Hi everyone! It’s Beth over at The Books Are Everywhere, and I’m here to talk about one of my new favourites! Here’s my review for the incredible Caraval, which don’t worry – I have begged Sophie to read 🙂

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Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Oh. My. Gosh. Where do I even start with this book? Well, let’s just say it took me only 2 days to finish this 407 page novel – and I wouldn’t say I’m a quick reader!

“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality.

This book is poetry. It is a spell, cast over every single reader. It is majestic, enchanting and truly mind-boggling. Stephanie has created such an amazing world in my head, and it has completely taken over my brain for the past couple of days.

It’s more than just a game or performance.

For a book with so many twists and turns, I also managed to follow every word. That is truly impressive for me. And for a fantasy book to capture my attention for that long, for so many hours when I should have been doing work, to inspire me to make both a playlist and a mood board (coming Thursday!), this book is just simply awesome.

Also, the romance isn’t cheesy! I’m going to try and do this spoiler-free, but OHMIGOD SHIPPING. SERIOUSLY. I SHIP THOSE TWO SO DAMN HARD. It wasn’t insta love. I didn’t know what was going to happen at any time. All of the reveals in this book came as a surprise – everything was so incredibly original!

Okay, so as you know I don’t usually fangirl over a novel, or characters. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so invested in a fantasy world as I do now. I feel like this book has twisted my mind into loving circuses and carousels and beautiful, twisted cities with rivers for roads.

It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself magic in this world.”

As you can probably gather, I also adored this world. Yes, it was dark and creepy. It was full of secrets and lies. It was twisty, and twisted. But at the same time, it was intriguing and captivating and just truly magical.

Stephanie Garber, I don’t know how I’m going to even attempt explain to you how grateful I am for your novel. This has to be the first fantasy I have truly fallen in love with, and is definitely the best fantasy I’ve ever read…and my favourite of the year so far. To put it simply – I LOVE YOU.

Oh, and to back up my claims about this book, it’s been out for only 21 days and it already has over 6000 Goodreads ratings. If that’s since the release, over 285 people have rated this book a day. And it has an overall rating of 4.14 stars. That means it has a higher rating than The Night Circus and Red Queen – two of the most famous, most hyped fantasy novels in YA fiction. No wonder everyone is talking about this novel.

So, without a doubt this book simply has to be given 5/5 moons from me. Gods teeth, it gets more than that. I’d give it 100 if I could!

P.S. UM. THIS BOOK IS GOING TO BE A MOVIE. FOX HAVE OFFICIALLY PURCHASED THE RIGHTS. I’M SO EXCITED!!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beth: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Hi everyone! Today’s post is hopefully a fitting post not just for me but for the world right now. Naturally, I know a lot of sh*t has been going on worldwide with Trump and lots of other things, and we probably all need to escape sometimes. So in this post, we’re going to be talking about 5 books to help us escape the modern world!

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Seed is one of the most amazing fantasy contemporaries that I’ve read – and it distracted me completely from life for a couple of days!

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Another example of fantasy/paranormal/horror with a hint of contemporary. I love this book!

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And along to sci-fi now! I don’t read much sci-fi usually but I absolutely adored this book. It’s incredible and a must read for any YA fans looking for something unique!

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Some people may be surprised at the last two books – how can you escape with contemporary? Well, this book is purely for the road trip! It’s one of my favourite YA contemporaries of all time and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves road trip books or a good romance.

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I was completely absorbed in this series. I cried at the end of Isla as I simply didn’t want to escape the magical world Stephanie Perkins created!

Thanks for reading (and again putting up with my hiatus!).

Which books help you escape?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift? Take a look at the Wordery sale here!

Book Chat: 5 Books To Help You Escape

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Seed loves you. Seed will never let you go. 

Fifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed.  A darkness from which she must escape, before it’s too late.

Hi everyone! It’s Beth, and I’m back with my latest review which you can also find on my blog and Goodreads.

I don’t even know where to start with this one. It’s one of those you have to digest after reading…just like all the best books force you to do.

