Books · Wrap-up

Mini Life Update + September Wrap Up | 2021

Hello everyone!
Mini life update as I’ve been pretty absent here lately, whoops! I’m hoping to get back into blogging and Instagram soon. I’ve had a lot going on, I’ve been in a slump, I’ve had some stress, I’ve been dating. The biggest update – I started a new job at the end of Sept, so reading completely went out the window for a lot of the month.

My wrap up for September is pretty small. But I did read a book that’s over 1000 pages so I think the small number of reads can be forgiven!

Books read:

The Tea Dragon Festival by K. O’Neill

The Tea Dragon Festival: 2 (The Tea Dragon Society) : O'Neill, Katie,  O'Neill, Katie: Amazon.co.uk: Books

After reading the first one, I had to pick up the second. It’s just so adorable!!
This is a prequel to The Tea Dragon Society, which I didn’t realise going in and did spend a little while confused until it all clicked into place.
Rating: 4 Stars

The Tea Dragon Tapestry by K. O’Neill

The Tea Dragon Tapestry: 3 (The Tea Dragon Society): Amazon.co.uk: O'Neill,  K., O'Neill, K.: 9781620107744: Books

Of course, I had to follow up with the third in this series. I am loving these graphic novels so much!

Rating: 4 Stars

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Words of Radiance Part One: The Stormlight Archive Book Two: Amazon.co.uk:  Sanderson, Brandon: 0000575093315: Books

The only novel I read this month was this beast of a book. Wow, did I enjoy this! I reread The Way of Kings in August and had to continue right away. This book gave me the biggest book hangover!! I’m still not over it. I think I’m just going to have to dive into Oathbringer, I can’t get over this story, the world, the characters!

Rating: 5 Stars – If I could give higher, I would. Amazing book. New fave!!

How was your September reading and life wise? Let me know in the comments!

Books · Diverse Reads · Graphic Novels · Review

Graphic Novel Review: The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill

Synopsis:
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.


My thoughts:

Oh my goodness, where to even begin. I don’t have the words to express how adorable this graphic novel is!

It’s middle grade graphic novel with LGBTQ+ & disability rep and the most wholesome vibes ever. Despite being for children, anyone could pick this up and enjoy it. It’s such a lovely, comforting read. Honestly, I was just in awe of the cuteness throughout.

It’s all about dragons – Tea Dragons, to be more specific. It’s such a cute and cool concept. Who doesn’t love dragons?! It’s also about friendship and love and it’s just a beautiful story about finding your place in the world. *sheds tear*

THE ARTWORK – Oh how I wish I could draw even half as well as K. O’Neill. The art is simply stunning.
Here are some examples (taken from the Amazon preview):

I am obsessed with this cutesy art style! It’s so beautiful. Such a joy to look at!

Rating: 5 Stars

Books · Wrap-up

August Wrap Up | 2021

Happy September!
I literally cannot believe it’s September already?! Where is this year going???
August was a bit of a slow reading month for me. I managed to read 4 books, which I’m actually really happy with as I didn’t read for a few weeks and one book was over a 1000 pages long. So, I don’t think I did too bad.

Bloodchild by Octavia E. Butler

A sci-fi short story/novella. Very interesting and weird. I honestly didn’t know what to make of this when I read it. I still can’t really articulate what went on nor how I felt.
Rating: 3 Stars

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (Reread)
I want to continue the Stormlight Archive but it’s been a few years since I first read TWOK, so I reread it. I didn’t really enjoy it when I first read it but now I cannot understand why?! I absolutely loved it. It was dense and hard going – it’s over 1100 pages, which I think was overwhelming the first time. This time around I listened to the audiobook while reading which was a great decision. I loved it! Now onto the sequel!
Rating: 5 Stars

A Dance with the Fae Prince by Elise Kova

One of my most anticipated releases of 2021 and it did not disappoint!
I really really enjoyed this! I devoured it in one sitting, so good. I love this series and cannot wait for the next one.
Full review here // Rating: 4 Stars

The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill

I finished off the month with a light, easy read. This adorable middle grade graphic novel!
I will have a full review up for this soon. But OMG, the cuteness of this!!! I can’t get over it. I will be reading the next one ASAP!
Rating: 5 Stars

Let me know what you read in August!

Books · Wrap-up

July Wrap Up | 2021

Happy August!
Cannot believe how fast the year is flying by!

I managed to read 4 books, not the best, not the worst. I’ve been in a bit of slump recently, which I’m hoping to shift. Hopefully, I can read more this month!

The books I read in July:

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

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

This is probably the most disappointing read I’ve had this year.
It was an anticipated read and it was just a huge flop for me.
Full review here // Rating: 2 Stars

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney | Waterstones

Things were better with my next read. Oh my goodness, did I love this book! I was addicted. I will have a full review up for this next.
Rating: 5 Stars

*XOXO by Axie Oh

XOXO : Oh, Axie: Amazon.co.uk: Books

I was kindly gifted this by the publisher.
I loved it so much! It’s such a cute, light-hearted romance.
Full review here /// Rating: 4 Stars

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey : Jane Austen (author) : 9781785995057 : Blackwell's

I see what Austen was doing here. I admire her but this was my least favourite I’ve read so far. It was short but dragged a lot. The satire of gothic literature was good. I didn’t take to the main character much and I really didn’t like the love interest.
Rating: 3 Stars

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

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

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 · Tag

Nope Trope Book Tag!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Tell us your favourite or least favourite trope!

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

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

I tag:
Morgane – Book Me Some Time

Dhwani – The Written Journey

Allie – The Wandering Nerdette

Books · Wrap-up

March Wrap Up | 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*gifted


What did you read in March?

Books · Review

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic: 1: Amazon.co.uk: V. E. Schwab, Victoria Schwab:  9781783295401: Books

Goodreads Synopsis:
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.


My Thoughts:

The writing – As usual, V.E. Schwab’s writing is beautiful. She writes very prettily, which is nice, but it does make for a slower read. Usually I prefer a faster pace for fantasy, unless it’s based on political intrigue/world building, we don’t really either here. However, it was writing amazingly, I expect nothing less from Schwab. Her writing is always gorgeous and lovely to read.

I can’t say I loved nor hated this book. It was an okay read. In my opinion it was nothing special, nothing bad either. I read this last month and honestly hasn’t left much of an impression on me. This is unusual for Schwab, she usually leaves some kind of impression, I still think about Vicious even years after reading it, I also read Addie Larue back in Jan and I’m still thinking about it. This book, however, the moment it was done, so was interest…

I like the worlds, the concept is pretty cool. V.E. Schwab comes up with such good ideas and concepts, but they always lack something for me. I just wanted a bit more from this book, as a first book in a series. It reads like a standalone, which is fine, but considering most of the book is a bit unmemorable there wasn’t anything particularly enticing me to continue the series. That being said, I own the whole trilogy and will continue it. I am interested to see where the story leads purely on the basis that the first one wrapped up pretty nicely, it didn’t seem to set up for anything else. I also am interested in learning more about the world and magic, hoping it gets developed more in the coming books.

Characters:
Kell: Definitely my favourite character and the most interesting. He seems like such a nice guy and his magical abilities are cool. I so wanted to know more about the antari and the different Londons.

Lila: I’m not a huge fan of Lila. I don’t hate her, but I don’t love her. She can be a tad annoying and tedious sometimes. I did like her interactions/relationship with Kell. Hopefully, I’ll like her more in the next one.

Overall, I wasn’t overly impressed. I didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. It was an okay read.

Rating: 2.5/3 Stars