Five Characters I’d Love to Follow on Social Media

Hello everybody! Today, I’m taking part in my first Top Ten Tuesday of 2020, and today’s theme is characters we’d like to follow on social media, which I had SO much fun thinking about. Onto the post!


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Nick Hidaka– otherwise known as Lion Boy, Nick remains one of my ultimate fictional crushes and will be until I’m old enough that it’s creepy. We all have those people we follow because we fancy them, and if he was real he’d absolutely be mine! Also, he’s hilarious and I think he’d be a blast on Twitter.

Lara-Jean Song-Covey– I don’t actually really like eating any baked goods, but I bloody LOVE looking at pretty photos of them. Therefore, LJ is 100% someone I want to be following. I’m also super into looking at pretty clothes, so she really would be a dream Insta follow for me.

Daisy Wells– I don’t know how Daisy would feel about social media given she is from the 1930s but I feel like she’d enjoy sharing her observations with the world and letting everyone know what an amazing detective she is. I have a feeling I’d really like her Twitter, if she had one! Also, I can’t just do a list of MMU characters

Cosmo Walker– I, Cosmo was my absolute favourite book last year, and if Cosmo had an Instagram I’d follow it in a HEARTBEAT. Like, I can’t tell you how much less I’d scroll social media if I didn’t follow so many animals. I’d just love to see his little golden face pop up on my screen all the time! And hopefully he’d have videos of him dancing as well?!

Izzy O’ Neill– Izzy is feminist and hilarious. She’d be a very on brand follow for me, and I think I’d absolutely love hearing what she had to say about current affairs, but also just getting to keep up with her life would be great given her series is now over.


Which characters would you most like to follow on social media, and which social media specifically do you want to follow them on? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

February Releases I’m Excited to Read

Hello everybody! It’s been a while, but today I’m going to be talking about some of the Feburary releases I’m very excited to read, that I haven’t yet, even though I’m very aware I’m quite late in the month to do a post like this. Onto the post!


 

Continue reading “February Releases I’m Excited to Read”

My Favourite Middle Grade Reads of 2019

Hello everybody, and welcome to my other favourites list that I mentioned the other day! Like with last year, I loved a lot more MG books than in other age categories, so this is a VERY long list because I just wanted to talk about all of them, and I’ve read more books this year so of course it follows that this one is even lengthier. Onto the post!


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Swimming Against the Storm– it feels so fitting that this was my first five star of the year, because Jess Butterworth is one of my favourite writers right now and I think she’s amazing. This one is set in Louisiana and focuses on two sisters trying to save their swampland home from a tropical storm (and later their lives). Jess is an amazing writer in a lot of ways, but my favourite things in here were definitely the relationship between Eliza and Avery and her vivid, descriptive writing that creates one of the best settings I’ve ever read.

Against All Gods– I can’t really say very much about the specific plot of this because it’s the fourth and final installment of a series, but it focuses on a young carer named Elliot whose life has become entwined with the Greek gods. They’re hilarious reads, but also have so much heart- there are parts of this one that are really difficult to read and I don’t see how anyone can pick them up and not feel awful for Elliot. Every single book has been phenomenal, honestly, and this was a really fitting send off.

Willow Moss and the Lost Day– this book was SO much fun. It’s a fantasy about a world where all magical people have their own unique skill, and specifically a young witch named Willow Moss who thinks her power for locating lost things is useless, until a powerful witch turns up on her door demanding that she helps to find last Tuesday, because it is missing and the world hangs in the balance. It’s such a great concept, Oswin is one of the best animal companions ever and the twist at the end totally caught me off guard (and made me cry!!). Can’t wait for the sequel in a few months.


Mo, Lottie and the Junkers– I would read anything for Jennifer Killick (see the fact that I plan to read Crater Lake even though I’m a MASSIVE wuss), which is how I came to read this sci-fi and fall in love with it. It’s about Mo and Lottie, who have just become part of the same blended family and have to investigate some rather strange goings on that are seemingly connected to their sinister new neighbours. As with all Jen’s books, it’s really funny and the mystery is great and Mo and Lottie have excellent banter. Something different to her others that I really loved, though, was the way it’s written- it’s like they’re transcripts of recordings and it’s really unusual and fun.

