Pokémon Go Book Tag

Hey friends,

So whilst on Lockdown I managed to great an amazing deal on Now TV for the Sky Cinema Pass – 2 months for £2 – I could not resist at all and it’s almost the best £2 I ever spent! There must be hundreds of movies on there waiting to be watched!

I have just finished watching Pokémon: Detective Pikachu and cannot tell you how much I want to live inside that film right now. Ryme City is awesome!! I’ve been a mahoosive Pokémon fan since the good old days of the GameBoy Colour and after watching the film I immediately had to start looking for a Pokémon Book Tag out there in the blogosphere!

Thankfully, Aentee over at the Read at Midnight blog created this brilliant tag to celebrate Pokémon Go so I decided to participate. All of the graphics have been magpied from her blog (thanks 🙂).


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I would always pick the water pokemon at the start of every game. I always seemed to get along better with them than the Fire and Grass types.
Roald Dahl, being one of the best storytellers of all time, definitely kick started my love for reading. My parents would always read to me at bedtime and my Grandad would always buy me books when we went to the car boot sale. The BFG and The Witches were particular favourites!

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Pride and Prejudice is such an iconic classic that I enjoy but the classic that really has a place in my heart would have to be Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. I remember reading it whilst I was on holiday and surprised myself by devouring the whole thing.

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Dare I say it but… ACOTAR?! The ending of Wings and Ruin obliterated me, followed by the ending of Kingdom and Ash and that little cameo (y’all know the one I mean 😉), I think I’m just ruined by it. I haven’t even read A Court of Frost and Starlight yet, let alone wait for the Nesta novel that now supposedly has a release date. I love my Maas and always will but for now, I think me and ACOTAR are taking a little time apart…

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I have recently finished Clockwork Prince for the OWLs Magical Readathon and could not help but be reminded of The Mortal Instruments series all the way through it. I have been trustingly convinced that it’s worth sticking with but I think the similarities between them may prevent me from loving it as much as the hype suggests.

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I remember back in 2013, I saw a TV interview on the BBC where they interviewed a debut author and raved about how her 7 book series had already had the movie rights procured even though the debut had not been released yet. That author was Samantha Shannon. I own a copy of The Bone Season but am yet to start it – or The Priory of the Orange Tree for that matter. I know that I should just get started on reading it but I just hope it isn’t 2059 before either I get round to it or the series gets completed!

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Admittedly, I didn’t jump on the Robert Galbraith bandwagon until it had been ‘leaked’ online that it was really the pen name of J.K Rowling. That being said, Lethal White (one of my last 5 star reads) definitely kept me up all night long. Sleep became secondary to my need to just…keep…reading…that…book…!

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Back to the world of Maas for this. Undeniably Rhysand and Feyre were more divinely matched than even Romeo and but my all-time favourite bookish OTP champions are Manon Blackbeak and Dorian Havilliard – now that is the spin-off Maas novel that I need!

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Initially I struggled to find something as fire-hot and fast-paced as the beauty that is Rapidash, however a quick scroll through my ‘read’ shelf and the answer blasted into my face. The Illuminae Files were completely different to anything else I have ever read and I think AIDAN could definitely put Ponyta and Rapidash through their paces.

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You know that saying as you exit the wand shop at Warner Brothers Studio…

“The stories we love best do live in us forever so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

– J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter – forever carved into my soul – will always be a series that no matter how many spin-offs, fan-fiction stories, sequels, prequels, stage plays, film scripts, illustrated versions, translations or gods damned House Editions they bring out… I will want to own every single one. Always 💙

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was a book that I can’t even remember why I bought it in the first place. That being said, when I did read it back in 2018, I was so shocked how surprisingly awesome it was and that I loved it so much. It called out to the inner geek in me and is probably one of my favourite novels of all time.

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I’ve been meaning to do a re-read of all the Throne of Glass novels and novellas for a while but am waiting for that right block of headspace as I know it will consume me and my brain won’t be able to concentrate on anything else. Asides from that, two hyped up series that I am still excited to get started on are the Nevernight series and the Shades of Magic series.

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Imagine having a handwritten, signed and jewelled collector’s edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard…? Whilst I don’t have hundreds of thousands of pounds to have bought the one her publisher sold why would you?! if that was on my bookshelves I think I’d sit and stare at it all day long.

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In June Kester Grant is publishing her debut novel ‘The Court of Miracles’. Billed as a ‘Les Mis meets Six of Crows’ I am ecstatically awaiting this release!

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There are far too many amazing authors out there to pick just one but my top auto-buys are: Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Sarah J Maas.

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Two books from the Wizarding World I really wish would get written is The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore or Hogwarts, A History. It would be so cool if these came to life in the real world. However, if they weren’t an option then I would have to choose a quietly known little series called The Magicians of Venice by Amy Kuivalainen. I read The Immortal City through NetGalley last year and loved it! It is billed as a series but so far there hasn’t been any news on a sequel – I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!


There we have it – it was so much fun to do this tag and celebrate my love for Pokemon and books together so huge thanks again to Aentee over at the Read at Midnight Blog.

Tag yourselves if you want to join in and have fun! What answers would you choose? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Six For Sunday – Books on my TBR because of someone else’s recommendation

Happy Sunday everyone!

I hope you have been having a good week wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. This week has left me particularly exhausted so I was really glad for the weekend to be here as it has given me a chance to slow down, take a breath and try and finish my books for the OWLs Magical Readathon! I’ve been participating with two friends which has been brilliant motivation to try and stick with the TBR I set myself. I’ve also been making sure to catch up with other friends which resulted in a 2 hour WhatsApp video call on Saturday morning! We clearly needed it to chat through all that has been going on!

Speaking of friends, this week’s Six for Sunday is all about the books on my TBR because of someone else’s recommendation and these have all come from my nearest and dearest book lovers. For those who don’t already knowSix for Sunday is a weekly list-based meme created by Steph @ALittleButALot and has a different weekly prompt based on a monthly theme. All synopses from Goodreads.


Dune by Frank Herbert

Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the ‘spice’ melange, the most important and valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis.

This book was gifted to me for Christmas by one of my friends called Phil. We all co-host a Film Club together where we live and he often gets me books to bring out the inner sci-fi fan in me. As this is coming to movie theatres very soon, or was until Covid-19 hit, I definitely think I want to read it before it comes out in the cinemas.

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant [pre-order]

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

My friend and fellow Potterhead @Megalynreads (stop by on Twitter and say hello) suggested this book in our reading group. With a love for fantasy and musicals this ‘Les Mis meets Six of Crows’ retelling went straight onto the pre-order pile. It’s released in June this year and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

I know this book has good standing in the bookish community but it is one I simply have not got around to reading. When our teaching WhatsApp group shared their reads during lockdown, one of my fellow teachers recommended that I should pick it up soon and also suggested the audiobook as well.

Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own?

Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.

This is another Phil recommendation which he also gifted to me – we often have arguments disagreements about artificial intelligence so I think this is part of his plot to turn me into a robot sympathiser – gotta say though, after recently finishing Clockwork Prince I’m not sure I’m going to be on the side of the robots any time soon!

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’
People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?
You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.
It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.
And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…

Another one of my friends Stephen absolutely loves Terry Pratchett and as this is a crossover between him and one of my all-time favourite authors, Neil Gaiman, then I couldn’t resist downloading this on audiobook when it came up on special offer in the iBooks store.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

Hannah, one of my longest friends and fellow Potterhead (and sister of Megalynreads) suggested this series to me. I think I set her off on the Sarah J Maas train so after sharing our love of all things Rowling (therefore by proxy Robert Galbraith) she though I’d really enjoy this series so I can’t wait to get started on them too!


That brings me to the end of this week’s Six For Sunday. Have you read any of these? Which one should I get started with first? Feel free to share your own Six For Sunday links below for me to check out.

Have a good week everyone. Stay safe!

T xx

Friday 56 – The Beholder

Happy Friday everyone!

In these times where we’re spending most of our days at home and they all seem to melt into one, I definitely have that Friday feeling! As I’m a school teacher I’m both going in to school to look after key worker children and working from home on the days that I don’t,  so I am glad that the weekend is finally here!

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


This week’s Friday 56 comes from The Beholder by Anna Bright. I started reading this book to complete my Defence Against the Dark Arts exam for the OWLs Magical Readathon 2020 – it seemed to fit the prompt for a book set on the sea or at the coast.

Typically, page 56 is blank so as I’m not 56% of the way through yet, I picked out this quote to share with you.

Carved into the prow of one of the ships was a girl. Her long arms were flung wide, fingers splayed, and apples and olive branches rippled like hair around her shoulders. Sinuous carvings like ocean waves hinted at a flowing gown, with high-heeled shoes visible beneath, but she was ready for battle: a sword and a bow and arrow were crossed over her chest. Her face was blank but for enormous stars etched where eyes, ears and a mouth would be.

It’s a rather long one but I just love the description of the ship and the cover illustration fits this perfectly. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting it finished this weekend!

To find out a little more about The Beholder, you can find it here on Goodreads.


Are any of you taking part in the Magical Readathon? How many exams have you got left and do you think you’ll finish?

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, happy reading everyone and stay safe this weekend! 🙂

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings: A Heart So Fierce and Broken

Howdy y’all!

I’m starting off with what may be a slight ‘unpopular opinion alert’ but after reading A Heart So Dark and Lonely last year, I was not 100% sure whether I wanted to continue with the Cursebreakers series. The first book had so much hype surrounding it and was hailed as one of the best Beauty and the Beast retellings of all time. As much as I enjoyed reading ACSDAL, I clearly wasn’t as blown away by it as everyone else. Don’t get me wrong it was a highly enjoyable read but perhaps I just love the original tales too much.

That being said, when I saw the sequel advertised on Amazon as part of their 2 for £7 deal (a steal!) I could not resist buying it to see what happened to Rhen and Harper!
The narrative and focus of the tale moving away from Rharper/Harpen onto Grey and a completely new character called Lia Mara didn’t entirely appeal to me at first (another thing which stopped me from putting it on auto pre-order), but when the prompts for the OWLs Magical Readathon 2020 were revealed and Ancient Runes was to read something with a heart in the title or on the cover then this was my immediate pick. 💚


Book: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Publication Date: 7th January 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 450
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Whilst there are no major plot spoilers ahead for AHSFAB, there will need to be a little bit of discussion as to my thoughts on where this story is going so bear that in mind if you haven’t already read this book or series (which tbh I think you should!!).

The Unanswered Story Strands
From the off it felt so good to be back in the world of Emberfall and pick up essentially where the story left off. The curveball twist of an ending from book 1 needed to be played out as many strands had been left unanswered: Lilith, the mystery heir, Syl Shallow’s forces descending on Emberfall, the ‘Disi/D.C.’ sham…
I really like Brigid’s writing style and feel that she has hit the balance between detail, pace and storytelling so that I could allow myself to get lost in the vortex of the story without having to overthink or reread paragraphs just to keep up with what was going on.

New Character Alert
Usually, I’m not a fan of main character introductions part way through a series; I like to see a full, well-developed character arc, however I was pleasantly surprised by Lia Mara. She is smart, clever and definitely no wallflower. She added a really down-to-earth yet vibrant dynamic which counterbalanced Grey’s personality really well. Although the ‘main plot’ thread of the story seemed to move a little slowly to make room for this, I did not mind in the slightest as it enabled us to fully understand these main characters’ backgrounds and motivations. As Lia Mara’s story unfolded alongside Grey’s, my initial worries went out the window and I became totally invested in their relationship; in fact, I think I even prefer them to Rhen and Harper! [Side-note: I know the ages don’t match up at all, but I can’t help but visualise Grey as Michael Fassbender…anyone else?!]

Is It Really That Complicated?
As I touched on above, the whole point of this novel seems to revolve around Rhen trying to discover the identity of the mysterious other heir to Emberfall and Grey trying to hide the fact that it’s him. In my head, surely their relationship wasn’t that bad that they couldn’t have chatted about this and worked it out between them…? They could have been co-rulers or Rhen could politically shape the kingdom and Grey could focus on the military side of things…? My brain just doesn’t see why this had to be the massive problem that it turned out to be; it’s like when you’re watching a TV programme and you think to yourself ‘there’s no way that would happen like that” – anyway that’s how it did happen yet I was hooked with my reading and carried on with the plot regardless.

If anyone is interested, my prediction theory for Cursebreakers #3 is: (aside from any shockingly twisty main character deaths) Rhen and Harper rule Emberfall, Grey and Lia Mara rule over Syl Shallow; together they unite their countries in some sort of alliance then everyone has world peace and lives happily ever after…!

We Need To Talk About Scravers
Can we just take a minute to talk about the incredible creature creation ‘scravers’?! For me these are the coolest things to come out of this book. I really enjoyed Isaak’s character and loved his little curiosities and mysteriousness. It feels like there is a whole other backstory here that we need to explore and I really really hope that this comes out in Cursebreakers #3 otherwise I’m going to need a novella or a side-series or something!

And finally…
All in all, I am so glad that I took a punt and carried on with this series. Despite the epilogue, which is a little ‘trope-y’ for my liking although I see why it had to happen, I thoroughly enjoy Brigid’s writing style, characters and the world she’s created. They really got me invested into the series again. Cursebreakers #3 – A Vow So Bold and Deadly is definitely going to be on auto-preorder because I need to find out if my theory about how this resolves itself is correct – and I need to find out what happens to Isaak!

My finishing thought is a little insight into how this series fits into my brain…
It’s like the two separated sides of a Victoria Sponge – A Curse So Dark and Lonely was half the sponge and cream; A Heart So Fierce and Broken was the other half of sponge and the jam. Each yummy on their own but… hopefully A Vow So Bold and Deadly is going to put the whole damn scrumptious cake together! Bring it on!


If you have read AHSFAB or wanted to chat about any part of the series or characters, as always drop me a comment below! 🙂

Txx

Biblioshelf Musings about Anna K by Jenny Lee

Hello Biblioshelf friends, ghosts, dust particles, tumbleweed…!
It’s been a while hasn’t it?!

Anyway I particularly wanted to share these Musings with you about the book ‘Anna K’ by Jenny Lee. I received a free copy of this pre-publication through the brilliant website Readers First (which I have discussed a lot before) in exchange for a review. Many thanks to them and the publishers Penguin Random House Children’s. Below is my original review of Anna K which was published on the Readers First website back in March but I’ve updated it slightly here as I couldn’t stop myself feel this is definitely going to be in my Top 10 Books of 2020.

Book: Anna K by Jenny Lee
Genre: YA (Personal and Social Issues – according to Readers First)
Publication Date: 5th March 2020
Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s
Pages: 400
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Anna K Synopsis – from Goodreads
Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather a sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.

As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.

Dazzlingly opulent and emotionally riveting, Anna K.: A Love Storyis a brilliant reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless love story, Anna Karenina―but above all, it is a novel about the dizzying, glorious, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.


Anna K is billed as a Gossip Girls/Crazy Rich Asians rebrand of the classic tale of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I haven’t read Anna Karenina (I don’t know the plot and haven’t seen the movie) 😱, neither have I seen Gossip Girl (also 😱); so it was the sheer vibrancy of the cover and the reference to Crazy Rich Asians which first tempted me to request this book…and it did not disappoint! [Side-note: I had to rewatch Crazy Rich Asians immediately after I finished reading!]

The story is told through several different perspectives (the character list at the start will be your pal in the opening chapters), however once you’re familiar with the who’s who of Anna K’s world, Steven, Lolly, Kimmy, Dustin, Vronsky and Anna rapidly become your literary new best friends. Their narratives are told with a realness and purity that kept me fully engrossed and bothered about what happened to them – I feel like if I travelled to New York (Covid-19 aside…) I would actually bump into them at Grand Central or Greenwich. The rich-kid lifestyles of how the other half live are documented in fantastic detail while retaining a light-hearted sense of humour which made me want to hop into their universe. I don’t quite know how realistic it is, whether the 16/17 year old of NYC’s Rich List really go about their lives this way… but that’s the whole reason we seek escapism in fiction isn’t it?!

Love, in all its forms, is a theme which runs strongly throughout every chapter and this nicely balances out the urban, trendy vibe coming from the city settings. After-all this is a love story, even without knowing the plot of Anna Karenina I know that Tolstoy’s Classic was supposed to a sweeping romantic epic. Jenny Lee has portrayed so many different polarities and shades of love through these chapters and characters, and this is by no-means an exhaustive list;
> there’s the all-consuming ‘love at first sight’
> there’s the love infatuation which apparently is enough to change any ‘player’ into the chivalric ‘knight-in-shining-armour’
> there’s the nitty-gritty ‘you’ve betrayed me but it’s made me love you more’
> there’s ‘I love my animals more than humans at the minute’ love
> there’s ‘redemptive love’ both in relationships and to themselves
> and then there’s Dustin – lovely sweet Dustin!

All in all, Jenny Lee’s take on Anna K, reminded me of a Sex and the City style / coming-of-age tale just perfect for today’s new YA generation. It’s a glittering novel just perfect for getting swept away in and I am super excited that it looks as if it’s going to be made into an HBO TV Series!! More info hereWhilst there might be trigger warnings for drug misuse, animal injury, death of a loved one and mental illness, this novel tackles most of those things in a sensitive way (there’s a fair amount of recreational drug use) but it still is rich with things to love and enjoy. I simply could not get enough of this book!! I consumed it quicker than I would my Cantonese sweet and sour chicken – it was unputdownable!

T xx