June Wrap Up and July TBR

Errr, it’s June already? I also think we have had our summer already as we had 2 nice weeks of sunshine which I spent getting sunburnt in the garden or in my lazy spa-pool. It’s grey and raining now as I write this…..oh well.

So in June I have been watching Panic on Amazon Prime which is an adaptation of a great book by Lauren Oliver which I read many summers ago. It’s so good, and I’ve watched it twice already. I have also started re-watching Teen Wolf for the third time and I’m on to Season 4 already. It’s my comfort show now!

reading wrap up june books

I read a chunky trilogy of 3 books in one, a 500+ page graphic novel, and a book on my kindle. As June was the first time I ever read a Holly Black book, I enjoyed it enough to treat myself to the Folk of The Air trilogy I’ve heard so much about and I’ve started on The Cruel Prince already. I’m also excited to have a review copy of The Other Merlin by Robyn Schneider (queer Merlin retelling), and Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo (southern gothic) to review for The Nerd Daily.

The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black – Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside.

I was recommended this by a friend and I’m so glad they did. I like urban fantasy and this hit the spot. I bought all three books in one so it was nearly 800 pages. This is an early 00s book and you can tell (goth fashion… Or what someone thinks goth fashion is… You so edgy!) . It was sweet and nostalgic and reminded me of some older books I read as a teen (no cell phones!) It’s full of people doing things they shouldn’t, and no one is really good or likeable, but you like them anyway right?

On A Sunbeam Graphic Novel by Tillie Walden

This a was a fun,cute “space opera” about a crew that go to different planets and restore old buildings, but its also a two timeline story, and the second story is about a girl’s time at boarding school and her first love. The universe and potential for this is large, and I enjoyed reading the book, but visually I would like it to have been a bit more detailed and clearer in places.

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

This was the June pick for The Queer Book Crew. I’m not really sure how I would describe what its about because I don’t think it really knows itself yet, maybe book two will be stronger? The plot was okay but I wasn’t really hugely interested by it until the last 5,10% of the book. I only really liked one character – Nirrim and wasn’t really clicking with Sid. The writing was beautiful though and is what I liked most.

July TBR

For July I will be reading In The Ravenous Dark by AM Strickland for our Queer Book Crew pick, and I’d like to continue with the Folk of the Air trilogy, and make a start on one of my ARCS for review.

I’m so so sooo looking forward to Summer Sons, it sounds right up my street!! Happy reading everyone!

Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater

mister impossible book cover

Ahhh Mister Impossible. How do you review this book? Like Call Down The Hawk, I think this is one that you need to read twice. Once for enjoyment and the vibes, and once more again to find all the little bits you missed, and for the moments that make you shout out AHA!
This isn’t an issue though as I have no problem re reading Call Down The Hawk (or The Raven Cycle) as I love Maggie’s writing and characters. I am looking forward to re reading Mister Impossible, but I wanted to write a short review first..

So this book didn’t really answer many of my questions from Call Down The Hawk and then left me with many more… So of course I can’t wait for the final book!

This is a very “Maggie” book and it looks like she’s had fun with it, and gone wild with all the possibilities. The world of the dreamers seems much bigger now, and not just contained to Ronan and his barns as we once knew.
One thing I can say about Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is that she can make me interested in things I wouldn’t normally be too bothered about. For example, this book is about art. Art is very important to it. I do not know much about art and painting and artists, its not something I dabble in. However, with Mister Impossible, because I’m invested in the story, and I’m still curious about learning more about the characters, I want to pay attention to everything. In my opinion the amount of art related stuff in Mister Impossible isn’t dull or uninteresting to me because a good writer can take something like that and her passion and detail with it is infectious. I might not get all the references, but I bet with a second read I would see more. Another example with this is cars in The Raven Cycle. Cars and driving are a hobby of the author, however I don’t even know how to drive. But when reading The Raven Cycle, Gansey’s beloved camaro was written so perfectly into the book that it felt like a character and I found myself attached to it.

Overall I thought Mister Impossible was not as dramatic or as fast paced as I thought it would be for a middle book, but I was very happy with what I did get. There was a good mix of little scenes and happy and sad moments. Like many, I have grown attached to Declan Lynch, plus I am also really enjoying Jordan’s story. I am one of the few who thought reading about Jordan and Declan’s parts were better than Ronan, Hennessy, and Bryde’s sections.

Again, wonderful writing as always, and let’s see how I feel once I’ve read it again.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Last Night at the Telegraph Club is a coming of age / romance / historical fiction story about an American Chinese girl named Lily in 1950s San Francisco who discovers a gay / lesbian bar. Lily has to navigate school, family, racial prejudice, rumours and threats of communism, and her first love. Although there’s still a way to go, throughout the book it made me think how far we’ve come since then with regards to being inclusive of LGBTQ+ people and how difficult and different it must have been for them in the past.

