Summer Book Haul 1

A long time ago, in a land far far away (relative to your position to London) I went to my favourite, and let’s face it only, book convention of the year: YALC. And afterwards I got really excited and snapped a host of photos of my haul. I had a big plan to go put up a fancy book hoard post and then look back next year and see if my initial blubbering thoughts aline to my actual opinion on the books. But then the post sat in drafts, undiscovered, until I had the crazy idea to sign up to post something everyday for a month.

And then, lo and behold, I unearthed these forgotten posts. And, well, long story short, lacking the big quest and the dragon and all that (sorry about that one), I smartened up the post and hit that ever scary ‘publish’ button.

The post has my original thoughts, from August, about the books and my predicted rating. Once I’ve finished them all we can see how well they did…


The French set historical fantasy all about the revolution? I love the sound of this fantasy Les Mis. My friend has highly recommended me this one so I’m going with an optimistic five stars. No pressure Enchatee.

A Thousand Perfect Notes

I traded a book at the book swap for a very pretty arc of Paper Fury’s debut novel. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll like it since I don’t often read contemporary but I’m curious what this blogger come author can do. I’m thinking it’ll be a three star read based on what I’ve heard, but wanting to be proven wrong.

I Am Thunder

Another book swapee! I don’t know much about this novel other than it has a gorgeous cover and seems to be pretty popular. As I’ve no clue what to expect I’m going for the middle of the road 3 stars.

Into The Crooked Places

I won a proof of Alexandra Christo’s new book. I loved To Kill a Kingdom so can’t wait to dive into another of her novels. I’m hoping it’ll be five stars, like I rated To Kill a Kingdom.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection

I haven’t read a Skulduggery Pleasant for years. Derek Landy finished the series back when I was at school but then came out with a sort of continuation thing set a few years after The Dying of the Light. When I heard the author would be at YALC I thought I’d give it a try, but I’m nervous jumping back into my childhood favourites. I’ll give it a cautious four star prediction.


Honestly, I picked this novel out at the book swap because it always looks so cute on Bookstagram. But I have wanted to read it for a while since bookworm at university might just sum up the last three years for me. I’m going with an optimistic prediction of four stars because it’s not my genre but I’ve heard good things.

Shadow and Bone Trilogy

I’m finally going to read some Leigh Bardugo! And just look at those covers 😍 I’ve heard good things but everyone tells me Six of Crows is better than the original trilogy, so I’ll predict four stars for all three.

Lets Compare Notes

There you have Summer Book Haul part 1! Stay tuned for part 2, which should appear on the 18th, depending on how well I stick to this blogtober schedule.

Have you read any of the books? Are they on your tbr? What do you think of my ratings and what would you predict/rate the novels yourself, if you haven’t/have read them? Hope to chat to you in the comments section!

10 Upcoming Releases I’m on the Fence About

Good morning and happy Tuesday! Having just had a three day weekend- Friday was a snow day, Saturday some old friends from school came to visit and we had a snowball fight and a lot of cake, and finally Sunday involved more snowy walks and sticking in the warmth with my boyfriend- I’m feeling pretty well rested! And ready to start this post which is again on 2019 releases (anyone else feel we’ve done quite a few upcoming releases lists lately?).

Anyway, on with the list! Sorry I slightly overran, I’m on the fence about quite a few!!

1. Dead Queen’s Club

This was released last week but I feel it should still count? I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not since it sounds a bit romance heavy (I mean it’s Henry the Eighth he was all about his women!) But I really like the concept of a history retelling!

2. The Boy Who stole Houses

Much like CG Drew’s other novel, I am unsure if I’ll tackle this book. I love her blog, Instagram and Twitter and of course want to support her as an author but her books always sound a bit too dark for me 🤔

3. We Hunt the Flames

Everyone is chatting about this novel on Twitter, which has got me thinking I should read it, but it’s not one I’m really excited for so it is sitting a little in the drop zone.

