Thursday, 21 December 2017

Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Publication Date: April 1st 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 388 pages

Bailey “Mink” Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day – Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they’ve never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other’s real name. 
When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex? 

I positively adored “Night Owls” (or “The Anatomical Shape of a Heart” if you’re in America) and as soon as I realised there was another offering from Jenn Bennett on the shelves, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up.

It was exactly what I expected, and exactly what I’d hoped for – a light, romantic story with whip smart dialogue and a swoon-worthy romance at its heart. The only dampener was that you could see the “twist” coming a mile off, but so long as you don’t mind knowing roughly where the story is going, it doesn’t detract from it at all.


If you’re a fan of light fluff filled romance that will definitely give you butterflies, or some classic rom coms (think “You’ve got Mail”) then this is a definite must read. Perfect for whiling away a few hours, and to give you that swooping feeling of that first epic love, this is one I know I’ll be coming back to time and time again.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Top Ten TV Shows That Have Kept Me Sane Whilst I've Not Been Reading

So what do you do when you’re a book blogger who can’t seem to settle down and read? We all go through those patches where you cannot finish a book and end up starting ten and only getting a few pages in. Frustrating, demoralising and incredibly bad for the ever growing to read pile, I turn to television.

As a result I have been ploughing through a truly crazy amount of television over the last twelve months. Some absolute duds that I barely made it through the pilot of, but some incredible shows as well. So rounded up for your viewing pleasure, here are the top ten tv shows that have been keeping me sane whilst I haven’t been reading.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
I love Gilmore Girls, so this was on my radar purely because it was coming from the Sherman-Palladino camp. I resisted watching the pilot when it came out earlier this year so I could binge through the entire series when it landed at the end of November, and I am oh so glad I did. I was interested but not hooked, right through the first episode until the final fifteen minutes at which point my jaw hit the floor and it shot straight up to an all time favourite show. It’s gloriously funny, quick, whip smart, and takes a long hard look at women, relationships, and life – not just in 1958 when the show is set, but a lot of commentary is relevant even now. I love this show, I couldn’t get enough of it, and I am so thrilled that season 2 has already been commissioned.

Stranger Things
Why oh why did I not catch on when the first season came out?! A nostalgic, terrifying trip of a show, Stranger Things is one of the best things on television, and it not only came back hard with its second season, some might argue it came back even better. It’s dark and intense and brilliantly written and acted. The character arcs are fantastic and involve some truly great evolution and amazing pairings that had me practically skipping come season 2. This won’t be one you can hold off watching, once you start you’ll binge straight through, and join the rest of us desperately wanting season 3.

The Handmaid’s Tale
Oh boy was this one traumatic. It also resulted in a lot of fascinating conversations surrounding the events of the show and how we would respond if these things started to happen in real life. For all the trauma (this is not a show you can easily binge, you need to give yourself a breather between episodes) it is one of the best shows out there. Incredibly done, with some truly stunning acting, this show felt real, terrifyingly real, and became all the more powerful for it. Season 1 covers the entirety of the book, but there is a second season in the works, and I’m fascinated to see where they take us next.

Big Little Lies
I’m feeling a bit conflicted about the newly announced second season of Big Little Lies, because the first season was so perfect on its own. However the idea of going back to these characters for a second go around fills me with glee…
It’s a surprisingly funny, dark, and brilliantly constructed who dunnit, that centres on this group of families and the ways their lives cross and intersect in all sorts of twisty ways. It’s incredible, with some truly amazing performances, and one of the best portrayals of an abusive relationship I’ve seen in a show. Sometimes incredibly hard to watch, but always gripping, this is a compulsive must watch.

Dear White People
Short, sharp, incredibly relevant, this show explores the racism at fictional university Winchester, and packs an emotional and truthful punch. It’s dark, it’s funny, it’s brutally honest and as a result horrifying. It lays out the racism still far too prevalent in society today, and does it elegantly. Focused on a group of students, episodes follow storylines for each, interweaving, doubling back on themselves to fill in blanks, and showcasing a truly astonishing cast of actors. Watch this show. And then get ready for the second season that’s already been commissioned.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
This is a show that I’ve ended up having a lot of thoughts about as I’ve caught up with the two and a half seasons so far available. It’s a completely odd mismatch of things – a show with mental health at its heart, that’s also got a musical element with some of the funniest whip smart lyrics around? Not something that would immediately spring to mind. But somehow this show works, brilliantly. There are the odd episode mis-steps, but on the whole this is a surprisingly nuanced and layered look at mental health. Honest, at times quite dark and hard to watch, this is a surprising show that rewards watching all the way through. The further in you get the more you realise is going on – plus the songs will be stuck in your head for days…

Master of None
I will admit, the first few episodes I was not convinced. But a friend of mine had been raving about this show for long enough that I felt I ought to carry on, and I was incredibly glad that I did. It’s funny, realistic, tackles topics like racism and sexism head on, and explores all manner of relationships from those with family, to friendships and romance. It’s a wonderful insight into life as a 20 or 30 something and has a freshness to it that makes it even more charming.
The second season is where it really kicks off – particularly the first episode, shot entirely in black and white and mostly in Italian. I loved it.

Santa Clarita Diet
Completely insane, a little bit gruesome, but seriously brilliant – this show took me by surprise. I started to watch it purely because it was Drew Barrymore and not a crazy number of episodes to work through. The first episode (mostly due to the ick factor) was not the greatest hook, but it was still off the wall enough that I kept watching… And watching… And watching… And before I knew it I’d finished the entire series and had become a lot more invested in these characters than I’d ever expected to be. It’s funny – the two leads are brilliantly suited and their down to earth portrayal make the crazy hijinks that ensue even more entertaining. Just don’t watch it whilst you’re eating dinner…

The Crown
Who doesn’t love this show?! Gorgeously shot, costumed, scripted, and acted, this show cannot put a foot wrong. It’s decadent and engaging, completely immersing you in the upside down world of the royal family and breathing fresh life into England’s very recent past. The casting for this is absolutely superb, with some truly incredible performances across the board. If you’ve not had chance to watch it yet, it’s perfect viewing for the entire family and an excellent binge watch over Christmas.

Riverdale
Based on the characters from the Archie Comics, this show is much darker than you’d expect and explores a much more grown up side of Riverdale. The stories are dark and twisty, the characters are compelling, and it’s shot in gorgeous dark and neon colours that add an extra ethereal air to the show. Everything about it is just more and it gives over to that otherness to great effect. The cinematography in the second season is particularly brilliant, with a lot of episodes feeling as though they’re panels that have been lifted straight from a comic. Halfway through the second season, now is the perfect time to catch up before the show re-starts in the new year.


Are there any good shows you feel should be bumped onto my viewing list? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Publication date: October 25th 2016
Publisher: Random House
Length: 384 pages

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it's the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life. 
Outside the palace of Versailles, it's modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it's the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it's about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play… blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

One day I will probably learn to not get too excited about a book based on its cover and blurb – but today is not that day! Case in point, ‘Glitter’, that lured me with in with that gorgeous cover and intriguing blurb and then promptly smushed all of my hopes and dreams with its lacklustre plot and unlikeable heroine.

The premise was fascinating – slightly ahead of our own time, a corporation have taken up residence in the Palace of Versailles, dressing and living as though they were there in the Sun King’s time. Something that I can easily see happening in real life. All of the beautiful dresses and courtly manners and lifestyle of such a sumptuous time period, combined with mod cons and electronics (tastefully) interwoven? Yes please, sign me up now. Unfortunately that’s about where the excitement for this novel ends, as any hopes that it gave me were swiftly dashed upon the introduction of our ridiculously unlikeable heroine and her scheming plot to sell drugs to everyone around her without their knowledge. She barely has any qualms about doing it, and seems content to throw literally everyone she knows under the bus for her own personal gain.

If she had some moral dilemma that was halfway convincing I’d be more on board. If I really felt any sense of threat then maybe I’d be more on board. But as it was I was thoroughly unconvinced and just ended up disliking Danica intensely. Throw in a poorly constructed plot, a romance that made me want to throw things for the inconsistency, and a *gasp* plot twist at the end, and I ended up feeling thoroughly disgruntled when I finished this one.

I’m all for plot twists, but they have to still move the story forward and feel like they’re a suitable payoff for the rest of the story. Unfortunately this one just made me feel like I’d wasted my time reading the rest of this book.


