10 Popular YA books I haven’t read (yet)

Hello and welcome (back) to beebliophile! I’m currently trying to post once a week, and after a week of looking at the task in my bullet journal I have finally pulled myself together and I’m writing a post!

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

This one has recently come to my attention due to the announcement that Stephenie Meyer is releasing another book, Midnight Sun. In case you haven’t heard, it’s Twilight but from Edward’s perspective. While I have considered reading these books many times, the lack of LGBTQ+ characters and the whole Bella deciding between 2 frankly creepy boys put me off a bit. I’m thinking of reading them, just to see what’s up before Midnight Sun is released. I’ve seen the movies though, so I already have a rough idea of the plot.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I don’t have a good reason for not reading this. I want to read it and it’s meant to be excellent, I’ve just never got round to it and I’m not a huge reader of contemporary. As soon as I get my hands on a copy, I’m gonna read it.


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

As I just said, I’m not a huge reader of contemporary YA. I’ve watched this movie, it was sad I guess. I’ve read a couple of John Green’s other books and I wasn’t gripped so I probably won’t end up reading this. Plus for personal reasons I don’t want to read about people with cancer at the moment.


The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This is starting to be a bit of a theme, I’ve seen the movie but I haven’t read the book. I promise I usually read the book first, it’s just I’m a huge fan of contemporary YA films and not so much the books. I’m on the fence about this one- maybe I’ll read it, maybe I won’t.


The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Once again, you know it, I’ve seen the movie and haven’t read the book. This book I would like to read however, because I really enjoyed the movie and I’d love to know the writer’s style in telling the story. Why I haven’t read it? Just never got my hands on a copy.


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Surprisingly I haven’t seen the movie for this one. Shocking, I know, but it didn’t really grab me. That’s the reason I haven’t read the book or watched the movie. And it’s a good enough reason for me.


The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This one also has a Netflix movie which I haven’t watched. Contemporary YA, not my thing, didn’t grab me. Nothing more to say really.


Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

I actually recently watched the movie based on this book and it was very emotional. Still, probably won’t read it. Now I’ve seen the movie I know what happens and my lack of enthusiasm for contemporary YA means I likely won’t read it.


His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Let me say I have strong intentions to read these books, I really do. I even have The Book of Dust from the prequel series on my bookshelf. Yeah, I really don’t have a reason for not reading these except I haven’t got round to it.


13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I haven’t watched the TV series and I haven’t read the book and I don’t really intend to consume either. I’ve seen a lot of bad reviews of both and I’m put off. Just not for me.


So those are 10 popular YA books I haven’t read yet. Now you may be thinking- ‘Bee, why are there so many contemporary YA there when you don’t really like them a lot?’ You make a good point. The problem is when I looked for more popular YA books I haven’t read there aren’t many, because I have read a lot of popular YA fantasy. Like, A LOT. That’s why there’s so much contemporary YA on here. If you want to check out which books I have read, pop over to my goodreads!

Have I missed your favourite YA books? Do you think I should read the ones above? Comment below or feel free to contact me using this page, instagram or twitter!

March 2020 Round-up

Here we are again, the end of another month. And what a month March has been! Coronavirus, social distancing, self-isolating, lockdown and no toilet roll (I’m still confused as to why it was toilet roll that people decided to hoard.) Amongst the chaos I have not done a lot of reading, I actually read double the amount of books in January! I’ve tried my best to read a little everyday though and keep going so I think I have enough books to do a roundup! Being in lockdown is surprisingly stressful so I’ve found it quite hard to settle down and read- does anyone relate? Either way life goes on and so do my monthly roundups. THE BOOKS MUST GO ON.

BOOK OF THE MONTH: Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

What I liked about it: a disaster situation, very appropriate for the current world climate! Gripping. Distinct viewpoints. Atmospheric.

What I didn’t like about it: nothing really, it is well rounded.

My favourite character: Alyssa, she did her best in a hard situation and never abandoned her brother

Position in series: 1/1

Genres: young adult, science fiction, climate change

THE RUNNERS UP:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

What I liked about it: The glamour, the gayness, how gripping it was. The drama, the mystery and that incredible ending.

What I didn’t like about it: I wasn’t that attached to Monique who was one of the two main characters. A littler more time with her might have improved this, but it might have just taken away from Evelyn which I definitely don’t want.

My favourite character: Evelyn Hugo herself, of course. I do have a soft spot for Harry though.

