Favourite Christmas Movies

Hi everyone!

The day is finally here!! Happy Christmas to all those who celebrate it, I hope you have the best day full of love and laughter! Tell me what your plans for the rest of the day are down below – I’d love to know!

For my last day of Blogmas, I decided I would share some of my favourite Christmas movies. I finished work yesterday for a few days and am so excited to have time off to relax and do some reading and bingeing! So without further ado, for my last Blogmas post, here are some of my fave Christmas movies!


Love, Actually

This is an absolute that has to make this list! It’s my favourite Christmas movie of all time – I just think it’s such an amazing movie with a great message, and by watching all these different characters and storylines, we really learn to appreciate what matters the most at Christmas time – and it’s love. Also I will never not cry at Emma Thompson’s character holding back tears to Both Sides Now.


Bridget Jones’s Diary

Yes this is a Christmas film and I will fight anyone who says it isn’t!! I love this movie so much – Renee Zellweger is honestly just perfect and it’s got the perfect blend of humour and emotion throughout. Also the soundtrack is pretty epic. I still have my fingers and toes crossed that we’ll get a fourth movie!


Nativity

I love UK humour as it is, but I think this is such a classic, and seriously underrated Christmas film! It’s laugh out loud funny and it has a really uplifting story from start to finish. I think also all the characters are just bloody brilliant in it – especially all the little kids! I have such fond memories of this one.


Paddington

And finally, last but least, we have Paddington. This always gets me in such a Christmas mood, and I think you are missing out BIG TIME if you’ve never seen this movie. It’s just so wholesome and I love all the actors and characters in this. Also the sequel makes me weep with joy, not going to lie.


I suppose today’s post was short and sweet, but I just want to wish everyone again a lovely day and hope that you get to spend your day doing whatever it is you please!

Top 10 Books of 2020!

Hi everyone!!

Happy Christmas Eve, I hope you all have the most wonderful day! I must admit, I am so sad but also quite relieved that Blogmas is coming to an end tomorrow. Although I’ve loved doing it, I’m excited to take a little break over Christmas!

Now, I’ve actually dreaded making this list for so long because I’ve read so many good books this year and it was an absolute nightmare to narrow it down to just 10! But I have made my hard decisions and I present to you… my Top 10 Books of 2020!


Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

REVIEW HERE

Joint Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2019

Teeming with life and crackling with energy — a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood

Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible. 


The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

REVIEW HERE

What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.


The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

REVIEW HERE

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

REVIEW HERE

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.

When she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.


Savage Her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan

REVIEW HERE

A dark, feminist retelling of The Children of Lir told in Sullivan’s hypnotic prose. A retelling of the favourite Irish fairytale The Children of Lir. Aife marries Lir, a king with four children by his previous wife. Jealous of his affection for his children, the witch Aife turns them into swans for 900 years. Retold through the voice of Aife, Savage Her Reply is unsettling and dark, feminist and fierce, yet nuanced in its exploration of the guilt of a complex character. Voiced in Sullivan’s trademark rich, lyrical prose as developed in Tangleweed and Brine – the multiple award-winner which established Sullivan as the queen of witchy YA. Another dark & witchy feminist fairytale from the author of Tangleweed and Brine.


Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

REVIEW HERE

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.


Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with a ‘personal brand’ and the best of intentions, resolves to make things right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When she meets someone from Alix’s past, the two women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know – about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege.


The Mothers by Brit Bennett

REVIEW HERE

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.


The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

REVIEW HERE

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.

But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.

Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.


Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

REVIEW HERE

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?


And that’s my favourite 10 books I read in 2020! Hope you enjoyed!

Honestly though this list was awful to make because I read so many good ones – so my honourable mentions include: Normal People, Loveless, Burn, Full Disclosure, Daisy Jones and the Six, and Boy Queen!

Let me know some of the titles that made your lists in the comments below!

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

A Sky Painted Gold

thoughts: I’m only 50 pages into this because I think I’m in a bit of a reading slump, but I am loving Wood’s writing style – its gorgeous! Hopefully once I get really into the book I’ll be able to fly through it.


