passionate and creative. Through blogging, I have come across many amazing people who develop their own bespoke designs based on bookish fandoms and themes.

For a while, I’ve been trying to think of a way of showcasing this amazing creativity, and so I’ve put together this list of 12 bookish gifts I’d be ecstatic to find under my tree this year. Most of this list focuses on independent sellers because I think it’s really important that we try to support them (money allowing)! 😀

I hope that this list either a) makes you squeal at the bookish gloriousness b) gives you something to add to your wishlist or c) gives you some good gifting ideas for friends and family!
So here we goooooo!

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November Wrap Up: Burn Out, Glorious Bookishness & Confusing TV

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 Hi, guys! So, November was a pretty awful month and I’m glad to see it go!

Work has been horrendous and we have been scrabbling around, totally behind the game spending most of our time putting out fires. I have been feeling utterly burnt out. BUT WHO WANTS TO TALK ABOUT THAT??? I don’t, I’ve already lived it!

Here are some of the highlights from this month – there are actually more positives than I thought!

  • I came across some Beatrix Potter 50p coins after buying some food and had a total nerd out. I love Beatrix Potter and used to read all the books when I was younger, so I was surprised to look down at my change and find both Tom Kitten and Jeremy Fisher staring back at me! They’re now in pride of place on my bookshelf! (You can view the collection here.)
  • I went to a new Turkish restaurant which essentially specialises in meat platters. It was fantastic and they had the biggest portions I’ve ever seen!
  • I treated myself to a book haul and all the covers are so beautiful I COULD CRY.
  • I received my first ever book subscription box from illumicrate. I’ve been so tempted to get one of these for a while, but with most being £30 a pop it’s not exactly an impulse buy. But this month I decided to treat myself, damn it! It was so fun having a mystery box full of goodies to open, and it had a book enclosed that I’ve been desperately coveting for the last couple of months! If you’re interested to see what was in it, you can view my instagram story (it’s on my highlights)!

What were your personal highlights this month?

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Julie Kagawa Discusses her Favourite Creatures from Asian Folklore // Guest Post

Julie Kagawa guest post

To celebrate Julie Kagawa’s new YA release, the action-packed, fun-filled, Asian fantasy, Shadow of the Fox, I have a guest post today from the lovely lady herself!

Today, and on theme with Shadow of the Fox, I’ve asked Julie to chat with us about her favourite creatures from Asian folklore.

Personally, this is an area that fascinates me. I love fantasy and fairytale creatures with all my heart, but I especially like learning about new creatures or different cultural interpretations of famous creatures.

I don’t know much about Asian folklore, but I am desperate to explore it more because these tales are so filled with wonder, magic and fascination! I’m also making an active attempt to read more diverse fantasy reads based in different countries because I want to support Own Voice authors. So Bring. It On!

Julie, welcome to Blogs of a Bookaholic, it’s an absolute pleasure to spotlight you here today!

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Book Review: Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

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Shadow of the Fox was my first Julie Kagawa book, and it did not disappoint.

With a blurb full of things like DRAGONS, and SCROLLS and MISCHIEF, where could it go wrong, really?!? This diverse read takes place in a beautiful Japanese setting which is utterly immersive, beautiful and unique.

Thank you to HQ young adult for giving me the opportunity to review a copy!

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A single wish will spark a new dawn.
Every millennium, one age ends and another age dawns…and whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers holds the power to call the great Kami Dragon from the sea and ask for any one wish. The time is near and the missing pieces of the scroll will be sought throughout the land of Iwagoto.
The holder of the first piece is a humble, unknown peasant girl with a dangerous secret. Demons have burned the temple Yumeko was raised in to the ground, killing everyone within, including the master who trained her to both use and hide her kitsune powers. Yumeko escapes with the temple’s greatest treasure – one part of the ancient scroll. Fate thrusts her into the path of a mysterious samurai, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan. Yumeko knows he seeks what she has and is under orders to kill anything and anyone who stands between him and the scroll. Continue reading

Spoiler Free Review of Kingdom of Ash // Ft Me Basically just Rambling & Flailing with Emotion

Reviewing Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

Well guys, here we are. The conclusion to the epic, loved world-wide Throne of Glass series. It’s been a journey.

It started with an assassin, it ended with a queen. Eight action-packed, kick-ass feminist books to rattle the stars.

I wasn’t an instant fan of this series, book 1 was pretty terrible (you can read my sarcastic, somewhat cutting review here, it’s kind of weird to look back on!) but these books, despite their faults, have steadily built a unique and complex world with a vast array of kick-ass characters I have become utterly invested in. Each book was better than the last; filling a YA fantasy void in my heart I had long been waiting for.

So, how did the finale stack up? Let’s break it down!

*Please be aware that although this post is spoiler free for Kingdom of Ash, it will have spoilers for the other books in the series if you have not read them yet. You have been warned!*

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October Wrap Up: Superheroes, Addictive TV Shows & Busy Work Schedules!

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Hello bloggers!

After much thought, I’ve decided to start doing my own wrap-up posts, and I am VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

When I first started blogging I wasn’t a big fan of wrap-ups because I didn’t think they added anything new, but since, I’ve seen so many great bloggers be creative with them that now they’re often my favourite kinds of post! I’ve been thinking a lot about wrap-ups since I recently changed my blogging style and decided I wasn’t going to review everything I read – I’ve been debating how I can showcase books in other formats. Additionally, I’ve been looking to expand the topics I talk about to include my other interests. A wrap up seemed like a great way to spotlight some of these, alongside general updates.

 I asked you guys on Instagram and twitter whether you would be interested in Blogs of a Bookaholic wrap-ups and the answer was a resounding yes. So your wish is my command!