Position in series: 1/1

Genres: historical fiction, romance, drama

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

What I liked about it: I had fun reading this, the enemies to lovers trope, the tension and the fairy-tale feel.

What I didn’t like about it: I needed more of the sassy crew. Just endless sassy crew.

My favourite character: Lira probably, although I am quite attached to THE ENTIRE CREW.

Position in series: 1/1 sadly

Genres: young adult, romance, fairy-tale retelling

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

What I liked about it: the deliciously descriptive writing, the tension, the immersive intensity.

What I didn’t like about it: the fact that women were ever burned as witches.

My favourite character: Maren, that naïve old soul.

Position in series: 1/1

Genres: historical fiction, LGBT, awesome

In conclusion, I have read a lot of standalone novels this month and they were awesome. If you’d like to try something slightly different, I read both A Smuggler’s Path and A Noble’s Path by I.L.Cruz this month and they were great fun, slightly chaotic fantasy. Remember to wash your hands and stay inside, I hope you’re all well and if you want to talk about anything feel free to message me! Let’s hope April goes a bit better than March 🙂

A Noble’s Path Review (Blog Tour)

A Noble’s Path by I.L.Cruz

Happy Saturday everyone! I know I don’t usually post on a Saturday, but I guess this week you’re getting four posts- lucky you!

Following on from yesterday’s review of A Smuggler’s Path, I have the sequel, A Noble’s Path. A quick thank you to Rachel, who is hosting this blog tour, and I.L.Cruz who kindly sent me a copy of this book in exchange for a review! All opinions expressed are my own.

Here’s how the book describes itself:

Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.

The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.

Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.

And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.

Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.

I think I must begin with mentioning the cover of the book- the artwork is so pretty! I had great fun photoshopping pictures of both this book and the first in the series. I especially like the little streak of purple in Inez’s hair, I just think it’s so cool.

In a similar style to the previous book, A Noble’s Path feels a bit chaotic, albeit less so because I was now used to all the characters and the world. My favourite thing about these books is definitely the plot, always fast paced and never boring. Inez being forced to work with the people she normally tries to avoid, the King’s Men, was hilarious and fun to watch despite my frustrations at Inez not just giving in and getting together with a certain someone! (If you’ve read either of the books in the series you know who I’m talking about.) A couple of elements of the story feel quite random even after they’ve been tied into the plot, like the magic shells and the mild obsession with farm animals (Froth, the magic sheep).

I like Inez. She is quite realistic and doesn’t let her struggles with magic take over her life, trying to focus on other things as well. Her life is chaotic and she sometimes gets overwhelmed, constantly having to make difficult choices and worrying about an uncertain future. While most of us aren’t worrying about whether we’re being spied on by our friends or whether our magic shells will be stolen, everyone must make hard choices and the world at the moment does feel quite chaotic, making Inez more relatable. I would have liked some of the relationships and characters to be developed further, as the volume of characters and the constantly moving nature of the plot meant some felt a little underdeveloped. I would have enjoyed more of Inez and her mother’s relationship, which is quite tumultuous during the book but doesn’t get much time.

I devoured A Noble’s Path the moment I finished A Smuggler’s Path, desperate to find out what happened next, and I wasn’t disappointed. A Noble’s Path was just as action packed as the first book, I only wish it was a bit longer! I await the next book in the series excitedly and I recommend reading this magical, fun and dramatic adventure. Would I survive this book? Yeah, I would just have been chilling in the smugglers market and wandering around the forest.

For the Immortal Review

For the Immortal by Emily Hauser

If you’ve read my review of the previous book in this trilogy, For the Winner, you’ll know that I LOVE Emily Hauser’s writing of Greek myths from a female perspective. Seriously, I found out she is a lecturer of classics at Exeter university and began considering it to apply to!

For the immortal is the stunning conclusion to Hauser’s Golden Apple trilogy, following two viewpoints- Queen of the Amazons Hippolyta and Admete, a friend of Hercules. Admete’s brother becomes ill so she goes with Hercules to first visit the amazons, then to find a golden apple.

Hippolyta is bold and brave and powerful, plagued by a mysterious past which is slowly revealed. I enjoyed Hauser’s interpretation of the amazons, them being a nomadic society of men and women. When she is captured her loneliness, pride and shame are so vividly illustrated and her actions always for the best of her people. While I found Hippolyta’s viewpoint interesting, I personally preferred Admete’s. Through her eyes the reader sees Hercules change, from Admete’s closest friend to a jerk obsessed with chasing glory. Admete is not as obviously courageous as Hippolyta, yet she confronts someone from her past, travels with a group of men who don’t want her there and thrives among the Amazons while cultivating her skills in herb healing.

Hauser has a beautiful writing style, full of descriptions weaved into the fabric of the story and little details that make the scenes all the more immersive. The prose is breath-taking from the prologue, the vast amount of time covered never boring and the alliances of the capricious Greek gods fascinating. 

The ending of the book, and therefore conclusion of the series, pulls the trilogy together in an unexpected way, linking them in ways I never foresaw. These unique interpretations of three well known myths weave gods, mortals and ancient Greek customs together, illustrating an alien world with vastly different customs in an accessible way. And there’s an epic final battle, so what more could you want?

Would I survive this book? No. I can’t live without a hot shower and lots of books. Not to mention freedom from being sold as a bride.

The Woman in Blue Review

The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

I’d like to start by directing your attention to the title. Not because I have anything deep to say about it, but it rhymes which made me grin. So let’s take a moment to appreciate the rhyme.

Done? Please continue.

I really, really like the Ruth Galloway mysteries and I would definitely recommend reading them in order for maximum enjoyment, but if you really have to start partway through a series, this one isn’t too bad, since each is a mystery of its own. Of course, you won’t know any of the characters or past references, but I think it would still be enjoyable.

The Woman in Blue involves Ruth Galloway, female priests, a place known for sightings of Mary (mother of Jesus), Cathbad house-sitting, religion and hate letters. As usual, Ruth somehow ends up entangled with the police investigation after a couple of murders and several assaults on women. And Cathbad being an absolute legend, as usual.

Elly Griffiths is a queen of ramping up tension, and the blurred lines between religion and reality in this small village add an excellent amount of confusion to the mystery.  I’m now familiar with Griffiths’ style, with the clues appearing at the start, mysterious sightings and barely related events then towards the end things suddenly pull together I am tenser than I have ever been in my life. There’s a couple of jump scares which were fun, a dead end and excellent passing of time, never too fast or too slow. I didn’t fine this book as tense as previous ones, it was a rather slower mystery, it all culminating in one short scene which I read as fast as humanly possible.

The final scene has great atmosphere, the religious fervour, the crowds, the ominous letters. I am never disappointed by the ending of an Elly Griffiths book. Would I survive this book? Yeah, I reckon I would. Only a couple of people die, and I don’t attend many large religious gatherings. Or any at all.

Gemina Review

Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I LOVED THIS BOOK.

First, a bit of context/ raving about the series as a whole. The key to this entire series is the format. Told through online messaging, transcripts, AI dialogue and other reports, there is not a single stream of narrative, which is what makes these books so incredible. They are so completely unique, yet the story pulls together brilliantly and I found myself more engaged in this series of documents than some normally written books so don’t discount them just because they look a bit different. That being said, I did try to read them as ebooks and that was a lot harder than reading them as physical books, which is ironic because the whole format is based on being online. The format is perfect for this story, it adds to the scientific/ space tech side of the story and it makes you piece together the story a little, which makes it far more exciting than having it all laid out in front of you while adding information that couldn’t have otherwise been in it. Plus, you don’t have to remember character names because of the transcripts say.

Gemina is the second book in the illuminae trilogy written by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It follows the attack of the Jump Station Heimdall by a bunch of madpeople/ assassins sent by Beitech to catch the people of Hypatia when they arrive. So you can already tell this is going to be WILD. Once I picked it up I could not put it down, I got sucked in like a ship into a wormhole.

The main characters we meet are Nik and Hanna, along with the murder squad and Nik’s awesome cousin Ella. Somehow from simple dialogue and transcripts the characters make huge, distinct impressions on you, and they fight believably and they hurt but they keep going and it was a whole lot of emotions going through this journey with them, especially as links with the previous book began appearing. Hanna is a legend in a bomb jumpsuit, and I love her especially. Finally, he isn’t technically a character but the employee who transcribes the videos is absolutely great, humorous and real. The worldbuilding is incredible, believable and intricately detailed. Every little is detail is thought out, from the gravity on each level of the space station to imports and the drug trade. Kristoff and Kaufman have created such an amazing universe and it is utterly captivating.

And then there’s the plot. It blew my mind. An absolute rollercoaster. The first few pages were a little confusing, getting used to new characters, but the speed picked up and suddenly my heart was being used as a ping pong ball. The action in this is sustained through most of the book but never feels tired, it’s always beautiful and believable and shocking. It is chaotic with different things happening in different places on the ship yet I never felt lost. I was so gripped I completely forgot to make any notes throughout most of the novel, which might be why this review is slightly messy. The pace is fast, picks you up and doesn’t set you down until the end where you put down the book and squeal, slightly shellshocked. I am desperate for the sequel, and my local library does not have it which is incredibly upsetting. Other things that feature in this book are airlocks, blood, snakes on drugs, sass and quite a bit of murder.

Would I survive this book? No chance, I’m just a body floating around in space. Maybe a small chance if I hid in a wardrobe and stayed there the entire time. But unlikely.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance Review

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the second book in the Children of Orisha series. The novel starts just after the events of the previous book, continuing the incredible tale of Zelie, Inan and Amari and the struggle of the maji. This book was quite different in some ways, since Zelie managed to release magic it means that all the maji now have magic, as well as some of the non-maji, named titans. This changes how the battles are fought , as well as causing resentment as people who have oppresed the maji for so long for having magic now have magic themselves. Tomi Adeyemi artfully weaves religion, culture and magic together to create a brilliant setting for a fantasy novel.

The setting of the novel is like none I have ever read in a fantasy novel before, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The use of a different language for the maji added to the sense of a different world, and the source of magic, while quite traditional in being from the gods, was written in a refreshing way including religion seamlessly in the culture. The settings described were beautiful, especially the rebel base, an ancient sacred place.

This story was told from three viewpoints: Princess Amari, Prince Inan and Zelie, a maji. All the characters in this book were very realistic despite it being a fantasy, and having three viewpoints showed three distinct individual ways of thinking and seeing the world, giving the story greater depth than it would have from just one. Not only this, but the main characters genuinely behaved like young adults. They made huge mistakes and refused to listen to reason because they were angry. They gave up after fighting pointless battles and watching people getting killed, they doubted themselves and their abilities no matter how many times things went right, and it wasn’t shallow, silly worries that young adults are sometimes given, but the perfect mix between superficial and deep.  

If there is one thing I will always love in a book, it is a rebellion. I love the unity of forces against a common enemy, I love the underdog fighting again and again to right things in a world gone so wrong, I like the struggle to win without becoming the monsters they are fighting. Children of Virtue and Vengeance follows every moment of the rebellion which I quite liked, since sometimes books skip battles or fast forward in time. Showing each battle emphasised the struggle of the rebellion, and having main characters on both sides, desperately trying to reach out and find peace gave an inside view into the heartbreak, humanity and hardship that went into every brutal decision of the war. The aftermath of each battle, not just the whole war was clear, affecting how the battle continued and causing the character’s change to be shown more gradually through the story. But it wasn’t just darkness, hope was also beautifully illustrated, how groups of people facing adversity can come together to find hope in the bleakest circumstance, how they don’t give up.

And the ending? I have just one word for that. WHAT?! Okay, I’m done now. I adored the elegant, sharp writing of this book, and would definitely recommend it (although please start with the first one).

I’ve decided to add to my reviews a new thing where I decide whether I would have survived the novel. So, would I have survived this novel? I’ll be honest, probably not, unless I was a normal person living in another land. Apart from that I would probably be just civilian casualty #135.

A Dangerous Collaboration Review

A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn

Veronica Speedwell is one of my favourite characters of all time, so I couldn’t help but love this book. She is intelligent, sassy, honest, open-minded and unashamed of her enjoyment of sex. She is also really passionate about butterflies.
Instead of being so based in London as the previous books of the series are, A Dangerous Collaboration takes place on a private island off the coast of cornwall. The isolated setting, mixed with an old aristocratic family living in a castle with lots of secret passages created the perfect atmosphere for a traditional english murder mystery. Deanna Raybourn pulls together an interesting group of suspects, and slowly reveals titbits of information, enough to give some kind of clue but not so much that the whole plot is revealed. The charming, remote cornwall setting also adds extra mystery with all the local superstitions and traditional country characters, from a wise woman in the village to rumours of a bride being stolen by giants. These mix well with Veronica and Stoker’s scientific efforts to find out what happened.
Not only was there an awesome mystery, the tension between Veronica, Stoker and his brother Tiberius is continued and heightened, leading to some black eyes and lots of exasperation from Veronica. After four books of absolute torture something happens between Veronica and Stoker, although I won’t say what it is or whether it is positive or negative. Veronica pretending to be Tiberius’ fiancee and the frustration this causes to Stoker, added to Tiberius’ mysterious links to the island and the defensive islanders creates the perfect setting for lots of drama and dramatic reveals.
I really enjoyed the ending, and as can be expected from a murder mystery there was a twist. Apart from that my lips are sealed- read it yourself!

A Love Letter to Rick Riordan’s Books

I remember the day that I bought Percy Jackson and the lightning thief. It was a world book day, and we had vouchers that allowed £1 off a book so my mum took my brothers and me to a bookshop where we could choose a book. I spent some time looking around, but nothing in particular caught my fancy. (How?!) Then my mum suggested Percy Jackson. I read the blurb and although I was unsure about having a male main character, my younger self obviously decided it would do because I bought it. I was eight or nine at that point. I am now 17.

I have many memories of Rick Riordan’s books since then. I remember comparing favourite passages of the Son of Neptune with my primary school friends, I remember reading the Sea of Monsters and adoring Circe, I remember the torturous wait for The Blood of Olympus to be released. After that I paused for a while, with no new books and a new school to contend with. Yet the moment I saw that Rick Riordan had released two new series, Magnus Chase and The Trials of Apollo, I set my heart upon tracking them down and reading them ASAP. And even though I am irrevocably changed from the little girl who first read these books, they still retained their magic. I still raced through them, falling in love with the characters, perhaps even more this time because I was a teenager and I understood some of the things the characters were going through. I just finished reading The Tyrant’s Tomb in the Trials of Apollo series and without spoilers, it felt like my childhood was ending slightly, despite the fact there will be another book.

Rick Riordan’s books are a wonder. There is no debating that. I truly believe that anyone, of any age could enjoy them, and that they should. These books are so much more than fantasy-adventure books for children based on Greek, Roman, Norse and Egyptian mythology. They mix fantasy and the real world perfectly, with a hefty dollop of humour and sarcasm. No matter how many books Riordan writes in this world (and there’s quite a few now!) it never feels tired or overwritten. It just adds to the awesome.

The range of characters is astounding, each realistic and profoundly individual. You cannot help but fall in love with them, their quirks and habits and hopes and fears. Rick Riordan showed me that things society deems as flaws or disadvantages are not unilaterally so, taking dyslexia and ADHD as common characteristics for demigods because it helps them with reading Ancient Greek and being alert on the battlefield. Riordan has an incredible range of diversity, much more so than I see in most adult literature, and he had it when I needed it most. Characters struggling with their sexuality and hating themselves for it resounded with me deeply as I came to terms with my own, and the hardships that Riordan shows the characters overcoming, from their childhoods and personal lives, showed me that negative events do not have to define my future and there is always hope. Being different does not mean being wrong, or broken, or undeserving of happiness.

Gently, almost imperceptibly, Riordan weaves in messages that I am thoroughly glad I grew up with. It’s okay to be different, everyone has different strengths and together we can be stronger than apart. That it’s okay to be wrong, and what is important is learning from your mistakes, apologising and making reparations for what you have done. That it’s okay to show emotions, and it does not make you weak or unlovable. I am sure there are many more, and one I particularly noticed in the Tyrant’s Tomb was the way Riordan portrays battles. There is an element of fun, because of course these are first and foremost children’s books, of slaying monsters and awesome skills. But Riordan does not shy away from showing the aftermath, the heartbreak and devastation and grief that follows, the pain and destruction war causes. This can be so easily glossed over, making war seem heroic and brave rather than the devastating event that it is. I finally cracked and cried when I came to the line ‘We didn’t count the dead. They weren’t numbers. They were people we had known, friends we had fought with.’ It just seemed so relevant in the world we live in today, full of politicians quoting statistics and percentages like they are merely facts and figures, instead of people’s lives.

This is one of the few series that I have cried at character deaths, and it does not surprise me, for I have grown up with these characters, spent years following their stories. I very rarely reread books and yet my Rick Riordan books all have cracked spines from where I have spent hours poring over the pages, each time noticing some new details that makes me smile. The humour of the books, ever witty and sarcastic is my exact sense of humour and it does make me wonder whether I liked the books because of my sense of humour, or if I developed my sense of humour liking the books. Hearing of a new Rick Riordan book being released fills me with excitement every single time. They are so easy to slip into and get carried away by the story, so disappointing when they finish. Over the years they have been my solace, my guide and my reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

So, thank you, Rick Riordan. Thank you for the books that have shaped my life as I know it. I cannot imagine life without them, and I wouldn’t want to. Even if sometimes I love your books so much it hurts, reading them feels like coming home.