BOOK REVIEW: THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING BY MORGAN MATSON


Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?




contains possible spoilers

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BOOK REVIEW: THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING BY JEFF GILES




For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?
It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.
X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future.



WARNING: review contains spoilers, swearing and general annoyance. 

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BLOG MAKEOVER



As you might have noticed, the blog is looking just a little bit different. Well, quite a lot! It seems we've gone for more of a modern and fresh look, so we hope you like it. Now we're getting back into action with books/reviewing/writing/everything, we thought a new look won't do any harm.

Let us know what you think! Also, we're still tinkering around with things so we apologise if you might see something on the wrong side of the page, upside down or looking just a little bit weird. 

Now - ONTO THE BOOKS! Expect posts and reviews in due course. 

So let's get the book conversation going -  what are you all reading?


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BOOK TAG: READING HABITS


It's time for a book tag!


It's been so long since I've done one on the blog, and I'm happy to be getting back into them. This time we're going to delve into reading habits, because we're all different. We all experience books in various ways and it's always interesting to see how people settle down to read. We found this book tag on Dreamland Book Blog and I instantly wanted to give it a go because why not? We all love a cheeky tag, so lets get straight to it! 



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AND WE'RE BACK!


Hello fellow readers! It's been a while, huh. We're really sorry for being MIA for the last few months, we've been extremely busy with university and other commitments. We had to sacrifice the blog and books for a while but good news - IT'S SUMMER! We have more time to blog and also time to read books! 



We're super excited to be chatting books with you again, friends! We've missed you all and blogging, as well as reading books we WANT to read (damn you university for the snore fests you thrust upon me)

Hope you're all well! Also, as we've been out of it for a while, do let us know of any good books you've read lately. Definitely need to pick up something brilliant to kick start the summer! See you around!

P.S. We're also hoping to give the blog a little face lift, just thought we'd give you a warning in case anything looks a bit strange.



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TOP 10 BOOKISH TRENDS THAT NEED TO STOP

Over the past few weeks, life has intervened with blogging in a multitude of ways. (The flu, work and university are an overwhelming mix, let's just say.) We are, however, navigating and managing our way around it - and here we are again. Many apologies for our absence, pumpkins.

Call us foolish optimists, but whenever we step away from a community, however briefly, we tend to remember only the positive. "I can't read, so every single book is the best book ever, and I miss them all desperately!" 

Oh, what naive little pumpkins we are. What little we managed to read during our time away has been, ah, a mixed bag. And whenever you sit down to attempt to explain why it is a mixed bag, you come around to the same few things. (Surprise! What was annoying a week ago still hasn't changed!)

These, succinctly, are those things for us. Because venting is one trend that will never go out of style.




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BOOK REVIEW: BY YOUR SIDE BY KASIE WEST



In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?




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TOP 10 SURPRISINGLY TOLERABLE ROMANTIC TROPES

Oy-to-the-vey, it's Valentine's Day.
Love it or hate it, you can't escape it.

We're just ever so romantic... in that our Valentine's Day traditions typically involve some form of "Top 10 books to help you survive Valentine's Day" or "Top 10 Books For A Non-Romantic Reader" list. So, to break with tradition and strike off on a more positive note, this year we're taking a different approach.

It isn't a blanket "top romance books" recommendation, because the truth is - just pick any one at random. Chances are 99% it's romantic in some form. (Though Amazon seems to be recommending Gone Girl as a perfect Valentine's Day read and... questionable choice, Amazon. Let's maybe save that for, say, Halloween.)

As for us, we're discussing tropes - specifically those that overuse hasn't spoiled for us yet. And we're including a book and a pairing which are how you do those right.

'Tis a love letter to tropes, everybody. Never say we aren't meta-romantic.

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BOOK REVIEW: GLASS SWORD BY VICTORIA AVEYARD


Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. 

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. 

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. 

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?




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BOOK REVIEW: CRYSTAL MAGIC BY MADELINE FREEMAN



Nothing is safe around Kristyl Barnette. Windows break. Books rocket across the room. Lights flicker. Strange occurrences follow the sixteen-year-old everywhere. 

When tragedy forces her to move to the small town of Clearwater, Michigan, with her estranged aunt Jodi, Kristyl tries to leave her past behind. But Clearwater has secrets of its own—a mystical history that intersects with Kristyl’s life and might shed light on the inexplicable events that plague her. 

