T5W: books featuring witches on my TBR

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Hello, 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:

October 4th: Books Featuring Witches
So there is a topic later this month about paranormal creatures, but 1. witches aren’t creatures and 2. they deserve their own topic. These can be “witch books” or books that happen to feature witches as characters, whether they are main characters or side characters.

I haven’t been reading a lot of fantasies lately, so instead, I’m going to talk about five books featuring witches on my TBR. Surprisingly, I actually own all of these already! These are in no particular order. truthwitch

synopsis: In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Truthwitch is on my fall TBR. I’ve been meaning to start this series ever since it was released, so I really need to pick this up soon. On the other hand, however, the release date of the third instalment has been pushed back, if I’m correct. So in fact, I shouldn’t rush myself. the bone witch

synopsis: The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

The Bone Witch is on my fall TBR as well! I own the audiobook as well, but I think it’s best to actually read a complex fantasy novel myself. Apparently, this is kind of slow, but I’ve managed to read books like A Game of Thrones, so surely, I can get through this as well, right?labyrinth lost.png

synopsis: Nothing 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 Labyrinth Lost back in April, but because I was incredibly busy, I ended up DNF’ing all the books I was reading back then. I was really enjoying Labyrinth Lost, but I think I’ll have to re-read it before I pick this up again. uprooted.png

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia – all the things Agnieszka isn’t – and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.

Some readers absolutely love Uprooted, other really don’t. Fantasy standalones always peak my interests (I don’t  read many series lately), so I ought to read this one soon! the school for good and evil.png

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

I received this trilogy for my birthday almost two years ago, yet I still haven’t started this series. Middle Grade is either a hit-or-miss for me, but the synopsis sounds so unique. And many readers, including adults, seem to really enjoy these books!


So these are five books featuring witches on my TBR. Feel free to leave a link to your ‘Top 5 Wednesday’ post below, because I really want to discover more books with witches!

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T5W: books I’ve read because of Twitter

books i've read because of twitter.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:

September 27th: Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc.
Discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use

Today, I’m going to talk about five books I picked up because of Twitter. These titles weren’t on my radar at first, but thanks to the people I follow on there, I decided to pick them up. You can find me @romweasleys on Twitter, by the way, though I am currently on hiatus since there’s too much triggering content on there! Anyway, these are in no particular order!

the gentleman's guide to vice and virtueI initially wasn’t planning on reading the Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, because I’d rather read M/M romances by male authors. But everyone was loving this book, so I decided to listen to it on audiobook. Unfortunately, my gut feeling was right and I didn’t enjoy this as much as everyone else has. You can read my full review here.

lambs can always become lionsI follow the author on several social media, so that’s how I found out this wonderful F/F Robin Hood retelling. Though I’m not familiar with Robin Hood, I ended up loving Lambs Can Always Become Lions. I loved the diversity and especially the writing! You can read my full review here.

better at weddings than you.pngYou have no idea how many M/F romances I have bought because of Twitter! I would never reach for those books myself, but when they’re diverse and other readers have loved them, I’m willing to give them a chance. I’ll probably never fall in love with this genre, but as long as the books are entertaining, I’m okay with that. If you do like romances, however, I’d definitely recommend Better At Weddings Than You! You can read my full review here.

how to make a wishAs soon as I found out about How to Make a Wish on Twitter, I requested an ARC on Netgalley. I’m so glad I did, because it’s one of my favourite #OwnVoices books with bisexual representation! At the time, I didn’t fully love this, because the difficult parts of Grace’s live were relatable as well. Having said that, I can’t wait to re-read this beauty! I’m certain I will enjoy it even more the second time around, because I’m now aware of everything this novel deals with. You can read my full review here.

coffee boyAfter reading a lot of harmful New Adult romances a couple of years ago, I stayed clear from the genre. But I really enjoyed the queer ones I picked up this year thanks to Twitter! I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: please don’t neglect diverse books even if the genre doesn’t appeal to you. You might miss out on some great books if you do! You can read my full review here.


