Reviews

Book Review: The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Aster. Violet. Tansy. Mallow. Clementine.

Sold as children. Branded by cursed markings. Trapped in a life they never would have chosen.

When Aster’s sister Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge – in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by the land’s most vicious and powerful forces – both living and dead – their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

‘She hasn’t become a woman. She’d become a shade with bile for blood and a well of shame in her heart.

’From the very first page ‘The Good Luck Girls’ had me hooked with its wonderfully written, action packed beginning. This is a book that gets straight into the story and there’s pretty much always something going on. It’s a book with a mix of interesting characters and a setting that I ended up falling in love with. I honestly don’t know where to start with this review as there are so many elements to this book that I cherished.

Firstly though I guess I should mention the writing which I fell for pretty much immediately. There’s some truly stunning descriptions, comparisons and quotes within this book. Sometimes it was the message that the words painted that haunted me and sometimes simply the beauty of the writing itself. This is definitely an author’s whose future work I’d pick up based on the writing alone although that certainly wasn’t the only element of the story that I loved.

Another aspect of the book that I found wonderful was the world that Charlotte Nicole Davis created. I’m not sure exactly what I expected from this book in terms of setting but I was definitely delighted with what I received. There was a ‘wild west’ vibe to the surroundings and some of the antics within these pages but with glimmers of magic thrown in. There’s the ingenious cursed markings that brand all Good Luck Girls; the chilling Raveners who are beings that a person would be mad to cross and, what I possibly loved most of the three, various forms of the dead roaming the land. Even without these fantastical aspects I’m pretty sure I’d have devoured this book ravenously but they certainly added to the intrigue for me; I love exploring magical settings and loved how splendidly this book merged these aspects with its wild west setting.

The characters were ones that I felt drawn to, too. I loved each of the main characters of this novel and enjoyed getting to know them. Aster, as the point of view you receive, was the most developed but I felt that I got a sense of everyone’s character and learnt some fascinating history to everyone involved. My favourite character probably was Aster (I loved her fiery attitude) but I was fond of all the central characters regardless. I guess, looking back, that it would have been nice to have seen a little more of Mother Fleur, even if it was in the form of flashbacks. Still that’s simply due to my personal interest in learning more about villainous characters.

Altogether I certainly enjoyed this book and could quite happily pick it up again right now. I’m definitely eager for the second and can’t wait to see what happens next. There are questions that I have but not from lose ends as such; this story was tied up nicely, I’d just love to learn more. So overall I definitely recommend this book and am eagerly anticipating the next one.

Check out The Good Luck Girls on Goodreads here.

I strive to keep my reviews completely spoiler free but if anyone wants to discuss anything about the book in more detail (or just give me an excuse to gush about it) then feel free to contact me in the comment section below.

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Features · Monthly Book Releases

My Most Anticipated September Releases

So it’s September and I’ve got to say that this is one of the months that I’ve been anticipating most strongly this year. Firstly, and most obviously, because it’s my birthday month but also because there seem to be one hell of a lot of my most anticipated releases out this month. The timing of these releases couldn’t be better… although it has led to me cheating slightly with this list. Instead of the usual top five I’m doing a top ten for this (and next) month as there are just too many fantastic options to pick from. In November I’ll return to my usual top five however.

I also said that I’d give a rough guide as to which posts are coming as I catch up and, also, work on some new content too. So on the catch up side of things I have:

♥ Four tags (Spring Cleaning, Summer Bucket List, Blogging Firsts & 20 Questions)
♡ A summer reading (yes, incredibly late I know) literacy list.
♥ A series of posts on upcoming books to movies that I drafted but never got around to posting.
♡ This month’s list which is ready and not technically late yet.
♥ And, of course, several book reviews too.

I also have several plans for the future; some near, some far. These include a once a month post about some of the places that I’d most like to visit, a series of posts about fairytale retellings that I have been wanting to do since I fell in love with the new Aladdin film (this will come once I’ve had a chance to read a few of the retellings that I’m most desperate to but it will happen eventually) and (most likely) a post about my recent visit to Highclere Castle (the setting of Downton Abbey!) combined with details of the wonderful day out that has been planned for my birthday.

One day I also hope to have a Harry Potter month on my blog where I do a series of related posts and publish my reviews on here too. Originally I hoped to do this in October (with the Halloween feasts and involvement of magic Harry Potter screams October to me) but instead, as I want to do this whilst re-reading the series and I have so many other books that I long to read, I think maybe this will end up happening in January? At the moment that’s the plan anyway; there’s just something really appealing about bringing in the new year with a beloved favourite for me.

Anyway now that, that long – sorry – introduction is out of the way onto this months top ten:

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Kingdom Of Souls by Rena Barron

Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

Caster by Elsie Chapman

If the magic doesn’t kill her, the truth just might.

Aza Wu knows that real magic is dangerous and illegal. After all, casting killed her sister, Shire. As with all magic, everything comes at a price. For Aza, it feels like everything in her life has some kind of cost attached to it. Her sister had been casting for money to pay off Saint Willow, the gang leader that oversees her sector of Lotusland. If you want to operate a business there, you have to pay your tribute. And now with Shire dead, Aza must step in to save the legacy of Wu Teas, the teahouse that has been in her family for centuries.

When Aza comes across a secret invitation, she decides she doesn’t have much else to lose. She quickly realizes that she’s entered herself into an underground casting tournament, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Real magic, real consequences. As she competes, Aza fights for her life against some very strong and devious competitors.

When the facts about Shire’s death don’t add up, the police start to investigate. When the tributes to Saint Willow aren’t paid, the gang comes to collect. When Aza is caught sneaking around with fresh casting wounds, her parents are alarmed. As Aza’s dangerous web of lies continues to grow, she is caught between trying to find a way out and trapping herself permanently. 

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

There Will Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it? 

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart. 
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer?

American Royals by Katharine McGee

Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. 
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart. 
This is the story of the American royals.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American. And their country was born of rebellion.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The Emperor needs necromancers.
The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.
Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

Stormrise by Jillian Boehme

If Rain weren’t a girl, she would be respected as a Neshu combat master. Instead, her gender dooms her to a colorless future. When an army of nomads invades her kingdom, and a draft forces every household to send one man to fight, Rain takes her chance to seize the life she wants.

Knowing she’ll be killed if she’s discovered, Rain purchases powder made from dragon magic that enables her to disguise herself as a boy. Then she hurries to the war camps, where she excels in her training—and wrestles with the voice that has taken shape inside her head. The voice of a dragon she never truly believed existed.

As war looms and Rain is enlisted into an elite, secret unit tasked with rescuing the High King, she begins to realize this dragon tincture may hold the key to her kingdom’s victory. For the dragons that once guarded her land have slumbered for centuries . . . and someone must awaken them to fight once more.

Bone China by Laura Purcell

Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.

Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last.

