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ARC Book Review: The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

Title: The Island of Missing Trees

Author: Elif Shafak

Publisher: Viking Books Penguin Random House

Length: 343 pages

Synopsis: Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. The taverna is the only place that Kostas and Defne can meet in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic and chilli peppers, creeping honeysuckle, and in the centre, growing through a cavity in the floor, a fig tree. The fig tree witnesses their hushed, happy meetings; their silent, surreptitious departures. The fig tree is there, too, when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns – a botanist, looking for native species- looking really, for Defne. The two lovers return to the taverna to take a clipping from the fig tree and smuggle it into their suitcase, bound for London. Years later, the fig tree in the garden is their daughter Ada’s only knowledge of a home she had never visited, as she seeks to untangle years of secrets and silence, and find her place in the world.

I need to start by saying that this book was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year and I feel very lucky and grateful to have been given a proof copy.

I love this book. I love it so much. I don’t think any review I’ll write will ever be able to do it justice. To capture what makes this book so special I know you’ll have to read it. And you won’t be disappointed when you do.

From the very beginning of The Island of Missing Trees you are immediately swept away by the glorious writing. Elif manages to evoke such beautiful imagery throughout the book with some of the most evocative writing I’ve read.

As we follow the love story of Kostas and Defne, who find young and forbidden love before civil war breaks out in Cyprus, and the effects it has on Ada their child as a teenager. I was immediately drawn to these characters because they are so real. They way Elif shows how the past trauma can carry on for generations is so poignant. You can feel Ada yearning to know more about parts of her. I also have a special place in my heart for Yusuf and Yiorgos, a gay couple who run The Happy Fig Kostas and Defne meeting spot. I always love to see LGBTQ+ representation in books, especially when it’s this well done. But did I expect anything less from Elif? No, no I did not.

Another thing Elif captures in the book is humanity and connection. Through characters and world conflicts, Elif captures the importance of connections to others, to where we come from and to ourselves. She conveys the complexity and lasting effects for the people living through wars, both those who stayed and fled, in the most profound and heartbreaking ways.

Partly narrated by the The Fig Tree, Elif reminds us how important and how connected we are to the natural world. I have to say I really loved these sections, they were my favourite of the book. It’s fiction writing at its finest. The way Elif had an animals visiting the tree and how they moved the narrative forward really is something special.

Although the book deals with Civil War and loss, it’s also full of hope. It’s a reminder to live life with an open heart, an open mind and to be accepting of joy in your life. It’s a book that has so much depth to it and so many layers.

There’s no denying the Elif is a master storyteller. She captures the complexities and nuances of the human spirit like no other author. It’s remarkable. By the end of the book I was smiling and it brings a smile to my face to even think of the book. It’s the kind of book I was telling my friends about at work, the kind of book I couldn’t wait to get home and read, the kind of book I’m looking forward to reading again.

There’s no doubt this will be in my top 10 books of the year.

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

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

#fiction, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, books, fiction, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain

Title: The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle

Author: Matt Cain

Publisher: Headline

Length: 464 pages

You’ll understand the Crunchie when you read the book.

Synopsis: 64-year-old Albert Entwistle has been postie in a quiet town in Northern England for all his life, living alone since the seat of his mam 18 years ago. He keeps himself to himself. He always has. But he’s just learned he’ll be forced to retire at his next birthday. With no friends and nothing to look forward to, the lonely future he faces terrifies him. He realises it’s finally time to be honest about who he is. He must learn to ask for what he wants. And he must find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he lost – but has never forgot…

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is a reminder that it’s never to late to follow our hearts and be who we are.

There’s so much to love about this book. It’s got fantastic characters, a heartwarming story and an important message. It’s full of charm, heart and joy.

We follow Albert who keeps himself to himself and hides who he is from the outside world. Alberts journey is one of my favourite things about this book. To see him come into his own is so wonderful. And I really like how Matt has done it, it’s gradual and subtle. You’ll just fall in love with him. I also loved seeing make connections with other people, especially Nicole.

Nicole was also a great character to follow throughout the book. I loved the friendship that they formed. I also loved how their friendship was based on them both following their hearts.

Oh the romance. I thought it was beautiful. I was longing to Albert to reunited with George. No spoilers here so I won’t say if it happens but the whole thing had a real quality to it. The sections that go into the past so were so sweet but heartbreaking. Matt really captures the atmosphere of the time.

