Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

This was a video that we wanted to do back in July but never got round to, and then the longer we left it the less ‘mid-year’ it became! But since we really like the survery-style questions, here it is. We were tagged Liv The Book Nerd (thereby giving us the perfect opportunity to do this!

Q  U  E  S  T  I  O  N  S

253224491. Best book you’ve read so far in 2016.
This is a super hard question, because there were some amazing books that came out in the beginning of the year that seem so far away at this point! One of many is Radio Silence by Alice Oseman! Solitaire was our favourite book of 2015, so it’s no surprise that Radio Silence will be somewhere on that TOP list of 2016! We actually got to meet Alice, along with her book writing BFF Lauren James(!), in March – here’s a video chronicalling it!

2. The best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016.
Maddie: How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne.
Bee: The Rose Society by Marie Lu

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
Maddie & Bee: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

anticipatedfallreleases4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
We have a whole video of anticipated releases for Fall-Winter!

5. Biggest disappointment.
Maddie: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Bee: The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

6. Biggest surprise.
Maddie& Bee: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – we picked it up from the library on a whim with zero expectations and we both ending up really enjoying it!

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)
Maddie: Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King. It was one of the first books I read this year, and this authors debut, but I loved it and will now read everything he writes…probably.
Bee: V.E. Schwab – we even got to meet her this year! We filmed her entire talk and when she signed our books. She was sooo lovely!

287560538. Newest fictional crush.
Maddie: Tim from The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Bee: It’s been a bit of a disappointing year crush-wise, but if I had to pick: Alucard from A Gathering Of Shadows.

9. Newest favourite character.
Maddie& Bee: Just about every character in Wonder by R. J. Palacio.

10. Book that made you cry.
Maddie: I almost thought I hadn’t cried at any book this year (because it’s seriously not often I do) but then Bee reminded me I had an actual sobbing fest over The Serpent King.
Bee: Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloane.

11. Book that made you happy.
Maddie: Spot The Difference by Juno Dawson. Our friend Carys, when she went to YALC, even queued up to meet her so she could get a copy signed and dedicated to give us!
Bee: Sunny Side Up by Holly Smale. Harriet Manners never fails to make me smile!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Maddie: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead! It’s going to be the series I read this winter, and I’m really hyped for it!
Bee: Asides from university assigned reading…I would love to have at least started the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes! I’ve been saying I want to read it practically since January!

Bee’s ARC August TBR

Maddie and I have received some very exciting upcoming releases over the past few weeks and ARC August is apparently a thing, so I thought I would take the time to share them with you! #ARCAugust is hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat and it sounds like a super fun way of trying to tackle your ARC TBR pile!

How To Keep A Boy From Kissing You by Tara Eglington

This is probably the ARC I am least excited for in my collection. I really enjoy the whole ‘sweet 16 and never been kissed’ element – it’s what I adore about Kisses For Lula by Samantha Mackintosh, which is one of my all-time favourite underrated contemporaries – but it’s the exact opposite. Instead of wanting to be kissed, Aurora Skye (such a fictional name!) wants to stay that way. Then there’s a boy…of course there is, right?…and he’s basically perfect for her, but she’s stubborn and doesn’t need him (YES!) but then they get thrown together in their school production of Much Ado About Nothing and we’ve all seen that Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode. We know how this is going to go. I really hope that it’s going to defy my expectations, and work through some of the tropes in interesting ways, but we’ll see…

The Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges

I read Dreaming of Antigonealso by this author, earlier on in the year, and there was a blurb for her second book at the end and I remember in intrigued me enough to want to read it too! This book also happens to include the characters taking part in Shakespeare! Except this time, it’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. So I hope it’s going to be a bit surreal, lyrical and emotionally hard hitting. It seems like it’s going to be a bitter sweet story with a bit of discord, so I’m actually looking forward to it. I think the opposing Shakespeare plays also perfectly sum up the tone that these books will have, so the comparison will be interesting too.

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

The cover and the title seem like completely different stories. Am I the only one who feels this way? I see the cover and think mystery thriller with dystopian elements. I hear the title and think summer contemporary romance probably written by Jennifer E. Smith. The Edge of Everything was a popular ARC at BEA and I think that was the only reason why I requested it. It’s about a girl and her brother struggling through a snowstorm, and I think that also reminded me of Cassie and Sam from The Fifth Wave and I wanted to have that connection to a sibling relationship again. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, I think the romance is going to be pretty high in this one, considering the tag line is ‘For the perfect love what would you be willing to lose?’

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

This is a story set in the early 1900s where there’s a club where people can be entertained by illusions. Things go wrong, best friends are sacrificed, lies are told. That kind of thing. I hope this is going to be the kind of story where I’m completely immersed in the world and engrossed by the story. I want to be swept away by these characters and their magic. Maybe with some Night Circus vibes, but it also feels like a hit BBC drama.

