Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

Hey guys! It's time again for Waiting on Wednesday and today I've chosen the sequel to one of my favourite books of 2017 (See here) which is of course Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones, the sequel to Wintersong. Slight spoilers for book one.

Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her. 

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

I absolutely adored Wintersong and you can check out my full thoughts in my review here. One of the things I loved most was of course the characters. Liesl was a wonderful, strong, powerful heroine and I can't wait to see what challenges she faces in Shadowsong and how she overcomes them, but I also adored the Goblin King and I honestly can't wait to see what becomes of him and whether he actually gets his happy ending after breaking the rules to free Liesl and let her go back to our world, because he loves her. The ending was so heartbreaking and I really need to know that one of my favourite pairings has a happy conclusion! I also, as a musical theatre fan, loved some of the parallels with The Phantom of the Opera so, yeah, I love it and I need book 2 like now. I was lucky enough to get an ARC from the lovely publishers so I've had to wait even longer for Shadowsong and I just, I'm tired of waiting now. I need it. Please?

If you've read Wintersong, what are you looking forward to about Shadowsong? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Christmas Bookish Haul

Hey guys! Today I thought I'd show you the lovely books and bookish goodies I was lucky enough to receive (or buy for myself haha) on Christmas Day! I hope you enjoy!

1) Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris - This was a surprise gift from my Dad because he knows how much I love Christmas books and how much I love London. I can't wait to read it!

2) They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, and Alex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz - Two books I've been dying to get my hands on, so I treated myself!

3) Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige and Uprooted by Naomi Novik - These were gifts off a friend. I sadly own both, though I loved Stealing Snow, so I'm not sure whether I'll keep them or do a giveaway maybe, but it was such a lovely thought because she knows I love YA and fantasy so much.

4) Music for Book Lovers - This was also off my friend and I think it's amazing! I'll definitely be listening to it when I next read a book.

5) The Book Lovers 2018 Calendar - Another gift off my friend that features book recommendations each day. I can't wait to start using it!

6) A gorgeous black velvet journal - An amazing gift off a different friend that I absolutely adore! It's got gilded edges and is so soft; I'm actually scared to use it!

7) Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It notebook - A gift off a family member that is really poetic. It's a motto I'm going to live by in the new year and I can't wait to use this pretty notebook in part of it.

What books or bookish goodies did you get for Christmas? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2018!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, here, inviting bloggers and readers to list their top ten for a certain category.

This week we've been challenged to list our 10 books we're looking forward to in 2018; I hope you enjoy mine!

1) Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones - I adored Wintersong so I can't wait for the sequel.

2) Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu - I love Batman.

3) Legendary by Stephanie Garber - I adored Caraval so I can't wait for Legendary.

4) The Cruel Prince by Holly Black - I adore Holly's books and TCP sounds amazing!

5) State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury - My favourite author!

6) Floored by Various - Some of my favourite authors.

7) Everless by Sara Holland - I have an ARC of this but I'm looking forward to getting to read it.

8) Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings - I have an ARC of this but I'm looking forward to getting to read it.

9) The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee - I'm loving The Gentleman's Guide!

10) These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch - I adored Sara's trilogy Snow Like Ashes so I can't wait for her next book.

What are your TTT choices for this week? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Countdown to Christmas: Week Thirteen - Jólabókaflóð!

Hey guys! Tonight is Jólabókaflóð and in Iceland this means the annual Yule Book Flood, a tradition where Christmas Eve is reserved for giving, receiving and reading books all day long. How amazing! In honour I decided for my final Countdown to Christmas and December Blitz post to list which books I'm hoping to read over the Christmas period! I hope you enjoy it!

1) Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings.

2) Good Omens by Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman.

3) Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton.

4) Warcross by Marie Lu.

5) Songs About Us by Chris Russell.

6) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (This one's a little ambitious).

7) Everless by Sara Holland.

Plus some of the books left on my Christmas TBR and any gained tomorrow morning!

I doubt I'll get through them all, but we'll see.

Which books are you looking forward to reading? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Saturday, 23 December 2017

December Blitz 23: Books I've Read Over Xmas!

