Books · Tag

Popular Opinions Book Tag!

1. A popular book or series that you love

Brandon Sanderson, Mistborn Trilogy (2006–2008) – Re-enchantment Of The  World

Mistborn & Warbreaker (basically any Brandon Sanderson)
They’re SERIOUSLY worth the hype!

2. An underhyped book or series that you love and wish was more popular

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan – Criminally underrated. It’s a sci-fi romance and it made me cry! I rarely cry at books but this touched my icy heart.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney | Waterstones

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney – A recent release I’ve not seen around much! I absolutely loved this!

3. A romance (love triangle or OTP) that you love

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

I’m not a massive fan of love triangles but it is done perfectly in The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. I also love who the main character ends up with.

4. Your favourite genre + a popular genre that you want to read more often

My favourite is fantasy for sure!
One I want to read more often: Sci-fi!

5. A popular or beloved character that you love or a character that you feel deserves more love

I’ll answer both because why not!

A popular character I love – Tyrion Lannister. He’s amazing. You cannot argue otherwise.

A character I think deserves more love is Lia from The Remnant Chronicles. She’s one of my faves of all time. Underrated!

6. An autobuy author

Brandon Sanderson
He could release his shopping list and I would read it.

7. A popular book trope that you love reading about

Enemies to lovers!
Everyone loves this but yeah, it’s definitely one of the best. Especially if the romance is slow burn. *Swoon*

8. A popular series that you are excited to read

The Gentleman Bastard's Series by Scott Lynch | Will Read For Booze

The Gentlemen Bastards Series by Scott Lynch
I’ve heard so many great things about this series. Hoping it lives up to the hype. I’ve had the first book on my shelf for a while, this year for sure!

9. A popular book + film where you love the story in both formats

Pride and Prejudice (Vintage Classics Austen Series)

I’m going to change this to tv, because I cannot think of a film…
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen & BBC Pride and Prejudice
When I say perfect adaptation, I mean it. It is probably the best book adaptation ever. It’s just perfection.
You may be thinking, there’s a P&P film with Kiera Knightley and…. Just no.

I wrote a whole post about BBC Pride and Prejudice, check it out for my full thoughts!

I tag whoever wants to do this! Definitely link back/leave a link if you do, I’d love to read your answers!

Books · Review

The Most Unlikeable MC EVER? | Book Review: Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

Meet Cute Diary : Lee, Emery: Amazon.co.uk: Books

Synopsis:

Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe.

When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.

In this charming novel by Emery Lee, Noah will have to choose between following his own rules for love or discovering that the most romantic endings are the ones that go off script. 

My thoughts:

I really wanted to love this.
I really wanted this to be a new fave.
But it really wasn’t good.

The Good:

The Rep – Mixed race main character, trans rep, bisexual, mlm, anxiety/panic disorder

The Storyline – The story was interesting, I will give that to the author. It was very plot driven, there’s no likable characters to really latch on to. I only finished this book for the plot aspect, I’m usually more of a character driven person. It had so much potential! Fake dating is one of my favourite tropes, I wish the characters were better so that the plot worked better.

Trans joy – Yay! I’m so glad this was about trans joy instead of suffering and struggles – not to say that’s not important but I feel that joy is often left out.

Tumblr blog – I like Tumblr, like when Tumblr is included in books. I find it really relatable as someone who has been on that platform for like decade. (wow, when did I get so old?)

The side characters were way more likeable than the main character. I really liked Devin, e was the best by far. I also learned about the pronouns e/eir/em – which I had not previous come across. The topic of pronouns was discussed a few times, I learned a few things which is great!

The Bad:

To balance out the joy there was toxicity.
Toxic relationship between Drew and Noah, they are an awful combination.
But then again even though Drew was a terrible boyfriend, Noah was an awful person… so *sips tea*

The Ugly:

Noah.
When I say Noah is the most insufferable character to ever exist, that is an understatement. I don’t mind unlikeable characters, as long as they’re interesting and their motives and behaviours are founded.
Noah is just an entitled asshole. Very little character development happens. Noah lacks self-awareness completely and is just awful to everyone around him. He’s a brat, spoiled and thinks he’s too good for everything and everyone. I don’t think I’ve ever found a more annoying character to read from in my entire reading history. Noah is the literal worst!

It makes me laugh that the synopsis says, ‘In this charming novel by Emery Lee’ – when in fact it is not charming at all.

Rating: 2 Stars

Most disappointing read of the year so far.

Books · Wrap-up

June Wrap Up | 2021

Hey guys!
I’ve been in a bit of a reading, blog and general life slump, so this post is a tad late. Better late than never, right?

June wasn’t a great reading month for me. I really couldn’t concentrate on anything. I only managed to read one book and one novella.

Firstly, I read Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim | Waterstones

I’ll try and have a review up soon. (I’m so behind on reviews!)
I really enjoyed this. It was so different and unique from other YA fantasy. I love the setting and the magic was really cool. The romance was right up my street too. I cannot wait to read the sequel!
Rating: 4 stars

The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay

The Last Conversation (Forward collection) eBook : Tremblay, Paul:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

To squeeze an extra read into June, I picked up this novella. Which is part of the Amazon Forward collection – they’re all free on Amazon kindle for Prime & Kindle Unlimited members. It was an interesting and quick read. I’d recommend the Forward collection to any sci-fi fans or even those trying to get into the genre, they’re all very short.

Rating: 3 Stars

How was your reading in June? Hopefully, better than mine!

Books

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2021

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2021

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
I was super hesitant to read this, I really wasn’t a fan of the author’s first book. This has entirely changed my mind. I loved every moment!
Check out my review here.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021

I haven’t read a lot of sequels this year… I’ll go with Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert. It was SO cute. It was such an enjoyable experience. Check out my review here.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson
I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS!! The ending to Starsight almost killed me. Biggest cliffhanger ever. I am so excited to get back to this world and characters!
My reviews for Skyward and Starsight

5. Biggest disappointment.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Boy, oh boy, did this disappoint. I really cannot understand the hype around this book. The ideas and concepts – amazing. The execution – not good. I didn’t enjoy it at all. Fell completely flat for me.
Full review here.

6. Biggest surprise.

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe
This was just so good. The premise sounded interesting, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. Review here.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Elizabeth Lim
After reading Spin the Dawn, I need to read everything else by Elizabeth Lim. I LOVED it!

8. Newest fictional crush.

Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns. *swoon*

9. Newest favourite character.

Jordan and Declan from The Dreamer Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater
I don’t want to spoil the books, so I won’t say too much. I just loved Jordan and Declan!! Declan was a huge surprise, I didn’t like him in TRC.

10. Book that made you cry.

I haven’t had an emotional read this year yet…

11. Book that made you happy.

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
The UK paperback of this, my goodness. I am obsessed.

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

SO MANY!!
To name a few:
The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary
A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers


What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Link me if you do this tag, they’re my favourite to read!

Books · Review

Book Review: Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater (Spoiler free)

Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

*Mild spoilers for Call Down the Hawk
If you’ve not read it, check out my review here!

Synopsis:

The stakes have never been higher as it seems like either the end of the world or the end of dreamers approaches.

Do the dreamers need the ley lines to save the world . . . or will their actions end up dooming the world? As Ronan, Hennessy, and Bryde try to make dreamers more powerful, the Moderators are closing in, sure that this power will bring about disaster. In the remarkable second book of The Dreamer Trilogy, Maggie Stiefvater pushes her characters to their limits – and shows what happens to them and others when they start to break.

My thoughts:

I love Ronan, always have since TRC. I now love all the Lynch brothers.

This book was kind of a filler book. Am I mad? No? Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is just so lovely, dreamy, if you will. It’s just nice to read, so while this book was slow, so very slow, it wasn’t painful. It was flowery and metaphorical, as you would expect a Stiefvater book to be. Emotional, funny, witty – just everything. As I was reading I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I wish my writing was this magical’.

The plot – pretty slow.
A lot of filler, not a lot going on, however, not boring. I still enjoyed the story, I’m not typically a fan of a slower pace but Maggie Stiefvater always makes it work for me. It did pick up towards the end and holy shit, the twists. I did not expect some of the twists and turns. It was seriously good. Mind blown.
THE ENDING – what was that how am I supposed to wait a year for the next one…
I felt empty after finishing. Completely empty.

The characters are everything. As with Call Down the Hawk and TRC, it’s very character driven, if you don’t like the characters you won’t enjoy it at all.

Ronan – Such interesting character development, I really didn’t think Ronan would be the way he is in this one. So different from TRC and CDTH. I was very surprised. He’s just as entertaining as always, but a bit more broken. I find Ronan very relatable, I know a lot of people don’t. I can see Maggie Stiefvater has woven in her own experience with chronic illness into Ronan and his dreaming and feelings.

Declan – Who would’ve thought I’d end up loving Declan…
I am so invested in him and Jordan, I don’t even know how to put it into words. I ship them. I said in my review of CDTH I was interested to see where his story would go, I was talking about him and Jordan. They’re amazing. hey didn’t disappoint. It has been so great to learn more about Declan as a character and this book only made me love him more.

