Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2021

Hello lovely people,

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in a while but had been already planning a post on this weeks topic, my Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2021, so I actually got myself organised and converted my scrawled list of books into an actual post.

I have to confess I’ve been a little bit wary of doing another most anticipated list as it seems to be the kiss of death for the books I include. I think around half of the books on my previous list turned out to be something of a disappointment. I didn’t hate them, they just didn’t live up to expectations. Anyway, I’m giving it another go with a list of twelve books I’m fairly confident I’ll enjoy.

  • A Good Day for Chardonnay (Sunshine Vicram #2) by Darynda Jones – Darynda Jones’ books are like drugs to me, they are so addictive. I didn’t love the first book in this new series as much as I hoped (I spent too much time comparing to the Charley Davidson books) but I do still have high hopes that book 2 will push the story on.
  • Isn’t It Bromantic? (Bromance Bookclub #4) by Lyssa Kay Adams – I am loving this series about a group of guys trying to fix their relationships by reading romance novels. Can’t wait to read the Russian’s story particularly as it sounds like a fake relationship / friends to lovers kind of a story.
  • The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient #3) by Helen Hoang – Another series I’ve been loving. Not sure what it says about me but I have a definite affinity to romcoms with autistic characters.
  • Here’s To Us (What If It’s Us #2) by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli – I will read anything Silvera or Albertalli write and I think What If It’s Us was one of my favourite books of 2018 (wow how has it been 3 years between books). I love
  • Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz – I was pretty surprised when I heard there was a sequel but I am here for it. I very much enjoyed the first book and am keen to catch up with the characters
  • Aurora’s End (Aurora Cycle #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I need to know how it ends. I just hope the answer is not in the title.
  • Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer – Another author I love, I’ve read her contemporary novels and her fantasy and every single one has been wonderful. I think Kemmerer is not on my auto buy author list.
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber – The author’s Caraval series had a bit of a shaky start but I feel like each book Garber writes is better than the previous so I have high hopes for Once Upon A Broken Heart. It doesn’t hurt that it’s about one of my favourite characters, Jacks, from the series.
  • Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff – I’ve somehow ended up pre ordering two copies of this (a Waterstones one and a Goldsboro edition) so I think we can safely say I really want to read it. I do love a vampire novel and Jay Kristoff is a brilliant writer so yeah *crosses fingers*
  • 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard – I seem to be buying into the hype on this one as I can’t really remember what it’s about, have never read anything by the author before and yet have heard so many good things about it I can’t wait to get my mitts on it.
  • The Dark Remains by William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin – It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Ian Rankin and I feel like I haven’t been reading much in the way of police procedurals so this fits the bill.
  • The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen – I do love the author’s writing but have to confess that cover is probably what’s drawing me to this book the most. I don’t even really care what it’s about.

So that’s twelve of the books I’m most looking forward to over the remainder of 2021. Are any of these on your most anticipated list? Is there a book that should be on this list (I’m positive I’ve missed something)? Please leave links and comments.

Happy Reading


Top 10 Tuesday: 2021 Most Anticipated Reads (Jan-Jun)

Hello lovely people,

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in a while but I was already planning a post on this week’s topic, Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021, so the timing worked out perfectly.

2021 is looking like a bumper year for new books so I had some difficulty narrowing my list down to just 10 books. I’ve therefore been a bit of a cheat and included 12. These are all books currently sitting on my wish list, that I haven’t managed to get my hands on an advance copy of (as yet).

  • Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (9 March) – The first two books in the Brown Sisters series were amongst my favourite reads of 2020 so I am really looking forward to sister no.3’s book. It sounds like an opposites attract kind of story and I am there for it. I love an uptight control freak meets flighty hot mess story.
  • Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (13 April) – While The Hating Game is one of my all time favourite reads I did very much enjoy Thorne’s second book and have been anxiously awaiting a third. This promises quirky characters and lot of fun.
  • People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (11 May) – Ooh a best friends to lovers story, another of my favourite romance tropes. If it’s anything like the Beach Read we can also probably expect a little more depth and emotion than your standard romcom.
  • A Vow so Bold & Deadly by Bridget Kemmerer (26 Jan) – I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to find out how this series will end, the cliffhanger at the end of book 2 was an absolute killer. I adore Kemmerer’s writing and love the characters she creates.
  • A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas (16 Feb) – I am probably the only person in the world who only recently read the first three ACOTAR books but I’m so glad I waited so I could enjoy a good binge read. I do however still need more and am looking forward to seeing more of Nesta.
  • Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (30 March) – Confession time, I’m including this on the list even though I haven’t actually read the first part of this duology, King of Scars. But, it’s Bardugo, it has one of my favourite characters front and centre and means I can read the full duology in one go.
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (25 May) – It’s a new Taylor Jenkins Reid book, do I need to say anything else? I don’t even care what it’s about, if she writes it I will read it.
  • Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez (6 April) – The Happy Ever After Playlist was another of my favourite reads last year. It made me laugh, it made me cry but most of all it made me smile. I suspect I’m going to need another book like that by April.
  • Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane (1 April) – I love McFarlane’s books, they always sound like regular fluffy romcoms but there’s so much more depth and emotion to them.
  • The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers (18 Feb) – I don’t always find Chambers books to be easy to get into, I find I have to be in the right mood to read them, but I’ve loved every book she’s written so far.
  • Near the Bone by Christina Henry (13 April) – My list is looking awfully light on horror so a monster in the woods story from Henry should balance it out nicely. April does seem a bit of a strange time for this kind of read but what the heck.
  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (4 May) – I suspect this is another story I’m going to have to be in the right mood for, previous books by Weir have been a little techie for me, but he does know how to write a great story

So that’s ten twelve of the books I’m most looking forward to in 2021. Are any of these on your most anticipated list? Is there a book that should be on this list (I’m positive I’ve missed something)? Please leave links and comments.

Happy Reading


TTT: Top Ten Books That Should be Adapted

Hello lovely people,

I know I’m a little late with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post but I wasn’t actually planning on participating and then changed my mind when I saw the topic was Top Ten Books That Should Be Adapted into a Netflix Show/Movie. So here I am on a Wednesday scrabbling around to create a post, you can probable expect my WWW Wednesday post next Monday 😉

I’ve been on many a Netflix binge recently and there are loads of books I think would adapt really well for the small screen. As it is small screen I haven’t included any of the big sci fi or fantasy series I’d love to see adapted but think need the big screen or a big budget for special effects to do them justice.

  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman – I think this was originally intended as a TV show and with it’s unique and often quirky characters who all have their own stories I would definitely watch it if it was. I’d also really love to see the ice hockey games and the setting on screen.
  • My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – I could see this story about a couple who spice up their marriage with a bit of murder as a series. There’s a little bit of a Dexter feel to it but much darker and twistier. It was a binge read for me so would no doubt be a binge watch.
  • Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen – There was a lot about this book that really reminded me of Fargo. It has the same dark humour and eccentric characters that would be really entertaining. I guess this would be best as a film but you could probably build it into a series.
  • The Six by Luca Veste – This book about a group of friends who accidentally kill someone then cover it up had a very I Know What You Did Last Summer feel to it so would work as either a movie or a series I think. Lots of 90s music in the soundtrack, a lot of twists and turns and a few scares to keep us all hooked
  • The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James – I do love a creepy horror film and with the Haunting of Hill House doing so well as a show I think this modern take on the classic haunted house story would be great. It has all of the classic haunted house tropes, strange noises, faces at windows but mixes in some modern tech to keep it current.
  • The Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones – A PI who sees dead people, yep I guess this has been done before but I just love the combination of mystery, witty one liners and romance. They would really need to get the casting of a certain character spot on though.
  • Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood – I know I try to sneak this into pretty much every TTT post but I genuinely think this would be wonderful as a movie. It’s billed as a romance but it’s more about friendship and the journey the main character goes on as she travels around New York trying to deliver a letter on behalf of her dying best friend. There are a lot of laughs, a few tears and yes some romance.
  • Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin – I can visualize this as a Cruel Intentions / Revenge / Heathers kind of a show as rich girl Elle and her three best friends try to get revenge the group of prep boys who assaulted her. It’s over the top, dark and so dramatic. I’m pretty sure I’d be hooked.
  • Sweetpea by CJ Skuse – OK yes I already have a Dexter type book on the list but this series about your average every day office worker who happens to kill people in her spare time is on the lighter side (well kind of) and I think would be so funny as a show.
  • Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn – No Netflix listing would be complete without a good Christmas movie and I think Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares would make a fantastic Christmas movie. I’m actually surprised it isn’t already a film (unless it is and I haven’t spotted it). It’s just such a feel good story and there are a lot of funny scenes that I think would translate really well to screen.

