The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow – A Review

Hi! How are you? I thought after a downer of the last review (which was for Addie LaRue), I’ll post one I absolutely loved – just to balance it out. So here it is – The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow – a book that has been out for nearly a month and is not getting the praise it deserves!

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
  • Publication date: October 13th 2020
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group Limited
  • Genre: Historical fantasy

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box. But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

Alix E. Harrow did it again! And now I’m forever convinced I will read everything she ever writes, although I was quite sure of that after reading her debut novel.

The Once and Future Witches had me enchanted from the first page. Set in the late 1800s at the brink of the suffragette movement, it’s a story of three estranged sisters, Agnes, Bella and Juniper, who are brought back together in strange circumstances. It’s a beautiful, atmospheric and feminist tale of sisterly bonds, witchery and women’s rights.

Harrow’s writing is impeccable. It’s just the right amount of flowery, without being lofty and overdone. Considering it’s only her second book, it’s very impressive as she seems to have found her style and voice already.

I love all three sisters equally. It’s not often I get attached to every character in the story, I usually have my favourites, but it’s really hard to pick a favourite out of Agnes, Bella and Juniper. All three sisters are vastly different and fascinating in their own way. Most of the secondary characters are female, too, and together they make for a greatly diverse and strong ensemble.

Give me anything witchy and I’ll read it. I have a soft spot for magic of any kind and witchy stories. The Once and Future Witches is so much more, though. It’s about women who are fed up of being silenced, objectified, judged, harassed… you name it. It’s feminist in the best way – inclusive of ALL, no matter their race, sexuality or biological sex (although Harrow acknowledges how it was perceived in the past, and for some until this day). The family dynamics and sisterly bond between the three protagonists was just the cherry on top.

I don’t understand why so many people are sleeping on this book. I deserves more hype – it’s absolutely fantastic. All the stars for The Once and Future Witches!!!

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Have you read The Once and Future Witches yet? Is it on your radar? If not, you definitely should pick it up – trust me!

As always, thank you for reading!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – A Review

Hi! I almost forgot I said I’ll post the review for Addie LaRue today! As I said in my wrap up, it’s probably the most disappointing book I’ve ever read, considering how much I hyped it up for myself so let’s just get into the review, shall we?

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • Publication date: October 2020
  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live foreverβ€”and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

This is somewhat controversial and comes as a surprise not only to me, but I think to everyone who knows a bit about me. I love Schwab, I consider her one of my favourite authors and I’ve been lookong forward to reading this for a really long time. I’ve seen a bunch of great reviews and I had very high expectations for it.

I’ll be completely honest and say I don’t know exactly what didn’t work for me. Addie wasn’t a bad protagonist, the writing was very Schwabesque and I was sold on the premise. But… although in theory this was a perfect book for me, in practice it REALLY didn’t mesh me with. I think has it been written by anyone else, I would’ve DNFed it.

Like I said… Addie was a fine protagonist. I didn’t love her, but I didn’t hate her. As far as heroines go, she was very middle of the road. Same goes for Henry. We don’t much know any other people aside from Luc, whom I wanted more of, and so for over 600 pages that’s a very slim and average cast of characters and if they’re not in any way interesting, it makes it for a dull read.

It could’ve been saved by a plot of some sort, but alas… it lacked that, too. I’m not saying the book is plotless. I just think there isn’t enough plot in it that warrants over 600 pages, and all could’ve been condensed into a much shorter book. I think it would’ve made it more enjoyable (for me; it looks like many found the book enjoyable as it is). The pacing was incredibly slow and the book meandered for so long without anything happening, it actually put me in the biggest reading slump ever.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue wasn’t a book for me and it’s surprising as on paper it ticked all the boxes. I kept wanting and trying to enjoy it, because it’s V.E. Schwab, but I found myself bored and frustrated with it. Unfortunately I can’t say any more about it other than the fact that I’m really disappointed.

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I know I’m definitely in the minority here. Did you enjoy this book? What was your favourite thing about it?

Thanks for reading!

October Wrap Up

Hi! How are you? 2020 has been an absolute fluke. I don’t think I can make any excuses anymore for not posting, other than I’ve been in a life slump the last couple of months. I haven’t read much in October, I got through 3 books in total, and barely.

  • Number of books read: 3
  • Number of pages read: 1498
  • Average star rating: 3.1
  • TBR at the start of the month: 51
  • Books added: 2
  • Books read: 0
  • Current TBR: 53

As you can see, those stats are poor to say the least…

Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody

I carried this one over from September so I guess it doesn’t even count fully towards this month. As for the book itself, I really liked the conclusion to the series but I wanted more from it. Don’t get me wrong, it was fantastic, the whole series is, and if it hasn’t been on your radar it definitely should be… but it’s not a 5 star read.

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My Name is Monster by Katie Hale

I’ve posted a review for My Name is Monster in my last post, so I’ll try not to repeat myself. It enjoyed it just fine, although it didn’t do anything new or particularly exciting. It was a strange read, an acquired taste really.

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

And finally… the book that put me in the BIGGEST reading slump. I will be posting a review for it tomorrow, but I’ll just say I’ve never been more disappointed in a book.

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And that is all. Very brief, but so was my reading this month. I hope you had a much better month!

Thank you for reading!

My Name is Monster by Katie Hale – A Review

Hi! I haven’t posted a review that wasn’t for a tour in a hot minute. I read My Name is Monster at the start of the month and it was an experience, so here’s a short and sweet review.

My Name is Monster by Katie Hale
  • Publication date: June 6th 2019
  • Publisher: Canongate Books
  • Genre: Dystopian fiction

After the Sickness has killed off her parents, and the bombs have fallen on the last safe cities, Monster emerges from the Arctic vault which has kept her alive. When she washes up on the coast of Scotland, everyone she knows is dead, and she believes she is alone in an empty world. Monster begins the long walk south, scavenging and learning the contours of this familiar land made new. Slowly, piece by piece, she begins to rebuild a life. Until, one day, she finds a girl: another survivor, feral, and ready to be taught all that Monster knows. But the lessons the girl learns are not always those Monster means to teach . . . Inspired by Robinson Crusoe and Frankenstein, My Name Is Monster is a novel about power, about the things that society leaves imprinted on us when the rules no longer apply, and about the strength and the danger of a mother’s love

I picked up My Name is Monster on a whim. I didn’t know what it was about other than it was a dystopian, post apocalyptic novel about a girl called Monster. Honestly, I think that sums it up and I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing.

My Name is Monster was a strange read. Told from a perspective of what it seems like the only human alive in the United Kingdom, in both present time and through flashbacks, it’s a story about survival, loneliness and what it means to be human.

Monster has always been a tad bit strange and a recluse and she’s the one who tells us that about herself. We get glimpses of her past through the stories she recalls herself while travelling the country trying to find food and shelter. We learn about her family life, about her time in school and of how she’s always kept to herself. There isn’t much more to her personality than that, and I don’t think it matters until halfway through the book when the POV changes.

I thought a survival story would be more exciting, but I would describe the book as pretty much plotless. Well, of course it has a plot, things are happening, it’s just not very plot driven, but slow and meandering. It focuses more on the characters, their feelings and how they perceive the now desolate world. There are a lot of topics which this book explores in a very subtle yet effective way. I am being vague because I don’t want to spoil the book in any way.

I would call My Name is Monster an acquired taste when it comes to books. If you like action heavy books, it’s not for you. If you like straightforward books, it’s also not for you. It’s a book that takes a simple and somewhat overdone concept and instead of going the obvious route, it decides to explore the ideas in a different way and bring different things to attention. Overall I think I enjoyed it, although it wasn’t a favourite read or a very profound one.

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Thanks for reading. Again, apologies if it doesn’t look like my regular posts, I’m still learning how to use the phone app editor.

September Wrap Up

Hi! It took me forever to sit down and write this post. I was going to start October strong and ended up not posting for a week… typical!

Anyway… introductions are hard and I’m not the best at them. Here’s all the books I read in September, stats, and all the other good things.

  • Number of books read: 7
  • Number of pages read: 2978
  • Average star rating: 4.1 stars
  • TBR at the start of the month: 46
  • Books added: 6
  • Books read: 1
  • Current TBR: 51

As you can see I went a bit crazy buying books… and not reading them. It’s already a trend in October also. What can I say… everyone knows collecting books and reading books are two different hobbies.

Fable by Adrienne Young

I have a full review up for Fable here if you fancy checking it out, but to give you my quick thoughts – I thought the beginning up until about the halfway point dragged like crazy and I considered DNFing it. The ending made up for it slightly.

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Into The Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

I have loved the first two books in this series, but this finale disappointed me slightly. It didn’t feel as eventful and high stakes as the first two books, and the ending wasn’t my favourite. That being said I still very much enjoyed it. It just didn’t wow me.

