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September Wrap Up

Well, September absolutely flew by. I seriously don’t know where it when. Can anyone tell me? I’m going to use the excuse that the month went by so quickly as the reason I only read six books this month.

Six in a month is definitely the least I’ve read in a month so far this year. But that’s okay. We’ll try and bounce back next month.

Let’s talk about the books shall we?

First up in September I read Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. Did I love this book? Yes, yes I did. It definitely wasn’t perfect but it’s just so much fun and so romantic. It was just a quick, sweet read. So glad I finally picked this one up. It’s out now.

Then I read Little Thieves by Margaret Owens. This is a brilliant fantasy book that had me hooked from beginning to end. It was so intriguing and intricate. It had such a wonderful ending to. I was surprised at how much I loved this one. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out October 5th.

Up next was Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen. This was a brilliant, insightful complex book about the a family struggling to human. It really is fantastic. It’s a beast of a book so it took me a while to read, but it was so worth it. Now the long wait for the next instalment. Thanks to the publishers for my copy, it’s out October 5th.

Fifth this month I read Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. The queer YA books need to be this good. It’s understated, quiet and yet so powerful. With characters you’ve felt you’ve known your whole life. I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s out now.

Then I read Piranesi by Suzanne Clarke. I have to be honest and say this one disappointed me. I thought it was going to be something fresh and original, I thought the first half was intriguing and exciting, but ultimately it became predictable and like something I’d read before. I thought the second half was really underwhelming and that’s when I was expecting to go to great heights. I really was let down. It’s out now.

Lastly I read A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske. This wasn’t a bad book at all, but I just found it all pretty average. I didn’t find it particularly engaging, or like I got to know the characters at all. I just needed more from this book. I’ll probably read the second one, Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out in November.

So that’s it for me this month. Not my best reading month that’s for sure.

Have you read any of these books? Or are you planning to? Let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #yafantasy, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fantasy, gay, queer, Uncategorised, ya, yafantasy, young adult

ARC Book Review: Little Thieves by Margaret Owens

Title: Little Thieves

Author: Margaret Owens

Publisher: Hodderscope

Length: 500 pages

Synopsis: Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love- and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja is the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, and up until a year ago was the dutiful servant of Princess Gisele. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded payment for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her fortune back… by stealing Gisele’s life. Thanks to an enchanted string of pearls, Vanja transformed into her former mistress and took her place, leaving the real Gisele a penniless nobody. Now, Vanja leads a lonely bit lucrative double life as a princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to slowly turn into jewels, stone by stone. Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and maker her getaway. And with a feral half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.

It always takes me a little while to get into fantasy novels. It takes me while to get to know the magic, the world and it did take me a while but the difference with Little Thieves is that it’s enjoyable learning the all of these things.

There is just so much to love about this book I’m not sure where to start. But I think it’s how much I really enjoyed the characters. Vanja is a fantastic main character to follow. I loved how complex and flawed she was but still likeable. I just loved her growth. I also loved Emeric and Ragne. But I enjoyed them all.

What Margaret does brilliantly in this book is create connection between the characters that is so real and believable. I loved, loved loved the friendship between Vanja and Ragne. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the novel for me. Of course I also loved Vanja and Emeric, but I’m not going to spoil that for you. Towards the ends of the there’s almost a found family trope and it adds a lovely element to the book.

Here’s something I often think goes unappreciated in a novel is how enjoyable it is to read. Even when not much wasn’t happening in the plot, it was great to read about the characters and the world. You could tell the story was building (and Margaret does it so well) to the ending. It’s exciting to see if Vanja will break her curse and stop Adalbrecht. As a reader it just keeps you hooked from beginning to end.

Now let’s talk about that ending shall we? It’s so good! So so good! The last 100 pages are such page turners that I just couldn’t stop reading. The ending was exciting and intense. It even had one of those moments where I was like what did I just read! I loved it. Loved it.

Margaret Owens has written a complex, intricate fantasy novel filled with brilliant characters, wonderful magic and a story that has a lot of heart. I do believe it’s a stand-alone book but damn I want a sequel!

