January 2023 Wrap Up!

Here we are! We are already one month into 2023! How scary is that! This last month was my best reading month to date! I always start off too strong when it comes to January. Every Jan I read loads of books, probably powered by the fact that it’s a new year and new possibilities, and the following months while good never match up to the power of January. Let’s dive in!


  • I read 18 books this month
  • Genre: 13 fantasy, 1 historical fiction, 1 mystery, 1 non-fiction, 1 romance and 1 sci-fi.
  • Gender of authors: 4 women, 4 men and 1 various
  • Race of authors: 7 asian authors, 5 white authors and 2 black authors
  • Age range: 12 YA and 6 adult
  • Format: 13 paperback, 3 ebook and 2 hardback


  • Sequel: Twilight Princess Vol.2 & 5 extra volumes of The Promised Neverland
  • Tor.com: Fruiting Bodies – Kemi Ashing-Giwa-Giwa

Fruiting Bodies – Kemi Ashing-Giwa (2 stars)

Plot: An alien fungal infection has ravaged a faraway planet, turning all but six of the colonists into ravenous alarinkiri. Inyama, a mycologist, is her species’ last hope. But it’s not expertise her fellow survivors want from her.

This just fell flat for me I’m afraid. It had such a great premise but I spent most of the story trying to figure out what was going on. I was a bit confused.

Night Train to the Stars – Kenji Miyazawa (2.5 stars)

Synopsis: A collection of short stories based on animals, nature and the growing increase in technology. These stories were written from the late 1800s- early 1900s.

Overall I felt this collection was a bit lacking. Barely any stories truly grabbed me but I did enjoy delving into the mind of this author and these little worlds he has created.

  1. A Stem of Lillies – 1
  2. The Man of the Hills – 1
  3. The Wild Pear – 1
  4. Night Train to the Stars – 2
  5. The Earthgod and the Fox – 2
  6. The Bears of Kametoko – 2
  7. Tokkobe Torako -2
  8. The Red Blanket – 2
  9. The Police Chief – 2.5
  10. Ozbel and the Elephant – 3
  11. The First Deer Dance – 3
  12. Gorsch the Cellist – 3
  13. The Thirty Frogs – 3
  14. The Ungrateful Rat – 3
  15. Night of the Festival – 3
  16. March by Moonlight – 3
  17. Down in the Wood – 3
  18. The Spider, the Slug and the Racoon – 3.5
  19. General Son Ba-Yu – 4
  20. Wildcat and the Acorns – 4
  21. The Dahlias and the Crane – 4
  22. The Fire Stone – 4
  23. The Restaurant of Many Orders – 5
  24. Kenju’s Wood – 5

Legends and Lattes – Travis Baldree (3 stars)

Plot: Retired barbarian Viv decides to set up shop and create the very first cafe in the city of Thune. Little does she know she can’t truly shake off the past.

Great characters and a beautiful cosy vibe but it was let down by the very quick pace and the fact that we simply couldn’t sit in the moment with the characters. We were always jumping from one plot point to the next leading me to not connect with the novel as a whole. I would also say that the big sapphic romance that was marketing was truly underwhelming and felt like a last min addition which was disappointing. Thimble though will forever be my fave!

TLOZ: Twilight Princess Vol. 2 – Akira Himekawa (4 stars)

Can’t go into too much detail about this as it will be spoilers but this was a solid volume. Literally no critiques.

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books – Martin Edwards (4 stars)

Synopsis: In this book Martin Edwards breaks down the history of the classic crime era sectioning into subgenre, years and influencing culture whilst also recommending some iconic classic novels.

I really enjoyed reading this. It was like one big long list of book recs as well as some really interesting components to the British publishing/writing world and beyond. There were some books that I had read plus some books already on my TBR! I love the British Library’s contribution to the crime genre.

Snow White with the Red Hair, Vol. 1 – Sorata Akiduki (4 stars)

Plot: A very loose re-telling of Snow White. Literally don’t go into this expecting Snow White.

Beautiful art, amazing characters, a protagonist you can’t help but root for! Plus a blossoming relationship between a prince and an apothecary! What I liked about this volume which I don’t see too much in manga was that each chapter was split into a different standalone story. Each story pushes the plot forward and we watch the characters grow but it was nice to see this structure over one continuous narrative.

Drifting Dragons, Vol. 1 – Taku Kuwabara (4 stars)

Plot: Follow a team of Dragon Hunters aboard their ship as we learn about them as individuals plus their interpersonal relationships. Also food is a major factor in this manga.

Probably the manga series I read this month with the best art-style. From the background design to the pictures of food. BEAUTIFUL! I really liked this more stripped back series where the focus is on the characters more than an over-arching plot. It was a big change to all the other series I was reading and it made for a nice break. I am so excited to read the next volume and see where the characters are heading next.

Children of the Whales, Vol. 1 – Abi Umeda (4.5 stars)

Plot: The world is covered by oceans of sand and 513 people live in isolation on an islandlike ship that is adrift on the sand. As he investigates an abandoned ship Chakuo — the island’s archivist — meets a mysterious girl named Rikosu. It marks the first time that an island inhabitant has made contact with someone from the outside world. Chakuro wonders if it is a sign that a new world awaits.

This was super, super good. The art was beautiful, the setting was unlike something I have ever seen and that ending was IMPACTFUL. It threw me so off guard. My jaw hit the floor. I am super interested to see where the rest of the series goes as we have only just scraped the surface.

The Promised Neverland, Vols. 7-11 – Kaiu Shirai (4-5 stars)

I WILL SCREAM ABOUT THIS SERIES UNTIL I AM DEAD. I literally cannot discuss too much due to spoilers but omg everyone pick this series up!

The Faraway Paladin, Vol. 1 – Mutsumi Okubashi (5 stars)

Plot: We follow a young boy who is being trained by 3 members of the undead but he soon starts to question who he is and what their stories are.

A manga I was not expecting to give 5 stars to, yet here we are. Such an underrated series with beautiful art. Found family, tragic backstories and really interesting lore!

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo (5 stars)

Plot: A bunch of reckless individuals with nothing to lose but a lot to gain go on an insane heist.

I mean, I think everyone knows this book let’s be honest. I can’t believe it took me this long to pick it up. I picked this up for a book group I am apart of and I am so thankful I was able to read it. All the characters were so distinct and I truly enjoyed learning and following each one. I felt that Bardugo did a great job with her more morally grey characters as well and tackling such difficult topics. I thought the plot was really engaging and I flew through the book. I did get a bit confused in the beginning and the middle of the book but that ending had me shook! Cannot wait to read the sequel.

Legendborn – Tracy Deonn (5 stars)

Plot: After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. And that is literally all the can be said as I don’t want to spoil ANYTHING.

Now, here is another book I wish I had read way earlier! Literally everyone was talking about how amazing this book was and I knew I needed to finally see what all the hype was all about. I LOVED THIS SO MUCH!!! The lore, the magic, the exploration of grief both current but also generational. I loved Bree so much and I really enjoyed the romance in this book! I found the ending to be so incredibly powerful and I needed to read the second book ASAP.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels – Janice Hallett (5 stars)

Plot: A true crime journalist/writer sets out to write about the Alperton Angels case and gets caught up in the conspiracies, lies and truths of what happened years ago! Told in Hallett’s iconic epistolary style.

Every January I can’t wait to sit down with the latest Janice Hallett novel and expect my brain to explode from my genius. This book was no exception. I literally read this book in 2 days. I was up late into the night to finish this book. Hallett’s brain is just so smart and talented. I found this book to be my favourite of the 3 she has written so far. The plot is so smart, the characters so interesting. I highly recommend this book.

My 2022 Wrap Up!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I cannot believe AGAIN, we enter a new year and reflect on the past one! 2022 was by far the best reading year of my life. I am not sure I will be able to match it in 2023. This is my 5th time doing a reading wrap up and this is by far my favourite post to write! For this wrap up, I will be using stats taken from both the Goodreads Wrap Up and some reading spreadsheets I have collated from Ali from Hardback Hoarder.

June 2022 Wrap Up

A bit of a quieter one this month. Still read some great books though!

  • I read 9 books this month
  • Genre: 3 fantasy, 2 horror, 2 mystery, 1 romance and 1 non-fiction
  • Gender of authors: 5 women, 2 men and 1 book by multiple of authors
  • Race of authors: 4 white authors, 2 asian authors, 1 middle eastern author and 1 book by multiple authors
  • Age range: 7 adult, 1 YA and 1 middle grade
  • Format: 5 paperback, 3 ebook and 1 audiobook

Summertime Rendering Vol. 1 by Yasuki Tanaka (2 stars)

This was a series that really intrigued me. A super cool time loop story. Unfortunately, this volume (and I am also guessing will be the case for the other volumes) had some cases of fan service. I personally find that fan service just objectifies and over-sexualises female characters and this can make or break a good series for me. Because of these instances of fan service, and also finding out later that one of the characters used for the moments of fan service was 15!!!!!, I have decided to not continue this series.

Nura and the Immortal Palace by M.T. Khan (3 stars)

This book was really good. It follows a young girl who falls into the realm of Jinn and gets tricked into working at this hotel for Jinns. Very Spirited Away. I loved the main character, I loved the creativity of the setting (I need to go to this hotel!) and I felt that the plot was super engaging.

The Perfect Crime by Multiple Authors (3 stars)

This was a very middle of the road book for me. Some stories I loved and others not so much. The stories I loved included:

  • Clout Chaser
  • The Beautiful Game
  • The Yellow Line

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie (3 stars)

Enjoyable but not as memorable as some of her other stories. I sort of guessed the ending but enjoyed it nonetheless. I just wish that their was more Poirot in this story as my enjoyment sky rocketed when he finally came into the fray.

A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Emma Southon (3.5 stars)

A really funny and informative look at a part of history I didn’t know to much about. I did prefer some sections over others and I felt the structuring of the audiobook I was listening too made the experience a bit confusing. But the narration and the comedic writing were amazing!

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke (4 stars)

The first physical ARC I was ever sent by a publisher. This was a really good and suspenseful story. The characters were a massive strong point and I loved the use of the multiple POV and short chapter combo which just kept me reading page after page.

The Promised Neverland Vol. 5 by Kaiu Shirai (4 stars)

Another solid installment. The narrative has dramatically shifted from where we were the last 4 volumes so it was setting up a lot of new things but I am excited to see where the rest of the series goes.

One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold (4 stars)

Another great installment. Worth the wait. The world-building is amazing, the message and themeing of this series is being delivered really well and the characters are as good as ever. I am super excited to read the next book, whenever that comes out, and continue watching Fetch’s journey.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (5 stars)

And finally, the main event! Back on my romcom shit! Just a super fun time. The chemistry is amazing, I loved both members of the couple both in and out of the relationship and I really enjoyed seeing the neurodivergent representation in this novel.

The Lighthouse Witches Review

Upon the cliffs of a remote Scottish island, Lòn Haven, stands a lighthouse. A lighthouse that has weathered more than storms. Mysterious and terrible events have happened on this island. It started with a witch hunt. Now, centuries later, islanders are vanishing without explanation. Coincidence? Or curse? Liv Stay flees to the island with her three daughters, in search of a home. She doesn’t believe in witches, or dark omens, or hauntings. But within months, her daughter Luna will be the only one of them left. Twenty years later, Luna is drawn back to the place her family vanished. As the last sister left, it’s up to her to find out the truth . . .

January 2022 Wrap Up

Here we are! My first wrap up of 2022. Now let me tell you!!!!! This has been the most productive month since I started my blog. The first month of the year is always when I read the most books as I feel the most pumped up to start my challenge. I like to read a lot in the first month so when I tackle the heavier books later down the line I don’t start lagging behind on my goal. But 12 books in one month! Amazing! Normally I would talk about my DNFs but I also read between 50% and 60% of those books which is still a good amount of pages! I highly doubt that I can keep this momentum going for the rest of 2022 but we shall see.

  • I read 12 books this month
  • I DNFd 2 books this month
  • Genre: 2 fantasy, 2 historical fiction, 2 mystery, 2 romance, 2 sci-fi, 1 contemporary and 1 sport.
  • Gender of authors: 8 women and 4 women
  • Race of authors: 7 white authors, 4 asian authors and 1 black author
  • Age range: 6 adult, 4 YA, 1 new adult and 1 middle grade
  • Format: 5 ebooks, 4 paperback, 2 audiobooks and 1 hardcover

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao (5 stars)

I actually to listened to this on audiobook and started it about halfway through December but didn’t get round to finishing it until Jan. This was a such a refreshing and exciting YA sci-fi novel. I have briefly mentioned before on this blog how sci-fi can be hit and miss for me with books, I tend to prefer to consume my sci-fi through TV or film, but this blew everything out of the water for me. It was exciting and enticing with one of the best female characters in YA ever! I loved the world, the characters, the politics and most of all the battle scenes. Never in my life would I say I liked battle scenes!

The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant (3 stars)

So, I read this as part of my bookstores Book of the Month campaign and I was excited to start getting back into middle grade fiction. Ever since I started my job I have been super intrigued by all the new publishing I missed once I got older and started reading more YA and adult books. I want to read everything I have missed. This book was super fun. I found the main character to be really sweet, determined and smart. I thought the magic included in this novel was fun and quirky, I loved learning about the different ingredients to make hats. But I did find the middle portion of the book to lull a bit.

The Key in the Lock by Beth Underdown (2.5 stars)

This book unfortunately fell flat for me. This book is half literary fiction, half mystery and I 1000% preferred the mystery. I felt that the mystery held up the novel as I was bored watching the MC talk about her sad life, her regrets and her relationships with people and while I appreciated her and her struggle; I found her to be quite annoying. A kind character but also quite boring. This made the more character-focused sections of the plot to be quite slow going and I craved more of the mystery. The mystery itself, when we got round to it, was good. A bit predictable for me but still enjoyable.

The Chosen Twelve by James Breakwell (DNF)

I got about 60% through this book before I decided to put it down for good and that was because not much really happened. Not much more to say. The premise was super exciting but it was just a lot of sitting around and talking or watching the same failed simulations. Also, it was marketed as being like The Hunger Games and I was just waiting to see that come to fruition but it never happened.

Empress and Aniya by Candice Carty-Williams (DNF)

I also listened to this via audiobook and I felt that the narrator, Mia Deacon, did a really good job! But personally, for me, I just wasn’t as engaged with the story. I understand due to it being a novella that you can only fit so much in a certain number of pages I wanted a bit more from the story. I felt that everything just needed that extra bit of detail. At certain points, I felt we were just scraping the surface of the characters, their friendships etc. I just needed a bit more of everything!

Attack on Titan: Volume 2 by Hajime Isayama (3 stars)

This was good. To be honest, I don’t have loads to say about this volume. I loved exploring Mikasa’s character more but I have seen the anime so this isn’t new to me. I am still not sure if I like the art style but I enjoyed this nonetheless.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas (3 stars)

Now, this was a book I was adamant a couple of years ago I was never going to read. This was when I was wholeheartedly against anything romance based and also I was trying to be a “serious fantasy reader” (excuse while I see my old self out) but I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. I felt the wiring was super engaging, the main female character I liked and the romance was interesting and grabbed my attention. While I completely understand and get the criticisms and I agree with a lot of them. I still found myself enjoying this novel for what it is!

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett (5 stars)

One of the best books I have ever read. Point blank period! I mean words cannot begin to describe how smart and exhilarating this book was! I cannot say too much as everything will teeter on spoiler territory but this was literally if The Famous Five was a spy thriller! If you are a fan of the podcast or book Rabbits you will love this book! The sense of character was so strong in this book. I loved how the main character flicked between his deep past, his past from hours ago and his present. It was structured very well. READ IT!

The Clockwork Girl by Anna Mazzola (4 stars)

I enjoyed this historical mystery! I felt that this book did a great job of placing you firmly in 1700s Paris. The 3 female protagonists we follow are all intelligent women struggling to live in a patriarchal society from the bottom of the ladder all the way to King’s Palace. I enjoyed exploring what it was like to live in 1700s Paris and I felt the historical part of the novel was really strong. The mystery while I enjoyed it and I felt it came to a satisfying conclusion I just wish there was a bit more. There was not much investigating at all, I felt about the majority of the novel just had the MC Madeline walk around not really getting anywhere and the reveal at the end of the novel while satisfying in terms of identity I don’t feel anything was really earned it as a reader.

The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo (2 stars)

Unfortunately, with each book I am reading, I am getting more and more disappointed. I am not sure if I am going to continue with the rest of the series. One of the major draw ins from this series is I love Detective Kindaichi. Unfortunately, we don’t really see much of him at all. I would say he is in about 20% of this entire book and I felt that the book was missing his presence a lot. The main character of this novel, Tatsuya, works hard to try and fill his place but it just doesn’t feel the same. The mystery itself had a lot of promise, everything was set up nicely and I had a couple of theories going but ultimately I was left disappointed by the end. For me, the ending came out of nowhere.

Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman (4 stars)

I finally gave in to the hype and decided to read this contemporary romance. Two genres I don’t read that much of. Well, I loved the romance, the pacing was super quick without feeling rushed and I found the dialogue to be super realistic! I wasn’t a massive fan of the art style at times but that wasn’t a hindrance at all! I need the 2nd volume!

Haikyu!! Volume 1 by Haruichi Furudate (4 stars)

I tried to watch the anime last year but I found the pacing to be super slow so I ended up DNFing it. But I loved the story so I decided to give the manga ago and I prefer the manga so much more. The pacing issue I had with the show was non-existent here, everything was paced well. The characters I instantly loved, even the more annoying ones, and the passion and the drive that these characters have is super inspiring. You can’t help but root for them. I can’t wait to continue this series and watch this team’s journey!

