ARC Review | The Outrage by William Hussey

The Outrage

by William Hussey

YA Dystopian, LGBTQ

Goodreads | Bookshop | Book Depository


“You know, when you live in a time of progress, it seems that progress is the only possible way. The idea that everything we’d gained, all of those hard-won rights, could be taken away from us, and that open minds could be closed again? But then the Outrage happened.”

Welcome to England, where the Protectorate enforces the Public Good. Here, there are rules for everything – what to eat, what to wear, what to do, what to say, what to read, what to think, who to obey, who to hate, who to love. Your safety is assured, so long as you follow the rules.

Gabriel is a natural born rule-breaker. And his biggest crime of all? Being gay.

Gabriel knows his sexuality must be kept secret from all but his closest friends, not only to protect himself, but to protect his boyfriend. Because Eric isn’t just the boy who has stolen Gabriel’s heart. He’s the son of the chief inspector at Degenerate Investigations ­­­- the man who poses the single biggest threat to Gabriel’s life.

And the Protectorate are experts at exposing secrets. 


Thanks to Usborne for the early advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

I absolutely adored Hideous Beauty when I read it last year, so naturally I was very excited to read William Hussey’s next book and just like I expected, it did not disappoint!

The Outrage is set in a near-future dystopian world where suddenly all the freedom and acceptance we have worked so hard for to achieve as a society has been stripped from us, and being gay is illegal. And this is quite the problem for our main character Gabe and his boyfriend Eric, who are forced to keep their love secret from everyone around them – that is, until the Protectorate start digging their noses into their business. And secrets always have a way of coming to the surface.

I loved Gabe as a main character so much! He was probably my favourite part about this book. Hussey always manages to write such three-dimensional, authentic characters and I felt myself invested in each of them, especially Gabe. I thought he was the perfect kind of main character – likeable, determined, kind-hearted and sometimes temperamental. It was great seeing his story unfold through his eyes and to be introduced to this horrible world that he now lives in.

I really loved the premise of this. It sort of reminded me a bit of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses, where it’s set in this sort of dystopian world that isn’t actually that hard to imagine being a reality. I thought it had so much potential going in and Hussey really utilised all of it!

What was also really special about The Outrage is the emotion and vulnerability that seemed to seep out of every page. It’s something I particularly enjoy about Hussey’s writing style. He can have these really gripping stories that keep you on the edge of your seat, but he also weaves in such heartfelt and moving emotions and relationships with his characters that really pull on your heart-strings at the same time.

The Outrage is a beautiful story of love and resilience in the face of hatred, and one I don’t think could have come at a more crucial time. Out next week, this is one you won’t want to miss!


WWW Wednesday!

WWW wednesday is hosted by Sam on Taking on a World of Words. Everyone can participate in answering the three questions below and posting a link on Sam’s website or just answer the questions on her post, if you don’t have a blog.

the three questions are:

1.) What are you currently reading?
2.) What did you recently finish reading?
3.) What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m excited to share updates with you guys about my reading rather than just seeing it on Goodreads!


1. WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING

The Outrage

thoughts: I’m like halfway through this and absolutely loving it! I’m such a sucker for William Hussey’s style, he really does such a great job of keeping the reader hooked. He also writes beautifully too.


2. WHAT I RECENTLY FINISHED

A Vow So Bold And Deadly

thoughts: If you didn’t tell me this was the finale in a trilogy, then I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell! It was good enough to read but quite disappointing in comparison to the other 2 books in this series.


3. WHAT I’M GOING TO READ NEXT

Heartstopper: Volume 4


What about you guys? Let me know what you’ve been reading lately and what you’ve been loving in the comments below!

#LGBTQMonth 2021: Announcement!

Hello everyone!

So as you can see from the title of this post, it is almost that time of year again… #LGBTQMonth! I cannot believe this is the third year already, but I’m so excited to bring you all another month of bookish LGBTQ fun!

As usual there will be some amazing author interviews (the line up is BEYOND exciting, I cannot wait to share it with you all!) I will be hosting a readathon (more below) for the entire month, as well as bringing you reviews and recommendations of some of my favourite queer reads and the return of Queer Quiz too! And of course there will be some special giveaways too, so keep an eye out for them!

I will be posting a full schedule towards the end of the month, but for now I wanted to share with you all the prompts for the readathon, which will be taking place from June 1st – 30th! As always, you are welcome to double or even triple up on prompts if you hope to read less books, but here are the prompts!


