June Book Haul

This post should probably be called how I broke my book buying ban one month in, but looking on the bright side I still made it one month without buying anything new. I also managed to stick to my monthly budget for the first time ever so it’s not all bad.

And of course I have some gorgeous new books.

June Book Haul

I didn’t go too crazy while on my book buying ban however. I only brought four books this month myself—five if you count my Owl Crate box this month. One other was an eARC from NetGalley which I am so excited to start reading, and the other seven were birthday presents. I think I definitely picked the right month to go on a book buying ban, because it was my birthday in the middle of June I still got quite a few books without having to spend any money myself.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favourite Book BFF’s

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. It was a free pick this week so I chose a Top Ten Tuesday topic from a long while ago; Top Ten Book BFF’s.

The first group of friends I remember reading and falling in love with was Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. I followed their adventures through the seven years they attended Hogwarts and fought off Lord Voldemort and his followers. Ever since then I’ve loved reading any kind of close friendship between two characters, so for this week’s free pick I decided to feature some of my favourite BFF’s from recent books I’ve read.


Top Ten Tuesday #27

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A Thousand Nights

A Thousand Nights


Title: A Thousand Nights

Author: E.K. Johnston

Series: N/A

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Release Date: October 20th 2015

Rating:

Five Stars

LO-MELKHIIN KILLED THREE HUNDRED GIRLS before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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This Savage Song

This Savage Song


Title: This Savage Song

Author: V.E. Schwab

Series: Monsters of Verity, #1

Publisher: Titan Books Ltd

Release Date: June 7th 2016

Rating:

Five Stars

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains – and friends or enemies – with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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Book Fangirling Blog Award

I  can be a massive fangirl at times; mainly for books and new releases which, if you’ve been following me for long enough, you are probably well aware of by now, but there are plenty of other things I find myself fangirling over now and again. I was nominated for this award by Lila at The Bookkeeper’s Secrets. Thanks so much for the tag Lila, while I’ve already been nominated for this award once before I loved being able to take part in it again.

Book Fangirling Award

Rules:

  • Create a post to accept your award.
  • Answer the questions I have at the end.
  • Nominate between 5-10 book bloggers who you think also deserve this award.
  • Come up with your own 5 questions for your nominees.

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Souvenirs From Across the World: Welcome to England

Marie at Drizzle and Hurricane Books is hosting a brand new, amazing sounding, you-don’t-want-to-miss-out-on feature; Souvenirs From Across the World. It’s a chance for people from all around the world to share their culture, their hometown, their country, and connect with other bloggers.

This week is all about getting to know everyone’s countries, already plenty of people have posted from their hometowns and now I’m posting from England.

Souvenirs From Across the World

There’s still time to sign up, if this sounds like something you’re interested in. There’s plenty of information about the feature itself here, and you can check out Marie’s post on her hometown here. Subscriptions close on the 25th of June so seriously get going because this sounds like an amazing features, hopefully one we will see more of, and I am so excited to be taking part.

Welcome to England

I have travelled a lot in recent years, with plans to travel more in the near future; I’ve stayed as close to home as Scotland in March and gone as far as Cancun back last August. When it comes to England itself I haven’t seen much of the country I’ve lived my whole life in; my home is Southend and it has been my whole life, London has quickly become my home away from home, and I spent three years in Brighton while at University there. Other than that there is still the whole of England for me to explore when the opportunity presents itself.

First, some background on England. It’s a small country, part of the UK along with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We’re known for our fish and chips, the royal family, and tea, but there’s so much more to us than just that. However if you do come to England, seriously, get some fish and chips at some point.

Southend Beach Huts

Southend

I’ve lived in Southend-on-Sea my entire life and honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else. It’s a small seaside town, although technically not actually on the sea. Southend actually sits on the mouth of the Thames Estuary so you can see Kent on the other side of the water, I guess Southend-on-the-Thames-Estuary didn’t have the same ring to it as Southend-on-Sea.

When it’s the summer and the sun is out we get rammed with tourists and happy families down on the beach; eating ice cream and fish and chips, spending money in the arcades, screaming on the rides at Peter Pan’s, wandering down the longest pier in the world (it’s caught fire at least twice though so I’d visit before someone proves the adage that these things come in threes). I’ve spent many a day with my friends down on the beach; eating the fresh doughnuts and walking out towards Kent when the sea’s out.

