Blog, Wrap Ups

best books i read this winter!

Hi and hello 👋

I come to you today with a list of the best books I read this winter. Over the last three months I’ve somehow managed to read 26 books, most of which I’ve enjoyed, and yet my five favourites (and one special mention) were very easy to pick out.

These are the books that have stuck in my brain, changed my life, and would now never not like to live without. Only some of that is an overexaggeration.

Special Mention: Daisy Jones & The Six Audiobook!

When it comes to my seasonal favourites I never include rereads. They’ve had their time to shine and all that but I’m making an exception when it comes to Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. In preparation for the TV show I read this again, but this time I listened to the audiobook and holy crap was it amazing.

I’d heard great things about the audiobook since even before I read this for the first time last year but it was somehow an even better experience than I imagined. The format of the book being written in the interview style made it so easy to consume and just added this whole other layer to the story. If you’ve been wanting to read this, for the first or fiftieth time, I definitely recommend listening to the audiobook!

How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlo

Here we have a book I just didn’t shut up talking about for the entirety of December. No regrets cause this book was great and everyone should know about it. I loved it so much that it was on my 2022 favourites list.

How to Excavate a Heart includes many things that are impossible not to love: an adorable corgi named Rapahel who really steals the show, a couple who’s meet cute involves one almost being hit by a car, plus characters with actual personalities and hobbies.

What I really loved about this book was the characters, how they had external conflicts outside of just their relationship which made them flawed and caused conflict in all the right ways. As I mentioned, I especially enjoyed their hobbies! Shani is into paleontology, that’s how she finds herself in D.C for winter break as she has an internship at the Natural History Museum, and May was interested in the weather. I was in D.C and went to the Natural History Museum just a month or two before reading this so that definitely helped it have a special place in my heart.

While this book is set over the holiday period please don’t single it out as “a holiday book” only to be read in December. I truly think this is a great romance for any occasion. Read my review for more of me gushing!

Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

Another book I have found any opportunity to talk about lately. Listen. If I find a great book I’m going to try and share the love as much as humany possible.

Hell Followed With Us was gross and I loved every second of it. It’s set in a post apocalyptic future where a religious cult has essentially taken over what’s left of the world after they released a deadly virus. Benji is on the run from this cult that no only raised him but also infected him with a strain of this virus that won’t kill him, but instead will turn him into a mutated monster that they want to use to completely wipe humanity from the world.

This book won’t be for everyone, it was filled with graphic and gross imagery and it kind of got a horror vibe to it that won’t be to everyone’s taste. It was definitely my vibe though. I loved this so much; the characters, the plot, the writing. I’m so excited to read more from this author and I’m very glad I dragged my friends back to Barnes & Nobel for me to pick up a copy of this book. I’ve got a review for this one too 🙂

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Know My Name was not a fun, fast or easy read but I was entranced by the writing and Chanel Miller herself. Chanel Miller is the survivor of the Stanford Assault case, previously only known as Emily Doe and this is her telling her story.

It took me a long while to read this book. I listened to it on audio which Chanel herself narrated. It gave me goosebumps, made my stomach drop at times. Obviously major trigger warnings for this book but if this is something you’re “comfortable” reading, definitely consider listening to the audiobook. Hearing her talk about her experience not only of the assault but the aftermath and the trauma this caused not only her but her family and close friends, I feel it’s very important and impactful read.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.

Three cheers cause I’ve completed Alice Oseman’s backlist! Woop. This really feels like a major accomplishment for me, more so because I actually really enjoyed Radio Silence, whereas I’ve not always enjoyed Oseman’s full length novels.

My main takeaway from this book was the themes of friendship. As someone who’s not always had an overabundance of friends (tiny violin playing in the distance rn) I related to France’s feelings of finding a new friend in Alec who she clicked with almost right away.

Maybe it’s recency bias but I think Frances might be my favourite of Oseman’s main novel characters (not including Charlie and Nick obviously).

Next of Kin by Hannah Bonam-Young

Finally we have a book that snuck onto this list at the possible moment. When I picked up Next of Kin I was just expecting a quick and cute romance. A pallete cleanser of sorts after reading a couple books that just didn’t and I ended up reading this in one night.

This book follows two twenty-something year olds who are both trying to foster their younger siblings but are each lacking something. Chloe is a recently graduated freelancer and doesn’t have a steady enough income, while Warren is struggling to find a suitable apartment so the two get paired up as part of a CPS programme to live together in a way that benefits them both.

You’ve got hints of grumpy/sunshine and dislike-to-love at the start there but overall this book was just so sweet. It’s only short and yet it feels so well rounded in how the characters develop and how the relationship between Chloe and Warren plays out. I wrote a full review for this book so I’m going to stop talking about it now but I loved it and highly reccomend it! (… and it’s free with Kindle Unlimited).

So those are my five favourites. They made me happy and chances are high that they’ll make you happy too! I’d love to know what books you’ve been loving recently, thanks for reading 🙂

Elli xx

Blog, Tags

Smash or Pass Book Tag

Hello and howdy.

Today we are smashing (the patriarchy) and passing (our classes) in the Smash or Pass Book Tag! This was created by Becky’s Book Blog. I’ve been seeing this tag a lot recently and have been very excited to give it a go.

We’re being speedy with this today though because I’ve been at my dads all weekend and haven’t had a chance to watch the newest episodes of Daisy Jones & The Six and I need to catch up asap.

Bookish Tropes

While I’m not a huge fan of romance books being diluted down to just a bunch of tropes and no actual plot, I’m gonna have to smash this one cause there are more than a fair few tropes that I’m a sucker for: grumpy/sunshine, bad boy, billionaire, there’s only one bed, etc.

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Blog, book haul

Overwhelmed by my ARC shelf // Book Haul

I had a lecture today all about “literary blogs” and I just sat there in silence while my lecturer explained what an ARC is and what benefit they have etc.

When it comes to juggling this blog, I like to be organised so I make myself a rough blogging schedule each month. For that reason, it’s pretty apt that today’s lecture involved a conversation about ARCs because I’m here today to talk to you about my the state of my ARC shelf.

To sum it up: I’m overwhelmed. I’m not gonna sit here and say “how did it get like this?” because I know the answer to that question. I requested books I really wanted to read, not thinking I’d actually be accepted, and then BAM I was infact accepted for these books.

I have nine new ARCs to talk about today but know that there are many more than that currently waiting for me on my ARC shelf. I’m literally drowning and just trying to keep my head above water at this point.

City of Nightmares by Rebecca Schaeffer – Nevemind the fact that I haven’t yet continued on with the Market of Monster trilogy, I am super excited about this new series that in a Gotham like city where “dreaming means waking up as your worst nightmare”. I love a story where the setting, in this case the city, is almost like a secondary character so I’m excited for this one.

Seven Faceless Saints by M.K Lobb – I’m finding myself super into fantasy books with religious undertones at the mintue which is what got me excited about this book in the first place as it’s set in a city where saints and their desciples rule. I’ve already read this book, I was part of the blog tour which you can check out here and I really enjoyed this book.

Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker – A couple of months back I took to Goodreads to say “dear publishers, i would sell my soul for an ARC of this book”. Guys. I think I may or may not have sold my soul because LOOK WHAT I HAVE!! I legit screamed when I got the email for this one. I don’t know much about this one, I don’t want to know much. I am excited about magic, murder and mystery all set against the backdrop of New Orleans . Once I finish my current reads I’ll be picking this up.

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Blog, Wrap Ups

Good books & good vibes // February Wrap Up

I’m in my happy place right now; freshly showered, dressed in new PJS, drinking a cup of tea and eating some raspberries. To add to the good vibes of today, I’m here to talk about the TEN books I read this month.

February is obviously the shortest month so I’m super surprised by how many books I managed to squeeze in. Even better, I enjoyed most of them.

The only thing that could possibly bring me down is remembering the fact that I read barely any of the books that were actually on my TBR. To not ruin my good mood, I’m choosing to ignore this fact 🙂

Seven Faceless Saint by M.K Lobb – I started off the month on really good footing not only reading an ARC but really enjoying it! This is the start of a new fantasy series that I will definitely be carrying on with. I loved the religious themes throughout this novel, and I especially loved the main characters Roz and Damian. I was part of the blog tour for this and shared my reactions so check that out and definitely pick up this book.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – Here we have my first re-read of the year (really gonan try and cut down on those this year). I read this via audiobook this time round which I really enjoyed. As you may know, there’s some graphic content in this book and it was quite wierd having someone recite that right into my ear.

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo – I switched back to the physical copy for the sequel (the cover still creeps me out) and I really loved it. I was obsessed with Alex and her friendships in this book like with Dawes and her roommates. I was especially obsessed with all the Darlington related stuff. Never before have I so highly anticipated a kiss or SOMETHING more than with this duo. Heartbreaking that I’m gonna have to wait even more years for the third book.

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Blog, Wrap Ups

March TBR

Hi and hello.

I told myself not to go overboard when it came to picking out books for my TBR this month since I failed so spectacularly when it came to keeping on track with last months. Yeah. There are still 8 books on this TBR.

Right now I’m impassioned and so motivated to read all these books, I’ve even started one or two of them, but those feelings could easily disappear in as little as a couple of days. My attention span leaves something to be desired.

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Blog, Tags

I’ve finished Alice Oseman’s backlist – let’s celebrate with a tag!

Hey and howdy.

Today I am feeling accomplished. My room is tidy and my washing is drying. I’ve not only fed myself with an actual meal instead of just eating snacks, I even made a meal plan for the week. I can almost pretend like my life is organised.

Another thing I’ve accomplished is finishing Alice Oseman’s backlist!!! The other day I finally read Radio Silence, the last Oseman book I had left to read. I really enjoyed this book, so much that I read it in one day. Sure I love the Heartstopper graphic novels but Oseman’s novels have been hit or miss for me so I was super chuffed.

