Top 10 Tuesday: Book Adaptations I’d Like to Watch

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is a freebie relating to Page to Screen. As I’ve already done two lists on great book adaptations and another on books I wish would be adapted, this time I’m doing a list of adaptations that I haven’t yet seen but would like to! Admittedly, I haven’t read many of the books these films & shows are adapted from, but I guess that doesn’t really matter all that much.

There are a lot of books out there where the rights have been purchased for adaptation or an adaptation is currently in the works but still a way off. For the purposes of this list, I’m just focusing on adaptations that have already been released or will be very, very soon.

Killing Eve (2018 – Present, Series)

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This series has been “killing” it lately (Drums: Ba dum tsh). But really, I have yet to hear a negative thing about it and it’s winning a bunch of awards. I love the fact that it features two strong female leads and Sandra Oh is absolutely fabulous. It’s about an MI5 agent, Eve, who becomes obsessed with catching a talented assassin known as Villanelle, leading to a high stakes game of cat and mouse between the two. The series is based on the Codename Villanelle novella series by Luke Jennings.

Good Omens (2019, Limited Series)

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Okay, technically this adaptation isn’t out yet but considering it’s set to be released at the end of the month, it counts. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, the series follows a demon, Crowley, and an angel, Aziraphale, who team up to prevent the end of the world following the coming of the anti-Christ. The series has a fantastic cast, with the two leads played by Michael Sheen and David Tenant (who are both amazing!). It just seems like it’ll be a lot of really weird fun.

Gone with the Wind (1939, Film)

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Both the book and movie adaptation of Gone with the Wind are considered classics. It’s one of those films that you see pop up every so often, mostly because people are quoting Rhett’s parting line. I’ve always been curious about seeing it and almost did watch it on a international plane trip but somehow it’s never happened. Maybe because it’s about 3 hours long? Still, I’d like to give it a go and see for myself how the failed romance between good old Scarlett and Rhett went so very wrong.

The Green Mile (1999, Film)

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People have been telling me how good The Green Mile is ever since I was a kid. It’s considered to be one of the better Stephen King adaptations and what can I say, it’s pretty much impossible not to like Tom Hanks. The film (& book) tells the story of an African American man who is charged with the murder of two young girls and brought to a correctional facility. Shortly after, the guards begin to notice him performing what appear to be miracles of healing. I’ve actually seen a few small snippets from this but I’d like to see the whole thing. I know the ending is sad, but I’m sure it’ll be a good watch.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018, Film)

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I’m not entirely sure why I’m keen to watch this one, I just am. The word is that Cameron Post is supposed to be a decent coming of age film with wit and emotion. It tells the story of a lesbian teen in the 90s who is sent to a conversion therapy centre by her conservative relatives after she’s caught kissing a girl on prom night. It’s always good to see stories not shying away from some of the murkier parts of history and featuring sexually diverse characters. At the very least, I think it’ll be something different from my usual.

V for Vendetta (2005, Film)

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I’ve been putting this one off for years now. Worse, we even have it on DVD and I STILL haven’t got there. Like, what are you doing, Ashley? Technically this one’s based off a comic series (by Alan Moore & David Lloyd) so I’m stretching the whole “book” thing here, but it’s an adaptation so I’m counting it. I like Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman so the idea of seeing them portray masked vigilantes using terror tactics to fight back against a fascist regime sounds pretty darn cool.

A Walk to Remember (2002, Film)

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Yes, yes, we all like to make fun of old Sparky and his tear-jerker books, but there’s always a time and a place for them. This movie was extremely popular back when I was at school and yet, somehow I completely missed seeing it. Who knows how? I don’t mind The Notebook and I like Safe Haven, so I may end up enjoying this one. Next time I’m up for some emotional manipulation and a chance to get reacquainted with the black hole of sadness in my chest, I’ll pop it on.

After (2019, Film)

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Yes, you read that right. This dumpster fire of a film is on my to-watch list – just look at the poster, for crying out loud. I haven’t read the book but after watching the trailer for the movie, I feel the desire to watch the damn thing just to see if it can possibly be as bad as it looks. Well, that and because guaranteed there will come a time in the future where I need some trash viewing. Come on, we all do it. I’m hoping to find a heap of so awkwardly bad moments, much like Fifty Shades (the toast!), that it ends up being funny.

The Expanse (2015 – Present, Series)

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Finally! A book I’ve actually read…that’s part of a series of seven other books which I have not read. Regardless, I like a good bit of sci-fi and I’ve heard great things about this series. Its fans love it so much that Netflix actually saved it when Syfy decided to cancel it. The plot is complicated – a ragtag crew of ice haulers travelling across the universe, a conspiracy that threatens galactic peace, and a police detective tracking down a missing woman. I’ve had this on my to-watch list since it first started but I’ve just never been in the right mood for it. I’m hoping I’ll get there soon.

The Man in the High Castle (2015 – Present, Series)

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I love a good period piece and the concept of this series just sounds great. Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, it looks at what would have happened had the Axis powers won WWII. The series is set in alternate 1962 and details what happens when several people mysteriously find reels of film showing Germany actually losing the war. I was a history major at university, so this kind of thing is right up my alley. Now that I’ve got an Amazon prime subscription, I should probably sit myself down and finally watch it.

