Just a Few Unusual Fairy Tale Retellings

I know we’ve been over this before, but I’m here to say it again: I love a good retelling! Fairy tales and myths are some of my favourite stories. They are timeless and transformative and irresistible- which is why I will always love fairy tale retellings. I’ve shared some cool ones before and now I’m showcasing even more! This time, I’m going to be focusing on some unusual ones that feature tales we don’t see being adapted often (and hopefully a few you haven’t come across before!) Let’s get to it!

Echo North– one of the best books I read last year, this gorgeous book combines two fairy tales: Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun West of the Moon. And as I’m not particularly familiar with the latter, it felt even more fresh and dazzling. With original concepts and a unique way of characterising the female lead, this wasn’t your every day YA.

Uprooted– it’s hard to make Beauty and the Beast seem new and original- and yet Novik’s immersive Russian take does exactly that. Hate-to-love at its finest, this is unquestionably stunning.  

Bloody Chamber– for something a little bit more adult, I have to insist on trying this creepy collection. Simultaneously deconstructing and venerating the originals, this divinely written work is well worth a read.

Winter Rose– a retelling of Tam Lin, this atmospheric book had me sold from the start. I felt wrapped up in the tendrils of this enchanted forest setting. It’s simply beautifully written and reimagined. 

Owl Service– drawing from Welsh folklore, this is one of the most unusual books I’ve ever read. Uncanny and different, it’s like it was possessed by mythology rather than simply retelling an old tale again and again. This is trippy in the very best of ways.

Medusa– okay this one’s not a fairy tale per se, but it fits into the mythic theme and is definitely a book that springs to mind when I want to talk about newer retellings. Aside from the gorgeous illustrations, this is one of those retellings that manages to make us genuinely sympathise with the villain. Using real elements from history, this transforms the original story of Medusa into something every girl can relate to. It has a distinctly modern feel, whilst also being true to the realities of ancient Greece. I just love how this allows us to see the gorgons with new eyes and a modern vision.

Thorn– goose girl is one of those stories that doesn’t get adapted nearly as often as others- and this adaptation also happens to be an absolute delight. What I especially like is how it explores the question of the heroine’s victimhood and challenges our very perceptions of passivity. This isn’t a story about yet another kickass heroine punching her way to victory- but a quieter more profound story of what we are willing to sacrifice for others. I feel like its distinctive morality strikes to the heart of what fairy tales are really about.

The Princess and the Fangirl- every instalment of the Once Upon a Con retelling series is thoroughly enjoyable! Give me all the geeky fairy-tale-inspired stories please! The reason I chose this one is not just because it features a sapphic romance, which doesn’t come up enough in retellings, but because it also happens to be a retelling of the Princess and the Pea… and how often do we get to read one of those?! This is a particularly perfect retelling as well- which is nothing less than I’d expect from a story with a perfectionist theme 😉

The Boy Who Steals Houses– I have never come across another Goldilocks retelling- and it couldn’t have been better- because this one was just right! With a main character you will want to protect with your life and a found family you’ll want to adopt, Boy Who Steals Houses *absolutely* stole my heart!!

Call it What you Want– I don’t read many contemporary retellings OR takes on Robin Hood- and this does both! Not only is it unusual, it’s also extremely well done, with deep character work. It’s my favourite of Kemmerer’s work to date!

And that’s all for now! I’m definitely on the hunt for more! What retellings do you think I should check out next? And what do you think of these? Let me know in the comments!

Best fictional rivalries

Ok, I didn’t intend on this being about a whole lotta love, but I couldn’t help it. For me, the best rivalries often end in romance! Let’s just get into the list, shall we?  

Nimona– I love the rivalry in this- it’s so much fun!! Yes, this may seem like a typical villain vs hero story- but appearances can be deceiving 😉

Renegades– the whole dynamic of the heroes vs villains is perfect!! Throw in a forbidden romance and this series is the bomb!

