Me

Blogger Meet Up

So, yesterday, I met up with three fellow book-lovers, Ana, Harriet and Nicola, in London, and we had the best time!

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We met up at Fork Deli, a cafe on Marchmont Street, and went inside to have a drink. Both Nicola and I had a hot chocolate, which was really good, and then Harriet took us on a tour of some nearby bookstores!

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The first one we visited was Gay’s The Word, which was where I brought a signed copy of Release by Patrick Ness, thanks to Nicola spotting it on the shelves! Some guy decided to jump in Ana and I’s photos of Harriet posing outside of the shop!

The next place we visited was my favourite stop of the day. It was a second hand book shop called Skoob Books. It was kind of hectic in there, but there was so many books so it was literally like heaven for me. I only brought one book there, Shock of The Fall by Nathan Filer, but it’s definitely a place I want to visit again!

Waterstones was next, and I brought two new books from here. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinbrough and Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Warbringer is a book I’ve wanted for a while now, so I was excited to finally get my hands on it! We spent quite a while in Waterstones, just because of the size of it!

Our final stop was the Primark on Oxford Street! We went there to have a look at all the new Harry Potter stuff, and we weren’t important! We all left the shop with something. I brought a Slytherin blanket (that is so cosy and I love a lot), Ana and Harriet brought Harry Potter bags, and Nicola brought a Sirius Black poster!

It was a really good day, and I can’t wait to do it again in the future!!

-Books&Belle xx

 

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Reader Problems Book Tag

Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 21.15.51I was tagged by Dorka over at Berries and Books to do the Reader Problems Tag, so thank you to Dorka, and make sure that you go and check out her blog! The tag originally was created by Tiffany over at Youtube. You can watch her video here.

1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

20,000?!?! Whatever I read next always depends on my mood, so I’d just stick with that. Having 20,000 books on my TBR would definitely stress me out, though.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

If I’ve started a book I’ll try my absolute hardest to keep reading it until the end. I’ve only ever stopped reading two books, if I remember correctly. Obviously if I’m really not liking it, and it’s taking me ages to get through I will put it down, but I don’t like to do so.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

I’d definitely try and catch up. I guess by cutting down on the time I spend watching Prison Break (or whatever TV Series I’m obsessed with at that moment). I don’t see this happening this year, thank god, as I’m already a book or two in front!

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

All of my book series match up, which I’m happy about! I don’t think it would bother me too much if they didn’t, but I do prefer the matching ones.

5. Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

Hmm, I’m struggling with this one. The books I’ve read that I don’t really like are ones that aren’t very well-known.

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

I hate people seeing me cry, so I’d without a doubt put the book down until I got home and was alone.

7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!?

Ahhh, I don’t know. It’d depend how much I had forgotten. I think I’d have a go at reading the sequel,  but if I’d forgotten so much that it wasn’t making sense I’d re-read the first book. However, I’m pretty good at remembering things, so this hasn’t happened to me yet!

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

This is so me! I’ve heard way to many horror stories of people not returning borrowed books, so unless I really trust you, you’re not getting your hands on my books. I’d just tell them that I didn’t have the book, or that I couldn’t find it.

9. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

Stop trying for a few days. If I’m in a slump, I’m not going to force myself to read. It takes the enjoyment out of it.

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

I’ll usually try and wait until they’re cheaper, but if I really can’t, I will order it. I’d restrict myself to 2 or 3, though.

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

Sometimes a day, sometimes several months. It all depends on what I want to read when I finish my most latest read.

I tag anyone that wants to do this tag!

-Books&Belle xx

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Top 5 Wednesday: Books I’ve Read Because of Bookstagram/Blogging

Top 5 Wednesday (#T5W) is something that I discovered through Ash’s blog, so go check her out! It was created by Lainey and Samantha in 2013 and is still going strong. There is a new topic every week, and you choose 5 books that are related to that topic. If you’re interested in joining in, have a look at their Goodreads group for more information.

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This week, the topic is books I’ve read because of bookstagram/blogging!

1. The ACOTAR series

This is the series that I’m most thankful to the book community for helping me to discover. It’s one of my favourite book series after Harry Potter and I love it!

2. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

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I recently reviewed this one, and I did enjoy it, although there were a few things I didn’t like. I’m still happy I found it, though!