The Star Spun Web– I adored the Eye of the North back in 2017 and I loved Sinéad’s second book even more. It’s about an orphan named Tess who goes to live with a mysterious man after he turns up at her orphanage claiming to be her long lost guardian, and what happens when she has to stop him from carrying out his dangerous plans. It’s an absolutely cracking read- the science and fantasy elements can be complicated but they all just make sense and the action is fast paced and wonderful and the characters are amazing, particularly Tess. I REALLY want a sequel for this.


When We Were Warriors– if you don’t know by now that I love Emma Carroll, I’d be surprised, but in case you’re new here, Emma Carroll is a queen and I am yet to read anything by her that I don’t think is perfect. This is a collection of short stories that focus on life during World War 2- one takes place at Frost Hollow Hall, another returns to the characters of Letters to the Lighthouse and the final story is about entirely new characters. My favourite was the first one on account of the fact returning to Frost Hollow Hall is one of the most special literary experiences I think I’ve ever had but they were all brilliant and I thought the way Emma links them all was so clever.

The Last Spell Breather– this book is a debut, and honestly I couldn’t have guessed that if I’d not known going in, because it’s kind of amazing. It follows an apprentice spell breather named Rayne- who lives in a world where words are quite literally magical- as she accidentally damages her mother`s spell book and must embark on a quest in order to save her village as a result. The world is so interesting and layered and unique, I loved Raine an awful lot and Frank was the BEST. I had such a wonderful time reading this, and I’m so intrigued to read more from Julie in the future.


A Pocketful of Stars– this is another debut, this time by Aisha Bushby! I’ve been dying to read her full length debut since she wrote Marionette Girl for A Change is Gonna Come in 2017 and this didn’t let me down- it’s such an interesting, unique story about a girl who discovers her mum’s past via a virtual reality after she falls into a coma, whilst also navigating relatable friend dramas and changes to her life. It’s beautifully written, with vivid settings and a wonderful main character in Safiya. Team Tigerheart for life 💜

Wildspark– I LOVED Vashti’s debut Brightstorm, so I was both nervous and excited for this unrelated second novel. It’s amazing; the best way I can describe it is that it’s like the absolute best bits of His Dark Materials and Harry Potter combined, but it also has it’s own wonderful story to tell about a girl named Prue who moves to the City to join the “Ghost Guild”- a group of secretive inventors who capture spirits and place them inside mechanical animals. The worldbuilding can only be described as sublime, the characters are all wonderful and multilayered and the concept is just incredible.

Anna at War– I feel like this hasn’t been one I’ve talked about enough from this list, and I’m annoyed with myself for that because it’s about an area of history that deserves so much more consideration, at least in MG. I feel like there are barely any books about the effects of WW2 on Germany and German people, and this fills that gap so beautifully. It’s about a girl named Anna who is part of the Kindertransport scheme and I just loved that it talks about things like Kristallnacht and what happened to German Jews even before war broke out. I also loved the plotline involving the spy, and can I just take this opportunity to mention that Anna is kind of epic.


Spies in St Petersburg– I always enjoyed the Sinclair’s Mysteries, but like I said last year I feel like the Taylor and Rose spinoff series is just incredible. I don’t feel like a lot of authors could pull off 17 year old characters in middle grade but these work perfectly, and it also gives them such crossover appeal- they’re definitely ones I’d recommend to people just trying to get into MG for the first time (on this note, my dad loves them so much that he stole this one from my holiday TBR so he could read it before me!!). This time the action takes place in St Petersburg, which Katherine Woodfine conjures as amazingly as she does with all of her settings, it was great to see Sophie and Lil together more and I LOVED seeing Carruthers so much, I’m kind of a huge fan now. And the mystery was fabulous, but this is Katherine Woodfine so that goes without saying, really! That cliffhanger was VICIOUS though. I need the next one immediately please.

I, Cosmo– if you don’t already know, this is my absolute favourite book of any age category or genre in 2019 and honestly, quite possibly any year. It’s narrated by the loveliest elderly Golden Retriever named Cosmo and as someone who loves golden retrievers (and has two) it was just really special read. I wept solidly throughout because I was so overcome with my love for Cosmo and his humans, but also laughed and smiled a lot. I need more MG from Carlie IMMEDIATELY please.

