Anticipated Books · Blogmas · Books

Most Anticipated 2021 Book Releases | Blogmas Day 12

Happy Christmas Eve!
Welcome to day 12 of blogmas and the final day for me!

Today I’m going to share some books I’m excited to be released in 2021!

In order of release:

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore

Winterkeep (Graceling Realm, #4) by Kristin Cashore

Release date:19/01/2021

I can’t believe we’re getting another Graceling book!!
It was the first series I read after discovering Booktube and Bookstagram and I adored it! I’m so very happy to be returning to that world.


Beneath the Keep by Erika Johansen

Release date: 11/02/2021

Another series I read ages ago gets a sequel!!
I couldn’t be more excited to learn more about this world and characters. I loved the originally trilogy, despite that ending.


A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

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Release date:23/02/2021

I’m pretty sure this is about fae… anything with fae and I am SOLD! It’s also LGBT and I believe WLW.
That cover too! Simply stunning.


Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Release date: 16/03/2021

I was kindly gifted an ARC of this and it sounds so good, I cannot wait to pick it up!


Way of the Argosi by Sebastien de Castell

Way of the Argosi – Sebastien de Castell

Release date: 22/04/2021

Super excited to learn more about one of my favourite characters of all time! This is a prequel to the Spellslinger series, which I highly recommend if you haven’t read it already!


Sisters of the Snake by Sasha & Sarena Nanua

50355314. sy475

Release date: 15/06/2021

I don’t know much about this one but I saw it on twitter and immediately added it to my tbr. Look at that cover!!


A Dance with the Fae Rogue by Elise Kova

A Dance with the Fae Rogue (Married to Magic) – Elise Kova

Release date: 03/11/2021

After reading A Deal with the Elf King in November, I am so exciting to read this companion novel. It’s a fantasy romance with fae, need I say more?!


Merry Christmas + Happy Holidays!

That is blogmas concluded for another year!
Here are all my blogmas post from 2020:

Day 1: November Wrap Up
Day 2: December TBR
Day 3: Book Review: The Switch
Day 4: 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag
Day 5: Alternatives to Audible
Day 6: 21 Books I Want to Read in 2021
Day 7: Book Review: Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert
Day 8: Disappointing Reads 2020
Day 9: Christmas Song Book Tag
Day 10: Book Review: King of Elfhame by Holly Black
Day 11: Fantasy/Sci-fi Romance Recs

Blogmas · Books · Recommendations

Fantasy (and Sci-fi) Romance Book Recs | Blogmas Day 11

Hello guys!
Welcome to day 11 of blogmas, the penultimate day! This month has flown by!
Today I’m recommending some SFF romance books. I have really been into my romance novels this year and want to reread and read more!

*Click on the titles for my reviews

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (2011-12-29): Brandon Sanderson: Books -  Amazon.com

Of course, I had to include a Sanderson, are we surprised? He makes basically every recommendation list I make. Anyway – This book would be perfect for those who like romance but not as a the main plot. This book is full of political intrigue and amazing magic. There is a very wholesome romance that blooms. It takes a while for this to happen, and it’s not the main story, but it’s very cute! This is probably my favourite book ever, every read this! It’s a great place to start with Sanderson.

A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic, #1) by Elise Kova

If you’re looking for something that is purely romance but in a fantasy setting, this is the one for you! The whole story revolves around a forced marriage, which ends up being a slow burn romance. It’s so good.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson

The Kiss of Deception: The Remnant Chronicles, Book One: 01: Amazon.co.uk:  Pearson, Mary E.: 9780805099232: Books

This has, by far, the best love triangle ever to exist. I will not be taking any criticism.
This has such an interesting premise and format, the main character runs away from her arranged marriage and the Prince who she was to marry goes after, as does an assassin from another kingdom. You follow all three but you don’t know who is the Prince or who the assassin is.

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

This is a sci-fi romance – very heavy on the romance. It has a cool spacey setting, two characters are stuck on board a ship with limited oxygen left, which kick starts flashbacks of the romance. I never see anyone talk about this but it’s one of my faves! I’ve read it twice and will read again in the future. I highly recommend the audiobook!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: 10th Anniversary Edition | Hodderscape

This is a low fantasy novel with the insta-love trope. I’m not usually one for the insta-love trope but Laini does it well and her writing makes up for it. It also has a kinda forbidden romance trope. It’s super cool.

What are your favourite SFF romances?
I’d love any recs for sci-fi romances, there’s a lack of them in my life!

Blogmas · Books · Review

Book Review: How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black | Blogmas Day 10

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air  series) Perfect Christmas gift for fans of Fantasy Fiction: Amazon.co.uk:  Black, Holly, Cai, Rovina: 9781471409981: Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

An irresistible return to the captivating world of Elfhame.

Once upon a time, there was a boy with a wicked tongue.

Before he was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone . #1 New York Times bestselling author, Holly Black reveals a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame’s enigmatic high king, Cardan. This tale includes delicious details of life before The Cruel Prince, an adventure beyond The Queen of Nothing, and familiar moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy, told wholly from Cardan’s perspective.

My thoughts:

After loving The Queen of Nothing and warming up to Cardan, who I initially didn’t like, I was super excited for this book.

It’s nice easy read and I really enjoyed reading it!
It’s less than 200 pages of short stories about Cardan set both before and after the main series. A lot of the pages were taken up by amazing illustrations, which I really enjoyed. I just wanted more! I loved what I got but the title is almost longer than the book.

I don’t have *tons* of thoughts on this book. I enjoyed the stories about Jude and Cardan together, I liked seeing their relationship and dynamic from his perspective this time. I wasn’t super into the stories with Nicasia, I’m not a fan of her character, but it wasn’t bad.

The writing – beautiful!
I expect nothing less. Holly Black is a great writer and her short stories are as good as her novels. (And I’m not usually a short story fan!)

Art – Seriously beautiful!
I loved the art style used in the book. It was so fitting with the writing style, it reminded me of fairytale books. So pretty! Worth buying the book just for the art!

If you’re a fan of The Folk of the Air books you must read this!

Rating: 4 Stars

Blogmas · Books · Tag

Christmas Song Book Tag! | Blogmas Day 9

Hey guys!
Today for blogmas day 9 I’m doing another tag!
For blogmas day 4 I did the 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

This tag was originally created by TheArtsyReaderGirl

1. “All I Want for Christmas Is You”: Favourite bookish couple.
I have so many!
A recent one is Luella and Eldas from A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

2. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: Name a book where a character is away from home (school, vacation, etc.).
The Switch by Beth O’Leary

3. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”: Name your favorite “little” book (children’s book, short story, novella, etc.).
I read Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman this year, it’s a very short but lovely read!

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town“: What book(s) do you hope Santa brings you this year?
I don’t *think* I’m getting any books for Christmas. *SHOCK HORROR*
I didn’t ask for any as I already have too many unread books. Sigh.

5. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: Which book turned your nose red (made you cry)?
I don’t cry very often at books, the ending of The Switch did have be a lil emosh.

6. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Your favourite book/kind of book to read during the holidays.
I don’t really read seasonal books or anything. I tend to read more fantasy during the winter in general.

7. “We Three Kings”: Your favourite trilogy.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson & The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

8. “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”: A character you would love to be snowed in with.
Cassian from ACOTAR

9. “Last Christmas”: A book that seriously let you down.
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

10. “White Christmas”: An upcoming release you’re dreaming about

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore
I am SO exciting to get back into this world!


I tag anyone who wants to do this!

Blogmas · Books

Disappointing Reads 2020 | Blogmas Day 8

Hey guys, welcome to day 8 of blogmas!
This is going to be a little bit of a negative post, I’m not going to bad talk these books. I’m not saying anyone shouldn’t read them. These are just books that disappointed me (doesn’t even make them bad, sometime I just had high expectations)

1) House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

This is probably the biggest disappointment of the whole year. It was one of my most anticipated releases and boy, was it a flop. It was super boring for 80%, I like the world, but everything else feels like SJM’s previous work.
Maybe I’m growing out of SJM. I need some new fae stories in my life, if you have any recs leave them below!

