Huge Book Unhaul

Autumn is here, and with that in mind, I decided to sort out my bookshelves. I must admit, I am a bit of a hoarder, and for me, it was always hard saying goodbye to things. I kept books for sentimental value, for decorative purposes, for the fact that I paid a shitload of money for a hardback...But the truth is, I can`t get another bookshelf and some things had to go. Initially, I wanted to get rid only of the books I hated or own multiple copies. But the more I purged, the better I felt. So I decided to get rid of the books that were so-so and only keep the ones I love. Some of these are going to my best friend and some I`m going to donate to charities. Here are all the books I`m getting rid of:

Multiple copies:
  • "Wuthering Heights" - Emily Bronte
  • "A Tale of Two Cities" - Charles Dickens
  • "To Kill a Mockingbird" - Harper Lee
  • "Crime and Punishment" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • "The Great Gatsby" - F.Scott Fitzgerald

Not a big fan of the books:
  • "Caraval" - Stephanie Garber
  • "Milk and Honey" - Rupi Kaur
  • "Everless" - Sara Holland
  • "All The Crooked Saints" - Maggie Stiefvater
  • "What`s a Girl Gotta Do?" - Holly Bourne
  • "Bridget`s Jones Diary" - Helen Fielding
  • "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" - Helen Fielding
  • "Because You Love To Hate Me" - edited by Ameriie
  • "The Bad Beginning" - Lemony Snicket
Lost Interest In:
  • "Winter Wonderland" - Belinda Jones
  • "The Rosie Project" - Graeme Simsion
  • "A Total Waste of Makeup" - Kim Gruenenfelder
  • "Paper Towns" - John Green
  • "Bloodlines" - Richelle Mead
  • "The Golden Lily" - Richelle Mead
  • "Triskellion" - Will Peterson
  • "Beautiful Broken Things" - Sara Bernard

I have also decided to give my best friend all of my Cassandra Clare books. You`re familiar with my complicated relationship with her novels, but I`ve decided to be a grown-up and part ways. Yes, I love the Shadowhunters world but have problems with Clare`s writing. So hopefully my bestie will like these books more. She`ll get the entire Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series, plus "The Bane Chronicles", "Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy" and "Lady Midnight".

Last, I`ve decided to donate "Divergent" and "Insurgent" by Veronica Roth. I`ve enjoyed these books, and I`m a big fan of the movies (must be in minority), but it`s not a series I might reread, like The Hunger Games for instance. On that note, I`m also getting rid of "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes. Again, I loved the book, but I won`t reread it any time soon. And as much as I love staring at Sam Claflin`s gorgeous face, I don`t normally read romance books. So this novel felt a bit out of place on my shelves.

At the moment, I`m looking at a big pile of "maybe" books, but I might give those a chance. I`m trying to be open-minded, though I`m 99% sure I`ll dislike those novels. Let me know in the comments if one of your favourites bit the dust. I always gasp when I see booktubers giving away books that I adore, but then again, we all have different tastes.

TTT: My Fall TBR

I came back from holiday yesterday, and I can`t believe how quickly it went away. I know I was away for three weeks, but it`s not enough when you`re far from your family and friends. Because you have to meet with everyone, and at one point it gets time-consuming. Regardless, it was amazing to see everyone, and I had such a fantastic time in Greece. I was so tempted to run away, but sadly, I am not a millionaire. Plus, all of my books are in London, so that`s one reason to come back. Which brings us to the next topic: my fall TBR. Honestly, I never stick to these, but compiling them is so much fun. So let`s start with the books that I will probably (not) read this fall.

1-5. "It", "The Shining", "Doctor Sleep", "The Outsider", "Salem`s Lot" - Stephen King
I`d like to dedicate October to the one and only Stephen King. I have seen every adaptation of his novels, but I am ashamed to admit I have not read his books. Shocking, considering I think of myself as a big fan of his work. I have seen the new "IT" 5 times, but I`d like to read the book before the sequel comes out. The same thing goes for "Doctor Sleep". As for "The Outsider", whilst it`s a new release, the reviews have been extremely positive. The only thing that I`m worried about is the size of his books, which might make it difficult to read all of them in October. If I can`t do it, then I`ll probably dedicate November to his books as well, and add more on my TBR.

6. "The Woman in the Window" by A.J. Finn
I have not read many thrillers in my life, but it`s something I`d like to change. I don`t know if I mentioned this before, but I`m addicted to real crime shows. Or fictional for that matter, as I watched every episode of "C.S.I New York", "Castle", "Lucifer" and "Criminal Minds". From what I can tell this book is a psychological thriller that deals with agoraphobia, depression, anxiety and substance abuse; topics that I`m interested in reading about in books.

7. "You" by Caroline Kepnes
This book sounds so delightfully creepy. The story is a bit twisted, and apparently, it makes you uncomfortable, but that makes me even more intrigued. From Goodreads reviewers, I`m a tad concerned that the characters aren`t well developed, but I hope the story is engaging enough to make up for that. Also, I`ve just seen the trailer for the TV adaptation, and it looks like Lonely Boy is back to his old ways. Yeah, I`m still not over the fact that Dan was Gossip Girl. But if he was, it makes sense he`d turn into a stalker.

8. "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly
A few months ago I binge-watched "The Frankenstein Chronicles" on Netflix, and it made me want to read the book even more. Although I`m familiar with the story, I`d like to read the book and see how I feel about it.

9/10. "Strange The Dreamer" and "Muse of Nightmares" by Laini Taylor
At the beginning of the year, I found this gorgeous edition of "Strange the Dreamer" in a charity shop for 3£, and I`m been dying to read it ever since. But I decided to wait until the sequel comes out, so I can binge-read it. I also have a terrible memory, so I`d have forgotten everything by the time "Muse of Nightmares" came out. I`m a big fan of Laini Taylor`s writing, and many readers with similar tastes adored this duology, so I have high hopes for it.

The real question now is if I`ll actually read these books. I always start with a promising TBR, and I either have a reading slump or read something else entirely. That`s one of the downfalls when you`re a mood reader. Even if I can`t get to all of these, I`m confident I`ll finish at least 4 of them. But what about you? What are you planning on reading this fall?

* TTT is a weekly meme/feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

TTT: Binge-worthy TV Shows

It`s hard to imagine a time before Netflix or Amazon Prime, though the executives that cancel good TV shows are surely living in the past. I remember the good old days when I was in high school, and I used to wake up at 2 A.M. in case I missed an episode of Veronica Mars or The O.C. Nowadays, everything is easier, and we can watch what we want, whenever we want. Though, most of the times, when we start the Netflix app, we tend to watch a season in one day. To quote Dickens, we`re living the best and worst of times.

Whilst I am behind on most movies, I do watch an insanely amount of TV Shows. When I`m not watching new releases, I revisit old glory days with "Gossip Girl" or "One Tree Hill". Long story short, I`m no stranger to binge-worthy TV shows. Which is why it was so hard to narrow it down to just 10 TV shows, but somehow, I made it. Here`s my list:

1. "Game of Thrones"
It`s the best, most watched and well-made TV Show out there. Haters will be haters, but you can`t deny the wonderful acting, the excellent dialogue or the array of epic scenes. Whether you`re a Stark or a Lannister, the series finale in on everyone`s minds.

2. "Gotham"
I watch quite a lot of superhero TV Shows, but none come close to "Gotham". It`s dark, atmospheric and ingenious. Some might say it`s over the top, but I love the acting, and the guys that play Penguin and Riddler are astounding. I`m sad to say that the 5th season it`s the last, but at least it will end on a strong note.

3. "Supernatural"
True fans will watch it till the end. Some people think it ran its course, but I still enjoy it. Sometimes the stories are repetitive, but you watch this show because of how much you care about these characters. I love the Winchesters and Castiel, and personally, I could watch it for another 20 years. #theyoungandtheresteless with demons

4. "Lucifer"
I was so happy that Netflix decided to give this show another chance. I`ll admit, the romance gets on my nerves sometimes, but I enjoy the murder cases. Lucifer is a fun character, and Maze is my precious deadly demon that nobody can hurt.

5. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
One of the funniest sitcoms out there. It has a diverse cast, fresh jokes and overall a unique perspective on what sitcoms should be. Whilst it`s still present, the focus isn`t on romance, but on the friendships between the gang.

6. "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel"
From the wonderful Amy Sherman-Palladino, who gave us Gilmore Girls, we have the charming story of a housewife that becomes a stand-up comic in the 50s. It will make you laugh, but also give you a glimpse of what it was to be a woman back then. I loved the fashion and the lavish decor. Plus, the main character is absolutely hilarious.

