Best & Worst Cover Changes

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Hello, bookish people! It’s high time I talk about some serious matters on here – cover changes are very serious, don’t you dare take them lightly – this chat was sparked by that awful cover change of Warcross. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, settle down because I’m about to ruin your life and everything you knew and loved.

The hardcover of Warcross has the first cover and now the paperback will have this new very colorless cover. Why? I have no idea. I’ve never felt more thankful for getting myself the Romanian-version paperback. Besides the talk about the cover change, there has been some discussion on the reason why this happened, some bookish people speculated that it has something to do with marketing Warcross as a boyish book. I really hope that’s not the reason why they did this. 

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Anyway, now that I showed you my most recent disappointment in matters of covers, let’s talk some of the best and some of the not-so-good cover changes!

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Lovely Cover Changes That I 100% Approve

 

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  1. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – I’m going to start with an obvious one, but how couldn’t I include this one? Look at the glow-up, look at everything. The first cover is kind of basic, but the new one is so much better, I feel like it captures the feeling of the novel better as well, excluding the superior aesthetic.

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2. Solitaire and Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – I can’t complain about the first covers because they were absolutely gorgeous as they were, but now with these new matching covers, I don’t know, they are so artsy. I adore them so much. 

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3. Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins – I’m not even a huge fan of this series, but this is surely one of the best cover change I’ve ever seen. The new covers make me feel the wanderlust, the love of travel, the old ones feel kind of awkward (?). Especially the one for Lola and the Boy Next door. Best decision ever. 

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4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt – one of my favourite books has such a cool cover and yes, I’m talking about the second one. I think the first one (the black one) is a bit impersonal, while the new one has this greek mythology/intellectual feeling I approve of because that’s the book – pretentious intellectuals speaking of latin, greek and murder.

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5. The Summer series by Jenny Han – I love the new covers so much, just look at how pretty and colorful they are!!! They are also super summer-y, which I didn’t think the first ones were or not all that much. This series is one that I actually loved a lot back when I read it and I always thought the covers were meh, so happy they changed them with these beauties.

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Cover Changes That I Could Have Stayed Without

 

 

 

  1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – I really think they should have kept the first cover for all the editions because it’s so gorgeous and I think it’s fitting with the plot. The other two aren’t bad either, I just have a huge love for the first one *heart eyes*.

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2. Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel – I ADORE the first cover, the confetti idea is great and very much related to the story, Juniper’s face is spot on, the colors are perfect, I love the font, it’s just a perfect cover. The second one is okay, but doesn’t tell me a lot about the story unlike the first one.

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3. The Diviners by Libba Bray – I haven’t read this series yet, but when it first came out I was hugely intrigued by the cover and the title. It’s very original and I like it very much. The second one – not so much. It reminds me of an alien novel and I’m kind of positive the book has no aliens (???).

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4. The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski – okay, this is one of my favourite book series, therefore I have strong feelings about everything that happens with it. DON’T HURT MY BABIES.   The thing is I love both set of covers aesthetically speaking, they are beautiful and you could even argue that Kestrel looks fiercer on the second set, buuuut that’s not my baby. Kestrel is one of the few heroines in fantasy that doesn’t fight, she’s a strategist, her most lethal weapon is her brain. And those cover changes don’t show it at all? I don’t approve.

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5. Lips Touch by Laini Taylor – I think the first cover is really Laini Taylor-esque, it reminds me a lot of her series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and it seems to match the story well enough. I don’t like the other two because they are kind of bland??? Laini Taylor deserves better, really.

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Now that I’ve showed you some good cover changes and some not-so-good cover changes. Why do you think cover changes happen at all?

In my opinion, it’s mostly a marketing move, many of those have new covers that are supposed to be in theme with the new trends, others probably do it to widen their audiences. Some of them are soooo unexpected that I don’t know why they happen at all. I’m quite sure you can think of a book that had a gorgeous cover (very praised, on everyone’s cover lust shelf) that still got a cover change, one that probably disappointed the audience because most of us love the old covers more (we bookworms are rather nostalgic creatures and while we read said book, we surely fell in love with the cover, you have no chance to change our minds).

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What are your thoughts on book cover changes? Are they really necessary? 

Do you agree with me on some of these? What are your best and worst cover changes?

 

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ARC Review : I Was Born For This

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★★★★★

I want to thank HarperCollins Children’s Books for providing me with this ARC! This hadn’t influenced my rating or review in any way.

This is the most lovely book I’ve read in a while, it’s also the first book written by Alice Oseman that I’ve ever read and it really didn’t disappoint. Which is a huge thing considering how huge my expectations were!

