Tag: blogtober

BLOGTOBER Day 17: 10 favourite Booktubers

Every evening while eating dinner, Sean and I wrestle the TV remote away from Zophia so that we can watch some Booktube. For today’s Blogtober post I thought I’d shine a light on the 10 Booktubers we enjoy watching the most, so that you can 

BLOGTOBER Day 16: Most anticipated 2021 releases

I’m going to be showcasing a whole bunch of 2021 releases that I’m excited for during Bookmas, but I thought I might as well get the 2021 ball rolling with a post today. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for 2020 to be 

BLOGTOBER Day 14: TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY REVISITED: Top five anticipated pre-orders

After participating in Top Ten Tuesday yesterday, it made me really miss Top Five Wednesday. Unfortunately Lainey and Sam put Top Five Wednesday on haitus so there are no new topics to take part in. Instead I’ve decided to do TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY REVISITED – taking some of the old topics I’ve spoken about and bringing them into 2020!

The first Top Five Wednesday topic I ever participated in was top five anticipated pre-orders of which I’ve actually read two of the five I chose, so here are five books that I currently have on pre-order and can’t wait to read.

5. A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas



I wasn’t planning on purchasing A Court of Silver Flames because I’m not a fan of the new cover style, but when the cover was announced Waterstones had limited signed pre-orders and I couldn’t resist.

A Court of Silver Flames is the fourth book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, which I’m desperately trying to catch up on with my own readalong, ACOTAlong (so if you’d like to join in, feel free to follow the Twitter!). Unfortunately I’ve already fallen behind – I’m really not good at reading to schedules – but I’m hoping when it gets to November and reading the chunky monkey that it A Court of Mist and Fury then I’ll actually be able to commit to reading a few chapters a day.

A Court of Silver Flames is released on February 16th 2021.



4. The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon



This is another series which I desperately need to catch up on. I own all of the books which have been released so far and I read (and absolutely ADORED) Samantha Shannon’s standalone fantasy novel The Priory of the Orange Tree, so I’ve got a feeling that The Bone Season could end up being a new favourite of mine.

Unfortunately it’s going to be a seven book series and The Mask Falling is only book four, so I’m trying to wait until the end of the series is in sight before I embark on this bookish journey. That doesn’t mean I’m not eagerly pre-ordering every release as soon as it gets announced!

The Mask Falling is also released on February 16th 2021.


3. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline



When I read Ready Player One it catapulted itself into my favourite books of all time, so when the sequel was announced I nearly wet myself with excitement.

Unfortunately, by the time I went to pre-order all of the signed copies were sold out, so I decided to wait and buy it closer to the time… But then Waterstones added more signed copies, so I grabbed a copy as quickly as I could!

Ready Player One is an epic competition between gamers across the globe, all trying to win the fortune left behind by the creator of the Oasis, a VR game like no other. If you’re a fan of Warcross by Marie Lu or Slay by Brittney Morris, Ernest Cline’s game is just as well-crafted as either of the ones featured in those novels so you’re sure to love this one too.

Ready Player Two is released on November 24th 2020.

2. The Survivors by Jane Harper




I have read and loved all of Jane Harper’s novels, so when I heard she was releasing a new one I got so excited. She normally releases a book every January but skipped this year because she was busy being a new mum – a pretty reasonable excuse! – but I’m glad she’s back in the New Year with a new novel.

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know anything about this book apart from the fact that it’s Jane Harper, but that was enough to sell it to me. If you haven’t read The Dry yet it is an impeccable debut, and I bet if you picked up a copy you also wouldn’t be able to resist pre-ordering this novel.

The Survivors is released on January 21st 2021.


5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

V.E. Schwab’s latest novel, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, has actually just been released – its release date was October the 6th – but I’m eagerly waiting for my Illumicrate copy to arrive. This isn’t a spoiler because they announced which book they were featuring, so don’t get mad at me!

I’m tempted to pick up a copy of this novel while waiting for my box to arrive because Illumicrate have been hit with some pretty bad shipping delays this year. My September box only arrived last week, so there’s a good chance that I won’t receive Addie LaRue until the middle of November! However, I’m certain it’s going to be worth the wait because the early reviews have been GUSHING.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue tells the story of a girl who makes a deal with the devil so that she can live forever, but the downside is that no-one she meets will ever remember her. However, when someone does remember her shenanigans begin and that is all I know! Certainly sounds like one hell of a story, though.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Five Wednesday Revisited! If you’ve also got a lot of books on pre-order why don’t you make your own post celebrating them?

