Top Ten Tuesday: books I DNF but still want to read

books I DNF but still want to read.png

Hello, my fellow book lovers! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. You can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

June 5: Books I Decided to DNF (did not finish) too Quickly (are you questioning your DNF choices on any books? If you have a policy to not DNF, put a spin on the topic to make it fit you.)

Of the books I have DNF’d, there are a couple I want to pick up again in the future. The main reason why I didn’t continue these books was because I wasn’t in the mood for them at the time, but I still want to read them someday.

These are in no particular order. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.

children of blood and boneI picked up Children of Blood and Bone on a beautiful day in April because I needed a physical copy so I could sit outside and read instead of listening to an audiobook or reading an e-ARC. As usual in Belgium, the nice weather didn’t last for long so I read audiobooks and e-books in the meantime. By the time I could sit outside and read Children of Blood and Bone again, I had forgotten so much already! On top of that, I’ve been struggling reading fantasies for over a year now. Because of the hype I definitely want to start this book again, perhaps closer to the release date of the sequel.

shadow and boneI started reading Shadow and Bone back in 2015, and ever since I’ve told myself I would pick it up again. I haven’t done that yet, but this trilogy is on my 2018 TBR. I know this series isn’t as good as the Six of Crows duology and I’ve already seen so many spoilers, but I hope it will be worth the read nonetheless.

ashAsh is the victim of one of my many reading slumps. I wasn’t in the mood to read at all when I started this book, so I never continued it. Considering this features queer ladies though, I definitely want to pick it up again!


So here are some books I DNF but want to give another chance! Feel free to leave a link to your ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ post in the comments ❤

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T5W: series I (probably) won’t continue | rewind

series I won't continue.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! May is Top 5 Wednesday rewind month; we get to do some of the topics we’ve missed before! So today, I’m going to talk about some series I started and enjoyed, but not enough to finish.

These are in no particular order. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.

labyrinth lostLabyrinth Lost is in my opinion perfect for readers who are new to Young Adult fantasies. Apart from the diversity, however, this novel was just okay for me. Though the sequel Bruja Born will follow a character I liked more than the protagonist in the first instalment, I’m not convinced I’m going to pick it up.

daughter of smoke and boneLaini Taylor’s work has received a lot of praise, so it pains me to say that I most likely won’t continue the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. I actually really liked the fantasy elements, but the romance ultimately ruined the first book for me. Because I don’t own copies of the rest of the series, I especially don’t feel pressured to find out what happens next.

three dark crownsThough I find the premise of Three Dark Crowns premising, the execution bored me. I didn’t enjoy reading this first instalment, so the chances of me continuing this series were slim to begin with. Nonetheless, I was intrigued to find out which of the queens would win. It’s been over a year since I’ve read this book, however, and I no longer care.

and i darkenWhen I read And I Darken back in 2016, I loved it. It was slow at times and there weren’t as many action-packed scenes as I would’ve liked, but I adored the characters. Yet a lot of time has passed since and I don’t think I will continue this series anymore.

geminaI absolutely loved Illuminea, but I couldn’t bring myself to finish Gemina. It’s more of the same and at the end of the day, science-fiction isn’t my cup of tea. I don’t think I’m the only one though. Everyone was raving about the first instalment, but I haven’t seen a lot of people talk about the finale, Obsidio.


Those are five series I started, but most likely won’t finish. Do you think I’m making a mistake, or do you agree with my decisions?

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T5W: recent additions to my TBR | rewind

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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! May is Top 5 Wednesday rewind month; we get to do some of the topics we’ve missed before! So today, I’m going to talk about some already published books I recently added to my ‘want to read’ shelf on Goodreads!