So that’s the ten books I’d really like to see Netflix adapt, there’s probably a whole lot more I’ve missed. Would you watch any of these or do you have a better idea for a book that could be adapted? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading


Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR

Okay yes, I know it’s not Tuesday so I am super late with this but between a not so well cat and a busy time at work I’m considering it a win I’ve posted it at all. Things have definitely been slipping blog wise over the last few months. Anyway, for those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme that was started by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018.  It was born of a love of lists (something I share) and each week participants come up with a list of ten(ish) things based on a theme.

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is books on my Summer TBR so as I’ve been planning on doing a Summer TBR post for a while I thought this would be a good step back into blogging. It’s pretty safe to say my reading has been a little all over the place for the last few months. Focus on anything for any length of time has been nigh on impossible. Sci fi and fantasy books have been particularly hard so my reading list has been around 90% rom coms, 8% crime/thriller and 2% other. It seems doubtful that’s going to change any time soon so my TBR is a little heavier on these genres but I’ve snuck a few fantasy and sci fi that I was really looking forward to (pre covid). As always the links take you to the Goodreads page.

Owned Physical

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)BurnThe Death of Mrs. Westaway

  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – Curiosity got the better of me with this Hunger Games prequel. It’ll either be awful or brilliant but I do feel like I need to read it and find out. Plus I love a villain origin story.
  • Burn by Patrick Ness – A Patrick Ness book with dragons, this has been on my most anticipated list since I first heard about it. I’ve just been putting it off because of the whole lack of focus when reading thing.
  • The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware – I read my very first book by Ruth Ware, The Turn of the Key, a month or so ago and loved it so I feel I really should read more.


Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)Britt-Marie Was HereNinth House (Alex Stern, #1)

  • Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – I’m most of the way through this one already so it’s a bit of a cheat but would be good to have one book on the list that I’ll definitely be finishing 🙂 Well… that’s if I do finish it. I don’t want it to be over.
  • Britt Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman – I love Backman’s writing and have been wanting to read this for a while so when it popped up on a 2 for 1 deal on audible I couldn’t resist.
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – This was another book that was 2 for 1 on audible. I do have a physical copy too but have never gotten around to it. Am hoping I find the audio a little easier to get into.


The Cat and The CityThe Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying VampiresClap When You Land

  • The Cat and The City by Nick Bradley – I’m not sure if Japanese cat fiction is a real genre but if not it totally should be. This is a series of short stories set in Tokyo that are connected by a cat. I’ve already read the first story and loved the writing and the magical realism elements so can’t wait to read the rest.
  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix – Not gonna lie I’m not entirely sure what this is about as the title was the main draw.
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo – Despite some reservations around whether I could actually read a book in verse form I ended up loving The Poet X so I’m going to give this one a try. Not sure how I’ll get on with two pov’s but fingers crossed it lives up to expectations.

Owned Ebooks

Very Nearly NormalLove the One You HateLittle Siberia

  • Very Nearly Normal by Hannah Sunderland – I read the first couple of chapters of this on ReadersFirst a few months ago and knew instantly it was a book I was going to want to read. There is just something about a socially awkward, overly hostile and grumpy protagonist that appeals to me.
  • Love the One You Hate by R.S. Grey – I generally love this authors books and I love the hate to love trope so this one is a no brainer. Plus romcom for the win.
  • Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen – Palm Beach Finland was one of my fave books last year so I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. I’m hoping for quirky characters and some dark comedy.


Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters, #2)One to WatchAgain Again

  • Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert – I’ve pretty much been requesting and reading every romcom I can get my mitts on from Netgalley at the moment and this sounds like such a cute and fun story. Also good to have a bit more diversity in my reading.
  • One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London – I’m kind of missing my reality TV (it’s a guilty pleasure) so am hoping this will fill the Love Island shaped hole in my life. Also love that the main character is plus sized, yay for body positivity.
  • Again, Again by E. Lockhart – I’ve spied a few not so great reviews for this which are making me question whether I should be including on my TBR but I loved the other books I’ve read from this author so I shall give it a shot. It sounds quite unusual.

Coming Soon

The Midnight LibraryMexican GothicBookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3)

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – I really love Haig’s writing no matter the genre so as soon as I heard about this I had it pre ordered. It will, like a lot of Haig’s books, no doubt make me cry but that’s why I love them.
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Morena-Garcia – I hadn’t heard of this till someone on Twitter suggested it as a good choice for a slightly different book club read but having investigated it sounds right up my street.
  • Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston – I was a little grumpy about the first book in the Once Upon a Con series (it was too similar to one of my all time fave reads) but book 2 totally made up for any niggles so I have high hopes for book 3 particularly with the Beauty and the Beast theme.

So that’s my TBR for the summer months. Hopefully I’ll manage to find my focus and read most of them. Are any of these on your TBR or are there any books you think I’m missing?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your top tens or Summer TBRs.

Happy Reading ❤

TTT: Ten Book Characters I’d Follow on Social Media

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme that was started by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018.  It was born of a love of lists (something I share) and each week participants come up with a list of ten(ish) things based on a theme.

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is the ten book characters you’d follow on social media. Initially I thought this would be really easy but it turns out I read a lot more crime/thriller and horror books than I thought and I do not want that popping up on my social media. Anyway, after a scour through some of my recent reads I’ve managed to come up with a nice mix of weird conspiracy theorists, humour, travel and food which I think will cover off most of my interests 🙂

  1. Nolan Moore from The Anomaly Files by Michael Rutger – As someone who loves a good conspiracy theory I think rogue archaeologist Nolan’s YouTube channel and Instagram would be right up my street.  I am fascinated by unsolved mysteries and urban legends so I would definitely watch his documentaries and no doubt wander down a rabbit hole investigation of my own.
  2. Johanna Morrigan from How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran – Wild, witty, well read, feminist who’s adventurous and not afraid to follow her heart. She also works as a music journalist so I think you could expect her to have her pulse on the music scene and also be up on current issues. My only concern is she’s a little obsessive about a certain musician so the whole thing could turn into a massive love letter to him.
  3. Tiffy Moore from The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – She works in a quirky publishing house, do I need to say anymore? OK, she’s also a really positive, energetic, upbeat person who’s pretty creative. I think her Pinterest and Insta would be a wonderful mix of crafts and books.
  4. Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – You just know her Insta and/or Pinterest would be full of baking and quirky outfits and I am very interested in cakes.
  5. Rhiannon Lewis from Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse – I can’t be the only one who thinks Rhiannon’s social media would be hilarious. I mean ok she’s a serial killer who has a daily kill list (mostly just people who’ve annoyed her that day) but a lot of her observations are spot on and so funny. There’d also no doubt be many, many pictures of her cute dog.
  6. Darcy Barrett from 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne – She’s a photographer undertaking a major remodel of a cottage she inherits from her Grandmother. I love property makeover shows so think this would be wonderful.
  7. Nana from The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – I already follow a few cats on Twitter/Insta  and would love to follow Nana on his adventure across Japan. I think there’d be lots of funny observations and many cute cat pictures.
  8. Rosemary Harper from The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – Some more adventuring, this time across the universe on board a ship full of unusual characters. I would love to experience this alongside Rosemary who’s seeing a lot of it for the first time.
  9. Felicity Montague from The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee – So probably not much in the way of social media in Felicity’s time but if there was I would love to follow her on her adventure across Europe. Sea voyages, pirates, dragons and no doubt a lot about her passion for medicine.
  10. Legend from the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber – I think I need a little more magic and mystery in my life and there’s no one more magical or mysterious than Legend. I’m thinking this would be full of riddles, puzzles and pictures of impossible things.

So those are the ten book characters I’d follow on social media. There’s probably a whole lot more I could have picked (I was very tempted to add Luna Lovegood) but thought I’d stick to some fairly recent reads. Would any of these make your list or is there anyone I’ve missed you think would have a brilliant social media presence.

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your top ten’s.

TTT: Ten books that left me with a book hangover

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme that was started by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018.  It was born of a love of lists (something I share) and each week participants come up with a list of ten(ish) things based on a theme.

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is the last ten books that gave me a book hangover. I have to confess it’s pretty rare for me to get a book hangover, probably because I mostly go for lighter reads and haven’t really been reading many series lately (I have more of a tendency to get overly attached to characters in a series than a standalone). This topic was therefore a bit of a struggle but I have managed to come up with 10 recent ish books that have left me shook. I didn’t necessarily have a full blown hangover but they have proven themselves difficult to forget.