Hi guys! It's the penultimate post for December Blitz and the big day is almost here! I might not have managed a separate post each day, but I've managed to cover each day none the less and that's something I'm pretty proud of. So today, as I've not quite managed another book review, I thought I'd showcase which books I've read this Christmas holiday, so far! I hope you enjoy!

1) Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens - Review here.

2) Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle - Review to come.

3) A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Luddecke - Review to come.

Which books have you read over Christmas? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Friday, 22 December 2017

December Blitz 18 - 22: Mini Movie Mania 3

Hey everyone! I'm back again with another December Blitz Mini Movie Mania compilation! I do hope you enjoy my mini thoughts on which films I've been watching over the last few days.

Dec 18th: Muppets Christmas Carol - No Christmas is complete without this film being on at least once! It is the perfect Christmas movie.

Dec 19th: My Christmas Dream - A heartfelt film about a department store executive who has to make the perfect store display for the holidays with help from a good looking artist. Romantic, heart warming, and full of Christmas cheer.

Dec 20th: Nativity! - Funny, side splitting comedy about a school's nativity production. I loved it!

Dec 21th: Charlotte's Web - A few tears at Christmas but well worth it for such a wonderful film. Maybe not 100% Christmassy but considering it's about Wilbur getting to see his first snowfall, I'd say it counts.

Dec 22th: Rugrats Christmas Episodes - Not actually a film but it's Christmassy so who cares? I used to love the Rugrats as a kid and these episodes were awesome. Basically the babies and Angelica have to try and find Santa's workshop to get their gifts after the man in red quits, but end up realising the true meaning of Christmas.

Which Christmas films (or episodes) have you been watching over the Christmas period? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Hi guys! It's time for another Waiting on Wednesday and today I've chosen Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu!

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.
The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.
Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.
In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

If you know me you know I absolutely adore Batman and so when it was announced that none other than Marie Lu was going to be penning a YA novel about the dark vigilante I was ecstatic, and that feeling is still with me today! I absolutely can't wait to be able to read about Bruce in his teenage years; I think it's going to be fabulous!

What do you think about Batman? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Hope Santa Brings.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, here, inviting bloggers and readers to list their top ten for a certain category.

Hey guys! It's time for another TTT and this week we've been asked to list 10 books we hope Santa will bring. I half covered this in one of my Countdown to Christmas books but only listed 5, so I'll keep those and add five more.

1) Stalking Jack the Ripper/Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalo

2) They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

3) This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

4) More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

5) All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

6) Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz

7) Because You Love to Hate Me, edited by Ameriie

8) Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

9) Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

10) The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

What are your TTT picks for this week? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Countdown to Christmas: Week Twelve - The Best Things About Christmas Markets.

Hi everyone! Today for Countdown to Christmas I thought I would share my favourite things about going to the Christmas markets. I hope you enjoy!

So yesterday I was lucky enough to be able to go to London as one of my Christmas gifts to watch Les Miserables, and while I was there I decided to go to the Christmas markets that were set up in Leicester Square. I'd seen them being built when I'd travelled down in November for a week, and really wanted to be able to go around them. They were gorgeous, and below are some of my favourite things that I enjoyed about them, and about Christmas markets in general.

1) The atmosphere - I just love the atmosphere around the markets; the shared joy between everyone as we enjoy the festive season. Everyone is smiling, the happiness is almost palpable. The lights are bright, the smells sweet, eyes wide with excitement and wonder. It's amazing.

2) The drinks - Nothing beats a nice spiced cider or hot chocolate with marshmallows!

3) The food - Even better than the drinks are the food! From German sausages and Yorkshire pudding wraps (Manchester Market) to gingerbread goodies and French pancakes, there's something for everyone and it's all delicious.

4) The stalls - I love finding a great hand-crafted gift for a family member, friend or myself and the markets are the perfect place; a showcase of talent!

5) The experience - As a whole there's just something innately Christmassy about going around the markets. Red cheeks, gloved hands clutching a warm drink in one and a gingerbread in the other, features lit by the sparkle of lights and the joy of the season. I can't think of much better as far as festivities in December go.

What are your favourite things about the Christmas markets? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

1 Week To Go!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

December Blitz 16: Review - Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens

Hi everyone! For today's December Blitz I thought I'd review a book I just finished from my Christmas TBR and that is Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens! It was the first book I've read in her Murder Most Unladylike series (After checking I could without spoiling the previous ones) and I absolutely adored it! I have the first book ready and waiting to be read and am sure I'll be picking the other ones up when I next go shopping, perhaps in the sales?

