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!

Finally Fall 2020 – Book Tag

Hi lovelies! I felt like doing a book tag and thought it would be interesting to revisit a tag I’ve done last year, since I’ve read nearly 100 books since then (94 to be exact). Also, there’s nothing I love more than autumn and the cosy and spooky season. If you want to check out my answers from last yea head here. Let’s get into it!

QUESTION 1 – In fall, the air is crisp and clear: Name a book with a vivid setting.

The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle

The Storm Keeper’s Island is a MG magical story set in Ireland. Honestly, even though Arranmore is not a place I have visited, the setting was so familiar and it made for a very cosy read. I am not Irish by birth, I moved here at 15, but by now I have lived here for close to half my life and I consider it home. Reading this book gave me a very homey and safe feeling. If you like MG, definitely pick this one up, it’s fantastic!

QUESTION 2 – Nature is beautiful… but also dying: Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss of grief.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

This novel by Elizabeth Acevedo deals with exactly that – grief and loss. It’s told in verse, and the way it’s written is absolutely stunning! It’s a contemporary about two sisters who don’t know about each others existence and are brought together by a tragedy when their father dies in a plane crash. Not only do they have to deal with the loss of their father – they also need to get past the betrayal of their father’s lies, and accepting each other as family. I loved every second of it.

QUESTION 3 – Fall is back to school season: Share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

Again, second year in a row – I don’t have an answer for that. I don’t read non-fiction, although I think I should. Maybe next year I’ll have an actual answer.

QUESTION 4 – In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: Name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be part of.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I’m rereading Anne of Green Gables right now… so that is my answers. Living in Avonlea, with Anne, Marilla and Matthew would be great, I think. They’re such an unlikely family but they really care about each other. I love everything about this series, I think I even wouldn’t mind Rachel Lynde nosing around.

QUESTION 5 – The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: Show us a pile of fall coloured spines!

This is an old photo. But they are very much fall coloured. I would appreciate if you checked out my Instagram account if you’re so inclined. (shameless promo)

QUESTION 6 – Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: Share a book wherein someone is telling a story.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

So… This one is told in fist person, so that counts, right? A person telling THEIR OWN story? I think it counts anyway. The Black Flamingo is another book on this list told in verse and it is everything. Honestly, it’s probably one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s a coming of age story that deals with identity, sexuality and the reality of being Black in the UK. I loved it and I think it’s a must read.

QUESTION 7 – The nights are getting darker: Share a dark, creepy read.

IT by Stephen King

Okay, this might seem a TYPICAL answer to many of you, but the truth is I only read it (IT) late last year and it was so fucking good, I don’t know why I slept on it for so long. Honestly, I haven’t read any other Stephen King (other than like 2 short stories) so it’s not a typical answer to me. This one was super creepy in a good way. I did skip the infamous scene, though, not to ruin the book for myself. If you know, you know.

QUESTION 8 – The days are getting colder: Name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar

Okay… this one is over 300 pages long so it’s not necessarily THAT short. But it’s such a great and cosy story, and a fast read too, and I’m sure it would definitely warm up someone’s day. It’s a story full of adventure and pirates and is everything you could possibly want from a MG. It gave me such a nostalgic feeling! I could not praise it enough.

QUESTION 9 – Fall returns every year: Name an old favourite that you’d like to return to soon.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Last year my answer to this was Anne of Green Gables. I am reading it now, so I guess I have accomplished that. I’ve been wanting to pick up The Secret Garden again. I’ve only read it once, as a kid, and in Polish, so I would love to revisit this story and see if it holds up right now.

QUESTION 10 – Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: Share your favourite cozy reading “accessories”!

The answer still stands – my bed. I do most of my reading in bed, no matter the season, but especially in autumn, I love being under the quilt with a hot water bottle and reading for hours.

And that is it. I’d love to know if you have done this tag – let me know in the comments below. I think I’ll make this a yearly thing – I quite enjoyed revisiting it and seeing my old answers. I’ll chat to you soon. Thanks for reading!

