8 Queer Books I Loved And 8 That Are On My TBR

Don’t you hate it when people answer their own question? I do. (HA see what i did there?) *groans from the audience* Aw come on lighten up, not all of us can tell brilliant jokes ok?

In other news, happy pride month!

If you’ve been around for a while, you’d know that I pretty much read queer books all year round and that’s true BUT being the opportunist I am, I couldn’t just let pride month slip by without a post on it, could I? Soo in similar pattern to my diverse books post looong back, here’s a recommendation post for queer books! All of these have lgbtq main characters with considerable focus on their relationships. Now let’s make that TBR pile taller, shall we?

Oh also! Have I inserted song lyrics with similar vibes with the books too for some reason? Why yes I have and you can’t stop me MWAHAHA

In Deeper Waters by FT Lukens: Princes, handsome mermen, pirates and an exciting sea faring adventure! Rep: m|m
๐ŸŽต To fall in love with strangers ah-ah ah-ah

Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales: An anonymous dating advice service- run from a high school locker by a girl who is hopelessly in love with her oblivious best friend! Rep: bi f|m
๐ŸŽต I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth: Have a problem? Aideen can solve it- in exchange for a favour. Rep: f|f
๐ŸŽต You’re turning heads when you walk through the do-o-or

The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune: Superheroes in a contemporary world sounds overused, but this gay best-friends-to-lovers will have you cackling like nothing else. Rep: m|m
๐ŸŽต I drive down different roads, but they all lead back to you

Cemetery Boys: Accidental spirit summoning? And falling in love with said spirit?? A brilliant concept with immaculate spooky vibes! Rep: m|m
๐ŸŽต If I can’t be close to you, I’ll settle for the ghost of you

Sweet and Bitter Magic: What happens when a grump and sunshine have to save the world from dark magic? Sparks fly of course. Rep: f|f
๐ŸŽต Are we out of the woods yet?

So This Is Ever After: A hilariously ridiculous Arthurian retelling which takes after your usual YA fantasy quest! Rep: m|m
๐ŸŽต I’ve been loving you for quite some time, time, time

House In The Cerulean Sea: A tired middle-aged government employee discovers purpose, family and love on his newest magical assignment! This one is going to tug at all your heartstrings. Rep: m|m
๐ŸŽต In this world, it’s just us

Flip The Script by Layla Lee: Bisexual mc fake dating her way through a Kdrama? Excuse me while I LOSE MY MIND OVER HERE.

Cafe Con Lychee: After Tweet Cute I cannot for the life of me resist anything with rival bakeries. I need lots of food descriptions ok?

Red White & Royal Blue: I’m pleased to report that the hype has finally gotten to me and I cannot put off reading this for any longer if I value my life.

Be Dazzled: Randomly came across this on goodreads and i am, dare i say, DAZZLED.

Something Fabulous: I heard “reserved duke” and “falling for the wrong sibling” and came running like-

Spin Me Right Around: Yeah time travel in contemporary hasn’t really worked out for me in the past but I’m willing to give it a second chance because I’m generous like that.

Late To The Party: Actually this doesn’t really seem any different than all the other ya contemporaries out there, but i see lots of five star reviews from my friends?? Peer pressure exists guys.

Under The Whispering Door: Down with the physical tbr! *ahem* I mean, do I know this is going to BREAK me like Cerulean Sea?? Without a doubt. Is that why I’m scared to read it in the first place? Maybe?

Favourite queer books? (i need RECS) Have you read any of these? Thoughts on them?? (also did you see i actually worked on graphics for once) (aand did you realize i may be slightly obsessed with taylor swift)

~ Rachel

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Ranking My First 22 Reads Of 2022! // indecisiveness galore

Ranking in general gives me all the feels.

When I’m being ranked, there’s the nervous butterflies, the foot-tapping anticipation and an undignified urge to stick out a tongue at my fellow competitor. When I’m doing the ranking, there’s the undeniable need to do justice, the thrill of selecting the top three and the fear of retaliation from the bottom.

Soo. *claps hands in quick succession* Since I’m in the mood for the package of feelings that comes with ranking today, I’m going to rank… books! Let us ignore the fact that books are, in fact, the only thing I’m qualified enough to rank.

Ok here’s how this is going to work. I am going to be ranking the first 22 books (because it’s 2022, get it?) I’ve read this year based on my opinion on them. We’re going to start in reverse order and work our way all the way to the top, meaning the books are in the order of worst to best. To make things more organized, there are also six categories under which certain consecutive rankings fall under, to express my overall feelings for those books. Each book cover shall be linked to it’s goodreads page and beside it are highlights (from the pov of yours truly) from the story which could either make you want to devour the book whole or run far far away from it.

With all that out of the way, let’s get started!

โ€” #22 Caraval by Stephanie Garber โ€”

โ†’ a magical, dark treasure hunt type competition
โ†’ a weak willed, “i just want to save my sister” main character
โ†’ too many reminders of how “dangerous” the “game” is
โ†’ anticlimatic deaths that aren’t even real

โ€” #21 Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz โ€”



โ†’ a dragon flying Quidditch style sport
โ†’ 16-18 year olds behave like 10 year olds
โ†’ weirdly written dialogue
โ†’ so many characters, so little info

โ€” #20 Jade City by Fonda Lee โ€”



โ†’ rival clans and family politics
โ†’ probably the slowest book you’ll ever read
โ†’ seriously, it’s sloowww
โ†’ oh also lots of POVs

โ€” #19 Dead Girls Can’t Tell Secrets by Chelsea Khaso โ€”

โ†’ pretty classic murder mystery
โ†’”everyone is hiding something”
โ†’ feels like a wild goose chase
โ†’ school secrets

โ€” #18 Ace Of Shades โ€”

โ†’ dark fantasy
โ†’ gang lords and con men
โ†’ morally grey love interest
โ†’ a sadist game of execution

โ€” #17 The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe โ€”


โ†’ heavy themes (pls check tws!)
โ†’ more about the past than the present
โ†’ the present being a bank hostage situation which could have been made highly interesting
โ†’ focuses on one and one character only

โ€” #16 Not Here To Be Liked by Michelle Quach โ€”

โ†’ themes of feminism
โ†’ romance was sort of instalove-y, there was no chemistry
โ†’ lots of important things happened quickly
โ†’ the love interest had zero personality except being an ex jock

โ€” #15 Portrait Of A Thief by Grace D. Li โ€”

โ†’ college students turned thieves
โ†’ colonization of art
โ†’ chinese american identity
โ†’ monologues on imperialism and “the American dream”

โ€” #14 Hani And Ishu’s Guide To Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar โ€”

โ†’ desi main characters
โ†’ biphobic white friends
โ†’ fake dating (duh)
โ†’ parental (they’re asian soo) pressure

โ€” #13 Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft โ€”

โ†’ sworn enemies to lovers
โ†’ killerร—healer pairing
โ†’ wintry night vibes
โ†’ changing sides! betrayal! redemption! more betrayal!

โ€” #12 Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley โ€”

โ†’ sapphic witches
โ†’ sunshineร—grumpy
โ†’ magic gone wrong
โ†’ a long journey (more like a quest actually)

โ€” #11 Hidden In Plain Sight by Jeffrey Archer โ€”

โ†’ a witty detective story
โ†’ smart and well thought out plot
โ†’ taking down a drug squad
โ†’ new additions to the team

โ€” #10 So This Is Ever After by FT Lukensโ€”


โ†’ weird in the best way
โ†’ friends to lovers awkwardness
โ†’ set in a castle
โ†’ takes place after your usual YA quest

โ€” #9 In Deeper Waters by FT Lukens โ€”

โ†’ pirates and princes
โ†’ and handsome mermen too
โ†’ supportive elder siblings
โ†’ kidnapping and rescues galore

โ€” #8 If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich โ€”

โ†’ boy bands, fame and cancel culture
โ†’ the best mother group
โ†’ gay adorableness
โ†’ openly gay vs closeted

โ€” #7 You Have A Match by Emma Lord โ€”

โ†’ full summer-y vibes
โ†’ best friends to lovers
โ†’ secret sisters who couldn’t be more unlike each other
โ†’ all sibling and platonic relationships were *chef’s kiss*

โ€” #6 Geekerella by Ashley Poston โ€”

โ†’ modern day Cinderella retelling (minus the cheesy parts)
โ†’ a delightful fandom… and a con!
โ†’ anonymous texting
โ†’ nerd supremacy

โ€” #5 Namesake by Adrienne Youngโ€”

โ†’ pirate-y adventure
โ†’ treasure hunting for a mythical gem
โ†’ torn familial relationships
โ†’ morally grey cast

โ€” #4 Tweet Cute by Emma Lord โ€”

โ†’ twitter wars!
โ†’ ridiculously delicious desserts
โ†’ rivals to friends to lovers
โ†’ anonymous texting

โ€” #3 Fable by Adrienne Young โ€”

โ†’ dangerous mc with traumatic past
โ†’ found family
โ†’ a not-so-merry journey through the seas
โ†’ shocking reveals at every page

โ€” #2 When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord โ€”

โ†’ a cheerful, goofy mc who is my new favourite person
โ†’ reverse mamma mia!
โ†’ the best platonic relationships
โ†’ witty, immersive writing

โ€” #1 Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong โ€”

โ†’ romeo juliet retelling
โ†’ emotional rollercoaster
โ†’ enemies to lovers PERFECTION and so. much. angst.
โ†’ rival gangs, blood feuds, stabby women and soft men

Have you read any of these?? Bonus points if you’ve read them this year too! THOUGHTS ON THEM? Which are YOUR favourite reads so far this year?? (do not be fooled by the size of my tbr, i’m ALWAYS looking for yet more recommendations)

~ Rachel

Trends In YA Murder Mysteries // the one in which I try to sound knowledgeable

I’ve said it before (uh not really but you get the point) and I’ll say it again – 21st century murder mysteries will never be able to beat a good old Christie (personal opinion, please don’t come at me with axes).

I think one reason to this would be that a lot of recently published murder mysteries that I’ve read have certain elements and tropes in common, and with time I’ve just come to expect and predict them. Not that they’re all bad though. And sometimes they’re even executed well. But it’s the repetitiveness that I don’t really appreciate.

But if I got down to my self-contradictory opinions on mysteries, we’d be here all day so without further ado, let me present some common trends I’ve noticed in several recently published YA murder mysteries. Here we go! (and yes I’ve self-created some random quotes to go with each trend to get the point across)

โ€” “maybe she got what she deserved”: villainizing the victim โ€”

Prepare to get the shock of your lives, because the golden boy/perfect girl who was murdered wasn’t exactly that innocent. *GASP* Yes they had lots of secrets of their own, as the protagonist of the story slowly (agonizingly slowly) discovers. Even the victim’s friends admit that their friend wasn’t as perfect and sweet as everyone thought he was. If I was paid every time the victim turned out to be a liar, cheat, or something worse, I could set up my own bookshop today. (yeah so I exaggerated a tiny bit, so what?)

Okay, dramatics aside, I can’t really hold a grudge against this trope (but I do) because in a way it makes sense for the author to use this because 1. that means the victim did have enemies after all 2. and that means MORE suspects for the protagonists to tackle. How exciting.

โ€” “stop looking for me”: threatening letters and mails โ€”

Somehow as soon as the protagonist starts investigating, the murderer always gets to know and decides to compromise his identity by messaging threats to, traditionally, stop prodding or else…

I’ll be honest, I don’t even have much of an opinion on this one. One one hand I guess it does increase the stakes because now the protagonist’s life is on the line as well, but on the other… can we ever have a sensible murderer who tries less to deter the protagonist, and harder to, you know, not get caught?

โ€” not going to the police because initially “i don’t know enough” and later “i know too much” โ€”

It is perfectly reasonable to hesitate to go to the police initially due to lack of evidence. And apparently, according to the unspoken tradition of murder mysteries, it is also perfectly fine to not go to the authorities due to excess of evidence.

We also have these practical friends of the protagonist who frequently suggest going to the police with whatever they know throughout the story. But every time the main character shrugs this off with a “let us be completely sure first” or later a “i’m too deep in now, i HAVE to do this myself

โ€” “she was better than everyone at everything”: the jealousy factor โ€”

We always have these jealous friends/classmates/siblings of the victim to whom all suspicions are immediately directed because they had the motive. But more often than not, they are not actually the murderers. We get a “yes she was a snob and i didn’t like her, but I couldn’t possibly murder her!” and that’s it.

โ€” secrets *said with jazz hands and ominous voice* โ€”

I’m going to be extremely frank here- everyone has secrets. No one lives with their entire life displayed in glowing letters on a billboard.