The Garden of Lost Secrets- I have read some really incredible historical fiction this year, and this debut was phenomenal. I don’t think I’ve said this in a while, but WW1 home front is one of the periods I find most interesting, so this book was always going to be one I loved, really but it was still nice to have that confirmed! It is the story of a girl named Clara as she goes to stay with her aunt and uncle in the midst of the first world war, and the mystery she becomes embroiled in there about who is stealing fruit from the gardens of the estate her relatives work on. I know that sounds a bit random, but it’s so compelling and I cared very deeply indeed about the characters and this plot. It reminded me of reading Frost Hollow Hall for the first time, and if you know me you’ll know that’s not something I say lightly.

Begone the Raggedy Witches/The Little Grey Girl– I’m so glad I finally got to these this year, because I’ve wanted to since before the first was published. They’re about a girl who must journey into a fantasy world ruled by a tyrannical queen with her family after her dad is kidnapped, and they’re amazing. The first is an exciting, well written fantasy, but in the second book it’s really different from a lot of fantasy and it’s fascinating.


Top Marks for Murder– my love for Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells knows absolutely no bounds, and I adored their 8th murder mystery, which is set back at my beloved Deepdean School for Girls. My girls were as perfectly imperfect and amazing as they always are, I loved their dorm mates being involved in the case again, and the mystery is one of the cleverest Robin has written to date (and ALL her mysteries are insanely clever, so that’s not a backhanded compliment). It also features Inspector Priestly again, and while I do acknowledge that I shouldn’t fall in love with fictional detectives who are far too old for me, I do not care, and I’m obsessed with him. This was just perfection all round.

Girl 38– this was the book of all these that I could never have predicted would be on here, which isn’t to say I thought I’d hate it; I just didn’t think it would affect me emotionally as much as it did. This is the story of a girl named Kat, who is having a really difficult time due to toxic friendship, as she meets her neighbour Anja and learns about her past- specifically what happened to her and her best friend during World War Two. Like I mentioned with Anna at War, I’m really interested in the Holocaust/the period leading up to it’s impact on places that were not Britain so I loved the past timeline, and the present timeline honestly kind of broke me because Julian’s storyline is just heartbreaking and I loved him. If you’ve read this, this might sound weird based on Kat’s role in that but I did also really love her- shes frustrating but you also completely understand her and why she does what she does. Such a clever, moving book.

Under Earth– I loved Storm Witch last year and this sublime sequel follows our heroine Storm, who is the new weather witch of Yanlin, as she sets sail with their fleet to Bellum Town, a much richer island with sinister secrets who are desperate to use Storm`s power for themselves. Storm is a fascinating character and her development in this gave me life, to be honest, because I love that she’s starting to learn how to use her power in a way that benefits her, and the world is one if my favourites, possibly ever. Reading these feels like reading books that I’ve waited my whole life for without ever realising, which sounds ridiculous but is honestly true.

Alex Sparrow and the Zumbie Apocalypse– I’ve been reading Alex Sparrow since either just before or just after the release of book one, and they’re just so much fun. Alex and Jess are both hilarious and their friendship dynamic is even funnier, I love their slightly unusual superpowers and the mysteries they’re involved in as a result and they’re just an absolute JOY to read.


The Girl Who Speaks Bear– I loved the House with Chicken Legs last year and didn’t think this could possibly be better even though everyone told me it was, and past me was SO WRONG. First of all, this has Mousetrap, and he is one of the most sensational animal companions ever- I was honestly hyena laughing at this at points (I have quite a hyena laugh in general, which used to bother me but I have now embraced), and I also thought the structure was phenomenal because I generally get very bored of stories within stories but the folk tales in this fit seamlessly around Yanka’s story and tie into it and are really necessary, which I can’t say about a lot of similar books. Also, I related so much to her difficulty accepting her height (not so much the strength, but definitely the height!) and if I’d read this book when I was a child or honestly even a couple of years ago, it would have made me feel so much less alone with that.

