14 books you should read if you loved Heartstopper

With the recent release of Heartstopper on Netflix, I thought it would be the perfect time to recommend you some similar books. I know everyone is loving Heartstopper at the moment, so I’m going to talk about some similar books I love.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town. One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods.
As a genderqueer werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home. Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

I love this graphic novel so much, I picked it up last year and it was one of my favourite books of the year. It’s queer, has magic and a bookshop – what’s not to love!

Goodreads | Waterstones

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

The Tea Dragon books are so heartwarming and beautiful, with these delightful creatures at the heart of the story. I just adore these graphic novels, and they’re perfect for picking up when you might be feeling a little low.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.
Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.
Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

The first novel on this list is Date Me, Bryson Keller which is such a cute male/male romance also set in a high school, with similar vibes to Heartstopper!

Goodreads

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

I love this book so much. It’s emotional and tackles difficult topics but is really heartwarming too. This one also has a lot of discussions about gender identity, and the main character is non-binary.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.
But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.
Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

The first sapphic book of the list is The Falling in Love Montage, which is a fast-paced romance with difficult discussions. I flew through it in a day!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

I love Nina LaCour’s books and it was difficult to pick just one to put on this list! This one is one of her sadder books but is so beautiful too.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Griffin has lost his first love in a drowning accident. Theo was his best friend, his ex-boyfriend and the one he believed he would end up with. Now, reeling from grief and worsening OCD, Griffin turns to an unexpected person for help. Theo’s new boyfriend.
But as their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, dangerous truths begin to surface. Griffin must make a choice: confront the past, or miss out on his future.

Again, it was difficult to pick just one Adam Silvera book for this list, but my favourite of his is definitely History is All You Left Me!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.
But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

I love both of these books, and the second one is actually my favourite. These are also beautiful audiobooks!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Jake Hyde doesn’t swim—not since his father drowned. Luckily, he lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, which is in the middle of the desert, yet he yearns for the ocean and is determined to leave his hometown for a college on the coast. But his best friend, Maria, wants nothing more than to make a home in the desert, and Jake’s mother encourages him to always play it safe.
There’s nothing “safe” about Jake’s future—not when he’s attracted to Kenny Liu, swim team captain and rebel against conformity. And certainly not when he secretly applies to Miami University. Jake’s life begins to outpace his small town’s namesake, which doesn’t make it any easier to come out to his mom, or Maria, or the world.
But Jake is full of secrets, including the strange blue markings on his skin that glow when in contact with water. What power will he find when he searches for his identity, and will he turn his back to the current or dive headfirst into the waves?

I wanted to include a mix of graphic novels and novels on this list, and a graphic novel I love is this one, which is actually a DC graphic novel Mark bought me. I really enjoyed it and it has LGBTQ+ themes and a male/male romance!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. You probably think that they are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and she is a girl. They don’t. They make a podcast. In a world determined to shut them up, knock them down, and set them on a cookie cutter life path, Frances and Aled struggle to find their voices over the course of one life-changing year. Will they have the courage to show everyone who they really are? Or will they be met with radio silence?

It was difficult to pick an Alice Oseman book for this list, but my most recent read from her is Radio Silence, which I absolutely adored.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don’t belong anywhere? Like you’re almost… invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club.
This is the story of one of those days – a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it’s a struggle to leave the house, and when you do, you wish you hadn’t. But even the worst of days can surprise you. When one sad ghost, lost and alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything. Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club – a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.

Another heartwarming graphic novel is The Sad Ghost Club, which is such a cute story you’ll speed through.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but I loved it. It’s a slightly older version of Heartstopper, with discussions of religion.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?

I also wanted to include a Becky Albertalli book on this list, and I decided to go for What If It’s Us. This is such a heartwarming meet-cute story with a Silvera style ending!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Because of a hearing disability, Kohei is often misunderstood and has trouble integrating into life on campus, so he learns to keep his distance. That is until he meets the outspoken and cheerful Taichi. He tells Kohei that his hearing loss is not his fault. Taichi’s words cut through Kohei’s usual defense mechanisms and open his heart. More than friends, less than lovers, their relationship changes Kohei forever.

The only one on this list I haven’t read is I Hear the Sunspot, a manga. I’d love to pick this up soon and I have a feeling it’s going to be quite similar to Heartstopper!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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2022 reading goals

Hi all! I know it’s a bit late to set reading goals for the year now, but there’s a few that I’ve been thinking about and wanting to write down for you guys and we’re still early on enough in the year in my opinion!

Looking quickly at my 2021 resolutions, I actually managed to stay fairly on track last year. I read way over 100 books (183!), read more series on my tbr, read more classics and stayed mostly organised. I didn’t, however, stop buying books, and that one will be a goal I carry on to this year for sure! With that, let’s get onto my goals for 2022.

Read 150 books

I smashed it last year with 183, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself to read more than that as I really don’t know what this year holds. So I’m going to aim for less but still a very significant number of 150!

Finish series I’m part of the way through

I definitely want to continue reading more series on my tbr, but I’d also like to have a more focused goal of finishing series that I’m part of the way through, even if that means re-reading books earlier on in the series. Alex has been a big help in buddy reading some of these with me so we can smash them off both of our tbrs!

Read older books on my tbr

Obviously we all like to read books we’ve just bought and are excited about, but I definitely have some that have been on my tbr for years that I really need to get around to! Playing my tbr game once a month on my YouTube channel definitely helps me pick out books I wouldn’t usually.

Stop buying so many books!

As I said, this is definitely a goal I need to continue on from last year. I tracked my book buying in 2021, and it’s made me much more aware of how much I buy and how much money I spend. I’ve got to the point where I need to slow down more for space than anything, because I’m severely lacking in that! I currently have 134 books on my physical tbr, which is 27 more than this time last year. I’d like to end the year on less if I can!

Stay on top of my blog and BookTube

I love writing for this blog and making content for my more recent BookTube channel, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time for everything on top of my degree and working two jobs! But with some good organisation and list-making, I can definitely keep posting consistently.

What are your goals for 2022?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Anticipated Releases January-March 2022

It’s 2022 and there are so many exciting books coming out! I thought I’d do a little wrap-up of some of the books I’m excited for in the first quarter of the year. The dates on these might not be exactly the same as the release dates in your country, but hopefully they’ll be within the same month at least.

January

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January 11th

Goodreads | Waterstones

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.
Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.
To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.

I didn’t pre-order this one but it looks so beautiful and I’ve heard so many people talking about it! I’m hoping to pick it up soon now it’s out.

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January 11th

Goodreads | Waterstones

Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.
In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.
Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?

This isn’t one I would normally be drawn to if it wasn’t for my friend Sophie, who loves this author and this book! All of her hype has definitely made me want to pick it up.

February

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February 1st

Goodreads | Waterstones

To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.
The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom—and the world.

I have an arc copy of this one which I’m hoping to pick up this month before the February release. I’m so excited to see how it is!

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February 3rd

Goodreads | Waterstones

I loved the first book in this series and I’ve already pre-ordered the second, which I can’t wait to read when it comes out.

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February 15th

Goodreads | Waterstones

This one is definitely one of my most anticipated books of the year. I read the first one, House of Earth and Blood back in August, and I’m looking forward to reading the next one hopefully soon after release.

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February 22nd

Goodreads | Waterstones

Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.
Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.
Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.
But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking… 

This book looks absolutely beautiful and I loved XOXO by the same author when I read it last year. This looks very different to her first book, but I’m super excited for it.

March

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March 1st

Goodreads | Waterstones

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Prior is missing three things: a mother, a father, and a voice. Her mother vanished all at once, and her father by degrees, and her voice was a thing she never had to start with.
She grew up at Merilance School for Girls. Now, nearing the end of her time there, Olivia receives a letter from an uncle she’s never met, her father’s older brother, summoning her to his estate, a place called Gallant. But when she arrives, she discovers that the letter she received was several years old. Her uncle is dead. The estate is empty, save for the servants. Olivia is permitted to remain, but must follow two rules: don’t go out after dusk, and always stay on the right side of a wall that runs along the estate’s western edge.
Beyond it is another realm, ancient and magical, which calls to Olivia through her blood…

And we’ve reached my absolute most anticipated book of the year – Gallant by V.E. Schwab. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is my favourite book ever, so I can’t wait for this one.

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March 1st

Goodreads | Waterstones

The world’s best young magicians accept the opportunity of a lifetime.
Six are chosen. Only five will walk away.
The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…
– Libby Rhodes and Nicolas Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.
When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.

I’ve heard so many good things about The Atlas Six, and I’m so glad it’s getting a big publication! I’m hoping to pre-order a copy soon.

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March 8th

Goodreads | Waterstones

It’s the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve and Nur is steeling himself to tell his parents that he’s seeing someone. A young British Pakistani man, Nur has spent years omitting details about his personal life to maintain his image as the golden eldest child. And it’s come at a cost.
Once, Nur was a restless and insecure college student, struggling to present himself after being transplanted from his hometown with only the vaguest sense of ambition. At a packed house party, he meets Yasmina, a beautiful and self-possessed aspiring journalist. They start a conversation–first awkward, then absorbing–that grabs Nur’s attention like never before. And as their relationship develops, moving from libraries and cramped coffee shops to an apartment they share together, so too does Nur’s self-destruction. He falls deeper into traps of his own making, attempting to please both Yasmina and his family until he no longer has a choice. He must finally be honest and reveal to those who raised him the truth he’s kept hidden: Yasmina is Black, and he loves her.

I’ve had an arc of this one for a while and I’m hoping to read it soon.

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March 22nd

Goodreads | Waterstones

I read the first book in this series, The Bright and the Pale, last year, and I’m hoping to re-read it when this one comes out so I can marathon the series together.