To put it simply – this book is good. It’s really good. It’s 300+ pages, and I read it in 2 days. That would normally take me a week or more! I literally couldn’t put it down. I’ve been reading for hours, putting off schoolwork and doing my gaming blog and everything else just to read. When I wasn’t reading it, I was in a kind of Seed trance. Have you ever read a book so good you end up in a trance just thinking about it?

“It feels like I am underwater at the lake,”

The easiest way to describe Seed was that it turns the pages for you. It’s definitely a thriller, but not in a way like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. It definitely has dark undertones, and it’s definitely thrilling….but above all, it is strange. I mean this book is really messed up – but that’s what makes you want to read on. I just wanted to know what would happen.

“yet floating through the sky.”

I loved the characters in this book. I loved the setting. Both were complicated and confusing but also related highly to the ‘Outside’, or the real world. There were constant reminders that this was about people, even if they didn’t live conventionally.

“There a thousand butterflies dancing on my skin”

The plot was definitely fast paced, and I felt the constant twists and turns, wanting to follow the winding road to the end of the story. I did enjoy the first half of this book more than the second, though. I’m not sure why…but I have to say I thought the ending was a bit rushed. I found I blundered into it without even knowing where I was going. It all just felt a little hazy.

There was also a very big, unexpected event at the end of the book which I felt kind of eliminated some of the point of the book. It all built up to what would happen with a certain person and then another event means we’ll never even know.

But otherwise, the only other complaint I could possibly have is that I want more. I want to know about Pearl now. I want to know about her adventures and how she moves on from everything that happened in those last few pages.

I’m still giving this book top marks, though. I couldn’t possibly mark such a captivating page turner with any less.

 ☽ ☽ ☽ ☽ ☽
5 out of 5 moons

 -Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Hi guys! I’m Beth from The Books Are Everywhere and Tea Pusheen. Today I’m going to be listing 5 of my favourite books published in 2016!

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I can’t believe I read this book nearly a year ago now, but it still sticks very strongly in my memory!

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You Were Here was my favourite book of 2016. Yes, it came out on top! I adored this book so much!

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I read this book with Sophie early last year and we both loved it! Such a unique read.

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I read this book in a couple of days while I was in Wales last summer and I absolutely loved it! Such an emotional ride but one of my favourite of the year.

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This book was very close to getting my top stop! I loved this book so much, but it’s definitely a strong second.

Thanks for reading!

Which 2016 books did you love?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Book Chat: 5 Favourite Books Published in 2016

Hi everyone! Gosh, it feels like I’ve been gone for ages! If you haven’t seen me here before, my name is Beth & I blog over at The Books Are Everywhere (and vlog over at Tea Pusheen!).

Today I’m going to be sharing 5 unpopular opinions I have about books and reading. Let’s get started! This has kind of sprouted from my latest T5W post, so some of these books are kind of the opposite – books I disliked when others love them.

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This book is the opposite though! Isla was my favourite of all 3 books, when a lot of people said it was their least favourite.

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The Fault in Our Stars is incredibly popular – but I think it was really overhyped. I wouldn’t say I disliked it, but I just think it didn’t quite deserve all of the hype it got.

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My Harry Potter opinion isn’t really an ‘opinion’ as such, but it’s more the fact that I haven’t actually read it yet!

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The last two books are definitely books I disliked when a lot of people seemed to adore them.

One Day is definitely one of these books – I didn’t like this one when everyone else seemed to be raving about it!

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Northern Lights is such a modern classic…but it was another I couldn’t get on with! It got to the point when I was wondering whether I could even finish it, and I definitely won’t consider carrying on the series.

Thanks for reading, guys! What’s your bookish unpopular opinions?

-Beth

Let’s Discuss! Bookish Unpopular Opinions

Hi everyone! Today’s post is going to be a discussion about mental health in YA. I’ve chosen to post about this today as Monday was World Mental Health Day! Not only that, it’s also Mental Health Awareness week this week. Personally, I think mental health needs to be talked about no matter what day it is, but I love that we have a day for it!

Young Adult literature is a big influence on many teens day-to-day lives. It’s one of the places we turn to when we feel alone or just need some time out. With one in four teenagers in the U.K. experiencing suicidal thoughts and one in ten suffering with anxiety or depression, it’s more important than ever that difficult topics are discussed in Young Adult literature.