Thanks to Kate and Hodderscope for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out October 5th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fantasy, #fiction, #yafantasy, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, books, bookstagram, fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: Defy The Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Defy The Night

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Length: 443 pages

Synopsis: In a kingdom where sickness stalks the streets and only the richest can afford a cure, King Harristan and his brother Prince Corrick are forced to rule with an iron fist. Tessa Cade is a masked outlaw marked for death, but she likes it that way. Together with the mysterious, handsome Weston, she robs from the rich to help the poor, distributing medicine to those who need it most. As it becomes clear that the only way to save her people is to assassinate the King, Tessa faces a deadly mission that will take her to the dark heart of the kingdom… and force her to work with the very people she intended to destroy.

Defy The Night is a young adult novel that’s an absolute triumph.

Sometimes with a fantasy novel it can take me while to get into, as we learn about the worlds and the characters, but with this book I found myself instantly engaged and engrossed. Seriously, I couldn’t put the book down. And I was excited to see where this book was going.

I mean, I was into it. I loved the characters, I loved the world, I loved where the story was going and then the twist happened. The twist happened that I didn’t see coming (don’t worry no spoilers). And it just elevated the book. I haven’t been that shocked by a book in a long time. My jaw actually fell open.

I loved the characters in this. I loved Tessa, Wes, Corrick and Harriston. I liked that they were all complex. And I liked the personal issues each had to go through (I know I’m being vague but I really don’t want to spoil anything). But I really liked that Brigid put some social issues in the book, it gave it real depth and therefore the characters became stronger too.

There was a romance that I totally believed and and I want more of and I want more of it now. But you’ll have discover that when you read it.

The last quarter of Defy The Night is a real page turner. I was up till gone midnight reading this book, I never do that. But I couldn’t put it down. Every chapter finished on a cliffhanger and I kept saying to myself I’ll just read one more and the next thing I knew I’d finished the book.

I really like how it ended. It ends in such a strong position for the next book to explore (which I am already highly anticipating). How long do I have to wait? I’m excited to see where the second book goes and to continue to get to know these characters. And that’s the sign of a great start to a new series right?

Thank you so much to Mattea at Bloomsbury YA Uk for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out September 14th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #literature, #yafantasy, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

August Wrap Up

Well didn’t August just fly by?

I managed to read 8 books this month. That seems to be my average these days and I’m okay with that.

So let’s talk about the books shall we?

First up was Under The Whispering Door by TJ Klune and I have to say this was pretty average for me. I know a lot of people loved and are looking forward to it but I just felt we’ve seen it all before. Yep, nothing special for me. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out October 28tb.

Secondly this month I read Last Night At The Telegraph Club by Malindo Lo. Well I absolutely loved this book. It’s a brilliant sapphic historical fiction novel that I wish more people would read. It’s out now.

Thirdly was Magpie by Elizabeth Day. This was such a brilliant thriller novel that had so much heart and depth. This one really surprised me in the best way. It’s not my usual style of book so I was glad I got to read it. Thanks so much to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now. You can check out my full review here.

Up next I read Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stéphanie Garber. This is was big no for me. I honestly thought it was a load of nonsense. I still don’t know what the point in this book was. My worst of the month. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out September 30th.

Then I read my first Graphic Novel Heartstopper Volume 1. I absolutely loved this. It was so sweet and wholesome, with a really beautiful love story that I look forward to continuing. Beautiful illustrations too!

Sixth this month I read Defy The Night by Brigid Kemmerer. I absolutely loved this fantasy novel. It was so enjoyable, I was immediately intrigued and then it had a plot twist I didn’t see coming at all. I already can’t wait for the next one. Thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book. It’s out September 14th.

Up next I read The Antarctica of Love by Sara Stridsberg. God I absolutely loved this book. I didn’t know what to expect at all, but I loved every page. Definitely going to be one of my favourites of the year. So emotional, so gloriously written. I really hope a lot of people read this one. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out September 30th.

My last book of the month was That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu. This one started off a little rocky for me and I wasn’t sure but by the end it was a brilliant read. I kept rereading those final few pages. I loved it.

So that was it. That was my reading month.