See you tomorrow,

Alyce

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BLOGTOBER Day 12: Tips for reading more

I read a lot. I’ve read over 200 books this year already (admittedly I was on maternity leave until the middle of February and then on furlough during lockdown between March and July, so this is better than it would have been in a normal 

BLOGTOBER Day 11: 10 series I can’t wait to continue

Yesterday I discussed ten book series which I can’t wait to finish, so I thought I’d use today’s post to talk about the ten book series which I can’t wait to continue… Once their sequels have finally been released! I had considered doing this a 

BLOGTOBER Day 10: 10 series I can’t wait to finish

At the start of the year, I was doing a great job of binge-reading series. I have always been the kind of reader who starts a series and never ends up finishing it, so I was proud that within the first couple of months of the year I had read (or reread) five complete series, and was up-to-date and waiting for the next releases of countless others.

Unfortunately, that has slipped over the past couple of months. It began when I asked my mum to recommend us some books, and she recommended five books that were series starters. It got worse as we attempted the Schwab Readalong, managing only to start the series and not to get them completed.

I can’t even keep track of how many series we have on the go at the moment, but I thought I’d use today to talk about ten series that I can’t wait to finish.

All of the sequels in these series are currently released (otherwise this post would have been me talking about lots of books that aren’t released yet!) but I might use a day later in the month to showcase those series instead.

So, without further ado, these are the series I really need to finish ASAP.

1. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I read Strange the Dreamer when I took part in the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release, but I still haven’t read Muse of Nightmares. This is mostly because I like having matching copies of books that I buy – a really stupid reason to not read a book I’m sure I’m going to love – and I couldn’t get hold of it through my local library… But I recently became a member of the neighbouring counties library service, and while writing this blog post I have just checked their catalogue and they have Muse of Nightmares available! So that means I’m going to be finishing this series very soon!!!

Strange the Dreamer is a duology which tells the story of a boy called Lazlo Strange, a librarian who is obsessed with a lost city called Weep. The stars align and Lazlo finds himself able to travel to the city, where he discovers far more than he’s expecting.

The end of the first book in this series is absolutely devastating, so I am feeling a bit nervous about carrying on with the story, but the lyrical way that Laini Taylor writes is captivating so I’m looking forward to falling in love with this story all over again.

2. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

I read The Girl at Midnight before it came out, way back in 2015, and I loved it.

Following a girl called Echo – a runaway pickpocket raised by a secret species called the Avicen – this book features an epic battle between species, as the bird Avicen are bird people and their mortal enemies are the Drakharin, who are dragon people. The stakes are high, the death toll is higher.

I was grateful to receive an unsolicited ARC of The Shadow Hour from the publisher, Atom, and I was so excited to pick it up that I… never did. Oh, the shame. Why did I used to be so bad at continuing on with series?! I actually forgot about this trilogy until earlier in the year when I finally saw the cover of The Savage Dawn, so I’m determined to get this story finished off.

3. Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I read the first book in the Shades of Magic series last month for the Schwab Readalong, and I am planning to read the next two books in the series before the end of the year.

Recently it’s been announced that there is going to be another trilogy sent in this world called the Threads of Power series, which makes me a bit nervous. I have mixed feelings about series continuations, but at least if I manage to get A Conjuring of Light read then I’ll be able to read the next series if I decide to.

A Darker Shade of Magic is set in a world where there are multiple Londons – Red, White, Grey and Black – and each London has a different type of magic. We follow Lila Bard, a pickpocket just wants to be a pirate, and Kell, who is able to step through portals into each of the different Londons.

4. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

I would enjoy The Smoke Thieves more if it was an adult fantasy. The world that Sally Green has built is very elaborate and well-crafted, but the story is just a bit boring for a YA fantasy. When I’m reading adult fantasy I expect the plot to be slower, for an intense focus on political machinations and the history of the world, but this is one of the slowest YA fantasy series that I’ve ever read.

It’s a shame, because I loved Half Bad – that trilogy probably should have featured on this list, because I only read book one – but I only have the last book in The Smoke Thieves trilogy to go. The Burning Kingdoms is going to be either a five star or a one star read for me: either all of events of the first two books are going to come together explosively, or the story is going to fizzle out forgettably. I’m really hoping it’s the former.

5. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time is a long series, but I’m already three books in and the lowest I’ve rated any of them so far is 4.5 stars, so things are looking promising.

This is the first long adult fantasy series that I’ve ever attempted, so I’m surprised that I’m enjoying it as much as I am. Robert Jordan has a way of making the smallest details of his world vibrant and interesting, and I find myself savouring every moment – even walking scenes, which I’ve never enjoyed before!

Robert Jordan sadly passed away before he could finish this epic series, so the last few books were written by Brandon Sanderson using the extensive notes Robert Jordan left behind. That makes me a little bit apprehensive about finishing the series – I’ve never read a Brandon Sanderson novel and I’ve heard mixed things about his writing – but at least if I don’t like the way the story ends I can pretend it’s just fanfic.