I’m not 100% sure if the writing style was for me, whilst it was detailed and descriptive, I sometimes found it to be maybe a little too long and maybe too much on the narration. It could have probably been 50 pages less. However this is just my opinion.

You can really see the details, heart, and research the author has put into writing the book, and she has included a section at the back of the book that details this should the reader want to know more. I mainly read to be entertained, but books like this remind me that we can be both entertained and educated. This part of history wasn’t really talked about during school. It was good to read about something from a time and place I don’t often get to read about. On top of that, I liked Lily as a main character, I liked that she was interested in pursuing science / mathematics as a career, and there was a few interesting supporting characters that were great too. 

First love is always so powerful and consuming and I think we never forget it 

May Wrap up and June TBR

May is over… that went fast, not going to lie I wasn’t up for reading much at the beggining of the month as I was waiting for Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater to be released, and finishing playing Soulstorm on the playstation. I think reviews to come on both of those!!

The weather is getting nicer, and I turned 30! Here is a photo of yours truly with some of my books and a birthday Pusheen;

So in May I have read 4 books, DNF’d one, started one, and bought 6!!

Check out what I bought below (not pictured is Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tales series or The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutoski)

book stack showing 4 blue books this is how you lose the time war, mister impossible, last night at the telegraph club, and on a sunbeam

I think those books I bought are perfect for Pride Month in June as I wanted to get some more sapphic reads, but I have already read The Last Night at The Telegraph club, Mister Impossible, and This Is How You Lose The Time War, maybe I got too excited aha. But every month is a good month for LGBTQ+ books, not just June.

May Reads

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

See my review here, but a really empowering, interesting, fantasy fiction story following three very different but very loveable sisters.

Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater (Dreamer Trilogy #2)
mister impossible paperback book

Review to come! But my spoiler free thoughts were that this was a very “Maggie” book, it really is wild and imaginative, and once again its going to be even better when I read it again. It didn’t really answer many questions from the first book, and raised a lot of new ones. It felt like not much was happening but then everything sort of started happening at the end!

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Last Night at the Telegraph Club paperback

This was a group read for the Queer Book Crew Discord server. An own voices, queer romance, coming of age story about an Asian – American in late 50s San Francisco. It was really interesting, descriptive, and you could tell the author had put so much thought into her research too. I also love the cover it’s so pretty!

June TBR

For June I am going to continue with Tithe by Holly Black (Modern Faerie Tales) which I have just started, and I also want to read The Midnight Lie for the Queer Book Crew’s June read. I also want to get to the massive chonkyyy graphic novel I have called On A Sunbeam, for Conquer a Chonker readathon by Asha at A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

the once and future witches book cover

Good concept, nice writing, interesting characters – no complaints here!

I know I haven’t posted for a few weeks but I’ve only recently been reading again after a very short break. I looked forward to curling up and reading The Once and Future Witches each evening and it took me a whole week to read.

Having read The Ten Thousand Doors of January, I already knew that Alix E Harrow’s way with words is just wonderful, so I didn’t mind taking my time with this book. I enjoyed how magic was found and used here. I felt like it got more and more “witchy” throughout. I also really liked how even though it is a standalone, by the end of the book I really felt connected to all three sisters and there was something different I liked about each one.
The story may have started to lull for me in the middle but it soon picked back up. I liked Beatrice Belladonna Eastwood the most so enjoyed reading her chapters. I found I saw little parts of myself in the librarian and loved following her journey through this book. Feisty James Juniper Eastwood kept me on my toes, and Agnes Amaranth Eastwood kept me grounded. Family meant everything to these three, they’d all experienced trauma and wrong doing – and I felt like I owed it to each one to keep reading to find out what had happened to them in the past, and how they could find their way back to each other, move past, and a way to move forward and stay together.

So yeah, witches, power, feminism, all very intriguing and interesting to me. Bit dark in parts, but I liked that, it made it more real and reminded me what the stakes were (no pun intended) I kinda felt like there was a bit of taste of revenge, or at the very least, taking back what was owed which left me feeling very empowered.

April Wrap up and May TBR

the raven cycle book stack with sword in the stars book cover

So April has absolutely flown by, and now we are into May…..I turn 30 this month!! But it’s okay because I won’t be forced to grow up…although I am getting tired and can’t see a thing without my glasses!

So I haven’t managed to read much at all this month as I’ve been spending time in front of the TV screen instead. I’ve finished re-watching all six seasons of LOST (an amazing show that’s stood the test of time, go check it out if you haven’t already) I’ve also (probably along with a massive amount of the book community) watched Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow & Bone on Netflix which is EXCELLENT. I have only read the Six of Crows duology and not the Shadow & Bone series, but I enjoyed seeing the Crows on screen, even i I wish they had more plot from the book in it…Season 2 anyone!?

Lastly, I’ve been playing Oddworld: Soulstorm on PS5, I’ve been playing Abe and Oddworld games since I was six years old and I could talk about or play them all day! I’m not a very skilled gamer but I don’t care, I have fun!

So book – wise, I have read 4 books and started one more, I’ve also bought 3 and was gifted one!

Finished re-reading The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater – the fourth time maybe?

Read The Sword in The Stars by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta (to complete the Once & Future duology)

Started Cute Mutants Vol. 4 by SJ Whitby

the raven boys book tattoo bee tattoo ley lines flowers
My Raven Cycle Tattoo


Big plans for May! I’m going to finish Cute Mutants Vol. 4, and then start The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow whilst I wait for Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater which is out on May 18th. Then after that I’ll be reading Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo for a group read.
Who knows..I may even get to start the Truly Devious series I bought this month..

the once and future witches books cover

The Luminous Dead By Caitlin Starling

This book was a pick for a group read in March so it was good for me to read something that wasn’t my usual genre – I found The Luminous Dead to be tense and creepy, but I couldn’t put this down and it was a really enjoyable read!

the luminous dead caitlin starling book cover

I would describe The Luminous Dead as psychological fiction mixed with sci-fi. It follows Gyre as she goes on a caving mission with just Em as her only company, as the voice in her headset as her handler / minder. The book builds a claustrophobic atmosphere and gives you a real sense of isolation. The plot takes place pretty much entirely in the cave, but the book focuses on character development between the two women as one is constantly keeping secrets and withholding info, and the other is strong, determined, and a little impulsive. The pair are often clashing and face moral dilemmas and need to work together.

There are a few twists here and there, along with some very tense moments, and a constant feeling of urgency to get the assignment over with and just GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. I found that it was easy to get pulled in to the story and the setting, I was very impressed with the writing managing to take me somewhere I have no experience of and holding my attention throughout. Definitely going to take a look at Caitlin Starling’s other work!

Cute Mutants Book Tag

Back in December, I read Cute Mutants by SJ Whitby for the first time. It’s an incredibly unique, fun, inclusive, fast paced superqueero set of stories. To celebrate the release of Cute Mutants Volume 4: The Sisterhood of Evil Mutants on April 6th, the wonderful Art at Inkandplasma has put together this great Cute Mutants book tag with Finn (evidentlybookish) and Andee (mousereads). Please feel free to join in if you wish, I always love hearing about favourite books.

Read below for the fun character prompts and what my picks were!

You can find the images/graphics on the link here, if you wish to use them (please give credit) thanks!

Dylan aka Chatterbox: A book featuring a character who can be a little bit mean but a lot loveable.

For this one I’m going to pick Ronan Lynch from The Raven Cycle, and The Dreamer Trilogy. In the first book of The Raven Cycle he does appear to be a bit mean. He has his guard up and I get the feeling he only has a few people he really cares about. He also has a lot of money and handful of problems so I can see why he can be defensive and standoffish and appear hard to relate to at first. He’s not always cold though as he is a total softie for animals, and through out the books the reader gets to know him more and see him warm towards others and we warm towards him. He’s magical, funny, creative, fiercely loyal towards those he is close to, and I want the best for him!

Dani aka Marvellous: A book that caused you pain.

Clockwork Princess from The Infernal Devices trilogy of the Shadowhunter series. Cassandra Clare can write stories and characters that can break your heart like no one else.

Alyse aka Moodring: A book featuring monster girls.

I’m going to have to pick Cute Mutants here. Alyse is one of my favourite characters from this book and her super power is so cool and imaginative. This book is full of fierce and powerful characters that can go full monster at times but also be soft babies.

Emma aka Goddess: A book featuring a superpower you’d love to have.

Picking Cute Mutants AGAIN because I love Dylan’s power and all that comes with it. Talking and communicating with objects? It’d be useful and hilarious at the same time.

Lou aka Glowstick: A book with great trans rep

I’m not trans so can’t really speak for whether the rep is good or bad, but I can recommend Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas as an own voices story with a good trans character. The book does discuss the main character Yadriel’s identity as a trans boy but it’s not the whole main deal of the story.

