Top 10 Tuesday: 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To

I didn’t do a great job of reading my anticipated releases last year so there are quite a few 2021 books that I really wanted to read but didn’t get round to. Here are ten of them! Hopefully I will get to some, if not all, of these this year.

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’re interested in taking part click here.

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

Thronebreakers by Rebecca Coffindaffer

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Broken Web by Lori M. Lee

What releases were you excited for in 2021? Are there any you didn’t get round to reading? Chat with me in the comments!

Anticipated 2022 Releases by Disabled, Chronically Ill and Neurodivergent Authors

As someone with a chronic illness, I am so excited to see how many books by disabled, chronically ill and neurodivergent authors are coming out this year and wanted to share a post with a few of the ones I’m looking forward to! Seeing good disability representation is so important, and it is great that more books by disabled authors are getting published, but there is still a long way for the publishing industry to go, as with many kinds of representation, in terms of good disability representation.


One for All by Lillie Lainoff (POTS rep)

A gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, in which a girl with a chronic illness trains as a Musketeer and uncovers secrets, sisterhood, and self-love.

Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone in town thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl”; even her mother is desperate to marry her off for security. But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father—a former Musketeer and her greatest champion.

Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for a new kind of Musketeer: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a swordfight.

With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels for the first time like she has a purpose, like she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her first target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming, and breathlessly attractive—and he might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to lean on her friends, listen to her own body, and decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.

This debut novel is a fierce, whirlwind adventure about the depth of found family, the strength that goes beyond the body, and the determination it takes to fight for what you love.

Add on Goodreads


You, Me, and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See (cerebral palsy & anxiety rep)

A fresh and fun teen romance starring a girl with cerebral palsy, and a boy with severe anxiety.

Daisy and Noah have the same plan: use the holiday concert to land a Julliard audition. But when they’re chosen to play a duet for the concert, they worry that their differences will sink their chances.

Noah, a cello prodigy from a long line of musicians, wants to stick to tradition. Daisy, a fiercely independent disabled violinist, is used to fighting for what she wants and likes to take risks. But the two surprise each other when they play. They fall perfectly in tune.

After their performance goes viral, the rest of the country falls for them just as surely as they’re falling for each other. But viral fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. No one seems to care about their talent or their music at all. People have rewritten their love story into one where Daisy is an inspiration for overcoming her cerebral palsy and Noah is a saint for seeing past it.

Daisy is tired of her disability being the only thing people see about her, and all of the attention sends Noah’s anxiety disorder into high speed. They can see their dream coming closer than it’s ever been before. But is the cost suddenly too high?

Add on Goodreads


Breathe and Count Back From Ten by Natalia Sylvester (hip dysplasia rep)

Verónica has had many surgeries to manage her disability. The best form of rehabilitation is swimming, so she spends hours in the pool, but not just to strengthen her body.

Her Florida town is home to Mermaid Cove, a kitschy underwater attraction where professional mermaids perform in giant tanks . . . and Verónica wants to audition. But her conservative Peruvian parents would never go for it. And they definitely would never let her be with Alex, her cute new neighbor.

She decides it’s time to seize control of her life, but her plans come crashing down when she learns her parents have been hiding the truth from her—the truth about her own body.

Add on Goodreads


The Life Giver by Jase Puddicombe (author has ME & HSD and The Life Giver has disability rep)

The Dreamers are untouchable. They are protected by the Sun God who speaks to them through their dreams: The Life-Giver. They live away from society and are only seen by their Scribes.

But now someone—or something—has begun attacking them.

The Council tried to place the blame on the Life-Giver, but Dreamer Annelie and her Scribe Lyam know better. They learn that danger is buried deep in the heart of the Council itself, threatening their peaceful way of life for good.

Forced to team up with Enoch, a mysterious man who talks in riddles, the trio must race against time to save their underground city from corruption—before their world crumbles around them.

Add on Goodreads


Café Con Lychee by Emery Lee (ADHD & anxiety rep)

Sometimes bitter rivalries can brew something sweet.

Theo Mori wants to escape. Leaving Vermont for college means getting away from working at his parents’ Asian American café and dealing with their archrivals’ hopeless son Gabi who’s lost the soccer team more games than Theo can count.

Gabi Moreno is miserably stuck in the closet. Forced to play soccer to hide his love for dance and iced out by Theo, the only openly gay guy at school, Gabi’s only reprieve is his parents’ Puerto Rican bakery and his plans to take over after graduation.

But the town’s new fusion café changes everything. Between the Mori’s struggling shop and the Moreno’s plan to sell their bakery in the face of the competition, both boys find their dreams in jeopardy. Then Theo has an idea—sell photo-worthy food covertly at school to offset their losses. When he sprains his wrist and Gabi gets roped in to help, they realize they need to work together to save their parents’ shops but will the new feelings rising between them be enough to send their future plans up in smoke?

Add on Goodreads


All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle (EDS rep)

The Bachelor meets Gilmore Girls in this laugh-out-loud young adult romance about a girl who joins her mother on a reality dating show for single parents—only to fall for a contestant’s son.

Cara Hawn’s life fell apart after her father cheated on her mother and got remarried to a woman Cara can’t stand. When Cara accidentally posts a rant about her father online, it goes viral—and catches the attention of the TV producers behind a new reality dating show for single parent families.

The next thing Cara and her mother know, they’ve been cast as leads on the show and are whisked away to sunny Key West where they’re asked to narrow a field of suitors and their kids down to one winning pair. All of this is outside of Cara’s comfort zone, from the meddling producers to the camera-hungry contestants, especially as Cara and her mother begin to clash on which suitors are worth keeping around. And then comes Connor.

As the son of a contestant, Connor is decidedly off-limits. Except that he doesn’t fit in with the cutthroat atmosphere in all the same ways as Cara, and she can’t get him out of her head. Now Cara must juggle her growing feelings while dodging the cameras and helping her mom pick a bachelor they both love, or else risk fracturing their family even more for the sake of ratings. Maybe there’s a reason most people don’t date on TV.

Add on Goodreads


Are there any books you are excited for that I’ve missed? I’d love to add more to my TBR so share in the comments!

Reading Goals & Books I Want to Read in 2022

I’m going to be a bit more flexible with my reading goals in 2022 as I’ve had to adapt my reading recently due to ongoing pain. I’ll probably be reading more audiobooks than print books, meaning I sadly won’t be able to get to many of the physical books on my shelves. On the plus side, I have enjoyed reading more audiobooks recently than I have done in the past, and like the mix of print and audio – I just wish I could read more of those books waiting on my shelves!

I’ve set my reading goal at 25 books, which is much less than the last couple of years but I think is a realistic goal and I’d be really happy to read that number.

I never set a TBR as I’m a mood reader but there are some books that I really want to get to this year.

Sequels I’m desperate to read

Broken Web by Lori M. Lee

Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

Thronebreakers by Rebecca Coffindaffer

The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

New books I’m excited to read

Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Circe by Madeline Miller

One For All by Lillie Lainoff

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah


I don’t know whether or not I will get to all of these but I would like to read as many of them as I can! I’m sure some other 2022 releases will also creep up on me and beg to be read.

Do you set a TBR? What books are you excited to read this year? Chat with me in the comments!

Wrap Up: 2021 in Books

It’s time to do a wrap up of all the books I read last year! I hit my goal of reading 35 books by reading 36. I am pleased I managed to read so many, despite having a bit of a rough year health-wise. I ended the year with quite a few audiobooks as I’ve been struggling with back and shoulder pain. Because of this continuing issue, I have set a lower goal for 2022 to avoid any unnecessary pressure, and am aiming to read 25 books.

I started using StoryGraph in 2021 and the site comes with some very interesting graphs! I seem to read a fairly even amount of slow/medium/fast paced books, which isn’t surprising as I do like to mix it up and read a variety of paces. It seems I don’t read many short books, generally going for medium length. I mostly read print books in 2021, but did read a lot more audiobooks than in 2020. I expect I’ll probably read mostly audiobooks this year, depending how I get on at the hospital and whether my health improves.

2021 was a fantastic reading year and I can’t wait to see what new books I discover in 2022! How was your reading year, what books did you love? Chat with me in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2022

There are some exciting looking sequels coming out this year but I am so behind on reading 2021 releases so there are very few sequels on this list! There are, however, many debuts and new releases by familiar authors that I am very excited for this year.

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’re interested in taking part click here.


Scorpica by G. R. Macallister

A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.

Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.

Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.

The synopsis for this book gives me Priory of the Orange Tree vibes and I would love to read more epic fantasy with queendoms, so I am highly anticipating this one’s release.


Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian

A spellbinding story of three princesses and the destiny they were born for: seduction, conquest, and the crown. Immerse yourself in the first book in a new fantasy trilogy from the author of the New York Times bestselling Ash Princess series.

Empress Margaraux has had plans for her daughters since the day they were born. Princesses Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz will be queens. And now, age sixteen, they each must leave their homeland and marry their princes.

Beautiful, smart, and demure, the triplets appear to be the perfect brides—because Margaraux knows there is one common truth: everyone underestimates a girl. Which is a grave mistake. Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz are no innocents. They have been trained since birth in the arts of deception, seduction, and violence with a singular goal—to bring down monarchies— and their marriages are merely the first stage of their mother’s grand vision: to one day reign over the entire continent of Vesteria.

