Books · Discussion

2022 Reading Goals/Plans

Happy Tuesday!
This post is going up a little later than planned but I still wanted to post my goals for the year to hold myself accountable!

Goodreads Goal: 70 Books
I’m going to slowly try and get to 100 books in the future. Now that I’m done with uni I should be able to read more. I managed to read 52 books last year despite being in my final year of university for half the year. University was definitely a big factor in my reading slumps. I’m very glad to be able to read whatever I want now, no more required reading!

Get back into series
I feel like I read a lot of standalones in 2021. I have so many series I want to read, continue and finish. I’ve been neglecting them! I used to be a series binger, I miss those days. I plan to reread some series and hopefully, binge them!

Read more classics
2021 I read quite a few classics and it made me remember just how much I enjoy a good classic. In 2022, I want to read more. I want to read the two remaining Austen novels on my TBR, finally read Dorian Gray, and read some foreign classics!

Read from my physical TBR
I have so many unread books. I said the same thing last year but uh… that didn’t go quite to plan. I will be making a real effort to reduce my physical TBR this year. I need to stop hoarding so many books. I want to buy books I’m excited for and read them right away! I just bought a TBR trolley and taking all the unread books from my shelf has kind of shamed me into reading them. My bookshelves are looking happy.

The goals that get recycled every year:

Read diversely

This is just a general rule for my reading. I managed to get my reading to 25% authors of colour and 15% LGBT. I want to increase this and also add in some disability/mental health rep – which is lacking.

Read Non-fiction
This one is especially important as I managed to read a grand total of 0 non-fiction books in 2021 (hahaha)

What are your reading goals for 2022?
Books · Wrap-up

2021 Wrap Up /Reading Stats | Goodreads & TheStoryGraph

Hello fellow bookworms!

2021 is over! Now it’s time to reflect on my reading for the year. I must’ve had like 6 reading slumps in 2021 – I’m amazed I read as many books as I did.

My Goodreads stats:

16,831 pages read over 52 books!

After being in so many reading slumps and finishing off my degree, I didn’t think I’d make my goal of 52 books. I’m super glad I did!

The shortest book was a novella, Randomize by Andy Weir and the longest was Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson at 1241 pages! My goal at the beginning of the year was to read a book over 1000 pages – success!

I’m quite a harsh rater/reviewer – I’m very critical since studying English Lit. So this is pretty good for me. I don’t give high ratings easily. Five stars are rarely given. Hopefully, I can work on getting my average up to 4 or higher.

TheStoryGraph Stats

I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, so adventurous is not surprising. I am, however, surprised by the big chunk of emotional reads!


My reading preference will forever be fast pace. I despise slow pace books, this result is not surprising!

I need to pick up bigger books! I was surprised to see almost half my reading was less than 300 pages… Then I remember I read quite a few graphic novels and novellas. I will definitely be trying to get more pages in this year!

26 fantasy and 18 sci-fi books – 44/52 of the books I read… Time to branch out into new genres. I also read 100% fiction in 2021, I need to get into some non-fiction!

How was your reading in 2021? How many books did you read?
Books

The BEST Books of 2021

Happy New Year!
Here are my favourite reads of the year!
(Basically, every book I gave 4.5 or 5 Stars, not including rereads)

5 Star Reads:

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive Book Two: Amazon.co.uk:  Sanderson, Brandon: 9780575099043: Books

I have put off this book (and series) for years because all the books are a whopping 1000+ pages. This was by far the easiest five stars I’ve ever given. I don’t give five star ratings out easily but this was incredible!

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Having not enjoyed the author’s other book, I did not expect this to be a five star read. However, it took me by surprise – it was so good! I loved the main character, the love interest, everything!
Review here

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry: The most anticipated YA romcom debut of 2021 :  Goffney, Joya: Amazon.co.uk: Books

I literally knew nothing about this book before going in. I liked the cover, bought it and devoured it! It was such a fun read! It saved me from a slump.

The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neal

The Tea Dragon Society: 1 : O'Neill, K., O'Neill, K.: Amazon.co.uk: Books

This is the cutest, most wholesome graphic novel series. If you need a feel-good read, this is the one! It was beyond adorable!
Review here

Saga Vol 6, 7, & 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

I read this whole series over November and December and oh my god what a wild ride. I am so invested. I cannot wait for new volumes!!
These particular volumes were just perfection. Especially, vol 9 – which absolutely destroyed me… also what a place to end on then go on hiatus!! Glad I didn’t read them when they first came out, that ending would’ve killed me for years.


4.5 Star Reads:

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Oathbringer: The Stormlight Archive Book Three: Amazon.co.uk: Sanderson,  Brandon: 9780575093331: Books

This wasn’t quite as good as WOR but it was still an amazing read.
Also my biggest book of 2021 at 1241 pages. It’s a unit of a book.

Saga Vol 5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga Volume 5 (Saga Tp): Amazon.co.uk: Vaughan, Brian K, Staples, Fiona:  9781632154385: Books

More Saga, of course. Like I said previously, just an amazing series!

What were your favourite reads of 2021?
Blogmas · Books · Tag

Blogmas Day 12: The Christmas Eve Book Tag

Happy Christmas Eve!
Welcome to the final day of blogmas from me.
Thought I finish off with the Christmas Eve Book Tag, very fitting for today.

Christmas Eve morning: what is a book you wake up excited to read? One you anticipate reading or one you read in the past that you want to get back into?

My current read, The Kind Worth Killing, is very addictive and I cannot wait to finish it. I’ve just been so busy/tired I haven’t had enough time to just binge it! Now I’m off I’ll be finishing this one!
Also, super excited to be caught up with Saga, I will be reading the final few volumes over Christmas

Christmas Eve breakfast: what are your favourite treats during the holiday season?

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.
& Yule Log cakes. *drools*

Family Time: What is a book that fills you with happiness and love, or warm fuzzies in general?

This year I read The Tea Dragon graphic novel series and OH MY GOODNESS. THE FEELS. So wholesome. So lovely. Just the fuzziest, cutest, cosy read!

Christmas Carols: What are your favourite Christmas Carols or holiday songs?

I’m actually not a big fan of Christmas music. *gasp*
I do love Last Christmas by Wham, though.

Anticipation: What is a book release you are very much anticipating?

I’m looking forward to Gallant by V.E. Schwab which is described as Crimson Peak x The Secret Garden and I’m so hyped!

I did a whole post about my anticipated reads for 2022 – if you want to check out the rest!

You hear sleigh bells on the roof and are so excited you can’t sleep!: What is a book that kept you up all night?

I’m usually too tired to stay up reading – I know, I’m such an old lady.
I did stay up to finish A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova when I read that. LOVED IT. I couldn’t stop reading.

It’s Christmas morning, and Santa has come: What is a book on your wishlist that you hope to unwrap?

I will be grateful for any book!
However since santa is magic, can he please bring me the Winds of Winter?!

Happy Holidays to all!
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate!

Blogmas · Books · Review

The Disappointment is REAL | Blogmas Day 11 – Book Review: Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson

Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson | Waterstones

Warning this review may spoil Skyward + Starsight
You can click the titles for my reviews of those!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Spensa’s life as a Defiant Defense Force pilot has been far from ordinary. She proved herself one of the best starfighters in the human enclave of Detritus and she saved her people from extermination at the hands of the Krell—the enigmatic alien species that has been holding them captive for decades. What’s more, she travelled light-years from home as an undercover spy to infiltrate the Superiority, where she learned of the galaxy beyond her small, desolate planet home.

Now, the Superiority—the governing galactic alliance bent on dominating all human life—has started a galaxy-wide war. And Spensa’s seen the weapons they plan to use to end it: the Delvers. Ancient, mysterious alien forces that can wipe out entire planetary systems in an instant. Spensa knows that no matter how many pilots the DDF has, there is no defeating this predator.