The Wheel of Time series follows a large cast of characters, so it’s hard to effectively sum up what it’s about. What I can tell you is that the wheel weaves as the wheel wills, so if our main characters are about then shit is bound to go down in some way, shape or form.

I’m not a huge fan of Rand, whom the majority of the story is focused upon, but with the first three books featuring a clan of badass magical women, a guy who can mentally communicate with wolves and a man who has amazing luck, there’s a subplot in this story that will appeal to anyone who picks it up. The only downside is that the start is a little bit slow, but if you’ve read and enjoyed works by Tolkien then you should give Robert Jordan a go (nothing can be as slow as The Lord of the Rings!).

6. The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Although not as long as The Wheel of Time series (coming in at seven books, rather than 15), Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series gets progressively larger as it goes on. The Gunslinger is only a couple of hundred pages, while the final book in the series, The Dark Tower, comes in at over 1,000 depending on which edition you pick up. That’s a pretty intimidating size increase.

I’ve currently only read the first two books in The Dark Tower series, and I’ve been conflicted by both of them. My issue with them is that they show their age. The way Stephen King talks about people of colour, mental health issues and women throughout the first two books in this series is not okay, and I find it difficult to look past my distaste of his vocabulary and feel comfortable enjoying the story.

Something about them is still interesting me, though. It’s been a couple of months since I read The Drawing of the Three and the dynamic characters that it introduced regularly pop into my mind, so I do want to continue on with the series… I just don’t think it’s ever going to be a favourite of mine, so it’s hard to dedicate the time to finishing it off.

The Dark Tower series follows a man called Roland, who is the last gunslinger. Throughout the first book he’s chasing a man across a desert, but the plot which you think will weave throughout the next six books resolves very suddenly (and brutally), flipping the story on its head in book two. In true Stephen King style, there are sci-fi elements as well as aspects of horror, so it’s hard to tell what genre you’re reading from page to page, but the first book in the series is solidly a Western.

7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

A dramatic departure from the previous two series I’ve talked about, the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy series follows three girls as they fall in love.

I fell in love with these covers back when I hardly ever read YA contemporary. There’s something about these gorgeous designs that make it impossible to resist picking them up – how have I resisted reading Isla and the Happily Ever After?

I would like to reread the first two books in this series before finally finishing it off, but I have heard very critical things about Anna and the French Kiss since I read it and I don’t think I would enjoy it anywhere near as much second time around. I have fond memories of it, but I’ve definitely read better YA contemporaries in the years since!

8. Potkin and Stubbs by Sophie Green

I only read the first book in the Potkin and Stubbs series last month for Middle Grade Monthly, and I really enjoyed this quick middle-grade ghost story.

Lil Potkin is an aspiring investigative journalist in Peligan City, and she discovers the biggest scoop she can imagine when a boy called Nedly Stubbs asks for her help. Nedly needs Lil’s help investigating a murder which everyone thinks is a missing persons case. Nedly knows better, because he is the murder victim, and he’s now haunting Peligan City looking for answers.

Illustrated by Karl James Mountford, these books are absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see what mystery Lil and Nedly investigate next.

9. Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

Unfortunately Robin Stevens released the last book in the Murder Most Unladylike series back in August, which means I only have two adventures left with Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells. I’m gutted, but all good things must come to an end: I’m just glad that this series ended up being nine books long, as there are plenty of stories to reread (and I’ll definitely be enjoying them again when I read them with my children when they’re a bit older).

I’ve read seven of the nine Murder Most Unladylike books, and with Top Marks For Murder on my TBR this month, I’m definitely going to have the final book, Death Sets Sail, read by Christmas.

If you haven’t heard of the Murder Most Unladylike series I don’t know where you’ve been, as I’ve been going on about it for a couple of years now. In this middle-grade series we follow Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells, the president and secretary of the Detective Society, as they travel across the globe investigating murders.

Not only do these books have gorgeous covers, but they have mysteries that will confound even the most avid crime reader. I’ve reread the first six books in the series and found myself forgetting who had done the crime in a few of them, because all of the suspects seem so reasonable! The best thing about these books is definitely Hazel’s casebooks, as they list the suspects, possible motives and the evidence against each of the characters, so nothing is hidden in the attempt to pull the wool over the reader’s eyes.

While writing this post I’ve learnt there’s going to be a spin-off series, The Ministry of Unladylike Activity, so I’m now VERY excited about that. That news makes the end of the Murder Most Unladylike series a bit less bittersweet.

10. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I had to mention A Court of Thorns and Roses, because I’m so desperate to catch up with this series before the release of A Court of Silver Flames that I made my own readalong for them! So far it is not going well – we’re on week two and I’m yet to pick up my copy because I’m STILL struggling to finish Christopher Paolini’s Brisingr – but I am determined to get this trilogy done and dusted.