7. "Stranger Things"
Another popular show that needs no introduction. Winona Ryder is great in her role, but the kids steal the spotlight. It might be a Sci-Fi show, but I loved the emphasis on family and friendship. And let`s not forget about the 80s nostalgia you`ll get after just one episode.

8. "Peaky Blinders"
The story revolves around a gangster family in 1919 Birmingham. Expect life and death situation, witty lines and charming morally grey characters. Cillian Murphy is phenomenal as Thomas Shelby, and other notable names are Tom Hardy and Adrien Brody.

9. "The Handmaid`s Tale"
Based on Margaret Atwood`s novel, it`s about a terrifying dystopian world where most women are barren, and people live under a theocratic dictatorship. It`s one of those shows that will give you chills because although it`s so out there, you cannot help but think what it will be if that scenario would come true.

10. "Big Little Lies"
I`ve watched the first season with my best friend in one day. Enough said. 

Like I said, there are many more TV Shows that I watch. But I wanted to include shows that are still running, and that`s why I didn`t include names like "The Originals", "Teen Wolf", "Once Upon A Time" or "The Tudors".

* TTT is a weekly meme hosted/feature by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Ten YA Books That Lived Up To The Hype

It`s not easy reading YA. Nowadays most YA books are filled with the same tropes, and romances tend to be the main focus, rather than the plot. But not all of these novels are bad. Or to be more accurate, there are no terrible books, just different tastes in reading. For instance: I will never love Cassandra Clare`s books, no matter how hard I try. I like the Shadowhunters world but dislike her characters. On the other hand, though, I`ll probably adore everything Leigh Bardugo brings out. And I`m not saying that one author is better than the other. I just tend to like Bardugo`s writing more. With that in mind, here are 10 YA books that ticked all the boxes when it comes to my reading taste.

1/2. "Six of Crows" and "Crooked Kingdom" by Leigh Bardugo
Let`s start with the obvious, the duology I can`t stop talking about. Although I love the Grisha trilogy, I was disappointed with the ending. "Siege and Storm" remains my favourite sequel of all time, but sadly, "Ruin and Rising" was a 3-star read. However, both "Six of Crows" and "Crooked Kingdom" received standing ovations and solid 5 stars. I adored the characters, the romances, the world. I am not going to go into too many details here, but I do have reviews for both of these books if you want to know more.

3. "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green
Whilst I can`t get into John Green`s other books, this book is still my number one YA contemporary. Yes, it`s a bit corny, and the characters might not speak like teenagers. But it made me feel so many things when I was reading it. And I was in my mid-20s when I read it, so I wasn`t that impressionable. But it made an everlasting impression, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

One of the most beautifully written YA contemporary out there! The author has such a lyrical writing style, and every sentence is full of meaning. In case you haven`t read it yet, it`s an LGBTQ+ book that focuses on the blooming romance between 16-year-old Ari and his best friend, Dante. Ari is a troubled kid, that likes to keep everything bottled up. Dante, on the other hand, is sweet and wears his heart on the sleeve. In true "opposites attract" manner, their friendship develops into something more, and it`s such a sweet story. Also, the parents in this book are so supportive and involved in their kids' lives, it`s a breath of fresh air. (cause in most books parents tend to be M.I.A)

5. "History Is All You Left Me" by Adam Silvera
Although I haven`t met him, Adam Silvera is one of my favourite people in the world. His twitter is amazing, and in general, he looks like a pretty chill dude. And he writes the most heartbreaking books, which is always a plus in my book, cause I like pain. OK, not physical, but emotional. I mean, fictional emotional; you get what I mean. "History Is All You Left Me" is a tearjerking novel about loss and grief, and what comes after you lose the person you loved most in the world. It`s also an accurate representation of mental illness, as Adam himself struggles with OCD. 

6. "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" by Becky Albertalli
Contemporary is on a roll today! There was quite the buzz when this book came out and for good reasons. It`s a feel good book, that makes you want to hug everyone and bake cookies. Simon and Blue`s relationship is so genuine, I loved every aspect of it.

7. "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor
This book was probably my favourite read of 2017, for several reasons. First, Prague was such a magical setting. Second, Karou was an amazing heroine. Third, the plot was very original, despite some predictable twists at the end. Also, Laini`s writing is absolutely marvellous.