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

September Sequels:

The World Of Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer
The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
Eclipse The Skies by Maura Milan
Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld
Capturing The Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker
Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake
Sword And Pen by Rachel Caine
Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis
A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney
Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan

Other September Releases That I’m Looking Forward To:

The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre
Rated by Melissa Grey
Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee
Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan
The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas
A Treason Of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth
The Institute by Stephen King
The Ten Thousand Doors Of January by Alix E. Harrow
Unspoken by Celia McMahon
What Happened That Night by  Deanna Cameron
His Hideous Heart by Various Authors
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams
No Judgments by Meg Cabot
The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Anya And The Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack
Verify by Joelle Charbonneau

As I said above there’s definitely a lot of books out this month! I honestly have no idea how I’ll ever find the time to read even a fraction of them but I love having these posts for future reference. Terribly I still have to start all of the above series except from one… BUT I am planning to treat myself to Stalking Jack The Ripper so I’ll hopefully start catching up on that series soon, I recently found a wonderful secondhand copy of Give The Dark My Love so that’s high on my TBR right now plus I’m determined to re-read and finish Throne Of Glass soon so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how things go.

Just as a final note The Girl The Sea Gave Back is a companion novel, not a sequel, but I’ve listed it as such as I’d imagine it’s best to read the other book first?

What are your most anticipated September releases? Have you read any of them yet; if so which would you most recommend? Let me know and, of course, I hope you all enjoy your reading.

Features · Monthly Book Releases

My Most Anticipated August Releases

Firstly sorry that this post is so late – I took a much longer break from blogging than I originally expected to. As a result I’m going to be posting both August’s and September’s Anticipated Releases posts today but I’ll try to space the others out and catch up with them a little more gradually. I’ll also include a rough idea of exactly what these catch up includes within the September post in a moment.

August’s list struck me as a little unusual at first. There were still plenty of books that I was desperate to read on it – House Of Salt And Sorrows in particular – but it was actually the first time that thrillers had made it into my top five. I thoroughly enjoy reading thrillers so this isn’t exactly unexpected; it’s just slightly surprising as in previous months I’ve always had YA books that I’ve been waiting for most desperately. This list also seems to have more Middle Grade books than usual but anyway let’s just get on with this list now:

House Of Salt And Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Remember Me by Chelsea Bobulski

Nell Martin is moving again, this time to the Winslow Grand Hotel, built in 1878. As Nell is settling in, strange things begin to happen. Doors lock of their own accord, writing appears on bathroom walls–and most horrifying of all–visions of a dead boy permeate her waking life. Thinking it was her mind playing tricks on her, she soon finds the past and the present colliding as she learns horrific details of a murder that happened at the hotel in 1905 involving a girl named Lea.

Nell and a mysterious bellboy must relive that day in hopes of finally breaking a curse that imprisons them both. And Nell discovers what truly links her to the history of the Winslow Grand Hotel.

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science.

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives–and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago

Beware the man who calls you . . .
THE PERFECT WIFE

A Dress For The Wicked by Autumn Krause

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt. And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing.

But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before.

As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion she starts to wonder: will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost?

The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

August Sequels:

The Demon World by Sally Green
Vow of Thieves by Mary Pearson
Containment by Caryn Lix
Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning
The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang
D.O.G.S by M.A. Bennett
Crossfire by Malorie Blackman
Curse Breaker by Audrey Grey
Of Ice And Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst
Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd
These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch
Rage by Cora Carmack
Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Pérez 
From The Grave by Kresley Cole

Other August Releases That I’m Looking Forward To:

All The Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Ever Alice by H. J. Ramsay
Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry
The Birthday Girl by Melissa de la Cruz
Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé 
The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner
The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda
Beasts Of The Frozen Sun by Jill Criswell
Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
Color Me In by Natasha Diaz
Crown Of Sunlight by Payton Taylor
The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon
Crown Of Coral And Pearl by Mara Rutherford
Spinner Of Dreams by K. A. Reynolds

So once again there are a hell of a lot of sequels out this month. Yet, unsuprisingly, I still need to read most of the previous installments in those series too. A lot of these are incredibly high priority on my TBR though so hopefully I’ll get to them soon. Fingers crossed. I’m determined that by the end of the year I’ll have caught up considerably on previous installments of the series that I’m excited for.

What are were (as this is now a month late) your most anticipated August releases? Have you read any of them yet; if so which would you most recommend? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Tags

The Mid Year Freak Out Tag

Hello and welcome to another tag. This time I was tagged by another wonderful blogger: Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner. Be sure to check out her interesting answers to this set of questions, as well as the rest of her fantastic page!

Today I’m filling in ‘The Mid Year Freak Out’ tag and I honestly feel like it’s a very fitting name. We are half way through the year, after all, and I definitely feel more than a little bit freaked out over that fact. I wanted to read more than ever this year but I actually feel like the reverse is true and I’ve managed to read a lot less.

My resolution to read more got off to a horrendous start when I fell ill over Christmas and ended up unable to read for over a month as a result. Ever since then I’ve read less for two main reasons: A) I’ve always been a headache sufferer but they’ve been a lot more frequent than usual and B) I keep falling into reading slumps.

It’s not the books I’m reading – I’ve loved the majority of them – it’s just… me. Every time that I end up unable to read for a couple of days due to being busy or having headaches, I seem to convince myself that I can’t concentrate when I next attempt to read. I know I’m being ridiculous – once I get going I’m fine – but I just can’t seem to push that initial hesitation away and as a result I do sometimes end up putting reading off a little /:

So anyway as a result I do have a rather limited amount of books to choose from answer wise but I’ll do my best with this tag :L And, hopefully, I’ll get back on track with my reading over the rest of the year as honestly? I miss reading as frequently as I used to so, so much!

Best Book You’ve Read Yet In 2019:

The Wicked King by Holly Black

I loved reading this book so, so much and don’t think I could ever get bored with exploring the world that the author has created. It’s beautiful but brutal, dark yet alluring and just… basically everything that a book about the fae should be! There were twists and turns around pretty much every corner and it was truly an absolute pleasure to read.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2019:

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

So The Wicked King was actually a sequel but I don’t want to double up on answers too much so it has to be Blood Promise by Richelle Mead. It’s my absolute favourite of the Vampire Academy series and this book is utterly intoxicating for me. I love all of the new characters that you get to meet in this book and then I absolutely adore reading about the reunion later on too. OMG is it intense! I was breathless reading it, even though I’d picked it up in the past.

New Release You Haven’t Read But Want To:

Too many. That is the completely honest answer to this question as I still need to pick up and devour so many of this year’s releases. I can’t just pick one so here are my top three:

The first may be over 800 pages long but it sounds amazing so, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a positive point since it gives me more to treasure. The second one has an intriguing mix of characters, a hundred year war, a forbidden romance and is described as ‘devastatingly gothic’ so naturally I’m on board for that. And the third one grabbed my attention with a truly beautiful quote then refused to let go of it thanks to its promise of a Chinese inspired fantasy featuring treasonous magic.

Sorcery Of Thorns should also be on here really but I’m planning to read it as soon as I’m done with my current series. There are another seven books that belong on here too but if you want the full list check out my Most Anticipated Reads 2019 page.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half Of 2019:

How am I meant to pick just one for an entire six months? Especially when September and October are basically crammed full of exciting new releases!! I’m going to pick two but, in my defence, one’s a sequel and the other a start to a new series and I just can’t pick between them.

Firstly I’m desperate to get hold of The Queen Of Nothing so that I can find out how the story ends. And probably get my heart torn up into tiny little pieces in the process. But then I’m also highly anticipating The Beautiful for several reasons: A) it’s vampires in New Orleans! (need I say more?) B) it has a central character with secrets of her own C) Sébastien Saint Germain who I’m already certain I’ll swoon over D) dark and gruesome murders that need investigating E) I’ve heard fantastic things about the author and F) Did I mention vampires in New Orleans?

Once again you can find a more in depth lists on my Most Anticipated Reads 2019 page but even that is missing a fair few that I’m incredibly desperate to sink my teeth into. It has the main ones, absolutely, but there are definitely some more as well.

Biggest Disappointment:

Slayer by Kiersten White

I hate having to say this but for me it’s Slayer. I wanted to love it – so, so (so, so, so times about a thousand) much. It was one of the books that I was most eager for this year but it fell rather short of the mark for me. I gave it four stars but I’m kind of in two minds about that rating now. I gave the story itself three stars then threw on an extra one (which I explained within my review) because I felt that the author had nailed the humour of Buffy incredibly well. Overall I think it wasn’t gritty enough for me though and the demons didn’t feel dangerous enough on the whole? I don’t know. I still plan to pick up the next one but I’m really wary now.

Biggest Surprise:

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

For me my biggest surprise is probably Stepsister. I saw it mentioned ages ago on the author’s Goodreads page and was immediately intrigued. Then, nearer the time, I didn’t find myself quite as desperate to read it (probably because hundreds of amazing sounding books seem to be coming out this year). I decided to read it though as I was fascinated by the idea of a darker version of the tale, focusing on one of the stepsister’s points of view and just… wow. It blew me away. I loved the story so, so much and a couple of the characters were totally unexpected. If you haven’t read this book yet then I definitely recommend that you do so soon.

Favourite New Author:

Yes I mentioned her book in the last question but for me this has to be Jennifer Donnelly. I’m actually hoping that I’ll get to see more of some of the characters from Stepsister again in the future but even if I don’t I still intend to check out more of her books soon. I’ve wanted to read The Tea Rose series for quite some time anyway but now I want to test out more and more of her books afterwards too. I also think Astrid Scholte deserves a mention here too though as I loved her debut novel and am very intrigued to see what she does next.

Newest Fictional Crush:

Part of me wants to say Cardan because… well he’s Cardan. How can anyone not love him? He’s not a new fictional crush because I fell for him during The Cruel Prince but The Wicked King did add to that allure. It still kind of feels like cheating though so I guess I’ll have to go for Chance from Stepsister (three times in a row, I know!! but most of the other books that I’ve read have been re-reads). I loved his character so, so much and he just had this sort of dashing charm that made me fall for him. To me he definitely seemed like a lovable rogue who stole at least a little piece of my heart.

Newest Favourite Character:

So, you know, I could totally just go for Chance again or even Isobel from the same book but I cannot use it yet again within this post. Instead I’m going to say that it’s probably Queen Marguerite from Four Dead Queens. I loved her backstory so, so much and adored getting to know her character from the few scenes that were in her POV. I’d be thrilled to get more stories focused around her. Or any of the queens really as I’d like to learn more about each of them. Queen Corra was also a potential choice for this answer.

Book That Made You Cry:

I don’t really cry at books? Films, yes; books, not so much… at least not yet but then I think I’ve seen more tearjerker style films than books. Some of the death scenes in Four Dead Queens were pretty emotional however and I also came kind of close to tearing up during Blood Promise so possibly one of those two although that’s more for a deep sense of emotions than actual full on floods of tears.

Book That Made You Happy:

Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Out of what I’ve read this year it has to be Frostbite. The book definitely has its heartbreaking moments so I wouldn’t recommend going into it expecting to come away feeling nothing but pure joy. It does have its fair side of humour though; I love Rose’s witty comments throughout as well as some of Christian’s. The setting also made me smile on the whole because it was just so luxurious. Plus this is the book where you meet Adrian so of course I was over the moon as soon as he appeared on the page!! So yes this book definitely made me happy but, to be fair, it also made me incredibly sad at times too!

Favourite Book To Film Adaptation:

Does it count if you’ve seen the film adaptation but not read the book yet? Because I absolutely adored Five Feet Apart but I haven’t read the novel. For me it was a really good film with a lot of eye opening information within it. I thought the story was beautiful yet heartbreaking. (The sort of tale that I need to start reading if I want a decent answer to ‘books that made me cry ‘). I can’t comment on how accurate an adaptation it was though as I haven’t read the book. One day I do plan to however.

Favourite Post This Year:

Literacy Lists: Psychopaths

I think my favourite post so far is probably my Top Ten Psychopaths list from last month. I love making lists so that’s definitely one plus point. I was actually quite tempted to go for the Fairytale Retelling one as I seriously want to get on and read some of them ASAP!! But instead I ultimately went for the psychopath list because it felt like an unusual choice of subject and it was a surprisingly fun topic to try and find ten books for – especially as I wanted to stick to the charismatic ones in my list, not the books that would scare me senseless :L

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year:

Is it just me or does this year seem to have one hell of a lot of absolutely stunning books being released? When I’ve been looking books up on Goodreads I’ve actually been left speechless several times over the breathtaking covers! The most beautiful one that I’ve brought so far is definitely a Sorcery Of Thorns! It’s just gorgeous and I can’t wait to read it because it sounds absolutely amazing! Look at that cover!!

What Books Do You Need to Read By the End Of The Year:

My entire TBR so that I can finally feel up to date and get on with all the 2020 releases that I want to read as and when they come out even though that’s impossible as that’s several hundred books.

Okay so that’s probably true and even the serious answer is way too many. Naturally I really want to read all of the books from the third and fourth question on this list. Here are a few of the other books that I really want to try and get read by the end of the year though. If it’s a series and I’ve mentioned it then I hope to read the entire thing.

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas
An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
At least one series by Marie Lu (I’m not entirely sure which as all of them are on my TBR)
A Court Of Thorns And Roses
A Darker Shade Of Magic
His Fair Assassin
The Last Magician
An Ember In The Ashes

I also want to re-read and finish:
Throne Of Glass
The Dark Artifices

So those are my answers and I know the last one is way too many books, especially considering how my readings gone so far this year, but I do desperately want to get each and every one of those books read! Fingers crossed that I can manage it.


Thanks once again to Sophie for tagging me. I’m only going to tag one person this time because I honestly have no idea who to tag. Quite a few people have done this already, plus I know that a few others are already behind with tags. So I tag the wonderful Madison @ Madion’s Inkwell for this. And, if you haven’t done so already and want to try this tag out, then whoever happens to read this.

As always, don’t feel any pressure to do this; it’s entirely up to you (: If you do decide to participate I look forward to reading your answers.

Also I just want to say that, although I’ve been online today, I am going back to having a few days off now as I’m still stuck in my reading slump and I seriously want to get out of it. I will probably be back either next weekend or early in the week after that.

Features · Monthly Book Releases

My Most Anticipated July Releases:

Hello and welcome to another ‘Most Anticipated Releases’. This month I ended up debating which five books were going to end up in my top five, struggling to pick between Season Of The Witch and Lock Every Door. I’ve yet to read a book by Riley Sager and the blurb for his latest book really captured my attention. Sometimes books based off of shows aren’t that amazing but I remember reading – and enjoying – The Demon’s Lexicon series in the past (another series that is due a re-read soon). In the end what decided it for me was remembering how excited I’d been when I first discovered that there was a Sabrina book out this year. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations. As a random side note I’d personally love another spin off book based around The Mandrake episode.

