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!
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!
I said this last month but what happened to April? This month has once again been a whirlwind and I feel like I’m constantly playing catch up! I had so many plans for April but in typical Amy fashion everything ended up being bit chaotic and pushed aside.
As many of you know already, I’m one of thousands of publishing hopefuls who are trying their hardest to break into a highly competitive industry and the constant rejection or lack of response is heartbreaking. I like to think of myself as an optimistic and positive person but recently it’s been a struggle trying to remain hopeful and confident in my abilities. It’s been almost two years now since I graduated from University with a degree in English Literature, and although this past year has had its set backs, I’m still at square one and just a little less optimistic than before. At this moment in time I’m fortunate enough to have a job working in retail with wonderful group of ladies who I absolutely adore, however I hoped for more. I don’t plan on giving up on my dreams anytime soon, and I hope that the universe has something epic in store for me soon!
Last month was emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting but I’ve started this month with a new mindset and goal orientated attitude and I’m confident that I’m going to make it a memorable one! My personal aim for May is to find a routine and get myself a little more organised. I’ve been juggling so many different things that I’ve lost track of what’s on my to-do list and what day it is, whoops!
April finally saw the re-opening of lots of non-essential shops including bookshops (I’d argue that books are essential) and I’ve never been so excited to experience a bit of retail-therapy. My poor bank account has taken a bit of a beating this month, but if you can’t treat yourself now, when can you?
The highlight of my month was hands-down the Shadow and Bone adaptation, IT WAS PERFECT! I’m currently on my third re-watch and I think I fall in love with it a little more every time I watch it! I’ve got a dedicated post going up next week where I gush about all of my feelings and how wonderful the entire show was, I can’t stop raving about it and if Netflix doesn’t renew it for more seasons then I quit!
As for reading, it’s no surprise that I only managed to read ONE book this month! Luckily I’m on track with my reading goals and I hope to have a really productive May.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – Nikolai is one of my all-time favourite characters so the chance to spend more time with him and join him on another adventure with some other great characters was perfect! AND that ending, it’s a good thing that I’ve got Rule of Wolves ready and waiting on my bookshelf!
When it comes to reading, I’m the bookworm of the family but occasionally my sister will fall into the magical world of reading and go into full-on reader mode! Seriously that girl can read, she managed to read the first two books in the Blood and Ash Series by Jennifer L Armentrout in TWO days and I’ve never been prouder! So I thought I’d take advantage of her whilst she’s on this reading sprint and get her to choose my TBR for next month! I’ve brought so many new books recently and I don’t know what to read next, so it’s been great getting an outsiders opinion!
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – This is my sisters all time favourite series and I’ve lost track at how many times I’ve promised her that I’ll read. I really enjoy reading about the vast Shadowhunter world and I’m excited to see what all the fuss is about!
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout – As I mentioned previously, my sister managed to read the first two books in two days and now she needs someone who she can talk about it with and I’m more than happy to fill that role. Everyone has been raving about this series and I feel little bit left out so it’s about time I jumped on the bandwagon!
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – My sister knows me far too well and told me to pick the book that’s been sitting on my TBR pile for the longest! I received an excerpt of this book years ago and loved it so excited to continue with the rest of the story!
Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard – I’ve been going on about this book for weeks so there was no way that I wasn’t going to put this book on my TBR for May.
February is a month dedicated to love and romance, so it’s no surprise that I fell in love with so many amazing posts, books and new blogs this month! Everyone’s got their creative juices flowing because the quality of posts again this month has been fabulous and I’ve enjoyed reading every single one of them. This is my longest list of favourites ever but I couldn’t resist including all these wonderful posts and celebrating some content that made me smile.
I mentioned in my wrap up post that I was struggling with my mental health last month, but the blogging community has always been such a comforting and lovely place to escape too. Sometimes what you need to do, is make yourself a big-old cup of tea and switch off by reading lots of different bookish posts and surround yourself with a community that is full of so much love and support. So go and get yourself all cosy and enjoy some of the posts I loved last month!
