#SixforSunday – Favourite Spooky Books!

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

We’re continuing with the seasonal Ooky Spooky Bookys this month on Six for Sunday! Today is all about our favourite spooky books. As a big SFF fan, there are plenty of spooky elements within the genre that gave me so many options for these next 6 prompts!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. November’s theme is ‘Ooky Spooky Bookys’. 


Favourite Spooky Books!

Some of my favourite orange books that I’ve read or are sitting on my physical TBR pile! ☺️

  1. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
  2. Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap
  3. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  4. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
  5. The Prince in the Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  6. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Books That Scared Me!

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

We’re continuing with the seasonal Ooky Spooky Bookys this month on Six for Sunday! Today is all about books that scared us. Not gonna lie, I read so much fantasy and YA/romance novels that I don’t really think I’ve ever been scared by a book – at least not to the extent of Joey from Friends…! I’ve had a go anyway, so here’s some of the spookier books I’ve read…

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. November’s theme is ‘Ooky Spooky Bookys’. 


Books That Scared Me

Some of my favourite orange books that I’ve read or are sitting on my physical TBR pile! ☺️

  1. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  2. Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold
  3. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  4. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
  5. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel

As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Orange Books!

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

November is bringing in a brand new theme for Six For Sunday prompts and I’m super excited that this month is all about Ooky Spooky Bookys! I love that Halloween and the spooky season brings about some kind of gothic revival of paranormal, witchy stories – it’s the perfect time of year for them! Nights are drawing in, the trees are turning golden and it’s officially time to crack out the chunky knits!

This week’s Ooky Spooky prompt is all about orange books! Not gonna lie, I had to take a good, long look at my bookshelves to find orange books – it doesn’t seem to be a colour that my shelves are populated with?!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. November’s theme is ‘Ooky Spooky Bookys’. 


Orange Books

Some of my favourite orange books that I’ve read or are sitting on my physical TBR pile! ☺️

  1. Circe by Madeline Miller
  2. The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  3. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  4. Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
  5. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  6. She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker Chan

As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl

Hey Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings are about The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl. This book had me sold at ancient fairytale curses and an elite school setting so I was thrilled when my ARC request was accepted! It’s put me right in the mood for this spooky Halloween season!
Huge thanks to NetGalley, Laura Pohl and the publishers SourceBooks Fire for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.


Book: The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl
Genre: Teens and YA / LGBTQIA+
Publication Date: October 26th 2021 (UK release: November 26th 2021)
Publisher: SourceBooks Fire
Pages: 400
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Once Upon a Time meets Pretty little liars.

Four troubled friends, One murdered girl… and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed.


After the mysterious death of their best friend, Ella, Yuki, and Rory are the talk of their elite school, Grimrose Académie. The police ruled it a suicide, but the trio are determined to find out what really happened.

When Nani Eszes arrives as their newest roommate, it sets into motion a series of events they couldn’t have imagined. As the girls retrace their friend’s last steps, they uncover dark secrets about themselves and their destinies, discovering they’re all cursed to repeat the brutal and gruesome endings to their stories until they can break the cycle.

This contemporary take on classic fairytales reimagines heroines as friends attending the same school. While investigating the murder of their best friend, they uncover connections to their ancient fairytale curses and attempt to forge their own fate before it’s too late. 

My Musings

My university dissertation was based around fairytales so I absolutely jumped at the chance to be able to review this book straight from the mention of ancient fairytale curses. The Grimrose Girls is a fast-paced adventure set in a highly prestigious boarding school; it gave me all of the dark academia vibes and its links to some of the more ancient, classic fairytales gave this story a powerfully dark and gripping atmosphere.

For me, the best thing I loved about The Grimrose Girls was that Laura Pohl sort to showcase the original fairytale stories in all of their dark, twisted glory and break the glass slipper mould of ‘Disney-fied Happy Endings’. From The Little Mermaid and Snow White to Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, the ancient curses connecting this group of characters revealed the origins of these stories in their most brutal forms. It was quite a refreshing take on a genre which I love so much.