4. Paper and Hearts Society

Like Cait, I am following this blogger turned author and again feel I should support a fellow book blogger. But I just don’t know if this book is my sort of thing?

5. A Girl Called Shameless

I did enjoy Laura Steven’s The Exact Opposite of Okay, but more for the point than the writing and am not totally sure if I’ll pick up her sequel. I’ll make the decision after seeing a few reviews!

6. The Night Country

Second in the series after The Hazel Wood, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be picking up it’s sequel. I rated it five stars when I first read it but looking back I have to admit it wasn’t that good.

7. Priory of the Orange Tree

I’m leaning towards no on this one (sorry Samantha Shannon!). It’s just I don’t want to be consumed by this mammoth novel for months on end! I like a break from a certain writing style and story every, ya know, 500 pages.

8. King of Scars

All depends if I get round to the rest of the series soon, although I’ve heard great things!

9. The Wicked King

Again, I need to actually read The Cruel Prince before committing to it’s sequel.

10. Gilded Wolves

Everyone is talking about this novel but I don’t have much inclination to read it for some reason? I don’t know why, I’m a little on the fence with it.

11. The Tirants Tomb

It’s the fourth Trials of Apollo and I really don’t know if I’ll finish this series, the third book felt a bit meh and I think I’ve finally out grown Rick Riordan.

12. Chain of Gold

I told my friend who’s a recent and massive Cassandra Clare fan that I’d give this a read but first I have to read The Infernal Devices and I just don’t know if I want to go down a Shadowhunter wormhole again, there are too many books for me to keep up!

Let’s Compare Notes

So there you have it! 10, ok maybe 11, novels I can’t make decisions about. Is anyone surprised this list overran given how indecisive I am? I doubt it!

2019 Releases I’m Excited for

I’m having a terrible day, and it’s only 7:46 am in the morning… I accidentally grabbed the tuppleware containing defrosting pork steaks instead of my lunch from the fridge this morning and they’ve leaked raw meat juice all over my notebooks, jeans and signed copy of A Gathering of Shadows 😭

But there is one redeeming feature. It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for a fun listy post and hopefully some cheery book chatter to take my mind of the fact that I’m going to walk around the office smelling like a butcher and morning my signed book. So, on with the exciting releases!!

1. Children of Vice and Virtue

I am so excited for this novel 😍 Children of Blood and Bone was simply amazing and I can’t wait to dive back into Zelie and Amari’s world.

2. On the Come Up

I will read anything by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give was excellent and I can’t wait to dive into her next novel.

3. Priory of the Orange Tree

I’ve put this one on here but I’m not totally sure I’ll read it 😬 it’s just a bit big, and despite loving the author and dragons I don’t know if I can commit to this epic…

4. Paper and Hearts Society

Again, a novel I’m not sure if I’ll read or not, I follow Lucy on Twitter and have seen her get increasingly excited for her novel. Although it’s not something I would normally read, I’ll probably give it a go!

5. Once and Future

This sounds so funny. It’s an Arthurian legend retelling from the perspective of a teenaged girl and the blurb sounds hilarious.

6. Enchantee

I heard about this one from my friend and it sounds amazing. Historical Paris? Yes please.

7. We Hunt the Flames

There’s so much hype about this on Twitter, I think I’ve got secondary hype. It sounds really good and I only hope the people of Twitter are not wrong!

8. Chain of Gold

Another year means another release from Cassandra Clare. I sort of lost touch with the Shadowhunters a little while ago and so many have been published since that I never really caught up. Maybe this will be the release that gets me back into their world?

Lets Compare Notes

So there you have it! A slightly shortened list of 2019 releases I’ll be looking out for. Which releases are you most excited for? Did you make a list? Feel free to share your link or opinion in the comments section! Could use all the book chatter today 😭😭

2018 Wrap Up

One of my goals this year is to post three times a week and I couldn’t very well go and fail in week 1 of 2019. So here we go. A 2018 wrap up. The big two-oh-one-eight.

It’s been a crazy year for me. So much has happened. My life has completely changed since last year, I’ve jumped from university to life in one fell swoop and barely processed that.

What I Read

Honestly I’ve no idea how many books I’ve read this year… I should probably have done better at keeping track of these things but oh well. I just thought I’d give a few categories:

📚 Favourite Book: To Kill a Kingdom but this was impossible to pick and can I just list them all?!

📚 Least Favourite: The Fandom, I loved the premise just the novel wasn’t really for me!

📚 Biggest Surprise: All Quiet on the Western Front I did not expect to love this novel as much as I did!

What I did

I’ve had some very good moments this year

🎓 I graduated university!

✍️ I started this blog 😮

🏠 I moved out!

📝 I got my first job, and am loving it.

✈️ I went to Munich, Scotland and Brussels on holiday!

And some less good moments

🏗️ I lived on a building site for three months: our flat was being redone so I spent all summer with no shower. Suffice to say I visited the local pool a lot.

📝 Third year of university was tough! I stressed about dissertations and job applications and life and urg.

And I’m going to leave it there since the good happily outweighs the bad!

Posts I wrote

And now a quick summary of what I’ve written this year on my blog! Or rather, since April when I started this blog!

Most Viewed Post: The Ten Best Novels I Read While at Uni

Favourite Post to Write: Top STEM Female Book Characters – I loved describing some of my favourite bookish role models and can’t plead with authors enough to give STEM girls some page time, they won’t disappoint!

Trickiest Post to Write: Books I didnt Like but am Glad I Read – it was really challenging picking books that have impacted me in some way yet weren’t actually enjoyable to read.

What I’m looking forward to

And finally let’s look to the future and what I’m excited for 2019!

📚 YALC– as always another year means another YALC!

✍️ Continuing with my WIP I started a novel during NaNoWriMo and I’m excited to keep at it this year!

🎂 My Blogs Birthday– can’t wait to see what my little blog is like after a year, I’ve learnt so much already!

✈️ Visiting Australia- I’m planning on visiting my older brother in Australia, the first time I’d have been back since I left!

🎭 Hamilton– I have been excited about this for so long! I can’t wait to see the play with my friends in February 😍

Let’s Compare Notes

So there you have it! My 2018. What have you done last year? What was your favourite read? Do you have a wrap up? Would love to read it!

2019 Goals

From writing my first set of blogging goals I quickly discovered how tricky they are to come up with. I wanted my goals to be balanced: achievable but still an accomplishment. So here we go, a list to achieve for 2019. Bring it on.

P.s. I’m ridiculously pleased with the picture on top of this post. It’s one of my favourite holiday snaps.

Get to 600 blog followers

I’ve really struggled with this number. I want to increase my followers next year but, being a mathematician and all, that goal needed quantifying. At first the number was 500 but then I saw I’m on 270 already and wanted more of a challenge. This might be impossible, but hey why not try.

Use Goodreads

I’m so bad at using Goodreads. This year I’m going to try complete a Goodreads challenge, post my reviews over there and be generally active in the bookish community on that site.

Not to Have any Reviews stored over a Month

I’m so bad at publishing reviews. I don’t know, I love writing them and often type furiously mid novel but then just let it sit in drafts??! Not this year. Every review will be posted within a month of the book being read.

Post three times a week

I currently post twice a week, which I think is why my reviews sit in draft for so long. Hopefully posting three times will get my posts out quicker and be a fun way to get more active on my blog!

Read 6 historical fictions

I really like historical fiction but always seem to get swept up in the world’s of fantasy YA. Hopefully I can strike more of a balance with that this year!

Complete the Classic a Month Challenge

I’ve no idea who came up with this challenge or who else is joining but someone mentioned it on Twitter and it seemed pretty self explanatory. It sounds tough but hopefully I can at least attempt! Because there are so many gems in genres I never seem to explore.

