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Upcoming Releases!

Hello my fellow book lovers. I haven’t done one of these posts before, mainly because I usually find out which books I’d like to buy after they’ve been out for a month, I’m always behind the times. But as we are in the second half of the year, there’s a few books I’m looking forward to and I thought I’d share them.

There’s been some great books the first half of the year, and I’ve read some fantastic ones but thankfully we’ve still got more to come.

As I’m sure you might know if you follow my blog, I read many different genres, so this going to be a real mixture of books.

So I guess I should get started:

First up is ‘Find Me’ by André Acimen. I’m sure you guys know about this one, it’s the sequel to ‘Call Me By Your Name’. It’s probably my most anticipated book of the whole year. I’ve actually been blessed by the book gods and I’ve got an ARC copy of this book. I don’t know how I got it, but I’ll be forever grateful. I’m just waiting for the right time to read it so I can savour every word.

Out 29th October

Another book is ‘Serpent & Dove’ by Shelby Mahurin. This is a Young Adult book. I’ve been hearing great things about this one. It’s the start of a new series. It’s got romance, witches, action. I’m super excited. It’s another book I’ve managed to get a ARC of and I can’t wait to dive in.

Out 19th September

‘Kingdom of Souls’ by Rena Barron is another high fantasy Young Adult book I’m looking forward to. I’ve heard such great things about this one. I have to be honest, I’ve preordered a special signed edition of this book! I told you I was excited.

Out 19th September

‘Wayward Son’ by Rainbow Rowell. Another highly anticipated sequel. Yes, I may have preordered an exclusive Waterstones edition with sprayed edges. This is Young Adult queer fiction at its finest. Well at least I hope it will be.

Out October 3rd

‘The Fountains of Silence’ by Ruta Sepetys. Tell me you’ve Salt to the Sea by this author. It’s simply fantastic. That’s why I’m so looking forward this one! I am really! I should go and preorder this now in fact! I’ll be right back!

Out October 1st

‘The Testaments’ by Margaret Atwood. How can you not be looking forward to this one? The Handmaids Tale is just wonderful. I’ll sure be buying this one and adding it to my TBR

Out 19th September

‘Ziggy, stardust & me’ by James Brandon. I’m excited for this one. It’s another one I’ve preordered. I never usually preorder so you can tell I’m excited. Can’t wait to get stuck into this one. Another queer fiction to add my growing collection.

Out September 1st

I kind of feel I should be looking forward to more books, but I’m not! Sure there’s some honourable mentions like ‘Ninth House’ by Leigh Bardugo, but I think these are my main ones!

So, these are the books I’m looking forward to. And you can best believe my reviews will be up once I’ve read them. Are you looking forward to any of these? Or is there a book I should be looking forward to reading and it’s not on the list! Let me know

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review: ‘The Song of Peterloo’ by Carolyn O’Brien

Title: The Song of Peterloo

Author: Carolyn O’Brien

Length: 376 pages

Publisher: Legend Press

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book was published in early August to coincide with the 200 year anniversary of a The Peterloo Massacre.

Manchester 1819: Prices are high and wages are low, but as the poor become poorer, the rich are alarmed by their calls for reform. Mill-worker Nancy Kay struggles to support her ailing mother and sensitive son. Desperate to provide for them, she is inspired to join the growing agitation. But, as she risks everything to attend a great assembly on St Peter’s Field, Nancy is unaware the day will go down in history, not as a triumph but as a tragedy: the Peterloo massacre.

This book is throughly enjoyable. It’s a heartfelt, brutal look at a turning point in British history.

We see the story of Nancy unfold through the eyes of people around. It’s such a interesting way of telling the story, and you get to know Nancy is such a detailed way. There’s such a sense of foreboding for what’s to come for Nancy and the story. Carolyn has created such a fantastic character in Nancy, I loved reading Nancy bettering herself. It’s what gives heart to this tremendous historical fiction novel.

This novel starts off quite slowly, with it really setting the scene for time and place. Due to Carolyn’s atmospheric prose and wonderful description the slow start really lets the reader immerse themselves in the story.

