March – July Wrap Up

Hello! I haven’t done a wrap up in ages so I figured I’d make this month’s an all in one  to share what books I’ve been reading over the past few months and my thoughts on them. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ *

Honestly, this book started off being a five-star read. It had the perfect mix of atmosphere and intriguing characters, especially the protagonist Catherine (aka the Red Queen) as she was such a likeable character and I was really invested in her story and her journey to becoming the Red Queen I know (and love) from Alice in Wonderland. However as the story continued I felt like the plot and characterisation both became a bit inconsistent and I was left disappointed with the ending. Still I really enjoyed the first half of the book and I found the relationship between Catherine and Jest to be sweet if a little quick.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A new favourite! Stolen Songbird is one of the best books I’ve read this year so far and it was such a fun and compelling story. It’s about a young girl being kidnapped and taken to an underground kingdom of trolls which are creatures I don’t think I’ve ever read about before, especially not in a romantic context. It had all of my favourite guilty pleasure tropes, an arranged marriage, political intrigue and a slow burning hate-to-love romance and I just loved it so much. I immediately bought the rest of the series and I can’t wait to continue on.

Losing It by Cora Cormack ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I picked this up on a whim at a charity shop a while ago after recognising the author’s name and decided to give it a go and I was really pleasantly surprised. I usually hate the teacher-student romance trope but I honestly didn’t mind it in Losing It. I liked Bliss as a main character and the plot had the perfect mix of humor and romance that I haven’t read in a while. It wasn’t perfect but it was a lot of fun and I’m really glad I picked it up. However, I don’t think I’ll continue on in the series as the next book is about Cole who I actually really disliked in the book so I’m not that interested in his storyline but maybe if I see it for cheap I might grab it anyway.

Dreadnought by April Daniels ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ *

I actually quite liked this book but I don’t know if I’ll be doing a full review due to some comments made by the author that I found after reading Dreadnought.

Haven by Rebekah Weatherspoon ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆*

I requested this after hearing a lot of hype on twitter and to be honest I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. The romance felt very fast paced and instant and I was more interested in what happened to the protagonists brother in the woods and the mystery surrounding his murder rather than reading about Shepard. I did enjoy the banter between Claudia and Shepard though and I liked how the book explored Claudia’s recovery process. I’m interested in reading more of Rebekah Weatherspoon’s work as I’ve heard a lot of great things and I really liked her writing style and characterisation in Haven.

Play With Me by Alisha Rai ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Again, another twitter recommendation! I actually really liked Play With Me. The two protagonists were each others first loves and had an intimate and long term relationship that eventually unraveled and Play With Me explores a chance reunion that gives them both the opportunity so see just how much the other has changed and possibly continue their relationship where it left off. I enjoyed the fact that it focused on two ex’s reuniting and gave us a lot of backstory to their relationship as it made their interactions more believable and interesting to read about. It’s quite a quick read so I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a fun adult romance.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I don’t know why I put off reading this for so long! I knew I’d love it but I just always avoided picking it up but with the film coming out I just really wanted to read it and I’m so glad I did. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is such a cute book, it’s so much fun and a great summer read. Simon is an easy character to like and I feel like Becky Albertalli’s writing YA characters so well that there was something relatable within each of the characters. I was slightly underwhelmed with how the blackmailing storyline turned out but that’s one of my only gripes and I’d 100% recommend picking this up.

Alice by Christina Henry ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Another Alice in Wonderland retelling! This, however is a lot darker than Heartless, it’s actually quite a brutal and gory take on the classic Alice tale and Christina Henry’s interpretation was so interesting to read. In this book Alice has been a patient at an ‘asylum’ after being found bloody and beaten muttering about a rabbit after going missing in what is considered the ‘bad’ part of the city. We then follow Alice’s subsequent escape years later alongside another resident, axe-murderer Hatcher as they’re forced to hunt down the evil known as the Jabberwocky. It’s honestly such a unique take on Alice and I definitely think more people should read it (though do check out the trigger warnings beforehand). I can’t wait to find out where the story goes in the sequel as the book ends on a really intriguing note.