2. WHAT I RECENTLY FINISHED

The Last Days of Archie Maxwell

thoughts: I loved this! I am such a big fan of Annabel Pitcher’s books, so this was a nice novella while I impatiently wait for her next full-length one!


3. WHAT I’M GOING TO READ NEXT

Dominicana


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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Top Christmas TV Picks!

Hi everyone!!

Ahhh, I can’t believe it’s officially Christmas week! There’s only 4 days left and I’m struggling to contain my excitement. Right now the world is shit and scary and stressful and the future is so unknown, but the one thing I’m clinging onto for joy is Christmas! So with that spirit in mind, today I’m going to share some of my top Christmas TV picks – whether it be ones I tend to watch around the Christmas season, or the new ones I’m looking forward to on Christmas day itself!


Doctor Who

This is an absolute must for me! I’ve been a massive Doctor Who fan ever since its reboot in 2005 – and its Christmas specials over the last decade and a half have been a staple for my Christmas Day traditions. However, I’m so sad that it’s not going to be aired until New Year’s Day this year again – but it will still be something to look forwards to and to start the new year off right!


Call the Midwife

Another staple programme for me that I always associate with Christmas time is the wonderfully moving Call the Midwife. I have been a fan of this show for what seems like the longest time, and every Christmas I’ve had the ultimate pleasure of cosying up with tissues and chocolate to watch this. It tells such gorgeous and heart-affirming stories, and always makes me appreciate the beauty of life.


Great Expectations

This happens to be my favourite book of all time, so I’m sure you can guess just how much I loved the BBC adaptation of this from 2011. Also Gillian Anderson playing Miss Havisham is the perfect casting choice. This will always make me think of Christmas – especially seen as it’s always on the telly!


Gavin & Stacey

Gavin & Stacey is a new one for me. I watched this only for the first time at some point last year, but I should’ve watched it a long time ago. It’s the exact humour that I love so much, and bringing it back for its Christmas special last year was the best decision ever – I really hope there’s another one in the future!


Mrs. Brown’s Boys

And finally I have to include this classic – Mrs. Brown’s Boys. Maybe I love it so much because I am Irish and I can relate to the humour and the storylines so much, but I just think it’s a brilliant addition to the Christmas and New Year’s festivities!


And there are some of my favourite TV shows to watch at Christmas time! I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any favourite TV yourself – let me know in the comments below!

Top 10 Albums of 2020!

Hello everyone!

I cannot believe it is already the 20th of December! It’s so close to Christmas and I found out I’ve got 4 days off and I’m so looking forward to doing nothing but relaxing – expect lots of reading too. But today, I decided to share my Top 10 Albums of this year. Although I don’t sing or play any instruments, music is something I’m so passionate about and I nearly spend every waking second listening to music. This was such a hard list to compile because there was so much amazing music released but I reluctantly narrowed it down.


10. SAWAYAMA by Rina Sawayama

I have discovered a huge amount of new artists thanks to this year, and Rina Sawayama is for sure one of my favourites. I think this album is absolutely incredible, and she manages to blend so many different genres into one truly cohesive album. There is so much emotion and poignancy and anger and frustration, and I’m so impressed by each track and the production. Some of the lyrics are totally heart-wrenching too. I have tickets to see her next year and I am SO excited – really hoping it goes ahead because I would love to see her live.

TOP 4 TRACKS: Bad Friend / XS / Chosen Family / Tokyo Love Hotel


9. Ungodly Hour by Chloe x Halle

Another new artist I discovered this year, this sister duo act is digustingly talented. A gorgeous blend of R&B and pop, Ungodly Hour is one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard. All of the tracks are all so consistently good and there’s just such a nice level of maturity and wisdom to this album too, it really elevates it. Also, their harmonies? They are literally out of this world and I’m so excited to see where their future takes them!

TOP 4 TRACKS: Ungodly Hour / Forgive Me / Don’t Make it Harder on Me / Tipsy


8. how i’m feeling now by Charli XCX

Charli’s last album was my favourite of 2019 so I was not at all expecting another album this year – but she pulled out all the stops and produced such an incredible album in lockdown in three weeks!? Like how? This time she stripped it back, usually heavy with her collaborators, and let us into a more vulnerable side of herself as an artist and I really enjoyed getting to know her on what felt like a much more honest level. I’m in awe of the pure talent alone it takes to produce something like this in such a short space of time and it definitely got me through lockdown.

TOP 4 TRACKS: forever / anthems / party 4 u / enemy


7. Chromatica by Lady Gaga

Another queen who did not fail to deliver: Miss Lady Gaga. Of course I’ve always loved her and her singles, but this year I really took a deep delve into her entire discography and fell head over heels in love with her – both as a person and an artist. It also helped that she released one of her greatest albums during this year and it was one of the things that really got me through the first lockdown. Just outstanding work and I loved how cohesive this project is – albeit the lack of promo.

TOP 4 TRACKS: Free Woman / Babylon / Rain On Me / Replay


6. Plastic Hearts by Miley Cyrus

This is absolutely not an album that I thought would have been on the list a few months ago, but Miley Cyrus really took the last few months of 2020 by complete storm. Like above, I’ve liked her and her singles for years but (apart from her previous EP) I never really gave her full albums a chance. But after hearing the singles and her choice of covers (Zombie by the Cranberries and Blondie’s Heart of Glass were unbelievable!!) I knew I had to check this out. And I do not regret it at all. Every track is absolutely golden and Miley Cyrus’s voice is perfection – I love the raw raspy vocals. I also love how vulnerable and honest she came across on this record.

TOP 4 TRACKS: High / Angels Like You / Hate Me / Never Be Me


5. What’s Your Pleasure? by Jessie Ware

Another new artist I discovered this year is that of Jessie Ware. With an array of spectacular singles to welcome us to this new album, I felt completely taken aback. She effortlessly blends the modern disco synth with dance pop and I love this album so much. There are some songs on here that I would geniunely consider some of the best I have ever heard before – Soul Control being one of them. Honestly whenever I’m in a bad mood, I stick on this album and instantly feel better. I am dying to get this on vinyl.

TOP 4 TRACKS: Soul Control / Spotlight / What’s Your Pleasure? / Save A Kiss


4. evermore by Taylor Swift

TAYLOR SWIFT DID IT AGAIN. I am genuinely blown away by the complete talent and wonder of this artist. She has no limits and I don’t think she could ever disappoint me. Her second release of this year alone, evermore is a beautiful album full of imagined stories and people, and it really feels like a novel come to life through music. What I love about this album too is there’s such a strong theme of closure running through it. With the obvious mention of the actual track called closure I think there’s such a repetition of feeling like things are ending through this album, such as a relationship or a friendship or something you know well.

TOP 4 TRACKS: tolerate it / gold rush / marjorie / long story short


3. DISCO by Kylie Minogue

This album was EVERYTHING I needed and more. I’ve always loved Kylie Minogue and her disco-infused discography, so when she announced her newest album, simply called Disco, I knew that I would be in love with it before I even listened to it. It’s so fun, it’s so energetic, it’s so playful, and it’s so bloody disco! During the crazy year we’ve had, this is definitely an album Kylie should have released, because it just puts me in such a good, dancing mood whenever I put it on. I loved the emotion and love spread through each of the tracks, and all the messages that came with each song while still keeping the project as a whole upbeat and joyous. Such a fantastic album!

TOP 4 TRACKS: Dance Floor Darling / Magic / Real Groove / Fine Wine


2. folklore by Taylor Swift

This album clawed its way deep into my heart and took my breath away. I had always adored Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff’s work together – they literally make magic – but by adding Aaron Dessner to the mix, it really elevated this album to a whole other level. This album is so impressive and it really made me see Taylor in a new light. I think this was such an inventive and imaginative way for her to show off her incredible songwriting skills, where she brought to life so many characters and stories and emotion that at times it’s almost unbearable. I’ll never forget folklore for as long as I live, and if you haven’t listened to it yet, you’re really doing something wrong.

