Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Yummy Foods In Books

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 all! It's time for another Top Ten Tuesday and this time we've been asked to list our top ten favourite foods in books. Here's mine!

1) Space Custard - Moondust by Gemma Fowler

2) Oreos - Simon VS by Becky Albertalli

3) Mini Eggs - Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

4) Space Custard - Moondust by Gemma Fowler

5) Space Custard - Moondust by Gemma Fowler

6) Space Custard - Moondust by Gemma Fowler

7) Space Custard - Moondust by Gemma Fowler

8) Space Custard - Moondust by Gemma Fowler

9) SPACE CUSTARD

10) SPACE CUSTARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really couldn't think of many and I really love the idea of Space Custard ;)

What's your Top Ten Tuesday? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Monday, 16 October 2017

Cover Spotlight Monday: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Hey guys! It's time for another cover spotlight Monday and this time I'm featuring a new purchase I made last Friday that I'm so super excited to read. It's of course the revolutionary (See what I did there?) Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu!

Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.


How amazing does this cover look? First of all I love that it's pink. Pink's one of those colours that's been associated with girls but in an ultra-girly way that's made it a 'hated' colour for some. For Moxie, with the rest of the cover, specifically the raised fist, it reinvents the colour as powerful and strong. I love it.

Of course the raised fist clutching the pencil is the main feature of the cover but I absolutely love it. It speaks of power yes but also pushing through boundaries, of 'enough is enough', of revolution. It's a symbol that represents the book not just in the clutching of the pencil (In that Viv makes a feminist fanzine) but in the strength of women all around the world; of a universal feminist revolution; we are more than you expect us to be.

Lastly I love the fonts used on the cover because they are really just reminiscent of a typewriter, handwriting, hand drawn letters etc. It's just wonderfully thought out.

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

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Countdown to Christmas: Week Three - Review: The 12 Days of Dash and Lily by Levithan/Cohn

Hey guys! Now for our regularly scheduled Sunday night post, haha, it's Week Three of the Countdown to Christmas here on The Arts Shelf! Today I have a review of one of my favourite sequels and that is The 12 Days of Dash and Lily by Levithan/Cohn. This series was recommended to me by one of my best friends and I absolutely love these characters. I hope you enjoy.




Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone. Even though they are still together, somehow the magic has gone out of their relationship and it’s clear that Lily has fallen out of love with life.

Action must be taken! Dash teams up with Lily’s brother and a host of their friends, who have just twelve days to get Lily’s groove back in time for Christmas.





The 12 Days of Dash and Lily was such a wonderful Christmas read as well as a wonderful sequel. To not only be back with two of my favourite characters but being in their (and my own) favourite holiday as well was just a dream. The feeling of Christmas imbued in each page I never wanted it to end! I bought a copy in London last November and pretty much read it in a day it was that good. I adored it.

I'll admit that part of me was a little skeptical about Lily losing her Christmas spirit, being that it was one of the major elements of the first book, but at the same time it was part of what I loved about this book too. I loved seeing Dash and her family/friends rally around her and get up to all the adventures they have to try and save Lily's cheer. It was wonderful.

As always Dash was utterly adorable, as was their relationship. There's a lot of fun times in this book, and a lot of Christmassy feels. It really was pretty much perfect. I can't fault it one ounce. It's the perfect book to curl up with once all the Christmas Day madness is over. Definitely 5 stars!

Have you read The 12 Days of Dash and Lily? What did you think? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


10 Weeks To Go!

Countdown to Christmas: Week Two - Review: What Light by Jay Asher

Hey guys! A little late due to MH issues as I posted on Twitter, but here's Week Two of Countdown to Christmas with a review of What Light by Jay Asher. I actually received this book last year for review but unfortunately life sidetracked me a little, and as Christmas passed I suddenly didn't feel able to write a decent review. Therefore I bring it to you now as I begin settling back into my yearly Christmas cheer. I hope you enjoy it, and apologies to Pan Macmillan/MyKindaBook for it being late.

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 
Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.
By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

I absolutely adored this book. It was the perfect Christmas read.

First of all the setting. I've never been to Oregon or California, but the author describes both places with such detail that I felt as though I were really there. Specifically in regards to the tree farm, the lot, and the Christmas festivities, it really made me picture each scene so vividly, as if I were watching a movie rather than reading a book. It was wonderful.

