Review: Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

Theatrical

Title: Theatrical

Author: Maggie Harcourt

Publication Date: June 28th, 2018

Format: Paperback (ARC provided by the Publisher)

Genres & Themes: YA, Contemporary

Blurb:

Hope dreams of working backstage in a theatre, and she’s determined to make it without the help of her famous costume designer mum. So when she lands an internship on a major production, she tells no one. But with a stroppy Hollywood star and his hot young understudy upstaging Hope’s focus, she’s soon struggling to keep her cool… and her secret.

Gorgeously fresh, funny and commercial YA romance from the author of Unconventional, and The Last Summer of Us.


Review:

Thanks to Usborne for sending me the physical copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

I have this weird rule regarding contemporaries; never read a contemporary book longer than 250 pages. Why? Because most of the times they are dragged and end up getting boring and dull. But, that’s not the case when it comes to Theatrical. It’s easily one of the best Contemporaries I have read this year and has kind of. sort of, restored my faith in them.

Theatrical is about Hope – a 17 years old Theater lover who starts an internship at Earl’s Theater. She becomes part of the production of Piecekeepers and possibly the most anticipated theater production of the year. This production is directed by a top director and stars a Hollywood star. An obviously, there’s romance too.

Let’s talk about the writing first:

Maggie Harcourt’s writing is absolutely phenomenal. Most of the Contemporaries authors don’t bother with descriptions but Maggie paints a vivid image in your mind through her writing. I have never been to a theater but I feel like I went to one, visited every nook and secret corner of it and have seen every single detail because of how good a writer she is.

Plot:

I was a little skeptical when I requested a review copy of this book. It’s set in a theater and I have never read a book set in a theater so I wasn’t sure whether I would like it or not. But, obviously, I ended up loving it. I loved the plot so much that when I turned the last page and realized that it ended, I longed for more!

I also liked how Hope’s character was portrayed as the one who wanted to be invisible and honestly girl, I get you. I loved her friendship with Priya and George (def my fav character from the book) and I also liked reading more about her family though I wish there was more because I loved her interaction with her parents.

Romance:

I always like books with little romance (even Contemporaries) unless the romance is done right, I like the romance in this one because it didn’t take up the entire plot. I thought it was cute and all but it didn’t really impress me as much. Mainly because as soon as Hope spots ‘the love interest’ she’s like

“I feel like he knows me”

She says this before they had even a single proper conversation so obviously, I rolled my eyes. Overall, I thought it was okay but I wasn’t really into it. I was more into the theater stuff.

Other things that I  liked:

  • George
  • Hope’s parents
  • Priya
  • Did I mention George???
  • The theater and the crew
  • Tommy during the rare times when he was nice
  • Amy (I need a mentor like her)
  • The production
  • EVERYTHING

Overall, I love it and highly recommend it if you’re looking to read a cute and fluffy Contemporary book this Summer!


Rating:

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About the Author:

Maggie Harcourt was born and raised in Wales, where she grew up dreaming of summer road trips and telling stories for a living. As well as studying Medieval Literature at UCL, Maggie has variously worked as a PA, a hotel chambermaid and for a French chef before realising her dreams and beginning to write full time.

She now lives just outside Bath, UK, where she can usually be found in a bookshop or somewhere near the river. She guards the secret of her favourite coffee shop jealously, because she has the perfect spot picked out there for people-watching.


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Review: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

Long May She Reign

Title: Long May She Reign

Author: Rhiannon Thomas

Publication Date: February 21st, 2017

Format: ebook

Genres & Themes: Fantasy, Young-adult, Murder Mystery

Blurb:

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.
Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.
Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.
As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.


Review:

I went into this book without any expectations and it still managed to disappoint me.

This book is about Freya and she’s twenty-third in line to the throne. However, something deadly happens at the banquet and about 400 people including the King and Queen are poisoned. Everyone before her in line to the throne dies and so, Freya – the odd girl – becomes the queen. This book is about her trying to be a Queen while finding out who the murderer is at the same time.

There are a lot of things that I want to discuss about this book. I liked a lot of things and there are some things that bothered me a lot so let’s divide them both into pros and cons.

PROS:

  • Freya is called odd because she loves science and wants to become a scientist, so of course, there’s a lot of science in the book. She also uses science to find out the murderer. I personally enjoyed the science aspect of the book a lot. I don’t read a lot of science in fantasy book so that was refreshing. She’s like Emma Watson’s Belle; she’s an inventor who wants to travel and whatnot.
  • Although this book is a fantasy, there was a lot of mystery involved too, which, yet another thing that I haven’t read in a lot of fantasy books and I really enjoyed it.
  • The female friendships in this book is A+. Freya’s best friend Naomi is supportive and caring and everything you want in a best friend, and Freya loves her equally.
  • THE COVER

CONS:

  • Freya’s character is cliched. We get to know at the beginning of the book that she’s very very plain and doesn’t fit in at all. The scientist part is the only thing that stands out about her. I’m sure if she wasn’t a scientist, she would be like every YA heroine I have ever read.
  • The romance in the book is really awkward and there’s literally no tension between them. I would’ve liked it better if Fitzroy -the dead King’s son – wasn’t a love interest but a friend. I think his character would be amazing as a friend and this would add as another thing that would make this book stand out.
  • The world-building is weak. We get to know a few bits here and there but other than that the author doesn’t say much. The world is really interesting and I want to know more!
  • Long May She Reign didn’t feel like an extraordinary book. There were a lot of things that reminded me of other books I have read including Siege and Storm.

I honestly have no idea why romance has become mandatory in Fantasy books. This book could’ve been so so much better if there wasn’t romance in it and the author focused on murder mystery only. The writing was alright. I zoned out at some points but it wasn’t really bad or really good.

I still think that the book could be much better if the idea was executed well.


My Rating:

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About the Author: 

Rhiannon Thomas is an English Lit grad from Princeton University. She currently lives in York, England, in the shadow of a 13th century Gothic cathedral. When she isn’t lost in YA fantasy, she writes about feminism and the media on her blog, FeministFiction.com.

 


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Favourite Books of 2017!

2017 wasn’t exactly a good reading year for me. To be honest, it was a really shitty year. I read 53 books this year and out of all 53 of them, there are only a few that left a mark and made it to my favourites list. I did enjoy a lot of books but they didn’t exactly make me drown in all the emotions and smother me with the feels so this list is going to be pretty short!

I will, however, mention all the other books that I enjoyed below and why they didn’t make it to the favourites list! So let’s get started:

The Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer

When I think about my most favourite book of 2017 this entire series comes to my mind (along with the books I’ll be mentioning next) I read Cinder back in December 2015 but didn’t continue on with the series. for no particular reason. However, I wanted to read this series so I reread Cinder and then proceeded to read the other books! and ohmygod, you guys this series amazing! I don’t like Fantasy and Sci-fi books with a lot of romance and this one had a lot of romance but that only bothered me a few times! My favourite out of the series are Scarlet and Winter and obviously, my most favourite girl is Scarlet.

Darkness Follows and Black Moon by L.A. Weatherly

(the second and third book in The Broken Trilogy)

Darkness Follows (The Broken Trilogy, #2) Black Moon (The Broken Trilogy, #3)

I actually feel sad because of how underrated this series is! I enjoyed these two books so much and I’ll be soon posting a full review/discussion on why you should be reading this series! This is a Dystopian series with elements of Astrology in it and it’s set in 1940s Alternative America (!!!!) The main character is unlike a lot of YA main character. She’s strong and badass but also has emotions (one thing that YA heroines lack a lot) and let me tell you something; I loved the romance in this! It was done so well that it’s actually one of my most fav romance in YA fantasy books!

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)

I don’t remember a lot of things that happened in this book (because of my amazing memory) but all I remember that this book broke my heart a lot! Percy Jackson series is one of my all time fav series and I was so sad when I finished it! I’m definitely gonna buy Heroes of Olympus (Even though I know that Percy is not even in the first book) to fill the hole this book has left in my heart.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)

Like a lot of people, I started this series just so I can the famous read Six of Crows duology. I went into this one with low expectations but oh boy, I ended up really loving it! I have to admit that this series is full of so many cliches and tropes that I have to roll my eyes every chapter but other than that, this series is amazing! I love the magic system and the world a lot. I didn’t enjoy the second book as much and have yet to read the last book (which I’m avoiding because I have already parted with too many amazing series this year).


That’s it! These are my only favourites from 2017! Now let’s get to the

Books That Didn’t Make It To The Favourite List But I Enjoyed Them Anyway:

Wonder The Names They Gave Us The Graveyard Book Never Ever (Never Ever, #1)

  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio – I adore this book and recommend it to everyone. The reason why it didn’t make it to my fav list is that I found the pace too slow at times, and I think that sister’s boyfriend’s POV really unnecessary and boring!
  • The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord – This is another book that I really liked but a few times in the book the MC annoyed me so much that I just… couldn’t mark it as my favourite.
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman –  I absolutely adore this book! But, you know the feeling when you know that a book is your favourite, it’s not just here.
  • Never Ever by Sara Saedi  – This book exceeded my expectations. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did! Again, I have forgotten many details of the book and don’t remember exactly why I didn’t like it… so excuse my bad memory, please?

I hope 2018 is a good reading year for me. I’ll be choosing my books wisely next year because I genuinely want to read something good that blows me off with how amazing it is. If you all want to recommend me your favourite reads, please do!


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Ten Book Debuts I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To!

I’m not really the kind of person who reads books as soon as they’re released. There’s a lot of hype around a book when it is released. Most of the reviews are about how incredible it is and how unpredictable the plot twist was. A lot of times when I read the book as soon as it is released, my expectations are not met. This happened when the infamous Red Queen was released and booktuber after booktuber was making a video about that ‘magnificent’ and didn’t-see-it-coming-at-all plot twist and I read the book I was like:

I like to wait until has hyped has died so I can finally read the book in peace. But, I’m also a person with a weak memory who forgets that a book even exists until she’s hit with that book in the face!

Anyway, I was staring at The Hate You Give on my bookshelf when I was reminded of how many YA 2017 debuts I haven’t read yet! So today I’m sharing with you all the 2017 YA debuts I actually wanted to read but couldn’t get to because of my busy schedule and way too many reading slumps!


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

THUG was my most anticipated book of 2017! Unfortunately, it was released around the time of my exams and when I finally got it in August, I was busy with more tests to even read a book. I didn’t want to read this book when I know I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it so I put it down and due to my bad memory, I forgot that I even wanted to read. But, I have the copy and I’ll pick it up soon!

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Allegedly

Yet another interesting and well-loved book that I wanted to read but couldn’t get to! One of the reasons why I avoided this book is because I’m sure I’ll be an emotional mess after reading this. But, now I *think* I’m ready to read this book! This book is also by a black woman and follows a black girl so I really want you all to check it out if you haven’t yet!

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Saints and Misfits

I’m always a bit sceptical about reading books with Muslim MC because a lot of times the representation is not done right. However, according to my Muslim friends who have read this book the representation is accurate! I wanna read a Muslim main character who is chill and normal just like me and million others. She is unapologetically Muslim who enjoys her life just like me and a million other Muslim girls! That’s why I’m excited to read this next year.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval, #1)

This book was another one of my most anticipated books of 2017. I was so excited for it but then it got hyped so so much to the point that all everyone did was sing its praises that I knew that if I started reading it then, I would be really disappointed. I’m sure not gonna read it now because I wanna read it when all the books in the series (is it a trilogy?) are released and then wait a bit more till the hype is over.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

 Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)

I didn’t know anything about this book until I saw it on one of my friends Instagram story and ohmygod I was intrigued! This book is an East Asian fantasy reimagining of Evil Queen so it’s an anti-heroine story!  If that doesn’t make you want to buy this book right away then I don’t know know what to do with you. I’m disappointed.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters

Probably everyone has read this book by now but I just didn’t feel like it. 2017 wasn’t a good reading year for me but instead, it was a year full of stress and worrying-about-your-future year. Anyway, I might read this book now or in April/May so looking forward to it! Also, it is recommended to me by my really amazing friend who has a blog! Follow her @ Being a Book Nerd!


These are some of the 2017 YA Book Debuts that I will definitely be reading next year. If you have read and reviewed any of the books, please link your review! I’d love to read your thoughts 🙂


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November Book Haul + My Rep Package from Irisellium!

Hi, everyone. It’s me Zainab – ya broke book blogger from her little corner of the room. Today I’ll be telling you all about the exciting books I bought in the month of November. I don’t buy books a lot (or not as much as I used to two years ago) because I have mastered the art of self-control and also because I’m broke.

But you see, Black Friday Sale for me was a blessing. There were so many books that I wanted to buy but because of my lack of money(half of which I spent on food), I only ended up buying 4 books in November but two were hardbacks while the other two were Paperbacks. I got hardbacks for a really cheap price!

Anyway, let’s get to the books I bought:

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book 

I have had my eyes on these two books for such a long time and I’m so happy that I got them for Rs. 600 each! I am so hyped to finally read both of them.

The Female of the Species Animal Farm

Female of the Species was recommended to me by  Yarravy @ Star Crowned Book Throne so I’m really excited to read it! I saw Animal Farm in Ariel Brisset’s short book recommendation video (I looooooooove short books) and this copy was really cheap so I bought it.


DID I TELL YOU GUYS I BECAME A REP FOR A BOOKMARKS SHOP???

*caps lock off*

Okay, but I’m really excited even though December is my last month as a rep. I became Irisellium’s rep in August!

  • If you don’t already know what a rep is well… If I’m a rep for some company basically they’re going to send me goodies (or whatever the company sells) for free in exchange of me promoting their shop through my Instagram and I also give a discount code to anyone interested in buying their bookmarks (or goodies).
  •  Irisellium is a bookmark shop owned by Kayla and her bookmarks are so freakin’ gorgeous with an A++ quality! If you wanna see more of her bookmarks, click here to visit her shop on etsy!
  • My code is Bibliophile10 to get 10% off if you wanna order any bookmark from her shop!

Anyway, here are the two beautiful bookmarks that I got in my November Rep Package:

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This is everything that I got in the month of November! How many books did you buy in November??

Link your book haul in the comment section!


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Books on My Winter TBR!

Winter is my favourite time of the year. I love sweaters, chai, pakoras (all the Desi food that taste more delicious during the Winter time) and curling up with a nice and cosy book on my bed with a comfy blanket and a cup of chai or sometimes when I stay in bed all day eating junk food and binge watching a tv show I just discovered. These two are my happy places.

But here’s the thing, I never follow my TBR lists because I’m a moody reader. I pick books up randomly because reading books on my actual TBR makes me feel like I’m doing homework like I’m forced to read a book. Hoeverver, these are the books that I have either been hoarding for the past few months or planning to buy soon to read during Winter.

Here are some of the glorious books on my winter TBR:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)

I know I know. Everyone hates this book and blah blah blah but I wanna read it on my own and decide if I wanna hate it or not.. I’m pretty sure I’ll hate it but I already have a copy so I’m gonna give it a shot.

Whichwood (Furthermore #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Whichwood

  • First of all, THAT cover! It gives you all the snow and winter-y feels.
  • Second, this a Tahereh Mafi book and DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE HER???!
  • It’s a dark Persian fantasy about a girl who washes dead bodies.  

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

I know I’m always late to the party but I’m a cheap person who has been waiting all this time for the price of this book to go down. And I finally bought it during the Black Friday Sale! I’m gonna read the screenplay and then watch the movie for the first time because as I was saying, it’s my hobby to always be late to the party. But, it’ gonna happen… definitely gonna happen… soon.

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle

Let It Snow

I bought this one 3-4 years ago when I started reading again and John Green books were a BIG thing back then. spoiler: I only liked one of his books. I either hated them or abandoned all of them halfway through. Anyway, I started this one a couple of times but didn’t really enjoy it at that time. But, I’m gonna give it a try again and hopefully, this time I’ll actually be able to read it.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)

I’m a big fan of Buzzfeed Unsolved (the only good thing Buzzfeed has now) so of course, I was drawn to this book! It’s Fantasy but set in the 1800s and I have heard so many good things about this that I can not wait to finally pick it up and read it!

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying

Not gonna lie, I don’t know much about this book. I like to go into mystery and thrillers without knowing much because I like that air of suspense. Anyway, this book is really popular on Goodreads and most of my friends loved it so I’m really anticipating it. I hope I love it as much as everyone else!


I have like 10 (or 20.. whatever) more books on my TBR that I’m looking forward to reading during Winter. Buuuuuut these books are the ones I’m most excited about that’s why I’m only mentioning them!


What are some books you’re excited to read during Winter? Are you a moody reader like me? Have you read any of the books on my TBR? If yes, I’d love to know your thoughts!


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November Reading Wrap-Up!

November was, no doubt, my best reading month of the year (I think because I still have December). Although I was hit by two reading slumps this month, I still managed to finish 10 freaking books!

Ten Books

is a HUGE thing for me. I used to read like 3-4 books each month before November and finishing 10 books makes me so proud of myself! I have also started 6 books but because of my reading slump, I have put them all down and currently, all of the precious books are sitting on my study table waiting for me to pick them up.

Anyway, here is my brief November Reading Stats:

  • I read a total of 2,980 pages.
  • I read both short and long books and one poetry book.
  • The average pages I read were 100 of short books and 350-400 of long books.
  • I read a mix of both Fantasy and Contemporary books.

Now, the books I read:

It Only Happens in the Movies The Girl in the Flammable Skirt The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight (Goosebumps, #20) Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) The Names They Gave Us

 

The Sun and Her Flowers Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2) The Isle of the Lost (Descendants, #1) Wonder Firsts


I’m really happy with the number of books I read in November and I’m hoping that I read even more (or at least 10) books this month!

How many books did you read in November?


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