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.
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:
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!
Thank the blogger who nominated you, provide a link to their blog and display the award.
Answer 11 questions they asked you.
Come up with your own 11 questions
And lastly, tag some bloggers!
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.
What book(s), series or author(s) do you think is really underappreciated?
If you could have any mythical creature as a pet or companion which would it be?
What do you think your greatest strength or talent is?
Which two books do you think would make the best crossover if tied together?
What fictional character would you hate to have as an enemy?
What’s a food or drink that you really dislike?
If you could only read books by three authors for a year, which ones would you chose?
If you could study anything what would it be?
Which singer or group, alive or dead, would you love to see performing live?
If you could visit anywhere in the world at any point in time when and where would it be?
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:
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!!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I wasn’t sure what to call this blog so I decided to go for the question that summed it up most thoroughly. This post has a slight mixture of functions as it’s here partially as a discussion (hence the title), partially as an explanation and also as a bit of a search for recommendations.
So I personally think that on the whole I’d much rather read a review of a book that I’ve read, even though in some ways that might seem a little redundant. Reviews are designed to share your thoughts and opinions of a book; to say whether or not you’d recommend it to others and, hopefully, gain a book some new readers. So I know that it’s probably fairly strange to then say that I’d prefer to read a review of something that I’ve read. I do like looking at the scores that people give books prior to reading them but, on the whole, I’ve got to confess that I am fairly wary about reading what they have to say for two main reasons.
The Spoiler Risk:
Firstly, and most obviously, when reading reviews there is always a risk that you’ll come across spoilers for the book in question. I’m not saying that it’s guaranteed and I’m not even saying this based on anything that I’ve read recently, it actually comes from my experience of flipping through Goodreads – trying to figure out if some unread books on my TBR list had sequels – several years ago. I happened to glance at the reviews on a book involving a murder mystery and inadvertently saw a comment saying who the killer was. Needless to say I was not impressed.
That’s a pretty major example of the kind of spoiler that I’m wary of reading but truthfully I like to avoid knowing too much about a book in general. I like to discover what characters are like personality wise for myself and, if a betrayal or twist is coming, I don’t mind having a heads up that it’s included within a book but I don’t really want to know exactly whose doing the betraying or who the twist is focused around.
Truthfully I don’t even think it’s just a review that can spoil a book however – I actually feel that sometimes book blurbs give away way too much of what’s coming plot wise. I guess in some ways they have to, to tell you what to expect, but I do feel that sometimes it’s a bit much to know that some major plot point about halfway through is coming because you’ve happened to read a blurb. I’ve actually tried not to read them too close to reading books any longer. I look at them to know if I’m interested in a book but if I decided that I am but only pick it up several months later I do tend not to re-read the blurb: I just like to go into a book knowing as little as possible now.
Going Into A Book With Expectations / Being On The Lookout For Certain Flaws:
The second reason that I’m not all too keen on reading reviews of books that I haven’t read is because going into a book with someone else’s opinions of it in mind can sometimes affect your own judgment. If a books really hyped up – and you raise your expectations too greatly – then you can be let down when it’s not as good as you’ve expected, even if it is a fairly remarkable read. Or, if somebody shares what they disliked about a book, then you can go into it already on the lookout for those things – something that you might not have even noticed if it hadn’t been bought up. I’m not on about problematic content here, obviously, but character quirks that irritate one particular reader or the way that one character thinks about another. I mean things like annoying habits, irritating phrases and overused words. The best, and most recent, example of this that I can think of is when a character dislikes another and repeatedly brings this fact up. I’m not saying where I’ve seen this mentioned prior to reading a book before – and it didn’t even bother me when I read said novel thankfully – but I can see how being on the lookout for repeated mentions of that character’s dislike of another could bring it to the forefront of your mind and make it all too easy to notice.
So yeah I’m rather wary of reading what a person particularly disliked about a book prior to reading the book in question because I don’t want to intently be searching for something that I might otherwise not have noticed. I do want to stress that this is in no way a criticism of mentioning what you dislike in a book however: that’s the entire point of a book review after all – to share both what you did and did not like. I’m just trying to explain the two factors that do make me somewhat wary about reading reviews of books that I haven’t read.
Why I Like To Read Reviews After Finishing A Book:
Although I don’t always want to read reviews in advance I generally do like to see what others are saying about a book after I’ve read it. And again I guess there are several reasons for this:
The simplest one, if I’ve loved a book, is to find others who share my enthusiasm of that book and see if they were as enthralled by it as me. Sometimes I really want to gush about a story that I’ve loved or fan-girl about a character that has left me utterly intoxicated.
On the flip side of things if I’ve disliked a book I like to try and find out if I was in the minority or if others out there agree with me. Honestly it can be a little disconcerting at times to dislike a beloved book and find yourself thinking ‘did I miss something?’ so finding out that others out there had the same issues as you is somewhat reassuring.
Then there’s the middle ground: whether I’ve loved or hated a book I want to know what others thought regardless. I want to see what factors of a novel worked for them and what didn’t. I want to see if they loved and hated certain characters. If they liked the overall plot. If they thought the writing was beautiful or faulty. And, in particular, if they were happy with how things ended.
And, although I’m sure I have other reasons for reading reviews, a final major one is that the person writing said review has put a lot of effort into writing down their feelings and sharing their views with the world. I feel that when somebody does that it deserves to be acknowledged and read.
Overall I guess what I’m trying to do is apologize in advance if I don’t read every review that you post and explain my reasons for that. But I also want to say that I probably will look it up again after I’ve read the book that you’ve reviewed. In fact if you’ve reviewed any books that I’ve read – or read in the future – feel free to tell me and I’ll be sure to check your review out.
I also wrote this to ask whether other people feel the same way as me? Are you wary of reading people’s reviews because of spoilers? Do you worry about a review hyping you up too much and setting your expectations too high? Or do you worry that if you’re on the lookout for certain negative factors in a book that it’ll make it impossible for you to ignore them? Do you like reading reviews if you’ve already read the book that it’s about?
On a related note I’ve got to admit that, because of my attempts to avoid spoilers, I do sometimes feel restricted as to what I can include in a review. Sometimes I just want to rant and rave about a certain character’s actions or else jump up and down, screaming about my love for another individual within a book. Sometimes there are plot points that I’d love to discuss in more detail. Or questions that I’m left with and would like to share. There are times when I want to say exactly what I wish I’d seen more, or less, of. And other times when I’d love to discuss theories for future books. Yet, in reviews, I constantly feel like I can’t without straying into the ‘too much detail zone’. As a result I’m seriously considering adding in some ‘Spoiler Sessions’ as future blog posts eventually. I’d love to have a feature that is clearly labelled as a place full of spoilers, where I could feel free to share exactly what I thought about a book and go into as much detail as I could ever want to. There are already some series that I’m seriously considering doing this with as I’d love to go into more detail with them. Although for now I’ll probably wait.
Finally at the start of this post I said that I was also looking for recommendations. At the moment I only have two monthly features on here and I’d really love some suggestions of memes that I could join in with. I absolutely adore the idea of ‘Top Ten Tuesdays’ but I’m not sure if I’m ready to do an entire top ten post on a weekly basis and, although I know you don’t have to do every single week, I wouldn’t really want to start doing it and miss out on half of the subjects either. So if you know any others that you think are particularly good I’d love it if you let me know about them. Are there any that you feel are a particularly good way of easing yourself into blogging on a weekly basis? (I do already intend to add in my reviews as and when I get books done, although I still have to post my Vampire Academy ones).
Actually if you have any helpful tips on blogging in general then I’d love to hear them as I’m new to this and kind of lost at the moment.
I also apologize for the long post and lack of pictures. I wasn’t really sure what to include in regards to this subject image wise and I rambled on for much longer than I originally meant to.
I was thinking about this subject a bit further and I came to the conclusion that, in general, my likeliness to read a review before reading a book probably falls into one of five categories. There are always exceptions to this however – sometimes I find myself really wanting to read, or avoid, certain reviews as the mood hits me.
► Books that I’m desperate to read: if I’m already desperate to read a book then I’m generally more likely to avoid reading reviews for it. If I’m really looking forward to something then my fear of spoilers is going to be at its highest and I don’t really need a review to push me into picking up the book in question as I’m already set on doing so. In these cases I’m also most apprehensive about somebody else’s experience clouding my judgment – I really don’t want to set my hopes too high or have them shattered entirely based on a particularly good or bad review. Sometimes curiosity gets the better of me and I still read books that fall into this category though.
I’ve also got to say that these are probably the books that I’m most likely to hunt down other people’s reviews for after reading the book itself. If I enjoyed it, as I hoped to, then I’m probably going to want to find some way to share in other people’s enthusiasm for that book. And if I didn’t (which breaks my heart every time) then I’m always curious to know if others felt the same way.
► Books that I’m on the fence about: these are the cases that I’m probably most likely to read a review of a book for before I pick up the book in question. If I’m not entirely sold on the idea of a book then it can definitely help to know what others have thought about it. Sometimes certain elements of the book, that weren’t apparent from the blurb, will make me find a newfound desperation to pick up that novel as it really appeals to me in a new and unexpected way. So if I’m uncertain about a book I’m definitely more likely to read people’s reviews for it before picking up the book itself as doing so will, hopefully, help me make my mind up about whether or not it’s the book for me.
► Books that I wasn’t planning to read but are getting a lot of good reviews: in these cases then I probably would check the reviews out before reading the book to find out what it is that people particularly love about the book and whether those features would make it appeal more to me now too.
► Books that I hadn’t heard of: I’m also more likely to read a review of a book that I haven’t heard about as it ends up bringing it on to my radar for the first time so I’m naturally going to be somewhat curious about it.
► Sequels to books: these again I’m quite unlikely to read until after I’ve read the book in question although this category can definitely be broken down further.
Sequels to books that I haven’t read: whether I haven’t read a single book in the series or have read some but not all of the previous ones then I won’t read these reviews as I know the risk of spoilers for previous books in the series is naturally going to be fairly high.
Sequels to books that I’ve read and loved: if I loved the first book (or books) in a series then I’m obviously planning to pick it up and will most likely want to discover the sequel completely on my own. I’ll also probably search for reviews of these books once I’ve got on and read them as I’m going to either want to gush about it with others or share my heartbreak at feeling let down by what happened next.
Sequels to books that I’ve read but wasn’t particularly a fan of: in these cases I probably will check out a few reviews before reading the book as I’ll probably be searching to see if people feel it’s an improvement on the original.
Like I said above these are just general descriptions of how likely I am to read certain reviews before picking up the book in question. I’m always apprehensive for the two main reasons that I mentioned earlier in this post but sometimes curiosity definitely gets the best of me. And I also know how redundant it can seem to read reviews of what you’ve already read for yourself but I really love seeing other people’s thoughts on a book once I’ve experienced it for myself, whether I loved it, hated it or was just a little underwhelmed by the book in question.
Hello and welcome to my third ‘Most Anticipated Releases’ feature which is actually being posted on time now that I’ve finally got this blog up and running (I just have a few Vampire Academy reviews to post sometime). It’s another month with a lot of exciting new books coming out. Once again Blood Heir should have been in this month’s top five but from recent updates I’ve seen that it’s been moved to November now. I’m really looking forward to all of the books in my top five so hopefully this month I’ll get a couple of them done. At the very least I’m hoping to get a Sorcery Of Thorns read as I gave into temptation and pre-ordered a copy of it.
All sorcerers are evil.
Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a
foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among
the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath
iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and
leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous
grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and
she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn
to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious
demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not
only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth
starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the
libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has
never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.
Ivy Gamble has never wanted
to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable
career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking
problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged
sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.
But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a
faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to
lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the
mystery that seems just out of her reach.
Emma Saylor doesn’t remember
a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the
stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold,
clear water and mossy trees at the edges.
Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little
predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her
mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a
When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are
actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working
class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North
resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is
divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new
family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.
Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when
she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps
her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in
the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as
For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her.
But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?
The Shadow Market is a
meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires. There the
Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper
secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however,
there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones,
the very heart of the Shadowhunters. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is
sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a
Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock
Follow Brother Zachariah and see, against the backdrop of the
Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festive celebrations, Anna Lightwood’s first
romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin and Tessa Gray plunged into a world war.
Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul
finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and
no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother
Welcome to the
Forest of Good and Evil. A dream come true, and a living nightmare.
isn’t born, it’s made. One thought and action at a time. Take a good look at
what you’ve made.
Far, far away, in the realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend
still exist, magic is the norm and fairy tales are real. Except, fairy tales
aren’t based on myths and legends of the past—they are prophecies of the future.
Raised in the mortal realm, Everly Morrow has no idea she’s a
real life fairy tale princess—until she manifests an ability to commune with
Look. See… What
will one peek hurt?
Soon, a horrifying truth is revealed. She is fated to be Snow
White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen.
With powers beyond her imagination or control—and determined
to change Fate itself—Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets
Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable,
but their relationship is doomed.
As bits and pieces of the prophecy unfold, Everly faces one
betrayal after another, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting
every day. Can she resist, or will she become the queen—and villain—she was
born to be?
Once again I’ve got a lot of catch up to do sequel wise (I’m afraid to say that, despite being truly desperate to read a few of the books mentioned I still need to start all of the series which is rather frustrating).. Also I know that I included Chrysalis back in March but I’ve mentioned it again here as this month it will probably be a lot more widely available with both its Kindle and paperback release.
Storm And Fury is a spin off series from The Dark Elements so I’d imagine it’s probably best to read the original series first (which I have unread on my Kindle – but yes, I really am determined to start catching up now). I was also somewhat uncertain as to whether I should include Queen Of The Sea or not as it’s a graphic novel which, admittedly, I’ve never actually tried to read before. Since it’s inspired, however loosely, on Tudor Queens I thought I’d give it a chance though. And, truthfully, it’s probably about time that I start trying out some graphic novels and comics as A) quite a few series that I loved in novel form are also available as graphic novels and B) quite a lot of shows that I adore are either based on or continued in comics.
What are your most anticipated books of June? Feel free to let me know in the comments below. Also if you have any suggestions of graphic novels or comics that I should try out then they’d also be greatly appreciated – and I’ll hopefully try and get reading them soon.
So firstly I feel like I should admit that before looking it up properly I thought that Top Ten Tuesdays was just a name that people gave to their own top ten lists that they posted on a Tuesday. If you think the same (although unless you’re as new to Blogging as me then I guess you already know all about it) then I strongly recommend that you look it up properly here as it’s a great idea and a superb way to bring Bloggers together. I fully intend to check it out every Tuesday and see what different people pick for each subject.
As I only want to post a feature once a month (at least whilst I’m still new to Blogging) and already have several list ideas in mind I’ve decided to post my lists on a Wednesday under the title of Literary Lists but the idea was still inspired by the idea of Top Ten Tuesdays and I may try joining in with the proper ones in the future – when the idea of posting a weekly feature doesn’t seem quite so daunting. Why Literary Lists? Because I’m a sucker for alliteration and I figured it makes sense as this Feature is going to be a series of lists linked to books in one way or another.
I may be posting this blog, like many others, later than I originally intended to but at least it ties in fairly well with May considering the release of Stepsister earlier on this month. I absolutely adored this novel and can’t recommend it highly enough.
Lately I’ve beenobsessed with looking up Fairytales and their retellings – even if I am yet to get on and actually read any of them, other than the one mentioned above. I have a desperate to desire to check out as many retellings as possible and also dive into the original classic collections like The Brothers Grimm, The Tales Of Mother Goose, The Complete Works of Hans Christian Andersen and The Book Of One Thousand And One Arabian Nights. I also hope to check out a couple of Fairytales and the Folklore of different cultures and countries since I’m sure there’s one hell of a lot that I’ve never heard of before. If you have any recommendations – whether they’re retellings, originals or just books that have an overall ‘fairytale feel’ to them – then let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear about them.
So I may be wrong with my retelling label (I didn’t spend too long searching for what this was a retelling of as I was determined to avoid spoiling the story for myself) but I know that it’s based on Russian Fairy Tales and it sounds absolutely intoxicating.
Chilling stories, a blue-eyed winter demon, a new stepmother, evil forest creatures and a village stalked by misfortune.
A girl who gains a reputation for being able to
change silver to gold after hardening her heart against her fellow villagers to
collect what is owed to her family; and the cold creatures that haunt the wood
whose king learns of her reputation.
I’m definitely planning to read this ASAP as it sounds utterly unique and I’ve
seen so many good reviews for it. Also I have a weakness for books with strong
A Beauty and the Beast retelling where ‘Beauty’ (in this case Nyx) has been training to kill the beast her entire life! Plus it contains an enchanted castle with a shifting maze of magical rooms, a nine hundred year old curse and a love story where the heroine finds herself falling for her sworn enemy. Naturally this is one fairytale retelling that I’m desperate to sink my teeth into.
Another Beauty And The Beast retelling with a strong, fiery sounding ‘Beauty’. After her father goes missing Yeva decides to go after the beast that her father had been obsessively tracking before his disappearance. Her hunt leads her to a cursed valley, a ruined castle and a world full of fairy tale creatures.
Don’t forget to check out Meagan Spooner’s new retelling of Robin Hood (which sounds awesome) that came out this year: Sherwood
Fall in love, break the curse. Break the curse, save the kingdom.
Yet another Beauty And The Beast retelling (I wouldn’t say its necessarily my favourite Fairytale – there just seem to be a lot of fantastic sounding retellings of it around). A contemporary fantasy retelling of the story this time with a heroine who has cerebral palsy and a prince whose cursed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over again.
Blanca (obedient and graceful) and Roja (vicious and manipulative) aren’t just sisters but also rivals. One day they will be pulled into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl and trap the other in the body of a swan. But when some local boys are drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods.
Is it bad that I haven’t read a book by this author yet? They all sound amazing – and have such breathtaking covers – but I still need to get around to picking one up.
‘A dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war,
longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.’
Since seeing the film last year – and knowing there was another movie version
that I loved growing up – I’d love to read a retelling of The Nutcracker. This one, with its promise of a dangerous,
seductive faery queen and 1899 New York City setting sounds like the perfect
one to start with. Also I’m fairly certain that it was bought to my attention
by an author’s recommendation on Fantastic
Fiction but I can’t remember whose now.
This is a retelling of Aladdin which focuses upon the Jinni from the lamp and is set in a world where magic is forbidden and our central character’s very existence is illegal. If that wasn’t enough the Jinni finds herself falling for Aladdin and torn between her heart and her freedom. Plus look at that cover! It’s gorgeous.
So there you have it, ten of the Fairytale
Retellings that I most want to read. There are honestly so many out there that I’m
sure I’ll revisit the subject in some form in the future.
What are your favourite Fairytale Retellings? Are there any films or series
that you think are worth checking out if you have an interest in these classic
tales? Do you know any retellings that focus on lesser known stories? Let me
know in the comments section below.
Hello and welcome to my second ever ‘Most Anticipated Releases’. Selecting my top five for the month was both easier and harder than I expected it to be this time around. Initially I was torn between two for the final book and struggling to pick between them; then I realized that Blood Heir wasn’t out this month any longer (or maybe it never was and I’d just written it down wrong) which simplified things a lot. Although, now that I’ve read Stepsister I can definitely say that it deserved a spot in my top five and that you should read it ASAP. Anyway, without further ado, here are my most anticipated books of May 2019:
Five years ago, Lexie walked home from school after her older brother failed to pick her up. When she entered her house, her brother sat calmly, waiting for the police to come arrest him for the heinous crime he had just committed.
Treated like a criminal herself, Lexie now moves from school to school hiding who she is—who she’s related to. She struggles with loving her brother, the PTSD she now suffers from, and wanting to just live a normal life. But how can she be normal when she can’t even figure out how to just live?
People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.
Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving
stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air,
and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears
scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered
its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a
new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of
order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.
But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is
changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud
in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister,
the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.
In Saskia’s world, bones are
the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose
secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs
readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.
On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that
determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears
come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her
mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy
who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.
Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose
one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of
the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones
have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating
consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two
potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life
is in danger in both.
Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.
Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.
The Doll Factory and If You Could Go Anywhere are listed separately as I realized I’d somehow managed to forget them and had to add them in later, minus a cover. Tales Of Folk & Fey is also listed separately as I’ve only learnt about it (and the Wicked Lovely prequel novel that is in the works and I’m super excited for!) recently. I now have two reasons – along with my love of the books – to re-read the series ASAP.
Seeing all of the sequels that are out this month I’ve realized that I really need to try and catch up on my reading. Despite desperately wanting to read each of the above mentioned series I’ve only started on three and I’m behind on each of them /: Hopefully I’ll finally manage to start catching up a little over the next few months.
Anyway, even if I do have a lot of catch up to do, I’m still always on the lookout for more suggestions of good books; so feel free to let me know what your most anticipated books of the month are in the comments below.