The characters are so rich and vibrant, life like and bubbly and filled to the brim with Christmas cheer. Each one brought the story to life, imbuing each page with wintery joy. Sierra and Caleb were of course my favourites, both of them adorably cute and their relationship just *heart eyes* all around. Yes Caleb is the typical 'bad boy with a good heart' but their adventure was all around heartwarming, fun to read, and really gave me all those Christmassy feels that I love.

The story was engaging, dramatic in places with regards to Sierra's 'double life' so to speak, but overall it really was just a real winter warmer Christmas read. A little cheesy yes, reminiscent of those Hallmark classic movies we all love, but in a good way and I finished it in one sitting. It really is the perfect book to just curl up with by the tree, hot chocolate in hand.

Overall What Light gets a brightly shining 4 star rating, and is definitely up there with my favourite Christmas reads. Big thanks to PanMacmillan/MyKindaBook for the review copy.

Have you read What Light? What did you think? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


10 Weeks To Go!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Saturday Series: Love, Hate or Both? - TBR Piles

Hey everyone! For today's Saturday Series I thought I'd talk about something that's been bugging me for a long while; something that's always looming in the corner of my mind, and my eye.... That is of course my TBR pile. But I'm not just talking about 10, 20 or even 30 books. No. I'm talking about what I fondly call the TBR Pile of Doom. This is the thing that, one way or another, will probably kill me. Either kindly, as I read, or by falling atop me when my shelves decide to give up. It is out of control, and I love it. But I also hate it. See below.

The Main Shelf
This is quite literally a problem. A good problem, yes, in some ways anyway, but still a problem. See, I love buying books. I love the feeling of walking into a bookstore and knowing I'm going to spend a good hour enjoying browsing, deciding, and then walk out with a little lighter a purse but a bright smile on my face and a bag filled with new worlds to explore. The problem is that I get home and I don't read them. I get home and I read something else, or do something else. The books get lovingly laid out and have their photo taken for Twitter and the blog, and then they live their life on the shelf. It's sad. It's a problem.

The Secondary Shelf
Like I said, I love my TBR in one sense. I love being able to have a vast array of books to choose from. Hell, I love coming home to unexpected book mail from lovely publishers. I love rearranging my shelves and taking pretty pictures.

Overflow
What I don't love is the anxiety. Now this comes in two forms. Easier, I suppose, is the anxiety of choosing a 'general' new read. So flicking through the books I've bought to decide what I want to read. It's tough, but at the end of the day I can really only read one at once and there's no use wasting too much time choosing, so usually I either pick whichever I thought of/looked at first, or I let Twitter decide. Sometimes though, even this anxiety (atop all my other anxiety worries) does make reading feel like a chore.

Mostly Review Books Plus Current Reads
What's worse though is my anxiety over review books. I know I'm probably not the only one but I get so caught up sometimes in requesting gorgeous books or being happy over surprise book mail that I forget I can't read everything. This, along with the depression and anxiety over last year having made me scarcely want to read or blog at all, has caused a massive back log of books that I'm still trying to get through. The anxiety from this just seems to keep snowballing honestly, and I'm only now feeling able to slowly pull myself out of it. It's tough, and some days are worse than others, but I'm getting there. Still, having a mountainous TBR is not a help, nine times out of ten, no matter how well I feel or am progressing. All I can do, as I've been telling myself lately, is go one book at a time. I'll get there.

So those are my thoughts on my TBR. Do you suffer from the same issues? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Book Boy/Girlfriends!

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 all! It's time for another TTT and today I get to write about one of my favourite things; my favourite book boy/girlfriends! Yay!

1) Enjolras - Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: I love my Barricade-Babies but no more than fearless leader Enjolras!

2) Erik - The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux: Who doesn't love a tortured soul?

3) Merek Belmis - TSED series by Melinda Salisbury: Prince, King, Fighter. I just adore Merek.

4) Gino - Blood for Blood series by Catherine Doyle: My favourite of the brothers, and he's all mine ;)

5) Ange - House of Windows by Alexia Casale: I absolutely adore Ange; so quirky and loveable.

6) Jenna - Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima: Who doesn't love a kick ass warrior?

7) Magnus - A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess: I don't always agree with Magnus' attitude, but underneath he's got a sweet exterior.

8) Isabelle - TMI by Cassandra Clare: Do I need to explain? Isabelle is awesome.

9) Jem Carstairs - TID by Cassandra Clare: My first book boyfriend.

10) Ash - The Fandom by Anna Day: Just wait until you meet him ;)

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

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Monday, 2 October 2017

Cover Spotlight Monday - Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Hello all! Today for Cover Spotlight Monday I'm looking at a book that's only just been brought to my attention but that I adore so far, and that's Autoboyography by Christina Lauren! The cover is just too cute!