Despite all of this it was surprisingly addictive (pun intended) and I found myself wanting to get back to Danica’s world, to see what (idiocies) she’d get herself into next, and to escape into this odd hybrid mix of historical and futuristic.
I can’t say I recommend it exactly, because it definitely didn’t offer me enough good things to warrant that, but it was interesting and has piqued my interest enough that (possibly despite myself) I will be keeping an eye out for a sequel next year.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

What's Lurking in my Currently Reading Pile

You may have noticed that this site hasn't been updated in a while, a good long while in fact. Sadly, as has been the case for a lot of people this year, 2016 has really been giving me a beating which meant that a lot of things have had to go on the backburner. But I'm slowly pulling things back together and that means more post, more books, and a lot more reviews.

And whilst I tend to read a lot less when I'm stressed (I just can't settle to a book) I have still been reading. The odd page here and there of several books at once, just to keep me sane in amongst the madness.

So what's currently lurking in my reading pile? I thought I'd share a few.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Because who doesn't need heartbreak when they're already being emotionally crippled?! In all seriousness though, I saw the film and loved it (although I did sob like a small child at the end) and felt I really ought to catch up and read the book. It's fresh, it's engaging, and when I actually sit down with it I storm through a good chunk at a time. It's surprisingly funny in along with the heartbreak, and it's giving me a well written character I can root for in Lou. Definite thumbs up and a recommendation to check it out if you haven't yet.


Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
This book isn't due out until October, and I'm currently having a bit of a love hate relationship with it. There are some brilliant ideas involved, and it's surprisingly addictive (ha!) but there are a huge number of problems and a whole lot of mess to contend with. Despite that I'm getting through it at quite a pace which is definitely something in my current reading state.

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
I picked this up based purely off a postcard I saw at YALC that amused me, and whilst I'm not very far in, this is definitely piqued my interest and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.

The Graces by Laure Eve
I've not actually cracked open the book yet, but when it showed up in this months Illumicrate box I did a little gleeful dance. I've heard a lot of good things already, and I feel incredibly lucky to have got my hands on an early copy. Magic, twistiness and darkness - this sounds right up my street.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
I'm enjoying taking my time with the Outlander series. It's something I know I'll enjoy, I know where I stand with, and I know I can come back to whenever I want and savour it at my own pace. With the end of the second season on TV, I decided that now was the time to see how listening to audiobooks on my commute to and from work could work for me. So far so good, although it helps that I like the narrator for the series. I'm not far in yet, but it's wonderful being back with Claire and Jamie already.

The Planetary Omnibus by Warren Ellis
It's not an exaggeration to say that the Transmetropolitan series by Warren Ellis saved me in multiple ways at the end of last year and the start of this one, so of course I was going to get my hands on this omnibus by him. I've not started it yet (it's a hefty tome!) but I'm looking forward to seeing more of his work and immersing myself back into some graphic novels. They appear to be a wonderful way for me to get back into reading when I'm not managing well with fiction books.

So there you have my (quite large) currenty reading/about to read pile. As you can see it's a fairly wide and varied mix, but it's keeping me out of trouble and slowly getting me back into the habit of reading again.

But over to you - what have you been reading lately that you think I should pick up? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Gorgeous Covers

Whilst you're never supposed to judge a book by its cover, I have a terrible tendency to do so, so whenever particularly gorgeous cover art comes along I'm even more eager to get a book into my hands.

Over the last few days there have been a slew of beautiful cover releases, to whet our appetites for when the books eventually grace our shelves later in the year.

First up is the second illustrated Harry Potter, due out on October 4th. I loved the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and I think that Chamber of Secrets will more than keep up with the high standard its predecessor set. I can't wait to see more of Jim Kay's illustrations bringing Harry's world to life in this new and beautiful way. Apart from the spiders. I hate the spiders.

Next up, Laini Taylor's forthcoming novel "Strange the Dreamer" which, let's face it, is going to be gorgeous. Which makes the release of this stunning cover all the more exciting. Laini has a way of bringing stories to life, and twisting prose into its most stunning forms. I adored her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and the short story in 'My True Love Gave to Me', and I cannot wait to read her next full novel due out this September. It's going to be beautiful.

And finally we have a cover reveal for Deanna Raybourn's next Veronica Speedwell mystery "A Perilous Undertaking", and a cover redesign for the series.

Cover redesign's tend to vex me, because they inevitably mean that series don't match and I end up with multiple copies of the same book on my shelf in an effort to make my covers match up properly. Not actually that terrible, but that involves waiting until the second book is out in paperback to match the first book only being released in paperback... Such are the trials of a book lover. 
Regardless, I'm so excited about the covers, they're gorgeous and a lot closer to the UK cover that was released originally for the first book.

So there you have some of my favourite cover releases from the last few days, and a few more books that I cannot wait to get on my shelves when they're released later in the year!

Now talk to me! How do you feel about cover redesigns mid series? Particularly when they end up being such beautiful new covers! 

Friday, 1 April 2016

Books I'm Squeeing About in April

It's April! Already! I had a brief moment of panic this morning on looking at my calendar and realising we were starting another month - this year is racing by and I barely feel like I'm hanging on.
However, there is one bonus to the days racing past, and that is some of my most anticipated books of the year are being released this month! Take my money! I need these books!


5th April - Tell The Wind & Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. 
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?


Anytime Sarah Rees Brennan releases a new book, I run to the bookstore. Actually, it's usually more that I camp outside with my nose pressed against the glass waiting longingly for it to be released... I adore her books. They're smart and funny and brilliantly imaginative, peopled with snarky, brilliantly developed characters. I've been antsing to get my hands on this Tale of Two Cities re-telling ever since Sarah announced she was writing one, and now it is finally HERE. Almost.

12th April - Masks & Shadows by Stephanie BurgisThe year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress--a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.

Gorgeous cover - check. Fascinating blurb - check. Spies, historical setting, magic - check. Count me in please. The cover caught my eye, but the blurb has me thoroughly intrigued. I cannot wait to see if this one lives up to my expectations.

26th April - The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.


I am not even close to emotionally ready for the end of this series, but I also cannot wait to read it. I've fallen in love with Blue and her boys, with the magic and the woods and the gorgeous, gorgeous prose. I come back to them again and again, and I whilst it is likely to break my heart, I want to finally learn how their stories end. Get the tissues ready guys, this one will be beautiful and devastating.

April 26th - The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.
Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.
The Star-Touched Queen is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.


This book showed up randomly on my recommendations and I am so glad it did. Anytime a young adult book veers away from the stereotypical 'UK' or 'US' settings, I get excited. Add in some fantasy and a thoroughly intriguing blurb and beautiful cover and I cannot wait to get reading.

There you have the books I cannot wait to get my hands on over the next thirty days! Are there any you can't wait to read? Any you feel I've missed? Or any you're curious to pick up? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Review: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Publisher: Piatkus
Length: 352 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Piatkus for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places...
This is not one of those times.
Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband... someday.
Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should...
Or not.
There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he's arrogant, annoying, and she's absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can't stand the sight of him, either.
But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor...
Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can't abide is the one person they can't live without...

Every now and again I find myself needing a chicken soup read. Something I know will make me laugh, will make me swoon, and most importantly, will have a Happily Ever After. Capitals included.

And the author I know without a doubt will always offer me exactly what I need when I need it most? Julia Quinn. I fell in love with the Bridgerton’s a decade ago and so it was wonderful to be back with them once more – albeit a generation earlier.

This latest has all the trademarks that I’ve come to love in Julia’s novels. It’s funny, at points I found myself laughing out loud. It offers engaging and interesting characters who you genuinely come to care for. It gives you all the butterfly and swoon-worthy moments you could wish for, without veering too much into steamy territory. In short, it’s a quick, amusing read that offers the perfect chicken soup.

I did find myself slightly frustrated by one or two points. There’s a sub plot that comes into play in the last part of the novel that felt a little too rushed and thrown in at the end without due time to play out. I also found myself noticing a few modern phrases and Americanisms sprinkled throughout – the first time I’ve noticed that in a Quinn novel. There was also a lack of the usual peril and urgency that often comes with romance novels. Usually some circumstance or misunderstanding causes tears and upsets galore, but was missing from this one. Not that I’m complaining, it was nice to have a little less drama and more of our hero and heroine getting along and snarking at each other.

All in all this was a wonderful read. Not my favourite of Quinn’s novels, but a wonderful book all the same. If you’re after a light historical romance to pass an afternoon or evening, then this is definitely one to pick up.


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR Pile


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by the lovely folks over at 'The Broke & The Bookish' - to join in simply follow the link!

Spring is finally starting to make a half-hearted appearance here in Lyon, so it's the perfect weather to sit outside in the sunshine with a book. Luckily there are more than enough amazing books coming out over the next few months to keep me occupied. However, since 'The Broke & The Bookish' folks like their lists of ten, I've whittled my never ending excited about reading book pile down to the top ten books I cannot wait to get stuck into.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: April 26th 2016
The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.


I'm not even remotely emotionally ready for the last book in The Raven Cycle, but that doesn't mean I don't want it. It's going to be beautiful and brilliant and utterly brutal, and you can guarantee that I will likely be sobbing by the end. I adore this series, far more than I will ever be able to explain, and it's going to be wonderful and heart breaking to see it come to its conclusion.

Tell The Wind & Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: April 5th 2016
In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. 
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?


A new book by Sarah Rees Brennan?! It's been too long! Take my money now! I'm so excited about this one, partly because of the blurb, but mostly because I adore Sarah's books. They're intelligent, gripping, brilliantly funny and always favourites on my bookcase.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: March 8th 2016
It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.
Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…
Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?


On the one hand, I'm a little bit Shadowhuntered out, particularly since my husband has become unbelievably obsessed with the new tv series... But on the other? It's Cassie Clare, and despite feeling like I've read (and seen) a lot about the Shadowhunter world over the last few years, I still really enjoy going back to it. It's kinda like crack. So of course this book is on my spring TBR pile.

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 24th 2016
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.
At least, that’s what he thinks.
In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.
But no one gets what they want just by wishing.
As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?


I am so in love with this series, and the cliffhanger at the end of the second book? So cruel. So brilliant and perfectly cruel. And it left me absolutely desperate to find out how this stunningly written series would end.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.


Whilst my heart truly lies with Sarah's Throne of Glass series, I really loved this new series she surprised us with last spring. It was something a bit different, a bit brutal, and very, very good. I stormed through the first one and I'm really looking forward to seeing how things play out in this second installment.

The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.
While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.


Another amazing book that wrecked me last year, and is coming back for another go at me with the second installment. This was a truly artful re-telling of the Arabian Nights story. Beautiful, heart breaking, and utterly gorgeous. The ending wrecked me, and the second part of this duo-logy is liable to do the same.

Night Shift by Charlaine Harris
Release Date: May 5th 2016
At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town. 
Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place. 
And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose—which just might happen—it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be...


This series has been an unexpected surprise. It's not something I would have usually picked up, and the narrative style is very strange and hard to get used to. But it's the kind of story that sucks you in without you even realizing. I'm thoroughly intrigued by the quirky misfit bunch of residents of Midnight, and I can't wait to visit them in this third volume of the series.

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Release Date: March 29th 2016
Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places...This is not one of those times.Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband... someday.Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should...Or not.There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he's arrogant, annoying, and she's absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can't stand the sight of him, either.But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor...Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can't abide is the one person they can't live without...

I adore Julia Quinn. Her books are like chicken soup for my soul. And right now I need a lot of chicken soup. It's going to be wonderful to be back with the Bridgerton's - albeit a generation earlier, and falling in love with a whole new collection of characters who are after their Happily Ever After's.

Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: May 31st 2016
A ruthless tycoon.
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…
A sheltered beauty.
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable…the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…
Marrying Mr. Winterborne.


I loved the first book in this series 'Cold-Hearted Rake', and was all set to fall in love with the rest of the series. But then at the very end of the first book, Kleypas turned the hero of this book into a truly terrible man. It left me feeling quite unnerved and I'm very curious to see whether I can be persuaded to like him again in his own romance.

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Release Date: April 26th 2016
Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.
Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.
The Star-Touched Queen is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.


Gorgeous cover? Check. Intriguing blurb? Check. Fantasy inspired by mythology that I don't know a huge amount about but would really like to? Check. Be still my heart, this one looks like it's going to be fantastic.

So there you have the top ten books that are going to be right at the top of my spring to read pile over the next few months. Are there any here that you can't wait to read? Any that you hadn't heard of before but are eager to pick up now? And any you feel are missing from my list? Let me know and link me to your own top ten's in the comments below!