Hello everybody! Today, I have a tag post for you, which I found on Julie’s amazing blog. Onto the post!
Continue reading “The Cosy Autumn Book Tag”
Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be recommending some books with spooky vibes, in honour of it being October and therefore almost Halloween. I’ll try not to just repeat books that I’ve used for similar lists, but no doubt some of my faves will still pop up!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m very excited to be talking about all of the books coming out in September I’m really looking forward to. Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Happy November! It’s one of my favourite months of the year, not least because my birthday is in it, so I’m very excited that there are a few more books being published in it this year than usual (most years there are only about 2 I’m interested in!). Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m doing another review post, the theme this time being either spooky or somehow supernatural books, to fit in with the time of year (I will admit some of them are only loosely connected, but I fancied talking about them so they’re here anyway!). There’s quite a good mix of genres, I think, so hopefully something to suit everyone. Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be sharing my very belated reviews of all the books I read in October (apart from one I read for a blog tour), which were all pretty fantastic, even though I didn’t get through as many as I’d have liked. Onto the post!
The Conspiracy of Magic by Harriet Whitehorn (received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)
In this thrilling sequel that was somehow even better than the Company’s of Eight, which I enjoyed immensely last year, we follow Cass as she is tasked with protecting the Queen of Minaris as she tours part of their world, and how things go very wrong due to a sinister plot that threatens not just them, but everyone in the Longest World. Cass is amazing, and I love how capable and clever she is, but also the fact that there are moments where she doesn’t quite know how to handle things yet always keeps going until she does. My other favourites in this book was Dacha, who was a new addition and just the absolute sweetest, and Arden, who was very different to what I had been expecting. I also love the world building in these because it’s such an interesting concept and I really like that this showed a completely different side of it to the Company of Eight; given she is with the queen for a lot of it there are some scenes in quite luxury places but we also see more of the darker side in different ways and it’s so well balanced and all so well described that it just forms a really brilliantly written world. The plot itself is pretty impossible to describe without giving anything away, so all I’ll say is that it was incredibly exciting and I thought the twists and shocks in various places were great. I’m very hopeful after the ending that this isnt the last I see of Cass! 4.5/5
Sealed with a Kiss by Rachael Lucas
After really enjoying Wildflower Bay the month before, I was desperate to read more Rachael Lucas, and I enjoyed this one even more. It takes place in Auchenmor, the same place, and is about the love story of Kate- who has just taken on a Girl Friday position on the island after being dumped by her dull as dishwater ex-boyfriend- and Roddy, the island`s Laird. I loved both Kate and Roddy hugely, and the way they complemented each other absolutely perfectly. I also enjoyed getting to see Finn`s backstory, because I already adored him and this just made me like his cheeky, charming ways even more than I did to start off with, and I thought Fiona was an incredibly well written antagonist. She`s Roddy`s ex-girlfriend who tries to sabotage his and Kate`s budding relationship, and I despised her so much I actually had to put the book down for a few minutes to calm down a couple of times. This is so engaging and lovely and full of funny moments, and it was a total joy to read. 5/5
The Somerset Tsunami by Emma Carroll
In her tenth novel, Emma Carroll tells the story of a girl named Fortune, who is sent away to work dressed as a boy amidst the terror of the witch trials, and the adventure that ensues after a tsunami hits and people believe that witchcraft is to blame. I loved Fortune a lot, and the secondary characters were also amazing- I was particularly fond of Susanna, but also really liked Ellis and Jem, and thought Dr Blood was a phenomenal villain (and WHAT a name!). I`ll be honest, I wasn`t quite sure how the plot of this would unfold, but I needn`t have worried because it was a perfectly paced and utterly engaging adventure- it`s a really hard book to talk about without spoilers but I just loved every second of reading it, and Emma`s writing style is still one of my favourites of all time. At this point, there just aren`t sufficiently gushy superlatives to do Emma Carroll justice to be honest; she really is one of the most talented authors writing in middle grade right now, and I can`t see myself ever not picking up a new release by her as soon as I possibly can! 5/5
The Pearl in the Ice by Cathryn Constable (received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)