So these were five books I picked up because of Twitter. To be honest though, the majority of the books I read, are on my radar thanks to the folks I follow there. I mainly read diverse books today and I wouldn’t have heard of many of those titles if it wasn’t for the book community on Twitter. Unfortunately, the place is too harmful for me at the moment, so I hope I won’t be missing out on any amazing books 😦

Anyway, what are some books you picked up because of Twitter (or BookTube, or bloggers….)?

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T5W: Book Covers I’d Live In

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I completely forgot about today’s topic! I wrote down my picks days ago, but didn’t actually include them in my blog post. So apologies for being so late. Anyway, 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:

August 2nd: Book Covers You’d Live In
We all love a good cover but what are some covers you’d like to be transported into?

I’ve picked five covers that I find very aesthetically pleasing and would therefore like to be transported into them. For me, it’s not about the setting that’s shown on the cover, but rather the general vibe of it. So here they are:

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10 things i can see from herethe sword of summerstarfish.pngbeneath the sugar sky.png

I haven’t read any of these books yet, but I absolutely love these covers!

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T5W: books that aren’t inspired by the Western world

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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:

July 19th: Books That Aren’t Set In/Inspired By The Western World
I know this is a long title, but I couldn’t figure out how else to word it and still get the point across. Talk about books that are set outside of the Western World (so outside of North America and Western Europe) or if they are SFF, books that aren’t inspired by those places (so no medieval setting fantasy!)

So today, I am going to talk about five 2017 releases that aren’t inspired by the Western world and am exited to read! These are in no particular order. All books are written by authors of colour. I don’t know whether they’re all set outside of the Western world, but I do think all novels were inspired by the authors’ cultures.

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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

A Crown of Wishes is the companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen, which I haven’t read yet either. But I’ve heard many positive things about this one especially, so I guess I’ll pick up the “sequel” first and then decide whether the first one is worth picking up. Anyway, I absolutely love the cover!

The Library of Fates by by Aditi Khorana

Look at that cover! It’s one of my absolutely favourites! The Library of Fates was released yesterday and is inspired by Indian folklore. Yes, romances aren’t usually my cup of tea, but this is a YA fantasy after all and I really ought to pick that genre up again!

Want by Cindy Pon

This novel is set in futuristic Taipei and was released last month. I bought a copy for my dear friend Laura (@ Green Tea and Paperbacks) but I haven’t to buy a copy for myself yet. I’ve mentioned a few times before that I don’t usually read sci-fi novels, but I’m always willing to give diverse authors and books a chance nevertheless 🙂

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

The Gauntlet is described as “a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair“. I don’t know what Jumanji is, so I’m intrigued 😀 This novel received a lot of hype when it was released, but unfortunately, that has died down. That always happens and I hate that about the book community. Not everyone is able to read or buy books as soon as they’re released. It makes me feel left out… Anyway, this is a middle grade novel and though I don’t read that genre often, I really should because it makes me even more excited to pick this novel up!

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Everyone’s excitement for Wild Beauty has made me really excited as well, even though I have no idea what this novel is about! I do know it features queer characters and that the cover looks absolutely stunning 😀


Are you excited for these novels? Have you read any of the books mentioned above yet? Obviously, I could have added many more books to this list, but it’s Top FIVE Wednesday after all 😉

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T5W: Authors I Want to Read More From

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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:

April 26th: Authors You Want to Read More From
Talk about some authors that you’ve only read one or a few books from, and you NEED to read more!

I’m only going to discuss some authors who have already published multiple books, but I haven’t read all of those yet. So for example, you won’t see Becky Albertalli on this list, because I’ve already read both her released books already 😉

These are in no particular order!


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Rick Riordan

I say this every single month, but I’ve only read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I definitely think I would enjoy these books more if I were younger, but I want to read his series nonetheless.

Riley Redgate

I read an ARC of Noteworthy by Riley Redgate a couple of months ago and I loved it! Important topics such as feminism were discussed and I think that tells a lot about an author. Therefore, I really want to read more books by Redgate!

Leigh Bardugo

I’ve only read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I really enjoyed the duology and I want to give the Grisha Trilogy another chance. I picked Shadow and Bone up in 2015, but I wasn’t in the mood for it back then.

Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea was my favourite book of 2016, so I definitely have to read Ruta Sepetys other books! I’m studying to become a history teacher, so obviously, historical fiction novels are my cup of tea. Yet I never actually pick up that genre, so I have to change that soon!

