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?

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Top 10 Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

I’ll be honest, at the moment I’m kind of experiencing a bit of book burn out, or a slump, or whatever you want to call it. In order to help with it, I’ve limited this list just to books that I’m crazy excited about. As in, wish-I-had-them-in-my-hands-right-now-because-the-waiting-is-killing-me kind of excited. While I do have some other books that I’m definitely interested in reading that have yet to come out in 2019 (e.g. Spin the Dawn or Wilder Girls), they don’t quite meet my hype criteria so I’ve left them off. As a result, this list is only a top 6 Tuesday.

Darkdawn (Nevernight 3#) – Jay Kristoff | Sep 3

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Surprise, surprise. I know. It’s not like I don’t talk about this series all the time. Originally this book was slated for a much earlier release but because Jay is a masochist is writing a ridiculous number of things at the moment, he needed some extra time to perfect this one. As the finale to one of my favourite series, I’m so excited for this book. I need to know how Mia’s big revenge story ends. I’m assuming it won’t be happy or blood free.


The Toll (Arc of a Scythe 3#) – Neal Shusterman | Nov 5

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Nearly every entry on this list is a sequel. As with Darkdawn, The Toll also happens to be another conclusion to a series and it’s similarly one I’m dying to get stuck into. Book two in the Arc of a Scythe series ended in a major cliffhanger. We’re talking ridiculously cruel here. By the time this book comes out, fans will have been waiting only a couple of months less than two years to find out what happens next. To say that I’m keen to find out what happens to Citra, Rowan and Grayson is an understatement.


The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War 2#) – R. F. Kuang | Aug 6

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The Poppy War has been one of my unexpected loves of this year and I think it’s pretty much guaranteed that it’ll make my top ten list of the year (even though we’re only halfway through 2019). It’s intense and extremely dark at points but it’s also amazingly done. After the events of the climax of book one, I honestly have no idea where things are going to go in the sequel but boyyyyyyy…..am I ready for it. Or maybe I’m not, if it throws me for a loop just as much as the first one did. Guess I’ll just have to see.


The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air 3#) – Holly Black | Nov 19

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So, I basically absorbed The Wicked King when it was released earlier this year (or I might as well have with how quickly I finished it). Originally The Queen of Nothing was set to release in 2020 but Christmas came early and the release date was unexpectedly moved up to Nov 2o19. I flipping love this series. I can’t even explain why – its just so dark and twisty and magical and addictive. After the dramatic end to book two, I can barely contain my excitement for book three. Give me more Jude & Cardan already!


Starsight (Skyward 2#) – Brandon Sanderson | Nov 26

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Skyward is another book almost guaranteed to make my top ten books of 2019. It’s the novel that showed me just how damn amazing Brandon Sanderson is as a writer because I cannot even express how much I enjoyed it. I’m kind of glad I waited a little bit to read it – less time to wait for Starsight! There were a few truth bombs dropped at the end of Skyward so it’ll be interesting to see how things play out in the sequel. I’m also really looking forward to seeing how the characters continue to develop and getting more of that great humour.


Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo | Oct 1

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Ninth House is only non-sequel entry on this list but unsurprisingly it’s from an author I already know and love. This book is a slight change of pace from Leigh’s previous books. For one thing, it’s set in the real world rather than a fantasy one. The story focuses on secret societies, the occult and a bit of mystery. The cover makes it seem like it’ll be a little bit darker and more sinister than some of the other YA books out there which I’m definitely here for. Fingers crossed it’s good!

And that rounds out my six. There are more books that I’m excited for but unfortunately I can’t expect them to show up until 2020 rolls around which is still AGGGGGGEEEEEESSS away. Hopefully I’m come across some more books over the next few months that are amazing enough to burn that obsession fire in me like these ones have. Until then, this is where my burnt out bookworm butt is sitting on the anticipated releases front.

Which books still to come in 2019 are you most excited for?

** Top 10 Tuesday is currently hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl**

Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite Books Published in the Past Ten Years

I can say with 100% certainty that this was not one of the easiest Top 10 Tuesday topics I’ve ever done. And by not easy, I mean extremely difficult. Not only did it require a good deal of research but, is it just me or are a crazy number of amazing books all from the same publication year? For this reason, I wouldn’t really consider this to be a true favourite books list. There are some years where I really didn’t read all that many things I absolutely adored, while there are others which sent me into a massive meltdown with just how many books I wanted to list. So, I may…have cheated and done multiples for certain years. I’m terrible at choosing things, alright??? With 2019 only less than half way through, this list will cover 2009-2018. Gosh, I hope I got the publication years right…*breathes heavily*


2009

city of glass (The Mortal Instruments 3#) by cassandra clare

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As I’ve recently re-read this one, I’m confident that I still really enjoy it. It’s a worthy favourite from 2009 (not that there were many options to pick from). I was off the charts excited for this release when I was a teen, back during my big Cassie Clare fan period. This book is probably my favourite TMI book overall – the side characters get more of the limelight, there’s a big battle between shadowhunters and demons, a lot of the major questions get answered, and & Alec and Magnus are just cute.

2010

The Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices 1#) by Cassandra Clare & Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy 5#) by Richelle Mead

Another Clare book, surprisingly. I’ve always had a thing for Victorian English settings and the fact that Clockwork Angel has great characters, hilarious dialogue and features the shadow hunter world building from TMI, means it hooked me pretty quickly. The series also happens to feature one of the only love triangles I’m okay with. I definitely have to do a reread of this one at some point.

I really love the VA books (she says for the millionth time). I remember being so excited when this finally came out. I started reading it as soon as my mum popped it into my hot little hands. While book four was just okay, I really enjoyed book five. A prison break out, trip to Vegas, hopes for my favourite ship rekindled, and a twist ending. I was mighty keen to get book six as soon as possible.

2011

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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While I read this in 2018, it was actually released seven years before and somehow I missed it! I loved this book, far more than Miller’s later (and, I think, more popular) release, Circe. It’s just the perfect blend of everything you could possibly want – romance, action, history and mythology, and even though you know it’s going to end tragically, you still hope for a happier ending. Honestly, I would gladly get my heart broken over and over again by this book.

2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

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This was a struggle year to pick for because unlike some of the others further down, I haven’t read many books published in 2012 that I consider to be the-best-thing-ever. In the end, I’ve gone with The Selection in all its trashy glory because yes, it’s ridiculous, stupid, fluffy and has a protagonist who’s incredibly frustrating at times, but it’s the perfect choice for when I want to switch my brain completely off. This is comfort reading at its best. I can’t tackle literary masterpieces all the time.

2013

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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This year was still slightly a struggle to pick for because while I do have a couple of books I quite enjoyed from 2013, they’re still only 4 star reads. I’ve read The Bone Season twice now and raced through it enjoyably each time. Sure, there’s quite a bit of info dumping to get through and the magic system is kind of confusing but the plot is engaging, the characters are likeable, there’s romance without it taking over everything, and I just can’t help getting swept up in it all.

2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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This is another series that I’ve mentioned many times on my blog since I read it in 2018, but it’s only because I enjoyed them so darn much. After a slow start, RR really found its feet and it ended up being a little bit Hunger Games-esque only with more scheming, blood, and on a grander scale. This was actually only a 4.5 Star read for me and I even rated the next two books higher, however, in comparison to other books I’ve read from 2014, this one comes out on top (but only just slightly!).

2015

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo & A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Lord help me. Remember those meltdowns I mentioned? Half of them were because of this damn wonderful year of books. As I’ve already given the Red Rising series some love, it’s SoC & ADSOM who’ll be taking the prize for this 2015.

Is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard of these two amazing reads? Both of them feature fantastic fantasy worlds and a great cast of characters who very quickly force you to fall in love with them. There’s adventure, humour, magic, friendship, strong women, high stakes, and I enjoy every minute of these two stories. If people are looking for fantasy recommendations, these books are 100% at the top of the list.

2016

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR 2#) by Sarah J. Maas & Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Twenty-Sixteen was another glorious year for books, friends. Even narrowing it down to these two was hard, not that they’ll come as a surprise.

While ACOTAR was an average read for me, ACOMAF was five stars all around. It introduces so many fabulous characters, and the slow burn romance is just, like, YES. This is what I want and never seem to get. Another series I really need to re-read.

Nevernight is the bloody, dark, and exciting read I didn’t know I needed. Assassin school is probably all I really needed to know. Yeah, the writing style is odd to get used to at first, but afterwards it’s easy to get on board. Mia is my girl and the fact that I once lived without knowing Mr Kindly, is sad indeed.

2017

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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TSHOEH was my number one read of 2018 and while there were some really great books published in 2017, this one is the definite winner. I adored this novel. The characters and setting are wonderfully rich and detailed, the romance is beautifully done, the sexual diversity is fantastic, the structure and style is perfectly suited to the story being told….really, I could go on for ages. It’s brilliant and I’ll recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

2018

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

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Gosh, I loved this book. I tend to gravitate more towards fantasy than sci-fi normally but it’s books like this that remind me just how much I enjoy it. Sanderson is absolute magic. His characters are great, the plot is exciting, world building exceptional, and it’ll even make you laugh. I already know this will be on my best reads of 2019 list (yes, I know I took a while to finally read it). I honestly can’t wait for the sequel later this year.

There we have it! Ten years in books. It was really interesting to look at just how long it took me to read certain books after they were published, especially ones that ended up being favourites. The fact that I now read a lot more books during the year and that these tend to be ones published in the last couple of years made certain entries for this list quite challenging but it was certainly an experience.

What are some of your favourite books from the last ten years?

TTT is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl

Top 10 Tuesday: Book Adaptations I’d Like to Watch

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is a freebie relating to Page to Screen. As I’ve already done two lists on great book adaptations and another on books I wish would be adapted, this time I’m doing a list of adaptations that I haven’t yet seen but would like to! Admittedly, I haven’t read many of the books these films & shows are adapted from, but I guess that doesn’t really matter all that much.

There are a lot of books out there where the rights have been purchased for adaptation or an adaptation is currently in the works but still a way off. For the purposes of this list, I’m just focusing on adaptations that have already been released or will be very, very soon.

Killing Eve (2018 – Present, Series)

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This series has been “killing” it lately (Drums: Ba dum tsh). But really, I have yet to hear a negative thing about it and it’s winning a bunch of awards. I love the fact that it features two strong female leads and Sandra Oh is absolutely fabulous. It’s about an MI5 agent, Eve, who becomes obsessed with catching a talented assassin known as Villanelle, leading to a high stakes game of cat and mouse between the two. The series is based on the Codename Villanelle novella series by Luke Jennings.

Good Omens (2019, Limited Series)

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Okay, technically this adaptation isn’t out yet but considering it’s set to be released at the end of the month, it counts. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, the series follows a demon, Crowley, and an angel, Aziraphale, who team up to prevent the end of the world following the coming of the anti-Christ. The series has a fantastic cast, with the two leads played by Michael Sheen and David Tenant (who are both amazing!). It just seems like it’ll be a lot of really weird fun.

Gone with the Wind (1939, Film)

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Both the book and movie adaptation of Gone with the Wind are considered classics. It’s one of those films that you see pop up every so often, mostly because people are quoting Rhett’s parting line. I’ve always been curious about seeing it and almost did watch it on a international plane trip but somehow it’s never happened. Maybe because it’s about 3 hours long? Still, I’d like to give it a go and see for myself how the failed romance between good old Scarlett and Rhett went so very wrong.

The Green Mile (1999, Film)

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People have been telling me how good The Green Mile is ever since I was a kid. It’s considered to be one of the better Stephen King adaptations and what can I say, it’s pretty much impossible not to like Tom Hanks. The film (& book) tells the story of an African American man who is charged with the murder of two young girls and brought to a correctional facility. Shortly after, the guards begin to notice him performing what appear to be miracles of healing. I’ve actually seen a few small snippets from this but I’d like to see the whole thing. I know the ending is sad, but I’m sure it’ll be a good watch.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018, Film)

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I’m not entirely sure why I’m keen to watch this one, I just am. The word is that Cameron Post is supposed to be a decent coming of age film with wit and emotion. It tells the story of a lesbian teen in the 90s who is sent to a conversion therapy centre by her conservative relatives after she’s caught kissing a girl on prom night. It’s always good to see stories not shying away from some of the murkier parts of history and featuring sexually diverse characters. At the very least, I think it’ll be something different from my usual.

V for Vendetta (2005, Film)

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I’ve been putting this one off for years now. Worse, we even have it on DVD and I STILL haven’t got there. Like, what are you doing, Ashley? Technically this one’s based off a comic series (by Alan Moore & David Lloyd) so I’m stretching the whole “book” thing here, but it’s an adaptation so I’m counting it. I like Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman so the idea of seeing them portray masked vigilantes using terror tactics to fight back against a fascist regime sounds pretty darn cool.

A Walk to Remember (2002, Film)

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Yes, yes, we all like to make fun of old Sparky and his tear-jerker books, but there’s always a time and a place for them. This movie was extremely popular back when I was at school and yet, somehow I completely missed seeing it. Who knows how? I don’t mind The Notebook and I like Safe Haven, so I may end up enjoying this one. Next time I’m up for some emotional manipulation and a chance to get reacquainted with the black hole of sadness in my chest, I’ll pop it on.

After (2019, Film)

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Yes, you read that right. This dumpster fire of a film is on my to-watch list – just look at the poster, for crying out loud. I haven’t read the book but after watching the trailer for the movie, I feel the desire to watch the damn thing just to see if it can possibly be as bad as it looks. Well, that and because guaranteed there will come a time in the future where I need some trash viewing. Come on, we all do it. I’m hoping to find a heap of so awkwardly bad moments, much like Fifty Shades (the toast!), that it ends up being funny.

The Expanse (2015 – Present, Series)

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Finally! A book I’ve actually read…that’s part of a series of seven other books which I have not read. Regardless, I like a good bit of sci-fi and I’ve heard great things about this series. Its fans love it so much that Netflix actually saved it when Syfy decided to cancel it. The plot is complicated – a ragtag crew of ice haulers travelling across the universe, a conspiracy that threatens galactic peace, and a police detective tracking down a missing woman. I’ve had this on my to-watch list since it first started but I’ve just never been in the right mood for it. I’m hoping I’ll get there soon.

The Man in the High Castle (2015 – Present, Series)

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I love a good period piece and the concept of this series just sounds great. Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, it looks at what would have happened had the Axis powers won WWII. The series is set in alternate 1962 and details what happens when several people mysteriously find reels of film showing Germany actually losing the war. I was a history major at university, so this kind of thing is right up my alley. Now that I’ve got an Amazon prime subscription, I should probably sit myself down and finally watch it.

And there we have it, ten adaptations I’d like to see. Sometimes adaptations are good, sometimes they’re…well downright terrible. I haven’t read the source material on a lot of these but I feel as though that can often be beneficial because there’s nothing to compare it to. Guess I’ll have to find out.

What book adaptations have been on your to-watch list for a while?

Stabtastic: 7 Assassin Reads for When you Feel Like Something Bloody & Murderous

I love a good stabtastic read on occasion (totally a real, not at all made up word). After all, a little moral ambiguity is good for the household bookworm. Plus, if there’s one thing assassin stories aren’t, it’s boring. Well, at least the majority of the time. But what books are out there to fulfill the occasional need for something a little dark and potentially messy? Here are 7 books that may fit the bill.

Just to state up front, I haven’t read all of these so don’t hate on me if there’s something here that you weren’t so keen on.

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

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Let’s kick things off with the obvious pick – obvious because I freakin’ love this series. Nevernight is about a girl named Mia whose family is killed by the Emperor when she is ten years old. Six years later she sets out in search of a school for assassins called The Red Church in the hopes of making herself into a weapon strong enough to get revenge. The Red Church is hardcore though and if you can’t hack it as a student, you die. Simple as that. Mia also happens to be special in that she’s a Darkin – someone with the rare ability to control shadows. One of the ways her ability manifests itself is as a shadow companion in the shape of a cat which she calls Mr Kindly. Basically, it’s dark, bloody, sassy, a little smutty, and it’s fabulous.

Shelves: Adult, Revenge-Story, Training-Academy, Magic, Sass, Quotable.

Grave Mercy – Robin Lafevers

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This one is on my neverending TBR. Grave Mercy follows seventeen-year-old Ismae who is supposed to be married off to an older man. When a mark on her back identifying her as one of Death’s Daughters is found, she’s sent off to the convent at St. Mortain. Here, the nuns give her a choice – leave and marry, or stay and train as an assassin to serve as a handmaiden to Death (assassin nun). Following her training, she’s sent to court in Brittany to protect the young Duchess, Anne, from the French. To do this, she poses as mistress to Anne’s illegitimate half-brother, Gavriel Duval, who may or may not be acting against her. What will come as a shock to no one, Gavriel and Isame fall for each other. Like Mia in Nevernight, Isame also has special abilities in that she has an immunity to poisons and can talk to souls. Although the story does revolve around politcial espionage and mystery, it’s in large part a historical romance and does have a slower pace so keep that in mind.

Shelves: YA, Historical-Romance, Assassin-nuns, Alternate-History, Political-Intrigue, Mystery.

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

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Sorry, did you just say you wanted MORE assassin nuns? Well, I aim to please. Red Sister is another book which utilises the good old training academy trope. It revolves around eight-year-old Nona Grey. Nona is taken in by the nuns of Sweet Mercy Convent after she shows signs of magical abilities derived from ancient bloodlines when she murders the son of a powerful man. The nuns offer her the opportunity to avoid execution by taking up a position as a novice and spending the next ten years training to become a fearsome warrior. RS spans over the first three years of Nona’s training. Much of the book is spent within the confines of the convent but there are also threats to Nona from the outside – the consequences of her actions before becoming a novice. Additionally, the book has a chosen one element and features a largely 90% female cast of badass characters.

Shelves: Chosen One, Magic, Assassin-Nuns, Strong-Female-Characters, Friendship, No-Romance, Training-Academies.

Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

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Come on, I had to do it. It’s not a fave of mine but could you imagine the rioting if I left it off? The Assasin’s Blade would probably be a better pick, but as ToG is the original, we’ll go with it instead. Book one in the series introduces us to Celaena Sardothien, trained assassin, and currently serving a life sentence in the salt mines of Endovier. In exchange for her freedom, Celaena is offered the chance to represent Prince Dorian as a candidate in his father’s to-the-death tournament to find a new royal assassin. Here she’ll be pitted against some of the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land, and either she’ll win or die trying. After books 1, 2 & the prequel, the series does direct focus away from the assassin vibe but Celaena’s history as an assassin and associated skills do play a big role in the other books. It’s high stakes fantasy with battles, faeries, magic and romance. But be prepared, the series is 8 books long so it’s going to take a WHILE.

Shelves: YA, Tournament, Royalty, Lost-Princess, Magic, Kickass-MC, Friendship, Book-Boyfriends.

Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb

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Robin Hobb is a big name in the fantasy genre and the Farseer trilogy is considered to be one of her best series. In Assassin’s Apprentice, we meet Fitz, the royal bastard. Fitz has difficulty finding his place, something made worse by the fact that he has a magical link with animals known as the Wit – a craft hated by the nobility. Once he gets older, Fitz is adopted into the royal household and begins training to become the royal assassin. The books follow Fitz’s adventures and trials, dealing with politics, war, loss and revenge. This is another series that starts out slow. However, the books were so popular that they spawned two more series about the character.

Shelves: High-Fantasy, Royalty, Magic, Mentor-Apprentice, Coming-of-Age, Politics, Underdog-Protagonist.

Graceling – Kristin Cashore

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Another kick-ass leading lady and another romance style fantasy. Our MC is Katsa – a girl born with a Grace (exceptional skill or talent) for killing people. Because of this, she serves as a thug for the king, her uncle, travelling across the land killing, torturing and instilling nightmares. However, as she grows up Katsa starts to question her role. One day she comes across Po, a graced man as talented in fighting as she is. He turns out to be a Prince who has come searching for his kidnapped grandfather. The two start up a friendship and set out together to track down the kidnappers. As you’d expect, the two also fall in love. The book is a series of three which changes focus characters each time around. It’s won a bunch of awards, has a 4.12 average GR rating, and known to contain one of the most loveable romantic interests around. Although, I should note that the feminism aspect to this novel is very much on the side of: reject all things considered to be feminine and girly.

Shelves: YA, Romance, Friends-to-Lovers, Adventure, Magic, Coming-of-Age, Action, Radical Feminism, Kingdoms-and-Royals

The Way of Shadows – Brent Weeks

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This book is one of those weird ones where the average Goodreads rating is high and the top reviews are negative. Probably because the story itself has some issues but people seem to enjoy it as a sort of guilty pleasure read? The first book in the Night Angel series introduces us to Azoth, a guild rat who lives a miserable existence in the slums. To escape his situation, he apprentices himself to renowned Wetboy (aka super assassin) Durzo Blint. Azoth is forced to leave his old life entirely behind and is given a new name, Kylar Stern. He then begins his training in magic, fighting and poisons to become a Wetboy himself. His skills are soon put to the test when his city is threatened. While the dialogue is supposedly questionable at times, and the attitudes towards women could use a lot of work, The Way of Shadows is supposedly an action packed and fast paced ride. If you enjoy fantasy tropes, this book includes a few of them. The book doesn’t involve much focus on world building, although the magic system is reportedly pretty interesting, and instead directs attention to plot and characters.

Shelves: Adult, Grim-Dark, Action, Magic, Coming-of-Age, Male-Protagonist, Mentor-Apprentice.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

What’s your favourite assassin themed book?

Top 10 Tuesday: Books on my Autumn TBR

You guys know the drill by now – it’s Spring in the northern hemisphere but it’s Autumn in the land down under (thank god, I am beyond over Summer). Here are ten books I hope to get through over the current season:

It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover

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I don’t real a lot of pure romance books and the ones I do read are usually more light, fun chick-lit type books, but hey, it’s good to branch out occasionally. Colleen seems to be a super popular author in this genre (her books are always popping up on Goodreads) and It Ends with Us is one of her most popular books. I’ve heard that this one is deep and a lot more emotionally powerful than some of her other works. A few people whose reviews I trust have really liked this one so here’s hoping I do too!

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Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Alright, alright, so technically I’m reading this as we speak. However, in my defense, these TBR related TTT topics are never assigned right at the beginning of the season. What about the books I wanted to read in the first two weeks of Autumn, huh? Well, this is one of them. I’ve been waiting on this release ever since I fell hard for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo last year. Another period piece with a strong woman at its centre, how could I resist? The book is told entirely as interview transcripts. It’ll put some people off, but that’s inevitable. Still, it’d make a great audiobook!

What If It’s Us? – Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

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The way my mind seems to work: Maybe if I put this book on enough TBR lists, I’ll re-discover the motivation to finally read the damn thing. It’s been MONTHS. Just do it already, my gosh. Like, its Becky! And Adam! With sweet, cinnamon roll gay boys, theater, diversity, and Harry Potter references galore. What more should I need? I’m going to do it, I WILL DO IT.

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor (Re-Read)

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I was excited to read Muse of Nightmares when it came out last year, really, I was. But then, being my usual self, I didn’t. Now here we are, with my terrible sieve brain having retained nowhere near enough information about book one, making it a crime to try and read book two without doing a re-read. So that’s what I’m doing. I make it sound like a chore, but honestly, this book is so damn enjoyable. It’s also too pretty for it’s own good, so I’m looking forward to reintroducing myself to Weep, Sarai and Lazlo.

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Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle 1#) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Come on, as if I’m not going to just drop everything to read this when it comes out on May 7th. I am so excited for this book. It’s Jay and Amie back at it again with the epic space adventures and quirky characters. I feel like I’ve been waiting ages for this, ever since they dropped word of it at an Obsidio signing. It’s supposedly The Breakfast Club meets Guardians of the Galaxy. How could it possibly fail?

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The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious 2#) – Maureen Johnson

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The reasoning behind this choice is simple and two-fold: 1) Because I want to, and 2) because I need to read it before I forget all of the important crimey-wimey details necessary to understanding the story. Truly Devious took a while to get into its groove but once it got there, it was a lot of fun so I’m really looking forward to continuing the momentum with The Vanishing Stair. Maybe it’ll give me some answers on a couple of the lasting questions from book one. Fingers crossed.

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Middlegame – Seanan McGuire

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Now, this one is an ARC copy. I’m not allowed to publish a full review until about 2 weeks before the release date, which happens to be in May. Consequently, because I just can’t help myself, I’ve been putting off reading it until closer to the time I can write and then publish my review. The upside, it sounds awesome – there’s twins, alchemy, time travel, multiverses, and fairy tale elements. Hello, smorgasbord. I haven’t read any of Seanan’s other books but I’ve heard people rave about them. If this one goes well, I’ll have to check out the rest.

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Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberly & Austin Siegemund-Broka

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After hearing lots of wonderfully fluffy and sweet things about this YA contemporary, I ordered myself a copy off Book Depository last year. I’m still yet to read it, though. Typical. I think I’m saving this one for when I need something to make me feel good about the world and leave me soft and squishy inside. Also, the fact it was written by a married couple is honestly goals and the most adorable thing ever. I’m looking forward to falling in love with Megan and seeing her get a happy ending.

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The Name of the Wind (The King Killer Chronicle 1#) – Patrick Rothfuss

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This is another one I’ve already started but I can safely say, considering how long it is and how slowly I’m progressing, it’s likely to last the entire season. The Name of the Wind has been on my radar for years now. People always seem to be talking about it, even though the first book was released over ten years ago (fans are still waiting on the third – Rothfuss and George RR Martin have the same attitude to writing, clearly). I haven’t read many lengthy fantasy books in recent years and it’s good to get back to one. So far, it’s going well and I am thoroughly enjoying taking my sweet time.

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Beartown – Fredrik Backman

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I only recently discovered Beartown and was so intrigued that I went and bought it on my next trip to the bookstore. Backman’s books have a fabulous track record of high ratings and this one is no different. I’ve always been a sucker for the small town with dark secrets vibe so I had trouble resisting this one, even though it does have a sporting element. I think it’ll also be good to break up my usual Fantasy, YA, YA-Fantasy pattern.

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What books are on your Spring/Autumn TBR for 2019? Are they all backlist books or do you think you’ll tackle some new releases as soon as they drop?

For more on Top 10 Tuesday, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books that Should be Adapted for Film or TV

This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday involved picking characters you’d swap places with. Now, that just wouldn’t do for me because I honestly don’t want to swap places with ANY characters from the books I read. Why? Because if the story is semi-decent, there’s stuff happening to that character and you can bet that stuff is BAAAAADDDD. So nope, nope, nope. I will just happily read from the sidelines as they deal with their various fictional woes.

Instead, this week I’ve decided to go with books I’d like to see adapted for TV or film. As it turned out, it wasn’t as easy as I thought because while I absolutely love some books/series (*ahem* ADSOM), they’re likely to prove difficult to adapt well. I’ve also tried not to include books that I know are actively making their way to the screen already e.g. Six of Crows, The Hating Game. However, books that have had their rights acquired and then been sat on for YEARS are free game. Let’s get a move along studios!


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Medium: Film

I absolutely love this book but that aside, even as I was reading it, I was thinking about how good a movie it’d make. Provided it had the right script and a fantastic cast, as a movie about the darker side of the film industry itself, I believe it’d translate perfectly to screen. There’s meaty roles, strong conversations that’d translate well into visually powerful scenes, and moviegoers happen to love a good period piece. Plus, it’s always wonderful to see more LGBTI romances in film.

Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

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Medium: Either

This is another book I could see playing in front of my eyes like a film as I was reading. The battle sequences in this would make for fantastic action on screen with good CGI techniques. I mean the climax of this has ALL the necessary components for a winning movie moment. It’s basically sci-fi Top Gun. However, at the same time, the book’s also got some solid character moments to stop an adaptation feeling like a giant explosion fest.

Vicious – V. E. Schwab

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Medium: Film

While I absolutely love the ADSOM series, their scale might make it very difficult to showcase decently on screen. Vicious isn’t a huge book and it focuses on some interesting characters, which is likely to make for a good adaptation. One of the most compelling parts of the X-men franchise is the Magneto-Xavier dynamic and that’s somewhat present here in a much more grey-scale kind of way, which I think people would enjoy. Plus, who doesn’t love superpowers?

Warcross – Marie Lu

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Medium: Film

If there’s one thing the Ready Player One adaptation showed me, it’s that entire CGI sequences can work and be exciting. I would love to see the Warcross matches played out on screen for me to see in real time. But other than that, I also think the story’s modern, tech-savy, and would appeal to a lot of people. It’s got a little action, a little mystery, some romance, and also, go Asian representation!

Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

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Medium: Film

After the success and adorableness of Simon in 2018 I feel like it’s only natural to adapt Leah as well. The actors in Simon were all very well suited to the original book characters and I feel like Katherine has the acting chops to take centre stage in a follow-up. I just want more gushy, marshmallow sweetness, okay? And as if this thing would not make some decent cash at the box office.

Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Medium: TV Series

So technically the rights for this one have been sold but considering we haven’t heard anything since 2015, it seems fair to include it here. The story for Illuminae is so out there, and so much fun, that I think it’d be a blast as an adaptation. What would be cool is to see how they manage to incorporate the changes of style to the screen – show scenes through ship cameras, have typed conversations, it’d be very interesting.

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

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Medium: TV Series

There seems to be a lot of sci-fi on this list somehow? This is another book that’s already had the film rights sold and then disappeared off the face of the earth. The scale of this series is enormous, and it’d likely be a challenge to do, but it’s so fantastic, it’d be worth it. The action sequences would be amazing. I think the first book as an adaptation would do particularly well due to its similarities to The Hunger Games (with many differences of course). There are also some great plot twists throughout the series which always do well in adaptations.

I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson

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Medium: Film

Studios seem to have been on a bit of a YA contemporary streak lately. Both The Sun is Also a Star and All the Bright Places are scheduled for release this year, and I feel as though this would be another good pick in that vein. The key is to make sure the script doesn’t end up reading sappy. With this one, I’d love to see the two different time periods play out with different sets of actors. My favourite part of the book is the fact that the relationship at its heart is a sibling one involving two messed up people who make some big mistakes but ultimately come back to each other.

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

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Medium: Film

Now, I can hear you crying: Ashley, no more sci-fi! BUT NO. THERE’S ALWAYS MORE. The Lunar Chronicles is another fun series which takes something people love (fairytales) and turns them into something else. I mean, the series pretty much has everything necessary for a good movie – a kooky cast of friends on the run, an evil queen determined to take control of the universe, multiple super shippable-ships, a sassy ship AI, solid ethnic diversity, political intrigue, mystery and some badass women. Honestly, I bet everyone would be along for the ride on this one. They’re also the kind of books where they’d be able to cut down for time without damaging the story too much.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

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Media: TV Series

Okay, I know I said I’d be avoiding ones that’d be too difficult to do, but eh. This one would need a hell of a scriptwriter and an absolutely fabulous director, but if they managed it, boy, would it make an interesting mini-series. Shot in the style of an Agatha Christie mystery (but of course, with the fantasy element), I think this would work really well. I’m just imaging the large, talented cast (much like the And Then There Were None adaptation) and the beautiful cinematography to show off the crumbling manor house.


Which book would you most like to see as a TV series or movie? Why do you think it’d work?