I gave this a 2 Star rating// Full ranty /review here.


2) An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Another disappointing fae novel, 2021 needs to bring me good fae books, clearly!
This was boring. It had so much potential but didn’t quite do it for me. The writing style was lovely, I wish I loved this, but I just couldn’t.

Rating: 2.5 Stars / Review here


3) Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

This was marketed to me as a modern, Black Pride and Prejudice retelling, which sounds amazing in theory! However, it didn’t give me the P&P feeling, I wouldn’t call this a retelling by any stretch of the imagination. I couldn’t take to the characters or the story and had way too high expectations going in. Someone else might enjoy this (particularly people who haven’t read P&P) but I was just left disappointed.

Rating: 2 Stars


4) The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

The Kingdom: Amazon.co.uk: Rothenberg, Jess: 9781509899388: Books

It actually took a while to realise I didn’t really enjoy this. Only when reflecting on my reads from this year did I truly realise this disappointed me. I feel like it had really good concepts and ideas but not great execution. I wanted more from this world. It had an interesting premise but it’s ultimately unmemorable.

I think I gave this 3.5 Stars but I would definitely lower it to 2/2.5 now.
Review here.


5) To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Novella: Amazon.co.uk: Chambers, Becky:  9781473697164: Books

Another one I really wanted to love but just no.
This was so painfully slow. It’s very, very short yet felt very long. It was a complete drag to read and nothing ever really happens. It’s basically exploration porn. If that’s your jam, read this. It was just not for me at all. I haven’t review this yet (if ever) as I just struggle to put my thoughts into words. I haven’t really got much to say other than it was a total snoozefest to me.

Rating: 2 Stars


Any thoughts on these books?
What book(s) disappointed you this year?

Blogmas · Books · Review

Book Review: Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert | Blogmas Day 7

Wrapped Up In You - Talia Hibbert

Synopsis:

William Reid is nothing special, except for his billion-dollar acting career and his, you know, face. (Apparently, it’s a good one.) Winning ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ was nice, but this Christmas, he has more important goals in mind… like finally winning over his best friend’s little sister, the super-smart and kinda-scary Abbie Farrell.

When a blizzard leaves Will and Abbie alone at Grandma Farrell’s house (if bunking with 27 pets counts as ‘alone’), it’s the perfect opportunity to pull off a Christmas miracle. Convincing clever, frosty Abbie to give Will a chance will take more than mistletoe, but hiding his lifelong crush on her is no longer an option.


My thoughts:

This is a super short novella, so I don’t really have a ton to say.

The romance is a slow burn one, like really slow burn. Maybe too slow for a novella. I didn’t find it very satisfying, I wasn’t yearning for them to get together. I wanted them to get together for it to be over… I like slow burn, it’s one of my favourite tropes, but I feel like I needed more from this story. There wasn’t enough for me to really feel attached.

ALSO, this was nowhere near as Christmassy as I expected. I expected this to feel super festive and cosy and it really just didn’t? It’s snowy and Christmas is approaching during the novella but it didn’t really revolve around it as much as I thought.

This is a very character driven story, the plot is basically non-existent. Not a lot happens, you spend most of the time reading the characters thoughts and anxieties. It takes until 90% of the way in for the characters to do anything. If you’re expecting lots of romance and smut, forget it. I feel like the title implies more romance than there is.
Overall, I think this would’ve worked better as a full novel, there’s so much missing and things that could’ve been fleshed out in the span of a novel.

Character wise – I didn’t really take to Abbie, I found her perspective a little annoying at times. However, I really liked Will! Abbie suffers from anxiety which is really well portrayed but can be a little tedious to read. This also may be triggering to some, so bear that in mind. Will is super sweet guy and such a babe. I really liked his character, he seemed such a sweetheart!