This is the story of a girl named Marina, who is deeply frustrated with her life due to the fact fact her father restricts it greatly on account of her being a girl, and what happens when instead of going off to boarding school she stows away on his ship and becomes involved in a rather thrilling adventure. Marina is absolutely amazing, first of all. She is so determined and I loved her outlook on life and the way that she is brave enough to tell the men around her that actually, she’s every bit as good as them and she’ll prove it too. I also had a soft spot for Jones, her closest ally on the ship, and Miss Smith is such a fascinating, multilayered character. The plot was really interesting too, particularly since I could never quite tell which direction things were going to go in at most points! This is definitely my favourite from Cathryn Constable so far, and I look forward to seeing what she does next 4.5/5
Tilly and the Lost Fairytales by Anna James
In the second instalment of the Pages and Co series, we see bookwanderers Tilly and Oskar travel to Paris amidst dangerous changes to the running of the Underlibrary, and their adventures in fairytales once they`re there. I still love the idea of this world a lot and I really liked Anna James` take on the fairy tale characters (particularly Rapunzel and Red Riding Hood!), but I didn`t find the bookwandering journeys quite so magical this time, for some reason, and I wasn`t quite as gripped by the pacing. I did really like the events of the climax and ending though, as there were some great reveals and I think they could lead to the third book being fantastic, as the overall series arc is really interesting. Overall, I sadly just didn`t enjoy this quite as much as the first book in the series, but I definitely plan to pick up the third in the trilogy once it`s out next year. 4/5
Shadows of Winterspell by Amy Wilson (received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)
In her fourth book, Amy Wilson tells the story of Stella, who lives with her grandmother in a cottage on the outskirts of the magical forest, who has just decided to enrol in the local school. But of course, this is an Amy Wilson book so there is magic but also dark forces at play, and Stella becomes swept up in discovering who she really is and what she’s capable of when she begins to meet other magical people who live within the forest. Stella is a lovely character who I really enjoyed reading about, her new friends Yan and Zara are really loyal to her and interesting characters in their own right and Stella’s gran’s familiar Peg was the absolute star of the show for me, I loved him! Amy Wilson’s writing style is so distinctively gorgeous and I loved it as much as ever here, and I thought the magic system and the history of this place was intricate and so well explained and exemplified- I felt like I knew it inside out by the end, but still wanted to know even more. I absolutely can’t wait to dive into another of Amy’s worlds whenever her next book is out, because all of them so far have been amazing. 4.5/5
Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay
Like I said when I reviewed This is Going to Hurt back in January, I find it quite difficult to write a lot about non-fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed this and I`m going to give describing it a decent shot. It`s more entries from former junior doctor Adam Kay`s diaries whilst he worked in the NHS, and this time they`re specifically themed around the festive period. As with the first book, this is incredibly funny for the most part- I`m laughing just remembering some of my favourite anecdotes- but there are also a few points that were so emotional that I cried. It`s an absolutely brilliant read, and I absolutely plan to read whatever Adam Kay decides to release next. 4.5/5
The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nirzana Farook (received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)
This is the story of a girl called Chaya who must go on the run with her friends and Ananda the elephant after stealing the crown jewels, albeit for a very noble purpose, and the revolution she becomes part of in the process. My favourite thing about this was definitely the writing, because it`s fast paced and so exciting; things never let up for a moment and I was totally hooked the whole way through. The style was absolutely beautiful as well, though- it made the Serendib setting so vivid and three-dimensional. Another huge highlight were the characters. Chaya is an amazing heroine with so much bravery and I loved her. I also really liked her friends Neel and Nour, especially Nour, because her dynamic with Chaya was great and it was so fun seeing them go from enemies to friends. Also, I don`t want to give any spoilers since I didn`t really know how instrumental it was to the plot going in, but the revolution plotline is amazing. This is a brilliant adventure, and I`m so excited to pick up whatever Nirzana writes next, because this was fabulous. 4.5/5
Which books did you read in October? Do we have any in common? Are you planning to pick any of these up at some point? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about books that make think of autumn as part of Top Ten Tuesday– fair warning that they’re a super eclectic bunch and some of my reasons are pretty random!