The Somerset Tsunami– of course I have two Emma Carroll books on this list! Would I even be me if I didn’t? This is about a girl named Fortune, who is sent away to try and find work (masquerading as a boy, obviously, because girls couldn’t do anything as outlandish as work in the 1600s 😱) after someone in her community is accused of being a witch. I loved Fortune (Emma writes amazing heroines, so this wasn’t a massive surprise), the people in the house she finds work in are all very interesting in different ways and I love the adventure she gets swept up in following the tsunami. Also, Dr Blood is one of the best villain names ever, I think we can all agree.

Explorers on Black Ice Bridge– this is one of my favourite series ever, and this third installment sees my beloved Explorers journey to Black Ice Bridge in order to find a way to save Shay and his shadow wolf after the events of Explorers on Witch Mountain. I ADORE the characters in this beyond anything I can put into words and the character development from book one has been amazing to see, I love how they feel both gentle and incredibly high stakes and the magic is just so very magical and special and I love this world and the creatures within it. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to cope when they aren’t a thing anymore, because their release every year is a huge highlight of my bookish calendar.

The Star Outside my Window– this was one of my last books this year, and one of the most memorable. It’s about two children who go and live in a foster home after losing their mum, and their quest to have a star named in her honour. It’s so well done- it utterly broke my heart but also has so much hope in it, and is different to anything I’ve ever read about domestic violence in the past. Onjali is so talented, honestly.


What have your favourite middle grade reads of 2019 been? Have you read any I’ve mentioned, or are you thinking of picking any up? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

My Favourite Young Adult and Adult Reads in 2019

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about my YA/adult favourites of 2019, and they’re a pretty brilliant bunch, so onto the post!


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The Curses– this is the sequel to the Graces, which was one of my favourite books in 2017, and somehow this managed to be even better. It takes place a year later and is from the point of view of Summer Grace, and I can’t tell you anything about it without spoiling it, pretty much. If you like your books dark but funny and with loads of intrigue, get on these two. There’s a scene in this that legit made me laugh like a hyena.

Song of Sorrow– I really enjoyed the first in this duology, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t expect to be anywhere NEAR as blown away as I actually was by this. It made me gasp and shriek and laugh and cry, I had multiple meltdowns in various contexts over Luvian (if you’ve read them, you KNOW what I mean, that man is magnificent!) And it’s just really bloody brilliant political fantasy.

A Girl Called Shameless– I loved the Exact Opposite of Okay, but again this sequel was even better. It follows Izzy as she attempts to get the law on revenge porn changed, and it’s just spectacular. It’s funny and clever and says so many crucial things, and I loved it. Also, Carson is an excellent book boyfriend and I love him.

Paper Avalanche– this book is so wonderful, and I’m VERY excited to be part of the blog tour next month. It’s about a girl named Ro, whose mum is a hoarder, as her life changes when she meets a girl called Tanvi and it kind of broke my heart, but it also put it back together again so Lisa is forgiven for that. The friendship between Ro and Tanvi is one of my faves ever, and Ro and her mum’s relationship was so complex and interesting and nuanced. If UKYA contemporary is your thing, you need Lisa in your life.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder– this is a YA mystery, which I don’t tend to read that many of, and it’s easily my absolute fave YA of this year. It’s about a girl called Pip (who I think I’m very like, although she’s a much better version) who solves the cold case murder of Andie Bell, who is from her town. I devoured it in a couple of hours, even though it’s pretty lengthy, and I was very proud of myself for partially guessing what happened! And Ravi is everything.

Jemima Small Versus the Universe– this is Tamsin Winter’s second book, and it is wonderful. She wrote the incredible Being Miss Nobody, if you’ve not heard of her, and this one focuses on a super clever girl named Jemima who is forced to join her school’s new “Fat Club”. It says some very important things, and it made me cry, and it’s just brilliant. Tamsin is just brilliant all round, to be quite honest.

The Paper and Hearts Society– this is Lucy Powrie’s debut, which I feel like I’ve been waiting on FOREVER. It’s about a girl called Tabby who becomes part of the titular book club when she moves to a new town, and the ensuing literary adventures they share. It is SO much fun, I’m in love with all the characters (if I don’t get an Ed book I’m going to be very upset) and the literary references brought me a lot of joy.

Sasha’s Secret– I wasn’t very sure whether this should go on the MG or YA list because it’s very much a teen book, really, but there’s less on here so that’s why it ended up on this one! It’s the latest in the brilliant the Lost and the Found series, which is about a literal band of misfits. This one specifically focuses on Sasha, the lead singer, and her issues with anxiety and absence seizures. I loved her so much, I adore the rest of the band too, I really enjoy reading about famous people and the romance is gorgeous. And the Pretty in Pink reference 🥰🥰🥰

Sealed with A Kiss– this is the story of a woman named Kate who moves to a remote Scottish island after getting dumped and falls in love with the rather handsome young Laird. It’s romantic and funny and has an absolutely evil cow of an antagonist in Fiona (and believe me, I want to use a stronger word there because that’s insulting to cows. She’s an absolute SNAKE, and I despised her with a passion). I loved spending time in Auchenmor, and it’s just joyful all round.

The Places I’ve Cried in Public– this is the latest Holly Bourne book, and it’s definitely my favourite of her standalones. It’s about a girl called Amelie retracing the steps of her abusive relationship to try and work out exactly where things went wrong, by going back to all the memories of the times Rhys made him cry in public. It was so cleverly written, Amelie is an amazing character and this book DEFINITELY made me cry in public, multiple times.

The Turn of the Key– this is, I’m fairly sure anyway, the first adult thriller I have ever read, and honestly I will be surprised if I ever find one that I love as much as I loved this. I picked it up because I was in the mood for something dark, which is not very like me, and I devoured it- I started late on Monday and finished on the Tuesday morning. It’s about a nanny with plenty of secrets to hide who goes to work for a family who live in a smart home in the Highlands. It’s the creepiest, most chilling thing I’ve ever read, hands down and it’s so cleverly written with the epistolary format of letters from prison recounting the events leading up to the death of one of her charges.


Which books from these age categories were your favourites this year? Do we have any in common, or are you planning to read any? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Five Books That Remind Me of The Killers Songs

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be doing another books that remind me of songs post, and this time it’s the turn of the Killers, who I’ve been VERY into lately, as you’ve probably guessed from the posts I’ve been doing about them! Onto the post!


Continue reading “Five Books That Remind Me of The Killers Songs”

Recommending Books to Disney Sidekicks part 2 | Disney Recommendations #6

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be recommending books to some more Disney sidekicks. Onto the post!


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LumiereRachael specially requested Lumiere to be in this post, and I think he’d enjoy the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy as he’s so charming and romantic, just like Lara Jean’s main love interest Peter Kavinsky from these books. I’m sure he’d definitely relate to him a lot and pick up some tips too! And from John Ambrose McLaren too, in the later books, I guess!

Pascal– Pascal is 100% one of my favourite Disney characters, no question. I love him! I actually really struggled to come up with a book for him, in fact, because I wanted it to be perfect since I love him so very, very much. I feel like Pascal has very similar energy to the brothers in On the Fence- he’s very protective of Rapunzel just like they are with Charlie, but he’s ultimately harmless. He’s also a proper softie deep down, so I’m sure he’d enjoy the romance in that book too!

MushuLily suggested I include Mushu in here, so even though I’ve not rewatched Mulan for ages, I decided I needed to come up with a book for him. Oddly, I think the book I just read might appeal to him. Whilst she’s from Mexican culture rather than Chinese, I think there’s a lot of similarities between him and Leo from A Dash of Trouble- both of them just want to feel like part of their families and have access to the magic they possess.

Zazu– I love Zazu so much; I think he’d hilarious. He’s pretty uppity and a bit snobby, even though he has a REALLY good heart underneath, so I think he might enjoy Secrets of a Teenage Heiress by Katy Birchall. The protagonist Flick is very similar, and just like Zazu I adore her character development!