And there we have it, ten adaptations I’d like to see. Sometimes adaptations are good, sometimes they’re…well downright terrible. I haven’t read the source material on a lot of these but I feel as though that can often be beneficial because there’s nothing to compare it to. Guess I’ll have to find out.

What book adaptations have been on your to-watch list for a while?

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Stabtastic: 7 Assassin Reads for When you Feel Like Something Bloody & Murderous

I love a good stabtastic read on occasion (totally a real, not at all made up word). After all, a little moral ambiguity is good for the household bookworm. Plus, if there’s one thing assassin stories aren’t, it’s boring. Well, at least the majority of the time. But what books are out there to fulfill the occasional need for something a little dark and potentially messy? Here are 7 books that may fit the bill.

Just to state up front, I haven’t read all of these so don’t hate on me if there’s something here that you weren’t so keen on.

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

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Let’s kick things off with the obvious pick – obvious because I freakin’ love this series. Nevernight is about a girl named Mia whose family is killed by the Emperor when she is ten years old. Six years later she sets out in search of a school for assassins called The Red Church in the hopes of making herself into a weapon strong enough to get revenge. The Red Church is hardcore though and if you can’t hack it as a student, you die. Simple as that. Mia also happens to be special in that she’s a Darkin – someone with the rare ability to control shadows. One of the ways her ability manifests itself is as a shadow companion in the shape of a cat which she calls Mr Kindly. Basically, it’s dark, bloody, sassy, a little smutty, and it’s fabulous.

Shelves: Adult, Revenge-Story, Training-Academy, Magic, Sass, Quotable.

Grave Mercy – Robin Lafevers

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This one is on my neverending TBR. Grave Mercy follows seventeen-year-old Ismae who is supposed to be married off to an older man. When a mark on her back identifying her as one of Death’s Daughters is found, she’s sent off to the convent at St. Mortain. Here, the nuns give her a choice – leave and marry, or stay and train as an assassin to serve as a handmaiden to Death (assassin nun). Following her training, she’s sent to court in Brittany to protect the young Duchess, Anne, from the French. To do this, she poses as mistress to Anne’s illegitimate half-brother, Gavriel Duval, who may or may not be acting against her. What will come as a shock to no one, Gavriel and Isame fall for each other. Like Mia in Nevernight, Isame also has special abilities in that she has an immunity to poisons and can talk to souls. Although the story does revolve around politcial espionage and mystery, it’s in large part a historical romance and does have a slower pace so keep that in mind.

Shelves: YA, Historical-Romance, Assassin-nuns, Alternate-History, Political-Intrigue, Mystery.

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

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Sorry, did you just say you wanted MORE assassin nuns? Well, I aim to please. Red Sister is another book which utilises the good old training academy trope. It revolves around eight-year-old Nona Grey. Nona is taken in by the nuns of Sweet Mercy Convent after she shows signs of magical abilities derived from ancient bloodlines when she murders the son of a powerful man. The nuns offer her the opportunity to avoid execution by taking up a position as a novice and spending the next ten years training to become a fearsome warrior. RS spans over the first three years of Nona’s training. Much of the book is spent within the confines of the convent but there are also threats to Nona from the outside – the consequences of her actions before becoming a novice. Additionally, the book has a chosen one element and features a largely 90% female cast of badass characters.

Shelves: Chosen One, Magic, Assassin-Nuns, Strong-Female-Characters, Friendship, No-Romance, Training-Academies.

Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

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Come on, I had to do it. It’s not a fave of mine but could you imagine the rioting if I left it off? The Assasin’s Blade would probably be a better pick, but as ToG is the original, we’ll go with it instead. Book one in the series introduces us to Celaena Sardothien, trained assassin, and currently serving a life sentence in the salt mines of Endovier. In exchange for her freedom, Celaena is offered the chance to represent Prince Dorian as a candidate in his father’s to-the-death tournament to find a new royal assassin. Here she’ll be pitted against some of the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land, and either she’ll win or die trying. After books 1, 2 & the prequel, the series does direct focus away from the assassin vibe but Celaena’s history as an assassin and associated skills do play a big role in the other books. It’s high stakes fantasy with battles, faeries, magic and romance. But be prepared, the series is 8 books long so it’s going to take a WHILE.

Shelves: YA, Tournament, Royalty, Lost-Princess, Magic, Kickass-MC, Friendship, Book-Boyfriends.

Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb

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Robin Hobb is a big name in the fantasy genre and the Farseer trilogy is considered to be one of her best series. In Assassin’s Apprentice, we meet Fitz, the royal bastard. Fitz has difficulty finding his place, something made worse by the fact that he has a magical link with animals known as the Wit – a craft hated by the nobility. Once he gets older, Fitz is adopted into the royal household and begins training to become the royal assassin. The books follow Fitz’s adventures and trials, dealing with politics, war, loss and revenge. This is another series that starts out slow. However, the books were so popular that they spawned two more series about the character.

Shelves: High-Fantasy, Royalty, Magic, Mentor-Apprentice, Coming-of-Age, Politics, Underdog-Protagonist.