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are spending the Christmas hols in snowy Cambridge. Hazel has high hopes of its beautiful spires, cosy libraries and inviting tea-rooms - but there is danger lurking in the dark stairwells of ancient Maudlin College.

Two days before Christmas, there is a terrible accident. At least, it appears to be an accident - until the Detective Society look a little closer, and realise a murder has taken place. Faced with several irritating grown-ups and fierce competition from a rival agency, they must use all their cunning and courage to find the killer (in time for Christmas Day, of course).

As I said Mistletoe and Murder was a wonderful book, both for Christmas and in its own right any other time of the year. First and foremost as a Christmas book it was wonderfully festive. Of course a murder mystery in itself isn't particularly festive, and both Daisy and Hazel address this within the book, but set against the backdrop of Cambridge, festooned with snow and Christmas merriment, I certainly got a whole heap of festive feelings. I also found that the race against the clock t find the culprit before Christmas Day an entertaining reversal of the usual happy countdown to Christmas. Where we would normally wish to whittle the days away, eagerly counting down the hours, Daisy and Hazel were making every second count, working against the pressure of such a looming deadline.

The world of Cambridge itself was wonderfully described. Having visited once myself and walked around a lot of the town, including along the river Cam, I could quite easily picture each and every scene with vivid detail. I wasn't just reading a book, I was vicariously living it.

Although the fifth book in the series (Not including novella's or compilations) being that it's my first, as said previously, I want to address the wonderful characters populating the novel. Daisy and Hazel are, both together and individually in their own right, wonderful heroines. Strong both apart and together it is their individuality and their ability to work so closely and so well with one another that not only pushed forward the actual murder plotline, but also fills the novel with such vivacity and energy that you simply do not want to put it down. Their friendship, almost a sisterhood, is something to be both reckoned with and envied. The other characters were also unique and individual, perfectly crafted to the point where they feel real and alive. Each one both added to the story itself, to the world, while also being a quite viable culprit in Daisy and Hazel's investigation. Specifically though I loved Alexander Arcady and George Mukherjee, rival detectives to Daisy and Hazel. They too were crafted both individually and to work well as a team, just as Daisy and Hazel, and I felt they added so much to the story. Not only was it intriguing to see how all four characters played against one another, but also to see how they worked when in competition, a somewhat more lighter element against the murder plotline and the darker secrets revealed beneath Cambridge's glamour.

The plot itself was incredibly well developed, with so many plot twists I could scarcely take my eyes away. I won't say too much but it's definitely very satisfying, and highly enjoyable. I especially loved the pages of handwritten notes to show where the girls were up to with their suspects during the investigation. These acted almost like an update or mini-summary for the reader, to make sure they stayed informed and weren't lost within the sometimes complex plot. It was wonderful to read. If you're looking for a suspense filled mystery, look no further!

I also really want to talk about the diversity in this book and how some of it was addressed, because I think it was just done so wonderfully. Hazel, along with brothers George and Harold Mukherjee, and a character called Alfred Cheng, all have a non-british heritage. Being that the book is set in the 1930's this is a decision made by the author that has great importance. At this time in our history there was a lot of ethnic prejudice in Britain, where only money seemed to be a somewhat overriding factor, and even then only just. This is a very important message, especially in our day now where prejudice is still rife, that runs throughout the novel. One scene that specifically stood out was where Hazel and Daisy were discussing Alfred as a suspect, and Hazel said they had to make 100% sure before they accused him, because there was little chance his side of the story might be listened to and a fair trial given. Representation is such an important aspect of literature and it is these very strong messages contained within what is a middle grade novel that will stand the test of time and help to inform generations to come of what true equality and love are really about. Furthermore there were a few lines at the end of the book regarding Harold and Bertie that make me wonder if a homoromantic relationship might be part of the next book, something which would be equally important, and which I would look forward to reading myself.

Overall I give Mistletoe and Murder a well deserved 5 stars and can't wait to pick up the other books in the series!

What are your thoughts on Mistletoe and Murder if you've read it? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Friday, 15 December 2017

December Blitz 11 - 15: Mini Movie Mania 2

Hey guys! It's time for another roundup of the movie's I've been watching this week for Christmas! I hope you enjoy!

Dec 11th: The Santa Clause 2 - I love this film almost as much as the first and every year I cannot wait to watch it again!

Dec 12th: A Family for Christmas - This one was a little slower and a lot less festive than some of the other new ones I've watched this festive season, but it was quite emotional and had a lovely moment of realisation for the main character and a nice open ending full of joy and hope.

Dec 13th: Disney Christmas Shorts - What can be better than all he favourite Christmas shorts from Mickey and co at the House of Mouse?

Dec 14th: A Rodeo and Juliet Christmas - I absolutely loved this film! I'd never before seen it in my life and although it was particularly, predictably cheesy, it was a wonderful film. Maybe not 100% Christmassy being that it was set in rural america with more horses than snow, but it certainly made up in feels and romance what it lacked in snow and lights. Lovely indeed!

Dec 15th: The Santa Clause 3 - My least favourite of the trilogy I'll admit but still a wonderful Christmas treat!

What Christmas films have you been watching lately? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter and thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Hey guys! It's time for another Waiting on Wednesday and this week I've chosen Legendary by Stephanie Garber!

Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling and breakout debut Caraval, following Scarlett’s younger sister, Tella, on a journey to the empire’s capital to fulfill a mysterious bargain.

I'm absolutely bounding with excitement waiting for the sequel to Caraval, entitled Legendary. Stephanie's book was one for which I received an ARC of from the lovely people at Hodder early last year and I loved it immediately. I'm not lying when I say I have multiple copies of the book and I am so utterly on pins waiting for Legendary. I absolutely need to know what happens. After the quite open ending to Caraval, and based on the title, I'm really hoping we learn more about the mysterious Legend.

Are you looking forward to Legendary? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Favourite Books of 2017!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, here, inviting bloggers and readers to list their top ten for a certain category.

Hey guys! It's time for Top Ten Tuesday and this week we've been asked to list our 10 favourite books of 2017! I hope you enjoy mine.

1) The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury - What else would be number one really?

2) Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones - I absolutely adored this book and can't wait for the second.

3) Moondust by Gemma Fowler - My favourite Sci-Fi of the year!

4) The Fandom by Anna Day - An amazing dystopian where fans in cosplay get transported to their favourite book/film! Out Jan 2018!

5) Fireblood by Elly Blake - One of the best sequels I have ever read!

6) Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourne - Such a wonderful fantasy.

7) Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee - Amazing Ace rep!

8) Caraval by Stephanie Garber - Truly magical.

9) Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - Amazing characters in an amazing world.

10) Noteworthy by Riley Redgate - Good bi rep and a wonderful musically enchanting storyline.

Which books are in your TTT this week? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Countdown to Christmas: Week Eleven - Non Christmas Films I Love At Xmas!

Hey all! Today for Countdown to Christmas I thought I'd talk about a few non Christmas films I love watching during the holidays! I hope you enjoy!

1) Harry Potter - With just enough time off for a seven movie marathon, what else would you do at Christmas?

2) The Chronicles of Narnia - Just the first one, if I'm honest, but most definitely one I love to curl up with one night over the holidays, hot chocolate in hand. Bliss.

3) Crocodile Dundee - Bit random, I know, but I love this movie so much and love to indulge a little in my favourites over the holidays.

4) Toy Story - The ultimate childhood movie!

5) Bridget Jones' Diary - Lots of laughs and lots of fun. The perfect film to watch with family and friends.

What are your favourite non-Xmas movies for over the holidays? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

2 Weeks To Go!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

December Blitz 6 - 9: Mini Movie Mania

Hi everyone! So everything has been a little hectic this week so I've had to collate a few of my movie reviews together in a smaller, more compact post. Considering my schedule for the next few weeks I might have to do this for more of December, depending on what I post about and when. I hope you all don't mind.

In the past few days these are the movies I have watched, along with my thoughts.

Dec 6th: Prancer Returns - Over the top cheesy Hallmark fun, but one of my favourite films to watch over Christmas. It's just so innately magical and always has me feeling the joy and amazement of the season anew.

