Authors I discovered in 2019!

Hello lovelies 🙂 This post is going up a bit later than I had planned but I hope it will still be interesting to some of you hehe. I did a post like this about some of my favourite new-to-me authors in 2018 and thought it would be fun to do it again for 2019! I love discovering new authors who end up becoming favourites and it’s great to look back and see when you first read an author.

Obviously, this list is not exhaustive (because I read a LOT of new-to-me authors in 2019) but I’ve picked out a few who really stood out to me and who perhaps have a backlist of work waiting for me or who I know are bringing out more books soon!


Sophie Draper

I discovered Sophie Draper at the beginning of 2019 when Avon Books kindly sent me a copy of her debut, Cuckoo. I described Cuckoo as one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read and I stand by that statement, despite being somewhat disappointed by her sophomore novel Magpie. I’m hopeful that her next book will be more in keeping with the tone of her debut.

sophie draper


Meagan Spooner

I read both of Spooner’s fairytale retellings, Hunted and Sherwood, last year and enjoyed both. Hunted in particular was a refreshing take on a story which I feel has been overdone. I look forward to seeing what she does next!


Angie Thomas

I was significantly late to the party when it came to reading Angie Thomas’ hugely popular debut, The Hate U Give. I’ll be totally honest, I was intimidated by the hype. But I’m pleased to say that I waited until the time was right for me to read it and I really enjoyed it. I’m glad I didn’t give in to the pressure to read it when it first came out as I wouldn’t have been reading it for the right reasons. Thomas then had a tough job following up on her success but I think she did really well and I enjoyed her second book, On The Come Up, too.

on the come up


Anna-Marie McLemore

2019 was the year I finally read an Anna-Marie McLemore book! I went with When The Moons Was Ours and it did not disappoint. McLemore’s writing is gorgeously flowery and though I know it doesn’t work for everyone, I loved it. I definitely want to read more of this author’s books at some point.


Alice Oseman

In 2019, I discovered a real love of both contemporaries and graphic novels, so I’m so glad I discovered Alice Oseman! Radio Silence became a new all-time favourite and the Heartstopper series is seriously adorable. I’m slowly but surely working my way through her remaining books I haven’t read and I’m really looking forward to her 2020 release, Loveless!

radio silence


Lauren James

Lauren James was a surprise for me as I’m usually intimidated by science fiction. But The Quiet at the End of the World ended up on my favourites of 2019 list! I then received The Loneliest Girl in the Universe for Christmas and can’t wait to read it, plus I’m looking forward to another offering from her coming out this year! I know she also has some backlist books for me to read so hopefully I can pick those up at some point too.


Jay Kristoff

Well done Jay Kristoff for being the only male author to make it onto my list!! I really do read a lot of women haha. In 2019, I finally got round to reading the Nevernight trilogy and I thoroughly enjoyed it (more than I expected to if I’m honest. ) I’m definitely intrigued by some of Kristoff’s other books – though the aforementioned fear of sci-fi is a small issue when it comes to some of them.

nevernight mr kindly bath bomb


Alice Hoffman

Hoffman is an author I’ve been curious about for some time. I’m so glad that I got to buddy-read one of her books in 2019 with one of my closest bookish friends. I loved The Museum of Extraordinary Things and definitely want to read more of Hoffman’s magical historical fiction!


Miranda Asebedo

Miranda Asbedo just missed out on a spot on my favourites of 2019 list! But I genuinely loved The Deepest Roots and I have my eye on A Constellation of Roses. Who knows, maybe I’ll get it for my birthday 😉

the deepest roots


Katie Henry

And finally, another author who did make it onto my favourites of 2019 list! As I previously mentioned, I read a lot of great contemporaries last year which really made me appreciate the genre more, and one of these was Let’s Call It A Doomsday by Katie Henry. This book had some of the best anxiety rep I’ve ever read. I definitely want to get my hands on Heretics Anonymous as well as anything Henry might come out with this year.


So those are some of the new-to-me authors who stood out for me last year! I’m looking forward to reading more from some of these this year 🙂

Have you read any of these authors? Who were some authors you discovered for the first time in 2019? Let me know in the comments! x

My favourite books of 2019 and some end-of-year stats!

Hello lovely bookish people! Can you believe it’s the end of not only another year, but a decade?! I’m rounding of 2019 in the classic way by sharing my favourite books of the year and a few stats 😀

As usual, these are not ranked but merely listed in the order I read them. And there’s a mix of 2019 releases and backlist titles 🙂


Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

tell the wolves im home

What I loved about it

  • Lovely writing style
  • Excellent characterisation and character development
  • Raw beauty
  • Gentle and poignant

The Binding by Bridget Collins

the binding

What I loved about it

  • Beautiful prose
  • Immersive storytelling
  • Fully realised characters
  • Great romance

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

radio silence

What I loved about it

  • Wonderfully relatable characters
  • Made me feel SEEN
  • Realistic portrayal of teenage life in Britain
  • Fantastic platonic relationship
  • Great message

Let’s Call It A Doomsday by Katie Henry

let's call it a doomsday

What I loved about it

  • Incredible anxiety rep
  • Wonderful protagonist
  • Realistic dialogue
  • Nice, easy flow to the writing

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James

quiet at the end of the world

What I loved about it

  • Vividly imagined ‘soft apocalypse’
  • Likeable characters
  • Casual diversity
  • Jaw-dropping twists

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

nevernight

What I loved about it

  • Intelligently written
  • Awesome world building
  • Fantastic story
  • Funny!

Foxfire, Wolfskin by Sharon Blackie

foxfire wolfskin

What I loved about it

  • Not a single weak story
  • Phenomenal writing
  • Stunning illustrations
  • Great folklore underlying each story

We Are Lost And Found by Helene Dunbar

we are lost and found

What I loved about it

  • Cinnamon roll characters
  • Wonderful friendship dynamics
  • Raw and heart-wrenching
  • An interesting historical period
  • Respectful storytelling

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

ten thousand doors of january

What I loved about it

  • Gorgeous, magical writing
  • Effortless word choice and sentence structure
  • Book-within-a-book
  • Plucky heroine
  • Wonderful imagery

I feel like I didn’t find as many new favourites this year as I did in 2018 but I’m still thankful for all the wonderful stories I had the privilege of reading and I can’t wait to see what the new year/decade brings!

And finally, some 2019 bookish stats for you because we all love them 😉

2019 Stats!

Total books read: 112

Total page count: 40,621

Average page count per day: 111.3

Shortest book: Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist (80 pages)

Longest book: Vanity Fair (912 pages)

Average book length: 360 pages

Average Goodreads rating: 4.0

Female authors: 81!

Male authors: 26

Multiple authors: 5

Audiobooks: 36

Books from my backlist: 28 (must do better!)

Rereads: 11


And that’s 2019 done! Here’s wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy new year ❤

2019 Smashing & Dashing Character Awards!

Last year, I posted my choices for the smashing and dashing character awards (created by Cait @ Paper Fury) so I couldn’t let 2019 end without doing it again with this year’s books!

(Images in this post link to my reviews if I wrote one!)


Most Relatable Character

you asked for perfect

Ariel, my poor soft bean. I related so much to this anxious boy pushing himself to his limit that I shed actual tears for us both. I found this book very triggering but it made me feel so seen and I’ll be forever grateful to Laura Silverman for that. Self-care is important, friends!


Most Pure Animal Companion

Solovey, Vasya’s faithful steed. I’ve never been much of a horse person but I love Solovey; he is just so pure. Every hero needs a companion like him ❤


Fiercest Fighter

nevernight

It has to be Mia Corvere from The Nevernight Chronicle. I finally binged this trilogy this year and fell headfirst into the Jay Kristoff fandom. This is one of the best revenge stories I’ve ever read.


Am Surprised That I Loved You??

the forgotten girl

The Forgotten Girl by Rio Youers. I took a chance on this book in a genre that is way out of my comfort zone and ended up rating it extremely highly and recommending it to numerous people! Youers is definitely an author I’ll be watching out for.


Best Sass-Master

in bloom

Definitely Rhiannon from In Bloom. This was a brilliant sequel to Sweet Pea and Rhiannon’s cutting sarcasm on every page gave me LIFE.


Best Antihero

finale

Literally any character from Stephanie Garber’s series could be considered an antihero! Even though I was slightly disappointed by this series conclusion, I still appreciate the abundance of Slytherin characters and their questionable moral choices throughout the trilogy.


The Best Friends Of All

deepest roots

I loved the themes of friendship and sisterhood in The Deepest Roots and really appreciated its story of female empowerment and magic. Rome, Lux and Mercy were such a close-knit trio.


Best Villain To HATE

one flew over the cuckoo's nest

This year, I re-read One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest for the first time in many years and no villain can beat Nurse Ratched. She is vile.


Award For Best vs Worst YA Parents

radio silence

Frances’ mum in Radio Silence is an absolute gem. I love her. As for the worst parent, this is the only time I’ll repeat an answer in this post and it’s We Are Lost And Found. Michael’s father had the most disgusting attitude towards his children and it was painful to read.


Ship Of All Ships In 2019

the binding

I adore the romance in this book and I will not hear a bad word said against it.


Most Precious Must Be Protected

we are lost and found

Literally everybody in We Are Lost And Found but especially Michael, my soft cinnamon roll. This story is so full of heart and I defy anyone to read it and not be moved.


Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive

dry

This book was so stressful! I mean, I enjoyed it for how gripping it was but jeez, these characters and their choices gave me anxiety. I never want to find myself in this kind of post-apocalyptic situation!


Award For Making The Worst Decisions

the twisted tree

Aside from the aforementioned characters in Dry, I feel like Martha made some rather questionable decisions in The Twisted Tree.


Most In Need Of A Nap

let's call it a doomsday

I read about a lot of anxious characters this year. Ellis was another one I related to strongly. My heart ached for her and I definitely think she deserves a nap after everything she went through in this book!


Want To Read More About You

dead voices

Dead Voices was a fantastic follow-up to last year’s Small Spaces. I can’t wait to read more of Ollie, Coco and Brian’s escapades in the next instalment and I’m looking forward to seeing what Katherine Arden does with the Spring setting!


Well, those are my picks for the 2019 character awards! Do you agree with any of my choices? Who were you shipping in 2019? Which characters did you relate to the most? Let me know in the comments! x

What makes me want to pick up a book?

Hello all! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt was ‘things that make me pick up a book’ and while I missed the day itself, I really liked the topic and wanted to share my answers. So I hope you won’t mind me jumping on board a little late!

Here are some things that make me highly likely to pick up a book!


Circus settings

Set a book in a circus and I am already halfway sold on it. They are just such magical settings, brimming with atmosphere and sensory details.

 

Anxiety Rep

As an anxiety sufferer myself, I’m always interested in books that portray this mental illness. It’s always nice to see my own life experiences represented and to feel like I’m not alone in my struggles.

 

Fairytales

There’s a reason why the book market is so saturated with fairytale retellings – because readers like me can’t get enough of them! I just love seeing the classic tales reimagined, particularly if they have a slightly darker twist to them.

 

WWII

I quite enjoy all historical fiction but I tend to be even more interested when they are set during the second World War. Maybe it’s a morbid fascination but I just find that they always have the emotional pull I’m looking for.

 

Witches

There’s a part of me that’s always secretly wanted to be a witch. Maybe that’s why I love reading about them so much?

 

Magical Realism

Magical realism is one of my favourite genres; I just adore those settings that almost feel like the real world but that have that extra little spark of something.

 

Roadtrips

My aforementioned anxiety often prevents me from travelling so I love living vicariously and reading about characters going on epic roadtrips!

 

Books about Books

Is there any book lover that doesn’t enjoy reading about one of the things they’re most passionate about in this world? Books about books are just so satisfying to me and remind me why I adore reading so much.

 

Sibling relationships

Maybe it’s because I’m an only child but I love reading about the bond between siblings. It always feels so special.

 

Old/Atmospheric Houses

This one stems back to my Gothic literature class in sixth form. I developed a love for those atmospheric houses and to this day, if a blurb mentions an old house setting I’m immediately interested.


So those are some of my buzzwords when it comes to picking up a book to read! Do we have any in common? x

March 2019 Anticipated Releases!

March

Well I don’t know where the heck February went but it’s time for a new month and therefore time to shout about some more anticipated releases!

As always, I’m using UK release dates (there are a lot of awesome books releasing in America this month but they’re not out in the UK until April so I can’t feature them yet!) Covers and synopses from Goodreads.


The Cold Is In Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

Release date: March 7th

the cold is in her bones

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

Why I’m interested: I enjoyed the author’s debut, The Beast is an Animal, and this one sounds just as good. It’s based on the story of Medusa?!


Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Release date: March 7th

gingerbread

Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children’s stories–equal parts wholesome and uncanny, from the tantalizing witch’s house in “Hansel and Gretel” to the man-shaped confection who one day decides to run as fast as he can–beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites readers into a delightful tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe.

Perdita Lee may appear to be your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor walk-up apartment with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there’s the gingerbread they make. Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but it’s very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (and, according to Wikipedia, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee’s early youth. In fact, the world’s truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread is Harriet’s charismatic childhood friend, Gretel Kercheval–a figure who seems to have had a hand in everything (good or bad) that has happened to Harriet since they met.

Decades later, when teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother’s long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet’s story. As the book follows the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, wealth, and real estate, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value. Endlessly surprising and satisfying, written with Helen Oyeyemi’s inimitable style and imagination, it is a true feast for the reader.

Why I’m interested: I’ve never read anything by Oyeyemi but all of her books sound really good. I like that she uses elements of fairytales.


The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

Release date: March 12th

the bird king

Set in 1491 during the reign of the last sultanate in the Iberian peninsula, The Bird King is the story of Fatima, the only remaining Circassian concubine to the sultan, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker.

Hassan has a secret–he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

Why I’m interested: I am feeling ALL of the epic adult fantasy this year. We are truly being blessed with all the amazing titles that are being published. This one sounds like it could have vibes of The City of Brass.


The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

Release date: March 12th

the waking forest.jpg

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

Why I’m interested: There’s a forest. There’s a witch. Need I say more?


The Black Coats by Colleen Oakes

Release date: March 21st

the black coats.jpg

Roses are red, violets are blue, if you hurt us, we’re coming for you.

The deeply secretive Black Coats have been exacting vengeance on men who hurt girls and women for years. And Thea has just received an invitation to join them. This is the opportunity she’s been waiting for to finally get justice for her cousin Natalie, whose killer went free.

Thea dives head first into the group, training every day with other girls whose stories rival hers. Together they carry out Balancings—acts of revenge guaranteed to teach a lesson. With every predator threatened, every blackmailer exposed, and every date rapist punished, Thea can feel herself getting closer to avenging Natalie’s death.

But then the Balancings begin to escalate in brutality, and Thea discovers that the Black Coats are not all they seem to be. Thea must confront just how far she’s willing to go for justice—and what kind of justice Natalie, and Thea herself, deserve. Because when the line between justice and revenge is razor thin, it’s hard not to get cut.

Why I’m interested: I actually thought this was already out? But apparently not according to Amazon UK. Anyway. It sounds similar to Sawkill Girls which I really enjoyed last year and, frankly, I love the feminist vibes I’m getting from that blurb.


The Missing Sister by Dinah Jefferies

Release date: March 21st

the missing sister

A stolen sister. A daughter determined to uncover the truth.

Belle Hatton has embarked upon an exciting new life far from home: a glamorous job as a nightclub singer in 1930s Burma, with a host of sophisticated new friends and admirers. But Belle is haunted by a mystery from the past – a 25 year old newspaper clipping found in her parents’ belongings after their death, saying that the Hattons were leaving Rangoon after the disappearance of their baby daughter, Elvira.

Belle is desperate to find out what happened to the sister she never knew she had – but when she starts asking questions, she is confronted with unsettling rumours, malicious gossip, and outright threats. Oliver, an attractive, easy-going American journalist, promises to help her, but an anonymous note tells her not to trust those closest to her. . .

Belle survives riots, intruders, and bomb attacks – but nothing will stop her in her mission to uncover the truth. Can she trust her growing feelings for Oliver? Is her sister really dead? And could there be a chance Belle might find her?

Why I’m interested: I don’t know why but I have a bit of a thing for Dinah Jefferies’ historical romances. I’m always looking out for more books from her.


Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett

Release date: March 26th

miranda in milan.jpg

After the tempest, after the reunion, after her father drowned his books, Miranda was meant to enter a brave new world. Naples awaited her, and Ferdinand, and a throne. Instead she finds herself in Milan, in her father’s castle, surrounded by hostile servants who treat her like a ghost. Whispers cling to her like spiderwebs, whispers that carry her dead mother’s name. And though he promised to give away his power, Milan is once again contorting around Prospero’s dark arts. With only Dorothea, her sole companion and confidant to aid her, Miranda must cut through the mystery and find the truth about her father, her mother, and herself.

Why I’m interested: I’m a big Shakespeare fan and I love when authors reimagine his work. This one was brought to my attention by the lovely Melanie and it sounds like something I will enjoy!


So those are some books coming out this month that I’m excited for! I actually had more on my list to talk about but they have obviously been pushed back because they are no longer listed on websites as March releases. What are you looking forward to getting your hands on this month? 

My favourite blog posts of February 2019!

Hey everyone! It’s time for me to share some blog posts I’ve loved this month! Apologies for the shorter-than-usual list, I’ve been in the worst slump!

favourite blog posts of the month


favourite reviewsBeth wrote an eloquent review of The Luminaries, which sounds so good!

Rae reviewed the audiobook of Ghost Wall, another interesting-sounding read!

Jenna gave a stellar review of Autoboyography, a book which truly has my heart.

Aweng reviewed Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns, which was one of my favourite reads of 2018!

Beth wrote a great review of You Asked For Perfect, one of my most anticipated releases of the year!


favourite discussionsKelly talked about the value of teen voices in the blogging community and announced an exciting new project!

The Quiet Pond featured an amazing series of posts where book bloggers talked about their experiences balancing life and blogging. This was such a valuable thing to read, especially with how much I’ve felt myself struggling recently, so I highly recommend taking the time to check it out!

Drew raised a fascinating discussion about trigger warnings.

Rita discussed the wonder of BIG books and I am totally vibing with her.

Marie wrote a post about how to stay positive while book blogging and it was a golden ray of sunshine in the depths of my slump.

Wendy eloquently discussed why she doesn’t use the Goodreads star rating system.


other fun postsSamantha gave some practical advice on how to go about unhauling books.

Nandini highlighted 5 diverse anthologies coming out in 2019. These look awesome!

Ellyn shared some tips for growing your blog, from which I’m sure we could all learn something!

Ayunda wrote another ‘Behind the Blog’ post, this time interviewing the lovely Callum! You should all be following both of these bloggers.

Rachel wrote a great post full of Irish literature recommendations.

Aurora shared her original OTPs for Valentine’s Day and I was living for it. You should also check out her book recommendations for Pisces – the best of the star signs 😉

Kat shared a series of insanely helpful posts on how to make your blog look prettier. Definitely need to try some of her tips for myself!


I hope that you enjoy these posts and maybe connect with some bloggers you don’t currently know! Thanks, as always, for reading xsignature (2)

February 2019 Anticipated Releases!

 

February

Well, it’s the start of another month, which means it’s time for a look at some more anticipated releases, yay! And February is looking to be an incredible month for books. I couldn’t keep this list to just ten books so let’s not waste any more time and jump straight in!

Once again, covers and synopses are taken from Goodreads and I am using UK release dates.


White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Release date: February 1st

white stag

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

Why I’m interested: I have a bit of a thing for Goblin King stories and this one sounds perfectly wicked. Plus, Cait gave it a positive review and, honestly, that’s all I need to know.


The Familiars by Stacey Halls

Release date: February 4th

the familiars

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn’t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

When she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife, Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong.

When Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye?

As the two women’s lives become inextricably bound together, the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Why I’m interested: I’m fascinated by books about witch trials and this one sounds similar to Widdershins, which I loved. And it’s blurbed by Jessie Burton so it’s practically guaranteed to be overflowing with atmosphere.


A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel

Release date: February 5th

danger to herself and others

Only when she’s locked away does the truth begin to escape…

Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She didn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is going to use her persuasive skills to get the staff on her side.

Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place.

Why I’m interested: I read Sheinmel’s novel Faceless a few years ago and enjoyed it. Her latest novel sounds very interesting and all the ARC reviews I’ve read so far have had nothing but good things to say.


The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea

Release date: February 7th

glass woman

1686, ICELAND. AN ISOLATED, WINDSWEPT LAND HAUNTED BY WITCH TRIALS AND STEEPED IN THE ANCIENT SAGAS.

Betrothed unexpectedly to Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.

But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.

The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here – Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers – or the land itself?

Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming. She fears she will be its next victim . . .

Why I’m interested: Another book about witch trials but this one is set in Iceland?! This honestly sounds so Gothic and amazing, I need it in my life.


