Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Series I’d Like to Start/Catch up on/Finish

There is so many books and never enough time to read them all especially when I also want to reread my favourite books so here are some that I really need to finish or start reading!

The Wolf of Oren Yaro trilogy – I loved the first book but I still haven’t gotten round to reading the rest

There Will Come a Darkness trilogy – I only need to read the last book but I just haven’t gotten round to it

A Curse So Dark And Lonely trilogy – Again, I just need to read the last book but I just haven’t picked it up

Jade City trilogy – Once again another book I adore but haven’t finished. Why am I like this?

A Magic Steeped in Poison – I was so excited to read this but I still haven’t even though I preordered it…oops

Redemptor – I loved Raybearer and even reread it to then read the sequel…but then I never did

Chain of Iron – In my head I’m telling myself I will read it closer the last book release date…I am a liar

The House With the Golden Door – I even met Elodie when the book released and I was so excited to read it but I still haven’t…I’m realising I have a problem

Mistborn trilogy – I read the first book a few years ago and absolutely loved it and then the size of the books intimidated me until I never picked them up

Heart of Iron – I love all of Ashley Poston’s books so I don’t even know why I haven’t picked this up yet even though I own the duology…I am a mess

Anyways this prompt has made me realise just how many sequels I need to read so I guess I should pick some of them up soon…I said like a liar

Top 5 Wednesdays

Top 5 Wednesday – Characters Who Need A Break

Sharing a top 5 wednesday post with you all today! So we’ve all read books where the character really goes through it and all we want to do is give them a hug. So here are some of the characters that could really do with a hug and some time off.

Alizayd from The Daevabad Trilogy – He really does not get a break in these books and the fact that they’re set over almost a decade. My boy needs a break. He carried the whole of Daevabad on his back and even the ending was him working to rebuild Daevabad. Shannon please give him a break! Let him nerd out on books and economics! Let me go there and give him a hug and maybe convince him to marry me instead.

Percy Jackson – This boy does not ever get a break even when he tries to distance himself, he’s dragged straight back in and now he has to go on a quest just to get into university?! Let him rest Rick!

Rae from The Theft of Sunlight – My girl really starts off by going to visit her cousin and ends up taking down a slave ring instead. She really needs some time off to go and see her family and friends and just relax for a while.

Selwyn from Legendborn – Look he lives in perpetual stress and it is not good for him. Let him have some time off where he doesn’t have to worry about keeping Bree and Nick alive! 

Laila from The Gilded Wolves – She straight up deserves a holiday after everything she goes through and then also dealing with an angsty Severin. 

Book Tag

MidnighTS Book Tag – Part 1

So today I’m sharing my answers to the Midnights Book Tag created by Rameela! You can find her post here. Everyone is welcome to do the tag and remember to link Rameela’s post when you share!

Here are my answers:

Lavender Haze- a book you will always love and defend

The Daevabad trilogy – I will fight the whole damn world to protect Alizayd 

Maroon- a spicy book

Okay so I don’t really read spicy books but I did read and enjoy Love on the Brain which does have some spice!

Anti-Hero-unreliable narrator

Serapio from Black Sun because I want to trust him but can I really? His view is so limited because he did not grow up around his mother’s people so how can he truly know the truth of what is happening there as all he knows is what he has been told by his teachers who have their own agenda.

Snow of the Beach- an unexpected surprise

The Book Eaters is not my usual type of read but this story focuses on motherhood and I really loved it!

You’re on your own kid- a character that really needs a hug

Salama from As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow. Her and Kenan both deserve hugs because they have suffered and lost so much. 

Midnight rain- star-crossed lovers

Laila & Severin of course! Especially after finishing The Bronzed Beasts 

Question…?- grumpy x sunshine (or neurodivergent rep)

Alizayd & Nahri – my girl is always grumpy unless she’s conning someone or eating and Ali is somehow seeing the good even when everything is falling apart

Vigilante shit- favorite character out for revenge

Rin from The Poppy War – She will burn everything to the ground for her revenge

Bejeweled- strong character development

Rae from The Theft of Sunlight has some amazing development in the duology especially when it comes to accepting herself and letting herself love and be loved. 

Labyrinth- second chance romance

First Love, Take Two was amazing! The chemistry and tension was impeccable and there’s only one bed!

Karma- favorite full circle moments or parallels 

Nasir and Zafira are the perfect examples from their names having the same meaning to the parallels right from the first sentences from each of their point of views.

Sweet Nothing- favorite fluffy/cozy read

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches is the epitome of cozy fantasy with an adorable romance and found family. 

Mastermind- perfect world building and storytelling

Let me introduce you all to Legendborn because that book has me in a chokehold. The story, the characters, the world building and pulling from history and just…it’s absolutely amazing!

I will share part 2 of her tag next week!

Books by Muslim Authors, YA Books

Love From Mecca to Medina by S.K. Alli – ARC Review

This book was everything I ever wanted and more. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Adam and Zayneb. Perfectly matched. Painfully apart. Adam is in Doha, Qatar, making a map of the hijrah, a historic migration from Mecca to Medina and worried about where his next paycheck will come from. Zayneb is in Chicago, where school and extracurricular stresses are piling on top of a terrible frenemy situation and making her miserable.

Then a marvel occurs: Adam and Zayneb get the chance to spend Thanksgiving week on the Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, tracing the hijrah in real life, together. Adam’s thrilled, and Zayneb hopes for a spiritual reset—and they can’t wait to see each other.

But the trip is nothing like what they expect, from the appearance of Adam’s ex in their travelling group to the anxiety gripping Zayneb everywhere they go. And as one wedge after another drives them apart as they make their way from one holy city to another, Adam and Zayneb start to wonder: was their meeting just an oddity after all? Or can their love transcend everything else like the greatest marvels of the world? 

This book has my heart and soul! I absolutely adored Adam and Zayneb from Love From A to Z and seeing them older and married was so beautiful to read. The love and care they have for each other and the way they want to support each other in their passions and goals, made me love them even more.

In this book they are now in their early 20s and having recently got married we got to see them express their love for each other. The beginning was so funny to see them try to have some private time and someone would interrupt them. It was so relatable and Hanna reminded me of my little brother barging into our room because he wanted to cuddle or sleep in the bed with us so yes, I felt their pain! 

I loved that this isn’t just their love story but also their individual stories of discovering who they are and what they truly want in life both together and apart and I loved that so much. 

Through Adam and Zayneb we all get to experience Umrah and the beauty of Makkah and Medina and all I wanted to do was to be able to have the privilege of performing Umrah after reading this book. It made me long to be there, to visit the places where the Prophet (pbuh) had lived and to just be able to go to the most holy of places and strengthen my connection and love for Allah. I loved how Sajidah included the importance of each part of the Umrah without it sounding like a lecture and just so seamlessly woven into the story. I often turn to the stories of the Prophets especially when I am struggling and seeing Adam and Zayneb also do that was so wonderful to see. 

In this story we see how they are struggling with managing all the aspects of their lives and the long distance relationship and how it is having a toll on their physical and mental health. I loved seeing that they had their own struggles and trying to find that balance as it’s something a lot of us have to deal with and it also showed us that they have full lives and not just all about each other. 

The disability rep that we see in Adam and how he struggles to manage his symptoms was so well written. I related so much to him and how he tries to handle his daily life and his guilt. The guilt he felt made me cry because I have felt that guilt, that you feel you are holding your spouse back, that they deserve better, that you give your loved ones extra stress because you need their support more regularly. Adam being so wrapped up in trying to deal with this while also putting on a strong face for Zayneb was heartbreaking and I just wanted to give him a hug. I loved how he turned to Allah for help and put his trust in Him to find a way through his situations.

Zayneb also had some incredibly difficult circumstances to deal with and I felt so stressed out for her and was so worried about her! I loved seeing her grow from the Zayneb we meet in LFATZ because she would sometimes act before she thought through. But now she is more mature and thinks about the best way to deal with the situation and I loved seeing that aspect of her. She also struggles in her relationship with Allah and we see her grow and rebuild her relationship with Allah by going to Umrah and realising she needs to recharge herself as she can’t help anyone if she is broken. 

This book was everything to me and I loved every single second. Also shoutout to Bertha Fatima the real mvp. I love that cat so much. Everyone please read this book and all of Sajidah’s books. 

Adult Books

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean – Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book’s content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries.

Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valor and adventure, and Devon—like all other book eater women—is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairytales and cautionary stories.

But real life doesn’t always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger—not for books, but for human minds.

This isn’t the usual type of book I read so I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this but once I started reading I was hooked and was up late at night listening to the audiobook. 

This is a dark story and does not shy away from describing the gore and murders so do take that into account before reading.

The story revolves around the relationship of a mother and her young son so we get lots of discussions about motherhood and how the patriarchy has failed mothers in so many ways. I really loved seeing this in the book and its something I think we should see more of in books. 

Devon grows up believing in the fairytales she eats and is raised to believe she is a princess in her family and yet as she gets older she gets rebellious and others have to face the consequences of her actions so she learns to hide that part of herself. When she grows up she is married off to “the best match” essentially so she can give that family a child. 

Devon is given no options or choices and her opinions and wants do not matter. She is just there to have the baby for the benefit of the men. She doesn’t even get a choice in who to marry and once she’s had the baby she cannot raise them or have contact with them again. Despite Devin being taught this is the life of women she fights against it and is beaten, lied to and manipulated to get her to stay quiet and in her place. I truly felt for her and was really rooting for her to get the life she deserved with her kids. 

There are so many parallels in Devon’s story with the story of countless women in similar situations. They suffer and their children are used against them to ensure their obedience and even escaping doesn’t always mean they get to be free. Sometimes they have to leave their child behind like Devon did, and we see her guilt and worry about leaving her daughter to suffer the same fate she did. But she had to choose between her and her son and even that had its own issues. 

I loved seeing who Devon was as she grew up and who she became, who she had to become to protect her son. She is ruthless and has to make awful choices but everything she does is for her son. In this book all the characters are morally grey, though some more than others. The men treat women as objects they own and even those who claim to be different aren’t. Though I did like seeing that Devon is able to meet at least one man who truly tries to help her as much as she can and they become friends. 

There is also very little romance in this book which was really refreshing to read and the main focus being the mother son relationship. We need more books that show different types of love because they are just as important as romantic love. 

This was such an interesting read and I really enjoyed it though I do wish we had been given a little more than the ending we got because I want to know more!