#WWWWednesday: 13 May

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

This is going to be a bit of a long one so if you manage to read through to the end, thank you 😉

It’s been a hot minute since I made one of these posts but a nice surprise is that I’ve been reading! …Okay, it’s still mostly blog tour reads but considering how I wasn’t even reading at all at certain points in the last month, it’s good progress! Since I last updated two weeks ago I’ve managed to finish 6 books and lucky for me I enjoyed all of them!

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar ★★★★½
I finished this morning and I’m glad to say that I really enjoyed it (plus this cover is just 😍)! I wish this existed when I was still in school but I still related to it now. I loved the diversity, queer rep, cultural rep and discussions about appropriation, religion and identity. My review for the blog tour is up tomorrow so watch out for that if you want to know more!

The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn by Freya Kennedy ★★★★☆
This was a perfect transition book that left me feeling the warm fuzzies at turning the last page. It’s about chasing your dreams and it’s full of hope despite the many doubts that plague our MC. I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed it and how I really related to Libby. Check out my full review!

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis ★★★★☆
I took a big step outside my comfort zone to read this horror/thriller and I’m glad to report that I didn’t end up feeling that scared (although I made sure to not read this one at night)! Kat Ellis masterfully builds this sinister and eerie atmosphere throughout the read. I do wish we got more answers though… Check out my full review!

Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter ★★★☆☆
This “dark fiction” was also pretty well outside my comfort zone but I still managed to enjoy parts of it. The characters were lacking but the world building had Scythe, Warcross, Ready Player One vibes that I loved! One thing is for sure: I will never ever buy a 3D printer for home. If you’ve read this, you’ll know why! Check out my full review!

War and Speech by Don Zolidis ★★★★☆
I’ve never read a book about speech/debate but this was so interesting and the MC really won me over. She was snarky and hilarious and I loved seeing her character grow through the read. It was fast paced and fun, and I’m so glad I got to read this one! Check out my full review!

Sunshine Over Bluebell Cliff by Della Galton ★★★☆☆
It’s been a while since I read women’s fiction but this one had all the elements to remind me whyI like them. The best parts were definitely the atmosphere/setting! I could picture it so easily and it made me nostalgic for Norwich 💙 (even though it’s not set in Norwich… but still). Check out my full review!

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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

This Sunday I probably should’ve spent the day in bed reading Auxiliary: London 2039. This is my next blog tour read for next week and I started it last night. I haven’t gotten far into it yet but it’s giving me Warcross, Ready Player One and Scythe vibes, so it has been interesting so far. There are some scenes that have me scratching my head (a little bit in discomfort) because I don’t know if they’re necessary but let’s see what happens. It’s definitely an interesting world — not so far-fetched and futuristic that it’s impossible to believe which is honestly just a little bit scary!

The silicon revolution left Dremmler behind, but a good detective is never obsolete.

London is quiet in 2039—thanks to the machines. People stay indoors, communicating through high-tech glasses and gorging on simulated reality while 3D printers and scuttling robots cater to their every whim. Mammoth corporations wage war for dominance in a world where human augmentation blurs the line between flesh and steel.

And at the center of it all lurks The Imagination Machine: the hyper-advanced, omnipresent AI that drives our cars, flies our planes, cooks our food, and plans our lives. Servile, patient, tireless … TIM has everything humanity requires. Everything except a soul.

Through this silicon jungle prowls Carl Dremmler, police detective—one of the few professions better suited to meat than machine. His latest case: a grisly murder seemingly perpetrated by the victim’s boyfriend. Dremmler’s boss wants a quick end to the case, but the tech-wary detective can’t help but believe the accused’s bizarre story: that his robotic arm committed the heinous crime, not him. An advanced prosthetic, controlled by a chip in his skull.

A chip controlled by TIM.

Dremmler smells blood: the seeds of a conspiracy that could burn London to ash unless he exposes the truth. His investigation pits him against desperate criminals, scheming businesswomen, deadly automatons—and the nightmares of his own past. And when Dremmler finds himself questioning even TIM’s inscrutable motives, he’s forced to stare into the blank soul of the machine.

What are you currently reading?

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#WWWWednesday: 29 April

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Well, we’re back to my reading taking a hit thanks to Animal Crossing (yes, still)! It’s the second to last day of April and let me just tell you… April was a bit of a failed month for me! Since last Wednesday I’ve still only managed to finish one book and it was a book that I felt went on FOREVER and it was definitely not in a good way!

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan ★★★☆☆
This book had me hitting struggle town hard and I don’t know whether I’m at 2.5 stars or 3. I still haven’t learned how to DNF a book so I pushed onward with it but I just… I don’t even know how I feel. No, I do. I’m annoyed because Nadya was so awful in this book and she completely ruined it for me. I wanted more Gods! More back story to these monsters that people worshipped but instead we got a very frustrating “romance” and a lot of pining. I still need to write my review but… Yeah. No. It just didn’t work for me.

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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

This Sunday I spent the whole day in bed with Ruthless Gods and I’m so happy to say that I’m done with that book. Finally! Wow. I mean, I know I’ve been gaming a lot but I honestly feel like I’d been reading that book forever. I thought the first book was just okay, it didn’t blow me away like I was expecting it to, but I was hoping I’d enjoy book two more. Sadly, I have even stronger lukewarm feelings for this one… Review will be coming soon if I can write a coherent one! Might just be a mini review… I am picking up Incendiary tonight though, so I’m hoping for a turn around in reading feels with this one!

I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.

What are you currently reading?

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#WWWWednesday: 22 April

Holy wow, can someone tell me where April went to because it has seriously zoomed by! I can’t believe we’re just a few days from the last week of the month. I’m not ready for April to be over because I literally still have all the things to do and all the books to read!

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Well, we’re back to my reading taking a hit thanks to Animal Crossing (yes, still)! Although we’re quite late into the month of April and my reading game has been thrown completely off this month (because what are books even), I feel like I’m slowly coming off the AC high. I’m not trying to jinx myself but I can feel it. That said, I only managed to finish one book since last Wednesday and it was another blog tour read.

The Silence of Bones by June Hur ★★★★½
This book was so different and so much more than I thought it’d be in all the best ways. I’ve never read a YA historical fiction, murder mystery/thriller before and it was incredible. It’s a bit slow to start but once you get sucked in you can’t put this book down. I’d also never read about this Korean dynastic empire before but despite being clueless to it, Hur’s writing was so immersive and I could still picture it clearly. Loved the characters and the exploration of sociopolitical themes of the era. Did I mention that it’s also highly quotable? Loved it and would definitely recommend it! Check out my full review.

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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

This Sunday I spent half the day in bed with The Silence of Bones. I’m reading this for a blog tour and tomorrow is my tour date! Have I made much progress? No, and I’m actually concerned about finishing it on time. Yikes! That said, I’m finding it interesting and I’m really enjoying it. There’s so much going on with the sociopolitical dynamics in the plot. It’s such an interesting exploration of a dynastic empire and era that I know basically nothing about. I don’t know why but there’s something about this cover that always makes my brain jump into “fantasy mode” so that already had me shook from the start when I realised this was a historical fiction (I swear I read the blurb before requesting it but my brain just keeps playing tricks on me lol). Hard to believe this is a debut and I gotta say this cover is amazing! I’m looking forward to tucking into this one tonight until well into the morning 😂

I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman. As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

What are you currently reading?

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Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits Blog Tour: Review

I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for the re-release of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami. A big shout out to Kelly from Algonquin for asking me to be part of this blog tour! I’m chuffed to have been given the opportunity to read something that’s well out of my usual reads and comfort zone, but I’m so glad I gave this a go! Special thanks to Algonquin Books and the author for providing me a copy of her book as part of this blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release Date: 14 April 2020 (re-release)
Genre: Literary Fiction, Cultural Fiction
Panda Rating:

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. As four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain, author Laila Lalami asks, What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger? There’s Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife in hope of securing work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future. Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a gripping book about what propels people to risk their lives in search of a better future. 

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#WWWWednesday: 15 April

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Oh-em-goodness, can you believe?! Ya girl finished THREE books since last Wednesday! Although gaming is still taking up a lot of my waking hours outside of work, I’m chuffed that I can *finally* say I finished more than one book 😍 Happy tears for sure, fam!

They Went Left by Monica Hesse ★★★★★
This was a blog tour read and ugh, this book! This had me silently crying with tears constantly flowing down my face, punctuated by the occasional sob. It was so emotional and I don’t know what kinda crazy I was in thinking that a story on the aftermath of the Holocaust would be less emotional 🤦🏻‍♀️ I recommend it to those lovers of historical fiction set in this period and for masochists such as myself! Check out my full review.

Donut Disturb (Donut Disturb #1) by Melissa Williams ★★☆☆☆
After reading the above book, I needed something light and this one sounded perfect! Unfortunately… I felt like I was reading a half-finished novel. No mistake, this was a very light read because all the things concerning character and plot development happened off page. We were shown nothing and told everything. Plus, there were so many tenses (past/present) used in one paragraph it was frustrating because I felt like I was getting whiplash trying to follow the writing. The characters weren’t bad but I also just didn’t feel for any of them. This was definitely not a win! Review coming soon.

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami ★★★½
This is another blog tour read and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t fully connect with the stories or characters. I’ve always struggled to really enjoy short stories and this one was sadly no different. These stories were more like character portraits, and they were very short and easy reads, but I was also left wanting more. Still, I thought it was a good exploration of immigrants and the reasons why people would risk their lives to cross the unpredictable sea in search of a better life; because of hope. I liked how Lalami brought twists to some of these stories as well, but I think I just prefer full-length novels over short stories. My full review is going up tomorrow!

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Top 5 Saturday: Books with a Colour in the Title

I totally spaced yesterday and forgot that it was Saturday because the days have blurred since I’ve been WFH… I only realised I had missed Saturday’s post when I was doing a little after midnight gaming. Oops!

We’re back with another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is: books with a colour in the title.

I thought that I would be able to very easily recall five titles with colours in them off the top of my head but apparently I can’t! LOL So here comes Goodreads and Google searches to the rescue! I don’t know what I’d without these mad interwebs brains 😂

JADE CITY is a gripping Godfather-esque saga of intergenerational blood feuds, vicious politics, magic, and kungfu.
The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities. The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection. When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.

JADE CITY! I can’t believe I forgot this one especially since it’s currently on my bedside table as I was attempting to read it a few weeks back! I put a hold on reading this for now because it requires a lot of concentration and I’m really not in the right headspace for it, although I did enjoy what I read!

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#WWWWednesday: 08 April

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

My big question to you is: WHAT ARE BOOKS?! Because I certainly haven’t been reading them 😂😭 Since last Wednesday I’ve only managed to finish one book and that was a graphic novel for the blog tour I was part of today!

Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz, illustrated by Thomas Pitilli ★★★½
I read this one for the FFBC tour and my stop was today! I haven’t read a DC comic before but I have seen seen pretty much all of the movies, so I really enjoyed this graphic novel! I love seeing known characters as their younger selves because I love knowing their origin story and how they end up where they do. The story/writing wasn’t anything ‘wow’ but it was so enjoyable spotting characters and I loved how the characters were diversified–Bruce Wayne is half-Chinese! Check out my full review.

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