Blog Posts I Loved This Month | February

February is a month dedicated to love and romance, so it’s no surprise that I fell in love with so many amazing posts, books and new blogs this month! Everyone’s got their creative juices flowing because the quality of posts again this month has been fabulous and I’ve enjoyed reading every single one of them. This is my longest list of favourites ever but I couldn’t resist including all these wonderful posts and celebrating some content that made me smile.

I mentioned in my wrap up post that I was struggling with my mental health last month, but the blogging community has always been such a comforting and lovely place to escape too. Sometimes what you need to do, is make yourself a big-old cup of tea and switch off by reading lots of different bookish posts and surround yourself with a community that is full of so much love and support. So go and get yourself all cosy and enjoy some of the posts I loved last month!


This month love was in the air and lots of bloggers shared some of their favourite romance reads and books that made their hearts flutter:

I loved Priyasha’s @Books and Co. list of 12 romance novels that are better than a candlelit dinner, because there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book!

It’s been a month and I’m still obsessed with Bridgerton. @Two Night Stands shared a great list of romance reads that are perfect for fans of Bridgerton and I could help but add a couple of these to my TBR!

I love book quotes, and this year I want to start writing some of my favourites down and keeping a note of all of them so I can look back on them when I’m having a bad day. Becky @Becky’s Book Blog shared some book quotes that will make you swoon and I’m obsessed with all of them!

Have you ever seen or picked up a book that you’ve instantly fallen in love with? I know I have! Kathryn @The Artsy Bookworm shared her list of books that were love at first sight.

Margaret @Weird Zeal shared 5 romance book recommendations based on sitcom couples! This was such a creative and fun idea and combined two of my favourite things!

We all have that list of books that got us into reading and without them this wonderful blogging and reading journey wouldn’t have happened. Amber and Samantha @Bibliomavens shared their list of 10 books that made them fall in love with reading and it got me feeling all nostalgic, I loved it!

I love it when book recommendations are organised by their tropes and the wonderful Pilar @The Bookworm Shelf did just that and shared 24 amazing, modern, standalone romance novels recommendations!

Love isn’t always romantic and usually takes the form of friendship. Kat @The Lily Cafe shared her list of books that have fabulous friendships and it’s so refreshing to find book recommendations that celebrates the strong bond friendship, instead of the classic friends-to-lovers trope. Ive yet to read any of the books on Kat’s list but there’s definitely a few new ones on my TBR!


Lots of bloggers also shared their lists of bookish things that every book lover needs. I don’t need anymore books or bookish items but these posts have convinced me that it’s good to treat yourself now and then and to get creative:

Em @EmandHerBooks made a list 10 things every book lover needs, and although I already have a couple of things off this list, I need more! I’ve been looking at getting a nice book sleeve for while and maybe this is a sign to treat myself!

Emma @The Bookworm Girl shared a great list of gifts to buy a book lover and I need them all! I’m a big tea drinker so the bookish mug is right up my street and I’m constantly using old tatty bookmarks so it might be time to invest in a fancy new personalised one!

Georgia @Lost in Neverland has inspired me to make my own book quotes jar and I’m obsessed! This is such a wonderfully creative idea that is perfect for keeping track of some of your favourite quotes and it’s lovely to look back on them when you’re having a bad day!

Kristin @Kristin Kraves Books shared her STUNNING Pride and Prejudice collection and it’s fair to say that I’m jealous! I didn’t think I needed any more copies of Austen’s classic but Kristin has convinced me that I have to have the Penguin Clothbound Edition on my shelf!

As many of you know I’m obsessed with The Storygraph, and I’m always on the lookout for some good bookish apps! Estelle @The Bookish Garden shared some of her favourite apps that every bookworm needs on their phone/tablet and I’ve found some great new apps that I’m looking forward to trying soon!


The blogging community is a great place to find book recommendations and you never know whey you’re going to find your next favourite read:

I don’t know about you but I love reading underrated books on Goodreads, it’s like having your own little secret story that only a couple of other readers have experienced. Ally @Ally Writes Things shared her list of books with fewer than 5000 ratings on Goodreads that you should read, and I couldn’t resist adding a few of these to my TBR!

Alison @Alison in Bookland shared a great list of lesser know series by popular authors you need to read ASAP! I don’t need anymore books on my endless TBR, but I couldn’t help myself! Whoops! Anyway, she includes some great series, so be sure to check it out!

Caro @Book Cheshire Cat shared her list of books she’s put and hold and wants to pick up again soon! We’re all guilty of it and it’s encouraged me to take a look at my own list, and hopefully next month I’ll be able to tick a few off!


February 2021 will forever be know as the month A Court of Silver Flames DESTROYED me! So I had to share some reviews and celebrate this book a little more:

Becca @Toastie Books and Katie @Melting Pages shared their review on A Court of Silver Flames and I agree with everything they said! These are both great reviews and highly recommend you check them out!

I love it when people read ACOTAR and fall in love with it! Chiara @Heavenly Bookish shared her thoughts on A Court of Mist and Fury and even shared a few of her favourite fan-art pieces which I loved!


This month I also read some great discussion posts and features that I just couldn’t help but share:

Another feature I’m really enjoying recently is Riddhi @Whispering Stories blogger interviews, this is such a fun and unique idea and the perfect opportunity to discover more about the blogging community! When I’m reading these interviews I feel like I’m right there with them and a part of the conversation, I love it!

Bertie @Lumionsity Library always writes some of the best discussion posts and their recent post about women who write about gay men is brilliant. If you haven’t read it yet then I highly recommend that you do and also check out the comments for some great recommendations.

As an English Literature graduate classics have played a huge part in my life, and I loved reading about Zoë’s @Reading by the Moonlight developing relationship with them. It’s easy to fall out of love with classics and to be intimidated by them, but once you overcome that hurdle it opens up a world of beautiful and powerful stories!


And finally, lots of bloggers shared some super helpful reading and blogging tips that I had to share:

Shannen @Rekindled Bibliophile started a new series called ‘Breaking into Books’ that focuses on giving tips and advice to new readers or readers that have recently returned to books after a long break. I think this is a great idea and I look forward to following along!

