January Wrap Up

January somehow managed to fly by quickly and also feel like the longest month ever, and I managed to read 12 books this month which is a great start to 2020! I also had a good month in terms of what I read, lowest was a 3 star read and those I still enjoyed, which is always nice. So, let’s talk about my first reads of 2020!

1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (5 Stars)

Porcelina's World: Book Review: The Book Thief

Goodreads Summary: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. 

My first read of 2020 was a reread for me, and that was The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. This seemed to affect me much more on second reading, so much so I actually bumped my 4 star rating from 7 years ago up to a 5 star rating. I loved the writing style of this book, it’s choppy and disjointed but it fits the chaos of the story really well. The characters are well developed and I love the snippets of backstory we got throughout the story. This book is incredibly emotional and definitely hit me harder this time around, I sobbed throughout the last 50 or so pages and it was definitely worth the reread.

2. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow (3.5 Stars)

The Ten Thousand Doors of January - Brief Review

Goodreads Summary: In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Me and magical realism have a very difficult relationship, it isn’t a genre I usually reach for because 9 times out of 10, I just don’t mix with it, however, I picked this one up (it had nothing to do with the cover at all…) and I actually enjoyed it for the most part. The strongest part of this story was by far the plot, there were so many twists and turns that kept me guessing throughout. I wasn’t 100% sold on the story within the story aspect, mainly because I thought it was incredibly predictable and I couldn’t work out if that was intentional or not. I loved the social commentary that this book made and most of the characters, especially Locke, I thought he was really interesting, but the romance was really lacklustre and felt completely unnecessary.

3. Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian (3 Stars)

Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian » MojoBB

Goodreads Summary: In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly.

As she fights for her life, Larkin finds a light in Amias, a fellow outlaw with a notorious past. Soon Larkin and Amias realize their fates are entwined. The eight of them were chosen for a reason.

But as the dangers multiply and her band of felons are picked off one by one, Larkin must confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return.

This book came in a Fairyloot box and definitely probably wouldn’t be something I would usually pick up however I ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would. I think the characters were the stand out for me, I really liked that it was a group of very different people forced together on a journey, I love those kinds of situations and I love watching the characters go from tension to friendship.The plot was actually less predictable than I thought, there was definitely some parts that were predictable but there were also a fair amount of plot twists that I didn’t see coming which I thought really added to the stakes of the novel. The pacing was a little off for me, it was slow in places and then it would speed up, slow back down again and I felt like the ending was a little rushed.

4. Infinity Son by Adam Silvera (3 Stars)

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera | 20 LGBTQ+ YA Books Coming ...

Goodreads Summary: Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.

As I said in my Goodreads review this book was a complete clusterfuck, but I still somehow enjoyed it? There were parts that were a complete mess, but the plot kept me hooked and I couldn’t stop reading it. Some of the characters were super interesting and I can’t wait to see where the characters go in the next book. I am hoping to get a full review up for this book soon so look out for that!

5. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (4 Stars)

'The Prince And The Dressmaker' Is A Genderqueer Fairy ...

Goodreads Summary: Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

This was such an adorable graphic novel! I’m still getting into graphic novels but I have been having a lot of luck with them. The representation was great, the characters and the relationships were so fluffy and heartwarming. I had tears in my eyes at my ending, I didn’t see some parts of it coming and it was such a beautiful story.

6. Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer (5 Stars)

Amazon.com: Call It What You Want (9781526605344): Brigid ...

Goodreads Summary: When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

I absolutely loved this book. It was the first of Brigid Kemmerer’s YA contemporaries that I have read and it definitely won’t be the last. It was definitely a more hard hitting contemporary but with some lighter fluffier moments thrown in. I started and finished this in one day because I was so gripped by the story and the characters. I love contemporary stories where the stakes are slightly higher and there’s more roadblocks to their romance than just miscommunication.

7. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody (4 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

This was a wonderful YA contemporary, set over 24 hours (something that I always forget that I love until I read). We follow our main character who’s stuck in airport following a storm, and still grieving the loss of her best friend. I think the way this book dealt with the topic of grief was really well done, I really felt for Ryn, the way she was dealing with things wasn’t healthy but I really thought she grew throughout the novel. There were parts where I had tears in my eyes because it was so heartbreaking watching her relive the death of her friend, but it still had some light hearted moments and moments where I was laughing out loud, and a really adorable romance too!

8. The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie 

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Goodreads Summary: Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn’t want to go to parties – in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.

It’s like she hasn’t found her people …

Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING – especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.

But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it’s the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed’s fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself …

Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?

I absolutely adored the backdrop of the book club in this book, and it really reminded me of everything that I love about reading, and it was nice to see characters getting as equally as excited about books and having as much self control as I do when buying books (ie none whatsoever). The friendship that built between our 5 main characters was the core focus of the story and I really loved how their relationship developed. I think we can all relate to our main character Tabby when joining a group of friends that already have a solid friendship but I really loved how the author dealt with that. There was a little romance in this book which I thought was so cute, but didn’t take over the whole plot as many YA contemporaries do which I appreciated. The bullying storyline was so well done, and brought home the harsh realities of social media and how it can be used in so many damaging ways. The relationship our main character had with her gran was so lovely and really nice to see.

9. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (5 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

This was a reread for me and I’m happy to say that I loved it just as much the second time around. You can find my full review for this book here.

10. Roam by C H Armstrong (3.5 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: Seventeen year-old Abby Lunde and her family are living on the streets. They had a normal life back in Omaha, but thanks to her mother’s awful mistake, they had to leave what little they had behind for a new start in Rochester. Abby tries to be an average teenager—fitting into school, buoyed by dreams of a boyfriend, college, and a career in music. But Minnesota winters are unforgiving, and so are many teenagers.

Her stepdad promises to put a roof over their heads, but times are tough for everyone and Abby is doing everything she can to keep her shameful secret from her new friends. The divide between rich and poor in high school is painfully obvious, and the stress of never knowing where they’re sleeping or where they’ll find their next meal is taking its toll on the whole family.

As secrets are exposed and the hope for a home fades, Abby knows she must trust those around her to help. But will her friends let her down the same way they did back home, or will they rise to the challenge to help them find a normal life?

Roam was another one of my book clubs picks and it was one we all had the same opinion on; the story was enjoyable, but we wanted more from the homeless situation and the realities of that, and less of the romance. Although the conversations and hardships around homelessness that were discussed were very interesting, there was too little of it for my liking. The romance was very instalove and friendships felt the same way, any conflict between the characters seemed to be over with in about 30 seconds and it felt very unrealistic. Overall, I felt like this book discussed some important issues but there was too much emphasis placed on other aspects of the story.

11. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (5 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

This was another reread for me, except this time I listened to the audiobook (it had nothing to do with Lin Manuel Miranda narrating it, I promise…) I loved this story just as much the second time around, it’s definitely more of a character driven story rather than an expansive plot but I love it. One of my favourite things about listening to the audio book is how many jokes there are about nobody caring about Alexander Hamilton that had me chuckling away to myself. There’s a sequel coming out this year I believe and I cannot wait to see more from these characters and watch their relationship develop.

12. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (5 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

The final book I read this month was Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi which is the sequel to Children of Blood and Bone. I recently read Girls of Storm and Shadow which was a sequel and was so disappointed, luckily this book was everything a sequel should be. There was character development, world building, political intrigue and a really interesting plot. Look out for a full review of this one coming soon!

So there we have it, those are all of the books I read in January, let me know down in the comments which books you read this month, and which ones were your favourite. Until next time, happy reading!

Unread Sequels

I think we can all agree (that I’m the 10 amongst these threes – extra points if you got that reference) that keeping up with sequels is hard. You can anticipate a sequel for so long, and then it inevitably sits on your bookshelf for 234 years as you glance over it feeling a strong sense of shame as you pick a different book off your shelf. We all do it. In this post I’m going to talk about some sequels I haven’t got to yet, some of them are fairly recent releases that I’m not yet fully ashamed of but I’m sure they’ll still be sitting there unread for another year…

1. The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

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The companion sequel to Geekerella, this is a book I was really looking forward to, and yet I still haven’t picked it up. Geekerella was a fandom retelling of Cinderella that was fun and adorable and I’m hoping that Princess and the Fangirl will give me similar vibes!

2. Queen of Ruin by Tracey Banghart

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Sequel to Grace & Fury which I read in 2018, this was a sequel I was eagerly anticipating. The first one had two kick ass female leads thrown down paths that neither had planned for and it made for a very interesting story. The first one left out on a really interesting point and why haven’t I picked this one up yet? Your guess is as good as mine…

3. King of Fools by Amanda Foody 

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Ace of Shades was a super interesting fantasy story with a slow burn romance that I was incredibly into and I was waiting for this book for so long to see where the romance was heading, I need to pick this up soon.

4. Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

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I preordered this. PREORDERED. In May last year, why am I like this?!?!

5. Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

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This is one of the more recent ones on my list but I loved Skyward so much that it is ridiculous that I haven’t read this yet.

6. The Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs

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I thought Map of Days was a fantastic addition to the Peculiar series, I loved getting to see the Peculiar’s in the modern world, I thought it was a fantastic contrast and this is a sequel I’m really hoping to get to soon.

7. A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

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Again, this is another much more recent addition to my list but one that I definitely want to get to. I thought A Curse So Dark and Lonely was a much more unique Beauty and the Beast retelling with a lot of promise, and I’m hoping that continues in book two.

So those are some of my unread sequels, do you have any sequels that you haven’t got to yet? Let me know in the comments! Until next time, happy reading!

