SapphicAThon TBR (December 14 – 28)

SapphicAThon.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! SapphicAThon is a readathon that goes from the 14th to 28th December and focusses on reading F/F romances! You can have a look at the announcement here and this is the Twitter page.

There’s a bingo board of challenges and if I manage to read al the books on my TBR – but let’s be honest, that probably won’t happen – there are only two challenges I won’t be able to complete: ‘ace spec MC’ and ‘MC realises they’re queer’.

I decided to only put books on my TBR that I actually own, either in physical or Kindle form. All of the novels I am about to mention, were recommended by

chameleon moon

synopsis: The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire.

The entire population inside has been quarantined, cut off from the rest of the world, and left to die – directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that’s keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation… and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.

Regan, stealth and reconnaissance expert with a lizard’s scales and snake’s eyes, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and he’s finally reached his limit. His ability to disappear into thin air isn’t enough: he needs an escape, and he’ll do anything for a chance. Unluckily for him, Hans, a ghostly boy with a chilling smile, knows just the thing to get one. It starts with a little murder.

But instead of ending a man’s life, Regan starts a new one of his own. He turns away from that twisted path, and runs into Evelyn, fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now Regan has a choice – and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.

They join forces with Evelyn’s family: the virtuosic but volatile Danae, who breathes life into machines, and her wife Rose, whose compassionate nature and power over healing vines and defensive thorns will both be vital to survive this nightmare. Then there’s Zilch, a cool and level-headed person made of other dead people, and Finn, one of Parole’s few remaining taxi drivers, who causes explosions whenever he feels anything but happy.

Separately they’d never survive, much less uncover the secret of Parole’s eternally-burning fire. Together, they have a chance. Unfortunately, Hans isn’t above playing dirty, lying, cheating, manipulating… and holding Regan’s memories hostage until he gets his way.

Parole’s a rough place to live. But they’re not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way…

I don’t really know what Chameleon Moon is about; I don’t want to read this long synopsis because it’s probably filled with spoilers. But it has been recommended to me numerous times, so my hopes are high! This qualifies for the following challenges:

  • science fiction/fantasy
  • established relationship
  • trans MC

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synopsis: A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is one of my favourite books of 2017, so I’m very much looking forward to reading this one. I just hope my expectations won’t be too high. This qualifies for the following challenges:

  • QWOC MC
  • non-coming out story
  • interracial F/F relationship

the abyss surrounds us

synopsis: Cas has fought pirates her entire life. But can she survive living among them?

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Abyss Surrounds Us! It apparently features lesbian pirates, multiple women of colour and a F/F romance, so I will probably devour this novel! Admittedly sci-fi isn’t my go-to genre, but I’m always willing to make an exception when the synopsis sounds so amazing. This qualifies for the following challenges:

  • hate to love F/F
  • interracial F/F relationship
  • science fiction/fantasy

ripped pages

synopsis: Princess Valentina lives a reasonably comfortable life, but after her mother’s death, her father gets tired of taking care of her and locks her in a tower. She spends years on her own, talking to the birds on her windowsill, and reading books with adventures she will never experience. Her plans of running away are usually left for another day because she knows the vast forest surrounding her tower is too dangerous to cross alone.
Until one day, another girl passes by on her horse and Valentina wonders if she’s finally brave enough to seize her chance of freedom.

This F/F YA retelling of Rapunzel is only 60 pages long, so I’m very much looking forward to reading it. I’ve loved Hollis’ other work and I hope Ripped Pages won’t be an exception. This qualifies for the following challenges:

  • under 500 ratings on Goodreads
  • F/F retelling

labyrinth lost

synopsisNothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

I started reading Labyrinth Lost back in March or April, but because I was incredibly busy back then, I never continued it. I, however, was very much enjoying it, so I’d like to read it before the end of the year. I’m not sure yet whether I will re-read the first thirty percent or just pick it up where I left it. This qualifies for the following challenges:

  • bisexual MC
  • science fiction/fantasy
  • friends to lovers F/F
  • both WOC

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synopsis: Small-batch independent yarn dyer Clara Ziegler is eager to brainstorm new color combinations–if only she could come up with ideas she likes as much as last time! When she sees Danielle Solomon’s paintings of Florida wildlife by chance at a neighborhood gallery, she finds her source of inspiration. Outspoken, passionate, and complicated, Danielle herself soon proves even more captivating than her artwork…

