Books

April Wrap Up | 2021

Hello everyone!
April was a pretty good reading month. Somehow I managed to read 7 books, despite having tons of uni work!

April’s wrap up is going to be a quick one, I don’t have time to go into book details, like I usually do. (I cannot wait to be done with uni in a few weeks!!)

Emergency Skin by N.K Jemisin – Rating: 4 Stars

Summer Frost by Blake Crouch – Rating: 4 Stars

Randomize by Andy Weir – Rating: 2 Stars

The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson – Rating: 3 Stars // Review

*Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli – Rating: 3.5 Stars // Review

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender – Rating: 2 Stars

*Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal – Rating: 4 Stars

Reviews for the rest are coming soon!

What did you read in April? Any new favourites?
Books · Review

Book Review: The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson

The Dog Share: Amazon.co.uk: Gibson, Fiona: 9780008385996: Books

Goodreads synopsis:

Suzy Medley is having a bad day…

… when a shabby terrier turns up at her door. Just like Suzy, Scout has been abandoned, although only Suzy has been left with a financial mess and a business in tatters thanks to her ex.

Suzy takes Scout in and her chaotic world changes in unexpected ways: strangers have never been more welcoming and her teenage kids can’t wait to come home to visit.

Then a chance encounter on a windy Hebridean beach makes things more complicated, because Suzy isn’t the only one who needs a friend.

Scout has plenty of love to go round… but does Suzy?


My thoughts:

First things first, the cover and title are a tad misleading.
I expected this to be heavy on romance. The cover makes the story seem like it’ll be a romance between people who dog share. It’s not. The romance is very very very minimal. I didn’t read the synopsis prior to reading, but it was marketed as a romance which I feel is pretty wrong.

There is a strong focus on family friendship – which I’m not mad about. Friendships are awesome and it’s great to read about people developing friendships. Family centred stories are great too. However, the cover doesn’t suggest that whatsoever.

That being said, I did enjoy it for the most part.
It was slow going at first – it could’ve benefited from editing down the beginning. I felt like the story took a while to take off. It was a little too slow for my taste.
It picked up around the 50% mark, the second half then flew by! It was a lot more interesting and didn’t drag as much.

I really enjoyed the setting also. A picturesque Scottish island sounds like a dream right about now. I wish I could just escape and have an adventure on some lovely island. I like learning about the island’s community and how close knit everyone and everything is. It was lovely!

As for characters, I can’t say I loved anyone of them. I didn’t feel overly connected to any of them, I wasn’t disinterested however. Main characters Suzy and Ricky were just fine. I wish there was more between them. I wanted more flirting and romance and there just wasn’t any.

Obviously, the best part was the dog. Who doesn’t love dogs?
Scout was definitely the star of the show (or book). He was adorable. Why am I in love with a fictional dog? I want a lil Scout for myself. However, despite the title, the dog sharing wasn’t really a big part of the plot. The dog sharing was mostly between Suzy and a her friend.

Rating: 3 Stars

Books · Discussion · TV/Film

Review/Discussion: Shadow and Bone TV Show

Shadow and Bone (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDb

I have many many many thoughts.
There will be (minor) spoilers.

Let’s talk casting first:
Alina – Decent casting. Okay actress. Wasn’t blown away, didn’t hate either. I wasn’t a fan of Alina in the books and kind of expected the same for the show but I don’t hate her…yet…

Mal – I still don’t like Mal. The casting is good. He’s more likeable in the show for sure. I still don’t buy into Mal x Alina ships. *vom*

The Darkling – Perfection. Ben Barnes is everything. His performance was incredible. So dark, evil and manipulative. He did it so well. Ben Barnes really captures the essence of the Darkling. The name change though… Kirigan. No. Just no. I get that the Darkling gives away that he’s going to be the villain but still.

Zoya – Can I just say NO. I don’t like Zoya in the books at all. But her casting was just blehhh. I didn’t like her portrayal at all.

Genya – I like her but she was done DIRTY with that wig. What an attrocity.

Now for the Dregs:

Kaz – I liked the dude playing him. He could’ve been more sadistic/morally grey. I wanted a bit more, but I overall think he was good.

Jesper – PERFECTION OMG. Like just *chef kiss*
He was amazing. I loved the portrayal. Kit Young really captured Jesper’s character and charm. I loved it.

Inej – Almost perfect. Casting on point. However, she was too soft.

Nina – Great casting, I liked her portrayal.
I understand the sadness for the lack of plus size casting. It’s not really my place to comment on that aspect as I am not plus sized. It’s a shame they had an opportunity for rep taken.

