S4S – Favourite bloggers

Morning all! How are we all doing? 

I’ve done my first week back and man alive, I am exhausted… however, I am also just chuffed that I did it! 

Today’s #SixforSunday talks:

Favourite bloggers

Now I realise that my list could literally go on for HOURS on end because I know a whole host of wonderful and brilliant bloggers. This one was HARD. Like proper hard. But let’s go…

It goes without saying that if you don’t already, you should follow all of these blogs, because they’re magnificent.

  1. Kelly @ Kelly’s Rambles
    Whether you’re looking for her incredible bullet journal posts, her brilliant book reviews or just a blog that is so aesthetically pleasing, you’ll find it all here.
  2. Charlotte @ Charlotte Somewhere
    I bloody love Charlotte’s ‘Coffee and…’ series. There’s so much brilliant content on Charlotte’s blog (including letting people choose her TBR!!) that you could be there for hours. Also, massive shout out (sneaky extra blogger on my list…) to her son, S. He’s BRILLIANT. You should definitely check out his Q&A post! 
  3. Rosie @ Rosie Freckle Reads
    I adore Rosie’s Simply Shakespeare series (I need to get round to writing my post, Rosie if you’re reading this, I promise I will!) and her reviews are always lush. 
  4. Andrew @ Pewter Wolf
    Andrew has some amazing discussion posts on his blog which always call for pondering. I also love his reviews – they’re a brilliant length and they actually make sense (unlike mine) and I quite often find myself wanting to get books because of his reviews!
  5. Cora @ Tea Party Princess
    Cora writes brilliant posts and her blog makes me smile every time I look at it. Her photo skills are also lush (I love her instagram… it’s all black and white!)
  6. Grace @ Almost Amazing Grace
    Grace’s blog is for me inspiring. I stole my much beloved ‘happy post’ idea from her blog many months ago. You go on Grace’s blog and there’s such a diverse bevy of blog posts to read from that you could get lost there for hours! 

I know that TECHNICALLY is the end of my list… BUT… I have to add one of my favourite vloggers to this list too… George Lester (if you follow me on twitter, you know I absolutely adore George. I have no shame in this matter!) His videos make me laugh, they make me smile and they’re just such good bloody fun. George is a babe. You should all go subscribe to his channel. It is so worth it. 

As I said, this list could’ve gone on for DAYS, but I’d hate to bore you all! I can’t wait to discover lots of new bloggers because of your #SixforSunday posts! Don’t forget to share on twitter using the hashtag! 

See you all next week for: Blog posts I’ve loved reading!

 S x

 

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Back To School Blog Blitz

SURPRISE!
It’s Saturday and you’re getting a post… 

salad

Today I’m taking part in the Back to School Blog Blitz with Bonnier Zaffre to share an extract of one of their books! It’s an MG book billed as “one of the most uplifting, warm and funny novels they’ve published this year: Charlie And Me by Mark Lowery.”

I hope you enjoy the extract! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

My little brother Charlie’s sitting cross-legged on the floor of the corner shop, humming with his eyes closed. He does this kind of thing a lot.

‘Hurry up,’ I say, giving him a friendly shove with my raggedy old Reebok. ‘We’ve got a train to catch.’

Charlie wipes his nose on his sleeve. ‘Gizza minute, Marty,’ he replies. ‘I’m just charging up the laser in my belly button.’

He says this kind of thing a lot too.

My brother Charlie doesn’t have a laser in his belly button. I know this for a fact. Not that I’ve ever studied it. But if you share a small bedroom with your brother for ten years then you end up pretty well acquainted with his whole body whether you like it or not.

Charlie isn’t like ordinary kids. He’s one in a million. In fact, he’s one in a Charlillion. A Charlillion, by the way, is a number he invented, which is one more than infinity. I tried to explain to him that you can’t have one more than infinity. Infinity means it goes on forever. Charlie called me a banana-brain. He can be very childish when he wants to be.

At poetry club in school, Mr Hendrix sometimes plays a game to warm up. You’ve got to talk about a topic for thirty seconds without stopping or repeating yourself. Here’s what I’d say about Charlie:

‘Lazy eye, massive head, snores like a hippo, often ill, weird taste in food, terrible memory, always out of breath cos of his asthma, weedy, cheeky, can’t do anything for himself or concentrate for more than two seconds, brain’s inside out, no understanding of danger. My absolute best mate in the whole entire world.’