Ashley Herring Blake

I also received an ARC of How To Make a Wish a couple of weeks ago and I would recommend this book to everyone! That book was written for me: bisexual MC with an unconventional/dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship.

Suffer Love, Blake’s first novel, is about a girl whose father cheated on her mother. And guess what? That’s – unfortunately – also very relatable material for me.


There are many more authors that could’ve made it onto this list, but it’s Top Five Wednesday after all. Which authors do you want to read more books from?

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T5W: favourite LGBTQIAP+ reads

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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:

April 19th: Favorite LGBTQ+ Reads
Talk about your favorite books that feature LGBTQ+ characters or are by LGBTQ+ authors.

I feel a bit conflicted about this week’s topic. On the one hand, I absolutely love that we get to recommend diverse books. But on the other hand, I’m afraid I’ll see the same books over and over again: The Raven Cycle, Six of Crows, A Darker Shade of Magic… and problematic and harmful books. I understand, because I was like that only a couple of months ago, but I’ve learnt so much and I really hope people will discuss books that aren’t already very popular and do research so they don’t recommend any harmful books.

Lately, I’ve become much more open about my sexual orientation. I’m still closeted in real life (only two people know I’m bisexual) but reading about characters that you can identify with is so important. It’s also nice to see that more fluffy books featuring LGBTQIAP+ characters are being published. We deserve happy endings as well. We don’t constantly want to read about characters who are being bullied because they aren’t allo cis straight (or white, for that matter).

Anyway, there are many more books I would recommend! I’m going to pick five books from the books I’ve read in 2017 so far. As you know, these are in no particular order.

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Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde (review)

Amazon | Book Depository | Wordery

I read Queens of Geek at the beginning of April and I loved it! One of the main characters is a bisexual Chinese Australian woman and the love interest is a queer black woman. It was probably the most relatable portrayal of bisexuality I’ve read so far. I completely related to Charlie’s experience and it’s no surprise this is an #OwnVoices book (for the autism representation as well)!

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (review)

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Even though I read an ARC of The Upside of Unrequited last month, I already want to re-read it! I plan on buying a hardcover copy soon. This is my all-time favourite YA contemporary novel. I love this book so much. The queer representation isn’t #OwnVoices, but I loved it nonetheless. I love how some characters were queer without their story revolving around that. Someone wrote a review saying that such representation is superficial, but I disagree. Just because I’m bisexual, doesn’t mean my life revolves around my sexual orientation.

Anyway, I absolutely adore Becky Albertalli. She also wrote Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, which features gay and bisexual characters. I’m so surprised when people haven’t read or don’t even own this book yet. Everyone has different tastes, I know, but sometimes, I cannot help but think that some readers intentionally avoid books featuring LGBTQIAP+ characters. And that’s not okay.

Anyway, I do have to warn you that Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda could be harmful for queer women. Simon, who is gay, says things are easier for lesbians and bi girls because men think it’s hot. Fetishisation doesn’t mean you are accepted. Having said that, I’m glad that instead of ignoring queer girls, Albertalli decided to include multiple queer female characters in The Upside of Unrequited and used sensitivity readers to get the representation right.

The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis (review)

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The Paths We Choose is the sequel to The Melody of You and Me and I enjoyed it even more than than the first instalment. M. Hollis (who is queer!) writes such cute and diverse F/F novellas and I cannot wait to get my hands on the final version of The Paths We Choose.

I did an interview with the author at the beginning of this month – which you can read here – and she is so incredibly nice.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson (review)

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At the beginning of this post I said queer people deserve to read books featuring LGBTQIAP+ characters that have happy endings and don’t feature tons of bullying and harmful language. We Are the Ants is not such a book. It’s very heavy, because it deals with topics such as suicide, depression, bullying, sexual assault, etc. Still, I loved this book, but be aware that it could be triggering. However, I am amazed that Shaun David Hutchinson still managed to make me laugh out loud multiple times.