Hennessy – I’m not overly keen on Hennessy for the most part. I don’t hate her nor do I love her. I do find her interesting though. She’s not a super likeable character, maybe she’s supposed to be like that.

Jordan – I feel like Jordan got all the best parts of Hennessy. It was nice to see her character development, from feeling like she was stuck with Hennessy to being more independent and claiming her own identity. I also like the bonding between her and Matthew about being dreams, that was sweet to see. Like I already said, her and Declan *chef kiss*

Farooq-Lane – Still meh. Still my least favourite storyline.

Matthew – Bless him. Such a sweetheart!!! I just want to hug him.

BRYDE – The driving factor of this book. After the ending of CDTH I knew I just had to pick up Mister Impossible because ~Bryde~
I had so many theories about him – they were all wrong. I did see some hinting in this book to his origin. But I got it wrong. However, all my questions were answered and now I have new ones.

Rating: 3.75-4 Stars

Books · Review

Book Review: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Call Down the Hawk: The Dreamer Trilogy eBook: Stiefvater, Maggie:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

You are made of dreams and this world is not for you.

Synopsis:

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer… and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed…

My thoughts:

I was super excited to get back into this world and be reunited with these characters!! I absolutely loved The Raven Cycle, I don’t know why I put off reading this for so long. I even pre-ordered it… Alas, in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t read it when it first came out because now I already have the sequel in my hands instead of waiting.

Anyway onto the plot
It was a slow start. Not going to lie, at first I was think oh no, I’m not going to like this one. It did pick up and I was soon invested. I started it when I was editing my final assignment for university, so I read around 100 pages over 3 days. Once my assignment was done, I binged the last 360ish pages in an evening! I was addicted. I became so invested in Ronan again and the new characters. The plot was weird, sometimes I stopped and I was thought I have no idea where this is going (but in a fun way). I love Maggie Stiefvater’s weird and wonderful stories.

The writing style – As always, beautiful. Magical and amazing. I wish I could write as amazingly as Maggie Stiefvater. I just adore her writing so much. I had forgotten what a joy her writing is, it has been ages since I’d read anything by her.

Characters:
Ronan – Love him. Always have. He’s such a mood; so grumpy and angry. He’s such a complicated character and so much more than he lets on.

Adam – Having Ronan & Adam together made me miss the Gangsey so much. He’s not in it much, obviously, he’s away at college. It was nice to have a glimpse and see some Pynch. *my heart*

Declan – It was nice to see more of him. I didn’t expect to like him much, but I did. I enjoyed getting to see him more and get to know him. I’m looking forward to reading more of him and a certain storyline in the next one.

Matthew – Again, nice to see more of him. He’s such a sweetheart. It’s lovely to see how the Lynch brothers work and how both Declan and Ronan adore Matthew.

The new characters

Jordan Hennessy – I loved this new character. I didn’t know what to expect really. I did think how am I going to take to these new characters. I actually really like her. I won’t say much as it will spoil.

Farooq-Lane – The character + storyline I liked the least. I understand it’s an important part of the story, of course. But meh. I didn’t take to her much. Every time it was her chapter I was like ugh, give me Ronan or Hennessy!!

Bryde – Mysterious. So interesting. I was dying (and still am) to know who he is…

Books

May Wrap Up | 2021

Hello! Happy June!
This year is seriously flying by, it’s scary!!

May was a super busy month for me, I had my final finals! I am officially done with university and I couldn’t be happier. Since I was busy writing essays and assignments, I didn’t actually pick up a book until almost half way through the month. All things considered, 3 books and a short audiobook isn’t a bad total!

1) Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

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

Rating: 5 Stars // Review here

2) Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Call Down the Hawk: The Dreamer Trilogy eBook: Stiefvater, Maggie:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Rating: 4 Stars / Review coming soon

3) Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater

Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 3.75 Stars // Review coming soon

4) The Story of Antigone by Ali Smith

The Story of Antigone (Save the Story) by Smith, Ali, Paoletti, Laura  (October 24, 2013) Hardcover: Amazon.co.uk: Books

Rating: 3 Stars

What did you read in May? Any new faves?

Books · Review

Finally, a 5 Star Read! | Book Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

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

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 their power.

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.


My thoughts:

I had low-ish expectations going into this book. I had tried to pick up it a few times but uni got too busy and I put it down.

I read An Enchantment of Ravens last year and found it seriously disappointing. I loved the writing but everything else just didn’t work for me. I’d heard great things about it and ended up not liking it. So, I was pretty nervous going into this one…

However, plot twist – I loved it. Everything.
I devoured most of this book in one evening, stay up late reading, which I haven’t done in a very long time. I even got up the next day and immediately kept reading and finished the book. I put off my uni work to finish it.

I loved the world, the characters, the writing – I personally cannot fault it. Everything that was lacking in Enchantment, was here.

The writing style – I really love her writing style. It’s the main reason I picked it up. It was one of the very few aspects I enjoyed in An Enchantment of Ravens. Rogerson writes such lovely prose, it’s beautifully written and wonderful to read.

The world – this world felt so much more developed and interesting.
I was so much more immersed in this world than I expected to be. It was perfectly described, I found it easy to imagine.
The library setting was just incredible! I mean, what book lover doesn’t love a good library?! I loved that the books talked and had personalities. It was such an interesting take on a magical library.

The characters were all amazing.
Each character was very distinctive, none were alike.
Elisabeth and Nathaniel were well written and well developed.
I loved Nathaniel’s sarcastic personality in contrast to Elisabeth’s slightly more serious personality. They had some wicked banter. I found it really funny, not even just amusing, full on laugh out loud funny. As for Silas – the best side character. I LOVED him!! Never thought I’d love a demon so much but here I am.
I was so invested in all the characters and their relationships.

Emotions – I was ridiculously emotionally invested in this. I won’t go into details because spoilers, but I almost cried at certain moments.

The only downside is that it ends. I wish there was more! It’s a standalone, which is nice but damn do I wish it was a series!! The world is amazing, the characters, I didn’t want it to end.
ALSO, that ending?? Bit odd for a standalone, it almost sets up for a sequel…

All in all, thoroughly enjoyed myself. A new fave. Will definitely be rereading in the future!
I will also be picking up Margaret Rogerson’s new book when that comes out later this year!

Rating: 5 Stars
First 5 star rating of the year (that wasn’t a reread)

Books · Review

Book Discussion/Review: *Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal

Goodreads Synopsis:

Teen Wolf meets Emergency Contact in this sharply observed, hilarious, and heartwarming debut young adult novel about friendship and the hairy side of chronic illness.

Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were. Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.

When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement. With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal. 


My thoughts:

Okay, so I really enjoyed the plot and the characters.
I love Teen Wolf, so when this was pitched as TW x Emergency Contact (a book I’d like to read) I was like perfect, I’ll accept it for review.

However, upon researching I realised this book has problematic features. So I’ll discuss those first:

The main character is a disabled Tamil/Indian American.
– The author is neither of those. So this is not an own voices novel, despite the cover and blurb kind of hinting towards that.

I cannot speak for the Tamil/Indian American community, as that is not my place. But it is clearly culture appropriation. It really wasn’t necessary to the story. The author is white and it would’ve totally been fine to have a white character? I’m not sure of the author’s though process on this. I don’t know why they felt the need to take a culture they are not familiar with and write about it. Those elements of the book were scarce, so why not leave it out although?

The side character is a werewolf, which is on the cover, above the main character. This has been noted as racist by some own voices reviewers. They said having a werewolf above an Indian is racist as it perpetuates the idea of the ‘hairy brown person’.
I wanted to clarify – the werewolf is not the main character who is also on the cover. It’s side character. The cover does kind of hint that the main character might be a werewolf but she’s not, it’s her friend and that’s her friend on the cover. Obviously, again it’s not my place to say whether or not it’s racist, but I feel like there’s some context missing from some of the comments I’ve seen. A lot of the own voices reviewers have not read the full book and are going off the cover and synopsis alone. (I believe, correct me if I’m wrong)

Chronic illness side – I can actually speak from personal experience on this one.
Although the author isn’t chronically ill (I think) – the rep isn’t too bad. I think the novel does a decent job as representing what life can be like with chronic illness, particularly the loneliness. The group chat that is made in the story for people with chronic illnesses to connect was actually lovely to read.

As for the story itself,
I really enjoyed it. I thought it was fun and engaging. I liked the characters and the character interactions. I love werewolves and I thought it was a really interesting take to make it like a chronic illness, having negative effects on the body etc. It was a cool idea.

I liked the main character, Priya. I found her character to be relatable in some ways and I enjoyed reading from her perspective.
I loved her friend Brigid – what a cool character. She was just great, funny, one of the best parts of the novel.

Spencer – Amazing side character. I really liked his introduction and sort of being forced into the werewolf stuff. It was nice to see the friendship bloom between him, Priya and Brigid.

Overall, the book is good – it’s a shame it’s tainted by problematic elements.

I recommend you check out the reviews over on Goodreads where more own voices reviewers have left their thoughts.

*This book was gifted to me by Quirk Books. All opinions are my own.

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?