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The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

I listened to this one on audio and thoroughly enjoyed it. This trilogy is proving to be a very well thought out and executed fantasy series. I think The Dragon Republic was as good as The Poppy War, just as dark, gritty and violent. The middle meandered a bit too much for me, hence docking a star. I cannot wait to finish the series.

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The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips

What a wonderful read! I’ve given my thoughts on it already here so I’ll refrain from repeating myself.

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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I have finally reread Anne of Green Gables last month (after I’ve bought myself a matching set of those covers) and it was just as great and magical as I remembered. Anne is honestly my spirit animal. I laughed, I cried… Gilbert Blythe is to this day deserving of the biggest fictional crush title (jeez, that sounds creppy sice he’s young in this book, but I don’t mean it in THAT way).

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The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I don’t want to sound like a broken record. I have a review for this YA gem, too, right here. I was very pleasantly surprised by it, it doesn’t happen often that a YA mystery inspires any more than a meh reaction from me.

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Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

And lastly, I actually read a non-fiction! Well… listened to a non-fiction. I think it’s a really important read, one that opened my eyes to a lot of things related to race, and through a different lens too, as it gives a British narrative rather than an American one. I would definitely recommend giving this one a read if you are trying to educate yourself more on the subject of race and racism and working on not only how to not be racist, but anti racist.

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And that is all for today. I’m sorry if the formatting of this is weird – it’s the first time I’m posting from my phone and I’m not sure how everything works in app (hence the star emojis rather than rating – I’ve no idea how to add that).

As always, thank you for reading and until the next time!

October 2020 TBR

Hi, lovelies! Posting two days in a row and NOT for a tour this time?! Who is that girl, because I know it ain’t the old Zaneta.

So, I’ve kind of retired TBRs early this year to “mood” read whatever I felt like and not pressure myself, and while that worked for a while, I found myself receiving more review copies and joining multiple tours and having to plan half of my monthly reading anyway. That felt a bit too chaotic to me, I like to be organised. Hence this post. I’m bringing back the TBRs! It might be a bit too ambitious but we’ll see.

First of all, I have some arcs.

You’ve seen these on my list of most anticipated releases. The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker already came out, but I didn’t get a chance to finish it and am hoping to do so in October. The Once and Future Witches is coming out on the 13th, and Addie LaRue, which I got approved for TODAY is out in a week time. I will be trying to focus on these 3 at the start of the month.

I’ve decided to get to books that have been on my shelf for a while, also, as I feel I’ve been neglecting them for long enough.

I’ve a dark retelling, which if I’ve to judge by Henry’s other book I read – Lost Boy – I’m going to thoroughly enjoy, Haunted, which is a collection of scary short stories and… The Guinevere Deception which I know doesn’t much fit the season but the second book in this series is out in November and I just really want to get to it.

I will also be picking up some audiobooks.

I’ll be getting these from my library, even though I own Gone Girl physically. I’m in the mood for thrillers and really enjoyed the movie when I watched it, so I wanna give the book a try. As for My Name is Monster… I don’t know much about it at all, but I heard it described as weird and that sounds right up my alley.

These are all the books I’ve put on my TBR so far. I don’t want to overdo it again, and let’s face it, I haven’t been able to read more than 6 books a month in a while, so I’ll leave it at that. I might pick up more audiobooks, depending on my shifts at work.

Do you see any of your favourites here? How big is your TBR? Let me know down below.

Thank you for reading! I’ll be back tomorrow with a September wrap up!

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – A Review

Hi! Happy Monday. I hope you’re doing great. I am back with another tour stop and another review. This one is for The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (as you can tell from the title). I’m excited for this one.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Publication date: September 1st 2020
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Genre: Mystery

She came from nothing.

Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future.

Then an eccentric billionaire dies, leaving her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

They had everything.

Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited.

It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives –

a family hell-bent on discovering why Avery got ‘their’ money.

Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.

Soon she is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing.

But just how far will they go to keep their fortune?

The premise of The Inheritance Games sounded pretty interesting, but having put in a lot of faith into YA mysteries in the past, I was quite cautious setting my expectations, not to be disappointed. What I feared would be a dissatisfying read turned into a pleasant surprise – I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

The Inheritance Games follows Avery – a girl from a poor family who, after her mother’s death, is being raised by her older half-sister. She works hard, both in school and outside of it, to earn a better future. Until one day she’s summoned into the headmaster’s office and told she’s been named as an heir of a eccentric billionaire who she didn’t know. But to take ownership of the money and assets she needs to move into the Hawthorne House where all of the billionaire’s family still lives, and stay there for a year. Needless to say, the remaining family is not happy about that, and Avery gets roped into a scavenger hunt/game to win.

