‘Roxy’ blog spot – read an exclusive extract from the new Shusterman novel!

Hey everyone! It has been a MINUTE. Life has once again become very overwhelming so I haven’t had the time (or truthfully the motivation) to post. But I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Roxy today, the newest novel from Neal and Jarrod Shusterman! Thank you to Walker Books for the opportunity to take part and for sending me a free copy of the book 🙂

From the team that brought you the New York Times bestselling Dry comes a riveting new thriller that proves when gods play games, even love is a lie.

The freeway is coming.

It will cut the neighbourhood in two. Construction has already started, pushing toward this corridor of condemned houses and cracked concrete with the momentum of the inevitable. Yet there you are, in the fifth house on the left, fighting for your life.

Ramey, I.

The victim of the bet between two manufactured gods: the seductive and lethal Roxy (Oxycontin), who is at the top of her game, and the smart, high-achieving Addison (Adderall), who is tired of being the helpful one, and longs for a more dangerous, less wholesome image. The wager—a contest to see who can bring their mark to “the Party” first—is a race to the bottom of a rave that has raged since the beginning of time. And you are only human, dazzled by the lights and music. Drawn by what the drugs offer—tempted to take that step past helpful to harmful…and the troubled places that lie beyond.

But there are two I. Rameys—Isaac, a soccer player thrown into Roxy’s orbit by a bad fall and a bad doctor and Ivy, his older sister, whose increasing frustration with her untreated ADHD leads her to renew her acquaintance with Addy.

I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet but wow, how amazing does that concept sound?! Neal and Jarrod Shusterman seem to have the most limitless imaginations. I adored the Scythe trilogy and the cli-fi novel Dry, and I can’t wait to dive into this one.

Whether you’re as excited about it as I am, or you still need some convincing, you can get a taste of what the book will be like right now as I’m sharing an extract!

Ivy truly believes she would have left on her own. Even though she’s never left a party before they released the proverbial hounds and threw everyone out. Believing something that you know is not true is Ivy’s superpower.

When they arrive home, she decides to walk in the door ahead of Isaac. She turns on the light, fully expecting to find their parents waiting for them in the dark. That’s how things work in this house. It’s a three-stage progression. Stage one: her parents explode after realizing she snuck out the window. Stage two: they blame each other’s parenting fails for seven to twelve minutes. Stage three: an hour of solitary brooding, where her father will retreat to his computer, while her mom invents household tasks that don’t actually exist, like alphabetizing kitchen spices or pairing other people’s socks. Stage five: at least one of them will sit in the living room in the dark, monitoring every sound from outside and each passing headlight until Ivy comes home.

Since Isaac got her fairly early, it hasn’t reached the darkened-room stage yet. Instead, her father steps out from the kitchen. He’s already built up plenty of potential energy, and the look in his eyes tells Ivy it’s about to go kinetic.

“Good evening, Father,” Ivy says, trying to sound ironic and light, but instead it comes off as snarky. Well, the sooner she gets him yelling, the sooner this can be over.

Her mother comes out from the bathroom. Ah – so it’s an ambush. The only family member missing is Grandma, who’s been living with them for the past year. She’s wise enough not to embroil herself in the drama.

“Care to explain yourself?” Ivy’s mother asks her, but looks to Isaac instead. He’s an easier read than she is.

Ivy prepares to respond, but before she has the chance, Isaac blurts out, “I was on my way back from Shelby’s and figured I’d grab Ivy from the movies.”

It’s not an unbelievable lie. That is, if Ivy weren’t wobbling, still majorly buzzed. She wonders if they saw the Uber drop them off. Oh, the rabbit hole of explanations ahead.

Isaac tries to hide his limp as he crosses the room, but almost trips. Their father is there to support him. “You okay?”

“I … twisted my ankle at practice this afternoon. It’s nothing.” But if there’s anything that Ivy has learned, it’s that parents always know when you’re lying. Even if you’re just lying to yourself.

