Reviews: Chasing Down Light in the Indigo

Hello everybody! Today, I’m bringing you another 5 star predictions review post, because I’m absolutely loving doing them and just can’t seem to stop myself. Don’t judge me, please. Anyway, onto the post!

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I read this a couple of days after Carrie Soto is Back came out, having initially planned to read that given my love of Taylor’s recent books, so I don’t know what it says about me that I finally got round to reading her debut instead. Nevertheless, I loved this. It is the story of a woman named Elsie who has a whirlwind romance with a man called Ben, culminating in them getting married after about 4 months, and then her complicated grief when Ben suddenly dies and she is left with only a mother in law who had no idea she even existed. As you’d expect, it’s beautifully written and utterly devastating in equal measure, and the decision to make it dual timeline with Elsie and Ben falling in love, and then Elsie and Susan grieving him is genius. The characters are undoubtedly complex and hard to agree with at some stages of the book, yet you can very definitely see where they’re coming from the vast majority of the time. This bears little resemblance to Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones, in terms of style and subject matter, but it’s one I’d love to see getting more love, because it deserves it.

The Three Dahlias by Katy Watson

I have read all of Katy’s teen and young adult books, so when she announced an adult mystery book paying homage to Golden Age crime, I was immediately excited. It follows three different actresses- Rosalind, Caro and Posy- who have all played fictional detective Dahlia Lively over the years, as they go to a fan convention weekend held at the country house of Lettie Davenport, the author of the books that the famous detective originated in. Of course, a murder occurs, and then our trio of protagonists decide to channel their inner Dahlia and find the killer. I loved getting to know all three of our Dahlias and seeing them come together for a common purpose despite professional jealousies, as well as meeting the rest of our cast, all of whom I’m pretty sure I suspected of the murder at one point or another. The eventual reveal of the culprit definitely caught me by surprise, and I absolutely loved the tantalising hint at the end for the upcoming sequel, which is reminiscent of how Only Murders in the Building end their seasons.

Big Bad Me by Aislinn O’ Loughlin (recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

Aislinn is hilarious and brilliant on social media, so I was pretty certain I’d love her book despite it being quite a different read for me, and I was thrilled to discover that I was right. It’s the story of a teenage girl named Evie, who discovers that her rare form of diabetes is in fact not diabetes at all, but instead signs that she is secretly a werewolf, which her adoptive mum and sister have been hiding from her for her entire life. The paranormal and sisterhood elements really reminded me of My Sister the Vampire, which I adored in my childhood, and I think this is the final push I needed to convince me to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I’ve been unsure about for YEARS; so thank you for that Aislinn! Evie and Kate’s relationship is absolutely gorgeous, albeit very complex, and I loved that they had each other’s back in every way imaginable. I’d also like it to be acknowledged that I worked out the truth about Kevin LONG before Evie, and I loved their romance, which has Vampire Diaries but more self aware kinda vibes. I have no idea what Aislinn is doing next, but I do know I’ll be reading it regardless. Keep your eyes out for her guest post on my blog tour spot next week too!

The October Witches by Jennifer Claessen (recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

I had heard so many fantastic things about this that it had a LOT of hype to live up to, and I think I liked it even more than I was expecting to. I loved the subtle nods to Arthurian legend and the way this very much put a unique spin on those stories while paying homage at the same time. I loved our characters, the chaotic but caring Merlyns, and the almost entirely female cast felt like such a special thing to read too! I loved the nod in the acknowledgements to this so much as well! The cosy autumnal vibes made me super happy too, because it is the best season, and I just didn’t want it to end because I was having such fun with it. If you love Eva Ibbotson’s middle grade, I think this is the closest I’ve ever come to replicating the feeling of reading it, so I strongly suggest you get it on your TBR. Ideally during October, because duhhhhh!!!

The Miraculous Sweetmakers and the Frost Fair by Natasha Hastings (recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

This is kind of a hard review for me to write, because Tasha and I have bonded over our disabilities and so many other things over the past year, and I spent so much of this book full on sobbing about how she wrote this and how proud of her I was. I buddy read with my friend Izzy, who also loved it, thankfully, and before I say anything else, I want to implore you to put it on your autumn/winter TBR, both because it is amazing and it has stunning historical disability representation, in that the main character has severe asthma. I loved Thomasina, her strength and bravery and I was so happy for her when she found a twin soul type connection in Anne. Inigo is also a fascinating character with so much depth, and I loved learning more about this historical period too, as I honestly don’t know that much about it. The fantasy setting of the Other Frost Fair is also breathtakingly beautiful, as well as having some seriously sinister undertones. Furthermore, the discussions of women and mental illness are beyond incredible, and added a fabulous feminist thread to an already special sto I can’t wait for the next book in this series, which will undoubtedly also make me weepy with pride.

Duvet Day by Emily Kerr

This has been on my TBR for absolutely ages, and I’m slightly regretful that it took me so long to get to it, because with a title like that I was always guaranteed to love it. It’s about a young lawyer named Alexa who decides to have a duvet day because she is so burned out from working at her high flying office. Then, she gets locked out of the house, and the wildest day of her life to date ensues, filled with romance, self-discovery and a race against time to get home before her cunning, ruthless colleague and housemate Zara does. First up, I loved Alexa. She’s so likeable and funny and clever, and I loved that her duvet day turns into something completely different than what she planned, but still undoubtedly improves her life. The romance in this has an enemies to lovers vibe that I just adored, even though it would be a slight spoiler to reveal the love interest’s identity. It’s just so much FUN, and yet also has some really important messages to share about work/life balance and protecting your mental health above anything.

The Lost Girl King by Catherine Doyle

This is the new Catherine Doyle middle grade book, and I’ve been a big fan since the Blood for Blood trilogy and loved both the Storm Keeper’s Island books and her collaboration with Katherine Webber, so I was very excited about it, especially as me and my friend Rach decided to read it together. It follows siblings Amy and Liam as they journey through the veil to Tír na nÓg and end up involved in trying to break the curse cast there by a wicked sorcerer. The sibling relationship is so lovely, and there is such a variety of wonderful cast members that it would be hard to pick a favourite of the ensemble (although I reckon it’s Gilda!). This is based around Irish mythology, which is so fascinating, and I’m loving seeing it more of it in fiction recently, because I love learning about myths I’ve never heard of and know nothing about. On that note, the worldbuilding is also brilliantly done, and I loved the way this comes together so perfectly at the end. Absolutely perfect for fans of the Castle of Tangled Magic and Orla and the Wild Hunt, for sure!

Alliana, Girl of Dragons by Julie Abe

I had been saving the new book from Julie Abe, one of my most beloved comfort authors, for the week of my annual MRI scan, and it was exactly the cosy, gorgeous fantasy I needed to escape into. It’s a Japanese-inspired Cinderella story about a girl named Alliana, who lives a dreary life of servitude to her stepfamily, while dreaming of one day winning a place at the Royal Academy. This is a prequel to the Eva Evergreen books and you will recognise Alliana’s name if you’ve read them. It was so interesting to see her as a young girl, and to meet Nelalithimus at that age too. I LOVED our nightdragon character and his beautiful bond with Alliana, who discovers that she has the power to speak to these feared creatures, and that she can be of help to witches despite being told that is worthless basically her entire life. I think this is brilliantly done in terms of it being a prequel because the story feels engaging and exciting and new, but also has the aspects fans of Eva Evergreen will be looking for, and of course you are safe in the knowledge that things turn out well for her in the end. This actually really helped me get through some of the bleaker moments she faces in the book, and I must admit, I’d love a sequel to this following her journey at the Royal Academy. That said, I’ll pick up whatever Julie writes next, and I’m super excited to read her first YA book the Charmed List soon as well.

