Blog Posts I Loved This Month | February

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Reading Like Blair Waldorf For A Week – Wrap Up

Hey Upper East Siders!

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!

Blog Posts I Loved This Month | January

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January Wrap Up and February TBR

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.

February TBR

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!

And finally,

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!

Series I Want to Finish in 2021

Before sitting down to write this post I was fully expecting this list to be filled with lots of unfinished series but to my surprise I could only find a handful! Last year one of my reading goals was to clear out my TBR and I did just that! 2020 saw me finally experience the epic conclusions to some of my favourite series including Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas as well as starting some new favourites. Like many, I’m guilty of starting a series, then get distracted by something else and forgetting about the previous series entirely, so this year I plan to leave no series left unfinished!

Bridgertons by Julia Quinn

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

I’m fairly positive that I’m going to finish this entire series by the end of the month, because I’m in love! I’m a sucker for a scandalous period dramas with beautiful costumes and witty characters so when the adaptation dropped on Netflix I knew I was going to adore it! Fast forward 24-hours and I’d binged watched the entire show and had ordered the books as I needed more! I’m currently half-way through the first book and its everything I expected and more, they’re just so lighthearted and easy to read!

The Witchlands by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard — Bayley Reads Books

I read the first book during last years O.W.Ls read-a-thon and fell instantly in love with its wonderful world, magic system and characters. It was such a fun and easy read that I flew through, but as expected I got distracted with the other books on my TBR and never returned to finish the adventure! I 100% plan to return to this series as I’m eager to learn more about the wonderful world Dennard has created.

The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (Aurora Cycle 1): Amazon.co.uk: Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

I’m OBSESSED with these characters and this entire series! This fast-paced and witty space adventure is the perfect combination of Guardians of the Galaxy and Annihilation, everything about it is perfect! Sadly the paperback version of Aurora Burning isn’t released until 1st April so until I’ll just have to wait patiently and keep myself pre-occupied with more Kaufman’s sci-fi adventures…

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen: Red Queen Book 1: Amazon.co.uk: Victoria Aveyard: Books

I re-read the first book in this series last year and had every intention of finally completing the series but once again I got distracted and never started the second book. I did enjoy the first book but I still struggle with the world Aveyard has created, its all a bit mix-matched for me in regards to technology etc. I’m still undecided about whether or not I’ll continue with this series but I still wanted to included it on my list just in case I change my mind!

Cursebreakers by Brigid Kemmerer

A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers, #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I didn’t think that this series lived up to all the hype it’s been receiving but nevertheless I’m curious to see where Kemmerer takes these characters and storyline next! It’s a solid Beauty and the Beast adaptation with a intricate storyline and good characters but I swear if I read another Beauty and the Beast adaptation I’m going to DIE, there’s a whole world of untold fairytales than need adapting so pick something else!

Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman

The Toll, Volume 3 (Arc of a Scythe): Amazon.co.uk: Shusterman, Neal:  9781481497060: Books

Another forgotten series of 2020! I was initially hooked by the haunting concept and world of book one, sadly book two didn’t have the same effect! I remember really struggling to finish this book and I probably couldn’t even tell you what happened! I do hope to pick up this series again in the future but right now it’s not at the top of my TBR.

December Wrap Up and January TBR

Happy New Year!

Last year wasn’t anyone’s year to say the least, but hope is on the horizon and I pray that this year will bring a degree of normality and a fresh start for everyone, so let’s make 2021 a good year to remember. But before I start something new, I thought it was only right to have big sort out of both my TBR shelf, NetGalley account and all the unread books on my bookshelf. I’m officially on a book buying ban until I’ve read all the books on my shelf, so this month is being dedicated to all the books I didn’t manage to read in 2020. Last year I managed to read 42 books and I think this year will finally be the year I tackle the challenge of 52 books (aka one book a week for a year)!

December

Finale by Stephanie Garber – I loved it. I loved it. I loved it! I swear all I’ve done recently is go on and on about how good this series is, so I’m going to keep it simple and say if you haven’t read it then you need to add this series to your TBR ASAP!

In A Holidaze by Christine Lauren – If you google ‘best Christmas reads’ then this one is always number one so I thought it was only fitting that I gave it a go! Turns out this book was just what I needed, it’s lighthearted and just a bundle of fun that I managed to devour in a couple of hours. I was gutted when it finished, I need MORE.

Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas – This was our Book Club book of the month for December and it was only fitting that we chose a trashy festive romance! I love a good-old Christmas market and it breaks my heart that I missed out on them this year so I just had to settle for my imagination! As expected I really enjoyed it and it was such a lovely read for the festive season.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Another new series I’m obsessed with! I loved all these characters and I really enjoyed all SEVEN first person POV’s, every character had a distinct voice and tone, it was incredible! I’m huge fan of anything sci-fi and hopefully plan to read a lot more this year, so any reccomendations would be wonderful!

January

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – I started reading this in December but I’m going to finish it January so this counts doesn’t it? So far I’m really enjoying the whole concept and world Rogerson has created, I’m just gutted that it’s a standalone because I need more!

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – This book still haunts my TBR and even I’m getting frustrated that I still haven’t read it! I’m suffering from some major FOMO and I’m desperate to jump on the bandwagon and experience all the wonder and magic everyone has been raving about.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn – I’m completely and utterly obsessed with the Netflix adaptation Bridgerton, so much so that as soon as I finished the final episode I jumped online and order all FIVE books! Last year is was erotic Highlander novels and this year it’s steamy period romance novels, I just can’t get enough!

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn – I’m pretty sure I’m going to fly through the first book so I’ll be sure to have the second book at the ready. I’m trying to pace myself with this series otherwise I’ll end up binge reading it and suffering from a major book hangover.

Fable by Adrienne Young – I was sent a copy of this book through NetGalley and have seen it appearing on a few peoples 2020 favourites posts so I’m excited to start reading. The synopsis is EVERYTHING and I’m already predicting that it’ll be five star read, so no pressure!

Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings – Another book that I received from NetGalley and one which I planned to read before I got distracted by Addie LaRue! I’m curious to explore more about this book and the world Lindsay has created! Years ago I remember reading her Murder Complex series and really enjoying her writing style so I’m looking forward to reading another one of adventures.

A Fangirl’s Opinion – A Year in Review 2020

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

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

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

Some of my favourite posts of this year include:

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

7 Books Written During NaNoWriMo

Blog Posts I Loved This Month | October

My Favourite Book Covers of 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

Amy X

My 2020 Favourites – Books, TV Shows and Films

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

Books

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

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

TV Shows

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

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

Films

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

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

Music

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

Books I Didn’t Get To Read This Year

Welcome back everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you’re all looking forward to the New Year! Now before I post my 2020 favourites, I thought I’d share the books I sadly didn’t manage to read this year with the hopes of reading them in the first couple of months of 2020! These are books that are either on my yearly TBR list or ones that I’ve picked up throughout the year and have been sitting on my shelf ever since!

The Priory of the Orange Tree: THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER: Amazon.co.uk:  Shannon, Samantha: 9781408883464: Books

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I couldn’t resist buying this book when I saw it in Waterstones, and I’m gutted that I didn’t get round to reading it this year! This beast of a book is quite intimidating but I’m not going to let it get the better of me!

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers

His Fair Assassin’s by Robin LaFares – This was on my list of series I wanted to start in 2020, but sadly it was forgotten on my long TBR list. The first book in the series follows Ismae who after escaping an arranged marriage is trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. That sounds pretty kickass, doesn’t it?

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern | Waterstones

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – As many of you know ‘The Night Circus’ is one of my favourite books of all time, there’s such an enchanting and captivating quality to Morgenstern’s writing that I’m eager to experience again. I know nothing about this book and despite the all the mixed review, I plan to go into this book with zero expectations!

The Poppy War - Wikipedia

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – Another beast of a book that escaped me this year! I’ve heard a lot of people call this ‘one of the best fantasy reads ever’ so its only right that I see what all the hype is about! I’m already getting serious Ember in the Ashes vibes from the synopsis as it involves a military school and a rich world based on Chinese history.

Illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I recently read ‘Aurora Rising’ by this duo and I’m in LOVE and I’m eager to explore more of their sci-fi adventures. I really love all things sci-fi but I haven’t read anything from that genre in a while, so maybe its time to take a break from all my fantasy worlds and dive into something different.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - Wikipedia

The Ballard of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – When I heard there was a Hunger Games prequel being released, I was really excited to discover more about The Games and Panem, but when I heard it was about President Snow I was instantly disinterested. Why do they tease us like that? Anyway, after vowing not to bother with it, I found it on ironically on sale and couldn’t resist buying it! Now as much as I don’t want to read it, I can’t help but be a little curious…

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha, 1): Amazon.co.uk: Adeyemi,  Tomi: 9781250170972: Books

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – I swear this book has appeared on at least six of my monthly TBR’s and I’m embarrassed that I’ve yet to read it! Mark my words, I will read this book at some point next year!