And so to prove his ankle is a non-issue, Isaac walks on it again, and he almost goes down. Ivy silently wonders if her boyfriend’s redeeming parts come anywhere close to outweighing his unredeeming ones.

“That looks pretty bad…” their father says.

“I’m fine, Dad,” Isaac says with just enough exasperation. “I’ll go ice it, okay?”

Then their mother zeroes in on Isaac’s forehead. “Is that blood?”

And although part of Ivy is glad that the interrogation has been turned entirely to Isaac, it also pisses her off that her brother’s boo-boos have completely blasted Ivy out of her parents’ minds.

“I went to a party,” Ivy says without flinching. “Isaac came to bring me home. He’s like that because he beat up Craig.”

If she was going to tell the truth, she might as well make Isaac look good in the process and give their father the satisfaction of knowing that Craig not only got beaten up but by his son, no less.

And now the negative attention has turned back to Ivy. Their mother starts haranguing Ivy about broken promises and patterns of bad behavior until she exhausts herself and shakes her head woefully. It’s the expression Ivy hates the most. That you-disappointed-us-again-and-guess-what? We’re-not-even-surprised look.

“Ivy, I honestly don’t know what we’re going to do with you,” she says.

“Why do you have to do anything? Why can’t you just, for once, leave me alone?”

But they can’t. She knows they can’t. This is, after all, their job.

Then her father drops the boom. “We’re making an appointment for you to see Dr. Torres.”

“No!” says Ivy. “I am not a child – I will not go to a kiddie shrink!” Ivy would much rather choose her own humiliation than swallow theirs. Dr. Torres has a mural with Winnie-the-Pooh in a pharmacist’s robe.

“Well, you’re going to see someone. All this self-medicating isn’t doing you any favors.”

Self-medicating. Ivy wonders when drinking with your friends became clinical. Ivy hates the idea of having to go see some sweater-vested pencil-neck “professional” with a cheaply framed diploma. But what if it’s the only way to avoid harder action? She knows a kid who knows a kid who got dragged out of their home in the middle of the night and taken to one of those forced labor camps for unruly teens. Would her parents do something like that to her? At this point in her life, she has no idea.

Isaac has slipped away from the scene. She hears him in the kitchen getting ice, but their fridge has a sadistic ice dispenser that hurls ice everywhere but where you want it to go. She finds Isaac kneeling in pain, trying to pick ice up off the floor. She helps him gather the remaining cubes and put them into a Ziploc.

“Shoulda used crushed,” she said. “Or a bag of frozen peas.”

“Crushed would be a bigger mess, and peas would be a waste of food – and you know how Mom is about wasted anything lately.”

“Yeah,” says Ivy. “Especially wasted me.”

She hopes it might bring a smile from Isaac, but it doesn’t. Maybe he’s just in too much pain. “They’ll get over it by morning,” he says. “They just needed to vent.”

Maybe so. But Ivy’s not sure she’ll be over it. And that doesn’t just mean the hangover.

Well, has that convinced you to pick up Roxy? If you still need a push, check out the other stops on the tour to see what other readers are thinking of it and to read more extracts from the book!

‘Nick’ spoiler-free review!

Hey everyone! I’m having a whirlwind month so far but I’m just flying by to post my review for Nick by Michael Farris Smith! Today is my stop on the Random Things blog tour for this book – thank you to them and to No Exit Press for the free copy!

Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg, and into Gatsby’s periphery, he was at the center of a very different story- one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I.

Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed firsthand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance- doomed from the very beginning- to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans- rife with its own flavor of debauchery and violence.

An epic portrait of a truly singular era, and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know, but few have pondered deeply. Told with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to paralyze even the heartiest of Golden Age scribes, NICK reveals the man behind the narrator that has captivated readers for decades.

I always love seeing what contemporary authors can do with a piece of classic literature and how they put their spin on the story. So jumped at the chance to read Nick by Michael Farris Smith, which imagines the life of The Great Gatsby narrator of the same name!

The original novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald tells us very little about Nick’s character so I really enjoyed the backstory that Farris Smith was able to create. I found the opening chapters, recounting Nick’s Parisian love affair and his time in the war particularly engaging. I thought the scene setting in these chapters was really well done and I could picture everything vividly.

Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve been reading Ray Bradbury recently but I thought Farris Smith’s writing had a similar quality to it at times. The beginning of the book in particular was very atmospheric.

I also liked the exploration of mental health themes such as depression and PTSD, as these are always helpful subjects to read about. There is a definite darkness to the story, so that’s something to bear in mind before jumping in.

I will say that you don’t need to be at all familiar with The Great Gatsby to read this book, as the classic novel is only alluded to in the last few pages – and if you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t even make the connection. That gorgeous cover definitely gives it away though!

Check out the other stops on the blog tour for more reviews of this one!

October 2021 TBR

The best month of the reading year has arrived! I save up so many dark and spooky books all year round, to read in October and it’s always SO much fun. (I inevitably save up more than I can actually get through but that’s besides the point). Here are just some of the books I’m hoping to get through this month!

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury is the perfect author to read in Autumn and I can’t wait to revisit this story of a spooky carnival! This was one of the first Bradbury books I ever read and I feel like my love for him as an author has grown a lot since then, so I think I might enjoy this one even more than I did the first time round!

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

I’ve never read any of Oyeyemi’s books but they always sound very intriguing. I’m admittedly a little nervous about this one as a lot of the reviews say it is quite confusing, but I want to give it a go!

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

It’s been far too long since I read any Pratchett. I’ve been slowly collecting these Discworld hardback editions and I have this one and the following novel lined up ready to go. It’s about time I made more progress with this series!

When Things Get Dark edited by Ellen Datlow

I received an ARC of this short story collection from Titan Books and I’m really excited to read it. The stories are all inspired by Shirley Jackson! Absolute queen that she is. The list of contributing authors looks amazing and I can’t wait to see what they do with the source material.

The October Country by Ray Bradbury

Surprise! I’ve decided I’m going to read two short story collections this month! Like I said, Autumn is the perfect time to read Bradbury and it would be rude not to read this collection in its titular month. This is another book that I’ve been saving all year and I’m really excited for it.

What’s on your TBR for October? Are you planning any spooky/Autumnal reads? Let me know!

September 2021 Wrap-Up!

Man, September was ROUGH. I have a lot on my plate right now and I can feel my mental health suffering because of it. As such, I spent the month of September in a terrible reading slump and really struggled to read anything. (Most of what I read I forced my way through due to review commitments, which is definitely not a fun way to do it). I only managed one of the books I’d planned for my September TBR, which makes me really sad. I hope that I can get to the others at some point before the end of the year.

Anyway, here’s what I did manage to get through in September!

Review Books

Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb

This is the second book I’ve read by writing duo Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the story of the two sisters reconnecting and the settings were wonderfully evocative, giving me serious wanderlust!

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino

I took part in the Instagram tour for this book and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to read it. I loved the idea of a haunted/cursed library and thought this was a great spooky read for the beginning of Autumn (though not too scary!)

In The Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

My first experience of Jeff Zentner’s writing was incredibly moving and I can guarantee I will be reading the rest of his books at some point. This was a poignant story with loveable characters and such beautiful writing.

Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies

This latest offering from Dinah Jefferies was another winner and I’m excited to see where she takes the series from here. I really appreciated how the three sisters were written and how the story explored the effects of WWII from a different country’s perspective to what I’m used to reading.

Books from my TBR

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon

This is the only book I included on my monthly TBR that I actually managed to read. It was fast-paced and had a cute format, though I wouldn’t say it was anything amazing.

Tin Man by Sarah Winman

I think this is the book I struggled most with this month. There was nothing wrong with it; I just don’t feel like I was in the right headspace to properly appreciate it. I feel like any other time I would have loved this.

You Will Get Through This Night by Daniel Howell

My friend gifted me this book after accidentally ordering two copies and September felt like the right month to read it, given the difficulties I was having. It didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know but it was good to be reminded of the different tools we all have in our mental health toolkit. And I actually found it easier to pick this up than some of the fiction books I pushed my way through.