Coffee Boy by Austin Chant (review)

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Coffee Boy is a M/M romance featuring a trans protagonist and a bisexual love interested. This book is #OwnVoices for the transgender representation. I really enjoyed reading about a trans character who doesn’t always pass. Of course, I didn’t not enjoy the micro-aggressions and transphobia Kieran had to deal with, but I do think it’s very important to also represent trans characters who don’t always pass, who can’t afford or don’t want to have any surgeries.

There was one sentence in this book I found biphobic, but other than that, I highly enjoyed this novella. I know a lot of people are probably going to recommend If I Was Your Girl today, but I sadly cannot do the same. I never talk about this because I don’t want to criticise a book about a trans character written by a trans author, but I read this book back in November and it still hurts me whenever I think of this book. In my opinion, it’s biphobic, but I don’t know whether my feelings are valid because no one else has mentioned that in their reviews. As great as the trans representation was, I’m very wary of recommending it because I don’t want this book to hurt anyone else.


I got a bit carried away there at the end . What are some of your favourite LGBTQIAP+ reads?

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T5W: top SFF books on my TBR

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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:

April 5th: Top SFF Books on Your TBR *Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic!*
Talk about the science fiction and fantasy books you want to read ASAP!

There are so many books on my TBR, so it will be hard to limit this to merely five! As you know, these are in no particular order.

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

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The Bone Witch has received many mixed reviews, so I was hesitant to buy this. But the people who dislike it, are people who don’t tend to read a lot of diverse books. When a book is problematic, that’s often a deal-breaker for me. But none of the critique The Bone Witch received has anything to do with that, so I definitely want to give this one a try! I’ve heard it’s quite slow, but I can live with that as long as it is a unique and diverse fantasy story.

Labyrinth Lost by by Zoraida Córdova

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I could say the exact same thing about Labyrinth Lost. This one has also received many mixed reviews, but because diverse fantasy novels aren’t that common, I want to read it. I’m constantly searching for more diverse YA fantasies that don’t rely on the same tropes we see everywhere, and I believe Labyrinth Lost is exactly what I’ve been looking for!

Empress of a Thousands Skies by Rhoda Belleza

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I see a pattern: all these diverse SFF novels have received many mixed reviews and none of them have anything to do with possible problematic aspects. Are readers more critical when it comes to diverse books, or are they actually mediocre? I’m afraid it isn’t the latter, so I want to read these books to see for myself. Although I rarely read science-fiction, Empress of a Thousands Skies has caught my attention. I don’t own a physical copy yet, but I’ll probably buy one soon.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

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I already started A Torch Against the Night last week, but I’m afraid I wasn’t in the mood for it. I’ve read about one hundred pages and I liked it so far, but I never actually wanted to pick it up. Still, I’m hoping to get to this one soon! I have put A Torch Against the Night off for too long and have got to continue this series ASAP before I forget everything again.

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

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I’m so angry: why is it taking me so long to read this series? I absolutely love A Song of Ice and Fire, yet I don’t actually read the books but pick up smaller ones instead. I constantly tell myself I have to stop doing that, but I never actually do. Last month, I started reading A Dance with Dragons right after I finished A Feast for Crows, but I didn’t make it very far before I put it down, AGAIN. Next month, I have to spend a lot of time on the train, so maybe I should take A Dance with Dragons with me then.


Which science-fiction and fantasy books are on your TBR? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Feel free to leave a link to your Top 5 Wednesday post below!

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Bewaren

T5W: books I felt betrayed by (15 March)

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:

March 15th- Books You Felt Betrayed By
Beware the Ides of March! What books (or characters) did you feel betrayed by, for whatever reason…big or small.

Last month, I posted a list of books I was disappointed by (which you can read here). So today, I’m not going to talk about books that I liked less than I thought I would, and therefore felt betrayed by them. This topic is probably not that easy when I narrow it down 😀

These are in no particular order!


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The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

I haven’t even read The Diabolic, yet I already feel betrayed by it! I bought this book because this was a science-fiction standalone. In the meantime, however, this has been turned into a trilogy! I never would’ve bought this book if the author had told us from the start! I feel so betrayed by it, I don’t even want to read this book anymore…

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

I started The Foxhole Court because I was in the mood for a M/M romance at the time and The Foxhole Court is shelved as such on Goodreads. The relationship between two male characters doesn’t happen until the final book in this trilogy though! While I did find this series enjoyable, it wasn’t what I had expected.

