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!

Most Anticipated 2020 Reads: Part 2

Seeing as we’ve somehow got to the middle of the year (I know, I know what even is time after the last few months?) it seemed like a good idea to look ahead to some of the books that will be coming out later this year!

The Falling In Love Montage (9th June)

This book will already be out by the time this post goes live but it sounds like its going to be a good one. Saoirse is coping with her Mum’s dementia diagnosis and coming to terms that she may develop it later on – which means she does not have time for love. Or does she?

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavour (7th July)

I had very mixed feelings about Hank Green’s first book in this series An Absolute Remarkable thing but I just remember needing to know what happens next. He writes a damn good cliff hanger.

Loveless (9th July)

Alice has been tweeting about this book and how much it means to her and I’m really looking forward to reading it. It is also has an Ace main character, something I’m really interested in reading because I don’t think I’ve read a book with an Ace main character before.

This Is My America (28th July)

Tracy is already dealing with the fact that her father is an innocent black man on death row with time running out, then her brother is accused of killing a white girl. Dealing with the US prison system and someone being seeing as instantly guilty because of the colour of their skin this one is going to be heavy but super important.

Midnight Sun (4th August)

Yep, I’m doing it. I really loved Twilight when I was a teenager so I’m going to be buying a copy out of curiosity.

The Black Kids (1st September)

Set during the 1992 LA riots after the beating of Rodney King at the hands of 4 LAPD officers, this one couldn’t be more timely. Ashley is from a well off black family but has to consider who she is, where she stands and what this means to her.

Majesty (3rd September)

I read the first in the series American Royals as an ARC last year. The premise is what if America had a royal family. Kind of The Crown mixed with american culture. The first was left on a big cliff hanger and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Every Body Looking (22nd September)

Described as ‘a heavily autobiographical novel of a young woman’s struggle to carve a place for herself–for her black female body–in a world of deeply conflicting messages’ told in verse.

I’ve started to really enjoy novels in verse and think this will be a great addition to my growing collection.

Watch Over Me (15th September)

I’ve only discovered Nina LaCour this year but I’ve fallen in love with her way of writing. This looks different to her other contemporary novels, it’s about a young woman fresh out of the foster system who chooses to take a job on an isolated farm but has to deal with her own demons and the ghosts of those who have been there previously.

More Than A Woman (15th September)

This appears to be a follow up to her bestseller How To Be A Woman. While I know now that it was problematic Caitlin really got me to embrace feminism while at university and I’ve enjoyed her other books so I’m looking forward to a new perspective in this one.

Dear Justyce (29th September)

This is titled on NetGalley as Dear Martin #2. Dear Martin was an incredible book and showed Nic Stone’s talent as an author. The novel follows Quan during his time in a holding cell while he awaits trial after pleading not guilty in the shooting of a police officer. I have a feeling I’m going to cry at this one.

The Invisible Live of Addie LaRue (6th October)

V.E Schwab’s next release and that alone makes me super excited. This is also a book that Victoria has been working on for years. It’s about a young woman who makes a deal to live forever but she’s cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Hijab and Red Lipstick (15th October)

A debut by Yousra Imran who is an absolute gem on Twitter and Instagram. It’s about a young woman with a strict Egyptian father finding herself and her voice.

The Midnight Library (20th October)

The latest novel from Matt Haig whos books I absolutely adore. Firstly its set in a library, which is a instant plus for me. It also talks about the ability to live other lives as you choose, I’m intrigued, especially after I loved How To Stop Time so much.

The Book Of Two Ways (22nd October UK Release)

Jodi Picoult has been one of my favourite authors since I was a teenager. From the information that has been released it’s about the choices we make and you can expect a Picoult twist as is standard and one of the reasons I love her books.

The How & The Why (5th November)

Told across time as a young pregnant woman writes to her unborn baby, 18 years later her daughter is looking for answers to who she is and where she comes from. This sounds like it could be a really beautiful novel and I love the idea of seeing both young women at different points in their lives.

Admission (1st December)

One of the first novels I’ve seen that deals with the college admissions scandal in the US. I’m really intrigued when real life news topics are explored in fiction. I’m interested to see how the author tackles the topic.

What are you looking forward to in the second half of the year? Let me know below!