(Most of) My 2021 DNFs!

This is gonna be a weird post this year- because I DNF’d A LOT of books for a change… and then promptly forgot about half of them. That’s right: there has been a serious shift in my reading habits. I have gone from being the shy, timid monkey who would never close a book before finishing it well, (sort of 😉) … to a serial DNFer. It’s meant I’ve read fewer books this year- and yet I’m happier for it and (usually) more satisfied with the ones I do finish. For the most part, I simply wasn’t vibing with the style and would consider picking it up again one day. That accounts for these books:

These, however, earned their DNFs:

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck- oh FFS, I’m no stranger to swear words but this seems excessive, even to me. I wasn’t getting anything out of this. I don’t agree with the premise anyway, so this lost me very early on. I guess I’ll just go on caring too much.

Genuine Fraud– I love the idea of stories told backwards… it’s only a shame that they rarely work for me. I didn’t click with the structure and found it made it impossible to get to know the characters. I was completely lost at 15% and decided to call it a day.

Shadow of Night– mea culpa- I shouldn’t have picked up this book. I’ve no idea why I impulsively bought it (well, except for the fact it was on sale) since I didn’t like the first one. However, I did enjoy the show and really, really wanted to know what happened. Bit silly, because I do still intend on watching it- and I reckon I’ll get more out of it that way.

Such a Fun Age– I was promised humour and didn’t laugh in the first 33%. Not even a wry chuckle or a smirk. Who knows, maybe the last 67% would have me in side-splitting hysterics- but sadly I’m not willing to take that chance.

Cinderella is Dead– the cover and title are amazing, but the book is so full of bitterness and anger. It’s not a mood I enjoy.

Rose Code– believe me, I wanted to love this book. I tried for such a long time. I still consider this author to be great- it’s only sad this one wasn’t for me. I couldn’t put my finger on why, since the only thing I actively disliked was the use of real people. I just wasn’t clicking with the characters or story, so sadly gave up on it.

Gods and Monsters– I don’t care enough to finish this series. Honestly, I shouldn’t have bothered after book 2 let me down.

House of Leaves– I didn’t only find the style unappealing… it was actively off-putting. I don’t see myself ever finishing this, which is a shame, because I love this kind of experimental story. Although on that note…

Lincoln in the Bardo– this is the kind of literary “experimentation” that gets on my nerves.

And that’s all (I remember quitting)! Do you think I made the right choice? Would you recommend powering through any of these? And what are your feelings on DNFing? Let me know in the comments!

Books I’d Recommend to Everyone!

Working in a library, I often get asked to recommend “anything”… which as you can imagine is a pretty tricky one to answer! Especially with nothing to go on! But I do my best and here are some of my usual suggestions:

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine– I’m starting with an unusual book that’s universally loved- and for good reason! Before I read it, I thought it was going to be a standard contemporary about falling in love… but this book turned out to be so much more than I expected. In truth, it’s a story about discovering yourself, finding true friendship and overcoming trauma- which I think everyone can get something out of.

A Man Called Ove– I always describe this as an adult version of Up (which I’d also recommend to everyone). This is one of the most uplifting and beautiful books I’ve ever read- and it’s also a great introduction to a wonderful author.

Where the Crawdads Sing– one of the best books I’ve ever read- and I don’t say that lightly- I’d recommend this to *everyone*. It has so much going for it. A story about love, friendship, coming of age, nature, crime… there’s beauty in this that anyone can enjoy.  

A Thousand Splendid Suns– a tremendously moving story about life for women under the Taliban. It’s unfortunately become more relevant in recent months- which makes me want to recommend it all the more.   

Homegoing– Gyasi’s powerful intergenerational epic is highly original and an absolute work of genius. You cannot go wrong giving it a try.

Kindred– because this book is simply glorious. Wonderfully written- it’s different to anything I’ve ever read before. Technically sci fi, it delves more into historical fiction territory, exploring the horrors of the slave trade with a modern gaze.

