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Let’s Talk Bookish: Reading Reviews & Spoiler

Hello and happy Friday.

It’s my last weekend before going back to uni (ugh) and I wish I could say I was making the most of my days of being able to sleep in before having to get up for lectures but no. I’m at my dads house right now and my brother and sister consider sleeping past 7.30 the worst thing in the world.

I’m not a morning person in the slightest but we’re gonna try and push through the headache and talk about this weeks Let’s Talk Bookish!

Let’s Talk Bookish is a bookish meme that was created by Rukky @ Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, where each Friday, bloggers write posts discussing the topic of the week! Since the beginning of April, I’ve been the host of LTB, and I post each month’s topics here on my blog! February Topics.

This weeks topic is … Do You Read Reviews and Spoilers Before or After? (Jillian @ Jillian the Bookish Butterfly)

Prompts: Do you like looking at reviews for books before you read them? Is reading reviews important to you when choosing what books to read next? Or do you prefer to wait until after you’ve read a book to look at reviews? Do you ever look at spoilers before you read a book?


Do you like looking at reviews for books before you read them?

Honestly, I’m very easily influenced, despite how hard I try not to be, so I do try and avoid reading reviews before I read them just so that I can form my own thoughts and opinions first.

Jasper Vale by Devney Perry is one of the (many) current books I’m reading. I actually watched a LarriReads wrap up on Youtube the same day I started reading this where she talks about her not loving this and going through the reasons why. Now I’m reading and I’m struggling to seperate her thoughts from my own – do we have the same opinions, or am I projecting?

I guess it’s like when somebody points out a really annoying sound that you didn’t hear until they mentioned it, and now it’s all you can focus on which therefore impacts my reading experience. Does that make sense?


Is reading reviews important to you when choosing what books to read next?

Not so much choosing which book I read next, but when it comes to me buying a book, I do have a look at peoples ratings. If I’m seeing that a book I was once interested in being rated badly from people who have similair reading tastes, it’s gonna go wayyy down on my TBR, or be kicked off all together.

For the most part I try to get a general feel for the book but try my best to avoid detailed reviews.

There are exceptions to this though namely when I’m seeing that a book is very bad. I will read the crap out of reviews roasting a book *cough* Lightlark *cough* even if I haven’t read it (and in this case of *cough* Lightlark *cough* no longer plan to).


Or do you prefer to wait until after you’ve read a book to look at reviews?

100% I like to wait until after I’ve read a book. I really love it when you’ve just finished a book that you enjoyed so much, you’re so high on that “post 5 star book bliss” period that you go and read a bunch of reviews to keep this feeling alive.


Do you ever look at spoilers before you read a book?

Ermmmmmm I was about to say “no way” but then I remembered the fact that I knew near enough every plot point, every twist and turn of the All For the Game series by Nora Sakovic before I even picked up the first book because I got caught in a tumblr spiral.

I’d say current day Elli tries to avoid book spoilers like the plague, especially for new releases, because I know that plot twists and things like that will have more of an impact and I don’t want to ruin that. I have a long list of blocked tags on Tumblr to help me avoid these spoilers. This list currently includes: King of Scars, Greywaren, and, most recently, Chain of Thorns.

Funnily enough, this desire to avoid spoilers doesn’t extend to TV shows. I will purposefully seek out the fate of the characters to like … emotionally prepare myself. Also if there’s a current plotline or conflict I’m not liking I will be Googling to see how and when it’s resolved just so I keep watching and don’t avoid it. The most recent example of me spoiling myself on a characters fate was for The Resident, because I wanted to see what happens to a certain season 1 villain.

So there we have this week’s Let’s Talk Bookish. This time next week I will be coming to you from my uni accommodation where I can sleep til noon and make chicken nuggets at midnight if I so wish. Ah the freedom of adulthood.

Anyways. I’d love to know your thoughts and feelings on reading reviews. Do you prefer to read before, after, maybe even while you’re reading? Let me know :))

Elli xx

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Reading all the sapphic romances // February TBR

You can tell I’m motivated and invigorated to read because, as I’m planning out these books, it’s early January. I’m just wanting to read everything all at once which, of course, is impossible to do, so planning my TBRs ahead of time is helping me fulfill this need.

Despite Valentine’s being only 1 day out of 28, in my brain February is the month of reading as many romance books as possible and that’s exactly what I’m going to do!! There are 10 books on this TBR and 2 less days to read them than normal (something I always forget about) so we’ll see how this goes.


My main focus this month is going to be sapphic YA romances, specifically the ones released in 2022 that I was dying to read, but just never got around to:

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales – There are three reasons I want to read this book 1) it’s a Sophie Gonzeles book and she hasn’t let me down yet, 2) it’s a reality-dating show were two girls fall in love with each other instead of their shared exboyfriend, and 3) the Taylor Swift title reference.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston – I’ve been curious about McQuistons YA debut since before this was even out and yet I’ve still not read it. That’s gonna change this month. Despite the plot giving me Paper Town vibes, a book I hated, I am keeping my fingers crossed that I’m going to love this one.

