Life Update – February 2021

Hello, hello, hello lovely people!

I was thinking about what to write today and I thought it’s been a while since I’ve given you guys a general life update and a more chatty, free flowing blog – so why not fill you all in? I have to say I’ve seen you all popping up and having a read, even if I haven’t been posting as much as I’d want to recently.

So what’s been going on? If you have been a reader for a long time you’ll know that the end of 2020 was pretty brutal, leaving our flat and moving in with Ali’s Mum, losing another pet, getting Covid and missing Christmas because of it and we were meant to get married in January – it was not a good time.

February came around and everything just kind of slowed down and stopped. While work was starting to really pick up and I enjoyed the projects I was working on, making new relationships it was all good there…but not so much outside. In January I struggled with fatigue, I thought it was just getting over having covid but this was another level and reminded me of another time.

I couldn’t focus on anything, I had enough energy to work and then I was crashing completely. Even if I wasn’t sleeping I was simply laying on my bed and the most I could do was scroll through my phone. I’d been there before when my B12 levels were low so I requested a blood test. While I was waiting I felt guilty, I couldn’t read anything, I didn’t have the energy for my blog and although I was doing a weekly longer walk with the dog something was just…off.

So, 10 points to Gryffindor for me knowing my body wasn’t ok. It turns out I was on the money and my B12 was the lowest it had ever been – score. It also flagged up some other issues health wise which equated to damn, no wonder I’ve been struggling so much. I was proud of the fact at least I was working because, I really love my job and what I’ve built for myself in the past 2 and a half years.

Now I’m getting treatment, the biggest part is 6 ‘loading doses’ of B12 to get me back to a good level, I’ll then need an injection every 3 months. I’m also finally going back to see a joint specialist to try and get myself sorted. In the past week in particular, I’ve really started to feel more in control and like the normal me is slowing coming back, let’s hope so. I’m also actively trying to lose weight due to advice from my doctor regarding one of my conditions – a week in and I’m 2Ibs down!

I’m looking forward to seeing what March brings, and not only because we should be able to meet up with people outside again without exercise (it’s been a bloody nightmare when you have no energy).

See you all again soon!

My 2021 Pre-Orders Part One

Back in January I sat down and went through anything I’d preordered and moved a lot of them over to my Waterstones account, partly to support the high street and partly to add to my points (which I am saving to spend in store once they’re back open). There’s a few sequels, a few debuts and some favourite authors with new releases I am EXCITED.

These pre-orders only go up to the summer (one in July and one in August) so I’m sure there are more that I haven’t even found out about yet – nobody tell my future husband. I’m really excited, particularly as three of these I actually received this week and I’ve finished two of them and I’m just under half way through the third.

A Court of Silver Flames – Sarah J Maas 

16th Feb 2021

ACOTAR was one of the series that made me really get into fantasy so I had this preordered. While I ended up getting this 2 days late (it was painful), I can confirm it was worth it. At the time of writing I’m almost half way through and I adore this book. I love that we’ve moved on to Nesta and Cassian’s perspective. That’s all I will say.

A Shot at Normal – Marisa Reichardt 

16th February 2021

This got me out of a reading slump and I read it in less that 24 hours, any break I had my head was in this book. Raised to hippie parents Juniper’s life is different from the home made deodorant she’s not sure works, her home school life and the fact her parents are anti-vaxxers. I think this takes on new meaning right now with the vaccine roll out, it shows the consequences of what can happen without vaccines. I loved it.

Where Hope Comes From: Healing poetry for the heart, mind and soul – Nikita Gill 

18th February 2021

I only knew this would be released because it popped up on the Waterstones website because I picked up books from her before (The Girl and The Goddess was one of my favourite reads of 2020). This is a short collection reflecting on lockdown, isolation and ultimately hope. It’s a beautiful read and I was right to be excited about it.

Honey Girl – Morgan Rogers 

23rd February 2021

In Honey Girl we have an overachiever who’s always done things by the book, until she gets drunk in Vegas and marries a women she barely knows. She also starts questioning why she’s so unhappy after finishing her PhD and what more she wants from life. Sign me up.

The World Between Us – Sarah Ann Juckes 

4th March 2021

Books about chronic illness are getting more attention recently which I’m really grateful for because when I first got sick there weren’t many books about people who were chronically ill, there was nothing for me to relate to. The World Between Us is about connection online and I can’t wait.