Knit One, Girl Two is another novella on my list (only 68 pages!), so I can’t wait to pick it up! This short story sounds so cute. This qualifies for the following challenges:

  • under 500 ratings on Goodreads
  • Jewish MC
  • disabled MC

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synopsis: In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

If I have some time left, I’d like to read Ash by Malinda Lo as well. I started this over a year ago, but I was in a reading slump at the time, so I didn’t continue it. This qualifies for the following challenges:

  • bisexual MC
  • science fiction/fantasy
  • F/F retelling

This is my SapphicAThon TBR! I really hope a lot of readers will be joining! 

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T5W: my problematic faves (book characters)

problematic faves.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Top Five Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Thoughts on Tomes! Visit the Goodreads group if you’re interested in joining! This week’s topic is:

November 8th: Problematic Faves
Characters you don’t want to love, but you can’t help liking.

There’s a fine line between my problematic faves and villains I love to hate. I actually find it hard to explain the difference myself, but Bellatrix Lestrange for example is a character I love because she embraces her evilness, whereas I think my problematic faves are more complex. However, that does not mean I excuse their behaviour or pretend it never happened. Also, I don’t consider characters who are merely flawed as problematic, because that’s what makes them human. The characters I am about to mention, have done things I would never be able to look past if they were real people instead of fictional characters.

Anyway, let’s get started! These are in no particular order.

the dream thievesIt has been a while since I’ve read The Raven Cycle, but every time I read it, I couldn’t help but love Joseph Kavinsky. I know, I know, I’m human garbage! Look, I’m not defending what he did, he’s just a character I really loved to read about and I MISS HIM.

a game of thronesEvery single character in A Song of Ice and Fire is complex and that’s one of the reason why I love this series so much. Sansa Stark is my favourite character, but I don’t think she’s problematic. Cersei Lannister on the other hand… She’s even more awful in the books, but I would die for her. When I started watching Game of Thrones, I never expected to love her as much as I do, but like I said, she is one of my favourite characters and I root for her.

six of crowsMatthias Helvar is a former Drüskelle, which are soldiers who hunt the Grisha. You can compare it to the Nazis who abused and murdered Jewish and other people. I wouldn’t be able to root for a character that was a former Nazi, but admittedly, Matthias was probably my third favourite character in this duology, besides Inej and Nina. I’m even more trash because I actually shipped him with a Grisha. Let’s just blame Bardugo for my behaviour, she shouldn’t have written him so well!

deathly hallowsDraco and Narcissa Malfoy were loyal to the Death Eaters, which is once again similar to the Nazis. I recently re-read the Harry Potter series and I was especially shocked by Draco’s behaviour in the earlier books, he was absolutely horrible! He even wished Hermione would die at some point.

Having said that, I truly believe these characters were followers rather than actively involved (not that that’s any better, but still) and turned their lives around in the end.


Damn, sorry for my little outbursts there. I feel very ashamed for loving these characters because I usually really don’t support problematic characters, but here we are 🤷‍♀️

What are some of your problematic faves?

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Down the TBR Hole #41-50

round 5.png

Hello, my fellow book lovers. Today, it’s time for round 5 of Down the TBR Hole, which was created by Lost in a Story. From time to time, I go to my Goodreads’ to-read shelf and change the order to ‘ascending date added’. I’ll pick ten books on that list and decide whether or not they remain on my TBR.

all the light we cannot seeI really love historical fiction, but I don’t read it as often as I should! So I’m definitely interested to pick up All the Lights We Cannot See, especially because it has won an abundance of literary awards. Is the audiobook any good?

verdict: remains on physical TBR

more happy than notI’ve read History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and I thought it was pretty good. I’m certainly going to read his other books as well. His YA contemporaries are not fluffy and cliché, and I really like those kind of books from time to time. I just have to be in the right mood for them, otherwise, it can be too emotionally draining.