Graceling – Kristin Cashore

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Another kick-ass leading lady and another romance style fantasy. Our MC is Katsa – a girl born with a Grace (exceptional skill or talent) for killing people. Because of this, she serves as a thug for the king, her uncle, travelling across the land killing, torturing and instilling nightmares. However, as she grows up Katsa starts to question her role. One day she comes across Po, a graced man as talented in fighting as she is. He turns out to be a Prince who has come searching for his kidnapped grandfather. The two start up a friendship and set out together to track down the kidnappers. As you’d expect, the two also fall in love. The book is a series of three which changes focus characters each time around. It’s won a bunch of awards, has a 4.12 average GR rating, and known to contain one of the most loveable romantic interests around. Although, I should note that the feminism aspect to this novel is very much on the side of: reject all things considered to be feminine and girly.

Shelves: YA, Romance, Friends-to-Lovers, Adventure, Magic, Coming-of-Age, Action, Radical Feminism, Kingdoms-and-Royals

The Way of Shadows – Brent Weeks

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This book is one of those weird ones where the average Goodreads rating is high and the top reviews are negative. Probably because the story itself has some issues but people seem to enjoy it as a sort of guilty pleasure read? The first book in the Night Angel series introduces us to Azoth, a guild rat who lives a miserable existence in the slums. To escape his situation, he apprentices himself to renowned Wetboy (aka super assassin) Durzo Blint. Azoth is forced to leave his old life entirely behind and is given a new name, Kylar Stern. He then begins his training in magic, fighting and poisons to become a Wetboy himself. His skills are soon put to the test when his city is threatened. While the dialogue is supposedly questionable at times, and the attitudes towards women could use a lot of work, The Way of Shadows is supposedly an action packed and fast paced ride. If you enjoy fantasy tropes, this book includes a few of them. The book doesn’t involve much focus on world building, although the magic system is reportedly pretty interesting, and instead directs attention to plot and characters.

Shelves: Adult, Grim-Dark, Action, Magic, Coming-of-Age, Male-Protagonist, Mentor-Apprentice.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

What’s your favourite assassin themed book?

Top 10 Tuesday: Books on my Autumn TBR

You guys know the drill by now – it’s Spring in the northern hemisphere but it’s Autumn in the land down under (thank god, I am beyond over Summer). Here are ten books I hope to get through over the current season:

It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover

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I don’t real a lot of pure romance books and the ones I do read are usually more light, fun chick-lit type books, but hey, it’s good to branch out occasionally. Colleen seems to be a super popular author in this genre (her books are always popping up on Goodreads) and It Ends with Us is one of her most popular books. I’ve heard that this one is deep and a lot more emotionally powerful than some of her other works. A few people whose reviews I trust have really liked this one so here’s hoping I do too!

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Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Alright, alright, so technically I’m reading this as we speak. However, in my defense, these TBR related TTT topics are never assigned right at the beginning of the season. What about the books I wanted to read in the first two weeks of Autumn, huh? Well, this is one of them. I’ve been waiting on this release ever since I fell hard for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo last year. Another period piece with a strong woman at its centre, how could I resist? The book is told entirely as interview transcripts. It’ll put some people off, but that’s inevitable. Still, it’d make a great audiobook!

What If It’s Us? – Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

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The way my mind seems to work: Maybe if I put this book on enough TBR lists, I’ll re-discover the motivation to finally read the damn thing. It’s been MONTHS. Just do it already, my gosh. Like, its Becky! And Adam! With sweet, cinnamon roll gay boys, theater, diversity, and Harry Potter references galore. What more should I need? I’m going to do it, I WILL DO IT.

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor (Re-Read)

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I was excited to read Muse of Nightmares when it came out last year, really, I was. But then, being my usual self, I didn’t. Now here we are, with my terrible sieve brain having retained nowhere near enough information about book one, making it a crime to try and read book two without doing a re-read. So that’s what I’m doing. I make it sound like a chore, but honestly, this book is so damn enjoyable. It’s also too pretty for it’s own good, so I’m looking forward to reintroducing myself to Weep, Sarai and Lazlo.

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Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle 1#) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Come on, as if I’m not going to just drop everything to read this when it comes out on May 7th. I am so excited for this book. It’s Jay and Amie back at it again with the epic space adventures and quirky characters. I feel like I’ve been waiting ages for this, ever since they dropped word of it at an Obsidio signing. It’s supposedly The Breakfast Club meets Guardians of the Galaxy. How could it possibly fail?

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The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious 2#) – Maureen Johnson

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The reasoning behind this choice is simple and two-fold: 1) Because I want to, and 2) because I need to read it before I forget all of the important crimey-wimey details necessary to understanding the story. Truly Devious took a while to get into its groove but once it got there, it was a lot of fun so I’m really looking forward to continuing the momentum with The Vanishing Stair. Maybe it’ll give me some answers on a couple of the lasting questions from book one. Fingers crossed.

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Middlegame – Seanan McGuire

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Now, this one is an ARC copy. I’m not allowed to publish a full review until about 2 weeks before the release date, which happens to be in May. Consequently, because I just can’t help myself, I’ve been putting off reading it until closer to the time I can write and then publish my review. The upside, it sounds awesome – there’s twins, alchemy, time travel, multiverses, and fairy tale elements. Hello, smorgasbord. I haven’t read any of Seanan’s other books but I’ve heard people rave about them. If this one goes well, I’ll have to check out the rest.

