Belladonna Review

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches Review

As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos “pretending” to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.

But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.

As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2022

I literally say this every year but how are we in June! These 6 months has flown by so quickly!!!!! This has by far been my best reading year to date! I have never read so much in a span of 6 months ever! I have read more in this 6 month span than some of my entire reading years!

Also, this has been the most enjoyable 6 month span. I have enjoyed loads of books this time round compared to other years. Let’s jump in as there is a lot to cover.

The Books I Have Read So Far!

Here are the reviews I have bought out so far this year.

  1. Mini ARC Reviews – The Key in the Lock & The Chosen Twelve
  2. The Twyford Code Review
  3. Mini Book Reviews: A Court of Thorns and Roses & Heartstopper: Volume One
  4. The Village of Eight Graves Review
  5. This One Summer Review
  6. The Obelisk Gate Review
  7. The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 & 2 Review
  8. The Atlas Six Review
  9. Mini Book Reviews: Under the Whispering Door & The Mad Women’s Ball
  10. Murder By The Book Review
  11. Beast and Beauty: Dangerous Tales Review
  12. The Killings of Kingfisher Hill Review
  13. Moriarty the Patriot: Volume 1 Review
  14. The Leviathan Review
  15. It Happened One Summer Review
  16. Attack on Titan Whole Series Review
  17. Three Act Tragedy Review

Challenge Update!

I have set myself 5 challenges this year.

  • The Goodreads Reading Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge
  • Sequels Challenge
  • Work BOTM Challenge
  • Physical TBR Challenge

Goodreads Reading Challenge

So far, I have read 57 books out of my planned 70! A lot of this has been contributed to audiobooks and manga both of which I have started properly reading/listening to this year. I also decided to not increase my goal everytime I DNF a book as I couldn’t be bothered to continue doing so.

Audiobook Challenge

When I re-newed my phone I was able to get a free year of Audible so I set myself a challenge to expand my horizons and listen to some audiobooks. So far the challenge in doing quite well. I have listened to 6 audibooks so far and I am currently on my 7th. I set myself a goal to listen to 12 this year. So, that’s 6 out of 12!

  • Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Empress and Aniya – Candice Carty-Williams
  • The Ghost Bride – Yangsze Choo
  • The Story of the World in 100 Moments – Neil Oliver
  • Dead Famous – Greg Jenner
  • Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The World’s Greatest Detective – Mark Aldridge

Sequels Challenge

Another challenge that is going at a steady pace. Every year I task myself with reading one more book from all the series I currently have on the go. As the years go on my list of on-going series increase rapidly. So, this year, I did get the shorter books out of the way first. This means I am left with the chunkier books for the latter part of the year. This will either haunt me or go really well, trying to get all my tomes read at once. Here is what I have read so far, in no particular order:

  • Three Act Tragedy – Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #11)
  • The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman (The Thursday Murder Club #2)
  • Attack on Titan Vol. 2 – Hajime Isayama (I have actually read volumes 3, 4, 33 and 34. I just decided, having seen the show already, to just read the final volumes and finish the series that way.)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 6 – Hiromu Arakawa (I also read volume 7 as well)
  • The Village of Eight Graves – Seishi Yokomizo (Detective Kosuke Kindaichi #3)
  • The Killings at Kingfisher Hill – Sophie Hannah (New Hercule Poirot Mysteries #4)
  • The Obelisk Gate – N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth Trilogy #2)

My original list from Jan this year listed 16 different books from 16 different series. So, far I have read 7 out of the 16! Very soon to be 8!

I also started a bunch of new series this year!

  • Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Haikyu!! – Haruichi Furudate
  • The Promised Neverland – Kaiu Shirai
  • The Atlas Six – Olivie Blake
  • British Library Crime Classics – British Library (Multiple Authors)
  • Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End – Kanehito Yamada
  • Moriarty the Patriot – Ryosuke Takeuchi
  • Solari – Tola Okogwu
  • The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

Book of the Month Challenge

From Jan – Nov my bookstore highlights books they want to promote that month and I tried to read 1 for each month. But with this one I did fail. I went for one each month but that did not happen… My excuse is that I always have way to many books on my hands and I had to prioritise others books over this challenge. But here is what I did read:

  • The Hatmakers – Tamzin Merchant
  • Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good – Louie Stowell
  • The Last Firefox – Lee Newbery
  • Noah’s Gold – Frank Cottrell-Boyce
  • Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun – Tola Okogwu

So, I have read 5 out of the released 6.

Physical TBR Challenge

Another challenge that I am not doing well on. To be honest, I know I will not complete this… Every year I try to get through my massive physical TBR. This consists of all the books I have either been gifted or bought from previous years and just haven’t got round to it. So far, out of my planned 30 (which is still only half of the books on my actual TBR) I have read 10! Not good at all.

Best Book I Have Read So Far

I have to go with The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 here. I had heard really good things about this series and I wanted to see if it was worth the hype and I was locked in from pretty much the first panel. I now compare each new manga to this first volume. Does this new manga I’m reading match up? Does it compare to how I felt when I read the first volume of this series?

Best Sequel I Have Read So Far

I read the first book back at the very beginning of 2021. While I enjoyed it, I felt that it couldn’t match the legendary hype I had seen all over social media. It was good enough for me to continue the story and then I picked up The Obelisk Gate. Now, this book was exactly what I expected the first book to be like. I loved this sequel so much. My mind was literally blown away by how amazing this book was. I have already bought the final book so I can read the ending.

A New Release You Haven’t Read But Are Excited For!

Everything about Her Majesty’s Royal Coven sounds incredible! Historical fiction, witches, getting the gang back together trope. Ugh I need to read this ASAP!

Biggest Disappointment So Far!

The first book in this series was a 5 star for me. And now the quality for me is slowly going down hill. I felt it the most when reading The Village of the Eight Graves. I just found myself bored, I thought certain additions were unneeded and now I can’t even remember who the murderer is and why they did what they did.

Biggest Surprise So Far

I have a whole blog post dedicated to how surprised I was by This Happened One Summer. I never really thought romance was for me until this book. Now I am up for reading more and more romance ASAP.

Favourite New Author

There are a lot of new authors that I read and loved but I think my favourite has to be Kaiu Shirai the author of The Promised Neverland. Every volume amazes me and blows my mind.

Favourite New Characters

  • Stella Lane – The Kiss Quotient
  • Piper Bellinger – It Happened One Summer
  • Tanaka – Haikyuu!!
  • Hugo – Under The Whispering Door
  • Libby Rhodes – The Atlas Six
  • Zetian – Iron Widow
  • Mom – The Promised Neverland

A Book That Made You Cry!

Under the Whispering Door had me sobbing! Literally sobbing! It was not a pretty sight whatsoever. I felt all the feelings reading this book.

A Book That Made You Happy!

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is the first manga series I found by myself not through social media or friends. I am loving this series and I happy that I found it on my own.

The Most Beautiful Book You Have Received or Bought This Year

I ahve some big contenders coming up in the next couple of months but for now I will say the new Stormlight Archive collectors editions. I currently have The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance. Next month I should receive Oathbringer!

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of This Year?

I have way too many! I literally tallied up how many books I own but haven’t read yet and it’s over 100!

It Happened One Summer Review

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face. Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

Always Human Review

In the near future, people use technology to give the illusion of all kinds of body modifications—but some people have “Egan’s Syndrome,” a highly sensitive immune system that rejects these “mods” and are unable to use them. Those who are affected maintain a “natural” appearance, reliant on cosmetics and hair dye at most to help them play with their looks. Sunati is attracted to Austen the first time she sees her and is drawn to what she assumes is Austen’s bravery and confidence to live life unmodded. When Sunati learns the truth, she’s still attracted to Austen and asks her on a date. Gradually, their relationship unfolds as they deal with friends, family, and the emotional conflicts that come with every romance. Together, they will learn and grow in a story that reminds us no matter how technology evolves, we will remain . . . always human.