verdict: remains on wishlist and TBR

bridget jones omnibusThe Bridget Jones films (I haven’t seen the third one yet) are definitely my guilty pleasure. Having said that, I don’t see myself pick up these books. It’s available on Storytel, however, so I might listen to the audiobook one day.

verdict: remains on physical TBR

the virgin suicidesEven though The Virgin Suicides is such a famous novel, I don’t know much about it. And I’d like to keep it that way before I read it. But just like Bridget Jones, I don’t see myself pick it up anytime soon.

verdict: remains on physical TBR

night filmMystery is another genre I really enjoy, but don’t read that often. This has received some mixed reviews from my Goodreads friends, but I’m still intrigued.

verdict: remains on physical TBR

shiverThe Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater is one of my all-time favourite series, yet I have no interest in reading Shiver. But The Raven Boys didn’t seem like my cup of tea either at first. Still, this series has definitely received more negative reviews from my Goodreads friends, so it’s safe to say I’m not missing out on much.

verdict: remove from wishlist and TBR

the divinersI read Beauty Queens by Libba Bray last month and it left me feeling conflicted. But The Diviners, which is a mash-up of many different genres such as mystery and fantasy, sounds completely different. I am a bit disappointed by all the cover changes, though.

verdict: remains on wishlist and TBR

peter panI really love these Puffin Chalk editions, but unfortunately, I did not enjoy Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, so I’m wary to pick up another children’s classic. But still, I have got to give it a chance at least!

verdict: remains on physical TBR

winner's crimeBack in April 2016 I devoured the Winner’s Curse and I immediately order the other two books in this trilogy. Sadly, I didn’t get around to them and I’d have to re-read the first instalment before I continue the series.

verdict: remains on physical TBR

the next together.pngThough this is a historical YA fiction book, the romance and negative reviews put me off from reading this.

verdict: remove from wishlist and TBR


Well, this round wasn’t very productive, I only removed two books from my TBR! Do you think I made any mistakes in my verdicts? Let me know in the comments!

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Kindle book haul

Kindle book haul.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Today I am going to talk about some e-books I acquired over the past few months. I don’t include these in my regular book hauls, so I thought it might be nice to show you some books that are on my Kindle TBR. I got all of these while they were on sale. I never pay full price for an e-book, except if they don’t cost much to begin with. I’d never pay as much for an e-book as a physical copy, so that’s why I check from time to time whether any books I’m interested in are on sale.

girlhood.png

synopsis: Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can’t escape the guilt of her twin sister’s Jenna’s death, and her own part in it – and she knows noone else will ever really understand.

But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels…loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died.

Then Kirsty’s behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper’s? And why is she so obsessed with Harper’s lost sister? Soon, Harper’s closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity.

How can Harper get back to the person she wants to be, and to the girls who mean the most to her?

Girlhood might sound a bit cliché, but it has a lot of elements that I generally love: boarding school, grief and queer characters!

I noticed that the author’s book covers match, and I really like that! Hopefully, I’ll end up loving Girlhood so I can buy a physical copy.

crazy rich asians.png

synopsis: When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

I’m wary of things with “crazy” in the title, but everyone seems to agree this is a quick and enjoyable read. This book series came on my radar thanks to Joce @ squibblesreads, who is one of my favourite BookTubers!

flame in the mist.png

synopsis: The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

Flame in the Mist has received some mixed reviews and I have barely read any fantasy books lately, but I could not buy this when it was so cheap!

wolf by wolf.png

synopsis: Her story begins on a train.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

I really want to read more historical fiction and this alternate history sounds very intriguing. I, however, have heard some bad things about the sequel (a romance between a Nazi and a Jewish person), so I’m not too keen to pick it up.

Ugh, I know, I’m trash. I really have to stop buying books I most likely won’t even like just because they’re cheap.when we collided.png

synopsis: We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.

I love to read YA contemporaries, but my interest goes way down when the focus of the story is a M/F romance. Still, I am willing to give When We Collided a chance because of the mental illness representation.

burial rites.png

synopsis: Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

I can’t wait to pick up this historical fiction novel! I’ve heard so many positive things about it. I actually had my eyes on a hardcover copy, but I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I settled for the e-book while it was on sale.

the abyss surrounds us.png

synopsis: Cas has fought pirates her entire life. But can she survive living among them?

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

This is another one I am very excited to read! The Abyss Surrounds Us apparently features lesbian pirates, multiple women of colour and a F/F romance, so I will probably devour this novel! Admittedly sci-fi isn’t my go-to genre, but I’m always willing to make an exception when the synopsis sounds so amazing. ripped pages.png

synopsis: Princess Valentina lives a reasonably comfortable life, but after her mother’s death, her father gets tired of taking care of her and locks her in a tower. She spends years on her own, talking to the birds on her windowsill, and reading books with adventures she will never experience. Her plans of running away are usually left for another day because she knows the vast forest surrounding her tower is too dangerous to cross alone.
Until one day, another girl passes by on her horse and Valentina wonders if she’s finally brave enough to seize her chance of freedom.

This F/F YA retelling of Rapunzel is only 60 pages long, so I’d like to read it soon. I’ve loved Hollis’ other work and I hope Ripped Pages won’t be an exception. My hopes are high!

chameleon moon.png

synopsis: The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire. And trapped inside is an entire population of people with bizarre, beautiful and terrifying abilities – people who really should not have them. When Regan, an anxiety-ridden hitman with the peeling skin of a lizard meets Evelyn, singer, revolutionary, and unofficial superhero, it’s up to them to get to the heart of the mystery of Parole and its quarantined inhabitants. Along with a diverse group of superpowered friends, they will evade a deadly totalitarian police force, discover the truth about their entwining pasts, and together find the strength to survive a cataclysmic disaster.

Honestly, I would never have picked this up if it hadn’t been recommended to me multiple times. I really, really don’t like the cover…

This Young Adult sci-fi novel appears to include queer characters and anxiety representation, so I’m certainly willing to give it a shot!

caroline's heart.png

synopsis: Cecily lost her soulmate years ago, leaving her with nothing but the clockwork heart that once beat in Caroline’s chest. They say it’s impossible to bring back the dead, yet Cecily’s resurrection spell is nearly complete and grows more powerful by the day.

But when a cowboy she barely knows is fatally injured, the only way to save him is by sacrificing an essential piece of the resurrection spell—and all possibility of seeing her lover again.

I’m also very excited to read Caroline’s Heart. I have no idea what’s it about, to be honest, but I enjoyed Coffee Boy, one of Austin Chant’s other books.

rogues.png

synopsis: If you’re a fan of fiction that is more than just black and white, this latest story collection from #1 New York Times bestselling author George R.R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois is filled with subtle shades of gray. Twenty-one all-original stories, by an all-star list of contributors, will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals.

I think I have only read one or two anthologies before and I wasn’t blown away by either, but I will continue to try others. I think it’s a great way to discover new authors and get at least some reading done when I’m not in the mood to read much.

genuine fraud.png

synopis: The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

Confession time: I never finished We Were Liars. I picked it up one afternoon in 2015 and about halfway through, I realised I didn’t like anything about it. I don’t regret that decision and I wasn’t planning on reading anything else written by E. Lockhart, but like I’ve said, I can’t ignore Kindle sales!

dark matter.png

synopsis: ‘Are you happy in your life?’

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he wakes to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before the man he’s never met smiles down at him and says, ‘Welcome back, my friend.’

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined – one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

This is another book I probably wouldn’t have picked up if it hadn’t received such raving reviews. I don’t know why, especially because I don’t even know what it’s about, but Dark Matter never really appealed to me. Perhaps because I’m very hesitant to read science-fiction novels. Anyway, this was on my TBR for Spookathon but I didn’t get around to it, so I’d like to read it early 2018.


These are the vast majority of the e-books I have purchased these last few months. Have you read any of these books yet? Which ones would you recommend?

Did you like seeing this haul? Should I do another in the future, once I’ve acquired some new ones?

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November 2017 TBR: review copies, Tome Topple and more!

november tbr.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Remember when I posted a TBR at the start of August and ended up reading ZERO of those books? Yeah, I’m back with another TBR and I’m really hoping this one is going to go better.

I’m a mood reader and I usually don’t know what I want to read next. But this TBR has a lot of variety, so I we’ll see how this round goes.


