Wrap-Up: Autumn

Heartstopper: Volume Three (Heartstopper, #3)Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2)Cemetery BoysThe Falling in Love MontageFrom Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash, #1)A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood And Ash, #2)The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries, #1)RomanovWait for MeSpoiler Alert (Spoiler Alert #1)Ross Poldark (Poldark, #1)Fangirl, Vol. 1: The MangaCall Me MaybeOne in a MillionWritten in the StarsIn Case You Missed It

Fiction: 16
Non-fiction: 0
Short stories: 0
Graphic novels: 2
Total: 16
Page count: 6 307
Average rating: 3.72

3 Favourite Covers:

  • Romanov
  • The Extraordinaries
  • The Falling in Love Montage

3 Favourite Books:

  • The Extraordinaries
  • From Blood and Ash
  • The Falling in Love Montage

3 Favourite Characters :

  • Seth Gray (The Extraordinaries)
  • Nick Bell (The Extraordinaries)
  • Yadriel (Cemetery Boys)

3 Favourite Relationships (Romantic):

  • Nick Bell & Seth Gray (The Extraordinaries)
  • Yadriel & Julian (Cemetery Boys)
  • Poppy & Hawke…but only in the first book (From Blood and Ash)

3 Favourite Relationships (Platonic):

  • Saoirse & Oliver (The Falling in Love Montage)
  • Nick & his friends (The Extraordinaries)
  • The Romanov family (Romanov)
To Be Brief…

Heartstopper vol 3 (Heartstopper #3): Just as cute as the previous ones. These graphic novels are pure fluff and I ain’t complainin’. 4/5 stars

Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2): Blood & Honey is the sequel to Serpent & Dove: angsty witch x witch hunter fake marriage extravaganza. While I enjoyed it, it unfortunately lacked a lot of the tension that made the first book so much fun to read, and though I still like the characters and the magic system (despite it feeling a bit too much like an easy fix at times), it wasn’t quite enough to fully pull me in. I think I mentioned in my review of Serpent & Dove that I would have prefered it as a standalone (with some adjustments ofc), and I stand by that. I’m not sure how I feel about there being a third book in the series, but chances are I’ll probably pick up that one as well. 3.25/5 stars

“You think I’d joke about this?”
“I think it’d better be a joke. I think a piss poor joke would be a hell of a lot better than a piss poor plan.”

Cemetery Boys: A YA own voices urban fantasy standalone about a transgender gay boy called Yadriel. In an attempt to prove to his traditional Latinx family that he can be a brujo, he accidentally summons a ghost who then refuses to leave. There is romance, family, murder, and overall fun times. I really liked the Latinx culture and the magic system, as well as the fact that it was set around Día de Muertos. I actually felt quite invested in the mystery for once (though I did figure it out prematurely), and even though the romance developed a bit too quickly for my taste, it was still really sweet. I personally didn’t love the ending since it felt a bit over the top and rushed, but overall I’d still recommend it. TW transphobia. 4/5 stars

“You guys are really shitty witches.”
Annoyance flared in Yadriel. “Look, this is my first time, okay?”

The Falling in Love Montage: A YA wlw contemporary romance about a girl who doesn’t believe in happy endings. It deals with the pain of watching someone close to you suffer from dementia, and the struggle of having to learn how to live with the knowledge that you might lose yourself as well. It definitely had its sad moments (tears were shed), but it was also incredibly funny and charming, and even though the main character was kind of an asshole, it was quite easy to empathize with her. I loved Saoirse and Oliver’s friend(frenemy)ship, and I really like the way the author portrayed the complicated relationship between Saoirse and her father. Overall a great coming-of-age story about love, family, friendship, and taking charge of your own future. TW dementia, hereditary diseases. 4/5 stars

“I was the cross me once, cold shoulder forever type.
I’m a real catch, did I mention that.”

From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1): An adult paranormal romance/fantasy about a young woman who seeks to regain control over her own life, and the guard who might be able to help her. Look, this book is full of absolute nonsense, and if I’d been in a different mood I probably would have hated it, but I wasn’t and didn’t. While the worldbuilding was slightly confusing at times, the weird yet highly entertaining forbidden romance, the messy characters, and the action kept me up all night, and I’m so ready for more banter and vampire/werewolf/zombie creatures. 4/5 stars

“Who would have thought the Maiden could throw down?”