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

How adorable is this cover, seriously?! I just love it. First of all I love the image of Tanner and Sebastian silhouetted against the starry night. That image in itself just speaks of love - the sparkle of first love specifically - and beauty. It's just gorgeous.

Secondly I love the shooting star, as if symbolising bringing the two boys' wishes true; the miracle of them finding each other.

Most importantly though I absolutely adore the image of them standing atop the book, looking over the city. In one instance it symbolises the writing seminar that brought them together, almost as if both have climbed up one side each - toiling - to finally reach the other. In the other though I love the position they have over the city, as if symbolising that their love can overcome everything, even their families and/or the opinions of others.

What do you think of the Autoboyography cover? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf!


Sunday, 1 October 2017

Countdown to Christmas: Week One - TBR&R!

Hi guys! With the start of October comes the start of me thinking about Christmas, and that means Christmas reading begins! Wahey! Except last year I didn't do too well on that front, so I'm bringing back the Countdown to Christmas feature here at The Arts Shelf to help me along in my reading and just generally generate excitement leading to the big day! Lets get the jingle bells a rockin! Today I start simply with my TBR&R; that is, what I'm hoping to read, and review (Including a few missed from last year, uh oh!).

To Review:

What Light by Jay Asher
10 Days of Dash of Lily by Leviathan and Cohn

To Read and Review:

My True Love Gave to Me by Various and edited by Perkins
Let It Snow by Green, Johnson, Myracle
Wish Upon a Star by Trisha Ashley
The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams by Fiona Harper
Christmas At Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop by Jenny Colgan
Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens

So that's my initial Christmas TBR&R! What do you think? Any suggestions for further reads, or do you have a TBR of your own you wish to share? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


12 Weeks To Go!

September Wrap Up and October TBR!

Hey everyone. As it's October 1st today it's time for my September Wrap Up and October TBR! Yay! Unfortunately I didn't do too well this month, but I'm determined to get out of my book slump this October. Here's what I read, and what I hope to read;

Read in September:

Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourne
1/2 of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Continuing with The Fandom by Anna Day.

October TBR:

ARCs to catch up on:

The Waking Land - Callie Bates
Shadowcaster - Cinda Williams Chima
Flame in the Mist - Renee Adieh
The Last Thing You Said - Sara Biren
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee

Current/Future ARCs:

Satellite by Nick Lake
Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn
Book of Fire bu Michelle Kenney
Daughter of the Burning City - Amanda Foody
(Finish) The Fandom - Anna Day
Mask of Shadows - Lindsey Miller

Fun Picks:

(Finish) The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Songs About Us - Chris Russell
Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton

What do you think of my picks? I probably won't get through all of them but I like to have a selection. Do you have an October TBR? As always do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Release Day: Invictus and Language of Thorns!

Hello everyone! Just a quick post here to celebrate the release of Invictus by Ryan Graudin and Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo here in the UK today! YAY! I was lucky enough to get a Language of Thorns sampler a few weeks ago (with some gorgeous candles) from the lovely Team BKMRK, and to pick up an early copy of Invictus at Foyles a week ago Saturday, though I am still eagerly awaiting chance to read it.


Language of Thorns is a series of short stories set in the Grisha verse and while you'll get no spoilers from me, what I've read is exquisite and beautiful. Add in the amazing illustrations and you've got yourself one damn fine book. I can't wait to get hold of a finished copy!

Invictus meanwhile is the space opera of my dreams, for lack of a better word. A fabulous cast of crew members (from the promotion I've seen) and a red panda just equals *heart eyes* in every sense of the matter. I can't wait to dig into it as I've heard so many great things.

What do you think about these titles? Have you read either yet? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter, and thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Feature LGBT+ Characters

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.



Today we were given a little bit of free choice in our picks, the only prompt being 'Books that feature X characters'. I, of course, chose one of my main reasons for picking up a book these days, and that is books featuring LGBT+ characters!