*All books marked with an asterisk were sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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May Wrap Up

I read a total of 6 books in May and I absolutely loved every single one of them so it was a great reading month for me! I’m a few books ahead in my Goodreads reading challenge so I’m hoping to read just as many if not more in June. Sorry if these reviews are a bit rambly I’m trying to get used to writing them again! To find out more about each book click the title link for the Goodreads page as these are just my thoughts. Anyway, the books I read were –

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This was a beautifully written book with relatable and easy to love characters that I just connected with from the outset. I enjoyed Lou’s character, especially her relationship with her sister as sometimes books don’t really get how up and down that can be and sisters always seem to be the best of friends. I just thought it was a really sweet story but I’m not sure if I’m completely comfortable with the ending as there have been a lot of discussions of ableism surrounding the book which I (coming from a place of privilege) can’t really comment on. I do really want to see how they’ve transferred this book to film though so I may have to go see it. I also really want to check out the sequel.

Soulless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #1) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5)

It’s been so long since I’ve read a paranormal book and I’m so glad I chose this one to re-introduce me to the genre. This book has such a great cast of characters from the hilarious Alexia to the resigned Professor Lyall and I enjoyed every single one of them (with the exception of Conall at times). Gail Carriger has a way of writing that just can make you laugh and cry within a span of a few sentences and I love how witty Alexia’s character is. Soulless was just a really fun read and I definitely recommend picking it up if you’re looking for something a bit different from your usual reads.

Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Unsurprisingly this book was just as good, if not better than it’s predecessor Soulless and I loved it from start to finish. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers but the introduction of Madame Lefoux’s character was just what the series needed to bump it up to 5 stars as she bought a different type of humour and intrigue to the book. Again I wasn’t a huge Conall fan but I can look past that just so I can read more about Alexia’s adventures and watch her character grow even more than she has from the previous book.

Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Another great book from Gail Carriger and definitely a great addition to the series. I enjoyed how this book explored Alexia’s independence from Conall as well as her relationships with both Madame Lefoux and Floote. I also liked how Professor Lyall’s character was explored in more detail as we went from Alexia’s POV to his and I’m really curious to see what happens with Biffy! I can’t wait for the next book to arrive as I’m in love with this series so far.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

LWTO was such a engaging and interesting book that gripped me immediately. The combination of the historical setting of 1950’s America with the endearing romance between the two protagonists meant that both girls had different prejudices to deal with. Within this book Sarah has to face all of the racism thrown at her by classmates and teachers and society in general, the pressure from her family and her crush on Linda whilst Linda has to deal with her internalised racism, abusive past and the fact that she’s falling for Sarah and somehow this brings them both closer together. I’ll admit that Sarah was my favourite out of the two but I really appreciated how fully Robin Talley fleshed out these characters and really gave them a chance to shine.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Amanda was an amazing character and If I Was Your Girl was one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a while. I loved Meredith Russo’s writing and the way she made Amanda such a realistic and loveable character just made me love her immediately. With some books the authors focus so much on the protagonist that other characters get left behind but Meredith Russo didn’t make that mistake, all of her characters had individuality and I loved the different types of relationships Amanda formed with each one of them, especially with Grant (the LI). The romance was sweet and cliché but in the most positive way possible as they respected each others boundaries and genuinely liked each other, I’m so sick of the ‘bad boy’ character that appears in a lot of fiction and treats their girlfriend terribly and Grant was the complete opposite of that. The ending was sad but I appreciated how the author didn’t make that seem like the end for Amanda and I’d love if she wrote a sequel.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

Mini Reviews #5 – My Everything, Vanishing Girls and The Mirror World of Melody Black

Hello! I’ve received quite a few review copies since starting this blog and haven’t had a chance to share my thoughts on all of them so I figured I’d do another ‘Mini Reviews’ post to share some of quick opinions on them. All of these books were sent to me via bookbridgr in exchange for honest reviews. I hope you enjoy!


my everything

My Everything by Katie Marsh  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5)
This was actually a fairly good book and definitely not what I was expecting. My Everything centres around a woman named Hannah who is left caring for 32 year old husband Tom who recently suffered from a stroke. The thing is, Hannah was planning on leaving Tom the same day that he had his stroke. This obviously leads to a lot of internalised struggle as Hannah is torn between leaving her ill husband or trying to make their marriage work. I actually liked Hannah and I really empathised with her but ultimately I just didn’t like where the story went in terms of the Tom/Hannah relationship. I did enjoy the writing and the plot up to a point though as it was actually quite fluid and entertaining. As I said though the ending wasn’t what I wanted and I really disliked Tom’s character so that’s why I gave it 3.5 stars.