August Wrap Up

Hi! I am finally back after an unintentional hiatus! My last post was the last month’s wrap up… I have not even been around to read your blogs and for that I sincerely apologise.

I moved houses! I spent most of August packing, cleaning, moving then unpacking and cleaning, and slowly but surely covering my whole body in bruises. Now that it’s done, though, I am hopefully back to blogging semi regularly and reading more. Let’s get into my stats and you’ll know what I mean.

  • Number of books read: 7
  • Number of pages read: 2815
  • Average star rating: 3.8
  • TBR at the end of July: 48
  • Books added: 2
  • Books read: 4
  • Current TBR: 46 (not quite, as I already bought 2 books this month, but shhhh…)

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

I think this book explores some great topics and is an important read – especially right now. It opened my eyes to a time in American history I didn’t know about. I liked the characters and the storyline, but the narration style and the writing weren’t my favourite. There was just something about it that made the read quite slow. Or maybe it was my reading slump…?

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Night Country by Melissa Albert

The Night Country was one of my most anticipated books of this year and it didn’t disappoint. I listened to it on audio, because with the move happening, it was quite difficult to find time to physically read (you’ll see that all over this wrap up). The Night Country was everything I wanted from a follow up and conclusion to The Hazel Wood. It was deliciously weird and spooky and I loved every second of it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

The Black Flamingo is the only physical book I got to this month. It was a beautiful and quick read. I don’t usually read books written in verse (poetry is a hit or miss for me, and so books written in verse didn’t always hold any appeal to me), so I didn’t know what to expect, but honestly after reading this one I want to pick up more of them. I loved everything about this book, from the first page to last. I will definitely read more from Dean Atta in the future.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Twisted Fates by Danielle Rollins

I am low key obsessed with this series. The first book really took me by surprise (whoever marketed it did it wrong and that is the only reason why EVERYONE and their mother isn’t talking about this book – and why I only picked it up by accident) and the sequel killed me. Dorothy is definitely one of my favourite heroines ever. I am in awe of the story arc and I need more. (P.S. I also listened to this on audio).

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Toll by Neal Schusterman

I was searching for books on my physical TBR that were available on audio from my library and I finally finished the Scythe series! As always, Neal Schusterman didn’t disappoint. I didn’t quite enjoy this one as the previous two – it lacked something I can’t quite put my finger on – but it was overall a very smart, well written and great book. I’d definitely recommend this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

No one is more devastated that I didn’t enjoy this book more than me. I was so hyped to read it and got it out of my library on audio (of course) and ended up very disappointed. The premise was interesting and the dual timeline of the narration would’ve worked if everything else wasn’t so cliched and predictable. I didn’t like the characters and couldn’t relate to them. I did everything in power to invest myself in the story but just couldn’t. I’m sure the book will work for some – sadly, it just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Lastly, also from my library and on audio, and also a disappointment – Sawkill Girls. I’ve seen a lot of comparison between this book and Wilder Girls – from the obvious similar title, through creepy vibes, island setting and queer girls – I thought it was yet another book that was written for me specifically (jokes). I absolutely loved Wilder Girls but Sawkill Girls didn’t live up to my expectations. The queerness seemed forced, I didn’t much care for the story or the characters and it wasn’t spooky at all, even though it tried hard to be. If you were to only pick up one – go for Wilder Girls.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

And that is all for today. As you can see, if not the audiobooks I wouldn’t have read much at all this month. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Thanks for reading! I’ll talk to you soon.

June Wrap Up

Hi! June was an absolute disaster of a month and I’m glad it’s over. I have barely blogged, read very little compared to the last couple of months and I even neglected Instagram on which I usually post every day. My anxiety got the better of me this month and I’m hoping it will settle soon and I’ll find it in me to be more productive.

I’m kind of afraid of this portion of the post, because… I might’ve bought a good few books. But here are the stats anyway.