Onto the story:

Firstly, what the fuck was that racism.
I found it so jarring. So unnecessary.
The show runners/makers adding diversity to the very white characters was amazing. Adding the racism, not so much. Right from the first few minutes too.
I’m super sick of fantasy worlds having racism, like it’s fantasy. The world can be anything and yet they always have racism, sexism etc. etc.
I’m not Asian so I will not commented on the use of slurs towards them, as it’s not my place. However, the ‘half breed’ slur hit me. It took me out of the story for a moment. So so gross. I don’t even know what to say. *shudder* This is not the representation mixed people want!

*deep breath*
Let’s move on.

It was an interesting decision to combine the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. I’m not really sure what to make of that aspect. It kind of worked and didn’t work for me all at the same time.

It’s no secret that I prefer Six of Crows (doesn’t everyone?) to the Shadow and Bone trilogy, I couldn’t help but be a bit more interested in the Dregs than Alina and Mal. However, I was very interested in the Darkling. Man, I wish he had more air time because *swoon*.

The story was engaging and definitely binge-worthy. I watched it over two days, but if I’d had the time I would’ve binged it in a day. I was gripped from episode one all the way to the end. I don’t think there was a bad episode. They were all really (surprisingly) good.

I had low expectations going in. I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I think I actually enjoyed this more than the books. I enjoyed Shadow and Bone, the first book, but the series went downhill from there for me. I’m excited for the potential second season of the show. (PLEASE NETFLIX) Obviously, I know where the story goes. I’m interested to see what changes they make and how the Dregs will slot into the story still…

Nina and Matthias’ story was odd, I get that’s their back story but it makes absolutely no sense to the people who’ve not read the books. I like Nina, but I feel like this could’ve been cut. It would’ve been better to have those scenes as flashbacks when Nina and Matthias have an actual part of the Six of Crow timeline.

The main problem I had (aside from the racism) was that it seemed a tad rushed. Everything seemed to happen too fast. I like fast pace, but I feel like there were areas that could’ve been a bit more developed. Such as Alina ‘training’ – that barely seemed to happen. Baghra was barely in the show. I don’t know, maybe it’s me. I feel like they could’ve added in an extra 2 episodes to develop certain parts more.

Will I watch Season Two: Hell yes!
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Chat with me!
Who was your favourite character? / What was your favourite part?

Books · Diverse Reads · Review

Book Review: *Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli | Bookstagram Tour

*Mini review on Instagram. Full review below*

Goodreads Synopsis:

Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.


My thoughts:

I’m going to be honest, the first half had me worried I wasn’t going to like it. It was slow and I struggled to be invested initially. The second half though!! Complete flip. I was hooked.

It’s a fun book. The teenage drama with crushes and such is always interesting to me. It’s so different to my teen years, I can’t relate but it’s interesting to read. I like the books focus on friendship rather than romance. I thought this would be romance-heavy, to my surprise it was more of a tale of friendship.

The setting of the theatre was interesting. I have never read anything that’s centred around theatre kids or school plays/musicals. The story is full of theatre kid antics, which is entirely new to me. I have never been a theatre kid, not even sure we had them in my school. The difference in schools and teenagers is so crazy to me. It all seems very fictional and not relatable. I guess that’s the culture difference between the US and UK.

The characters themselves, although completely unrelatable for me, were fun to read. It has a great cast of diverse characters, all were very unique and different. Each of the side characters were developed enough for me to know each one individually. I actually ended up enjoying some of the side characters more.

Kate is a bit of an annoying teen, as is Anderson… (am I becoming too old for YA?!) I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t love them. I did like their friendship though.
However, Kate, Anderson and their general group of theatre friends come across as so snobby! It was quite jarring. Very judgemental, they reminded me of ‘popular’ kids.

Even though Noah was supposed to be the annoying one, he was the star. I wish there was more of him. He was such a great side character!

My biggest complaint: the way these teenagers speak. f-boy/fuckboy. JUST STOP. It was AWFUL. It was so very overused. It was cringeworthy and could’ve been left out.

Rating: 3 Stars

*Disclaimer: Book was sent to me by Penguin/ PrideBookTours in exchange for a review/Bookstagram post. All opinions are my own.

Books · Tag

Nope Trope Book Tag!

Hello guys!
It has been a while since I did a tag, so when I saw Emily from BooksWithEmilyFox do this on her booktube channel, I just had to do it too! It was originally created by Zoe’s All Booked.

