Monthly Wrap Up

October Monthly Wrap Up

It’s the end of October already! This year has flown by so fast! I had a really great reading month this month and read some amazing books and found some new favourites.

I also went to a Manchester Literature Festival event, Clementine Ford came to discuss her new book, Boys Will Be Boys. She discussed feminism, the patriarchy and how toxic masculinity not only hurts girls but how it also hurts boys and only the rich (white) men are the ones who benefit from this structure. She spoke about how we need to speak up against it and make structural changes to actually make a difference. It was a really great event and she was lovely too talk to. I highly recommend reading her books.

So anyways the books that I read this month are:


1 Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer – Okay so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading but I had heard great things so I decided to give it a go and I actually really enjoyed it! It discussed a lot of important and relevant issues from poverty to white privilege.

Rating: 4/5

2 Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill – I started off really enjoying it but then I got bored in the middle so I have mixed feelings about the book.

Rating: 3/5

3 The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco – I loved this book so much! The incredible world building to the wonderfully diverse and complex characters. I cannot wait for the second book! You can read my review here

Rating: 4.5/5

4 A History of Islam in 21 Women by Hossein Kamaly – Finally a book that has so many incredible Muslim women. I really enjoyed reading this book and I really recommend it especially if you’re not familiar with many Muslim women and their achievements. My full review will be up soon.

Rating: 4/5

5 Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart – This book is so incredibly heartfelt and I really loved it. If you read Wonder and loved it then I highly recommend this one too. You can read my full review here

Rating: 4/5

6 The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh – WOW just wow. I loved this book so much! Renee’s writing is beautiful as always and this story is just incredible and you all need to go read it! You can read my full review here

Rating: 5/5

7 War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi – This book was really interesting especially as it was set in a black panther inspired future world. The main characters grow up in a Nigeria that is at civil war. It’s a period of history I knew very little about and it was a good read.

Rating: 3/5

8 Angel Mage by Garth Nix – This is the first Garth Nix I read and I really enjoyed it. The story was really interesting and there was a great group of characters and a ruthless villain. You can read my review here

Rating: 4/5

9 The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah – I loved this book so much! This is such a wonderful ownvoices book. I just loved the characters and the incredible world that London has created. My review will be up soon!

Rating: 5/5

10 All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney – I stayed up until 5am reading this whole book in one night. It made me sob and laugh and made me angry and hopeful and I just loved this book so much! I really need you all to go read it! My review will be up soon!

Rating: 5/5

So these are books that I read this month. I really loved several books this month!


I also reviewed these books this month:

Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford

Otherlife by Jason Segan and Kirsten Miller

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Highfire by Eoin Colfer

I also posted these on my blog this month:

5 Reasons Why You Should Read The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Fiction Books With Mental Health Rep

Lightbearers Book Tag


Diverse Books, YA Books

The Beautiful By Renee Ahdieh – ARC Review

Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I have loved all of Renee’s books and The Beautiful was no exception! Once I started reading I was completely hooked!


Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

Renee has made me completely and entirely fall in love with her books and her writing. Ever since I read The Wrath and the Dawn I have been hooked! If you haven’t read any of her books then you need to go fix that asap!

The Beautiful is set in New Orleans and although I don’t know much about it, after reading this book I most definitely want to go and see it. Renee’s writing is beautiful and you become completely immersed in her world. She creates this wonderfully dark atmosphere with rich and vivid world building from the setting to the clothes and food. I could see all of Celine’s beautiful clothes and was practically salivating reading the scenes which describes the food they ate.

I’m a girl who’d rather experience life than watch it pass by from my window

One of the things I love about Renee’s books is that her female main characters are all so wonderful and Celine is no exception. She is smart and witty and outspoken. She fights for what she wants and doesn’t let anyone walk all over her. I related to her so much and how she was so tired of being told what to do and being treated as if she isn’t capable of doing anything herself and just needs to be saved by a big strong man. She is a badass and won’t allow men to talk for her.

And of course a Renee Ahdieh book would not be complete without a swoon worthy male main character, in the case of The Beautiful, his name is Bastien. Say hello to you newest book boyfriend. I loved him from the moment we met him. He is roguish and charming and because we see him from Celine’s point of view it made him really mysterious and intriguing, and even though we know that is no gentlemen you can’t help but fall in love with him.

And I really loved the scenes between Bastien and Celine. They have such great witty banter and the romance that slowly builds between them is intense and left me screaming at them to just admit their feelings! The angst and the tension that builds up between them was done so well! I also really loved the side characters, every single character is so complex and there’s more to them than we initially see from them.

It’s the land of the free in idea only, then.

One of my favourite things in this book was seeing how diverse it was! All the diverse characters including both Celine and Bastian. And I really loved how Renee showed the social inequalities and how being a person of colour meant they were limited in what they could do in life despite being capable and qualified and how unjust that was. It was also interesting to see that Celine was white passing and as a result of that she had to hide half of herself and her heritage to the point where she doesn’’t even know anything about her mother and where she is from and so feels like she is missing part of herself but that because of this she is able to take opportunities that would otherwise be denied to her.

The story itself is intense and thrilling and will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting to know more. It kept me up reading late into the night because I was so enthralled by it and I just needed to know who the murderer was. We are slowly given the information and as it becomes more tense near the end and then when all is finally revealed you are left with your mouth hanging open because you did not see that coming! We are left on one hell of a cliffhanger and I have no idea how I am going to wait until next year to get my hands on the next book!

Book Tag, Booksish Discussions

Top 5 Authors I Would Love To Meet

So I saw this post over on Lauren’s blog and I thought I would write one too as there are so many authors I wish would come to the UK and by UK I mean outside of London.

You can read Lauren’s post here

So I have actually been quite lucky over the last few years that I have been able to meet quite a few authors. Leigh Bardugo being the very first author I met back in 2016, though I do hope I get to meet her again! I’ve also met authors such as, Alwyn Hamilton, Samantha Shannon, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black and Angie Thomas to name a few!

But there are some that I would absolutely love to meet but either haven’t been able to go to the event or they haven’t come to the UK, so these are the authors on the top of my list that I would fangirl so hard if I ever got to meet them:

V.E. Schwab

I know right? I have never been able to meet her despite her doing several UK tours. One day, hopefully! I adore all her books though The Monsters of Verity is my favourite! I randomly picked it up one day at the library because the cover looked interesting and I am so glad I did!

Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles are one of my all time favourite series and I would squeal so loud if I ever got to meet her! Her characters are some of my favourites, I especially love that they are so different from each other and that she shows different qualities in what makes them amazing. From Cinder being a mechanic to Cress being a tech nerd. Cress is also a fangirl and I loved that she wrote her like that!

Renee Ahdieh

Her books are some of my favourites and I feel like her events would be so much fun! Her writing is so lush and beautiful and I would love to hear her talk about how she retells these stories giving it such a beautiful twist. Not to mention the incredibly romantic and complete cinnamon roll of male characters she writes. I mean have you met Khalid? *swoon*

Sabaa Tahir

Another author who I think would be so much fun to meet and listen to at book events! Pretty sure she would kill us with teasers about her books. And if her IG stories are anything to go buy she is so sarcastic and funny and it would be so cool to hear her speak at an event.

S.A. Chakraborty

It’s no secret that I am OBSESSED with her Daevabad trilogy, so let me tell you that if she came to the UK and I could meet her, I would actually die of joy! Yup, I would die happy if I could meet her and tell her how much her characters and her story means to me. It’s been a long time since I have so completely fallen in love with a book like this!

So these are my top 5. Have you met any of them? Who would you love to meet?

Monthly Wrap Up

June monthly wrap up

Hey booknerds! It’s crazy how fast this year is going! We’re already halfway through the year! And June went by in a flash!

Today I want to share my monthly wrap up with you all. I read 11 books including 2 rereads via audiobook. I’m starting to really enjoy audiobooks now though I only use them for rereads.

So lets get to the books I read this month:

june wrap up

Smoke in the Sun – I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this and I loved the story so much! It was amazing being back in this world and I’m actually sad we won’t be seeing more of Okami and Mariko. You can read my full spoiler free review here

Rating: 4.5/5

The Night Diary – I did enjoy this book and it was great seeing an insight into what it was like when India and Pakistan split and how it affected the general population.

Rating: 3.5/5

Between the Sea and Stars – I received an eARC of this book and I really loved this book! It’s a dark mermaid story and the first in the series. You can read my full spoiler free review here

Rating: 4/5

Scythe – I have mixed feelings about this book. I did enjoy it and the plot twists were so unexpected but in between I did get a bit bored. I will continue with the series though as the ending was left on a really interesting cliffhanger

Rating: 4/5

Sky in the Deep – I was so excited about this book was I was really disappointed. I didn’t enjoy the story and felt like not much happened. I know, I know, unpopular opinion!

Rating: 3/5

The Raven Boys – This was a reread via audiobook and I loved it as much the second time around!

Rating: 5/5

The Diminished – This book was really interesting and a unique story and I am really looking forward to reading book 2!

Rating: 4/5

When Wings Expand – This book made me cry! It’s about loss of loved ones and grief and eventual hope in continuing with life. You can read my full spoiler free review here

Rating: 4.5/5

State of Sorrow – I really enjoyed this book! There were many plot twists that I wasn’t expecting and I’m looking forward to continuing this series.

Rating: 4/5

The City of Brass – Wow this book was amazing! I absolutely loved the story and the world building and the characters! Basically I can’t get enough of this book and I need the next book asap!

Rating: 5/5

Cinder – This was another reread via audiobook. I loved being back in this world and there was so many little details I had forgotten and my love for this series has only increased!

Rating: 5/5

As you can probably tell my favourite books this month were Smoke in the Sun and The City of Brass! If you have not read these books then you really need to change that and read them!

You can also find my other book reviews that I shared this month:

You can read my review of Written in the Stars here

You can read my review of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work here

How many books did you read this month? What was your favourite book this month?

Fiction Books, YA Books

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh ARC Review

smoke in the sun
Rating: 4.5/5

Blurb from goodreads:
After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice–to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor’s ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.
With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and the very safety of the empire.

I was sent an ARC of Smoke in the Sun from the publishers Hodder and Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.

Ever since I read The Wrath and the Dawn duology, Renee Ahdieh has become an auto buy author for me! So When Flame in the Mist came out I was so excited to read it! Especially when I heard that it was a loose Mulan retelling! Mulan is one of my all time favourite Disney films so I went into that book with high expectations and I was not disappointed! I have been eagerly awaiting the release for Smoke in the Sun ever since and when I found out my request to get this ARC was approved I literally squealed with joy! And let me tell you, Smoke in the Sun was even better than Flame in the Mist!

Before reading the ARC I also read both short stories that Renee Ahdieh published. Okami and Yumi were both great short stories and I loved seeing things from their POV. They were both set in between Flame in the Mist and Smoke and the Sun. I would definitely recommend reading both!

So Smoke in the Sun was a slightly different story in the sense that Flame in the Mist had a lot more action whereas there is a lot more of political intrigue pushing the story forward in the second book. We get to see more of the nobility including the new Emperor Roku and his half brother Prince Raidan. They have great development throughout the book and actually turn out to be much more complex than I thought they would be initially. We also get to see the way the Imperial Court works, with women having their own rules and hierarchy.

Some of my favourite parts were the strong female characters, not only is Mariko a badass but she has other women around her who are just as strong but the best part was that they helped and supported each other. I loved seeing women empower women instead of the pettiness we sometimes see amongst female characters. I really loved the female empowerment that was woven throughout the story and how even though the women were considered less, they still made their voices heard.

Okay, so I thought while reading The Wrath and the Dawn, that Shahrzad was a badass but I adored Mariko just as much! Mariko is strong, independent, opinionated and smart but she has vulnerabilities and she has flaws and she knew them. She battled with them to overcome them. She loved Okami but she didn’t let that cloud her judgement for what needed to be done for the greater good. It made her so relatable and such a great complex, well rounded character.

In fact all the characters despite their individual strengths had flaws and I loved that about them. They weren’t just these invincible, perfect people. They were real people and it made the story just that much more amazing to see characters like that. I especially loved the character development of Okami and Prince Raidan.

Of course I have to mention Renee Ahdieh’s writing. I love her writing style, her vivid descriptions meant I could really picture what was going on as the story progressed.

The story itself was full of political intrigue and suspense with all the characters having to make tough decisions to ensure the safety of the people. Family ties and family loyalty is tested, not only between the Emperor and the Prince but also between Mariko and Kenshin and Yumi and her brother. We see how power can make people think they are above everything and make them cruel.

The only thing I would say is that I felt the ending happened too quickly, I wish there had been a few more pages to that climax even though I loved the way it ended, if there had been a few more pages it wouldn’t have felt so sudden.

The ending of the book was bitter sweet for me. I loved how the story ended but it also means that I won’t get to see more of Mariko and Okami and all the other characters I grew to love throughout this duology.

So this book was such a great read and one of my most anticipated books this year and it certainly did not disappoint!

This book is releasing on 7th June so there is not long to wait!

Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton for sending me this ARC.