Season Of The Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan

It’s the summer before her sixteenth birthday, and Sabrina Spellman knows her world is about to change. She’s always studied magic and spells with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda. But she’s also lived a normal mortal life — attending Baxter High, hanging out with her friends Susie and Roz, and going to the movies with her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.

Now time is running out on her every day, normal world, and leaving behind Roz and Susie and Harvey is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Especially because Sabrina isn’t sure how Harvey feels about her. Her cousin Ambrose suggests performing a spell to discover Harvey’s true feelings. But when a mysterious wood spirit interferes, the spell backfires… in a big way.

Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can’t help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?

Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

July Sequels:

Protect The Prince by Jennifer Estep
Immunity by Erin Bowman
The Traitor’s Kingdom by Erin Beaty
Queen Of Ruin by Tracy Banghart
Soul Of Stars by Ashley Poston
Dark Age by Pierce Brown

Other July Releases That I’m Looking Forward To:

Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton
Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger
Maybe This Time by Kasie West
Salvation Day by Kali Wallace
The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams
The Lightest Object In The Universe by Kimi Eisele
Sophia, Princess Among Beasts by James Patterson & Emily Raymond
A Stranger On The Beach by Michele Campbell
Before I Disappear by Danielle Stinson
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
The Arrangement by Robyn Harding
Shatter The Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells
The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

The Kingdom is listed separately as I managed to miss it off the original list (I think I overlooked it as it’s UK release date is different from its Goodreads one),

So this is another month where I’ve spectacularly failed sequel wise. I need to read all of the previous books in these series! But I desperately want to get on with three of them and one of them I honestly should have read the original series to years ago.

I’m particularly excited for Salvation Day! And still really need to read a Kasie West book sometime; they all sound amazing. How have I not picked up anything by her yet?

What are your most anticipated July releases? Have you read any of them yet; if so which would you most recommend?


Tags

The Bookish Bucket List Tag

Hey (: today I’m posting another tag and I’m very thrilled, and surprised, to be one of the first people to do this one. I was tagged by the wonderful and ever so lovely Madison @ Madison’s Inkwell who also happens to be the creator of this tag. So definitely make sure you check out her answers and have a look around at her other posts too; they’re fantastic! Thank you so much for tagging me in this.

The Rules:
  • Link to the creator in your post (Madison’s Inkwell)
  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Tag as many people you want
  • Have fun!
1. What books or series that intimidate you (because of length, density, subject) would feel like an accomplishment to finish? 

The series that immediately came to mind for me when I saw this question was The Lord Of The Rings. I tried to read them once when I was younger but rather quickly decided that the writing style wasn’t for me. Now I’m mostly worried that I’d end up finding them dry as a result. Having looked them up on Goodreads they don’t appear as long as I remember them being although, to be fair, they definitely strike me as one of those books that would have very small writing for some reason. That’s what I found with Great Expectations at least; it didn’t look too long but it took me longer than expected since the font in my version was literally tiny. Another book that would feel like an accomplishment to finish is Vanity Fair – being a classic, and a very long one at that, it seems rather intimidating to me but I still quite fancy reading it for some reason.

2. What author would you like to coauthor a book with?

One author that I think it would be amazing to co-author a book with is J.K. Rowling. How awesome would it be to see your name listed alongside hers? Plus it would maybe mean that I’d get to help work on the Lord Voldemort backstory that I so desperately want!

Another author that I’d love to work with is Melissa Marr. She’s the author that originally got me into fairies with her wonderful Wicked Lovely series so naturally I’d love to work on a similar project with her. I also imagine that she’d have lots of good suggestions when it came to other books about the fae!

Honestly I could probably come up with reasons for a hundred different authors :L

3. If you could interview any author for your blog, who would it be? What’s one question you would ask?

Wow this is a tough one. There are loads that I’m sure I’d have hundreds of questions for but as soon as I try to think of them my mind goes blank.

I think I’m going to go with Rachel Caine. I’m not sure what made me think of this, maybe mentioning Shakespeare in my earlier post this week?, but I really enjoyed her Romeo & Juliet retelling and thought she did a fantastic job of putting a new spin on the tale. Plus she managed to include some of the original language without letting it become too overwhelming for any other readers like me who don’t get on well with Shakespeare. I’d like to ask her for her opinion on Shakespeare’s work, mostly due to the way that this story was written. I’d also love to ask her: ‘what made you decide to make Benvolio Montague the central character of your novel and how did you come up with his backstory?’ I’ve really loved some of her other series too so I’m sure I could come up with plenty of questions related to those as well.

4. As a writer, what genre is out of your comfort zone that you’d like to conquer someday and write within?

Anything I’ve written in the past seems to have contained some magical or supernatural element to it so I think the genre that I’d love to write, which is out of my comfort zone, would probably have to be contemporary. I’m worried that without having all things supernatural to fall back on that I wouldn’t know what to write. I just have this overwhelming fear that without magic my writing would be dull. Although I do want to stress that this doesn’t mean I find contemporary novels dull – I really enjoy them when I read them – I just wouldn’t know how on earth to write something as compelling within the genre :L

I think thrillers could also be quite challenging due to how difficult I imagine it must be to weave a mystery together. It must be so challenging to create a story that keeps the reader second guessing everything throughout without making events seem utterly implausible. Sometimes I look at some author’s twist filled novels and think to myself ‘how on earth did they do that?’

5. What specific edition of a book would you like to own someday? It could be rare, a first edition, an anniversary edition, signed, or one with a cover special to you, etc. 

Maybe this will sound bad but I don’t think I’ve ever really thought much about this before. I’ve always mostly just contemplated what books I want, rather than what version of them that I’d like. Naturally I’d really love to get some of my books signed because that would just be so amazing!!

The two specific books that sprang to mind when trying to answer this question though are: the Throne Of Glass Collector’s Edition and the Fairyloot edition of Finale. Both of them I saw on Instagram and instantly fell in love with because OMG they’re so, so beautiful!! I seriously love the sprayed edges on Finale too!! It just looks so awesome! So yes my reasons are totally shallow but it’s a total case of cover love with these two books. To be fair I do love Throne Of Glass and wouldn’t feel too bad about owning more than one copy of it as at the moment I only have it as an eBook. And I do need a copy of Finale too so why not the one with such beautiful sprayed edges?

I haven’t included a picture of ‘Finale’ as I’ve only really seen it on Instagram but it’s the version with card symbols sprayed onto the page edges.

As a side note I’ve also always been very envious of the US covers for The Graces, especially since my Kindle updated my copy to the latest UK version of it.

6. Are there any books or bookish items that you’d like to collect? 

I feel like I’m majorly in the minority saying this but I don’t really collect bookish items. That being said I would really love some sort of Harry Potter merchandise as I adore the series so, so much! I’ve recently seen a Harry Potter teapot that I liked online and I think I’d probably get some jewellery linked to it one day, maybe. I really love pretty, themed bookmarks too though so I’ll probably end up getting those one day, I hope. Basically I feel like if I bought merchandise it would end up being items that I could see myself using. So bookmarks, jewellery, mugs maybe bags? That sort of thing.

I haven’t actually read Alice In Wonderland but I also seriously love some items that are themed in such a way. They’re so beautiful and lovely and just… I definitely need some Alice stuff one day!!!

7. Name one bookish place you’d like to visit. (Not somewhere you’d like to visit because of a book and not a fictional place within a book. A library, bookstore, etc.)

Apparently my knowledge of bookish places is appalling as the only thing that immediately comes to mind is the Waterstones that I went to once in Oxford. From what I remember it was four or five stories tall (or my brain is mis-remembering which is equally possible) so I’d love to go back as that’s one hell of a lot of books to browse!

I’ve got to say that I also love the idea of visiting some of the places that I’ve learnt about from Madison’s blog! Hay-on-Wye sounds fantastic and basically like a book lovers heaven so I’ll definitely have to try and go there one day (thank you so much for mentioning it in your post Madison, it sounds amazing!). I’ve also fallen in love with some of the libraries in another post on her page: ‘Extraordinary Libraries of the World’ which you should definitely check out!

8. Name one bookish event you’d like to attend. (A festival, a signing, a book fair, etc.)

Definitely Bookcon but honestly? I don’t think I’d cope at an event like that. On the one hand it sounds amazing to go somewhere and meet loads of authors, see all the panels, get all your books signed and pick up some fantastic ARCs but then it sounds unbelievably busy and I don’t think my social anxiety could handle it. Actually I’m certain that it couldn’t. I haven’t even been to an author’s signing before though so I guess a good goal would be one of those for now.

9. Your WIP is getting published and designing the cover is solely up to you. What does it look like?

This is another really hard question! Actually it’s probably the hardest of them all and I’m honestly not sure how to answer it. I don’t really have a WIP just a few ideas at the moment (how on earth do people plan an actual entire novel? That’s the part that always stumps me most) and I’m not sure what the cover for any of them would really be like. For some reason I can’t picture a cover for my fairytale based ideas at all /: although actually I’m going to go for that one because as soon as I wrote that it started to slide vaguely into place. I want a light purple background with most, or all, of the details to be done in silver. I think I’d want a glass slipper on it but for the pumpkin carriage from Cinderella to almost be caging it in, if that makes sense? Then I’d throw in some smaller details around the edges, probably items like swords. And I’d want a little bit of blood dripping from the title but in silver, not red. I think? Oh I honestly don’t know; I’m not very good at this :L

10. What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish within the bookish world? As a writer, reader, blogger, whatever you want.

So I’d love to be an author but I honestly don’t know how to start. I’m terrible at planning novels and just… I don’t know. How do you plan one? I get snippets of ideas (some big, some small) but putting them altogether kind of overwhelms me. I’m planning to try and do some research sometime for my fairytale ideas so hopefully that’ll help and my other two ideas I really need to start jotting notes down for more regularly.

Other than that, I’m not sure? I’d love to catch up on my TBR! That would feel like a massive achievement considering the size that it’s grown to be :L And maybe meet some authors? That would be wonderful if I didn’t tense up and completely lose my voice.

This was a really fun tag to do with a lot of different and intriguing questions (:


I tag these amazing people who have such fantastic blogs which you should definitely check out:

Sophie @ Me And Ink
Xandra @ Starry Sky Books
Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner

As always it’s up to you whether you take part or not; if you do I really look forward to reading all of your answers. Also I hope it’s okay that I’ve tagged the first Sophie in two posts so close to each other; I remembered reading that you’re a writer so I thought some of these questions were perfect for you but don’t worry if it’s too much. Thanks again to Madison for tagging me in this.


Also, just as a side note, I’m probably not going to be online for a week or so (I don’t know exactly how long). I’ve fallen into a really bad reading slump so I kind of want to take a step back and really try to work passed it so I’m going to try and read more in my free time over the next few days. It’s not the books I’m reading – I love them – just me, falling into a really frustrating pattern of convincing myself that I can’t concentrate every time I have a few days away from reading. I also don’t really want to use the computer atm because I’ve been on it, catching up, quite a lot today and in this heat I’ve practically melted feeling all of the heat radiating off of it. So I kind of want to minimize my time online until this heatwave passes. Of course if it goes on for too long I’ll be back before it. I have my monthly book releases for July set up to post on Sunday though.

Tags

Books I’ll Probably Never Read

This is only my second ever book tag and I just want to thank Madison @ Madison’s Inkwell so, so much for thinking of me! Make sure you check her page out as it’s absolutely fantastic and filled with some amazing posts. This is definitely an interesting tag to fill in as I always tend to put a lot more focus on what I want to read, rather than what I don’t. I’ve actually probably forgotten some fairly obvious answers tbh which I’m sure I’ll remember later on. Sorry in advance if any books that you love appear on here.

1. A really hyped book you’re not interested in reading

I struggled a little bit with this question at first as I’ve recently changed my mind about a lot of hyped book. I really wasn’t interested in reading The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo for instance but after seeing so many glowing reviews I’ve changed my mind. Although I’m admittedly still not in too much of a rush to pick it up thanks to the size of my TBR.

Once I remembered Life Of Pi I almost slapped myself on the head for overlooking it however. I’m sorry to anyone who loves it but I honestly can’t see the appeal at all. I haven’t given it a chance so maybe I’m wrong about it but I just can’t really see the appeal of a book that is set in a small boat occupied by a man and a tiger. How on earth does anything even happen?

2. A series you won’t start or won’t be finishing

This was the hardest question for me to answer and I honestly don’t know why because surely there are a lot of series out there that I don’t want to read? Yet as soon as I tried to think of any my mind annoyingly went blank. I really wanted to go for a YA option as that’s what I read the most but, for now, I can’t seem to think of one. (I was so, so tempted to say Night World but that seemed like cheating as I want to read the final book, I just don’t think it’s ever going to come out).

So instead I’ve gone for American Gods which I feel could be a rather controversial choice. I tried watching the show last year and I really could not get into it. A few years ago I also read Coraline and, perhaps because I’d only just seen the film, didn’t really rate it much either. Considering my dislike of the TV adaptation and my experience with one of the author’s books I’m definitely not in a hurry to try and read American Gods. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I’ll never read a book by Neil Gaiman as I expect I will but I’m definitely not going to start with this one. I feel like it would be a foolish choice as I’m already wary of it so I’d rather go for a book of his that seems to appeal to me. Neverwhere is the book of his that I plan to pick up first and then maybe if I end up enjoying his books I’ll give this one a chance. I also saw when looking these up that they’re standalones set in the same world but they were listed on Goodreads as a series so I’m hoping they count. If not then the other series that comes to mind is The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy for some reason.

3. A classic you’re not interested in reading

Truthfully I always find myself in two minds about reading classics; I feel like I should read them but I’m worried that they won’t really capture my interest. There are some that I plan to read, I just don’t really know when I’ll get around to them as there’s always so much else that I desperately want to read on my TBR. That being said this was still a surprisingly easy answer for me.

So I know that a lot of people think Shakespeare’s work is absolutely amazing but it honestly doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. The stories that are being told are fascinating, sure, but I can’t get passed the language and the writing is a pretty major part of any book. I could have simplified things and picked one particular story of William Shakespeare’s but as I have no intention of reading any of his works, it made sense to go for the entire collection.

4. A genre you never read

I think I’ll have to go with Literary Fiction for this one. I can’t rule it out entirely as I’m sure there are a couple of books that fall into that category that I’d love to read but on the whole it’s the genre that appeals to me least. I guess I just think that a lot of these books sound a bit dull?

5. A book on your shelves you’ll probably never actually read

Ooh this is easy for me and it really shouldn’t be. My answer should be ‘well I bought them all so of course I want to read them’ but I got a bit addicted to buying books a couple of years ago, especially in The Works where they were all ridiculously cheap. Whilst there I bought The Charmer by Mandasue Heller and I honestly don’t know why as it doesn’t really appeal to me. To be fair I might read it eventually but I’m definitely not even remotely in a rush to do so.

So those are the books that I’ll probably never read. The chances are that I’ve forgotten some fairly obvious ones too!

I nominate these wonderful people who have some absolutely spectacular blogs that you should definitely check out:

Sophie @ Me and Ink
Emma @ AFCTL
Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

Obviously it’s entirely up to you if you want to do the tag or not, I just love your blogs and wanted to give them a mention. If you do decide to do this then I look forward to reading your answers (:

And thank you so, so much to Madison for tagging me; I’ll post the other tag a bit later in the week but I love both of them!!

Tags

The Liebster Award

Hey and thank you for reading my first ever tag, much to my surprise I actually got chosen for three different tags on Thursday so I’ll be posting them over the next few days and I’m really excited about filling in all of the answers!

I’ve been very kindly nominated for ‘The Liebster Award’ by the wonderful Sophie @ MeAndInk I’m incredibly grateful for this and appreciate it more than I can say. So thank you so, so much!! You should definitely check out her page as it’s full of fantastic bookish content and has some absolutely amazing posts that I adored reading. Seriously, check out her page if you haven’t already!


The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, provide a link to their blog and display the award.
  2. Answer 11 questions they asked you.
  3. Come up with your own 11 questions
  4. And lastly, tag some bloggers!

Sophie’s Questions:

What are some of your favourite quotes from books that you’ve read?

So I couldn’t answer this without including at least a few Harry Potter quotes. I also had to look online for a couple as, although I remember a lot of books having beautifully quotable writing, I haven’t actually gotten all that many quotes saved. I seriously need to start favouring some on Goodreads!

“Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I had to include this one because when I spotted it I burst out laughing!

“He must have known I’d want to leave you.”
“No, he must have known you would always want to come back.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“Kiss me again,” he says, drunk and foolish. “Kiss me until I am sick of it.”

Holly Black, The Wicked King

No one is ever the villain of their own story.

Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight

The writing on the orange quotes is ‘Alice In Wonderland‘. I got it years ago so can’t remember the creator but if it’s you, or you know who it belongs to, let me know and I’ll include that information.

There’s also a quote that I absolutely adore in the book that I’m currently reading but I don’t really feel able to include it as it’s majorly spoiling for earlier books in the series.

I know that the question asked for books I’ve read, and that I’ve gone a little overboard, but I absolutely had to include these last two quotes even though I haven’t read the books as they’re what made me desperate to read them in the first place!

“Some people are like Slinkies. They aren’t really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.”

Patricia Briggs, Iron Kissed

“In four short days, she’d be in my arms, bleeding out. And I’d finally become the dark prince my father knew me to be as I unleashed myself upon them all.”

Kerri Maniscalco, Becoming The Dark Prince

The novella that this quotes from comes out on the 15/07. I really need to start reading this series soon!

What is/was your most and least favourite subject at school?

My favourite subject was History. I’ve always found learning about different periods of time fascinating although, to be fair, it does depend where the information comes from at times; some textbooks are a bit too dense and dry. But overall I find history absolutely fascinating and, although I’m not studying anymore, I’d love to visit some historical landmarks eventually. I’ve always been especially interested in the Tudors for some reason.

Picking my least favourite subject is a little harder. My instinct was to say ‘maths’ (although I think some of that was due to some of the teachers that I had for it) then I realized that actually it was probably French. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to be able to speak a different language, preferably several, and I’d absolutely adore going to Paris but subject wise I truly wasn’t a fan of French. I think a big part of that was being expected to talk in front of an entire classroom (which in my opinion is horrid), especially in a language that you’re uncertain of. And then, of course, my strongest memory of the subject is one of my teachers giving us ‘French names’. Everybody in class thought mine was hilarious so naturally that was fun.

What is your favourite way to spend the weekend?

So I always want to say reading but I guess it depends really. Sometimes I just want to curl up with a book over the weekend, other times I want to make a jigsaw puzzle whilst watching the episodes of Charmed that I’ve already seen a couple of dozen times. If there’s a new film out at the cinema I love going to see it. I also like going out for dog walks to different places over the weekend too though, especially if the weathers nice. So I guess it depends on the weather and what I’ve been up to recently.

Dragons or Elves?

Dragons! If I’d read more books about elves I might have hesitated but at the moment I haven’t really picked up many. Dragons are fascinating though, they can fly and when you see them in films or on television they always look amazing!! That being said I’m not sure how many I’ve come across in fiction; they appear in Harry Potter and one or two other things that I’ve read but I still need to read Eragon and Seraphina.

You get to ask ONE fictional character a question, who is it and what would the question be?

Wow this is a hard question. I really want to come up with something smart and insightful but I’m struggling all of a sudden. Part of me wants to say Nick Dunne in Gone Girl

↓↓ (spoiler for anyone who hasn’t seen the film, just highlight it and the text will show as I have no clue how to do spoiler tags on here) ↓↓

simply to demand how on earth he could stay with Amy after everything that she did.

That kind of feels like cheating as I’ve seen the film but not read the book though so I’m going to go with:

What on earth is your problem with ‘beasts’? to Dolores Umbridge

as I’m actually really curious and feel like there must be some sort of story there. The major drawback to this answer however is the fact that I’d have to talk to someone as infuriating and vile as Dolores Umbridge to ask it.

What is your favourite film?

Oh this one’s hard too! I don’t think I have any one favourite film. Some of the ones that I love are: The Greatest Showman, Titanic, Practical Magic, Bohemian Rhapsody, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (I love Newt and the Niffler!!!) and The Hunger Games (I think that was a fantastic adaptation). There are probably a dozen more, at least, that I’m forgetting.

And, of course, my most recent favourite is the new version of Aladdin. I love it so, so much and seriously recommend seeing it if you haven’t already.

What is your favourite trope in a book?

Enemies to lovers. When someone goes from loving someone to hating them there’s just so much tension and sparks almost always seem to fly. I love watching the dynamics change and just find these sorts of relationships so compelling to read about.  I also have a huge weakness for reading about characters who are basically jerks at times; I have no idea why but I adore reading about them. Plus these kinds of relationships are always so fiery and watching someone fight against their own warring emotions when it comes to someone else is just fascinating.

What is your number 1 blogging tip?

I’m going to go with: if you ever get stuck on what to post, pick something that you feel passionately about. It’s a lot easier to write about subjects that you feel strongly about, one way or another. Share your love for a book in a detailed, themed post or write about some series that you feel deserve a bit more love. Share some information about something that you love, other than books too if you want as you have a perfect place to share your passions within your own page.