I really like how this novel tackles internalised homophobia, we need more of this in commercial fiction. You can see where Albert still has moments of shame as he is learning to accept himself, and its done so well. You can also see it when Albert meets the gay couple that moves into the village. I also really liked how Matt captures the atmosphere of Alberts childhood and how it stayed with him. It’s something we see so often and I think Matt handles it with real integrity and honesty.

Also, while reading this I couldn’t help but think this will make a brilliant tv series.

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle really was a wonderful read that you won’t want to put down and one with characters you’ll fall in love with. It’s also pride next month and this is the perfect read for it. Don’t miss this one.

Thank so much to Headline Review for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out May 27th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Title: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

Length: 352 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Synopsis: Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

We’ve all got those books that we heard about and just had to have? And then they just sat on out bookshelves for years? Yep, that was Song of Achilles for me. And I’m glad to say I have finally read it.

Now, what I’m not so pleased to say is that I found this book incredibly disappointing. So many people love this book and when I put it on my bookstagram that was reading it everyone told me how much I’d love it. But I didn’t. I really didn’t.

In the first half of the book focuses on Patroclus who meets Achilles and as the grow up together they slowly fall in love. And the second half is dealing with Patroclus and Achilles at the Trojan war.

For me, the main focus in this book is the love story between Patroclus and Achilles and ultimately it just didn’t do it for me. I was promised an epic love story and it didn’t deliver. It felt shallow and trite. If I had this book at the beginning of my queer book journey I might’ve loved it more but I’ve read much better love stories. I didn’t feel any connection to the characters or the love story. It was a big miss for me.

The second half of the book was so boring. I just wanted it to end. Especially because I didn’t care for the characters meant I didn’t care what happened to them. So when Patroclus died I didn’t care. I didn’t even cry and I cry at everything.

What I did like about this book was the Ancient Greek element. I found it super interesting and I would’ve liked to read more about it. Maybe there’s better books out there set in this period. I know Madeline has another book out but after reading this I don’t think I’ll be picking it up anytime soon.

Maybe my expectations were just too high for this book? Or maybe it just wasn’t good. Let’s go with that. Like I said, I’m glad to have read it but what I’ll remember most about how disappointing it is.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fantasy, #fiction, #literature, #yafantasy, author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

March Wrap Up

March has come and gone. It once again flew by, and it was my last full month being furloughed as restaurants can open again in April if they have outdoor space, so I’m going back to work. Which will mean less reading time, but I’m excited to go back. Who knew I’d miss baking cakes and scones!

I did manage to read eleven books this month. Which I believe is a record for me. I would’ve read more but I got a stomach bug just after my birthday and it slowed me down. But I’m still proud of eleven. Let’s see if I can achieve the same in April!

So lets talk about the books shall we?

First up was Common Ground by Naomi Ishiguro. You know, this book just wasn’t for me. I found it dull, and I never wanted to pick it up. Also, the whole point if this book is the friendship between the main characters and I didn’t believe. I felt absolutely no connection between them, so for me the book ultimately failed. But who knows, you might love this one. It’s out now. Thanks to the publishers for my copy.

Then I read Sistersong by Lucy Holland. I absolutely loved this one, much more than I expected to. It was a brilliant historical fiction novel, with great magic and fantastic characters. I flew through it and I’ll kook forward to whatever Lucy writes next. Thank to the publishers for my copy if this book. It’s out now.

Next up I read A Lonely Man by Chris Power. This was a subtly intense thriller that I really enjoyed. It’s detailed, it keeps you guessing as to whether the character is telling the truth. And I loved the ending. The book was so good you wanted it to carry on, but the ending was taught and open. It was fantastic. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Fourth up I read The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne by Jonathan Stroud. This is the beginning of a brilliant new teen series that I think everyone can enjoy. It was action packed, the world was interning and epic and the characters were fantastic to follow. I am looking forward to reading this series. It’s out now. Thanks to the publishers for my copy.

Up next was Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. I absolutely loved this book. From beginning to end. It was intriguing, I loved the main character and I thought the ending was epic. Thanks to the publisher for my copy. It’s out now.

Then I read An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillon. There were definitely parts that I liked, and I loved the epilogue but for some reasons, I just couldn’t totally emotionally invest in the book. I really don’t know why. It’s usually kind of book I adore. I found the writing slightly jarring at times, it didn’t quite flow. I wonder if I reread this book if I’d love it. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out now.

Seventh up this month I read In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. What an incredible book. It’s exquisite. This queer nonfiction memoir is a work of art. Carmen writes from her soul. I’m so glad I picked this one up. It blew me away. A new favourite. It’s out now.

Next I read The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni. You know when you’re into a book from the first page. That was this book for me. I loved the concept. I loved the story. Loved the characters and all the twists and turns. And that ending? It can’t leave me waiting like that. This was just how I like my young adult books. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. Out in April.

Then I read Lean, Fall, Stand by Jon McGregor. This one started off so strong. Incredibly strong. It’s intense, it’s exciting, its dangerous and I was loving it. Then there was a shift in the plot, and I was still really enjoying it and I was thinking it was going to be a five star book, but towards the end it just lost it for me. I found myself skimming the pages. It just lost my interest, I could see what the author was trying to do but it didn’t work for me. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out April 13th.

For my ninth book I read Fragile Monsters by Catherine Menon. This book just unfortunately wasn’t for me. There was to much going on in the plot, with not enough of it being dealt with in detail. It didn’t care for any of the characters at all. And the writing felt off to me, it felt clunky. Nope, this book wasn’t it for me. Thanks to the publisher for my gifted copy. It’s out April 8th.

Lastly I read Witches Steeped In Gold by Ciannon Smart. This was my third time trying to read this book, I’d put it down twice as I couldn’t get into it, but this time I managed to finish it. For me, it wasn’t worth it. It was long and dense. The first 150 pages were just explaining the complex magic system. I did start to get into it more once we’d passed this but I never felt engaged or attached to the characters. I’m not saying this is a terrible book by any means, and I know many people love it. For me, there’s better fantasy books out there. Thanks to the publishers for my copy. It’s out April 20th.

That was it! That was my reading month. I can’t tell you how much I adored In The Dream House.

Have you read any of these, or do you plan to? Let me know.

Until the next review.

Jthbooks

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

ARC Book Review: The Split by Laura Kay

Title: The Split

Author: Laura Kay

Publisher: Quercus

Length: 352 pages

Synopsis: Brutally dumped by her girlfriend, Ally is homeless, friendless and jobless… but at least she has Malcolm. Wounded and betrayed, Ally has made off with the one thing she thinks might soothe the pain: Emily’s cat. After a long train journey she arrives home to her dad in Sheffield, read to fold herself up in her duvet and remain in the sofa for the foreseeable. Her dad has other ideas. A phone call later, and Ally is reunited with her first ever beats, and friend of old, Jeremy. He too is broken-hearted and living at home again. In an inspired effort to hold each other up, the pair decide to sign up for the local half marathon in a bid to impress their exes with their commitment and athleticism. Given neither of them can run, they enlist the support of athletic, not to mention beautiful, Jo. But will she have them running for the hills… or will their ridiculous plan play off…?

When I first heard about this book, I knew immediately I wanted to read it. I love seeing queer stories in commercial fiction like this (something we need more of) so I was so grateful to Quercus for sending me a copy.

As we follow, Ally, who has been dumped and heads back to her hometown you can’t help but grow to love her. Actually you don’t grow to love her, its pretty instant. She’s witty and relatable and you can feel her heartbreak. There’s just an instant connection between the character and the reader and it’s all down to Lauras grey writing. The Split is full of many other fantastic characters like, Jeremy and Jo. They are both so likeable. And they also worm their way into your heart. So do Sophie and Charlie. Honestly, its full of great characters and they feel like the become your friends.

My favourite thing to read in this book was Ally’s growth, it was brilliant to read, especially because Laura has written it so well. I loved reading about ally finding herself and her passion. And you love Ally so much that you want her to succeed. Reading Ally’s growth is great and makes the book so enjoyable. I love how The Split also shows the importance of friendship, which are so important. Especially for queer people.

I also loved the queer representation in this book. Ally and Jeremy are my age, so their queer journey really resonates with me (also how can you not love any book that reference C’est la Vie by B*Witched). There was a moment in the book where Ally and Jeremy talk about being a queer kid at the school disco and that really hit me in the feels. That kid was me, and I’ve never read that in a book before. It also has fantastic queer friendships and found family and it made my little gay heart happy. This book is proof that we need more books in commercial fiction, especially when they are this goose.

