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

May Wrap-Up // ft. lots of books, blogging slump and blog redesign!

Hello guys! Hope you had a wonderful month and read some amazing books (what more could a bookworm possibly want?).

I always enjoy writing my monthly wrap-up posts, and this time it’s no different. So grab some snacks and get comfy, because this is going to be a long post (as usual😉). And if you’re on WordPress Reader, please click here to enjoy better formatting!

Believe me when I say that May was an A M A Z I N G reading month, in fact, it has been the best one so far this year! I read so much more than I usually do (thank you, summer vacations🤗).

I read 8 books and a total of 3516 pages in May (compared to 2410 in April and 2059 in March) and though this may not seem a huge number to most of you, it is a big deal for me!

Let’s take a look at all the books I read this month. I will be putting the cover images, the title and author, my rating, a mini-review and link to my full review. (click on the cover image to visit the goodreads page of any book that catches your eye!)

The Flame of Olympus  (Pegasus, #1)
The Shadow Watch (The Shadow Watch #1)
Six Bad Boys

The Flame Of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn [4 stars]

For a book based on Roman mythology, this book did a really good job at not info-dumping all the names of the Roman gods, their life at Olympus etc. And it certainly was a surprise that most of the gods at Olympus were killed or captured right at the beginning of the book (yes, I’m not kidding) so that the story could focus on Emily and Joel rather than the gods. The ending (and the story in general) was quite predictable, but it is a middle grade after all, so that’s acceptable.

The Shadow Watch by S.A. Klopfenstein [3.5 stars] FULL REVIEW

I received a copy of The Shadow Watch for a blog tour I was part of this month. I found it to be a typical YA fantasy in a lot of ways. But it was definitely worth a read, to know why, do have a look at my full review.

The Six Bad Boys by Enid Blyton [4.5 stars] I talked about this here

I reread this in May for the umpteenth time in my life. In my discussion post on the role of fictional parents (linked above) I talked about The Six Bad Boys and how it is an extremely important book for coming-of-age children as well as new parents, and how it makes my all emotional every time I read it🥺

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)
Supernova by Marissa Meyer

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan [4 stars]

I am buddy reading the entire Heroes of Olympus series with my amazing friends Cass and Nefeli! To be honest, I have always been a little skeptical of Rick Riordan books, but I have to admit, The Lost Hero was pretty good. Jason always seemed a little distant, Piper really needed to sort out her priorities, but Leo pretty much made the book for me.

Malamander by Thomas Taylor [4.5 stars ] FULL REVIEW

Ahhh my second ever audiobook but my first audiobook love😍 (don’t ask me about my first one, it was meh). It was a roller coaster ride of a book, with the narrator increasing his pace and making his voice more urgent and making my heart beat faster as I waited for something to happen and then jumped out of my skin at the narrator’s perfect but ear-splitting imitation of a desk bell (yeah, that actually happened once). Seriously, go read Malamander.

Supernova by Marissa Meyer [4.5 stars ] FULL REVIEW

Whoa whoa. This book was PACKED. It was full to the brim with action, secrets, pressure, redemptions and what not. I think Supernova would have got full 5 stars from me had it not been for that epilogue. But focusing on the good things, I would say, read the Renegades trilogy for the last book guys!!

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2)
The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3)

The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan [3 stars]

Idk why exactly, but I liked this one a lot less than The Lost Hero. I understand the Romans are more disciplined and harsh and stuff, but I wanted this book to be entertaining and light, like The Lost Hero. If my mental image of The Lost Hero is a fluffy peach teddy bear, The Son Of Neptune looks something like a dark foreboding castle. Just me? Okay.🙃

The Mark Of Athena by Rick Riordan [4 stars]

Ahh definitely better than The Son Of Neptune…but remember when I said that Jason always felt a bit distant in my mini review of The Lost Hero? Well, take that feeling and multiply it by 10, that is how Jason was in Mark Of Athena (atleast give the guy a POV, man!) Otherwise, it was all good and I cannot wait to start House Of Hades!


So this month I took part in Wyrd and Wonder, and they had a bingo board! Here’s how my completed bingo board looks like –

The one month I decided not to follow my blogging schedule, I face a blogging slump and go on accidental week-long hiatuses (moral of the story – blogging schedules are very important). Nevertheless, I did have some posts already planned, so it wasn’t that bad.

Some of my favourite posts from May are:

Discussion Post: Role of Parents in MG and YA fantasy (Part 2) + 8 book recommendations with active parent roles!

Book Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Into The Mist || A short story penned by me

Okay, now for the big news. *holds breath* I REDESIGNED MY BLOG!! *lets out the breath in a whoosh* (okay I realize a lot of you have already noticed that, but…now its official, you know?) Of course I didn’t do it all alone. A big thank you to Evin @A Curly Sue’s Ramblings for helping me in setting up the new theme! So what are you guys waiting for? Go check out my new home page HERE!!

In other news, it was my first blogging anniversary on 27th May! (I have a post for that coming up soon) This blog is now 1 year old, you guys!!

A regular feature of my wrap-up posts, this section is all about promoting other bloggers’ content!

REVIEWS

Ritz @Living, Loving and Reading reviewed These Violent Delights and made a playlist!

April @Booked Till Midnight shares her thoughts on King Of Scars!

Jan @The Doodlecrafter reviewed Rule Of Wolves!

Lia @Chain Of Books reviewed The Immortal Game as part of a blog tour!

OTHER POSTS

Nehal had her first blogging anniversary a few days ago! (can’t believe we both started our respective blogs only 10 days apart!)

Aria @Book Nook Bits discusses age categories in books!

Veronika @Wordy And Whimsical recommends books with the found family trope!

Maya @Pretty Little Scribbles did a character case study!

And that’s a wrap! A pretty eventful month, don’t you think?

Let’s Chat!

What did you read in May? Found any new favourites? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you like the new blog design? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!!

June TBR // I’m taking part in Whatever-a-thon!

Its been so long I took part in a readathon, I jumped at the chance when I saw Whatever-you-want-a-thon (or Whatever-a-thon for short) doing rounds on Twitter. (you can find the announcement video with all the details here).

I’m part of the team Middle Grade Monarchs, so most of the books on my TBR are going to be middle grade BUT June is also pride month, and there is a HUGE point bonus on reading lgbtq books, so I’ve tried to incorporate some of them in my TBR as well. My goal for this readathon is to read 6 books (which I think I’ll manage, but just barely), but even after removing so many books I really wanted to read, the smallest TBR I could come up with has….drumroll please….10 books! I realize that’s a lot more than my goal, but I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving any of these out. Huh, guess that just means more options for me, right? (says she who is now going to have a difficult time choosing what to read first because there’s no way she can read them all😭). My bookworm tendencies aside, lets move on to see all the amazing books I have on my June TBR!! (as always, you can click on the cover image to visit the goodreads page and add a book to your TBR as well!)

The Girl Who Drank the Moon
The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)
Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1)
The House in the Cerulean Sea
Orphans of the Tide (Orphans of the Tide #1)
Believe

Cemetery Boys
Pegasus and the Fight for Olympus (Pegasus, #2)
The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4)
The Unbreakable Code (Book Scavenger, #2)

  • The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  • The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
  • House of Hades by Rick Riordan
  • The Blood Of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  • Orphans Of The Tide by Struan Murray
  • Pegasus And The Fight For Olympus
  • The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
  • Believe by Julie Mathison

So that’s it. (whoa, this post is a baby compared to my usual posts😂) I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these books in the comments!

Book Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Hello everyone, today I am going to be reviewing Malamander, a middle grade book I finished reading (or rather, listening to) just yesterday. This review will be completely spoiler-free, and you can click on the cover image below to go to Goodreads and add this wonderful (though very under-hyped) book to your TBR!

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Synopsis

Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep…

Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger…

My Rating [ ] (4.5 out of 5 stars)
My Review

This was my second audiobook, and my, what an experience! The audiobook was narrated by Will M. Watt, and I absolutely LOVED the narration! It really added to the story. The drama and the constant urgency with which the story was narrated was really cool. I doubt I’d have liked this book as much as I did, if I’d read the e-book or a physical copy. So if you’re looking to read Malamander, I would HIGHLY recommend you listening to it. Trust me, you’ll enjoy that rollercoaster.

The major reason why Malamander got such a good rating from me is because of Herbie, the main character. Herbie was quirky, funny and witty – this made him instantly likeable. I am not saying a main character should always be perfect, but hear this – Malamander is written in first person POV, which means, we get to know the story, the characters, the world, entirely through Herbie’s eyes. I have always believed that it is immensely important to develop a liking to the main character if you’re going to be stuck in his or head for the duration of an entire story. 4 stars out of the 4.5 I gave this book belong to you, Herbie!

If you’re anything like me (by which I mean, a scaredy cat who goes out of their way to avoid reading horror books) and got kinda misled by the synopsis, let me tell you – you have nothing to worry about! Whatever you might assume after reading the synopsis, the tone for most part was Malamander was quite light hearted, and there is hardly any horror element.

I liked the feeling of the entire town Eerie-On-Sea being a friendly (well, mostly!) community where the locals knew and treated each other like family. I also found the idea of Herbie being ‘adopted’ and accepted by the entire town positively endearing. The side characters in the book were quite well-written too.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Malamander to readers of all ages, though I suppose children especially will find this book particularly appealing.

Let’s Chat!

Have you read (or listened to) Malamander? Do you have it on your TBR? If not, did I manage to convince you to read it? Let me know in the comments!

Discussion Post: Role of Parents in MG and YA fantasy (Part 2) + 8 book recommendations with active parent roles!

Hello guys, how are you all today?

You can find part 1 of this discussion HERE . I would suggest that you first read the first part if you haven’t and then come back here. But if you don’t want to, that’s absolutely fine, you can continue reading this post. (also, if you’re on WP reader, please continue reading this post here to enjoy better formatting)

In the first part, we talked about how a lot of MG and YA novels ignore parents, and often have the absent and/or dead parent tropes. I also shared the results of a survey I conducted, which revealed that most readers do not prefer such novels, instead they would rather have books where the parents do have a role to play in the story.

I personally agree with the majority. It is really important for MG and YA books to portray parent-child relationships, not only because most young readers will find the experiences relatable, but also because it is crucial for children (as well as adults) to understand the benefits of a healthy parent-child relationship and to learn to steer clear of unhealthy ones. If I have to make a list on the advantages of showing parental relationships in books, here’s how it would look like –

  • As already mentioned, most readers will find the experiences of the protagonists quite relatable, and this will add to their enjoyment of the book.
  • It gives the reader a chance to reflect upon his/her own relationship with their parents/children and judge whether it is healthy or not.
  • The reader (especially if young) gets exposure to the different relationships parents and children share.
  • It adds a little realistic element to the story, therefore getting the readers invested into the story and help them in empathizing with the characters all the more.

Parents definitely should have some role in the books, and this does not mean only biological parents. Adopted parents add to the story even more, don’t you think? The Book Thief and Keeper of The Lost Cities are good examples, I’ll be talking about them in the later part of this post.

There are books like The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, where there is some ambiguity regarding the identities of the protagonists’ parents. Something along the lines of I-never-knew-my-father trope, if you know what I mean? I wouldn’t really consider books like these to be the ones with active parents, but whenever the identity of the biological parent is revealed, there is a certain element of surprise which adds some enjoyment.

The Aurora Cycle, The Mortal Instruments and The Keeper of Lost Cities all have something in common – villainous parents. Of course, parents are wholly included in these books, but on the opposite side of the protagonist. Usually protagonists of such books have this internal struggle – whether to side with their parent(s) or their friends.

Many books revolve around the main character trying to find his missing parents, like Ash in Frostheart by Jamie Littler, or trying to get vengeance for their dead parents, like Nova in Renegades by Marissa Meyer.

Then there are books like Six Of Crows duology, which I think cannot be included in any of these categories (absent parents, dead parents or active parents). Colm Fahey, Jesper’s father, definitely made a great addition to the book, and I was really happy when Inej got to meet her long lost parents. Wylan’s father was one of the main villains in the first book in the duology. But the other three main character’s parents are absent or dead, and I don’t think I would have liked having them in the story anyway, for the reason that Six Of Crows was one of those YA novels where the characters are in the higher age bracket (17-18 years old).


There are a lot (though not as many as I would have liked) of books out there which show the ups and downs of parent-child relationships and impart valuable lessons along the way. I will now be talking about 8 such books that I have read and loved. You can click on the cover images to know more about the book on Goodreads and add it to your TBR!

The Miracle On Ebenezer Street: This book was so adorable! The entire plot revolves around George trying to get his father to enjoy Christmas (and life in general) like he did earlier, before George’s mother died. I went “Awww” so many times while reading this. This perfect Christmassy read will definitely cheer you up whenever you’re feeling low.


The Six Bad Boys by Enid Blyton: I must have read this book a gazillion times now, (my first time reading it was 4-5 years back and my most recent reread was a week ago), and it never fails to make me all teary-eyed. I think this is one of the best books there is for showing the different types of parent-child relationships there can be. I think the major lesson here is that it is too easy for children to be led astray if their parents neglect them and make them feel unwanted. And what impacted me even more was how young the protagonists were – Tom was twelve-ish and Bob was even younger. A must-read for all coming-of-age (and everyone else, of course!) readers. (And its quite short so it can be read in a single sitting. Seriously, read it and you’ll thank me later!)


The Flame Of Olympus: Apart from its wonderful take on Roman mythology, the major thing I loved about this was that the mc’s father accompanied her on her quest to save Olympus and the human world from falling! Do you realize how rare that is in MG fantasy? Usually, in a book like this, the protagonist would have lied to their parents and snuck off, but this was a pleasant surprise!


Keeper Of The Lost Cities series: The main character, Sophie, finds out that her ‘human’ parents whom she has always known and loved are not her biological parents since she is an elf. Since nobody knows who her real parents are, she is sent to live with an elvin couple, who in turn, are battling their own grief of losing their only daughter to an accident. I loved seeing their relationship slowly build from hesitant to loving. This does not happen entirely in the first book, but gradually throughout the series, making it even more impactful.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Ah one of my favourite standalone novels of all time! So the main character is adopted, and her relationship with her foster father is so sweet! Though this relationship is a little sidelined throughout the novel, but that’s understandable because the story focuses on other much larger things. This book has gained a lot of popularity, so I am sure a lot of you have read this already, but if you haven’t, click on the cover image right now and add it to your TBR!


Matilda: You all recognize this one, don’t you? It was one of my childhood favourites, and so so good. Basically the main character is a sweet, incredibly intelligent girl who has got terrible parents who don’t care about her at all and provide an unsuitable environment at home for a little girl like their daughter. The ending (a happily ever after, I assure you) will definitely make you cry happy tears!


Misfit by Jo Zaida: I love how Elle (the main character) and her parents’ relationship grew through the course of the story, and the ending was just…*chef’s kiss*

This is releasing on 24th May 2021, so do add it to your TBR!


Buddy by Nigel Hinton: It’s been quite a while since I read this, but I do remember liking it a lot. The relationship between Buddy and his dad is the prominent theme in the book, so I would definitely recommend!


