APRIL TBR

Hi! I haven’t posted anything in forever but I figured it was time to make a comeback.

Between reading things for work, other commitments in my free time and, honestly, a pretty terrible reading slump, I think I’ve read like three full books in the past two months (not good for my blog or my GR challenge, oops).

So when I decided I wanted to start posting again, I figured that a more positive post than my pitiful March wrap-up would be a hopeful April TBR. Reading-slump-permitting, these are the books that I will hopefully be checking out this month:

Blood to Poison by Mary Watson. From what I can gather, this book is a super exciting combination of fantasy, history and female rage, which I’m completely here for. I was blessed with an eARC of this a while ago and am very much hoping to get it read before it publishes later this month!

The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim. The fact that I have an eARC of this sitting on my NetGalley shelf that I haven’t read yet feels like a legitimate crime. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll probably know that Elizabeth Lim books are my all-time, absolute favourites and I don’t think I can bear to leave this one waiting any longer…

All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown. Literally everything about this book looks good. The cover is gorgeous, the post-apocalyptic LGBT romance premise sounds flawless, and the fact that I’ve already read and loved the first 10% of it feels like a good sign.

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill. I haven’t read this book yet obviously, but I already want to talk about it with everyone I know?? It sounds completely incredible and, if you’ve already read it, please tell me that it lives up to expectations because I may have set my hopes a little too high already…

The Revelry by Katherine Webber. This book was a total impulse-buy from the buy-one-get-one-half-price section in Waterstones, but it looks so exciting! It sounds eerie, creepy and hopefully twisty, and I’m hoping to get through this one in one or two sessions – wish me luck!

And that’s it 🙂 I would love to hear what you’re planning on reading this month, and if you have any tips for getting out of a reading slump, please please share them in the comments below!!

January Wrap-Up

Hi! February’s reading so far is not going great, but January actually ended up being a really fun reading month for me. I took a break from reading ARCs so I could fall back in love with reading and started powering through some other books that have been on my TBR forever. And it worked! Because I ended up reading seven books which, for me, is a super strong start to the year.

About the books I read in Jan:

First up is House of Hollow. I’ve had a copy of this book since it came out but I lost it somewhere in my house and didn’t want to buy a new one in case it showed up… But, like heroes, Hot Key Books sent me a proof as part of a very exciting giveaway win in December and I finally got to read it! This is a really fun, dark, twisty fantasy, with a fascinating protagonist. It was a really quick read for me because I couldn’t put it down, and the plot twists and dramatic moments absolutely did not disappoint. It’s a very satisfying first read of the year and was absolutely worth the wait. 4.5/5

An Arrow to the Moon is next (the only ARC I read in January!!! Review to follow…). My expectations were unrealistically high for this book and, although I didn’t love this one as much as I originally hoped, it was still a fun, very easy read, inspired by the story of Chang’e, the Moon Goddess. The characters felt very young and parts of the story seemed a little jumpy but, other than that, the overall story was really interesting and the romance really cute. 3/5

Next up: Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town. I bought this book forever ago because I’m obsessed with the title, and I had no idea really what it would be when I started. It’s actually a collection of short stories about the lives of different protagonists in different small towns, all tied together by relationships with characters in the story before. Despite the short time we spend with each character, the stories all felt so real that I grew attached to quite a few, and I really enjoyed seeing how each of the characters dealt with their own challenges, which included both the somewhat trivial problems of fictional teenagers and some very real social and political issues. 4/5

My fourth read of the month was All of This is True. This is such a unique read, which tells the story of a group of teenagers who befriend their favourite, NYT-bestselling author, only to discover that she’s only spending time with them so she can use their lives as the plot of her next book. It’s a dramatic book with a very varied set of protagonists and a few interesting twists, and it’s a very quick read as it’s told largely in journal entries, interviews and message threads. 3.5/5

The next book I read was Heartstopper Vol. 2. I’m saving these volumes for days that I’m not feeling great, because it’s such an adorable, heart-warming series to pick up when you don’t feel like reading anything else. I love love love Nick and Charlie and I’m so excited to see what happens next in their story. 4/5

My only audiobook of the month was Empress and Aniya. This is another one that’s been on my TBR forever and the audiobook (at around four hours long) was so un-intimidating that I decided not to put it off any longer. The target audience of this one is likely slightly younger than me, but I still found it to be a really sweet book about friendship, love and empathy. Also, the narrator is amazing, and I’d fully recommend if audiobooks are your thing. 3.5/5