First of all, I want to applaud the amount of research that went into this book in order to write those amazingly diverse characters in a very authentic way. It was flawless.

The female protagonist, Angel, is muslim, while the male protagonist, Jimmy is mixed race, trans and gay. Rowan is Nigerian. Lister (the cutest boy ever) is bi and also struggles with alcoholism.

There were so many things being tackled in I Was Born For This, for example the stereotype that bisexuals sleep with everyone, which was slammed (thankfully) in a grand way here.

Let me tell you a bit about the characters and the plot. Angel and Juliet are huge fans of The Ark, a band formed by Jimmy, Rowan and Lister. They’ve been talking online for a long time when Angel finally decides to go to The Ark’s concert in London, therefore spending the week at Juliet’s. I Was Born For This gives you the possibility to glance into the world of the fans as well as the world of the celebrities. This was one of my favourite parts of the book, probably, because of how different some events were perceived by the fandom and the guys in the band and you got to see both perspectives. It was amazing.

I loved how friendship and fandom were the main focus of this book, I adored every interaction between the characters, I loved how Oseman brought everyone together and how it all felt so natural despite the strange circumstances in which they met.

Angel and Juliet’s friendship was so complex, I felt like everything about them was so relatable. I’ve had many virtual friends and I’ve always had so many questions about how it would be to meet them in real life. What if it doesn’t turn out as amazing as I hope? What if they are different from their online persona? I found all those questions in the book and so many more. Despite some of their conflicts, Angel and Juliet managed to sort out things and become even closer and that’s such a great thing to read about when our society tries to undermine the ‘depth’ of virtual friendships left and right.

The band and their bond was so unique. I loved the themes in their album, Alice Oseman was so careful at every detail, which made me so much more interested in everything! I think I would have stanned The Ark if it were a real band.

Also, there is barely any romance in this book (yay!), but there were some mentions and I was shipping it, okay, I’m shipping the hell out of it because my babies are too pure. I want a novella, can I get a novella? I know I might never get it, but one can only hope.

I Was Born For This is a love letter to the fandom, but it’s also a nudge to the rather aggressive and obsessed part of the fandom to try to be better and understand that celebrities are also humans.

I would absolutely recommend this book, you’re going to have a hard time putting it down once you start reading!

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Have you read I Was Born For This? Did you enjoy it?

If you haven’t, have you read anything else written by Alice Oseman? What’s your favourite book from her?

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I’VE GOT 800 FOLLOWERS (+Q&A)

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Well, hello there! I think the title and the gif are pretty explanatory, but I got 800 followers on this little blog of mine *still not sure how/when/why this happened, but I’m not complaining*.

I’m really thankful for all of you who stuck with me for these past seven months, through blogging I found a new hobby, I rediscovered my love for writing, but I also found lots of people that I absolutely adore.

I wish I could repay you with a giveaway, but I’m sadly a broke student, maybe in the near future though! Until then, I have a nice Q&A for you that I hope you’ll really enjoy! Let’s see what questions you had for me!

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  1. How did you imagine blogging would be and how are your expectations different from reality?  – Marie (@dh_books)

I thought blogging would be really easy. I’ve been on Goodreads for four years prior to creating a blog and I thought it would be somewhat similar, I’d be reviewing books, talking about books, interacting with people. I had no idea I might have days when I feel like not blogging at all and other days when I’m thrilled to be here, to reply to comments and write whatever is on my mind. I had no idea how much blogging will come to influence my moods because whether I like to admit it or not, I feel down when I’m not feeling inspired enough and I feel so happy whenever I get a new comment or a like or anything that means someone likes my blog.

I also thought it would be a way more lonely experience than it actually is. I had no idea how many friends I would find here, blogger friends that will care about me outside of this amazing bubble of books that we all live in. I’m just so thankful for this beautiful community!!!

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2. If you could eat only one food for the rest of life, what would it be? Kat (@Kat_Impossible) +

Favourite food? – Marie (@dh_books)

The before-college-happened Marta would have gone with pizza, but since my living conditions make it almost impossible to eat actual food, pizza has been my go-to food at college and it’s not as fun as it seems. Okay, it’s tasty, but it gets tiring pretty fast.

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Therefore, I’ll have to go with cheese-cake (especially the strawberry one). I have no self-control when it comes to sweets. Don’t judge. 

 

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3. What book started it all for you? – Ioana (@ioazam2002)

My bookworm days started after I read The Fault in Our Stars, mostly because it was the first young adult book I’ve ever read. I was losing my interest for reading due to studying pretty bad Romanian classics and that book felt like a breath of fresh air. It also had been the first book I’ve read in English, after that I was suddently getting confident that I could tackle a new genre, but also read in a different language and everything changed because of that.

