Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Tag

I have a confession to make: I didn’t watch Avatar: The Last Airbender at all as a child. My friend tried to make me watch a few episodes once and I just didn’t pay any attention. And now, because I’m basic, it’s appeared on Netflix and I’ve binged the entire thing…

I finished watching it about a week ago and I’m still watching Zuko and Iroh videos on Youtube for procrastination every chance I get. So, to turn my obsession into something productive, I found out that this book tag is a thing! Here’s the ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Tag’:

Katara and Sokka: The Best Sibling Relationship

This one was kind of difficult and I really struggled to think of an answer but I think I’ve come up with the best one. Alec and Izzy from The Mortal Instruments are an amazing and super fearsome sibling duo.

Yue: Favourite Star-Crossed Lovers

The first couple that came to mind for this was Cassie and Evan from The Fifth Wave trilogy. I love their relationship and it’s definitely, definitely not meant to be.

Blood-bending- A Book With Unnerving/Unsettling Content

Although this book isn’t one of my favourites, I searched my brain for something I’d read with unsettling content and Beware That Girl is the one I came up with. Both of the main characters have some really dangerous motives and I found this book to be just generally weird.

Toph: A Character Whose Strength Surprised You

It’s pretty obvious from the start of The Cruel Prince that Jude is mentally tough and determined, but she still proves herself to be so physically and mentally strong throughout the series. She isn’t physically as tough as some other characters but she works so hard to protect herself and the people she cares herself that it has to be acknowledged.

The Tales of Ba Sing Se: Best Short Story/ Poetry Collection

A go-to recommendation for me is Slasher Girls and Monster Boys so, yes, I’m going to bring that up again. The stories range from creepy to downright disturbing and I really loved almost all of them.

Kioshi Warriors: Best Warrior Character

I don’t know if she counts as a Warrior but one of the toughest characters I can think of is Laia from An Ember in The Ashes. It’s been forever since I read the first two books (and I still haven’t finished the series) but I really loved how tough she is.

Zuko: Best Redemption Arc

It’s hard to think of a redemption arc that actually compares to Zuko’s because the writers completely nailed it, but maybe a certain genius billionaire from the Warcross duology could also be considered…

Iroh: Wisest Character

I’m going to go super basic for this and say Dumbledore from Harry Potter. I probably don’t have to explain why.

Azula: Best Downfall

For this, the first person that comes to mind is Jonathan Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments series. This series had so much build up and tension that his downfall was incredibly anticipated, and it actually managed to live up to my expectations.

Appa: Favourite Fictional Animal/Pet

I literally can’t think of any pets in YA! I’ve been through my reading lists and the only pet I can think of is Hedwig from Harry Potter… If you can think of any pets in YA, please let me know.

Aang: Purest Cinnamon Roll

Just because I love this book so much, I’m going to say Sean from Anna and the French Kiss. He’s obviously just a minor character but he’s so small and adorable and the way he reacts to Anna’s problems is really, really cute.

Avatar State: A Stubborn Character/ A Character That Struggles With Letting Go

For a character that struggles with letting go, Mara Dyer from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is the first that comes to mind. She holds a lot of grudges and lets her anger get the best of her a lot but I absolutely love her.

This or That Book Tag

I’ve been doing a lot of book tags lately so I promise I’ll have some book reviews up soon! In the meantime, whilst I’m juggling about six different reads and nowhere close to finishing any of them, I figured that this tag would be pretty fun too.

I first saw this post on Caffeinated Fae’s blog here!

Reading on the bed or on the couch?

Generally, I’d say I prefer to read in bed, especially when it’s cold outside and I can curl up with my duvet. It’s really nice to sit on the sofa by the window with a good book in summer though, so both are good options!

Main character: male or female?

Although I do have a few favourite reads where the main character is a male (*cough* Anna Dressed in Blood), I usually pick up books with a female main character.

Sweet or salty snacks while reading?

