Quarterly Wrap Up: January to March 2021

Hello everybody! So, in almost 4 years of blogging I’ve somehow never written a wrap up post, but I really enjoy reading other people’s and I especially love BooksandLala’s (whose YouTube channel I am OBSESSED with) quarterly version that she does, which is why I’ve decided to make mine that often, if people enjoy reading it at least. I’m a wee bit nervous given I don’t really know what exactly I’m going to include, but anyway, onto the post!


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The Folklore Book Tag

Hello everyone! Today, I’m going to be doing the Folklore book Tag, which has prompts related to the Taylor Swift album, and I found on Sprinkled with Words. I haven’t written up my thoughts on the actual songs from this or Evermore yet, but I’m definitely hoping to at some point soon because there are some I really love. Anyway, onto the post!


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The 1: A Book You Grew Out Of

I’m trying to think of some kind of nice answer for this, but I’m really struggling, particularly as I still read and love a lot of middle grade and young adult. The only thing I can think of is a book I loved as a child called My Life Starring Mum, which I HATED the last time I reread it a few years ago.

Cardigan: A Book You Keep Coming Back To

I have reread Murder Most Unladylike/Arsenic for Tea countless times.

The Last Great American Dynasty: A Book Where Everything Goes Wrong (in the Best Way)

The best answer I can think of is Secrets of the Stone by Kamilla Benko, because everything goes spectacularly wrong at the end and just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does.

Exile: An Ending you Didn’t Like (Or a Ship that Sank)

I’ve been finding this one kind of hard to answer because I’m pretty good at picking romances I’ll enjoy most of the time. However, I really wasn’t keen on the ending of the Unhoneymooners, it just didn’t feel right to me at all.

My Tears Ricochet: A Book That Broke Your Heart

The Good Bear broke my heart a little bit, with the ending. But it’s very uplifting and beautiful overall.

Mirrorball: A Book that Speaks to Your Soul

I don’t feel like I talk about the impact Radio Silence had on me when I read it, as I sat my National 5 exams. I put a lot of pressure on myself at both school and university to do well, and it was so difficult at that time, and the things this book had to say about academia were so relatable and helpful to me.

Seven: Characters You Want to Take Home and Protect

My standard answer for this kind of question is Ade from Boy in the Tower, but some more recent ones are Col and Esther from the Midnight Guardians, and Jake and Meg from Otters’ Moon.

August: Summer Love

Heartbreak Boys! It’s hilarious and the romance between Jack and Nate is FABULOUS. Plus it gets bonus points for having a really summery, sunshiney cover.

This is Me Trying: Mental Illness Rep

One of my favourite books that deals with mental health is Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne. It follows Evie, who has anxiety and OCD.

Illicit Affairs: Forbidden Romance

I read tons of romance, but I’ve realised I don’t actually read very many things with forbidden romance. I really don’t like it when cheating is a plot point, which is probably one of the main reasons why. I guess Bryson and Kai from Date Me, Bryson Keller would technically count for the reason that people don’t think they should be together for other ( deplorable, homophobic) reasons and they have to be very secretive

Invisible String: Soulmates

I’m becoming less and less convinced that soulmates actually exist, but I think Georgia and Lucas from Mhairi Mcfarlane’s Don’t You Forget About Me might just be. They find their way back to each other despite a huge number of obstacles being in the way.

Mad Woman: Vengeful Woman

This one is HARD. The best I can do is Emma from the Dark Artifices, who is determined to find out how her parents died. Epiphany: A Loss You’re Not Over One of my favourite Shadowhunters characters died in City of Fallen Angels and I’m still furious about it to be honest.

Betty: Love Triangle, F/F Romance

I can’t think of anything that combines these, so I’m going to do one for each! My favourite love triangle recently was in Love Songs for Sceptics, and an f/f romance I really enjoyed last year was the Falling in Love Montage.

Peace: Found Family

I think my favourite found family is Morrigan’s in the Nevermoor books, between the Hotel Deucalion lot and Unit 919.

Hoax: A Character that Fooled You

I obviously can’t say who it is because it’s a huge spoiler, but I did NOT expect the murderer in Arsenic for Tea to be who it was.



What’s your favourite song from Folklore? Do you have any thoughts on the books or characters I’ve mentioned? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

The One Tree Hill Book Tag

Hello everybody! At the end of last year I fell in love with a show, to the point that when I finished it in January I immediately started rewatching it. As you’ll likely have guessed from the title, this show was One Tree Hill, and since I’m coming to the end of my rewatch very soon I thought it would be fun todo the book tag I found based on the show, which also contains my opinions about the characters mentioned in the prompts for extra fun! Onto the post!