Alternatively pick a subject that entices you and come up with a list of some sort; they give you a basic background structure to use and can contain all kinds of things. If its books then it’s a great way to showcase ones that you’ve read, desperately want to get your hands on, disliked or simply aren’t interested in. Lists can be about pretty much anything however, not just book titles; places you’d love to visit, mystical creatures that you love, TV shows, music, fears, hobbies… just anything that interests you or that you feel strongly about basically.

You get to work with any author (dead or alive) on any project, who would the author be and what would the project be?

Instinctively I just want to go with Harry Potter! Just anything Harry Potter but specifically it would be amazing to work on a prequel about Tom Riddle’s past with J.K. Rowling. Firstly it would just be amazing to say that you’d worked with her on a book and secondly I really want that story to be told!

As I’m trying not to fall back on using Harry Potter as an answer though my actual answer is a fairytale retelling/crossover with Jennifer Donnelly. I really love the idea of crossing over some different fairytales and maybe, if I did some research, retelling some of the lesser known ones alongside the more frequently told tales. After reading Stepsister I can honestly say that I can think of no better author to pick for the subject matter either because her retelling was everything that a fairytale should be and more.

Which elemental power would you want (air, water, earth or fire)?

Part of me wants to go with fire as it’s so showy and seems like the coolest in a lot of ways, despite how destructive it could also be. But instead I’m going to go with earth for several reasons:

a. It would be amazing to be able to make flowers bloom at will
b. If you ever needed to escape from somebody you could just open up a crack in the earth and watch them stumble.
c. You could still use earth as projectiles, if needed
d. Drawing strength from the earth would probably be possible to make yourself stronger
e. You could have the perfect garden without having to worry about gardening. It would definitely make having your own little paradise possible.

How do/would you organise your books on your shelves?

Confession time: I haven’t changed my shelf layout over much in years. I have swapped a couple of books over for newer ones that I particularly love, or think I will, but I kind of like how they look right now in general so even though the series that I have on my shelves are older I struggle to change it.

I like to have them sorted by author and series but also, as much as possible, colour and size. I just like them to look like they belong together on a shelf. I absolutely adore some of the shelves that I see online which are purely colour coordinated but I could never do that because I need my series together too! So yeah, I kind of don’t change them around over much.

There are some hardbacks that I’d love to add to my shelves, for instance, but they’re always taller than everything else so I think it looks odd unless it’s at the end of the shelf and then, trying to get it to look right colour-wise too is such a pain!  I need to try and rearrange them sometime to be honest but I just honestly don’t know where to start :L I tried adding more Cassandra Clare ones in recently but they were all so massive that it made the other books on my shelf look oddly short.

Books that aren’t on my shelf are either in one of two under-bed drawers or in my wardrobe where I’ve now filled those up too.

My Questions:
  1. What book(s), series or author(s) do you think is really underappreciated?
  2. If you could have any mythical creature as a pet or companion which would it be?
  3. What do you think your greatest strength or talent is?
  4. Which two books do you think would make the best crossover if tied together?
  5. What fictional character would you hate to have as an enemy?
  6. What’s a food or drink that you really dislike?
  7. If you could only read books by three authors for a year, which ones would you chose?
  8. If you could study anything what would it be?
  9. Which singer or group, alive or dead, would you love to see performing live?
  10. If you could visit anywhere in the world at any point in time when and where would it be?
  11. If you could send one book character into a different story who would you send, where and why? E.g. sending Hermione Granger into The Cruel Prince so that you could see her interacting with Cardan.

I nominate these lovely people who have some absolutely fabulous blogs that you should definitely check out:

Madison @ Madison’s Inkwell
Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books
The Girl In Boots @ Being A Book Nerd
Jade @ The Elder Books
Malka & Chana @ Paper Procrastinators

Naturally there’s no pressure or obligation to do this I just really love your blogs. Also I’m sorry if I’ve tagged anyone who’s done this before (and I’m really hoping that the tags worked?)  I just also want to mention Spines That Shine whilst I’m mentioning bloggers with content that I love as her reviews are fantastic; if you want to do the tag then consider yourself tagged but I couldn’t see any on your page so I’m guessing that you don’t do them (I still wanted to use the opportunity to mention your wonderful blog however).

So if anyone does this tag I look forward to reading your answers but, like I said, it’s entirely up to you.

And thank you so, so much to Sophie for the nomination!!






Other Posts

Matilda The Musical & My Failure To Read Roald Dahl

Matilda The Musical:

Earlier this week I saw Matilda The Musical and absolutely adored it. The singing and acting were both fantastic and, although I will admit that thanks to how many times I’ve watched the film it did take a little bit of getting used to seeing a different selection of actors as the cast, they were all absolutely fabulous. There was some wonderful  stage work (I’m not entirely sure if that’s the right way to describe it but I loved one section where they were climbing up the school gates on some alphabet blocks and I’m amazed that they could do it, so perfectly timed, without falling). I also really enjoyed the opening to the second act but, as a reader, naturally disagree with Maltida’s parents views on books. It made me laugh numerous times throughout and the opening seemed pretty much perfect from the brief ‘First Look’ that I had of the Matilda book on Amazon once. It has a fairly dark plot when you think about it and yet, honestly, it was so, so much fun! I loved every minute of it.

My Failure To Read Roald Dahl’s Books:

I’ve got to admit though that although I’ve watched the film version of Matilda countless times and now also seen the musical that I’ve never read the book. In fact up until recently I was convinced that I hadn’t read a single book by Roald Dahl in my life which I definitely feel bad about as he’s one of those amazing authors that everybody’s heard of. I have no idea why I didn’t read any of his books as I’ve always been a reader. I guess his books might just not have appealed to me but I can’t see how when I’ve enjoyed so many of the film adaptations. But then, to be fair, I’ve always adored the A Series Of Unfortunate Events film but only ended up reading the books a couple of years ago.

My Attempt To Read One:

When I was younger I did take one of his books, George’s Marvellous Medicine, on holiday with me but it was impossible to truly read. I bought the copy from a book fair at school and, when I picked it up whilst away, it was literally just a jumble of random chapters in no real order.  Half of those chapters were even repeated several times within the book. Stubbornly (or from what I remember because I didn’t have anything else to read) I did read that copy but it hardly counts as it was such an odd order, with over half of the book missing, that it didn’t really make any sense. And now the only thing that I remember about that book is the ridiculously misprinted version that I’d somehow found.

The Unexpected Tale That I Have Read:

So, as it turns out, I recently found out from @BeingABookNerd that I have actually read something by Roald Dahl before although I’ve got to admit that it’s certainly not something that I’d have quickly connected with him. And I’d completely forgotten all about the short story in question until something – maybe the cover, maybe the name? – made a switch click on inside of my head, reminding me that I had read a fairly twisted story by him back at school. It’s called ‘Lamb To The Slaughter’, features a leg of lamb in a rather morbid way and can be found in ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’.  Actually having looked at the list of tales within this book I’m not sure if I also had to read ‘Skin’ for school or not. I feel like it sounds vaguely familiar but I can’t say for sure.

The Film Adaptations That I’ve Seen:

Matilda: As I’ve already mentioned I’ve seen Matilda countless times and have always loved it. To me it feels like one of those iconic films that should never be remade because the cast is just so perfect as it is (another example of this for me is the 1968 version of Oliver). I love that the central character is such an avid reader who has powers and her own sense of justice. I love – or love to hate – the villain (and OMG she’s actually quite scary having re-watched it a few years ago). And just… well I love this film; it’s as simple as that.

Charlie/Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory:  I’ve seen both the 1971 version of this and the more recent one and, as far as I can remember, I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. I remember the older version more vividly for some reason although one day should probably try to re-watch them both. I love the setting – because who doesn’t want to explore Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? – and the characters of this so much.

The Witches: I remember always really enjoying this film although I also think that there were parts of it that really freaked me out. That painting for one. And then, of course, what the witches within the film were actually up to. I still must have watched it one hell of a lot of times though as I can remember certain scenes from it quite well even after all these years.
I’ve also just seen that this is being remade in 2020.

James And The Giant Peach: This is the film that I remember least well but I still think that I enjoyed it.  I think it was part live action, part animated? To be honest my strongest memories are of James’s aunts who fascinated me for some reason :L

The Books That I’d Most Like To Try And Read:

Okay so I’m not entirely sure how I’ll get on with reading a children’s book at my age although I know that a lot of people still love these books so I do want to try and check them out sometime. Plus I really feel like I need to have read at least a few Roald Dahl books in my life. And, honestly?, it’s worth giving them a chance as they’re not particularly long as far as I know. Mostly I’m worried about getting them out of the library and looking odd but I think that most of them are available as ebooks anyway.

Matilda

It goes without saying that I want to read this one and I find it rather ironic that I’ve seen the film but not read the book in this case considering the main characters love of books.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Again it kind of goes without saying that I’d like to read this considering my past enjoyment of the films. I’m really looking forward to seeing Wonka’s factory in text.

The Witches

Naturally I want to try this one of his books, if I get along with the first okay, as I’m really intrigued by his take on witches and, again, it’s a film that I saw countless times growing up.

James And The Giant Peach

Again I basically want to read this because I’m fairly certain that I enjoyed the film. As this is Roald Dahl’s first book for younger readers it makes sense to include it for that reason too though.

George’s Marvellous Medicine

Since I started it in the past then I’d like to finish it tbh.

Tales Of The Unexpected

I basically want to re-read this to refresh my memory (and figure out if I ever actually did read Skin too). Plus it will be nice to read some of Roald Dahl’s other work.


So those are my experiences with Roald Dahl – mostly in films – and the books of his that I one day plan to read. Hopefully I will at least get to Matilda this summer.

Don’t forget to check out @BeingABookNerd and read her fantastic post ‘My Favourite Childhood Books‘ which is what reminded me of a Roald Dahl story that I never would have remembered, or connected with him, off of the top of my head. It also contains some other really great examples of childhood favourites, some of which I also still need to read!

Have you read Roald Dahl’s books in the past? Have you seen Matilda The Musical? Did anyone else have to study any of his ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’ at school? What’s your favourite book of his? Whatever you want to say related to the subject I look forward to hearing from you.

Features · Literary Lists

Literacy Lists: Psychopaths

After starting off last month with ‘Fairytale Retellings’ moving onto ‘Psychopaths’ might seem slightly strange although, let’s face it, some of the original versions of classic fairy tales are pretty grim (no pun intended). It also seems perfectly timed for me as Killing Eve is back on at last! And I’m currently re-watching Dexter. The definition of a psychopath, taken from The Online Cambridge Dictionary is:

 ‘a person who has no feeling for other people, does not think about the future, and does not feel bad about anything that they have done in the past’

They can also be quite charming when they want to be and seem to be a constant source of fascination in fiction. Characters like Villanelle from Killing Eve and Alice Morgan from Luther seem to be wildly popular with fans despite their atrocious actions.  I’ll admit that I got hooked on both of those shows and was constantly on the lookout for what those two characters would do next. Other examples that immediately spring to mind are Joe Carroll from The Following and Amy Dunne from Gone Girl.

Admittedly not every book on this list will necessarily feature a true psychopath – it’s hard to tell without reading them, besides anything else – but they’re all ones that seem to hint at such characters because who doesn’t love reading about charming individuals with non-existence morals?

Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

Naturally, as the TV show strongly inspired this list, ‘Codename Villanelle’ tops it. I’m eager to see how Villanelle is portrayed in the books. I’ve got to admit, though, that I’m also a little bit nervous about reading it. Why? Because Jodie Comer was utterly amazing playing her in the show and, for once, I’m worried over how the novel will compare.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I loved the movie of this and found Sharp Objects absolutely captivating – if unnerving – so this is another easy addition to this list. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Amy is painted in the novel.

You by Caroline Kepnes

Another example where I’ve seen the show but somehow failed to read the book. I’ve been meaning to read this one for ages though. And it gets bonus marks for containing stalker-ish behaviour because I find that subject fascinating too.

Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse

The last person who called me Sweetpea ended up dead… 

So that single line, coupled with the mention of a ‘kill list’ definitely seems to suggest that this book is perfectly at home on this list.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.
Ours just happens to be getting away with murder

This is also described as ‘Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ so obviously it’s on my TBR list.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

I had to include this as I love the television show, plan to read the books and its main character is a killer who claims to be incapable of love (I disagree with that statement, as his actions in the show seem to prove that he did care about his family). It’s definitely different to most of the books on this list however as the killer is only after bad people.

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

I’ve already read this book and, unlike most others on this list, it’s not a crime or thriller novel. Nobody can argue that Lord Voldemort wasn’t a psychopath though; especially when you finally get to see more of his past as the charming, but heartless, Tom Riddle. Honestly I’d love to learn more about his youth.

Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice

It’s been years since I saw the movie adaptation of this but from what I remember Lestat definitely gave off the charming yet psychotic vibes that I’m looking for in this list. I also adore vampire novels so naturally I plan to read this.

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

This one’s about a ‘beautiful female serial killer who mysteriously turned herself in’ and the ‘damaged Portland detective who can’t stay away from her’. Reading about it, the unusual connection makes me think of Alice Morgan and Luther again so I’m looking forward to checking this out.

Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer

I can’t believe I almost forgot about this book as I’ve been desperate to read it ever since it came out.  The premise is absolutely amazing although, I will admit that I’m not entirely convinced that the main character belongs on this list (she must have a conscience for trying to save her mother’s victim). Either way it still seems to promise the right kind of ‘vibes’ for this list and I’m one hundred percent desperate to read it.


As I said at the start of this list, I can’t guarantee that every book on here  contains a true psychopath. They all seem to hint at individuals with lapsed morals, dark habits and limited feelings however.

So, there you have it, ten of the books that I most want to read which seem to promise psychotic characters within their pages. I know that there are some pretty major ones that I’ve missed but I was aiming for the sort of fictional psychopath that people love to hate and almost secretly root for with this list, rather than the ones that leave you too terrified to sleep with the light off.

Do you like reading about characters like this in fiction or watching them on television and in films? What are your favourites from either category? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments below. Oh and please no spoilers for season two of Killing Eve!