The Cosy Autumn Book Tag

I’m struggling to comprehend the fact that I’ve actually stuck to my posting-every-other-day schedule this month but, somehow, I’m still on track! And, as a result, I’ve posted a lot more reviews than normal this month. So I thought it would be nice to break these up with a seasonally appropriate tag.

I’ve seen this one going around recently and love any opportunity to talk about my favourite season so, without further ado, the Cosy Autumn Book Tag.

What book always reminds you of fall/autumn?

I don’t actually know why this was the first book to come to mind but: Good Girls Die First by Kathryn Foxfield. I read this book in Autumn last year, wrapped up in a blanket and completely freaked out by the combination of the plot, a thunderstorm and the creepy noises that my last flat made, and I will always associate it with this time of year as a result.

What is your favourite autumnal book cover?

Cemetery Boys! It doesn’t have that much Autumnal stuff on the cover, but it definitely still reminds me of the season a lot. And it’s completely beautiful. And one of my favourite books ever. Anyway…

What is your favourite autumnal drink to read with?

Hot chocolate! I used to hate hot drinks but, after getting obsessed with coffee last year, I started to like this too. Now, the second the temperature drops low enough, I love to switch from iced caramel lattes to hot chocolates and cream.

Do you prefer to read late at night or early in the morning?

Definitely late at night. I’m much more of a night owl than an early riser and love knowing that I can curl up in bed with a book at the end of the day, with no obligation to move until I’ve read as much as I want to.

Halloween is coming! What is your favourite spooky read?

I’ve been reading a lot of scary YA lately and it’s been getting me super nostalgic for Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, the YA horror anthology. I read this whole collection years ago but find myself visiting some of its stories often, especially when we’re nearing Halloween.

What is the ultimate comfort read for you?

Not autumnal in the slightest, as it’s the most summery book I can think of but… We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. It’s been getting a lot of hate recently thanks to TikTok but it’s the book I’ve read most in the world and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. Although not the happiest of stories, it’s just so easy, gripping and now nostalgic.

What is your favourite autumnal reading snack?

I baked Halloween-themed brownies recently (complete with spooky ghost decorations, of course) and they made a really cute reading snack. But really, anything with chocolate is a good reading snack all year round.

What is your favourite autumnal candle to burn whilst reading?

It’s a very unpopular opinion in book world, but I don’t actually really like candles. I do love the idea of Pumpkin Spice scented candles, or Vanilla Latte ones, but I only use electric ones, oops.

When you’re not reading, what is your favourite autumnal activity?

I love autumn walks! Seeing the streets covered in leaves and being able to leave the house wrapped up in cardigans and boots rather than summer clothes makes me happy.

What is on your autumn/fall reading list?

So much! I’m mostly focusing on Halloween rather than Autumn in general this year, so anything dark is great. Only A Monster is next up, then You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus and, of course, Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco.

And that’s the tag! If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged 🙂 I’d love to know what your favourite autumnal read is too, so drop a comment below if you have any great Autumn recs!

ARC Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Halloween! My plan to spend an entire night reading has fallen through and, honestly, I think I’m going to nap my way through the rest of the evening, so I figured I’d get in the spooky spirit with a very Halloween-y review instead!

If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably already aware of how I feel about this book, but here’s my review of Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco (thank you so much to James Patterson Presents for the e-ARC!)…

Emilia has been brushing off stories about the princes of Hell for her entire life, chalking her grandmother’s fear up to superstition and folk tales. She was born and raised a witch so it isn’t that she doesn’t believe; it’s just that she and her sister know that these creatures of nightmares are too stuck in hell to be any kind of a threat.

At least, that’s what she believes, until one dark night in the monastery, her twin sister is found dead, missing a heart and being observed by a beautiful stranger with a devilish aura and a golden knife.

Not long after, as her motivation to find and punish her sister’s killer devours her, Emilia finds herself face to face with enough princes of Hell to see exactly why her grandmother has been warning her all along. And what’s worse is that working alongside one of them might be the only way to find out what truly happened to her sister, and why.

Words cannot express how much I loved Emilia as a protagonist. She was the most strong-willed, fearless character I have read all year and, despite wanting to scream at her in the beginning to stop and think before running into danger, I admired her commitment and believed within a few pages that she could handle anything that was thrown at her (and there was a lot!). Her dedication to her sister never faltered and Emilia didn’t come across as weak even once on her journey to hunting down what she needed to know.

Wrapped up in this story of vengeance was a wonderfully built world of wickedness that I could read about forever. The summonings, the demons and the spellbinding magic were effortlessly written and completely believable. If anyone ever tries to tell me that it’s possible to outgrow YA fantasy, this is the book I will recommend to convince them otherwise.

This story was beautifully crafted, grippingly fast-paced and devilishly creepy, with just the right amount of ethereally beautiful princes of Hell. I ordered a hardback copy before I was even halfway through the ebook because I knew that this would be a book I needed on my shelf and I can guarantee I will be recommending this to anyone who will listen, especially if they’re looking for an wicked tale to add to their Halloween TBR.

Rating: 5/5