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That being said, I’m not sure how I’ll feel reading The Fault in Our Stars now, after five years, I might not like it as much as I did back then, but it really doesn’t matter.

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4. I’m very curious to know why your blog name is Cursed Books. I took there’s a good story behind that one. – Nandini (@dini_bharadwaj)

Not sure if it’s a good story, but I put some thoughts into the title, that’s for sure. I’m quite bad at naming things, my future child(ren) will be very unfortunate (who am I kidding? They will surely receive bookish names), so it took a long time to think about a name, I choose this one for two reasons :

1) It sounds quite cool or so I thought back then. It also reminded me a bit about Harry Potter and witchcraft, in general, something that I believe to be extremely bad-ass.

2) I curse books all the time for being too painful, making me have too many emotions, taking over my life. You know just for existing. Therefore, they are my cursed books.

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5. How do you organise your bookshelves? – Jo (@jolinsdell)

I try to do color coordinated bookshelves, but I fail all the time due to not having as many physical copies as I would like. I also don’t have as much shelf space as I would like, your question is making me aware of the fact that I should probably re-organize my books soon.

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(I see them, Rory. It’s hard not to when they are all over the place) 

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6. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about book blogging? – Dalindcy (@dalindcy)

My favourite thing about book blogging is the community, I’ve had so many refreshing conversations with people on here, the community sure has its lows, but overall it is amazing to be a part of it.

My least favourite thing about book blogging is the fact that it can get quite intense. But this is a subjective thing and very connected to my personality. Each month I try to come up with better ideas, to read more than last month, to do, to be. It gets tiring pretty soon – this whole competition I have with myself. So, yes, I don’t like whenever I forget blogging is supposesd to be fun and books and not this madness.

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(this gif is an actual representation of me whenever I get too stressed)

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7. Who is your favorite Harry Potter character & why? – S.B. (@HogwartsGrad_7)

Hermione, that’s for sure! I relate so much to her since she’s a bookworm and a nerd and somebody who tries so hard to do the right thing all the time. Also, she’s so sassy and she saved Harry and Ron’s asses so many times, really who doesn’t like Hermione? 

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Honorable mention goes to Remus Lupin who is too precious and deserved so much better, bye. 

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8. If you could be a character in any book you choose, who would it be and why?  – Atheinne (@atheinne)

These questions are always so hard, I never know what to choose because there are so many characters, soooo many books. I’ll go with Annabeth from the Percy Jackson series because she’s a daughter of Athena, she’s smart and driven, she gets to fight monsters and make out with Percy from time to time. I guess it’s not that bad of a thing.

I might get tired of all those monsters coming at me, though. But since I’m Annabeth, it will all be effortless to me.

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9. Fave tea (or any drink) to rule them all? – Ioana (@ioazam2002)

I know almost every bookworm is obsessed with tea, but I’m not a tea person. I still like it, my favourite is peppermint tea. But I’m more of a hot chocolate girl myself.

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10. ONE book you’d recommend EVERYONE to read? – Marie (@dh_books)

I have a feeling Marie wanted to torture me with this question.

I think you should all READ I WAS BORN FOR THIS BY ALICE OSEMAN BECAUSE IT’S  ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OUT THERE.

Of course, there are many other books that I would love to recommend to everyone, I usually mention them in my reviews, so you can always go check them!

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(me talking about reading & screaming about IWBFT)

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11. You can take 3 book characters on an adventure date. Who’d it be and what would you do? – Kat (@Kat_Impossible)

Alright, Legolas (Lord of The Rings), Nina (Six of Crows) and Elian (To Kill a Kingdom), we’d probably go hunting some mythical creatures or something monstrous, I’m not sure, depends on the world we are in. Also, there will be sweets involved because my girl, Nina is there and we will spend most of the time eating our chocolate.

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12.  Favourite romanian food? (If not answered by papanasi or cozonac I am unfrending you forever) – Ioana (ioazam2002)

I feel like I might be unfriended forever *cries for eternity* but I really have to go with sarmale, I’m sorry, Ioana. I hope you can forgive me. Also, if you guys don’t know what sarmale is, please google it (I feel weird posting a photo of them on my blog, lol) because you have no idea what you’re losing on!!!

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13. Your dream destination? – Marie &

 If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? – S.B.

I’m answering both of these together because they are similar and they also have the same answer. My dream destination and a place where I would love to live is New Zealand because that country is absolutely gorgeous.

