How do you start your 500th post? I keep re-writing this introduction hoping, that something profound and perfect would manifest, but it looks like the pressure is getting to me! Even after seven years, 293,989 words and, 2358 cups of tea, I still struggle to accept that this little blog has grown into something I can confidently say I’m proud of.
My blog has journeyed around the world, pushed me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to so many incredibly supportive people who continue to support me, even when it takes me weeks (and sometimes months) to reply to your comments! Whoops!
Not only has this blog grown, but I’ve grown with it. Seven years ago, sixteen-year-old Amy and her best friend Eleanor started sharing their bookish thoughts with the world, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ll be forever grateful to those two teens, and I don’t think they’d ever expected this site to grow into the platform(s) it is today. I occasionally read some of my old reviews and cringe at all the cliches, but I don’t have the heart to remove them. They’re full of the same bookish enthusiasm and genuine passion that I still embody and see throughout the blogging community daily.
My confidence, creativity, and writing have evolved massively, and over these past twelve months, I’ve witnessed myself becoming an entirely different person (in a good way!). I’m writing posts that I enjoy writing, exploring unique concepts and letting my creativity run wild, and I honestly couldn’t be happier with my progress. Admittedly this journey hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, I’ve had to prioritise my mental health and take a much-needed step back, but I’m like a boomerang, I’ll always come back!
This blogging journey started as a hobby but has grown into something that feels like a second job. It’s hard work but worth every second. Every notification, like, comment, tag fills me with so much joy, and it’s heartwarming to know that someone enjoyed the content I produced. It’s exhausting, and I’ll regularly come home and jump straight onto my laptop to start writing, but without this creative outlet, I’d be lost. One of the most important lesson’s I’ve learned from my experiences is that it’s okay to miss an upload. No one is going to unfollow or forget about me! I used to post just for the sake of posting, worried that if I didn’t stick to my schedule that I would fail. It’s clear to me when I re-read those posts that my heart wasn’t truly in it and that something was missing.
In all honesty, it wasn’t until I sat down to start writing that I noticed this would be my 500th post, but fate has a funny way of bringing things together. As many of you know, I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, so here’s me telling you to GO FOR IT!
It’s been nearly two months since I posted on this platform, and I will admit there was a second that I contemplated letting this blog go, but then I asked myself what I loved about blogging? I love that I combine my creativity and imagination with one of my biggest passions, as well as connecting with a group of like-minded people who share my love for books. It sounds cliche, but blogging is the perfect escape. I’m able to let my thoughts roam free, and it’s a platform that fuels my creativity and confidence.
My biggest piece of advice for creating content is to let your creativity run wild and to write about what you want to write about, not what you think others would enjoy or what would be ‘popular’. I love it when I read a post and, you can feel the enthusiasm and passion transcend through the page. Those are the posts that gift me with the best reading experiences. And I know it’s cliché, but just being yourself is the key to an incredible blogging experience, have fun with it and let your imagination free.
This time last year, I completely changed the way I looked at blogging, I discovered my blogging identity and found a new sense of energy for this platform. I have my ‘Reading Like a Fictional Character’ series to thank for this renewed love for blogging. I wanted to try something different, so I combined two of my loves; read-a-thons and Gilmore Girls. That post unlocked something within me and the way I blog. I don’t think I’ve written a single book review this year, and that’s perfectly fine! My blogging style has changed, and although I don’t read as much as I used to, that doesn’t stop me from sharing my thoughts and getting involved with the bookish community.
I know I am the worst person in the world at replying to comments, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t see them. Every notification fills me with so much joy and never fails to bring a smile to my face. I can’t praise the blogging community enough, everyone is incredibly supportive, and I still find it crazy that even though we’ve never met we’ve all established a friendship that I cherish. I know I say it a lot, but thank you to every single one of you, for your love, support and endless enthusiasm.
Anyway, this is my 12 Days of Blogmas 2020 announcement! The plan is to post festive and fun content every other day in the lead up to the big day! I’d love to publish something every day, but working in retail during one of the busiest time of the year makes that almost impossible! I’ll be channelling my inner Christmas elf, running around selling presents and working throughout the night making sure that everything is stocked up and perfect. But not to worry, I’ve got the spreadsheet ready and have got some really fun and Christmassy posts coming your way so keep your eyes peeled!
I completed blogmas last year, and had so much fun with it that I thought I’d challenge myself again! I’ve been a bit absent recently and I hoping that blogmas will get me back into the blogging spirit and more involved with the blogging community! These past couple of months I’ve take a step back to focus on myself and I’m now in a position where I feel more confident and excited about the future and what’s to come! I’ve also been using this time to focus on my bookstragram (@afangirlsopinion), it’s certainly been a learning curve but one that’s taught me so much and got me involved with another wonderful community! My plan is to do something similar and festive over on bookstagram, so feel free to follow along!
My two biggest tips for anyone participating in blogmas is to first get organised! Blogmas can be hard-work, but the challenge is definitely worth it! One way to make it easier is to plan out your ideas, I’m a sucker for spreadsheets or a good old to-do list, anything that helps me stay on top of all my posts! And the second tip is to ENJOY it, its called the most wonderful time of the year for a reason! Don’t worry if you miss a day, the whole point of blogmas is to help get each other in the Christmas spirit and to have a bit of fun!
If you’re also participating in blogmas then please leave a link to your blog in the comments below, as I love following along and reading other peoples blogmas posts!
October is my favourite month of the entire year; I love cosy jumpers, pumpkin spice lattes and all of the autumnal vibes, plus it’s my birthday month, so that’s an added bonus! I’ve got a lot to look forward to this month, not only have a booked a cheeky weekend down in London but I’m also going back to EDINBURGH! Edinburgh is one of my favourite places in the entire world and I can’t wait to spend a couple of days exploring more of this beautiful city! One day I’ll live there, but right now I’ll just have to settle for a couple of days here and there!
I start every month with a promise that the next month would be better, that I’d finally sort my routine and break out of this horrible cycle of disappointment, and so far I’ve yet to keep that promise! Whoops! BUT this month will be different! I turn 24 this much and it’s about time I sort my life out and start focusing my energy back into myself. I’ve made a monthly to-do list and at the top of that list is to ‘get back into blogging’, it’s something that I’ve really missed and I can’t wait to bring some of my post ideas to life!
I want to say a HUGE thank you to all my followers (new and old!) for welcoming back into this community. I took a couple of months off for my metal health and it truly felt like a piece of me was missing. I find it crazy to think that I’ve never met any of you, but I consider you all some of you as great friends who always make me smile with your kind and lovely comments and positive energy! I wish I could give you all a huge cuddle, so here a virtual hug!
September Wrap Up
I didn’t read much this month, but what I did read completely blew me away and gifted me with a reading experience like no other.
The House on the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune – This book is like a warm hug, it’s wonderful. It completely surpassed my expectations and filled me with so much love and joy. Thank you to everyone who recommended this book, it’s quickly become one of my favourite reads of the year and if you still haven’t read it yet then I HIGHLY recommend you do, it’s beautiful.
I love read-a-thons and one of my favourite things about them is picking my TBR based on the different prompts, so I think each month I’m going to set myself a few challenges rather than a selection of books I probably won’t read! I’m very much a mood reader with a huge TBR who also struggles with making decisions (that’s the Libra in me), so it’s no surprise that I don’t ever stick to structured monthly TBR’s! I’m ready to change things up and try something a little different! I’m also really behind in my Goodread’s reading challenge (12 books to be exact!) so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!
Read something spooky: It’s spooky season! It wouldn’t be an October TBR without a few frightening reads!
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins, White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson, Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, Wilder Girls by Rory Power, The Chalkman by C.J. Tudor
Read a book off my ’25 books challenge’: Alli @The Book Giraffe shared 30 books she wanted to read in the 30 months before she turns 30, so I thought I’d make my own list of book I want to read before I turn 25!
Keep an eye out for a post coming soon!
Read a book about witches: I’ve just started re-watching Merlin and I’m really craving a bit of magic, specifically books that involve witches and sorcerers!
Windwitch by Susan Dennard, Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin, The Bone Witch by Ron Chupeco, The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Read a book off my out-of-control TBR: My TBR is embarrassing and I’m not allowed to buy any more books until I sort it out and get it under control! The problem is that since joining bookstagram I’m constantly seeing great book recommendations that I can’t help but add to my Goodread’s shelves!
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Hello, I’M BACK! I took a much-needed break last month but I’m happy to be back to blogging and catching up with everyone (and my GIANT TBR). A lot has happened over the last three months, and it’s funny how things can change in an instant. Last month I was the happiest I’d been in a long time, but the universe had other the plans and threw me a curve ball!
Ironically, it was during this heartbreak that I learned how much I was loved. I have the most incredible network of friends, family and co-workers who showered me with love and who continue to make me smile even when I’m at my lowest. It truly surprised me and I never expected so many people to care and I’ll be forever grateful for everyone who made me laugh through the tears and for all the cuddles!
As many of you know I also started a bookstagram earlier this month and again the love and support I’ve received since starting my account is incredibly overwhelming! Everyone has been so nice and welcoming and it’s easily one of the best decisions I’ve made all year! I just can’t believe its taken me this long!
Although my confidence has been knocked massively, I’m happy to say that things are getting better and I’m excited to see what the rest of the year has in store for me! Reading and the blogging community has always been my escape and I’m ready to start investing in myself and some much needed ‘me time’!
Anyway, my point in all of this is the importance of love. Writing these monthly posts are my way of spreading a little bit of appreciation because everyone needs a little bit of love in their lives and it’s my way of giving back to a community that has shown me endless support. I missed last months post so I’ve gone a bit mad with my recommendations, I just couldn’t help myself, so I hope you all enjoy and that you find some more incredible blogs to follow!
I love it when bloggers share extracts from their WIP’s, I get so excited and I’m constantly in awe at the work and creativity they share. J @Midnight Book Blog shared a beautifully haunting extract that gave me chills and now I need more!
Alice @Love for Words is creating a bookish box full of surprises for their best friend and I think is such a wonderful idea that I might have to do myself!
I’ve been in and out of a reading slump for a couple of months now and the wonderful Zoe @Reading by the Moonlight came to my rescue by sharing some great tips that have really helped, so thanks you! It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who struggling through a long reading slump!
One of my favourite series to watch on YouTube is Vogue’s 73 Questions, so when Kristin @Kristin Kraves Books posted her answers I knew I was going to love reading it and enjoy getting to know her a little more! I also have Simply the Best by Noah Reid on repeat most of the time, and would love an invite to the her dream dinner party with Jane Austen, Tiffany D. Jackson, and Kate Winslet!
I can always rely on April Lee @Booked till Midnight to write incredibly creative and fun posts that never fail to make me smile! She shared a great on post on how likely characters from her recent reads were to be eaten by lions, and if you looking for a good laugh then check this one out!
