Today, I’m going to be doing the Vampire Diaries tag, which I saw on Zoe’s channel (though I think the questions here are slightly different as I googled blog posts doing it when I decided to do it myself!). Onto the post!
As I write this, my exams are due to start in a few days’ time, and by the time this goes live I’ll have sat my first. Because of this, I thought it would be fun to make a list of books that feature exams taking place, or are referenced. Onto the post!
Radio Silence– this has to be top of this list. I read it last May, on the day before/day of my last exam, and it’s amazing. It captures the pressure to do well, particularly when you’re seen as clever, so we’ll, and I related to it hugely. It’s also just a REALLY bloody good book. I was gripped, I was invested in the characters, I loved them so much turning the last page was bittersweet. Highly recommended. I have a bit of study leave with no exams after I sit all of mine, and I’m going on holiday, so I plan to read LOADS. I’ve decided to save Alice’s newest I Was Born For This as a treat (though looking at it every day is torture 😂😂), along with some others I think will be extra amazing.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix– the OWLs, the wizarding equivalent to GCSEs or National 5s, take place in this book. Even though they’re fictional, they still show how stressful exams are and lots of other little details I thought were very true, like people trying to show off how much they revise which then panics others and all the teachers bringing it up all the time. This is my favourite Harry Potter book for lots and lots of reasons, and I can’t wait till I have time to reread them all again, hopefully before the end of the year.
Goodbye, Perfect– this is Sara Barnard’s latest book, and it takes place just before, during, and after the GCSE period. It touches on the pressure exams put on people, and they’re mentioned quite a lot throughout. The book is about Eden, the best friend of Bonnie who has run away with a teacher she is in love with, and explores how this affects her, which I thought was a super unique perspective. Eden is quite frankly amazing, as are her sister Valerie and boyfriend Connor, and it’s well worth a read if you’ve not yet picked it up! All of Sara Barnard’s books are, in fact.
Out of the Blue– this takes place in the summer, and is about a magical realism adventure in our world, but a version in which ‘Beings’ have started falling to earth, so it’s not the most obvious choice for this list. However, it does touch a little on the anxiousness before results day, AND it’s set in Scotland and mentions the actual exams I’m currently sitting (Highers), so also earns a place for that reason.
Magic in Manhattan– it’s been a while since I read this book (The 4th and final in the brilliant All About Rachel series), and I don’t think Rachel and Mike’s Samsorta ceremony to make them fully fledged witches is technically an exam, but they do have to take lotsof classes for it and prepare, so I thought it would be good to give it a shout out ! The books are about two sisters, Rachel and Miri, as they discover they’re witches and navigate how that affects their families, friendships and in Rachel’s case, romances. I so wish I knew where my copies were so I could reread!
What books can you think of that feature exams? Are you a fan of any I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!
Today, I have a guest post from my lovely friend Aimee Louise, which is a book tag we created together. I’m answering the questions over on her blog today, if you want to see my answers!
Tom Nook – a book that fleeced you – Best twist/cliffhanger
The Great Chocoplot. HOW CAN WE HAVE A WORLD WITH NO CHOCOLATE? Seriously, if this isn’t a shock horror twist then I don’t know how we can be friends.
Harriet – a book that misses the mark
For me, this is One Of Us Is Lying. As much as I enjoyed the book, I didn’t love it. I’d guessed THAT twist almost instantly and I guess I was expecting more from it. The hype surrounding it was massive, and I’m probably going to get a lot of grief for my opinion. Sorry guys, I just didn’t love it.
Celeste – an underrated character
There are SO MANY characters who are underrated and I’m finding it difficult to choose just one. For me, it is going to have to be Isabelle Richardson from Little Fires Everywhere. She has some wonderfully hidden qualities that could really blossom into something great with the right nuturing and I hate the fact that her own family don’t give her enough credit or allow her to be herself.
Mabel – a book that’s bright and sunny
A joyful, uplifting read? I’m not entirely sure I know what those are. I have a tendency of going down the more dark and twisted bookish path so light-hearted, feel good reads aren’t really my thing. However, Sealed With A Kiss by Rachael Lucas fits this criteria perfectly AND it is such a gorgeous book. This book made me want to broaden my bookish horizons and it not only got me out of a MASSIVE reading slump but it also arrived at a time when I really needed something heart-warming and comforting. Set in Scotland, this book is perfect escapism.
Timmy and Tommy – a book featuring twins
Double Act. One of my absolute favourite childhood books which I read when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Ruby and Garnet are two very different twins and I loved that the fact they were a mirror image of each other did not reflect their personalities.
KK Slider – a book featuring music
The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Oh how I LOVE this book. If you’ve not read this yet, then where have you been hiding because it is phenomenal. The music that is included within this book is brilliant. Seriously, perfect mixtape material.
Dr Shrunk – a book featuring an eccentric character
The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. I don’t think I need to say anymore than that really.
Crazy Red – a book with thieves
The Book Thief. Another one of my all time favourite books which is about a girl called Liesel who steals books and befriends a Jewish man. It is SO much more than that really. But, books are important for minds and friendships. Just saying.
Pocket camp – A book set in a camp
Ok, so I may be cheating slightly with this one by recommending The Dream Snatcher trilogy. BUT becoming a part of Moll’s tribe back in 2015 when she stormed her way onto the scene with a Wildcat in tow, I could NOT miss this out. Seriously, saying goodbye to Moll and her tribe was heartbreaking. I’m still not over it.
Gulliver – a book that takes you on an adventure
The Wolf Wilder takes you on a wolf-riding adventure. I mean seriously, do I need to sell this to you anymore?
Kicks – a book that’s like a new pair of shoes – a book you really clicked with
I have clicked with SO MANY books. Seriously, some of the characters who I’ve journeyed with in their various worlds have really spoken to me and found a way into my heart. However, Under Rose Tainted Skies is the book which I resonated deeply with especially when trying to get a better understanding of my own Mental Health.
Porter – a book which transports you to a new world – a book with brilliant world building
Sky Song, without a doubt is a book which transports you to a whole new world. I was so engrossed in the world of Erkenwald, that reality just totally slipped away and left me to embark in some extreme wintry conditions in order to defeat the Ice Queen.
I tag Rebecca @_rebeccastobart, Chelley @chelleytoy and Hannah @cupofwonderland
Welcome to day 20 of blogmas! Today, I’m going to be speaking about my 10 favourite YAs in 2017. This was a tough choice, and I still love all of the books on my mid-year favourites list too! There’s one book on here that I didn’t give 5 stars as I can’t actually remember why not and I really enjoyed it, and I highly recommend everything I’ve rated that not on this list too. I’ll be doing a seperate list for MG books in a few days, and I’m leaving it till last as my 3 overall favourites of this year are all MG. Note- not all of these are from 2017. Some are books I’ve read this year that were either published before 2017 and others aren’t out till 2018
Onto the books!
The Summer of Telling Tales – this was beyond heartbreaking. It’s a tough but hopeful read, and reminded me of Jacqueline Wilson at her very best. I think this is massively underrated, so if you get a chance to read it (I stumbled on my copy at the library, for example) please, PLEASE do.
The Exact Opposite of Okay -I feel so lucky to have read this already, seeing that it isn’t out till next March. It has a wonderfully witty narrator who made me snort and cackle multiple times and I think a lot of people are going to fall in love with this when it’s released.
This Beats Perfect- A wonderful boyband YA, with a really nice romance and a prontagonist I loved, as well as a superb cast of secondary characters. I also just really liked the writing style, which felt unusual but I can’t explain how, and I’m looking forward to the sort of sequel that’s due out in February.
The Graces– this was so chilling and creepy it gave me goosebumps in places, and I couldn’t put it down to revise for my French exam (which I read it on the day of… oopsies). I passed though, so my love for this book remains very much in tact. Also, the last line is GLORIOUS; roll on the Curses right now please!
Radio Silence – This was another book from my last week of exams, which I also read in a day (the day of my Modern Studies exam). The thought of going back to this got me through a challenging paper, and it’s just phenomenal! Aled is one of my favourite characters ever.
Stargazing for Beginners– I read this after a bit of a reading slump, around the start of May I think, and it’s just wonderful. Meg is such an inspirational, yet flawed and realistic character, and watching her struggle with caring for her little sister after their mum jets off and abandons them is so sad in places. Her friends, such as Annie, are hilarious, and I also loved her romantic interest Ed.
The Empty Grave- this was pretty much the perfect finale to a pretty much perfect series. The trademark drama, humour and adventure combo was as slick as ever, and the characters continued to be exceptionally awesome in every way. And it made me cry at the end!
Wing Jones– I read this at the start of 2017 and it got me through the very difficult night before my MRI scan (which I find really difficult). Wing’s journey of finding her passion for running and falling in love is stunning from start to finish, and I adored the magical realism element.
Moxie– This is a fierce, feminist read that’s guaranteed to make you want to start your own revolution. It tells the story of Viv as she starts up her own zine and creates the Moxie movement to shake up her sexist school.
Noah Can’t Even– I genuinely have no idea why I didn’t give this 5 stars. It made me giggle loads and it was amazing fun, and Noah is so sweet and nerdy. DEFINETELY a favourite of this year in spite of the stupidity of past me’s star rating. (Which I have now went and swapped on Goodreads)
EDIT- I forgot a book! One of the most special things I’ve read this year is Forever Geek by Holly Smale, which was the final instalment of one of my favourite series (Geek Girl). I am MOST ashamed that I forgot it, but it’s definetely worth going over my 10 books.
What have your favourite YA books of 2017 been? Do we share any choices? I’d love to read your list if you have one! Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!
Hello everybody, and welcome to day 8 of blogmas!
Today, as food is quite a big part of Christmas for lots of people, I thought it would be fun to talk about books which feature lots of it.
Onto the post!
Love, Lies and Lemon Pies by Katy Cannon– this is one of my favourite YA books of all time. It’s about Lottie, still struggling to cope with the loss of her dad, and Mac, who feels trpped by his nightmare home life, and them finding each through the new school Bake Club. The recipes (which the characters cook, and we are given!) are varied and so much fun to read about (even though I probably wouldn’t eat any of them 🙈)
The Secret Cooking Club/Confetti and Cake by Laurel Remington– these are lovely middle grade stories about Scarlett, who has abandoned all her hobnies due to her oversharing mum blogger mum, finding an escape in cooking. This leads to new friendships, a whole lot of fun and her life taking a turn for the better. And it features lots of yummy sweet treats, hence why it’s on this list!
Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries by Robin Stevens– this book (and all it’s equally excellent sequels) introduced readers to the concept of bunbreak, and rarely a day or two goes by where I do not see that word in my social media circle somewhere. I also indulge in one myself from time to time… . I absolutely love all delicious ones we see superstar sleuths Daisy and Hazel indulging in throughout.
Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen– this is an admittedly weird addition to this list given the main food choice (which I shall not tell you) but the scenes where all the characters come together to eat are probably my favourites as they really drive home the message of a struggling community leaning on each other.
Harry Potter by J.K Rowling– the Hogwarts feasts are quite literally magical, and I would seriousky love to attend one if I could (*sobs loudly*). Also, the company would be amazing. I’d get to laugh with the Weasley twins, eavesdrop on the Golden Trio’s crazy plans for whatever they’re doing next and comfort lovely Neville in his lower moments.
Thank you for reading! What books with great food can you think of? Do we share any answers? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!
Hi, I’m Liv and I blog at livswonderfulescape.wordpress.com I would like to thank Amy for allowing me to do this post on her blog! This was really fun!
CHOCOLATE CAKE (A DARK BOOK YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE)
The Sin Eater’s Daughter is amazing to be honest the whole trilogy is great. Say that though I need to polish off the last one.😬
VANILLA CAKE (A LIGHT READ)
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia is such a lovely book that you could polish off in a couple of hours. I highly recommend it!
RED VELVET (A BOOK THAT GAVE YOU MIXED EMOTIONS)
This is a hard one but I think it’s going to go to Off the Ice by Julie Cross. After reading it I thought I really enjoyed it but the more i think about it the more I’m conflicted and this really makes me sad because I love Julie Cross.
CHEESECAKE (A BOOK YOU’D RECOMMEND TO ANYONE)
DEAR MARTIN! DEAR MARTIN! DEAR MARTIN! I don’t think I need to say anymore.❤️
COFFEE CAKE (A BOOK YOU STARTED BUT DIDN’T FINISH)
I honestly can’t remember the last book I did not finish… actually it might have been Kings Cage ( I know,I know don’t hate me)
CARROT CAKE (A BOOK WITH GREAT WRITING)
Wing Jones by Katherine Webber her writing is incredible and if you haven’t picked it up yet, I highly advise it.