1._review_copiesif the fates allow

synopsis: During the holidays, anything is possible—a second chance, a promised future, an unexpected romance, a rekindled love, or a healed heart. Authors Killian B. Brewer, Lynn Charles, Erin Finnegan, Pene Henson, and Lilah Suzanne share their stories about the magic of the season.

If the Fates Allow is an anthology filled with holiday-themed, queer short stories which will be released on December 1st. I don’t know any of these authors, nor have many readers reviewed it yet, but I nonetheless requested it on NetGalley because I certainly want to support a queer anthology and I want to check which identities are portrayed.

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synopsis: The Big Redhead Book: Inside the Secret Society of Red Hair is an inside look into one of the most elite societies in the world–the real two percent. Well, you know, the two percent of the world’s population that are natural redheads, at least. This book has equal parts pop culture, ginger facts, and humorous stories about what it’s like to actually have red hair. It’s loaded with everything you’d ever want to know about us reds; how we’re scientifically different from the norms (non-redheads), how we’ve been stereotyped in pop culture, and the do’s and don’ts of having a red in your life, among other things!

I received The Big Redhead Book from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review back in September. I’ve been meaning to finish it, but I just can’t find the energy to pick it up. The Big Redhead Book is supposed to be funny, but I cannot help but think that the author kind of appropriates the experiences of people of colour and black people in particular, but puts a “funny twist” on it (e.g. “Only redheads are allowed to call each other “ginger” sounds very similar to “only black people can say the n-word”). Because I am a white person, however, I don’t feel comfortable to point that out, but I do see some red flags.

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synopsis: Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.
[…]
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

Meet Cute is a Young Adult anthology which is set to be released on January 2nd, 2018. I’m not the biggest romance fan out there, but I wanted to give this a chance nonetheless because it sounded diverse. So far, I’m disappointed. Out of the four stories I have read so far, three featured solely non-queer characters, and only one featured a protagonist of colour. I really hope the other stories will be more diverse.


readathons

Last week, I went to the library in my city and ended up borrowing five books. So I might join BorrowAThon, but I’m not sure yet. I can keep these books for up to eight weeks if I’m correct, so I don’t want to rush myself.

I will, however, certainly join the fifth round of Tome Topple! You can watch the announcement here. This readathon is hosted from November 17th to 30th. These are the challenges:

  • Read more than 1 tome
  • Read a graphic novel (still over 500 pages!)
  • Read a tome that is part of a series
  • Buddy read a tome
  • Read an adult novel

a dance with dragons

The book I plan on reading is A Dance With Dragons, which qualifies for the third and fifth challenge.


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As I’ve mentioned, I borrowed five books from the library. I don’t necessarily have to read them in November, but I’d like to get to some of them.

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synopsis: Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

Homegoing has received so many raving reviews, so I am incredibly excited to start this!

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synopsis: I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

I am sorry, but I never would have bought a physical copy of this book because I absolutely hate the covers! But I found a copy of this Young Adult mystery thriller in my library and I am a bit interested in reading it. My hopes aren’t high – I’m a bit picky when it comes to thrillers – but I’m curious to see whether it lives up to the hype.

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synopsis: An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains – this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

Science-fiction and dystopia aren’t my favourite genres, but Station Eleven has received a lot of love, so I’m interested to learn what it’s about. A couple of my Goodreads friends don’t like it though, so I wonder how I’ll feel about this novel. the smell of other people's houses.png

synopsis: In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled.

I’m also very excited to read this Young Adult historical fiction novel! The Smell of Other People’s Houses has received many positive reviews and I have the feeling I might love this book. Let’s hope I won’t end up feeling disappointed!

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synopsis: As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruellest oppressors.

Though we certainly discussed George Orwell’s work in high school, his books weren’t required reading. So I think it’s time I start his novels. Honestly though, I am very intimidated by classics. I’m afraid Animal Farm will be filled with metaphors and I therefore won’t understand it.


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A Torch Against the Night is the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes, which I have read twice and really enjoyed both times! I’m really struggling to read the second instalment, however. It’s by no means bad, but I’m never in the mood to read it. I started this in March, re-started it in October, but I’m still not even halfway yet. I really hope I will be able to finish this book in November.


So these are some books I’d like to read in November! Which books would you like to read this month?

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October 2017 wrap-up

feature image.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! In October, I read a total of 11 books. I joined one readathon (#Spookathon) and you can find that wrap-up here.

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I’ll start with the books I liked the least and end with the ones I liked the most. For the first time in months,  I read more non-diverse than diverse books, and it clearly shows: I read a lot of books in October I didn’t enjoy that much…

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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but endorsing Outlander as a romance novel is incredibly harmful. There are numerous sex scenes in this novel, but I can count the consensual ones on one hand. In my review, I included multiple examples of times Jamie has raped Claire, so it frightens me that rape culture is so normalised, so mainstream that we can’t even recognize outright rape while we’re reading it. Furthermore, I wasn’t pleased with the way the queer characters were portrayed, either. You can read my full rant review here.

the vegetarianI wish I had known beforehand the Vegetarian deals with mental illnesses, as this turned out quite triggering for me. I didn’t appreciate how the entire novel was about someone with mental illnesses, but we never once got to read their point-of-view. Furthermore, the male characters in particular were very unlikeable and I wish their behaviour had been called out on page. You can read my full review here.

bird boxBird Box has received so many raving reviews and I honestly don’t understand it. I get scared so easily, yet I felt indifferent throughout this entire novel. It should’ve been a short story instead. There’s just so many things I would’ve done differently. I mean no offence, but I thought the author was quite lazy when he decided never to specify what the treat exactly was. Sure, it makes a reader wonder, but I wanted more answers.

I read Bird Box during #Spookathon and you can read my full review here.

a stranger in the house

I’ve heard so many great things about Shari Lapena’s other novel The Couple Next Door, so I was very keen to pick up A Stranger in the House. Sadly, this mystery wasn’t memorable at all. A lot of ableist language was used and I found the ending quite problematic.

Stranger in the House was one of the books I read during #Spookathon. You can read my full review here.

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The Child Finder is another thriller that has received a lot of hype, yet I thought it was very ‘meh’. It was predictable and boring. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t memorable at all. I even considered DNF’ing it. You can read my full review here.

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I listened to the audiobook of Living History, which is narrated by Hillary Clinton herself. This memoir taught me a lot and I’m looking forward to reading her other books. I didn’t review this on my blog, but I did post a full review on Goodreads.

like water

I didn’t love Like Water as much as I had expected to, but it was still a very decent YA contemporary. I tried writing a review, but I just can’t explain why I felt a bit disappointed in the end.

Nearly every character in Like Water is Latinx, so that was refreshing. Savannah Espinoza, the main character, starts identifying as bisexual throughout the novel and her love interest Leigh is genderqueer, though that isn’t “confirmed” until the last thirty minutes of the novel.

I listened to this on audiobook and I think the narrator did a great job!

content and trigger warnings for underage drinking, smoking marijuana, ableist language, anti-lesbian and anti-bisexual remarks

the killing lessonsThe Killing Lessons was a captivating  and unpredictable thriller from start to finish. The crimes committed in this novel are absolutely horrible and very graphic, so be aware if you consider picking this up. As you can tell, a lot of the mystery thrillers I picked up this month disappointed me, but I couldn’t put The Killing Lessons down! I did have a lot of other issues with this novel, but I was very satisfied with the mystery nonetheless.

I read this book during #Spookathon and you can read my full review here.

the kind worth killing

I really hadn’t expected The Kind Worth Killing to be such a wild ride! There were multiple twists-and-turns I did not see coming. I would definitely recommend this novel and will pick up more of this author’s work in the future. You can read my full review here.

written in the starsOctober went by so quickly, yet I can’t believe that I read Written in the Stars this month! It seemed so much longer ago. Anyway, Written in the Stars is a heartbreaking must-read. I loved this book and would definitely recommend it, though I suggest reading my review beforehand because this novel does deal with a lot of (potentially) triggering content.

everything i never told youEverything I Never Told You instantly became one of my favourite books of all-time. I love this book so much and am very much looking forward to reading Little Fires Everywhere soon. It was so beautiful yet heartbreaking and made me realise that I love reading diverse, character-driven contemporaries that deal with grief, such as We Are Okay and Far From You and also include some sort of mystery. Do you have any recommendations for books similar to these three?