Call Me Star GirlDarkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3)The Places I've Cried in Public

  • Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech – the most recent book on my list (I only finished it on Friday) but wow this was a lot more intense and emotional than I expected. There were a few moments that got to me but that ending was perfection (and took some getting over).
  • Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff – Many, many times I wanted to throw this book at the wall while reading. I’d grown far too attached to the characters so to lose so many of them (and have to leave the world) was just too much.
  • The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne – As you can probably guess from the title this is an emotional read. The writing is brilliant and powerful and all too real. I found myself crying in public while reading it.

Foul Is Fair (Foul Is Fair #1)Monstrous HeartBreakers

  • Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin – Angry, intense and shocking this story of revenge inspired by Macbeth is over the top at times but I doubt anyone could read it and not be affected by it
  • Monstrous Heart by Claire McKenna – I still need to write a review for this but while not perfect there was something about this book that really resonated with me. I read an early ARC so I’m hoping to read again once it’s published (and hopefully a lot of the issues are fixed)
  • Breakers by Doug Johnstone –  I think what got me with this one was how horrifically real and incredibly believable it is. My day job is sort of loosely associated with aspects of this so it brought a lot of issues I’m aware of to life.

Daisy Jones and The SixGood Samaritans

  • Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Like many other I fully believed that this was about a real band and that these were real people so it was tough to accept it was all over (I still don’t accept it’s fictional)
  • Good Samaritans by Will Carver – This is seriously messed up and unlike anything else I think I’ve ever read. It was hard to put this down at the end and just go off and read something fluffy. It buzzed around in my head for days.

My Lovely WifeThe Travelling Cat Chronicles

  • My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – This was a completely addictive read from start to finish and with such a shocking ending I spent I don’t know how long trying to figure out what the hell just happened.
  • The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – An all time favourite and one I’ve been buying for everyone I know. It’s a heartbreaking read but totally worth it.

So those are the last ten books that have really gotten to me. Do you suffer from book hangovers or are you like me and just keep swimming along?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your top ten’s.

TTT: Choosing Books by their Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme that was started by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018.  It was born of a love of lists (something I share) and each week participants come up with a list of ten(ish) things based on a theme.

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is a Book Cover Freebie which has totally sent me into an indecisive mess (and is the reason why I’m so late with this week’s post). I’d much prefer if someone just told me what to post but anyway I’ve decided to put a little bit of a twist on it and have come up with a list of the things I want/ or don’t want on my book covers. What will put me off buying a book or tempt me into splashing the cash.  Let’s start with the negative


TV/Movie tie in coversSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

I do get it, they want people who love the show/movie or who have even just heard everyone rave over it to rush out and buy the book but seeing the actors and the huge big sticker with “Now a hit TV show starring…” plastered all over the front really puts me off. I’m pretty sure if people really want to find the book the show is based on they will, and don’t even get me started when they change the title of the book to the name of the show…

What really winds me up too is when you buy an ebook from Amazon with the original cover and all of a sudden Amazon decide to change it to the tie in version… grrr!!

The authors name is the biggest thingGenesis (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #12)

Yes if an author is successful and has lots of readers make sure their name is prominent but when the name is more prominent than the title of the book, or pretty much anything else on the cover it just makes me think they’re trying to sell you it purely based on the author. The story seems to be treated as some kind of secondary, less important factor, it’s sort of assumed that you’ll buy it regardless of what it’s about because the author is just sooo awesome. It seems a little disrespectful to readers to me.

(I haven’t read this book btw, it was just one I spotted that kind of fit)

People on coversSince You've Been Gone

I know, I’m a weirdo but I really don’t like when covers have real people i.e. not illustrations on them. It’s probably part of the reason I don’t like tie in covers with the actors on the cover. I don’t want anyone showing me what the characters look like, I want to imagine them for myself. When I read I actually struggle to take in descriptions of people (or places) so I have a tendency to make up my own image of them, which usually bears no resemblance to how the author intended. If there’s a picture on the front of the character it kind of forces me to imagine them that way, and I don’t want to.

The “standard genre” coverThe Bet (Indecent Intentions #1)

There seems to be this thing where if a book is a certain genre it has to have the same thing on the cover. Crime books have the dark alley (possibly with a sinister figure), domestic thrillers a house or a door, romances have the bare chested guy and YA fantasy has that snake that seems to be doing the rounds at the moment. It’s all just obvious and kind of boring. I think I may have a couple of books which have literally the same cover (the guy in this cover is on at least four different books).

