Beat the Backlist 2018 TBR


On the 1st January 2018, I included my sign up to Beat the Backlist in a muddled little post where I only included a tiny little selection of books I wanted to read for the BtB challenge. Needless to say, this tiny little list has been lost in the depths of my blog already and was completely insufficient for keeping track of important information concerning my TBR and also my ongoing progress. So, I’ve been inspired by Flavia‘s beautifully organised and structured list to create my own which I can pin to my own menu and update it regularly with how I’m doing!

Updated: 22nd February 2018

Beat the Backlist Extended* TBR

*A list of eligible reads but is not necessarily an accurate reflection of what I can comfortably read within a single year

! – Priority
* Owned
+ Diverse
(L) Library Book

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas *!
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katharine Arden *!
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey *
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault +
The Black Guard by A.J Smith *
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman *
Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne by David Gaider *
The Emperor’s Blade by Brian Staveley
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin * +
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor +
Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng +
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare !
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir +
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton +

Science Fiction

Red Rising by Pierce Brown *
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky *
Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy by Various * +
Legend by Marie Lu *
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel *
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Neuromancer by William Gibson *
Everfair by Nisi Shawl +
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon +
The Maze Runner by James Dashner *
Confluence by Paul MacAuley *
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Kay Kristoff
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor +
Allegiant by Veronica Roth *!

Historical Fiction

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee +
Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin * +
All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr * +
At the Water’s Edge by Sarah Waters


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera +
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina * ! +
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson * +
The Vegetarian by Han King +
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera +
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth +



How to be a Disney Historian by Jim Korkis
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga *
Necropolis: London and It’s Dead by Catherine Arnold *
Underworld London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City by Catherine Arnold *
They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age Volume 1 by Didier Ghez *
The Art of Moana by Jessica Julius *
Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas by Stefan Helmreich *
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematorium by Caitlin Dougherty *

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Read So Far

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley + (L) (Review)
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (L)
The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz + (L)
Transgender Warriors by Leslie Feinberg * +
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness + (L)
Morning Glories: Volume One (L)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas * + (L)
Star Wars: From a Certain Point Of View by Various * +


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Discussion | #ownvoice versus non #ownvoice authors?


Discussions around #ownvoice authors is not exactly new in the book blogging community. It’s something I’ve seen spoken about quite a lot by other bloggers but is not something that I’d especially given much thought to before. The extent of my thought process around #ownvoice authors had been that I should continue to support them and champion their work. If there was a book about an issue affecting black people written by a black author then I would definitely boost the #ownvoice author. And, in cases where a book is written by a non #ownvoice author and has problematic content in it then I speak up about why the book is problematic and recommend #ownvoice alternatives.

But what happens when a book deals with sensitive marginalised issues or is potentially problematic without it being clear if the author is #ownvoices or not? 

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Top 10 Tuesday | Books on my Scrap Pile

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly book tag that was run by The Broke and the Bookish but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provides a different bookish theme those deep-seated desires to list! Anyone is welcome to join in on their blog, in the comments or any other way. 

– Top 10 Books I’m No Longer Interested In  –

This one was a bit of a hard one this week as I went through my Goodreads TBR shelf and got rid of anything I was no longer interested in reading. So a lot of the books you see below are ones that I’ve managed to dig out from the back of my brain to remember!

1. Anything by J.K Rowling

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It pains me to say this but I’ve pretty much completely eradicated anything to do with J.K from my life and it makes me really sad. Harry Potter was such a huge part of my childhood and I would have poured over books like A History of Magic just a few years ago. However, given J.K’s conduct over the past few years, including supporting Johnny Depp, becoming a complete sell out, and even sharing tweets from young people who have said something anti-J.K to encourage her following to tear them apart, means that I have completely disowned her. No matter how much I loved Harry Potter I simply cannot support her work anymore and she has completely ruined the franchise for me anyway.

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The background characters take over | Book review: The Rest Of Us Just Live Here

Book review (14)

TITLE: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

AUTHOR: Patrick Ness


RELEASED: 2015; Walker Books Ltd

GENRE: YA Fantasy/Contemporary

FORMAT: Library book, Hardback

KEY INFO: Coming of age, Superpowers, LGBTQ, Mental Illness, not the Chosen Ones, Supercute friendships

« goodreads // amazon // book depository »


The Rest Of Us Just Live Here is the first Patrick Ness book that I’ve read and I have to say I’m completely in love with his writing. He manages to expertly blend together adorable friendships between completely flawed young people, and serious coming of age issues with witty comedy to bring us an engaging, unusual, lovable story which is an interesting mix of YA fantasy and contemporary.

Mikey, his sister, and their friends are just the normal kids (well, mostly normal. His best friend Jared may or may not be a demi-god of cats). They’re just trying to get by, graduate from high school and spend their last summer together before they all go off to college. But mysterious supernatural powers behind the scenes have a different idea. These are the same supernatural powers which, decades before, unleashed zombies and soul-eating ghosts upon their small town which ended up with the Indie kids having to blow up the school to save everyone from a tragic death. This time it’s a weird blue light that shoots up into the sky, and Indie kids like one of the Finns going missing or turning up dead. Very weird and extraordinary things happening on the edge of a bunch of normal friends living their ordinary friends.

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Holy Frak What Did I Just Read | Book Review: Illuminae

Book review (13)

TITLE: Illuminae

AUTHOR: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

SERIES: The Illuminae Files

RELEASED: 2015; Rock the Boat

GENRE: YA Science Fiction

FORMAT READ: Library Paperback

KEY INFO: Unique story presentation, Set on a spaceship, Badass female protag, AI, Romance, Dystopia, Thriller

« goodreads // amazon // book depository »

Where do I even begin with this book?? It was amazing on so many different levels that it’s hard to sit down, unpack those feelings, and actually be able to coherently review the book. Not to mention Illuminae is 599 pages so there’s a hell of a lot to unpack!

Imagine breaking up with your boyfriend, having your planet invaded by a megacorporation who is trying to kill everyone you know and love, managing to Image result for don't look at me illuminaeevacuate onto one of three United Terran Airships that are rescuing refugees, being chased across the galaxy by a BeiTech Industries warship who wants to destroy surviving witnesses, and having to team up with said ex-boyfriend in order to save the lives of thousands of people. Oh, and that’s not to mention the terrifying plague that’s rapidly spreading among the ship’s human population or the overbearing AI (AIDAN) that’s just trying to help.

Well, that’s Illuminae in a nutshell for you and it’s an incredibly butchered summary to just give you an idea of the complete chaos that lays within its pages. I went in completely blind, not knowing even a speck of information of the book and it was a hell of a ride from start to finish.

To begin with, the way that Illuminae is told is incredible and one of the main reasons why I fell in love with the book so much. Rather than being told through a straightforward narrative, Illuminae is pieced together through a hefty collection of hacked documents including emails, Instant Messages, medical reports, interviews, surveillance footage summaries, countdowns to interception, and more.

The effect that this formatting has on the reading experience is really exciting. You don’t feel like a passive reader whose just reading about something, but because you’re learning about what happened through the collection of documents it feels like you are actively piecing it all together and that you are a witness to something extraordinary. It set a brilliant pace for the book – leisurely but enjoyable for the first 100 or so pages but then a complete rollercoaster ride when things kick off. I found myself devouring hundreds of pages at a time and staying up way past bedtime because I just couldn’t put it down. There were also so many twists and turns coming my way that I didn’t want to stop reading because I needed to know what was happening next.