Hello and welcome to my first ‘Most Anticipated Releases’ feature. I think that the first thing that I should do is apologize for posting this in May rather than April (I started publishing my posts a lot later than I originally planned to) and secondly I’d just like to stress that when I write these features I am not planning to read all of the books in that particular month; I am not a robot. I don’t actually think it would be possible to get through all of them. Although maybe I’m wrong, who knows? These are just the books whose blurbs captured my attention most strongly this month and that I intend to read in the future, some of them hopefully as soon as they come out. Most of them are YA books but there are a couple of adult novels in there too.
Tyrants cut out hearts.
Rulers sacrifice their own.
Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.
Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.
Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.
Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.
In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.
All Magnus Bane wanted was a
vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who
against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in
Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called
the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that
was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.
Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the
Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more
damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been
sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder
to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire,
Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means
revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.
can’t keep two people who are meant to be together apart for long…”
Lennon Davis doesn’t believe in much, but she
does believe in the security of the number five. If she flicks the bedroom
light switch five times, maybe her new L.A. school won’t suck. But that doesn’t
feel right, so she flicks the switch again. And again. Ten more flicks of the
switch and maybe her new step family will accept her. Twenty-five more flicks
and maybe she won’t cause any more of her loved ones to die. Fifty times more
and then she can finally go to sleep.
Kyler Benton witnesses this pattern of lights from the safety
of his treehouse in the yard next door. It is only there, hidden from the
unwanted stares of his peers, that Kyler can fill his notebooks with lyrics
that reveal the true scars of the boy behind the oversized hoodies and caustic
humor. But Kyler finds that descriptions of blonde hair, sad eyes, and tapping
fingers are beginning to fill the pages of his notebooks. Lennon, the lonely
girl next door his father has warned him about, infiltrates his mind. Even
though he has enough to deal with without Lennon’s rumored tragic past in his
life, Kyler can’t help but want to know the truth about his new muse.
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a
grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who
soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped
it all apart.
I promised her the throne would not come between
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan
who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a
shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to
find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their
But it is a fact of life that one must kill or
be killed. Rule or be ruled.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs,
her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will
change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’
return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes
it must be taken.
I’ve added The Misterhere as, although I originally thought I wasn’t in a rush to read it, I ended up unable to avoid the temptation to buy it when I saw it in store so apparently I was wrong, which surely means it deserves to be included in this list.
Although Sky In The Deep came out last year I’ve included it as it has a UK paperback release this month and has previously been not all that widely available. Through The White Wood features two characters from Beyond A Darkened Shore (as answered by Jessica Leake on Goodreads) so I’d imagine it’s probably best to read the other novel first, although as I need to read both still I’m not entirely sure.
What were your most anticipated books last month? Have you read any of them yet that you feel are particularly good? Whatever your recommendations or suggestions feel free to let me know in the comments.
Hello and welcome to my first Quarterly Catch Up; a feature where I’ll give a brief summary of how my readings gone over the past three months along with ten of the books that I’m most desperate to read and five of the series that I want to finish and/or re-read. As the name might suggest the plan is to post this feature at the end of every third month. Additionally each December edition of this feature will contain the top ten books of that particular year that I wanted to read but didn’t get around to.
This first edition doesn’t quite follow the general plan as it A) contains lists with more books than it should and B) has my most anticipated January, February and March releases in it (the original plan was to always include them in here but I’ve since decided to instead make those books a separate monthly feature). As this blog is new and I haven’t read as much as I’ve wanted to over the last few months I’m skipping the summary section for this post but I’ll include that (and strictly stick to my Top Fives and Top Tens) in the next of these feature posts. It’s also majorly late – as I’m only starting this blog off in May – so I’ll most likely skip June’s edition (or possibly post it sometime in July if my readings been going particularity well).
Top Ten Missed Books From 2018 That I Want To Read:
Picking just ten books for this list was hard painstaking. There were so many books out last year that I wanted to read; books that I was itching to get my hands on. So why didn’t I read them? I guess because I already had so many books that I felt like it was wrong to get more. This year I’ve decided to bin that attitude and instead focus on what I want to read, when I want to read it. Readings meant to be done for enjoyment, after all.
‘ Touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war.’
Although I’ve listed some books below as my most anticipated sequels I haven’t necessarily read the previous books in their series as of yet. If I’ve included them, despite not reading the previous ones, then it means that it’s a series that I’m itching to get on with.
