Top Ten Tuesday #311

Hi all! I hope you had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has been fairly quiet. I’m hoping to see my friends this weekend though, so I’m looking forward to that.

It’s Tuesday, so I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I wasn’t really feeling this week’s topic, so I decided to go in a different direction, and instead, I’m going to be sharing Spring Book Covers with you all, as I always enjoy doing cover topics and it’s not one of the planned topics for this year, so I thought it would be fun to do. So here we go, some Spring Book Covers for your viewing pleasure:

  1. This Poison Heart-Kalynn Bayron
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This is one of my FAVOURITE 2021 book covers, it’s so gorgeous, I love how colourful it is, and of course, YES to Black girls on book covers, we love to see that. It also screams Spring, with all the flowers and vines and the green background, it’s definitely one of the most Spring-like covers I’ve ever seen.

2. The Gilded Wolves-Roshani Chokshi

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Given the role that gardens and botany play in the plot (one of the main characters is a botanist), it’s very fitting that The Gilded Wolves has a Spring themed cover, with all the leaves and the little purple flowers poking out. I love this cover, I think the colours work together beautifully and I love how the intricate gold design hints at the 19th century setting.

3. Girl, Serpent, Thorn-Melissa Bashardoust

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The lovely pink flowers intertwined with the snake on this cover definitely makes it feel very Spring-like, in the words of Miranda Priestly: florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.

4. Resist-Sarah Crossan

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Kind of ironic that this cover made the list, given that the whole premise of this duology relies on the trees dying and the world lacking in oxygen, but it does have quite a spring feel to it, with the leaves inside the dome and the combination of the red and green on the cover. I particularly love that solitary red flower breaking through the cracked earth, it’s a powerful image.

5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue-VE Schwab

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I don’t usually consider VE Schwab’s covers to be particularly Spring-like, her books are definitely firmly in the autumnal category with her usual colour palette being red, black and white. But Addie’s cover, with the blues and lovely little forget-me-nots (perfect for this book) definitely has a more Spring feel than any of her other covers.

6. Blue Lily, Lily Blue-Maggie Stiefvater

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The third Raven Cycle book’s cover screams Spring, with the pastel hues, and the little pink and purple flowers creeping in at the edge of the design. The Raven Cycle covers are among some of my favourite book covers, I love the way each book cover looks and feels like a watercolour painting, I think it’s a really gorgeous style.

7. The Foundling-Stacey Halls

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This cover is packed full of floral designs, so naturally it seemed like a fitting choice for a Spring themed cover. I love the contrast between the flowers and the woman trapped inside a cage, I think combining those two things is a really interesting choice. It’s a really lovely cover and I look forward to reading the book.

8. Splintered-AG Howard

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I will never be a fan of people on book covers (unless it’s an illustration), but this one is strangely striking. The green with the flowers and the vines and the insects definitely give this whole cover very spring vibes and given that it’s an Alice in Wonderland retelling, it fits that cover looks quite strange and quirky.

9. Forest of Ghosts and Bones-Lisa Lueddecke

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I love the combination of the bones and the flowers on this cover, it’s such a fun juxtaposition of creepy and nature. The bones might make it seem like more of a Halloween choice but for me, with the mint green and yellows and purples, the colours feel very spring-like to me. There’s also a lot of nature with the florals and the little mushrooms, so that feels more fitting of a Spring cover.

10. Wild Beauty-Anna-Marie McLemore

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This felt like an obvious choice for a Spring cover for me given that it’s flowers everywhere and given that the story is based around gardens, it definitely seems fitting to include it on a Spring themed book list.

11. The Fair Botanists-Sara Sheridan

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If there was any book that was perfect for a list like this, it’s this one. It doesn’t come out till August, and it’s actually set in the summer, but given that it is a story based around botany, it seems perfect for a spring list. And the cover definitely fits too, with the green colours and all of the leaves and flowers on the cover.

12. Descendant of The Crane-Joan He

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Another floral cover for Spring, the lotus flowers on this cover are really gorgeous and the crane in particularly is really striking. Nature seems very front and centre on this cover which makes it perfect for this list of Spring book covers. The colour scheme is a little darker than some of the other covers on this list, but I really like that as it makes the reds on the crane and on the woman’s clothes seem even more vibrant.

So that’s it, those are my Spring Book Covers for this week. Have you read any of these books? Did you like them? Which one of these is your favourite cover? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, with another cover themed topic (though a planned one this time!), and we’ll be talking about Colourful Book Covers. Honestly pretty much all the ones I’ve used this week could work for next week’s topic, but I will try and come up with some new ones for you!

Top Ten Tuesday #310

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, and that you had a nice Easter weekend, if you celebrate.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Books I’d Gladly Throw In The Ocean, so it’s time to get SALTY (sorry for the terrible pun!). I honestly thought I wouldn’t have many of these, but it turns out that I have way more than I thought I did, so who’s ready for an extra long rant post. Let’s go:

  1. Glass Sword-Victoria Aveyard

I think I’d be hard pressed to find a book that made me angrier than this one. The first book was very tropey and didn’t do much that was original with those tropes but was ultimately a decent enough read. This one however: it was slow, the main character was UNBEARABLE, there was hardly any plot, the romance was rubbish and I HATED the way that girl hate was still perpetuated. I would have hurled this one in the ocean if I could.

2. Graceling-Kristin Cashore

The main character in this one made me want to throw the book in the ocean. Katsa is the kind of “strong female character” that has absolutely no emotions, and despises anything feminine and thinks that she’s above other women because she’s like this. UGH IT MAKES ME SO MAD. Female characters can be both strong and in touch with their emotions and I really hated the way that Katsa seemed to be a 1D stereotype.

3. Foul Is Fair-Hannah Capin

This one hurts me because I so wanted to love it. A feminist retelling of Macbeth should have been right up my street. However the characters in this one were all so flat that it made me angry because if the characters had been better developed I probably would have really enjoyed it.

4. Not If I Save You First-Ally Carter

This one had me seething because I love Ally Carter. Her Heist Society books are so much fun. This was not fun. NOTHING HAPPENED. It was so slow, I felt like I was waiting the entire book for something to happen, plus it was pretty badly written with incredibly corny dialogue and the romance was terribly developed.

5. The Fault In Our Stars-John Green

Ah the first book I thought of when I saw this topic. HAS THIS MAN EVER MET A TEENAGER? THEY DO NOT SPEAK LIKE 40 YEAR OLD PHILOSOPHERS. I was so mad after reading this book that I wrote a 1000 word essay for my sixth form newspaper on how terrible it was. Both Hazel and Gus felt really poorly developed to me, and I thought the plot was weak.

6. The Invisible Library-Genevieve Cogman

It kills me to be putting a book about libraries on this list, but I was SO CONFUSED through the whole book. The plot was so hard to follow and I didn’t particularly connect to any of the characters, so by the end I was just confused and bored and wanted to throw the whole book out.

