What I Read In February 2021

What I Read In February 2021

We’re already into the third month of the year and as I write this my Goodreads goal is a book behind schedule apparently I really wish they would remove this feature and the one that emails you right after you’ve logged a book saying what next? ANYWAY

I did not finish a book until the 14th of February…the middle of the month. I know, I was shocked too. I just couldn’t pick up a book long enough to get interested, you can find out why in my recent life update. That said, when I did get my reading mojo back I found some crackers in new releases, including my new favourite book in a series.

Someone I know was getting rid of a stack of books so of course I couldn’t help myself. One of them, Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu, was one that I had been waiting to pick up for a while because everyone said it’s absolutely adorable. I picked it up on Valentines Day and it didn’t disappoint. Cute, witches, werewolves and very inclusive. I really hope there will be another volume at some point.

Another of my New Years Waterstones sale buys was Dearly by Margaret Atwood. I’d heard a lot about it and thought it was about time to ease myself into Atwood. The book was ok, perhaps not my favourite kind of poetry. While there were some pieces I enjoyed, I’m not really into nature poems and there’s a fair few in here.

One of my favourites Nikita Gill released this sneaky collection she wrote during 2020. Where Hope Comes From really is a small book of hope, of courage and reflection. I highly recommend this collection, a short but powerful read.

In any interview I’ve seen of the new First Lady of the United States she has seemed lovely. When Where Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself came up as an audiobook recommendation I thought I’d give it a shot. Dr Biden is an incredible woman, an educator and stands in her own right, not just as someone’s wife. Chronicling her life I was seriously impressed by her and I look forward to seeing what she does as First Lady.

Reading A Shot at Normal while in the middle of the UK’s vaccine rollout and the pandemic. This is a great look at what happens when a child who has not been vaccinated grows up and decides that they don’t agree with their parents. For Juniper it comes after tragedy but it really made me think about whether it was fair that children had to wait until 18 to ask for their vaccinations. I thought it was really well done!

The big one, probably my most anticipated read of the year and over 700 pages, the next in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. This time from Nesta and Cassian’s perspectives and oh wow was I impressed. There were some parts I wasn’t crazy about but as I whole I thought this was brilliant. You’ve probably seen a great deal about the sexy scenes (oh my were they) but it is more than that. This is a complex novel about trauma, healing and friendship. My favourite book of the month, hands down.

I really enjoyed Phil’s first novel, The Gravity of Us, so I pre-ordered As Far As You’ll Take Me as soon as I could, I also received an arc. This is about finding your place in the world, even if that means moving to the other side of it. A quick and lovely read about working out who you are.

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!

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.

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!

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!

Blogmas 2020: The Best & Worst Books Of Each Month!

When I saw Hailey in Bookland doing this idea on her channel I knew it would be a good (and hard) challenge for myself. I’ve read some absolute crackers this year and it’s been an excellent year for releases with some books published in 2020 being in my top books ever category (I’m looking at you, Addie LaRue).

If you want to see everything I’ve read in 2020 then hold tight, it’s coming a little later in the month! At the time of writing this there are 117 books – it’s been a good reading year. Also, it’s worth noting that I DNF books I really don’t like so while these may be the ‘worst’ I read they were still good enough for me to finish.

January

Best – The Only Plane In The Sky

It may seem strange to rate it the ‘best’, it’s such a well written and fascinating book – even if it is about something as heartbreaking as 9/11. This has so many stories of various people who were there, who were with the president at the time and others. A crucial book for learning about something that changed the world so much.

Worst – Sunday’s Child

I was so disappointed but there wasn’t anything memorable about this, I thought it would at least be an insight into a german child’s view of the war but I didn’t really get anything from it.

February

Best- Letters on Motherhood – Giovanna Fletcher

She may now be Queen of the Castle but Gi is also an author and I absolutely love her non-fiction on motherhood. I got this as soon as it came out as I absolutely loved Happy Mum, Happy Baby even though I don’t have any human babies. Before HMHB, I loved watching Gi’s vlogs and blogs and I’m hoping to listen to the podcast in the new year. You can read my review here.

Worst – Fascism and Democracy – George Orwell

I struggle with George Orwell. I read Animal Farm at school and thought it was brilliant, I still do. I tried to tread Homage to Catalonia at uni and couldn’t get through it. Then I thought I should read Fascism and Democracy and it was super short but it could have been even shorter. So much waffle. I think I just need to accept that George Orwell isn’t for me.

March

This was a TOUGH month to pick because there were a few stand outs.

Best- The Gravity of Us – Phil Stamper

I met Phil while we both studied at Kington University as he was undertaking his MA and was so excited to read his book because he’s lovely. The Gravity of Us not only made me interested in space and NASA but it was also really clever in how it was put together and how social media was incorporated. You can read my review here.

Worst – Break your glass slippers – Amanda Lovelace

During Lockdown I got Scribd which meant that I could finish off reading the Amanda Lovelace books that I hadn’t bought yet. I think I’m at a point where I’m just not gelling with her work anymore which is fine – it’s just not for me.

April

I read over 20 books in April, because Lockdown which means I gave you a part 1 and part 2 roundup

Best- The Eve Illusion – Tom and Giovanna Fletcher

I love this series and read the second book in 24 hours, also, while I did see the ending coming it was still super exciting when it did! I can’t wait for book 3, the end of the series, which is due to be released in March next year and my copy is already pre ordered. You can read my review here.

Worst – Lady Stuff: Secrets To Being A Woman by Loryn Brantz

I’m a fan of the cartoons but the book just seemed very repetitive

May

Best- Hold Still – Nina LaCour

This book was absolutely beautiful. There was love, pain and Nina’s incredible writing. I’ve definitely found another favourite author after starting with We Are Okay this year.

Worst – A Quick & Easy Guide To Consent – Isabella Rotman

I got this as an ARC on Netgalley and I couldn’t gel with it. For something that’s meant to be aimed at teenagers it felt quite patronising and a little too young.

June

Best- Bloom – Kevin Panetta

This graphic novel was not only beautiful in all its hues of blue, but it was also a sweet and lovely story that deserves all the love it gets.

Worst – Bantam – Jackie Kay

I wish I could tell you more about this but the fact that I can barely remember anything says it all. Also there didn’t seem to be a great flow to the poems either.

July

Best- Dear NHS 100 Stories To Say Thank You – edited by Adam Kay

I think that Adam Kay is an excellent writer and I recommend This Is Going To Hurt to just about everyone. So in the summer he pulled together a lot of celebrities and high profile people to write about their experiences and thank the NHS, it also raised money to support them. If this year and this book highlights anything, it’s how much it needs to be protected.

Worst – The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Another unpopular opinion I couldn’t get on with this book and found the protagonist really annoying. It might be because I’ve learnt a fair bit about the LA riots but I just didn’t care for her perspective.

August

Best- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E Schwab

Addie, Addie, Addie you are perfection and I can’t begin to explain how much I love this book. I will be getting a tattoo of the constellation though so that should tell you something. Beautiful, lyrical and I want all my friends to read it.

Worst – All Hail The Queen – Twenty Women Who Ruled by Jennifer Orkia Lewis & Shweta Jha

Now, this isn’t a bad book at all – August was another great month. I think I would have liked more information on the Queens and their lives. This is a book kind of like Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls but more obscure.

September

Best- Finding Joy – Gary Andrews

I came across this on my birthday and picked it up with a curious mind. This is a stunning exploration of grief through art.

Worst – Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender

I know this is an unpopular opinion but I didn’t like this book. I couldn’t get on with the protagonist and found it quite boring.

October

A tough month because there weren’t any books I particularly didn’t like!

Best- Serpent and Dove – Shelby Mahuir

This is one of my new favourite series, a Witch and a Witch Hunter end up married? Umm hello! Also I love Lou, she’s got a special place in my heart because I understand her sarcasm.

Worst – Ms Marvel Vol 1

I think, for a first volume it was ok, but it didn’t have me rushing to get volume 2.

November

Ahh I loved all of the books I read in November – how do I choose?

Best- Blood and Honey – Shelby Mahuir

Although it started slower than the first in the series, I was hooked and could not stop reading, we now have to wait until August 2021 to read what happens next after that ending. At least it’s something to look forward to.

Worst – Homebody – Rupi Kaur

Controversial because I love Rupi Kaur, I just found the first half of this collection a lot harder to get into which is why it’s here, but I still think it’s a good read and I recommend it!

December

I’ve only finished 2 book sso far this month…between Blogmas and moving I’ve hardly read at all! Let’s hope from next week I can change that!

Blogmas 2020 - What I Read In November

Blogmas 2020 – What I Read In November

November was a quieter reading month for me, I was working on some cool stuff but I also struggled to find the energy to sit down and read rather than scrolling YouTube and not really having to think.

So, my focus for the month was mostly shorter books and poetry collections that I could easily follow while ticking a few books off of the massive TBR pile.

This Winter – Alice Oseman

It’s no surprise that I adore the Heartstopper graphic novels (see reviews here for volumes one, two and three!), pre lockdown I picked up this signed edition in my local Waterstones to get me in the mood for winter.

