Monday, 16 October 2017

Cover Spotlight Monday: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Hey guys! It's time for another cover spotlight Monday and this time I'm featuring a new purchase I made last Friday that I'm so super excited to read. It's of course the revolutionary (See what I did there?) Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu!

Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.


How amazing does this cover look? First of all I love that it's pink. Pink's one of those colours that's been associated with girls but in an ultra-girly way that's made it a 'hated' colour for some. For Moxie, with the rest of the cover, specifically the raised fist, it reinvents the colour as powerful and strong. I love it.

Of course the raised fist clutching the pencil is the main feature of the cover but I absolutely love it. It speaks of power yes but also pushing through boundaries, of 'enough is enough', of revolution. It's a symbol that represents the book not just in the clutching of the pencil (In that Viv makes a feminist fanzine) but in the strength of women all around the world; of a universal feminist revolution; we are more than you expect us to be.

Lastly I love the fonts used on the cover because they are really just reminiscent of a typewriter, handwriting, hand drawn letters etc. It's just wonderfully thought out.

What do you think about the Moxie cover? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Countdown to Christmas: Week Three - Review: The 12 Days of Dash and Lily by Levithan/Cohn

Hey guys! Now for our regularly scheduled Sunday night post, haha, it's Week Three of the Countdown to Christmas here on The Arts Shelf! Today I have a review of one of my favourite sequels and that is The 12 Days of Dash and Lily by Levithan/Cohn. This series was recommended to me by one of my best friends and I absolutely love these characters. I hope you enjoy.




Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone. Even though they are still together, somehow the magic has gone out of their relationship and it’s clear that Lily has fallen out of love with life.

Action must be taken! Dash teams up with Lily’s brother and a host of their friends, who have just twelve days to get Lily’s groove back in time for Christmas.





The 12 Days of Dash and Lily was such a wonderful Christmas read as well as a wonderful sequel. To not only be back with two of my favourite characters but being in their (and my own) favourite holiday as well was just a dream. The feeling of Christmas imbued in each page I never wanted it to end! I bought a copy in London last November and pretty much read it in a day it was that good. I adored it.

I'll admit that part of me was a little skeptical about Lily losing her Christmas spirit, being that it was one of the major elements of the first book, but at the same time it was part of what I loved about this book too. I loved seeing Dash and her family/friends rally around her and get up to all the adventures they have to try and save Lily's cheer. It was wonderful.

As always Dash was utterly adorable, as was their relationship. There's a lot of fun times in this book, and a lot of Christmassy feels. It really was pretty much perfect. I can't fault it one ounce. It's the perfect book to curl up with once all the Christmas Day madness is over. Definitely 5 stars!

Have you read The 12 Days of Dash and Lily? What did you think? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


10 Weeks To Go!

Countdown to Christmas: Week Two - Review: What Light by Jay Asher

Hey guys! A little late due to MH issues as I posted on Twitter, but here's Week Two of Countdown to Christmas with a review of What Light by Jay Asher. I actually received this book last year for review but unfortunately life sidetracked me a little, and as Christmas passed I suddenly didn't feel able to write a decent review. Therefore I bring it to you now as I begin settling back into my yearly Christmas cheer. I hope you enjoy it, and apologies to Pan Macmillan/MyKindaBook for it being late.

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 
Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.
By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

I absolutely adored this book. It was the perfect Christmas read.

First of all the setting. I've never been to Oregon or California, but the author describes both places with such detail that I felt as though I were really there. Specifically in regards to the tree farm, the lot, and the Christmas festivities, it really made me picture each scene so vividly, as if I were watching a movie rather than reading a book. It was wonderful.

The characters are so rich and vibrant, life like and bubbly and filled to the brim with Christmas cheer. Each one brought the story to life, imbuing each page with wintery joy. Sierra and Caleb were of course my favourites, both of them adorably cute and their relationship just *heart eyes* all around. Yes Caleb is the typical 'bad boy with a good heart' but their adventure was all around heartwarming, fun to read, and really gave me all those Christmassy feels that I love.

The story was engaging, dramatic in places with regards to Sierra's 'double life' so to speak, but overall it really was just a real winter warmer Christmas read. A little cheesy yes, reminiscent of those Hallmark classic movies we all love, but in a good way and I finished it in one sitting. It really is the perfect book to just curl up with by the tree, hot chocolate in hand.

Overall What Light gets a brightly shining 4 star rating, and is definitely up there with my favourite Christmas reads. Big thanks to PanMacmillan/MyKindaBook for the review copy.

Have you read What Light? What did you think? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


10 Weeks To Go!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Saturday Series: Love, Hate or Both? - TBR Piles

Hey everyone! For today's Saturday Series I thought I'd talk about something that's been bugging me for a long while; something that's always looming in the corner of my mind, and my eye.... That is of course my TBR pile. But I'm not just talking about 10, 20 or even 30 books. No. I'm talking about what I fondly call the TBR Pile of Doom. This is the thing that, one way or another, will probably kill me. Either kindly, as I read, or by falling atop me when my shelves decide to give up. It is out of control, and I love it. But I also hate it. See below.

The Main Shelf
This is quite literally a problem. A good problem, yes, in some ways anyway, but still a problem. See, I love buying books. I love the feeling of walking into a bookstore and knowing I'm going to spend a good hour enjoying browsing, deciding, and then walk out with a little lighter a purse but a bright smile on my face and a bag filled with new worlds to explore. The problem is that I get home and I don't read them. I get home and I read something else, or do something else. The books get lovingly laid out and have their photo taken for Twitter and the blog, and then they live their life on the shelf. It's sad. It's a problem.

The Secondary Shelf
Like I said, I love my TBR in one sense. I love being able to have a vast array of books to choose from. Hell, I love coming home to unexpected book mail from lovely publishers. I love rearranging my shelves and taking pretty pictures.

Overflow
What I don't love is the anxiety. Now this comes in two forms. Easier, I suppose, is the anxiety of choosing a 'general' new read. So flicking through the books I've bought to decide what I want to read. It's tough, but at the end of the day I can really only read one at once and there's no use wasting too much time choosing, so usually I either pick whichever I thought of/looked at first, or I let Twitter decide. Sometimes though, even this anxiety (atop all my other anxiety worries) does make reading feel like a chore.

Mostly Review Books Plus Current Reads
What's worse though is my anxiety over review books. I know I'm probably not the only one but I get so caught up sometimes in requesting gorgeous books or being happy over surprise book mail that I forget I can't read everything. This, along with the depression and anxiety over last year having made me scarcely want to read or blog at all, has caused a massive back log of books that I'm still trying to get through. The anxiety from this just seems to keep snowballing honestly, and I'm only now feeling able to slowly pull myself out of it. It's tough, and some days are worse than others, but I'm getting there. Still, having a mountainous TBR is not a help, nine times out of ten, no matter how well I feel or am progressing. All I can do, as I've been telling myself lately, is go one book at a time. I'll get there.

So those are my thoughts on my TBR. Do you suffer from the same issues? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Book Boy/Girlfriends!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, here, inviting bloggers and readers to list their top ten for a certain category.


Hey all! It's time for another TTT and today I get to write about one of my favourite things; my favourite book boy/girlfriends! Yay!

1) Enjolras - Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: I love my Barricade-Babies but no more than fearless leader Enjolras!

2) Erik - The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux: Who doesn't love a tortured soul?

3) Merek Belmis - TSED series by Melinda Salisbury: Prince, King, Fighter. I just adore Merek.

4) Gino - Blood for Blood series by Catherine Doyle: My favourite of the brothers, and he's all mine ;)

5) Ange - House of Windows by Alexia Casale: I absolutely adore Ange; so quirky and loveable.

6) Jenna - Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima: Who doesn't love a kick ass warrior?

7) Magnus - A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess: I don't always agree with Magnus' attitude, but underneath he's got a sweet exterior.

8) Isabelle - TMI by Cassandra Clare: Do I need to explain? Isabelle is awesome.

9) Jem Carstairs - TID by Cassandra Clare: My first book boyfriend.

10) Ash - The Fandom by Anna Day: Just wait until you meet him ;)

Who are your picks for this TTT? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf