It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

Rating – 5/5

“When Audrey meets Harry, it’s the start of a truly cinematic romance – or is it? Audrey knows that Harry is every movie cliché rolled into one. But she still chooses to let him into her heart…”

It Only Happens in the Movies was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Holly Bourne is one of my favourite authors and she has never disappointed. Her books always make me laugh and cry and fill me with a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from reading a truly wonderful book.

I loved how funny and feminist this book was. Audrey’s rants about cliché romance movies left me laughing aloud but also gave me a new perspective on the films I can’t help but enjoy. It was hilariously honest and there are so many quotes that leave me giggling to myself whenever I think of them. I adored the friendship that blossomed between Audrey and Harry, and the relationship that followed as Audrey always stayed true to herself which is what I loved most about the ending. Whilst this book is light and funny, with zombie movies and charming boys, it also deals with family and all the ugly parts of divorce and second families, a startling contrast between the cheesy romance movies that Audrey’s life seems to revolve around. I do wish we had seen a little more of Audrey’s friends as they seemed to be such a cool girl group that I would love to be a part of! Holly writes such wonderful, relatable female characters that you just can’t help but want to be friends with!

I really loved this book and I highly recommend reading it (and any other book by Holly Bourne!) I already can’t wait to reread this book! (Also, how cool would this be as a movie?!)

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The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

3/5

Shadow and Bone – 3/5

Siege and Storm – 3/5

Ruin and Rising – 3.5/5

I finally read the Grisha trilogy! But unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. I hold my hands up – I did read Six of Crows before reading this trilogy which I know affected my enjoyment of the series. Six of Crows is one of my favourite reads of the year, it’s intense and passionate so I knew this trilogy would have to be outstanding to make me love it as much.

What let this trilogy down for me was the characters. I had no connection with any of them, and I honestly didn’t really like any of them (except Nikolai who was wonderful). As incredible as the world is that Leigh Bardugo has created, not liking the characters really affected my enjoyment of the series as I didn’t care what happened to them. There were also so many characters that it was sometimes difficult to keep track of who was who.

I enjoyed Shadow and Bone but I did rush through it a little as I had two exciting new releases waiting to be read that I was eager to get to. I found myself in a reading slump whilst reading Siege and Storm so I didn’t love this book but I enjoyed Ruin and Rising and read it in a couple of days.

I do recommend reading this series as the world building is incredible – it’s hard to believe it isn’t real! I also recommend reading this series before Six of Crows – it isn’t necessary as none of the characters from the trilogy are in the duology but I think it would help you understand and enjoy the world even more.

What I read in September…

Hi everyone! I’m finally posting my September wrap-up. I didn’t have a very good reading month in September which may be why it has take me so long to write this wrap-up but I’ve finally done it! I read 6 books in September which is a big drop from the 16 books I read in August and most of the books I read were rather average. I have full spoiler-free reviews for the books marked with an asterisk.

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord – 4/5 – I liked this book a lot, it was a cute contemporary but it was a lot like other books I’ve read which is why I gave it 4/5.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – 3/5 – I’m going to post a series review soon for this trilogy but I found it really average compared to Six of Crows which I loved.

*The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – 5/5 – a thrilling journey which kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved this book!

*They Both Die at the End – 5/5 – I cried a lot which is unsurprising for an Adam Silvera book. I highly recommend this book!

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – 3/5 – the book that put me in a reading slump so I don’t have a lot of love for it.

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood – 4/5 – a retelling of The Tempest with a twist. I loved this story and I loved Margaret Atwood.

Let me know in the comments what books you read in September!

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Rating – 5/5

“On September 5th, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: there’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure – to live a lifetime in a single day.”

I’ve read two (out of three) of Adam Silvera’s books and they were enough to cement him as one of my favourite authors. I’m a sucker for sad books and Adam crafts them perfectly.

This is such a unique story that is so realistic. It really makes you think and question life and death and has left me with an itch to make certain I live my life to the fullest. The smallest details are so intricately woven into the story that it makes it hard to believe that is not reality.

Mateo and Rufus are such wonderful characters; they both have such a distinct voice and I loved reading about them. I was rooting for them the whole way and although the title gives away the end, I hoped it wouldn’t be the case as these characters deserved so much more. Adam writes incredibly diverse characters and these characters were no exception so I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a diverse range of characters. I also loved how we read small snippets of other people’s stories along the same time frame as our protagonists as it left me constantly guessing what was going to happen. I adored our side characters, especially Lidia and her adorable daughter.

This book made me cry ridiculous amounts and I know it is a story that will stick with me for a long time. I can’t wait to read whatever Adam brings out next.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Rating – 5/5

“Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew member on a spaceship bound for a new planet. She is the loneliest girl in the universe, until she hears that a second spaceship has launched from Earth, with a single passenger on board. A boy called J. Their only communication is via email, and the messages take months to transmit, yet Romy finds herself falling in love. But what does she really know about J? And what do the strange new messages from Earth means? Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone…”

This book is fantastic. It is Lauren James’ most recent release but the first book of hers that I have read and I’m itching to pick up her other two books after falling in love with her storytelling.