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Also, for Marie’s question, I would love to visit Costa Rica at some point as a holiday destination. Those beaches look glorious, I suppose a girl can dream.

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14. If you could play a new character in a TV show, which one would you pick and what’s your role? – Kat (@Kat_Impossible)

Ahhh, Kat, you probably have such a well thought answer to this question. But I don’t. I would love to play a role in Vikings – a shield-maiden, anything that involves hanging out with Lagertha a lot because she’s the greatest character there. Also, Ubbe has dreamy eyes, so I wouldn’t mind my character being involved with him, lol.

The show is soooo good and I find the history of the vikings so fascinating, they were so fierce, duuuude, I want to be like them.

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15.  A book you can’t believe you haven’t read just yet (but really want to)? – Marie (@dh_books)

The Night Circus? Crooked Kingdom? I’ll Give You The Sun? Moxie?

Probably will have to go with Crooked Kingdom because I should have read the book a while ago since I adored Six of Crows and there’s nothing that should be keeping me away from reading the sequel – besides my stupid doubts and the spoilers I’ve got.

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16. What makes you passionate about psychology? And why did you choose to study it? – Ioana (@ioazam2002)

I love learning about what makes people behave the way they do, I’m a pretty analytical person, I overanalyse everything I and others do, therefore studying psychology was a simple choice. I’m also very interested by biology, especially genetics, therefore I’m very interested right now in this whole genes vs environment (nature vs nurture) debate, I love reading research papers on such subjects when I’m not reading fiction. What can I say? I am a nerd.

So, don’t think of me as a future psychotherapist because I’m much more interested in the research field and even in the organizational field rather than in psychotherapy.

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17. Favorite movie? (NOT LOTR) – Marie (@dh_books)

HAHAHAHAHAHA, I love how Marie knows I would chose LOTR and took precautions. I really I’m not sure. I’m never prepared for this question because LOTR is everything. But I think Wonder Woman is a favourite of mine as well because I love seeing bad-ass women on the screen.

Also, Never Let Me Go was a movie that gave me lots of emotions. I cry more easily at movies than at books, Hacksaw Ridge was also quite an important movie, wow, I can’t believe someone so heroic existed and we don’t really know anything about Desmond.

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I wish there was a Goodreads version for movies because I have the worst memory ever when it comes to them.

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17. What’s your favorite fairy-tale/myth? – Aurora (@auroralibrialis)

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I’ll go with myths for this one because you know how obsessed I am with greek mythology. I love the myth of Cupid and Psyche – it’s really cool, I really need to read some retellings. Anything about the Amazons, if I ever write a book, it’s going to be something related to the Amazons because they are too bad-ass not to.

Also, anything from Norse Mythology – Loki and Thor are amazing and Odin (omg), I love the whole giving up his eye for knowledge thing – hello, fellow Ravenclaw.

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18. What are your favourite posts to write? – Ruby (@rubyraereads)

Ohhh, totally discussion posts! They are the most fun for me to write because they usually get more comments, which means more interaction with my readers. I love seeing the opinion that those posts can spark, I also learnt a lot through some of these posts, more about how people relate to the community, more about other countries/cultures, in general, they help me get to know my readership a lot more than tags or reviews do.

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19. What’s your biggest blogging pet peeve? – Lara (@wordswithlara)

Probably comments with ‘Follow me and I’ll follow you back/comment on my post and I’ll also comment on yours’, thankfully I rarely receive these types of comments. I want people to follow me for my content, not just because they want to gain followers. I also tend to comment back on the blogs that comment on mine (unless I’m busy or forgot about it), so there’s no need for that.

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20. What fantastical creature would you want as your animal companion? – Aurora (@auroralibrialis) 

DRAGON. OR A PEGASUS.

Can you tell how much I would like to fly? I think they would both work so well, a dragon as moody as I am to throw fire around on my enemies – yes, please sign me up.

Just kidding.

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21. How are you so amazingly awesome? – Ioana (@ioazam2002)

I want to thank my parents, my parrots and my books for making me this amazingly awesome.

Really I have no idea why you think I’m awesome. 

 I must have tricked you somehow. 

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22. What are some of your blogging goals & dreams? – Marie (@dh_books)

I think one of my biggest blogging dreams/goals is to blog for more than one year. I have so many hobbies and sometimes I’m not very constant with them (besides reading), I don’t want something like that to happen to blogging because I really enjoy it.

I also want to interview some of my favourite authors (this would be the dream).

And meet some of my friends from the blogosphere – this would be absolutely amazing since I love all of you and I would have a total blast!