Just a short travel away there are more coastal towns which are worth a visit; one such is Leigh, home to Old Leigh and Hadleigh Castle which are both well worth going to when the sun is shining.

Hadleigh Castle

One of my favourite things about Southend is that, just a short train ride away, you can find yourself in the centre of London.

London

London has quickly become my home away from home. I spent a lot of my free time there and it’s one of my favourite places to be because there is always something going on. It’s the city that never sleeps; everywhere you turn there’s something new to see, something exciting to do, something amazing to discover.

If shopping is your thing then we have Oxford Street, stretching from Tottenham Court Road all the way to Marble Arch, with all the high street flagship stores and always plenty of people. It’s the place to go for shopping and there are plenty of hidden treasures down some of the side streets if you wander far enough; like St. Christopher’s Place, full of bars, cafes and restaurants it’s at the same time so close to the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street but it feels so far away.

Oxford Street

Then there are the markets. Stand to one side and sample some of the food they have to offer. If you have the time spend an hour losing yourself inside the maze that is Camden Lock Market. I’ve done it myself, spent hours wandering around visiting stalls I’ve never seen before or since. There are plenty of markets all over London all offering something different; Maltby Street Market, Portobello Road, Brick Lane, Covent Garden, Southbank, all of them offer something different so make sure you check out what they’re known for before going. If you’re in London though I’d recommend checking out at least one or two of the markets.

Covent Garden and Neal's Yard

Then there are the tourist attractions themselves which, although crammed with tourists especially in the summer, are still well worth the visit. The Tower of London is a must, full of England’s history and close to the Thames it’s a brilliant photo spot, London Zoo is a great day out if the weather is nice and you have the time to spare, the Reptile House is where they filmed a certain scene from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The London Dungeons shows a more gruesome side to history but the actors there and the stories they perform make that history come alive. There’s Leicester and Trafalgar Square, Madame Tussaud’s, the London Eye. There are plenty of museums to go to if that’s more your thing; the V&A, the Tate Collective, Somerset House, the National Museums of History and Science.

Tower of London

Then at night the city comes alive. Take in a Broadway show or have a few drinks in one of the many bars in and around London. Whether it’s the local pub or a more eclectic one there’s always an amazing experience to be had.

I could take for days and days about all the things there is to see and do in London, instead I will offer two pieces of advice for anyone visiting London:

  • One; walk as much as you can. Sure you can take the tube, it’s convenient, cheap and fast. However why would you want to be stuck underground when you can get around on foot just as fast and see an array of sights while you’re at it. Walk from Piccadilly Circus, to Covent Garden, to Neal’s Yard and see what else you can discover along the way.
  • Second; get lost in the city. Start in the middle of Oxford Street, or the edge of Southbank and take the side paths seeing what you discover. There’s always something amazing to see in London and you’ll be surprised what you discover if you give it a chance.

None of these photos belong to me, with the exception of the Tower of London ones, all were found through Google images.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far.

I’ve actually read a lot more books released in 2016 than I originally thought. When I first saw this topic on The Broke and the Bookish blog I thought I’d struggle to find ten; but soon I had ten, fifteen, twenty books released this year that I’d read and loved. There are already more than a few competitors for my top read of 2016 and if the books that are due to be released in the second half of the year are even half as good as I think they will be then there will be a lot more favourites come the end of this year.


Top Ten Tuesday #26

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The BFF Book Tag

Another day, another tag.

I read a lot of books and, as well as being drawn into the stories and the fantasy worlds within the pages, I love the characters themselves. There are so many characters from my favourite books I’d love to meet, love to spend an afternoon with, love to be my BFF’s, so this was a brilliant tag to be able to take part in. The only issue was narrowing it down to one character per question.

The BFF Book Tag

I was tagged in the BFF book tag by Kirstie at Upside-Down Books. Thank you so much for the tag Kirstie; everyone else should definitely check out her original post and her blog, and if you’re not following her already then what are you waiting for?

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