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Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberly & Austin Siegemund-Broka

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After hearing lots of wonderfully fluffy and sweet things about this YA contemporary, I ordered myself a copy off Book Depository last year. I’m still yet to read it, though. Typical. I think I’m saving this one for when I need something to make me feel good about the world and leave me soft and squishy inside. Also, the fact it was written by a married couple is honestly goals and the most adorable thing ever. I’m looking forward to falling in love with Megan and seeing her get a happy ending.

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The Name of the Wind (The King Killer Chronicle 1#) – Patrick Rothfuss

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This is another one I’ve already started but I can safely say, considering how long it is and how slowly I’m progressing, it’s likely to last the entire season. The Name of the Wind has been on my radar for years now. People always seem to be talking about it, even though the first book was released over ten years ago (fans are still waiting on the third – Rothfuss and George RR Martin have the same attitude to writing, clearly). I haven’t read many lengthy fantasy books in recent years and it’s good to get back to one. So far, it’s going well and I am thoroughly enjoying taking my sweet time.

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Beartown – Fredrik Backman

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I only recently discovered Beartown and was so intrigued that I went and bought it on my next trip to the bookstore. Backman’s books have a fabulous track record of high ratings and this one is no different. I’ve always been a sucker for the small town with dark secrets vibe so I had trouble resisting this one, even though it does have a sporting element. I think it’ll also be good to break up my usual Fantasy, YA, YA-Fantasy pattern.

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What books are on your Spring/Autumn TBR for 2019? Are they all backlist books or do you think you’ll tackle some new releases as soon as they drop?

For more on Top 10 Tuesday, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books that Should be Adapted for Film or TV

This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday involved picking characters you’d swap places with. Now, that just wouldn’t do for me because I honestly don’t want to swap places with ANY characters from the books I read. Why? Because if the story is semi-decent, there’s stuff happening to that character and you can bet that stuff is BAAAAADDDD. So nope, nope, nope. I will just happily read from the sidelines as they deal with their various fictional woes.

Instead, this week I’ve decided to go with books I’d like to see adapted for TV or film. As it turned out, it wasn’t as easy as I thought because while I absolutely love some books/series (*ahem* ADSOM), they’re likely to prove difficult to adapt well. I’ve also tried not to include books that I know are actively making their way to the screen already e.g. Six of Crows, The Hating Game. However, books that have had their rights acquired and then been sat on for YEARS are free game. Let’s get a move along studios!


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Medium: Film

I absolutely love this book but that aside, even as I was reading it, I was thinking about how good a movie it’d make. Provided it had the right script and a fantastic cast, as a movie about the darker side of the film industry itself, I believe it’d translate perfectly to screen. There’s meaty roles, strong conversations that’d translate well into visually powerful scenes, and moviegoers happen to love a good period piece. Plus, it’s always wonderful to see more LGBTI romances in film.

Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

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Medium: Either

This is another book I could see playing in front of my eyes like a film as I was reading. The battle sequences in this would make for fantastic action on screen with good CGI techniques. I mean the climax of this has ALL the necessary components for a winning movie moment. It’s basically sci-fi Top Gun. However, at the same time, the book’s also got some solid character moments to stop an adaptation feeling like a giant explosion fest.

Vicious – V. E. Schwab

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Medium: Film

While I absolutely love the ADSOM series, their scale might make it very difficult to showcase decently on screen. Vicious isn’t a huge book and it focuses on some interesting characters, which is likely to make for a good adaptation. One of the most compelling parts of the X-men franchise is the Magneto-Xavier dynamic and that’s somewhat present here in a much more grey-scale kind of way, which I think people would enjoy. Plus, who doesn’t love superpowers?

Warcross – Marie Lu

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Medium: Film

If there’s one thing the Ready Player One adaptation showed me, it’s that entire CGI sequences can work and be exciting. I would love to see the Warcross matches played out on screen for me to see in real time. But other than that, I also think the story’s modern, tech-savy, and would appeal to a lot of people. It’s got a little action, a little mystery, some romance, and also, go Asian representation!

Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

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Medium: Film

After the success and adorableness of Simon in 2018 I feel like it’s only natural to adapt Leah as well. The actors in Simon were all very well suited to the original book characters and I feel like Katherine has the acting chops to take centre stage in a follow-up. I just want more gushy, marshmallow sweetness, okay? And as if this thing would not make some decent cash at the box office.

Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Medium: TV Series

So technically the rights for this one have been sold but considering we haven’t heard anything since 2015, it seems fair to include it here. The story for Illuminae is so out there, and so much fun, that I think it’d be a blast as an adaptation. What would be cool is to see how they manage to incorporate the changes of style to the screen – show scenes through ship cameras, have typed conversations, it’d be very interesting.

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

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Medium: TV Series

There seems to be a lot of sci-fi on this list somehow? This is another book that’s already had the film rights sold and then disappeared off the face of the earth. The scale of this series is enormous, and it’d likely be a challenge to do, but it’s so fantastic, it’d be worth it. The action sequences would be amazing. I think the first book as an adaptation would do particularly well due to its similarities to The Hunger Games (with many differences of course). There are also some great plot twists throughout the series which always do well in adaptations.

