Winter Blues

Its been a while since a made a post. Its common knowledge that this time of year people feel down due to the weather, dark days and general stress over christmas. This is certainly true for me. I have tried multiple times to read a book and put it down even though I’m enjoying it. Its not only affecting my reading, but also my get go, drawing, exercise and food.

I will be breaking up for work soonish for the Christmas period and I’m hoping that that will help eliminate a lot of stress. I had 4 books I was hoping to read this month but haven’t touched any of them except one and a random one.

I mannaged to read the first few chapters before putting it down. I keep picking it up as I really do want to read it.

This has been on my list for a long time (before the netflix series came out) After watching the Netflix series I decided to pick it up. Again, I’m really enjoying it but I have no effort in picking it up to try.

I’m interested to know how other people cope in periods like this? Do you suffer from the winter blues?

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November reads

Another good month, although yes it was mainly audio books as work has been extremely busy. I manged to get through 7 books and all i thoroughly enjoyed.

The 2 books I read were Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I can not believe it took me so long to start this book. I loved it and can not wait to start Crooked Kingdom and Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, I have a review of this book in the last post .

As I said, I mainly went through audio books this month due to work.

I’m always repeating the Harry Potter books so again I listened to the first 2 this month (these books also cheer me up)

I also listened to The Birthday Girl by Carol Wyer and Bring me Back by B.A Paris (both which I have a review for) I had to get City of Ghosts by V E Schwab because who doesn’t love her books. This for me was a easy 5/5⭐

I’m interested to know if anyone else read any of these? What did you read this month?

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan- Review

Description – Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.

But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse. – Goodreads

I received this book in October’s Fairyloot and tried to do the readalong with Fairyloot, however due to other commitments I was unable to continue it. However, no loss as I read this book in my own time and enjoyed it alot more

I just want to start by saying that this very much reminds me of memoirs of a geisha. A young girl with beautiful eyes is taken from her home to become a prize concubine for a man in power.

Lets start off by describing the different castes of people. Paper caste are humans with no demon (animal) features what so ever. These are the lowest of the castes and are looked down on by the others. They are looked at as slaves. Next there’s Steel caste, human’s but with a bit of demon feature, e.g. ears. The highest caste is Moon. These are people that are mainly demon, full face of a Ox for example and hoofed hands/feet. These work for the King. Lei works in her fathers herb shop. Since here mother was taken 7 years ago by the kings army it is just her, Baba (father) Tien (who is a Steel, part Lynx. She works in Baba’s shop) and Bao their dog. Lei has golden eyes which is extremely rare and even unheard about in Paper castes. Because of this she is thought to be lucky. One day they hear horns being sounded in the distance. General Yu (a Moon caste, Ox) and his army have came to the village to take Lei, due to the rumours, for the demon king.

I don’t know if its because modern times are ‘slightly’ better or that I know this used to happen (still does), but I found the ignorance in lesbianism and the acceptance of rape upsetting. I understand that the book was written in a era where this was the case and it was written brilliantly, i just don’t like it in general. I upsets me that its still the same in a lot of countries. Also the disregard of woman, they are seen as just pretty things to show off to others and use. When they have done their duty they are given away as gifts. The way Ngan has written the Demon King was cleverly done. She shows how good he is at manipulation. Acting sentimental and understanding, but if he doesn’t get what he wants, he will take it, including a girls innocence.

Now I apologise if the last part has made the book sound rather difficult to read but I can not recommend this book enough. I felt that this book/story could me much bigger. After meeting the rest of the paper girls at the palace I want to know more about them. Especially Wren (who I adored💛) and Aoki. There were so many characters that was introduced then almost forgotten about, yet I want to know more about them. Also Lei’s mother. We find out what’s happened to her but again, i need more.

In general, brilliant book, definitely a must read and hopefully there will be a sequel.

5/5 ⭐

Fairyloot Unboxing – November

This months theme was Battles and Galaxies. I was a bit weary with this box as I’m not a huge space fan. I’m not over keen on space films or books. However, I loved this box. Everything is useable with us brilliant, also not a lot of paper items which, tbh, used to annoy me. I will give the book a go as you just never know.

So to the items.

Galaxy Bath bomb by Fairyloot. Brilliant timing as I’m into bath bombs at the moment.

Passport Cover by Fairyloot. I’ll no doubt be using this for something else.