Sea monsters by Chloe Aridjis

Release date: February 7th

sea monsters

Pulsing to the soundtrack of Joy Division, Nick Cave, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sea Monsters offers an intoxicating portrait of Mexico in the late 1980s.

One autumn afternoon in Mexico City, seventeen-year-old Luisa does not return home from school. Instead, she boards a bus to the Pacific coast with Tomás, a boy she barely knows. He seems to represent everything her life is lacking—recklessness, impulse, independence.

Tomás may also help Luisa fulfil an unusual obsession: she wants to track down a traveling troupe of Ukrainian dwarfs. According to newspaper reports, the dwarfs recently escaped a Soviet circus touring Mexico. The imagined fates of these performers fill Luisa’s surreal dreams as she settles in a beach community in Oaxaca. Surrounded by hippies, nudists, beachcombers, and eccentric storytellers, Luisa searches for someone, anyone, who will “promise, no matter what, to remain a mystery.” It is a quest more easily envisioned than accomplished. As she wanders the shoreline and visits the local bar, Luisa begins to disappear dangerously into the lives of strangers on Zipolite, the “Beach of the Dead.”

Meanwhile, her father has set out to find his missing daughter. A mesmeric portrait of transgression and disenchantment unfolds. Sea Monsters is a brilliantly playful and supple novel about the moments and mysteries that shape us.

Why I’m interested: This sounds quite different to the kind of books I would usually read but there’s just something about this that’s calling to me. It sounds a bit weird and wonderful, but I’m definitely intrigued.


The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Release date: February 7th

dreamers

In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are cancelled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.

Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

Why I’m interested: The first time I heard about this book was over on Rachel’s blog and I was immediately intrigued. So many ARC reviews have compared this one to Station Eleven, which is one of my favourite ever books, and I definitely want to see for myself what it’s like!


On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Release date: February 7th

on the come up

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

Why I’m interested: I’ve only just read The Hate U Give but I’m definitely impressed with Thomas’ writing ability and I want to see where she goes with her second novel.


The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Release date: February 12th

night tiger.jpg

They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk among us…

In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a mission: to find his dead master’s severed finger and reunite it with his body. Ren has forty-nine days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth forever.

Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker, moonlights as a dancehall girl to pay her mother’s debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir that leads her on a crooked, dark trail.

As time runs out for Ren’s mission, a series of unexplained deaths occur amid rumours of tigers who turn into men. In their journey to keep a promise and discover the truth, Ren and Ji Lin’s paths will cross in ways they will never forget.

Why I’m interested: This sounds like a gorgeous historical fiction with possible magical realism elements and I’ve heard reliably from one of my book club ladies that it’s very good!


The Problem of Susan and Other Stories by Neil Gaiman

Release date: February 12th

the problem of susan

From Hugo, Eisner, Newbery, Harvey, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning author Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell (The Sandman, The Giver), Scott Hampton (American Gods), and Paul Chadwick (Concrete) comes a graphic novel adaptations of the short stories and poems: The Problem of Susan, October in the Chair, Locks, and The Day the Saucers Came.

Two stories and two poems. All wondrous and imaginative about the tales we tell and experience. Where the incarnations of the months of the year sit around a campfire sharing stories, where an older college professor recounts a Narnian childhood, where the apocalypse unfolds, and where the importance of generational storytelling is seen through the Goldilocks fairytale. These four comic adaptations have something for everyone and are a must for Gaiman fans!

Why I’m interested: It’s Neil Gaiman. ‘Nuff said. I’ve never read any of the four stories/poems featured here but I’m sure they’ll be fantastic, as usual. And it will be really interesting to see them in graphic novel format!


The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee

Release date: February 19th

the great unknowable end.jpg

Slater, Kansas is a small town where not much seems to happen.

Stella dreams of being a space engineer. After Stella’s mom dies by suicide and her brother runs off to Red Sun, the local hippie commune, Stella is forced to bring her dreams down to Earth to care for her sister Jill.

Galliard has only ever known life inside Red Sun. There, people accept his tics, his Tourette’s. But when he’s denied Red Sun’s resident artist role he believed he was destined for, he starts to imagine a life beyond the gates of the compound…

The day Stella and Galliard meet, there is something in the air in their small town. Literally. So begins weeks of pink lightning, blood red rain, unexplained storms… And a countdown clock appears mysteriously above the town hall. With time ticking down to some great, unknowable end they’ll each have to make a choice.