When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.

home fire.pngHome Fire has received a lot of praise and when Russell @ Ink and Paper Blog mentioned it in his April wrap-up, I was instantly intrigued! I love fiction that deals with complex topics, so my hopes for this novel are high!

the book of the unnamed midwife.pngI have to admit I don’t read science-fiction often, but when Emily @ Possibly Literate praised The Book of the Unnamed Midwife in her April wrap-up, I decided to add it to my TBR nonetheless.

the poppy war.pngThis adult fantasy has been receiving a ton of hype lately, so I’m interested in picking it up! Be careful though because the subject matter can be triggering; I found trigger warnings for graphic descriptions of violence, self-harm, rape and much more!

a princess in theory.pngI usually don’t read romance books, but I’ve heard many great things about Alyssa Cole’s work and A Princess in Theory in particular.

the reader.pngI don’t know much about The Reader, except that so many of my friends absolutely love this Young Adult fantasy series!


Here are five books I recently added to my TBR on Goodreads! Have you read any of these books yet?

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Top 5 Wednesday: authors I’d like to meet | rewind

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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! May is Top 5 Wednesday rewind month; we get to do some of the topics we’ve missed before! So today, I’m going to talk about some authors I’d like to meet.

Because I live in Belgium, the chances of me meeting any popular author are very slim. Therefore, I could choose every author whose books I’ve ever read, but I’ve decided to go with authors whose work I admire and have influenced me. These are in no particular order.

authors id like to meet

1. Becky Albertalli

It’s no secret that I love Becky Albertalli’s work. Besides the Harry Potter series, her books are my comfort reads. I re-read them yearly at least once and as opposed to J.K. Rowling, Becky seems like a very nice person and I’d love to tell her how much her work means to me. That said, I didn’t love Leah on the Offbeat, but I hope I will change my mind when I re-read it.

2. Ashley Herring Blake

Every single one of Ashley Herring Blake’s books I’ve read so far has taken me by surprise. I never expect to relate to them as much as I do. Out of all the books I’ve read, I think her work represent me the best. Therefore it’s often hard to read her books because they’re so relatable, but it’s also comfortable: it’s reassuring to know I’m not alone and that’s why I will continue to read everything this author writes.

 3. Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of my favourite reads of 2018 so far and I definitely plan on re-reading it a lot, which is why Taylor Jenkins Reid is on this list. I’ve also read Maybe in another Life and though it didn’t blow me away, I was impressed by the complexity and originality.

4. Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is one of my favourite novels of all time and Little Fires Everywhere has stuck with me even though I’ve read over forty books in the meantime. I trust her recommendations and because of Celeste Ng, I want to read adult literature more often.

5. Angie Thomas

I consider Angie Thomas to be one of the most influential authors, so meeting her would leave me starstruck. The Hate U Give is revolutionary and I’m already very much looking forward to the release of On the Come Up.


So those are some of the authors I’d like to meet! Have you met any authors yet? Who would be on your list?

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the Spring Cleaning book tag

spring cleaning book tag.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! When Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek did this tag, I decided I wanted to do it as well 🙂 This tag was created by Book Syrup on Youtube. You can watch the video here.

When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.

1. The struggle of getting started: a book/book series that you have struggled to begin because of its size.

There are a ton of backlist book series on my 2018 TBR, but I keep postponing picking them up. I’m much more interesting in picking up new releases :/

2. Cleaning out the closet: a book and/or book series you want to unhaul.

the school for good and evilI actually want to unhaul over fifty books, but it so much work finding buyers since I don’t live in an English-speaking country. Anyway, one of the book series I want to sell is the entire School for Good and Evil trilogy. I read the first book in November 2017 and I really didn’t enjoy it and since I wont be continuing with this series, I want to get rid of it.

3. Opening windows and letting fresh air in: a book that was refreshing.

piecing me togetherYou can argue that YA contemporary is a cliché genre, but I have to disagree. Yeah, they’re usually about a teenager living in the United States, but other than that, I’ve read plenty of YA contemporaries that are refreshing. A couple of years ago I was done with the genre, but ever since I started reading diverse books, my love for the genre has been rekindled!