Carry On– a parody of Harry Potter that focuses more on what’s really going on between Draco and Harry 😉

Cruel Prince– I almost love Cardan vs Jude MORE than Cardan with Jude. Their snarky chemistry worked so well in book 1! I think they enjoyed being rivals!

Game of Thrones– specifically the Starks vs the Lannisters. For me, this straightforward I-want-to-destroy-your-house-and-family rivalry is what made the series spectacular at the start. Of course, as the series goes on, we see that there’s a deeper divisions and more important conflicts, but they almost pale in comparison when I think of the original rivalry of the series.

This is How You Lose the Time War– I just loved the concept of this: two people on opposite sides of a time war fall in love. Swift and beautifully written, this book is full of contrasting emotions. 

Night Circus– these characters are destined to fight to the death… so they really shouldn’t develop any feelings for each other…

Hating Game– sometimes office competition can be sexy 😉

Tweet Cute– some rivalries are just completely cheesy- and this book certainly brings the BIG CHEESE factor! Cute and fun, this rivalry roasts all the competition.

Beach Read– the main reason I’m putting this on the list is not for rivals-to-lovers conflict, but for the classic conversation about contemporary romance vs literary fiction! I love that a central theme of the book is these two genres duking it out! Let the battle commence and may the best books win, I say!

East of Eden– playing out the themes of Abel vs Cain from generation to generation, this story isn’t just about rivalry, but also about family ties and difficult relationships.  

And that’s all for now! Are you a fan of any of these? What are your favourite fictional rivalries? Let me know in the comments!

Bookish Heartthrobs I Don’t Love- Inspired Fran Laniado

As much as I enjoy hate to love romances, there are just some love interests I LOVE TO HATE. I was completely inspired by Fran’s fantastic post on non-crushes and decided to share some bookish heartthrobs I’d rather not engage with!

Angel from Tess of the D’Urbervilles– yes, I love this book, and yes, I think it’s awfully romantic… but there’s an emphasis on the awful part. As much as I don’t agree with the criticism saying Angel’s worse than Alec, I *do* think there’s some credence to the idea that Angel’s not so angelic in his treatment of Tess. And (spoiler alert) it doesn’t make it better that he ends up with her sister. It kind of makes him seem more self-serving and selfish. But I don’t really have a problem with this, cos Hardy’s romances are supposed to be tragic. 

Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre– again, this doesn’t stop me loving the book- but would any woman really want to end up with a guy who already has a wife in the attic? I don’t care how nuts you claim she was- that’s some seriously dodgy shit and all that gaslighting doesn’t make it better mate.

Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights– obvs. Although to be fair, I don’t see him as someone who is supposed to be a romantic heartthrob. He’s more like the warning tale of what a bad boy really looks like.

Jacob Black from Twilight– it’s amazing that Meyer created two love interests so terrible that decades later we’re still quibbling over which one is worse. And yet, for me, it’s got to be Jacob. I know there are still Jacob defenders who say that he was a good character, but was ruined in later books… However that doesn’t stop him being the pushy douchbag perve of the later books. Taking him as a whole, he’s just a weirdly possessive and stalky… only he’s doing that to a minor. Great.

Travis Maddock from Beautiful Disaster– this guy is a shitshow not a heartthrob. RUN (don’t walk) in the other direction if you come across anyone like Travis.

Chaol from Throne of Glass– I will stand by the fact that he’s an awful character. He’s mildly abusive, bullying people for being who they are, constantly critical and borderline controlling. But hey, he’s fit, so that’s all that matters, right?

Prince Rhen from Curse So Dark and Lonely– he’s too aggressive and volatile for me. And I only really liked the book that he was barely in (Grey’s great by contrast!) so yeah, not a fan.

Patch from Hush Hush– all I remember from this series is how much I wanted to punch Patch. He’s the quintessential bad-boy-dirtbag- and I hate him.

Daisy Buchanan from Great Gatsby– I decided it was a little unfair to only talk about male love interest, so can we talk about how awful Daisy really is? Not only did she choose to marry (and stay with) Tom, but her other love choice of man isn’t all that to write home about. Plus, she’s also a superficial narc who doesn’t care about her own kid and treats other people like accessories.

Alaska from Looking for Alaska– I’m not really one to label female characters as manic pixie dream girls… but boy if there was ever an example of a manic pixie dream girl, it’d be her. Plus, she’s only really there to help our main character grow (from her death I might add) so she’s basically as rubbish a love interest as you can get.

So, do you agree with any of these? And what are the bookish heartthrobs you don’t vibe with? Let me know in the comments!

My Worst Books of All Time (books I hate so much they make me feel like I’ve reached rock bottom)

You know, I genuinely wish I’d forgotten all the bad books I’ve ever read. And to be honest, when I go back over my “most disappointing” lists, I generally don’t remember (or care about) most of the books on there. Yet sometimes there are books so frickin AWFUL that they’re seared into my memory and I can’t forget them even though I’ve tried!! (Of course, usual disclaimer that this is just my opinion and what technically constitutes a bad book is subjective… although, for some of these, if you tell me they’re not technically bad, I just want to ask: who hurt you?!) ANYWAY, in no particular order (cos it feels too much like sifting through shit), these are the books I hate most in the world:

Fifty Shades of Grey– oh my, I can’t believe I actually read this book. I mean, no “worst books” list would be complete without it- but why oh why did I have to read it?! I blame myself for getting all caught up in the fact everyone was reading it. This (should’ve) been the moment when I realised never to listen to hype. And unfortunately, it’s forever scarred into my memory. There’s no two ways about it: this book blows. 

Nutshell– in a nutshell, this book is nonsense. Unless of course you believe a foetus can monologue reams of conceited drivel. And of course that little synopsis would be bad enough on its own, if it wasn’t masquerading as a Hamlet retelling… (seriously, how do some books exist?)

As I Lay Dying– this book makes me want to die… ahhh I’m not even being melodramatic. It’s been years since I was forced to read this for uni and I’m still not over this insipid advertisement for postmodern bullshit. Amazingly, I’m not impressed by people that pontificate on whether words can truly convey emotion. I wish the self-indulgent wankers who engage in such discussions would just go off to baa in some field somewhere and leave the rest of us in peace.

Wideacre– just gross. I’m disturbed that this was recommended to me, because, WHY?!?! If you don’t know the book, then maybe shield your eyes, stop reading and be grateful in the knowledge that you have been spared from this abject horror. For the rest of us, we have to know that a “feminist” book about incest exists… It’s the book no one asked for/needed/wanted. Yay. Now excuse me while I vomit.

Conversations with Friends– this book is memorable for all the wrong reasons: the pretentious writing style, the characters, oh and did I mention the characters?! I loathe everything about everyone in this book. They’re not only up their own arse, they frequently get far too intimate with other (arsey) characters who happen to be married. And they have no emotions about it cos they’re sociopaths. Cool. Love this kind of thing.

Inspector Calls– technically a play, but I’m counting it. I don’t know why but there’s something endlessly irritating about this precious little play and it’s non-stop moralising. All the “characters” are so flat they may as well be made out of cardboard. And the writing has a sickeningly saccharine edge to it, as it dictates the ways of the world in oh-so-simple terms that even mere mortals such as you or I could understand… Luckily for Priestley, he was preaching to the choir (that choir being the Soviet Union… great- just the kind of regime you want endorsing you).

Dishonourable mentions that I don’t want to waste too much breath on:

The Fault in Our Stars– I wouldn’t care anymore if not for that awful scene in Anne Frank’s house.

Atlas Shrugged– I’d rather thump myself over the head with this gigantic book than talk about it.

Foxhole Court– why is this book?

Girl Woman Other– because there is nothing wrong with a full stop.   

And that’s all… for now! Though I hope I never have to add to this list! Dare I ask- what do you think of these books? And what are your worst books of all time? Let me know in the comments!

Recommending Books I Didn’t Like #2

I’m definitely of the opinion that taste is subjective. Which is why, what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. That’s why I want to recognise books that have a lot going for them, but sadly weren’t my cup of tea. Writing a post like this can be a real challenge- and yet I’m here for round #2 because I relish the chance to give books the kudos they deserve… even if they weren’t quite my jam! Today I’ve chosen books that could easily turn out to be five star reads for someone else! Let’s get to it!

Eye of the World– having watched the show (and yes hearing all the ways it differs from the books) I can now say that it has a really interesting story. So much so that even though I didn’t enjoy the first book because of the writing style, I’m keen to give the series another go. It doesn’t hurt that I’m told it’s a story about hope- which is exactly the kind of fantasy I’m often looking for!

Romanovs– I was kinda numb by the time I got to the end of this monstrosity mammoth book- but the last section is worth reading and it’s an absolutely comprehensive study.

Gormenghast– I didn’t love this story, but it could be because it was very overhyped for me. What I will say is that the descriptions are so visual and I can still remember the feel of the book- even if I didn’t love it as I hoped I might. It’s a one of a kind book that will stick in your mind.

Handmaid’s Tale– love it or loathe it, you can’t deny its cultural significance or Atwood’s talent. Even if I felt tripped up by the world-building, I can attest to this being the kind of book you won’t forget in a hurry. 

Slaughterhouse Five– this is a rec straight from my sister, who loves Vonnegut and wanted me to try it. And it certainly has a striking writing style, even if it wasn’t for me.

Station Eleven– this one is an easy one to recommend, since the only reason I didn’t like this book was because of timing. So I can definitely say it’s a well-written and intense experience… just maybe hold off on it until you’re reading books set in an apocalypse caused by a pandemic.

Fifth Season– this is also easy to recommend- especially since I didn’t dislike this one per se. I just didn’t love it as much as I thought it would. But there is absolutely no denying the quality of the work or that it is doing something entirely unique.

To the Lighthouse– I mentioned Virginia Woolf in my last post, yet I also wanted to mention that I love her writing on a sentence-by-sentence level.

Sons and Lovers– this is another one I didn’t hate- but I find it a little emotional for me and this may be the only opportunity I have to recommend it. It’s beautifully written and a really moving story.

Grief is a Thing with Feathers– this is definitely an unusual book that divides opinion- and the only way to find out which side you fall on is to go ahead and read it. While I didn’t get as much out of this as I hoped, I think it does have some profound insight into the process of grieving.

So, what do you think? Would you recommend any of these too? And what books that you didn’t like would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Recent Overhyped Books that I DO NOT GET?!

I want to love every book- so it genuinely makes me feel sad when I don’t! Especially when I’ve been staring at a book longingly for a while! These are the books that make me sad when I look at them, cos I didn’t love them and I wanted to. They’re not necessarily bad- I just feel like I’m missing something when it comes to them?!

Lore– what a gorgeous cover; I resent this book for having such a gorgeous cover. I have to be honest, I’m so hard to please with Greek retellings… but this did nothing for me. The only connection with classics was window dressing… which looked nothing like the mythical characters. It was so out of touch with Greek mythology and boring to boot (#sorrynotsorry).

Defy the Night– look, I need more magic in my fantasy. And I need to not be able to predict every plot point. I just felt like this was lacking some special sauce to make it stand out from a million other fantasies (and also magic).

These Violent Delights– I loved the concept for this… buuut I really don’t get the hype? I thought this would be a fast-paced fantasy… I got neither of those from this book. A lot of the romance and character growth happened before this book ever happened- like them falling in and out of love… which is kind of a big deal!! All of that should’ve been this book and the sequel should’ve dealt with the aftermath. Also, I don’t care to read about a bug-pandemic right now, thanks.

Hamnet– clearly Shakespeare retellings just don’t do it for me. Look, this is objectively well written- but what is the point of it?? I felt like the entire book was written to support one line from the play. A line that was designed to give readers tingles, but just made me spasm with disbelief that I read a whole damn book for what could’ve been a nice comment in an English essay or an above average poem.

Red White and Royal Blue– I wanted to love this and it still makes me feel sad that I didn’t. The biggest problem for me is how fast they get together- it kind of makes the plot feel really pointless. I need more of a slow burn to get invested. Plus, it didn’t help matters that so much of this felt silly (and with a very Americanised view of the British royal family). Sadly, this didn’t wow me like I wanted it to.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World– *sigh* this was everywhere when it first came out and it was… okay, I guess? It’s not a badly written book- yet it did feel like a slog to get through. And the twist is just *whatever*. I don’t even know why that matters? Like, okay, you tricked us, but, honestly who cares? Why didn’t you just make the dog a hamster while you were at it.

Girl A– okay, I definitely thought this would be a thriller, so maybe this is on me (and the marketing) but that didn’t mean it had to be boring AF.

Oof that was saltier than I meant it to be! Have you read any of these? Can you explain the hype to me?? And what books did you think were overhyped recently? Let me know in the comments!

Anti-Valentines Suggestions!

You all know I really enjoy giving lovey-dovey suggestions- but I wanted to change things up this year and give some utterly UNROMANTIC suggestions!

You– unless you consider stalking romantic… But seriously, I love how this twists the whole rom com genre on its head and shows you the dark side of obsession. 

It’s Always the Husband– because no matter how good you think a marriage is, if you’re going to wind up as a murder victim in a thriller, then it’s always gonna be the husband. Till death us do part and all that jazz.

The Catch– speaking of “too good to be true”, this book will have you questioning every single squeaky clean great guy dating your loved ones…

Rock Paper Scissors– one of the best thrillers I read all year, you’ll be in for a wild ride and left to figure out if love is all a twisted game…

The Silent Patient– and if you need any more proof of unhealthy obsessions going too far, then look no further! Incorporating psychotherapy and Greek mythology, this book will have you questioning everything. In a good way 😉

Frankenstein– I mean, aside from the monster, this has a pretty wacked idea of romance.

The Picture of Dorian Gray– learn to love yourself… and no one else! 😉

Wilder Girls– this is gory and weird and it even has a hint of doomed sapphic romance- definitely one to add to your anti-Valentines TBR.

Horrorstor– but if you need something a bit more straight-up-spooky, then take a turn in a haunted (ripoff IKEA) furniture store. One things for certain, the only concern you’ll have for your heart by the end of the night is whether you’re going to need a bypass.

The Sociopath Next Door– and if you need to be even more creeped out, you can check out some non-fiction on the real-life terrors in our midst (should probably add that this is statistically very low, but still, I’m gonna go for the sensationalised stats, since this is the season for optimism 😉)

The Prince– I mean, he does teach “it’s better to be feared than loved, if one cannot be both”- so I guess that rounds off this list nicely! Why woo someone when you can terrify them? I always think sneaking up on someone, putting your hands over their eyes and saying “guess who” works nicely 😉

Great Expectations– sometimes great expectations don’t pay off 😉 and nothing screams bad romance more than a woman stuck in a wedding dress for eternity 😉

Okay that’s my anti-Valentines list! What do you think? Will these be sufficient to put you off romance? Or do you have more suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

Ranking the Worst Romance Tropes Inspired by Kate Cavanaugh

Because ranking tropes is fun! Using Kate Cavanaugh’s list of awful tropes, I’ve decided to rank the most godawful romance tropes! I tweaked it a little for the kind of books I read/rom coms I watch- but kept it basically the same. Let’s see if you swoon over my list 😉

Awful person transformed by true love– this is just Beauty and the Beast. I’ve no problem with this- provided the person is redeemable.

Surprise baby– I’m sorry I don’t mind this! It can be super cheesy- however I’m okay with it in general (unless the couple are awful, there’s abuse or the relationship should’ve ended for some reason). As long as it doesn’t have a name like Renesmee!

Chase scene (in airport)– I mean, this is great. I’ve no issue with it! GIVE ME ALL THE CHEESE! Yes, it’s getting a little tired, but I can live with it… most of the time.

Everyone must end in a couple– this doesn’t generally bother me, though I agree it can feel unearned. Also, it can be annoying cos it’s unrealistic. I also never understand why everyone has to pair up at the end of YA, because, *newsflash*, I’m going to assume some of those people will break up and some people will find their someone later. On second thoughts, this one does irk me a little.

Strong independent woman that don’t need no man… but inevitably ends up with someone. Sometimes I want a buffy scenario, okay?!

Instalove– I can’t buy into it and it’s lazy writing, but there’s so so much worse here.

Paranormal age gaps– magic doesn’t make a pervert less of a pervert.

Calling off the wedding at the altar– usually it’s the mc doing this at the beginning and it shows them up to be an *awful* character. They humiliate someone in front of all their family and friends and it’s just icky. But guess what? If this happens at the start of a movie, I’m quitting straight away. I can’t root for someone who could do this. And if it’s done to the main character, then it’s too awful and depressing and it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. (The only time this is okay is when some villain is forcing someone to get married and it gets stopped… but that’s what was meant by the trope).

On-off relationships– the worst thing is, this trope only comes about when the story had something good going for it. Then the wisecrack writer decides to ruin it. Rather than showing off a healthy couple, it devolves into a kind of nightmarish limbo of will-they-won’t-they-oh-they-will-oh-they-won’t-now. It’s just… exhausting. And it nearly always makes you fall out of love with the characters and their romance. I hate this and would be happy to never come across it again.

Miscommunication– I used to not mind this, now I hate it because it just makes the whole story seem redundant. Usually it’s two adults, who have easily resolved issues, but won’t communicate with each other about it. And just, WHY CAN’T THESE TWO HUMANS TALK TO EACH OTHER AND SAVE US ALL THE DRAMA? GAH!!  

The other man/woman is terrible– Kate C said the problem was with the person being awful makes you question the love interest’s taste. However, for me, the main issue is this nearly always leads to a cheating dynamic. Like, it’s okay to emotionally cheat or get really close to cheating, just as long as you think the other man/woman is a jerk. And that doesn’t fly with me. It’s also really annoying to be told the other person is rubbish- but sometimes I just don’t buy it! I often come away thinking that the mc is terrible and making excuses about the other person to justify their actions.

Love triangles– the only reason this isn’t as high on the list is because there are other things that are worse.

Stalking is cute– NOPE. It’s not. Don’t do it. Even in fiction.

Weird power dynamics (professor and student, psychologist and client) eww- I just can’t decide which of these two examples is worse.

Cheating– I mean, so many of the ones that came before this were high up the list BECAUSE they lead to cheating/are a form of cheating. So obviously, this has got to top the list. Lying, manipulating and being a crap person ruin romance. End of story.

That was surprisingly cathartic! Do you agree with me on any of these? What do you think is the worst romance trope? Let me know in the comments!

God Tier Tropes #2 Aka MORE Books With Tropes I Love

Hello all! A while back, I shared some of the best books with tropes I love and today I thought I’d do a round 2 with EVEN MORE tropes I like!

Story Within a Story– you all know I’m a sucker for this one.

Second Chance Romance– there’s something really cute about getting a do-over and fixing past mistakes.

Stuck Together- not to be confused with the isolation trope, which I also love 😉 I just adore when characters are forced together find themselves stuck working/hanging out/locked in with someone they don’t expect and then gradually fall in love… especially if they don’t like that person to begin with!

Found Family- this one makes me melt inside! It’s so much fun when characters find each other by chance or by adventure and become a little family!

Heists– this is a newer one for me, but it’ll never get old, cos it’s so entertaining. And yes, I know I have so many more to read (*cough* lies of locke lamora *cough cough*)

Portal Worlds- this has been one of my favourites FOREVER! Portal fantasy is one of my absolute favourite settings. I like the idea of stepping into another world and leaving this one behind- kinda like reading 😉

Old-school Witches– okay, I’ll admit, any witch will do! But still, there’s something endlessly charming about the old-school, dark and twisted witches, who play with pentagrams and dodgy spells that could go very, very wrong…

The Mentor– because I nearly always end up loving them more than the main character!

That’s all for now! What do you think of these tropes? Do you like these books? And do you have any you’d recommend in these categories? Let me know in the comments!

Autobuy Authors

Hello all! To kick off the month of love, I thought it’d be great fun to share some joy and talk about some awesome authors. I decided this list would be wayyyy too long if I went with favourite authors, including those who have died, so I’m simplifying it and only spotlighting a few fantastic modern authors. There are quite a lot of authors I return to again and again- and I hope I haven’t missed out any! Here are my auto-buy authors:

Laini Taylor– her writing is TO DIE FOR! I can’t get enough of it (I mean, really, I can’t get enough!! I want more!!)

Katherine Arden– Arden is a wonderful talent and her retellings are stunning. I’m becoming a lifelong fan.

Madeleine Miller– I don’t know whether to classify Miller as literary fic or fantasy- but I do know that I ADORE her work. And now she’s writing a Persephone retelling?!! YES PLEASE!! (I mean, thank you very much for the Tempest as well, I will lap that up too whenever it’s ready!!!) These books are just so in line with my taste and are everything I could want now… and forever!

Alix E Harrow– this is a newer author for me- and yet she’s easily one of the greatest talents in fantasy right now. I loved her Ten Thousand Doors of January… but loved her Once and Future Witches even more. I’d be delighted to read whatever she publishes next!

V E Schwab– I have had a couple of wobbles with her books clashing with my taste- and yet I will always give everything she writes a try. There’s something infinitely special about her writing and stories and characters. They all just leap off the page and beg for attention!

Neil Gaiman– obviously. C’mon, I gotta read everything Gaiman writes. I’m a fantasy nerd.

Mark Lawrence– I’m a little behind, but I have read all his work for a reason! Written in a crisp and balanced style, I enjoy every action-packed minute of his books. What I also really appreciate is how his work never gets samey- he’s rolling out book after book, with different themes and stories and entirely new ideas! 

Kauffman/Kristoff– okay this one is funny, cos I don’t always jump at their work as individuals, HOWEVER will always go for their multi-cast soapy space operas- they are truly out of this world! As a duo, they bring out the best in each other and I AM HERE FOR IT!

Pierce Brown– just in case his original Red Rising series wasn’t perfect enough… he’s now delivering a stonkingly good follow up! I adore his take on Romans (in space)- these stories simply SING off the page. Can’t wait for more!

Carlos Ruiz Zafon– okay this one is just on the cusp, since he died a couple of years ago, however since he’s still releasing books posthumously, I figure he counts! And I’m still picking up everything he publishes!

Ruth Ware– there are a number of thriller writers I will always pay close attention to- yet few measure up to Ware. She’s a powerhouse of British thrillers- producing better and better work with every book. I LOVED when she pivoted into the retelling-style thrillers- it was a bold and brilliant move.

Riley Sager– because he’s fantastic. Every book is different and out there and unexpected. I gotta grab whatever he’s putting out there!

Alex Michaelides– this is my latest discovery and I AM FRICKIN RAVING ABOUT HIS WORK!! As you know, I love my Greek mythology, so even if he wasn’t a fabulous thriller writer, which he obviously is, I’d be keen to check out his unique twist on retellings.

And that’s all for now! Do you love any of these authors? And who are your auto-buy faves? Let me know in the comments!