It took me a good few chapters to get into the story. I found the beginning, which set up the story and introduced the reader to the characters, slightly boring and mediocre. I will admit, Avery is not a character I particularly liked or found interesting. And while she is the main character, she really played a backdrop for the story’s actual main characters – the Hawthorne grandsons.
I liked all 4 of them. I understand that they’re the cliche YA male protagonists, misunderstood, spoiled, weird, sarcastic, pretentious etc., but what can I say? I saw right through from the very first page and yet I still fell for their charm! If I were to rate them best to worst, I’d pick Xander, Jameson, Grayson and Nash.
Like I said, though, Avery was not my favourite. The female cast did not impress me whatsoever, with Avery’s sister not having much personality, either, and Thea and Rebecca being mostly plot devices. The only interesting female character the story had was Emily, and she was dead, so that really paints a picture for you.

If I didn’t like the main character or any other females and the start was boring and mediocre, why did I enjoy the book, then, you ask? Well… the plot, once it started moving, was very addicting. I wanted to solve the mystery myself. I wanted to know why Avery was chosen as an heir. I wanted to see more of the Hawthornes. After the introductory chapters the pacing improved immensely and the book got better. I don’t necessarily need to like the main character to enjoy the story, as long as I don’t hate every single one of the characters.

I didn’t realise the book was a first in a series, and so the lack of ALL answers and a cliffhanger ending really surprised me. I did still enjoy it, I think as far as YA mysteries go, it was well done, but I am just not big on cliffhangers. Overall, though, I thought the story was well written and paced, and a real page turner once everything was set in place. I am curious where it will go in the next book and will definitely be picking it up!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you for reading! I will chat to you soon.

The Beast And The Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips – A Review #TheWriteReads

Hi!

Today is the last stop on this huge The Write Reads tour for The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, and it’s also my stop. Thank you, as always, to Dave for organising the tour and to the publisher for providing me with an e-copy.

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips
  • Publication date: October 1st 2020
  • Publisher: Egmont
  • Genre: Middle Grade/Fantasy

Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan . . .

Oh boy, this was FUN! I love middle grade books, it’s no surprise to anyone, and The Beast and the Bethany is everything I love in those stories. It’s a super fast read, immensely entertaining, laugh out loud funny and overall a great time.

The Beast and the Bethany follows Ebenezer Tweezer, a 511 year old man, who lives a lavish life in a big mansion with… the Beast. Said Beast has a big appetite and requests the most unusual meals and in return supplies Mr. Tweezer with a potion which makes him young and healthy. Throughout the years the Beast has made some difficult requests, yet each and every single time Ebenezer delivered. After yet another outlandish request, Ebenezer sets out to fulfill it and comes across Bethany – a not so well behaved orphan, and the two become most unlikely friends.

I loved both Bethany and Ebenezer and the relationship the two develop throughout the story. They are quite similar in character at the start of the book, both quite selfish and horrible, but instead of causing havoc together (though that they do, too, I suppose), they help each other grow and change. The Beast was probably my favourite character, though. There was just something unsettling and yet hilarious about it, the way it spoke, behaved and treated everyone.

If not the slump in which I still very much am and other obligations, I’m sure I could’ve read it in one sitting. It’s short but it’s also an absolute page turner. I think the writing is great and witty and it appealed to me as a 27 year old, but I’m positive it would also appeal to a young audience. I got big Lemony Snickett vibes off it. I definitely think it has a potential to be a series many young readers grow up with and have a special attachment to.

I’m excited to continue with the series and see what Bethany and Ebenezer get to in the second book. If it’s anything like the first one, I know it’s going to be fantastic and heaps of fun.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you for reading! Keep an eye out for this one once it releases, it’s really worth a read.

I’ll talk to you soon!

Autumn Recommendations

Hi, lovelies! How are you doing?

It’s cold and wet out today, and since Autumn is finally here I thought I’d share some of my favourite spooky, atmospheric or in any other way autumny reads. These are in no particular order of my enjoyment.