Anyway, you can read my full review here. I would obviously recommend it to everyone.


So these are all the books I read in October. I would recommend Written in the Stars and Everything I Never Told You in particular. Which books did you read? What were your favourites?

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October 2017 book haul

october.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Today, I am going to show you the books I got in October. Like I’ve been saying in my previous hauls, I am currently unemployed, but sometimes, I really can’t resist the urge to buy books.

I actually went to a library book sale on Friday, but I didn’t buy anything. I was very excited to go there, but you have no idea how many people were interested in going as well! Large crowds and small spaces are a recipe for disaster, so I had to get out of there ASAP.

Anyway, these are the five books I got in October!

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synopsis: For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

I actually won an ARC of Wild Beauty, which is one of my most anticipated releases of the year! If I love it (and I most likely will) I plan on buying a hardcover copy, but there’s no rush since I can read this beauty instead.

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synopsis: In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties — addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate — Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

I haven’t read a single Stephen King novel yet. I really want to read thrillers more often, but I’m afraid his work is too scary, too much horror? Still, I couldn’t resists buying this new hardcover copy for only €4.99!

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synopsis: How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him–Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

Saints and Misfits has received some mixed reviews, but I am very keen to read more #OwnVoices books featuring Muslim characters. Besides, I tend to love contemporaries that deal with serious topics, and Saints and Misfits apparently talks about sexual assault.

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synopsis: Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn’t been able to paint anything worthwhile since her award-winning piece Food Poisoning #1 last year.

Her lack of inspiration might be because her abuela is lying comatose in faraway Puerto Rico after suffering a stroke. Or the fact that Mercedes is in love with her best friend, Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her true feelings.

Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.

At the Estate, Mercedes can create in ways she never has before. She can share her deepest secrets and feel safe. But Mercedes can’t take anything out of the Estate, including her new-found clarity. As her life continues to crumble around her, the Estate offers more solace than she could hope for. But Mercedes can’t live both lives forever, and ultimately she must choose between this perfect world of art and truth and a much messier reality.

I am a sucker for hard-hitting, character-driven contemporaries (such as We Are Okay, Far From You and Written in the Stars) and The Gallery of Unfinished Girls seems like a novel I could absolutely love. I’m taking a bit of a risk here since it has less than 200 ratings on Goodreads and I’m not familiar with magical realism, but I’m very willing to give it a chance.

synopsis: All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend–who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

I read an e-ARC of How To Make a Wish in March. It’s one of my favourite books of the year, so I had to buy a hardcover copy. Actually, this book was quite hard for me to read the first time around, since it hit so close to home. Grace’s life was incredibly relatable, so this wasn’t exactly an enjoyable read for me. But when I’ll re-read this novel, I’ll be prepared for what’s to come and be adore it even more.


So these are the books I acquired in October. Have you read any of the books I mentioned yet? Which novels did you haul this month?

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review: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (#Spookathon)

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Afbeeldingsresultaat voor the kind worth killing coverThe Kind Worth Killing

by Peter Swanson

read in October 2017 (#Spookathon)

format: paperback (library)

spoiler-free review!

(synopsis)


If you are looking for a suspenseful mystery thriller filled with many unpredictable twists-and-turns, The Kind Worth Killing is the book you’re looking for!

When I first picked up this novel, I was a bit wary. Right from the start, Ted and Lily are discussing murdering his wife, Miranda. It was very fast-paced and I was wondering whether the entire book was going to revolve around their plans. But like I said, The Kind Worth Killing took turns I never could’ve imagined.

I really can’t talk about this book much, otherwise, I’d be spoiling it. Maybe I should’ve written a spoiler review instead. If anyone is interested in a review with spoilers, please let me know! Anyway, even the ending had me on the edge of my seat. It’s promising, but you can’t tell for sure what happened next. AND I NEED TO KNOW!

Multiple point-of-views in thrillers usually don’t work for me, as I don’t like finding out plot twists before the characters do. It really takes away a lot of the mystery and surprising elements. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case in this novel; it was done perfectly!

