Summer holiday TBR

Hello, hello! I haven’t done a TBR for a while so I thought I’d share with you all what I’m planning to read on my upcoming family holiday in Southeast Asia. I’m off to the Singapore Formula One and a cruise round Thailand and Malaysia with my mum, stepdad and two brothers – sadly my husband couldn’t get the time off work, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me!

If you’ve been here before, you’ll know I’m a huge fantasy fan, so it might surprise you to see the stack of contemporaries I plan to take away with me. I’ve been desperate to read more YA contemporary as so many amazing sounding books have been released this year.

Here are the books I’ll be packing next month for my holiday…

Summer holiday TBR Lyndsey's Book Blog

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

I’m dying to read this and will probably start at the airport or on the drive down, light permitting. I ordered it a few months ago but I’ve been trying to catch up with library books so it’s still sitting on my shelf giving me the eye.

If you haven’t read, or even heard of THUG, firstly, where have you been?! Secondly, it’s inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and has been on the NY Times best seller list for 22 weeks. Twenty two! Everyone I know who’s read it absolutely raves about it, so I need to catch up and read this pronto.

It’s about a teenage girl called Starr who’s in the car when her friend is pulled over and then shot and killed by police. It’s a pretty heartbreaking, gut-wrenching read by all accounts so I’ll read this one first and then follow it up with some lighter, more easy-reading style novels to ease the pain. Oh, the joys of reading for pleasure!

pink divider

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us is Lying

I see this book everywhere online and it sounds like such a fun, thrilling mystery that I picked it up as soon as I saw it in Waterstones. It’s billed as a cross between The Breakfast Club and Gossip Girl, with a good, old-fashioned murder mystery thrown in – how awesome does that sound?

I’m hoping this will break me out of the THUG book hangover and give me a good whodunnit to mull over while I’m sunning on the beach with a cocktail.

pink divider

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything Everything.jpg

I bought this book for my best friend’s birthday and with the movie coming out soon she let me borrow it when she was done (I’ll give it back soon, I promise!).

It sounds like a nice light-hearted read, even with the heavy subject matter of living life in a bubble, allergic to everything. I get the impression it’s more about the budding romance between the MC and her cute, new next-door neighbour, and learning to live life to the full even when the odds are against you.

pink divider

The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury

The Scarecrow Queen

OK, so I couldn’t go away and not take at least one fantasy book… This is the last in the Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy and it’s been sitting on my bookcase for months waiting for it’s moment to shine.

This series incorporates a few fairy tales, including the Pied Piper of Hamelin and the Sleeping Prince (both German in origin, funnily enough), but it gives them a fresh spin and sets them in a new fantasy world where the people have all but forgotten that fairy tales are real. This is one series where the second book was just as good, if not better than the first, so I’m really excited to see where book three takes us.

pink divider

And that’s it for my holiday reading list, four books might not seem like many to some of you, or it might seem like a lot! I’m a pretty slow reader, but they’re all relatively slim and I can get through a book in two or three days on holiday, especially as the flights to Singapore will be about 16 hours in total!

What’s on your TBR this summer? Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought in the comments, and recommend any other YA contemporaries you think I’ll love!

 

Lyndsey

x

I am a member of the Book Depository affiliate program, so if you click through and buy any of the books mentioned in this blog I might make a little commission, but I am not paid to review books and all reviews are my own opinions!

Summer holiday TBR.jpg

My Summer TBR

It’s been a few months since I shared what I’ve got on my to-be-read pile, so I thought I’d give you all a little insight into what I’ll be reading and listening to over the next couple of months.

My summer TBR

King of Thorns & Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

King of Thorns Lyndsey's Book Blog Emperor of Thorns Lyndsey's Book Blog

I picked these up from the library today after putting them on hold pretty much as soon as I finished reading Prince of Thorns. I can’t wait to get lost in Jorg’s deliciously dark and bloody world again. If you love adult fantasy like Game of Thrones then you’ll love the Broken Empires series by Mark Lawrence. I think I’ll move onto Red Sister once I’ve finished this series, and then jump back to The Red Queen’s War series.

divider-grey

Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

Tales of Beedle the Bard

I also grabbed this from the kids’ section of my library while I was there (all the best books seem to end up in the children’s section – this, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Ness, Terry Pratchett…). I got the Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them companion books when they originally came out, so this is the only one I never got my hands on and as soon as I saw it I had to bring it home. It’ll be a nice, heart-warming read after the Broken Empires series. Or, if the Deathly Hallows tale is anything to go by, it won’t be.

divider-grey

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Wild Magic

I bought this book on Amazon after coming across it whilst researching similar titles to my current WIP, The Fair Queen. I figured I should give it a read now I’m almost finished so I can use it as a comparable title in my query if it really is similar. I’m excited to read it and see how Pierce has done it – here’s hoping it doesn’t make me hate my own work, either for being too similar or painfully inferior!