3. Everything, Everything

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I saw this one on my Bookstagram and loved the cover, so I went out and brought it. I read it in one sitting, so I definitely liked it. I can’t wait to see the move!

4. Odd & True

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I received Odd & True as an ARC from the publisher, and I thought it was a really good book. Another one I’m happy to have discovered!

5. The Hate U Give

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I haven’t actually read this one yet, but I did buy it a few months back. I saw so many people from the book community saying how brilliant it was, so I knew I had to give it a go. I’m really excited to read it.

Well, that’s that done! I’m glad to have discovered all of these books, and I’m very thankful to the book community!

Remember, if you’re interested in taking part in #T5W, check out their Goodreads group!

-Books&Belle xx

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Down The TBR Hole #3: Conquer your TBR

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I originally saw this post from Boston Book Reader, but it was created by Lost In A Story, and I loved the idea.

THIS IS HOW IT WORKS: (straight from original post)

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

1. Hold Still

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I have this book on my shelves already, so I will eventually read it. Plus, the plot looks pretty intriguing.

JUDGEMENT: KEEP.

2. Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #2)

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I have this one too! As soon as I finished the first book in the series I ordered it. Leaving Paradise was really good, so I’m hoping I enjoy this one just as much.

JUDGEMENT: KEEP.

3. The Book Of You

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I do like this author, but I don’t see myself getting around to this anytime soon.

JUDGEMENT: GO.

4. The Beast Is An Animal

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Not only do I love the cover of this book (so pretty!!) but the plot sounds really interesting too.

JUDGEMENT: KEEP.

5. Little Sister

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I’m not interested in this right now. Maybe I’ll come back to it in the future because I do like Thrillers, but at the moment I’m going to say goodbye to this one.

JUDGEMENT: GO.

So, I got rid of 3/5 books this week!

-Books&Belle xx

Reviews

Book Review – Secondborn by Amy. A Bartol (Spoiler-Free!)

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Synopsis

Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.

On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.

Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.

But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?

Review

I’m going to start of by saying that I enjoyed this book. However, it did take me a little longer to get through as the first few chapters of the book didn’t really interest me. I get that it sets the scene and everything, but I was just confused as to where the author was taking the story, and when we would get there! The second half, on the other hand, was brilliant. I read the last 5 chapters or so in one sitting. There’s one big event, and then I was like.. OH, this is where the plot is going, and it all started to make sense and I couldn’t put the book down!

I really liked the main character, Roselle. She had most of the characteristics I like in a person, such as selflessness, kindness and loyalty, and she stood up for what she believed in, despite her status as a second-born. I feel like I could have connected with her more, but I hope to do that in book 2, which I will definitely be reading because I need to know what happens next.

I found the way Bartol wrote familial relationships really chilling. It was brilliant, of course, but I felt so bad for the second-borns who were neglected in favour of their first-born siblings by their parents. There’s just so much hurt and betrayal between families, but I liked how Roselle found her own little family in the other second-borns.

Overall, I really did like this book, disregarding the first few chapters. I give it four out of five stars.

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I’d like to thank Amazon Publishing for sending me a copy of Secondborn in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

-Books&Belle xx

Me

Why Do I Read?

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Reading has been something that I have enjoyed since I learnt when I was a young child. Recently, I thought to myself, why do I enjoy reading so much? I answered this question in my head, and decided it might be a fun post for my blog!

1.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”  Immediately, I thought of this quote. When I’m reading a good book, I genuinely feel as if I’m in a different world, which is always a nice escape. Especially if I’ve had a bad day!

2.

Boredom. When I was little, we didn’t have internet at home, and you can only play with toys so many times before it gets repetitive. So, I read. I had what seemed like an endless supply of books through my school library, which meant I’d never get bored at home.

3.

I feel like I learn something valuable from every book I read. Whether it’s a new word, or an important lesson, I’m constantly being educated by books, which I love. I get to do something I enjoy and learn whilst doing so. It’s a win-win situation.

4.

Because I can. I know I am privileged to be able to read, there’s countless young children and even adults across the world that were never taught, so I want to use my ability as much as I can, it seems a waste not to. (I’m not at all saying those who don’t read books are inferior, they too read everyday, whether it’s a sign post or a text. I understand that everyone has different interests!)

5.

It entertains me. This one seems like the most obvious. I enjoy it, so I do it. Very simple.

6.

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” Yes, another quote. Ernest Hemmingway this time! There have been times in my life where I’ve felt incredibly lonely for different reasons, but I’ve always been able to find comfort in a book.

There are more ways I could answer this question, but these 6 answers are the ones that come to mind straight away. What about you, why do you read?

-Books&Belle xx

 

Tags

The TBR Tag

So, I was tagged by Megs over at Between The Pages to do the TBR Tag! Go check out her blog! Thank you Megs for tagging me, I’m so excited to do it!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I’m a little disorganised with how I keep up with my TBR pile. Some of them are on my Goodreads account, but then sometimes I’ll see a book on Instagram or Twitter that looks interesting so I’ll just screenshot it so I don’t forget about it. I should probably just put them all into Goodreads but I’m lazy.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Print. I’ve read less than 5 e-books. I like having and keeping the physical book!

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I’m not sure, I just look through it and pick whatever one I’m feeling at that moment.

A book that has been on your TBR the longest?

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It’s been on there sooo long, but I haven’t gotten rid of it in my recent Down The TBR Hole posts because I do really want to get around to it at some point.

A book that you recently added to your TBR?

Warcross by Marie Lu.

A book on your TBR strictly because it has a beautiful cover.

A Reign of The Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on actually reading.

I don’t know! I hope to eventually read all of the books on my TBR, so I don’t think that I can’t answer this question!

An unpublished book on your TBR that you are excited for.

Genesis by Brendan Reichs!! I LOVED Nemesis, the first book in the series, so much! I’m so excited for the release of Genesis next year. I need to know what happens!

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I really want to read this, I’ve heard so many good things about it.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I have this book on my shelf ready to be read, it’s just finding the time to read it!

A book on your TBR that you are dying to read.

There’s waaaay too many to choose just one!

The number of books on your Goodreads TBR.

53, at the moment. This has been going up and down though!

Thanks again to Megs for that tag! I tag absolutely anyone that wants to do the tag!

-Books&Belle xx

 

 

Collabs

A Collab With Hannah: Disney Q&A

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So, Hannah and I decided to collaborate for a blog post, and we both discovered we had a mutual love for Disney, so we decided the subject would be that! I asked her ten Disney themed questions that she has answered on my blog, and she asked me ten different Disney themed questions over on her blog!

1. Who is your favourite Disney character?

Gosh there is just so many characters to choose from, how can I even choose. I think if it’s Princess then would of course be Belle. But if it from other Disney films then I’d have to say Robin Hood, we all have to admit it, love the voice and just such a well done and charming character.

2. If you could change the ending of one Disney story, which would it be, and how would you end it?

Not so much as changing the ending but properly I’d like an extension to either The Rescuers or Basil The Great Mouse Detective. I just feel Disney let these films down because they could have been expanded so much and they honestly weren’t, they could have been a whole franchise but weren’t which makes me sad.

3. Do you have any unpopular opinions about anything to do with Disney?

I didn’t like Moana. I love the songs but the story itself I just think that it wasn’t that good *hides from all Moana fans*. But I suppose I also don’t like the whole animations which have been updated, I just think that the old pencil style animation made the film feel more real than computer animated. Oh and I don’t agree with people saying Mulan is a Disney Princess, she’s not she didn’t marry a prince and I like her being a kick ass warrior without Princess title.

4. Name one Disney film that you think doesn’t get the recognition that it deserves.

Dinosaur, I mean this film was epic. When it was released computer animation was only just beginning to merge and with the film itself merged with computer and real life environments the overall blend is just breathtaking. And the story is beautiful and I don’t understand why people don’t watch it more!

5. Name one Disney film that you think is overrated.

I could say Moana again but I feel that all Moana fans would cut out my heart but apart from that I would properly say Aladdin. I like the film but that mainly because of Robin Williams Genie, apart from that just really overrated for me.

6. Favourite Disney quote?

Sometimes the Right Path is not the easiest. ~ Pocahontas But there are so many more but that one was in my head at the moment or there is a Dumbo one to! ‘Don’t just fly, Soar!’

7. If you could be best friends with any of the Disney princesses, which one would it be?

Ahh too many to choose from and I’ve already mentioned Belle so I will go with Pocahontas. I love her spirit and how she stays strong with her beliefs and rarely wavers in them.

8. Favourite sidekick?

Mushu! Or Timon and Pumba! How can I choose but those with comedy always make the best sidekicks right!

9. Do you remember the first Disney movie you watched, if you do, what was it?

I don’t but I have a feeling it was properly either Dinosaur or The Lion King as those are the films which appear in my early memory and I was known for just watching films over and over after first watching them.

10. Have you ever been to Disneyland?

Sadly no ;( Through I’ve always wanted to so maybe some day!

Thank you to Paige for all these awesome questions and for collabing with me on one of my favourite subjects of all time – Disney! Make sure that you all check out my blog to see the questions I asked Paige and all her answers too! Thank you!

~ ACupofWonderland

Reviews

Book Review – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Spoiler-Free!)

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Synopsis:

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Review:

So, there were things I liked about this book, and things I didn’t like so much. I’ll start off by saying that I liked the plot for this book a lot, it was engaging enough for me to read it all in one night! I read this before joining the YA book community, however, so I wasn’t very informed about upcoming releases etc, so I thought I was reading a stand alone, which was disappointing when I got to the end and I still had unanswered questions and no closure!

The way that Jenny Han portrays family relationships is really lovely. You have this close-knit family that all come together to support one another after the death of their mother, and it’s so nice to read about how close The Songbirds are!

But then you have romantic relationships. I’m not going to spoil, but there is a big NO-NO with one of the boys Lara Jean wrote to and loved (if you have read the book, you’ll know who I’m talking about), and I know that you can’t help who you love, but it made me really angry with Lara Jean. Her motivation behind the letters was innocent, however, so I was able to let go of my anger.

“My letters are for when I don’t want to be in love anymore. They’re for good-bye. Because after I write in my letter, I’m not longer consumed by my all-consuming love…My letters set me free. Or at least they’re supposed to.”

I liked the main character, Lara Jean, and I know she’s only 16, but she seems so much younger. The way she thinks and some of the things that she does are rather immature. Despite this, I did connect with her and I think she is a likeable character. You can tell she loves her sisters very much, and she’s flawed like any person would be. Oh, and Harry Potter was referenced, which always gets you points from me!

Overall, I definitely enjoyed the book, and I’m so excited about the film that is being made! There were definitely a few things I didn’t like, but it was interesting enough and I will read the next one in the series when I get around to it. My TBR is unbelievably long at the moment!

I give To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 3 stars.

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-Books&Belle xx

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Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Fancasts

Top 5 Wednesday (#T5W) is something that I discovered through Ash’s blog, so go check her out! It was created by Lainey and Samantha in 2013 and is still going strong. There is a new topic every week, and you choose 5 books that are related to that topic. If you’re interested in joining in, have a look at their Goodreads group for more information.

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This weeks topic is favourite fancasts. Fancasts are actors you’d like to play your favorite characters or imagine your favorite characters as.

1. Lily Collins as Zoey Redbird from the HoN Series

If they ever make HoN into movies/TV series, they should so have Lily Collins play Zoey. I don’t know what it is about her, I’ve just always pictured her as Zoey when reading the series!

2. Karen Gillan and Aaron Taylor Johnson as Lily and James Potter from Harry Potter

I thought I’d just pair these two together. These actors seem to be really popular fancasts for James and Lily, but I really do think that they’d play them perfectly!

3. Scarlett Byrne as Amren from the ACOTAR Series

I watched Scarlett as Nora from TVD before I read the ACOTAR series, and she is just always who has come to mind when I think about what Amren would look like. I think that there are some very subtle similarities in their personalities, too.

4. Chase Crawford as Tamlin from the ACOTAR Series

I have no lost love for Tamlin, but I do like Chace Crawford and think that he would play Tamlin quite well. He’d probably have to get a bit more muscle, but other than that he’d be good.

5. Jenna Coleman as Emily Duran from Feel Me Fall

I feel like Emily would have that sort of sweet innocent look about her, and Jenna Coleman definitely has that, so in my opinion, she’d play Emily pretty well.

This took me longer than I thought it would. I thought I’d be able to pick fancasts really quickly, but it was actually so hard! I wanted to make sure I picked who I considered the perfect actor for the character I was fancasting.

Remember, if you’re interested in taking part in #T5W, check out their Goodreads group!

-Books&Belle xx