The characters themselves were each intriguing in their individual ways. I had so much fun working out which fairytale fate each character was destined to take up, some were slightly more obvious than others. Through Yuki, Ella, Rory and Nani, we are given a range of identities and representations to connect to. Be it parental expectations, grief, sexual identity or just working out who the hell you’re supposed to be whilst growing up – there were plenty of cultural and lifestyle character facets here to bring about diversity amongst this group of girls. It was interesting to see the range of emotions each one went through as they dealt with the death of a friend and sought to reforge and re-establish their fractured friendships. Even though the setting isn’t actually a single-sex girls’ school and there a couple of male characters in the story, sometimes the catty dialogue and humorous interactions between the girls sent my mind right back to my own education at an all-girls’ school!

I have to admit, I wasn’t totally aware that this book was going to be a series when I first started reading so the cliffhanger ending right at the end was abrupt in the best possible way. Although one or two mysteries get solved within the final pages, there’s still so much more to come from this fantastic plot. I’m already eagerly awaiting the sequel as it feels like these girls are just getting started on their epic fairytale-debunking quest!

Why Should I Read This?

For the representation of original fairytales in all their twisted, brutal glory.
For a diverse range of fierce female characters who bond together to overcome an ancient evil.
For the dark academia vibes of The Grimrose Académie setting.

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Waterstones | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Author’s Website | Sourcebooks Fire | NetGalley

Connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

Biblioshelf Musings – Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar

Hey Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings are about Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar. There’s always something about The Nutcracker that signals Christmas is just around the corner so as soon as I read the blurb for the Nutcracker-esque retelling Midnight in Everwood, I immediately added it to my TBR pile! And boy, it did not disappoint! This is one of my all-time favourite reads this year. I had to give it 5/5 stars, it’s pure, delectable perfection from start to finish.

Huge thanks to NetGalley, M.A. Kuzniar and the publishers HQ for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.


Book: Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar
Genre: Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Literary Fiction
Publication Date: October 28th 2021
Publisher: HQ
Pages: 384
Rating: 📚📚📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

A spell-binding retelling of The Nutcracker, filled with enchanted toys, decadent balls, fierce feminine friendships and a forbidden romance. For fans of The ToymakersCaraval and The Bear and the Nightingale.

There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.

When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.

But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.

My Musings

The Nutcracker meets Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia is this beguiling wintry fairytale from M.A. Kuzniar. Whether it’s the twinkling Tchaikovsky soundtrack, the magical nostalgia of seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes or the curiously enchanted sugar plum fairies and Mouse Kings, there is just something ensorcelling about the tale of the Nutcracker in all of its numerous variations.

Whilst I’ve seen the Nutcracker ballet several times, I haven’t read the original tale of The Nutcracker and The Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman so cannot offer comparisons of Midnight in Everwood to the original telling of the tale. In spite of this, I was still equally blown away as to how Kuzniar has taken the most magical elements of this charming story and breathed fresh life and purpose into her reimagining.

I’m a huge fan of novels which craft a world I can imagine leaping into with my ‘literary worlds passport’ and the world-building in this novel is so on point, it’s exquisite! From frozen sugar castles, moose pulled sleighs, miniature reindeers, marzipan alleyways and ballet stage sets with mechanical moving mice, the whole creation of Everwood appealed to every single sense in my body. There was so much attention to detail in everything from what the characters ate to the elaborate costumes they wore to balls. Kuzniar’s language and descriptions were an absolute confectionary delight of storytelling which is one of the main reasons I had to give this book 5/5 stars.

The characters are truly endearing. Mariette starts off as a determined yet naive society girl who just wants to dance rather than settle down into an arranged marriage. Upon her arrival in Everwood, she gets beguiled by all of the enchantments and possibilities of that new world. When the rose-tinted glow of that kingdom finally wears off and she develops strong friendships with Dellara and Pirlipata, Mariette emerges as a fierce, confident woman who has the courage to stand up for what she believes in and follow her dreams.

Dr. Drosselmeier appears as the perfect sinister, morally grey villain. He tries so hard to ensnare her into his magical world, yet ends up providing her with the exact tools and experiences she needs to overcome him. His parody within the world of Everwood keeps you guessing as to whether his character resides within that magical world or if he is just the great orchestrator from the outside.

Captain Legat offers up the forbidden romance element of the novel and I was totally there for it! I loved all of his and Mariette’s interactions. I also liked the way he was able to stand up and be recognised as his own character within the story and even though it fell slightly into the ‘trope/predictable’ element of fantasy romances, there was certainly nothing wrong with a little indulgence.

Mariette’s friendships with Dellara and Pirlipata showcased strong females and added to the vibes of women overcoming the dominance of patriarchal suppression. This was a classic case of women uplifting other women and I really like how Kuzniar has paved the way for these characters to take up stories of their own in possible companion novels.

With background references to the suffragette movement and forbidden homosexuality in Edwardian England, Kuzniar does well to address these issues whilst keeping the narratives of the main characters as the focus in the plot.

Every little thing in this novel points to the small yet highly significant details. The deeper I look within this story and the more I research around the original tale and its ballet heritage, the more symbols, foreshadowings and allusions I pick up about how much work has gone into this masterful creation and reader, I wholly appreciate it!

Even the naming of these characters was special with Mariette linking back to the original character of Marie, whilst also sounding like a marionette. As Mariette is forced to dance for the evil King Gelum, I couldn’t help but think of her as a puppet or as the girl from the Anderson fairytale The Red Shoes. Dellara’s fairylike symbolism can be seen to take it’s influences from Antonietta Dell’Era, the original Sugar Plum Fairy. Even Captain Legat could be a reference to the Russian principal dancer Nikolai Gustavovich Legat. These are the kind of references that I absolutely live for in fiction and Kuzniar has done such a stellar job at weaving all of these references into her ode to the world of The Nutcracker.

I could probably wax lyrical about this book for ages and I’m sure there are a multitude of little pop culture / ballet references which I am yet to discover. Either way, this is truly a spectacular work of fiction. Kuzniar has taken the basis of a much loved winter fairytale and turned it into her own magical world brimming full of stories and adventure. Needless to say, if you’re a fan of the Nutcracker then you’ll probably adore this book just as much as me. However, if you’re also a fan of the types of adventures where characters visit strange, new worlds, such as Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia then add this extraordinary, enchanting novel to your list – it may well become a new favourite!

Why Should I Read This?

For the incredible attention to detail in each and every page. This is a purposefully thought-through tale which shows how much of a beloved story and world this is to the author.
For the amazing world-building which I could have literally eaten off the page; this really deserves to be one of those scratch-and-sniff books!
For the perfect wintry fairytale to set you up for the forthcoming festive season.

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads | Author’s Instagram | Author’s Website

Connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

Biblioshelf Musings – The Violent Season by Sara Walters

Hey Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings are about The Violent Season by Sara Walters. I first heard about this book through the SourceBooks Fire newsletter. They included a brief sampler and after reading the blurb and the first chapter or so I requested an eARC through Netgalley which was thankfully approved!
Huge thanks to NetGalley, Sara Walters and the publishers SourceBooks Fire for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.


Book: The Violent Season by Sara Walters
Genre: YA / Thriller
Publication Date: October 5th 2021
Publisher: SourceBooks Fire
Pages: 320
Rating: 📚📚📚📖

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

An unputdownable debut about a town marred by violence, a girl ruined by grief, and the harsh reality about what makes people decide to hurt each other. The Violent Season is a searing, unforgettable, and thrilling novel that belongs on shelf with Sadie and Girl in Pieces.

Every November, the people in Wolf Ridge are overwhelmed with a hunger for violence–at least that’s the town rumor. Last fall Wyatt Green’s mother was brutally murdered, convincing Wyatt that this yearning isn’t morbid urban legend, but rather a palpable force infecting her neighbors.

This year, Wyatt fears the call of violence has spread to her best friend Cash–who also happens to be the guy she can’t stop wanting no matter how much he hurts her. At the same time, she’s drawn to Cash’s nemesis Porter, now that they’re partners on an ambitious project for lit class. When Wyatt pulls away from Cash, and spends more time with Porter, she learns secrets about both of them she can’t forget.

And as the truth about her mother’s death begins to emerge from the shadows, Wyatt is faced with a series of hard realities about the people she trusts the most, rethinking everything she believes about what makes people decide to hurt each other.

My Musings

When I first heard about this book, it sounded like an eclectic mix of The Purge mixed with a science-fiction worthy violence-virus which infected a town each November leaving a lot of devastation in it’s wake. In truth, the main focus of this book is really about the emotions and trauma we feel when we experience pain, hurt and suffering at the hands of the people we love, or even ourselves.

This novel definitely earns it’s place amongst the thriller section of the YA genre. We are led on a spiral of events and revelations which keep twisting and turning as the novel progresses. I kept coming up with little theories about who did what or which characters I could trust but then as the plot got deeper I found myself constantly changing my mind! The pace kept me on my toes right up until the very final pages and the ending left me with with a haunting sense of foreboding which is perfectly in-keeping with the upcoming spooky season.

As the leading character, the story is told through Wyatt’s perspective and everything that happens in the story we witness simultaneously through her eyes, emotions and actions. This made her narrative particularly powerful to me as the pain and suffering she experiences comes across so raw, brutal and honest. Some of the things that her character went through made me feel for her and at times I just had to stop and think about how some of these things are the harsh reality of life for people all over the world.

In places, you experience the flip-flopping of Wyatt’s personas – from that tough-girl stance of self-belief and personal empowerment, to the crippling feelings of anxiety and doubt that you put on yourself when you’re facing inner turmoil. Walters’ writing really communicated those feelings of suffering strongly enough to make me consciously feel them.

In some ways, Wyatt almost takes on the role of unreliable narrator too, which may seem odd given that I’ve just described her perspective as brutally honest – however… Wyatt’s recollection of her Mother’s death is hazy and some parts of it have been blocked out of her mind completely. As she gradually begins to remember more and and reconnect those lost memories, we also start to find out how she genuinely believes that there is some strange and mysterious sickness causing the season of violence each November. On the one hand you want to believe her, but then on the other hand – some part of you starts to doubt whether she’s not just creating a false narrative because she can’t bear the actual reality of the truth. The depth of Wyatt’s character is so wide that I think it’s the part of this book that I liked the most.

The relationship between Wyatt and Cash takes many turns during the course of the plot. I feel it’s safe to say that this is an extremely harmful relationship which comes with several trigger warnings. This is countered slightly through Wyatt’s reconnection with Porter who, although has secrets of his own, forms as the counter to Cash.

The Violent Season is a powerful standalone thriller which transforms an urban legend into the harrowing reality of just how deeply grief, trauma and violence can affect a person, especially when it is dealt out by the ones we love the most.

Why Should I Read This?

For a slightly unreliable yet brutally honest main character who transports you from her deepest pit of pain to a place of self-love and empowerment.
For the nod to Great Gatsby in the middle of the book.
For an interesting concept of how violence can be construed as a sickness.

Read a sampler:

You can read an excerpt of this book here: https://read.sourcebooks.com/fire-a-violent-season-excerpt

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads | Author’s Website

Connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

#SixforSunday – Favourite Books by Non-White Authors

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

October is bringing us a brand new theme for Six for Sunday and this month is all about Celebrating Diverse Voices to tie in with Black History Month in the UK.

Our first prompt is to discuss our favourite books by black authors. This year I’ve been actively trying to read more diversely and I’m going to be totally honest here – the thought of upsetting or disrespecting someone’s heritage completely frightens me. I’m reluctant to refer to someone as black if they prefer to identify themselves differently and it would horrify me to misrepresent somebody; that’s never, ever an intention of mine. So with that in mind and in the hope of celebrating all diverse voices, I’m slightly shifting this prompt to discuss my favourite 2021 reads from writers who are not white.

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. October’s theme is ‘Celebrating Diverse Voices’. 


Favourite Books by People of Colour

Any hyperlinks below take you to some of my reviews for the above reads!

  1. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
  2. Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
  3. Can You Sign My Tentacle? by Brandon O’Brien
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  5. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
  6. Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap [Review to come soon]

As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

The Wrap – September 2021

Howdy Bibliofriends!

September definitely felt like a ‘blink and you’ll miss it moment’ – seriously where has that month gone?! Although the pace was fast, looking back on it there were actually so many things that happened: the return of the Magical Readathon, starting my new job at a new school and our first stable yard Open Day (post-pandemic restrictions). Overall, this September seems to be the most positive month I’ve had in ages filled with lots of wonderful times! ☺️

We’re off to see the James Bond film tonight and I’m so excited!! I also have a new Audible subscription so please send recs of audiobooks as I’m totally procrastinating on what to get with my 2 free credits – HELP! 😂🙈

Life Update

Starting at my new school has been so wonderful and such a breath of fresh air after all of the work related problems from the past couple of years. I am actually loving my job again and it’s brought about a whole new energy which I’ve really been missing. Even friends have commented and said I seem like a much more positive person nowadays! 😂 I guess it’s pretty amazing what a change of scenery and a reduction of toxicity can do for your personality!

For the first time in about two years we were able to hold our annual Open Day at the stable yard I’m a part of. It was so nice to have visitors around the yard again and show them our fabulous horses and facilities. So far, this is our best season yet as we’ve had more winners already than ever before with the biggest part of the jumps racing season still ahead of us. The good vibes are in full flow at the minute, long may it continue!

I was so happy to see the return of the Magical Readathon hosted by Book Roast! I loved it back in it’s HP form but G has really pulled out all of the stops to make this bigger, better and more unique than ever before. You can read my original TBR below or scroll down to the What I’ve Been Reading section to find out more!

The rest of this Wrap Post follows my usual format (Past Reads, Current Reads, Upcoming Reads, Films/TV, Music/Podcasts, Pokemon Go) so feel free to skip any irrelevant parts!


What I’ve Been Reading

Having a readathon definitely helps my drive and determination to try and plough through the books – I think is probably my best reading month of the year so far. Despite only needing to fulfil two prompts to ‘pass’ the readathon, I always try to pick something for every prompt just in case I change my mind on the book I want to read, I’m such a mood reader at times! I’m going to write a proper wrap post for the Magical Readathon soon to go back over the prompts and challenges etc. but for now, here’s what I read in September:

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This book was so much fun and the perfect ‘end of school holidays’ distraction that I needed!

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I finally started the Percy Jackson series! Greek mythology is one of my favourites so I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to it. I loved the way Riordan blended ancient Gods and contemporary worlds together. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
It took me ages to finish this behemoth of an audiobook (clocking in at 19hrs long) and I’ve decided audio is definitely the way forward for me in terms of reading more of Murakami’s works. I much preferred Kafka to The Wind Up Bird Chronicle as I think I had a bit more of an understanding as to what was actually happening! Nakata’s character was adorable and the loved the speculative, magical-realism element the book had.

The Violent Season by Sara Walters (eARC)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Violent Season comes out into the world next week! I was fortunate to get an eARC of it via Netgalley. The story revolves around a sleepy little town called Wolf Ridge where every November a strange sickness takes over the town’s residents and it turns into the season of violence (hence the title). I thought it would have paranormal / The Purge style vibes but this wasn’t quite the case. It was still an enjoyable read though. Review to come next week!

You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I think this was probably my favourite read of the whole month! I listened to it on audio with narration by Julia Whelan and it had me both laughing and crying at different points! Sometimes a book just comes along for you at the right time and it becomes everything you needed in that moment – You and Me on Vacation was exactly that. I’m turning into such a fan of Emily Henry’s writing, she creates some endearing characters and storylines. You can check out my spoiler-free review here.

Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Never Have I Ever is a short story collection from Isabel Yap and is based on Filipino folktales, myths and legends. I first came across the book on the Book Riot SFF Yeah! podcast and remember having to wait weeks for it to arrive from Bookshop.org as it had to be ordered direct from the supplier. I’ve always been intrigued by mythologies and tales from different cultures. Yap has a superb writing style which mixes threads from fantasy, speculative and magical-realism genres with contemporary vibes for modern readers. It’s a remarkable anthology and definitely got me in the spooky Halloween spirit!

#CurrentlyReading

As it was only £4.99, I completely caved and purchased the audiobook of Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer. I was determined not to continue anything to do with the Twilight series as I read it so long ago but curiosity (and my love of bargains!) got the better of me! I can’t believe it’s over 24 hours long and I must confess that I’ve had to crank the speed up to 1.5x because Edward’s narration is a little drawn out in places. I’m loving the background into the Cullen family so far.

In a bid to try and ‘read it before you see it’ I’ve recently started Dune by Frank Herbert in the hope I can finish it before the film comes out in cinemas later this month. At over 500 pages and tilted more into the Sci-Fi part of the SFF genre, I was a little apprehensive at first but now I’m about 200 pages in and loving it. Now I have majorly high expectations for the movie! 😂

Upcoming Reads

My book haul this month is making me so excited about my upcoming reads! I got the Illumicrate edition of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff which is so stunning – the sprayed edges, the pearlescent hardback… it’s so gorgeous I almost don’t want to read it. (if that makes any sense?!)