These were my opinions on the different fictional parents in MG and YA books. But why should this discussion stop here? This is why I am now adding a new feature to my discussion posts – I will be tagging some fellow bloggers to continue this discussion on their own blogs! April @Booked Till Midnight, Ashmita @the fictional journal and Pilar @The bookworm shelf, I would love to read your thoughts on this! You can twist and stretch this topic any way you want. No obligations of course, but if you do decide to do this, ping me back so I can read your posts!

Let’s Chat!

What are your thoughts on the inclusion of parents in MG and YA books? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you find any of my recommendations helpful? I’d love to discuss with you in the comments section!

Discussion Post: Role Of Parents In MG And YA Fantasy (Part 1)

Hello everyone, I would like to wish you a very happy Mother’s Day! I wanted to do something special on this occasion, so I came up with this idea for a discussion post – talking about the role of parents in today’s middle grade and young adult fantasy novels! I know it’s slightly long (thank goodness I decided to divide it into two parts!), but I’ve worked quite hard to put all this together, so I really hope you enjoy reading it and also express your opinions, since it is a discussion post. So without further ado, let’s start!


To put it bluntly, in most modern middle grade and young adult novels, the parents are neglected. And I am not even talking about the other characters’ parents, I am talking about the main character’s. I totally understand the reason. When the entire story is about a teenage girl who, one fine morning, discovers she has magical powers (just talking about a general thing here, not pointing to any book) why would anyone want to know about her mother? But including the parent(s) in the story does enhance it in some cases. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely love to see the parent-child relationship develop through the course of the story. But of course, there are also a lot of novels (especially MG) which involve the parents wholeheartedly.

In this post, we are going to go through the different types of roles parents have in MG and YA fantasies through the examples of popular books.


I think one of the most common parent-related trope is dead parent(s). It is very convenient to kill off one or both parents before the book even starts. I believe this is because a dead parent not only reduces the complexity of the story (no need to explain the main character’s relationship with them, etc), they also provide a certain backbone to the story, as the main character struggles to accept their deaths, or follow their footsteps etc. Dead parents usually mean that though they are not physically present throughout the events of the book, their presence is somehow felt. This trope has been executed in so different ways, some good, some not-so.

In The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury, the main character Amelia lost her mother at a very early age, and after her death, her father disappeared. All Amelia wanted was to become a Maestro, because her mother was one. She chose flute (and that too her mother’s) as her instrument because her mother had been a flutist. And she wanted more than anything to go to Mystwick, because it was the music school her mother went too. Later in the book, she mentions (too many times!) that she felt very close to her late mother in Mystwick. And even later, her mother forms a huge part of the ending. I felt the story would have been better if it focused less on the dead mother and more on our main character.

We all know about Harry Potter. Orphaned when he was barely an infant, Harry learns more about his parents at Hogwarts. I like the little details we get, from Sirius and Snape and others, but maybe Harry could have shown a little more, I don’t know, like anger or sorrow or something for his parents throughout the series?

All’s not bad. I have come across books which have executed the dead parent trope wonderfully. Renegades by Marissa Meyer is a very good example. The murder of the mc’s (her name is Nova) parents and sister is actually shown in the very beginning, and after that it kinda takes a backseat. But it definitely fuels Nova’s hatred for the Renegades and her drive to destroy them. There are occasional mentions, enough for the reader to remember why Nova’s doing what she’s doing, but not enough to be irritating or repetitive. The perfect balance.


Then we have the parents who are very much alive, but not involved much in the story, in other words, the absent parents. I personally don’t favour this trope much. I mean, I know its fiction, but there should be something relatable, right? It is very unrealistic that the parent is totally unaware while their child is off riding dragons and/or meeting dwarves and/or nearly getting killed and what not.

In Orion Lost by Alastair Chrisholm, the adults are all in cyro sleep, leaving only the children aboard the spaceship to deal with everything. The mc’s mother and father are introduced at the beginning of the novel, but then they play no role throughout the story whatsoever. I am not saying its a bad thing, but you know, just absent parents.

Same is the case with Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend. I mean, I loved all the three books (I rated them 5 stars!) but what I want to point out is that the mc’s father (her mother is dead) has no role throughout the trilogy except being mean to her in the first few pages of the first book.


And finally we have the books which actually give importance to the parents. I feel this one is the best there is. But you know what, I am not going to talk about these books in this post. I will be discussing these in the second part of this discussion. (Sorry if you came here only for these, but that next post will hopefully be worth the wait!)

Before you leave, I would like to share the results of a small survey I conducted. I put the following question forward to a group of readers –

In a YA or MG fantasy, would you prefer –

  1. Absent Parent (Little or no role in the story)
  2. Dead Parent
  3. Parent with an important role to play

The response was quite overwhelming and one-sided. A total of 85 people answered my question, out of which 73 of them favoured the last option i.e. parents with an important role to play. Of the remaining, 4 answered ‘dead parent’ and 8 chose ‘absent parent’. This means that about 85% prefer books with active parents. I think I agree with them, such books are fun to read.

Since so many of you like books with parent participation, this is what we will be (mostly) discussing in the second part of this discussion post, and teaser – I will be including some recs (books with active parents) too! Stay tuned, it won’t be long before the Part 2 goes up!

Which kind of fictional parents do you like best in MG and YA books? What are your thoughts on portrayal of parents in fantasy for young readers? Feel free to express your opinions in the comments, I would be more than happy to have a friendly discussion!

We’re going on an adventure! || Wyrd & Wonder 2021 TBR

It’s been so long since I took part in any readathon or reading challenge, that when I found out about this entire new world of fantasy lovers, Wyrd and Wonder, I signed up right away! It runs throughout the month of May, and there is like a prompt for every day of the month. What I liked the most about this is that there are no hard and fast rules to this – we can respond to the prompt with a photo, a blog post, anything we want. (psst! As far as I know, sign ups are open throughout the month, so it is not too late to join in! Click HERE to see the intro post, where you will find everything you need to know!)

Obviously I will be reading only fantasy this month, and most of my blog posts will also be centered around the same. Here is how my planned TBR looks like.

(from top left to bottom right)

  • The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  • Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray
  • The Flame of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn (The Wyrd and Wonder mascot this year is a pegasus, so how can I not read this?)
  • The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  • Supernova by Marissa Meyer
  • The Shadow Watch by S.A. Klopfenstein

Buddy-read call out!

I would love to buddy read any of these books with you guys! So if any of them is on your TBR as well, let me know in the comments so we can arrange a buddy-read!!


Before ending this post, I would like to inform you that I will not be following my regular posting schedule in May. There are two reasons for this – 1) because I will be following the respective dates of the prompts from Wyrd & Wonder and 2) since I am comparatively less busy with other stuff this month, I hope to post more frequently than my regular schedule permits. However, I will most probably be back to following my schedule from June.

Are any of these books on your TBR? Are you taking part in any readathon/ reading challenge in May? Would you like to suggest me ideas for different discussion posts, lists, etc related to fantasy that I can do this month? Let me know in the comments! See you there!!

April Wrap-Up // a fantastic reading month!! (ft. me gushing about Shadow and Bone)

So another month gone by! Let’s take a look at my reading, blogging, blog-hopping and other highlights of the month.

April has been, by far, the best reading month this year! I read a total of 7 books, which is pretty impressive considering that I have been trying to level up from my boring 5 books per month since the beginning of this year.

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer [4 stars] Eh, this was one of those books where I was totally lost after the end. I had no idea whether to rate it 3 stars or 4 stars or 5 stars. But finally I settled with 4. At this point of time, I am like – Just tell everyone who Nightmare and Sentinel is!! And if you wanted to keep it secret forever, maybe it could have been unknown to the readers as well? Because it is getting kinda annoying now, to be honest.

The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury [3 stars] My first audiobook! But what a disappointment the story was. It was too repetitive, to the point that so many things got downright irritating. And the beginning was nice enough, I don’t know what happened after that.

Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception [4 stars] Actually I don’t remember much about this, but I do enjoy a good heist, so that was one of the reasons I gave this 4 stars.

A Wilder Magic by Juliana Brandt [4 stars] This was my first ever ARC!! I got this as a part of a book promo tour I did this month. It was such a beautiful middle grade with amazing platonic relationships. Read my full review HERE.

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman [4.5 stars] This was easily my favourite book of April. It definitely deserves a lot more hype, I have rarely heard bloggers mention this. There were equal parts mystery, friendship and adventure in Book Scavenger. To read my full review, see my journal spread and play a small bookish game inspired by Book Scavenger, click HERE.

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman [1.5 stars] Well. I am still debating whether to put up a review for this on my blog or not, since I haven’t really posted a negative review here before, and this is also a very new release. But I did post a review on Goodreads, you can read it HERE.

Misfit (Asura Chronicles #1) by Jo Zaida [3 stars] Another ARC!! So I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had expected to, but it was worth reading anyways. Review to come!

I am proud to report that I carefully followed the posting schedule I had set up for myself last month (except for last week, when I had a blog tour post out of schedule, on a Sunday) throughout the month of April! When I started, I didn’t think I would be able to follow it throughout, to be honest, but turns out I was wrong!

I am not going to link all my posts from this month here, only specific ones. If you would like to see all my posts in April, click HERE.

I have included the links to my posts in their featured images below, so all you have to do is click on the ones that catch your attention!

A discussion post all about book titles! I am quite proud of this one actually, so do check it out if you missed it earlier!
I do love writing 5 star reviews!!
I created a quiz for you to find some great recs!!

I tried to be really active on all of your posts this month, and I think I succeeded to a great extent. I interacted with your blogs wherever I could, and came across some interesting posts in the process.

Amy @A Fangirl’s Opinion wrote about some funny books and characters on April Fools day!

April @Booked Till Midnight shared her recipe for a 5 star read!

Alice @Love For Words related Pride and Prejudice quotes to her everyday life! I have not read Pride and Prejudice completely (I’ve read only short excerpts) but this humorous post had me chuckling out aloud!

Ritz @Living, Loving and Reading Netflix’s Shadow And Bone and her thoughts are SO similar to mine!!

Ashmita @the fictional journal made a list of characters who are likely to jump-scare people!

Ritz @Living, Loving and Reading gives us some great sci-fi recs and also shares her sci-fi tbr!


Other updates and highlights of the month

  • We hit 100 followers in early April!! This is my first big blogging milestone, so thank you so much for that guys🥰 It means a lot to have you enjoy and appreciate my content.
  • The Home page of my blog now has a brand new look! I have changed the header image, put in a sidebar and stuff like that.
  • My blog now has a Review Policy page.
  • I received my first ARCs and took part in my first blog tour this month!
  • April was Shadow and Bone month!!!! (oops sorry for all the exclamations, this just shows how much I loved the show) By now, you all know how much the Six Of Crows duology means to me. If you don’t, IT’S MY FAVOURITE BOOK OF ALL TIME!! So naturally I was excited for the S&B show on Netflix. Though I started watching it only for the Crows, the Alina-Darkling storyline also got me hooked and made me wonder why I didn’t read the Shadow and bone trilogy earlier (I am not going to read it now, I want to know the story only from the show). I finished watching all 8 episodes of S&B in four days, and wow I loved seeing my favourite characters brought to life. The casting was just perfect. Freddy Carter is going to be stuck in my mind’s eye as Kaz forever, and same with the others. I didn’t think it was possible to love and admire Kaz more than I did after reading the books, but this show proved me wrong…my heart went out for him even more!! The ‘No mourners, no funerals’ line was also so perfect when it happened. Jesper and Milo were absolute showstealers!! Okay, not gonna ramble any more, but seriously, go watch it!!

How was your April? Did you watch Shadow And Bone? Have you read any of the books that I read in April? Chat with me in the comments!!