Adult Books

The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird – ARC Review

As soon as I saw the synopsis I knew I had to read it, it sounded so interesting and I did end up enjoying this book even though it was quite difficult to read at times.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic–and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien–a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the male plague; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal–the loss of husbands and sons–to the political–the changes in the workforce, fertility and the meaning of family.

TW: Discussions of a pandemic and plague, death including children, infertility, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, sexism

This book was such an interesting read although it was difficult to read at times and did have to put the book down a few times and come back to it because it describes the fear and panic of being in a pandemic and it was eerily similar to the covid pandemic. The first half was especially hard but once I got through that I was pretty much hooked.

This book discusses what would happen if a virus killed 90% of men on this planet, what would be the repercussions and how would that affect how we live and function as a society and honestly there is a lot to think about. From those who are part of the government to the police force to those in healthcare what would happen if most of the men in an already male dominated profession died? We need doctors and surgeons because people will still need to be treated, who would run the country in the aftermath, how would our society structures change. These are things we see discussed in the book and it was really interesting to read.

It also discusses motherhood and infertility especially as the virus kills male children too and many women are left grieving for their sons. It was incredibly difficult to read at times when we see the grief of these mother and how they struggle to cope with the loss of their husbands and sons and then the guilt of those lucky few who had husbands or sons who are immune. Then because there are barely any men left they can’t even think to have a baby again and then there are those who before were struggling with infertility and are now faced with the reality that they may never become mothers. One of the hardest things was the scenes of the women who were giving birth to baby boys who were not immune and then having to watch them die just days later.

Once a vaccine is discovered we do see a more hopeful future where people are just beginning to pick themselves up and come to terms with a new normal. Much like we have had to in the face of the covid pandemic. Those who survived the pandemic have been thrust into positions they may never have been able to get before because there are literally no men left in those areas. The majority of the government is now full of women and it was interesting o see how they handled things that maybe men would handle differently.

We also see at the beginning when it all starts, the doctor who discovers patient zero is largely ignored and labelled as hysterical and so it spreads rapidly before anyone takes it seriously. The sexism and misogyny present in the workplace means that so many more die before things can be put into place to reduce the death toll. Discussions about how women aren’t given the credit they deserve and the gender pay gap and so much more.

The main issue I had with the book and the discussions was how white centric it was and how the majority of focus was on the UK and US. I know that for women of colour and those living in Asia and Africa for example would have a really different experience in everything that would happen during the virus outbreak. And yet none of that was touched upon and the few mentions of places like Saudi Arabia was linked to trafficking and other places like Iran, Afghanistan etc were just mentioned to have no information about what is happening there after years of the pandemic. I’m tired of the BIPOC erasure in books especially in a book dealing with a worldwide pandemic.

Overall this book was an interesting read and did discuss some really important issues and I did mostly enjoy the book.

Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Books With S in the Title

This week’s Friday Favourites is to share books with S in the title so here are some of my favourite reads!

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal – I loved this book so much. It stole my heart when I read it and I am still not over how much I loved it.

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali – I read this book when it released several years ago and now that we are getting a sequel I cannot wait to reread it in preparation

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A Brown – I loved this book so much! Malik is a cinnamon roll and after that ending I cannot wait to read the sequel!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – One of my all time favourite books! One I need to reread now that we have an official release date for the show!

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – I really love this dystopian scifi of an alternate London and the 4th book just released!

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir – This was an incredible conclusion to this series and I love Laia so much and to see her growth through the books has been incredible to read.

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi – This book broke me, that ending hurt so much and I am both excited and scared for the final book.

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse – I just finished this book and I loved it so much!

Share some of your faves with S in the title!

2019 Round Up

Books That Disappointed Me This Year

Every year there are books you are excited for and yet they end up disappointing you for various reasons. This year these are the books that ended up disappointing me.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – I found this so boring to read and honestly how is a girl who wants to see the world not set foot in Asia or Africa in 300 years. I guess she only wanted to see the white world. The erasure of BIPOC in this book was another reason I really did not like this book.

