Books I Need to Get to in 2021 Part 2

This is part two to the blog post I put up yesterday telling you about the other ten books I plan on reading in 2021. I don’t really have much else to say so enjoy!

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

This is a debut novel by Chloe Gong that came out in 2020 and I could not be more excited for it. I love retellings, it is a favourite trope of mine especially if they are done well. This book has been receiving so much hype towards the end of the year which makes me so excited to get to this book.

It’s a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in the roaring twenties where a gang leaders’ daughter has been betrayed by the rival gangs’ heir. But when a monster begins killing throughout the city the two heirs must put their issues aside to discover what is destroying their city before it destroys them.

Circe by Madeline Miller

This book was popular a few years back especially on BookTok, so I bought it for my mum for her birthday and then she loved it. She gave it to me, but this is another one that I have never got around too. It is also another book based on Greek mythology which is one of my targets for this year.

Circe is about the daughter of a titan who turns her back on the gods and enters the world of mortals. When Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, she tames wild beasts and meets several of the most famous creatures within Greek mythology. She eventually has to choose between the Gods and the mortals that she has grown to love.

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

This is another book that has become popular more recently. This book has the most gorgeous cover, but I do not know that much about it. I know it surrounds Bolivian politics and is about magic in tapestries. I really want to read this book because of all the amazing reviews I have heard about it.

This follows a girl who is a stand in for a royal but when the prince proposes marriage to the royal, she takes her place. She goes to take revenge for her people who were pushed away by an ancient relic. When the girl takes her place, she finds out the relic is no longer with them and tries to find it in order to regain her people’s lives.

 A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I tried to read this book about two years ago but never fully got into it. After reading This Savage Song earlier this year I now really want to read more of V. E. Schwab’s writing because I loved that book. I know that this is her most popular series and everyone loves it so hopefully I can finally get around to reading it.

This is about a world where four London’s exist; red, white, grey and black. Kell travels between the London’s as an ambassador smuggling pieces of the different worlds that others will never get to see. After he meets Delilah who robs him before saving him, he takes her to another world for an adventure.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book is BookTubes baby. Everyone and their mum read this a few years ago but for some reason I never got myself a copy. I have however read Daisy Jones and the Six which was one of my favourite books a few years ago. I am also obsessed with old Hollywood and the lives of actresses so this one sounds amazing.

This is about Evelyn Hugo, a glamourous actress who is finally ready to tell all about her scandalous life. When she chooses a journalist that no one has heard about the whole community is confused. Evelyn tells about her making her way to LA before deciding to leave show business as well as all about her husbands. They soon realise their lives are intersected together.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Claire

I have slowly been making my way through Cassandra Claire’s books and this is the next trilogy on my list now. I’ve really been enjoying revisiting these books especially now I am on the books I have not read before. This is the first book in the Dark Artifices trilogy which is set after the events of The Mortal Instruments series.

This picks up five years after the events of City of Heavenly Fire and Emma Carstairs is set on revenge. Alongside her parabati Julian Blackthorn she has got to figure out a demonic plot that is taking over Los Angeles. After a face from the past is returned by the faeries as a peace offering to try and figure out who is killing their kind the everything gets a little more complicated.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Another one of BookTubes babies that I haven’t yet got around to. If anyone is interested in me doing a series reading old popular BookTube books, then let me know in the comments! This was A Clockwork Readers favourite book and I know it is supposed to be amazing. It also has a competition trope as well as an enemy to lovers.

This follows a circus that appears overnight. It is only open to the public at night and it is spectacular. But this is a fierce competition between two of the magicians. However, only one can be the winner but when the two become closer than they should have. Despite this they must continue with the game or the fates will destroy everything.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I cannot believe I have not got to this one yet. This one has been living on my shelf since BookswithChloe recommended it years ago. It was huge on BookTube years ago and is one of the most popular duologies out there. The whole plot of the book sounds amazing and I know I am going to love it when I eventually get to it.

This follows Lazlo Strange who is obsessed with the lost city of Weep. When a group decide to go on an expedition to try and find the city, they choose Lazlo to find it. There is so many unanswered questions but also a mystery to figure out. Who is the woman that keeps appearing in Lazlo’s dreams and why does she seem so real?

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

Another series that has been raved about this year, but I just really want to try and get to the first book. I tried to start reading the e-book this year, but I could not focus on the story due to it being on my phone. I have since picked up the physical book but have not got to it, so I am excited to finally get to this one this year.

This is another one that I am not quite sure what it is about. I know this is about a war-torn county and a girl is studying to try and get into a school. After she aces all her exams much to the surprise of everyone around her. But being at the school is harder than she realises, and she might lose herself in the process.

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

Finally, we have Godsgrave which is the second book in the Nevernight trilogy. I read the first book earlier in 2020 and I loved it. It made my top ten books of 2020 and I can see this becoming one of my favourite trilogies. Jay Kristoff’s writing is so unique especially with the use of footnotes which I know a lot of people don’t like but I personally loved this little extra.

This series follows Mia Corvere and her shadow cat Mr Kindly as she trains to become an assassin as revenge. She travels to join a school of assassins where she has to beat the rest of the students in several tasks to become a Blade of the Lady Blessed Murder. But when people start to be murdered within the keep Mia must figure out who is behind them before it is too late.

They are all the books that I want to get to in 2021. I am not sure how many I will end up getting to but hopefully I will get through over half of the books on this list. Next year I am going to look back on this list and write a post about if I got to these books or not, but I hope you enjoyed. Please leave a comment if you have read any of these books and please follow if you enjoyed!

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!

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.