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March 29th

Goodreads | Waterstones

Bailey and Vanessa shared everything: laughter, secrets, and packets of Pop Rocks to ward off bad days. But that all changed the night Vanessa left Bailey’s, headed for home, and ended up swerving off a cliff nowhere near her house. Now Bailey, who thought she knew Vanessa better than anyone in the world, is left with a million unanswered questions, and the only person with answers is gone.
To help grieve her loss, Bailey creates a chat bot of Vanessa using years’ worth of their shared text messages and emails. The more data she uploads to the bot, the more it feels like she’s really talking to her best friend. That is, until the bot starts dropping hints that there was more going on with Vanessa than Bailey realized–a secret so big, it may have contributed to Vanessa’s death.

I hadn’t heard of this one since I read about it in an email from the publisher last week, and it looks so interesting!

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March 29th

Goodreads | Blackwells

Eighteen-year-old chauffeur’s daughter Jane Marlow grew up among the domestic staff of a wealthy LA rock producer, within reach of bands she idolizes, but never a VIP. Every summer, Jane and her father head to the Sierras to work at the producer’s luxury lodge at Lake Condor—a resort town and the site of a major musical festival.
The legendary family who runs the festival are the Sarafians, and Jane’s had a longtime crush on their oldest son, Eddie—doltish but sweet. So when a long-distance romance finally sparks between them, she doesn’t hesitate to cross class lines.
But Jane’s feelings about Eddie are thrown into question after she returns to the lake and reconnects with his alluringly intense brother, the dark horse of her placid summer plans. A fellow lover of music—and hater of the game—Fen Sarafian has been ousted from the family and is slumming it at a vinyl record shop. He burns for Jane like a house on fire and will do anything to sabotage his older brother, even if it means taking a wrecking ball to a multi-million-dollar music festival. Or Jane’s heart.

I will read anything Jenn Bennett writes and even though I still need to pick up a few of hers, I’m hoping this will be one of them!

Which books are you excited for in the next few months?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Series I Want to Finish This Year

Hi everyone! Welcome to 2022! I’m hoping to not only post more in the new year, but also do some more discussion posts and I’m starting the year off with some series I want to finally finish. I’ve been trying to finish off these series I’ve been in the middle of for a while now, and I want to make this year the year for finally reading them!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

It’s been a long time since I read The Wrath and the Dawn, probably 5+ years. I loved it a lot when I read it, but I never continued with the series for some reason. I’ve had the second book for a while now but I’m definitely at the point of needing to re-read the first book to carry on with the series.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha—one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

I wanted to read the rest of the series early last year after picking up The Bone Witch in November 2020, but of course I never got to the rest of the series and it’s been so long now that I’d like to re-read the first book before continuing.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

This one is a series I’d like to finish soon, but unlike others, I won’t have to re-read the first book to continue! This is a contemporary series following different characters, so they’re more companion novels than a continuous series, which is useful for me. I have the whole set now and I’d like to finish it soon!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her. 

I read the first book in this series before YALC in 2019 where I met the author, and me and Alex have been wanting to buddy read the rest of the series ever since. I think we’ll be re-reading the first book in order to continue though, as it’s been a while!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Fall in love, break the curse.
Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Another series here that me and Alex want to buddy read together, and we’re also thinking of re-reading the first book. I loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely when it first came out but I didn’t continue with the series as the rest of the books were released – so I think we’re going to re-read the whole series!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

The Miss Peregrine’s series is one I feel like I’ve been reading for years, because I have! I read the original trilogy, and then I read A Map of Days when it came out, but I never carried on with the series. I’m hoping I don’t have to re-read the series before carrying on, but I still have the 5th and 6th books to go.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.
But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.
Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway.
With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.
 

I read this book a while ago and never continued with the series, but I’ve been seeing it about again recently and I decided to pick the duology up! I definitely want to read the first one again before I pick up the second.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Sephy is a Cross: she lives a life of privilege and power. But she’s lonely, and burns with injustice at the world she sees around her.
Callum is a nought: he’s considered to be less than nothing – a blanker, there to serve Crosses – but he dreams of a better life.
They’ve been friends since they were children, and they both know that’s as far as it can ever go. Noughts and Crosses are fated to be bitter enemies – love is out of the question.
Then – in spite of a world that is fiercely against them – these star-crossed lovers choose each other.
But this is love story that will lead both of them into terrible danger . . . and which will have shocking repercussions for generations to come

My boyfriend Mark bought me Crossfire and Endgame as part of a surprise book haul we did on my YouTube channel, which I’ll link down below if you want to give it a watch! I’ve read the other four books in the Noughts & Crosses series, and it’ll be interesting to see where the last two books go.

Which series would you like to complete reading this year?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Books I Want to Read by the End of the Year

Hi all! I can’t believe it’s December and nearly the end of the year. I have so many books I’d love to read by the end of the year and I’m hoping to have a great reading month in December to smash through some books! I thought I’d do a post about what I’d like to read before the end of the year.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Way out in the furthest part of the known world, a tiny stronghold exists all on its own, cut off from the rest of human-kin by monsters that lurk beneath the Snow Sea.
There, a little boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them… and doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu.
But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash.
When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he’s whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family . . . ? 

This is one I’d definitely love to read over the winter season for obvious reasons! This one has been on my tbr for a while after Gavin from How To Train Your Gavin on YouTube raved about the series on a video.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The Moomins, in case you didn’t know, are kind, philosophical creatures with velvety fur and smooth round snouts, who live in a tall blue house in a beautiful woodland valley beside the sea.
One summer a grumbling volcano causes Moominvalley to flood, forcing the Moomin family to leave their beloved home and find refuge on a floating theatre. When this casts adrift, leaving Moomin, the Snorkmaiden and Little My marooned on land, Moominsummer Madness ensues. Will they all be reunited before the final curtain?

My lovely friend Courtney gave me this Moomin book for my birthday. I’ve wanted to read this series for a long time and collect these beautiful editions, so she looked into the best one to start with and picked this up for me! Although it’s set in summer, I’d love to read it and start this series by the end of the year.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Alex and I have been trying to read more series this year and we want to read this one in December hopefully! We’ve both read the first book before but we want to carry on with it and complete it by the end of the year.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Adultery is not a typical Jane Austen theme, but when it disturbs the relatively peaceful household at Mansfield Park, it has quite unexpected results.
The diffident and much put-upon heroine Fanny Price has to struggle to cope with the results, re-examining her own feelings while enduring the cheerful amorality, old-fashioned indifference and priggish disapproval of those around her
.

I only have a couple of classics left in my Wordsworth set to read, and this is one of them! I’ve been slowly making my way through Jane Austen books recently and I’m excited to finish off with this one.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The Little Prince is a modern fable, and for readers far and wide both the title and the work have exerted a pull far in excess of the book’s brevity. Written and published first by Antoine de St-Exupury in 1943, only a year before his plane disappeared on a reconnaissance flight, it is one of the world’s most widely translated books, enjoyed by adults and children alike. In the meeting of the narrator who has ditched his plane in the Sahara desert, and the little prince, who has dropped there through time and space from his tiny asteroid, comes an intersection of two worlds, the one governed by the laws of nature, and the other determined only by the limits of imagination. The world of the imagination wins hands down, with the concerns of the adult world often shown to be lamentably silly as seen through the eyes of the little prince. While adult readers can find deep meanings in his various encounters, they can also be charmed back to childhood by this wise but innocent infant.

This is the other classic I have left and I’ve been saving it for December! It’s only short so I know it will be a quick and easy one to get through which is exciting.

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Nottingham, 1906
Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered. At the wishes of her family, she will be obligated to marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But when a mysterious new toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in her life. Although Drosselmeier’s magic is darker than Marietta could have imagined…
When he constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself walking through a land of snow-topped fir trees leading to a frozen sugar palace silent with secrets and must find a way to return home.
In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…

This one is already on my December tbr as I knew I wanted to read it close to Christmas, and I’m super excited to get to it soon. I’ve been looking forward to this one since hearing about it late last year when the original ARCs were released, and it sounds so good!

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Goodreads | Blackwells

Adam Stillwater is in over his head. At least, that’s what his best friend would say. And his mom. And the guy who runs the hardware store down the street. But this pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.
Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. She lost all her friends. Her boyfriend dumped her. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés—which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.
But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney suddenly find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm stops?

I received this one from the publisher (thank you Harper!) and it sounds like the perfect cute christmassy read.

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Goodreads | Blackwells

North Carolina, 1863. As the American Civil War rages on, the Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island is blossoming, a haven for the recently emancipated. Black people have begun building a community of their own, a refuge from the shadow of the old life. It is where the March family has finally been able to safely put down roots with four young daughters:
Meg, a teacher who longs to find love and start a family of her own.
Jo, a writer whose words are too powerful to be contained.
Beth, a talented seamstress searching for a higher purpose.
Amy, a dancer eager to explore life outside her family’s home.
As the four March sisters come into their own as independent young women, they will face first love, health struggles, heartbreak, and new horizons. But they will face it all together.

I would love to re-read Little Women over the Christmas period, but reading a retelling would also be amazing – which is why I’ve chosen to put this one on my tbr.

Which books would you like to read before the end of the year?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Bookoplathon 2021 Wrap-Up

Hi everyone! I took part in something so exciting over the weekend and I wanted to share it with you. I joined in with Becca’s bookoplathon, which was a 48 hour readathon. The point of the bookoplathon is to use Becca’s bookopoly board (a play on a Monopoly board) to pick prompts for the readathon over the weekend. The other fun thing about this readathon is that you can’t really plan your TBR because the prompts were released over the weekend at 12 hour intervals! Becca explains how the readathon works in the video below, if you’d like to find out more.

The other crazy part of this readathon is the fact Becca decided to make it completely live for the whole 48 hours! No, she didn’t stay up the whole time, but a group of other booktubers joined to make sure the entire weekend had live reading sprints all of the time. I absolutely adored this as it made for a real sense of community and was so much fun to watch live sprints and read alongside others.

I decided to join this readathon only a few days before, and I was in the middle of filming a vlog at the time. I decided to turn it into a Bookoplathon vlog when I joined the readathon, and you can see this below! It’s a very long chilled out vlog that covers a few days before the readathon until just after it ends on Sunday night.

I managed to choose the first two prompts beforehand (as the first two are the only one’s announced in advance) and I decided to go for A Court of Silver Flames and The Black Flamingo. I was actually already reading A Court of Silver Flames but that’s okay in the rules of this readathon so I went for it! I’ll put a full list of prompts below and the books I decided to read for each prompt.

Prompt 1 – A fantasy book

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

As I mentioned I was already reading this book when I decided to join the readathon, and initially I had the (very) hesitant goal of just finishing this book. I managed to read 425 pages of this on the Saturday of the readathon, and 100 pages from midnight on the Friday night when the readathon began. I really loved this and I’m so proud of myself for finishing it so quickly!

Prompt 2 – A book with a dark cover

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Cassandra Cain is the daughter of super-villains and a living weapon trained from birth to be the ultimate assassin. But that doesn’t mean she has to stay that way, right? She’ll have to go through an identity crisis of epic proportions to find out. But how do you figure out who you’re supposed to be when you’ve been trained to become a villain your entire life?
After a soul-shattering moment that sends Cass reeling, she’ll attempt to answer this question the only way she knows how: learning everything she possibly can about her favorite hero–Batgirl. But Batgirl hasn’t been seen in Gotham for years, and when Cass’s father threatens the world she has grown to love, she’ll have to step out of the shadows and overcome her greatest obstacle–that voice inside her head telling her she can never be a hero.

I initially read The Black Flamingo for this prompt, but I had some time left on Saturday night so I decided to pick up this graphic novel instead. This was so emotive, with beautiful art and most of it was set in a library. What’s not to love?

Prompt 3 – A book with POC rep

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Goodreads | Waterstones

A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.

I read this book originally covering 3 different prompts, but eventually covered only one. This is one I’ve wanted to read for a long time and it was so beautiful and impactful.

Prompt 4 – A contemporary book

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The manga adaptation of the beloved novel by #1 Bestselling author Rainbow Rowell!
New York Journal of Books
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath just can’t let go. Now that they’re in college, Cath must decide if she’s ready to start living her own life. But does she even want to if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow community with thousands of fans online.  But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner … And she’s barely heard from Wren all semester!

I ended up picking this one up at the very end of the readathon for the contemporary prompt. It was a cute way to re-read the story, but nothing extraordinary.

Prompt 5 – the first book in a series

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.
Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

I was unsure of what to pick up for the first book in the series prompt, but I’m so glad I read this one. It has become a quick favourite and was so cleverly written. However, I do want the second book asap now!

Prompt 6 – chance card

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.
In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.
That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

I slightly misunderstood the chance card prompt and ended up randomising my entire TBR and picking the top standalone. I am glad I picked this one up as it’s been on my TBR for so many years, but it was a bit of a let down for me.

Prompt 7 – a book outside of your usual two genres

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen and the White Rabbit all make their appearances, and are now familiar figures in writing, conversation and idiom. So too are Carroll’s delightful verses such as The Walrus and the Carpenter and the inspired jargon of that masterly Wordsworthian parody, The Jabberwocky.

For this prompt, I chose my two main genres as fantasy and contemporary and decided to choose classic as one I don’t pick up as much. I’m glad I did because it allowed me to choose Alice in Wonderland, which was so wacky and such an entertaining read.

Prompt 8 – a book set in the present day

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Goodreads | Waterstones

The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns! Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart! Did Chase and Gert’s love survive their time apart? Have Karolina and Nico’s feelings made their friendship impossible? What emotional landmines lie in wait to DESTROY the Runaways?!

In a rush to finish all 8 prompts of the readathon (which I never expected to do!), I picked up another graphic novel right at the end. Although this one wasn’t my favourite, I’m definitely going to see where the series goes and I’m glad I managed to finish it and round off the readathon.

Did you join in with the bookoplathon? Or do you take part in readathons?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Anticipated Releases January-April 2021

I know what you’re all thinking, how late is this post? I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while but just haven’t gotten around to doing it. But even though we’re now into February, I still want to include January releases and shout about them, as I haven’t personally gotten around to reading any on this list!

January

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5th January

Goodreads | Waterstones

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.
Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.
The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

I really want to read more books (or any at all, really!) about Greek mythology – and this one looks beautiful.

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12th January

Goodreads | Waterstones

With his King Lord dad in prison and his mom working two jobs, seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter helps the only way he knows how: slinging drugs. Life’s not perfect, but he’s got everything under control. Until he finds out he’s a father…
Suddenly it’s not so easy to deal drugs and finish school with a baby dependent on him for everything. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. But when King Lord blood runs through your veins, you don’t get to just walk away.

I had no idea this book was being published until around a month ago, but I love Angie Thomas’ books and I can’t wait to read this one.

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21st January

Goodreads | Waterstones

Felipe is fat. And he doesn’t need anyone to remind him, which is, of course, what everyone does. That’s why he’s been waiting for summer: a break from school and the classmates who tease him incessantly. His plans include catching up on TV, finishing his TBR pile, and watching YouTube tutorials on skills he’ll never actually put into practice.
But things get a little out of hand when Felipe’s mom informs him that Caio, the neighbour kid from apartment 57, will be spending the next fifteen days with them while his parents are on vacation. Felipe is distraught because A) he’s had a crush on Caio since, well, for ever, and B) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he’s going to entertain his neighbor for two full weeks.
Suddenly, the days ahead of him that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) end up bringing a whirlwind of feelings, forcing Felipe to dive head-first into every unresolved issue he has had with himself – but maybe, just maybe, he’ll manage to win over Caio, too.

I’ve been seeing this around on Bookstagram for a while, and I had to add it to my TBR!

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January 26th

Goodreads | Waterstones

I still haven’t read A Heart so Fierce and Broken, but I loved the first book in this series and I really want to read the next two!

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28th January

Goodreads | Waterstones

It’s been more than a year since Simon and Blue turned their anonymous online flirtation into an IRL relationship, and just a few months since Abby and Leah’s unforgettable night at senior prom.
Now the Creekwood High crew are first years at different colleges, navigating friendship and romance the way their story began—on email.

I love all of Becky Albertalli’s books and the idea of jumping back into this world with a novella really appeals to me.

February

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2nd February

Goodreads | Waterstones

Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.
People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.
But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

This book looks so good and that cover is gorgeous. I can’t wait to pick up a copy!

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4th February

Goodreads | Waterstones

When Hugo and Ada travel to their friend Dorian’s planet for the holidays, android Hugo is anxious about being accepted by Dorian’s powerful family. But when they arrive on Hydrox, there are more pressing things to worry about, as the planet has been overrun by refugee butterflies. Displaced from their home by climate change, the butterflies have been offered sanctuary by Dorian’s parents, but they’re quickly running out of space. Meanwhile, beneath the seas, a strange creature is wreaking all kinds of havoc …
Can Hugo, Dorian and Ada step in before the crisis gets out of control?

I’m a little behind on reading them, but I will buy anything Lauren James writes. She is an auto-buy author for me and I really enjoy her books!

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9th February

Goodreads | Waterstones

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee.
If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and spark and fire. She loves art, and she dreams of making a career of it one day. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including expecting her to work practically full-time at their family’s pho restaurant.
For decades, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh have resolved never to befriend each other, for fear of pushing too far and bringing on undue heartbreak. But when a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao closer, sparks fly . . .
Can Linh and Bao’s love survive in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

Anything that includes discussions of food are a must-buy for me, so I had to add this one to my TBR!

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16th February

Goodreads | Waterstones

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly – proud, swift to anger and slow to forgive. And since the war – since being made High Fae against her will – she’s struggled to forget the horrors she endured and find a place for herself within the strange and deadly Night Court. The person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred, winged warrior who is there at Nesta’s every turn. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. And when they are forced to train in battle together, sparks become flame.
As the threat of war casts its shadow over them once again, Nesta and Cassian must fight monsters from within and without if they are to stand a chance of halting the enemies of their court. But the ultimate risk will be searching for acceptance – and healing – in each other’s arms.

Although I probably won’t be reading it right away, I’m still so excited to have a copy of this book and the opportunity to jump back into this magical world.

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23rd February

Goodreads | Waterstones

I have similar feelings about this book and even though I may not read it straight away it will feel so nice to complete the set!

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23rd February

Goodreads

With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.
This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.
In New York, she’s able to ignore all the annoying questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

I only just added this one to this list but it sounds amazing, and I adore the cover.

March

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2nd March

Goodreads | Waterstones

Emma is a die-hard romantic. She loves a meet-cute Netflix movie, her pet, Lady Catulet, and dreaming up the Gay Rom Com of her heart for the film festival competition she and her friends are entering. If only they’d listen to her ideas. . .
Sophia is pragmatic. She’s big into boycotts, namely 1) relationships, 2) teen boys and their BO (reason #2347683 she’s a lesbian), and 3) Emma’s nauseating ideas. Forget starry-eyed romance, Sophia knows what will win: an artistic film with a message.
Cue the drama. The movie is doomed before they even start shooting . . . until a real-life plot twist unfolds behind the camera when Emma and Sophia start seeing each other through a different lens. Suddenly their rivalry is starting to feel like an actual rom-com. 

Another subject I love to read about is films and the film world. I’m having similar vibes from this book as Everything Leads to You, which is one of my favourite books!

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Another one on this list I may not read straight away as I would quite like to wait for the trilogy to be completed! But I can’t wait to have the multiple editions I have preordered…

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Hopefully it won’t take me too long to get to this one, although I would like to reread King of Scars before I read it.

April

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The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

This one has been on my TBR for a while as it sounds so good and I fell in love with the cover! It sounds so thrilling.

Which books do you have on preorder?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Series I Want to Read in 2021

Hello and welcome back to another book about 2021! Am I milking the new year? Totally. But I’m really enjoying spending time reflecting on my reading year in 2020 and thinking about my reading in 2021.

I spent the last 5 months of 2020 reading a series every month that had been on my TBR for a while, and I really liked doing it that way. I’m not sure if I’ll carry on doing this for 2021, as it took up a lot of my reading for each month and I’d quite like to mood-read for a while, but here are a few that I would like to get to soon. I actually don’t have that many complete series on my physical TBR left, which is a crazy thought!

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A sharpshooter. A dreamer. A damn good liar.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it s an unforgiving place, especially if you re poor, orphaned, or female.
Amani Al Hiza is all three. She s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she s destined to wind up wed or dead.Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she d gallop away on a mythical horse or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

I’ve had this complete trilogy for a while, but I haven’t read this one yet! I actually started reading the first book years ago (when it first came out), and I just couldn’t get into it at the time. However, I felt like I might enjoy it more at another time…that time just hasn’t come yet.

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When the lift cranks open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone – an army of boys welcomes him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a terrible maze. The Gladers have no idea why they’re there, or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out.

This is another series I’ve had for years and still haven’t read. I feel like I might find these a bit young for me now, but I still want to finally read it!

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One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkeness bind them
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.
In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

I’ve only had this sat on my shelves for a few years, but the series daunts me so much I haven’t read it yet! Maybe 2021 will be the year?

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Kell is one of the last Antari-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons. There is Red London, where life and magic are revered, Grey London, without magic and ruled by mad King George III, and White London, a city slowly being drained through magical war, down to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London… but no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell acts as an ambassador and messenger between the Londons, in service of the Maresh Empire. Unofficially, he’s also a smuggler, a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences-as proved when he stumbles into a setup with a forbidden token from Black London. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cutpurse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive… Prepare to be dazzled by a world of parallel Londons-where magic thrives, starves, or lies forgotten, and where power can destroy just as quickly as it can create.

This one is only very recently completed as I just ordered the last one I needed to complete the series today, but I loved The Invisible Life of Addie Larue so much that I’m really excited to read this series now!

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Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

I completed this series about a year ago when I was sent an ARC of the second book, so I decided to buy the first. I feel like I’ve heard so many amazing things about this duology but I just haven’t picked it up yet!

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This is a world divided by blood—red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance—Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart. 

There are a few series I haven’t included on this list because I want to re-read the first book(s) in the series, but I thought I would include this one. I read Red Queen when it very first came out and I never carried on with the series. I have them all now but I just can’t remember what happened in the first one and definitely want to re-read it before I carry on!

Which series do you want to read this year?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Reading Goals for 2021

Hi everyone! I tend not to set myself too many reading goals per year, especially because, as we have very well learned in 2020, you just don’t know what life is going to throw at you! However, I did fairly well on my 2020 resolutions, and with my reading speed improving in the latter half of the year, I thought I would make some resolutions for 2021.

  • Read 100 books

I have no idea if I can complete this, but I really want to try. If I continue my reading speed of the past 6 months, I can definitely do this! I also want to utilise audiobooks and graphic novels more to help complete this. Obviously, we have no idea what 2021 will throw at us and if I end up not being able to complete this then that’s okay!

  • Read more series on my TBR

I did super well with completing a similar resolution in 2020 by reading a series a month for 5 months and knocked 6 whole series off of my TBR, and completed a few others. I actually don’t have many series left on my TBR now, and I would love to get most of them off my TBR this year!

  • Read more classics

I set myself a goal of reading only one classic in 2020, which I actually don’t think I completed, other than re-reading the audiobook of A Christmas Carol. But this year will definitely be different, because I have purchased myself the entire wordsworth classics set, and I want to start working my way through those!

  • Stop buying so many books!

I’ve had a couple of years now where I really haven’t knocked anything off my TBR, despite going on book bans and trying to control my book-buying. As I’ve just treated myself to the wordsworth set, my TBR is currently the highest it’s ever been (help) at 107 books. I really need to make sure I don’t buy so many books this year, as I just don’t have the space for them and I want to get that TBR under control in 2021!

  • Stay organised!

This marks my second year of using a reading spreadsheet by Reader Voracious. You can find it here and it includes things like keeping track of your reads, books you bought, blog stats, ARCs, buddy reads, new releases and an entire calendar for the year. I adore using it and I find the stats it produces fascinating! If you’re looking for something similar, I’d highly recommend it.

What are some of your resolutions for 2021?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Top 10 Books of 2020 Countdown

Hi all! 2020 was a pretty good reading year for me. I read 87 books overall, which is probably the most I’ve ever read in a year. I’m super proud of that amount and it’s allowing me to push myself for 2021! I recently sat down and filmed the video below, which covers my top 10 books of 2020. I wasn’t planning on ordering anything beyond the top 3 (or even just my favourite), but I naturally ended up numbering them, so I thought I’d do a countdown from my 10th favourite to my absolute favourite of 2020.

So, let’s get to the countdown!

10. Rules for Being a Girl

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Marin is a smart, driven, popular girl – she’s headed for Brown when she graduates and has a brilliant career as a journalist ahead of her. Especially in the eyes of English teacher Mr Beckett. He spends a lot of time around Marin, and she thinks it’s harmless . . . until he kisses her. 
No one believes Marin when she tells them what happened, so she does the only thing she can: she writes an article called ‘Rules for Being a Girl’ for the school paper to point out the misogyny and sexism that girls face every day. As things heat up at school and in her personal life, Marin must figure out how to take back the power and rewrite her own rules.

This book was such a shock for me. I received an unsolicited ARC from the publishing company and even though it didn’t sound like one for me, I thought I’d try it. And I ended up devouring it. This was so good and I really believe every teenage girl should read it!

9. Boy Queen by George Lester

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Robin Cooper’s life is falling apart.
While his friends prepare to head off to university, Robin is looking at a pile of rejection letters from drama schools up and down the country, and facing a future without the people he loves the most. Everything seems like it’s ending, and Robin is scrabbling to find his feet.
Unsure about what to do next and whether he has the talent to follow his dreams, he and his best friends go and drown their sorrows at a local drag show, where Robin realises there might be a different, more sequinned path for him . . .
With a mother who won’t stop talking, a boyfriend who won’t acknowledge him and a best friend who is dying to cover him in glitter make up, there’s only one thing for Robin to do: bring it to the runway.

This book was so much fun and I absolutely loved it. It introduced me to the world of drag and it was so fabulous, but with heartfelt and heavy moments.

8. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state candidate – as long as he’s behind the scenes. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is cancelled, her parents are separating and now her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing – with some awkward guy she hardly knows …
Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worstthing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer – and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural crush of the century is another thing entirely.

I’ve really enjoyed all of Becky’s books and this was no different! I loved this partnership with Aisha and the political subject was actually so interesting.

7. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying.
Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As.
You probably think that they are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and she is a girl.
They don’t. They make a podcast.
In a world determined to shut them up, knock them down, and set them on a cookie cutter life path, Frances and Aled struggle to find their voices over the course of one life-changing year. Will they have the courage to show everyone who they really are? Or will they be met with radio silence?

Another big surprise for me was Radio Silence. I’ve enjoyed everything by Alice Oseman, but some more than others, and I thought this one would fall to the bottom of the list as I feel like Alice has developed over time and this is one of her older books. However, this was absolutely amazing and became my favourite book of hers!

6. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.
When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….
But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

I absolutely adored this and it opened my eyes so much to being transgender. It really hit me in the feels and at some points I had all over goosebumps and chills from the pure emotion of this book.

5. The Lido by Libby Page

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Kate is a twenty-six-year-old riddled with anxiety and panic attacks who works for a local paper in Brixton, London, covering forgettably small stories. When she’s assigned to write about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center), she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum at the lido daily since it opened its doors when she was a child. It was here Rosemary fell in love with her husband, George; here that she’s found communion during her marriage and since George’s death. The lido has been a cornerstone in nearly every part of Rosemary’s life.
But when a local developer attempts to buy the lido for a posh new apartment complex, Rosemary’s fond memories and sense of community are under threat.
As Kate dives deeper into the lido’s history—with the help of a charming photographer—she pieces together a portrait of the pool, and a portrait of a singular woman, Rosemary. What begins as a simple local interest story for Kate soon blossoms into a beautiful friendship that provides sustenance to both women as they galvanize the community to fight the lido’s closure. Meanwhile, Rosemary slowly, finally, begins to open up to Kate, transforming them both in ways they never knew possible.

I didn’t expect to adore this one quite as much as I did, but it was like picking up a warm cup of tea on a cold winters day. I was actually recommended this book by a customer at work because of our mutual love of outdoor swimming, and I’m so glad I took the recommendation to heart!

4. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

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Review | Goodreads

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

This was another book that absolutely opened my eyes. I read it as part of Non-Binary November and I loved it. It made me so emotional, but was so heartfelt and beautiful. I also recently read I’ll Be Home For Christmas which is a novella about the same characters which was super cute!

3. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

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Review | Goodreads

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart. 

I read this one back in January 2020 and it stayed with me the whole year. It was so beautiful, but so sad and tackles grief and friendship and love. I’ve read a couple of books by Nina LaCour now and I’ve loved them all.

2. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
And love makes fools of us all.

I adored this book. I thought I’d like it, but I had no idea that I would fall in love with it the way I did. It was beautiful, I loved the setting, the romance and the characters so much. I savoured this book and I never wanted it to end. I thought it would be my favourite of the year, until….

1.The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.

This was incredible. I didn’t read it until early December but it quickly surpassed all of my other reads of the year so far and I just adored it. It broke my heart and made me cry, but it utterly stole my heart too.

Which were your favourite books of 2020?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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