September TBR 2018

I realise, in spite of a good start to the month, I’ve been a bit absent in my posts. I mean, there are several reasons why that I don’t really want to go into too much (just know that struggling with mental health is absolutely exhausting) and also that so far in August, I’ve read 15 books. FIFTEEN. That’s a new record for me, I’m so proud. This summer I’ve got my Goodreads goal from 19 books behind schedule to 4. How, I don’t know.

September is going to be a strange month I think, I’m not too sure what to expect in terms of time I can spend reading. I’ll be going back to uni, and there’s all the generic admin / catching up / initial reading / appointments / packing that come with that, and I’ve got various things planned as well.

And I need to finish the first draft of my dissertation. Crap.

So, in short, I don’t know how many books I’ll get to, and I’ve been so much of a mood reader recently (more than normal I guess) that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I’ll get to in September, so I’ve listed a few that I’d like to get to sooner rather than later. The first two books on this list are for uni though, so those are a given.

  • Journals – R. F. Langley
  • Complete Poems – R. F. Langley
  • Girl Made of Stars – Ashley Herring Blake
  • Emergency Contact – Mary H. K. Choi
  • Crown of Midnight – Sarah J. Maas (I’m feeling like trying to pick one up every month from this series)
  • Marlena – Julie Buntin
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender – Leslye Walton (After reading The Price Guide to the Occult in August and adoring it, it’s about time I picked this one up!)
  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart – Katherine Webber
  • All These Beautiful Strangers – Elizabeth Klehfoth (I’m really enjoying thrillers at the moment for some reason)
  • Neverworld Wake – Marisha Pessl

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Book Unhaul – Round Two

So I’ve got the bug now and I’m going through all of the books in my house. I haven’t had a clear out in the longest time, hence why there are so many! I thought I’d do a second post with all of the ones that I’ve added to my depop shop since.

https://www.depop.com/nataliecotterill

  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
  • The Hostage, The Rescue, Hunted (The Medusa Project) – Sophie McKenzie
  • Blood Ties and Blood Ransom – Sophie McKenzie
  • Dragon Rider – Cornelia Funke
  • Before I Die – Jenny Downham
  • The Electra Brown series – Helen Bailey (5 books)
  • Carbonel the Prince of Cats, and The Kingdom of Carbonel – Barabara Sleigh
  • Kelly Ann trilogy – Liz Rettig
  • Where We Are – One Direction
  • The Saga of Darren Shan – Darren Shan (6 books as some are volumes)
  • Love and Kisses, Star Crazy Me!, Fortune Cookie, Ice Lolly – Jean Ure
  • Underworld – Cathy Macphail
  • Breathing Underwater – Julia Green
  • Secrets at St Jude’s Series – Carmen Reid (4 books)
  • Newes From the Dead – Mary Hooper
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  • Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
  • Girl Online – Zoe Sugg
  • The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

That’s another 42 spaces created in my house (undoubtedly for more books). A clear out this big and thorough has been a long time coming I think, I mean the fact that I’m selling a load of books I grew out of years ago says it all! 😂

I’m Unhauling Books!

I’ve finally had a sort out of all my old books and I’m getting rid of so many! Admittedly, a load of them are children’s books I should’ve parted with a long time ago, but never mind. Most of them are up for sale on my depop now, but if you don’t have an account on there and see something you’re interested in, just let me know either on twitter (@nats_cotterill) or in the comments on here. I’m just going to get listing as there are a lot!