To celebrate I come to you today with a tag I’ve been saving especially for this moment: the Osemanverse Book Tag!

Continue reading “I’ve finished Alice Oseman’s backlist – let’s celebrate with a tag!”
Blog, top 5

Let’s Talk Bookish: Are reading goals worth it?

Hi and hello.

I am back today with another round of Let’s Talk Bookish. I’ve had to skip the last couple of weeks so I’m looking forward to getting back on track with these weekly discussions!

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 week’s topic is … Are reading goals worth it?

Prompts: We’re two months into 2023 – how are you feeling about your reading this year? Do you have a yearly reading goal? Do you think that those kinds of goals help you to feel motivated to read more books, or just causes stress? If you set yearly reading goals, when and why did you start setting them? Would you consider reading without aiming for a number? If you don’t set reading goals, why not?

We’re two months into 2023 – how are you feeling about your reading this year?

So far this year I’ve read 13 books but more importantly, I’ve enjoyed nearly everything I’ve read so far. I’m also super happy with how my reading is going so far this year because I feel like I’m covering a wide range of genres (memoirs, fantasy, adult), I’ve managed to listen to two audiobooks so far, and I’ve even managed to read a couple of new releases which I’m super happy about!

Another thing to celebrate is that I’ve only re-read two books! I’m hoping to not re-read as many books this year and really focus on my TBR pile so I’m proud of this too.

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Blog, Recs

Here’s some books about disease

Hi and hello.

I am happy to report that I survived my first week back at uni. Because it’s been 8 months since I was last here I feel like a fresher trying to get used to living alone again! Obviously over the summer I was constantly around my family and working, and then in the USA you’re just never alone because you have a roommate and eat with people in a dinning hall.

Right now though I’m getting used to just being by myself again … and cooking for myself. My meals this first week have been atrocious: salad, pot noodle two days in a row, microwave meal, tortellini with pesto (first and only decent meal), cereal.

While I may not be loving my meals, I do think I’m gonna enjoy my classes this semester. I’m doing Scriptwriting, Working With Words – a mandatory publishing module where I’m on the blogging team – and finally, the inspiration for today’s list of recommendations, Sick Novels – all about illness and disease in literature.

Today I’m going to be giving some recommendations for YA books that deal with some sort of disease and illness!

Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

I have a fair few irrational fears including clowns, undercooking chicken (even when it’s very clearly cooked), being kidnapped by any white van I see parked in the streets. Thanks to Andrew Joseph White I can now add “religious groups unleashing a a monstrous disease and wiping out the human population” to that list.

The disease in question in this novel basically liquifies your organs. That’s not even the worst part because once you’re dead you and other dead bodies around you can basically meld together to form a monster that this religious group controls. Every single description in this book was so gross and gruesome. I loved it!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Tears are close to strolling down my face just thinking about this book which is to be expected when you have a child who’s mother is dying of Cancer as the main character and a giant tree monster is visiting him each night and telling him some very odd stories.

Of all the novels that I’m going to include on this list of recommendations, this is the book that most represents what the friends and family go through when a person is sick.

I re-read this for a class last semester and ended up writing an essay which partly focused on Conor and his grief so I think since then I just have a special place for this book in my heart. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t picked it up yet. Make sure you have a box of tissues on hand.

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Blog Tour: Seven Faceless Saints by M.K Lobb

Hi and hello, happy Friday.

Today I come to you as part of the blog tour for Seven Faceless Saints by M.K Lob. This is an anticipated release of mine so I was very happy that I was accepted for the ARC, and even happier when I ended up really enjoying it and I can’t wait to share my reactions!

Publication Date: February 7th 2023

In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with terrifying and unjust power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.

After her father’s murder at the hands of the Ombrazian military, Rossana Lacertosa is willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system—tapping into her powers as a disciple of Patience, joining the rebellion, and facing the boy who broke her heart. As the youngest captain in the history of Palazzo security, Damian Venturi is expected to be ruthless and strong, and to serve the saints with unquestioning devotion. But three years spent fighting in a never-ending war have left him with deeper scars than he wants to admit… and a fear of confronting the girl he left behind.

Now a murderer stalks Ombrazia’s citizens. As the body count climbs, the Palazzo is all too happy to look the other way—that is, until a disciple becomes the newest victim. With every lead turning into a dead end, Damian and Roz must team up to find the killer, even if it means digging up buried emotions. As they dive into the underbelly of Ombrazia, the pair will discover something more sinister—and far less holy. With darkness closing in and time running out, will they be able to save the city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?

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Romance Recommendations 💕

On Monday I was all about hate, today I have officially joined the love brigade and I am here to woo you with some romance recommendations!

this is the love frog ❤

I did this last year so if you want an extra dose of love I highly suggest checking out that list of recommendations, but today I’m going to be talking all about the best romance books I’ve read in the past year that I think you should definitely check out!

Also. For a couple of these books I’m going to branch out and include books that aren’t necessarily “romance novels” but have a great love story nonetheless.

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