Blogmas Day 1 – My December TBR!

Hey guys!

I’ve decided that I want to take part in blogmas this year because I’ve lost my love for blogging and I desperately want to get it back! I’m really busy with working full time and also trying to work on my novel and studying for my exams, but I’m hoping I can manage to find time each day to make a post, whether it’s book related or not!

For my first post I decided I would share with you my December TBR! Last month, I spent it working tirelessly towards NaNoWriMo so didn’t read much WHATSOEVER. I also am currently reading ‘A Sicilian Romance’ for college and it has kind of putting me in a slump. However, I managed to successfully reach 50k in 30 days so I am now ready to dive back into reading. Today I’m going to (hopefully) be finishing my novel seen as I only have 2000 or 3000 words left. After that, I plan on editing my book over the December period and spend just as much time reading!


My December TBR!

 

Yes, that’s right, I am FINALLY going to try and get around to Pride and Prejudice! Also, I am SO excited to read the sequel to the much-loved Call Me By Your Name!!


What about all of you? What are you planning to read this Christmas season? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen

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Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) 

by L. C. Rosen

YA Contemporary, Romance, LGBT


“My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. I think it’s going to be weird for everyone’s first time, though.”

Meet Jack Rothman. He’s seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys – sometimes all at the same time. His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, ‘it could be worse’.

He doesn’t actually expect that to come true.

But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he’s been getting take a turn for the creepy. Jack’s secret admirer knows everything: where he’s hanging out, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they’ll force him.

As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous… 


I knew even from the blurb alone that I would love this book, and that I definitely did.

Jack of Hearts by L. C. Rosen was a fantastic book. I love, love, love YA and it felt like such a breath of fresh air in this wonderful community. It follows the story of Jack, who is openly gay and also just as open about his sex life to his entire school. Rumours circulate his high school on a daily basis about him and what he gets up to, so with the help of his two friends, he starts a weekly column for his school, giving sex advice to anonymous classmates. But as a result of this, he starts getting little “love notes” in his locker, until they turn into something a lot more sinister that threaten not just him, but the people he loves.

This was a complete rollercoaster of a book. It was so hard to put down purely because of the mystery, and I couldn’t solve it until it was revealed! I thought it was executed brilliantly and had me on the edge of my seat for the entire book. What I loved about this book too was its complete lack of filter. There was nothing this book was afraid to address, and I really appreciated it! If I could have read this book when I was growing up gay, it would have been so handy!

The voice in this book was so strong and funny too! Jack was one of the most authentic characters I’ve ever read and I was so happy to follow him and his journey. He taught me so much and I can’t even begin to think how much he taught people, mostly straight, who don’t know that much about the queer community! I loved how he tackled the fetishisation of the queer community by mainly straight girls, because this is still a prominent problem that nobody ever really talks about it. They just sweep it under the rug. With Jack of Hearts, this was not the case at all. It addressed it head-on and did such a fantastic job! I would urge EVERYONE to read this book, and it’s so enjoyable too!


Rating:

★★★★★

 

Hello—all over again!

Hi everyone.

I’m not sure if there are many people who will even read this, and I don’t blame you! I haven’t been blogging in agesssss. And I could babble on about how busy I am with work and college and reading and keeping a social life, but the truth is I have simply lost my love for blogging. Though that doesn’t mean it’s not something I can win back.

You see, I love reading with my whole heart and there’s nothing quite like word-vomiting all your thoughts, both good and bad, onto a blogpost and hitting ‘publish’ for everyone to read. But for me? After a while, it gets tiring. It did get tiring. I like writing reviews. I like hyping up books before their release. I like sharing thoughts and feelings with you guys in the comments. But my passion for blogging had evidently dwindled, explaining the lack of thoughts.

I love to write, mainly novels. But if I’ve learned anything from a wise author who I adore, Sarah Maria Griffin, and I have learned a lotit’s that it’s important to be able to take a step back from more serious projects and share words with you all in different ways. So I have decided to turn the Royal Bookshelf into more than just a book blog – I want to be able to update people on my life and what I’m getting up to and what I’m enjoying. I’m not going to restrict myself to just book reviews because I’ve just not got the same passion and energy for it as I once did.

I love a lot of things! I love to read. I love listening to music. I love to write. I love to watch TV shows. I love to go to the cinema, I love to walk and run and take care of my 2 dogs. I love to go to concerts and festivals, as well as book events with my friends! Hopefully I can start sharing my love for other things just as much as I do for books.

And I hope you’ll all enjoy!

Until next time,

Ross x

ARC Review: Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran

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Queen of Coin and Whispers

by Helen Corcoran

O’Brien Press

YA Fantasy, Political Mystery, F/F

OUT APRIL 2020!!


When idealistic teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold… Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.

As the two grow closer, they’re quick to learn that all isn’t fair in love and treason.

They must decide not only what to sacrifice for duty, but also for each other…


Thank you to the publishers at O’Brien Press for sending me an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Just as I’m sitting down to write this review, I’m bitterly reminded of how much I miss this book. I only finished it a few days ago, but I regret now how quickly I devoured this wonderful book. I need more, Helen, and I NEED IT NOW.

Queen of Coin and Whispers is an upcoming debut by Irish author Helen Corcoran, and it’s out in April 2020. I strongly urge you all to get this book once its out. I have read many books, but the voice and style of this epic fantasy tale will long stay with me because of just how unique and unforgettable it is.

Full of edge-of-your-seat political intrigue and a fantasically crafted love story between our two main characters, it follows the journey of Lia, who becomes Queen after the death of her uncle, and Xania, who becomes the Queen’s spymaster but also has a vendetta for the man who murdered her own father. As Lia and Xania meet, which is the best first encounter I have ever read, they grow closer and closer. But as a romance blossoms, can they really be lovers when her entire kingdom expects Lia to birth an heir?

This book was FANTASTIC. Not only did I fall in love with the plot and the cast of characters, but there were so many details in this book that I loved. Specifically, which is probably a silly point to make, but I love how normalized queer people are in this book. Although Lia and Xania’s relationship is frowned upon, it’s not because they’re two women, but it’s because Lia, as Queen, is expected to have a husband and a child to take over the monarchy when she dies.

There were so many plot twists throughout this book too that made me feel like I just couldn’t put it down. I got so easily lost in Corcoran’s characters and world that I didn’t notice time fly by. Lia and Xania are now two of my favourite bookish characters and I would willingly die for them. I cannot wait to see what Corcoran writes next, because I sure as hell will be devouring it just as much as I did Queen. Bravo!


 Rating: ★★★★★

ARC Review: Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan

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Perfectly Preventable Deaths

by Deirdre Sullivan

YA Fantasy, Magic Realism, Mystery

Hot Key Books


Everyone in Ballyfran has a secret, and that is what binds them together…

Fifteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfran, a strange isolated town, a place where, for the last sixty years, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains.

As distance grows between the twins – as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft – Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. Not only foxes, owls and crows, but also supernatural beings who for many generations have congregated here to escape persecution. When Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be – or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.

Dark and otherworldly, this is an enthralling story about the bond between sisters and the sacrifices we make for those we care about the most. For fans of Frances Hardinge and Laure Eve. 


Thank you so much to Tina Mories and Hot Key Books for sending me an ARC of this hotly-anticipated novel in exchange for an honest review!

There are authors who write with gorgeous prose. There are authors who are beautiful storytellers. There are authors who conjure incredibly unique and fully-fleshed characters. Deirdre Sullivan is all three.

I know right know for a fact that that I won’t be able to find the words to do this book review justice, but I might as well give it a go.

Deirdre Sullivan has such a unique, and quite frankly, unforgettable voice when it comes to storytelling. Her books are like nothing I’ve ever read before, and her storylines are so fantastically original. Perfectly Preventable Deaths is no different to its older siblings, and I say with complete confidence that is is my favourite Deirdre Sullivan novel.

Perfectly Preventable Deaths follows the story of Madeline and Catlin, two sisters who move to a strange, mysterious town of Ballyfrann after their mother remarries. The main characters in this are so well written and so fully fleshed, along with many other additions such as the mysterious yet wise Mamó, the enigmatic Laurent Delacroix, and the delightful Oona, who was one of my favourites! Maddy and Catlin both have such distinguishable voices and personalities that will follow me for ages! Another quirky thing about this novel is that each chapter is named after a plant, and underneath its meaning is given. I was fascinated by reading about each one, and some of them were so cleverly suited to some of the chapters.

This is perfect for fans of Sarah Maria Griffin and Shirley Jackson, and if you’re looking for a good witchy, mystery, gripping story, I wholeheartedly recommend this fantastic book. It comes out on the 30th of May, and you won’t want to miss it!!


Rating: ★★★★★

 

Hello! My May TBR!

Hello everyone!

Wow, it has been a good while since I’ve written a blog post. I can only apologise. I have just finished my first year of college, though my exams are still to come in the next two weeks! I was studying at college, commuting nearly 4 hours a day, and also working three days a week. I was quite busy most of the time, and quite tired all of the time. That’s why I stopped blogging. And I’m not sure if this is my return to it, but I still love reading and writing just as much so I figured I’d update my blog!


Here is my May TBR!

 

 

I’m really looking forwards to this month’s TBR as this month I have a lot more free time to read! I’m currently 150 pages into A Map of Days and am so glad to be back in the wonderful world of Riggs and his characters!


What about you guys? What are you all planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

Life Update!

Hey guys!

I can’t believe we’re already halfway through August already, what the hell!? Anyways, today I’ve decided to do something a little different because I know I haven’t been that active on this blog for the past two weeks!

I spent the first week of August in Salou in Spain with some of my best friends from school. As you all know, we finished up school for good and completed our exams so we all wanted to do something special where we could celebrate and look back on in years and years to come! Anyways, I had a ball. The first couple of days of the holiday were kind of ruined by the fact that Ryanair CANCELLED our flight to Spain from London within three hours!! It was quite a disaster, but after waiting seven hours in a line to talk to someone from the airline, we finally got on to a flight the next day to somewhere close to Salou and from there on in I had a blast!

I only brought two books to read but unfortunately we were so busy by things like going to Barcelona for the day, theme park, waterpark, the beach and its activities that I barely had time to sit around and read. I got about 150 pages of All These Beautiful Strangers finished but that was it!

Two days after I got back, I was lucky enough to attend an early screening of The Darkest Minds movie, thanks to Dept51 of Easons! I enjoyed the movie and we got free pizza and drinks so all in all, definitely worth it!

Since then, I’ve just been busy in work. There’s this big Irish festival that came to the town where I work yesterday, so I’m going to be working a lot more than usual over the next week and a bit.

In two days’ time, I will be getting my RESULTS from my exams!! It’s so crazy to think that they will be finally over. I’ll find out how much collective points I got from all my subjects and that will determine if I get my chosen course! I’m hoping to do English & Creative Writing in college and I will find out if the college offers me a place in their course on the 20th of August! I’m not as nervous as I thought I would be, I’m just really eager to find out what direction my life’s going in!

So yeah. I’ve kind of taken a step back from writing, reading and blogging this month but hopefully after all my busy events over the next week settle down, I’ll be able to dive back in!

Until next time,

Ross!

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