On the other hand, I’m always keen to read fantasy authors I’ve never come across before, so I’m looking forward to discovering a potential new favourite!

divider-grey

The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury

The Scarecrow Queen

I cannot wait to read the conclusion of The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy! I’ve seen some great reviews online, and this has really become one of my favourite series, so I know it’s going to be a great read. I’ve also seen that there’s a new e-book collection of companion stories so I’ll be getting my hands on that as soon as possible when I finish this one.

divider-grey

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

No TBR list is complete without at least one Stiefvater book. I’ve just finished listening to the audio book of The Dream Thieves (review to come) and I’m still absolutely adoring this series, so as soon as I’m done listening to A Court of Wings and Ruin by S.J. Maas I’ll be diving into the third book in the Raven Cycle series.

divider-grey

There you have it, those are the books I’ve added to my towering TBR and am hoping to read by the end of this summer. I’m sure my pile will continue to grow (I’ve still got a couple of others on hold at the library that haven’t come in yet) and I’m still trying to catch up with some of the books I already had, but I’ve almost finished my second draft and will soon be shipping my novel off to beta readers which will give me more time for reading.

What’s on your list for summer reading? I’m dreaming of reading more YA contemporary, but I keep being sucked back in by fantasy books! There have been so many incredible new releases this year, I’m spoilt for choice, but leave your recommendations in the comments!

Lyndsey

x

My summer TBR Lyndsey's Book Blog

Ten things that make me instantly want to read a book

Can you believe I have never done a Top Ten Tuesday? Me neither. So, this is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and this week’s theme is Top Ten Things That Make Me Instantly Want To Read a Book.

Top Ten Tuesday

Fairy tale retellings

I love any kind of fairy tale retelling, whether it’s set in modern times, olden days, the real world or a completely fictional fantasy setting. It could be a direct retelling like the Twisted Tales series by Liz Braswell, which reimagine classic Disney fairy tales, or a vaguely inspired story, like A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, which is based on Beauty and the Beast.

I just love the familiarity of sinking into a story you already know well, and seeing how authors have tweaked and changed the original to create something new and exciting.

Curly blog divider

Doomed love stories

I know, I’m a glutton for punishment, but there has to be a reason why Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s most famous play. In fact, almost all of the Bard’s plays end with someone unhappy and alone – Othello, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice probably…

Modern contemporaries like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and classics like Wuthering Heights just speak to a dark little part of my soul that longs for the characters to suffer and end up miserable. I don’t know how I got this way, I’m very happily married!

Curly blog dividerEpic books that span years/decades/generations

I just really like to know people’s life stories, how the events of their youth can affect them years later, or even their children and grandchildren. Even better if it’s a slow burn romance that doesn’t come together until the very end, a la Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern. Flashbacks and other similar plot devices can give the feel of an epic story within a more conventional plot, but I just love seeing the key events as if I was really there, rather than hearing about them second hand.

Curly blog divider

Ghosts

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? My favourite kind are suspenseful and bloody, with bonus points if the MC is some kind of supernatural hunter, like the Winchesters. My absolute favourite is Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Cas is endearingly sarcastic and witty, and the romance element is unlike anything I’ve read before. Plus, there’s lots of blood and killing and ghostly screaming and such.

Curly blog divider

Sassy/snarky characters

Nobody likes boring protagonists who drift along with no agency and very little personality, sobbing and whining and generally being wet blankets. Characters with a little sass and a pinch of snark are my favourite. Whether they’re just dark-humoured or truly damaged, I just can’t get enough of their witty repartee. See: Jace from The Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare, Ronan from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater and Jorg from Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.

Curly blog divider

High Fantasy

High Fantasy refers to novels set in an entirely fictional fantasy world, like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I love the escapism of opening a book and submerging myself in a completely different world, with new rules of science and magic, strange customs and cultures, and maybe an invented language or two. My favourites are Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse series, Six of Crows.

Curly blog divider

Mythical creatures

Dragons! Unicorns! Mermaids! Centaurs!

Give me all the mythical creatures and I will be a happy bunny.

Curly blog divider

Circuses

This is a relatively new one for me, but I’m almost finished listening to the audio book of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and I’m loving the atmospheric and magical setting of the circus. Caraval by Stephanie Garber is also right at the top of my wish list, and I’m open to any other circus book recs if you have them?

Curly blog divider

Adorable boys

By this I mean the sweet, kind and gentle male characters that capture your heart and don’t let go. They’re usually tortured souls who don’t think they’re good enough for their love interest, or even their friends. Think Adam Parrish from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater, Jem Carstairs from The Infernal Devices by Cassie Clare and Nathan from Half Bad by Sally Green.

Who needs bad boys when you can have this lot?

Curly blog divider

Food!

Set your story in a bakery or an ice cream parlour and I am there. Make your characters love food and constantly describe the delicious smells and tastes they come across on their travels. Introduce me to new delicacies from around the world, or fictional fancies from your fantasy world. Just give me all the food.

 

 

Those are the ten things that make me pick up a book and buy/borrow it immediately. What makes you read a specific book, above all the others on your astronomical TBR pile? Let me know in the comments.

 

Lyndsey

x

Curly blog divider

Camp Nano word count: 15,914 (45% of 35k)

 

Ten things make me want to read Lyndsey's Book Blog