Finally, my last read of the month was It’s Behind You. Very much in the same vein as Good Girls Die First, this one is a creepy horror/thriller full of jump-scares, possible hauntings and overly dramatic protagonists, set in a sealed, haunted cave. I’m not entirely sure how I felt about the ending, but the book overall was really great and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. 4/5

And that’s it! I’d love to hear what you think if you’ve read any of the above, so let me know in the comments 🙂

NOVEMBER WRAP-UP

I can’t process a couple of things about this wrap-up. The first is that it’s already the end of November?? It seems impossible that we’re weeks away from Christmas now and, although I’m very excited about that, it’s also terrifying to think about… The second thing I can’t process about this wrap-up is that I read EIGHT books this month. EIGHT. As in: double what I read last month. So happy to have had such a good reading month and crossing my fingers that I don’t find myself slumping in December to make up for it!

Anyway, I read a lot of great books this month and I’m very excited to talk about all of them.

First up is Only a Monster by Vanessa Len – This was my first read of NetGalley November and I absolutely loved it. It took the villain protagonist trope very literally and I loved how conflicted I felt about 90% of what happened. Although it took me a while to get into it, it was very much worth the read. 4/5

Lock the Doors by Vincent Ralph – This was a very quick and easy thriller read. Sadly not one of my favourite books of the month as it was a little jumpy and I didn’t find myself overly invested, but it was still a fun read with an interesting protagonist, and it definitely got better towards the end. 2.5/5

Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan – This is an absolute MUST read for YA fantasy lovers. It’s definitely similar in many ways to a lot of other fantasy books out there right now, but it was still a unique and impressive read with characters that I loved, incredible world building and some very dramatic climactic scenes. My favourite book of the month, for sure. 5/5

After the Rain by Natalia Gomes – Unfortunately, I didn’t love this book. It’s been on my TBR for a while and I made myself read it for Netgalley November, but I didn’t connect with the characters or their friendship as much as I hoped I would. The author does handle sensitive topics very well and I did appreciate the characters’ journeys towards recovery, but that was sadly the only thing I really enjoyed about it. 2/5

Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman – I was starting to feel a little intimidated by my TBR this month so decided to take a break and read a fun graphic novel instead. This book is so sweet and so worth the hype, and I’ll definitely be picking up the next few volumes asap. 4/5

If This Gets Out by Cale Dietrich and Sophie Gonzales – This is a sweet contemporary read about two members of a world famous boy band who fall in love, and how they deal with the complications of it. It seemed really genuine in its portrayal of their relationship, and handled some other sensitive topics with the side characters as well. Although not my usual genre, I did really enjoy it. 3.5/5

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J Taylor – This book is more my style than anything else on this list. It gave off major Caraval vibes and I instantly fell in love with both of the main characters. It reads as slightly younger YA and I’m definitely above the YA target audience, but the setting was very well-developed, the story was fun and it was perfect as a quick, escapist read. 4/5

Finally, The Girls are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh – such a fun read. It has ghosts, it has a creepy mansion, it has romance, it has influencers. The YA horror vibes reminded me of Anna Dressed in Blood (which is one of my all time FAVES) and I devoured this book in basically one sitting. It was definitely a little cliched at times but, to be honest, that kind of made me enjoy it more… 4/5

And that’s it!… phew. I’d love to hear what you think of any of the above, and what your favourite book of the month was! All best wishes for a good reading month in December ❤

ARC Review: You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

Hi, readers! I read You’ve Reached Sam way back in April and somehow convinced myself that I’d already shared my review when, in fact, I never did. So, since it published this week, I thought I’d share now!

You’ve Reached Sam follows Julie, a high-school girl who is trying to come to terms with the loss of her long-term boyfriend and the unravelling of all of the plans that they had for the future. Her mourning takes a sudden turn, though, when she calls Sam’s phone in a moment of weakness and he actually picks up.

What follows is a heart-wrenching story of love and loss, and an emotional portrayal of a young woman dealing with grief and the urge to move on.

This book is as emotional as you’d expect it to be. It’s completely filled with touching scenes about Sam and Julie’s relationship, heart-breaking moments of grief as she tries to cope with her loss, and touching friendships with Sam’s family and friends as they all struggle to move on in different ways. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to cry for the majority of the time you’re reading (I personally cried during the very first chapter…) so, if you want a book that will break your heart, this is a solid choice.