Echo Ridge is small-town
America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went
missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put
the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live
with a grandmother she barely knows.
The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And
before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on
homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then,
almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.
Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her
grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it
becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and
most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s
safest to keep your secrets to yourself.
Sisters Lu and Min have always understood their places as princesses of the Empire. Lu knows she is destined to become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while Min is resigned to a life in her shadow. Then their father declares their male cousin Set the heir instead—a betrayal that sends the sisters down two very different paths.
Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu goes on the run. She needs an ally—and an army—if she is to succeed. Her quest leads her to Nokhai, the last surviving wolf shapeshifter. Nok wants to keep his identity secret, but finds himself forced into an uneasy alliance with the girl whose family killed everyone he ever loved…
Alone in the volatile court, Min’s hidden power awakens—a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign…or allow Min to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could turn out to be each other.
No one believes in them. But soon no one will
It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry
and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the
streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths
better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When
the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission,
Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin
calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A
historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother
in arms if not blood.
Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark,
glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of
history—but only if they can stay alive.
What do a future ambassador, an overly ambitious
Francophile, a hospital-volunteering Girl Scout, the new girl from Cleveland,
the junior cheer captain, and the vice president of the debate club have in
common? It sounds like the ridiculously long lead-up to an astoundingly absurd
punchline, right? Except it’s not. Well, unless my life is the joke, which is
kind of starting to look like a possibility given how beyond soap opera it’s
been since I moved to Lancaster. But anyway, here’s your answer: we’ve all had
the questionable privilege of going out with Lancaster High School’s de facto
king. Otherwise known as my best friend. Otherwise known as the reason I’ve
already helped steal a car, a jet ski, and one hundred spray-painted water
bottles when it’s not even Christmas break yet. Otherwise known as Henry.
Jersey number 8.
Meet Cleves. Girlfriend number four and the narrator of The Dead Queens Club, a young adult
retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives. Cleves is the only girlfriend to
come out of her relationship with Henry unscathed—but most breakups are messy,
right? And sometimes tragic accidents happen…twice…
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir
to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his
eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for
him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would
turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he
destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father
long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family
together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy,
she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone
else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t
know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this
enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes
Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But
powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than
a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth
of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and
When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a
way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother.
Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms
scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the
coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s
savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering
court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms
herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the
Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie.
There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her
sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes
to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles.
And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who
dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.
But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of
her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and
she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or
magic—before Paris burns…
Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from
normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a
bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as
guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces
of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s
Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she
follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school
Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.
Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s
father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last
Slayer, ever. Period.
As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo,
there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats
happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new
powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.
One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is
A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a
thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to
protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to
the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead
keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a
dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and
forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
After unwittingly helping her mother poison King
Louis XIV, seventeen-year-old alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced to see
her mother’s Shadow Society in a horrifying new light: they’re not heroes of
the people, as they’ve always claimed to be, but murderers. Herself included.
Mira tries to ease her guilt by brewing helpful curatives, but her hunger tonics
and headache remedies cannot right past wrongs or save the dissenters her
mother vows to purge.
Royal bastard Josse de Bourbon is more kitchen boy than fils de France. But
when the Shadow Society assassinates the Sun King and half the royal court, he
must become the prince he was never meant to be in order to save his injured
sisters and the petulant Dauphin. Forced to hide in the derelict sewers beneath
the city, any hope of reclaiming Paris seems impossible—until Josse’s path
collides with Mirabelle’s, and he finds a surprising ally in his sworn enemy.
She’s a deadly poisoner. He’s a bastard prince. Together, they form a tenuous
pact to unite the commoners and former nobility against the Shadow Society. But
can a rebellion built on mistrust ever hope to succeed?
These are the words Keralie Corrington lives by
as the preeminent dipper in the Concord, the central area uniting the four
quadrants of Quadara. She steals under the guidance of her mentor Mackiel, who
runs a black market selling their bounty to buyers desperate for what they
can’t get in their own quarter. For in the nation of Quadara, each quarter is strictly
divided from the other. Four queens rule together, one from each region:
Toria: the intellectual quarter that values education and ambition
Ludia: the pleasure quarter that values celebration, passion, and entertainment
Archia: the agricultural quarter that values simplicity and nature
Eonia: the futurist quarter that values technology, stoicism and harmonious
When Keralie intercepts a comm disk coming from the House of Concord, what
seems like a standard job goes horribly wrong. Upon watching the comm disks,
Keralie sees all four queens murdered in four brutal ways. Hoping that
discovering the intended recipient will reveal the culprit – information that
is bound to be valuable bartering material with the palace – Keralie teams up
with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, to complete Varin’s
original job and see where it takes them.