Piecing Me Together is about Jade who is a fat, black and poor teenager, so I don’t think there are many books like it. This is one of my favourite reads of 2018 so far because it dealt with an abundance of important topics such as racism, sexism, etc.

4. Washing out sheet stains: a book you wish you could rewrite a certain scene in.

simon vs the homo sapiens agendaI absolutely love Becky Albertalli’s books, but I wish I could erase the scene in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in which Simon says it’s easier for girls to be queer because guys find it hot.

5. Throwing out unnecessary knick-knacks: a book in a series that you didn’t feel was necessary.

house of hadesI don’t think the entirety of The House of Hades was unnecessary, but I do think this series could and should’ve been a lot shorter. I already complained about this in my review of this series, but every single one of Rick Riordan’s books I’ve read, follow the same pattern. As a reader, it’s become very easy to predict what’s going to happen, so I felt like a lot of events weren’t necessary since they didn’t affect the plot.

6. Polishing the doorknobs: a book that had a clean finish.

american pandaThe ending of American Panda actually doesn’t wrap-up nicely, but that’s why I loved it so much. I really like realistic endings. In this novel, the main character’s life isn’t magically perfect at the end. And it didn’t have an open ending, so I’m thankful for that as well!

7. Reaching to dust the fan: a book that tried too hard to relay a certain message.

I have to go with the School for Good and Evil again. It seemed like the author wanted to send the message that beauty doesn’t mean you’re good and ugly doesn’t mean you’re bad, but it didn’t work for me? It actually seemed as if those stereotypes were reinforced.

8. The tiring yet satisfying finish of spring cleaning: a book series that was tiring yet satisfying to get through.

a game of thronesObviously I have to go with every single book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series! No matter how much I love this series, it always took me forever to pick up the next book. I’m finally caught up though and I’m looking forward to the release of The Winds of Winter, whenever that will be.


So this was the Spring Cleaning Book Tag! If you want to do this tag, you’re tagged by me 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday: bookish confessions | freebie

bookish confessions.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. You can have a look at the future topics here! This week we get to choose our own topic, so I decided to share some bookish confessions with you! This was a Top Ten Tuesday topic on August 28th, 2012, when I wasn’t even an avid reader yet! 😮


1. I never read books in my first language, which is Dutch. Primarily because most books are written in English anyway, but also because it just doesn’t appeal to me.

2. I only buy books online. I realise that I should probably support my local bookstores, but their selection of English books is limited and they’re twice as expensive as online!

3. I judge books by their covers *gasp!* Pretty ones can convince me to purchase a book when I’m in doubt and I probably won’t purchase ugly ones, unless they’re really, really popular.

4. When I DNF books, I don’t put them on my read shelf on Goodreads nor do I rate them. It really doesn’t matter to me whether I’m 20 or 75 percent in. That said, I might write a review for it despite not finishing it (though of course I’d mention I DNF it).

5. I only became an avid reader back in 2015. I started reading regularly when I started college, but it took me a while to actually read multiple books a month. Since then, reading has been my most important hobby.

6. This is probably controversial since I graduated as an English teacher, but I don’t enjoy reading classics. The language is definitely a barrier, but I don’t find them very interesting either. Naturally, there are some classics I consider picking up, but not many.

7. I’m terrible at reading other people’s blog posts. I don’t do it regularly and actually have to remind myself to check out the blogs I follow. I know this is absolutely horrible, especially since I feel insecure about my own blog.

8. I tend to hold a grudge. When an author f*cks up on Twitter for example, I usually don’t forgive them (unless they apologise and it’s very sincere). So whenever I see their books, I’m like ‘yikes…’.

9. I have no intention to ever write a book myself. Many of my bookish friends write, but that doesn’t appeal to me.

10. Since June, the vast majority of the books I read are audiobooks. Funnily enough, the amount of physical books I purchase hasn’t decreased.