Bridge of Souls – Victoria Schwab 

4th March 2021

Everyone who reads my blog knows I’m a big Schwab fan and I love this series. I can’t wait to see what Cassidy gets up to this time. Also don’t knock them for being marketed as middle grade, the last book creeped the crap out of me!

As Far As You’ll Take Me – Phil Stamper 

4th March 2021

I really loved Phil’s debut The Gravity of Us so of course I pre-ordered his next novel which he’s said is about travel and found family. I know it’s already out in the US (jealous) and I’m really looking forward to reading about Marty finding his place where he can be accepted for who he is.

Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses – Kristen O’Neal 

27th April 2021

Another book with chronic illness rep, this time with a college (university) age protagonist who has to change her life due to developing a health condition. Is it any wonder why this speaks to me? I’m really looking forward to reading it and the author seems lovely too!

Bookishly Ever After – Lucy Powrie 

13th May 2021

I adore this series and Lucy is a wonderful person, I’m excited to read from Ed’s perspective but I’m also so sad to say goodbye to this group of people. This one has Ed working in a bookshop which I am SO excited about!

Slug – Hollie McNish 

13th May 2021

Another gem found on the Waterstones website (it’s both a wonderful and dangerous thing for me to check regularly). I really enjoyed two of Hollie’s collection, her first called Plum and Nobody Told Me which centres around being a Mum. I’m really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Heartstopper Volume 4 – Alice Oseman

13th May 2021

The Heartstopper books are like a warm cup of tea or a nice hug, I absolutely adore them. There are only 2 more volumes to go, I’m tempted to do a reread of the whole series before picking up Volume 4.

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating – Adiba Jaigirdar 

25th May 2021

I picked up The Henna Wars last year and found it really refreshing and an excellent debut. This time Adiba Jaigirdar is taking on the fake dating trope and I’m really intrigued to see her take on it, I’ve requested it on NetGalley and I’ve ordered a physical copy keep your fingers crossed for me.

Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid

27th May 2021

Both The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and The Six were two of my favourites and they just transported me to another world. I did apply for an advance copy but was turned down (boo), so I’m patiently waiting like the rest of you!

One Last Stop – Casey McQuiston 

1st June 2021

We all remember how much I loved Red,White and Royal Blue right? How much everyone loved RWRB. I can’t wait for Casey’s next novel that has time travelling romance in it. I’m excited to see what this

Not My Problem – Ciara Smyth 

3rd June 2021

I absolutely loved Ciara’s first novel The Falling In Love Montage (review to come on Thursday) so I wanted to read more of her work, which is why I have added it to my pre-order cart. Also, Ciara seems to create complex characters that are also believable. I can’t wait.

Afterlove – Tanya Byrne 

27th July 2021

Lesbian romance mixed with the afterlife? I’m down.

Gods and Monsters – Shelby Mahurin

3rd August 2021

If you follow me on any kind of social media platform you’ll know that last year I fell in love with the Serpent and Dove series and the ending to book 2 was a huge cliff hanger. While it’s sad the series is ending, I really need to know what happens in the end. I have so many questions.

As Good As Dead – Holly Jackson

5th August 2021

I absolutely love Holly Jackson’s series, A Good Girls Guide to Murder was good, Good Girl, Bad Blood was even better so I have high hopes for As Good As Dead and I think this one is the last in the series? So, I’m looking forward to seeing what Pippa is up to after that ending!

What are you looking forward to this year? Let me know in the comments below!

The Falling In Love Monage - Ciara Smyth

Book Review: The Falling In Love Montage – Ciara Smyth

What’s the point in love if, one day you might not even remember it? Saoirse’s not looking for love and doesn’t believe in happy endings – not after her Mum’s early onset dementia lead her to be put on a home. She’s put rules in place, but meeting Ruby who proposes one summer, no strings attached might just break them all.

After a rough Christmas and New Year I really wanted to read something that had at least some romance, since I picked up The Falling In Love Montage I’ve seen nothing but good reviews so it seemed like the perfect choice. I wasn’t wrong and nor were all of the people who recommended it online. This is a spectacular debut, one that tackles romance, dementia, family and working out who you are and where you want to go.

I felt that Saoirse and Ruby were incredibly easy to fall in love with. I was rooting for them as they began to fall for each other. More importantly though they are believable, they both have flaws, they both have their own problems and seem like normal 17 year olds. I think it’s easy to forget (particularly as someone who has almost 10 years on them) just how hard being a teenager is without the extra issues that Saoirse and Ruby face.