Murder mysteries make a huge deal out of secrets. “oh my gosh he’s hiding something” leads to the immediate conclusion of “he’s the murderer”. Often the synopsis has something along the lines of “but such and such character has their own secrets…” in an attempt to sound ominous and intrigue the readers.

โ€” “so it had been him all along”: circling round back to the first suspect โ€”

This is something I’ve been seeing frequently of late. Say the protagonist suspects person X first, then realizes he’s wrong and moves on to Y, then to Z and so on. Finally, following a trail of clues and all, they’re back to person X. Now there’s a 50% chance that X is actually the murderer and 50% that it is someone else altogether.

____________

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1)
Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)
How We Fall Apart (How We Fall Apart, #1)
Dead Girls Can't Tell Secrets

And that was it for this post! (i can’t pretend to be knowledgeable and experienced forever now, can i?) But hold up, you might say, Rachel are we even talking about the same murder mysteries because I have literally never seen these trends in the ones I’ve read?? So I’ve thought up a solution for that – I’ve shown you some of the murder mysteries I’ve read recently, the ones that I had in mind while writing these trends!

Do you read murder mysteries? Have you noticed these trends too? Your favourite mysteries?? (please give me recs because i seem to be having a bad experience with murder mysteries lately)

~ Rachel

My Top 10 Reads Of 2021! // in which i run out of words to describe these books

Ho Ho Ho! (ok my Santa imitation needs work)

Merry Christmas to all humans and elves alike! Let there be cheer! And presents! (you’ll never guess what i got! but maybe in another post) And candy! And more candy!

What better occasion than Christmas to flaunt my favourites (aka my obsessions) of this year? I read a total of 70 books in 2021, but only some of them are truly special to me. I’ve chosen the 10 books I liked the best (+ some honourable mentions of course), books that own my heart and soul, books I’ll never stop recommending till the day I die (atleast i’ll get prizes for the drama? no?)

I have also done the heart-wrenching task of actually ranking these books (believe me, it only looks easy) however I’d also like to mention that all of them have an equal place in my heart, but some more equal than the others (yes that was an Animal Farm reference). To keep the suspense rolling, we’ll go in reverse order; that means we’ll start off from number 10 all the way to number 1 (with #1 being like the best book of the year), and NOW I’M SO EXCITED I CAN’T WAIT ANYMORE LET’S STAโ€“

~ #10 The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Choksi ~

โ€œ’You and your secrets.
‘Secrets keep my hair lustrous,’ said Severin, running his hand through his curls.โ€

I’d been hearing about this all over the bookish community, and though I read so many mixed opinions, one thing that I found common in all the reviews was the comparison to six of crows. Obviously, I knew I had to give this a try. And I wasn’t disappointed. Sure, it was a lot like the soc duology, but it put a different twist into everything. And not to forget, the author is an indian (like me!) and believe me the desi vibes were up to the mark (“laila-majnun”? i’m dying) and of course I adored the moral greyness (is that even a word?) of the characters. The banter was *chef’s kiss* and don’t even get me started on the found family.

~ #9 Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth ~

โ€œI dug deep down into my empathy store and found a dried-up old raisin.โ€

To say that this book made me laugh would be an understatement. It had me snorting and chuckling and giggling (in the most embarrassing way) and basically a lot of people around me thought I’d finally lost it so there’s that. There was Aideen, aka the best narrator ever. There was the perfectly accurate description of students in a high school. And then there was Meabh. Sweet, perfect Meabh in whom I saw so much of myself that I think the author somehow based her off my personality. But. The whole point of those graphics were to stop me from boring you to death with essays, so we stop here.

Why I picked this up: It’s no coincidence that I started reading this a couple of days after reading Anoushka’s review! I was feeling the contemporary vibes anyway, so after reading her review I was sure I needed this!

~ #8 We Are Not Free by Traci Chee ~

โ€œIs this what life is like? People coming together and drifting apart, coming together and drifting apart, over and over until there’s no one left?โ€

The award for “Most Tears Of The Year” (yes I just made that up) goes to We Are Not Free by Traci Chee! 14 POVs brought out the individuality of each character beautifully, and while this was not my first Traci Chee book, it was definitely the most impactful. And I’m sure it will also leave a lasting impact on you (and those poor tissues that’ll get wet in the process)

Why I picked it up: I decided to give this a try after reading Cherelle’s review!

~ #7 Supernova by Merissa Meyer ~

โ€œSome people were always meant to be heroes.
Just like some people were always meant to be villains.โ€

Superheroes. And supervillains. But not the cheesy kind, I promise.

The third and final book in the Renegades trilogy, Supernova was the best of the lot. It was filled to the brim with action and anguish and secrets and I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending.

Why I picked it up: It was because of April’s review of the Renegades trilogy that I decided to read it. (though April, I do realize that you liked the first two books better?? but anyway.)

~ #6 Sands Of Arawiya Duology by Hafsah Faizal ~

โ€œA thousand leagues and a thousand sands. For you, a thousand times I would defy the sun.โ€

I swear there’s some sorcery involved here because Faizal straight off picked all my favourite tropes, topped it with mind-blowing writing and humour, and named the result the Sands Of Arawiya duology. That’s how good this book is.

If you’re curious about the tropes in question, we had enemies to lovers, knife to throat, slow burn and plenty of witty banter. Still need convincing? Read the epic showdown of WHTF against the hype-o-meter!

Why I picked it up: I read Cherry’s and Kaya’s reviews, and it was then I knew that I needed to read this duology!

~ #5 Aurora Cycle duology by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ~

โ€œHe asks for nothing, this boy. No favor. No quarter. He lives every moment of his life is pain, but still, he lives it. And he stands, where others would have long ago fallen.โ€

Full of complex and well-developed characters, found family vibes, and cool spaceships, the Aurora Cycle duology (now a trilogy) has to be one of the best space operas I’ve ever read! And WOULD YOU LOOK AT THOSE COVERS??

Why I picked it up: Madeline convinced me to pick up this one through her constant ramblings about this series on her blog! Ashmita also recommended this to me!

~ #4 These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong ~

โ€œYou know me. Running around. Living life. Committing arson.โ€

Ok this was another one of those instances where I got carried away by the hype and am glad I was. Because #ownvoices historical fiction! set in asia! blood feuds! morally grey characters! badass girl and soft boy! enemies to lovers at it’s finest! and whatever else I mentioned in the graphic of course, but tell me, do you still need a reason to go bury your nose in These Violent Delights right now?

~ #3 Rule Of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo ~

โ€œThe world might crumble, but Nikolai Lantsov would be holding up the ceiling with one hand and plucking a speck of dirt from his lapel with the other when it all went to ruinโ€

I’ll have you know that this was the book that pushed These Violent Delights out of the top 3 at the very last moment. I finished reading the duology (but I put only rule of wolves here because i found it even better than king of scars) just yesterday evening, it doesn’t get any more last-minute than that. Also please do understand that because of the reason stated above, my feelings for this one are very fresh. So. ASJHDFHFGSJK MISS BARDUGO YOU DID IT AGAIN I LOVED THIS SO SO MUCH IT’S BRILLIANT. And did I mention I’m obsessed with Zoya and Nikolai’s characters? And the Six of Crows references were EVERYTHING.

~ #2 House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune ~

โ€œSometimes, he thought to himself in a house in a cerulean sea, you were able to choose the life you wanted. And if you were of the lucky sort, sometimes that life chose you back.โ€

With dry sarcastic humour, out of the world character development and found family vibes, The House In The Cerulean Sea is in short, AWESOME. It will tug at all your heartstrings (note the use of “will”) and make you laugh and cry and then smile through watery eyes and much more including staring at the wall trying to process how a book can be so beautiful.

~ #1 Six Of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo ~

โ€œโ€œGreed is your god, Kaz.”
He almost laughed at that. “No, Inej. Greed bows to me. It is my servant and my lever.โ€โ€

At this point, I am 200% sure this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, given the amount of SoC references there are in my posts. And there have also been posts specifically dedicated to this duology (apart from the review), the latest being Books Iโ€™d Use As Weapons // aka books iโ€™d throw at jesper if i was david.
I am wholly and truly OBSESSED with everything that has to do with this duology. I don’t even have words (turns out, i do) to describe the sheer PERFECTION this duology is โ€“ it’s captivating, it’s brilliant, it’s… perfect. (yeah I’m running out of synonyms here)

Why I picked it up: Well because it is so massively hyped and everyone was raving about it. But I first came to know about it from Cherelle’s blog last year, so shout-out to her!

A quick little vote of thanks before we move one- THANK YOU Anoushka, Cherelle, April, Cherry, Kaya, Madeline and Ashmita for recommending these fantastic reads to me because it’s very likely i never would have read these without your persuasion!