The ending of the book is absolutely thrilling, yet heartbreaking. Carolyn O’Brien makes such a clever choice when the massacre starts to keep chapters short and to change which character we see the story from. It makes it so invigorating. It creates such a fantastic atmosphere. The pacing at the end of ‘The Song of Peterloo’ is brilliant and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It’s a highlight of the book for me. Like I said, it also was heartbreaking. It just made the ending better. I’m so glad Carolyn chose to end the novel this way, to further show the brutality of the event.

This novel has been meticulously researched. It’s full intricate details that make it a fantastic historical fiction novel. You know I absolutely love a book that is not only excellent, but teaches you something and ‘The Song of Peterloo’ sure did. This isn’t a time in British history I knew much about, but through this novel it felt like I was a part of it.

I can’t recommend this book enough. If you love Historical Fiction, or British history then this is the book for you.

Thank you to Legend Press for gifting me with a copy in return for a honest, unbiased review.

Until the next review

JTH

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ARC BLOG TOUR Book Review: ‘The Woman in the White Kimono’ by Ana Johns

Title: The Woman in the White Kimono

Author: Ana Johns

Length: 298 pages

Publisher: Legend Press

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was so thrilled to be asked to join this wonderful blog tour for ‘The Woman in the White Kimono’. I couldn’t wait to get started on the book

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage secures her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community. However, Naoko has fallen for an American sailor and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations. America, present day. Tori Kovač, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation. Setting out to a learn the truth, Tori’s journey leads her to a remote seaside village in Japan where she must confront the demons of the past to pave way for redemption.

‘A white mist rose from the curved clay tiles as the sun warmed the morning dew and rolled over the edge like the dangling petals of a cherry blossom in a ornamental hair comb. Backlit by the sun, the large, white-walled structure almost glowed. There was a quiet, understated elegance to how it perched atop the hillside.’

This book was a wonderful, heartfelt trip into post-war Japan.

With the story being set in present day America and Japan in 1957, it could be tricky to blend to two stories, but they work so cohesively together. Both times in the story are absolutely wonderful to read, but there’s something special about the story when it’s set in Japan.

Naoko is such a warm, compelling character. I just connected to her right from the start. I just immediately felt for. She’s been bought in the traditional Japanese way but her spirit, her attitude is so modern. To see her struggle between the two is heart wrenching to read.

I loved the relationship between Naoko and Hajime. It was so sincere and true. Even though you know how this love story will end, I was still rooting for them. Their love story was presented in the perfect way, it was grand and dramatic. It was honest. It was real.

In the present day American timeline, the reader sees the story through Tori’s eyes. We are discovering everything at the same time as her. It keeps this part of the story interesting and moving at a nice pace.

For me, what makes a great historical fiction novel is that it can teach you something. This book did. I didn’t know to much about this time in Japan, and I couldn’t even of imagined the things that happened. I had no idea those kind of ‘Maternity Homes’ existed. It a really powerful moment in the book when Naoko finds out what’s happening.

Now, the ending, although I know how the story reaches its conclusion, I was excited to see how each character got their ending. And it didn’t disappoint. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It was so pleasing. The conversation between Naoko and Tori bought tears to my eyes. Such a satisfying ending.

The reason this novel works is because of Ana Johns superb writing. She’s formed such fantastic characters. Also, the descriptions of the scenery, of Japan, are stunning. It’s so evocative. The whole book. The fact that is Ana Johns debut book is crazy. Whatever she writes next, I’ll sure be reading it.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’ll have you hooked from the beginning till the end. It’s also been picked as a selection for BBCRadio2’s bookclub. How amazing is that!

I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. Thanks Legend Press.

Until the next review

JTH

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July Wrap Up

Well, another Month has come and gone once again. We had a little heat wave here this July, but I wasn’t out enjoying the sun. I was reading, which in my opinion is much more enjoyable.

Now, last month I managed to read 8 books. It was my personal best. And I sooooo wanted to match it this month, but alas I haven’t quite done it. I have read 7 books, which I’ll take. I was so close to matching my personal best, I’ll try again next month but I don’t mind that number.