I’d have to stop there. You could talk about Charlie for a Charlillion seconds if you wanted to, and you’d never run out of things to say.

“Thirteen-year-old Martin and his younger brother Charlie are on a very special journey. They’re going to be travelling 421 miles all the way from Preston to the very tip of Cornwall. By train, bus and taxi, they are determined to get there in the end; and they’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the dolphin that regularly visits the harbour there. But is that the only reason they are going? 

It’s a journey that’s full of challenges and surprises. Martin adores his brother Charlie but he’s not like ordinary kids. He’s one in a million. He was born far too early, and ought to have died. And cheeky, irrepressible, utterly unique Charlie is always keeping Martin on his toes – especially on this crazy trip they are now on. Martin is doing his best to be a good big brother, but it’s hard when there’s something so huge coming once they get to Cornwall…”

S x

BLOG TOUR: Storm Witch

Hello!

Today I’m on the blog tour for a brilliant new MG book soon to be released into the world (tomorrow in fact!) – Storm Witch, by Ellen Renner. 

Image result for storm witch ellen renner review

Storm Witch by Ellen Renner is published on 6th September by Nosy Crow in paperback priced £6.99

“Child of Air, Water, Earth or Fire: now that she is thirteen Storm must undertake The Choosing and be claimed by one of the Elementals, which will determine her whole life’s work. But for Storm, daughter of a father murdered by Water and a warrior mother claimed by Earth, there will be no easy destiny.

The Elementals bestow her with a great and terrible gift. Storm-bringer. Storm-rider. Storm-queller. Storm has powers that no one, not even the island Elders, can understand. And when the Drowned Ones – a savage band of pirates who roam the seas on floating towns – attack her island, will her powers help her to save the people she loves, or is her fate to betray everything she holds dear? Soon Storm faces a decision that will change her life – and that of everyone who lives on her island – forever.”

When I first read the press release for this book I was INSTANTLY TAKEN by “Storm must undertake The Choosing” – THE CHOOSING? MAN. YES. SIGN ME UP. I was very intrigued to know more about this choosing ceremony and what it entailed! (It also got me thinking which elemental I would be… I still am undecided. I think I need some kind of quiz to take to decide this!) What I got was a story that is brillaintly written, with a main character that is stubborn, but loveable. 

Storm Witch tells the story of Storm (our main characterm, the stubborn but loveable one) who is about to turn 13 and is therefore about to go through “The Choosing” – a ceremony in which the children of the island are chosen by one of the 4 elementals. Storm’s choosing isn’t quite as straightforward as those around her… she goes through quite a lot of turmoil, and a few dangerous situations. 

As I was reading this, it came clear that there was an incredible message of the importance of kindness and standing up for what’s right. Storm does something that she knows no-one on her island would do, but she knows that it’s the kindest and right thing to do, so she does it. It means she has to lie, but she’s doing it for good reasons. 

There’s also an incredible sense of community in this book. The depiction of island life was a lush thing to read. Everyone chipping in and doing their bit on the island – it reminded me a little of Moana (which in my books is NOT a bad thing!)

I can’t wait for the next book in this series… despite the fact that book 1 isn’t actually published until tomorrow! Go get your hands on this if you can, I would definitely recommend – there’s magic, danger, community and kindness!

Why don’t you go check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour? Let me know in the comments which element you think you are… and which element you think I would be chosen by!

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S x

August in books

Well hello there! Sorry this wrap up is late… the end of August came upon me suddenly! 

Goodbye August – the month of sunshine, trips to London, relaxing with my favourites, reading many books. You must make way now for September, the month of back to work nerves, new jobs and many changes afoot! September is going to be both an exhausting and exhilirating month! 

In August, I:

Read 31 books (!!)
Spent a few days in London with my best friend
Enjoyed the Summer holidays
Worried about my new job
Was excited about my new job
Spent a lot of time relaxing
Did a lot of sorting
Set up my first classroom (!! – more on that coming this week!)
Announced I’m chairing another event (!! – more on that here)

August was an incredible month. A lot of reading happened! Want to see what I read?!

Let’s start with middle grade!