When a mysterious illness threatens her aunt’s life, Kristyl will do anything to cure her. Enlisting the help of witches could save Jodi, but is dealing in magic worth the consequences?

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TOP 10 BORDERLINE BONKERS BOOK BLOGGER BEHAVIORS

Yes. Yes, we alliterated in the title. Glad you asked.

It's only the first of the many joyous and charming quirks unique to us bloggerly readers. It is not, per se, a qualitatively different category from just 'reader' - but it is its most Hermionish extreme. (If such a thing as blogging worked at Hogwarts, you know Hermione would have been doing it throughout the series, don't even lie.) 

There's barely-reading. Blasphemy.
There's reading. A complimentary and admirable activity to be praised and encouraged through copious book-shoving at the reader in question.
And then there's book blogging - of which the most bonkers behaviors we are exploring in this week's Top 10 Tuesday feature.

And if you find yourself identifying without being a book blogger - welcome. Yer a wizard, 'Arry. Grab your wand and a new blog and pray begin!

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FAN ART: THE ILLUMINAE FILES

Presumably, in some parallel universe (#hellyeahspacepuns), it is entirely possible to love The Illuminae Files for the plot alone, completely setting aside its utter, groundbreaking artistic brilliance.

Alas, this is not said universe. This is where art and literary magnificence marry and comingle and enjoy equal amounts of reverence and respect. We're scandalous like that.

And The Illuminae Files, as the most tangible union of fantastic art, unique storytelling, and crazy amazing writing... well, I've made my feelings for it known a time or two. (Provided that you are okay with interpreting 'a time' as 'a thousand times' and 'two' as 'actually, twice that much'.) For anyone who has made my bi-weekly mentions of Illuminae in every bookish context imaginable into a drinking game...

... please don't do that. I care about your well-being, but I also have a problem. Namely, murderous, poetic, sassy AIs and their affection for humans, by starlight.

And so - behold. Kady, by starlight, and AIDAN, in his most questionably merciful glory.

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TOP 10 NEW AUTHORS DISCOVERED IN 2016

Only three and a half weeks into 2017, and here we are, re-litigating 2016. Because good things come to those who wait to do everything until the last possible second again even though Hermione told us to do it today or tomorrow we'll pay, but did we listen - noooo.

Ahem. As with ever-mounting TBRs and ever-triple-stacking bookshelves, an author-appreciation list is an ever-fluctuating and ever-expanding thing. Except it fluctuates a little. And it expands a lot. In keeping with the tradition of all previous years, ours grew only slightly out of control in the past year. We only have a million new people whose future releases we're now seeking to trade our souls for, and whose past releases we're now making our way through and claiming we'd been on that bandwagon all along, obviously.

These are only the ten most prominent of said people. May they ever add to our precariously balanced TBR Piles of Doom with their infinite talent and wisdom. We can take it. Or be crushed trying.



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TOP 10 MOST ANTICIPATED 2017 READS

Fun fact: the size of a reader's anticipated releases list is directly proportional to their time spent reading. The more books you chomp away at, the bigger it gets.

I don't make the rules. It's just how it is.

As part of The Great And Terrible TBR, the list of anticipated books coming out in the year ahead grows when you stare at it and grows when you don't. You're sure one of the two is worse, but you aren't sure which. Last year you had 5 books you were eagerly waiting for. This year it's 25. And as for the next...

... let's think about that tomorrow, shall we? As for now, we're sharing our list of our most *GRABBY HANDS* reads due to come out this year, and sneaking in the terrible things we'd do for the ARC ahead of time.

(Just in case some publishers in dire need of a mafiosi duo are listening.)


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TOP 10 MOST DISAPPOINTING 2016 READS

MAKE WAY FOR THE PARTY POOPERS! 

Let it never be said we only spread joy. After all, there's no sense of accomplishment in saving Christmas unless the Grinch jeopardizes it first. In-between all the happy-go-lucky end-of-the-year features we've been posting as we recap our reading year and pave the way for the next one, eventually the time comes for our least and worst and the most disappointing.

We won't lie - these are among the easiest books to pick. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a blogger in possession of a large 'Read' pile must be in want of a rant.

Consider this the end-of-the-year recap of our most prominent rants. And please don't stone us.



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