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Blogmas · Books · TBR

21 Books I Want to Read in 2021 | Blogmas Day 6

Happy Saturday and welcome to day 6 of blogmas!
It’s that time of year where every starts thinking about next year’s reading goals and plans…
So, here I am listing some books I want to read next year! These are all older books (no 2021 releases) or books that have been on my tbr forever!

Let’s start with the Adult books:

The Burning White by Brent Weeks

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

YA Books:

Oh my Gods by Alexandra Sheppard

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

Daughters of Nri by Reni K. Amayo

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis


What books do you want to get to in 2021?

Audiobooks · Blogmas

Alternatives to Audible: Audiobook App Recs | Blogmas Day 5

Hello everyone!
I don’t know about everyone else but audiobooks have been my saving grace over the last few years and especially this year where I have spent most of it in a slump. In my last post like this I recommended alternative shops to purchase from instead of Amazon, now it’s audiobooks turn!

Free Audiobook Options:

Librivox

File:LibriVox-logo-border-150mm-300dpi.png - Librivox wiki

This is a site/app that offers books from the public domain, read by volunteers. So the quality isn’t amazing. But it’s free. If you’re a classics reader and don’t mind a bit of non-professional reader, give this ago. I used to listen to some plays in uni, I struggle to read plays, so hearing them helped me so much and this was a useful source for that. This is perfect for literature students, a must even!

Your local library!

If you are fortunate to have access to a library, they usually have an audiobook (ebook) collection for you to borrow. My library uses BorrowBox, some use Libby/Overdrive. Definitely contact your library to find out! I now get 95% of my audiobooks from there for free. Saves a fortune.

E-Media | Norfolk Library
eBooks - Glasgow Libraries Online Library

If you don’t have a library or a library with a good selection here are some paid options:

Scribd

Discover the Best eBooks, Audiobooks, Magazines, Sheet Music, and More |  Scribd

Scribd offers a monthly subscription, like Audible but with so much more to offer. Scribd is so much more cost effective than Audible. From £9.99 per month you get unlimited access to Audiobooks (and ebooks). It’s much better than Amazon’s Audible which is £7.99 for one credit. Plus if you wanted ebooks that would need a Kindle Unlimited subscription which is an additional £7.99 a month for a poor selection.

Libro.fm

Libro.fm | Libro.fm, Your Independent Bookstore for Digital Audiobooks

First month is free then it is $14.99 per month (Less than £12), like Audible you get one audiobook a month. (If you switch from Audible to Libro.fm you get two free audiobooks!) However, Libro.fm are a much better company. They support local and indie bookstores with every purchase made.

This is a US/CA site and you need to have a credit card from those countries to subscribe. However, anyone from anywhere can purchase a gift subscription.
If you’re a blogger/influencer/etc make sure to sign up to their program for free ALCs! (Advance Listening Copies)

*Disclaimer: I receive ALCs but this post not sponsored or affiliated with Libro.fm nor any of the other companies in this post.

Do you listen to audiobooks? What apps do you use?
Blogmas · Books · Tag

12 Days of Christmas Book Tag | Blogmas Day 4

This tag was originally created by LizzieLovesBooks on Booktube but the questions have changed a little. I’ve seen a few different versions on various blogs, I’m not sure who change what or when haha.

1. A Partridge in a pear tree: Favorite Stand-Alone Book?

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

2. Two Turtle Doves: Fictional OTP/Favorite Ship?

I have SO MANY OMG!
Here’s a few:
Elide and Lorcan from TOG
Lia and who she ends up with from The Remnant Chronicles (it’d be a spoiler to tell!)
Jude and Cardan from Folk of the Air

3.Three French Hens: Favorite Trilogy?

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

4. Four Calling Birds: Favorite Fictional Beast/Creature?

Dragons!
Is there any other answer here?! Dragons are the best.