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The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hello everybody! Today, I’m back with another post (two in one week, my goodness I’m getting back on track, touch wood!) And this time I’m answering the questions Lily set me in the Sunshine Blogger Award. Onto the post!


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1. Do you judge a book by it’s cover?

I’ve been trying to do this less, but from time to time, absolutely I do. I’m such a magpie; shiny things are like catnip for me!

2. What marginalized rep would you most strongly like to see more of in books?

More disability rep would be fantastic, because currently there is PRECIOUS little. I’d particularly appreciate it if I could see some characters who use walking sticks that aren’t either villains or elderly. Like even just one person would be an improvement!!

3. Which trope can you not live without and which trope needs to get in the sea?

The trope of people with walking sticks being evil has popped up far too much recently, and that can most definitely get in the sea. I also hate the whole boy comes along and cures a girl who is ill thing. It’s irritating and inaccurate and frankly unnecessary. Judge me all you like, but I bloody love a love triangle. They’re so fun!!

4. Would you rather read a great plot with mediocre characters, or a boring plot with amazing characters?

The boring plot with amazing characters! If I don’t like the characters, I almost certainly won’t enjoy a book. Which is why I don’t generally get on great with things that have unlikable narrators!

5. Contemporary, Historical, Dystopian or Fantasy you can only read one setting for a year what would you pick?

This is IMPOSSIBLE. Dystopian is obvs discounted, but I really love the other three. I’d probably go for fantasy.

6. Which actor (or literary character) would play you in a film of your life and why?

Oh God, I don’t know. I don’t really think I look like any actors? And they’d need to be Scottish, which narrows things down even further. Anyone got any suggestions…?

7. Which writer/author would you want to adapt the screenplay of your life story?

Holly Smale, hands down. She’s got a dead similar sense of humour and to be honest I’m so like Harriet Manners, it’d be a breeze for her!

8. Inspired by the old movie The Day After Tomorrow, An apocalyptic event has occurred and you are taking shelter in a vast public library. If you don’t burn books you will die, what will you burn whilst waiting for rescue and what would you fight to the death to preserve for the future of mankind?

I’d burn all the thick ones, because occasionally I’m actually sensible and I’d rather not die. Inkheart would be quite a good choice maybe given it’s quite long and I didn’t really like it? I don’t really know what I’d want to preserve. If I’m honest, I’d be selfish and preserve as many of my favourites as possible probably.

9. Gilmore Girls- Team Dean, Jess, Logan or otherwise?

Team Jess ALL the way. I watched Gilmore Girls primarily because I already fancied Milo Ventimiglia so it was kind of inevitable really!

10. Which book/series do you think would make the best screen adaptation?

If they didn’t make an utter mess of it, I’d honestly die for an adaptation of the MMU books. I think I’d genuinely lose my mind if I ever got one!

11. What book would you recommend to me to read most of all?

I’m assuming this means you personally Lily? And if that’s the case Polar Bear Explorers’ Club because I’ve wanted you to read it for AGES and I’m so sure you’ll like it.


I’m not going to write any questions, but if anyone fancies doing these ones please feel free, and I’d love to hear what you think of my answers in the comments!

Amy x

The Harry Potter Spells Tag

Hello everybody! Today, since it is the 27th December- that weird day when it is officially no longer Christmas but festive stuff is still sort of happening- I’m going to do something sort of festive (because there’s just something Christmassy about Harry Potter) and sort of not, the Harry Potter Spells Tag, which I found ages ago on Charlotte Somewhere and have been planning to do ever since! Onto the post!


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How Did I Do With My 2018 Bookish Goals?

Hello everybody! Recently, I’ve seen some posts and YouTube videos popping up where people evaluate their 2018 goals, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and assess my progress today. Even though these and the other, private goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year went quite well, I don’t think I’ll be setting any for 2019, other than a Goodreads challenge. Onto the post!


Reading 100 books– I didn’t think I’d hit this, but I achieved it around August (I think) and put my Goodreads challenge up to 150, which I have now also hit, even though I’ve not updated the site with my December reads yet. I think I’ll probably start out aiming for 100 next year again!

Feel less guilt over DNFing– I actually DNFed far fewer books this year, mostly because I’ve really honed my tastes and worked out exactly what I like, but I definitely feel less guilt over doing so than I would have last year.

Reread more– this one has been a bit of a fail. I’ve only reread two books (The Apprentice Witch and the Children of Castle Rock), but I might try and squeeze in a couple over the Christmas/New Year period.

Read some Shakespeare– I haven’t read a full play from front to back but I’ve read a fair bit of the Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth for an on going English project. I haven’t really enjoyed it though to be honest, and I’m much prouder of the fact that I’ve read a whole play in Spanish and am partway through a French novel!

Keep blogging– I don’t really know why this was a resolution, but after this year I’m much prouder of it than I imagine past me would have expected I’d be. Even though I unexpectedly had to take a health hiatus, I did indeed keep blogging, and I’m so pleased that I have. I’m really excited for all the posts I have planned for next year already, and I love being part of this community.


How did you get on with your 2018 goals? Are you planning to set any for next year? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Attached to Specific Memories

Hello everybody! Today I’m taking in part in Top Ten Tuesday, and for today’s freebie theme I’m using an older topic about books I have really specific memories of. Some of these are pretty random, but I’ve tried to include a few I’ve not spoken about before as well as some I have! Onto the post!


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The Currently Reading Book Tag

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to do the Currently Reading Book Tag, which I saw on Writing with Wolves a few months ago and have fancied doing since. Onto the post!


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Would You Rather? (Bookworm Edition)

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be playing the bookworm edition of Would You Rather, which I found on Chrikaru. Onto the post!


1. Would you rather have a friend who loses your books, or one who dog-ears them?

One who dog ears them. A slightly scruffy book is a hell of a lot better than no book at all.

2. Would you rather secretly love a book everyone else hates, or secretly hate a book everyone else loves?

I’ve done the second (I really didn’t enjoy what was one of the most hyped books of 2017) and it’s not that hard to keep quiet about because I don’t like talking about hating books much anyway so I’d definitely say that.

3. Would you rather be stuck on a very long plane or train ride without a book?

I don’t really take a lot of either. Probably a train journey because I struggle to read on those anyway due to motion sickness, plus they’re usually shorter.

4. Would you rather have dinner with your favorite author or your favorite character?

I don’t really have just one of either, but I think I’d say author as I could learn all about their worlds from the people who created them and learn so much. Also, I know one of the people I’d consider a favourite author (Holly Smale) is absolutely hilarious and has amazing anecdotes after seeing her at Edinburgh Book Festival so she’d be a brilliant dinner companion!

5. Would you rather date a character you have a crush on or your crush from real life?

A book crush, because no real human could ever be as wonderful and romantic as Nick (aka Liom Boy) from the Geek Girl series.

6. Would you rather have your favorite book turned into a movie, or your favorite movie turned into a book?

I really don’t think Pretty in Pink would work in book format (you’d be robbed of the utter joy that is the Try a Little Tenderness scene, for a start), so I’d much rather see a book I consider a favourite adapted to screen. Very, very carefully, obviously, because my preciouses deserve only the best.

7. Would you rather read a book with an annoying cliffhanger, or one where your favorite character is killed off?

I do often cry when characters die, but I’d rather that than a cliffhanger. Cliffhangers irk me till the next book arrives (or worse still, forever, in the case of standalones with abrupt endings).

8. Would you rather lose the ability to read any new books, or the ability to reread books you’ve already read?

While I’d hate to not be able to reread favourites, I’d go for reading new releases because amazing books are released pretty much every week and I’d hate not to be able to read the ones that interest me.

9. Would you rather live in a library or a bookstore?

Probably a library, because I know that between my local library and nearest bookshop, the library comes out much better when you compare the comfy seating options.

10. Would you rather lose your place or get a paper cut every time you read a book?

Lose my place. I drop books a lot so I’m quite used to needing to find it and keeping track of roughly where I am.

11. Would you rather have to always read in the dark, or always read books with tiny text?

I’d really struggle with either because I have atrocious eyesight, but I suppose tiny text.

12. Would you rather read by a fireplace, or on the beach?

By a fireplace, on a nice comfy couch with a blanket and golden retriever for company.


Would you agree with my choices, or go for the other option? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy x

The Eye of the North Blog Tour: Author Interview with Sinéad O’ Hart

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the Eye of the North, a fabulous new middle grade which is released this Thursday (you can read my review here) by interviewing it’s lovely author Sinéad. Onto the questions!

1. Can you please describe the Eye of the North in 5 words?

Exciting, friendship, secrets, scary creatures!

2. What inspired the book?

I got the ‘seed’ idea for The Eye of the North when I was about 21 (a.k.a a very long time ago), and I was working in an office job I really did not enjoy. I came up with a story about a girl named Emma Marvell working in an office job she really did not enjoy – that bit didn’t take much imagining – but her job involved the recording and cataloguing of artefacts relating to mysterious, mythical creatures which were sent in from all over the world by a team of roving explorers. (My job wasn’t half so interesting.) In the proto-story, when an explorer sends in a sample with a dodgy covering letter, Emma gets curious as to what he’s hiding and goes on the hunt to find out the truth. The published version is very different, but the core elements – mythical creatures, the North, a plucky girl and a stowaway boy – were there from the beginning. I have always loved mythical creatures and I’ve been fascinated with the polar regions all my life, so this story has been a long time brewing.

3. I saw lots of similarities between Emmeline and I. Which book characters would you say you`re most like?

I think I see bits of me in Arianwyn Gribble from James Nicol’s Apprentice Witch series, mostly in her serious and slightly worried/responsible approach to things, and in Hermione Granger (I am a bit of a swot), though the Potter character I’m most like, I think, is Ron – food-focused, loyal and a bit afraid of most things. I’m clumsy like Mildred Hubble, stubborn like Lyra Silvertongue, and I’m a hobbit all the way down to my toes (though luckily, they’re not as hairy!)

4. I also adored her sidekicks Thing and Meadowmane. Do you have any favourite literary sidekicks?

Siddy from Abi Elphinstone’s Dreamsnatcher trilogy always made me grin. I love all the kids in Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer, though I don’t think any can really be classed as a sidekick! Of course, the brilliant Malkin in Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart books is a sidekick we all need. The best hero/sidekick team in literature , though, is Pidge and Brigit from The Hounds of The Morrigan. I wish I had a Brigit to this day.

5. The adventure in the book is incredible. If you could choose any adventure, real or fictional, to take part in, what would it be?

Because I trained as a medievalist in another life, I feel I must say I wish I could have been a pilgrim on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. I think I would have enjoyed an ale or two with the raucous, brilliant Wife of Bath! I would have loved to take part in a polar expedition, too – perhaps Scott’s, except without the tragedy. And of course I would have loved to see the battle between Iorek Byrnison and Ragnar Sturlusson alongside Lyra and Pan.

6. The book also reads like it would make a fabulous film. If it was ever optioned, do you have a dream cast?

What a brilliant question! I think Ruth Negga would make a fab Sasha, and Oscar Isaac would be my choice for Edgar. I would love Dominic Monaghan for Mr Widget and Sophie Okonedo for Mrs Widget. As for the children – I think finding some new, undiscovered talent would be great!

7. This is your debut novel. What has been the standout moment of your journey to publication, and what are you most excited about after the book comes out?

The standout moment, for sure, was the day my agent phoned to tell me she had sold the book to my UK publisher, Stripes. We had been waiting so long for a UK/Irish deal that I had given up hope of ever getting one, and so that was a true joy. It has been a very long path, and there have been many highlights, but that’s my favourite one. As for what I’m most excited by – I can’t wait to meet readers, interact with people who have read the book, and talk about it with children. It’s such a privilege to write for young readers; they are the best readers. I’m hugely looking forward to learning from them and finding out how I can keep improving as a writer.

8. Finally, before our quickfire questions, can you divulge any secrets about what your second book might be?

The second book I have sold is the story of Tess, who has grown up with no knowledge of her parentage until the day a stranger comes to claim her from the loving home she has always known. She has to uncover who this man is, what he knows about her and her past, and how to get out of his clutches, all before he can use her unique abilities to bring destruction to her world, and many others… (Also, she has a pet tarantula called Violet, who is the real star of the show.)

QUICKFIRE

1. Hogwarts house? Ravenpuff? I am mostly Ravenclaw, a bit Hufflepuff!

2. Favourite chocolate bar? Plain and simple, Cadbury Dairy Milk

3. Favourite colour? Purple.

4. Top 3 books of 2017? The Huntress: Sky; The Explorer; A Skinful Of Shadows.

5. 3 random facts about you? I can read Middle English (and Old English, with a bit of practise); I used to work as a trainee butcher and could pick up a pound of mince, almost to the ounce, simply by eye; I have a fear of balloons

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the interview down in the comments or or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx