Queen of Nothing Was Close to Everything You Could Want in a Finale

*Spoiler free*

queen of nothingAt least, in my opinion. I’ve seen a lot of people who felt pretty different to me. But, while I can understand (and even agree with) some of the complaints, for me those were only minor quibbles and didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this finale. My biggest disappointment here is that I don’t have more to say about it.

Especially cos it was so fast paced it was hard to take notes! Now, I will admit that at times, I felt like there wasn’t enough room for the plot to develop as much as it could have. This was particularly noticeable for me with a spoiler *significant death* that I won’t talk about in depth. I’ve heard it said that too much in this book happened off screen- and this is a good example of that- cos for a little bit I thought it was gonna be a fake-out death. But nope, it didn’t take long (cos nothing in this book took long) to realise that was definitely the direction the story was taking. Which was good (I often hate fake deaths) it’s just a bit of a symptom of this book that the events kinda whizzed by.

Another little issue I had with the pacing was that there could have been a bit more time spent enjoying these characters together- after all, this is the last we’ll be seeing of them. I would have enjoyed a bit more banter in the romance department- as it had in previous instalments- though I did enjoy the sweeter touch it had here. And I personally didn’t think a certain someone deserved a sort-of-redemption arc- it felt somewhat unearned (again, being vague to avoid spoilers). I rarely say this, however, I feel this could’ve benefited from being a tad longer.

All that said, I inhaled this book. The upside of that breakneck pace was that I couldn’t stop reading it. There were so many twists and turns in this tale- and as much tricksy fae drama as you could ask for! Plus, I really liked how the cliffhanger from the previous book was resolved.

Nit-picking aside, I have to echo what a lot of reviewers have said before me: this was a very satisfying conclusion to the series. We got a fair queen and a fair ending for the fair folk! And really, you can’t ask for more than that.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana 

So, have you read this series? Do you plan to? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

Best Books of the Last Decade

Hello all! I wanna say something really funky about blogging in a new decade… but let’s be real, it’s gonna be much the same as before, mostly gushing about all the great books out there! And what better way to continue that tradition than with a post about all the best books in the last decade? (at least according to me 😉). I’ve seen a few people do this- so sorry if I don’t remember all the amazing posts out there on the topic- but I was particularly inspired by Kristin Kraves incredible post– so definitely check that out!

Because I didn’t want to overload the post, I tried to keep to just one book per author (I only broke that rule once, but who can blame me when Laini Taylor exists 😉). I’ve not included series that started before the decade either. And also, I feel like I have to point out I haven’t read *all the books* (as much as I’d love for that to be the case 😉), so this is far from an exhaustive list! Here are some of the ground-breaking, game-changing, mind-blowing books from the last decade:

2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone– a forever favourite ever since I read it. Laini Taylor gives lyrical writing a whole new meaning.

A Monster Calls– this graphic novel made me so emotional! I never realised how powerful a graphic novel could be until I read it!

2012

Righteous Mind– such a thought-provoking book and- dare I say it- one of the most important non-fiction books of the decade.

Wonder– a great Middle Grade with a sweet message!

2013

Vicious– this was my introduction to Schwab and it couldn’t have made a bigger impact!

Ocean at the End of the Lane– Neil Gaiman delivers on nostalgia and fantasy in this beautiful book.

2014

Red Rising– what a bloodydamn brilliant book this turned out to be! The way I’d describe this series is basically Romans in space and if that sounds good to you, you simply have to read it!

Shadow of What was Lost– an underrated fantasy book that is the epitomes the best of the genre to me.

Through the Woods– this creepilicious book takes fairy tale retellings to a whole other level!

2015

Carry On– a Harry Potter parody with so much heart- this never fails to bring a smile to my face 🙂

In Order to Live– I read this just last year and it made a huge impact. An important memoir that gives insight into life inside North Korea- and what it means to escape it.

Illuminae– I had to include this because it is such a gamechanger. It took me a while to get used to the unusual format- but that ended up being one of the greatest assets to the story! Plus, it’s thanks to books like this that I fell so deeply in love with sci fi.

2016

Radio Silence– a book that has ended up meaning so much to so many people from different walks of life- and that is an impossibly impressive achievement!

My Lady Jane– this laugh-out-loud alternative history was not what I was expecting- it was better!

Homegoing– weaving individual, intergenerational stories into one seamless narrative is no easy feat- yet Gyasi effortlessly accomplished this with her masterpiece.

2017

Red Sister– another incredible fantasy- this one stands out to me because it doesn’t just have cool world building- it has real heart!

Bear and the Nightingale– inspired by Russian mythology, this exquisite historical fantasy won my heart with every beautiful word.

Strange the Dreamer– okay , I know I said I wasn’t going to put authors on here twice… but Laini Taylor deserves it! And this duology deserves its place on here just as much- its rich world building, lovable characters and dramatic plot all make this a wonderful reading experience.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine– Eleanor Oliphant was not the contemporary romance I was expecting- it was so much more! Quirky and emotive and with hidden depths, it easily is one of the standout books of the decade.

Blackwing– mind-blowing, atmospheric and different- for that alone I would have loved this series. Yet, what makes it special is the complex characters at its heart.

2018

Circe– beautifully written and poignantly thought out, this retelling of the Odyssey is magnificent in that it not only perfectly interprets the original, it also elevates the story to new heights. I doubt we’ll see another retelling like this- unless of course Miller writes another 😉

Sadie– my absolute favourite read last year, Sadie is a gut wrenching and powerful book. I particularly recommend it on audiobook!

Hazel Wood– there’s something very special about this book. A gothic fairy tale, it draws you in to a story within a story and takes you places you could never dream.

Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle– ever since I read this groundhog day murder mystery, I’ve been mulling it over. I didn’t think it was perfect- but it sure as hell stands out!

2019

Daisy Jones and the Six– this was also especially awesome in audiobook form- this book boasts one of the most realistic casts of characters I’ve ever read. And I adored the rock ‘n roll setting.

Wolf in the Whale– a very unusual fantasy that draws on the little known history of Vikings landing in Inuit land- I can safely say I’ve never read anything else like it.

So, what did you think of these? And do you have any books from the last decade you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments!

Just *Some* of the Incredible Books I Read in 2019…

Before we get to my top ten, I always like to do a little teaser to share some of the other amazing books I read this year. All of these are TOP BANANA- so they deserve some love and attention! Here are just a few of my reading highlights from the year…

Aurora Rising and Cruel Prince were excellent series openers. Soul of the Sword got me excited to read more! Holy Sister and Crowfall were both excellent ways to wrap up a series. Daisy Jones has been playing on my mind ever since I listened to it on audiobook. I got tried Laini Taylor’s delectable Night of Cake and Puppets. Woman in Black was *freaky*. Evelyn Hardcastle was one of the most unique books I’ve ever read! Woke made me laugh out loud! And I fell in love with Cait @Paper Fury’s books this year as well. And, of course, Secret History has been making reminisce ever since I read it.

And that’s all for now! Feel free to get excited about the top ten, because they rock!!

Are you ready for sweater weather? Tag!

orangutan tag 2

Hello all! Brr it’s getting cold out- which means it’s time for me to cosy up with a tag 😉 Thank you so much to the lovely Journey into Books for tagging me to do this one!

Hot Chocolate – What is your comfort book?

carry on

Carry On– it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Pumpkin Carving – What is your favourite creative outlet?

monkey typewriter

Writing. I’ve always loved telling stories, though I don’t really do short stories or poetry anymore, so it’s novels all the way!

Falling Leaves – Changes that appear bad but you secretly love?

Gosh this is a hard question! I guess you could say I’m a walking contradiction here, because I’ve never been a fan of change, and yet I love fresh starts. While it makes me super antsy, I do like the feeling of trying something new.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – Something you love that other people judge

This is a hard one to narrow down, cos I’m 99.9% eccentric, so there’s a lot… The one I get called on the most for is *lowers voice to a whisper* I occasionally like listening to random religious music even though I’m not religious. After the fire Notre Dame I could not stop listening to French hymns for instance… (this is my jam 😉 ) My friends (a lot of whom are religious) think I’m barmy. Moving swiftly on…

Bonfire Night – what makes you explode with joy?

*BOOKS*

Fright Night – Favourite scary book or movie

I don’t realllly do scary. Especially not scary movies!!! So (and don’t laugh) it’s Hocus Pocus.

sanderson sisters

Halloween candy – Favourite thing to eat

Oh dear, you bring up food and I’m just gonna be like…

*I like everything*

Can’t ever go wrong with chocolate though!

chocolate

Scarves – Your autumn ‘must have’ accessory

Gloves- cos I’ve got bad circulation in my hands (I know, you were expecting a rock n’ roll answer, but I think we’ve established, I’m not that cool 😉)

Fire – A book or film that burns your soul

persuasion

Just one?!!?! That is the hardest question!! I’m going with Persuasion– because that romance is *emotional*- but also feel really set upon with that question!

Toffee apples – a book or film that seems to one thing but really has a different inside

eleanor oliphant is completely fine

I’m going to go with a more positive answer- I had the feeling that Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was going to be this romantic contemporary… but it turned out to be so much more than that!

And that’s all for now- I tag: Witty and Sarcastic, Zezee with Books, Mim Inkling, the Captain’s Quarters, the Book Prescription, Kiwi Katastrophes, Embuhlee Liest and Sara @the Bibliophagist

Really wanna know what books make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? And what’s your oddest quirk? Let me know in the comments! (and we can feel like oddbods together 😉 )

Ranking Marvel Movies!

monkey at the marvel movies

Alrighty- I’ve finally come to the end of MARVEL PHASE 3. And I think it’s safe to say, after all my endeavours in this field that while I may not be a comic book expert, I am most definitely a connoisseur of superhero movies 😉 And to prove just how much of a boffin I have become, I figured now would be the best time to… piss everyone off by sharing my personal rankings for the movies 😉 Okay, obviously I think you all know that these are my personal opinions and not indicative of how good they are (except the one at the bottom- it’s definitely the worst- you can fight me on that 😉) but just in case you don’t *shocking* disclaimer: this is entirely subjective, informed by my own ratings and based on which ones I’d most like to see again. Without further ado, here are the Marvel movies ranked from “ugh I hate it” to “yayyyy let’s rewatch it”:

 

incredible hulk

Hulkmy rating: 2/5 bananas– there were actually parts of this (like Norton’s performance) that meant this movie had some real potential… it’s never lived up to that potential though and it’s a lousy movie I’m afraid.

captain marvel

Captain Marvel my rating: 2 bananas– I just have zero desire to watch this again or see anything with this non-descript character in it. An utterly forgettable movie.

iron man 2.jpg

Iron Man 2my rating: 2.5 bananas– I seriously struggle to remember this movie. It wasn’t good. At all. But one thing it has over the two below it is that it has Downey Jr’s Iron Man.

iron man 3

Iron Man 3my rating: 2.5 bananas– another poor instalment in the Iron Man franchise #sorrynotsorry

doctor strange

Doctor strangemy rating: 3 bananas– I didn’t think much of this movie either- but at least I had a good time while I was watching it, which is more than I can say for the ones I’ve ranked lower.

age of ultron.jpg

Avengers Age of Ultronmy rating: 3 bananas– this is my least favourite Avengers movie. I found the structure messier than the other two and I didn’t enjoy watching it much.

ant man and the wasp

Ant Man and the Waspmy rating: 4 bananas– I mean, I had no problems with this movie, but I don’t really want to rewatch it?

thor the dark world

Thor: the Dark Worldmy rating: 3.5 bananas– okay, I’ve had fun every time I’ve watched this, but that doesn’t make it a good movie. It’s the kind of shovel-popcorn-in-your-mouth-till-your-sick movie- I may be happy at the time but I’m gonna regret it after.

thor

Thormy rating: 4 bananas– this was a great attempt at making a superhero movie with some really deep themes (I say attempt, cos as entertaining as it all is, there are some serious vulnerabilities you could smash to bits with Thor’s hammer).

ant man

Ant Manmy rating: 4 bananas– this movie surprised me as an origin story and turned out to be pretty awesome.

thor ragnarok

Thor Ragnarokmy rating: 2.5 bananas– I had legit NO IDEA where to rank this one?!? I didn’t entirely enjoy this for lots of reasons and my rating and review reflected that- but on reflection, I’d kinda be happier rewatching it than some of the other movies on the list. It’s a bit different to some of the origin stories, a bit funnier than some of the others and has some interesting character (*coughs* Loki *cough cough*)

captain america civil war

Captain America Civil Warmy rating: 3.5 bananas– I actually gave this a lower rating than the last three, but it’s a better movie. Plus, it had Spider Man- and, as you’re about to see, I have a soft spot for the old webslinger!

spider man far from home

Spider Man Far From Homemy rating: 4 bananas– what did I tell you? Of course, this was gonna rank highly for me, just by virtue of having Holland’s Spider Man. Granted, it’s not the best instalment for the character and there were aspects I wasn’t keen on… buuut it made me laugh out loud and I’d happily rewatch it (well, just as long as I don’t have to watch those end credits again!)

spider man homecoming.jpg

Spider Man Homecomingmy rating 4.5 bananas– this was a seriously fun Spider Man movie. No, I don’t think it’s the best Spider Man movie ever- but it gets pretty darn close.

iron man

Iron Manmy rating: 4.5 bananas– I reckon I’d get called a fake fan if I put Stark’s opening movie any lower on the list 😉 Downey Junior’s performance was incredible and he really did a lot to prove that Tony Stark does indeed have a heart!

avengers infinity war

Avengers Infinity Warmy rating: 4.5 bananas– I did enjoy this film, but the reason it’s a little lower on the list than some might expect is cos I really do feel, even after watching Endgame, that this is a lot of setup and incomplete on its own.

black panther

Black Panthermy rating: 5 bananas– yep, told you I was a sucker for origin movies. I did warn you. I had a real fight with myself over where to put this on the list cos I had a helluva time watching it, but ultimately there’s a few movies I’d rather rewatch.

captain america.jpg

Captain America: The First Avengermy rating: 5 bananas– errmmm so I really like Captain America? I know a lot of people will wonder why this is so high, but for me, as a fan of origin stories and this hero, it’s one I love to rewatch.

avengers

Avengers Assemblemy rating: 4.5 bananas– yeah, this might be a little dated, but it has a great premise, good cast dynamics and a fantastic villain. For me, this will always be an epic superhero movie.

guardians of the galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxymy rating: 4.5 bananas– this is possibly the most fun movie in the franchise. It’s like the best kind of music- it’s the kind of film I’d gladly put on repeat 😀

guardians of the galaxy vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2my rating: 5 bananas– woweee this one really hit me in the *feels*- speaking of emotional movies…

avengers endgame.png

Avengers Endgamemy rating: 4.5 bananas– this was a great movie- period. It rounded off so many storylines in the perfect way and did not pull its punches. A very satisfying conclusion to the saga.

captain america the winter soldier

Captain America Winter Soldiermy rating: 5 bananas– this is hands down my favourite. Partly for all the “aww poor Bucky” moments, but mostly cos every time I watch it I’m completely absorbed by it!

 So do you agree or (more likely) disagree with my rankings? What’s your favourite and least favourite? Let me know in the comments!

 

Bloggers who deserve more attention #5

 

orangutan list

It’s time again for another post celebrating just some of the lovely people on the blogosphere! Before I got started, I just wanted to thank everyone who nominated me for the Blogger Awards- I didn’t see many of the posts, cos I was taking time off last month, but I’m super grateful and it means a lot to me! (especially when I saw the other wonderful people who were nominated- my word- I hope you’re following all of them already!) Which brings me to the first blog recommendation…

May@Forever and Everly– May’s an incredible young blogger, who’s been hosting the award this year and deserves a follow for all the hard work she’s been putting in. In case that wasn’t enough, I started checking out her content because of that and I’ve kinda (definitely) got addicted to reading her content. Her posts are brimming with personality and were so entertaining- so I urge you all to go and get as hooked as I have!

Jenna @Bookmark Your Thoughts– Jenna’s one of my favourite people on here because she’s such a sweetheart- she’s always super friendly and happy to share the love. She does lots of memes, tags and reviews- all written in her outgoing and fun style. I also happen to like her aesthetic and it doesn’t hurt that I love her taste 😉

Daley Downing– Daley’s not only an indie author, she covers interesting discussions on topics most people don’t cover. Most recently, I liked her excellent post on the positive aspects of negative reviews. Whether it’s reviews or anything else, I always appreciate her unique take.  

Xandra @Starry Sky Books– a delightful, newer blog, Starry Sky Books is the place to go for fresh ideas- like her “discussions I’d like to read from you” and other helpful posts. Xandra’s also super friendly and interacts loads!

Lindsay @Slow to the Party– my goodness, Lindsay writes some of the most articulate and entertaining reviews I’ve ever read! They’re not only super thorough, they’re lively and witty. She’s really at the top of her game. I especially liked her take on Sally Rooney. And her list on childhood faves really took me back too.

Emme @A Literary Latte– Ahh I love the discussions on literary latte- especially her post on bookish guilt– so relatable! It also goes a long way (with me) that she’s a Ravenclaw 😉

Anna @My Bookish Dreams– I’ve been following Anna for a while and for good reason! Her reviews are always stellar, her tags are on point and I like her blog design. But it’s not just her bookish content that’s brilliant- she freely covers all her passions- from BTS to Good Omens! 

Jennifer @Out of Babel– Jennifer’s blog is a new discovery for me and I frickin’ love it!! (and her!) Her arguments are well thought out and researched- covering a range of topics from psychology, history, books, religion etc! I’ve learnt a lot from her history posts already, but especially liked her post on why religion in fiction is so hard to handle. It was a truly nuanced discussion, fairly examining both sides, and shows what a freethinker she is!

Yesha @Books Tea and Paperbacks– Yesha not only participates in lots of blog tours, writes comprehensive reviews and reads loads of books- she somehow manages to be really active on the blogosphere as well. I don’t know how she does it all and I’m ridiculously impressed!  

Kristin Kraves– I’ve always thought Kristin has such sophisticated taste- reading lots of contemporary and literary fiction and classics (among others). What’s more, her *fab* lists make this the place to go to curb all your cravings.

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #1

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #2

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #3

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #4

Social Media Tag

 Obviously there are loads more bloggers who deserve *all the attention*- so who do you think I should be looking out for? And do you know any of these bloggers? Will you be checking them out? Let me know in the comments!