I’ll admit, during my teens I was obsessed with romcoms. I had DVDs upon DVDS of romcoms I’d pick up at car boot sales at weekend and watch over and over again – Bridget Jones was my favourite if you’re wondering. The fact that Ruby loves them and wants to share them with Saoirse was absolutely adorable. I also can’t help but think this would make one of the best films if it was done right.

The reason this book is more than simply a fun romance is because it deals with a very real issue and that is Saoirse’s mother’s early onset dementia and her fears that she will also inherit it. I’ll admit I don’t know much about dementia, particularly early onset and found the book really interesting in its approach. I really felt for Saoirse in her anger, frustration and confusion. That she wants to hide it, especially from Ruby so that she can try and have some normality.

Family is also crucial to this novel and I found the relationship between Saoirse and her Dad incredibly well handled and the question of when or if you should move on if a loved one needs care. The decision has a thousand shades of grey in between and it’s explored in a very sensitive way throughout the novel.

I thought the ending to this novel was perfect, of course, I’m not going to let you in on it and ruin the book but it felt like it was the ending that both of the characters deserved, that we as the reader deserved. It was incredibly well done and I was impressed because this is a debut novel!

It’s no surprise that I gave this 5 stars, it was a unique and truly lovely novel. The fact that this is a debut novel is really exciting, I’m looking forward to seeing what Ciara does next and I don’t have long to wait as she has a new book out this year!

What I Read In January 2021

The start of a new year and a new reading challenge! This year I’ve set my challenge at 100 books again and so far, so good! January has been an excellent reading month, mostly I’ve read shorter books because I just haven’t been able to concentrate on anything too long. I’ve also started to fall back in love with audiobooks! A positive start!

I was sent a copy of The Sad Ghost Club so that I could take part in the blog tour last week (take a read here) and it was a great book to read after the stress of 2020 and the gloom of another lockdown. I highly recommend and gave it 4 stars. Next up was a collection of poetry I picked up in the Waterstones sale Poems To Save The World With was a tricky one to review. I absolutely adored the illustrations and it’s a beautiful book, but I wasn’t that enamoured with the quite a few of the poems included, but that’s just down to personal preference!

I was also sent Here The Whole Time by Vitor Martins by the team at Bkmrk , a translated novel about two teenage guys who get to know each other more over the summer after one of them has had a crush for years. This was really sweet and I flew through it, I don’t know how anyone could read it and not fall in love with Filipe. A 4.5 star read for me.

There was definitely a gentle romance vibe with these two. Next up I read The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smith. It had been on my radar for ages and on my bookcase for a while and I really loved this book. I loved the characters, I loved the plot being focused around coming to terms with illness and family as well as romance and the ending was perfect. It was also my first 5 star read of the year!

I was sent a copy of Gut Feelings by C.G Moore and invited to the virtual book launch in January. Not only is Chris a lovely human but he’s written a spectacular book about invisible illness, going through medical trauma in your teens and early twenties, love, sex and working out who you are when your body isn’t the norm. It’s also written in verse with a fantastic layout. Another 5 star read!

Next up was another Waterstones sale purchase and I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful the cover is. This is an exploration of a life through books in a relatable way, Dear Reader was the comfort I needed. It’s also a book full of different kinds or reads rather than just a load of classics, which collections of this kind normally are. Also, I reached out to Cathy to thank her for such a wonderful book that gave me hope and she was so kind to reply back. I finished this one and immediately ordered her previous book.

My first audiobook of the year was Seven Kinds Of People You Find In Bookshops by Shaun Bythell. It was only 2 hours long but felt longer. This one really wasn’t for me, the use of latin, the judgments of people just didn’t sit right with me and seemed a little snobby. This was a 2 star read.

Last, but certainly not least, is The Last Act of Love also by Cathy Rentzenbrink. This is the story of Cathy and her brother, Matty who was hit by a car at 16 and sustained a brain injury which lead to him being in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). We go from meeting Cathy and Matty before the accident and seeing their relationship to the hope the family has after the accident, through Matty’s care and ultimately when he passes. This book will touch your heart and make you want to cuddle your loved ones close. Cathy did a fantastic job putting everything into words. 5 stars, without a doubt.

What did you read in January?

Let me know in the comments below!

Blog Tour: The Sad Ghost Club - Lize Meddings

Blog Tour: The Sad Ghost Club – Lize Meddings

Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don’t belong anywhere? Like you’re almost… invisible?

Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club.