7. Alex and Eliza-Melissa De La Cruz

UGH THIS BOOK MADE ME SO MAD. There was a ridiculous amount of historical liberties taken with the plot and whilst I do get creative license, this book got some pretty basic and blatant stuff wrong (and yes, I am aware that Hamilton the musical also takes its fair share of historical liberties). But beside all that, the story just wasn’t good? It was slow paced, the characters felt flat and it felt like it missed the mark on the audience it was aimed for as it read much younger than YA.

8. The Fandom-Anna Day

This one was super disappointing because it had the potential to be really fun but it was poorly written, featured a lot of toxic teen girl friendships, the characters were flat, it was incredibly predictable and VERY SLOW PACED. I ended up feeling really frustrated by the end because it had the potential to be so good and it just wasn’t!

9. Lord of The Flies-William Golding

Ah school required reading, the bane of my teenage existence. In all seriousness though, Lord of The Flies is just a terrible book. It’s dull, the characters are barely developed at all and there’s way more focus on THEMES and SYMBOLISM rather than providing *gasp* a decent plot. Honestly one of the most tedious books I ever had to study at school.

10. The Court of Miracles-Kester Grant

Another one that I really wanted to love, but fell short of what I wanted. It was so confusing, there were multiple confusing time skips and the author really seemed to be rushing through the story. It also wasn’t really a fantasy which was what it was advertised as, and there were numerous historical errors. The characters were also very flat and weirdly it was actually too fast paced as we seemed to just skip through the story. It was such a shame because I think it could have been so good, but I ended up so frustrated with it.

11. The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Nighttime-Mark Haddon

What to say about this terrible book? It’s an offensive and stereotypical portrayal of a kid with autism for starters and the story just isn’t particularly good? It’s dull and fairly thin on plot and just not all that well written. Definitely one that I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on.

12. Sea Witch-Sarah Henning

Very ironic to use this one for this topic given that it’s sea based! This was meant to be a dark, villain origin story and what did I get instead? A fairly dry historical retelling of witches in the 17th or 18th century in Denmark with a slight hint of fairytale. It was so slow, the characters were underdeveloped, the world was underdeveloped and it descended into one of my least favourite tropes, girls hating other girls for no apparent reason. I would definitely leave this one at the bottom of the ocean.

13. Wintersong-S.Jae Jones

It was long, it was confusing, it was slow paced and it was more pretty words than actual substantive plot. I know some people like that, but I am not one of those people. I need things to actually be happening in my books and for 90% of Wintersong, nothing was.

14. We Are Blood and Thunder-Kesia Lupo

This book was such a SLOG. The world and magic wasn’t developed, there was barely anything happening for most of the book, the characters were underdeveloped and there was a romance with an uncomfortable age gap (16 & 23) which I was not behind. If I hadn’t been reading this for review purposes then I wouldn’t have finished it because it just wasn’t very good.

15. One Day-David Nicholls

Though not as painful as the film (please never allow Anne Hathaway to do a film where she needs to do any kind of accent EVER AGAIN, she cannot do them), One Day the book was still not a pleasant read. Neither Dexter nor Emma are particularly likeable characters and the repetitive format of them connecting on the same day every year had me bored. I never really got why the two characters liked each other since they didn’t even really seem to get along that well! It’s very hard to connect with a story where there are only really two characters, when both seem like awful people and you’re not rooting for either.

16. Stealing Snow-Danielle Paige

TWO WORDS: LOVE QUADRANGLE. QUADRANGLE. There are THREE LOVE INTERESTS for the main character in this one and that’s just ridiculous. She has no chemistry with any of them, and none of their relationships are developed at all. The characters are flat and hardly developed, as is the world, it’s just not a particularly good book and made me very mad that I wasted my time reading it.

17. Allegiant-Veronica Roth

I know what you’ll all think, that I want to throw this book in the ocean because of THAT ENDING, but weirdly that was the only part of the book that actually made sense to me? Don’t get me wrong, it’s anti-climactic and poorly done, but the actual event that makes everyone mad, wasn’t what made me mad. What made me mad was that the book was slow paced and NOTHING HAPPENED, it was such a limp squib of a trilogy ending.

18. Days of Blood and Starlight-Laini Taylor

There’s actually a particular moment I can pinpoint where this book made me want to throw it in the ocean. There’s a completely unnecessary and gratuitous attempted rape scene which made me so mad! But aside from that, the book in general is just not great: it has far too much relationship angst which I hate, the pacing was HORRIBLE, and it was just incredibly depressing as a story. The third book is still sitting on my shelf waiting to be read because I was so put off by this one but as it’s only a trilogy I would like to finish for completeness sake.

19. Slated-Teri Terry

The writing style in this one infuriated me, it was so dull and slow and she kept overusing certain words. The main character was also really dull and had hardly any personality for most of the book and it just felt like a setup book for the next one in the series, which didn’t really work as I found this one so boring that I didn’t want to continue.

20. Strange The Dreamer-Laini Taylor

I had a similar problem here as with Days of Blood and Starlight, rape is used as a plot device here, almost every main character seems to have either been raped or the product of rape without any real thought to the effect it had on them. This whole book seemed to trivialise and normalise rape for me and that made me really angry. The characters also felt bland, the world poorly developed and the plot was forsaken for the sake of a lacklustre romance.

So that’s it for this week, a bumper list to make up for the slightly shorter one last week. Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? (it’s okay if you did!) What books made your list this week? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, the original topic is meant to be Books That Sound Like They Could Be Crayola Crayon Colours, but honestly I can’t really think of anything for that topic, so instead I’m going to do Spring Book Covers, since we did Autumnal & Wintery Book Covers last year and I really enjoyed doing those ones (after this I only needed to do summery book covers and I’ll have the whole set!).

Top Ten Tuesday #309

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a good week since I last did one of these, I finally got to see my friends again yesterday for the first time in months as lockdown is finally starting to be eased in the UK and it was so fun to be together in person again after months of only being able to communicate through screens!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is Places In Books I’d Like To Live, which is a bit of a tricky one for me as I read mostly fantasy books and a lot of those worlds would be pretty dangerous to live in! Still I have managed to come up with a few places from books that I think I’d be happy to stay in (and less likely to die a violent death):

  1. Camp Half-Blood-Percy Jackson Universe-Rick Riordan

I wouldn’t want to go on any of the almost-certain-death quests, but just hanging around the camp seems like it would be very fun. Chilling in the mess hall with other demigods, playing Capture the Flag, laughing at my terrible archery skills….I could see myself at Camp Half-Blood.

2. Red London-Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab

This seems like the best London to be in, given that it’s the one that has all the magic. I would love to just wander the streets of Red London, going into the Night Market and tasting all the different food on offer. I would also love to attend the Essen Tasch (Element Games) as they sound really spectacular!

3. The Faraway Tree-The Faraway Tree series-Enid Blyton

I’d quite happily live in the Faraway Tree, with a very eclectic bunch of neighbours (Silky, Moonface, and the Saucepan Man: though I would definitely want to be far above Dame Washalot as I do not like getting wet) and going up the top of the tree every week to explore the different lands!

4. The Inn at Havenfall-Havenfall-Sara Holland

I’m currently reading Phoenix Flame and I think I’d quite happily live at the Inn at Havenfall, it sounds like a very nice, cosy little inn to live in and most of the time doesn’t seem to attract too much danger (barring what happens in the books of course!). It would also be cool to take part in the Peace Summit and get to meet all the delegates from Byrn and Fiordenkill and find out about their worlds.

5. Velaris-ACOMAF and ACOWAR-Sarah J Maas

The Night Court’s hidden city sounds like it would be a lovely place to live: the food for one sounds delicious & I would love to just spend my days wandering through the Artists Quarter and enjoying all the music and the artists and the dancers.

6. Henrietta-The Raven Cycle-Maggie Stiefvater

I would love to live in Henrietta and hang out with the Gangsey and go searching for ley lines and dead Welsh Kings. I’d love to spend time at 300 Fox Way and hang out in Cabeswater, and The Barns to see all of Ronan’s dreams! I also know I would spend a lot of time at Nino’s because I love pizza!

A slightly shorter list this week, but honestly, it was a real struggle to find nice places in fantasy books that I’d actually want to live in! I love reading about them, but would not want to face their near certain death I’d probably find there if I actually lived in them. Have you read in these books? Would you like to live in any of these places? Where from a book would you like to live? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, we’ll be talking about Books I’d Gladly Throw In The Ocean. Thankfully I don’t have too many of these, but it’s been a while since I last did a salty post so it should be fun!

Book Vs Movie: Moxie

Hi everyone! I know, it’s been ages since I last did one of these, they kind of fell by the wayside at the end of last year/beginning of this year, but they’re back now and I’m hoping to keep up a more regular posting schedule for the rest of 2021. This month, I’m talking about Moxie, which had its Netflix adaptation released at the beginning of March.

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Book Thoughts:

I read this back in 2018, and I thought it was a fun, fast read. It’s fairly simplistic and lacks some nuance (it’s very into the whole “girl power” version of feminism) but I love how focused it was on female empowerment, I enjoyed the main character Viv and the way she grew into herself through the book and I loved how central female friendships were as they’re something I always enjoy. I did think the attempts at intersectionality were somewhat clumsy though, as it felt very surface level and the POC characters didn’t feel particularly well developed. Here is my full review of the book if you want to read more of my thoughts:

Movie Thoughts:

Moxie (film) - Wikipedia

I liked the film in general. I think it was a tad long in places, and I think the reasons for Viv starting Moxie were more fleshed out in the book: she’s shy but not quite to the extent of the movie and she already has the passion about the sexist behaviour of boys at her school being wrong, so it doesn’t seem quite as much of a 180 when she decides to start Moxie as it does in the film. The intersectionality is still a bit clumsy, the movie does try to address this issue from the book but it doesn’t always succeed at it as it often seems like the WOC in the film are there to prop up Viv rather than having much of a story of their own. It also felt a little lengthy for an adaptation of a fairly short book! I did like that the film really embraced female friendship, and I think there was more of a feel of camaraderie in the film than the book. I didn’t think the subplot with her mum’s boyfriend was as well done in the film as the book though, in the book, Viv also gets mad at her mum’s boyfriend at dinner, but it’s because he has a Republican supporting sticker on his car, so she essentially prejudges him for his political affiliations, which still isn’t great, but it made more sense than in the film where she blows up at everyone seemingly for no reason. Overall, it is an enjoyable film and a good adaptation of the book, but it does fall short in some areas.

Movie or Book Judgement:

I think I’ll go with the book for this one! It was tricky to choose, because I did like both, and both shared some of the same shortcomings, but ultimately, the fact that the reasons for Viv starting Moxie are clearer in the book put it slightly ahead of the film for me. I would still recommend the film though!

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I’ll be back next month with a VERY EXCITING Book Vs Movie, as I’ll be talking about the Netflix adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse (the first series focuses on Shadow and Bone and the backstories of characters from Six of Crows), so I’m sure that’s one a lot of you will be excited for!

Top Ten Tuesday #308

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a good week since I last did one of these, mine has been fairly quiet, though I did get to meet up with a friend today (outside and socially distanced, of course) so that was nice. Today marks a year since the first lockdown in the UK: a year ago today, I arrived back from Cape Town (after having to change my flight home due to the pandemic) and by the evening we were in lockdown. We all know how awful the past year has been, in different ways for all of us, and I can only hope that things continue to keep looking up in the way that they have been and that this really is the beginning of the end of all of this.

Anyway, enough of the sombreness, it’s Tuesday, and so it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, I’m twisting the topic slightly, and instead of talking about Funny Book Titles, I’m talking about Funny Percy Jackson Chapter Titles, as in the original Percy Jackson series (and the Magnus Chase series later on) Rick Riordan gave his chapters humourous titles based on their events. I’m putting in a spoiler warning here, as the titles may be spoilery for those of you who haven’t read the series, so if you haven’t then stop reading now! Here we go:

  1. I Accidentally Vaporize My Maths Teacher

This is the title of the first chapter of the first book in the series. Your interest is immediately piqued right? Not only is vaporizing your Maths teacher quite a funny idea but it immediately had me hooked on what was going to happen next.

2. I Become Supreme Lord of The Bathroom

This is another from the first book, which includes one of my favourite scenes of the whole series (if you’ve read the books you’ll know what I’m talking about).

3. Everybody Hates Me But The Horse

This is from the third book, where Percy basically barges his way into a quest to save Annabeth despite not being assigned it, because he’s obviously in love with her, but is completely oblivious to it and naturally the other people on the quest are not too happy about his interference!

4. I Have A Dam Problem

Ah one of my favourite jokes from the series. If you know, you know.

5. Nico Buys Happy Meals For The Dead

This is from the fourth book, apparently all you need to summon the dead is a few Happy Meals from McDonalds. Who knew?

6. We Get Advice From A Poodle

This is from the first book, whilst on their quest to find Zeus’ lightning bolt, Grover asks a poodle for advice (because he’s a Satyr and can talk to animals).

7. I Drive My Dog Into A Tree

Just don’t trust Percy with driving anything. Cars, dogs, it’s not a good idea.

8. I Play Dodgeball With Cannibals

The first chapter of the fourth book, Percy’s visit to his new school doesn’t go entirely to plan (as with anything that Percy does ever).

9. My Parents Go Commando

It’s not what you think.

10. I Put on A Few Million Extra Kilograms

From the third book in the series, when Percy helps hold up the sky because he’s ridiculously in love with Annabeth, and of course, still largely oblivious.