I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson

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Medium: Film

Studios seem to have been on a bit of a YA contemporary streak lately. Both The Sun is Also a Star and All the Bright Places are scheduled for release this year, and I feel as though this would be another good pick in that vein. The key is to make sure the script doesn’t end up reading sappy. With this one, I’d love to see the two different time periods play out with different sets of actors. My favourite part of the book is the fact that the relationship at its heart is a sibling one involving two messed up people who make some big mistakes but ultimately come back to each other.

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

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Medium: Film

Now, I can hear you crying: Ashley, no more sci-fi! BUT NO. THERE’S ALWAYS MORE. The Lunar Chronicles is another fun series which takes something people love (fairytales) and turns them into something else. I mean, the series pretty much has everything necessary for a good movie – a kooky cast of friends on the run, an evil queen determined to take control of the universe, multiple super shippable-ships, a sassy ship AI, solid ethnic diversity, political intrigue, mystery and some badass women. Honestly, I bet everyone would be along for the ride on this one. They’re also the kind of books where they’d be able to cut down for time without damaging the story too much.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

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Media: TV Series

Okay, I know I said I’d be avoiding ones that’d be too difficult to do, but eh. This one would need a hell of a scriptwriter and an absolutely fabulous director, but if they managed it, boy, would it make an interesting mini-series. Shot in the style of an Agatha Christie mystery (but of course, with the fantasy element), I think this would work really well. I’m just imaging the large, talented cast (much like the And Then There Were None adaptation) and the beautiful cinematography to show off the crumbling manor house.


Which book would you most like to see as a TV series or movie? Why do you think it’d work?

Top 10 Tuesday: 2019 Releases I’m on the Fence About Reading

Technically this week’s topic is about upcoming releases but I’ve expanded it to include all 2019 releases, even ones that have come out. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether you want to read a book or not. Maybe the blurb sounds good but the reviews don’t, perhaps there are conflicting reviews, or maybe it’s an author you love but the book itself just doesn’t sound like it’ll float your boat. Here are ten 2019 releases that I’m currently on the fence about reading:

On the Come Up – Angie Thomas

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Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.


Why the Fence? I read THUG in 2018 after being on the fence for ages. I ended up doing it because I’d heard it was amazing and also decided it concerned important topics I should educate myself on. This one, I’m unsure about. I’m not a rap or hip-hop fan at all so the plot of OTCU doesn’t really grab or interest me but Angie is a great writer so ugh! Indecision.

Children of Virtue & Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha 2#) – Tomi Adeyemi

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Zélie and Amari have succeeded in bringing magic back to Orïsha. Not only to the maji but nobles with magic ancestry, too. Now Zélie must face the struggle to unite them. But when the monarchy and military unite to maintain of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath. With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.


Why the Fence? *sigh* There were things I liked about Children of Blood and Bone when I read it last year but also a lot of things that frustrated or bored me. In the end, I gave the book a 3.5-star rating. I’m just not sure if the good things are enough to get me to read the sequel.

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Slayer – Kiersten White

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Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, have grown up at the Watcher’s Academy. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead, she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic. That is, until the day she becomes the newest Chosen One. However, when bodies start turning up, Nina will have to use her new powers to put a stop to it or potentially risk losing someone she loves.


Why the Fence? I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. Enormous. So the idea that someone decided to write a YA book set in the Buffy-verse makes my nerdy heart go wild. The problem is that I’ve seen some really great reviews and some really…not so good reviews. Apparently, the humour is on point but it’s a slog to get through until the last third. I’m just super worried I’m going to end up disappointed.

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Romanov – Nadine Brandes

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Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before. Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .
That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other. 


Why the Fence? I love Anastasia – both the animated movie and the fascinating history surrounding the Russian Revolution so this caught my interest easily. There’s also magical elements which, as you guys know, I’m like a moth to a flame for. My worry is that this’ll be another instalove, sappy and overly dramatic relationship that’ll dominate all other aspects of the plot. I’ve been burnt too many times before. Do I risk it and perhaps end up finding something really good or skip it?

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There’s Something About Sweetie – Sandhya Menon

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Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After he’s dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.

Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death. Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.

Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other.


Why the Fence? This book sounds super cute and I love the fact that it features a female lead with a bigger body type wanting to enjoy being her best self. My issue is that when I read Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi, I had a lot of issues with the story like rushed romantic development, annoying characterisation, and frustrating and unnecessarily drawn-out conflict scenarios. My worry is that I’ll have the same issues here.

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Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson

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Elisabeth dreams of being a warden at one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries – those tasked with protecting the kingdom from magical grimoires which have the potential to transform into monsters. When an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire, Elisabeth is implicated and sent to the capital to face justice. Left with no one to turn to, she finds an unexpected ally in the mysterious sorcerer, Nathaniel Thorn. As Elisabeth’s alliance with Nathaniel grows, she finds herself forced to question everything she’s been taught about the evil of sorcerers, the Great Libraries, and herself, and soon becomes entangled in a conspiracy that could mean not only the end of the libraries but the world.