1. Eavesdropping w/ miscommunication – Name a book you heard great things about and expected to love but ended up hating.

I can name so many for this question but I’ll go with House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas. I am a huge SJM fan (or was). I’ve liked both her previously series, so I fully expected to adore this one like everyone else. I have a ranty review explaining why I hated this.

TL:DR: It’s just a mash up of ToG + ACOTAR. It feels very YA despite being marketed as adult.

2. Love Triangles – Name a series where you can’t pick your favourite book.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
THE cutest graphic novel romance series. I love all of the book so far, I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite!

3. Not Like Other Girls/Didn’t Know I’m Beautiful – Name a book that has a pretty cover but was boring as all hell.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Ugh, it pains me to say this… This book was just such a drag!! More in my review.

4. All-Consuming Love – Name a book that gave you a book hangover

So many!!
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert was the last one I can remember. I didn’t pick anything up for a while after that. It was just so sweet!

5. Douchebag Boyfriend – Name a book that took you a while to get into, but you ended up loving.

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

6. Tell us your favourite or least favourite trope!

I love the chosen one trope. I know it’s cliché and quite overdone, but if it’s well done, I will love it.

Least favourite/will never read is those incest-y one *shudders*

I tag:
Morgane – Book Me Some Time

Dhwani – The Written Journey

Allie – The Wandering Nerdette

Books · WWW Wednesday

Reading Romance and Sci-fi | WWW Wednesday 14/04/2021

Happy Wednesday!

This tag/meme is hosted on Taking on a World of Words. It’s a super simple meme, you just answered the three W questions.

The Three Ws are:

What have you recently finished?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson

The Dog Share: Amazon.co.uk: Gibson, Fiona: 9780008385996: Books

This was a decent read. I thought it’d be more romancey, but oh well. The dog part was cute but a little lacking. Not bad for a 99p Kindle deal though.
I’ll have a review up soon!

Currently Reading:

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

Queen of the Conquered Audiobook | Kacen Callender | Audible.co.uk

I just started listening to the audiobook. I’m not sure if I’m going to enjoy this much, the narrator is a tad bland. I shall push through and see!

Reading Next:

*Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Kate in Waiting

I’m excited to be part of the Bookstagram tour for this upcoming book! I’m super into romance lately, so I’m hoping this will be really good.

*Gifted to me by Penguin + PrideBookTours

I’ve also been reading the Forward Collection (on Amazon Prime). So I will be continuing to read those. I have 3 left:
Ark by Veronica Roth
You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles
The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay


What are you currently reading? Reading next?

Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert*

Act Your Age, Eve Brown Audiobook by Talia Hibbert - 9780062941299 |  Rakuten Kobo

Goodreads Synopsis:

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.


My Thoughts:
Oh my god. She does it again.
I loved the previous two books in this series, this is no different. It has the enemies to lovers and sunshine & grumpy couple tropes! It is just *chef kiss*

I listened to the whole thing in one day. I was seriously addicted. I was instantly hooked. Just like the previous books, it’s funny, swoon worthy and adorable. Talia writes the most amazing romance with no toxicity.*
*However, it does contain the typical miscommunication trope. This doesn’t bother me too much, but I know a lot of people dislike it.

As with the whole series, you can expect amazing representation. The books are both sexy and diverse. It’s such a refreshing experience. Eve, like her sisters, is another great woman protagonist. I absolutely loved her perspective. I love characters who are strong and outspoken, Eve is exactly that. She’s so funny and her banter with Jacob is just the best.

The characters feel so real. Eve and Jacob are both so likeable, though very different. I loved knowing more about Eve, she’s very different to her sisters Chloe and Dani. They’re all really relatable in their own ways. I love how Talia can make such amazing characters! There’s honestly not a bad character in this book (or the others).

If you’re looking for a light, fluffy but funny read, definitely pick this one up! (As well as the other two books in the series!)

Highly recommend the audiobook, the narrator is really great. I am super fussy with narrators, but Ione Butler was fantastic. She really captured the essence of the novel and characters. I would definitely listen to her again. (She also narrates the previous book Take a Hint, Dani Brown.)

CW: Does contain graphic sex scenes and sexual references

TW: Child neglect, Ableism towards autism

*Disclaimer: ALC gifted to me by Libro.Fm

Books · Wrap-up

March Wrap Up | 2021

Hello everyone!
March was a super busy month for me and I went into a bit of a slump. Uni has been kicking my ass lately and I have a lot of essays to read for that, so haven’t read much outside of uni stuff.
I only managed to finish two books, sadly.

The first book was Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (audiobook)

Salvage the Bones Audiobook | Jesmyn Ward | Audible.co.uk

This was for my climate change fiction module in uni. I liked it more than the previous novel I read by this author (Sing, Unburied, Sing) but I still didn’t love it. I think this will be the last book I read by Ward.

Lastly I listened to *Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (audiobook)

Act Your Age, Eve Brown Audiobook by Talia Hibbert - 9780062941299 |  Rakuten Kobo

Oh my godddd. This was just amazing!
I was so excited to see this on Libro.fm’s ALCs for March. I loved every moment. The whole series is just incredible. I’ll have a review up for this soon.

*gifted


What did you read in March?

Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Instant Karma Audiobook | Marissa Meyer | Audible.co.uk

Goodreads Synopsis:

Chronic overachiever Prudence Barnett is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her.

Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to mean gossips, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner. Quint is annoyingly cute and impressively noble, especially when it comes to his work with the rescue center for local sea animals.

When Pru resigns herself to working at the rescue center for extra credit, she begins to uncover truths about baby otters, environmental upheaval, and romantic crossed signals—not necessarily in that order. Her newfound karmic insights reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed, love and hate . . . and fate.


My Thoughts:

Enemies to lovers, high school style.
I wasn’t sure I was going to like this, I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews. However, I am pleased to say I really enjoyed it.

This is Marissa Meyer’s first contemporary romance, this genre suits her perfectly! I loved the enemies/rivals to lovers trope, it was well done. There was a bit of angst and reluctance going one. Pru really doesn’t want to fall for Quint, she doesn’t even want to like him. I love that kind of tension!

I think the main character, Prudence, will be hit or miss. She isn’t overly ‘likeable’ – but I think that’s part of the charm. She’s flawed, deeply so. She’s a teenager, she growing and developing, character wise. Teenagers are kind of annoying. To me she feels realistic. Pru has decent character development, she becomes way more likeable towards the end.

Additionally to romantic relationships, there are family and friendships explored. The family dynamic difference between Pru and Quint is a nicely done contrast. It’s nice to see friends and family have a bigger role in the story also, it wasn’t strictly a romance.

The Sea life/wildlife aspect was so cute!
I like Quint’s passion for sea life and the rescue center. It was a cute setting for romance.

Magic realism aspect – very small and minimal. Kind of underdeveloped. I didn’t really think it was needed? It was fun. Was it magic or coincidence? We never know.

Narrator:
As with Marissa Meyer’s other audiobooks, the narrator is Rebecca Soler, who I really enjoy. I liked her narration for The Lunar Chronicles, so already knew I would be fine with her narration. She really suits Marissa Meyer’s writing style. Rebecca Soler will forever remain one of my favourites for audiobooks!

Overall, a fun cute romance that is super easy to read/listen to and a fast one!

Books · WWW Wednesday

Uni Reading + Spring Break TBR |Reading update

It’s been a hot minute since I posted on here. I thought I’d jump back in with a reading update, basically a WWW Wednesday but it’s Thursday… Oops.

Uni has been chaotic, I haven’t had the motivation to sit and write any posts, hopefully, with spring break coming up I can write more!

This tag/meme is hosted on Taking on a World of Words. It’s a super simple meme, you just answered the three W questions.

The Three Ws are:

What have you recently finished?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (audiobook)

Salvage the Bones Audiobook | Jesmyn Ward | Audible.co.uk

This was for uni.
I previously read Sing, Unburied, Sing (also for uni) by the same author. Even though I liked this one better, I don’t think this author is for me.

Currently Reading:

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea (Penguin Modern Classics): Amazon.co.uk: Rhys, Jean:  9780141182858: Books

I’m reading this for my Postcolonial module in uni. This is a reread for me, I actually read it for uni in first year too. I’ve come full circle, it was one of the first things I read for uni and now it’s one of the last!

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns: Amazon.co.uk: Rogerson, Margaret: Books

Okay, I haven’t started this yet. But I will be starting it today! So I’m putting it in the currently reading.

Reading Next:

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender (audiobook)

Queen of the Conquered Audiobook | Kacen Callender | Audible.co.uk

I have put this off too many times. This has probably appeared a million times on my reading next or tbrs. I’m going to read it!! I’m not touching another audiobook, this is my next one for sure!

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2): Amazon.co.uk: V. E.  Schwab, Victoria Schwab: 9781783295425: Books

This is a maybe. I want to continue this series but I’m not sure if I’ll be in the mood. So we’ll see!

What are you currently reading/reading next?