Once again I’m including a series linked to one that I’m yet to read, although it definitely deserves a mention as I’m desperate to get on with the original series. The other book, Dread Nation, came out last year but I’m including it as it has an upcoming Kindle release in the UK (and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it).
The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.
As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.
Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.
In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.
With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.
When news comes that he’s fallen in battle at the King’s side in the Holy Land, Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on. Betrothed to Robin, she was free to be herself, to flout the stifling rules of traditional society and share an equal voice with her beloved when it came to caring for the people of her land.
Now Marian is alone, with no voice of her own. The people of Locksley, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, are doomed to live in poverty or else face death by hanging. The dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sherriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley, and Marian’s fiancé. Society demands that she accept her fate, and watch helplessly as her people starve.
When Marian dons Robin’s green cloak, and takes up his sword and bow, she never intended that anyone should mistake her for Robin, returned from the Holy Land as a vigilante. She never intended that the masked, cloaked figure she created should stand as a beacon of hope and justice to peasant and noble alike. She never intended to become a legend.
But all of Nottingham is crying out for a savior. So Marian must choose to make her own fate and become her own hero…
It’s a school completely off the grid, hidden by dense forest and surrounded by traps. There’s no electricity, no internet, and an eye-for-an-eye punishment system. Classes include everything from Knife-Throwing and Poisons to the Art of Deception and Historical Analysis. And all of the students are children of the world’s most elite strategists—training to become assassins, counselors, spies, and master impersonators. Into this world walks November Adley, who quickly discovers that friends are few in a school where personal revelations are discouraged and competition is everything. When another student is murdered, all eyes turn to November, who must figure out exactly how she fits into the school’s bizarre strategy games before she is found guilty of the crime…or becomes the killer’s next victim.
A thief. An officer. A guardian. Three strangers, one shared destiny . . .
When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. A new life for a wealthy French family and their descendants. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.
Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…
Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spy on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.
Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a renowned traitor. In training to take command of the military, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when his father dies and leaves behind a cryptic message that only one person can read: a girl named Alouette.
Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.
All three have a role to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.
In my opinion all of the above books sound phenomenal with their varying promises of: Faerie courts, Faeries thirsts and magical kingdoms; 1920s New York City where gruesome murders, with a strange resemblance to a group of tarot cards, are taking place amidst the flappers, Follies, jazz and gin; a time travelling thief who steals magical artifacts from the past (whilst magic is all but extinct in her present); a brutal world featuring a slave and a soldier, neither of whom is free; a Snow White retelling with magicians and glass hearts; various London’s with bloody regimes, magic and mad kings; a tiny blonde wisp of a girl who hunts witches; the chance to live out a violent destiny as a handmaiden to Death himself; a blue-skinned goddess in a world where all the Gods are meant to be dead; a mixture of classic stories retold with female leads, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation; a girl destined for greatness but only if she embraces the darkness within; and so much more! Not to mention the companion to His Dark Materials which has given me the perfect excuse to read the original series again soon. I absolutely adore those books.
This is one of my favourite series and I’ve been meaning to get on and re-read it for a while. Firstly because I want to; the story and characters are fantastic. And secondly because I never got around to reading Bloodlines so it makes sense to read these again before I do. I miss Rose.
Currently re-reading these.
So there you have it; a series of lists that all contain way too many books. What books did you miss out on in 2018? Or, better still, which ones did you most enjoy so that I can add them to my TBR list? Are there any exciting January, February or March releases that I’ve failed to mention? Or any that you’ve already read and would recommend? I’d love to know what older (although prior to 2018 is hardly old) books you want to read, re-read or if it’s a series finally finish. Whatever category your book recommendations fit into feel free to share them below.
Just as a quick note: tomorrow I’ll post my April
Releases blog, on Tuesday I’ll
post May’s and on Wednesday I’ll post May’s Literacy List. After that I should be caught up – other than
adding in the first three Vampire Academy reviews – and will basically be
posting reviews as I finish books and posting features twice a month.