Blog, Wrap Ups

Top 5 Books I Read this Winter … + Autumn Honourable Mentions❄🍂


It’s just dawned on me how much work I’ve actually got to do: two assignments, creative writing for seminar feedback, study abroad paperwork, renewing my passport, I also wanted to enter a creative writing competition.

This is not the great realisation to have when I’m running off only a couple hours of sleep so what am I going to do? Ignore all that and talk about some recent favourites!!

Today I come to you with my favourite books from December, January and February, as well as some honourable mentions because I forgot to do an Autumn version of this and those books deserve love too.

Honourable Autumn Mentions

*won’t be talking over much about these ones because, I’m going to be honest with you, it’s been a few months and my memory is not the greatest*

I See London, I See France by Sara Mlynowski – A year after my trip to Italy was cancelled the weekend before due to Covid, the sting of missing out on that finally healed enough for me to read this book and I had a blast. I liked the travel themes, it put me in the mood to get on a plane and fly far away. I also enjoyed how the characters were in their late teens and actually acted like it, there was talk of sex and drugs, not in a lewd or overdone way, but a realistic depiction!

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell – What I remember most about my reading experience of this book was that I just had a lot of fun. What I really like most about this series is how it explores the Chosen One when he’s accomplished everything he’s been working towards and is left thinking “ok what now?”. The romance angst hurt but I loved every second of it. Penelope and Shepard were also a highlight of this one.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken – This one just jam packed with action and yes it took me a little while to wrap my head around the different gods and groups (didn’t realise until too late that there was an entire guide at the back of the book). It was fun to read a book so full of action though.

Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy

I loved this book so much that I’m now two books deep in my Off Campus re-read just because Elle Kennedy has such an addictive writing style. I’m having to exercise some serious self control to only re-read one book a month.

This is a good-girl/bad-boy romance and it’s revealed that Cooper is only going after Mackenzie as payback on her rich arsehole of a boyfriend who got him fired and my heart dropped. I hate this trope. Don’t date or pursue someone as a dare or revenge please. BUT … it worked in this instance. I liked how it was handled.

My favourite thing was the chemistry between characters. Cooper and Mackenzie were both bursting with personality in their own right so when they came together and were interacting it made for a lot of fun. Same goes for the side characters. I loved seeing Mackenzie integrate into Coopers friend group and her relationship with his twin brother ended up being super sweet.

I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that there’s more books in this series following the side characters we’ve already met.

My review.

Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

*I’ve been looking for this book cover for 10 minutes and I cannot find it. I’m gonna go crazy if I carry on so apologies but ya not getting the cover for this one*

I really don’t remember what made me pick this up one random afternoon/evening but I’m very glad I did because it was great. After reading a fair bit of poetry at Uni last semester, it’s still not my favourite thing, but I do feel much more comfortable reading books in verse.

I loved the topics represented in this novel: sexualisation of girls, double standards between raising boys and raising girls. I felt so much frustration on behalf of Xiomara and I like it when books really draw out emotions like that.

I’ve now read all of Elizabeth Acevedo’s books and that genuinely makes me really sad.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

I was humming-and-ahhing over whether I wanted to include this book. It was a toss up between this or One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus so Honourable Mention to that book.

I ultimately decided on this book though, just because I loved my overall reading experience. I said in my review that I drank a lot of tea and it definitely was because of this book. Since finishing this book I’ve gone back to my normal tea drinking habits.

This book really wasn’t perfect. I do think it needed to decide whether it wanted to be paranormal with the ghosts or dark academia mystery because the two halves didn’t really connect. But I can’t deny that this book had me super engrossed the entire time.

My Review

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Hilarious. If I had to sum up this book in one word that’s the first word that comes immediately to mind. I don’t think I’ve actually laughed out loud at a book so much. I would very much like to see an adaptation of this because it was peak rom-com.

I read this 1) to finish off the Brown Sisters trilogy, and 2) because I’m working on a second part to my Grumpy/Sunshine review post and this was the first one on my list. This was peak Grumpy/Sunshine. The chemistry and banter was off the charts. It makes me happy just thinking about it.

This entire trilogy was a lot of fun and I’m so glad I’ve read it, but this was definitely my favourite of the three!

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

I feel like me reading this book has been a LONG time coming and it didn’t disappoint.

Of course I ended up comparing it to Red, White & Royal Blue. After such a momentous debut how can you not compare the sophomore novel, no matter how much you try not to. I felt like this book had the same overall vibes: the addictive millenial/gen-z writing style which I have so much fun with, the characters being larger then life.

Where this book differs though is that is a much slower burn. It requires more patience as you learn about the characters and mystery surrounding the train. I did feel like the start kind of dragged but I can’t comment on that too much because I was in a slump. My enjoyment definitely picked up when things really started getting going though. I especially liked the found-family aspects so any scene with the friend-group were very entertaining to me.

And there we have my favourites from Autumn and Winter. In the process of writing this post I also wrote a list of all the things I have coming up including their deadlines, had a minor panic about getting it all done … and then organised to go to the cinema tomorrow. #priorities.

I’d love to know your thoughts and feelings on any and all of these books, as well as what books you’ve loved recently. By the time this post goes live I will have watched The Batman, so if you’ve seen it let’s talk!! Thanks for reading :))

Elli xx

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