Except that Spensa is Cytonic. She faced down a Delver and saw something eerily familiar about it. And maybe, if she’s able to figure out what she is, she could be more than just another pilot in this unfolding war. She could save the galaxy.

The only way she can discover what she really is, though, is to leave behind all she knows and enter the Nowhere. A place from which few ever return.

To have courage means facing fear. And this mission is terrifying.


My thoughts:

Where to begin…

This was probably my most anticipated read of the year and it is now my biggest disappointment of the year. It pains me to say it but wow, this was not it.

Firstly, this did not feel like a Brandon Sanderson novel?? It was boring. It felt so much like filler and fluff. Were there some important reveals? Yes. But they were at the very end.

This is a YA series but this felt really childish/ridiculous. The tone and writing felt so different to the previous two. Everything was so off. It didn’t seem to fit with the other novels. Starsight took a bit of a different direction from Skyward but this just went crazy off. After the cliffhanger of Starsight, I expected an amazing sequel and i eagerly awaiting forever for this.

The whole Nowhere was interesting enough but spending the whole book there was a bit of a bore. I found I was dragging myself through this novel. I didn’t want to pick it up and I rarely reached for it. It took over 2 weeks for me to finish and that is so unusual for me. If it hadn’t been a Sanderson, I’d have DNF’d. But I do want to complete the series when the final book comes out, so I persevered.

I even switched to the audiobook to get through the last 150 pages, which helped me read quicker but also kind of ruined it further. Did not like the narrator’s voice for MBOT – a Scottish woman?? It just didn’t seem to fit to me. Definitely not how I had previously imagined the voice. The narrator wasn’t bad at anything else, just wasn’t my personal preference. I definitely will not be reading the next one on audiobook.

The redeeming qualities were the characters, Spensa’s character development is one of the best things about the series. I know a lot of people find Spensa unlikeable – I don’t and never have. She’s a bit odd and quirky but she’s entertaining!

The last 100, maybe 75 pages were definitely the best part. There were some good, Sandersons style twists – which I didn’t see coming. Things did begin to add up towards the end.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

(it physical pains me to give my favourite author less than 4 stars)

Anticipated Books · Blogmas · Books

Blogmas Day 10: Anticipated Book Releases 2022

Welcome to Day 10 of Blogmas!
This month is flying by!
Today I’m sharing my most anticipated releases for 2022.
(Click on the title of each book for the Goodreads page)

Contemporary/Romance:

Talia Hibbert Books:
Highly Suspicious, Unfairly Cute & Untitled (Skybriar #1) – No dates but says expected 2022
I don’t know too much about these and Goodreads has failed me. Talia Hibbert writes the most addictive romances ever. I know one of these is her YA debut (I think) and I know she’s writing and Pride and Prejudice retelling, so I assume that’s one of these too. Either way, I’m excited for more from this author!

Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney
May 3rd

Having really loved her previous novel, Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry, I am super excited to read this. I’m lucky enough to have a NetGalley ARC! There’s no cover yet, I can’t wait for the reveal!

Book Lovers by Emily Henry
May 3rd

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Loved Beach Read, need to read more of this author! This sounds SO GOOD. Plus what book lover doesn’t want to read a romance about book lovers?! I’m sold.

Fantasy:

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
February 22nd

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

I read and enjoyed XOXO, this one just sounds so good! AND THAT COVER! Gorgeous. Also super lucky enough to have a NetGalley ARC. Cannot wait to pick this up soon.

Gallant by V.E. Schwab
March 1st

Of course, I’m excited about the new V.E. Schwab novel! This is described as The Secret Garden x Crimson Peak – which just sounds incredible!

Untitled (The Dreamer Trilogy #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Autumn 2022
No title, no release date as of yet. I think she said it would come out next autumn. Fingers crossed! Cannot wait to read the conclusion to this amazing trilogy. Even though I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to this world and its characters. *Single tear*

Cursed by Marissa Meyer
November 8th
I loved Gilded, it was so dark and atmospheric! I went in thinking it was a standalone then it ended on a cliffhanger. I need this sequel like now. Waiting a year might actually kill me!