She Get’s the Girl by Rachel Lippincott and Alyson Derrick – This cover is so beautiful that whenever I think about this book, the only thing my mind thinks of is the cover and not the plot. I actually can’t remember what the plot is in the slightest, I just know it’s F/F, written by a married couple, and I’ve been desperate to read it for months.


While those are my top 3 books I hope to read, they’re not the only sapphic romances on this TBR as I also really want to read …

For Her Consideration by Amy Spalding – It’s happened a few times now but I never cease to get excited and giddy when a publisher reaches out and offers me a copy of a book, as was the case here. This book is set in Hollywood which I’m always on board for, especially since it follows a scriptwriter (I’m doing a whole class on scriptwriting this semester!) and a movie star!

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlan – AGHH I’m so happy to have this book and I will force myself to read this, even if it involves staying up all night. I only know as much about this book as the cover is telling me – cheerleader and a jock – but if this disappoints me I do think I’ll cry.


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I had a really great month! // January Wrap Up

I’m writing this in advance because I am starting my year being organised so this is probably old news by now but GUYS!!! I went to The 1975 concert in Newcastle last night and Lewis Capaldi came out, tricked us into thinking he was Harry Styles, and sang Love Story by Taylor Swift. What the actualy fuck!!

I went to this concert because my friend really wanted to go and I’m always down for a concert, even if I don’t know many of their songs. Screaming “Don’t fuck it, you muppet”, watching Matt Healy be … well, Matt Healy, and getting to be there for Lewis Capaldi guest starring was well worth it though.

This wasn’t the only thing that made my January so good though. I’ve also managed to read — books spanning out of my comfort genres, new releases, 2022 books I wanted to read, and getting off to a good start with my 12-for-12 reading challenge!


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New Year’s Book Tag 2023!

Hi and hello!!

I know it’s late Janaury/early February so this tag may be slightly passed it’s metaphorical sell-bye date but I am an absolute sucker for end and beginning of the year content – wrapping up and looking ahead – so we’re just going to pretend like I got around to this a bit earlier than I did.

Not only that, but I was actually tagged by Dini @ DiniPandaReads so of course I had to do it eventually!!


How many books are you planning to read in 2023?

I have set my reading goal for the year to 75 books but my internal goal for myself is to hit 100 books for the third year in a row. I like to low-ball so that it’s still a goal I have to work towards which will motivate me to read more, but won’t suck the joy out of reading for me. So far I’ve read 7 books so I think I’m on a good track at the minute!


Name 5 books you didn’t get to this year but want to make a priority in 2023.

The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas // Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie // The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston // Better Than The Movies by Lynn Painter // Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie

I’ve done my fair share blog posts centering around books I didn’t get to and still want to read whether that be with my 12 books for 12 months TBR or my very long list of 2022 releases I didn’t get to but still want to read. And yet, there’s still even more books that I really want to get to sooner rather than later.


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I bought these books last year!!

Hi and hello, happy Friday!!

Today I am bringing you a bookhaul. Not my first book haul of the year (that’ll come in due course don’t you worry), but actually my last bookhaul of 2022.

These books are either books I bought in New York … or books I bought to stop me crying when I got stranded in Germany. After not sleeping in 24 hours, not eating in 8 hours I missed my connecting flight due to delays. I cried like a baby because the next flight wasn’t until the next day and all I wanted was to be at home. What’s the solution to crying literally non-stop? Retail therapy!!!


Some say “when in Rome” I say “when in the USA” because of course I had to buy myself some books from Barnes & Nobel of all places!!

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Book Review: Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

Publication Date: June 7th 2022

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.

But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.

Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.


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I need to read more books by these authors!

It’s Monday and despite not starting back at uni for another week, I am back at my dads house which means I get to wake up to my little brother and sister arguing with my step-mum about going to school before the crack of dawn. I love them but I just don’t wanna hear or see them at 7 o’clock in the morning ya know.

Since I’m up so early and I’ve now got the house to myself all day, I’ve got plenty of times to talk about the authors I want to read more of, preferably in 2023 but my TBR for this year is already longer than my life-expectancy so let’s just say “eventually”.


Adiba Jaigirdar

  • Read: The Henna Wars
  • To Read: Hani & Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating and A Million to One

As of right this moment the only book by Adiba Jaigirdar that I’ve read is The Henna Wars – a book about two girls who set up rival henna business at school. It’s a crime at this point how behind I am with her books.

The next two books of hers I need to read are her two most recent releases:

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating – as you may be able to guess from the title, features two girl fake-dating after Hani’s friends invalidate her bisexuality because she’s only dated guys. And A Million to One – I don’t know much about besides the fact that it’s an LGBTQ+ historical fiction novel about a heist which really is all I need to know.

I’m really excited to read another contemporary romance from Adiba Jaigirdar and also read a heist novel which is a trope/concept I’m always on board to read. One of the things I really enjoyed about The Henna Wars was the characters and the focus on their culture’s which is something I definitely want to read, and in turn learn, more about!


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Did I read the books I hauled last year?

It’s that time of year again ladies and gentlemen where I hold myself accountable for my own actions, or should I say purchases. Today I’m gonna be looking back at all the books I hauled in 2022 and seeing if I actually got around to reading them!


January

  • Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy
  • Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney
  • Breathe and Count Back From Ten by Natalia Sylvester
  • Only a Monster by Vanessa Len 
  • A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
  • Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth
  • In Deep Waters by F.T Lukens
  • XOXO by Axie Oh
  • The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Fine Print by Lauren Asher
  • Kingdom of the Curse by Kerri Maniscalco
  • You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus
  • Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence

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Spotify Wrapped Book Tag

Hi and hello.

As you can tell by the title of today’s post, I am here to do the Spotify Wrapped Book Tag. I saw Laura @ The Corner of Laura do this tag and it seemed fun so I thought I’d give it a try.

The idea of this challenge is to put your 2022 playlist on shuffle, and for the first five songs, you need to pick a book you read in 2022 that fits that song. It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit. You just have to explain why you chose that book for that song.

Gonna be completely honest with you, my Spotify Wrapped was bad last year. All five of my top songs were by Conan Grey – I’m not ashamed by the artist, I will happily wave the Conan Grey flag, he’s actually pretty underrated, I’m just ashamed that all five of my top five songs were his … with Life is a Highway just missing out with it’s 6th place slot.

And then we have the fact that Spotify literally called me a “basic bitch” by describing my music tastes as “pumpkin-spice”. Now THAT is what I’m most ashamed of. So ashamed in fact that I created a whole new playlist called “Don’t Be a Basic Bitch” so this never happens to me again. I’m nervous to see what songs end up being picked for this tag!


Songs 1: Lately by Forrest. Biskwiq, Ryce

Starting off with a song that possibly makes me look like a complete and utter liar about the whole “basic bitch” thing. This book doesn’t even have a music video out so I don’t think many people know about it which is actually a crime because this is a really fun song. At one point it was my go to shower song and you bet your ass I would sing it at the top of my lungs.

For this song I’m choosing the book … Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney

I’m terrible at like actually paying attention to lyrics but the vibe I get from this song is that it’s about a couple that have just recently got together which kinda (eventually) fits the romance in this novel. There’s also specific lyrics that make me think of Monique and Reggie like:

anytime of day that you wanna play you just say the word and we’ll get away // anything you want, know I got it for you” – which reminds me of Reggie helping Monqiue kind of figure herself out and get away from the things she’s been taught.

opposites attract // picture perfect, photogenic” – she’s the perfect daughter of a preacher, he’s a supposed bad boy.

“you were the piece I was missin no reason for livin // oh I’m thankful that you’re mine, I’m so blessed you’re by my side” – I can’t remember so much for Reggie’s storyline, but Reggie and Sasha were defintely what Monique was missing in her life beforehand.


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These books were disappointing :(

Hello :))

I am annoyed. Last year my boss offered me my job back after summer even after I said I’d be studying abroad and wouldn’t be back until the New Year, they just told me to get in contact with them, which I did. I emailed, they didn’t reply, so a couple weeks later I re-sent my application when I say they were hiring.

Listen, I don’t think things should just be handed to me, but I think I can be forgiven for assuming I’d get my job back after they literally said “hey we’d love to have you back next year”. But nope!! I got an email today from the same woman that said this to my face stating that they wouldn’t be going forward with my application.

I’m not mad about not getting the job. I’m mad that they offered me the job back only to backtrack on that and ghosted me when I got in contact with them like they told me to.

As you may be able to guess, I’m feeling frustrated at the minute so it seems to me that it’s the perfect time to talk about the books that disappointed me in 2022.


A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

My problems with this book is that it’s a book of two very different halves. I went into this book thinking it was going to be a YA Dark Academia with a hint of paranormal as an acclaimed teen author enrolls at a boarding school with an infamous history of witchcraft. The first half definitely leant into my expectations of it being a paranormal novel, but there was a very abrupt shift to a more murder mystery vibe for the second half.

I really wish this book would have picked a lane and stayed in it (prefferably the witchy sort of lane because I’m always going to enjoy that more). Besides that though, I finished the book with question marks still floating around my head. I was super excited about this one and it let me down.


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