Ultimate 2020 TBR

2020 is upon us now and with it comes a new desire to read all the books! In this post I’m going to be talking about some books I want to read in 2020, I’ve already done an entire post on my most anticipated releases of 2020 which you can find here, so in this post I’m going to be talking about some backlist titles and some books I want to reread this year. I’m not going to go into why I want to read each book, as theres quite a few books to talk about and my reasons are all pretty similar, so let’s talk about some books!

Backlist Titles

1. Renegades by Marissa Meyer

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Goodreads Summary: Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

2. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

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Goodreads Summary: The Carls just appeared.

Roaming through New York City at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring for the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye. The beginning of an exciting fiction career, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a bold and insightful novel of now.

3. Vicious by V E Schwab

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Goodreads Summary: Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

4. Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins

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Goodreads Summary: Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

5. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

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Goodreads Summary: Some stories cannot be told in just one lifetime. Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. “I nearly missed you, Doctor August,” she says. “I need to send a message.” This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

6. Beartown by Fredrick Backman

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Goodreads Summary: People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

7. Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

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Goodreads Summary: The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

8. Circe by Madeline Miller

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Goodreads Summary: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

9. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

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Goodreads Summary:  In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

10. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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Goodreads Summary: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

11. The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

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Goodreads Summary: The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

12. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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Goodreads Summary: Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Rereads

1. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Goodreads Summary: Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents–including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more–Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

2. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

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Goodreads Summary: Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

3. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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Goodreads Summary: Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

4. The Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo 

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Goodreads Summary: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

5. The Summer I Turned Pretty Series by Jenny Han

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Goodreads Summary: Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

So those are some of the books I’m really hoping to get to in 2020, let me know in the comments what books you’re planning on getting to or rereading this year as I would love to know. Until next time, happy reading.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday is run by That Artsy Reader check out her blog for all past, and future, prompts!

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday, (and my first of the year because my life has been a mess this month), is all about the 10 most recent additions to my bookshelf. Now I was supposed to be on a spending ban for the months of January, February and March (I’m going to Disney World in March and I wanted to save as much money as possible), so naturally I’ve purchased over 10 books this month because I’m weak. So let’s talk about the most recent books I have purchased!

1. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez 

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Goodreads Summary: Kristen Petersen doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen—especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

2. Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

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Goodreads Summary: Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

3. A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer 

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Goodreads Summary: Find the heir, win the crown.

The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

4. The Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs

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Goodreads Summary: “Do you trust me?”

An instant bestseller, A Map of Days launched readers into the previously unexplored world of American peculiars, one bursting with new questions, new allies, and new adversaries.

Now, with enemies behind him and the unknown ahead, Jacob Portman’s story continues as he takes a brave leap forward into The Conference of the Birds, the next installment of the beloved, bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

5. Unpregnant by Jenni Hendricks & Ted Caplan

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Goodreads Summary: Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke never thought she would wish she’d failed a test until she finds herself holding a thick piece of plastic in her hands and staring at two solid pink lines. Even the most consistent use of condoms won’t prevent pregnancy when your boyfriend secretly pokes holes in them to keep you from going out-of-state for college.

Veronica needs an abortion, but the closest place she can legally get one is over nine hundred miles away—and Veronica doesn’t have a car. Too ashamed to ask her friends or family for help, Veronica turns to the one person she believes won’t judge her: Bailey Butler, Jefferson High’s own little black cloud of anger and snark—and Veronica’s ex-best friend. Once on the road, Veronica quickly remembers nothing with Bailey is ever simple and that means two days of stolen cars, shotguns, crazed ex-boyfriends, truck stop strippers with pro-life agendas, and a limo driver named Bob. But the pain and betrayal of their broken friendship can’t be outrun. When their fighting leads to a brutal moment of truth, Bailey abandons Veronica. Now Veronica must risk everything in order to repair the hurt she’s caused.

6. Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

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Goodreads Summary: Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.

Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.

Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…

7. Jackpot by Nic Stone

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Goodreads Summary: Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ‘n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she–with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan–can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?

Nic Stone, the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out, creates two unforgettable characters in one hard-hitting story about class, money–both too little and too much–and how you make your own luck in the world.

8. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

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Goodreads Summary: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. In this deft exploration of love, loyalty, race, justice, and both Black masculinity and Black womanhood in 21st century America, Jones achieves that most-elusive of all literary goals: the Great American Novel.

9. Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson 

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Goodreads Summary: ‘Bonnie. Never Mum or Mummy or Mother. Just Bonnie.’

When it comes to flying under the radar, Ro Snow is an expert.

No friends.

No boys.

No parties.

And strictly NO VISITORS.

It may be lonely, but at least this way the truth remains where it should – hidden.

Then Tanvi Shah, the girl who almost died, comes tumbling back into her life, and Ro finds herself losing control of her carefully constructed lies.

But if Ro’s walls come crumbling down, who’s going to take care of Bonnie…

10. American Panda by Gloria Chao

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Goodreads Summary: At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

So there we have it, those are my 10 most recent additions to my TBR! Let me know down in the comments what books you have picked up recently as I would love to know, and, until next time, happy reading!

