My Most Anticipated YA Books of 2021 – Part 2

As if my TBR wasn’t long enough, I thought I’d add to this overflowing chaos and emotionally prepare myself for all the incredible books that are being released later this year! A lot of these were already on my radar but there’s a few that slipped through the cracks and I audibly gasped when I spotted them on Goodreads!

Us readers are in for a treat this year, and this list has definitely given me some much needed encouragement to get through some of books on my TBR before it gets too overwhelming! I’ve definitely missed a few so let me know in the comments what new releases you’re looking forward to reading soon!

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould (August) – Not only am I’m obsessed with this cover but this synopsis is everything! I don’t usually read thrillers but I’m excited to see what mystery and spine chilling moments are lurking behind these pages.

The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad (August) – Another cover that I’ve fallen head over heels for! The Wild Ones is a brilliant feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.

Fresh by Margot Wood (August) – There’s so much pressure to ‘discover yourself’ when your first start university or college, and Fresh sounds like the perfect and truly realistic coming of age story!

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee (August) – Another sappic dark academia adventure that sounds super dark and twisty! A Lesson in Vengeance is mysterious thriller about a boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past.

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao (August) – Dark academia + murder mystery + Asian American representation = the perfect thriller!

The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith (August) – My TBR has been lacking in historical fantasy and Sasha Peyton Smith has come to my rescue with an immersive and magical adventure about a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson (September) – I really enjoyed Rogerson’s Sorcery of Thorns, but I my only problem was that it was over too quickly, so I look forward to experiencing more of her incredibly imaginative adventures!

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber (September) – One of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and I was beyond excited when I received the email saying that my request has been approved! I’m beyond excited to dive into back into the wonderful world Stephanie Garber has created and for opportunity to get to know Jacks a little better!

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer (September) – I wasn’t a huge fan of Kemmerer’s A Curse so Dark and Lonely series, but this book sounds epic and striking similar to our own! Defy the Night focuses on a kingdom divided by corruption, a prince desperately holding it together, and a girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.

Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn O’Neil (September) – I love the story of Anastasia and the Romanovs, so when I saw this book on Goodreads, it went to the top of my anticipated TBR. Plus that cover is beautiful and I need it on my bookshelves!

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney (September) – Last year I fell head over heels for Sally Rooney, and she’s quickly become one of my instant-buy authors. I already know that I’m going to love these characters and I’m ready to be blown away!

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson (September) – Another instant-buy author, Tiffany D. Jackson knows how to create incredible stories and I’m eager to jump into this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story.

The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young (September) – I audibly gasped when I saw this book! We’re getting ANOTHER book set in the world of Fable and I’m beyond excited! When a letter from her uncle Henrik arrives on Bryn Roth’s eighteenth birthday, summoning her back to Bastian, Bryn is eager to prove herself and finally take her place in her long-lost family.

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz (October) – It’s been years since I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and I can’t believe that we’re finally getting a sequel! Am I emotionally prepared for this book? No, but I can’t wait to be reunited with these characters!

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen (October) – I was lucky enough to receive an ARC for this book from NetGalley and I’m so glad I did because this book sounds intense! I’ve never ready any books by Margaret Owen but I’ve heard lots of good things about her Merciful Crow series!

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker (October) – ‘Death is her destiny’, I’m sold! The Keeper of Night is a dark historical fantasy set in 1890s Japan, and follows Ren Scarborough, a half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami who has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. 

Bright Ruined Things by Samatha Cohoe (October) – Isn’t that cover gorgeous! I love the 1920’s and bit of Shakespeare so this book is right up my street!

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow (October) – If you’ve been following this blog for a while then you know that I love a good-old fairytale and the wonderful Alix E. Harrow has created the perfect feminist reimagining of Sleeping Beauty!

Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper (October) – I’m getting all the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina vibes from this synopsis! Three scorned witches who make a vengeance pact to take down the warlock who broke their hearts at different times…only for two of them fall for each other instead. YES!

Well Matched by Jen DeLuca (October) – Another series I need to start! This series sounds super adorable, and who doesn’t love an accidentally in-love rom-com filled with Renaissance Faire flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights!

Our Violent Ends by Chole Gong (November) – I still haven’t read the first book in this series but I planning to next week for my read-a-thon! I’m pretty confident that it’s going to be a 5-star read and that I’ll want the next book in my hands ASAP!

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody (November) – The Hunger Games with a bit of magic? Um yes please! I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a villain and I’m excited to get to know these characters! And as if by chance I’ve just logged onto my emails online to find a successful ARC approval email, yay!

Gilded by Marissa Meyer (November) – It was only last week when I found this book on Goodreads, and I’m beyond ready for another Marissa Myer’s adventure! The Lunar Chronicles were one of my favourite series growing up and that woman is a machine when it comes to writing books! Once again Myer’s has reinvented another classic fairytale and returns with a haunting Rumpelstiltskin retelling, and if anyone wants to send me an ARC of this book then please let me know! *wink wink*

Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman (November) – I don’t think I’m emotionally prepared for this book! I have so many questions that need answering especially after THAT ENDING!

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus (November) – Karen M. McManus is the queen of YA murder mystery so I already know that this thriller will keep me on the edge of my seat!

March Wrap Up and April TBR

Well, this month has been a weird one, hasn’t it? On the one hand, I can’t believe it’s already April, but at the same time, I felt like March was never going to end! As I mentioned in my last wrap up, March was going to be a month dedicated to my mental health but this month had other plans! My work life has been chaotic, and I’m finally starting to find some progression within my chosen career. I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed for other exciting job applications, and I’m sending all the good vibes out into the universe!

I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging scene recently, and I apologise for that. I can’t put my finger on it, but this month has just felt a little odd, and I think the mental impact of this lockdown is hitting me again. The 23rd of March marked a year since the UK started its first Covid-19 lockdown, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! I’m trying my best to remain positive and to focus on all the things I want to do when this lockdown is over! I’m desperate to finally spend some time with my friends and travel around the UK! I’ve already got a trip to Hay-on-Wye planned, and I’m so excited to spend hours wandering around the literary labyrinths and forget about the world.

One massive thing that has been crushing me and my blogging spirit this month is spam blogs. I don’t know about you, but I always get so excited when I receive a notification from WordPress. It’s so heartwarming to know that someone has enjoyed my content and taken a moment out of their day to engage with me, but recently my notifications have been filled with spam, and it’s soul-crushing. The majority of my likes and follows have been from spam blogs that I know haven’t read or are even interested in my content, and it only fuels that horrible feeling of doubt and defeat. I end up focusing entirely on them rather than the wonderful group of people who continue to support me and it makes me question why I put my heart and soul into every post for it fall victim to an overwhelming amount of unwanted spam!

For me, blogging is the perfect creative outlet that helps me channel all my thoughts, ideas and opinions into fun and engaging posts. It’s not about likes or followers but being apart of such a welcoming and heartwarming community that shares the same interests and passions as me. For the last week of March, I took a little break from blogging to just clear my mind, and it really helped! So to all the spam blogs reading, I don’t want to learn how to make money online or any other financial wisdom, I just want to blog about all things books and have fun with my fellow book bloggers!

Anyway, I’m excited for April and ready to embrace everything it throws my way!

What You Might Have Missed Last Month:

The Book Recommendations Book Tag

Greek Myths that Need More Retellings

My Favourite Throwback Reads From My Teens

Meet the Blogger Book Tag

Favourite Books With Green Covers | St Patricks Day

How to Get Over a Book Hangover?

How I Stay Organised & Tips for New Bloggers

March Wrap Up

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo – I wanted to re-read the entire series before the new TV show and before I started King of Scars, and I’m so glad I did because I’d forgotten about a few things. I love this series and the incredible world Bardugo has created and I’ve once again fallen down the rabbit hole that is my Darkling and Nikolai obsession! Also please can we take a moment to freak out about THAT trailer! Everything looks perfect, and I love how they’ve combined the two storylines but I don’t think I’m emotionally prepared for all these characters to meet.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – These books are SO good! Hannah Donnelly is one of my new favourite characters and I just wish that I’d read this series sooner! Thank you to everyone who recommended this series, I loved it.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – This was probably my least favourite of the three books but nevertheless I still loved it! As expected this book was a fast-paced intense space adventure pocked with witty one liners and character interactions that had me grinning from ear to ear! I can’t praise this series enough and it deserves all the hype.

April TBR

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a monthly TBR before, there are so many amazing books on this list that I can’t wait to read! This book has been all over the blogging scene and it’s about time I see what all the hype is about!

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – After finishing the Shadow and Bone trilogy, it’s clear that I need some more Nikolai in my life! I’ve already ordered Rule of Wolves as I’m fairly certain that I’m going to want to pick up the second book as soon as I finish this!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I love these characters SO much! Six of Crows will always be a favourite of mine and I’m eager to experience this action-packed adventure again!

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong – Another book that I’ve been dying to read for ages! A Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, yes please! I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, so it’s fair to say that I’ve got high expectations!

Romance Books On My TBR | Romance Week 2021

Happy Romance Week! As many of you know Sunday is Valentine’s Day so in celebration I’ll be posting a couple of romance themed posts. One of my reading goals for 2021 was to branch out with my reading habits and read something each month that’s not sci-fi or fantasy, and so far I’ve managed to stick to this. Last month I fell completely and utterly in love with the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, and it’s put me in a really romantic reading mood so my aim for February is to try and tick a few off my romance TBR!

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christian Lauren – Last year I fell head over heels for Christina Lauren’s book The Holidaze, and now I need more! This light-hearted and cute read was exactly what I needed for the festive season, and I’m ready for more unique romantic encounters and grin-inducing flirtation.

The Hating Game: A Novel: Thorne, Sally: 9780062439598: Books

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – This book is the ultimate enemies-to-lovers romance and I can’t wait for it’s adaptation, starring Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell. Lucy is charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely – I relate to this book SO MUCH! Every year my family gathers for an annual reunion and each year I have to endure the endless questioning about my career and love life, both of which are non existent! There’s only two of us singletons left and we’ve both made a pack to not let the other become the only single grandchild! I’ve yet to reach the stage in which I invite a total stranger to play ‘my date’ so things are looking hopeful! Anyway this book sounds exactly what I need and I can’t wait to dive into it!

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary | Waterstones

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – This has been on my bookshelf for almost a year now! I bought it during the first lockdown but surprise, surprise I got distracted and never started it! I’m currently on a book buying ban, and I’m trying to read the majority of books on my shelf before ordering anymore so this is 100% on my TBR for February.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1) by Talia Hibbert

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – I’ve seen this book all over my socials and it looks adorable and something I know I’m going to love. This mission of rebellion is guaranteed to make me smile and I’m looking forward to witnessing the developing relationship between Chloe and Red!

Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel: McQuiston, Casey:  9781250316776: Books

Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – This book blew up a couple of years ago and as always I’m last to the party when it comes to reading it! I’m all for royalty and romance, so I’m sure that I’m going to love this book as much as everyone else!

The Wedding Date: 9780593098394: Books

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – I love weddings and I especially love the ‘fake dating’ trope, so this combination is right up my street. Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist…

It Ends with Us: Hoover, Colleen: 9781982143657: Books

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – When Googling ‘best romance’ novels, this one always appears in the top ten! I’ve never read anything by Colleen Hoover, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book and I’ve yet to read a bad review.

Call Me by Your Name (Movie Tie-In) by André Aciman, Paperback | Barnes &  Noble®

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman – Another book that has sat sadly unread on my bookshelf for too long! I fell absolutely in love with the film adaptation, and knew I had to read the book too. Fast forward a couple of years later and I still haven’t read it, so I’m going to make it my mission to read it soon.

November Lockdown #2 Book Haul

Happy 2nd Lockdown to everyone in the UK, and to celebrate I thought I’d order a few books to keep me entertained for the next month! It’s more important now than ever to help support independent businesses and high street book stores like Waterstones, so if you are looking to order some new reads try and avoid cyber giants like Amazon and Book Depositary!

This lockdown has affected me a lot harder than the last one, and I’m yet to figure out why, so a new and exciting bundle of books was exactly what I needed! Plus when I ordered these book’s it was ‘National Singles Day’, a Chinese unofficial holiday and shopping season that celebrates people who are not in relationships, so I thought it was only fitting to treat myself and maybe find myself a new bookish boyfriend. *wink, wink*

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini – Ever since I re-watched the film adaptation last week I’ve been, once again, obsessed with dragons and the world Paolini has created! So I thought it was about time I continued with the series! I plan to re-read Eragon next month before starting the rest of the series in the early part of next year!

The Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber – I read this book all the way back in 2017 and it was easily one of my favourite books of the year! Since then, this series has taken a forgotten back-seat but with Christmas on the horizon, I thought this magical series would be a perfect read for the holiday season. Plus these books were on my list of book series I wanted to finish this year so I better get reading!

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – Another book that has been patiently sitting on my wish-list for a couple of months! It was a toss up between this and The Bone Criers Moon by Kathryn Purdie, but in the end it was the storyline and glowing reviews that convinced me to add this one to my basket instead!

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – I apologise to everyone who has witnessed me witter on about this book for months, but I FINALLY have my hands on it! Every time I went to order it, it would always be out of stock but now its mine. It’s fair to say that I’m going into this book with high expectations, especially after all the hype it’s been receiving, and I’m just so excited to finally meet these characters and experience the wonderfully magical world Mahurin has crafted.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I’ve got myself into a bit of a pickle now, haven’t I? I don’t know which book I want to read first! I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and I’m in desperate need of a good sci-fi read, especially since the release of the Mandalorian Season 2! I need more spaceship adventures and far away galaxies in my life, anything to get away from everything happening here on Earth!

My Birthday Trip to Oxford | Oct 2020

To celebrate turning the ripe old age of twenty-three, I treated myself to a little getaway in Oxford and had the most magical time. Oxford has always been on my bucket list of UK cities, it is a city dedicated to the influence of literature and good stories, and as soon as I stepped off the train, it felt like I was being welcomed with open arms. The city is designed for wanderers it is so easy to get lost in your thoughts or conversation with a friend and still end up somewhere cosy and familiar. I’d give my left arm to wake up every morning with a coffee and sit reading my book in University Park!

When visiting new places, I make it my mission to find the best places to eat and the city of Oxford excelled! The current 10 pm curfew here in the UK meant that all the eating and the drink started very early, so we got dressed up and headed first for cocktails at Quod and then to this wonderful Italian restaurant called Branca! I can’t recommend this place enough, it was amazing, the Aperol Spritz and Gnocchi were a 10/10! We then finished the night with more cocktails at The Lighthouse, which again was stunning!

The next morning, after a very slow and steady wake up, we drugged ourselves up on coffee and made the most out of the city on a quiet Sunday morning, it was so peaceful. With rumbling bellies, we then took our recovering selves to George St Social for brunch which by no surprise was so good and exactly what we needed!

Now did you really go to Oxford if you didn’t visit a couple of bookshops? I’ll also leave a link to my Oxford book haul here, if you want to check that out!

Blackwells – I only wish that I had a Blackwells near me, as I’m obsessed! I could easily spend an entire afternoon exploring the endless shelves and magical adventures hidden in the pages that line the walls. Plus they had a good ‘3 for 2’ deal on readers favourites, so I had to pick up a few to add to my TBR!

Waterstones – Oxford’s Waterstones stands proud on the corner of Broad Street with its curved windows and grand architecture, making it a proud giant of the high street. With five floors of books, I can guarantee that you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, or just something that picks your fancy. Although the cafe was closed, it looks like it would be the perfect places to sit and grab a coffee.

The Last Book Shop – One of my favourite things in the world is independent bookshops, and Oxford is full of them! We stumbled upon this bookshop when we were ambling around and I so glad I did as it soon became one of my favourite stores of the trip. If you’re looking for that cosy little bookshop stacked with loads of reasonably priced books, then this place is ideal. I couldn’t believe how cheap some of the books were and I had to stop myself from going overboard

Oxfam – A staple for anyone looking for some pre-loved bargains! There’s plenty of Oxfam’s in Oxford and are the perfect destination if you’re looking for your next read

St Phillips Books – This one is tucked away down a quiet alley and is very easy to miss! Every nook and cranny is filled with books, and it honestly feels like you’ve stumbled into an endless library filled with vintage second-hand books.

The Book Stop – A sister location to The Last Book Shop, this is another cosy and welcoming space that is filled with all genre of books. When visiting Oxford’s bookshops, I recommend to always start with the independents, not only does it help support local businesses but the chances are that you’ll find the book you’re looking for at half the price!

My Birthday Book Haul

It was my 23rd birthday on Monday and to celebrate I went to Oxford for the weekend and spent my time drinking fancy cocktails and visiting lots of bookshops, it was wonderful! I’ve written a post all about my trip and some of my favourite Oxford bookshops, so keep your eyes peeled for that soon!

Now, did you really go to Oxford if you didn’t come back with a huge bag of books?

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – This is a beast of a book, and I honestly don’t know if I’ll have time to read it this year! Even if I don’t it’s going to sit proudly on bookshelf!

A Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus is one of my favourite books of all time, so I’ve got high expectations!

The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E.Schwab – You may be thinking, Amy you have this book already, why do you need another copy? Well it’s because I only have the ebook and needed to get my hands on the American Hardback (the cover in my opinion is better)! Did this book cost me and arm and a leg? Yes! Was it worth it? 100% yes, it looks beautiful on my bookshelf! I’m halfway through this book and I’m loving everything about it, and if the universe would like to send me my own Henry then I’ll be forever grateful!

The Chief by Monica McCarty – Earlier this year myself and some friends from university discovered the wonderful world of romantic highlander novels and I’m OBSESSED! This now become a running joke within our friendship, so it wouldn’t be a birthday without one!

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – I brought this book a couple of months ago when I visited the bookish town of Hay-on-Wye but I ended up giving it to someone as part of a gift, so I never got the opportunity to read it! Everyone keeps telling me how good this book is, so I definitely plan on putting it on my TBR for November!

Don’t Tell Alfred by Nancy Mitford – If you’ve been following this blog for a while then you’ll know that Nancy Mitford is a staple favourite of mine, and her ‘Pursuit of Love’ series is just wonderful. The series follows an upper-class English family and their relationships within society and until now I had no idea that this book existed! Set twenty years after the events of the second book, Don’t Tell Alfred follows Fanny as she navigates her own problems and the complex world of French politics. This book has shot straight to the top of my TBR and I’m so excited to dive back into the chaotically fabulous lives of these beloved characters.

My Recent Net Galley Approvals – Oct 2020

This week I’ve been having a much-needed sort out of my blog and all of my other bookish accounts, including my long forgotten Net Galley account! I’ve finally caught up on all of my reviews and decided to request a few new releases, most of which were approved! This little ebook haul has definitely reignited that urge to read more so much so that I’ve already got a plan of which books I want to read next!

For those who don’t know Net Galley is a service that enables publishers and authors to upload books to its website prior to publication and allows “professional readers,” such as reviewers, to request copies. It’s a great platform which helps readers like you and me discover new authors, genres and adventures. It’s not guaranteed that your request will be approved but if you maintain a good and prompt feedback score then odds will be more in your favour!

Net Galley is one of my favourites and is such a wonderful platform for book bloggers and reviewers, so my aim for next year is to review one book a month from Net Galley rather than requesting lots of books and being overwhelmed by looming deadlines and reviews! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little ebook haul!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E.Schwab

This is one of my most anticipated autumn releases for this year and I actually squealed when I saw the approval email in my inbox! Schwab is one of my favourite authors, her writing is wonderfully magical and her ability to craft intricate and uniquely beautiful characters is breathtaking. If you haven’t read her Shades of Magic series then I highly recommend that it makes it way on to your TBR now, it’s such a fabulous read that takes place in a world crafted with the upmost perfection and thought.

Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings

I stumbled across Lindsay’s new book announcement video a couple of weeks ago, so when I found this on Net Galley it was an instant request. Years ago I remember reading her Murder Complex series and really enjoying her writing style so I’m looking forward to reading another one of adventures. The synopsis for this book sounds intense so I’m eager to discover more about the mysterious Sonara and the world Lindsay has created!

The Witchling’s Girl by Helena Coggan

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, so this was another read that I had to request instantly! This year I want to make a conscious effort to read more spooky and witchy books in the lead up to Halloween, so this one will 100% be on my TBR for October. I keep re-reading the synopsis for this book and I’m obsessed, everything about it sounds so mysterious. There are so many book that I want to read, I’m struggling to decide which one to read first!

Secrets of the Starcrossed: The Once and Future Queen by Clara O’Connor

This is being marketed as a Panem meets Grishaverse, and I’m instantly sold! This has got all the classic tropes of any YA trilogy; star-crossed lovers, a rebellion and of course a little bit of magic and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued.

In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, two star-crossed lovers fight to ignite the spark of rebellion.

The Cup and The Prince by Day Leitao

I was initially drawn to the book because of its cover but then I read the synopsis and I’m OBSESSED! The story follows Zora who steals the ex-boyfriends place in the legendary Blood Cup, to prove her worth and that she’s more than just a pretty face. I’m a sucker for any form of ‘fantasy games/competitions’ so I know that I’m going to love this, plus this book is guaranteed to have lots of action packed fight scenes and intense romance!

My Trip to the Book Town of Hay-on-Wye!

Hay-on-Wye is one of my favourite places in the entire world. Not only is it a celebrated ‘book town’ that hosts a fabulous literary festival each year, a festival that was sadly cancelled this year due to Covid-19, but it encapsulates the warmth and serenity of any typical Welsh town. To me it’s like a second home and will forever provide me with that little bit of joy. Even thinking about it and all of its bookshops is making me feel all warm and cosy inside. It was also at the Hay Literary Festival where I met one of my all time favourite authors Sarah J Maas, her work has had a huge impact on my life and I look forward to returning to the festival next year.

If you’re a book lover like myself then Hay-on-Wye needs to be on your bucket list of places to visit, its easy to loose yourself in the literary labyrinths of endless shelves and forget about the world around you. Richard Booth’s Bookshop, The Hay Cinema Bookshop and Addyman Annexe and of course the Castle Bookshop are among some of my favourites, as they all welcome you with open arms and house some our most memorable adventures.

After my wanderings around all the bookshops, I grabbed myself a coffee and headed down towards the river where I just sat looking over my purchases and watch the world go by, it was wonderful.

Now did you even go to a book town if you didn’t come back with a mini haul of books? I could have easily bought loads of books, but I’m running out of space on my bookshelf so I only got a couple.

Where I Was From by Joan Didion – As many of you know, Joan Didion is soon becoming one of my favourite authors, there’s something heartbreakingly raw and introspectively delicate about her writing that makes it so magical. So when I saw this book for a couple of pounds, I knew I couldn’t resist.

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Last year I read Circe and absolutely adored it, so I’m eager to read more of Miller’s work and dive back into the wonderful world of Greek Mythology.

Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan – It’s very easy to become overwhelmed when exploring the bookshops in Hay so I always look for my go to authors, McEwan, Mitford and Didion. I’m very proud of my McEwan collection and then I realised that I was missing his new release so there was no hesitation as I made my way to the till point.

Reading Goals Check In & New Goals For 2020

At the beginning of the year I set myself a few blogging and reading goals that I wanted to achieve, and I thought now would be a good time to reflect on my progress so far! This year has been far from normal, and these past couple of months have been a bump in the previously peaceful road but I pleased to say everything is starting to get back on track and into a new routine! Anyway, here is my updated reading and blogging goals for the rest of 2020!


A New Goodreads Goal of 40 books – That’s five more books than I originally planned and at the rate that I’m reading, I hope to increase it even more! Every year the aim is to read 52 books (one book each week), so maybe this will be the year I finally achieve my goal.

Read Every Book Club Book – I’m surprised that my university book club is still going, I was convinced that come the end of March we would have all given up! We’ve read everything from highlander romance to music biographies and war fiction, it’s been an interesting mix and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them!

Clear Out My Bookshelves – Done! I’ve just posted a new blog post about unhauling books and my gorgeous new bookshelves, so I’ll leave a link to it here! All I need to do now is to start selling them on ebay!

Read More Books By Diverse Authors – I want to actively explore and change my reading habits, as out of the 25 books I’ve read this year only 3 of them have been written by non-white authors. So, for the rest of the year I want to read at least one book a month written by diverse authors in order to broaden my understanding and celebrate different and successful representation in literature. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is definitely on my list for this month but any other recommendations would be fab!


More Active Role in the Blogging Community – This is one I really want to work on, as I feel that recently my activity and role in the blogging community has taken a backseat. I also want to apologise profusely to anyone who has recently commented on any of my posts, lately I’ve been terrible at replying and checking my stats! It means the world to me whenever someone comments and interacts with my posts so please don’t take it personally.

Post at Least Once a Week – My posting rate isn’t perfect but its defiantly better than last year and up until lockdown I was posting twice a week and had a clear schedule. I’m slowing getting back to my usual routine, it’s just difficult finding that new work/life balance, but I’m confident that by the end of next month I will be posting twice a week again!

Reach 600 Followers – At this moment in time I’ve got 551 followers which is amazing and I want to firstly thank every single one of you for supporting me on my blogging journey! I would love to end the year with 600 followers so if you like what you see then please give us a follow!

How to Unhaul Books | New Shelves, New Books

It’s a rite of passage when any avid reader makes that momentous journey to IKEA to purchase their first BILLY bookshelf, and it is finally time that I got my own bookshelf too! So last week I drove up to Ikea and squeezed a brand new bookshelf and other Ikea essentials into the back of my very small car!

Building and decorating your new bookshelf is an intricate and delicate process that involves finding the perfect position for every single book. And after lots of thought and colour coordination, I’m finally happy with the finished result! I’ve created this little reading nook I’m my room and its fair to say that I’m in love! However I thought I was going to have loads of space for new books but I was very much mistaken, instead I’m desperate need of an unhaul!

My dream has always been to have loads of bookshelves filled with all my favourite books and over the years I’ve acquired lots of duplicates and books that I bought for the sake of filling my old shelves! So in the future I’m only going to buy books that I actually want to read and books that I think I will enjoy, otherwise we’re going to be back at square one!

Anyway, here is a list of tips for anyone else looking to have a clear out and unhaul their books!

  1. Start With The Easy Ones – For some people getting rid of books isn’t an easy process and it I think it’s always best for everyone to start with something easy. Find a book that you know you want to get rid of and start from there and then use that momentum to pick another and then another.
  2. Take A Page Out of Marie Kondo’s Book – Does this book spark joy? Did you enjoy the reading experience? If it’s a no then get rid of it! You’re going to have to be ruthless but you’ll thank yourself when it’s all over. If you’re having difficulty deciding just think that by getting rid of some books, you are passing that reading experience and adventure on to someone else to enjoy.
  3. You Only Need One – Somehow I’ve ended up with four copies of The Hunger Games trilogy and The Maze Runner Series so that’s and easy get rid! However if it’s a limited/signed edition I feel that could be an exception!
  4. Give Unread Books A New Home – Like I mentioned earlier I’ve got so many unread books that I’ve lost interest in and would rather give to someone else to enjoy.
  5. Maybe Piles are Okay – Unhauling your books isn’t a one time occurrence and it’s okay to have a maybe pile! Go back to that pile in a couple of months and re-think your decision; I can guarantee that your opinion will have changed.

Now we’ve come to the second stage but at this moment in time lots of charity shops near me aren’t accepting any donations due to vast amount of stock they’ve acquired after everyones lockdown clearcuts! As for some of my university textbooks and better quality books, I’ve decided to sell them on Ebay as I need to fund my book buying habit some way! I’ve also given loads of books to friends and family and one day I hope to set up a book exchange in my village, but with the treat of Covid-19 still present in the UK I think it’s best that I wait for the all clear!