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23. What’s your favorite standalone book? – Aurora (@auroralibrialis)

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, it’s the most amazing book in the world, has the great Achilles/Patroclus relationship we deserve, great retelling of the Illiad. You want to read it if you haven’t read it yet!

 

 

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And The Secret History, every book by Gillian Flynn & Kasie West. 

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24. Favourite books you’ve read because of the community? – Ruby (@rubyraereads)

The Wrath and the Dawn duology, The Hate U Give, Vicious and some more. I feel like I haven’t read enough books because of the blogging community??? Though my TBR pile has grown so much bigger since I joined, I have to read the books too. I’m sure Marie is (im)patiently waiting for me to read The Forbidden Wish, I’ll Give You The Sun and This is How It Happened.

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25. What are some over-hyped books you have read because of blogging in your opinion? – Ruby (@rubyraereads)

City of Bones, probably! I know many of you love it, but I disliked the book and didn’t continue with the series because I don’t know??? It’s just too much hype and so many mixed feelings as the series progresses. Nope, just not for me.

Red Queen is also a series that I won’t continue because the first book was meh and I’ve heard it only goes downhills.

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26. And now a very serious question for you : Peeta or Gale? – Audrey (@audreyfrancisp)

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I’m sorry Gale, but you had no chance! 

Peeta is one of my first book boyfriends, I’ll always love him.

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That was it! These were your questions, thank you so much again to all of you who send me questions! I had such a fun time replying to them, I was a bit anxious that I won’t get any *hides away*

Thank you again for everything, every bit of support you’ve been giving me since I first started! You’re all so important to me, you’ve made me less afraid of speaking out and voicing my opinion because I know that there are people who relate to me, who would like to hear what I have to say.

Thank you!!!

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Do you agree to any of my answers? 

What are some of your blogging goals and dreams? 

 

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Blog Tour : The Fear by C.L.Taylor

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 ★★★☆☆

I want to thank Avon HQ for sending me this copy of The Fear and for including me on the blog tour. This hadn’t influenced my rating or review in any way. 

Synopsis 

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat. 

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

About the author: C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and have been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines.

In 2014, The Bookseller named C.L. Taylor as one of the year’s Bestselling Adult Fiction Debut Authors for The AccidentThe Lie and The Missing were Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers in paperback, and both books hit the #1 spot on the Kindle bestseller list. She has sold 1 million books to date.

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My Thoughts on The Fear

I’m not an usual thriller reader, but I enjoy reading a good thriller book once in a while, this one had a slower start and I think if the pace was a bit quicker, I would have give it more stars, but this is just a personal preference. I kind of get into thriller/mystery books expecting the action to start quite fast.

The story was making it hard to like many characters because they were a bit unlikeable until the ending, they all did quite bad stuff, but I liked how when everything was resolved in the end, you could see that many of these characters had been redeemed because you understand their motivation, you can root for them to get their somewhat-happy ending.

What I adore about this book is how it destroyed girl-hate in every possible way, you start with these women who can’t seem to stand each other because of a man (it’s not a fighting for his affections kind of situation, it’s more complex than that) and then they work out their problems and become cordial. I loved that.

This story starts with Lou, who has been a victim of abuse when she was fifteen years old, she returns to her hometown only to discover that her abuser, Mike is now grooming another little girl. The police won’t listen to her, Chloe (the girl who’s now in a ‘relationship’ with Mike) wouldn’t either, so she kind of takes things in her hands.

I thought this book was very disturbing as you could see and understand the way Mike, who was a paedophile, could manipulate everybody, even the community into thinking he was a good man just because he did free hours of karate with children, because he took care of his mother while she was dying. I think we’ve all heard those things whenever there’s a real case on TV, how people who knew the abuser came forward with stories like ‘he was a good man, I don’t think he did that’ and so on. And I think this just proves how little attention we pay to the details and how prone we are to blame the victim instead (especially if it’s a child because they have a big imagination and could make up things) just because the white man seems to be a good person.

I liked Chloe a lot because of how smart she was, how she handled the whole thing. I applaud the author for mentioning therapy, I think she did pretty well with writing about such a difficult subject, I kept comparing what happened in the book with the real cases of pedophilia that I knew about and it felt real.

I think I have huge issues with Wendy, I’m not sure if her actions can be redeemed so easily, I’m not sure if she gained her happy-ending card, I understand that she somehow was a victim, she surely had some internalized mysogyny when it comes to Lou. But no, I’m not convinced that her actions were entirely caused by Mike’s manipulation.

All in all, I would recommend this book to all the thriller fans out there, who like character-focused books, because this book is really centered on what those characters are made of, what are their motivations, how they are going to influence each other and so on. It’s a very mind-blowing psychological thriller.

Follow the rest of the blog tour for this book 

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Have you read any book by C.L.Taylor before? Are you going to check this one? 

Do you usually read thrillers? If so, what are some of your favourites?

Ace of Shades Blog Tour : Guest Post with Amanda Foody + Giveaway

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Hey, lovelies! Today I have a guest post for you written by the lovely Amanda Foody, the author of Ace of Shades, on the subject of writing feminine strong female characters.

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I was a teenager during the height of the dystopian and paranormal romance fads in young adult literature, and the types of heroines centered in these stories left an impression on me. Although this is a wide generalization and purely from my own adolescent perspective, I became frustrated that a large amount of these female leads were praised for traditionally “masculine” traits, while side characters painted as more traditionally “feminine” were scorned or diminished. Don’t get me wrong—I absolutely adore heroines who save the empire wielding swords and leading armies. I saw myself in many of their stories. But I also identified with the same women who were deemed vain, frivolous, or selfish, and it became important to me to write the sort of heroine I had been trying to find, and to do so without the harshness of society’s lens.

In our culture, women are frequently described as being “too much” of something. They are too bossy, too loud, too promiscuous, too selfish, too immature. Or even worse, they are not enough—not smart enough, not pure enough, not pretty enough. Like many teenagers, I was insecure about a lot of aspects of myself growing up. A big reason for that was that I cared what people thought about me. I love stories about women who can’t care less about others’ perceptions, and I respect them, but I was never that person. But if I can’t feel that way about myself, I want to feel that way about my female characters. I’ve always sought to write about women who cared too much, who were too selfish, too bratty, too feminine. And that doesn’t make them any stronger or weaker as a female character—it just means they fill a gap I have always been trying to fill for my teenage self. My ultimate dream is not to write a heroine every female reader will identify with and love, but to write a heroine readers will accept, rather than judge, for being too much.

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book cover

Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release Date: April 10, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Synopsis:

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…

and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.

DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY is her first novel. Her second, ACE OF SHADES, will follow in April 2018.

GIVEAWAY (US/Canada Only)

  • Prize:5 copies of ACE OF SHADES (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody (US/Canda Only)
  • Starts: 3/26
  • Ends: 4/19
  • Enter here.

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Have you read Ace of Shades yet? What did you think of it? If you haven’t, are you excited for its release?

Do you think we need more feminine characters? Tell me your opinion in the comments!

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The Tolkien Lover Book Tag

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Hello, everyone! I’m here with a book tag because I haven’t done one in a while and I’m a bit in a blogging slump as I’ve mentioned before – I’ve been trying to write two reviews for a while now without being able to (i’m dying over here, please someone ghost-write for me) – therefore, I’ll fangirl about Tolkien for now and hope for the best!

This book tag was created by Kristen Kieffer and I wasn’t tagged by anyone, I’m doing this out of the pure need to fangirl, bye. 

Let’s get into the questions!

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1. The Lord of the Rings is Tolkien’s most famous work. But did you read the books or see the movies first? What are your opinions on each?

I’ve watched the movies first, I think I was like 12 years old when I watched the first movie and now I’m 20 years old and have watched the movies way too many times. I’ve lost count, I watched it more than ten times, though. That’s for sure. Okay, now consider the fact that I usually don’t rewatch things, now you understand how much I love those movies.

I’ve read the first book back in 2014 and I would have read it sooner if I wasn’t worried that I might not like it. Now think about it, I’ve grown with this series like some of you did with Harry Potter, but people kept telling me that Tolkien’s books are boring, that they fell asleep to them and yadayadayada. I’m impatient, I love my books very fast-paced, therefore I was intimidated. But I loved the books as well, they were indeed slow and very descriptive, but I enjoyed them because they enlarged my knowledge of the Middle Earth universe even more. Love every bit of this world.

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2. Who is your favorite member of The Fellowship? Does this person differ from your favorite Lord of the Rings character in general?

It’s so hard to choose! Stop making me choose between my faves. 

Look, I’ve had the worst crush in the history of crushes on Legolas. It still comes back from time to time because he’s too precious for this world. I love how he’s an introvert bad-ass who cares so much about his friends and he loves nature and omg. I’ll stop right now. He’s probably my favourite.

But I’ll also mention Sam as a very close favourite because he’s loyal, he’s giving so much to the world and he deserves so much better. He basically created the whole cinnamon roll trend. DON’T FIGHT ME ON THAT.

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3. Now for some fun! If you could be any character from The Hobbit, which would you be and why?

