Top Ten Tuesday #315

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I finally got some good news on a temp job at Cambridge’s vaccination centre so I’m really happy about that. I’m still applying for journalism jobs but it’s so nice to finally have some good job news after the past year.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is another cover one, apparently this year is the year of cover posts for me! Anyway, this week’s cover topic is Books With Nature on The Cover, and I’ve tried to avoid floral covers as much as possible since I already shared a lot of those for my Spring Book Covers post. So here we go, Books With Nature on The Cover:

  1. Rule of Wolves-Leigh Bardugo
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I have to admit the Rule of Wolves cover wasn’t quite what I was expecting, I was expecting wolves, not a tree to be the centrepiece of the cover. This picture also doesn’t really do the cover justice as it’s much more vibrant than this in real life, it’s silver and red which is very striking, this picture kind of makes it look a dull grey. I still think it’s a really cool cover though and I especially love the little animal details in the corner with the wolf, the fox (!!!), the eagle and then I think maybe a dragon of some sort at the top. It’s definitely a very nature filled cover, so perfect for this prompt.

2. The Raven Boys-Maggie Stiefvater

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You’ll be seeing a lot of bird themed covers in this list because apparently they are very popular! I love the whole Raven Cycle series cover, the art style with the watercolour drawings is so lovely. I love how much detail there is on this cover as well, the swirls on the wings that kind of look like eyes, the little red section that looks like a heart, it’s all so beautifully done and it looks like such a lifelike bird as well.

3. Paper and Fire-Rachel Caine

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The UK editions of the Great Library series all have some kind of animal themed design on the front, the first book has a butterfly, this one is a bird, the third has a lion, the fourth a dragon and the fifth a dog. This one is my favourite though, I think the bird (which I want to say is either a crow or a raven) is really striking, and I love the colours in the cover.

4. A Thousand Perfect Notes-CG Drews

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I love this one because it’s really unique, the idea of the just one butterfly wing as the design is not something I’ve really seen before. I love the colours, the way the light pink fades into the darker red and black at the tips of the wings, and it’s super cool how if you have two copies and you put the front and back covers together, it makes a whole butterfly.

5. An Enchantment of Ravens-Margaret Rogerson

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I may not have been that keen on the actual book but I definitely can’t deny that this cover is beautiful. The autumnal colours come through really well, suiting the story and I love how the bird blends beautifully into the cover.

6. The Surface Breaks-Louise O’Neill

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I’ve heard some not so great stuff about this book from my friend which was a little disappointing as I was really looking forward to reading it, but I can’t deny the cover is striking, and there’s plenty of ocean creatures in there with the fish and starfish.

7. Blanca & Roja-Anna-Marie McLemore

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I’m not a fan of swans, but I can’t deny that this cover is striking! I love how the two swans are nestled together and that you could almost miss the second one if you weren’t looking closely.

8. Because You Love To Hate Me-Anthology with multiple authors

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Okay so I lied, I do have a couple of floral covers for this one. The colour is definitely what stands out for me on this one, bright pink is not a cover choice I tend to see often. I love how the flower looks kind of metallic, the combination of both delicate and sharp is really well done.

9. Uprooted-Naomi Novik

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I wish I’d enjoyed this book more because everyone else seems to love it, but unfortunately I wasn’t a massive fan. However it definitely fits the nature theme with the rose and the trees. It’s not my favourite of the covers on this list though.

10. The Hunger Games Trilogy-Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games books were an obvious choice for this theme, since birds play a pretty large part in the story and on the covers. They’ve had many different covers for this series, but my favourites are still the original covers that the copies I read had, I love the really minimal design, I think it really suits the books and the pop of colour from the mockingjay symbols on a black background works really well.

So there we go, those are my Nature book covers! What do you think? Which of these was your favourite cover? Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Book Titles That Are Complete Sentences, and I have to admit, I’m a little stumped by this topic, so I’m going to look into it but if I can’t come up with any then I’ll just dig in the archives for something else.

Top Ten Tuesday #314

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I’m up in Stirling for the next three weeks on holiday with my family so it will be nice being somewhere other than at home for a while!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s is a fairly straightforward one, Ten Most Recent Reads, though I have to admit, I’ve not read as many books this year as I would have liked to as I’ve been in an extended reading slump since January and haven’t actually finished an awful lot of books, so a few of these will be from the end of last year. But here we go, my Ten Most Recent Reads:

  1. The Unbound-VE Schwab-Current read

I’d hoped to have finished this by the time I did this post but unfortunately I seem to have stalled at around Chapter 24. I don’t know how much of it is my reading slump and how much is the book but I’m not enjoying it as much as I would normally enjoy a Schwab book.