When BookMark asked if I’d like to be part of their blog tour for The Sad Ghost Club, I jumped at the chance. I requested to read an early copy of the book because I liked the art style and thought the idea sounded sweet. The team at Bkmrk got in touch asking for my address, I mentioned it would be a great distraction as at the time I was in isolation with Covid. Not only was Becci kind enough to send me The Sad Ghost Club, she also sent across a few other books that I was so looking forward to. That kindness meant the world. Anyway, I digress.

For anyone who has felt depression or anxiety, who’s felt like they’re going through the motions because they don’t feel entirely present, you’ll be seen within the pages of this book. While reading I could feel myself nodding, remembering times where everything has felt so urgent and terrifying, while I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything about it.

The first half of this book will make you feel less alone, less weird, because I know for certain that in my toughest times with my mental health I felt not only lonely but also like there was something wrong with me. The experience being put on a page does wonders.

The second half of the book will do something even better, it’ll give you hope – something I think we’re all in need of right now. The good news, and something that you’re reminded of while reading is that there are others like you and, actually, people who understand can make really good company. We all have our stories, quirks and oddities – we’d be really boring if we didn’t, but it’s what makes us work.

I highly recommend this book. It’s a shorter read and, for me, it was something I could pick up and go through without having to think too much, which is great when you have a foggy brain. If you want to find out more you can also see the other stops on the blog tour below!

Thank you to the publishers and author for my copy in exchange for this post.

Surviving...But Thriving?

Surviving…But Thriving?

It’s the last week of January, but it definitely feels like this month has lasted triple that amount of time. I know for a fact that any optimism I felt about a new year got knocked out of me when lockdown 3 started. Not the easiest time to be bashing out new years resolutions and I for one retreated into the Christmas chocolate I had.

Today I just couldn’t motivate myself. I very much got up and just felt like saying ugh. I tried to use my normal ways of getting myself out of a funk. I had a cuppa and ticked things off of my to do list, I tried going for a walk, I went out in the car and popped out to get things from the supermarket with my music on. Nothing seemed to work. No matter what I did I just felt ‘meh’.

It is more than enough to be just getting through the days right now. To not be building a side hustle, cooking new healthy meals or going for a daily run is perfectly normal. It’s ok if your days consist of taking it hour by hour and seeing how you feel. I for one am on am emotional loop de loop where I can feel great and motivated in the morning and by lunch time feel frustrated, angry or deflated. There’s no one way to get through this.

Here in the UK we’re in our 3rd lockdown and I’ve seen a lot of people say this one hits harder – which I agree with. In the first one it was scary and uncertain but at least it was light and there was decent weather, we could go out for a walk or at least open the windows. The second was promoted to us as a way to ‘save Christmas’ (because that worked so well), because of that I think it had a little hope. This one is harder, January is a long month, the days are dark and it’s cold out – no wonder people are struggling right now!

Personally I’ve started something small for myself, I try and write down 3 things a day that have either made me happy or that I’ve done. It can be as simple as writing got through another day, had a shower, ate dinner. Other days things are happier, I might have had a nice call with someone, played with the hamsters and read a book. All these little things will add up.

Surviving is more than enough. Getting through the days and coming out the other side is more than enough. Finding yourself eating more ice cream than normal? Go for it. Having early nights most nights? I’m jealous. Binge watching everything you can? Let me know what’s good! As long as it’s not hurting you or anyone else, do what you need to do.

Be kind to yourselves out there!

10 Poetry Collections And Novels In Verse To Try If You Liked Amanda Gorman’s Performance

Yesterday while watching President Biden’s inauguration I, like many others, was completely blown away by Amanda Gorman reciting her poem The Hill We Climb (as a side note her coat was amazing and I want to find one just like it).

Poetry is something a lot of people say they struggle with. I’ve loved poetry for a long time and even had a piece published myself (#humblebrag) – I think Amanda may have just woken thousands of people up to the fact poetry doesn’t have to be old and boring. It can be new, fun and exciting. It can give hope.

Because of this I wanted to share some of my favourites to get you started including both novels in verse and poetry collections because you may like one more than the other.

Novels in verse

Novels In Verse

Gut Feelings – C.G Moore

Explored chronic illness through poetry that packs a punch and a new release .

Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo

One of my favourites of 2020, full review here.

The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta

Growing up, coming out and becoming fabulous in drag, full review here.

Moonrise – Sarah Crossan

Will make you ugly cry, family and the US justice system.

The Girl And The Goddess – Nikita Gill

Another of my 2020 favourites, mythology, womanhood and growing up.

Poetry Collections

Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur

One you’ve probably heard of. A good one to get you started with shorter poetry.