So these were some bookish confessions about me! Feel free to share some of your confessions in the comments 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday: books set in Africa on my TBR

books set in Africa on my TBR.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. You can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

March 27: Books That Take Place In Another Country

I don’t really know what this topic means since almost every single book takes place in another country than my own? Or maybe the creator just assumes everyone participating lives in the United States… So I decided to talk about some books set in Africa in my TBR. I know that Africa isn’t a country, but I didn’t want to prioritize one nation; I’d rather read a variety of experiences.

Unfortunately, I can’t cover every single country in Africa in this post. I got my information through Goodreads and other readers, so please let me know if something is incorrect! Additionally, I didn’t find many books set in e.g. North Africa, so I apologise for that.

These are in no particular order. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.


under the udala treesUnder the Udala Trees is about two girls from different communities in Nigeria who fall in love. I can be a sucker for star-crossed lovers, so I think I might love this one! The author was born in Nigeria and moved to the USA when she was ten years old.

born a crimeI watch The Daily Show regularly, so I am familiar with Trevor Noah and would definitely like to learn more about his childhood in South Africa as a biracial child. I don’t think he’s perfect (e.g. ableist jokes) but I have heard nothing but good things about this memoir, so my hopes are high!

one shadow on the wall.pngOne Shadow on the Wall is a middle grade magical realism story set in contemporary Senegal. It has less than one hundred ratings on Goodreads and none of my friends have read it yet, but I am interested nonetheless.

the book of memory.pngMemory is an albino woman who has been convicted of a murder. The novel is set in Zimbabwe and is written by a Zimbabwean author. I purchased this last month because squibblesreads mentioned it in one of her videos and I was instantly intrigued.

city of brassCity of Brass is a historical fiction/fantasy novel set in the 18th century in Cairo, Egypt. This has received a ton of hype, so my expectations are high! I bought the UK edition because it looks even more beautiful than this one.

city of saints and thievesI received an e-ARC of City of Saints & Thieves ages ago and I still haven’t read it yet 😮 This is a YA mystery thriller about Tina and her mother who fled Congo as refugees and arrive in Kenya. As far as I know the representation isn’t #OwnVoices, but the author did work with UN on refugee relief and development.

what it means when a man falls from the sky.pngWhat It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky is a collection of magical realism short stories, the majority set in Nigeria. The author was born in the UK, but her parents are Nigerian and she spent a lot of time in Nigeria growing up. These stories sound confusing, but I want to give it a chance nonetheless because it has received many awards and positive reviews.

akata witch.pngAkata Witch is fantasy novel about a girl named Sunny who lives in Nigeria and is albino. I have especially heard many positive things about Okorafor’s Binti series, so I hope this is going to be just as good.

solo.pngSolo primarily takes place in the United States, but is also set in Ghana. None of my friends have read this yet but I want to read it nonetheless because I’d like to read more books written in verse.


So these are some books set in Africa on my TBR! Do you have any more recommendations? I’d definitely recommend Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which is set in Ghana (and the USA)!

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Top Ten Tuesday: books that surprised me… in a bad way!

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Hello, my fellow book lovers! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. You can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

March 13: Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)

So today, I am going to talk about books that surprised me in a bad way. These aren’t necessarily bad books, but books I thought I’d enjoy so much more! I guess you could call this ‘books that didn’t live up to my expectations/the hype’ instead.

These are in no particular order. When you click on the graphic, you will be brought to the book’s Goodreads page. You can also read the synopsis there.

and then there were noneI actually enjoyed reading And Then There Were None, until the reveal happened. Though it took me by surprise, it also ended up ruining the book for me. It wasn’t as shocking as it could’ve been and since this is Christie’s most popular work, I don’t plan on reading more of her books in the future. You can read my full review here.

station elevenI didn’t hate Station Eleven, but I really don’t understand why it’s so popular. It seems as if I read a different book than everyone else! I guess its profoundness was lost on me… You can read my full review here.

