We are officially halfway through 2018!! 😱 How did that happen?!?
This year has been fantastic so far, and it's quite possibly my best reading year of all time! It's also seen the start of this very blog and I couldn't be happier with it, and just wanted to again thank everyone who's dropped in, read my posts, commented, shared and subscribed! 😊
I've had so many blogs planned for the past two weeks but with work being a little crazy this time of year, and my daughter's birthday on the horizon, I haven't managed to do half as much as I'd have liked to, so I'm trying to catch up this weekend, starting with my June book roundup!
I started eight books this month, and finished seven, as I'm still reading Nevernight (although I'll probably have that finished later tonight)! Here's a closer look at the books I read in June 2018 (just click on the title to head over to the review):
Killing It by Asia Mackay (NetGalley eARC) - This book grabbed my attention while I was lost in the depths of NetGalley. It's a spy story with a very feminist twist and I really enjoyed the 'mum'-humour.
Legendary by Stephanie Garber - Legendary was fantastic! 😍 I absolutely loved this book and it's definitely one of my favourite reads this month! Now, to try and wait patiently for Finale!
Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener - This was my only re-read this month and I'm so glad I took the time to reacquaint myself with these fantastic characters in preparation for book 2!
Running With Lions by Julian Winters - I'm a little ashamed that this was my only LGBT book this month, but it was a very good one. This is a super sweet 'friends to enemies to lovers' romance that is perfect for summer!
Between Frost and Fury by Chani Lynn Feener (Paperback ARC) - I absolutely loved the second instalment in this ya, sci-fi series. I've been looking forward to it forever and my review will go live on July 16th as part of the Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Tours!
Captivating Melody by Katherine McIntyre (eARC) - This book was a surprise last-minute addition to this month's TBR, but I devoured this paranormal romance. It was such a good start to the series!
When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn (NetGalley eARC) - Whilst I did read the whole book, hoping it would grip me, I just couldn't connect with this book and so sadly, I won't be reviewing this one.
I was hoping to read more LGBT books for Pride month 🏳🌈 but I got a little sidetracked by all of the ARCS. Hopefully, July will bring more LGBT rep my way! 🤞
Have you read any of the books on my list? What did you think?
Books I bought this month:
Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (Waterstones)
Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Charity Bookshop)
Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman (Charity Bookshop)
M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman (Charity Bookshop)
The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas (Charity Bookshop)
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian (Waterstones)
Circe by Madeline Miller (Waterstones)
The Surface Breaks by Louise O' Neill (Waterstones)
I know I've bought some eBooks but I can't remember which ones! 🤦
I also received two book boxes this month which included:
Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart in the Fairy Loot June 'Rebels in Ballgowns' Box
All of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor in the Book Box Club June 'Bad Girls' Box
The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke in the Book Box Club June 'Bad Girls' Box
Have you read any of these? Which would you recommend?
Keep an eye out for my next post where I'll be sharing what's on my ARC shelf! 😃
Happy Friday! 😄 What will you be reading this weekend?
The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. There are only 4 rules:
To keep up with this month's pride month reads, today's quote is from the wonderful Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister. I loved this book so much. It's heart-felt, sweet, tender and has a fantastically passionate human rights protest coursing through it. It's releasing on the 2nd July, so look out for it!
Here's the synopsis for Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister:
Being perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Sixteen-year-old Declan is the perfect son . . . except for one tiny issue. When his sister Delia comes home to find him trying on her clothes, he fears her judgment, but she only fears his fashion choices. One quick makeover later, Declan is transformed into Delia’s mysterious cousin Layla and dragged to the party of the year, hosted by Carter, the most popular boy in school.
When Carter meets Layla, he fumbles to charm her. He adores her sense of humor and her poise. But when she vanishes in the middle of the night, he’s left confused and determined to solve the mystery of who she is.
As their school year begins, their high school embraces a policy of intolerance, and both Declan and Carter know they must stand up. Carter is tired of being a coward and wants to prove he can be a knight in shining armor. Declan is sick of being bullied and wants desperately to be himself. If they team up, it could be a fairy-tale ending, or a very unhappy ever after.
Here's my chosen quote from 56%, it's a bit longer than usual:
"It surprised me that she treated is so casually, like, 'Here's this thing I've never told anyone, and it's like crucial to my identity. Here you go!' So I stood there, wondering, like angry even, that she's be so nonchalant about it. Then I realized..."
What do you think?
Feel free to share your thoughts and links in the comments below, and have a wonderful weekend!
The #TopTenTuesday meme is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl and this week's theme is 'Series I'd Like to Finish Someday'.
The original theme for this week was 'Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish' but it's a little too negative for me and there was a similar theme a few weeks back, so I decided to switch things up and opted for 10 book series that I'm looking forward to finishing or continuing with (even if with most of them, I don't actually want them to end! 🙈)
Here we go:
The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman - Much to my surprise (because sci-fi isn't typically my thing and the format is insane) I absolutely loved Illuminae. The characters, the plot twists and the comedy are amazing and I'm really looking forward to reading book 2 and eventually finishing the series.
Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber - This series is shaping up to be one of my all-time favourites! I was swept away by Caraval, fell in love with Legendary and I'm both excited and terrified for Finale!
The Xenith Trilogy by Chani Lynn Feener - This series is fantastic so far! It's an action-packed YA sci-fi, with a strong, feisty heroine, handsome brooding aliens and fantastic world-building. I can't wait to see how it all ends!
Spellslinger Series by Sebastien De Castell - This series has gone from strength to strength, each book proving to be better than the last. I love Reichis, the blood-thirsty squirrel cat and can't wait to see how things turn out for him and Kellen!
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas - Throne of Glass was the first book I read by Sarah J. Maas and so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm both excited and nervous to find out how it all ends. I have to admit, the title of the final installment has me a little nervous...😱
Naughty Princess Club Series by Tara Sivec - This series is hilarious. Tara is one of my favourite authors, particularly because of her romantic comedies. Be prepared for headstrong women, sisterhood and outrageous humour!
The Underworld Saga by Chani Lynn Feener - This paranormal YA romance, is packed full of Greek mythology. It's lead by a headstrong girl, willing to do whatever it takes to get her boyfriend back from the dead, even if it means making a deal with the devilishly handsome Hades himself...I don't usually like love triangles but Chani executes them perfectly and I need to find out what how this ends!
Guide Series by Mackenzie Lee - This may well be my favourite book of the year so far. I can't get enough of Monty and Percy, they are too sweet for words and I love Felicity. She's intelligent, fierce and brilliant and I'm so so happy that she has her own book coming out later this year! 🤗
Legacy of Orïsha Series by Tomi Adyemi - The first book in this series was so much fun! I loved the characters, the culture and the world-building. I'm so excited to see what happens next!
The Smoke Thieves Series by Sally Green - I love that this ya, fantasy novel has an LGBT story line. I'm desperate for more and need the next book immediately!
There you have it! My Top Ten Tuesday!
Have you read any of these? What did you think?
Feel free to leave your thoughts and links in the comments below 😊 until next week...
Rating: 4 STARS
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Standalone/Series: Discord's Desire #1
How I got this book: ARC from the author
Cross a satyr, a siren, and an incubus with rock and roll, and you get Discord’s Desire, a band of panty-dropping hellions whose live shows incite orgies. Of course, their booking manager, Liz O’Brien, gets saddled with the monumental task of keeping the boys in line. She’s not your average chick, resistant to glamour of the fae and fame variety, which only makes her more tempting to their lead singer, Kieran Blackmore. With his incubus charms, silken voice, and GQ looks, he could have any girl he wants—except Liz. She doesn’t do serious flings, and she’s determined to keep things professional.
