January: How Are My Goals Going So Far?

The first month of 2018 has flown by already, and I think it’s time for a bit of reflection. I haven’t really touched upon the personal goals I set myself for 2018, and I am not even going to talk about all of them in this blog post; I will be mentioning quite a number, however, and they are all non-bookish ones!

If you’re serious about sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions, I think January is crucial – if you can’t stick to it in the first month of the year, what hope is there for the remaining eleven? So don’t worry, I’m not going to be doing these every month, but I thought that as it is now the end of January, I would reflect on my progress so far! I am considering doing a monthly round up of this kind more often, one which focuses on things that happened in my personal life each month, so let me know if you think that would be interesting!

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I went to see at the Winter Lights in Canary Wharf on the weekend. It was such a nice atmosphere, and the lights were, unsurprisingly, stunning.

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My Favourite Kinds of Blog Posts

Two things I wish I did more are: write blog posts, and read blog posts. Since the start of 2018, I have been making more of an effort to scroll through my Twitter feed and WordPress Reader to read the content other bloggers have put out, but sadly since going back to school, I have had to revert back to two posts a week (as a maximum). Nonetheless, today I thought I would share the three types of blog posts I most love to read and write, and for each kind of blog post, I will also include links to my own blog posts, as well as links to some other blog posts. Honestly, this blog post could have been a mile long, but I decided to keep it down to three, as I thought this would lose some of its significance if I went on to list every type of blog post under the sun!

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Blog Tour: Shell – Interview with Paula Rawsthorne

Today I am so excited to be participating in the blog tour for Shell by Paula Rawsthorne! This book has been on my radar for a while, and I finally read it in December, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I will begin by sharing a bit about the book itself, before moving on to an interview with Paula Rawsthorne about her writing process.

The Book

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What if you thought you had died, only to wake up to find that your brain and eyes had been transplanted into someone else’s body? 

When Lucy, a teen diagnosed with terminal cancer wakes up cancer-free, it should be a dream come true. But faced with a life she didn’t choose and trapped in a new body, Lucy must face the biggest question of all . . . How far would you go to save the one you love?

Goodreads | A Great Read

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Review – Genuine Fraud

33843362Title: Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
Published by: Hot Key Books
Publication date:  7th September 2017
Pages: 267, hardback
Genre:
 young adult, contemporary, mystery, thriller

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

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The hype for this book built up throughout 2017, and having enjoyed We Were Liars and adored The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, I was so keen to read Genuine Fraud. Having read both positive and negative reviews, I was slightly apprehensive going in, and unfortunately, I really don’t think this book was for me.

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In December I Read | 2017

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December was a really productive reading month for me – in a race to meet my Goodreads goal, I read 13 books last month, which is the most I’ve read for a while! I’ll admit, I am very proud of myself, and I also think I covered a good variety of books – YA, classics, poetry, plays – so I am really happy with that too!

One thing I want to mention before I begin (which I think I have talked about briefly in the past) is that I am an affiliate for A Great Read, and so I will be linking to some of the books I discuss in this blog post using my affiliate link, and if you do want to use these links, that’d be really awesome! Now, onwards with the longest reading wrap up I have written in a long time.

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2017 -> 2018

Happy New Year everyone – it’s time to look back on 2017! Now, I am completely aware that I am a little late for this, but it took me a while to decide what format I wanted to do it in. I eventually decided just to combine all the things I need for a 2017 wrap up; I kind of want to briefly touch upon everything, so that is what I’ve done! Below, in order you have: 2017 resolutions, favourites, highlights (both bookish and not) and my 2018 resolutions. Enjoy!

2017 resolutions: a review

  1. Go to YALC 2017 – I did this! It was fantastic and I had the most amazing time! You can read about the amazing time I had here!
  2. Complete some Reading Challenges – last year, I took part in the Beat the Backlist Challenge, and I set myself fifteen books to read that were released before 2017. It took me until early December, but I did finish this! I also set my own personal reading goal on Goodreads as 100 books, which I met on the December 31st at about 4pm, so very last minute!
  3. Diversify my reading – ‘diversify’ meaning I wanted to expand the genres I read to more than YA, and I definitely completed this challenge, reading way more classics and contemporary fiction than I ever have before! This has also been super helpful in terms of English A Level, which I started in September.
  4. Do NaNoWriMo – this did not happen. At all. I did not even attempt NaNoWriMo at any point last year. I really did not have the time or motivation for this in 2017, and I think this is a goal I will have to put aside for the time being.
  5. Continue building my Blogging Empire! – (and yes, I find this phrasing cringey. I was being sarcastic/overdramatic, but still. ugh) I did manage to blog every week throughout 2017, including through my GCSEs, which I am very proud of! I am hoping to do the same in 2018!

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Review – The Truth and Lies of Ella Black

35608668Title: The Truth and Lies of Ella Black
Author: Emily Barr
Published by: Penguin
Publication date:  11th January 2018
Pages: 288, paperback
Genre:
 young adult, contemporary

Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .

Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.

And realises her life has been a lie.

Her mother and father aren’t hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they’ll never think to look – the favelas.

But there she learns a terrible secret – the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .

Goodreads | A Great Read*

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This is another 2018 release I have been anticipating for months! I really wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book: maybe the story of Ella’s struggle with her darker, alternate personality (‘Bella’), or a thriller novel. In reality, The Truth and Lies of Ella Black struck me as a coming-of-age story, which was completely unexpected and very welcome!

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December Book Haul!

Happy 2018 everyone! This is my first blog post of the year, and I thought I would begin by sharing my December book haul. I bought and received seven books this month, including a few from Christmas!

At the beginning of the month I bought Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood and We by Yevgeny Zamyatin off of Ebay. After reading The Handmaid’s Tale early in the year I really wanted to read more from Margaret Atwood, and so I decided to try Alias Grace. I actually started reading this book at the beginning of December, but it is quite long, and I was trying to make it to 100 books by the end of the year, so I will be coming back to it this month! We is another book I’ve been really wanting to read – I think it’s supposed to be similar to 1984 in that it is a dark dystopian, so I will see where that goes! I wasalso delighted to receive a finished copy of Shell by Paula Rawsthorne from Scholastic, which I have now read and really enjoyed – this book comes out tomorrow, so definitely buy yourselves a copy! I will be taking part in the blog tour later this month, so watch out for that.

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