It’s no secret that my TBR is way too long and needs cutting down ASAP. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has an endless list of unread books! Chana and Malka @Paper Procrastinators shared a brilliant post on how to cut down your TBR that is guaranteed to make you smile and laugh out loud.

As I’ve mentioned earlier that I’m a big fan of classics but they can be intimidating. Shaniah @Books and Baking shared her top 10 tips on reading classics that are super helpful and perfect for anyone looking to dive into the wonderful world that is classic literature!

And finally the wonderful Sofii @ A Book. A Thought shared her tips on how to stay motivated as a reader & book blogger. I loved this post and I related to it massively! It’s only in the past couple of months that I’ve really found my blogging identity and passion and creativity for blogging again! Sometimes you just need to take a step back and focus on what you love and to keep it fun! 

Fairytales, Legends and Folklore From Around The World

After the incredible response I received from my last fairytale-inspired post, I thought I would share a few of my favourite classic fairytales and folklore from around the world. There are thousands of incredibly meaningful, and dark spine-chilling legends out there, and these are just merely a handful that intrigued me and sparked my interest! I had so much fun researching and reading all these individual tales, and I want to make it my aim this year to read more books from around the world and about different cultures so, any recommendations would be fabulous!

People have been telling stories about magic, witches, animals and heroes, since ancient times. Fairytales, folklore and legends are full of wild adventures and battles between good and evil. But what I love most about them is the life lessons that can be interpreted from them, and how they vary between cultures to represent colourful beliefs, cultural differences and centuries of wisdom.


Korea

The Blind Man’s Daughter – This beautiful tale highlights the importance of family and the lengths a daughter will go to save her father. The story begins when Shim, a poor, blind man, makes a promise to bring three hundred sacks of rice as a tribute to the temple of Budda after a monk saved his life. On his return home, father and daughter begin to weep, for neither of them could think of a way to pay their debt, that is until Shimchong’s mother returns to her in a dream with a solution…

A Purse Full of Tales – This tale focuses on a young boy who greedily demands stories from everyone he meets but refuses to share them, resulting in the stories rebelling and plotting their revenge against the boy. What I love most about this story is the moral behind it as it simply reminds us that stories are gifts that need to be heard and shared with others, rather than being kept hidden! This is a sign for anyone who has a story in their head to start writing and share your imagination with the world.

China

The Ballard of Fa Mulan – This legendary folk heroine will always be a favourite of mine. Like the Disney adaptation, the legend follows Mulan, as she goes to war in her father place for ten years and then returns home. When her identity is eventually revealed to her comrades Mulan simply offers a metaphor: “The male hare has heavy front paws. The female hare tends to squint. But when they are running side-by-side close to the ground, who can tell me which is male or female?”

The Empty Pot – This children’s folktale again has such a beautiful moral and teaches us the importance of honesty and perseverance. One day by royal proclamation, the Emperor announced a contest to determine who would succeed him to the throne. He declared that any boy should come to the palace to receive one royal seed and whichever boy could show the best results within six months would win the contest and become the Emperor. The young boy cared for his seed and did everything to help it grow, but alas nothing happened. Six months later, all the boys returned to the place with their blossoming plants and awaited judgment, all except for the one young boy who returns with his empty pot. The young boy presents the empty pot to the Emperor and reveals that all the seeds had been cooked, so there was no way anything could have grown! The Emperor valued the boy’s honesty and declared him his successor!

Iceland

Huldufólk – Huldufólk or hidden people are elves in Icelandic folklore and are supernatural beings that live in nature and are a huge and magical part of Icelandic culture. They remain hidden in enchanted caves and rocks except on special occasions, when a lucky few may spot them wandering. According to folklore, the elves were created by God when he visited Adam and Eve. To prepare for the visit, Eve was washing the children but failed to finish before God arrived, so she hid the rest of the children. When God discovered what she had done he said, “What man hides from God, God will hide from man” and so the Hidden people came to be.

Brazil

The Fountain Of Giant Land – Long ago there lived a blind King and one day a woman visited the palace with news of a fountain in Giantland that would cure his blindness. The eldest son then began his quest for the cure, but not before being enslaved by a giant, a fate that also befell the middle brother. To save his family the youngest son set out on his quest and managed to ignore the giant’s tricks and eventually reach the fountain.

At the fountain, he met an old woman and an enchanted princess in the form of a dragon who lay sleeping. The woman told the young prince to return in a year and a day when the enchantment would be broken, and he could claim her as his bride. After an exchange of rings, the prince made it back down the slope and saved his brothers. However, the two older brothers wanted the honours and blessings from the quest for themselves and, cast the young brother ashore whilst he was sleeping.

A year and a day flew swiftly by, but the prince never returned for the princess, so she travelled to meet the king and discover what evil had befallen the young prince. The king listened to their story and forced the brothers to confess. They soon found the young prince working hard for a fisherman and the couple were reunited. The fisherman revealed that, the young prince was the most faithful man to have ever worked for him, and that he had proven to the world that he would be fit to reign as king.

The Legend of Iara – Iara was once the pride of her tribe and grew to be the best warrior of them all — courageous, kind, strong and of course, beautiful. However, her brothers became envious of her and decided to solve their problem with the traditional go-to solution: murder. To save herself, she kills her brothers, but as punishment for what she had done, her father threw her into a river to drown. But she was not alone, and the fish in the river saved her by transforming her into a mermaid. Now when men found her, she would enchant them with her beauty and singing voice.

Middle East

The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor – From The Thousand and One Nights, Sinbad’s adventures across the sea full of riches and of course monsters. The ever-restless Sinbad, who constantly finds himself shipwrecked tells the tale of his grand voyages across the sea and his alterations with mythological legends such as Roc’s (enormous birds), Polyphemus, the Old Man of the Sea and other royal figures.