Since, I’ve learned that the genres on Goodreads’ sidebar and not at all trustworthy. Last month, I received The Heroine Complex for my birthday. A friend bought it for me because – according to Goodreads – it was a graphic novel, but it is in fact a ‘regular’ novel. I don’t mind since I prefer those anyway, but it proves that Goodreads isn’t always correct!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I read An Ember in the Ashes in 2015 and re-read it last summer in anticipation of the release of A Torch Against the Night. While I loved An Ember in the Ashes both times when I read it, I have yet to read the sequel. In the meantime, I’ve discovered the third instalment in this series is set to be released in 2018 instead of this year! So there is no rush for me to read the sequel. I completely understand how difficult it must be to write an entire book in one year, but I have to re-read so many books because of it.

However, one year is nothing compared to the amount of time we have to wait for George R.R. Martin’s novels, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

any addition to the Harry Potter universe by J.K. Rowling

Obviously, I will never get enough of the Wizarding World. But if I am being honest – and when am I not? – the latest additions have been disappointing. I didn’t learn much new information from the Pottermore Presents collections and don’t even get me started on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!

At the end of the day, I’d rather have no additions to the universe than disappointing ones. Even though I quite liked the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, I am very angry that J.K. Rowling continues to make the same mistakes over and over again. The film is white-washed, feature barely any diverse characters and the author supports the casting of abuser Johnny Depp.

I feel very betrayed by J.K. Rowling. I grew up loving this woman because she created this universe, but I now realise I don’t have to support her. Just because I am critical of her, doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of Harry Potter.


What books did you feel betrayed by, and why?

(scheduled on 25 February 2017)

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T5W: favourite science-fiction and fantasy books (8 March)

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:

March 8th – Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books *BooktubeSFF Awards Crossover Topic!*
In collaboration with the BooktubeSFF Awards, talk about your favorite science fiction and fantasy books of all time!

I’m pretty sure I posted fantasy recommendations a couple of months ago, but I decided to post an updated list today 🙂 Though, if you have been following me for a while, there won’t be any surprises here! As usual, these are in no particular order.


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A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

genre: adult high fantasy

Even though this series and the TV show adaptation are immensely popular, I have the feeling as if I am one of the only people who has read it in the book community. I completely understand how intimidating these books are – I still struggle finding the time to read them – but they are so. freaking. good! And much better than the TV show, though it did help that I already knew all the characters before I started reading the books.

Just a heads up though: the world in A Song of Ice and Fire is incredibly brutal. I love the way Martin writes female characters, but there is a lot of violence and rape.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

genre: paranormal young adult fantasy

No list is complete without me mentioning The Raven Cycle. You all know how much I love this series. It’s not perfect (there’s racism and a lot of people dislike the way the LGBTQ characters are written) and while I agree with the critique, I cannot help but love this series. I want to re-read it again, but I have tons of unread books on my TBR I should get to first 😦

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

genre: fantasy

Obviously, the Harry Potter series is on my list. Whenever I re-read the books, I notice things I don’t like about it (the sexism, lack of diversity, etc.) and I am very vocal about that, but I’m still a die-hard Harry Potter fan. My collection continues to grow and these books will always be important to me.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

genre: young adult science fiction

I read We Are the Ants last month and I absolutely loved it, just as I had expected. This might seem like a contemporary novel, but it also features some science-fiction elements. Just like all the other books I mentioned above, it’s not perfect (e.g. bi-erasure, in my opinion), but I loved how this book managed to be funny and heart-warming while discussing serious topics such as bullying, physical and sexual assault, suicide and depression, etc.

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

genre: young adult fantasy

I’m so predictable: there are zero surprises on this list. Oh well, I can’t lie: I love all the books I mentioned. Even though I was disappointed with Crooked Kingdom, I want to read more books like it. I love the multiple perspectives and how it isn’t as predictable and trope-y as most young adult fantasies released lately.

On top of that, the cast of characters is incredibly diverse! I discussed the Six of Crows duology in my thesis on diversity and it was clear that Bardugo did a lot of research.