This month love was in the air and lots of bloggers shared some of their favourite romance reads and books that made their hearts flutter:
I loved Priyasha’s @Books and Co. list of 12 romance novels that are better than a candlelit dinner, because there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book!
It’s been a month and I’m still obsessed with Bridgerton. @Two Night Stands shared a great list of romance reads that are perfect for fans of Bridgerton and I could help but add a couple of these to my TBR!
I love book quotes, and this year I want to start writing some of my favourites down and keeping a note of all of them so I can look back on them when I’m having a bad day. Becky @Becky’s Book Blog shared some book quotes that will make you swoon and I’m obsessed with all of them!
Have you ever seen or picked up a book that you’ve instantly fallen in love with? I know I have! Kathryn @The Artsy Bookworm shared her list of books that were love at first sight.
Margaret @Weird Zeal shared 5 romance book recommendations based on sitcom couples! This was such a creative and fun idea and combined two of my favourite things!
We all have that list of books that got us into reading and without them this wonderful blogging and reading journey wouldn’t have happened. Amber and Samantha @Bibliomavens shared their list of 10 books that made them fall in love with reading and it got me feeling all nostalgic, I loved it!
I love it when book recommendations are organised by their tropes and the wonderful Pilar @The Bookworm Shelf did just that and shared 24 amazing, modern, standalone romance novels recommendations!
Love isn’t always romantic and usually takes the form of friendship. Kat @The Lily Cafe shared her list of books that have fabulous friendships and it’s so refreshing to find book recommendations that celebrates the strong bond friendship, instead of the classic friends-to-lovers trope. Ive yet to read any of the books on Kat’s list but there’s definitely a few new ones on my TBR!
Lots of bloggers also shared their lists of bookish things that every book lover needs. I don’t need anymore books or bookish items but these posts have convinced me that it’s good to treat yourself now and then and to get creative:
Em @EmandHerBooks made a list 10 things every book lover needs, and although I already have a couple of things off this list, I need more! I’ve been looking at getting a nice book sleeve for while and maybe this is a sign to treat myself!
Emma @The Bookworm Girl shared a great list of gifts to buy a book lover and I need them all! I’m a big tea drinker so the bookish mug is right up my street and I’m constantly using old tatty bookmarks so it might be time to invest in a fancy new personalised one!
Georgia @Lost in Neverland has inspired me to make my own book quotes jar and I’m obsessed! This is such a wonderfully creative idea that is perfect for keeping track of some of your favourite quotes and it’s lovely to look back on them when you’re having a bad day!
Kristin @Kristin Kraves Books shared her STUNNING Pride and Prejudice collection and it’s fair to say that I’m jealous! I didn’t think I needed any more copies of Austen’s classic but Kristin has convinced me that I have to have the Penguin Clothbound Edition on my shelf!
As many of you know I’m obsessed with The Storygraph, and I’m always on the lookout for some good bookish apps! Estelle @The Bookish Garden shared some of her favourite apps that every bookworm needs on their phone/tablet and I’ve found some great new apps that I’m looking forward to trying soon!
The blogging community is a great place to find book recommendations and you never know whey you’re going to find your next favourite read:
I don’t know about you but I love reading underrated books on Goodreads, it’s like having your own little secret story that only a couple of other readers have experienced. Ally @Ally Writes Things shared her list of books with fewer than 5000 ratings on Goodreads that you should read, and I couldn’t resist adding a few of these to my TBR!
Alison @Alison in Bookland shared a great list of lesser know series by popular authors you need to read ASAP! I don’t need anymore books on my endless TBR, but I couldn’t help myself! Whoops! Anyway, she includes some great series, so be sure to check it out!
Caro @Book Cheshire Cat shared her list of books she’s put and hold and wants to pick up again soon! We’re all guilty of it and it’s encouraged me to take a look at my own list, and hopefully next month I’ll be able to tick a few off!
February 2021 will forever be know as the month A Court of Silver Flames DESTROYED me! So I had to share some reviews and celebrate this book a little more:
Becca @Toastie Books and Katie @Melting Pages shared their review on A Court of Silver Flames and I agree with everything they said! These are both great reviews and highly recommend you check them out!
I love it when people read ACOTAR and fall in love with it! Chiara @Heavenly Bookish shared her thoughts on A Court of Mist and Fury and even shared a few of her favourite fan-art pieces which I loved!
This month I also read some great discussion posts and features that I just couldn’t help but share:
Another feature I’m really enjoying recently is Riddhi @Whispering Stories blogger interviews, this is such a fun and unique idea and the perfect opportunity to discover more about the blogging community! When I’m reading these interviews I feel like I’m right there with them and a part of the conversation, I love it!
Bertie @Lumionsity Library always writes some of the best discussion posts and their recent post about women who write about gay men is brilliant. If you haven’t read it yet then I highly recommend that you do and also check out the comments for some great recommendations.
As an English Literature graduate classics have played a huge part in my life, and I loved reading about Zoë’s @Reading by the Moonlight developing relationship with them. It’s easy to fall out of love with classics and to be intimidated by them, but once you overcome that hurdle it opens up a world of beautiful and powerful stories!
And finally, lots of bloggers shared some super helpful reading and blogging tips that I had to share:
Shannen @Rekindled Bibliophile started a new series called ‘Breaking into Books’ that focuses on giving tips and advice to new readers or readers that have recently returned to books after a long break. I think this is a great idea and I look forward to following along!
It’s no secret that my TBR is way too long and needs cutting down ASAP. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has an endless list of unread books! Chana and Malka @Paper Procrastinators shared a brilliant post on how to cut down your TBR that is guaranteed to make you smile and laugh out loud.
As I’ve mentioned earlier that I’m a big fan of classics but they can be intimidating. Shaniah @Books and Baking shared her top 10 tips on reading classics that are super helpful and perfect for anyone looking to dive into the wonderful world that is classic literature!
And finally the wonderful Sofii @ A Book. A Thought shared her tips on how to stay motivated as a reader & book blogger. I loved this post and I related to it massively! It’s only in the past couple of months that I’ve really found my blogging identity and passion and creativity for blogging again! Sometimes you just need to take a step back and focus on what you love and to keep it fun!
This month has been a whirlwind. The month started with lots of lighthearted and adorable romantic reads and then A Court of Silver Flames was released and I died. Every time I read Sarah’s books, I give my heart to these characters, and they return it broken, battered and yet filled with more love and wonder than before. Words will never express how much I adore this series and escape that it has granted me. If you want to hear more of my thoughts then I’ll leave a link to my review here!
I loved this book so much but it left me with one of the biggest book hangovers I’ve ever experienced, I was completely and utterly broken and emotionally exhausted. So to distract myself, I finished the month with another character inspired read-a-thon and based my weekly TBR around the fashion icon that is Blair Waldorf. Again this was another really fun and lighthearted reading experience but I think I need to take a couple of weeks off from reading and focus on my own mental health. I’ve discovered that I use reading as an escape and a distraction from my own problems and it’s time to take steps towards overcoming these struggles and facing them head on.
The month of March is not only dedicated to my mental health, but to clearing my bookshelves and reading some of the books that I actually own. I’ve started selling books on Depop but I’ve reached the point where I want them gone, so I’m looking at donating a couple to local charity shops, libraries and friends. These books played a huge part in my teenage years and I want to share their magic with other readers and young people.
I’ve also relaunched my Twitter account and stepped in the wonderfully chaotic world that is #booktwitter! Everyone there is so enthusiastic and lovely, and if you want to follow along then I’ll leave a link to my profile here!