The Secret City by C.J. Daugherty

I picked up the first book in this series when I met C.J at the Feminism in YA event in March. I’ve seen the book trailer and it looks like it’s going to be the next City of Bones. I can’t wait to read the first one, and I’m glad to have the second book on hand so I can jump on it immediately!

And I Darken by Kiersten White

This is one of those ARCS that’s been gathering pixellated dust on our to read shelf. I’ve tried to pick it up before and never gotten very far through. August is the month I will read this gender bend Vlad the Impaler! It’s got a really strong concept and I love female lead fantasies, and hopefully this will be no exceptions. I’m exception a lot of Action and Adventure, so we’ll see. I’ve seen some really positive reviews on GR people saying it’s dark and enticing. So I can’t wait!

The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

This is the book that I am most excited for! It’s a contemporary about an over-achieving girl who’s set to go to an Ivy League university until her boyfriend leaks racy photos of her online. Then she gets a job at a community pool and makes more friends and puts her life back together, and I can’t even contain my excitement for this books, which is why it’s probably going to be one of the last I read this month. I love everything about the concept, and I think it’s going to be a real story packed full of my favourite thing: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! It sounds like something I’ll really enjoy, and to find a new author to follow would be incredible.

Waiting For The Right Moment To Read


Every time a new book gets added to my TBR, I’m desperate to read it AT THAT SECOND. But, chances are, I’ve already got at least one book on the go and don’t want to divide my attention by reading it. Of course, if this is a book by Holly Smale, then I’ll pause whatever I’m doing (even if it’s sleep) and start reading straight away.

That’s an exception.

Most of the time, books on my TBR stay there for at least a month before I read them, because I’m waiting for the right time, and some may argue that there is no right time to read something. For me, there definitely is, and my example is: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. 

I first picked this book up in 2008. I was 11. It was from my school’s library, and it was over 300 pages, which was longer than any book I was reading at that age. I started it immediately (because this was back in the days when I didn’t know that young adult fiction existed, let alone TBR piles).

I read 70 pages. I gave up.

This month, I only just finished it. Eight years later!! And, boy, am I glad I delayed reading it that long. Even when I was 11, I loved reading the ‘Acknowledgements’ pages of books. BUT, I accidentally flipped to the last page of the story instead, and spoiled the fates of Sephy and Callum forever. Over eight years, I’ve never been able to forget the ending, and I thought it was about time I found out how the characters got there.

It was a great book. Really, really great. Would I have understood how complexly it deals with race and terrorism eight years ago?


I feel like, consciously or not, my 11-year-old self did my 18-year-old self a favour. It’s like she knew I won’t completely get it, so put it down because it was the wrong moment to read it. Now I’ve read it with a better understanding of the world and how unjust it is, I was able to better appreciate and love the book more.

So, I guess the moral of the story is, delay reading books for as long as you want. You never know, you might end up thanking yourself for it one day, because books have a tendency to have more impact if you read them when you’re actually ready for them!

Interview with Beth Revis, author of Paper Hearts Series!


I  N  T  E  R  V  I  E  W:

To celebrate the release of Beth Revis’ latest book ‘Paper Hearts’, completely dedicated to inspiring aspiring writers, we got the chance to ask Beth some questions about the book! (And if that wasn’t exciting enough, there’s also a giveaway you can enter here!)

Maddie and Bee: You discuss a lot of controversial tips for writers in Paper
Hearts, which piece of classic writing advice are you most opposed to and

Beth Revis: “Write every day.” That one piece of advice was very damaging to me,
personally, and it’s one of the most pervasive in literature. You hear it
over and over when you start out and it’s just wrong. I have never been
the type of person who can write every day. My writing schedule usually
means that for three or so days of the week, I can write between 2k and
10k words, averaging out to about 10-15k per week. But when I do those
really big bursts of writing, I almost always take one or two days off.
And that’s fine–the book gets done, often at the same rate as someone who
writes every day. It doesn’t matter how often you write, as long as you
write consistently and progress toward completing the novel.

“Write every day” is the kind of advice that has a good heart. There are a
lot of people out there who like the idea of writing, but don’t actually
write. But if you’re not one of those people, forget this advice. Write
the way you write to finish a novel. That’s all that matters.
Continue reading “Interview with Beth Revis, author of Paper Hearts Series!”

Reading Slumps: You WILL Read Again!

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump for about two months. September was not a good reading month for me, and that was mainly because I was moving out, to go to university, and that happened mid-month. I didn’t read a lot before and I certainly haven’t read anything YA since I got here.