In August, I read 14 MG books! From jumping the rooftops in Paris, to sailing the seas and making friends with islands; from being a detective, to travelling in and out of books; from running with the memory of the war to being chosen by the elements – all of August’s kids books I would wholeheartedly recommend. 

August MG

Just look at that assortment! Definitely keep your eyes peeled for these – some of them are out already, others are yet to be released!

Now on to YA 

August saw me take on MANY YA books, with me managing to read a grand total of 15 YA books (which I believe is my highest monthly YA total this year… I could be mistaken!) I read a whole range of books – from ones that had been on TBR forever, to brand new books, to new releases and soon to be released! I definitely enjoyed all of them, but some will stay with me a lot longer!

august ya

If all of those covers aren’t enough to entice you, I’ve posted a few reviews already, with the rest scheduled in the coming weeks!

Mini reviews: London edition

BOOK BLOG: Hayley Barker

BOOK BLOG: Chloe Coles

BOOK BLOG: Philip Pullman

Now for a miscellaneous 2 – not YA, not MG… but adult?! I don’t know?

So yeah, there’s all the books I read in August… but what does this mean for my book challenges?

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 92/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 76/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 125/52

Now that it’s September, I can bet that I won’t get through as many books, but I am making a pledge to read every night before bed, so hopefully I’ll still get through books! 

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in August?
Do you wanna know more about any of my books?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

S4S – Favourite blog posts

Hello! Welcome to September #SixforSunday

In September, we are going to be sharing the blogger love! We’re starting with today’s #SixforSunday which asks about:

Favourite blog posts I’ve written

So which blog posts have I written that I love the most, or that mean the most to me?

  1. The one where it all started
    This is on the list not because it’s the best blog post I’ve ever written, but becase it was the beginning of my journey. It was where I decided that yes I’m going to blog, and here I am, still blogging!
  2. My happy posts 
    I can’t choose a favourite happy post because they all are incredibly meaningful to me. My happy posts keep me going. They’re the best things to write as they remind me of all the amazing things I’m blessed with. I try and write one every few weeks!  A massive thanks to my friend Grace for introducing me to them! Have some examples – Happy things – bloggerversary editionIf you’re happy and you know it…Don’t rain on my parade….
  3. Any time I’ve been lucky enough to feature an author on my blog
    I’ve been very fortunate to feature a whole host of authors on my blog and I am so grateful. I’ve had the chance to feature some of my all time favourite authors which still blows my mind too. My most recent one was the brilliant David Owen, who answered all of my questions about his new book – check that out here.
  4. My ‘Letters to…’ posts!
    I’ve not written a letter to anyone recently, but I really like doing them. I’ve written letters to myself a few times. One of my favourite ones was when I ranted on about pockets for a while… 
  5. #SixforSunday 
    Oh #SixforSunday, you are my absolute babe. I love doing #SixforSunday. I can’t quite believe it’s still going. It’s something I started for me and it’s so incredible to watch it evolve and seeing other people join in makes me so happy! You’ll find the prompts for the rest of this year at #SixforSunday prompts take 2
  6. Any time I talk about Melinda Salisbury, Sara Barnard or Maz Evans. 
    Because I love all 3 of them. 

So there you go! 

Thank you once again for joining in #SixforSunday, or reading #SixforSunday posts. It means the world to me! Now go and show off the posts you’re proud of! 

See you next week for: Favourite bloggers!

S x

YALC highlights

Hello!

How are we all today?

So, a little over a month ago, I went to YALC and had the best time. Today I’m going to share some of my highlights from the weekend and then in the coming week I’m going to share my YALC haul, including books I bought, books I got, samplers and all the bookish swag! These highlights aren’t in any real order!

Seeing Jason Momoa
It seems that every year there is a celebrity who wanders through – last year it was Benedict Cumberbatch, this year Jason Momoa. At first, YALC was mania because he had appeared, but by Sunday it was like “oh hey, there’s our pal Jason”. Now that man is ATTRACTIVE. His arms are incredible.

Kaz Brekker
Massive massive shout out here to my gorgeous friend Layla, who cosplayed as Kaz Brekker (from Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom). The cosplay was absolutely amazing. She’d been telling me for months that she was going to cosplay, but seeing it for real was something else. Massive heart eyes from me.