The Familiars– a subtle story, this historical fiction is cleverly crafted story that seems to be about one thing, but turns out to be something else entirely. While I was expecting a purely witchy experience, this ended up being a magical tale of friendship and family. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Halls’ work in the last few months and I’m sure other people will enjoy this discovery too.

Wolf Hall– a more human story than I imagined I would be, Mantel’s reimagining of Thomas Cromwell’s journey to power is a masterpiece.

The Huntress– a thrilling example of historical fiction, this book had my heart racing. With two timelines chasing each other, the story tells of the elusive Nazi called the Huntress and those who wish to bring her to justice.

The Nightingale– I don’t read very many WW2 books and here I am recommending two of them! But this is the kind of book that is an emotional hard-hitter and well-loved for good reason. Telling the story of two sisters, who live different wars, this is one that will stay with you a long time after you read it.

The Secret History– utterly unique and absolutely brilliant, this murder mystery told in reverse is a real showstopper.

The Thursday Murder Club– who doesn’t love the idea of old-aged pensioners solving crimes? This quirky crime novel was a delight.

How to Stop Time– Matt Haig is another commonly loved author- and for good reason! His novels are full of joy and sorrow in equal measure- and How to Stop Time is a great example of that. A great introduction to magical realism, it explores the reality of what it might be like to be immortal.  

Song of Achilles– I’ve been told multiple times by people that they didn’t really expect to like it, because it’s not normally their thing, but ended up loving it. And for good reason! Miller is a phenomenal writer! Her retelling of the Iliad is not only beautifully written, but unbelievably emotional. I know that this is an excellent choice if you want to get readers branching out into fantasy (not that I have a hidden agenda or anything 😉).

House in the Cerulean Sea– I’d suggest this to everyone because it’s so damn heartwarming- and I defy you to read this and not have a big fat dopey grin plastered on your face by the end!

The Martian– speaking of books that make me smile, this adventurous book is something anyone can enjoy! Yes, it’s sci fi, but even laymen like me love it! Because beyond all the science-speak in the novel, it’s truly a story about determination and the human spirit!

So, what do you think? Do you agree with my suggestions? And what books would you recommend to everyone? Let me know in the comments! I could use the help! 😊

Books that make no sense- Inspired by Briana @ Pages Unbound

I read an amazing post called “Books I Have Accused of Being Illogical” by the brilliant Briana over on Pages Unbound (which obvs you need to check out!!)- and it made me think about books that I thought made no sense. I hunted through my goodreads and this is what I came up with:

Stags– so this has a “clever” main character who figures out all the clues… and yet makes awful decisions with that information. It doesn’t help that her motivation never makes any sense: she hates toffs, but she wants to spend all her free time with them (an issue which could have been resolved if the author had allowed the mc to have even one undesirable trait, such as jealousy or insecurity, to justify her choices). Add to that a ridiculously over the top reveal and you have a book that’s a little too wild for me. It’s a pity that the lack of logic undid what could have been a fun book.

Instant Karma– I’m choosing this for completely different reasons, just because it gets on my nerves the more I think about how pointless it is. As hinted at in the title, the protagonist inexplicably gets karmic powers… which disappear as randomly they arrive and play no actual part in the plot?! I really don’t understand why this book exists.  

Foxhole Court– I’m including this for a number of reasons. 1) It has the worst fake sport EVER- unless of course you’d like to watch a co-ed football-crossed with hockey-crossed with tennis- which just sounds like a sport made up by someone who was extremely high- speaking of which… 2) This is also a book where young athletes are on drugs and no one cares about that. And finally 3) I just find it amusing how many people who find everything problematic love this rapey book.

Wolf by Wolf– I actually really like this book and would recommend it for the writing style/adventure aspects… buuuut it also has Nazis in kimonos. Cos Nazis definitely would go in for some cultural appreciation lol. As much as I respected the author’s skill and did like this series, I still have issues with a premise where Nazis take over the world and just don’t keep killing indefinitely.  

Divergent– I almost wanted to include a lightning round of YA dystopias, because during the height of that craze, people were just writing dystopias for the sake of it, even if they lacked logic. But I ultimately feel like the culprit responsible for that annoying craze was Divergent. Because this premise- where everyone could only have one of five personality traits- never made sense to me. Then *spoilers for the last book* Roth decided to make it make EVEN LESS SENSE by revealing the reason for this dystopic world was some shadowy-men-in-suits were trying to make people more well-rounded (ergo stuck them somewhere they’d be killed for having the desirable traits… *facepalm*)

Handmaid’s Tale– on the topic of dystopias, while Atwood is a very good writer, I have made no secret of my issues with the world building in this book. The more I think about this book, the more holes I pick in it. Because this is supposed to be a patriarchal society (that materialised overnight with no explanation as to how) and yet the protagonist talks of being separated from her husband and child… but why?!? This is a hyper traditional society. The logical thing would’ve been either to a) make the husband party to the evil regime or b) kill him off (because men are often victims in hyper-aggressive societies that treat women as resources).  

Nutshell– I mean, where is the logic in this story? It’s about a sentient foetus. Which is just the terrible starting point to a terrible retelling of Hamlet (thanks, I hate it).

And that’s all I have… for now! What did you think of these books? Did they make sense to you? What books did you think made no sense? Let me know in the comments!

My Top British Thrillers

I sometimes get specific requests at the library- and this is one of my favourites to find. Someone came in looking for audiobook thrillers for their elderly father… who only wants British authors. And since I was thinking about this topic, I wanted to share some of my favourites with you! (I will admit they all happen to be written by female authors- this was not intentional, it just worked out that way!)

His and Hers– I love everything Alice Feeney writes, but this is a great place to start. Twisty and tense, this small-town thriller hides a lot more than meets the eye.

The Death of Mrs Westaway- I always enjoy Ruth Ware’s books as well, yet I had to shine the light on this modern take on the gothic classic Rebecca. I not only love the atmosphere, but how it captures the British coastal setting. And it’s got everything I look for in a thriller: dark secrets, an intriguing narrator and a dramatic finale.

I Found You– Lisa Jewell is one of my newest favourite thriller writers. Her books are often wonderfully weird, dark and simultaneously empathetic. There is a lot of depth and deep character work that I often don’t find in this genre. I think it has something to do with the fact she’s written a lot of contemporaries as well. I chose this one because not only is it the most moving example, but it bridges the divide between contemporary and thriller especially well. It may not be the kind of book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, but it may make you shed a few tears for the characters.

The Guest List– this location wedding takes a very unexpected and murderous turn- which just makes it a helluva a lot more fun than your average wedding! The two main reasons I love this and can’t stop recommending it is: a) the setting and b) it’s just a lot of fun!

Exquisite– this exquisitely executed thriller has one of my favourite motifs: it’s a book about writing! Plus, it has a crazy stalker- which certainly spices things up!

Ice Twins– I adore this book- it is the perfect spooky and atmospheric thriller to get wrapped up in as the temperature cools. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the stunning Scottish setting takes centre stage and acts as a character in its own right.  

The Weekend Away– finishing off with a transatlantic choice, this LA-based author knocked it out of the park with this thriller. It’ll just take you a weekend to whizz through this pulpy and entertaining story- where not everything turns out for the best!

And that’s all for now! Have you read any of these? Do you have any suggestions? The reader will be very happy indeed if you give me more suggestions! Let me know in the comments!

Books That Ought to Come with a Box of Tissues

Often, when I give out certain books at the library I think “damnnn I should give them tissues with this one”… which is why I thought I’d share some books today that need to come with a serious TEARJERKER WARNING. I’ll be brief to avoid spoilers (and hopefully spare you some of the inevitable pain these books bring up).

Code Name Verity– I recommend sitting back, listening to the audiobook and grabbing the tissues, cos this is gonna be an emotional ride.

The Book Thief– just in case you haven’t heard of this book’s reputation for making people cry, then consider yourself warned.  

Thousand Splendid Suns– are you human? Do you have tear ducts? Then this book about women under the Taliban rule is gonna get you good.

Bright Side– I defy you to get through this book and not sob! I knew this was supposed to be sad, but nothing could’ve prepared me for how attached I’d be by the end.

Second Chance Summer– I’ve never given this book a second read, because the first time it destroyed me.

All the Bright Places– this book about mental health issues is as bright and cheery as a smack in the teeth. Don’t do what I did and read this in public (unless you like having strangers side eye you while you sob).

Sisterhood Everlasting– I can’t even talk about this one, it still gets to me. After three books to get to know the characters, saying goodbye to them like this is pure AGONY.

Noughts and Crosses– this alternate history Romeo and Juliet kills me every time. It’s so good. And so so so devastating.

A Monster Calls– a beautiful book about grief (that will rip your heart out and make you sob).

Song of Achilles– yeah this Iliad retelling will just wallop you in the *feels*. *Oof*.

So, have you read any of these books? Do you agree? And what books do you think need to come with a box of tissues? Let me know in the comments!

Books About Renewal

Super quick post today- I just wanted to give some recommendations 🙂 As we come to the end of spring and move into summer, I thought I’d share a handful of books all about change and starting fresh- enjoy!

Where the Crawdads Sing– a beautiful story about a girl forced to keep picking herself up, brushing herself off and starting over- no matter what life throws at her. This deep character study is one of the best things I’ve read so far this year. It’s an exquisite exploration of overcoming loneliness and hardship. 

Happiest Man on Earth– in a similar vein, this true story is about going through hell and coming out the other side. No matter what the author suffered, he did not let it break him. It is one of the most inspirational and powerful autobiographies I’ve ever read.

Eat Pray Love– another memoir, this an account of rediscovery. It’s a quick read that everyone can find helpful- whether you find solace in eating, praying or loving. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine– this is a story of a woman who sets out to find love, yet instead discovers the importance of friendship and rediscovers herself. I loved Eleanor’s journey from beginning to end.

The Flatshare– I needed this book in my life. It is quite simply a lovely read, all about having to find an unconventional living arrangement… only to get way more out of it than anyone bargained for! It shows that life has a way of working out- even when things don’t go to plan 🙂

Beach Read– I love how this story uses writing as a powerful mode to deal with grief and cope with uncomfortable truths. It’s certainly a clever way to explore real character growth.

Words in Deep Blue– I will never miss an opportunity to recommend this heartfelt book. It’s a story of love and loss and finding happiness again. This gorgeous account of grief is a perfect antidote to going through a tough time, because it shows that, no matter what, we can come out the other side.

Anne of Green Gable– most people know the story of Anne, so it hardly needs an introduction. Yet, whether you’re late to the party like I was or just need a nostalgic boost, this uplifting story is perfect if you need a restorative narrative.

The Secret Garden– of course, I’d be remiss not to mention the *ultimate* story of revival. This book shows that things can always begin again.

Secret Countess– and finally, I thought I’d end with a fairy-tale-esque story of renewal. From luxury in pre-Revolutionary Russia to impoverishment, the heroine of this beautiful book must find a way to rise again. And that she does in a truly resplendent and graceful fashion.

And that’s all for now! Did you enjoy the books on this list? Do you have any to add? Let me know in the comments!

Springing Some Lovely Spring Reads on You!

Hello all! Just a quick post today of some Spring-themed books- enjoy!

Secret Garden- I mean, this list would be incomplete without it, wouldn’t it? It’s the most Spring-y Springtime book that I could have sprung on you!

Anne of Green Gables– another classic I can’t help but associate with Spring! So much of this story resonates with Springtime and the great outdoors.

The Wind in the Willows– children’s books really fit with Spring for me- and who could forget this charming story? Adorable and fun and showing the magic of the natural world (yes there really are talking badgers and moles 😉), this is one to (re)visit at this time of year.

The Hobbit– there are so many reasons Tolkien reminds me of Spring! Of course, Tolkien Reading Day takes place at the end of March. And for me personally, it’s when I first read the series and it became an annual tradition to reread around Easter. Most importantly of all, the book itself is a reminder to get out and go on an adventure… or maybe just go for a really long walk 😉

Iron Fey series– again, I associate this author with Spring. Mostly, it is because her descriptions sing with life and fresh excitement every time. It was very hard for me to choose between her different series for this- yet I decided to go old school because these books have such a strong seasonal pull. And fantasy just works at this (and every) time of year!

Book of Atrix Wolfe– McKillip is so powerful at creating atmosphere. Both books I’ve read I strongly associate with nature and hints of magical change.

Far from the Madding Crowd– nothing makes me think more of fecundity and lush settings than Hardy. I chose this particular book, as I often think of it as the happiest of Hardy’s books and for me that fits more with this time of year (*read happiest of Hardy’s books = still contains tragic elements 😉).  

Chocolat– this very indulgent read begins around Lent and explores human desires and passions- if that doesn’t make you think of Spring, I don’t know what will.

Tea Dragon Society– if you’re still craving something sweet, then this children’s graphic novel will be perfect for you. I read it recently and enjoyed every second. The story is so charming and the illustrations just lovely. It actually whizzes through all the seasons, yet for me there’s something so cosy about this that makes me think most of Spring.

Fire of Joy– something about Spring makes me turn to poetry. I happened to read this collection recently and appreciated the commentary that came with every poem. What also makes this perfect for this time of year is how these are poems designed to be read aloud. Just something about turning these over on your tongue made me feel a sense of renewal.   

Poetry by Keats– ah Romantic poets are perfect for this time of year. They make you want to dip your toes into awe-inspiring nature and new love. By rights, I perhaps should have suggested Blake for renewal or Wordsworth for his natural inspiration, but for me Keats is King!

So, have you read any of these? And which books do you most strongly associate with Spring? Let me know in the comments!

*All the Banana* Predictions and Forecasts! #2

Do you guys remember me doing this post previously? Nah- neither did I. I took *way too long* to get round to reading all my predicted 5* reads- but I’ve finally done it! So, even if this is far less relevant than it was supposed to be, I’m going to update you:

Dark Age– as predicted, this was a massive success! I love this series and this one seriously raised the stakes. I can’t wait for the finale.

Wayward Son– also a success! Very different to the first and somewhat meandering… and yet it worked for me. It moved the plot in an interesting direction- looking forward to seeing what that is!

Ninth House– a fair 4* read. This didn’t have much in common with Bardugo’s other work and it was good to see the author branch out.

Crowfall– obviously a success 😉 This grimdark series was great. Beyond its vivid writing and world building, it had a strong emotional heart.

Night Country– not quite as sensational as Hazel Wood, though I did enjoy reading it. And I still have faith in the author and am looking forward to reading Tales of the Hinterland soon.

Starsight– 4*. While I didn’t fall for this quite as much as the first, this was a solid sequel. The spy subplot is not my favourite direction the story could have taken. I feel like *spoilers for book 1* finding out all of humanity is locked up in a prison, should make you feel small and powerless. And this didn’t do that, so it didn’t quite land for me.

Call Down the Hawk– this one could’ve gone either way. And as always, I did appreciate Stiefvater’s beautiful writing. It just didn’t quite blow me away.

Dispel Illusion– another success. Plus, I don’t need to time travel to tell you I enjoyed the trilogy’s conclusion as well. There can be no illusion that I enjoyed this sci fi series.

The Secret Commonwealth– either this was a very long short story or I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read this… or both. Regardless it wasn’t five stars.

Small Spaces– I’ve read the first two in this series and gave them both 4 bananas. They were somewhat unsettling but also felt safely MG- definitely glad I picked them up.

And that’s all for my updates! Time to make some new predictions!

I decided this time around to go for books I’ve been planning to read for ages and already own, so hopefully it won’t take as long to get to! (barring any other unforeseen events that stop me reading again). Without further ado, here they are:

And one bonus book that’s not out yet:

Phew! Finally done this post! Hopefully next time I won’t take years to do a follow up 😉 Now want to know- have you read any of these books? Were they five stars for you? What books do you predict being your next five star reads? Let me know in the comments!

What Did I Think of the Longest Books I’ve Ever Read?

I’ve been thinking about endurance a lot lately- which made me (obviously) relate it back to books. There are many reasons a book may be a test of endurance- but today I just want to look at the most common reason: length. Powering through a tome can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s rewarding… and sometimes it’s really, really not. Let’s talk about some of my experiences:

Les Miserables– according to Goodreads this is longer than War and Peace– I don’t know how they figured it out. Either way, this was a fantastic book. There were parts that dragged, as you might expect of a book this long, but overall it was a stonkingly good read.

War and Peace– I challenged myself to read this a few years ago and was actually surprised by how much it blew me away. Highlighting the horrors of warfare, this book is an immersive and complex exploration of humanity.  

Game of Thrones– loads of GRRM Books end up on this list, so I decided to just mention the series. Personally, I think this books have an excellent grasp of character and the plots are completely invigorating… HOWEVER, *controversial opinion time*, I don’t think they justify their length. There is a lot about the writing style that I don’t like and could have been cut down for more brevity.

Atlas Shrugged– oof this is the most painful book on the list. Sorry, not into Rand’s dull propagandistic drivel. This didn’t feel like reading a story at all and was just painful to get through.

Count of Monte Cristo– contrast that with one of my faves- this book is so thoroughly entertaining. Don’t be put off by the length, it’s one of the most exciting books I’ve ever read. And it has interesting things to say about what the thirst for vengeance does to you as well.  

Gone with the Wind– if you enjoy war dramas, there’s a fighting chance you’ll like this book. This didn’t quite do it for me. There were too many things my modern eyes couldn’t ignore and I couldn’t get past. Besides, it didn’t help that I hated the heroine.

Bleak House– there were a couple of Dickens in the running as well, but I decided to go with the one I liked most. Dickens is always good value entertainment and this is no exception. Full of vivid characters and a powerfully descriptive setting, it’s easy to visualise the Dickensian world. For me, this book has some distinct passages and images that have left their mark on me.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell– the only one on this list I DNF’d. Sadly, I didn’t connect with the writing style, so I can say it’s a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.

Wise Man’s Fear– ach this did not live up to its predecessor. With Name of the Wind, I felt the length was justified with just enough action and elegant prose. Yet here everything I liked was snuffed out and replaced with a smokescreen of pointless subplots. It didn’t feel like the overall narrative advanced at all: Kvothe ended up more or less back where he started, but with a few extra skills (chiefly swordsmanship and apparently being oh-so-fabulous in bed). I’m hoping this was just middle book syndrome and whatever sure-to-be-monstrous-sized tome follows it will justify its length.

Kingdom of Ash– I didn’t end up loving this finale quite as much as I thought I would, though I can’t entirely blame that on the length. To be fair to the book, every scene had a weight to it and felt significant. Unfortunately, plot isn’t the only thing that matters in a big book. In this case, there were simply too many characters and I couldn’t sustain an interest for all of them. Unrelated to length, I also didn’t like the *dramatic* perspective shifts, which I heard Maas say was to frustrate the reader. Frustrate me it did- I kept putting the book down, which meant it took me even longer to get through than it should have.  

As you can see, a bit of a mixed bag! Have you read any of these? Did you love them or loathe them? And what’s the longest book you’ve ever read? Let me know in the comments!

Books I’m a Hypocrite About

Okay, it’s time for me to fess up, sometimes I’m a hypocrite when it comes to books. There are complaints I make OVER AND OVER about things I *hate* in books… and yet sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and please-don’t-hate-me-but-I-actually-let-some-books-and-authors-off-the-hook-I’m-sorry. I was inspired to admit this because I saw two book tubers- Liene’s Library and Merphy Napier– owning up about all the ways they’re hypocrites. I decided to just stick to books that do things I don’t like well, since anyone can do a good thing badly 😉 That’s why these are all books I love but I’m a teensy-tiny-bit of a MASSIVE hypocrite about them:

Grapes of Wrath– I’ll be the first to admit I complain constantly about politics and propaganda in books… but I always let Steinbeck off the hook. Look, if you can write like Steinbeck, you can do whatever you want 😉

Once and Future Witches– okay, it’s not just Steinbeck who can do whatever they want- as far as I’m concerned so can Alix E Harrow. Now her writing is hardly as propagandistic as Steinbeck’s buuut there is a hint of politics in there. And I have to say I’ve let lesser writers off for even the mere mention of politics (doesn’t matter whether I agree with it or not). But damn, she’s just so talented and I love every second of her books!  

His Dark Materials– it’s interesting reading this as an adult, because it pushes post-modernism quite a bit more than I would normally like. Yet, I make excuses because it’s not overly preachy or propagandistic. Plus, I’m completely intoxicated by the world, characters and overarching plot of the series.

The Secret History– normally I hate books with pretentious characters and the theme of almost-but-not-quite fitting in with posh people… and I yet I FRICKIN LOVE THIS. Not only is it done so so well, it also has so much going for it. There’s a murder mystery and an intricately woven plot and some fascinating prose… it’s just a lot better than the average book set in uni.

Infernal Devices Series– there’s lots of things I don’t like here: not least that characters quote poetry at each other and love triangle (yes these are some of my somewhat specific pet peeves). Nonetheless, I like this series best of Clare’s work, because the romance is done so so well. Every move makes sense and I could completely get behind it without compromising my morals. The quoting reams of poetry randomly and pretentiously still irritates me though 😉

Anna and the French Kiss– okay, I have zero justification for this. Anna has the worst kind of cheating love triangle. I don’t even know why I still like this book… but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I think it helps that the characters at least feel bad for their shitty behaviour? Yeahhh that doesn’t make it much better… Moving on…

How I Live Now– this might be even worse because it has a truly icky plot point. Normally for me the whole cousin thing would be a hard no. Something about this book is so strange and disturbing that I wasn’t quite as thrown by it in context (still weird though).

Carry On– okay by contrast, I’m completely justified for liking this book. Yes, I normally hate Chosen Ones with the burning passion of a Dark Lord… BUT this is a parody darn it! And it works so well! And on the subject of comedies…

My Lady Jane– normally I have a lot criticism of alternate history… yet not in this case. Not only does it play with history in such a fun way (that weirdly makes sense) it also made me laugh… so it’s off the hook for everything. I just have a lot of fun with these author’s books- they can do no wrong!

American Royals– another alternate history/contemporary that’s mostly just soapy drama. A lot of it isn’t entirely logical and I don’t know how much makes sense. I just ate it all up.

Crown of Feathers– I’ve heard some criticism of the info-dumping in this series. And, yes, I see it. Even if it’s in little snippets at the start of each chapter, it’s still often considered a no-no to squeeze world building in that way… And yet I didn’t care for a change? This phoenix-led fantasy was just plain enjoyable and I want to dive into more of the series!

Supernova– yeah the finale for this superhero story left some things open ended for a future instalment- which normally would annoy me… buuuut I’m just excited. I want more!

Daisy Jones and the Six– admittedly this doesn’t have the most substantial plot and it’s pretty character led. That can often be an issue for me with books… though can I say I care here? Nah- I just found it super immersive on audiobook and well worth listening to! SO PEACE OUT!

Okay- glad I got that off my chest! Do you also feel like a bit of a hypocrite about some of the books you love? Which ones? Let me know in the comments!