July 2021 Wrap Up

Hi! I’ve been MIA for a while. Life got a bit busy, with work, house and… a new kitten! His name is Zucchini and he’s the sweetest boy in the universe, and he also takes up a lot of my time and attention.

Despite being so busy, I still managed to read a good bit in the month of July. Here’s the stats:

  • Number of books read: 15
  • Number of pages read: 3250
  • Average star rating: 3.75
  • DNF: 0
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 48
  • Books read: 5
  • Current TBR: 51

Dustborn by Erin Bowman

I finally finished Dustborn this month. I started reading it in May… don’t be misleaded by it, I did enjoy it. But I picked it up at the wrong time, when my reading slump was at its worst and ended up not appreciating the story enough. I also think I hyped it up in my head too much and compared it to Vengeance Road, which is one of my favourite books. All in all, it was a very solid Western with a twist.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

I honestly don’t know why I continued with this series. I didn’t like the first book and surprise, surprise, I didn’t like this one either. The characters really just don’t do anything for me and I find Nova the worst of them all. I don’t care for the clumsy romance, for cookie cutter villains and heroes… yeah, I should’ve skipped it.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., John J. Ratey, M.D.

I’ve read this book because my partner was recently diagnosed with ADHD and I wanted to learn more about it. I tend to not rate informative nonfiction, because I never know how to, but for what it’s worth, I think the book does its job!

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton

I am discovering I really enjoy short story collections where the stories connect with each other through minor characters or events. This one does just that, is set in New York during a blackout and is such a quick and cute read! I liked most of the stories, though, once again Ashley Woodfolk’s writing didn’t mesh with me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Original by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal

This was unexpectedly good. I mean, of course I expect good stuff from Sanderson – there’s a reason why I pick up EVERYTHING by him. But I wasn’t sure where a cowritten scifi novella fit in that. It ended up being better than I expected. Fast paced, interesting, smart and sort of Blake Crouchesque – my favourite kind of scifi.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi

I thought this book would easily be a 4 or a 5 star, considering how I rated other books by Tahereh Mafi. I do love her writing, but this one just didn’t work for me. I don’t quite think the intention of it matched the tone and writing. For such a sad story, it felt jumbled up, unnecessarily dramatic just for the sake of it and uneventful… I thought it would make me emotional, but in the end it didn’t and I found it forgetful.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Finally a YA mystery/thriller that I wasn’t totally disappointed in! I will be posting a full review at some point soon, so I won’t be going into detail, buy if you liked Sadie it might be something worth picking up!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones By Seanan McGuire

I binged the rest of this series in July and!!! Why did I wait so long? This one is probably my favourite (or one of two favourites). I loved both Jack and Jill and found the story the right amount of whimsical and… disturbing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

While I enjoyed this one, too, I found it a bit scattered, and the weakest out of the ones I read. I did enjoy the world building, but Rini and her sense of humour… not so much.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In an Absent Dream is my second favourite. I wish McGuire would write a full length novel about the Goblin Market. I really loved the premise of this one and all of the quirk that came with it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

I really enjoyed seeing Jack and Jill once again and continuing with their story, although not quite as much as their first one.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire

Yet another quirky, whimsical story but much less dark, which is a shame. I did love the representation McGuire included with Regan being intersex.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas did it again! I loved THUG and I was dying to read about Maverick’s teens and it ended up being everything I could’ve wanted. From the writing, through the characters and their development, the plot – it was all perfection. I think I’ll post a full review of this one, soon!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin

I’m not sure what I was expecting from this but whatever it was, it wasn’t what I got. I think I wanted something like Northline. And in some ways it was similar, but while Nortline was depressing, yet realistic and somehow uplifting at times, The Night Always Comes was just plain depressing. I couldn’t deal with the main character and her making the same mistake over and over, nor could I read more of her whiny mother… I probably should’ve DNFed it.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Oh, the disappointment of this one hurt… the marketing of this book really sold it to me – I wanted and expected body horror, spooky atmosphere and mysterious main characters. None of it really delivered. I haven’t found the book to be particularly atmospheric or spooky. I couldn’t care less about the characters. The pacing was off and it made the book drag. For such a short story (just under 300 pages), it was a real slug. Full review to come.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

As you can see, I had a pretty good reading month, although I have read MANY short books. How was your July? What was your favourite of the month?

Thank you for reading! P.S. My blog finally surpassed 5000 views! Hooray!

May 2021 Wrap Up

Hi! Another month gone… (insert lots of talk about months flying by, as per usual). I had a strange month, it started off strong and then I completely lost steam. I still managed to read 11 books, which isn’t bad.

Let’s get into my favourite part of the post – stats! May is my birthday month (I turned 28!) so you’ll see my physical TBR shot up quite a bit.

  • Number of books read: 11
  • Number of pages read: 4573
  • Average star rating: 3.4
  • DNF: 1
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 37
  • Books read: 2
  • Current TBR: 48

Illusionary by Zoraida Córdova

I have a full review on here if you’d like to check it out!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

I’ve also posted a full review for this one, here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Project by Courtney Summers

I’ve seen many mixed reviews about this book, mostly comparing it to Sadie, and how it was vastly different from it. I think Summers’ writing was just as good and the story she told in The Project interesting and well done. I guess I’m in the minority here, but I really liked it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

This one is a blend of fantasy and mystery, and the mystery was what drove the plot, and I wished it was the other way around. I did like the book, but I think it would’ve benefited more from really focusing on the world building and political intrigue, and by giving us more depth, rather than mystery twists and turns. It was good, but it had the potential to be great.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

What can I say? I love Murderbot. I kind of wish we got a full length novel, but these snippets are satisfactory for me and a great palate cleanser in between bigger books.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison

I found this second installment in the series fun, but slightly underwhelming. I usually love pirates in middle grade books, but I preferred the first books storyline and the magical elements of it. Charlie was once again my favourite Widdershin sister.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

This was a fun, if a bit predictable and formulaic read. I enjoyed the plot and found the book entertaining, but the last portion got too romance heavy for me to really enjoy it. That being said, it’s definitely just personal preference and I know many people would probably love it. I’m undecided on whether I’ll be continuing with the series for that reason.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco

My first Rin Chupeco and sadly I didn’t enjoy it. I found the world building too much, it seems to be based off all and every fairytale AND myth the author could find. That paired up with a big cast of characters, too big to properly develop any, and it honestly turned into a bit of a disaster for me. I read it last month, and I already am struggling with remembering what it was about. Disappointing, but maybe their other books will work for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The Serpent’s Curse by Lisa Maxwell

I honestly thought it was the last book in the series. At 75% I realised it couldn’t possibly be, because the plot was nowhere near wrapped up. I think this series is criminally underrated – rhis installment was fantastic and exciting, but I will admit I’m growing sick of the will they, won’t they romance.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Once again, I love Murderbot. There isn’t much to say about these books, they’re bite size, fun and hilarious. I found Exit Strategy to be a bit less sarcastic and a bit more serious, though, and it made it my least favourite installment so far.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshy

I finally got my hands on this book. It’s been on my TBR since it was announced. I will be publishing a review for it soon, so I’ll leave my thoughts until then. Let me just tell you I’m intrigued but not totally sold on it just yet.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

And that is all. I’ve been wondering if you’d be interested in seeing my reading related spreads from my bullet journal in these wrap ups? Also, let me know if you’d like a full review for any of these?

How was your reading this month?

Talk soon!

March 2021 Wrap Up

Hi! Happy April!

I have read quite a bit in March, so I won’t be babbling on for too long about the books. I will link my full reviews to all of them that I’ve written, and if you would like to know my detailed thoughts on any of the other ones, just drop me a comment down below and I’ll post one on here.

Time for stats.

  • Number of books read: 13
  • Number of pages read: 4969
  • Average star rating: 3.3
  • Physical TBR at the start of the month: 43
  • Books read: 10
  • Current physical TBR: 35
  • DNF: 1

As you can see, I am trying to get through my physical TBR at the moment. It doesn’t help I’ve ordered 5 books in the last couple of days.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This book just didn’t work for me at all. I expected a story about regular people in a world full of the chosen ones. I guess what I expected would’ve been quite bland and boring – because in reality, these kids, though without superpowers (well, all but one) still get into some supernatural shenanigans. I didn’t much care for the characters, nor did I like the plot. Somehow, the bland and boring still very much applied.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

I’ll be posting a full review closer to the publication date – it releases in the UK on the 20th of April. It was just my kind of a story, even though the format of it (told in short stories/vignettes from different POVs) might not be what I reach for usually. I loved it and it took me completely by surprise.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harris

This was a nice and breezy middle-grade about 3 sisters and a family curse. It took me a good few chapters to get invested in the story, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. Charlie is hands down my favourite character – I laughed out loud a few times reading the scenes with her.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

I expected a dark retelling of the Little Mermaid. Why? Because I read Lost Boy and that’s what it was – a horroresque retelling of a story we know. This wasn’t quite either. I still liked it, as Christina Henry is a skilled writer, but it just wasn’t what I wanted from the story, going into it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Havenfall by Sara Holland

The longer I sit on this book, the more I want to lower my rating. Havenfall was a cover buy. I didn’t have huge expectations going in but the idea of a magical inn connecting different worlds was fantastic, and it sounded like a good time, especially with the mystery element promised in the blurb. I am quite disappointed, even though my expectations were low. This book did nothing new or exciting, it was your middle of the road standard YA fantasy and I’ve had my fill with them by now… to bad, because it had potential.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Continuing on the last thought… Legendborn was so much different and a reason enough not to give up on the YA fantasy genre. It did remind me a bit of The Mortal Instruments at the start, but it blossomed into something different, intricate and well developed and written. Honestly, it was heaps of fun and I really enjoyed the story. It’s a King Arthur retelling, too, which is always a plus (or is it, since the last few I read I either DNFed or hated).

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I’ve seen EVERYONE rave about this book. I caved. I picked it up expecting to also love it. And although the first third or maybe half was interesting and promising, in the end the book became more of a self-help kind of book full of long winded cliches. I understand what Haig tried to do, but that’s what I wanted from him, I’d pick up his non-fiction.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Full review here.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

I talked a lot about Swanson recently, and I’ve mentioned I like his writing even though it follows a certain formula I very much expect from thrillers. Well, this one was COMPLETELY different and… I’m impressed. It wasn’t quite a 5 star read for me, but definitely the best book I read by the author so far. It was smart and twisty and just overall really well done.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

In March I also picked up a non-fiction. I’ve been wanting to read Everyday Sexism for a long while now. I think it’s always relevant. I listened to it on audio, but I feel like have I read it physically I would’ve skimmed many parts. Don’t get me wrong, the book is important and like I already said, still very relevant, but the way it’s done is incredibly repetitive. The book makes very few points, but manages to make up in length by repeating them every so often. I read non-fiction for educational purposes, obviously, but I learnt nothing I haven’t already in my nearly 28 years of being a woman.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

This was my first Ruth Ware, and incidentally also her first book, and it didn’t knock my socks off, but I did enjoy the writing and so I will be picking up more by the author. I’ve been in a thriller kick and it satisfied the craving, but I found the characters incredibly unlikeable and the plot quite predictable. Still, not a bad read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

I have many bad things to say about this one, but I’m choosing positivity today. I didn’t like The Iron Trial and I won’t be picking up the rest of the series. I know middle grades written in the last 10-15 years sometimes suffer from the Harry Potter syndrome, but this one tried just a bit too hard for me, and the countless similarities were too much.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Yet another thriller in this wrap up that I quite enjoyed. I read thrillers to be entertained and a bit unsettled and My Lovely Wife delivered in both cases, though significantly less in the latter. It was fun, though, and I’d like to pick up more by the author, because I found the writing quite engaging.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

And these are all of the books I read in the month of March.

How was your reading month? Did you read any new favourites? How’s your Goodreads challenge going?

Thank you for reading!

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!

Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall – A Review

Hi! It’s time for another The Write Reads tour review. Dave has been spoiling us with great books lately and this one was no different. Let’s just get into it.

Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall
  • Publication date: June 18th 2019
  • Publisher: Capital Station Books
  • Genre: Fantasy

Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.

So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.

In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.

I think the whole gang reached a consensus with this book – we all seemed to really enjoy it and it’s a rare sight. I haven’t heard of this series until Dave announced the tour and as a fantasy reader, I’m surprised why more people don’t talk about it, because it ticks all the boxes.

It took me no time to get into the story. Knightmare Arcanist doesn’t waste any time to introduce you to the world and plot – it throws you right in. Volke is hell bent on becoming an arcanist and making a name for himself. It’s not easy growing up on an island where your heritage is everything, and coming from a family of thieves and murderers. Being apprenticed by the gravedigger he’s not allowed to compete in order to bond with a phoenix, but he finds a way to bond with a mythical creature and becoming an arcanist anyway.

I really liked Volke as a main character. He was an interesting protagonist and narrator, and I really liked his determination. Actually, thinking about it, I didn’t hate any of the characters. Granted, I didn’t think all of them were fleshed out to the point I’d like them to be, but they were fun to follow, especially for the purpose of seeing different mythical creatures and the magic they could perform with them.

