Categories
Books

The Children’s Classics Challenge

Hello fellow bookworms! It’s only a few more weeks until June, and with June comes a mid-year wrap up; I can’t believe we’re almost half way through 2020! I hope by the time it comes to write that post I will have read at least 25 books and be half way through my reading goal for the year, who knows… but I’m hoping what I’m about to set out to do will help!

I recently received a preliminary reading list for my MA Children’s Lit course which I start in September, and there were so many books I was completely overwhelmed! Of course, on further inspection it turns out that it was definitely not expected of me to have read every single book on the list, especially not the textbooks (apart from the fact that I would go bankrupt buying them all), but there was a page of books and authors, and it was recommended I try and read a few. They were divided up into categories – Classic Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Post 1960s, and Picture Books (with a list of illustrators). So I decided the best way to tackle this list was to pick the books I wanted to read, and set myself a goal to read them all by a certain date. I find myself a lot more motivated if I have a goal to work towards, especially if I’m struggling through a book I’m not particularly enjoying, so that’s what I’m going to do, and if you want to join me, you are more than welcome to!

I’ll be reading 15 classic children’s books in 10 weeks!

So by July 31st I will aim to have completed the following TBR:

Children’s Classics I Haven’t Read
  • Pilgrim’s Progress (Bunyan, 1674)
  • Robinson Crusoe (Defoe, 1719)
  • Gulliver’s Travels (Swift, 1726)
  • Little Women (Alcott, 1868)
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Twain, 1875)
  • Black Beauty (Sewell, 1877)
  • Five Children and It (Nesbit, 1902)
  • Peter Pan (Barrie, 1904)
  • Swallows and Amazons (Ransome, 1930)
  • The Hobbit (Tolkien, 1937)
Children’s Classics I’ll Be Re-Reading
  • Alice in Wonderland (Carroll, 1865)
  • Peter Rabbit (Potter, 1902)
  • Winnie the Pooh (Milne, 1926)
  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Lewis, 1950)
  • Matilda (Dahl, 1988)
Some other books I’d love to read

While these 15 books are the main books I am aiming to read, I also have a few already on my shelf which are written by authors appearing on the list which I’d love to try and get to if I can…

  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here (Ness, 2015)
  • Carrie’s War (Bawden, 1973)
  • Noughts and Crosses (Blackman, 2001)
  • Dying to Know You (Chambers, 2012)
  • Flour Babies (Fine, 1992)
  • The Graveyard Book (Gaiman, 2008)
  • Coraline (Gaiman, 2002)
  • (Un)arranged Marriage (Rai, 2001)

I’m also planning on adding a section to my monthly wrap to update you all on how I’m getting on and which books I’ve managed to finish… I’m still planning to continue on through my normal TBR as well, so I’m about to bury myself in literature, and to be honest, I don’t mind one bit!

I know these are children’s books, but a lot of them are still full length novels, and reading them alongside my preliminary textbook reading and my monthly TBR will be a challenge, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to face head on!

I’d love to know if you’ve read any of the books on this list and what you thought of them (and some encouragement in the comments would also be greatly appreciated!)

Take care everyone.

Until next time…

Jade

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Book Tags

The Bookish Bucket List Tag

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Hello fellow bookworms! I was recently tagged by Holly over at Nut Free Nerd to take part in this very exciting book tag. As soon as I saw the post and the questions my mind started whirring and thinking about the answers I would give, and at point of writing I still haven’t fully answered all the questions so we’ll see how this goes!

The Rules:

1. Link to the creator in your post (Madison’s Inkwell)

2. Link to the person who tagged you

3. Tag as many people you want

4. Have fun!

 

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1. What books or series that intimidates you (because of length, density, subject) would feel like an accomplishment to finish?

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Probably the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I acquired the whole series last year and now I have all the books together it’s just so long! I’d have to be in a real fantasy mood to get through them all, and maybe read some books in between as well!

 

2. What author would you like to coauthor a book with?

I would love to write with John Green, his thought processes and philosophical hints throughout his stories are so interesting and I’d love to get to know his writing methods. Also, Laura Purcell is an incredible writer and does amazing things with words. She wrote my favourite book of 2019 (The Corset) and I’d love to co-author with her!

 

3. If you could interview any author for your blog, who would it be? What’s one question you would ask?

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It would have to be J.K. Rowling, and I can’t pick just one question, I have so many! I’d love to know all the secrets about the Harry Potter universe that haven’t yet been revealed… do you think she’d tell me how the Fantastic Beast films are going to end (besides Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s epic duel)?

 

4. As a writer, what genre is out of your comfort zone that you’d like to conquer someday and write within?

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I’m not a writer really, as much as I’d like to be, but I do have stories that I’d love to write. I think Historical Fiction is definitely out of my comfort zone both in reading and writing, but it would be so rewarding, mainly due to how much I’d learn in the research process.

 

5. What specific edition of a book would you like to own someday? It could be rare, a first edition, an anniversary edition, signed, or one with a cover special to you, etc.

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A signed first edition printing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, because I have over a million pounds to buy one…

 

6. Are there any books or bookish items that you’d like to collect?

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The Penguin Clothbound Classics are gorgeous and would look so nice as a collection, but I don’t read many classics and wouldn’t want them to go to waste (I have one, Alice In Wonderland) but I won’t read it because I don’t want to damage it!) I’d also love to collect the different editions of Harry Potter (this is slowly becoming a Harry Potter themed post…), there are so many nice designs and box sets out there, if I only I had space to put them… (the above are the jacket covers from Nerdy Ink, which are to die for! You just get the jackets, but needless to say we all probably have copies to spare which we can wrap these around – link to buy on picture)

 

7. Name one bookish place you’d like to visit. (Not somewhere you’d like to visit because of a book and not a fictional place within a book. A library, bookstore, etc.)

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There is a bookshop in Buenos Aires called El Ateneo Grand Splendid, and as soon as I laid eyes on it I knew I had to go! This bookshop is housed within a converted theatre, originally constructed in 1919. It still has so many of the original features, plus space for study, and plenty of books! You see more pictures here (highly recommend)

 

8. Name one bookish event you’d like to attend. (A festival, a signing, a book fair, etc.)

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I’ve always loved to go to BookExpo and BookCon in the US, although I think I’d find it quite a stressful experience! But I’ve also never been to a book signing which I’d love to do as well This a complete lie I work for a publishing company I go to signings and author talks all the time and just completely forgot when I wrote the first draft…

 

9. Your WIP is getting published and designing the cover is solely up to you. What does it look like?

I’m hold my first degree in Graphic Design so I’m going to be the pickiest author you’ve ever worked with mwahaha honestly authors can be very fussy when it comes to their covers, but to be fair, it’s their book, the have the right to be! I’m not going to design anything partly because I don’t want to embarrass myself with my underdeveloped design skills (yes, despite my degree) but also I would spend hours designing something and I don’t really have that kind of time, so here are some covers I would love to have as my own…

I want something simple but really effective. I love the line drawings in the first two, and it should have really clever use of typography, with a bit of gold foiling to finish it off and make it look stunning!

 

10. What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish within the bookish world? As a writer, reader, blogger, whatever you want.

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My current goal is to complete my MA in Children’s Literature and hopefully go on to successfully complete a PhD! I’ve always love studying, education and academics, so this would be an ideal path for me. I’d also like to have more books on my Read shelf compared to my TBR shelf on Goodreads but that’s quite a big ask…

 

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I tag…

Holly @ Belle of the Library

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

Isla @ A Whisper of Ink

May @ Forever and Everly

Trista @ Overflowing Bookshelves

… and anyone else, if you see this and wish to partake feel free!

 

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I’ve really enjoyed completing this tag, it’s given me a lot to think about which wouldn’t have otherwise and got me excited about books, bookish collections and bookish places. I’d love to know what your thoughts are on my selections and whether I’ve we’re on the same wavelength with any of them, so please free to leave a comment below!

Take care everyone.

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Categories
Book Tags

The Stay Home Reading Tag

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Hello fellow bookworms! While in isolation, I attempted to take part in the Stay Home Reading Rush, run by Ariel Bissett and Raeleen Lemay. This was my first Reading Rush and I took part mainly on Instagram, and I had the best time! It was a lot of fun to do the picture challenges, as well as having an excuse to do a lot of reading. This wasn’t a full length read-a-thon, it ran across four days, Thursday to Sunday, which worked out great for me because I have Friday afternoons off work now and the whole weekend to get stuck in to some books! The Reading Rush have also planned this fun tag post which you can do to celebrate the read-a-thon and let other people know what you’ve been reading and how you’re doing during the four days!

 

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How is your reading going while staying home?

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I am reading so much while at home! I’m missing out on my reading time during my commute and I’m very much making up for it. It is such a great tool for escapism and I seem to be neglecting other things I could be doing to get more reading done…

Where have you been reading at home?

bed

I did a tidy up during the first few days at home and made myself a book nook where I’m doing a lot of reading, but I’m yet to make it really comfortable (because it has pile of books in it!) so I’ve also been a lot in bed and a little bit outside as well when we had some warm weather over Easter.

Best book you’ve read during isolation?

I’ve read a few really good books since I started my quarantine on March 17th:

  • The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3) by Maureen Johnson
  • One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  • Toffee by Sarah Crossan

What’s your favourite feel good book?

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Harry Potter will always by a feel good book/series for me, or The Book Thief, which I feel is quite relevant at this time, being all about the power of books and reading in times of fear and uncertainty.

Book you wish you could buy or borrow from the library?

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I really want to buy Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare, as it’s the perfect time to read big books now, but it’s hardback and it’s still so expensive!

Author you want to shout out during this time?

Sarah Crossan! I read Toffee in a day, I couldn’t put it down. Her writing is incredibly powerful and there are some really amazing stories running through the poetry. It’s my first YA poetry book and I will definitely be reading more!

What is your Reading Rush TBR?

I didn’t really plan a proper TBR for this read-a-thon, partly because I didn’t think I’d get a lot of time to read, but here’s a few books that I have on my immediate TBR that could fit the prompts:

  • Read a book with a house on the cover – Toffee (read)
  • Read a book in the same room the whole time – I’ll Give You The Sun (currently reading)
  • Read a book set somewhere you wish you could go – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, obviously Hogwarts (currently listening)
  • Read a book that will make you smile – Little Women (currently reading/listening), or any of the above

I don’t think I’ll finish all of these but I feel accomplished knowing I finished just one book over the read-a-thon! I’m really enjoying I’ll Give You The Sun and I love reading along with audiobooks as I find I get through them a lot quicker.

 

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I’ve also completed all four Reading Rush Instagram challenges so I’ve put my photos down below just for fun…

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I hope you’re all taking care of yourself and still managing to get plenty of sunlight. Don’t forget to take time for yourself, especially if you’re living with others and don’t have a lot of privacy. Your mental health is as important as your physical health! I found this cut gif I thought summed up our bookish community quite nicely…

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Keep in touch, and take care everyone.

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Categories
Bookworm Survival Kit

5 Audiobooks To Get You Through Your Work From Home Days

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Hello fellow bookworms! We’re currently in the middle of a, pretty much worldwide, pandemic, with a lot of people having to quarantine themselves and socially distance themselves from others. On top of the anxiety and panic the virus is causing, being stuck inside, potentially alone, is not an ideal situation for a lot of people.

I’ve created a short blog series, Bookworm Survival Kit: 2020 Edition, to help you get through the current situation.

Just a small note before we begin:

Please be there for the people you love and anyone else you can help, even if it’s just a friendly chat online, as well as being there for yourself. I’m always happy to chat with my fellow bookworms on here, and I’m also on Twitter and Instagram as @bookmuffin as well if you want to talk 🙂

Now, onto the books! I, like many others, am now working from home, which means I have eliminated my 4 hours of daily commute and can wear funky leggings and a hoodie every day, so there is an upside to everything! While at home, I have the luxury of being able to listen to whatever I want while I work! I quite often turn to audiobooks for something a bit different to music, so I’m here to recommend 5 amazing audiobooks that you can listen to while you work, which will boost your mood and get you working 9-5 without even watching the clock!

 

 

5 Audiobooks To Get You Through Your Work From Home Days

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

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This is one book that will definitely lift your spirits during this troubled time, and help you fully appreciate how much strain the NHS are under on a normal day, let alone now! I love it when authors narrate their own audiobooks as they really know what they’re talking about and how they want it communicated… if you want/need a bit of humour in your life, this is one for you!

 

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

What better way to escape the world around us than going back to Hogwarts?! The entire Harry Potter series on audiobook is over 130 hours of listening, which would definitely fill a big chunk of your time. If you’ve read the books as well, it’s quite easy to dip in and out as you need to (or if you’re like me and often zone out after a while), you won’t need to go back and re-listen to anything!

 

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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This book is a masterpiece, and it is narrated so incredibly well that it becomes a bit addictive. If you want a slightly more thought-provoking story then this is one for you. If your work is a little boring and doesn’t need all your attention, turn this on and let your brain wander through this beautifully written story (but make sure you still do your work!)

 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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I find Fangirl a really motivational story. I love education and really miss university, so it’s nice to listen to this and be transported back into that world. An easy listening story which tackles school, relationships and first loves, and books- what’s not to love?!

 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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This is one of my all time favourite books. It will transport you back to a time where society were struggling through a terrible war, and show you how books really can help you get through even the toughest times. Always and forever a gorgeous story which will capture your heart and hopefully give you some enjoyment while you work through the day (although I recommend listening to Part 10 away from your desk, might not be the best part to listen to as you work!)

 

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Do you have any audiobooks to add to this list that you’ve been listening to recently? Leave them in the comments below, I’d love to have some more recommendations to add to the list!

Take care everyone.

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Other posts in the Bookworm Survival Kit series:

5 Tips For Staying Happy (and Healthy!) During Quarantine

5 Things To Do During Your Self Isolation Days (besides catching up on your TBR)

5 Books To Add To Your Social Distancing TBR

5 Spotify Playlists For The Days When You Want To Escape During Lockdown

Categories
Book Tags Books

The ‘Netflix Originals’ Book Tag

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Hello fellow bookworms! It’s tag time, and this tag, inspired by the Netflix Book Tag from Whitney @ A Darker Shade of Whitney, is the Netflix Originals Book Tag! There is no doubt that Netflix produce some amazing original series that you’re unlikely to get anywhere else, so it’s always worth finding someone who has a Netflix account and kindly asking them to make you a profile so you can catch up on all the great shows everyone’s talking about having a subscription to avoid missing out on these brilliant shows! While you’re at it, maybe you can enjoy some of these books too…

 

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Umbrella Academy

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A book with super powers

The Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

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This trilogy is incredible! The first book is really something but the series develops so well and the story is perfectly complex to devour all three books very quickly. I didn’t really enjoy the first book in the sequel series from Noah’s point of view, but the original series is great. The mysterious powers and the characters learning to control them makes for a really interesting concept, and the further into the series you get, the deeper and more interesting it gets (kind of like Umbrella Academy, which you should definitely watch if you haven’t already!)

 

Sex Education

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A book with awkward teen romance

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

4.5stars

I loved this book so much, it’s such a quirky YA contemporary romance, and of course, Becky Albertalli is an incredible YA writer I knew I was going to love this book. There was the perfect mix of confident and shy characters to create a mashup of interesting relationships and the perfect ending filled with love and family.