Read 1 non fiction book

I don’t really know if I’d like non fiction or not, I do enjoy some bibliographies so I suppose I can’t know until I try?

Try NaNoWriMo Again

I probably won’t win (I don’t know if I’ll ever win that challenge it is so tough) but just to best this year’s word count would be great.

Some non Blogging Goals!
Because why not share these with you guys too!

Complete the Duolingo Tree

I probably haven’t mentioned this but January 2018 I randomly took up learning French (?) I’m hoping to finish the Duolingo tree (which is all the little blobs of language) by 2020 💪

Run a Thing

I attended Park Run, a group run of 5k that happens every Saturday morning, all through University and have joined the running club at work. But every time someone invites me to run an official 5k or whatever I chicken out. Maybe I could give it a go this year?

Knit Something

I’m a total granny and knit in the evenings. I know, embarrassing, right? I guess I just can’t ever sit still and it gives me something to do. Anyway being the creative flop I am I keep unravelling my work, but hopefully I can achieve something, even just a small square, this year.

Let’s Compare Notes

So there you have it. My goals. Bring on 2019. What are you goals? What do you think of mine? If you have a goals post feel free to drop a link or opinion in the comments!

Best Books I Read in 2018

Can you believe it’s 2019?! 2018 was such a rollercoaster for me, with striking university lectures, stressful dissertations, panicking about jobs, the roller coaster that was the world cup, house hunting, living in a building site for three months and finally being where I am now. It’s mad to think back on it all and it feels sort of unreal, so much has happened.

But if one things stayed pretty stable it’s my love for books. So here’s a Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader, listing my top ten reads of 2018.

1. Children of Blood and Bone

Easily in the top ten and possibly first place, I adored this novel and can’t wait for the second one to come out in 2019. This novel was so big it defined my start of summer reading. I read it in an Air B and B in Brussels, between goals while watching the world cup, on the hot and stuffy replacement bus to YALC and while doing my summer job, waiting for kids at airport terminals.

2. To Kill a Kingdom

If you read my review you’ll know I loved this novel. It was fantastic, enchanting, funny, well written with a plot that will always keep you on the edge of your seat!

3. All Quiet on the Western Front


This emotional rollercoaster of a book saw me through several long train rides into work. It showed me a perspective on the First World War that I’d never read or understood before.

4. Traitor to the Throne


How can this author make politics this entertaining to read?! This novel drew me into reading when I was drowning in dissertation stress and wading through job applications. A great read but a less fun memory.

5. Caravel


Beautiful descriptions, intriguing characters and an intricate plot made this novel amazing. It’s also the novel I decided to take up to Manchester with me on my first visit so I distinctly remember it for that.

6. Ace of Spades


The first novel I read since starting my first full time, permanent, real life not ending and is now my life job on that long train ride up for my first day. I remember feeling just as lost as Ennie stepping into New Reynes on my first day at the office.

7. The Exact Opposite of Okay

This funny yet important read was short and light hearted, perfect for the stress of my dissertation and exams. While panicking about striking lectures, impending deadlines and postponed courseworks all appearing at once I could at least comfort myself with Izzy’s humour and staple love of milkshakes.

8. Flawed


I read this dystopian on many a replacement bus, since I read it on the week the trains stopped running, and it will do nothing but remind me of large busses turning in small country villages.

9. The Bone Season


It was during the cold March snow that I read this action packed gem. I followed Paige through the dingy halls of Oxford colleges while I was freezing in my cold student house and wishing my stingy housemates would put the heating on. Luckily the university library always had my back.

10. Hero at the Fall

Because I adored the conclusion to the novels that ensured my love of reading during university. It may not have been perfect but it was good enough.

Let’s Compare Notes

So there you have it! Ten reads I loved in 2018. I can’t wait to see what magical books 2019 will present me with. Any 2019 releases you’re excited for? Or books you’re planning on reading? What was your favourite read of 2018? Feel free to drop an opinion or link to your post in the comments section!