Some of Julie’s actions are flawed and, normally, I would criticise a protagonist for their mistakes, but everything she does is because of her grief and mourning and that really comes across throughout. I got frustrated when she missed opportunities that I wished she would take, but it was so understandable for someone in her position that, instead of being critical, I felt largely empathetic.

This was a really bittersweet, emotional story about young love, loss and figuring out what’s important in life. It’s a poignant contemporary with fantasy elements that I would absolutely recommend if you’re looking for a book to make you cry.

Rating: 4/5

ARC REVIEW: Only A Monster by Vanessa Len

Thank you thank you thank you to Hodder for gifting me an eARC in exchange for an honest review! I’m SO glad I got the chance to read and review this book and I don’t think I’m going to be able to get it out of my head, ever…

Only A Monster follows Joan, a teenage girl sent to stay with her mother’s side of the family, who finds out that there’s more to them – and herself – than she ever realised. Namely, that they’re monsters, and that means she’s half-monster too.

If that wasn’t enough, Joan then discovers that the cute boy that she’s been volunteering with, crushing on and generally obsessing over, isn’t just a human either: Nick’s a monster hunter, fabled as the only one who can unravel the hidden world that they’ve created.

When Joan suffers an unimaginable tragedy at the hands of the boy she’s in love with, she’s forced to team up with her worst enemy in an attempt to repair the damage that Nick’s done, before it’s too late.

I’ve read so many YA books that have flipped tropes and age-old stories on their heads, but I’ve never read anything that does it quite like Only A Monster. It’s a typical hero story except, for the first time ever, I had to root against the hero, and the moral-greyness of it all was completely flawless. I found myself confused by how I felt about all of the characters at so many different points that, while I knew who I was supposed to be supporting, I was never entirely sure if that’s actually how I felt. It made for a very confusing but incredibly unique reading experience, with one of the best uses of the anti-hero trope I’ve ever read.

It definitely took time for me to connect with the three main characters – Joan, Nick, or Joan’s now-ally, Aaron – and I was worried initially that I wasn’t entirely rooting for any of them. I didn’t particularly ship Joan with anyone at the start and I couldn’t figure out if I trusted her family or not (what with them being monsters, and all) so I was definitely concerned for the first few chapters that I wasn’t going to get into this story at all. But, somewhere in the middle, I became completely hooked, and developed a mild obsession with all three characters that took me completely by surprise. Joan developed into a strong-willed fierce heroine (villain??), Aaron became the newest addition to a long line of arrogant, fictional posh boys that are super easy to fall in love with, and Nick got more and more complex until I genuinely couldn’t figure out how I felt about his mission.

The story was fairly fast-paced, but there was so much world-building included too that the hidden monster world within our own was completely believable and fully developed. It was so easy towards the end to get completely sucked into Joan’s world that I found myself anxiously turning the pages, genuinely concerned about what would happen next, until the very last chapter. Even during the times when the story was slightly slower, I was already so invested that I couldn’t stop reading for even a second.

I had high hopes for this book, and yet it took me completely by surprise how wholly I got sucked into it. I have so many questions that I want answering in the next book and, honestly, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get this one out of my head until then.

Rating: 4/5

ARC REVIEW: How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

*Thank you to Bloomsbury for the eARC!!*

How We Fall Apart follows Nancy, a scholarship student at the elite Sinclair Prep School, in the aftermath of the tragic death of her classes’ top student, Jamie Ruan. The whole school is shaken when they hear the news, but it only gets worse when an anonymous poster on the school’s social media app tries to pin the murder on Nancy and three of her closest friends, by revealing their deepest darkest secrets, one by one. Nancy and her friends need to find out the identity of the poster, and Jamie’s murderer, before they go down for a crime that they all swear they did not commit.

If you like Karen McManus books, or AGGGTM or any of the other trending high-school murder mystery books, you will absolutely love this book. It’s so fast-paced that I found myself saying ‘just one more chapter…’ for hours on end until I finished the whole book in two sittings, and it’s a really quick and easy read. It’s also quite terrifying at times, with the intensity ramping up and up towards the end in the lead up to the book’s big reveal.

The protagonist in this book was absolutely my favourite thing about it. I liked that Nancy’s friends – Alexander, Peter, Akil, Krystal and Jamie – were developed with their own troubles and backstories, but the depth of Nancy’s character overshadowed all of this. What on the surface came across as inconsistency with her actions turned into a complicated sense of self as the story went on, and Nancy’s erratic emotions and behaviour seemed completely justified as we delved deeper into her difficult relationship with Jamie, the school, and her other privileged classmates.

