#TopTenTuesday: Favourite 2020 Romance Covers

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Cover Freebie

I’m a little sad that this week is a cover freebie because I. Am. Tired and fresh out of ideas right now. 😂 I thought I’d do illustrated covers but then realised that I had already done an illustrated cover post for the last TTT cover freebie… So then I thought about what covers I’ve been loving lately and thought I’d share some of my favourite contemporary romance covers from 2020. Looking at the covers below, it’s really easy to see what kind really catch my eye: they’re (mostly) illustrated, bright and colourful, and just gives an all around fun-loving impression!

Okay, so basically I did another illustrated covers post but for romances HAH…

And I know this is a cover trend I’ve heard people say is “overdone” and that they’re completely over it, but I’m still 100% living for it! LOL if physical copies of contemporary romances weren’t so pricey I would love to add all of these to my physical shelves, but *wistful sigh* as it is, I’ll have to be satisfied with having them in my digital library (for now!) 😉

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#TopTenTuesday: Middle Grade Reads for a Younger Me!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books for My Younger Self (these could be books you wish you had read as a child, books younger you could have really learned something from, books that meshed with your hobbies/interests, books that could have helped you go through events/changes in your life, etc.)

Over the last couple of days I’ve been thinking a lot about the middle grade fantasies that I’ve read and that I still really want to read, and these thoughts fit so well with this week’s prompt, so I was quite excited to dive right in. Then I realised that I actually have more MG reads on my TBR than ones I’ve read so this week I’ve split the post into read and unread books, but they’re all books that I think my younger middle-school self would’ve very much enjoyed reading!

READ

Nevermoor Series
The Ship of Shadows
Malamander
Wonder
The Tea Dragon Society


UNREAD

Other Words for Home
Race to the Sun
The Unadoptables
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
Wonderscape

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Review: Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Thanks to NetGalley and Knopf for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars #2)
Publisher: Knopf
Release date: 07 July 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Panda Rating:



The thrilling sequel to SPIN THE DAWN, a magical series steeped in Chinese culture.
Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.
But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.
YA fantasy readers will love the sizzling forbidden romance, mystery, and intrigue of UNRAVEL THE DUSK.

Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

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#TopTenTuesday: Most Anticipated Releases 2nd Half of 2020!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: most anticipated releases for the second half of 2020.

Well… Considering I have 100+ books marked as 2020 releases, it was definitely… “fun” narrowing it down to just ten for today’s list 🤣 Yes, we should all already be aware of the fact that I have a very problematic relationship with that ‘want-to-read’ button on Goodreads–it’s all too easy to click! Adding books to my already endless TBR only ever became a problem when I joined the book community and I really don’t foresee this problem going away any time soon (unfortunately for my TBR and savings)! Obviously this list of ten is a smol peek at the books I’m looking forward to getting my grabby hand son, but they are the ones that came to mind first. I’m so excited for some of these I can’t even! Also, I tried to mention books that haven’t made an appearance in my more recent posts (even though I’m definitely still very excited for them–especially Cemetery Boys and Cinderella is Dead!)

(book covers are linked to Goodreads pages!)

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#WWWWednesday: 18 June

For the second week in a row I somehow forgot to share my #WWWWednesday posts as it completely slips my mind! Oops… So even though it’s Thursday I thought I’d still share my update!

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?

Since two weeks have passed I’ve managed to read more books than has been ‘the usual’ for me this year. This is mostly because of the blog tours I’m participating in and in the last weeks, there have been quite a few! Sadly, it’s still mostly because of those books that I’m pushing myself to read, but otherwise my moods have been in such disarray that I don’t know what I feel like reading, and that’s if I feel like reading at all! 😔 But before I go off on an even bigger tangent, here’s what I’ve read over the last two weeks. I can’t believe I’m about to say this but I’m not including two books that I DNF’d–yep, you read that right! I finally made the decision to DNF two books. Perhaps it’s my erratic mood but I just couldn’t connect with them and it was such a struggle to read one page after another, so I decided to put them away. I feel pretty guilty still but I know I made the right decision!

Promises Forged (Venators #2) by Devri Walls ★★★★½
The sequel to book one was just as fast-paced and full of action, along with some very satisfying character growth! I enjoyed book one but loved book two and can’t wait for the third! Read my full review.

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen ★★★★½
This was equal parts heart-wrenching and heartwarming. This historical YA is so relevant to everything that’s happening right now. McQueen’s writing was wholly atmospheric and both Ethan and Juniper Jones will steal your heart. Read my full review.

Half Life by Lillian Clark ★★★½
This ended up being more of a contemporary with hints of sci-fi rather than the full-on sci-fi that I was expecting. It was still a really good read and I loved the concept and Clark’s observations on perception/truth. That said, I wanted more from the ending! Read my full review.

The Kinder Poison (The Kinder Poison #1) by Natalie Mae ★★★★½
This is probably my favourite YA fantasy read of 2020 so far. It sucked me in from the very beginning and didn’t let go until it spit me out, flabbergasted and clambering for more, at the very end! It had an interesting quest-style plot, loveable complex characters, and magic. Can has book two naow, pls? Read my full review.

The Storm Crow (Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson ★★★½
I’m so glad I finally picked this one up after having it sit on my shelf since its release! While the world building could’ve been better, I liked learning about the characters and loved the crow magic. I’m very curious to see how everything is resolved in the final book of this duology. Review coming very soon!

Royal Decoy (Fate of Eyrinthia #1) by Heather Frost ★★★☆☆
I can’t remember the last time I read a romantasy but this book has sparked up my interest in the sub-genre! It’s a fast paced fantasy with a deliciously slow burn romance. While it’s a bit cookie cutter to what’s out there in the fantasy world, it was still an enjoyable read! Read my full review.

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April Monthly Wrap Up!

To say that April was a bit of a wretched month for reading would be a bit of an understatement. Echoing the sentiment that many fellow bloggers have been saying in their wrap ups, while March felt like it crawled by, April was pretty much gone in a blink. I’m honestly not mad about it though. I’d ideally like to have a do-over of this shite month, but it is what it is. By now we all know that my reading took a huge nosedive this month is mainly because of Animal Crossing New Horizons… I had no idea how dangerous this game would be for me as I let my sister convince me to finally buy it–not that it was very difficult, mind you.

So here we are today… With the first exams I’ve ever failed in my life (O.W.L.s), a seemingly unscalable (e)ARC Mountain still to climb, and a total of seven books read this month. At least I have a nice (in game) island though, right? 😅

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Incendiary Blog Tour: Review and Favourite Quotes

Hello, friends! I’m back with another The Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour today for the amazing Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova! Every time I get picked to be part of any FFBC blog tour I die a little bit inside out of pure happiness because it’s always such a privilege 🥰 Huge thanks to FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors as well for making the eARCs available to us.

Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour! 😊

Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release date: 28 April 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Panda Rating:



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.

Amazon (US) | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google Books

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The Silence of Bones Review and Favourite Quotes

Thanks to NetGalley, Feiwel & Friends, and author June Hur for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Silence of Bones
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: 21 April 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Panda Rating:



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.

June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

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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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