Dec 7th: The Santa Clause 1 - Possibly the ultimate Christmas film. What's better than curling up with a hot drink, lights on the tree, and watching The Santa Clause? I honestly can't think of anything. The ultimate festive film!

Dec 8th: Christmas Mail - Another cheesy classic but I love it. Santa's daughter goes to work in the mail room of the US postal service, answering letters from children to the man in red, and falls in love with a postal worker whose niece just wants him to be happy. Adorably romantic and heartwarming!

Dec 9th: Scrooged - A classic Christmas film that I always enjoy watching. There's just something about Bill Murray's portrayal in the classic story with a modern twist that I adore. Plus the comedy always has me clutching my sides!

As always thanks for reading and do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Hey guys! It's time for another Waiting on Wednesday and this week I've chosen The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

If you know me you know I love anything by Holly Black and The Cruel Prince is no exception. I've been waiting for this book for so long and honestly cannot wait until it comes out. Fairies, high court, dark secrets; what could be better?! I'm honestly so excited and counting down the days until Jan 2nd! Not long now!

Are you excited for The Cruel Prince too? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

December Blitz 5: Movie Review - Love You Like Christmas

Hey guys! It's time for another December Blitz and another movie review! This one's quick because I'm kind of on the last minute and need to sleep but I promised one every day, so... Enjoy!

Today I'm reviewing a lovely romance called Love You Like Christmas.

"A high-powered executive reconsiders her priorities when car trouble leads her to Christmas Valley, a town in love with Christmas."

This film was a little bit predictable in the beginning especially I'll admit, with your main character a typical workaholic who gets stuck in a small town that loves Christmas at the most inopportune time. She obviously suffers from a work/romance imbalance which is the centre of the drama that unfolds as she falls for the guy in the small town with a cute daughter, who all love Christmas.

At the same time it was more than that. It was warm and fuzzy and romantic, yes. It was very christmassy and wholesome, yes. But it also had an important message about how much work can dictate our lives and that it shouldn't get in the way of the important things, in the way of what we really want. So really, at the crux of it all, it was a lovely story about life.

I'd definitely recommend it for a lovely winter watch, especially if - like me - you're feeling a little overwhelmed by everything at the moment and need a bit of a spirit booster.

As always thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Bookish Settings I'd Love To Visit.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, here, inviting bloggers and readers to list their top ten for a certain category.

This week we've been asked to list our Top Ten Bookish Settings, so here's mine!

1) Lormere - The Sin Eater's Daughter trilogy.

2) Narnia - The Chronicles of Narnia.

3) Hogwarts - Harry Potter.

4) Revolutionary France - Les Miserables.

5) Paris Opera House - Phantom of the Opera.

6) Red London - A Darker Shade of Magic.

7) Tempesia - Frostblood.

8) Caraval - Caraval.

9) Arden - Flamecaster.

10) The Magisterium - Magisterium Chronicles.

Which bookish places would you love to visit?

As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Monday, 4 December 2017

Cover Spotlight Monday: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Hey guys! Today for Cover Spotlight Monday I'm featuring the amazing UK cover for Renegades by Marissa Meyer! WOOOOOO! I managed to get an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley and I cannot wait to get around to reading it! I'm so psyched!

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

If you know me you know I love superheroes so this book is totally my thing but look at that cover! Isn't it gorgeous? I really love how simplistic the design is, matching the simplicity of her previous release, Heartless, which I also loved, so they'll go lovely together.

The main thing I love is the design really. The centre design really captures every iconic image regarding superheroes in one lovely but simple mash up. The two characters mirroring each other shows their opposition, while the lightning bolt design imbues the cover and therefore the story with energy and electricity.

I also love the blue theme that (if you've seen the US promo pin badges) stands for the Renegades, while the tag line brings a sense of intrigue. It's definitely one of those books I'd buy on the cover alone! What do you think?

As always thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

December Blitz 4: Movie Review - On The 12th Day Of Christmas

Hey guys! Time for another December Blitz post and today it's another movie review from the Christmas 24 channel! Yay!

Today I'm bringing you a review of On the 12th Day of Christmas; a really heartwarming tale reminiscent of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares/The 12 Days of Dash and Lily.