The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts

Let’s ease into the list with a fun, witchy Middle Grade. The Witches of Willow Cove follows two friends, Abby and Robby, who on Halloween night sneak out to snoop around an abandoned mental hospital to find out anything they can about Robby’s mom, who went missing, but instead get into some trouble and discover that witches might actually exist and that Abby is one. As you can see, it’s a perfect autumn read and definitely one for people who enjoy Halloween, but not the scary and gory aspects of it.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

On a similar note… City of Ghosts, the first book in Victoria Schwab’s Cassidy Blake Middle Grade series follows Cassidy as she ventures to Europe with her parents, who are TV show hosts and are recording a programme about haunted cities. What they don’t know is that Casssidy can peel the veil between the living and the dead and see ghosts. The first book takes place in Edinbrugh, it’s a really fun and only slightly spooky read and it’s perfect for this season.

Jackaby by William Ritter

To any mystery and paranormal fans… Jackaby is your series. I think it’s the most underrated one in the YA genre. Set in the late 1800s it follows Abigail Rook, who in desperate need of a new job, apprentices with a most unusual detective. It’s a Sherlock Holmesesque series full of paranormal creatures, each book featuring a different mystery, which are all linked together. It’s honestly one of my favourite series ever and I would highly recommend it.

Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan

Repping a local author here (Deirdre is from Galway, which is 107km from where I live) with Perfectly Preventable Deaths. If the cover doesn’t give you autumny and Halloweeny vibes, I don’t know what will… It’s about twins Madeline and Catlin who move to a remote village in Co. Galway where for the last 60 years teenage girls have been mysteriously disappearing. It’s a slow burn kind of a book, spooky, extremely atmospheric and also quite Irish, that took me by surprise. If you like witchy reads with queer rep – pick this up.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

I remember when this came out and people had such mixed opinions on it. I feel like the hype died down pretty fast, but I’m here to reignite it. The Hazel Wood is a sort of a dark fairytale and after reading the sequel this year I am obsessed with this series, Alice, Finch and the Hinterland. Everything about it is great and bizarre. I’m not going to tell you what it is about. I feel the less you know, the better. If you haven’t read it yet and trust my opinion even a tiny bit, do yourself a favour and buy this or borrow it and read it.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

This cover gives me the hibbie jibbies. Don’t ask me why… Staying in the YA genre I thought I’d mention The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. It’s a retelling of (yes, you guessed it, well done) Frankenstein and follows the main character (again, you’re a genius) Elizabeth. She’s an orphan taken in by the Frankenstein family to keep company to Victor – a strange and solitary child. It’s a quick read, just short of 300 pages, but it has all the spookiness and disturbingness you would want from a Frankenstein retelling. Big thumbs up from me.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

If you’ve noticed a theme here of witchy, ghosty stories and think, well, hang on… how does Wilder Girls fit into this category? It doesn’t, but I never said it’s Halloween recommendations, it’s just autumn recommendations. And Wilder Girls is really creepy and atmospheric and a horror novel, so it fits. It’s a story about a pandemic breaking out on an island holding a girl’s school. Said pandemic/virus/whatchamacallit causes the girls’ bodies to change. It’s quite gory, so if you can’t stomach it, it’s not a book for you. But if you can – I couldn’t recommend it more.

Bunny by Mona Awad

Another horror on the list. This one I won’t tell you anything about. For one, it’s really hard to explain and also it just works better when you know nothing at all and have no clue what to expect. Bunny is an absolute mindfuck of a book and it’s definitely not for everyone. I found it interesting, confusing and disturbing all at once and it was a great ol time.

You by Caroline Kepnes

Speaking of disturbing… this book! I’d say after the TV show, most of you know what the book is about. I read it back in 2016 and at the time I was new to the thriller genre and it was the scariest thing I’ve read. The most disturbing part is the narration style, which is told in the second person. You follows Joe, who works at a bookshop where he meets Beck, looks her up on social media and starts stalking… I know it’s everyone’s biggest fear – going to such a safe place like a bookstore and having that happen… We’re all on the same page, I know. Anyway, I thought the book was better than the show and worthy of appearing on this list.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Last, but not least, and funnily enough also with big stalker vibes we have I See You by Clare Mackintosh. I didn’t realise the themes were so similar when I was making this list – I swear. It’s a really smart and realistic thriller, following a woman who spots her own picture in a newspaper. It’s small and grainy and her family tries to convince her it’s not even her picture, just someone who looks like her. She’s sure, though, and determined to find out who put it up and why, but she doesn’t have much to go by. If you’re a fan of twisty, suspenseful thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat, I See You is for you.

That concludes my recommendations post. I hope I included books for all tastes. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Thanks for reading, I’ll chat soon!