Russia

The Legend of Baba Yaga – In the deepest darkest woods of Russia, lived a legendary woman renowned for her frighteningly ugly depiction, ever-moving house and appetite for children. Baba Yaga, the Witch of the East, is a character who influenced many classic fictional adventures including the works of Sarah J Maas, Uprooted by Naomi Novik and other Russian folklore.

Books for Every Type of Love | Romance Week 2021

Happy Valentines Day!

This week I’ve been celebrating all things love and have shared a few other posts to help everyone get into the romantic mood and spirit, so I thought I conclude this week with a few romantic recommendations.

I saw this trend over on Bookstagram, and knew I had to do it too! Below is a list of some of the different types of love and some romantic tropes we can’t help but love! I’ve decided to only include books I’ve read on this list, otherwise these recommendations would be as long as my TBR, but feel free to leave any other recommendations in the comments below!


Enemies to Lovers

Everyones favourite romance trope, and the start of some of my favourite fictional couples, including Feyre and Rhys, Anthony and Kate and Bryce and Hunt. What I love the most about these enemies to lovers tropes is the constant bickering and witty remarks that slowly uncover each others hidden feelings for one another and that moment of realisation where they declare their love! I just can’t get enough and I love that we know they’re going to end up together but they just don’t know it yet!

Fake Dating

Again another ‘unexpected love’ trope that pushes two people in intolerable circumstances to form a ‘fake romance’ in order to solve their problem. However, it’s not that simple, and things start to develop romantically!

Friends to Lovers

This ‘will-they-won’t-they’ trope, already has the strong foundations of friendship and sometimes things blossom into something more!

Arranged Romance/Marriage

What’s more romantic than two people being forced to fall in love with each other? This is very similar to our enemies-to-lovers trope but it’s still a classic theme in YA fiction that us readers can’t help but love. One of my favourites in this category is The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh, a beautiful reimagining of The Arabian Nights legend and series I hope to dive back into this year.

Forbidden Romance

Whether it goes against social conduct, family rules or just the universe pushing two people apart, forbidden romances prove that love can conquer anything and to find peace in those ephemeral moments of adoration. But it also teaches us the importance of communication, am I right?

I will never stop going on about how wonderful The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is, and I highly recommend that it’s on next months TBR because it is such a beautifully heartbreaking read.

Heartbreak

These books broke my heart and left me emotionally shattered, so forewarning for anyone who has these books on their TBR to make sure you have your tissues at the ready. As expected not every relationship ends with a ‘happily ever after’ but it does remind us to cherish those fleeting moments of pure happiness and blissful adoration. They remind us to reflect on them, because these are the moments that ultimately aid us in the moulding of ourselves and our future. Heartbreak is something may of us will endure, but it’s what’s waiting for us on the other side that make it all worthwhile.

Slowburn Romance

There’s nothing I hate more than an ‘insta-love’ situation, I’m much more a slow-burn and gradual romantic development kind of person, ever if the anticipation and teasing does kill me at times! With a slow-burn relationship we’re able to truly see our characters grow and develop meaningful feelings for each other resulting in a strong connection and heartwarming romance that just melts my heart. These longer relationships also allow our characters to slow identify and appreciate each others little quirks and create something beautiful.

Loving Yourself

In the wise words of RuPaul, ‘if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?’! These books embrace who we are and celebrate loving ourselves unconditionally as we follow our characters on insightful and beautiful journeys of self-discovery and worth. The reading experiences I had with all these books was unlike any other and I’m grateful to have been apart of them.

Family Love

There’s more to love than just the romantic kind, sometimes love can be found within our family, whether they are blood related or a found family, and is the type of love that has no bounds and will be there unconditionally. These books celebrate and reflect on the importance and fragility of family, so be sure to have your tissues at the ready.

And Finally,

Highlander Romance

I know that this isn’t a type of ‘love’ but it is a love of mine! I’m obsessed with these trashy romance novels and I’m making it my mission to read as many as I can. It all started in a pub in Glasgow, where my best friend and I decided to start a book club with some friends from university, and since then I’ve forced them all to experience the wonderfully cheesy romance that is these highlander adventures. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is the exception on this list, and is anything but a trashy romance, instead it’s the perfect alternative for anyone looking for a Scottish inspired historical romance.

My Favourite Meet-Cutes in YA Fiction | Romance Week 2021

Happy Romance Week! This week my single-self is celebrating everything wonderful about love and along with some of the books and characters that prove that love is real and magical! I thought I’d manifest some of my own romance by going back to where it all started and sharing some of my favourite fictional ‘meet-cutes’!

So what is a meet-cute? It’s an amusing or charming first encounter between two characters that eventually leads to the development of a relationship between them. Eli Wallach’s character Arthur from The Holiday (2006) put it’s best, when he explains what a meet-cute is:

“It’s how two characters meet in a movie. Say a man and a woman both need something to sleep in, and they both go to the same men’s pyjama department. And the man says to the salesman, ‘I just need bottoms.’ The woman says, ‘I just need a top.’ They look at each other, and that’s the meet-cute,” he says.

This initial spark between characters pave the way for different and sometimes less traditional relationships and I can’t help but squeal with excitement when this moment occurs especially when two characters who are destined to be together meet but they just don’t know it yet…

Below are 12 of my favourite unexpected moments of serendipity, all of which include swoon-worthy meetings that us readers can’t help but love, from love-at-first-sight to enemies-to-lovers, awkward encounters and heart-warming beginnings that make our hearts flutter.

*Spoiler Alert*


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

Elisabeth and Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – I love the innocence behind this encounter and the relationship between these too. The pair meet when Elisabeth is discovered spying on the mysterious Magister Nathaniel, in an attempt to discover if he had pointy ears and cloven hooves or not. After destroying a couple of bookshelves and faking a not-so-convincing stumble, the two engage on magical adventure that strengthens the romantic bond between them.

The Sun Is Also a Star (Yoon, Nicola): Amazon.co.uk: Yoon, Nicola: Books

Natasha and Daniel from The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – These two characters meet through a twist of fate and then, of course, fall in love. Daniel saves Natasha from being hit by a car, after briefly meeting in a record store, and continues to spend the day together and prove to her that love is real with just 36 questions. But this isn’t your typical romance, as the book tackles immigration and all types of love and expectation and if you haven’t read it yet I highly suggest that you add it to your TBR.

Pride and Prejudice - Alma Books

Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – The ultimate enemies-to-lovers duo and a classic fictional couple that I can’t help but adore. Darcy first meets Elizabeth Bennet at a ball, where he makes rather demeaning remarks about her while she is within earshot and it is in this moment that the romantic spark between them is ignited!

The Duke and I | Julia Quinn | Author of Historical Romance Novels

Daphne and Simon from The Duke and I by Julia Quinn – As much as I love Anthony and Kate, it’s Daphne and Simon’s first meeting that earns them a spot on this list. Their meeting is slightly different in the books, but it does still involve Daphne’s punching Lord Berbrooke. Simon then stumbles upon her and Berbrook’s unconscious body, and the two devise a plan to remove him before anyone sees.

Josh and Hazel from Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren – I’ve been on a Christina Lauren binge this week, and the chaos that surrounds their meet cute is brilliant. The pair originally meet at collage, after a few unsuccessful and unfortunate run in’s that include Hazel gracelessly throwing up on Josh’s shoes and a post-surgical and unintelligible email. Fast forward ten years when the pair meets again and realise that maybe (after some unsuccessful blind dates) that they’re exactly what each other needs.

The Final Empire: Mistborn Book One eBook: Sanderson, Brandon:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Vin and Elend from The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – Now it wouldn’t be a favourites list without including Sanderson, would it? Vin (disguised as Valette) first meets Elend when she discovers his reading spot at a ball, and from then the two develop a comforting friendship that ultimately blossoms into something more.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: Amazon.co.uk: V.E. Schwab:  9781785652509: Books

Henry and Addie from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E.Schwab – He REMEMBERED her! My heart grew two sizes when Henry recognised Addie, even if he did catch her attempting to steal another book. The relationship between these two star-crossed lovers was beautifully heartbreaking and one of my favourite reads of last year.

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

Bryce and Hunt from Crescent City by Sarah J Maas – As soon as these two met, I knew I was in for a wildly intense relationship that I was going to fall utterly in love with. The banter and attitude between the two instantly establishes that enemies-to-lovers dynamic that us readers can’t get enough of and leaves us wanting more.

The Night Circus: Amazon.co.uk: Morgenstern, Erin: 9780099554790: Books

Celia and Marco from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – One of my favourite fictional couples ever! Marco meets his opponent Celia initially when she auditions for the circus, but it’s not until 1894 that Celia learns the identity of her opponent when she mistakenly takes Marco’s enchanted umbrella from a cafe in Prague and he chases her down for its return. The two then embark on a magical whirlwind and heartbreaking romance that truly defines the power and wonder of love.

The Raven Boys: Amazon.co.uk: Stiefvater, Maggie: Books

Blue and Gansey from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I know this one isn’t particularly romantic or charming but this moment is the beginning of everything. Blue meets Gansey soon-to-be dead spirit in a graveyard and is drawn to him, in a way she can’t entirely explain. The two then officially meet a Nino’s, which ends in a disaster and Blue walking away Gansey’s journal with his notes on Glendower. The relationship isn’t instant and is ladened with all sorts of problems (Blue’s prophecy in particular) but they soon became one of my favourite fictional couples.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before: Amazon.co.uk: Han, Jenny: Books

Lara Jean and Peter from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – The ultimate meet-cute and another one of my favourite contemporary moments. Many of you probably know how these two meet, but for those who don’t know it all starts with a secret letter that was never meant to be sent and from there the rest is history.

A Court of Mist and Fury A Court of Thorns and Roses: Amazon.co.uk: Maas,  Sarah J.: Books

Nesta and Cassian from A Court of Mist and Fury – The two meet when Feyre and the Inner Circle visit her family’s estate and it’s clear that Nesta is an equal match to Cassian’s quarrelling and taunting. It’s only a couple of days now until the release of A Court of Silver Flames and I can’t contain my excitement for much longer!

Blog Posts I Loved This Month | January

It’s clear that everyone is starting 2021 off with a bang because the quality of posts recently has been epic and I’ve enjoyed reading every single one of them! I’m trying to spend more time each evening relaxing and reading different blog posts, instead of scrolling endlessly through social media, and it’s easily been one of the best decisions I’ve made this year. The blogging community is the perfect place to escape to, especially now with everything going on, and I can guarantee that’ll you’ll always find something fun, thoughtful and creative to read.

Anyway, here’s a few posts I loved last month! Enjoy!


Here in the UK we’ve been getting a lot of snow (and rain) recently, so Kate @ Whispering Pages list of book recommendations for a cold winter’s night was the perfect read and full of new and heartwarming reads that I had to add to my TBR!

Chana @ Paper Procrastinators discusses the way in which female characters tend to be portrayed in fiction and it’s probably one of my favourite reads this month! This is such a wonderful and though provoking post that everyone needs to read! Thank you Chana!

Two of my favourite things are books and tarot cards, and the lovely Robin @ Paperbacks and Planners has combined two to create weekly tarot book recommendations. This it’s such a fabulous and unique idea that I’m obsessed with!

Zoë @ Reading by the Moonlight shared some of her Favourite ASMR Rooms and they are the perfect listening material for when you’re curled up with a book or trying to write that all important scene. I’ve now got a whole playlist dedicated to some of my new favourites and have spent the week at Hogwarts, Rivendell and more.

I’m constantly being intimidated by books (I’m looking at you The Priory of the Orange Tree) and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who occasionally gets scared by them. The lovely Rosina @ Lace and Dagger Books shared her list of books that she’s intimidated by and it was nice to see some familiar favourites on her list!

Another post I loved this month was Emma @ It’s a Readers Life post about the 5 Things to Do to Start Your Publishing Journey. As a publishing hopeful I found this post super helpful and reassuring to know that I’m not the only one out there. If you’re looking for a career in publishing too then I highly recommend that you go and check out her post!

It’s no a secret that I have fallen head over heels for Bridgerton, so Briana’s @ Pages Unbound post about 5 YA Regency Books to Read If You Like Netflix’s Bridgerton was exactly what I needed! I don’t need any more books on my TBR but I just couldn’t resist.

I also really enjoyed Krysta’s @ Pages Unbound post about the different Publishing Trends We Need to Bring Back! I’m all for bringing back chapter titles, they make things so much more interesting and I didn’t realise how much I missed then until now!

I love it when a reader is so passionate and enthusiastic about a book and/or author and decides to gush about them in a post, it just makes me so happy! Alexis @ The Reading Addict shared her Appreciation for Angie Thomas and it’s clear that I’m missing out on some great stories and that I need to read more of her books soon.

I love the blogging community and I especially love getting to know everyone better! Leyanis @The Blogger and the Geek introduced herself in her Meet the Blogger post, which was so much fun and has prompted me to write my own, however I don’t think mine will be half as interesting!

This year I really want to start listening to audiobooks, as I’m always running around doing something with my headphones on, as well as looking for any opportunity to read! It’s the best of both worlds. @ Cup of Tea with that Book Please shared a great list of audiobooks for pleasant listening and great storytelling and I’m definitely adding a few of these recommendations onto my TBR.

Naemi @ A Book Owl’s Corner shared a few of her childhood writing notebooks and I was so impressed by 10-year-old Naemi’s writing! Her childhood innocence and limitless creativity makes for a great story and wonderful post that got me think about some of my own childhood journals!

If you haven’t yet joined the Storygraph then what have you been doing? I’m constantly raving this platform and if I can’t convince you then go and check out Felicia @ Felicia Sue Lynn Reviews website review! Spoiler Alert, she loves it too!

And finally I had to include Charlotte @ Mug Full of Books post about her adorable little Book Nook, because it made my day! And I’m very tempted to make my own!

Classic Fairytales That Need More YA Retellings

I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a good-old fairytale retelling! And what I love even more is watching an author subvert and adapt these classic adventures to create new and exciting storylines that we can’t help but love. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas and Heartless and The Luna Chronicles by Marissa Myers are a perfect examples of this, not only are they both wonderful retellings that only use the basic framework of the original story but they use their characters to create something entirely different and unique.

Growing up Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favourite Disney classics, but after reading so many different retellings I’m getting a little bored of the same old storyline, which breaks my heart because it’s such a beautiful tale! This then got me thinking about all the other incredible and magical stories that have yet to be retold and adapted, so I wanted to share a few of my favourites that I believe need more attention!

This has been one of my favourite posts to write this year, and has even inspired me to start writing some modern day fairytale inspired flash-fiction that I hope to share in the future! So if you’re up for the challenge or are looking for a new writing prompt then I challenge you to adapt one of your favourite fairytales!

I loved re-searching all the different fairytales from around the world, so much so that I’ve had to write an entirely different post about some of my new favourites that I found as well as the Myths that I think need retellings, so keep an eye out for them soon!

And finally, shout out to the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson for creating some wonderfully dark fantasy fables!

Peter Pan – This whole idea about not growing up sounds pretty good to me, being an adult is WAY too stressful! This beloved children’s classic has so much potential and I can see it being adapted as both a fantasy but also a contemporary novel. I can also see it as a sci-fi inspired adventure, with Neverland being some distant planet with a secret.

Jack and the Beanstalk – What if Jack found something else at the top of the beanstalk? What if instead of a beanstalk, Jack climbed out of a broken elevator only to find a portal leading to a hidden world?

Rapunzel – Tangled is hands down my favourite Disney film EVER, so it’s only right that I request more Rapunzel inspired reading. I loved Cress by Marissa Myers but I need more, so any recommendations would be great!

Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet tells the story of the doomed love of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette. Prince Siegfried goes out hunting one night and chases a group of swans – one of which transforms into a young woman, Odette, who explains that she and her companions were turned into swans by the evil Baron Von Rothbart. The spell can only be broken if someone who has never loved before swears an oath of undying love and promises to marry her. This tale of broken hearts and deception is one that is packed full of drama and one which I could see featuring an enemies-to-lovers-to-enemies dynamic?

The Frog Prince – Another Disney favourite that I’d love to see! If we break it down, the story ultimately revolves around a fatal kiss and from that there is endless opportunity!

The Little Match Girl – This is such a underrated and beautifully heartbreaking story and focuses on a dying child’s dreams and hope. I’d love to see this powerful story used as a narrative to raise attention for youth homelessness.

The Twelve Brothers – One of the lesser known tales by The Brothers Grimm but ultimately is a tale about who should inherit a mighty kingdom. A king wants to kill his twelve sons, but only if his thirteenth child would be a girl. This way, she alone can inherit his kingdom. The Queen warns her son and urges them to escape into the forest where they are forced to live, until they are discovered by their sister years later. I’m a sucker for a fantasy that focuses on a fight for the throne and is another classic fairytale with lots of potential.

A Christmas Nutcracker – A Christmas classic that I’d love to see adapted into a romanic and lighthearted festive contemporary!

The Twelve Dancing Princesses – Aside from the cinematic masterpiece that is Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this story adapted. In short the story follows 12 princesses who are locked away securely every night by the king, but in the morning their dancing shoes are found to be worn through as if they had been dancing all night. Determined to uncover their secret the King offers a reward to anyone who can uncover their whereabouts every night, and is revealed by a solider that every night they escape through a trap door to meet 12 waiting princes and embark on a night of fun and dancing.

Most Anticipated Adaptions of 2021

2021 is already proving to be an exciting year, as some of our beloved stories and adventures are finally being released on the big (and small) screen! When adapting books to movies there’s always the worry that the writers and directors are going to change elements and cut important and much-loved parts from the script but I’m quietly optimistic for this year’s releases. I don’t want to wish my life away but there’s a few shows this year I’d happily sell my soul to watch early, the excitement is killing me!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (February 2021)

Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Volume 3 To All the Boys I've Loved Before:  Amazon.co.uk: Han, Jenny: Books

The final instalment to what I consider to be one of the best YA adaptations EVER! Netflix has managed to capture the heartwarming and beautifully romantic journey that is Lara Jean’s love life and has successfully shared her story with the world. It’s great seeing all my friends fall in love with this story and I’ve even managed to get them to read the books as they’re desperate to find out what happens next. It’s fair to say that I’ve got high expectations for this final film and I just hope they give Lara and Peter the epic conclusion they deserve.

The Nightingale (December 2021)

The Nightingale: Amazon.co.uk: Hannah, Kristin: 9781509848621: Books

I’ve yet to read the book to this adaptation but it sounded so good that I couldn’t help but include it on my list. Starring both Dakota and Elle Fanning, this film follows the lives of two sisters living in France who are torn apart at the onset of World War II. I have a huge appreciation and love for films about both World Wars, with favourites such as Atonement, Dunkirk, Fury, and Jojo Rabbit, so I already know that I’m really going to love this one.

The Selection (TBA)

The Selection - Wikipedia

This adaptation has been going around the rumour mill for a while now, but we could be finally seeing this classic YA romance on our screens soon! Netflix has yet to announce anything about the cast or anything else for that matter but all we know is that author Kiera Cass is just as excited as us!

Nine Perfect Strangers (TBA)

Nine Perfect Strangers: The Number One Sunday Times bestseller from the  author of Big Little Lies eBook: Moriarty, Liane: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

I absolutely loved Big Little Lies, so to see more of Liane Moriarty’s books being adapted is great! This book has been sat on my bookshelf for ages so I think it’s about time I finally dive into this thrilling mystery.

The Pursuit of Love (TBA)

The Pursuit of Love: Amazon.co.uk: Mitford, Nancy, Heller, Zoë:  9780241974681: Books

One of my favourite books ever is finally getting the BBC adaptation treatment and I’m beyond excited. Starring Lily James, Andrew Scott and Emily Mortimer, I’m quite confident that I’m going to absolutely adore it! The book follows an upper class English family during the war and focuses love, class and relationships, its a classic light-hearted storyline that audiences will love.

Conversations with Friends (TBA)

Conversations with Friends (181 POCHE): Amazon.co.uk: Rooney, Sally:  9780571333134: Books

After the huge success that was Normal People, I’m not surprised to see Rooney’s other book getting the adaptation treatment! And it’s good to hear that the same core team who made Normal People will once again be working together to bring Conversation with Friends to our screens!

Chaos Walking (March 2021)

Chaos Walking: The Complete Trilogy by Patrick Ness

Starring Tom Holland AND Daisy Ridley this film already looks epic! I’ve yet to read this series but the dystopian world Ness has created has certainly made me curious. Plus that trailer looks intense! Todd Hewitt has been raised to believe that a viral germ has killed all women and unleashed Noise, the special ability to read people’s and animals’ minds. Alone, he must face a planet erupting in war—that is, until he meets Viola, the source of the silence.

Shadow and Bone (TBA)

Shadow and Bone: Book 1 (THE GRISHA) eBook: Bardugo, Leigh: Amazon.co.uk:  Kindle Store

Word’s can’t describe how excited I am for this series to hit our screens, and for these characters and Bardugo’s wonderful Grishaverse to come to life. Transporting this world from page to screen isn’t a small feat but such responsibility has been embraced by executive producers Eric Heisserer and Shawn Levy, with Leigh Bardugo also on board as a producer. I have total and utter faith that this adaptation will stay true to the books and will successfully embody everything we as the fans cherish in this series. 

The Last Letter from Your Lover (March 2021)

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes | Vulpes Libris

Another Jojo Moyes adaptation? I’ll grab the tissues! Starring Felicity Jones, Shailene Woodley, Callum Turner and Joe Alwyn, the book focuses on a young journalist who becomes obsessed with a series of letters she discovers that recounts an intense star-crossed love affair from the 1960s.

There’s Someone Inside Your House (February 2021)

There's Someone Inside Your House: Amazon.co.uk: Perkins, Stephanie:  9780525426011: Books

If you’re a fan of Pretty Little Liars, then the chances are that you’re going to love this adaptation too. The graduating class at Osborne High is being targeted by a masked assailant, intent on exposing the darkest secret of each victim, and only a group of misfit outsiders can stop the killings. I read this book ages ago but I can’t remember a thing! Looks like I’m going to have to have a quick re-read before it’s release!

Death on the Nile (September 2021)

Death on the Nile (Poirot): Amazon.co.uk: Christie, Agatha: 9780007119325:  Books

I’m a sucker for a good murder mystery, and there’s no one better than Agatha Christie. I really enjoyed the recent adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express and I’m equally excited to see this book get it’s own A-list adaptation! Starring Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Letitia Wright and other famous faces, this film is guaranteed to be a hit.

Dune (October 2021)

Dune by Frank Herbert | Waterstones

I need something to fill the sci-fi void in my heart and I think this adaptation will do just the trick. The cast looks incredible, and will star Oscar Isaac, Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa and more!

I was gutted that this film wasn’t released last year, but this film deserved to be experienced on the big screen rather than at home so I’ll happily wait a little bit longer. Plus that gives me more time to finally read the book!

Blog Posts I Loved This Month | December 2020

What better way to start the New Year off, than by highlighting and celebrating some of my favourite posts from last month! During December many of us, including myself, participated in Blogmas, so there was lots of really good and fun posts to read, but that also made it really difficult to choose which ones I wanted to include this month!

Anyway, here’s a few posts I loved last month! Enjoy!

December is a month of reflection and one of my favourite posts to read is everyones ‘favourite new-to-me authors of that year’ as I love discovering new authors and seeing if any of my favourites have made it on to other readers lists! Both Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books and Mehek @ The Critiques of a Fangirl shared some of their favourites and I couldn’t resist adding a few authors and books to my TBR!

I’ve just finished Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff and I’m OBSESSED and am seriously craving some more sci-fi space adventures, so Eliza @ Dusk Angel Reads post about YA Sci-Fi Recommendations was well timed and the perfect read!

As many of you know that I’m in love with everything Sarah J Maas, so when I saw that Marta @ The Monogamist Reader had done The Throne of Glass Book Tag I knew it was tag I had to bookmark for the New Year! I can’t believe that I’ve never heard of this tag! I really enjoyed all the themed questions and reading Marta’s answers, so if your a fan of the series then go check it out!

I also really enjoyed Tilly @ The Biblioshelf’s post on the Six Books She’d Like to Spend the Holidays In! This was such a fun and creative post that got me thinking about which books I’d love to spend the festive season in, and I think I’d have to agree with Tilly and choose either Hogwarts or Narnia!

When buying Christmas presents I made it my aim to try and support small businesses, and even though Christmas is over I still enjoying scrolling through Etsy and discovering independent bookish shops! The lovely Kira @ Kira Jeanette shared some great bookish shops in her post Bookish Small Businesses to Shop From This Christmas and its the perfect read for any book lover! I think I might have to treat myself to a few bits as I don’t think I can resit!

Another book tag I loved this month was The Evermore Book Tag inspired by Taylor Swifts second surprise album! Both Becca @ Toastie Books and Georgia @ Lost in Neverland completed this tag, and as always, I really enjoyed reading their answers.

Last year I discovered the Storygraph and it’s quickly become my go-to website for tracking my reading habits. Siena @ Booksophobia shared her experience with Using The Storygraph vs Goodreads and discusses the pros and cons of using The StoryGraph in comparison to Goodreads. I agree with all of her points and I 100% recommend trying the Storygraph if you’re looking for something a little different!

Fantasy will always be my favourite genre, so when Alex @ PA Reads shared her list of 10 Memorable Fantasy Books You Should Read Today, I knew I had to give it a read! It’s nice to see that some of my go-to favourites (good-old Brandon Sanderson) made it on to her list and I’ve now added Air Awakens by Elise Kova and Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller on to my TBR, as they both some like something I’d love!

There are so many fantasy sub-genres that I’ve yet to fully dive into, and one of my reading goals this year is to explore more fantasy worlds and authors. Jess @ Jessticulates shared a wonderful post about the Desert Fantasy on Her TBR and I couldn’t resist adding pretty much all of the books mentioned on to my TBR! I remember reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh a couple of years ago and really enjoying it, so I’m eager to read more similar adventures soon!

On Monday, England announced it was going back into another full lockdown, so it’s fair to say that these next 6 weeks are going to be a bit of a struggle for me. BUT recently Bertie @ Luminosity Library shared 10 Comfort Reads to Beat Those Winter Blues and I definitely plan to add a couple of these feel-good reads to my monthly TBR, and hopefully they’ll help keep my spirits up!

During December there was also lots of exciting announcements!

Lila @ Hardcover Haven announced her Written in the Margins Travelling Book Club, a book club where a chosen book is sent to eleven readers during which the participant reads and annotates the book before sending it to the next person. This is such a fabulous and fun idea and I can’t wait to follow along! For more information be sure to check out Lila’s post!

And finally, Ahaana @ Windows to the Worlds and Becky @ Dusts of Magic announced the After the Story Writing Project, a collaboration of book bloggers that focuses on writing more and building the confidence to write something you enjoy, while having fun! This is such a brilliant and creative project for any aspiring writer or anyone looking for a unique creative outlet! Be sure to check out their posts for more information!

A Fangirl’s Opinion – A Year in Review 2020

It’s fair to say that 2020 hasn’t been the best year for anyone, but I’m trying my best to look at the positives and celebrate the ‘little’ wins. This post is a little different than usual but I want to take the time to reflect on everything thing that has happened this year and plan out the next step in my blogging journey!

This year the UK has experienced various national lockdowns, which meant that I’ve had all this extra time on my hands and to keep myself busy I’ve been investing this time into my blog and reading goals. By channeling all this additional time and energy I’ve finally (for the first tine in years) managed to maintain some sort of consistent blogging schedule! At the start of the month I created a spreadsheet to help stay organised during Blogmas, and it’s been so helpful that it’s something I’m going to adopt permanently, I’m already so organised for January 2021 and have got lots fun posts planned!

Over these past three months I’ve also seen a huge surge in my views and engagements and I’d like to think that’s down to my content and the fact that I’m starting to see blogging as fun escape again rather than a ‘job’. All this time has also helped me reignite my own creativity and publish a range of unique posts that I’m proud of. I’m starting to discover who I am as a blogger and I’m eager to see what 2021 brings!

Some of my favourite posts of this year include:

Reading Like Rory Gilmore for a Week (TBR & Wrap Up)

7 Books Written During NaNoWriMo

Blog Posts I Loved This Month | October

My Favourite Book Covers of 2020

It still amazes me that this little blog keeps on growing in size! I started the year with just over 500 followers and I’m ending the year with 648 of us! I’ve managed to meet so many wonderful people from all over the world and I look forward to discovering more bloggers next year! I also want to use this as an opportunity to thank EVERYONE for their continued support, it’s so rewarding hearing that people are enjoying my posts and I’m honoured to be apart of this incredible blogging community!

Not only has this been one of my best blogging years but I’ve also managed to read a total of 42 books, surpassing my original Goodreads goal of 35 books!

I’ve also discovered StoryGraph this year, and it’s the perfect platform for any reader. I love all the different graphs it creates based on your reading habits and it’s a great way to reflect on all your different reading styles and genres. It’s not a surprise to see that my top genres for 2020 was young adult fantasy but it’s nice to see more classics, memoirs and contemporary fiction making an appearance!

It’s clear that I like my reading moods like I like my fictional boyfriends, dark, mysterious and emotional as well as always being up for an adventure! Also it did make me giggle that ‘reflective’ was another one of my main reading moods this year, which was completely unintentional but one of my favourite styles of the year.

I wish you all the best for the New Year and lets hope 2021 is a good one!

Happy Reading!

Amy X

My 2020 Favourites – Books, TV Shows and Films

Last year, I celebrated the new year by declaring that it was going to be ‘my year’, fast forward 12 months and it’s a statement that I’m starting to regret. This year hasn’t been anyone’s year to say the least but hope is on the horizon and I pray that next will bring a degree of normality. I know that 2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone, but seeing communities unite by celebrating the little things and our own resilience towards this new and unique way of life is one thing to take away from this year. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve become a lot closer with family, friends despite living hundreds of miles away from them and have used time to reflect on myself and my plans for 2021. I’m eager to start a new year and begin putting my plans into action! Anyway before we bid goodbye to this year, I thought it was only fitting that I’d share some favourite books, TV shows, films and albums!

Books

This has been a heck of a year for book lovers, with lockdown and quarantine bringing us all the time in the world to dive into fantastical worlds and magical adventures as well as loads of epic new releases.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E Schwab – I envy Schwab, and her beautiful ability to craft memorable and magical masterpieces that readers, like myself, will cherish for a lifetime. I’ve still yet to gather my thoughts and opinions into a comprehensive review but it’s easy to say that I loved it.
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – I read a bit of Wilde whilst studying at Univeristy and there’s always that worry when reading ‘a classic’ that I might not ‘get it’ or enjoy it as much as others, but this one surprised me greatly! I found it super easy to read and I certainly wasn’t expecting the intrusively personal thoughts it left me with. This is a true masterpiece that was the perfect read during Halloween and is filled with beautiful quotes that will stay with you long after finishing!
  3. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – I won’t go on about this book anymore and I’m sure that none of you are surprised that it’s on my list of 2020 favourites. If any book makes it on your TBR for the new year then makes sure it’s this one!
  4. Crescent City by Sarah J MaasCrescent City is a perfectly crafted masterpiece. Once again, Maas excels at creating a unique fantasy world filled with an equally fantastic cast of characters and an unexpected storyline that is never once predictable. Like I’ve said before, I could read Sarah’s shopping list and I’d love it, there’s just something wonderfully magical about her writing that sends me head over heels and into her captivating worlds and adventures.
  5. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas – A fitting conclusion to an epic series and one which left me with a major book hangover, I thought I was ready to say goodbye to these characters but I was wrong and those last chapters wrecked me.
  6. Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber – The magic, adventure, and mystery are what makes this story difficult to put down, and just like Caraval it sucks you in and invites you to lose yourself in its wonderful world. Garber makes it easy to fall in love with her characters and I can guarantee that it will have you on the edge of your seat through the entire story.
  7. Aurora Rising by Amie and Jay Kristoff – Another new favourite that I’m obsessed with and the only sci-fi that I read this year!
  8. The Holidaze by Christian Lauren – I wanted something fun and romantic to read over the festive season and this one was perfect!
  9. Little Women by Lousia May Alcott – I adore this story and how heartwarmingly wonderful its characters are, everything about it just makes me so happy. This is a beast of a book but I can assure it’s worth it!
  10. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson – Now it wouldn’t be a favourites post without an appearance from Brandon Sanderson! This is what you call an epic conclusion, and one which left me with the worst book hangover I’ve ever experienced! It truly left me speechless and in awe!

TV Shows

When I’m not reading it more than likely that I’m binge watching a new TV Show, I dare to think of how many hours I’ve spent watching TV this year!

  1. Bridgerton (Netflix) – Hands down my favourite series of the year (a bold statement considering all the other hit shows I’ve loved this year), so much so that I’ve just finished my second re-watch and have order the entire book series to binge in the New Year! I’ll definitely be writing a ‘7 reasons to watch’ post soon so key an eye out for that.
  2. Gilmore Girls (Netflix) – Like many people during lockdown, I used my time accordingly and started a new TV show and have now ultimately fallen victim to the heartwarming wonder that is Gilmore Girls. Every episode feels like a coffee date with your favourites characters, as we follow them on their journeys filled with life’s ups and downs. I can guarantee that your mood will be instantly improved after just one episode!
  3. Schitts Creek (Netflix) – I found this show just at the right time, it lifted my sprits and bought me so much joy and kept me company whilst I was in self isolation. This charming and light-hearted comedy is the perfect binge-worthy show and follows the Roses and their fall from grace after going bankrupt, their only remaining asset, a small dysfunctional town called Schitt’s Creek.
  4. The Mandalorian (Disney+) – As many of you may not know, I’m a huge Star War’s nerd and even have my own lightsaber! This show is successfully filling my sci-fi void and captures everything I love about George Lucas’s masterpiece.
  5. Normal People (BBC) – I read Sally Rooney’s Normal People earlier this year and fell utterly and unexpectedly in love. The story and its characters are so raw and complex, creating a narrative that is more than just a romance. And thankfully the TV adaptation is just as good, the entire show is crafted with the upmost accuracy and care, the producers have done a wonderful job at bringing this story to life!

Films

It breaks my heart to admit that I don’t remember the last time I went to the cinema and I’m really struggling to think of any new release that I’ve watched this year! Some Oscar’s favourites included Jojo Rabbit and A Portrait of a Lady on Fire, both of which were brilliantly clever and are just incredible films I always recommend.

I also finally gave in and subscribed to Disney+, and it’s been one of my best purchases of 2020! My go-to film will always be Captain America: The Winter Solider, in my opinion it’s one of the best Marvel films ever! Also Chris Evans, that man is beautiful! *swoon*! I’ve also particularly enjoyed both Onward and Soul, both are wonderfully emotional films that explore lives we live and our relationships with the people around us, be sure to have the tissues at the ready!

Music

I don’t usually include a music section in my 2020 wrap up post but it wouldn’t be doing it justice if I didn’t mention the Queen herself! This year we were blessed with not one but TWO new albums from Taylor Swift. Like most of the world, I am OBSESSED with this album, it’s everything we’ve been waiting for, especially after the disappointment that was Lover. Both albums are perfect for those cosy autumn afternoons and winter walks! My favourites at the moment are The Last American Dynasty, Illicit Affairs, Betty, Champagne Problems and Tis The Damn Season.