Why the Fence? The blurb for this book sounds awesome – magic, powerful books and libraries, conspiracies. This could be right up my alley. Plus the cover looks so good! My main issue is that I read Margaret Rogerson’s debut, An Enchantment of Ravens, and was disappointed by its average-ness (including the rushed romance). It wasn’t bad, just not great either. I wonder if Sorcery of Thorns will be different?

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Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan

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A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself. A prince in danger must decide who to trust. A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.  Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war. In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. 


Why the Fence? I am so torn on this one. I’ve heard that it’s dark, a little gothic, a good pick for Leigh Bardugo fans, and got a great magic system. And yet, apparently, it’s got a serious case of instalove. Worse, this romantic storyline renders the female lead a bit stupid and naive. Ugh, I can already feel the frustration brewing.

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Kingsbane (Empirium 2#) – Claire Legrand

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Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien — but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist. Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption — fear of becoming another Rielle — keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted — by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever. 


Why the Fence? Like with Children of Blood & Bone, this is another book where I enjoyed parts of the first one but also had several issues that might dissuade me from continuing. Still, I’m tempted because I feel as though this book will fill in a lot of the knowledge gaps I had in book one and considering where Eliana’s story finished, her story is likely to be more interesting this time around. Hm, guess I’ll see.

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The Storm Crow – Kalyn Josephson

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In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.


Why the Fence? So, this is like Eragon but with crows. Part of me is like YES and the other is like, magical crows? Wtf? I also happen to have a massive bird phobia, so there’s that. The world building has been said to be a little iffy. but the book is supposed to have great friendship, a banter-y romance, some twists and well developed female characters. Could go either way for me, really.

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Dev1at3 (Lifel1k3 2#) – Jay Kristoff

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Lemon Fresh has seen better days. After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.


Why the Fence? I love Jay Kristoff. He’s easily one of my favourite authors. I liked Lifel1k3 when I tackled it last year but I wasn’t in love. While I was pretty sure I’d read the sequel then, with time I’ve become less positive. This particular book seems to focus on Lemon who I did like but I’m unsure whether I’d want a book centred around her. Yet, after where book one finished, part of me is still keen to see where it leads.

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Which 2019 releases are you on the fence about?

For more Top 10 Tuesday Topics, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Favourite Reads of 2018

No, it’s not Tuesday but with the end of the year finally here, it’s time to start wrapping up on all the books I read in 2018. For this reason, here I am, counting down my favourite reads of the year. I am terrible when it comes to comparing and ranking things which is why my top tens are never ordered. Yet, this time around I’m actually going to try and do a proper countdown all the way up to my favourite read of the year. Can you hear me hyperventilating already? The pressure is intense, man. PANIC. To put it into perspective, I’ve read 89 books this year (I’m going to try my best to crack the big 9-0 before the year ends *crosses fingers & toes*) and have to pick TEN. JUST TEN.

So, here they are, in order, my 10 favourite reads of 2018:

10. THE CRUEL PRINCE – HOLLY BLACK | Review

34913691Let’s kick things off with a majorly hyped book. The Cruel Prince has some big flaws – lacking world building, slow pacing for the first half of the novel, a lot of unlikeable or eh characters, and am I completely addicted anyway for some inexplicable reason? Oh…..yes. The backstabbing, murder, political machinations, toxic romance, shades of grey characters, dark and twisty writing – I’m kind of in love with it all in an almost guilty pleasure kind of way. The second half of this book and especially the ending is just so addictive and exciting that I’m practically itching to get my hands on The Wicked King. It’s my most anticipated 2019 release, easy.

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9. The HATE U GIVE – ANGIE THOMAS | Review

34530151A lot of people are going to wonder why this one is so low on my list so let me explain. The Hate U Give is fantastic. No, really, the fact that this is an author debut is insane. It’s wonderfully written, the characters are rich and very well developed, and the story itself is topical, emotional and impactful. I admire THUG for all of these reasons and recommend that everyone read it at least once to better understand privilege, racism, and the importance of standing up for what is right. However, at the same time, it’s not something I would ever see myself re-reading or a book I could say I “loved” or was completely transfixed by, which is why it sits at number nine.

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8. TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE – JENNY HAN | Review

21028311This is another hyped up and somewhat flawed read which for some reason I couldn’t help gobbling up like an all-you-can-eat buffet complete with a chocolate fountain at the dessert table. To All the Boys is the fluffy, adorable, and sweet YA contemporary I didn’t even know I needed that would be able to make me smile even on an absolutely terrible day. Sure, it’s predictable, the plot is a little silly, and the ending is incomplete (to put it mildly), but it’s not meant to be a heavy read and I had such a wonderful time reading it that I immediately tracked down and read books two and three. Also, the fact that it features a mixed race protagonist is great. Basically just LJ x Peter K forever.