Total pages: 2532

Average pages per day: 84.4

Longest book: Daughters of War (527 pages)

Shortest book: Tin Man (195 pages)

Favourite read of the month (not including rereads): In The Wild Light

Male authors: 2

Female authors: 3

Non-Binary authors: 0

Multiple authors: 2

I hope you had a better September than I did! Roll on October!

‘In The Wild Light’ spoiler-free review!

Hello my lovelies! Today, I’m reviewing In The Wild Light, which is my first experience with Jeff Zentner’s books but certainly won’t be my last!

I was meant to be on the Kaleidoscopic Tours instagram tour for this book earlier in the month but due to another covid scare in work and extreme pressures surrounding that, I wasn’t able to even read the book in time for my tour date let alone get a review post up. Huge thanks to Andersen Press, who sent me a free copy of the book, for being so understanding!

Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his best friend, Delaney, is second nature. He’s been spending his summer mowing lawns while she works at Dairy Queen.

But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he would have to leave behind.

From the award-winning author of The Serpent King comes a beautiful examination of grief, found family, and young love.

“I’ve always loved when the light finds the broken spots in the world and makes them beautiful…”

Seriously though, why was I sleeping on Jeff Zentner’s books? I’m genuinely kicking myself. In The Wild Light has earned itself a place on my favourites of 2021 list and I definitely want to read Zentner’s backlist titles as soon as I can!

I have fallen completely in love with Zentner’s writing. I knew from the very first page of In The Wild Light that this was going to be a very special book. Things got real emotional REAL fast and I was worried it would be too much for me but Zentner created the perfect balance of sadness and hope. There were moments of true joy throughout the book to counteract the heartbreak and I found the whole thing so wonderfully moving.

I picked out so many beautiful quotes while I was reading this book. Zentner’s words spoke to my soul and I want to stick them all over my walls for those days when I need a little boost. Not only that, protagonist Cash’s foray into poetry was a joy to witness and I loved that his poems were included. They were genuinely gorgeous. I’m not a huge poetry reader but I would 100% read a book of Zentner’s poetry.

Not only were the prose and the poetic elements an absolute delight, Zentner’s dialogue was superbly realistic and the conversations between the characters always felt natural. Dialogue is one of the elements of a book that I can be really fussy about but I love how it was handled here. The cast of characters was fantastic and I know that they will stay with me for a long time as a result of how believable Zentner made them.

I also adored the book’s setting! I have a real soft spot for Tennessee and would love to visit someday, so it was a pleasure to see this in the novel. I also really appreciated the book’s college setting and September felt like the absolute perfect time of year to be reading about Cash and Delaney’s journey!

I could gush forever about how much I loved this one but instead I’ll leave you with another of the gorgeous quotes I picked out while I go and order the rest of Zentner’s books!

“You’ll never regret a decision more than the one you made out of fear. Fear tells you to make your life small.”

Have you read any of Jeff Zentner’s books? If so, I’d love to know which one to try next! Let me know in the comments 🙂

‘Daughters of War’ spoiler-free review!

Hello lovely people! Today is my stop on the blog tour for Daughters of War, the newest novel from Dinah Jefferies! Huge thanks to Harper Collins and Random Things Tours for sending me an ARC to review 🙂

France, 1944.

Deep in the river valley of the Dordogne, in an old stone cottage on the edge of a beautiful village, three sisters long for the end of the war.

Hélène, the eldest, is trying her hardest to steer her family to safety, even as the Nazi occupation becomes more threatening.

Elise, the rebel, is determined to help the Resistance, whatever the cost.

And Florence, the dreamer, just yearns for a world where France is free.

