Weekly Recap: An Engagement, Christmas & ALL THE BOOKS!

Now let's be honest, this isn't really a weekly recap. This is going to basically me recapping the last couple of months, as I have been the worst blogger in 2015 and barely blogged at all. It's a new year now though, so it is time for me to get back on top of blogging and try a little harder. And the best way to start seems to be recapping the last few months, which have been very eventful. And then sharing my latest book haul, which has built up very quickly.

My last recap was all the way back on Halloween, so I have two months to catch up on. This is going to be a longer post than usual as I want to go into detail on things. So feel free to skip ahead to the haul if you have absolutely zero interest in the personal! I think the most important thing to tell you all is... I'm engaged! 

It happened on our 9 year anniversary... at 4am in the morning. I honestly couldn't have asked for a more cute and romantic proposal. The boyfriend had already told me he had a gift for me, and we never do gifts for our anniversary. We usually go out instead, for a meal and then we go and do something after. I was excited for the gift. I had told him I wanted it when I woke up. This was a problem, but not that I realised. He was planning to propose, with the help of 1,000 rose petals and a ton of beautiful red candles. For that kind of proposal he needed it to be dark, which of course it wouldn't be in the morning. This is why I ended up being woken up at 4am in the morning. WORTH IT!

I'd planned to come back to blogging after Halloween, but nothing ever went as planned. I came down with about 4 different illnesses that put me out of commission for a while. Then I was ridiculously busy at work. And, even as I am typing this, I am sick with a throat infection and have just got over a horrible case of food poisoning. I have not been lucky when it came to my health or my time, I had not had time to blog at all. I did make time for reading though, which has seen me go 35 books over my goal of 100 for the year, which I am really pleased with.

I do have to admit that I also spent a lot of my break away just binge watching a bunch of different shows on Netflix. Which was glorious and way worth the time away. Making a Murderer was one of the most compelling things I watched, but now I can't stop thinking about it. It's hard to see just how unjust a countries supposed justice system can actually be. I also binge watched It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and it's now one of my all time favourite shows. I also had a binge rewatch of How I Met Your Mother, except for the final season as it just pisses me off beyond belief. I also spent my time off playing Fallout 4, which I have been waiting years for. The wait was very much worth it, I can't get enough of that show. I really hope to blog more in 2016, but I'm not going to make any promises as you never know what is going to happen.

One other thing I wanted to quickly talk about... I worked with my first self-published author. I had an email from the author, Lorna Reid, asking me if I would consider reviewing her book. Now, like most bloggers, I get a ton of emails from self-published authors asking for reviews/guest posts/blitz/cover reveals. But there was actually a huge different between Lorna's and 99% of the others. It was personal. She'd taken the time to check out my blog, some of my other posts, and actually looked at my review policy. HALLELUJAH! No one ever bothers to do that and it gets so frustrating, I end up never replying to them. But Lorna's email was so personal, whilst also addressing recent problems with self-published authors that had caused a lot of mistrust with bloggers. I actually took the time to read the excerpt from the book and decided to take a chance and review the book. That was how I came to receive the most amazing review package ever. It made me even more happy that I had said yes, once I saw how much effort that Lorna had put into it. I read and really enjoyed her book, and am now eagerly awaiting the sequel. I will be reviewing it soon, along with a Q&A with Lorna and a giveaway. But feel free to get in touch with Lorna if you want to review it yourself, as she's still looking for reviewers: lorna(at)lornareid.net 

Christmas has been so fun and I've been loving it, even though I do have an infection and am super sick. I got to have two weeks off work though, which has been so good - especially since my job makes me miserable, as it is beyond boring and I have almost 0 in common with anyone I work with now. It's meant that I got to spend a lot of time with my wonderful family, which I couldn't be happier about. I got so many awesome presents this Christmas, but my favourite was being asked to be my second cousins Godparent. That child is the light of my life, so I felt really honoured to be asked.

(Although, technically not all the books as I missed some off!)

Cam Girl by Leah Raeder, Soundless by Richelle Mead, Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin & Da Vinci's Tiger by L.M. Elliot

I am so pleased that I have about forty books in my haul and I only actually bought four of them myself.... That makes me feel way less guilty about the giant haul. Three of these are actually from book subscription boxes. I got Soundless and Da Vinci's Tiger from my Owl Crates, and Wolf by Wolf was in my Illumicrate. Cam Girl was one I pre-ordered ages ago as I really enjoyed the authors other two books. I have already read Cam Girl and I did enjoy it but I think it is my least favourite of hers so far, I just didn't really love the ending.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers, Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard, Underwater by Marisa Reichardt & Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I got all of these through Lovereading4kids and I enjoyed all of them. Rebel of the Sands became one of my top reads of the year. It's not even technically out till 2016, so the wait for the sequel is actually going to kill me. I also really loved All the Rage, but I did have a couple of issues with the end. Beautiful Broken Things and Underwater were both really enjoyable too, but I didn't enjoy them enough to class them as favourites. I am looking forward to writing my reviews for all of these awesome books. 

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang, Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy, The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield & Lungdon by Edward Carey

I decided to take a chance on This is Where the World Ends, even though I was one of the few people who didn't love the authors first book. I really hope to enjoy this book more, but I have seen some less than positive reviews. Fingers crossed it works for me though. Hot Key Books sent me the other three books and I am excited to get to these. Lungdon is book #3 in the Iremonger series, so I am excited to see how the series is wrapped up. 

Rise of the Reaper by Lorna Reid & Never Evers by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, Winter by Marissa Meyer & Making Faces by Amy Harmon

The fianc√© did good this Christmas and he got me lots of wonderful books. I was so surprised when it got to Christmas and there weren't very many books that I wanted. Most of the books I really want aren't actually out yet! But the ones I did mention, he got me them all. I can't wait to get through all of these books. I am especially excited by Illuminae because it sounds so interesting. I'm also excited for Winter, but I have to get through to Cress before I can read it. 

What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi, Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman, The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons & The Next Together by Lauren James

I am so sad that I couldn't actually get that beautiful edition of The Bronze Horseman, but the series has new covers and I had to get those. I am not a fan! I will admit to wanting The Next Together for Christmas only because I loved the cover. I'm not even joking, I still have zero idea what that book is about. But I am a fan of that gorgeous cover! I have heard amazing things about Legacy of Kings and so I can't wait to find times to get there. What You Left Behind does sound really good, but also like it may make me cry... A LOT!

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner, The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby & The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

I was so excited to open Their Fractured Light on Christmas day, I didn't even think it was out till right at the end of the year. Unfortunately I have forgotten a lot of the first two and now feel like I need to reread them both before I get started... which will take ages and puts me off even starting. I heard amazing things about The Last Time We Say Goodbye, and I am really excited for that. Bone Gap is one I wanted because of a review I saw on a blog.

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally, Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally, Reboot by Amy Tintera & Rebel by Amy Tintera

I've got the Miranda Kenneally books for some adorable romance! And the duology is one I have been meaning to read for so long now and have then never got to it. Hopefully, now that I own it, I will finally find time for it.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller, Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt, In the After by Demitria Lunetta & Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, Eversea by Natasha Boyd, Forever Jack by Natasha Boyd & Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

I got myself the third book in The Raven Cycle, despite the fact I still haven't bothered to read the first two yet. I know, I have a problem. What is worse.... I own seven of Stiefvater's books and I still haven't read any yet. I need to! Eversea and Forever Jack were recommended to me, so I really hope I love them. I actually received two copies of Dumplin' from Harper 360. One in a Christmas gift box from them and then they sent me another copy. I already own one though, so now I have three copies. I'll definitely be giving away the extras at some point.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Illustrated edition by J.K. Rowling, Paper Towns by John Green and Paper Towns DVD

I won all of these from Bloomsbury, who always send the most awesome things! They also sent me two copies of the special edition of Paper Towns, and I already own two paperback copies, so will definitely be needing to get rid of a few of those at some point. I actually screamed like a crazy person when I opened the package with the HP book in!


I have absolutely no idea how I am actually going to read all of these books. But, as Barney Stinson would say...


  1. Awesome haul this week and congrats on your engagement, Charnell. Your ring is gorgeous. :)

  2. Hope you do read all these books! And CONGRATULATIONS on the engagement! The ring is lovely and the whole rose petals and candles? So lovely DD: You definitely are one blessed girl ^.^ I really hope your health gets better too <3 Switching to books, Cam Girl, Wolf by Wolf and Bone Gap are some I really want to try!

    1. Thank you!!! I really am, he is a wonderful guy and truly outdid himself :) <3

  3. I'm so impatient to read Rebel of the Sand.

  4. Congratulations on the engagement! How exciting, and what a beautiful proposal!

    You have some great books in that stack. I got the illustrated Harry Potter for Christmas, and it's one of my favourite gifts, I love it.
    An Ember In The Ashes is one of my top five books I read in 2015, so I highly recommend that one, too.
    I'm looking forward to hearing what you think about Dumplin - I've seen a lot of people getting that one, and heard it's meant to be good, but I don't think I've actually read any reviews of it about what makes it good.

    Happy new year!

    My StS post

    1. Thank you, I am very excited!!! :)

      I LOVE the illustrated edition, it is so beautiful and makes it a new experience when rereading HP.

  5. Congratulations on your engagement! Like you, I've enjoyed my two weeks off work, but it's back to the basics on Monday. I have NOTHING in common with my co-workers. They look at me funny when I'm reading or have earphones in listening to an audio book. Lots of great books here! I hope you get the chance to read them soon. Happy New Year!
    My STS

    1. Thank you!!!! I hate having 0 in common with most of them, I always feel like the odd one out. It's so dull being back at work.

  6. Congrats on your engagement!!! Your ring is gorgeous and what a beautiful way to propose. And wow so many books!!! Lots of great ones in there. Enjoy them all!!

  7. Aww! Congrats on your engagement, that's absolutely wonderful! <3 And WOW, you got so many good books! I really want to read Illuminae and The Raven Cycle series, THEY LOOK SO GOOD.

  8. Oh WOW!!! Congrats on your engagement! Such a beautiful ring!! And wow!! All those books! So many are new to me and yet I see quite a few favorites of mine too! Hope you enjoy them all!

    My STS will be up tomorrow, so be sure to stop by then if you can!

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  9. What an absolutely fantastic haul! Lots of really wonderful books on your list. You'll be busy busy busy for quite a while! Congratulations on your engagement!

    Visit my Book Gathering!

  10. Awesome week. Congrats on your engagement. I hope you love all of your new books. I hope you enjoy all of them.

    Grace @ Books of Love

  11. What a great book haul! My granddaughter was reading Winter when we went up for the Christmas holiday. Congrats on you engagement! That's wonderful news. I am sorry you were sick. Hope it's better for you now.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

  12. Absolutely incredible haul!! I have a Buy a box you might be interested in!! Boy I love your stack!! I hope you love every single one!! Also loved the Review material from Lorna Reid, I am a new blogger so she may want someone with more experience, but its nice to see an author reward the reviewer. So far yours is the best haul I have seen this week!!

    1. Maybe. I think some are just happy for someone to take the chance. Plus you may be new to blogging but a review on Amazon is always good too.

  13. Oh oh congrats on the engagement!!

    AND EXCUSE ME. HOLD UP A SECOND, CHARNELL. YOU HAVEN'T READ MAGGIE STIEFVATER??? *summons dragons to ride over there and demand you try them* XDXD Okay, just kiiiidding. But seriously. It needs to happen. And also Bone Gap. Bone Gap is like my everything and I have no idea why the heck I haven't blogged it yet, but I NEED TO. Because it is so so good. *nods*

    1. THANK YOU!!!!

      I know. I knew you would have to comment on that. I will do it.... eventually ;)

  14. Congratulations on being engaged! That's so awesome & I love the ring. :D

    I recently read Illuminae and I have to say it was my favorite book of 2015. I seriously hope you enjoy that one! It was so uniquely written and I just couldn't put it down. I was hooked on every single page. I hope you have a wonderful 2016, Charnell! :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  15. Congrats on your engagement!!

  16. Congrats again! That was such a sweet proposal!
    All the books is right!
    I still need to read Their Fractured Light. I think I'm okay without re-reading. The Last Time We Say Goodbye is amazing! One of my favourite reads of 2015. I think you'll love it too. The Last Together was unfortunately a meh book for me. The premise and cover drew me in too. But the story was mediocre.
    What You Left Behind is sooooooooooo good! Illuminae is mind blowing! And Winter! Ah! Best series ender ever! I can't even with that book. Or that series. It is one of the absolute best!
    Happy reading!

    1. I know, he did good!!!

      I am loving having all the books, but now I need to find the time to actually read them all.

  17. Congrats on your engagement! The rose petals were so sweet!
    Awesome haul - there are so many that I need to read; Winter, Illuminae, The Bronze Horseman, An Ember in the Ashes... The list goes on and on :)
    All the best for 2016!

    Jess @ A Book Addict's Bookshelves

  18. Oh my god Charnell, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!! I'm so happy for you!
    I feel personally offended over the fact that you never read a Stiefvater book before! You've been missing out, girl! Now it's really about time, with The Raven King coming out this year, you can marathon the series through in one go!
    I seriously need to get my hands on Winter, I completely forgot about the series this past year...
    Have fun reading!

    Nana @ whatabadpoem.

    1. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!! I know, I need to get to the Stiefvater books before Cait maims me!

  19. Holy cow! You're set for a long while! There are some awesome titles in there, too. Hope you enjoy them all :) Here's ours: Bibliojunkies Happy reading! ~ Bel

  20. Soooo many of these I need to read. Jealous!

    Oh, and congrats on your engagement and being a godparent!

  21. Congrats on your engagement! It looks amazing and so thoughtful! I love the rose petals and candles :)

    -Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

  22. Super haul! and doubles too! Love Barney! and who is the guy dancing amongst the books? Happy reading.

    1. That is Bernard Black/Dylan OBrien. It's from a hilarious UK tv show called Black Books :) :) :)

  23. And congrats on the engagement - exciting :-)

  24. Congratulations on your engagement! And that ring is beautiful! And wow!!! That haul! I'm jealous of all those awesome books! Hope you enjoy them all.
    Check out my STS


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