8.  "The Gentleman`s Guide to Vice and Virtue" by Mackenzi Lee
What a ride! This book is such a fun historical fiction, that will take you on a wild ride across Europe. The main character, Monty, is a bit of a prick, but I loved his witty remarks. Percy, his best friend, is the sweetest, and his sister Felicity is such a badass for that period. However, although the book is filled with hilarious situations and delicious banter, it also deals with serious topics like racism, mental illness and abuse.

9. "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell
Lately, there is a bit of controversy surrounding this book, but I wasn`t aware of that when I first read it. For me, it was a sweet story about first love, and I adored the nostalgia it gave me. Eleanor and Park are both a bit awkward, which is what made their interactions so enjoyable.

10. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
Another hyped book, but hey, this is what this post is about. Like TFIOS, I was in my late 20s when I read this book, but it captured so many things that I used to feel when I was young. I`m an introvert, so I always like to observe the world from a distance. 

And that`s all folks. Although I prefer fantasy nowadays, I realise that most of the books on my list are contemporary. The funny thing is that I`m OK with romance in contemporaries, but it annoys me so much in fantasy. I want interesting characters and world building, not Mary Sues that fall in love with the first bad boy they see. Anyways, here`s hoping that the next YA fantasy books that I read will do better. Let me know in the comments if any of these books were on your list.

* TTT is a weekly meme/feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

July Book Haul

Hello, everyone! Today I have a little book haul to share with you. In a previous post I mentioned that I wasn`t that successful with my reading this year, but at least I came across some great books. One of them is "The Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo. It`s a heartbreaking novel that addresses difficult subjects like religion and the place of young black girls in society. Since it`s one of my favourite books of 2018, I had to buy the physical book as well. And keeping up with that trend, I had to get "The Gentleman`s Guide to Vice and Virtue" by Mackenzi Lee. I listened to it on Audible, gave it 5 stars and decided to purchase the hardback so I can keep Monty, Percy and Felicity close to my heart.

For whatever reason, I saw that "Far From The Tree" by Robin Benway was 2£ on Amazon, and I couldn`t say no. A lot of people have been comparing this novel to the American Tv Show "This Is Us", so I`m intrigued. Also, I have not read a YA contemporary for quite a while now, and I miss it. Granted, I was getting tired of the same tropes at one point, but I`m ready to be dazzled again (hoping that this book is worth the hype).

There are so many new releases I want to get to, but since I was unlucky with a couple of them, I`m more selective. However, I could not say no to "The Surface Breaks" by Louise O`Neill. This is described as a feminist retelling of "The Little Mermaid", which was quite a popular story this year (I believe there are 2-3 more retellings that have come out or are about to be released this year). Also, the book is closer to Hans Christian Andersen`s fairytale than the Disney adaptation, which means it`s dark and gory. I`m currently reading it, and so far I`m really enjoying it. I also bought "The Travelling Cat Chronicles" by Hiro Arikawa. Not going to lie, it was a 50% cover buy and 50% based on my devotion to Japanese culture. Once I read it, I`ll make sure I write a review.

Obviously, I can`t have a book haul without including a few Penguin Modern Classics. I`m slowly building my collection, and this time I opted for "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller and "One Flew Over The Cuckoo`s Nest" by Ken Kesey. I`ve read and enjoyed both of them, and I strongly recommend you pick them up. They`re not easy reads, but they will definitely challenge your perspective about society.
Anna Karenina Vintage Classics

And, the crowning jewel of this haul: this gorgeous Vintage Classics edition of "Anna Karenina". Leo Tolstoy is that author I`ve always wanted to read, but never got the courage to start his books. I used to believe it`s because of the size of his novels or the confusing names, but I`m doing quite fine with Dostoevsky`s books. Ultimately, I think it`s because I did not want to commit to a hefty classics. But this year I`m definitely finishing "Anna Karenina" and "War and Peace".

Like I said earlier, I did not buy that many books because my TBR shelves are getting ridiculous. My strategy is to buy a new book ONLY after I finish 3 books. Hopefully, it`s going to work, and it will motivate me to read more. I know I set my Goodreads goal at 24 books, but in reality, I was aiming for 35-40 books. So far I`m at lucky 15, so I need to do less buying/hoarding and more reading. 
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