The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

October Haul and the Belated Hogwarts Acceptance Letter

on November 2, 2015

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It’s Book Haul time again! Sorry I’m late with this wrap-up; I had a busy weekend of Halloween gallivanting (and by gallivanting I totally mean attending a wild party and definitely do not mean watching Silence of the Lambs in my pyjamas whilst eating the Haribo Tangfastics that were meant for the trick-or-treaters… ahem….)

This October I turned a-quarter-of-a-century, making me yet another year too old to be a Directioner and YA literature fangirl…

To celebrate, I went on the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, which was the most spectacularly magical way to spend a birthday. I was genuinely awe-struck by how much thought and creativity went into the making of these films, even the smallest of details that appear on-screen for a fraction of a second!

Here’s me and my boyfriend on Platform 9 ¾. Can’t believe I finally got my Hogwarts acceptance letter aged 25… Better late than never!

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As it was almost Halloween, they had a ‘Dark Arts’ feature on, so there were loads of Death Eaters wandering around. They were actually terrifying, because they moved really slowly and creepily, and would come up behind you every now and again to hiss in your ear. I jumped out of my skin a number of times in a totally cool and casual fashion.

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Last week I attended YA Shot, a book event held in London, organised by YA author Alexia Casale. It was a fantastic day filled with author panels and workshops, and I went to some really interesting talks on diversity, sensitive topics/trigger warnings, dystopia as a medium for exploring social issues, and the representation of female characters in fantasy. This last panel was probably my favourite, and the best moment was when Melinda Salisbury (author of The Sin Eater’s Daughter) had an awesome rant about the ‘Strong Female Character’ trope, saying we shouldn’t feel we have to give girls ‘masculine’ traits in order to make them strong – a girl who has vulnerabilities, who gets scared sometimes, is not a weaker character than a sassy badass who knows how to fight, and can still be considered a strong female character! Yes Melinda!!!!  I loved this so much, and cannot express enough how much I admire her for saying it!

YA Shot was so much fun, and we even got a goody-bag with these adorable Queen of Shadows badges. I’m kinda loving the Team Calaena one.

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I added 18 books to my shelves this month. Here’s my haul for October…


***To have and to hold***

I got lots of beautiful print books this month…

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

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I haven’t exactly been subtle with my recent obsessive hero-worship of Sarah J. Maas… I was very happy to unwrap this book on my birthday!

The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J. Maas

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Another birthday present! So excited to get started on these Throne of Glass prequel novellas. I’ve a horrible feeling I’m going to ugly-cry though, given I know exactly what fate is awaiting a certain character…

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

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The third and final book in my birthday haul. I already own Fangirl on Kindle but, as one of my favourite books, I absolutely needed it in print. I’m currently re-reading this in preparation for Carry On, and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated Edition) – J.K. Rowling

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You must buy this book, it’s so beautiful! I was tempted to photograph some of the illustrations, but I don’t want to spoil the magic of opening it up for yourself. I bought this at the gift store when I did the Harry Potter Studio Tour, along with some rather fetching Hufflepuff socks… #housepride

The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting – Holly Bourne

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I picked this up at YA Shot, where I met Holly and got my book signed. I already own the Kindle version, but I really wanted to meet Holly and tell her how much I loved ‘Am I Normal Yet?

Plus, real books for the win!

Heart-Shaped Bruise – Tanya Byrne

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Another YA Shot purchase. Meeting Tanya was great, especially as I’d reviewed For Holly that morning, so she remembered, and we had a little chat about the characters! Hopefully I will love this book just as much. It’s a psychological thriller, so right up my street!

Lies Like Love – Louisa Reid

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The final book in my YA Shot Haul! This book has a very mysterious/intriguing blurb, and a beautiful cover. It was lovely chatting to Louisa! I told her about my blog, and promised I’d let her know what I thought of the book. I’m definitely expecting good things!

More Happy than Not – Adam Silvera

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I’ve heard so many great things about this book, although I’ve been warned by multiple people that it will break my heart!


***Digital Love***

This month’s Kindle buys were…

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys – April Genevieve Tucholke

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A collection of spooky stories I was supposed to read before Halloween, but didn’t have time! Will creep myself out this November instead.

I’ll Always Miss You – Raine O’Tierney

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A sweet, coming-of-age, LGBT love story/ghost mystery. Best genre combination ever! I may not have time to review this one, but I’d recommend it if you’re in the mood for something heart-warming.

We Won’t Feel A Thing – J.C. Lillis

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Not-your-average love story, the premise of this book sounded so unusual and original, I had to get myself a copy!

Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell

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Reviewed here.

Life and Death – Stephenie Meyer

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Curiosity and nostalgia got the better of me! Review coming soon.