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash #2): Aaand then I immediately read the sequel. I feel like A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire is what happens when an author tries to publish two 600+ page novels in the same year. While both books in the Blood and Ash series are arguably bad, at least the first one was bad in a fun and entertaining way. A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire on the other hand…well it was just bad. Despite being over 600 pages long, not much actually happened, and things got repetitive real fast (Poppy can only threaten bodily harm so many time before I stop sniggering and start rolling my eyes instead). Also, and let me know if it’s just me, but did the horniness in this book reach unreal levels or what? I mean, each to their own, but I personally don’t think I can forgive JLA for that carriage scene. In all honesty, though, while I could go on and on about the many flaws of A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (and JLA’s apparent mission to squeeze every trope in existence into this one series?), at the end of the day, I can’t pretend I didn’t enjoy it at least a bit. Did I wish it had gone through one or two (or three) more rounds of editing? Absolutely. Will I read the last book in the series? It honestly wouldn’t surprise me. Fingers crossed it will redeem this mess, though. 2.5/5 stars

“You can’t spell dysfunctional without fun, now can you?”

The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries #1): If you’re looking for a fun YA superhero series with some strong comic book vibes that doesn’t take itself too seriously, you might want to give this one a try. It’s silly, cheesy, and somewhat cliché, but it’s so self aware that you can’t help but laugh at it. The main character is a bit of a self-centered idiot, but he quickly grew on me, and I liked the fact that he was so unapologetically himself (and from what I hear the ADHD rep is pretty good). Also, he may be a stupid 16 y-o teenage boy, but he’s a stupid 16 y-o teenage boy who knows he shouldn’t be allowed to make life altering decisions, which I can respect. Overall I’d say this book was just a good ol’ time; the whole superhero concept was fun, the fanfiction sections were cringy as hell but also kind of hilarious, and though the second hand embarrassment killed me, the humour brought me back to life. Oh, and I highly recommend the audiobook; the narrator did a fantastic job. 4.25/5 stars

A small heads up, though — this book paints cops in a very positive light, and while it makes sense within the context of the story, it could definitely have been dialed down a notch. It didn’t really affect my personal enjoyment of the book that much, but if that’s not something you want to read right now, you should sit this one out. The author has adressed the issue here, but wether or not you want to read the book is, of course, entirely up to you.

“Nicholas Bell was a stupid teenage boy. He was partially aware of this fact, but still.”

Romanov: A historical retelling that recounts the events that took place between the capture and execution of the last Romanov family, as well as what the author imagines happened afterwards. The book contains some fantastical elements, though they’re more prominent in the second half of the story. Starting with the positives, I did enjoy the first 60% of Romanov quite a lot. I liked the dynamics between the members of the family, and overall thought their relationships were quite well written. Some might find this part of the story a bit slow, but I personally didn’t mind that at all, and definitely prefered it over the last 40%, which in my opinion felt a bit disconnected from the rest of the book. Speaking of my less than favourable opinions, the romance might be my least favourite part of the book. It had great potential, but ended up feeling rushed, unbelievable, and difficult to root for, which was a pity. Furthermore, while I liked the way the family interacted with each other, the overall portrayal of the Romanovs — and the tsar in particular — bordered on feeling saint-like. This sort of makes sense since it’s being told from the PoV of Anastasia, but I thought it was a bit too much, and believe it would have made for a more interesting story if we got to see them more as the complex, flawed people that they were. I also wanted more from the magic system, which wasn’t that well-defined and didn’t always make sense.

All in all, if you have a previous interest in Anastasia, I think you’re as likely to love this book as to hate it. On the other hand, if you go into it with zero prior knowledge of the Romanovs or the Russian revolution, I have a feeling it could be a bit of a confusing experience, as not much is explained when it comes to how and why they ended up in captivity. Even though I didn’t exactly fall head over heels in love with it, I’m still glad I decided to pick up this book since I’ve been intrigued by the Romanovs for as long as I can remember, and if you’re interested as well, I’d say go for it. Maybe lower your expectations a bit, though. 3.5/5 stars

“My blood is my crime.”

Wait for Me: This book takes place in Scotland during WW2, and tells the story of a Scottish girl and a German prisoner of war working as a farmhand. While not completely without conflict, this was a pretty sweet and gentle YA historical romance, and unless you’re looking for a story that delves deep into the horrors of WW2, I’d say it’s worth giving a shot. It’s not super memorable, but enjoyable, and the romance felt believable. It did pretty much exactly what I expected, and I will probably pick up another of this author’s novels if I’m ever in the mood for it. 3.75/5 stars

“Möchten Sie tanzen, Fräulein?”

Spoiler Alert: An adult contemporary romance full of body positivity, fanfiction, toxic family situations, and deceit (so much deceit). It’s quite obviously a hate letter to the last season of Game of Thrones, which I found hilarious. Overall I thought it was cute and pretty entertaining, but wanted a bit more from the aspects of the plot that didn’t center solely around the romance. I also think the story might have worked better if the main characters were in their twenties rather than 36 and 39, but that might just be me. Oh, and I laughed out loud when they claimed that “snicksnack” was a bad word in Swedish, which is pretty much the equivalent to “nonsense”. Silly Americans. 3.75/5 stars

“It was more or less the same advice April had received for more than thirty years: If people are cruel, make yourself smaller and smaller, until you’re so inconsequential no one can target you.”

Ross Poldark (Poldark #1): In October, I developed a bit of an obsession with a cetain TV-show, and therefore, when presented with the opportunity to read the source material, I thought: meh, why not? While I’m glad I decided to pick it up and might continue on with the series, I must admit that I liked pretty much every character less in the book, and it somehow managed to make the more sketchy aspects of the show even sketchier (please don’t refer to your wife as a child, Ross). I also found the writing a bit odd, for example the way it kept switching PoV and jumping forward in time in the strangest of places (like right in the middle of a tense scene). Furthermore, I had a bit of a hard time trying to understand some (a lot) of the dialogue, but that might have something to do with me not being a native English speaker (and not from Cornwall). My main takeaway from reading this book (and watching the show): brandy is the solution in every situation 3/5 stars

“Tedn’t law. Tedn’t right. Tedn’t just. Tedn’t sense. Tedn’t friendly.”

Fangirl: The Manga (Vol 1): The newly released manga version of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. If you’ve already read the book, simply imagine that…but with pictures! I personally found it quite enjoyable and will definitely pick up the next volume when it comes out. 4/5 stars

Call Me Maybe: An adult contemporary romance about two people getting to know each other over a customer service call. I loved the full cast and sound effects used in the audiobook, and it felt more like an audio drama than anything else. Overall a super fun and cute story, and you’ll get throuh it in no time at all. 4/5 stars

One in a Million: A pretty fun and feel-good adult contemporary romance. I liked the main characters (who doesn’t love the bubbly x grumpy dynamic in a romantic relationship?), and though it felt a bit dated, it was overall a nice little romcom. 3.75/5 stars

“What cologne is that?’ ‘I ran out so I sprayed some Febreze in the air and just ran around in it,’ he whispered back. ‘Tell no one.’ ‘It goes to my grave,’ I replied, pulling out a chair at our table.”

Written in the Stars: An adult contemporary romance with fake dating and some nice christmas vibes. While the world sure could use some more happy wlw romcoms, I wish this one had a little bit more tension and humour, and if I’m completely honest, I got somewhat bored towards the end. It was, however, still cute and worth giving a try. 3.75/5 stars

“Elle loved herself, but what a feeling it must be, being loved by someone else exactly as you are, quirks and warts and all. She wouldn’t know.”

In Case You Missed It: Aaand last but not least, yet another adult contemporary romance (are we sensing a pattern here?). This one is about letting go of the past no matter how much you think you want to go back, and instead learn to embrace the change and move on to something new and possibly even better. I liked the friendships and the romance, though it definitely took a back seat to everyhting else the protagonist was dealing with (which I personally didn’t mind). Recommend if you’re looking for a comfy, quick read. I’ll probably read more of Lindsey Kelk in the future. 4/5 stars

“The only difference between a fresh start and ‘oh my god, my life is a complete failure’ is a good attitude and the right Instagram caption.”

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