May 2022 Wrap Up

I’m not sure what happened to May but it seemed to go by in a blur and I only managed to read one book. It’s been a difficult month as I’m still not feeling that well. I got diagnosed with a new chronic illness and haven’t started treatment yet. So I will probably still be blogging only occasionally for a while until I start feeling a bit better again.

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Dark academia is not usually my thing but I actually really enjoyed this one! It was great having a different narrator for each POV and I loved all of the intrigue. Full review coming soon!

I added a couple of gorgeous new books to my shelves this month – A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin and The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah.

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

April 2022 Wrap Up

I didn’t end up finishing many books this month as I couldn’t decide what I was in the mood for, so picked up and put down a couple of books before deciding that actually I needed a break from SFF and decided to give a romcom audiobook a go! I think it was a good choice as it definitely stopped me from sliding into a slump.

Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Tricia Levenseller is now my go-to author for fun, easy-read YA fantasy, and Blade of Secrets is a fun adventure. The main character of Blade of Secrets has society anxiety and I have honestly never related to a character so much before! I felt the author did a great job of showing all of Ziva’s internal thoughts and anxieties, and I really connected with her.

The Stand-In by Lily Chu (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 – It’s rare that I pick up a romcom, but I am so glad I decided to give this one a chance, because I loved it! I had so much fun listening to the audiobook, which is brilliantly narrated by Phillipa Soo. Although there is romance, there are also several other subplots which I enjoyed, and which gave the story layers and plenty to keep me engaged. I would definitely recommend the audiobook for this one, as I think it enhanced the reading experience.

I added a few books to my haul this month – The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake, The City of Dusk by Tara Sim, and An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan. I’ve ordered some new bookcases, which are due to arrive in June, and I’m excited to get to display all my books on them!

I haven’t done an update on my writing for a while as it’s been a rough few months and, well, I haven’t been able to write much. But last week I wrote two pages of my new WIP and I am so happy to be back writing again!

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

March 2022 Wrap Up

I can’t believe it’s already April! March was a bit of a blur. I have still been busy with sorting things out in the new house so reading and blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. It’s starting to come together and feel more homely as we unpack and get our furnishings sorted.

You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This contemporary YA novel follows three Black Muslim girls who create a blog after a terrorist attack causes a rise in Islamophobia. This was a great read and I really enjoyed following the stories of all three of the main characters, seeing how each of them was affected by what happened and how they came together to create a space to express themselves and create a community. You Truly Assumed is a powerful novel and an excellent debut. The three narrators were great as well so I’d definitely recommend the audiobook.  

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Having loved The Priory of the Orange Tree, I was excited to read this one. The Bone Season is very different from Priory and, at first, I wasn’t sure if this book was for me. However, I became more and more invested, and ended up loving it. When I started this book, I didn’t think it was likely I would carry on with the rest of the series. Now I’ve finished it though, I will definitely be continuing. I’ll be posting a full review soon!

My Illumicrate exclusive edition of Gallant by V. E. Schwab arrived! No spoilers yet while people are still getting their boxes, but I will be sharing pics on my blog soon.

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

February 2022 Wrap Up

My February Wrap Up is coming a bit later than planned as the last few weeks have been very busy. We’ve now moved into our new home! It’s been hectic but I’m so happy we’re finally here. There’s still a lot of unpacking and sorting out to do. I am missing blogging so hope to be back more regularly once things have settled down! Unsurprisingly, I haven’t had much time for reading or writing this month, but I have read a couple of great books.

Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐ – The finale of the Serpent & Dove series brought the story to a good conclusion, but was weakened by the planned duology being drawn out into a trilogy. The plot of Gods & Monsters was too similar to Blood & Honey, and it felt repetitive. Having said that, I still love this series and the characters, and would recommend it to those who enjoy more character-focused fantasy romance.

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz ⭐⭐⭐.5 – Competition plotlines are one of my favourite tropes, so combine that with dragons (another of my favourite fantasy elements) and there was no way I wasn’t going to pick this one up. It was a quick, fun YA fantasy read and I loved the integration of the magical elements into the contemporary world.

My Fairyloot edition of The Righteous by Renée Ahdieh finally arrived. The Beautiful was a surprise favourite for me so I want to catch up on the rest of the series.

My most anticipated release of the year – One For All by Lillie Lainoff – also arrived recently and I felt so emotional holding this book in my hands. I can’t wait to read it and share my review. Disability representation is so important and seeing the love this book has received has warmed my heart.

