Bookmas 2021

Merry Bookmas Day 11 – 11th December – Books That Surprised Me In 2021

Happy Saturday Bookish people! And Merry Bookmas day 11. Today I wanted to share some of the books that have surprised me throughout this year. There have been quite a few books that have done this actually, for lots of different reasons. I will try and show a picture of each book, give the title and give a little bit of information about why the book surprised me.

I’ll start with two books from the same series…

The first two books that I want to mention are Get A Life Chloe Brown and Take A Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. These two books are part of the Brown Sisters trilogy, I can’t include the third book yet because I haven’t read it but I imagine it would give me the same reaction. I was surprised by these two books because they are adult romance books and romance has never been a genre that I have enjoyed all that much. However, Talia Hibbert’s books have a good balance between wit and the actual romance, she also includes a plot in the books which made it easier for me to enjoy. I also loved some of the characters. If you are interested in my full thoughts about these two books I have posted reviews of them both.

Another book that surprised me was…

The reason I was surprised by this book is because it is written almost completely in email correspondence. I knew this before reading the book and it made me think that I might not enjoy the book as much because I couldn’t see how the mystery would still have those character relationships and the tension that I like in a book. I was wrong because I ended up loving the book and thought that using emails was a brilliant choice on the part of the author.

Another mystery that surprised me was…

Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz surprised me because it is a large book and I hadn’t read anything by this author before. I was surprised that I was kept engaged in the complex and long mystery. It was one of my favourite books that I have read this year. I have a review of this book posted if you want to know my full thoughts on the book.

A historical book that I was surprised by is…

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn. This book is, the first book in a series, about a woman, I believe in the Victorian period, who is thrown into the middle of a mystery. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this book because I hadn’t read many historical mysteries but now it is a genre I actively look for when buying books.

Up next is a book that was bought for me..

Lireal by Garth Nix. This is a book that surprised me because it was recommended to me by my partner. He had showed it to me in the shop and I looked at the synopsis and thought it might be an okay book but I didn’t really feel like reading it but my partner bought it for me so then I had to read it. And of course, he was right, I loved the book and I ended up giving it five stars.

Up next is…

Pumpkin by Julie Murphy. I got this book after seeing lots of great reviews about it and I thought well, it sounds okay so I’ll give it a go. I was surprised I liked it because again it’s not my preferred genre but I did end up liking it.

The next one is part of a series…

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. I have only read the first two books in the series so far but I was surprised by them because of the premise of the series. If it is a book about books or librarians I’m almost guaranteed to love it. But I was less sure about this book because it combined librarians with the supernatural world of vampires and fae and spies. I was imagining a retelling of James Bond but it was nothing like that but I ended up enjoying it and continuing with the series.

The next book is a stand alone I put off reading…

Fangirl : Rowell, Rainbow: Amazon.co.uk: Books

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is another book that is way out of my usual genre, I had to fulfill a prompt for a readathon and I ended up picking Fangirl because it is a book about a girl who loves writing stories and fanfiction which to me is more relatable than some other romance/contemporary books. I was surprised that I actually became very emotionally invested in the characters, especially Cath and I gave the book five stars.

The final book for this list is…

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden surprised me because it is based on folklore and is a very dark book, there is a dark and cold atmosphere to the story. But I found the whole book to be beautiful, whimsical and magical. One of the best books I have read.

That’s it for the books that have surprised me in 2021, I hope you all enjoyed reading about it. What books have surprised you in 2021?

Uncategorized

Rip It or Ship It!

Happy Friday bookish people! It’s a bit miserable where I am this morning but luckily I get to spend the next three days reading for a readathon challenge – hosted by MegWithBooks on YouTube, so I’ll be happy.

Today I’ll be doing the Rip it or Ship it challenge, I’ve seen a lot of people do it on YouTube and I thought why not try and do it on my blog. So I wrote down the names of two or three characters from each book I’ve read that I thought would work, put them all in a bowl and picked out two each time until there were none left…. I ended up with 40 pairs. Now, that’s quite a few so I’m only putting fifteen up today and maybe if you all enjoy it I’ll put up some more rounds later.

Onto the pairings!

1. Kellen (Spellslinger series) and Sameth (Lirael)

I would have to Rip this pairing (just imagine I’m tearing up the names..) because they are both quite similar characters, both find themselves in the middle of nowhere, in danger, with an animal sidekick who’s there to help but doesn’t do much helping.

2. Nathanial (Sorcery of Thorns) and Alina Starkov (Shadow and Bone)

I have chosen to ship this couple. Because Nathanial can be quite snarky especially when you’re first getting to know him and Aline would be having none of that which I think he’d like, plus both of them technically have a form of magic which I think would be nice for their pairing.

3. Jaren (The Prison Healer) and Mary Jekyll (The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Duaghter)

Definitely not. This wouldn’t work at all. Mary Jekyll, although she does many unladylike things, sees herself as a Victorian lady and considering her opinions in the books Jaren would not be gentlemanly enough for her, she’d probably end up slapping him and goodness knows she wouldn’t be found in a prison – which is the only way they’d meet because that’s where he is..

4. Cardan Greenbriar (The Cruel Prince) and Cecelia Bassingthwaite (The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels)

This is an interesting one. I think I’m leaning more towards shipping it because their personalities probably would work well together, he would definitely be surprised by her and the fact that she goes wherever her mind takes her.

5. Nesta Archeron (A Court of Thorns and Roses series) and Thomas Cresswell (Stalking Jack the Ripper)

Yes! I ship this. Nesta could well be a bit much for him to handle but they both have very fierce personalities and their wits would battle well I think.

6. Emilia (Kingdom of the Wicked) and Blue Sergeant (The Raven Boys)

Absolutely not. Rip it. Emilia has gone through a lot so far (and I think she’s got a lot more hardship coming her way too) and I don’t think that her and Blue would mesh together, their opinions on things would be too different.

7.Julain Santos (Caraval) and Sherlock Holmes (The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter)

Hmm….. I love Julian but he is very mischievous and kind of lies a lot which I don’t think would go down well with Sherlock Holmes so rip it.

8. Eli Ever (Vicious) and The Darkling (Shadow and Bone)

I have to ship this simply because can you imagine these two together? They’d destroy the world.

9. Scarlett Dragna (Caraval) and Dorian (The Starless Sea)

If I didn’t ship Dorian with the person in the Starless Sea that is perfect for him I would probably ship him with Scarlett, she can be fiery and I think he could calm her when needed.

10. Lirael (Lirael) and Mal (Shadow and Bone)

Okay, ignoring the age difference here for a minute I think their personalities would go well together and they have a similar upbringing in that they don’t know their parents and they’ve been brought up in communities that have shaped them into the people they are.

11. Irene (The Invisible Library) and Jesper Fahey (Six of Crows)

Yes, I ship this. A librarian spy and a sharpshooter? Of course I’m going to ship this.

12. Cath (Fangirl) and Zachary (The Starless Sea)

I could see this working. They both really like books and are both quite introverted.

13. Kai (The Invisible Library) and Wrath (Kingdom of the Wicked)

I love a bit of chaos, I’d ship this. A dragon and a demon – what could go wrong…

14. Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows) and Reid Diggory (Serpent and Dove)

I think this would work. He would want to try and be over protective of her but I can’t see her liking that but I can see them working it out. If she doesn’t just stab him first.

15. Feyre Archeron (A Court of Thorns and Roses) and Jude Duarte (The Cruel Prince)

I could see these two being friends, and being a bit of a force if they worked together, they are quite similar.

That’s it for this challenge, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Lirael by Garth Nix

Happy Monday bookish people! This is book review three of seven for today and is for Lirael by Garth Nix.

I got this book while in a bookshop with my partner and he suggested that I read it. Originally, he picked it up and handed it to me to read the blurb and I put it back on the shelf saying that I’d pick it up another time. Instead, my partner bought it for me so I read it on the drive up to Hampshire last weekend.

In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Lirael Plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was so easy to fall into. The story, the world, the characters, everything about it kept me engaged in what was happening. I haven’t read the first book in this series yet but I definitely plan on getting the whole series now. I read this book extremely fast, even by my standards, it only took me three hours or just over and it’s a 500 page book. I couldn’t wait to see where each chapter would take me. I enjoyed getting to see a different viewpoint in some chapters when it changed between Lirael and Sameth but I was hoping to see more of Sameth’s viewpoint.

Lirael Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The character of Lirael is one of the best female reads in any books that I have read, she is emotionally strong and it was nice to see this develop throughout the book. Plus, she is in the library a lot of the time and I couldn’t relate to that more. Sameth, now what can I say about him, to be honest I found him a little annoying and he complained a lot but I also saw a lot of qualities in him that I can see developing and creating a very strong male lead.

Lirael Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I love Garth Nix’s writing, I read another of his books last year and loved it so much, he has a way of writing effortlessly clever, humorous and heartwarming fantasy novels. I am looking forward to reading many more of his books.

Lirael Overall:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Originally I gave this book four stars but I could not stop thinking about this book so I had to change it to five stars, it’s now one of my favourite books of all time.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr’s birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil.

In this sequel to Sabriel, winner of the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Australian Science Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Garth Nix weaves a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny, and danger.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it.