Nobody told me: Poetry and Parenthood – Holly McNish

I don’t have kids but I felt this one to my core, it also made me laugh, review here.

Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately – Alicia Cook

Combining two of my favourite things, music and poetry in one collection.

Grief Is A Thing With Feathers – Max Porter

Deals with grief and bringing up a family alone, not the cheeriest but still good stuff.

I’ll leave you with the stunning poem and the reminder she has a collection out in September 2021!

Heading To The Aisle – 1 Year To Go…Again

Right now, I was meant to be sat in a beautiful hotel with my Mum and a few of my bridesmaids, maybe we’d be having dinner or a few drinks to celebrate my last night as an unmarried woman. Of course, that isn’t happening and I find myself starting my 1 year countdown to my wedding…again.

Back in October we decided that as soon as our venue would let us we were postponing our wedding because of the impending restrictions, and seeing as we’re now in lockdown again I’d say we made the right decision. If you’d have told me in the first lockdown in England I would end up postponing my wedding I would have thought you were mad. Almost year later and still dealing with lockdowns?

Oh what a poor sweet summer child.

While I can’t say I was happy to make the decision, we were relieved at that point. As you can imagine trying to save for a wedding during a pandemic when you’re trying to keep yourselves afloat doesn’t really happen. With the relief though came real sadness, deep heavy sadness, although it came a little later. I desperately wanted to marry Ali after so long together and waiting until 2022 (the only date we could do and get) and having to pay more for it just hurt, which also lead to cocktails and crying.

There are silver linings though, we’ve got more time to save, there’s a few ideas for things I’d like to do that I now have time for and, of course, we can have a safe wedding with people we love. I also proceeded to eat all the chocolate once I had my sense of taste and smell back without being nervous about my dress doing up – so that’s a win.

I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow, probably a little sad but we will get married, and after 12 years together I think 1 more year is going to be ok.

What I Read In December 2020

What I Read In December 2020

December was a funny month between moving house, the flip-flopping over Christmas tiers, having covid while attempting Blogmas it was a fun time and I wasn’t sure how much reading I’d actually get done but between Christmas and New Year while I couldn’t really do much I found some excellent books.

I’ve been chatting to Yousra on Twitter for a while and was lucky enough to be sent a copy of her debut novel, Hijab and Red Lipstick, about a young woman who moves from London to the golf and how it changes her life. This is loosely based on Yousra’s own experiences and I learnt a lot while reading. I also absolutely adored Sara and really felt for her throughout the book.

A short poetry collection, Bloom very much falls into the category of Instagram poetry and the layout is beautiful. Some of these poems really spoke to me while others were a little more difficult to connect with. If you’re looking for a short collection I’d recommend it.

I finally went back to where it all began for Alice Oseman with Solitaire, I much prefer these covers when I was originally released I didn’t pick it up because it looked like it was to do with gaming – which it’s not. It was lovely to see where Alice started and I adored this book and can see why it was so popular.

I also read Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall which has been buzzing around on BookTube for a while so I preordered it. It’s an interesting read covering what it’s like to be in a secret relationship, but also to grieve when you can only do so privately. I found it to be ok but felt there could have been more too it.

Next up were two poetry/ verse collections. Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh is a novel in verse about a young women as she goes to college and learns about who she is, this was ok but to me it just seemed lacking, particularly in the second half of the book. I picked up Halsey’s first poetry collection I Would Leave Me If I Could because I love her lyrics and music. I think because she is a lyricist these didn’t work as well on paper as poems, not for me but I’m still a huge fan of her music.

Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal was also a gift, it had an interesting concept and a shorter read, if you’re looking for something kick with a feminist edge then this would be a good read for you.

I ordered The Silent Stars Go By by Sally Nicholls in the Waterstones sale after seeing it in the shop (don’t you miss browsing in bookshops?!). I’ll admit I was drawn in by the beautiful cover but the plot, set just after WW1 and the Spanish Influenza, and is about a young woman who found herself pregnant while her soldier boyfriend was presumed dead. After giving the baby to her mother he is revealed to be alive and will be home for Christmas, wanting to know why his sweetheart didn’t return his letters upon learning he’s alive. I adored this book, it’s short but so well written and easy to imagine.

I got a copy of The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige in my December Illumicrate box. I hadn’t heard of it be before but witches, sororities a cool over – I was in. This was excellent, it made me remember why I love books about witches and magic so much. It also worked really well within a modern setting and I’m really looking forward to the second in the duology, which will hopefully be released in 2022.

