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


Check Out the Rest of the Blog Tour!



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog

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 given a throwback challenge and I've decided as per the prompt to tackle 10 books I loved in my first blogging year. I hope you like my picks.

1) Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge - The first book I reviewed.
2) Night Owls by Jenn Bennett - The first ARC I received.
3) Counting Stars by Keris Stainton.
4) House of Windows by Alexia Casale.
5) The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury - It's Mel after all ;)
6) Dumplin by Julie Murphy.
7) Never Evers by Lucy Ivision and Tom Ellen.
8) Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler.
9) Across the Universe by Beth Revis.
10) The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury - Again, it's Mel.

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

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Monday, 11 September 2017

Cover Spotlight Monday: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Hi guys! I'm back with more regarding Daughter of the Burning City today because wow I just love this book (so far, ha, I'm still reading) and the cover is too pretty not to spotlight.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Seriously though, what a cover. I love so many things about it. First of all, maybe a little superficially, but I just love the two toned purple background. Purple is my favourite colour and so I'm always very quickly drawn to purple books. Second, the gold hat and filigree. This really does just evoke such a magical feeling, and instantly draws me into what the book is about. Magic, the circus, supernatural. It draws me in. It makes me want to know more about the world I'm about to step foot into.

The lettering is just exquisite and I'm not sure what it reminds me more of. On one hand I feel like it's supposed to be chalk letters, evoking a feeling of the travelling circus, headlines and dates changing rapidly with every town they visit. But it also reminds me eerily of bone and draws me into the murder mystery side of the book, wondering who might become a victim, what the consequences might be, and who the villain ultimately is.

Most importantly I love the tagline. Who is wicked? Or what? Which city will burn? And why? So many questions and all the answers just waiting to be revealed once the beautiful cover is pulled back. Moreover, what exactly is this beautiful cover hiding? A dark and sinister tale perhaps. Only time, and reading, will tell...

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

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Spotlight Sunday: Diversity Recs - Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Hello lovely readers! For Diversity Recs this Sunday I have a new release to spotlight! Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody was released 7 Sept in the UK (25 July in the US), and I was lucky enough to get both an e-ARC and also an early finished copy from YALC. My review will be up soon.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show. But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered. Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

This book is reported to feature a Bi-romantic, Asexual main character and I think that's just wonderful. Bi/Ace rep is very hard to find in YA, even in this modern era, and so its highly refreshing to see. As someone who identifies as Bi-romantic on the Asexual spectrum, I'm overjoyed by this rep. Absolutely ecstatic! I've started reading the book this weekend and I love it so far. The story is magical, intriguing in itself, but it's the rep I can't wait to see in its entirety.

We've all said it in so many tweets, but diversity is so important, especially in YA. So many teens deal with figuring out their identity and books can help a great deal, but only if they're diverse, only if these teens can see themselves in the characters. Had I read these books when I was younger I might have figured out my own identity earlier than 24. Books have power and authors have a responsibility to wield that power for the better. Books aren't just about entertainment. They're about life. That's why I'm overjoyed when such representation is presented in a YA novel. My heart swells.

So I'm off now to go and continue this wonderfully sounding tale. As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter! Thanks for reading, and check back Sunday 24th for a spotlight on a future release, Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller.

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf