Books I Need To Get To In 2021 Part One

Today’s blog post is going to be all about the twenty-one books I need to get to in 2021. This is books that have come out either in 2020 or even before that, that I just have not had the chance to get to yet. These are books that I either just have not got around to or books that I have seen highly recommended and want to read. This list is not in any order it’s just books that I’ve taken note of that I need to read. This post is going to be split in two due to the length this post ended up being too long for one post so here is the first eleven books!

Breathless by Jennifer Niven

One of my favourite books of all time is All the Bright places by Jennifer Niven; I adore this book and I reread it at least once a year. I have also read Jennifer Niven’s other book Holding Up The Universe which I did not love as much but I still enjoyed. Jennifer Niven’s book often contains hard-hitting content that can be triggering for some people, but I find them really interesting and really heart-warming.

Breathless follows a girl named Claude who is focused on her career and falling in love but everything falls apart when her dad announces he is separating from her mum. Claude is whisked away to a small island where she soon meets a local boy. He loves photography and as Claude can see herself falling for him something goes wrong.

Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

This series has been everywhere this last year specifically on BookTube with BookTubers such as BookswithChloe. It is the first book in the Brown Sisters series and I know all the books are supposed to be amazing but my aim for this year is to at least get to this first book.

Get A Life Chloe Brown follows Chloe who has a chronic illness. When she has a near death experience, she decides that she is not going to let her illness dictate her life anymore and she creates a list of things to do. One of these things includes becoming a bad girl but she needs the help of the town bad boy to do so. However, she discovers things are not quite as they seem as she grows to know him.

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

I read the Flatshare by Beth O’Leary in 2020 and I adored it. I know she has a few books out but this is her newest book and the plot sounds so cute! It really reminds me of the plot of The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet mainly because of the switching lives plot. I would like to get to the rest of Beth O’Leary’s books, but I think this is a really good place to start.

The Switch follows a 79-year-old woman who is sick of being older and a girl who is bored of life in her twenties. When the young girl ruins her presentation at work, she takes a two month sabbatical and escapes to her grandmothers house. Her grandmother is newly single and wants to get out of her small town. When the young girl proposes they switch, and she stays in the small town whilst her grandmother moves in to her London flat to look for love.

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

This book was on so many of my TBR’s last year so I really need to get to this book this year. I have been in a huge vampire mood recently and have been devouring vampire books ridiculously quickly so it will be interesting to jump back into one of the original teenage vampire books and see how it compares to the amazing books I have read recently.

Just in case you did not know Midnight Sun is the new book in the Twilight series that tells Edwards perspective of the first book of the series. It allows us to see a different version of what occurs in the first book but also allows us to see into what other characters are thinking thanks to Edwards power.

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

This book has been receiving so much hype on every single platform these past few months. The hype around it does make me cautious about reading this book but I am planning on picking it up for the New Year Readathon in January so hopefully it will live up to the hype. It contains a lot of tropes that I love in books especially the enemies to lover’s trope so I do not know why I would not love it.

From Blood and Ash follows a princess who is not allowed to be spoken too or touched. When she is assigned a guard and they clash in their views troubles instantly begins. But soon hate turns to love forcing the princess to question everything that she has known.

Lovely War by Julie Berry

This is another book that I have been seeing everywhere at the minute. I have recently got back into my love of Greek myths and I know this contains a perspective from Aphrodite which sounds like a really interesting format to read. This is another book that has received a lot of hype but I am worried that it wont live up to they hype but I am definitely going to try and get to this book this year.

This follows Aphrodite telling a story of love to her husband Hephaestus and her lover Aries during the second world war. It follows two couples as they struggle to make their way through the war in different ways. The book looks for an answer to the question: why are love and war eternally drawn to one another?

Loveless by Alice Oesman

This is another book that was on a lot of TBRs in 2020 and I was supposed to buddy-read it with my best friend, but I ended up not getting round to it. This is another one that is on my January TBR so I will hopefully be getting to it this month.

This follows Georgia an asexual girl who when she moves to university, she is ready to find love. When she gets involved in a Shakespeare play, she may get what she was hoping for. I really want to read more diverse and LGBTQIA+ books during 2021 and I have heard that this one has really great representation throughout.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

This is another book I bought towards the end of 2020 and this book has a lot of hype surrounding it too. As I said about Loveless I want to read more books with representation and I know this one is supposed to have great trans representation in it as well as Latinx representation.

This follows a trans boy as he attempts to prove himself to his Latinx family. He attempts to resurrect his cousin who has been murdered with the help from his other cousin. However, he ends up resurrecting the high school bad boy who has some unfinished business. As they begin to work together the two realise, they might be getting too close for comfort. 

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Over the past year or so Elizabeth Acevedo has become one of my favourite authors. With the Fire On High is one of my favourite books of all time and Clap When You Land is on my favourite books of 2020 list. However, I haven’t managed to get to her debut novel yet even though I know I am going to love it.

This book is written in the same style as Clap When You Land which is all written in verse. It follows a young girl as she comes to grips with her mother’s religion as well as her growing up. She’s invited to a slam poetry class where she can read her poems out loud without her mother finding out about her secret life and the words she writes.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

This is the third and final book in The Arc Of A Scythe trilogy which I absolutely adore but I still haven’t managed to get to it yet. I haven’t heard much about this last book despite the first book Scythe being hugely popular a few years ago. I don’t know why I haven’t got to this book yet even though I loved the first two and the second one ended on a huge cliff-hanger.

The Arc of a Scythe series follows a world where no one can die; there is no illness, no old age, no accidents. You can just be brought back to life. The only way you can die is if a Schythe kills you. A Scythe can choose who he kills and when depending on their own reasoning. At the beginning of the first book a Scythe chooses a boy and a girl to have as an apprentice but there can only be one of them that can survive.

The Entire Ember In The Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir

I read the first book in this series years ago and I loved it. It’s probably one of my favourite first books in a series ever. I then read the second book and loved it just as much. For some reason I bought the third book and just never got around to it and now the fourth book has just come out. Since reading the first book I have forgotten a lot of what happened in the first two books so now I really want to binge the entire series.

This follows Laia who is a slave and Elias who is a soldier. After Laia’s brother is arrested she is forced to join the revolution and disguise herself in order to spy at the Empires military academy. Here she meets Elias a soldier who wants nothing to do with the Empire and the uprising.

So this is the first half of my list of books I need to get to in 2021 and I can not wait to tell you my other ten! Let me know in the comments what books you need to get to this year or which book you are most excited to get to this year. Thank you for reading and please follow down below!

Nick by Michael Farris Smith Review

“Your world is a place unto its own… it is a place of its own truth and its own consequences and it is invisible to all.”

Nick by Michael Farris Smith is a masterpiece in its own right. I love The Great Gatsby; it’s my favourite classics and one of my favourite books. I am always wary of retelling of classics in case they do not portray the character right or get the true essence of the story. However, I have always wondered what Nick Carraway did before arriving in West Egg as it is not said much in the books which is what led me to this one. This book made me love Nick’s unreliable character even more and this story made me love the Great Gatsby more if that was at all possible. It moved me and kept me wanting more the entire way through this novel.

This follows Nick throughout his life starting within the war and his fight in the trenches whilst also showing the horror of war and PTSD. Whilst on a short leave he travels to Paris and meets Ella, an interesting French woman who shows Nick how to love. Whilst flashing back and forward between his time in the trenches and his time with Ella it shows how Nick copes being alone. It goes into his loneliness at home as a child, caring for his mother during her dark periods and his time with Ella. He spends time traveling the world in order to not return to his overbearing family ending up in New Orleans. Here he meets two ex-married people who are having trouble with their own lives after the war.

“And he raised his arms and reached out for the dawn as if to warm his hands on the rising sun”.

Smith brought me straight back to The Great Gatsby with his use of vivid descriptions of the war as well as the places Nick travelled too during his time. His unreliable narration and long, expressive sentences are similar to that of Fitzgerald himself. Through vivid, haunting nightmares of Ella and the bloody, torturous war it felt like I was living this life alongside Nick; feeling his pain and longing. It perfectly displayed how characters do have lives before we join them on their story and how it shapes them into the characters we see.

This book details the love, loss, friendship and heartbreak that outlines a person’s life. I could not put it down and I am looking forward to reading more by Michael Farris Smith in the future.

Thank you to Little Brown and Company and Net Galley for letting me read an advanced copy of this book!

New Year Readathon

So this month I have decided as well as my usual TBR that I want to take part in a month long readathon. Although I have doubled up on some books there is also some books that do not appear on my monthly TBR. This is a new readathon that is hosted in the month of January to start your book goals off to a good start. It is hosted on YouTube by;

Literary Lizzy: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPcmAbT6eegqn124HBWxJlQ

Mindy’s Book Journey: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLd_e77IsqzY455zDEvgFUg

David’s Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=davids+book+reviews

Noelle7pages: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrlIcbZlBZUz2t-qNWHJoeA

I really love the idea of having a readathon that helps me get a head start on this years goals! The prompts are a good selection and even come with there own bingo board which is one of my favourite types of readathons! So here is my TBR for the prompts:

A Book You Meant To Read In 2020 – Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

I read the first book in this duology Spin the Dawn in the first lock-down and I immediately ordered Unravel the Dusk. However, something went wrong and by the time the delivery got to my house I was back at my university house, so this definitely fits this prompt. I loved the first book. I thought it was really beautifully written and the description of all the materials and clothing was so stunningly written. This is a re-imagining of Mulan meets Project Runway and I am obsessed.

The first book follows Maia who is trying to become the world’s next great tailor but as a woman this is not a career. When she disguises herself as a man in the place of her dad to enter a competition against all the tailors to try and become the tailor for the royals she is entered into a competition against other men in the kingdom. This book picks up straight after the first book and follows Maia after the trial she’s endured towards the end of this book.

A 2021 Reading GoalTomie by Junji Ito

One of my goals this year is to read more manga; especially Junji Ito’s works. For this challenge I am probably going to choose Tomie by Junji Ito as Junji Ito is a very popular horror manga writer and one of my reading challenges for this year is to read more manga as well as more horror books. I read Uzumaki earlier in 2020 and adored it which makes me really excited to get to this book.

This book follows Tomie a girl who is cursed to have men fall that intensely in love with her that they end up killing, however, it is usually Tomie that is on the receiving end. Tomie keeps coming back to life but can not figure out why this keeps happening to her. I am really excited to see if I love this one as much as Uzumaki and I can not wait to pick it up.

Physical Book Left Unread The Longest – Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

I have had this book on my TBR for so, so long. This is probably the book that has been on the most TBR’s since I got into reading. I have not heard much about this series but I do know one person that loves it but other than that I have not heard a thing. Another book has recently come out I’m not sure how many books it is now but I really want to give the series a try.

This book follows a princess after her mother is murdered and she is held captive in the castle for ten years. When she is forced to do the unthinkable, she realises if she does not escape now, she will lose her kingdom forever. This book sounds so good and I feel like I will love it so I’m really excited that this challenge is making me get to it.

Reread a favourite book from 2011 – Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

In 2011 I loved Richelle Mead books. I adored the Vampire Academy series and the first book of the Bloodlines series. However, for some reason I never got around to the rest of the Bloodlines series, so I think this year is the year I’ll get to them all. I find the world that Richelle Mead has created is so complex and interesting but she also throws a lot of plot twists into her novels that I never see coming.

This follows the alchemists from the Vampire Academy series specifically Sydney. The alchemists protect the humans from the vampires and Sydney is suddenly sent to protect one of the Moroi’s royals; at a boarding school. But when they begin to get threats it turns the situation upside down. I can not wait to jump back into this world and reread this favourite so that I can continue with the rest of the books.

Top of your TBR – Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

I am so excited for this book that I literally cannot contain myself. This book looks and sounds amazing which is why it is so perfect for this prompt because this is one of the next books I am so excited to pick up. You can tell just from the cover of this book; it is stunning. I have not read any of Kerri Maniscalco’s other works but if I enjoy this one as much as I think I am going to then I will definitely be picking up her other works.

It focuses on two sisters and after one is found brutally murdered leading the other to set out to find her sister’s killer. During this task she meets one of the Wicked. I’ve already read the first few pages of this and the text is beautiful. The setting and the descriptions just set a really good vibe for this book.

A Book You Are Intimidated By – From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This book has received so much hype on every platform; Instagram, BookTube and even TikTok. That’s what makes this so intimidating. I’m not even sure what this book is even about I just know it has an amazing enemy to lover’s romance and the characters are supposed to be brilliant.

I think it follows a fallen kingdom and a girl that is forbidden from being with anyone. After a man is enrolled to protect her a forbidden romance begins between the two. I love enemies to lovers’ books so I’m hoping it holds up to the hype. It is also nearly seven-hundred pages which is a little intimidating as well.

A Book Written by a POC – A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

This is another book that has been on a lot of TBR’s during 2020 so I really want to get to it at the beginning of the year. Roseanne is a POC from Ghana and I really cannot wait to read her book. This is the first part in a duology and the second part is coming out later this year so I want to read this one so I can read the second as soon as it is released.

This is another competition novel that follows a man that has made a rule to kill the princess of the land and the princess who is holding a competition to find a husband; so that she can kill him for his heart. It just sounds so interesting especially with the African folklore that it features but also really cutthroat and I am so excited to finally get into it.   

A Book From a Different Genre – Loveless by Alice Oesman

I have been trying to branch out of the books that I usually read in 2020 which is predominantly fantasy and sci-fi. So far, I’ve been enjoying some contemporaries that I read as well as a couple of adult romance. I decided to go with Loveless by Alice Oesman as I have been loving her series Heartstopper and now I really want to get into her other books.

This is a book about an asexual girl who is ready to find love. She starts at university and I know it involves a Shakespeare play. During 2021 I really want to read more diverse books and I think this one is a really good place to start. I just think this book sounds lovely and I am so excited to finally get to it.

A Debut Novel – Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

Finally another book that I have been meaning to read through the end of 2020 and a book that I am completely in love with. I think this cover is my favourite cover ever. It’s just gorgeous. This is a debut novel by Shveta Thakrar and is a standalone book which is based around a competition; a trope I cannot get enough of.

This follows a girl who is forced to return to her fathers celestial court to compete in a game to decide the next ruling house of heavens. After burning her human father the girl has no choice to compete in order to try and heal him. I just think this sound like another beautiful story and I can’t wait to see where the story goes.

So these are all my prompts for the New Year Readathon. Hopefully I will be able to get to all these as well as all of the books that were on my January TBR. There are some amazing books on this list that I am desperate to read so I will definitely be getting to most of them this month. Thank you for reading; please follow and leave a comment about a book you are excited to read this month!

2020 Stats and New Years Reading Resolutions

In 2020 I had a really good reading year with the quality of my books. I loved a lot of the books I read this year and I was only disappointed with a couple of them! In today’s post I am going to look at my reading stats, see how much I read and how far I was off my target for the year. I am also going to set some goals for 2021 and I am really excited to share these with you!

2020 Stats

In 2020 my goal was to reach a target of 75 books. I did not manage this goal despite reading a lot all the way through the year. Altogether I read 62 out of the 75 books; this left me at 83% of my goal and 12 books behind target. Even though I did not read as much as I was hoping with my university work as well as the strange year we have had, I am really happy with getting to this many books.

I read a total of 24,240 pages across 62 books which makes my average length of book around 390 pages. I have read a few longer books this year so I expected this to be a little higher, but I have also read a few plays which may have bought this down a little. The shortest book I read this year was a play which was Sylvia Plath: A Dramatic Portrait by Barry Kyle and this was 92 pages long. The longest book I read was The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon which was 848 pages long.

I read a lot of popular books this year but the most popular book I read was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins which I read as part of my Hunger Games re-read in the summer. The least popular book I read was again Sylvia Plath: A Dramatic Portrait which was only shelved by 19 people! My first book of the year was Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell which I gave a middle 3*. The book I read with the highest rating on Goodreads was Heartstopper Vol 2 by Alice Oesman which I adore. The series is so pure and deserves all the hype.

My average rating of books was a 4.1* and this is so high. In 2021 I want to try and reduce my ratings and keep 5* for books that I really, really love although this year I have loved so many books! I hope I have as good of reading this coming year which I am sure I will because I have some amazing books that I am planning to read!

Resolutions

For the new year I want to branch out a bit and read books that I don’t tend to get too that much but really enjoy. So I have thought of a few categories of books that I want to read more of within the new year and I have created six resolutions that I want to try and achieve this year. This past year I have really branched out of what I usually read, and I have really enjoyed the majority of what I have read.

Firstly, my book aim for this year is to read 75 books. I know I did not hit this target in 2020 but I got very close and I finish University in May which is going to give me a lot more opportunity to read a lot.

Resolution One – Read More Diverse/Rep Books

This is a goal I want to have every year. I really want to read more books that have more diverse characters and representation that you do not see in many books such as asexual characters and more Latina character especially. I think that I need to expand my reading to include books that include diverse characters as well as books that are set in different cultures so I can keep learning as much as I can. Some books I have read this year such as The Black Flamingo, On The Come Up and Wicked Fox which I loved all of them have a lot of representation in them and I cannot wait to read more this year. Some of the books that I would like to get to in 2021 are Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, Cemetary Boys by Aiden Thomas and A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown.

Resolution Two – Read More Verse Books

In this past year I have discovered my love of verse books especially The Black Flamingo and Clap When You Land. I just find them so interesting and such powerful stories. It’s such an interesting format to read and I really want to expand the formats of books that I read this year rather than just sticking to the usual format of books. I don’t know of many verse books so if you have any reccomendations please leave them down below! Some of the books I have seen are Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam.

Resolution Three – Read More Greek Mythology Based Books

From when I was younger, I have always loved Greek Mythology and books surrounding it such as the Percy Jackson series. I am listening to a Greek mythology podcast at the minute (Lets Talk About Myths Baby on Spotify) which is just reminding me about how much I love mythology. I have a few books in mind for this resolution such as Circe and Son of Achilles by Madeline Miller, Persephone by Katlin Bevis and Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry.

Resolution Four – Read More Japanese Books/Manga

I love Japanese culture and want to read more Japanese translated books especially manga. Recently I have really got into anime and I have read a few manga’s in the past, but I really want to read more because it is one of my favourite formats to read. I really need some more recommendations though so if anyone has any that they love please leave them in the comments. A few I have my eye on are Horimiya, Tokyo Ghoul and Death Note.

Resolution Five – Read More Horror Books

This past year I have really explored my love of horror films and now I would like to explore my love of horror through reading. I have never really read any horror books apart from a few Stephen King books such as The Shinning, IT and Carrie. I would like to explore some more of Stephen King’s works but also some other horror writers. Some of the books I have my eye on is OUT by Natsuo Kirino, Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

Resolution Six – Finish More Series

Finally, my biggest reading goal this year is to finish some of the many series I have started. There is so many where I just read the first book in the series and then forget to read the rest of them. I have got a blog post coming out soon which is book series that I need to finish which will discuss all of the series I have started but not yet finished. Some of the series that I definitely want to complete in 2021 are Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas and an Ember in the Ashes.

These are all my stats and resolutions for 2021. I can not wait to reflect on these resolutions at the end of this year and see if I completed them or not. Let me know in the comments if you have any reading resolutions this year and what they are. Thank you for reading and please follow down below if you enjoyed it!

Best Books of 2020

Today’s New Year, New Blog post is going to be all about my favourite books of 2020. I read a lot of amazing books this year and I found it really difficult to just pick ten of them but I have managed to get it down however, I’m still not sure about the order so this list is not the final list. However, at this moment in time this is where I would place them at this moment in time.

10. Uzumaki by Junji Ito

So, coming in at number ten is a new to me author Junji Ito with Uzumaki. Junji Ito is a horror manga writer who creates weird and scary manga based on peoples fear but amplified. Uzumaki follows a town that becomes obsessed with spirals. It starts off with just a couple of people being consumed but eventually the entire town is overwhelmed by spirals.

I enjoyed this book so much; the art style was beautiful it really brought together the weirdness of the storyline. The story kept me wanting more and I read this in one big sitting I was that obsessed. The characters were really interesting to read about, and I cannot wait to get to some of Junji Ito’s other books in 2021.

9. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. With the Fire on High was my favourite book in 2019 and now this one has become another favourite. Although this one was very different to With the Fire on High, I still loved Acevedo’s way with words. This book was written in verse which is a form of writing I had not experienced till this year but now I am obsessed with them. Clap When You Land follows two sisters that do not know the other exists. One lives in New York whilst the other lives in the Dominican Republic. After their dad dies in a plane crash, they discover each other exists and it sends their world upside down.

I loved the two sisters in this book; how they both had been brought up completely differently and their story of discovering how they are more similar then they realise. This book also tackles so many important topics that I think everyone needs to read more about. These characters and this story have stuck with me all year even though I read it all the way back in June.

8. The Diviners by Libba Bray

This is another book I read back in June and another one that I cannot wait to continue the series. The Diviners is set in the jazz age which is one of the reasons it is on this list; I love anything that is set in the 20’s era. The multiple perspectives really added to this book as you are following many stories that all come together eventually.

It was really interesting to see how they people with special abilities reacted and how they used their powers. I loved Memphis and Theta’s dynamic although they did not get nearly enough time together. The one thing I loved more than anything in this book is the atmosphere. The 1920’s jazz scenes, the dark and spooky elements at night especially the old mans whistling. That was the creepiest thing I’ve ever experienced.

7. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I could talk for hours about this book. I had been so nervous and intimidated by this book that I did not pick it up for ages until lockdown gave me the full opportunity to fully invest my time into it. This book has so many points of view and it is a high fantasy standalone. I loved each and every character in this book especially Tané and Ead. This follows a kingdom filled with dragons where a dark force is returning. It focuses on a dragon-rider, a queen, a prioress, a professor and a nobleman.

I really want to write a full review of this book eventually. It was full of politics, war but also showing how everyone’s views are different and how people can come together in times of need.  The thing I loved most about this book was watching relationships (not just romantic ones) form between characters and watching them develop. Of course, I also loved the dragons. The dragons were the best bit.

6. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

This is where my list gets a bit difficult to place. I loved this book. It’s all about the assassins and I love a good assassin book. It follows Mia a girl who’s gifted with shadows. She joins a keep of assassins where she must battle it out to become the best. I know the unusual writing style will not be for everyone, but I really enjoy the elements it added to it.

Mia Corvere is one of my new favourite characters of all time along with the no-cat Mr Kindly. She is vicious and on a road for vengeance and you’ve got to respect her for that. This book is bloodthirsty, character driven and just all around an amazing book. I can not wait to get into Godsgrave this year.

5. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

This book had me obsessed. I devoured it within a couple of days and then I sat and binged watched the TV series. It lives in my brain rent free. Harkness has created a beautiful atmospheric book with vampires and witches and various other creatures, and I love it. It follows Diana Bishop who was raised by her aunts after her parents were killed and is now a professor in Oxford. When she meets Matthew who she soon learns is a vampire she is pulled into the world of creatures she has tried to ignore for so long.

I think the thing I love most about this book is the setting. I love Oxford; my great nan used to live here and ever since I read this book, I’ve wanted to go back so bad. Marcus was my favourite character; he was witty and kept the story going altogether. The one thing I disliked about this book was the insta-love and how Matthew was a ‘little’ (a lot) overprotective at times otherwise I can not fault this book in my eyes.

4. The Beautiful/The Dammed by Renée Ahdieh

This series is beautiful. The romance, the setting, the story. I went into it with not many expectations, but I ended up adoring it. This is another vampire novel set in New Orleans in 1872 which follows Celine after she goes to New Orleans to join a convent. It’s there she meets La Cour des Lions and their leader Sébastien Saint Germain. After murders begin occurring it becomes clear that a serial killer is on the loose and is targeting the group.

This book is so atmospheric. The setting of New Orleans is so beautiful and dark it really brings the story together. The characters are so unique it really adds life to the story; Bastien is so dark and mysterious. Also, I loved how as a reader this book kept you guessing; you never knew what was coming next or when. It was all about the plot twists. I read both books back to back and I can not wait for the next book which will hopefully come out next year. 

3. Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

This book was the definition of my perfect book. It was Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge! I am a huge musical theater girl and Moulin Rouge is one of my ultimate favourites. The visual aspects of this book are beautiful, the description. This book is another book which is based around a competition; it focuses on finding the new headline act for a circus group in a city where magic is not as accepted. It follows three characters throughout all with different additions to the story.

Kallia who is a showgirl down to her soul, all she wants to do is perform and prove herself to the world. Jack, her old mentor who is attempting to get his star performer back despite lying to her all her life. Demarco, a judge of the competition who no longer can keep hiding who he is. This book is dark, mysterious and full of twists but also just a lot of magic. It’s one of those books you can read, and it makes you invested but also just happy whilst reading.

2. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

These last two I have been swapping and changing until I posted this blog post, but I think this is my final decision. This book is the second book in the Gilded Wolves series and this book started a few months after the tragedy in the last book. I do not want to say too much about it, but this book had me hooked from start to finish. I could not put it down. Unlike the last book which was set in Paris this one was set in Russia. I love snow. Everything about this. So, this really added to the enjoyment story for me.

I love the characters in this series. They are all so different and add so much to the dynamics of the story. They work so well together in the story especially the romances. Watching the couples grow and adapt but also how they cope with situations is so enjoyable to read about. My favourite characters must be Laila and Severin especially when they interact with one another. I can not wait for the final book in this series to be released at some point next year.

1. House of Earth and Bloody by Sarah J. Maas

This book was a masterpiece. The plot kept me hooked the entire time and I could not put it down. So many things happened in this book that I almost wanted it to be longer because it is so entertaining. The characters, the love interests and even the world building was done brilliantly. In this world especially the mix of medieval weapons such as swords yet the use of modern technology. The side characters especially are such a lovely thing to read about especially Lehabah and Syrinx; I would love both creatures for Christmas.

This book is full of fae, werewolves’ angels and demons, as well as a modern-day city setting. Bryce and Hunt are such problematic characters, but I am so here for it. The way Hunt is described as an ‘alpha hole’ but ends up watching TV and cooking with Bryce. Also, the enemies to lovers. This reminded me why this is my favourite romance trope. It literally had me so invested. Danika did deserve more time in the book, but I loved what to see of her character. Also, Ruhn. Ruhn just needed a big hug and I was so ready to give him one. I do not want to say too much about the plot because I can not say much without ruining the first third of the book, but I just think everyone should pick this book up. Even if you’re not a Sarah J. Maas fan there is something in this book for everyone.

So, this is my top ten books of the year. I had a really good reading year this year and I couldn’t fit them all in this list. Some special mentions are The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, which is a thriller novel, The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta which is a drag queen origin story written in verse and Crave by Tracey Wolff which is a vampire story set at a boarding school. I hope next year is just as successful for reading but I will definitely be rereading some of these some time soon.

January TBR

So, I have decided to start this year off with a bang and to restart my book blog! I love writing and expressing my love for books but have not been able to fully commit to my book blog, but I have decided 2021 is going to be my year! Throughout January I have decided that I will be posting a blog post every single day! I thought I would start with the most basic post and tell you my TBR for the month of January!

I really love the idea of a book bingo as I’ve been wanting to do one forever. I did do one in my old blog but as that one doesn’t exist anymore this is chance to start fresh in the new year. I have a list of 90 prompts each which equate to a bingo ball. Each month I will choose a random number generator of one to twelve to choose how many balls I will have to spin that month. The number I rolled this month is eight so I will have to choose eight prompts for January. In the next few months if I don’t complete a prompt, I will have to add an extra roll onto next month. Also, if I get a multiple of ten, I will have to roll an extra prompt. So, let’s get on with the rolls…

First Roll – 35: Read an E-Book

So, the first roll I got was thirty-five which equated to the prompt read an e-book. This prompt was kind of perfect as I have several on my Net Galley shelves which I need to get to pretty soon however, I have chosen Nick by Michael Farris Smith. This book comes out on January 5th, so I am a little bit late getting to it, but I am so excited for this book. This book is inspired by The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald which is my favourite classic. I read it during my A-Levels, and this was the only book I read for that class that I actually enjoyed.

This follows the main character Nick before he met Gatsby when he was serving within World War One. After returning home he tries to escape his past by traveling the world trying to find himself through romance as well as alcohol. I can’t wait to see how Smith portrays this character and also to jump back into the world of the dazzling twenties.

Second Roll – 46: Read A Book of a Certain Colour

For my second roll I got forty-six which was to read a book of a certain colour. For this roll I had to go on a random colour generator which chose a kind of baby/light blue colour. I decided the closest I could get to this colour is Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho. I have had this book on so many of last year’s TBR, but I just have not manage to get to this yet.

Vicious Spirits is the sequel to Wicked Fox which I read last year, and I loved it. It focuses on Korean myths of the nine-tailed fox and other Korean mythology. I really enjoy books that are based off mythology and this one did not disappoint. Although this one follows a different set of protagonists, I am really looking forward into learning more about the world and the myths that surround it.  

Third Roll – 26: Read A Book Published In 2015

This is a very random prompt, but a lot of amazing books came out in 2015 and I have decided to choose Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. Once again, I read the first book in this series, The Diviners, in 2020 and I have been wanting to get to this book ever since. The world, the characters, the mystery; everything about this book is beautiful and I can not wait to get back into it.

Another book on this TBR that is set in the jazz age it follows Evie, a girl that can read peoples secrets just by touching something they own as well as Henry and Ling who can travel through each other’s dreams. Together they form part of the Diviners; humans that have powers unlike others. I just love the dark atmosphere in these books as well as the setting in general, so I am really excited to finally get to this one.

Fourth Roll – 90: Read A Marvel Book

Not only is this prompt a multiple of ten so I have to read another book this month, but it is also the prompt to read a Marvel book. I currently do not have any unread Marvel books on my shelf, so I am going to have to get one. The one I am thinking about getting is the Black Widow book Forever Red which follows Black Widow mentoring a girl that she finds in Russia. I don’t really know anything about this other than that, so I am going to leave it at that.

Fifth Roll – 2: Read A Diverse Book

I have a lot of diverse books on my TBR at the moment but the one I have decided to pick is A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown. This book is inspired by West African folklore and is the first book in a new duology. This book was on my TBR several times towards the end of last year, but I just did not get around to it due to work and University, so I am really excited to hopefully get to this one this month.

I know that this follows a court after the queen is assassinated and our main character is her daughter but I’m not quite sure about much else. I’ve heard such great things about it from other people that I kind of want to go into it blind, but I hope the hype does not ruin it for me.

Sixth Roll – 69: Read a Book with An Animal on The Cover

For this roll I have chosen another book that I have been meaning to get to for a very long time which is Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. She is my favourite author of all time and I have been putting off reading this book for a long time. It’s not her usual works and I have heard mixed reviews about it, but I am really looking forward to getting into this.

I know this is a very dark academia vibe book that’s set in a boarding school. I think it might be a dual timeline that flickers between two murders; one in the present day and one that happened in the past. I know I will love this book as I love a thriller and I have never read anything of Leigh Bardugo’s that I have not enjoyed.

Seventh Roll – 80: Buy A Book!

So, this prompt is both a great prompt and a not so great prompt! I get to treat myself to a book for this one, but it is January and I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to achieve that. It is also another multiple of ten which means another book added to my TBR making the total ten.

The book I am thinking of is a Junji Ito book maybe Tomie I’m not sure yet. I read Uzumaki in 2020 and loved it and I have been wanting to dive back into his books ever since. Junji Ito is a horror manga writer and his works are really twisted and strange but also really fascinating to read! I may change my mind about which book I buy but for the moment it’s this one.

Eighth Roll – 1: Adult Romance

What should have been my final role is adult romance. I have grown to love adult romance over the course of the past year from when I read The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. For this prompt I have decided to go with Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella. I was meaning to read this last year after I watched the film with Tyler Hoechlin which I thought was hilarious.

This book follows a girl who after getting scared on a plane during some turbulence tells the stranger next to her all her secrets. This turns out to be her boss that was flying in to check on the company. I hope the book is as good as the film, but I hear it could even be better than the film.

Ninth Roll – 32: Alphabet Book

For this book I used a random letter generator to choose a letter which ended up being the letter C. I knew immediately which book I wanted to read for this and that is Crush by Tracy Wolff. I read Crush which is the first book in this series at the end of 2020 and I loved it. I have written a review on it which will be back up on this account sometime in the future.

Crave followed a girl whose parents have recently died so she is sent to live with her Uncle at a boarding school. Its here that she finds out that vampires, witches and dragons are real. It brought me back to my fourteen-year-old twilight phase.

Tenth Roll: 14: Fantasy

My tenth and final roll gave me fantasy. I am so glad I go this as it gave me the opportunity to put Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar. This was one of my most anticipated books for 2020 and I can not wait to get to it. The cover of this book is absolutely stunning, and I have a feeling this is going to be a new favourite.

It follows a girl who is half human and half star but when her father gets ill, she must travel to the celestial court. The only other thing that I know about this book is that it involves a form of competition which is one of my favourite tropes in books.

So, there are my ten book picks for January. I think this is going to be a really good month for reading especially with the amazing books that I have managed to get on to my TBR. I hope you enjoyed this first post of New Year New Blog and I can’t wait to show you everything else I have planned this month.