It’s just ugly or doesn’t fit

I won’t be mean and put an example for this one but there have certainly been a few times where the cover of the book has put me off buying it. It’s either really unprofessional looking (I feel like I could come up with a better one myself using my phone) or it just seems to have absolutely no real connection to the story. This sort of links to the standard genre point as well, just because a book is a certain genre you are not obliged to have certain things on the cover if they have nothing to do with the story . I do understand that a lot of self published authors don’t have money to spend on covers but I’m sorry they do matter.


All the pretty, sparkly things ❤Circe

I am a sucker for a pretty cover and will admit to having bought more than one book based on the cover alone, didn’t even read the synopsis.

I love intricate designs, flowers, possibly some foil or sprayed edges. I know that a gorgeous cover doesn’t always translate exactly into a gorgeous story but I am seriously struggling to think of a book with a pretty cover that I haven’t enjoyed.

Little references to the storyDarkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3)

I don’t like covers that are too obvious but I do love when the cover images have little clues or references to some of the things that pop up in the story. I haven’t come across many of these but the most recent was the UK version of Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. I love how if you look closely there are lots of little images within the main one which link to certain scenes or characters in the story. I had a lot of fun after I finished the book fitting all of the little parts of the story to the images on the cover.

A little bit of mysteryThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

There’s a lot to be said for a cover that’s simple, stylish and doesn’t give much away about the story, especially if you add in a little bit of foil or a nice border. The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was one of those books for me. There are a few little clues in those diamonds in the corner but the big draw for this book is definitely the title and the story. It doesn’t need a fancy cover and honestly I can’t think of anything you could put on the cover that would fit the story (although I am aware the paperback version has a staircase on it).

Less can be more.

Contemporary design with strong colours and illustrationsThe Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1)

I read a lot of romcoms and contemporary fiction and am absolutely loving the trend at the moment for illustrations on the cover. Bright colours, big loopy writing, something that literally jumps of the shelf and says go on you know you want to read me. There’s just something fun about them that appeals to me and you can usually trust that if the cover is contemporary the story will be too.

It’s quirky or funnyA Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

I love a quirky or different story so it stands to reason that I’m drawn to books with slightly quirky or just downright weird covers (anyone for a lobster or a pink flamingo?). And, if it happens to have a slightly out there title that’s a bonus. I find that there are a lot of covers that are just variations of the same thing, but books like this just jump out at you. I may not necessarily buy it but I’ll definitely pick it up and read what it’s about.

So that’s what I look for (or avoid) in my book covers. Is there anything in particular you look for on the cover when choosing a book or do you share any of my cover pet peeves?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your top ten’s.

TTT: Ten Most Recent Additions to my Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme that was started by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018.  It was born of a love of lists (something I share) and each week participants come up with a list of ten(ish) things based on a theme.

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is Ten Most Recent Additions to my Bookshelf. I kind of read this as the last ten books you bought physical copies of but as I mostly use my ereader I’m going to go with the ten most recent books I bought whether it was a physical copy or ebook. Most of these are the first book in a series or a standalone but where it’s a sequel I’ve noted it in the title so you can skip over the synopsis and avoid spoilers.

Inborn by Thomas Enger

InbornWhen the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock… for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously… and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.

As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect? It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust. But can we trust him? A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?

Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb

Deep Down Dead (Lori Anderson, #1)Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1)Betrayed by his family and left for dead, prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the shattered sea itself – all with only one good hand.

Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge. Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, traps and tragedy.

A Heart so Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers 2) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)Find the heir, win the crown.

The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

84k by Claire North

84KWhat if your life were defined by a number?

What if any crime could be committed without punishment, so long as you could afford to pay the fee assigned to that crime?

Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.

But when Theo’s ex-lover Dani is killed, it’s different. This is one death he can’t let become merely an entry on a balance sheet.

Because when the richest in the world are getting away with murder, sometimes the numbers just don’t add up.

Violet by SJ Halliday

VioletWhen two strangers end up sharing a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express, an intense friendship develops, one that can only have one ending … a nerve-shattering psychological thriller from bestselling author SJI Holliday

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

A tense and twisted psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there’s a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers…

Starsight (Skyward 2) by Brandon Sanderson

Starsight (Skyward, #2)All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.