I had three books on the go, ‘The Last Ever After’ (I know, that’s been festering on the list for far too long!), ‘The Bone Season’ (part of a read-along that shrivelled up because we both weren’t liking the book!) and ‘The Last Sacrifice’ (to complete my finishing series goals.) I’ve read about fifty pages of them collectively in the last month. It wasn’t looking great.

But now, something’s changed.

I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! After being away from reading for so long, I finally want to return to the wonderful land of finishing books and wrap ups and discussions. I thought I’d be in this reading slump for…well, three years, up until my uni course is over. BUT, I can safely say, after a month here, I’m ready to dive straight back in the deep end.

I NEED to read. I think it’s really affecting my mental health, not reading. I feel happier when I do, more productive, more…ME! I’ve got books I want to review, books I need to read for review and books I want to read for the pure pleasure of reading. I’m unbelievably excited about wanting to read, I’m procrastinating from doing so by writing this blog post!! (‘Carry On’ is waiting for me as soon as I press ‘Publish’!)

But, I wanted to write this to let anyone know, who may be going through a reading slump and thinking that they’ll never feel inspiration or desire to read again, you will. Give yourself all the time you need to not read. Sometimes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that’s certainly the case with me. I’ve been away too long, and now I want to curl up with a good book.

Speaking of which, excuse me to go and do just that!

Lingering Finales

Unfortunately, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a little problem…although, perhaps it’s a big problem…I can’t seem to finish the last book in a series.

I know! It’s bonkers, as it’s only been a month since I posted about ‘Finishing Lots of Series’. Maybe all that finishing took it out of me, and I no longer have the insane ability to finish the last dregs of a book on my shelf.

I started reading ‘The Last Ever After’, last book of ‘TSFGAE’ trilogy, in the beginning of
September. I wanted it to be the first book I finished of the month, because I was really excited when I bought it, excited when it came in the mail, and excited to see how my favourite series ended. I got 30 pages in before I picked up another book. It
certainly wasn’t because the book wasn’t interesting! I love the first few chapters, but for some inexplainable reason, I wasn’t able to move past page 76.
LastSacrifice_Novel SG3LastEverAfter-hc-c-1421942066

Maybe it’s because the book is over 600 pages, and that’s always daunting. But even with a book here I can’t see how much left I have to go, due to it being on a Kindle, I still have trouble. Which brings me on to the second book I can’t finish: ‘Last Sacrifice’, the final book in the Vampire Academy series.

Both books have ‘last’ in the title. It’s like they’re cheering you on, letting you know that after this, there’ll
be no more books to love, so you better love this one the most. And I tried so hard to finish the VA series. I had three books left, and I read book 4 & 5 back to back.

I think not finishing ‘Last Sacrifice’ was more circumstantial. I moved out, and moved into my university dorm. Reading got pushed to the wayside while I packed up my favourite books and reorganised them on birch wood shelves. I did take both books with me to finish. Fingers crossed I manage to get them done!

Are there any last books in a series that you can’t finish?

Update Time!

As of yesterday, Bee and I started University. Like, actually started. Moved out, moved in, went to the welcome meetings. Unfortunately, the dawn of university means the death of my reading speed. So, I wanted to just warn you all that reviews may not be written and uploaded as frequently as they have been so far this year.

It’s strange, and new and different to anything else, but overall really, REALLY exciting. (Although I did have to spend over £30 on a textbook this morning and thought about crying.)

Onwards to read more university books….but less books in general. Yippee!

Finishing (LOTS OF) Series

Recently, I’ve been on a series finishing binge.

Coincidently, it seems, in all the trilogies I’ve have on the go, I’ve read the first two books and have the final book to complete. This is the perfect scenario, because not only do you get the satisfaction of finishing a book, but that epic-ness of finishing a whole series, even if it might have been ages since you read the previous books.

So, series I’ve managed to complete:

  1. Thphoto 1e Kane Chronicles – this has been on my TBR for literal YEARS. I read the first book as soon as it came out, managed to get half way through the second one, and then gave up, even though the third book was in my possession, and hardback (a complete rarity on my shelves.) Finishing this series felt like the b
    iggest achievement of the year, because it was so long awaited. Finally, I can cross the books off thousands of to-read-lists I’ve made throughout the months!
  2. The Grisha Trilogy – I read Shadow and Bone, and Siege and Storm back to back. They are some of Bee’s favo
    rite books, so I was really pleased to be cracking on with such important books on her shelves. BUT, she refused to buy the third book because it was ONE CENTIMETRE taller and wider than the other two, and she wanted her trilogy to match. I don’t know how long we had to wait for Ruin and Rising to be released in normal book size, but it was worth the wait. Although I might have almost forgotten some of the plot, this was such an amazing end to the trilogy and really drew everything together, in a neat little bow.
  3. Ever After High – This was a cute and fun read where I could completely shut off my brain and soak up the adorableness of the fairy tale world. I’m familiar with the characters and the setting, so it was super sweet to see them in writing, not just on screen. This trilogy was basically ice cream to me.

Series I’m so almost done with:

  1. photo 2The School For Good And Evil – I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. *throws glitter* I re-read the first two books to prepare for ‘The Last Ever After’. It’s a beast, at just over 650 pages. All the pages are going to be magical, I told myself, don’t be scared by the length….
    …I got scared by the length. I’ve been putting off just finishing this series because I seriously don’t want it to be over. Agatha and Sophie’s story needs to remain open forever. I’m only doing what the Storian would have wanted.
  2. Lux Series – Only ‘Opposition’ to go. Unlike the other series, this one has five books, which means finishing the series has been in the making for a while. I read the first four in quite a rapid succession, and slowly and gradually they’ve been getting better, by half a star each book. I’m hoping that the final book will blow me out of the water or make up for the bad star ratings of the first couple of books. Maybe that’s why I’m not jumping to finish this series?

Phew! That’s quite a lot! Now, I’ll take a breather before diving in to any more series!

Summer Cramathon Wrap-Up | 2015

Bee and I attempted, and that’s the key word, to participate in WhittyNovels’ Cramathon this summer, which happened from the 10th-13th July! There were a number of challenges to complete, but the main goal is to read as many books as possible to contribute to your Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Without further ado, here’s how we did. Spoiler alert: it’s not great!

Read a…:
1. Children’s Book
Bee: ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ by C.S. Lewis (and half of ‘The Horse and His Boy’.) We own all of the books, but I only remember having ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ read to my class in Year 4. About time to read the whole series, nearly ten years later?
Maddie: ‘Tales of Beedle the Bard’ by J. K. Rowling. I’ve never actually read the whole thing through, with all Dumbles’ annotations too, because I hadn’t finished the HP series during my first read. It was lovely to get to appreciate it again, and seeing how much I love fairy tales, this one was perfect!

2. Hardback
Bee: Attempted to read some of the stories in ‘My True Love Gave to Me’, edited by Stephanie Perkins, but the book is kind of huge (and pink, therefore, cute.)
Maddie: Sneakily, I used ‘Tales of Beedle the Bard’ for this as well! Haha! There wasn’t a rule against doubling up!

3. Two Books in 24 Hours
Bee: Narnia books and my graphic novel choice. Short books = easy win!
Maddie: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ by Sara Shepard and Beedle again. (Gosh, that guy just keeps popping up!) I really enjoyed PLL, it was the perfect book to read because it was relatively short and the storyline was so addictive, I couldn’t stop! This is definitely a series I’ll continue this year.

4. Graphic Novel
Bee and Maddie: The only graphic novel we own and haven’t read was ‘Marceline and the Scream Queens’, so we both read that one! It was really lovely for Marce and PB to be the main characters for a change. The art style was super simple and the colour palette was adorable. If you like ‘Adventure Time’, would totally recommend!

5. Book in Verse
Ooh, neither of us managed to do this one because we don’t own any. Definitely going to have to look into it though! It sounds so unique!

6. Novella
Maddie: After reading ‘These Broken Stars’, I decided to read ‘This Night So Dark’, which is the prequel to the series, before the Icarus crash. Overall, I was a little disappointed at the ‘extra information’ we were given, or the lack of it! Hopefully, the next book in the series will impress me more!

7. At least 5 books
Unfortunately, I only got to read 4 books over the Cramathon because I only started on the 11th, so was a day behind, and then on Monday was with friends on a day trip, so didn’t have much time to read. However, I really enjoyed the challenges and the Cramathon I did get to participate in, so I hope to participate again fully in the Christmas season.

Update: Exams

Hello, Lovely Readers!

We just wanted to thank everyone for viewing and liking our posts on our blog while we’ve been slightly absent! May 7th was our year anniversary, and since then, we haven’t been doing daily posts, like usual…as you may have noticed.

In the next few weeks, we have our A2 exams, which are the final exams we sit before we go to university in September. So, we’ve been super busy revising for those and that’s the reason why we haven’t been posting so much.

Of course, we’ve still been reading, but not really enough to read-and-review regularly. (Plus, we’ve been reading a lot of the same thing, which significantly decreasing the amount of review content we can produce!)

So, thank you for your continued support and patience as we’re on a small hiatus. We look forward to returning soon with more reviews, videos and other content! (Because when we do return, it will be summer! and we’ll be FREE!)

Maddie and Bee xx