I think Knightmare Arcanist fits the younger end of YA and in many of those cases the author struggles to find the tone for the story, or takes heavy inspiration from other books. Stovall managed to make this one stand out in a line up. I found the story to be fast paced and engaging and the world rich and developed, without info dumpy paragraphs. It was a fresh story and it’s what made it so enjoyable for me. It’s not the shortest, yet if not this dreadful reading slump, I’d see myself reading it all in one sitting and that says something.

Another aspect of the book I enjoyed thoroughly was Stovall’s writing. She managed to paint the world clearly with her words without using language that’s too flowery – seeing as the story is told from Volke’s point of view. I love a healthy balance between descriptive writing full of imagery and Tolkien’s 3 page long descriptions of grass, and I think Stovall managed it very well.

I am looking forward to continuing with the series as it pleasantly surprised me. If you like magical fantasies and mythical creatures, you should definitely give it a go.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you all for reading. Make sure to check out the hashtags and follow @ TheWriteReads on Twitter to find all the other fantastic reviewers taking part in this tour. I’ll talk to you all soon!

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis – A Review

Hi! Today is the last day of the Harrow Lake Ultimate Blog Tour hosted by Dave at TheWriteReads on Twitter and it’s my turn to share my thoughts on the book!

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis
  • Publication date: July 9th 2020
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Genre: Thriller

Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone’s expecting you . . .

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

Thank you to the publisher, NetGalley and Dave for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thrillers have become one of my favourite genres recently, even though I’ve rated very few of them 5 stars. When this tour was announced, I was ecstatic! The blurb, though quite vague, had me hooked. I love small creepy towns, close knit communities shrouded in mysteries, and that kind of vibe.

Harrow Lake definitely delivered in that regard. From the get go, the story and the world building were very mysterious and atmospheric. The first couple of chapters set up the mood of the story brilliantly and hinted at some supernatural aspects, which is not my favourite kind of mystery, but it can work when done well. The mentions of Mister Jitters and unexplained disappearances were just the right amount of spooky for me.

Unfortunately, after a strong start, the story went downhill. For the most part of the middle the plot was nearly non existent. In trying to keep everything creepy and mysterious, and explore the superstition of Mister Jitters and making the reader believe he exists, the plot was pushed to the side and it’s when the book slowed down for me and lost the initial excitement.

I feel like the characters were somewhat sacrificed for the sake of the atmosphere, too. I wanted more development for Lola, especially to justify the choice the author made about the ending of the story. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the “twist” at the end of the book needed more to be fully believable, in my opinion. I thought she was well done, for most of it, but some parts just didn’t make sense because they were revealed too late, to justify the twist. The supporting characters needed to be more fleshed out, too, mostly Lola’s grandmother. She had a really big role in the story especially in bridging the supernatural with Lola’s mother’s disappearance, but she was reduced to the creepy old lady who wasn’t always all there.

Some of the most interesting bits of the story were never actually explained, and it’s the main reason for my rating. Like I mentioned before, the plot hinted at the supernatural, and revolved around Mister Jitters and the legend of him, just to flip towards the end and change into a psychological thriller – no doubt for the shock value – yet it just left a lot of loose threads, which I wish were addressed more and tied together. Again, not to spoil anything, I filled in the blanks myself which I think was the author’s intent, but it didn’t satisfy me in the end.

I’m torn on the rating. I think I will settle on 2.75 rounded up to 3 for the sake of Goodreads and this star business.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Check out other people’s reviews by following TheWriteReads Twitter and if this YA thriller sounds interesting to you make sure to pick it up when it comes out in July! Just because it didn’t work for me, it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

Thank you for reading! As always, I will talk to you all soon!

Most Disappointing Books of 2019

Hi! I’m back today with another 2019 wrap up style post. I wanna talk about the most disappointing books I’ve read in 2019. I don’t want to be a Negative Nelly all the time, and I’ve thought of talking about the best or most surprising books I’ve read last year, but decided to just get it over and done with, and focus on the good stuff from tomorrow onward.

So, in no particular order, here are my most disappointing books of 2019:

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

I think me and Becky Albertalli just don’t mesh well. I’ve read 3 of her novels and only really liked Simon vs. I went into this book expecting to like it. Why? Honestly, I’ve no idea. I blame myself more for setting the bar so high, than the book for not quite reaching it. I liked the idea for this book, and the diversity of the characters, but in the end it turned out to be very much meh. I couldn’t connect with anything or anyone in this story and it left me quite disappointed.