"Maggie is thrilled when Mitch, her long time crush, moves back to town. When she learns Mitch's love for Christmas has drastically changed, she tries to bring his holiday spirit back by showing him the magic of Christmas."

This was a wonderfully Christmassy film to watch this past week, with a good dose of romance right on top. It was actually - in a way - more a romcom set at Christmas than a Christmas romance in the sense that the plot itself could have taken place at any time in the year, but it was made all the more special by being at Christmas. Basically Maggie finds out Mitch - her long time crush - has fallen out of love with Christmas, which he once adored (as shown via flashback), so she sets out to give him 12 Secret Santa gifts to remind him of the joys of the season. Obviously things are never that simple though and hijinks ensue.

The giving of the gifts reminded me a little of the Dash and Lily books by Levithan and Cohn, and I think that was one of the things I loved about the film. It was cute and romantic, if not a little cheesy, in all the right places and really gave me those ooey gooey Christmassy feels. If anything it made me want to surprise someone with my own 12 Days of Christmas gifts!

Unlike a lot of Christmas films however this one actually had an emotional storyline running through the centre, a character driven centre rather than plot driven, so to speak, and I think it lent a lot to both characters and story. I for one was definitely wiping away a few tears in the closing moments.

Overall this film is a wonderful one to watch this Christmas, but do have a box of tissues handy!

As always thanks for reading and do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Spotlight Sunday: Diversity Recs - Why The 'Love, Simon' Movie Is So Important!

Hello my lovely readers! Today for Spotlight Sunday: Diversity Recs I decided to talk about one of the most awesome things that happened this week, and that is the release of the 'Love, Simon' trailer! If you're not familiar, 'Love, Simon' is the name of the upcoming mainstream movie based on Becky Albertalli's fabulous book 'Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda'. It looks so freaking amazing and I can't wait to see it! Specifically though I wanted to talk about why this movie is such a big deal and what it means to the LGBT community.

Firstly, this is a mainstream movie. It's not a little independent studio taking on this book. It's big. It's real. It's a big, real film about a gay teen, and that is huge. Rarely before has the LGBT community had such amazing representation in mainstream cinema, and we could not be more excited about it! I've watched the trailer myself a good few times and I keep getting even more excited each time I do; it just looks so amazing. True to the book, yes, but also on its own just a wonderful romance with a gay teen at its heart. Perfect.

Secondly, of course, the film isn't just about someone who is gay. It's about a gay teen. That's huge in itself. I'm sure I won't be the only person in their mid 20's still figuring out who they are in this crazy world, but I'm sure I would have figured a lot of it out sooner if I'd had such wonderful accurate rep in mainstream media and books as a teen. So for this movie to come out when there will be a whole generation of teens struggling with those same issues is just wonderful.

Lastly, the messages in the book, and therefore no doubt in the film, are so poignant, so applicable to today's world.

"Straight people should have to come out too."

"There shouldn't even be a default."

Those powerful messages are going to be in a mainstream movie and wow... That's just... Wow.

I honestly cannot wait for this movie to finally be released. It will be a long time coming indeed, in more ways than one.

Thanks for reading! As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Countdown to Christmas: Week Ten - Ten Books I Would Gift!

Hello everyone! It's time again for another Countdown to Christmas and today I'm talking about the ten books I would gift to a book lover. They're not specific categories or anything, just books I love that I would always love to share. I hope you enjoy!

1) The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury - Ya'll know I love this series so much, so of course it's here. I've already gifted it once or twice!

2) House of Windows by Alexia Casale - Another one of my favourites and so awesome!

3) Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - A Christmassy favourite along with the sequel, The 12 Days of Dash and Lily.

4) Roseblood by A G Howard - Perfect for any Phantom fans!

5) Vendetta by Catherine Doyle - Who doesn't love mafia boys?!

6) Moondust by Gemma Fowler - Space fun!

7) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - I don't really need to explain this one, do I?

8) A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab - Kell, Lila, Rhy and Alucard all the way!

9) Wing Jones by Katherine Webber - Such a beautiful book and so poignant!

10) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - Victorian London and wonderful characters. One of my faves!

What gifts would you give this holiday season? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

3 Weeks To Go!