City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab |Perfectly placed but also… not

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab, also known as V.E. Schwab

Goodreads | Book Depository •

Imagine being able to see ghosts when your parents are ghost hunters (of a fashion). Helpful, right? Well…not so much. Cassidy Blake sees ghosts everywhere she goes, and she certainly doesn’t need to visit the most haunted places in Edinburgh to prove that. But of course that’s exactly what happens.

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First Chapters – Deciding My Holiday TBR

Book spines - The Magicians by Lev Grossman, The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, And I Darken by Kiersten White and I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Way back in January, I was shocked to find myself part of a family-holiday-booking process, something I’ve never done before. And as of right now – the very day this blog post goes up, in fact – I will be on my first holiday abroad. Who’d have thought?

So of course my biggest dilemma for the past couple of months has been trying to decide which books to take with me.** I very rarely read the “typical” holiday reads – contemporaries, romances, crime novels etc – and so there wasn’t a particular mood to go for when plucking books off my shelves. So I decided to follow Hannah’s idea (A Cup of Wonderland), and decided my reads based on the first chapters. I vastly underestimated how long it would take me to read the first chapters of 10 books and started cheating a little by not reading the entire first chapter of some (I mean, some book chapters can be a solid 50 pages long! No thanks), but either way I eventually whittled it down to 6 books, which is hugely ambitious considering I’m a slow reader and will only be there 10 days. But better to be prepared, right?

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(A little bit later than) Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

pile of books thrown down

This is what happens when you’re an indecisive human. You’re at first adamant you won’t be doing any mid year reading updates on your blog or booktube, but then suddenly, somehow, you end up doing two – one on each. I’ve been loving reading/watching everyone else’s updates, so I couldn’t resist really. I was tagged to do this one by Jess over at Read By Jess, and also the Mid Year Check In Tag by Jasmine over at Jasmine’s Reads, so I decided to spread them across the two platforms. Since the Freak Out tag is the longer one, it’s making its appearance on my blog! If you want to check out the other one too – some of the questions are similar but there are some different ones too! – you can click here. But, anyway, let’s have a lil mid year catch up!

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Fantasy & Myths | My favourite books of 2018 so far

High angle showing an assortment of my favourite books of 2018 so far - the covers hidden - and my travel journal for decoration

Apparently, I’ve become a harsher reviewer in 2018. I say this because now we’re in the 7th month of the year, and I haven’t rated any books 5 stars yet. None. Zero. Zilch. Why?? It’s true, I’m reluctant to give anything less than a newfound all-time fave 5 stars, but you’d figure that somewhere in the 35 books I’ve read so far this year, I’d have found one. It seems not.

Despite this, there are a few that have still stood out to me this year and have gotten close to those treasured 5 stars. I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see there’s a theme of fantasy and ancient history. But these four books are the ones currently in the running for my favourites of 2018…unless I miraculously discover a whole suitcase full of new favourites in the next 5 months between now and the end of the year. But here, (a little over) halfway through, we have my current highlights!

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State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury | Fantasy, politics, and a whole lot of grief

State of Sorrow

Goodreads | Book Depository •

A grief-stricken world void of colour and laughter. Stories that seem legendary, but were real eighteen years ago. A girl taking the chance she never realised she wanted. All of this – and more – you’ll find in State of Sorrow, and I guarantee you it’s worth the read.

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Book Haul Spotlight | Plucking out my priorities from one heck of a haul

books

A few days ago I uploaded a huge collective book haul to my channel – and while it’s just so much easier to fawn over all the books in actual speech form over there, I also figured...hey, why not spotlight some of the ones I’m really looking forward to reading on my blog? There’s so many books listed in that video (it’s linked at the end if you’d like to see them all!), but some really stand out to me as top priorities for the upcoming months and I basically just want another reason to chat about them all the more.

This list is…a varied one. Honestly I should probably stop giving that warning before any form of book list I provide, because it’s starting to get repetitive 😆 BUT if you want to see everything from the myth retellings and freak cosmic events I’m eager to pluck from my shelves – well, here they are spotlighted

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The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero | The whimsical story of magic during the war

The dollmaker of krakow

It took me awhile, but my review for this lovely li’l book is finally here! Usually, if I had left it this long between reading the book and writing the review, I would just leave the full review altogether. But I feel like this book deserves the full thing…if I can gather my thoughts properly. I still find it difficult to describe this one! But I shall try.

Let’s dive right in!

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Continue reading The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero | The whimsical story of magic during the war

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson | How does a dreary world become so riveting?

The Final Empire

Thanks to a reading slump, it’s been so long since I’ve actually written a book review. I’m so glad this huge chunk of a book came along and gave me plenty of things to babble about.

spoiler free

Let’s dive right in!

The Final Empire

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The Changeling’s Journey by Christine Spoors | A newly published book that feels like an old folklore tale

The Changeling's Journey.png

Do you guys realise how thrilled I am to be finally writing this review? To finally have read a friend’s book, to have it in my hands and see the words she spent so long writing? GAHHHH.

spoiler free

Let’s dive right in!

The Changeling's Journey

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik | A standalone fantasy with the feel of a dark fairytale (at least to me)

uprooted

This book had been sat on my shelves for ages. I think…over a year? Maybe? And I really have no idea why, because it’s intrigued me ever since I first heard about it. But for some reason, there it sat, feeling unloved (even though it very much was, in it’s place on my shelves).

But at last, we’re here. We’ve reached the day where I actually read this book.

spoiler-free

Let’s dive into Uprooted!

uprooted

Title: Uprooted

Author: Naomi Novik

Publisher: Pan MacMillan

Series Status: Standalone

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Number of Pages:  448

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