The princesses have spent their lives preparing, and now they are ready, each with her own secret skill, and each with a single wish, pulled from the stars. Only, the stars have their own plans—and their mother hasn’t told them all of hers.

Life abroad is a test. Will their loyalties stay true? Or will they learn that they can’t trust anyone—not even each other?

I’ve not read Laura Sebastian’s previous books, but something about this cover and description caught my attention. I love multi perspective stories, and the concept behind this one sounds really intriguing.


Gallant by V. E. Schwab

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Prior is missing three things: a mother, a father, and a voice. Her mother vanished all at once, and her father by degrees, and her voice was a thing she never had to start with.

She grew up at Merilance School for Girls. Now, nearing the end of her time there, Olivia receives a letter from an uncle she’s never met, her father’s older brother, summoning her to his estate, a place called Gallant. But when she arrives, she discovers that the letter she received was several years old. Her uncle is dead. The estate is empty, save for the servants. Olivia is permitted to remain, but must follow two rules: don’t go out after dusk, and always stay on the right side of a wall that runs along the estate’s western edge.

Beyond it is another realm, ancient and magical, which calls to Olivia through her blood…

From the Sunday Times-bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and A Darker Shade of Magic comes a standalone novel where The Secret Garden meets Stardust.

I only discovered V. E. Schwab a couple of years ago (I know, very late to the party) and have loved both of her books I’ve read so far, so of course I’ll be snapping up her latest release.

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December 2021 Wrap Up

It’s the last day of 2021! Today I’m looking back at the books I read in December. I had a bit of a disappointing reading month and felt in a bit of a slump but have been reading The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels over the holidays and it’s fun, ridiculous and hilarious, and just the kind of book I needed to get me out of a slump.

Knot My Type (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I don’t read romance very often but I loved this one. It’s got excellent disability rep and a sweet love story that I really enjoyed.

Girls of Paper and Fire ⭐⭐⭐ – I found this book a little slow and didn’t find it very memorable, though I thought the worldbuilding was interesting. It was a good book, but I didn’t love it. I think it just wasn’t a book for me, but would encourage others to give it a go.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐ – The finale of the Dark Artifices series was a bit of a let-down for me and I was especially disappointed as Lady Midnight was one of her best. Queen of Air and Darkness was just too long and drawn out. I’m glad I finished the series but think the last instalment would have benefited from some trimming.

This month, I have sadly not had much time for writing. It seemed to be a very busy month, and I am still struggling to fully shake off covid. But I am looking forward to continuing to plan my next book in the new year. I’ve had a lot of ideas and can’t wait to start writing again.

What books have you enjoyed this month? Chat with me in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Books I Read In 2021

I cannot believe it’s nearly the end of the year and it’s time to pick my 10 favourite reads of 2021! I read some great books this year and it’s always hard to narrow it down, but here are my 10 best reads.

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’re interested in taking part click here.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – This is hands down my favourite book of the year. It was so imaginative and unique, and I was totally hooked on the mysterious story. The audiobook narration was brilliant as well and brought all the characters to life so vividly.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor – I can’t get enough of Laini Taylor’s writing. It’s so lyrical and emotive, I get drawn into every book of hers I read, and Days of Blood and Starlight was no exception.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I finally tackled this chonky book this year and I’m so glad I did because I loved it. The worldbuilding is incredibly detailed and although it is very long, it didn’t feel slow, and I found myself propelled through the pages.

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Books I Enjoyed Most in 2021

Today I wanted to share some of the books I had the most fun reading this year! Some of these may overlap with my Best Books post, and some won’t, because some of the best books aren’t necessarily the ones I enjoyed the most. Some of the best books are the best because they are so well crafted, they have an important message or are particularly memorable. All the books in this post are the ones I had the most fun reading in 2021!

Lore by Alexandra Bracken – As someone who loves Greek mythology, I found this book a really fun read, especially as the plot very much has Hunger Games vibes. It’s a fast-paced standalone and I had a blast reading it.

Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer – I don’t think it’s much of a surprise that another of my choices for this list also revolves around a competition. Contest plotlines just provide that fast, thrilling and suspenseful feeling I love from a story. The protagonist’s voice is fantastic as well, with plenty of snarky humour.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones – This perhaps seems an odd choice but I genuinely really enjoyed reading this one. Although there were some darker elements, the dead goat was brilliant and made me smile so much while I was reading.

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Book Review: Knot My Type by Evie Mitchell

Knot My Type by Evie Mitchell

Genre: Romance  

Publishing Info: Audiobook, November 2021

Star Rating: 4/5

Back Cover Summary:

He doesn’t do relationships.

She doesn’t do flings.

Everything they thought is about to unravel…

Frankie

When you say you’re a sexologist, people imagine Marilyn Monroe. They don’t expect a woman who uses a wheelchair. As the host of the All Access Podcast, I’m breaking barriers, crushing stigmas, and creating sexual connections that are fulfilling for my fans. I’m like cupid, but with pink hair and fewer diapers.

Only, I’ve hit a snag. A lovely listener wants some advice about accessible rope play and I’m drawing a big fat blank. Which leaves me with no option but to get out there and give it a go.

Which is how I meet Jay Wood—rigger, carpenter, and all-round hottie.

I’d be open to letting him wine and dine me—only Jay isn’t my type. He’s not a one-girl kind of guy. Monogamy isn’t even in his vocab, and I’m not a woman who’ll settle for being second choice.

But the closer we get, the more Jay has me tied up in knots.

And it’s making me think, maybe I could compromise and accept a little Wood in my life. Even if it’s only temporary.

Jay

Frankie’s funny, intelligent, and ridiculously sexy. This should be a no-brainer. A little fun in the sheets, and a little romp with some ropes—simple.

Only the infuriating woman is asking for more. I’m not that kind of guy. I wouldn’t even know how to be that kind of guy. I’m the definition of easy.

It’ll be fine. We’ll be friends. Just friends.

So, why does my heart feel frayed? And why is it I can’t help but consider taking the ultimate leap of faith—tying myself to Frankie. Permanently.

I’m not usually a romance reader but I’m always on the lookout for books with disability rep, and this cover caught my eye. It honestly made me really emotional reading this one. I don’t use a wheelchair, but I’ve been chronically ill for most of my life and seeing this kind of rep just fills me with so much emotion. Never underestimate the value good rep for underrepresented groups can have. There is a scene in Knot My Type where Frankie secretly leaves a party to find an accessible toilet in another building because the bathroom is too small in her partner’s house, and although this isn’t something I’ve experienced, I really related to having to adapt your life as a disabled person and the feelings Frankie went through during this scene. 

This is just the kind of disability rep I want to see in fiction. It appeared to be well researched (I can’t comment on accuracy) and it wasn’t a book about disability, it showed a disabled person living and enjoying life, going through all the highs and lows that everyone goes through, experiencing love and passion. Frankie is intelligent, bold, funny and sexy – she is a fully fleshed out character, and her disability is part of who she is.

Not only is the main character disabled, but her group of friends are also disabled! Even though they are only side characters, it’s amazing to see multiple disabled characters in a novel, because so often there is just one token disabled character. They were also an amazing, supportive and fun friendship group. One of Frankie’s friends, Annie, has Crohn’s disease, the condition which I have, and I genuinely cried because I’ve never seen a character with Crohn’s disease before. Annie is the protagonist in the next book in the All Access series so I am really looking forward to that.

As previously mentioned, I don’t read romance very often, so don’t feel I’m the best judge of how this book shapes up in the romance genre, but I found it a fun, enjoyable read, and I loved the two main characters and seeing their relationship develop over the course of the novel. There was communication and respect, and it was a sweet romance. Knot My Type is quite short, but I didn’t mind that. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book and can’t wait to read the rest of the series.   

Books I Want to Read in 2021 – did I read them?

At the beginning of the year, I made a post about some of the books I wanted to read this year. The question is – did I read them?

There were many series I wanted to finish, and while I didn’t finish all of them, there are quite a few I ticked off my list – The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare, Cursebreakers by Brigid Kemmerer, Gone by Michael Grant, Bone Grace by Kathryn Purdie, The Young Elites by Marie Lu, and The Blood of Stars by Elizabeth Lim. There are some series I am part way through reading and wanted to continue, and made progress with Throne of Glass, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Serpent & Dove, but didn’t get round to the next Camelot Rising book.

I also set a goal to pick up more debuts rather than reading the same authors all the time. I definitely discovered some great new authors and books, including A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth, Malice by Heather Walter, Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran, and The Unbroken by C. L. Clark.

Other books I planned to read and did – A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab, The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer, The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.

Books I didn’t get to – Furyborn by Claire Legrand, Legend by Marie Lu, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz, Persuasion by Jane Austen.

It was interesting to look back at what I had planned to read this year and see how many I ended up reading. I discovered other books during the year that I hadn’t planned to read. I’m definitely a mood reader so don’t always stick to TBRs, but I am pleased that I managed to read quite a few of the books that were on my list at the beginning of the year.

Were there any books you planned to read this year but didn’t get to? Chat with me in the comments!