More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed Masood – This book was full of one dimensional stereotypes and even the cute romance couldn’t save it. My full review is here

Once and Future Queen by Clara O’Conner – I dnfd this book it moved too slowly and I got bored.

Make Up Break Up by Sandhya Menon – This was probably the book I’m most sad about because I love her YA books but I just didn’t enjoy this and ended up dnfing.

Hijab and Red Lipstick by Yousra Imran – This book had me filled with rage. My full review is here

A Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan – I really loved the first book so I was sad I didn’t love this one as much. I liked it but I didn’t love it unfortunately.

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly – Another book that didn’t live up to my expectations. After loving Stepsister I had high hopes for this. Unfortunately I didn’t love this one as much.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini – I loved the beginning but then I got bored and I just couldn’t deal with the MC constantly looking at herself in the mirror and commenting on her body. I dnfd this.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – Everyone seems to love this book but I just didn’t. I think it was more the writing style than the story though because I struggled to really get into it despite being interested in the storyline.

Anyways these are the books that disappointed me this year. Are there any that disappointed you?

2019 Round Up

My Favourite Books of 2020

This year has been crazy in so many ways but one thing that I have loved is all the incredible books that have been published this year that making this list was so difficult. But here are my favourite reads of 2020, not including rereads.

1 The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty – Is this a surprise to anyone? I absolutely loved everything about this book especially Nahri and Ali’s journey. You can read my full review here

2 These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong – I loved this book so much. I completely fell in love with Juliette and the story was so interesting. My full review is here.

3 The Damned by Renee Ahdieh – I love everything that Renee writes and this was amazing! My full review is here

4 A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A Brown – I will protect Malik with my life. My full review is here.

5 We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal – This book was incredible and painful and wonderful and I loved every second of it.

6 The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan – This book is so wonderful and fed my soul. My full review is here

7 A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir – I am deceased. That is all.

8 The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafa – This book was heart breaking in so many ways and heart warming in so many ways. My full review is here

9 Prime Deceptions By Valerie Valdes – I loved the sequel even more that Chilling Effect and I cannot wait for the next book! My full review is here

10 Legendborn by Tracy Deonn – This book was such a surprising read. I completely fell in love. My full review is here.

So these are my favourite books of 2020! Do share your favourite books with me!

Monthly Wrap Up

November 2020 Monthly Wrap Up

My weird book slump is persisting and I am finding it almost impossible to read physical books and I am tired of it, I just want to read my books! However ebooks and audiobooks have been live savers and honestly I would not have read most of these if it wasn’t for audiobooks.

So here’s what I read this month:

The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco – The conclusion to this amazing trilogy and I am completely in love with the story and characters.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Aladdin: Far From Agrabah by Aisha Saeed – I loved this book and that we get to see so much more of Aladdin and Jasmine’s relationship develop. My review is here

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller – I really enjoyed this book! It was fun and the audiobook was great to listen to!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty – A reread and I loved it even more this time. My review is here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi – I loved this middle grade story of two young girls finding friendship in the most unlikely of places. My review is here

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Brambles by Intisar Khanani – A short story set before the events of Thorn that gave us a lot of insight into why the main character is the way she is.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali – One of my all time favourite books and I buddy reread it with some friends! My review is here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco – I reread this so I could read the sequel and I loved it even more this time. Highly recommend the audiobook. My review is here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan – I enjoyed the sequel but not as much as the first book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir – I liked this graphic novel giving us a glimpse into a young Elias and Helene.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller – This sequel was fun and I liked seeing Alosa and Riden’s relationship develop.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann – A powerful story written in verse discussing topics that are difficult to discuss but really need to be talked about.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu – The concept was really interesting but the actual story felt a bit flat for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I also shared these blog posts so check them out if you missed them!

Books that deserve more love

My favourite quotes from The Empire of Gold

Non-fiction book recommendations

Audiobooks I loved

Why Alizayd Means so much to me

Sex Matters

Inspiring Muslim Women – Rufaida al Aslamia

I shared my reviews for these books this month:

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong ARC review

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang ARC review

So that’s everything for this wrap up! Share your favourite reads in November with me!