I spend an unhealthy amount of time watching TikTok and Reels, and I’ve found so many new book recommendations from them. Elli @Ace Reader read some of TikTok’s most recommended romances and shared some great mini reviews too!
I’ve been blogging for over six years now and I’ve definitely learned a few things but at the same time I’m constantly learning new things every day! @The Passive Bookworm just hit her one year blogging anniversary (yay!) and shared some great lessons she’s learned whilst running a book blog!
I’ve just scheduled a Netflix Book Recs blog post (so keep your eyes peeled for that), but if you can’t wait then definitely check out Maddie @Inking and Thinking book recs based on popular TV shows and movies series! Her recommendations are spot on and perfect is you’re looking for your next read.
Another one of my favourite posts this month was Cherelle @A Bolt out of the Book Marvel movie book recs! I’m obsessed with the Marvel-verse and reading so this post was the perfect combination of the two!
Surprisingly I didn’t take any books with me when I moved to university because I knew I’d would be buying lots of them for my degree and I’m always curious to see what books people bring with them! Taylor @Planty of Pages has the best taste when I comes to picking books, and I’m a little jealous at how perfect this TBR is!
Jade City by Fonda Lee has been on my TBR for wayyy too long, and I’m constantly hearing good things about this series! @Book A Fiction shared their glowing review and it’s convinced me to finally start reading!
My TBR for the rest of 2021 is INTENSE! Nikaarika @Clouded Galaxy Reads also shared 21 books they want to read before the end of 2021 and it was nice to see a few favourites on that list too!
I love a good old rant and @Words on Fleek made my day with their post about things YA authors do that just irks us! This was such a fun read that had me nodding in agreement and dying with laughter, so be sure to check this post out if you need something to brighten your day!
I’m currently planning a trip to Cambridge and the lovely Aisling @Aisling Hamill Books has very kindly provided me with a detailed list of some of her favourite bookshops, a list that will be the perfect guide for my upcoming trip!
Trying to juggle a full time job whilst applying for other jobs and maintaining a healthy social life and a consistent blogging schedule is a bit overwhelming, so any advice is always welcome! Andrea @Andrea’s Book Corner shared some great and really helpful tips on how to be a book blogger when you have no time, and this post was exactly what I needed!
It sounds bizarre but I regally think about what books I’d bring with me if I was stuck on a desert island and the lovely Becky @Becky’s Book Blog shared her list of book she’d want to bring is she was ever stuck!
Morgan Matson is one of my go-to favourite authors, her books are always so adorable and fun! If you’re trying to decide which one of her books to pick up then definitely check out Christy and Claire @I’m All Booked Up post where they ranked all of her books! Although I agree with most of their ranking but I do think that Amy and Roger deserves a higher place on that this, that book is a classic!
I love a good-old roadtrip, and recently took one up to Scotland! Rachel @A Bookworms Paradise got really creative and compared some recent reads to roadtrips, and I’m so in love with this idea! This was such a fun and unique post, and all of Rachel’s comparisons were spot on!
I’m very happy that I won’t be duelling Erin @Reading on a Star anytime soon, as we both luckily share the same excellent taste when it comes to bookish tropes! Like Erin I’m a sucker for a pirate trope so any recommendations would be wonderful!
A post that made me smile (and very hungry) was Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger post where she replaced weapons on book covers with food! I’m still howling at ‘Queen of Kebabs’ and ‘A Gathering of Corn Dogs’!
I’ve been meaning to read some more classics and Ellie @Eleanor Sophie Writes shared 10 Classics to Try if you Like SFF! This post was exactly what I needed and it was nice to see some favourites like Frankenstein and Flowers for Algernon on the list!
As I mentioned previosuly my reading this year hasn’t been great, and reading everyone’s wrap ups from the first half of 2021 has definitely given me so much needed enouragement to get back into reading. Sophie @Me and Ink shared her wrap up and I loved how she structured this list into tiers!
I’ve recently fallen in love with audiobooks, and I’m always on the lookout for recommendations! Lotus @Pages of Starlight must have heard me and shared a great list of 6 worthy audiobooks to listen to and I couldn’t help but add a few of these of my TBR!
It was only since last year that I completed my first re-read for personal enjoyment (rather than for university exams!) and I loved the whole reading experience. There are some books that I’m too scared to read again because I’m worried that I won’t love them as much, Line @First Line Readers shared the books she’s scared to re-read so be sure to check this post out too!
I’m always on the lookout for book recommendations, and Em @Em and Her Books shared a great list of suggestions for romance readers! I’ve been on a bit of a romance kick recently so this post was exactly what I was looking for, thank you Em!
Another post I really enjoyed was Alli @The Book Giraffe’s list of 30 books they want to read in the 30 months before they turn 30! I am obsessed with this idea and this post has inspired me to create my own list of books I want to read before I turn 25!
I swear I’m the only person who hasn’t read Atlas Six yet, and after reading Sanah @Stories & Stardust interview with author Olivie Blake, I knew had to order myself a copy ASAP! I loved this little chat and I look forward to going back and reading more of these questions when I finish reading it! If you’ve already read Atlas Six then I highly recommend you check out Sanah’s incredibly detailed and enjoyable post!
The incredible Sofii @A Book A Thought always gives the BEST book recommendations! I’m a huge fan of magical realism and just magic in general, so Sofii’s post on 5 star worthy magical books was right up my street! This list has something for everyone and I guarantee you’ll find something to add to your TBR!
