Posted in Review

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World [ARC REVIEW]

I was gifted an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wow. Just wow. A sequel has no right being this incredible.

I think it’s going to be difficult to write this review without comparing it to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, but I think I need to you so can understand what I’m trying to say without spoilers or anything that isn’t already in the book description.

Similar to the first novel, the chapters are short and full of crisp lyrical prose and perfect dialogue. It’s another quiet story, but noticeably less gentle. It’s still emotional and painful and beautiful. While the first book was about two boys meeting at a swimming pool and slowly falling in love, this one is about those same two boys discovering what it means to stay in love and forge a path for themselves in a world that doesn’t understand them or accept their existence. It also focuses on Ari falling in love with his life and creating something that is truthfully and joyfully his own, as well as building relationships outside of Dante. Ari is still beautiful and angry and sweet, but there’s something extra about him this time around. There’s a few references from other characters about him becoming a man and I think that’s right.

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Posted in Krystal Sutherland, Review

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland [REVIEW]

It’s been a month since I read this book and I still don’t have a clue what I read but it was wonderful.

On New Year’s Day ten years ago on a quiet street in Edinburgh, the three young Hollow sisters disappear without a trace as their parents turn away for a kiss. One month later, they suddenly reappear on the same street they were taken with no proof they’ve been gone besides an antique hunting knife and matching half moon scars at the base of their throats. The sisters have no memory of their abduction, but their hair turns white and their eyes change to black and they now have the ability to make anyone fall under their spell (literally). Their father is convinced that these suddenly strange girls are not his daughters, but their overprotective mother refuses to acknowledge that anything is wrong. I think that’s as much as I can say before I start getting into the main plot and spoilers.

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Posted in Emily Lloyd-Jones, Review

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones [REVIEW]

This is another book that I’ve fallen completely in love with due to it hitting so many of my niche interests. A tough gravedigger girl, a soft mapmaker boy who can never find his way, and their undead goat adventure through mountains and folklore to face the curse of risen corpses and long-hidden truths about themselves. It’s a story about folktales and magic and family and undead corpses.

First love: the setting. This book is set in a village within a forest where the people have let history die because they no longer believe in magic. The Welsh influences and folklore was the perfect choice for a horror/influenced novel as I’ve grown up near Wales and hearing about all the ghost hauntings and supernatural sightings and other assorted spooky stuff. It was wonderfully atmospheric: the remains of a once glorious kingdom, a small village haunted by the past, and decades-old curses lingering within the woods.

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Posted in Alexandra Bracken, Review

Lore by Alexandra Bracken [REVIEW]

I’ve finally decided to start rating and reviewing books based off of subjective enjoyment rather than objective goodness as I’ve read so many books this year that I loved purely because they hit so many of my niche interests, and this is definitely one of them. Therefore, this review is very biased, and I will almost definitely overlook some of the negatives of this book.

This book has often been described as Greek mythology meets The Hunger Games, and that is honestly the best summary of the story. Many years ago, nine Greek gods rebelled and were forced to walk the earth as mortals every seven years as a punishment. They are hunted down by the descendants of ancient bloodlines who want to obtain their power and immortality. Melora ‘Lore’ Perseous turned her back on gods and eternal glory as a child after her family were murdered by one of the rival bloodlines until a childhood friend and a gravely wounded goddess convince her to return the hunt for revenge.

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Posted in Alice Oseman, Review

Loveless by Alice Oseman [REVIEW]

It’s taken me so long to write this review as it’s taken me months to put into words how much of a personal attack every single page of this book was. It’s everything I needed in a book and more, everything I’ve wanted since I was thirteen and hearing about asexuality for the first time. This is my second Alice Oseman book – I fell in love with Solitaire soon after it came out and was a prize for a Movellas writing competition – and I think she has the potential to become one of my favourite authors. I unfortunately haven’t had the opportunity to read any of her books in between yet, but it’s been wonderful to see how much her work has grown and improved since Solitaire.

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Posted in Hannah Moskowitz, Review

Salt by Hannah Moskowitz [REVIEW]

I’ve only read one Hannah Moskowitz book before (Teeth – I love it with my entire heart) but I’m starting to recognise what I think could be the key features of her writing: messy characters and bitter humour, with a side of siblings and sea monsters. I love monster books above all else, especially as I’m going through a lighthousecore phase, and sibling books are a close second.

So, the summary: siblings Indi, Beleza, Oscar, and Zulu, are roaming the Mediterranean on their boat, killing sea monsters, and trying to hunt down the one that is rumoured to have killed their missing parents. Indi yearns for a calmer life and hopes that the treasure hinted at in their parents’ journal will provide his family with a means of escape from their dangerous life before it’s too late.

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Posted in Hannah Moskowitz, Review

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz [REVIEW]

The following review contains untagged spoilers regarding the ending of the book in the final paragraph and brief mentions of specific scenes throughout the book.

I wish I could explain why this book means so much to be but I can’t. I don’t even know where to start. It’s been a month or more since I read the book and it still takes up so much of my headspace. I’m going to tell you about it alongside some of my favourite quotes.

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Posted in Ashley Poston, Review

Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston [REVIEW]

The following review contains untagged spoilers regarding the entire book. I wish I could be more specific than that. Spoiler tagged version is available on Goodreads.

I was gifted the OwlCrate exclusive hardback edition of this book from a friend and it’s one of the prettiest books I’ve ever owned. The reversible dust jacket is beautiful. (And I think the black cover suits the vibe of the book a lot more than the white.)

This book was wonderful in a very quiet, classic way, yet the worldbuilding was still breath-taking and vivid and whimsical. It opens in a simple and quaint part of the kingdom with Cerys, the gardener’s teenage daughter who has magic literally in her blood that marks her survival from the curse in the woods. She’s best friends with the royal heir and a mischievous and melodramatic fox who quickly became my favourite character. The fox hit all of the character tropes I love and then more, and I think that’s all I can say without giving away too much.

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Posted in Erin A. Craig, Review

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig [REVIEW]

The following review contains untagged spoilers regarding the ending of the book in the final paragraph and brief mentions of specific scenes throughout the book.

I picked up this book because I was (still am) going through an intense ‘lighthousecore’/Gothic ocean/sea monster phase and I knew I would love it just based off the cover and the description. I didn’t know it was a retelling until I read a handful of reviews so I can’t fully weigh in on the accomplishments of this book as a retelling. I then started to expect a typical YA fairytale retelling – ‘evil’ stepmother and all – and, fortunately, there was nothing typical about this book.

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Posted in Reading, Review, Updates

What I Read in 2020

I’m still working on a post about my favourite books of 2020, so here I am instead to write a recap of the year! I haven’t done one of these end-of-year posts in a while, but Goodreads has shown me all of my reading statistics for the year, and I am still a number nerd.

Reading wise, this year has been exciting. It’s been my most ambitious reading year to date, I’ve fallen in love with the works of many new authors, and I’ve been making the most of my local library’s app for eBooks. This year has also been pretty tough. My mental health has been at it’s worst and I’ve fallen a bit out of love with writing, the one thing I’ve loved for a huge proportion of my life. And Covid. We won’t forget about that.

But this blog isn’t going to focus on that: it’s going to focus on all the good books I’ve read this year and how I suddenly need to buy a new bookshelf because I’ve filled my third one.

This post might be long. Let’s begin!

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