 Bilbo? Perhaps, Bilbo. I’m not a huge fan of the Baggins family (I guess I’m just more of a secondary characters stan), but the whole ‘wizard-comes-to-take-you-on-an-adventure’ sounds amazing and I’m so on board with that! GANDALF, PLEASE, I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU TO TAKE ME ON AN ADVENTURE FOR YEARS.

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4. Tolkien’s work goes beyond The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Have you ever read any of his other books? How about books about Tolkien?

I’ve started reading The Silmarillion a while ago, but never finished it – probably not the right time because the book is very heavy with mythology and it has so many characters and the action can be very hard to follow at times. I’ll get back to it soon, hopefully.

I read Tolkien’s World: Paintings of Middle-Earth and it was really beautiful because we’ve got to see the world as it was imagined by a Tolkien nerd in paintings. The paintings were indeed gorgeous. Would recommend!

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5. Let’s talk romance! Pooling from all of Tolkien’s work, which two characters do you ship together most?

Hmm. I have so many otps and crackships in this fandom. I probably ship Aragorn and Arwen the most, I also really love Faramir and Éowyn if we’re talking canon.

If we’re not talking canon, I think I really liked Bilbo and Thorin in The Hobbit, the videos of them on youtube are so cuuute!

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6. Alright, alright. We all have at least one thing from Tolkien’s work that makes us waaaay too giddy and excited. Something that we could talk about for days. What’s yours?

I actually have no idea how to reply to this because I can talk about any aspect of LOTR for ages. But I think the brotps would be something I could talk about for centuries. I love all the friendships – Sam & Frodo, Legolas & Aragorn, Legolas & Gimli, Merry & Pippin, all of them, really. I just love everything!

I’m also very passionate about talking about how much better the world would have been with more female characters. They are under-represented in the series and that’s probably the only complaint I have about this series. I did write lots of LOTR fanfiction to make up for this aspect though.

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I tag anyone who wants to do it, I’m not sure how many Tolkien nerds I have over here! I hope you won’t hate me too much for doing a Tolkien-themed post when I already talk so much about the books anyway, buuuut as I said Tolkien Day was in late March and I really am in a slump. I feel like I’m getting a free pass to fangirl some more.

A little announcement

I’m going to respond to some questions for a special Q&A since I reached 800 followers here (yay, I’m so thrilled, thank you so much for all the support!!), if you want to ask me something, head on Twitter and I’ll reply to everything in a blog post soon! Thank you!

I don’t know what I would do without you all guys! You’re making blogging so amazing!

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Are you a Tolkien nerd? Who’s your favourite character from the trilogy? 

Have you read any book written by Tolkien besides The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings?

 

March Wrap-up

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Hello, lovelies! I’m finally posting a wrap-up on time, wow, who am I? I have some important updates for you and I’m going to go through them all in this post. Let’s get started!

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The Books I’ve Read in March

 

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1. Bound to You by Alyssa Brandon – review here.

I gave it 3/5 stars, I ended up feeling pretty meh about it, I still liked it, but not as much as I hoped I would. The aspect I liked the most about it was how angsty the romance was, the tension was very well written and I’m always a sucker for angst. Give it all to me.

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2. American Panda by Gloria Chao – review here.

I gave it 4/5 stars, it was a very adorable read that left me wanting more due to its abrupt ending. But so much diversity and family conflicts and a relatable college experience, you know I love YA books set in college – if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy this one!

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3. A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena – review here.

4/5 stars for this book full of important subjects that left me wishing for a happy ending and feeling very conflicted about the injustice that is present in this book, but also in real life. This book was a bit too real, too close to home, at times. But I still loved it!

(again, I’m going to warn you about the triggers of this book – there are many, you can find them in my review)

 

4. Fence #3, Fence #4 by C.S. Pacat

I’m loving this comic series so far, but I wonder if I should just wait for the full volume to come out because I hate how short they are and how much I have to wait. I still love it though! Gave them both 5/5 stars!

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5. Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope – review to come.

I also gave this one 4/5 stars, I blame the rating on setting some expectations that weren’t met, but the book was really great! Can’t wait to review it later in April!

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6. I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman – review to come. 

This is by far my favourite book of the month, I completely adored it, gave it 5/5 stars and stayed up until 4 a.m. to finish it (that’s how good it is). I just can’t wait for all of you to read it and I’m going to review it soon! Look out for my review of this one!

Also, I buddy-read it with the lovely Marie @Drizzle & Hurricane Books, we both adored it very much, so you can take both of our words for it! We vouch for this book!

 

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Blogging Update & My March Posts 

If you missed any of my posts this month, I’m going to give you a little update on what I’ve been up to this month.