Quiz time – Floored Quiz and Big YALC Quiz
I bloody love a quiz, so when I saw that there was a quiz on the schedule for YALC I was over the moon. I have some very amazing friends who also managed to get me a ticket for the Floored quiz which was happening on the Friday night. The Floored quiz wqas amazing. Last year, I was on the winning team (#teamBarnard for life) but this year, my team decided we’d let someone else win, so we can in a respectable last! It was brilliant fun, with lots of different rounds (some which had questions I did not know the answers to!), including a music round and a picture round. (I love a quiz).

Then on the Saturday night it was time for the Big YALC Quiz, hosted by gorgeous Katie Webber. There were 2 teams of authors who had to answer bookish related questions. There was a very funny pictionary round and some charades too. Many laughs were had that night.

Panels
One of my favourite things about YALC is the variety of panels that you can go and see. Last year, I adored the New Voices panels and was GUTTED this year that they weren’t back – celebrating new authors is SO important, so I’m hoping that they come back for next year! I got the chance to go to quite a few panels this year and it’s always fascinating and, as cheesy as this sounds, a priviledge to hear authors talk about their books – you don’t get to do that often! It’s lovely to see the wide variety of topics talked about. This year there was everything from looking at the publishing industry, to sci-fi, to Frankenstein and dystopian books.

My favourite panel this year hands down was ‘My Body, My Way’ featuring Charli Howard, Charly Cox, Laura Dockrill and Laura Steven, chaired by Dhonielle Clayton. Laura Steven is one of my favourite newest authors and I’ve been lucky to see her talk a few times, but I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to see her again. She’s a brilliant human, and The Exact Opposite of Okay is exceptional. This panel dealt with some pretty hard-hitting topics including self image, the impact of the media and being kinder to ourselves. There were a few moments in this panel that I got very emotional, crying at one point. What they were talking about just hit a massive chord with me. As well as tears, this panel made me feel pretty empowered. Seeing brilliant women talking about looking after yourself and being kinder to each other is pretty motivational! There was also a hilarious moment in the panel when it was announced that David Tennant was going to be at YALC and Dhonielle (who was an exceptional chair) was SO CONFUSED. Many giggles were had.

There were LOADS of brilliant panels that I could mention also – if you’d like me to talk about others that I loved, let me know and I’ll do another blog post!

#TakeawayYA 
Last year, during YALC, my friends and I started #TakeawayYA on twitter, sharing the takeaways we had and I had so many questions as to whether #TakeawayYA would be back. Something that was started in jest has become something that we make an annual thing!

Celebrating books!
Now, this is probably a given being that YALC is like “Christmas for books”, but it is so so incredible to be part of something that celebrates books and their authors so unashamedly as YALC does. There’s just such a brilliant buzz at YALC celebrating books I love and discovering new books that I’ve never heard of! I always come away from YALC with a recommended books list and a TBR that is excessively long. I love being around people who love books as much as I do. We’re very passionate us bookish folk.

Seeing authors I love
It’s quite surreal to see people you respect and adore and them be excited to see you back. Whether they’re authors I’ve met before, or they’re authors that are brand new to me, it’s so amazing to get to speak to them and fangirl about their book. It’s still mad when authors say “oh you’re Steph from twitter, I saw your tweets about my book” (a la Tom Pollock!)

Some brilliant memories for me from YALC weekend:
– Having coffee with Kelly and Katherine Webber and Melinda Salisbury just came and joined in the fun. It was a very cool moment and inside my head I was fangirling out. I love Katie and Mel an awful lot (not that you’d ever guess that!)
– Getting the chance to hug my love Sara Barnard – I adore Sara with everything that I am. I must’ve gone up to Sara’s signing table at least 5 times!
– Going to see Non Pratt/Alwyn Hamilton and them being like “oh no, not you again”. I love a bit of author/reader banter.
– Seeing Kiran Milwood-Hargrave just casually strolling around and being able to fangirl with her about her new book was lush. Kiran is an absolute darling, and you should definitely read her books.

My bookish friends
I was very lucky that I got to live with some of my very best friends at YALC – massive shout out to Kelly, Cora and Rosie for being YALCHouse pals! We don’t see each other very often because geogrpahy, so being able to spend so much time with these girls made me so happy.

On top of YALCHouse, seeing so many of my fvaourites at YALC was an absolute joy. Shout out to Charlotte (who I’d only seen a few days previously) who ran out of the lift to me and would hug me every time she saw me! It’s so amazing to meet my online friends in real life and get to talk to them and see them for more than an hour at a time. Some friends I only saw once or twice over the weekend because they were at LFCC, whereas others I got to see for longer and that was lush. Seeing people I adore (hello, Lucy and George) and for real fangirl over is always an absolute delight of YALC too!

There you go! My YALC highlights. Does this post do my YALC weekend justice? No, but it’s a very good start.

I would say to anyone who is thinking about doing YALC to seriously do it. I adore YALC, I’ve been two years in a row and I just think it’s a wonderful time of year to be a bookish person.

Did you go to YALC this year?
What were your highlights?
Who were you most excited to meet?

Thank you for getting through this EPIC post! I didn’t think it would be this long!

S x

Mini reviews: London edition

Last week, I was very lucky to spend time in London with one of my favourite humans in the world, Kelly. While we were in London, we spent much time reading, drinking tea and having a lovely relaxing time – perfect for bookworms like us! 

I thought I’d share mini reviews from the 6 books I managed to read in the 4 days I was away. I love a mini review – bitesize bookish love is always good! 

Book 1:
The Light Between Worlds – Laura Weymouth
Released November 1st from Chicken House

(proof cover!)

I absolutely adored this story – it was pretty unique. There was lots of juxtaposition in this book – the harshness of war vs the freedom of the forest, a need to be in the moment vs a want to be elsehwere – which made for brilliant reading. I adored Ev’s friends and family and I genuinely felt their love for her, but she frustrated me at times. There’s a lot of emotions explored in this book, and there’s some dark themes explored. 

Book 2:
Mr Lemoncello’s Great Library Race – Chris Grabenstein

Again, this was one that I thought was just wonderful. It was good for my brain to go from something quite dark to this library based caper. It is such fun! I would love to visit Mr. Lemoncello’s library and take part in his fun games. I hadn’t read the first 2 of these books before this one, but that didn’t spoil it whatsoever (I have since bought book 1 and 2!). This book is all about sharing the love of libraries, making friends and the power of the truth. I can’t wait to recommend this to the kids at school!

Book 3:
Oliver and the Seawigs – Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

I actually managed to pick this up from Oxfam Book Shop and it’s a good job too, because I finished Mr. Lemoncello quickly so needed a back up book to read! This is a funny, irreverent adventure with a young boy who makes friends with a mermaid and an island (I know right?!) and they have to fight off some baddies. I really enjoyed it, it’ll fit perfectly in our school library! I’d love to pick up more from these authors!

Book 4: 
More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera

(yes that is more tea!)

When I finished this book I was very much not ok. I’ve been in Aaron’s shoes – wanting to be someone I’m not. I’m so sad for him. I can’t imagine going through what he ends up going through. This book is littered with love and the struggle with accepting who you are. Even now thinking back to this book, I am so sad for him. This book is one I would recommend EVERYONE READS. It is HEARTBREAKING. I didn’t see the twist coming, it shocked me. Adam Silvera continues to write incredible books. 

Book 5: 
Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

(hey look at that guys, more tea!)

OH LEAH. I really wanted to love this. Don’t get me wrong, I did really enjoy it. There’s just things about it that frustrate me. I didn’t ship it, which as a serial shipper is a MASSIVE surprise to me, so it made it hard for me to get fully into. Having read Simon, I wanted to just swoon over everything, and I didn’t. I would recommend this book though, it is good. I think there’s a bit of me in Leah and there’s some of Leah’s personality I don’t like… so yeah. I have complex emotions about this book. 

Book 6:
The Friendship Fails of Emma Nash – Chloe Seagar

Friendship Fails of Emma Nash

This made me chuckle a lot. It’s funny and relatable. There were many moments where I cackled out loud. This is a book that teenagers will love. It’s well worth a read if you want something witty. Emma Nash goes through a LOT. 

So there you have it! My mini London reading haul!

Have you read any of these books?
Do you have thoughts about Leah that we can talk about?
Does Adam Silvera continue to break your heart too?

Lets talk!

S x

Geordie Gifts

Whey aye man. Welcome to a different kind of post from me! 