Surprising and Disappointing Reads of 2020

Happy Blogmas Day 9!

No matter how hard I try, I always start a book with expectations and it is through these expectations that I either end up falling utterly in love, being pleasantly surprised, or disappointed with my reading experience. It is from these expectations and bookish hype that has enabled my to create this list and it’s not guaranteed that all my 2020 disappointing reads will be low ratings and vice versa, it’s purely down to whether it reached or surpassed my predicted ratings. I’ve tried my best to pick books that actually unintentionally surprised me rather than some staple favourites, I’ll leave those books for my 2020 favourites/wrap up post!

Surprises

The Song of Achillies by Madeline Miller – Don’t get me started on my thoughts about this book, I ADORE IT! I’m still trying to fully comprehend my thoughts and I don’t think I’ve experience a book-hangover like this since I read The Final Empire two years ago! This book just left me in awe and I just want to re-read it again and again. 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 Achillies and Patroclus are profoundly physical, and those last five chapters tore the heart from my chest, leaving me empty and alone.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – I read a bit of Wilde whilst studying at Univeristy and there’s always that worry when reading ‘a classic’ that I might not ‘get it’ or enjoy it as much as others, but this one surprised me greatly! I found it super easy to read and I certainly wasn’t expecting the intrusively personal thoughts it left me with. This is a true masterpiece that was the perfect read during Halloween and is filled with beautiful quotes that will stay with you long after finishing!

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning – If your new to this blog then you probably don’t know about my obsession with trashy highlander romance novels, they’re so bad that they’re good! You may be think Amy, why on earth is this book on your surprise list? Well, its because I truly love this book! I’m just as surprised as you are, everything was great from the plot to the characters (it was an enemies to loves relationship and we all know I’m a sucker for one of those). So if you’re ever struggling to find something to read then I highly recommend anything that has a shirtless man in a kilt on the cover!

The Witchling’s Girl by Helena Coggan – Another complete surprise! I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review but I got so much more. Like I’ve mentioned before I’m usually a read driven by plot rather than character but this book completely subverted that. Coggan’s beautifully evocative prose and world building surrounds a battling story of love and death that will break readers hearts. The characterisation and development is what makes this book truly stunning, Haley’s succession to becoming the Witchling is one heck of a journey that I’m thankful to have experienced.

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes – There’s that stigma behind YouTubers writing books, and although I fully trust Hazel and her ability to create beautiful and meaningful prose as seen through her Time of the Month series and short film Happy, there was always that element of doubt. This was on my list of most anticipated reads for 2020, so I had all my fingers crossed that it would live up to my expectations, and thankfully it did!

Disappointments

The Cup and the Prince by Day Leitao – This is probably one of my biggest disappointments of 2020 and it breaks my heart to admit that because I was hooked by this book’s synopsis but sadly this is one of those rare cases of a great premise but not so great execution. Nevertheless it was still a fun and easy read filled with a unique world that I’d love to learn more about.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer – Please don’t hate me! It’s not that I don’t enjoy this series but I don’t think that this book lives up to the hype. It’s a solid Beauty and the Beast adaptation with a intricate storyline and good characters but I swear if I read another Beauty and the Beast adaptation I’m going to DIE, there’s a whole world of untold fairytales than need updating so pick something else! ACOTAR will forever be my favourite adaptation because Maas cleverly uses it’s framework to build a greater and more complex story. I will probably continue with this series because I’m curious to see where Kemmerer takes these characters and her storyline!

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman – One of my reading goals this year was to start and finish this series, and although I was hooked with the haunting concept and world of book one, sadly book two didn’t have the same effect! I remember really struggling to finish this book and I probably couldn’t even tell you what happened! I do hope to pick up this series again in the future but right now it’s not at the top of my TBR.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – What is it with sequels? I think my problem is that I fall utterly in love with the first book and I’m so eager to start that second book that my expectations creep higher and higher. I knew it was going to be difficult for this book to top its predecessor but I just felt like something vital was missing. I felt like we were missing the camaraderie and brotherhood of the first book, I understand that it’s good for each characters to have their own time and storyline but it just felt a little empty.