June left. A while ago. Life has been super hectic (I was going to say here but I don’t really have a here right now!) we packed up and moved out of the house I’ve lived in my whole life. (Bye London!). Moved in temporally with my aunt. Visited the place we are going to live on holiday for a week and are now back living with my aunt…. I’m tired. I mean my parents are tired and they’re not chronically ill so I’m…. Very?…tired.
All that to say.
Yes. This June wrap up post is two weeks late! it’s been pretty difficult to
think enough to actually write reviews but I have been managing to read (and
not much else!).
In writing related news I sent my YA Scifi out for feedback at the end of May and planned to start writing my next wip over June and July while I was waiting and receiving feedback. But. Um. Well. It’s now been over a month since I’ve written/edited anything. Partially because I’m too exhausted to function as previously mentioned but also because my anxiety is ridiculously high and my brain won’t settle (which again is partially because of the move but partially because FEEDBACK = always anxiety inducing!). I have done a little final planning of the small things like naming places and minor characters. I’ve also figured out where the first chapter starts but that’s it. We’ll see if I get anything done by the July wrap up but I doubt it. My brain comes first after all.
BUT onto the books for June! I read 7 fiction books (2 of them novellas) which isn’t as much compared with what I’ve been reading in the last few months (although still amazing compared to before this year) but I’ve read a few nonfiction books which I don’t tend to review or count on this blog so I actually have read a lot. You’ll get the summary of my mini reviews and I also have two full reviews of my fav book of the month and a,,,, not so good reading experience.
I know I keep saying that this ridiculous run I’m on with my reading challenge is going to end soon but this month has been another scarily awesome month for books. Not only did I read the eight books I’ve been averaging a month so far this year but I actually ended up reading….13? Granted not all of them were novels but wow.
One of the things that definitely bumped that number up was taking part in the awesome A-spec April readathon in the first two weeks of the month. It was all about reading books with asexual and aromantic characters and there are so many amazing books that even a mood reader like me had plenty to pick from. I did a wrap up post with all my reviews from it here. But I’ll also list them with my ratings below.
April has also been Autism Acceptance Month. Two of the books I read for the A-spec readathon had autistic characters but I also read Testing Pandora which is a prequel to one of my all time favourite books that has an autistic MC. I also read two non fiction books about autism. I don’t normally mention non fiction books on the blog but as it’s the month for it I’ll review them below.
Away from reading…. We’ve accepted an offer on the house! And everyone’s fingers are crossed that it goes through okay. Right now we’re waiting for everything to get sorted.
Writing wise, I finished editing my short story and I’ve managed to get two thirds the way through my YA Scifi novel. It’s been hard going the last couple of weeks. Lots of doubts and meltdowns about it but I’m still on plan to have this edit done before my birthday in June.
This post is exactly what the title suggests. There are SO MANY amazing books coming out this year (my goodreads shelf has 82 books that sound amazing) but I managed to narrow it down to a top 37. Yes, okay, that might not sound much like narrowing it down but it was super hard. Hopefully there is something for everyone here but a few quick facts:
This list has a mix of YA & Adult books (with one MG squeezed in)
The majority (2/3) are queer
There’s a mix of fantasy, scifi, contemporary and historical (quite a few fit more than one) in lots of sub genres which is why…
I’m ordering this post by release date (according to goodreads) rather than deciding which book goes in which genre
I’m also sticking to standalone or series starters rather than sequels
All links go to goodreads and I’ve tried to include what rep I know about but have undoubtedly missed lots.
I’d love to know what your most anticipated releases are. Are they on this list or have I missed something?
YA // Historical Fantasy POC (Black, Indian) // Biracial (Algerian/French, Filipino/Spanish) // LGBTQ (Bi) // Autism // Jewish rep
Set in a darkly glamorous Paris, it follows a charismatic but cursed heir of a massive fortune as he plots to steal one of three ancient and powerful artifacts of fate. He and his crew will navigate the elite gatherings of secret occult societies, traveling through Paris’s catacombs where they must confront their worst secrets as well as a destiny they never imagined.