Salty snacks, generally Pringles, are my snack of choice. If there’s cake in the house, though, that always goes really well with a reading session.

Trilogies or quartets?

Trilogies! My favourite series is a duology so I generally prefer when book series’ are shorter. I always find that trilogies give you plenty of content without overcomplicating the story, and they’re about as much as my attention span can handle.

Reading in the AM or PM?

PM! I always struggle to read during the day. Plus, a book is always more satisfying if you stay up all night to read it.

First or third-person POV?

I don’t have a problem with either, but I definitely like first-person better. I love getting inside a character’s head (and I’ve never been able to write more than a couple of pages in third…)

Libraries or bookstores?

I’d love to say libraries, but I’m a hoarder. I want all the books and can’t bear the thought of giving them back.

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Probably books that make me cry, because I cry at the majority of books I read. Sometimes it’s happy tears but, usually, it’s really, really not.

Black or white book covers?

Black book covers are stunning. Especially black covers with foil blocking (*heart eyes*).

Character or plot driven?

This one is so tough, but I feel like, if I’ve fallen in love with a set of characters, I could read about even the most mundane things that they do, so I’d have to say character-driven.

Who I’m tagging:

I’m still new and don’t know anyone to tag BUT I’d love to use this post to make some blogging-community friends; feel free to tell me about your blog below or say hi. Also, if you want to do this tag, consider this you being tagged!

How I got a Publishing Internship

I only graduated four months ago so my experience in publishing is insanely limited. I’m still on the hunt for a job, but I’ve now had two internships with the same publishing company and am a lot more confident in my knowledge of the publishing industry as a whole.

I know that I was incredibly lucky to get an internship when it’s so competitive and I thought it might be useful to share my tips on how I did it!

In honour of ‘Work in Publishing’ week, here are my top tips for getting a publishing internship:

Do Your Research

This should be fairly obvious, but you can’t just look up the five most popular publishers and send in random emails to them. Because the larger companies generally run work experience schemes (which you should definitely apply for!), they usually won’t respond to a random graduate asking for work. By all means, apply, but it’s definitely a good idea not to rely on these. It’s important to spend some time finding as many publishing firms as you possibly can.

I found it useful to make a spreadsheet of all of the companies that didn’t refuse cold emails (it’s useless to apply for a company that explicitly states that they won’t respond) and their contact details. Trust me, there are way more publishers than you even knew existed and one of them might be the one that give you a chance!

Check Job Listings

Many places don’t mention internship schemes on their websites, but some do! It’s a long task if you’re going to search the internet for every publisher in a 20-mile radius (especially if you’re looking for work in London!) but it’s completely worth checking every careers page you find. Very few internships are listed on Publishing job-sites, so your best chance is to check with individual publishers on their sites.

If you find one of these internships, apply exactly how they ask you to. Look into their specific titles and imprints and figure out a way to explain that, not only do you want to work in publishing, you want to work specifically for them. I didn’t have any luck with these types of applications, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t! Polish up your CV, write a cover letter that explains why you want to work in publishing and any relevant skills or experience you have, and cross your fingers.

Send Cold Emails

If you have no other leads, this is the most likely way you’re going to get an internship- this is the way I managed it! It’s terrifying to send out copies of your CV to people who have never heard of you and who probably won’t respond, but that’s half of the reason why it works. My boss during my internships told me that she respected the courage I had in randomly applying and that my cold emailing demonstrated a level of confidence that employers are looking for. Obviously, this isn’t a guaranteed way to get an internship, but it does mean that you’re getting your name out as far as possible. I had about ten publishers respond to me and say that they’d put my CV on file, one told me of an internship scheme that they would be running in the near future and another responded offering me a two-week placement.

To get so many responses, I had to email a lot of people. If you’re committed to doing this, your best shot is to send an email to every publisher you can find.

I did a lot of research on how to write a cold email/what to include/who to contact, so here are some of the websites that I found really useful:

medium.com/@justinemoore_85088/from-cold-email-to-internship-with-jason-chen-1cff6d560ae3

roojet.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-cold-emailing-for-internships-or-jobs/

Don’t Focus Solely on Publishers

If you’re looking for some experience in order to get a publishing job, or even if you just want more of an insight into the industry, publishing houses are not the only places you can apply for. There’s an incredible amount of literary agencies around that are equally likely to respond to an email with an internship opportunity that is just as interesting as one in a publishing house. Again, this requires research and persistence, but it’s a difficult industry to get into and applying to a wider range of companies can only increase your chances. Of course, if you’re looking for work in a specific department, this may not work, but if you’re open to any aspect of publishing, literary agents are incredibly knowledgeable about the industry and could provide you with just as much of an insight.

Do Some Extracurriculars

A lot of people are applying for publishing jobs and the majority of them are incredibly qualified. You won’t be the only person that’s sending cold emails or applying to internship schemes so you need to do something that really makes you stand out. I have a couple of publishing-related things on my CV that employers and interviewers have picked up on and taken interest in so, if you’ve got some free time, it’s always worth boosting your CV. The specific things I’ve used to boost my applications are reviewing books, volunteering in a bookshop, completing a children’s writing course and doing a fiction-focused EPQ in college. There are so many things you can do to make yourself noticeable and I’d really recommend going out of your way to try some of them if you get the chance!

Be Patient

I know that this is terrible advice, but it’s important. In such a competitive industry, an internship opportunity might not appear overnight. It’s so disheartening when you don’t hear back, but it just means you have to keep searching for opportunities, checking forums and sending out those emails. If you persist and be patient, I’m sure something will come up; it did for me!

I’d love to know if you found these helpful or if you have any advice to add to the list! Also, please let me know if you’re interested in these kinds of posts and if there’s anything else you’d like to know about publishing internships.

Best of luck in your internship search!

BOOK REVIEW: DOGS (STAGS 2) by M A Bennett

(Thank you ReadersFirst and Hot Key Books for an ARC of this book– sorry it took so long!)

I’ve been excited about a sequel to ‘STAGS’ since I first read it a couple of years ago. The first book ends on quite a dramatic cliffhanger and I was always desperate to find out what happened next.

In DOGS, Greer is finally coming to terms with what happened at Longcross last year. She’s finally realising that she can continue at STAGS and use its prestige to get into Oxford, leaving the dangerous memories of Longcross behind and going on to better things. The fact that she needs to get an impressive grade in Drama and an anonymous source is feeding her the manuscript for a centuries-lost play to direct only seems to add to that.

That is, until she begins to unravel the connection between this long-lost play and the prestigious Order that almost got her killed the year before. And maybe, that this play will help her to unravel something even darker that is happening at Longcross.

This book isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I thought about a sequel for STAGS. It covers everything I would have expected after the revelations about the Order of the Stag, but following the story through an Elizabethan play is not the way I saw the story progressing. Despite this, I found the book to be an incredibly captivating thriller, tying up the loose ends of STAGS and leaving more for a potential series conclusion.

The characters didn’t seem as clear-cut for me as in the first book, and it came across like nobody, even my favourite characters from STAGS, could be trusted. At the same time, it remains confusing for much of the novel who the real villains could be also. M.A. Bennett did a great job of making me question everything I liked about certain characters from the first book, only to circle them back around for redemption as the story progressed.

I really enjoyed this book and will undoubtedly read Book 3 if and when it is released. It’s incredibly impressive that the author took a long-lost play and weaved it so effectively into her own story about privilege and I can’t help but think that M.A. Bennett has even more impressive works to come. I’d certainly recommend this book and, obviously, STAGS if you really wanted to get into the story.