You think you know what this story is going to be about after reading the blurb but Lauren takes you on a 290 page journey that you never could have expected. It did take me a while to get into the book but that was due to reading slump but once I decided to just sit down and read, I couldn’t put it down! The short chapters that are headed with a countdown made me want to keep reading because I was so eager to find out what would happen when this second spaceship caught up with Romy and I couldn’t have been more surprised with the outcome. The second half of the book was dark and dangerous and I absolutely loved it!

Romy is such a loveable character – the book opens with her writing fanfiction in her pyjamas which made me instantly fall in love with her. Her struggles with anxiety made her all the more relatable, even though she was a teen girl living on a spaceship which no one can relate to! She went through such a journey and it was a pleasure to take that journey alongside her!

I highly recommend this book! It’s a quick, easy read that will have you on the edge of your seat. Please read this book!!

What I read in August…

Hi everyone! I’ve decided to start posting monthly wrap-ups rather than reviewing every single book I read. I find it really difficult to review books that get an average rating because I never have much to say about them other than ‘I liked it but I didn’t love it.’ In these monthly wrap-ups I will share my rating of that book and also write a sentence or two summing up by feelings about the book. If I have a full review already on my blog, I will make that clear with an asterisk at the side so you can go and check out some more in-depth thoughts about the book.

I read 16 books in August and two novellas which I’m pretty happy with as it means I am speeding through my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Here are my thoughts on the books I read…

*This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab – 5/5 – I thought this book was so unique and I loved the characters! I even think it may be my favourite of V. E. Schwab’s!

*Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab – 5/5 – the sequel to Our Savage Song and I adored it as much as the first (even though the ending broke my heart!)

*Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh – 3.5/5 – I really enjoyed this story even though I found it really confusing at times. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel!

*Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman – 3/5 – I found this book to be rather average and I’m glad I got it on my kindle rather than paying for a paperback.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus – 1.5/5 – I really didn’t like this book. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, the characters were annoying and for a thriller, I thought it was really slow-paced.

*A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard – 4/5 – I really liked this book. It was cute and fluffy and a really easy read.

*Solitaire by Alice Oseman – 4.5/5 – I adored this book and I adore Alice Oseman.

*Because You Love to Hate Me – 3/5 – I loved some of the short stories and felt rather indifferent towards the rest which is why I went for a middle rating.

*Wanderlost by Jen Malone – 3/5 – another average contemporary that I was expecting more from and I’m glad I only purchased it on my kindle.

*The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – 5/5 – one of my most anticipated reads for the year and it did not disappoint. I highly recommend reading this book!

*Vicious by V. E. Schwab – 5/5 – the final book of V. E. Schwab’s that I had left to read and I loved it. It was nothing like I’ve read before and I can’t wait for the sequel.

*Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – 5/5 – the book I didn’t know I needed in my life. This quickly became one of my favourite books of all time and I cannot recommend it enough!

*The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord – 4/5 – another one that wasn’t at all like I was expecting but this time it paid off. I really enjoyed this book and I think it is most definitely worth a read.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – 3/5 – I really didn’t like the romance in this book but the Italian setting was wonderful.

Girlhood by Cat Clarke – 3/5 – I liked it, I didn’t love it.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu – 4/5 – this book is so empowering and left me wanting to start my own Moxie club.

I also read This Winter and Nick and Charlie which are the two novellas for Solitaire by Alice Oseman.

Let me know in the comments what books you read in August and what books you’re looking forward to reading in September!

 

 

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Rating – 5/5

“What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong? Frances is a study machine with one goal. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. Then Frances meets Aled, and for the first time she’s unafraid to be herself. So when the fragile trust between them is broken, Frances is caught between who she was and who she longs to be. Now Frances knows that she has to confront her past. To confess why Carys disappeared… Frances is going to need every big of courage she has.”

I adore this book. I do wish I had read it last year before I went to University for the first time but I’m just so glad that I have this book in my life.

There was so much I loved about this book but what I loved most was how relatable it was. I’m not one for putting tabs in books but there are so many quotes in here that I adored that I’m most definitely going to have to mark them when I inevitably reread this book again in the near future. My favourite quote is:

  • Being clever was, after all, my primary source of self-esteem. I’m a very sad person, in all senses of the word, but at least I was going to University.

I found this quote so relatable and it inspired my “University Experience” post. I think this book is such an important read for people considering Uni, especially those who are hesitant about Uni or those who think it is the only option. I will be highly recommending this book to everyone I know!

I love Alice’s style of writing, she writes such brilliant, vibrant characters who I absolutely adore. Aled is my favourite in Radio Silence as I saw a lot of myself in him. I really loved how this book was primarily about the friendship between Aled and Frances and that romance was such a small part of the story and didn’t involve the two of them together. The characters were really diverse and I just couldn’t get enough of them!

I thought the element of fandoms and fanart was so cool. It added a really original element that we don’t often see in YA contemporary (although this is starting to change). It made a story about friendship and University that is the norm for so many people, into something really unique.

I love this book with my whole heart and I can’t wait to read whatever Alice brings out next. I cannot recommend this book enough!