‘Tis the Damn Readathon TBR!

Hi Bibliofriends!

I was SUPER excited when a friend messaged me literally yesterday to tell me about the ‘Tis the Damn Season Readathon based around Taylor Swift’s album that is happening this very month and hosted by some fabulous people (you can find out more specific details by watching this YouTube Video by Drinking By My Shelf). Of course, this is also the perfect excuse for me to keep playing my favourite Taylor albums on repeat again! 😂🙈

The Readathon centres around Taylor’s 9 different albums with a choice of prompts for each. The idea is you tick off each album from the bingo-board style graphic based on the house in the Lover video but you can do as many or as little prompts as you like! There’s a brilliant website set up for it (visit here) where you can find all of the prompts, info about your hosts and a link to some exciting merch. Let the Readathon begin!

My TBR

Taylor Swift

Picture to Burn – Post a pick of your book on social media: so I don’t know which book this will be yet but I’m pretty sure I can manage this at some point in March…

Fearless

Breathe – Do some meditation: I do this every week day anyway so this will be an auto-achieve.
Fifteen – Read a YA Book: At least three of my books for other album prompts are YA so that will be covered there.

Speak Now

Speak Now – Listen to an audiobook: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Red

Red – Read a book with a red cover: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
22 – Take a dance break:This seems like so much fun that I just had to include this as well. Headphone kitchen discos are pretty much my Friday nights anyway in lockdown!

1989

1989 – Read a book with a number in the title: Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian

Reputation

(Free choice > Blank Space Tile) – A book Taylor has referenced: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Lover

Lover – Read a predicted 5* read: All Our Hidden Gifts (ARC) by Caroline O’Donoghue
You Need To Calm Down – Self Care: With the children coming back into school like normal from 8th March I’m predicting a bit of self care will definitely be needed this month!

Folklore

Folklore – A book based on mythology or a retelling: Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

Evermore

Evermore – TBR Jar Pick: I think I’m going to let the fates decide this one nearer the time!


Eeeeeekkk! I’m so excited to finally start this readathon! I had a reading sprint last night to finish the book I was reading (I also wanted to try and finish it whilst it was still February) so I could go straight into March cracking on with ‘Tis the Damn Readathon!

Are you taking part in ‘Tis the Damn Readathon or is it something you’re definitely going to do if you’re just finding out about it right now? What books are on your March TBR or which ones are your biggest anticipated reads for this month? Leave me a link to your TBRs and blog posts!

Take care and stay safe Bibliofriends,
T xx

#Friday56 – Ignite the Sun

It’s FriYAY time again Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from Ignite the Sun by Hanna C. Howard which I received as an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It was a brilliant traditional YA fantasy debut in which light battled against dark!

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


Milla hugged me briefly, her fleeting embrace like birds’ wings, and as she released me, I threw my arms impulsively around Phipps.

The whole cast of characters in this novel felt like they had come straight out of the pages of folklore encyclopaedias – mages, banshees, elves, dwarves, nymphs, naiads and a witch-queen. They really were my favourite aspect of the story. If you want to find out more about Ignite the Sun then you can check out my full review here.

Amazon | Blink YA Books| Waterstones | Hanna C. Howard on Twitter


Have you read Ignite the Sun? What are your favourite folklore characters? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – Ignite the Sun

Happy Wednesday Bibliofriends,

When I came across and read the blurb for Ignite the Sun by Hanna C. Howard whilst scrolling through Netgalley, my interest was immediately piqued from the mention of a witch queen and the battle between darkness and light so I knew I had to click that ‘read now’ button.
Big thanks to NetGalley, Blink YA Books and Hanna C. Howard for my e-arc in exchange for an honest review.


Book: Ignite the Sun by Hannah C. Howard
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 18th 2020
Publisher: Blink
Pages: 295
Rating: 📚📚📚📖

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Once upon a time, there was something called the sun…

Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.

Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater than her fear of the dark, and so she heads to the royal city—the very center of the darkness—for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court.

But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball will send her on a quest that could bring back the Light—or doom the kingdom to shadow forever. Accompanied by a ragtag group of rebels, she sets her course for the North, toward the last vestiges of the sun.

My Musings

Ignite the Sun is a delightful debut novel from Hanna Howard all about the battle between light and the dark. I enjoyed the idea in the plot that the sun had effectively been ‘cancelled’ by the witch-queen Iyzabel (you can tell I’ve been spending a little too much time on Twitter recently) and the land of Terra-Volat had been plunged into a darkness reminiscent of those places at the extremes of Earth where some days never see a sunrise or sunset. It also reminded me a little of those grey days in Britain where you know the sun is up there somewhere but it just doesn’t make an appearance – I could definitely relate to that!

This concept tied in nicely with the fables and history of Luminor and Terra-Volat. These little nuggets of the past were exciting parts of the story and helped me to understand the wider world-building of the setting and the motivations of many of the characters. It added an original dimension to a storyline which is essentially the main thread of many fantasy stories being the battle of good against evil. Howard’s take on how a witch becomes a witch and what attributes/items creatures relied upon to use their magic was really interesting.

I have to admit, I found the main character Siria slightly annoying towards the start of the novel – she came across as very pampered and whiny however it seems this is part of the character journey that she is meant to go through – if that’s what the author meant to do then it was certainly a credit to her character writing! Without giving away spoilers, Siria does undergo a fairly hefty transformation and towards the last third of the novel she gains a purpose, determination and resilience which made me warm to her a lot more. What I will say for that first part of Siria’s character is: thank god for Merrall! She is the perfect yin to Siria’s yang and nicely balances out the more naive and immature parts of Siria’s nature!

The ‘ragtag group of rebels’ and the relationships between them are what truly made this novel shine and is probably my favourite part of the whole story. Comprising of nymphs, naiads, banshees, elves and mages, this cast of characters gave the story classical fantasy/folklore vibes and helped to highlight the mantra that our differences are what make us all special and it is only through coming together that we can truly win against the shadows of darkness.

I always like to see the aftermath of finale events but it seemed that a majority of the novel was spent on the run and the ending came about incredibly rapidly. At times, Ignite the Sun was a little trope-tastic in some places. There was the one bed trope, dead parents trope, disguised as a male trope and on-the-run trope in various guises and forms… due to this, it became slightly predictable in places, but that may be because I read an awful lot of fantasy fiction nowadays. Not all of my predictions came off, or happened in ways I expected, however the overall plot kept me interested and invested in finding out what was going to happen to the characters I was growing to like more and more throughout the story.

Favourite Quotes:

‘…the range of colour on the mountain – the hues of deep purple, rich charcoal and slate greys, shadowy greens and dark blues that compromised such towering heights – was a visual symphony.’

Merrall: ‘”I expected you to be crying by now,’ she said. ‘Well done. You are already braver than yesterday.”‘

‘Bigger than trees, bigger than mountains, and as I gazed up at it – this infinity of glowing colour and fathomless space – I saw with sudden clarity that I was a mere speck on the endless scroll of time.’

Why Should I Read This?

For the brilliant assortment of characters and creatures straight out of a folklore compendium.
For an interesting and inventive plot-line which literally pits light against dark.
For the refreshing yet classical twist that this debut YA fantasy standalone presents.

If you love the more traditional elements of fantasy fiction then you’re bound to find something to enjoy and love in Ignite the Sun.

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Blink YA Books| Waterstones | Hanna C. Howard on Twitter

#BookTag – Taylor Swift Folklore Tag

It’s TuesTAG time,

This album…!!! 😍 By far my favourite music to have come out of this crazy pandemic. To me, this is Swift at her musical best; don’t get me wrong I enjoy the more poppy upbeat songs but I feel like Folklore lets her songwriting and musical genius really shine.

I found this little tag whilst browsing on iheartlandx’s bookloversblog and knew that I just had to do it!
Here are the rules for the tag:

  • Link to the original creator: Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink
  • Tag at least 3 people.
  • Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post
  • Thank whoever who tagged you and link to their post.

Taylor Swift
Folklore
Book Tag

The 1: a book with an ending that left you speechless

The Wicked King by Holly Black – that cliffhanger had me desperate for the final book and I had really had to discuss it with someone but none of my friends had read it – ergo… speechless!

cardigan: a book that makes you feel happy and sad all at once

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green – I can’t really explain why. It just gives me both happy and sad vibes but I can’t pinpoint exactly which part about it makes me feel that way. I listened to it on audiobook and thought the narrator sounded automated, that may have had something to do with it…

the last great american dynasty: a book with a fascinating and well told story

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I was gripped from start to finish. I’d happily live inside that book! It’s not like anything I’ve ever read before or since to be honest.

exile: a book you wish you hadn’t read

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis – I had quite high expectations as I had heard lots of good things about the author but reading this felt like I had literally wasted hours of my life. It is definitely not a book for me!

my tears ricochet: a book that made you cry uncontrollably

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – surely this needs no explanation?!

mirrorball: a book that feels like it was written for you

I always say this about my horoscopes… they are scarily accurate! I honestly haven’t come across a book that feels like it was actually written for me yet. 

seven: a childhood book that makes you feel nostalgic

The BFG and Matilda by Roald Dahl – my Grandpa bought me the books from a car boot sale and Dahl fast became my favourite storyteller after that.

august: a book that reminds you of summer

Summer at the Lake by Erica James – I found it on a bookshelf at our hotel in Cape Verde and read it out there on the beach. Part of it is based in Italy where I spent another amazing summer so it gives me all the holiday vibes!

this is me trying: a book that deals with loneliness and sadness

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – the character is just crafted with such a vulnerability. It was a really moving book.

illicit affairs: a book that gave you a book hangover

The Harry Potter series – finishing that final page and knowing that I could never ‘unknow’ how it all ended… it put me into the biggest book hangover or reading slump of my life!

invisible string: a book that came into your life at the exact right time

Remember This When You’re Sad by Maggie Van Eijk – it was the wake-up call I needed.

mad woman: a book with a female character you adore

Romanov by Nadine Brandes – her portrayal of Anastasia was so divine, she wrote a brilliant character. I cried so much at the ending and wished that this story could have been Anastasia’s actual ending as opposed to the harsh reality.

epiphany: a book that is haunting

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck or Room by Emma Donoghue – they both leave me with the chills for different reasons. Room because it’s horrifying to think of what Jack and his Ma went through. Then Of Mice and Men because, Lennie! It’s a sad reality of our world that people like Lennie still get treated differently today because of misconceptions surrounding their disabilities. In a way that’s more haunting to me than ghost stories.

betty: a book couple that fills you with yearning

Do I have to say Rhys and Feyre again – it seems I pick them for everything couple related?!
OK Rhys and Feyre for all of the feels or Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy for the good old fashioned romance!

peace: a book character you’d die for because you love them so much

Aragorn from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – I’d be his Arwen and toodle on over to Middle Earth any day!

hoax: a book you thought you were going to love but didn’t

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – this had so much hype about it and was touted as the witchy story we’d all been waiting for, but I really didn’t feel it – the cinnamon buns sounded delicious though!


That’s the Folklore book tag! Thanks so much to Ilsa for creating it! If you’re a big Folklore fan then consider yourself tagged and have a go yourself!

Have you listened to Folklore yet? What are your favourite songs? Is Betty really the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Gosling’s third daughter… Will we ever know? 😂 As always, drop me a comment to chat or leave your links to your own tags and I’ll be sure to check them out!

T xx