I also completed my Goodreads challenge of 40 books read this year. I’m not as slow of a reader as I thought. But I’ve decided to up it to 60 books! So I’ll see how get on.

Anyway, here are the books I’ve read:

First up was ‘On My Life’ by Angela Clarke. This is not my usual genre of book but I really enjoyed this book. Such a great story, with a clever twist. It was gripping! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Second Up was ‘The Woman in the White Kimono’ by Ana Johns. Loved this book, it was evocative, sweet, heartbreaking. Just a really nice read. Highly recommend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Third was ‘Six of Crows’ by Leigh Bardugo. Had this on my shelf for ages, wasn’t sure if I would like it! I’m an idiot! Loved it. Why did I wait so long? Although it did start off a little slow. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Fourth up was ‘Crooked Kingdom’ by Leigh Bardugo. Could this one be better than the first. Yes it can! I loved it! Such a great conclusion! I was crying at the end. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fifth this month was ‘Follow Me To Ground’ by Sue Rainsford. This was an ARC. Not my type of book usually but I absolutely loved it. One of my favourite reads of the year. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sixth was ‘Secret Keeping for Beginners’ by Maggie Alderson. Without being to harsh this book was just meh. Something of nothing. It was the worst book I’ve read this month. ⭐️⭐️

Seventh up was ‘The Song of Peterloo’ by Carolyn O’Brien. Such a fantastic book. Great historical fiction. Excellent writing! Had me turning the pages so first at the end. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Well that’s my monthly wrap up. Roll on the next month, more reading and more books! How did you do this month? Let me know.

Until the next review

JTH

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ARC Book Review: ‘Spellbound’ by Allie Therin

Title: Spellbound

Author: Allie Therin

Length: ebook

Publisher: Carina Press

⭐️⭐️

This book is the first in a new series called Magic in Manhattan.

I read this book during Pride Month, were I only read books that featured LGBT+ plus mainly characters.

This book sounded perfect for me, an LGBT love story and magic. What a perfect combination. However something just missed the mark for me.

The story was interesting, but it just wasn’t interesting enough. It didn’t have me hooked. I found myself struggling pick it up to read it. The magic was there, it just wasn’t magical enough. The love story was there, it just wasn’t enough.

The whole premise sounded interesting. This book is set in old New York, during the prohibition area. I love that. I just don’t think it was explored enough. It wasn’t detailed enough. It was just lacking.

Then there was the magic, this is where the twist comes in. This is what would make this book other worldly, but it didn’t. It wasn’t explored that much, and when it was, it wasn’t interesting. Rory’s gift is being able to scry, which is could have been super exciting but again it just came off as dull. It also seemed that there was a villain they were working to stop, but in all honesty I’m still not sure who that is.

Now the love story, the bit I was most looking forward to. It was a slow burn romance, and you know I like that. But this one was very slow, leaning towards being boring. When the characters finally did get together, it was lacklustre. Then out of nowhere, the author tried to say they were meant to be together, meant to find each other. That didn’t come across to me. It wasn’t believable. It just made me think of better love stories.

There’s better books out there set in this era. There’s books with more imaginative magic. There’s better books with more heartfelt, genuine romance.

The writing was all over the place, it needed clarity. The action (when it finally happened) wasn’t exciting. The story was all over the place. It just totally missed the mark for me. It’s the first in the series, but will I be reading the next book? I don’t think so.

When I started this review, I had this book at 3 stars, but after writing this it’s gonna down to 2.

Thank you to Carina Press and Netgalley for a copy of this book in return for a honest, unbiased review. It’s comes out July 29th. Check it out, it might be the book for you.

Until the next review

JTH

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ARC Book Review: ‘Bethlehem’ by Karen Kelly

Title: Bethlehem

Author: Karen Kelly

Length: 304 pages

Publisher: St. Martins Press

This is a tricky book for me to review. I’ve had it on my Netgalley shelf for a while, so I thought I’d get started on it.

A young woman arrives at the grand ancestral home of her husbands family, hoping to fortify her cracking marriage. But what she finds is not what she expected: tragedy haunts the hallways, whispering of heartache and a past she never knew existed. Inspired by the true titans of the steel-boom era, Bethlehem is a story of temptation and regret, a of secrets and the cost of keeping them, a story of forgiveness. It is the story of two complex women – thrown together in the name of family – who, in coming to understand each other, come to finally understand themselves.

The story is set in two different times, the 1920s and the 1960s. I love a book that uses this format. It’s so interesting to see characters at different points in their lives. How the their life has shaped them. So the style was just what I like. The premise intrigued me also.

I have to be honest, the first half of this book I did not enjoy. At all. If I hadn’t got this from Netgalley, in all honesty I think I would’ve DNF’d it.

Nothing happened, in the first half of the novel. It was dull. Also, there were just so many characters and they all had nicknames. I couldn’t remember everyone, or figure out who was who. It just made the whole book unenjoyable. I’ve seen a few other people think this way too.

However, I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this book. The second half I loved. Seriously, I looked at my kindle it was 50% when I started to enjoy this book.

Honestly I couldn’t put it down. The story became interesting. There was a romance, that was so sweet and sincere, I loved it. There was some mystery, that had a very satisfying ending. Both of the stories just became better. The writing picked up. The whole second half was just cleaner. It had more direction. It also had one of my favourite epilogues. Sometimes they can make it break a story, but I loved this one.

The best thing was the characters became much more likeable, I mean what’s a book without it’s characters. I had such empathy for them. They turned this book around.

This is a difficult one for me to recommend but I think ultimately I would. Maybe read it if you’re a patient reading who really likes to let a story build. Is it my favourite historical fiction book I’ve read this year? No. But it’s certainly not the worst.

I have to thank Netgalley and St. Martins Press for gifting me with a copy of this book, in return for an honest, unbiased review. This book is out 9th July.

Until the next review

JTH

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June Wrap Up

Well, can you believe it? Another month has come and gone. Time flies when you’re reading some fantastic books.

As I’m sure you know, this month has been Pride Month. So, as my own personal little challenge, this month I’ve only been reading books that feature main characters that are LGBT+.

Also, I’m here to tell you some very exciting news… I’ve broken my personal best! I’ve managed to read 8 books this month. That’s right! 8! I’m honestly shocked. Let’s hope I can keep it up next month.

🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈

So here are the LGBT+ plus books I’ve read this month:

First up was ‘They Both Die At The End’ by Adam Silvera. What a brilliant book. Quite possibly my favourite YA read of the year so far. Genius premise, genius execution. I loved it.

Second up was ‘Jack of Hearts (and other parts) by L. C. Rosen. I enjoyed this book. It felt very real. The teenage characters felt real. It had a mystery that kept me guessing till the end, although it was a little disappointing. Worth a read though.

Thirdly was ‘What If It’s Us’ by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli. I’ve been waiting to read this one for a while, I’ve been looking forward to it. I was a little disappointed. Maybe my expectations were to high? I don’t know. But I didn’t like that ending.

Fourth up was ‘Days without End’ by Sebastian Barry. Loved it! So beautifully written. So descriptive yet lyrical. A masterpiece of a novel. So glad I picked it up in my local Waterstones pride section.

Fifth this month was ‘the dangerous art of Blending In’ by Angelo Surmelis. I’ve had this book on my kindle for a while. I enjoyed it. It was a sweet romance with another layer that was hard to read, but in the right way.

Sixth up was ‘Less’ by Andrew Sean Greer. I’d heard mixed reviews on this one, but I loved it. Absolutely loved it. It worked it was into my soul. A beautiful twist at the end. I can’t recommend this one enough.

Seventh was ‘Top Secret’ by Sarina Bowen and Ellie Kennedy. Did I enjoy this? Yes. Will I remember it? Probably not. There’s wasn’t much plot. But it was romance, with some graphic sexual scenes. Not what I’m used to reading but it was a quick read.

Eight was ‘Spellbound’ Allie Therin. I was given this book from Netgalley. It has an interesting magic twist which is enjoyable. Not my favourite read of the month. But certainly not the worst. Comes out 29th July.

Until the next review

JTH