So there we go, those are my favourite Funny Percy Jackson Chapter titles, but honestly, I could have included so many more! Rick Riordan really makes funny writing seem far easier than it actually was. Have you read the original Percy Jackson books? What’s your favourite chapter title (if you can remember, don’t worry if you can’t!)? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, we’ll be talking about Places In Books We’d Like To Live. Now I read a lot of fantasy with fairly dangerous worlds that I wouldn’t like to live in, so this might be a bit of a tricky one for me, but I will do my best!

Quarterly Rewind (December ’20-March ’21 edition)

Hi everyone! I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of March already, despite having been in lockdown for the entirety of 2021 so far, this year seems to have gone quite quickly (which is only fair considering that 2020 crawled by). This winter has been well…..pretty awful with the third lockdown in the UK, but things look as if they might be turning a corner, with lockdown starting to be eased more in the next few months. Anyway, it was the Spring Equinox on Saturday, which means it’s time for another Quarterly Rewind, the feature where I wrap up each season on the blog and look forward to the next one. So today, naturally I will be wrapping up Winter and looking forward to hopefully better times in Spring. This post will cover 21st December-19th March:

Image from Winter:

Me on Christmas Day 2020, one of the only new photos I have from this period as lockdown is not really conducive to getting lots of good pictures!

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Winter:

“Life is cruel, and often without cake.” -The Silvered Serpents, Roshani Chokshi

Okay, I could have gone with any number of gorgeous and lovely quotes from The Silvered Serpents because Roshani Chokshi is a beautiful writer, but laughs have been in short supply in lockdown, so I thought I’d rather share one of the funny ones, because it made me smile, in a year where there has yet to be much to smile about!

This Winter In One Word:

Lockdown 😦

Most Popular Review of The Winter:

I’ve only read four books in the period that this Rewind covers because I’ve been in a bit of a slump, but I have reviewed all of them. The most popular of these was Kingdom of The Wicked, Keri Maniscalco’s newest book, which was fairly hyped, so it tracks that the review would be quite popular:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/kingdom-of-the-wicked-kingdom-of-the-wicked-1-review-e-arc/

Top Two Books I Read This Winter:

I’ve had a fairly mixed Winter as I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, so I didn’t find any particular favourites, but these were the books I liked the best:

  1. The Silvered Serpents-Roshani Chokshi

The second book in The Gilded Wolves series, it did suffer a little from middle book syndrome and I didn’t love it as much as the first book but the characters are still great and that definitely carried the book in places where it felt like the plot wasn’t as strong as The Gilded Wolves.

2. The Midnight Library-Matt Haig

The narration definitely made this one for me, I loved Carey Mulligan’s narration. It was definitely a fun concept and overall well done, even if it felt a little bloated and slightly preachy in places.

TV/Films I’m Looking Forward To Watching This Spring

I’m still not anticipating being able to do a massive amount this Spring, as we’re still going to be fairly locked down (though I am super excited to be able to see my friends and go riding again) so I’m once again going to share the TV I’m looking forward to watching. I’m so excited for when I’m finally doing enough to fill up the normal Things I’m Excited To Do section of this post!:

  1. Shadow and Bone-Obviously, I am massively excited for the Grisha series to finally hit Netflix, like many other bookworms. The trailer looked so cool and I can’t wait to see the series in full on 23rd April!
  2. The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bakeoff-The Celebrity Bakeoff for Stand Up To Cancer started a couple of weeks ago, and I’m so happy! I love Bake-off and it’s just the slice of joy that we need in lockdown! Plus it’s for a really good cause.
  3. Moxie-Okay this is a film not a TV show, but I really enjoyed the book, and I’m looking forward to watching the film. It’s a very timely film given the discussions going on about sexual harassment in the UK at the moment (I know it’s a US based film, but sexual harassment is an unfortunately relevant topic in all societies).
  4. WandaVision-I know, I know, I’m super behind having not yet seen this, but I’m planning on finally getting around to it soon after seeing how excited everyone has been about it.
  5. It’s A Sin-Again, I know, I’m super behind, but it’s definitely one that’s high on my priority list to get around to when I’ve finished watching The West Wing.
  6. Behind Her Eyes-I’ve heard really good things about this one too, so I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Three New Obsessions This Winter:

I’ve hardly left my house, so I’ve not exactly been able to develop many new obsessions, at least not beyond TV shows:

  1. Superstore-I got through all five seasons of Superstore that were available on Netflix in February, and I really loved it. I can’t wait for the final season to be added, whenever that is.
  2. The West Wing-I started watching The West Wing at the beginning of March, I’m just up to Season 3 now and really enjoying it. Yes I know, I’m super far behind, but I was too young to watch it when it originally aired!
  3. Call My Agent-I’ve been watching this with my Mum, and really enjoyed it, despite knowing fairly little French.

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Winter:

My most popular blog posts were again largely TTT posts, but surprisingly, my review of Ninth House was actually by far my most popular post this winter, it’s a fairly old one, so I wasn’t expecting so much interest!

  1. Ninth House Review

This is the fourth time that this review has appeared in my most popular posts in a Quarterly Rewind, you guys really seem to like this one, which is very heartening as I often find my reviews struggle to get views compared to my other posts.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/ninth-house-alex-stern-1-review/

2. Top Ten Tuesday #298

This was one of my first Top Ten Tuesdays of 2021, where I talked about my Goals For 2021. I always love doing these as it’s fun to set goals for the year ahead, so it’s nice to see you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/top-ten-tuesday-298/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #306

This was my Top Ten Tuesday from last week where I talked about Books That I Was Considering Removing From My Goodreads TBR. Thanks to you guys, my Goodreads TBR shrunk by 9 books, so I would consider that a job well done!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/03/09/top-ten-tuesday-306/

4. Top Ten Tuesday #299

This was my annual list of shame, where I shared the 2020 releases I missed out on and was planning to catch up on this year. I think these kinds of lists are always popular because we all have our own lists of shame!

5. Top Ten Tuesday #300

This one was my New To Me authors list, which is one I always love doing, as I enjoy sharing new to me authors that I’ve found and loved with all of you so I’m glad to see that you guys also enjoyed it.

Four Posts I Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Winter:

I’m never massively good at keeping track of these, but I did manage to find some for you:

  1. Maggie Stiefvater did this really great post about readers’ responsibilities to authors and authors responsibilities to readers. It was a super interesting read and something I hadn’t really thought about.

2. Monica Lewinsky interviewed Roxane Gay on how to write trauma for Vanity Fair and I found it a really insightful and interesting interview.

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/02/roxane-gay-on-how-to-write-about-trauma

3. Asiya Iftikhar wrote this really great post about positive relationships between POC mothers and their LGBTQIA+ daughters.

4. I’m cheating slightly here because this is an article that I contributed to, but it’s a really important article so I wanted to share: I, along with many other of the Indiependent’s female & non-binary contributors wrote about our experiences of sexual harassment and assault following Sarah Everard’s murder.

