Battle of the Book Covers: US VS UK (Round 1)

We all love a good book cover. As the thing that invites you to want to pick up a book in the first place, it’s something extremely important to get right. But what’s even more challenging? Trying to design to equally good covers for the same book for different markets. I definitely do not envy cover designers’ jobs! As we all know, UK and US covers can often end up looking very different and I think it’s safe to say, that we all have our preferences. In the past, I have even been known to order the US version of a book online where I massively prefer the US cover to the UK cover found in Australian stores. For this reason, I thought it’d be fun to do a comparison of some US vs UK covers to see which versions come out on top. I’ve seen this done by a number of people in the past and couldn’t resist trying it out for myself. For reference, US covers will be on the left and UK on the right.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

This is a set of covers where I actually like both versions despite them being completely different from one another – one light, one dark, one graphic and the other using a real model. Normally I’m not a big fan of models on covers but I feel like this shot actually captures the serious tone of the book. Meanwhile, I like how simplistic the US version is. It’s clean and striking. So for this one I’m going to sit on the fence and give both a point.

VERDICT: Tie


One Of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus

The bold red text was good choice for both of these covers – very striking. However, while the UK cover definitely has more Breakfast Club vibes (one of the book’s influences), I like the look of the US cover more. I think the picture cutouts look kind of cool and the marker effect on the text itself is a nice touch.

VERDICT: US Cover


The Devouring Gray – Christine Lynn Herman

This cover match up was an easy winner for me. There’s nothing wrong exactly with the US cover, but I just can’t resist that neon lettering and foggy landscape on the UK cover. You can tell they’ve clearly tried to cash in on the Riverdale market with the design but we’ll let that slide. Also, fun fact, the UK edition comes with pink stained page edges to match the text.

VERDICT: UK Cover


Caraval – Stephanie Garber

What a tough match up. Designers took a similar approach to the style of both of these covers, they just happen to use different colouring, fonts and shapes. Just looking at the images, I’d say that I lean ever so slightly onto the US side of things. I prefer the font choice and the use of the blue against the red is gorgeous. But, owning the UK edition, I know that the cover is foiled and to use a technical term, it’s pretty-shiny. I also really like the cute little stars. *sigh* Decisions, decisions. Okay, I’m going US. Choosing and sticking with it.

VERDICT: US Cover


Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

Now, here we have two completely different cover designs. This is another tough decision. The US cover looks so damn badass. I love the use of the shadows and the text is pretty awesome. On the other hand, the art on the UK edition is gorgeous. The longer you look at it, the more of the smaller elements you pick up on within the overall artwork. I also love how bold the coloured suns on the front and back look against the rest of the black and white. A close race, but I’m going UK on this one.

VERDICT: UK Cover


I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson

Although the rainbow lines on the US cover are certainly eye catching and the overall look is cheerful, the UK cover takes this one for me. I love the use of yellow, the way the text looks painted on (which fits perfectly considering one of the characters is a painter), and the inclusion of the sun itself.

VERDICT: UK Cover


The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw

Visually, I think both of these covers are very pretty. They have similar font choices and image motifs scattered throughout. Still, I’m going US. I love the pastel sheen look to the imagery and the text against the night sky background. It’s just super nice to look at.

VERDICT: US Cover


Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

Another US win for this round. I just adore the simplicity of it. Also, how cute is the little ‘&’ sign formed out of the headphones? The UK cover looks a little blah to me. I think it might be that the paper cutouts seem a bit weird and wonky.

Verdict: US Cover


Circe – Madeline Miller

Another match up of two beautifully designed covers. I really like the contrast between the black and the gold imagery on the US cover. The design itself fits well with the fact that the story is based around Greek mythology. And yet…my heart is set on the UK cover. If I hadn’t seen it in real life it may have been a closer decision, but as I have, I know just how nice that coppery cover looks in real life. That metallic background against the beautifully designed floral patterning is simply stunning.

Verdict: UK Cover


Call it What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer

As with Caraval, the designers of these two covers have taken a very similar approach with regards to image choice and layout. The pink and blue of the UK cover is very sweet and bright, still I have to say I’m ever so slightly more a fan of the US edition. I like how the text changes to give emphasis to certain words and the way the coloured hearts stand out against the blue background. A close call though!

Verdict: US Cover

And that’s the end of round one! At this point the scoreboard reads as follows:

US Covers: 6 points

UK Covers: 5 points

It’s pretty close so far. Guess I’ll have to see how things change after the next match ups.

How did you score these covers? Was it the US or UK covers that caught your eye more?

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The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

This tag is an older one and was originally created by Nathan Hale over on Booktube. It seemed like some fun so I thought I’d give it a go. I had my sister’s help randomly picking the books from my bookcases and flipping the pages for me.

The Rules

  • Choose 5 books
  • Randomly order your books
  • Flip to a random page in each book and write down the first two names you see
  • Put the names in the categories listed below in the order you saw them!
  • Cry at how screwed you are…

My Books & Characters

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Jesper Fahey & Wylan Van Eck
  2. Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff – Eve & Lemon Fresh
  3. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – Audrey Rose Wadsworth & Thomas Cresswell
  4. Vicious by V.E. Schwab – Victor Vale & Sydney Clarke
  5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Noah Czerny & Richard Gansey III

The First Person to Die: Jesper

Oh, come on. The guy who knows how to use a gun with minimal bullet wastage when ammunition is scarce is the one who dies first? My luck sucks. This doesn’t exactly get me off to a great start.

The Person you Trip to Get Away from the Zombies: Wylan

Wow, I’m seriously heartless in a zombie apocalypse situation. Wylan is the sweetest, little cinnamon roll and I’m all like, here zombies, tuck in! Sorry, Wylan. Please forgive me. Hopefully this happens after the whole Jesper-dying-situation otherwise things are bound to get ugly…

The First Person to Turn Into a Zombie: Lemon

Oh. Dear. Poor Lemon. I sincerely hope she doesn’t keep her special abilities as a zombie because if so, shit will hit the fan in a big way. I’m sure it happened trying to save the rest of the team’s butts.

The Person who Trips you to Escape the Zombies: Eve

I wouldn’t put it past her. Eve has seen some serious things and considering she lives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland already, she’s very much aware of the sacrifices you have to make to survive.

The Team Idiot: Thomas

I have to laugh at this one. Thomas prides himself on being one of the smartest people in the room, but admittedly, he’s also likely to be very much a fish out of water in a zombie apocalypse scenario so maybe it rattles him enough to make some stupid decisions? I’m sure he’ll turn it around!

The “Brains” of the Group: Audrey Rose

I could see this happening. Audrey Rose is a pretty smart cookie and she has no problem with gore. I imagine she’d be collecting zombie corpse specimens as we go along to try and work out how the apocalypse happened and how to fix it.

The Team Medic: Victor

This could be a good thing or a very bad thing. Good, because with Victor’s ability to numb pain, it’ll allow others to push through their injuries enough to get out of sticky situations and deal with the injury later. Bad, because we might end up not realising just how terrible an injury is until it’s too late. Next thing you know, oopsie daisy, our friend is eating our brains.

The Weapons Expert: Sydney

Hm, interesting. Sydney’s certainly tough and could probably manage with some time and experience but to start out, she’s maybe not the best choice. Who knows though, she might end up like Little Rock in Zombieland.

The Brawler: Noah

Well, we’re officially screwed. Considering Noah’s a ghost and his personality is more on the softer side, probably not the best choice as the group brawler. Guess I’ll have to work on my running.

The Team Captain: Gansey

Phew! This seems like a perfect fit. Gansey enjoys the whole taking charge thing. He also largely manages to stay calm under pressure which’ll work well here.

As far as my odds go, I think I’m in with a small chance of survival. In all realness though, if the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow I’d be dead for sure. My fitness is terrible and I have no idea how to use a weapon. *cries* Fingers crossed we manage to avoid a The Walking Dead scenario.

Do you think you’d be able to survive the zombie apocalypse? And if it did happen, which literary characters would you want on your team?

Top 10 Tuesday: The Good & the Bad of Cover Re-designs

This week’s edition of Top 10 Tuesday (brought to you by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl) revolves around cover redesigns. To ensure there’s a little variety, I’m doing five re-covers that made my eyes do that love heart thing they sometimes do, and five which I believe should have been given a miss by publishers.

Covers Re-Designs that Hit the Mark

The Mortal Instruments series – Cassandra Clare

I’ve mentioned these recovers on my blog multiple times in the past. The cover designs, the spine images – I adore them completely, and The Infernal Devices re-covers are equally beautiful. I already owned all but two of these in their original covers when I went out and bought them as a set. I ended up giving my old copies to my sister and definitely have no regrets.

The Hunger Games series – Suzanne Collins (10th Anniversary Editions)

I’ve already bought a second set of these books previously but if I hadn’t, trust me, I’d buy these ones because dammmmmnnnn. They’re. So. Freaking. Lovely. I can’t even explain what it is, I just can’t stop looking at them. I’m such a sucker for anniversary editions *sigh*.

The Mortal Engines series – Philip Reeve (Ian McQue 2018 Redesigns)

I’ve never read this series but ever since this version of the covers started showing up in bookstores, I’ve found myself picking them up a lot and considering it. The artwork is really lovely and I imagine that it captures the world of the stories fantastically as well. Even the font choice is kicking butt.

His fair assassin series – Robin lafevers

This is another series I’ve yet to read but looking at these cover designs in comparison to the previous ones featuring random models in capes and flowing dresses, I feel as though these are a huge improvement. I like the colours and the close ups of the different weapons. Far less embarrassing for me to be reading on the train.

The Grisha trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

These redesigns were so stunning that I actually changed the covers I was buying after book one even though I knew it meant I’d have non matching books. Yep, that’s how much I like them. I think I’ll eventually have to buy a matching copy of book one because (a) it’s purrrdddyyy and (b) I really do mind the matching situation.


Cover Re-designs that…Didn’t

Shatter Me series – Tahereh Mafi

I honestly wouldn’t blame you for thinking this one was a joke – someone’s terrible attempt at photoshop. But no. These are literally the covers being sold in bookstores in Sydney. Worse, these came after the stunning eye designs currently used. Just, why? WHY??

Ember Quartet – Sabaa Tahir

Okay, so Sabaa’s reasons for the cover redesign prior to A Reaper at the Gates were great. I am all for increased representation and ensuring that young readers are able to see themselves in media. However, I just find that the way they went about it ended up looking a little bit cheesy and awkward. I can’t help finding the way the models have been arranged really odd and posed. So YAY for rep but nay for design.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (50th Anniversary Edition)

One word: Creepy. Were the designers of this cover out of their minds? Not only do I have no idea how this even properly connects to the story, but it makes me feel downright uncomfortable. Burn it.

Strange the Dreamer duology – Laini Taylor

These covers aren’t what I’d call bad. They’re just really, really boring and pale in comparison to the absolute stunning beauty of the original covers. The fact that they were released so soon after the original versions is a little confusing to me. If you’re going to do a redesign that fast, at least make sure it’s as attractive as the original. On this count, not so much. Snoozeville.

Movie/TV tie-in Covers – in general

Yep, it’s the dreaded film/TV tie in cover release. I refuse to buy these. I get that the publisher is trying to appeal to the market of people who enjoyed the adaptation and make more money but at the same time, the book came first so why should it be suddenly taken over by the adaptation, especially if in many cases that adaptation completely changed aspects of the story. There’s also the issue of: what if the adaptation sucks and you’re stuck with a reminder of it forever? And lastly, a lot of adaptation book covers just look like awkward inserts of the movie poster with ‘Now a Major Motion Picture’ stamped across it. No thanks.


And that’s 5 + 5 = 10 covers. What are some covers that are not original designs which you’ve either really liked or wanted to hide under a bed somewhere?

August TBR: NEWTs Magical (Harry Potter) Readathon 2019

It’s August! And that means it’s time to once again tackle the NEWTs Magical Readathon! This readathon is hosted by booktuber, and huge Harry Potter fan, G at Book Roast. The readathon is based around the NEWTs exams taken by Hogwarts students in their final year of school. This readathon follows on from the OWLs readathon held earlier in the year. You are certainly able to do this readathon without having done the OWLs but I feel as though it’s more fun if you have.

As I mentioned during the OWLs readathon, this year G introduced magical professions into the mix. Basically, you pick a wizarding career and attempt to complete the listed subjects to the required levels to qualify for that profession. During the OWLs I set my sights on the Hogwarts professor career. However, since then (and in my typical fashion) I’ve reverted to my original choice of Auror (I completed the requisite OWLs subjects to go for either).

So, in order to meet the requirements for an Auror, I need to complete 9 prompts. Eek. Tough, but not impossible. Below is my TBR for the month with the prompts I’ll be completing for which subjects. Two things – first, prompts work in a tiered system and second, a handy guide:

  • ‘O’ – Outstanding Grade – complete 3 prompts
  • ‘E’ – Exceeds Expectations Grade – complete 2 prompts
  • ‘A’ – Acceptable Grade – complete 1 prompt

Charms is a subject I expect to get through pretty quickly, largely because I’ve got a YA contemporary and a comic to read for it. Still, I expect both of these to be super enjoyable. The prompts and my picks are:

  • A: A gorgeous cover – LETTERS TO THE LOST by BRIGID KEMMERER
  • E: A comic/graphic novel/manga: SAGA VOL. 4 by BRIAN K. VAUGHAN & FIONA STAPLES


This is my biggest challenge subject as I need to complete all three prompts to make it as a badass evil wizard catcher. I think I’ve picked some solid reads for the first two to get me through but for some bizarre reason I’m having trouble finding something I want to read for my Outstanding prompt…Might need to wait and see what I find/floats my boat a few weeks in once I’ve completed stages 1 & two for the subject.

  • A: Black under the dust jacket – SORCERY OF THORNS by MARGARET ROGERSON
  • E: The first to mind off your TBR – RECURSION by BLAKE CROUCH
  • O: A book by an English author or with an English setting – UNDECIDED

Just the one prompt to fulfill my Herbology requirements but this is one of the books I’m most looking forward to reading this month.

A: An audiobook or book with a green cover – WILDER GIRLS by RORY POWER

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Two prompts for Potions. One of my picks may prove a challenge for me as I’m not usually much of a classics reader but I wanted to do something a little out of my comfort zone for a change. If it all goes badly, I’ve got something light and fun to follow it.

  • A: A friend’s favourite – TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES by THOMAS HARDY (I can thank my friend Megsy for this one and for giving me a few options to pick from too).
  • E: A cover in your house colour (Hufflepuff) – THE BRIDE TEST by HELEN HOANG

Last but not least, it’s Prof. McGonagall’s favourite subject and again only the one prompt to do (and an easy one at that).

A: A book with LGBTIQA+ representation – GIRL MADE OF STARS by ASHLEY HERRING BLAKE

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And there you have my August/readathon TBR. I’m really excited about this. The last few months have been a bit of a slog at points and it’s probably why I bought a lot of new books to create this TBR. I’m feeling good about my chances of completing everything, even though it’s more books to read in the space of a month than I’ve been managing lately. Cross your fingers for me and wish me luck! I have a feeling I’ll need it.

Anyone else out there magical readathon-ing with me?

Murder at Magic School: Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey (ARC)

Magic for Liars is a book with both a solid and fun concept – I mean, a murder mystery at a magic school? – but somehow, it never really manages to scratch either your crime or fantasy itch in quite the way you’d hoped.

Noir Meets Magic

The story centres around Ivy, an alcoholic PI who has difficulty getting close to people. While Ivy herself is a regular Joe, her estranged sister Tabitha is a mage and teaches at a secret academy for magical teens (think American high school that just happens to teach magic subjects alongside the regular). When one of the teachers dies under mysterious circumstances, the headmistress hires Ivy to investigate. A murder case seems like the perfect opportunity for Ivy to test her skills and pick up some well needed cash, but it also means facing Tabitha and somehow getting a bunch of adolescents to tell it to her straight. She has her work cut out for her.

Ivy Gamble, P.I

As a protagonist, Ivy is basically how you’d imagine a standard noir private investigator to be – never far from a bottle, a loner, unresolved family problems, and accustomed to dealing with unsavoury types. However, she’s also very unsatisfied with who she is and because of this, she’s spends a lot of the novel acting out different (alternate universe) versions of herself e.g. flirty/giggly Ivy or Mage Ivy. At first, it’s fine, as it shows just how much Ivy wishes she could be like the image she has of her sister, attractive, free and special. After a while, it does start to get repetitive and annoying, especially when it predictably blows up in her face. On the upside, the plot does give Ivy a lot of opportunities to showcase that she’s very good at working out people – when they’re lying, what they want, and how best to manipulate them for information. I really enjoyed this side of her, mostly because it showed just how great of an investigator she is.

Let’s Solve a Murder

The murder mystery storyline takes a while to properly warm up. The first part of the novel deals with Ivy taking her time to learn the lay of the land (working out who the main players are & their stories, and attempting to understand relevant magical principals). Aside from a couple of tense moments during character interviews, there isn’t a heap of excitement during the first half. However, once we get over the mid-way hump, some of the little things Ivy picks up on earlier start to show greater relevance and the plot moves along more briskly. By the time events start coming together at the end, the momentum has vastly increased and everything gets dramatic FAST. You’ll likely be able to guess where things are heading, but as it’s both emotionally charged and makes sense within the context of the story, that’s not such a bad thing. I will say, though, that the ending itself does feel somewhat rushed and incomplete in that some big choices are made, especially by Ivy, and we have no idea what the consequences will be.

Red Herrings (Aka. Side Plots)

Magic for Liars involves several side plots. These weave in and out of Ivy’s investigation to varying degrees. There’s Ivy’s flirtation with the hot physical magic teacher, her fractured relationship with Tabitha, a prophecy about a chosen one, and a mysterious student relationship with a potential pregnancy. For the most part, these are designed to provide the overall book with extra colour and the investigation with some red herrings.

  • Ivy’s relationship with Rahul is a cute addition, even though it ends in a rather unsatisfying way. It’s somewhat awkward but sweet to see Ivy try to connect with someone, even if she goes about it very badly.
  • The teen pregnancy story is the most relevant to the overall mystery, but I do wish it had felt a little deeper considering it was dealing with something so emotionally heavy.
  • I really enjoyed the sections of the novel devoted to trying to repair Ivy’s damaged relationship with Tabitha. It’s interesting to see them attempt to overcome their issues with one another and realise that many of them stem from incorrect ideas about the other or a lack of communication. More importantly, this groundwork ended up being essential to the emotional impact of the book’s ending.
  • Of the four, the chosen one plotline is the one I could have done without. It not only feels unnecessary but has a predictable outcome from the moment it’s introduced.

Scientific Magic

Unlike books like Harry Potter, for instance, Magic for Liars tries to take a slightly more scientific approach to magic. In a way, it’s more akin to something like Lev Grossman’s The Magicians but less complicated or fully explained. While I didn’t always understand the terms and principles being thrown around, I still enjoyed the use of magic here and found that it served to ground the story by making the world building and plot events seem more realistic. Yet, I do wish that we’d gotten to see more of the magical elements instead of having them mostly relegated to the background.

While Magic for Liars wasn’t the epic crossover between the mystery and fantasy genres that I’d hoped for, it still possesses some solid character moments, a mildly intriguing mystery, and a decent approach to world building that’ll be enough to entertain some readers.

3.5 Stars

The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag: 2019 Edition

Around this time last year I did the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag for the first time. It turned out to be a really great way of wrapping up the first half of the year so I’m bringing it back to my blog for a second go around in 2019.


Best Book of the Year So Far

I hate this question. Why? Why must you do this to me straight out of the gate? At this point, I’ve had a couple of 5 Star reads in 2019 (which I included as part of my top 10 reads of 2019 so far earlier this week) so this question is touggghhhh. I think I may hold out on answering this one for the moment. I know, such a cop out.


Favourite Sequel So Far

The Wicked King – Holly Black

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Oh good, an easy one. Phew. The Wicked King takes this award for now. This series is an addiction for me. I just want to devour it all as fast as possible. I had high hopes for this sequel and it didn’t disappoint, thank god. The problem is, that after finishing it in about 24 hours, the wait for book three seemed ESPECIALLY agonising. I’ll definitely be re-reading this at some point down the line.


A New Release You Have Yet to Read but are Excited To

Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson

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Most of my crazy-excited-for releases for 2019 either have already been read or are still yet to be released. However, Sorcery of Thorns is something I am looking forward to reading even if I’m not jumping out of my chair excited. The reviews have been good so far which is encouraging and I still find the blurb intriguing even after several months of it sitting on my Goodreads TBR. Fingers crossed for a good read when I get around to both buying and reading it.


Most Anticipated Release for the rest of 2019

This is another tough question. I recently did a Top Ten Tuesday on precisely this topic. There were six books on my list and I can safely say I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on all of them. The later months of the year can’t come fast enough. Still, if I absolutely had to narrow it down to just two, it’d likely be The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black & Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff – the minute those come out I’ll be locking myself in my room and reading until the late hours.


Biggest Disappointment So Far This Year

King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo

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KoS wasn’t a bad read, just an average one. Then again, expectations were super high on this one. I’m still madly in love with the characters (I’m officially head of the Zoya fan club now) but the plot in KoS was on the slow side for me. When we did finally find some momentum, I wasn’t majorly engaged by the choice of narrative direction (even with the inclusion of an awesome dragon). Plus the ending… talk about complicated feelings.


Biggest Surprise

Again, but Better – Christine Riccio

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Kind of a negative surprise with this one and mostly in terms of the number of issues there were with the writing. For someone who’s read as many books as Christine has in this genre and who’s actual job is talking about their pros & cons, I expected something better than this and was generally surprised that this was what she ended up with. More importantly, how her publisher and editor failed to course correct on a lot of things (e.g. extraneous detail) was also a little odd.


Favourite New to You or Debut Author

Colleen Hoover

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Despite having heard really good things about them, I had never read a Colleen Hoover book until this year. I can now say that I’ve read two and really liked both of them. It Ends with Us was an interesting look at an abusive relationship and it actually made me consider things in a way I hadn’t before. Verity, on the other hand, was dark and addictive, and very enjoyable. I’ll definitely check out more of her books in the future.


Favourite Fictional Crush

None of the characters in the books I’ve read so far this year have really done anything for me on this side of things. There have certainly been a lot of characters that I’ve really liked, just not ones I’ve sat there swooning over. A lot of the time I get really on board with shipping characters with each other but not with me. Check back at the end of the year!


New Favourite Character

Spensa Nightshade (Skyward – Brandon Sanderson)

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There are several good characters in the books I’ve read so far this year but I’ll go with Spensa for this one. She’s definitely someone who takes some getting used to at first (as in, she’s hugely intense) but after a while you see just how strong, hardworking, funny, loyal and kind she is. If I needed to pick a fictional character to have my back in a tough situation, Spensa would be high on the list. Bonus – she’s also a kick ass pilot.


A Book That Made You Cry

Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberly & Austin Siegemund-Broka

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I don’t really cry during books very often. It’s probably happened with only about three or four, so this one I base on getting that sad, hollow feeling in your chest. Always Never Yours is actually a fun and sweet, little contemporary, but for some reason, towards the end of the book, where Megan is feeling really lost and down on herself, it hit me harder than expected. Of course, it ends happily (as you would want in a book like this).


A Book That Made You Happy

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

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RW&RB very much gave me the happys. I had a huge smile on my face throughout large chunks of it which is partially why I rated it so highly. It’s such a sweet, positive and funny read. Honestly, if you’re having a bad day or even week, this book is definitely the medicine to rectify it. Bring a little Henry and Alex into your life.


Favourite Adaptation so Far

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As I mentioned recently in one of my wrap ups, I finally got around to watching seasons one and two of Killing Eve and massively enjoyed it. This show is an adaptation of the e-book novellas by Luke Jennings. The series blends espionage, thrills, drama and dark comedy into something unique and wonderful. The acting is fabulous (Jodie and Sandra = love) and I’m so keen for season three, whenever it makes itself known. And with only short season runs, it’s perfectly bingeable.


Favourite Post You’ve Written So Far This Year

Like last year, I’ll choose two posts for this prompt – a book review and a discussion. I have a bit of a soft spot for my Skyward by Brandon Sanderson review. I like the flow and the coverage. Discussion wise, I enjoyed writing about the importance of fanfiction and thought it was a cute and fun topic to look at.


Most Beautiful Book Bought

The Name of the Wind 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition – Patrick Rothfuss

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I took a chance and bought this special edition without knowing whether I’d like the book itself. But the darn thing just looks so damn pretty. There’s beautiful illustrations scattered throughout, a nice looking jacket, red stained page edges, info about money, calendars and a whole bunch of other things, and I rather like the front inner cover as well. No regrets at all.


Books you Want to Read Before the End of the Year

I definitely need to do a reread of both Nevernight books to get primed and refreshed for when Darkdawn releases later this year. It’ll probably take me a good long while, but I’d also very much like to tackle The Priory of the Orange Tree in all it’s bug smashing, paper weight glory. And if I were being super optimistic, I’d love it if I finally went back to and finished Iron Gold, especially considering The Dark Age will be released very, very soon. Hopefully they’re all achievable goals!

It’s crazy to think we’re more than halfway through the year now. If only I were halfway towards my Goodreads goal as well – eek! Still, despite this tag’s name, I wouldn’t say I’m freaking out too much this year. Hopefully I have a bunch of exciting books to tackle in the second half of the year.

Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite Reads of 2019…So Far

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is actually supposed to be a character based freebie. However, as we’re now around halfway through 2019, I’m doing a list of my favourite reads of the year so far. I did a similar list in 2018 and found it really interesting to compare it with the final top 10 at the end of the year to see how things had changed. So here they are, in no particular order and excluding re-reads:

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

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The first of several obvious choices for this list. I don’t hand out five stars that often in my reviews but this fun book is one of a few that have successfully hit the jackpot in 2019. I had such a good time reading this – the characters are great, the dialogue is funny, it’s super queer positive, and the romance is so shippable it hurts. This is a perfect example of what new adult could be. As my eleven year old self would have said, Alex and Henry 4eva!


The Wicked King – Holly Black

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You know those books that you’re so excited for, you binge read them in about a day? It’s rare for me these days but TWK was one of them and not a disappointment at all. The twists keep coming, the characters are still devious little bastards, the romance smolders just a bit, and we get more info on the world. I can’t get enough of this series and I’m counting down the days until The Queen of Nothing releases.


The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang

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I like big BOOKS and I cannot lie…especially if it’s this book. The Poppy War was an intense ride (how could it not be drawing from especially bloody moments in Chinese history) but dramatically enjoyable all the same. This book had some turns I didn’t see coming and ended in a way that had me going, did that really just happen? Like other books on this list, is has great characters and a fascinating setting. It also features a layered protagonist, plus bonus points were awarded for catering to some of my fantasy trope fettishes.


Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

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Why, hello there kickass sci-fi written by a fantastic fantasy writer. This book is basically a movie in literary form, in the best way possible. There’s humour, friendship, action, compelling world building, an engaging plot, and characters that grow on you like moss. The sequel to Skyward is another one of my most anticipated releases for the rest of the year because after that ending, I need to know where we go from here. But also I miss Spensa’s random proclamations of blood and violence.


Verity – Colleen Hoover

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If I had one word to describe Verity, it’d be ‘addictive’ because this was one book I had a lot of trouble putting down. It’s different from Colleen’s usual romantic reads (there is a romance though) but it goes to show, she can do thrillers just as well as her usual genre. A creepy setting, a story which makes you question everything, and then an ending which goes from 0-100 – definitely a book I’ll be recommending to friends.


The Boy Who Steals Houses – C. G. Drews

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TBWSH was an unexpected gem. This novel was such a perfect mix of sweet and fluffy, and tear your heart out sad. It’s got memorable characters, great autism rep, fun banter, and lovely sibling relationships. And waffles, can’t forget the waffles. As far as YA contemporaries go, a good choice and from an Aussie author to boot!


Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

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This book is one of the most loved YA contemporaries around and in January, I finally sat down and read it. I honestly expected the hype to be massively over the top on Fangirl, but I ended up really enjoying it. As a bookworm, I think it’s hard not to relate to Cat on some level in all her crazy fan ways. I liked the fact that the book was a little older in feeling than some other YA out there and also that it took the time to deal with some not so light topics whilst still feeling sweet overall. Worth a reread down the line.


The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

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It only took me about four months but it was certainly worth the time and effort. The amount of work that’s gone into this book is pretty staggering and even if I hadn’t enjoyed the story itself, that alone would be impressive. However, I did enjoy the story. There will likely be people out there who’ll find the direction and pacing a bit slow but for me, I was there for it from start to finish. Now the question is: do I read book two knowing book three is nowhere near release or hold off? Hm…


It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover

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Colleen is doing very well as far as my 2019 is concerned. This was my first experience with her writing and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, only that it would involve a romance and some form of complication. Here she manages to take something as dark as domestic violence and handle it fantastically with all of its emotional complexity. It really helped me think about things differently than I had before. The characters are also likeable, deep and really help connect you with the story itself.


The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers

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While the plot is slower at points, the strengths of this particular book are it’s rich and diverse characters, and fabulous world building. Chamber’s universe is full of a multitude of vastly different species all with their own languages, cultures, and histories, and just travelling the universe with her lovely, little Wayfarer crew (or family) is a wonderful ride in itself. There’s adventure, humour, romance, friendship, and most importantly, acceptance of anyone and everyone for exactly who they are.

And that’s my top ten reads for 2019…so far. I expect things to shift a lot by the time we reach the end of the year if 2018 is anything to go by. From what I can see at this point, I’ve read quite a lot of good books over the past six months. Here’s hoping for a bunch more during the rest of the year!

What are some of your favourite reads of 2019 so far?