2. Olive, Mabel & Me-Andrew Cotter-Finished 14th April

One of my favourite reads of this year, I loved listening to Andrew Cotter talk about his adventures with his Labradors, a fun, short listen was exactly what I needed after finishing a lengthy audiobook.

3. Lore-Alexandra Bracken-Finished 31st March

I was really looking forward to this one and unfortunately felt quite let down by it. It was complicated and confusing with flat characters and far too much violent misogyny. Such a shame because I usually love Greek mythology based books so much and it sounded so promising.

4. The Silvered Serpents-Roshani Chokshi-Finished 9th March

The Gilded Wolves was one of my favourite books of last year, so I was a little disappointed that I didn’t love The Silvered Serpents quite as much. It was very slow paced, and the plot was fairly thin on the ground, the fact that I already loved the characters was the saving grace of this book. I’m still looking forward to The Bronzed Beasts and I hope it is better for me than this one was.

5. The Midnight Library-Matt Haig-Finished 31st January

The concept for The Midnight Library was great. The execution? Somewhat lacking. It was quite slow for such a short book and I found the characterisation of Nora fairly flat, plus the world building around The Midnight Library was more minimal than I would have liked. The ending also really annoyed me because it felt super predictable.

6. Seasons of War-Derek Landy-Finished 9th January

I was SO DISAPPOINTED. I love Skulduggery Pleasant so much, and this was such a let down. It was so slow, it had too many weird tangential subplots & the writing was weaker than it has been in other books. I did appreciate the focus on Val’s mental health journey because that isn’t featured enough in fantasy books, but that was one of the few good aspects in an otherwise very messy book.

7. Kingdom of The Wicked-Keri Mansicalco-Finished 31st December

In a running theme of this list apparently, I was a little disappointed with this book. It was a super hyped release and it ended up being fairly underwhelming for me? It was very slow paced, the world building was weak and I found Emilia kind of bland as a main character. I loved the concept for the book but I didn’t think the execution lived up to it.

8. Good Omens-Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman-Finished 17th December

UGH I WAS SO SAD ABOUT THIS ONE. I loved the TV miniseries, I thought it was so fun and the book? Not so much. The plot was confusing and difficult to follow, it relied on a lot of racist, sexist and homophobic stereotypes for its humour and the pacing was super off. Definitely recommend the TV show more for this one.

9. The Book of Two Ways-Jodi Picoult-Finished 12th December

I love Jodi Picoult books but this one wasn’t her best. The premise was great, kind of like a Sliding Doors deal, but I felt overloaded with all the technical information and there were too many subplots to the story, so it felt like the plot lacked focus. I also found it difficult to like or connect to Dawn which made it hard to enjoy the book.

10. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin-Roseanne A. Brown-Finished 26th November

I feel like all I’ve done is complain about the books I’ve read in this list, so let’s end up on a happier note: I really enjoyed this one! There were a few pacing issues (unusually for me, fast pacing rather than slow!) and the magic system was slightly confusing but I really loved the characters and the plot was generally exciting and engaging, I’m looking forward to the sequel coming out later this year.

So there we go, those were my ten most recent reads. It’s been a pretty slow and underwhelming reading year so far for me, so I really hope that changes soon! How much have you read this year? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next Tuesday with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time we’ll be talking about Books With Nature on The Cover, so another cover topic for you all (hey you got a brief break from it this week!).

Top Ten Tuesday #313

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I had lunch out with a friend on Friday, which was so lovely and I had my first riding lesson back since lockdown on Saturday, so overall a very good weekend for me. I also binge-watched Shadow and Bone, and I really enjoyed it. I’ll have more thoughts for you in my Book Vs Movie post about it later in the week, but for now all I’ll say is that I think they did a good job with it and I hope the show gets many more seasons!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I’m going completely off piste this week as I did the favourite animals in books topic a few years ago & I don’t think my list has massively changed since then. So instead, inspired by talking about differences in UK and US covers in my post last week, I decided to do a UK vs US book covers post. I will freely admit, that I’m probably quite biased towards UK covers as they are what I’m used to, but I did try to get some US covers I liked better in there as well. So here we go, with Which Cover Did It Better, UK or US?