A Duel with the Vampire Lord by Elise Kova
August 18th

The third book in the Married to Magic series, I’m loving these books! I’m not usually a fan of vampires (unpopular opinion) but I’m interested to see Elise Kova’s take.

What are some of your anticipated releases for 2022?
Blogmas · Books · Judging Book Covers

Blogmas Day 9: US vs UK Book Covers 2021 Releases

Welcome to Day 9 of Blogmas!
Today I thought I’d bring back an old series I used to post, UK vs US book covers. I haven’t done one in forever! I think it’s really fun to hear peoples’ opinions depending on where you’re from.

UK covers on left – US on right

Gilded by Marissa Meyer

These covers are essentially the same. However, the UK (left) feels a bit more matchy. It keeps with the golden tones with the title being gold. I like the font on the US one, that looks cool. The US is also more black and dark – which I actually think suits the tone of the book.
Verdict – Tie


Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney

Both of these covers are super cute! It also nice to see Black rep on the cover, glad neither shied away from that. I prefer the UK cover. I think the US looks more adult? The novel is very much YA.
I also like the art style more on the UK cover.

Verdict – UK cover wins


The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

I think these covers fit their respect countries. The UK looks British and the US looks American, if that makes any sense. I’ve not read this one yet – it’s on my tbr. I love Beth O’Leary’s cover! They’re simple but cute. Again I’m going to have to go with the UK cover. I prefer the colour palette.
Verdict – UK cover wins


Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Another one I didn’t manage to squeeze in this year. I love the covers of this authors books, they’re always gorgeous. Though I will say the UK is slacking here. I’m usually a fan of a white cover but the US darker cover is so much more aesthetic. I can’t comment on which fits the book better as I’ve not read it yet.

Verdict – US cover wins

Do you agree with my verdicts? Let me know which ones you prefer and your thoughts in the comments!
Blogmas · Books · Tag

Blogmas Day 8: Bookish Christmas Tag

Welcome to Blogmas Day 8!
Christmas is rapidly approaching and I have so much to do.
Thought I would do a quick christmasy tag today!

Father Christmas: Name a book you received as a child that you treasure to this day.

Well, not a child but a teen – His Dark Materials box set.
The books that made me fall in love with reading. They’re beaten up a bit now but I adore them!

The Ghost of Christmas Past: Is there a book or series you like to revisit each year at Christmas time?

Hmm, no. I don’t really read seasonal books.
Not book related but kinda: I always watch Narnia around Christmas – I don’t reread the books though.

Christmas Tree: Name a series that reaches new heights with every entry.

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

Friends and Family: Name a book with fantastic characters.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Stapes
I am OBSESSED (again) with this graphic novel series. I’m so invested in the characters. Literally all of them – even the bad guys.

Decorations: Name a book with a gorgeous cover you would proudly display on your shelves.

A Dance with the Fae Prince by Elise Kova

A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic, #2) by Elise Kova

I read this on kindle, but BOY do I need a physical copy. So beautiful!

Christmas Cards: Name a book that carries a great message.

Why can’t I think of any?!
Closest I can think of is Pride and Prejudice – Don’t be so judgemental /prideful.

Ice and Snow: Name a book that you were hoping to love but which ultimately left you feeling cold.

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee
Oh my god, this book. I wanted to love this so much but I didn’t. At all.

Christmas Lunch: Name a book that was big and intimidating but oh so worth it in the end.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson – over 1000 pages. Scary but amazing! Applies to the whole Stormlight Archive. Huge books, but so so worth it!

Mince Pies: Name a book you found sweet and satisfying.

XOXO by Axie Oh

Presents: What book do you wish you could give everyone to read?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Spreading the Festive Cheer: Tag some friends to help spread the festive bookish love.