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

September & October 2021 Wrap Up

Having moved house at the end of September, I was hoping to return to blogging more actively. Unfortunately, I got COVID at the beginning of October. Having spent most of the pandemic shielding due to being clinically extremely vulnerable, it was a bit of a blow! But the vaccine did its job and I didn’t get seriously ill. It did wipe me out pretty badly though, and I’m still recovering now and feeling very drained. So I think it will be a little while yet before I’m feeling properly better.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (audiobook) – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I really enjoyed this one! How could I not love a book about magical libraries? I found it a little slow in places but on the whole it was a great book. It was nice to read a standalone fantasy book for a change as I so often read series.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (audiobook) – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This is a novel in verse and it was my first time listening to a verse novel in the audio format. Hearing the rhythm of the verse audibly was an interesting experience and I would definitely read more verse novels in audiobook form. This book was a definite 5 star read as it was just so emotive, engaging and insightful.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (audiobook) – ⭐⭐⭐ – Although this book was good, it didn’t quite draw me in. Though I have heard that the sequels are better, so I will likely keep reading this series. The ending did pique my curiosity, and I’m interested to see how Tea becomes the character we see in the flashforwards.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This is easily the best Agatha Christie book I’ve read so far. The suspense was high all the way through and I was totally gripped.

I’ve been trying to keep my book buying down until my shoulder gets better as I’m not able to read physical books much at the moment and I don’t want to stack up even more books on the TBR pile! I did, however, get the Fairyloot edition of Gods & Monsters, and I couldn’t resist buying Iron Widow as it sounds absolutely amazing.

Due to moving house and illness I haven’t had much time for writing in quite a long time. However, I have been doing some thinking about my projects and making some notes. I can’t wait to get back into it again when I’m feeling a bit better.

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

June 2021 Wrap Up

I am very late with my June wrap up! Things have been very busy for me lately and I’ve been finding things very stressful. Work has been absolutely manic and we’ve also been house hunting and really struggling to find somewhere. We think we’ve found somewhere so crossing fingers we get it because that would be a massive relief. Although I’ve still then got to think about packing everything up! Hopefully I will be able to get back into blogging a bit more regularly again soon but I’ve just been really struggling to cope with everything recently.

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I loved Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk was an excellent sequel. This book seemed a bit darker and I loved that. Elizabeth Lim’s writing pulled me in once again.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I felt a bit of a reading slump coming on with everything in life being so hectic, so decided to reread an old favourite. It’s been years since I read this series!

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – DNF at 74% – This book just wasn’t for me. It’s written in third person present tense and I found it really difficult to read, I just couldn’t get into the style. I also found it very slow paced and didn’t feel compelled to keep turning the pages. I probably should have DNF’d it right at the start but I so rarely DNF and it had such good reviews, I was hoping I would get into it more, but sadly I didn’t.

So June was my birthday month! And I ended up hauling quite a few books… The Mabinogion, Blade of Secrets, Days of Blood and Starlight, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Truthwitch, The Ones We’re Meant to Find, A Feast For Crows and Queen of Coins and Whispers.

My King Arthur WIP is currently with beta readers, and I’ve had some feedback come through, so I’m starting making some plans for my next draft. But largely I’ve been having a break from that project and brainstorming a new idea I’m really excited about which is a Regency era inspired Gothic fantasy!

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

May 2021 Wrap Up

I’m on a bit of a semi-hiatus from blogging at the moment because life has been a bit hectic! Work is very busy and we’re currently in the process of selling our house and trying to find a new home, so a lot of my time is being taken up with house hunting!

The Unbroken by C. L. Clark ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I found the pacing of this book a little bit slow but I loved the complex world building and characters!

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer ⭐⭐⭐.5 – I can’t believe this series is over! I enjoyed the final instalment, but the first book in the series is still my favourite.

Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie ⭐⭐⭐.5 – There is a lot about this duology that I loved, like the magic system, but I just didn’t feel the romance and some of the scenes were a bit repetitive. The ending was pretty epic though! 

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I loved this book so much! The magic, world building and characters are all fantastic. There’s also chronic pain rep which I was so happy to see. Also, I never imagined a dead goat could become a favourite character, but there you go. More people need to read this book! 

I only bought one book this month – Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip. She’s one of my favourite authors and I didn’t know she’d written an Arthurian inspired book, so I just had to get my hands on it when I found out!

I finished the second draft of my WIP at the start of May! It came in at a whopping 100,000 words so it got a lot longer with that redraft. I’m currently reading through it at the moment, but it’s taking a while because I’ve been so busy.