Then, one dark night, the Allies come knocking for help. And Helene knows that she cannot sit on the sidelines any longer. But bravery comes at a cost, and soon the sisters’ lives become even more perilous as they fight for what is right. And secrets from their own mysterious past threaten to unravel everything they hold most dear…

The first in an epic new series from the No.1 Sunday Times bestseller, Daughters of War is a stunning tale of sisters, secrets and bravery in the darkness of war-torn France…

Dinah Jefferies is one of my favourite historical fiction authors so I was absolutely delighted at the opportunity to read her latest novel! And what most excited me about this one is that it’s the first in a series. I’ve only read standalones from Jefferies so far, so I was intrigued to see how she would handle a series-opener – and I can say that I’ll definitely be picking up the second instalment!

One of the things I love most about Jefferies’ novels is her ability to evoke settings and time periods so well. Her books never fail to make me feel transported. This one felt particularly evocative as it is set during World War Two and I’m always drawn to books set in that era anyway. However, normally we read about the war from the perspective of Britain or Germany, so it felt different to be reading a WWII novel set in France.

Another thing I loved about this book was that we were treated to multiple perspectives, with each sister being given a voice. The other Dinah Jefferies books I’ve read have only ever had one or two perspectives at the most, but she juggled the three voices effortlessly in this case and Helene, Elise and Florence all felt distinct. I felt empathy for all three sisters, though perhaps most strongly for sweet Florence for whom Jefferies had me in tears.

Daughters of War took me on a real emotional journey and I definitely recommend it (or any of Jefferies’ books) to historical fiction fans. I’m so pleased to say that this is another winner from Dinah Jefferies and I can’t wait to see where she takes the series next!

Check out the other stops on the blog tour for more reviews of this one!

‘Make Yourself at Home’ spoiler-free review!

Hey everyone! Today I’m reviewing Make Yourself at Home by Ciara Geraghty, which was very kindly sent to me by Harper Collins! This one released in the UK on September 2nd and I had every intention of reviewing it on that day, but then life threw me another couple of curveballs. Anyway, better late than never!

When Marianne’s carefully constructed life and marriage fall apart, she is forced to return to her childhood home, a ramshackle seaside mansion perched high on a cliff by the Irish Sea. There she must rebuild her relationship with her mother, Rita, a flamboyant artist and recovering alcoholic who lives by her own rules.

Marianne left home when she was fifteen following a traumatic and tragic incident. She never planned to return, and now she has to face the fact that some plans don’t work out the way you wanted them to. But she might just discover that, sometimes, you have to come to terms with the story of your past before you can work out the shape of the future…

Set on the wild Irish coast, with an unforgettable cast of characters, this deeply emotional novel is full of Ciara Geraghty’s trademark heart and poignancy.

I previously read Rules of the Road by this author and thought it was a sweet and poignant read. It might actually be the case that I enjoyed this book even more! Make Yourself at Home was such a heart-warming book that made me both laugh and cry. As with Rules of the Road, there is a poignancy to this novel that is enough to jerk on the heartstrings but that never becomes too morbid or soul-crushing; it was the perfect balance of sadness and hope.

Protagonist Marianne is admittedly a little spiky at first and I was worried I wouldn’t connect with her. However, she definitely has her reasons for acting as she does and she grew on me as the novel progressed, so that by the end I was her biggest champion.

The supporting cast of characters was absolutely wonderful and I developed a real soft spot for the Get Well Soon Club and all their eccentricities. Everyone had such strong personalities and I felt I really got to know and love them by the end of the book. The romantic interest was also perfectly written.

I gave this one to my Nana to read after I finished it, as I had previously done with Rules of the Road. She also gave this one her seal of approval! So it wins extra points for appealing to a wide demographic.

Finally, food plays an important role in the story and I was absolutely delighted to find recipes in the back of the book! So of course, I had to try a couple of them out. (You can see how they turned out in the picture below.) Let me just say that Rita’s lemon melts are divine and have earned themselves a firm place in our family recipe book!

I’d definitely recommend Ciara Geraghty’s books to fans of poignant character-based stories – I hope I get the chance to read more of her work in future!

Have you ever cooked/baked anything based on a book? I’d love for you to let me know!

‘Three Words for Goodbye’ spoiler-free review!