a torch against the nightThis one breaks my heart because I loved An Ember in the Ashes. Its sequel on the other hand, took me several attempts to finish and dragged. Sadly, I don’t think I will read the rest of the series. You can read my full review here.

alice's adventures in wonderlandAlice in Wonderland is incredibly popular, so I really hadn’t expected to dislike this book as much as I did. It just didn’t make any sense to me, and not in an interesting way! You can read my full review here.

wonder woman warbringerI love DC, so I had expected to enjoy Wonder Woman: Warbringer much more. I found it pretty plain and predictable, which is unlike Leigh Bardugo’s writing in the Six of Crows duology. You can read my full review here.

the boy in the striped pyjamasThe Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is another book that is incredibly popular, so I was surprised that I didn’t like it. I’m not Jewish so maybe I’m angry for no reason, but I truly didn’t understand the purpose of this novel. I didn’t like that it centred a privileged boy who remained ignorant throughout the entire book. I found that unrealistic and disrespectful. You can read my full review here.

the mark of athenaI enjoy reading Rick Riordan’s work, but it doesn’t live up for the hype for me. I know I am not the target audience, but there are plenty of middle grade and young adult novels I enjoyed much more. I cannot help but feel disappointed… Nonetheless, I still plan on reading his work. You can read my full review of the Mark of Athena on Goodreads.


So here are some books that surprised me in a negative way. Like I said, I didn’t hate most of these books, they just didn’t live up to my expectations. So please don’t leave comments saying “Oh, I’m sorry you didn’t like [insert book title]”, because this isn’t a list of my least favourite books, just disappointing ones.

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Down the TBR Hole #71-80

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Hello, my fellow book lovers. Today, it’s time for round 8 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.

atonement

On a hot summer day in 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives—together with her precocious literary gifts—brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.

I watched the film adaptation a few years ago and wasn’t blown away by it. I remember that one of the female characters was raped and I don’t want to read a male author’s take on that.

verdict: remove from TBR and wishlist

the graveyard book.png

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…

Confession time: I’ve never read any of Neil Gaiman’s books. We discussed this novel in one of our English classes and I am curious to see whether this is indeed a good book to use in my classes. I don’t own a physical copy, but I have this one on audiobook.

verdict: remains on TBR and wishlist

ivory and bone.png

Two clans. Only one will survive.

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

I received a personalised singled copy from a friend and I am eternally grateful for that. Unfortunately, my reading tastes have changed in the meantime and I never consider picking this book up. I love historical fiction, but the romance is apparently very prominent in this novel and I’m not interested in that. I have access to the audiobook, but according to reviewers, the narrator doesn’t do a good job.

verdict: remove from TBR (but won’t unhaul it because it was a gift)

the name of the wind.png

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Every single one of my Goodreads friends adores The Name of the Wind. I really want to read more adult fantasy books, but I have my doubts that this is going to be cup of tea. First of all, I think the entire story is told from Kvothe’s point-of-view and I don’t  reading a lot of books by male authors, especially not ones featuring male protagonists. I’m afraid there’s going to be tons of sexism and unnecessary violence. Furthermore, the second instalment has received more mixed reviews and I want to make sure this series is worth continuing before I spend both my money and time on it.

verdict: probably remove from TBR and wishlist

the goldfinch.png

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

I have no idea what The Goldfinch is about and I’d honestly like to keep it that way. I am so keen to read Donna Tartt’s work; I hope 2018 is finally going to be the year!

verdict: remains on physical TBR

truthwitch

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

I’ve owned both Truthwitch and Windwitch for over a year now, so I definitely ought to read it soon. A couple of years ago I would’ve picked this up immediately, but I haven’t been reading a lot of fantasies lately. Though this series has received mixed reviews, I definitely want to give it a chance.

verdict: remains on physical TBR

passenger.png

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

When Passenger was released, it received a ton of hype, but I haven’t heard much about it since. I didn’t even know it was a duology! That makes me more intrigued to pick this up though, since larger fantasy series are too intimidating at the moment. Furthermore, I haven’t read any of Bracken’s work yet, so I won’t go into this series with unrealistically high expectations.

verdict: remains on physical TBR

legacy of kings.png

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to a newcomer…

Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But she doesn’t account for her first love…

Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.

