Blog Tour · Books · Review

Bookstagram Tour + Mini Review: The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe*

I just wanted to highlight my review over on Instagram for a Bookstagram Book Tour!
Would really appreciate it if you’d give it a like/comment 🙂

Review is from the caption of the photo, so it’s more of a mini review:

I’m not much of a thriller reader, but I’ve wanted to read it for some time. I thought a YA thriller would be a good place to start. It really was!

This book jumps right into the action, throws you right into the story and doesn’t slow down from there. I love the fastness of the plot, the short chapters intensified this further. It was a breeze to get through and I was thoroughly invested from the start.

This deals with some heavier topics, like trauma etc. The main character, Nora, has been through a lot of trauma, she’s a bit morally grey and broken but one hell of a fighter. Her character felt realistic and her growth was great to see.

Despite being a thriller, there is a romance. Which I really enjoyed, it lightened the tone of the novel, but didn’t slow the plot. Nora is bisexual, and the romance is f/f ❤️
Rating: 4 Stars

*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to PrideBookTours and TeamBKMRK for the ARC!

Books · Review

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives–or to find strength in a very long one.”

Goodreads Synopsis:

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.

My Thoughts:

TW/CW: Death, depression, grief, violence, attempted suicide, emotional manipulation, drug use, starvation, sexual acts for payment

When I first started this novel it was super slow and to be honest, I wasn’t really into it. I was really worried I wasn’t going to end up liking this book, the first 200 pages or so I thought this book was going to disappoint me. To my surprise, I ended up really enjoying this book, mostly the second half.
Although Schwab’s writing style is undeniably gorgeous, I found myself a little bored. I didn’t really see where the story would go. Until Henry showed up, then my attention was captured. I needed to know everything!

This is a very character driven novel, if you don’t like Addie then this would be a struggle to get through. It took me a while, but I did find myself attached to Addie and later Henry. This is a very slow paced novel, which isn’t typically my favourite thing. I do, however, really like character driven stories, so long as I can attach myself to the characters. Addie felt real, so very real. Schwab crafted such an amazing character and story; it feels like it should be real. You can tell how much emotion went into writing this.

I’m not typically a historical fiction reader, although I like history and learning about it, I prefer it in visual format usually. This book didn’t really change my mind, I found myself preferring the modern parts more than the flashbacks. It was interesting to see Addie through the different times, but the story felt stronger in the present to me. There were huge time jumps and lots left out, I feel like there should’ve been more interesting things going on in the past. I wanted a bit more plot, yes it’s character based, but there was room for so much more action and intrigue.

It’s a very emotive book. I found myself tearing up at parts (I didn’t fully cry) – I’m pretty heartless and don’t cry easily at books/tv/film but this hit me right in the feels. I had so many emotions reading this, it really does make you feel.

One of my complaints, is the repetition. There’s just so much repetition, it really could’ve been edited down a bit more. Like if I have to hear Addie has seven freckles like stars again, I’m going to lose my mind. It was kind of annoying. Also what Addie did in the flashbacks was pretty repetitive, which mad the book kind of drag in the middle.

Another complaint is the character development we see for Addie. You’d think over 300 years, living through so much would change a person, right? Well not Addie. She pretty much stays the same, which I find a bit odd.

Finally, the whiteness.
As a few other reviewers have noted this book is very white. In the novel, Addie spends all her time in Europe. There’s no POC mentioned or anything really. I knew this going in. It’s quite disappointing considering Addie lives through a lot of history, yet the history of POC is left out entirely. I was aware of this prior to reading, after seeing a lot of reviewers discuss this. So this didn’t disappoint me, as I already knew – but I’m still disappointed. If that makes any sense. ReadwithCindy makes some really good point in her discussion of the novel. It’s a tough call whether Schwab should have added POC. Like Cindy mentioned, she probably would’ve come under fire either way. At risk of writing POC poorly, Schwab didn’t write them at all.

Overall, it is a beautifully written novel. It has some really amazing aspects, but the pacing is a bit off. If you don’t mind a slower read, definitely pick this one up!

If the pacing hadn’t been an issue and it had a little more action in the flashbacks, this could’ve easily been a 5 star read for me. Alas, it wasn’t diverse enough and it was a little too slow going and took too long for me to be invested to gain a 5 star rating from me.

Rating 4 Stars

Disclaimer: I have previously worked with Titan Books. This was purchased by myself. All opinions are my own.

Books · Review

Conflicting Feels | Book Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson (Spoiler free)

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, 1): Mary E. Pearson:  9781250159014: Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.

My Thoughts:

I have no idea where to begin this review. I have such mixed feelings, I can’t quite tell whether I liked it or not.

The beginning is really good, I was surprisingly invested. It starts off interesting, an event happens and two characters are forced together – which was probably the best part. I wish that bit had been longer, once it was resolved it got pretty slow.

This book really suffers in the middle, the pace gets slow and the story gets pretty repetitive, I feel like there’s a lot of book with little going on. It would’ve benefitted being edited down a lot. The book is over 500 pages, feels longer and definitely only needed to be around 300.

The characters are by far the best part of this novel. The plot is meh, other than the enemies to lovers trope there wasn’t much else that was interesting. Unlike it’s predecessor, The Remnant Chronicles, there wasn’t any political intrigue or plot. It didn’t capture my attention like TRC did. I was invested in the characters, plot, world everything with that series. While here I struggled, I loved being back in the world and it was nice seeing glimpses of the old characters, particularly Lia. (Lia will forever be my favourite.) I don’t find this book really compared, in terms of characters or plot. I find the plot, characters and world-building so much more interesting, gripping and memorable in TRC. Dance of Thieves feels pretty bland, I don’t think it will stick with me like the first series did.

The ending.
The story almost nicely wraps up and yet there is a second book. So I am curious. I did really like the ending. The first 100 pages and last 100 pages were the best, if the middle had been shorter I think I would’ve enjoyed it more. I really wanted to love this book because it’s in one of my favourite fantasy worlds and the sequel to one of my favourite series. It was just meh. But I kind of interested to see where it will go, so I’ll likely pick up the sequel at some point.

Rating: 2.5/3 Stars

Review for The Remnant Chronicles

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:  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 · Review

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

Wrapped Up In You - Talia Hibbert


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 · Review

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

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


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 in exchange for an honest review. I purchased the physical copy for myself.

Have you read The Switch? What did you think?

Books · Review

Review: A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.

The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.

My thoughts:

I don’t even know how to put into words how much I enjoyed this book.

This is the first book in a while that has really gripped me, like seriously gripped me. If I hadn’t had started this at 10pm and needed sleep, I would’ve devoured this in one sitting. I literally stayed up, despite being sleep deprived, until almost 2 am reading this. The first thing I did when I woke up was make a cup of tea and went straight back to reading.


I loved the world, the characters, the plot & THE ROMANCE>

This is very much a romance heavy novel, it was also my favourite kind of romance story: Slow Burn.
It was one of those books where I was just desperate for the romance to happen, there was so much build up and hints, I was d y i n g.
Another trope it features: Forced marriage – I live for this, especially when it has a happy ending!
Finally, it’s inspired by Beauty and the Beast & Hades and Persephone – I mean?? What more can I ask for?! This is literally a dream combination.

I haven’t really read anything with Elves before (apart from LOTR) but it was very much like Fae, which I absolutely love. Fae also feature in the novel, as so many other fantasy species. I really look forward to reading more books set in this world, I cannot wait to know more and explore other parts of this world!

This year I’ve read some good books. I haven’t read many new favourites. I also haven’t been given out 5-star ratings much, I haven’t rated a book 5 stars (not counting rereads) since I read Beach Read back in May.

However, I rate this book 5 Stars.

Not only will this be making it on my best books of 2020, it is a new favourite. I can see me rereading this time and time again. I already kind of want to dive back in. This is my first book by Elise Kova, and it is certainly not my last.

If you’re looking for a feel-good, pick-me -up read seriously considered this!

Audiobooks · Review

One Star Review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (audiobook) | Disappointing Reads

Milk and honey’ is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. ‘milk and honey’ takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look. 

My Thoughts:
Let’s talk about the hype surrounding this book first…
This used to super popular, I used to see it everywhere on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. I wasn’t a poetry fan back when this first came out (still not really). I saw plenty of glowing reviews and still do occasionally. I, however, cannot fathom how anyone can like this ‘poetry’ collection.

So, I’ve been trying to get into poetry for a while and this became available at my library as an audiobook and since it was super short, I decided to borrow it. That was my first mistake.

The next mistake was expecting poetry…
Whatever this book was… was not poetry. I’ve read poetry and studied it (English Lit student) but this… I don’t even know where to begin. I’m no poet myself and couldn’t write poetry myself but this didn’t feel like poetry to me.
It was like reading/listening to a series of quotes/thoughts. It was sort of like listening to someone’s thoughts on certain topics or reading someone’s notebook. I just didn’t like the form.

I originally gave this 2 stars on Goodreads but the more I think about it the worse it gets.
It really wasn’t my thing. But, it did discuss/deal with some important and deep topics – just not in any way, shape or form was it poetry. Or even remotely poetic. It was very minimal and vague but it says a little and has little substance, it isn’t like standard poetry where it says a lot in few words.

Topic wise – I didn’t connect to it in anyway, therefore, it wasn’t really an enjoyable read. I didn’t really take away anything from it. It’s pretty unmemorable and I have already forgotten the majority of the content. It doesn’t do anything poetry is supposed to do, I wasn’t moved or touched. It provoked no thoughts or feelings. I felt absolutely nothing as a read it and nothing after it. Therefore, I will be changing my rating to 1 star.

If you somehow wish to purchase this, consider using *Blackwells UK

Audiobooks · Review

Audiobook Review: The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert – Lindsay's Book Reviews

Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election?

Duke Crenshaw is so done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight. Only problem? Duke can’t vote.

When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right.

And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.

Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can’t sit around waiting for the world to change . . . but some things are meant are meant to be.

My thoughts:

I mentioned this audiobook in my One Day Reads post, check that out if you want some short audiobooks to listen to. Anyway, I demolished this in one day, basically one sitting. If you’re looking for a quick, easy but fun contemporary, definitely pick this one up.

I love that this book covers some really important topics in an accessible way. Politics is something I think everyone needs to learn about and be involved in. This book, which is aimed at teens, does a really good job at explaining why voting matters and why everyone should vote. Especially, why young voices and voters matter! This is especially relevant at the moment, with the US elections coming up.

The dual POV is great, I liked seeing the two different perspectives. One character is Black and one is mixed with Black. Both have to deal with various issues to do with race. It’s very accessible for everyone, it’s well written and easy understand, obviously being YA, this is perfect for teenagers and young people.
This book is very plot-driven and it’s very short, so there isn’t a ton of time for you to get to know the characters very deeply. That being said, the characters are still well written and relatable, I just don’t think they’d end up in anyone’s top favourites of all time.

Overall, not a new favourite or anything, but a really enjoyable, quick read. I’d recommend this to every teenager, as it has really great messages and deals with important topics. I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.

Rating: 4 Stars

*Thank you to for the ALC.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for a honest review.

Books · Review

Book Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (Spoiler free)

Waiting on Wednesday: AN ENCHANTMENT OR RAVENS by Margaret ...

Hey guys!
Look who finally has a review up!
It has been an age since I posted a review. I am seriously slacking in the reviews on my blog. I’ve been in such a slump for literally all of 2020.

Every enchantment has a price.

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love . . . a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folks’ ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isobel and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening than death itself.

My Thoughts:
I have seriously mixed feelings for this book. My emotions are all over the place!
On one hand, I enjoyed it, but on the other, I didn’t?

The Writing Style – Wow! This was beautifully written.
This book is full of lush prose. The writing style was seriously a big factor in me finishing this book. It was so lovely to read. It was lyrical without being pretentious and over the top. Everything was described so poetically, it was just so *pretty*
I did like the world Margaret Rogerson created. It was unique and alluring. However, as I explain further down, it ultimately falls flat.

The Plot: Slow paced.
Painfully slow paced. This is a big no-no for me, it was slow for approx 80% of the novel then went insanely fast at the end. There really wasn’t much plot going on. The first half of the novel was really fleshed out and unnecessarily so, I was forever waiting for something exciting or dramatic to happen. When something exciting did finally happen, it was over pretty quickly. I feel like the plot focuses on the less important/more boring aspects in detail, while skimming over the good bits.

It isn’t a long book, 300ish pages, but it felt so very long in places. I expected it to be a quick, easy read, instead it was a bit of a drag and hard to pick back up at times. Which is exactly the opposite of what I wanted, since I was in a huge slump!

I could’ve forgiven the slow pace, had the story actually gone somewhere and there was world building to make up for the slow pace.

World building who?
The lack of world building here was a huge disappointment! The glimpses we see of the world were really interesting and intriguing but we never get any depth. Things are mentioned in passing and never expanding on, a lot more questions were asked than answered. I am a huge fan of detailed world building, that being said, it’s not a requirement, though minimal IS essential. Here we got next to nothing. I just wanted more.
The author’s take on Fae was so unique and interesting, it was different to most Fae I’ve seen/researched previously, again I wanted more. The concepts and ideas were amazing, the execution – not so much. Everything felt underdeveloped.

The Ending: Flat.
The whole book was slow and painful. Then it finally gets exciting towards the end and it is rushed. So very rushed. For the most part, I had no idea where this novel was leading… Then towards the end it got increasingly more obvious. I’m not mad at how things turned out at the very end but getting to that ending fell flat for me. It had so much potential.

Characters: Meh
I didn’t really feel strongly towards any of the characters. I neither loved nor hated the main character, Isobel. She was just an okay protagonist. Isobel wasn’t anything special or exciting but she wasn’t awful either.
Rook was slightly more interesting at first, being Fae, but he was underdeveloped, in my opinion. I still feel I don’t really know much about him. Ultimately, both Rook and Isobel are forgettable characters that won’t be staying with me in the future.

Characters can really make or break a book for me, I tend to favour character driven novels over plot, this book basically had neither for me. Although, I was indifferent to the characters, so they neither made nor broke the story.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Have you read An Enchantment of Ravens? What were your thoughts?