Bookbinders remove unwanted memories and trap them safely in writing where they can be kept from escaping. When Emmett is apprenticed to a binder, he starts to suspect his own recollections may have been tampered with.
For Nari, aka Narioka Diane, aka hacker digital alter ego “d0l0s,” it’s college and then a career at “one of the big ones,” like Google or Apple. Keagan, her sweet, sensitive boyfriend, is happy to follow her wherever she may lead. Reese is an ace/aro visual artist with plans to travel the world. Santiago is off to Stanford on a diving scholarship, with very real Olympic hopes. And Bellamy? Physics genius Bellamy is admitted to MIT—but the student loan she’d been counting on is denied when it turns out her estranged father—one Robert Foster—is loaded. Nari isn’t about to let her friend’s dreams be squashed by a deadbeat billionaire, so she hatches a plan to steal just enough from Foster to allow Bellamy to achieve her goals.
Ead, undercover as a lady-in-waiting, must protect the queen from lurking assassins; the queen, Sabran IX, theoretically belongs to a magical bloodline whose existence binds the huge and abominable dragon, the Nameless One, at the bottom of the ocean. Half a world away, young Tané, the rider and companion of a more benevolent sort of dragon, breaks her country’s strict ban on allowing seafarers through its borders. This sets in motion a chain of events that reveals that Sabran’s ancestry may not be the true source of the Nameless One’s bindings, and that tests all three women profoundly in their attempts to keep humankind safe from the beast.
Britain, the not-too-distant future. Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test. He wants his family to belong. Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress. When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death. How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?
In an alternate Cairo where humans live and work alongside otherworldly beings; the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities handles the issues that can arise between the magical and the mundane. Senior Agent Hamed al-Nasr shows his new partner Agent Onsi the ropes of investigation when they are called to subdue a dangerous, possessed tram car. What starts off as a simple matter of exorcism, however, becomes more complicated as the origins of the demon inside are revealed.
Damian Nettoyer is the Empire’s go-to gun. He kills whoever they want him to kill. In exchange, he and his rag-tag gang of crooks get to live, and Damian’s psychokinetic partner and lover, Aris, isn’t issued a one-way ticket to an Empire-sanctioned lobotomy. Then Damian’s latest mark, a suave revolutionary named Raeyn, kicks his ass and demands his help. The first item on the new agenda: take out Damian’s old boss—or Raeyn will take out Damian’s crew.
Mae and her brother Rossa get sent to live with their Aunt and her teenage ward, Bevan, for the summer. There’s a dark power lurking in the walls that calls itself Sweet James and Bevan wants to magic it’s offering. Mae and Rossa are the only two people who know what happened after the house burns down. Told as a twisting fairytale with multiple timelines woven in.
In a galaxy where corporation is king, an illegal immigrant crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls Excalibur, sealing her fate as the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, and awakening Merlin, who has aged backwards into a teenager; together they spark galactic revolution
As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, Amastan’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs. Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed. Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.
Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.
Fergus Ferguson has been called a lot of names: thief, con artist, repo man. He prefers the term finder. His latest job should be simple. Find the spacecraft Venetia’s Sword and steal it back from Arum Gilger, ex-nobleman turned power-hungry trade boss. But the planet he finds it on launches into civil war and his routine job evolves into negotiating a power struggle between factions. It doesn’t help that a dangerous alien species thought mythical prove unsettlingly real, and their ominous triangle ships keep following Fergus around
Biz, who is floating through life after her father’s death, still sees her dad everywhere: he tells her about the little kid she was, and how much he loves her. But Biz doesn’t tell anyone about her dad. She doesn’t tell them about her dark, runaway thoughts, either, or about kissing Grace and noticing Jasper, the new boy. Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface. But after something happens on the beach, Biz comes undones Her dad disappears, and with him, all her comfort.
An unexpected October snowstorm separates Ash and Vale from the rest of their class on a camping trip. By the time the teens realize they’ve missed the trail, they have wandered deep into the Canadian Rockies. Lost in the wilderness and hunted by deadly predators, their only hope is to work together. But with Vale’s limited supplies and Ash’s inexperience, can the best friends stay alive long enough to find their way back to civilization?
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch. Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
Nova, an autistic, nonverbal, space-obsessed 12-year-old who is awaiting the Challenger shuttle launch and the return of her big sister, Bridget, as she struggles to be understood, and ultimately, shines in her new foster family.
YA // Contemporary Fantasy POC (Mexican) LGBTQ (F/F)
Sisters Marisol and Gabriella Morales make it across the Mexican border only to learn their request for asylum is being denied, unless Marisol participates in a human study for a cutting-edge PTSD treatment.
A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh, new debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before. For people who like survival stories, f/f, horror, boarding school, and thrillers.
For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob — a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.
Nigerian godpunk. Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Eko’s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance Godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his job’s bad luck. He’s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboos—feral godling-child hybrids—to seize Lagos for himself. To fix his mistake and keep Lagos standing, David teams up with his foster wizard, the high god’s twin sister and a speech-impaired Muslim teenage girl to defeat the wizard.
A comedic thriller about a gay teen who gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity and is forced to go on the run from murderous cyber-terrorists and government agents, not knowing who he can trust even if they’re disarmingly attractive
Set in St Louis circa 1973, the story follows a young man named Jonathan who spends his days hiding under his hoodie, imagining scifi scenarios to avoid all the awful things in the world. When he meets Web and the two boys fall in love, they struggle to maintain their identities in a world trying to tear then apart.
Gideon the ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton. The emperor needs necromancers. The ninth necromancer needs a swordsman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit. Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. A heart pounding epic science fantasy.
Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy agency that holds people hostage in cryostasis Eva struggles through one unpleasant, dangerous mission after another to pay the ransom debt. To make things worse, she’s stuck with a hold full of psychic cats, a fish-faced emperor wants her dead for rejecting him, and her engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings
A queer outlaw mechanic with a clockwork heart must team up with her worst enemy – the son of the man responsible for a sweeping epidemic of deadly heart disorders and the alluring spy posing as his betrothed – to save her village and the planet.
About a teen wrestling with OCD while working as a black market mirror dealer in a world where reflections spawn deadly cracks in the fabric of reality. Or, as the author puts it, “full of OCD rep and bromance and banter and creeptastic shadowy monsters that crawl out of mirrors”
Phew, lots of books. The ones towards the end of the year don’t have covers yet but they sound awesome enough without them. I’m so excited.
Let me know what you think and what I’ve missed in the comments below! What is your most anticipated book of the year?
Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the end of the final month of the year which means my last 2018 book wrap up. I’ll be doing a bookish year post in the next week or so once 2018 is officially over (you never know what awesome books I’ll read between now and new year!) but for now my last reviews of the year.
Stats wise I went on a book buying ban in June in an attempt to get the 75+ books on my kindle down to a more manageable number. Well I can officially say I managed to get it down to under 50. Before Christmas it was down to just 44 (pretend with me that’s a low number please!) and it meant that I could allow myself to buy a few books for Christmas. I think my goal next year will be to keep it below 50 so I’m allowed to buy books up to that number.
The books I bought
in my mini Christmas haul were:
There is so much hype on this book that I had to put this on hold for months but I finally felt it was the right moment to read this and just wow. I really need the sequel now. I do have to say that it felt more like a solid four stars until the last third. But what an end it was.
Nahri is a thief living in the streets of Cairo when she accidently calls forth a djinn who tells her of a magical city and, with demons also accidently called forth, Nahri has no choice but to follow him.
I do have to mention the problematic start. I didn’t like that the story started by having an autistic girl possessed by a demon and murdered simply to earn the main character sympathy points and push her off on her journey. It could have used something else and I’m surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned anywhere which is disappointing. I also felt the pacing of the first half was a bit slow and things could have moved quicker but the rest of the story was griping and other elements kept me engrossed until then.
I am VERY invested in happy endings here (for some people anyway. Definitely not for others). Dhiru better end up happy (I think I spelt that name wrong). I have a lot of other demands but I feel like that’s the only thing I can say without giving away spoilers and is the most important one anyway!
Personally I did find the characters a bit too flawed. It does make for more epic character arcs but means for quite a lot of the book they were annoyingly flawed and I rolled my eyes a lot. But the relationships between all of the characters and how they are all connected means you can’t help but love them anyway (even if they’re being annoying!) And as I said, it all came together so well in the last third of the book that I can’t wait to read more. I also loved the world created. The different cultures, names, and characters really made the world vivid and rich and set it apart from the same old western inspired fantasy setting. I’m looking forward to the sequel (although part of me is also dreading it because INVESTED)
This was a quick and engrossing read but it does hit a lot of heavier topics (Trigger warnings for rape, self harm, physical abuse and sibling suicide).
A near future sci fi set in the middle of nowhere texas where Raleigh dreams of joining the MarsLife program to escape his life but his plans get interrupted when a guy crash lands in a crater nearby.
I loved the mix of feeling like the world was on the edge of the future but it hadn’t reached this small place on earth yet. Raleigh’s dreams of escaping were very real and you definitely routed for him through all of the heartbreak. His life is absolutely tragic and you need him to make it through. The connection and way the relationship between both boys grew was really great. It wasn’t instant, there was plenty of mistrust and learning between them and it developed into such a caring and understanding relationship that it makes you physically scared about what will happen. I guessed the twist quite early on but it was very well written and just made me want to turn the pages quicker to find out what happened next and I wasn’t disappointed once I got there at all.
This isn’t the first book I’ve read by this author, in fact Baker Thief is on my list of best books of the year, and while this didn’t quite reach those heights for me it is still a brilliant book full of amazing characters. It’s set in an old city on the edge of an empire where old families rule from their towers and a sect of magic users are infiltrating and disrupting the peace. There are elves mixed in with the humans, and as most of Arseneaults books do, it focuses on family and friendship with a good dose of aromantic, asexual and nonbinary rep mixed in with other queer rep.
The thing I love about all the worlds that this author creates is that they are so real and fully realised that they feel normal. You really feel as if there are ordinary people going about their lives and living in these places beyond the characters and story. I loved all the characters and there were A LOT of them. I think there were ten point of view characters. But it’s very well written and I was never confused or lost. They were all distinct, I knew how they all related to each other and everything was well explained without slowing the pace down. There are lots of characters to love. The downside of so many povs though is that there wasn’t THAT much plot and I wasn’t expecting for it to just end there. There are sequels but I definitely felt it could have been a bit longer to round out the plot more. I guess I will just have to read the next books!
The thing that drew me to this book was that it was vampires but not in your typical urban fantasy setting. Instead it focuses on a boy captured and kept in a laboratory. It’s all scientific experiments and secret testing facilities but at the same time focusing on the characters caught up in it and their interactions. It reminded me of the way The Girl With All The Gifts changed up the zombie idea and I really liked it. There’s also no love triangle which I was worried about for a while. I did feel the end was messy and I was a bit disappointed with how things went in the last quarter but only because I’d enjoyed the rest so much. Overall it was a really enjoyable read that I raced through and was a fresh and different take on an over used trope.
This was such a cute, easy read. It’s a queer modern cinderella retelling where two guys meet at a gig but the rich guy only manages to snap a picture of the other’s sharpie decorated converse before he runs away. It gets put on social media and things explode. It’s all about music, guitars, singing, the record industry and the good and bad that comes with it. Also something to note is this is NOT a coming out book. Both main characters are already out and it’s fully accepted by both friends and family so it’s never used as part of the drama which is also really nice to read. If you like your YA fluffy and light then I’d definitely recommend this book. It was such a quick but engrossing read and all of the characters are loveable.
Trigger warning for mentions of a parents suicide
White Fire by Laurie Bell
I honestly can’t put my finger on a good reason why but I just didn’t connect with this book. It’s also split into parts and when it switched to two years later I couldn’t convince myself to keep going for no other reason than I just wasn’t invested. DNF @35%
Best book of the month goes to The City of Brass. What about you? What was the best book you’ve read recently? And how was your reading this year? Any new favourites that you would recommend?
Another month over and it’s officially winter. I’m just kidding. Kind of. It definitely feels like summer has ended as this week has been raining all the time, I’ve had to wrap up in a hoody and turn my heater on. I want summer back please!
But book wise I’ve had a good month. What with the move at the start of the month (which went well) I got a lot of reading done as all my other things were packed away. I got 4 books read in the first ten days of the month and then I settled in and started writing which meant my reading pace DIED. Just for comparison in the next twenty days I read 2 books.
But I enjoyed those two books and I’m really enjoying writing my #excitingspaceWIP so win win.
As for my book buying ban. After my little slip up last month I can officially say I bought 0 books this month. I did request one off netgalley but I read it straight away (and it was something that I’ve been wanting to read for a few years). So here’s the scores:
There has been a lot going on in my life lately and with the scheduled posts I’ve had to do I’m feeling all out of sorts with what I have and haven’t told you and when.
I thought it would be a great time to do a new post idea. It’s by no means an original idea, I’ve seen loads of bloggers do their own takes on this but I’m going to go through what I’m currently up to and I’d love to hear about you in the comments too.
I am currently lying in my new bed and in my new/old room.
I moved. Everything went really well. Thanks to everyone for the good luck wishes. It’s been a tiring couple of weeks but I can officially say my new/old room is sorted. I say new/old room as we moved back to our old house in east London that we’d had family staying in while we lived in Guernsey. So I’ve been here before but all my new furniture has now mixed with my old furniture and the good news is they’re getting on really well. No fights have broken out about floor space. I don’t like being stuck upstairs again as I’m not well enough to use them but I will deal.
I’m currently reading The Sin Eaters Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
This post is a little late but I’m officially moving this week! It’s all a bit up in the air even though I’m literally leaving everything up to other people to sort out! All I need to do is pack some clothes and my favourite pillow and get on a plane but knowing that all my creature comforts will be in a van for a week (I.e not with me!) is not great. (also my laptop, so if you don’t hear from me anytime soon then well, something may have gone wrong!)
But anyway, back to July. My month started out with me still being completely obsessed with the new story idea that I started outlining in June, and when I’m completely obsessed with writing my reading time suffers. A lot. So the start of the month was a bit rocky. In fact, to try to help me get into the reading mood and feel like I had at least read something I read a short story. Then I read a novella…. But then I finished my story outline! 48,500 words of obsession over and suddenly I had a lot of free time again.
I ended up reading three books in a week and the I still had ten days left of July. At which point I realised I was going to have to write loads of reviews (because I never manage to do them as I go and always end up doing them all at the end of the month) so I looked through some of the longest books on my kindle to help prevent the number from getting out of hand and (with the help of twitter) I picked a book.
I also wanted to update you all on my book buying ban. It has officially been 7 weeks since it started and I caved this week and bought 2 books in the kindle summer sale because I really wanted them and they were less than £1 each. BUT, I still think it is going well. In the first 6 months of the year I bought 30 books which amounts to over a book a week (plus arcs!) so 2 books in 7 weeks is still an improvement and the number of books on my kindle is still going down. Which is good because trying to pick between the 60+ books on my kindle is very overwhelming (hence needing the help of twitter even after I’d narrowed it down).
Books on kindle at the start of the month: 69
Books bought: 2
Books left: 65
I’m looking forward to seeing this number drop as the months go on. I want to get down to at most 50 books on my kindle by christmas. I could say less than that but I’m planning on writing the first draft of my new story outline between now and then and, as I mentioned, I’m terrible at reading while I’m writing.