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

The title and the description of this one deceived me. I loved the concept of The Smoke Thieves, the whole demon hunting and collecting “smoke” from them to sell as an illegal substance business. It seemed cool. What wasn’t cool is that it wasn’t the main part of the story, the book had too many POVs and I hated some of the characters. Well, maybe not hated, but disliked A LOT. It had a big potential, and I might still pick up book 2 in the series to check it out, but man… I wish Tash was the only character in the book.

Full review here.

Refraction by Naomi Hughes

This one is another case of a: stellar idea and poor execution. A world where monsters spawn from mirror reflections? Fuck yes! A main character who’s morally grey and has OCD? Sign me up. I got an arc of this book and I was so excited to read it and recommend it to everyone but… Unfortunately it didn’t quite deliver. There were many things about this book that were good and really enjoyable (like the characters), but the writing style and pacing made it clunky and anticlimactic. The book lacked atmosphere. I wish it was done differently, because I think the idea for it is genius.

Full review here.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I think this one is an unpopular opinion. I feel like everyone who’s read Renegades loved it. I, on the other hand, found it boring and uneventful. It took me a month to read it – a full month! I was so close to DNFing it, but since I loved the Lunar Chronicles I decided to push through it. My main complaint are the characters. Adrian was a cookie cutter hero, and so I wanted Nova to be a proper villain, but she just wasn’t one. In my opinion, she’s not even anywhere near a villain, just a morally grey and confused teen. Maybe I would enjoy the book more if it wasn’t 600 pages long and didn’t have an unexciting cliffhanger.

Read more of my thoughts on it here.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

This book was so hyped before the release date, and then everyone with arcs read it (me included) and rated it “middle of the road” and the buzz died. The vampire revival flopped BIG TIME. I have a full review of The Beautiful on the blog (here, if you’re interested), where I talk about what worked and what didn’t work for me, so I won’t be repeating myself, but I’m gonna say one thing… I expected more from Renee Ahdieh and was left super disappointed.

And these are all of the books I wanted to talk about today. Have you read any of them? What are your thoughts?

I’ll talk to you very soon, this time about exciting books!

Books I wish I read in 2019

Hi! Only 2 weeks left of this year (and this decade) – can you believe it? I’m having a 1/3 life crisis, but I won’t get into that for all of our sakes. What I do want to talk about today is all the books I didn’t get to this year but had big plans on reading. They’re on top of my tbr pile and I’ll be getting to them asap.

Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake

First is Five Dark Fates. I’ve caught up with the series in September – just before this was released, and planned on picking it up straight away, as the ending of Two Dark Reigns had me shook (for a lack of a better word)… and life got in the way. That’s literally the story of my life. The plan is to buy a copy and read it early next year, so all is fresh in my memory and it doesn’t hinder my enjoyment of this finale.

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

I know how the story ends – we’re told in the very first chapter of Nevernight. But I still want to know so many things. I’ve had a very strange relationship with this series, while reading the books, but distance makes the heart grow fonder and I am dying to read Darkdawn (especially after the Youtube miniseries done by Piera Forde. Have you seen it?!) It’ll be happening when this releases in paperback, or if my library has it.

Thunderhead by Neal Schusterman
The Toll by Neal Schusterman

I only read Scythe in March this year, and I didn’t expect to enjoy it, but I kinda gave in to the hype and… oh, boy, was it worth it. As with most books I’m excited to read but don’t end up reading – I don’t own these, and I can’t always afford new books, especially when there’s like 60 unread ones sitting on my shelf, staring at me. I am planning on getting these very soon, though, and probably binge reading them.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

I don’t buy hardcovers if I can avoid them (they’re expensive and awkward to hold while reading), so I didn’t get Skyward when it came out last year. The paperback released by now, but I’ve been too busy reading Sanderson’s other books and kinda forgot to pick these up. It will happen, hopefully soon, as everyone seems to love it (including my boyfriend).

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Okay, I have no excuse for this one. I own it. It’s been sitting on my shelf since the second week of November and I just haven’t picked it up yet. I’m kinda scared, because while I loved the author’s And I Darken series, and I quite enjoyed The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, I’m currently reading Slayer and can’t get through it. I’ve been anticipating this book like crazy and I don’t want to be disappointed.

An honorable mention to The Diviners by Libba Bray, a book which I’ve been thinking of maybe reading for years and years, but only committing to recently.

Are there any books you really wish you read this year?

I’ll talk to you very soon!

The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen – A Review #UltimateBlogTour

Hi! It’s my stop today, on the #UltimateBlogTour for The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen. I’m very excited to post, as it’s my first tour ever! So, let’s go!