I tag anyone who wants to do this tag!

Blogmas · Books

Blogmas Day 7: Book Series I Started in 2021

Welcome to Blogmas Day 7!
Today I’m going to be sharing the book series I started in 2021 and my current thoughts and whether I plan to continue…

Islands of Blood and Storms by Kacen Callender

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

I read the first book, Queen of the Conquered, pretty early on in 2021. I have to say, it was very disappointing. I mainly picked this up as research for uni, I expected to enjoy it as I love fantasy. It was lacking in almost every department, it needed so much more development. Unfortunately, this was a miss for me. I won’t be continuing the series

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Revealing the UK Cover for V.E. Schwab's A Conjuring of Light | Tor.com

I planned to read the whole trilogy plus the graphic novels, alas, I only managed to get to A Darker Shade of Magic. I love V.E. Schwab but ADSOM was just okay. So far I’m not seeing what everyone is loving but I will give the whole trilogy a go.

The Dreamer Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater

Call Down the Hawk : Stiefvater, Maggie: Amazon.co.uk: Books

I have been hesitant to pick up Call Down the Hawk since it came out. How can anything compare to my precious The Raven Cycle. I loved all those characters so much I couldn’t imagine the story of Ronan continuing without the Gangsey. I will admit I didn’t think it could be done. But she did it. Maggie Stiefvater’s magical writing captured me again. It’s not quite as loveable as TRC but it’s still a great read. I also read Mister Impossible, which was also really good. I actually love the new characters and seeing more of the Lynch brothers. I look forward to book 3 in 2022!

The Blood of Stars by Elizabeth Lim

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim | Waterstones

I started this duology with every intention to binge it. Well, that didn’t happen. I really enjoyed this first book. The setting was super cool and it was super different to what I expected. The romance was pretty cute too. I look forward to (finally) finishing the series early on in 2022!

What series did you start in 2021?

Blogmas · Books

Blogmas Day 6: Books I DNF’d in 2021

Welcome to Day 6 of Blogmas!
Today I’m talking about the few books I couldn’t finish in 2021.
I’m not a huge DNF-er but I’m starting to just stop forcing myself through books I’m not enjoying. I’m usually pretty good at picking books I’ll enjoy or at least can finish.

Let’s jump in:

The Book of the Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

The Book of Phoenix (Who Fears Death, #0) by Nnedi Okorafor

I want to enjoy Nnedi Okorafor but I just don’t vibe with her stuff.
I read Binti last year, I think – didn’t really like it. I couldn’t even finish this because it was just too slow. I think this author is the perfect example of great ideas and concepts but the execution just didn’t work for me. Unfortunately.

*Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon Published:6 May 2021

This was a bit of a surprise DNF. I enjoyed The Deep by the same author and was excited to read more. The writing is great in this. It just wasn’t what I expected and I just couldn’t pick it up. I felt no desire to read this or know what happens. I found I was forcing myself through this, so ultimately DNF’d.
This was also gifted to me for a bookstagram tour, so I felt pretty bad giving up on it.

Winter by Ali Smith

Winter by Ali Smith | Waterstones

This is probably the saddest DNF. I love Ali Smith’s writing – she has such an amazing poetic and pretty writing style. I’m usually captivated by her work. I loved the previous book in this series, Autumn. DNFing this was a huge surprise. I expected to fall in love with this book and for it to be my perfect winter read. Yet I just couldn’t get into it… maybe it just wasn’t the right time. This is probably the only one I’d give a second chance to.

DNF but on hold:

*Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

55823713. sy475

So this one I’m not officially DNFing but it’s on hold for now. This was definitely a case of not the right time for me. I was sent this by the publisher, so I feel a bit bad not reviewing it on time but alas I will eventually get around to it. I was in the mood for fantasy and this is not fantasy. I’m sorry – but does that cover not scream fantasy??? Turns out it’s a contemporary thriller, which is not at all represented in the cover.

Did you DNF any books this year?