October 2021 Wrap Up

So Halloween is over for another year and now we are into what I call pre-Halloween. Now this month was probably one of my best reading month probably ever! I read loads of spooky books this month and had a great time. I also managed to finally get back into Netgalley and started reading ARCs again which was super fun.

  • I read 6 books this month.
  • I read 1 ARC this month.
  • Genre: 4 fantasy, 1 horror and 1 non-fiction.
  • Gender of authors: 6 women and 1 man.
  • Race of authors: 3 white authors, 2 black authors, 1 south asian author and 1 pacific islander author
  • Age range: 2 middle grade, 2 YA, 1 children’s and 1 adult
  • Format: 3 paperback, 2 hardcover and 1 eBook.

If you want to read more in-depth versions of my thoughts click the the titles for my reviews.

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria (4.5 stars)

Going into this novel I didn’t have many expectations but what I got was a story about friendship and trust. I loved the structure of the novel flicking between the past and present. I loved the the characters and the different relationship dynamics between the core group. This novel was just super fun and exciting to read.

The Monsters of Rookhaven by Padraig Kenny (4 stars)

This book is the perfect mix of The Addams Family meets Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children! So much heart, so much excitement and so much adventure. I loved the huge variety of characters and the multiple POVs introduced. This was a perfect Halloween read!

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman (5 stars)

The Hunger Games if it was set in a fantasy world. I loved the world/lore of this novel, the characters and all their varying and complex dynamics, the exploration of family and the exciting yet incredibly tense plot. I read this as an ARC but I am definitely buying the book when it comes out physically I enjoyed it that much!

Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Black Girl Magic edited by Lilly Workneh (4 stars)

I really enjoyed being able to learn about loads of women I had never heard of before and being to learn about their contributions to the world from science to music. I loved the championing of black women/non-binary people in both the illustrations and as well as the individuals mentioned within the novel.

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago (4 stars)

I just picked this up randomly after being enticed by the beautiful cover. This was a super cute story celebrating the introverts of the world and the beauty of friendship.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (5 stars)

Probably my favourite book of the month. I really enjoy books where we see new beliefs and old beliefs clash. Witches vs God essentially and this book was it! I loved the setting, the female protagonist, the writing was so beautiful and structured incredibly well, the messaging within this novel just hit every mark for me.

September 2021 Wrap Up

September was a very interesting mix of books this month. It started off strong and started teetering by the end but the books that I did enjoy will stay with me for a long time. I also started my new job as a BOOKSELLER this month which is monumental. So far, it has been great and I am super excited for what’s to come. Let’s jump in!

  • I read 6 books this month.
  • I read 1 ARC this month.
  • I DNFed 1 book this month, that’s 6 so far for the year.
  • Genre: 3 fantasy, 1 contemporary, 1 horror and 1 non-fiction.
  • Gender of authors: 4 women and 2 men.
  • Race of authors: 3 white authors, 1 asian author, 1 black author and 1 Middle Eastern author.
  • Age range: 3 adult and 3 YA
  • Format: 4 paperback, 1 eBook, 1 hardcover.

If you want to read more in-depth versions of my thoughts click the the titles for my reviews.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (4 stars)

This was an YA I had heard loads about and I finally managed to get round to read it. I loved the world building, loved the characters (especially the variety of female characters) and the plot was INTENSE! I completely understand the reason why this book got the hype.

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (5 stars)

Another YA book that I picked up due to the hype on social media and another YA book that DID NOT DISAPPOINT! This novel was super impactful, it was intense and I loved exploring the characters and watching them grow over the course of the book. I had to pick my jaw up from the ground.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir (4 stars)

I am not a massive non-fiction reader but having grown up learning all about the Tudors I really wanted to continue that learning and expand on my knowledge. I really enjoyed this book and I got lost in the history and the past of the country I live in. There was so much I didn’t know and it was super fun to learn so much more.

The Whistling by Rebecca Netley (2 stars)

This was a book that I read as an ARC. So, thank you Netgalley and Micheal Joseph for a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review in question will be out this week so stay tuned.

The Child Thief by Brom (DNF)

This was a book that had been on my TBR since 2015! So I am super sad to say that I didn’t love it. I personally didn’t connect to the story or characters and it was also too dark for my personal preference. I also didn’t love how the women were portrayed.

One Piece Omnibus Vol. 1 by Eiichiro Oda (3 stars)

I have heard so much about this series both as the manga and as the anime. I thought the anime might be a bit hard to tackle so I decided to give the manga a go. My thoughts are mainly that it was super fun but I didn’t connect to the story too much. The characters were cool and I enjoyed the funny moments but I am personally not running to buy the next volume.