  1. Ink and Bone-Rachel Caine

Winner: UK cover

These are both nice covers and to be honest, the US cover probably gives more of an idea of what the story is about, but for my personal preference, I prefer the UK cover. I like the colours better, I think the butterfly design is gorgeous and I love the way that you can see the book pages hiding within the butterfly wings.

2. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue-VE Schwab

Winner: UK Cover

Again the US cover’s constellation of stars has a more direct connection to the book, as they represent Addie’s freckles but I just think the UK cover is prettier. It’s more colourful, and I love the little forget-me-not flowers. The US cover is more minimalistic, which is unusual, as it’s normally the other way around (the UK having more minimal covers than the US).

3. The Daevabad Trilogy-S.A Chakraborty

UK covers

US covers

Winner: UK covers

Again both sets of covers are pretty, but I prefer the designs of the UK covers, I think the colours and patterns are nicer and I particularly love the deep purple of The Empire of Gold cover. I also think they look better together as a set.

4. Caraval-Stephanie Garber

Winner: UK cover

Again, I like both and I may be slightly biased to the UK covers for this series as they have the very pretty hidden covers, but even discarding that, I like the UK cover better here. I love how the background is kind of like a starburst and I think the combination of the black cover with the splash of red and gold works really well. I also prefer the typeface on the UK cover.

5. Spin The Dawn-Elizabeth Lim

Winner: US cover

Finally one for the US. I do think the UK cover is pretty, but it looks more like a children’s book cover rather than a YA one, whereas the US one looks more like it’s aimed for the target audience. I also think you get more what the book is about in the US cover, with the dress being the focus, it’s clear that it’s about the tailoring competition whereas the UK cover isn’t so clear.

6. Kingdom of Ash-Sarah J Maas

Winner: US cover

The UK again went more minimal on the Throne of Glass covers than the US, with a white background rather than a coloured one and for most of the books I didn’t mind, but for this one, I think the colour gives it the edge as the actual design is largely the same. The US one just looks more striking with the golden background, as opposed to the white background on the UK cover.

7. Call Down The Hawk-Maggie Stiefvater

Winner: UK Cover

It wasn’t even a contest for me with this one, I think the UK cover is much nicer. The colours are much nicer and though the design is similar, I much prefer the watercolour style of the UK cover to the more computerised style of the US one. I’m really sad that the UK cover of Mister Impossible is the same as the US one except in paperback because I honestly hate the cover for that one!

8. The Girl From Everywhere-Heidi Heilig

Winner: UK cover

Again this one is a no-brainer, the US cover is ugly! I hate the typeface, the design is boring and there’s not much colour. The UK cover is far more eye-catching, bright and colourful, with a much prettier design.

9. Rebel of The Sands-Alwyn Hamilton

Winner: UK cover

I have freely admitted how much I dislike people on book covers, so it’s probably not a surprise that I prefer the UK cover to the US one here. The colours and the design on the UK cover are for me, much prettier than the US one.

10. Salt To The Sea-Ruta Sepetys

Winner: UK cover

I’ll admit, I do think the UK cover looks like it’s aimed at a younger audience, but in terms of what I prefer from covers, I like it better. I’ve always been more of an illustrated cover person than a stock photo cover person.

11. Circe-Madeline Miller

Winner: UK cover

Another no brainer for me, the UK one is prettier! I don’t know why they went for such a boring design for the US cover, but it looks so dull, whereas the UK cover has a much more elaborate and gorgeous design.

12. Ariadne-Jennifer Saint

Winner: UK cover

This is a very similar case to Circe’s cover, the US went for a fairly minimalist design, whereas the UK cover is far more striking. I also think that the UK cover looks more Ancient Greek in style, with the mosaic style mazes around the outside and the Greek style figure of Ariadne. I also really love the blue and gold colours, I think they’re very striking.

13. City of Spells-Alexandra Christo

Winner: UK cover

I will admit to being somewhat biased towards the cover I have, and I don’t actually think the US cover is bad, in actual fact I quite like it, but the red of the UK cover just stands out more to me. I love the black silhouette of the city as well, and the way that the vine design twines around the outer edges of the cover, I think it’s a more visually interesting design than the US cover.

14. The Court of Miracles-Kester Grant

Winner: UK cover

The colours are definitely what stuck out for me on the UK cover, the gold and blue are incredibly striking. The US cover definitely has it’s good points as well, I think it gets across the contrast between luxury and ruin quite well, but from a personal standpoint, again I just really like illustrated covers!