I’ve also got some pretty cool ARCs on Netgalley and the release dates are fast looming so I’m keen to make my way through those pretty soon:
Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar – publication date: 28th October
The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl – publication date: 2nd November
Swashbucklers by Dan Hanks – publication date: 9th November
A Three Dog Problem by SJ Bennett (Book 2 of the HM the Queen Investigates sereis) – publication date 11th November

What I’ve Been Watching

TV this month has been all about Grey’s Anatomy (again!) – it’s one of my all-time favourite series so I’ve been binging my backlog including Seasons 14, 15 and 16 and I’m now trying to rapidly make my way through Season 17 before it disappears from Sky later this month. Season 16, episode 16 (Leave a Light On) had me bawling my eyes out! In one way I’m so angry and gutted that the storyline had to go in that direction but what the writers did with it was so sentimental and just felt so right for that particular character that even though I don’t like it, it’s pretty perfect really.

Money Heist is back!! I can’t believe I got to the end of the 5th episode and then have to wait another few months for the second part of the season! Another cliffhanger/resolution/ending which made me grab the tissues. I get so sucked in to these TV programmes! 😂

Has anyone seen The Chair on Netflix with Sandra Oh? It’s on my watchlist but I haven’t started it yet.

Cinema movies this month have been:
Free Guy (LOVED IT!)
Respect – Aretha Franklin biopic (I never knew how turbulent her life was)
Shang Chi and the Ten Rings (the dragon scenes were epic)
The Many Saints of Newark (Sopranos prequel film)

Pokemon Go Update

I’ve definitely lost a bit of interest in the game since school started again. I basically leave my house at 7.15am and don’t return until 6.30pm so with the nights drawing in and the weather definitely turning more autumnal by the second, I’m not able to get out and play as much as I used to. The Fashion Week event was quite fun but it was a real sprint to the line to make sure I found all of the Fashion Challengers to battle for the Timed Research. I did manage to get a hundo Chansey and a hundo Furfrou out of it though.

September’s Shiny Haul
Lugia (finally!)
Oshawott (and all it’s evolutions on Comm Day)
Galarian Meowth (spotlight hour – I was so happy to see this guy!)

My Trainer Code: If any fellow Pogo players want to add me, my trainer code is: 8327 7170 2277


And that’s a wrap! How was your September? Are you heading into Autumn or is your weather still sunny and warm? I’m totally feeling the spooky vibes of Halloween and the witching season so feel free to send some bookish recommendations my way! What are you all looking forward to reading in October?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag

Happy Thursday Bibliofriends,

The weekend is almost upon us which means it’s time for another little Book Tag! I found this Seven Deadly Sins tag over at What’s That Mark’s Reading!? and as a fan of all things fairly strange and occult, I knew I had to take a little pop at it.


GREED: What is the most expensive book you own? What is the least expensive book you own? 

Most expensive: I have no idea what my most expensive book is! As an Illumicrate and FairyLoot subscriber I’ve been getting a lot of signed first editions and special editions of books so it may be one of those. I also have a First Edition of a Harry Potter book but I don’t think it’s one of the ones that are worth thousands.

Least expensive: I have a number of paperbacks that neither eBay, Music Magpie or Ziffit wants to pay for so I guess at the moment they’re the least expensive ones!

GLUTTONY: What book(s) have you shamelessly devoured many times? 

The Harry Potter books – I can just keep rereading them and never get bored of them!

SLOTH: What book or series have you neglected out of sheer laziness? 

I don’t think I’ve ever neglected a book or series out of laziness. Actually, I lie – I have kind of neglected She Who Became the Sun as I just found the pace to be a little slow. I’m hoping to pick it up again soon though, it’s definitely a book I want to finish.  

PRIDE: What book(s) do you bring up when you want to sound like an intellectual reader? 

I think I turn to the non-fiction when I want to sound intelligent so it’ll probably be Atomic Habits by James Clear. It was full of so many practical tips about how to encourage building up positive habits to make your lifestyle more effective. I have a little review here.

LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in your characters? 

I adore those complex, morally-grey type characters when you can’t work out whether they’re a hero or villain. That’s why Severus Snape is one of my all-time favourite literary characters, I even have a book called The Great Snape Debate which came out before the finale of the books – one side argued for the hero, the flipside argued for the villain. Those complexities and depth seem to add mysticism and depth which outright heroes just don’t quite conjure up for me.

ENVY: What books would you most like to receive as a gift? 