The only reason why I can’t rate this five stars, is because I always felt a bit of a distance while reading it. I guess it’s because of the characters. They weren’t very memorable and I had the feeling we had to dislike anyone but Lily. Even now, I have no idea whether readers were supposed to root for her, or whether we’re supposed to see her as a bad person. In my opinion it’s the latter, but I can’t for sure whether that was the author’s intention.

content and trigger warning for cheating, paedophilia, sexual assault/attempted rape, murder (both animals and humans), food poisoning, excessive drinking, guns, stabbing, driving while intoxicated, car accident


The Kind Worth Killing is one of the best thrillers I have read. There was an abundance of unexpected twists-and-turns and I am looking forward to reading more of this author’s work. Still, I can’t give this five stars because I always felt a bit of a distance while reading this novel, perhaps because I’m uncertain whether or not the reader was supposed to root for Lily. But don’t let that stop you from reading this book, because it was so good!

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review: The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

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Afbeeldingsresultaat voor The Child Finder book coverThe Child Finder

by Rene Denfeld

read in October 2017

format: audiobook

spoiler-free review!

(synopsis)


Despite the beautiful cover, I am relieved I didn’t buy a copy of The Child Finder, but listened to audiobook instead. I don’t like to compare my reading experience to that of other readers, but in my opinion, this book is very overhyped.

I was so bored while reading this. The Child Finder isn’t a bad book, but I just didn’t care about it. Perhaps this is more of a character-driven novel instead of action-packed, but I usually like that. Unfortunately, The characters didn’t stand out; they didn’t have much of a personality.

Apparently, this author is a licensed investigator. Well, for a book that’s marketed as a mystery thriller, there’s wasn’t much of a mystery due to the multiple point-of-views. Naomi, who is “the child finder”, didn’t actually do a lot of researching.  I like the idea of this novel, but the execution didn’t satisfy me.

I don’t read mysteries that often, yet I found The Child Finder very predictable. This genre is supposed to make you gasp out loud, make you question everyone and everything, yet this novel didn’t do that even once.

In this book, a child has gone missing. We soon learn she’s been abducted, beaten and potentially raped. In my opinion, this was a case of Stockholm syndrome, and that made me quite uncomfortable. Though I appreciate that the child molestation wasn’t too graphic, the book kind of made it seem as if the abductor cared about the child, and she cared about him. Especially because of the information we learn at the end, which I saw coming from a mile away.

In The Child Finder, there’s deaf representation (though be aware that’s the villain), autism representation and a character of Native American descent. I can’t tell you whether or not this was done well, since I’m neither deaf, autistic or Native American.

content and trigger warning for child abduction, molestation and rape


Unfortunately, The Child Finder did not live up to the hype for me. I was incredibly bored while listening to the audiobook and considered DNFing it. Furthermore, there’s wasn’t much of a mystery due to the multiple point-of-views and no twist and turns.

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#Spookathon 2017 wrap-up

spookathon wrap-up.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Last week, I joined #Spookathon, in which I tried to read solely spooky books such as thrillers and mysteries. You can have a look at my TBR here. During the readathon, I made a thread with my reading updates on Twitter.

Today, I am going to talk about the books I managed to read and whether or not I was able to complete all the challenges.


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As expected, I wasn’t able to complete my entire TBR. During Spookathon, I managed to complete three novels:

  • read a thriller: Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena (review)
  • read a book based on a childhood fear: Bird Box by Josh Malerman (review)
  • read a book that has a spooky setting: The Killing Lessons by Saul Black (review)

I am currently still reading The Kind Worth Killing and I am hoping to finish it soon. I really wasn’t feeling well this weekend, so I couldn’t get a lot of reading done.

I usually prefer to schedule my posts and don’t like to post too many days in a row, but I decided to upload all my reviews at the same time so you could immediately read them if you want to know what I thought of these books.


spookathon.JPGSpookathon was my very first readathon and I think it was a success. Halfway through I did get in a bit of a slump and didn’t want to read any of the books left on my TBR, but I persevered.

Unfortunately, I didn’t discover a new favourite book, but I do want to continue reading thrillers and adult fiction more often, and join readathons from time to time.

How about you? Did you join #Spookathon? Which books did you manage to read last week?

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