5. Five Golden Rings: One Ring to Rule Them All: Who’s your favourite villain?

Does Victor Vale count? He’s kind of an antihero
I also love Cersei Lannister

6. Six Geese a Laying: Rotten egg- What’s your least favorite book?

1984 by George Orwell
I really, really don’t under how anyone enjoyed reading this book. It has cool ideas and concepts but GOD. The writing is awful. The book is less than 300 pages and it felt like I was reading a 2000 page book. It was endless.

7. Seven Swans a Swimming: Who’s your favourite animal sidekick?

Reichis from Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell
I LOVE animal sidekicks. Reichis takes it to the next level. He is freaking hilarious and seriously the best. I love that murderous lil squirrelcat. Yes, squirrelcat. Go read Spellslinger, it’s amazing.


8. Eight Maids a Milking: What fictional food do you wish you could taste?

I have no idea. I must really not pay attention to food in books because I can’t think of any.

9. Nine Ladies Dancing: Favourite dance between two characters?

Is there any other answer but Elizabeth and Mr Darcy.

10. Ten Lords a Leaping: Favourite Book-To-Movie-Adaptation?

Stardust (2007)
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million more times, this is the best book adaptation ever. It’s better than the books. Yes, I said that. I’m sorry Neil Gaiman but the film took the story to a whole other level!

11. Eleven Pipers Piping: Favourite Book-To-Movie-Adaptation Soundtrack?

Does the Wonder Woman soundtrack count? It’s a comic book adaptation so I’m going to count it. I feel like that soundtrack is highly underrated. I really enjoy writing to it!

12. Twelve Drummers Drumming: It’s the end of the song; What’s your favourite book ending?

Ooh that’s an interesting question. I could write a whole essay on book endings.
I think I’ll go with The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. I don’t think an ending has ever surprised or messed me up more than that. I felt my soul leave my body and I honestly couldn’t move for like an hour. Mind blowing.

I tag anyone who wants to do this tag!

Blogmas · Books · Review

Book Review: The Switch by Beth O’Leary | Blogmas Day 3

Hey guys!
Today is day 3 of my 12 days of Blogmas!

Synopsis:

Leena is too young to feel stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
Maybe it’s time for The Switch…

Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.

But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?

My thoughts:

TW/CW: Loss of family member, Cancer, Grief, Cheating

This took me a little bit to get into (mainly because uni is chaotic) but I was super invested in both the characters from the start! I loved the dual perspective, it was a nice contrast, especially having young and old protagonists. I loved Eileen and Lena, both were great characters with great character development and story arcs.

The best way to describe this book is probably wholesome. It’s so sweet and adorable. It has humour, friendships and relationships, all written so so well. I literally loved every character and the side characters were equally as a enjoyable as the main.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a romance novel though, it has romance in it but it’s not the central plot. It focuses mainly on family relationships and friendships with some dating thrown in there, the romance comes mainly towards the end. This book is kind of women’s fiction rather than romance.

I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Flatshare, but still thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I felt more hooked and invested when reading The Flatshare. This wasn’t quite as gripping but the writing style is still really lovely to read. It’s laugh out loud funny, it’s sweet and emotional in place. The ending had me a little emosh.

As with The Flatshare, it deals with some heavier topics. The Switch deals with grief amazingly well. The author perfectly balances the heavy topics with lightness but in a respectful way. It’s not brushed over or underdeveloped at all. The grief was very realistic and relatable. This could be a potential trigger for some people.

I also listened to some of this on audiobook – the narrators are really good and engaging. I almost enjoyed it more than actually reading it. I switched back and forth and I loved both. If you’re looking for a new audiobook, then I highly recommend listening to this!

I cannot wait for Beth O’Leary’s next book. It’s safe to say she is now an auto-buy author for me. I love her writing and her humour is right up my alley. Her books are such a joy to read, if you’re looking for something to cheer you up, pick up The Switch.

Rating: 4 Stars

*Audiobook provided by Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review. I purchased the physical copy for myself.

Have you read The Switch? What did you think?