  • Number of books read: 7
  • Number of pages read: 2325
  • Average star rating: 3.5
  • DNFs: 0
  • TBR at the start of June: 52
  • Books added: 7
  • Books read: 2
  • Current TBR: 57
The Ghosts of Sherwood by Carrie Vaughn

The Ghosts of Sherwood is a novella about Robin Hood’s kids. I got an e-arc of it and it was a fast read, but I found it lacking. I wanted more depth and development, but because of the short format, I didn’t really get it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

This one is marketed as a thriller, but I don’t think it fits in that genre. I’m not sure what I would actually shelve it as, because “weird” is not a genre, but that’s what I found it – in the best way possible. It is a one of a kind book, told in vignettes, about an older sister who finds herself helping her younger sibling bury her now ex-boyfriends. It explores the sisterly bond really well and it’s an overall great read, though definitely not for everyone.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
19 Love Songs by David Levithan

Recently I’ve been more and more disappointed with Levithan’s books. I used to love him as a teen, but either the magic wore off or he’s lost his touch. 19 Love Songs is a collection of short stories about different kinds of love, and although I didn’t dislike it, not a single story (maybe apart from the last poem) stood out to me. I found them all pretty samey and so quite disappointing.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

An absolute gem of a book! I loved everything about it, from the characters, to the setting and the raps included in it. It’s a story about 3 Black teens in Brooklyn whose friend (and brother) was murdered. Said friend was a rapper, but he was killed before he made it, so they decide to make him famous posthumously. It has grief and friendship and 90s Brooklyn and oldschool hip hop and talks about important subjects.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

I have a review for this one, so I won’t be blabbing about it much. It was enjoyable, sweet and a fast, entertaining read. Loved the queer rep, talks of mental health and the social media aspect. Very promising, own-voices debut!

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Color Outside the Lines by Various Authors

I’m starting to feel I have some subconscious gripe with short stories. Although I did not dislike it by any means, nothing really stuck with me. There were a few stories that I did not care about, and a lot of cute but not very memorable ones. I liked the theme of this anthology – it’s about interracial couples, so that’s a plus. Maybe the format just really isn’t for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Kingdom of Souls honestly deserves its own full review and I’ll write one soon. I was very impressed with this YA fantasy, found it unique and so so so rich! But I’ll gush about it in a separate post.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

And that is it!

What is your favourite read of this month?

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

Mid Year Book Freakout – Book Tag

Hi! I have been absolutely HORRIBLE at posting this month. Really, ever since my birthday I’ve been getting into a life slump ( third life crisis?)… What better way to get back into the swing of things than with a book tag?

You have probably seen everyone do this already, but here are my answers to the Mid Year Book Freakout tag. Let’s go!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020

Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake

Starting off with probably the most difficult question of all… Honestly, how am I meant to decide? I’m going to go with Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake, the conclusion to the Three Dark Crowns series, simply because it ripped my heart out and genuinely made me cry. I did not think when I first started this series that I would love it so much. Highly recommend it, even if you read and didn’t love the first book.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2020

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

This stunner is technically a companion novel and not a direct sequel but it counts because I say it does. It is a western set after the events of Vengeance Road (which honestly, you should just pick up because it’s everything) and it’s so suspenseful and fast paced it’s a WILD RIDE. It follows two new characters, Charlotte and Reece, whose lives become entwined in so great circumstances, but also Kate and Jesse form book 1. Don’t let the genre discourage you – the books are fantastic.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I have not yet picked this one up, even though it was definitely one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I got swamped with review copies in May and have since acquired quite a few new books aaaand… this one will have to wait unless I want to drown in books.

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year

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

You know I’d be lying if I answered with any other book. Schwab is Queen and anything that she publishes I read. Addie LaRue sounds incredible, so I’m not being bias. I mean, a story about a girl who makes a deal with the Devil to live forever and the consequence is that everyone who meets her forgets her instantly?! Do you need to be convinced any more?

Biggest Disappointment

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

I’ve talked about this book a lot, and I don’t want to make myself unnecessarily angry, so if you want to read my thoughts, here’s the review for it. Short and sweet – it could’ve have been so great, but it sucked. And I’m beyond disappointed.