The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen
  • Publication date: 2005
  • Publisher: Host og Son
  • Genre: Middle Grade/YA Fantasy

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

I have received an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Devil’s Apprentice was such a fun and fast paced book. I didn’t know what to expect, going into it. It sounded interesting, but also not entirely in my comfort zone. I was wrong – it’s exactly the book I would read!
I’m going to start with saying that, while marketed as a YA fantasy, I would definitely categorise it as a Middle Grade novel. The narration style, as well as a lot of themes in this book fit a MG much more than a YA book.

One of the strongest points of this novel was the world building. As you can guess from the title, most of the book takes place in Hell. The setting of Hell was vivid and very well developed. I am not a religious person myself, but I’m familiar with the bible and biblical stories, and I think weaving those through the story and adding a different spin or dimension to things and people so widely known was a great idea. It added a lot of depth to the story.

I really liked the main character, Philip. As MG protagonists go, he wasn’t the most fleshed out character out there, but he was likeable and believable. Sure, he made stupid decisions, but they were necessary to the plot and also… he’s 13 years old. I’m twice his age and let’s not get into my decision making abilities… The whole cast of characters was “good” (or as good as devils and other Hell creatures can be) – I didn’t dislike any of them, which really made for an enjoyable read. My favourite was definitely Lucifer.

The plot of the book was quite predictable, though by no means boring. I enjoyed myself from the beginning till the end. I really liked the take on this story – though morality is explored a lot in various books, I haven’t read anything with a similar setting and plot. Philip’s adventure was engaging and fun. There wasn’t anything profound about it, but it did it’s job – to entertain.

All in all, I’m happy I got a chance to read this book as it’s not something I would’ve picked up on my own. It’s a solid adventure story, which is a bit darker than most MG/young YA, and which explores interesting topics of morality and what it means to be good or bad. I would definitely recommend it if it sounds like something you might be interested in yourself.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Follow the #UltimateBlogTour #DevilsApprentice and #TheWriteReads hashtags to find more reviews for the book (we’re all very active on Twitter).

I’ll talk to you soon!

November Wrap Up

Hi! I can’t believe it’s December already.

Let’s talk stats for November, and how much I failed my TBR, shall we?

November has been a strange month reading wise. I have gotten myself into a reading slump and didn’t really get out of it until now (at least I hope), so I’m in the middle of 2 books at the moment, still. I’ll talk about them tomorrow, in my December TBR post.


  • Number of books read: 4
  • Number of pages read: 2520
  • Average star rating: 4.75
  • DNFs: 1
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go was a leftover from my October TBR and I finished it at the start of the month. I really enjoyed the book – it was a perfect thriller full of suspense and plot twists, and it really cemented my interest in Clare Mackintosh’s books. I did find the themes of it heavy, though, so I found it hard to fly through the book – it made me sad and uncomfortable. While I think the book was incredibly well done, my enjoyment of it was definitely hindered by how stressful and weighty I found some parts.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I’m not gonna blabber about this one for too long, because I have a review for it right here. Ninth House is probably one of my favourite books I’ve read this year and Bardugo is a Queen. The book is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but if you can deal with violence and drug abuse, among other things, and you want a good urban fantasy – pick it up.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

I am slowly but surely continuing with my reread of Harry Potter. Like for every book so far, I’ve a twitter thread, live tweeting my experience, rereading the books for the nth time. I don’t think I have to say much about it – it was clearly 5 stars, though I think it is my least favourite of the series (don’t @ me).

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

My god! This one’s a wild ride. Sanderson is a master of fantasy – I thought that after reading Mistborn and I am sure of it now. Words of Radiance is such a complex and detailed story, it’s gripping, it’s fast paced, it gives you characters you love, ones you hate, ones you want to hit over the head with a wooden spoon and tell them to cop on (yes, I’m talking about Kaladin). I loved everything about it and I need to pick up Oathbringer asap.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

And my one DNF of the month

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

I gave it 100 pages, but it failed to grab my attention. It was unnecessarily violent with no substance behind it. I don’t mind violence (clearly – I rated Ninth House 5 stars), but when it’s the only thing mentioned in the book – it gets tiresome. I wanted world building – I got none. I wanted more than a murderous child. I was very disappointed in the book – especially that it’s been on my TBR for a really long time.


That would be it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with my TBR, I still need to fine tune it and make sure I don’t overdo it, like always.

How many books have you read in November? Any new favourites?