Here are the prompts for the readathon! Later in the month I’ll be sharing a post with my TBR this, and I hope you will all share yours with me if you’re taking part!


Debut Book

Simple, choose a debut LGBTQ book!

Been on your TBR for too long

Choose a book that has been sitting on your TBR for far too long

QPOC Author

Choose a book that has been written by a queer author of colour!

Set in the 20th Century

Choose a book that takes place between the years 1900 and 2000!

Free Choice

You can choose whatever book you like, as long as it’s LGBTQ!

Set Outside the UK/US

Choose a book that takes place in a country that isn’t the UK or the US!

Bisexual Rep

Choose a book that has bisexual representation!

Pink Cover

Choose a book that has pink on its cover, however much!

A Book You Think You Will Love

Choose a book that you have a feeling you will love!


That’s all for now, guys, and I’d love to know if you plan on taking part in #LGBTQMonth! Comment below or tweet using the hashtag if you’ve already decided on a TBR!

I’ll have more information closer to the time, but for now, June is looking to be an exciting month ahead!

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May Anticipated Releases!

Hi everyone!

Wow, I literally can’t even contain my excitement when I look at all the books being published this month! There are so many novels coming out this month that I feel like I’ve been looking forwards to for so long – including the new Heartstopper and the new Holly Bourne! So without further ado, let’s get onto the books, shall we?


Heartstopper: Volume 4

by Alice Oseman

Out May 6th!

Charlie didn’t think Nick could ever like him back, but now they’re officially boyfriends. Charlie’s beginning to feel ready to say those three little words: I love you.

Nick’s been feeling the same, but he’s got a lot on his mind – not least coming out to his dad, and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder.

As summer turns to autumn and a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick are about to learn a lot about what love means.

Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

This is the fourth volume of Heartstopper, which has now been optioned for television by See-Saw Films.


Cool for the Summer

by Dahlia Adler

Out May 11th!

Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.

Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.

Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?

Cool for the Summer is a story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.


The Outrage

by William Hussey

Out May 13th!

Welcome to England, where the Protectorate enforces the Public Good. Here, there are rules for everything – what to eat, what to wear, what to do, what to say, what to read, what to think, who to obey, who to hate, who to love. Your safety is assured, so long as you follow the rules.

Gabriel is a natural born rule-breaker. And his biggest crime of all? Being gay.

Gabriel knows his sexuality must be kept secret from all but his closest friends, not only to protect himself, but to protect his boyfriend. Because Eric isn’t just the boy who has stolen Gabriel’s heart. He’s the son of the chief inspector at Degenerate Investigations ­­­- the man who poses the single biggest threat to Gabriel’s life.

And the Protectorate are experts at exposing secrets.


The Yearbook

by Holly Bourne

Out May 13th!

The dramas, the traumas, the rumours – it’s time to expose it all… The Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Mean Girls in this scathingly funny and relatable high-school takedown from the queen of UKYA.

Most likely to…be forgotten
Working on the school newspaper, Paige is used to dealing with fake stories. How popular girl Grace is a such an amazing person (lie). How Laura steals people’s boyfriends (lie). How her own family are so perfect (lie).

Now Grace and friends have picked their “best” high-school moments for Paige to put in the all-important Yearbook. And they’re not just fake. They’re poison.

But Paige has had enough of all the lies in her life. And with the help of Elijah – the only boy who could ever understand her – she’s going to reveal the truth. 


Bookishly Ever After

by Lucy Powrie

Out May 13th!

The much anticipated third book in The Paper & Hearts Society series by Booktuber Lucy Powrie. Will you be the next recruit for The Paper & Hearts Society book club?

Ed is excited. He’s just landed his dream job at beautiful independent bookshop, Woolf and Wilde, but he soon discovers being a bookseller is a very different game to being a customer – the hours of shelving books, logging ISBNs and dealing with customers is overwhelming. So Ed does what Ed does best – smiles enthusiastically, fist pumps the air, and pretends that everything is totally under control. He just hadn’t bargained on his new colleague, Hannah, seeing through his façade.

Then Ed discovers that his mum is dating for the first time since splitting up with his dad. He decides to distract himself by being the best bookseller Woolf and Wilde has ever seen, but will it be at the cost of his Paper & Hearts Society friendships?

If Ed can find a way to be himself, he might find making new friends and keeping old ones comes more naturally, and even get to know himself a little better in the process … Can Ed let his guard down for the love of books?


Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating

by Adiba Jaigirdar

Out May 25th!

Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.

Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after.


Not My Problem

by Ciara Smyth

Out May 25th!