Most Anticipated Releases of the Last Quarter of 2020

Hi! I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again. And by that time of the year, I mean the time for a most anticipated releases post. 2020 has simultaneously been the longest and shortest year of my life, don’t ask me how that’s possible – it just is.

Today I have 10 releases spread through the months of October, November and December – the dates correspond to UK release dates, and looking back at them most are hardbacks, which are not my preferred format. But we will deal.

The Devil and the Dark Water

Release date: October 1st

Stuart Turton, the author of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, is back with yet another historical mystery. This one is set on a ship, in the 17th century and sounds spooky and atmospheric, it is about the devil after all… or is it? I am expecting to love it as much as I loved Evelyn. I also think it’s going to be incredibly smart and mysterious. Can’t wait to pick it up!

Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

Release date: October 6th

A sequel to Dear Martin! Do I need to say more? In case you are clueless about these books, do yourself a favour and look them up. Both Dear Martin and Dear Justyce’s protagonists are Black teens. Both deal with police brutality, racism, racial profiling, prejudice. I already know that both are important reads, even though I have not read this one yet. I am glad so many more books about unfair treatment of minorities are being released as we all need to be more aware of what is happening in the world and how absolutely bullshit it is. Thanks for coming to my TED talk. Pick up Dear Justyce on October 6th!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Release date: October 6th

A new book by Schwab about a girl who makes a deal with the devil and ends up immortal and NO ONE remembers her… Until someone does. I’m going to be real with you… it’s historical. I’ve heard it was slow paced. And also there is a romance at the forefront. So, overall it doesn’t sound like exactly my thing. Yet, Schwab is my queen so you know I’ll be picking it up and reading it asap. I just hope my extra high expectations, despite knowing it might not be my kind of book, won’t make me disappointed. I guess time will tell.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Release date: October 13th

Can we appreciate this gorgeous cover? As the title suggests, this one is about witches. It’s also historical – this fall seems to have nearly exclusive historical fiction blend releases. Honestly, I don’t know much about it, but I have an arc of this one so expect a review on the release date. I am excited because I read and loved The Ten Thousand Doors of January and just know this one will be as good if not better.

God Storm by Coco Ma

Release date: October 20th

Finally, a sequel to Shadow Frost! Coco Ma is a talented young writer and I am looking forward to returning to this fantasy world. The first book had a lot of potential, and I really enjoyed most parts of it and I’m curious to see how Ms. Coco matures with each and every book.

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Release date: October 27th

Another witchy, spooky story. You know I have a type. This one centers around twin sisters who are witches. When one of them is brutally murdered, the other decides to seek revenge. It sounds great. I’ve only read one book by Kerri Maniscalco, but I’m looking forward to reading more from her. I will be returning to the Stalking Jack the Ripper series eventually, but this seems more up my alley.

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Release date: November 17th

Ooooh, I CANNOT wait for this one. I love Brandon Sanderson and so far every book in The Stormlight Archive was a huge hit for me. This one is a chunky one, as all his books, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s a bit intimidating, so I probably will be picking it up on audio. But I’ll definitely be reading it this year!

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

Release date: November 17th

Big day for fantasy releases on November 17th! The Burning God, which I believe is the finale of the Poppy War trilogy, is out and I don’t expect it to be anything less than absolutely brutal, bloody and amazing. I’m currently in the middle of book 2 and really enjoying it. The magic system is fantastic, it’s edge-of-the-seat exciting and… brutal for the lack of a better word. If you’re a fantasy lover, give this one a go.

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Release date: December 3rd

While I didn’t LOVE LOVE LOVE Karen M. McManus’ other books, I think they are solid YA mystery/thrillers. This one sounds incredibly promising – it’s about family secrets and a group of cousins working at a mysterious estate of their grandmother’s. I’m really looking forward to reading it – I am taking part in The Write Reads Tour for The Cousins so I’ll definitely be reading and reviewing it around the release date!

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir

Release date: December 10th

And last but definitely not least – A Sky Beyond the Storm – the finale of An Ember in the Ashes series. It’s been a while since I read the first book and I think a reread is due before I pick up the last book, as I’m a bit rusty on the details. The first 3 books were very solid 4/5 stars and I’m impressed by the detailed world building and great character arcs. I can’t wait to find out how this all ends.

These are the 10 books I’m looking forward to the most in the last quarter of the year. Are any of these on your list, too? Did I miss any? Let me know!

Thank you for reading. I will talk to you all soon!