Top Ten Tuesday #246

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Hi all! I arrived in Cape Town a couple of days ago, and as I’m writing this ahead of schedule due to lack of WiFi, I hope that future me is enjoying it! As I’ve told you previously, all my posts from now until April will likely just be pre-scheduled Top Ten Tuesday posts, so if I am less active than normal in the next four months, don’t be worried, I’m having a great time, and taking my first proper break from the blog in six years!

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have a Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking I’m talking Authors I Discovered In 2019, but since I didn’t have enough authors that I thought I’d want to read more from that I first read last year, I’ve split this list into two, New Authors I Discovered In 2019 & New Authors I’m Looking Forward To Reading In 2020.

New Authors I Discovered In 2019

  1. Libba Bray

My friend loved the Diviners books when she read them, I think in 2018, and so I tried them on audio last summer, and also completely fell in love. I’m really excited for the final Diviners book to come out next month, and definitely can’t wait to discover more of Libba Bray’s books.

2. Mackenzi Lee

I really loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue when I read it in 2019, though the author has exhibited some questionable behaviour since then, with regards to a trans character in an upcoming book of hers. Thankfully that book has been pulled, but I will still be keeping a wary eye on future behaviour of hers to decide if she is someone I want to support.

3. Alexandra Christo

I read both of Alexandra’s books last year, and absolutely loved them, she is definitely a talent that I’m looking forward to following in the future, and I can’t wait for the second Into The Crooked Place book to be released, hopefully this year!

4. Gita Trelease

Gita Trelease’s debut, Enchantee, was one of my favourite books of last year, and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the sequel Liberte! She definitely seems like she is going to be a strong new voice in YA historical fantasy, and I know I’m going to want to read whatever she puts out once the Enchantee duology is completed this year.

5. Keri Maniscalco

I really enjoyed Stalking Jack The Ripper last year, and luckily for me, Keri has three more books in that series for me to devour, which I will definitely be doing at the earliest possible opportunity. She also has a new book coming out this year, Kingdom of The Wicked, which sounds amazing, set in 19th century Italy and is all about a witch investigating the murder of her sister.

6. Sabaa Tahir

Her debut novel, An Ember In The Ashes, kind of disappointed me last year, but my friend has assured me that the later books in the series get better, so I’m hoping that’s true, as I definitely thought the concept was good, the execution was just lacking and I’m sure she has developed as a writer over the last few years.

New Authors I’m Looking Forward To Discovering In 2020

7. Adalyn Grace

I’m really looking forward to reading Adalyn’s debut novel, All The Stars and Teeth, I love pirates, and I really enjoyed Alexandra Christo’s dark take on sirens in To Kill a Kingdom, so I’m hoping Grace’s mermaids will be like that! Definitely one I’ll be looking out for on Audible.

8. Janella Angeles

I’ve been so excited for Angeles debut novel ever since it was announced. It honestly sounds like a book that was MADE for me, it’s Moulin Rouge meets Phantom of The Opera and all about showgirls and circuses and magic, and I CANNOT WAIT. June definitely can’t come quickly enough.

9. Christine Lynn Herman

I bought The Devouring Gray last year, but me being me, I of course, didn’t get around to reading it! I’m definitely hoping to rectify that this year, as it sounds like a wonderfully spooky read, and hopefully I can read it in time for Deck of Omens coming out!

10. Rebecca Schaeffer

I’ve had Not Even Bones staring at me from my shelf for well over a year now, and I really don’t know what I’m waiting for, it sounds AMAZING and we all know that I love dark books that focus on villains, so I’m pretty sure I’ll love this one.

So there we go, some new authors I discovered in 2019, and some that I hope I will get the chance to read this year! Have you read any of these authors books? Did you enjoy them? Whose books are you hoping to discover for the first time in 2020? Let me know in the comments!

I will be back next week with another TTT, this time talking about the Ten Most Recent Additions To My Bookshelf (though recent being a relative term as I will have had to schedule all these posts in advance).

