Saturday, 13 January 2018

PopSugar 2018 Challenge

After realising I'd done so well on PopSugar's 2017 reading challenge last week, I'm feeling inspired to have a go at 2018's. Here's this year's list and the novels I think I'll be using to complete it.

A book made into a movie you’ve already seen
True crime
The next book in a series you started {Tower of Dawn}
A book involving a heist
Nordic noir
A novel based on a real person
A book set in a country that fascinates you {The Belles}
A book with a time of day in the title
A book about a villain or anti-hero
A book about death or grief {Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index}
A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym
A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist {Out of the Blue}
A book that is also a stage play or musical
A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you {Warcross}
A book about feminism
A book about mental health
A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift {The Book of Dust}
A book by two authors
A book about or involving a sport
A book by a local author
A book with your favorite colour in the title
A book with alliteration in the title
A book about time travel
A book with a weather element in the title
A book set at sea {The Surface Breaks}
A book with an animal in the title {Catwoman: Soulstealer}
A book set on a different planet
A book with song lyrics in the title
A book about or set on Halloween
A book with characters who are twins {One}
A book mentioned in another book
A book from a celebrity book club
A childhood classic you’ve never read {I capture the castle}
A book that’s published in 2018 {Batman: Nightwalker}
A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner
A book set in the decade you were born
A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to {Always and Forever, Lara Jean}
A book with an ugly cover
A book that involves a book store or library
Your favourite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges

Are you taking part this year? If so, which books are you planning to read for the different categories? I really struggled to come up with titles for this, so it would be great to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

2018: part two

Last week, I posted about two of my most-anticipated books for this year. Here are the next two:


Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. 

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. 

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

I've been looking forward to this since I first heard about it. Orïsha sounds fascinating and I can't wait to read more about it. 

A people cowed by grief and darkness.
A cut-throat race for power and victory.
A girl with everything and nothing to lose…

Sorrow all but rules the Court of Tears, in a land gripped by perpetual grief, forever mourning her brother who died just days before Sorrow was born. By day she governs in place of her father, by night she seeks secret solace in the arms of the boy she's loved since childhood. But when her brother is seemingly found alive, and intent on taking control, Sorrow has to choose whether to step aside for a stranger who might not be who he claims to be, or embark on a power struggle for a position she never really wanted.

I loved the world Salisbury created in the Sin Eater's Daughter and, after reading the sampler of this given out at YALC, I'm sure I'm going to enjoy State of Sorrow just as much. 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

PopSugar 2017 Challenge

So I didn't complete this year's challenge, but I didn't do too badly either. Here's what I managed to complete:

A book recommended by a librarian
A book that's been on your TBR list forever {Snow Like Ashes}
A book of letters
An audiobook
A book by a person of colour {We Should All be Feminists}
A book with one of the four seasons in the title
A book that is a story within a story {The Next Together}
A book with multiple authors
An espionage thriller
A book with a cat on the cover
A book by an author who uses a pseudonym {Jane Eyre}
A bestseller from a genre you don't usually read {American Gods}
A book by or about a person who has a disability {Crooked Kingdom}
A book involving travel {A Gathering of Shadows}
A book with a subtitle
A book that's published in 2017 {Carve the Mark}
A book involving a mythical creature {Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them}
A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile {Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone}
A book about food {The Weekend Baker}
A book with career advice {Structuring Your Novel}
A book from a nonhuman perspective {Strange the Dreamer - sort of? Maybe stretching this one a bit... My other option is A Court of Wings and Ruin, since that's about fae...}
A steampunk novel
A book with a red spine {The Power}
A book set in the wilderness {Loneliest Girl in the Universe? Space is a wilderness of sorts...}
A book you loved as a child 
A book by an author from a country you've never visited {Way Down Dark}
A book with a title that's a character's name {Anna and the French Kiss}
A novel set during wartime 
A book with an unreliable narrator {One of Us is Lying}
A book with pictures {one of the many, many picture books I read this year...}
A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you {The Hate U Give}
A book about an interesting woman {The Essex Serpent}
A book set in two different time periods {The Next Together - cheating slightly by using this one twice!}
A book with a month or day of the week in the title
A book set in a hotel {Unconventional}
A book written by someone you admire {The Cursed Child}
A book that's becoming a movie in 2017 {American Gods - cheating again here as it was a TV show, not a film}
A book set around a holiday other than Christmas 
The first book in a series you haven't read before {This Raging Light}
A book you bought on a trip {Alex and Eliza}

So I had to use one novel twice, but this is much better than 2016's effort. Plus there are lots of books I read this year that didn't fit into any of the categories. 

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

2018: New year, new books

There are some brilliant books coming out this year. Some of these titles I found out about at YALC, others I've seen a lot of buzz about on twitter. All of them sound amazing. I've narrowed it down to a top six, and I'm going to post about two each week. 


Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

Would you look at that cover? So pretty. I read an excerpt of this on EW a few months ago and I can't wait to read the rest. The Belles easily tops my list of most-anticipated novels of 2018. 

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

Another beautiful cover and a really exciting concept. It reminds me a bit of the film In Time, and I'm hoping Everless will be just as exciting. 

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Best Books of 2017

It's the time of year for reflection and rest, ahead of what's shaping up to be a very busy January, so I'm taking a moment to look back on my favourite reads of 2017.

I really struggled to narrow down the 50 books I read this year into a top five, but here they are:



Crooked Kingdom One of the most amazing fantasy series I've ever read. I love all of the characters in Crooked Kingdom and the plot was just as exciting, fast-paced and emotional as Six of Crows.

Strange the Dreamer Laini Taylor tops my list of must-buy authors. The way she writes is beautiful. 

A Conjuring of Light Another fantastic conclusion to a superb fantasy series. 

The Hate U Give Easily the most important book I've read this year. I can't wait to see the film. 

Editing Emma So funny! At one point, I laughed so hard my husband rushed downstairs to check on me as he thought I was crying. 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

2017 Reading Stats

This year, I read 51 books, totalling almost 20,000 pages.

The shortest book was We should All be Feminists and the longest A Court of Wings and Ruin.

I read four non-fictions books on writing and am part way through a fifth.

I still read more YA SFF than anything else (21 books) but I also read 9 adult novels this year, which is really high for me.

There were two plays: The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts, so with a re-reading of Philosopher's Stone, there's been a fair bit of Harry Potter this year too.

Next year I'm going to try to read a few more classics and also keep increasing the number of adult novels I read, although I'm sure I'll still be reading more YA than anything else, especially as I got a kindle voucher for Christmas and there's a long list of YA novels I want to buy with it!

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Christmas Books!

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you had a lovely time and have lots of brilliant things planned for the New Year. 

We had a book filled Christmas, so expect plenty more book reviews in the New Year, particularly picture book ones - we're loving the Baby University series at the moment with our 11 month old. 

I've waited so long to read Book of Dust, but this beautiful signed Waterstones edition was worth the wait - although I'm a little nervous about starting in case I spoil it in some way! 

One book I've not waited to dive into is A History of Magic, which has been amazing so far. I didn't make it to the British Library exhibition, so I'm enjoying getting to experience it through the book.