Five Shows I Enjoyed This Winter:

  1. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Okay, so this was technically a rewatch, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and its catchy musical numbers provided just the right amount of serotonin during the early days of the UK’s third lockdown.

2. Death In Paradise Series 10

The latest series of Death In Paradise hit screens in the UK just as we went into our third lockdown, and I definitely needed all the sun soaked vistas of Guadeloupe and the cosy murder mysteries that this show provides in the dark days of January even more than usual this year.

3. Superstore

Again during lockdown 3, comedy was exactly what I needed and I flew through all five seasons available of NBC’s hit comedy when it hit Netflix in the UK last month.

4. This Is Us Series 5

Though the constant stop-start and long breaks between episodes have been mildly annoying (though of course understandable), I have been enjoying the latest series of This Is Us.

5. The West Wing

Like I said, I’ve finally been watching The West Wing this March and I’ve been really enjoying it.

Six Songs I’ve Listened To Way Too Often This Winter:

  1. champagne problems-Taylor Swift

I love champagne problems so much! It’s such a beautiful, heart-breaking song and probably one of my favourites that Taylor has ever written.

2. Without A Believer-Sara Barielles

Weirdly this may be the song from Waitress that I’m most obsessed with, and IT’S NOT ACTUALLY IN THE SHOW, it’s one of the deep cuts from the Lost Songs album!

3. Chandelier-Moulin Rouge Original Broadway Cast Recording

Genuinely like this cover better than the original song!

4. the last great american dynasty-Taylor Swift

One of my favourites from folklore, so naturally it comes up on my shuffle quite often.

5. Moving Too Fast-The Last Five Years

One of my favourite songs from the show so I listen to it quite a lot.

6. The Negative-Waitress

The Waitress cast recording is in constant rotation on my iPod and this is one of the songs that seems to come up the most.

So there we go, that was my Winter! All in all a fairly bleak one, so I seriously hope that Spring is better and that I get more books read! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Winter (or summer if you’re in the southern hemisphere)? What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments!

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2) Review

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Book: The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2)

Author: Roshani Chokshi

BECHDEL TEST: PASS-Zofia and Eva talk about dance and then Laila.

Content Warnings: Ableism, racism, misogyny, anti-semitism, classism, colonialism, sex work shaming, sexual assault (attempted rape by coercion), past child abuse, self-harm for magical purposes, mentions of stillbirth & infertility, blood depiction, physical injury, terminal illness, grief & loss, murder, poisoning, kidnapping, psychological torture, explosion, mentions of being buried alive, animal death mentioned, bodily harm

SPOILER ALERT: This review will include slight spoilers for The Gilded Wolves, I have tried to make them as vague as possible but if you haven’t read the first book then stop reading here.

The Gilded Wolves was one of my favourite books of last year, so naturally I was very excited to read the sequel when it came out (and then I proceeded to not read it for three months, as you do) and find out what happened to Severin and his crew next. I was slightly disappointed? Don’t get me wrong, I still really loved the characters but the plot was a little thin and it was incredibly slow paced (the first book did have some pacing problems but this book had even more for me). Here is a short synopsis of the book:

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

So we’ll start with my old friend: PACING. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record because I talk about this so much, but it’s a major problem with a lot of books, so it’s probably going to keep coming up. But this book really is far too slow paced, it only really picks up in the last third and there’s fairly little action, most of the book is the characters wandering around the Sleeping Palace looking for The Divine Lyrics. Now the first book wasn’t without its pacing issues but because it was a heist, there was a fair amount of action and this book didn’t really have that. Roshani’s description of this book being “more adverbs than action” in the acknowledgements, really did ring true and unfortunately, I am not the kind of reader who likes that! Some of the chapters were overly long as well, which didn’t help with the pacing.

Which brings me to my next point. The writing. The writing is beautiful, but I didn’t feel like it was as good as the previous book? There were far too many adverbs and some of the sentences felt quite long winded and clunky which really bogged me down whilst reading.

On the positive side, I still loved the characters. Zofia’s arc in this book was particularly notable for me, as I thought she grew a lot through the book and I loved seeing how she really came into herself and embraced her power. My favourites didn’t really change from the first book, I still love Zofia, Enrique and Laila the most, they are definitely the standout characters for me, but I wanted to particularly note Zofia’s arc because it was the one I enjoyed the most. It also seemed to suggest that Zofia is on the asexual spectrum, I’d guess demi-sexual which is pretty cool to see!

I also really love how soft Enrique is, it’s so lovely to see a male character who is sweet and sensitive and comfortable with his feelings!

However, the group dynamic was a little frayed, understandably because of the grief all of the characters were experiencing. I do appreciate how well that was done, and how thoroughly Chokshi explored how grief from the death in The Gilded Wolves affected all of the main characters. It did however mean that the fun characters bouncing off each other from the first book wasn’t there as much. I still loved the dialogue in this, but there was by necessity, something missing from the group dynamic I loved so much in the first book.

Severin however really annoyed me. I do understand that his actions were driven by his grief, but it was really hard to see him treating his friends so badly and pushing them away and that lasts throughout the book. I especially hated the way he treated Laila, the whole collar thing really left sour taste in my mouth. Their whole dynamic in this book was super frustrating, Severin basically pushes her away by being cruel because he can’t face losing her and whilst that’s understandable, Laila deserves so much better than the way Severin treated her in this book.

Speaking of the relationships in this book, the Enrique-Hypnos-Zofia love triangle also frustrated me, though I do give Roshani Chokshi props that her love triangle did actually feel believable as Enrique did have chemistry with both Enrique and Zofia, I’m just not a fan of love triangles in general. I also love all three characters so I didn’t want to see any of them hurt and that’s how a love triangle inevitably ends for at least one person in it. I was also really upset with how Hypnos treated Enrique in this book, he doesn’t listen to him, he ignores him and he leads him on. I appreciated that this book showed a break-up as I think it’s important in YA books that characters don’t always end up with the first person they go out with but that doesn’t mean I approved of how Hypnos treated Enrique and I was really rooting for them before this book.

Zofia and Enrique really seem to understand each other, and they seem well suited, but of course neither admits their feelings for each other in this book which is frustrating because they basically spend the entire book internally talking about their potential feelings for each other but it doesn’t go anywhere. I hope that their relationship gets more development in the next book because they have a lovely dynamic with each other.

In terms of the world building, this book still left a lot to be desired. We don’t really get to see much of Russia despite the fact that a large majority of the book takes place there because for most of the book they are in the Sleeping Palace. Whilst I did think The Sleeping Palace was a cool setting, it was fairly limited and I would have liked to have seen more of Russia. I’m also SO FRUSTRATED THAT IT’S THE SECOND BOOK AND I STILL HAVE NO IDEA HOW FORGING WORKS. We get introduced to a new type of forging, Blood forging in this book, which is super cool but I still wish I knew how it worked! So much detail goes into all of the mythology references and I just wish the same detail went into the rest of the worldbuilding. We also didn’t get much of a sense of House Dazbog, and how they worked, despite them being the only house in Russia, which felt like a bit of an oversight. I did love how wintery this book was though!