If this is really the end of the world, who do they want to be when they face it?

Why I’m interested: I love the sound of the supernatural/magical elements in this one, not to mention the mental health rep!


The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty

Release date: February 21st

kingdom of copper.jpg

Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family and one misstep will doom her tribe.

Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid, the unpredictable water spirits, have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.

And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.

Why I’m interested: This is definitely the most anticipated book on this list! The City of Brass was one of my favourite reads of 2018 and I am so bloody excited for book two!!


Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Release date: February 21st

enchantee

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

Why I’m interested: As soon as I heard of this one last year, I knew I wanted to read it. It sounds magical and fantastical and everything I love in a book. I’ve since heard mixed reviews about it but I’d still like to give it a try!


The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Release date: February 26th

priory of the orange tree

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Why I’m interested: This book has been getting hype for the longest time and if I’m totally honest, I wasn’t interested at first. However, a couple of recent reviews have really convinced me that this is going to be awesome. And I’m definitely in the mood for some epic fantasy in 2019.


The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Release date: February 28th

the five

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.
What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.

For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that ‘the Ripper’ preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

Why I’m interested: I’ve always had a bit of a morbid fascination with Jack the Ripper and combining that with my desire to read more non-fiction this year, I’ve definitely got this one on my wishlist!


So those are some of the February releases I’ve got my eye on! Are you looking forward to any of these? Let me know in the comments! xsignature (2)

My favourite blog posts of January 2019!

Well I don’t know about anyone else but January felt like it lasted forever to me. However, let’s try to be positive about it – this means there’s been even more quality blog content from all of you!

Also, *drumroll* please… I’ve finally made some blog graphics! I think hehe. I’m trialling the first of them in this post so please let me know if there are any problems with them or they aren’t showing up properly! I’m not technically savvy at all but I’m trying my best to make my blog look prettier 😀 So they may vary as I figure out more of what I’m doing!

Ok, let’s do this!

favourite blog posts of the month


Favourite reviews.png

Kristin reviewed The Radium Girls, which sounds fascinating. I’m looking to read more non-fiction this year and this title has jumped firmly into a high position on my list!

Steph wrote a lovely review of Tin Man – I’ve heard really good things about this one!

Melanie displayed her wonderful reviewing skills yet again and made me even more desperate for The Winter of the Witch!

Rae reviewed an ARC of The Night Tiger which sounds very intriguing!

Beth reviewed Convenience Store Woman. I’ve been hearing a lot about this one and it sounds really good!

Ashleigh reviewed The Priory of the Orange Tree and convinced me that I need this book in my life.

Esme wrote a lovely review of The Weight of a Piano, which sounds perfect for me!

Merline reviewed The Kingdom of Copper and got me even more hyped!

Kelly wrote a great review of Paper Girl, which I love the sound of!


favourite discussions

Nyx asked if the length of a book matters. This felt like a timely post as one of my reading goals for this year is tackle some of the bigger books on my shelf that have been intimidating me!

Melanie talked about why she feels frustrated with YA novels. I’ve noticed my own reading tastes starting to change recently so I found this an interesting post to read.

Marie raised the question of whether book bloggers need a reading schedule, which I found hugely relevant!

Rita reacted to the Marie Kondo controversy and addressed the issue of purging books.

Aurora talked about why she is a bad book blogger and made me feel so much better for how rubbish I can be too!


other fun posts

Ally wrote a great recommendation list of diverse historical fiction.

Jenna did the ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ tag. I love this idea and I’m definitely going to do this one myself!

Lorryn recommended books with bipolar, schizophrenia and personality disorder rep – and you know I’m looking for more mental health reads!

Margaret asked her family to choose her TBR, which I thought was a fun idea.

Cait revealed the cover for The Boy Who Steals Houses and I am so excited!

Charleigh celebrated her birthday and listed her ultimate favourite books.


Well, there you have just a small selection of the posts I’ve loved this month! Be sure to check out any that pique your interest and spread the blogging love 🙂 

And please PLEASE leave me a comment below if you can offer any feedback on my graphics! Thanks lovelies! xsignature (2)

Authors I discovered in 2018!

Hey everyone! I missed Top Ten Tuesday last week but I really liked the topic (and I already posted something similar to this week’s prompt so I decided to just swap things a bit!) Why not, eh? 😉

I discovered some amazing authors in 2018, some of whom became new favourites and that I really want to read more from this year!


Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley is quite a prolific author but my introduction to her work came through her Seven Sisters series. There are currently five books published in the series, with another two due, and I honestly have not been so excited about a series since Harry Potter was first released! The plot is so clever and intricately woven, with amazing characters and stunning settings. I have given five stars to every book in the series so far.

Books I’ve Read

 

Books I Haven’t Read


Christina Henry

Christina Henry is one of the authors I discovered last year who has become a firm favourite. Her super dark retellings give me life. I’ve read two of her books so far with another three on my TBR for this year. I don’t know if I’m interested in Henry’s backlist, the Black Wings series, but I’ll definitely be picking up anything she writes in future.

Books I’ve Read

 

Books I Haven’t Read


Susanna Kearsley

Kearsley was an author who was on my radar for a long time. Her books always sounded like something I would enjoy. However, it if wasn’t for my book club picking The Winter Sea last year, I might still not have tried her. Hooray for book club, it ended up being one of my favourites of the year! I can’t wait to read more of her books and already have three on my TBR shelf for this year.

the winter sea

Books I’ve Read

 

Books I Haven’t Read


Margaret Atwood

I know, I know. It took me a ridiculously long time to jump on the Atwood bandwagon. But I’m here now and in it for the long haul!

Books I’ve Read

 

Books I Haven’t Read (plus like a million more but I couldn’t fit them all in here!)


Daphne du Maurier

I finally sampled the queen of the Gothic in 2018 and I will definitely be continuing my journey with her. Rebecca is a masterpiece.

rebecca du maurier

Books I’ve Read

 

Books I Haven’t Read


Helen Fields

I have talked about the Perfect series before and I am currently up to date with it, yay! The fifth book comes out this year and I am READY.

Books I’ve Read

 

perfect crime

Books I Haven’t Read


Neal Shusterman

Scythe was another book club pick and I loved it. It was so original! And the sequel *might* just be better than the first book. I can’t wait for the trilogy’s conclusion this year!

Books I’ve Read

 

Books I Haven’t Read


Sarah Addison Allen

Allen’s books seem to just be really sweet, nothing too mind-blowing but cute, fun reads, which is sometimes exactly what you need. And she’s only written 6 books so it shouldn’t be too hard to catch up!

Books I’ve Read

 

Books I Haven’t Read


Katrina Leno

Magical realism is one of my favourite genres and this book handled a difficult subject really well. I’d love to read more of Leno’s books soon.

summer of salt

Books I’ve Read

 

Books I Haven’t Read


Christina Lauren

Autoboyography is another book that became a firm favourite last year. I’m not a huge romance reader but I’d still be interested in reading some more books from this dynamic writing duo.

autoboyography

Books I’ve Read

 

Books I Haven’t Read


Wow, this post took HOURS to compile! Ugh, the self-doubt is strong today; I’ve stressed myself out about this post and I’m not even overly happy with it. Oh well. We can’t love them all, I guess. It was still fun to look back at the authors I discovered in 2018!

Have you read any of these authors? If so, can you recommend which of their books I should try next?! Leave me a comment below! x

12 Books I MUST Read in 2019!

Hey everyone! I’ve mentioned before that one of my goals for this year is to read more of my backlist books. As part of this, I’ve made a list of 12 books that I have been saying for YEARS “oh I must read that soon” – seriously, I just never seem to pick these ones up and I don’t know why. So I’m making this post to hold myself accountable. By the end of 2019, I will have read all of these books!


thug

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


perfume.jpg

Perfume by Patrick Suskind


a darker shade of magic adsom.jpg

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab


master and margarita

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov


jonathan strange

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke


girl with all the gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey


white teeth

White Teeth by Zadie Smith


lake house

The Lake House by Kate Morton


here i stand.jpg

Here I Stand by Amnesty International


flawed

Flawed by Cecilia Ahern


uprooted

Uprooted by Naomi Novik


geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden


Have you read any of these books? Which one do you recommend I start with? Also, I’ve floated the idea on Instagram of a readalong of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, as so many people seem to have it on their shelves but feel intimidated by its size. Let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in?! x