8 Things I Look For In Books // does it show that I am desperate for recs?

Excellent news alert! I just found out I got selected for a blog tour for one of my most anticipated releases of 2021! *happy little jig* Pretty good, right?

Soo what are we going to talk about today? That’s right, Rachel is going to list certain things that generally (pfft what a joke, the correct word is always) make her fall heads over heels in love with a book. And since short (what an understatement) introductions have become somewhat of a trend on this blog, we get started immediately.

Presenting – The 8 things that I love in books!

#1 Found Family. Let’s face it. Found family is THE best trope to ever exist, and I know I’ll never in my life get tired of it. After all its no coincidence that on Goodreads my ‘found family’ shelf is pretty similar to my ‘best books ever’ shelf, right?

#2 Banter. Come on, give me all that (friendly, or not?) rivalry with the sharp retorts, the stupid (sometimes actually funny, admit it) puns and the hiding of smiles at witty remarks.

#3 Sass. What is a book without at least one sassy character? We all know and love the fearless badass females who never seem lost for words and have the most incredible way of doing or saying even the most mundane things.

#4 Grumpy-Sunshine trope. I realize I can’t call this the best trope ever since I already did that in #1. BUT this is a very close second. It provides for plenty of banter, and who doesn’t love seeing the classic ‘grumpy’ character pretending he’s annoyed but is secretly enjoying the quirks of the ‘sunshine’?

#5 Characters who like to read. Ah well I like to know I’ve atleast something in common with fictional characters, and since I am never going to be brave enough wage battles against the evil, my love for reading will have to do.

#6 Mr. Narrowed Eyes who walks with a flashing neon sign that says “I am evil with no emotions” but is actually a sensitive marshmallow. I actually made an entire post about this trope earlier this year(I still have no idea what it’s called so I made up a name). So these are basically characters who for some incomprehensible reason keep trying to prove to the world just how evil they are but they are the exact opposite.

#7 Mind-boggling endings. It might seem a bit out-of-the-ordinary but I actually enjoy books ending in a way that makes my mouth hang open trying to process everything.

#8 Lots of things happening all at once. It’s no secret that I like to see lots of action and fast paced reads are generally my type (though I have been proved wrong on more than one occasion).

As you probably may have gathered, it would not be inaccurate if I would have titled this post as “Things I Loved In Six Of Crows”, but we’re going to ignore that. Please and thank you.

What are some things you love seeing in books? Let’s chat in the comments!

Missed my previous posts? Click on the links below to read them!

Books As Road Trips // a random post that emerged out of the void

The Young Elites vs The Hype-o-Meter!

Normal! // Fantasies In Which The Main Character Does Not Have Magical Abilities

Let’s play that game where you have to say the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear a particular word. Music? Dancing. TV? Netflix. Fantasy? Magic…oh wait.

Welcome to the fourth and final post in the series of themed recommendation posts I have been writing on my blog lately! In this series, I choose a random theme, and give you some of the best books I have read based on that theme. You can read my previous posts which were part of this series here, here and here!

Okay, so let’s talk about that little game I played in the beginning. Why is that the human brain associates fantasy with magic? Of course, this association is not unjustified. I believe about 95% of books belonging to the fantasy genre that I have read recently revolve around magic and/or have a main character who has magical powers. But fantasy itself should not be defined as mere magic. In light of this, today Rachel brings you a list of fantasy novels she loved which have a ‘normal’ main character, as in, the main character does not have any magical powers. Click on the cover images to add the books to your Goodreads TBR!

The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune || My Review

The House In The Cerulean Sea is going to be at the top of every recommendation post (and other posts too) from now on so you’ll have to get used to it. What can I say about this beautiful book that hasn’t already been said? Go read this heartwarming, hopeful and magical (albeit without the literal magic- at least not in the main character) fantasy if you haven’t already.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I am impressed how the author has created such an immersive dystopian world without it being based on magic. I was quite obsessed with the trilogy when I read it though some things in Allegiant were disappointing *cough* that ending *cough* but do give it a read if you’re looking for an intense and fast paced dystopian fantasy.

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman || My Review

Yes, yes I know what you’re thinking but I am not really considering Auri as a main character because she doesn’t have much role to play in this book as in the second one (and anyway what she does is not exactly ‘magic’, right?). But looking at our crew, the six main characters, none of them have magical powers and perhaps that’s one of the reasons Aurora Cycle duology is a huge favourite of mine.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Ah I had read this so long back (read: 1.5 years back), in the school library. I don’t remember much, but I do recollect recommending this to a lot of my friends and being surprised about the lack of magical powers in the characters.

The Great Zoo Of China by Matthew Reily

I just realized I haven’t mentioned this book on my blog ever! I mean, how is that possible? Trust me to forget unforgettable books. Anyway, The Great Zoo Of China is a brilliant book (5 stars from me when I read it a year back!) with lots of action, and even more dragons. Perfect for anyone suffering from Jurassic Park hangover.

Honourable Mentions

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo!! Yes, there is magic and all in the Grishaverse, but do notice that of our six crows, four do not have any magical abilities (oh my god I hope nobody got spoiled) hence the mention.

I recently read the entire Heroes Of Olympus series by Rick Riordan and I realized that from the crew of 7 demigods, it is only Annabeth who does not have any magical powers. The HOO series will definitely not make it to this list (too much magic!) but Annabeth does deserve an honorable mention, doesn’t she?


And with that, my friends, we conclude this post as well as the recommendation series! I must admit, recommendation posts are much harder than they look, but I did enjoy writing all the four posts. Hopefully you enjoyed reading them too and found some new books to add to your TBR list.

Did you find this recommendation series helpful? Have you read any of the books I mentioned in this post? Which is your favourite fantasy with a ‘normal’ main character? Chat with me in the comments! Until later!!

Hidden Gems! // Under-hyped Books Which Deserve More Love

Hiya everyone! Today I bring you the third post in the series of themed recommendations that I have been doing on my blog since last week (read the first post here and the second one here in case you missed them!) Today’s theme is underrated or underhyped books which are favourites of mine.

I constantly keep bugging all of you to read Six Of Crows (in a very non-threatening way, of course😉) but I have realized of late that I don’t need to. 8 out of every 10 people I find on Goodreads have read (and loved, mostly) this duology. Similar is the case with so many books – Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, The Lunar Chronicles(I haven’t read this yet eek!), Hunger Games and countless more that we hear spoken about everyday in the bookish community. But what about all those books which are in no way lesser than these hot shots, but due to some reason are hardly ever mentioned in this blogosphere, or in the bookish community in general? There are so many hidden gems out there which definitely deserve much more hype than they get. So today I am going to be recommending you some amazing books which are unfortunately on the lowest rung of the ladder of “status in the bookish society”. Click on the cover images to add the books to your Goodreads TBR!

Nevermoor: The Trials Of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Of course this HAD to be on the top of this list! Nevermoor was one of my favourite reads in 2020, and it breaks my heart to see how so few really talk about it. All the characters were just *chef’s kiss* and it was endearing to see a child rejected by all (including her own father and step mother) because she was supposedly cursed and then later finding her place in Nevermoor. And Jupiter might just be the best fictional character ever written.

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Why haven’t more people discovered this amazing book yet? It might be the only book written in first person POV that I have enjoyed so far. The main character, Herbie, was so simple yet so complicated, oblivious yet witty. You can read my full review of Malamander here.

The Wave by Morton Rhue

The Wave is a contemporary historical fiction based on a true event. It is a quick read, but it is truly thought-provoking and a must-read if you’re interested in history (like me!) blended with some high school drama.

The Flame Of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn

This was kinda like Percy Jackson set in a more contemporary world! There were redemptions, new friendships and so much more in this middle grade novel based on Roman mythology.

The Miracle On Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle

This is under-hyped on an epic level – only about 300 ratings on Goodreads! It was one of those warm (uhh metaphorically of course, its set during Christmas lol) and fluffy books you’d want to hug (does that sound weird 🙃) and will definitely cheer you up.

The Finisher by David Baldacci

I realize that this is probably the first time I am speaking about this book on my blog, but it use to be quite a favourite of mine when I bought and read the entire series. The Finisher is the first book in the four-book Vega Jane series, a dystopian fantasy that fans of Divergent and alike would probably enjoy.

And we are done for today! Hopefully your TBR got a little bigger!

Let’s Chat!

Have you read any of these books? Which is your favourite underrated/underhyped book? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. I am sorry if I am being a little boring nowadays, school’s really got to me and I think I may have began experiencing blogging burn-out. Hopefully I’ll be back to writing my normal *fun* posts soon!

Wet Worlds! // Books set in or by the sea

Hey guys! Water you up to? Did you sea what I did there? I am shore you did. (Okay stop groaning, I am just beginning to realize that puns are overrated.)

So I have decided to do a series of themed book recommendations because my brain can’t really think of anything else to post (take a hint and give me some suggestions!). This post is the second in this series (click here to read the first one). Personally, I do enjoy writing such posts and surfing (ooh no pun intended this time, I promise😂) through my Goodreads shelves trying to find more books which fit the theme.

As you already know from the title (and from my not-so-subtle intro lines), today I am going to be recommending you books set in or by the sea. What usually makes such books stand out is there extremely sea-vibey writing (who likes imagining sand between their toes and inhaling fresh salty sea air while reading books set by the sea? *raises a hand, and then the other as well for good measure*) Without further ado, let’s see what recs I have in store for you!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Set on an island isolated except for 10 strangers, this remains till date, one of my favourite murder mysteries (and can I also mention that this was my first one?) My best start into a genre if there ever was one.

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Malamander was such a lovely middle grade! The entire story takes place in a town called Eerie-On-Sea (naturally, it is situated by the sea) and the sea itself does play an important role in the book (Malamander is the name of a giant sea creature after all). The atmosphere was beautifully created – the sound of waves, the smell of salty sea air, the eerie noises that give the town its name, all seemed pretty much real in my head.

The Haunting Of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

A spooky middle grade set in a small coastal town, this story had very atmospheric vibes. It can easily be read in a single sitting, so get out your blankets, snuggle in your couch during a rainy day and give this book a read!

Frostheart by Jamie Littler

Frostheart is a cute middle grade about a little boy trying to find his missing parents. He is often shunned by most people because of this power he has, but he gets taken in by the crew of a ship called Frostheart and finds friendships and betrayals on his journey. I haven’t read the sequel yet, but I hope to read it soon!

The Storm Keeper’s Island

A magical story set in an Irish island, this book is about the power (literally!) of nature and definitely worth a read.

The Adventure Series by Enid Blyton

You haven’t had a childhood if you haven’t read any Enid Blyton! Anyway, this particular series of hers called the Adventure series deals with ship voyages and other sea-stuff.

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of this post (I realize its much shorter than usual but…). Hopefully you got some great recommendations and your TBR just got a little bit bigger. See you in my next post!

𝓡𝓪𝓬𝓱𝓮𝓵

Check out my latest posts!

Bookworms in Books! // Characters Who Like To Read

As a bookworm myself, I love fictional characters who like reading. It makes it really easy for me to relate to them, to understand and sympathize with their obsession of books, to say “Finally! Someone understands…” when said characters cite the reasons why they love books. So I decided to make a list of the fictional characters who like to read, as I personally would have found this kind of post really helpful.

Since I can’t really recommend you books without any basis, I would be writing a couple of lines about why you should read that particular book. All the books in the following list are ones that I have read and loved, and if any catch your eye, click on the cover image to be taken to the Goodreads page and add the book to your TBR. With all that being said, let’s see who the first character on our list is!

Emily in Book Scavenger

A middle grade mystery/contemporary about a worldwide game where people hide and hunt for books!

This was a book about books, so naturally our main character Emily is an avid reader (and also great at solving puzzles and ciphers!)

Liesel in The Book Thief

Liesel was the first character which came to mind when I thought about fictional bookworms. A historical fiction set during World War II, The Book Thief remains to this day one of my favourite standalone novels.

Will Herondale in The Infernal Devices

Do I even need to say anything about the perfect fictional character (other than Jem, of course) that ever existed? And he likes reading. Did I mention he is perfect?

Set in nineteenth century London, the Infernal Devices series is probably my favourite Cassandra Clare books.

Matilda in Matilda

Ahh yes, my old childhood favourite. And you have to take one look at that cover to know what this book’s about (uh no. This book is about a lot of other things as well) If you’re looking for a quick but sweet read, this one’s for you.

Ollie in Small Spaces

I finished listening to Small Spaces last week, and it was so good (it was not as scary as I had expected, but it still gave me the chills) So the main character, Ollie, basically started reading avidly since her mom passed away last year. It kinda became her way of dealing with grief.

Sefia in The Reader

In an illiterate society where books supposedly don’t exist, Sefia is taught how to read without actually knowing it. And knowledge in their world is a dangerous thing. A young adult fantasy you should all give a try!

Honourable Mention

Aveline in The Haunting of Aveline Jones

I read this when I began tiptoeing into the middle grade horror genre. This is in the hon. mention category because the main character, Aveline just likes to read horror. So anyway, this book was quite an adventure with a touch of spooky.


We have reached the end of this list! I hope you found this helpful and got some great recommendations for your tbr. I would love to expand this list, so do let me know what other characters can fit in here by commenting on my post!

𝓡𝓪𝓬𝓱𝓮𝓵

3 ways to decide a book’s rating

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you finish a book but have no idea how many stars to give it. At times you are not even sure whether you actually liked the book or not. Happens with me really often. So of course you rate a book according to the plot, the character-building, the world-building and all that, but here are 3 weird unique but effective ways (tried and tested by me!) to decide whether you really enjoyed reading the book or not.

I decided to start with the weirdest one first😂. So what you have to do is, keep the book you are reading aside for some time, and sit some distance away from it. Then you may or may not feel a sort of ‘pull’ coming from the book. I know it sounds totally crazy, but listen to me completely. It doesn’t have to be you staring at the book across you in a creepy manner. It can be you doing something else, and then the extent of the feeling of how much you want to go back and continue reading the book, will determine whether you are enjoying the book or not. Like, for nearly all the books in the KOTLC series, I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything else, the ‘pull’ of the book was so strong. That’s how I knew the series deserved five stars.

Another way to decide the rating is to note how many times you got distracted while reading the book. If you get distracted frequently, means you are probably not enjoying the book very much. When I was reading the Divergent series, I was so completely engrossed in it that I kept reading for hours without a pause (that’s unusual for me, as I generally read for short time spans, many times a day), and I don’t think I would even have noticed if an earthquake occurred beneath me then (thank god it didn’t😅). This way of rating helped me a lot, because after finishing the first book, I was totally lost, and had no idea whether I loved it or not. But looking at the way it kept me engaged told me that I loved it and should rate it 5 stars.

The third way I use to rate books is I check how much I remember the story after finishing the book. I don’t mean immediately after you finish the book, but after a couple of hours, or a day. This shows how deep of an impact the book has left on you. Sometimes, the day after I finish a book, I can’t remember much of the plot, no matter how hard I rack my brains. So even if a felt I liked the book a lot, I don’t give it full 5 stars, I settle for a 4 maybe.


That was it for this post! So now you finally know how I rate my books😉. Hopefully these methods will help you rate books too.

P.S. – I made my first attempt at writing fanfiction in my previous post (An epilogue to the Six Of Crows duology!), and that too for the Six of Crows duology! Do check it out and leave some feedback!

Do you use any of these methods to rate books? If not, on what basis do you rate books? Let me know in the comments!

Top 5 Books With Weapons On The Cover I Want to Read

Hey there bookworms! How are you all?

Today I am doing something new (I know I say this in almost all my blog posts 😅, I am great at trying new things, it seems!). The Top 5 series is hosted by @Devouring Books. When I read all the topics, they seemed so fun and I knew I had to do a post on this! This might become a weekly feature on my blog, I don’t know for sure yet.

Today’s theme is Books With Weapons On The Cover. I have compiled a list below of the top 5 books with weapons on the cover that I want to read, in no specific order or ranking.

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Buy An Ember in the Ashes: 1 Book Online at Low Prices in India | An Ember  in the Ashes: 1 Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in
Two weapons on the cover!!

Magisterium : The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

We can see the hilt and the pointed part of the sword, can’t we? 😉

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm Book 1) eBook: Cashore, Kristin: Amazon.in:  Kindle Store
Two weapons here!!

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl (new cover) (Artemis Fowl, 1): Colfer, Eoin: 8601400259580:  Amazon.com: Books
So I am assuming that whatever he is holding is a weapon of some sort. Nothing wrong with that, right?

The Heroes Of Olympus – The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero (Heroes Of Olympus Series Book 1) eBook:  Riordan, Rick: Amazon.in: Kindle Store
Whatever that is, it looks deadly!

Have you read any of these books? What are some books with weapons on the cover that you’ve read or want to read? Comment your thoughts, so we can have a nice long chat about books with weapons on the cover!