Top Ten Tuesday #245

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good start to 2020, and a good week since I last did one of these. I was visiting my friends over the weekend, and it was really nice to see them before I head off for South Africa, which oh yeah IS THIS SATURDAY. I’m so excited to go, but I’m also kind of nervous, I’ve never lived in a different country before, or been so far away from home, so that’s a little scary, but hopefully it’s going to be a great experience.

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, it’s time for the first Top Ten Tuesday of 2020, courtesy of Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Since it’s the first one of the year, we’re starting the year talking about our Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2020. I’ll be honest, I don’t have a massive number of anticipated releases for 2020, though thankfully most of them do happen to be in the first half of the year. These will be in release date order, so no indication of how excited I am for each book:

  1. Scavenge The Stars-Tara Sim-Releases 7th January

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I’m not sure when or if this book is publishing in the UK, it probably isn’t, but I’m still super excited to read another Tara Sim, even if I do have to get it from Amazon. I’ve never read the Count of Monte Cristo, but this retelling which is gender swapped and sounds like it’s filled with pirates, sounds awesome!

2. The King of Crows (The Diviners #4)-Libba Bray-Releases 4th February

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I devoured the first three books of this series on Audible this year, and I’m so excited for the final book to come out. The last book was so great and seemed like it was promising for a really high stakes and exciting finale, so I can’t wait to see what happens to all the Diviners in this one…..and if they all make it out of the book alive.

3. All The Stars and Teeth-Adalyn Grace-Releases 4th February

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This book sounds like it has loads of things I love in it, vicious mermaids, pirates, ambitious princesses and dark magic. Plus that cover is really awesome, so I hope the book inside is just as great.

4. Night Spinner-Addie Thorley-Releases 11th February

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I haven’t read Addie Thorley’s debut novel yet, but there’s a good chance I will read this one first, as I have an ARC of it from Netgalley. It’s a retelling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which I haven’t read (though I did see the Disney version for the first time this year). Thorley’s version is gender swapped, the “Hunchback” of this story is Enebish, a girl who has been banished because of her powers, but is offered a second chance, if she is able to hunt down a notorious criminal. Sounds good right?

5. House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)-Sarah J Maas-Releases 3rd March

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I’m not entirely convinced on this book, but I love Sarah J Maas, so of course I’m excited for it anyway. I do feel like she kind of just keeps repeating the same story over and over again, but I’m interested to see how she takes on an Adult Fantasy (which kind of feels like what she should have been writing in the first place). I will definitely be checking this out on audio though, as no way am I attempting to read an 816 page book in hardback. I made the mistake with Kingdom of Ash, it is not happening again.

6. Seasons of War (Skulduggery Pleasant #13)-Derek Landy-Releases 2nd April

This one doesn’t have a cover yet, but it’s already one of my most anticipated releases for next year. Skulduggery has been one of my favourite series since I was about 12, and though Phase 2 of the series got off to a shaky start, I really enjoyed the last book and I can’t wait to see where he takes things in this next one, especially with that title!

7. The Notorious Virtues-Alwyn Hamilton-Releases 5th May

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It’s been almost two years since I last read an Alwyn Hamilton book, and I’m really excited to see what she does after Rebel of The Sands. This book is set in the Rebel of The Sands universe, but it’s a completely different part of the world and completely different set of characters. It sounds really great, it’s 1920s inspired, and is basically a magical family competition to determine the heir of the Holtzfall family.

8. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0)-Suzanne Collins-Releases 19th May

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I’m not gonna lie, I hate the cover of this, but I really am excited for another book in the Hunger Games world. I kind of thought a prequel would probably be the story of the rebellions that caused the Hunger Games to start off with, but I’m excited to see what happened in the 10th Hunger Games, and see what Panem was like in its earlier days!

9. Where Dreams Descend-Janella Angeles-Releases 2nd June

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How gorgeous is that cover? I am so ridiculously excited for this book, it’s unreal. All I had to see were the words Moulin Rouge and I was SOLD. A fantasy partially inspired by my all time favourite film? Yes please! Anyway, it sounds brilliant, it’s set in a circus and is all about a magical competition to determine the next headliner of the circus, but as the competition goes on, competitors start to go missing!

10. The Court of Miracles-Kester Grant-Releases 2nd June

The Court of Miracles (Court of Miracles, #1)

This sounds like a very interesting retelling, it’s meant to be a cross between Les Mis and The Jungle Book, and I’d definitely be interested to see how that combination works, as it’s not one I’ve seen before. It stars Eponine (Nina) as she fights against the rulers of the city’s criminal underworld in order to save the life of her sister, Cosette (Ettie).

So there we go, those are my most anticipated books of 2020, at least up until June! What books are you looking forward to this year? Any of these on your list? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time talking about New To Me Authors I Discovered In 2019. As I’m going to be in South Africa from next week though, all posts are pre-scheduled, so I apologise in advance if I don’t reply to all your comments!

This is probably it for posts before I go to South Africa, so keep an eye out for my Top Ten Tuesday posts each week, but aside from that, I’ll talk to you all again when I’m back in April!

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #244

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Hey everyone, Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, we’ve been seeing a lot of my parents friends in the week since Christmas, and I also went to see one of my friends in Edinburgh yesterday which was really nice. I also hope you all had a great Christmas, mine was relatively quiet, we just had dinner and watched a lot of TV, but that’s the kind of Christmas I prefer. We’re also having quite a low key New Year’s Eve, just me and my parents going out for dinner at our local pub.

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, and the last day of the year, it’s time for my last Top Ten Tuesday post of the year, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. As it is the last one of the year, we are naturally talking about our favourite books of the year. This one was actually a lot harder than usual because I read so many great books this year, it was hard to choose, but I did! So here we go, my Favourite Books of The Year:

  1. Vengeful (Villains #2)-VE Schwab-5 stars

AGH I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! Marcella and June were brilliant new additions to the cast of characters, the plot was exciting, the a-linear timeline was really well done and I just loved getting to catch up with my favourite gang of villains again. I’m so excited that she’s said a third villains book is going to happen at some point!

2. King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2)-Amanda Foody-5 stars

I liked Ace of Shades, but I didn’t LOVE IT? Still after the end of that book, I had pretty high expectations for this one and they were all met! I loved the new characters, the plot was more exciting and much faster paced this time and it really set things up for a great final book in the trilogy.

3. Enchantee-Gita Trelease-5 stars

I’ve been loving historical fantasies over the last few years, and Enchantee was another great one. The French Revolution was definitely a great era to add magic to, the magic system was brilliant, Gita Trelease’s writing was lovely and I really enjoyed that Camille’s relationship with her sister Sophie was so central to the book.

4. To Kill A Kingdom-Alexandra Christo-5 stars

Alexandra Christo was a new favourite I discovered this year, and I absolutely loved this book. Lira was a brilliant heroine, so fierce and brutal, the writing was awesome and the book was filled with witty banter, which is one of my absolute favourite things in books.

5. Becoming-Michelle Obama-5 stars

It’s been a long time since I last read a memoir, but I love Michelle Obama so I really wanted to read this one and it did not disappoint. I found it really interesting learning about parts of her life that I didn’t really know about before and even the White House stuff which I was more familiar with, offered lots of new insights.

6. The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings #1)-Mackenzi Lee-5 stars

This was such a fun adventure through 18th Century Europe, I loved Monty and his narration, and of course his relationship with Percy, but I also loved how funny the book was, and of course, Monty’s sister Felicity was a real highlight for me, she wants to be a doctor in a time where women generally aren’t doing that and she’s not going to let anyone tell her no.

7. Before The Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3)-Libba Bray-5 stars

The Diviners series was a real highlight of this year for me, and this third book in the series was definitely my favourite. I enjoyed the previous two, but the third one was definitely my favourite so far, it took things to a whole new level and honestly that ending really broke me. I’m so excited for the next book!

8. Modern Women: 52 Pioneers-Kira Cochrane-5 stars

This was a collection of biographies of awesome women from the 18th/19th/20th/21st centuries, all of whom changed their fields in some way. Some of them I was familiar with, but I actually learned a lot about women that I hadn’t heard of before, which was pretty awesome for a history loving nerd like me!

9. Bedlam (Skulduggery Pleasant #12)-Derek Landy-4 stars

Something had felt a little off about the newest run of Skulduggery books and I wasn’t sure if I was going to really enjoy this one or not, but thankfully, this book felt a lot more familiar to the Skulduggery of the older books, the fun banter was back, Skulduggery and Valkyrie were working together a lot more and the plot finally got exciting! I’m really looking forward to the next book now, and slightly sad that he’s announced it’s going to be the first book of the final trilogy.

10. Into The Crooked Place (Into The Crooked Place #1)-Alexandra Christo-4 stars

Luckily for me, after really enjoying Alexandra Christo’s first book, she had a new one out this year, that I also really loved. It’s quite different to To Kill A Kingdom, there’s more of a group dynamic, but there were also a lot of the things I loved, great banter, morally grey characters, brilliant writing, it was just a really enjoyable book.

So there we go, those are my favourite books for 2019! What were your favourite books this year? Did you read any of mine? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, my first of 2020, and we’ll be talking about my Most Anticipated Book Releases For 2020, which is always a really fun one to do.

In the meantime, I should have reviews of my last two books of the year up in the next few days, I have a lot of stuff to get up before I go to South Africa on the 11th, so I apologise in advance for the possible spam of content!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #243-12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

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Hi everyone, Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you’ve all had good weeks since I last did one of these, I went to the Edinburgh Christmas Market with my friend Nicola yesterday, which was great fun, we hadn’t seen each other since graduation, so it was nice to get a chance to catch up after so long.

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week was meant to be Books We Hope To Find Under The Christmas Tree, but as Santa spends all year telling me I have too many books, I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting many of those! Instead, I’m going to be doing the 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag, which was created by Falling Down The Book Hole, since I haven’t done a Book Tag in a while and I wanted to still be Christmassy!

1. On The First Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me: A Partridge In A Pear Tree.

The Partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favourite standalone?

78090192-421A-4F92-9765-6374BD250420As a general rule, I tend to prefer series, as I love getting to know characters and worlds over the course of multiple books, but if I had to pick on favourite standalone, it would definitely be The Book Thief. It’s such a beautiful story, told in a unique way, with characters I completely fell in love with.

2. On The Second Day of Christmas, My True Love Sent To Me: Two Turtle Doves

Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

Long time followers of this blog could probably have guessed this one pretty quickly but my OTP is of course, Percabeth! They have such a sweet relationship and it’s actually a loving and healthy one, which is far rarer than it should be in fiction!

3. On The Third Day of Christmas, My True Love Sent To  Me: Three French Hens

In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?ADSOM

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In a surprise to exactly no one, my favourite trilogy is of course VE Schwab’s Shades of Magic Trilogy. So well plotted, one of the few trilogies I’ve read that doesn’t have a middle book slump, it has brilliant world building, wonderful characters and is just one of my favourite fantasy series of all time.

4. On The Fourth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Four Calling Birds

Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favourite series?

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I might get more and more disappointed every time JK Rowling tweets anything (seriously someone needs to take away her Twitter) but I still love the Harry Potter series, it’s the series I grew up with, the books that made me the reader I am today and it will always have a special place in my heart.

5. On The Fifth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Five Golden Rings

One ring to rule them all! Who is your favourite Villain/Antagonist?

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Going with a more recent one here, Vianca Augustine from the Shadow Game trilogy is one of my favourites of the last few years. I love female villains and definitely think there need to be more of them and Vianca is a truly terrifying villain, whose power strips people of their free will.

6. On The Sixth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Six Geese A Laying

Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favourite world/world building?

 

ADSOMI reckon pretty much everyone could have seen this one coming, of course my favourite world/world building is the Londons from VE Schwab’s Shades of Magic Trilogy (yes I still love Hogwarts). I love how each of the Londons becomes a character in its own right and they are all so different in feel but the world still feels like one cohesive thing? Truly masterful worldbuilding.

7. On The Seventh Day of Christmas, My True Love Sent To Me: Seven Swans Are Swimming

Who needs seven swans when all you need is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favourite animal sidekick?

I could have gone for several for these but I decided to go with Buckbeak from Harry Potter. I mean who wouldn’t want a Hippogriff, flying one looks like so much fun!

8. On The Eighth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Eight Maids A Milking

Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes food/beverages to another level?

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I couldn’t pick anything else for this, Heartless is definitely a foodie’s dream! Cath bakes so many delightful sounding things in this book and I would like to try them all!

9. On The Ninth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Nine Ladies Dancing

Dancing is just one skill of a Lady. Who is your favourite kickass female lead?

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She would definitely not describe herself as a Lady, but Lila Bard is definitely my favourite kickass female lead! I wish I had half the confidence that she does.

10. On The Tenth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Ten Lords A Leaping

How about your favourite leading lad?

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In a surprise to once again, exactly no one, my favourite male protagonist is of course Percy Jackson. He’s sassy, slightly dorky, incredibly loyal, what is there not to love?

11. On The Eleventh Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Eleven Pipes Piping

What is your favourite book or bookish thing with a musical influence?

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Schwab’s Monsters of Verity duology not only have musical themed names, but the Sunai (a type of monster in the books) steal souls through using music. They’re also structured like music with a prelude, several verses and an elegy.

12. On The Twelfth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me: Twelve Drummers Drumming

Drumroll please…what is your favourite read of the year?

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Okay this is a cruel question as I’ve read so many books I’ve loved this year, but if it had to pick one favourite, it would be VE Schwab’s Vengeful. It took everything I loved about the first book and made it even better, I loved the new characters, the story was so compelling and it was definitely some of the best writing I read this year.

So there we go, that’s the Twelve Days of Christmas Book Tag, thanks to Falling Down The Book Hole for creating it, and PaperFury for giving me the idea to do it!

What books are you hoping to get for Christmas? Any other presents people are hoping for? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with my final TTT of 2019, talking about my favourite books of the year! In the meantime, I’ll be taking a bit of a break from the blog for the rest of this week over the Christmas period, so Merry Christmas to everyone and I’ll see you all next week with various end of year wrap up lists!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #242

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week since my last TTT, mine was pretty quiet but it’s been nice, after working so hard for the past few months, it’s been great to have a bit of down-time, I’ve been binge watching a lot of Brooklyn Nine Nine!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is another of our annual TBR topics, this time our Winter TBR, though for me, it will actually be my Summer TBR, as I’m going to be im Cape Town from January through to April! I’ll admit, I did not do great on my Autumn TBR, I only read 4 books from it, as I kind of went a little off script and read some books that weren’t on my official Autumn TBR list. Still, here’s hoping I will do a little better with my Summer TBR:

  1. Crossfire-Malorie Blackman

Yes, I know this is the third TBR list I’ve had this on this year, but I am definitely going to read it this time, it’s the next book on my TBR. I’m super excited to see what Malorie Blackman has come up with for the Noughts and Crosses characters this time, it’s been so long since the last book came out, so I’m really looking forward to being back in that world, and just in time for the TV series to come out next year.

2. King of Crows-Libba Bray

I binged all of the Diviners books so far from July-October, and I cannot wait to see how this series wraps up. The third book was so good, I can’t see how the stakes can get any higher in the finale, but I’m sure they will!

3. Children of Virtue and Vengeance-Tomi Adeyemi

I loved Children of Blood and Bone when I read it last summer, and though I’ll be honest, it’s been so long since I read the first book, I may have forgotten quite a lot of what happened, I’m still really excited to see what adventures Zelie and Amari get up to next.

4. Truthwitch-Susan Dennard

I got this book several years ago now, but it’s kind of been languishing on my shelf since then whilst I got distracted by other new, shiny books. Still, I’ve really loved following Susan Dennard’s COYA story over the past six months and it made me really excited for picking up one of her books, so I’m definitely going to prioritise Truthwitch next year.

5. Foul Is Fair-Hannah Capin

I got approved for this on Netgalley, and I’m really excited for it, it’s a Macbeth retelling which focuses on girls getting revenge on the “golden boys” who have been able to get away with abusing them for too long.

6. Hunting Prince Dracula-Keri Mansicalco

I just started listening to the audiobook of this yesterday, and it’s been pretty good so far, the narrator for this one, Nicola Barber is great. I loved Stalking Jack The Ripper when I read it earlier in the year, and I’m hoping that Hunting Prince Dracula will be just as good.

7. Circe-Madeline Miller

GREEK MYTHOLOGY RETELLING. Anyone who knows me, knows how obsessed with Greek mythology I am, and I’m really excited to read an Adult Greek mythology retelling, since much as I love Percy Jackson, I am definitely not the target audience for them anymore! My friend really enjoyed this one, and we have very similar taste in books, so I’m hoping I will enjoy this one just as much.

8. Unhooked-Lisa Maxwell

Apparently this season is the season of retellings, as this is a Peter Pan retelling. I’ve had this one for a while as well, and I’m really looking forward to it, I’ve never actually read a Peter Pan retelling before and it sounds wonderfully dark.

9. Spin The Dawn-Elizabeth Lim

Mulan meets Project Runway? This sounds like a brilliantly creative and diverse story, where a girl has to disguise herself as a boy to compete in a tailoring contest in place of her ailing father. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one and I’m really excited to try it for myself.

10. The Fowl Twins-Eoin Colfer

This is my currently Netgalley read, and I have to admit, I’ve been struggling to get into it, but I’m hoping it will pick up soon.

So there we go, that’s my Summer TBR. I’m hoping I’ll get through them all, but I don’t know, I’m going to be in South Africa from January and have no idea how busy I’ll be! What books are on your TBR? Have you read any of mine? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is meant to be Books I Hope To Find Under My Tree, but as I tend not to get books for Christmas all that often, I’m going to be doing the 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag instead.

Meanwhile, I should have my last Book Vs Movie post of the year up at some point this week.

Top Ten Tuesday #241

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Hi everyone! I hope you have all had a good week since my last TTT post. My last day of work was yesterday and I’m heading up to Scotland for Christmas on Friday, so the festive season is finally in the air, even if our pre-Christmas election is threatening to put a bit of a dampener on things!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic was a freebie, so I got to choose my own topic and since I did Books I Enjoyed That Were Outside My Comfort Zone earlier in the year, I thought I’d do the flip side of that topic this week, and talk about Books I Expected To Love But Didn’t. So here we go:

  1. The Last Namsara-Kristen Ciccarelli

I really should have loved this one, it was all about dragons and mythology, and it was in the FairyLoot “Ladies That Slay” box so I was expecting a heroine that I would really love. Unfortunately I found the book pretty underwhelming, for a book about dragons, it only featured two, Asha, the main character was incredibly flat and I just found it quite a dull, slow paced story.

2. One of Us Is Lying-Karen McManus

Ugh, I was so expecting to be wowed by this one, everyone else was talking so excitedly about it and I really do love a good YA thriller. It wasn’t that this one was bad, it wasn’t, it was a decent enough mystery, but I was expecting something mindblowing, and I just felt kind of underwhelmed by it? I thought the resolution to the mystery was disappointing, I found the characters quite flat and the multiple POVs weren’t distinct enough.

3. The Invisible Library-Genevieve Cogman

I really should have loved this one, it was all about librarian spies and alternate worlds and supernatural creatures, which I usually love. Sadly, I just found this book too confusing, there were far too many elements, and I just couldn’t work out what was going on half the time, as well as finding the characters flat and the pace too slow.