Sacrificing Sapphire (Stalking Sapphire 4) by Mia Thompson

Sacrificing Sapphire: A Sapphire Dubois Mystery (Sapphire Dubois Mystery Four)Sapphire Dubois is about to celebrate her first Christmas in Beverly Hills with her new husband, Detective Aston Ridder. She has assured him that her days of defying death to save victims from serial killers are over. But after three months of marriage, she hasn’t kicked the habit. Sapphire feels compelled to check out a lead—two to women with similar descriptions have vanished from the same location. After breaking her promise, the daring crime fighter gets abducted by the very killer she was hunting.

While a distraught Aston scrambles to find his missing wife, Sapphire wakes up in a bizarre reality where she is now the victim, forced to play a part in her abductor’s sick ritualistic game. Soon she realizes she’s not alone; a little girl is imprisoned with her, and Sapphire is her only chance of escape.

Sacrificing Sapphire combines rich L.A. sass and smarts with thrilling psychological suspense

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of RavensIsobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

I think it’s pretty safe to say from this that my reading tastes are diverse. I bought more or less all of these in the last couple of weeks (proof if anyone needs it that book bloggers do buy books) so haven’t read them as yet. Have you read any of these, any you recommend I read asap?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your top ten’s.

TTT: Bookish Discoveries I Made in 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme that was started by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018.  It was born of a love of lists (something I share) and each week participants come up with a list of ten(ish) things based on a theme.

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is Bookish Discoveries I Made in 2019. I have to admit I seriously struggled with this week’s topic. There were just too many things to choose from, authors, books, blogs, publishers, bookish merch… I’ve therefore gone with a sort of scattergun approach of slightly random stuff that caught my attention during 2019. I apologize in advance…


Skyward (Skyward, #1)I could quite easily fill the whole top ten with author’s I discovered during 2019 but I really wanted to include some other stuff so I’ll just go with the standouts. 2019 was the year when I finally picked up books by Jay Kristoff and Brandon Sanderson. I’ve had their books on my shelf for ages but with the hype around them kept putting them off. Having now finally read them I can confirm that all of the hype is 100% justified. Both Skyward and the Nevernight trilogy were in my fave books of the year.

Samantha Downing and Beth O’Leary also seriously impressed me with their debut books My Lovely Wife and The Flatshare putting them very squarely on my “must look out for books by” list. Also on that list are Will Carver, Antti Tuomainen, Doug Johnstone and pretty much every author on Orenda Book’s list. Their books are just so original and different.


The End We Start FromEvery year I make a half hearted attempt at the Popsugar Challenge and every year I probably only manage to fill around half the prompts but it does almost always lead to some kind of discovery and a broadening of my reading. In 2019 that discover was new genres. I seriously had no idea that cli-fi and LitRPG were even a thing but apparently they are. I will admit to not being so keen on LitRPG (I found Ready Player One kind of boring) but I am liking cli-fi (probably due to my love of dystopians and post apocalypse stories)

New Book Festivals


I love a good bookish event, particularly when it’s genre fiction so was very excited for the very first Cymera festival in Edinburgh in June 2019. Over the weekend there were around 70 science fiction, fantasy and horror writers including Victoria Schwab, Claire North, Ben Aaronovitch and Adrian Tchaikovsky.

shoe (2)I was volunteering at the event so I didn’t get to see a huge number of authors (I was selling tickets in the box office) but the events I did make it to were brilliant and with it being the first year it wasn’t too crazy. I did get to chat to a few authors, publicists etc as they stopped into reception, and had a fantastic if somewhat stressful time (why do printers hate me). I also discovered that Anna Smith Spark has the best shoes ever.

Also last year was the first ever Capital Crime festival in London. I didn’t manage to make it as it was a little too close to the Bloody Scotland Festival but the programme looked incredible. There’s a strong possibility I’ll be wandering my way down there this year.


When I was younger I used to absolutely love Choose Your Own Adventure books so I was very excited to see them making something of a comeback in 2019 with some adult versions. I read a couple of them during the year, mostly would you survive a zombie apocalypse style stories (I would not), and had a lot of fun. The absolute highlight of the year CYOA wise however was Susan Dennard’s Twitter CYOA, the Luminaries. Every day for 6 months hive mind Winnie (aka around 2000 followers) made some incredibly poor decisions in a story full of magic, romance and adventure. It was hands down the best thing on Twitter even if we did spend around a fortnight in a garage trying to decide whether to take a dirt bike or a car.

