Leigh Bardugo – Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo has been on my Waterstones wish list for ages, but has been one of those authors where I’ve always thought ‘maybe next time’…. That is, until I watched the first episode of the new Shadow and Bone series on Netflix and I immediately knew I was going to need to read them first so I could make the world my own before being shown what someone else thought it was like. I’m struggling to write...

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Jojo Moyes – The Giver of Stars

You know a book is good when you just completely forget that you’re reading. And I read this entire book in a single day because I was so enthralled by the story and the world created within. Set in the 1930s, Alice is a young British woman who has just married a gorgeous American man and moved across the world to a small town in Kentucky. She thinks she’s the luckiest girl in the world, but when they get to Kentucky, things...

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The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan – The Eye of the World

So…I started reading this book in January…2019. I made it around 100 pages in, but it felt like a struggle and I just couldn’t find that compulsion to keep reading. With 700 pages left to go, I simply gave up. But I hate leaving books half finished, so I finally came back to it again two weeks ago (and 2 years after starting). It turns out that the point I gave up the book was just on the cusp of it getting really exciting...

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Rachel Morgan – The Memory Thief

I downloaded this book at the beginning of the year when apple books were giving away a lot of free audio-books, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I hadn’t read any blurbs or anything, just that it was a cinderella re-telling. I was a bit surprised when I realised it was Fae and Vampires, but this was one of my favourite genres about ten years ago, so I was excited to give it a go. Elle is a human girl, bound to her...

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Laura Jane Williams – The Love Square

I’m not going to lie, I only really bought this book because it’s narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher, who I really love. She has such an emotive voice and a way of bringing stories to life, so I would probably buy any book that she narrates (there’s nothing worse than a great story ruined by a poor narration). It took a while for this book to warm up for me, it felt like I’d been listening quite a while before I felt...

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Frank Herbert – Dune

I wanted to love this book so so much. It was one of my Dad’s favourite books, and I was even reading his copy. To be holding and reading a book I knew he loved so much made me long to love it too. But I don’t know if it was just bad timing for me to read it, because I just couldn’t get ‘into’ the book. I didn’t feel connected and I couldn’t keep track of what was happening in my head. I started...

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Richard Roper – Something to Live For

I first saw this book as an ARC on NetGalley, but it was in the middle of Covid-madness and I just didn’t have the time to read it. I was annoyed because I knew I would love it, so when I saw it in paperback recently at the supermarket, I had to pick it up. And I was right, I loved it. At times hilarious, at times heart-breaking, it was amazingly written to draw me in and immediately love Andrew as a character. He’s a bit of...

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Elle McNicoll – A Kind of Spark

I picked up this book after seeing it advertised on social media by Waterstones and I didn’t really know what to expect, apart from the fact that the cover really stood out to me. I’m so glad I took a chance. In the book we meet Addie, an 11 year old girl from a small town in Scotland. When she learns at school that her town held witch trials, she immediately feels a connection to the women that were killed for being different...

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Stephenie Meyer – Midnight Sun

Ahhhhhh nostalgia. This book felt like a hefty dose of comfort, taking me back to my teenage-self who read the Twilight series repeatedly for a few years. I loved those books so much, and although in hindsight they’re not the best books in the world, they’re what got me into reading fantasy, and for that I’m thankful. Midnight Sun is basically the first Twilight book (not all three, like I originally thought from the size...

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Margery Williams – The Velveteen Rabbit

Before I read this book, I felt like I was very familiar with the story. I never read it as a child, but since using the Calm meditation app, this has become my favourite sleep story read by Anna Acton. It turns out, however, that the sleep story is so good at its job that I was only really familiar with the first quarter of the book and the rest was completely unknown. If you’ve not read it, the story is about a toy rabbit made from...

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Cecelia Ahern – Postscript

PS, I Love You was my favourite book for a very long time but as it came out so long ago I had resigned myself to never hearing anything else about Holly and her beloved Gerry. So when I saw that there was actually finally a sequel, it was a must read! In fact, I was so excited that I also ordered a copy for my sister too. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers here, but this is in the blurb so I think it’s okay –...

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Alice Broadway – Scar

The blurb of this book calls this the ‘explosive finale’, but I have to admit, unfortunately I think this was my least favourite of the trilogy. The first two books were really fast paced and I felt compelled to keep reading, but I felt like this one was just slower and not quite as gripping. And to be honest, the ending left me feeling quite disappointed. I’m not sure if I just didn’t ‘get it’, but it...

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Alice Broadway – Spark

This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series – if you’ve not read it yet, look away now! At the end of book one (Ink), Leora’s world is turned completely upside down. Everything she thought she knew about her life is in question, she doesn’t even know who her parents are (literally and metaphorically). And now, she’s a pawn in Mayor Longsight’s game. Sent back to her blank...

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Michelle Magorian – Goodnight Mister Tom

I think I read this book a few times in primary school, but I didn’t have many memories of it apart from finding it quite emotional, so I thought I’d try it again, given it’s part of my 100 book reading challenge poster that my sister bought me. Despite it being more than 20 years later, I still found this book highly emotional, it’s impossible not to find an instant bond with young Willie as he arrives in the...

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N.K. Jemisin – The Fifth Season

I was recommended this book by a few people at work when I had some money to spend on my Waterstones card, and I’m always glad to find a great new fantasy series to get stuck into. I do have mixed feelings though. The first part dealt with some pretty awful topics that would probably have stopped me from reading if the books hadn’t had such good recommendations, and I found the first 150 or so pages pretty slow paced so it took me...

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Lindsey Kelk – A Girl’s Best Friend

As seems to be the standard in this series, we start this book with another opening chapter which is a flash forward to the future. It becomes clear pretty quickly that we’re at a wedding. But what is not quite so clear is who is getting married. To start with, I was leaning towards Tess. But then Charlie arrives. And then Nick arrives. What is happening?! Then we flash back a few weeks, and we find out that the wedding is Kekipi and...

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Lindsey Kelk – What a Girl Wants

Following on from the first book in this series, What a Girl Wants starts with another dramatic opening. Tess and Amy are in a prison cell, but we have absolutely no idea what has happened in the lead up to this moment. We’re then transported back in time and left on tenterhooks waiting to catch up. Definite spoilers for the first book here, so back away if you haven’t read the first in the series yet! At the end of the first...

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Lindsey Kelk – About a Girl

This book was just what I needed, taking me away to Hawaii for a day and away from the miserable grey rain outside – it genuinely made me feel so happy. The book starts with quite a dramatic opening where Tess’ life seems to be coming to a slight dramatic point and just when you’re wondering what the heck is happening, we skip back in time to when the whole tale started. Tess is the kind of woman who has a plan for her...

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Gail Honeyman – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

I’ve had this book on my shelf since it came out a few years ago and I’ve kept looking past it because I thought it was going to be similar to other books I’d read. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I thought at the start that I had the measure of the book, socially awkward Eleanor and the person who brings her out of her shell. But I was completely wrong, and in the worst possible way. The book was heartbreaking and...

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated Edition)

I’ve read Harry Potter so many times that more reviews kind of seem pointless now. Each re-read brings me a new bit of joy, combined with a hefty amount of nostalgia. But this is the first time that I’ve ever read the illustrated editions and wow they’re beautiful. My colleagues bought me the first two for my birthday and when I flipped through I thought the illustrations were gorgeous, but now having read it properly...

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Lindsey Kelk – In Case You Missed It

This was the perfect antidote to The Shelf, leaving me feeling warm and fuzzy with a big smile on my face. Our main character, Ros, has just come back from America. She won’t tell anyone why she’s back when she supposedly had her dream job out there, but we know that something must have gone wrong because no-one comes back from America to live in a (literal) shed at the bottom of their parents garden unless something bad has...

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