Here in the UK, PM Boris Johnson finally unveiled a roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions across England, so things are looking hopeful and it’s nice to see a light at the end of this tunnel! Hopefully on 12th April, non-essential shops will re-open and I’ll be able to step foot in a bookstore again, and when I do I’m going to treat myself to a BIG bundle of books! I can’t wait! I know it’ll be a while before things go back to ‘normal’ or if they ever will, but this announcement has been a huge mood booster.
Anyway, this month has been a rollercoaster ride, and although I’ve got a lot planned for March, I’m eager to see what this month brings and to start working towards some exciting goals and posts.
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! So far I think this is one of my favourites, the enemies-to-lovers and fake dating trope made this such a fun and lighthearted read.
Josh and Hazels Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren – I well and truly fell down the Christina Lauren rabbit hole this month and had to read another one of her books ASAP! I loved Hazel, she’s quirky, eccentric and a character you just can’t help but love! If you’re looking for a quick and romantic read, then I suggest you give this one a go!
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin – 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.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Everyone’s told me how incredible this series is, and they’re not wrong! Going into it, I was a bit skeptical with format but it ended up being one of my favourite aspects of the entire book! I’m OBSESSED with Kady and Ezra’s relationship and witty back and forth banter they share, I didn’t expect to laugh this much!
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas – It’s no surprise that I’ve fallen utterly in love with this book, it was perfect. 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 filled with magic and wonder, and one I wished would never end.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – I read this as a part of my Blair Waldorf character read-a-thon and you can’t get more Blair Waldorf than Breakfast at Tiffany’s! I really enjoyed this book and it was interesting to get to know a darker and wilder side of Holly Golightly. Capote has a almost lyrical way with words that just make it so easy to read and enjoy!
Play as it Lays by Joan Didion – It’s no secret that I absolutely adore Didion and her writing. I’m slowly making my way through all of her books and read this one as a part of my Blair Waldorf read-a-thon. As expected I loved it and it’s clear why it’s on TIMES list of best novels.
Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn – I finished the month off with bit of Bridgerton! I’m slowly making my way through this series and really enjoyed watching Penelope and Colin’s relationship blossom. The second book will always be my favourite but this was still a lighthearted and romantic read and I can’t wait to hopefully see more of their relationship in season 2!
Mrs Dalloway by Virgina Woolf – When I read To the Lighthouse I thought I was missing something, everyone raved about her writing was but I struggled to connect with it. But then I read Mrs Dalloway and I now I see it. Mrs. Dalloway is a complex, compelling novel that enters into the consciousness and hearts of it’s characters and one that witnesses the battle between sanity and insanity. I loved it!
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I don’t plan on reading much this month, but this series is at the top of my TBR! I flew through the first book so I’m fairly confident that devour this one too!
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – There’s no way I’m not finishing this series this month. I’m too invested and I need to know what happens to these characters.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – I’ve really been craving some of Morgenstern’s magic and I think it’s about time I tick this one off the TBR pile! The Night Circus is one of my all time favourite reads, so it’s fair to say that I’m going into this with high expectations.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – After Netflix dropped that trailer for the upcoming series, I knew I had to re-read both Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows! Word’s can’t describe how excited I am for this series to hit our screens, and for these characters and Bardugo’s wonderful Grishaverse to come to life. Transporting this world from page to screen isn’t a small feat but such responsibility has been embraced by executive producers Eric Heisserer and Shawn Levy, with Leigh Bardugo also on board as a producer. I have total and utter faith that this adaptation will stay true to the books and will successfully embody everything we as the fans cherish in this series.
For the past week I’ve been channeling the fashion icon and all round Queen B that is Blair Waldorf! I’ve dedicated my entire TBR for the week to her, and have centred my reading around classic romance novels and elegant females icons like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, as well as embracing Blair’s style and daily routine, minus the scheming! I like to think I did a good job with designing my reading list and it was nice to tick a few more classics off my list!
When I’m not working you’ll usually find me in my pyjamas, or anything that is comfortable, so dressing up and putting a full face of make-up on was quite nice. I pulled all of my skirts and pearls and got to work! Blair, if anything, is determined. She never lets anyone or anything get in the way of her dreams and aspirations, and that’s one quality I think we can all take away from her. She oozes confidence, so I tried my best this week to channel all my energy into working towards my goals and I even started exploring manifestation, because sometimes we all need a little help from the universe!
On Wednesday, I embraced my Blair Waldorf fantasy and spent the evening reading and watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s along with some delicious macaroons and a glass of pink Prosecco, it was all very fancy! And then on Saturday I made a beautiful brunch spread, fit for New York’s elite, and spent my afternoon flicking through various fashion magazines as well as doing a cheeky bit of online shopping!
Overall, I had a great week as not only did I get to read some great books but Blair has encouraged me to go after my dreams because, “If you really want something you don’t stop for anyone or anything, until you get it.”.
I tried to stick to my TBR but I kept finding books on my bookshelf that a) I really wanted to read and b) that I knew Blair would secretly love!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – You can’t get more Blair Waldorf than Breakfast at Tiffany’s! I really enjoyed this book and it was interesting to get to know a darker and wilder side of Holly Golightly. Capote has a almost lyrical way with words that just make it so easy to read and enjoy!
Play as it Lays by Joan Didion – Joan Didion is an American writer who launched her career in the 1960s after winning an essay contest sponsored by Vogue magazine, and who’s writing focuses on the disintegration of American morals, cultural chaos and the Hollywood lifestyle. There’s no doubt in my mind that Blair would love and consider Didion a fabulous and powerful writer. I’ve been making my way through her books, and settled on Play as it Lays, a book that made it onto the TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005 list, and as always it was amazing.
Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn – I’m pretty sure Blair Waldorf would love Bridgerton, if not for Lady Wistledown then definitely for The Duke! I’ve been slowly making my way through this series and this lighthearted romance was exactly what I needed after a month of intense fantasy adventures.
Mrs Dalloway by Virgina Woolf – When I read To the Lighthouse I thought I was missing something, everyone raved about her writing was but I struggled to connect with it. But then I read Mrs Dalloway and I now I see it. Mrs. Dalloway is a complex, compelling novel that enters into the consciousness and hearts of it’s characters and one that witnesses the battle between sanity and insanity. I loved it!
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – I’m only half way into this book but I still wanted to include it on my list! The atmospheric writing and the gorgeous prose is what makes this book special, there’s the perfect balance of suspense, darkness and mystery, and I can’t wait to finish it soon!
One of my favourite features from last year was my character read-a-thons, a series where I based my reading goals and TBR around a chosen fictional character with the aim of reading something a little different. So far I’ve channelled my inner Rory Gilmore, Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron and that’s only just the beginning as I’ve got loads more planned for 2021!
So, what better way to start the year off than with a read-a-thon inspired by the fashion icon that is Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. Even now I’m still obsessed with the show and it’s always one I tend to re-watch now and then because it’s just SO GOOD! I’m very excited for the reboot, but it’s got big shoes to fill because I don’t think anything will beat the original and its quintessential cast of characters.
I’m going all out for this read-a-thon and I’m going to channel my inner Blair Waldorf and dedicate this entire week to her. I’m breaking out all of my pearls, skirts and headbands but I’ll be sure to leave the meddling and plotting out of the ensemble! Like Blair I’m a sucker for a classic romance and elegant female icons like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, so I’ve made sure that my TBR for this week is full of books that she would approve of or has read herself in the show/books.
Blair is very much an overachiever and perfectionist, so my TBR for this week is quite ambitious but I’m confident that I should be able to read most of them. I’m super excited for this read-a-thon and I think this is my favourite TBR so far!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – Gossip Girl always packed its episodes with classic Hollywood references, especially when it came to Blair’s dream sequences which usually mimicked iconic scenes from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so it’s only fitting that the first book on my TBR is this beloved novella.