Biggest Surprise

Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins

The synopsis does not do this book any justice. I got it in a subscription box and picked up on a whim, not really interested in it, and ended up falling in love with the story and the characters. It’s absolutely fantastic, it has time travel and a found family trope and a great main character.

Favourite New Author (Debut Or To You)

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Definitely N.K. Jemisin as a new to me author. I loved The Fifth Season, it was so fucking smart, the world building incredibly rich and I absolutely loved the writing. I’ll be picking up everything by Jemisin, for sure.

Newest Fictional Crush

I don’t really get those, so I have no answer for this question.

Newest Favourite Character

Duckett & Dyer Dicks For Hire by G.M. Nair

I had the biggest love-hate relationship with Stephanie, but I think I love her more than hate her. She’s the WORST in the best way possible. By the way, if you like weird and hilarious books and sci-fi, definitely pick this gem up.

Book That Made You Cry

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Okay, in all honesty, this didn’t quite make me cry, but I didn’t want to use the same book I already talked about (Five Dark Fates) for this answer. The Last Time We Say Goodbye got me quite choked up, though, so I think it counts. It deals with suicide and grief and I think it’s a poignant and well written story.

Book That Made You Happy

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

These stories were incredibly cute and I loved being back in the Lunar Chronicles world. I even didn’t mind the Scarlett and Wolf story, eve though they were my least favourite from the series.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year (Or Received)

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan

I have many answers to this question, but I decided to go with this one because it’s shiny and gorgeous and the inside papers fold out and have beautiful illustrations. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m excited to pick it up once the slump is gone.

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End Of The Year

Honestly, hopefully all of the ones I already own. But realistically that’s not gonna happen. I don’t have any specific ones that I absolutely need to read, other than The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue once it’s out.

And that is all for the questions. Thank you for reading! I’ll 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!

Goodreads Awards – Just a popularity contest? – A Discussion

Hi! I’m back with another discussion post, although I’m a couple days late. So, let’s talk Goodreads Awards!

Before I get into the topic of the awards, I want to explain my relationship with Goodreads in general. I use the website and the app to track my reading and write reviews. I think in concept it’s a great way of finding out what your friends/people you follow are reading and get recommendations, know what’s popular nowadays and what’s coming out when. In practice, the website and app suck, but there is no alternative I know of being used on the same scale – so I roll with it.

Now – I think the awards are a great idea in concept, too. I love when my favourite books are recognised, and although there’s no price, I think authors feel very appreciated when they win the award. I think the rules should be stricter, though, as most of the times it’s not the best book, but the most popular book of the year winning.

I know I’m not the first person saying it, nor will I be the last, but in my opinion Goodreads Awards are just a popularity contest and it is painfully visible in the numbers. Take, for example, this year’s Fantasy winner – Ninth House. Don’t get me wrong – I’m over the moon Ninth House won, as it was my pick for the category, but when you look at the numbers, something just doesn’t add up… Over 53 thousand people voted for it, while only 22 thousand people rated it on Goodreads. That’s a huge difference in numbers and, quite frankly, it’s not very fair.

That being said… does it really matter? There is no prize for winning and it’s not a prestigious award. Having the book on your “read” shelf is not a requirement while voting (but if it was, people would find a way around it, anyway, and add the book as read for the duration of the competition, even if they haven’t read it), nominees have to have an above 3.5 average rating (which is quite low for “the best books of the year”) there are no real rules to it, and though, yes, people get angry when they think a book that should’ve won – didn’t, but the anger is short lived.

I’ve stopped taking the awards seriously a long time ago.

As for this year’s awards – only 2 of my picks ended up winning. I have voted for Ninth House and Daisy Jones and the Six. I’ve only voted in 6 categories (Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-fi, YA Fantasy, YA Fiction and Debut Novel), as I haven’t read any or any books deserving my votes in the remaining categories, though I know I also voted in MG, but apparently my vote didn’t cast.

What do you think about Goodreads Awards? Do you vote in them? Do you like them? Please share your thoughts down below.

I’ll be posting all about my favourite (and least favourite) books of the year in the next week or so!