 

2020 Most Anticipated Releases

2020 is a new year and with it comes some new books! Again, I have a random number of 19 releases that I am excited for. Some of them are standalones but there are also a lot of sequels to series that I have completely fallen in love with. Because there are quite a few I’m not going to talk about why I want to read them because I would be saying pretty much the same thing every time. So let’s talk about some 2020 releases!

1. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

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Goodreads Summary: Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.

James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.

2. The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson 

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Goodreads Summary: Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .

She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.

At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.

Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.

In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.

3. Pretending by Holly Bourne

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Goodreads Summary: He said he was looking for a ‘partner in crime’ which everyone knows is shorthand for ‘a woman who isn’t real’.

April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal – yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry.

If only April could be more like Gretel.

Gretel is exactly what men want – she’s a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems.

The problem is, Gretel isn’t real. And April is now claiming to be her.

As soon as April starts ‘being’ Gretel, dating becomes much more fun – especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua.

Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending? 

4. The Crow Rider

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Goodreads Summary: Princess Thia, her allies, and her crow, Res, are planning a rebellion to defeat Queen Razel and Illucia once and for all. Thia must convince the neighboring kingdoms to come to her aid, and Res’s show of strength is the only thing that can help her.

But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.

As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’s magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be.

5. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed 

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Goodreads Summary: YES
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

NO
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.

MAYBE SO
Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely.

6. Infinity Son by Adam Silvera 

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Goodreads Summary: Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.

7. House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City) by Sarah J Maas

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Goodreads Summary: Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

8. Conference of Birds by Ransom Riggs

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Goodreads Summary: “Do you trust me?”

An instant bestseller, A Map of Days launched readers into the previously unexplored world of American peculiars, one bursting with new questions, new allies, and new adversaries.

Now, with enemies behind him and the unknown ahead, Jacob Portman’s story continues as he takes a brave leap forward into The Conference of the Birds, the next installment of the beloved, bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

9. Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Goodreads Summery: Juliette Ferrars.

Ella Sommers.

Which is the truth and which is the lie?

Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, things have only become more complicated. As she struggles to understand the past that haunts her and looks to a future more uncertain than ever, the lines between right and wrong—between Ella and Juliette—blur. And with old enemies looming, her destiny may not be her own to control.

The day of reckoning for the Reestablishment is coming. But she may not get to choose what side she fights on.

10. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon 

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Goodreads Summary: Will the princess save the beast?

For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?

His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…

As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.

11. We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal 

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Goodreads Summary: Zafira is the Hunter, braving the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those who defy his autocratic father, the sultan. She must hide her identity. He mustn’t display compassion. But when both embark on a quest to uncover a lost magic artifact, Zafira and Nasir encounter an ancient evil long thought destroyed—and discover that the prize they seek may be even more dangerous than any of their enemies. In We Free the Stars, Zafira and Nasir must conquer the darkness around—and inside of—them.

12. The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren

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Goodreads Summary: Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

13. Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin

There is no cover and no synopsis for this book yet, but it is the sequel to Serpent & Dove and I cannot wait for it’s release!

14. The Damned by Renee Ahdieh

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Goodreads Summary: Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

15. Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Goodreads Summary: Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.

16. Aurora Burning by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman 

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Goodreads Summary: First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

17. A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

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Goodreads Summary: Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

18. The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

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Goodreads Summary: As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.

Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.

Expertly capturing the thrill of first love and the self-doubt all teens feel, debut author Phil Stamper is a new talent to watch.

19. The Upside of Falling by Alex Bright

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Goodreads Summary: It’s been years since seventeen-year-old Becca Hart believed in true love. But when her former best friend teases her for not having a boyfriend, Becca impulsively pretends she’s been secretly seeing someone.

Brett Wells has it all. Being captain of the football team and one of the most popular guys in school, he should have no problem finding someone to date, but he’s always been more focused on his future than who to bring to prom. When he overhears Becca’s lie, Brett decides to step in and be her mystery guy. It’s the perfect solution: he gets people off his back for not dating and she can keep up the ruse.

Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy though, especially when you barely know the other person. But with Becca still picking up the pieces from when her world was blown apart years ago and Brett just barely holding his together now, they begin to realize they have more in common than they ever could have imagined. When the line between real and pretend begins to blur, they are forced to answer the question: is this fake romance the realest thing in either of their lives?

So those are my most anticipated releases of 2020! Are any of these on your list? Let me know which books you are looking forward to in the comments as I am always looking for books to add onto my never ending TBR! Until next time, happy reading!

 

Favourite Books of 2019

2019 is officially over, which means it’s time to talk about our favourite books of the year. Now I know a lot of people do a top 10 or a top 19 of 2019, but I had 14 books that I wanted to talk about so I’m going to be the odd one out and talk about a completely random number of books! These are in absolutely no particular order and I have a feeling this is going to be a long one, so let’s get to it.