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7. WARCROSS – MARIE LU

36160193Warcross was my very first introduction to Marie Lu and what a fabulous one at that. I raced through this book like crazy, ridiculously keen for answers to all the story’s big plot questions. The warcross matches themselves were so much fun and a feast for the imagination – it’s basically virtual reality capture the flag on speed. The characters in Warcross were also really well done too, especially the MC, Emika, who became one of my favourite characters of 2018 (well, if we ignore Wildcard *cough*). She’s smart, talented, and pretty kick ass. I may not have been that keen on one of the major twists of the book but that didn’t stop me desperately craving book two the minute I finished it. I’ll definitely be checking out more of Marie’s books in future after the fun time I had with this one.

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6. SADIE – COURTNEY SUMMERS | Review

34810320Sadie was not a light read by any means – murder, child sexual abuse, loss, poverty – but from the get go I was hooked. There’s just something about this dark, little book which grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. The writing and pacing are so perfectly done with the divide between first person and podcast transcripts. Sadie, herself, was both strong and vulnerable, and I wanted nothing more than to protect her from the world’s evils on her journey toward revenge. The ending of this one will be gnawing at me for a long time to come.

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5. THE SONG OF ACHILLES – MADELINE MILLER | Review

Image result for the song of achillesI’d heard amazing things about this book for ages before finally reading it, and people weren’t wrong. This was the book that reminded me just how much I love history. It’s the perfect blend of mythology, magic, war, romance, and emotional trauma wrapped up in one innocent looking, book shaped package. Miller’s attention to detail is phenomenal and blended with her straightforward writing style, immerses you without ever feeling overwhelming. The characters are beautifully developed, both good and bad, and even though the story is an old one, Miller tells it in an emotional and impactful way that really does manage to hit you hard in the feels. The perfect reminder that I need to branch outside of YA more often.

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4. SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA – BECKY ALBERTALLI | Review

Related imageAs if this wouldn’t make the list. It feels like so long ago that I read Simon. I mean, it kind of is a long time ago as it was one of the first books I read in 2018. At the time, Simon was the latest in my attempts to branch into the YA contemporary genre and it’s probably what encouraged me to read so many of these kinds of books this year. This book made me feel so happy, so good about the world at the end of it, that I just couldn’t wait to write a review. Honestly, I believe Simon could win over even the most cynical of readers. There’s great LGBTI representation, the writing itself is actually laugh out loud (or in my case, snort) funny, and it really does take you on an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs. If you’re in a reading slump, this is the novel cure for you.

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3. SCYTHE – NEAL SHUSTERMAN | Review

Image result for scythe neal shustermanI waited ages to get my hands on this book, meaning the expectations were very high because of all the positive reviews I’d seen during that period. To my relief, it wasn’t a let down in the slightest, mostly because Shusterman’s world is wonderfully original and fantastically constructed. I sucked up every detail like a ginormous sponge. The concept is compelling, a little crazy, somewhat terrifying, and perfectly executed even with the slower pace of the plot. The characters themselves are likeable and layered, and I really enjoyed reading through their arcs.  Also, a big plus, the romantic subplots are properly developed and don’t take over the main storyline. Simply put, I loved this book (and the sequel, too!).

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2. GOLDEN SON & MORNING STAR (RED RISING 2# & 3#) – PIERCE BROWN | Review

umqxjlfoedq7lj67v7w0Yes, this is two books but both of them have to be on this list and I feel weird about giving them separate slots so here they are, bundled together. This series gave me serious life at the start of 2018. My god, this is sci-fi at its best. I don’t even know where to start. Once they got going, and they really, really do, I could barely put them down until I finished. The story is so full of action, twists and turns, and backstabbing/plotting, it’s phenomenal. The characters are memorable, complex, have a wonderful dynamic, and when things go wrong for them, it really plays with your emotions. The other star of this series is Brown’s world building, or should I say ‘universe building’, which is just so damn good. The scale of it all is crazy. I will definitely be rereading these at some point.

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And that brings us to my final pick of the year, my favourite read, which was…

….

Are you ready?

1. THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO – TAYLOR JENKINS REID | Review

33160963Ta dah! Evelyn Hugo is my number one read for 2018. Not that it should be a big surprise to anyone who’s read my review. I knew this book would be magic from the very beginning. I just had that feeling, you know the one, and I was right. Honestly guys, I love this book. Adore it. It’s actually joined The Time Traveller’s Wife as one of my favourite books of all time. The characters in this story are so real and multifaceted, the love and care Reid gives them simply jumps off the page. This is especially so for Evelyn, herself, with all her imperfections. The LBGTI representation is fantastic, particularly with regards to the historical context. Honestly, I could sit here forever and talk about all the reasons I love this book and we wouldn’t even scrape the surface. The writing, structure, heartbreaking romance, old Hollywood setting, ah! It’s so good. Read it, read it, read it.

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SPECIAL MENTIONS:

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*Exhales* Made it! That wasn’t so hard was it? I’m kidding. That was agony. I’ll probably think about this list for the next week agonising about what I coulda, shoulda, woulda done. But hey, sometimes you just have to pick and stick with it.

What were your favourite reads of 2018? And what’s the last book you plan to read for the year?