Bianca aka Wraith: A book with a character you’d go to hell and back for

It’s been a while since I’ve read the Strange The Dreamer duology, but I immediately thought of the character Lazlo Strange for this prompt, because he is such a good soul, a hero, and he deserves the absolute best. I think there is a bit of Lazlo Strange in every one of us which is what makes him so wonderful to read about.

Onimaru: A book with a character much cooler than you.

I’ve recently read Once & Future by A.R Capetta and Cory McCarthy and I absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it to fans of Cute Mutants. The main character, Ari, is the newest reincarnation of King Arthur and she is so much cooler than me. She has a powerful magical mythical SWORD, a magician as her sidekick, and a band of amazing friends around her, and a spaceship! Def much cooler than me.

Pillow: A book featuring your favourite fictional relationship

Can I just say if you have not read Cute Mutants yet then you need to because I love Pillow so much!!!!! And you will too! But for my favourite fictional relationship (I have many) I am going to pick Gansey and Blue from The Raven Cycle because they are complete opposites at first…but they do say opposites attract! I really enjoyed the way they came together in the series and the effect the two of them have on each other.

Batty: A book with a secondary character/sidekick you can’t help but love

I’m going to say Batty and Onimaru from Cute Mutants because Batty is what made me force my friend to read this series and we both fell in love with Onimaru together as well.

Pear: A book with a family dynamic you love

Found family is the best family so I will have to pick The Foxhole Court / All For The Game series by Nora Sakavic for this one. Those who have read it will know why. Lots of books have groups and teams where characters will ride and die for each other, but this series explores why, along with discussing boundaries and how bonds can break and be repaired.

And that’s it! Here are the prompts if you wish to take part too!

Dylan aka Chatterbox: A book featuring a character who can be a little bit mean but a lot loveable.

Dani aka Marvellous: A book that caused you pain.

Alyse aka Moodring: A book featuring monster girls.

Emma aka Goddess: A book featuring a superpower you’d love to have.

Lou aka Glowstick: A book with great trans rep. 

Bianca aka Wraith: A book with a character you’d go to hell and back for. 

Onimaru: A book with a character much cooler than you.

Pillow: A book featuring your favourite fictional relationship.

Batty: A book with a secondary character/sidekick you can’t help but love.

Pear: A book with a family dynamic you love.

March Wrap Up

So March has flown by! The UK has been in and out of lockdown for a whole year now. We are currently in our longest one since November but things are just starting to ease with people being allowed to socialise outdoors in groups of up to 6, and shops should open mid April.

So I have been working, and when not working I’ve been re-watching LOST -my all time favourite show, watching Schitt’s Creek, and reading. I’ve read 6 books this month, all physical editions this time. I bought 3 books which I’ve read already, and DNF’d one book. March has been a good months for reads, read on to see which were my first 5 star books of 2021, which book was sadly abandoned, and which book took me out of my comfort zone.

Chain of Iron By Cassandra Claire
chain of iron book cover book review

First up was Chain of Iron, second in The Last Hours series from the growing Shadowhunter Universe. I had a couple of days off so took a long weekend and devoured this one. It was classic Cassie to be honest, nothing new, but still enjoyable. I liked it more than what I thought I would.

The Library At Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
the library at mount char by scott hawkins

I decided to read The Library At Mount Char after seeing a tweet on Twitter by Maggie Stiefvater where she asked for suggestions / recommendations of the most weirdest books people have read. Lots of people commented this title, so I picked it up because I thought I wanted to try something weird. OMG it was disturbing and weird. But…it became my first five star read of 2021 because of how original, bizzare, darkly funny and disturbing it was. I have linked my review here…just be wary of this book, it’s adult urban fantasy and it’s full of potentially triggering content.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I think I missed the big deal with A Monster Calls. I found it really sad but not overly engaging, I felt it was a little bit “young” for me, but perhaps I wasn’t ready to deal with this kind of story about illness and sadness.

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
Once and Future book cover book review

Another 5 Star read this month! I am asking myself why I waited so long to read Once & Future? I’d recommend this book to everyone. It’s a sci-fi / fantasy/ futuristic retelling or continuation of the King Arthur myth. It’s also very queer! It follows Ari who is the next King Arthur and she meets Merlin the Magician (who is aging backwards!?) who needs to train her and get her “on the nearest throne” – his words. The second installment in the duology I think will follow the search for the holy grail however I have not read it yet. It was a good ending, but I love the characters so I want to get back to them soon, so I need to pick up the sequel!

I really enjoyed how fast paced this was and how it still managed to have twists and turns even though I am familiar with the King Arthur story. I’m not a huge sci -fi fan but I found it wasn’t too “heavy” and was easy to get in to. I haven’t written a review yet because…reasons, but I will because this book deserves it!

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling
the luminous dead

If you would have told me I’d read a Sci-Fi book which is just about one person in a cave and the voice of her handler / minder, finish it in a day, and give it a solid 4 stars .. well I’d be like, no that’s not me? But it was aha. This was a pick for a group read for the March book for The Queer Book Crew. I’ll write a review soon, but I enjoyed this piece of psychological fiction very, very much.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Last but not least, I have started re reading The Raven Cycle and finished The Raven Boys yesterday. I usually re read it once a year but couldn’t wait until April or May which is when I usually do! I think its because it’s a comfort read, and things are very strange at the moment, my anxiety and OCD is on the rise again and I find comfort in this series. I have treated myself to the beautiful hard copy as my paperback is getting a bit battered. This series is my reminder to find beauty where I can, magic in the mundane, and just the general good in the people close to you. I find something new about each character in each read. It makes me look at the world like magic could be possible if you just know where to look. I also love The Raven Boys in general as I just love how it talks about trees and the woods. The first in the series is just very clever as there is so much foreshadowing.

April TBR

I have no plans for April really, I’ll probably finish re reading all four books in The Raven Cycle, and then the newest Cute Mutants book is out soon, AND then if there is any time left, I might pick up Sword In The Stars which is the sequel to Once & Future. I also felt like re reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer (re reads are preferable when I’m feeling anxious)

I’m just looking forward to May when Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater comes out (Ronan Lynch in The Dreamer Trilogy #2)

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Ok, so, I had never heard of this book before until I saw a tweet on Twitter by Maggie Stiefvater asking what people would say was their most weirdest read.

After scrolling through for a bit I noticed that the title The Library at Mount Char kept popping up, and I was in the mood for something different, so I checked out some reviews on Goodreads briefly. Most of them were the same; “bizzare” “weird” “strange” “wild” were the words that I kept seeing. Most people commented on how they didn’t know how they would be able to write a review, or even describe the book. This made me excited and I didn’t know exactly what I was going in for, which made reading it all the more fun. I just have to try and write about it spoiler free and hopefully recommend it to anyone who’s reading my posts, because it’s been my favourite book so far this year and I’d love someone to be surprised by it the way I was. It was very captivating, chaotic, and twisted.

Blurb from the book;

Carloyn knows she’s a little bit…odd. But she figures that’s only natural when she’s spent her life locked away in an infinite Library, forced to study at the feet of the man who might be God. She’s seen her share of terrible things in those years, even died a few times herself.

Steve tried hard to be an ordinary guy, and he’s been doing a pretty good job at it-until Carolyn shows up in his life with a tempting offer, a pair of red rubber galoshes, and exactly $327,000. Soon, he finds himself swept up in a war waged on a scale he can barely comprehend, as powerful forces battle for control of the Library and the future of the universe itself.

Brilliantly plotted, blackly funny, truly epic in scope-and featuring a cast of characters that includes a tutu-clad psychopath, a malevolent iceberg, and a lion named after an atomic bomb-The Library at Mount Char is the year’s most ambitious and acclaimed fantasy debut and a ride like none you’ve ever been on before.

I have never really read anything quite like this (possibly American Gods by Neil Gaiman which I wasn’t a big fan of, but only slightly) it’s so unique in the choices it makes and the places it goes to. There are shocks throughout and it was one of those books where you get that fear because it seems to be ending but theres still 100 pages left.

If you are thinking about reading this, be aware it is one of those books that’s not exactly linear and it does move between certain situations and time points, but it holds your attention and it all eventually starts to make sense. You might be confused at first, but you’re also going to be dragged in. Honestly, the whole “what the hell is going on” is part of the fun.

For me, although I enjoyed the book hugely, most of time it was accompanied by a feeling of unease and that something unpleasant was always around the corner. I don’t read a lot of horror type books so I don’t know if this is a common thing, but it was a plus for me, because I kept reading because I wanted to know if my hunch was right, and if not, well then I needed to keep reading because I wanted to figure it all out!

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read something original. Scott Hawkins has shown himself to be a storyteller. The Library at Mount Char is not just an interesting story, it’s also presented to the reader in an entertaining way. I think urban fantasy fans, people that enjoy horror books, and readers that like books with dark themes and dark humor would all enjoy this.

Lastly, I have to mention this book is dark and disturbing in parts and you have got to be aware of the content. It’s not going to be everyones cup of tea. It will be tough to the more sensitive reader. It has violence towards adults and children. There is abuse, death, torture. There is animal injury and violence. However I didn’t find it to be gratuitous.