Now, as most of you know, I’m a VERY proud Geordie. Very proud indeed. Us Geordies are brilliant people. We are often voted friendliest and the best accent to hear on the phone and stuff like that. We have some of he best beaches in the UK and one of the most beautiful streets in the UK. But we also have some brilliant local businesses.

Today, I’m spending a little time sharing one of my favourites. Geordie Gifts brings together some of my favourite things: cards, tote bags, mugs and being a Geordie.

geordie-gifts-logo-white-background_500x

Having a browse of the website, you find all kinds of wonderful goodies! I’m going to share a few of my favourite products with you all today!

Divvent disturb am busy... Thinking of class ideas, deein' deed important work... drinking a bloody cuppa! funny geordie notebooks newcastle northeast gifts and card shop

Don’t disturb notebook

Funny geordie bag for life. Tote reads: Whey aye man, five pence for a bag? a divvent think so. Geordie accent

5 pence for a bag? tote

popular newcastle and geordie phrases translated. Unique gifts for geordies mug

Geordie sayings mug

great north run 2018 well done card. geordie gifts newcastle souvenir

I’m loving the Great North Run cards… particularly fond of this one. (I may have purchased one or two for the excellent humans I know that are running it!)

There’s all sorts on the website. I could go on sharing pictures and links for things for a while, but I will restrain myself. If you like what you see (and why wouldn’t you?), I would recommend going over there and purchasing yourself some brilliant Geordie gifts. Treat yourself, or others!

If that’s not enough, you can get many laughs from the Geordie Gifts twitter too! Following Geordie Gifts on twitter and Instagram brings me many laughs. It’s fair to say that Craig is one of my favourite Instagrammers. With content like Bus Watch, Trolley Watch and hilarious office content, you should go over and follow him if you like a laugh!

S x

BOOK BLOG: Hayley Barker

Show Stopper/Show Stealer: thrilling books excellently paced that you just can’t put down!

Show Stopper and Show Stealer is a duology written by Hayley Barker and I JUST ADORED THEM OK? I picked up Show Stopper a while ago based solely on the cover (just look at it man!) and once I had dived into the world of the twisted circus and got to the end, I needed the second one. I bought Show Stealer (the sequel) about 2 days later and immersed myself right back into the world. 

Show Stopper:
Set in a near-future England where the poorest people in the land are forced to sell their children to a travelling circus – to perform at the mercy of hungry lions, sabotaged high wires and a demonic ringmaster. The ruling class visit the circus as an escape from their structured, high-achieving lives – pure entertainment with a bloodthirsty edge. Ben, the teenage son of a draconian government minister, visits the circus for the first time and falls instantly in love with Hoshiko, a young performer. They come from harshly different worlds – but must join together to escape the circus and put an end to its brutal sport.

I won’t share the synopsis for Show Stealer because spoilers… but if you’re curious click here.

I’ll try and keep this review as un-spoilery for both as possible!

In the world of these books, you’re introduced to a society of the Pures and the Dregs (yes, I couldn’t unsee the Six of Crows either!). The Pures are the rich and the Dregs are the poor. The Dregs live in the slums and do the menial jobs in the world of the Pures. If you’re an unlucky (or lucky, depending how you see it) Dreg, you might be taken in by the circus and be trained up to perform for the Pures. The Dregs aren’t treated well, but as they have no rights, this happens for the entertainment of the Pures. As the books progress, you see the inside of the circus and the deplorable ways in which the performers are treated. 

I adored the circus setting. I’m well into books that are set in the circus (if you have any recommendations, please tell me because I am all about them… kids and YA please!) The setting is so brilliantly described in book 1, but in book 2 these descriptions are just taken to another level. The circus changes for the worse in book 2, so the descriptions get DARK to match the new look circus. 

As well as the incredible setting, there’s a bunch of characters who will pull at your heart and make you angry and make you see the good in people and make you want to punch things and make you look at the world these people live in, as well as our world! I think it was the characters that made me fall into love with these books even more:
Ben – he’s brave, honest and compassionate. You feel the real pull in Ben’s heart between what he has been taught and what he believes is right. I loved Ben a lot. He’s a very good egg. He goes against everything he’s ever known because he sees an injustice happening. I fell for him quickly. 
Hoshi – she’s fierce and fearless, particuarly where the people she loves are concerned. I loved seeing her growth. She’s like a Mama Bear. Hoshi is one of those characters that have so many layers – once you get under her skin there is still so much more to learn.
Viviene – Ben’s mam, politician. This woman is just disgusting. Some of the things she believes and fights for are vitriolic and I genuinely despised her. We need to talk about her more, but I can’t help but get a little angry about her.
Roger – Ben’s dad. I have quite different emotions for dad than mam. At first, I thought he had no backbone, but that changes. I can’t reveal why I have such a soft spot for him because MASSIVE SPOILERS, but trust me he is a good man.
Silvio – the ring master of the circus. GOD THIS MAN. He’s an egomanic and true narcissist. He ONLY gets worse as the books go on too. 
Jack – he makes an appearance in book 1, but is pretty important in book 2. I adore him. He is an actual hero.

There are more characters than this… there’s some wonderful additions to the circus in book 2. I could talk about the characters in these books for many words, but I won’t!

(I wanna go and reread these books now! I miss these characters quite a lot)

One of the things that surprised me about these books were how politically driven they were. I didn’t expect to read these and think politics, but the politics of the world is one of the prevalent threads throughout and I quite adored it. There’s a lot to learn from these books. There’s many a comparison that can be made between these books and the world that we live in today. If people could just find in them a smidgen of compassion, like Ben, then we would have a much kinder world. We can change minds and we can be wrong, but we should ALWAYS be kind. Jack is one of the most important characters in these books. Please can we all appreciate him please? Books like these show that the good guys can win and that kindness will get you further than hatred. 

My goodreads reviews of these books:

Show Stopper: 

If I could swear here, I would swear. What an absolute winner of a book here. My mind is 100% blown.

Show Stealer

I have THOUGHTS and FEELINGS about this book. More feelings than thoughts.

This book manages to encapsulate the absolute brilliance of book 1, but is more despicable, horrifying, compassionate and honest all at the same time. I just can’t get the words right now.

Shout out to Roger 💛

Ha. I love the Goodreads version of me. 

Have you read Show Stopper or Show Stealer?
CAN WE TALK ABOUT THEM PLEASE?
Can you recommend any circus books?

Talk to me in the comments, or on twitter please! I need more people who love these books in my life!

S x

The Bank Holiday Tag

Happy bank holiday everyone! Last one of the year! 

Today I’m taking on the Bank Holiday Tag, made up by my lovely friend Cora. Check out her original post here. I’ve actually done this post before, back in April – if you’d like to see my answers and compare them, you’ll find that post here. I’m going to try and complete this based on the books I’ve read so far in 2018!

Have a lie in.
Which book could you lounge in bed with all morning?

40203682Snowglobe – Amy Wilson
This is a lush story with magic and lush friends. It’s one I’m definitely going to reread!

Oh my goodness, it’s actually sunny outside!
A book that makes you feel optimistic.

19547856Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Simon and Blue are EVERYTHING. But also, Simon’s parents and his sister.

Spend some time outdoors.
A book that reminds you of nature.

38210965When The Mountains Roared – Jess Butterworth
I’ve never been transported to the mountains in India surrounded by big cats before this book and it was incredible.

Make some punch.
A book that you find difficult to classify into one genre.

38600182The Secret Deep – Lindsay Galvin
This book is so intricate and brilliantly written that it would happily sit in many different places in a bookworm’s world.

Pass some food around.
A book you want to share with everyone.

26030734The Wild Robot – Peter Brown
I ADORE this book with all that I am. I have read the sequel now too and I just… it is such a love. Roz is an excellent main character. (This could also be the answer to the nature question!)

Light the BBQ.
A book that took a while to get going.

39127492The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green
It’s a shame this book takes like 60-70% to get going, because once it’s going I quite liked it! 

Failed BBQ.
A book that ultimately disappointed you.

35068735All of this is True – Lygia Day Penaflor
Oh friends. 

It’s raining. Of course.
A book to curl up with when it’s raining outside.

23437156Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
I can’t wait to reread this book. I love Kaz Brekker so much. This is the perfect rainy day read because let’s be real, it’s always raining in Ketterdam.

Let’s just eat the chocolate.
A book that’s super sweet.

34615412Theatrical – Maggie Harcourt
I love Maggie’s books. They always just make me smile and that’s what you need sometimes!

There we go! Join in the fun, and do the tag yourself! Enjoy your bank holiday everyone!

S x