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!
In my last post I mentioned that I was in a bit of a reading slump and that I wanted to get involved with some more read-a-thons, and then as if by chance I discovered the perfect read-a-thon. 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, except for the final episode as I don’t think I’ve yet to emotionally recover from the heartbreak.
I loved the show so much that I remember seeing an advert in the paper for Birmingham Comic Con where some of the knights (Percival, Mordred, Leon, and my one true love Gwaine) would be attending. This was a sign, so a friend and I booked tickets and travelled up to Birmingham to meet them! I’ve still got all their autographs, photos and the memory of our conversation that still makes me cringe a little, but nevertheless it’s a day I will never forget!
The read-a-long will run from 1st-15th August and is kindly hosted by Kat, Emily, Ro, Tazmyn and Kay, and if you’re interested in joining in with all the fun then be sure to check out the announcement video and Twitter page. The aim of the read-a-thon is to work through levels of wizardry by reading your way through different reading quests. There’s so much choice with theses prompts so you’re able to create and customise your own experience, and I just love how detailed and thoughtful each prompt is, it’s so creative!
I’m very much a mood reader so it’s possible that my TBR will change in the next couple of weeks but I thought it was best to go into this read-a-thon with some sort of plan! Let me know in the comments if you’re doing this read-a-thon and what’s on your TBR!
You come across a royal ass who challenges you to your first fight! To come out unscathed read an authors debut
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. This book has appeared on many of my monthly TBR’s and I think it’s about time that I finally ticked it off my list!
To win the tournament you must defeat a cheating opponent, read a book with a snake on the cover
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin. I swear I must be the only person in the blogging community who hasn’t read this book yet! I already know that this book is going to be one of my favourites of the year, and I think it’s just it’s size that keeps putting me off! I also keep seeing loads of incredible fan art and everyone’s excitement for God & Monsters has given me that extra push to start reading!
Gwaine is in trouble at the local tavern. Be a good friend and help him out. Read a book featuring friendship
The House on the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune. Another popular book I still haven’t read! I don’t think I’ve yet to read a bad review so it’s fair to say that I’m going into this book with high expectations! Loads of you have recommended this book to me so I’m pretty confident that it’s going to be love at first page!
You have found the sword in the stone! To claim it and finish your quest, read a five star prediction
Ariadne by Jennifer Saint or Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. I’ve been so excited to dive into both of these books and now is the perfect time to sit down and enjoy them!
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!
At the beginning of the year, I set myself some blogging and reading goals that I wanted to achieve and I thought now would be the perfect time to reflect on my progress so far! Once again this year has been far from normal, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m positive that things will start getting better soon! So far this year has been the best blogging year ever, not only have my views and engagement increased massively but I’m more confident and passionate about the content I love to create. I’ve become apart of such a loving and supportive community and I wouldn’t be where I am without any of you, so thank you. Anyway, here is my updated reading and blogging goals for the rest of 2021!
Goodreads Goal of 52 Books – At the beginning of the year I was smashing this goal, and although I’m still on track my reading has definitely taken a backseat. I think the problem is that I keep throwing myself into epic and intense fantasy worlds that are sometimes overwhelming so, and I cant believe I’m saying this, I think I need to take a break from fantasy books! I’ve just treated myself to a few romance books and I can’t wait to download some dating apps and wish for a romance of my own! If you want to follow along with my reading be sure to follow me on Goodreads @ Amy (A Fangirls Opinion).
Read Something Each Month that’s not ‘YA/NA Fantasy’ – I’ve tried but I just love fantasy so much! I am falling in love with romance books again, and I really want to star reading more memoirs/biographies so any recommendations would be wonderful!
Sort Out My TBR – Here’s the problem, I did clear out my TBR but like many other readers, I can’t resist buying new books and now we’re back at square one! One of my new goals for the second half of 2021, is to read all the unread physical books on my bookshelf before buying any more!
Post at Least Once a Week – I’ve had a few wobbles now and then but overall I’m really pleased that I’ve managed to stick to some sort of schedule! Having a dedicated and colourful spreadsheet has been a huge help, it keeps me organised and it helps me visualise my plans for the month, without it I don’t know where I’d be! I still need to find some sort of routine when it comes to balancing work, blogging and applying for jobs but for now I’m happy!
Invest in a Domain Name – Yes! It may sound silly but being able to type www.afangirlsopinion.com into my web browser will never fail to make me smile. These past 9 months have been some of the best months of my entire blogging journey, and I hope to bring that energy and creativity with me into the second half of 2021! Over the past months I’ve discovered my ‘blog identity’ and the style of posts that not only I enjoyed writing but others enjoyed reading and I once again feel proud of the content I’m sharing.
Start a Bookstagram? – This is something that’s been on my mind for a while now and I’m still undecided to whether I’m going to give it a go or not? I follow so many wonderful accounts that post stunning pictures and I’m eager to try it myself, so I might trial it for a month and see how things turn out.
Write at least 150 words a day for a year – A complete and utter FAIL! I don’t think I’ve written a single word this year, whoops! I’ve got a week off work soon and I’m thinking of treating myself to a little writing retreat and really focusing on getting my ideas out of my head and on to paper!
Along with my current goals, here are some of things I want to achieve by 2022!
Reach 1000 followers – It’s crazy even setting this goal, and it still blows my mind that there are currently 900 people who follow this little blog! Over the past nine months my follower count has increased massively and I’d like to think that because I see blogging as a passion rather than a ‘job’ and that I’m enthusiastic and proud of the content I create. I love blogging so much, it the perfect platform for me to let my creative juices flow and interact with so many wonderful and like-mined people! So if you like books and bookish inspired posts then join in the fun and follow along!
Be More Active on Social Media – Earlier this year I revamped my social media accounts and joined the wonderfully chaotic community that is booktwt. I tend to overthink my tweets and end up not posting them, so I want to make it my mission to get involved a little more!
Participate in More Read-a-thons – I LOVE read-a-thons, but I just haven’t had enough time to fully participate in them! I love basing my reading around different prompts and challenging myself with ambitious TBR’s! I’m participating in the Merlin read-a-thon at the beginning of August and I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a read-a-thon! Merlin is one of my comfort shows, so when I found this read-a-thon on Twitter I knew it was meant to be!
Do More Blog Hopping – One of my favourite things to do in the evening (aside from reading) is blog hopping and catching up on all the blog posts I might have missed. I’ve discovered so many new and amazing blogs recently and met some lovely people along the way, and it’s definitely something I want to dedicate more time to.
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!
No one panic, but we’re almost half way through they year? What happened to the past three months? This is the third year that I’ve done this tag, and I alway enjoy looking back at my answers and reflecting on what I’ve read so far this year.
My Goodreads goal for 2021 was to read 52 books, and so far I’m on track as well as being quietly confident that it’s definitely a goal I can achieve! I’ve already read so many amazing books this year and discovered lots of new go-to authors who I’ve fallen head over heels for as well as enjoying some old favourites!
Best Book You Have Read So Far in 2021?
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas. Once again, Sarah has crafted an emotionally intense and beautifully perfect masterpiece that has gifted me with a reading experience like no other. These characters mean the world to me, so being able to join them again on another adventure was the ideal escape and one I wished would never end. It was the perfect ending – and new beginning – to Nesta and Cassian’s relationship and a journey that will stay with me forever. I finished the entire book in 24-hours, and I’m honestly considering re-reading it again soon because I loved every page so much.
Best Sequel You Have Read in 2021?
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare or Gemina by Amie Kaufman. For years, I’ve promised my sister that one day I’ll read The Clockwork series, and this month I finally did! I now understand why she loves it SO MUCH! I’m fully obsessed with this series and I’ve once again fallen down that Shadowhunter rabbit hole!
This year I also fell head over heels for The Illuminae Files, these books are SO good! Hannah and Nik are some of my new favourite characters and I just wish that I’d read this series sooner! Thank you to everyone who recommended this series, I loved it.
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout. I swear I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t read this book yet, and I’ve got MAJOR FOMO! It’s always on my monthly TBR but it’s a beast of a book and I’m a little intimidated!
Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2020?
Guess who just received an eARC for Once Upon a Broken Heart? This gal! 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! I’m also really looking forward to finally reading Auroras End by Amie Kaufman, I have lots of questions that need answering especially after THAT ENDING!
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson or Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard. These books are by no means bad, it’s just my own fault for setting high expectations leaving me a little disappointed and broken hearted.
The world building in Realm Breaker was so intense that I felt that sometimes it overshadowed the characters and the storyline, I ended up getting so caught up with place names and all the different kingdoms that I wasn’t able to connect enough with everything going on. Nevertheless, I am in love with this band of characters and I’m utterly obsessed with Erida, she is such a complex and unique character and I’m curious to see where the story takes her.
As for Sorcery of Thorns, I loved the whole world Rogerson has created, everything about Grimoires in ancient libraries, sorcerers and demons was so unique and I wish that this was a series rather than a stand-alone as I’d love to explore more of this unique universe. I really like Elisabeth and Nathaniel (and Silas of course), but I wanted more character interaction as I felt like some things were rushed.
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin. I received this eARC all the way back in February and I haven’t stopped raving about it! What makes this book special is the magic system and way in which Griffin communicates through seasonal magic. Her descriptions and the way in which magic connects with these characters is intricately detailed and adds an additional layer of wonder to an already captivating story. There’s something beautifully enchanting and equally destructive about this book and its characters, a balance that results in a powerful narrative that will keep readers hooked.
Favourite New Author?
Christina Lauren! I’m a hopeless romantic and I’m just starting to get back into reading fun romance novels, so Christina Lauren’s books were perfect! This summer I’m going romance mad and any recommendations would be wonderful!
Newest Fictional Crush?
I finally understand the hype for Will Herondale! That man can come and sweep me off my feet and read me poetry any day! Also please can we take a moment to appreciate Ben Barnes as The Darkling! Hot DAMN!
Newest Favourite Character?
Fable! I absolutely loved Fable as a character, especially her courage and strength. No matter how many times she was knocked down, she got back up again.
I was really craving a good-old-fashioned pirate adventure and Fable gave me just that and more. This fast-paced, swashbuckling tale filled with unexpected twists was such a wonderful read and I need to get my hands on the next book ASAP!
Book That Made You Cry?
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas. This book left me with the worst book hangover I’ve ever experienced, I’m not kidding this book broke me and I’m still feeling its effects four months later. My problem is that I get too emotionally attached and invested with these characters and the worlds in which they exist, so when I finish that final page, I can’t help but feel lost and empty. I become apart of the story as it’s an easy and comforting escape from reality.
Book That Made You Happy?
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! The Unhoneymooners didn’t disappoint, this enemies-to-lovers fake dating romantic whirlwind was a joy to read and there’s just something about their writing that makes me fall head over heels! If you’re looking for a light-hearted easy read this summer then be sure to add some of Christina Lauren’s books to your TBR!
Favourite Book To Movie Adaption You Saw This Year?
Shadow and Bone! I have watched this series FIVE TIMES and I’m still in love with it (and Ben Barnes!) This show has definitely become one of my comfort shows and every time I love it, I fall more and more in love with it and it’s incredible cast! Also if Leigh or Netflix want to cast me in the show then please don’t hesitate and give me a call, I’ll be waiting!
Favourite Post You Have Written This Year?
I discuss this more in my next post, but this year I’ve rediscovered my love and passion for blogging and see it more as a creative outlet rather than a ‘job’. Like many other bloggers, I put so much time, effort and thought into the content I create and some of my most rewarding posts have been those I’ve spent weeks on. Every view, every like, every comment and every follow fills me with so much pride and it’s been so heartwarming to see people enjoying my posts. I’ve got so many more creative post ideas tucked away and I’m excited to see what the rest of the year has in store!
Most Beautiful Book You Have Bought So Far This Year?
Ariadne by Jenifer Saint. I will openly admit that I’ve a) taken way too many pictures of this book and b) that I spent a usual amount of time gazing lovingly at this cover as it sits proudly at the centre of my bookcase!
What Books Do You Need To Read By The End Of The Year?
Jade City, The Hating Game, The City of Brass, and Serpent and Dove!
I’m really curious to read other peoples answers to this tag, so I’ve gone a bit mad with my tags!
It’s officially SUMMER! In celebration of this wonderful season, I thought I’d add to this series and gather some of my favourite yellow books into another colourful post!
The colour yellow was made for contempaory romance novels and are perfect editions to brighten up any bookshelf! It’s dangerous writing these posts, as I tend to fall in love with all these covers and end up convincing myself that I need them on my bookshelf! The dream one day is to have a wall of rainbow bookshelves but at this moment in time i’ll have to settle for a very colourful Amazon/Waterstones basket!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this ascetically pleasing collection of beautiful book covers and that this post brightens up your day! Enjoy!
I just love how bright and cheery these covers are, they instantly make me smile! One of my favourites has to be the Summer Days and Summer Nights cover with all the character cameos, it’s adorable and the perfect lighthearted read for this season.
This post is dominated by romance novels so I thought I’d throw in a few fantasy favourites! I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Bear and the Nightingale trilogy, so I might have to treat myself on payday!
These books make a bold statement and command attention!
Soft Lemon Yellow
Don’t be fooled by some of these adorable and innocent looking covers, One by Sarah Crossan and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini will break your heart. These two powerful and honest reads stayed with me long after finishing them and both left me with a broken heart, so be sure to have the tissue at the ready!
Rhubarb and Custard
These books are just as sweet as these confectionary treats! This year I plan to fill my summer with lots of adorable romance novels and these five are 100% on my list!
Electric Banana Yellow
I’d like to think that I look as glamorous as Meddy on the cover for Dial A for Aunties but I’m more like the It’s All Absolutely Fine cover! These books are bold, they are beautiful, and will definitely make your day a little brighter!
When I think of blue and yellow my mind instantly thinks of Ikea? I think it’s because I’m dreaming of getting another Billy bookshelf and that I’m desperate to go on a little spending spree there. There’s just something about blue and yellow that just goes together like tea and biscuits, they compliment each other beautifully and are some of my favourites on this list!
Be warned these books sting! These intense and soul shaking reads surprised me, I went into these books completely blind they were’t at all what I was expecting, in a good way!
A yellow rose represents friendship, and these covers also prove that two is better than one. I need It is Wood, It is Stone by Gabriella Burnham on my bookshelf ASAP, that cover is beautiful and after reading through all the reviews it’s definitely a book I know I’m going to love!
It’s about time I hopped on this bandwagon and read some bad reviews of my favourite books! I don’t know about you, but I hate writing bad reviews. I feel terrible because I understand all of the hard work, love and time that goes into writing, and I end up feeling guilty or worried that I’ve missed something that makes that book special. Nevertheless, when I’m reviewing books, I always give my honest opinion, and I want others to feel the same and not pressured into liking something because it’s popular. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and I was curious to see to why people hated some of my favourite books if anything these comments made me smile and laugh!
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Surprise surprise, it wouldn’t be a favourites post without including a bit of Sanderson! It’s no secret that I absolutely adore this series, even though it emotionally ruined me. I love everything from the well-written characters to the wonderfully unique magic system, and this book will forever be my one true love. So before reading some bad reviews, I prepared myself for the worst, but out of the 448,957 ratings on Goodreads, only 4000 of them were one-star reviews, so I didn’t feel that heartbroken!
Queasifying amalgam of bad theology, clichés, and preposterous action sequences, set in a bland, quasi-medieval monoculture. Don’t believe the hype.
‘Bland’ is not a word I’d use to describe Sanderson’s world-building and storytelling! I will admit things get a little intense at times and that this book is packed full of epic action sequences, prepare yourself for an emotional rollercoaster. I know that I hype this book up A LOT, but I’d have to disagree with this comment because this series deserves all the hype and praise!
This book would have benefited from having no characters. […] Every character without exception is, at best, a cardboard cutout without a spark of intelligence or an independent emotional life.
These characters are some of my favourites, they’re all so well developed, brilliantly heroic and unique in their own way! Don’t get me started on Vin, Kell and Marsh, I just love these three so much, and I could easily spend the rest of this post gushing about them! If we’re sticking to the paper inspired metaphor, then these characters are far from ‘cardboard cutouts’ instead they’re beautifully intricate origami masterpieces.
Mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Plot: A band of thieves spends 676 pages frowning, sighing, and raising their eye browns at each other.
I can’t deny that there’s lots of sighing and eyebrow raises, but I’d be doing the same if I had to keep up with Kell and the groups ambitious plans!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus is one of those books, you either love it or hate it, so I wasn’t surprised to see a few more bad reviews!
This book was incorrectly marketed. It should have been sold as a sleeping aid because it is so blimmin’ dull. I fell asleep on five separate occasions while reading this. It bored me that much!!
If you’re looking for a fast-paced magical circus-inspired adventure, then you’re better off reading Caraval by Stephanie Garber, but what makes this book special is its magical and sparkling prose. Morgenstern takes you by the hand and transports you to the beautiful and enchanting world of Le Cirque des Rêves, it’s a place made from limitless dreams and a wonderful imagination!
I feel like I was tricked into reading a young adult novel that was written for no reason other than to have the screenplay bought by Tim Burton. […] It seems like the author ran out of adjectives about one-third into the book.
The whole black-and-white colour scheme and whimsically gloomy tone of the book definitely gives me Tim Burton vibes and I’d give anything to watch an adaptation of this book!
Atonement by Ian McEwan
I read this book the summer before starting university and fell utterly in love, and then discovered that we would be studying as a part of my degree. I was over the moon when I saw it on the reading list and it’s fair to say that I proudly dominated that seminar!
One star is not a bad enough review in my opinion. I hated this book with a passion. In fact, after reading the last page I threw it against the wall! The title is a lie, the whole book is a lie. I truly believe that the only reason this book became a best seller is because Hollywood hyped it up.
I will admit that there were a couple of occasions where I wanted to throw this book against the wall out of frustration, but it was that frustration that only fuelled my emotional attachment to this story. If you don’t fancy reading the book, then be sure to check out the beautifully shot adaptation, it’s stunning, and the casting is spot on! If you have watched the film then, please can we take a moment to appreciate the costumes, I have a strong emotional attachment to Kiera Knightly’s green dress, and I’d give anything to have one of my own!
I hated Briony. She’s right up there with Fanny Price, Bella Swan, Professor Umbridge and Lydia Bennet. […] My One-Star is for Robbie, and Robbie alone, because he is the only redeeming factor in this novel despite his inability to a) check his correspondence one last time before sealing the envelope and b) realise that if you give a child a letter to deliver they will almost certainly read it, so it’s better to hand deliver it.
I wasn’t originally Briony’s biggest fan, but after writing my dissertation on her and the trauma that haunted her childhood, I can see a different side to her that makes me understand her actions. I am by no means forgiving her for her actions, but I don’t think she’s on the same level as Umbridge! As for Robbie, I agree that A LOT could have been avoided if he’d just hand-delivered the letter himself!
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
There’s so much hype around this book and it’s now a booktok/bookstagram staple, so I’m sure lots of readers go into this books with high expectations. This book left me in awe and I just want to re-read it again and again.
I hated pretty much everything about this. The only reason I didn’t DNF was because I wanted to watch them die suffering and begging for death. The main characters, that is.
I knew the story. I knew what was going to happen. But the enchanting quality in Millers prose lures us into the comfort of caring for these characters. The emotions shared between Achilles and Patroclus are profoundly physical, and those last five chapters tore the heart from my chest, leaving me empty and alone. I’m still unable to full comprehend my thoughts and emotions about this book but its fair to say that it has earned its place as one of my all time favourites.
I wasn’t four pages into this before I renamed it in my head as ‘The Worst Published Fanfic Ever.’ Granted, I haven’t yet read Fifty Shades of Grey, so that is liable to change.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey, and The Song of Achilles is 10000% better! Also there’s nothing wrong with fanfiction!
I’ve been a bit absent in the blogging community lately, so I thought I’d make up for it with HUGE monthly favourites post! The creativity and enthusiasm throughout the blogging community is so inspiring and it’s been lovely seeing so many people achieving milestone follower counts! 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.
One of my aims this month was to do more blog hopping and to discover more passionate and like-minded bloggers and I’ve done just that! I’ve gone a bit mad with this favourites list but there were so many incredible posts this month that I loved and that made me smile, I couldn’t help it! I’m always on the hunt for new blogs to follow, and I want to spread the love even further, so please leave a link in the comments to a blog I should be following!
I hope you all have a fabulous month filled with sunshine and lots of reading!
May was the month of Eurovision and the wonderful Line @First Line Reader got creative and combined this iconic music competition with some of our favourite fantasy characters, and I’m in love! My ’12 points’ would definitely go to Merry and Pippin (Lord of the Rings), they’d have everyone dancing and their performance would be full of surprises.
Found families and strong friendship groups are some of my all-time favourite bookish tropes. There’s just something so heart-warming about a group of unlikely individuals finding comfort in each other and the wonderful banter that comes with it. Veronika @Wordy and Whimsical shared a great list of books with found family tropes, and I couldn’t help but add all of these books to my TBR, whoops!
Maria @The Character Study is new to the blogging community, but they are KILLING IT with their posts! One of my favourites was their brilliant discussion on bisexual representation in books, and if you haven’t read it yet then be sure to check it out!
May also saw the highly anticipated Friend’s reunion hit our screens, and the fabulous Bryony @The Indecisive Readers got creative and recommended some books to the Friends characters, and I’m in love with all of her picks!
I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a Bookstagram for a while now, and after reading Estelle @The Bookish Garden’s post on how to start a Bookstagram, it’s definitely something I want to try! This post was SUPER helpful and has given me a lot of things to think about, who knew that choosing an aesthetic would be so difficult!
When I’m not falling head over heels for Greek Mythology, I’m obsessing over my zodiac sign! Hal @HD’s Reading Life matched Queer 2021 releases to your zodiac sign, and I am OBSESSED with this post! Hal’s picks were spot on, and I couldn’t be happier with the book recommendation for Libra’s!
If you’re looking for more star sign book recommendations then look no further, Ariel @A Gemini Book Nook shared her answers to the Zodiac Book Tag! I’m a Libra and Ariel recommended Years of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, and as someone who is obsessed with both Grey’s Anatomy and Bridgerton, it’s definitely something I now want to pick up!
One thing I want to start doing this year is to take note of some of my favourite quotes and turn them into some creative project. Kaya @A Fictional Bookworm shared 10 quotes from her favourite books and now I’m tempted to re-read The Selection series! I’m currently reading the Clockwork series as well, and I just keep highlighting quotes
I really enjoyed Malka @Paper Procrastinators discussion on whether you need a blogging scheduled or not, and I loved reading through all the comments and learning more about other bloggers preferences. I’m someone who swears by their blogging schedule, my beautiful colour-coded spreadsheet keeps me organised and I don’t know where I’d be without it
As an English Lit graduate, I’ve read my fair share of classics but there have been a few that I’ve struggled to finish and didn’t enjoy! Jan @The Doodle Crafter shared her list of classics she didn’t finish and it’s nice to know that I wasn’t the only person who didn’t enjoy Great Expectations, however it breaks my heart to know she didn’t enjoy Little Women!
Earlier this year I fell in love with Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin and it’s great seeing other readers falling in love with this story and these characters. Katie @Melting Pages shared her brilliant review so be sure to check that out!
Kristin @Kristin Kraves Books shared some great bookish Podcast recommendations, and I can’t believe I haven’t listened to them sooner! The chances are that you’ll always find me with my headphones in, so this list is perfect and I’m excited to start listening!
Recently I’ve struggled to keep up with my TBR, I’ve got so many books that I want to read but I don’t know where to start! Mehek @The Critiques of a Fangirl shared a great discussion on whether to TBR or not to TBR, and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling! I agree with Mehek and have concluded that I’m 100% a TBR mood reader!
It’s almost SUMMER! The UK has been fortunate enough to have had some beautiful weather recently and it’s getting my all excited for the next couple of months! Aarushi @aarushireads shared some seasonal book recommendations for summer and I couldn’t help but add a few of these to my TBR!
I love my little book club with my friends, and Bianca @Your Words My Ink shared a great post on how to start your own digital bookclub! Bookclubs are the perfect opportunity to connect with other readers around the world and you never know you might find your next favourite read!
Rosina @Lace and Dagger Books is another blogger who is SMASHING it this month, I found it difficult to pick just one of her posts! I’m very tempted to start Bookstagram but I had no idea where to start! Luckily Rosina came to my rescue and shared some great Bookstagram tips and tricks that were all super helpful, so thank you!
I can’t believe that we’re almost half way through the year?! Emily @Frappes and Fiction shared her favourite books of the year so far and it was nice to see some of my favourite on the list too!
If you know me then you’ll know that I’m hopelessly and utterly obsessed with Greek Mythology so it’s no surprise that I loved Siena @Booksophobia post about Greek Myth Retellings you need to read! Ariadne by Jennifer Saint is on my June TBR and it looks like a re-read of Song of Achilles might be on the cards too!
If you’re looking for your next read then look no further! Joy @Books With Joy shared the ultimate enemies to lovers booklist and I couldn’t help but add a few of these to my ever-growing TBR! I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for an enemies to lovers trope, so this list is perfect!
Hands down my favourite post of the entire month was April Lee @Booked Till Midnight post where she replaced snakes on YA book covers With Milo the goat! This was GENIUS and had me dying with laughter, even now I can’t help but smile when I think about it!
I want to say a HUGE congratulations to Ashmita @The Fictional Journal for hitting 1000 followers! This is such an incredible achievement and they truly deserve it! If you don’t already follow Ashmita then please do, she is such a lovely person and is always posting fabulous content that I know you will all enjoy!
One of my favourite discussion posts this month was Rania @Rania’s Ramblings beautifully thoughtful post about Down Syndrome and Autistic Representation in YA Books. This is a topic I know many of us hold close to our hearts and it’s clear that we need more #ownvoices neurodivergent and accurate representation in literature. I LOVED this post so much, so be sure to check it out!
I’m an emotional wreck and it doesn’t take much to turn me into a blubbering mess (I’m that person who cries at the John Lewis Christmas advert) but it’s been a while since I cried over a book! The lovely Amber @Bibliomavens and Jessica @The Awkward Book Blogger shared their picks that are guaranteed to make you cry, so be sure to have the tissues at the ready! When I saw the Hero of Ages on Jessica’s list, a wave of emotion hit me, it’s been years since I finished that series and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered!
May was AAPI (Asian-American and Pacific Islander) Heritage month, and both Madeline @ The Bookish Mutant and Julia @Stormy Reads gave us some great book recommendations by Asian authors! A lot of these are already on my TBR but there were a few new ones that I can’t wait to start!
I’m enjoying Zoe @Reading by the Moonlight’s author spotlight series, this month she focused on Slyvia Plath and it was really interesting to learn more about her and her work! I studied a little of Plath at University but she’s someone I want to explore more!
Maya @Pretty Little Scribbles shared some of her favourite sibling relationships in books and on-screen, and I couldn’t agree more with her choices! The relationship between the March sisters, the Pevensie siblings and Annie and Hallie from the Parent Trap will always be some of my favourites!
Another book that completely skipped my radar was Sunkissed by Katie West! I’m a sucker for a bit of Kasie West and had no idea that she’d written another book so when Georgia @Lost in Neverland shared her review, I knew it was something I had to add to my TBR straight away!
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston is one of my most anticipated reads of 2021, this magical big-hearted romance sounds super adorable and it’s lovely seeing so many readers fall in love with this story! The wonderful Ahaana @Windows to Worlds shared her review and now I’m even more excited to read it!