Rajah– Like Pascal, Rajah is both hella protective of his princess and one of my fave sidekicks- I do love a good tiger. Unlike Pascal (and I apologise in advance to him), Rajah could do some SERIOUS damage to anyone he thinks poses a threat to Jasmine, so I feel like he’d want something with a bit more bite. I feel very unsure of this recommendation, but short of recommending the thing I haven’t read that I think sounds very Rajah (Nevernight, which is about assassins and very stabby according to Charlotte), I can only think of the Sorrow duology as something dark enough for him. I’m pretty sure he’d love thinking of the ways in which he’d love tearing Vespus to shreds…


Which Disney sidekick is your favourite? What do you think of my recommendations for these ones? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Five Books That Remind Me of George Ezra Songs

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be doing a post about two of my very favourite things in the world- George Ezra and books, and specifically books that remind me of George Ezra songs. This was a little bit trickier than previous similar posts since George has less albums and also because I imagine full plots for almost all his songs in my head (can someone please reassure me that isn’t weird?), but I’m really pleased with what I came up with and it gave me a very good excuse to listen to him in the name of research. Anyway, onto the post!


The Flatshare– I could have picked just about any romance for Paradise, because it is about the feeling of love rather than a super specific love story, but I’ve went for this because of my favourite line in the whole thing, which if you’ve been paying very close attention you might know “I know you’ve heard it from those other boys, but this time it’s real, it’s something that I feel” and I think that fits Tiffy and Leon in a really beautiful way, because her ex was emotionally abusive and falling for Leon is so different for her. It’s a gorgeous book, and it deserves a link to such a gorgeous song in my mind.

Beautiful Broken Things/Fierce Fragile Hearts– I love Suzanne from these books, and I think Breakaway is perfect for her- my understanding of that song is that it’s about someone escaping an abusive situation, which is exactly what my beloved Suze is doing when we first meet her. The books are just amazing, and Breakway is one of the most underrated songs in existence. It makes me want to hug whoever it’s about just as much as I want to hug Suze as well!

Soulmates– this is the debut novel of Holly Bourne, who is now a well-deserved queen of YA, and I really enjoyed it. It reminds me of the Beautiful Dream not only because I interpret that song as being about finding a soulmate, but also because of one line that asks if the grass of Eden is overrated- aka is finding your soulmate overrated? Both the song and the book are brilliant. Also, can we talk for a second about how George Ezra’s girlfriend features on this and no one seems to have noticed?

The Curses– I can’t tell you a great deal about this book because you’ll enjoy it more if you go in as blind as a newborn kitten (read the Graces first though, or you’ll be confused out of your mind), but it has the same dark sense of humour and some similar themes to Did You Hear the Rain?, which always makes me laugh when I hear it now because it’s not a song people who only know George Ezra from radio would expect from him, I’m pretty sure.

The Longest Night of Charlie Noon-this is another one I can’t really tell you much about without spoiling it all, but it has huge themes of time passing, much like Cassy O (contrary to popular belief, it’s about time, NOT a girl). The song has some of George’s best writing, and the book is my favourite Christopher Edge to date.


What’s your favourite George Ezra song? Are there any books that remind you of one, and what do you think of my choices? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

My Thoughts on Blue Neighbourhood

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about all my thoughts on Blue Neighbourhood, which is the debut album from one of my fave Aussie celeb Troye Sivan (I say this like I have a plethora of fave Aussies to choose from. There’s about 3 I love, the other two of which are James Mackay and Maddison Brown, both of Dynasty fame). Now that I’ve successfully made myself sound quite mad, onto the post!


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Recommending Books to Some Disney Sidekicks | Disney Recommendations #5

Hello everybody! Today, it’s time for another Disney Recommendations post, this time featuring a few of the sidekicks. I’ve kept to quite a short list as I really want to do more of these and I’m starting to run out of categories, so I’m hoping I can split a few up so it doesn’t end as soon as it otherwise might. So if you’re wondering why a few of my favourites aren’t on here, that’s why! Onto the post!

Continue reading “Recommending Books to Some Disney Sidekicks | Disney Recommendations #5”

Five Books That Remind Me of Panic! At the Disco Songs

Hello everybody! Last month, I did a post about books that remind me of Taylor Swift songs to celebrate the release of what turned out to be her new single Me!.

I had a lot of fun writing that post, so I decided I wanted to do something similar. Given that Panic! At the Disco also has an extensive back catalogue to choose from and their frontman Brendon Urie featured on Me!, they seemed the natural next choice. Onto the post!


Continue reading “Five Books That Remind Me of Panic! At the Disco Songs”