Hello lovely people 🙂 Today is my stop on the Random Things blog tour for Three Words for Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. I’ve read one other book by this writing duo, Last Christmas in Paris, which I’m actually planning to reread later this year. I’ve also read one of Gaynor’s solo books, The Cottingley Secret. Both of those I loved and I’m happy to say that I also loved this latest offering from the pair!

Huge thanks to William Morrow, imprint of Harper Collins, for sending me an ARC of this fantastic story!

New York, 1937: When estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers learn their grandmother is dying, they agree to fulfill her last wish: to travel across Europe—together. They are to deliver three letters, in which Violet will say goodbye to those she hasn’t seen since traveling to Europe forty years earlier; a journey inspired by famed reporter, Nellie Bly.

Clara, ever-dutiful, sees the trip as an inconvenient detour before her wedding to millionaire Charles Hancock, but it’s also a chance to embrace her love of art. Budding journalist Madeleine relishes the opportunity to develop her ambitions to report on the growing threat of Hitler’s Nazi party and Mussolini’s control in Italy.

Constantly at odds with each other as they explore the luxurious Queen Mary, the Orient Express, and the sights of Paris and  Venice,, Clara and Madeleine wonder if they can fulfil Violet’s wish, until a shocking truth about their family brings them closer together. But as they reach Vienna to deliver the final letter, old grudges threaten their reconciliation again. As political tensions rise, and Europe feels increasingly volatile, the pair are glad to head home on the Hindenburg, where fate will play its hand in the final stage of their journey.

This was genuinely such a wonderful story! I’ve only really discovered a love of historical fiction in recent years but I’m so glad to be fully embracing it. I’ve read quite a few stories set around WWII (it’s a popular choice, after all) but this still managed to feel original and unlike anything I’ve read before! I even went off and did some further reading on the Hindenburg so I’m grateful to the authors for highlighting that particular event in history and encouraging me to learn something new.

I’ve always enjoyed stories featuring letters, so the premise of this one really intrigued me. I loved that Violet tasked her two grand-daughters with delivering letters to people with whom she needed to make peace or reconnect. I felt so invested in her story.

The characters were one of my favourite aspects of this novel. Violet herself was fabulous and sisters Clara and Madeleine were superb. Everyone felt fully realised and had a distinct narrative voice. I loved Maddie’s passion for journalism and Clara’s eye for art, and thought that these hobbies/interests added further layers to an already-great story. There was also a wonderful cast of side characters, every one of whom felt believable no matter how short a time they were on the page.

I loved following the sisters on their journey from New York to Paris, Venice and Vienna, and back again. Everything was perfectly described and gave me serious wanderlust! Gaynor and Webb both have a real talent for conjuring places. And seeing Clara and Madeleine put aside their differences and become closer through their journey together was completely heart-warming.

I whole-heartedly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, people who like to travel, those who enjoy family stories, or anyone who needs to be reminded that life is short and we must live it to the fullest! I will definitely be seeking out more of Gaynor and Webb’s books!

Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour for more reviews of this one!

September 2021 TBR

I genuinely can’t believe it’s September!! (I say this every month of every year but how else do you start a TBR post these days lol). Once again, I’m really excited to share with you what I’ve picked out to read in the month ahead!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

All year, I have been telling myself than when it got to September I would reread Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (because of its university setting). September has arrived and I’m not actually in the mood to reread Fangirl! So instead, I’m going with The Ocean at the End of the Lane by one of my favourite authors.

The last time I read this, I had literally just discovered Goodreads and hadn’t yet started my bookstagram account! So my memory is very patchy. I don’t even feel like this is a proper reread because I’m going to read the gorgeous illustrated edition that I got last year. But I’m looking forward to revisiting the story!

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon

I’m looking forward to this book of interconnected stories from six amazing authors! I feel like this transition period between Summer and Autumn is a good time for this one. Also, how did I just realise there are two people on the cover?!

Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

I won this book in a giveaway aaaages ago and feel terrible that I still haven’t read it. I always find that I start to read more ‘foresty’ books as we move into Autumn (is foresty books a genre? It should be). So this one is finally calling to me!

Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola

I’ve been seeing this one recommended a lot on bookstagram and when I recently went to a bookshop for the first time since before the pandemic (!!), I decided to snap it up! I love that every story is based on a different myth from around the world and I can’t wait to explore them.

As always, let me know if you’ve read any of my picks for this month! Happy reading lovely people!

August 2021 Wrap-Up!

Well, it has been a WEEK. This post is going up later than I intended because I have an absolute rollercoaster of a week in work, with another covid scare and having to work ridiculous shifts to cover for staff sickness. I am completely exhausted. But anyway! Here’s my August wrap-up as I originally drafted it!

Can you actually believe there are only four months left of this year?! I keep seeing that meme going round about us all still recovering from the trauma of 2020 and boy, is that a mood haha.

I have a feeling these last four months of 2021 are going to be pretty intense, as I have a lot of things to deal with. But hopefully I’ll still be able to fit in some reading and a bit of blogging too!

August was a mixed bag for me reading-wise but I had a couple of standouts that were absolutely fantastic. Keep reading to find out what they were! 😀

Review Books

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood

This is the second book I’ve read by Nuala Ellwood and, like the first one, it was a decent thriller. It was fast-paced and gripping, with an excellent depiction of coercive control.

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

I took part in the Tandem Collective readalong for this book and, while it was difficult to get my head around at first, I quickly realised how fantastic it is! It was so cleverly written and I definitely want to continue with the series!

Make Yourself At Home by Ciara Geraghty

This was a warm and cosy read, that made me laugh and cry. What’s more, it had recipes in the back! I tried making some of the items and they were absolutely delicious! Look out for my review of this one!

The Beloved Girls by Harriet Evans

I love atmospheric reads about mysterious old houses but something about this one left me wanting more. I don’t know if it was because I kept getting the two main characters mixed up or if I just read it at the wrong time, because I expected to love it so much more!

A Universe of Wishes edited by Dhonielle Clayton

This anthology from Titan Books was much better than the last one I read (Vampires Never Get Old) and I enjoyed most of the stories included. Full review coming very soon!

Books from my TBR

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

After rereading Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, I was in the mood for some more Morgan Matson. I buddy read this with a friend and we both agreed that it wasn’t quite as good as Amy and Roger, as some parts of it felt a tiny bit young in tone. There was also a rather unnecessary side plot that I felt didn’t add much. However, it was certainly a fun story and I fully intend to read the rest of Matson’s books at some point!

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Kacen Callender is becoming an auto-buy author for me! Both books I have read by them so far have been superb. I had heard nothing but good things about Felix Ever After and decided to see what all the hype was about – it lived up to it!

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This is one of my standout reads of the month. I adored this beautiful story and can totally understand why everyone and their granny has been raving about it. (I did, in fact, get my own Nana to read it after me and she loved it too haha).

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

This is another standout for me this month! I genuinely did not expect to find this YA horror novel so beautiful and haunting. I loved every page. Such a truly gorgeous book.

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Addison Allen is another of my comfort authors and this third book of hers that I’ve read was no exception to what I’ve come to expect. It was sweet and magical, with some fantastic characters, and the perfect last read of summer.


Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon

You’ve all heard me gushing about Boy’s Life and how incredible it is. My reread reminded me exactly why I loved it so much; there are so many gorgeous quotes that I want papered all over my walls! While my first read of this one will always be the most special to me, due to everything that was going on in my life at the time, I am so glad I got to revisit this beautiful story and I’m delighted to say that my love for it has not diminished.


Total pages: 4515

Average pages per day: 145.6

Longest book: Boy’s Life (610 pages)

Shortest book: Lost Lake (296 pages)

Favourite read of the month (not including rereads): House of Hollow/Where The Crawdads Sing

Male authors: 1

Female authors: 8

Non-Binary authors: 1

Multiple authors: 1

What were your standout reads of August? Have you read anything from my stack? Let me know in the comments!