#fantasy, #fiction, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fantasy, fiction, historical fiction, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

November Wrap Up

November, a month where I’d finished all my proof copies for the year and I could read some of the books I bought and I definitely did. I did sneak in one proof of next year because I was desperate to read it.

I only managed seven books this month. Probably my lowest of the year. I’m not sure why really. I was loving everything I read. Very strange.

So let’s talk about the books shall we?

First up was The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye. I think everyone should read this book. It highlights, I’m well researched detail, of the attacks on trans lives and how we can be better ally’s. Just absolutely brilliant. It’s out now

Then I read Real Life by Brandon Taylor. I have a feeling my expectations were a little to high for this one. I just didn’t fully connect with it for some reason, I love what it had to say in places. It’s by no means a bad book at all, the opposite but for me, there was just something missing. It’s out now.

Up next was If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich. I really enjoyed this sweet love young adult love story. I would happily read a lot more books with these characters in. I was totally swept up, couldn’t ask for more. Well I can, I want more books. Thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book. It’s out January 6th.

Fourth this month I read XOXO by Axie Oh. I loved every page of this book. I loved the romance, I loved that it was set in Korea. I loved that they were idols. I just loved it all. Seriously loved it. I want to read more books like this. It’s out now.

Up next was A Dutiful Boy by Moshin Zaidi. A really beautiful, emotional nonfiction book about losing apart of yourself to find another. I have to say I did shed a few tears by the end of it. This one is out now.

Then I read The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun. I didn’t expect to love this book so much, but I absolutely did. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about it. I’ll probably spend a lot of time rereading this book. I absolutely loved it. It’s out now.

Lastly I read Tin Man by Sarah Winman. My goodness what a book. It’s a short book, but it really does pack punch. I think Sarah is one of the most gifted writers of our time. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. It’s out now.

So that’s it for this month, not so many books this month but there was some I really truly loved. And that makes it worth while.

Have you read any of these? Let me know

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #literature, #memoir, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, gay, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

October Wrap Up

Another month come and gone and October was a strange reading month for me. Some of the books I absolutely loved, some I hated and some I felt let me down a little.

I only managed to read seven books, it felt like more and I was a little shocked at that number.

So let’s talk about the books shall we?

First up was Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. Loved this. Absolutely loved it. It’s definitely one of favourites of the year. It’s so imaginative and immersive. I adored how the story connected and it’s just pure bliss. Thank you so much to the publishers for my copy.

Then I read The Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen. A brilliant and original fantasy book, which is part of a new series that I absolutely loved. Full of fantastic characters and African mythology. I adored it. And who doesn’t love mermaids? Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now. You can check out my full review here.

Thirdly I read The Selfless Act of Breathing by JJ Bola. This a book that slowly creeps up on you, and it definitely has left me thinking about this book long after I finished it. But I’m also left with the feeling that something was missing. It was times incredibly powerful. Thanks so much to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Next up I read The Madness of Grief by The Reverend Richard Coles. A really heartbreaking memoir, that I did at times feel could’ve gone a little deeper. I maybe needed a little more, but it definitely had me emotional at times. You can pick this one up now.

Up next I read The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. I had such high hopes for this book, but I ultimately didn’t like it. At all. It took me such a long time to read and I found myself not caring at all. This one is out now.

Sixth up I read Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. Beautifully written, with such heart and heartbreak. Did I feel it was a little too long? Yes. But in the middle of the book, when Maggie is writing about grief, it doesn’t get better. It just doesn’t. This one is out now.

Lastly I read Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Rawaguchi. This book is a little bit of magic. It can’t be denied. There is something really beautiful about this, without it ever going to far. I adored it. The more I think about it, the more I love it. This one is out now.

So that’s it for me this month. Have you read any of these? Let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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

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, #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

#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

anthology, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: Mainstream – An anthology of stories from the edges.

Title: Mainstream

Author: Edited by Justin David and Nathan Evans

Publisher: Inkandescent

Length: 247 pages

Synopsis: This collection brings thirty authors in from the margins to occupy centre-page. Queer storytellers. Working class wordsmiths. Chroniclers of colour. Writers whose life experiences give unique perspectives on universal challenges, whose voices must be heard. And read.

Thank you so much to the team at Inkandescent for having me on the blog tour for this short story collection and make sure you check out the other bloggers on the tour.

First of all I love what Inkandescent are doing with this book. It’s such an important thing and they’ve done it successfully. It’s a great collection.

Mainstream has a real variety of short stories in it that it keeps the book fresh and exciting. You never knew what kind of story you were going to get next. Yet it’s a very cohesive book.

There are some really fantastic writers in this book, some I’d read before and some that were new to me. They all have something to say and it was wonderful. I’ll definitely be checking out more from these writers and I have a feeling you will be too.

I have to say I really enjoyed the queer stories in this short story collection. I love how varied they were. Some were heartfelt, some were sexy. I always love to read about queer lives and especially from authors this talented.

I really did enjoy all of the stories in this collection, but some really did stand out for me. They were so interesting and unique. I loved ‘Scaffolding’, ‘Twickenham’, ‘The Birdwatchers’, Pixmalion’ and ‘Going Up, Going Down’. But there really is something in this book for everyone.

Mainstream has accomplished what it set out to do and then some. If you love short stories this is definitely a book to add to your collection. I know I’ll keep returning to it to reread these stories. It’s really wonderful.

If you’d like to purchase a copy which is out now, you can buy it from Amazon here or from the Inkandescent website here.

Again, thank you so much to the team at Inkandescent for a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

June Wrap Up

Ahhhh June. My favourite month. Why I here you ask? Well, because it’s Pride Month.

Now, I always make it my own personal little mission in June to read Queer books by Queer Authors. This month was a bit of a struggle be she if I was trying to read ARCs, but I still managed it.

I only read 7 books this month. It’s probably the least I’ve read but my mental health took a huge dip for a while.

So let’s talk about them shall we?

I started off the month with Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun by Jonny Garza Villa. I read this from Netgalley, so thanks to the publishers for the copy. I really enjoyed this one. It was sweet, romantic and I loved the story. It definitely dealt with some tough things but it handles them so beautifully. Such a fantastic book. It’s out now.

Secondly I read The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri. I absolutely loved this book. It’s a brilliant Indian inspired fantasy book that I was totally captivated by. Also, more queer fantasy. Amazing characters. A plot that had me on the edge of my seat. I feel the romance could’ve been better but I think it’ll be explored more in book two. I’m so excited for the second one. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Thirdly I read Mainstream edited by Nathan Evans and Justin David. This is a wonderful short story collection that showcases so many writers from the edges. It’s filled with such varied stories that really keep the reader entertained. Thanks to Inkandescent for my copy. It’s out now and I’m on the blog tour for this one.

Up next I read Everybody In This Room Will Be Dead by Emily Austin. I can see what this one was trying to do but for me, it unfortunately didn’t work. There was something missing. I’m not even sure what it was. Maybe lack of connection to the characters. I just don’t know. It’s out July 8th if you fancy it. Thanks to the publishers for my copy.

Then I read The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons. This was absolutely my favourite read of the month. A full five stars. I loved it. A brilliant important story, showing trans people should be allowed to play all sports. And a fantastic romance. I just loved it! Loved it. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Sixth this month I read The Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron. Another brilliant fantasy book. I felt this was really fresh and new. I didn’t know what to expect but I absolutely loved it. You can check out my full review here Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Lastly I read The Dangerous Kingdom of Love by Neil Blackmore. Oh I wanted to love this one so badly. So badly. I didn’t love the authors first one and I was desperate to love this one. But I didn’t. I crave queer historical fiction but this didn’t do it for me. I didn’t like the characters. I didn’t like the romance. I just think with the story and the time period it was set in, it could’ve been brilliant. But it fell flat. It fell flat in every way. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out in July.

So that was it for me this month. Do you plan on picking any of these up? Or have you read some? Let me know.

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, 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