The advantage of the story being told like this is that you also get to experience the story from many different perspectives but in a way that’s entirely different to alternating points of view narrating. Instead, we’re privy to dozens of different people’s accounts from our female protagonist, Kady, to the ships AI, AIDAN, and right down to the most minor characters who wrote medical reports and other important ship documents. Every single one of these characters are interesting and they all contribute to our understanding of the story. They were endearing, brave, unhinged, loveable, frustrating, flawed. The combined effect made the story really believable throughout. Also, can I just take a second to appreciate Kady because she is a complete badass who learns to do exceptional hacking during her time on board her ship Hypatia, can seriously kick ass and takes no shit from nobody. I also love books where we get perspectives from AI’s. That’s my jam right there.

I’m not sure what else I can say without giving anything away, so I won’t! Basically, if you want a book that’s super refreshing to read, an incredibly interesting and gripping story, chock full of compelling characters, and really attractive to look at then definitely pick up Illuminae. I actually cannot wait to read Gemina


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five stars

Red Rocket Panda




Book Review: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life

Book review (12)

Title: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Series: N/A

Released: 7th March 2017; Clarion Books

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Key Info: Platonic Love, Coming Of Age, Dealing with Emotions, Family, Mexican-American, LGBTQ

I have long been a fan of Benjamin Alire Sáenz‘s work. I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe in 2014 and I felt something shift in me as a reader the moment I read that book. The combination of the lyrical way that Sáenz writes, the heartbreakingly loveable characters, the sensitive themes explored in the book, and the overall plot of Ari & Dante made magic on those pages. It’s one of my favourite books to this day, so of course, I was very excited to read Sáenz’s next YA fiction The Inexplicable Logic of my Life.

Before I launch into my review of this book I just wanted to do a little public announcement. Since reading this book and planning my review, a fellow book blogger made me aware of the way that Sáenz approached another book blogger regarding her review of his book and asked her to apologize for what she had written. His behavior towards that reviewer is not something that I feel able to go into in this review. However, I do want to briefly clarify that I do not ever condone authors approaching reviewers to ask them to change/apologize for/or otherwise negatively interact with them as a result of the review they have posted of their book. Reviews are not for authors, they are for fellow readers and we are all entitled to our own opinions. Following on from that, this review is written completely from my own perspective. I am aware that some readers had issues with this book that I personally didn’t have, so please bear in mind this is my own opinion about this book.

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Book Tag | Valentine’s Day


The Valentine’s Day Book Tag was originally created by CC’s Books and As Told by Tina!
I was tagged in by one of my favourite bloggers, Mel. I’m currently waiting for my partner to get home so we can go out for our Valentine’s Day outing so there’s no better time to do it than now!

1. Stand Alone Book you love 
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

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2. Dystopian Book you Love 
The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

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3. A book that you love but no one else talks about 
Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton
(I really, really want this Barnes & Noble Exclusive omg)

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4. Favorite Book Couple 
Achilles and Patroclus from The Song of Achilles

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5. Book that other people love but you haven’t gotten around to read 
So many! ACOTAR and The Mortal Instruments are probably two of the main series I haven’t yet started!

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6. A book with Red on the cover
Red Rising // Everless // A Closed and Common Orbit

7. A book with Pink on the cover
My lovely edition of THUG

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8. You were given a book of chocolate what fictional boyfriend/girlfriend would give them to you.
That is obvs the type of thing that Dorian would do ❤

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9. You are Single on Valentine’s Day. What Book would you read? What TV show would you watch? What Movie would you watch?
This is so hard to decide but I was thinking about this earlier so I already have an answer. Grey’s Anatomy, especially the first 5 seasons. The perfect blend of comforting friends, drama, beautiful people and racy romances.

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10. You are in the Book Store. All of the sudden you get shot with an arrow by Cupid. What New Release will you love. 
Haha hopefully it’s something that I’m already sure that I will love, like Dread Nation which I cannot wait for!

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11. Spread the Love Who do you tag?
Gonna cheat a bit and also tag Destiny 😉
Wendy @WhattheLog
Ashley @SociallyAwkwardBookworm
Daja @ThoughtfulBlackGirl
Sarah @SarahAmesFoley
(And to whoever else is interested in this tag – consider yourself tagged!)

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