Depending on life and time restraints, I may do wrap-ups every month, or every two months. We’ll see how this goes!

What should I expect from your wrap-ups?

  • Short life updates
  • Books read (ratings and summarising my thoughts in a couple of sentences).
  • Film and TV watched (ratings, and mini reviews)
  • Product of the month – I’m keeping this purposely vague, I could be discussing anything from fashion and makeup to phone apps and homeware!
  • Blog posts published
  • Posts I’ve enjoyed from other bloggers

Hopefully, this will be interesting to you, but let me know if there’s anything else you’d be interested in seeing. I’d love to hear your thoughts and will consider requests!

So, here we go!

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5 Reasons I Couldn’t Stomach The Price Guide to the Occult (Plus, 5 Reasons You Just Might Like It?)

5 Reasons I didn't like The Price Guide to the Occult

Oh man. The disappointment of this book. I can’t even handle it.
The thing is, I thought this was a slam dunk for me because:

a) GORGEOUS COVER. Doesn’t it just make you want to pick it up and stroke it immediately?
b) I love stories about witches, curses and forbidden spellbooks and I rarely find a book focussing on these things that I dislike.
c) The author’s debut book was SUPER POPULAR and highly praised.

Um, well I hate to be the one to burst everyone’s pumkin, but while The Price Guide to the Occult may look cute on the outside, it’s kinda rotten, smooshed and disorganised on the inside.

Not only was this my first 1-star read of the year, but it’s also the first ARC I’ve ever disliked. So while I’m thankful to the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review, I am unfortunately unable to say much that’s positive about this novel. However, I am going to do my best to both outline the issues I have with it, and also highlight some reasons why you might get on better with it than I did!

*TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains self-harm and child abuse and I will be discussing it.*

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So, what’s it all about?

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6 Books on My Autumn TBR // Mythical Creatures, Supernaturals & Magical Kingdoms

6 Books on my Autumn TBRThe wind is howling, leaves are turning that gorgeous shade of orange as they float down to the frosted ground, and your coat and tartan scarf have been taken out of the wardrobe and dusted off. We all know what this means, it’s autumn.

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I had so much fun collating my top 7 Books on my summer TBR pile a couple of months ago and I was surprised by how well my reading went. I have always been a mood reader and I was unsure how I would get on with a list, (in fact, I thought I’d end up going totally off-script and not read anything I expected to) but I READ ALL THE THINGS GUYS, AND IT WAS SO SATISFYING. I really enjoyed changing up how I picked my reads, so I thought I would give it a go for Autumn too! As noted previously, my reading tastes definitely change with the seasons, so you’ll find a lot of fantasy novels on this list! 

So without further ado, here are 6 books I’d like to get to this Autumn (AKA, the books I’m getting crazy grabby hands for!) 

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5 YA Tropes that Make Me Feel Old (PLEASE BRING AID AND COOKIES)

5 YA Tropes that make me feel old

So you guys know that I LOVE YA. I live and breathe those hormone filled, perfectly tormented souls who feel everything three times as hard as the rest of the world, and I know I always will.

But the thing is, as a YA reader, I have always been a teenager reading about teenagers.

Now, I’m 24 years of age and I have to face the facts that I am DOING THE ADULTING THING. WHICH IS WEIRD. I still consider myself a ‘young adult’, as I kind of feel this bracket continues to about the age of 25, (wait a minute, that’s only a year away, gulp) but I’ve certainly grown older and wiser, my views have expanded, and my book tastes have evolved.

I feel so incredibly lucky to be living in a time where I have access to talented YA authors whose stories have mass appeal. YA is not just for teenagers folks, it’s for everyone, and I will defend that to the depts of Mordor.

But now that I’m older, I do sometimes come across tropes/storylines, or certain scenes in YA books that make me feel, well, kinda old.*

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Book Review: Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon

Review Rosie Loves Jack

The publishing industry has come on in leaps and bounds when it comes to putting diverse books on the market, certainly the Young Adult section of the store anyway *SO PROUD, sniff*, but one area that is still overlooked is learning disabilities. So I was super excited when I received an advanced reader copy of Rosie Loves Jack from publishers in exchange for an honest review, a contemporary love story following a protagonist with Downs Syndrome, which is something I have never had the chance to read before! A somewhat ambitious tale for a debut author to take on perhaps, but I have to say, she does a pretty good job!

Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie. So when they’re split up, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head. Even run away from home. Even cross London and travel to Brighton alone, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling. Even though any girl might find that hard, let alone a girl with Down’s syndrome. See the world through new eyes in this one-in-a-million story about fighting for the freedoms that we often take for granted: independence, tolerance and love.

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If We Were Having Coffee… // Book Updates, Adventures and London Excursions

If-we-were-having-coffee.pngIf we were having coffee is a blogging community idea, where bloggers publish posts about what they’d like to say to their readers if they were sitting down together having a casual cup of coffee. I understand that the original idea was created by Ashley and I found it through Jamie’s blog.

In my mind, we’re sitting in a small cafe, halfway down a busy high street. It’s kitted out like an old 50s diner, black and white flooring, pink neon signs, and a popcorn machine sits next to an old jukebox. Twisting the Night Away by Sam Cook is playing enthusiastically in the background as I order a coffee and a pink milkshake.  What are you waiting for? Make yourself comfortable, grab a beverage, and let’s chat!

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I’d tell you that I just got over a horrendous cold, and 3 days later I’ve only gone and gotten another one! I’ve had an extremely busy couple of months and I think it’s my bodies way of saying “hey wait a minute, chill!!” (Subsequently knocking me out for the count.) I also feel like WHO IS THIS PERSON?! I’ve never had so much booked in my diary EVER. Suddenly I’m hopping all over the place and there’s not enough time in the day!!! Continue reading