I’d like to see a little more of the characters interacting with others in the group outside of their regular groups: we get a lot of Severin/Laila and Zofia/Enrique, or Zofia/Enrique/Hypnos but some of my favourite moments in this book actually came when lesser explored pairings were together, like heart to hearts between Enrique and Laila and a nice moment with Zofia and Hypnos. I also missed seeing Laila and Zofia one on one as those moments were some of my favourites in the first book and we don’t get as many of those here.

I had a big issue with some girl hate in this book. A new female character, Eva is introduced, basically as a rival to Laila and it’s another case of girls pitted against each other because they like the same guy. I do appreciate that the text did acknowledge this pattern but it still annoyed me that it leaned into this trope because it wasn’t necessary and didn’t really add anything to the story as a whole. It was especially disappointing because I noted in my review of The Gilded Wolves how much I loved how supportive Laila and Zofia’s friendship was. Eva doesn’t really seem to have much of a personality beyond the stereotypical mean girl, which I thought was a bit of a shame.

I didn’t feel like the plot was as strong this time around, I felt like The Gilded Wolves was definitely more plot focused and it had lots of twists and turns and I never really knew how things were going to turn out, whereas in this book, the plot felt kind of thin and stretched out as they only had the one goal and they were in one place for the majority of the book & I just didn’t think the story in the Sleeping Palace needed to be as long as it was.

I really want Hypnos to have a POV, he doesn’t feel as fleshed out as the other characters and I feel like that’s because he doesn’t have a POV (until the epilogue). We did get to see a little more past the comic relief aspects of his character in this book, but I would really like to get to learn more about him and I feel like he needs to have a POV in order for that to happen. I felt so bad that he was feeling so lonely and left out in this book, he tries so hard to be helpful and is basically unacknowledged by the rest of the group a lot of the time (having said that, that’s no excuse for the way he treats Enrique). I’m also kind of confused as to whether Hypnos romantically likes Severin, or if he’s just desperate for his approval in a familial type way? I don’t know, I could be reading way too much into it but there were definitely points in this book that felt like Hypnos might have an unrequited crush.

I liked getting to know the House Kore matriarch (Delphine) a bit more in this book, especially finding out more about her backstory with Severin. I would have liked to have seen more one on one moments with her and Laila though because I really liked their dynamic, I thought it was really interesting.

There are quite a few twists in this especially towards the end of the book, one I definitely called from the beginning, one I felt a bit silly not working out because it was kind of obvious. The main one though, I didn’t feel like it was quite built up enough. There’s hints in the epilogue of the last book and the prologue of this one, but the book spends so long trying to bait and switch you into thinking that it’s someone else and then when the reveal happened, it didn’t feel entirely earned to me, because I felt like it hadn’t been built up well enough (I know this is super vague, I’m trying to talk about it in the least spoilery way possible)!

So much of this book relies on the miscommunication trope as many of the characters’ problems and puzzles could have been solved if THEY’D JUST TALKED TO EACH OTHER, and it’s one of my least favourite tropes because it really frustrates me!

Some of the historical details in this book are a little messy: to start with, Poland. So in 1890, when this book is set, Poland wasn’t an independent country, it was partitioned by Russia, Prussia and Austro-Hungary, so having it referred to as if it’s an independent entity, is a bit misleading. It’s also strange that Zofia never mentions it, as she does talk about how much she hates Russia, but in relation to her being Jewish, which is of course very valid, but you’d think she’d also mention the fact that Russia has partitioned her country!

There’s also the fact that one of Laila’s dresses is mentioned to have A ZIPPER, when zippers were really only in their infancy in the 1890s and weren’t used in France until the mid 1920s. I know it’s a super petty detail compared to the first but these things do matter. I also saw a review from Uma (@Books.Bags.Burgers) who mentioned that Laila knowing about the story of Laila & Majnun in 1889/1890 was incredibly unlikely, along with some other issues with Laila’s representation that I wouldn’t have noticed so I wanted to point that out and link to their review, since they are South Indian and know a lot more about this than me.

I’m still a little confused as to how old Enrique is meant to be, I thought they were all around 19/20, but then he’s described as being a University graduate when he met Severin two years ago, which suggests that he might be a bit older than the others? Unless he started University very young, or uni was much shorter back then, but it seems more likely that Enrique would be a bit older. I know his age isn’t stated on page (I don’t think) and it’s not really a big deal, I’m just a little confused!

THAT DAMN ENDING. The whole last few chapters of the book were super intense, but THAT ENDING. I can’t believe that Roshani Chokshi ended the book this way and that we have to WAIT UNTIL SEPTEMBER TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. I need The Bronzed Beasts now!

Overall, this book definitely suffered from middle book syndrome, with slow pacing and a fairly thin plot and world building that still wasn’t fully explained. However, the characters definitely carried the story and I’m excited to see where the final book in the trilogy goes.

My Rating: 3.5/5

My next review will either be of Lore by Alexandra Bracken or The Unbound by Victoria Schwab depending on which I finish first.

Top Ten Tuesday #307

Hi everyone! So the past week has been A LOT for women (and trans men and non-binary people because these issues affect them too), if you’re not familiar with what’s been going on in the UK at the moment, this week a police officer was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a woman called Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped and killed whilst walking home in London. The whole thing has launched a wave of discussion about male violence against women and sexual harassment which has been long overdue and yet of course there’s still so many cisgender men who refuse to believe there’s no problem.

I’m just so angry, I’m angry that male violence towards women is still something that happens, I’m angry for all the women killed by male violence whose deaths don’t get as much media attention because they aren’t white. I’m angry that many men don’t recognise that they’re part of the problem. I’m angry that progress on this has been SO SO SLOW and that the onus is still on women, trans men and non-binary people to protect ourselves rather than dealing with the societal problems that allow cisgender men to attack us in the first place. I hope that this is the start of real action to make the world a safer place for those of us who aren’t cisgender men, and that we are able to make real change because it has been far, far too long coming. For any of my followers/readers who are also in the UK, if you haven’t filled out the Government survey about Violence Against Women And Girls, then please do, it’s super important and could affect future policy on the issue: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/violence-against-women-and-girls-vawg-call-for-evidence

Anyway, with the long rant over, it’s Tuesday, and as always I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is our annual Spring TBR topic, and I have to admit, I’ve not done great on my Winter TBR, I only read 5 books out of 14 because I’ve been in a slump basically since November. I’m hoping that this slump will cease over the Spring because I have so many books I’m excited to read:

  1. The Unbound-Victoria Schwab

My current read, I was meant to be reading Where Dreams Descend for my March TBR read, but given the slump, I decided to switch to this one as it’s shorter and by a favourite author which usually helps me break my reading slumps. It’s been almost four years since I read The Archived though, so I will admit, I did have to read a recap before starting this one.