The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

I buddy read this with my friend Christine, while recovering mentally and physically from the aforementioned hospital visit, and it was like a balm to my soul, I’m not even joking. It’s a friends to lovers romance and I’m pretty up and down on those, but the inclusion of fake dating had me sold on it before I even started, hence it ended up on this list. It follows ballet teacher Bree and her best friend and famed quarterback Nathan, who have to pretend to be a couple after an adorable yet embarrassing video of them goes viral on social media. These two are one of the most precious couples I’ve ever read in my whole life, and I was so invested in them as individuals as well. I did kind of want to scream at them sometimes when they were being silly and not admitting how they felt, but I equally understood them and saw why they didn’t want to jeopardise their adorable, supportive friendship. The supporting cast, especially Nathan’s teammates and Bree’s students, are such a joy and added tons of humour to the story, and the ending made me grin and do a squeal because it is just SO LOVELY. I’m so excited to read more from this author, especially as she has a small town interlinked series on the way very soon, and I’m an absolute SUCKER for those.

The Ministry of Unladylike Activity by Robin Stevens

If you’ve read literally any post I’ve ever written, you will know that the Murder Most Unladylike series is one of my very favourite things in the world. This is the beginning of a new spinoff series focusing on Hazel’s little sister May, as she decides to run away and become a spy to help the war effort, much to the chagrin of her sister and her best friend Daisy Wells, who are of course now working for the government. To prove herself, she decides to go undercover at a country house called Elysium Hall, where a Nazi spy is suspected of being. Then, a murder happens and she must team up with her fellow wannabe spy Eric, and Finnuala, an Irish girl who lives at Elysium but feels like a fish out of water with a grieving mother and a family she barely knows. These new characters are outstanding, as you would expect from Robin, from our new trio of detectives and their complicated but beautiful bonds, to each and every member of our cast of suspects, who feel so fleshed out and three dimensional. And of course, seeing Hazel and Daisy again, and so grown up, made me literally WEEP. The country house mystery is engaging, fast-paced and full of twists and turns, and it has filled me with an intense desire to reread the whole of the original series for the billionth time. This was so special for me, and if you’re a fellow fan, I guarantee you’ll be bowled over too; I would go so far as to say this is in Robin’s top three books. Detective Society forever (and ever and always).

Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas

I buddy read this with Charlotte, after a comedy of errors in us getting hold of the book and then actually reading it, so I think we were both very relieved when it lived up to our sky-high expectations. It follows a girl named Hasani, who discovers she is a witch and is subsequently offered a place at an exclusive magical finishing school over the summer, which she gladly accepts as she believes this may help her with her goal of becoming a revered beauty YouTuber. The magic in this book is SO interesting and unusual, and I loved the school setting and the system of the belles demoiselles. The entire cast are people of colour, which shouldn’t be unusual but unfortunately is, and I think they’re all so brilliant, whether I straight up loved them or loved to hate them (and a couple fell squarely into that category, trust me!). My personal favourite, except for Hasani, was probably Angelique, who there’s a lot more to than meets the eye. I’m so excited for book 2, which Charlotte and I have already decided to hopefully read together once it’s out.

Always, Clementine by Carlie Sorosiak (recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

I’ve been highly anticipating this book for what feels like forever, and oh my goodness, it did not let me down. It’s the story of lab mouse Clementine, who has been bred to be smarter than your average human, and what happens when someone releases her and another mouse from the facility and they are taken in by a boy named Gus and his Pops. Carlie is so skilled at crafting characters you care about immensely from the very outset, and this book is no exception. My heart just burst with love for Clementine from the moment I met her, I loved the comedic relief Hamlet provides, and Gus and Pops are examples of humankind at its very finest. This says so many important things about the horrors of animal testing and experimentation, and it both made my heart sing with joy to see Clemenine thrive after leaving, and made me so upset for all of the real life animals subjected to this. The epistolary format is brilliantly done, one of the best I’ve ever read, I’d say, and I just loved every second of this wonderful little book. This was worth every second of the 2 year wait, and I can’t wait for Carlie’s next book, whatever age range or genre it may be.

Thank you so much for reading! Which books have you rated 5 stars recently, and were they ones you predicted you would? Do you have any thoughts on the books I’ve included here? I’d love to chat in the comments! Amy xx


Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: | she/her

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: