Top Ten Books of 2020!

Hello Bibliofriends!

Happy New Years Eve to you all! I don’t know about you but I am so pleased to be saying ‘good riddance’ to 2020 and HELLO 2021! Even without that teeny tiny global pandemic, this year has definitely been a toughie, particularly in the mental health and work department.

In spite of that, this is the first year since 2017 that I’ve actually managed to reach my Goodreads Reading Challenge Goal – hurray for the small wins!

This year I really managed to get my ass in gear on my blog and with Netgalley so some amazing books landed in my reading shaped lap. Surprisingly it wasn’t that difficult for me to sift through and pick out a top 7 books that I loved this year and then it was a little more difficult to try and fill out the remaining 3 spots to make it a top 10 – the pedantic-ness in my brain prevented me from quitting at the Top 7… I mean who ever heard of that? 😂

10. A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

This was a surprisingly enjoyable read for me as I wasn’t expecting to warm to the new narrators after loving Rhen and Harper’s viewpoints so much. Needless to say, I now cannot wait for the final instalment of this series to come out next year especially after reading a sneak peek a short while ago! Read my review here!

9. Romanov by Nadine Brandes

What a magical retelling this was! The sentimentality and personalisation in Anastasia’s character really made me warm for her. The mystery of the Romanovs is one of my favourite historical conspiracies so I was overjoyed that I enjoyed this read so much. Read my review here!

8. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I totally binged this book in a day. After hearing so many brilliant things all over socials it was one of the first books I bought from an ‘in-real-life’ bookshop after lockdown. The intrigue had me turning page after page! Read my review here!

7. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

This book had been on my TBR for ages but the sheer size of it had always been putting me off. Thankfully lockdown gave me a little headspace in order to tackle the tricky narration of Cromwell. I loved the way Mantel characterised Cromwell; it was almost like seeing the historical period through his eyes rather than a 20th century historian’s. Fabulous! Read my review here!

6. My Fence is Electric: and Other Stories by Mark Newman

I was so thrilled to be approached by Odyssey Books to review this collection of short stories by the fabulous Mark Newman. His storytelling was the perfect antidote to the strange times that we were living through and really made me love this genre again. Slightly macabre with a hint of the weird and wonderful I highly recommend this collection! Read my review here!

5. Anna K by Jenny Lee

Crazy Rich Asians meets Sex and the City in this retelling of Anna Karenina. Although I’m not familiar with the tale of Anna Karenina it didn’t matter in the slightest as I was completely engrossed in the messy lives of these teenage New York rich kids! Read my review here!

4. The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott

This eco-fable had me really pondering the impact we humans have on the natural world. The magical elements of the legendary creatures woven into the story certainly appealed to my fantasy loving nature whilst at the same time delivering a powerful message to the reader. Read my review here!

3. Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

It was really refreshing to read a fantasy story rooted in Bolivian folklore and culture. Ximena’s talent with woven animals is one of my favourite magical abilities. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out next year, it’s definitely one of my most anticipated releases for 2021.

2. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

By golly did the opening of this book pitch me straight back in time to 1893 New Salem. I really love a distinctive narrative voice and this is definitely what Alix E. Harrow brought to this tale. The insertion of women’s suffrage and empowerment, a sapphic romance, witchcraft-a-plenty, and the bond between three sisters made this a total 5-star read for me – it blew my mind! Read my review here!

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

If you’ve read any of my posts, lists or tags since October then this should be no surprise that Addie LaRue is my all-time favourite book of 2020. It was the book I didn’t realise I needed in my life. Addie’s story was told so poetically and beautifully and I loved the way Schwab tackled the theme of identity and what happens when you’re not really sure who you are anymore. This book has definitely made its way into my God-Tier of favourite books EVER! I loved it! Read my review here!

That’s a wrap!

Dear 2020,
You’ve been a pretty crap year to be honest – but thank you for bringing so many fabulous reads into our lives. I guess you weren’t all that bad after all!

What were you favourite books of 2020? Did you read anything that you know you’ll treasure for all time?As always, drop me a comment to chat! Thanks for putting up with me this past year. Have a wonderful New Year everybody and enjoy ringing in 2021!

T xx

TTT – Book titles with numbers in them

Hey Bibliofriends,

Another week rolls around again! Downton Abbey is still distracting me, along with a strange addiction to the app game Gardenscapes! 😂 I will get back to reading again at some point… hopefully… wishful thinking?

If you don’t already know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is all about books with numbers in their titles. When I first started thinking of this theme I had a slight panic as I could only think of one book with a number in…! Thank goodness for Goodreads, it definitely came to my rescue in compiling this week’s list. Turns out I’ve read just shy of 20 books with numbers in them (that includes all three Fifty Shades books 🙈), but here are my selections for this week’s TTT.


1984 by George Orwell – it’s a literary classic right…?

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao – Enjoyed it so much, I’m currently reading the sequel.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – This is such a gripping read. I gave it 5⭐️

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I loved this book so so much. It’s so different from anything I’ve read before and will be on my ‘shelf of eternal favouritism’.

Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie – I really like Rushdie’s writing, he has such a unique style and I was lucky enough to meet him at a Literature Festival once.

The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter – Potter’s world of animal tales give me such fond memories of childhood reading.

The Book of Fours by Nancy Holder – I’m a massive Buffy fan and have read lots of the spin-off novels. This one was one of my favourites.

One Day by David Nicholls – This book melted my heart. It was such a page-turner that I think I ended up working all though the night on a university essay because I’d spent all day reading it.

Starter For Ten by David Nicholls – Another Nicholls novel, this one makes the list because I’m such a fan of quiz shows especially University Challenge. It makes me feel slightly cleverer when I get one of the questions right!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling – There had to be one didn’t there…and half is a number right?!


That’s my Top Ten books I’ve read with a number in the title. What would make your list? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

 

TTT – Favourite things to eat/drink whilst reading

Hi Bibliofriends,

TTT was pretty hard work this week, compared to last week’s one. If you don’t already know, TTT is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I don’t tend to eat anything whilst reading. I’m normally always reading a physical book which makes it fairly difficult to eat anything as I’m trying so hard to hold the book up without bending the spine – yes, I’m one of those people…! Also, snackish items that I’d want to eat whilst reading like crisps, chocolate etc. always tend to leave little marks all over the pages which I can’t stand. Therefore, my TTT this week is compiled of drinks only and has been reduced to just 6! As I said, this week’s TTT was hard work!

  • Tea – a good strong brew with a small amount of milk and one sweetner. I’ve weaned myself off having two sugars as I drink so much tea nowadays.
  • Coffee – black with one sweetner. The above note about sugar also applies here.
  • Hot Chocolate – especially in the winter! Galaxy s probably my favourite as I don’t have a proper milk frother and that’s the one that tastes the best when you just add hot water.
  • A Java-Chip Frapuccino from Starbucks – my all-time favourite Starbucks drink ever!
  • Wine – a white sauvignon blanc or any rose, especially when reading in a sunny garden.
  • Gin and Tonic – I don’t need any specific reason to drink one of these!

What do you like to eat and drink whilst reading? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

TTT – Books on my TBR I’m avoiding reading.

Hey Bibliofriends!

Top Ten Tuesday was so easy for me this week! Having such a mammoth TBR list also helps. If you don’t already know, TTT is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. My summer holiday project was to try and finish some of the series that I had already started but hadn’t got around to finishing. I managed to tick off quite a few but there are still a couple left that I have to get through before I want to begin any new ones. Additionally, by finishing some of the more hyped book series earlier this year (Caraval, Throne of Glass and Illuminae), I don’t think I’m entirely ready to put my little bookish heart out there again whilst it is still in recovery mode from these epic endings! Therefore my entire TTT list this week is compiled around the books on my TBR that I’m avoiding as I’m not ready to start a new series yet!


Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Nocturna by Maya Motayne
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Odeyemi
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Beholder by Anna Bright


There we go – ten series which are on my TBR, sat right here next to me as I type…that I am actively avoiding because I’m not ready to start a new series yet. 🙈
Which one do you think I should start with when I finally get around to it? Have you read any of these? What books from your TBR are you side-eyeing and avoiding too? As always drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

TTT – Books outside my comfort zone I actually enjoyed

Hey Bibliofriends!

Top Ten Tuesday this week is all about the books we actually enjoyed which were outside of our comfort zones. If you don’t already know, TTT is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Looking back through my shelves to try and compile this list, it became pretty clear that I don’t tend to read outside of my comfort zone an awful lot nowadays. I wonder if this is one of the contributing reasons the infamous ‘reading slump’ seems to take hold every now and again. Most of my list is made up of compulsory books from reading lists of my English Literature High School and Degree Courses. Perhaps it should be my 2020 resolution to read more widely and get my head out of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy clouds for a while!


The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – I don’t normally tend to read crime fiction or detective novels that much, despite one of my English Literature degree modules being crime fiction 😂. If I’m being perfectly honest, the only reason I picked this up in the first place was because it was J.K. Rowling who wrote it, however I soon grew to love the characters and the story that she wove together and now I am a massive fan of this series.

Walking Home: My Family and Other Rambles by Clare Balding – I was gifted this book by one of my students after telling them that I really wanted to read the new Clare Balding book. They bought me this for Christmas and I didn’t have the heart to tell them that the book I actually meant was her children’s book The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop. Nevertheless, I read it over that holiday and absolutely loved it. The way she merged discussions about walking routes, her experiences with various different groups of people alongside how walking is an outlet/escape from real life was actually quite inspiring and I enjoyed reading it a lot more than I expected to.

The Secret History of the World by Jonathan Black – This book has quite a lot of pages and the font is so tiny that I almost never wanted to put the effort into reading it. At times, all of the esoteric and theological references were a little heavy going too. But when I finally did get into it, it was actually more intriguing and interesting than I’d originally given it credit for.

All My Sons by Arthur Miller – I don’t tend to read playscripts out of choice, other than the Shakespeare plays or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which I saw for the first time last month 🙌), but after reading this once upon a time as part of my school coursework I found that it is actually quite a powerful piece of writing with some really memorable and compelling quotes.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks – I can’t even remember how or why I read this book. All I do remember is that it was a type of storytelling and subject matter that I hadn’t come across before and it was weirdly fascinating to read.

Once in a House on Fire by Andrea Ashworth – This was suggested to me by one of my teachers for a piece of English coursework I was writing. Memoirs are also not really a genre I would typically chose to read, unless it’s either a person or subject matter which really interests me. Ashworth’s writing was so poignant and gripping that I couldn’t put it down and still have my copy on my bookshelf to this day.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks – Yet another one from the days of High School English Literature classes! I don’t read books set in war history from our time but Faulk’s tale moved me to tears.

The Girls by Lori Lansens – When I relocated, this was the first book which I bought from my local bookshop. It is a story about two conjoined twins and how they are on the verge of becoming the oldest living conjoined twins in history. It’s not something I’d normally buy but it was a really endearing tale.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – This book always gives me fond memories of my school days. It’s one of those American classics that I don’t normally go to but I really enjoyed reading it.

Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake – I like reading poetry but sometimes I find it difficult to become a fan of a poet’s whole works. William Blake was the first poet that made me want to read his entire collection. The Songs of Innocence and of Experience are famous for so many lines and references and they definitely contain some of my favourite poems of all time.


Have you read any of these? What books would make it onto your own TTT list this week? As always drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – Things which make me pick up a book

Yoohoo Bibliofriends,

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time again! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly list themed book prompt hosted by Jana @That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was the top ten things which make you pick up a book. Here’s mine!

  • Covers – Now I know there’s that famous saying not to judge books by their covers – but there are some freaking amazing cover design artists out there nowadays that I think we can safely relegate that proverb to the olden days when books were leather bound and cover art was non-existent! I’m such a sucker for a pretty, detailed front cover.
  • Author faves – If there’s an author I like then it’s a dead cert that I’m going to try and read their entire back catalogue. I seem to have developed a go-to list of certain ones including Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Neil Gaiman and J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith.
  • Bookstagram/Goodreads hype – It’s fair to say that if the people I’m following are raving about a certain book and I start to see it all over my feed then curiosity gets the better of me and before you know it, I’ve bought another book to add to the never-ending TBR.
  • Offers – I loved it when Waterstones did their 3 for 2 offer. It seems that Blackwells are the only store that does this now as most places are buy one get one half price. You’d always end up getting the third book just because you were essentially getting it for free. Also sale items / charity shop bargains are winners. I’m forever scouring the shelves at my local charity shops or the reduced sections in bookshops just to find a bargain!
  • Favourite themes – witchcraft/magic/water/enemies-to-lovers/flawed or tragic heroes/fairytale retellings are all guaranteed to make me hit that ‘Want to Read’ button on my Goodrerads account.
  • An exclusive – Cover/chapter/interview/sampler…you name it! The idea of any kind of exclusivity is more than enough to tempt me into picking up a certain read or edition of a novel.
  • Seeing an author at an event – Cheltenham hosts their Literary Festival every October. It’s one of the highlights of my year and I always come away from the 10 days with a whole haul of new books from authors whose events I’ve been to; it’s an additional temptation when they’ve been signed too.
  • A sequel/series – If I love the first novel in a series then it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll have to pick up the next one just to find out what happened next.
  • Reviews – Whether they be online ones from my favourite bloggers or those little comment cards you see in the books shops, be persuasive enough in how much you loved it and I’ll fall for it hook, line and sinker.
  • FreebiesReaders First is a great website for getting free books. You read a first look, submit your first impression then you’re entered into a draw to win a copy of the book to review. For every review you write you get points and points lead to prizes – in this case, more books! I managed to get free copies of To Kill a Kingdom and The Wicked King through this website. It’s pretty awesome!

There we have it. What makes you guys want to pick up a book? Drop me a comment to chat!

Keep reading!

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – Audio Freebie

Happy Tuesday Bibliofriends!

This Top Ten Tuesday was so incredibly difficult for me due to the fact that I rarely listen to audiobooks. I also don’t listen to music when I read as I prefer the quiet (even though SOME PEOPLE in my household clearly don’t understand the fact that when undivided attention is on my book I am therefore unable to read and talk at the same time… *cue the eye-rolling and huffing*)!

For some reason I just feel like it’s cheating and I’m not actually “reading” at all. Also, I find that I tend to forget what happens in the story a lot easier with audiobooks than I do with reading physical books. Yep, I’m one of ‘those people’. Sorry not sorry!

However, more recently I have admittedly been scrolling through the audiobook catalogues in a fit of desperation just to try and give my reading challenge a bit of a boost! I’m already on my second one this year and trust me, that’s a record! So for TTT this week I decided to gather together my own random list of audio things to do with books…

Some musically bookish accompaniments…

10) Harry Potter Soundtrack

Ok, so my thinking here is that I’ve become so in love with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that when I read the books I cannot help but hear the movie soundtrack in my head. The two things have become synonymous with each other in my brain and John Williams is a soundtrack genius!

9) The Lord of the Rings Soundtrack

Likewise with Harry Potter above, there’s just something about the soundtrack of LOTR that sends me immediately back to Middle Earth. For me, Howard Shore really got to the heart of the mash-up between Tolkien’s world and Peter Jackson’s vision.

8) Holst’s Planets Suite

I’m not the biggest classical music aficionado. I rarely get those really hard music questions on University Challenge correct, however Holst’s Planets Suite is one of my favourite pieces of classical music of all-time. It’s probably something to do with the Land of Hope and Glory vibe and I Vow to Thee My Country which are quite patriotic songs here in England. Mind you, if I listened to this whilst I was reading then I would probably be more focused on humming along to the tune than actually reading the words of my book!

7) 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music

This album is perfect to satisfy all of my classical music needs in one go. It’s surprising how many of the tunes are actually familiar when you hear them. I could definitely have this on as a bit of background noise when I’m absorbed in a good book.

6) The Fantasia Soundtrack

Fantasia was one of my favourite Disney movies as a kid and I still love it today. The way the cartoons were designed to match the different pieces of music is fantastic and again the lack of words to sing-a-long to would help me tune into my book a little bit more.

Audiobooks I’ve read/listened to:

5) The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (read by Paul Michael)

I think I bought this as a CD set because it was on sale. I can honestly tell you that I loved the premise of Dan Brown’s novel (as always) but I have no recollection of what actually happened! I couldn’t even begin to guess which character would have been the bad guy! At least I have a physical copy now for a re-read… at some point… when my TBR is not as full…

4) Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl (read by Chris O’Dowd)

Chris O’Dowd is such a fantastic narrator and his voice was perfect for this childhood classic. I sometimes play these audiobooks in my classroom during art afternoons and the kids love it.

3) The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (read by Kelsey Grammer)

This is my ‘currently listening to’. My first motivation for downloading this was that it was free on iTunes. The second was that this is one of those classic Sci-Fi reads that is probably on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. And thirdly, I need to do whatever I can to help me get my read count up! I’m kind of enjoying it so far although it is quite hard to keep up with the story, especially when I’m listening to it in the car on the way to work!

2) Mythos by and read by Stephen Fry 

I am so glad that I downloaded this and listened to it on the long journeys down to Cornwall and back. Fry is an excellent orator and his storytelling really bought the Greek myths to life. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loves either audiobooks or the Greek myths.

And finally…The ultimate reading soundtrack…

1) SILENCE – Reading is the chance to escape whatever is going on in this reality and jump into a new world. For me, the perfect way to absorb right into that is with no sounds around at all. There are so many distractions around already from the TV or mobile phones etc. that sometimes it’s nice to switch off completely with a good read and the sound of silence.

Woohoo, I made it through to the end…if you’ve cared enough to read this far then thank you! I’m not managing to get around to writing as much as I’d like to recently as my head is filled with so many things taking up much more of my time than I’d like; which then in turn leaves me frustrated and angry as I really don’t want to neglect my blog again. Thankfully, the Easter holidays are nearly here and I should be able to try and get ahead of myself rather than try to keep chasing my tail all the time! Anyone else have patches like that?

To all of the readers who continuously read my posts and like/comment on them – I love you guys!

Happy reading everyone! 3 more sleeps until the weekend!

T xx

TTT – Books on my Spring TBR

Bibliofriends, it’s Tuesday! That means it’s time for one of my favourite lists of the week!

Top Ten Tuesday is a book tag hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is ‘Books on my Spring TBR’. Last week I could barely think of ten things to put in my list whereas this week there are absolutely no shortage of books which could fit into my top ten; I could probably write a Top 50 to be honest! Saying that, my time for reading is becoming increasingly shorter and I cannot thank Goodreads enough for the persistent reminder that I am ‘3 books behind schedule’. 🙄

So here is my Top Ten Spring TBR or as I like to call it – “a list of all the Fairyloot books I haven’t read yet, with some others from my shelf”.
[Synopses from Goodreads]

10) The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson [Fairyloot]
An extra ARC goodie from December’s Dragon box!

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything. That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost. But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

9) Skyward by Brandon Sanderson [Fairyloot]
Rookie alert: I have never read anything by Brandon Sanderson and I’m not a typical Sci-fi kinda girl BUT I’ve been hearing loads of great things about this one.

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

8) Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan [Fairyloot]
Pink sprayed edges and the promise of a forbidden romance – I am there!

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest. Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

7) Mirage by Somaiya Daud [Fairyloot]
This book premise intrigues me (in a good way); I thought it was some sort of Middle Eastern style desert fantasy and then I read ‘star system’…

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon. But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place. As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

6) Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst [Fairyloot]
Dragons on the cover; mention of a heist – welcome to the TBR list!

In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon. Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community. With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.

5) Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye [Fairyloot]
Espionage ninja warriors…the anticipation builds!

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona. As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

4) The Lost Sisters by Holly Black
This is going to be like my slow dose of deliberately administered poison (Jude fans – you get this right?!). I’m going to try and read it little by little just to tide me over until Queen of Nothing which seems so…far…away…! What are the chances I’ll devour it in one go?!

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke. Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal. 
The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince by master writer Holly Black.

3) The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
This book had me at the word ‘witchery’.

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under. Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into. Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters. But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

2) Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Wonder Woman + Bardugo = immediate TBR inclusion

Daughter of immortals.
Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.
Daughter of death.
Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together.
Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

1) A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer [Fairyloot]
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairytales therefore I was so happy when this came in February’s Beast and Beauty box. It will definitely be the next book I read!

Fall in love, break the curse.
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope. Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

There we have it! Have you read any of these yet? Let me know your thoughts!

Happy reading!

T xx

Standalone books that need a sequel

Happy Tuesday Bibliopiles!

I’ve got to admit, I really struggled with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday for ‘standalones that need a sequel’. The books I tend to read are mostly of the YA / Fantasy genre and there seems to be plenty of duologies and trilogies and quadrologies, but not many standalones. So after scouring through my whole ‘Read’ list on Goodreads, I have come up with a grand total of 9 standalones which I feel need a sequel. That missing 10thbook is going to really annoy me so if anyone can kindly suggest one to fill the gap then I’d be very grateful! 🤓

10) Vacant spot…please feel free to fill in the comments! 😂

9) The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Now I know that after the ending of The Great Gatsby [which I won’t spoil here], that there may not need to be a sequel as such, but I do wonder what became of Daisy, Nick and Jordan and what their futures held.

8) Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

This was one of the texts I had to read at school and I remember being thoroughly immersed in the storyline. It would have been fun to see how the characters’ lives played out after the ending.

7) Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I loved this book! It really gripped me and…that ending! I would be truly afraid to be a fly on the wall in that household but would be desperate to see what their futures held.

6) Burning Bright – Tracy Chevalier

William Blake is one of my favourite poets so I was naturally drawn to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and admired the way Tracy managed to weave the characters’ narratives into Blake’s work. I’d happily read a sequel to discover what happened next.

5) Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

Gaiman is such a brilliant storyteller. I liked how unusual and literal his Neverwhere world was. I definitely wouldn’t say no to another instalment.

4) Stardust– Neil Gaiman

Ditto as above – I don’t think any Gaiman fan would turn down the chance to get their hands on a sequel to his work!

3) The Goldfinch– Donna Tartt

I read this as part of the Between Two Books book club (started by Florence + the Machine Fans) and was pleasantly surprised by how much the story captivated me. Although I was really satisfied with how it ended, I’d still love to see what happened to Theo Decker.

2) Kitchens of the Great Midwest– J. Ryan Stradal

This story was quite unique compared to any other novel that I’ve read before. A sequel would be a great way to show what happened to the characters and how their lives developed after the ending of the novel.

1) To Kill a Kingdom– Alexandra Christo

This was the first (and only, to be honest) book that came straight to my mind when I thought of the theme for this week’s TTT. In reality, it’s the only one on my list that I’d actually be pining after a sequel for. Christo’s brilliant characters and masterful settings created such a rich novel that I just wanted more, more, more!

Anyway, that’s my pathetic little attempt at keeping up to date with blog posts and TTT. Typical how when you always get into the swing of something, work comes along to distract you from it again! That’s what my week started off like. 🙄 I hope yours was better!

Happy reading!

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I’d Like to Trade Places With

Hey Bibliophiles,

It’s that Top Ten Tuesday time again! This week’s theme is Characters I’d Like to Trade Places With. The way this term is going at work I’d happily hop into a bookish portal and body-swap with any of these guys right now; no hesitating or looking back required!

10) ‘Traitor Kate’ from Onyx and Ivory [Mindee Arnett]

I’m currently reading this book and loving it! As a Relay Rider Kate has to gallop across the country of Rime delivering things for the Royal Courier Service. Part of Kate’s wilder magic gives her the ability to speak to horses and connect with their essence; perfect for a horse-lover like myself!

9) ‘Flora’ from Summer at the Lake [Erica James]

She gets to hold guided tours around the beautiful City of Dreaming Spires for a day job, then jets off to the picturesque Lake Como in Italy where all her dreams come true and she meets and falls in love with the man of her dreams…What’s not to want to switch with?

8) ‘Isabel’ from The Mortal Instruments Series [Cassandra Clare]

Isabel is one of my favourite Shadowhunters and I think it’d be pretty cool to have a lightning whip!

7) ‘Robert Langdon’ [Dan Brown]

I am such a nerd when it comes to conspiracies and symbolism! I’d really love to have Langdon’s eidetic memory and visit lots of historic cities and landmarks cracking codes and solving puzzles.

6) ‘Wade Watts’ from Ready Player One [Ernest Cline]

Get me to the OASIS! Ready Player Onewas one of my favourite reads of last year! I basically just want to be Parzival’s character and go on my own Treasure Hunt to find 80s pop culture easter eggs!

5) ‘Elizabeth Bennett’ from Pride and Prejudice [Jane Austen]

Two words:

Mr.             Darcy

That is all.

4) ‘Lysandra’ from theThrone of Glass Series [Sarah J Maas]

Ok, so I’d only switch places after the magic has been freed and then I could shapeshift into anything or anyone I wanted right? Or is that cheating, like Aladdin wishing the genie for more wishes…?

3) ‘Buffy’ [Joss Whedon]

Now I know Buffy is more famous for being a TV show, but they also did books too. This TV show is one of my all-time favourites. I so badly wanted to be a vampire slayer when I was a kid! I haven’t read the new Slayernovel by Kiersten White yet but I’ve heard lots of great things.

2) ‘Professor McGonagall’ from the Harry Potter series [J. K. Rowling]

As a teacher myself, who better to switch places with then one of the fiercest teachers at Hogwarts? Alas, I guess I’ll have to stick to teaching the muggles for now!

1) ‘Arwen’ from The Lord of the Rings [J. R. R. Tolkien]

Reasons to switch places with Arwen:

Elven – check
Wears swishy long dresses – check
Adorned with ultimate Evenstar bling – check
Lives in Rivendell – check

Anything I’ve forgotten? Oh wait…

In love with Aragorn – BIG CHECK!

That’s the end of TTT for another week. Who would be your ultimate character to switch places with? I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with!

T xx