Harry Potter– I know Harry Potter ends up on a lot of these lists, but sorry not sorry. They always begin at back to school time, which is a quintessential part of autumn, and there are usually scenes for Halloween as well. Plenty of autumhal vibes in there to justify its place.
Soulmates– there’s a lot of bad weather in this book on account of the whole finding your soulmate can end the world idea it explores (which is so interesting!) and I think we can all agree that autumn usually brings worsening weather, much as I adore it.
City of Ghosts/Tunnel of Bones– Victoria Schwab’s MG books are about ghost hunting in different citues, and they’re pretty spooky. I ran out of room on last week’s list so it seems only fair to put them as my spooky autumnal vibes spot on this one!
A Pinch of Magic– I didn’t want to include too many witchy books on this because I’ve got tentative plans for next year’s Halloween freebie but I figured one wouldn’t hurt. This is witchy and mysterious and brilliant. Actually, all Michelle Harrison’s books are pretty autumnal in feel. My personal fave is the Other Alice, but I like all of them a lot.
Strange Star– this has rain on the cover and it’s got a ghostly element AND it’s about Frankenstein. Absolute autumnal vibes.
In Darkling Wood– yes, I am putting two Emma Carroll books on here, because it’s my list and I just want to. This is a dual narrative timeline between two intersecting girls in 2015 and 1918, and it’s kind of amazing- there’s this magical element to do with the possible discovery of fairies but also the tackling of some very real issues. The vast majority is set in November, which is a month I am fond of for obvious reasons (if you don’t know me, my birthday is in November).
Jolly Foul Play– yes, I will take any excuse to talk about Murder Most Unladylike, but this is set at Guy Fawkes night, so I’m not even cheating for once!! In this one, the (rather horrid) head girl is murdered and the Detective Society must investigate.
Nevermoor/Wundersmith– I think these mostly remind me of autumn because I read them both in autumn. I’m so sad the 3rd one isn’t out till February, I love my annual visit to Nevermoor to see Morrigan and friends a lot!
The Secret Starling– okay, I know I’m at 11 now but just wanted to give this a quick mention! The cover is pretty autumnal and it’s a mystery set in the 1970s with very creepy villains. Highly recommend!
I’m sure there are loads of others I’ll kick myself later for forgetting, but I’m pretty chuffed with that this list! What books give you autumnal vibes? Do you have any thoughts on the ones I’ve mentioned? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Hello everybody, and happy Halloween! Today, I’m going to be doing the Halloween book tag, which I found on Katie’s blog. Onto the post!
1. Carving Pumpkins: What Book Would You Carve Up and Light On Fire?
Yerma. Absolutely hated that when I had to read it for school last year.
2. Trick or Treat: Which character is a trick and which is a Treat?
Trick- this is so hard to do without spoiling something! Since Harry Potter is pretty old now, I feel like I can get away with saying I was so shocked about the Moody reveal in book four.
Treat- Wilbur from Geek Girl. What a sweetheart though.
3. Candy Corn: What Book is Always Sweet?
I, Cosmo is the most precious book ever. Read it.
4. Ghosts – Which Character Would You Love to Visit You as a Ghost?
Sirius Black. Love him, always. Would love a chat with him about so many things.
5. Dressing up in Costume – What Character Would You Want to be for a Day?
I did a whole post about this last year! But this year, if I was dressing up I’d want to be Alba from the TV show Cable Girls.
6. Witches & Wizards – What is Your Favourite Harry Potter Moment?
Ooh, this is hard. My favourite comedic moment is the “you don’t have to call me sir, professor” one, my favourite dramatic one is Sirius’s death.
7. Blood & Gore – What Book was So Creepy You Had to Take A Break From it For A While?
Definitely Close Your Pretty Eyes!
What are your Halloween plans? Do you have any thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Hello everybody! Today, as part of Top Ten Tuesday, I’m going to be sharing ten books that I hope to read during autumn. Let’s just ignore the fact I didn’t actually read all the ones on the summer version of this post… shall we? Onto the post!
Invisible in a Bright Light– I have only read one Sally Gardner before and it was maybe 8 years ago or so, so I can’t really remember it, but I’m looking forward to her newest release, which sounds really unusual and interesting.
White Eagles– I loved Elizabeth Wein’s last release from Barrington Stoke, Firebird, and I’m very excited to start this one- by the time you read this, I’m hoping I’ll be partway through at the very least. Like most of her books, this is about female pilots, this time in Poland. Louise has told me I should read the Pearl Thief, so that should also hopefully happen at some point.
The Conspiracy of Magic– this hasn’t actually arrived yet but I have been informed that I am getting one, so I thought I’d pop it on this list anyway. I read the first one in the series at the beginning of 2018 and ADORED it, so I’m very much looking forward to returning to this really cool world with characters and storylines that I love. Also, the cover is stunning, which is always a bonus.
The Somerset Tsuanami– if you know me even remotely, this isn’t going to come as a huge shock. I am OBSESSED with Emma Carroll’s books; I think she is an absolute queen of her genre and just in general, and I am DYING to read this one. It’s about a girl pretending to be a boy who gets accused of witchcraft when a tsuanami hits and I think it could well become one of my favourites from her, although it will have to be truly exceptional to manage that. But this is Emma, so it’s obviously going to be AMAZING.
Sealed with a Kiss– I’m currently reading Wildflower Bay whilst I’m writing this, and so far I’m really enjoying it. Therefore, I really want to read another Rachael Lucas and as this is set in the same place, it seems the best choice. That said, her others sound excellent too and I am fickle, so could well change my mind and go for one of the others. I am VERY glad I took Aimee’s recommendation on Rachael’s books!
Tunnel of Bones– I feel like this has to be read during autumn. I read the first one in November last year, and it was a brilliant time to read about the ghosts of Edinburgh and Cassidy, who can see “beyond the veil” after a near death experience. This one is set in Paris, which is very exciting for me since I’m kind of obsessed with all things French, and I have heard it’s even better, which is promising.
The Turn of the Key– this feels like another one that is just calling out to be read in autumn- it’s a creepy reimagining of the Turn of the Screw and is about a nanny in a high-tech house in Scotland who is writing her story from prison in letters to a lawyer who she hopes will represent her, because she has been (allegedly) falsely accused of murdering one of her charges.
Shadows of Winterspell– this is the new Amy Wilson, and I am a big Amy Wilson fan. I think her books just keep improving too, so it’s always nice to get hold of a new one. Her writing is so lyrical and beautiful that I always get totally swept away in her worlds and stories.
The Switching Hour– everyone I know who has read this says it’s really special, so I’m excited to give it a chance despite it sounding a bit more dystopian than fantasies I tend to love. The promise of an excellent animal companion didn’t hurt either, I’ll not lie.
Skycircus– I’ve been putting this off for nearly a year because I thought it was the last book in the series and I am not yet ready to say goodbye to Malkin, but it’s now been announced that the fourth is due in January and therefore I ideally want to get to this before then. Aother third book in a series I’d quite like to get to in autumn is the Frozen Telescope, because I am fairly sure it’s set at Thanksgiving.
Which books are you hoping to read during autumn? Do we have any in common, or do you have any suggestions about which I should read first? I’d love to hear in the comments!