Aideen has plenty of problems she can’t fix. Her best (and only) friend is pulling away. Her mother’s drinking problem is a constant concern. She’s even running out of outlandish diseases to fake so she can skip PE.

But when Aideen stumbles on her nemesis, overachiever Meabh Kowalski, in the midst of a full-blown meltdown, she sees a problem that—unlike her own disaster of a life—seems refreshingly easy to solve. Meabh is desperate to escape her crushing pile of extracurriculars. Aideen volunteers to help. By pushing Meabh down the stairs.

Problem? Solved. Meabh’s sprained ankle is the perfect excuse to ditch her overwhelming schedule. But when another student learns about their little scheme and brings Aideen another “client” who needs her “help,” it kicks off a semester of traded favors, ill-advised hijinks, and an unexpected chance at love. Fixing other people’s problems won’t fix her own, but it might be the push she needs to start.


Malibu Rising

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Out May 27th!

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.


Off The Record

by Camryn Garrett

Out May 27th!

Ever since seventeen-year-old Josie Wright can remember, writing has been her identity, the thing that grounds her when everything else is a garbage fire. So when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for Deep Focus magazine, she’s equal parts excited and scared, but also ready. She’s got this.

Soon Josie is jetting off on a multi-city tour, rubbing elbows with sparkly celebrities, frenetic handlers, stone-faced producers, and eccentric stylists. She even finds herself catching feelings for the subject of her profile, dazzling young newcomer Marius Canet. Josie’s world is expanding so rapidly, she doesn’t know whether she’s flying or falling. But when a young actress lets her in on a terrible secret, the answer is clear: she’s in over her head.

One woman’s account leads to another and another. Josie wants to expose the man responsible, but she’s reluctant to speak up, unsure if this is her story to tell. What if she lets down the women who have entrusted her with their stories? What if this ends her writing career before it even begins? There are so many reasons not to go ahead, but if Josie doesn’t step up, who will?

From the author of Full Disclosure, this is a moving testament to the #MeToo movement, and all the ways women stand up for each other.


And that’s all my anticipated releases for this month, and as you can see there are so many great ones to look forwards to! What are some of yours, or ones that I’ve missed on this list? Let me know in the comments below!

My May TBR!

Hello everyone!

God, TBR posts are honestly my favourite posts to write. I think it’s always so exciting starting a new month and choosing the next few books that I want to read. This month is publishing some great books, so this month’s TBR is a mix of upcoming releases, recent purchases and a few books that have been on my TBR for far too long! This month is when all my assignments and exams are due, so I’ll be very busy with uni this month, but I am definitely hoping to get around to them all. So let’s get onto the books!


My May TBR!


I am very excited for this TBR, because all of the books just look amazing! What about you all? What are you planning to read in May? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to know!

My April Wrap-Up!

Hello everyone!

Another month has passed, and it is time for another wrap-up! I think this was a pretty successful month for me, because I managed to read 10 books, so let’s dive into them below!


Books on my April TBR: 9
Books Read in April: 10
Books Read from the TBR: 9
Books Read Not From the TBR: 1
Left on the TBR: 0


My March Wrap-Up


These are the books I’ve read this month, with reviews linked!

Some of my stand-outs of this month were Concrete RoseDestination Anywhere, Kate in Waiting and Beloved!


And what about you? What were some of your favourite reads in March? Let me know in the comments below!

Review | Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Concrete Rose

by Angie Thomas

YA Historical Fiction

Goodreads | Bookshop | Book Depository


If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.


Oh God, where do I even start with this book? I loved it. I loved it so much. I have always been a big fan of Angie Thomas, particularly On The Come Up, so when I heard she was writing a prequel to The Hate U Give all about Maverick, I was ecstatic. I had a feeling it was going to be great, and I was not disappointed.

If you don’t already know, Concrete Rose is set seventeen years before The Hate U Give, and it follows Starr’s dad Maverick when he was a teenager, when he first found out that he was a father to her older brother Seven. Already involved in the drug scene in Garden Heights, he’s determined to go straight to be a proper parent to his kid, but it isn’t as easy as he thinks.

I really loved this. There was so much heart and emotion threaded throughout from start to end, and it felt like I was immediately connected to Maverick as a character from the very first page, which I think is so important for a novel. I really felt for him and his situation, and just the way Thomas wrote his character made him seem so three-dimensional and I was so invested in following his story and his determination.

I also thought the story itself was really gripping, and full of shocking twists and turns that kept me turning the page. When I first heard about this, as much as I was excited, I wondered where she could go with this book, but it felt almost completely natural, like this was a story that needed to be told.

I loved also seeing Maverick, a Black man so open and vulnerable with his feelings. This is something discussed in the book that isn’t seen enough, so I’m really happy that Thomas brought this to life in Concrete Rose and want to see more of this in YA too!


WWW Wednesday!

WWW wednesday is hosted by Sam on Taking on a World of Words. Everyone can participate in answering the three questions below and posting a link on Sam’s website or just answer the questions on her post, if you don’t have a blog.

the three questions are:

1.) What are you currently reading?
2.) What did you recently finish reading?
3.) What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m excited to share updates with you guys about my reading rather than just seeing it on Goodreads!


1. WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING

Beloved

thoughts: I really loved Song of Solomon when I read it a few months ago, so I hope that Beloved lives up to the same standards. I am about 100 pages in so far and not sure what to think, but hopefully it will grow on me.


2. WHAT I RECENTLY FINISHED

Concrete Rose

thoughts: I absolutely loved this, and after going through a string of four stars reads for a while, I was so pleased to finally get around to this and give it the five stars it absolutely deserves. This might be my favourite Angie Thomas novel, it was just so good, and so moving!


3. WHAT I’M GOING TO READ NEXT

A Vow So Bold and Deadly


What about you guys? Let me know what you’ve been reading lately and what you’ve been loving in the comments below!

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Review | My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer

by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Thriller, Mystery

Goodreads | Bookshop | Book Depository


When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water…


I’ve been seeing this book doing the rounds for a while within the book community, so I was intrigued to see what this was about. It was quite a short novel, actually, so if you’re looking for a quick, gripping read, then this is definitely the one for you.

My Sister, the Serial Killer follows the story of the two sisters Korede and Ayoola, and the fierce protectiveness between them, even when one night Ayoola calls Korede one night to tell her she has killed her boyfriend…her third one. Ayoola claims that each time has been self-defence, so Korede helps to cover the crime up time and time again. But when Ayoola begins dating the colleague that Korede has been in love with for a long time, she faces a difficult decision.

The premise of this was so darkly funny that I was immediately drawn in! The writing is so sharp and crisp that there was never any filler in this book. It felt like every word had something to add to the story. Although the plot is kind of dark and twisted, there was a lot of humour in this, and I really enjoyed both Ayoola and Korede as characters. They were both so different and so unique, too.

It did sort of begin to drag towards the end and I actually found myself really unsatisfied with the ending. What did everyone else think about the ending, for those who have read it? I just thought it was quite underwhelming, and it sort of ruined a great book for me a little bit.

But other than that, I did enjoy this witty, but twisted tale of two sisters and an unconventional serial killer, and it was also really nice to read a book that wasn’t set in the standard UK or US.


Review | One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Contemporary, Romance

Goodreads | Bookshop | Book Depository


In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.


In anticipation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest book, Malibu Rising, next month, I decided to take a dive into her back catalogue by reading one of her earlier books, One True Loves. After absolutely adoring both Daisy Jones and Evelyn Hugo much like most of the bookish community, I was really excited to get stuck into this one, although I have to admit it didn’t exactly hit the same mark as the former pair, but I did still enjoy it! Let’s delve into a bit more.

One True Loves has a great premise: Emma and Jesse were childhood sweethearts and after being together for almost 10 years, they get married. But on their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is in a horrible helicopter crash and is presumed dead. After grieving him, she finds Sam, who helps her to love again. But just as Sam and Emma are celebrating their engagement three years later, Jesse shows up alive.

I loved the idea of this book, and I knew that an author like Jenkins Reid would be able to conjure a believable, but complicated love triangle and actually pull it off. It was written really beautifully, and the prose was excellent. I found myself for the most part absolutely torn between Sam and Jesse and really felt for Emma, the main character. I couldn’t imagine the struggle of that actually happening to you, so I was really rooting for her to make the right decision the whole way through. It definitely kept me gripped from the very beginning, that’s for sure.

However I do sort of wish that I read this before I read Evelyn Hugo or Daisy Jones, because I think that I put such a massive expectation on this after such amazing books that it just didn’t live up to the hype. That’s no reflection on Jenkins Reid as an author, but it was more so a case of right book, wrong time. I did enjoy and definitely would recommend, but it just didn’t have the same star power as Evelyn or Daisy. But enough comparing! I’m still very excited for her newest book that publishes next month, and I do want to eventually get around to some more books in her back catalogue!