1) The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Bi/gay boys who I adore.
2) Mask of Shadows - Genderfluid MC *Heart eyes*
3) Simon VS The Homosapien Agenda - Beautiful sweet gay boys
4) Noteworthy - Bi-girl who could also be seen as gender-queer
5) Queens of Geek - Lesbian/Bi relationship
6) Tash Hearts Tolstoy - Asexual MC *Also heart eyes*
7) Truth or Dare - Ace character
8) A Darker Shade of Magic - Cinnamon roll gay boys
9) City of Bones - Closeted then proud gay boy who just needs a big hug. Also a pansexual warlock.
10) Daughter of the Burning City - Bi-Ace MC *All the love ever*

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

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Monday, 25 September 2017

Cover Spotlight Monday: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Hi guys! I'm back again with more about The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. I just love this book so much and one of the things I love is the cover.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men. But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Obviously the main thing I love is Monty on the cover. While I love being able to picture the character myself, and maybe even fan-cast, I also love when covers feature the MC's of the book, because it also allows me to picture the author's intended look for the characters too. Also that smouldering stare really does just draw you in, doesn't it?

Mainly I just love this cover because its so fun. It pictures everything that Monty loves in life. Cards and music, while the fiddle represents Percy, the love of his life. Meanwhile the ship represents their trip, and the hat his duties when he returns. With the title font I think it just exudes fun, and therefore the european trip these two boys undertake within. With Monty's smouldering gaze I really am just drawn in; I don't know about you.

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

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Spotlight Sunday: Diversity Recs - The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

Hi everyone! Today I have a new Diversity Recs post for you all. I know I said I was going to spotlight Mask of Shadows, but I haven't had chance to read it yet, while this book is one I picked up during my trip to London last weekend and have started reading. I absolutely love it so far. It is of course The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee!

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men. But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

I've had this book on my TBR for so long and I was ecstatic to find it in Foyles. I absolutely adore Regency Era novels, and this one is no exception, but more importantly I was excited to read it for the representation of Bisexuality.

Henry 'Monty' Montague is our main character in GGTVAV, and he is proudly, unashamedly Bisexual. Even against his aristocratic father's wishes he spends most of his days waking beside both men and women, and is both proud and happy with his lifestyle. It's only when his father gives him the ultimatum of 'growing up and taking over the estate' or being disowned that things start to get complicated for Monty, but that doesn't change his attitude to his feelings, nor the very strong feelings for his best friend, Percy. Monty's attitude towards his sexuality is so refreshing. In many YA novels that feature Bi characters they are either not the main character or they spend a lot of the book figuring out their feelings. To find a character who knows immediately from the start who they are, and are proud of that fact, is like a breath of fresh air.  I love it. Lee's characterisation and writing of Monty is just *heart eyes*.

As someone who identifies as Bi-Romantic I am always ecstatic to find Bi characters in YA. After all doesn't everyone like to see themselves in what they read? This book itself is just wonderful, specifically - as I've said above - for its approach to to Bisexuality and Monty's proud self-identification. Many more books like this please publishing industry and I will be very very happy.

Have you read GGTVAV? What did you think? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Saturday, 23 September 2017

Saturday Series: Love, Hate or Both? - Musicals!

Hey everyone! For Saturday Series this week I've decided to write about one of my favourite things. If you know me, or at least follow me on Twitter, you'll know I adore musicals. Having been back in London last week to watch the 2017/18 cast of Les Mis for a second (and certainly not final) time, I thought this Saturday would be the best day to write about why I love musicals so much. It won't be too long (otherwise I literally won't stop!), but I hope you enjoy it.

Les Miserables - Probably my favourite musical
Musicals are feel good therapy - first and foremost. I don't know about you but when I've had a long day or feel stressed, there's nothing better than curling up with one of my favourite musicals (Usually Les Mis, Phantom, Rent or Newsies) and belting out a few show tunes, my feet tapping along to the beat. There's something just so uplifting about watching a talented cast give their all and put on an amazing show, whatever the story.

Newsies is definitely a feel good musical
Musicals are dramatic - Even in shows with hints of humour and less life or death situations, I always feel that the actors are very fierce in their portrayals. Maybe it's the medium itself - being live rather than 'just filmed' and so their emotions need to reach the back of the audience, meaning they can't be too subtle - or whether its simply a coincidence with all those I've seen, I'm not sure. Either way I always find myself a lot more invested in the characters of musicals than those of TV shows or movies.

For dramatic, I always have to go with Phantom
Musicals are togetherness - Don't get me wrong I can happily ramble about my favourite shows or movies to my hearts content with another fan, but there's something uniquely different about singing or even humming a few lines of a favourite show tune and having a family member or friend join in. I love having theatre sing-alongs with my family, either when watching a filmed show at home or simply singing along to a soundtrack, it's just amazing. There's also that feeling of walking out of the theatre with family or friends, all amazed by what you've just witnessed, gobsmacked by the talent, feet tapping down the pavement as you sing those all new favourite (or old beloved favourite) show tunes.