 

You

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A book with lots of books

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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This is one of my all time favourite books, and I think books being a massive part of the story is a big factor in my enjoyment. The characters are extremely well developed and the era of war is so sensitively written to evoke the perfect mix of sadness and frustration. I will recommend this book to everyone who crosses my path!

 

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

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A self help/wellbeing/lifestyle book you recommend

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Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

4.5stars

All of Matt Haig’s no fiction books are so meaningful, I read Reasons To Stay Alive a few years ago and it there are a few sections which really strike something, and again in Notes on a Nervous Planet, there are chapters that you can dip in and out of which makes it an essential book for anyone who suffers from any mental illness, no matter how severe or mild, or just if you need a pick me up on a down day. The best thing it’s smaller than most books so it’s easier to carry around.

 

Lucifer

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The best villain

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Sebastian Morgenstern (City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare)

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How can someone so evil be so attractive whilst doing it, he’s like a magnet?! Sebastian is one of my favourite villains in Cassie’s books, there is just something about his manner and his way of seeming kind of nice even when he’s so evil… does this even make sense?

 

Stranger Things

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A book set in an ‘other-worldly’ place

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

4.5stars

Oh my goodness this book is amazing! This book involves the perfect amount of time travel and body hopping that makes you forget that you’re in a rural British setting. The complete and utter bonkers nature of the house and what keeps happening to the main characters is so bizarre, it really is like stepping into a new world. If you haven’t had a chance to pick this up I highly recommend it, especially if you’re an Agatha Christie fan!

 

Black Mirror

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A book with scarily realistic virtual reality/artificial intelligence

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

4.5stars

This was my first sci-fi book and it definitely encouraged me to read more in the genre. It took me a while to get into it but by the time I was half way through I was hooked and so captivated by this story that was written so incredibly well it could have been true! The idea of AI dominates the story by making the reader really think about how computers may be starting to control our lives and the way we think… scary stuff!

 

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

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A desperately awaited sequel/book from a favourite author

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Turtles All The Way Down

5stars

I’m a massive John Green fan, so when I found out he was releasing a new book after what felt like several thousand years, I was ecstatic! I was so excited, and this book definitely did not disappoint. The writing style was even more intelligent than his previous books, but still just as engaging with a perfect balance of story and meaning. A highly recommended book by many who love YA fiction.

 

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This is a BRAND NEW tag created by moi so if you enjoyed reading then please feel free to spread it around and do it yourself if you fancy, and add some stuff too if I’ve missed your fave Netflix Original series! I really hope you enjoyed this tag, share your love in the comments below and let me know what you think of the books I’ve chosen 🙂

(All gifs from GIPHY and belong to their respective shows)

Happy blogging…

Jade 🙂

 

Categories
Top Ten Tuesday

Here Comes The Sunshine… Lots of Yellow Books To Brighten Your Day

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Hello fellow bookworms! Top Ten Tuesday is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! Most of us are familiar with Top Ten Tuesday by now, but if your new to this, a topic is given every Tuesday and the blogger then produces a top ten list of books to fit the weekly subject. The topic this week is ‘Top Ten Books With [Favourite Colour] On The Cover/In The Title. Despite a lot of my belongings being pink, my favourite colour is yellow, the happiest of colours, and very apt for the glorious weather we’ve been having here in the UK. To celebrate this wonderful colour and the beginning of what looks to be a lovely summer, here is my ode to the colour yellow, through a list of great books…

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

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Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

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Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

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I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

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Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

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Alice and the Fly by James Rice

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This was actually quite difficult, it turns out yellow isn’t a very prominently used colour on books covers (I think we should change that, it’s a very eye catching colour!), so I did have to turn to come books that I’ve been dying to read but haven’t got round to doing so yet. I’d love to know what you think of the books on my list, and please feel free to link your lists down below so I can have a nosey at your favourite coloured books!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