It’s a short story set on Christmas day centring on family and some of the more stressful times celebrating Christmas can bring, but ultimately ended up being lovely and adorable. It was also the only thing I could read in the first week of November.

A quick, lovely 5 star read.

Blood and Honey – Shelby Mahurin

The follow up to one of my favourite books of the year Serpent and Dove. This one took a little longer for me to get into than the first in the series but once I was in I couldn’t stop.

I enjoyed seeing the development of Reid in particular and his choices following the ending of the first novel. There’s so much I want to say but I don’t want to spoil it. Two words though – that ending!!! We now have to wait until August 2021 to get the ending to the trilogy.

This one was 4.5 stars for me.

Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back – Alicia Cook

I only realised that Alicia Cook had release a new collection thanks to the Goodreads Choice awards. I absolutely loved her previous two collections so put in an order for this as soon as I heard about it.

This follows Alicia’s signature style of having an a and b side, creating two different poems from the same words and written to a song. This very much looks at the depths of depression and how it feels.

A 4 star read for me.

Home Body – Rupi Kaur

It’s no secret that I’m a Rupi Kaur fan and pre ordered my signed edition as soon as it was announced. I found this collection to be different, initially I wasn’t as in love with the first half of the collection but as soon as we hit the second half I felt, once again, like Rupi had taken the thoughts and feelings in my head and put them on a page.

A 4 star read for me.

I Kissed Alice – Anna Birch

This was perfect for a chilled Saturday. A female/female enemies to lovers story involving rival artists and a shared love for Alice in Wonderland. Illiana and Rhodes absolutely despise each other, but what they don’t know is that they’ve actually been communicating, falling in love and collaborating on an Alice In Wonderland space comic together without ever meeting.

The suspense! The drama! I loved this book, it was also a super quick and easy read if you’re in the mood for something lighter. Also the novel is beautifully illustrated by Victoria Ying.

I’d love to hear more about what happens after the end, no spoilers of course! A 4 star read for me.

Have you read any of these or are they on your to read list? Let me know in the comments below!

What I Read In October 2020

What I Read In October 2020

Is it almost December? Yes. Have I still not posted this blog, 100%. It probably hasn’t escaped your notice I haven’t been blogging much. I’ll be honest, I finally got a great work project and when I wasn’t working on that I was trying to pack up my flat or sleep. Oh and a little thing, planning for Blogmas!

But before we get into the festive fun let’s finally get around to talking about what I read in October.

After seeing that Iman Vellani has been cast at Ms Marvel for the Disney+ series I decided it was time to finally get around to reading the comic book. It was a good read as far as an introduction but I’m not in a huge rush to get to volume 2, meaning it was a 3 star read for me.

Next up was Nikita Gill’s newest collection and I have to say that I, personally, think this is the best collection she has done so far. I adored each page of The Girl And The Goddess and was blown away by the story within. It was tough to read some parts and definitely be careful if you struggle with reading about sexual violence. That said it is handled brilliantly and this is going to be in my top 10 books of the year! 5 stars without a doubt!

Another favourite of this year (October was good for that) was Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin. Oh my goodness this book. This book. I actually got it for Christmas last year and hadn’t got around to it, I’m kicking myself. It’s incredible a Witch ends up marrying a Witch Hunter and I loved them both. So much so I told my Mum not to buy it for me for Christmas because I needed the sequel immediately. A 5 star read for sure.

Next up I finally picked up Vengeful by V.E. Schwab again to finish it. I ended up enjoying it although I did find the beginning slower once I got into it and was back into the EO world again. Also I don’t feel like Sydney and Mitch get enough love. This was a 4 star read for me.

Mindy Kaling is known for being hilarious and I really liked her books Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Why Not Me? So I’ve started making my way through these short essay type books available on Kindle. I really hope there’s a bound collection at some point. Big Shot was a quick, fun read that made me think and got 4 stars from me.

I Am Not A Label written by Carrie Burnell was something I came across online and was drawn by the art style, what I didn’t expect is for it to touch me so much. I say Lady Gaga on the cover but having a book which described Fibromyalgia that’s aimed at younger people was emotional. It’s the first time I’ve seen it and it meant so, so much to be seen. A truly wonderful 5 star read.

The last two are from a duo that my and my fiancé both love to read about and have met at MCM in London before – Sarah Graley & Stef Purenis. I finally picked up Our Super Adventure Vol 2 because I realised I didn’t have it. I also backed Cute! on Kickstarted and got an adorable cat pin too! Both of these were 4 star reads.

So, it was better late than never. Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments below!