4. Alex and Eliza-Melissa De La Cruz

I love Hamilton the musical, so I thought this book, inspired by the show was going to be great. However, I hate it when historical fiction writers (and this goes for TV writers as well), clearly haven’t done their research about the time period and the people that they are writing about. I don’t mind small inaccuracies and historical liberties, that’s par for the course with fiction, but so much of the history in De La Cruz’s book was flat out wrong, or completely made up and as a history graduate, I just couldn’t deal with the basic errors in the history!

5. Hero At The Fall-Alwyn Hamilton

The final book of the Rebel of The Sands trilogy was a big disappointment to me. I was really hoping for an explosive final book, but I found it quite lacklustre, it was too long, the plot relied too much on convenience and the conclusion was very anticlimactic for me. I’m hoping I enjoy Hamilton’s next book, The Notorious Virtues, more!

6. Sea Witch-Sarah Henning

I loved the idea of an origin story for the Sea Witch from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, but the execution was incredibly poor. The characters were incredibly flat, the plot was messy and confused, the twists were really obvious and everything was just really underdeveloped.

7. Wintersong-S.Jae Jones

I thought this one sounded different, I like books that explore folklore that I’m less familiar with, and I’d never really heard of the story of The Goblin King before, so I thought it would be fun to try something new. However, I found it incredibly slow and boring, the worldbuilding and characters were flat and I was just generally quite confused about what was going on.

8. A Curse So Dark and Lonely-Brigid Kemmerer

I love Beauty and The Beast, so of course I was excited for this retelling of it, but after all the hype for it, I was expecting it to be a lot better than it turned out to be for me. I didn’t feel like the mix of modern world and fantasy really worked, and though I liked the writing and most of the characters, I found the pace really lagged and I wasn’t a big fan of the romance.

9. A Girl Called Shameless-Laura Steven

The Exact Opposite of Okay was one of my favourite books of 2018, but unfortunately the sequel failed to live up to the first book for me. I loved Izzy and the gang just as much as the first book, but I found this one quite slow paced and I didn’t think it was as funny as the first one, so I was a little disappointed.

10. An Ember In The Ashes-Sabaa Tahir

I was really excited for this one, but I felt the hype kind of killed this one for me, I was expecting something really amazing, and it was only okay? I felt the characters were kind of flat and passive and I couldn’t connect with them, I thought the world building was limited and there wasn’t really enough fantasy elements for me. I’m hoping the next book will be better!

So there we go, the Books I Expected To Love But Didn’t. Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? What books did you not love as much as you hoped? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is our annual Winter TBR topic, so that should be a fun one.

In the meantime, I should have both my review of An Enchantment of Ravens, and my November #RockMyTBR update by the end of this week, so look out for those!

Top Ten Tuesday #240

TTT-Big2

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since my last post, last weekend was Black Friday weekend (because yes, Black Friday has spread to the UK, much to the chagrin of UK retail workers) so it was really, really busy, but thankfully that is over now and this week is my last week of work before I head up to Scotland for the holidays.

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, the topic was meant to be Holiday Reads, but since I’m not a big seasonal reader, I decided to do a different holiday themed topic instead, and I’m talking about my favourite TV Christmas Specials, because one of my favourite things about the holidays, is curling up on the sofa and watching TV with my family. So here we go:

  1. A Heartland Christmas

So far the only Christmas episode of Heartland, this special, 90 minute episode follows Amy, Ty, Jack and Tim as they attempt to rescue a herd of wild horses from an avalanche in the town of Pike River. Meanwhile Lou, and Mallory butt heads over Christmas decorations and Ashley and Caleb struggle with buying each other presents on their shoestring budget. Heartland is the perfect show for Christmas, given the importance of family in the show, and their Christmas episode never fails to make me smile.

2. Call The Midwife Season 6 Christmas Special

I’ll admit, this one was hard, because I honestly think all of the Christmas specials from Call The Midwife have been brilliant (okay, well last year’s one wasn’t my favourite, but aside from that) but if I had to choose one, this would be my favourite. In Christmas of 1962, the Nonnatus House team heads out to South Africa, to help a small mission hospital after the Sister in charge of the hospital dies. This episode is a great one in terms of growth for our characters, Trixie makes great strides in her professional life, Tom and Barbara take steps forward in their relationship, and it’s great to see all the characters thrown out of their comfort zones. It’s quite different from any of the other Christmas specials, given the different location, and different climate, but I think that’s one of the reasons I love it.

3. Miranda Christmas Special

Miranda’s Christmas Special, entitled “Perfect Christmas”, is as Penny would say “such fun”. Miranda has to chase after her missing Christmas presents, all while trying to avoid Christmas with her family. It is a hilarious and incredibly heartwarming show, as despite all the drama, everyone comes together for Christmas after all.

4. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The Sabrina Christmas episode is a little different, as the focus is the Winter Solstice rather than Christmas, given that Sabrina and her family are witches, so it’s a spookier Christmas than most of us would be used to. The main plotline of the episode follows Sabrina trying to contact her mother on the other side, and of course, it doesn’t go to plan and hijinks ensue from there.

5. Gilmore Girls

The season one episode “Forgiveness and Stuff” also acts as a Christmas episode, and is much better than the season seven equivalent “Santa’s Secret Stuff”. So many of the most memorable moments from the first season of the show happen in this episode, Luke making Lorelai the santa burger, the heartbreaking scene with Richard and Emily in the hospital and of course, Lorelai giving Luke the hat that he wears for much of the series. It’s definitely a standout episode in the first season of the show, and the Christmas trappings are really just a bonus.

6. Doctor Who-The Christmas Invasion/The Runaway Bride

Okay, I’m cheating and picking two Christmas episodes for Doctor Who, but do you have any idea how hard narrowing this down was? So the two I’ve picked are the first Christmas special of the revival of the show, it’s such a brilliant episode as it’s David Tennant’s first full episode as the Doctor and really sets the tone for the rest of his run, The Runaway Bride is brilliant as you have Donna introduced for the first time, the Racnoss is a terrifying monster, and Catherine Tate and David Tennant make such a good team, it’s just really fun to watch.

7. Friends-The One With The Holiday Armadillo

Friends tends to lean more towards Thanksgiving specials than Christmas ones, but when they did do Christmas episodes they were great. Ross’ plans to teach his son about Hanukkah go awry, when Ben desperately wants Santa for Christmas, and his attempts to obtain a Santa suit have hilarious consequences.

8. Gavin and Stacey Christmas special

Quick aside, but who’s excited for this year’s Gavin and Stacey Christmas special? The last Christmas special (this one) saw all hell break loose as Gavin announced his plan to move to Wales to be with Stacey and I’m sure this year’s Christmas will be just as chaotic as before.

9. A Very Glee Christmas

Glee had several Christmas specials of varying success, and it was a hard choice for me between this one and the season three one, as the season three one has one of my favourite Finn & Rachel scenes of the entire series, but I went for this one because the songs were so good, particularly Kurt and Blaine’s duet of Baby It’s Cold Outside (I hate that song, but I love their version).

10. Switched At Birth-Yuletide Fortune Tellers

A classic “what if” switch episode, this episode imagines what would have happened if Bay and Daphne had not been switched at birth. Of course, the alternate reality is worse, and in order to switch back, Bay and Daphne have to embrace their mothers’ Christmas traditions (which they hate).

So there we go, sorry for the later than usual post this week, I was late back from work, so everything got a bit pushed back! Do you have any favourite TV Christmas specials? Do you like any of mine? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is a Freebie, so I’ve gone for Books I Thought I’d Love But I Didn’t, as a counter to the Books I Didn’t Expect To Love But Did post I did earlier in the year.

In the meantime, I should have my #RockMyTBR Challenge list for 2020 up over the weekend. If you haven’t been to vote on my Twitter polls yet, please do, I’m @iloveheartlandX on Twitter, and there are 12 different polls to vote on, so vote on as many as you’d like to decide what I’ll be reading next year!