Vanishing GirlsVanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This was my first Lauren Oliver book and it definitely made a good impression. Twins, Dara and Nick haven’t really spoken since an accident that left Dara scarred and their relationship severely damaged. On their birthday however, Dara goes missing as well as a 9 year old girl. This leads to Nick investigating as she suspects the disappearances are linked. Vanishing Girls is such a gripping novel, Lauren Oliver writes dysfunctional relationships and thrillers so well that I didn’t see any of the twists coming and I just enjoyed every second of it. I did prefer Dara’s perspective over Nick’s however as I found her character a lot more likeable (and far less judgmental) which is one of the reasons I didn’t give this 5 stars. Another reason was the ‘romance’ which I just found generally a bit strange/unhealthy. I really want to read more Lauren Oliver books in the future though because I loved her writing style!

mirror world of melody blackThe Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5)
As with Vanishing Girls this was the first book I read of this author and again it’s definitely made me want to pick up more. This book is about a woman named Abby, a journalist suffering from bipolar disorder who finds her next door neighbour dead. This event is the kickstarter for a lot of the events in the book as Abby deals with what she saw and with how her actions affect the people around her. For me Abby was so easy to understand and relate to and I found her character so interesting. I can’t say much without spoiling the plot but it’s such a complex  and heart wrenching read that I couldn’t put it down and I definitely recommend picking up a copy.


Thanks for reading! 🙂

Titan Books Mini Reviews #4 – The Unnoticeables, Harrison Squared and Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide

Hello! Since I’ve been sent a few books published by Titan Books I figured I’d do a collective review post to give you an idea of my thoughts. Titan Books is actually one of my favourite publishers as they’ve published some great Fantasy books (which is my favourite genre). I’d definitely reccomend checking them out if you’re an SFF fan.

Harrison squaredHarrison Squared by Daryl Gregory ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I actually really enjoyed this book, I liked it a lot more than I expected to. The writing itself is a mix of humour and seriousness as the main character is a really funny teenager called Harrison Harrison (nicknamed Harrison squared) as he and his mother move back to the town where his father vanished when the boat the family were on capsized. Harrison is convinced a sea creature is responsible for the loss of his father and his own leg. When they return to the town it’s really strange and then Harrison’s mother disappears as well. It’s such a fun and entertaining book and I loved the writing style. The plot twists are totally unexpected and it’s just great. I’ve actually bought the ‘prequel’ book, Afterparty, which Harrison also features in as I’m really interested in this world.

The Unnoticeables RD 1 selects AThe Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
This book was a fairly entertaining book, the plot is unlike any other urban fantasy I’ve read as it crosses different time zones, 1977 and modern day and features really unique antagonists. Both protagonists in both timelines deal with ‘mud monsters’ and angel like creatures which ultimately threaten their lives and the lives of the human race. I preferred the modern day POV of Kaitlyn over Carey’s POV but it was a fairly slow read for me as I didn’t feel particularly attached or interested in any of the characters. I did however enjoy the unique plot and the writing style which made it a 3 star read for me.

Imperial HandbookImperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide by Daniel Wallace ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This is actually a guest review as my sister’s boyfriend, Adam, borrowed and read this before me and I said he could do his own mini review on my blog. My thoughts will be in my wrap up once I’ve read it.

This book is a great addition to any Star Wars fans collection. The book lets you know indepth knowledge on the Imperial army featured in the Star Wars franchise including information on weapons, transportation, etc. The book itself I enjoyed as I liked learning more about the Star Wars world, especially with the new film coming out. I loved the hardback book as it was designed really well, it has black edges and follows the Imperial army colour scheme. I recommend buying this if your a Star Wars fan who wants to learn more inside knowledge on the Imperial army.


Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed these reviews and let me know in the comments what you think of these books! 🙂