Top 10 Tuesday: YA Contemporaries on my Summer TBR

This week’s topic is to do with cozy winter reads (thanks Jana) but as usual, I live in the Southern Hemisphere which means, to my horror, we’re now in summer. Basically in AUS that means the country is flooding, on fire, and in drought all at the same time. There’s also been word of a giant cow somewhere. Anyway, I’m finally getting on board with the whole ‘summer is a great time to read YA Contemporaries’ thing. In my case, it’s probably more like: summer is a great time to catch up on all the YA Contemporaries everyone else in the world seems to have read ages ago and I haven’t. So here are ten that I’m hoping to read at some point over the next few months of icky, sweaty, humid, bug infested Summer.

Image result for alex approximatelyAlex, Approximately – Jenn Bennett

Essentially this is You’ve Got Mail (which I really enjoy) in a modern, teen setting. So, as you can imagine, I’m very much on board. I like the whole enemies to lovers trope where it involves gaining a new understanding of someone you thought you knew and this definitely seems to check that box. I’m just preparing for a chick flick in book form, really.

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Image result for fangirl rainbow rowellFangirl – Rainbow Rowell

I bought this one a few months back now and still haven’t gotten to it despite the fact that it’s one of those YA Contemporaries everyone RAVES about because it’s apparently so relatable. The cover is cute, the blurb’s cute, and yes, it does all feel very relatable. The lead is an introvert who writes fan fiction and absolutely loves books..sound like anyone you know? I also kind of like the fact that it’s set at university rather than high school. Time to see what everyone’s been talking about. Cath and Levi, I’m coming for you.

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Image result for what if its usWhat if it’s Us? – Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

I was majorly anticipating this particular release and while I have certainly bought it, as usual, I still have yet to read it. I love Becky’s books and after reading my first of Adam’s books last month, I’m super keen to read their joint baby. I’ve seen a few mixed reviews on it since its release but I’m hoping that adorable characters and theatre vibes will make it a winner for me.

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28919058Autoboyography – Christina Lauren

This one was recommended to me by someone at the bookstore after I finished Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I’ve heard Christina’s books are really sweet and there is honestly so much love for this book online. I also feel like it’s pretty important to read some more books with diversity. The cover is super pretty and I think the concept in itself sounds really lovely. It may also be because like every other book worm out there, I, too, like to write.

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33385229They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera

This one’s a little different from the other YA Contemporaries on this list because its technically set in another world but it’s still classified as one anyway. After reading and enjoying History is All You Left Me, I’d love to read some more of Adam’s work and this one seems to be the most popular of the bunch. I can tell it’s going to be another heart wrecker but hey, emotion is good. I think this will be a great reminder to live life to the fullest and appreciate the little things. At least it won’t be a shock ending, right? RIGHT?

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25756328Love and Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch

Um, what’s more summer than romance, gelato and Italy? Nothing, that’s right. Okay, there’s probably a lot of things but regardless, I get the feeling this will be a perfect summer pick. I’ve used this book in other posts before but because I still haven’t got there, it’s showing up again. Sue me. I absolutely adore Italy so it’ll be nice to read something fun and light set there. I’m not expecting anything too substantial but sometimes that’s okay. I can’t read books about life and death questions all the time.

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18304322Dumplin’ – Julie Murphy

Dumplin’ has been on my radar for a while but I’ve been putting it off because there seems to be some people that love it and think it’s wonderfully body positive, and others that have a heap of issues with it and complain about it being hypocritical. I’m far from the skinniest person you’ll ever meet so I’m hoping I’ll end up finding something in the former camp. Plus, the Netflix adaptation comes out later this week and I’m one of those people for which nothing spurs me on to read books I’ve been putting off quite like seeing an adaptation trailer.

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31952703Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley

A book about BOOKS. Can you imagine anything more perfect than that? Even better, people connecting and falling in love by leaving notes for each other in books! It’s basically my romantic dream. No direct socialisation and spending heaps of time in bookstores. *swoons* This is suposed to be a short read but it’s also got a great reputation for being a really beautiful book about love, loss and learning to move on with your life. Why do so many books on this list want to wreck me emotionally? BONUS, it’s set in Australia! Horray! And yet, I’m still determined to get my hands on the US cover because gosh the UK/Aus cover is a snooze. Zzzzzzzz…

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18460392All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

This book has come up a lot in YA circles. It’s on the 2018 top 101 list at my local bookstore, won a Goodreads choice award back in 2015 and has an average star rating of 4.18. Yes, it’s another love story but this seems like it deals with a lot of bigger things too such as mental health and suicide so I’m expecting to get that giant hole in my heart by the end of it. However, apparently it’s a bit John Green-esque which, no shade to Mr Green, hasn’t really been my thing so far. Eh, we’ll have to see!

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31351689Girl Made of Stars – Ashley Herring Blake

Okay, this isn’t exactly what you’d call an easy, breezy summer read but it’s YA, contemporary and I am hoping to read it during summer. I’ve got a lot of love story books on this list and I feel like it might be nice to have something a little more serious. This book deals with rape, trust, relationships and it looks intense but it’s supposed to be fantastic and I’m hoping for a really great read which successfully tackles some heavy themes.

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That makes 10. I’ll be realistic, it’s unlikely I’ll get anywhere near to reading all of these during the next few months because I do need to break things up with some other genres for variety but it’s always nice to have goals.

Have you read any of the YA Contemporaries on this list? What are some of your favourite books in this genre?