William Shakespeare quote Wooden Ornament by Catarina’s Book Design. Just in time for Christmas.

Can you ever have enough coasters. Well yes but these are just gorgeous inspired by Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. Created by Miss Phi.

What better way to help the environment than with your own galaxy metal straws. These couldn’t have come at a better time. I was actually in the process of ordering myself some.

Red Rising Iron-on Patch by KDP Letters

I love a good Tote Bag. This one is inspired by The Illiuminae Files and made by Evie Bookish.

Finally this months book is Skyward by Brendan Sanderson.

Synopsis- Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul. – Goodreads

So did you get this month’s Fairyloot? What did you think? What was you favourite item?

Book Haul

I have recently been on a bit of a book buying spree. The curse of a bookaholic I’m afraid. I cleared my shelves and got rid of a few books only for me to then buy all of these.

Will I read them this year? nope. Next year? Possibly not. Why do I buy them then? Well, when I’m either in a reading mood and find myself getting through alot of books I tend to look on Amazon for similar books (even though I have too many to count unread books on my shelves) and just buy them. I also mood buy. When I’m having trouble with anxiety sometimes browsing books or art supplies cheers me up. This sometimes leads to speanding 😂 (my husband is used to this now)

So to the books

I read Asylum last year and enjoyed the creepyness.

Have you read any of these books? What do you recommend me to read? Are any of these on your list?

2019 YA Releases TBR

The year is almost over so I decided to take a look at YA releases for next year. Its not a guarantee that I’ll be reading all of these. It also won’t be including crine/thriller/horror books that I would also read normally. (I won’t be doing a list for these as I tend to pick these up when I’m out and about 🤣)

So to the list. The beginning of the year there seems to be loads I would like to read that I’m glad the end of the year its quite just so I can catch up.

January

  • The Wicked King by Holly Black (2nd book to The Cruel Prince)
  • Evermore by Sara Holland (2nd book to Everless which I plan on reading next year)
  • The Loney Dead by April Henry
  • The Dream Keeper by Amber R Duell
  • A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

February

  • The Antidote by Shelly Sackier
  • Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins
  • The Black Coats by Colleen Oakes
  • The Queen of Cursed Things by S.M. Gaither

March

  • Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith
  • The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees
  • Killing November by Adriana Mather
  • Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

April

  • King of Fools by Amanda Foody. (2nd book to Ace of Shades) I am so excited about this book. I need to know more.
  • Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake.
  • Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

May

  • Finale by Stephanie Garber (3rd book in the Caraval series) I am extremely excited about this book. I am a huge Caraval fan.
  • Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen
  • Nocturna by Maya Motayne
  • The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields
  • The Missing Season by Gillian French

June

  • The Beholder by Anna Bright
  • The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter
  • Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda
  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

October

  • Into the Crooked Place by Alexander Christo
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

I would also like to try The Bone Witch series by Rin Chupeco as the 3rd book will be released in 2019. I did try and read The Bone Witch beginning of the year but couldn’t get into it. I want to try again as I feel it has great potential.

Are any of these books on you list? What 2019 release are you looking forward too?

Bring Me Back – B.A Paris

Synopsis- Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.

Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him…even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.

Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?

A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax. – Goodreads

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I listened to it on audio and normally I’m able to listen and just take it in, this story however made me stop and concentrate. It made me guess and try and work out whats happening.

After a argument, Finn walks off to calm his anger down, when he returns Layla is missing. He is a suspect in her murder. 10 years later Finn is still in love with Layla, even though he is now with Ellen, Layla’s sister, and soon to be married. He keeps trying to convince himself that he loves Ellen while comparing her to Layla.

Russian dolls that in the past belonged to Layla and Ellen and sightings of Layla begin to happen. Then Finn starts to receive emails from Layla.

I liked the characters and yes i got annoyed at Finn for comparing his new partner to his old, the way it was written didnt3make me hate him. Layla is very flightly, she can’t be in one place for too long as she gets restless. Finn trys to calm her ways done, hoping she will settle down, but it doesn’t happen.

It is written in first person which I feel helped with the story. You felt more part of what was happening, as if Finn was talking to you directly.

This story certainly keeps you guessing as to what happened 10 years ago? Is this really Layla contacting Finn? If it is Layla, why has she waited this long?

4/5 ⭐

Have you read this book yet? What are your thoughts?