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

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SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE 😀 I have nothing further to add. Can’t wait to read this!

The Dreamer – E.J. Mellow

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Read a 5* review of this over at Beatricelearnstoread, and added it to my TBR straight away.

Darkness of Light – Stacey Marie Brown

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Jenacidebybibliophile wrote a great review of this book, which really made me want to read it, especially with the similarities to Mortal Instruments!

Things We Have in Common – Tasha Kavanagh

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An interesting psychological thriller (although I had mixed feelings about the ending). Review coming soon.

The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury

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I had to buy this after hearing Melinda speak at YA Shot! The premise sounds intriguing too, and I need more fantasy in my life while I’m waiting for the fifth Throne of Glass book!


So that’s my gigantic October Haul! Have you read any of these books? What have you added to your TBR this month?

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18 responses to “October Haul and the Belated Hogwarts Acceptance Letter

  1. Harry Potter Studio Tour sounds like a fun time. Out of your list I have read A Court of Thorns and Roses. Excellent read. I am eager to get my hands on A Thousand Nights sometime soon!

    • mudandstars says:

      It was so good! You can even try a butterbeer, although it tastes a bit weird (kind of like energy drink with a marshmellowy topping!) I’m so excited to read A Court of Thorns and Roses, glad you enjoyed it! A Thousand Nights looks interesting so I may check that out too!

  2. A.M.B. says:

    You’re NEVER too old to be a YA literature fangirl! (at least that’s what I tell myself!).
    I really enjoyed Fangirl, and I’m looking forward to Carry On.

    • mudandstars says:

      Haha, I love this – that’s reassuring to know, as I can’t see the fangirling ending anytime soon! Let me know what you think of Carry On, I think I’ll be starting it next 🙂

  3. Annelise B. says:

    I loved your new books!! And I hope you can find a little tiny time to review I’ll Always Miss You! I got very interested on the book and it is already on my tbr list! ❤ ❤ And Happy Birthday, delayed, haha! ❤

    • mudandstars says:

      Aww thank you for the birthday wishes! I will do my best to review I’ll Always Miss You before the end of November! I think you’ll love it!!

      • Annelise B. says:

        You’re welcome! I only wish I could have done it properly on the right day, haha! Maybe next year ;DD And thank you! I’m sure I’ll love what you have to say, doll! ❤

  4. Great blog! You’re never too old to fangirl over YA books! I got my Harry Potter acceptance letter years ago… ok I may have typed it up, printed it out and sent it to myself- but it still counts! In all seriousness, I’ve wanted to go to the Harry Potter studios for ages- it looks like such fun! That illustrated version looks incredible too! I want to add so many of these to my TBR list (obviously things like Carry On is on there already- I need to read that too!)

    • mudandstars says:

      Aww thank you!! And glad to know my YA fangirling is still acceptable haha! I love that you made yourself a Hogwarts acceptance letter, that’s brilliant! You should definitely do the studio tour, it was so much fun! I think they do special extra stuff for Christmas too. The illustrated edition of Philosopher’s Stone is now basically the most beautiful book I own – I definitely recommend! Let me know if you end up getting any of these 🙂

      • Haha I’m glad you think it was brilliant- my family thought I was crazy (especially cos I ran around the house after going “I got in! I got in!” :p ) I wow that sounds amazing! I definitely have to check it out! Awesome- I’m determined to get loads of them, so will do! 🙂

  5. mjeestrella says:

    Oh my goodness, that tour looks awesome! One can never be too old for YA! I love your books! I’m particularly interested in Fangirl, Carry On, and Slasher Girls and Monster Boys. I also hope you’ll love More Happy Than Not as much as I did!

    • mudandstars says:

      It was amazing!! I think the best part was seeing the castle at the end. I never realised that they used a model to film the outside of the castle, but it was still huge and very impressive! Fangirl is amazing, if you’ve never read it then I highly recommend – it always makes me smile! I’ll let you know when I’ve finished More Happy Than Not, I’m really looking forward to reading it (I have a feeling I’m going to cry though!)

  6. SO JEALOUS! Please take me there too! 😭😭😭

  7. Ayunda says:

    The cover for the Heart Shaped Bruise looks so cool, and the story seem really interesting too!

    • mudandstars says:

      I know, I’m really intrigued by the blurb – it doesn’t give too much away, so it seems pretty mysterious! Hope it lives up to my expectations! 🙂 If you end up reading this one then I’d love to hear what you thought of it!

  8. Tricia says:

    I can’t wait to read your reviews of Carry On and More Happy Than Not – they’re two of my favorite books that I’ve read recently!

    • mudandstars says:

      Glad to know you enjoyed! I’ve heard so many good things about both books! I’ve just finished reading Carry On and loved it, will probably be reviewing that one next! 🙂

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