However, we still face many issues, not only with the lack of this but also with diversity. Unfortunately, many YA books are more likely to feature main characters with little to no knowledge or experience of mental health issues. One of the other main issues is disability in YA. There are very few books welcoming the subject, especially when the protagonist has a disability. One great example of going against the norm is Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom, which features a blind main character.

But things are finally changing. With campaigns and programs like We Need Diverse Books (find out more at www.weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com), fans and bookworms are demanding authors tackle difficult topics within their writing. With popular authors like Sophie Kinsella (author of Finding Audrey) and John Green (author of Looking For Alaska) openly writing about depression, grief and social anxiety, tackling these issues is becoming slowly more common and acceptable.

Over time, diversity in YA is definitely starting to change, and hopefully will continue to in the coming months and years. But why is this likely to help YA readers?

In the media, we have a very skewed view of mental health. Suicide, self harm and substance abuse is hardly ever reported nationally or internationally, unless it involves a celebrity or public figure. This is changing, with more people sharing their experiences through blogs, articles and social media, but  is still likely to be a slow process.

As YA is becoming more and more popular, so are events like conventions. The Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) is the UK’s biggest YA event, and it takes place every summer at London Film and Comic Convention. I had the privilege this year to attend, and take part in Ask YALC, an agony aunt type panel with Juno Dawson (author of Mind Your Head), Holly Bourne (author of Am I Normal Yet?) and Rosalind Jana (author of Notes On Being Teenage). The panel was hosted by Gemma Cairney, presenter of The Surgery on BBC Radio 1 and soon to be author of Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be. This shows that difficult subjects are being openly talked about within the YA community, and not just online.

But we do still face problems within YA – authors may be starting to recognise mental health issues, but it’s still very unclear how to relate characters stories to real life. A common example of this is that many mental health issues are solved by the protagonist finding a love interest or partner. In some instances, this is almost displayed as a long-term fix for their problems, which would not usually help in a real life situation. Many of us suffer with mental health problems alone, and are lucky if we’re surrounded by people we feel completely comfortable to talk to our issues about. Finding Audrey and When We Collided are both good examples of the love interest theory – for example, in Finding Audrey her new boyfriend manages to help Audrey come out of her shell.

Another idea is that our main characters can overcome their problems and stop taking their medication on their own. Yes, this does work for some people, but many need long term help and support through this, and for some it could even be dangerous to come off without it. Books such as When We Collided and Mosquitoland could even encourage people to attempt this.

So, what’s the next step? All in all, I’m hoping we continue on the right path. But one thing I’d love to see more of is how to deal with mental illness in real life – maybe with books showing trips to counselling and/or support groups. We still have a very long way to go, but YA is making progress all the time.

Would you like to hear more about this subject? What do you think of it?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Book Chat: Mental Health in YA

Hi all! Welcome to my second book to movie adaptation review, where today I’m going to be talking about Twilight!

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This is actually the first time I’ve ever watched Twilight – and I was really looking forward to it. I finished the book for the first time last week, and I adored it. You can read my full book review here!

But it might not surprise you if I said I didn’t expect to enjoy the entire franchise – books and movies. After all, the whole thing appears to have bad review after bad review…and when I read the book, this shocked me for the first time. Although the writing is simple, it’s not bad. Although the book is cheesy, it kept me hooked. Although Bella is whiny, I think she has a good reason to be. And finally, although the romance is ever-lingering, I felt like it wasn’t as instant as I expected it to be.

However, watching the movie…kind of made me understand why so many people dislike Twilight.

Book vs Movie: Twilight

Hi everyone! I’m Beth, and I own The Books Are Everywhere.

Today’s post is going to be an interesting one with a very specific focus – can you read fantasy when you’re feeling down?

I know this sounds very random, but it did stem from somewhere. I posted a couple of weeks ago about my preference of contemporary over fantasy, and ended up talking to Kourtni in the comments about how fantasy can actually be quite draining to read! It got me thinking – and she’s right.

One of the reasons I prefer contemporary is I find it easy to read whatever mood I’m in…where as I have to really focus on fantasy!

But why is this? In fact, I think there’s a lot of reasons. I’ll discuss them more below.

  • Fantasy tends to be very fast paced
  • Things change a lot!
  • Not only do you have to focus on humans, but there’s other beings too! How can I focus on all of these things?
  • Sometimes they’re harder to get into or understand quickly – especially if some elements aren’t explained well
  • Bad writing doesn’t work…at all. You have to be descriptive.
  • I CAN’T PRONOUNCE THIS CHARACTERS NAME
  • WHY ARE THERE MADE UP WORDS
  • WHY IS THERE NOT A GLOSSARY

Okay, I think you get it! Fantasy does tend to be…made up. It’s imaginary, and it’s sometimes hard to relate to our real world! For this reason alone, I find it hard to focus on fantasy when I’m feeling down or have other things on my mind, and it tends to be the reason I read a lot of contemporary.

With contemporary, I’m able to delve right in. With a real life setting and real life people, it’s easy to pick up on other things. But put me in another world, with a mixture of humans and fairies and THEN throw in some romance, complications and everything else…and my brain gets confused.

So, what do you think? Can you still focus on fantasy or do you have to switch to contemporary like me?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

BookChat: Reading Fantasy

Hi guys, it’s Beth here! So, I haven’t done a bookish debate for a while and there is one I’d like to discuss.

My lovely friend Emma over at The Book Crunch tends to prefer fantasy/paranormal over contemporary/romance. But I’m the opposite! I adore contemporary and always have – I read Jacqueline Wilson as a child when everyone else were massive Harry Potter fans! I have changed a lot now…and I’ll read basically all genres – but my heart is still pretty set on contemporaries! They’re just perfect, easy reads for me.

The main reason I’ve always loved contemporaries so much is because they enhance life. They show things aren’t always so bad, and everything can change in a week, a month, a year.

But…I see the other view, with fantasy and paranormal. Because they take you completely out of this world and show you another…a world that only exists in you and the authors head. One completely invented but still just as magical as the one that exists right here on earth. And maybe that’s what a book should do, invent another galaxy.

But I’ve always found a crazy kind of comfort in contemporary. They’re just so easy to read because you don’t have to think or imagine how weird super powers would work or why that evil vampire won’t just die already.

What do you think? Fantasy or contemporary?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Book Chat: Contemporary vs Fantasy

Hi everyone! If you didn’t know, YALC stands for Young Adult Literature Convention, and is an annual event here in the UK.

YALC is part of London Film and Comic Con, and I was lucky enough this year to attend on the Sunday!

YALC is a lot like BookCon in America, and you can find out more about it here.

Now for a short wrap up of the books I bought, people I met and freebies I received!

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Although I didn’t receive a gift bag, I did pick up a tote bag for only £2!

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I did, however, receive a lot of other freebies! Like this programme, signed by the amazing Gemma Cairney!

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The first talk I attended (after the 3 hour car journey down there!) was a Q&A panel including the lovely Harriet Reuter Hapgood!

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Right after that, there was an amazing panel called Ask YALC. This featured people asking agony-aunt style questions anonymously and some great authors (and Gemma!) answering them. Authors featured Holly Bourne, Juno Dawson and Rosalind Jana!

Of course, after the talk I had to buy both Notes on Being Teenage and Mind Your Head! I was then lucky enough to meet all 3 authors and get their lovely books signed:)

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I wandered around for most of the afternoon, collecting and purchasing books and gifts! I managed to get a few excerpts! I can’t wait to delve into the Crooked Kingdom one, as I loved Six of Crows!

I also collected some random freebies (including a lot of postcards! AND A SIGNED LEIGH BARDUGO CARD!!)

I also met Harriet Reuter Hapgood and Maggie Stiefvater, who were both lovely! I queued for an hour but got a good spot as I missed the Raven King chat (due to spoilers!) to line up.

To finish my YALC wrap-up, here’s the books I had signed followed by the ones I purchased!

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On the way out, I took my lovely mum through the main Comic Convention, and spotted this adorable Totoro keychain! It was only £4 and I couldn’t resist.

Did any of you attend YALC? How did you find it and are you planning on going next year?

Before I go, thank you to my mum for taking me! It was a long day, but I’m glad to say she enjoyed it.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Beth: YALC Wrap Up!