  • Landline – Rainbow Rowell
  • Lobsters – Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  • Maybe One Day – Melissa Kantor
  • Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan
  • Everyday – David Levithan
  • All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
  • Matched – Allie Condie
  • Gone – Michael Grant
  • The Vampire Diaries books 1-5 – L. J. Smith (three books in total as two include two books!)
  • The Black Book of Secrets – F. E. Higgins
  • Girl, Missing – Sophie McKenzie
  • The ‘All About Eve’ trilogy – Sophie McKenzie
  • I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend – Cora Harrison
  • Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between – Jennifer E. Smith
  • The Geography of You and Me – Jennifer E. Smith
  • Uglies – Scott Westerfeld
  • Pretties – Scott Westerfeld
  • Splendour – Anna Godbersen
  • Small Steps – Louis Sachar
  • Kisses for Lula – Samantha Mackintosh
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J. K. Rowling
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles – Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black (five books!)
  • Noughts and Crosses series – Malorie Blackman (four books!)
  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick
  • Illuminae – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • The Vampire Academy series – Richelle Mead (six books!)
  • Tender – Eve Ainsworth
  • Midnight Sun – Trish Cook
  • If I Stay – Gayle Foreman
  • Stargazing for Beginners – Jenny McLachlan
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • The Return of the Soldier – Rebecca West
  • Sir Thomas More – Multiple authors
  • The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
  • The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
  • The Vicar of Wakefield – Oliver Goldsmith
  • On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
  • Notes on a Scandal – Zoë Heller
  • Lolly Willowes – Sylvia Townsend Warner
  • The Graduate – Charles Webb
  • Books 1-4 of the Gallagher Girls series – All Carter
  • Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  • Awful Auntie – David Walliams
  • Ingo – Helen Dunmore
  • Remember Me volumes 1&2 – Christopher Pick
  • Chain Letter – Christopher Pike
  • Withering Tights – Louise Rennison
  • Infinite Sky – Rebecca Maizel
  • Carrie’s War – Nina Bawden
  • The Sealed Letter – Emma Donoghue
  • L’Auberge – Julia Stagg
  • Confessions of an English Opium Eater – Thomas De Quincey
  • Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
  • Some Tame Gazelle – Barbara Pym
  • The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – Paul Torday
  • The Lady Grace Mysteries Assassin – Grace Cavendish
  • The Go-Between – L. P. Hartley
  • Blitzcat – Robert Westall
  • Hitler’s Canary – Sandi Toksvig
  • Hitler’s Daughter – Jackie French
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr
  • The Revenger’s Tragedy – Thomas Middleton
  • The Wife of Bath study guide
  • Hamlet study guide
  • The Storyteller – Jodi Picolut
  • Ally’s World series – Karen McCombie (13 books!)
  • Stella etc series books 3-7 – Karen McCombie
  • The Fix – Sophie McKenzie
  • Sadie Rocks! books 1 and 2 – Karen McCombie
  • Truth Dare Kiss Promise series – Cathy Hopkins (8 books!)

There are, I believe, 115 books in total. I may have miscounted. But, needless to say, I now have a lot of free space!!

 

 

The Marvel Readathon 2.0 Wrap-Up

I’m so proud of myself because I’ve actually managed to complete every challenge for this readathon – which is a first for me! I did change one of the books (Bridge of Clay to Matilda) purely because of my plans for the week, but I still completed six books and I’m so proud.

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The One Memory of Flora Banks – Emily Barr

I enjoyed this, it kept me hooked throughout, even though something didn’t quite work for me. I can’t say what specifically, but I just didn’t fall head over heels for it and at times found it a little irritating? It was a fun, unique read though. I’m glad I picked it up, and I enjoyed Flora’s perspective and the repetitiveness of the narrative as it made it feel a little more ‘real’ I guess. 3.5🌟

From a Low and Quiet Sea – Donal Ryan

Oh my goodness, this book was a little gem. I wondered what linked to what as the different parts seemed so unrelated, but they also all slightly linked in small ways and I loved it. In a way, it reminded me a little of NW by Zadie Smith in its execution. Honestly, it was a wonderful read and I flew through it, though I had absolutely no idea what it was about when I went into it. 4.5🌟

The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy – Kate Hattemer

I feel quite conflicted about certain aspects of this book. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I loved the characters, the humour, and the plot too. It kept me laughing, especially during the second half of the book. The only issue I had was that some of the comments / humour wasn’t to my taste, but that’s such a personal thing, it’s unfair to judge a book purely because of that, as someone else may adore it! 4🌟

The Bookshop – Penelope Fitzgerald

This was such an adorable little book. I flew through it, and the first half especially I was completely immersed in. However, the second half and ending let it down for me. I did enjoy reading it though, and I am kind of curious about the film so I may check that out at some point. I enjoyed the characters and the fact that it was set in a bookshop, but everything felt a little flat and as though there could have been a bit more, I suppose. 3.5🌟

Matilda – Roald Dahl

This is one of my all-time favourite books. I swapped to this because I desperately wanted to reread it before I went to see the musical (which was phenomenal), and I’ve been wanting to revisit it for a while anyway. I love it. Roald Dahl is amazing. I wanted Matilda to be my best friend. As a kid with few friends who enjoyed reading, Matilda was the dream book. Everyone should read it. 5🌟

Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

I actually really enjoyed this and I’m looking forward to picking up the sequel. It hasn’t become my new favourite ever book or anything, and there were certainly a lot of tropes and cliches that I found irritating or predictable. Overall however, it was a fun and readable book that definitely kept me hooked throughout. 4🌟

Thank you so much to Hannah for all of her hard work on this readathon. Go and check out her book blog at Sprinkledwithwords.wordpress.com! ❤️

I Want to Read 10 Books in a Week?!

I’m challenging myself here, and I’ve already started this challenge, as of this morning. I really want to try and make a dent in my huge TBR, and so I’m prioritising some of the shorter books that I have and also really want to get to.

I’ll have to average around one and a half books a day, which is very ambitious for me. But if I do pull it off, I may be on track again with my Goodreads goal, which is a bonus. Here is my TBR for this challenge I have set for myself:

  • Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
  • What Girls Are Made of – Elana K. Arnold
  • Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • Dreamology – Lucy Keating
  • Moxie – Jennifer Mathieu
  • Soundless – Richelle Mead
  • Hope Is Our Only Wing – Rutendo Tavengerwei
  • The Price Guide to the Occult – Leslye Walton
  • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson

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If I’m not feeling one of these and I want to swap it out for something else, I probably will! I’ll update you when I’ve spent the week reading and let you know how I do!

 

Review: Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi

Genre: YA, fantasy

Publication date: March 8th 2018 by Macmillan Children’s Books 

Format: eARC copy for review from Macmillan Children’s Books via Netgalley. (I later purchased my own copy from Waterstones)

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

(from goodreads.com)


I feel like this book was hyped from the minute it was first mentioned, but let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I’m not a huge fantasy fan; I enjoy the odd book now and again and I’m very picky about which ones I read. I wouldn’t have requested this if it hadn’t sounded like something I would enjoy, but I didn’t expect it to ignite a desire in me to read every fantasy book in existence. So, you know. 

I don’t even know where to start with this review, it has so much going for it. There wasn’t one aspect I didn’t love about it. The characters were incredible, the writing wonderful to read, the plot thrilling, honestly, I don’t have a bad word to say.

I loved the mix of characters; everyone was so unique and interesting and had their own way of doing things. The friendships that formed, unlikely though some may be, were real and fragile. The change in point of view and narrative voice did not put me off, as it sometimes can do in fantasy books. Instead, I got their own voices, their own thoughts, and it made the narrative richer as I could understand them a lot better. I still didn’t know who to trust at points though!

The world was incredible too. I believe it is based on Nigeria, and I truly got a sense of ‘place’ whilst I was reading (I’ve never been to Nigeria so can’t comment on that specifically, but from what I’ve heard, you can tell she based it there). The descriptions were vivid, and I could easily picture the landscape that the characters were in. 

Leading on from that to another point that should be highlighted but have no authority to speak on, is that the book is a commentary on society and the racism that underlies it. Even reading it as a white person, I could see this, and it brought home how isolated people feel, even in places where they’ve always felt was home. I knew people felt like this before, of course, but this book allowed me to see their viewpoint through their eyes, and experience it in a way I can understand a little better (if that makes any sense whatsoever). If you know any reviews by readers of colour, please link them below as I would love to read their thoughts.

The plot kept me intrigued throughout, I couldn’t put this book down (the typical one-chapter-before-bed-turns-into-a-hundred-pages kind of can’t put it down). So many things kept happening, I struggled to keep up. Though I don’t say that as a negative. I just mean it forced me to concentrate on what was going on, which made it better as I didn’t miss anything by doing that ‘I’ve read a whole page but actually read about three of the words’ thing. 

I don’t even need to tell you that I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It was truly phenomenal and I cannot wait until the sequel comes out, because THAT ENDING. Holy crap it was good. 

Rating: 5 / 5 🌟

The Marvel Readathon 2.0 TBR

I’m not really a fan of Marvel, but I love readathons (and the host of this one just happens to be my bestie so🤷‍♀️) so I’m taking part in it! It lasts from the 6th-12th August and you can read all about it here.

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  1. Ant-Man: A book below 150 pages
    • My choice: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
    • I mean, it’s 155 pages but I don’t have anything shorter that I particularly want to get to soon.
  2. Wasp: A book set in summertime
    • My choice: The One Memory of Flora Banks – Emily Barr
    • I think, judging by what she said at a panel event I was at, this takes place in the summer months as it’s in Scandinavia with endless days – so summer. I may be very, very wrong.
  3. Ghost: A book featuring technology – bonus points if it’s cool tech
    • My choice: The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer
    • This probably shouldn’t count, but it’s about a reality TV show, and one of the kids is into technology (stage lighting, gaming, computers/hacking etc) so I’m going for it. I have nothing else I can think of.😂
  4. Hank Pym: A book with a rehashed plot that feels new (eg friends-to-lovers, chosen-one, etc.)
    • My choice: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
    • Does this count? I’m not sure. I’m not even sure whether I should read TOG or The Assassin’s Blade first, so any advice would be welcome!
  5. GiantMan: A book that you don’t know anything about
    • My choice: From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
    • I’m trying to work my way through my Netgalley list – I’m sure I knew what this book was about when I requested it, but I’ve definitely forgotten now.
  6. Scott Lang: A book that features family
    • My choice: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
    • I got this on Netgalley recently and I am so excited to get to it as soon as I can!