It sounds weird but I really enjoy reading bad reviews of some of my favourite books, some of them are really funny! Cherry @Letter to the Lost also reacted to one star reviews, and now I really want to read We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal! That book has been sitting on my shelfs for wayyy too long!
I’m a sucker for a good cover and the lovely Ally @Ally Writes Things shared some beautiful book covers that’s she’s just not interested in reading! I’m constantly drawn to pretty book covers and Ally’s post has inspired me to start a little bookish art project!
I can always rely on the wonderful Stephen @Stephen Writes to share thoughtful and enjoyable discussion posts, his recent one being about the beauty of paratexts! These little bits of gold are usually overlooked but they’re some of my favourite parts of a book!
I love seeing other peoples predicted favourites posts, they’re always so much fun and I enjoy comparing our TBR’s! Beks @The Little Fiction Fox shared 5 books they think will be new favourites and I 100% agree with all their picks especially Jade City and Skyward!
One of my favourite style of posts to read is when other readers share some of their most loved quotes. The wonderful Maria @The Character Study shared some of her favourite quotes, and I had to add a couple of these to my quotes jar!
I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.
I always enjoy @Kira Jeanette’s writing updates and they always encourage me to start writing again! I’ve broken out the ideas notebook and all the abandoned files on my laptop and I’m give this whole writing thing another crack!
I recently read We Were Liars in one sitting and there’s just something really satisfying about finishing a book in one go. @Novels and Teacups shared 6 books they read in one sitting and this list has encouraged me to finally start reading All The Light We Cannot See! That book has been sitting on my shelves for years and I think it’s about time I see what all the fuss is about!
Blogging has been a huge part of my life and I’ve discovered so many new favourite books and authors from it. To celebrate 9 years of blogging Emma @Never Judge a Book by its Cover shared 9 favourite books she discovered from blogging! It’s nice to see a few favourites on this list as well as some new books that I couldn’t help but add to my ever-growing TBR!
Another one of my favourite posts from the past two months was Katja @Life and Other Disasters post about whether they were compatible readers with the gorgeous hunk that is Chris Evans!
I can always rely on Birdie @Birdie’s Booktopia for great book recommendations, and she’s shared the perfect list of 2022 diverse YA debuts to anticipate! I couldn’t resist adding all of these books to my TBR and I’m very excited to read these stories soon!
Georgia @Lost in Neverland always has some of the best reviews, and her review of Wendy Darling by A.C.Wise has me hooked! Georgia has loads of lovely book reviews so be sure to check them out!
For the past couple of years I’ve been dying to go to YALC but I haven’t got anyone to go with, and I did try and get involved this year but I just so busy with work! Luckily I was able to live vicariously through Rosina @Lace and Dagger Books who shared her experience with the virtual event!
I’m all about spreading the love and @24 Hour Book Blog has a great list of YA books that deserve more love! There’s definitely a few on this recommendations post that I’ve had to add to my TBR, so be sure to check it out!
Shadow and Bone, Catching Fire and The Mortal Instruments (film not the TV Show) are some of my comfort viewings and the lovely Aarushi @Aarushi Reads shared some adaptions she thinks are pretty good!
Now let’s take a moment to talk about Rukky @Eternity Books heartfelt and honest post about struggling with your identity as a blogger. I don’t think I’ve ever related to a post more, and it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in my struggles. I love blogging and although it’s taken a back seat over these past couple of months, it’s something that continues to bring me joy and something I love to pour my heart into, but it is a lot of hard work and pressure. There’s never any need to apologise for our absences or hiatuses, we all need to look after ourselves and do what makes us happy. The blogging community is such an incredibly supportive place and will always be there to welcome people back with open arms! There’s so much more I could say about this post, but I think it’s best if you guys check it out yourself and give Rukky some love!
Seriously, where did that month go? Last month I opened up a bit more in regards to my mental state and I was overwhelmed with all the incredible responses, and it’s comforting to know I’m not alone in my struggles. I wish I could reach out of my screen and give each and every one of you a big hug, all your love and support has helped me through some difficult times and for that I’ll be forever grateful!
This month has been a month of planning! Behind the scenes I’ve been writing lots of blog posts and if you haven’t see already, I also STARTED A BOOKSTAGRAM! This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now and I’m so excited to get involved with another bookish community! I’m always on the lookout for bookish accounts to follow so if you’ve got a bookstagram account then please leave a link in the comments!
Thank you to everyone who’s been so lovely and welcoming, I wasn’t expecting such an incredible response!
As for my reading, I think I’ve finally made it out of my reading slump and ticked a few more books off my ever-growing TBR! The trick? Audiobooks! I’ve mentioned before that I’ve struggled to get into audiobooks as I find it difficult to focus but I surprised myself when I couldn’t stop listening to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! As expected I LOVED this book, and I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to finally read it.
When it comes to audiobooks, I think it’s best that I just take baby steps and stick with listening to romances and thrillers as I don’t think I’m ready to dive straight into fantasy books with their detailed world building and large cast of characters! I’ve also got a 9 hour family road trip to look forward to this month, so any audiobook recommendations would be wonderful!
Anyway, my aim this month is to get back into blogging and to get more involved with this community! At the beginning of the year I was in a great place but blogging recently has taken a back seat and I miss engaging with all you wonderful people! So, here’s to another great month filled with happiness and lots of reading!
July Wrap Up
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This book deserves ALL the hype! I love all the old Hollywood glamour and I felt like I was right there in Evelyn’s study listening to her incredible life. Thank you to everyone who recommended this book to me, you’re right I loved it!
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – I’d totally forgotten what happened in this book and I loved experiencing the shock and disbelief all over again! If you’re looking for a quick and easy read for that perfect summers evening then look no further!
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – This book kept me up all night because I couldn’t put it down! This fusion of Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day is brilliant, and Turton does an incredible job at creating an intense and mind-blowing mystery that is full of intricate layers and complex characters.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – If you love a classic enemies-to-lovers trope then this book is for you! I’ve got 100 pages left of this book and so far I loved every page!
For the first half of this month I will be participating in the Merlin read-a-thon, trying to complete various different reading quests. I’ve wanted to get involved with some more read-a-thons, and then as if by chance I discovered this one! Merlin is one of my comfort shows, I’m obsessed these characters and their adventures and you’ll regularly find me re-watching watching my favourite moments! I’ll be sure to leave a link to TBR here if you’re interested!
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – I’ve got a 9 hour drive up to Scotland so I need some good audiobooks to keep me entertained! This book has been on my TBR for way too long, and I’m sure it’ll be a romance that will keep me very entertained!
Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert – I LOVED the first book and I’m eager to have some more fun with the Brown Sisters! I’m 100% sure that Hibbert will capture my heart again with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral!
FINALLY! This has been one of my goals for a while now and believe it or not, but it was my Dad who finally convinced me to step out of my comfort zone and go for it! I follow so many wonderful accounts that post stunning pictures, and I’ve been eager to try it myself, so here goes nothing! Yay!
As many of you know, I am quite an organised person, and have spent the past couple of weeks taking lots of pictures and trying my best to make reels all ready for the big day! I’ve already seen growth and change in the way I take pictures, and it’s been such a fun learning process, so I’m excited for what the rest of this journey has in store! I’m so proud of some of the content I’ve created, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone and to get involved with another wonderful community!
I want to say a HUGE thank you to my Mum and Dad for encouraging me to try something new, and for letting me go mad picking flowers from the garden to help bring these posts to life! I also want to say thank you to my sister and her endless supply of cosy blankets, and finally to my copy of Atonement by Ian McEwan whose pages I had to destroy to get the perfect shot!
It was a no brainer when it came to choosing the name, I’ve built a mini brand around my blog, and I want my bookstagram to be an extension of this platform, so I’ve gone with the classic @afangirlsopinion! This is another exciting step in my blogging and bookish journey, and if anyone’s got any tips for new bookstragramers and how to balance multiple platforms then please let me know!
My first post just went live, and it’s a little introductory post about me and my reading habits, and it would mean the world if you guys checked it out! I’m always searching for new bookish accounts to follow, so if you’ve got a bookstagram then please leave your username in the comments below, or if you want to then head over to Instagram and give me a follow, I’ll be sure to follow you all back!
So many of you have already been so supportive, and I wish I could reach out of my screen and give you all a big hug! All your kind words and love have been my motivation over the past couple of months, and I can’t express how grateful I am to be a part of such an incredible community!
As if my TBR wasn’t long enough, I thought I’d add to this overflowing chaos and emotionally prepare myself for all the incredible books that are being released later this year! A lot of these were already on my radar but there’s a few that slipped through the cracks and I audibly gasped when I spotted them on Goodreads!
Us readers are in for a treat this year, and this list has definitely given me some much needed encouragement to get through some of books on my TBR before it gets too overwhelming! I’ve definitely missed a few so let me know in the comments what new releases you’re looking forward to reading soon!
The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould (August) – Not only am I’m obsessed with this cover but this synopsis is everything! I don’t usually read thrillers but I’m excited to see what mystery and spine chilling moments are lurking behind these pages.
The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad (August) – Another cover that I’ve fallen head over heels for! The Wild Ones is a brilliant feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.
Fresh by Margot Wood (August) – There’s so much pressure to ‘discover yourself’ when your first start university or college, and Fresh sounds like the perfect and truly realistic coming of age story!
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee (August) – Another sappic dark academia adventure that sounds super dark and twisty! A Lesson in Vengeance is mysterious thriller about a boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past.
How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao (August) – Dark academia + murder mystery + Asian American representation = the perfect thriller!
The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith (August) – My TBR has been lacking in historical fantasy and Sasha Peyton Smith has come to my rescue with an immersive and magical adventure about a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.
Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson (September) – I really enjoyed Rogerson’s Sorcery of Thorns, but I my only problem was that it was over too quickly, so I look forward to experiencing more of her incredibly imaginative adventures!
Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber (September) – One of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and I was beyond excited when I received the email saying that my request has been approved! I’m beyond excited to dive into back into the wonderful world Stephanie Garber has created and for opportunity to get to know Jacks a little better!
Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer (September) – I wasn’t a huge fan of Kemmerer’s A Curse so Dark and Lonely series, but this book sounds epic and striking similar to our own! Defy the Night focuses on a kingdom divided by corruption, a prince desperately holding it together, and a girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.
Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn O’Neil (September) – I love the story of Anastasia and the Romanovs, so when I saw this book on Goodreads, it went to the top of my anticipated TBR. Plus that cover is beautiful and I need it on my bookshelves!
Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney (September) – Last year I fell head over heels for Sally Rooney, and she’s quickly become one of my instant-buy authors. I already know that I’m going to love these characters and I’m ready to be blown away!
White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson (September) – Another instant-buy author, Tiffany D. Jackson knows how to create incredible stories and I’m eager to jump into this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story.
The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young (September) – I audibly gasped when I saw this book! We’re getting ANOTHER book set in the world of Fable and I’m beyond excited! When a letter from her uncle Henrik arrives on Bryn Roth’s eighteenth birthday, summoning her back to Bastian, Bryn is eager to prove herself and finally take her place in her long-lost family.
Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz (October) – It’s been years since I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and I can’t believe that we’re finally getting a sequel! Am I emotionally prepared for this book? No, but I can’t wait to be reunited with these characters!
Little Thieves by Margaret Owen (October) – I was lucky enough to receive an ARC for this book from NetGalley and I’m so glad I did because this book sounds intense! I’ve never ready any books by Margaret Owen but I’ve heard lots of good things about her Merciful Crow series!
The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker (October) – ‘Death is her destiny’, I’m sold! The Keeper of Night is a dark historical fantasy set in 1890s Japan, and follows Ren Scarborough, a half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami who has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries.
Bright Ruined Things by Samatha Cohoe (October) – Isn’t that cover gorgeous! I love the 1920’s and bit of Shakespeare so this book is right up my street!
A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow (October) – If you’ve been following this blog for a while then you know that I love a good-old fairytale and the wonderful Alix E. Harrow has created the perfect feminist reimagining of Sleeping Beauty!
Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper (October) – I’m getting all the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina vibes from this synopsis! Three scorned witches who make a vengeance pact to take down the warlock who broke their hearts at different times…only for two of them fall for each other instead. YES!
Well Matched by Jen DeLuca (October) – Another series I need to start! This series sounds super adorable, and who doesn’t love an accidentally in-love rom-com filled with Renaissance Faire flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights!
Our Violent Ends by Chole Gong (November) – I still haven’t read the first book in this series but I planning to next week for my read-a-thon! I’m pretty confident that it’s going to be a 5-star read and that I’ll want the next book in my hands ASAP!
All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody (November) – The Hunger Games with a bit of magic? Um yes please! I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a villain and I’m excited to get to know these characters! And as if by chance I’ve just logged onto my emails online to find a successful ARC approval email, yay!
Gilded by Marissa Meyer (November) – It was only last week when I found this book on Goodreads, and I’m beyond ready for another Marissa Myer’s adventure! The Lunar Chronicles were one of my favourite series growing up and that woman is a machine when it comes to writing books! Once again Myer’s has reinvented another classic fairytale and returns with a haunting Rumpelstiltskin retelling, and if anyone wants to send me an ARC of this book then please let me know! *wink wink*
Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman (November) – I don’t think I’m emotionally prepared for this book! I have so many questions that need answering especially after THAT ENDING!
You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus (November) – Karen M. McManus is the queen of YA murder mystery so I already know that this thriller will keep me on the edge of my seat!
I didn’t expect so many people to relate to my July Wrap Up post, and it breaks my heart to know that I’m not the only one feeling like this. I mentioned in my last post that I felt like I’m constantly climbing a mountain. Every time I catch my breath and get things back on track, I fall and end up right back at the beginning, and it’s exhausting. So, I thought I’d spread a little bit of love and shout out some amazing posts this month!
Things have been a little quiet on my end recently, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been reading all of your incredible posts! I say this every month, but I love writing these posts and looking back at all the amazing content you create! The blogging community has always been a place of endless support, and these little posts are just my way of spreading that love and celebrating why I love the blogging community so much.
Anyway, I hope you all have a fabulous month and happy reading!
If you’re a beginner looking for adult sapphic romance recommendations let look no further than Althea @ Althea is Reading’s great list of picks. From novellas to popular tropes, there are so many incredible books on this wonderfully comprehensive list and I apologise in advance to your TBRs!
April Lee @Booked Till Midnight never fails to make me laugh with her posts, and this month she gave us some great book recommendations based on the weird things she’s been asked at the drive thru. Once again I’m obsessed wit this post and as someone who works in retail I can totally relate to some of these weird comments!
Ally @Ally Writes Things always gives the best book recommendations, and her recent post spotlighting Indigenous authors was just what I need! I’ve only read a handful of books on this list and I’m excited to add a few more of these onto my TBR!
Sam @River Moose Reads has combined two of my favourite things, Captain America and books! I loved this post so much and the fact that I’ve now got loads of new books on my TBR! One of my aims for the second half of the year was to do more read-a-thons and now I’m tempted to do a Marvel themed read-a-thon?
One of my favourite discussion posts this month was Phoenix @Books With Wings post about why aro/ace characters are important in books! I loved this post and I always find it rewarding when I learn something as well as getting some more great book recommendations! Representation in books, and seeing yourself reflected in a book, is super important, and can be so validating and empowering, so thank you Phoenix for such a fabulous post!
Another post I loved this month was Birdie @ Birdie’s Booktopia review of Malice by Heather Walter! There was so much passion in this review and I can’t wait to pick this book up soon!
Emily @Frappes and Fiction paired classics with popular YA books with some great recommendations. All of these pairings were spot on, and it was nice to see some favourites on the list!
Rachel @ A Bookworms Paradise shared her list under-hyped books which deserve more love, and I’m obsessed with this little series of themed recommendations! These little gems definitely deserve more hype so be sure to check this post out and gives these book some love!
Another post that taught me something new was Amanda @ Bookish Brews post about Climate Fiction (or Cli-Fi)! Our planet and the environment are two topics I’m very passionate about but I’d never thought to combine it with my reading preferences! I loved this post and all of Amanda’s recommendations, so be sure to check this post out!
I mentioned in my June wrap up post that I wasn’t having a great month, and Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads post about books that feel like a much needed hug was exactly what I needed! I still haven’t read The House on the Cerulean Sea but seeing it on Leelynn’s list has definitely encouraged me to FINALLY pick it up!
I’ve been thinking of treating myself to a bookish subscription book and the wonderful Emma James @The Bookworm Girl has shared some of the best UK book subscription boxes! This is such a detailed list and perfect for anyone looking to treat themselves!
It’s no secret that I love Madeline Miller and Carly @ Carly Books and Ramblings shared a wonderful post about her reading experience when reading Circe and Song of Achilles and I couldn’t agree with her more!
I’m obsessed with Emma @Emma Elizabeth’s post where she rated Pride and Prejudice characters, and I couldn’t agree with her more! Plus it nice to find someone else who loves Mr Bennett!
The wonderful Maria @The Character Study shared a great list of 10 underrated Queer books that you need to add to your TBR! Maria is another blogger who gives the BEST book recommendations so be sure to check this post out!
I’m someone who loves looking at people’s reading stats, and the lovely Lila @Hardcover Haven shared a fab post where she reviewed her reading for the first half of 2021! Not only is this post is filled with loads of visually pleasing charts and graphs but it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my ‘reading funk’!
One of my aims this month is to read more romance and Thya @Wilted Pages shared the perfect post filled with loads of great recommendations to read this summer! Also can we please take a moment to appreciate how BEAUTIFUL their blog is, it’s stunning!
Vee @ Vee Bookish shared an incredible list of books by Trans and Non-Binary authors and I’m in love! This is such a wonderful project and perfect for anyone looking for some great book recommendations!
Jan @ The Doodle Crafter shared a fun discussion and recommendations post about trends in YA fiction and it was nice to see some different tropes and trends being discussed! I’ve only just realised that I’m a sucker for those individual characters synopsis, I can’t help it I just love a found family trope!
The lovely Ahaana @ Windows to Worlds shared a great post about her top 12 favourite young adult books, and what they mean to her! There’s just something about reader gushing about their favourite books that warms my heart and I couldn’t smiling! This post is filled with so much love, passion and detail and it even got me thinking of some of my personal favourites and what they mean to me!
Once again the wonderful Sofii @ A Book. A Thought shared some great tips for bloggers that were super helpful! It wasn’t until I read Sofii’s post that I realised that I was guilty of a couple of these things and that I needed to stop putting too much pressure on myself!
As an English Lit graduate, I fell utterly in love with Florence @ Miscellany Pages post about the 10 things she learned from studying Literature! What I loved about studying for my degree was the fact that I was surrounded by like-minded people who loved books and reading as much as I did and all the incredible books and authors I discovered. Like Florence, I also fell back in love with poetry and now I’m tempted to go back and do a masters, I just miss it so much!
Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat also shared a really interesting discussion on whether book reviews were enough for book blogs. I don’t think I’ve posted a single review this year which is mad, but book reviews got me to where I am today and I always enjoying reading about people thoughts and experiences.
Be sure to have your snacks ready for this next one! Kat @Novels & Waffles shared 57 best YA books about food that will make you hungry immediately! I LOVED this post so much, there are so many incredible books on this list and now my TBR is filled with lots of mouthwatering reads!
Ana @ Ana Bookshelves Blog shared 6 YA books inspired by Cinderella and after reading this list it’s clear that I’m going to have to participate in a fairytale read-a-thon! I’m a sucker for fairytale retellings, especially Cinderella! There’s just something magical about this story that fills me with so much joy!
And finally the wonderful Stephen @Stephen Writes hit a blogging milestone with his 500th post and shared another thoughtful and creative discussion on the pro’s and con’s of historical fiction! It’s been a while since I’ve read any historical fiction, but Stephen has convinced me to add a couple more onto my TBR for July/August! Stephen is another one of my go-to bloggers for interesting bookish discussions so be sure to check this post out!
I feel like I’m constantly climbing a mountain. Every time I catch my breath and get things back on track, I fall and end up right back at the beginning, and it’s exhausting. There’s been A LOT of tears this month, but I refuse to let this feeling crush my spirit and positivity anymore. I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and think fate is just pushing me out of my comfort zone towards a crossroads of new chapters.
That horrible wave of realisation and panic hit me at the end of June and ended up trapping myself in a dark hole of self-doubt. We’re now halfway through the year, and I’ve yet to make any progress on any of my personal goals. I’m terrified that another year will pass, and I’ll still be in the same place. I’m a dreamer, and I’m constantly envisioning the future I have planned for myself, and it doesn’t help that I compare myself to other people around me. We’re all on our own paths, but I seem to be lost on mine. I’ve touched on this in previous posts, but I’ve reached a point where I’ve become complacent in my routine, and I’m desperate to do something different.
I’ve had my little cry, and I’m now working towards becoming a better version of myself and embracing the fact that life is short. I want to challenge myself with new opportunities and step out of my comfort zone, and there are a few projects (and books!) that I’ve been putting off that I finally want to start!
One of my big goals this month is to get back into my blogging schedule because last month was a bit of a disaster! I haven’t been in the right headspace to sit down and write, so I apologise for my inactivity and lack of responses, but reading everyone’s kind comments and tags have helped. Everyone has been so lovely, and I’m proud to be a part of such a wonderful community that continues to support my love for writing, reading and blogging!
Anyway, that’s enough of me and my metaphors, and here’s to a month filled with love, sunshine and good vibes!
June Wrap Up
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare – I’m kicking myself for not starting this series sooner, because I have fallen utterly in love with these characters. Seriously, if you haven’t read this series then you need to drop everything and pick it up now!
Clockwork Princesse by Cassandra Clare – So much happened in this book, and it left me an emotional wreck! This series had everything I wanted and more, and it deserves all the love and hype. I’m already planning a roadtrip to Cadair Idris with my sister and I’m excited to dive into Chain of Gold next!
Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – I LOVED this book so much! It was exactly what I needed to get me out of my reading slump and was a delight to read. Chloe is strong, smart and hilarious and then we have Red who is just so kind and loving, and I’d give anything to see these characters come to life! I think I might take a page out of Chole’s book and make my own ‘get a life’ list and embrace the adventure.
Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber – One of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and I was beyond excited when I received the email saying that my request has been approved! I’m beyond excited to dive into back into the wonderful world Stephanie Garber has created and for opportunity to get to know Jacks a little better!
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – After reading Chloe Brown, I’ve really been craving some romance and this has been at the top of my TBR for months. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and I’m eager to jump in and see what all the hype is about!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I swear I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t read this book yet and I’m feel like I’m missing out!
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – I blame bookstagram for this one! I read this book years ago, but can I remember anything that happened? No! I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump recently and this short and intense story should be a quick and easy read. Plus I’m curious to see whether I still think this book lives up to all the hype!
Dear Netflix, if you’d like to hire me to work on any of these potential shows/films, then please don’t hesitate and give me a call, I’ll be waiting! I will openly admit that I spend far too much time binge watching and rewatching some of my favourite Netflix shows, they’re the perfect escape and never fail to bring a smile to my face. After the success of recent book adaptations like To All The Boys, Bridgerton, and Shadow and Bone, this streaming giant has proven that it is capable of transporting these beloved storylines off the page and on-to the screen!
There’s always the worry when a studio announces that it’s adapting one of your favourite books, but now and then we are blessed with a visually beautiful and accurate adaptation that exceeds all of our expectations, a few of my favourites being the entire Harry Potter series, Catching Fire, and Game of Thrones. But then there’s the bad ones, I’m looking at you Allegiant and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters!
There are so many books on my shelf that I’d love to see adapted, so I thought I’d pitch a few to Netflix and hopefully if I manifest it enough something might happen…
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson – This delightfully cute, sappic romance made my heart melt, my eyes water and made my day that little bit brighter. You Should See Me in a Crown follows Liz, a Black queer girl with anxiety who must run for prom queen in order to win the money she needs to get into her dream college, but whilst doing this she has to figure out how to put herself out there and deal with the blossoming crush she has on her opponent. Doesn’t that just sound like the perfect Friday night film?
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston – WHY is this not a film yet? Joyful, honest and hands down one of the best romances I’ve ever read, Red, White and Blue will having you grinning from ear to ear!
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers – A coming-of-age story for adults in their late 20s and for anyone lost in the void of expectation, this brilliantly fun and emotionally relatable story could easily become an iconic classic. With queer found families, sapphic love, a classic married in Vegas trope and discussions of mental health, this book is truly special and deserves to shine on screen!
Heartlessby Marissa Meyer – A seriously underrated book and a villains story that finally deserves the spotlight. This prequel to Alice in Wonderland, focuses on the Cath and her path to becoming the wonderfully evil, Queen of Hearts. I’m thinking Once Upon a Time in Wonderland meets Disney’s Maleficent, that would give viewers a very different perspective of such an iconic villain. Plus I can imagine the costumes for this show would be EPIC!
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Netflix has proved that they can successfully adapt and create beautiful fantasy fictional worlds, and I think it’s about time that Tahir’s incredible adventure gets its turn. An Ember in the Ashes is an original and gripping storyline that is carefully filled with a wide cast of characters and page-turning moments that subverts the overused and cliched tropes whilst providing us with a wonderfully exhilarating read. This fast paced adventure would come to life on screen and would leave audiences on the edge of their seats!
We Were Liars E.Lockhart – This book has been getting a lot of attention on booktok/bookstagram, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this adaptation on our screens soon. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that We Were Liars is the perfect fragmented suspense novel that will catch audiences by surprise…
Get A Life Chloe Brownby Talia Hibbert – This trilogy needs the ‘To All The Boys’ treatment! I’ve just finished reading the first book in this series and I’m so in love with these characters and this storyline, and I’m even tempted to make my own mini ‘get a life’ list. Chloe is strong, smart and hilarious and then we have Red who is just so swoony and kind and loving, and I’d give anything to see these characters come to life!
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – This sweet and steamy romance deserves all the hype and all the love, it’s brilliant. This gender reversed Pretty Woman scenario follows Stella, who has Asperger’s syndrome and is that convinced she needs lessons on how to be good at sex and relationships and ends up hiring Michael, an escort, to teach her. It’s no secret that we need more diverse and inclusive representation in the media and I can 100% see this book becoming a heartwarming favourite.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – I’m a sucker for Christina Lauren, her books never fail to make me smile and are all just super adorable! I’d give anything to see any of her books adapted but if I had to pick one it would have to be The Unhoneymooners. This light-heated, enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, bundle of joy sends me head over heels.
Amy and Rodger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – When I was gazing lovingly at my bookshelf thinking about what books I wanted to include on this list this book instantly stood out. It’s been years since I’ve read a Morgan Matson book and it’s criminal that NONE of her books have been adapted yet! I love them all but Amy and Roger will always have a special place in my heart, plus who doesn’t love a road-trip trope!