P.S: I believe all copies of this book contain the bonus material at the end and I found this in itself really interesting! There are various pages of information, both fictitious and factual, about STAGS and ‘The Isle of Dogs’ that made the book last just a tiny bit longer and even answered some of the more random questions this book might have left you with.

RATING: 4/5

If you want to pick up a copy of this book, you can get it here! And if you haven’t read STAGS yet, you can get that here.

(I get a small commission if you use my links)

BOOK REVIEW: THE QUEEN OF NOTHING by Holly Black

I finished this book seconds ago so please bear with me if my thoughts are a little incomprehensible. Also, bear with me if they seem a little vague. I’ll attempt to give a full review but am aware of just how much expectation there is for this book and how much I don’t want to accidentally spoil it for anyone. It’s so hard to say anything about this without giving too much away but I’m really going to give it my best shot.

If you’re reading this book, I assume you’ve already read The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. If not, the plot would make very little sense to you and I fully recommend you go and read them now (I’ve linked them at the bottom of this page!)

The Queen of Nothing is the gripping finale to Holly Black’s most-anticipated trilogy and, although my thoughts are still jumbled, I’m certain that it doesn’t disappoint. Parts of it get a little weird and overly-fantasy compared to the first two but, as a book series about Faerieland, that’s completely to be expected. Holly Black really uses her creative license and ability to use magic a lot more in this book than I noticed in the other two books and, honestly, I’m mostly just impressed with the scope of her imagination and how realistic she can make everything seem.

The general premise of this book is that Jude has been exiled from Faerie by her husband, and the High King, Cardan. Jude’s twin sister, Taryn, arrives early on in the story with a desperate request for Jude to help her by returning shortly to Faerie. When that ‘short trip’ doesn’t go exactly to plan, Jude finds herself rapidly invested in the conflicts of the throne once again.

The characters remain much the same throughout this book as the other two, with Jude really, finally getting the chance to show what she is capable of in terms of telling people what to do. My favourite development in the whole story, though, is definitely Vivi. Although many of her storylines are side-lined, she really develops as a character in this much more than in the last two books. We also get a lot more insight into each character’s personal lives, which I really loved.

The one part of this book that I take some issue with is the ending, so I’m going to be purposely vague. I appreciate the ending and believe that Holly Black tied the series together well, but parts of it just seemed a little less complex than the rest of the trilogy. Overall, though, I was generally very impressed and think that she brought everything impressively to a close, with very few unanswered questions left and a lot of emotions running high.

As always with Holly Black’s books, the writing itself is stunning. The imagery of Faerie and, even to some extent, the human world is incredibly descriptive and she paints a fantasy image in a way that very few authors can. Alongside her interesting characters, this makes for a book that you can’t help saying ‘just one more chapter’ to. It’s so easy to ignore the outside world with this series and I’m delighted to have had one more chance to do that.

I would recommend this series so much. If you’ve read the first two, obviously this is a must-read, but if you haven’t, you really, really should (the other two are 5-star in my opinion). I’m not disappointed at all and, honestly, I’m so sad to say goodbye to these characters after only discovering them six months ago.

MY RATING: 4/5

If you haven’t bought this book already, you can get it here.

You can also buy The Cruel Prince here and The Wicked King here.

(Disclaimer: I get a small commission if you use these links!)

BOOK REVIEW: THE PACT by Amy Heydenrych

(Thank you so much to ReadersFirst and Zaffre for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)

This book is incredibly well-written. It had me hooked from start to finish and kept me sufficiently surprised with its twists and turns throughout. I absolutely loved the plot, characters and morals of the story and think it may be one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year.

This story follows Freya and Isla, two women facing serious challenges in their careers and personal lives. Freya has just started work at her dream company, and Isla is a criminal journalist reporting on murder cases.

The two find their lives rapidly intertwining when Freya’s colleague, and her workplace bully, Nicole, is found dead in her home. As the women attempt to uncover who is behind the murder, it begins to seem like larger forces are conspiring to keep the murder inquiry quiet, and the matter becomes much more complicated than it initially seemed.