Rebecca by Daphne du May – This has been on my TBR ever since the film was released last year on Netflix and I’ve even withheld from watching the film to avoid spoiling myself. This gothic romance follows an unnamed young woman who impetuously marries a wealthy widower, only to discover that he and his household are haunted by the memory of his late first wife, Rebecca.
What Would Audrey Do? by Pamela Keogh – Another Hepburn inspired read! This book hopes to bring a charming dose of Audrey Hepburn into our everyday lives, with wisdom on relationships, fashion, home, travel and other opportunities for sophisticated living.
Mrs Dalloway by Virgina Woolf – Heralded as Virginia Woolf’s greatest novel, this is a vivid portrait of a single day in a woman’s life and one which has been on my TBR since graduating! During my degree I read a lot of Woolf but somehow this book escaped me, but after reading To The Lighthouse and Orlando I knew she was an author I wanted to explore and read more from!
Don’t Tell Alfred by Nancy Mitford – Although this book isn’t mention in the series, I’d like to think that Blair would also enjoy Mitford’s lighthearted and witty narrative on love, class and relationships. Set twenty years after the events of the second book, Don’t Tell Alfred follows Fanny as she navigates her own problems and the complex world of French politics and society.
Happy Romance Week! As many of you know Sunday is Valentine’s Day so in celebration I’ll be posting a couple of romance themed posts. One of my reading goals for 2021 was to branch out with my reading habits and read something each month that’s not sci-fi or fantasy, and so far I’ve managed to stick to this. Last month I fell completely and utterly in love with the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, and it’s put me in a really romantic reading mood so my aim for February is to try and tick a few off my romance TBR!
The Unhoneymooners by Christian Lauren – Last year I fell head over heels for Christina Lauren’s book The Holidaze, and now I need more! This light-hearted and cute read was exactly what I needed for the festive season, and I’m ready for more unique romantic encounters and grin-inducing flirtation.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – This book is the ultimate enemies-to-lovers romance and I can’t wait for it’s adaptation, starring Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell. Lucy is charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.
The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely – I relate to this book SO MUCH! Every year my family gathers for an annual reunion and each year I have to endure the endless questioning about my career and love life, both of which are non existent! There’s only two of us singletons left and we’ve both made a pack to not let the other become the only single grandchild! I’ve yet to reach the stage in which I invite a total stranger to play ‘my date’ so things are looking hopeful! Anyway this book sounds exactly what I need and I can’t wait to dive into it!
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – This has been on my bookshelf for almost a year now! I bought it during the first lockdown but surprise, surprise I got distracted and never started it! I’m currently on a book buying ban, and I’m trying to read the majority of books on my shelf before ordering anymore so this is 100% on my TBR for February.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – I’ve seen this book all over my socials and it looks adorable and something I know I’m going to love. This mission of rebellion is guaranteed to make me smile and I’m looking forward to witnessing the developing relationship between Chloe and Red!
Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – This book blew up a couple of years ago and as always I’m last to the party when it comes to reading it! I’m all for royalty and romance, so I’m sure that I’m going to love this book as much as everyone else!
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – I love weddings and I especially love the ‘fake dating’ trope, so this combination is right up my street. Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist…
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – When Googling ‘best romance’ novels, this one always appears in the top ten! I’ve never read anything by Colleen Hoover, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book and I’ve yet to read a bad review.
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman – Another book that has sat sadly unread on my bookshelf for too long! I fell absolutely in love with the film adaptation, and knew I had to read the book too. Fast forward a couple of years later and I still haven’t read it, so I’m going to make it my mission to read it soon.
So far 2021 is proving to be a good year for both of my reading and blogging goals, and I’m eager to see what the rest of the year has in store for me. My Goodreads goal for this year is a little ambitious at 52 books which is about one book a week, and so far I’m on schedule and I’m starting to feel quietly confident.