I literally adore any bookish gift. I think it’s really nice when friends pick out a book for you that they think you’ll really like and may not have bought for yourself. You can find completely undiscovered treasures that way. My Nan once bought me a copy of The Shadow of the Wind as a gift and I had never heard of the book or the author – Zafon immediately became one of favourite authors and I own multiple copies of his works.

WRATH: What author do you have a love-hate relationship with?

I don’t think I can really answer this one?! Perhaps maybe Murakami, his works are so ingenious and enchanting. I love all of their peculiar curiosities but I do find them pretty damn difficult to read and understand! 😂


That’s a wrap! What are your favourite Deadly Sins? Consider yourself TAGGED if you fancy like giving this one a go.

As always, drop me a comment below to chat!
T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry

Hello Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings is You and Me on Vacation (People We Meet On Vacation) by Emily Henry.

I remember falling head over heels with Beach Read when it first came out. Emily’s writing style and main characters had me swept so far away on that Lake Michigan beach, that when the audiobook for You and Me on Vacation was on iBooks for £4.99 I just had to hit that download button!


Book: You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry (Audiobook narrated by: Julia Whelan)
Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / Romance)
Publication Date: May 2021
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Pages: 368 (Audiobook: 10hr 45min)
Rating: 📚📚📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

My Musings

Sometimes we all need a little respite in the form of some contemporary romance and You And Me On Vacation brought me that respite in buckets. Reader, this book ‘speaks to me’ 😉 – on so many levels!

As a girl who reads predominantly SFF, I don’t know what kind of bookish chemical equations Emily Henry conjures up but she’s fast becoming a part of the romance genre that I actually like. From the realistic characters and the wish-you-were-here locations, to the plot lines that just keep me begging for more – I ate up every single word that Alex and Poppy gave me in this audiobook.

As far as two main characters go, Poppy and Alex’s friendship was so believable. They’re the BFFs that often get mistaken for a real-life couple and that throws the usual obstacles in their way with families and prospective partners. They are so genuine together and I found both characters extremely likeable. I enjoyed the way we found out about each friend’s history from the other friend’s perspective. It really allows you to see them through each other’s eyes. They just get each other! Their nuances, quirks, likes, pet hates… they are so completely in-sync with each other’s existence whilst at the same time both appearing to be completely blind to what is right in front of them. I must admit, I did find myself wondering whether I skipped the bit of the audiobook where they initially friend-zoned each other but ultimately this didn’t really matter as the novel went on. As an English Teacher and aspiring writer, Alex reminded me slightly of Gus from Beach Read so I liked the continuity of literary-loving characters throughout Henry’s books.

The structuring of the story was quite well done. With constant flashbacks to previous summers and the trips Poppy and Alex had taken, interspersed with the up-to-date ‘this summer’ happenings – we get a breadcrumb trail of clues to try and work out what the catastrophic event that caused these two steadfast friends to go their separate ways. All the time this happened, I kept internally screaming to myself, “what the hell happened in Croatia?!” I enjoyed trying to piece together the story in my head and whilst some things were entirely predictable, the anecdotes from each summer trip were filled with little twists and comedy moments.

As a travel enthusiast whose trip to Peru was kiboshed by the pandemic, Poppy and Alex’s trips to different destinations across the world helped me to fill up that little travel void ever so slightly. This shift in setting destination was definitely an element of the story which I thoroughly enjoyed.

All in all, You and Me on Vacation gave me everything I was looking for, hence the 5* rating – for me, it’s faultless. On some small level, Poppy and Alex’s story is a little relatable to my life – their predicaments were ones I could relate to and find solace in, which is probably why it resonated with me so much. Yes, some parts of the story are predictable and at times inevitable, but the journey to the ending wasn’t a straightforward path. The resolution was uplifting and satisfying whilst remaining both practical yet realistic (compared to the usual happily ever afters you sometimes get).

If you loved Beach Read, enjoy travelling the world through literary characters, or you’re just looking for a soul-clenching, heartwarming story of true love and devotion then give You and Me on Vacation a go – it just might ‘speak to you’ too.

Why Should I Read This?

For the breadcrumb plot line of summer flashbacks.
For the chemistry and charisma between two loveable main characters.
For the Flannery O’Conner side stories! 😸

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Waterstones | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Author’s Website |

Connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf | Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com