I read and reviewed A Court of Thorns and Roses the week it came out, preordered A Court of Mist and Fury and eagerly anticipated its arrival… Then I saw how chunky it was and never bothered picking it up. Oops. However, I read House of Earth and Blood earlier this year and bloody loved it, so I have no excuse for not reading Sarah J. Maas’s earlier novels.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Are there any series that you really need to finish? Let me know down in the comments, and we can encourage each other to finish them off together!

See you tomorrow,

Alyce

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BLOGTOBER Day 9: Booktube goals

This post should have gone up yesterday, because that was my official one year anniversary on Booktube, but I got too excited about beautiful book covers – oops! I’m not someone who likes setting goals or targets for this blog or my channel, because if 

BLOGTOBER Day 8: 2020’s most beautiful books

Today we’re going to get materialistic. Forget what’s inside these books, let’s just enjoy the covers that the publishers gave us! It was hard to choose – there have been so many gorgeous covers released this year – but these are my top 20. Can 

BLOGTOBER Day 7: Autumn Tag 2020

Stealing this from Amy @ Golden Books Girl because I loved her answers to this tag! The autumn tag was originally created by Jenn, who is an awesome blogger – you should definitely check out her site, as I’ve been following her for years and always love her posts.

1. Hot Chocolate – what is your comfort book?

Slightly cheating, but for this question I’m going to have to say the Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens. I know it’s not just one book, but I just love reading (and rereading) Hazel and Daisy’s adventures, and there’s something comforting about the fact that you know the Detective Society are always going to be there to save the day.

2. Pumpkin Carving – what is your favourite creative outlet?

I wish I could say blogging or Booktube, but I think my favourite creative outlet is probably the icing I do at work. It’s therapeutic to be able to ice things for customers and to create designs to celebrate every season, and it’s especially gratifying that I get paid to do it!

3. Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad but that you secretly love?

The sudden influx of Christmas shoppers! I’m not looking forward to it this year – I’m worried that social distancing is going to go out of the window as people get closer to the Christmas season – but I love being busy and always having things to do at work. Even if it means I’ll be too exhausted to read, blog or even wake up on my days off, I find it much more fulfilling than standing around with nothing to do all day.

4. Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others tend to judge

Uhh… This is a hard one! I guess I’d probably have to say Squishmallows, as my addiction to these isn’t something I broadcast too often. I have two children so I can fob it off that I’m buying them for the little ones, but really they are all for me. Yes, they cost quite a bit of money, but they bring me joy, so at least Marie Kondo would be happy with the amount of them cluttering up my living room!

5. Bonfire Night – what makes you explode with joy?

Would it be too cringey to say my children? Mr. Ezra has just gotten his second tooth, which is ridiculously exciting, while Zophia is learning more words every day and is turning into such an independent little girl. I just can’t believe that I made both of those humans, and I love them both so much.

6. Fright Night – favourite scary book or film

Jeepers Creepers. Purely for the song. It’s stuck in my head 90% of the time. It was one of the first scary films I watched (and I was probably younger than I should have been!) and I found it legitimately frightening. Not much actually scares me anymore, but because of the memories of this one it still sends a shiver down my spine.

7. Halloween Candy – favourite thing to eat

Oh my gosh. Can the answer be everything?! I have SUCH a sweet tooth (which is dangerous, what with working in a chocolate shop and all…). At the moment I think I’ll go for either Dipdab Softies or Thorntons Alpini Praline.

8. Scarves – your autumn ‘must have’ accessory

JUMPERS. Big ol’ slouchy jumpers. If you watched my Booktube channel last year you’ll know that I appeared in a different jumper every single video, and you can expect much the same from me this autumn and winter too. I have more jumpers than any other item of clothing, and I love being able to bust them out.

9. Fire – a book or film that burns your soul

Red Rising. Duh. This has been my favourite book since the day I read it, and even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the most recent installment in the series (which still breaks my heart) I’m optimistic that the ending will pay off and redeem the second trilogy for me.

10. Toffee Apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside

*runs to Goodreads* I can remember thinking this about something recently, but can’t remember what it was! Eek.

Oohkay, yes, I remember. For this I’m going to pick The Boy From the Woods by Jen Minkman. I judged this book by its cover and thought it was going to be cheesy AF, but ended up pleasantly surprised by it. I wrote a longer review earlier in the week, but I can say that this one is nowhere near as cheesy as that cover.



I hope you enjoyed this autumn tag! It’s been a while since I’ve done a tag post and had a lot of fun on this one, so I’m really glad I saw Amy’s post this morning.

See you tomorrow!

Alyce

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BLOGTOBER Day 6: Autumn recommendations

I think it’s safe to say that autumn is here to stay. Here in the UK the weather has been all over the place this year – it got hotter much earlier than it normally does and stayed hot until the last few days of