1. Again, But Better by Christine Riccio 

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Goodreads Summary: Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

I have been a fan of Christine’s for so long and I had this book on pre order for so long, although Amazon in the UK didn’t have it in stock so it took it a few weeks for it to arrive and it was so worth the wait. It was so nice to read a YA book with an older protagonist and I found that I related a lot to the journey that Shane went through in this book. I loved all the pop culture references, and the quirkiness of the characters. The plot twist in the middle completely through me and I was hooked from page one. I cannot wait to see what else Christine writes in the future.

2. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin 

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Goodreads Summary: Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

I know I said that I wasn’t going to pick favourites, but if I had to pick one book for this year, this would probably be it. This had everything I love, fantasy with a hate to love, steamy romance that was to die for. For me, this was a perfect balance, of action, romance and conflict between the church and the witches. I completely flew through this story and immediately needed the sequel. I thought the second half of the book did a really good job of setting up for the second novel, and it is definitely on my most anticipated for 2020. I have a review that you can find here.

3. One Day in December by Josie Silver

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Goodreads Summary: Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

One Day in December was a book I read quite late on in 2019 but I loved. It had such Where Rainbows End (Dear Rosie) vibes which is one of my all time favourite books so it’s no surprise that I loved this. Slow burn romances are some of my absolute favourites, and I love to hate the will they won’t they throughout them. As frustrating as I find it I secretly love it and I flew through this book.

4. Crossfire by Malorie Blackman

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Goodreads Summary: Years have passed since the love between Sephy – a Cross – and Callum – a Nought – destroyed their world and changed their families and society forever.
Society appears to be very different now. For the first time ever, a Nought Prime Minister – Tobey Durbridge – is in power. Race and class don’t divide people anymore. But things are never really that easy.
Because Tobey’s just been framed for murder, and the only way to free himself is to turn to his oldest friend – Callie-Rose.
Their families divisions run deep, and when two young people are kidnapped, their lives and everything they’ve fought for are put in the firing line.
And when you’re playing a game as dangerous as this one, it won’t be long before someone gets caught in the crossfire…

I thought that I was done with this series, I read this series originally years ago and the fourth book although I enjoyed, I felt was a little unnecessary. Crossfire completely blew me away. There was a mystery element that had me hooked from page one and I just wanted to keep turning the pages to find out what happened. I loved being with these characters again, especially now that we are seeing them as adults. The fact that this book ended on a cliffhanger completely through me, I wasn’t expected it and I definitely need the next one now. I have a full review for this book that you can find here.

5. The Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber

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Goodreads Summary: Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

This series completely took me by surprise earlier this year. I picked up the first one, flew through it and then immediately picked up the sequel. I thought the characters were all really completely compelling, the romances between the characters were adorable angsty and wonderful. I loved the whimsical aspects of the story, and there were a lot of different mystery elements to it which I loved. All in all this is a fantastic YA series that I highly recommend you pick this up.

6. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQusiton

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Goodreads Summary: What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

This. Book. Was. Adorable. I don’t think I have read a more adorable book in a long time. The back drop of an alternate 2016 election was wonderful and everything that I wish had happened back in 2016. The conflict of the Prince of England and Son of the President was completely wonderful and provided a really interesting and new point of view for a story. The romance between the two was adorable and realistic and heartbreaking in places, I haven’t read many m/m romances but I will definitely be picking up more in the future.

7. The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne

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Goodreads Summary: Amelie loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. So now she’s retracing their story and untangling what happened by revisiting all the places he made her cry.

Because if she works out what went wrong, perhaps she can finally learn to get over him.

If you’ve been following my blog you know that Holly Bourne is my girl, I love all of her books and this one was no exception. I love that Holly writes about really difficult topics in her books as I think that it’s incredibly important to bring these topics up in YA. This book broke my heart, I spent a lot of it wanting to shake our main character to make her see how toxic and damaging their relationship was. I went to see Holly speak about this book and she is such an incredible person who is bringing a lot of feminist issues to a younger audience. You can read my full review for this book here.

8. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

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Goodreads Summary: When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

I Wish You All The Best was a heartbreaking and yet hopeful story about a boy who comes out as non binary to their parents. Watching them struggle at their new school being in the closest and being referred to by the wrong pronouns was completely heartbreaking and so difficult to read at times. But throughout this novel there was always a message of hope, and that things will get better. I think a lot of non binary teens will really relate to this story and it’s so important that there are books out there that are talking about all kinds of people.

9. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Goodreads Summary: Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ‘n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

One of my favourite things about Taylor Jenkins Reid is that her characters feel so unbelievably real, she did it with Evelyn Hugo and she did it again with Daisy Jones & The Six. I wanted nothing more than to download their album and listen to the songs and then you have to remember that it is a completely fictional band. The format of this book is completely unique and I felt like it really worked for the story that she was trying to tell, you got to see different perspectives of the same story and see how everyones opinions differ and how the story is often skewed, once again I wrote a full review for this book that you can find here.

10. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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Goodreads Summary: Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic… 

Kiss Quotient is an adorable and steamy romance that I fell completely in love with earlier this year. It was definitely one of the more steamier books that I read this year but I loved it. Stella and Michael are so cute together and I loved their relationship and watching it develop and grow was so completely worth it. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one if you were new to the romance genre but if you haven’t read this one yet and romance is your thing, pick this one up!

11. Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake

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Goodreads Summary: After the battle with Katharine, the rebellion lies in tatters. Jules’s legion curse has been unbound, leaving her out of her mind and unfit to rule. Arsinoe must find a cure, even as the responsibility of stopping the ravaging mist rests heavy on her shoulders, and her shoulders alone. Mirabella has disappeared.

Queen Katharine’s rule over Fennbirn remains intact—for now. But her attack on the rebellion exacted a high price: her beloved Pietyr. Without him, who can she rely upon when Mirabella arrives, seemingly under a banner of truce? As oldest and youngest circle each other, and Katharine begins to yearn for the closeness that Mirabella and Arsinoe share, the dead queens hiss caution—Mirabella is not to be trusted.

In this conclusion to the Three Dark Crowns series, three dark sisters will rise to fight as the secrets of Fennbirn’s history are laid bare. Allegiances will shift. Bonds will be tested, and some broken forever.

The fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the books in this series and the finale was no exception. Often with YA fantasies I find that endings can be very neatly wrapped up with no real detriment to the main characters. I thought that Kendare Blake took some risks with this finale that I thought really paid off. I have loved how political this story was and it was extremely captivating and intriguing. If you are on the hunt for a political fantasy series then definitely pick this one up.

12. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

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Goodreads Summary: All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

The Truly Devious Series by Maureen Johnson is an incredible YA mystery thriller series that I cannot recommend this book. I don’t wan’t to say too much about this series as I think the less you know the better, but this had me completely hooked from page one. I love the dual timelines and there are so many twists and turns that I just had to keep flipping the pages, the third book comes out this month and I am so excited to finally get to the bottom of this mystery.

13. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads Summary: Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.

Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

I read the first two volumes of heartstopper this year and absolutely fell in love. I had never read a graphic novel before but I loved this. I loved the diversity of all of the characters, and the romance between the two main characters was completely adorable. If you are looking for a gay romance book then I definitely suggest picking the first two volumes up.

14. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

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Goodreads Summary: People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

The final book on this list is We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. This was an incredible YA fantasy debut that I completely devoured. I thought the world building of this story was incredible, it was such a rich and wonderful world but you can tell we have only just scrapped the surface and that there is still so much to learn. I loved the characters and the romance that started to develop. The ending set up wonderfully for book two and I cannot wait to see where this story goes.

So there we have it, those are my favourite books of 2019! Did any of these make your list? Let me know down in the comments which books were your favourites of the year in the comments below. Until next time, happy reading!

Big End of Year Wrap Up 2019

If you’re anything like me, you love some good ol’ book stats. This year, as well as looking at a few of my stats I also wanted to look back at how many books I knocked off my seasonal TBRs, and the TBRs I set for myself at the beginning of the year. Since I think this will be a long post, let’s get on with it!

Total Books Read: 87

Total Pages Read: 34,193

Shortest Book: 128 pages – The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

Longest Book: 734 pages – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Books I wanted to reread in 2019:

  1. The Infernal Devices Series
  2. The Lunar Chronicles Series
  3. The Hate U Give
  4. Confess
  5. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
  6. Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
  7. Looking For Alaska
  8. Fangirl
  9. Roomies
  10. The Hating Game
  11. The Harry Potter Series

Total: 4/11

Books I Wanted to Get to in 2019:

  1. A Darker Shades of Magic Series
  2. Caraval
  3. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
  4. Crazy Rich Asians
  5. 1984
  6. Sense and Sensibility
  7. Renegades
  8. Dumplin’
  9. Girls of Paper and Fire 
  10. Flame in the Mist

Total: 6/10

Most Anticipated 2019 Releases: 

  1. On The Come Up
  2. Chain of Gold
  3. The Vanishing Stair
  4. There’s Something About Sweetie
  5. The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
  6. Watch Us Rise
  7. Children of Virtue and Vengeance 
  8. Again, But Better
  9. Internment
  10. The Everlasting Rose
  11. Crescent City

Total: 7/9 *Two release dates were pushed back

Spring TBR

  1. Daisy Jones & The Six
  2. A Curse so Dark and Lonely
  3. Internment
  4. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
  5. Furyborn
  6. The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
  7. In An Absent Dream
  8. Dating You/Hating You
  9. King of Scars
  10. Skyward

Total: 8/10

Second Half of the Year Releases

  1. Serpent & Dove
  2. Five Dark Fates
  3. Unpregnant
  4. Suggest Reading
  5. Girls Like Us
  6. The Other Side
  7. Queen of Ruin
  8. Children of Virtue and Vengeance
  9. Crossfire
  10. 99% Mine

Total: 4/10

Fall TBR

  1. Aurora Rising
  2. Strange the Dreamer
  3. Frankly in Love
  4. Kingsbane
  5. Heartstopper
  6. Five Dark Fates
  7. Places I’ve Cried in Public
  8. Vicious
  9. The Beautiful
  10. Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Total: 7/10

Books I Reread

  1. Truly Devious
  2. The Infernal Devices Series
  3. Harry Potter 1-4
  4. Confess

Diverse Reads (Race, Religion, Sexuality, Disability etc):

  1. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  2. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
  3. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  4. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
  5. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  6. The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
  7. Internment by Samira Ahmed
  8. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  9. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  10. Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
  11. Nocturna by Maya Motayne
  12. Odd One Out by Nic Stone
  13. Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds
  14. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  15. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
  16. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
  17. Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson & Ellen Hagan
  18. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Wesley Chu & Cassandra Clare
  19. I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver
  20. From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon
  21. Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
  22. The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff
  23. Heartstopper Vol 1 & 2 by Alice Oseman
  24. Frankly In Love by David Yoon
  25. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  26. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
  27. Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell
  28. Crossfire by Malorie Blackman
  29. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
  30. Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
  31. Birthday by Meredith Russo
  32. Meet Cute by Various Authors
  33. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsha Faizal
  34. The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzie Lee

So there we have it, that’s my 2019 wrap up! I think I did fairly well with sticking to my seasonal TBRs, and picking up some of my anticipated releases, as well as finally getting to some of the backlist titles on my shelf. How did you guys go with sticking to your reading plans? Let me know in the comments, and, until next time, happy reading!

December Wrap Up

Today is January 1st 2020, Happy New Year everybody! I hope you have all had a wonderful 2019, for me, 2019 was a mixed bag. While there were so many wonderful things that happened, I found out early in December that I had failed my dissertation for my Masters that I had been working on for the majority of 2019. Finding this out definitely knocked me off my feet and is a big part of the reason why I didn’t post on here, as I was in a bit of a funk. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing, I’m redoing my Masters this year and I am determined to get a better balance of work, blog and reading! Now that the long, and slightly depressing, intro is out of the way, let’s talk about the 7 books I managed to finish in December.

1. Little Women by Louise May Alcott (4 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.

It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with “woman’s work,” including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the “girl’s book” her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.

Classics are definitely not something that I usually reach for, although I have been trying (and failing) to read more recently. My friend recommended that I pick up Little Women and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved that family was the main focus of this story and thought the dynamics of the sisters were great. They all had their own different personalities and very distinct voices. There were some moments that because I was reading it in 2019 I was bit like ooo you can’t say that, but I think that that’s just something that happens when you are reading a book over a 100 years after it has been written. If you are looking to get into classics I think this is an excellent choice as it is easy to follow and sink your teeth into.

2. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (4.5 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

I then finished We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. This was definitely one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year, I thought it was an incredible first book in a new fantasy series. I found the characters to be endearing, the world to be fascinating and the magic system to be intriguing. I was completely blown away and am eagerly anticipating the sequel. You can find my full review of this book here. 

3. The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzie Lee (5 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: In this funny and frothy novella that picks up where the New York Times bestselling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue leaves off, freshly minted couple Monty and Percy fumble through their first time together.

Monty’s epic grand tour may be over, but now that he and Percy are finally a couple, he realizes there is something more nerve-wracking than being chased across Europe: getting together with the person you love.

Will the romantic allure of Santorini make his first time with Percy magical, or will all the anticipation and build-up completely spoil the mood?

The next book I finished was a novella and that was The Gentleman’s Guide To Getting Lucky by Mackenzie Lee which was a novella set between the other two books in this series, following Monty and Percy. This was everything I wanted it to be. Monty being snarky, moody and somehow managing to still be likeable. Percy being adorable and too good for this world. If you enjoyed the first book in this series and wanted more of Monty and Percy I definitely recommend picking this one up.

4. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy 

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Goodreads Summary: A book of hope for uncertain times.

Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.

The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos. In Charlie’s first book, you will find his most-loved illustrations and some new ones too.

I then finished The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse By Charlie Mackesy. I didn’t actually end up rating this one because I wasn’t entirely sure how. I’m also not entirely sure how to explain this book. That’s not to say that this wasn’t adorable, poignant and moving, because it absolutely was, and there are quotes in this book that I will carry with me for a long time. For me it’s just unrateable,  but in a good way.

5. 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston (4 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever… or is it?

Next, I picked up 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston. This was a fun, adorable and Christmassy YA contemporary that I am so glad I picked up! This book follows Sophie who’s family are setting her up on 10 blind dates to help her get over her boyfriend. There were some great dates and some awful dates, but overall this plot line set up for a hilarious book that had me laughing out loud at several points. I think the biggest thing I enjoyed about this book is that even though the main premise of this novel is about Sophie’s love life, there was a really strong family element too. It was really great watching her reconnect with her family and I loved the dynamic between all of them (even the Evil Joes!) Overall, if you are looking for a fun and Christmassy contemporary book, this is one I definitely recommend!

6. One Day in December by Josie Silver (5 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

The next book I read made it straight to my favourites of the year list and that is One Day in December by Josie Silver. Where Rainbows End (Dear Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite books of all time and this had so many of the same vibes it was inevitable that I would love it. Slow burn romances are some of my favourites, although I find them incredibly frustrating (in a good way) whilst reading, the pay off is often so worth it. I loved all of the characters but particularly related to Laurie especially with her career struggles. I thought that her trying to find her way in the world is something that a lot of people can relate to. The friendship between Laurie and Sarah was also a standout for me, their friendship was definitely tested at times but it stood that test. Although it was predictable in places, as you would expect, I fell completely in love with the story and would absolutely recommend it.

7. The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand (4 Stars)

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Goodreads Summary: On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t.

And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

The final book I read in December was The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand, a Christmas Carol retelling. Confession time, I’ve never actually read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, but I picked this one up because it was a Christmassy read and I wasn’t disappointed. At the beginning I found Holly to be an unlikeable character, she was incredibly selfish and self serving, but she went through a lot of character development and growth and I ended up really liking her character. There were definitely a few twists and turns to the tale which I really enjoyed. If you are looking for a fun Christmassy read then I would definitely recommend picking this up.

So those are all of the books I picked up in December, overall although I didn’t read too much, I didn’t give any of the books I read less than a 4 star rating which I would definitely call a good reading month! Let me know what books you read in December in the comments below as I would love to know, and, until next time, happy reading!

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is run by That Artsy Reader check out her blog for all past, and future, prompts!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the ten books on your winter TBR. Now historically, when I have done these for the seasons each year, I’ve actually done pretty well and read at least 7 of the list, so here’s hoping I can carry on this tradition!

1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

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Goodreads Summary: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

2. 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

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Goodreads Summary: Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever… or is it?

3. Beartown by Fredrick Backman

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Goodreads Summary: People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

4. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi 

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Goodreads Summary: After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

5. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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Goodreads Summary: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

6. Romanov by Nadine Brandes

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Goodreads Summary: The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

7. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

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Goodreads Summary: Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

8. The Mermaid by Christina Henry

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Goodreads Summary: Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn’t bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he’d heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid.

9. Love, and Other Words by Christina Lauren

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Goodreads Summary: The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

10. Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

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Goodreads Summary: All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.

Those are all of the books I am hoping to get to this winter, it is pretty fantasy heavy, but I always seem to reach for fantasy in the winter! Let me know down in the comments which books made your list, and, until next time, happy reading!

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal Review

Maybe the tiny lions were merely ornaments, a display of pride for the victory over a man who defied men, only to be slain by women

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Goodreads Summary: People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

This was an absolutely incredibly debut YA fantasy novel. I was sucked in from page one and not one part of this story let me down.

I will admit that at the beginning the world was a lot to take in, and there were a lot of terms to get used to. But there was a glossary of terms at the back of the book which I found super helpful, and I fell into the world quite quickly. Right off the bat we are thrown into the two opposing world of our two main characters and we get an insight into how people of different classes are living in this world. I thought the world building was done incredibly well throughout the book as a whole, we explored different areas of the world and I think the author did a great job of giving us background and the history of the world without it being info dumpy.

The atmosphere was also beautifully done, when we are in Zafira’s home world of Demenhur you really felt the chill and cold of the winter climate, similarly when in the desert I could feel the heat and the pressure of the situation the characters were in. There was also a lot of really creepy vibes throughout the whole novel which sent shivers down my spine.

The characters were another stand out of this novel for me. The two main characters were very well developed and I loved that we got to see more layers to their characters as we got further into their journey and got more of their backstory. Both characters were from different backgrounds and had very different circumstances but I thought the author did really well at having the reader empathise and understand the motivations of them both. I have such a soft spot for Nasir, he was very much the angtsy YA hero, and I loved him! The side characters were also all really great, they provided some much needed humour to a tense situation and there were some great one liners!

The plot was really fast paced and had me hooked from the get go, the stakes were high and there was a mysterious vibe that kept me guessing throughout. There were twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and that have left the perfect set up for book two!

Overall, I absolutely adored this book. I settled on a 4.5 out of 5 star rating for this one. There was a lot of hype around this one when it first came out and then it seemed to die down, so if you thought about it, please pick this book up. If you have read this please let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Until next time, happy reading.