I’m going to be very frank and say that I’m a bit disappointed with myself because I’ve been somewhat in a blogging slump (?), does this thing exist? Is there a different name for it? I want to know!!!

I haven’t felt like writing a lot and mostly did reviews because of the lack of motivation & inspiration. I really hope April will be better for me because I can’t remember the last time I felt so meh about blogging. BUT I don’t think you have to worry about me disappearing and never seeing me again because I’ve been sick for a week, also felt a bit exhausted because of college and so on.

But my spring break is finally here and I believe April will be my month!!!

Now onto the posts :

  1. Waiting on Wednesday : Bruja Born – I did a Waiting on Wednesday post for the first time and I talked about a book I’m very interested in reading (I CAN’T CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT)
  2. Why Blogging Might Be Bad For Your Reading and What You Can Do About It  – what a huge title, phew, that took a lot to write.   This is one of only two discussion posts that I had this month (?), can you see how bad I’ve been feeling about blogging. I’m actually pretty proud about this one because blogging has been very different from what I’ve expected, but I love it!
  3. Announcing The Cursed Book Club – well, the moodiest mood reader has a book club now. Welcome! Our April book will be Stalking Jack the Ripper – which I’m very excited about because it’s a book I’ve heard lots of things about, but still haven’t read it! Time to change that. You can join our discussion at the end of the month, which will be held here on the blog! I’ll put up a post at the end of the month and I’ll be happy if you joined!
  4. Why We Need More Unlikable Heroines – I posted this one on 8th March and dedicated this to all my amazing unlikable heroines, but also to the women who are taking the chances to reach for their dreams in a society where we all have to be agreeable and nice, which makes the dreams part a little bit more difficult.
  5. I also posted the reviews for The Hate U Give and To Kill a Kingdom, but I mentioned both of these books in my February Wrap-up. Absolutely adored both of them, highly recommended!

 

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ARCs Updates 

I got some new physical ARCs from different publishers, which I am very grateful for! I’ve been sharing pictures on my Instagram  (but don’t expect beautiful pictures because I’m the worst, I have no patience).

I got Orphan Monster Spy and Rosie Loves Jack from USBorne, which I’m so thankful about because I’m so excited for both of them!

I’ve got I Was Born For It (which I mentioned earlier) from HarperCollins, I’m so happy I got accepted for this ARC because it’s amazing!!!

I also got a finished copy of Bygone Badass Broads from Abrams, that book is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to review it on here, so many perfect illustrations and I want to discover all these strong women.

 

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Around the Blogosphere

 

  • Marie wrote a great post on book series (x), I thought it was amazing and I relate so much because I’m awful when it comes to reading series. She also had written a post about whether blogging is still relevant (x), you really have to check it out because she’s making great points.
  • Kat wrote a bunch of amazing posts (I can’t keep up with this girl and how much she posts, she’s a force of nature) : I loved her review of King’s Cage (x) – even though I’m not highly interested in the series anymore, she made me a bit intrigued, but I’ll trust her to update me. She also did The Superlatives Tag (x) – where she shared her bookish opinions, but also a cool aesthetics for Kasia and Dyson (the couple from her WIP – Arcadia)
  • Anna shared diverse books for her diverse reads of the week (x) and I found some new books to add on my TBR. Check out her posts (because she has more from where this one came from).
  • Lia and Ruby team up to do a If You Like This, Then Read This post and it was really great, check it out here (x).
  • Bridget made a post recommending Irish books for St. Patrick’s Day (x)  – I highly recommend you check out her post since she shared both fiction and non-fiction reads (which included lots of folklore).
  • Aurora made book recommendations on feminism and I loved every book she recommended, check it out! (x)
  • Nandini shared her top ten indian-inspired fantasies and most of them are on my TBR, her post making me even more excited about them (x)
  • Malanie wrote a great review of Children of Blood and Bone, check it out if you want to see how amazing the book is (x)
  • Aimee shared the books that got her to read YA lit and it was a very enjoyable post because it brought up a lot of nostalgy (x)

 

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That was my month, it was pretty calm here on my blog, but I feel like for the first time I’ve started to feel the pressure of blogging. It might be because I feel like my blog grew a lot in the past few months and maybe I don’t want to disappoint you all. I’m not sure. It might be only because I didn’t feel all that okay – health-wise. I just hope I’ll get back to my old ways when it comes to enjoying blogging.

I really hope I’ll be able to be in a greater mood about blogging when I do my next wrap-up post!

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How was your month? Are you satisfied with what you’ve accomplished? 

What are your goals for the next month?

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