I’m sorry this list was so predictable! I plan on reading many more fantasy (though less science-fiction) novels this year, so I hope this list of favourites is going to grow! What are some of your favourite SFF books? (scheduled on 25 February 2017)

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T5W: book trends I’m tired of (8 February)

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:

February 8th: Book Trends You’re Tired Of
What are some things you are tired of seeing that are trends in publishing? Maybe something that pops up on a lot of covers these days, or the popularity of certain tropes in a particular genre? Let it out!

Sorry I didn’t post anything for Top 5 Wednesday last week! The topic was current favourites that aren’t books, but since my blog is dedicated to reading, I didn’t think it was necessary to post anything. Furthermore, I’m not sure whether I will do the rest of the February topics. Normally, when I don’t like a topic, I do another one instead, but maybe it’s okay to skip a couple of weeks when I don’t feel like posting.

Anyway, there certainly are book trends I am tired of seeing. There are also some things I am tired of seeing in the book community which I would like to talk about, but I’ll try to stay on topic. Not all of these are trends though, but rather things I’ve noticed about publishing lately. As usual, these are in no particular order.


Romance and heteronormativity

Even when you don’t read romance novels, it is nearly impossible to avoid romance in books. I’m talking about heterosexual relationships here. Even in fantasies, there are love triangles, insta-love, overused tropes, etc. and I am sick of it. Thankfully, I am reading more diverse books this year, so it won’t be as bad anymore. Still, I find it very annoying that almost every author feels the need to add unnecessary romances and angst to their novels. I’m not a fan of romance, so I find it very annoying that it is nearly impossible to find a book without it.


Trilogies

I was so excited when I heard about The Diabolic: finally a fantasy standalone! In the meantime, however, the author has changed her mind and decided to write a trilogy instead. I’m instantly less excited to pick up this book. I understand the (financial) success of trilogies, but especially within the fantasy genre, standalones are actually refreshing. Don’t get me wrong: I love reading series. But almost every book you pick up lately is a part of a series and I can’t keep up anymore.


Marketing and merchandise

Many books which are published by huge publishers, come with pre-order merch, signed copies, special editions, etc. But because I live in Europe, I don’t ever get to enjoy those promotions. They’re always limited to the USA and/or UK, or the shipping costs are insanely high. 

As someone who is also active on Bookstagram, buying books isn’t enough anymore. You have to buy tons of merchandise in order to ‘fit in’ with the rest of the community. Furthermore, it takes away from the actual content of the book. As long as the packaging is pretty, people are going to hype it up. Who cares about the content of the book, right?


Where’s the diversity?

Obviously, there is a lack of diversity in novels. But even if a novel is diverse, it is often-times not advertised well enough. I’ve read multiple books I didn’t know e.g. included LGBTQ representation, because the blurb didn’t tell me, nor other reviewers. Do you have any idea how much more likely I am to read a book if I know it includes representation? I don’t understand why everyone is so mysterious about it.

However, I am absolutely not talk about headcanons here. As great as those can be, headcanons are not the same as representation on the page. Sometimes, people will say things like “read this book because character X is bisexual”, but when that representation isn’t explicitly included in the novel, you are misleading people. They might buy it because they think they are represented, when in fact it is only a headcanon.

Furthermore, I don’t think there is anything wrong with telling readers whether or not a book is own voices or not. In my opinion, you sometimes have to do a lot of research in order to find out something about the author. No, I absolutely do not think authors have to out themselves in order for their book to receive recognision, but when they are openly a part of the LGBTQ community, I think it’s okay to add that to a blurb when necessary.


Character tropes

My ‘favourite characters’ list rarely grows. So many characters I read are carbon copies of each other. The love interest is a mysterious, sarcastic bad boy, who at first is the villain of the story. As the book or series goes on, however, he and the main character, who were enemies at first, fall in love and it turns out he wasn’t bad at all. The female main character is “not like other girls”: she has boring brown long hair, big lips, is thin, but still has the necessary curves… Obviously (*sarcasm*), she is unattractive and bland. All I’m trying to say is that these characters are hard to distinguish from; they all seem the same.


Actually, it was very hard to limit this to merely five trends I am tired of seeing! I’m looking forward to reading other bloggers’ post, so feel free to leave a link to yours in the comments! (scheduled on 29 January 2017)

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