2. Lore-Alexandra Bracken

My current audiobook, I’ve actually been reading this one since the beginning of February, but as I only listen to audiobooks when I go for my hourly run once a week, I’ve been making my way through it rather slowly. It’s okay, but not a new favourite.

3. Scarlet-AC Gaughen

My April #RockMyTBR book, I didn’t have massive luck with my last gender swapped Robin Hood retelling, but I’m hoping this female Will Scarlet retelling will work better for me!

4. Phoenix Flame-Sara Holland

My current Netgalley read which I’ve just started. I thought Havenfall was only okay, but I was intrigued enough that I wanted to check out the sequel which I’m hoping will up the ante from the first book.

5. Mina and The Undead-Amy McCaw

I’m not usually a horror fan, but Amy is a friend of mine, she was my secret sister in one round of the #otspsecretsister project and I so enjoyed having her as a pen-pal for six months, so I wanted to support her debut novel! I have an e-arc from Netgalley and I’m looking forward to reading it soon.

6. Ariadne-Jennifer Saint

I’m really excited about this one, I love Greek mythology and have always felt like Ariadne gets a bad rap in the Theseus and The Minotaur myth so I’m really excited to see what Jennifer Saint does with her story here, especially after really enjoying Circe by Madeline Miller, another Greek mythology book that looks at a maligned woman from Greek mythology in a different way. I have an e-arc for this one from Netgalley as well.

7. Sky Breaker-Addie Thorley

I really enjoyed Night Spinner when I read it last year, so I’m excited to see how Enebish’s story ends in the final book in this duology, which I also have an e-arc for from Netgalley (the Netgalley gods have been very kind to me recently!).

8. Olive, Mabel and Me-Andrew Cotter

My next planned audiobook read, I, like many others have really enjoyed Andrew’s videos of his two labradors Olive & Mabel and I think this book will be a really fun read. I especially waited for the book to be available on Audible because I thought listening to Andrew read it would be the best way to experience it.

9. Beloved-Toni Morrison

This was on my Winter TBR as well and I just haven’t got round to it yet, I really need to soon though, as it’s not mine, I was lent it by a friend so I do have to give it back at some point!

10. Where Dreams Descend-Janella Angeles

This was meant to be my March #RockMyTBR book, but because of my reading slump, I wasn’t really in the mood for a long descriptive book at the moment, so I swapped it for The Unbound and will come back to it in May. I really didn’t want my reading slump to affect my enjoyment of this book as it sounds like one I will really like if I’m in the right mood to read it.

11. City of Spells-Alexandra Christo

The sequel to Into The Crooked Place is finally here! I really enjoyed Into The Crooked Place when I read it about two years ago now, and I’m excited to see how this duology wraps up.

12. Good Girl, Bad Blood-Holly Jackson

I really enjoyed A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder last year, and I’ve been excited to read the sequel ever since, so I’m hoping I get a chance to get round to it this Spring.

So that’s my Spring TBR, it’s probably a little ambitious given my reading slump, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to get through at least a few of these in the next few months. What’s on your Spring TBR? Have you read any of these (of the ones that are already out?) What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, which is meant to be Funny Book Titles, however I don’t really know many of those, so I’m flipping the theme slightly and sharing Funniest Percy Jackson Chapter Titles (as Rick Riordan is the king of funny chapter titles).

Top Ten Tuesday #306

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has as always been fairly quiet, there’s never very much to say about life under lockdown!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week our topic is a Spring Cleaning Freebie, so I’m going to be talking about Books I Added To My Goodreads TBR More Than Two Years Ago That I’m Considering Getting Rid Of. Like all of us, I add far more books to my Goodreads TBR than I will ever be able to read, and after a while, I forget about why I added them in the first place. So for this week, I’ve gone through my TBR and weeded out some of the books that I’m not sure I’m interested in anymore:

  1. All My Secrets-Sophie McKenzie

I used to really love Sophie McKenzie’s books when I was a teenager, but I’ve not read any of her books in the past few years and have kind of lost interest after feeling fairly lukewarm about her adult thrillers. I added it around when it first came out, but over five years later, I’ve still not read it. I have liked her YA thrillers in the past though, so I don’t know if I should give it a chance.

2. The DUFF-Kody Keplinger

I watched the film for this and it was okay, nothing massively special, just your average teen film really. But back when I added it to my list, I read more YA contemporary than I do now, and to be honest, my interest in YA contemporary now is fairly limited, as I feel a bit old for high school drama! So I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll ever read, especially as I’ve already seen the film.

3. The Testing-Joelle Charbonneau

I added this one to my TBR when I was still in my dystopian phase in 2015, and to be honest, I’m kind of over that now especially as most YA dystopian books I’ve read have felt very same-y. If it felt like this book added something new to the genre then I might be more interested, but from the description, it sounds exactly like 10,000 other dystopian books.

4. The Next Together-Lauren James

I think I added this one after hearing about it at YALC, and it did sound cool at the time, but looking back on it, it’s basically a romance story even with the time travelling aspect and given my lack of patience for most romances in books, I’m just not sure if I would actually enjoy it.

5. Those Who Save Us-Jenna Blum

I thought this one sounded really interesting when I added it, a mother/daughter story surrounding secrets from the mother’s past in WWII but it’s been sitting on my TBR for almost five years and I haven’t yet felt the need to pick it up which make me think that maybe I’m not that interested after all.

6. Shatter Me-Tahereh Mafi

Ah another victim of my growing out of my dystopian phase. I know a lot of people like this book which is why I added it to my TBR in the first place, because I’d heard good things about it, but I’ve not really felt the need to pick it up over the last few years and I’m like 90% sure that this series has a love triangle, so that is quite off-putting to me.

7. Mechanica-Betsy Cornwell

I added this a while back when I was adding a lot of fairytale retellings to my TBR, and it sounded good at the time but now I’m not so sure. It seems basically like Cinder without the space aspects and I wasn’t a big fan of that book, and I’m also not really a massive fan of Cinderella in general, so I don’t really know if this one would be for me (Cinderella Is Dead being an exception).

8. The Winner’s Curse-Marie Rutkoski

Another victim of the end of my dystopian phase! I have heard such good things about this one, but I just don’t know if I’m interested anymore. I don’t really know how I feel about a romance that starts with a master/slave vibe and I’m just generally not massively interested in dystopian books anymore because they all started to feel very same-y.

9. The Girl of Fire and Thorns-Rae Carson

Honestly this sounds like literally every other YA fantasy book, I mean I do get that a lot of them are very same-y and I accept that, but this one doesn’t really seem to have anything particularly interesting to set it apart from all the others I read, so I’m just not that sure if I’m interested anymore.