TIRAMISU (A BOOK THAT LEFT YOU WANTING MORE)
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier one of my favourite books ever written, I could talk about it all day!
CUPCAKES (A SERIES WITH 4+ BOOKS)
The Mortal Instrument series that I have not finished
FRUIT CAKE (A BOOK THAT WASN’T WHAT YOU ANTICIPATED)
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater I enjoyed it but not as much as I wanted to. I’m not sure if that makes any sense but I had heard so many great things that I expected it to be incredible.
LAMINGTON (YOUR FAVOURITE AUSTRALIAN BOOKS)
Um Paige Toon always incorporates Australia in here books which I love. She’s also one of my favourite authors!
Huge thanks to Liv for her wonderful post! What are your favourite cakes? Do you feel the same way about any of these books ? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!
As it’s almost Halloween, I thought it would be fun to share some recommendations for slightly spooky reads, and some set in Autumn. I’m a total wuss and don’t like horror, so these are perfect for anyone who feels that way too!
Onto the books! (In no particular order…)
The Mystery of the Vanishing Skeleton by Helen Moss- This is very possibly my favourite Adventure Island story, which is set at Halloween in Castle Key. It shows Scott, Jack, Emily and Drift the dog try and work out who the mysterious figure in a skeleton costume commiting odd crimes around the island is.
The My Sister the Vampire series by Sienna Mercer– While this series is mainly contemporary, it also features vampires and has pretty cool worldbuilding, so it definetely deserves a place on this list. It’s about twin sisters Ivy and Olivia, one a vampire and one a human, as they reunite and try and bond as twins while taking on the vampire world. I especially love the earliest books in the series, which are excellent mysteries!
Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens- This is easily the most sinister of the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries. It focuses on the murder of head girl Elizabeth Hurst, who dies at the Bonfire Night display, and Daisy and Hazel’s investigation to uncover her killer. This sent chills down my spine in places, and I devoured it in a single sitting.
The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol- This is such a cosy, warm fantasy and it gave me lovely autumnal vibes. It’s about apprentice witch Arianwyn as she moves to the small island of Lull and discovers that it isn’t as dull a place as she first thought. I’m so excited to return to this magical land when the sequel A Witch Alone arrives in March.
Vlad the World’s Worst Vampire by Anna Wilson, and illustrated by Kathryn Durst- I read this lovely younger MG and I’m so excited to write my review at the end of the month. I read it after a couple of books I didn’t like much and it totally lifted my spirits. It’s about Vlad, who decides to sneak offto human school because he feels he’s such a failure as a vampire. It’s the PERFECT read for younger children (and anyone who likes books for this age range!), particularly come Halloween.
Close Your Pretty Eyes by Sally Nicholls- I think this is aimed at MG, but it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever read. The ghost Olivia is haunted by in it is awful, and Olivia’s own story is horrifying in a much more realistic way. I don’t think I could ever reread it (I almost gave up more than once the first time because of the creepiness factor), but it’s a thought-provoking, chilling read that I’d highly recommend to anyone.
The Scarlet and Ivy Mysteries by Sophie Cleverly- This mystery series takes place in the creepiest boarding school I’ve seen in a book. I’d never want to attend Rookwood, but it’s a fabulous setting that makes these historical mysteries that extra bit spookier.
Strange Star by Emma Carroll- this is an atmospheric adventure based on the Frankenstein origin tale, and it would be super suitable to read on a rainy autumn evening, with it’s scary scientists and ghost stories fit to ‘chill the blood’
Lockwood and Co series by Jonathan Stroud- This is a hauntingly (pun intended) good series, about an alternative Britain where ghosts come back after their deaths to haunt their ‘Sources’. The smallest and best psychic detective agemcy in London, Lockwood and Co, are an excellent team and I love each and every one of them. This would be a fabulous binge read in the run up to Halloween 😊
Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade by Ann M. Martin- You didn’t really think I’d get through a list like this without a BSC mention, did you? This is my favourite of all the mysteries in the collection, and absolutely the one that scared me most (except maybe the Super Mysteries, which were mysteries 2 times as long and 200 times more dangerous) . It’s about the Halloween Masquerade being sabotaged and the BSC trying to work out exactly who is behind it all, and why.
Thank you so much for reading! What do you think of these books, if you’ve read them? Are there are any on your TBR this Halloween? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
See you soon with a new post,