TOP 4 TRACKS: peace / august / mirrorball / the lakes


1. Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa

Now this is undeniably my favourite album of 2020. Can we just take a moment for that stunning cover? My GOD! Anyways. I never was a big Dua Lipa fan after her first album, but I think the difference between her debut and newest sophomore album, Future Nostalgia, is absolutely astounding. I feel like she really listened to what her fans and critics were saying, applied that to herself and her career, and released one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard. Similarly to Lady Gaga’s Stupid Love, this was THE album that got me through lockdown, and I think that’s what makes it all the more special. There’s not one song on this album that I would skip, and every time I get to the end I’m left wanting more. Lipa has such a strong and consistent concept throughout this project and with all the music videos and singles too, it really paid off. I have tickets to see her live and she’s just after postponing her shows for the second time – to next September – so I’m really hoping I get to see her – especially this album.

TOP 4 TRACKS: Physical / Levitating / Good In Bed / Don’t Start Now


Thanks for checking out my top 10 albums of 2020! Are any of your favourites on this list? Or what are some of YOUR favourite albums of the year? I would love to know in the comments below!

Review | The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Deathless Girls

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

YA Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Goodreads | Bookshop | Book Depository


They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.

On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.

Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.

They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate…


Mainly because of its gorgeous cover, this one has been on my TBR for a while. By now, Kiran Millwood Hargrave is quite the staple name in the UK book community and I was excited to see what all the hype was about. I don’t know if I’d be too keen on her MG books, but when I found out she was writing both YA and adult too, I knew she was worth checking out. And boy, I do not regret it.

The Deathless Girls is a fiercely imaginative retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, except told from the perspective of the infamous brides of Dracula. It follows the story of twins Lil and Kizzy, who after being kidnapped on the day of their divining and brought to a horrible place where they learn all about the Dragon and what he does with girls like them, they’ll try anything to rewrite their fate.

This was written so beautifully. It’s clear as day that Millwood Hargrave has a talent for writing because her prose was just so gorgeous – there was actually points where it took my breath away. I also think she conjured some really fabulous characters and such a vivid world surrounding them. Lil and Kizzy were such different main characters to read, but at the heart of everything, they were actually more similar than they seemed. I loved reading their relationship and watching it tangle and unfurl alongside the events of the book.

I also found the pace to be quite quick of the book. It started a bit slow for me for the first fifty pages or so, but once I really sank my teeth in I was flying. There was always something happening and I thought it was such an enjoyable read – Millwood Hargrave did an excellent job of crafting such a spooky, eerie atmosphere and this really elevated the story in such great ways.

I am very excited to eventually get around to The Mercies and whatever YA she comes out with next. Not only because I have heard such good things about it, but because if it’s anything like this – it is sure to be a showstopper.


2021 Anticipated Releases #3!

Hi everyone!

I’m back again for my third and (possibly) final Anticipated Releases for 2021 post! You can find the first one here and the second one here – there are just too many books coming out to keep it to one post!


A Chorus Rises by Bethany C Morrow

Teen influencer Naema Bradshaw has it all: she’s Portland famous, privileged, gorgeous — and she’s an Eloko, a charismatic person with a unique melody adored by all. Everyone loves her — well, until she’s cast as the awful person who exposed Tavia’s secret siren powers.

Now, she’s being dragged by the media. No one understands her side: not her boyfriend, not her friends, nor her Eloko community. But Naema knows the truth and is determined to build herself back up — no matter what.

When a new, flourishing segment of Naema’s online supporters start targeting black girls, however, Naema must discover the true purpose of her magic.


A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

Face your fears, fight the battle.
Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace.

Fight the battle, save the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But after enjoying decades of peace once magic was driven out of their lands, some of her subjects are angry Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. As Grey’s deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara questions if she can be the queen her country needs.

As two kingdoms come closer to conflict, loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces who could destroy them all, in this stunning conclusion to bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series.


A Crown of Talons by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr

Three months after Aderyn’s coronation the court is celebrating the Solstice, but Aderyn is preoccupied by Lucien’s continuing hostility. The celebrations are interrupted by the arrival of nobles who have escaped from the neighbouring country of Celonia – the flightless have risen up and overthrown their rulers. The world is changing.

As people being to question whether Aderyn and Aron are strong enough to rule, there is an attempted assassination on Aderyn’s life. Siegfried and Tallis have made their move – they have formed an army, declared war and will take the throne, by any means necessary.

Aderyn must fly to unchartered territories and risk the lives of everyone she loves to defeat her enemies, secure her throne and unite her people.

Epic, dangerous and impossible to put down, this finale takes you on a soaring journey through grief, strength and determination to fight for what is right, what you love and what is yours. 


Endgame by Malorie Blackman

It is 20 years in 2021 since Malorie Blackman’s groundbreaking series began with Noughts & Crosses, which charted the deeply forbidden romance between Sephy (a Cross) and Callum (a nought) – a love affair which had repercussions for their families for generations.

Endgame, the breathtaking conclusion to the series, influenced by the unprecedented global events of recent years, is full of twists and turns and emotions, with its incredible characters reaching a dramatic conclusions to their stories.

‘The cliffhanger ending will leave fans desperately awaiting the next installment’ Mail on Sunday, ‘Must-Read Books of the year, 2019’ on Crossfire.The powerful conclusion to iconic author Malorie Blackman’s ground-breaking Noughts & Crosses -the series that taught a generation to think and act differently.


She’s Too Pretty To Burn by Wendy Heard

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, this sexy psychological thriller explores the intersections of love, art, danger, and power.


Bad Habits by Flynn Meaney

Hilarious, bold, sparky and surprising, this is the funniest feminist book you’ll read all year.

Alex is a rebel from the tip of her purple fauxhawk to the toes of her biker boots. She’s tried everything she can think of to get expelled from her strict Catholic boarding school. Nothing has worked so far – but now, Alex has a new plan.

Tired of the sexism she sees in every corner of St Mary’s, Alex decides to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues. Which is going to be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud . . .


Love is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann

In this wry and hilarious queer romantic comedy, fifteen-year-old Phoebe realizes that falling in love is maybe not just for losers.

Did you know you can marry yourself? How strange / brilliant is that?

Fifteen-year-old Phoebe thinks falling in love is vile and degrading, and vows never to do it. Then, due to circumstances not entirely in her control, she finds herself volunteering at a local thrift shop. There she meets Emma . . . who might unwittingly upend her whole theory on life.

This is a laugh-out-loud exploration of sexuality, family, female friendship, grief, and community. With the heart and hilarity of Netflix’s critically-acclaimed Sex Education, Wibke Brueggemann’s sex positive debut is required reading for Generation Z teens. Think of this as Bridget Jones’ Diary, if it were written by Bridget’s daughter.


Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

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?


Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism, from an exceptional new YA voice. Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…


Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

“That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other.” And then Lily asked the question that had taken root in her, that was even now unfurling its leaves and demanding to be shown the sun: “Have you ever heard of such a thing?”

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.


The Desolation of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs

The last thing Jacob Portman saw before the world went dark was a terrible, familiar face.

Suddenly, he and Noor are back in the place where everything began – his grandfather’s house. Jacob doesn’t know how they escaped from V’s loop to find themselves in Florida. But he does know one thing for certain: Caul has returned.

After a narrow getaway from a blood-thirsty hollow, Jacob and Noor reunite with Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children in Devil’s Acre. The Acre is being plagued by desolations – weather fronts of ash and blood and bone – a terrible portent of Caul’s amassing army.

Risen from the Library of Souls and more powerful than ever, Caul and his apocalyptic agenda seem unstoppable. Only one hope remains – deliver Noor to the meeting place of the seven prophesied ones. If they can decipher its secret location.


As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper

Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to start his new life–where he’s no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents’ disapproval.

From the outside, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn’t even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?


The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.


Thanks for reading this, and chat to me below about what books you’re excited for and the ones I should be keeping an eye out for! 2021 is already looking so promising, I can’t wait!

Writing Goals for 2021!

Hey guys!

Today’s Blogmas post is a little different than the usual book-related content, because I’m going to share some of my aspirations and goals for my own writing for the upcoming year. Honestly the transition period between the end of one year and the start of a new one is one of my favourite times of the year! There’s so much potential and ambition and goals and it’s always so inspiring for me!


Ivywood

I have spent the majority of the year working hard on this novel, and after finishing the second draft for Nanowrimo, I’ve jumped straight back and am roughly about 15k into the third draft. I had originally planned to try finish it before January, but with everything going on this month, it’s quite busy so I know now that’s not very achievable. I’ve decided to just take my time with this one and when I feel like it’s done to its best standard, I’m going to begin querying it – hopefully this will be early next year!


New WIP

When I’m super satisfied with Ivywood and whilst I anxiously wait for agents to get back to me about it, I’ve decided to dive into a completely new idea that has been simmering in the back of my mind for SO LONG. And let me tell you, I’m so excited to sit down and write it. It’s a gay Romeo and Juliet retelling set in the 80s with a huge feud between two Madonna and Prince fan clubs… i’m doing it for the girls and the gays. I’m REALLY excited for it, and it’s definitely going to be so much fun (but also really sad) to write. I’m excited just to write an insta-love with no needed explanation and then break everyone’s hearts by the end – including my own!


The Quest Book 3

Another project I have on the side is one I’ve literally been working on ever since I was 12! I’m sure I’ve talked about the Quest series on this blog before, but it follows a group of 4 cousins who embark on a quest to find 7 rings that are scattered throughout time and space. I started writing the third book in the series in 2019 I think but for some reason I hit a massive wall at about 20k and moved onto something different, which at the time I think was my Lorde novella so I think I’m not too annoyed, haha! But hopefully when I finish my new WIP I can get back to this wonderful world and characters I know so well!


All in all, I have some ambitious and exciting plans for my writing career and I can’t wait to see where 2021 takes it!

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

First Day of My Life

thoughts: At the time of writing I haven’t actually started reading this yet, but I have the whole day off today so hoping to sink my teeth into this!


2. WHAT I RECENTLY FINISHED

The Deathless Girls

thoughts: I really enjoyed this. I thought it was written really beautifully and the story was super engaging. I’m glad I finally got around to Kiran Millwood Hargrave!


3. WHAT I’M GOING TO READ NEXT

You Had Me At Hola


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 | Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo

Blonde Roots

by Bernardine Evaristo

Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Goodreads | Bookshop | Book Depository


What if the history of the transatlantic slave trade had been reversed and Africans had enslaved Europeans? How would that have changed the ways that people justified their inhuman behavior? How would it inform our cultural attitudes and the insidious racism that still lingers today? We see this tragicomic world turned upside down through the eyes of Doris, an Englishwoman enslaved and taken to the New World, movingly recounting experiences of tremendous hardship and the dreams of the people she has left behind, all while journeying toward an escape into freedom.


Continuing my exploration of Evaristo’s back catalogue, we are onto Blonde Roots. Evaristo is without a doubt one of my favourite authors I’ve discovered this year and I’m so happy to have been able to work my way through her novels this year so I was excited for this one – however, I have to admit it was the first one that let me down!

In the style of the iconic Noughts & Crosses, Blonde Roots is an emotional story of Doris, who is a slave in a world where Black people are seen as superior and white people their slaves. For me this started off really exciting because it had such a gripping hook, and I knew what I was getting myself into when an author like Evaristo tackled a concept such as this – a heartfelt, tender, emotional story.

And that I did. And although I enjoyed reading this novel mainly because of Evaristo’s stunning and lyrical prose, and because of her signature humour that makes me laugh out loud, there was something about this that fell flat for me. In comparison to the incredible Girl, Woman, Other or the emotional rollercoaster of The Emperor’s Babe, this book just doesn’t come close. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, because I actually think that’s impossible when it comes to a writer such as Evaristo, but I wasn’t as impressed with it as I was with her other novels I’ve read. I suppose there always has to be one least favourite, right?

I just didn’t connect to Doris in the way I wanted to and also I really didn’t like the middle part – I thought it was so unnecessary to go fifty or so pages from the slaveowner’s perspective, but hey, maybe that’s just me!

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts if so? Let me know in the comments below!