I’ve already managed to tick off one of my blogging goals for this year which was to invest in a domain name and to finally give this little blog a makeover! As many of you know, I’ve wanted to change the design of my blog for a while now, and it’s about time that put my words into action and I couldn’t be happier! So when you’re finished reading this, go and check it out!
I also want to take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you for all your support recently, it’s so overwhelming and lovely to read everyones positive comments and it reminds me of just how lovely the blogging community is!
This month I also fell hard for Bridgerton and it’s really kickstarted a love for romance novels, so my plan is to go romance mad with my February TBR and embrace this wonderful thing we call love. I’m single, okay, and I need to live romantically and vicariously through fictional characters because my love life is somewhat non-existent!
Finally, I couldn’t write a January wrap up post without mentioning THOSE sneak-peak pictures from upcoming Shadow and Bone adaptation! Words can’t describe how excited I am about this adaptation, and I full-on fangirled when they were released and haven’t stopped studying them since. Everything looks perfect and I don’t know how I’m going to cope when they release the trailer, let alone the first episode! It truly looks like these characters have been plucked right off the page, and I can’t wait to see the Grishaverse come to life on our screens! April 23rd can’t come quick enough!
January Wrap Up
The Duke and I (Bridgerton’s #1) by Julia Quinn – Like I’ve mentioned previously I’ve fallen utterly in love with the Bridgerton series and there’s a group of us at work who have made a make-shift bookclub and are making our way through the entire series. As expected the book was SO much better than the TV series, the character interactions are wittier and more heartfelt and Quinn’s writing is so easy to read that I read this book in one sitting.
The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton’s #2) by Julia Quinn – I love Anthony Bridgerton so I knew that I was going to love this book, but I didn’t expect to love it that much! His developing relationship with Kate is exactly what I needed and I’m glad that he’s finally found his match. That Pall-mall scene is EVERYTHING and I’ve never related more to a book till then, as croquet is a very aggressive and competitive game in my family too.
An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgerton’s #3) by Julia Quinn – I wasn’t planning on reading this book this month but I couldn’t help myself! I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to read more fairytale retellings and this Cinderella romance was exactly what I needed.
Fable by Adrienne Young – I’ve really been 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!
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – I hate to say it, but I don’t think this book lived up to the hype…I did enjoy it but it’s my own fault for going into it with high expectations. The whole world built around Grimoires in ancient libraries, sorcerers and demons was so unique and I wish that this was a series rather than a stand-alone, so that we could 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. Nevertheless this was a solid fantasy read that I did enjoy and I look forward to reading more of Rogerson’s work in the future.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I accidentally bought this entire series after I finished Aurora Rising last month because I’m so in love with Kaufman’s writing and have come to the decision that I need more sci-fi in my life. I just couldn’t resit. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series so I’m eager to dive in and experience all of it’s brilliance.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – February is a month of romance, so I’m going to make it my mission to tick off a few romance books that are waiting patiently on my TBR. Last year, I fell head over heels for the lighthearted ease that was Christina Lauren’s writing and it’s another book that I’ve yet to read a bad review about!
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – Another romance that has been on my TBR for years! This book is the ultimate enemies-to-lovers romance and I can’t wait for it’s adaptation, starring Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell.
Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (Bridgerton #4) – I’m so in love with this series! They’re cheesy, romantic and wonderfully witty reads that I can easy read in one sitting!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – I’ve planned another character read-a-thon for the end February and I thought I’d give you a sneak peak at my TBR! I was meant to read this book for one of my classes at university but something must have stopped me, so I thought what better time to read it than now!
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas – I finally pre-ordered the Waterstones exclusive edition and I’m on countdown till 16th Feb! I already plan to drop everything when it arrives and spend the day completely enamoured by these characters and the incredible world Sarah has created!