However, when Kieran’s brother sends hitmen after the band, Liz discovers others with her abilities—hunters, who just declared themselves enemies of the fae. Liz leans on Kieran for support, who proves his dedication at every step. Fae mercenaries might attack post-show, but Liz has her Beretta to handle that. What terrifies her more than any monster chasing after them is how she’s falling for Kieran. Her deep feelings trigger every ‘run-away’ sensor in her foster kid handbook, and worse, with war brewing between the hunters and the fae, their love can only end in heartbreak.
I love a good paranormal romance (and I haven't read one in a little while), so when I received an email from the author offering an ARC, I loved the sound of the synopsis and decided to read it straight away.
I enjoyed this book from the start and literally flew through it. I read it in two short sittings and just devoured it.
The characters are fun, and the pace is great, making it easy to fall into and at no point did I feel bored or start losing interest.
It's a light, easy romantic read with plenty of plot and character tension. The continuous action is delivered in the form of various monsters, creatures and hellish exes that are thrust into the bands' path, and I particularly like the creepy sea creature.
Liz is the heroine of the story. She's feisty, strong, protective of her boys and I love that she's capable of holding her own around these 'more powerful' beings. She's sassy and smart, but with a complicated past and unique abilities that make her an instant target.
"For Liz O'Brien, the monster under the bed was always real."
Kieran is the sexy hero of the story. He's tough, protective and yet at the same time he's sweet and one hell of a flirt. 😍😍😍
The two of them together are incendiary. The constantly building sexual tension makes for a very steamy read that culminates in a lovely, sweet ending.
I love that each band member has a distinct, distinguishable personality and I'm looking forward to each one having their own story in this series.
If you're looking for a romance with a kick that's full of creepy creatures, bitchy exes with claws, sinfully good-looking rock stars and a tough, kick-ass heroine who isn't afraid to step into the line of fire to protect those she cares about, even if she does have trouble accepting affection from others, I'd highly recommend Captivating Melody.
I'm always super excited for the FairyLoot boxes - these boxes are so well put together that each month seems to be the best box ever and honestly, this month is no exception.
The June 'Rebels in Ballgowns' themed box has blown me away, I can't get over how much I love it!
What I think I love most about FairyLoot is how much effort they put into their presentation. The box screams of value and it's brilliant for taking photos. The box is stunning, both inside and out, each exclusive item is well-made, gorgeous and featuring the FairyLoot logo and the book comes in a really handy FairyLoot bag each and every time.
Receiving this box for the past three months has been so much fun and even now, I'm looking forward to the next one!
Here's a quick re-cap of what FairyLoot told us about this box before we dive in:
🎭 We are so excited to reveal that the June theme is ‘Rebels in Ballgowns’! This box is inspired by stories where there are rebels dressed in ballgowns - we love books where the main character is on a secret mission but has to dress up, particularly if it involves a masquerade party!
🎭 The book we are featuring won’t be out until the end of July, so you’ll be getting it a whole month before everyone else! It will also be an exclusive hardcover edition (the standard UK edition is paperback) and it is stunning! It’s an addictive feminist fantasy read with immersive descriptions - we can’t wait for you to read this wonderful book! It will also come with a signed bookplate, letter from the author and other goodies.
🎭 In this box you will find items inspired by Legendary, Shatter Me, The Selection and Nevernight. There is an item in this box that we have never ever included in any of our previous boxes and we are SUPER excited for it! We’ve spent months working on this item and we think you guys are going to love it!
I'm so ridiculously excited to share this box with you, let's open it up!
As always, we're presented with incredible FairyLoot artwork designed by my favourite artist Tara Spruit!
I spy a candle, and something red that looks too big to be a booksleeve...
Let's check out the book of the month!
This month's YA Fantasy novel is Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart. It promises a feminist story line full of fierce females, rebellion and a ball! The synopsis reminds me a little of The Hunger Games, but for royalty. It sounds good and I can't wait to dig in!