I had to include an Honourable Mentions section because I am afraid of the wrath of the bookish gods even though these books couldn’t make it to my top 10 because of ~competition~, nevertheless they cannot be left out as they were also absolutely amazing books that deserve all the love they can get.

Cemetery Boys
Perfect on Paper

Soo I feel like I’m supposed to make an eloquent speech at the end of this post so here goes *ahem * GO READ ALL OF THESE BECAUSE TRUST ME, YOU NEED THESE IN YOUR LIFE OKAY?! Ok not quite the eloquence I was hoping for but it gets the point across.

How was your Christmas? Candy? Gifts?? Which were your best reads in 2021? Have you read any of mine? Thoughts?
Oh and before you go, let’s scream it together – NO MOURNERS, NO FUNERALS!!

~ Rachel

August Wrap-Up // the month of mostly mediocre reads, creative posts and blog redesign!

Apparently an albatross can sleep while flying. Yes, seriously. I just found out that this bird can doze off comfortably while cruising through the air at a speed of 25km/hr. Talk about sleeping through a journey. (Kinda related, but how are people ever able to sleep in planes? It is the worst kind of torture there is for my neck)

And the “birds as weird intros to Rachel’s wrap-ups” saga continues. We had ducks in June, pigeons and July and the lucky ones this month were albatrosses. I wonder who’ll be next?

Ugh August was definitely not my best reading month. First, I read a lot lesser owing to exams, and even most out of those books were 3 star-ish. Still, I did find something I could call a new favourite, and I reviewed more books than usual so that’s an achievement.

The Supernaturalist
Down to Earth
The War That Saved My Life (The War That Saved My Life, #1)
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

Rating โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… ยฝ

Comments: Hmm, decent. Like the beginning was extremely promising, but the end did not quite live up to my expectations. But overall a solid sci-fi.

Down To Earth by Betty Culley

Rating โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… || Find my review here

Comments: Ehh from the coming-of-age point of view, it was brilliant. I wasn’t a big fan of the pacing and the plot line though.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley

Rating โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…ยฝ

Comments: Its been a while since I enjoyed a middle grade, but I did. There was war, bombs, horses, found family, spies… what’s there not to like?

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)
We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, #2)
The Ones We're Meant to Find
We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Rating โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…ยฝ

Comments: Gooood. Really. But I am not going to go into how fabulous, brilliant, outstanding and enchanting this book is here because you’ll begin to (rightly) think I’m obsessed. (also there’s a full review coming right up)

We Free The Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Comments: Okay I am cheating with this one since I haven’t finished it yet. But look I am like almost done okay?!

The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He

Rating โ˜…โ˜…ยฝ || Find my review here

Comments: Umm I get why lots of people totally love this book, but not for me. Sorry.

So as you can see, it was pretty much a sci-fi month for me. I am proud of the fact that I am making progress on my goal of reading more of genres other than just fantasy *applause please*. Next goal – more of crimes and mysteries.

Big news: I redesigned my blog yet again. I know I know, the proclamation has lost its glamour due to repetition, but then again, I get bored of my current them every few weeks, hence the inevitable change. This time though, I’ll try to keep a check on my itchy fingers.

Content-wise, I think I was pretty much at my creative best in August. I had some great ideas and actually had the energy to sit down and type them out so I am proud of that. Most of my posts this month have been some of my favourites so far (am I… am I actually getting the hang of blogging?) so yay to that!! Here are the links to all my posts along with a small description, and in case you missed any of them you are welcome to check them out!

  1. July Wrap-Up // I used to write something here but I canโ€™t recall what: My first post of the month was all about recapping the month of July. Also there’s some talk about pigeons, so umm yeah.

2. Blog Tour: The Twin Stars by Bridgette Portman [Review + INTL Giveaway]: I review an ARC of The Twin Stars, a YA fantasy with a mc with OCD who gets transported into her own unfinished story.

3. The Young Elites vs The Hype-o-Meter!: A very exciting review post, the first in the Hype-o-meter series with my fellow blogger and friend April. Check out whether The Young Elites is worth the hype according to us!!

4. Books As Road Trips // a random post that emerged out of the void: Okay so I impulsively published this post and I’m actually really happy with how it turned out. Maybe its the ~excellent~ metaphoring on my part (comparing books to road trips?!) but it might just be one of my favourite posts on this blog.

5. 8 Things I Look For In Books // does it show that I am desperate for recs?: I list the things that guarantee that I’ll fall in love with a book in hope that I get some good recs (and I did! thank you guys!!)

6. Blog Tour: Down To Earth by Betty Culley + Moodboard: I review an ARC of Down To Earth, a middle grade science fiction full of wonder and coming of age moments.

7. Book Review: The Ones Weโ€™re Meant To Find by Joan He || concept? brilliant. execution? not so much: And finally, I review the recently released The Ones We’re Meant To Find in a loong post. But again, I think its one of my better reviews.

Soo. Quality, check. Quantity, check. Not bad, huh?

Its that time of this wrap up where I shout out all of your posts that I enjoyed reading!!

Sofii @A Book. A Thought reviewed The Ones We’re Meant To Find, and I agree with a lot of points she made!

Erin @Reading on a star lists her favourite book tropes!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura writes about the 6 sins of us readers!

Eleanor @Wishing Upon A Star discusses what makes a book popular!

Kashvi @Elfhame Books reviewed We Free The Stars!

Emily @Frappes And Fiction does the reader problems book tag!

Ashmita @The Fictional Journal reviewed The Inheritance Games, a book that I’m currently reading!

Kaya @The Fictional Bookworm writes a mini review of Murder On The Orient Express! Its my favourite Poirot too!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner celebrates 400 followers and gives some pro blogging tips too!

Cherry @Letters To The Lost reacts to 1 star reviews of her favourite books, some of which coincidentally are my favorites too!

Maddie @Inking And Thinking discusses bookish pet peeves!

Cherelle @A Bolt Out Of The Book recommends books based on Marvel movies!

April @Booked Till Midnight pits The Young Elites against the Hypometer!

That brings us to the end of this wrap up!! In one sentence, blogging was good, reading was not. Anyway, happy September everyone!

Which was your favourite read this August? Have you read any of the books I did? Chat with me in the comments, and feel free to link your wrap-ups too!

~ Rachel

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 promise๐Ÿ˜‚) 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!

โœจ๐“ก๐“ช๐“ฌ๐“ฑ๐“ฎ๐“ตโœจ

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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 ๐Ÿ˜…, 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? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

Predicting my top 10 books of 2021

Hello bookworms! Today I am doing something I have never done before. Ranking books before I’ve read them! Actually, I have never even ranked books after I have read them๐Ÿ˜…, but yeah, you get the point. (and this is about to change this year btw, I am determined to do a “Top 10 books of 2021” post at the end of the year and compare it with this list.)

This post will be about me trying to predict the books I think would become my new favorites this year. It’s all very tentative, though. I don’t even know whether I’ll even read all of these this year but, they are obviously very high up on my TBR.

As to how I am ranking these books, it’s on the basis of either their synopses, or recommendation by others.

Aurora Rising, Six of Crows, Unlocked, Renegades, An ember in the ashes, KOTLC 9, Iron Trial, The Flame Of Olympus, Story Thieves

#10 Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades

#9 Story Thieves by James Riley

Story Thieves:

#8 An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

 An Ember in the Ashes

#7 The Fire Within by D.K Holmberg

The Fire Within (Elemental Academy #1) by D.K. Holmberg

#6 Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Buy Six of Crows (Six of Crows, 1) Book Online at Low Prices in India | Six  of Crows (Six of Crows, 1) Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

#5 Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Buy Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle 1) Book Online at Low Prices in India | Aurora  Rising (Aurora Cycle 1) Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

#4 Unlocked by Shannon Messenger

#3 The Flame Of Olympus

Buy The Flame of Olympus: 1 (Pegasus) Book Online at Low Prices in India | The  Flame of Olympus: 1 (Pegasus) Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

#2 KOTLC book 9 Shannon Messenger

Yeah, so this book is still untitled and it’s coming out in November this year. So I am pretty much predicting my second best book without even knowing the title, let alone the cover or the synopsis. That’s how much I believe in this series.

#1 Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Buy Magisterium: The Iron Trial (The Magisterium) Book Online at Low Prices  in India | Magisterium: The Iron Trial (The Magisterium) Reviews & Ratings  - Amazon.in

That was really hard, but also really fun. Anyway, how do you like my predictions? Have you read any of them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!