I’m fascinated by how well the various timelines and stories overlap in this book. The story jumps in no particular order between Freya’s past, the days leading up to the murder and both of the women’s lives after. I thought that this might make the story jumpy and random, but it actually came together very impressively and I found myself equally invested in every story that was woven into the plot.

One thing that needs to be noted about this book is that it deals with some very sensitive topics. Murder is the advertised focus of this book, but it delves much deeper into mental illness, gaslighting, rape and sexual harassment in public and in the workplace. These topics are dealt with in an unnervingly believable way, which makes the story all the more compelling. Both Freya and Isla have issues with sexual harassment that leave them in a state of fear and self-doubt. As an topic that is so important to discuss in the present day, this book deals with this very sensitively, with a portrayal that I consider incredibly important.

My only issue with this book is how many villains there appear to be. Although it is not a major problem, and is actually a majorly useful tool in keeping the reader hooked throughout (which Amy Heydenrych definitely did!), I found the book to diverge slightly from believability when so many of the characters became guilty of various crimes and moral discrepancies. This in no way detracted from the novel, but I did find myself beginning to rank the villains in a way that disconnected me from the reality of the story slightly. This is something I have found to be common in murder mysteries but it is not my personal preference. If this is something you’ve found yourself enjoying in other novels, I think this one probably does the concept justice.

I think you should definitely read this book if you’re looking for a gripping thriller or even a difficult-to-take social critique. I finished this book in one day because it was so addictive, and I think anyone, especially female readers, would find this book relatable, compelling and completely terrifying.

This book comes out on 28/11/2019 and I would 100% recommend you check it out! If you’d like to read the description and other reviews or if you’d like to buy the book, here’s the link:

The Pact by Amy Heydenrych

Disclaimer: I will gain a small commission for any purchase made through this link.

BOOK REVIEW: THE FLATSHARE by Beth O’Leary

Just to keep everyone on their toes, here’s an actual book review for a change. Granted, I read this book way back when it was still an ARC, but it still counts! Since The Flatshare has been nominated for a Goodreads Award and I’ve been seriously hyping about voting for it, I thought it would be a good idea to share my opinion. Enjoy!

I don’t think I’ve ever used the word ‘delightful’ to describe a book but I genuinely can’t think of a more suitable word for The Flatshare. It was adorable and uplifting and so funny, I stayed up all night reading and quietly laughing to myself until I’d finished.

This story follows Tiffy, an editor struggling to afford rent in London following a bad break up, and Leon, a nurse with the same financial issue. Instead of finding their own places, Tiffy moves into Leon’s home when he isn’t there, sleeping in the bed whilst he’s on night shifts and on the weekends whilst he’s away. The only issue with the arrangement is that, with one of them always out of the house, they’ve never actually met.

As they begin leaving notes for each other around the house, they develop the most adorable friendship and it’s really enjoyable to watch this progress. The general storyline is adorable and it’s so easy to become completely hooked on Tiffy and Leon. In addition to this, and separating this book from more ‘fluffy’ contemporary romances, the book does very respectably tackle issues such as emotional abuse, the aftermath of bad relationships and an inability to move on.

The style of writing was very enjoyable, as Leon’s chapters are written in a combination of regular prose and note form, which I’ve never seen a novel written in before. This made it unique and deceptively easy to read, with Leon and Tiffy’s chapters very clearly differentiated. They’re also both just such likeable characters. Tiffy is a little frustrating at times, but everything she does seems to be for a well-justified reason, and it’s so easy to root for her.

I can’t recommend this book enough, as the funniest and most uplifting story I’ve read in a long time. Although predominantly for those who want a light-hearted, easy read, I feel that it would be difficult for anyone to read this without a smile on their face.

Rating: 5/5

Let me know what you thought of this book if you’ve read it already!