Books · Discussion

New to Me Authors I Want to Read More From

BeFunky-collage (1)

Talia Hibbert

I discovered Talia Hibbert last December when I read Get a Life, Chloe Brown. It became one of my favourites and I absolutely adored the sequel too! I cannot wait to get more books by her. Her sense of humour is amazing and perfectly aligns with mine! She creates such ‘normal’/relateable but swoon-worthy romances without the cringe. I need everything she’s written. It’s so addictive and amazing!


Tiffany D. Jackson

I borrowed Let Me Hear a Rhyme on a whim from my library’s app. I had never read anything by this author and had never heard of her either. I ended up really enjoying it!
The writing style was engaging and easy, yet dealt with some really important topics. I knew after finishing this book I wanted to pick up more from her. I look forward to reading her other books!


Emily Henry

Oh my god, Beach Read.
Discovering this book was the best thing ever. I loved every moment.
I assumed this was a debut as I’d never heard of her before but NOPE! Emily Henry has more books and since I loved Beach Read with every fibre of my being, I will be picking up more of her books for sure!


Alice Oseman

I read the Heartstopper graphic novels this year and fell in love!
I’d seen Alice Oseman’s books around booktube & bookstagram a lot but I had never read anything before. I picked up vol 1 of Heartstopper as it was cheap on kindle and I DEMOLISHED it in one sitting. It was the cutest thing ever!
I can’t wait for more Heartstopper and to pick up Alice’s other novels!

 

 


What new-to-you authors do you want to read more from?

 

Books · WWW Wednesday

The Reading Slump Continues & The Queen of Nothing| WWW Wednesday 08/07/20

WWW-Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Hope you’re all well and staying safe.

I’ve been in and out of a reading slump since May, it’s been super annoying.
I’m mostly consuming audiobooks these days, which isn’t a bad thing. I do hope to read more physical books this month!

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.  It’s a super simple meme, you just answered the three W questions.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
Currently reading:

Nothing.
I’m currently between books!


Recently Finished:

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (audiobook)

The Queen of Nothing Audiobook by Holly Black - 9781549150173 ...

I binge listened to this audiobook.
After disliking The Wicked King a lot, I didn’t think I’d pick this one up. Then I decided I actually wanted to finish this series and give this last one ago. I’m very glad I did! I enjoyed it very much, I think it may even be my favourite in the series.
I listened to the whole book in one day! I was addicted.
I played Animal Crossing and listened to this and I had a grand time!

(Review coming soon)

Rating: 4 Stars


Reading Next:

My next audiobook is:
Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

My library’s audiobook app has had an influx of POC books over the last week-ish, which is awesome! This one was available right away so I decided to grab it.
It’s super short (4.5) so this will probably be another one day read!

As for physical books, I really want to get to
The Burning White by Brent Weeks

The Burning White: Book Five of Lightbringer: Amazon.co.uk: Weeks ...

I haven’t been in the mood for fantasy (SHOCK) in a while but I think I’m finally ready to dive back in. I have been waiting to read this book for ages!! It’s the final in the Lightbringer series and I’m worried! It’s also over 900 pages, it’s a big boy.
I’m hoping this will not put me more into a slump and maybe get me back into fantasy! I miss fantasy but I cannot read it when I’m in a slump for some reason.


What have you been reading lately?

Books · Tag

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2020

Hey Bookworms!

Can you believe half the year is gone?! Crazy.
This year has been an odd one for sure, it hasn’t been my best year of reading, quantity-wise but I’ve read some great books!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Oh my god, this book!! It was SO good. I loved every moment of this book.
I honestly couldn’t fault it.
My review is here.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

I loved this book!! I literally want the whole series right now. I am SO SAD I have to wait years for the next one. It left off on a killer cliffhanger. It was INSANE!

My review is here.

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

The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams
& The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

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

I actually don’t have one. I’m trying not to keep up with new releases too much as I need to get my tbr down! It’s getting out of hand and I need to stop adding to it (lol).

5. Biggest disappointment.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

I am seriously sad to put this book here. I fully expected it to be my favourite book of 2020 but BOY was I wrong. I haven’t been this disappointed in a while.

Review / Rant here.

6. Biggest surprise.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. The Handmaid’s Tale was such a great book and even though I did want more I didn’t think anything could compare. It didn’t have as much impact on me as the first book but this one was more enjoyable! I saw so many negative reviews for this, I was worried going in but it is definitely worth picking up in my opinion!

Review here.

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

New to me – Alice Oseman
I read the graphic novels Heartstopper for the first time this year and OH MY GOD! WHY didn’t I read sooner?! It’s the most adorable series ever.

8. Newest fictional crush.

Zaf from Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

9. Newest favourite character.

Dani Brown!

10. Book that made you cry.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

Considering it was my biggest disappointment, this might be a surprise that it also made me tear up a bit. One thing that was done right in this novel was the emotional impact, it had all the feels!

11. Book that made you happy.

I’ve read so many happy books this year!!
So I don’t keep using the same books I’ll go with Heartstopper by Alice Oseman.

Review here!

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

Already mentioned these two but oh well:
House of Earth and Blood & Starsight
They’re GORGEOUS!

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

SO MANY!

Here are a few that are high priority:

The Burning White by Brent Weeks
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year? What are you looking forward to reading next?

Books · Wrap-up

Reading Wrap Up | June 2020

wrap-up-2019

Hey guys!
Happy July! Damn June went fast, I can’t believe it!
June was kind of a bad month for me, I was in such a bad slump. By June 17th I hadn’t finish a book since May 18th-ish and was struggling to find motivation to read. Considering I read basically nothing for the first half of the month I’m surprised I managed 4 in the second half!

 

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-lodge (audiobook)

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Audio ...

This was super informative and interesting. It is a MUST read, in my opinion.
I have tried to write a review but I have no words to express everything. I’ll try and get a discussion post on this book, maybe?

Rating: 4 Stars


Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson (audiobook)

Let Me Hear a Rhyme - Audiobook | Listen Instantly!

This was a surprised. I borrowed from my library on a whim and I actually really enjoyed it. I love the 90s setting and the music theme, it was so cool to listen to.
Full review here.
Rating: 4 Stars


House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City): Amazon.co.uk: Maas ...

And here is the cause of my reading slump. It took me a MONTH to read this. Most of it is pretty boring. I was disappointed in this book. I have full ranty review on this, you can check out here. I have A LOT of feelings about this book.

Rating: 3 Stars


Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters, #2) by Talia Hibbert

Finally, this book saved my sanity. After reading HOEAB I need something fun, quick and lighthearted. This was ADORABLE!
I will have a review up soon!

Rating: 4/4.5 Stars


 

What books did you read in June? Any new faves?

Books · Tag

The Book Snob Book Tag

 

Hey guys!

I’m not sure who made this tag or whose blog I saw it on.
The questions have been in my drafts forever! Oopsy.

 


Adaptation Snob: Do you always read the book before you see the movie?

Not always, some genres I prefer as movies so I’ll watch the movie rather than the book. Sometimes I watch book adaptations without knowing they were a book first and then I read the book after I find out. Doesn’t bother me much!

Format Snob: You can only choose one format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which do you choose: physical, ebooks, or audiobooks? 

I READ IN EVERY FORMAT. *Cries*
I’d probably go with physical… I would seriously miss audiobooks though.

Ship Snob: Would you date or marry a nonreader? 

Yes, of course??? My partner doesn’t have to have the exact hobbies and interests I do. I’ve only dated one reader in the past… It doesn’t really bother me but I will try to get them to read books I like lol. I can’t imagine being shallow enough to not date non-readers.

Genre Snob: You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

Historical Fiction.
Snoozefest.

Uber Genre Snob: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

Fantasy!
It is limitless, I never get sick of it.

Community Snob: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

Hmm… Classics maybe?
I know a lot of people look down on readers who don’t read classics. Which is dumb, just because you don’t read classic doesn’t mean you’re ‘unculture’ or ‘poorly’ read. Read what you enjoy!

Snobbery Recipient: Have you ever been snubbed for something that you have been reading or for reading in general?

I’ve had men assume I don’t read ‘proper’ books aka I only read romance or chick-lit. Which really annoying me because a) romance & chick-lit are valid genres and are proper books?? and b) why just because I’m a women does that mean that’s all I read. Men. *sigh*


Feel free to say I tagged you if you want to do this tag!

Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂

Books · WWW Wednesday

The Reading Slump Cure + Finally Finishing Crescent City | WWW Wednesday 24/06/2020

WWW-Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Hope you’re all doing well!

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 did you recently finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

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This book took me ages to get into. The first half was painfully slow.
I have such mixed feelings about this book, I’ll have a review up soon.

*Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

49976087
Holy shit. I loved this book!!
After being in such a slump and HOEAB taking an age to read, I needed something light and quick – this was perfect! Review coming soon.
*Netgalley arc

Currently Reading:

*You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

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I have literally just started this so I don’t have an opinion yet.
I’ve heard such great things about this already, so I’m excited and hopeful!

*Sent to me by Scholastic UK


Reading Next:

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (audiobook)

53402139. sx318

This is finally available at my library so I will be listening to this soon!

Other than that, I haven’t decided yet. I’m a mood reader so I’ll pick when I’m done with my current stuff!


What are you currently reading?
Have you read any of these?
Let me know!

Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

 

Synopsis:
Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.


TW/CW: Death/Murder, Grief, Gangs, Gun Violence, Sex (talk of sex but no actual sex scenes)

My Thoughts:

I picked this up on a whim, I saw it available at my library, I needed an audiobook and it was by a Black author – win/win.  I hadn’t ever heard of this author or book before, which is surprising because it’s a great read! I will be picking up more from this author.

It follows three black teens, after the murder of Steph (two are his friends, one is his sister) trying to make him a successful rapper by releasing his music and pretending he’s still alive. I was very intrigued about how Steph died and how they were going to pull off this whole scheme. It was a little slow in places towards the middle, but not boring . It did pick up towards the end more but the very end felt a little rushed. Other than that, it was well written. I really liked the author’s writing style.

The setting – It’s set in the late 90s in New York. I absolutely loved this setting, it was so cool and interesting. I love the 90s vibe, it was right up my alley. It made me wish I grew up in the 90s. (I am a 90s baby, but I remember none of it)
I enjoyed learning about the culture of Brooklyn in the 90s and what growing up during this time was like. The hip-hop scene was super cool and a link in the community, which was really lovely to see.

Characters – I enjoyed each perspective the story had. Which is surprising. I really like Jasmine, she was probably my favourite POV. I really enjoyed the friendship that bloomed between Jasmine and Steph’s friends, Quadir and Jarrell. They bonded in their loss of Steph, which was lovely to see that something happy came out of their grief.

Narrators:

This audiobook had full cast narration – which I’m not usually a fan of because there’s usually at least one annoying narrator.  BUT I actually liked all the narrators for this! (Will add them to my approved narrator lists) I’m super picky with narrators, they can completely ruin a book for me.

The audiobook really brought the story and characters to life. The rhymes are really effective in the audio format, I think this would be better than just reading the text. Also, the slang came through well in the audio, it felt natural and authentic. (Not that I’m an expert on Black slang in the States)

Rating: 4 Stars


Books · Diverse Reads · TBR

Recent/Upcoming Fantasy/Sci-fi Books by Black Authors on My TBR

black-sfff

Hey guys!
I’m trying to diversify my TBR and in light of the BLM I have been exposed to so many books I hadn’t previously heard about! Some of these have been on my TBR a while and some are new additions.

 

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

I have the audiobook for this and I’m excited to get to it soon! I have so many audiobooks this month, I think it’s going to have to wait until July/August.


The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter | Hachette UK

I have been meaning to read this since it came out. I wanted to wait for the paperback, as it would be cheaper but then I ended up liking the cover for the hardback better… Now it’s out of stock. *sigh*


The City We Became by N.K Jemisin

The City We Became (The Great Cities Trilogy): Amazon.co.uk ...

I have yet to read a Jemisin book… I know shame on me. I own two of her books already so I will be reading them soon. I really like the sound of this one! All her books sound so unique and cool, cannot wait to get to them!


The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars (9781335911551): Dow, Alechia: Books

I love sci-fi yet I don’t read enough of it. I especially don’t read much diverse sci-fi, which I definitely need to amend that! The premise sounds interesting, so I’m hopeful!
Side note – the cover is gorgeous!


Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Cinderella Is Dead: Kalynn Bayron: Bloomsbury YA

I got rejected for the NetGalley arc so I’ll have to wait for this to be released. [sad face]
I love retellings!! I need more retellings in my life, always. Cinderella is not as retold often, so I’m eager to see this version!


Here’s two audiobooks I listened to recently, I recommend giving them a listen.
Both are fantasy-ish but have really important themes and messages in them. They’re must reads, in my opinion.

*Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown

Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown, audiobook excerpt by ...

Review here!


*The Deep by Rivers Soloman

The Deep: Amazon.co.uk: Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William ...


Have you read any of these? / What SFF books by black authors are you excited for?


UK Charities to Donate to for #BlackLivesMatter

Books · Tag

The Coffee Book Tag

 

Hey guys!
 Finally, a new post! I have been busy writing assignments but I have finally finished and submitted everything. The semester is officially over and I am FREE! Yay!
Today I’m doing another tag, what better way to get back into blogging than a good ol’ tag! I was tagged by the lovely Mieke over at MouseThatReads! Make sure to check out her post too!

Black Coffee: Name a series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

Hmm… Probably The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. The fans are hardcore but I definitely found it hard to get into. I’m going to catch up with the series this summer, hopefully!

Peppermint Mocha: Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.

I honestly have no idea…

Hot Chocolate: What is your favourite middle grade book?

Anything by Rick Riordan, I really need to reread his books to determine a favourite, it has been a minute since I read them! Plus the Percy Jackson show announcement has made me want to dive back into that world!

Double Espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Recently, Bead Read by Emily Henry! I LOVED every moment of it. It was such a gripping read! I was soo invested in this novel, I haven’t been this glued to a book in forever!
(review coming soon)

STARBUCKS: Name a book you see everywhere.
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Everyone seems to love it and I see it everywhere! (as well as his other books) – he seems to be getting increasingly more popular. 

That Hipster Coffee Shop: Give a book by an indie author a shout out.

I don’t really read indie authors (I need to change that). I have read a book by Josie Jaffrey, which I enjoyed at the time. If you like vampires, you should definitely check out her books!

OOPS! I accidentally got decaf: Name a book you were expecting more from.

Oh I have so many:
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – What the hell even was this book?! One of the worst endings I’ve ever suffered through. Awful, awful book!

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
I really thought this would be amazing but this was SO disappointing – another awful ending. I really didn’t enjoy it, at all.

The Perfect Blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying.

Throne of Glass (series) by Sarah J Maas

 A Cup of Tea: Your favourite classic

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte & Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen!
These are by the best classics I’ve read by far! I love the proto-feminism and strong female characters! 

Flat White: A book that isn’t a novel

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig
An amazing mental health memoir! 


I tag anyone who whats to do this tag!

Books · Review

Review: The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

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Synopsis:

Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule.

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.


CW/TW: Child Abuse, Death, Suicide, Animal Abuse

My Thoughts:

The concept and setting are really interesting, I was instantly intrigued just from the blurb. Once I started reading it did intrigue me and kept me interested, it did take me a while to read it though, it wasn’t super gripping. It’s quite a slow-paced book, there’s not a lot (if any) action, it relies solely on intrigue to drive the plot. There’s a lot of repetition, you get to see everyday life as a fantasist and that got a bit monotonous at times. I was constantly waiting for something to happen.

As for the world itself: The Kingdom is very atmospheric, it’s a beautiful place but sinister and dark behind the scenes.  You don’t get to see the outside world but from the few hints given, it’s a dystopian kind of society.

I enjoyed this book, it certainly wasn’t bad… There was just something missing from this book. I don’t know what it is exactly but I wanted more. It was enjoyable but slow. I wish there was more explained about the world etc. The ending was pretty predictable, the ‘plot twist’ was completely obvious, therefore, had little effect. I feel like the set up of this book leads you to believe something will happen and the ending feels a bit incomplete?

There’s a lot of questions left to be answers and definitely room for a sequel… If there was one I would read it. I was definitely intrigued enough to carry on, should there be more books.

Characters:
Ana:
We follow Ana, a fantasist – which is kinda like a cyborg – whose duty it is to work in The Kingdom and create a ‘Happily ever after’ for the visitors. I can’t say I was super attached to Ana, she wasn’t a bad protagonist but she wasn’t amazing either. It was interesting to see how fantasists think and work, but overall she was quite a flat character until the end when she rapidly gets development, which wasn’t paced well. Her love interest was just okay, nothing special. I didn’t find myself swooning or shipping them really.

Rating: 3 Stars


Have you read The Kingdom? What did you think?