Any interests in these? Let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Arc Book Review: This Is My Truth by Yasmin Rahman

Title: This Is My Truth

Author: Yasmin Rahman

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Length: 381 pages

Synopsis: Amani’s family is outwardly perfect, but no one must know about the Bad Nights, when her father’s temper rages. Her best friend Huda has grown up with loving foster parents, but what will happen to her now they’re expecting a baby of their own? The two best friends hide their fears even from each other. Then a prank blog starts revealing people’s deepest, darkest secrets. Amani is terrified that her shame will be exposed. How will she survive if everybody finds out her truth?

Yasmin is fantastic at writing characters. Amani, the main character, is so well written. As a reader you instantly warm to her. She’s funny, especially with Huda. She’s personable and real. But every character had such depth, it’s amazing how it all fit in to the book. And their connections with each other are so believable. They all felt real to me.

I have to say my favourite thing about this book Is the friendship between Amani and Huda. It’s so honest and real. It’s so refreshing to see a friendship like this in a book. They talk to each other like me and my friends. It was really lovely to read. Of course, they have their ups and downs but that made it even more realistic. It made me smile.

Now, this book does deal with some incredibly difficult things and it doesn’t shy away from them. These scenes are hard to read at times but they need to be. Yasmin brings honesty to them. They are very real. But I truly think they are handled brilliantly, nothing is there for shock factor. You see the situation escalate until it becomes unbearable for the characters.

I’ve also never read about this situation looking at from a child’s view. This is the young adult genre at its best, when books are dealing with real issues and helping people. So many young readers will unfortunately relate to this situation, but I think they’ll be able to find so solace in this book.

This Is My Truth had me gripped from beginning to end, filled with important storytelling, fantastic relatable characters and brilliant friendships. I couldn’t recommend this book enough.

Thanks to Hot Key Books for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out July 22nd.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fantasy, #fiction, #literature, #yafantasy, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Books I’m looking forward to in the second half of the year!

Now, I’ve never done a post like this before mainly because I never, ever know what’s coming out. But I’ve done my research as to what’s coming out later in the year and I’ve found some I’m excited about.

1) The Magician by Colm Tóibín

I crave Queer historical fiction and this one sounds like it could be it. I absolutely loved Brooklyn and I’m excited to see what this author does. Set in the period of WWII and featuring a queer main character. Yes please. I’m also very lucky to have a proof of it, so I will be reading it soon.

2) Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

This is the conclusion to this epic trilogy. I fell in love with the first book Serpent & Dove, I am so excited to see where this book ends. I’m excited (and a little scared) to see what happens to my beloved characters. This is really the only series I’m a Stan for. I own two copies of the first to books and I’ve already got two copies of this ordered. So yes, I’m very excited. It’s out in August.

3) Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko

I loved Raybearer. Absolutely loved it. It was my favourite fantasy of last year. I could to be more excited for this book. So excited. I can’t wait to see where this book goes and how this brilliant duology wraps up. Please don’t disappoint me. It’s out in August.

3) Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr.

I love All The Light We Cannot See, is a brilliant book and I’ve been looking forward to Anthony Doerrs book for so long and I’m excited. I don’t even really want to know what it’s about. I just want to be taken away in this story. My expectations are very high. It’s out in September.

4) The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak. I am very excited for this one. Elif is a beautiful writer and I’m excited to read more of her lyrical prose. I don’t know much of what this one is about and I’m keeping it that way on purpose. I just want to be swept away. It’s out on August 5th.

5) Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. I need this book. I need it so bad. I’m so looking forward to going back to this world. These characters. It’s out October 12th.

That’s it, these are the novels I’m looking forward to in the second half of 2021. I’m sure there’s going to be more added to this list. My poor bank account.

Let me know if you plan on reading any of these.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fantasy, #yafantasy, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Book Review: The Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron.

Title: The Poison Heart

Author: Kalynn Bayron

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Length: 370 pages

Synopsis: Briseis has a gift. She can grow an apple tree from seed in a heartbeat, and flowers bloom at her touch. But she and her adoptive mothers have spent her whole life trying to hide her extraordinary powers. And then Briseis inherits an old house from her birth mother and suddenly has the privacy to test herself for the first time. But as Bri starts to magic the house’s rambling grounds back to life she finds she has also inherited generations of secrets. In a hidden garden overgrown with the most deadly poisonous plants on earth a dark legacy lies waiting for her. And Bri’s long-departed ancestors won’t let her rest until she finds it.

Let’s first just mention how unbelievably beautiful this cover is. We all agree? Good.

I didn’t know too much about this book going in, as I wanted to be surprised and I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. It was brilliant.

There is just so much to love about The Poison Heart. It was full of fantastic characters, an engaging story and brilliant magic system.

We follow the character of Briseis, who is left a house by her birth mothers family and with her mums they decide to spend the summer there. I loved the beginning of this book and getting to know Briseis. She really is a wonderful character to follow. She’s funny, kind and I just instantly warmed to her. I also really loved her parents. So much. So, so much.

I also just have to say how much I loved the family Kalynn has written. It’s so wonderful to see a queer family written so beautifully. The dynamics, the love and the joy between Briseis and her parents was one of my favourite things about this book and I think it should be celebrated. I really loved reading it.

I really loved the magic in this book, it was I unlike anything I’ve read before. And it’s great to see something new in YA. I loved that Briseis was still learning about her powers as the reader did, it really helped to form that connection with her. I love how it ties in with her family. It’s just so expansive, but I’ll let you discover all that when you read the book.

Let’s talk about the ending shall we? I knew something was about to go down and I couldn’t figure it out. But let me tell you, I never would’ve figured it out. It was brilliant. It was suspenseful, shocking and heartbreaking. It’s the kind of ending you message your friends about because you need to talk about it. But that’s all I’ll say. No spoilers!!!

So basically I really loved this book and now I desperately want to read book two. This is a fantastic fantasy novel that will have you turning the pages and it’ll only leave you wanting more.

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury YA kids for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out Tomorrow (June29th)

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, author, blog, blogtour, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein.

Title: Slingshot

Author: Mercedes Helnwein

Publisher: Panmacmillan

Length: 334 pages

Synopsis: Grace Welles has resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid in her class from being beaten up. With a single aim of a slingshot, the monotonous mathematics of her life are obliterated forever… because now there is a boy in it that she never asked for. Wade Scholfield. With Wade, Grace discovers a new way to exist. School rules are optional, life is bizarrely perfect, and conversations about wormholes can lead to make-out sessions that disrupt and logical stream if thought. So why does Grace crush Wade’s heart into a million tiny pieces? And what are her options when she finally realises that 1. The universe doesn’t evolve around her, and 2. Wade has been hiding a dark secret? Is Grace the only person unhinged enough to save him?

Look, is this a bad book? No absolutely not. Is it a great book? No absolutely not. Is this book pretty meh? Yes, yes it is.

I need to talk about the main character, Gracie, who in the first 100 pages is so annoying. Extremely annoying. She made me want to put the book down and never pick it up. She’s got such a bad attitude, and I know she’s meant to, and I can tell the other characters find it charming but as a reader I absolutely do not. And I think she’s meant to get better as the book progresses but again, nope.

Now lets talk about the romance or romances? I guess it’s actually a sort of love triangle. And I don’t get it. Why are these two boys in love with the her? One of the romances is actually pretty sweet, but it did happen very quickly. It definitely feels very shallow. And the other one just has no connection for me, it is more of a boy being in love with Gracie and she doesn’t feel the same but I’m still sitting here saying why are they all obsessed with her??

Here’s the thing, there isn’t much of a plot to this book. It’s all about finding your first love and having all those experiences. Maybe it’s because I’m too old for this kind of book, but it needs more! I didn’t believe the romances and the book sort of depends on them.

Like I said this isn’t a totally bad book, I just think to myself am I going to remember anything about this book in two weeks? I won’t, there’s so much brilliant young adult books out there at the moment with fantastic, important messages and this isn’t one of them.

Thank you so much to panmacmillan for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review, it’s out April 29th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: What’s Mine And Yours by Naima Coster

Title: What’s Mine and Yours

Author: Naima Coster

Publisher: Trapeze Books

Length: 337 pages

Synopsis: When a county initiative in the Piedmont of North Carolina forces the students at a mostly black public school on the east side to move across town to a nearly all white high school on the west, the community rises in outrage. For two students, quiet and aloof Gee and headstrong Noelle, these divisions will extend far beyond their schooling. As their paths collide and overlap over the course of thirty years, their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that shape the trajectory of their lives. On one side of the school integration debate is Jade, Gee’s steely, single, black mother, grieving for her murdered partner, and determined for her son to have the best chance at a better life. On the other, is Noelle’s enterprising mother, Lacey May, who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. The choices these mothers make will resound for years to come. And twenty years later, when Lacey’s daughter return home to visit her in hospital, they’re forced to confront the ways their parents’ decisions continue to affect the life they live and the people they love.

What’s Mine and Yours is a captivating read that I couldn’t put down an was gripped by till the very last page.

Throughout the book you follow many different characters, and we slowly see how all their lives connect. I really love when a book does this and I have to say Naima Coster does it really well. It was really interesting to see these characters at certain points in their lives and grow to care for them and then to see their actions. It’s obviously a part of Naima intention to make you question how their actions affect how you feel about them. There are definitely characters in this book that you won’t forget for along time.

Naima creates genuine connections between the characters and they are all so real and complex. Whether it was romantic relationships or familial, they were absolutely captivating.

This book deals with some very hard things to read (triggers warnings for racism and violence). It’s really thought provoking and anger inducing. To tackles aspects of racism that I haven’t seen in a novel before, and then goes onto explore the affects it has on these characters and it’s absolutely heartbreaking to read. Yet it doesn’t feel to heavy at any point, and there are moments of real joy throughout and loving relationships.

There was a plot twist at the end of this book that I didn’t see coming and when it arrived it was really gut-wrenching. I really had to sit with it for a while.

This is a utterly enjoyable read that will make you think and you’ll want to discuss this books with all of your friends. It’s the perfect book club selection.

Thank you so much to Ellen for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out May 27th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

May Wrap Up

Another month has come and gone. I managed to read 10 books this month. I think I could’ve done more but I got ill at the end of the month and it really slowed me down. I was on such a roll.

There were some books I enjoyed this month, but mostly it was average. Not any ill necessarily remember or rave about. Oh well, there’s always next month.

So lets talk about the books shall we?

First up I read Assembly by Natasha Brown. This novel is only 100 pages but it sure does pack a punch. There are so many interesting aspects to the book that I wanted it to be longer but I think its shortness is what makes it special. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy. It’s out June 8th.

Secondly I read We Run The Tides by Vendela Vida. This book was very middle of the road for me. The writing was just okay, the story was just okay. I just felt like it all could’ve gone further. I just don’t think its a book I’ll remember. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy of this book. It’s out now.

Up next I read The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain. I really enjoyed this book. It was a really sweet, wonderful story that I just got lost in and didn’t want to end. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy of book. It’s out now.

Fourth this month I read Black buck by Mateo Askaripour. I loved the first half of this novel, I thought it was entertaining and intriguing and had a real message. The second half just lost it for me. There was a reveal which really bought the novel down for me. I don’t know why. Definitely not a bad book, just definitely could’ve been a lot better. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy of this book. It’s out now.

Up next I read The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper. I loved the premise of this story but something about it fell flat for me. I wanted so much from it. It needed more description, more depth. I kept willing it to give me more. It wasn’t a bad book, it just could’ve been so much better. I didn’t feel any emotional attachment to the characters. Thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy of this book. It’s out now.

Sixth this month I read Diamond Hill by Kit Fan. This one started off slowly for me and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but I ended up really enjoying it. It had moments of beautiful writing and fantastic, in-depth characters.

Seventh was What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster. There was a lot to like about this novel, strong complex characters, a gripping story with an important message. There’s nothing stand out about it, but it was definitely a good read. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Then I read The Fortune Men by Nadia Mohamed. This one was based on a true story and it’s really captivating and infuriating in the best way. It maybe dragged at the beginning, but this one is definitely worth a read. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Up next I read The Wolf and The Woodsman by Ava Reid. You know, this one just wasn’t for me. It took me an age to read it, I couldn’t get into it. I could see what the author was trying to do, but they didn’t pull it off in my opinion. But I know a lot of people have loved this one. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Lastly I read Heaven by Mieko Kawakami. I really enjoyed this book, although due to its subject matter it was hard to read a times. It was another short novel but really packs a punch. I won’t forget this one for a while. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out June 10th.

That’s it for me this month. Are you going to read any of these? Or have you and you didn’t like them? Let me know!

Until the next review

Jthbooks