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

March 2021 Wrap Up

I didn’t read that many books this month but I did read The Priory of the Orange Tree which is super long and I’m actually pleased with how quickly I read it considering how long it is.

Links take you to my reviews!

Gut Feelings by C. G. Moore ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This novel in verse is a really raw and powerful read. It’s an own voices novel in verse based on the author’s own experiences of living with Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). I really related to the depiction of chronic illness and would really recommend.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This book is basically a mash up of Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games and that is a really cool combination. The Greek mythology is worked into the story really well and this book was a wild ride.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I was a bit intimidated by the length of this book but I am so glad I read it. Even though it was long, I never felt bored while reading it. The world building is so detailed and I loved how all the different characters’ stories weave together.

I got so many books in the post this month, but a lot of them were pre-orders, and a couple should have come in February but were delayed. So many books seemed to come out in March? So here’s a quick roundup – Goldsboro edition of Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Illumicrate edition of Red Tigress by Amélie Wen Zhao, A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth (I had an eARC of this and just had to pre-order because it was so good), Waterstones paperback edition of House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, The Unbroken by C. L. Clark, and Fairyloot edition of Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie.

I made so much progress with the second draft of my book this month so I’m really pleased with that! I hit 72,000 words at the end of March. Still have quite a bit left to go, but I’m hoping I can keep it under 100k as I don’t want it to get too long.

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

February 2021 Wrap Up

This month was pretty good for reading considering I read two 5 star reads! I don’t give 5 stars very often so to have two in one month is pretty amazing. But on the flip side, the other two books I read were quite disappointing which isn’t so good.

Links take you to my reviews!

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This was just the perfect ending to the Young Elites series. I felt so emotional reading the last few chapters.

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead ⭐⭐⭐ – This is the third book in the Vampire Academy series and I found it a bit slow. I’m not sure if I’m still enjoying this series enough to continue.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This was the best book in the Throne of Glass series so far – I loved it! I was hooked all the way through and absolutely devoured it in hardly any time at all.

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni ⭐⭐ – I’ve started writing my review for this but I think I need a bit of time to process and think through what I want to say about this one. I found the twist ending very frustrating.

I absolutely love Ancient Greek mythology so I just had to have Lore by Alexandra Bracken and I’m excited to read it soon. I ordered a set of signed / signed book plate editions of the Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab from Forbidden Planet but at the moment I’ve only received the second and third books. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever get A Darker Shade of Magic.

I had a bit of a wobble this month and didn’t do any writing for more than a week. I wasn’t feeling so good and just wasn’t feeling like writing. But I’m now 40,000 words into the second draft of my Arthurian retelling WIP so I’m still pretty pleased with my progress. I think this second draft is definitely going to be longer than the first at this rate!

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

January 2021 Wrap Up

So my big news this month is that I’ve had the first dose of the covid vaccine! I’m in the clinically extremely vulnerable category because the medication I take suppresses the immune system, so I’m in one of the first groups to get the vaccine. I’ve spent most of the last 10 months stuck at home so this first step to getting back to some kind of normality feels like such a relief! The vaccine won’t be as effective for me as other people as I’m immunosuppressed so I will still need to carry on shielding for a while even when I’ve had both doses, but it’s reassuring to have some protection at least.

Links take you to my reviews!

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It took me a while to get into this one but by the end I loved it! The world is so detailed and the characters are brilliant.

The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly ⭐⭐⭐ – This political fantasy had plenty of intrigue, and while it seemed like it might be a bit predictable, there were some big twists at the end! Even so, I didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped.

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Having loved Serpent & Dove, I was a bit nervous about reading this one, especially considering the mixed response, but I actually really enjoyed it.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This book was recommended to me by a friend and I’m so glad I read it! I found it quite easy to read for a classic, and I was totally absorbed in the story of the four sisters.

My first new book of the year was An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld by Cassandra Clare with beautiful illustrations by Cassandra Jean. Somehow this managed to pass me by when it came out a few years ago? I didn’t know it existed until a few weeks ago! I’m really not sure how that happened. I preorderd Gut Feelings by C. G. More which is a novel in verse about chronic illness, which I am really looking forward to reading, but I have a feeling may be a bit of an emotional read for me. My preorder of A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer also arrived and I’m excited to see how the series ends!

I spent December and the beginning of January doing some planning and worldbuilding for my Arthurian legend retelling. I needed to redraw my map and add in some places. But now I’ve started work on the second draft and I’ve edited 10 chapters so far (out of 52…).

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