And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

I actually like this cover, so I’m disappointed this series has got TWO cover changes already! This historical fiction/fantasy series isn’t very popular, so my hopes aren’t high. Nonetheless I want to give it a chance because I love historical fiction. I own a hardcover copy and will see whether the rest of the series is worth it.

verdict: remains on physical TBR

theft of swords.png

There’s no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it’s too late.

I was going to remove this book from my TBR, until I read some reviews. I don’t tend to read books by male authors, especially not fantasies because they more often than not objectify women, glorify violence, etc., but Michael J. Sullivan said the following about this series, which makes me intruiged:

“My goal was to write a book that was aimed at adults, but could be read by people of all ages. So to that end there is no sex, graphic violence, or explicit language.”

I don’t own the first volume in this series yet, but I do own the second one. I should purchase the first one soon!

verdict: remains on TBR and wishlist

the girl in 6e.png

I haven’t touched a human in three years. That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it’s not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet.

I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.

They get satisfaction, I get a distraction. Their secret desires are nothing compared to why I hide… my lust for blood, my love of death.

Taking their money is easy. Keeping all these secrets… one is bound to escape.

What if you hid yourself away because all you could think of was killing? And what if one girl’s life depending on you venturing into society?

The Girl in 6E has received many glowing reviews and I definitely enjoy thrillers from time to time, so I wanted to keep this on my TBR, but apparently the mental health representation isn’t good. I am sick and tired of reading stories in which mental illnesses are portrayed inaccurately as some sort of “plot twist”.

verdict: remove from TBR and wishlist


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5 star predictions: books on my TBR

five star predictions.pngLately, I’ve been seeing some Booktubers predict their future 5 star reads, which intrigued me to do the same. This was apparently created by MercysBookishMusings. I had expected it to be very easy because I buy each book thinking I’m going to love it, but a five star is still different from a four, so this wasn’t easy at all!

I decided to only have a look at my physical and Kindle TBR while making this list, and I afterwards noticed that almost all of these books are contemporaries. That’s no coincidence, because I’ve absolutely been loving diverse realistic fiction that is heartbreaking, yet beautiful and somehow still uplifting.

So here are five books I think I will end up giving five stars!

burial rites

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.

wild beauty

synopsis: Love grows such strange things.

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.

Because EVERYONE loves it, I am nervous to pick up Wild Beauty. It’s not unusual for me to keep postponing reading hyped books because I don’t want my expectations to be too high and set myself up for disaster.

I’m not familiar with magical realism, so I don’t know what to expect from this novel to be honest.the secret history.png

synopsis: Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

Back when I was still active on Tumblr, everyone who loved The Raven Cycle adored The Secret History as well. So I’m expecting this to be a five star read but I am definitely intimidated by the hype, which is why I still haven’t started this novel yet even though I’ve had it on my shelves for YEARS.

girl out of water.png

synopsis: Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves?

I won’t read Girl Out of Water anytime soon because this seems like the perfect summer’s read and it’s the middle of winter right now. All my friends love this book and considering how much I’ve been loving contemporaries lately, I don’t think Girl Out of Water is going to disappoint.

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synopsis: Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

I don’t think I’ve ever given a middle grade novel a five star rating yet, but I’m very hopeful that’s going to change soon because I have a ton of diverse middle grades on my TBR! Amina’s Voice sounds sad yet heartbreaking, which is something I tend to love. I’m also very keen to read more books featuring Muslim protagonists, so I can’t wait to pick this up!


This was much more difficult than I had anticipated! If you liked this post, I could do a variation of it in the future, e.g. 2018 releases I expect to rate five stars.

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