Thursday 31 January 2019

January Wrap-Up.

January normally feels like a really long month to me, but actually I didn't feel that so much this time around! I got through a good few books though and I'm pleased with the four I managed.

  1. 'Glimpse' by Kendra Leighton. A likeable paranormal retelling of Alfred Noyes's poem 'The Highwayman'. The glimpses and plot development were the most engaging aspects, though it felt like it ended without a complete resolution. 3.5/5 Stars.
  2. 'The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet' by Becky Chambers. It totally blew my socks off and I'm devastated I didn't start this book sooner. Great characters and relationships, and an interesting universe with so much detail! 5/5 Stars.
  3. 'The Sisters Of The Winter Wood' by Rena Rossner. An enchanting retelling of Christina Rossetti's poem 'Goblin Market'. I liked the Jewish representation and historical setting mixed with all the magic, but felt there was far too much plot, too many words to look up and not enough likeable characterisation. 2.5/5 Stars.
  4. 'The Last' by Hanna Jameson. I hadn't read a dystopian novel in a while and felt that the genre mixed with murder mystery was interesting. This would be a great read for a book club, it provokes a lot of thought and debate, but I think the characters were completely unlikeable and the plot did not conclude well. 3/5 stars.
This month I read three books for the Beat The Backlist Challenge, making my yearly total three.

- Glimpse
- The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet
- The Sisters Of The Winter Wood

This month I read one book for the New Release Challenge, making my yearly total one.

- The Last

This month I read zero books for the Finishing The Series Challenge, making my yearly total zero.

As I move up the ranks I will change the badge accordingly, though I technically haven't earned this one yet...

This month I read two books for the Diversity Reading Challenge, making my yearly total two.

- The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet
- The Sisters Of The Winter Wood *This fit the mini challenges theme: Diverse folktales/ culture/ mythology OR diverse retelling OR non western setting)*

And here is my updated Bookish Bingo card:

Book Review: The Last; Hanna Jameson.

It's been a while since I've read dystopian literature, and I liked the look of this one! Especially as it was coupled with a murder mystery, it seemed like a fun blend of genres.

SOURCE: NetGalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Last
AUTHOR: Hanna Jameson
PAGES: 352
GENRE: Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian

RATING: 3/5 Stars

BREAKING: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington

BREAKING: London hit, thousands feared dead.

BREAKING: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm.

Jon Keller was on a trip to Switzerland when the world ended. More than anything he wishes he hadn't ignored his wife Nadia's last message. Twenty people remain in Jon's hotel. Far from the nearest city, they wait, they survive. Then one day, the body of a girl is found. It's clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer...

As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what happens if the killer doesn't want to be found?

What I Liked:
  • Jameson is certainly a skilled writer. I liked the journal entry formatting - told day by day after the nuclear bombs hit, and all through Jon Keller's POV, a historian before the end of the world. It is an interesting way to read about the situation.
  • I think this book's greatest strength is its ability to provoke reflection and discussion. Many different cultures and personalities are within the band of twenty or so survivors and each have a different viewpoint on how to handle the various situations they come across throughout the story. It certainly made me think a lot about where I would stand within that.
What I Disliked:
  • This is very clearly relies on its characters to drive the story rather than actual plot points, and yet I hated them all. Everyone seemed infuriatingly short with each other, and mostly for no reason. Jon, the main POV, was a bit of a wet blanket with very little personality of his own other than the constant self pity. Then there was Tomi, his love interest with the worst attitude ever, Peter who was rude and argumentative to absolutely everyone and I'm supposed to believe is good with children, Dylan who thought it would be a grand idea to keep everything a secret and Tania who infuriated me towards the end of the book. Ugh.
  • Considering the slow build and how much I was getting into the last third of the book, imagine my surprise at the really awfully revealed murderer. I didn't see it coming, and not in a good way. It was impossible to predict, which takes the fun out of murder mystery.
Overall Conclusion:
The concept of this book was cool, and I liked the element of critical thinking that was involved in reading it. There were a lot of influences from current events, which was a little sobering, and I thought the political and social debate aspect was interesting. But though I was mildly invested in what little plot there was, I found all of the characters infuriating and that became a big problem for me. I was also pretty disappointed with the murder's resolution all things considered. I think this would be a great read for a book club though, it poses some pretty interesting questions.

Tuesday 29 January 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books I've Recently Added To My TBR List'.

At this point, my TBR Pile is a beast very much out of control. I really need to go through and cull it down, but I looked at the latest twenty additions here and picked the ten I'm most excited about/desperate to read!

1) 'Redwall' by Brian Jacques.

I am very aware that this is a very old series. In fact, I remember it being in my school library! But it's a beloved fantasy epic saga, and contains talking animal characters which I really love the look of! I can't believe it wasn't on my TBR before!

2) 'The Lost Coast' by Amy Rose Capetta.

Queer. Witches. Need I go on? I love this cover, and the synopsis gives me the same vibes that Laure Eve's 'The Graces' gave me, so I'm very intrigued and excited by this book!

3) 'We Contain Multitudes' by Sarah Henstra.

I am living for m/m reads thanks to my newly discovered love for webcomics, and this novel looks awesome! It's so nice to see so many LGBT+ releases coming our way in 2019.

4) 'Castle Of Lies' by Kiersi Burkhart.

I'd been hoping to stumble across some YA Fantasy with a gorgeous cover! There looks to be a lot of interesting representation (LGBT+ and I've even read about poly relationships) so hopefully it's all done well!

5) 'Wicked Fox' by Kat Cho.

Give me that Korean mythology now *grabby hands*!! The cover is stunning, it contains heavy references to the nine-tailed fox/gumiho folklore (similar to Japan's kitsune) and I am so here for my favourite fox spirit!

6) 'A Closed & Common Orbit' by Becky Chambers.

Obviously this was a recent addition to the TBR due to only just reading 'A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet'. It's pretty high on my priority list, seeing as I loved the first book in the series so much!

7) 'The Merciful Crow' by Margaret Owen.

More fantasy! This one looks a little bit different too, with clans named after birds, mercy killers, and shapeshifters! It looks like there'll be three POV characters and I'm really excited to get to know them!

8) 'Before I Disappear' by Danielle Stinson.

A vanishing town? Getting trapped in a space that doesn't exist? I kind of love the sound of this urban fantasy mystery! It reminds me of Once Upon A Time actually, a TV Show I love. I'm getting some creepy vibes from it too.

9) 'Lord Of The Butterflies' by Andrea Gibson.

Time for a new collection of poetry? Maybe. Specifically Button Poetry, whose Youtube channel is full to the brim of talented poets and I would love to read more work from this publishing company.

10) 'In The Dark Corner, I Stood Alone' by Petra Pavlikova.

I love fairy tales, and this collection contains plenty of nods to the subject! In particular, it focuses on women, and I'm excited to hear the voices of witches, princesses, step-mothers, queens and all manner of fairy tale favourite archetypes in a new light.

Monday 28 January 2019

Book Review: The Sisters Of The Winter Wood; Rena Rossner.

This felt like a good pick for Winter - I haven't been able to get hold of the last of Katherine Arden's finale for her 'Winternight Trilogy' yet so I wanted to read another book based upon Eastern European folklore and culture. I had some issues with this book though, which I'll get to in a tick.

SOURCE: NetGalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Sisters Of The Winter Wood
AUTHOR: Rena Rossner
PAGES: 464
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling

RATING: 2.5/5 Stars

In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami's babka and the low rumble of their Tati's prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother's warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods.

As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realise the old fairy tales are true...and could save them all.

What I Liked:
  • Rossner writes very well, and I liked the references to Rossetti's poem 'Goblin Market', one I really enjoyed studying at school all that time ago. This book is chock-full of magic and enchantment, and her ideas around the Goblins, the swans and the bears were pretty cool. I think that was probably my favourite aspect of the book.
  • There has to be a shoutout to the #OwnVoices aspect of this book, as the characters in this book fiercely represent Rossner's own history. I liked the Jewish representation, and the way that the magic of the story interweaved so well with the true story of unrest in Ukraine at the time.
What I Disliked:
  • As much as I liked the incorporation of Jewish culture into this book, the amount of italicised Yiddish and Ukrainian language became a bit of a problem. Every single page was full of it, and though there was a glossary in the back (I later discovered) my e-ARC prevented me from moving back and forth so I ended up looking so many words up and it interrupted the flow of the story so much. Educational, but irritating.
  • I really didn't like either of the sisters in this book. Considering that I was supposed to be rooting for them - this was an issue. Liba was stuck-up and naive about EVERYTHING and I found Laya so recklessly stupid most of the time. It meant that I had very little care for what actually happened to them?
  • I also think there was a bit too much plot to worry about - it felt as if Rossner had come up with this really great 'warring factions, bears vs. swans' idea with the parents and they were the main issue to watch out for, but then the Goblins were also something she wanted to include so they just popped up out of nowhere. It made keeping track of threats VERY confusing.
Overall Conclusion:
I didn't dislike this book. After all, it was magical, and written well, and I like to read fantastical, wintry fairy tales which this certainly was. But it had problematic elements that I couldn't ignore, and that made it only mediocre for me in the end. I wanted to be totally consumed and invested in what was going on, but instead I only found it mildly interesting. A shame, but still a quirky story.

Last Week's Shenanigans (21st January - 27th January)...

Had a really good week this week, mostly down to the fact that Mat and I officially gave our 'notice of marriage' and have been approved to do so by our local council. It's not that exciting really but it's something that we don't have to worry too much about now! The career experience at work is going well too, and we had our first official meeting which was very positive! I'm really enjoying it.

Mat and I went for dinner at Barrio's, Soho with a couple of friends on Sunday, which was lovely. The food was great and the atmosphere very relaxed with some pretty eclectic 90s remix music choices. The company was the best thing though - I had a wonderful time!

I Read...


I Received...

- 'Voices Of Powerful Women' by Zoë Sallis: Netgalley (23/01/19)
- 'Stronger, Faster & More Beautiful' by Arwen Elys Dayton: Netgalley (25/01/19)

I Posted...

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant To Read In 2018

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books I Meant To Read In 2018'.

I had a large number of books that were on my TBR last year a lot and I didn't get to! I'm very ashamed, but also even more determined to make time for them this year!

1) 'The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet' by Becky Chambers.

I actually have read this now, it was top of the list for 2019. Having finished it I really wish I'd started it sooner, but I really enjoyed this read all the same! I definitely won't leave it's sequels as long.

2) 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern.

This book is actually haunting me now, I've had it on my TBR for so long. Even worse, Morgenstern is releasing another book this year and everyone is so excited about it that I'm feeling even more behind! I have to read this.

3) 'Uprooted' by Naomi Novik.

Another book that has been on the TBR for more than a little while, I actually received it as a gift and it's constantly one of my most anticipated reads. Goodness knows why it's taking me so long to get to!

4) 'A Dance With Dragons I: Dreams & Dust' by George R.R. Martin.

This is on the list for obvious reasons - I was hoping to catch up with the Ice & Fire novels before the release of Season 8 in 2019. That probably won't happen now but I still want to get to it this year!

5) 'Ash Princess' by Laura Sebastian.

This is definitely the read on this list I'm most disappointed about not getting to yet. I received it as an ARC and was so excited about it. I love the Cinderella vibes that I get from it! I'll read it soon though!

6) 'Retribution Rails' by Erin Bowman.

'Vengeance Road' was so good and when I heard that Bowman was writing a companion novel/sequel I was full of all the feels! Why haven't I read this yet?! I don't even know!

7) 'The Belles' by Dhonielle Clayton.

I swear I had this book on my monthly TBR for most of the year. I actually even read the first chapter! But for some reason I put it down in favour of something else and never went back to it! I'll definitely change that this year.

8) 'The Outliers' by Kimberly McCreight.

This book has such a cool looking cover, and every time I read the synopsis I think it looks super intriguing. But I can never quite bring myself to pick it up! Maybe this year will be different?

9) 'The Astonishing Colour Of After' by Emily X.R. Pan.

I love diverse characters, pretty covers and I wanted to read more books set in other countries that I'd never read about before! This was the perfect read for that and I can only hope that I get to it this year.

10) 'The Hawkweed Prophecy' by Irena Brignull.

I need more books about witches to love. I find them a really fun topic in YA but don't pick up too many books about them, which is a little sad. I think that this could help to fill the witch-less void in my life providing that I read it his time!

Monday 21 January 2019

Last Week's Shenanigans (14th January - 20th January)...

A quiet week this week, with not much going on other than the fact that we recorded another Podcast episode! Yaaaay! Go us! We are going to make a concerted effort to really make this thing awesome, so if you want to check out the books we've talked about so far then visit the Reading Between The Tealeaves site here!

I Read...

I Received...

- 'Watch Us Rise' by Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan: Netgalley (18/01/19)

I Posted...

CHCCYA Fest [Bookish Joy Post]

Sunday 20 January 2019

Book Review: The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet; Becky Chambers.

This book broke me in a completely wonderful way. I enjoyed every moment of the experience and if you also want to experience a delicious book hangover then I recommend this one!

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet
AUTHOR: Becky Chambers
SERIES: Wayfarers (#1)
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
PAGES: 519
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBT+, Space Opera

RATING: 5/5 Stars

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

What I Liked:
  • Let's talk about my absolute favourite part of this book - the characters. This was very much a character-driven novel, focusing on relationships and interaction more than anything else. Chambers really delivers on this front, and I completely fell in love with the entire crew of The Wayfarer and their complexities. Each one had their own culture, motives and well-crafted personalities and they were all given a 'turn' to have the spotlight for a while.
  • My other favourite part of this book? The rich world-building. Chambers has put so much into this novel and I can only begin to imagine the amount of fore-planning that went into this universe. I loved the intricate details of each culture and planet and species that the Wayfarer encountered, but the fantastical setting touched upon a lot of real-world themes too. So clever!
What I Disliked:
  • I can honestly say that I didn't dislike anything about this book, but there a couple of points I should mention to potential readers. Firstly, there isn't a whole lot of plot. The book is set over a 'standard' (longer than a human year) and it's mostly just the crew heading to a 'final destination' and stopping to supply along the way. For me, this was not a problem at all because I was more fascinated by the characters, but if you love action-driven space operas then consider that when reading this. Secondly, the world-building is elaborate. And in this first book, that requires a lot of exposition, information and explanation. At odd moments it can feel a little tedious, but it didn't bother me too much.
Overall Conclusion:
This book was so wonderful, and a great read to really motivate me in a long January. I loved the epic scale of the world-building, the amount of imagination and planning that went into it, the gorgeous, diverse characters and the inclusive, familial nature of The Wayfarer's crew. Level-headed Captain Ashby, hilarious technicians Jenks and Kizzy, fiery Sissix, aloof Ohan, grumpy Corbin, the caring AI Lovelace, nurturing Dr Chef and well-meaning newbie Rosemary will all capture your hearts and each have a story to tell and lessons to learn. This is definitely a series going high on my to-finish priority list!

Thursday 17 January 2019

CHCCYA Fest [Bookish Joy Blog Fest]!

It's my turn to talk about Chadwell Heath Community Centre's YA Festival, and I am  so excited about this upcoming event! There are so many great authors joining, including Alice Oseman (excuse me while I cry with happiness), Gabriel Dylan, Chloe Seager and SO MANY MORE. There'll be plenty of fun panels to watch, bookish-themed candles, jewellry and art to buy and of course books! It looks like a ton of fun and I've got an extra special treat for all you lovely readers at the end of this post.

When: 12th May 2019

Where: Chadwell Heath Community Centre, London, RM6 6AS

Time: 11:00am - 6.30pm

In order to shout about this amazing event I've been asked to spread a little #BookishJoy and write a thank you letter to anything bookish that I can think of!

Dear Bookish Community,

The main thing I want to say is 'thank you'. I have always found it hard, in the past, to really put my mind to something I enjoy. This comes from some pretty deep-rooted anxiety about change, the fear of being unsuccessful, and about how others perceive my interests and passions. I first set this book blog up, way back in 2014, as a way of logging my reads more than anything. I didn't do it for followers, but for personal tracking and to give myself something to do that didn't involve sitting around feeling unproductive. At the time, I probably thought I'd procrastinate more and more with it until eventually I gave up on it altogether.

But it's thanks to other blogs that I stumbled across that I read for hours and hours that I kept working to improve my reviews. It's thanks to the authors that I read and communicated with that I decided to take my reviews more seriously and consider myself a 'real blogger'. And it's thanks to the Bookish Community as a whole, particularly those I've met on Twitter and Goodreads who every day ask me 'what are you reading?' that I have managed to keep this blog going and I remain excited about it every single day. 

So thanks for helping me to discover what I love. Thanks for taking an interest. Thanks for making me feel welcome. And thanks for the never-ending reading recommendations! 


Phew! I hope you enjoyed my little entry into this super fun Blog Tour I've been a part of, and I'm so excited to meet more of the Bookish Community that I love so much at CHCCYA Fest!

To all my lovely readers I have an extra special discount code for tickets. For 10% off of the already reasonable ticket price, simply enter the code YAFEST10 and to book tickets, just click here.

Check out everyone else's posts below!

Monday 14 January 2019

Last Week's Shenanigans (7th January - 13th January)...

It's really starting to dawn on me that I'm getting married this year and I am beyond excited. Mat and I went to meet with the events co-ordinator on Monday and we have organised most things, so we're very happy about our progress! It's taken a lot of weight off of my mind that we are so ahead of the game, and I'm looking forward to the run-up to the day itself!

I Read...

I Received...

- 'We Are Blood & Thunder' by Kesia Lupo: Netgalley (07/01/19)
- 'Proud' cur. by Juno Dawson: Netgalley (08/01/19)
- 'Five Feet Apart' by Rachael Lippincott: Netgalley (08/01/19)
- 'Master Of Sorrows' by Justin Call: Netgalley (08/01/19)
- 'The Binding' by Bridget Collins: Netgalley (10/01/19)

I Posted...

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half Of 2019

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Book Review: Glimpse; Kendra Leighton.

It has taken me an absolute age to start this book (I got hold of my copy way back in 2014) and I didn't finish until two months after starting! But that's not a reflection on the book itself, which I liked.

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Glimpse
AUTHOR: Kendra Leighton
PUBLISHER: Much-In-Little
PAGES: 304
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, Ghost Story, Retelling

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

Liz just wants to be normal. Her life is anything but.

Seven years ago Liz lost her mother and ten years' worth of memories. When she inherits the infamous Highwayman Inn, she hopes the move will be a fresh start. Then she meets Zachary. Zachary who haunts her by night and in dreams; who makes her question everything she is and wants to be; who seems scarcely real - yet makes her feel so alive.

What I Liked:
  • The story was a rather good one, and I liked how it adapted the poem and made it such a focal point for the story. The inn is real, the highwayman and landlord's daughter were real people, and they all play a huge part in the story. There was plenty of action to keep me entertained and though it was a simple plot, it was well executed.
  • The 'glimpses' that Liz experiences in the story were interesting and I liked how they allowed Liz to see the spirits in the world. It was actually super creepy at some points and helped to build some tension.
What I Disliked:
  • I liked the flow of the story up until the end. I felt that the final chapters were a bit too rushed, and most of the revelations brushed over. What we learn about Liz (and Zachary) is a pretty big deal with huge implications but we're just told it's all a happy ending and everything is fine. Maybe just a little more explanation on what that means for the future.
Overall Conclusion:
I liked this story, and wish I'd read it before to be honest. It's been waiting on my shelf for far too long to be justifiable! Good plot, likeable characters, and some fun inspiration from a classic poem. I wish a bit more care had goneinto the end as it was a bit rushed and important revelations were breezed over. But all in all I enjoyed that, and it was a good read to start the year with!

Tuesday 8 January 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half Of 2019'.

I have to say, this topic is probably my favourite kind of topic to answer. I absolutely love looking ahead, especially when it comes to thinking about all the wonderful books being released this year! Narrowing it down is really hard, and ten was absolutely impossible, and so I've picked twenty instead!

1) 'The Wicked King' by Holly Black.

Published 8th January.

Let's face it, this is going to be on so many lists. 'The Cruel Prince' was one of the most beloved books of 2018, and I myself really enjoyed it. Especially the last third. So I have high hopes for this sequel and how it will continue Jude and Cardan's story!

2) 'The Winter Of The Witch' by Katherine Arden.

Published 9th January.

This is probably my personal most anticipated read of 2019, as it's the finale of one of my favourite book series of all time, 'The Winternight Trilogy'. I am so ready for more of Vasya and Sasha, Russian folklore and a certain frost demon that's captured everyone's feels.

3) 'Two Can Keep A Secret' by Karen M. McManus.

Published 10th January.

This one is on the list purely because I adored McManus's debut, 'One Of Us Is Lying', was so enjoyable. I don't often like thrillers but this YA murder mystery had it all, and it's raised my expectations for McManus's second book immensely.

4) 'The Gilded Wolves' by Roshani Chokshi.

Published 15th January.

This book excites me. So much. It's by an author whose work I've loved before ('The Star-Touched Queen' was amazing), it's an LGBT+ read which is wonderful and I've seen so many reviews that say it has 'Six Of Crows' vibes which is PERFECT.

5) 'King Of Scars' by Leigh Bardugo.

Published 29th January.

Speaking of 'Six Of Crows', Leigh Bardugo is releasing another book and it's focusing on one of my favourite characters - Nikolai. I have missed his charm and sense of humour so much, and I sense that this one will have some angst too! My favourite kind of character!

6) 'Enchantée' by Gita Trelease.

Published 7th February.

I am ridiculously excited about this release! I was sent the ARC in 2018 and couldn't believe my luck. Not only is it beautiful, but it has a really cool synopsis. Set in Paris during the French revolution, it's historical fiction with a touch of magic and that usually makes an awesome combination.

7) 'Fierce Fragile Hearts' by Sara Barnard.

Published 7th February.

Sara Barnard is a tour de force in YA contemporary fiction. I've loved her books from the very first one, 'Beautiful Broken Things' and so this companion novel/sequel is hopefully going to be even better!

8) 'The Black Coats' by Colleen Oakes.

Published 12th February.

This is the first book on this list so far that I haven't previously read anything by the author, but I'm really loving the feminist synopsis for this one. It feels like a reaction to today's political climate, to the #MeToo campaign and also contains a good dose of vigilante justice.

9) 'The Priory Of The Orange Tree' by Samantha Shannon.

Published 26th February.

This cover, first off, is a cover I get on board with. It is so stunning and beautifully illustrated! Secondly, I've been longing for an epic fantasy that will really pique my interest, and this might be it! I've heard great things about Shannon's work so have very high expectations.

10) 'Children Of Virtue & Vengeance' by Tomi Adeyemi.

Published 5th March.

If there's one book that was obviously going to be here, it was going to be this one. 'Children Of Blood & Bone' reached worldwide acclaim, and for good reason. I want more African-inspired fantasy, more magic, more angsty romance and friendship, and I'm looking forward to getting my fix.

11) 'Once & Future' by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy.

Published 5th March.

The first retelling on this list, and it's a new one for me - I haven't ever really read any imaginings of Arthurian Legend before! Especially set in space/the future! But this definitely seems like an interesting interpretation with a female Arthur reincarnation!

12) 'Opposite Of Always' by Justin A. Reynolds.

Published 12th March.

I haven't read a book on time travel for a while, and this one is very reminiscent of Groundhog Day. I love that it's inclusive, and though I'm suspecting a sad ending I'm willing to take a risk with it.

13) 'Other Words For Smoke' by Sarah Maria Griffin.

Published 12th March.

This looks so creepy. Just the description of an owl in the walls named Sweet James that has a taste for the twins who have just moved on gives me the shivers and I'm looking forward to being scared. This book promises plenty of witchy, spooky fun!

14) 'Wicked Saints' by Emily A. Duncan.

Published 2nd April.

I'm drawn to this book mostly because the author has been so vocal about it's contents. Reminiscent to the Grishaverse? Check. Snarky, strong themes? Check. Hot villains? CHECK CHECK CHECK. Yeah, I'm excited.

15) 'Descendant Of The Crane' by Joan He.

Published 2nd April.

This book had me at 'Chinese-inspired fantasy'. I love the cover and the synopsis and I also love that it's currently a standalone. I love standalone fantasy!

16) 'The Meaning Of Birds' by Jaye Robin Browne.

Published 16th April.

This book looks like it will make me sob, but I'm trying to get better at reading 'sad books', and this also looks really good. I love the gorgeous cover, the LGBT+ relationship, and the sense of hope I get from the blurb.

17) 'Hot Dog Girl' by Jennifer Dugan.

Published 30th April.

Another LGBT+ read, I really think that the theme park setting looks promising here. I'm anticipating some fun characters to adore, but also I'm desperately hoping for a bisexual MC. Please?

18) 'We Hunt The Flame' by Hafsah Faizal.

Published 14th May.

This one has been on my list for an absolute age, because I'm a sucker for fantasy, especially if it's inspired by ancient Arabia! I've had some really great experiences with reads set in that sort of time period, so I can only hope that trend continues.

19) 'Last Bus To Everland' by Sophie Cameron.

Published 14th May.

'Out Of The Blue', read in 2018, was a really surprising read for me bbecause I lved it oh-so much. So, this modern retelling of Peter Pan looks insanely good. I've been hankering for a good Peter Pan retelling since Shari Arnold's 'Neverland'. Hopefully this will be it!

20) 'The Kingdom' by Jess Rothenberg.

Published 28th May.

Another theme park set book, though this is a sci-fi story about a robot-filled one where enjoying yourself is the rule rather than the result. I'm intrigued by the synopsis and I'm hoping there'll be some good fairy tale references and 'The Lunar Chronicles' vibes too.