15. Moxie-Jennifer Mathieu

Winner: US cover

I do love pink, but the design for the US cover is much better. It looks like it could be the cover of the zine in the book, and I think feels more for its intended audience whereas the UK cover seems like it’s aimed at a younger audience.

Final scores:

UK: 12

US: 3

Sorry, US, I’m afraid in this round the UK covers trounced you soundly!

I want to hear your thoughts! Which of these covers would you have chosen (it’s totally okay if you don’t agree with me!)? Have you read any of these books? Did you like them? Which is your favourite cover? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, with my Ten Most Recent Reads (so you can all see how bad of a reading slump I’ve been in this year!).

Top Ten Tuesday #312

Hi everyone! I hope you had a good week since I last did one of these, I had a day out in Hatfield with my friends on Saturday, which was really nice, the weather was lovely (for a change) and the grounds of Hatfield House were very nice to walk in (if a little overpriced!). I also finally finished a big job application yesterday, so I’m relieved about that!

It’s Tuesday, so I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Colourful Book Covers. I wasn’t sure which way to go with this, whether to go with covers that just have one or two colours but are very bright, or ones that had a lot of colours, so I decided to go with a mix of the two. Here we go:

  1. The Girl From Everywhere-Heidi Heilig
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It’s strange that this one is so bright because the US one is really not, it’s plain black with a fairly minimalist design. That’s why I like the UK designs for this series so much more, I love how bright and lively this cover is, it feels like the ocean floor, colourful and teeming with life.

2. Phoenix Flame-Sara Holland

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This is my current read, and whilst I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m thrilled with the book (I find the main character kind of bland), I do think this cover is lovely and definitely very colourful. I also love the contrast between this book’s cover and Havenfall, where this book has very hot colours and Havenfall is definitely more cool colours.

3. Hero At The Fall-Alwyn Hamilton

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This book may have been my least favourite of the trilogy, but the cover certainly is gorgeous. I love the flames around the side and the brightness of the orange background definitely encapsulates the desert setting of this trilogy really, really well. This is another series where I think the UK covers are much nicer than the US, the US covers have stock images of people, whereas the UK covers are these more vibrant, with the foiling on the the flames and the pretty typography.

4. Seventh Heaven-Meg Cabot

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The Princess Diaries is not a series that crops up a lot on the blog, I liked them well enough when I was a teenager but they don’t really reflect my current reading taste. However, this, the seventh book in the series was perfect for this week’s topic, as it is incredibly colourful!

5. The Priory of The Orange Tree-Samantha Shannon

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I’m still in awe of how gorgeous this cover is, even two years later and with the incredibly bright orange background, I thought it was perfect for this week’s topic.

6. The Exact Opposite of Okay-Laura Steven

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The base of this cover might be white, but the design is exploding with colour and I love how each thing in the background is relevant to a part of Izzy’s story.

7. For A Muse of Fire-Heidi Heilig

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Another Heidi Heilig one on here! I love the contrast between brightness and shadow on this cover and it’s really fitting for the story as well given that the main character Jetta is a shadow puppeteer. The fantouche dragon is definitely my favourite part of this cover, it’s so well done!

8. Daughter of the Burning City-Amanda Foody

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Purple is my favourite colour and it’s not nearly a popular enough colour choice for covers as I’d like, so naturally I love this one. The little yellow touches make the deep purple of the cover stand out even more and I love the stripes on the background that look kind of like a circus tent.

9. Under Rose Tainted Skies-Louise Gornall

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This one is fairly minimalist cover, so might not be the most obvious choice for a colourful cover topic but the pink is so bright and vibrant, I couldn’t not include it! The UK publisher did three different shades of pink cover, there was a light pink one (which I think is the one I have), a medium pink one and then this incredibly bright one which I thought was really cool.

10. Call Down The Hawk-Maggie Stiefvater

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Maggie Stiefvater always gets the best covers and this one is no different, I love the watercolour style and the contrast between the fairly light pink background and the dark brown of the hawk and the yellow of I think flames rising up from the trees. All in all it’s a really lovely vibrant colour and I’m slightly disappointed by the Mister Impossible cover as it leans away from the more illustrated style that she’s had for all her other covers (at least in the UK) so far.

So there we go, those are my colourful book covers! 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, the topic is meant to be Animals From Books but I already did that one back in 2017 and I prefer not to repeat topics if I can help it, and this topic inspired me with an idea for another topic, so instead, I’m going to be talking US vs UK covers. I know a third cover topic in a row is a lot, but what can I say? I’m on a roll!

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!

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!

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!