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3)Footnotes

I finally picked up the Nevernight trilogy by Jay Kristoff this year and discovered the joy and horror of reading books with extensive footnotes. The footnotes were brilliant and definitely had a lot of the funniest moments but trying to read them in an ebook was just hell. I did manage better with a physical copy of the book but to be honest I had to resort to the audiobook to make it through Darkdawn.

Full Cast AudiobooksIlluminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

I’ve always been a little anti full cast audiobooks, I tried to listen to one a year or so ago and hated it, but this year after listening to Illuminae and Daisy Jones and the Six discovered just how good they can be. Illuminae in particularly completely blew me away with how fantastic it was (I did not think that book could ever work on audio) and I can’t wait to read the other books in the series.


So that’s my discoveries from 2019. Did you make any discoveries last year that you think everyone should know about?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your top ten’s.

TTT: Most Anticipated Books of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme that was started by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018.  It was born of a love of lists (something I share) and each week participants come up with a list of ten(ish) things based on a theme.

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020. I’ve actually been trying to focus on backlist books and not new books coming out as I really want to reduce my TBR not add to it but these ones have been on my radar for a while. The links will take you to the GoodReads page, if you want to check any of them out.


Burn by Patrick Ness (May 2020) – It’s Patrick Ness and it’s dragons do I really need to say anymore… OK, his last couple of books haven’t been my favourites but his writing is always wonderful and the stories imaginative and unique. I can’t wait to see what he does with this.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (Jan 2020) – Technically this came out yesterday but I’m counting it. I absolutely loved the first book in the series A Curse So Dark and Lonely (here’s my review) which was a Beauty and the Beast inspired story and I love Kemmerer’s writing so this has got to be a win-win. Fingers crossed it lives up to expectations.

The Switch

The Switch by Beth O’Leary (April 2020) – I LOVED O’Leary’s debut The Flatshare so have been anxiously awaiting anything by her and this sounds like such a cute story. A pensioner and a 20 something swap places for a couple of months and maybe find love. If it’s anything like The Flatshare I fully anticipate this having a little more depth than the blurb would suggest.


Pretending by Holly Bourne (April 2020) – This isn’t out till April but I’ve already been hearing a lot of great things about it. I’m not wholly surprised as Bourne’s first adult novel How Do You Like Me Now? is one of my all time favourite reads. Bourne has an incredible ability to weave current issues into her stories and capture how a lot of women really feel.

Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (Jan 2020) – I was absolutely heartbroken when my NetGalley request for this was declined. The Wayward Children series is absolutely brilliant, so I’ve been ridiculously excited about the fifth book in the series particularly as it seems to follow favourite character Jack. I love the world building, the characters and the imagination of the whole thing. Looking on the positive side though a declined request means I can listen to it on audio, which is how I’ve read all of the others in the series.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (May 2020)  – Like a lot of people I suspect I am both eagerly anticipating and slightly dreading this Hunger Games prequel. It has the potential to be either brilliant or terrible. One thing is for sure, I won’t be able to resist reading it.

The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice, #1)

The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence (April 2020) – Should I really be starting a new series when I have so many others unfinished (Book of the Ancestor included)? Probably not. Am I going to? Most certainly. I love Lawrence’s stories. I do think I should probably finish the Book of the Ancestor trilogy first though.

The Notorious Virtues (The Notorious Virtues, #1)

The Notorious Virtues by Alwyn Hamilton (May 2020) – Have to confess that cover is a BIG part of why I want to read this book, I mean look at it. That is one stunning cover. I almost don’t care what the stories about. I was however a big fan of Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands trilogy so I have no doubt the content will live up to expectations.

Our Little Cruelties

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent (March 2020) – I really, really love Liz Nugent’s books. Every single one starts with a killer opening sentence and this one is no exception. I am expecting something dark and twisty with absolutely horrible characters doing absolutely horrible things.

He Started It

He Started It by Samantha Downing (April 2020) – Downing’s first novel, My Lovely Wife was one of my favourite books of 2019 so as soon as I heard about her new one it went straight on my TBR. It sounds just as dark and twisted and I can’t wait to read it.

So that’s my 10 most anticipated books from the first half of 2020. Are any of these on your list or is there a book you’re particularly looking forward to that I should really be adding to my TBR?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your top ten’s.