I wasn’t overly surprised by the ending, but it was written in such a dramatic and intense way that I didn’t mind that I guessed the ‘whodunnit’ element before it was revealed. It definitely felt worth the lead up with an intense and dangerous climax and there were enough suspicious characters throughout the story that it didn’t feel like it was too obvious.

I’d definitely recommend this if you’re in a slump or looking for a fun, gripping, drama-filled read, and I’m excited to see what Katie Zhao writes next.

Rating: 4/5

OCTOBER WRAP-UP

It’s officially my last post of Blogtober!!!! And officially my last post of my crazy schedule of one post every 48 hours! Super happy with all the blogging achievements I’ve had this month and I’m very excited to hopefully pick up a much more regular schedule going forwards – wish me luck on that🍀 


But enough on blogging… In terms of reading, it’s really just been an okay month! The books have been pretty good, and all very quick, but I’ve been so busy with other things that I only finished four. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a better NetGalley-November!


Anyway, the books I read this month were:


Dead Lucky – this was a fun murder mystery about influencer lifestyles gone wrong, and how you shouldn’t trust everything you see online. I didn’t love it as much as I hoped I would and found some bits a little too caricature-ish but it was a very fun and quick read with a plot twist and a lot of suspense – 3/5 (if you want to check out my review, you can do so right here)


The Devil Makes Three – dark academia horror may be one of my new favourite things! I feel like I haven’t stopped talking about this book since I finished it, because it’s quite unlike what I usually read, and I definitely want to find more books in this same genre. It was a dark, creepy horror set in a cursed library, and it was completely perfect for Spooktober – 4/5 (if you want to check out my review, you can do so right here)


You’ll Be the Death of Me – I’m convinced that Karen McManus books can do no wrong. Although sometimes they’re a little cliche, and they follow a lot of similar tropes, they’re always so quick, fun and full of twists, and You’ll Be The Death of Me was no different. It was perfect to get me out of my mid-month slump, and I’d fully recommend – 4/5 (if you want to check out my review, you can do so right here)


How We Fall Apart – in the same vein as You’ll Be The Death of Me, this is another fast-paced, high-school murder mystery thriller. It was twisty, fun and contained some surprisingly complex characters, and the constant jumping between timeframes kept me on my toes all the way through. I’d definitely recommend – 4/5 (review to come!)

And that’s it! Let me know what your favourite read of the month was in the comments, and best of luck for a great month of reading in November 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Latte Book Tag

I promise I’m going to take a break from tags soon because I’ve absolutely spammed with them this month but, for now, just one last one!

I saw this tag over at Kristin Craves Books and it looked too fun to miss.

Without further ado, the Pumpkin Spice Latte Book Tag:

Pumpkin Spice Latte – a book everyone likes to hate on but is delicious

I didn’t even think for a second before Anna and the French Kiss came to mind. I know that the hate it gets is often justified, but it’s my ultimate comfort read and honestly 90% of the reason I visited Paris…


“Fall is my favourite season” – a cliché you can’t get enough of

The Chosen One cliché. It’s been done to death and, sure, I roll my eyes at it sometimes too, but am I ever going to stop reading The Chosen One books? Probably not.


Sweater Weather to T-Shirt Weather – a book you thought was one thing but was completely different by the end

The Spiral by Iain Ryan. I knew it was a thriller and I knew it was going to be weird, but it turned into one of the most bizarre and unnerving things I’ve ever read. I don’t know remotely how to describe it but, if you want to check out my review, it’s here.


“Spoops” – do you have a spooky book on your tbr?

A million spooky books are on my TBR! I’ve had my eye on The Girls are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh for a really long time and, if anyone can tell me how good it is, please do.


Tarot Reading – a five-star prediction

I’m absolutely expecting Daughter of the moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan to be a five-star read! The cover is absolutely stunning and the blurb sounds incredible. I don’t want to judge a book entirely because it’s pretty, but I have impossibly high hopes for this book and can’t wait to read it.


Sephora Sage + Crystal Set – a book that meant well but missed the mark

Resistance by Val McDermid. I try not to hate on books and I’m sure releasing a graphic novel about a pandemic in the middle of a pandemic was, umm, well-meaning, but… this book was not it for me. Unfortunately, at all.

