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. 

Diverse Books, YA Books

Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong – ARC Review

Thank you to Hodderscape and Netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.

Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption from her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.

Code name: Fortune.

But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.

To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanour infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.

This book was incredible! I absolutely loved it. Chloe has once again destroyed me because how am I supposed to survive until the sequel?! 

This book has a lot more political intrigue but I loved it so much and seeing some of my favourite characters from These Violent Delights! I didn’t particularly like Rosalind in the duology but I ended up really loving her in this book. Orion however, stole my heart. I love him and I will protect him with my life.

We get several points of view in this book and I loved seeing things from the different sides and what each side is thinking. I loved getting all that insight and yet was taken by surprise when we got those revelations at the end. I really thought I knew what was happening but there were twists on twists that left me reeling!

The best way to hold up a false identity was to keep it as close to the truth as possible.

I really liked Rosalind’s character development in this book and how she views the events of what happened with Juliette and Roma, and how she influenced everything that happened. The events of the duology and her part in them impact the person she is now and why she decided to become a spy and yet she cannot tell anyone who she is because of the ending of Our Violent Ends. This causes her to become isolated and not let anyone in, she doesn’t form attachments or emotional bonds and when she meets Orion she really struggles with this. I loved seeing her slowly break down her walls a little at a time to start letting Orion in and letting him see the real her. How he shows her that she can trust him and depend on him and will have her back.

Orion is my new favourite character, he is a ray of sunshine and always ready to have a fun time but he also has his secrets and is hiding something from Rosalind but we just don’t know what. He quickly became my favourite character because of how charming and charismatic he is and I loved his banter with Rosalind so much. This boy fell hard and fast for her and I loved watching him be completely in love while she has no idea! The way he is protective of her and isn’t afraid to show how he feels, there were scenes that had me screaming! One of my absolute favourite scenes was the car chase scene and it now lives rent free in my head. Just chefs kisses, I loved it so much!

You cannot save the world. You can try to save one thing if you must, but it is enough if that one thing is yourself.

I also really enjoyed seeing Celia and the snippets we get of Orion’s family and also Alisa and how she is managing now. The whole cast of characters were so great and I cannot wait to see more of them in the sequel. 

This book had a lot of politics and intrigue and a murder mystery so there was a lot going on but I still felt the threads of the plot were all really great to read and fleshed out. When they all started coming together, I was on the edge of my seat and then those revelations left me shook! I cannot wait for the sequel and this has become a favourite read this year!