A few facts about me

As some of you may remember from last week’s blog update, over the summer I want to get a bit more personal here on My Shelf and Myself (but still making sure there is an abundance of bookish content). So, maybe this is because I just hit 100 blog followers, and 100 is a big number so at least a few of you must want to know a little more about me, just maybe? Or perhaps this is just me, indulging my narcissistic side for once. Either way, I thought I’d start with a few facts about me.

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So, hello. I’m Bex, short for Rebecca. Hardly any of my irl friends call me Bex, if anything it’s usually Becca. I’ve been reading my whole life, devouring anything as a child, from The Rainbow Fairies to Harry Potter. I’m a Hufflepuff. I’m a feminist, and I spend too much of my time explaining to people (often older, and usually male) what that actually means and why it’s important. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

I have an android, and constantly wish for an iPhone; but still, with the right lighting and some instagram filters, I can take alright photos. Usually, I don’t drink coffee. I like the taste, but I feel no more awake after having a cup, so I tend to stick with decaf. I used to write when I was younger. It was awful, but that’s beside the point, and I hope to get back into it soon.

153 words filled with me. I think I’ll stop here, but do let me know if you enjoyed this post, and if you would like more that are similar. And if any of you noticed the new blog layout, what do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

My YALC TBR | 2017

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YALC 2017 is just over one month away, and myself and my fellow YA-lovers are already getting veeeery excited. I found the full list of authors attending YALC this year on the lovely Kelly’s blog, and I realised there are so many books I want to read. Eleven in fact. I’m not sure if I’ll manage all of them by June 28th, but I want to try and get through as many as possible!

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A Little Blog Update…

As those of you who follow me on Twitter may know, I have had an abundance of exams over the past couple of months that have left me rather stressed and exhausted. I finally finished on Friday, and now have the whole summer holiday to look forward to!

Starting from now, I plan on doing lots of work on this blog, which I am super excited for. Firstly, I want to post more over the summer – I’ve been doing twice a week since I started my blog, but I think I’ll try for three now that I have more time. I may also be doing a few other non-bookish things, just general life stuff (I took to Twitter to ask about this, and 73% of people said to go for it, so I now feel validated n all that). Though, if all you want to see from this blog is books, at least two posts a week will still definitely be book-related, so no different from usual.

A few other things – I may toy around with my blog layout over the next few weeks, may get an instagram, may change the format of my monthly wrap ups. So yeah. There are lots of things I want to work on over the summer, and I thought I would fill you, my lovely readers, in. If any of you have any comments I’d love to hear them, and other than that, I should have lots more posts coming soon!

Review – Tree Magic

32883339Title: Tree Magic
Author:
Harriet Springbett
Published by: Impress Books
Publication date: 9th January 2017
Pages: 443, ebook
Genre: young adult, fantasy

Rainbow’s magic hands can shape trees at her will, but her gift is dangerous and has fatal consequences.

From England to France, through secrets, fears and parallel worlds, Rainbow’s journey to understand her powers takes her beyond everything she’s ever known.

To find the truth, she must also find herself.

***

I’ve been anticipating this read for months, ever since I was lucky enough to be sent an eARC of Tree Magic by Harriet Springbett, the author. It was very different from my usual YA reads, but I found the storyline intriguing and it was a book I enjoyed immensely.

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Review – The Winner’s Curse

Title: The Winner’s Curse16069030
Author:
Marie Rutkoski
Published by: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Publication date: 3rd July 2014
Pages: 359, paperback
Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

***

I was quite excited to read this book, as I know it’s very popular, and it’s just the sort of fantasy YA I love. I was expecting a five-star read, and honestly, this was quite disappointing. Did I enjoy it? Yes, I did – if fact, I read it in one day. However there were just so many things about this book that frustrated me, so please excuse me if this review sounds slightly like a rant (and be warned, there will be some minor spoilers!).

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Review – Caraval

30964236Title: Caraval
Author:  Stephanie Garber
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 31st January 2017
Pages: 402, hardback
Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

***

I bought Caraval last month, after hearing so much about it online. I pretty much only buy paperbacks most of the time, so to me it felt like A BIG DEAL. I read a sample of the book online, and then went to two separate Waterstones in an attempt to find a copy with a completely pristine jacket (the one I ended up buying does have a small tear at the top, but I’m sure I’ll live). I’m really glad I went to the trouble, as I know now I will be rereading Caraval a lot in the future.

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May Wrap Up & The Month Ahead

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Oh dear, May went by so fast! I’ve been on study leave for most of this month, so the time has really flown by and now we’re almost halfway through 2017! I did manage to read a fair bit this month, even with my exams, so I do have a fair bit to wrap up in this post.

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This month’s book of the month has to be The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The general consensus of this book, which I agree with, is that this is not a book that is a particularly enjoyable read. For those of you who do not know, this book is set in a dystopian future where, due to some sort of nuclear fallout, birth rates begin to fall, and many children die soon after birth. As a result of this, an extremist group take over this area (which I am pretty sure is in America), and the women are stripped of all freedom and power. The main character, Offred, is a Handmaid, and her sole purpose is now to be assigned to a Commander in order to bear children. This was a really harrowing read, and very well written, and I think it is important that everybody reads it. The TV show also began airing in the UK on Channel 4 on Sunday, so I am looking forward to that!

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