Did you get much read in December? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 10 Books of 2020

Top 10 Books Of 2020

What’s better for the first post of 2021 than books? One of the saving graces of 2020 was the books I fell into. At final count I read 125 books a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, audiobooks. Trying to choose from all of those books which were my favourites was not easy.

Let’s get cracking and see which books I was hopelessly in love with last year.

The Girl and the Goddess – Nikita Gill

This is kind of a poetry collection but also a novel in verse that also incorporates Hindu mythology. It was absolutely stunning and you watch the life of a young girl from before she’s born up until she’s a young woman. There are some content warnings for this too, so make sure if you have any sensitivities to look them up. I couldn’t put this down and I know a lot of people felt the same.

The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

This book has been everywhere and for good reason. From Dolly Parton tweeting about it to BookTube exploding and it is so, so deserved. This is a novel about life, death and the choices you make in life. Every now and again, there are books that come into your life at exactly the right time. Like many people I struggled with my mental health during lockdown and had too much time in my own head.

Matt Haig is an incredible author, I’ve read 3 books of his previously and loved them all. It’s the way in which he understands and see’s the world. I finished the novel and felt like I was going to be ok, like things were going to be ok eventually.

There are also trigger warnings for this novel, after all, the main character is someone who is suicidal.

The Invisible Life Of Addi LaRue – V.E. Schwab

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Victoria Schwab as an author and as a human being. Addie is a book that has been spoken about for a long time, long before I knew about her. It’s also quite possibly the best book she’s ever written. I adore Addie, so much so that I am getting an Addie LaRue tattoo in January.

It’s so brilliantly written and clever. The fact that we see Addie’s growth from a young woman who makes a desperate bargain with a god, to a woman who has lived over 300 years and experienced more than we can even imagine. Also can we talk about Henry – lovely, lovely Henry who I cared about deeply. I also want to get a cat and call it Book. You can read my review here.

The Only Plane In The Sky, The Oral History Of 9/11 – Garrett M. Graff

This is a detailed history of 9/11 from people all over the country, those with the President, those who were in the towers themselves, family members, people who watched along, pilots who were instructed to shoot down any other suspected threats. It’s an important read and something I think should be used to teach later generations.

Dear NHS 100 Stories To Say Thank You – Edited by Adam Kay

If we ever needed a year to show the importance of the NHS it’s this one. Edited by This Is Going To Hurt author Adam Kay, this is a collection by many well known names that raised money for our wonderful National Health Service. I loved it so much I bought a second copy straight away and gave it to my Nanna.

Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin

So, I got this for Christmas last year and it sat on my book case. I had a piece of magic sat on my shelves and I’m so glad I got to it this year – and that I read it after the second book was released because I could move straight on to it once I finished. What happens when a secret Witch and a Witch-Hunter get forced to marry? I love this book and the ending I did not expect at all. Chef’s kiss.

Hold Still – Nina LaCour

It was really hard to pick which Nina LaCour book to make my pick for the year – I’ve read 3 of her novels this year and enjoyed all of them. Hold Still hit differently though, it’s about the grief of losing a best friend to suicide and trying to find yourself afterwards. Beautifully written and it will stay with you for a long time after reading.

Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo

I’m so glad I tried Elizabeth Acevedo again! I was one of the (very few) people who struggled with The Poet X, but I picked up With The Fire On High and loved it, so I had to get Clap When You Land and was lucky enough to get an arc.

Novels in verse are hidden gems and I thought this was spectacularly written. Both girls perspectives were a great read and, if anything, I want to know what happens next!

Good Girl, Bad Blood – Holly Jackson

This is another book where I wish I hadn’t waited so long to pick it up! I read both A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and Good Girl, Bad Blood in the summer and I can’t wait to read the third book in the series in 2021.

I had to choose between the two but this got the top spot because I found the idea so fascinating. I can’t say much about the plot and why I loved it so much – that’s one of the only things about mysteries and thrillers you can’t say anything! I’ll have a review out next year!

Heartstopper, Volume 3 – Alice Oseman

I’ve read 1 graphic novel, 2 novellas and 1 novel by Alive Oseman this year – Nick and Charlie were in all of them so it only seemed right that they fit into my top 10. Volume 3 see’s Nick and Charlie go to Paris with their school. As well as exploring the city, this is where things also get a little more serious. You can read my review here and volume 4 comes out in 2021!

What were some of your favourite reads in 2020? Let me know in the comments below!