And of course, the best thing is watching them live. I will always and forever love the West End - I even have a T-Shirt to prove it.

Possibly the best T-Shirt I own
Do you love musicals? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

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 were asked to list our Top Ten Books on our Fall TBR, and though mine are very similar to my September TBR, I've added a few recent purchases too.

ARCs to catch up on:

The Waking Land - Callie Bates
Shadowcaster - Cinda Williams Chima
Flame in the Mist - Renee Adieh
The Last Thing You Said - Sara Biren

Current/Future ARCs:

Daughter of the Burning City - Amanda Foody
The Fandom - Anna Day
Mask of Shadows - Lindsey Miller

Fun Picks:

Songs About Us - Chris Russell
Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzie Lee
Invictus - Ryan Graudin

What does your Fall TBR look like? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf




Sunday, 17 September 2017

Blog Tour: ARC Review of Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourne

Hello everyone! Today I'm overjoyed to bring you my review of a wonderful YA fantasy for the official Blog Tour! I do hope you enjoy it. Big thanks to Faye Rogers for organising and sending me an e-arc, though my review is in no way influenced.

When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom? Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets. But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed. 


Fire Lines is a wonderful mix of all of my favourite fantasy elements; magic, different races, myth, discovery, lies and more. It's a twisting tale that will have you second guessing characters and actions with every turn of the page, and leave you breathless with anticipation for the second book.

Fire Lines follows Émi, who lives in the fear governed, walled city of Nhatu. Her life is all too cyclical, repetitive day in and day out, and seemingly never ending. She looks after her mother and her sole joy comes from her childhood friend Tsam, who seldom visits due to class divisions. Émi's hiding a dark secret though, a magical prowess she barely understands, and when it is revealed her world is turned upside down. Secrets more than own come to light and the world she thoughts she knew comes to life around her. If you're looking for a book that's relentless in both action and plot twists, then Fire Lines is the book for you; I raced through it in two days, desperate to know the jaw dropping conclusion at its finale. Featuring a dark villain and morally ambiguous characters, Fire Lines was a joy to read and has quickly become one of my favourite releases of this year. The story is just so rich not only in plot but characters, races and locations, that it was a beauty for my mind's eye to behold.

The characters were quite easily my favourite part. I've said it before but I love stories with a great range of characters, each real, flawed and all the same wonderful. Fire Lines did not hold back. Émi is our main character, feisty, passionate and one heck of a warrior. She fights for what she believes in, what she knows is right, and won't let anyone tell her otherwise. Kole was definitely my favourite character and I dare any of you not to fall for him. A Taman, a warrior with an elephant partner (Maya, you'll love her, and her son *Grin*), he fiercely protects Émi and their friends. Often withdrawn only she seems able to pull his true self out and show us how amazing he really is. Plus his relationship with Maya is so adorable. Garrett was my other favourite, my adorable little cinnamon roll. You'll also meet Tsam, fierce yet kind, and Garrett's very protective sister, Alyssa. There's a few more, but I won't spoil anything. Be warned though, there is heartbreak between these hallowed pages, another reason why I fiercely adored this book.

Last but by no means least, I have to mention the world that Thurlbourne has created. Bright, vivid, alive. This is a world you will want to live in, or at the very least explore yourself. I do. From dark Nhatu to beautiful Abilene, this is a world you can imagine being real and just don't want to leave. It's phenomenal. A beautiful map just adds to the vivid picture painted and makes the adventure contained in the pages all the more wonderful.

Overall, Fire Lines is an exciting, intriguing book that's well executed and draws you in quite easily, then refuses to let go. I absolutely adored it and can't wait for the sequel. Fire Lines deserves a most definitive 5 stars!


What are your thoughts on Fire Lines? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Information about the Book

Title: Fire Lines
Author: Cara Thurlbourn
Release Date: 26th September 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bewick Press
Format: Paperback


Author Information

Cara Thurlbourn writes children’s and young adult fiction. 'Fire Lines' is her first novel and it’s a story she’s been planning since she was fifteen years old.

Cara has a degree in English from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University.

She lives in a tiny village in Suffolk and has worked in academic and educational publishing for nearly ten years. Cara blogs about her author journey and in November 2016 she crowdfunded her first children’s book. 10% of its profits are donated to animal rehoming charities.

Cara plans to write at least two more books in the Fire Lines series, as well as a young adult mystery series, and has lots more children’s stories waiting in the wings.

You can sign up for Cara’s newsletter, for giveaways, updates and latest releases, here: www.firelines.co.uk


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