It's a lot shorter than the books from the two previous boxes, which I'm happy about as I might actually get chance to read it before the next FairyChat, unlike last month! 🙈
The cover has gorgeous gold foiling on the front and back, with a gorgeous fiery design. It's also a FairyLoot exclusive as this book cover is only printed in paperback in the UK but FairyLoot subscribers are lucky enough to receive the hardcover! As an added bonus, the book doesn't release until the end of July, making this even more special!
It also features a very special hidden cover on both the front and back of the book! Just check out the pics below, it's stunning!! 😍😍
Isn't it beautiful?!? 😍🤩😍
As always, there's a signed bookplate from the author, along with another gorgeous print that doubles as a lovely letter from the author (with a positive feminist message) and a lovely postcard print!
Oh, and let's not forget the trusty FairyLoot drawstring bag to keep the book safe! I love these bags they're super practical, and pretty too!
I'm done, this box just destroyed me!!
LEGENDARY CUSHION COVER!! 😍😱😍
This exclusive cushion cover designed by the incredibly talented Miss Phi is so beautiful I want to scream. The quote from Legendary by Stephanie Garber, the tarot cards, the roses - it's all amazing! I'm so in love with this that I've already bought a cushion so that I can appreciate it in all it's squishy glory.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I love how much effort goes into the packaging and design of these exclusive items!
First up is a collection of magnetic bookmarks designed again by Tara! Isn't her work beautiful?
I haven't yet read the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, but it's been on my radar for a while and I now need to buy the books simply to use these gorgeous bookmarks!
I've never had an iron-on patch before, and my first thought upon seeing this exclusive design by Ink and Wonder, was that I really need to buy a denim jacket, just for this patch, so I'll be on the lookout for one the next time I brave going clothes shopping *shudders visibly*.
I've saved the best for last here because I am in LOVE with this exclusive reading journal!! I've never had a reading journal before and it's incredible! I don't even want to write in it because my handwriting sucks and I don't want to tarnish it! The journal was designed exclusively for FairyLoot members by FictionTea Designs and the inside is stunning. The sections are coloured (a little like the Hogwarts houses but with a few extra colours) and it's packed full of gorgeous book quotes by Stella's Bookish Art!
It's absolutely gorgeous, and practical and I'm in love with it! 😍😍😍
Arrgghhh!! This box is AMAZING!!
I'm currently reading (and loving) Nevernight by Jay Kristoff so I am so happy about this exclusive 'Corvere' candle by the wonderful folks at Geeky Clean! It smells wonderful (of strawberries and pepper) and I love the design on the side.
One reason I love this month's theme so much is the 'masquerade' feel (I'm a huge fan of balls (um, of the party variety 😂) i.e Pride and Prejudice, Phantom of the Opera, Legendary and Ash Princess to name but a few) and this exclusive masquerade necklace designed by the FairyLoot team is simply stunning! It's absolutely gorgeous and even better, it's nickel-free! I can't wait to wear this, but first to find a ball I can crash...
Last, but most certainly not least, we have a few bookish extras including the matching 'Rebels in Ballgowns' bookmark, the FairyScoop interview with this months featured author, Tracy Banghart and an expert/poster for Sea Witch by Sarah Henning.
Overall, I can't get over how much I absolutely love the June Fairy Loot Box! It's probably my favourite so far since I received my first box in April this year. I love these boxes so much and can't wait for the Fairy Loot, July, 'Power Within' theme!
Feel free to check out all of my unboxing photos in the slideshow below and let me know what you think in the comments!
Happy Friday! Who's ready for the weekend? 🎉
The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. There are only 4 rules:
Can you believe there's only one week left in June?!? 😲
This week I'm sticking with the Pride theme but I'm moving away from YA, this time opting for an adult romance novel by the spectacular Anyta Sunday!
I love Anyta's diverse range of m/m romance novels, and this one is no exception. It's a sweet friends to lovers story that I fell in love with.
Here's the synopsis for Taboo For You by Anyta Sunday:
Sam’s freaking out. He’s 30 in three weeks. And what has he done in his twenties? It’s pretty simple math: nothing exciting at all. But hey, he has three weeks right? Maybe that’s just enough time to tick his way through a 20s Must Do List . . .
Luke’s freaking screwed. He’s come out to his family, and his friends. Except there’s a certain someone who doesn’t know yet: his neighbor of 7 years. Who also happens to be his best friend. Who Luke needs to tell the truth, but he just . . . can’t . . . seem to . . .
Jeremy’s freaking over-the-moon. It’s the countdown to his 15th birthday, and his goal is simple. No matter what, he’s going to spend heaps of time with saucy Suzy. But first he needs to get his over-protective, no-girlfriend-'cause-you’ll-get-her-pregnant parents off his back. And what better way than pretending he’s gay?
Sam, Luke, and Jeremy. Three guys who have a lot of history together, and a lot of future too--
—well, if they can sort out their issues, that is.
Here's my chosen quote from 56%:
"Feeling has taken me over, and there's not much room for thinking about why this feels as good and as easy as it does, or why it's much more gentle and tender than I imagined it would be.
The characters in this book are sweet, sincere and impossibly naive. I had a lot of fun and didn't want it to end.
What do you think? Does this sound like something you'd enjoy?
Don't forget to post your Friday56 links in the comments, and have a wonderful weekend! 😊
It's time to unbox the June 'Bad Girls' box from Book Box Club!
I won't ramble on this week, let's just jump right in!
Here's a quick recap of the June theme and the info provided by Book Box Club when ordering:
Our June theme will be.... BAD GIRLS and we can’t wait to share it with you because...
💄Our June featured read is amazing and follows a group of book-loving teenagers united by their shared obsession that will lead them to question the blurred lines between reality and fiction and pull them deep into a world of privilege, notoriety and manipulation. You can be sure of one thing when reading this book... you can't trust anyone! This addictive read is a stunning contemporary paperback perfect for fans of (previous Book Box Club read) One of Us is Lying, We Were Liars and After the Fire.
💄Our June BAD GIRLS boxes will also contain A BONUS BOOK! We are thrilled to have the chance to share a hotly anticipated ARC that won't be published until October (!). Our bonus book tells the story of a badass band of female monster hunters who are bad girls at their most blood-thirsty! *The bonus book will be included in Book Box Club boxes only and not Purely Books parcels.☺️
💄Book Box Club members will receive a whole bundle of bookish goodies inspired by some of our favourite ferocious females in fiction and created by talented crafty people! Stand by in the coming weeks for some very exciting supplier reveals...
💄Our featured read will be accompanied by a signed bookplate from the author and will arrive beautifully gift-wrapped in silver paper and string. And of course, a Book Box Club parcel just wouldn’t be complete without an invitation to our members-only online book group! We are already so hyped to discuss our June book with you all!
I'm getting a little addicted to having two books in one box lately!
Let's look inside! Here's the main book:
I've seen this book circulating social media a lot lately and it sounds intriguing. I loved One of Us Is Lying and I can't lie and say I didn't enjoy the few episodes of Pretty Little Liars that I watched, so I'm really excited to read this book!
Have you read All Of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor?
The book comes with a signed bookplate which is always nice and a pretty cool postcard print from Bloomsbury.
Is it wrong though that I'm WAAAY more excited about the ARC book this month? I've had my eye on this for a while and it's so pretty I could scream!! 😍😍😍
The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke is a YA fantasy about four female mercenaries and I am so there for this! #girlpower 👭👭
The first bookish item in this weeks box is this Bellatrix Lestrange pencil tin designed by Kristin Askland and filled full of jelly beans! The design is absolutely gorgeous and the jelly beans inside look and smell delicious!
I mean, how pretty do they look?!?
The second item this month is a coconut-scented shower gel that's been created exclusively for Book Box Club by Soul and Soap and is inspired by the lead character in this month's featured read.
I couldn't resist using this already because it smells divine!
Up next we have three 'bad girl' inspired items!
First up is this funky, Queen of Hearts quote print designed by Kate Louise Copsey - I love how bright and eye-catching this is!
I absolutely love the Maleficent inspired pencil and will definitely be storing this inside the Bellatrix tin once the jelly beans have been gobbled up. This item was created specially by Book Box Club.
Last, but not least, we have another item created by Book Box Club, exclusively for this box. It's inspired by the And I Darken Series by Kiersten White, which I haven't read yet, and features a quote from the series.
There were also a couple of bookish extras from Macmillan and Scholastic which were a nice little bonus. You can see these and more unboxing photos in the slideshow below!
Thanks for reading 😊 Which item do you like the look of the most? Let me in the comments!
Hey! Thanks for stopping by! 😊
I've been thinking about doing this post for a while but I've been putting it off because I only started my bookstagram account a few months ago and I felt that trying to do a tip/advice post was a little presumptuous.
I've decided to sod it, because actually I really struggled to get started with bookstagram, I felt completely out of my depth even though it was something I was excited to start and I would have loved some advice. I looked for it, but everyone seemed to have fantastic setups, with big, expensive cameras, fancy lighting, backdrops, millions of props, huge spaces and it was somewhat intimidating.
Ironically, I also thought sod it at the beginning because I decided to go for it anyway, and I'm so glad that I did! I love being a part of the bookstagram community. I've met some lovely people, made amazing friends, received support from everyone I've interacted with and I have so much fun being creative and celebrating the books that I love!
I share a house with an almost 4-year-old and a drummer so I have plenty of experience working with next to no available space. I'm also self-employed, I run a small business which does well but I don't have a lot of spare cash, so I needed to keep things cheap and cheerful.
So, if like me, you're working with minimal space, minimal equipment and minimal funds, but you'd love to get started with bookstagram, here are my top tips:
Those initial props and items carried me through until I subscribed to some book boxes which is where I now get a lot of my props. Etsy can also be fun, but if you're in the UK, it can be kind of depressing because international shipping fees suck and most suppliers seem to be USA based.
I find Primark is quite useful. Their Harry Potter merchandise is cheap and fun, as are their tote bags! The two tote bags and pins in the photos below all cost less than £10!
Okay, that's all I've got for now! I hope this is of interest or helps you out. If you're thinking of getting started with bookstagram, go for it! The community is lovely and I hope to see you there!
Happy Tuesday! Who's ready for this week's TopTenTuesday?
The #TopTenTuesday meme is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl and this week's theme is 'Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach'.
Confession time: I love reading mushy romances 😍, especially in Summer🌞, so my list this week is comprised of 10 romance novels, all of which take place in summer or feature the beach/sea. 🏖️
Below Deck by Tara Sivec - Tara is one of my all-time favourite romance authors. This book is hot, steamy and sweet. Set in the gorgeous Mediterranean, Below Deck is the story of a strong-willed girl struggling to keep her father's business together and a deck-hand who can't stand those born into privilege.
Summer at Sea by Beth Labonte - This book had me laughing from start to finish. It's a hysterically funny, sweet and romantic tale set on a summer cruise!
Running with Lions by Julian Winters - I finished this book at the weekend and I really enjoyed it. This LGBT love story is overflowing with sweetness, soccer and is a great summer read!
Something like Summer by Jay Bell - I haven't finished this book yet but it started off incredibly sweet. I love this YA/NA style romance and I'm looking forward to finishing this book! I'm also really looking forward to seeing the film once it's properly released!
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee - You've probably seen me talking about this book quite a lot. The truth is, it's quickly become one of my favourite books of all time. It has romance, mystery, angst, friends to lovers, a feisty female, pirates and much more! Feel free to check out my review here.
The Story of Us by Tara Sivec - Unlike Below Deck, The Story of Us is a more serious drama, but it's even more romantic. This is a story of friendship, pain, loss, love and strength. It's a truly beautiful read.
Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson - It was this book that first introduced me to, and got me hooked, on the adult romance genre. This book is fun, sweet, romantic and giggle-inducing. It's the first in a beloved series and I couldn't recommend it enough.
Truce by R.L. Mathewson - This is one of my favourite books of the Neighbour from Hell Series, it's a modernised historical romance, making it a little easier to access for people not usually interested in historical novels. This book was so much fun and features one of my absolute favourite tropes - enemies to lovers!
I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting - This book is a hilarious, very steamy summer romance. It had me laughing out loud and swooning all over the place. If you like your romance heavy, your guys hot, your heroines smart-mouthed and hard-working, and a heavy dose of comedy mixed into the pot, you'll love I Flipping Love You. Feel free to check out my review here.
Train Wreck by Elise Faber - This book is a fantastically fun summer read. I particularly love romantic comedies and this book was so much fun! I love the clumsy, accident-prone, train wreck of a heroine and would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light read with plenty of laughs.
I don't know about you, but I'm really feeling a trip to the seaside right now!
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to leave your comments in the links below! 😊
Rating: 4 STARS
How I got this book: Bought
Bloomington High School Lions' star goalie, Sebastian Hughes, should be excited about his senior year: His teammates are amazing and he's got a coach who doesn't ask anyone to hide their sexuality. But when his estranged childhood best friend Emir Shah shows up to summer training camp, Sebastian realizes the team's success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates him. Determined to reconnect with Emir for the sake of the Lions, he sets out to regain Emir's trust. But to Sebastian's surprise, sweaty days on the pitch, wandering the town's streets, and bonding on the weekends sparks more than just friendship between them.
Since first hearing about this book a month or so ago, I've been desperate to read it, which is a little weird for me as I'm really not a big fan of sports, especially football (a.k.a soccer). However, I am an absolute sucker for enemies to lovers romances and since everyone was raving about it, I just had to try it myself.
It's actually a 'best friends to enemies to lovers' romance, which I really loved, I enjoyed the history between the two characters and that there was already a foundation to their relationship, even if it was via the misunderstandings that drove them apart.
I really enjoyed the camaraderie between the team and absolutely adored the LGBT and cultural diversity; it was lovely to have characters of colour and various religious beliefs all co-existing in one setting.
Sadly, I did struggle a little with the writing style, it felt a little clunky in places but didn't stop me from enjoying the story.
Bastian has to be my favourite character. I felt so strongly for him throughout the book, his desire to please everyone whilst having no clue what he's doing with his own life is completely relatable.
"He's tired of trying to be this amazing version of a guy that everyone else sees but Sebastian can't find when he stares in the mirror."
I felt the author's portrayal of how overwhelming being a teen is was extremely accurate and I love the positive mental health and body positivity messages throughout. It's fantastic to read a book that specifically tells teens that it's ok to freak out and feel like you have no control, it's ok to not know what you're doing and to not be certain whether or not things will work out. I felt that this was perfectly summed up in a lovely quote from Bastian's mum:
"The only thing in life you have to do is live it." Her hand covers his, squeezing. "Go to college, chase your dreams of being a pro athlete. Or take some time off, find yourself, and be an 'adult' later."
I can't get enough of this. Of parents who are supportive and offer actual meaningful advice instead of just pushing their children to conform to the norm.
The portrayal of the characters is done perfectly in my opinion. It's great to read a book that clearly shows that, even a group of boys, mostly the same age and with the same interest(s), are all different. No one is a black and white stereotype, everyone has different layers, everyone has various insecurities and it's great to experience this in a book, especially a YA, where I feel diversity is especially important.
Running With Lions is filled with beautiful, poignant lessons, such as the coach's message to Sebastian that, "You are not defined by who you love."
The romance is so sweet and that includes the supporting characters also! I love the slow-burn, the sweetness, the fumbling - all of it!
Overall, this is an exceptionally sweet story of summer love, acceptance and friendship! Highly enjoyable!
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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