Monday, 15 July 2019

Bookish Birthday Haul

Ah, the ageing process. Not something I actively enjoy celebrating, but it can't be avoided. What makes it just that tiny bit easier is the only thing I ever ask for when my birthday rolls around: bookish gifts! This year, I was gifted some absolutely gorgeous book-related things, so I figured I'd do a mini haul. (Basically, I'm writing up absolutely anything I can for the blog this month because I'm taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo and don't have much time to read, hence the lack of reviews. Oops.) Here are the lovely things I got for my birthday last month!

First up is the absolutely gorgeous book of Your Name that I got from my wonderful bestie Rachel from Rachel's Really Random Reviews. When I tell you I nearly CRIED. It might be one of my favourite presents ever. In case you don't follow my Twitter and have managed to avoid me repeatedly talking about Your Name, I adore the anime. It's one of my favourite films because it's just so damn clever. I'm beyond excited to relive the story on the page! 

The second book to enter my new life as a 27yo is this ridiculously pretty edition of Fangirl from my gorgeous friend Jasmine! Fangirl is one of my all time favourite books and I already own two different versions of it, but I've always wanted to get my hands on the pink hardback because LOOK AT IT. Jasmine is an absolute darling for bringing this edition into my life. A Fangirl reread is on the horizon!

In news that will surprise absolutely no one, the rest of my bookish gifts were Harry Potter related. I'm a simple person to please. Throw anything Harry Potter at me and I'll be forever happy. My first HP goodie is a hardback edition of Chamber of Secrets that I actually persuaded Rachel to pick up for me at the charity shop she volunteers in. Let me explain: the copies of Harry Potter that I have are the same battered copies I've had since I started reading them as child. I only have hardbacks from Order of the Phoenix onwards, so I've been trying to rebuy them in hardback via charity shops. My old edition of CoS is quite literally falling apart (pages have fallen out, it's very tragic). She also got me some socks because I live for socks.

Thanking the Primark Gods (and my parents) for this cute pot with the Hogwarts crest! The succulent is fake because I have enough real ones to take care of. Really, I don't have any space left on my windowsill. Showing my Hufflepuff pride, I also got this cute pin!

Another gift from Jasmine is this absolutely gorgeous Hogwarts notebook. There's nothing I love more than a fresh notebook, especially ones this pretty. Look at the gold edges. I'm in LOVE.

My last two presents are sleep related. For those of you who don't know, I was diagnosed with insomnia last year and my quality of sleep is generally terrible, to say the least. I actively seek out anything to make nighttime a little easier on my poor self. Here's to hoping the nightshirt and Hedwig help me get some sleep!

I'm so in love with the bookish gifts I received this year! They certainly help the ageing process feel a little less daunting. I have plenty of book and blog related goals for the next year of my life. I just hope I can tick a few of them off my list.

What bookish gifts are on your wishlist?

Friday, 12 July 2019

REVIEW: The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

Pages: 355
Format: eGalley
Publisher: Hachette Children's
Release Date: 13th June 2019
Genre: Contemporary
Source: NetGalley
TW: bullying, panic attacks
Buy The Book: Book Depository 
Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn't want to go to parties - in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.

It's like she hasn't found her people ...

Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING - especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.

But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it's the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed's fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself ...

Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?

Before I start, I just want to say that I did actually devour this story through NetGalley in the run up to its release, but I’ve only just been able to sit down and write my review because of how hectic life got. I could really do with my own book club that goes on exciting adventures at the moment! But please know that I flew through this story very quickly because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.

We join Tabby as she starts a new chapter in her life, moving to a different town to be with her grandma. Whilst she’s trying to start afresh, the girl who bullied her at her old school continues to find ways to torment her. Being the book lover that she is, one of the first things Tabby does in town is head to the library. It's there that she comes across the advert for a book club. Hoping to get her grandma off her case about finding something to do over the summer, Tabby decides to give it a try.

Tabby is the perfect lead for a YA story. She's exactly the type of character that teen readers will be able to relate to, and she's experiencing things that countless people her age will have to deal with or may be faced with in the future. In a time when we can never really shut ourselves off from the online world, it's so important for authors to explore how bullies can target victims through social media. It also helps to show them that there is always a way forward, even when it feels hopeless.

Though she's having a hard time, Tabby gets to meet such wonderful characters through the book club that eventually becomes The Paper & Hearts Society. What I love most about these characters is how different they are, and yet they still manage to form a perfect team. Their readings tastes are also different, but it doesn’t matter in the slightest because they still love sharing stories and bonding through their love of words.

  • BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS! I could quite literally scream for hours on end about how much I love the concept of this story being based around a book club. It gives us so much fantastic and relatable content. But the absolute best part is that thanks to the characters all being major bookworms, and the fact that Lucy Powrie is of course a book blogging Queen, we get SO MANY MENTIONS OF BOOKS!!! The YA recommendations that are effortlessly slipped in here are truly iconic. I’m going to be hunting a few of them down in my local library, that’s for sure. 
  • PERFECTLY YA. I’ve said this before many times, but it’s so important that a YA book is actually YA. As someone who is now closer to 30 than I am 20 (hahahahahahahaha *cries*), I believe anyone should be able to read whatever books they want, no matter the target age range. But it’s so important that YA still remains aimed at the actual target audience. This is a book that teenagers will definitely be able to find parts of themselves in. Whilst I’m still able to enjoy it, I’m so grateful that this book wasn’t written with me in mind.
  • THE BEST BOOKISH ROADTRIP. This has to be one of my favourite roadtrips I’ve read in a story, simply because it’s any book lover’s dream. The gang visit so many places of note when it comes to literature. I may be extra jealous of the visit to Shakespeare’s house because I did actually have to opportunity to visit it when I was in high school but couldn’t afford the fee at the time. DAMN YOU, BILLY. 
  • Also throwing this out there: MAIN CHARACTER WITH GLASSES!!! As someone who has been in glasses since the age of three and will be for the rest of my life, I always seek out characters with glasses, especially ladies. There are always more male leads with glasses than there are female…
Genuinely, I could write out a list of 100 things I loved about this book, but we’d be here all day. The only tiny issue I had was that I rooted for the side pairing more than the main pairing, but I know that the sequel follows them a little more, so I am ridiculously excited. These characters are all super adorable and I cannot wait to see what they get up to next. Bring on the next bookish adventure!

Royal Rating:
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