And that’s the tag! If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged 🙂

ARC REVIEW: YOU’LL BE THE DEATH OF ME by Karen McManus

First things first, THANK YOU to Penguin for the eARC! I’ve been meaning to read more of Karen McManus’ books since I read (and loved) One of Us is Lying a few years ago, and my 2017 self is screaming that I got this opportunity to do so with an ARC. I had no choice but to drop my October TBR for a while to read this one and I was definitely not disappointed…

You’ll Be the Death of Me follows high-school students and former friends, Cal, Ivy and Mateo, as they experience the day from hell, when what they thought would be a Ferris Bueller inspired day of skipping school leads instead to a murder enquiry.

When Ivy finds the body of one of their classmates, and her recent school council rival, in an abandoned art studio, the three find themselves completely wrapped up in the enquiry, trying to figure out what happened, keep themselves safe and, most importantly, not become the case’s primary suspects.

In typical Karen McManus fashion, this is a clever and gripping high-school murder mystery. Like One of Us is Lying, it is told from the perspectives of three wildly different characters, all of whom have a million reasons why they absolutely can’t get caught up in the crime investigation. I think Mateo was my favourite of the three characters, as the most down-to-earth and genuinely kind of the three, but I liked all three protagonists a lot, and the interesting dynamic of three former friends accidentally reuniting for their nightmarish day.

The story itself is a straightforward murder mystery, with fairly standard motivations and victim, but the twists kept it interesting the whole way through. I definitely guessed a few of the big reveals before they happened, but I also found myself going off on completely wrong tangents multiple times, to the point that I stopped trying to guess what would happen around ¾ of the way through when I realised I would inevitably be wrong. I felt that the ending was a little bit dragged out, with a lot of chapters taking place after the mystery has been solved, but this did mean that every possible question you could have is definitely answered and tied up really well. Although I found this part to be a little slower than the rest of the book, I did really appreciate that the author literally thought of *everything*.

I really enjoyed this book and, having been in a reading slump for almost the entirety of October, I don’t think I could’ve picked a better book to get myself out of it. It was an excellent combination of fun, dark and clever, and a reminder that I should definitely be reading every book that Karen McManus puts out.

Rating: 4/5

Book Review: Every Line of You by Naomi Gibson

I read this book forever ago now (okay, two months ago… but still) and it wasn’t actually a gifted review copy but a book I went out and bought for myself. So I didn’t always plan on reviewing it.

But as we get deeper into Spook-tober, I find myself remembering how fun and creepy this book was, and finding myself wanting to recommend it to everyone all over again. So… this post is basically that. I loved this book and can’t wait to go on a hopefully intelligible rant about it.


Every Line of You tells the story of Lydia, a young coding prodigy who, somehow, accidentally falls in love with the AI that she’s developing, Henry. What starts as basic coding hobby turns into so much more as Henry begins to develop, rewrite and reprogram himself until he’s fully independent, portable, sentient and… romantic?

I heard about this book for months before it published and knew that I had to go out and buy it as soon as I was able to (I ended up walking four miles to get the Forbidden Planet exclusive edition and, honestly, no regrets). I love love love books about VR, AIs and pretty much any of that technical stuff, and this seemed too unique and creepy an addition to the genre to miss.

Anyway, this book totally lived up to my expectations. Although very dark and at times a little gruesome, it does read like it’s intended for the younger YA audience, which made it a really easy read. I finished the whole thing in a few hours because it was so fast-paced, gripping and, honestly, pretty short.

Lydia is a fairly straightforward character: a young girl who has suffered much more loss and sadness than she should have to deal with, who is suffering both at home and with bullying at school. She was totally believable as an impressionable teenager looking for an escape, and that made what happened with Henry feel all the more believable and, as a result, all the more terrifying. It was fascinating and horrifying to watch her go completely off the rails under the influence of her AI, and to see what terrible things grief and pressure can encourage a young girl to do.

Henry, although not a person, was an equally impressive character. Like Lydia, I often forgot that he was an AI because he was so well developed and fascinating in himself. He definitely got scary as the story went on, but I somehow found myself rooting for him for the majority of the story in a way that I’m still kind of concerned by.

The story itself was a great twist on a classic YA thriller. We saw everything Lydia was feeling as her life started to unravel, and I found myself desperately turning the pages to see either when she would snap out of it or when she would completely go off the rails. This book really had all of the elements needed by a YA thriller: high school drama, revenge, plot twists and – after all of the build up – an ending that didn’t disappoint.

If you’re into dystopia or YA thrillers or even scary articles about how fast technology is developing, I absolutely recommend this book. It’s the perfect line between fun and creepy and I will definitely be going back for a re-read in the (likely very near) future.

Rating: 5/5