Book of the Month

At the end of each month I'm going to announce my personal book of the month out of the ones I've read and reviewed on the site. 

September 2015
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
The wait for the fourth installment of the Throne of Glass series was torturous, and when this book finally hit the shelves it polarized opinion. Luckily I fell firmly on the side of loving it, despite its flaws. A fabulous continuation of the story, Sarah proves her writing brilliance with each new release.

August 2015
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

I spend most of my year breathlessly anticipating the next Deanna Raybourn novel, and then a few glorious days whilst I read it before the cycle starts anew. Luckily the books she writes are utterly fabulous which means I really don't mind the agonising wait, and 'A Curious Beginning' is no exception. It combines everything I loved about the Lady Julia series with fresh sharpness and wit and a whole host of fantastic new characters. In short it's the start to a truly wonderful new series, go read it now.

July 2015
Lorali by Laura Dockrill
I'm not normally a fan of mermaid stories, but this book was nothing like what I was expecting. Gorgeous, dark, whimsical and twisted, this is a truly stunning book that everyone should pick up, regardless of whether they enjoy mermaid tales or not.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
I read this book at just the right time so whilst I would normally have loved it, instead I didn't just enjoy it, it really resonated with me. A contemporary novel with a side helping of a magic telephone, Rowell perfectly captures the heady joy of a relationship whilst you're in your twenties, and carries it forwards into a relationship desperately trying to return to its roots and re-find itself.

June 2015The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
A gorgeous story about secrets and the power they hold. If you're a fan of the slippery and twisty magic you often find in Maggie Stiefvater's writing then this is an absolute must read. A stunning debut.

May 2015
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Fantasy at its best, I was utterly captivated by Tahir's brutal and beautiful story. I loved the characters, the world building, the way I was pulled under within the first few chapters and didn't want to leave this world no matter how horrific it became. The story devoured me, and I loved it.
You can read my review here

One by Sarah Crossan
This book was devastatingly simple and beautiful. Told in free verse it tells the story of Tippi and Grace, conjoined twins and utterly broke my heart. Crossan's simplistic prose is pared down to the bare bones and as a result has even more impact. This is a story that will stay with you long after you finish reading and I cannot wait for it to be released at the end of August this year.

Check back in August for my review

April 2015
The Game of Love & Death by Martha Brockenbrough
This book completely stole my heart. It was an utterly breathtaking novel, full of raw and lyrical prose, surprising depth of emotion and a beautiful story at its heart. I felt so viscerally whilst I was reading it, and was in floods of tears by the end. An exquisite novel peopled with incredible characters, this is one that I will return to and will stay with me for many years to come.
You can read my review here

Lion Heart by A. C. Gaughen
Of course the third book in the Scarlet trilogy would be in here too! I have championed and adored this series right from the very first page of Scarlet's tale, and each book has done the impossible and been even better than the first. This final installment is a fitting end to her story, full of joy, tears, hope and love. This series is an instant favourite for me, one I will never stop loving.

You can read my review here

March 2015
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
This is an absolutely gorgeous novel that I have no doubt is going to be a huge success when it hits shelves on April 28th. Beautiful, funny, poignant and filled with imagination, I loved it. Fans of Laini Taylor's 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' trilogy will love this one.

You can read my review here

February 2015
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Oh my. I can't believe it took me so long to read this one, it is utterly fantastic. The prose is divine, the romance takes a backseat to the characters and story, and it is such a wonderful world Rutkoski has constructed. I cannot recommend this enough. I stormed straight through this one and the second book in the series 'The Winner's Crime' in a couple of days. So honourable mention also goes to the second book in the series for being just as breathtakingly brilliant as the first.

You can read my review here

January 2015
The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber
I didn't want this book to ever end, and I cannot wait to get into the next book in the series. Beautiful, quiet, disturbing and at times horrifying, I haven't fallen for a book so hard and so fast since Deanna Raybourn's 'Lady Julia' series.
You can read my review here.

Notable mention also goes to 'Outlander' (UK title 'Cross Stitch') by Diana Gabaldon which was an epic love story that completely blew me away.
You can read my review here

December 2014
The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell
An incredible debut that will have you quietly crying from halfway through, and sobbing uncontrollably by the end. TLLF marks Benwell as an author to watch and her debut is raw, poignant and beautiful.
You can read my interview with Sarah here and my review here

November 2014
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
The third book in the Raven Cycle series, Stiefvater launches us into a truly incredible installment with barely a moment to breathe from the first page. Beautiful and incredible, this series builds in momentum and power with each book and each one incredibly, is better than the last.

October 2014
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I first heard the buzz about this book well before it had even been released, and how Emma Watson was attached to a film of it. I didn't think any book could live up to quite the amount of hype this one was receiving, so I was skeptical when I started it, but was quickly swept up in the incredible tale that unfolded. Epic, with a wonderful heroine and a brilliant cast of characters, this is a truly breathtaking start to a new series.

You can read my review here

September 2014
Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Sarah Rees Brennan wins at everything. Her books are the best things ever, and I absolutely adore her writing. Funny, but completely able to sucker punch you with feelings when you're least expecting it, the last book in the series lived up to the promise set by the first two, and then went beyond it. Gut wrenching, beautiful, hilarious and full of Feels, I loved it.

August 2014
Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
This series is amazing, I mean really truly amazing. I got all panicky thinking that this book was going to be the last, but luckily we should be getting six which gives plenty of time for set up and romance. I never expected this series to burrow so deeply into my heart, but from my first whirlwind read of 'Throne of Glass' I have been a huge fan of this series and this book was no exception.

You can read my review here

The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
This book surprised me, drawing me into a period of history I know very little about and completely immersed me in the politics and intrigue of the period. Lovingly crafted and researched, this was a beautiful insight into a truly incredible age in Russian history
You can read my review here

July 2014
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This book happened exactly when I needed it. Feeling decidedly cut adrift in my new home in France, this book was like a blanket, a hug and a cup of tea. It was funny, brilliant and exactly what I needed. I loved it.

You can read my review here.

Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn
What more do I really need to say, it's a Deanna Rayourn, that in itself is recommendation enough! But added to that, this book deftly ties the two preceding standalone novels to this one, and also links back to the Lady Julia series. I loved Poppy as a heroine, and was thrilled at the convergence of some of my favourite stories and characters.
You can read my review here

June 2014
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
I absolutely adore Lauren DeStefano's books, she can do no wrong as far as I am concerned. The Chemical Garden trilogy was incredible in its imaginative premise and brilliant conception, and swiftly found its way into my favourite series' of all time. And now we have a new series, and it is incredibly different but no less brilliant. Her imagination leaves me in awe, and I love this new world and cannot wait for the next book.

May 2014
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
This series one of the most imaginative to grace our shelves recently. Beautiful prose, an intriguing premise and untold depths of imagination, I loved seeing more of the Chimera's world and watch the separate plot threads determined collision as everything came to a thrilling head, just in time for the last book.

April 2014
Banished by Liz De Jager
A fantastic debut that will sate the appetites of Cassandra Clare, Banished is a brilliant new urban fantasy read. Fast paced and full of humour, fantastic characters and an incredibly array of imaginative plot twists, I tore through this book in one night. I absolutely love it and cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

March 2014
City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn
I am always a fan of Raybourn's writing, and whilst nothing will ever surpass her 'Lady Julia' books for me, her latest series of standalone novels set in the 1920s is coming perilously close. Full of beautiful descriptive prose this book is utterly spellbinding and incredibly intriguing with a wonderful heroine at its heart.
You can read my review here
February 2014
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Holly Black remains the Queen of the Strange and mystical, crafting deliciously dark and terrifying stories about the Fae and other strangers that walk abroad - in this case, Vampires. Black's take on the myth of vampires is brilliant and horrifying and I was equal parts enthralled and petrified. I loved it.

January 2014
Paris in Love by Eloisa James
I am a big fan of James' historical romance books, but given my move to France this month I thought I would give her non-fiction account of her year living in Paris with her family a try. It more than lived up to expectation and I absolutely loved it. Funny, insightful and wonderful to curl up with it helped me to feel easier about the transition abroad, but regardless of that I would have loved curling up with this book and escaping to the streets of Paris anyway.

September 2012
This month is a tie between two fantastically brilliant books.
'Unspoken' by Sarah Rees Brennan
Utterly brilliant, full of humour and heart ache, sleuthing, magic and mayhem - as well as a scooby gang of ninja journalist/cat burglars. Everything about the latest SRB is guaranteed to have you screaming at the end of the book that we have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next. Possibly my book of the year, Unspoken is utterly brilliant and completely broke my heart.

'The Raven Boys' by Maggie Stiefvater
And what was left of my heart after reading 'Unspoken' was eviscerated after finishing The Raven Boys. Maggie has such an incredible way with words. She creates beautiful settings, heart breakingly realistic characters and puts them in these surreal situations. She had me completely with The Scorpio Races, and she has built on that incredible foundation with the start to a new quartet. I cannot say enough how much this book meant to me, and how utterly beautiful it is.

August 2012
'Grave Mercy' by Robin LaFevers
This book was fabulous. It was a fantasy novel packed full of its own fresh and innovative twists and turns - assassin nuns? You had me at that. It had all the elements that I love in my fantasy books, intrigue, politics, deviousness, poisons, assassins and romance. Fantastically written and full of life, I cannot wait for the second book in the 'His Fair Assassin' series.

July 2012
'For Darkness Shows the Stars' by Diana Peterfreund
This book completely took my breath away. A quietly beautiful re-telling of Persuasion, I was completely swept away. Heart breaking and quiet, you really felt for Elliot and her desperate struggle to protect those she cared for. The romance was such a slow simmering burn, and utterly delicious, and it more than lived up to my expectations.

An honourable mention should also go to 'Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas which again, completely blew me away. A strong and kick ass heroine, a page turner of a plot and an absolutely brilliant world and plot - I loved it!

June 2012
'Seraphina' by Rachel Hartman
Oh wow. When I first picked up Seraphina I had no idea how fantastic it was going to be. Hartman's debut novel completely knocks it out of the park. A beautifully novel full of deceptively simplistic prose, fantastic imagination and plot and a whole host of brilliant characters. I wanted nothing more than to sink straight back in after I finished it, and it's gone on my list of favourites of the year. An incredible read from a fresh new talent, you can read my review here

May 2012
'Bitterblue' by Kristin Cashore
Whilst I may be going officially for Bitterblue, the third book in the Seven Kingdoms Series by Kristin Cashore, I read all three books this month and adored all of them, so technically 'Graceling' and 'Fire' are also included in here as well. Utterly beautiful, completely breathtaking and captivating, Cashore has catapulted herself up as one of my all time favourite authors. These books are fantastic, quiet and understated but full of emotion and vividly drawn characters. I cannot recommend them enough.

April 2012
'Black Heart' by Holly Black
I have loved the Curse Workers series right from the start. From the first book I was hooked, and with each instalment the world became more engrossing, the characters more vivid and the stakes higher. Cassell was a fantastic narrator and the only sadness comes from knowing that this was the final instalment in his tale. However this is a book, and a series that I will come back to again and again.

March 2012
'Team Human' by Sarah Rees Brennan & Justine Larbalestier
This book is the best thing since sliced bread. Fact. One of my most anticipated reads of this year, it blew all of my expectations out of the water it was so fantastic. Funny, poignant, utterly heartbreaking and completely crazy - the best book you will read all year.

A notable mention also goes to 'The Snow Child' by Eowyn Ivey. A truly breathtakingly beautiful retelling of a classic tale.

February 2012
'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green
This book was incredible. It made me laugh and it made me cry, and it drew me in with its poetically lyrical writing and brilliantly drawn characters. I was hooked from the first page and couldn't put it down until I'd finished, and I cried over it like I have never cried over a book before. A stunningly beautiful new book from John Green that I cannot recommend enough.

You can read my review here.

A notable mention also goes to 'If I Die' by Rachel Vincent which is the fifth and latest book in the Soul Screamers series, and the best book to date. Rachel Vincent has really upped her game with this one, and it was a fantastic read.

January 2012
'Scarlet' by A. C. Gaughen
This book, a new re-imagining of the Robin Hood tale was absolutely fantastic. Scarlet has to be one of my favourite heroines so far this year (I know, I know, we're only in January, but truly, she's made of awesome.) Gaughen's writing was fantastic, and I just wanted to read it over and over again! A must for fans of Robin Hood, thieves and generally awesome books.
You can read my review here.

There are also notable mentions, because this month has been a very good month for awesome books, for:
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

The Flappers: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

December 2011
'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' by Laini Taylor
This book absolutely blew my mind. An incredible blend of several different stories merging into one seamless thread. Writing that is an art form in itself, so incredibly lyrically beautiful and so evocative that it immerses you entirely in the story from the first meeting with Karou. I loved it.
You can read my review here.

'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins
I didn't feel I could put this as my book of the month because I am really, really late coming to this series. However it is most definitely up there as my close runner up because it is absolutely incredible. I can't believe I haven't read this before now! The book had me from the first page and I literally couldn't put it down for the next four hours as I raced to the thrilling conclusion. A masterpiece feat of storytelling, I cannot wait for the second book to arrive. And for the movie to come out...
Review to follow.

November 2011
'Clockwork Prince' by Cassandra Clare
An absolutely phenomenal continuation of The Infernal Devices trilogy. I adore her mix of Victorian with steampunk elements, and her ability to create brilliantly realistic characters and then develop them until you love the ones you thought you hated for being so human and loveable. Also, her ability to create swoon worthy men and sizzling love triangles remains unparalleled. 

You can read my review here.

November was filled with amazing books so whilst this remains my book of the month, it is tied with the books listed below.
'Touch of Power' by Maria V Snyder
'Breakfast at Darcy's' by Ali McNamara
'Entwined' by Heather Dixon
'Shadows on the Moon' by Zoe Marriott

October 2011
'The Scorpio Races' by Maggie Stiefvater
This book is my book of the year. Hauntingly beautiful, it draws you into the legend of the water horses and the island of Thisby and takes you on a breathtaking journey. Impossible to shake free, even after you've finished reading, this book is incredible. You can read my full review here.
September 2011
'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern
There is no contest on this one - this is quite possibly one of the best books I have ever read. Incredibly beautiful, elegantly written with the most amazing plot and world ever constructed. I love it. You can read my full review here.

August 2011
'Fire and Thorns' by Rae Carson
I absolutely adored this book - a strong heroine that you can watch grow into herself and her power throughout, a fabulous fantasy world and a brilliant plot all combine to make this one of the best fantasy books I have read this year.
You can pre-order this book on Amazon for 29th September.

You can also read my full review here.

A very close runner up...
'Every Other Day' by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Wow, just wow. Urban fantasy just got epic again with this brilliant plot full of scary beasties, brilliant dialogue and kick ass girls.
This is one of my very high recommendations of the year, and a brilliant last read before 2012, because it's released on December 27th 2011. So get your pre-ordering hats on and get ready for a brilliant book.
You can read my review here.

July 2011
'Graveminder' by Melissa Marr
This book was absolutely brilliant. It was a standalone and featured such a brilliant concept, a host of well conceived characters, and enough tension and smoochyness to shake a stick at. Standing as Marr's first adult novel, it completely blew me away with the sheer vibrancy of the world building and concepts that were just wow. I want to go back and re-read it again very soon, just for another chance to get lost in the world and revel in the sheer decadence of the 'other side'.

Very close runner up:
'Looking for Alaska' by John Green

'Looking for Alaska' broke my heart, stomped on all the pieces and then put it back together again with sellotape. It was beautiful and poignant, and breathtakingly perfect. I cried and I laughed and as soon as I put it down I wanted to go back to the beginning and start all over again.

June 2011
'The Dark Enquiry' by Deanna Raybourn
Oh my gosh I love this book so much! I love the series, and the characters, and reading them feels like coming home. They're beautifully written, funny, terrifying and full of intrigue that even I cannot guess until Raybourn wants you to know the full truth. At the heart is an incredible love story that we've watched flourish from a spark of attraction through to marriage, and is fascinating to watch as they struggle through the emotional highs and lows that accompany it, and the overwhelming love that sears through everything.
You can read my full review here.

Very close runner up:
'The Demon's Surrender' by Sarah Rees Brennan
This series has been an absolute delight to read, and this stunning conclusion to the trilogy is possibly the best of them all. A staggeringly heart breaking read, it combines biting wit, stark emotions and raw love, and explores the all consuming desire to protect those you love no matter what the cost. Sin was a delightful narrator who really shows the characters in an outsiders light, and gave another view on the fabulously complex but always brilliant Ryves brothers.
You can read my review here.

May 2011
'My Last Duchess' - American Title: The American Heiress
by: Daisy Goodwin

This book was filled with understated elegance. A delicious slow build that fulfilled ever fantasy in my head of the rich opulence of the age. Instead of the traditional historical romance, this book offers an incredible insight into the many facets of relationships and human emotion. A staggeringly beautiful read, I want to re immerse myself in the book again and again.
You can read my full review here.

April 2011
This month is going to be a little different, because I read so many awesome books, that I can't just pick one...
So I will pick one book of the month, but there will also be two close runner ups. And it was a really tough decision to even pick that!

Book of the month:
Red Glove by Holly Black

Wow. This is such a fresh concept for young adult. Curse Workers, con artists, where to be a curse worker is effective to being in the mob. I just love the concept, I love Cassel, I love Holly Black's genius mind for giving me this series. You can read my full review of 'Red Glove' here.

And the runners up are...
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
I love this series, and I was so excited to see that after the initial trilogy, another three books were going to be added to that! The first of these is COFA, and boy is it awesome. We got to see the 'after the happily ever after' and see what our favourite band of heroes were up to now they'd defeated the big bad. And you know what? There's another big bad on the horizon now...
You can read my full review of 'City of Fallen Angels' here.

'I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill you' by Ally Carter
This book is amazing. If it was a boy I'd be signing our names together with little hearts. Hysterical, brilliant, poignant - it made me laugh out loud every few pages. Spy school? For geniuses? Hell yeah! Screw Hogwarts, I want to be a Gallagher Girl! You can read my full review (I warn you there are a lot of capitals to express my love...) here.

March 2011
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
This book may well end up being my book of the year. Since reading it I'm struggling to recapture the same passion I felt reading anything else. This book haunts me, I keep going back to it, and I think it's ruined me for any others. You can read my review of it here

February 2011
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
I adored this book - it's such a compelling mix of depression, morbidity and beautifully breathtaking prose. It's Isaac's debut novel and is absolutely incredible with possibly one of the strangest love stories ever told. You can read my review of the book here

January 2011
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
Oh wow this reawakened my love of vampires in books. There has been a lack of fresh vampire tales since their surge in popularity and Infinite Days took the old tale and gave it a fresh breath of life. The two tales being told whip the reader up and keep them engaged with the story from start to finish. A brilliant new series, full of romance, danger and heartbreaking tragedy. You can read my review of the book here

December 2010
Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn
Words cannot describe my love for Deanna Raybourn's books. They are incredible. The level of detail, the research that has gone into them, the voice, the characters, everything is spot on and absolutely amazing. I could gush for hours over her books. Instead, I will nominate this, the fourth book in the Lady Julia Grey Series as my book of the month, and squee about the upcoming fifth book, released in June 2011. And you can read my incredibly gushy review of the book here