10. Assassin’s Heart-Sarah Ahiers

I thought this sounded interesting when I first added it, but the reviews I’ve seen haven’t been great and the longer it’s on my TBR, the less interested I’ve been in it. It seems like a Romeo and Juliet kind of story, with the main characters being assassins from rival families who have been in a secret relationship. I don’t know it just seems like it probably has too much focus on romance for me and since I’ve heard fairly lukewarm reviews of it, my interest has waned.

11. Burning Midnight-Will McIntosh

I thought this sounded quite unique when I first saw it, a world where these magic spheres are used as currency, but in the years since I added it to my TBR, my interest has waned. I don’t really know why, I have a lot of other books to read I guess and this one just hasn’t really stood out as something I’m desperately excited to read.

12. Henge-Realm Lovejoy

I do love Arthurian myths, so I can see why I added it to my TBR in the first place, but it’s been several years, it’s not a book that really seems to be around anywhere in the UK, so I don’t really know if it’s worth keeping on my TBR when I’m likely to never read it.

13. Why We Broke Up-Daniel Handler

I thought this sounded like a cute story when I first added it, but again, it’s a contemporary mostly based around a romance (albeit a break-up) so I’m not actually sure how much I’d like it. I’ve also heard some not great things about Daniel Handler in recent years and I’m not sure if I want to support his work anymore (I did read A Series of Unfortunate Events when I was younger).

14. These Rebel Waves-Sara Raasch

I do love pirates, so that aspect of this book really appealed to me, but I wasn’t a big fan of Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes, so I don’t really know if I want to read anymore of her books.

15. The Hidden Memory of Objects-Danielle Mages Amato

I’m kind of torn on this one because the story does sound interesting (a girl tries to solve the mystery of her brother’s death after the police rule it a suicide) but at the same time, it’s been on my TBR for years and I’ve not picked it up or even really thought about it, so that suggests that perhaps I wasn’t as interested as I thought.

16. Bridge of Clay-Markus Zusak

I’ll be honest, I added this to my TBR because I love The Book Thief so much, but I’m not really sure if this one appeals to me, the description on Goodreads is kind of confusing and I don’t really get what it’s about!

So there we go, those are some of the books I’m considering removing from my TBR? Any that I should definitely get rid of? Any that you think I should give a chance? Basically I want to know what you thought of these books, so let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is our annual Spring TBR topic, so you can all hear about how much I failed on my Winter TBR and watch me still make ridiculously ambitious reading plans for the Spring!

Top Ten Tuesday #305

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week this week, mine was fairly quiet but I did have some great video chats with my friends over the weekend which were super fun, I cannot wait till I can finally see my friends in person again though!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking about Characters Whose Jobs I Wish I Had. Now obviously, I already know the job I’m planning to go into (Journalism) but if I wasn’t going to do that, these are the jobs that fictional characters have, that I’d like to do:

  1. Amy Fleming-Heartland Series-Lauren Brooke-Horse Trainer

I love horses, and Amy’s job of working with horses with problems always seemed like such a cool thing to do when I was younger. I still really would love to learn some of the natural horsemanship techniques that Amy does in the books (and on the show) though that will probably only happen in a dream world where I finally manage to get a horse of my own!

2. Enrique Mercado-Lopez-The Gilded Wolves Trilogy-Roshani Chokshi-Historian

This one isn’t actually massively out of the question, since part of my degree was History! I do love the idea of being a historian, but I’m not really academically inclined and I didn’t want to do further education which I’d need to do if I was going to go into academia and do historical research. If I could find a job that was history related that I didn’t need further degrees for though, I would definitely be interested!

3. Mrs Elm-The Midnight Library-Matt Haig-Librarian

Any job to do with books would be perfect for me, and I have so many great memories of a particularly brilliant librarian from the library I used to go to when I was a kid, who was so lovely and helpful. I’m not really a kid person, so I don’t think I’d make the best children’s librarian but I reckon I would be a good general librarian, I know I’d be good at helping patrons find books they’d love.

4. Cath-Heartless-Marissa Meyer-Baker

I am able to bake a little, mostly really simple things like cookies and flapjacks, but I’d love to be able to do it well, in my dreams I’d be able to bake like the bakers on the Great British Bake-off and do all of these super elaborate desserts!

5. Jordan McAffee-Several Jodi Picoult books-Jodi Picoult-Lawyer

My parents always used to joke I’d make a good lawyer when I was a kid because I loved to argue! I’ve always found legal stuff interesting, but never really felt compelled to make it a career, mostly because I don’t think I could live with someone innocent going to jail because of me (or someone guilty walking free). However, when I was in Cape Town, I met a lawyer who worked for the Women’s Legal Centre, and if I was a lawyer, I’d love to do what she does, fighting to improve women’s rights would be a great job for me.

6. Henry Strauss-The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue-V.E. Schwab-Bookseller

I’ve always thought I’d make a great bookseller, finding people great books to read sounds like my idea of a dream job. Now I have worked in retail before, so I do realise that bookselling would probably have all the same drawbacks that all of my other retail jobs have had, but getting a discount on books would be totally worth it!

7. Lina Vilkas-Between Shades of Gray-Ruta Sepetys-Artist

I am terrible at art, truly horrendous, but I’ve always wanted to be good at it, it’s like singing, I really admire and am envious of people who can do it well. However, this is a dream not reality scenario, so in this scenario, if I was good at art, I would love to be an artist like Lina.

8. Dawn Edelstein-The Book of Two Ways-Jodi Picoult-Egyptologist

Egyptology seems like it would be a truly fascinating subject to study, I’ve always thought archaeology was really cool, so I’d love to be able to go on digs and excavate tombs, but being the history nerd that I am, I’d also love studying Ancient Egyptian history, I think it would be so interesting. I’ve not had a chance to study much Ancient history so far and I’ve always been fascinated by it, so I think Egyptology would be a really fun and interesting thing to study.

9. Queenie-Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein-Spy

I’m not sure I’d make the world’s best spy, but again, this is a dream scenario, so I think I can swing it. All the different disguises and pretending to be someone else is very appealing to me and though I’m sure the job would be dangerous, I reckon being undercover as a spy would also be really fun (I would not have wanted to do it during a war like Queenie though!).

10. Will Fitzgerald-The Diviners Series-Libba Bray-Museum Curator

Being a museum curator would be so interesting, obviously I would want to work for a historical museum rather than an arts or science one as that’s my area of interest but managing a museum’s collections sounds super interesting. Again, I probably wouldn’t do this in real life, as it requires higher degrees and so more studying, but if in a dream world I could do this job without those, then yes, I would definitely go for it.

So there we go, those are some Characters Whose Jobs I Wish I Had. Have you read any of these books? Would you like to? What fictional characters’ jobs would you like to have? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is a Spring Cleaning Freebie, now I’m not planning on doing an unhaul of my bookshelves any time soon, so instead, I’m going to look at Books I Added To My Goodreads TBR More Than Two Years Ago and see if I can clean up my Goodreads shelves!