Listen, books never make me laugh but The Split had me laughing out loud in the first twenty pages. I never do that. Ally has written a book that is sweet and uplifting that will warm your heart but it definitely has an edge to it that makes it hilarious and relatable.

I can’t recommend this book enough to you. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Also, it’s a super quick read because you can’t put it down.

Thanks to Quercus for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out March 18th but it’s out in ebook and audiobook now.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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

Book Review: here comes the miracle by Anna Beecher

Title: here comes the miracle

Author: Anna Beecher

Publisher: Orion

Length:229 pages

Synopsis: It begins with a miracle: a baby born too small and too early, but definitely alive. This is Joe. And decades before, another miracle: in a patch of nettled-infested wilderness, two teenage boys fall in love. One is Edward. Time passes and Joe gains a sister, Emily. She watches learn to play the violin brought for him by his grandfather, Edward. Watches him grow into a young man – a young man who is ready to begin. When Joe is diagnosed with late-stage cancer, Emily, Edward and the rest of the family are left waiting for a miracle.

Have you ever read a book and known that it’s going to make you cry within the first few pages? I have thanks to this book. It was beautiful in every way.

The writing in this book really is stunning. It was lyrical and it has such an honesty to it. This is actually why I knew I’d cry in the first few pages because the writing was so beautiful. It also poignant. Ugh, I loved it. I loved every page. I loved its beauty, its message, its prose. It’s the kind of writing that as you’re reading it, you know you’re reading something special.

This is quite a short book and there’s a part of me that wishes it was longer, but that’s just me being selfish because I loved it so much I wanted more. But it packs such a punch, and its all handled so delicately that its the perfect length. But you can’t blame me for wanting more can you.

Anna has created such complex and intriguing characters. I loved them all. They just have my whole heart. I loved the connection they had with each other, especially Emily and Joe. There was such an honesty and integrity between them. I loved that you were seeing the story through different perspectives and they handled it. It gave the story such depth.

This book obviously deals with death and it is handled so well. It’s so beautifully done. There’s a rawness and a powerfulness. It just broke my heart. It was also death with so honestly. When this book was talking about hospital it really hit home for me, it sort took my breath away. It captures perfectly the loss of a loved one and the grief that follows. Brilliant.

Although this book was sad, incredibly sad, it wasn’t depressing. It was sweet at times, and filled with love. I think this book ultimately reminds you love the people close to us and let them know because you never know how short life is. And I think thats a pretty special thing to leave with after finishing a book.

I also really quickly want to highlight this bit of writing because it made me weep so much. ‘But you wanted another sort of love. The type where another person chooses you and you choose them. You wanted someone to notice you and a little tug to develop inside them, urging them toward you. A mirror tug in you. You had seen it. People luminous around each other. The hungry way of listening, one person’s knee slipping between the other person’s knee, braced there. You wanted to be beautiful to someone. You wanted your skin to be touched…’ I mean, that is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I’ve ever read. And its like the author looked into my soul and put it on the page. Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’ll remind you of all the important things in life and the wonder of fiction. Don’t forget to grab your tissues, you’ll need them.

Thanks to Orion for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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

ARC Book Review: Infinity Reaper by Adam Silvera

Title: Infinity Reaper

Author: Adam Silvera

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Length: 512 pages

First things first, what a stunning cover!!

Synopsis: Brothers Emil and Brighton beat the Blood Casters in an epic war and escaped… or so they thought. When Brighton drank the Reaper’s Blood, he believed he’d be invincible – instead the potion is killing him. But finding an antidote risks disturbing the battle for peace. Now they have to reach the ultimate decision- to end the war or to win it.

I have been waiting for this book for this book since that ending of book one? Yes, yes I have. And I know often in the second book in a series we usually have a struggle, but does this one? No. It does not. It only goes from strength to strength. I loved it! This book does start immediately where Infinity Son ended, so if you need to reread the last few chapters like I did, theres your warning.

There was just so much I enjoyed about this book. In fact I enjoyed everything. Look, I like to be asleep by 10pm, 11 if I’m feeling wild, but I was up until 1.00am reading this book because I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what happened, I wanted to know what happened. I was feeling all the feels and I was loving it.

First of all, I loved the story. I loved the direction Adam took it in. There was so many different aspects to it. It was full of action. It was full of romance. It was full of character development. It was exciting. There was literally points when I was reading and I was saying to myself ‘damn this book is exciting’. But I also really loved the quiet moments in the book. I loved when the gang was at the New Ember Sanctuary, it was just so interesting.

I also loved the characters, everything that happened in Infinity Son, they’ve grown and learnt from and it’s really interesting to read. It felt like they all became more complex and likeable. I loved each perspective, I mean did I agree with everything Brighton is doing no, but its such a great choice from Adam and makes it really intriguing. But I loved Emil, Ness and Maribelle. I do remember at one point saying that Ness has my whole heart. But me feelings are invested in all of them. I’m excited to read more from them and I want to be part of the gang.

*Spoiler* That was your warning ok! The romances, I loved them. Brighton and Prudencia, I loved their trepidation towards their feelings for each other and I’m excited to see where it goes. I also enjoyed there sex positivity. But you know what us gays were waiting for, it was the reunion between Emil and Ness. What I didn’t expect was the love triangle and what I REALLY didn’t expect was how into it I was. I love how the different guys bring out different sides to Emil. I mean, I think Ness is endgame but I’m excited to see what happens.

In the first book, we had a lot of magic and a lot to learn but I think in this book its been toned down and it works for the better. It felt more compact and accessible. I know this going to sound strange but it also expanded in a way I loved. I don’t want to say how, I want you to be surprised. But it was so exciting.

I really loved the writing in Infinity Reaper. Reading from four different perspectives is tough, but I never got confused who I was reading. I loved how the modern world and social media was woven in. Also, the action scenes were epic. The were thrilling. I mean, the fight in the air on the back of the Phoenixes was cinematic. I could see it so clearly in my head. Like the rest of the book, it was all next level.

Shall we talk about the ending? You know I want to. I can’t believe it ended like that. It was brilliant. Don’t worry, no spoilers. But Adam has built it up so perfectly between Emil and Brighton, that it made the ending epic and heartbreaking. Also Maribelle, I have questions. I need answers.

So now I guess all there is to do is sit around and wait for book three…

Thank you to hashtagreads for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review review. It’s out March 4th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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5 Books to read for LGBT History Month.

It’s LGBT+ History Month here in the UK, so I thought I’d share five books (although there is many more you could read and I hope you do) that talk about the history of the queer community. Some are non-fiction, some are historical, some are just wonderful queer books.

It’s so important to remember the history of the queer community, it can stark reminder of how bad things were, how far we’ve come. And we must remember every part of the community, gay, sapphic, bisexual, trans, questioning, aro, ace and non-binary. We are all part of the same community and we must celebrate it all. We can’t forget 2020, was the worst year for trans violence, especially for trans people of colour.

These books shed some light on queer lives.

So lets talk about the books shall we?

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. This has become one of my favourite books of all time. It’s so beautifully written, it’s literally stunning. It’s so moving. It’s the story of two black enslaved men, who are in love. I’ve never read this before. It’s showing that queer people and queer love existed in this time, because of course they did. You can check out my full review here.

Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski. This is one of those unforgettable novels that is quiet and understated but will have such an impact on you. It’s set in the 1980s Poland, and is the love story between two men in a time when it’s unacceptable. It’s thought provoking and moving. I can’t recommend this one to you enough. You can check out my full review here.

Fighting Proud The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served In Two World Wars by Stephen Bourne. This book says it all in the title. It details the lives and stories of gay men fighting in the war. It gives them a voice, full of facts. Such a super interesting read.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. I will always recommend this book. It’s brilliant. It’s one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s sent in our time, but it just perfectly captures the journey towards self acceptance and that’s definitely an important thing to read during lgbtq+ history month.

Lie With Me by Philippe Benson. One of my favourite novels that I couldn’t not mention. Set in France in the 1980s in the middle of the AIDs epidemic, this a story of two boys falling in love when acceptance wouldn’t be granted. It’s so beautifully written, so heartfelt. You can check out my full review here.

I have only chosen to feature five books, which I also know focus on m/m stories but this mainly what I read. But here’s some more recommendations of books that share the queer experience in brilliant ways. All The Young Men by Ruth Corker Burks, You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, Real Life by Brandon Taylor, Camp by L.C.Rosen, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo and All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson.

This month is a time to reflect on how far the queer community has come, of course not all other the world as being queer is still illegal to be gay in 72 countries, this still shows how far we’ve still got to go.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. And you enjoy some of these. Let me know if there’s any queer books you think I should be reading for this month.

Until the next review

Jthbooks